Saturday, December 21, 2013

"The Romance Section" by Viola Solaro (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  I'm an introverted, gamer-geek librarian. Which is pretty much the perfect recipe for modern-day spinsterhood. And now the dreaded trifecta of holidays is approaching: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. They used to be my favorites growing up until somewhere along the way I crossed that hazy line where I was supposed to be “dating” someone and my relatives seem to have fewer and fewer qualms about setting me up. It's not like I want to be alone forever. I just want to find a guy that is willing to sometimes talk about things other than gaming. Someone who has dreamy brown eyes and reads science fiction. Someone like that man who just walked into my library...

This SHORT novelette is approximately 8,500 words long.


Working in a library also makes me feel like I’m putting my double majors in literature and business management to good use. My true passion is literature but my parents refused to help pay for college unless I studied something “useful.” It’s an opinion but unless you’re really one of those go-getter types I think that business management has to be the most useless major. For one thing, who doesn’t have one? Makes it a tough sell to any potential employer. Plus, I’m not a go-getter.

Anyway, so here I am. Working at the city library in a suburb outside of Seattle no one has ever heard of. I’m twenty-eight. And to top it all off the dreaded trifecta of holidays is fast approaching: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. To be fair, I have nothing against these holidays and what they represent. They used to be my favorites growing up until somewhere along the way I crossed that hazy line where I was supposed to be “dating” someone.

It was subtle at first, most inquisitions are. Only the last two years or so have things bordered on intolerable. I know my family loves me but getting set up on a blind date with my aunt’s hairdresser’s son is going a little too far. I swear I can practically hear the alarm on my mother’s grandbaby biological clock going off.

It’s not like I’m some sort of man-hating, anti-marriage woman. I’m just picky. Blame my introverted tendencies if you will but there are only a handful of friends I can tolerate being around for an extended period of time. Why would dating be any different? If I already know the guy is going to be a complete idiot then I would much rather spend my evening reading a book or grinding out levels in Guild Wars 2. At least then I can destroy any annoying people with a well-placed mace to the face… in the computer game, of course.

This pretty much sums up my (lack of) dating experience. And I’m sure you can understand now why I’ve been torn between faking a horrible disease and biting the bullet for the sake of eating turkey. The arguments for both sides are rather compelling. Which is a good thing since today was a slow day at the library. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t rain constantly in Washington. It rains in bursts. It’s pretty rare to have days of non-stop downpours.

Washington natives aren’t easily daunted by weather but after three days of driving rain your motivation to go outside is low. I didn’t even want to go in to work today but reconsidered when I realized I had nothing else to do except mope around my apartment and watch BBC dramas. A decision I was beginning to regret. I had run out of things to do hours ago. Every bookshelf was immaculately organized (I checked). All the returns had been put away. I even dusted the archives. The only think I hadn’t done was vacuum the carpet but that was next if no one showed up in the next hour (you have to pace your time-killing projects).

Fortunately I heard the glorious jingle of bells on the front door. I tried not to appear too obvious as I peered over the counter to see who it was. We librarians get a bad enough rap as it is. No need to add “creepy” to the list.

In walked a guy in his early thirties. He was cute in a geeky sort of way with scraggly brown hair, a rumpled jacket and the shadow of a beard from forgetting to shave. My heart did a mild flip. If I ever had a “type,” this guy would be it. Call me weird but I don’t like men looking more groomed than me. Most days I sport a vintage looking shirt, jeans and Converse. I do just enough to my curly hair to keep me from turning into a frizz monster. Makeup is only applied on very special occasions that don’t involve my mother (can’t have her getting any ideas).

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, I believe you can.” He pulled a rumpled piece of paper out of his raincoat and handed it to me. “I’m wondering if you have any of the books on that list?”

Buy this story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Rules of the Heart" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance, Scottish Romance

Summary:  Book 1 of the Heart of the Highlands Series.

Years of war and occupation have left the MacKinloch clan in ruins. The old laird is dead and Alec is left to inherit little more than a broken down castle and a marriage contract to a woman he has never seen. So long as his wife knew her place and didn't fuss when he claimed his husbandly rights Alec would consider it a good arrangement. Little does he realize that that his new bride has some ideas of her own...


Lara didn’t even so much as flinch when two screaming boys tore through her room in the midst of a wooden sword fight. Frankly, she was glad of the distraction as it kept her from thinking too hard about the fact that she was going to be married to a complete stranger in just a few hours.

As she put the finishing touches on her hair she could hear her father outside hooking up the cart that would take her to the chapel. Her mother bustled about with the energy of someone half as young and not eight months pregnant. Lara had no idea how her mother managed but she supposed that after four miscarriages and eight living children the woman was more used to be being pregnant than not.

Even though Lara was terrified over the prospect of leaving home she kept these fears to herself since she knew her family, especially her mother, was absolutely thrilled over the match. More than once she had overheard an uncle or a cousin bragging to any random merchant that would listen that the Thompsons would be forming an alliance with the MacKinlochs. They would be related by marriage to a laird.

It was all well and good for them to brag. They didn’t have to share a bed with man that could be twice her age for all she knew. Lara tucked and plaited the MachKinloch plaid that was to be her wedding dress. The dark reds and blues flattered her fair complexion and seemed to make her eyes appear even more intensely green. At least something had worked in her favor that day.

Her mother came over and helped her to straighten the plaits. “Oh, my dear, you are truly a bonnie lass. The laird is a lucky man to be marrying you.”

Lara gave a thin smile. She loved her family and she knew her mother would miss her. But she also knew it would be a great relief to have one less mouth to feed, especially with a new little one on the way. Her brothers stopped fighting for a split second to express their admiration. “You look like a fairy princess!” the youngest one exclaimed.

Lara genuinely grinned at that. “A fairy princess that can still beat your arse in a wrestling match!”

Buy this story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"The Butterfly Papers" by Pepper Carlson (Fantasy Romance)

Genre:  Fantasy Romance

Summary:  Natália was used to keeping her own company and always traveling alone. As she headed to Los Angeles International Airport, the day seemed like any other day. She wasn’t traveling far, just an hour flight, and yet she was feeling something she couldn’t quite put her fingers on.

There was a stirring deep within her daring her to step out of her comfort zone. She knew the Universe would collaborate in her favor the elements usually did. But she would soon learn there was more to her than meets the eye when a series of ordinary events would produce extraordinary circumstances.


I was brought to life protected by a canopy of dense rainforest somewhere deep in the Amazon jungles of Brazil while my mother chased a dream. It was the part of the rainforest that holds the most secrets and only a few select shamans traveling by the Yekuana hallucinogenic have been rumored to see the truth. My mother was convinced the truth had come to visit her on many occasions and they had fallen in love. But to me it was just a story and this was my life.

It was a perfect 80-degrees with 90 percent humidity. Well perfect, if you like the kind of heat that sticks to you like a second layer of skin. I could smell the precipitation and taste the fresh water on my lips. It was high rain season but it wasn’t raining. The earth touched me comfortingly and the butterflies came in and out of view as they ceased to blend with the trees. The wilderness whispered in my ears as the butterfly wings brushed against me. There were hundreds of wings fluttering around me in all shapes and sizes. The different hues blending together created a kaleidoscope of color as if the forest was laughing and happy.

My mother was near. In what capacity I couldn't be sure but I always knew when she was close. Her scent was a combination of jasmine and lily. Her long brown hair cascaded around her like early morning mist and her omniscient jade colored eyes sparkled brighter than stars in the sky. She was as beautiful as a Pixie Angel and as protective as a Lioness. She loved me as much as she loved the forest and I could hear her magical voice singing in Portuguese as I drifted off to sleep.

Buy this story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or BookDaily.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Healing Touch" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Albert Halton is young, ambitious doctor with a promising career ahead of him. A man in his position cannot afford distractions and when he marries it will be to a demure woman that has no problem living in the shadow of her husband's work. 

Which is why his future wife will certainly be nothing like Tessa Alcott. The outspoken spinster is far too blunt and has an unfashionable taste for her own independence. Such a woman couldn't possibly be good for him... could she?


Tessa rolled her eyes and looked at Albert, desperate for any kind of support. Albert felt his breath hitch as their gazes locked. His first impression of Miss Theresa Alcott was a pretty but unrefined creature. Stray locks of curly brown hair slipped out from her white cap and her simple gown was clean but faded. A love of books and a mind of her own had probably sealed her fate as a spinster. Most men were not comfortable with intelligent wives that might question their stupid decisions. Indeed Albert had always imagined that when he married it would be to a nice, quiet sort. The type that would run his house smoothly and keep their children out of his way so he could devote most of his time to his research and career.

But when she looked at him… his heart leapt in recognition. They had only met minutes ago and yet it was as if she was an old friend he hadn’t seen in years. He knew exactly what she was thinking. He shared her same exasperated frustration with the world they lived in. Being full of ideas that no one wanted to listen to or, if they did, lacked the ability to understand those ideas. At that moment he realized she wasn’t bad-tempered or hysterical. She was bored. Trapped as a woman in a culture that felt females should have no interests other than getting married.

Buy this story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Playing With Fire" by Rose Francis (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Despite dumping her unfaithful fiancé, Janet Cooper has a hard time getting rid of him as he continues following her around, begging for her forgiveness.

Janet soon realizes her troubles are just beginning, especially since her new business partner Eric is an irresistible hunk and she has promised herself a three-month hiatus from sex.

But as her ex-fiancé gets more and more aggressive in his pursuit of her, she turns to Eric for strength and friendship, sending her ex into jealous rages.

The least of her problems becomes her fantasies of Eric and resisting her urges as she begins to see that playing with fire could leave her scarred for life.

Playing With Fire is the first in the Sweet Redemption series.


As Janet reached the elevator and the doors were about to close, she heard a male voice call out:


She held the elevator.

For a moment, she wished she had let it close when the man entered, for she was struck by something she hadn’t felt since she was eighteen when she fell madly and completely in love for the first and only time with a guy who broke her heart irreparably a few years later.

The vision before her was a man like she thought only existed in movies, and only then with the right lighting and camera angles: tall, broad shoulders, smoldering blue eyes, thick, glossy dark hair.

When he smiled at her, she thought for a moment that she had literally turned into a puddle. Then she felt silly when she realized her eye level hadn’t actually changed and she was still human, so she managed to smile back.

Her embarrassment didn’t help—she knew her cheeks had flushed at being stuck in such a small space with such a specimen, and that it would show even through her brown skin.

She couldn’t think and felt like her brain had shorted and shut down. She could only feel, emotions whirling in side of her for the minute or so it took to get to the seventh floor. At least it felt like a minute, as her body screamed at her—desire, longing, and shame coursing through her.

She tried not looking at him, focusing on the elevator buttons, then the floor—everywhere but at the Adonis next to her in a suit. But even his smell mocked her valiant efforts. His cologne, after-shave—whatever it was almost made her dizzy.

She thought she saw him smiling at her discomfort out of the corner of her eye, so she looked directly at him and immediately regretted her mistake.

His devastating grin erased her plan to firmly and confidently say hello.

How am I suddenly fourteen? she wondered. Some cute guy, clearly very fit under his suit with a firm jaw, and a beautiful smile, standing about six feet four and looking the epitome of an alpha male—and she loses it?

Get it together! she told herself as the elevator door opened.

The man indicated for her to exit first and she managed to do that, but she stood there, trying to get her bearings and remember why she was on this floor in the first place.

“708,” he said in a voice that climbed up her spine. “I take it you’re here for the Cooper reception?”

She nodded dumbly, then fell into step with him.

Buy this story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Never Again" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Book 4 of the Spinster Series

A youthful romance that ended badly has rendered Mabel Hughes incapable of ever loving another man. Or so she thought. A self-portrait she painted and sold years ago crosses paths with wealthy businessman, Thomas Torrens. He is captivated by the hauntingly beautiful woman in the picture and is determined to discover her identity. Little does he realize that artist and subject are one in the same...

This novelette is approximately 13,000 words.


“I can, of course, bring you more selections, Mr. Torrens.”

Thomas raised an amused eyebrow at the aging art dealer. He was driving the man to the point of distraction and they both knew it. Mr. Simmons had been contacted a fortnight ago with a request for a selection of art from a variety of contemporary artists. A promise to make the effort worth his while made him reluctantly agree.

Thomas was used to the type of reaction the Mr. Simmons was giving him. An untitled man was never afforded the same respect as that given to a peer. It didn’t matter that Thomas Torrens happened to be richer than most of the English aristocracy. New money was almost always viewed with contempt.

“The selections you brought me are just fine. I can tell that you went to some trouble to acquire a few of these pieces. I’m merely taking my time. One should never take the job of patron lightly.”

Simmons sighed and took a few steps back as Thomas resumed his careful scrutiny of each piece. His approach was unusual since very few aristocrats actually bothered to become educated in the field of art. They supported artists as a matter of show rather than principles.

But Thomas took pride in his carefully acquired artistic taste, having originally spent his younger days as a painter’s apprentice. Ambition made him cut his art career short. He was tired of going to bed hungry and wanted his impoverished parents to live out their remaining days in comfort. Scraping together every shilling he could muster, he had eventually made his fortune through ruthless stock trading, loans and banking. His entire life now revolved around numbers. The occasional painting project in his precious few free hours was the only way he still felt human. Art and his daughter, Annabelle, were his two reminders that there was goodness in this life.

He wasn’t quite sure if his decision to become an art patron stemmed from his passion or his guilt. His career demands up until this point had made it impossible for him to do anything other than collect the occasional piece. But at seven and thirty years of age he decided enough was enough. It was high time he started doing something with his money other than buy yet another lavish country estate.

His eyes narrowed as he examined the work in front of him. It was a painting of a bustling dock at dawn. Fishermen setting sail and their wives cutting up the latest catch. The artist had done an exquisite job capturing all the unassuming details of the scene. His technique was flawless. It lacked… depth. Thomas could immediately tell that the artist felt no connection to these people.

He didn’t want to pick just any artist to sponsor. He wanted the artist to have that special something in their work. He wasn’t sure what that was but he would know it when he saw it. Scowling at the dock scene, he moved on to the next display. So far all of these artists struck him as the same: skilled but soulless. Was it really so much to—

His internal tirade was cut short as his eyes took in the next painting. He felt himself inhale sharply. Of all the paintings put on display around his library, this one was the smallest and most unassuming. It was the portrait of a beautiful woman with auburn hair and green eyes a shade or two lighter than his own. The artist had made no attempt to disguise the age. The subject was no simpering debutant but a fully mature woman with a mind of her own.

What arrested Thomas was the sadness. Few artists could capture such a rich and complex emotion. The woman was not blatantly crying. In fact, she was smiling slightly. But underneath that smile was the pain of disappointment and hurt. The kind of sadness one hopes to eventually overcome but never does.

Ridiculous ideas began to form in Thomas’ brain. He wanted to know more about the artist who painted this piece and, more importantly, he needed to know who the woman in the painting was. Was she a real person or a figment of the artist’s imagination? His eyes shot to the right hand corner, desperately searching for a signature.

“Ah, you have excellent taste, Mr. Torrens,” the Simmons ventured, seeing his chance to finally make the sale. “That painting is by M. Hughes.”

“What do you know about him?”

The dealer shrugged. “Not much. Keeps to himself mostly in a village called Bibury. I’ve never spoken to him in person. All of our business is done by correspondence. He doesn’t seem to have any notion to make a public figure of himself which is a shame because every time I get one of his pieces it sells almost immediately and for a very nice price.”

“I’ll triple whatever you’re asking if you tell me how to contact this artist.”

Simmons lurched in surprise. “I can’t give you much, Mr. Torrens…”

“A mailing address will do.”

“Very well. Does this mean we have a deal?”

The two men shook hands but Thomas barely noticed as he continued to stare at his new acquisition. This sudden obsession came as a complete surprise to him. He had no logical explanation for it. All he knew was that he needed to uncover this lady’s secrets.

Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Hardly a Lady" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Book 3 of the Spinster Series

As the illegitimate daughter of an earl, Elizabeth Smith has little hope for a respectable marriage. Tired of living under the dictates of a disinterested father, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands and find herself a rich protector. If no one will have her as a wife then she could at least acquire some wealth being a kept woman. But an old childhood friend comes for a visit and reveles that he has no intention of letting her go so easily...

This novelette is approximately 14,500 words.


Almost the very hour Elizabeth Smith turned twenty-six she decided that some changes to her life were in order. She was tired of living under the rule of others and she wanted to lose her virginity. Shocking notions to be sure, but Elizabeth never did anything in half measures.

Considering her present situation, it was really no surprise that such ideas had popped into her head. She was spending yet another birthday taking care of her elderly cousin who had just come down with a chill. Last year she had been in the same position and the year before that she had been caring for her elderly aunt who had come down with a severe headache. This was certainly not the most cheerful way to mark the anniversary of one’s birth.

Her cousin was sleeping peacefully now that Elizabeth had carried her to the bed and wrapped some extra blankets around the frail creature. She sat in the corner chair idly twirling a loose strand of dark hair while watching the second hand on the clock tick away, a grim reminder that she was not getting any younger.

Her whole life she had been passed around like this. Never wanted and sent to take care of people that no one else wanted to bother with. She was the illegitimate offspring of an earl and the actress he had happened to be keeping mistress at the time. Her mother had adopted the dramatic stage name of Louisa Mancini but Elizabeth had been given her mother’s real and far less distinguished last name of Smith.

She supposed she should feel a certain amount of gratitude. Often in cases like this the bastard ended up in an orphanage or worse. Since Louisa had neither the time nor inclination to care for a young infant, her father sent her away to the country to be raised by a farmer family on his estate.

As far as childhoods went Elizabeth had little to complain about. The Morgans were good, simple folk that accepted her into their family and raised her with their two sons, William and Edward. Granted, they did not have much choice in the matter. But Elizabeth was fully aware of the fact that they could have easily taken the money provided by the earl and made her life a living hell.

Growing up on a farm surrounded by boys had taught Elizabeth hard work, dedication and how to wrestle. Some girls received etiquette lessons and were instructed in musical instruments while growing up. Elizabeth learned how to sow a field and could lift a fifty-pound sack of potatoes by the time she was ten.

Elizabeth had always been aware of her station in life, even from an early age. The Morgans never brought the subject up but Elizabeth knew that she was not one of them. In all likelihood she probably would have found some farmer to marry when she came of age in order to relieve the Morgans from the burden of caring for her. But was not what the fates seemed to have in store for her.

When she turned seventeen she received a letter from her father telling her that her services were required at a relative’s estate. Being young and inexperienced, Elizabeth had at first been excited over the prospect of traveling somewhere new. But the excitement quickly wore off when she realized that she had been placed in the role of caretaker, a job that was tedious and required she spend most of her time inside.

The drastic change in lifestyle was a difficult adjustment. Going from virtual freedom to having to monitor how loud her footsteps were grated on her spirit. But she never once complained to anyone. She was not being mistreated or starved. Any woman in her station would be grateful to live in such comfort.

The sound of her cousin snoring made Elizabeth’s mind wander back to the present. She wasn’t quite sure why this particular birthday seemed more significant than any of the others. Perhaps she had finally reached her full maturity or perhaps she was simply fed up with the monotony of her life. All she knew for certain was that it was time for a change.

Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Beckoning Spirit" by Stacey Coverstone (Paranormal Romance)

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Summary:  Following a year of one disappointing turn after another, Devin Fuller has been dreaming for weeks of a mysterious woman in white beckoning to her from atop the island lighthouse. On the anniversary of her grandma's death, Devin feels a supernatural push to visit Grandma’s grave on Monhegan Island. However, the last ferry has been cancelled due to an approaching storm. In steps local Maine fisherman, Kipp Sullivan, who offers to ferry her across the bay. Although they’ve never met, both feel an immediate connection the moment they look into each other’s eyes, as if they’ve always known each other. When their hands touch, an electrical charge jumps between them, and time and space blend.

Once they cross the storm-tossed sea and reach the island, Devin has an eerie encounter with ghosts, and she and Kipp become acutely aware of the strange coincidences piling up around them. The lighthouse, an old oil painting, and spirits from beyond the grave appear to be pieces of a puzzle meant to bring the couple together. But do they believe in reincarnation? And if so, can the mistakes of the past lead to happily ever after in the present?


Devin lifted her head as a sudden cold gale carried an eerie whistle upon the wind. As though she were a puppet on a string, her neck rotated toward the abandoned lighthouse. The light was on in the tower.

How could the light be on? She knew the light hadn’t worked in years.

Stumbling to her feet, she dashed between the maze of headstones and out the cemetery gate. In the manner of a typical island storm, the wind and rain blew into a frenzy within moments. She jerked off her sandals and ran barefoot to the base of the lighthouse. Shaking from sudden exposure, she stared up at the small oval window fifty feet above. A jagged bolt of lightning sliced through the darkened sky, and in one sharp instant, Devin saw her. The woman stood at the window, her shadowy face staring down. Rain slashed at the glass, and the small window rattled wildly in its ancient casing, caught in the fury of the burgeoning storm. With a blink of her eye, the vision was gone.

Her fist flew to her mouth. Had she really seen someone? Or was her imagination playing tricks? Thunder boomed and another jagged flash lit up the sky, illuminating the window again. The figure was still there! The woman’s long auburn hair lay curled around her shoulders, and the wide lace collar of her white dress accentuated the slender arch of her neck.

Devin stood trancelike as the ghostly shape of a man magically appeared at the woman’s side. He placed a spectral arm around her waist. His hair was dark and he wore an odd-looking shirt with a ruffle down the front. His face, like hers, was cast in long shadows. An icy thread wound its way up Devin’s spine when he tenderly took the woman’s chin between his fingers and brushed his lips against hers.

Another clap of thunder wrenched Devin from her trance. She jumped and blinked, and the two smoky shapes dissipated into thin air.
“No! Come back!” she shouted.

She pounded her fist upon the small lighthouse door. It was padlocked. “Open up!” she called desperately into the wind. She pounded again, and the lock magically broke apart and the chain thudded to the ground. With her mouth open in shock, she flung the door open and planted one foot on the bottom step of the old wooden stairs. Her gaze lifted at the exact moment the two phantoms glided down the staircase, hand in hand.

Buy this story on Amazon and be sure to check out the author's website.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Transforming Love" by Debra Smith (Paranormal Romance)

Genre:  Paranormal Erotic Romance

Summary:  Jenny never expected her thirst for freedom to lead to her capture. Family secrets prevent her from running from the only man tempting enough to make her submit to her body's desires.

Gryph is dark, sexy, and determined to win Jenny in the Slag, a contest revered by his kind. As the leader of his Clan he's used to getting his way, until her. Can he give Jenny her freedom while winning her heart?


Gryph pointed at Jenny, “You come with me before you start a riot.” He grabbed her by the hand and pulled her to the door in the back of the bar. He opened it roughly and the hinges squeaked in protest.

He motioned to the sturdy black leather couch. “Sit.”

“I would prefer to stand, if you don’t mind.” She stuck out her chin, tired of pushy males.

“Sit. Down.”

Okay, so he minded. Jenny decided not to anger the only chance of help she had. Jeez, she felt like she was in the principal's office after her senior prank. It wasn't her fault the chickens pooped all over his brand new leather interior. He shouldn't have left the top down on his Mustang. She figured the chickens would all sort of…hop out. Gryph growled, low and menacing. She blinked, drawn back to the present.

“Fine, I would love to sit.” She took a deep breath.

“How did you get here? And don’t say you walked.” He leaned against the large wooden desk and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Well I did walk, but before that I drove.” She shrugged, still distracted by her hunger.

Gryph clenched his jaw. “Let’s start with something easy. What’s your name and where are you from?”

“I’m Jenny, well Jenifer, but I like Jenny better. I’m from Colorado.”

“What’s your clan name?”

Jenny scrunched her eyebrows. This guy was crazier than a roped mustang. “Clan?”

“Yeah, your clan. What do you think I would want to know, your shoe size? You walk into my bar, looking like you do. Are you really that stupid? Most of the males here don’t have mates, and honey, you're ripe for the picking.”

Yep, he was totally crazy. She needed to get the hell out of there and fast.

“Look, I’m leaving.” Jenny stood, and before she could open the door, he had her pinned to the wall. Her heart raced as she struggled against his crushing grip. His scent hit her nose, sending heat to pool in her belly. Her head spun trying to decide what it was, undeniably something dark and dangerous. His lips grazed her ear, and his breath fanned along her flushed skin.

“You expect me to believe you really have no idea what I’m talking about? That a female in your state just happened to walk through my door? Your leader is either stupid or playing with fire. I can't believe he thought I would fall for a scrawny thing like you.” Gryph bristled.

“Listen, I have no idea what you are talking about. I have no clue what town or even what state I’m in right now. I just want to go home.” Tears began pooling in her eyes. So much for being independent, once again she’d bitten off more than she could chew.

“Sit down.” Gryph shoved her in the direction of the couch.

She eyed the door, ready to run back to her car. His lips tilted in a knowing smile, saying just try it. Fear made her mind hazy, like everything played in slow motion. She could still feel the heat left by his touch. God. She was crazy just for thinking of her jailer in a sexual way. She could use a drink, or the next best thing, chocolate. Jenny looked through her purse for the rest of her candy bar. She needed some comfort, and it was all she had. She watched Tall, Dark, and Scary step over to the front of a large wooden desk and braced himself on his hands. He shook his head, deep in thought. She took a moment to look at his features: his body was all powerful muscle, the tight black t-shirt did nothing to hide the flexing muscles of his back and his ass was incredible. He looked like walking, talking sin.

“What’s your last name?”

She narrowed her eyes, “Why?”

“Do you want to go home or not?”

“Fine, Koning. My last name is Koning.”

“You have to be fucking kidding me.” He ran his hand through his hair.

“I assure you, it’s true. I can get my driver's license if you would like.” Jenny grabbed her wallet and handed to him. Gryph looked at her ID and closed his eyes.


She was the one being held against her will, and he was upset about her name. It certainly wasn’t her problem if he believed her or not. She genuinely didn’t see why it mattered. She was hungry, tired, and with a lunatic. She bit down on her candy bar and let the flavors give her brief moment of peace. God if she ever saw that used cars salesman, she was going to have her dad take him for a shovel ride. You know the real fun kind where only the shovel comes back. She opened her eyes, and he was staring at her with a familiar heat in his eyes. Her body responded with a heat of its own, and she squirmed in her seat.

“Can I have a taste?”

She almost said no, but she actually did need his help. If giving him the rest of her chocolate bar would influence his decision, it was a sacrifice she was willing to make. She nodded and held out her candy.

She shook it impatiently, almost regretting her choice to share. It was Lindt Milk Chocolate, for Pete's sake, as close to heaven on earth as you could get. His lips curved into a seductive half smile. Before she knew what was happening, he grabbed her outstretched hand and pulled her off the couch and up against his body. He had her trapped, caged by his thick arms, and drugged by his intoxicating scent. He was warm and smelled like crushed pine needles and mountain air.

“W-what are you doing?”

“I’m going to taste you.”

Buy this story on Amazon.  Check out the author's site.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

"Guilty Pleasure" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Book 2 of the Spinster Series

After the death of her parents Harriet Hughes devoted herself to a life free of temptation. Any activity that could lead to an excess of emotion was strictly avoided. She never questioned her way of life until a chance encounter with a dashing young naval officer who may turn out to be just too much temptation to resist...

This novelette is approximately 13,000 words. 


If someone had asked Harriet Hughes on Monday to imagine all the possible situations she could be in at the week’s close, what she was doing right now would have been last on that list. The small bouquet of freshly picked wildflowers didn’t stand a chance under the force of Harriet’s death grip.

For the umpteenth time that hour her sister, Mabel, came up to her side and whispered, “Are you sure you want to do this, Harriet? You know that I would always take care of you, your reputation be damned.”

“Mabel!” Harriet hissed through her teeth, quite shocked. “You’re not supposed to swear in church! In fact a lady shouldn’t be swearing at all!”

“Well not every lady’s sister is forced to marry a complete stranger against her will!”

“I’m not marrying Captain Fletcher against my will. You said it yourself that this is the only option.”

“Yes, but that was yesterday. I’m having second thoughts today and I think you should too!”

Harriet’s featured softened as she met her sister’s gaze. Mabel had every right to be worried. Six years Harriet’s senior, Mabel had automatically assumed the role of mother when their parents had died of consumption. Mabel was also extremely jaded when it came to men after having her heart broken by a scoundrel. So it was only natural that she would question Harriet’s decision.

“I’ll be fine, Mabel. I’m twenty-two, certainly too old to be swept away by childish fantasies. Captain Fletcher is merely a solution to a problem. He seems to me to be a reasonable sort of man and we both will go our separate ways when this is all over. Then life can go back to normal.”

Mabel gave her a skeptical glare then squeezed Harriet’s hand reassuringly before taking her place to one side as witness for the ceremony. The only other person in attendance was Harriet’s best friend, Jane, who also happened to be married to Bibury’s pastor, John Cooper.

Harriet glanced nervously at her friend and Jane tried to give her an encouraging smile. Just slightly over one year ago Jane took a chance and married the man that everyone had thought she couldn’t stand. Theirs had been a love match with emotions that Harriet knew she could never hope for with her own marriage.

Her gaze shifted to her intended. At least Bryce Fletcher was not an eyesore. He had thick brown hair and was well muscled from his years of military service. He was average in height but still several inches taller than Harriet. Though in the past Harriet never had any intention of ever getting married, Captain Fletcher seemed to be the embodiment of what she would consider physical perfection in the male form.

Not that she had ever had such thoughts. To think about a man in such a way would be wrong and against everything her parents had ever taught her. And she refused to soil their memory with a stray moment of lust.

“Are we ready to begin?” Mr. Cooper asked while giving Harriet a pointed look.

Harriet didn’t miss the inflection in his question. Mr. Cooper was a good man and wanted to make sure his wife’s friend was not being forced into an unwanted situation. “Yes,” she said with more calm than she really felt. “You may begin at any time, Mr. Cooper.”

She felt her hands shake and she gripped her bouquet even tighter. She didn’t even really hear what the pastor was saying as he read the vows from his book. Through all the haze a warm, steady hand slipped under the bouquet and gently held her fingers. Harriet looked suddenly at Bryce and he smiled at her. It was not a mocking smile or an insolent grin. It was a caring smile, the kind that would pass between two friends that were going to get through this ordeal together.

Harriet’s hands stopped shaking and she felt the knot in her stomach begin to unravel. Maybe… just maybe this marriage really wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Buy this story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Forever Love" by Melissa Keir (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Fifteen years ago, Syndie Wilder left her small hometown- Amherst, Ohio- to escape the pain of losing her best friend and boyfriend. Deciding that Chicago offered more for an up and coming jewelry designer, she enjoyed the big city life until she chooses to return and care for her father. Taking care of her father and relocating her internet business, Syndie has no time or desire for romance but fate has a way of playing with best-laid plans.

Thom Johnson broke Syndie’s heart all those years ago and regrets it every day. As a firefighter, Thom sets out to protect Amherst and redeem himself for his bad choices. However, he never has forgotten Syndie and the hurt he caused her.

When a chance meeting happens, can the two former friends allow themselves the chance to become friends again, or will the sparks turn a childhood friendship into a forever love?


After getting out of my car, I hiked down the stairs. It was a mild September day, and the beach was fairly empty—just myself and a few seagulls. I walked slowly along the shoreline with my head down, not noticing the person swimming in the water until he began to climb out of the surf.

A dark, cropped haircut framed a face so beautiful that it could be described as the face of a Roman god. He had a strong nose and jawline that showed just a sprinkling of whisker stubble. However, it was his body that made me pause. His muscular shoulders and upper arms looked like they could carry a girl off to bed. His wet torso was covered with hair that immediately drew my eyes and tempted me to caress it. The chest hair tapered down his narrow waist and seemed to lead the way to paradise. I stopped walking and just stared. God, please let there be no drool dripping off my chin. This guy was smokin’ hot! Then he smiled and I noticed his face, complete with a little dimple in his chin. He seemed familiar, but I wasn’t sure where I recognized him from. When he saw that I noticed him, he winked as if he recognized me too.

“Hello! Nice day for a walk, huh? The weather has been kind to us this year.” He spoke and my knees wobbled. His voice was like chocolate, smooth and delicious.

“Hi…Yes…I’m glad the weather is nice enough to get out, but isn’t the water too cold for a swim?”

“Not at all. I enjoy my morning workouts after a long shift at the station. You don’t remember me, do you, Syndie?”

My mind was drawing a blank. How did he know my name? Who was this hottie?

“Not really. You do look familiar, but I can’t place you. I’m sorry.”

“It’s been a long time. We grew up together, our parents were best friends. We even went out in high school. I’m not surprised you don’t remember me, you hightailed it out of Amherst like your butt was on fire after graduation. We never saw each other again. I’m Thom Johnson, but everyone called me T.J.”

Oh wow. I’ve got a lot on my plate and he has changed over the years, but to not know someone so connected to most of my life was baffling. This man had been my best childhood friend. I was T.J.’s girlfriend for a while, but he dumped me for someone who put out. Before we went out in high school, I grew up with images in my head of him as the ideal guy. Our families encouraged our dating, thinking we were perfect together. When he dumped me, it broke my heart. I couldn’t stand watching him move on without me.

“Yes, I recognize you now, T.J. I took off because I thought that a big city had more to offer me. Well, it was nice to see you again. I had better get back to my walk, you seem busy.” I took off wanting to escape this awkward moment. Having to explain to T.J. why I was back in town was the last thing on my to-do list today.

“All right, Syn. See you around.” T.J. smiled. “Glad you’re back!”

I began heading back to my car, no sea glass having been found. Instead, I’d discovered the one guy who broke my heart and, based upon my initial reaction to the sight of him, has the potential to do it again. I backed out of the parking spot and headed back onto the main road into town, thoughts of T.J. occupying my mind.

Buy this story on Secret CravingsAmazon or All Romance.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Finding Home" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance

Summary:  Ailsa Campbell grew up not knowing much of happiness. Her cruel father now dead and her clan torn apart by war, she is unsure of what the future could hold for her.
But the handsome new laird from the MacAllan clan may just have all the answers...

This short, steamy romance is approximately 4,250 words long.


She turned around to look at him. A smoldering gaze that shot heat straight to Ian’s groin. He didn’t know who she was but felt a sense of possessiveness toward her. Like she was his and his alone.

She walked toward him slowly, sensually. One of her hands slid up and loosened her bodice, allowing her breasts to nearly spill out.

Ian closed the distance between them and crushed her soft body to his. She melted into his embrace, like she was made for his arms. He leaned forward, as his lips brushed hers he felt something at his very core… something he couldn’t even begin to explain…

Ian MacAllan jerked awake, his body humming with desire. He glanced down and saw the rock hard evidence of his erotic dream. It had seemed so real! Like somehow the woman in his dreams was someone he knew.

But it was probably wishful thinking. With a groan, he covered his eyes with his arm and tried to find sleep once more.

Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Takeover" by Annie Turner (Western Romance)

Genre:  Western Romance

Summary:  Book 2 of the Jimmy Cochran story. 

Jimmy and Adelaide get married but their bliss is cut short with the arrival of a new pastor in town. Despite Pastor Ramstein's popularity with the townsfolk, Jimmy's suspicions that the pastor is up to no good prove to be well founded. But he may be too late to save the town...

Novella, approx. 18,000 words

This story was originally published under the name Alain Gomez.


For the rest of the day, Jimmy was occupied putting the sheriff’s office into order. The previous occupant had not been the neatest of men and yesterday’s gunplay had not improved matters. When it came close to six he closed up shop and walked over to the O’Haras’ new business.

He rapped on the door and Adelaide was the first to answer. This Jimmy coming to pick her up was a far cry from the one that she had left this morning. His hair was now neatly trimmed and his beard gone. He was wearing a new grey shirt that made his eyes seem even greener with black pants and a black vest. She noticed that on his vest there was a shiny sheriff’s badge pinned on. Even the slight bagginess in his shirt was not enough to conceal his well-muscled arms and trim figure. She raised an eyebrow at all this and a slow smile crept to her face.



“Tell me.”

“Umm…nice badge.”

“Thanks,” he said in a tone of obvious disbelief. Choosing to let whatever was amusing her slide, he asked, “You ready to go to dinner?”

“We sure are. Pop?”

Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"A Christmas Accident" by Melissa Keir (Contemporary Romance)

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Expecting her first child, Sherri Wilder Davison wants nothing more than to spend time with her father over the holidays, but fate has a way of changing her best-laid plans.

Adam Davison is willing to do anything to make his pregnant wife happy. He will face hell to have her home for the holidays.

For Sherri and Adam, the holidays are a time of celebration and love, but this Christmas will be unlike any they have ever faced.

When a horrible blizzard causes an automobile accident that puts the lives of those Sherri loves on the line, can a Christmas miracle save them?


Looking over at Adam, I’m amazed that such a handsome man could love me. Stubble showed on Adam’s rugged face. I liked the way the short growth of beard rubbed on my face when he nibbled on my ears. Adam’s dark brown hair was cut short, emphasizing his deep blue eyes and strong nose. The small dimple on his chin made him seem more approachable and much less serious. His tall stature and muscular body always made me feel precious yet delicate, like a porcelain doll, but Adam never treated me like anything other than a desirable woman.

“How are the roads? Do you think we can stop so I can use the bathroom? Your son is pushing on my bladder.” Wiggling in my seat, I tried to alleviate the uneasy pressure.

Adam looked over at me with a dreamy expression on his face. His gaze settled on my stomach as it undulated. “Sure, I could use some coffee. How are you feeling? Little Pea looks active tonight.”

“I’m okay except for the kicks to the bladder. I swear he’s practicing his temper tantrums so he has them right when he comes out. Oh Ricky, we are in so much trouble,” I replied with a silly high pitched whiney Lucille Ball-type voice, then smiled.

I am thankfully in the third trimester of my pregnancy. I’d passed the dangerous stage where many women miscarry as well as the dreaded morning sickness phase that sucks the very life out of a body. Now I had abundant energy and looked forward to finally getting ready to meet our son. We still had two more months to go but I already felt like a beached whale, not to mention the walking with a waddle. Adam loved talking to my stomach, he’d even been reading storybooks to our peanut each night.

Adam and I had eloped to Hawaii five years ago during our Christmas vacation. We’d kept our wedding private, only us. Today we are closer than most married couples, enjoying the same things, especially our cottage home on the Huron River, old movies, television shows, and snuggling up with a blanket on those cold Michigan nights.

While we both loved our families, neither one of us enjoyed traveling which became the basis for the fight. I’d won the the argument after the announcement of my father’s recent diagnosis. I’d spent hours on the phone with my sister, then on the internet gathering information on Alzheimer's. The dementia had already begun to kick in when Dad accidentally set fire to his home. Luckily, Syndie had already moved in with Dad and got him out of the house in time. My need for family had only become stronger since I’d learned about my pregnancy and the arrival of the first grandson.. I didn’t want my baby to miss out on his remaining grandparent.

Fear about my father never getting to meet or know my little peanut became a constant in my mind. Adam and I had distanced ourselves from our families over the years. We were always so happy spending time with just each other, we’d just never considered what those choices did to others. Having a baby changes things. My sister’s wedding invitation plus my dad’s diagnosis, well, both convinced me that we needed to get back to Ohio. Christmas seemed like a perfect excuse.

After pulling into the gas station, Adam stopped the car next to the pump. I grabbed my purse. “I’m going to use the bathroom, grab your coffee, then get a snack while you fill up. Is there anything else you want?” I walked over to Adam’s door as he let himself out.

Adam bent down to kiss my belly, making my muscles clench. How does such a beefy man do that yet still look so masculine?

“Why don’t you also grab me some pretzels. I don’t know if the coffee will be good on my empty stomach. But with the way the snow has been falling, I want to make sure we can take the turnpike rather than Route 2.”

Route 2 is known as Death’s Highway. The area of Route 2 between Bono and Sandusky claimed dozens of lives due to the large semi-trucks in addition to the awkward two lane road. People couldn’t see what was coming around the next bend so head-on collisions were frequent. The horrible blizzard-like conditions from Lake Erie only made the road more treacherous.

After grabbing the coffee, pretzels and some crackers for myself, then paying for them, I headed back to the car. The snow made the car hard to see from the door of the gas station. Driving in this mess wasn’t a comforting thought.

“Adam, the weather looks really bad. Maybe we should turn on a local radio station to check on the road conditions.”

Making slow progress, we listened to the bleak weather bulletin. Little did we know one single radio announcement would change our lives forever.
Buy this story on Amazon, Secret Cravings, or Barnes and Noble.