Trancing the Tiger by Rachael Slate {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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Trancing the Tiger (A Chinese Zodiac Romance)

by Rachael Slate
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Length: 288 Pages

Delve into a world steeped in tradition and superstition…
After her parents become infected with the Red Death, Lucy Yeoh flees to Malaysia seeking answers. Everything in this closed-off section of the world is paradise—from the lush tropical climate to her sexy new neighbor, Sheng…who just might be delusional. He claims the Plague God unleashed the Red Death and only a circle of Chinese Zodiac spirit animals can cleanse the Earth. Even more, he insists she’s one of them: the Rabbit. Long furry ears and fluffy bunny tail included.

He’ll show her how to fight to save the world…
As the Chosen of the Tiger, the burden of restoring balance to the world has fallen onto Li Sheng’s shoulders. When he discovers that the ally he’s long awaited, the Dragon, is actually just the Rabbit, Sheng is quick to dismiss Lucy. If only she’d stay dismissed. Lucy’s Rabbit refuses to cooperate, undermining the authority of his Tiger at every turn…and seducing him to the limits of his darkest desires. He’s not supposed to want her. Not when he needs the spirit circle complete and she’s their weakest link.

She’ll show him a love worth fighting the world to save…
Sheng’s enemies draw closer, and not everyone wants Lucy alive. Together, they’ll have to navigate a treacherous world where a line between duty and their hearts has been drawn between them. They must either sacrifice one, or find a way to surrender to both.

AThe Book ExcerptA


Sheng grappled for control that seemed as fleeting as his sanity. Lucy was off-limits. He’d reminded himself a thousand times tonight. Yet when Tiger had pinned her to the ground, Sheng would have taken her. Right then, right there.

If not for the intrusion of his friends.

Worse, she’d melted right into him the moment she’d realized his identity.

She trusted him and didn’t even bloody know why. Once he got her somewhere safe, he’d enlighten her with the logic fueling her instincts.

Tiger puffed out in supreme satisfaction. He almost hadn’t caught her; she was so swift. If not for the inclined tree trunk providing a bounding point, he might have missed.

Sheng’s shoulders tensed, on alert for more of Snake’s “friends.” Penang Hill—behind them—served as the boundary between the Hai San and Ghee Hin territories. The Gardens were the gateway to the Ghee Hin Kongsi’s residence in the Batu Feringghi—the stretch of posh beaches on the north coast of the island. He had to get Lucy out of here before Snake caught sight of her and realized what she was.

Where she might have argued with him, she simply obeyed. Her light footsteps padded behind him. That blind obedience concerned him more than her bolting. She shouldn’t trust a stranger with such ease, certainly not one who looked like him.

He raked his hands through his hair to stop from lashing out at her…or drawing her into his arms and shielding her. He wasn’t sure which instinct would win.

Even more reason to hold his tongue.

He straddled his motorcycle, unclasped the helmet, and offered it to her.

She approached him, her golden eyes wide and wary. Great. Now she chose to be cautious. “Who were those men?”

“You wanna stay and find out?”

Her nose twitched. “Do you work for my uncle? Are you my bodyguard? Where are you taking me?”

“Get on.” He dismissed her questions and waved the helmet. No time for this, not here.

Her hands trembled as she accepted it and secured the strap around her chin. Without questioning him again, she slipped onto the bike behind him.

“Hold on tight.” He reached back, seized her wrists, and clasped her hands together around his waist. “I don’t do slow.”

He revved the gas, the tires squealing while they pivoted around and peeled away. Her body slammed into his, her grasp cinching tighter as they sped through the streets. Lucy’s slender fingers spread across his abdomen, causing his muscles to tighten and his cock to throb. Was she purposefully teasing him with her velvety touch?

She slid her fingers beneath the hem of his t-shirt and his abs jerked as though sparked by a live wire. He growled once, in warning.

“Sorry. My fingers are cold. Do you mind?” Her murmur against his ear spiked his blood.

Was she actually cold or did he detect a sultry note to her voice? Did she suffer the same raging attraction he did?

With his concentration on navigating the streets and his hands gripping the handlebars, she had him at a disadvantage against the fanning of her fingers.

Her warm fingers.

They rounded a corner, and her body crushed against his. She didn’t draw back, and the imprint of her full breasts branded his back. He swore he could even feel her tight little nipples rubbing against him. He fought the urge to swing around and take her on the motorcycle. To hell with crashing—as if they’d even notice. They’d both survive.

Your fault, Tiger. The beast practically heeled at her side. Like a bloody dog.

Was it Rabbit or Lucy, herself, driving them both to madness?

They squealed to a halt in front of a warehouse at the pier. He stiffened as he removed her hands from his waist and plucked her off the bike.

She regarded him, one hand grasping her opposite wrist while she scanned the dockyard and the scattered people milling around—mostly couples out for a midnight tryst or teenagers looking for trouble.

“Helmet.” He stretched out his hand.

She unclasped the strap and removed his helmet, shaking out those long, wavy locks. Tendrils curled over her breasts and down to her waist.

He licked his lips, his throat suddenly dry. His nostrils flared, inhaling her sweet, floral fragrance. Even caked in dirt, she was the most delectable woman he’d ever scented.

The helmet slipped from her fingers to his. The slightest brush of contact between them made him bite back a groan.

A knowing sparkle glinted in her eyes. Oh, yeah. She hadn’t missed his hard-on earlier and likely deemed she possessed an edge of power over him.

Foolish little Rabbit. Didn’t she know?

No one toyed with Tiger.
AAbout Rachael SlateA 


Rachael has explored forgotten temples in Cambodia, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, and stood inside the Roman Coliseum. She loves studying people and cultures, current and ancient. Her appetite for romance began with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, which she later nurtured with a healthy dose of Jane Austen.

As an author of scorching hot fantasy romance, Rachael blends the lines between mythology, reality, and fantasy. In her worlds, you’ll encounter strong, sexy alpha males and the capable women who challenge them. If her heroines can’t meet their heroes toe-to-toe, then they’ll bring them to their knees.

No matter what torture she puts her characters through, true love will always prevail. Love is, after all, the most powerful force on Earth, and beyond.

Rachael holds an Honours BA in anthropology, as well as a CELTA. Her secret indulgence is her passion for baking, which she offsets with her addiction to running (she’s completed four marathons). She resides on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two children, and cat.

AThe GiveawayA
$5 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Tempting the Artist by Sharon C. Cooper {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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Tempting the Artist (Jenkins Family Series Book 3)
by Sharon C. Cooper
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 24, 2015 
Length: 174 Pages

Christina “CJ” Jenkins, a free-spirited painter by trade is juggling her obligation to the family construction business, with the demands of her secret passion. A secret life she has successfully hidden until recently. When sexy, bad-boy attorney, Luke Hayden, enters the picture, he steals her heart. But the truth of Christina’s double life buried under lies, threatens to destroy them both.

Luke is leaving New York to escape the drama, which is his life. Starting over in Cincinnati with Christina appeals to him more than he will admit. Although her secret jeopardizes their steamy affair, it’s not until someone threatens to destroy the Jenkins family empire, and uses Luke to carry out their plan, that their relationship is truly tested. Luke will do what he can to help the Jenkins family, but he will stop at nothing to tempt the woman who has captured his heart.

AThe Book ExcerptA


Christina lowered her head and shut her eyes. Everything would be all right. She was overthinking the situation. Their relationship was tight and built on trust. Besides, Luke was the sweetest man she had ever met, and he wouldn’t have a problem with her change in plans. It wasn’t like she wasn’t ever going back to Cincinnati. She was only staying in New York another day, two tops.

Christina’s head jerked up startled at the sound of Luke’s voice. Her heart pounded erratically in her chest. She wasn’t sure if it was because of the conversation she knew they had to have or because she hadn’t heard him enter the room. After an amazing round of sex, she had left him sleeping in the bedroom while she hung out in the living room weighing her options.

Luke stepped out of the shadows of the semi-dark room and into a small stream of moonlight shining through one of the windows. After three months of dating, the sight of him still made her heart stutter.

Absolute perfection.

She had always been attracted to dark skinned men, a stark contrast to her lighter skin. And this man was the epitome of sexy. He stood before her in nothing but a pair of striped pajama bottoms hanging low on his hips, his thick package pressed behind the flimsy material. Her gaze moved up to his face. An artist would be in heaven if they had him as a model. Sharp accessing eyes, an average-size nose, and a chiseled jaw line made up his handsome face. And those lips. God, the things he could do with those full, tempting lips.

Lust throbbed through Christina’s veins as Luke watched her with the intensity of a hawk circling its target calculating the perfect time to pounce. The dress shirt she wore of his, with nothing underneath, did nothing to hide her erect nipples from his heated gaze. All it took was a look from him, and she was ready to let him have his way with her. Again.

“Wha … what are you doing up?” she finally asked.

“I don’t sleep well without you in my bed.” His slumber-filled voice was deep and intoxicating. She had no doubt that he meant what he said. When she wasn’t in New York visiting him, he rarely slept in the bed, preferring the sofa in his home office. He’d often stay at work until nine or ten at night, only to arrive home and work for another few hours. She had no idea how he functioned with only three or four hours of sleep each night.

Luke moved across the room with the stealth of a lion, closing in on its prey. With a lean body, his sculpted chest and muscular biceps stood out. That quiet control swimming in his eyes, with a twinge of fearlessness, rooted her in place and had her heart pounding double-time. She was sure that look played well into him being one of the top defense attorneys at his New York law firm.

“What’s wrong? You’ve been distracted since we returned from the art show.” The richness of his baritone voice washed over her like a smooth, satiny caress. And he smelled so good. The fresh scent of soap permeated the air as if he had just stepped out of the shower. His voice, his scent, and all that made him the man he was, weakened her defenses and sent her senses spiraling out of control.

He pulled her effortlessly against his hard body and her arms slid easily around his neck. What she felt for him was unlike anything she had ever experienced. There was just something about him. Something about the way his welcoming embrace evoked a sense of peace that settled over her like a goose down jacket all snuggly and warm. And there was something about the way his self-assuredness gave her the desire to experience the world through his eyes, making her want to try new things and live life on the edge.

Christina moaned as his body molded against hers, chest to chest and thigh to thigh. He felt too good. It wasn’t helping that the feathery kisses he placed along the length of her neck were reigniting the smoldering heat from hours earlier. She couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t think straight when he looked at her, or when he kissed her, or when he touched her. An experienced lover, his caress had her body bending to his will.

“Maybe you should come back to bed so that I can make you forget your troubles.”

“Or maybe you can make me forget my troubles right here … right now.”

“That can be arranged.”

Copyright © 2015 by Sharon C. Cooper
AAbout Sharon C. CooperA
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, spent 10 years as a sheet metal worker. And while enjoying that unique line of work, she attended college in the evening and obtained her B.A. from Concordia University in Business Management with an emphasis in Communication.

Sharon is a romance-a-holic – loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies or real life. She writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course).


AThe GiveawayA

$5 Amazon Gift Card & 2 Signed Copies of All You'll Ever Need
(Jenkins Family Series Book 2)


All You'll Ever Need (Jenkins Family Series Book 2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Amaris Publishing LLC
Release Date: September 22, 2014
Length: 180 Pages

A woman wants what a woman wants…

Quick-witted, sassy, construction worker, Jada (JJ) Jenkins, loves the finer things in life. She’d rather be in designer clothes and stilettos than sporting steel-toe boots and a hard hat. She hates getting dirty and worst, sweating. Jada’s ready to quit her job and marry a wealthy man who’s able to support her shopping addiction and her expensive taste. She’s not looking for love, only a comfortable lifestyle. What she doesn’t expect to find is a blue-eyed hunk with dimples and a disarming ability to throw her off her game.

For professional football player Zack Anderson, its love at first sight when he meets Jada. The fact that she’s a construction worker is even better. He wants a woman who’s not afraid to get down and dirty, someone who enjoys fishing, hiking and the great outdoors. He thinks he’s found that in Jada.

Before he loses his heart, will Zack discover that the last thing on this feisty steel-toe-boot-wearing-beauty’s mind is getting her hands dirty with love?

BWWM (black woman, white man) interracial romance



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Saturday in Serendipity by Margo Hoornstra {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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Saturday in Serendipity
A Three Book Anthology
Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 11, 2014
Length: 427 Pages

A twenty year high school reunion changes the lives of former classmates and leads to unexpected futures.

Three Strikes Thursday
Barry Carlson, a pro baseball success, could have any woman he wanted. Except one. Twenty years before, Barry won Amanda Marsh’s love, only to crush her heart. He’s returned to Serendipity, determined to win her back. Recently divorced, Amanda is happy—until Barry slides back into her life. Can they put aside old wounds and new misunderstandings to find a forever love?

Two On Tuesday
Blane Weston’s construction company needs the venture capital Matt Durand has. With his reputation for hostile takeovers, she wants no part of him. Mixing business with pleasure, she’s off to Serendipity to hook up with a former flame. Not used to being denied, Matt follows. How can Blane enjoy a journey to her past when Matt is determined to dictate her future?

One Fateful Friday
His high school reunion in Serendipity over, hospital CEO Jake Holbrook regrets his single state. When a special woman from his past tumbles back into his life—and his bed—he’s determined to keep her there. Family practitioner Bethany Thomas avoids an entanglement with her new boss, but unknowingly betrays him. As the holidays approach, can they overcome a lack of trust to find their Christmas miracle?



AThe Book ExcerptA

Three Strikes Thursday
The solution was simple. Get out of the car, walk up to the house and ring the bell. Apologize for the intrusion when her father came to the door, and ask to see Amanda.

Only for a couple of minutes. Please. 

Then he could fall all over himself telling her how sorry he was. 

“Yeah that’s gonna fly.” His whisper filled the emptiness around him, and he dropped his head. “Face it, asshole. You blew it.” 

In an odd way, talking to himself, he didn’t feel quite so alone. 

He turned his gaze back to stare at Amanda’s window. The shade was still down. Her light was out. 

So that was it. 

Moving like a rigid, soulless robot, Barry put the car in gear and drove slowly away. Picking up speed as he left Amanda’s subdivision, he floored it once he hit the highway. With the windows down, the warm night air cooled as it roared around him. 

He flicked the headlights on high. Their beams lit up the trees, telephone poles and bushes as they whizzed by. Nothing could stop him as long as he kept his foot down hard on the gas pedal. Then something did. 

Pulling to one side of the deserted road, he jammed the gear shift into park, jumped out, ran around to the back bumper, bent over. 

And puked his guts out onto the warm asphalt. 

Two on Tuesday
…up until a few years ago being alone suited her just fine. Lately though, call it a change in her biological timepiece, she entertained the idea of someone to share her life. Maybe even have a couple of kids.

All that remained was to find the right man for the job. 

Car wheels crunched gravel, and she glanced out the window. A shiny black sedan pulled into a parking spot a ways away. Had Malcolm come out to the site for some reason? 

She waited a moment to see. It was hardly the slight form of her business partner who emerged from the driver side a few minutes later. The green polo shirt on this man was unbuttoned at the neck and stretched to the limit over large, sturdy shoulders. Her gaze dipped to follow the expanse of a trim male torso then on to the jean covered outline of a noteworthy ass and long legs. 

No doubt one of her foreman’s recruits reporting for work. An assessing gaze skimmed over him again. He certainly looked healthy enough for the job. Though she didn’t get why he drove a shiny new car instead of a rugged pick up like most of the others. Edging her head back in the seat, she studied him out the side window. Feet planted wide, something in the way he took in everything around him told her this one knew his way around a construction site. Doing another quick onceover of the man, she let out a sigh. Or life in general. 

One Fateful Friday
“There’s something we need to discuss.” Jake’s strangled exhale drew Bethany’s attention. 

One fateful Friday night had progressed to an inevitable morning after. In contrast to the heat of a late August day outside, their cozy Palm Springs hotel room took on a sudden chill. Her rock of security stirred. Their perfect existence titled. Reality hit with the subtlety of Dorothy being blasted out of Kansas. 

“Which is?” She braced for his response. 

Like everyone else, was good old reliable Jake about to bail on her? 

Nestled beside her in the bed they shared, he took another breath. “We need to talk about what just happened.”

Each word sliced through her heart. “And?” 

“Difficult as it is for me to admit stupidity, we, ah, didn’t exactly practice safe sex.” 

“There’s no chance I could become pregnant if that’s your concern.” She made sure her tone was solid and direct. “I’ve been—I’ve taken care of that.” 

Mostly at her late husband’s insistence since he never wanted children. Another philosophical difference which drove them apart. True to his selfish nature, Brian made it clear the responsibility to ensure they didn’t procreate fell to her. Rather than argue, she took her birth control pills as prescribed. No matter how much she loathed doing it. A practice she’d maintained out of habit, even after the man she’d been married to for nearly twenty years was gone. The one she’d begun divorce proceedings against shortly before his unexpected death. 

“That’s not what I’m asking, Bethy. It’s what I’m trying to tell you. I’m not capable of getting anyone pregnant.” 

AAbout Margo HoornstraA

Like many writers, it’s hard to determine exactly when my fiction writing career began. I remember composing a short story in grade school (I have no idea about what) which was chosen for publication in an all school anthology. A journalism class taken in junior high school led to a job on the school newspaper and a weekly column. 

I always loved reading. I loved writing too. Someday, I thought, maybe when I grew up and received the right training, I could actually write a book. After all, I was often told, laughingly most times, I had an extremely vivid imagination.

Through the years, the desire to write was always there. I had so many ideas and characters roaming around in my head, so many stories. But the business of living—going to college, getting married then raising a family—took precedence over something as frivolous as writing a book.

Then one day out of the blue I was downsized—effective immediately—from a job I’d held for over thirty years. What seemed so unfair at the time, I now recognize the tremendous gift I was given that day. As I’m now able to spend more and more time doing what I love—writing romantic fiction—I find I really do have an abundance of stories to share.


AThe GiveawayA



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Deadly Curses by Donna Shields {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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Deadly Curses (Magnolia Valley Series)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Length: 204 Pages

Dr. Trent Moore’s life is complete – a no-strings relationship, financial security, and great health – until he is summoned to his father’s grave and discovers a grave robber stole one of his father’s bones … a finger bone. From there, Trent’s seemly perfect world spirals out of control. Strange occurrences happen, and the sexy lead detective informs him a grief stricken mother has placed a curse upon him. As his near death experiences ramp up, and he finds himself falling in love, he’s beginning to believe there may be some truth to it all. But, will he run out of time before he can tell her he loves her?

When Detective Ciarra Pacelli is assigned to a prominent judge’s suspicious death, she doesn’t know her little world is about to be turned upside down. She discovers other possible victims of a deadly Voodoo curse, one being the gorgeous and stubborn doctor. As she becomes wrapped up in protecting him at all costs, she finds she’s fighting against her developing feelings for him. Once she realizes she can’t, she gives her all in finding a cure against the curse that promises to take him away from her for good.


AThe Book ExcerptA


Ciarra straddled the chair close to Trent’s bed resting her head on her hands. His cheeks lacked color. His eyes appeared sunk in. It seemed as if he’d aged within the last two hours.

Gregory came in from the hospital, which was where Trent was attempting to point out through the window just before he passed out, and said Trent probably had a touch of the flu as it was going around, and he was dehydrated.

Flu her ass. More like a damn curse. Ciarra called Tiesha back in. He wasn’t protected. Ciarra looked for the amulet he’d received last night, but never found it.

Trent’s sister in law, Sammy, prepared chicken noodle soup downstairs.

“Oh wow,” Tiesha said upon entering the room. “He doesn’t look very good. About as bad as the other one. I must say your partner’s unbelievable. He’s over there wearing gloves and a mask. I tried to explain to him he couldn’t catch it. But, he won’t listen to a crazy ape like me.”

Ciarra rolled her eyes. High time to give Rick some eye opening life lessons. “What do you think?”

“You should try a shaman or a Vodun priestess. You need to break the curse.” She placed the back of her hand against his cheek. “No fever. If anything, he feels cold and clammy.”

Ciarra eyed her best friend. “So, you know a Vodun priestess I suppose?”

“And a shaman. Which do you prefer? You don’t have a lot of time left.” She pulled out an amulet and handed to Ciarra. “Here is a new one. Place it under his pillow.”

“Thanks for the reminder . . . and the amulet. I guess the best bet would be Voodoo.” Ciarra reached out and ran her hand across the top of his head. She swore she wasn’t going to fall for this man. Yet, she teetered on the edge of a very high cliff with Trent. If only she could just let go and fall.

Jack, oh Jack. What do I do?

Her heart ached, being torn between the dead and the living. How had it happened? Trent lived like a playboy.

But, she could see a side of him he didn’t let out too often. One he wouldn’t really show. But then did a couple of times without knowing, he had.

Ciarra and he were like night and day. They could never last. But, the same could be said for Princess and Brutus. Yet, there the two misfits lay. Brutus the big baby on the rug and precious Princess curled up near his head, as if they had been the best of friends forever. Animals could teach humans a thing or two.

“Hello, Ciarra?” Tiesha waved her hands in front of Ciarra’s face. “Where were you just now?”

Ciarra shook off her thoughts. “Nowhere promising.”

“Oh boy.”

Ciarra raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“Oh this isn’t good. You have fallen flat on your face, huh?”

Ciarra turned away and back to Trent.

Then, it hit her. The whole Florence Nightingale syndrome thing. She only cared for him as a human being. “Nope. There will never be another Jack.” Silly little liar.

“Go ahead and lie to yourself. But Ciarra Pacelli, you are not, and I mean not, fooling me. I know you.”

Ciarra crossed her arms over her chest. “It’s only because I have to protect him.” Finally, something to cling to besides love. Maybe, she wouldn’t be tumbling off the cliff after all. She was lying to herself, but it was the only way to protect her from Trent.

“Again, go ahead and twist it any way you want. You have fallen for him.”
AAbout Donna ShieldsA

I’m Donna Shields, author of paranormal romance and romantic suspense – published with Soul Mate Publishing, mom of six, gramma of four precious cuties and wife to an imperfect, yet amazing husband of fifteen years and counting (He’ll say a hundred, roll his eyes, and smile). Psss…I’m imperfect too, but don’t tell him that….

We call the beautiful state of South Carolina our home where there isn’t much hustling and bustling going on, where people are friendly (for the most part-it’s called that Southern Hospitality), strangers wave and say hello with a smile. And it doesn’t hurt being centrally located where the ocean is a mere three hour drive and the mountains no more than an hour and a half away.

I’ve been writing for five years steadily, but have always dabbled with writing short stories here and there. I’m a sucker (no pun intended) for all sorts of paranormal. And when suspense and adventure is thrown in the mix, I’m a truly happy girl. I enjoy writing both genres and at times the lines between the two blur, combining to make paranormal romantic suspense. My heroines are strong, even if quiet. They are independent, yet scarred and in need of a true love. A real hero, one who understands they need their space, but will love them fiercely. The hero may have a hard exterior, but inside he’s a mush ball. And the hero needs that woman who can tame him down a little and love with all her heart and soul.


AThe GiveawayA
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Cousin Q by Tammy J. Palmer {Blitz & Giveaway}

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Cousin Q
An “Off Limits” Novelette
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2015
Length: 47 Pages - Just $0.99

Cassie Anderson has a history of falling for the wrong guys; ex -cons, rebels, and hard drinking cheating types. Her most recent mistake had been her part-time employee as well as her live -in boyfriend, and now that he’s gone, she’s struggling to make rent and manage her antique store alone. When her cousin, a man with a history of depression and suicide attempts, shows up looking for work and a place to lay down his sleeping bag, she offers him a job and her guest room.

Q is doing better than ever and the close bond they shared as kids is still strong, but they’re not kids anymore and it’s not innocent. Cassie is determined to change her ways and stop falling for the wrong guys, and that means fighting her attraction to a man who is most definitely off-limits. But is Q really the wrong guy?


AThe Book ExcerptA


After his second suicide attempt, my cousin gave up his quest to find peace and settled into a nomad’s life, rotating relatives, camping in attics and basements, trailers and tents, doing odd jobs to earn his keep. I’ve always known my turn would come, so I’m not surprised to see Quinton, or Q as I call him, walk into my antique store carrying a backpack and sleeping bag.


I’m behind the counter ringing up half a dozen Nancy Drew mysteries to a woman who claims she’s buying them for her granddaughter. After she spends a full five minutes telling me how fond she was of the books when she was a girl, I have to wonder who they’re really for. I’m imagining some ten-year-old girl tossing these books into her closet without a second thought, or worse leaving them on her bedroom floor where they will be trampled, while smiling at the woman, agreeing that of course her granddaughter will love the books, and also keeping one eye on Q. I’m curious to see what will grab his interest first. 

The winner is a barely used erector set still in its original box. This is not surprising. Q was always building things when he was a kid. I remember him throwing blocks at me one Christmas, after I accidentally knocked down one of his towers, and me crying to my mother. He was such a hot head then, that Grandma Jones used to call him her little Tasmanian Devil. 

Grown up Q has none of the fury of kid Q. He looks too thin in the large green army jacket, and the faded jeans worn dangerously low on narrow hips. His dark hair has outgrown its last cut, and a stray lock falls down over the sunglasses he wears to hide his empty right eye socket. 

When my customer is gone I step around to the other side of the counter and say, “I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to leave the backpack outside.” 

Q turns around, lowering his glasses on one side, revealing one big beautiful brown eye. “It’s me, Cassie.” 

“Of course it’s you. I was kidding.” I hug him hard, my cheek coming right up against a cold button on his jacket. I pull back and see that the button reads, Stop the war in Vietnam. There are several patches advocating peace. One arm of the jacket has been cut off above the elbow, revealing the peace symbol tattoo on his forearm, a hand with two fingers forming a V. I touch the frayed edge of his sleeve. “Uncle Otto?” 

“How’d you guess?” 

Otto is the brother of both our mothers. He survived Vietnam minus an arm and later joined the peace rallies. “I can’t believe he’d give this away.” 

Q shrugs. “It was in an old box in his attic with a bunch of other stuff. He said I could have whatever I wanted if I got rid of the rest.” 

A rush of excitement overcomes me, “What else was in the box? Is there anything left?” 

Q shakes his head and a shadow slips over his face. “Sorry, it looked like junk to me. I should have thought of you.” 

Of course he should have thought of me. The unwritten rule in our family is that anything that might possibly be considered an antique should be brought to me before being discarded, but I never could get mad at Q, not even when I had a right to.
AAbout Tammy J. PalmerA

Tammy J. Palmer writes contemporary romance, has been part of a writing critique/support group for nearly two decades, and is a member of RWA. Long ago she made the wise decision to marry Superman (if he can’t figure it out, it can’t be done). She had two kids, who were far better behaved than she deserved, and grew into truly amazing adults. She has a fat, lazy cat named Betty Boop.

“I believe it’s our contradictions that make us interesting. For example, I hate the rain and live in the Willamette Valley, one of the rainiest places in the country. I love artsy places full of interesting, creative people, and live in a suburb full of 9-5 people wearing sensible shoes. I shop resale and am surrounded by strip malls. I’m an introvert and I work part time as a grocery clerk— an extrovert’s job. I love fiction and find sports boring. I married a man who loves sports and finds fiction boring. I write and read to escape from the real world, and yet I love stories that reflect real life.”

Visit Tammy’s website for blog posts on Life in the Express Lane, or email her at tammyjpalmer@hotmail.com


AThe GiveawayA
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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In the Woods by Nancy Gideon {Spotlight & Giveaway}

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In the Woods
Based upon the original horror screenplay IN THE WOODS by Lynn Drzick, now an independent motion picture.

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: January 17, 2015
Length: 201 Pages
Published by: Katharsys Pictures Publishing

Hundreds of years ago their battle began . . .

In an age of knights and sorcery, a good king must raise a monster to protect his people from the demon unleashed by a dark-hearted enemy determined to claim his kingdom. But once called forth upon blood-drenched fields, can such evil ever be truly laid to rest?

To a present day community held hostage by fear, a serial killer will soon be the least of its worries after two off-duty firefighters enter a forest and find a grave. What they dig up isn’t a victim or family pet. When they race from the woods, they bring a timeless hell with them . . .



AThe Book ExcerptA


AAbout Nancy GideonA
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | GoodreadsAmazon
With over 60 sales since her first publication in 1987, which was written in long hand then typed up on a manual Smith Corolla, Portage, Michigan author Nancy Gideon’s writing encompasses romance genres from historicals and regencies to contemporary suspense and the paranormal.

Under her own name, she’s a bestseller in contemporary romantic suspense, has written an award-winning vampire romance series, and has a six book shape-shifter series with Pocket Books. Also listed on the International Movie Database (IMDB), she collaborated on Indie horror films In the Woodsand Savage with screenwriting and ADR script credits, and even played a small role, that of “bar extra.”

Writing historical romance as Dana Ransom, she’s a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure” and “K.I.S.S.” award winner with books published in Romanian, Italian, Russian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, French, German, Icelandic and Chinese.

As Rosalyn West, she’s a HOLT Medallion winner with nominations for “Best North American Historical Romance” and “Best Historical Book in a Series.”

A prolific writer, Nancy attributes her creative output, which once peaked at seven novels in one year, to her love of history and a gift for storytelling. She also credits the discipline learned through a background in journalism and OCD. The due date for her third book and her second son were on the same day . . . and both were early! When on deadline, she turns on the laptop between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to get a chapter in before heading in to her full time job as a legal assistant. She’s a member of GDRWA, MMRWA, FF&P and dotes on her critique group.

AThe GiveawayA

$5 Amazon Gift Card & Kindle Edition of In the Woods


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