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Thursday, April 24, 2014

All Things Returned by Ute Carbone #Giveaway


All Things Returned

Ute Carbone

Anton & Lenora Book 3

 

Historical Romance Women’s Fiction

66 pages

 

 

San Francisco

Anton and Lenora Boudreaux have settled into an idyllic cottage overlooking San Francisco Bay. They’ve left trouble behind them and found happily ever after—family, friends, and a business that has every expectation of being successful. Until the Willow sails into port.

The captain of Willow, Jacob Lowell, is privy to secrets that threaten Lenora’s reputation and Anton’s life. When Anton sails to Seattle on a business enterprise, Jacob tries to blackmail Lenora, threatening to expose all he knows and forcing her to make decisions that will test her love of Anton and her life with him.

All Things Returned is the third book in the Anton and Lenora historical novella series.

 
 

Excerpt

Anton pulled off his cravat for the second time. “Foolish speck of clothing—like to choke the life out of a man.”

He fumbled with it until I took the scrap of silk and tied it around his neck, sealing my action with a kiss. “You should try wearing a corset.”

“I think we should pull off all of these confounded garments and run about like babes in Eden,” he said, nuzzling my neck.

I dearly would have liked to take his suggestion. “We have to attend. For our own sakes and for Edward’s.”

Anton knew well enough attendance at the mayor’s ball was not an opportunity we could squander. In the year since we’d been in San Francisco, Edward, my brother, Anton, and Frederick Earnhart, a solicitor and good friend of Edward’s, formed a partnership. They planned to ship timber from Seattle, where it was plentiful, to San Francisco, where it was needed to support the city’s growth. To that end, they bought and repaired a clipper ship called the Sea Spray. The ship was even now sitting at anchor in the bay waiting for Anton to take command of her inaugural voyage north. They would set sail on the morning tide.

Anton shrugged into his coat. “The sooner we go the sooner we shall get home.”



Buy Links




 

 

 

About the Author:

Ute (who pronounces her name Oooh-tah) Carbone is an award winning author of women’s fiction, comedy, and romance. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, where she spends her days walking, eating chocolate and dreaming up stories.

 

 

 

Books and Stories by Ute Carbone:

 








 

 

For more about Ute and her books, Please Visit:





 

 

 

Giveaway

Ute is giving away 2 copies of books 1 and 2 in this series

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

http://www.bridgingthegappromotions.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mid Week Tease - Whoa Cowboy



Do you know what time it is?

It's time for Mid Week Tease where my author friends and I post a little something from a WIP, flash fiction piece or from some of our published work for you, the readers. On my last tease, I shared something from my newly completed WIP, Confessions of a Chocoholic, and I'm happy to announce that story will be included in an upcoming anthology by Hot Ink Press. So for all you chocolate lovers in need of a fix, you won't have to wait much longer.

This week, I'll be sharing something from Welcome to Paradise, which is the introduction to a contemporary romance western series I’m writing set in West Texas on a 980 acre cattle ranch called, Paradise Ranch. My Facebook Group, Slip Between the Pages with London, got the good news first. Welcome to Paradise has found a home with Roane Publishing and I'm totally excited about working with all the great people at RP once again with this new project of mine.

Here's a little cowboy inspiration to get you in the mood :)

 

 
 

 
 
 


 

Just three days before her thirtieth birthday, acquisition editor for Starling Press, Sutton Callaway, has buried the last of her family in the cemetery on the plot of land that she inherited.
After turning down the powerful and wealthy owner of Triple Bar-S Ranch to sell her inheritance and walk away from the obligations of running one of the biggest cattle ranches in West Texas, Sutton puts her Dallas condo on the market, resigns her position from SP, packs the contents of her life into boxes, and heads for the one place filled with bittersweet memories—Paradise Ranch.
Will Sutton be able to handle the pressures of being the newly appointed cattle baroness, the rough and tumble men under her employ, and the temptation of a sexy mystery man? Or will walking in her grandmother’s matriarchal boots be too much to fill?
 
Here's an unedited excerpt:
     Not wanting to think about all the many projects awaiting me, I gave a few more rapid tugs to the cotton material of my shirt. I was successful in creating a breeze that flitted over my lips and nose. It wasn’t a cool one, but the movement of air against my face was better than nothing. I lay there in my misery a few more moments, until the low rumble of a thunderstorm threatened. I hoped for a downpour. A real gully-washer would put a much anticipated end to the drought.
     I sat up, and threw my legs over the bed. When my bare feet touched the wood planked floor, I stood, stretched, and grabbed my scarlet colored short-robe from the spindle, slipping the garment on, and made my way to one of the old wood clad windows that would be opening even if the tugging killed me, because the visualization of all things cold and frosty wasn’t cutting the mustard.
     As I tied the silky belt around my waist, hiding my torn T-shirt and white cotton panties I’d worn to bed, I moved the delicate curtain, one panel to each side. The swivel latch needed a bit of persuasion, but I finally managed to free the metal. With the window unlocked, I tried to lift the bottom. Stubbornly, the section skittered up the track. The outside air swooshed in, in a welcomed sensation across my neck and torso. Standing there, holding up the substantial weight of the window, I realized I needed something to keep it propped up. Reluctant to leave, but knowing I must, I put the window down and patted over to the desk, desperately looking for something to do the job.
     Dejected with the flimsy prospects I found, I turned on my heel and went to the closet where I remembered seeing a few encyclopedias gathering dust on the top of a box that had been packed away. I tugged on the string that turned on the harsh light in the closet, located a world encyclopedia, and smiled in superlative victory before yanking the dangling line swinging in front of my nose. With the bulb extinguished, I was armed and ready to combat the heat.
     With a careful balance of the book between my knees, I quickly tied a knot in the lace curtain, raising the material, then used both my hands to lift the window once more. A grunt or two later, I let one hand loose, grabbed the meaty book, and placed it on the window seal, letting the window down, until it hit, and stopped on the top edge of the encyclopedia. I stepped back, biting my bottom lip, wondering if my contraption would hold. When it did, I pumped a fist in the air. The breeze tickled my knees before I moved, going back to release the lacey curtain from the mangle I’d made of it.
     Knot free, I let loose of the rough material, watching it flutter into the room, and that’s when I noticed the orange glow, in the distance, outside. Eye’s narrowing; I gingerly moved one curtain panel aside a few inches and stared into the murky middle-ground of predawn and a stormy sky before I focused on the unmistakable burn, coming from the end of a cigarette.
     There, just off the edge of the side porch, knee bent, with the sole of his booted foot against the bark of the tree, someone, who I assumed must be one of the ranch-hands I hadn’t met yet was smoking. And, shirtless I noted. He wasn’t looking in my direction, but up, as if he were studying the sky. The perfect silhouette. When lighting crackled, the brilliance shot down the length of him. A snap shot. He casually flicked the butt to the ground, dropped his foot, stepped away from the tree, then with his boot-toe, crushed the remnant of the cigarette into the dirt.
     As the right side of his mouth quirked up, I frowned, wondering why he was smiling to himself. He took another step forward causing one side of his face to be cloaked within the secrets of shadow. He took another step, and I could see the well put together features of his handsome face. He had sharp cheekbones. A sturdy jaw. Inviting lips. I took in his mussed hair. The width of his shoulders. His biceps. Defined pectorals. Stomach muscles any body builder would kill for. Blue jeans—button fly.
     I looked at him as if I’d never seen a ruggedly sexy man before, but then again, perhaps I hadn’t.
     When his gaze met mine I knew he knew I was there, observing him. I froze like a deer in the headlights.
     He bobbed his chin at me. “Mornin’,” he said in a voice sweeter than apricots soaked in honey. “Looks like we might see some rain.”
     That was all. He turned around, and strode off with a walk of a confident man.
 For more Mid Week Tease:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Save a Tree Read an eBook

http://www.evernightpublishing.com

 
Celebrate Earth Day 2014!
Now is the time to save, save, save those greenbacks and buy the books you really want to read!
 
Today only Evernight Publishing will have ALL eBooks 50% off and that will include all titles from little ol' me :)
 
Catch up on a series you started, or start a new series by getting them all.
 
Have you met Winter & Austin yet? No? Well, what's stopping you?
 
 
http://www.evernightpublishing.com/products/Enchanted-by-London-Saint-James.html
 
“I loved the plot, the vivid imagery, the heart rendering emotions and the anything but generic cast that make up this book but these things are nothing new to us, they are the genetic makeup of this series.” TBR Reviwer - Luta Wolf
 
 
How about Trinity who fell hard for the fantasy of one man and the reality of another?
 
 

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-good-sister-part-one-by-london-saint-james/
 
“I am blown away by this book.I was drawn in from the beginning by this wounded girl and the man she fell for. It was a journey of the soul.” Urusla - Love Books
 
 
 
Whatever you are in the mood to read, I'm sure you will find it at Evernight.
 
Happy Earth Day!
Go forth and save a tree :)
 
XoXo
London
 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Titanic's Ondine by Jorja Lovett


I've always had a fascination with the Titanic. It probably has a lot to do with living so close to Belfast, where she was built. One of the great things about being a writer is you can pick any time, any place in which to set a story, so it was always on the hot list of topics I wanted to cover. As ever, my version of that fateful voyage had to have a paranormal twist, and some superhot sexy times!

Blurb:

Can a water nymph save her true love from the Titanic or are they both doomed forever?

Water nymph Madeleine has spent a lifetime searching for the human she can marry to become mortal. Finally, she finds true love with Joe Marlowe, but the romance is put on hold when he signs up as crew for the Titanic.

Joe never expects to see Maddy on board the ship but she's a welcome sight during the voyage. He knows she's keeping a secret from him but it doesn't diminish his love for her. They have the rest of their lives to discover each other. After an unforgettable night together in the Titanic's indoor pool he knows he's found the woman he wants to marry.

As the liner sails towards its fate, can Madeleine save Joe, and find her happy ever after?


Excerpt:

“I find the setting perfect for a romantic affair. Glamorous liners bound for faraway places, carrying young men with fire in their bellies. Why it’s enough to get any young lady’s pulse racing.” She ran a fingertip down his white shirt to distract him from his questioning. That slight contact with the man she loved was enough to start a fiery lust consuming her from the inside out.

“Madeleine—” The ragged manner in which Joe addressed her didn’t sound like a scolding, or an attempt to stop her.

“Shh!” A finger on his lips and a coy smile was all it took for him to discard his gentlemanly manners and let his passion take hold.

He was deceptively masterful in the seduction stakes. His firm lips staked their claim with a series of breath-taking kisses that almost made her mourn the time they had wasted thus far in their chaste courtship.

Crushed against the rough fabric of his jacket—Madeleine’s nipples hardened beneath the thin silk of her green dress—sensitized and begging to be noticed. Joe didn’t disappoint. He traced his thumb over one prominent peak. The simple over-the-clothing contact sent her body into raptures and generated an ache in her loins that she wanted him to remedy.

Her head told her to go carefully. He thought of her as a lady—pure and innocent—and not one to give herself away before her wedding night. But that other, sinful part of her wanted him regardless of the consequences. And that craving won out. She pressed herself closer to him until she was left with no doubt he felt the same. The ridged evidence in his trousers nestled into the skirts of her dress and she couldn’t stop herself from running her hand along the impressive length of him.

She half expected him to back away in shock or disgust. So when he took it one step further by cupping her breast firmly in his hand, her legs all but buckled beneath her. He scooped her breast from her dress, exposing it to the cool April air. Her pussy swelled with need. With each massage he gave her flesh, she came one step closer to nirvana, moaning as the moisture from her arousal soaked her skin and clothes.

Joe backed her away from the main walkway and pinned her against the wall of a ramshackle wooden building, creating a scenario Madeleine wouldn’t have believed  possible. Of course, she imagined her reserved Joe to be a considerate lover, but she hadn’t expected their explosive chemistry to lead them to the point of making love outdoors.

Joe lifted her skirts, skimming his hand along the tops of her stockings, and then grabbed her ass to pull her onto his still imprisoned cock. Driven by mounting impatience, Madeleine reached to undo the buttons of his trousers and take the next step in their relationship.

It turned out to be a step too far. Moments later, the strong arms around her pushed where they once pulled her to him. Joe wrenched his mouth away.

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me,” he pleaded, voice unsteady.

“You have nothing to apologize for,” she told him.

 Except, perhaps, being too chivalrous. One brief encounter with the saviour of her long-lost virtue wasn’t nearly enough, but she dared not raise his suspicions with further unladylike behaviour.

“You deserve more than a rushed fumble by the docks, Maddy. When the time comes, I want it to be something special, a memory to be cherished forever. Though I don’t know how I’ll get through these next weeks without even kissing you again.”

Joe rested his forehead against hers. His was beaded with sweat from the effort of his restraint.

Not on my account, she wanted to scream, but the moment had passed. She adjusted her clothes.

He behaved as though the last ten minutes had not happened and picked up the conversation regarding his departure. But all she wanted to do was move farther into his embrace, make this night last forever.

“Will you wave me off when I leave?”

As much as he deserved a teary farewell, she shook her head. “It’s not my place.”

She wouldn’t encroach on the intimate family moment which accompanied his every journey. That was their time. This was hers.

“Let’s say our goodbyes now.” Madeleine stood on tiptoe to offer up her lips.

This time, Joe’s kiss was a slow exploration mapping out the contours of her lips, as though he were memorizing her taste. That sensuous perusal finally eroded the jaded view she harboured for the male species. Joe didn’t demand, simply took what she willingly gave, and he returned it with love. He respected her, cherished her, and, for the first time in decades, Madeleine let herself trust.

* * * *

Available Now From TotallyBound, AllRomance, Amazon

General Release 18th April

Author Links:




Or Twitter: @jorjalovett

 

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Dom's Decision by Raven McAllan


A Dom's Decision
By
Raven McAllan
Series: Dommissimma, #2
Genre: Erotica, GLBT, Romance


Blurb

When is a Dom not a Dom? When it stops him from being with the man he loves…

Athol Donaldson lost many people in his life, his lover, his family, his twin. The latter loss seems hardly worth morning over. Affric caused nothing but trouble when alive, and now, he seems intent on causing trouble from beyond the grave.

It forces Athol to seek out the one man he's never forgotten.
Eden Murdoch has no intention of letting Athol slip through his fingers again. He's lost him once, and as they're forced to pull together to unravel the mystery surrounding the parentage of a teenage girl, their love for each other blossoms.

Surely, being Doms doesn't mean they can't compromise? Will they be able to work out their differences, and find lasting happiness, or will this blast from the past prove to be their final undoing?





Athol couldn't believe the rush of adrenalin that coursed through him. Every nerve end tingled. To know they just might be getting somewhere was so exhilarating, that one swipe of Edan's tongue anywhere on his body would make him come. Slight exaggeration, but not much. He swallowed and cleared his throat.
"Well we could do, but then seeing as I came up with the idea, do you want to go first?"
"Fuck first—talk later?" Edan smiled. "Sounds good. So strip. Stretch out on the bed and let's explore again."
That was jumping in with a vengeance. Was revisiting your first lover like riding a bicycle? Once done never forgotten? He'd soon find out.
Athol decided it felt strange to have Edan watching him as he undid his zipper and stroked it carefully down the sensitive skin of his prick. Edan's gaze was so intense, Athol's hands shook, as he held the metal away from his body. Foreskin in zip teeth wasn't a good omen.
"You going to reciprocate?" Athol asked as he inched his jeans and boxers over his cock. The head glistened with pre cum, and Edan's indrawn breath, told him more than words that the sight excited both of them.
"Who's the, ah fuck it, lets just both ask and receive, eh?" Edan toed off his shoes and undid his belt buckle in a hurry. "Last one naked loses the next decision."
Athol laughed as his shoes caught in his jeans as he tried to remove the clothes and not the footwear. It wasn’t possible, so with a quick check of where Edan stood, he grinned and pushed Edan. Edan whooped and fell onto the bed with his denims around his ankles. He waved his legs in the air.
"Cheat."
"Yeah." Athol jumped and landed on the bed next to Edan. He rolled over and grabbed Edan to hold him close, and thrust his tongue in between Edan's parted lips.
This kiss was different. As Edan's male, musky, scent surrounded him Athol knew tears were close. He'd missed this man as if a limb had been severed. His man his other half, was finally here with him.
But for how long? Athol pushed the thought away and concentrated on using his tongue to touch the inside of Edan's lips, and then stroke over the roof of Edan's mouth.
 Edan responded in an equally aggressive manner. His teeth grazed Athol's tongue and his lips sucked the flesh. Athol scrabbled for the waistband of Edan's half removed denims and shoved for all his worth, to get them away from Edan's body. In the back of his mind, he noticed Edan performed the same act with his, Athol's, jeans. How they managed without unlocking their lips Athol had no idea, and didn't care. All he desired was Edan naked and next to him.
Edan moved back, and the tiny few inches felt like the Grand Canyon with a force-eight gale to Athol.
"Shit, Ede, I need to feel you somehow. Make your mind up, for fuck's sake. What's going to happen next?" With a tremendous effort, Athol managed to shuck his shoes and jeans, thankful for the urge he'd had to go commando that morning.
"Bratty Dom." Edan gasped the words as his fingers fumbled with the hem of Athol's T-shirt. "Fuck, what's this stuck on?" He held Athol's T-shirt away from his torso.
"Hold on." Athol inched the material up and over his nipples. Edan's moan sent his cock into overdrive and his heart thudding. "Ah, you like?"
"Oh, I like." Edan ran his finger over the silver ring through Athol's right nipple. "How long have you had this?" He dipped his head and Athol about exploded as Edan circled the ring with his tongue and then tugged gently on it.
"Sh … er god, three, four, ah fuck, enough already. Let's do more. Condoms?"
"Con … Fuck, shit, and bollocks." Edan rolled onto his back and groaned.  His dick stood up long, hard and slicked with his pre-cum. "No, I've been celibate for so long they'd have shriveled up. You?"
Athol echoed the groan, and laughed softly. What he really wanted to do was cry and rail. Talk about serendipity—not. Was this his punishment for what happened all those years ago? Why on earth would he have thought he'd need rubbers? He'd been more concerned he might need a box to protect himself from a kick or a punch. "Don't talk daft. I'd forgotten what one looks like. Shit. Ah, well. Sixty-nine always was my favorite number. We're clean, and I trust you."
"And back." Edan shuffled round until his head nestled so close to Athol's cock Athol could feel his breath as it fanned over his heated skin. Athol grabbed Edan's ass and pulled him closer so he could put his lips on Edan's prick and give tiny little kisses along the length until he laved the head. With a mental sigh of pleasure, Athol pulled Edan's cock into his mouth and swirled his tongue over it. He enjoyed the salty taste, inhaled the musky male scent, and reveled in the moans and sighs Edan made.
A tug on his own cock sent his heat beat racing, and his skin pricked with arousal. He closed his eyes to let himself sink deeper into those beautiful sensations. It was nigh on impossible to groan with pleasure with a mouth full of wet cock, but Athol knew his shudder of pleasure reverberated into Edan. He nuzzled his head further into Edan's groin and grasped his ass even tighter. Edan reciprocated and together they began the nips and sucks of loving each other.
It wouldn't last long. He wouldn't last long. Athol had no illusions that he wouldn't be able to stave his climax off. Nor did he want to. The climbing emotion, the increasing heat, the shuddering, juddering emotions, and taut skin, embraced him, and he let them flow through him.






Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats—their children having flown the nest—surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.

She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland—the midge.

Her very understanding, and long-suffering DH, is used to his questions unanswered, the dust bunnies greeting him as he walks through the door, and rescuing burned offerings from the Aga. (And passing her a glass of wine as she types furiously.)







Almost a Bride by Sarah Mayberry #Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sarah will be awarding a digital copy of Almost a Bride to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

Tara Buck has always been the good sister, level-headed by comparison to Scarlett, her flaky, impulsive twin. But when Tara learns her fiancĂ© has been cheating on her with one of his school students, the orderly world she’s created for herself suddenly feels as if it’s falling apart. For years she chose the safe option, but from now on she’s going to live a little, stretch her wings…be a little daring. And if that means acting on the long-suppressed feelings she’s always had for Reid Dalton, then so be it!

Reid has wanted Tara from the moment he met her, but she’s always been out of bounds. Not only is she his patrol partner at the Bozeman PD, she’s also engaged. But then her relationship blows up, and Reid finds himself battling his own instinct to stake his claim with the finest, hottest woman he’s ever known.

Even if anything did happen between them, it would only ever be temporary - Reid’s a born wanderer, while Tara’s roots run deep in Marietta. So even if things are good between them, it seems their romance is destined to be short and sweet...

Tara’s twin sister, Scarlett, also has a Spring Brides story: look out for Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey. Details from montanabornbooks.com


Now enjoy an excerpt:

She pulled away, instinctively licking her lips to soothe them. Reid’s gaze followed the movement, and she was close enough to see his pupils dilate and his nostrils flare.

She went very still. And then she did something she’d been wanting to do for a very long time: she leaned close and kissed him, properly this time.

His mouth was warm, and she could taste the sweetness of the lemon meringue pie he’d had for dessert. She waited for him to respond, to do something, but he seemed to be waiting for something else. Something more.

Feeling bolder than bold, she ran her tongue along the closed seam of his lips, asking for entry. There was the smallest of pauses, then some of the tension went out of him as he opened to her, his tongue stroking hers, his mouth starting to move at last. His hands found her waist, his fingers gripping her warmly as his kiss became more demanding, more urgent.


Sarah Mayberry is the award-winning, best selling author of more than 30 novels. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. Sarah picked up a love of romance novels from both her grandmothers and has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing and Literature. It took her ten years and multiple attempts before her first book was accepted. During that time, Sarah worked in magazine publishing and the television industry, contributing to the internationally known Australian serial drama “Neighbours” and co-creating teen drama series “Karaoke High”. Sarah currently splits her time between writing for television and writing novels.

She lives in Melbourne by the bay with her husband and a small, furry Cavoodle called Max. When she isn’t writing, she loves reading, cooking, going to the movies and buying shoes.

www.sarahmayberry.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahMayberryAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MayberrySarah

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Mayberry/e/B001HMOSEY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1397177563&sr=1-2-ent

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/sarah-mayberry

Tule Publishing: http://tulepublishing.com/product-category/sarah-mayberry


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Entranced by Maddie James #Giveaway




 

 

Entranced by Maddie James

The Legend of Blackbeard’s Chalice, Book One

Time Travel | Paranormal | Romance | Suspense

 
 
 
Can souls touch through time and hold on when all odds are against them?                                                                                           

Claire Winslow vacations on an East Coast barrier island, content with her life and her potential future—until the illusion of a man walking the misty shore haunts her. Then one kiss—a beautiful, soulful, stolen kiss in the night—and her life changes forever.

 

Nearly 300 years past, Jack Porter is in hot pursuit of his kidnapped wife. Not an easy feat considering the year is 1718 and the kidnapper is the notorious pirate Blackbeard aka Edward Teach. Determined to rescue his wife and take the pirate’s head in the process, Jack steals aboard the pirate’s ship to save her.

 

Entranced sends Jack and Claire on a wild search through time, not only for the resolution to a powerful attraction between them, but also for a historical artifact that holds the key to their future happiness—the coveted silver-plated chalice made from Blackbeard’s skull.

 


Release Date: March 20, 2014

Category: Fiction > Romance > Paranormal > Time Travel

Heat Level: Sizzle

Length: Novel, @88,800 words

Series: The Legend of Blackbeards Chalice, Book One

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

ISBN: 978-1-62237-283-6

Ebook Price: $2.99 (Special Series First BookPricing)

 

 
An Excerpt…

Claire stared at the man staring back at her through the night mist. She blinked and then focused her gaze once more.

He was still there.

Her pulse quickened. Her heart hammered in her chest. Slowly, she stepped around the wooden rocker and silently crossed the porch to the entrance. Just to the right of the steps she stopped, placed her hand around the carved porch post and leaned into it, her cheek resting against its smooth and cool painted exterior. Her gaze never left his, and his followed hers as she moved. Inhaling deeply, the misty air hung heavy in her throat. Claire held her breath for a moment and then slowly and silently let it out, trying to clear her mind of the haze.

The nearly full moon provided a shaft of light, perfectly illuminating the man. Waves beat steadily against the shore behind him, an ever-present drone in her ears.

Funny, she thought. The sound used to drive her crazy, now it was barely noticeable. The wind pushed cloud cover in front of the moon’s beam and again she searched the night for a glimpse of him.

There! He’s closer. Definitely closer.

She jumped and fought panic. Her heart skipped a beat. The first night he had stood at the foot of the lighthouse, barely a specter against the illuminated white. The next night he’d ventured nearer, away from the lighthouse.

Now he stood barely twenty yards away, slowly walking toward her on the boarded walkway leading to the steps of her porch. An image of a man. A hologram of sorts.

A ghost? Her imagination run amok?

He fascinated her. Too far away—always too far away to see his eyes—but she knew they were black as pitch, rimmed with clear bright whites.

He stood tall, with his fists placed on either hip. His broad stance was solid, roped with muscle. His hair was long, silky, and as black as his eyes.

Soft.

She could feel the texture on her fingertips.

How? She didn’t even know what, or who, this man was. But she knew these things about him. Somehow.

He stepped forward. The night breeze ruffled his loose, white shirt, opened halfway down his chest. The wind lifted and swirled her silk nightgown around her legs, and she wondered if the sight of it aroused him, as the glimpse of his bare chest aroused her. She hugged the porch post as he took a step closer.

And then another.

Her spine prickled with fear as well as curiosity and anticipation.

Oh, God. He’s coming closer.

Claire locked her gaze with his, stepping away from the post and backing across the porch until her rear bumped into the screen door. He stopped and stared. Mesmerized by his gaze, she felt a mystical pull, some sort of power emanating from him, propelling her closer. That push-pull rivaled the fear she felt in her heart.

He took another step forward. With each step his body became more solid. More real.

Claire shifted sideways and grasped the cold doorknob behind her.

Too close.

A soft ocean breeze blew a dark strand of hair across the man’s face, and suddenly she felt compelled to stroke it from his eyes. She wanted to reach forward, caress his temple, peer into those dark eyes…. She released the doorknob and took a half step forward.

He stood still.

She stepped forward once more— But before she could continue, clouds passed in front of the moon, leaving her in total darkness.

She stood, waiting, the connection broken. Her chest heaved in anticipation. Her pulse raced. Her breathing came in short, shallow gulps. She waited, but when the wind-whipped clouds passed out of the moon-glow’s path, she saw that he had vanished. Nothing but empty black night filled the open space between her cottage and the lighthouse.

Nothing.

Had he ever really been there?

Claire shook her head and blinked. Without fear, and with her heart beating a rapid tattoo, she rushed off the porch steps, turning in circles, her eyes straining through the night, searching.

“Come back here!” she yelled. “Who are you?”

But the night swallowed her plea. Only the ocean winds heard her call.
 
 
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Whether writing traditional contemporary romance or building paranormal worlds, bestselling romance author, Maddie James, pens stories that frequently cross a variety of romantic sub-genres. Sweet or spicy, suspense or comedy, western or time-travel, her heroes and heroines always chase one thing—the happily-ever-after—whether they realize it or not!  
A Food Network junkie who plots the way she cooks—by the seat of her pants—Maddie always has a delicious end product in mind (and she always follows a secret recipe!).   
Her first book, THE WILD WEST, a Kensington Precious Gems romance, received a Calico Trails Cameo Award. RED: A SEDUCTION TALE, claimed first place as the Romance Book Scene's favorite novella of the year. A four time nominee for a CAPA/Psyche Award from The Romance Studio, Maddie’s books have received numerous 5 Star and Top Pick reviews. Her books have landed on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo top-selling lists, and she is frequently listed as a Top 100 Most Popular Contemporary Romance Author at Amazon.

Maddie is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and its Published Author Network (PAN), Louisville Romance Writers (LRWA), Novelists Inc. (NINC), Kentuckiana Authors, and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).

Visit Maddie's website: www.maddiejames.com


 
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Giveaway

Maddie is giving away a signed print copy of Entranced !

 

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