Monday, August 31, 2015

Addicted to Writing Presents Mystery Monday: why did Bernie have to DIE? Free

Title: Why Did Bernie Have to Die?
Author: Genie Gabriel
ISBN: 978-1-62420-218-6
Genre: Mystery
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2
Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble


Can a hot-tempered Irish rogue become a loving dad, a heroic cop, and a small town legend?


After a series of tragedies, Bernie O'Shea turns his Irish stubbornness to becoming a loving dad, a heroic cop, and a small-town legend. He doesn't plan on finding a woman who becomes his courageous life partner or enemies among those he thought were his friends.


Bernie's heartbeat stuttered as his old pickup topped the gentle rise of land that marked the boundary of his grandparents' farm. The burned out remains of the old house slammed memories as hard as a fist into his gut as he braked to a stop.
The flames licked greedily up the brick chimney, consuming the tinder dry wood siding, and lighting up the night sky. Bernie bellowed in helpless rage, dunking himself in the water trough used for livestock before plunging into the flames and toward the bedroom his grandparents had shared since their marriage decades earlier.
Fury fueled his strength as he cradled his grandmother in his arms and carried her outside, then returned for his grandfather. He laid them side by side on the cool, damp grass, searching frantically for a pulse. But he knew it was futile. They were already dead.
Tallie laid her hand over Bernie's whitened knuckles. Through the sheen of his tears, he saw the mirror of his sadness in her eyes. He turned his hand over and clasped hers tightly.
Together, they would rebuild. A house. A family. A legacy this town would never forget.
Bernie lifted his foot off the brake and drove the pickup a short distance past the site of the old house.
"Is the barn safe?" Tallie asked. "Perhaps we could set up the tent near there so the boys would have a place to play if it rains?"
"Good idea." Bernie smiled at her. "I married a woman who is both beautiful and smart. We'll check it out."

~ * ~

Bernie pushed open the door to the general store and stepped inside, pausing to fill his lungs with the remembered smells of ripe cheese, pickles, cured meats, leather, and tobacco smoke that had permeated the building's walls since the store opened over a hundred years before.
Even the old pot-bellied stove remained in one corner, flanked by several wooden chairs that once invited pioneers to sit a spell and swap stories.
However, shelves once crowded with treasures that fascinated Bernie as a boy now held only a few sparse items.
"Well, Bernie O'Shea. I heard you were back in town." A white-haired old man with a curved back limped slowly toward him with the assistance of a knobby cane.
"Mr. Haroldson." Bernie walked across the plank flooring and stretched out his hand in greeting. "I need a few things to build a house on my grandparents' place."
"So it's true?"
"Took you long enough to come back, boy."
"I have a wife and two boys now. We plan to make our home here."
A slow smile curved the older man's mouth. "The hell you say."
"Think you could order some lumber, nails and roofing for the house?"
"Might need some plumbing supplies and paint too."
"That we might. I can give you the cash up front."
The old man grinned and clapped Bernie on the shoulder. "Welcome home, boy. Welcome home."

~ * ~

A satisfied feeling settled in Bernie's gut as he drove back to his grandparents' property. The feeling lasted until he topped the rise of land from where he could see the site of their future home—and a police car parked in the driveway.
Bernie pulled his shotgun out of its rack as he drove the pickup around the cruiser. He stopped beside Tallie and the boys, opening the door so it shielded her. When he stepped out of the pickup, the shotgun was pointed at Randall Weston's chest. "You're trespassing, Weston."
The chief of police eased back toward his cruiser. "Just checking out a report of squatters at your grandparents' property."
"My property. My wife. My kids. Get off and don't come back."
"Well, that's not very neighborly—"
The metallic ka-ching of Bernie cocking a shell into the barrel had Weston back-stepping quickly. He slid behind the wheel of the police cruiser and sped away.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Addicted to Writing Presents Romance Sunday: Until I Met You by Rosemary Indra

Author: Rosemary Indra

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at:


J.T. Reynolds returns from the war a broken man with one goal on his mind, protect his deceased brother’s baby. When he meets the baby’s guardian, Jessica Reid, he conceals his identity in order to judge if she’s a competent caregiver. He finds peace and contentment in her arms and longs to build a loving family with her.

Jessica has been lied to by most of the men in her life and finds it difficult to form a lasting relationship. With sole guardianship of her nephew, she struggles to find a trustworthy babysitter until a handsome man moves into the neighbourhood. Learning to trust again, Jessica finds strength and love in Tyler’s strong arms. Jessica is devastated when she learns Tyler has deceived her. Is her love resilient enough to forgive him?


J. T. Reynolds stood motionless on Jessica Reid's porch. His military training had kicked in; know your adversary before you strategize. Intent on getting to know her, he first introduced himself to her neighbors. He'd gleaned the three women on the cul-de-sac were close. Their bond extended to more than three single women living on the same street. He'd learned Jessica hadn't lived here long but she'd known both of the women for some time. Jessica and Blake had been friends since elementary school. J. T. was amazed at how much the women revealed when he talked to them.
The exterior of her home was well maintained, but J. T. knew all too well appearances were deceiving. His family always gave the pretense of a loving family until they were behind closed doors.
A porch with white columns covered the majority of the front of her house. He glanced in the large window, studying his quarry. From where he stood, he could see her sitting in a rocking chair, holding the little tike. Mesmerized, he watched the woman hold the infant in her arms and slowly rock back and forth.
Jessica had a braid of long brown hair across the opposite breast from the baby. From where he stood, her features looked plain. No—solemn. Her face drawn and shoulders slumped. Impulsively, J. T. wanted to comfort her with an embrace. For a woman he didn't know, yet, she brought out a protective instinct in him. He tried to remember what his brother had said about the woman but drew a blank. This was personal, yet after so many years in the service, he felt as if this was another mission and pushed his emotions aside.
For some reason he wondered what color her eyes were. J.T. shook his head. He wasn't here because of the woman. The baby was his reason for this task. The child didn't know it, but he was the closest person J.T. had to a family. He would do anything for his foster brother's son.
Growing up, J. T. had spent years being shuffled from one foster home to another. He never felt a connection to any of the families until he moved in with Grant Markham's family. The two of them had become best friends and referred to each other as brothers.
When Wyatt was born, Grant emailed J. T. in Afghanistan with the news. He asked him if he'd be the baby's godfather and to look out for the boy if anything should happened. At the time, J. T. joked with him about how dangerous Grant's job as a computer programmer was and he needed to watch out for paper cuts. J. T. would give anything to hear Grant's laughter again.
J. T. focused on Jessica gently swaying in the rocking chair. Listening carefully, he swore he could hear her soothing voice sing a lullaby. The scene in the house was very hypnotic and he felt a sense of peace. For the first time in years, he wanted to belong to a family. To come home to a wife and children would be a peaceful change to the world he'd witnessed lately. Putting his arms around a woman at the end of the day, sharing the good and the bad would be heaven. J. T. quickly reached out and pressed the doorbell without another thought. He wasn't here for a touchy-feely moment. The child was the only reason he stood on her porch.
The doorbell chimed, piercing the still morning. He could still see her image through the window as she walked toward the door. Her movements were lithe and gracefully. Enticing. With a moment of doubt, J. T. stepped back and started to retrace his steps down the porch when he heard the door open.
The first thing he noticed when she opened the door were her rich brown eyes. Expressive bedroom eyes. He'd seen recognition in her gaze. In a moment of silence, a sensation of desire heated his blood. It had been too long since he had sex if one look from her had him thinking in that direction.
Jessica wore jeans and a white eyelet blouse which hung low, where she held the baby, revealing the swell of her breast. Her creamy white skin had him yearning to caress her.
"You must be Tyler."
He was glad to see the corners of her mouth curve into a smile and chase the sadness away.
"Blake called and said you saw her yesterday."
He'd done his homework. Talking to her friends and neighbors helped paved the way to meet her. J. T. removed his cap and pressed the cloth between his hands. Always able to talk himself out of any situation, at the moment, he struggle for a coherent thought. "Yes, ma'am."
"Won't you come in?"
Her hospitality was genuine and sincere. J. T. speculated Jessica wouldn't be so friendly if she knew who he was and his plan to spy on her to determine if she was fit to watch over Wyatt.
Her eyes widened with surprise. She held Wyatt against her shoulder the way she had the other day in front of the window. Then she reached out her free hand to him.
"I recognized you from the other day. Nice to meet you. I'm Jessica Reid."
Her soft fingers wrapped around his hand. The warmth and tenderness created a connection to the family closeness he'd seen moments ago causing him to yearn for a better life.
"The pleasure is mine."
Startled by the serenity he felt with her, J. T. wanted more and leaned toward her. He breathed in her fresh, clean scent, a fragrance he didn't recognize. Her deep brown gaze studied him closely and he wondered who was doing the investigation, her or him.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Addicted to Writing Presents Sci/Fi Fantasy Saturday: The Guardian's Key by K. J. Dahlne

Title: The Guardain's Key
Author: K. J. Dahlen

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

When Michael Kane finds out the family secret he isn’t sure about his future. When God cast the fallen angels out of the heavens He entrusted seven very special Keys to mortals. The Keys open the seven Gates of Hell. Michael’s family holds the first Key and the powers have been passed from father to son since time began.

Fifty years ago Michael’s grandfather and uncle were kidnapped by demons hoping to get the Key. Now the time is right to transfer the knowledge and the magic to the next generation. Isaac, Michael’s grandfather, doesn’t want to give all he knows to his son, Daniel. He gives the power to Michael instead.

After Michael is put through a series of challenges he still faces the final test. Will Michael accept the powers and the Guardianship?


When Michael Kane arrived at work that day he didn't expect to have his world turned upside down. He looked up from his desk to see her standing there. She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. Her long, curly blonde hair flowed down to her waist, and her clear green eyes sparkled in the sun coming through the office windows. She was dressed is a long, flowing skirt and blouse under her coat, but somehow the clothes fit her. He didn't see too many of her type in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Eagle River was a small town in the south central part of the state where everyone knew everyone else's business. The town earned its place in history as a turning point in the wars between the Indians and the white militia.
Michael had left Eagle River after high school graduation to pursue a career in law enforcement. Going to the police academy in Madison had given him a taste of big city life, and after graduation Michael had been more than happy to come home. He had decided that big city life was not for him, but being a cop had always been his dream.
Here he knew everyone and everyone knew him. He felt he was helping to preserve a way of life. He'd seen firsthand how people fell through the cracks in the bigger cities, and he didn't want that to happen here.
He hadn't seen her enter the police station yet there she was. "Can I help you?" he asked as he sat up a little straighter.
"I hope so," she told him as she stomped the snow off her boots and unzipped her parka. "I'm looking for Detective Michael Kane."
Michael glanced at his friend and partner, Alex Cadan, who he noticed was watching the exchange with unashamed curiosity. Alex had a huge grin on his face when Michael turned to her and said, "I'm Michael Kane."
She sat down beside his desk and leaned forward. "My name is Rhetia. I must speak with you on a very delicate matter. Is there somewhere we can go for more privacy?"
Michael frowned. Her face and voice were almost mesmerizing. He tried to ignore Alex's soft chuckle as he stood up and escorted her to one of the interrogation rooms. When he stood, the difference in their statues was noticeable. He was six foot tall and slender while she was barely five foot tall. He had dark hair and blue eyes in contrast to her blonde hair and green eyes. When she was seated, he asked, "What is this all about?"
"I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I have come to you to retrieve a Key, a Key given to your grandfather Isaac Colt for safe keeping," she blurted out.
Michael frowned. "I'm afraid you have the wrong person then. My grandfather's first name was Isaac, but his last name wasn't Colt, it was Charles."
"Yes, it was," she insisted. "After he disappeared, I told your grandmother to change her name to protect her and your mother and disappear. That was almost fifty years ago."
Michael was stunned. "What are you talking about? You don't look like a woman who was even alive fifty years ago."
Rhetia shook her head. "We don't have time to argue about this. I'm not here to debate how old you think I am. Fifty years ago your grandfather Isaac had in his possession a Key, a Key that has been passed down from generation to generation in his family. Demons were after him but he wouldn't give up the Key to them, so we think they murdered him, or at the very least they kidnapped him and are still holding him hostage."
"Demons? What the hell are you talking about?" Michael demanded to know. He couldn't help but wonder why all the gorgeous women had to be flaky?
Rhetia took what seemed to be a calming breath. "You may not believe what I am about to tell you, but I am speaking the truth. Time is running short. In three days, it will be the spring Equinox, one of the only times on Earth that the opportunity is right."
"Right for what?" Michael glared at her. She was talking gibberish as far as he was concerned. "Lady, I don't have time for fairy tales."
"This isn't a fairy tale. It's very real. Please let me explain."
He started to stand up when she blurted out, "I am an angel and it is my duty to protect the family of the Guardians."
"The what?" he asked as he plopped back down in his chair.
"Your grandfather, Isaac, was a Guardian of a Key. He may have died to protect it."

Friday, August 28, 2015

Addicted to Writing Presents Friday's Featured Title: The Bodyguard by Genie Gabriel $0.99

Title: The Bodyguard
Author: Genie Gabriel

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

Psychiatrist Julia Cabot's life has always gone according to plan -- until her husband's charming affability explodes into violence. Terrified for her life and the safety of her children, Julia runs. She finds an unlikely haven with a man her children think is the angel they wished for after they find feathers on the floor. Former bodyguard Mitch Garrison is trained to protect, but something went fatally wrong five years ago when his wife was shot while helping an abused woman. Mitch's nightmares come to life when Julia appears, a jagged purple bruise marring her face. But when her ex-husband kidnaps her children, Julia and Mitch join forces in a journey that brings them face to face with their deepest fears and their most passionate desires.


Two weeks before Christmas, Mitch decided he had waited long enough.

"Come on, mutt." Mitch grabbed his coat and a pair of work gloves. "Let’s go find the twins."

Gabe bounded to his feet and bumped the doorknob with his nose. He sniffed and marked around the yard while Mitch pulled the Ferrari out of the garage. As soon as the dog jumped into the car, Mitch drove to a lot selling Christmas trees. He selected one that would fit nicely in Julia’s small apartment and strapped it to the top of the car.

The mutt hung his head out the window, riding in silent watchfulness until the apartment building was in sight. "Woof!"

"You have to be quiet or we’ll get caught smuggling you in." Under cover of the falling twilight and a bushy evergreen tree, Mitch and the dog walked quickly toward Julia’s apartment.

As soon as Julia opened the door, the dog pushed inside and sniffed out the twins, quickly falling back into their game of hide and seek. Within seconds, the twins’ giggles let Julia know the dog had found the children.

"I brought a tree." Mitch stood the evergreen upright.

"I see that." Julia bit her lip as she walked around the tree. "Nice choice. Bushy all around."

"I had three picky sisters who trained me in the fine art of Christmas tree selection."

Julia smiled. "They trained you well."

"I thought we could decorate it tonight and maybe have cookies and hot chocolate."

The wistful look on Mitch’s face tugged at Julia’s heart. She didn’t want to disappoint him--or miss the chance to spend time with him. "That would be great. Except..."


"All the decorations were left behind."

Understanding dawned in Mitch’s eyes. "I’m sorry, Julia. I didn’t think--I’ll go buy some."

"Wait--" Julia didn’t want to owe Mitch anything more, and she couldn’t afford to buy decorations for an entire tree right now. "Let’s make decorations. We have construction paper for paper chains and snowflakes, and we can pop corn to string together. I haven’t done that in years. It will be fun."

"How about the angel for the top?" Mitch asked.

Julia tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Origami. We can do a fancy folded paper one." She hoped.

"Sounds great to me." Mitch took off his jacket. "I did remember a stand."

While Mitch set the tree in the stand, Julia gathered supplies for ornaments and explained to the twins what they were going to do. The twins were delighted, as they hadn’t been allowed to touch the fussy tinsel and glass ornaments on the tree in the West Hills house. Just one more reminder of how suppressed her children’s joy had been. Julia much preferred this homemade Christmas tree.

The tiny apartment soon became littered with scraps of paper, as loops of red and green chains took shape. The popping of corn rattled a cheerful accompaniment to the giggles of the twins as Julia brought another bowl of popcorn for Mitch to add to the string the dog snitched pieces from.

"Why don’t you just give him some popcorn?" Julia asked.

"He won’t eat it except off the string." Mitch threw a disgusted look toward the dog. "It must be a new game."

Julia turned away to hide her smile. The tree was shaping up beautifully, even if Angelina insisted on hanging all her handmade ornaments on the same three branches. "Anyone want refills on hot chocolate?"

When Julia returned from the kitchen, the room had grown quiet.

"Your helpers are asleep," Mitch said.

The twins lay curled like cherubs next to the dog beneath the spreading limbs of the now decorated tree.

"Do you want to move them to bed?" Mitch asked.

Julia nodded. Soon the twins were settled in their beds for the night.

"Sometimes I just want to watch my children." Julia’s heart swelled with joy as she gazed at Abraham and Angelina. "If I could have one thing for Christmas, I’d ask for my children to be safe."

Julia and Mitch lapsed into silence for a moment, absorbing the innocence of the twins as they slept. "What would you ask for, Mitch?"

Mitch stared at Julia for a moment longer. His gaze caressed every inch of her face and finally settled on her mouth. "A kiss from you."

Startled, Julia tried to cover a thrill of excitement by folding her hands primly in front of her. "That’s all?"

"Maybe that kiss could be delivered early." The hunger in Mitch’s eyes generated a tingle between Julia’s breasts.

"Maybe it could." Julia didn’t believe the words slipped from her mouth. However, the expectant look in Mitch’s eyes confirmed Julia had spoken her thoughts aloud. And now she felt honor-bound to carry through. She could do this without acting like a fool. It was just a kiss, right?