Monthly Archives: June 2016

Review of “Veronica Phoenix” and “Search for the Phoenix” – Jim Proctor


Carl Wilkins, a successful man with a thriving business, loses everything and has to start over from scratch. His dogged determination quickly deteriorates when he finds that even his reputation is gone. With barely enough money to buy a cheap bottle of booze, and no prospects for employment, things look bleak until he receives an unusual job offer from a stranger who turns up just as Carl hits rock bottom. The perilous space salvage job is more than just a chance to rebuild his broken life. It is also a chance to strike back at SACOM, the people who ruined him. Carl, the best space salvage operator in the star system, bets his life that he can complete the job. Setting out in the Phoenix, a specially modified space freighter, Carl begins a dangerous mission to find and collect missing cargo pods from the dense asteroid belt. Struggling to remain alive in the belt while avoiding detection by SACOM ships, Carl learns that he may have as much to fear from the people who hired him as he does from SACOM. His chance to rebuild his life turns into a desperate race across the galaxy in hopes of finding a safe haven where no one will ever find him.

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
If you enjoy books regarding space travel such as Firefly, then I think you’ve just found your next read. 
Veronica Phoenix will definitely please any bookworm who favors the sci-fi genre. 
There were bots, AI with holographic breasts, battle scenes, crashes, and much more. 
Interested yet?
Yeah, I bet I had you at holographic breasts. 🙂 JK
Speaking of Veronica/Billy (AI), five minutes alone with the AI and I’d be one bald momma due to pulling out all my lovely locks. After reading all their conversations, I can see why Carl found the AI infuriating to speak with. Its favorite word had to be “cannot”. 

After months alone together a ship, I’m surprised he didn’t go batshit crazy. 

Hell, I would’ve been one cranky chick over the food I had to consume. If you call goop in a squeeze tube food. Ok, I can get behind yogurt, applesauce, or pudding in a squeeze pouch but steak and eggs? That’s where I draw the line!! 

Before I wrap this up, I want to touch base on an edit related error. On page 57, in my print copy (supplied to me by Jim), John and Earl die first leaving Vince and Becca knocking on death’s door. Flip to page 59, Becca dies and Earl dies again. A minor editing oversight by Jim and his editor (Cynthia Shepp) but one I felt the need to mention to HIM and to YOU. 

FYI: He said he was going make the necessary changes so by the time you read this review it’ll be changed in the latest print editions and for your e-readers. Only those who’ve already purchased an old copy (prior to March 2016) will be affected with the wrong name usage. 

Besides that one hiccup, every detail seemed on point and, to that, I say good job Jim and Cynthia. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
Score: ❤❤❤❤




Fighting to remain one step ahead of SACOM, Nolan Peters and Megan Carson investigate the mysterious disappearance of their friend, Carl Wilkins. During the investigation, Nolan struggles with his growing affection for Megan, while she tries to cope with the recent death of her husband. Will the strain bring them together, or drive them apart?
When the pair uncovers evidence of a treasonous conspiracy that threatens the stability of all human worlds across the galaxy, they reluctantly put their trust in a SACOM investigator and a hard-nosed Army general to root out the conspirators. Will their trust prove to be their undoing… or prevent a galactic-scale military coup?




Anyone who loves or even likes science fiction books/movies a teeny wee bit will absolutely find pleasure in Search for the Phoenix. It made me long to kick back on the couch, with a huge bowl of popcorn, and binge watch my favorite scifi shows. It also made me wish food synthesizers weren’t only found in the land of make-believe. So inventors, hop to it and contact me to be your guinea pig because I’d happily put this invention to the test. 🙂
Besides this wicked cool product idea, I enjoyed the level of conspiracy, double-cross happenings and the chemistry between the various characters. 
One of my favorite interactions of the book didn’t happen between humans though. Strangely enough, it occurred between Nolan and the rats. When he shrieked, ran, and smacked his head against a large, water pipe, I laughed because I would’ve reacted the same way. Heck, ain’t no shame in showing fear or running away from a rodent. Those pests are scary! 


Now for the conspiracy, double-crossing aspects of the story, which made up a great portion of this creation, I’m going to quote Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith and say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”


Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤
I worked for decades as an engineer and laboratory scientist
while my wife and I raised our four children. I had wanted to write since high
school, and in early 2008 I began writing my first novel, publishing it in July
of 2012. I published my second novel later that same year.
In 2013, after realizing neither of my novels was of
publication quality, I unpublished them and spent several months re-evaluating
my priorities. I returned to writing later that year committed to making sure
each new book was as good as I could make it at the time, and determined to
improving my writing skills with each new book published.
Having finally found my found my writing voice, Veronica
Phoenix flowed to the page, as did its sequel, Search for the Phoenix. I am currently considering story ideas for my next novel.


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Review of “Lethal Tide” – CJ Matthew (CONTEST INCLUDED)



Dolphin shifter Conley Nash began his second three-year mission armed with a kick-ass agenda and an attitude to match. Since their team leader was killed, the men in SBW field ops have lost their nerve. Determined to restore the hard line, Conley can’t wait to show them how it’s done, facing down a greedy oil company in Long Beach. Until Conley meets his new partner…and finds his powers of persuasion need work.

First-time shifter Betty Brett can’t believe she finally made it into the male-centric field ops team. Since the first female agent was murdered, before Betty goes solo, she’ll spend four months teamed with an experienced operative. But did it have to be Conley? No matter how temptingly handsome he is, Betty refuses to take grief from a trigger-happy male and certainly not one whose knuckles drag the ground.

When the oil company resorts to violence protecting its illegal fracking operation, Conley finds himself out-gunned. Either he and Betty compromise, fast, or they’ll be dead before they can unravel the perplexing feelings they have for each other.

—–> Kindle Purchase Link <—–

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Dolphins are not the most popular shifters out there in the literary world, but CJ has once again constructed a story which is more memorable than most shifters stories I’ve read to date. 
The SBW missions do center around hazards to our water sources, a topic not so thrilling, but CJ has made the journey to the final showdown far from boring. 
It’s mostly due to the great cast of characters and their interactions with each other. 
A) River: the comedian. He had me in stitches in the scene with the cracked ribs.  I know you’ll be laughing when you read it, too. 
B) Seth: curious little neighbor boy and honorary “agent”. He earned his title because without his countless assists, they would’ve been up shit creek without a paddle. 
C) Conley: Alpha dolphin/shifter who learned the value of teamwork. Yup, there’s no I in TEAM.
D) Betty and Marina: two hot geekettes who proved guns weren’t always the best weapon of choice. Nope, sometimes it’s best to let your brain fight your battles for you. 
There are many more characters but I’ll stop there. 
Memorable moments:
1.) Chapter 14 – sex in the shower: Sex in the ocean as dolphins. Sex in the shower as humans. Makes no difference to dolphin shifters. Water is sensual whether on or off dry land. Am I right? 😉
2.) Chapter 21: River went to Taco Bell where the lovely Kam was his server. This section absolutely, positively made my day. <3
I could keep going on about what I liked about Lethal Tide, or I could just end my review with 3 simple words……

Buy Lethal Tide!! 

Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2
—–> Kindle Purchase Link <—–
Now that you’ve had a sneak peek at CJ Matthew’s hot new book, Lethal Tide (LT), WHO IS READY TO WIN?
Ladies and Gents, CJ is offering ONE LUCKY WINNER a stupendous prize package. 
In it, the winner will receive the following items: One SBW tall metal water bottle, a SIGNED PAPERBACK copy of Lethal Tide, a LT book mark, a fancy LT keychain, plus trinkets: which are little plastic dolphin key chains, temp. dolphin tattoo, dolphin stickers. 

And guess what? This amazing contest is open to anyone; no matter where you call home!! 

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below. 

So if you like paranormal tales (shifter books), then I encourage you to ENTER TODAY. 

You’ll have until WEDNESDAY (midnight, central time) to enter. THURSDAY morning, I will post the winner’s name and attempt to message you. Please follow the comment thread or come back on Thursday to see if you are the lucky recipient of this amazing prize package. 
Good luck!!!

CJ Matthew is the author of paranormal romance suspense series Dolphin Shore Shifters. Her debut novel, Blood Tide, features a pod of dolphins posing as humans that work through their oceanic conservation corporation Save Blue Water, based in Santa Barbara, California, to protect the oceans at any cost.

CJ grew up in an Air Force family that travelled all over the U.S. and around the world. She spent her high school and university years living in California, which inspired her love of marine life and the Pacific Ocean.

A member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) Romance Writers of America, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta. When she isn’t writing or reading romances, CJ likes to travel and to spend time with her two grown children, a brilliant grandson and a feisty cat named Max.

Website Link
Amazon author page
Goodreads author page


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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (Contest for “Blood Rage”)


Guess what ladies and gents, G.E. Stills is back on my blog with another hot release and a contest. For those who aren’t familiar with Mr. Stills, let me give you a brief overview of this talented author.

Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”
G.E. Stills heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories written. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author, his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction.
Most of his stories have action, adventure, and humor. Some of them are erotic and some are not, but all have romance. His paranormal stories involve witches, demons or vampires. You can find all of his books at his Amazon author page 


Gypsy Shadow’s Homepage
Hot Ink Books Homepage
Personal Facebook Page



Exploring caves by day, then partying and romancing all night with her all male team members, is a dream come true for Mia. After all, what more could a woman ask for than her choice of four handsome, muscular men who all adore her. Things are about to change for her, because an ancient evil awaits the team in the final cave they explore. This evil will rip her world apart.

Kindle Purchase Link
Paperback Link


Their comical
banter ceased. In front of her, Bret climbed to his knees and stood. His feet
moved to the side, out of her view. She joined him and stood. One by one, the
rest of the team entered the chamber and climbed to their feet. Bret removed
one of the glow sticks, activated it, and held it aloft. It provided additional
illumination in the large chamber. Shane played out rope from the coil he
carried, allowing them to spread out while remaining linked. They moved apart,
testing each step before putting full weight on that foot. It wouldn’t be the
first time the floor had caved-in out from under one of them.     
“What the
hell is that?” Efren pointed across the room and all of them approached.
“What is a
wooden door doing down here?” Shane asked.
While Bret held
the glow stick high, Nash knelt in front of the door for closer inspection. A
wooden plank stretched across it, with two metal U-shaped brackets holding it
affixed to the rest of the door. The ends of the plank went through two
additional brackets secured to the rock wall. There were the rotted remains of
ropes that had additionally held the plank in place.
removed from this side,” Nash said, “and impossible to open from the
other side.”
“Which leads
me to wonder what was imprisoned on the other side,” Bret mused.
“One way to
find out,” Nash said. With Efren’s help, he lifted the plank from its
brackets. The massive door hinges groaned when Nash pushed it open.
The tunnel beyond
was obviously manmade and large enough to walk through erect. The team
proceeded. After a few yards, the tunnel ended in another chamber, this one
much smaller, room-sized. Three human skeletons lay in one corner.
“Is that what
it looks like?” Efren asked and pointed to the metal box across the room
resting on the floor and against the wall.
The team crossed
the room and Shane knelt beside it. “It looks like a damn coffin.”
The hinges
squealed in protest when Shane pried the lid open. Mia looked down in shock.
Instead of bones, or the half-rotted corpse that she’d expected to see, the
body inside was so life-like she expected him to open his eyes at any moment.
Nash swore when he cut his hand on a jagged part of the casket. Blood welled up
on his palm and dripped down onto the corpse. Two drops touched its lips. The
man’s eyes snapped open. His irises were grey, circled by red. He blurred into
action so fast her mind couldn’t absorb it. The next thing she knew, she was
flying through the air. At the same time, she heard screams and shouts. She
collided with the rock wall and slid to the floor. She closed her eyes and
passed out.
Mia woke to awful
pain. She opened her eyes, but it was just as black as when they were closed.
She couldn’t move her left arm or right leg, and her head felt like it was on
fire. She reached up with her good hand, and first discovered her helmet was
missing. When she pulled her hand from the back of her head, it came away
What happened?
she called out to each member in turn. “I’m hurt. Hurt bad. I think one of
my arms and legs are broken and I have a bad laceration on the back of my head.
Maybe a concussion.”     
Only silence
greeted her. She listened intently for any sound of breathing, both in the room
and over her earbud.
She felt her tool
belt then groped the floor around her, searching for her spare flashlight.
“Damn,” she said when she was unable to locate it. Her ears perked
when she heard a noise in the dark. “Is that you, Bret?” she asked.
“Anyone? I’m over here.”
The sound grew
louder, like wet bare feet slapping on a tile floor. A strange voice just
inches in front of her face whispered, “I’m here.”
Putrid breath
assailed her nostrils. A hand twined in her hair and snapped her head to the
side. Another hand pressed against her chest, pinning her back against the rock
wall behind her.
“Ouch. You’re hurting me. Whoever you are, don’t be so
G. E. Stills and I really hope you enjoyed the excerpt from his latest creation. If you did, we’d love to hear from you. As a thank you for leaving him (us) a comment or question, you’ll be eligible to win a 

So, my lovely, followers, drop us a line below and put your name in the hat to win some Amazon moolah. 🙂

Contest ends Monday at 11:59 p.m. (central time). 
Winner selected Tuesday and their name will be posted on a comment so make sure and follow the thread. 

Good Luck!! 



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Author Showcase / Interview and Review of “Sinful Surrender” – Houston Havens

Welcome, Houston Havens!!
1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(HoustonI’ve always been a writer at heart…but I feel I got my “real” start in the business when I had
an unexpected meeting with Acquisitions Editor Tracy Farrell at Harlequin. I wasn’t a Harlequin kind of writer, but I pitched her because a friend told me too. I was surprised when Mrs. Farrell asked for the first three chapters of my book. So, naturally I sent them. As expected, she sent me a rejection letter, but it’s what she said that gave me the “start” I needed, and made me the writer I am today.
Her words told me what I as an unpublished writer needed to know…it’s the day I became an AUTHOR in my mind, not just a writer. Mrs. Farrell’s letter said, “I will say that I never encourage any writer whom I don’t think has talent…keep writing.”
In my mind, this was my “start” as an author. I’ll forever be grateful to Mrs. Tracy Farrell. I will say, even after my first book – Sinful Surrender hit bestseller 6 days after it was released…I didn’t FEEL like an author until I held a print copy in my hands…
2.  All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(Houston) I write through it, even when I know I’ll delete everything I wrote and go in another direction the next day…somewhere in what I write I find the crumb I need to see where the story needs to go. When that fails I talk it through with my friend Elaine and she suggests where she thinks I should be going…and
she’s usually right.  ;-D
3. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Houston) LOL…when I’m not writing I’m sleeping for those four or five hours, then I get back up and start work (writing).
4. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Houston) Everyone knows I write and what genre’s I write…all are very encouraging.
5. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Houston) OMG this is like thanking people at the Oscar awards and if you don’t say someone’s name or mention it at the top of your thank you list they get insulted – so I’m going to keep my favorite authors to myself. That said, I will tell you the last book I read and really enjoyed was by Kayelle Allen she’ll be releasing that book soon…and you’ll love it!
6. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(HoustonI would love to see my book Sinful Surrender Book one of the Psychic Menage Series on the big screen…because of the many worlds within the story, it would make an awesome film…many of my reviewers have said the same thing. It’s a very visual world I’ve created. Each book introduces the reader to
another one of the worlds.
7. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Houston) Ok *leaning in to whisper* I’ve got a box set book coming out soon but because I had to leave the sex scenes out I’m not telling anyone that it’s a book that’s connected to my Psychic Menage series….it’s about the very beginning and how the world in the Psychic Menage series came to be. Once it’s out of the box set,
I’ll add the sex scenes and Promo it as such. *Leans back up for everyone else to hear*. I’m working on book five of the Psychic Menage series and a box set book. * {:-D *
8. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Houston) You can find them at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Goodreads 
Print books can be bought at
The reading order of my Psychic Menage Series is:
9. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
10. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Houston) I’d tell those who haven’t read any of my books not to hesitate to give me a try. Don’t be put off by the genre(s) this series is listed under because this story can’t really fall under any true genre…I’ve had many reviewers who weren’t looking forward to reading this “scifi” series as there were those who didn’t want to read “another” menage…each of them were surprised by this series and glad they read my books, because I’ve done
something very different then what you’ll find in any of these genre…so, dare to give me a try.
If anyone would like to keep track of what I’m doing they can join my VIP Lounge  new members will get two free book for becoming members. Here is the link for that.
Thank you Kam for the interview. I hope your readers enjoyed our time together, I know I did.
Ladies and Gents, I hope you enjoyed my interview with Houston Havens. If you have any questions or comments for Houston Havens, by all means, leave her a message below. Thank you in advance for your visit! 

However before you do, keep scrolling to check out my review of “Sinful Surrender” and a glimpse into the rest of the Psychic Menage series. 
Top psychic spy Fay Avalon saw too much on her latest mind traveling mission and is now on the run from her post-catastrophic dystopian government, searching for the truth and proof. She escapes but is shot down, landing in the arms of the enemy.

In Drakker and Arlo’s world, women are so rare the men have accepted a polyandrous lifestyle. When the brothers stumble upon Fay unconscious in the wreckage of an aircraft, they are immediately attracted to her. Arlo wants to keep her, but Drakker knows they can’t. They must take her to their brother Logan Abán, leader of their people.

Logan struggles with trusting anyone, even himself. When a beautiful, intelligent, and intriguing woman falls into their laps, his denied desires for intimacy challenge his need to trust the spy. He’s frustrated by romantic Arlo’s claims of her innocence. When pragmatic and dominating Drakker defends her as well, Logan refuses to trust his gut.

Can one woman satisfy the diverse desires of three men? Will Logan’s fears be realized by betrayal? Is Fay to be sentenced to death as a spy, suffer a fate worse than death by being returned to her government as a traitor, or will she find a new life and love as the wife of three sexy brothers?

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
First, I want to note you shouldn’t bypass the prologue because I think the terminology is most beneficial to the reader. Don’t fret if you can’t remember it all — consider it a cheat sheet and peek at it as often as you like. 🙂
Now onto my critique…..
Before Sinful Surrender, I admit, I never before heard of Houston Havens. Man, I was missing out on one fabulous, kinky, multi-layered author. I say multi-layered because she had the ability to bring the heat, in and off the battlefield. What I wouldn’t give for a designer to help bring certain aspects of SS to life. For me, this book was a combination of Terminator (robots – battles), Divergent/Insurgent (different class of people), and 50 Shades of Grey – if 50 Shades was about 1000 times kinkier. Maybe a million. Sorry E.L. James but, between you and HH, Houston wins the “Panty Pleasing” award. 😉
Now about that kinkery……
Fay had sex (made love) to the three men together, two at a time, and then one-on-one. 
When it was just her and Drakker or her and Drakker/Logan, they were in a parallel reality. Basically, it’s a no-holds bar, anything goes arena. And folks, anything and everything happened there. Truth be told, Fay wasn’t the only one who needed to cool off. I was feeling rather hot and bothered, too. 
I must note I did have one issue with the parallel reality scenes. I didn’t mind what they did there. No, that was hot as hell. However, I had issue with her use of the word “boobies” — in each heated encounter. For me, when you are using X-rated word choices such as cock and pussy, boobies seems like an adolescent word choice. IMHO, breasts would’ve made a better choice. 
Speaking of breasts….. 
Arlo, Logan, and Drakker really stepped up their game when Fay was ashamed/sickened by her scars. They proved to her it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, it’s a person’s heart – their character – their courage that define them. Fay, she was the ultimate heroine. A most memorable character! 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤






Mind traveler Chandra Lamar is on the run, not only from her post-catastrophic dystopian government but from a past she can’t remember. A psychic vision pushes her to recall her purpose for being, but it’s a ghost that awakens her desires for a life she fears she’ll never have. Both push her to remember the past because it threatens what she wants in the now; the Nodin men.

Andonis Nodin battles to accept his failures. The heavy burden nearly breaks him when he can’t save a loved one from the grim reaper’s grip and questions his desire for Chandra, the woman he blames for the death around him.

Nikias finds true love with Chandra in his arms, but is desperate to stop her from seeking revenge on a mission he knows is a one way trip.

Ortello knows for them to recapture the love they once felt for each other, he must be willing to let her go. But overcoming his obsession to make Chandra his and his alone isn’t easy.

Will Chandra go through with the vengeance in her heart or give it up for love? Who is the powerful woman in her haunting visions and will those revealing apparitions crumble her world with the Nodin clan? Does Chandra find true love in the arms of the Nodin men or does her Phantom Desire forever own her heart?



Daughter of the Dirt Dweller’s ruler; Tessla Reto attempts to escape the Underworld after the mysterious disappearance of her best friend. She knows her untimely death is also near if her father, Landen Reto discovers her part in forming the rebels to fight against him. The two men sent to help her get away are killed and she’s rescued by a handsome stranger…or is she?

Faerydae returns to Earth in search of an inner peace his soul can’t find after the death of his friend Chandra Lamar. Instead, he finds himself in an unplanned rescue of a woman that stirs everything he’s fought a lifetime to deny. Can Faerydae stay focused on his goal to expose his past and true Fae bloodline, or will destiny play her hand?

Shomar’s uncomplicated world is tossed asunder when his best friend, Faerydae, shows up with a stray puppy and a woman who steals the heart of his soul the moment he looks at her. Only to discover Faerydae and the woman claim they can’t stand each other, yet his intuition tells him otherwise. Will Shomar be able to win the woman of his dreams or will Faerydae always have her heart?

Will Tessla find her freedom? Will Faerydae keep his, or will Shomar succeed in his plan to expose them to their hidden ecstasy?


Kindise Wyatt escapes her Star Rider captor and returns to Earth. With the help of a sexy Old World Mole and his mysterious friend, she’s determined to uncover the whereabouts of her lover. Instead, she finds nothing but betrayal and her captor in pursuit.

On the lam after betraying his evil ruler, ex-Dirt Dweller and drifter Jaden Valenti confirms his name is on a hit list. Finding what he believes will be safety amongst the Airbornes, he recreates himself and hides his past until trouble walks back into his life in the name of Kindise Wyatt, the woman he was ordered to assassinate and didn’t.

Due to the obsessions of a Fae woman Sori gave up his hardearned royal title and left his homeland of Elfame. Love is the furthest thing from his mind until he is sent in Jaden’s place to pick-up some cargo…human cargo in the form Kindise Wyatt. He feels the Fae magnetism of his soulmate in her. Problem is; she’s in love with someone else.

Will Jaden fulfill his orders to kill Kindise and get his name removed from the list, or will his secret be exposed and betray the friendship he has with Sori? Does Sori help Kindise find her lover, or will a love between them have a chance to flourish before a fatal attraction and a determined captor rip their love asunder? Will Kindise find true love or will betrayals at every turn crush the fight out of her? Can she find her inner strengths to keep fighting and lead The Freedom Fighters to defeat the Dirt Dweller elites, once and for all?



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Author Showcase – Carol Rose (Swaggered)

Before you get a peak at Swaggered (Blue Collar Boys, Book 3), please read the special note from Carol Rose to all of you. 


An Audacious Romance Hero


I know this isn’t true for everyone, but I find audacious, teasing, funny heroes sexy. I like men who make me laugh. My beloved (of too many years to mention) has this ability and he has said that he thinks this is why I’m with him. He’s not totally wrong. The man is hot, but so engaging and playful that I’ve always had a thing for him.

            My hero in Swaggered(Blue Collar Boys, Book 3) has this ability and when he initially came to me he was as charming as George Clooney, only a tad younger. Of all the three brothers who do architectural salvage together, Tyler Thompson has the murkiest background and some of the darkest fears. He was abandoned by his biological father and drug-using mother and lovingly adopted into the Thompson clan as a teenager.

            His is perhaps the strangest path to happiness in that he’s drawn into a sudden marriage by a woman he’s long had a yen for. Amanda Sinclair has directed the office at his family’s Scruffy Boys Architectural Salvage yard for several years, but she’s always been cautious of flashy, outgoing womanizer Tyler. When she marries him in a weakened, unbeknownst-to-him-drunken state, they end up having to deal with each other in ways she’d never have expected.

            I loved writing the Blue Collar Boys heroes because I’ve always had a thing for men who work with their hands, as well as, their heads. This may appear strange because both my beloved and I are therapists who have advanced degrees. Seems like we’d just be good with working with our heads, but I fell for him when we worked side-by-side on physical projects as teens.

            He’s really good with his hands…if you know what I mean.

            Check out Swaggered(Blue Collar Boys, Bk 3). I hope you love it as much as I do.


Tyler woke slowly, swimming up from unconsciousness, aware of sunlight from somewhere, playing against his closed eyelids. He never woke up well and he’d learned to let it happen in increments. As he surfaced against the heaviness pulling him back to sleep, he became conscious of a comfortable bed under him and the warm pressure of—

A soft shriek close to his left ear, swiftly followed by a gasp, snapped his eyes open. He was always blurry at this point, but he immediately recognized a few things. He was in a barely-familiar hotel room…in Las Vegas, he thought, for his brother Noah’s wedding to Natalie…and a very warm and sexy Amanda was in bed with him.

A very naked, sexy and agitated Amanda was in bed beside him, now holding a sheet clutched to her beautiful chest like a shield.

“Oh. My. God! Tyler, wake up!” Her brown eyes squinted against the light.

“I’m awake. I’m awake.” He struggled to pull himself upright against the pillow, blinking as his brain waves shifted.

“Tyler!” Amanda moved on the bed next to him, bouncing the mattress.

He stuck out a hand. “Can you just sit still for a moment and stop yelling, so I can wake up?”

“No!” She did say this in a more moderate tone, however, bending to cradle her tousled head in her hands, her shoulder-length brown hair sticking out in odd directions. “What are we doing here? Oh-my-god, oh-my-god. My head is killing me and I think I’m going to be sick.”

Looking around his side of the bed, Tyler found a waste basket. “Here. Use this.”

“Are you crazy?” she moaned, throwing her legs off the bed, the sheet still clutched to her chest. “I’m not throwing up right here in front of you. I need the bathroom.”

Coming more fully awake, Tyler couldn’t help grinning. “If you’re planning on taking that sheet with you, you should be aware that I think I’m naked under here. You might get to see my morning glory, if you get what I mean.”

Amanda shrieked again softly, throwing her hand up to blinker one side of her vision as she continued climbing out of the king-sized bed. “Don’t come over here!”

“I’m not going anywhere.” He tucked his hands behind his head. “Take the sheet if you want it.”

Suddenly, she stopped tugging at the sheet and stood next to the bed with her right hand shielding her eyes from seeing him and her left hand lifted in front of her. She seemed frozen.

In a jerky movement, she stuck her left hand out in front of him, turning to glare at Tyler. “Tell me what’s on this hand. There is—there is a ring on my finger! Look at this!”

“Yes.” He blinked, still trying to clear the sleep fog from his brain. “Yes, there is.”

Tyler couldn’t help grinning.

“Looks like a wedding ring to me, Honey.” Reaching out, he rolled forward on the bed to take her outstretched hand in his as much for the contact as anything else, he studied the rock on her third finger. “Nice one, too.”

“A ring with a huge rock!”

He looked down at the ring. “I don’t know. I don’t think it looks over-sized. It’s what? About two carats?”

“What!” She looked at him in shock, snatching back her left hand.  

“Tyler! I. Am. Not. Married!” she shrieked and then cringed, holding her head, saying in a whisper, “At least I wasn’t yesterday.”

He shoved his hand behind the wrinkled sheets. If she’d noticed, he wore a matching band on his finger. “Looks like you are now.”

Tyler met her stricken gaze, his stomach plummeting at the look in her fine brown eyes as apparently the reality of their actions sunk in. In that moment, he knew Amanda didn’t feel as excited as he did about their marriage. Even the $15,000 ring didn’t brighten her eyes.

She clutched her midsection then and started dragging again at the sheet. With awkward moments that were hampered by her trying to pull the tucked-in sheet from under the cover on the bed, she lurched backwards. Finally, she wheeled around awkwardly, the sheet winding around her delicious body.

“Girl—“ He cleared his throat. “Girl, just go to the bathroom. You don’t have anything that I haven’t seen.” That one stricken look on her face told him the road was rocky ahead and he knew better than to say how recently he’d seen the gorgeous curves under her sheet.

Just then, Amanda moaned again, stumbling back a few steps as the sheet came free. Turning she ran to the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her.

Trying to ignore her retching sounds like a gentleman, Tyler got off the bed and started searching for his clothes. He didn’t think she wanted to come out to find him sprawled naked on the bed. Despite her clear distress at the wedding ring on her finger, he grinned at the thought of it. Set up identical to the one he’d checked into two days ago, this was Amanda’s room. He hadn’t been wasted when they headed back here for fun time and her stuff was scattered around the room.

In a far corner, he found his boxers, while his jeans had ended up straddling a chair by the table.

After pulling on his jeans, he went over to the closed bathroom door. Leaning in, he thought he heard her sniffling. “Amanda, honey. Are you okay?”

The bathroom door opened rapidly and he straightened, unable to stop the smile that spread across his face. Even like this, hungover with her hair messy, he loved waking up to Amanda.

“No,” she snapped, her brown eyes bloodshot and damp. “I feel like hell. Is there some water out there? My mouth is dry and my head is pounding.”

“Sure. Let me get you some.” He went over to the mini-fridge, pulling out a bottle of water.

Having staggered out of the bathroom with the sheet still wrapped around her like a toga, Amanda sank down on the foot of the bed. She took the bottle he handed her, cracking it open and taking a swallow.

Tyler stood watching her, not sure what came next.

Heaving a shuddering breath, she met his gaze like a woman facing up to her mistakes. “Did we, uh, spend the night together? I remember–”

Knowing the road ahead would probably be rocky, he squatted down next to her. “Yes. Yes, we did.”

Amanda closed her eyes as if to gather herself. “I don’t remember…everything, but…this wasn’t a platonic sleepover, was it?”

“No. It wasn’t.” It didn’t do much for a man’s ego that she seemed so shattered by the fact.

Opening her eyes, she started slowly shaking her head. “I wasted my college years. I spent all my time studying and working.”

He couldn’t help smiling at this. “What? Why?”

“If I’d partied more, I would have built up more of a tolerance to handle alcohol.” Amanda stared ahead of her, her face locked in self-recrimination.

He lifted his head to her accusing glare, volunteering, “There’s a marriage license over on the table.”

Her head snapped in the direction of the table and she gulped in air. “No. Oh, no.”

Leaning forward, Tyler looked at her in concern. “Amanda?”

“Who’s…? Who does it say I married?”

Standing up, he went over to the table, lifting the stiff legal document decorated with elaborate printed flowers. Tyler turned back to her, knowing his disappointment and hurt probably showed on his face. “You really don’t remember?”

“Just tell me!” She wailed softly, her hand bracing her head as if she thought it might fall off.

“You know who. Me, Amanda. You married me. We are…married.” It had been pretty much one of the best nights of his life, but he clearly couldn’t say that to her at this moment.

Jumping up, she clutched at her stomach again, wailing, “This can’t be happening! I can’t—we can’t— I need to—“

Watching in concern, he saw her lunge again toward the rest room in her makeshift toga, pausing only to snag her purse from the low chest that held a television.

Tyler watched her. “Honey, are you hyper-ventilating? Do you need a paper bag to breathe into?”

Slamming the bathroom door behind her, Amanda reached over to turn on the sink faucet, letting the water rush out to cover any noise before she knelt on the cold tile floor in front of the toilet and retched into the ceramic bowl, fumbling in a frenzy to raise the seat. In a few moments, she lay back on the hard floor, promising heaven she’d never over-drink again. When she could think again—her stomach no longer wrenching inside her for the moment—she groped for her abandoned purse and gingerly fished out her phone.

She’d never done such a stupid, insane thing in her life. Married! And to a sexy, hot, man-whore like Tyler?! What was wrong with her? Why did she keep getting with men who couldn’t be faithful to one woman? After the last debacle, she’d promised herself she’d pick a better man next time. A man who knew not to drop his pants for every woman he met. Not a guy like Tyler.

Fumbling to find the phone icon, she scrolled past her brother’s number and those of her parents, shuddering at the thought of confessing this to her family—God, she’d not only gotten blind drunk, but when in that condition, she’d apparently married a sexed up, hotter-than-a-man-should-be, outright dog.

Tyler. Random snatches of memory floated into her brain then—the two of them lost in panting, straining…terrific sex. Amanda closed her eyes in shame, the memories spilling through her head. She’d ridden him like the stallion he resembled. And she’d really, really…really enjoyed doing it.

After years of giving him hell for sleeping with everyone from a college professor to a woman he’d met at a convenience store, she’d let herself get into the condition where she’d actually married him. Not just had sex with him, which would have been more acceptable considering the sex dreams she’d had about him before.

And he’d certainly lived up to those…



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