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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heart of Stone: A Mercenary's Romance #RomFantasy

5.0 out of 5 stars No Emotion Left Untouched!

This review is from: Heart of Stone (Kindle Edition)

I've been a huge fan of Denyse Bridger's work for years now. This is one author who knows how to touch upon every human emotion and bring them to the forefront of your own mind and soul. Heart of Stone will make you feel as if you're center-stage with the characters Denyse has created. Better yet, you BECOME the characters. She weaves worlds with such rich detail and characterization you can't help but enjoy her books. Be prepared to laugh, cry, sigh, and swoon as you read this sexy tale.



Randall Stone is the stuff of heroes, a mercenary given a discharge from the army he has served with his life. But the government is still interested in using the skills they've taught Major Rand Stone, and he continues to work with his hand-picked team. Into his shadowy world a light has come, and in her love, Stone discovers unhoped for joy, and, perhaps, unbearable sorrow?

Excerpt:

“How many messages do you think he’s got waiting for him?” Blake asked as they trailed after Stone.

Rand heard Jennifer’s laughter, and suppressed a smile at his team’s banter.

“Well, we’ve been gone three weeks, and he said to call in three days. By now she might not even be talking to him.”

“That don’t look promising,” Nick Holloway, a temporary team member selected for this particular mission, noted when they entered the military hangar and spotted Brookman waiting for them. On loan from the CIA, Nick had been an unofficial presence on many missions organized by Donald Brookman over the years. He’d worked with Stone’s team several times before, and was giving serious thought to making the move permanent.

“Listen, Brookman,” Rand began when they reached the International Security Director, who was their unofficial boss. “We’re tired, and I am not going anywhere for at least a couple of days.”

The rest of the team had stopped at his back, and his assertion was echoed by muttered affirmatives. When Donald said nothing, the silence settled, a strained, tension-laden quiet that was both ominous and unnerving.

“Brookman?”

Donald ran a hand over his silvery hair and looked Rand directly in the eyes.

“She’s dead, Rand,” he said with no preamble or cushioning words.

“Who’s dead?” Rand responded automatically, his weary brain sluggish. But his body grew taut with contained panic. He knew already. He really didn’t want to know at all.

“Robin Bourne died three days ago,” Donald stated softly. “Her car went off the road. She was killed in the explosion.”

The silence held for several seconds.

“What?” It was an expulsion of air, disbelief the only emotion present in the whispered word. Rand’s smile faltered. His gut told him it was true, but his head wasn’t ready to accept it.

Behind him, he felt shock radiate from the other members of the elite mercenary team. Jennifer touched his shoulder, but he shrugged her off, not willing to accept the comfort she was clearly trying to offer him.

“What the hell are you telling me, Brookman?” Fury rose like a tide, blotting out the pain he wasn’t ready to face. “She was on her way to New York for that bastard Ethridge when I left. Is that where this happened?”

“She went directly from New York to Butte, stayed with Lucky for nearly a week then came home. She was back five days before her death,” Brookman said.

“No!” Rand closed his eyes and rubbed them as his thoughts raced at warp speed. “There’s been a mistake—”

“Forensics gave them positive identification from dental records,” Brookman told him, visibly reluctant to impart the details. “When they couldn’t reach you, they contacted Lucky. He called me.” He reached into his jacket pocket and held out his hand.

Rand lifted the charred necklace from Donald’s palm. The silver dog tags with Rand’s name engraved into them; Jennifer had given them to Robin as a birthday gift, and she’d worn them from that night on, telling him that they made her feel just a little bit more his. That lack of feminist in her was one more complementary trait to Rand’s chauvinistic nature. She was happy to belong with him and to him.

Rand’s fingers closed over the tags, and he walked a few paces away from the group, pulling himself under control as he accepted his friend’s news. He turned to stare at them, dazed.

“Lucky and D.J. arrived this morning,” Brookman told them. “They’re at the club.”

Jennifer went to Rand’s side. “I’m so sorry, Rand.”

He nodded. He had no words.

“My car’s waiting,” Brookman interjected in a quiet voice.

“Who’s in charge of the investigation?”

“Detective Eric Karmac.”

“He’s our first stop,” Stone said, mentally distancing himself from the grief he knew he’d be living with for a long time. He’d grieve later, when he could tell himself he’d done something about her death. About the death of the first woman in much too long that he’d allowed himself to love and need.

Brookman gazed at the others, worry and uneasiness evident in his wary expression.

“We’ll go back to the club,” Jennifer assured him. Nick nodded his silent agreement.

“We’re here for you, Major,” Eddie said.

“Yeah.” Rand smiled a little. “Thanks.”

* * *

“Robin’s mother, Clara Shelton, is waiting for access to Robin’s house,” Donald said, once Rand had changed into civilian clothes and they were on their way to LAPD headquarters.

“Who the hell—” He shook his head. “Never mind. Where’s she staying?”

“Nowhere, yet,” Brookman replied. “She flew in a couple of hours after Lucky and D.J. arrived. Lucky wouldn’t grant her admittance to the house until you got back.”

Rand managed a small laugh.

“I gather Robin and her mother weren’t close?” Donald noted dryly.

“You could say that,” Rand responded with a hint of bitterness. “She hasn’t seen Robin since just after her father’s death. That was back in ’92.”

Brookman’s eyebrows rose, but he didn’t comment.

“And there’s been no contact since then? Is there any other family?”

Rand swallowed the threat of real tears as he fought to contain the raging emotions that battered his heart.

“A sister,” he answered after a few moments thought. “Aureena.”

“Should I find her?”

“From what Robin said, if Clara is here, Aureena won’t be far behind her.”

When Brookman would have asked more questions, Rand turned away and stared out the window.

“Later, Donald,” he whispered, his voice thick with too much pain.

The light squeeze of Donald’s hand on his shoulder was almost his undoing, and he closed his eyes for a moment as he forcibly put the grief aside to think about what he was going to do.

* * *

Brookman wasn’t convinced taking Rand into the morgue was a course of action that would do anything but cause more pain to the younger man. But Rand wouldn’t be dissuaded from seeing what little remained of Robin’s body. Maybe it was the only thing that would make it real for him, Donald decided, and followed him into the cold, antiseptic room.

“This isn’t necessary, Rand,” Donald ventured for what he knew would be the final time.

“Have your people done the follow-up?”

Brookman shook his head. “Is it really necessary?”

Stone smiled, an expression that was a world away from the casual devilment the shift in features usually conveyed. There was nothing, only the cold mask Donald knew hid the more lethal aspects of Rand’s personality. “…He’s a stranger in so many ways. Like there are two different people living in the same body, and I only know one face in many…” Robin’s voice whispered the words in his memory, and he began to understand the statement with new clarity as Rand stared at the blackened remnants of the woman he had loved much more than he’d had time to realize.

“I want everything double-checked,” Rand said softly. “Triple-checked, if necessary. I don’t want any doubt, Donald,” he finished as he turned to leave.

“Why—”

“Because I have to know!” he snarled before Brookman could finish the query.

At the police station Rand was given the reports to read, and he questioned Eric Karmac thoroughly on each piece of evidence the police had collected.

An hour later, they were headed for the Western Star Health Club. The health club had been established a couple of years earlier as a convenient cover operation for the government affiliated mercenary team. Rand had an apartment above the club, and his fortress-like command center was below ground. He conducted most of his life from the confines of the club, when he wasn’t trotting all over the world for Brookman.

“What are you going to do about her mother?” Brookman asked.

Rand’s eyebrow rose. “Why?”

Donald decided to wait for a few minutes, until they were inside the club and he knew if he’d have to make an announcement in front of Robin’s family.

As (bad) luck would have it, both mother and sister were present, sitting well apart from the members of Randall’s mercenary team. Clara’s hostility seemed to be directed at Lucky.

“You must be Randall Stone,” she said, rising from her seat the instant Rand came through the door.

“Yes, ma’am, I am,” he replied, shaking her hand.

“I want to see my daughter’s home, and I’ve been told that will be impossible without your consent.”

Rand glanced at Lucky and resisted a smile when the other man merely shrugged.

“There may be a slight problem there,” Donald interjected.

Clara’s icy gaze moved. There was little resemblance between Robin and her mother, and the lack of warmth that emanated from the well-groomed, chic woman who glared at him was as striking as Robin’s earthy, easy-going manner.

Aureena Shelton was a mirror image of her mother—tall, slender, fair. “What type of problem?” she asked, her annoyance clear to everyone.

“Robin’s left very specific instructions on how things are to be handled, and who is to handle them,” Donald told them, feeling the various levels of surprise his words evoked. “All decisions are to be made by the person she’s left in control of her estate.”

“And that would be?” Rand prompted.

“That would be you, Rand” Brookman said. “The will is straightforward, and the executor assigned.”

“Are you telling us that Robin has cut us out entirely?” Aureena snapped.

“Of course she hasn’t.” Clara’s voice rang with impatience. “We’re her family. All the family she had.”

“Wrong again,” Lucky spoke into the lull, his smooth voice unexpectedly chilly. “We’re Robin’s family. Look around you, Mrs. Shelton. The people your daughter cherished most are right in front of you.”

Clara’s stare moved from face to face, seeing strangers who grieved more visibly than she ever would. Her gaze stopped on Lucky, and would have unnerved a lesser man. When Lucky simply stared back, she was forced to look away.

“I want to see the paperwork,” she said.

“It’s all here,” Brookman assured her.

Rand left them to fight it out. He was tired, and there were too many things he needed to look into. When he closed his office door, he looked around, feeling Robin’s presence in the room with him. His gaze went to the photograph on his desk, and he had to close his eyes to clear them of sudden haze. Eddie had taken the picture here in the office. Robin was seated between his legs, surrounded by the remnants of her birthday party.

Rand crossed the room and lifted the receiver off the phone.

A half hour later, the door to his office burst inward, and Clara Shelton stormed in.

“I want to see my daughter’s house,” she informed him, anger blazing from her entire manner.

“I can arrange that,” he said. Having just spent twenty minutes on the phone, gratefully accepting the comfort of his grandmother’s warmth, he could more readily appreciate Robin’s rancor toward her own remaining parent. Some of that hostility dimmed a second later when Clara picked up the photograph he’d been looking at minutes earlier.

“She loved you,” Clara murmured after a lengthy hesitation. She sounded surprised.

Rand nodded. “She’s… She was an amazing woman.”

Clara’s momentary softening vanished. Harsh laughter sprang from her as she placed the picture back on his desk.

“Robin’s capacity for indifference was her most amazing quality, Mr. Stone.”

“You didn’t know her very well, did you?”

“Quite the opposite.” She smiled bitterly. “I knew her too well. She was her father’s child from the day she was born, and, like Edmund, she cared for no one’s needs but her own.”

Rand shook his head. “I’m not going to discuss this with you, Mrs. Shelton.” He rose. “I’ll have one of my people take you to the house.”

“That won’t be necessary. Just give me a key.”

Rand smiled. “I’m afraid it’s not that simple, ma’am. The house has a security system. Without one of my team, you won’t be able to walk in.”

“What on earth did a man like you see in her?” Clara murmured, after a thorough and insinuating appraisal of Rand.

“Everything you didn’t, apparently,” Rand commented dryly. He didn’t give her time for further conversation. He returned to the main area of the club, Robin’s mother only a few steps behind him. “Jennifer, would you take Mrs. Shelton to the house and stay with her?”

“It’s Clara,” Robin’s mother said.

Rand ignored her.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

NEW from @TinaDonahue - This Time When We Touch

THIS TIME WHEN WE TOUCH
Tina Donahue

PRE-ORDER!

AVAILABLE: Thursday, July 17th

This title is offered at a 10% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, July 24th.

Blurb:

Fate has cruelly torn them apart through the centuries…
Endless desire and unparalleled love will bring them together a final time.

Through numerous reincarnations, Jade Jacome has adored one man. His love for her has repeatedly led to her murder, always on the same day and time. Jade’s scientific research proves this is their final rebirth, her last chance to outwit destiny and fulfill their passion. Against a backdrop of Brazil’s lushly decadent Carnaval, Jade has forty-eight hours to meet and tempt her lover, now known as Patrick Kane, then break fate’s deadly pattern.
Irresistibly drawn to Rio, Patrick senses Jade’s yearning that matches his. Seeing her again, time stops. Though they’ve never met in this life, he feels their connection, and that she’s in danger because of him. Baffled and unsettled, Patrick resists his attraction to Jade to keep her safe.
In a contest of wills and shameless seduction, Jade must gamble all, even her life, before the anniversary of their first separation or risk losing Patrick forever.

Excerpt:

Jade regarded the young women who’d spoken to Patrick. The one on the right snatched his tee and pressed it to her nose. Her girlfriends reacted with surprise, dismay, jealousy, then all of them fell back to their towels, laughing loudly.
Their happiness touched Jade. She wanted the same for herself and Patrick. Turning to the sea, she spotted him. His strong, solid strokes took him farther from shore and her.
Jade followed for a few feet then stopped, warning herself against joining Patrick, telling him she was the woman he’d searched for when he’d moved down the beach. Her confession might flood him with too many painful memories, which would make her seduction that much more difficult.
When he saw her again, she needed him to recall a warm summer day in 1510, moments after he’d finished his swim. He’d stood in a shallow part of the stream then, the water reaching just above his knees. Beads of moisture dripped from his eyebrows, stubble, and long dark lashes. Sun drizzled through thick stands of cork and olive trees, dappling his broad shoulders with flecks of golden light. With his head lowered, he’d scooped water then flung it beneath his arms.
Secretly, she’d watched him, as she had for weeks, ever since he’d arrived at her papá’s castle to tutor her younger brothers.
His tall, strong body had intrigued her from the start, along with his educated voice, sculpted features, and bearing with his charges.
Unlike her papá’s other servants, he didn’t defer to her brothers, indulging their every whim. With a firm but fair hand, he’d schooled them in advanced mathematics, Latin, Greek, science, horsemanship, and other physical pursuits. At those times, he’d worn only a linen shirt and hose as he ran and played with them. Grinning broadly, he’d ruffled her brothers’ dark hair when they performed to his satisfaction.
She began to imagine his smile directed at her, his touch belonging to no one else.
At night, she dreamt of him. During the day, she couldn’t think of anything else, consumed with everything he did. Where he slept, what he ate, how he enjoyed his few moments of freedom from her brothers and her papá’s demands.
Clearly, he enjoyed bathing in the stream, rather than the iron tub in the castle. As though he preferred to be outdoors because it allowed him to be alone. Or so he thought.
Water poured through his fingers as he finally sensed her. His hand remained suspended in air as he forgot to bring it to his chest.
Slowly, as though uncertain at what he might see, he’d lifted his face and stared at the hem of her yellow gown. The insistent breeze had pulled the linen away from her legs and around the tree trunk where she’d been hiding.
A warning registered in her mind, telling her to yank the garment back, then turn and run, not stopping until she reached the chapel. There, god would expect her to feel badly for what she’d witnessed.
Carnal desire proved more powerful and compelling than eternal damnation, trapping her where she stood. With her palms on the stout ancient tree, she leaned to the left, knowing he’d see her face, not caring if he did. All she could do was drink in his powerful male form—his flat nipples, as richly brown as the earth, the dark tufts of hair beneath his arms, the silky strands swirling around his navel then trickling to his groin.
Flushed with embarrassment, fevered with need, she stared at his male organ, captivated as it lengthened and hardened before her eyes, the skin growing dusky, the head rounded and so plump his skin seemed in danger of splitting.
When she finally glanced up, she forgot to breathe. In his dark eyes, she saw desire to match her own. The promise of what life should be, not what her papá had planned for her with the count. A man she could barely stand.
Trembling with excitement, she stepped from behind the trunk and faced him.
Beneath his lust, she saw how bewildered he was. He had no idea who she might be or where she belonged. Although he’d lived at her papá’s castle for weeks, there was no reason for her father to have introduced them. He was a mere tutor, she even less. A female relegated to the shadows, ordered to be quiet and meek until her nuptials.
Undeniable need drew her closer to him, a sense of destiny singing in her blood.

BIO:

Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.


Connect with Tina:

CONTEST

Please leave a comment. Tina will be choosing one winner randomly from the comments section. The winner gets her choice of one of Tina’s backlist ebooks – FIFTEEN IN ALL – contemporary, paranormal, suspense, ménage. From this list:

 1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
 2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
 3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
 4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
 5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
 6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
 7. Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
 8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
 9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
11. Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
12. Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
13. Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures
14. Losing Control - Four and a Half Stars - Sensual Reads
15. Shameless Desire - Four and Half Stars - The Jeep Diva

Monday, July 7, 2014

Return to Love with @kathieshoop @pumpupyourbook #RomFantasy


About the Book:

April and Hale Abercrombie’s love is tender and sweet. While he serves in Vietnam, their marriage is marked by trust and the belief that they will grow old together with a gaggle of grandchildren at their feet. But, their charmed marriage changes in the face of losing their newborn daughter.

On leave from his tour, Hale can barely wait to hold his wife and her help her heal. When he arrives, his embrace, his touch, and his love are as perfect as April remembered. Their reunion is passionate and their physical connection is strong and soothing. But, April’s heartache remains.

Hale stumbles through his attempts to prove to April that their future will be rich and full of wonder. His good-hearted, but take-charge approach causes her to retreat. Eve


n in grief, April can see Hale’s earnestness, yet she finds solace in putting space between them. With a short time before Hale must return to war will they see that real love endures in the face of adversity, that their marriage can be strengthened even when it looks as though all is lost?


Set on the beaches of the Outer Banks, Return to Love is the second book in the Endless Love series. Book one, Home Again, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. 

For More Information 
Return to Love is available at Amazon
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads
Read Chapter One here 

Title: Return to Love
Author: Kathleen Shoop
Publisher: Oakglen Press
Pages: 261
Genre: Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

April and Hale Abercrombie’s love is tender and sweet. While he serves in Vietnam, their marriage is marked by trust and the belief that they will grow old together with a gaggle of grandchildren at their feet. But, their charmed marriage changes in the face of losing their newborn daughter.

On leave from his tour, Hale can barely wait to hold his wife and her help her heal. When he arrives, his embrace, his touch, and his love are as perfect as April remembered. Their reunion is passionate and their physical connection is strong and soothing. But, April’s heartache remains.

Hale stumbles through his attempts to prove to April that their future will be rich and full of wonder. His good-hearted, but take-charge approach causes her to retreat. Even in grief, April can see Hale’s earnestness, yet she finds solace in putting space between them. With a short time before Hale must return to war will they see that real love endures in the face of adversity, that their marriage can be strengthened even when it looks as though all is lost?

Set on the beaches of the Outer Banks, Return to Love is the second book in the Endless Love series. Book one, Home Again, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. 

Book Excerpt:

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Autumn 1970

Hale’s lungs were tight as he gripped his duffel in one hand and held his uniform over his shoulder with the other. He flew up the steps of the small fishing cottage that his wife was renting from the Shelby family and arrived on the wide porch. He had imagined the moment he’d see her so many times that he felt like he was performing a play. He dropped the duffel right there and knocked on the screen door. Why was he knocking? She knew he was coming. He threw the door open and walked into the small entry. It opened into the family room. He wiped his feet while he scanned the space. “April!” 

His heart beat fast and heavy. Yes, he was home under difficult circumstances. Hale’s wife was having difficulty coping with the stillbirth of their daughter. He was worried for her and knew if his skipper granted hardship leave that things must be bad. Yet he was determined, sure as he had finally arrived at the Outer Banks, he was confident that he could make her well. He just needed to see her, to hold her, to tell her everything was going to be okay.

The Guess Who’s “No Sugar Tonight” was playing on the radio. The tune brought a smile to his face. He rushed down the hallway and poked his head into two bedrooms and a bathroom before finding the room April had been using. He tucked his naval uniform into the closet, went back to the kitchen, and turned off the radio, straining to hear any noise that might signal April’s location. He went back outside, inhaling the salty air. 

Where was she? He leapt off the porch and crossed the gravelly lane called Beach Road stepping onto the sand, craning his neck to catch a glimpse of her. A seagull clipped Hale’s head as it landed off to the side then flipped a whitefish into its mouth. As far as he could see, the beach was empty, yet he thought he should walk it, search for April. He didn’t know which direction she would have walked, but he started out anyway. 

Heading south, a flock of black birds escorted him from above. Scores of them moved together like one great wing flapping in the wind. The whoosh of their collective descent was punctuated by their coarse, throaty screams. 

The sand worked into Hale’s shoes, each particle stabbing at the skin below his ankles. He pushed one shoe off and then the other, leaving them near a smattering of driftwood that had been pushed ashore by high tide. The birds dropped, their calls growing louder, drowning out the surf. One by one the black skimmers rained from the sky like bombs, their red beaks bright against the gray sky that had crept in with Hale’s arrival. Some of the birds landed in the shoals and poked and prodded at the sand. 

He came upon the largest cluster of birds, the beige sand peeking out in small patches among the blackness, and his eye went to a different form, a woman sitting rod straight, motionless in the center of the black avian shroud. Her blonde hair whipped in the wind like the sea grass at his feet. Hale stopped. His heart thumped. April. He willed himself to breathe, to move toward her. He’d never seen such a sight, the way she seemed partly born of the sand, partly able to sprout wings and fly away.

“April!” he said, waving even though her back was to him.

She did not respond. He called again, his words turned back to him by the stiff ocean gales. He jogged toward her, weaving in between napping skimmers, hopping over those that were too busy eating to move out of his way. 

When he had nearly reached April, he halted again. He suddenly felt nervous about his excitement; he felt her sadness as though they shared the same soul. He’d never seen such a stunning sight in his life. Her elegance was apparent even sitting on a beach, in the middle of birds. She turned her head slightly, her profile facing him. His stomach flipped. Oh my God, is she beautiful. The wind tossed her hair, making her appear as though she were posing for a magazine shoot. 

Even from a distance, even from the side, he thought he could see the sparkle of her blue eyes. The way they were set, wide on her face, made it seem as though he saw something slightly different every time he looked at her, something more, something alluring, hypnotizing. Those eyes.

There was no woman more captivating, he was sure. Or more lonely. Her sadness seemed to leap over the sand to him, to well up from the soles of his feet, filling him, squeezing the breath from his suddenly heavy lungs. If he felt this, then her pain must be far greater. Her emptiness more profound. He’d helped her create life, but he hadn’t been there when it ended. 

About the Author

Amazon Top-100 Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Her latest book is the romance, Return to Love.

For More Information

Visit Kathleen’s website
Find out the latest book news at Kathleen’s blog
Connect with Kathleen on Facebook and Twitter
Contact the author here

A short interview:

Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point? 

I did a lot of writing in my head before I began to actually write fiction seriously. For years I would run scenes through my mind, let interesting characters take up space there and string plots together without putting much down on paper. Still to this day part of my writing process consists of playing out my novels in my mind as I walk or wait for my kids in carpool lines. I take notes and finally it comes to life on the page. So in many ways, I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. But I began to treat writing fiction like a job about 12 years ago… and I began to write fiction about 14 years ago. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life and for me that’s where authors start. I recognized the power of fiction (all writing, really) long before I started writing it. And, I wrote nonfiction for my work in education as well.

Do you remember how it felt when you were offered that first contract? What emotions stand out in your memory? 

Well, I remember how it felt when I signed my contract with my agent. It was glorious, empowering, exciting. I was sure my path to publication was fully set and I would reap the benefits of having scored a big time agent in a big time agency. Wrong! She could not sell my work and we eventually parted ways as what I was writing no longer matched what she wanted to represent. This brought misery, fear, wondering… I was sure my writing was strong even if it hadn’t found a home. But how could that be true if such an accomplished agent could not sell my work? Once the dust settled on the agent-breakup, I found at my core I believed I had written strong, marketable work even if the pros couldn’t identify the market themselves. Lucky for me, at just that time, the writing world turning and I found myself with a stack of manuscripts and the ability to become my own publisher AND reach readers. This was scary, thrilling, wonderful. I felt vulnerable in putting my fiction out there without the cover and credibility that a traditional book deal provides. But I had to do it…I kept coming back to that sense, deep inside, I knew that was my new path.

With over 100,000 book sales and handfuls of awards for each book later, I am pleased and excited about my future as an author. It’s not at all the path I wanted to take at first, but once the dust settled I knew it was the right decision to make in going alone. I am so grateful to have readers, to have the chance to participate in publishing this way.

Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many? 

Return to Love is the second book in the Endless Love series. Home Again is book one. They take place on the waters of North Carolina (Inner and Outer Banks!) and are set in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Sweet, spicy romance…

What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret? 

I don’t have an odd “thing” that has happened since writing professionally. But there have been “Debby Downer,” types of people all througout my journey and even if the exact scenario that occurs when someone is discouraging (I also call these people “dream-stompers”) and rude doesn’t make it into the book, the feeling these people radiate is used quite often! Fiction can’t live wihtout conflict so although real life troubles are difficult, they are lovely for fiction. 

Do you have your next book underway, or other titles in the planning stages?
Always, always! Books two and three in my historical fiction Letter Series should be out late this year. And a novella in the Endless Love series will be included in an anthology called Holiday Bliss—launching in October 2014.

Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both? 

I adore historical fiction first and foremost. Having a PhD in Education and coming from a long line of readers who inhale nonfiction as much as fiction, led me to love research and history as much as fiction. Historical fiction allows me to play with my strengths and my interests at the same time. I never even considered writing romance until a fellow author asked me to contribute to an Anthology called “Bliss.” Home Again appeared in that book with five authors writing about the same stately home on the water (called Bliss) but with each of us writing about a different era. I fell in love with romance! With each romantic story I write, I love it more and more. There is something refreshing and very simple (not easy by any stretch—just less complicated) about whittling a story down to its core—the couple—and exploring that primary relationship. Both genres are magical in their own ways.

What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same?

The most exciting part of the writing process… Whatever part I’m working on at the time… except for when I’m lost and can’t figure out what’s wrong with the plot!!! I love first drafts—belting out words and just letting the story tell itself. I probably dislike second drafts the most. This is the time when I’m inevitably struggling with something that’s not working. But after breaking through that, I love the next drafts—the crafting of the sentences so they are dynamic and interesting and unique. I love that. And then there’s publication. Nothing beats having a book out and about, roaming the world, and hearing from readers. This is why I feel so fortunate. As hard as the process can be when I’m “stuck,” as uncertain as I can be when working with designers and publicists and such—I am so grateful that I can do any of it. I feel like it’s a miracle. And I am also tremendously lucky to have a great many editors (for different stages) and readers who I trust can see my vision, support me, yet be brutally honest in pointing out problems that need to be addressed.

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration?

Geraldine Brooks…selfishly I would love to write with her in order to learn…she would probably stab herself in the eye at the thought of working with me… but she is brilliant and I would love it.

Where can readers find you on the web? 

Visit Kathleen’s website 
Find out the latest book news at Kathleen’s blog 
Connect with Kathleen on Facebook and Twitter 
Contact the author here 

Thank you so very much for hosting me! 
Kathie

Media Contact:

Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336


Saturday, July 5, 2014

HOT ALPHA SEALS @Sabrina_York #RomFantasy


HOT ALPHA SEALS: Military Romance Megaset available for 99¢

PREORDER NOW (Available July 22) : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LBFVNQS

If you love military romance, you won't want to miss this deal from 12 New York Times, USA Today or Award-winning authors. The Hot Alpha Authors include Anne ElizabethCat Johnson, Cindy Dees, Cristin Harber, Delilah Devlin, Elle James, Gennita Low, J.M. Madden, P.T. Michelle, Sabrina York, Sharon Hamilton and Teresa Reasor.

Sabrina York’s contribution, Stone Hard SEAL, is an action-packed story of a hostage rescue gone terribly wrong…at least, for the SEAL with the heart of stone, determined to avoid love at any cost. Though he has trained for any contingency, Ryder “Stone” Maddox is not prepared for Lily Wilson’s naively seductive wiles. Especially once she decides the hot, hard hero is the man she wants. 

READ AN EXCERPT!
And then read on for more about the other stories in the set!

“Are you hungry?” He asked because her belly growled loudly enough to attract pirates on the mainland.
“A little.” She licked her lips. “But I’m really thirsty.”
He pulled out the straw of his CamelBak and leaned forward, holding it to her lips. He should have shuttled off all his gear and just handed the damn thing to her because when she leaned in close and he got a whiff of her, he nearly passed out. You would think a woman who had been held prisoner by filthy pirates for nearly a week would smell bad. She did not. She smelled like heaven. There was a light musky odor of sweat—it was hot in the tropics—but it twined with something that was essentially female.
He’d never felt such hunger. It screamed through his soul.
And, on top of that, their faces were close. And she was sucking on the nozzle. And fuck. He was a warrior. A trained weapon. On a mission.
This was no time for a hard on.
But he was hard. Damn hard.
Her lashes flickered as she glanced up at him; she moaned as she swallowed. A shiver walked down his spine. Walked right down his spine and coiled in his balls.
When she sat back with a sigh, he put the nozzle to his lips as well. Not because he was particularly thirsty, but because he wanted a taste of her mouth, while it was still fresh.
What he really wanted was to kiss her. But she was the senator’s daughter and he was a grunt. That wasn’t going to happen. It couldn’t.
“Did…did you say something about food?” Damn lashes. Fluttering again. He had the urge to grab his Gerber and snip them off.
He pulled an MRE from a pocket on his left leg, read the label, and grimaced. He hated the meatloaf. He should have paid more attention when he prepped his gear. He had more in his pack, but this would do for now. “I have this.”
Her nose wrinkled as she studied the silver foil.
Yeah. Wait ’til she got a taste. He ripped open the packet, broke off a piece, and handed it to her. It was messy, because of the gravy, but he didn’t want to unload everything to find an implement. They needed to eat and go.
She took a bite. Her eyes widened. “Yuuum,” she said in an unconvincing tone.
It was all he could do to hold back his laugh.
“What…” She swallowed heavily. “What is this?”
“An MRE.”
“What does that stand for?”
His lips quirked. “Meals Rarely Edible.”
Her brow wrinkled, and then she laughed.
And ah, what a laugh. A melodic trill. Some kind of sound he figured you might hear in heaven.
“Do you eat these often?”
“Not if I can help it.” He shoved a chunk in his mouth and fired it back. “But we have a long way to go today, and these have a lot of calories.”
She froze, a niblette of mystery meat halfway to her mouth. “How-how many calories?”
“About twelve hundred a meal.”
She gaped at him. “Twelve hundred?” She glared at the meatloaf as though it were made of turds. Then again, it might have been. “And you gave it to me? To eat?”
“Yeah. You’ll need it.”
“Why didn’t you warn me?” She smacked him. It was like being batted by a kitten. “Twelve hundred calories is my whole day!”
He grinned. He could burn that much with a good fart. “Perfect. It’s probably all you’ll get. Eat up.”
“For twelve hundred calories, I could have eaten a cheesecake.”
He looked around for the cheesecake.
She shoved her tiny chunk of meatloaf at him. “Here, you eat it.”
He pushed it back. “You eat it. We have a lot of ground to cover today.”
“We do?” She tipped her head to the side. “Where are we going?”
“There’s an island to the south.” He grabbed a stick and sketched out a quick map. “We’re here. At the north end of this island. And the secondary extraction point is here.”
Her throat worked. “How will we get to the other island?”
“Swim.”
She paled. “I-I can’t swim.”
It was probably rude to stare. But really? She couldn’t swim? Who couldn’t swim? “You never wanted to learn?”
“Oh, I wanted to.” She sighed. “My mother was afraid I would drown.”
“Not drowning is kind of the point of swimming.”
“She wanted to keep me safe.” He didn’t miss the exasperation in her tone. “I didn’t get to do a lot of things. Which is probably why— And wouldn’t you know it? The first time?” She gazed at him as though she’d finished a sentence. As though he’d understood a bit of what she’d said.
“Well, don’t worry. We’ll get you home safe. And then everything will be just the way it was before.”
Her sudden frown mystified him.

HOT ALPHA SEALS: Military Romance Megaset

THE KISS OF A SEAL by Award-winning Author Anne Elizabeth — Jessa Grainger’s world is rocked by the kiss of a SEAL, SO-1 Link Tyler. It wouldn’t be a problem for an ordinary person, but being a Navy Consultant working on the Amphibious Base as well as being engaged to a SWCC man make the situation very sticky.

NIGHT WITH A SEAL (Hot SEALS #1) by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Cat Johnson —When navigating military red tape begins to present more challenges than the enemy, it makes SEAL Jon Rudnick question his future. So does Alison Cressly, the one woman he can’t get out of his head.

HOT BAYOU SEAL by Award-winning author Cindy Dees — SEAL Ford Alambeaux is a busted up SEAL on his way out of the teams. Trina Zarkos is being tossed out of SEAL training like every other female candidate…until they’re thrown together on a way off-book mission to see if she can play with the big boys or not.


DELTA: RETRIBUTION by USA Today bestselling author Cristin Harber — Fallen Navy SEAL and Titan Group’s Delta recruit Trace Reeves wants nothing more than a one-night stand to forget that his twin brother was killed-in-action. But when his one-time fling becomes his high value target, the lines blur between her rescue mission and saving himself.

WATCH OVER ME (An Uncharted SEAL story) by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Delilah Devlin — Deke Warrick’s unsanctioned detail is to keep tabs on a congressman’s niece while she vacations in the Caribbean. He’s determined to keep his distance, from the beautiful Nicky Martir—until she’s snatched from their hotel room.

SEAL'S OBSESSION (A Take No Prisoners story) by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elle James — Mission: Halt pirate activities off the coast of Honduras. SEAL TEAM 10's Jack Fischer goes undercover as a deck hand on a medical boat where he finds himself falling for the dedicated Dr. Natalie Rhoades.

The SEAL (a Sex, Lies & Spies novella) by USA Today bestselling author Gennita Low — Mari Lords is tasked by her father to steal the seal that is an important clue in a round-the-world treasure hunt called The Game. When her opportunity comes during a party, she finds another kind of SEAL, Angel Marcello.

UNBREAKABLE SEAL by USA Today bestselling author J.M. Madden — Maxwell Tate fights against a psychotic dream world, until he no longer knows what’s real. Lacey Adams knows she can’t save all of her cases, but can she salvage the unbreakable SEAL?

MISTER BLACK A Billionaire SEAL Story, Part 1 (In the Shadows) by Award-winning author P.T. Michelle —He is Black: a deadly enforcer and masterful seducer. I am Red: a justice bleeder and willing participant. When our secrets converge in a passionate encounter, stepping out of the shadows just might be worth the risk.

STONE HARD SEAL by Award-winning author Sabrina York —When Ryder “Stone” Maddox’s meets Lily Wilson—a senator’s daughter who is definitely off-limits—he’s determined to keep his distance, despite her irresistible allure. But Lily has plans of her own…to put his heart of stone to the test.


SEAL’S PROMISE by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Hamilton —Navy SEAL T.J. Talbot, SEAL Team 3's bad boy, makes a deathbed promise to protect and care for his fallen buddy's wife and child. The only problem is, she hates him.

BREAKING TIES (a SEAL Team Heartbreakers story) by bestselling author Teresa Reasor — Navy SEAL Oliver Shaker is blindsided when he learns that not only does his wife, Selena, have a life-threatening illness, but she’s also pregnant. Can the SEAL code he follows see them through?



About Sabrina York:

Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York is the award winning author of over 20 hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pinterest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

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