Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Untouched" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary: Book 1 of the Spinster Series

Jane Parker led an unremarkable existence and that was precisely the way she liked things. At twenty-seven, she was resigned to a life of spinsterhood and spent the majority of her time trying to organize her neighbor's lives. A simple life she had been content with until a handsome new vicar arrives in town that threatens to turn her world upside down...

This novelette is approximately 13,000 words.


Jane opened her mouth to retort but then bit back the scathing comment. She recalled her mission for this evening with regards to Mr. Cooper. Now would be the perfect opportunity to make peace with the odious man and have her life return to normal.

She placed her hand in his and was surprised to feel a shock shoot through her body when their skin touched. She looked up into his laughing green eyes and was perplexed by what she saw. There was humor, yes, but also the hint of something else. But she had no idea what that something else was and the thought disturbed her.

He escorted her to the terrace and they walked down the stone steps to the well-maintained garden. Jane inhaled the outdoor smells with relief and pleasure. White irises were everywhere, as the weather had remained unseasonably warm. The sounds of a nearby fountain tickled the ears.

Despite her bickering with this man, a ridiculous sense of contentment washed over her. His vital presence grounded her, making it impossible to think of anything else that she had to do. Taking a steadying breath she said, “Mr. Cooper there is something I would like to discuss with you.”

His expression remained serious but his eyes twinkled with merriment. “Another lecture, Miss Parker?”

“No… no, quite the opposite. I actually wanted to apologize for the things I said that morning. We were… still are, in fact… practically strangers and it was not my place to yell at you like a fishwife. It was rude and wanted to see if we could put this all behind us and star ov—“

Before she could take her next breath he had cleared the short distance between them, pulled her body toward his and began kissing her senseless.

Buy this story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Tombstone" by Annie Turner (Western Romance)

Genre:  Western Romance/Adventure

Summary:  With her husband lost at sea and her family dead, Lillie Hayes has nothing but poverty and memories left for her in Boston. Defying this dismal fate, she travels to Tombstone, Arizona, determined to make her fortune at a silver mine her uncle left her in his will. She finds that she may have signed up for more than she bargained for when word gets 'round that she may have struck it rich. The claim jumpers begin to close in and Lillie is quickly running out of options...

Novelette, approx. 15,000 words.


The Golden Horseshoe Hotel had definitely seen better days. Years of heavy use from hopeful miners coming and going had taken its toll. All the curtains were faded and most of the framed pictures were crooked. A single, well used sofa, a dead plant and a chess set being played by an old-timer put the final touches on the lobby.

Determined to make the best of her situation, Lillie did not immediately dismay. In all honesty she had been half expecting to find saloon girls standing around to greet her. The hotel may be shabby but it did seem to be somewhat respectable.

She approached the front desk with purpose. “My name is Mrs. Hayes. A room for one, please. I would prefer the least expensive one available.”

The desk manager had a full head of grey hair and an impassive face. Clearly, he had been a butler in the past because his well-schooled countenance didn’t so much as twitch at her announcement. “How many nights, ma’am?”

“I’m not yet sure. Is there any way I could just pay by the day?”

“Certainly. So long as payment is made in advance.”

Lillie caught the insinuation in his voice and blushed faintly. He had clearly guessed that she was a widow and wanted to make sure she could pay for her accommodations.

“I can pay,” she announced with more certainty than she really felt.

The desk manager’s face still remained neutral. “If you will sign the guest registry here and here, I’ll get you a key.”

“One more thing…”


Lillie wrung her hands together, uncertain about how to proceed. She lowered her voice a tad to ask, “I would like to get working on a silver mine I inherited. Is there anyone… any sort of foreman around… that I could, you know…trust?”

“Ah. I believe you should speak to the gentleman playing chess over there. He would be just the man you need.”

Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Contract Marriage" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  A marriage has been arranged for Abigail Malton with the awkward Richard Davar. Logical to a fault, Abigail understands that it is her duty to further her family's interests by marrying well. But even she is unsure if logic will be able to crush her secret craving for love. 

Richard is acutely aware of his clumsy moments. And they seem to get worse when Abigail is around. Despite having fallen madly in love with his wife, it seems the only sensible that he do his best to keep her at arm's length. But he soon finds that even the best intentions can go awry...

This novelette is approximately 11,000 words long.


Richard shuddered with visible relief as he watched the Maltons drive away in their barouche. It had taken every ounce of his self-control to not make a spectacle of himself in front of Abigail Malton. His control had only slipped up momentarily as he took a teacup from his mother. A mistake he hoped Miss Malton had not noticed.

For whatever strange reason, fate had decided to make him a clumsy, awkward creature. He would occasionally dribble water onto his shirt when sipping a glass, he tripped over hallway rugs when he wasn’t paying attention and he had a bad habit of dropping things when he was nervous.

These were hardly the quirks that one attached to a dashing, elegant gentleman. But Richard had never aspired to be a beau of the ton. Small talk bored him to tears. He had discovered early on that if he was truly passionate about a subject, he forgot about his clumsiness and was able to interact with others in a somewhat normal fashion.

Coincidentally, by taking on projects that allowed him to become invested, his political career was thriving. He was becoming something of a golden boy in Parliament. His reluctance to take on uninteresting projects was seen by others a high moral standard. And the fact that he would become consumed by a project until it was done meant that he regularly achieved results.

And so when his father had informed him that he was to marry Miss Abigail Malton, he figured it would be best if he approached this marriage the way he did his profession: he would do anything necessary to see this union through and the marriage contract signed. Then his job would be completed, they could go their separate ways and he could spend his energy on his career.

At least, that had been his plan until she visited this afternoon. Richard had no idea what demons took hold but as soon as Abigail had uttered that first sarcastic remark he was besotted.

Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"How Julian and Nigel Turned Each Other Gay (Inadvertently), or So They Both Claim" by Avis Black (Gay Romance)

Genre:  Gay Romance

Summary:  Two boys, lunacy, and gayness. Comic Romance.


Julian Morris was not quite happy in his first year at St. Widifroth's-on-Quinapoxet, the school for the blameworthy rich. He had two obnoxious roommates, whom he had grown somewhat used to; semi-interesting classes, or rather classes he hadn't yet managed to fall asleep in; and two parents who couldn't read a school prospectus properly. Why else would they have sent him to St. Widifroth's? Well, it might have been one D too many on his last report card.

“How did you end up here?” he asked one of his obnoxious roommates, Nigel Higginson, in the hangdog manner of one trustee to another.

“Spliffs,” Nigel answered from his bed, where he was lounging shirtless.

“Spliff,” corrected the other obnoxious roommate, Finn Andrews. “It was singular, you said. Or could it be splive?”

Nigel squinted at Finn. “Only after I've smoked too much.”

“Why were you sent here?” Finn asked Julian.

“Igneous rocks and isosceles triangles. I have trouble with 'i' things.”

“Such as 'information'?” said Nigel with a grin. Finn sniggered. Nigel stood up and plucked a book off a shelf. Uneasily, Julian watched him open it.

“Here's something that's about your intellectual level.” With great sarcasm, Nigel read, “Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.” He looked over the top of his book to gauge the effect.

Julian waited.

“Well?” prompted Nigel.

“It's some sort of fairy tale, isn't it?” said Julian.

Finn howled.

“Holy God,” Nigel exclaimed. “How can you not know what story this is?”

“My parents never read me fairy tales when I was younger,” replied Julian, feeling lost.

Finn let out a deep groan. Nigel's face became one big grimace. Higginson swayed on his feet a moment, like a man hesitating on a diving board, then leapt forwards and downed Julian with a thud. The two boys landed together on Julian's bed with Nigel on top. Winded, Julian gasped, “What's this for?”

“So you can see the pictures,” replied Nigel. He propped himself up on his elbows. “'They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.'”

Julian bore this forced fairy-tailing with patience. He thought the story rather thuggish in its crude Victorian way, exactly the sort of thing a parent would read to toughen up a child for St. Widifroth's. He did like the pictures, though.
Buy this story on Amazon or Kobo.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Tragedy of the Virgin Bride" by Xavier Edwards (Paranormal Romance)

Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Historical

Summary:  After centuries in the extended family, the old manor — once a castle — looks like it is to finally pass from the family line. For Josephine, this is just the latest tragedy she has had to face and, from her point of view, there is nothing but heartbreak in her future.

All it not as it seems — leaving Josephine struggling with the massive upheaval to her normal routine. Amongst this, she continues to hope for final redemption with her husband.


Of all the tragedies in the family, there was one that stood out above all others.

The family was just at the peak of their power and influence. A marriage had taken place between the eldest daughter of the lord of the castle and a young man from a respectable family who had only recently been knighted. The entire village had turned out to celebrate the wedding, with many being invited back into the great keep for the wedding feast that would go long into the night, before the bride and groom would retire to consummate the marriage.

Up to the midpoint of the feast the day had been perfect, and it looked like the happy couple would enter married life on the best possible terms. It all changed when the great keep door was violently thrown open and a breathless horseman in bloodied and damaged armour crashed to the floor in front of the top table. What happy chaos had marked the feasting collapsed into complete silence as the gathered host waited to hear what momentous news had nearly cost this man his life. If it wasn’t important enough, he was sure to see the inside of the dungeon for having disrupted the wedding feast.

After excusing himself to the lord, he turned to the newlywed couple and addressed the knight. A revolt had arisen, led by a traitorous duke who, with the support of some complicit barons, had raised an army and was preparing to take on the King. The urgent call had gone out for all men under arms to ride for the border city to prepare for a decisive battle. Immediately. The lord of the castle tried to argue for a night’s grace to allow his son-in-law a night with his bride. It was the King’s order, so, as the knight prepared for departure, he and his bride said a tearful goodbye at the top of the grand staircase. He promised her he would return for her, turned and left for his duty.

The battle never happened. The rebels moved around the site selected for battle and destroyed the loyalists’ supply caravan. From that point on there were running skirmishes as the loyal forces tried to regroup. Several smaller castles were besieged, this one among them.

Days turned into weeks, then into months, and the siege continued. News managed to filter in that the rebels had faced several significant defeats elsewhere and that the young knight was just now leading men to come and break the siege. It couldn’t happen quick enough, as the defenders were running low on supplies and it looked like the curtain wall wouldn’t last much longer against the bombardment from the besiegers.

Preparations were made for the lady to make her escape in the night and she re-attired herself in her wedding dress so that she would be properly dressed when she met her husband again. It was now that the wall fell and attackers streamed into the castle grounds. Unknown to the defenders, a small squad had already entered the keep via the postern gate and the cellars, and were working through the keep, looking for a quick way to end the battle.

The first sign of their presence in the lady’s bedchamber was the several inches of steel blade that now protruded from the lady’s abdomen. The sword was withdrawn, replaced by a spreading stain. She ran screaming through the upper galleries, searching for a defender, making her way towards the keep entrance, reaching the landing of the grand staircase before finally falling, drained of life, watching in pain as men fought to the death on the floor below her.

While she could still draw breath, her husband appeared in the doorway of the keep and fought his way inside. Once he saw what had happened, he moved all out of his way to reach her. Crossbow bolt after bolt found him as he reached the stairs and made his ascent. He was finally felled by several bolts agonisingly short of his bride. Both were mortally wounded, stretching out their hands for a final touch, tears of love in their eyes. She was in her virginal wedding dress, awaiting him making it through the lines.

Stained red as her life ebbed from her, the dress would become her shroud as the last breath drained from her. Her husband struggled to at least touch his bride but his life gave out and the couple died, so close to each other with the tragedy of not gaining that last touch. All around them the battle raged. The main bloodline of the family died with them.

Buy this story on Amazon.  Also check out this author's Goodreads page and website.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Ravishing Rose" by Andie Prime (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  One shy girl is about to start living!

Francesca Ellison is swept off to an A-list party in a concealing mask, a decadent costume and sex-shop panties. There she meets the pirate, Captain Cool. Frankie tells him her name is Rose because for once she intends behaving very badly. The Captain outdoes her at every turn.

As sky-rockets scream skyward and guests start to demolish the party venue, Frankie loses her panties and her inhibitions. ‘Rose’ is thoroughly ravished, and the Captain gets more (and less) than he hoped for.

This naughty novella is around fifty pages long - just right for a quick bedtime read.


Inside it was brighter, and a great deal noisier. Dozens of expensively perfumed people thronged the imposing central lobby, champagne flutes twinkling, voices raised above the music from a string quartet in an adjacent room. Everyone wore masks, and Frankie’s eyes roved with delight over the variety of disguises and costumes.

She smoothed down the short front of her skirt, conscious of what hid behind the handful of gauzy gold petals. Well, she was finally free—and if her new life included sex-shop panties, then so be it.

Mike handed their tickets to a half-naked angel with spectacular feathered wings.

“Welcome, Michael,” the angel boomed. “And—”

“Rose,” Frankie said quickly. “I’m not the wife, I’m the sister.”

“Bella’s come down with the ‘flu,” Mike explained to the angel. “So in place of my wife, I’ve brought...Rose.” He raised an eyebrow at Frankie and winked.

“Welcome, Rose,” the angel said.

“Welcome, Rose,” a huskier voice repeated right beside her ear, and under Frankie’s fake black ringlets the tiny blonde hairs rose up on her nape.

“Your host, Captain Cool,” the angel announced.

Captain Cool? What kind of stupid name is that?

An ideal name she decided when she turned to inspect the owner of the devastating voice. He stood much too close and he wore pirate’s garb. A gold-braided black jacket. Skin-tight white breeches which she was sure would leave very little to her imagination if only she could get a decent look at them. Black boots and a three-cornered hat. Far too much sexy stubble. And a strip of green cloth tied across his face like a blindfold. From the eye-holes, dark pupils inspected her with blatant appreciation. His grin stretched wide and wicked.

Frankie drew a deep breath. All of a sudden there wasn’t enough oxygen in the room.

Her breasts rose.

His eyes dropped.

Her nipples peaked in a sudden squirming shiver.

She thanked the costume gods for thick violet velvet and hoped the Captain couldn’t detect what lurked so dangerously close to the edge of her laced-up bodice.

She released her breath and felt the small delicious friction as her breasts subsided against the plushy pile.

“Welcome indeed, Rose.”
Buy this story on Amazon.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"A Hero's Return" by Xavier Edwards (Erotic Romantic)

Genre:  Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, Military

Summary:  Florence has been patiently waiting at home for Devin to return from his latest deployment. With the time off that she has saved up, there's a lot she's looking forward to getting to do with him again.

An unexpected phone call is the first sign of something troubling, but Florence continues to hope for the best. Trouble doesn't even begin to describe what it is that has accompanied Devin and his mates when they return under a leaden sky.

Florence enters her own private world of pain when Devin returns from a deployment but still feels a thousand miles away. All she wanted was to reconnect, spend some time together, and enjoy all his physical charms, but she finds herself without any of that.

Wanting nothing more than him, Florence sets out to uncover Devin’s inner demon, only to find more than she ever bargained for, but in the process she unlocks the path to redemption for them both.


Two days later, under a leaden grey sky, Florence waited on the edge of the flightline, watching as Devin’s aircraft taxied in and shut down. The breeze kicked up by the engines lifted the hem of her dress and blew rudely inside it, reminding her of the little she wore underneath. She had to wait for the formalities of the crew to post-flight the aircraft — “putting it to bed,” in their terminology — before Devin could make his way to the edge of the flightline and she could greet her love. The crew’s normal boisterousness was very subdued. Each man’s shoulders sagged under the weight of some unseen load as they silently went through the motions of their work. As Devin’s last formal flight with the unit, he should have been hosed down by the fire crews, but even though they were there ready to do it, they stood idly by, realising that there was something of greater importance unfolding in front of them.

Eventually, the unloading and post-flight complete, the crew ambled across to the small crowd waiting for them. Each one was met by the silence that they projected before them. Finally Devin appeared and made his way to Florence, a thin smile of recognition on his face. The hug he gave her was anything but romantic — it was a robotic motion, but there was obvious relief she felt through it. At least her hug and kiss was in gratitude for him finally being home and hers again.

Nothing was said between them as Florence drove them both back to the unit, where Devin disappeared inside to complete some unknown administration. Other families and partners milled around the car park aimlessly, kids screaming and playing, oblivious to the drama unfolding around them. Adults stood in small groups, murmuring nervously or sharing fearful looks between themselves. Nobody could remember a time that a crew had returned in such a state.

Eventually Devin reappeared and climbed silently in beside Florence. As they made their way home, he spoke for the first time “It’s good to be home. I have some time off.”

“Good, because I’ve got a couple of days off myself, and we’re going to get caught up again with each other. Perhaps you can explain whatever happened the other day on the phone.”

That was a mistake. Devin was about to talk when he turned and stared out the window. Florence pouted. What the fuck had she done? She didn’t mean to upset him. She just wanted to jump him. When he spoke next, it was barely above a whisper. “No.” Okay, so that wasn’t so much of a surprise. “Maybe someday, but not today.”

“Okay. Forget I mentioned it.”

“Not that simple.” With him, it sounded like the understatement of the century. “Oh, I have more than a couple of days off. I don’t quite know when they want me back at work, but it isn’t soon...” Devin trailed off, as if he had more he wanted to say, but wasn’t quite sure how to say it.

Florence thought for a bit. “I take it something happened on your deployment that affected your whole crew — you were all like zombies after you got back. I’m here for you whenever you want to talk about it.”

“Thanks.” With that simple statement, the conversation was over and he returned to staring out the window.

Check out this story on Goodreads, "like" it on Facebook or see details on Xavier's website.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Her Island Fantasy" by Emma Jay (Erotic Romance)

Genre:  Erotic Romance

Summary:  Bailey Warwick has had a crush on Ian Viera for months, but he was involved in a longterm relationship. But now he’s free, and the two of them will be spending time together in Hawaii for his brother’s wedding to her best friend. Add to that, since her weight loss, she’s realized if she sets her mind to something, she can have what she wants. And she wants Ian Viera. Will she have the courage to go after him? And if she wins him, will she have the courage to keep him?


“So. Hula dancing. That was unexpected.”

She laughed, a pretty husky sound that carried through the night. “We took lessons last time so Haven could surprise Eric.”

“I think it’s clear he was pleasantly surprised.”

She stopped at the edge of the beach and kicked off her shoes, then bent to pick them up. When she straightened, he took the sandals from her, hooking the fingers through the straps at the back. The smile she gave him punched him right in the gut, and before she stepped in the sand, he moved forward, hooked his hand behind her hair and lowered his mouth to hers.

If he thought the smile hit him in the gut, the kiss hit him lower, the softness of her lips, the innocent way she parted her lips for him, at odds with the seductress he’d seen on stage. He stroked his fingertips across her cheek, wanting so much to pull her close and take the kiss deeper, at the same time savoring the sweetness of it.

The sweetness that just underscored why this shouldn’t happen.

Shouldn’t. Not wouldn’t.

She shifted, just a bit, resting her hand against his chest, angling her head, inviting him deeper. He wanted to accept that invitation. Instead, he broke the kiss, closed his hand around hers on his chest, and led her to the beach.

She didn’t say anything, and her head was bent so her hair hid her face. Great, something else to fuel his fantasies, her hair curtaining them as they made love.

They walked to the edge of the water until the waves lapped at their toes. They weren’t the only people on the beach, which was lit by torches spaced along the beach. She dug her toes into the wet sand and he’d never seen anything more adorable.

“So you want to give me a demonstration?”

“Of what? The hula?”

He eased closer, his fingers itching to touch the warm skin between her blouse and low-rise cargos. “Yeah, it looked like more than just circling your hips.”

She hesitated, then lifted her arms over her head, her wrists crossed—his eyes crossed as that brought another fantasy to mind—and slowly started to sway, her hips undulating. Her shirt rode up, baring that strip of skin, holy shit, and it was all he could do not to drop to his knees to run his lips over it.

“It’s more a figure eight. Did you ever do a hula hoop?”

“Not well.”

She moved behind him and rested her hands on his hips. Both of them stood still for a moment, absorbing, and he heard her breath catch. Then she pressed his right hip, guiding him in the movement, right, left, right. He got the pattern long before he let on, liking the feel of her hands on him, wanting them to slide forward or back.

“Got it?” she asked, a little breathless as she released him and stepped beside him.

He demonstrated with exaggerated movements, making her laugh. She moved and he matched her so they were doing the hula side by side on the beach while the waves rolled over their feet. She sped up the tempo, which he couldn’t match, only watch the graceful movement, the shimmy of her breasts beneath the top, and he caught her hips and drew her against him.

“Eric and Haven might be at it all night.”

“They might be,” she said, her breath gusting against his throat.

“You could possibly stay with Joslyn,” he said.

“I could.”

“Or…with me.”
Buy this story on Amazon or B&N.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Night Sighs" by Emma Meade (Paranormal Romance)

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Summary:  It’s good to be alive, when you’re dead!

Meet Alex & Tristan, modern star-crossed lovers of the supernatural variety. Alex is running-on-empty, one year on from the death of her fiancé, and the only thing that keeps her going is her romance with the young vampire Tristan. Tristan, meanwhile has a serious obsession with Bruce Springsteen, and is battling a ‘can’t-live-without-you’ sort of love for Alex. He’s trying to persuade her to come over to the dark side, but so far she’s resisting his efforts.

So come and sing along to Tristan’s band, The Dead Beats, the hottest group in London right now, and walk with Alex as she teeters between this life and the next. Because when you’re around Tristan, you’ll see, how much fun it is to be alive when you’re dead….

Night Sighs is a sensual, adult paranormal romance, following the relationship & adventures of Alex and Tristan through five short stories: The Dead Beats, The Ancients, Until My Body is Dust, Bourbon & Jazz and West of Forever.


Dawn rose, blazing hot. Standing by the attic window her skin looked pink and luminous. Heat and light were promised on her lips as the last shadows fell, leaving her naked and in full control. The London street outside was still quiet, its squalid alleyways no longer hidden under night’s friendly mask. Daylight was not everyone’s friend.


“She left me that morning,” Tristan spoke to his avid audience. “Crept out into the light, knowing I couldn’t follow. Saving herself and me is how she put it. Because the night was too dark for her…”

A roar rose up from the 50,000 strong crowd in the rural landscape miles outside London. Tristan stepped back from the microphone and lowered his head. His long black mane had been cut into jagged spikes. Silver crosses hung from his ears and on a chain around his neck, gleaming brightly against his black t-shirt and dark ripped jeans. A glance behind at his band told him they were good to go.

The moon illuminated the five vampires on the roofless stage, spotlighting Tristan as the opening bars on the piano sounded. His fans screamed again. Some were crying, others fainting, many more were as high as the grey clouds overhead.

Because the Night was a favourite cover the band liked to perform. Another haunting note on the piano followed and then the first strum of Tristan’s guitar. His thumb scraping well used strings was met with the wild screams of teenage girls. He satisfied them with a few more twangs.

And then. Silence. The band stopped. The crowd was unsure, excited and dizzy with anticipation.

Tristan lifted his head and stared straight ahead. The cameras focused on him for a close up and his face appeared on the dozens of temporarily erected screens throughout the park. He blinked, deliberately, emphasising his sad, wicked eyes all the more. Several young women dropped to the grassy ground. And then he sang.

The screams were deafening yet Tristan’s gruff, melodic voice rose over their noise as he spoke of the night belonging to lovers. His mouth touched the mic as he sang, loud, strong and clear. Those closest to the stage broke out in goosebumps. The sweetness of the piano seeped into their pores and they were more aware and more alive than ever. Tristan knew what they were feeling; he shared it with them every night on tour. Haunted. He, the band and the fans were held together amidst something beautiful but fleeting, an intermingling of love with the divine. The band had been both Tristan’s salvation and damnation. For every night through the music he felt so much, too much for one being to stay sane. The loyal crowd shared his burden.

The audience sang along with him, their shouts mixing with the sultry tones that slid so seductively off his tongue and into the hearts of every woman listening to him, and some men too.

His music embodied him entirely; it was moody, sorrowful, artistic, compelling and ultimately self-destructive. And this song captured the beauty of his pain perfectly.

Tristan strolled across the stage, one bare foot stamping down hard in front of the other, feeling the wood beneath his feet and the splinters drawing blood. He moved gracefully but there was a predatory sway that always ensured the enthrallment of his spectators. He knelt on one leg and sang to a group of young girls in the first row. All four friends were weeping, screaming and laughing, and begging him to take them up on the makeshift stage.

He winked at them and returned to centre stage, grinning at his bandmates. The red and yellow lights beat hotly against his forehead and his pale visage became ivory and near transparent. Like a ghost. He played his guitar heavily in time with the drum beats and almost drowned out the soft romance of the piano.

The elation of the audience was building as the notes rose higher, rushing towards a crescendo that was not unlike sex. His voice, always husky deepened to an overt show of masculinity.

No one his age should possess a voice like that, Tristan recalled one New York music journalist writing. He smiled in amusement.

His voice portraying carnal hunger drifted to the furthest corners of the gathering.

She was at the rear of the crowd, standing close to a fifteen foot screen mounted next to a great oak. It wasn’t his true face she was looking at now but that was enough to swell her heart and tug the memories loose. Tristan was separated from her by thousands of crazed fans. Distance didn’t seem to matter. Alex was as enthralled and on fire as the girls she could see screaming in front of her. They all wanted him and knew nothing. Those big brown eyes filled the screen until some of his hair came free of its gelled spikes and fell across his eyelashes. Tristan blew it out of his vision and carried on singing.

Two years had passed since they had last set eyes on one another but it may as well have been two minutes. Nothing had changed, not his luminous vitality or her longing to be with him. She thought that he may still love her, definitely thought of her but also possibly despised her now. Alex shivered as she listened to him. A rock star, she thought with faint amusement.

Tristan had spent years hiding from the human world and now he was one of its most famous players. The Dead Beats finished their opening number to a storm of yelling, whistling and clapping.

Alex didn’t move. What was she doing here? Why this concert and why now? Time had moved painfully slowly since she had left Tristan but some old semblance of herself had returned and the days and the nights held beauty again, and loneliness.

Without conscious thought, her legs moved of their own accord and Alex found herself walking forward through the throngs. Eyes fixed on the dot that was the stage, she was wholly unaware of the nasty comments and the irritated looks on the faces of the girls she swept past. Her progress was gradual but effective. One song melded into another and then another as she approached the front few lines of dedicated groupies, and then finally she was at the foot of the stage.

Alex shut her eyes to truly hear him, and it was his real voice now that floated over her, not an imitation that blew through the loudspeakers across the park. Soft, sensual, erotic and deadly. Cobain, Morrison and now Tristan. A long line of powerful, doomed rock stars, too big to exist comfortably in a repressive world. Would Tristan fall to the same fate? She feared he was drawing too much attention to himself and that many in his secret society were already displeased. Then stop him Alex, her inner voice urged and she opened her eyes.

He had moved on to singing Secret Garden. He always did love Springsteen, she thought wryly, remembering how he would pop on a record many a time after sex. Raw, passionate and oozing sex appeal, Tristan was all these things and more. Up on that stage now, he even sounded more than a little like the Boss. Alex listened to the words. Was he singing about her?

Tristan was on the far side aiming his words directly at a particular young girl, perhaps only a teenager. Alex’s lips curled up in a smirk. Some things never changed. And then he was glancing across the crowd, and then at the front row. Alex’s breath stopped and she clutched her locket as a reflex.

At that moment he saw her and stared. His lips no longer moved and the crowd filled in the words instead. Alex met his shocked gaze and offered him a shrug to let him know she was as confused as him. He recovered himself and completed the song. A moment later Tristan announced a short break and disappeared back stage.

Lively chatter ascended from the concert goers and Alex slipped away to the sidelines, walking numbly through empty space away from the lights and friendly noise. Shadows enveloped her, removing her from the view of the crowd.

She felt his presence behind her but didn’t move, preparing herself for his questions. Finally Alex turned to face him.

“Tristan I- ”

He flew at her bird-like and she hit the soft ground silently. Falling over her, Tristan clamped a hand over her mouth.

Check this story out on Amazon, Smashwords and Goodreads.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"The Marriage List" by Jean C. Joachim (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Can happily ever after start with a list? Grey Andrews thinks so. After ten years of working, saving and investing, Grey finally achieved a level of wealth that allows him to do what he wants with his life. He needs a woman to share it with, but not any woman, the perfect woman. A woman who has the three essential qualities on his marriage list. But after three years of searching he isn’t any closer to finding her than he was when he started out.

Carrie Tucker, an aspiring mystery writer and divorcée struggling to make it in the world of advertising, turned her focus from men to her career after dating too many creeps and losers. She’s finally earned her big break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the first female creative director in a hot New York ad agency. So what if it means working nights and weekends? It’s not like she has a social life anyway.

Is the marriage list a failure or will a chance meeting at a fiction-writing conference prove the list to be the key to Grey’s happiness after all?


Her palms were sweaty, her heart was beating rapidly and her mouth went dry. Carrie was about to face her first pitch on her mystery book to an editor and she was scared, scared shitless. She entered the small room set aside from the rest of the writer’s conference for editors to meet with writers. A short man in shirtsleeves and wearing non-descript, brown horned-rim glasses sat behind a desk. He must be Paul Marcel, editor for Rocky Cliffs Press.

Carrie straightened her skirt and made sure her blouse was slightly unbuttoned but not too revealing. She picked up her manuscript and synopsis and walked in, feeling anything but confident. She sat down across from him and smiled.

He smiled back and looked down at a printed sheet. “You’re Carrie Tucker?”

She nodded.

“Tell me about your book,” he said, sitting back, folding his hands together behind his head, watching her.

Just as she was about to open her mouth, a man strode into the room.

“Paul! Wait. We need you in the conference room,” the man said.

“I’m just about to hear a pitch, Grey, can’t it wait?”

“Sorry, John is only here for an hour and if you want that loan…”

Paul looked at Carrie and smiled again.

“Miss Tucker…Carrie, I’m sorry but we’re going to have to reschedule this pitch. I have a meeting with an investor I can’t put off,” he said, looking down at the papers in his hand, “I have your contact info here. I’ll get in touch to reschedule.”

With that, Paul marched out of the room with the man he called “Grey” right behind him. Carrie stood up and put her hand on Grey’s arm.

“Hey! You ruined my opportunity to get my novel published! I’ve been waiting six months for the chance to see Paul Marcel,” she shot at him.

Grey turned. His gaze swept over her hair, eyes and figure making her feel slightly naked and yet warm at the same time. She stared back boldly at the handsome man with a dazzling smile and an impeccable gray suit, noticing how snugly his suit fitted his trim physique

“Give it to me,” he said, reaching for her manuscript, “I’ll make sure he reads it.”

Before she could move, snatched the manuscript out of her hand and walked quickly out of the room. She trailed along behind him, trying to speak, but soon he was lost in the crowd.  

What happened here? Where’s my manuscript and who was that guy?

Buy this romance on Amazon, B&N or Smashwords.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Payroll" by Annie Turner (Western Romance)

Genre:  Western Romance

Summary:  Book 1 of the Jimmy Cochran story.

Jimmy Cochran thought that he had left his rough past behind him. But Ralph McCormick, the brother of the man he killed, didn't forget... or forgive... so easily. Jimmy knows he should just hightail it out of town to avoid getting into trouble. That is until Ralph puts the woman he loves into danger...

Novella, approx. 25,000 words.

This story was originally published under the name Alain Gomez.


Jimmy had not even gone through a whole round of ammunition on his six-shooter before he heard the sound of an approaching horse. He turned and saw Adelaide O’Hara riding what could have been one of the finest paint horses that he had ever seen.

When Adelaide saw Jimmy, she reined in her horse and said “Well now, stranger, you’re pretty handy with those six shooters of yours.”

Jimmy grinned. “I have to be if I want to protect pretty ladies such as yourself, ma’am.”

“Is that a fact now?” And without even turning a hair, Adelaide dismounted from her horse, pulled Jimmy’s rifle from its place on his saddle, and emptied five clean shots in the cans which were some ways off.

Jimmy kept a poker face while watching the whole performance. And after she was done, he was silent for a good 5 seconds. At last he finally said “Your third shot went too far to the right. You almost missed the can.”

Adelaide seemed to consider this for a moment while staring at the can in question and replied “No. I do believe that your rifle is at fault, Mr. Cochran. It throws a trifle to the right.”

“Nonsense, Miss O’Hara. I had that rifle custom build back when I worked for your uncle. If it threw the bullet to the right, I would have caught that right away and had it fixed. I can assure you that it is a straight-shooter.”

Buy this story on Amazon, B&N or Smashwords.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Further Explorations" by David Russell (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Energised by their lovely liberating experience, Janice and Cedric are determined to 'spread their wings' and take the world by storm, a two-person conspiracy. They head off physically in different directions, but remain in constant depth communication electronically, ever comparing notes, monitoring each other's minds and experiences for a depth of mutual understanding. They may meet again fully equipped with a great depth of self-knowledge, and a knowledge of each other's depth. They negotiate giddy peaks of high finance; Janice even does into 'dreamscape', making a pact with the devil. Further delights of sensuality are explored by both, with exotic partners; the depths and shallows of life are all embraced?


They beamed at each other, sizing up their physiques again, comparing their respective performances which had led up to that climax. Then Janice breathily broke the silence. “You were an astral rocket, surging, grounding, resurging.”

“And you the booster supreme.”

After a final hug, they wistfully shrugged, along with smiles and suspicions of tears. “We’ve both got our planes to catch, darling…we’re all wired up.” They turned their backs on each other going down their separate lanes.

Janice and Cedric’s bittersweet parting, executed with watertight composure, froze that moment of perfection. Their state-of-the-art arrangements, so efficient in sustaining long-term contact were so effortlessly executed—miraculously, none of the hitches either of them experienced with their other contacts—that they simply had to have been exquisitely premeditated, but all the more because, regarding functioning in the immediate present, they were both prone to fumble and stutter.

Yet, there was a sense of permanence in that kaleidoscope world of fleeting acquaintances. Shattering glasses always sharpens, enriches the vision. Closet pyromania fantasy makes every dreamer dynamic—visions of the inferno, crashing of all solid architecture, but with the stench of charred flesh blanked off. Such an abundance of good looks and vibrant expressions passing by on the streets; it felt that any one of them had destructive potential, mighty cataracts at close quarters. The diffusion of that potential sustains the world’s equilibrium, global spark potential.

As they lived so exclusively for the depths, the buoyant currents of life had forced them up to the surface, to embrace the shallows, while sustaining their ability to forsake them, in perfect control of their natural buoyancy. That was the precarious stability engendered by their conjoint imbalance, melding of premeditation and blind panic, undermining and invigorating—generating a zest for life through the threat of its loss. But privately, they both missed the comfort of a little warming clumsiness. Living without it was like negotiating ungritted ice on a road—so easy to be injured if the path is too smooth, and the ugly, grinding monster can be a saviour.

If it was a matter of being nourished by the celebrity images, there was some potential there of Hugh Grant meeting Renée Zellweger—weights adjusted just right without painful drab dieting, though they were both thorough in burning away the calories. Perhaps next time, they could let go a little, though each of them always looked naturally spruce and together. Their negatives were revealing full images in the darkroom, the changing room, the transformation room, under the common denominator of its red light—great to contemplate the universal monochrome, fabulous the flaunting, waving of the leanness to reach out for their ideals.

Buy this story on Devine Destinies.  Also check out David Russell's Goodreads page to see more of his work.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Affairs of The Heart” by Borislava Borissova (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Two love-stories, two affairs of the hearts in a book. In "A Love In Time of War" first they faced the war... the love followed later. Peace was somewhere in between. One day he could have killed her on the other side of the front, on the next day he fell in love and what would happen in the day after it? All efforts to remain enemies appeared to be in vain. The borderline between their ability to hate or to love appeared a thin one. 

The war became past, the past became history and through the years only love is still alive in a very beautiful tale to remember.

In "The Last Secrets of The Ancient Island" series of mishaps in an old town casts suspicion on a number of residents, provoking changes in an adopted practice of the underground world of relics. Ralph, a young graduate of a university proves the last mysteries of ancient National Park sites are yet unexplored by historians and archaeologists and discovers the personal secret of his older brother Michael. An unknown driver has a tragic motivation to take his life and that of another.
We were born alone, we die alone, but life is our chance to live in love. If we don’t lose the chance, if know why love is the most desired legend in our life.


From “The Last Secrets of The Ancient Island”:

“I wanted to see the face, to look into the eyes of the dangerous driver who scared us with his crazy driving, caused a series of collisions and accidents on our streets and placing the life of each of us in danger and uncertainty. I still remember the squeal of the high-speed tires and the sense of an evil menace and I wanted to rage at him, to strike him. I expected…” Michael sighed sadly and, forgetting everything and everyone around him, he lapsed into the memory of that time.

“In the hospital, I ran up the stairs and I looked in the room to peer over medic’s shoulder. There were a multitude of tubes and wires. The intravenous system and respirator were attached to the body in the bed, to keep the driver alive. I saw the ashen skin, dark rings around the eyes, fragile hands—they were already powerless to hold the wheel. The body was worn, similar to a shadow. It was a young woman who wanted to die, who searched for death on the road as fast as the car would go. And to take another life with hers so she wouldn’t be alone when she drew her last breath.”

From “A Love In Time of War”:

After a while, the older white-haired man repeated in amazement, “Let’s clear this up. You fought to the death in the Balkan War against her father, her brother and her country. And she served as a nurse to Bulgarian soldiers, among blood, wounded, dead, and the smell of formaldehyde on the opposite side of the borderline. Does it mean you are coming to ask for the hand of your enemy’s daughter? The Bulgarian general, who personally led his army from the front line against the Ottoman divisions?”

“Yes. First there was the war… the love followed later. Peace was somewhere in between.”

“Yesterday, you could have killed her on the other side of the front, today you are in love and what about tomorrow?”

“She feels the same way. All our efforts to remain enemies appeared to be in vain. The border line between our ability to hate or to love appears a thin one.”

His fellow traveler shook his head distrustfully. “Your story sounds crazy. Most probably, her father will not allow her to marry you. Hmm… Kidnap her instead. Escape together as others have done many times on the Balkans.”

“Who would easily marry a Muslim man and a Christian woman in secret? If not, what would she be in my life without a legal marriage? A mistress? The woman who was born to be my wife? I cannot make a political scandal between our countries. The general is respectful and popular.”

Buy this book on Amazon as an ebook or in paperback.  Also check out this author's blog.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Explorations" by David Russell (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Newly divorced and looking for interesting new experiences, Janice takes an art class with live models and the star makes her want more than a coincidental meeting. Art model, Cedric, thinks he knows the lady from somewhere when he sees her again at the pool. Body language says a lot and chance meetings lead to a desire for more. Will Janice ask Cedric over for a private modeling job and will he accept?


She lived in an area, which had been somewhat rundown, but which was now undergoing a great trendy facelift. Fashion boutiques, especially proliferated — something new sprung up in every street one missed walking along for a few weeks or so. There was a kaleidoscope of styles, including retro. The windows positively smooched and glittered with the samples, poster-sized photos of lovely svelte models, none of them over clad, beamed down everywhere as if to sayd’you wannabe like me? She had always sustained executive smartness, crisp black suits and stockings, starched cream blouses. But now she needed a spark. Those young things she passed on the street—they weren’t really all that special.

Janice was determined to make full use of the fitting room—a complete outfit from white silk underwear to a dark-green two-piece suit and a range of items in between.The changing room was spacious, and had a thick navy blue curtain. She had just got into the underwear and was putting on a cream blouse. As her fingers closed on the first button, a gust of wind rushed into the boutique. It swept up the curtain so that, for a few seconds, she was in full view.

The young sales assistant, slim, smooth, a bit Latin-looking, dressed in black, lost his composure in a split second. His face registered a cocktail of embarrassment and delight. But he instantly recovered his cool, turned his eyes to the correct angle, slanting away from her, and restored the curtain to a decorous drape. The open door, or whatever had admitted that gust of wind, had obviously been dealt with. Elated, Janice made her purchases—all was well, she was safely within her credit limit. But the changing room experience aroused thoughts of being an eye-catching, crowd-stopping image. When she saw Halle Berry coming out of the sea, she ached for that to be her. But how to become what she wanted to be?

In some way it would have been nice to have an affair at work, but she was oh so proud of her detached efficiency, as well as suffering from being under surveillance, in spite of her relative seniority in the firm—those CCTVs could be far more benignly employed!

* * * *

So speculation and reverie took over ever more of their disparate lives, in their respective ways, they felt like ghosts, wispy shades, their real selves were somehow exterior to them, belonging to an intangible sphere. Their routine realities switched off feelings adequately for day-to-day living, but each needed to be revisited by an external force. They both avoided the pitfalls of comfort eating, while their composites of stress patterns and their nervous metabolisms unfailingly burned away the flab.

* * * *

With and without her textbooks to guide and prompt herself, Janice set herself a schedule for the body and mind. While going through the divorce traumas, she had engineered her freelance work enough to control a great deal of her own time. Janice tried dance, aerobics and roller-skating so she got nice and toned. One of her closest friends, Debbie, managed a Retro fashion boutique, which bought and sold allmanner of period gear as well as hiring items out for theatrical productions. She liked visiting there and rummaging around with the stock. That sense of history, of invigorating recycling excited her soul, gave her a heightened sense of her own glamorous potential. She could ethereally float,become some time-free being, flounce through history all over the world, alight on key times,exotic places and radiate her full charismatic glory. With it she would have generated the power to fly, borne aloft by the fabric rocket of her magic carpet, her enchantress’s cloak—looping back and forth, circumventing the secret corners of history, probing into prehistory, making forays into the future, stealing chips and snippets from the future to re-enlighten and restructure the past.

After her swim, gym workout, game of Badminton, Janice liked to go to the cafeteria balcony of the Sports Centre and look down over the pool, regaling her eyes on the movements of those there. Being of a shy disposition, when not in her self-assured executive power sphere, she never introduced herself to anyone, never chatted anyone up. In some way this was an advantage — she could see all those nice physiques in abstract, with all the annoying human aspects excluded — so she could savour a carefully-edited illusion of perfection. After a while, she started taking her sketchpad with her and did quick-fire studies of physiques in motion.

* * * *

Cedric savoured the sight of graceful forms in the pool. He felt an affinity between the water and his pencil and brush strokes at the art class. As he went on watching and his reverie expanded, he felt that he was absorbed into the water, had indeed become the water, holding all of those forms in his all-enveloping embrace. He plunged down to the pool bottom. In his reverie he touched the ocean bed, chilly, tranquil in the depths, but on the surface drawn by the moon’s magic to surging horizontal floods, to leaping breakers aching to reach the moon, embrace the moon, draw it down to lighten, warm the icy depths.

* * * *
He had constantly suffered his wife Magda’s all-too-frequent taunts about being an indecisive wimp, effeminate to boot. For a long time, this was like water off a duck’s back, still offset by his partner’s charismatic magnetism. But finally, one dreary autumnal morning, he did react. “For God’s sake, go and find yourself a heavy macho hunk, if that’s what you really want!” Magda duly stormed off.

He set off to work that day, having been fully primed to face the ghostliness of the empty flat to which he would have to return. But did part of him secretly want to be one of those heavy hunks, suitably mud-spattered at the point of supreme attraction? Not really. He cherished delicacy, softness too much—something of an aesthete. But surely one could get the right blend of hard and soft if one really worked at it. Yes, he had been turned on by the Nick Kamen advert, wanted to look like that, be like that, and it could be done. Cedric was becoming conscious of his own body.

Correspondingly, he became conscious of the bodies of others he saw swanning gracefully along the street, shapes, form, physiques took hold of his attention. The physical relationship with his wife had long ago petered out, domesticity was just business. Thus far, he confined the possibility of an affair to the realm of reverie and fantasy, but he was desperate to get a stronger sense of others’ bodies, and his own.

He started mentally undressing the women passersby, and then took the step, daring for him, of going to life-drawing classes. He relished the shapes of most of the models and got a good vibe from the meditative calm they radiated as they sustained their poses. Slowly, inexorably, an urge to model grew on him. He hoped for a chance to pose, when the appointed model somehow didn’t make the session. Disliking the idea of appearing nude straight away, he longed to show himself off in his swimming trunks, which set off his slender body.

The opportunity came, the booked model didn’t turn up, the class started getting restive. The tutor started looking round the group and was on the point of saying “Can anyone help out?” Cedric took the initiative, he saved the day for the class. As he was changing behind the partition, he mused about two women in the class whom he found quite attractive. He was caught between his general reverie and the immediate situation. He wanted his dream girl to go breathless and gaga at the sight of his body, then the tides of passion would surge…but while thinking about the storm, he had to concentrate on the calm.

Being quite a nervous type, he wondered whether he could sustain a pose. But the reflective magnetism, and self-magnetism, sustained his stance in a way he had never been able to manage at Yoga or Meditation classes. Cedric got the tactile sense of the pencils, crayons, charcoals and pastels capturing, caressing his contours as he longed his dream girl to, transforming him into Adonis, sweeping him off one a time-travelling tour, worldwide, to meet all those legendary priestesses and princesses.

There were really lovely thoughts — as contingent, everyday life was so humdrum, so dominated by fractious irritation. He did spend a certain amount of time browsing the contacts in the interim — realised that this must be a great boon for the insecure and isolated—the faces were pretty, but the electronicised messages somehow failed to goad him to the next step. The people he met at the classes were friendly enough, but Cedric felt that they had secure, enclosed, comfortable domestic situations—boats like that should not really be rocked. As this stage, he was still very unsure of himself and a rejection at that point would have reinforced his general reticence. The one or two singles bars he went to seemed appreciably less communicative than the classes, but soon the combination would be formed, the connection made.

* * * *

He looked good in the mirror, and relished his image. This feeling had to be extended, externalised. He decided to have some undressed photos taken, Magda had never done that for him, only staid family album shots. First of all he looked in several newsagents’ ads, the sort of ones at which he had hitherto only glanced briefly, intermittently and disdainfully and then at one of those top shelf magazines hitherto shunned because of his would-be refined literary tastes.

There he found an appropriate advert for a photographer — she looked quite gracious and smooth so Cedric was put at his ease. There were some days of suspense before the reply arrived. Yes, he did harbour some fantasies about being a male stripper, have all those lovely girls screaming for him as he disrobed. Lorette was a very charming, obviously experienced photographer — said she’d had to be a glamour model in years past, but was now rather please to be at the other end, in control. That was fine, Cedric had only ever been very sparsely photographed. He chose most of the pose — his ideas of alluring angles, Lorette instantly empathized with them. He hadn’t been cultivating photographers’ galleries, year-in, year-out, for nothing. With the expanses of unhappiness and emptiness in his life, he was becoming increasingly drawn to a virtual world, a world of shaded, elusive images. At time of extreme stress, he longed for his physical being to turn two-dimensional, dissolve, be only discernible through a microscope.

* * * *

There was no getting away from it, Janice got a thrill from going to life-drawing classes. Some of the models there had really gorgeous figures. As her drawing gradually came to do justice to those forms, she felt more and more that she was like the shapelier girls and match the shapelier men. And why not? Her figure was stunning, kept it trim by workouts, badminton and swimming. She felt a secret urge to model.

Buy this book on Devine Destinies.  Also stop by David Russell's Goodreads page to see more of his work.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Second Time's the Charm" by Melissa Keir (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  How does a middle aged, divorcee with two children find her way back to love after a devastating divorce leaves her with no self confidence and no faith in love? Lissa's ex-husband has shredded her self-esteem so she's thrown herself into her children and her work, leaving time for nothing else.

When an life threatening illness in her best friend's family puts Lissa on the path to romance, Lissa finds new love in a most unexpected way--an introduced by her new guy's ex-wife.

Who knew that first time loves could lead to second chances?


“He said he was on his way, so he should be here any…” I felt a presence enter through the sliding doors and turned to look. The guy who stood just inside the doors was built like a football player with powerful shoulders and arms. The military short haircut emphasized his chiseled features. Wearing black jeans and a polo stretched tight across his chest, Alex had that casual, yet roughed up look that made a statement that fell somewhere between ‘I've just crawled out of bed but still, you don't want to mess with me’.

As he drew closer to our little group, I noticed the piercing nature of his blue eyes and the sexiness of his lips. In response, my own tongue darted out to caress my bottom lip. My heart sped up and remarkably, I was at a loss for words.

“Chloe. Mike. Any word?” my fantasy football player stated. This was Alex? No no no no! shouted the voice in my head while the tingling in my lower abdomen screamed Oh, my!

Alex shook hands with Mike as Chloe clung to Mike’s waist. “Nothing definite yet. They're going to do a spinal tap to determine if Joe has meningitis. I’m so worried about him. He looked so pale and helpless lying in the hospital bed.”

“Joe’s a strong kid. He’ll pull through. After all, he got a double dose of stubborn,” Alex said, trying to lighten the situation. He turned to me. “You must be Lissa. I’m Alex. Thanks again for

calling.” Sliding his hands in the pockets of his jeans, Alex gave me his best smile. Did I imagine a spark of interest in his eyes?

“No problem. I have two boys of my own and I'd do anything for a friend.”

Alex’s smile tugged at my heartstrings. It wasn’t the 'full mouth with all his pearly whites showing' smile like Steve's, but a 'little boy when he was unsure of himself' smile. Sitting down in one of the empty chairs, I finally caught my breath and watched Alex out of the corner of my eye as he interacted with Mike and Chloe. Where was the fearsome man Chloe portrayed? Was Alex just putting on an act? He certainly looked bad-ass when he strode through those hospital doors, with his commanding air and determined stride. But seeing him interact with his ex now, Alex seemed caring and compassionate.

Alex had a very different body type than Mike. Staring at him was like trying to figure out a puzzle. Hot, steamy body, dangerous blue eyes, but what about that personality? I knew I'd have a few questions for Chloe about Alex later, the first being the most obvious - was he available?

“Mr. and Mrs. Hunter?” The doctor stepped through the doors.

“I’m Mark Hunter and this is my ex-wife, Chloe Winters and her husband, Mike. And this is Chloe’s friend, Lissa,” Alex volunteered as if he had done this awkward introduction a few times before. “How's Joe? Do you know anything?”

“We got a positive for Meningitis. However, until we grow the cells in a petri dish for seventy two hours, we can’t be sure if it's bacterial or viral. Bacterial is far more dangerous so we're moving Joe to his own room in the children’s ward. We isolated him and are treating him with antibiotics as a precaution. We'll let you know as soon as he's settled then you can visit. But only immediate family. We don’t want to expose anyone else.” With a somber nod, the doctor moved back into the emergency room area, leaving us in stunned silence.

“I’ll head home and get you a change of clothes and grab some things for Joe. Do you think they'll let him have his DS?” Mike pulled Chloe close, kissing her tenderly. Their love was evident with him holding her hand and listening as he whispered words of love and encouragement. I felt like an intruder on such a private moment and drifted to an empty bench, watching as Alex headed off toward the vending machines.

Returning shortly with coffee and candy bars, he shared his feast as we sat lost in our own thoughts. While my guess was his thoughts were of concern over his son, my thoughts were all about the carnal man sitting across from me.

Buy this story on Amazon, B&N or All Romance Ebooks.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Rescued" by Gabriella Mahoney (Western Romance)

Genre:  Western Romance

Summary:  Anne Flaherty rejected the marriage proposal of the wealthiest man in town, Bradley Yates, in order to marry Connor, the ranch hand that she truly loved. 

But her wedded bliss is cut short when Bradley kidnaps her with the intention of making her realize what she has "missed out on."

This short, steamy western romance is approximately 3,300 words long.


“What happened?” Connor demanded when he saw the sheriff standing there.

“We don’t know for sure. None of the folks saw anything. But several of them heard a scream. And we found this,” he handed Anne’s basket to Connor, “in the street right here.”

Connor felt blood pounding in his ears as he took the basket. It was definitely Anne’s. He looked inside and saw the pale yellow fabric. An almost overwhelming need to kill gripped him.

“Now, Connor, there’s no need to panic just yet,” the sheriff tried to console. “The best thing we can do now is keep a clear head and figure this out.”

“Figure what out?” Connor shouted at the sheriff. “Bradley Yates stole my wife. That son of a bitch is going to regret being born once I’m through with him…”

“You have no proof it was him!”

“I took Anne from him and he wants her back. What other proof do you need? Look, you do what you have to do. Ask people around town. Conduct an investigation and look for sign.”

“And what do you plan on doing?” the sheriff asked wryly.

“Find the bastard that took my wife.”

Buy this story on Amazon, B&N or Smashwords.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Beach Desires" by Melissa Keir (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Erotic, Gay

Summary:  Can a summer fling last a lifetime? Stacey Wilder escapes to the beach for a much needed vacation and meets a woman who tempts her passion. But Stacey hid her desires growing up because small town Catholic girls don’t fall in love with other women.

Mandy Kenzie is a Southern girl who also dealt with discrimination growing up over her choice of lovers. When she meets Stacey, sparks fly and passion ignites. But will their beach fling become a forever match or just a vacation affair?

Can Stacey and Mandy make their long distance relationship work? Or will they let the prejudices of their upbringing ruin their chance at happiness?


Dinner with Mandy was perfect. We had a lot in common, finding that we both shared a passion for muscle cars. Most of our discussion was innocent, yet the desire for each other simmered under the surface.

“When did you realize you were a lesbian?” she inquired as she reached over to put her hand on top of mine.

The touch of her skin on mine caused my pussy to clench. Her full lips drew my gaze. I thought about kissing them, running my tongue along them before nibbling on her bottom lip. Focusing on her question, I knew she would understand my thoughts and fears.

“I’ve known since I was a teenager. I left my hometown after graduation, never looking back. Now my sister is getting married. She asked me to be a part of her wedding party. I really don’t want to go back to Amherst to face my past, but since my dad has Alzheimer’s, I’m afraid if I don’t go back for the wedding, I won’t see him again in this lifetime.”

“I understand. Living in the South, being different was frowned upon. I hid my desires as well. Luckily times have changed. I’m able to express my needs now, rather than hide them. Why are you so afraid to go back to your hometown?”

Speaking to Mandy about my past and my life was easy. I felt an instant connection to her in addition to the desire I had for her body.

“My town was very small. The people were small minded. If you didn’t have a boyfriend, you were teased. So I pretended to like guys, even “dated” some to keep my secret. Even with my family’s support, I’m nervous about going back and facing the people I knew. I’m worried about what they will think of me.”

“I understand your fears. However, you shouldn’t worry about them. You are a successful, caring person. Who you love doesn’t have anything to do with what kind of person you are. Let’s get out of here. Would you like to take a walk on the beach? I love the beach at night.”

“I’d love to. There is something about the waves crashing and the feeling of being alone in the world that I love,” I answered with a smile. “This has been a wonderful dinner. I’m enjoying getting to know you.”

The drive back to the condominium was quiet as we were each lost in our own thoughts. Anxious to get Mandy alone on the beach, I wanted to steal a kiss. I’d been fantasizing of her lips all night and couldn’t wait to see if they felt as soft as they looked.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Stolen Away" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Amelia Manning refuses to follow her family's wishes by getting into yet another loveless marriage. The death of her husband has left her a wealthy widow and she intends to experience more in life than just a drawing room.

Bound for the Americas, her ship gets hijacked by the dashing privateer, Christopher Barrett. Amelia may finally get her chance to experience all the passion her marriage of convenience had been missing...

This short, sexy high seas adventure is approximately 5,000 words long.


“Oh dear!” Amelia exclaimed as the candlestick holder slipped from her grasp. She had no idea striking him on the head would be quite so effective. She looked at the two flabbergasted crewmembers, “do you think I killed him?”

“Bloody hell!” one of them exclaimed in disbelief. “Did you see that woman put out the captain’s lights?”

“Did I kill him?”

“I should say, not,” the second crewman said. “But his head won’t be feeling the same size come morning.”

Amelia’s victim stirred on the floor and groaned. “Wha—what happened?”

He sat up, rubbing his bruised skull. Their eyes locked for a long moment and Amelia became away of a strange stirring of heat coiling in her belly.

The captain broke their gaze and turned his attention to the two men behind her. “Put this woman in my quarters. I’ll deal with her there.”

The unfamiliar but pleasant sensation that has been growing inside of her was quickly squashed as one of the men picked her up and tossed her over the shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

She considered screaming and kicking as she was carried across a plank that had been placed between her own vessel and a neighboring ship. But seeing as how her ship was sinking and the decided lack of potential rescuers surrounding her, she decided to save her strength.

She was thrown unceremoniously onto a bed in what she assumed to be the captain’s quarters.

“You’ll stay here, miss. Captain will be with you shortly.” The crewman left the room with a chuckle.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Protecting His Wolfe" by Melissa Keir (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Dramatic Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Betsie Wolfe was a small town girl who left her cozy little life for a job in the big city, but she never expected to become a witness to a murder or face vicious threats. Detective Jonah Pigg was immediately attracted to Betsie’s lavender eyes and small frame huddled in the gray wool blanket when he arrived on the scene of the murder. When threats on her life begin, he takes her into his home under the protection of the three Pigg’s who own the Pigg Agency. It will take all his detective work to keep her safe from the killer. Passion has a way of igniting when people are under stressful situations and lust leads Betsie and Jonah into each other’s arms. But is their relationship only a matter of desire or is it something more?


Finally fed up with the tension, she left her desk, shut down the lights in the office, and locked the door. With her small clutch purse in one hand, she started the lonely walk to her apartment, six blocks over from the employee parking garage. Someday, I’ll have enough money for a car of my own. She thought with envy. Maybe something in a green color but with good gas mileage.

So focused on the noises around her, Betsie tripped over a patch of broken concrete and went sprawling on the floor, her purse hit the concrete and one lip stick tube rolled across the garage floor. Crawling on her hands and knees, Betsie yells at herself in her head for her accident. Oh no. Isn’t that my luck! Everything has gone wrong today! Where is my purse? What fell out?

Suddenly a car appeared around the back of the garage and screeches to a halt. The sounds of yelling and gun fire erupt in the silence of the parking garage. Diving flat on the ground, Betsie begins to say all the prayers she remembers from the past twenty three years of Catholic Mass. As a body crashed to the ground, the black sports car with the silver trim drove away.

Betsie hid on the ground near the edge of a large blue sedan, praying no one could hear her. The silence after such a deafening noise grated on Betsie’s nerves. Without thought for herself, she rushed over to the body to see if they needed help.

“Oh, my, gosh, it’s Johnny from the warehouse. Johnny, Johnny, are you okay?” She placed her hands on his chest to see if he was still breathing, only to pull away abruptly when she felt the wetness of his shirt.

Looking down at her hands, “Oh no. Blood! Johnny!”But his death was as evident as the large hole in the front of his shirt gushing blood on the pavement.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Naked Temptation" by Jay Di Meo (Gay Erotic Romance)

Genre:  Gay Erotic Romance

Summary:  When Daniel joins the monastery on the island of Andros to escape his violent family, he thinks he has found peace. Two years later, vivid sexual dreams with a gorgeous male demon test his loyalty to the strictness of monastic life and make him wonder if he’s made a huge mistake in striving for purity...

Gay Erotic Romance novella (46 pages / 21.000 words)


A knock on his door roused him, and a voice calling, “Brother Marco! You missed the midnight service, and you’ll miss the matinstoo if you don’t hurry. Are you well?”

Daniel groaned and opened his eyes. It took him a moment to connect the name —Brother Marco — with himself. Even after two years at the monastery, he still wasn’t used to it, a problem other novices and monks didn’t seem to have.

The door banged open, letting in the light of a candle. “Brother Marco. Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine!” Daniel said. “Just give me a second.”

Brother John stood at the door, scowling. The grim old man had undertaken to ensure that novices like him followed the rituals, and he wasn’t very happy with Daniel right now. He took one step inside, lit Daniel’s candle, and turned to go. “Hurry up.”

Daniel glanced around, knowing the demon would be gone. Nevertheless, the small, bare cell mocked him with its emptiness, just as it did every morning. He stared at his prayer book on the nightstand. That was what he should be doing: praying, not having sinful dreams, with a man, no less.

The bells were tolling the matins as he smoothed down his cassock, biting back a moan when the coarse material rubbed against his tender cock. As a novice, he was expected to wear his cassock night and day, a test, he supposed, either of physical endurance or of love of God. He tied up his hair in its customary knot at his nape. He pulled on his hood and tightened his belt.

Sinful, wet dreams. Not that he didn’t have them from time to time, but they had never felt so real.

Sin was the downfall of the world, his father had told him a thousand times over. Of course, in his father’s world, sin was anything from sleeping late on Sundays to reading a romantic novel, and Daniel was the epitome of sin.

Taking the candle, he exited his cell and stood for a moment in the empty, vaulted pathway overlooking the monastery’s yard. Monks were entering the ancient church of St John, dark-clad, hooded figures, men who had found God’s way.

Unlike him. He was going straight to Hell for these dreams, those desires. After all, demons only tortured confused souls like his, who didn’t know right from wrong, and whose minds dwelled on unnatural acts.

Somehow, he’d thought that coming to this strict monastery, joining an order of the Orthodox Church, would cure him, give him the chance to repent. Give him some peace from the shouting matches between his parents, the slamming doors and the ringing quiet that followed, the loneliness and his own guilt when he heard his name shouted in the midst of all the insults and swearing. How many times had his parents told him he was the reason they kept fighting? He hoped that, after he’d left, they had found peace.

The monastery had written to them and asked if he could stay, since Daniel had only been sixteen at the time. His parents, he was told, had the right to claim him back.

They never did. Which was a relief of sorts, even if the thought hurt briefly every time, like a hot sting in his chest. That had been two years back, and soon he’d finish his novitiate and become a monk, make this place his home.

Home. He sighed, not seeing the gardens around him but instead city streets, cars and shops and people. Where was home?

Cupping the flame of his candle, he cringed as a lean, hooded monk stepped out of the cell next to his. Brother Nathaniel. He always wore his hood drawn over his face, so that only the gleam of his gaze was visible.

“Good morning,” Daniel muttered.

The monk ignored him, as always, and hurried towards the church with long, powerful strides. There went a man free of doubt. He looked set, determined, faithful to this church. He attended mass without fail, worked hard in the orchards, knelt for long hours in prayer. Daniel had heard from old Brother John that Brother Nathaniel wasn’t much older than Daniel himself, barely nineteen, and that he’d been at the monastery for most of his life, an orphan the monks took in.

Maybe if Daniel persevered enough he’d find that faith and cool detachment inside himself too; he’d see his purpose in the world, and the demon would stop visiting his dreams.

He’d feel less lonely.

Pushing off the time-worn stone pillar, he wondered why Nathaniel was always so cold around him, never returning his greetings, never answering his questions. Could it be — Daniel’s spine stiffened and he felt a flush warming his neck — that he’d heard Daniel through the wall when the dreams held him in their thrall?

Swallowing past a knot in his throat, Daniel hurried down the pathway toward the church.

Buy this story on Amazon.  Check out Jay's blog here.