Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rogue Phoenix Press Presents: Forever His by Christine Young



Forever His by Chrsitine Young
Excerpt Heat Level:
Book Heat Level:

August 30, 1895
Near Buffalo Creek,
South Dakota

Buy at Amazon

REVIEW:

Christine Young has done it again in this historical romance. The blizzards, betrayal, deceit and a ruthless bandito like Chavez made this a great romance.

Melinda for Night Owl Romance     5 out of 5


BLURB:

Struggling to come to terms with the part she played in Jacob St. John’s death, Etta Barringer resigns from Pinkerton Agency and seeks peace and solace in a Rocky Mountain Cabin.

Jacob has vowed to discover the reason Etta has betrayed him, sold him out to his enemy and left him for dead.

Isolated in their cabin, they discover their love for each other and learn to trust. But the trust is shattered when Jacob learns she is married to his sworn enemy; the man who left him in the desert to die.

EXCERPT:

The sun beat down. Searing heat waves hit the hard packed earth, blistering, charring everything, even the dry prairie grass. Jacob St. John, his arms stretched overhead and bound to a whipping post, no longer counted the lashes tearing into his back, no longer felt the horrific agony.

More than a half-dozen men and one woman were gathered in the sage-patched backyard of the run-down shack. So far not one person made a sound as they watched Chavez wield the whip, stripping the flesh off his back.

If Chavez weren't so angry and seeking revenge of his own, he would probably have just had him shot. Revenge was a powerful motive. Chavez wanted Jacob to suffer, to yell before he died. It seemed Etta Barringer did too. So far Chavez was toying with him, taunting and teasing him, cutting an inch here, ripping an inch there, not doing much damage but making mincemeat out of his back.

Jacob hadn't made a sound yet, not even a sharp, indrawn breath. He wasn't about to even though he knew Chavez would get impatient and start slashing. There was no hurry. Chavez had as long as he wanted. No one save Etta knew where he was, no one would come looking for him, at least not until the sun went down. By then Chavez would be done with him, and he would either be dead or buzzard-bait. For the life of him, he couldn't figure why Etta would hand him over to Chavez. She had always been Pinkerton to the core, yet she had betrayed him once before. If he survived this, he meant to have answers. He'd move heaven and earth to search out the lying Etta Barringer and find out exactly what she had against him.

The pain of betrayal at the forefront of his mind, and vows of revenge against the instigator of this kept him going. He focused on the woman's laughter and the scent of lemons that permeated his soul.

He had been taken by surprise. Still, he didn't go down easily. It took all of Chavez's men to get him bound securely to the post in back of the shack. And of those men, not one came away from the encounter without a scratch. Blood from the multitude of small cuts Chavez had inflicted ran in rivulets from his back, pooling on the parched thirsty ground, soaking into the dirt, staining it.

He stood, his head proudly erect and that seemed to draw anger from Chavez. The grip of his fingers curled around the top of the post, the only sign of Jacob's pain--and fury.

The first real stroke of the whip felt like a red-hot branding iron searing across his back. Jacob didn't flinch, nor would he as long as he could hear her laughter or smell lemons floating languidly on the breeze. He wished he could see her, stare into her beguiling, green eyes until she knew he'd never stop hunting for her. Fury at his own weakness rose, and the anger he felt deep inside simmered, because she'd always attracted him. Ever since she showed up in a small town in Oregon, seduced him then drugged him and left him to sleep off the opium-laced whiskey, she'd fascinated him.

Concentrate on her--on what you're going to do when you find her again . . .



Christine Young has done it again in this historical romance. The blizzards, betrayal, deceit and a ruthless bandito like Chavez made this a great romance.

Melinda for Night Owl Romance     5 out of 5

Other titles by Christine:






Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Tell Tale Tuesday: The Wager by Christine Young



Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Buy at Amazon


BLURB:

Amorica Hepburn was sent to London to find a husband. However, finding a man was the last item on her agenda. With her two cousins, Amorica wagers she can dissuade her suitor before the others. Despite her efforts she discovers a chemistry that cannot be denied. Suddenly she is the arrogant man's wife, pledged to a marriage neither desire. But swept off to his ancestral home above the Dover cliffs and into his strong embrace, Amorica is soon possessed by a raging passion for the husband she had vowed to despise…

Damian Andrews couldn't afford to trust the emerald-eyed spitfire who happened upon his secret. Amorica's hatred of all men of his kind only inflames the war that rages between them. Still, he can not control the intense desire his stubborn bride inspires, or make her surrender to his will until he has conquered the headstrong beauty on the battlefield of love…

EXCERPT

Coast of England 1816

"It's a bloody cursed day." Damian Andrews swept the child into his arms and waded through the pounding surf to the beach. He braced himself against the out-going current then sloshed through the crashing waves. Salt spray clung to the wind, stinging his nostrils.

Damian turned. Beneath his ribs, his heart pounded the cadence hard and fast. He swore again as he watched the captain shout orders to his crew. The French brandy that was supposed to have arrived this night would have to wait.

Standing in the longboat, the captain of the ship that brought the brandy as well as the political refugees from the Germanies held a torch aloft--the only light in the vast darkness. "Hurry, laddie. We have human cargo tonight and the tide is changing."

A little girl whimpered.

Damian pulled her into his arms, bent on protecting her at all cost.

"It's all right. You will all be together soon." The smuggling of French brandy was a cover for the cause that meant so much to him. Religious and political refugees--at times it seemed they came in droves. All were seeking a better life. A life of freedom. "Your mother is coming as well as your baby brother. You will all be safe."

Damian looked to the captain. "The father?" he queried.

"He didn't come with his family. He said he had one more thing to do. You must hurry."

The child leaned into Damian, her little face nuzzling his shoulder, her silent sobs gut-wrenching. He pulled her closer, cursing at the elements as well as mankind and wishing he could find a way to shield the tiny child from all harm. He knew the feat to be impossible. The little girl touched a place in his heart and for a moment filled that broken space with light. Yes, the mother would be with her children, but why had the father stayed where his life was in peril? He had learned long ago one could come to regret rash actions. And he'd also learned one could lose all chance at love in one instant.

Lord, but he'd lost his concentration and in losing that, he could well lose his edge.

No secrets-- no lies. The thought haunted him.

His life was a lie, but he would change nothing until his penance was paid. A constant drizzle soaked him to the skin. The wind sent goose bumps rising on his arms. He reached shore and handed the girl over to Aric Lakeland, a trusted friend and accomplice in this night's work, then turned and walked back to the longboat. Her baby brother as well as her mother waited.

He had never meant to get involved. It was the greatest of ironies that he was here now. He'd been a man who loved his family and his home.

He'd been content but that seemed years ago--a life time.

It felt like centuries.

The captain spoke, his voice hushed. "Hurry, now, Master Damian.

It's the watch. They are due to ride by here any time now. The patrols have doubled these last few weeks. I fear it's not as safe as it used to be." The captain handed over the baby wrapped in blankets. Damian stared at the child. The babe couldn't be a year old. The child didn't make a sound, not even a whimper.

This was injustice, a travesty. He looked at the mother. "Can you make it on your own?" He prayed the fragile lady standing before him had more courage than she appeared to have. She nodded and with the captain's help, she stepped into the ocean, struggling for balance. Yet her shoulders were squared and her spine stiff.

As soon as the captain placed the babe in Damian's arms and the three of them were headed for land, he gave orders. Two sailors rowed out to sea, moving toward the black ship that rose and fell on the distant waves.

On a cliff above, the dark silhouette of a third man, Ryder McClaren, could be seen for a brief moment. He waved his arms then disappeared into the shadows once more.

"Hurry," Damian bade the mother, his hand resting on the small of her back, urging her forward.


Other titles by Christine:





Monday, July 21, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Mystery Monday: Spirit of Love by J. L. Addicoat




Author: J. L. Addicoat
ISBN: 978-1-62420-067-0
Email: jladdicoat@gmail.com

Genre: Paranormal/Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Old buildings have an eerie haunting feeling, and the 17th Century Manor house in the Cornish countryside Julia intends to restore, is no exception. Originally her dead husband’s dream, she feels it’s up to her to complete it in his memory. When she arrives, she realizes it’ll take more than a quick clean to put the dilapidated old Manor to rights.
While exploring the house, she feels as someone, or something, is watching her. Darting shadows and movements, seen from the corner of her eyes, seem to confirm sinister happenings at the Manor in the past. The discovery of an old diary hidden in a chest of drawers and the story it tells, lead Julia in a different direction than she originally thought she would be taking.

EXCERPT

A sense of foreboding settled in Julia's stomach as she quickly returned to the car. She didn't know what it was about the manor, but each time she visited, the hair stood up on the back of her neck. It felt as if something or someone was watching her.
Starting the car's engine, she drove slowly down the weedy, rutted path, the car bouncing as its wheels sank into the potholes. Julia cringed at the jolts and scraping sounds coming from underneath the vehicle. "I should never have sold the Landcruiser. What was I thinking, bringing the Jag?" She knew what she had been thinking. She was the Mistress of the Manor now, and wanted to show off.
As she bumped along through the avenue of trees, the manor revealed itself. Grey stone blocks of the fa├žade gave a haunting welcome. Julia swallowed a lump in her throat and tears pricked her eyes. It wasn't right. Richard should have been here with her. He'd wanted to restore the old mansion for a while. This was his dream house.
Instead, it had become his burial place.
She'd promised, while she knelt at his graveside, to restore the old manor in his memory. That had been two years ago. The memories of the time still haunted her. Grief and loneliness had held her back. Mentally, she felt stronger now, and able to accept having to carry on alone. "Get a grip on yourself Julia. It's an old house. It's bound to have a few creaks and groans."
Parking the Jag next to the front door, she unpacked, placing the bags in front of the massive wooden doors. The leering gargoyle face on the door knocker sent a shiver through her. Placing a hand over its face so she wouldn't have to look at it, Julia turned the door key in the lock and pushed the door open.
She'd never been inside the manor. Richard had gone inside, but she had stayed outside in the gardens. Just the look of the grey stone on the outside gave her an eerie feeling. The same feeling assailed her now. She glanced back. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. Something or someone was watching her. She was sure of it.
Get inside and shut the door. Then they won't be able to see you. Quickly picking up her bags she kicked a small bag forward with her foot, in an effort to get everything inside and shut the door. After closing it, she turned around and gasped. The entrance opened in front of her. Large marble tiles covered the floor, with the roof looming high above. A hand-carved wooden staircase in front of her wound its way to the first floor.
Oh, Richard. If you could only see this as I am now. I can see you running up the stairs, sliding your hands over the banisters and pulling up the carpet to see the wood underneath. I can see the delight in your eyes.
She ran her fingers over a nearby wall. Tracing the raised wallpaper patterns with her fingertips brought a sense of loss, a heaviness to her heart. She could feel the loneliness of the building. To her, it felt neglected, like it hadn't been loved for quite a while. Like her. Great, now you're associating yourself with a building. A moldy, musty stench emanated from the old, red, patterned carpet on the stairs, and she wrinkled her nose at the smell.
Once, people had walked up and down the rich, red-carpeted staircase. She could imagine children sliding down its curved railing, laughing as they reached the curled end, then running back up the stairs again for another trip. She smiled at the visualization it brought to her mind.
Now, the only footsteps it felt were from the mice chewing holes in its carpet, showing the bare wooden boards underneath. Yes, this is a very sad house indeed. As she turned left into what appeared to be the library, she caught a shadowy movement from the corner of her eye. She spun and glanced around, but nothing was there.
"Hello, is anyone there?" Silence was her answer. Maybe a bird had flown in through a broken window somewhere? She shook her head, chiding herself for being silly and so jumpy. She laughed to herself. I'll be seeing ghosts next. A cold shiver ran through her at the thought.
Turning back, she walked into the library. Stopping just inside the door, Julia closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. She could smell the books. Even if she had been blind, the aroma of the old paper would have told her exactly which room she was in. Bookcases lined the walls from the floor to the ceiling. They were full of dusty tomes, maps, and leather clad books. Lifting the dust covers off chairs and furniture as she walked around the room, she couldn't believe so much was still here. With a flick of her hand on a cloth, she uncovered a beautiful walnut sideboard. The glass was intact, as well. It'd look wonderful after she had given it a polish, she thought to herself. Old oil paintings hung in spaces on the walls, created just for them.
She stood in the center of the room and slowly turned in a circle. It dawned on her how much work was actually needed. Cleaning she could do, but she wouldn't be able to do it all herself. Help would have to be brought in, especially for the wiring and plumbing. Julia lowered herself into one of the chairs, realizing finally, the enormity of the job ahead of her.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Romance Sunday: The Rock Star by Genie Gabriel



Genie Gabriel
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3


The Bodyguard by Genie Gabriel

"An absolutely brilliant read!" said Quips & Quotes of this sensual romance. "[The Bodyguard] stands up and roars."

I

In a violent twist of fate, psychiatrist Julia Cabot flees to protect herself and her children. She finds an unlikely haven with Mitch Garrison, a former bodyguard who blames himself for his wife being fatally shot while helping an abused woman. Mitch desperately wants to avoid Julia and his nightmarish memories. However, when her ex-husband kidnaps her children, Mitch joins forces with Julia in a journey that brings them face to face with their deepest fears and their most passionate desires.


Spotlights flashed in rainbows across the stage. Red. Green. Blue. Crisscrossing until they merged into one white-hot light on Geoff Chastain’s face, evoking memories of other times. The screams of thousands of teenaged girls washed through his memory as he pulled the microphone from its stand.

The first notes of his daughter's favorite song filled the auditorium and his breath caught, jagged, in his chest. Pain pulsed through Geoff's heart with each beat of the drum. He nearly dropped to his knees, longing to crawl back into the self-imposed exile where he had existed since his daughter died.

The faces of the kids in wheelchairs looked up at him with bright expectation. The whispers of the singers waiting in the stage wings curled around him in concern.

Daddy, promise you won’t let the music die. His daughter’s last request haunted Geoff. He never suspected life would become so desolate he would forget to eat and sleep, let alone lose touch with the music that had always flowed so easily from his soul.

A singer moved from the wings to stand beside him. Her presence drifted around him in silent encouragement. Her sweet contralto coaxed him to sing with her.

Focus, he ordered his brain, staring at the woman. Waves of auburn hair framed her face, then tumbled halfway down a lush body barely covered in spandex and sequins. A woman designed to stir a man to action.

Geoff's voice rasped with disuse on the first verse; the woman's harmony covered it. As he started the second verse, an image of his daughter swam before his eyes and Geoff's throat closed. The woman picked up the melody without missing a beat, as if they had planned this duet.

He grasped at her hand and drew a deep breath. Her soft scent filled his nostrils, drawing his attention away from the pain. Giving him the strength to dig deep inside where the music had lain in silent mourning.

Geoff's voice mingled with hers on the chorus, then soared as he soloed the third verse. Their voices chased each other through the final refrain, then their eyes met and held on the last triumphant note. Awed silence hung for a moment before applause erupted and the crowd was in motion.

A sea of well-wishers swarmed onto the stage. Not the frenzied near-riots of years ago, but the exuberant cheer of celebration. Smiles and congratulations wrapped warmly around Geoff as men pumped his hand and women kissed his cheek.

But the mysterious auburn-haired woman who saved his musical butt had disappeared.


 Other titles by Genie Gabriel