Tag Archive | Humor

New Release- Love’s Resolution

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Blurb Love’s Resolution:

Josey Clifford has struggled for three years. She’s fought the big C and won, but she’s lost a lot along the way; her breasts, her husband, her hair, her confidence in herself as a woman. New Year’s Eve and one year Cancer free, she has her resolution. Find a hot guy and give her new boobs a test drive.

Connor McCallum’s wife took his daughter and left the state. Needless to say, he isn’t looking to jump into a new relationship, but a man has needs. Josey seems perfect for him. She wants just what he does, sex with no strings. So, why does he find himself thinking about her all the time?

Two broken souls can come together and form a whole or break each other into a million pieces that can never be put together again. What will be Love’s Resolution?

Excerpt one:

“A bit presumptuous aren’t you? I don’t recall being asked if I wanted to leave with you or if I wanted a drink.”

He looked down at her with those amazing eyes. “I’m sorry, I tend to take what I want and I want you.”

Tingles raced down her spine, damn. She cleared her throat. “Wow, you don’t waste any time, do you, Connor? Could we slow it down it bit?”

Connor slid his hand up and down her back. “I’ll try. Let’s get you that drink and find a place to sit down and talk.”

“That sounds good. I need a drink about now.”

“Oh, come on, I’m not that bad, am I?”

She arched a brow at him. “No, you’re that good,” she said with a flirty smile.

He squeezed her hip. “Umm, I like that answer.” They walked up to the bar, Josey ordered a screwdriver and Connor got another beer. He led them to the side of the room and miraculously they found two empty chairs.

“Kismet,” he said.

“So it seems.”

“I’ll go first. I’m thirty-six years old. I own McCullum motors, the best car dealership in Juniper Hills. I’m divorced. It was messy. I have a beautiful daughter, Dani. She’s ten years old. However, my bitch of an ex-wife managed to get the judge to grant her permission to leave the state with my daughter. I barely get to see her now, and it breaks my heart. So, I’ll be really honest with you, I’m not looking for a relationship. I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt. But I get lonely. I miss having someone to spend time with. Enjoy a nice dinner. Companionship. And sex.”

Josey smiled. “So you’re looking for a friend with benefits?”

Connor cocked his head to the side. “Yeah, I guess that’s about right. I never thought of it that way, but that about sums it up.”

“Funny you should say that, because I came here tonight looking to hook-up with no-strings. We might just be perfect for each other.”

Connor took her hands and looked into her eyes. “Josey, believe me I’m not complaining, but you don’t seem like a one-night stand kind of girl to me. Your hands are clammy and shaking. You told me to slow my roll earlier. So tell me what’s going on.”

“I’m afraid if I do it will ruin everything. You won’t want me anymore.” She stared at the floor between her feet.

Connor tipped her chin up so she was looking at him. “That’s not gonna happen. Tell me.”

Josey pulled her hands back and wiped them down her jeans. She stared into his eyes. “I’m a cancer survivor. I’ve had a double mastectomy.”

His eyes involuntarily flickered to her breasts and he gestured with his hand. Stuttering a little he asked, “Are you wearing prosthesis?”

She shook her head. “No, I had reconstructive surgery. They’re all mine. They look and feel pretty real, but…I don’t have normal feeling in them. Not like before the surgeries.”

“Surgeries?”

“Yeah, it took five procedures to totally reconstruct my breasts.”

“Wow, I had no idea.”

“Most people don’t. I haven’t had sex in over three years. Since my husband left me.”

The shocked look on Connor’s face would have been comical if it weren’t for the subject matter. “Your husband left you while you were fighting breast cancer?”

Josey shrugged her shoulders. “Yeah, he ‘couldn’t deal.’”

Josey watched anger flare across Connor’s face. “I’d like to deal a punch to his face.”

She shook her head. “I’m past being angry. It’s his loss. I survived. Now I know he wasn’t the man I thought he was. I’m better off.”

“Damn straight, what an asshole.”

Josey laughed. “There were times I called him much worse than that.”

“I can imagine.”

Connor pulled her into his arms. “No man worth his salt would ever leave a woman he loved because of something physical, that’s just stupid! A body is only a vessel; you love what’s on the inside.”

She gazed up at him. “But you don’t know me, you don’t know what’s on the inside. You were attracted to the shell.”

“You’re right, I was. You’re a beautiful woman, but that beauty isn’t just on the outside. It’s your spirit that shines through when your smile lights up the room. The shy way you tilt your head when someone compliments you. The openness you show in sharing your story with a virtual stranger. I think you’re a very special lady, Josey. Come home with me and let me show you how special you are.” He pulled her to her feet and wrapped his arms around her, leaning in, he placed a gentle kiss on her lips. His hand moved to the back of her head holding her in place and he increased the pressure, licking the seam of her lips and seeking entrance. She opened for him on a sigh and his tongue slipped inside to mate with hers. Soft and sweet, but full of passion and longing.

Whoops and catcalls came from the crowd. Shouts of “Get a room,” and “Way to go, Connor.”

He pulled back and stared down at her. “Ignore the jackasses. Please, come with me?”

Excerpt two:

The phone rang and he looked down at the caller I.D., ready to jump down Jessica’s throat. However, it was Chance calling. Connor took a deep breath and tried to calm down. “Hey, man, how are you?”

“Fine and dandy. You and that little friend of Momma’s disappeared from the party pretty quick. You get lucky?”

“Ain’t like you to ask a man to kiss and tell, Chance. Your Momma put you up to this?”

“Well,” Chance dragged out the word. “She is Momma’s friend and you know Momma.”

“Yeah, I know Momma Ryan. Josey’s cool, Chance. In fact, I was gonna bring you a case of beer for introducing us.”

“Hot damn, well don’t let me stop you. I can always use free beer. If everything is good with Josey, how come you sound like I kicked your dog?”

“You always could read me. Just more crap with Jess.”

“What’s the bitch up to now?”

“Same shit, she’s not bringing Dani again this weekend.”

“Man, that shit’s gotta stop.”

“I know, I’m working it. I called Jacob again this morning, but he’s in court.”

“Anything I can do?”

“I wish, maybe I’ll need you for a character reference.”

Chance laughed. “In a minute, cowboy.”

“Thanks, you’ve been a great friend through all this.”

“I wouldn’t have made it through those ten years without Carrie if it hadn’t have been for you, Connor.”

“Shit, now we sound like a couple of girls.”

“Damn, you’re right. Better talk about bull riding or football or they’ll pull our man cards.”

Connor laughed. “Changing the subject. If you can get a babysitter, maybe you and Carrie and Josey and me could get together one night and do the town? What do you say?”

“Whoa, you’re going out with her again?”

“Um, yeah. We’re kinda dating.”

“Well butter my ass and call me a biscuit! I don’t believe it! Connor McCallum is dating?”

“Don’t be an ass.”

“Oh, man, I have to rib you.”

“Okay, get it out of your system.”

“Mr. ‘I’m never gonna date again, women are poison.’”

“Yeah, I know, but Josey is different.”

“She’s that good in bed?”

“Shut up, shit head.”

Chance roared with laughter. “Damn, she is!”

“You’re such a dick.”

Chance was laughing so hard he could barely talk. “Wait till I tell Carrie.”

“You better keep your pie hole shut, you gossipy girl. I don’t want you embarrassing Josey.”

“Fine,” Chance said. “But you’ll owe me.”

“What else is new,” Connor muttered.

“I’ll ask Carrie about going out. It will be a hoot.”

“Now I’m sorry I asked you asshole.”

“Too late now, douchebag. And don’t forget my beer. I’ll talk to you later.” Chance hung up, still laughing.

Connor smiled, he’d needed the call from his friend to change his mood for the day.

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Hell Yeah! Sensing Love

sensing-love

Blurb Sensing Love

He finally found his soul mate, only to see her violently murdered. All in a dream. Sometimes it’s hell to be a psychic. Mataus Montoya has a mission. Find the woman of his dreams, and change her destiny.

Cara “Mo” Konklin runs Mighty Mo’s, a program for underprivileged children, on her ranch in Prairieville, Louisiana. The former soldier has no time for love and no belief in psychic mumbo jumbo, but when fate throws an abused child in her path, literally. And the crazy psychic’s predictions all come true, including the one that he is the other half of her soul. What is a sensible soldier to do?

Together, Mo and Mataus must protect the child in her care and fight the unknown evil that stalks her in the darkness. Mataus sensed his love, but will his gift be enough to save her or will fortune steal their happily ever after?

 

Excerpt One Sensing Love.

The first rays of the morning sun filtered through the curtains and fell on the beauty that lay beside Mataus.

Bathed in the light she glistened like an angel, her blonde tresses a golden halo surrounding alabaster skin, so soft and smooth it begged for his touch. Pale blonde lashes caressed her cheeks in sleep and her plump pink lips were slightly parted. Mataus leaned down to brush his lips to hers, but before he could taste the sweetness of her mouth he found himself standing in the dark. He was in the country. The smell of hay and horses permeated the air. No moon lit the sky, only a sprinkling of stars. In the faint light he could make out the shape of a barn and a house in the distance, fenced pastures and a gravel drive.

Mataus walked along the gravel road toward the house. A sense of foreboding clawed at his aura. As he grew closer, the outline of a large truck parked in the driveway came into view. A shadow crept around the vehicle.

Evil, a hatred so pure it almost brought him to his knees shot to his mind. An explosion. Flames. A maniacal laugh.

Mataus woke with a start. Sweat drenched his body. For three nights now he had dreamed of the angel in his bed, but this was the first time he had sensed danger surrounding her. Fuck! He threw the covers off and sat on the edge of the bed, swiping his hands down his face.

He needed a shower to think. Heaving himself off the bed he staggered to the bathroom and turned the spray on as hot as he could stand it. As the pounding water eased his taut muscles flashes of his dream ran through his head. He closed his eyes and the woman appeared in front of him, so vibrant and real, he wanted to reach out and touch her. In his heart, he knew she was the key. The missing essence that would blend with his aura and complete his soul.

Switching off the water, Mataus scrubbed a towel over his skin and walked to the sink. Naked, he ran the electric razor over his face, brushing his teeth at the same time. A heavy swipe of deodorant, to combat the New Orleans heat, then a splash of cologne and he was set for the day.

Sauntering into the bedroom he threw on a pair of well-worn jeans and a T-shirt that said, You’re never too old to have invisible friends. Barefoot, he headed for the kitchen and some chicory coffee and a beignet.

As soon as Mataus had a little caffeine in his system he knew what he needed to do. He had to call his cousin Harley.

 

Excerpt Two Sensing Love.

Shannon had badgered her endlessly, so Mo had given in, and much to her chagrin. She now sat at the long polished bar at the Spotted Cat Jazz Club. Shannon insisted it was “real” New Orleans jazz, not the gimmicky stuff for tourists, but a place the locals loved. Personally, Mo liked country music. However, she wouldn’t dare say that in here, she’d probably get killed with just a look.

She glanced at her watch for the tenth time and lamented the fact that her friend was running late as usual. Mo ran on military time. If you were supposed to be somewhere at nineteen hundred hours, seven o’clock civilian time, then you got there at a quarter to seven or you were late. Shannon ran on southern time. That meant she arrived around seven-thirty, if Mo was lucky.

She sipped her slippery nipple and tapped her foot on the bar stool. Mo didn’t have PTSD exactly, but she was uncomfortable in crowds. She liked to keep her back to the wall and her eye on the door. In this place, however, if she moved to a back booth, she wouldn’t be able to see the entrance. Her eyes nevertheless, scanned the room in a continuous arc, unconsciously searching the room for danger, and she kept an ever-present gaze toward the front door.

Therefore, she couldn’t have missed his entrance. Six-foot-three inches of solid muscle encased in black leather pants and a skin tight black T-shirt sauntered in the door. His face was surrounded by a mass of shaggy brown hair, but it was the deep black eyes that zeroed in on her that held her stunned. Those eyes shone with a moment of incredible recognition, quickly masked, and then his face split into a brilliant smile. Bright white teeth flashed in his dark skin, and the man headed straight for her.

Oh shit! Cara turned back to the bar, hoping in vain the man would not approach. She knew her ploy had failed when she felt a warm presence at her side.

“Is this seat taken?” a deep voice with a slight Cajun lilt asked, sending heat cascading up her spine. As much as Cara wanted to say “yes” she couldn’t lie. “No, please have a seat,” she answered.

“Mataus Montoya,” he said extending a hand to her. Reluctantly, she placed her hand in his. A spark zipped up her arm at the contact.

“Cara Konklin, but you can call me Mo.”

“Really? How do you get Mo out of Cara?”

“Long story. I was in service and it’s just what I ended up with as a nickname. Everyone calls me Mo.”

“But you won’t tell me how you got the nickname?”

“Nope, gotta earn that privilege.”

“Well, I look forward to that. Can I buy you a drink, Mo?”

“I’m still good with this one, but thanks.”

“You here all alone?”

“No, I’m waiting for friends. They are running late, as usual,” she muttered.

“Uh oh. Not happy with your friends?”

“Oh, I’m not mad. Just irritated. Shannon is always late. It’s a pet peeve of mine.”

“I’ll try to remember that too.”

“Why would you need to remember that?”

“Because I will be seeing you again.”

“Moving a little fast there, cowboy. What makes you think so?”

“I can see the future?”

Mo raised an eyebrow at him. “Seriously? Does that line ever work with girls?”

Mataus laughed. “I’m not joking. I’m a psychic,” he said with a straight face.

“You’re really not joking are you?”

He reached out and took both her hands in his. “No, I’m not.”

Mo was getting a little freaked out. “Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked.

He stroked a thumb across her knuckles. “Because I’ve been dreaming of you.”

She pulled her hands back as if she’d been burned. What the fuck?

“Okay, mister, did somebody give you a day pass from the funny farm?”

The man had the gall the laugh, hard. “No, sweet Mo. I love that name, by the way. I am not an escaped mental patient. You do know you are in New Orleans, right? Home of psychics, HooDoo, VooDoo, and all kinds of other spiritual phenomenon.”

“I live in Prairieville, I’m not used to you crazy New Orleans folk,” Mo replied.

Mataus shook his head. “We’re not crazy, just a little different.”

“If you say so,” Mo knew she looked skeptical. Shannon and Mike chose that moment to make an appearance. Shannon threw her arms around Mo’s neck from behind and kissed her cheek.

“Hey lady, sorry we’re late. The sitter was late—”

“Save it, soldier. I know the drill,” Mo interrupted.

Shannon laughed. “Yeah, I know, ‘no excuses, soldier.’ So, who’s the handsome honey keeping you company? Introduce us.”

“Mataus Montoya, may I present my erstwhile friends Shannon and Mike Hodgins.”

“Mataus Montoya? Are you the Mataus Montoya? The famous artist? The one that does all those fabulous landscapes of New Orleans?” Shannon asked.

Mataus blushed. “Guilty as charged, yes.”

“Wow, Mo. You’re sitting with a celebrity.”

“Hmm, I thought you said you were a psychic? And frankly, I thought you were crazy.”

Shannon looked from one to the other with curiosity.

“I am a psychic, I didn’t say it was my job,” Mataus replied. “And I told you I wasn’t crazy.”

“What’s going on here?” Shannon asked.

“Let’s get a table. I think we have some talking to do,” Mo said.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the Hell Yeah Kindle World, join our fan group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730952817180627/

Sensing Love is available in the Hell Yeah Kindle World on Amazon for only $1.99 http://amzn.to/2eBrOWZ

Check out the rest of the November Hell releases!

Hell Yeah! Letting Go, Rhonda Lee Carver: http://amzn.to/2fujIRN
Hell Yeah! Audacious, Beth Williamson: http://amzn.to/2fVPSsH
Hell Yeah! Taboo Frequency, Gem Sivad: http://amzn.to/2fufKIX
Hell Yeah! Thunderstruck, Amanda McIntyre: http://amzn.to/2eQ2RYp
Hell Yeah! Pink Rose of the Prairie, Ginger Ring: http://amzn.to/2eQ4SnP
Hell Yeah! Don’t Mess with the Bull, Sidda Lee Rain: http://amzn.to/2eHlYqg
Hell Yeah! Cowboy Collision, Kandi Silvers: http://amzn.to/2eHocG3
Hell Yeah! Chasing Butterflies, Jennifer Labelle: http://amzn.to/2eycrys

I was thrilled when Sable Hunter asked me to write for the Hell Yeah series! I have always loved the McCoys, and Sable is one of my favorite authors. My book, Sensing Love, is linked to Sable’s book, Burning Love, which is one of my favorites. I adored Harley and Beau and it was so fun to include them in this book!

I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Mo is a very special character to me. She is based on one of my foster daughters, a real life heroine, and US Army veteran.  Tell me in the comments if you have a hero/heroine in your life.

 

 

Sale Sunday!

☆➹⁀☆☆ #SALE ☆➹⁀☆☆
The 99 cent sale will start on April 4th and run through April 8th
Frosted Sweets by A.M. Willard 
Blurb:
 
Morgan Lewis, the hardworking and devoted owner of the Polka Dot Cafe & Bakery, is ready to wed Simon Kensington. As she gears up for the next chapter in her life, her undying love for Simon causes her to forget what life was like before him. It’s not until a walk home with her wedding dress draped over her arm that she witness it all change. At that moment, her future was crushed with one act, one of weakness on Simons part. When she calls off the wedding of her dreams to the one she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with; Morgan has to ask herself if she can move forward. Can she become the person she once was? Or is the sweet baker gone?
Jayden’s career in production has him relocated to a new town. As he prepares for long hours and adjusting to his new life; there was one thing he wasn’t expecting. That was being knocked into by a sweet smelling baker carrying her wedding dress in the park.
His new sweet tooth gives him an unhealthy obsession to the busy bakery, where it’s more than just treats in a box.
Join us as author A.M. Willard brings you a pinch of contemporary romance, a dash of romantic comedy, and a sprinkle of chick lit wrapped in one giant cupcake. 

When Black Women Fall ~ The Unluckiest Demographic in Love

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The Unluckiest Demographic in Love by Twyla Turner

The educated/nerdy/classy/fashionable/chic/Chubby Black chick has to be one of the most overlooked demographics of women in the country, in regards to L-O-V-E. Speaking from personal experience and seeing the world with my own eyes, we get the short end of the stick more often than not.

 

Most of us aren’t interested in someone that is quote unquote “hood”, but every time I look up, I got some dude with a full gold grill on his ten-speed shouting out, “Hey Girl?! Hey! Can I get yo number?” More than likely, they see a woman that can take care of them, domestically and financially. A “mothering” type woman that can probably throw down in the kitchen.

 

Or we get the hick or wannabe “hood” white guys that like thick black girls. Unfortunately, we’re still too classy for that life. I want to be taken to the museum, not the Monster Truck show. I’ve dated one, trust me I know. Nothing like going to a NASCAR event and watch a pickup truck filled with white dudes, flying a Confederate flag. But hey, I was there for the free Goo Goo Dolls concert.

 

And let’s not forget the old perverted men of ALL races. Yep, we get the horny old lechers that still want someone young but no longer care what people think of the candy on their arm like their young counterparts do. Too bad I’m not into old balls, either.

 

We’re not necessarily picky people. But can we at least get someone with all of their teeth, not showing their drawers, and isn’t carrying their AARP card? Many of the black men that are similar to us, are only looking outside their race to date. And we all know that the majority of white guys out there are looking for someone slender. And even if they say they like a woman with meat on their bones, they’re talking big boobs and booty with skinny everything else. And that doesn’t even include their fear of dating someone black. Heaven forbid!

 

To the well-rounded men, we’re placed solidly in the “friend’s zone”. Most of them love and absolutely adore us. They think we’re hilarious. They ask us to help them dress to get the “hot chick”. They come to us for dating advice. Some of them even have sex with us (which ends up grudgingly being the best they’ve ever had), but still can’t see walking with us on their arm in the light of day.

 

But what these men aren’t understanding is that our demographic is an untapped goldmine of sweet, intelligent, loving, fun and dare I say…sexy, group of women. Many of us just as satisfying, if not more so, than any other woman. Open those pretty eyes, guys! We’re here and we’re amazing!!!

 

Which is the main reason why I decided to brand my books as Novels with Curves.  In the past, I couldn’t find a romance novel with a character that looked anything like me, so I took matters into my own hands. Why can’t the curvy, Black girl get the hot guy? So that’s what I mainly write… Adorably plump and sexy black heroines that snag the hot hero. My latest series Chasing Day, Daylen Daniels, the shy cellist meets Chase McCoy, the popular quarterback. They become unlikely best friends and soon find they have an undeniable attraction that leads to a tumultuous romance that spans 30 years.

 

All my novels are for the underdog. To give her a voice. If we can’t find ourselves on TV or on the big screen, surely we can at least find characters like us in the most intimate of entertainment…books.

 

To find more characters like Daylen from Twyla Turner’s “Chasing Day,” visit the When Black Women Fall promo tour at http://whenblackwomenfall.com!

 

Clutch ~ a novel ~ Lisa Becker

clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick
lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single
purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles
of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the
“Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by
her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts
her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the
courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

Excerpt

Mimi Johnson was casually dressed in a brightly-colored blouse with enormous turquoise jewelry and equally-oversized glasses.  Despite that largesse, the only thing truly bigger than her personality (and her bosom) was her handbag.  It was always perfectly matched to her clothing, shoes, and jewelry.  She was like a walking Chico’s advertisement, if you added forty years, forty pounds, and a Virginia Slims cigarette.  From her Mary Poppins-like bag, she pulled out a box, impeccably-wrapped in glossy pink paper with a white grosgrain ribbon bow.  A cigarette teetered between her two fingers while she produced a lung-hacking cough.

“Open it… <cough, cough> …sweetie.  Open it,” she said to her seven-year-old great niece, Caroline, a beautiful and vibrant girl with long blonde hair and oversized blue eyes.

Alive with anticipation, sweet young Caroline eagerly took the box and smiled up at Mimi.  She gingerly removed the ribbon, planning to save it for later.  The glossy paper was less of interest and she ripped through it quickly.  She opened the box and gently lifted out a hot pink purse, adorned with pale pink flowers and rhinestones.  An enormous smile overcame her.  Caroline nearly set her own hair on fire from Mimi’s cigarette as she bounded into her aunt’s arms.

“Oh, thank you, Aunt Mimi.  It’s lovely.”

And that was when Caroline’s love of handbags began.  From big and loud ones that would make Mimi proud to unimposing wristlets, from bowler bags to satchels; it didn’t matter if they were made of canvas or calf-skin leather, were distressed or embellished with metal studs.  Hell, she didn’t care if you called them pocketbooks or purses.   She just loved them all – almost as much as she loved Mimi.

By the time she was a junior in high school and well on her way to being class valedictorian, it was the hundreds of bags Caroline owned that helped her conceptualize her ticket out of her suffocating small Georgian town. She would design handbags.  And it was Mimi who was her steadfast cheerleader.

“Caroline, sweetie… <cough, cough> …you find something you love and you just hold onto it.”  It had never mattered if Caroline was asking Mimi’s advice about a friend, lover, or career.  The advice was always the same: “Find something you love and hold onto it.”

Mimi’s words ever-present in her mind, Caroline headed to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and spent four years in Los Angeles learning everything there was to know to pursue her passion. Then, right out of college, she spent three years working in the design and marketing departments of two of the world’s leading high-end handbag designers.

She was schooled in beauty and how to accessorize the perfectly-coiffed women on the way to their Botox appointments. But Caroline was pulled by the nagging feeling that the very person who had inspired her career, Mimi, could never afford the bags she designed, even if Caroline used her generous employee discount on Mimi’s behalf.  And God forbid Mimi would ever accept one as a gift, always preferring to give rather than receive.   But Caroline believed there was no reason for anyone to be denied the ultimate in accessories. She saw an untapped market of designing beautiful and affordable bags, but she just wasn’t sure she was start-up potential. Again, it was Mimi who nudged her to learn the business side of things and apply to MBA programs. When Caroline was accepted to Harvard Business School, Mimi of course encouraged her.

“You’ve got this, sweetie. <cough, cough>,” she said.  “It’s in the bag.”

***

Caroline was sitting in Financial Reporting and Control on her first day of Harvard classes (and yes, the class turned out to be as boring as it sounded).  That’s when she first eyed Mike, who was wearing a faded pair of Levi jeans, a washed-out vintage Rolling Stones T-shirt, and Converse sneakers.  He oozed charisma.  Turning her head away from him and back toward the front of the lecture hall, Caroline thought that if he were a handbag, he would be a grey leather tote – confident and dependable, but not trying too hard.

Mike surveyed the large lecture hall as he walked in, a Starbucks coffee cup in each hand.  After descending the steps slowly, he took a seat next to Caroline and planted one of the white and green cups on her desk.

Flashing a wide, dimpled smile, which she mused he reserved for getting girls to drop their panties, he said, “Here.  You look like you’re going to need this.”

“Thanks,” she replied in a suspicious tone, turning her head sideways to look at him and raising an eyebrow.

“I’m Mike,” he said, again flashing a smile and reaching out for a handshake.

“I’m Caroline.  Thanks for the…”

“Latte.”

“Latte,” she confirmed.  “Thanks.  But just so you know, I’m not gonna sleep with you,” she said in an apparent attempt to establish up front she wasn’t taken in by his obvious charm.

“I know,” he replied matter-of-factly.

Before she could respond, Professor Beauregard, a stout man with excessive eyebrows, spoke up.

“Please take note of where you are seated.  I will send around a seating chart for you to mark your spot.  This will be your seat for the remainder of the semester.”

“Looks like we’ll be seatmates,” Mike said, grinning at her.

“Looks like it,” she replied.

***

About three months into the first semester, Caroline learned that her fun-loving, easy-going new best buddy Mike wasn’t exactly who he appeared to be.

November 2- Chick
Lit Plus
– Review
November 3 – Chick Lit Goddess – Excerpt
November 4 – Love Chick Lit – Q&A
November 4 – Little Miss Drama Queen – Excerpt
November 5 – SSLY Blog – Excerpt
November 5 – Change the Word – Q&A
November 6 – The Phantom Paragrapher
– Review
November 11 – Granny Loves to Read – Review
& Excerpt
November 12 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A
November 13 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Review, Q&A & Excerpt
 
lisaclutchAuthor Bio
In addition to clutch: a novel, Lisa Becker is the author of the Click Trilogy, a contemporary romance series comprised ofClick: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click.  She’s written bylined articles about dating and relationships for “Cupid’s Pulse,” “The Perfect Soulmate,” “GalTime,” “Single Edition,” “Healthy B Daily” and “Chick Lit Central” among others.  She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and two daughters.  To learn more, visit www.lisawbecker.com
Social Media Links for Lisa Becker

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest  | Web

 

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Fortune for Fools (A Merchant Street Mystery) ~ Cindy A. Christiansen

Fortune for Fools is the third book in A Merchant Street Mystery series. The fictional street came about after visiting a wonderful little antique store in Murray, Utah. The owners made my family feel so welcome and special. We were greeted and fell in love with one of the owners’ Italian Greyhound dog, Luigi. What a sweetheart. After we left the store, Rusty and Marci were still rushing after us to give us items. Yes, that’s what I said: They were giving us items for our movie-star-themed Christmas tree!

In the series, I tried to recreate that downhome feeling with lovely shops that have to compete with a new shopping center in Salt Lake City. Each book is a romantic suspense rather than an actual murder mystery with a gumshoe detective and clues, however every book has some sort of mystery going on.

Another situation that inspired the relationship between Lavinia Vega and Zeke Abberely was a M*A*S*H episode called Edwina. The nurses refuse to date until their lonely colleague Edwina gets a date, so the men draw straws. Hawkeye draws the short straw, and Edwina about kills him on their date. Lavinia’s and Zeke’s own misadventures happen through the whole series.

This was my first experience at writing a series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you will enjoy reading it too!

 

German shorthaired pointer posing in the fieldFortune for Fools

 

 Story-line:  Risk-taker Zeke Abberley knows how to be bold when it comes to his antique shop on Merchant Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. He successfully bid on a collection of 1800s antiques in Nauvoo, Illinois that may contain a valuable Hayez painting. However, love is another matter. Afraid that all women are users, he’s always injuring his dates, particularly Lavinia Vega, who works at her father’s art gallery.

Studious Lavinia Vega is tired of proving to Zeke that she has no ulterior motives. When Zeke brings her a damaged painting to restore and authenticate, she is eager to help but not get involved. When she uncovers a hidden map behind the painting that leads to valuable buried coins, the game plan changes. Or so Zeke thinks.

Will the mysteries Zeke, Lavinia and her Poodle, Vivete, uncover teach them that fortunes are for fools and love is everlasting?

 

 

Excerpt:  Zeke Abberley stared at the damaged 1859 painting with a scowl on his face. Why me? He had bid on the Illinois estate sale as a whole specifically because of this piece and now it had arrived damaged, with a crunched frame and punctured canvas. He had been assured the painting was in perfect condition. He bit his lip, continuing to stare at the entrancing image of the unrecognizable couple from the Middle Ages embraced in a kiss with shadowy forms lurking in the background. Although one of Francesco Hayez’s best known works, this was not the most famous rendition of the pose or lighting—but still the mastery of Hayez. From Zeke’s research, it seemed this particular rendition had never been seen on the market.

That is, if it is an original Hayez. Zeke tapped his index finger on his lips. It still needed to be authenticated by an expert. The family selling the contents of their attic had no desire or time to search for appraisals and had posted the estate sale as a whole. Imagine finding a Hayez.

Although it appeared there were other prized antiques in the collection, Zeke hadn’t understood why he had wanted to purchase an out-of-state collection, especially with their antique shop overflowing as it is and sales down due to the economy. Something had possessed him, though, and this painting had something to do with it.

Aunt Adele walked into the room and set a box of pastries on the conference room table. “You’re looking down in the mouth. What’s happened?”

“Can you believe it? Can you just believe it?” he said, shaking his fist at the painting.

Life was definitely not going smoothly for Zeke. He and his younger brother, Zach, had that confrontation with Pop which had ended up with Pop walking out on them and the business. Then Zach and Holly had married and left on a very long honeymoon. And he couldn’t forget Aunt Adele suddenly marrying Kipp Waterbury at their annual street BearBQ where they barbequed a bear. Aunt Adele hadn’t been around to help with the business, either. His disastrous relationship with Lavinia Vega, the break-ins on the street, and now the damaged painting did not bode well for Zeke either. He sighed. Yeah, most of them were happy events for those involved, but he had taken the blunt of everyone’s absence and had been working double duty for weeks on end. Sure everyone was back and the long winter blues were over, but all the lovebirds kept wandering off.

Trying to manage Abberley Antiques, Zach’s thrift shop, and Kipp’s clock shop had run him ragged. No wonder he was a basket case and his and Lavinia’s relationship had ended. It would have never worked out anyway, not with the way her father felt about his family and not with how reclusive Lavinia kept herself. After all their secret dates, she still hadn’t opened up to him. She was a closed book, albeit a beautiful, gorgeous closed book.

The memory of her attractive, vanilla blonde bob, soft, full lips, delicate curves, and hint of lilac perfume sent his senses tottering and his libido hopping. However, no one, and he meant no one, would ever penetrate that armored fortress guarding her frozen heart. Futile. Utterly futile.

“Did you hear me?” Aunt Adele asked.

“Oh, sorry. What did you say?” He laid the painting down on the table and pinched his chin.

“Do you think the shipping company damaged it?”

“Most likely. I viewed the painting on Skype and didn’t see the damage. Of course, it could have been masked. Just my luck.”

“It’s The Kiss by Francesco Hayez, isn’t it?” Aunt Adele said, moving to the small fridge for a quart of milk to go with the pastries.

“Yes, well, no. This is one of the five renditions Hayez did with different lighting, but not the most known. I don’t think this one has surfaced before. That is, if it really is a Hayez.”

“So I guess you know what you have to do.”

“What’s that?” He wrapped the painting back in brown paper and bubble wrap.

“Take it to Lavinia.”

He fumbled the painting as he tried to slide it into the box. It landed on the floor, and he accidentally kicked the painting across the carpet as he reached to pick it up. “Are you joking?”

“I can’t even mention her name without you turning into a spaz.” She smiled and shook her head. “Holly’s right. You have that—what did she call it?—pistanthrophobia.”

 

Photo - Cindy 1965

 

Bio: Cindy writes sweet romance with humor, suspense…and dogs! She’s the mother of two awesome boys who just happen to be autistic. Dogs have helped her through multiple health issues so she honors them in her books and donates both time and money to help them. She lives with her wonderful family and delightful dogs in West Jordan, UT.
Here’s what her books give you:

* A clean read with no bedroom scenes or offensive language.
* A tantalizing, fast-paced plot.
* A story without a lot of boring description.
* Down-to-earth heroes and heroines with everyday jobs.
* A rollercoaster ride of emotions you face right along with the characters.
* A special dog to steal your heart.
* A few added facts, a good message, and that important happily-ever-after ending.

 

 

Contact Links:

Website: http://www.dragonflyromance.com

Blog: http://cadragonfly.blogspot.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDragonfly

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CindyDragonfly

Google+:  http://bit.ly/14TuIh6

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/cindydragonfly/

Email: cindy@dragonflyromance.com

 

Fortune for Fools Merchant Street Collage copy

 

Buy Links:

Sweet Cravings Publishing: http://bit.ly/WdkOU0

Amazon: http://amzn.to/WviRlv

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/VmNLee

All Romance ebooks: http://bit.ly/1186k6h

Website: http://bit.ly/r8EEkq

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/19kmbY9

Note:  Fortune for Fools will be out in paperback in October.

 

 

Thank you for having me on your blog, Beverly and Tamara.  It’s been fun.

 

 

(Tag suggestions: clean romance kindle books, sweet romance novels, romantic suspense, pg rated, classic romance, good romance, clean romance books, Cindy A. Christiansen, dragonfly, dogs, humor, LDS author)

 

Review- The Black Door by Charlotte Howard

theblackdoorImogen Pearce is a single mum of four children and fast approaching 40, she works at Ryedale Incorporated where she has to battle a younger and smarter generation to get to where she wants to go. If that means taking on the account of Cherry and Sean Rubin’s adult shop, then she will. But what happens when Imogen discovers the private club that they run at the back? And what happens when she realizes she knows quite a few members?

 

Diana’s Review

When Imogen get the boss’s attention with her ad campaign photo for Wicked Ways. . . She does not realize how much her life is going to change.   I don’t know if it was the author’s intention but there was so much parody of real life in Imogen’s life.  Married but separated and nearing a major mid-life crisis of her own, with 4 kids, a soon to be x and a job of less than 1 year that she really, really needs.  All that stress gets to you, you blow up at the boss and end up in an escalating comedy Shakespeare would have been proud of. . .

I am sure other reviewers will reveal spoilers but I will not.   It is too good a story to spoil.  Well, maybe you need to have been there but it was humorous with a heavy dose of hot.   I liked this one a lot.

hearts 51Flames 4

 

 

SSLY recommended read