Interview: Madison Michael, author of OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY

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Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Initially I started writing romance because it was winter in Chicago. Seriously. I was afraid of cabin fever, so I signed up for two online classes – ‘Beginner Spanish’ and ‘How to Write a Romance Novel’. Sadly I didn’t get past Buenos Dias in Spanish class, but the writing stuck. I stayed with romance once I started there because I love reading romances, I love writing happy endings and steamy sex and because the fans are the best anywhere.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Chicago settings, elite society, smart, successful characters and hot sex and food. I like to write about food.

What do you like to read in your free time?

Like most author/entrepreneurs, my initial response is to ask “what free time?” In truth, I do take time every week for friends and family. I binge about three hours of news every night. Late at night I love to watch TV. Currently, I am binging Stranger Things and The Crown. And of course, Hallmark movies. Out in the world, I love to explore new restaurants, art museums and festivals, go to movies, and travel. Maybe I should ask when I find time to write!

What projects are you working on at the present?

I am completing my Beguiling Bachelor Series with the fourth book, Besotted, due out this summer. I am also putting the finishing touches on the first novella in my new B&B Billionaire Romance Series. The first of these, Desire & Dessert will come out this spring in a collection The Billionaire’s Club.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I have two more B&B Billionaire stories to write and then I want to explore historical romance a little bit. I am starting this month to blog four days per week instead of two – one dedicated specifically to Romance authors, three still aimed at readers. That should keep me busy all year and into 2019.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

OMG, I can answer this one but its embarrassing. I once sat in a two hour meeting and ate nine – yes you read that right – nine donuts! I wasn’t even aware I was doing it until I counted how many were left and realized what I had done. No one in the meeting said a word, but I am sure they all noticed.

How violently do you have to fight the urge to scream when you hear the ice cream truck coming?

No screaming – I just run out for ice cream.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

I hold my breath and say a Hail Mary. My roommate freshman year in college swore by this method and it usually does the trick. Of course, I am Jewish, so first she had to teach me a Hail Mary.

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

I love answering food questions Frozen, my favorite is a Thin Mint, at room temperature I prefer a Samoa.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

Food, like I do, and romping through fields of catnip.

This or That?

Dogs or Cats? Cats

Tea or Coffee? Both, depending on the time of day

Marvel or DC Comics? Marvel

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

Bond or Bourne? Bond

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About the Book:

Can Love Transcend Time?

Thirty-year old Matthew Herrington is weary of solo nights in strange cities. He is ready for a change. And that is exactly what he gets when he steps into Swing Night at The Green Mill and is instantly immersed in the sights and sounds of another era. Intrigued by the club’s authenticity, Matthew is enchanted when he meets Patty, a mixture of sexy and sweet who steals his heart.

Patty Dennison has never met a man like Matthew in all her twenty-one years. A sophisticated man, he stands out from the usual Swing Night crowd. He is self-assured, smart, charming, and handsome as hell, even if he is a lousy dancer. Once he takes her in his arms, Patty is more than willing to give him a few dance lessons along with her heart.

Repeated missed dates and unanswered phone calls strain the relationship and frustrate the pair. But unraveling their mystery exposes an impossible scenario, one that will torment their sanity and test their love.

How can they make their fairytale last? Can love transcend time?



OLISHTS 1st Chap

A waitress came to take it off his hands. “Another?” she queried and he nodded agreement, placing a crumpled dollar on her tray. “Too much,” she told him shaking her head no. Matthew was surprised by her response but the tray was covered with loose change so he removed his bill and left the equivalent in quarters. Everything was so inexpensive but the server still needed to make a decent living.

She gave him a grateful smile and turned to move to her next customer, carefully balancing her tray above the heads of the young people around her. In the process, she nudged Matthew slightly causing him to lose his footing and fall gently against another body. Turning to apologize he found himself staring into the clearest, lightest blue eyes he had ever seen. He couldn’t look away.

“Sorry,” he mumbled when he finally regained his composure.

“That’s okay,” she replied with a quick, bright smile. She was lovely, in a wholesome girl next door way. She had her blond hair pulled into a ponytail that curled like a hair product ad, clear-skinned cheeks that were pink with warmth and perhaps exertion, and a curvy body displayed under a bright red sweater and a flared plaid skirt.

Matthew felt his mouth go dry and his palms get sweaty. She did something to him, this fresh faced woman that he found incredibly sexy. Her red lipstick was a slash of bright color mimicking the red of the sweater. Until this moment, bright red lipstick screamed “tough broad, stay away” to Matthew but on this girl it whispered “come hither.”

“Matthew,” he squeaked out, extending his hand to shake hers. Thinking twice about it, he retracted his arm, running his palm against his pants swiftly, and hopefully surreptitiously, before he extended his hand again.

“Patty,” she responded, placing her soft fingers in his large palm. She shook like a girl. After all the bone-breaking handshakes Matthew had endured across the globe, this limp, fingers-only shake surprised him. She looked athletic, not tough but toned, and not sickly pale like most Chicagoans in winter. The handshake didn’t match the image and normally would have bothered him. Nothing about Patty bothered him. Everything about her bothered him.

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Madison Michael is a chick-flick watching, smart-mouthed, shoe addict living her fantasy as a romance writer. Her mission is to create flawed, engaging, loveable characters readers want to know, placing them in wonderful settings and then adding a plot that allows them to grow, learn and fall madly in love. Maddy wants to introduce you to a better, richer version of her world – one with incredible wealth, indescribable beauty and the happiest of endings. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and resides in Chicago.

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Madison has some fabulous giveaways for this tour. Remember you may visit the other tour stops to increase your chances of winning. You may find those locations here.

Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #1: Includes  Books: Outlander, Time Traveler’s Wife and Beyond the Highland Mist and  DVDs: Somewhere in Time, The Lake House, the eBook Our Love Is Here To Stay.

Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #2: One of the books above and 1 of the DVDs plus the eBook for Our Love Is Here To Stay.

Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #3: One of the books above or one DVD plus the eBooks Our Love Is Here To Stay.


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Excerpt: ASSASSIN OF TRUTHS by Brenda Drake


Excerpt from Assassin of Truths:

A high wizard back in medieval times had created the beasts by sewing animal parts to four slain warriors and connecting them with one soul. The beings were frightening and haunted my dreams. One creature resembled a lion with a cleft lip and claw-like hands. Another had a boar’s head with sharp tusks sticking out of its jaw. The third had two large ram horns coming out of its forehead, which pulled and distorted its face. And the final one was part lizard, with razor-sharp teeth and scales. Each could command one of the elements, but they could never separate from one another or they’d die. The creatures were a myth to me, yet I was key to their destruction.

All I had to do was find the seven Chiavi, which, when combined, would unlock the beast from its prison, buried in some elusive mountain somewhere in a world full of mystical creatures. Simple. I rolled my eyes before returning my attention to Gian’s journal.


It must be a puzzle.

There were seven letters in the clue. There were seven Chiavi.

I sat up straighter.

Which meant there were seven libraries.

We had retrieved five of the keys. I wrote down the names of the libraries where we’d found them, but none of the initials matched the letters in the acronym.

It’s not the names of the libraries. What am I missing? I stared at the page. Maybe it’s the location of the libraries. I printed them next to the libraries. No matches.


I scribbled on the page—Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland.

That has to be it. I just need two more letters. One starts with a “C” and the other an “N.”

I removed the list of libraries with artwork that could be a Chiave. Nick and I had assembled it with Uncle Philip’s help. I compared the clues for the final two Chiavi with our notes and circled the Czech Republic. Uncle Philip had suggested a painting in that library for In front of the world; he wears his honor on his chest. It was a portrait of some royal guy from the eighteenth century. He wore a uniform with a badge on his chest. It was the only library that could represent the C in the acronym.

We’d already figured out the final clue—Beneath destruction and rapine, he scribes the word, while time falls—or actually, Nick had. The thought of him made my heart tighten again.

Conemar won’t hurt him. Nick’s his son. I tried to reassure myself.

Nick believed the final clue described a mural named The Medieval Scribe in the McGraw Rotunda of the New York Public Library’s main branch. He’d gone there with his family a few years back. The image stayed with him only because he’d pretended to like it for nearly twenty minutes to impress some girl.

A smile tightened my lips as I imagined how silly he probably acted around the girl. Nick was a goofball at times. It was what I liked most about him.

But the other letters represented countries. I scanned the list of possible libraries.

A light went on in my head, illuminating the answer. He couldn’t put America down. There were too many states. He’d narrow it down to one of them. That’s what I’d do. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew that’s what he’d do, too.

So “C” for Czech Republic and “N” for New York. I had solved can figs. And I had the locations of the final Chiavi.


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About Assassin of Truths:

The gateways linking the great libraries of the world don’t require a library card, but they do harbor incredible dangers.

And it’s not your normal bump-in-the- night kind. The threats Gia Kearns faces are the kind with sharp teeth and knifelike claws. The kind that include an evil wizard hell-bent on taking her down.

Gia can end his devious plan, but only if she recovers seven keys hidden throughout the world’s most beautiful libraries. And then figures out exactly what to do with them.

The last thing she needs is a distraction in the form of falling in love. But when an impossible evil is unleashed, love might be the only thing left to help Gia save the world.

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About Brenda Drake:

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda’s world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there’s always a romance warming the pages. Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she’s not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Excerpt: FOUND by Claudia Burgoa

FOUND by Claudia Burgoa is now LIVE!



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All I’ve ever wanted was for someone to choose me. My mother didn’t. My father didn’t. The beautiful boy next door, who grew up to marry me, didn’t. Neither did the next man with whom I thought my heart was safe.

Back in the Bay area, three thousand miles from New York City, I can start fresh. Become one with the sea again, rise or fall on the tide of my own choices. But on the first day of my bright new life, the darkest shadows of my past follow me through my office door. The two men whose names are definitely not on my five-year plan.

If I let it consume me—my need for one man, my love for the other—the darkness will swallow me whole. I can’t let that happen. Not again. This time, the waves of emotion crashing against my heart won’t drown me. This time, I get to choose my happy ending.






It’s time to get back to the hotel. Fitz and I have been helping Hazel set up her apartment. Installing the sound system was the last thing on her list, and I’m almost done. But I don’t want this day to end. Not yet.

I don’t want to leave her.

I want to bask in the light of the infectiously cute smile she wears everywhere she goes.

I want to stay with her for the rest of the night.

Forever—if she allows it.

Hazel Beesley has been warming my cold soul since the moment I met her. She isn’t like any women I’ve come across. I met her the summer she came to live with her grandfather.

Everything about Hazel captured my heart from the beginning. Her big eyes, long braids, wicked smile and a smart mouth. Her luscious, full lips. The eagerness to learn and help people. Behind the professional hard shell she shows to the world, there’s a smart, sensitive, caring woman. She adores her family and helps everyone around her.

My relationship with her has been by stages. The big crush happened when I met her. Slowly, I fell in love with her, and one day, we kissed. In that instant, her air became mine, and my soul was branded with her name. Her presence calms the demons inside my head. She knows most of my secrets and my fears. Hazel held my hand while we face my most significant challenges.

My phone buzzes. It’s a text from Harrison, my oldest brother.

Harrison: Where are you?

Scott: San Francisco.

Harrison: Why am I not surprised? Are you and Hazel getting back together?

I snort. That’s the plan, but there’s a complication.

Scott: I’m working on it.

Harrison: If I could, I’d talk some reason into her, but … you fucked up, and I can’t help you.

No one can help me. I let out a long, frustrated breath. Harrison is her best friend. They are so similar. According to him, I have a hefty price to pay before she forgives me. Then, I must grovel, and maybe we will salvage something. At least, that’s what he said after Christmas.

Scott: It’s back to square one. I have to remind her how great we are together.

Harrison: That puzzles me. That the two of you fit just right. You are so different. And yet, you stayed together for a long time.

He’s right. On the surface, we don’t look compatible. However, deep down we fit perfectly. Like a key in its lock, I belong to her. It’s in the way she makes me feel. The yearning when she’s away. The joy I experience when she’s steps away from me. She holds the power in our relationship, not me.

Scott: I regret being a coward, and letting her slip out of my hands knowing that this day would come. The day she’d move back to San Francisco and see the boy she fell in love with since they were kids.

Harrison: Well, you better apply yourself before she sees him.  

Jesus, I rub the back of my neck. What am I doing here?

Scott: This might be a lost battle. She already saw him.  


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Claudia is an award-winning, international bestselling author. She lives in Colorado working for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. And a wonderful husband who shares her love for all things geek. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.


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Excerpt: UNTIL YOU’RE MINE by Cindi Madsen {giveaway}

Today we have the Cindi Madsen’s UNTIL YOU’RE MINE blog tour stopping by!

Check out this sexy new romance and grab your copy today!


Author: Cindi Madsen

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Until You’re Mine:

You might’ve heard of me, Shane Knox, the guy who rose quickly through the MMA fighter ranks, only to crash just as fast. No one cares about personal reasons when it comes to losing fights and money. I’m determined to get back to where I was. For you to hear my name again. I’ve finally convinced the owner of Team Domination to take a chance and get me back in fighting—and winning—shape. What I didn’t bargain for is the guy’s spitfire of a daughter. Factor in her two professional-fighter brothers who are acting as my coaches and the fact that my career hangs in the balance, and Brooklyn’s the last girl I should be fantasizing about.

The closer we get, the more I want Brooklyn. The stakes are high, and I know there’s a big chance of both of us getting hurt, but I won’t stop until she’s mine.

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I stroked my tongue over hers until she was the one distracted. Every time I thought I’d gotten my fill of this girl, I took another taste and found myself starving for more. Just like that, I was ready to go again.

My muscles, unfortunately, not so much. They complained with every tiny movement, reminding me they’d been pushed to the brink of exhaustion, and a non-sexy type groan slipped out. The ice bath had robbed me of my breath, but it’d helped the aching. Looked like I needed another one, but I chose to lose myself in a warm body instead. Or I would once I caught my second wind.

I sagged into the comfort of the couch.

Brooklyn ran a finger down my chest. “Oh, sure, get me all riled up and then crash out.”

“My body’s taken a lot of abuse lately. Give me a second to rest my arms and I’ll be good to go.”

Her finger drifted lower, and my body was ready to take more abuse at the hands of this girl. “Guess that means I need to do the work,” she said.

I was about to argue, but then she crawled on top of me. She rocked her hips and my groan was all pleasure this time.

I ran my hands up her thighs, my energy slowly returning.

She toyed with the bottom of her shirt. “Okay, so I’m guessing about now’s when you’d remove my top.”

“You know me. The sooner I get you naked, the better. If it were up to me, you’d lose your clothes the second you stepped inside my apartment.”

“Well, lucky for me, you were already shirtless when I arrived.”

“I strive to please.”

She pulled off her top, and I soaked in the sight of the hot-pink bra I’d asked her to model for me. Her confidence and the seductive way she peered down at me propelled me right from want to need, and my cock twitched, impatient for his turn.

“That bra’s even sexier than I thought it’d be, but now I’m wondering how it’d look on my floor.”

“Well, I know how unimaginative you can be.” She reached up and pushed one of the straps off her shoulders. She batted her eyelashes as she did the same with the other side. Then she reached behind her to unhook it, and my lungs stopped taking in oxygen.

The bra hung there, suspended for a blood-pumping eternity, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I curled my hand around the little pink bow in the center and jerked it down and off. While I was thoroughly enjoying the show, there was no way I was letting her do all the work—or have all the fun—so I dipped my head to one of her exposed breasts and flicked her hard nipple with my tongue.

She squirmed, the friction turning me on even more, and all thoughts of sore muscles drifted away.

“Be careful,” she said. “I’d hate for you to sprain something.”

I gently bit down and she made a husky sound in the back of her throat that would haunt my dreams for weeks. When she pulled away, I started to protest, but then she held up a finger.

“Patience, Grasshopper.”

“I have no patience,” I ground out. “You should know that by now.”

“Well, then, we better work on that.” She undid the button on her shorts, then took her time tugging down her zipper, and I thought it’d be worth the resulting pain to shoot up and push her against the wall.

My muscles throbbed like they were telling me don’t even think about it, buddy, but a more insistent throbbing grew stronger, and it was seconds from taking over. Finally the fabric fell to the floor, and she stepped out of her shorts, leaving her in nothing but lacy pink panties that matched her discarded bra.

I reached for her, and she smacked my hand away. I growled, and she flashed me a falsely-innocent vixen smile. I clicked my tongue. “Taking advantage of a poor, beat-up guy.”

“Yeah, yeah. I feel so sorry for you, the guy who purposely submits himself to a lifestyle that means sore muscles and constantly being punched and jabbed.” She shimmied her hips, a few inches out of my reach. “What about me? I’ve got to do my job and your job just to get off.”

I shot out my arm, caught her wrist, and yanked her to me. She tumbled into my lap, her perky tits rising and falling with her low, intoxicating laughter. Every muscle in my body burned from the fast movement, and it was totally worth it. I sank my teeth into her earlobe. “No need to do my job. I’ll get it done just fine, I promise.”

About Cindi Madsen:


Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Connect with Cindi:

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Review: FALLING UNDER by Lisa Renee Jones

FALLING UNDER by Lisa Renee Jones

JANUARY 23, 2018

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A new sexy standalone from Lisa Renee Jones…

Ex-special forces, Jacob King, is a man who keeps to himself, having learned the hard way that letting people close to you, trusting them, might just get you killed. A lesson he learned when members of his Special Ops team turned dirty, while others, men he considered friends, died. He made them pay. He made them hurt. He put them in jail. And so he doesn’t trust anyone anymore. He keeps his women hot and fast, his friends few to none, and his clients through the elite Walker Security at a professional distance, but safe.

It works for him. Until it doesn’t.

His newest job should be simple and cut and dry. Jewel Carpenter, the daughter of the CEO of Carpenter Enterprises, is receiving death threats. He’s to protect her and find out who is issuing the treats.

Simple. Cut and Dry.

Until it’s not.

Until the chemistry between he and Jewel is all about love, hate, and sex. But even as he fights the attraction to Jewel and discovers there is more to her than meets the eye, the real threat comes not from the threats she’s receiving, but the connection she has to him. Because his past has come full circle, and those men he’s made pay for their sins now want him to pay. And what better way than the woman in his bed?


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Another sizzler by Lisa Renee Jones.

Jacob King is serious about his job.  He does it well and doesn’t let himself get distracted.  That is, until he’s assigned to Jewel.

Detective Jewel Carpenter is far from excited about the new detail her father has put on her since receiving threats against her.  To add stress to the situation, her new “bodyguard” is hot as hell, and she can’t stop thinking of things she’d like to do with his body.

When Jacob discovers that the threat’s motive might have more to do with him than with her father’s company, along with their intense attraction, he’ll do anything to stop it.

Jones is the master of sizzle.  As with all of her books, the heat is on and cooking!  The sexual tension between the two main characters is palpable and kept me turning pages to see what was going to happen with them.  Throw in a little danger and some secrets in the past, and you have the perfect equation for an intense page-turner.

Well-done and highly recommended.



“Just to be clear,” he says, his voice low and rough. “I’m breaking every rule I own with you. I don’t fuck women I’m protecting.”

“You could hand me over to someone else,” I suggest, “and it won’t matter.”

“Not a chance in hell,” he says, his hand sliding under my hair to cup my neck. “We’ll break the rules together.”

“I’m not sure I like how you do ‘together’.”

“I’ll make sure you do,” he promises, his lips slanting over mine, and this time he kisses me like he owns me, like he wants to control me, and like I really am his, like I belong to him, and in this very moment, I can honestly say

I am. I want him, and I can’t get enough of him.

And how can it ever be enough when he’s this damn impossibly hot, and he’s such a damn good kisser. The way he makes me want his mouth on every part of me and the way he makes me want my mouth on every part of him. And so, there it is. I’m his, but I’m going to make damn sure he’s mine, too. I kiss him back as passionately as he’s kissing me. I meet him stroke for stroke, arching into him, telling him I am here and present, and I’m not even close to afraid of him or of this. He doesn’t get to control me. He isn’t making me do this. I control me, and I choose him and this.

Arching into him, his shoulder holster and mine are in the way, and I want them gone. I want him naked. Just to be certain that he knows that’s where I want this to go, my hand presses between us and I stroke the hard line of his shaft. He groans low in his throat, a sexy rough sound that tells me he gets the point. This isn’t his show. It’s ours. It’s us together, or there is no show, with or without our clothes on.

His reaction is to tear his mouth from mine, his lips lingering there though, as if he wants to kiss me again, and just when I would kiss him again, he leans away just enough to shrug out of his jacket. I take one step backward, and do the same with my blazer. I reach down and pull off my boots and he does the same. Next, we disconnect our shoulder holsters, and the truth is, it’s the first time I’ve ever been with a man who is probably more armed than me. That feels significant when it perhaps is not. He’s not a cop. He’s not that kind of career complication. He’s a Green-fucking-Beret, and one hell of a hot one, for that matter.

He sets his weapon on the couch and snags my hand, walking me toward him and taking my holster and weapon as he does. “Just making sure you don’t end up shooting me before this is over,” he says, setting it with his before shackling my hip.

“I told you I’ll wait until after the orgasms.”

“Careful,” he says, a hint of a smile on his lips again. “I might hold that orgasm and you captive.”

“You can try,” I say, but my head isn’t in the game in this moment, and somehow my hand is on his face, right by the almost smile, that seems to have complicated what should be sex, an escape, a way to pull back the emotions that umbrella stirred in me. That smile reminds me that Mr. Robot is his wall, his way to cope with death, with whatever makes him protect Jesse Marks.

He captures my hand. “What are you thinking?”

“That you have on too many clothes,” I say, before I let this go someplace emotional, somewhere that two people like us never want to go.

My hands press under his shirt, but he doesn’t immediately give me what I want. He studies me for several beats and then kisses me hard and fast. Too fast, but I get over it when he pulls his shirt off. He cups my face and kisses me, his hand sliding up my shirt, his touch fire that has me helping him pull my shirt over my head. Letting him drag me to him where he now sits on the couch. I straddle him, my bra somehow gone by the time I’m there. But my hands press to his shoulders, and I hold him at bay. “I will still arrest you if I need to,” I promise. “This doesn’t change that.”

“You aren’t going to arrest me any more than you hate me.” He glances down at my chest, his gaze a hot caress as it rakes over my breasts, my nipples, before his eyes meet mine. “Because you know I’m protecting you.”

I ignore the ache between my thighs. Or I try. “From what? The slayer or the Jesse Marks damage patrol?”

His hand slides between my shoulder blades and he molds my chest to his. “Do you really want to talk about Jesse Marks right now? Because if you ask me questions, I’m going to ask you questions when I’d much rather be inside you, giving you as many reasons as I can not to arrest me. But you pick. Conversation or fucking.”

“Both,” I say, because it’s the truth. I want answers and I want the conversation my emotions are having in my head to shut up. “Fucking first.” I push away from him and stand up, unbuttoning my pants, sliding them down my hips, and he watches me with that unreadable, robot expression that is admittedly sexy as hell. I press my lips to his and that’s all it takes.

We are crazy, hot, kissing, his hands on my breasts, my nipples, my neck. I can’t touch him enough. I can’t feel him enough, can’t get close enough, and that’s new to me. I don’t need anyone the way I feel I need this man. I don’t want to need anyone this much, but it’s too late. At least, right here, right now, I do. He rolls us to our sides, facing one another, the wide cushion of the couch more than holding us and the next kiss isn’t fast and frenzied. It’s long, drugging, and somewhere in the midst of his tongue stroking my tongue, I end up on my back with the heavy weight of him on top of me…



Check out books one and two in the WALKER SECURITY series: Deep Under and Pulled Under are both available now and FREE in the KINDLEUNLIMITED PROGRAM! All three books in the series are standalones.


Interview: CC Hunter, author of YA Paranormal, THE MORTICIAN’S DAUGHTER

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I didn’t actually choose the young adult genre. I started my writing career by writing romantic suspense novels. I was contacted by an editor at St. Martin’s Press in 2010, She’d read several of my romances and thought my voice and snarky sense of humor would translate well to the young adult genre. So, she asked me if I’d like to try my hand at a YA series. She even said she had an idea: paranormal camp. That was it, that was all she said, but I went home and thought about it. The thought of changing genres scared the bejeezus out of me. But I love a challenge, and before I knew it, my imagination took over and Shadow Falls Camp was born.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I grew up in Alabama, and the South has a strong tradition of storytelling. When we sat down to dinner, we were encouraged to talk about things going on in our lives. And if that meant exaggerating a story to make it more interesting, well, all the better. Also, being dyslexic, I wasn’t a good reader in school, but I made up tales in my head. I’d go off into the woods, lie down in the grass, and tell myself stories. Sometimes those stories continued for days, and those characters became my friends. I’m still talking to characters in my head, but now I know I’m not crazy, I’m just a writer.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I think there are three things.  Friendships.  In every book I write, there isn’t just a romance, I have friendships.  In The Mortician’s Daughter, Riley meets Kelsey.  The bond they find is inspiring. I also think all my books have both humor and heart.  I love to laugh and I create characters who love to laugh.  So while the characters in my books have difficult challenges to overcome, I also have them healing through laughter.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read across all genres.  I just read Everything, Everything.  I love Susan E. Phillips romances.  I recently read,  The Dogs Purpose.

What projects are you working on at the present?

Well, I’m in “finish the book mode.” I’m trying to get my next Christie Craig book to my publisher, so that’s meant early mornings and late nights. But it’s been fun to write. I’ve also got a CC Hunter YA coming out the end of October called The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave. It’s the first in a series of 3, and I’m really eager for its release. I’m hoping all my devoted Shadow Falls fans will read it, because it has a lot of the same elements in it. On Feb. 27th, I’m very excited to have my first hard cover book releasing. Again, it’s a CC Hunter book and this one is very close to my heart. It’s about a teenage girl that gets a heart transplant. I know something about transplants as my hubby got a liver transplant a year ago. It was an emotional book to write, very cathartic.


Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I write while in my hot tub.  That’s where I do my brainstorming.  When things are flowing, I’m usually all wrinkled from sitting too long in the hot tub.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

I have eaten two, but I regretted it.

Say there’s like a whole box of your favorite snack in a room all by themselves. Say I left them there and told you not to eat any until I got back. How long would it take you to disobey my wishes?

Depends on my mood and how hungry I am.  And the reasoning behind why you said I couldn’t eat them until you got back.  If you were just testing me, I’d probably eat them right away.  I hate tests.  LOL.  

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Take a deep breath, then cover your ears and nose and drink a big, long sip of water.  You need someone to hold the glass to your lips.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?  

I love to scribble.  I always draw a cartoon cat.  And I draw a lot of hearts.  

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?  

Peanut butter.

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?  

A lot.  If I love a song, I listen to it so much that it drives my hubby crazy.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?  

Controlling the world.  

This or That?

Dogs or Cats? Both since I have both

Tea or Coffee? Coffee with cream

Winter or Summer? I live in SE Texas, and summer here is HOT! But the trade off is the pleasant winters, so definitely winter.

TexMex or Italian? Tough one, but I’d have to say TexMex.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate all the way!


Christy Craig Portrait 2

C.C. Hunter, an Alabama native, is a New York Times Best-Selling author of more than 30 books. Her paranormal Shadow Falls series gained phenomenal critical success. She is looking forward to the October 31,2017 release of the first book in The Mortician’s Daughter series, One Foot in the Grave. She is also excited about the Feb. 27, 2018 release of her first hard cover, contemporary young adult novel, This Heart of Mine. She currently resides in Texas.

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The first exciting novel in a brand-new series from New York Times bestselling author C. C. Hunter!

Her dad’s job is with the dead . . . and he’s bringing his work home with him.

Once again, seventeen-year-old Riley Smith is the new kid in school and her dad’s career has her back to being dubbed a freak. Truth is, she’s a much bigger freak than her classmates think. The only company she keeps these days is the dead who follow Dad home from work. She can see them. She can speak to them. And Fate seems to think she can help them solve their last problems so that they can move on to the other side. Which is odd, because with the loss of her mother and her father’s alcoholism, she’s got enough problems of her own.

But nothing could prepare her for the next tormented young spirit who darkens Riley’s door. The young woman’s death wasn’t the accident everyone believes. Soon Riley finds herself face-to-face with the killer and her only protection comes in the form of another spirit, Hayden, a boy her age with a heart-melting smile and understanding eyes that make her feel safe. If she can escape becoming the killer’s next victim, Riley knows she’ll have to help Hayden move on too, but what if she can’t let him go?



For thrills, chills, romance and laughter…

PREORDER The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave today.

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Praise for C. C. Hunter’s Shadow Falls series:

“C. C. Hunter has an amazing talent to make you laugh, cry, and laugh again all in the same chapter!” —Crossroad Review

“Jam-packed with action and romance . . . Hunter’s lifelike characters and paranormal creatures populate a plot that will keep you guessing till the very end. A perfect mesh of mystery, thriller, and romance.” —Romantic Times on Taken at Dusk


Excerpt: THE GERMAN MESSENGER by David Malcolm

The German Messenger by David Malcolm – EXCERPT


Chapter 1 – In London

It was a cold, wet December afternoon when my train pulled into Victoria. Clouds of steam billowed up in the damp air, up into the blackened arches of the station roof. Pigeons flapped aimlessly from one to the other. A tired, bleary-eyed, bad-tempered crowd pushed and lugged its bags, porters shouted hoarsely, soldiers stood in small huddles, smoking, drinking tea at steaming, makeshift canteens. As always when I came back to London, I was struck by the amount of khaki everywhere. The city, or at least its stations, its parks, its squares, all its public places were on a war footing. Soldiers everywhere, waiting, gathering, reading, larking, dashing purposefully or looking lost and confused. One came up to me, a scrap of official paper clutched in one hand, a huge kit bag weighing down his shoulder. In a broad Belfast accent he asked me, without saluting, where platform five might be, for God’s sake. His eyes were glazed with tiredness and worry. I turned him round and pointed him in the right direction. He didn’t even manage to stammer a thanks.

The motor cab jolted me through the wet, windswept streets. Evening was coming on, and they were lighting the lamps. The matinee shows at the music halls were finishing, and crowds milled on the streets along the Strand. Again I noticed the uniforms everywhere. London used to be such a civilian town, I thought to myself. Now suddenly, so many soldiers. And then I realized it was already the second year of the War, and, as I glanced down at my own Army greatcoat, that I was one of them too.

I let myself into my service flat. I had wired ahead so they had cleaned and aired the place, and a fire was burning in the sitting room grate. For a moment, my mood of depression vanished. Here I was safe, here I was at home, surrounded by my books and chairs, my pictures, my letters, my civilian clothes, by all the bric-a-brac of a life of sorts. And then as I unstrapped my boots and took off my greatcoat, I caught a glimpse of my face in the hallway mirror, and a wave of sadness and bile swept up from my guts to my throat.

I stared at the face in the mirror. The neck rose out of the khaki and brown thinner, more gaunt than I’d ever seen it. The face above was grey and stretched. The eyes stared out of bony hollows. The hair was going grey at the temples. The neat brush of a moustache that we all affected in those years was flecked with grey. I suppose the look was distinguished in its way, but for a moment I had seen myself without any protective layers of pretence or habit, without the company of others. I looked awful, I thought, like a walking dead man. I was wearing a grey mask, and only my eyes seemed half alive. No wonder the little Belgian had almost died of fright when I had stuck my face next to his (we were completely alone by then for I had sent young Morrisey out of the room; Lefranc of course stayed, cleaning his nails in a way even I found unnerving) and told him very quietly, and in very passable French, what it was in my power, my personal power, to do to him if he didn’t tell us exactly what he thought the Panamanian registered tramp due into Santander on Thursday was really carrying. He broke down at that point and seemed grateful rather than anything else when we told him that he would probably get four years in a French military prison for not letting us know earlier.

The face was not my father’s, not my father’s at all.

The face was not that of a happy man, nor of a kind one. By late 1916, I was neither of those things. Although I was alive, and that might have been cause enough for a brief smile or two. Sometimes I felt I knew more of the dead, than I did of the living. On bad days, I felt that I belonged among them myself.

Later, after I had bathed and changed into comfortable civilian clothes, and the lights glowed liquid in the jet black night outside, I reviewed the past few years of my life. I poured myself a whisky and sat by the fire. I was afraid to lose the heat of the bath, and I let the warmth from the flames play on my face. I was thirty-one years old, a major in the British Army, seconded to the War Office for special duties. The special duties had been no choice of mine. In 1914 I had tried to join up like thousands of other young men. It seemed only right, the logical continuation of my work for the past decade. At last, the final battle was coming. I was still young enough to believe that. They plucked me out within three days, put a captain’s uniform on me, and sent me to France to interrogate German POWs. Bullivant came to see me in the big house north of Paris. We could hear the German guns on the Marne and all our papers were in boxes and all the trucks were manned round the clock in case we had to leave at a moment’s notice. Bulllivant looked like a man who’d placed a bet on an unknown horse at the races and won a fortune. His bald head gleamed in the autumn sun and he glanced towards the east and the sound of the guns with a kind of grim satisfaction. “This is your war,” he said to me, waving his hand round the grand dining room we used for preliminary interrogations. “Not out there. A stray bullet and a decade of experience is wiped out. We can’t afford that. This war will be longer than most of the generals or politicians think, let alone the general public. Longer than any of them can begin to guess, either here or in Berlin. We need you to do the kind of work only you can do. We can always find brave young men to die. We need your knowledge and your brains.” And then he added with a smile, “And don’t think for a moment it won’t be dangerous. It will, I assure you, it will.”

So I fought my war not in the trenches, but in chateaux behind the lines, in tiny French provincial police stations, by the customs desks in Boulogne and Rosslare. I interrogated, browbeat, bullied, terrified, trapped. I watched lines of people stepping off boats. I scrutinized Swiss permis de séjour and bills of lading out of Varna bound for Christiansand. I travelled to Boston to trace Irish money that was buying German guns. I tried to buy or trap German clerks in Lisbon, and to unmask the German who was trying to do the same to British clerks in Zürich. I was five times behind German lines. Exciting visits, but not for telling about here. I was in Berlin when Casement visited in 1915. Later they sent me to speak to hard-faced Polish legionnaires in the forests round Kraków. In early 1916, I was in Pommerania checking on exercises for an invasion of Britain which the German General Staff appeared to be holding on the Baltic. A few months later they sent me into Galicia to look for a lost agent, gone missing with Austrian Army codes. The Germans almost killed me later that year in an Armenian restaurant in Bucharest. Bullivant was right – it was dangerous. I carried a few more scars, my bones ached from the last mad tramp over the Tatras, I sweated when I thought of a certain forest glade in the Carpathians and a yeshiva in Romanian Transylvania. Oh, yes, dangerous enough. That salved my conscience a little, but not much when the casualty lists started to come out in August 1916. No, not much.

Andrzej had stayed with me when the War started. Bullivant payed him a salary for work he did for us. He helped me with interrogations, freelanced and trawled for information on his own among the Central European emigrés of London and Paris, came with me when I travelled to Kraków and Galicia. It was he who knocked out the German agent who wanted to kill me in Bucharest. All for a free Poland (but he was on the wrong side if that was what he wanted), or all for adventure? Or was it simply that he, like me, had become used to a certain way of life, and neither he, nor I, quite knew what we would do without it?

Along the way, too, I had picked up another assistant. Corporal Alan McLeish, tall, red-haired, very hard, very Glaswegian, had come to me as my driver and batman in the autumn of 1914. I had quickly learned to value his violent efficiency and exemplary skill with vehicle engines. He brought other qualifications with him too. He had lived for several years in South Africa and spoke very decent Afrikaans and passable Dutch. I took him with me on my first trip into Holland in late 1914 when we played the part of a pair of Swiss and South African representatives of a certain Swedish shipping company that was willing to transport certain items to certain neutral ports for a substantial fee. We flushed out a whole network of secret German suppliers that time. McLeish, like Andrzej, was a useful man to have around in a tight corner. I once saw him stop a particularly nasty pro-German, Dutch gendarme with one of the best placed head-butts I have ever witnessed. We ran fast that night, I can tell you. I remember breathing a deep sigh of relief when the little fishing smack we commandeered made it out of Dutch territorial waters.

But I lost McLeish in early 1916. He gave me an ultimatum (we were on that kind of terms by then). Either let him join up in a line regiment, or he would simply go AWOL and get himself thrown in a military prison. I told him he was mad, he’d be dead in three months. He said he didn’t care, he couldn’t bear watching good men go West while he sat safe in “some fucking fancy French chateau, drinking wine like a pimp.” When I pointed out that we got shot at too, he just laughed. “Nothing against you, sir,” he said, “I know they won’t let you join the regulars. But we have a right cushy number here most of the time. I canna look mysel’ in the mirror much longer if I stay here. Just sign the bloody paper, would you? Sir.” So I did, and he went back to the Cameron Highlanders. I missed him. I hadn’t seen him for almost a year. He was most likely dead. I really did miss him. Young Morrisey couldn’t get a car started on a damp February morning; no prisoner believed he’d break every finger in your left hand without a qualm (they did when McLeish looked at them); my paper work wasn’t half as good as when McLeish was managing it. And I missed the covert and overt insults. Morrisey was a mild mannered young man from Hardy’s Wessex, not a Glaswegian thug deeply imbued with a Scottish contempt for authority. Ach, McLeish was probably frozen dead in some trench by now. And good luck to him.

Then I started. I stared into the fire and thought of the dead. When I was out on a job, I rarely allowed myself the luxury. Here in my own flat, by my own fire, I could hardly stop. You see, it wasn’t all safety behind the lines. My work took me to the front too, and not to some cleaned-up version that the brass-hats saw. I knew the mud and the wire and the trees like burnt matchsticks. I smelled the stench of the unburied bodies in No Man’s Land; I heard the heavy guns. But after a day or two I could go home. That was the difference. But even there the front pursued me. I talked to men on furlough, on rest detail, British and French. The stories were the same. The same endless, concentrated imitation of hell. But what was unnerving was that the German soldiers I interrogated told the same stories. They all shared a landscape of hell and madness – the same mud, the same stench, the same rats. A young Bavarian Feldwebel would paint the same picture as a corporal from East Lancs or a French poilou from Dijon. Sometimes it seemed they weren’t fighting each other, but the war. That was their common enemy, the bloody war.

I remembered a spring day in 1915. McLeish and I were lounging against the wall of an old French farmhouse. We’d stopped for lunch on our way back from a line H.Q. where they’d just captured a sergeant from a Prussian regiment. He was a tough old Berliner (with Social-Democrat leanings, I’d wager) who told us nothing of any use, so we decided to take the long way home and enjoy ourselves a little en route. The cold chicken and the white wine that Mcleish had conjured out of a passing French officers’ supply truck were excellent. The sun was shining, heating the old limestone walls of the farm house. The trees had a haze of green on them.

And then down the road marched a column of Scottish soldiers. Their badges were that of one of the new Glasgow regiments, one of Kitchener‘s New Army creations. But they looked good lads, well-disciplined, marching in good order, their trench kilts swinging like loose aprons. We raised our glasses to them as they passed, about a hundred and fifty of them, and they smiled and waved back. “Awa’ ye go, lads,” called McLeish. “Awa’ the bhouys!” I even knew the captain from school, a grim, dark-faced lad two years my junior who’d wanted to be a doctor. “Aye Gavin,” I cried. “Did ye make it to the Medical Department?” “Harry, man, Harry Draffen,” he called in return. “Aye, I did. MBChB. I got married too. A bonny lass. We live near where your grandad had his parish.” “Good luck to you, Gavin. Tak’ care.” “An’ you too, Draffen.” They marched on and McLeish and I watched them. There was yellow blossom in the fields. The trees had that tinge of green they only have in early spring. We watched them march away, and then silently, without exchanging a single word, we packed the basket, loaded the car and set back for base. We didn’t say a thing to each other for more than an hour. What was there to say?

I was in Divisional H.Q. when the flimsy came in for that sector. The afternoon we had seen them they had been wiped out attacking German fortified machine-gun emplacements. Every one of them was dead. That night McLeish and I drank a great deal. I think it was then he decided to leave me altogether.

But I never hated the Germans. Well, with my background and experiences I wouldn’t, I suppose. But it went further than that. You’d think, after that story of the Scottish column being wiped out, I’d blame it all on them and hate them for it. But neither McLeish or I did. We hated the War, we hated the bloody brass-hats on both sides who sent kids in to die in the mud and on the wire. But hate the Germans? Christ, they were dying like flies too, in the same mud, on the same wire.

It was as if we were all characters in some mad novel, written by a lunatic whom we couldn’t control. So many of us knew the whole thing was bad, but we could never break away from it. How could we? If we did, we’d be betraying our mates, the men who suffered and died with us. We’d have to confess that the two years of hell had been for nothing and that the men we let give us orders were fools. And that we were fools for obeying them. So we kept on serving the War that consumed those very mates of ours.

And the funny thing was, the men from the Wilhelmstrasse felt the same as we did. Some did, anyway. I met one in Zürich in early ’16, I remember. We were exchanging agents (oh, we’d become sophisticated enough to do that by then, provided we could keep it out of the papers and away from the brass), one of ours for one of theirs, on neutral territory by a pretty little summer house on the Lake of Zürich. It was spring, I remember. The snow was still on the mountains, but the leaves were beginning to bud and the birds were singing. The waters of the lake lapped softly on a grassy shore. Goethe had rowed here 130 years before and written one of my favourite lyrics. “Und frische Nahrung, neues Blut . . .”. (“And fresh nourishment, new blood. . . ” – it doesn’t translate well, does it? But it is beautiful.)

I was to meet one of theirs first, to settle details, to arrange terms. He stood by the lake, a tall, slim figure in a dark coat, smoking a cigarette. The smoke from his right hand curled against the sparkling blue of the water. We bowed ceremoniously and exchanged credentials. He spoke with a clear North German accent, and after we had finished our business, he smiled and offered me one of his cigarettes. I took it and we stared out over the water and its little choppy waves to the other side of the lake. Zürich was a cluster of medieval towers and steeples off to our left. The hills that surrounded the city were brown and their trees still leafless. The air was sharp, the light clear and thin.

I could think of nothing to say. I stole a closer look at my counterpart. The face was like a reflection of my own, thin, with shadowed eyes, the obligatory small moustache drawing out his face. The same age. I saw him making his way through the streets of Lübeck or Rostock or Hamburg to his university. I saw the friends he drank with, the girls he talked to. I knew the trips he had made to the Schwarzwald or Bavaria, to Hiddensee or Rügen. A Doppelgänger, I thought, how appropriate for this gothic, necromancer’s city.

“Goethe rowed a boat out there in the lake,” I said. It was all I could think of.

The German turned to me, his eyebrows raised in surprise.

“Ah, yes? You know that?”

“Yes. One of my favourite poems comes from that experience.” I quoted the first two lines. “Und frische Nahrung, neues Blut, saug’ ich aus freier Welt. . .”.

“Wie ist Natur so hold und gut, die mich am Busen hält,” he completed the sentence. “You are a German scholar, I see, sir.”

“A little. I was a student in Germany many years ago.” This was more than I should have breathed to him.

“Ah, yes,” he replied gently. “I too was a student for a time in your country. A year in Oxford. It was very charming. I remember it with great pleasure. So many people were . . . very kind. I studied Anglo-Saxon literature with your Professor Sweetman. I still remember how he would recite Beowulf. It was quite wonderful. I disagreed with his reading. It ignores the German tribal elements. But he was a great man, nonetheless. A great scholar. I think he is dead now.”

“I believe so. In 1913, I think.”

“Quite so. A sad loss.”

“There are many sad losses nowadays.”


“I hate this war. I loathe it with all my heart.”

He could barely conceal his surprise. He stared at me for a full five seconds before turning away and flicking his cigarette onto the pebbles of the lake shore. What was running through his mind, I wondered. Was this Englishman mad? Was he trying to entrap him somehow? Why this absurd, unprecedented confession? But his answer was strangely unexpected, yet wholly appropriate. He cleared his throat and poked the ground lightly with the shiny toe of his shoe.

“I hate it too, my friend. I too, with all my heart.”

And then we both cleared our throats together, and like men caught in some guilty act looked quickly around us. He gave a wry smile and I responded in kind. I shrugged my shoulders. We bowed briefly, shook hands and went our different ways back to our waiting cars. I turned as I opened the door of mine, and saw him sitting hunched in his, a brown gloved hand covering his face. Gulls were wheeling above the bright blue of the lake, crying sharply.

That night I went drinking in a small bar in a Niederdorf backstreet. The streetlight glanced off the black cobbles, damp from a spring rain shower. I walked down by the river and watched the black waters lap slowly against the stone embankment. I felt completely lost and empty, a living ghost in the night.

This night, too, in London, I downed my whisky and went to bed. The whisky killed the dreams and helped me sleep.





Genre: Historical/Crime/Thriller

Published by Crime Wave Press/2016



Late 1916. Europe is tearing itself apart in the Great War. Harry Draffen, part Greek, part Scottish, British secret agent, cosmopolitan, polyglot, man of violence, is having a bad war. Now he is instructed to uncover a plot by the Central Powers against England. From the slums of East London to an Oxford college, from the trenches on the Western Front to an isolated house on the Scottish coast, on to a bloody showdown in the North of England, he chases a phantom and elusive German messenger. Betrayed, deceived, under attack from many enemies, bringing death to those he does not hate and even to those he loves, he tries to reach the heart of the mystery. In a final reckoning in a London tenement, he at last understands the full scope of the plots centered on the German messenger.




david_malcolm (1)

David Malcolm was born in Scotland. He was educated in Aberdeen, Zürich, and London.

For over thirty years he has lived and worked in Japan, the USA, and Poland. He currently resides in Sopot, Poland.

His collection of short fiction, Radio Moscow and Other Stories was published by Blackwitch Press in 2015.


Excerpt: THE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE by Mariah Stewart



11th in The Chesapeake Diaries series

by: Mariah Stewart

Published by: Pocket Books

Release Date: August 29, 2017

ISBN 9781501154355; $7.99



I love the changing of the seasons—and I think summer into fall might be a favorite, being as how I relate to the whole “autumn of my years” thing. That’s how I see myself, anyway. If sixty is the new forty, I believe seventy must be the new fifty, eighty the new sixty, and so on. Therefore, I fall into that third quadrant. Don’t try to change my mind or confuse me with facts.

One of the reasons I love this time of the year: the steady influx of tourists into St. Dennis begins to wane. Not that I don’t love our visitors. Why, without them, St. Dennis would have continued to languish and would never have become the Eastern Shore mecca it now is. But there’s something sweet about having your hometown belong to you and yours again, even if it’s just for a while. I know soon enough the holidays will be upon us and many will flock to town for all the beautiful festivities—the Christmas House Tour, the weekend of caroling, the tree lighting at the square on Old St. Mary’s Church Road, Christmas at the Inn (a favorite of mine), and, oh, yes, the shopping! But this little respite between the beginning of September, when the families leave to return their offspring to school, and the holiday madness belongs to us, we old St. Dennis folk who like a little downtime.

Not to say there’s nothing going on here! There are new babies to celebrate and a special wedding on the horizon, one that makes me especially weepy. My dear nephew, Alec, will be marrying his lovely Lisbeth in an event that will be the talk of both St. Dennis and Cannonball Island for a long time to come. I’m not privy to all the details, mind you, but since my daughter, Lucy, is planning the wedding, I’ve heard bits and squeaks of what she has in mind, and it will, no doubt, be perfectly wonderful.

When we were children, Mama told us that when good folks passed, they earned a star in the heavens where they could sit and shine down on all the goings-on here on earth. Our brothers scoffed, but we girls believed her, and so it is that I know my beloved sister, Carole, will be watching happily from her star as her son marries his bride out on the point in just a few more weeks.

Thinking about the point makes me think of all the changes that are coming to Cannonball Island soon. So much, it could make your head spin! For the first time in roughly two hundred years, new dwellings will be going up on what had once been barren land. I heard from one in the know that some of the older homesteads—mostly those that have fallen into ruin or have been abandoned—will be replaced with new versions more suitable to modern living. Some are up in arms about this, but frankly, it’s about time. Those dilapidated old shells offer no shelter and, if anything, detract from the beauty of the island. My good friend Ruby Carter—the island’s matriarch—has given her blessing, and that’s good enough for me. Besides, Alec will be serving as the environmental consultant, so I feel confident that all will be well. The new homes are being designed with the island’s history in mind, so the legacy of those early settlers will be well protected. The architect is a lovely young woman who is serious about this project, so I know, eventually, all will be well.

Of course I do.

I know, too, that a certain islander with a “rolling stone” reputation will be finding his rolling days coming to a halt


before too long. It will be amusing, to say the least, to see him meet his match. Will he be bested?

The smart money’s on the new girl. That’s all I have to say about that.

And so much excitement over all the goings-on at the mouth of the river on the other side of Cannonball Island! Who knew such mysteries lay beneath the water, waiting to be discovered—and now that they have been, well, the flurry of activity these days has my poor old head spinning like an old-fashioned top. I cannot wait to see what they find, and I’m more than happy that one of the principal players is staying at the inn. Not that I’d pry, but if one overhears a snippet of conversation now and then . . . well, let’s just say it’s good to keep informed. Now, how all this is going to affect the construction that was slated to begin in November, well, I suppose everyone will have to wait and see. Could be there will be delays, which will keep the new girl around for a while longer and will keep the rolling stone on his toes.

My, what fun this will be~

Grace ~


Praise for The Chesapeake Bride, Book 11 in The Chesapeake Diaries:

“Stewart succeeds in giving both Owen and Cass a smooth blend of strength and vulnerability, and the setting of this heartwarming romance will draw readers in with its island-life charm.”— Publishers Weekly

Strengths: Noteworthy historical content; Engaging characters; Strong Romance; HEA…Measure of Love: Teaspoon…Mood: Poignant and lighthearted…Why You Should Read this: Definitely will appeal to readers wanting a strong romance. And the genealogy and historical aspects are a perfect addition to a pleasing story!”— Heroes and Heartbreakers Women’s Fiction Best Bet for August 2017

“The Chesapeake Bride is a small-town romance which will leave readers wanting more of the charming characters and unforgettable story. I enjoyed this book so much that I am still running some of the scenes through my head, which shows how fantastic the story is. Another great read by an outstanding author. A Recommended Read!”— Romance Junkies, Five Heart Review

“The romance is slow and sweet…the lack of unnecessary melodrama, angst, and over-the-top gestures makes this a refreshing contemporary romance between two adults who act as such.”— Kirkus Reviews 

Praise for Driftwood Point, Book 10 in The Chesapeake Diaries:

“This second-chance-at-love romance is gentle and sweet…The colorful friendship between the family matriarchs…charms. Stewart seamlessly checks in with former series protagonists and introduces future romantic pairings without stealing attention from Lisbeth and Alec.”

—RT Book Reviews 

Praise for That Chesapeake Summer, Book 9 in The Chesapeake Diaries:

“[That Chesapeake Summer] deftly uses the tools of the genre to explore issues of identity, truth, and smalltown kinship…Stewart offers a strong statement on the power of love and trust, a fitting theme for this big-hearted small town romance.” — Publishers Weekly

“A touching story of self-discovery and homecoming that is sure to warm readers’ hearts…fans are sure to feel right at home in Stewart’s idyllic seaside setting and follow this emotional journey with avid interest.” — RT Book Reviews

 Praise for The Last Chance Matinee, Book One in The Hudson Sisters Series:

“The popcorn, the red velvet seats, the glittering Hollywood stars on-screen…I’ve enjoyed all aspects of going to the movies since I was a kid…so when I saw a vintage theater on the cover of this book, I quickly swiped it up…The tale was a sweet reminder of the importance of family. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!” — First for Women magazine, July 2017

“[This] lively, warmhearted series starter will have readers eagerly awaiting the second installment.” — Booklist

“A good read, with a nice blend of mystery, family drama, and romance.” — Library Journal




New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart returns to the cherished Maryland shores of St. Dennis withTHE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE (Pocket Books; August 29, 2017; $7.99), the charming story of a jaded architect who meets the one man who could finally melt her heart—if she’s willing to let him in.

Cassidy Logan has sworn off good-looking adventurers, having just divorced the one she’d married. Now working with her father’s construction company to build ecologically friendly, historically accurate homes on the Chesapeake Bay, she’s designing them for Cannonball Island. Knowing there’s been no new construction on the island in almost one hundred years, Cass is sensitive to the heritage and history of the sparsely populated island, and has come up with plans so perfect she’s determined to buy one for herself to live in. Even the fact that Owen Parker—whom she dismisses as a lightweight and a player— seems to be everywhere she goes isn’t enough to deter her from building her dream house.

Owen is and always has been sinfully handsome and wickedly clever, a magnet for mischief as well as the girls in St. Dennis. He’s also a rolling stone, going and doing whatever appeals to him, from flying a mail plane in Alaska to working on a cattle ranch in Australia and a shrimp boat in Louisiana, to surfing and diving in Costa Rica. When an old friend offers him a job salvaging a sunken ship in the Chesapeake, Owen gladly accepts. Something’s been telling him it’s about time to head home to Cannonball Island, and a job is as good an excuse as any. He’s totally smitten with the pretty architect, but it seems he’s finally met a woman who’s immune to his charms. Sooner or later, Owen will have to face the reason why he always runs, because this time, leaving just might be harder than staying.





Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories.  A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens.  Visit her website at, like her on Facebook at AuthorMariahStewart, and follow her on Instagram at mariah_stewart_books.

Upcoming store event with Mariah:

Thursday, August 31st, 6:30 pm (Note: This event was rescheduled due to the storm.)

Bethany Beach Books

99 Garfield Parkway

P.O. Box 904

Bethany Beach, DE 19930



Look for Gallery Books’ second installment in Mariah Stewart’s all-new trade original women’s fiction series, The Hudson Sisters, following a trio of reluctant sisters as they set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish—and discover themselves in the process. Book 2, The Sugarhouse Blues, will publish March 2018!



We’re celebrating The Chesapeake Bride and Summer 2017 with one giveaway for Driftwood Point, 10th  in The Chesapeake Diaries Series by Mariah Stewart! The last day for entries will be Friday, September 22nd (the official last day of summer!) The winner will receive one copy of Driftwood Point. U.S. only, please. You can enter at the participating blogs listed below – but you can only win once!

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Excerpt: COMFORT PLANS by Kimberly Fish

BNR Comfort Plans JPG
  Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Date of Publication: May 23, 2017
Number of Pages: 320
Scroll down for giveaway!

Colette Sheridan is being remodeled.

As a San Antonio architect, she’d have vowed her career was to investigate the history and create new functions for the structures everyone else saw as eyesores. The old German farmhouse in Comfort, Texas, might be the screeching end of that dream job. The assignment seemed so ideal at the start; generous clients, a stunning location, and a pocketful of letters that were surely meant to explain the ranch’s story. All that goodness crashed louder than a pile of two-by-fours when her grandfather announced he’d lured Colette’s ex-husband back to San Antonio to take over the family architecture firm. Now, not only does Colette have to endure the challenges posed by Beau Jefferson, the client’s handpicked contractor, a house that resists efforts to be modernized, and letters that may hold the secret to buried treasure, but she also has to decide if she has the courage to fight for her future.
Set against the backdrop of the Texas Hill Country, Colette and Beau have to rely on plans neither of them constructed in order to navigate the changes of a house with a story to tell, and a future they couldn’t even imagine.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Kimberly Fish’s unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character’s life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can’t wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish.”
–Vickie Phelps,Author of Moved, Left No Address


Excerpt, Chapter 1, Part 3

from Comfort Plans

Continued from the Lone Star Book Blog Tours 8/5/17 Stop

Scooping up a handful of chiffon, Colette scooted across the leather driver’s seat and wondered if her grandfather followed-through with a candidate, if a new president at Sheridan’s would gain much traction in the market. The boutique firm specialized in historical restoration and had a niche in South Texas. Since Nathan Sheridan was the guru of that style, she doubted anyone would ever replicate the success her grandfather had maintained in an industry that could change on the whims of the stock market.

Point number twelve for why he needed to groom a stronger replacement.

She backed out of the driveway but stole one last glance at the man who never went a day without Brylcreem. His custom-tailored shirt was rolled at the sleeves, and he was wearing his dress slacks on a Saturday night. The Big Ben of her world—he was classy, reliable, and just as unbending as any national monument London had ever produced.

He was flagging her to roll down her window.

Colette cranked the window below her nose. “Yes?”

“Aren’t you at all curious who I’ve finally selected to manage my empire?”

Empire was a bit of a leap. The last quarter-profits weren’t anything to get excited about. “Knowing that you would scour the face of the earth to find someone worthy of the Sheridan name and that it’s taken you years since the last serious candidate, I’m hopeful this man is capable of carrying your legacy forward.”

“That’s a lot of faith from the girl who questioned me about the wisdom of maintaining my breakfast ritual at Earl Abel’s.”

He did have a nasty habit of smothering all forms of nutrition with sausage gravy, which was another reason to force him into a doctor’s appointment.

“I’m looking out for your general health because I want you to hang around and torment me for years to come.” Which was true. She adored her resident curmudgeon and delighted in being one of the few people in the world who could make him laugh.

His lips turned down even more than usual. “I’m one of the short timers, which is why I want to know that you and my firm are going to be in good hands.”

She shivered. “Don’t talk like that. You know what Momma says about positive thinking.”

“Your mother is a flake.”

Colette sighed and knew she’d be even later to this wedding than was acceptable. “I can see you want to tell me who you’ve hired, so what’s his name? Or am I supposed to guess based on last month’s Architectural Digest article about the ‘it guy’ from Los Angeles?”

She’d seen her grandfather poring over those pages like they were printed in gold leaf. She hadn’t seen anything brilliant when she’d snatched the article from the breakfast table, but her inability to see modern trends was another excuse she’d offered as to why she’d make a lousy president of the firm.

Finish reading Chapter One on the Lone Star Book Blog Tours 8/13/17 Stop

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting.
She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in 2017, released the first novel in a series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas – The Big Inch.
She lives with her family in East Texas.
July 31 – August 14, 2017
(U.S. Only)

Excerpt 1
Books in the Garden
Character Interview
Guest Post 1
Excerpt 2
Video Guest Post
Excerpt 3
Guest Post 2
Excerpt 4
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Excerpt: GAIJIN COWGIRL: A Val Benson Thriller by Jame DiBiasio




Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson – until a wealthy client with a dark past – reluctantly gives up a map to a stash of Japanese war loot and tempts his favourite girl into a dangerous treasure hunt.
But the Congressman’s daughter is not the only one interested in the map: Yakuza, bent cops, human traffickers, rogue CIA agents and her father are hot on her trail, snapping at her high heels.

So begins the dark, epic journey of a new anti-hero of Asian Noir, a protagonist both ambiguous and courageous, and utterly unreliable. From comfort women and tomb-raiding in Japanese-occupied Burma to the murderous echoes of the Vietnam War, long forgotten crimes come roaring back to life, as Val leaves a trail of destruction and chaos in her wake.

Together with her best friend, the equally unreliable nightclub hostess Suki, a British kickboxer and a washed up Australian treasure hunter, Val travels through Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok to the Thai-Burmese borderlands for a dramatic showdown with her pursuers. Finding the treasure before someone less deserving does is her only hope for survival, and perhaps redemption.

Gaijin Cowgirl by American writer Jame DiBiasio is a breathless page turner with a beautiful, dangerous heroine to match.



Gaijin Cowgirl Chapter One




Jame DiBiasio is the author of thrillers “Gaijin Cowgirl” (Crime Wave Press) and “Bloody Paradise” (Water Street Crime), as well as the non-ficiton “The Story of Angkor” (Silkworm Books). He is based in Hong Kong. Visit him at