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River’s Remorse Release Day Blitz & Giveaway (Charlotte Abel)


 
After waiting for…ever, it’s finally here. The sequel to River’s Recruit is now available! 
To thank her loyal followers for their patience and encouragement, Charlotte Abel is making it available for the first twenty-four hours for just $.99. On June 21st, the price will go up so grab it while it’s a bargain.
 
 
http://bit.ly/RiversRemorse
 
Here’s an excerpt from River’s Remorse:
 
Jonathan closed Ephraim’s journal then put it in the fireproof safe in the basement. He rubbed his eyes. He had no trouble seeing the tiny words, thanks to his enhanced vision, but it didn’t help him decipher Ephraim’s nearly illegible handwriting. It was pretty to look at but a bitch to read. 
Thanks to Dad’s genealogy addiction, he was used to reading that type of stylized writing. He’d already studied the book with a magnifying glass and was able to tell Jonathan what he needed to know. He knew not to eat or drink anything in wolf form—unless he wanted to be a wolf for the rest of his life. He also knew he needed to be careful about how much time he spent as a wolf and that he needed to stay in charge. He’d figured that part out on his own the night he merged.
There was a lot of stuff about shifter history and lore, but that could wait. It was fascinating, but Jonathan needed to focus on the things that would keep him alive and human. 
He hadn’t shifted again since merging, and didn’t want to, but apparently he didn’t have a choice when the moon was full.
He locked the basement door, double checked the plywood sheets he’d nailed over the windows then stripped and removed his prosthesis. He wrapped a towel around his waist then FaceTimed Dad. “Okay, I’m ready.”
“I wish I could help you.”
“You are helping me.” Jonathan didn’t know how out of control things might get so there was no way he was endangering Dad by letting him stay in the basement with him. “Promise me you won’t try to come down here.”
“I can’t even get out of bed without help.” Dad’s bitter tone surprised Jonathan. It was the first time he’d heard him complain about anything to do with his illness.
“There’s nothing you can do down here that you can’t do over the phone. The sound of your voice will help me remember who I am.” Jonathan hoped it would be enough. According to Ephraim’s journal, he should be surrounded by older, more experienced shifters. He hoped River was with Reuben. 
The thought of her ignited a radiant heat deep inside his chest. Ever since he’d merged, he felt her presence. It was a blessing and a curse. Their connection was real and tangible and he was grateful to have it. But the need to find her ate at him like an addiction. 
Electricity charged the air. Jonathan’s hair stood up on end. He didn’t want to short out his phone, so he propped it up on a box then scooted over until his entire body was in view of the camera. “Can you see me okay?”
Dad nodded. “Plain as day.”
“Can you reach your water?”
“I’m fine, son. How are you feeling?”
“Itchy.” Jonathan scratched his chest. His bones ached, but he wasn’t going to complain about pain to Dad. “I feel like bugs are crawling all over me.”
“Don’t fight it. Embrace the change. Let your wolf help, but stay in control.”
Tremors racked Jonathan’s body as fever consumed him. His connection to River intensified exponentially. She must have shifted. 
Yes! Run. Find mates!
Jonathan felt as if someone had embedded a giant fish hook in his heart and was trying to reel him in. Beads of sweat popped out across his forehead and upper lip. He gritted his teeth to keep from screaming.
“Jonathan? What’s wrong?”
Dad carried enough guilt about delaying Jonathan’s search for River. He wasn’t going to add more weight to that burden by confessing how much it hurt to fight against their bond. “The fever’s started.”
“It’ll break as soon as you shift.”
Jonathan’s body convulsed then exploded in a blinding flash of pain. But it happened so fast, and disappeared so quickly, he wasn’t sure if the pain was real or imagined. He scrambled to his feet and howled.
Escape. Run.
There was nowhere to run.
Jonathan trotted around the perimeter of the basement, knowing it was futile. He scratched at every board covering every window, but was thwarted by his own prior diligence. A corner piece of plywood splintered under his front paw. He wedged his muzzle into the triangular opening and bit off another chunk. 
“Jonathan? What are you doing? I can’t see you.”
Dad’s worried voice pricked Jonathan’s conscience, but his wolf refused to acknowledge it. He was hellbent on escape. He could almost feel the wind in his fur and the damp gravel under his paws as he ran along a river bank. The sharp tangy scent of pine layered over the sweetness of meadow grass called to him. He knew that he’d find River there. He intensified his efforts, digging and biting at the wood. Splinters pierced his gums and paws, but he barely noticed.
“Jonathan, please, I can hear you tearing something apart but I can’t see you. You’re not on camera.”
Jonathan tried to regain control of his wolf when he heard Dad’s plea, but the beast was too strong. Too determined to escape and find his mate. He knew he wouldn’t be able to shift back until after the moon set, but he tried anyway.
That got his wolf’s attention. He trotted over to the box where Jonathan had set up his phone and hiked his leg.
“No! Jonath—” The screen flickered then went black, silencing the distracting voice.
A feeling of pride and ownership flowed through the wolf. He sniffed his mark then moved to the next box and claimed it, too. 
He marked each wall, establishing his territory. Mine. Mine. Mine. He sniffed the pile of clothes his man had discarded and marked that, too. Mine.
He scratched the floor with his hind legs three times then trotted to the window and got back to work. He would find his mate and bring her here to his new den. They would stay until the man upstairs died then go home.
Happy?
Jonathan was glad that his wolf at least acknowledged his existence, but he was not happy. I can’t believe you pissed on my clothes!

If you haven’t read River’s Recruit yet, pick it up today. And grab River’s Remorse while it’s on sale.

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About Charlotte Abel

Charlotte Abel was born and raised in Oklahoma where she met her soul mate, Pete. She chased him to Boulder, Colorado and finally convinced him they were meant to be together forever. They’ve raised three kids, two ferrets, three dogs and countless hamsters — and are still happily married.
She’s in love with “real” life and paranormal romance. When she’s not reading or writing, Charlotte enjoys hiking, bicycling and primitive archery (although she’s never shot at anything other than a target!)
The final book of The Channie Series, “Finding Valor,” is now available!
Look for “River’s Revenge,” the third book of “The Sanctuary Series” in early 2015.

(NEW RELEASE) STARDUST: A FUTURISTIC ROMANCE COLLECTION (TEASERS)


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Welcome to a world where space travel by the common man is as normal as getting on a plane, life has been discovered on other planets, humans travel light-years to find their soul mates, technology exists along the lines that we have only imagined, and a passport will take you anywhere.

Stardust… where love has no boundaries and worlds are just waiting to be discovered.

Ten different authors. Ten tales of fantastical love. Ten different ways to discover the stars.

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ZERO: RENE FOLSOM

“I am intrigued by the notion that love was once a choice. The adventure of falling in love, finding your soul mate amongst billions of people around the Earth, seems so much more realistic than being told who you’re meant to be with for eternity. I feel like I would much rather go through loss and heartache in order to find my true match, instead of being told by a stupid internal timer when my soul will finally be complete.”

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ISAAC: Michael Loring

“Are you nervous?” Mrs. Nelson asked Isaac as they waited in traffic on the way to the doctor’s.

They perfected space travel and colonizing other planets, but they hadn’t fixed traffic jams yet, Isaac thought sourly, staring at the rear bumper of the same car for twenty minutes.

“I don’t get nervous,” Isaac said, gripping the steering wheel tighter than he should have.

“Sure,” she snorted. “That’s why I heard you pacing in your room last night.”

Isaac blushed. He knew he should have just plugged himself in and gone to sleep. He had been thinking about today’s appointment all night and morning, and his charge was a bit low, making it harder to reel in his emotions.

“I’m sorry.” Isaac sighed.

“Don’t be,” Mrs. Nelson said, adjusting her position in her seat. “Competition is coming.”

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World Wide Gone: Bart Hopkins

“I don’t know. I think I might actually want to go—” she began, and then chewed on her lip. She hadn’t meant to say it. Not yet, even though she had been thinking it. She realized that, without the Internet, social media, and all the ways she usually connected with people, her life had completely changed. There was a giant void that was previously filled with virtual relationships. She actually had to call friends or meet them in person, and even then, their conversations only led back to The Lottery and the damned Internet. Or lack thereof.

She tried to get a read on Si’s expression, but it was tough. He kept a very straight face.

 “What about you?”

He thought about it for only a second. “I want to be wherever you are, K.”

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Life Companion: M.L. Ryan

“Cole,” she sighed, with a hint of exasperation. “His name is Cole. And I never said I wasn’t attracted to him; he’s the handsomest man I’ve ever seen, and I love him. I’m just not in love with him. And before you say what I’m sure is running through your mind, let me assure you, I paid for a life companion whom I would love. Great sex is easy to find, and I’ve had lots of lovers. But finding someone who makes your heart smile every time you think of him and your pulse rate dance with a mere touch, that’s much more difficult.”

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Born Ready: Katheryn Van Pelt

An idea came to Alex, and she crossed her arms over her chest again. “I have a deal for you. I’ll tell you more, anything you want to know, if you let me go with you guys,” she said, watching his reaction. Dagon seemed to think about her offer, observing her closely. Please say yes, please say yes, she thought.

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Show Me: Magen McMinimy

This is home, Kayla thought silently. This ship, with its metallic floors, silver ceilings, and glass walls. The stars were her world, they were her peace, and soon they’d be lost to her.

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New Eden: Eaton Thomas Palmer

She was composing a letter to the magistrate when a knock at the door startled her. “Oh thank God,” she thought, “he’s home and safe. I’ll kill him for what he’s put me through.”

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Love Forgotten: Stephanie Summers

“Have you been with people you didn’t love?”

He laughed and turned to face me. “Yes. Absolutely, yes.”

“How did you know the difference? If you liked someone enough to spend time with them, how do you know it wasn’t love?”

“Love and lust are two very different things that are easily confused. I’ve had so many friends swear they were in love when they were really just having a good time. Love burns while lust… just burns out.”

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What Happens on Destiny 2… Tara Moeller

“Ugh, Mom.” Gretchen turned away from the near-naked form of her mother, her artificially pert curves evident under the flowing fabric. “Can’t you wait until the miners get up here to wear that stuff?”

“I don’t know why you mind so much. You have the exact same equipment.”

Gretchen snorted. “Same equipment…I just use mine a little differently.”

“From what I’ve heard, you don’t use yours at all.”

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Brandy: Carrie Avery Moriarty

As Brandy returned with another load of empty glasses, the bartender suggested, “You should try to get a job at one of the spas on the surface. You’d still be the token human, but you would make more money.”

“I can’t,” Brandy replied, taking the empty tray again. “He’d never find me if I left.”

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Amazon Buy Links:

 

  Stardust: A Futuristic Romance Collection

Convincing Constance (The Blow-Hole Boys) Release Day Blitz & Giveaway


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Excerpt:

Turned out Gary Steele from Music Line did have a job for me. I almost lost my shit when he said Blow Hole was looking for a replacement guitarist to finish their tour with them. Fucking Blow Hole! As in some of my favorite music to play.
I knew the chords to their songs better than any other band. I liked their sound and I’d always been able to pick up their pace right away. I could hardly believe my luck. So when he told me they wanted me to come to their condo in Los Angeles to audition, I was all over that shit.
I called Shay to bring me some gas money, told her why I needed it, listened to her scream on the other line, and then I drove entirely too fast to the address Gary gave me. I pulled up around the corner and changed my clothes in the backseat of my car before going inside the massive building the boys lived in.
When I finally made it to the top floor, I stood in front of the door and convinced myself that ringing the doorbell was the best thing I could do no matter how badly my nerves were jumping around. I’d never auditioned before since I’d never played for any other reason than I loved it, and I couldn’t lie. I was scared.
When I finally worked up the nerve, I reached out and rang the doorbell. I stood there waiting for someone to answer the door, but no one came. I rang the bell once more, and the door opened quickly.
“Can I help you?” It was Finn, the lead singer.
Everyone who loved music knew who Finn was. His voice was soulful. When he sang, he put so much emotion behind it you could almost believe he was living his lyrics. He was raspy and deep, and I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t attractive.
He was taller in person, and honestly, I expected more muscles, but that didn’t take away from his eyes or those lips that girls seemed to get wet over. He leaned against the doorframe with his arms crossed. A black shirt with cut-off sleeves covered his chest yet revealed his tatted arms, and a pair of drawstring sweats hung from his hips with loose ties that brought my eyes to his crotch.
Quickly, I looked back up at him and my cheeks turned red when his expression told me he’d caught me looking. Turning away, I adjusted my guitar case and shook the thoughts from my head. I wasn’t one to get star struck… ever, but Finn was the real deal.
Looking back up at him, the question in his eyes told me I needed to speak or he was going to close the door in my face.
“I’m here for the audition.” My voice cracked and I wanted to slap myself.
I needed to snap out of it.
I adjusted the guitar strap on my shoulder to show him I wasn’t messing around.
“You’re kidding, right?” His right brow popped up in challenge.
I didn’t have time for the whole females can’t play bullshit I knew was coming. So I went in for the kill.
“Do I look like I’m kidding? Is the word jokester tattooed across my forehead? Yes, I’m a chick. I have tits and a clit, but I have bigger balls than any man you know, and I can play the fuck out of a guitar. Now are you going to keep wasting my time, or are you going to invite me in to play?”
His mouth popped open in a wide, shocked smile. Then he chuckled to himself and stepped aside.
“Then by all means, come in.”
The space was sleek and clean considering it was the home of a bunch of rockers. Abstract red-and-black paintings of different instruments covered white walls, and the place smelled like pot and beer.
The place was huge. I followed behind Finn through three sets of doors until we were in a sitting room, and then I set my guitar case on the counter that split the living room from the kitchen.
A white, leather sectional filled the room. Eyes stared back at me as I entered behind Finn and instantly I recognized the drummer, Chet, and the bass player, Tiny. Finn left the room, leaving me in a silent uncomfortable moment.
Taking a seat on the edge of the couch, I kept my bitch face on. Chet grinned at me from across the room and nodded at me as he licked his lips. His tongue piercing clicked against his teeth. He was the colorful one of the group. Tattoos and piercings everywhere. I did, however, seriously dig his fauxhawk.
I’d been looking at him too long, and he was enjoying the attention. He was definitely the playboy of the group. I’d heard the rumors about him and how he stuck his cock in anything wet. I rolled my eyes and turned my head, and then my eyes connected with the bass player’s.
Tiny’s name was a joke considering there was nothing small about the man. He was huge. His thick tattooed arms were crossed. A look of absolutely no tolerance was plastered on his face. Quiet and mysterious was his game. Every band had one, and I usually dealt best with them, but something about the way he looked at me made me feel nervous.
His dark-brown hair was buzzed short and faded into a set a sideburns that melted into his light mustache and goatee. My eyes shifted to his lips and again, I wanted to slap myself. It was unlike me to even notice the things I’d noticed since I stepped into the den of sin, also known as the home of Blow Hole, and I wasn’t about to let the disgusting pheromones that lingered in the air get to me.
Tiny’s dark, angry eyes dug into mine and I suddenly felt exposed. I sat up and ran my fingers through my hair to make sure I had no strays poking out, and then I turned away from him. Even without looking at him, I could feel his gaze in the side of my face. I didn’t like it.
Just when I was close to telling him off, Finn came back into the room and crashed onto the couch. Behind him, Zeke, the lead guitarist, came limping in. A cast covered his picking hand and instantly I felt for him. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to not be able to play. He looked at me in confusion as he sat down.
As far as I was concerned, Zeke was one of the best guitarists I’d ever heard. His technique was unusual, but the sounds that came from his strings were amazing. I’d practiced his sound since the first time I’d heard them play on the radio. I’d once see them from afar in concert at a bar in Los Angeles, but the boys were playing bigger venues these days.
“So where’s the replacement guitarist? Zeke asked in aggravation.
The room filled with laughter like I was a joke, and it pissed me off. I stood and crossed my arms to show them I wasn’t dicking around.
“That would be me,” I said sternly.
Zeke looked me up and down without a drop of sexual awareness in his gaze, and I appreciated the fact that he was simply sizing me up, not checking me out. It probably had something to do with the petite blond that had followed him into the room.
“Is that so?” he asked.
He was acting cocky, and honestly, he had every right to be.
“Yep. Want me to play or what?” I asked.
Everything depended on this job and while I knew some would call me stupid for being such a bitch, I knew the boys would appreciate it. I’d been a part of their world before. I knew all about the girls that chased rockers around with their legs open. I was sure it was refreshing to have a woman in their presence who didn’t drool all over them. I’d definitely checked them out, but I wasn’t the drooling type. Not to mention, I knew band boys weren’t for me—at all.
Zeke looked around the room at the rest of the guys. “Is this some kind of joke?” he asked.
Again, the boys burst out in laughter, which did nothing but make me madder.
“It’s not a fucking joke. Quit being a chauvinistic asshole. Either you want me to fucking play or not. Say something and quit wasting my goddamn time,” I snapped.
His stern expression cracked into an appreciative smile. “Then play,” he said with a careless shrug.
Stepping over to my guitar case, I flipped it open and pulled out my baby. It was a candy apple-red Les Paul from my dad. I barely played it, but I thought of this audition as a special occasion. The boys of Blow Hole didn’t need to see my normal guitar.
I strapped it on, took a deep breath, and began to play. My fingers dug into the strings and I closed my eyes and let go of everything. Rips and grinds filled the condo, bouncing off the walls and shaking the windows. I mimicked Zeke’s playing perfectly. I even ripped through his unique chords that other guitarist seemed to have a hard time with.
I played an entire song and no one stopped me. When I was done, I unhooked my strap and set my guitar back in its case. The room around me was silent, and when I looked up, looks of shock stared back at me.
The only girl in the room, the tiny blonde with ice-blue eyes, began to clap.
“That was amazing!” she said with a smile.
I nodded at her compliment and turned my attention back to Zeke. He stared at me with angry eyes. That was his thing. I don’t think I’d ever seen a real smile from him ever.
“What did you say your name was again?” he asked.
“I didn’t. No one bothered to ask. My name’s Constance,” I responded.
He looked around the room and then back at me. The side of his mouth lifted in an almost grin. “Well, Constance, welcome to Blow Hole.”

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON US: Convincing Constance (The Blow -Hole Boys)

AMAZON UK: Convincing Constance (The Blow-Hole Boys)

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Blow Hole Lyrics:

“The Addict”
The addiction you bring
It’s more than I can stand
Feeling your soulful depth
Why can’t you understand?
Bound by sick desires
Reaching for your sin
Body breathing fire
And I can’t let you in
Chorus:
Drugs don’t fail me now
For she’s forever gone
Despising all her strength
Against all that I’ve done wrong
Numb my aching heart
I’ll never be brand new
Finding who I am
In the high that comes from you
I’m addicted to your smile
Withdrawals and frowns are me
Knocked down and I am vile
While you’re forever free
Needing you right here
Jonesing for a dose
Panic turns to fear
Longing for your ghost
Chorus:
Drugs don’t fail me now
For she’s forever gone
Despising her strength
Against all that I’ve done wrong
Numb my aching heart
I’ll never be brand new
Finding who I am
In the high that comes from you

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T.E.D. by Jayson James


From the author of the Finding Our Way series comes a new story.


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T.E.D. Cover

Tim is being bullied. No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.

Eric is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.

Delsin is gay and ready to come out.  Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.

Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to work either.

And be sure to connect with Jayson James.

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NEW RELEASE! STALKERS: A COLLECTION OF THRILLER STORIES


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Shadows follow you in the darkness of the night and the eerie sensation of being watched crawls up your spine. Your sanity pulls apart at the seams as the terrors stalk their victims, leaving you too frightened to turn off the light.

These twisted stories will leave you breathless, dreading the horrors lurking around the corner.

Seventeen authors.  Seventeen tales of terror.  Infinite nightmares. 

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Stories featured in this anthology:
– Every Thorn by Rene Folsom
– Dead Ringer by Jason Brant
– Autumn by Elizabeth Collins
– Don’t Kiss the Dead Fred by A.E. Killingsworth
– Affliction by S.L. Dearing
– Lucid by Andrea Stanet
– Donations by Bart Hopkins
– Bernice by Chad Foutz
– Destination: Death by Eaton Thomas Palmer
– Powerless by Laurie Treacy
– Freezer Burn by Jon Messenger
– The Watcher by Lindy Spencer
– Immortal Luck by Magen McMinimy
– Izzy’s Assassin by Nicole Clark
– Say My Name by Michael Loring
– Damaged People by Nicki Scalise
– Blog Stalker by Phil Taylor

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/194lduB

Paperback: http://amzn.to/1evOxim

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1c6OXvg

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This collection of thriller stories started as a contest on my Facebook page. The authors were given the following guidelines:

This anthology will have a main theme of Stalkers. That is about where my direction stops. It does not have to be paranormal, though it can be. The story can be a psychological thriller, horror, paranormal, suspense, action…whatever you want it to be. You can have a demon stalking someone in their dreams or a serial killer stalking prey, just to give you a couple examples. Whatever your twisted minds can come up with. I want stories that have you looking in the backseat of your car before you get in—stories that make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you think someone looked at you just a little too long.  Let your imaginations flow free and DELVE into the DARKER side of your mind…You know you want to.

What happened next will shock even you…

These seventeen authors came up with completely unique stories that cross all spectrums and genres. Creepy tales that will truly have you on high alert. This is one collection that you do not want to miss. It has something for everyone!

PURCHASE LINKS:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/194lduB

Paperback: http://amzn.to/1evOxim

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1c6OXvg

New Release from M.L. Stephens (BARE ASSETS)


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Bare Assets Book Blurb:

With nothing but shattered dreams and a busted heart to fuel the way, Angela Fletcher drove out of Arkansas and never looked back.

Six years later, the new and improved version of the girl she used to be steered clear of romance, love and late night promises. The only pillow talk Angela engaged in these days, was making sure the person on the other pillow knew to lose her number as soon as he left the bed. She only had room for one love in her life and that was Bare Assets, the gentleman’s club she poured her heart and soul into.

Dean Murray was the devil in disguise and had left behind enough broken hearted women to populate a small country. Angela would know. She was an expert markswoman who was skillfully self-trained at shooting down the good, the bad and the ugly of all masculine targets. After all, as the owner of the most successful strip club in Dallas, Texas, it was her business to know men.

Just as she begins to fall for Dean’s silky words and passionate ways, her past and present unexpectedly collide and a meticulously planned future turns into unpredictable chaos. Is the smooth talking, denim wearing devil responsible for the chaos? Or have the secrets she left buried in Arkansas, coming back to haunt her?

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Author Bio:

I’m always clicking away at the keyboard, but when I’m not, my family, two dogs, and a very peculiar cat keep me on my toes! There’s never a boring moment at my desk!

Besides my obvious love for coffee and all things caffeinated, I love to travel. The occasional tourist stop is fun, but I’m a back road kind of gal. Take me off the beaten path. I want to meet the ordinary people behind the culture.

My crazy family includes a husband, four kids, two grandbabies, two dogs and a cat. That’s right. Life is totally insane, and so I write.

Speaking of writing, I’ve been spinning stories around the campfire since I can remember. Poetry was second nature and as a teen and young adult, short stories were constantly being penned. I’m an avid reader who loves almost all genres. Let’s face it! A good read is a good read, regardless of whether it takes place in the future, the present, the past or with ghosts.

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Excerpt 1

The small town girl from Arkansas had worked her ass off to turn Bare Assets into the five star rated gentlemen’s club it currently was. It had taken an Olympic sized swimming pool full of sweat and tears, along with countless hours and sleepless nights, but she never had to worry about losing her job or pissing off the boss man. Angela Fletcher was the boss man…or boss lady if you will. Scratch that. She was not a lady. She was a certified, hard-nosed bitch, but that’s what it took to make it in an industry saturated with chauvinistic pricks.

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Excerpt 2:

This guy might have snared the title of first runner up for the throne of prickish and dickish, but he was the reigning tyrant over the land of fine assed, denim wearing devils. Six years ago, she might have been giddy to be in the presence of such a fine creation, but knowing what she knew, his visits only irritated the piss out of her.

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Excerpt 3:

Death from carnal pleasures would be one hell of a way to go. ~ Angela

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Excerpt 4:

Changing the subject before it became too serious, Angie opened the bedroom door and glanced over her shoulder. “I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a single thing to eat all day. If I don’t get something soon, I’m going to eat the wood off this door.”

Grinning from ear to ear, he had to say it, “I have something to appease your appetite, but I’m afraid the door doesn’t play into my lust filled scenario.”

Laughing, she tightened the rope on her robe and wittily responded, “I would love to take part in your version of a meal, but I’m afraid I need to rely on the basic food groups for now.”

“And why is that?” he asked, joining her at the door.

“Something tells me that once I truly get a taste of you, I may never want to leave this room again.

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twitter.com/mlstephenswrite

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Unexpected Forever (New Release)


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Pregnant…

The stick turned blue and Tessa Bradley’s world fell apart. But unplanned turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to her. Add a marriage of convenience to her best friend and unplanned just might give her the happily every after with the man she’s always loved.

Deployment…

Gunny Cameron White devoted his life to God, country and the Corp. Marriage has never been a blip on his radar. When his best friend—a woman he’s always loved—turns up pregnant and alone, he throws out the rule book and commits to her like a Marine.

Marriage…

Can two people overcome the choices of their past when an unplanned baby gives them the chance of an unexpected forever?

Buy links:

Sunshine Press ~ Kindle ~ Nook ~ Smashwords ~ All Romance Ebooks ~ Kobo

 

Excerpt:

Pregnant? Tessa Bradley’s hand slid across her abdomen, was there really a little person growing inside her? Her doctor’s voice droned on, but she couldn’t hear him. She was twelve weeks pregnant without a father for her baby, and after today’s shift—an unemployed mother-to-be.

It can’t be…I was so careful.

She hit the end button on her cell phone, and slipped it back into her pocket. During the last nine weeks, she’d worked as the secretary for a law firm in town, while their permanent one was on maternity leave—talk about irony.

How was she supposed to be a mom when she didn’t even know how to take care of herself?

“Tessa, there you are.” Mr. Jacob smiled as he stepped into the office. “I wanted to give this to you before you left. It’s just a token of my appreciation for stepping into Bev’s shoes while she was on leave. I thought this might turn into a permanent position when I hired you, but Bev obviously has other plans. She wants to come back. If things change, you’ll be my first call.” He offered her a plain white envelope.

“Thank you. I appreciate it.” She accepted it with a small, honest smile. Mr. Jacob was a wonderful boss and a good lawyer. He truly cared about his clients and did everything he could to fight for them both inside and out of the courtroom.

“Very well, it’s Friday and we have no more clients booked for today. Why don’t you take off and enjoy your weekend?”

She grasped at the generous offer, especially after the doctor’s call. She needed to get out; maybe a walk in the park would help her clear her thoughts. Maybe then, she would have a better idea what to do about her situation. In a daze, she moved around the office and gathered her things.

“Thank you again for the job Mr. Jacob.” She called to him from the door as she slipped her purse over her shoulder, and let herself out for the last time.

The air felt cool against her flushed skin, and the wind tugged her long brown hair, but she didn’t care. Heading into the park, she made her way past the children’s playground.

One day I’ll be one of those frantic mothers watching from the bench praying my child doesn’t get injured.

The countdown to ‘one day’ ticked faster than she’d ever imagined.

“Tess?” He looped his arm around hers, startling her out of her reverie and pulling her to a stop.  “Aren’t you supposed to be working?”

Cameron White stood before her in his breath-stealing, damn-isn’t-he-good-looking crisp blue Marine uniform. The medals on his chest made her proud—and served as the steel fence between the future she’d wanted and the life he’d chosen fifteen years ago.  He was a fine specimen of manhood—over six feet, muscular from his military training and hours in the gym, and shoulders wide enough to carry the world.

Over the years, she’d nursed a long-standing fascination and attraction for Cameron, one he refused to acknowledge after he joined the Marines. She tried to supplant the desire, redirect it to someone else, but even Brian didn’t measure up to the yardstick she judged all men by. They weren’t Cameron.

Young Marines spoke of him with respect, edged with fear. She knew he was strict, and expected only the best from his men, but he was also fair. Whenever someone needed a helping hand he was there, helping, guiding, but he expected his men to learn from their mistakes—to pay for their mistakes with pushups, loss of leave, whatever it took to drill the message home. He pushed his men to the breaking point, making them the finest Marines he could and he wouldn’t stand for them to give less than one hundred and ten percent.

“Why are you in your dress blues?”

“I just left John’s wedding, they pushed it up so they could be married before he ships out. It was a nice ceremony by the lake.”

She heard him but it was as if his words came through a haze, distant and she couldn’t focus. Her legs felt heavy, and her head swam.

 “What’s wrong Tessa? Are you feeling okay?” He cupped a hand under her arm and guided her over to a bench.

“I’m fine…I just need to go home.” God help her it was good to see him. He was like a port for a ship lost at sea but she needed to wrap her mind around what she was going to do—and how could she tell him? She didn’t think she could bear his disappointment.

“Come on, I’ll take you home.” Arm around her waist, he pivoted neatly and guided her toward the street.

“I’m fine. My apartment isn’t that far, I can walk. I’m sure you have other things you need to do before you have to go.”  Even to her, the words sounded flat and they wouldn’t convince him, but it was all she had left.

“You’re all that matters today. I was coming over once you got off work.”

Even if he didn’t believe her, he didn’t force the subject. Maybe all the years they had known each other had enlightened him to the fact that if he pushed she’d only shut down more. What am I going to tell him? She tried to think of something, anything as he led her towards his car. They only had a few days left together before his upcoming deployment. She didn’t want to ruin the time she had left with him by bringing up her mistakes.

Just the thought of another deployment was enough to send her into panic mode. Yes, he was career military and that was part of his job, but it scared the hell out of her every, single time. In truth, he married the Marines from the day he enlisted. He wouldn’t be there for their weekly movie date, or nightly chats. Selfish? Yes, but he was such a large part of her life, she didn’t know how to give it up—even for only a short time—without her heart breaking.

If she were honest with herself, she’d admit she was in love with him, and had been since they were sixteen. Fifteen years later nothing had changed, at least not for her. For Cameron, he’d chosen the Marines, and that loyalty was absolute. He left no part of himself free for a girlfriend, let alone a wife. No matter how much she’d always wished otherwise, Tessa had accepted they would never be anything more than friends. Cameron wouldn’t allow anything more. He said something else, but she didn’t really understand it, the world around her tilted and she swayed. Blackness swamped her vision and everything faded.