My daughter came and sat next to me this morning, flicking through her Facebook photos of 2016 … and it was wonderful to remember some wonderful moments we had during the last 12 months. Yes, it was a challenging year with sickness and bullying, but it was also a wonderful year with the occasional trips away, our holidays to Canberra and the NSW coast, or having my mum here for six weeks. We laughed at the photos when we went for a BBQ in the bush, or camping, or had my husband’s family reunion.
We easily forget the wonderful moments because we so quickly get drawn into the rapids of grief of the international news. Of course, it was sad that we lost stars like Prince, George Michael, or David Bowie because they were part of of our lives for such a long time, but it shouldn’t define our year that has been.
Please, do flick through your photos as well to remember your memorable days of 2016.
A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert….
The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider.
When Erin, a shy history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?
Erin isn’t sure she can trust Drew with her heart, but she’ll need his help to track down the treasure. She heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Plus, the sinister men hunting Erin are determined to follow her all the way to the treasure, no matter where the twisted trail leads. Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight, but is she ready to risk her life—and her heart?
“The story has it all—action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship….”
“The action never stopped …. It was adventure and romance at its best.”
“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”
Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will enjoy these stories of love in the wild, from a New Mexico Book Award-winning author.
The Mad Monk’s Treasure is the first Southwest Treasure Hunters book, followed by The Dead Man’s Treasure. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This contemporary romantic suspense series mixes action and adventure with sweet romance.
Erin could hardly believe what she was seeing. Could this be it? After all this time waiting, searching, had she finally, finally, found what she was looking for?
She forced herself to sit back and take a deep breath. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t rush into things. She wanted to leap up and scream her excitement, but years of academic training held. Slow down, double-check everything, and make sure you are right!
She leaned forward and ran her fingers over the grainy photograph. With that one image, everything seemed to fall into place. This was the clue. It had to be.
She fumbled in her desk drawer for a magnifying glass and studied the symbols in the photo more closely. At a glance, they looked like your standard Indian petroglyphs. You could find them throughout the Southwest, tucked away in caves or scattered among boulder fields.
But this was different.
If she was right—and she had to be right—these symbols were a map. A map that could lead her to one of the greatest caches of buried treasure ever.
She reached for the phone. In a few seconds a voice said, “Yeah.” Erin could hear the sound of some tool on metal in the background.
“Camie? I found it!”
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.
My husband and I always spend our anniversary weekend in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Although T or C is small, it has several good restaurants and many spa services. We like to stay at the Fire Water Lodge, where each room has its own tub fed by geothermal hot mineral water. Each room is different, and you can see the specifics for each room on their website. Fire Water is one of the more funky/less expensive lodges. You can also find high-end luxury lodging.
There’s not a ton to do in T or C – which is part of what makes it relaxing. You can wander the small town and poke around used bookstores and art galleries. Nearby Elephant Butte provides three short hiking trails as well as a ten-mile trail along the lake, if you’re feeling ambitious. You can also sit on the beach, fly a kite, watch birds, or fish. At night, be sure to look up at the sky – we prefer to do this from our Jacuzzi tub – at a dark sky filled with stars.
For more Southwest travel, visit my Southwest Armchair Traveler blog. Check out the Labels for posts on different parts of the state.
– I believe visiting wineries is a great way to have a short romantic escape. Almost every state has a few and most are affordable, running anywhere from free to $20 for a tasting.
While in Nebraska where McKee’s Ghost story takes place, I had a chance to visit a few. As you can see by the picture, it’s a great to unwind and relax.
Blurb His fiancée called off their engagement after be accosted by a ghost in his house.
Now, a beautiful ghost detective has shown up at his ranch, saying his brother has hired her to take care of the unwanted spirit.
Konnor McKee is more than happy with PSI Agent Ruth Oliva Wilson. One look and he was hooked. Now, if he can only get some help from a ghost, he might be able to secure himself a bride after all.
With the return of his ex-fiancee, his life is turn upside down by an angry ghost, a vindictive woman and a sexy medium. Konnor doesn’t know which way to turn.
Can he get everyone out of this alive and marry the PSI Agent?
Or has he lost all hope of a happy future because of the ruthless ghost of one of his ancestors?
Excerpt: Taking his anger with himself out on the young man, Konnor grabbed the glass. “And when exactly did you see Miss Wilson?”
Henry shuffled backward. “I saw her around the corner of the house when I was heading home. But then, I couldn’t leave.”
“Well, I figured you might want me to be close by. Maybe act as a chaperone or something, so she doesn’t hogtie you into marrying her.”
Konnor set the full glass of water on the kitchen table next to a bowl of apples. “I’m not a young buck like you. I can have a woman visit without taking advantage of the situation. Now, skedaddle.”
“Are you sure? Because I don’t mind staying a while longer if you need me to.” Henry edged along the counter to the back door and pointed to the table. “I also cut up some meat and set out the biscuits you made this morning.”
“Thanks. Now get. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow.” Konnor waved the boy out of the house and surveyed the food. With the table set with plates and silver, they wouldn’t have to wait to eat.
Nevertheless, what would Ruth think? Would she be happy with a cold meal? Or should he heat something else up?
You can also download a Sample Book of The Good, the Bad and the Ghostly
Links to sample Book for The Good the bad and the Ghostly
One of my favorite romantic trips my husband and I like to take is to go out to Palm Springs and play golf. We have a great time and get outside. The scenery along a golf course is beautiful and then we go out to a nice restaurant before heading back to our hotel room. This is both relaxing and fun.
CEO’s Widow – Book 4 of the Executives’ Wives’ Club series
Genre: Contemporary Romance with strong women fiction elements
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed… CEO’s Widow
After surviving the grief from her husband’s death, Marianne Clark has built a new life with the help of the other Executive Wives. She plans to enjoy grandchildren and friends until her doctor tells her he found a lump in her breast. Her world turned upside down. She re-evaluates her priorities and decides she will grab hold of life with both hands.
Knox Turner lost his first wife to cancer. He’s determined not to let Marianne face this challenge alone.
Can this couple face the trials ahead and build a future together?
“What about you and Knox? Is Travis and Lyndsey’s relationship still causing problems between you two?”
In response to Brie’s questions, Marianne lifted her gaze, uncertain how to explain the true reason for not caring to become involved with Knox.
“He seemed determined today to put an end to the stand-off,” Sylvia inserted, her tone reflecting her amusement of the moment.
Brie captured Marianne’s gaze and slow shook her head. “You’re still not over Jack, are you?”
Jen swiveled her head, first to Brie, then back around to stare at Marianne. “Oh, no, that can’t be.”
“Awe shit,” Sylvia muttered and turned in her chair.
All eyes locked on her. Marianne dropped her chin and fought for something to say to ease her friends’ concern.
“I knew it, you assume because you’re interested in Knox you’re somehow being unfaithful to Jack.” Sylvia clasped her hand around Marianne’s forearm. “Well, you’re not. Jack would understand. Hell, if he were in your shoes, he’d have already remarried.”
If you would like to sign up to be an exclusive member of Tina’s List simple visit: http://www.tinagayle.net/newsletter.html
You’ll receive a free short story – “My Future StepBrother.” This story leads you right into the story of the CEO’s Widow. URL to cover: http://www.tinagayle.net//BannerforTinaFreeBook.jpg
Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspectsshe knows about his company drain and hires her. Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.
Chapter One from Deadly Alliance
“You know I love your sportswear designs, right?”
“I’m glad you do.” Amy Kintyre sat opposite a buyer, none other than Kira Radner, at a coffee shop in Lake Arrowhead, California. This sudden opportunity to re-launch her sportswear designs gave rise to the jitters, and Amy clutched her hands under the table.
Kira pressed her face forward, Amy’s sketches drawn on figures in action poses. With the portfolio spread between them, she flipped it sideways to examine the fabric swatches stapled along the sidebar. Their earthy tones blended with the marred wooden table.
Amy stilled the chatty urge.
“You know your presentation is in two weeks.” Kira was giving her the green light with Recreational Sportswear, Incorporated.
“I appreciate this, Kira.” To get her business back on track, she needed blocks of time to sew mockups. Amy inhaled the spicy aroma of the raw cedar wood. The under-construction décor of wide, timber planks on the walls made her think of her new self. Crazy how thirty felt like seventeen when embracing life and freeing her artistic side.
“Then I beg you,” Kira said, “please, please, please have yourproduct samples ready. Deadline is the first Monday of November.”
“Got it.” Fear over the tight time frame tasted sour in her throat, but this break called like no other.
Kira leaned forward. “Impressive functionality with the shorts. Who would have thought this pocket holds a Swiss Army Knife!” The buyer’s fingertips traced the pick-stitch hem, made with thread matching the fabric, appearing invisible. “Nice detail.”
Amy’s only mock-up kept their face-to-face meeting running like the hum of the fluorescent lights above.
“Oooo,” Kira said and raised both her eyebrows. “Classic nostalgia with a twist. A pocket knife for hikers!”
“Useful, I think.” The bright light flickered over associates who’d worked together in the past, but Amy didn’t share the difficulty of making the deadline. Her breathing shortened, and panic carved a hole in her chest.
“Gotta bounce,” Kira said. “Get to work.”
“I will.” She pulled out a notebook and jotted down a to-do list ending with the file with various size patterns. After a half-hour of regrouping and rethinking, she stopped tapping her pen. Kira Radner took a chance on her, but to turn this chance into a reality, she needed evenings and weekends to make the deadline.
Last Sunday while pouring over Craigslist classifieds, she’d zeroed in on Finbar Donahue’s bookkeeping ad. After her inquiry, his head accountant sent her a message. She still favored the toe she stubbed after her in-box pinged.
Thanks to what happened, the call from Kira, she needed Finn’s job. Her mind raced to her third interview for his nine-to-five. Tomorrow morning, if all went well, she’d land the regular-hours job, tailor made for her time frame. She ran a hand through her hair, picturing the arrogant know-it-all with a never-ending string of women hanging on his arm.
Handsome wasn’t the word to describe Finn, her late, ex-boyfriend’s partner. She’d been around Finbar Donahue enough to know he looked at his world as if he were the Almighty himself. The former Army Ranger made her way too nervous. She tensed up to such an extent, her voice broke.
Romance wasn’t part of this equation. Her dream to launch herself, stitch by stitch, came down to landing the job. On a mission, her goal wassimple. She closed her eyes and prayed tomorrow she’d nail it.
How about romantic travel to Lake Arrowhead, California, where Deadly Alliance takes place? Fall colors mix with evergreens around this pristine mountain lake. Bring a picnic basket and rent a pontoon!
Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Lily’s Pad and the Intervenus Series: A Brand New Address and Betrayal at Crater’s Edge are sweet. Deadly Alliance and her work-in-progress, Unholy Alliance, are contracted with Tirgearr Publishing and written for adults.
Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write. If you’d enjoy news, sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at http://www.kathleenrowland.com/
In the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, we meet Jessica Winters. She is determined to dig her way out from under the dark clouds of depression and once again find the light of life, love, and happiness. With help from Dr. Matthew Moi, a psychiatrist/sex therapist who has been secretly in love with her for years, she finds herself living again. But with someone out to get Jessica, Matthew pledges to stop at nothing to protect the love of his life. In time, he seizes an opportunity for a safe haven at his family home in France. With their wedding on the horizon, will he get Jess to safety in time? Will things end tragically, or will their journey to The City of Light be more than romantic?
Blurb for Seeking Hope (Emerging From Darkness Trilogy Book 3), contemporary romance 18+
I’d been given promises in the past, all of which were broken.
Inevitably, they broke me.
I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though.
Matthew Moi was different.
His dimpled smile and witty sexual banter has held me spellbound since day one.
Falling in love with him came easy.
Marrying him—a dream come true.
Now, he wants something I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for.
As I struggle, he faithfully remains at my side.
Through it all, his protective nature shields me from an evil I didn’t see coming.
Together, we have it all—love, passion, trust.
Apart, the possibilities are endless, even death.
Seeking Hope is the final book in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, and as such, is not intended to be a standalone. The trilogy reads as: Seeking Love, Seeking Redemption, & Seeking Hope.
Follow Jessica and Matthew’s captivating and steamy love story from the beginning—start the trilogy today!
For the first time in a long time, I had an itch to do something ridiculous—two things, in fact. One was the reason I was sitting in the back of a musty old van. The other might just be the solution to my Holly problem.
At least I hoped so, because while my mind should have been racing with thoughts of my upcoming wedding, it wasn’t. Instead, I was thinking of my best friend. Problem was, no matter how I launched my plan to help Holly move beyond her commitment issue with Burdick, it wasn’t going to go over well. And the more I thought about her, the more I dreaded the growing possibility of a headache. I’d just gotten over a nasty headache and was now attempting to shake off the likelihood of another when the van rolled to a stop and the driver’s voice muttered in the distance.
Okay, Jess. You’ve got your plan and it’s a good one.
I was about to remind myself to stick to said plan when the driver hopped out and moved to my side of the van, his open door ushering in a blast of autumn air that chilled my skin. I shivered and scooted to the edge of my seat, waiting for what was to come next. The shrill of metal sliding over metal pierced my ears as the door slid open, and rough skin wrapped a secure hold on my wrist. This was it.
“End of the line.” His gruff tone registered somewhere between the brief time it took him to pull me out and when his tall, burly features came into full view. He snickered as I pulled the hem of my pullover down and worked to smooth it out. Judging by the way his eyes scanned up my body, I presumed his outburst had everything to do with my appearance. After all, this was the first time I’d pieced together an outfit for such an outdoorsy occasion. Eventually, he calmed and took my hand, turning it palm up. “You don’t want to forget this.”
Instinctively, my fingers clasped a tight grip around the cold steel as I stood, staring down at the black metal, hoping I’d do it right. I’d never held a gun before. They all made me nervous. Fact was, with a gun in the wrong hands, things could quickly turn ugly.
I knew all about ugly.
Drawing my attention his way, the driver stretched a tattooed arm, pointed a finger, and then offered his last words of advice. “Never give up.”
I swallowed back a lump of fear, absorbing a deeper meaning of the phrase, and took off running. For what seemed like forever, I ran up and down hills, climbed over a few sizeable rocks, jumped a tiny brook, and pushed forward until I needed to recharge and bring my thoughts back into focus.
At best guess, I’d been in the woods for several hours, alternating between steady jogs in the direction I was supposed to go and quick respites to catch my breath. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, but as far as I could see, there was nothing but dense forest—and me. Panting, I leaned against a tree and listened to the rustle of withered leaves moving with the breeze.
One thing was comforting: I hadn’t run into anyone. Yet.
J.M. Maurer started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, she loves to write about strong characters and their struggles in life.
When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.
Blurb: Turning forty, for research technician Lannie Marvin, is rough. It’s the day she discovers her husband is leaving her. At work, a crazed mouse brutally bites her. Lannie snaps. She heads off to chase the object of her newest crush, drummer of a heavy metal band—and an old dream of composing music.
Tristan Allard, said drummer, holds a benefit concert every year in memory of his wife. The musician is beginning to doubt his ability to write music without her inspiration. Plus, he’s damn lonely. So when a sexually charged woman literally plows into him at the backstage reception, Tristan is ready to learn more about her—and her long-buried interest in musical composition.
This new chance at life and love has them both euphoric, but reality bites back. Tristan is headed back to the UK to audition his latest album. And Lannie soon learns an elevated libido isn’t the only side-effect of that experimental drug.
It’s a musician’s worst nightmare—the drug Lannie was exposed to have rendered the mice deaf.
I don’t quite know how to describe the concert. I can say it was as stimulating visually as it was to my ears. The band—four guys and a girl—all had hair longer than mine, which was well past my shoulders. All except for the keyboardist, whose head was shaved, although he sported a long, red beard parted into two straggly plaits. I wondered how he kept them from tangling with the keys. The girl who sang vocals had inky hair hanging in strings to her shoulders, and she wore a black leather bustier that laced up the front. Well, almost laced. In truth, the garment left little to the imagination.
But then there was the drummer. If not for the overhead monitors panning in for close-ups during the performance, I might never have known he existed. What a travesty that would have been.
In a word, he was . . . magnificent. He sat like a king on his throne at the elevated rear of the stage, sparkling silver-flake drums surrounding him like loyal minions. The monitor directly over our seats focused on him often, so close and so clear I could see the sweat glistening on sculpted upper arms, bare beneath a black muscle shirt stretched taut across a broad chest. Some sort of ink crawled over one bicep. A black-and-white paisley bandanna covered most of his head, but long, dark curls framed his face and clung damp against his neck. His facial hair, limited to a sparse mustache and goatee, was chocolate brown. I indulged in the fantasy that his eyes were that same sweet, smoldering color.
His passion for his work was palpable. Hands flying, head bobbing, he was completely engrossed, as if the music were a drug he was tripping on. His hooded eyes gave him the look of a sleepy lover, but when he did open them, I could swear he was gazing directly at me.
Looking back on that night, I can’t be sure how long we’d sat there before I fixated on my drummer boy. The music, which at first grated on my senses as way too loud and completely discordant, gradually began to permeate my brain. Before long, my bare toes started tapping against the carpeted floor. I freed one hand from my cup of wine to pat my thigh in time with the music. When my head began to bob, almost of its own accord, I smiled.
Ah, now I know why they call progressive metal fans head bangers.
The next hour and a half went by so quickly I might have slipped into a time warp. At one point I wondered if my cup of nine-dollar wine was laced with something mind-altering and illegal. I began to dig the music. I was actually enjoying the concert.
But before I’d seen nearly enough of my chocolate king behind the drums, the stage went black and the lighting came up. The band did not return for an encore. My first heavy progressive experience had come to an end.
I blinked in the sudden brightness, dazed for a moment, like I’d woken from a dream. Jeri was struggling with the strap of her shoe, her other hand braced against her forehead as though she had a massive headache. Grommet guy, too impatient to wait for the two elders beside him to vacate the aisle, vaulted easily over the backs of the seats into the row in front of us and disappeared into the crowd.
I’d almost forgotten my own young progeny—a son and a nephew—were in the same building.
We reunited on the sidewalk fifteen minutes later. The rain had ceased, leaving the city gleaming under the streetlights, clean and brand new.
Somehow, I felt that way too. Clean and brand new.
We were climbing into my brother’s SUV, Paul at the wheel with Jeri and Jay next to him in the front. I sat squashed between my husband and son in the back. Jeri’s head immediately dropped to Paul’s shoulder. I knew she’d be asleep before we got onto the West Side Highway.
I so wanted to do the same, and cuddle against my husband. But he’d said barely a meaningful word to me all evening. I sighed, dropped my head back against the seat, and closed my eyes.
“So, what did you guys do for all that time?” Ryan asked.
“We saw Dreamwish,” Paul piped up from the front, sounding as though his statement actually made sense.
“You saw our concert? You guys?” Jay sputtered through his laughter.
I opened my eyes to find my son staring at me in much the same way Jeri had been earlier.
“How’d you like it, Mom?” Ryan asked in a slight singsong of ridicule, which I chose to ignore.
I caught my brother watching me in the rearview mirror. He was wearing an impish grin. “For a while there,” he said, “we were afraid your mother might run off with one of the roadies.”
The next words popped out of my mouth before my brain had a chance to stop them.
“To hell with the roadies. If I run off, it will definitely be with the yummy drummer.”
Shocked silence extinguished all laughter, and I peeked up to see four pairs of owlish eyes fixed on me.
“Go to sleep,” Karl snarled under his breath. “You’ve had too much to drink.”
Claire writes emotional romance. Her heroes are hot, her heroines strong and brave: a combination lighting the spark to fan the flames of your most intense romantic fantasies. Claire’s characters are human—they make mistakes, get clumsy sometimes, and they’re not too proud to laugh at themselves and each other.
She writes in contemporary and paranormal romance, as well as women’s fiction. Claire’s books are like a thrill ride at a theme park. Whether it’s spooky-scary, angst-ridden relationships filled with gut-wrenching turmoil, silly chuckle moments, or face-fanning sex, Claire guarantees to take you on an emotionally intense romantic journey.
I love autumn and the Natchez Trace in Tennessee has provided me with plenty of inspiration for the fictional setting, Lafayette Falls, that I’m using in my contemporary romances for Lyrical Shine. The drive is leisurely and stunning along the Trace in the fall. This is a national parkway so there are no stores, gas stations, power lines or commercial traffic on the Trace. It is steeped with history along with pastoral beauty. Great for photographers.
So if you want to get out on a pretty fall day for a drive and a picnic, check out these places.
Rock Creek. You can skip across the creek on square rocks. Fall Hollow is a lovely waterfall. I used it as a model for the waterfall in my book. It is an easy walk from the roadside. Jackson Fall is a larger waterfall and a longer hike from the road. There is also a portion of the original Trace that you can hike. This is the path Jackson’s army took on the way home from the Battle of New Orleans. One of my favorite overlooks is Baker’s Bluff which features a working 19-century farm. To learn more about all the sightseeing stops along the Trace, go to https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm
I’m celebrating the coming of fall and the release of my first book in my new contemporary romance series by giving away a batch of my Kindle ebooks and a $20 Amazon gift card. You can enter by leaving a comment and email on this blog and extra entries by going to my Giveaway post on my blog: http://patricia-preston.blogspot.com/2016/08/celebrating-new-release-monthbatch-of.htmlDrawing will be on Sept 30. Winner notified via email.
One Week in Paradise Blurb:
IT STARTED WITH A FLING…
Six years ago, Dr. Marla Grant gave into temptation with a gorgeous man. Now the medical director of Lafayette Falls Community Clinic and a single mom to a little girl, Marla finds herself in a dilemma when the funding for the community clinic is threatened by none other than the powerful man of her long-ago fling and unsuspecting father of her child…
Carson Blackwell has never forgotten bright, beautiful Marla. When he discovers that she works at the clinic his grandmother’s foundation sponsors, it’s the perfect opportunity to end to his ongoing infatuation and use his leverage to cement a new business deal. He needs a fake girlfriend for one week in Hawaii, and Marla is just the woman for the job. It’s a win-win situation, until they realize the attraction between them isn’t feigned, and the heat has never died down. Only the secrets they’re both keeping stand in the way of a future together and a love that could last a lifetime.
She picked up the letter opener. Her heart palpitated in sheer terror as she slid the opener under the flap of the envelope. With the envelope open, she peeped inside to see one folded sheet of stationery.
After six years, what could he possibly have to say?
She pictured him, standing beside a black truck in the drive of Royal Oaks, an old estate belonging to his grandmother. She recalled the date. June twenty-eighth. The day they had said goodbye had been a warm, blustery day in Tennessee. A summer storm was heading toward the rolling hills near Nashville.
The wind made a mess of Carson’s unruly dark hair. His dark blue eyes were hidden by a pair of mirrored lens aviators, and his alpha-male physique tested the seams of his polo shirt.
“If I’m ever back in town, I’ll look you up,” he promised as their casual affair came to an inevitable end. For three weeks, they had been together and finally, the time had come for them to go their separate ways. She hadn’t realized it would be so difficult.
“Sure.” She forced a smile of goodwill. After all, they weren’t parting in anger, or in love for that matter. And it was unlikely that she would ever see him again.
“I had a great time,” she confessed boldly. She’d loved every minute of their brief, steamy affair. Talk about a summer break to remember. She grinned.
He gave her cheek a stroke. “You’ll make a great doctor.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah.” He grinned. “You certainly know all there is to know about male anatomy.”
“Yours, at least.” She laughed. Then she hopped up on her toes and gave him a quick kiss. “Goodbye, Carson Blackwell.”
She stepped away from him. Now was the time to face what was ahead. A grueling three-year residency. There would be no more time for long summer nights, tangled sheets, and sighs against swollen lips. She walked toward her small, sturdy hatchback. Before she opened the driver’s door, she looked up and met his gaze.
“Goodbye,” he called.
At that moment, she’d had an odd sensation in her chest that her life was never going to be the same. Then she laughed at her silliness. A summer fling with a guy just passing through was not something that changed your life. For her, completing her residency would be the life changer.
Patricia Preston writes mainstream romances where love matters most. You are her reader if you like fun, passionate, feel-good reads. Must haves in her writing cave include sweet tea and epic music. Besides writing, she loves music, history, clearance sales, and anything containing chocolate. Her dream-come-true would be a townhouse in the French Quarter. She never misses Supernatural or the Walking Dead. She is repped by the Seymour Agency and currently working on a contemporary romance series, Love Heals All, for Lyrical Shine imprint of Kensington Books.
My romantic getaway would be Alaska. I lived there for 27 years and have yet to find a more beautiful place, which is one of the reasons I wrote Staking A Claim.
Staking A Claim
For most people, seeing Alaska is a dream come true. For Miami Beach resident, Samantha Held, it is merely a job assignment. Creating an advertisement for vacationing in the state gets her one step closer to achieving her career goal—partnership in Kolinsky’s Advertisement Agency.
Blake Langford is not willing to accept any exploitation of his beloved state, no matter how desirable the striking, southern blonde bombshell with fiery green eyes is, and he’s determined to sabotage Sam’s goal in every way. Falling in love with the enemy, however, was never part of the plan.
Devon McKay writes contemporary romance with a western flair. If she’s not writing, she’s busy with chores on her small ranch, working on a stained glass project or walking one of her three dogs through the woods. Her greatest joy is putting a smile on a readers face and hearing from fans.
Fuming, Sam held his gaze as she consideredhis offer. She couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to be dropped into her lap. She could learn everything she needed to know about Alaska and have a handsome, but overly protective, guide of the state to show her. Not to mention what his knowledge could do for the brochure.
It would also mean more time in his temperamental company.
Sam considered her options. She had gotten lucky finding Carlton Landing, but what about locating her elusive hotel? As proven last night, it was more than evident she couldn’t even read a map correctly. So, what real choice did she have?
She pictured her new office…the view of the ocean…the partnership. She was willing to take the chance. Besides, she’d never been the kind of girl who shied away from a challenge. Hell, so far, her life had been a series of challenges.
“It’s a deal.” Her voice came off cool and professional despite the quickening of her heartbeat. She offered her hand to shake on the agreement. “We haven’t officially met. Samantha Held. I go by Sam.”
“Blake Langford.” He extended his, grasping her hand and repeating the name she already knew by heart. He held onto her grasp for a minute longer than necessary. “I go by Wolf.”
Again, the breathtaking grin resurfaced, and an odd pulsation spiked through Sam, leaving her insides quivering like a bowl of gelatin as she second guessed her decision.
What kind of fool makes a deal with a man called Wolf?