Archive for May 24th, 2018
Wife for Hire
by Cristina Grenier
99¢ at time of posting!
Cole O’Donnell always wanted to be a hero.
Unfortunately for Cole, he never got the hang of bravery and he was born with two left feet. So, instead of becoming a hero, Cole became an actor. He was good at it too until someone murdered his stunt double and sent his life spiraling out of control. Haunted by a sinister presence, the former child-star and present-day America’s sweetheart is desperate to uncover the threat to his life before it’s too late. But with no proof and the production of his latest film on the line, Cole will have to go to extremes to protect himself while remaining in the spotlight.
Violet Monroe wouldn’t exactly call herself a killing machine. She’s more of an entrepreneur who knows martial arts and carries a gun. As the owner and sole employee of Elite Security, Violet is desperate to get her company off the ground. What she needs is a high-profile client and no one is more high profile than Cole O’Donnell. Pretending to be the action star’s wife might be extreme, but the move could be just what she needs to put Elite on the map.
Highly trained, sensual, and deadly, Violet is the perfect bodyguard and all too soon Cole finds himself falling for the mysterious femme fatale. But to protect Violet he’ll have to step into the line of fire and give being a hero just one more shot. Luckily for Cole and his two left feet, Violet hasn’t lost a client yet and she sure as hell isn’t about to start with the man who stole her heart.
With a target on them both and neither willing to back down, will Cole and Violet be cast for a romantic comedy or will tragedy strike and leave them scrambling to pick up the pieces?
A Full-Length Fake Wife Romance steamy romance novel. Absolutely no Cheating and a guaranteed HEA. Also includes a never before published bonus – “The Billionaire’s Secret” after the main story.
by Marcela Serrano
Genre: Literary Fiction/Psychological/Caribbean & Latin American
Award-winning Chilean author Marcela Serrano weaves a beautiful story about the universal connections between women.
For nine Chilean women, life couldn’t be more different. There is the teenage computer whiz confronting her sexual identity. A middle-aged recluse who prefers the company of her dog over that of most humans. A housekeeper. A celebrity television personality. A woman confronting the loneliness of old age.
Of disparate ages and races, these women represent the variety of cultural and social groups that Chile comprises. On the surface, they seem to have nothing in common…except for their beloved therapist, who brings them together. Yet as different as they all are, each woman has a story to share.
As the women tell their stories, unlikely common threads are discovered, bonds are formed, and lives are transformed. Their stories form an intricate tale of triumph, heartache, and healing that will resonate with women from all walks of life.
An International DUBLIN Literary Award Nominee.
Behind her, his chair squealed, then in less than a second, Peter’s body pressed hard into her back, and his erection harder at her butt. His hands were locked around her in a death grip, painfully squeezing both breasts.
“Get the hell off!” She felt one arm release, and thrust herself backward, but he was stronger. He trapped her between his body and the wall, a human sandwich. “You freak!” She wrenched against him but made no headway against his surprisingly strong grip. The photo crashed to the tile, shattering glass at her feet.
He worked one hand over her mouth.
Annalisse squirmed, fighting to breathe through her nose. Blood pounded her eardrums. Think. He’s drunk, and your mind’s clearer than his. Spin the nozzle. Pick your moment.
“Don’t fight it, Ann. You know you’ve wanted this. You said I’m good. Let me show you.”
The vile mixture of body odor and cheap whiskey swirled in the little air she had available to her. She hoped the gallery surveillance cameras were on and recording her assault. Annalisse gagged behind his clammy fingers, too far from her teeth to bite, and readied the tube of pepper spray.
“Anna?” Chase asked, muffled by the distance.
In her jumbled thoughts, she’d forgotten Chase, but the surprise voice from outside was enough to break Peter’s concentration.
Annalisse slammed back against the man’s rock of a forehead.
“Oww!” he cried.
The pressure against her body slackened, and his palm disappeared from her face.
Annalisse spun a half turn and kneed him in the groin with the as much force she could muster.
Peter fell on his side holding himself, yelping in pain.
Chase flung open the door and ran to her side. “Dang, dude. Zip it up.” He shifted his eyes to her. “You hurt?”
“Get back.” She checked her aim, depressed the nozzle, and let the cone of mist spread over his balding head and exposed skin, saving a little for his genitals, until the canister emptied and he was a rolling, crying, blathering idiot.
Annalisse tossed the pink tube in the trash can and gagged against the pepper smell cutting off her air.
With both hands plastered over his eyes, Peter wailed, writhing on his back and wheezing.
“I can’t breathe! Bitch. You blinded me! Get me something to wipe this burning shit off! Jesus, you’re gonna pay.” He doubled over on his knees and spat gobs of yellow-tinged saliva on the floor. His moans bounced throughout the ten by ten space.
Chase pulled her to the doorway. “Back away Anna! He’s trying to get up.” He waved a hand in front of her. “Man, the fumes. The scuzbag left marks. Your mouth’s red.” Chase looked at him. “He’s sure got a hurt on.”
“Yeah, to match his hard on—call 911. I’m out of here. The stench is making my eyes water.” She coughed and kicked Peter in the shoe. “By the way, slimy bastard, I quit.”
Annalisse set her purse down into the flipped over cushions on the couch, repositioned them, and stepped through what used to be neat stacks, years of gallery research. A groan passed her lips when she walked to the desk marred with new scratches, bereft of her monitor and tower hard drive. She looked around the room for her laptop; it, too, was missing.
Cursing under her breath, she saw her prized possession, a two-foot bronze statue of a shepherdess with a pair of sheep grazing near her feet, lying on its side next to a toppled plant stand. An expensive work of art from Florence she’d had no business buying, but she couldn’t resist. When Generosa had called from Italy describing it, Annalisse had to have it. Everyone who knew her well understood her love for sheep. Even if she’d declined Generosa’s offer to bring it back for her, she’d felt certain the bronze would end up in her hands eventually.
Alec waited by the stairs and whispered, “Your bedroom up there?” He pointed upstairs.
She nodded, lifted the mahogany stand upright and, with both hands, replaced the hefty bronze to its rightful place next to the desk.
“Stay downstairs. You’ll be safer. I won’t be long, and I’ll look for your cat.” Alec hit the first step.
Whoever destroyed her home had acted with malice. They had her personal data and internet search history, where she shopped online, email correspondence as well as business contacts. A privacy breach she couldn’t afford. Compiling a list of possible suspects in her head, she felt so violated, even more so than by what had happened with Peter. Names and faces blurred together. With fingertips pressed at her temples, she willed the jackhammers in her head to stop.
Raising her arms, as if a make-believe thief told her to, she said, “I give up. I may as well set a match to this place, for all the good it’s going to do me now.”
Alec uttered a sentence upstairs she couldn’t make out.
“Alec, did you find Boris?”
The sound of shuffling filtered downstairs then a thump.
“Alec, what fell?” She looked up at an empty landing.
The unnatural silence pricked the hairs straight out on her neck. “Answer me.”
A mechanical voice broke the silence. “Don’t move.”
She stopped breathing and froze, afraid to look up, but then looked anyway.
A figure in a brownish ski mask and desert camouflage occupied the top of the staircase. Holding Alec. He—or she— held him at gunpoint. One arm cradled Alec’s waist and a black pistol so close to Alec’s right ear, his curls hid part of the barrel.
She’d expected Alec’s expression to be as wild as hers must have been, but he appeared strangely calm.
“I’m all right, Annalisse.”
“Shut up.” The voice was distorted with some kind of voice altering mechanism. Deep tones, similar to a bumblebee in distress.
A second later, he was beside her, his Zavos gaze in desire mode. “You’d do that for me?”
“I should’ve checked you before now. Stop me the next time I become too self-involved. Lift the shirt.”
Alec grimaced and pulled the long-sleeved tee over his head, exposing a dark patch of glistening chest hair. An extremely broad chest. All muscled up like guys who work out. Damn Sam, he’s gorgeous.
His hypnotic aroma engulfed her with creamy heat.
Annalisse considered whether or not his chest hair was soft or wiry, or if he’d hold her tenderly or with restrained force. Licking her lower lip, she tore her eyes from his pecs to his shoulder and gently pulled the adhesive tape. She peeked at the neat row of stitches to calm the flutter in her heart. The area around the sutures had reddened and were puffy.
“We’ll watch the swelling. Having been in battle with metal and gunpowder, I expected worse. I’d find something waterproof to put over it in the shower. Like a liquid bandage. And finish all of your antibiotics even if you feel better.” His skin was smooth under her fingertips.
“I’ll do that, Dr. Drury. Thank you.” He glanced at her fingers on his shoulder. “Anything else?”
Annalisse’s face flushed with heat. She jerked her wrist back and balled her hand in her lap. Her mind told her to get some distance from him, but her feet had other ideas.
With his forefinger, he rotated her chin so she’d face him. “It’s just you and me.”
He was far too close. Close enough to kiss his perfectly matched, parted lips. God. Being next to him like this…it was too soon. His wonderful mother as her mother-in law…quit! She shuddered.
“Are you afraid of me?” His question came disguised in a throaty growl.
She clenched her jaw, afraid what he’d say to the truth.
He took her hand and flattened her palm to his chest. “I want you to trust me.”
She opened her mouth, but couldn’t speak.
“I’ll take that as a maybe.” One side of his mouth lifted into a sly smile.
Her head swam at his touch. Helga gone, she could allow herself to taste want, defer her loneliness; Alec could wash so much sadness away, even if temporarily. No, she couldn’t. Not with him. As much as she wanted—needed—sex like crazy, this kind of man could damage her heart in an unspeakable way. Too much risk in a hunky, charming, dreamy Greek. Her throat tightened, and she swallowed.
Annalisse slipped her hand from his and drew back from no-return territory. “I’ll get your shirt.” She jumped for his polo at the end of the chaise and wobbled backward, grabbing the edge of the seat.
Alec caught her waist with one arm. “Gotcha.”
Title: Stolen Obsession
Author: Marlene M. Bell
Genre: Romantic Suspense
PEOPLE DIE, BUT LEGENDS LIVE ON.
Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.
Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored— despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.
Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.
But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?
Marlene M Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested at www.marlenembell.com or www.texassheep.com.
Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 spoiled cats who rule the household.
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Flash Memory (The Lost Hat, Texas Mystery Series Book 2)
by Anna Castle
Genre: Cozy/Mystery & Suspense/Women Sleuths
FREE at time of posting!
Nature photographer Penelope Trigg has landed the job of her dreams: documenting the transformation of over-grazed rangeland into an eco-dude ranch and spa, owned by her boyfriend Tyler Hawkins. Then a body is found on the ranch and Ty is arrested. The victim was an aggressive real estate developer with his greedy eyes on Ty’s land and Ty’s sister Diana, who is almost engaged to the senior deputy sheriff. Clues put her at the center of the puzzle.
Determined to prove Ty’s innocence, Penny stirs up Diana’s old flames, trying to shed enough light to develop an alternative suspect. She mainly learns how to lose friends and annoy people, until she realizes someone has been manipulating the evidence. But is Ty the framer or the framee? Penny uses her eye for detail and her camera’s memory to put the picture together and reveal the killer.
Space Rogues – A Science Fiction Adventure: The Epic Adventures of Wil Calder, Space Smuggler
by John Wilker
Genre: Science Fiction/Action Adventure/Space Opera
What happens when your experimental spacecraft breaks down near Neptune? Dying alone in space is the likely answer, right?
That’s not how Wil Calder’s story ends though; it’s how it begins. Alien space outlaws rescue him and sell his pod for scrap.
He’s given a choice: join the crew or step out the airlock without his spacesuit. Not great choices, right?
Now, years later, Wil is a lonely intergalactic outlaw and smuggler, looking for a crew.
Because space is lonely and boring, Wil could use some friends or at least people to work with, maybe boss around a little.
Before Wil can even enjoy having a crew to call his own, they find themselves in the center of a plot to start an intergalactic war.
A plot they aren’t remotely qualified to stop, but who looks at qualifications these days?
Between epic space battles, a quest for redemption and a daring heist, the crew uncovers a dangerous secret.
A secret that they can’t let stay hidden; too many worlds hang in the balance.