Sunday, July 23, 2017

ROMANCE SUNDAY? When Forest Ridge, Oregon is terrorized by an arsonist, Fire Chief Mitch Chambers vows to do whatever it takes to protect the community--even work with the woman who left him four years ago. REKINDLED LOVE BY ROSEMARY INDRA

Rekindled Love
Rosemary Indra
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3

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When Forest Ridge, Oregon is terrorized by an arsonist, Fire Chief Mitch Chambers vows to do whatever it takes to protect the community--even work with the woman who left him four years ago. Professional sketch artist Abby Denton, still loves Mitch and hopes to regain his trust and respect by working with him. However, she fears when he discovers the truth about their daughter, he will never forgive her. As they work together, Mitch once again falls in love with Abby, but this time he refuses to let her walk out of his life. Can they rekindle the love that burned between them and uncover the identity of the arsonist before he turns their dreams and the town to ashes?


He saw no one as he made his way up the incline to the dilapidated storage shed. Situated on the edge of an older residential area, the structure he’d picked was perfect. The weathered building appeared vacant, and a large empty lot separated the shack from the nearest house. He pushed opened the unlocked wooden door and removed the backpack full of supplies from his shoulders.

After wiping his sweaty palms on his pant legs, he opened two small containers and sloshed the liquid on the wooden floor. Soon the pungent aroma of gasoline filled the room. He placed the igniter in a bed of steel wool then attached the wires to the small batteries and the timer. After picking up his backpack, he hurried from the shed closing the door behind him.

He glanced in both directions. Confident no one was in the area, he walked up the dead end street. His heart hammered in his chest. Ignoring his trembling hands, he removed a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket. After he flicked his lighter, he stared at the bluish-yellow flame. Excitement raced through his veins.

A foggy mist hugged the ground and darkness shrouded the sleepy little town. Despite the wetness from the damp, January air, he crouched at the edge of the trees across from his target and waited.

He pulled a long drag on his cigarette then checked his watch. Two minutes before the hour. He’d completed his work on schedule. He had everything under control. Nothing would stop him. With the heel of his shoe, he ground out the butt.

The ignition flared to life. Shattering glass and splintering sounds of wood interrupted the stillness. Debris shot in every direction. "Damn," he muttered as he covered his ears with his hands, blocking the pressure from the explosion. The detonation was more powerful than he’d anticipated. The flames were clearly visible through the gaping hole in the side wall. No alarms, no security, and no advance warning. Everything had gone according to his plan. His gaze locked on the growing flames.

"Fire! Fire!" A man pounding on a neighboring house drew his attention down the street. "There’s a fire over there. Call 911," the Good Samaritan shouted as he pointed up the street.

He didn’t plan for anyone to discover the fire until it was too late. He needed more time. The firefighters would destroy his masterpiece.

In the distance, the fire alarm clanged to life at the station. Within minutes, he tuned into the sound of sirens growing louder with the approaching trucks.

Anxiously, he looked at the shed. A smile formed on his lips when he noticed the flames reach the top of the window frame. Hopefully, the fire would finish the building before the crew arrived. He drummed his fingertips against his forehead.

Red lights from the approaching trucks flashed, brightening the pre-dawn darkness. He didn't intend to stay once the crew disembarked. On second thought, he'd enjoy watching their futile efforts to extinguish his creation.

Definitely not your normal run of the mill romance novel. On the whole a very good book and well worth reading.

Orchid for Long and Short Reviews

Saturday, July 22, 2017

SCI/FI FANTASY SATURDAY: It is 1882, Midwest North America and fiery Scottish lass Katlyn MacKenzie has inadvertently found herself working in a local saloon after her father’s death. SOUL MATE BY MCKINZIE S. HEART

Soul Mate
McKinzie S. Heart
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5

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Erotic/Western Romance
It is 1882, Midwest North America and fiery Scottish lass Katlyn MacKenzie has inadvertently found herself working in a local saloon after her father’s death.  Handsome cowboy James Granger wants Kate more than he’s wanted any woman before so he is determined to make her his come hell or high-water.  She is tempted by his heated, experienced touch but will she succumb to his charms or will another stake his claim?  For in steps a strange suitor that will not be denied in his own quest for Kate’s heart, body, and soul.  His scorching kiss competes with James’s touch while they both pursue her.  But who will she choose?  Because though one offers passionate life and the other offers blissful death, only her Soul Mate can claim her.


To anyone else, the graveyard amounted to nothing more than a compilation of various intricately carved headstones that offered a glimpse into other’s past lives. But to Katlyn, it all appeared dark and ominous. She instantly yearned to leave. As the two moved from headstone to headstone searching for Houston’s grave, chills raced across her skin. She purposefully neglected to inform James of her “clan’s” sensitive nature. She and Margaret were the most sensitive of them all. She didn’t know why, but it had been generations since any like them had been born…at least that is what her father had told her. But such things could not be discussed with outsiders…ever. It was a part of the old way woven into her being from the beginning. It truly was the only part of the old way that she couldn’t release herself from. The feelings that raced through her ranged from hatred to long lost love. She knew for a fact these were the feelings carried by each and every soul around her. The weight of the night pressed in on her as though she had been placed in a small, shrinking room. If she didn’t leave soon, it would quickly overwhelm her. 

“Ok, James, let’s part ways so we can find it quicker,” she suggested rubbing her arms. 

“And leave such a delectable treat all on her own? I don’t know about that.” 

“Come on…it will be quicker.” 

“You’re right…good idea. The quicker we find him the quicker we can get back to the parlor.” 

“No, I don’t think so. The quicker I can get back to my parlor. I’m afraid we must say goodbye for the night when finished, my friend.” 

James understood this as a dismissal but it didn’t faze him. So what if he couldn’t make her his tonight? There was time…he would woo her…seduce her…until she gave in and he claimed her for his own. With all previous guilt now eliminated, he fully embraced the growing desire to have her…heart, body, and soul. He smiled with secret anticipation but instead replied, “Pity…well shoulda brought a lamp instead of relying on the moon. Sorry. Are you cold? That gown is somewhat revealing in the um…neckline area.”  

“Mind your own business, cowboy,” she snapped with growing discomfort as she kicked dirt onto his boots. 

James laughed heartily, shook each foot then moved away. 

Katlyn really had no intention of searching for his brother’s grave. She would head right back to where she had come from as soon as James left her sight…and now he was gone. Carefully, she worked her way back. The feelings pressed harder in on her almost suffocating. Where is the entrance? It hadn’t taken this long to come in. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

FRIDAY'S FEATURED TITLE: When Olivia Laundon uncovers a hidden agenda in a Washington D.C. watchdog group, it takes her to a plot of homegrown terrorists planning the unthinkable. THE PHOENIX CONNECTION BY K. J. DAHLEN

Title: The Phoenix Connection
Author: K. J. Dahlen
ISBN: 978-1-62420-109-7

Genre: Mystery
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

When Olivia Laundon uncovers a hidden agenda in a Washington D.C. watchdog group, it takes her to a plot of homegrown terrorists planning the unthinkable.  After two friends are murdered in front of her, she goes on the run only to be discovered by FBI agent Jesse Cantral. Together they uncover more of the plot but to stop it they rely on a special group of Americans. Can they stop the Phoenix Society before they ruin the world as we know it?


A man in a hazard suit entered the code into the security pad outside the Biohazard lab and when the light turned green he opened the door and slipped inside. He walked over to the vault and entered another code. The door popped open and the man reached inside and searched for the correct container. He chose one and pulled it out.
The man turned the container on its side and noted the number on the label—NC211. He closed the vault and tucked the vile into a small cooler. Zipping up the cooler he turned to leave the lab. On his way out he paused at one of the lab areas and turned on a Bunsen burner but didn't light it. When he got to the door, he opened it then turned to light a match and toss it back inside the lab. Closing the door quickly, he watched the room burst into flames, ducking as the chemicals in assorted containers bubbled over and exploded. Glass shattered. The heat was very intense as the gas spewed from the burner. Flames spread quickly as the man in the suit hurried toward the door leading to the hallway. The heavy door blocked the fire from spreading to the rest of the building. The man rushed to the changing room and stripped off the suit.
When he emerged a few minutes later, he watched the sprinkler systems trying to douse the flames in the lab. He knew he didn't have enough time to vacate the building without some help so as he passed the fire alarms he reached out and pulled the handle down. A sharp horn bleated the signal and people began appearing in the hall. They were stunned by the noise then someone noticed the smoke and shouted 'fire.' Everyone panicked and stampeded toward the exits.
The man got into the line heading for the escape. He went down the stairs with everyone else and once outside he turned and walked away from the pool of people standing in a crowd waiting for the fire department. Sirens could be heard coming closer but the man simply got into his car and drove away. His mission was done.

~ * ~

The next morning Doctors Nathan and Jean Laundon entered the burnt out lab to access the damage done by the fire.
"Well this is a fine mess," Jean admitted as she gazed around the room.
"How could this have happened?" Nathan wanted to know. "No one is supposed to be in here after hours."
He paused then turned to stare at his wife, "You don't suppose…"
"Quickly, check the vault," She urged him.
Nathan crossed the lab and punched in the numbers. When the vault popped open, he checked the vials. Not finding the one he was looking for, he turned and looked at her. Slowly he shook his head, "Damn how did they find it? How did anyone even know about NC211?"
"I don't know, but we have to report this," Jean told him.
"I know but we have to be careful who we report it to," Nathan said. "After all, we don't know who broke in here to take the vial. Only a handful of people even knew it existed."
"Or what it could do." Jean reminded him.
"I think I was able to neutralize it, but we didn't have time to test it."
"That's what I'm worried about," Jean admitted.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

He'd bought land in America, looking to put down roots and end his life of adventure, but Aric Lakeland got more than he bargained for when he encountered a beautiful heiress who made a promise she didn't want to keep. A MARRIAGE OF INCONVENIENCE BY CHRISTINE YOUNG

Author: Christine Young
Genre: Historical Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

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When the duchess decides to wed her to a wastrel and a fop, Ravyn Grahm takes matters into her own hands and declares her engagement to another man. Instead of fessing up and telling her great aunt what she has done, she goes through with the pretense. Aric Lakeland is the bastard son of an earl and has a dangerous reputation. But Ravyn is willing to do most anything to keep the duchess from discovering the lie.


He'd bought land in America, looking to put down roots and end his life of adventure, but Aric Lakeland got more than he bargained for when he encountered a beautiful heiress who made a promise she didn't want to keep. But the promise could not be undone and standing between them were more obstacles than either ever dreamed. Aric had made plans to spend the rest of his life in America and that was at odds with Ravyn's plan of living in England and running her father's estate. Now, he'll have to choose between his dreams and the woman he loves more than life.


Aric Lakeland dodged foot-traffic along the boulevard in a crazy attempt to keep up with the bouncing erratic carriage he followed. The day was intolerably hot and his mood was no better. He resented this mission. He’d left a cool pub and a cold brew to sweat beneath the hot sun.

His idea of fun was not traipsing after a notorious gambler and womanizer. Nor did he want to baby sit a spoiled debutante.

Yet, he’d promised. A wave of guilt washed through him.

Sweat beaded on his forehead, dripping down his face. He swiped it with the back of his hand and sidestepped, nearly knocking packages from a lady just exiting a dressmaker’s shop.

“You owe me, my friend. When this is done, I will collect,” he swore beneath his breath and began thinking of all the favors he might ask of his half brother.

The carriage he followed turned a corner and disappeared from sight. He plowed into a lamppost, swore again and raced through the crowds. Richy Richmond did not deserve this absurd protection. Richy could deal with his own affairs. The other part of his half brother’s request bothered Aric. He did not want anything to happen to the lady he followed. His half brother had reason to believe Richy might do something to compromise her. His gut instincts had never been wrong. Ravyn Grahm, cousin to his half brother’s wife, was in serious trouble.

Richy’s carriage came to an abrupt halt. Richy jumped from the vehicle. His cane in hand, he strode toward a dress shop Aric had reason to visit on occasion.

Aric watched, fascinated as the scene unfolded. He started forward but noticed Richy race to protect the women Aric followed. 

“You ruffians!  Get your hands off me!”  The white-haried Duchess shrieked, her age-lined face mottled with rage, pushing at two little guttersnipes who seemed more intent on shoving the elderly woman around than stealing the packages she carried.

Ravyn swiped her parasol across a boy’s head and turned to the other, her eyes blazing, shooting violet blue sparks.

“Stop it!” she cried out, raising her parasol again and again. “Take that!  And that!”

Amused, Aric leaned against a lamppost similar to the one he had run into earlier in his race to keep Richy’s carriage in view.

He crossed his arms over his chest, grinning as he watched Ravyn batter the boys who had had the audacity to try and harm the Duchess.

He chuckled, prepared to step in if needed but it appeared the two women had the situation under control. Ravyn, he mused, the regal, classy lady who seldom had a hair on her gorgeous head out of place was decidedly disheveled. Her cheeks were flushed, her hair flowed beautifully from its perfectly coiffed hairdo. Her jacket sleeve was torn and to his amazement, she grinned as if she were having the time of her life.

“Go on, get,” Richy stepped in, shooing the two boys away. He grabbed hold of one of the boy’s arms and shook him. “Patrol,” he yelled, looking around for help. The boy stomped on Richy’s foot. Surprised, Richy let go. “Bloody hell!  Come back here. Little brat,” he yelled as the boy ran off.

Aric cocked an eyebrow, watching and wondering what would happen next, knowing Richy had a card up his sleeve. He had not forgotten he was supposed to be watching Richy, nor had he forgotten the man had suffered innumerable losses at the gaming tables and the racetrack the last few days and he might do something to Ravyn.

Aric pushed away from the lamppost and strode toward the women and Richy. He watched Richy change demeanor. Suddenly instead of rescuer, he was attacker. Aric’s heart stopped for a moment then raced.

Richy wrenched Ravyn against him, pulling her close, her arm behind her back, his mouth close to her ear as if he whispered something to Ravyn.

“Let go,” Ravyn cried out, twisting and thrashing her arms. It seemed to be the opposite scenario as moments before. The crowds that had previously closed around the women had now dissipated.

“Let go,” Ravyn cried again. 

“You’re mine, Ravyn,” Richy said in a low well-modulated voice. “You should have realized it months ago and I’d have won the wager. But instead, you ignored me. You taunted me and sometimes you pretended to care while other times you turned up your pert little nose when I walked by.”

“What do you think you are doing?  Let go of me!”  Ravyn cried out, hatred now in her stormy violet eyes.

To Aric, she sounded incredulous, perhaps confused. But strangely, not afraid.

“We--“he paused a moment--“are going to Gretna Green. We are getting married and I will inherit your estate. You will be mine.”