Saturday, December 23, 2017

"Wild for Him" by Katie Cody (Paranormal Romance)

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Summary:  Zara Lockhart's dream vacation turned into a nightmare when she and her father were kidnapped by criminals after stumbling upon bandits in the jungles of Africa. She escapes her captors only to run into the deadly animals that lived among the jungle's dense vegetation. Her only hope of survival and the rescue of her father hinges on Lutalo Gund, a mysterious man who seems at one with the jungle. He and his tribe have promised to help her rescue her father, but she cannot help wondering who will save her from Lutalo's desire filled gaze.

Lutalo Gund is a gorilla shifter living in the jungle with his family and fellow shifters. In the wilds of Africa they live in peace except for the few diamond hunters who ransack their nesting grounds. It is during one of their scouting missions to check on the diamond hunter's camps that he finds a lone woman running for her life. He realizes instantly that she is his destined mate, but with the hunters still terrorizing the area and her father in danger he cannot celebrate quite yet. Now he must find a way to not only keep her safe, but convince her the jungle is where she belongs.

Chapter 1
The thick rope chafed against her skin causing blood to drip down her arms and slicken her hands. She stifled her yelp of pain, fear and perspiration flowing down her body. Their guard was on a bathroom break, but he wouldn’t be gone for long.
“Don’t worry dad, I’m almost free,” she whispered. He sat across from her bound in a similar fashion. However, unlike her he was in far worse shape. Their captors beat him when he tried to protect her. She knew if they stayed much longer they would be killed. She continued working the small knife against her restraints, thankful she had kept it in her boot.
A snap and she was free. She took a moment to work her wrists and savored the feeling of being able to move them once again. Wiping them on her cargo pants to clean the blood off she quickly made her way over to her father.
“We’re getting out of here now,” she murmured to her father working on the rope binding his hands.
Suddenly rustling in the nearby leaves signaled that the guard was coming back. Her heart rate spiked and she tried to work faster, but the ropes were thick and the knife she had was barely bigger than a match. It was a decoration piece she had hoped to bring back to her sister, but it was all she had.
“Zara, you must go. There’s no time,” her father pleaded brokenly. His voice revealing the depth of pain he was experiencing.
Tears sprang to her eyes as the footsteps sounded closer, “I can’t dad…I can’t,” she kept working, but one look in her father’s eyes and she saw the hopelessness there.
She was about to tell him to quit thinking like that when someone ripped her back, “You bitch, what are you doing,” the rough voice of their guard shouted, hauling her away from her father and making her drop the knife in the process.
“No,” she screamed, but it was too late. She would never be able to save her father now. Thinking fast she kicked out at the man, pleased when it connected with his gut, causing him to double over and release her in the process.
Taking the chance, she ran, making her way into the dark jungle. The vines and leaves tearing at her clothes as she ran.
The thick jungle stretched out before her. Dark shadows creeped through every corner and for a moment she feared the unseen dangers lurking there. Doubt crept in and she wondered how she would even survive the night with the darkness already creeping in.
Her thoughts were interrupted by shots being fired from somewhere behind her, spurring her on. She shook her head knowing she had no choice, tearing through the brush she prayed any nearby predators would be scared off by the gunfire.

She had just run through a bunch of leaves and vines when she felt the ground disappear from underneath her. Looking down she saw the drop and sucked in a breath before tumbling head over heels down the hill.

Her body burned where the various branches tore open her clothes adding to her wounds.

When she finally came to a stop she slowly pushed at the ground gasping at the pain. With great effort, she made it to her feet only to freeze instantly.

She stood in a clearing surrounded by giant trees and foliage that nearly blacked out the sun. Staring back at her all around the clearing was the angry glare of gorillas. They hooted and stamped, growing louder by the minute.

Her whole body grew cold. She knew now this would be her end. There was no way she could outrun them. Nowhere to hide.

Stepping out of the throng was the biggest gorilla yet. He stood tall and defiant, eyes locking with hers.

She felt something surge in her at that moment. Something like excitement, but she quickly lowered her eyes. She remembered that you should never look a wild animal in the eyes as it was seen as a challenge.

Lowering her eyes seemed to have the opposite effect however, as the gorilla seemed to become enraged.

Bellowing so loudly it sent a chill down her spine the gorilla stalked toward her.

When he was inches from her he bent his head sniffing at her hair. She did her best to remain still, but a small whimper escaped.

He snorted and when she peeked up she noticed he no longer glared, but instead looked…concerned. She shook her head at the thought knowing how ridiculous it was.

Her heart jumped to her throat when she felt the rough hand of the gorilla lightly brushing over one of the more serious cuts on her shoulder. She flinched, “Please don’t.”

Almost as if the gorilla understood her, he slowly retracted his hand. Hooting softly, he bent down to gaze into her eyes.

Despite herself, she looked up and gasped. She knew she must be going crazy because when she gazed back at the gorilla his eyes seemed almost human. Without realizing it she moved closer and found herself reaching for the fearsome creature.

She was snapped out of her daze when a bullet whizzed just inches from her head. She fell to the ground in surprise and fear.

Looking up she saw the gorilla had now positioned himself in front of her. With a fearsome growl, he stood on hind legs and beat his chest bellowing in anger.

She saw the guard from before standing at the edge of the clearing gun raised. Before he could get another shot the gorilla charged. The ground shuttered as all around them the gorillas screeched and howled.

Within moments the gorilla had reached the guard whose eyes had widened in pure fear. A scream bubbled in her throat as she saw him being thrown into a nearby tree, “Oh god,” she whispered frightened beyond belief at the gorilla’s fury.

Another shot rang out from somewhere near the first guard and for a second she thought they must have hit the gorilla. She didn’t have long to question her sudden distress at the gorilla’s possible demise when she felt the searing pain bloom in her right shoulder.

Looking down at her blood-stained shirt she felt numb. The world seemed to spin and the edges of her vision began to turn black. The last thing she saw before the world slipped away was the enraged face of a gorilla charging toward her.

Chapter 2
“Lutalo,” his friend Darth growled from behind him, “We searched the area, there is a camp not far from here.”
Lutalo grunted, “We move out at once, if they have camped here more will follow soon after.” He didn’t know what these humans were doing so far out into the jungle, but it was never good having them so close.
“Have you sent for Rashidi? The wound is bad and will need attention right away,” he ordered looking back to the woman in his arms with concern. His blood boiled at the memory of her fall when she was hit. The blood staining her clothes causing a red haze to cloud his vision. The screams of pain from the foolish human who dared threaten her wasn’t enough to quench his thirst for blood.
“Of course, Lutalo,” Darth assured him, “He will be with you as soon as we reach the nesting grounds,” he looked to the woman a little dubiously.
He had to suppress the urge to lash out at his friend. He was already on edge from the attack and having males so close to his female had him dangerously close to losing it.
That was the one thing he knew for certain above all else, this female was his. He knew it the moment he saw her tumble into his territory. The sight of her dark hair and milky white skin lit a fire in him he was sure would never be extinguished, but her scent was what did him in. The most intoxicating aroma he had ever come across belonged to the small woman he now held. It told him all he needed to know about her, whoever she was, wherever she came from, she was his mate.
He lifted her in his arms, careful not to jostle her too much. The rest of his group were still in gorilla form, but he had shifted back to make carrying her much easier. She barely came up to his chest even in his human form. Her small body fit easily into his arms and in her unconscious state she snuggled closer to him. He savored the feel of her body against his as he made his way to their nesting grounds.
When they reached they reached the pack he made his way to Rashidi, “She needs medical attention now,” he growled.
Rashidi stood unwavering in the face of his anger. He was the only one who didn’t cower before him having taken care of him since he was an infant, “What have you brought home this time,” Rashidi asked looking down into his mate’s face.
Rashidi carefully examined the various wounds marking the woman, “Most are only minor cuts, but her shoulder will need stitches. Bring her to the hut and I will get to work,” he said before walking on ahead. He was one of the few still in human form as he didn’t shift into his gorilla as often as the rest of the troop since he was the healer and found it much easier to work with human hands.
Lutalo watched the healer work and thought back to the moment he saw her. She was running from something that was for certain. She wore cargo pants and a white t-shirt that looked like it had seen better days, but it was a tourist outfit for sure. She also didn’t seem to know the jungle very well. Going in with no protection was never a good idea, but it no doubt had something to do with the humans who had shot at her. He would have to question her once she was awake to find out why they were chasing her and maybe figure out why they were so close to his territory in the first place.
“There, all done. She should heal fine, but you’ll need to make sure to change the bandages every so often to avoid any infection,” he wiped the sweat off his brow, “So you finally found your mate,” he asked blue eyes twinkling, “Never thought I’d see the day.”
Staring down into the angelic features of the woman before him he couldn’t keep the grin off his face, “Yes, it seems so.”
“You’ll probably want to stick to your human form for a while. The girl looks like she’s been through a lot and frightening her as a gorilla will do more harm than good,” Rashidi said, running a hand through his greying hair.
He grunted, “I agree. I think I’ll keep her away from the troop for a while as well. Just until I mark her.”
Rashidi gave him a knowing look, “Mating fever riding you hard?”
He nodded without saying a word. The only reason he could be so calm with Rashidi working on his mate was because he was already mated. The rest of the troop consisted of mainly unmated males. Unlike normal gorillas they didn’t have quite as many females and so their troops were smaller and largely male. It was why he was so surprised to find a mate. He was truly blessed and until he could mark her and bind her to him properly he intended to keep his distance from the rest of the troop.
“I understand, but before you go I have one last thing,” Looking through his stack of medicine he pulled out a small tube of ointment before handing it to Lutalo, “This will help protect her skin from the sun, she seems to be getting a little pink and with her complexion she will need it.”
With a nod in thanks to Rashidi, he gathered the woman in his arms and made his way back to his nest. Where he planned to care for and woo his mate.
Once inside his nest which was a small hut built into one of the highest parts of the trees he carefully laid her out onto a bed of leaves before grabbing the ointment for her skin. He added a good amount to his hands before gently applying it to her skin starting at her neck. He gently massaged the cream onto her, making his way down her chest. He made sure to avoid the cuts and scrapes she had, but also made sure to get any visible skin. Once he finished her arms he reached down to her ankles reveling in the warm softness under his fingers.
She started to stir and let out a small moan at his actions. The sound sent a shiver of desire through him, but he kept going until he reached the tops of her thighs. Once there he could feel the heat of her and groaned.
He shook his head not wanting to take advantage, but the sight of her flushed skin and parted lips was almost too much too bear. Before he could think too much he found himself inches from her lips, “Just a taste,” he whispered.
Pressing his lips to hers in a gentle caress his mouth watered at the sweetness he tasted. He suckled first the bottom and then the top before deciding to stop, but before he could she began to respond.
Slow at first, but then stronger she pressed her silken lips to his molding to him so sweetly he could barely hold himself in check. Hands to either side of her head he coaxed her lips to part and flicked his tongue against hers.
She moaned long and low before her eyes fluttered to meet his. He found himself staring into forest green depths that suddenly filled with fear.
Before he could react, she was pulling away and rushing to the other side of the hut. She stood trembling and vulnerable against the wall, “Who…who are you,” she stuttered.
He closed his eyes willing his desire to cool before meeting hers once more, “I am Lutalo Gund, your mate.”
Chapter 3
“What do you mean…I’m your mate? Look buddy, I don’t even know you and I’m not that kind of girl,” her voice trembled.
Zara stood, back against a wall that looked a lot like bamboo shoots. Before her stood the most magnificent man she had ever seen. He stood at least six feet, his head nearly scraping the wall of the simple hut they now stood in. His eyes were a light brown that reminded her of her favorite chocolate and his hair hung down to his shoulder in black waves, but she could swear it looked to have a faint silver streak right down the middle.
His jaw was hard and covered in a dark stubble that hid the ends of a few scars that ran down his cheeks. He had broad shoulders with bronzed skin she wanted to run her hands down, if only to see if he was as solidly built as he looked.
She tried to shake the insanely lustful thoughts from her head, but with him so close it was impossible. She didn’t know the first thing about this man. He could be a killer or one of the men who had taken her hostage and here she stood, wanting nothing more than to rip the thin t-shirt from his shoulders. It was not proper in the least and even more frightening was the tingling in her lips she could still feel after waking up to his kiss. The memory stopped her cold.
“I am very glad you are not that type of girl,” he almost purred moving slowly closer, “I would like to know you much better, though. What is your name lovely one?”
“Zara, my name is Zara Lockhart,” she breathed.
“Zara,” his voice seemed to caress her name, “It is very nice to meet you Zara.”
Her throat suddenly felt dry and she tried to look anywhere, but his eyes. It only made things that much worse when her eyes landed on his plump lips.
Reaching a hand up she touched her lips, “You…You kissed me,” she breathed.
His chocolate brown eyes seemed to melt into amber gold as he answered, “Yes…and you kissed me back,” his slow rumble sent shivers of excitement through her.
“No…no I thought I was dreaming. I didn’t…I wouldn’t,” she stammered, backing away further.
Undeterred he stalked closer, “Yes, you did….and you loved it,” his voice was firm, confident.
The sight of him closing in on her had her knees trembling and something low in her belly clenching. She didn’t know what was wrong with her. No man had ever interested her before, let alone made her feel so strange. It frightened her and yet she didn’t know how to fight it.
Raising her arms in front of her face she tried to ward him off, “Please, stay away.”
Surprisingly, he stopped. She lowered her arm in confusion, but yelped when it pulled at her hurt shoulder.
He was there in an instant, easing her back down onto the pad of leaves, “Take it easy, you are still injured,” he calmly explained.
Looking to her shoulder she saw the bandage covering the spot she was hit, “Did…did you do this,” she asked hesitantly, looking up at him.
He shook his head, “No, our healer, Rashidi, did,” he explained as he checked her bandage in case she tore something.
“Our? There are others,” she asked suddenly alert. Seeing the way, he was so concerned for her injury she doubted he was part of the same group who had kidnapped her and her father, but that didn’t mean that he was innocent.
He searched her face curiously, “Yes, we have a small…tribe out here in the jungle. We found you not far from here. You were injured and so we took you here,” he paused, “You looked like you were shot, but it passed through cleanly. May I ask why you were out there all alone in the jungle? Are you in trouble,” the last part came out a bit rough and confused her.
He seemed to genuinely care, but how did she know it wasn’t some trick. Of course, if he was telling the truth they might be able to help her. She bit her lip in indecision.
He furrowed his brow, “You have my word, I do not intend to hurt you. I only wish to help,” he said it so solemnly she couldn’t help, but believe him.
So far, he had brought her to his home and had done his best to take care of her injuries. Aside from the disturbing kiss, he had made no move to harm or assault her in any way. Thinking it over she decided to tell him the truth. If he wanted to harm her he would have done it by now and if she revealed her plight she might be able to gain his help in saving her father as well.
She sighed, “I was with my father on safari…to see the gorillas,” she started, watching to see his reaction, “When we came upon some men on the trail. Our guide seemed very agitated and went out to confront them,” she paused biting her lip.
He set his hand down on her thigh in a comforting manner, “It’s alright. Take your time,” he soothed.
The low timbre of his voice was like a balm to her nerves. Swallowing she continued, “He started yelling at them and one of the men pulled out a gun and…and shot him,” she covered her face in her hands, “I never anything so horrible in my life,” she choked.
He could take it no longer, seeing her in such pain caused his heart to burn in agony. Moving closer he gathered her into his lap and she went willingly. He gently stroked her back as she sobbed into his chest.
She looked up at him after a while, eyes full of tears, “I didn’t know what to do. They surrounded us immediately and tied us up,” she cried, “When they brought us to their camp the man who shot the guide made some…inappropriate advances. My father tried to stop him and for his trouble they…they beat him,” her tears soaked through his shirt.
The rage building in his Lutalo’s gut was unlike anything he had ever felt before. He couldn’t bear to see her like this and he fully intended to find the men she spoke of and relish their screams of agony as he rid the jungle of their presence.
The feel of her burrowing further into him, seeking shelter, melted his insides. This woman who he barely knew was making him feel things he never dreamed. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that, but he wasn’t about to give her up either.
“Shh, it’s alright liefie,” he murmured running his hand down her arms, “You escaped and I will not let you come to harm. I promise you, you are safe here.”
Her eyes shone as she gazed up at him and in that moment, Lutalo knew he would do anything to see her look at him that way forever.
Too quickly it was gone replaced by a sudden frown on her upturned face, “Wait, I really appreciate all you’ve done, but you must help me save my father. He is still there and I can’t leave him,” she begged clutching at his arms as if he were her only lifeline.
His heart sank, he knew the men she spoke of would likely have already killed her father. He had seen it happen too many times before, but seeing her look at him as if he was her hero made him curse that fact. Despite knowing how dangerous it would be he couldn’t tell her no.
He caressed the side of her cheek with the back of his hand, “Liefie, when you look at me like that it makes me want to give you the world.”
With a sigh he stood, “I will do my best to find your father, but that is all I promise.”
Her eyes lit up and he knew he’d done the right thing, “Oh, thank you, thank you thank you,” she squealed wrapping her arms around him in a tight embrace.
Realizing what she had done she quickly moved away and Lutalo immediately regretted the loss, “You must stay here while I go talk to the others to see about looking for your father. I will be back soon,” he gave her one last look before making his way out of the hut.
He shook his head as he climbed back down the tree he resided in. If he wasn’t careful he knew she would be the death of him, but he couldn’t find it in him to care.

Buy this story on Amazon.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"All's Fair" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Part 1 of the Island Temptress story.

The dashing Captain Stephen Garrott has never known bad luck until the fateful day his ship is attacked and run ashore by French privateers. His crew is dead and he is stranded on an island full of savages. With his uncertain fate hanging in the balance the last thing he expects to find is the woman of his dreams...

This short novelette is approximately 15,000 words.


Clara glanced about wildly. The ship was going down. She could either follow the crew’s example and jump into the frigid water or go down with the boat like the heroine of a wretched play.

She jumped.

The icy water immediately knocked the breath from her lungs. Her heavy petticoats worked against her flailing arms as she struggled toward the surface. Wreckage from the doomed ship was now dropping into the water everywhere. Clara knew that she had to get away from this area or she would soon suffer the same fate at her father. And even if she avoided being struck she would not last long if she remained in the water.

With no rowboats in sight she swam toward the largest piece of wreckage in eyeshot. From the looks of it the piece of wood might have belonged to the hull. Clara pulled herself onto the floating debris, positioning her body in a way that kept her from toppling back over into the water. The exertion had drained her body of energy. If her heartbeat wasn’t hammering so hard she might have fallen asleep on the rough surface then and there.

The churning waves pushed her further and further away from the wreck. Clara turned her head and watched with morbid fascination as the ship finally gave up its struggle to stay afloat and broke in half with a loud crack of splintering wood.

In a way it was the perfect burial service for her father. He had devoted his life to his work and Clara could think of no other way he would rather leave this world than going down with his ship. Clara couldn’t help but feel a pang in her heart. She had barely known the man but she had now lost both of her parents. She was completely and utterly alone.

Clara warily eyed the grey waters swirling around her.

Alone and stranded.

She had no idea where she was other than a vague notion that they had been sailing south from England. She had no food and no supplies. Her clothes were damp and the water was only slightly above freezing.

Clara pressed her lips into a grim line. She had wanted to see the world so badly. She had walked on board the ship, blatantly ignoring any possible risks. It seemed probable now that she would not survive her first and only adventure.

Buy this story on Amazon or Smashwords.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Corral Nocturne: A Novella" by Elisabeth Grace Foley (Western Romance)

Genre:  Western Romance

Summary:  Life on her brother’s ranch is lonely for Ellie Strickland. Ed’s ungracious manners and tight-fisted habits keep visitors away and his mother and sister close to home. But when Cole Newcomb, son of the wealthiest rancher in the county, meets Ellie by chance, he is struck by an unexpected impulse to rescue her from her solitude—and Ellie’s lonely summer is transformed.

When Cole asks her to go with him to the Fourth of July dance, Ellie is determined that nothing, from an old dress to Ed’s sour temper, will stand in her way. By the time the Fourth of July fireworks go off at midnight, will they herald only more heartache, or maybe—just maybe—a dream come true?

Novella, approximately 21,000 words.


Ellie finished feeding the chickens, and stood for a moment holding the empty basket, watching them cluck and scratch and search in the dust for the kernels of grain. Then she turned and walked across the yard toward the little weathered frame house. The house, the low-roofed barn, the corrals and sheds made a half-circle around the hard-packed dirt ranch yard, and the garden patch lay east of the house. Sheltered by low hills, the ranch lay down out of sight of the main road. Few people came down the rutted track to the Strickland place. Those who did came on business with Ed—buying a cow, as today, or perhaps to borrow a piece of farming equipment; and they seemed to come rather of necessity than choice. Their infrequent comings and goings did little to affect the daily round of life. Though only five miles from town, the ranch was for Ellie a lonely place.

It was not a particularly hard life they lived here, though for Ellie and her mother there were often irksome extra tasks arising from rather unnecessary scrimping and making do. Ed was ‘tight’; he grudged every bit of new wire for mending a broken fence; he kept his cows as short on grain as possible and then complained when they did not gain flesh like the other ranchers’ cattle; he would never buy a new shirt when an old one could be patched. He was apt to grumble over small extra items in his mother’s modest grocery lists, and Ellie had long since given up asking for anything for herself, knowing she would only hear the familiar response, “But what for? We don’t need it.”

Ellie sat down on the front steps and put the basket down beside her. Ed was out of sight, and it was not yet time to start the midday meal, so she sat still for a moment and let the fresh breeze from off the prairie brush her face and flutter the edge of her calico apron. It was quiet—peaceful and beautiful, with the near-noon sun shining on wildflowers bobbing in the long grasses stirred by the wind. But today the quiet only served to remind Ellie that hardly anybody came down the road to the Strickland place, and those who did come disliked Ed Strickland so much that they never paid attention to Ed’s sister.

Ellie sighed a little, and scuffed the toe of her boot in the dust. She was eighteen now. A lot of the girls she had gone to school with in the little one-room schoolhouse over on Catlin Creek had beaus by now, who escorted them to picnics and dances and took them out for buggy rides on Sundays. Ellie and her mother seldom went anywhere except occasionally to church, for Ed disliked social gatherings and didn’t like to spare the team from work for them to drive anywhere. So they were cut off, to a large degree, from the other women in the area, who had plenty of acquaintances among their neighbors to keep them busy, and knew very little about the Stricklands except what they heard their husbands and sons say of Ed. And as for young men…well, the men that came out here usually left with a sardonic expression like John Bentley’s, and hardly even noticed that Ed had a mother and sister.

Ellie put her chin in her hand and stared away up the double-rutted track to the main road, with the green grass waving softly in its center strip. She was a quiet, practical girl, who simply accepted the little trials of her life that she could do nothing about. She did not spend her time pining for a beau—it was not a real cause of heartache, or something that constantly occupied her thoughts. But there were days, like today, when the accumulated loneliness of months made her heart weigh heavy; when she wondered wistfully how the right kind of young man was ever going to find his way down the road to her isolated home—and once there, what there possibly was that could make him want to stay long enough for a second look.

“No man in his right mind would want Ed for a brother,” she said aloud to herself, and then added as an afterthought, “and I wouldn’t want to marry the other kind.”

And with this reflection she stood up, looked round again at the sunny and empty horizon—empty of either kind—and then picked up the basket and went up the steps into the house.

Buy this story on Amazon.

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Its Own Season" by Viola Solaro (Science Fiction Romance)

Genre:  Steampunk/Science Fiction Romance

Summary:   Book 2 of the Katrina Warren Trilogy. 

Captain Griffin knew my secret. How many sleepless nights had I suffered while hoping that some day I would be in exactly the position I’m in right now?

Well, maybe not exactly this position. In my mind the whole conversation would have played out more advantageously. Captain Griffin would admit that I was an invaluable asset to the crew and have me become a full-fledged member, woman or not.

The way things were going I doubted such words had even crossed his mind. I love him but I will not have that man dictate my life. I will either convince him to let me stay on board or I'm going to escape to another airship.

This SHORT steampunk romance is approximately 11,100 words long.

When I came to I did not know were I was. I was alive… I hoped. Reality was strangely mixed with my fading dreams. I dreamt about that time in the rain again. Only this time I was twirling beneath the tree. The light was so pretty. I was at home again and felt safe. My greatest concern was the innocent pleasure I took in escaping the house to play outside.

But I wasn’t at home. Not my childhood home at least.

Awareness of my surroundings began to slowly take hold of my senses. I could hear the distant hum of a steady engine. I was on an airship. But not in my hammock. I was far too comfortable and these bed clothes had the wonderful heady smell of a clean man. But if I wasn’t in my hammock then where...?

More recent memories came floating back. There was an attack. I remembered the horrible half-machine, half-man creatures boarding our ship. One of the assailants had been taking aim at Captain Griffin…

I gasped and bolted upright. Pain lanced through my arm as I clutched at the sheet that nearly slipped down and, therefore, exposing my secret. Captain Griffin was sitting in the corner at the table. I could tell from his grim expression that my efforts were in vain. He already knew.

His words formed slowly, deliberately. “A woman…”

I swore a string of unladylike oaths under my breath.

Buy this story on Amazon.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

“I'll Be Waiting (San Juan Island Stories #6)” by Wendy Lynn Clark (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  For five years Skylar has awaited this moment--the return of her high school crush from his tour of duty in Afghanistan and the opportunity to learn if the sweet, silent and serious helicopter pilot shares her dream of the future.


“Skylar. You’re late.”

Luke’s serious voice tickled her eardrums, jolted her system like a warm finger sliding up her spine. Skylar swayed and turned to face him, mouth reacting before her mind could catch up. “You look great.”

His eyes made familiar crescents to match his beautiful smile. “Thanks.”

He did look great. Better than his last pictures taken in front of his new Black Hawk. The same dark brown eyes focused on her like only she existed on the roof; his hair, a flat Ice Man sheared cleanly up the sides made her want to dig in her fingers; and the adult muscle tone in that hard body perfectly filled his creased, off-duty jeans and starched, THIS WE’LL DEFEND T-shirt.

Skylar’s mouth went dry, and the crowd faded away and her chest ached. Ached for the boy she hadn’t made hers and again for the man that she had already lost.

“Sorry I missed you earlier. I made some wrong assumptions about…well, a lot of things, I guess.” The words stuck in her throat and she blinked back tears. “Congratulations.”

His gaze flicked over her shoulder, and Skylar’s followed…into the now empty space where his fiancée had been standing moments before.

“She brought it up on the boat,” he said. “Nothing’s settled.” His voice sounded flat.

“She seems really nice.” Skylar hugged her bag tight to her chest. “My boyfriend planned this big, suspicious dinner with all of our friends and family, but I put him off until after. But, he’s a really great guy, too, and so I’m sure we’ll both be super happy.”

Luke’s eyebrows lowered.

She didn’t mean to make him feel bad. Just because he hadn’t told her he had a fiancée or even a girlfriend—

Her chest hitched. Losing it. She was definitely losing it.

She pressed her cold hands against her collarbone. Her eyes burned. Oh God. She dashed away the moisture and turned, ready to run for the ladder, or possibly she could just throw herself off the edge. “See you at the ten-year reunion, maybe.”

His hand shot out and closed over her wrist, and he pulled her away from everyone into a dark corner of the roof. “Skylar.”
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Its Own Time" by Viola Solaro (Science Fiction Romance)

Genre:  Steampunk/Science Fiction Romance

Summary:  Book 1 of the Katrina Warren Trilogy. 

My father is dead and now I was supposed to begin my life of destitute spinsterhood. I was well aware that deviation from such a course could only end in a soiled reputation and being shunned by “good” society. I didn’t care.

My plan was simple: pose as a cabin boy on board an airship. Air-steaming between city protectorates is dangerous work but at least I would be free from the shackles of my class.

Little did I realize how ill-prepared my careful book learning had left me. And no amount of common sense could explain my wild headlong tumble into love with the savage Captain Griffin...

This SHORT steampunk romance is approximately 12,000 words long.


I let out a steadying breath as the birds chirped their merry tunes from a nearby oak tree. And now I was supposed to begin my life of destitute spinsterhood. Ladies of genteel birth that have fallen on hard straits were expected to find a respectable occupation that pays practically nothing in which to etch out a miserable existence for the rest of their days. 

I, however, had no intention of doing any such thing. I was well aware that deviation from such a course could only end in a soiled reputation and being shunned by all “good” society. I could never again go to a glittering ball where wine flowed freely all night. I could never again laugh with my rich friends about something trivial like watching a matron’s ridiculous headdress teeter about.

I didn’t care.

My father was the only remaining family that I cherished. My second cousin could go and rot. And I knew now that my “friends” could not really be so. Did any of them bother to pay their respects today? Would any of them invite me to tea now that I was poor? The answer stuck in my throat and made a bitter taste appear on my tongue.

The ceremony concluded and the small crowd began to disperse. Despite his wealth my father had been a very private man with few friends of his own. I nodded and thanked and said all that was proper as they one by one offered their condolences. Although I could not say it out loud, the only thing I felt at that moment was relief. My father had been sick for some time and I had been living in dread of this day. I was glad his suffering had come to an end. I would grieve but it would be in my own way, not some show in front of strangers.

Today was the day my father died and when a new chapter in Katrina Warren’s story is about to begin.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

"Made for Each Other" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary: Book 5 of the Heart of the Highlands Series. 

Spring has finally arrived and the enormous task of repairing Castle Carinben has been set squarely on Malcom Grant's shoulders. Being only an apprentice when his teacher died, it is a task he feels woefully under-qualified for. He needs help and the last place he expected to find it was from a beautiful woman hailing from the rival Campbell clan...

This short novelette is approximately 12,400 words.


“Malcom, wait!” Kailey shouted after his retreating form.

He paused mid-stride at the sound of her voice. He said nothing, waiting for her to speak her peace. Kailey could tell that he was furious. It was no surprise; her father often had that effect on people. Wallace Birse may be a good father to her but he also had a well-earned reputation for being an overbearing tyrant.

“My father… he means well,” she started lamely. “He gets like that when he thinks I might be in danger.”

“Well tell him to direct his anger at someone else. Because all I see is a foolish old man.”

“He’s not a fool! At least, not when it comes to his work. My father was a stonemason and architect back in his prime. To this day his designs are unparalleled. He’s brilliant when it comes to some things. In fact, the only reason why we’re even able to eat is because of the special rabbit traps that he makes.”

“Lass, I’m sure your father is a good man,” he said with a sigh. “But I simply don’t have the time to try and convince him that he and I are on the same side. I have too much to do before I lose half of my workers to the farms for spring planting.”

“Nay… you misunderstand… I’m not trying to make you like him. I’m trying to offer to help.”

This made him raise and incredulous eyebrow. “You, lass?”

“Aye. My father isn’t the only one with ideas. I’ve grown up around him and the other craftsmen he worked with. He used to show me things here and there, thinking it nothing more than a daughter’s adoration. My father is good to me but he has always been set in his ways. He’s loyal to his clan and in his mind a man’s sphere should not cross over into a woman’s. A woman’s place is caring for bairn.”

“So why haven’t you married then?”

“Easier said than done with an ailing father, a war and living in hiding. Besides—“

“Besides what, lass?”

Kailey considered her next words. She wanted this man to understand her but she also didn’t want to appear as if she was throwing herself at his feet. This conversation had played out much more smoothly in her mind when she ran out of the cottage to stop him. “I…I haven’t…that is…I haven’t found the right one.”

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