Schultz, Rene D.: Broken Image

Broken Image

by Rene D. Schultz





Women are constantly pressured with the overwhelming message that achieving ‘perfect beauty’ is mandatory to be accepted andsuccessful.

Mercedes survived a childhood with a hateful and mentally ill mother who constantly called her an ‘ugly duckling.’ Now, at twenty-nine, she’s a brilliant financial icon in Beverly Hills. She knew she was not beautiful, or stunning, or even close to either. She was plain, simple, and ordinary. Take this journey with Mercedes and her four friends who live in a city that judges a woman solely by her outside and not her inside. Will the pressure to obtain beauty become her downfall? Will Mercedes be forced to face decisions that would change her life forever? Or will reality raise its ugly head and teach her the biggest lesson of her life?


A note from the author:

Our younger generations have been pressured with an overwhelming message that achieving ‘beauty’ is mandatory in becoming successful in life, and it increases your personal value in the public and social scene. Thanks to the media, we have become accustomed to extremely rigid and uniform standards of ‘beauty.’ Seeing images of flawless, thin females everywhere makes it hard for women—or anyone—to feel good about their bodies. Our children are relentlessly encouraged and pushed by magazines, television, fashion, plastic surgeons, and peer pressure to obtain that beauty through different procedures of cosmetic surgery. Botox, Restylane, augmentation, and liposuction have become a common day occurrence amongst young people (mostly women) throughout the world.

Growing up with that overwhelming message places a lot of stress on our teens through peer pressure, and has created a lot of obsessive behaviors like eating disorders (Anorexia and Bulimia) and addiction to plastic surgery (Body Dismorphic Disorder), that even the older generations have to deal with it. Older women (over 40) have an increase of stress competing with younger women, forcing them to keep up with only acceptable ‘beauty’ standards. In many parts of the world it has deeply affected any success in their social life, as well as the work environment. Many movie stars are a perfect example of this obsession to stay beautiful. Aging has become discreditable, and cosmetic surgery is their only way to keep themselves marketable.

The thin, athletic, sexy ideals of beauty have become the ‘new normal.’ That’s frightening for the last few generations—not to mention the parents who are raising their young daughters in this environment of competition and judgment.

We deserve to be really angry about the current state of affairs that has a fashion and media industry feeding us ideals that cause us to feel guilty for our hungers, obsessed with our appearance, and hating the very bodies that we need to sustain us. The only real cure for plastic surgery, and this need to be ‘beautiful,’ is for people to realize that it is not the nose, but the look in the eyes. It is not the appearance, but their accomplishments. It’s not the outside, but the inside that actually makes us all who we are. – Amen…

Broken Image is a glimpse into the world of the ‘cosmetic’ generations. Beverly Hills is the perfect example of the peer pressure of beauty… There is a lesson to be learned!


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My name is Rene D. Schultz and and I live in a small community just north of Los Angeles where I raised my two sons. I love to garden, try new recipes, take lots of pictures, and occasionally I enjoy a glass of wine with dear friends. I’ve never jumped out of a plane, climbed Mt. Everest, or seen the Northern Lights of Alaska. But, I have danced in the rain, sent a message in a bottle, and I’ve rode my motorcycle down Pacific Coast Highway on sunny California days!

My passion of writing has lead me on the most amazing journey. Now, my focus is on fiction. I thrive on developing strong story lines that showcase today’s contemporary lifestyles. Rags to riches, Robin Hood, and surviving the odds, seems to be my one common denominator that showcases my fascinating and diverse characters.




MERCEDES smiled to herself as she turned on the bathroom light and walked towards the sink. She leaned over the counter and glanced into the mirror. At nearly thirty years old, she still had beautiful unblemished skin like her mother. It was porcelain white and flawless, and it was her only admission of acceptance that she chose to acknowledge from her parent’s gene pool. Leaning closer to the mirror, she frowned as she noticed small lines starting to form under her eyes, and creases near the corners. Her eyes were an unusual light green and surrounded by extraordinary long, naturally black lashes, and she didn’t know where she got them from. Her father’s eyes were blue; and her mother’s constantly changed from hazel to brown, depending on her mood swings. But it was her nose that had been a disparaging state of contention since her childhood.

When she was ten she was playing softball with a group of schoolmates when she was struck in the face with a fastball. Her nose was broken and swollen for weeks. The school nurse told her, ‘don’t worry, it will heal on its own.’ Now, twenty years later, she ran her finger down her nose, sighing in frustration. It was visibly crooked, and had a good-sized bump on the left side. That bump, mixed with her flared nostrils, had become one of the least favorite parts of her body. Heading further down, she finally touched her lips. They were not full and luscious, like the ones that always flashed on the television screen during lipstick commercials. Full, luscious lips would be one of her dreams, along with higher cheekbones. But as she got older, she was forced to realize that life was not always what you wanted. God had given her what he thought necessary, and that was something she felt obligated to live with.

Her fingers pushed back her shoulder-length, wavy light-brown hair with processed blonde streaks as she continued to stare at herself in the mirror. Mercedes knew she was not beautiful, or stunning, or even close to either. None of her features were delicate enough, when blended together, to create anything dramatic or striking. She was plain, simple, and ordinary. Not at all close to what society considered ‘beautiful.’ And definitely nothing compared to the magazines that cluttered all the newspaper stands.

Sometimes it made her blood boil when she walked past the magazine aisle at the store. She would ask herself questions like: Why was beauty based on perfection? How did those women get so gorgeous? Was it in their gene pool, or was it because of living in California—where plastic surgeons were a dime a dozen and on every corner? She was a bright young woman who knew the obvious answer—but refused to acknowledge it.

To Mercedes, the fashionable trend of plastic surgery started years ago, and hit close to home when her best friend in High School got an augmentation for her sixteenth birthday. In high school, Jennifer Lang was still slowly developing breasts when her mother initiated her into the world of ‘perfection.’ Mercedes thought Jennifer was already one of the most popular and attractive girls in the school with her tall, slim figure, and beautiful long legs. All the boys chased after her, including the quarterback of the varsity football team. Her long, thick blonde hair flowed down her back, and she always looked like a graceful ballerina. That wasn’t enough for her mother. Her mother was addicted to plastic surgery, and had been diagnosed with a disease called ‘body dysmorphic disorder’. It was a disease where an individual became preoccupied with a slight or imagined abnormality in their appearance, and the only way to fix it was through corrective surgery. After twelve surgeries, her mother continually found fault with her body, which changed on a daily basis. Mercedes and her friends watched this from a distance, but they were too young at that time to recognize the problem.

In those days, cosmetic surgery was just starting to ‘rear its ugly head’ all over the media. Talk shows became the rage where the cosmetic surgeons displayed their sculptured divas. Within a few years, movie stars, both men and women, were lining the halls of the vast growing groups of Beverly Hills plastic surgeons. Jennifer’s mother patterned herself after the famous movie stars who felt surgery was their only means of attaining physical ‘perfection.’ It had become acceptable and more commonplace in society, amongst those who could afford the ‘pricey’ procedures. At first, it was more of the aging starlets and wealthy women that indulged in this extravagance. As the cosmetic surgeons began to push the perfected face, the sculptured bodies, and introduced new beautifying procedures, the young began to participate more. Mercedes and her friends thought starting in high school was pushing the boundaries for young women. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s sixteenth birthday present had physically started her down the same path as her mother—addicted to ‘beauty.’

Looking back, Mercedes realized it had also created a lot of dissension amongst her group of friends. The acceptance of Jennifer’s decision to enlarge her breasts left a big wedge between the girls. In addition, it caused a lot of angry parents to make rash decisions that eventually divided the group up. Jennifer had been a dear friend of Mercedes’ since grade school, and when the group divided, she had sided with Jennifer. Not because she believed in enhancing one’s self to be socially acceptable, but because she believed that every person was entitled to do whatever made them happy.

Now, years later, Mercedes looked down at her tiny breasts in the mirror and shook her head. “Oh well, I guess I’m not perfect!” she muttered to herself and picked up her electric toothbrush. The radio turned on again, and Mercedes began to hum to the song that was playing. Swaying her hips and shuffling her feet, she continued to brush her teeth. After a few spins around the bathroom with her toothbrush, she turned on the shower, and continued her rituals of the morning.

An hour later, Mercedes was sitting at her kitchen table sipping her first cup of morning coffee and planning her day on her iPad. With all of her notes neatly typed into the small electronic device, she shoved it into her backpack, took her last sip of coffee, and walked out the door of her condo. Parked in the driveway was her economical four-door car. It was nothing to look at, and definitely not like the fancy ones her best friends raced around town in. Mercedes loved her beat-up rattletrap because of the high gas mileage and low maintenance it demanded. She could care less if the heater didn’t work, her speaker on the driver’s side was out, the gas tank didn’t register anymore, and a few other minor problems had appeared over the last few years. It was a great choice for her when she bought it and a constant source of ridicule from her friends. She unlocked the door, slid onto the seat, and started the car. With the sun shining, and the birds chirping, she thought, “What a wonderful day it is going to be!”

On her way to work, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, she thought about Christina and their dinner plans. As a frown crossed her face, she wondered why she always set herself up for this demeaning form of punishment. She loved her friends, but lately it seemed harder and harder for her to deal with their enormous amount of criticism. Why couldn’t they mind their own business and leave their opinions to themselves? Why did they constantly try to change her? Why couldn’t they just understand that she liked who she was and didn’t feel a need to be like others? Why were her friends so shallow with their addiction to beauty? Why did they always make her feel vulnerable?


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Kapel, Claudine: A Darker Rain

A Darker Rain

by Claudine Kapel

NBtM A Darker Rain Banner copy



“It’s definitely not a good time to be going into the woods of Hawkley Ridge.”

When a red-eyed wildcat starts threatening ranchers in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan Cole recognizes the danger is far more menacing than the ranchers realize. Cole specializes in tackling unconventional security threats, particularly those with alien origins.

His investigation puts him in the crosshairs of Antoine Drake, an international arms dealer with a penchant for weapons from other worlds. Both men are hot on the trail of powerful alien artifacts known as guardian stones.

Cole and his team of investigators embark on a dangerous quest to recover the guardian stones before they can be assembled into the ultimate alien weapon. To succeed, Cole must also decipher the wildcat’s deadly secrets.

But in the woods of Hawkley Ridge, it’s easy for the hunter to become the prey.

A Darker Rain is the first book in the Ryan Cole series.

Available for purchase on:

Amazon-US || Amazon-CA

Apple iBookstore/iTunes-US || Apple iBookstore/iTunes-CA

Barnes and Noble || Kobo Books


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Beecham exhaled sharply. “Antoine Drake and Cassandra Chase are ruthless. They’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. If they’re acquiring both alien weapons and alien allies, that could give them a major military advantage. Who knows how powerful these weapons are or what they can do? We don’t even know how they work.”

“So what did your people learn about the weapons before they were stolen?” asked Cole. “Did Ivan Johnson shed any light on how the sonic rifle works before he was killed?”

Beecham rubbed his eyes wearily. “He didn’t give us a hell of a lot. We tested the alloy the rifles were made of and confirmed there’s no match for such a substance anywhere on Earth. But beyond that, we didn’t learn much.

“We ran a whole battery of tests to see if we could uncover the mechanics of the weapon. But nothing. No one has been able to figure out how the rifles operate. As you can see in the photo—not to mention in the files your buddy Ashcroft downloaded—there’s no visible trigger.”

Beecham looked at Cole, his face etched with deep concern. “We need to get these weapons back. And we need to stop Drake.”

Cole looked at Beecham with a frown. He had heard that refrain before, and it had been a prelude to disaster.


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Welcome all. Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Claudine Kapel, author ofA Darker Rain. Hi Claudine, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.

Please tell me about A Darker Rain and what inspired you to write it?

A Darker Rain is the first book in the Ryan Cole series, which chronicles the adventures of Cole and his team of investigators as they tackle unconventional security threats posed by beings and technology from other worlds. Cole is charged with helping to protect Earth from dangerous alien influences and to keep weapons and technology from other worlds from falling into the wrong hands.

I’m a fan of both science fiction and action/adventure novels and had the idea to write a book that blended elements of both. Once I started writing A Darker Rain, the story took on a life of its own, and ultimately unfolded as a series.

When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?

I typically start with a foundational story arc and a few pivotal scenes – although the points are mostly in my head. I don’t work with a physical outline.

Once I have a basic storyline mapped out, I follow where the story goes and where the characters lead me, and I’m open to new ideas and directions. To that end, the characters really do help drive how the story unfolds.

Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?

Sure, I have arguments with characters from time to time. Sometimes they win in that they get to say or do certain things that may be different from what I initially had in mind. But I’m also careful to ensure that they stay in harmony with each other as well as “in character” as the story unfolds.

What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?

While A Darker Rain is my first work of fiction, I’ve co-authored two non-fiction books on human resources management. The readers of my HR books might be equally surprised to learn that I also write science fiction.

If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?

I think it would be fun to write a novel with another author and I’m definitely open to that. It would be inspiring and eye-opening to see how another author approaches his or her craft. One of my all-time favorite authors was Robert B. Parker. If he were still with us, I would have loved to collaborate with him.

When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why? 

When I was a child I dreamed of being a writer. I think in part it was because I loved books and was constantly reading. But I’ve also always loved to write. Even as a child I wrote short stories, poetry, and songs.

When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?

Writing has always been a part of my life, both personally and professionally. I started my career as a journalist before moving into corporate communications and then consulting. I’ve always had some sort of writing project on the go.

Although my first published works were non-fiction, I’m now more focused on writing novels. This has always been an area of interest, and one that I’ve devoted more time to in recent years. I have a lot of ideas and stories seeking to be expressed, and characters that are impatiently waiting to come to life.

What music inspires your writing?

I listen to a variety of music when I’m writing. I often have instrumental music playing while I work. I have a wide assortment of classical and new age music, which I have playing in the background as I write.

Sometimes I look for specific songs with a particular theme to help me clarify the mood or details in a given scene. I keep a playlist of songs that directly relate to scenes in the book. It’s like the book’s soundtrack. For example, the book is set in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, where it rains quite a bit. So the playlist includes songs about rain.

Fun Facts:

Favorite breakfast? French toast with real maple syrup and a side of bacon

Favorite color? Purple

Favorite movie? I don’t have a single, overall favorite, but a few that I’ve really liked include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Shawshank Redemption, and the original Airplane.

Dream car?  Silver Audi TT (although to have one, I would need to learn to drive a stick shift)


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A Darker Rain is Claudine Kapel’s first novel. She lives in Toronto and enjoys books, music, and travel. When not working as a consultant, she can be found writing, reading, or contemplating what else may be out there.

The second book in the Ryan Cole series is planned for release in 2014.

Claudine loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at


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Claudine will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the tour banner below.

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Silkstone, Barbara: Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Box Set

 Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider

by Barbara Silkstone

Series: Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider, #1 – #3
Genre: Romance, Humor, Mystery
Publish Date: October 1, 2013






Until last year Wendy Darlin was a full-time real estate agent for Miami Beach millionaires. Then she met Roger Jolley, world famous archaeologist, Johnny Depp look-alike, and at times the most irritating person on the planet. Join her as she travels the globe in search of lost treasures and antiquities. She’s been told her life is like the movie Romancing the Stone but at times she feels more like Indiana Jones with boobs.
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Real estate agent for Miami Beach millionaires, Wendy Darlin, clashes with “SEC Investigator” and world famous archaeologist, Roger Jolley. He follows her out to sea on a mega-yacht owned by Charlie Hook, a Ponzi swindler on the run from federal agents and angry investors. Despite her fear of water, she finds herself a tomb raider on the Caribbean one step ahead of modern day pirates. Will she find the Lost Boys? Will she escape Hook’s clutches? And whom will she find on Nevis Island? Oh… and is Roger a good kisser?
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When we last saw Wendy Darling and Roger Jolley in WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS, they were hot on the trail of Egyptian icons stolen from the British Museum. Wendy is now in a frantic race against time and a murderer as she searches for the last Lost Boy hidden somewhere in London while a killer heat wave invades the city. Wendy is held captive over a fish ‘n’ chips shop while Roger’s life is threatened. Can Wendy escape her captors, rescue Roger, and find the missing Lost Boy before the murderer strikes again?
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CAIRO CAPER ~ Book Three

Part-time tomb raider and full-time real estate broker, Wendy Darlin joins her lover, archaeologist Roger Jolley, in a quest for Cleopatra’s tomb. All they have to do is get from Cairo to the Temple of Taporisi Magna alive. Armed only with a couple of hijacked ashtrays and faced with a trek across the blazing Sahara desert can Wendy out-maneuver Russian oligarchs, a dozen Dark Force mercenaries, and Roger’s chubby ex-girlfriend in time to find the tomb and seal it before chaos erupts in Egypt?

What are you working on now?

With the greatest respect for Jane Austen, I have taken Pride and Prejudice out for a spin. As I progress through the writing of Mister Darcy’s Dogs, I will be posting the newest chapters of on Second Act Café. I’d like to invite readers to comment as the novella progresses.

Although inspired by Pride and Prejudice, my story takes place in modern times. It’s a teeny bit like Bridget Jones Diary but my heroine tends to be feistier and the wealthy, handsome Darcy has a secret identity. If my fans enjoy this riff on a classic I may continue to pay homage to Jane Austen and create a series.

What are you reading now?

I recently read the book that inspired my journey into Austen-ville. The Trouble with Horses by Elizabeth Ann West. This is a delightful Pride and Prejudice variation novella. Elizabeth was kind enough to encourage me to take my sense of humor in a new direction. I am quite excited to see what transpires between William Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett as they encounter both pride and prejudice in the twenty-first century.

What flavor is your writing style?

I love legal thrillers, clever comedies, and noir mysteries. Over the years I was able to take workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker, and other greats. I began to hone my one-liners aiming to become a female Elmore Leonard. I’m still not there, but I keep working on my adverb-lite diet. How will my style compliment Jane Austen? Stay tuned!

What books have most influenced your life most?

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon had a profound effect on me. There is something in both the tale and the telling that will forever haunt me. I have a signed copy of the book and will treasure it always.

Ghosts by Marsha Parker. The book is not about ghosts by rather about love. There is a scene in the book where the current day narrator meets her love and soulmate from the 12th century. Toward the end of the story as she questions his ethereal presence and her longing for him, he appears one night. He leads her to a Welsh meadow where under the moonlight, they lay on a sheepskin and…well, the result is the most beautiful love scene I have ever read.

Was writing always the first thing you wanted to do in life?

I spent the first four years of my life in our hall closet trying to turn into a black panther when that didn’t work I decided to become a professional majorette. Again I was met with disappointment. In kindergarten I learned to press lightly with my crayons, I then realized I was destined to become a writer.

I’ve always had a passion to write humor and horror – closely related genres. In eighth grade I started an underground newspaper patterned after Mad Magazine. Unfortunately our nun did not appreciate my demented humor. Threatened with excommunication I took my paper underground until I graduated Catholic school.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first published book was The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

I was coming off a short marriage and a protracted divorce. I lost everything I owned prior to the marriage. I needed answers to why I continuously accepted the wrong men into my heart when my guy friends where such nice men. Why couldn’t I tell the difference?

I set out to learn about men armed only with a tape recorder and a quirky sense of humor. I wanted to learn how men really felt about love, sex, and commitment. My goal had been to conduct 1000 intimate interviews with men in their own man caves. I wrongly estimated it would take one year. Six years and 527 men later, I had become The Woman Who Knew Too Much.

During my odyssey, I met men who have sex with married women, and men whose wives have sex with other men. I listened to men who have no idea how to approach a woman, and men who have it down to a science. I discovered many men who went to unbelievable lengths in search of love.

I learned many things, one of which is that I make a much better Singleton.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?

I am always my heroines. That’s why I write in the first person. I have had more the average wild and wacky adventures in my real life. These escapades color the pickles my ladies stumble into. Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider takes the physical risks I avoid. She does share a number of my phobias like fear of getting her face wet and terror of holes in fabric. This has caused us both no end of trauma.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Please join me as I pay homage to Jane Austen in Mister Darcy’s Dogs. The first excerpts will appear on the Second Act Café in August. I’d love to hear your thoughts as I progress through this first novella in a new genre.


Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Vulgarian Vamp, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Romantic Suspense Fairy Tales series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

All books are available on

Website ~ Blog ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest

Friend me on Facebook ~ Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Facebook Fan Page



Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo




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Lynn, Faith S.: Ransom

Title: Ransom
Author: Faith S. Lynn
Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 30, 2014


What would you do to get it all back?

Desperate, careless, frantic, hieness, and frenzied. These are just some of the words that could describe my state of being after everything was ripped from under me. I will do anything to get it all back. And I do mean ANYTHING. I just didn’t expect what I would get in the process. She changes everything.

Carefree pretty much sums up my entire life. My father has made sure that I have never and will never want for anything. I have a fiance on the fast track to business success and a best friend that will always be there for me. My future is set and I couldn’t be happier with it. Then it all changed in an instant. He took me away from everything that I thought I wanted, needed. Now nothing will ever be the same.

I am a New Adult author. From Lies to Promises is my debut novel! I am wife to the best husband of the freaking universe and mother to 3 majorly awesome kids! Reading, Xbox, cooking and WINE just barely scrape the surface of who I am. Everyone who knows me will say I am a nerd… and I would agree. Want to know a secret? I am a super hero. True story!


I have an obsession with anything people consider odd and I think learning is the bees knees. I have an Associates degree in Business Management and was an accountant for 7 years. I know, boooring! But I like having a problem and seeing a solution.


Maybe, just maybe, this is why I enjoy writing so much!


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Moldovan, Cindy Lou: Rain Over Me, Rain Will Fall Trilogy 2

Rain over me Release DAte

Release Day Event


Book Title: Rain Over Me
Author: Cindy Lou Moldovan
Genre: Romance
Release Date: July 30, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions


Mia Lambert is beautiful, rich and used to having her own way. When it comes to intimacy, she makes her own rules. Convinced that she is selfish and self-centered like her mother, she stays away from matters of the heart. Mia’s rules leave her empty and unfulfilled, but she is too stubborn to change until Philippe strides into her life and challenges her to let him fulfill her wanton body’s desires.

Philippe Colson is every woman’s dream. Handsome and charming, he shows Mia passion beyond her wildest dreams. He has come to play, and when he does, he plays for keeps.

Will Mia allow her fears to rule her heart and leave her with an empty, guarded life or will she accept the challenge from Philippe and trust her heart to him?


Mia came to a halt, her breath hitching in her throat, and she skidded to an abrupt stop in front of the refrigerator as she took in the tall figure leaning against her Quartzites and stone countertop.

“Philippe!” she squealed.

“Happy to see me, princess?” he asked, but the glint in his dark green eyes showed his displeasure.

Mia held on to the door of the refrigerator, her hand shaking slightly, hoping he didn’t see the affect he had on her.

“I…how did you get in here?” she asked, her voice rising. Mia had ignored his calls, emails and answered his text messages only in monosyllables for the past two months. Yeah, he was pissed! She was well aware that he is not the type of man to be put off and she had done just that.

“I appreciate your high tech security and your bodyguard, but I have my ways of getting what I want at times. You should know that tactic well.”

“Are you saying I’m used to having my own ways? Rich and spoiled? Fine, go ahead. Nothing I’ve not heard before.” Her bravado returned, but she took a step back as he pushed off the counter.

He took a swig of water from the bottle he held in his hand. “You are avoiding me and I want to know why the hell you are running.”

Her dress fell off her shoulder onto her arm and she attempted to pull it back in place, but her hand met with Philippe’s as he held the dress in place and ran his thumb across her skin. Her chest tightened as desire flooded her body.

Philippe’s hooded gaze held her eyes. He set the bottle of water on the counter and rubbed her other arm slowly, making his way to her back where he found the clasp to her bra and skillfully unsnapped it.

Mia’s lip caught in her teeth and her lids slid shut as she tried to repress a moan that was sure to escape her throat.

Philippe cupped her pert breast that fit perfectly in his large palm. None too gently he squeezed the pale pink nipple, encouraging the areolar to constrict, elongating her nipple between his thumb and index finger.

Her head dropped to his chest and lulled from side to side. She was never one to deny herself what she wanted and at this moment, she desperately wanted Philippe.

Truth be told, she’d always wanted him, ever since they met 15 months, 1 week and 2 day ago, but who was counting time…not her, surely. Keeping up with such minute details were for the weak, which she was not.

Philippe tilted her head back; her blonde hair framed her face and fell over her shoulders as she looked into his eyes. His tall frame loomed over her as his dark green eyes seeks hers out. Their breathing and the sound of the refrigerator humming were the only sounds in the room. Slowly he peeled back the dress and pink lacy demi bra off her shoulders and let them fall to the floor, pooling around her ankles.

She rubbed her breasts across his white linen shirt and the sensation of the material against them sent a wicked sensual sensation pooling down her center to the apex of the thighs.

Philippe crushed his mouth to hers and took her tongue in a wild kiss that lasted all of a few seconds. He spun her around and bent her at the kitchen island.

Her breasts came in contact with the cold hard countertop. She was bent at the waist pushing her ass toward his erection that ground into her bottom with no mercy.

A plea that sounded like a whimper left her lips. He slid a finger into her wet pussy that was now hot and slick. Slowly, he swirled his long finger around and around her need as Mia shook with desire. He pulled his finger from her slit that dripped with her essence and pushed it gently into her mouth.

Mia greedily sucked off her own juices, but before she could repeat the motion, he placed his palm on her ass and rubbed it one, twice, then with a stinging motion, spanked her with three quick successive snaps. Mia yelped from the surprise spanking that sent moisture rushing to her core. Before she could get her bearings, Philippe headed to the door.

“Play nice, or we don’t play at all. Will you answer the next time I call?”

His hand was on the front door and she wanted to plead with him to stay. “Yes, but…”

“Good.” He pulled open the door and it closed silently behind him.

Mia lay her head on the cool stone of the countertop and willed her breathing to return to normal. What the fuck just happened? She took stock of the situation that just took place and humiliation set into the pit of her stomach. How could he treat her that way? He waltzed into her place…

Oh, my God,” she whispered. “How did he get in… Invading my space, getting me naked, swirling his delicious finger in my, my…in me, spanking my ass and leaving! Who the hell does he think he is?” She felt the heat of a blush rising from her neck all the way to her hairline.

She sheepishly picked her clothes up off the floor and went to her bedroom where she put on a robe. Where the hell was her security and who is on duty? Well, they were doing a piss poor job of looking after her safety. Mia placed a call to the emergency number of the security detail that was on speed dial on her phone. She did not wait for proper identification, but snapped at the person and asked to speak with Greg Williams, the supervisor.

“Miss Lambert, how may I help you, ma’am?”

“Security on my loft was breached today and I want to know why no one told me about it.” She bit the words into the phone with clenched teeth.

“Come again, Miss Lambert? Someone was in your residence?”

“That is exactly what I am saying, Greg. How did he get in?”

“I am looking at the screen and your loft was accessed twice this evening, but both times the codes were entered correctly so there were no alarms. Are you OK, Miss Lambert?” His voice rang with concern.

“Yes, yes, I’m fine. I just don’t understand…”

“There is something that may be of some interest to you, ma’am. Mr. Philippe Colson bought our security company about a week ago. On the security camera he entered your residence about an hour before you got home today, but he has the code, which is why there was not an alarm.”

Fuck, fuck! Mia rubbed her temples and reassured Greg that there was just a misunderstanding and it was okay for Mr. Colson to enter her home. Now she really was pissed off. Embarrassed and pissed. She quickly placed her other call, her hand rubbing the back of her neck.

“I said I would call you, but to what do I owe the unexpected pleasure?”

“You bought the security company? Are you out of your fucking mind, Philippe?” she hissed into the phone.

“Just investing in other companies, my dear Mia. Diversity makes good business sense,” he replied.

“I can have you arrested for trespassing.”

“Ah, now you are insulting me, since I bought the property that houses your loft, as well. I was just checking on my investment.”

“What? You did what?” she yelled.

“As much as I would like to continue this pissing contest, I am at an important dinner meeting and must get back to my guests. Bye, princess.”

Mia stared at the phone in her hand. She could not believe the audacity of the man. How dare he hang up on her? She really wanted to call him back and slam the phone down on him but that was just too childish. The mattress dipped beneath her as she threw herself on her back and kicked her legs up and down. She glared at the brilliant white ceiling while her pulse raced.

I hate him, I do, I do.” Mia hoped that by repeating those words she would actually despise him, but she was lying about one thing for sure…Mia wanted the weight of his body on hers, wanted the touch of his lips and tongue on her womanhood, his fingers to slide in her core, his mouth to suck her clit until she screamed his name in ecstasy.

Meet the Author

Cindy Lou Moldovan graduated from Lee College in Texas with a nursing degree. She is a certified PADI Scuba dive-master, loves the outdoors and spending time with family and friends. An avid reader and book lover, she is the author of her memoir ‘Growing up third world’.

Cindy creates strong characters in her steamy novels that her readers will fall in love with and leave them panting for more.

She lives in South Carolina with her husband.

Forever rain is her first romance novel in ‘Rain will fall’ trilogy.

Member of Romance writers of America, GRW and LCRW.

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