Welcome Leigh! #suspense #romance #amreading #amreadingromance

Leigh Fleming creates unique characters facing life’s challenges but who are always rewarded with their happy ending. Stay Hidden, the first in her Hidden series, won the Lone Star Writing Contest for romantic suspense in 2017.

A member of Romance Writers of America and the Washington Romance Writers chapter, Leigh lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia, with her husband, Patrick, and her deaf French bulldog, Napoleon, and is mom to adult children, Tom and Liza. When she’s not writing in her windowless office, she enjoys reading, traveling, scrapbooking, and spending time with friends.

For more information, visit her WEBSITE.

For FBI agent Derek Bronson, Riley Smith isn’t the girl of his dreams. She’s better. Until she’s the prime suspect in his father’s murder.

Riley Smith has something her abusive ex-boyfriend thinks belongs to him. Her. If she doesn’t keep moving, he’ll beat her all the way back to the life she ran away from two years ago. But the picturesque town of Highland Springs, West Virginia, has started to feel like home. She’s gotten a good job. Made a few friends. Ones who don’t know the Riley she once was.

FBI agent Derek Bronson is hunting the man who killed his father in a bank robbery spree, although his week of passion with Riley Smith is sure as hell making it hard to concentrate. Until a convenience store surveillance photo identifies her as an accomplice.

Riley’s only option is to help flush out the men behind the crime, exposing a past she had hoped would Stay Hidden. But the situation is far worse than she ever dreamed. Now she and Derek must fight to stay alive.

It was him. She would recognize that voice anywhere. How had he found her? She had been so careful this time—kept a low profile, changed her long hair to blond, only paid in cash, replaced her track phone every couple of months. How had he traced her to Highland Springs?

Riley couldn’t wait another second. He could be out of that truck and tackling her to the ground in a flash. She ran the final few yards to her porch. Her hand shook so violently, she couldn’t get her key in the lock. With another look over her shoulder, she nearly lost her breath when the driver leaned his head out the window as he drew alongside the curb. His dark, wavy bangs flopped over his forehead, looking so much like—

“Excuse me.”

Stars danced in front of her face.

“Hey, can you tell me how to get to College Avenue?”

She blinked a few times as the keys clattered in her hand. Her vision cleared, and this time when she cast a look over her shoulder, she didn’t see a memory, but a dark-haired teenager who looked nothing like him.

“I’m sorry, Miss? I can’t find College Avenue.”

He didn’t even sound like him.

“Oh, um, okay.” Her mouth was so dry, she could barely speak. “It’s um . . .” Her arm felt weighted down as she pointed up the street. “It’s two more blocks that way.”

“Great. Thanks. Sorry to bother you.”

Riley sagged against the screen door as the old pickup pulled away. She trudged to the edge of her porch, sank onto the top step, and dropped her head into quivering hands. Another false alarm. Her mind, yet again, playing tricks on her. When would she stop seeing his face, hearing his voice? Not until he slipped up and was thrown in jail. Until then, she would keep facing the fear she’d had since leaving Kentucky. She’d keep feeling it—and she’d keep running.

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Welcome Erin! #contemporary #romance #amreading #amreadingromance

Award winning author, Erin Bevan writes small town Americana romances straight from the heart.

Born and raised in rural South Arkansas, she uses her past experiences to enrich her stories while infusing the right amount of heartache and humor to see her readers through until the end.

With the perfect blend of sweet to steamy, Erin Bevan has something for every romance reader. Erin loves to hear from her readers at erinbevanwrites@gmail.com

For more information, you can visit her WEBSITE

Recently divorced and down on her luck, Lesley DeLoach is determined to make a new life for herself. When she inherits her great aunt’s estate, Rosalyn Manor, her future seems to be heading in the right direction—until she sees the home’s crumbling skeleton.

Widower John Hambrice is barely keeping his construction company afloat and his children fed, so when he’s offered a job restoring the Rosalyn Manor he can’t turn it down. But the big city client with the high falutin’ lifestyle reminds him too much of the last time he was burned by big money.

As the summer temperatures rise, so does their attraction. He learns there’s more to the city girl than he expected, while she learns the country boy’s gruff exterior hides a heart of gold.

But each has lost so much in love already . . . is the chance of another broken heart worth the risk?

John Hambrice sat in a stiff, beige hospital chair next to his wife’s bed. The chair he’d come to know as the seat of angst had a permanent indention of his ass. Every day for the past two months, he’d planted his body right between Sandra and the large wall-to-wall window covered with the most sterile blinds he’d ever seen.

The humdrum sound of machines buzzing and beeping all around him had become a sort of music, a bittersweet symphony, letting him know she was still alive, leaving him another moment to kiss her, hold her, and let her know he loved her.

He turned his head toward the window as sunlight dared to peek through the crevices of the blinds, causing a reflective glow against the floor. Pretty soon, just like every morning for the past eight weeks, the sunlight would creep oh-so-slowly up the pale green wall—a paint color that was supposed to help soothe, a nurse had once told him.

What a crock.

Paint couldn’t soothe a man’s heart as it shattered bit by bit while he watched his wife’s soul leave her body a little every day. A paint color couldn’t grow her hair back, find the cure for cancer, or even help her keep food down one meal at a time, one day at a time.

No.

Paint didn’t soothe. That was just some lie the home improvement stores told their customers. He should know. He was, after all, a contractor.

Yet, out of everything he had constructed and rebuilt to its former glory, the one thing he couldn’t repair was Sandra’s body. A husband was supposed to protect his wife, his family…and he was failing her. Failing them all.

Welcome Linda! #romance #amreading #amreadingromance

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

For more information on Linda and her titles, visit her WEBSITE

“History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” ~Voltaire

Sometimes our biggest debts have nothing to do with money.

When seventeen-year-old Sam Ackerman witnesses a mob hit, he is hustled out of New York under the protection of Moshe Toblinsky, A.K.A., the mob’s bookkeeper. Arriving in Miami with no money, no friends, and no place to hide, Sam’s only choice is to do as the gangster demands. Forced into bootlegging, Sam’s misery is compounded when he falls in love. Amazingly, the beautiful, devout Rebecca wants only him, but he cannot give her the life she deserves. When Prohibition ends, Sam begs the mobster to set him free. The price? A debt, as Toblinsky puts it, of friendship. A debt that will one day come due.

Present Day. History of American Crime professor Liz Reams has it all – early success, a tantalizing lead on new info about Moshe Toblinsky, and a wonderful man to love. Life is perfect. So what’s keeping her from accepting her guy’s marriage proposals? Confronting a long-standing personal debt sets her on a journey of self-discovery. While she delves ever deeper into Sam’s and Toblinsky’s relationship, her understanding of her own relationships increases as well, but the revelations come at a price. The emotional and physical dangers of her dual journeys may prove too big to handle.

May 18, 1926

105 South Street

New York City

Knocking – sharp, loud, rapid – echoed through the empty speakeasy. Sam froze, the notes of a tune stuck in the roof of his mouth. He glanced at the entrance and leaned the handle of his push broom against his shoulder. Puffs of dust settled on the floorboards around his feet while he remained motionless.

It was late, too late, to be admitting customers, even for the city’s illegal watering holes and gambling joints. Although a thick crossbar and several stout locks protected the heavy iron door, an uneasy feeling crawled down Sam’s spine. Growing tension over control of the Fulton Fish Market, in fact the entire South Street area, was making a lot of people jumpy, including him.

Several seconds passed without noise from the other side of the door. Sam let out his breath and laughed at himself. Working at the fish market in the afternoon then staying up half the night at the speakeasy didn’t leave much time for sleep. It kept him on edge. All the rumors and threats floating around these days weren’t helping either. Inclining his ear and hearing nothing, he relaxed and gave his broom a shove.

Bam, bam, bam.

Sam’s heart jumped into his throat.

“Open up, Monza. I know you’re in there.” The shout, colored by an Irish lilt, came from the second floor landing accompanied by renewed pounding. “I come to talk with ya. We need to settle this business. I got a proposition for ya.”

Sam’s breathing kicked up a notch as he looked over his shoulder toward the office. The boss didn’t like to be disturbed when he was meeting with his guys. The pounding from outside in the hall returned in earnest, but the office door remained fixed.

“You gonna open this damned door or do I break it down?” The doorknob rattled and jerked.

Behind Sam, the office door clicked open an inch. He watched in the mirror over the bar as the muzzle of a .38 Special emerged from the opening, its nickel-plated barrel glittering in the overhead lights. One of the gangsters stepped into the room, met Sam’s eye in the mirror, and jerked his head, then the room went dark. Sam dropped his broom and backed into an alcove next to the bar. The office door opened wider. Several shadows scurried across the floor. Metal locks and bolts snapped and clanked, then the entrance door swung inward.

Present

Fall Semester

Gainesville, Florida

 Crap. Not one blessed thing gained.

Liz bookmarked and closed the archival records web page she had paid a small fortune to access. Frustration knotted the muscles at the base of her skull. She stretched her back against the living room sofa and rolled her head and neck. Months of research and all she had to show for it was a regurgitation of everything everybody already knew. Maybe she was what she most feared – a one hit wonder destined to fade from her fifteen minutes of glory into ignominious mediocrity.

Jeez. How was that for a pretentious mouthful? Liz’s lips thinned into a smirk accompanied by a quiet snort. Well, at least she could still laugh at herself. Unfortunately, some people might not find her so amusing.

She glanced across the room at Hugh. Liz drummed her fingers against the edge of her computer. He would probably understand if she didn’t meet the deadline. Hugh was a good boss and a good… What? She never knew what to call the man she lived and worked with. Boyfriend sounded so lame, childish even. Boss tended to raise eyebrows. Fiancé would work if she had said yes to his most recent proposal.

Liz sucked the corner of her lower lip between her teeth. Of all the things she had ever thought herself to be, a commitment-phobe was not one of them. And now she was on the verge of disappointing him twice in one week. The new course she was designing could still be taught in the spring, but it would be incomplete as it stood now. She had incorporated a plethora of original details about Al Capone, et al., but new, riveting details on Moshe Toblinsky and the Jewish gangsters were proving elusive. As a consequence, Florida’s Underbelly, 1920-Present: the Mob in the Sunshine State would probably fail to accomplish what the dean expected despite its titillating title. What a depressing thought.

Buzzing against Liz’s thigh made her jump. She dug the phone out of her jeans pocket and looked at the caller ID. Her heart rate kicked up a notch. She slid her finger over the screen to take the call and listened to the monologue coming through the ether.

Liz tapped the end call icon, slumped a little lower into the sofa cushions, and sucked her lower lip between her teeth. Apparently, nothing was going to go right today.

Next to the living room window, Hugh lounged in an armchair with the latest historical monograph spread open on his lap, pretending he hadn’t listened to her side of the phone conversation. When she didn’t speak, he looked up from the book and raised his brows.

“Well?” His voice was kind but direct.

“Well what?”

“What was in that call to make you look so stormy?”

Liz sighed and crammed her phone into her jeans pocket. “Aunt Mildred says Daddy is going downhill faster than anyone thought possible, something Mom decided to keep from me. Yesterday, he wandered away from the house and was gone for hours. Mom was on the verge of calling the police when a neighbor brought him home. The neighbor stopped Daddy trying to board the ferry to Whidbey Island. He said he had to report for duty at the naval air station.” Liz hunched her shoulders and shook her head. “He retired from the Navy in 1995.”

Welcome Tracy! #romance #historicalromance #amreadingromance #amreading

Tracey L. Dragon is a native Western New Yorker who resides in Florida with her husband Bill and their Miniature Goldendoodle. She currently writes dual romance novels and children’s books.

Tracey developed a love for reading and writing at an early age. Her first publication came at the age of twelve when the poem she wrote about the Apollo moon landing was published in her local hometown newspaper.

Her time spent as a military wife gave her an appreciation for those who served in the armed services and provided her with many rich experiences to draw from when writing. Now after seven military moves, raising two Military Brats, and twenty years teaching troubled youth, she is now able to put her attention to writing and publishing the children’s stories and historical romance novels she’s written over the years as a hobby.

Her debut romance novel Cherished Wings is scheduled for release by Soul Mate Publishing on July 11, 2018. Cherished Wings is the first book in her Return to the Home Front series to be followed by book two When the Geese Fly North on November 14, 2018. Both books are dual-time romances that begin in the present but weave in and out of the 1940’s—a time where love and war were not compatible. Characters from both the past and present have served in the military.

Tracey is a certified high school English teacher, a member of Romance Writer’s of America, the Florida Authors & Publishers Assn, and Florida Writer’s Assn. She earned the Region II 2002 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award along with the Florida Literacy Coalition-Mary J. Brogan Leadership Award. Her novel Cherished Wings was a finalist in the RWA Chapter: Romance through the Ages–Hearts through History Contest. Tracey has also published a series of children’s books entitled The Military Brat Series.

She can be found at Tracey L. Dragon on Facebook, or at www.traceyldragon.com. Cherished Wings will be available through Soul Mate Publishing , Amazon.com and other book outlets, July 11, 2018. Her children’s series is currently available at Amazon.com. You can also visit her Facebook for more information.

Cherished Wings was inspired by my own mother’s story. Although she never spoke of it, my sisters and I all knew of the World War II wings she kept hidden in her dresser. The wings belonged to a beau who was killed during a mission. Upon my mother’s death, I did not find the wings, but I did, however, find a small envelope containing his photos, one which was cut to fit the size of one of her lockets. She also kept the glass top of an old bottle of French perfume called Bamboo.

When Sara Kennedy returns to her small hometown in Western New York and visits her dying grandmother, she asks her about the pair of World War II Navy Wings she found in her grandmother’s dresser drawer.

Her grandmother reluctantly shares with Sara the powerful love story she had not spoken of in over fifty years. As the tale unfolds, Sara finds herself caught up in a time where things were simpler, yet more complex—where love and war were not compatible.

A story so poignant, it rocks Sara’s world and changes her life forever.

The knock on the door followed by a chorus of greetings stirred Fran to take one final glance in the mirror before heading downstairs. Amy and Red’s voices were distinctive, and she could clearly make out their boisterous teasing. It was the third voice that stopped her in her tracks—rich, deep, and smooth as fine whiskey. It sent shivers down her spine and struck a chord deep within her.

As she stepped onto the landing, Red turned in her direction and whistled.

“Ah, there’s my girl now.”

She parted her lips to refute his statement, but found the words stuck in her throat when the tall sailor in dress uniform standing beside Red turned to acknowledge her presence.

The stranger’s mesmerizing eyes locked with hers and for a moment it was as if time stood still.

Fran froze mid-step when a pair of startling blue eyes met hers. A sense of déjà vu overwhelmed her as though their souls had met before. Her hand locked on the stair rail to prevent the unchecked motion of her body as her stride faltered.
“Are you all right?” The dark-haired man standing at the foot of the stairs stepped forward with an outstretched hand.
Disconcerted by her visceral reaction to Red’s friend and feeling self-conscious and more than a little clumsy, she blurted the first thing that came to mind.
“Of course, why wouldn’t I be? Now that my guy’s home.” She forced a smile. Ignoring Red’s grin and Amy’s choked expression.

Red shouldered aside his friend. “Now don’t you be trying to horn in on my gal.” He reached for her hand, tugged her forward, and slid his hands to her waist, lifting her up high.

She slapped Red’s shoulder. “Put me down you big oaf. You’re embarrassing me in front of your friend.”
Red swung her down but held her with her feet just above the floor. “How about a kiss from my favorite girl?”

“In your dreams, sailor, I’m sure you’ve used that line in every port.”

Red set her down and dramatically crossed his right arm over his heart. “Oh, how you wound me.”

She rolled her eyes at him and laughed. “I see you can take the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy. I would have thought you’d have gained some polish while stationed in the city.”

“Ouch. Cut to the bone. You’ve sure gotten sassy while I’ve been away.”

“Just you remember that buster.” She poked him in the chest. “Now how about you quit being rude to your pal and introduce us.”

“Oh, all right. But don’t you be making sheep’s eyes at him like all the gals in the city. You’d think he was Frank Sinatra or something. He just casts his baby blues at the girls and they practically fall at his feet.”

His friend cleared his throat. “Laying it on a little thick, aren’t you, Red?”

Red turned to his buddy and grinned. “Just want to make sure Fran doesn’t become another one of your victims.”

“Well, how ‘bout you do me the courtesy of an introduction first, you big galoot.”

“Fran meet Jack. Jack meet Fran. Now that that’s over, what do you say we get going?”

Jack just shook his head at Red, his eyes sparkling with humor. He then stepped forward and extended his hand. “Lieutenant McOmber at your service, ma’am.”

Fran put her hand in his and then with indrawn breath withdrew it quickly. “Frances Jones, but please call me Fran.

“I’d be honored to, Fran.” His lips curled warmly.

“All right, Casanova.” Red tucked his arm through Fran’s leading her toward the door and away from his friend. “What do you say we leave? I’m anxious to dance this pretty little redhead around the floor, and boy can her feet move. I’m telling, you. She can jitterbug like there’s no tomorrow. I usually have a hard time keeping up with her—always had a bit of a left foot.”

Fran flushed at Red’s praise. She hated having attention drawn to her. She’d always been shy that way, but she did love to dance.

Amy grabbed Jack’s arm. “Come on, Jack.” She led him toward the car. “We can sit in the back, and you can tell me all about yourself.”

Fran gave her friend a frown. So much for just catching a ride. She had no one to blame but herself for being paired with Red. After all, she opened her mouth and inserted her high-heeled shoe. She wanted to hit herself in the head with it. She replayed her words over again in her mind. Why wouldn’t I be fine, now that my guy’s home? What on earth had come over her?

Jack’s baby blues, that’s what.

Deleted Scene ~ In the Land of Gold #sweetandspicyromance #romance #historicalromance #amreading #amreadingromance

I can’t remember why this scene was deleted, but I can guess it was because of story flow. After Cora wakes up in Flynn’s tent, hungover and failing to remember much, they argue and she storms out. To bring them together again, of course, he chases after her, which flowed more smoothly then adding in this part.

The “she” Cora is talking about is the barmaid in Skagway she meets the night before named Natalie. Although, the girl is nice, she obviously has a hidden agenda which is the handsome Flynn.

I have to admit that in reading it, perhaps after a bit of tweaking, it just might work itself back into the novel when I get my rights back and I revise, edit, and republish it. I guess we shall see. I have a couple of years left on my contract.

She motioned for me to come into the saloon, and reluctantly, I followed. The seats in the tent were empty, most of them turned over and resting on the small tables. Scents of eggs and bacon lingered around the bar. A loud crash boomed as I sat down in one of the chairs, and a man cursed from behind an open curtain behind the bar.

“Pa is fixin’ breakfast. You hungry?” she asked.

“No,” I whispered, gently shaking my head. “Thank you, though.”

“I’ve had men in here that haven’t even drank as much as you did in such a short period of time,” she laughed.

Her words sank deep into my stomach. With a lack of memory of the evening, for all I knew Flynn could have told me the truth. I could have been too drunk to walk, I could have asked him to stay, I could have been incapable of taking care of myself, and he could have actually nearly saved my life.

She looked at me with a little confusing glare in her eyes. “Though, I suppose you had someone looking after you so no harm done, right?”

“Unwanted attention, I assure you.”

“You don’t care for Flynn?”

I shook my head.

She wiped the glass she was holding with a rag, nodding ever so slightly, and stared at the bar top. “I suppose,” she said, pausing for a second before continuing. “That is good. I mean, seeing as how he is a married man, and all, you wouldn’t want to fall for him or anything.”

A lump in my throat choked me. “He’s married?”

“Yes.”

“But he…where is…but what about–” None of the questions on the tip of my tongue seemed appropriate to ask.

“She’s living in Chicago, I believe. Yes, I think I remember him saying Chicago, and I believe I’ve heard him speak about a child once. I’m not quite sure, though. He usually talks about her all the time. I’m surprised to hear that he didn’t tell you.” She continued to wipe a few more glasses clean and arranged them along a wooden shelf behind the bar.

My stomach churned with the thought of a woman happily playing with a child in some beautiful home, filled with loving memories, anxiously awaiting for her husband to come home–her husband that was in my bed last night next to me, even if nothing between us happened.

Flynn’s indiscretions made last night, heck, even the night in Tacoma so much worse, showing the true character behind the handsome, charming face. Perhaps, I wasn’t even the first girl he had played tricks on. Certainly, if he was capable of such deceitful acts once, he wouldn’t think twice of repeating the offense.

Clearly, he was the worst sort of man imaginable.

“I’ve got to run to the supply tent. You know, start the preparations for leaving for Dawson City. I will, perhaps, I will see you later.”

“Have a nice day.” She smiled, though it was as counterfeit as her friendly tone.

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Welcome Rose! #contemporary #romance #amreading #amreadingromance

Rose Lange has been in love with the written word since she was little. At fourteen, a Julia Quinn novel inspired her to try writing her own. She lives in Southeastern Wisconsin where she was born, raised, and currently lives with her family.

She writes spicy, contemporary romance, and is a member of Romance Writer’s of America (RWA).

She’s a Clark Gable girl, addicted to reading, chocolate, shopping, Pinterest (her latest vice), and watching old movies from the 40s and 50s. She watched Gone With the Wind once when she was five, and has been hooked on romantic stories since.

Connect with Rose via her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, or TWITTER. She loves hearing from readers!

Who knew one day in an elevator would change everything?

Emma saw him once, and that was it.

He was the boy next door, and it didn’t take long for her to fall in love with Patrick. Even if it didn’t make sense, she loved him, and giving him her body, heart, and soul was never a second thought. She loved him despite the pain, and heartache he’d caused after their weeklong fling in college. Then, six years later, and one day on an elevator, changed everything.

Patrick never expected to fall in love with her.

Her sweet, wholesome beauty captured him one night at a college party, and that was it. She’d been the neighborhood girl who’d help him shovel snow, and watch him from her bedroom window from above. He’d screwed up after the trip, giving her the cold shoulder, even if his heart told him otherwise. He knew after those nights in Greece, things would never be the same for him again. Years later, and one ride on an elevator, would change everything.

Aware of his nearness, she kept her eyes averted, and knew if she turned her head, she’d come face to face with him. The thought scattered goose bumps across her arms, and she nonchalantly brushed them away.

“Cold?”

“Just a little.” She lied, too ashamed to admit the real reason.

He removed his jacket, and she turned toward him, allowing him to drape it over her shoulders. His scent surrounded her. Old Spice, cologne, fresh laundry, and Patrick, a heady combination she found completely irresistible.

Her mouth parted as magnetic, beautiful emerald greens drew her in, and he continued holding her gaze. She felt wanton, carefree, but desperately wanted the night to end with a good morning. Even as dark memories of her past loomed, she dashed them away.

“Is that better?” he murmured.

Her mouth felt dry, like parchment paper sitting out in the sun. “Much,” was all she could manage, licking her lips in a vain attempt to draw moisture.

Moonlight and Patrick was an intoxicating combination.

His eyes drifted toward her mouth, and he placed a finger underneath her chin, tilting her mouth toward his. She leaned closer and took the unspoken invitation. Thankful for the shadows of the night, she pressed her body against his, and claimed his lips. Wrapping her arms around his neck, he continued to tease. His mouth hungry against hers, and she decided right then and there.

His kisses would kill her.

The REAL woman behind A Road Paved in Copper #sweetandspicyromance #romance #historicalromance #western #amreading

I’ve gotten this question before, and the answer is yes. So what is the question? “Have I ever used real women as inspiration for my characters?”

Anyone who knows my dad knows he likes to tell stories. One afternoon while visiting my parents, he started telling me this story about the woman who founded a small town that sits between Tonopah and Hawthorne called Mina. Her name was Ferminia Sarras and she was sort of the inspiration of my story.

After 1900 rich discoveries in Tonopah and Goldfield transformed Nevada’s mining landscape. Investors scoured the state, hoping to cash in on the next bonanza, and Fermina’s claims attracted a lot attention. She became a regional celebrity who paved the way for women miners and was also nicknamed Nevada’s Copper Queen because of her talent for finding copper, which wasn’t as easy as gold and silver.

I think the best part of her life story is her travels San Francisco. She spent her whole life not only mining, but traveling back and forth from the desert to the city. Once she would gather large sums of money, she would ride to the city and blow her fortune on fancy hotels, fine dining, and hoards of younger men. As soon the money was gone, she would say,

“I guess I better get back to the desert.”

She’d return to her mines, don her overalls, and take to the hills again and find another mine. For those interested in reading about her, you can HERE.

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What is your Burlesque name? #sweetandspicyromance #romance #historicalromance #amreadingromance

Want to do something fun today? Take a few minutes to figure out what your Burlesque name would be.

I know what you’re thinking: what is she talking about? Why would I want to do that? Well, honestly, I don’t really know why other than it’s just something to make you laugh. And don’t we all need a little laugh on a Monday morning?

Evelyn didn’t spend long in the world of Burlesque in my novel, As the Liquor Flows, but the time she did spend was perhaps one of my favorite chapters in the whole novel. One of them. *wink wink*

So how do you find your burlesque name? It’s as simple as finding your burlesque persona. Not to mention, there are plenty of rules and tricks you can employ to find the name that fits for you.

A CRAYOLA OF COLOR: Whether is Miss Indigo Blue or Pearle Noire, using colors to inspire your burlesque names can highlight the tone of your style, like the lovely Violet Blaze, Amber Topaz, Ruby Jones, Amethyst Jade, or Sapphire Vivian.

BOOZY BROADS: Miss Dirty Martini is one of the most recognizable names in burlesque; however, Martini has also been somewhat overused throughout the years. Luckily, there are plenty of alcoholic beverages hitting the bar tops on a weekly basis.

BILINGUAL LOVELIES: It’s also common to use another language in your burlesque name. Just ask Michelle L’amour. There are so many words and synonyms out there for sexy, beautiful.

WHAT TO AVOID: Kitten, Kitty, Vixen, Honey, Von, Lux, Deluxe, Lola, deVille, Pinky, Femme, or Belle

Still having trouble?

Go to this WEBSITE and have one picked out for you. When you’re done, be sure to let me know what you’ve come up with.

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Welcome Tricia! #romance #mystery #amreading #amreadingromance

Tricia L. Sanders writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass.  A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign lands. Safari anyone? She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction. For more information on Tricia and her titles, you can visit her WEBSITE or other social media.

Between hot  flashes and divorce papers, a middle-aged woman reconsiders her outlook on life when she butts heads with a hot detective during a murder investigation.

When Cece Cavanaugh’s husband empties their joint bank account, steals her designer luggage, and runs off with a younger woman, Cece must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Choosing the easier path, Cece lands a job cleaning a crime scene where a high school coach was murdered. When his wife is implicated—a young woman Cece practically raised—Cece finds herself mopping floors, balancing an empty checkbook, and ferreting out a killer.

Amid all this messy business, Cece bumps heads with a handsome detective. She tries to ignore her growing attraction to the detective, but he gives new meaning to the term “hot flash.”

After she stumbles onto a clue that could vindicate her friend, her elation turns to panic when she haphazardly confronts the killer. Through the danger and romance, Cece discovers self-reliance and inner strength.

And that crime – at least, someone else’s – does pay the bills.

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop #sweetandspicyromance #romance #amreading #giveaway #contemporary

Welcome to my stop on the Splash into Summer Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by Bookhounds!

I have no idea where June came from, but hey hey hey, it’s summer!!!

Aside from enjoying the days off from school and the warmer temperatures, I don’t have any big plans for the summer. Maybe I can actually get some writing done. Wouldn’t that be a nice change.

Anyway, so what do I have for you on my stop of the hop? A FREE eBook copy of my Contemporary/Humor novel, The Parking Space se in the beautiful islands of Bora Bora!

Helen Wright is done with love. Left at the altar then stood up by a blind date, her only significant other is her real estate career and her fat, orange tabby, Charlie. When her wealthiest client fires her then bad mouths her all over the city, Helen’s professional life becomes as pathetic as her love life. Her only consolation is a much-needed vacation to Bora Bora to attend a friend’s wedding.

Single again, veterinarian Rick Stark needs only three things: a new practice, a new city, and new place to live. He’s desperate to move on from his cheating ex-fiancée. Tired of spending the night on a friend’s couch, he jumps at the opportunity to apply for the perfect job on the beautiful islands of Bora Bora. Upon meeting the shy and introverted Helen, he finds himself oddly determined to help her have fun instead of letting her hide in her overwater bungalow.

Can they both find love again? And if so, what are they supposed to do when her old flame pops back into the picture wanting to reignite the engagement he once ended?

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I watched Logan tackle the blonde and playfully push her down onto the grass. Unaware of their audience, their teasing banter changed into a heated passion as he ripped off her bikini top.

The icing on the cake to this horrible day, ladies and gentleman, another woman’s boobs.

Hearing her moans of pleasure sent heat flushing through my skin, burning it several shades of red and I fled back inside my apartment, shutting the door behind me with more force than I meant.

Seriously? He’s outside for the whole world to see.

“Um, I’ll have to check with Michael in the morning, but I really don’t think he’ll have a problem with it.”

“And none of your clients will mind?”

“No, I think they’ll be okay. I’ll give them a call in the morning, too.”

She laughed. “Are you sure about that? I mean, will all your clients be okay?”

“If anyone needs to see a listing or has any questions, I’ll have Jason handle it. He owes me a couple of favors after I helped him with some title work.”

“Yeah, but will he want to deal with Reece?”

I closed my eyes. I hated not telling Lisa about what happened, but right now, in this moment, I didn’t want to talk about it nor hash out the details of what had happened. With the disappointment so fresh in my mind, the bitterness began to sting and my eyes misted with tears.

“He’ll be fine.” I brushed off my emotions. “So Wednesday, huh?”

“Yes, for six glorious days we will bask in the sun, drink fruity, out-of-this-world cocktails and I shall walk down the beach and become Mrs. Ben Hogan.” With the last of her words, she squealed.

“Yes, yes, you will.” I laughed. “Okay. Well, wow. I guess I’ll start packing then.”

“Ah, packing. I’ve already started mine. Don’t forget, lots of shorts, tank tops, and bikinis.”

Bikinis? A shopping trip might be in order tomorrow after work, too.

“Will do.”

“I’ll call you tomorrow with more details. It’s late and I’m exhausted. Night.”

“Night.”

I hung up the phone and plopped on the couch for a third time. The whirlwind of the day fought with a range of misery and excitement all at the same time. From a horrible showing, to talking to Tom, to getting fired, to losing my future plans, and finally to watching my bare-chested hot, annoying as hell, neighbor engage in sexy foreplay that I so desperately desired . . .

I closed my eyes and sipped on my glass of wine. The burgundy and berry flavors washed over my tongue. Charlie meowed from the floor, and with one swift jump, purred as he tiptoed across the couch and forced his way onto my lap.

“And what should I do with you?” I asked him, scratching behind his left ear. “A weekend here and there is nothing, but I don’t think you’ll be okay for seven days. I guess I’ll call Bayside in the morning to see if you can stay with them for the week.”

A whole week.

A whole week while I’m on vacation.

A whole week on vacation in Bora Bora.

Every Era has it’s Slang ~ 1930’s Slang Words #sweetandspicyromance #romance #historicalromance #amreading

While it was hard to put slang in a couple of my historical romance novels, one of them it was an absolute must! One simply doesn’t write a novel set in the roaring 1920’s and not use the slang people spoke back then. It’s just not right. So, of course, I scoured several websites to find all that I could.

What did I find?

A list of words that part of me wishes we still used today. Seriously, some of these are just too perfect and utterly hilarious.

  • Apple  – “The big apple” (being New York) however the word “apple” referred to any big city in the 1930s
  • Big House – refers to a prison.
  • Blow your wig – to become very excited
  • Broad/dame/doll – the fairer sex; they simply referred to women.
  • Cadillac  – an ounce of cocaine or heroin.
  • Canary – a female singer.
  • Cats/alligators  – were fans of swing music.
  • Chicago Overcoat – a coffin
  • Chicago typewriter/chopper – the Thompson machine gun also known as “Tommy Gun.”
  • City Juice/Dog Soup – a cup of water.
  • Copper – police officer/cop
  • Dizzy with a dame – in love with a woman
  • Dough/Clams/Salad/Moolah – money
  • Gat/rod/heater/convincer – referring to a gun.
  • Hooch/Booze – alcohol
  • Hot mama/looker/dame/dish – good looking women.
  • Mitt me kid – congratulate me
  • Togged to the bricks – all dressed up
  • Trigger Men – hired gunmen.
  • Trip for biscuits – a task that will yield no results

For me personally, I think I will start using “togged to the bricks”, “trip for biscuits”, “mitt me kid”, and “blow your wig”. Those just seem to have the most charisma I think I’ve ever heard in a phrase. I have to say that 1929 was a great era to write about. I had a lot of fun not only writing the novel, but in doing the research. And of course, when you love the research, of course, it doesn’t feel like a job. I truly had a blast writing this novel and I hope that you have a blast when reading it.

Want free access to updates, sales, exclusive excerpts and short stories, plus awesome book suggestions? Subscribe to my NEWSLETTER today!

Welcome Sally! #romance #amreadingromance #amreading

Multiple award-winning author Sally Brandle writes clean, contemporary, romantic suspense stories hoping to empower her readers to connect with their inner gifts. Growing up in a tightly knit, multi-generational community, Sally’s core values reflect those of the village where she was raised.

When she gets time away from her functional engineer husband and spirited sons, Sally hunkers down in her office. Her trusty Aussie, Tallulah, waits patiently at her feet for belly rubs as adventures unfold. For a head-clearing ride in fresh air, Sally saddles her Quarter Horse, Lance, and trots along wooded trails in the Pacific Northwest.

Sally holds a BA in Special Education from MSU and a Fine Arts Minor. She left a career as an industrial baking instructor so she could bring to life her stories of courageous women supporting one another, while they discover men who deserve their love.

A member of Romance Writers of America, Greater Seattle RWA, Eastside RWA, and She Writes, Sally’s current series, Love Thrives in Emma Springs, is set in rural Montana. The first story, The Hitman’s Revenge, will be released by Soul Mate Publishing. Her newest series is Double Vision, romance with a scientific twist. Check out her website at www.sallybrandle.com

While a witness and FBI agent escape mobsters, they can’t escape falling in love.

She needs his trust, he needs the truth. After Miranda Whitley stops crooked cops from assassinating a prominent Seattle judge, she’s next on the hit list, and her survival depends on the man she’s had one awkward encounter with—buff FBI Agent, Grant Morley. But can she find him in time?

The last person Grant expects to discover on his annual horseback trip delivering supplies to a Montana mountain hermit is alluring Miranda Whitley, nearly dead from a bullet wound in her side. An accidental witness or the cold-blooded accomplice to would-be assassins?

  Miranda must convince Grant of her innocence, evade the killers intent on preventing her testimony, and fight her unwanted attraction for the agent…an attraction which seems to be mutual. Fortunately, love thrives in Emma Springs. If you love sizzling chemistry, determined assassins, and Montana scenery, then you’ll love Sally Brandle’s galloping thriller.

Frissons of apprehension raised the fine hairs on her arms. A shadow moved near the stairwell.

Stepping inside the elevator car, she hit the button for the lobby with her fist, refusing to allow the reminder of her heartbreaking mistake to take hold in her head. Must be weird evening lights playing tricks in the empty building.

The car bumped to a stop on the ground level of Seattle’s Justice Building. Taking a deep breath, she stepped from the elevator onto the slate floor. The energy that normally pulsed from harried workers and pre-jailed patrons had dissipated into an eerie void.

Hesitation inched over her skin. She’d sworn she’d never ignore that warning again. Stuffing her pruning shears in her apron pocket, she shook her head and chided herself. Serene Interiors Plant Care is yours. Be thankful, and quit moping about working late.

     She pressed her palm into the embroidered purple stalk of lavender on her apron bib and looked out front.

Hazy bulletproof windows allowed a view of the dwindling stream of pedestrians in their typical Friday night exodus to their families.

No open arms would greet her tonight. Her stomach tightened while a bleak, wintry pall settled into her heart. She tugged on her ball cap. It restrained her braided auburn hair while she worked, but more importantly, it provided a lifeline.

Time to start pruning. Her hand brushed against a branch of her oldest bonsai, a Douglas fir. The bark had cracked and split for the tree to grow in diameter. If only a shattered heart did the same.

She studied her collection of potted, six foot tall green sentries jutting out in a perpendicular row from the elevator doors. They neatly concealed the ugly wall behind them and farther down, the corner stairwell holding her storage closet.

“Live shrubs produce a calming effect on visitors” was the pitch she’d given to GSA’s building manager to get the contract. She’d repeated the phrase today at noon to the Regal Hotel’s upper management. And they’d bought it, ensuring a few more dollars each month toward owning a wooded lot of her own, where she could build a fire pit and pitch a tent on weekends.

A hollow chant of regrets beat in her chest at the thought of watching a campfire fade to dull gray, all alone. Her hand touched her brother’s Mariner’s cap. The smoky scents had faded, but images of smudged faces and starry nights stayed woven into its threads.

She plodded across sunbeams of September’s golden light, walking beside knee-high pots containing her ten foot indoor hedge. Her gaze swept heavenwards, up to the atrium ceiling. She blinked. Streaks across the glass distorted the brilliance of the setting sun.

Geeze. Wasn’t anyone proud of their work? The creepy window washer on the scaffold last week should’ve been working harder instead of staring at her.

Her breaths of still air quickened. He’d watched her working.

Big deal. Maybe he had a sicko mommy-thing for women in aprons.

A trowel and her spritzer rattled in her tote while she rounded the end flower pot and moved to the backside of her overgrown fourth plant. Dim light flickered through the leaves, casting shadows onto the brick wall, barely illuminating the narrow aisle leading to the stairwell door.

She took a swig of coffee, sat with her back to the stairwell, and set her drink on a cold slate tile. Facing the front windows did little to help. The lighting in the corner sucked. After stuffing a clean cloth for polishing leaves into a side pocket of her cargo pants, she tugged on gardening gloves.

Squeaks from her mom’s old pruning shears echoed in the large, vacant room. She pulled another uneven limb of the Chinese Elm closer to her face and squinted. While she clipped, a peppery fragrance released from the wood.

A twig grazed her cheek, making her flinch. She brushed the neckline of her purple T-shirt with the back of her hand.

The place threw off the vibes of an abandoned morgue. Chill. She released the limb, let out a long breath, and grabbed a lop-sided branch from overhead. Tonight, even a rude prosecutor’s voice rupturing the tranquility would be welcome.

Not happening this late, but Ike would be descending in the elevator any minute. Hopefully in a better mood than when she’d watered the jade plant in his judge’s chambers earlier. He’d been tense, without the fatherly banter he doled out when she visited him and his wife, Shirley.

Soft taps came from a few feet behind her. She tilted her head.

Footsteps? From the stairwell? Miranda released her grip, and the tree limb sprang free. She swung her head and watched the branch skim the fly of the trousers on the man now towering over her right shoulder.

Not Ike. She froze.

Beach Reads Giveaway Hop #sweetandspicyromance #romance #amreading #borabora #contemporary

Welcome to my stop on the Beach Reads Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by Stuck in Books!

Living in Oklahoma, I don’t get to see much beach time. Unless it’s the not so white, but sometimes sandy beaches of a lake so murky you can’t see anything no matter how hard you try. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t dream about them when I’m sitting on my porch reading with my feet in the pool. Okay, so not the same thing, but hey, it could be worse! Ha!

So what do I have for you on my stop of the hop? A $10 Amazon Gift Card and an eBook copy of my Contemporary/Humor The Parking Space set in the beautiful Bora Bora!!! 

Helen Wright is done with love. Left at the altar then stood up by a blind date, her only significant other is her real estate career and her fat, orange tabby, Charlie. When her wealthiest client fires her then bad mouths her all over the city, Helen’s professional life becomes as pathetic as her love life. Her only consolation is a much-needed vacation to Bora Bora to attend a friend’s wedding.

Single again, veterinarian Rick Stark needs only three things: a new practice, a new city, and new place to live. He’s desperate to move on from his cheating ex-fiancée. Tired of spending the night on a friend’s couch, he jumps at the opportunity to apply for the perfect job on the beautiful islands of Bora Bora. Upon meeting the shy and introverted Helen, he finds himself oddly determined to help her have fun instead of letting her hide in her overwater bungalow.

Can they both find love again? And if so, what are they supposed to do when her old flame pops back into the picture wanting to reignite the engagement he once ended?

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Pain seared through the shin of my left leg. I spit out my mouthpiece and screamed under water. Rick grabbed me, kicking his legs as he dashed to the surface, pushing me above the water.

“OUCH!” I bellowed. “What the heck was that?”

“You just got stung by a jellyfish.”

“A jellyfish?”

“Come on, we need to get you back to the boat.”

He turned me around, laying me on his chest as he swam. Waves fought against his movement, splashing on my face as I struggled to breathe. I tried to kick, but with each stroke, my leg felt like fire licked at my skin.

“It hurts.”

“I know it does. Just hold on.”

“What happened?” Hal shouted as he scurried to meet us on the back the stern.

“She got stung by a jellyfish.”

Without saying another word, Hal grabbed my arm underneath my armpit and hoisted me on the boat while Rick climbed onboard after me.

I glanced down at my leg. The blistered skin burned a bright shade of red. A scream hissed through my teeth, and I closed my eyes as I lay back against the stern.

“Holy cow, this hurts.”

“Do you have any vinegar?” Rick asked Hal.

“I did, but I ran out and forgot to restock it.”

Rick’s fingers clutched my ankle while his other hand grabbed my knee. “Helen, how bad does it hurt?”

“Bad. It stings and burns.”

“Okay, Helen, we don’t have any vinegar to pour on it, but I can still help you. There is one thing I can do, but I don’t think you’re going to like it.”

I opened my eyes, locking them on his.

Not too long ago, on a restless late night, I’d caught the middle of a show on an animal discovery channel. I knew the words that sat on the tip of his tongue.

Oh, Lord. Please. Please, no. Are you kidding me? Of all the things that could go wrong today it has to be this?

A lump caught in my throat. “I know what you’re going to say.”

My body began trembling as I sat on the stern.

“Helen, you’re going into a bit of a state of shock.” He glanced up at Hal. “See if you can find Logan and Flora. We need to get her back to the hotel as soon as possible.” He glanced back at me. “While we wait, I need to help with this pain.”

“I’m not going to lay here while you pee on me.”

He frowned. “You could have a serious reaction any moment from this.”

“I’m not going to lay here while you pee on me.”

“Fine.” He scooped my shoulders in one arm and my legs in the other to carry me to the seat.

Pain shot up my leg into my hip and down through the tips of my toes. “Ouch,” I howled. “I can’t. I can’t move. Don’t move me. Set me down. I can’t. It’s too painful.”

“I’ve got to get you in the back of the boat so we can leave.”

“Okay. Okay. Move me.”

He wrapped both arms around me again, but before he could even lift me more than a few inches, I screamed in pain again.

Oh for the love of all that is holy. Why? Why? Why?

“Okay, fine, fine. Make the pain go away.” I cringed with my words and covered my face with both of my hands. My whole body flushed fire hot, the embarrassment burned through every pore of my skin.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes!” I shouted. “Yes, I’m sure, just hurry up, and do it.”

Thousands of miles and thousands of dollars got me to this—a man I felt completely attracted to and wished to explore a possible relationship with now stood over me as he geared up to pee on me all because of some stupid jellyfish.

Cosmic karma was out of her ever-lovin’ mind.

“Now, no peeking, okay?” he mocked.

“Oh, you can be assured I’m not going to peek.”

A slight chuckle vibrated through his chest. “I’m so sorry.”

I closed my eyes. My hands were still firmly covering my entire face. Mortification trickled through the deepest parts of my mind.

How could I ever face this man again?

Don’t forget to hop around to the other stops on this wonderful hop!

 

Historical Landmarks ~ Burkel Estate #romance #historicalromance #amreading #amreadingromance

When I took my research trip to Montgomery, I had wanted to stop by Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum in Memphis. Unfortunately, time got away from us and we couldn’t stop. I still would love to visit the place, though. Maybe one day I will.

Even though I wasn’t table to see it in person, I still combed through pictures so I could give accurate portrayal of the place in The Woman on the Painted Horse.

The Burkle Estate is a historic home at 826 North Second Street in Memphis, Tennessee. It is also known as the Slavehaven. Although disputed by some historians, the Burkle Estate is claimed by some to have been part of the Underground Railroad, a secret network of way stations to help slaves escape to freedom in the northern states. The house was constructed in 1849 by a German immigrant by the name of Jacob Burkle.

Since 1997, the estate is home to the

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum.

*Click on the link for more information.

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Welcome Meggan! #historicalromance #romance #amreading #amreadingromance

Meggan Connors is a wife, mother, teacher and award-winning author who writes primarily historical and steampunk romances.

As a history buff with a love of all things historical, she enjoys visiting both major and obscure museums, and reading the histories of the Old West and the British Isles.

She makes her home in the Wild West with her lawman husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow, or with her nose in a book. Favorite vacation destinations include the sun-kissed hills of California, any place with a castle or a ghost (and both is perfect!), and the windswept Oregon coast.

For more information on Meggan and her titles you can visit her WEBSITE or other social media.

Ethan Standish, fourth Duke of Dunmoor, is a man cursed by a past that refuses to let him go. Twenty years after enduring captivity as a prisoner of war, he has withdrawn from society, living ensconced at his estate. He takes no visitors and no risks. He needs nothing and no one, finding comfort in his solitude, with only his demons to keep him company.

That all changes the day Catherine Kirkcaldy arrives on his doorstep.

The governess for the children of the late Earl MacLendon, Cat has come to the estate of the enigmatic Duke of Dunmoor to inform him of his new status as their guardian. Despite her initial misgivings, she finds herself drawn to this contradiction of a man, a man with a fearsome reputation but a kind heart no one is allowed to see.

A single letter exposes a shared connection with their pasts, setting Ethan and Cat on a path of danger and revenge. But even as Ethan pursues retribution for the past that should have never been, he finds himself falling for Cat, a woman with a ready smile and an open heart. Can he bury his long-held demons in exchange for a future with Cat? Or will he forever be the Devil of Dunmoor?