Christine Excerpt Tour @mariepiperbooks #IndieGirlPromotions

Each Sunday for ten years, the young and prominent Maidens of Mapleton club have met in the town schoolhouse and told each other all. A town with a violent past, now-booming Mapleton dotes on its favorite daughters: Christine, a performer at the town’s beautiful music hall, Mina, the daughter of the newspaper owner, Esme, a ward of the church and Lucy and Elizabeth, daughters of the widower Mayor-one ladylike, the other a hellion.

 

Slowly, the truth begins to cloud. The pieces of the past don’t add up, bad dreams are haunting Esme, and familiar tales and faces fail to comfort. In this five novella series from Marie Piper, comprised of Old West adaptations of gothic/horror tales, the Maidens find their friendships tested, fall in (and out) of love, and are forced to unravel the mystery of that one terrible day. What really happened on the day of the Mapleton Massacre?

In the first installment, CHRISTINE, there’s a music hall under new management, a mysterious patron, a dancing girl turned soloist, and murder to boot. It’s a Western romance tribute to a story that has delighted for decades, this time with a mystery girl squad!

One

 

Never had Opal Hall shone as brightly as on the night of the Masquerade Ball. At the time, it was the grandest place I had ever seen. The stagehands had worked non-stop to polish every piece of ornate engraving on every staircase and doorframe, and had added plentiful fresh flowers and new pieces of art on every surface. People in elaborate costumes were already flocking to the hall when I walked up, and I was glad for it. With the whole town in attendance, I could hide in plain sight.

My angel costume, created from the old dancer’s swan outfit, fitted my form until it swelled with lush white skirts trimmed with feathers and bared my shoulders. Wearing it was bold, but knowing I’d be in a room full of people in masks had given me confidence. The costume made me feel beautiful and, what’s more, it made me feel powerful. On a night as important as this one, both were needed. I had also donned white tights and heeled boots adorned with lace. Lucy and I had figured out together how to make a set of wings from reeds and paper, so the elaborate appendages trailed behind me. I’d also attached a small gold crown like a halo to the hair I piled high. My white mask, also feathered to match the gown, completed the look.

“Miss Dale,” Rafe exclaimed when I arrived at the theater. “You’re an angel.”

“Of course I am.”

His costume was simpler: head to toe black with a long cape and a black mask. In contrast to me, he appeared a devil. Perhaps that was the point.

Two

 

Something shifted in the crowd.

Heads turned to see a red devil coming into the theater from the lobby. He cut an imposing figure, his already impressive stature topped by the addition of a grand red hat trimmed in silver, cloaked in red robes with a terrible white half-mask.

He clapped as he entered, headed directly for me.

And I knew immediately who it was.

Once he was only a foot away from me, he bowed grandly.

Mr. Flaherty cued up the band for a polka, and I stepped down to the floor. “The Masque of the Red Death,” I said with a mischievous smile, my former worries about his absence from the Ball far from my mind now that he was smiling in front of me. “Well done.”

“I hear Maidens enjoy Poe from time to time. And every devil needs an angel.”

“Well I hope you’re not allergic to chicken feathers. This cursed costume is shedding them everywhere,” I laughed, feeling relaxed for the first time that night.

“My angel, even a rattlesnake bite couldn’t keep me away from you.”

Marie Piper lives in Chicago, but writes Romance and Erotica usually set in the old west. Her short pieces are available in anthologies from LoveSlave, House of Erotica, Coming Together, and Torquere Press, as well as via NineStar Press. The full-length steamy Western trilogy, FIRES OF CRICKET BEND, is being released by Limitless Publishing. (HAVEN’S FLAME, Book #1, is out now. EMMA’S BLAZE, Book #2, comes out on March 15th!) When Marie isn’t writing, she’s likely out exploring the Windy City, gathering more books for her hoard, or happily drinking coffee and reading. There’s also a strong possibility she’s wasting time on Twitter.

Twitter: @mariepiperbooks

 

Faded Perfection Blog Tour @cgiovanniauthor #

Seconds.

That’s all it takes to have everything ripped away from you.

No one knows this better than Adam Beckerson and River Ahlers.

Each is fighting a losing battle with the death of Bobby and the fallout it causes. Adam loses a brother; River her best friend.

And while Adam finds himself fading into the bottom of a bottle, River finds the only thing she can do is run away from everything– including Adam.

Sometimes when you lose everything, you lose yourself. The important part is finding your way back again.

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Flawed Perfection FREE for Limited Time! 

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EXCERPT ONE

Someone had to do this, and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be Adam. I breathed in and closed my eyes, only opening them as I exhaled and put one foot in front of the other. The key was hot from the heat of my body as it shook its way into the door knob. The metal clunked, and the wooden door swung open, leaving me staring at the empty room once filled with happiness. My eyes rushed over it as my mind flashed with memories, and my feet somehow continued in–all the way to Bobby’s bedroom door. My chest constricted and stars popped in my vision as I swung it open. I found myself blinking rapidly as my eyes wandered the room, stopping on the dresser where frames contained pictures of Adam and me, Bobby and me, the three of us, and then Tara and Bobby. My feet yet again propelled me forward, but I stopped as I breathed in, choking on the air.

My body warmed as my chin trembled and I breathed in again.

There it was again.

Bobby. The room smelled like him.

My eyelashes fluttered against my cheeks as the scent encircled me. Bath and Body Works’ Twilight Woods. The cologne we picked together when we were twelve. For fifteen years he’d worn it, even after Tara told him she hated it.

My eyes opened and moved to the hockey jersey hanging half out of a drawer–exactly where he left it that morning. My knees shook, and I found myself sitting on the bed staring at it. I reached forward, and the worn fabric embraced me as I brought it up to my chest. I pursed my lips together as the tears gathered and I pulled the jersey over my head, engulfing myself in his scent–it was embedded into this clothes despite constant washing. In my memories, his laughter carried through the room. It wasn’t the first time I wore one of his jerseys. I closed my eyes and curled into a ball on his bed.

“So you remember it too?” Bobby’s voice reached my ears, and the darkness behind my lids drifted away, parting until it was him and me in the tree house. I sat up on the bed, looking at him as he smirked at me from the edge of it. “See the thing is, I imagined it like this–you know? You practically naked;” his teeth ran over his bottom lip as his eyes ran up my legs, barely covered by my sleeping shorts. “in my jersey.”

He moved forward and his hand cupped my chin as his thumb caught a tear. “You weren’t crying in my fantasies, though. You cry so much now, Riv. I don’t want you to cry.”

I closed my eyes as my vision blurred from the weight of them, burdened by the false warmth of his touch.

“I’ve lost myself just as much as I’ve lost you,” I whispered, trying to memorize the feeling of his soft hands against my skin. So caring and loving when everything seemed so cold now. “All my dreams are shattered without you.”

Bobby’s hands reached for my face, turning it, so I was looking at him. He was beginning to waiver in and out, and panic burned its way up my throat.

He was going to leave.

But this was so real.

“Please don’t leave,” I said, and the tears and clenching of my throat made the words as physically painful as they were emotional.

“I thought all my dreams shattered when I found out Adam was with you–and it was over for me–that I didn’t have any more chances. My dreams realigned, though, Riv–they changed, refit into even better dreams. I expect you to do the same,” he said, and he was fading faster; his body just a wisp and his touch a mere warmth with nothing substantial behind it.

“But Adam–“

“You’ll figure out what to do, it might be hard, but in the end, it will work out. You and him are what’s left of me. Remember that. Together you make me whole,” he said, and his lips reached for my cheek, sending heat through my body as he disappeared.

“Bobby!” I yelled, and suddenly I was sitting straight up in the bed sobbing, the warmth of his lips against my cheek a stinging pain. I leaned back, pulling my knees to my chest and cried until the darkness consumed me.

This time, Bobby’s warmth didn’t return.

 

EXCERPT 2

West’s lips parted, but he seemed at a loss for words. “You can’t not have friends– you’re so–“

“Nice, but driven and being driven tends to drive people away. In college I drove away all my friends by the end…except…” My voice faded, and I swallowed, glancing out at the dimly lit yard.

West reached across the table and put his hand over mine. “The tattoo?”

I bit my lip nodding.

He squeezed my hand and leaned back, his thumb drawing soft circles over my skin. “What about family? In my experience, they’re kind of hard to drive away.”

I scoffed, shaking my head as I looked down at our hands. “I see my dad once a week– he comes up on Saturdays, and we spend the day watching TV, having dinner and talking.”

“That sounds nice–so why do you seem so angry about it?” West’s voice was soft, his words said slowly, as if he was afraid to insult me.

I fought the urge to stand up and sit in his lap–to be in the warmth his smile sent me– to be wrapped in his natural happiness.

“My dad comes secretly. My mom and I… I’m not on good terms with her. I guess we were never on good terms but last year on Thanksgiving she crossed a line and I haven’t been able to get passed it,” I said, and my eyes moved up his hand to his arm spiraling with color –waves, koi fish, lotus and cherry blossoms. Mom would die if she saw him. If I was skanky, he was an absolute man-slut.

Jesse did say he’s a womanizer. And you’re a man-eater.

“Doesn’t agree with your choices?” West asked as he lifted his wine up to his thin, very kissable lips.

My chest rose as I nodded.

“Well, let’s say you’d probably go into shock if you met my family– blue collar, nose in the air, house on the vineyard people. Very un-tattooed.”

“And how do they take to–” I signaled to his arm and collarbone, my pulse hitching as he winked at me.

“You haven’t even seen them all,” he replied, and his eyes locked on mine, devious in their twinkle as if he knew I wanted to know where the others were. As if to say it’s only a matter of time.

I swallowed hard, looking down at my pasta.

“Let’s just say they got used to it…and my mom tries to think of it as art–my dad tries to think of it as proving I have a high pain tolerance and a talent with my hands.”

My eyes shot up at that, and he leaned back laughing. My face burned, and my mind raced to places it should definitely not be.

“Do you now?” I managed to stutter.

Flirt. You’re such a damn flirt.

I wasn’t sure if I was chastising him or myself in my head–or worse, neither.

He reached across the table and flipped my arm, running his fingertips up to the tattoo he gave me and traced its outline. The tingling started from somewhere other than my arm, and I bit hard on my cheek as he sat back, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Yeah,” I said as I leaned forward and grabbed my glass of wine. “You’re talented alright.”

 

Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.


Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA

 

Connect with Cassandra on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.  Learn more about her and her novels at her website, www.cgiovanniauthor.com and read the first ten chapters of each of her published novels through her Book Catalog.

Finding the Cure

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~ B&N

In Between the Seasons (The Fall Series #1)

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Goodreads

Love Exactly

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Goodreads

 Walking in the Shadows 

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Goodreads

 

Faded Perfection Release Blitz @cgiovanniauthor #IndieGirlPromotions

Seconds.

That’s all it takes to have everything ripped away from you.

No one knows this better than Adam Beckerson and River Ahlers.

Each is fighting a losing battle with the death of Bobby and the fallout it causes. Adam loses a brother; River her best friend.

And while Adam finds himself fading into the bottom of a bottle, River finds the only thing she can do is run away from everything– including Adam.

Sometimes when you lose everything, you lose yourself. The important part is finding your way back again.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ iTunes

 

Flawed Perfection FREE for Limited Time! 

Amazon B&N ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~ iTunes ~ Goodreads

 

 

 

Someone had to do this, and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be Adam. I breathed in and closed my eyes, only opening them as I exhaled and put one foot in front of the other. The key was hot from the heat of my body as it shook its way into the door knob. The metal clunked, and the wooden door swung open, leaving me staring at the empty room once filled with happiness. My eyes rushed over it as my mind flashed with memories, and my feet somehow continued in–all the way to Bobby’s bedroom door. My chest constricted and stars popped in my vision as I swung it open. I found myself blinking rapidly as my eyes wandered the room, stopping on the dresser where frames contained pictures of Adam and me, Bobby and me, the three of us, and then Tara and Bobby. My feet yet again propelled me forward, but I stopped as I breathed in, choking on the air.

My body warmed as my chin trembled and I breathed in again.

There it was again.

Bobby. The room smelled like him.

My eyelashes fluttered against my cheeks as the scent encircled me. Bath and Body Works’ Twilight Woods. The cologne we picked together when we were twelve. For fifteen years he’d worn it, even after Tara told him she hated it.

My eyes opened and moved to the hockey jersey hanging half out of a drawer–exactly where he left it that morning. My knees shook, and I found myself sitting on the bed staring at it. I reached forward, and the worn fabric embraced me as I brought it up to my chest. I pursed my lips together as the tears gathered and I pulled the jersey over my head, engulfing myself in his scent–it was embedded into this clothes despite constant washing. In my memories, his laughter carried through the room. It wasn’t the first time I wore one of his jerseys. I closed my eyes and curled into a ball on his bed.

“So you remember it too?” Bobby’s voice reached my ears, and the darkness behind my lids drifted away, parting until it was him and me in the tree house. I sat up on the bed, looking at him as he smirked at me from the edge of it. “See the thing is, I imagined it like this–you know? You practically naked;” his teeth ran over his bottom lip as his eyes ran up my legs, barely covered by my sleeping shorts. “in my jersey.”

He moved forward and his hand cupped my chin as his thumb caught a tear. “You weren’t crying in my fantasies, though. You cry so much now, Riv. I don’t want you to cry.”

I closed my eyes as my vision blurred from the weight of them, burdened by the false warmth of his touch.

“I’ve lost myself just as much as I’ve lost you,” I whispered, trying to memorize the feeling of his soft hands against my skin. So caring and loving when everything seemed so cold now. “All my dreams are shattered without you.”

Bobby’s hands reached for my face, turning it, so I was looking at him. He was beginning to waiver in and out, and panic burned its way up my throat.

He was going to leave.

But this was so real.

“Please don’t leave,” I said, and the tears and clenching of my throat made the words as physically painful as they were emotional.

“I thought all my dreams shattered when I found out Adam was with you–and it was over for me–that I didn’t have any more chances. My dreams realigned, though, Riv–they changed, refit into even better dreams. I expect you to do the same,” he said, and he was fading faster; his body just a wisp and his touch a mere warmth with nothing substantial behind it.

“But Adam–“

“You’ll figure out what to do, it might be hard, but in the end, it will work out. You and him are what’s left of me. Remember that. Together you make me whole,” he said, and his lips reached for my cheek, sending heat through my body as he disappeared.

“Bobby!” I yelled, and suddenly I was sitting straight up in the bed sobbing, the warmth of his lips against my cheek a stinging pain. I leaned back, pulling my knees to my chest and cried until the darkness consumed me.

This time, Bobby’s warmth didn’t return.

 

Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.


Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA

 

Connect with Cassandra on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.  Learn more about her and her novels at her website, www.cgiovanniauthor.com and read the first ten chapters of each of her published novels through her Book Catalog.

Finding the Cure

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~ B&N

In Between the Seasons (The Fall Series #1)

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Goodreads

Love Exactly

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Goodreads

 Walking in the Shadows 

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Goodreads

 

Nobody’s Obligation Excerpt & Review Tour @RebeccaBarber7 #IndieGirlPromotions

 Nobody’s Obligation

by Rebecca Barber

 

About the Book

Ava Jacobs is a shy accountant by day, aspiring romance writer by night—and her first novel just got published…

 

 

Romance isn’t a big component of Ava’s life. That is, her real life. As the monotonous nature of crunching numbers and drawn-out board meetings slowly eats away at her, the only bright side to her otherwise mundane routine lies on the black and white pages of her debut romance novel. Her inspiration? A long-time infatuation—Tyler Andrews.

 

Until the Olympic swimmer read her novel and connected the dots…

 

Tyler Andrews is used to being the center of attention. But when his sister throws a romance novel in his lap, he’s surprised to be the inspiration for the hot, hunky hero. He has no idea who Ava Jacobs is, but he’s not at all happy with her using his likeness to spice up her steamy scenes. When he finally tracks her down, it’s her likeness that intrigues him.

 

It takes just one romantic dance at a company banquet to spark disaster…

 

When Tyler’s manager arranges a daring publicity stunt and offers him as an auction item at Ava’s fundraising banquet, the bids come in quick and hot. Little did Ava expect the winner, a work colleague, to donate Tyler as Ava’s date. With all eyes on the Olympic athlete, Ava can’t refuse a romantic dance. But even though Tyler was the inspiration for Ava’s steamy novel, she refuses to accept his attention if it’s not real.

 

Will Tyler lose the one woman who caught his interest? Or will Ava push him away in an effort to prove she’s…

 

Nobody’s obligation.

Purchase Links

Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt

EXCERPT ONE:

Tyler slumped in the oversized chair wringing his hands nervously, wishing he was anywhere but here, but he couldn’t walk away now. No. It was his fault she was hurt and he would do the right thing. He would stay until he knew she was okay. Until he had the chance to apologise.

“I don’t get it,” he admitted. “What’d I do? I didn’t even speak to her.”

“It’s not you, Tyler,” Christopher assured him with a sly smirk.

Tyler found himself wondering if Christopher had any other faces. In the ten minutes that he had met him, Christopher had half smiled more times than anyone Tyler had ever known. It was the kind of half grin that said ‘I know something you don’t know,’ and Tyler was desperate to discover what was behind it. There was a quiet confidence that Christopher exuded that intimidated the hell out of Tyler and he wasn’t sure where it came from.

“What is it then?” he almost begged, not recognising his own whiny voice. Tyler watched as the men exchanged glances. They were silently debating how much to tell him and how much to keep to themselves. In a way he understood, but he was about to burst with frustration. “Please! Someone just fucking tell me.”

Michael signed heavily, then looked at Christopher, who barely nodded before he began to speak. “It’s not you, Tyler. And it is you.”

“That makes no sense!”

“Tyler, Ava might look like the tough ‘nothing can hurt me’ ice queen, but that is so far from the truth I doubt she can even see reality anymore. Ava is a romantic in every sense of the word. And it’s worse than that. She’s an optimistic romantic. But life has beaten her down so many times that by hiding behind the tough as nails disguise no one can get close enough to hurt her. No one can scale the walls she’s built. No one except you,” Michael explained.

Tyler’s mouth fell open unconsciously as the words sunk in. “B-But she doesn’t even know me,” he mumbled.

“But she does. Tyler, for as long as I have known Ava, you have been her hero in every sense of the word. You’ve been her inspiration. Her guiding light. You were the one thing that was able to pull her from the darkness when it closed in and threatened to swallow her whole,” Christopher added, his voice soft and soothing.

EXCERPT 2:

The sound of the clock ticking was driving him insane. Every second that counted off left Tyler feeling like he was waiting for his own execution. His frustration was boiling. Unable to sit any longer, he stood and paced. A caged lion was calmer. He knew he didn’t have the right to be pissed that she had kept him waiting—she didn’t even know he was there—but that didn’t calm him. He was used to getting his way and for some reason this girl, a girl he’d never set eyes on nor spoken to had gotten under his skin. And now she was keeping him waiting.

Tyler paused and stared out the window, attempting to focus his attention on something else but it didn’t help. Nothing did. The heavily tinted glass just showed him his own reflection, and what he saw scared him. He was tired, dishevelled, and his eyes were wild. “Shit!” Tyler muttered to himself running his huge hands across his face willing himself to calm down. He couldn’t confront her looking like this. She would take off. Screaming. And as much as he wanted to punish her, he wanted to talk to her more. He wanted to know why she had done it, but even more importantly was how. How’d she get into his head and understand him better than even he understood himself without him even knowing?

Hearing voices on the other side of the door made him freeze. For almost twelve hours he’d thought of nothing but this moment, but now it was here he was having second thoughts. It was too late. He was here now. Time to get some answers.

Tyler sunk into the lounge and grabbed a fist full of the nearest cushion. Sucking in deep breaths, he tried repeating reassurances to himself. It wasn’t working. But then he realised it. The anger had faded. The annoyance and frustration were gone. Instead he was filled with nerves like he had never experienced before.

The door creaked open and she appeared. Her face directed down the hallway as she finished her conversation. Her voice washed through his body and suddenly he was calm. Tyler quickly rubbed his clammy hands along his thighs as he rose to meet her. His eyes betrayed him and disclosed his curiosity. Thankful that she was still occupied with finishing up her discussion, he noticed she seemed slightly off balance in her orange pumps. His gaze snuck up her legs appreciatively as an unexpected warmth spread through his body. Clenching his fists, he forced his eyes higher. First he noticed the slight pull of the fabric across her well-endowed chest before landing on the wet spot on the top of her breast, which left it clingy and transparent. A shallow groan tumbled from the back of his throat as he forced his eyes higher and met hers.

Tyler gulped down his embarrassment. He’d been caught blatantly ogling her. He’d come to see her, to yell at her and make her apologise. Yet somehow, without even trying or knowing it, she had completely turned the tables on him.

Her eyes went wide as she realised who was standing before her. An involuntary gasp choked out only seconds before she paled and fell to the floor in an unconscious pile.

Meet the Author

Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

Connect With the Author

FacebookTwitter Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Other Books by this AuthorPerfection is Just an Illusion

Nobody Knows

Emma’s Blaze Blog Tour @mariepiperbooks #IndieGirlPromotions

Emma’s Blaze

by Marie Piper

About the Book
Bill McKenzie’s yearly cattle drive brings more than the normal challenges…
 
The oldest and most responsible of the rowdy McKenzie brothers, Bill is in charge of their biggest task of the season. But while wrangling cattle, he crosses paths with a beautiful red-haired woman in a tattered dress in desperate need of help.
 
Is she as harmless as she is beautiful?
 
Suspicions arise when the red-haired beauty—who calls herself Sparrow—withholds the story of how she came to be in the woods. All Bill knows is she’s headed for Cricket Bend, where his brother was murdered a year earlier. Though he vowed to steer clear of that dusty town, he can’t let her run straight into bandit country with no protection. First, they have to make it through the cattle drive—and the mysterious woman is going with them.
 
Women are bad luck on the trail…
 
Though they’re strangers, the magic of the Wild West brings the pair together with a passion they can’t fight. But when her journal is stolen by Bill’s brother, Andrew, he discovers her true identity—and two scandalous secrets.
 
One thing Bill learns is the open range is full of possibilities. Neither of them imagined their paths would cross, but once they had, there was no turning back.

Is her tainted past enough to tear them apart? And if not, what will come of their blazing romance when that same past threatens their future?

Purchase Link

Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited
Playlist
Excerpt
“This life—the drives—it ain’t the future. Folks are buying land. Soon there won’t be open land, maybe there won’t even be cattlemen. If I’m being honest, this is likely the last drive we’ll ever do.”
“Is it?”
“Cattle travels by trains now, mostly. And folks are switching over to stockier breeds of cows that are easier to raise than longhorns. Things are changing. My mama says it’s progress. There’ll always be ranches, and folks’ll always eat beef, but life sure won’t be like this much longer.”
A hawk swooped overhead, and Bill pointed at it. Sparrow watched the bird fly off into the open sky that stretched on for miles and miles, a blanket of blue as far as the eye could see. He watched her as she took in everything around her, even the stomping cows trailing behind them. Finally, she spoke. “That’ll be a sad day, I suppose. The end of something simple and beautiful.”
“A man’s gotta keep moving.”
“Amen.”
“Speaking of moving,” he began. “Where will you go once you’ve caught up to the man you’re seeking? I’m guessing it’s a man. Correct me if I’m wrong.”
“He is.”
“He hurt you?”
“No,” she said. “He stole from from me.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to get it back.”
“How?”
“I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”
“What will you do after you get it back?”
“After? I…don’t know, honestly.”
“Between not knowing how you’re going to get back your money, and what you’re going to do after, I have to say your plan might not be too well laid-out.”
“My plan also didn’t involve cattlemen.”
 
Watching Andrew’s cocky smirk as he dealt a hand, she knew he wasn’t expecting much of her abilities. But she could also tell the moment he cheated. With what he thought was skill, he slipped a card up into the sleeve of his shirt. It was a basic cheat. Emma had pulled it herself and seen it done a hundred times.
Over her shoulder, she knew Appie watched as he cooked. Maybe Andrew needed to be brought down a notch, faced head-on and left in the dust. She intended to do just that, and was happy when Pete arrived to witness the action.
She would take Andrew down, and it would be a show.
The cards she held weren’t bad, though Andrew had obviously cheated with the intention of giving himself better cards. Had she been a less skilled player, he’d have been able to win instantly. It was a good trick. Whoever had taught him how to cheat had been pretty good.
Emma, however, had been taught to cheat by the very best.
Poker face, Emma.
That voice came to her mind once again, spurring her to sit up tall. It was time to be The Sparrow. She adjusted the cards in her hand as she spoke. “You ever planning to play that queen?”
“Pardon me?”
“The queen.”
“Which queen?”
“The one in your sleeve.”
She lay down a pair of jacks and waved a finger absent-mindedly toward his arm. “Saw you tuck it. The left sleeve. Queen of diamonds, I’d wager.”
“What would you wager?”
Emma looked across the table with a flat expression. “More than you’ve got, cowboy.”
Pete whistled, and Andrew glared at him. Emma kept her face unreadable, though she felt like giggling and clapping. Nothing was as much fun as busting a bad cheater. “The card.”
“You’re crazy.”
Emma set down her cards. “Am I? Show me what’s in your left sleeve.”
“Show her,” Pete said. “You wouldn’t cheat a lady, would you?”
Andrew reached into his sleeve and pulled out a card. It was, indeed, a queen of diamonds.
“Woo!” Pete exclaimed in triumph. “She schooled you.”
“Shut up,” Andrew grumbled, grabbing his cards back.
“The big shot got called out by a woman. No offense, ma’am.”
“I take no offense at being called a woman. After all, I am one.” Emma watched Andrew try to hide his fury. It didn’t work, and he damn near exploded as he leapt to his feet.
“Will you dance with me?” Hope shone in her lovely eyes.
“Here?”
“Right here.”
Accompanied by the soft music, Bill reached out a hand and set it on Emma’s waist. Gently, half afraid she’d startle and run off, he stepped closer. She lay one hand in his waiting palm, the other on his shoulder. They began to move.
They danced simply but well, two people who fit together. For a large cowboy, Bill knew how to lead, and she allowed him to do just that. Thinking of her foot, he lifted her a little, which allowed her to lean her weight on him so as to keep it off her injury. The dance turned into two bodies swaying together. He became vividly aware of how she pressed her whole body to his.
“You dance quite well,” she whispered. “I’ll admit I’m surprised.”
“My mama insisted we boys all learn,” he replied. “Said it was a good way to woo the ladies.”
“And was she right?”
“Why don’t you tell me?”
“Consider me thoroughly wooed.”
Bill took his hand from her waist and let it slide lower to rest on the curve of her hip. Once it was there, he dragged his fingers over the bare skin just below the hem of the shirt. Emma pressed herself tighter against him. Knowing that only a little fabric separated them charged Bill with desire he could barely restrain. He wanted to know her in whatever way he could. Emma brought her arms up and draped them around his neck, urging him closer to her. Bill moved his hands to her waist and took a hard grip of the fabric of the shirt. “Your lips are a little blue,” he said.
“I’m soaked through,” she replied. “I am a bit cold.”
“Someone should warm you up.”
“Someone should. If only there were someone near who was up for the chore.”
“It’d hardly be a chore.” Even if kissing her was a stupid thing to do, it was the only thing in the world that seemed right at that moment, and he was going to do it, and he wasn’t going to stop there unless she told him to. He knew she wouldn’t. Wanting each other wasn’t a crime. The lean majesty of her body trembled against him when he pressed his face into her hair. With his fingers splayed against her lower back, he brought their bodies tighter together.
Lord, what had she done to him in just a few days?
About the Author
Marie Piper lives in Chicago, but writes Romance and Erotica usually set in the old west. Her short pieces are available in anthologies from LoveSlave, House of Erotica, Coming Together, and Torquere Press, as well as via NineStar Press. The full-length steamy Western trilogy, FIRES OF CRICKET BEND, is being released by Limitless Publishing. (HAVEN’S FLAME, Book #1, is out now. EMMA’S BLAZE, Book #2, comes out on March 15th!) When Marie isn’t writing, she’s likely out exploring the Windy City, gathering more books for her hoard, or happily drinking coffee and reading. There’s also a strong possibility she’s wasting time on Twitter.
 
 
Twitter: @mariepiperbooks
Haven’s Flame (Fire of Cricket’s Bend: Book One)
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Nobody Knows Blog Tour @RebeccaBarber7 #IndieGirlPromotions

Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…
 
Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.
 
Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…
 
When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.
 
But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.
 
Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…
 
Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.
 
While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.
 
Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.
Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited 

Gillian
 
The scowl on his leathery face should have been enough warning to shut me up, but tonight I wasn’t in the mood to back down. I was ready for a fight. Whatever he dished out would come back at him twofold. He came through the door, ripping it almost off its hinges and letting it slam behind him. He took one look at me, sitting on the lounge quietly watching television and sipping my coffee, and rolled his eyes in disgust. I didn’t say a word. This was the game we played these days. After more than a decade of marriage, this is all we had left.
“What’s for dinner?” he snarled, his eyes filled with hatred and disgust. I just shrugged apathetically. What was I supposed to say? ‘Hi honey, how was your day? You look tired. Why don’t I just whip you up a nice, juicy T-bone steak and fresh steamed veggies?’ The truth was, I would probably be having home-brand crackers with what was left of the vegemite.
“Not sure. We don’t have much,” I admitted, instantly feeling ashamed.
I hated the fact that he could make me cower like that. Once upon a time, in another lifetime far away from this one, I felt different. I felt worthwhile and even happy. We were happy at one point, weren’t we? Somewhere along the line, I must have loved him. Otherwise I wouldn’t have married him. I can’t be that stupid, can I?
“For God’s sake, didn’t you even bother to do the shopping?” he snarled from the kitchen.
I heard him muttering to himself as he shuffled the near-empty boxes about in the pantry. Much as I hate to admit it, the profanity spraying from his lips was mighty impressive.
Stomping back into the lounge, he planted himself deliberately in front of the television, hands on his hips and a scowl on his face. Knowing what was coming, I was glad the kids were out with their godmother Heidi tonight. That was the only positive in this nightmare.
“For fuck’s sake, Gillian. I give you money. What the fucking hell do you spend it on?” he demanded, tiny bits of spittle flying from his mouth.
We had danced around this confrontation for weeks now. The tension was escalating, as was the hatred buried inside me. I don’t remember the last time that I had actually had a full night’s sleep. These days, I was too angry to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow, all I could do was imagine all the things that I wanted to do and say to him, but was too afraid to.
My life had somehow crumpled into a pathetic mess, and most of the time I hated myself for it. I was furious, and the more I saw of him, the more he continued to be the heartless barbaric bastard he had become, the worse things got, and the more I despised myself.
“Do you really want to know how fucking far your measly twenty bucks stretches these days?” I asked, keeping my face as blank as possible. He raised a quizzical eyebrow and folded his arms aggressively across his puffed out chest.
I took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the arms of my chair with both hands, and squeezed as hard as I could. When I looked down, my knuckles were white with the strain and I could hear myself grinding my teeth desperately, trying to control the rage inside me.
“Well?” he snapped, shifting his weight impatiently from one foot to another.
I exhaled heavily. “If you really want to know what happened to that twenty you gave me a week ago for food and to keep the house running, well, it bought a six-pack of home brand toilet paper, a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, vegemite, eggs, and a packet of tampons for your daughter!” I told him, ticking the items off my fingers as I announced them.
 
Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.
Perfection is Just an Illusion 
(Swimming Upstream Series: Book One)
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Nobody’s Obligation 
(Swimming Upstream Series: Book Two)
Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Into the Tomorrows Cover and Blurb Reveal @barbetti #IndieGirlPromotions

Into the Tomorrows

by Whitney Barbetti

I was born in sadness, 
 
which was just the beginning of a solemn and desolate life. I’m no stranger to painnone of us are. The night I held my best friend’s hand as she died, I understood true agony. And I never thought I’d feel happiness again.
 
But that was so long ago…
 
Moving to Colorado to be with Colin, my high school sweetheart, was the perfect way to start over and rekindle what had begun to fizzle. I wanted that spark to ignite, to burn in passion and desire. Instead, I found myself falling for Jude, my boyfriend’s roommate. He’s the only person who understands my soul, who can breach the walls I’ve built. But I can’t have him.  
 
Because I’m Trista Kohl, and my destiny is sorrow.
Sign up for Whitney Barbetti’s newsletter to be the first to know about the release date!
I like nachos and champagne and clean sheets. I spend far too much time at Starbucks. I wrote a couple books
Website |  Facebook  |  Fan Group  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  | Newsletter
He Found Me Series 
(He Found Me & He Saved Me)
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Ten Below Zero
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Finding the Cure Excerpt Tour @cgiovanniauthor

Finding the Cure

by Cassandra Giovanni

Ellie Abela’s life has been anything but easy. Tragedy follows her where ever she goes, and she’s been a lot of places. At twenty she’s lived in over ten different states, all because of her dad’s career in medical research. His career is just another list of the causes of tragedies in El’s life. He’s dying, and with every breath he takes closer to Heaven, Ellie dies a little bit inside too.
At twelve she lost her mom in a drunk driving accident, and in a matter of months she fears she’ll lose the last person she has in the world to cancer.
While Ellie’s life has been rife with sadness, Trent Wentworth’s has been a challenge. A drug-addicted mom and a dead-beat dad meant at twenty three he was the adoptive father of his two year old sister. Now at twenty five he’s working his way up the corporate ladder and a struggling single parent.
Each is searching for a cure to the things in their lives dragging them down.
Not all cures are black and white; not all cures save us–and sometimes saving isn’t what we need. Sometimes we just need to realize how lucky we are to be alive, at least for this moment.

 


ONE
I wrapped my fingers around the steering wheel, and it squeaked with the pressure as my knuckles turned white. The sound echoed through the car as my grip continued to tighten. I used to wonder if it was harder to know you’re going to die, or just dying without the ability to say goodbye. The tears began to stream down my face as I sped down the highway. The guardrails were just silver blurs as I hammered the gas.
I shouldn’t have wondered it. My life was cruel punishment for the thought. The question should’ve been what’s harder, never getting to say goodbye or knowing that every breath could be goodbye?
My chin trembled as my eyes fell to the speedometer.
I was going too fast.
The highway was too straight; a never ending path in front of me that I wanted to drive on until I fell off the edge of the Earth.
I already had, hadn’t I?
My eyes lashes fluttered, the drops of tears weighing them down.
Never getting to say goodbye.
I knew that evil. God, did I know that evil. The look on Dad’s face as the phone slipped from his hands, the words forming at his lips never reaching my ears.
I read them.
I knew them.
The shock hit my body, and I desperately wanted to feel something–anything besides the rolling waves of pain. That numbness weighted down my limbs as the physical ache coursed through my veins. The anger and pain crushed down on me until my chest was so tight I couldn’t breath. Then I had Dad– he was always there, despite his own pain. His warmth overtook the shocking cold of loss. He broke the edges that hardened on my soul.
Knowing that every breath could be goodbye.
Now.
That was now.
I lifted my foot off the gas, letting the car slow until I pulled over and stopped. My head dipped between my shoulders as my chest heaved with a sob. I let my hands drop to my lap, red lines marking them where my skin had met too tightly with itself. The tears puddled in my palms.
I knew he was going to die. There was nothing that could stop it. I had to watch it. The pillar of strength when Mom died was withering into nothing in front of my eyes. The numbness that hit me when Mom died was a constant part of my life; it never left. I had just gotten better at hiding it. The chains around what was left of my heart tightened with each passing day. Each day meant there was one less breath. Who would save me now?
My eyes rose to the black sky above me.
There was no cure for Dad.
There was no cure for me.
TWO
I walked over to the door leading to his room and pushed it open. I wanted a distraction. I didn’t want to think about it. I heard Trent follow me, and I walked over to the guitars hung on the wall. I ran my fingers over the strings. I knew Trent was leaning against the door frame, watching me carefully.
“My dad used to play drums before he got sick,” I explained. “I used to want to learn how to play guitar…then we could have our own band.”
Trent walked forward, going to sit on his bed, and I turned to face him.
“He’s a scientist. He’s been trying to find the cure for different types of cancer for as long as I can remember…and I don’t mean little labs somewhere. Government labs…and all those tests…and chemicals–and whatever the fuck,” I replied, stopping as my body trembled. “He was handling–that’s what gave him it…the cancer. He was trying to find a cure,” my neck pushed forward as I fought back the tears. “And he…he basically killed himself.”
“There’s no cure?” Trent whispered.
I looked at the ceiling, dimly lit by the bedside lamp. “If there was, he would’ve found it.”
Trent stood and his face came into my vision as he looked down at me. He ran his hand up my back until it reached my head, tipping it back to a normal position. He put his forehead against mine, his hand cupping my cheek as his other stayed on my lower back.
“Not all cures are black and white–not all cures save us,” Trent whispered, and I felt my eyelashes heavy with tears.
“I’m dying too–every time I look at him and know that every breath he takes is closer to his last one.” I didn’t bother wiping away the silent tears now making their way down my face.
“It’s always been that way, El. We’re all going to die someday,” He crushed his eyes shut, shaking his head. “That sounded harsh. I didn’t–“
“You’re right.”
He opened his eyes, his chest rising with the deep inhale he took. “I do get it. I used to come home and wonder if I was going to find my mom dead.” His eyes drifted before coming back to mine. “But every time I didn’t–every time I came home and she was fine–I was thankful for it, even more so if she was straight.”
I laid my head on his chest, and his hands stayed on my lower back, his own head lowering into the crook of my shoulder. We stayed like that for a moment as my heart beat evened out, my eyes drifted to his bed and the rate picked up again. My chest tightened as I stared at the neat brown and tan checkered comforter, and then my eyes drifted to the time.
1:30 PM.
My eyes suddenly felt heavy, and my mouth formed a yawn.
Trent looked down at me, and his own eyes were heavy. “Tired?” he asked.
“Yeah, and I don’t feel like driving home.” I ignored the whooshing of blood through my ears as my face heated.
“I can take the couch,” Trent explained as he pulled away and pointed his thumb over his shoulder before going to his dresser and pulling out a pair of pajama bottoms and a plain black tee. “They might be big, but it should be more comfortable for you.”
I took them from him, my hand touching his and causing tingles to run up my spine. “You know, I don’t mind if…if you don’t take the couch.”
Trent’s eyebrow twitched as he looked at me, and I laughed.
“Come on, we’re both adults, and I’m sure you can keep your hands off of me if I’m hidden under all this,” I replied, holding up the clothing that undoubtedly would be baggy on me.
“Are you sure?” he asked, pulling his own pair of pajama pants out of the drawer.
“Positive, now turn the other way so I can get undressed,” I ordered, using my pointer finger to signal a circle.
He put his hands up. “Of course, but I think you’ll be the one peeking.”
I rolled my eyes as I turned, pulling my shirt off and replacing it with his. I paused as I heard the zipper of his pants go down. I pursed my lips as I gazed straight ahead as I unzipped mine and pulled them off. I cursed as I struggled to pull the tight bottom off. “Skinny jeans.”
“You okay?” Trent asked, his voice deep with amusement.
“Oh, shut up! If you had to wear jeans this tight you’d understand.”
I turned and flopped on his bed, putting my arms behind my head as I stared at his bare back. Between his shoulder blades was another tattoo, this one of a bird flying through the sun.
“You didn’t tell me about that one,” I commented, and he turned, putting his hands up.
“I didn’t know you wanted to know where all of them where,” he replied, smirking down at me as my jaw dropped.
There was another tattoo on the cap of his shoulder, this one a Japanese lotus in bright orange and pink. My eyes wondered to his chest, which was covered in a thin layer of hair I hadn’t expected. He scratched it, his neck turning red up to his ears.
“Sorry about the hairy chest. I can put a shirt on if it bothers you,” he said.
I sat up, pulling my knees to my chest as my eyes wandered again. I shook my head, putting my eyes back where they belonged, on his face. “If you have to put a shirt on it won’t be because of your hairy chest.”
His eyebrows twitched as he laughed. “You like it then?”
I tapped my hands on my knees as my eyes dropped to his slightly sculpted chest, down to his flat stomach and his hip bones. I lay back, pulling the pillow over my face. “Why couldn’t you put on a burlap sack?” I muttered into it.
I felt Trent’s body indent the bed next to me, and he lifted up the edge of the pillow, blinking at me.
“What was that?” he asked.
I rolled my eyes smacking him with the pillow before putting it back under my head and turning my back to him. Trent reached over me, flicking off the light switch, and wrapping his arm around me. I snuggled into him and closed my eyes.
Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA
 
Connect with Cassandra on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.  Learn more about her and her novels at her website, www.cgiovanniauthor.com and read the first ten chapters of each of her published novels through her Book Catalog.
Flawed Perfection

 

In Between the Seasons (The Fall Series #1)
Love Exactly
 Walking in the Shadows 

 

We Will Always Have the Closet Blog Tour @TichaB #IndieGirlPromotions

We Will Always Have the Closet

by Natalina Reis

Petra Galatas sees the world through rose-colored glasses…
 
Petra has always chosen to see the best in people. Even her ex-husband’s extramarital affairs couldn’t destroy her faith in humanity. However, as much as she craves love, she’s not ready to trust another man with her heart.
 
The last place Petra thought she’d meet a guy was a closet in her ex-husband’s house…
 
While investigating Jonas Linden for millions of dollars in art fraud, Sam Corra’s clues lead him into the most unlikely of places—Jonas’ closet. Even less likely was meeting a woman there…a beautiful woman with honey skin and big brown eyes. Though neither of them divulge the reason they’re there, there’s an instant mutual attraction. And when Sam pursues her, he discovers the beautiful woman is none other than Jonas Linden’s ex-wife.
 
He’s on a mission to prove Jonas’ guilt. She’s determined to prove his innocence…
 
Unwilling to believe she had been stupid enough to marry a criminal, Petra attempts an investigation of her own, and unwittingly puts herself—and Sam—in danger. First comes an “accident” that lands Petra in the hospital. Second is a kidnapping that puts Sam’s life in grave danger.

When they both become pawns in a deadly game, money, art, and love are all at stake.

Amazon US ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited



“Hmph.” She felt herself bump into someone. Her first instinct was to run out, but her common sense dictated she stay put. If she left the closet, Jonas would catch her red-handed, and she was not going to give him the satisfaction. It was pitch dark in the oddly small closet and she couldn’t see who was behind her, but she could feel his hard body crushed against hers, his muscle tight against her softness.
Unsettled, she wiggled in vain, trying to put some space between them. The empty hangers swung by her head and she reached up to stop the ensuing rattle. Who made such a tiny closet?
Strong hands spun her around until she was facing the stranger.
“Don’t say anything,” the male voice whispered in her ear. His warm breath on the side of her face sent an irrational shiver of pleasure through her. Her forever curious hands, caught between their bodies, moved of their own accord to explore the stranger’s sculptural hard muscles in unabashed awe.
“Get a grip, you idiot,” she chided herself in a soft, but audible voice. 
Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.
After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.
Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two sons.

We Will Always Have the Closet Release Blitz @TichaB #IndieGirlPromotions

We Will Always Have the Closet

by Natalina Reis

Petra Galatas sees the world through rose-colored glasses…
 
Petra has always chosen to see the best in people. Even her ex-husband’s extramarital affairs couldn’t destroy her faith in humanity. However, as much as she craves love, she’s not ready to trust another man with her heart.
 
The last place Petra thought she’d meet a guy was a closet in her ex-husband’s house…
 
While investigating Jonas Linden for millions of dollars in art fraud, Sam Corra’s clues lead him into the most unlikely of places—Jonas’ closet. Even less likely was meeting a woman there…a beautiful woman with honey skin and big brown eyes. Though neither of them divulge the reason they’re there, there’s an instant mutual attraction. And when Sam pursues her, he discovers the beautiful woman is none other than Jonas Linden’s ex-wife.
 
He’s on a mission to prove Jonas’ guilt. She’s determined to prove his innocence…
 
Unwilling to believe she had been stupid enough to marry a criminal, Petra attempts an investigation of her own, and unwittingly puts herself—and Sam—in danger. First comes an “accident” that lands Petra in the hospital. Second is a kidnapping that puts Sam’s life in grave danger.

When they both become pawns in a deadly game, money, art, and love are all at stake.
Amazon US ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited



“Hmph.” She felt herself bump into someone. Her first instinct was to run out, but her common sense dictated she stay put. If she left the closet, Jonas would catch her red-handed, and she was not going to give him the satisfaction. It was pitch dark in the oddly small closet and she couldn’t see who was behind her, but she could feel his hard body crushed against hers, his muscle tight against her softness.
Unsettled, she wiggled in vain, trying to put some space between them. The empty hangers swung by her head and she reached up to stop the ensuing rattle. Who made such a tiny closet?
Strong hands spun her around until she was facing the stranger.
“Don’t say anything,” the male voice whispered in her ear. His warm breath on the side of her face sent an irrational shiver of pleasure through her. Her forever curious hands, caught between their bodies, moved of their own accord to explore the stranger’s sculptural hard muscles in unabashed awe.
“Get a grip, you idiot,” she chided herself in a soft, but audible voice. 
Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.
After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.
Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two sons.