Friday, July 31, 2015

Lukas: an Ashes & Embers love story

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Lukas
Ashes & Embers #3
by Carian Cole
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 30, 2015
 
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Synopsis5


Storm’s younger cousin. Vandal’s little brother. You’ve met him in the background. The sweet one. The nice one. The one they can all rely on. The good one. He’s a tattoo artist. He plays metal and classical music - on the violin. He’s got a body built for sin. He’s 24. In comes Ivy. She’s a 36 year old single mom who hasn’t dated in 18 years. All she wanted was a tattoo. She got a helluva lot more :) Being good has never been so bad.

Review by pearls
This is the sweetest tattoo, rocker, bad boy romance I have ever read.  He's lived too much in his short life while the divorcee hasn't lived enough in her long marriage.  When they meet opposites definitely attract.  Except under the tattoos and suburbia, they both want the same things.  Enjoy the journey as Lukas uses old fashion wooing to win her over and into his bed.  


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Storm (Ashes & Embers #1) Buy Links:

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meetauthor
I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives.
 
My first novel in the Ashes & Embers series, Storm, was published in September of 2014 and book 2, Vandal, was published in February 2015 with several more of this series planned throughout 2015.
 
Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.


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Forsaken: a Falllen Siren novella

Forsaken
Fallen Siren 2.5
by S.J. Harper

Genre: Paranormal romance

Publisher: All Romance eBooks
Date of Publication: July 1, 2015

ISBN: 9781936387960

Word Count: 35,000

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron Hill

Blurb/Book Description:

Join Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She protected him. He loved her.  
They can trust one another with their lives, but what about their hearts?

Special Agent Emma Monroe is a Fallen Siren seeking redemption. Thousands of years ago, she was banished from Mount Olympus by Zeus and cursed by Demeter for failing to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades. Now she’s working for the FBI, seeking salvation while searching for and finding the missing. Her partner, Zack Armstrong, is a werewolf with a grievance of his own. 

The former Black Ops sniper who once carried out a string of questionable assignments is atoning for his past. Ironically, Zack’s just discovered an important piece of his past has been magically wiped from his memory—an affair with Emma. It doesn’t matter she used the spell to save his life, that’s something he’ll never know. With trust eroded and love overshadowed by betrayal the only thing holding them together is the job.

When the son of multi-billionaire Roger Maitlan is kidnapped and his babysitter murdered in cold blood, Emma and Zack travel to New York to work the case. They go undercover, infiltrating a playground of private dungeons where those who are rich and powerful can live out fantasies without consequence. What they find is a conspiracy born of a twisted mind and fueled by greed. The clock is ticking. Will Zack and Emma be able to find the missing boy and their way back to one another?

Available at ARe

Review by pearls
The Fallen Siren series is a great myster series, much like CSI with paranormal detectives.  Throw in the tension of an unrequited love, and the storyline really heats up.  Once agent the agents are working against the clock to save a kidnapped innocent.  But the stress of their non-relationship is affecting their job as his ability to trust her has been shaken.  I love this series and this is a great addition.  Sex appeal and Suspence! 

Excerpt: 

I’ve learned that it can take a lifetime to mend a broken heart. Right here, right now, I’m ready to stop suffering this one. To stop suffering altogether. I glance over at Zack who is sound asleep. He didn’t get any rest Friday night, thanks to Demeter. He was too preoccupied with feeling betrayed, manipulated, played the fool. Just as Demeter intended. Fuck Demeter. Fuck the world. I’m not giving up. I’m not giving in. I have a role to play, a duty to perform, a failure to make up for. It’s what I do, who I am.

A Siren is a Siren. A sexual creature, born of Gaia. I’m one of three, cursed by Demeter thousands of years ago for failing to protect Persephone. It’s for this I atone, for this I pay. It’s the reason I work for the FBI and search for the missing. It’s the reason I avoid love at all costs. Finding the missing brings me closer to redemption. 

Finding love? I swallow hard. That always ends in ruin and death. Once again, my gaze drifts to my partner, Zack, a dark, rugged werewolf who was formerly, and quite secretly, a badass black ops assassin. Also, formerly, my lover. We met during a case in Charleston about a year and a half ago. The attraction was instant, giving into it seemingly safe. The assignment was to be temporary after all. He was to go his way. I was to go mine. There was to be no contact between us. And there wasn’t until he transferred to San Diego, to my unit. Until he became my partner both in and out of bed. Until we fell in love and I made the only choice I could. I took his memories to save his life. 

“Can I get you anything else?” the flight attendant asks quietly. 

I hand her my empty cup and shake my head.

She moves on down the aisle. 

I transfer the case file I’ve been perusing onto the seat between Zack and me along with my laptop and cell phone. I’ve read the dossier on real estate mogul and philanthropist Roger Maitlan a half-dozen times along with what little is known about the kidnapping of his seven-year-old son, Robby. Maitlan’s missing child is the reason we’re on our way to the Big Apple. The reason our boss, Jimmy Johnson, denied the request Zack made for transfer just yesterday morning. 

I notice the light above the forward lavatory has turned from red to green. I consider waking Zack for a fraction of a second before deciding against. I’m agile, limber, and frankly not looking forward to once again facing his ire. I quietly unbuckle, lift up the arm separating the window and middle seats, then slide over. I stand in so much as I can, considering the outcropping of overhead bins, and turn to face him. Left hand on the middle seat, I lift my right leg up and over his. He doesn’t flinch. There’s no alteration in his breathing. My toe touches the ground, and I begin to shift my weight to the foot that’s now firmly planted in the aisle. His hand brushes my thigh, his eyes open. 

He sits up straighter in his chair. “You could have woken me and asked me to move.” His tone is irritable, bordering on accusing. 

I avoid eye contact, avoid his touch. “Let’s pretend I did,” I say before slipping out of the row and making my way toward the front of the plane. I feel his eyes on me. Never did I imagine viewing an airplane lavatory as a refuge. I take care of the most immediate needs first, then I wash my hands. When I reach for the paper towels, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I have to admit, I look a little worse for wear. Considering what I’ve been through in the past twenty-four hours, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

This time yesterday Zack and I were staging the rescue of ten missing girls, all young, blonde virgins—pawns in a power play between two ruling vampire factions. The losing side led by the now dead Southern vampire King, Philippe Lamont. The winner? Kallistos Kouros. My betrayer, my savior, and now the Sovereign of both the West and the South. Kallistos and I had been sharing a bed for the better part of six months. The no-strings-attached relationship worked for us both—the vampire who made no demands, except for the most exquisite sexual ones, and the Siren who could fulfill those demands without sacrificing her heart. Only in the end my heart did suffer as I watched him take the lives of humans to ensure his position, grow his kingdom, and increase his power. I’d like to condemn him, but I can’t. Kallistos told me what to expect of him more times than I could count. And I have to admit he’s delivered supremely on both his promise to be there when needed and to disappoint. If he hadn’t healed me two nights 
ago, I’d be gone. Not dead, Demeter would never have allowed that, forced to move on to another life. Problem is, I’m not done with this one.

I lean closer to the mirror and study my appearance, seeking assurance that the two spells I pay my best friend Liz for are still firmly in place. The first, a reverse glamour that hides my true appearance and furnishes me with the wholesome, plain-Jane facade I’ve become so accustomed to seeing. The second, a dampening spell that diminishes both my innate powers of seduction and the nifty little side effect that makes me the most reliable lie detector ever. I realize that Liz, who is not only the baddest witch this side of the Mississippi, but my touchstone when it comes to matters of the heart, doesn’t know what happened in the last couple days between Kallistos and me, between Zack and me, between Demeter and me—that I’m on my way to New York, that everything is different, my life changed.

I make a half-hearted effort to smooth down my hair, which is long, dark, and pulled back into a simple ponytail. I can’t help noticing that my skin, normally fair and unblemished, is paler than usual. Not because of a lack of makeup. I never wear makeup. No mascara. No lip-gloss. Nothing. I reach up and pinch my cheeks. It doesn’t help. The inside of my lower eyelid contains only the barest hint of pink. I’m anemic. I’ve lost too much blood. Not during the mission. Though there was plenty of blood shed last night, none of it was mine. My near death experience came this morning at the hand of my favorite vindictive goddess, Demeter. After she betrayed me. After Zack discovered my betrayal of him. 

Zack.


About the Author:

S.J. Harper is the pen name for the writing team of Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne C. Stein, two friends who met at Comic-Con in San Diego and quickly bonded over a mutual love of good wine, edgy urban fantasy, and everything Joss Whedon. 















Thursday, July 30, 2015

Be Mine

*Blurb*

Gracie Sinclair just wants life to return to normal.

Now a widow and picking up the pieces after the death of her husband, she delves into her work, seeking a new normal, until she bumps into a handsome stranger who derails her orderly life, completely.

Luke can’t wait for the week to be over. Having built an engineering company into a multi-million pound enterprise in record time, he feels...empty. Nothing satisfies him anymore, not even having weekenders in his bed. But when he bumps into a woman—literally—on his way out of a bar, realizing she is his last meeting before he goes on holiday, his plan of staying away from relationships takes a nose dive. He wants Gracie Sinclair.
Gracie learned a long time ago how insincere love can be, so when Luke decides to become part of her life, she tosses up every obstacle to dissuade him until he breaks down her walls and makes her realize that her life can only be complete with Luke by her side.

However, something sinister from Luke’s past threatens the happiness they have struggled to find. If he concedes, he will become criminally liable and lose everything.

If he refuses, he loses Gracie’s heart…


Excerpt:

Luke Bryce was leaning against her office door. He wore denims and a pastel blue Ralph Lauren button 
down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to show his muscular forearms. The logo was discreet unlike the brand's other shirts that seemed to scream that the horse and rider were just about to join the charge of the Light Brigade.

She resumed walking.


"Mr. Bryce, you should have waited for me to get you from reception," she said, trying to inject displeasure in her tone when she was feeling the opposite.


"It's Luke, Gracie. I want you to call me that."


Her eyebrow lifted of its own volition.


"What is it you wanted?" she asked, not bothering to say his name. Irritation flashed in his eyes before it was gone. Slight apprehension uncoiled inside her. Gracie hacked it with a mental knife.


This man wasn't Jonathan. This man was the opposite and her body knew it.
"Let's talk inside your office."


Gracie saw that the receptionist had left her post andwas watching their exchange with interest.

"Very well," she muttered, walking towards him to open the door. As she did, his cologne drifted to her nose, and she inhaled deeply. His body heat embraced her, ratcheting her awareness of this virile man who had no problem invading her personal space, making her very aware of his sex appeal. He was so near that when he exhaled she could feel his breath close to her temple. Her sex pulsed at the contact.


She twisted the doorknob, walked ahead, and waited for him to come in. When she turned around after closing the door, he was standing so close to her that she had to tilt her head up. Her breath hitched when she saw his eyes smoulder, the heat in them burning a trail down her sternum to spread across her breasts. Heart in her throat and excitement running through her bloodstream, she took in everything Luke Bryce was. From the shadow that covered his jaw, to his deep set eyes that seemed to look into her very soul,and his wide mouth that she desperately wanted to kiss. Oh God, she wanted what he was offering. Her mind battled against itself. She wanted to move away and yet wanted to stay. He used her moment of indecision to cage her in with his hands against the door by her shoulders. If lust had a scent, Gracie knew what it was. Freaking hot, delicious, and damn good. It swirled around her in a sensual blanket, and she could feel her pulse throbbing in her clit, causing her core to moisten in response. Her nipples also responded by budding inside her bra, the lace sensually abrasive against the points.


"You lied to me," he said softly.


"Excuse me." Her eyes snapped to his deep blues.


He was unperturbed at her consternation. "You said you were married."


"I am Mrs. Sinclair."


"Yes, you are. Widow of Jonathan Sinclair."


She sucked in a sharp breath.

"It doesn't matter how I know, Gracie," he admonished gently, answering the unspoken question in her eyes. "Why did you make me believe you were still married?"


"What's it to you?"


“Why didn't you want to go out with me?"


She sighed, closing her eyes. Try as she might, she couldn't open them again as excitement seeped through her pores and pleasure slowly built inside her, warming her thighs, circling inside her belly before going up slowly, languidly to tease her nipples and add to the rapid rate of her heart. Oh God, this man was wreaking havoc on her body. Her lips parted when she felt Luke's breath brush her cheek, her face angling towards his involuntarily. She made a sound between a gasp and a moan when his tongue caressed her earlobe before tracing the shell of her ear. She felt like falling and raised her hands to push 
him away but as soon as her palms touched his chest, they heated, her fingers nearly curling against his pectorals. The flicker of desire inside her roared to life. Luke moved forward, pinning her to the door. She was not able to stop the soft and rapid pants coming out of her lips, and could feel her sex moisten further at the hardness of his arousal against her belly, igniting the fire that had been dormant for so long. She brushed her lips against his jaw. Luke didn't need any further prodding and turned his head to capture her mouth.

Sweet joy stormed into her very soul. Luke's tongue seared the seam of her lips, teasing, coaxing, exploring, before he parted the barrier her teeth put up to invade her mouth. He claimed her tongue, tasting it, flicking it, playing with it until Gracie growled softly and deepened the kiss. The kiss was rough and filled with unbridled need. Their tongues greedily explored, staked, and claimed. Their breaths 
became hot and heavy, each wanting to give and take as much as they could. Gracie moaned against Luke's mouth as her arms encircled his neck. She slanted her mouth to give him more access and the more he swirled his tongue with hers, the more he nibbled on her lips, the more liquid heat flowed from her core. Her mouth parted against his lips, taking in his breath as Luke's hands lifted her skirt to skim her stockings, teasing the lace band that held it up before drifting towards her mound. Gracie's breath came short and fast, and she moaned when Luke's finger teased her against the wet silken fabric.

"So wet, Mrs. Sinclair," he rasped. "Did I do this? Let me see if I've done a good job." He slipped his finger inside her panties and found her engorged bundle of nerves, spreading her wetness over it. "Yes, baby. It seems I did." His mouth dipped to suck the skin against her erratically beating pulse. Slowly, he rubbed, but Gracie couldn't get enough. He was 
toying with her. When she moved to direct his digit, Luke would move it away.

"Please." She sighed. He raised his head, his gaze filled with lust made her melt to a quivering mass. Her hips moved of their own volition, urging him to take her. "Luke."


That was all he needed to insert his finger inside her.


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Cover Reveal: For a Reason

Title: For A Reason
Author: T.N. Cole
Release Date: Sept 3, 2015
She loved me.
I failed her.
She loves me.
I'll break her.
 
Tristan Westdyke seems to have it all: he's handsome, athletic, smart, and admired. What people don't see beyond the fa├žade, though, is the pain and guilt eating away at his soul. Blaming himself for the loss of another person, Tristan trudges through life not allowing himself to feel.
 
But when the beautiful and energetic Katelyn Sharp barrels into his life, Tristan is helpless to resist emotions long buried. A connection slowly grows between the two, yet secrets and deceit threaten to shatter the fragile trust and love they’ve found.
 
Can two people who have been hurt and betrayed open their hearts up once more? Can both accept that all may have happened For a Reason?
 
I reached up and pushed Kate’s hair out of her face. It was pulled to one side, but it had long fallen out of the updo it was in when the sight of her first took my breath away tonight. I lightly traced my fingers over the bandage covering the right side of her forehead and I hovered over the outline of some of the bruises and scratches. I watched my fingers, and I felt her watching me—waiting for me to tell her something. I wanted so badly to trace her lips on my exploration of her face—to feel her breath on my fingertips. But, I forced myself to pull back. “Don’t look at me like that,” I finally whispered. 
 
“Like what?” she frowned. 
 
“Don’t look at me like I saved you. I’m the reason this happened to you. You’re looking at me like you’re so happy that I’m here. Those guys shouldn’t have slipped something in your drink, or whatever they did. If I were paying attention, they wouldn’t have almost made off with you. I did this to you, and don’t you fucking forget it.” I stopped to take a deep, shuddering breath and buried my face in my hands.
 
“Funny,” Kate said coldly as she leaned forward. “I didn’t peg you as the victim type.”
 
I reared back. “What?”
 
“You heard me,” she snapped. “I was the one who had something slipped in my drink. And apparently, I was the one who was almost kidnapped. But I wasn’t. Because you stopped them from taking me. You brought me here. I’m safe. So, quit the pity party on yourself.”
 
My hands had fallen from my face during her tirade to meet her now angry glare. I didn’t know if I was supposed to be madat what she was saying or not, but I didn’t have the time to figure it out because she wasn’t done yet. “Do you know how Aimee knew to go get you from the waiting room? I begged her to go get you because, somehow, I knew you would be there. I knew you were the one who saved me from whatever caused me to end up in the freaking hospital. So, none of this is your fault. Yes, we shouldn’t have separated, but that’s on both of us. But, it’s not my fault or your fault that some asshole roofied me, capisce?” 
 
She was breathing heavily by the end of her rant. She slowly fell back against the pillows, closing her eyes. I watched her as she got her breathing under control, knowing I had to choose my next words carefully. I didn’t want to upset her more, and I knew that everything she said was true. “Hey. Kate.” I threaded my fingers through hers and waited until she slowly opened her eyes to peek at me. “You’re right. You’re absolutely right. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you more; it’s just... You were so gorgeous tonight. I wanted you to stay by me, but I couldn’t ask you for that. And all of a sudden, I couldn’t find you, and then you were almost kidnapped, and I couldn’t get you to open your eyes. I couldn’t see your beautiful brown eyes,” I was so quiet; I knew she had to be straining to hear me. I didn’t want her to know how helpless I had felt. How I felt like I had failed and lost all over again. And how my feelings for her were getting too intense and they were scaring me. 

She tightened her grip on my hand. “I heard you, you know. Through the haze, you said ‘Katelyn, please’. And that’s how I knew something was wrong. So, I fought to wake up. You brought me back.”
 
I closed my eyes, fighting off the onslaught of emotion threatening to take over me. If only I had been able to save Mel like I was able to save Kate. I didn’t know what else to say. I was exhausted and I knew she had to be in even worse shape than I was. “You should get some rest, Kate. We can talk in the morning. I’ll be here. I’m not going to leave you.”
 
 
T.N. Cole spends her time seeking new adventures, determined to make her life a memorable story. A recent graduate with a bachelor in biology, T.N. is headed to graduate school at Texas Tech to pursue her long time dream of becoming a pharmacist. When she's not reading, writing, or studying, you'll find her trying to stay out of trouble or planning her ultimate dream of traveling the world.
 

Courting Innocence



Courting Innocence
by Kimberly Dean

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: July 30th, 2015
Buy @ Amazon



Even Nice Girls Have Needs.

Erin starts using matchmaker Luxxor Limited, not realizing that the company is truly an escort service. She meets a series of hunky men, but the dates are disappointing. She wants a man that will awaken her senses, challenge her thoughts, and rev up her body. But she gets more than she bargained for when Luxxor sets her up with another client, lawyer Colton King. Her big brother’s best friend.

Erin has always lusted for Colt. Dark, muscled, and brooding, he was her first teenage crush. Now he’s her favourite fevered fantasy. He’s just never taken notice of her before. She has his attention now.

Colton is horrified when he learns the scandalous game Erin has been playing with Luxxor’s escorts. He orders her to stop, but things go a bit too far … and become a bit too sexy … Soon Colt is escorting Erin straight to his bed.

Years ago, her family forbade him to touch her. How will he defend himself when they learn how impure his thoughts are for their innocent, loving daughter? The one who’s grown up into the sweetest, naughtiest, little temptress.


AUTHOR BIO

When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica. She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock 'n' roll, and a good book make for a perfect day.

AUTHOR LINKS



EXCERPT

She sensed him.
Maybe she’d caught a glimpse of his tall form out of the corner of her eye, but she knew that Colton was behind her. A sense of exhilaration came over her, along with a dash of impulsiveness.
Stopping, she braced one hand against the wall and lifted her foot behind her. Arching her back, she toyed with the high heel as if it needed adjusting. Carefully, she turned the bracelet on her ankle so the charm lay on the outside of her foot.
Her breath caught when he was suddenly on her.
His arm swept around her waist as it had when he’d caught her in the kitchen, and he pressed her against the wall.
‘Colt –’
She didn’t get his whole name out, because his mouth was suddenly covering hers in a kiss so hot, she worried her shoes would melt.
He caught her wrists and pressed them flat against the wall on either side of her head, and arousal gushed inside her. Slick and viscous, it filled her veins, making her muscles tense and relax at the same time.
It had been good when she’d kissed him before. Fantastic.
This was the first time he’d taken the lead, and the sensuality was insane.
He tore his mouth away from hers. His chest was rising and falling in jagged movements. ‘You have to stop this,’ he said hoarsely. ‘You have to stop teasing me. Stop tempting me.’
‘No, I don’t.’ Her breaths were coming hard, too, and she ran her tongue over her lips. ‘Give in.’
‘Erin.’ His voice was sharp, like when he went after someone on the stand.
She arched sexily. She wanted him to come after her.
‘I have,’ she whispered.
His eyes flashed to nearly the colour of midnight. His fingers bit into her wrists, and Erin revelled in it. A sound left the back of his throat, and his mouth came down hard on hers again. Their lips sealed tight, and his tongue laved hers.
‘Mmm,’ she hummed when her need cranked up a notch.
He had her trapped, held down, but she arched her back to rub against his body. His weight pressed against her as he leaned in, his chest hard against her breasts, plumping them and making her nipples pinch.
The kiss went on and on. It had been years in the making.
‘Take me upstairs,’ she whispered when they were forced to come up for air. ‘To my old bedroom.’
His curse echoed in her ear. ‘Do you really want my head on a platter?’
She didn’t understand. She wanted his body on a bed. Or the floor. Or right here.
His mouth ran down the side of her neck, and his teeth closed around the muscle that led to her shoulder. She let out a moan and twisted into him. The sound echoed down the hallway, but he cut it off with another blistering kiss.
Erin strained against her constraints. She couldn’t touch him, couldn’t hold him. It was hot as hell, but so frustrating.
‘Let me touch you.’
‘Not going to happen.’
Yet he didn’t stop kissing her. Or rubbing intently against her breasts.
But he deliberately kept his hips away. She could feel his hardness barely brushing against her belly. She wanted more. She needed to feel his hot, muscled body against hers.
She did the only thing she could; she climbed him like a tree.
Swinging a leg high around his waist, she hitched herself up. His hips swung forward, almost as if they had no other option. She took advantage of the opportunity. Knowing he wouldn’t drop her, she hopped up and wrapped both thighs around his waist.
When she settled down, his erection was right where she needed it the most. Big, hard and hot. They both shuddered when she ground against him. 
‘God! Sunny, I can’t do this. Not here.’
‘Then where?’
‘No.’ He shook his head as if to clear it. ‘That’s not what I meant.’
Erin had never felt a desire so intense or a need so strong. She had to be with him. She needed to feel him inside her. It was the only thing that would douse the heat in her core. She was ready to burst into flames at the smallest spark.
She rolled her hips almost frantically. This was no dry hump this time. Just a few more strokes, and she would be ready to come. He pumped up to meet her, and she let out a whimper of need.
‘Erin?’ They both froze when her mother’s voice came down the hallway.
Colton tore his mouth away from hers, and his muscles went taut. 
‘Yes?’ Erin called, her voice squeaky.
‘Could you bring me a cup of tea, dear?’
Erin swallowed hard, but her voice still came out all wrong. ‘Sure, mom. Just . . . ohhhh . . . just give me a moment.’

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Publishing Anniversary to Lori King

 


 
To Celebrate her 3 years of publishing, author Lori King
is giving her readers a FREE story. 
Crawley Creek Series

By: Lori King

a Cowboy Romance

In a small town in North Dakota there resides a family of misfits on the Crawley Creek Ranch. Brought together by hardship, and heartache they’ve bonded without blood ties, and seek to help others. Four brothers who’ve walked both sides of the line, and come out stronger for it, but will they survive love, loss, and the law?

 
Beginnings (Prequel)

Forget Me Knot (Book 1)

Rough Ride Romeo (Book 2)

Claiming His Cowgirl (Book 3)

 

 

 
Beginnings

Crawley Creek Prequel

Abraham and Seraphina Crawley have loved each other since they were fifteen years old. Abe has never doubted the strength of their bond, and together they’ve planted roots and built a successful ranch. But when Seraphina receives disturbing news that will impact the rest of their lives, she finds herself unable to tell the man she loves. Their decade-long marriage has been blighted by their lack of children, and now secrets could tear this couple apart. Follow their journey from heartbroken to houseful, and experience how Crawley Creek Ranch became a refuge for those who needed a place to plant roots. Second chances and new beginnings are a way of life at Crawley Creek. Everyone is welcome.

 

*Note from the author: This is a short prequel to the Crawley Creek Series. It can be read as a standalone, but you will enjoy it more if you read the other books in the series as well.

FREE download links 










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Chapter 1


 

“I’m sorry Mrs. Crawley, but the news isn’t good.” The doctor’s kind face had deep-set wrinkles bracketing his thin lips and framed a smile, but today they made his tipped frown seem pitifully sad. “It seems you have a hostile uterus.”

Sera stared at him trying to absorb his words, but all she heard was “hostile”.

“Hostile?”

“Yes. Basically your womb isn’t an ideal place for the implantation of a fertilized embryo. The likelihood of you ever conceiving is slim, and even if you did conceive, the chances that the pregnancy would be supported longer than the first trimester are extremely improbable. I’m sorry. I know that’s not what you were hoping to hear—”

“Not what I was hoping to hear?” She knew she was in shock, and that made it all the easier to blast her disappointment with anger. “I think that’s putting it rather mildly Martin, don’t you? And why are you calling me Mrs. Crawley? My name is Sera, and I’ve been coming to you for almost fifteen years. You know everything there is to know about my physical health, and you’ve never once mentioned that I had a hostile womb.”

“Seraphina it’s not something I could have known based on the standard pelvic tests we do annually. The fertility testing you had in Grand Forks highlighted some disturbing inconsistencies. As you know fertility science is still in its infancy. We only know so much about why the female reproductive organs are sometimes lacking. I’ve reviewed your tests extensively, and I even had a colleague of mine review them for a second opinion. Unfortunately, he agreed with my results. You’re barren.” Martin Warburg took off his glasses and set them on the desk in front of him, his gaze sympathetic. After several moments of tense silence, he sighed and gestured to the phone on his desk. “Would you like me to call Abe for you?”

Abe. Her husband. The man who’d loved her for the last fifteen years unconditionally. The sweetest, kindest soul on the planet. He’d supported her through month after month of negative pregnancy tests, and ten years of disappointment. Now she had to tell him that she was a defective wife. Unable to give him the children he so badly wanted. The family they’d dreamed of creating together.

“No. Thank you, but I need some time to...um...digest this information. I’ll talk to him soon.” Rising from the hard wooden chair where all of her dreams had been dashed, Seraphina Crawley brushed her braid behind her shoulder, and picked up her pocketbook. “Thank you, Doctor.”

Martin rose to his feet quickly, and began to move her way. “Sera, you shouldn’t be alone to process this news. Let me call Abe and have him come collect you. Your car will be fine here in the lot.”

“I said, no thank you. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and all the time you’ve devoted to this, but now that we know how futile it is... Well, I suppose it’s best to just let the things that are out of our control, go. Tell Lenora that I said hello.” Reaching for the handle on the door, she hurried to put as much distance as possible between herself and the terrible news.

The sunshine was dimmer, and the day seemed significantly drearier as she stepped out of the office onto the sidewalk. Montford was a very small town, so there was no one on the street to see her sorrow as tears began to fall from her eyes. By the time she’d settled in behind the wheel of her car, she was gasping for air around the sobs of pain that echoed around her. Logically, she knew they were from her own throat, but somehow it seemed she was completely separate from the emotional response. She could feel herself trembling, hear the sniffles, and taste the vomit on the back of her tongue, but she still wasn’t ready to accept it was real. No matter what she did, or how healthy she lived her life, she’d never be a mother.

She’d known instinctively for a while that something was wrong. She was an only child, but not for lack of trying. Her parents had always wanted more children, but medical science wasn’t as good in the forties and fifties. Nowadays they were able to give women more of an idea of what was wrong…in most cases.

Struggling to calm her raging emotions, she closed her eyes and focused her energies on slowing the tears. Once her breathing eased back to a normal rhythm, she reached for the keys and shoved them into the ignition with a silent prayer that her old clunker would start today. The last thing she needed was more to deal with. Between Montford and Crawley Creek she would have twenty minutes to figure out how she was going to tell her husband the bad news.

At thirty years old, she felt like her life had just ended.


 
Lori’s Bio

 
Best-selling author, Lori King, is also a full-time wife and mother of three boys. Although she rarely has time to just enjoy feminine pursuits; at heart she is a hopeless romantic. She spends her days dreaming up Alpha men, and her nights telling their stories. An admitted TV and book junkie, she can be found relaxing with a steamy story, or binging in an entire season of some show online. She gives her parents all the credit for her unique sense of humor and acceptance of all forms of love. There are no two loves alike, but you can love more than one with your whole heart.

 
With the motto: Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance, she will continue to write as long as you continue to read. Thank you for taking the time to indulge in a good Happily Ever After with her. Find out more about her current projects at http://lorikingbooks.com,
or look her up on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LoriKingBooks

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