Thursday, March 15, 2018

In Honor of Deaf History and Women's History Month: Wordless Love

Sharon, Age 3, with Cousin Gloria
In 1954, at the age of three years old, my mother put me on a plane in Washington, D.C., and sent me to Connecticut to live with my deaf grandmother, my aunt, uncle, cousin, two Chihuahuas, and a parakeet. At night, I would cry because I missed my family. As I sobbed, my grandmother would take me in her arms and hug me, making grunting noises. I’d fall asleep to her wordless lullaby of love, wondering if I’d ever see my family again, not knowing that my parents were divorcing.

A year after being shipped north, I was reunited with my family. Another year later, we moved out of my aunt’s basement and into government subsidized housing. Now when we visited my aunt’s house, I had to share my grandmother with my siblings. On birthdays and graduations, she created scavenger hunts for us, leaving a trail of written clues. She must have spent hours planning the hints, writing them out in her beautiful calligraphy, and placing them throughout the house.

As I grew older and wrestled with the demons of poverty and abuse, my desire to break away from my home life dwarfed my relationship with my grandmother. Opportunity arrived in the form of a large scholarship to a university in Texas, over a thousand miles away from my mother. During the first semester of my freshman year, my grandmother became ill and died at home at the age of eighty-nine. Claiming that she didn’t want to “disrupt” my studies, my mother withheld the knowledge until I came home months later. I was devastated. I never had the chance to say good-bye to the woman who loved me unconditionally.

As I hit my fifth decade, I began to reflect on my life and lack of closure regarding her death. I felt compelled to research my family tree, beginning with my grandmother. My only clues were embedded in childhood memories of kitchen table conversations between my mother and aunt. The family legend, told and re-told, with hand-signed consultations for verification, was that my grandmother was born hearing and healthy to a wealthy family.

“Oh yes, her people were landowners,” my aunt said.

“She had pet peacocks,” my mother added, “and a pet pig that came when she clapped her hands.”

“She came down with spinal meningitis when she was three. If her parents hadn’t been so rich, she would have died,” my aunt said between puffs on her cigarette.

“Grandma’s parents sent her off to a boarding school for ladies,” my mother recalled. “She was too wealthy to be with the other girls, so she stayed with the teachers.”

As I searched for family records, calling my sister and brother for confirmation, tantalizing tidbits emerged.

“After she graduated, she went to work in Washington, D.C., addressing envelopes for a Congressman because she had such beautiful handwriting,” my sister said.

“Grandma and Grandpa were fixed up on a blind date. He was a wild young man with a motorcycle, a graduate of Gallaudet University. He was deaf from scarlet fever.” My brother, the oldest child, recalled vividly. “They fell in love and married against her family’s wishes. She was supposed to go back to Kentucky and marry a cousin, but she wouldn’t leave her gardener.”

Oral history wasn’t much to go on, but it was a start. It helped that I recalled the name of the town where we’d visited another uncle, aunt, and cousin on the way to Texas: Stanford, Kentucky. Using an online genealogy site, I was able to see U.S. Census records dating as far back as the 1700’s. I rooted around in the 1800’s with no luck. One night, I received an excited call from my best friend from high school and genealogy genius. By searching in an online National Society Daughters of the American Revolution registry, and entering two of my family names, Engleman and Harris, my friend found my Stanford, Kentucky ancestors and my family lines tracing back to the Revolutionary War. Thanks to the DAR, I had the first clues in my very own family scavenger hunt.

The elusive “ladies’ school for the deaf kept me awake at night. More weeks, more digging, more walls. After months of research, I was ready to quit. But I kept feeling as if my grandmother was standing behind me at the computer, smiling and urging me to find her. At last, I found the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD), in Danville, Kentucky. It was the first public school for the deaf in the United States, originally called the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf & Dumb when it was built in 1823. I emailed the school, asking for information on a possible alumna named Bessie Engleman.

In the meantime, I kept mousing around in the 1900 Census files for Danville and randomly selected Enumeration District 88 (ED 88). When I retrieved the image, I discovered that the majority of people counted in ED 88 were enrolled at the Kentucky Institute for Deaf Mutes. My eyes adjusted to the old-fashioned script of the census taker, and there she was on line 19: Engleman, Bessie, White, Female, born in 1883. Within days of that find, a KSD staff member sent me an email telling me he had found her original admission card.

Bessie Engleman was student number 933 admitted to KSD. The daughter of George and Susan Harris Engleman became deaf from meningitis at sixteen months, not age three, as the family legend told. The middle child in a three girl family, KSD admitted her from Lincoln County, Kentucky when she was eight years old in 1889 and graduated her in 1902 when she was twenty-one years old. Nine years later, she married Carl E. Rhodes on September 20, 1911 and lived in Washington, D.C. in 1918.

I now had enough information to find my great-grandparents, my great-great-grandparents, and beyond, because all my grandmother’s “people” lived in Lincoln County, Kentucky—and married their cousins. In some census records, I found Harris and Engleman in-laws, brothers, sisters, and cousins, all living in the same household.

My curiosity was piqued. If the oral history about my grandmother was fairly accurate, why wouldn’t the part about my grandfather be true, too? Gallaudet University’s alumni office found my grandfather’s records on microfilm. According to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, my grandfather, Carl E. Rhodes, was deemed a “…proper person to be received into the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, and to be instructed and maintained therein at the expense of the United States…” The same department responsible for the welfare of Native Americans in the 1800’s was responsible for my grandfather’s education. He attended the Kendall School from 1892 to 1903, but did not attend Gallaudet University, contrary to family stories. And, he wasn’t deaf secondary to scarlet fever. Congenitally deaf, a midwife home-delivered the sixth child, Carl E. Rhodes, to a grocer named James H. Rhodes and his wife, Elizabeth Cockrell Rhodes: my great-grandparents.

Despite their incredible obstacles in life, my grandparents attended school, graduated, obtained good jobs, weathered the anger of my grandmother’s wealthy family, and raised six hearing and speaking children to become productive members of society. During the depression and beyond, my grandfather was employed by the federal government as a gardener, often tending to the roses and other plantings at the White House. My brother owns a book, handed down from my grandmother, with a photograph of my grandfather working as the Assistant Head Gardener in the U.S. Botanical Gardens.   

What predicts who will be disabled in life? What foretells if a disability will cripple an individual emotionally? When I was a little girl and refused to cave in under my mother’s abuse, she would say I was stubborn, “just like your grandmother.” Instead of being humiliated, I was proud to be linked in some clear way to the woman who raised me, who loved me, and whom I adored. Today, looking back across half a century, I have a few clues to her inner strength and resilience. When I think of her, which is often, I thank her for teaching me that having a disability does not mean inability and for holding me tight and rocking me to sleep with her lullaby of wordless love.   

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lies and Solace Love at Solace Lake Series (Book 1) By Jana Richards

Lies and Solace Love at Solace Lake Series (Book 1) 
By Jana Richards
Jana is giving away some wonderful prizes during this tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below for your chance win Ebook First and Again, Ebook There Goes the Groom, Ebook A Long Way from Eden, $10 Amazon gift card, or $5 Amazon gift card. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here
Blurb for Lies and Solace: She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth. Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own. Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart. Genre: Contemporary Romance, small town romance Keywords: contemporary romance, small town romance, mystery, touch of paranormal, murder ISBN: Ebook ISBN 978-0-9952791-0-0 Length: Novel Heat Level: Spicy, fully described love scenes Release Date: March 14, 2018 Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Lies and Solace
Book 1 Out Now
Excerpt, Lies and Solace: As she stared into his dark eyes she realized how much she trusted him, and relied on him. That was something rare for her. The only people she trusted as much were her sisters. I’m in love with him. The thought blasted through her brain with the force of a tsunami. The tension of the last few weeks, the insecurity, the mistrust, the fear, slipped easily from her shoulders. For the first time, her mind was clear. She was in love with Ethan and she didn’t want to wait anymore. She wanted him. She wanted him to be her first, her last. Finding courage she didn’t know she possessed, Harper slid off the stool and walked around the island. She plucked the wine glass from his hand and set it on the counter, then placed his hand on her breast. “Make love with me, Ethan.” A fire lit in his eyes, telling her he wanted her, too. But there was a question there, a hesitation. “Are you sure?” She’d never been more sure of anything in her life. “Yes.” “Harper—” “Shhh. Let’s not talk anymore.” She placed one finger over his lips, then stood on her tiptoes and kissed him. Ethan’s reaction was lightning swift. He wrapped his arms around her and brought her close, his mouth descending on hers in a wild, warm kiss. Their tongues tangled, slid over each other. She’d missed his touch, his taste. She moaned, and in the sound she heard thirty-two years of longing. For this. For him.

Secrets and Solace
Book 2 Coming March 21, 2018

Series Blurb:
Love is worth the risk… When their grandfather dies, the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie, inherit the northern Minnesota fishing lodge that had been in their family for three generations. The inheritance is bittersweet. They were raised at the lodge by their grandparents. The natural beauty of the place hasn’t changed, but the building itself is crumbling and desperately in need of repair. The lodge also reminds them of what they lost. Twenty-two years previously, their parents died there in what was ruled a murder/suicide. As the sisters struggle to breathe new life into the failing lodge, old fears and questions rise to the surface even as new love presents itself. Why did their father murder their mother? What truths did their grandparents keep from them? The sisters must fight to keep the wounds of the past from putting their futures, and their fledgling relationships, in jeopardy.
Truth and Solace
Book 3 Coming March 28, 2018
Amazon Buy Link
About the Jana Richards: 
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at
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Monday, March 5, 2018

Vegas Gambler Meghan’s Playhouse Series By Adriana Kraft

Vegas Gambler Meghan’s Playhouse Series By Adriana Kraft
Vegas Gambler will be on tour from March 5 through April 5, and we’re giving away one free download from the Publisher’s Website to each of two winners. Winners may select from books One through Four in our Meghan’s Playhouse Series. You can find all series books at this link: Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here
About the Book: 
He’s fifty-one, they’re in their twenties. Can Jack Hawthorne keep up with two women? How will he protect his heart?
Fresh with success from a recent stint in a musical on the Las Vegas Strip, Meghan Keenan takes some time off to play with her current flame, Jack Hawthorne, professional poker player. She’s delighted to add her petite masseuse Tia Minh to the mix and even more thrilled when she learns Tia’s relationship with her boyfriend Tony Sanders is on the skids. It’s the perfect challenge!
Tia has different ideas – she thinks Tony would be perfect for Meg, and she conspires to throw them together any way she can.
Ever the gambler, Jack catches on to her game quickly and keeps the ruse going behind Meg’s back. Who knew his heart was up for grabs?
This is a Contemporary Erotic Romance. Buy Links: Amazon | eXtasy Books
Jack cocked his head to the side. “You sure you won’t stay beyond the summer?”
Meg shook her head. They’d been over this ground before. “You know I need to get back to New York. I need to get on with my life.”
“Sorry I’m such a drag on you.” He gave her a wicked smile. “And you always say my age doesn’t matter.”
“Fifty-one doesn’t make you ancient.”
“I have my days,” Jack said, flipping over a card. “But I know what we have is transitory. Don’t worry about me getting carried away.” He smirked. “But you have been a breath of fresh air for me.”
“Cripes, the way you hang out around poker tables, anyone would provide a breath of fresh air.” Meg smiled and purposely softened her tone. “And you’ve been very good for me, too. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through the hectic pace of the last six months without your steady influence. You’ve always been there, and with few demands.”
“Perhaps,” Jack began wistfully, “I should’ve been more demanding.” He must’ve seen her nostrils flare, because he lifted a hand, forestalling her response. “You’ve renewed my faith in life.” He grinned devilishly. “Even in love.”
About the Author: 
Winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Award for erotic fiction, author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More.
One man, one woman, danger and intrigue – always a happy ending, but oh, what a ride! Readers can count on our Romantic Suspense line for gutsy characters, hot sex, and breathtaking intimacy as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay alive and fall in love.
A man, a woman (or two), or another man, threesomes, foursomes—what’s your fantasy? We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination. Here you’ll find multiple partners, three-way, four-way and more, swing lifestyle, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.
Together we have published over thirty-five romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. We love hearing from readers at, and here is our website:
When It’s Time to Heat Things Up Author Links:
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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Lizzy's Temptation By Izzy Szyn

Lizzy's Temptation By Izzy Szyn
Izzy is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Certificate and 2 ebooks of the winners' choice from her backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here
About the Book:
When Lizzy sneaks into an event where actress Ivory Rodgers was scheduled to appear, she gets more than she bargained for. Ivory Rodgers is hotter, sexier in person and takes Lizzy under her control.
 “Looking for the Ivory Rodgers’ party?” asked a soft feminine voice behind her.
“Yes,” answered Lizzy, turning her head. Holy shit, it was Ivory Rodgers. Just be cool, just be cool, she told herself.
“Come with me,” she smiled.
“Okay,” admitted Lizzy.
“I’m Ivory Rodgers,” she introduced herself, holding her hand out.
“Lizzy Holloway. It’s very nice to meet you,” she replied, shaking her hand. Damn, the woman was even hotter in person, tingles ran up her arm. Damn, she’d never been this way with anyone before.
“I love your hair and dress,” complimented Ivory, walking towards a ballroom.
“Thanks.” Self-consciously, Lizzy touched her hair, still getting used to the different shades of purple spiral curls hung down her back. “I just got it done today.”
“I like it,” smiled Ivory, her jet-black hair hung down the middle of her back. Her trademark hazel eyes, made it hard for Lizzy to turn away.
“There you are Ivory,” said a man that seemed to command the room with his presence. Tall, elegant in a black suit. “We’re about to start. Who’s this?”
 “My new friend Lizzy Holloway,” introduced Ivory. “Lizzy this is Spencer.”
“Hi,” something about him told Lizzy he was used to commanding attention. That most people he encountered would do whatever he would say.
“Ivory, I warned you about doing this,” he said to her, looking worriedly at Lizzy. “I told you this needs to stop.”
“Why? When I can make new friends like Lizzy,” questioned Ivory. “Get something to eat, and I’ll be back soon. I won’t stay here long, then we can go somewhere quiet and get better acquainted.”
“Me?” Lizzy couldn’t stop the shock from her voice. Lizzy wanted to get better acquainted with her?
“Yes, you,” confirmed Ivory. “I can’t wait until I get you alone.”
Why did it sound like she’d been expecting Lizzy? Maybe she should leave? But then she’d miss the chance to get to talk to Ivory. This could be a night she’d never forget. Walking to the tables that lined the wall, she picked some stuff off the plates.
“Drink?” asked a waiter behind her.
“Thanks, do you have any Pepsi?” she asked. Thinking it might be better to keep her mind clear.

“Of course,” he nodded, “I’ll be right back.”
About the Author: 
New York Times Bestselling Author Izzy Szyn was born in May of 2014 when a friend dared her to write. Born and raised in Detroit, Mi. Izzy now lives in Oklahoma City with her furchild Misty, the friendliest Chihuahua/Terrier you will ever meet. Currently works in a call center, where she writes in between phone calls. Izzy loves to keep in touch with her readers. Email her at
Find her on Facebook :)
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Interview with Kryssie Fortune, Author of To Break a Warrior King's Curse

What made you decide to be an author? I've always being a voracious reader. Add in that I was the kid who lined my dolls and teddys up to tell them stories, and it's no surprise I write stories now.
Of course, my stores are a lot more complex and a damn sight sexier now. 

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? I love researching ideas and crafting words that make the story flow. I enjoyed building my paranormal world of sexy werewolves and hot Fae who bond with dragons. My contempory heroes are more of a challange since they're mostly ex-military and living in North Carolina. I mentally moved a town I know well to invent Westhorpe Ridge. Every time I tell a story, I fall a little bit in love with my hero. The worst thing is that writing is a solitary occupation.  

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? Well... I started writing paranormal romance. You don't meet many werewolves in day-to-day life. At least I hope not. I drew on real experiences, like using the setting for my son's wedding for To Wed a Werewolf. The heroine in to Mate a Werewolf is a runner.My daughter ran the London Marathon and is convinced the character is based on her.  

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?Always. My charactors sometimes refuse to do as they are told. That's when I know I've got them right.

You’ve written 14 novels and are working on a 15th novel. What’s your favorite time management tip? Avoid social media. It's a time suck. Excuse me while I pop off and check my Facebook feed.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I'm somewhere in between. I know what's going to happen at certain stages of the book. How I get there sometimes surprises me.

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Never give up.

Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? I like to work in a quiet room. I love lively music and would want to join in, so I'm better working in silence.

Tell me more about To Break a Warrior King's Curse.
Leonidas can fight anything except dark magic.

He inherited his father’s curse along with the Fae throne. Thanks to a rogue witch, if he doesn’t bed a different woman every month, he’ll turn feral. A man can only stand so much meaningless sex. No wonder he hates witches.
When he meets Meena, he intends to seduce her, not love her.

Meena’s a witch who never developed any powers.

Banished to the mundane world, she masquerades as human. When she accidentally bonds with an escaped war dragon, Leonidas comes to reclaim it. His enemies strip him of his powers, and his month’s almost up.

What happens when he discovers she’s a witch? And how will this warrior king cope when his curse kicks in and forces him into another woman’s bed.

PLEASE NOTE This book was previously sold with the title CURSE OF THE FAE KING.

How about an excerpt from To Break a Warrior King's Curse?

Chapter One

“That’s my bloody dragon!” The Fae stalked across the cliff top, his emerald shirt billowing beneath his black leather waistcoat. “And I will be having him back.”

Meena’s curls tumbled over her shoulders, an ebony waterfall streaked with rainbow colors. She’d come up to the abbey ruins for solitude and peace, and as usual, she’d found it. Unless you counted the little lost dragonet at her feet. A large dog would have dwarfed him, but he was definitely the cutest otherworld creature she’d ever seen. And now his owner wanted him back.

She glanced over her shoulder toward the main entrance to see who’d provoked the Fae’s fury. There wasn’t another soul to be seen, which meant…

Sweet Hekate. He’s yelling at me.

Okay, her life was… Well, it wasn’t good, but no one snarled at her like that. Meena clenched her fists and squared her shoulders while the dragonet rested his head on his paws and took another bite of her sandwich.

The Fae’s arrogance chafed, but she refused to take her anger out on the dragonet. The way he mewled and flopped down at feet made her smile.

Meena removed her gloves and fondled his pointy ears. “Cheer up, Lipstick. daddy’s come to take you home. What a pity he didn’t take better care of you in the first place.”

“Lipstick?” The Fae warrior thundered. "You named a powerful war dragon Lipstick. He should bear a noble name like Dreadnought or Valiant.”

With his uptight expression, corded muscle, and stiff spine, he had to be Fae royalty. That didn’t bode well for an outcast like her.

Meena smiled her professional customer-service smile—the one that had let her down earlier. “But he's the same color as my new lipstick. Scarlet Kisses, see?”

She brandished it like a talisman, expecting smoke to come out of this overbearing Fae’s ears. How satisfying was that? Whenever Fae passed through Whitby, they dissed her completely—but that wasn’t always a bad thing. Eight years ago, when her powers didn’t manifest at puberty, the Witch Council put a price on her head. Her mother moved them to the mundane world, but it had taken Meena forever to adjust to life in Whitby. A life without magic.

Despite his bad temper, the Fae’s sculptured cheekbones and kissable lips made a dangerous combination—one she struggled to resist. His voice flowed over her like melted chocolate. She loved how he’d braided his hair back in a neat queue at the nape of his neck, and now he stood like a Spanish hidalgo—all uptilted chin, disdainful pride, and gleaming white fangs. How dare he look down his nose at her? Carved of granite and steel, he radiated menace. Definitely not as cute as his dragon. More mouthwateringly masculine, but otherworld creatures usually dissed a reject like her.

She stared at the bullwhip coiled Indiana Jones-style at his narrow waist, then at the black-handled dagger sheathed on his right hip. An obsidian rapier—Fae-forged and unbreakable—almost merged with one of the taped seams that ran down the sides of his pants. He even wore a dagger gunslinger-style at his hip. Dear Goddess, the man was a walking arsenal, but he was sexy as hell.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
Buy Links:
Amazon USA:
Amazon UK:
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia

Kryssie, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Release: Chasing Ordinary by Pandora Spocks

 Chasing Ordinary
By Pandora Spocks
Pandora is giving away The Dream Dominant Series 3 Book Bundle to three lucky winners. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here
About the Book: 
Red-haired Petey Cavanaugh is a sculptor who welds steel and glass creations.  A young widow, she lives on her in-laws’ sheep ranch in Montana where she helps out during the day, working on her art at night.
Looking to raise money to expand the ranch’s business, she gratefully accepts her art school roommate’s offer of a gallery show in Manhattan.  It’s been years since she was in the city, and she’s happy to visit her old friend.
Nik is in New York on business.  He’s been traveling for nearly a month, enduring endless meetings, attending obligatory dinners, and battling jet-lag.  On his way to yet another business dinner, his world collides with Petey's one rainy Manhattan night.
Their mutual attraction is immediate, but Nik’s skeptical.  Could it possibly be that this gorgeous, enchanting artist has no idea that he’s Europe’s most eligible prince?
Spending time with Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary.  What will happen when she finds out the truth?
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Heat Level: Erotic Buy Links:  Amazon |  Other Links Here
Howard had been talking nonstop for twenty minutes.  Each time Petey thought she’d found the opportunity to extricate herself, he continued his rambling, while edging ever closer, invading her personal space, and chatting about his work and his home in New Jersey.  He seemed to be one of those individuals who was completely inept at picking up on social cues.
She’d just worked up the gumption to simply excuse herself the next time he came up for air, when she heard a familiar voice.
There you are, darling!”  Nik swooped in, handing her a glass of wine.  “I’m so sorry I’m late.  Will you ever forgive me?”  He wrapped an arm around her waist and kissed her cheek.
Stunned, Petey stammered a bit.  “Um, yes.  Well…darling, yes, you certainly are late.  What’s up with that?  I’ve been waiting for you.”
“I know.  But traffic was a nightmare, what with the rain.  You just wouldn’t believe it.”  Nik turned to Howard.  “Who’s your friend?”  He smiled pleasantly at the confused man.
“Oh, sorry.  Nik, this is Howard.  Howard, meet Nik.”
Howard worked his mouth, but was blissfully silent.
Nik reached to shake his hand.  “So nice to meet you.  If you’ll excuse us, I need to make up for lost time.  Come, darling.”
He grasped Petey’s hand and led her to the opposite side of the gallery.  When they reached a quiet corner, he turned and smiled at her.
She gave a relieved laugh.  “Oh, my God, for the second time tonight, you saved my bacon.”
Nik laughed, too.  “The exasperation on your face said that you needed rescuing.  Who was he anyway?”
“Some guy that my friend Jules thought I should meet.  I mean, he’s nice enough, but he had absolutely no sense of personal space.  And he would notstop talking.  Sheesh!”
“He’s probably just shy in the presence of such a pretty woman.”  Nik’s blue eyes sparkled.
Petey rolled her eyes.  “Yes, I’m sure that’s it,” she said sarcastically.  “I guess you ditched your business dinner?”
Nik nodded. “I did.”
She eyed him curiously.  “What kind of business are you in?”
He paused a beat.  “I’m in international finance and development.”
Warmth flooded her face, and she knew she was blushing.  A sheepish smile curled her lips.  “I have no idea what that means.”
He smiled, too.  “I travel and meet with business people, mostly, occasionally politicians, and we discuss ways to improve our national economies, and ways to assist developing economies as well.”
“Oh.  I’m sure Jules would understand completely.  She has a sharp business mind.  I’m just so,” she gave a self-deprecating chuckle, “right-brained.”
She fanned herself lightly with her hand.  “So, you’d had enough of finances and development for one night?”
Nik nodded agreeably.  “I’ve worked all day.  As I sat listening to more business conversation, all I could think was that I’d like to attend the gallery opening of a promising young sculptor.”
Petey’s eyes sparkled mischievously.  “Well, if I hear of any, I’ll let you know.”  They both laughed together.
“I just watched your video.  Such an interesting way to introduce yourself to patrons.”
“Oh, that.”  Petey blushed.  “Jules flew out to Montana a couple of months ago.  She hired a film crew to follow me for a day, do interviews and stuff.  Then they just put it together.”
He regarded her curiously, eyes sparkling.  “What are the chances you’d give me a guided tour of this incredible exhibit?”
She pretended to consider his request.  “Well, you did see to it that I was put back together after being blasted by that tidal wave.   And, you rescued me from being talked to death by a close-talking dentist.  I’d say your odds are pretty good.”  She laughed.  “I think bringing me a glass of wine put you over the top, though.”
Nik laughed, too.  “Lucky for me, then.”
“Lucky for you.  Okay, let’s take a tour.”
Author Bio:
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Pandora Spocks is a sassy ginger and hopeless romantic, living her happily ever after in South Florida.  She enjoys reading and writing literary erotic romance. 
She is the author of the three-novel epic romance Rannigan’s Redemption, and a naughty little romantic novella, Just One Night.  Her Dream Dominant Collection is a series of light BDSM stand-alone novels featuring sexy Alpha males and the strong red-haired submissives who can’t resist them.  The collection currently includes three novels: Luke & Bella, Lost & Bound, and For Sparrow.
Pandora is busy on her laptop, working on her next spicy romance.
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Saturday, February 17, 2018

New Release: The Accidental Elopement Scandalous Miss Brightwell Series (Book 4) By Beverley Oakley

The Accidental Elopement Scandalous Miss Brightwell Series (Book 4) By Beverley Oakley
Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to on lucky winner. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other stops on the tour. You may find those locations here
About the Book: A seven-year secret. A tragic misunderstanding. Can love outwit fate in this twisted tale of misadventure and thwarted dreams? Earl Quamby’s niece, Katherine, and Jack, a foundling home lad adopted by a local family, have been loyal friends for as long as they can remember. As Jack is about to leave England to make his fortune and Katherine is being courted by two eligible suitors, they unexpectedly realise their friendship has blossomed into passionate love. A love, they are warned, that has no future. Despite a brave attempt to defy the forces keeping them apart, tragedy results and the pair is separated. When chance throws them together seven years later, Katherine, newly widowed, is being pressured into a marriage not of her choosing to avoid scandal and Jack feels he must honour his pledge to the worthy Odette whom he met in India and whose father is dying. Katherine knows that revealing a long-held secret may win Jack to her but she also knows conflicting obligations from past and present may tear him apart. Can master matchmakers, Fanny, Antoinette and Bertram Brightwell, outwit fate in its latest attempt to keep these star-crossed lovers apart and deliver them the happiness they deserve? This is Book 4 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwell series but it can be read as a stand-alone. Amazon Buy Link
Order The Accidental Elopement now for the special price of $2.99 and you'll get an ecopy of Scandalous: Three Daring Charades in the Pursuit of Love. Just send a screen shot of proof of purchase to beverley (at) and she'll send you the link for your free book.  Amazon Buy Link
Excerpt:  In this excerpt, Katherine is hiding in a dark corridor to avoid dancing with someone she has no wish to see during her first ball as a newly arrived London debutante. She then receives a rude shock!
No one had thought to light a candle sconce and this second corridor turning she’d taken was as black as a dungeon. Katherine couldn’t even see her hand but she wasn’t frightened of the dark. No, Katherine was not fainthearted. Yet she did squeal when, taking another step, her progress was impeded by a very large object and, with no warning at all, she found herself flying through the air, landing with a painful jarring of her wrists upon the cold, hard flagstones. “Good Lord!” came a disembodied young male voice in the dark before a groping hand located a piece of Katherine – namely a hank of hair – which caused her to shriek even louder when it was quite unnecessarily tugged. Whether this was to establish who or what she was, she had no idea – and perhaps neither did the tugger for immediately a profound apology was issued before the groping hand was operating with complete abandon in the dark. This time it found Katherine’s breast just as the voice said in tones of utter mortification, “Forgive me! Are you hurt? Here, let me help you. That’s what I was trying to do, I promise. I didn’t realise you were on the ground? Take my hand. Really, I can’t apologise enough.” Katherine had made one unsuccessful attempt to stand but it was a struggle in her flounced skirt and multiple corded petticoats. She swatted away the supposedly helping hand and hissed something unintelligible – somehow unladylike language seemed less of an offence when she couldn’t see to whom she was speaking. But when the disembodied groping hand entered her orbit once more – in fact, brushing the bare flash above her garter and getting in a good squeeze of her thigh flesh, her temper which had never been one of her strong points, snapped and she lashed out with a sharp slice through the inky air. A loud yelp made her realise she’d perhaps been a little peremptory and certainly too violent in this unladylike action and even though she felt disinclined to apologise she did say, ungraciously, “I’m sorry I hit you but a lady can only take so much of all this groping in the dark. I mean…what were you doing?” “I could ask you the same thing,” came the response, now at ear level. In fact, she could feel the soft whisper of breath against her cheek which made her step back, saying, “I asked first.” “I was chasing a cat. Bending down in fact. And then something crashed into me. Or on top of me.” “That was me.” “Yes, of course it was you. There’s no one else here, is there?” Katherine bridled at his tone. She was unused to being spoken to as if she were at fault when, in this case, she most certainly wasn’t. “I think that’s a very rude response,” she told him. “Just as it was very thoughtless of you to crouch down where anybody could simply trip over you.” “Anybody – or rather, anybody else – would be carrying a candle. I think I have every reason to be deeply suspicious of the motives of anyone who is not.” “Well, you don’t have a candle. And I would suspect the truth of anyone hiding away in the dark, claiming they were crouching over an imaginary cat,” huffed Katherine. “In fact, I’d wager there was no cat here at all. I would have heard it. No, you were sneaking away from something, weren’t you?” “And if I was, what business of yours? Whoever you are.” Katherine could not imagine the audacity. “You certainly are no gentleman to speak to a lady in that fashion.” “Since that lady hasn’t bothered to declare herself, I think I could be forgiven.” “A gentleman would have declared himself first,” Katherine said hotly. “What were you sidling away from? There’s a noisy ball going on in the next room. If you were a gentleman, wouldn’t you be gallantly asking the ladies to dance instead of hiding in the dark? Perhaps there’s someone you’re afraid of seeing? A lady who has expectations of you behaving towards her as a gentleman.” Katherine said this triumphantly before elaborating on her theme. “My guess is that you’ve given some poor young lady the idea that you’ll dance with her all night and now you’ve changed your mind and are sneaking away.” “Since you put forward the idea, I’d suggest the reason you’re here is exactly the same. You’re trying to sneak away from a gentleman to whom you’ve already promised two dances. Meanwhile he, poor fellow, is searching for you vainly in the ballroom while you’re here making a mockery of him.” “He can do that all by himself,” Katherine sniffed. “But I never promised him anything and I never will.” “Ha! I was right.” The voice sounded very pleased with itself. “Well, I feel sorry for this fellow without even seeing what you look like, miss. Poor fellow!” “Poor fellow, indeed. George can pine til the cows come home. I’d even suffer talking to you than have to spend another five minutes with his sweating hands squeezing mine and his moon eyes boring into me…and his horrible, putrid breath choking me and his—” “Poor George! I was just starting to feel sorry for him until you described the exact George I, too, am so at pains to avoid tonight.” The voice became more confidential and the mood relaxed. Katherine crossed her arms and waited for him to speak again for she was rather interested in his George and then quite amused when the voice began to describe the very George against whom she railed. “Well, you have described my cousin to a very fine point,” she laughed. “And if you are as well acquainted with him as you seem to be, then you obviously know exactly why I am here in the dark.” There was a small silence. And then, “Your cousin?” “In my family there are two Georges: Young George who is the son of my aunt and her husband, Lord Quamby, and Odious George who is his uncle, George Bramley.” “Then we’re talking about the same George!” The voice sounded stunned. A quick gasp from both of them was followed up by a delighted cry in unison. “Jack!” “Katherine!”
Other Books In The Series: 
Rake's Honour (Book 1)  Beautiful, impoverished Fanny Brightwell has a few scores to settle—and a heart to win—before she can secure the wealthy, aristocratic husband her ambitious mama demands. Pick up a free copy here! Rogue's Kiss (Book 2) Would a potential suitor be bolder if he were told the lie that the maiden he desires has only six months to live? Amazon Buy Link Devil's Run (Book 3) A rigged horse race - with a marriage and a lost child riding on the outcome. Amazon Buy Link ~*~*~*~*~ About the Author:  Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist. Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea. Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch. Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth-century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli. You can get in contact with Beverley at:
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