Monthly Archives: July 2019

Authors: Get Inspired with July’s Sensational Selections!

 

 

 

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Author Showcase – Laura M. Baird (Fantasies Abound: Awakened Desires Book 2)

Print Length: 79 pages

 

For the past seven years, straight-laced Sable Stephenson has been dedicated to her studies, leaving little time for pleasure. Even with graduation in sight, her drive begins to falter, so she accepts a friend’s suggestion for a carefree Spring Break to clear the cobwebs. A little dancing, a few drinks…she’d be back on track in no time. But falling for sexy club owner Tomas Mancini isn’t part of the deal. He’s fourteen years her senior and a Dom, yet he arouses fantasies she’s never even dreamed of. One night of passion turns to more, and Sable must decide if she can handle the kink in her plans for the future or if it will lead her down the perfect path.

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~~ Excerpt ~~

 

As Sable watched others, she felt herself being swept up in the sensual atmosphere, moving her body seductively.

At one point, she closed her eyes and raised her arms, allowing the music to become her partner.  The rhythm flowed through her body, moving her at its will.  Her skin heated, tingled, and she felt her nipples pebble in excitement as a sheen of sweat began to form. 

Song after song played, and Sable lost track of time, just enjoying the here and now.  Glancing around, she admired the various dress and masks of the patrons.  

How could something as simple as covering your face enable you to become another person and act completely out of character?  She smiled to herself and closed her eyes once again, letting the music guide her.   

Suddenly warmth engulfed her backside as a body moved close to hers.  While she should have been startled, she felt aroused and excited as she instantly recognized Tomas’s cologne.  It was as unique and memorable as the man himself.  It was intoxicating.

As images from her dream came to mind, she wondered if they had been a premonition of what was to come. 
His fingers ghosted along her raised arms and continued down her side until his hands landed gently yet commandingly on her hips.  As his chest pressed into her back, his mouth perched next to her right ear and whispered seductively to her.

“Il mio angelo, sei bellissima.”

Sable knew enough to recognize angel and beautiful.  She nearly whimpered at his words, thinking how sexy he sounded; how they made her feel sexy.  Her body moved against his as her hands found their way to the back of his head.  She realized he wore no mask as she threaded her fingers in his hair, holding him in place while he gave attention to her neck.  Nibbles with his lips and scrapes with his teeth set her aflame.  She leaned against his shoulder as she let out a moan.

“Three days, bella.  Tre giorni, Io sono pazzo di desiderio.  I am crazy with desire for you.”

“Tomas.”  His name escaped on a sigh as she melted further into him.

“Three days I have held back when I have wanted you from the start.  You tempt me, bewitch me; sei magnifico.

“I, I don’t know you…”

“You will, cara mia, you will.”

Sable’s mind went blank, pushing aside rational thought to only feel.  She might not know Tomas, but somehow she knew he’d never hurt her.  He’d only give her pleasure.  Perhaps Devyn was right, and she needed this, if only for right now.

All Sable could think about was letting go of her careful control and allowing someone else to take the reins.  She may not know what tomorrow would bring, or even next week, but tonight wasn’t about then.  It was about this moment.

When Sable tried to turn in Tomas’s arms, he held her to him, his hands linking with hers and bringing them down to their sides.  Once again he whispered in her ear.

“Let me hold you like this a moment longer while we dance.  Let everyone see your beauty, and envy me, because I am the one who has you in his arms.”

“You flatter me, Tomas.”  She began to shake her head and deny his words.  “I—”

“Shh shh, do not doubt what I say.  You are marvelous; meravigliosa, and I am honored to have your trust.”  He then spun her around, bringing their chests together as he stared down at her with such longing, she wondered if she was reading him correctly.  “Do I have your trust, Sable?”

She grinned as she answered.  “Si, bello.”

And just like that, Tomas’s eyes darkened as a smile took shape on those sinful lips.  Lips Sable wanted on hers, but settled for them landing on her cheek.  For now.

“Perfetto.”

One hand held hers to his chest while the other pressed into the small of her back, keeping her close as they swayed to the slow music.  Sable felt comfort, she felt protected, but she also felt empowered to do what she never imagined she’d ever do.  She was considering letting herself go and giving in to this urge to be with Tomas. 

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~~ Don’t forget to check out book one in the series, Resort Virgins! ~~ 

Print Length: 56 pages

After twenty-five years of marriage, Violet and Max agree their vanilla sex life needs a little spice. Spending their anniversary at a tropical fantasy resort just might open the door to a new love life and bring them closer together. But engaging in pleasure with another couple produces different results for each of them, and unleashed desires could do more harm than good and ruin their marriage after all.

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I’m a voracious reader myself, hoping to bring you years of joyous and thought-provoking stories filled with excitement and fun; sexy romance, laughter, and emotion. 

Hubby and I enjoy watching our grown sons walk their path into adulthood. We’re always up for an adventure, and hope to one day fill our passports with stamps from Canada, Scotland, and Fiji. 

I love to engage with readers and writers, please contact me through any of the following social network links.

 

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Review of “Touch of Smoke” – Karissa Laurel

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

About ½ way through Touch of Smoke and my mind was teeming with questions.

How did Nina die?

What was Owen’s part in Nina’s death?

What’s up with Rikki’s nightmares?

How can Owen afford everything he’s buying?

Who’s the mystery man in the black ball cap, polo shirt and khaki shorts?

I had many more questions and I needed answers. I wanted to know more about Rikki’s life — past, present and future. And it wasn’t just Rikki’s story that I wanted to know more about. Was Owen a good guy or was he a sheep in wolf’s clothing. I pressed on to the 2nd half of Touch of Smoke, looking forward to getting some answers.

 

In the 2nd half of Touch of Smoke, I got most of my answers. Owen finally opened up and told Rikki his deep, dark secret. A secret I won’t share because it would reveal too much about the plot.

I will admit that Rikki did annoy me at times except during the battle scene. During that section, she impressed me and then I thought…. Maybe this chick is all right after all.

As for Owen: I loved him, from first introduction to the very last page. As the legendary Salt-N-Pepa would say…

 

What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man
Gotta say it again now
What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man
He’s a mighty mighty good man

 

Technically, Owen is more than just a man BUT to learn more you must purchase a copy and find out for yourself!

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

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Author Showcase – Judith Sterling (Flight of the Raven)

How eager would the bridegroom be if he knew he could never bed the bride? 

Lady Emma of Ravenwood Keep is prepared to give Sir William l’Orage land, wealth, and her hand in marriage. But her virginity? Not unless he loves her. The curse that claimed her mother is clear: unless a Ravenwood heir is conceived in love, the mother will die in childbirth. Emma is determined to dodge the curse. Then William arrives, brandishing raw sensuality which dares her to explore her own.

William the Storm isn’t a man to be gainsaid. He’ll give her protection, loyalty, and as much tenderness as he can muster. But malignant memories quell the mere thought of love. To him, the curse is codswallop. He plans a seduction to breach Emma’s fears and raze her objections. What follows is a test of wills and an affirmation of the power of love.

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            Toasts abounded, and the music soared. Yet Emma’s gaze kept straying to the gold ring on her finger. ʼTwas tangible proof she was a married woman, the property of William l’Orage. Soon, in the bedchamber they would share, she’d discover exactly what that meant.

            She shuddered. Would he understand her predicament? He might laugh. He might even force her to betray her sense of self-preservation. ʼTwas his right, and she’d said the words: “to be bonny and buxom in bed and at board.” The board she could handle; bed was another matter.

            Still, there were moments during the ceremony when he seemed softer somehow. When she entered the chapel, the look in his eyes stole her breath. It implied approval, pride.

            And desire.

            For the second time in as many minutes, she shivered. She looked to the high, vaulted ceiling and twisted her wedding band.

            “Cold again?” her husband asked. The low, rich timber of his voice was seductive and becoming all too familiar.

            She dropped her hands into her lap and cast a cautious glance his way. “Not especially.”

            A pox on the man! He looked sinfully handsome today. It made him unduly appealing and far more dangerous. His eyes glittered like the dark jewels on his belt.

            She squirmed in her high-backed chair. His belt! God save me from what lies below it.

            “You’ll be warmer once we withdraw to our chamber,” he said.

            She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Oh?”

            “I told Tilda to have a fire waiting, and plenty of warm wine.”

            “Oh.”

            “Is that all you can say?”

            “What more do you require?”

            “If not words, how about a smile?”

            “I’ve smiled overmuch the past few hours. My cheeks are numb.”

            His grin was sensual by nature and mischievous by design. “Have you no enthusiasm for the coming festivities?”

            She stifled a grimace. “Festivities. Is that what you call them? If you want a festive night, you’d do better to invite jugglers and mummers to prance about the chamber.”

            His black eyes smoldered. “No, my bride. You and I will devise our own entertainment.”

            The power of speech deserted her. Yet she kept her composure during the toasts and as the people cheered the bride and groom for the last time. Then William rose to his feet.

            The dreaded moment had come. In a daze, she stood. Her eyes sought Meg, but the older woman was deep in conversation with Wulfstan and didn’t notice.

            William guided Emma away from the table and out of the boisterous, oblivious hall. Once they were beyond observation, she pulled her hand from his arm and used her veil as an excuse to occupy her hands elsewhere.

            She climbed the spiral, stone stairs as slowly as she dared, delaying the moment when the bedchamber door would close behind them. The stairwell torches were ablaze with flames that eagerly licked the shafts of wood. Behind her, William’s footsteps were as loud as thunder.

            At the top of the stairs, the large, oak door stood wide open. There was no one inside the bedchamber, not a single soul to grant her one last pardon. Tilda had turned down the bed, and it loomed in the shadows, waiting.

            On shaky legs, Emma crossed the rush-strewn floor and stood in front of the massive, arched fireplace. She studied the inferno roaring inside, refusing to look at William. Behind her, the door closed with a thud, and the bolt slid to with a scrape of finality. She heard and felt each crunching step as he came up behind her.

            “My lady,” he murmured. “My wife.”

            She couldn’t face him. “Aye,” her voice cracked. The fire looked wild, hungry.

            “Would you like some wine?” His breath warmed the side of her neck. A second later, his lips sealed the tender flesh with a kiss.

            “Wine.” She spun around. “Wine would be nice.”

            His eyes blazed hotter than the fire. He hesitated, then smiled. “Then wine you shall have.” In two strides, he moved to the table where it waited. He grabbed the pitcher and poured dark liquid into one of two silver cups. Then he offered one to her.

            Her fingers brushed his as she took the cup. She thanked him with a closed-mouth smile and took a sip of wine. The heady mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves tickled her tongue. The liquid warmed and soothed her throat.

            “Good?” he asked.

            She nodded and sipped again.

            He grinned. “Perhaps ʼtwill loosen your tongue.”

            “Perhaps.”

            His grin deepened. “Though I see it’s had no effect yet.”

            Hours of nervous tension crystalized. “I’ve better use for my tongue than to prattle the night away.”

            “Really?” He inched closer. “Would you care to demonstrate?”

 

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~~ Purchase Books 1-3 Today! ~~

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~~ MEET THE AUTHOR ~~

Judith Sterling is an award-winning author whose love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Whether penning medieval romance (The Novels of Ravenwood) or young adult paranormal fantasy (the Guardians of Erin series), her favorite themes include true love, destiny, time travel, healing, redemption, and finding the hidden magic which exists all around us. She loves to share that magic with readers and whisk them far away from their troubles, particularly to locations in the British Isles.

Her nonfiction books, written under Judith Marshall, have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

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The Captivating Quill

 

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Review of “Dying for an Invitation” – Theresa Braun

~~ Under 50 pages ~~

Dacie returns to Romania where she’s ready to coax her invisible childhood playmate to reveal himself to her. Tension and passion fire up between them. Dacie’s mother spouts cautionary advice regarding the supernatural; however, Dacie shirks the warning as nonsense born from local legends. A lost letter lands in Dacie’s hands, suggesting the powers of the undead might have a grip on the family lineage. When her mother dies, so do the answers. And, Dacie needs the comfort of her unseen companion more than ever…

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I truly believe vampires are not real. But, what if they are? What if they watch us, biding their time until they make us one of them? What would you do to protect your home and your family?

Dacie grew up in Bran Village (Transylvania). There, people absolutely believed you must be careful of the strigoi (vampires). That’s why they took extreme measures to make sure the dead stay dead.

Theresa wrote about the staking of the heart, burying them face down and burning the deceased. What she added and what I never heard before was mixing their ashes with holy water and then drinking the concoction. I guess if it works and I was a believer I would say bottoms up.

She also wrote about the importance of garlic, thorns along a home’s threshold, and how easily a vampire can seduce their victim. As for Dacie, her fate was set years before she returned to Bran and came face to face with her invisible, childhood playmate.

While Dacie was attempting to figure out the past, Theresa gave us a history lesson regarding Vlad Tepes. It was a most interesting tale and proved very important to Dacie’s fate and the fate of others.

Like I said, I am not a believer in vampires BUT I have no plans to visit Romania/Transylvania just in case I’m wrong and the fanged monsters are really there waiting for me like one waited for Dacie.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:❤❤❤1/2 

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Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre.

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