Anna Alexander: The Marlboro Man

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Anna will be awarding $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner, and a swag pack (international) to another randomly drawn winner, both via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About The Marlboro Man

For years Mark Webber was in love with his best friend’s girl, and it had become well past time for him to move on for greener pastures. Not long after he left, Mark realized the Sprawling A was his home, so now he’s back, ready to leave the past in the dust. While he was gone, there had been some changes at the A, including a new ranch hand who comes with a sister that stirs Mark’s passions in ways he never felt.

Gabriella Montoya has come to the ranch seeking shelter after a failed marriage. Not only is she welcomed with open arms, but she gains six big brothers. But one man doesn’t look at her like he would a sister. Oh, no. Mark gazes at her with a heat and promise in his eyes, and damn if he doesn’t deliver on every one. But Gabriella’s not certain she’s ready to embark on another relationship so soon with a man who has made no bones about wanting forever, especially when both of their pasts rise from the ashes and threaten everything they have.

The Cowboy WayA Night at the CavernHero Rising

Excerpt

Mark reached for a mug and poured himself some coffee. “How are you doing?”

“Fine,” she replied before he finished asking the question.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00019]“Gabriella.” The sharp crack in his tone made her gaze jump to his. “Really, how are you doing?” The set of his jaw and the earnest worry in his eyes told her that he wanted an honest answer and that it mattered to him.

She turned away from the temptation of leaning her head against that strong chest and poured the eggs onto the hot skillet. The bubbling yellow mixture was an excellent representation of how Mark’s gaze set her insides to quivering. “I don’t know. I’m standing. My body doesn’t ache. I have no clue what I am going to do, or where I’ll live, or how I’ll make any money. But I’m alive. That’s the most important thing. Right?”

“That’s a start. One step at a time. I have a feeling you’re going to be just fine.” There was a softness in his gaze that made her heart beat in triple time. “Gabriella—” he began then was interrupted by the pounding of heavy footfalls coming through the mudroom.

She almost dropped the hot pan in her hand as she watched the parade of fine male specimens coming through the door. They not only varied in height from tall to gigantic, but also in hair color and ages. Each was handsome in their own way, and so supremely virile her throat went dry just by being in their presence. No wonder Greta was pregnant.

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_TheMarlboroMan copyAnna Alexander’s literary world changed at age thirteen when a friend gave her a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s A Rose in Winter. With her mind thoroughly blown, she decided that one day she too would be a romance writer. With Hugh Jackman’s abs and Christopher Reeve’s blue eyes as inspiration, she loves spinning tales about superheroes finding love.

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Elizabeth Davis: The Huntress

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Elizabeth Davis will be awarding $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About The Huntress

Kaitlin Hawthorne’s life as an heiress to her family’s multinational tech firm was over the moment she decided to pack up and flee with her father’s protégé. Determined to strike out on her own, she sets sail for parts unknown but is haunted by her past mistakes and the fiancée she has left behind. Will the sins of her past ruin her chance for happiness with the man of her dreams?

Marcelo Alesi is a reformed bad boy, primed to revolutionize the tech industry. But an unexpected proposition convinces him to abandon his carefully laid plans for the chance to reclaim the only woman he has ever loved; even if it means playing fast and hard with the truth.

As the two embark on a journey, Kaitlin is drawn into the mysterious organization known as “The Order”. Distrustful of the Order’s motives, and concealing secrets of his own, Marcelo fights to protect and love Kaitlin, the woman he has claimed as his own.

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Excerpt

BookCover_TheHuntress copy“I’ve forced us to cross too many lines in our friendship. I’ve complicated things between us in so many ways, especially when I took the role of a Huntress.”

“Like I said, I’m always here for you and I’ll never stand in your way. Don’t back down from what you really want because of me,” he grated.

“You can’t promise me forever. We’re on separate paths,” Kaitlin argued.

Marcelo fell silent. Is that what she really wanted, forever with him? Finally, she was starting to open up. Although she was right about them being on separate paths, but he’d never give her ammunition by admitting it.

All he knew was that he wanted her. Had always wanted her. More than anything that he’d ever wanted in his life. But he also wanted greatness, and his vision was too grand to carry out while sailing the world on the Meridian.

Kaitlin’s words only reinforced his belief that she could discard him if she had to, but he couldn’t bring himself to confront her. Still, he wouldn’t let her push him out of her life.

“I don’t want us to separate, Kaitlin. We’ll make it work somehow. Unless…”

“Unless?” Chills shot up Kaitlin’s spine. She didn’t like the gravity in Marcelo’s voice or the way that he looked at her.

“Unless you think we’re a mistake,” he said.

About the Author

Born in Houston, TX, in 1974, Elizabeth Davis started writing at an early age. Her first book was written for an elementary school assignment when she was eight years old. It was called Silly Excuses—a book about fantastic excuses young children can tell their parents when they have been naughty. Not only did she pass the assignment with flying colors, her teacher loved the book so much that she had it published in the school library. Elizabeth has been writing ever since. Elizabeth earned her B.A. from Bowie State University in Communications Media. Her hobbies include reading, baking, traveling with her family, and life coaching. She currently resides in The Netherlands with her husband Pawel, their son Aiden, and Hermes, the family cat.

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Heidi Loeb Hederich: Love Target

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Heidi Loeb Hegerich will be awarding $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Author Insights

The title of my debut novel, Love Target, is ambiguous. It refers both to the lead character—Ingrid Liebschreiber—being a target for the men who pursue her. But it also refers to Ingrid’s overriding quest: to find true, lasting love herself.

AuthorPhoto_LoveTarget copyWhile I was writing Love Target, I never thought of which genre or subgenre it would fall into. But after its publication, my marketing campaign—such as it is—demanded I do so. I actually had to ask myself: What is this book about? I decided my novel is, well, primarily a love story. Therefore, it falls into the categories of “chick lit” and “romance.” (It also is a historical novel, since it is set in the 1960s and ‘70s, and historical figures, places and events from those years are recreated as accurately as possible.)

When readers first meet Ingrid, she is a teenage showgirl in Rat Pack era (early 1960s) Las Vegas. Over the course of the book, she encounters nearly the entire spectrum of men. Each lover introduces her to a different form of seduction, imparting to her another thick chunk of hard-earned wisdom, as well as perspective on what she does—and doesn’t—want in a partner. Among them are:

  • Scotty the car salesman—who employs brute force.
  • Eduardo the high-roller rake—who sweeps her away with suaveness.
  • Elvis the rock superstar—who intoxicates her with his magnetism and star power, sweet serenades and boyish confessions.
  • Harry Belafonte the sex symbol and smooth operator—who disarms her with flattery.
  • Armand the strong, silent, mature alpha male—whose manliness and manhood fill her up and send her head over heels in love.
  • Ari—her married boss, whose teary-eyed gratitude for reviving his mojo makes her feel wanted.
  • David—the ever-faithful friend and confidante, who worships her to the point of mythologizing her as “like a heroine in a novel.”

Ingrid experiences being a victim, a conquest, a temporary girlfriend, a fling, a mistress, a paramour…and a receiver of unconditional love.

But—as we all learn—nothing is simple or straightforward in matters of the heart. What’s more, you cannot wait for Mr. Right to come along and make your world whole. You have to be ready, yourself, for true, lasting love. And the same is true of Mr. Right.

You need to both be a target and have a target. And your aim must be true.

That—and the proper timing, and a bit of magic (real magic, in Ingrid’s case)—can lead to a bulls-eye.

That’s the takeaway from Love Target.

Funny—as a first-time author—I didn’t analyze and come to terms with my story before writing it. I just wrote it as honestly and faithfully as possible. Another genre into which my book falls is “memoir novel.” Love Target is, after all, based on my own life. Many first novels are semi-autobiographical.

For me, it took writing this book to help me better understand my own life! In doing so, I finally could see clearly where, in my younger days, I was right on target, and where I was errant, missing the mark in ways that were comic or outright tragic.

Same as with most lives. Perhaps, for that reason, readers will identify quite well with Ingrid’s adventures and misadventures. For there is a bit of Ingrid in just about every woman.

About Love Target

Teenager Ingrid Liebschreiber is devastated when her parents move the family from their native Munich to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Homesick, she accepts a neighbor’s offer to get her a job as a showgirl in Las Vegas.

Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle—where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.

Life’s twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s—where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in “construction.” Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid’s hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.

Will she find true romance—a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is “happily ever after” just a crazy fairytale?

 Amazon

Excerpt

The witch stared past me, lost in thought. Then she shook her head.

“I don’t know,” she began, haltingly. “There will be a man, a husband. Somebody that you’ve known. Somebody”—her voice rose—“with dark hair! And… eyes that are lighter. Maybe blue.”

BookCover_LoveTarget copy“I don’t know who this man could be,” I said to the witch.

“Trust me,” she said confidently. “Do you have any photographs in your wallet of who this man could be?”

I didn’t have a photo of David. But it didn’t matter, since he was married.

I fished out a photograph of Armand.

The witch held it up in her crooked fingers in front of her hooked nose. She twisted her neck, turning her head this way and that, peering curiously at the photo from different angles.

She handed it back.

“You should have never been with this man!”

I shrugged. “I wish I knew who this mystery man could be.”

“It is not important,” the witch said. “You will know in good time. You can bring him into your life. And I want you to do something.”

She rummaged on a shelf and removed several objects.

“Take these two candles. Write an affirmation on a slip of paper saying that you will be with this man with dark hair that you’ve known. Then put the paper between the candles, and melt the candles together. Light each one, and when they’re soft, mold them together.”

I took the candles. Well, it couldn’t hurt to try. Might even be fun.

About the Author

Heidi Loeb Hegerich has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Squaw Valley and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits.

A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.

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Robin Leach book review in Las Vegas Sun newspaper

Lynda Simmons: Perfect Fit

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One randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Fast-paced, funny and incurably romantic

Rachel Banks has never believed in magic or moonlight, but if she’d thought that putting a piece of wedding cake under her pillow would conjure up a nightmare in the form of blue-eyed charmer Mark Robison, she’d have stuffed that cake into her mouth instead! Mark is only in Madeira Beach for some much needed R&R and his new neighbour is not the kind of woman made for vacation memories. But there’s something about the incurable romantic that just keeps drawing him back.

Jennifer Crusie. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Lynda Simmons? Oh, yeah!

Amazon

Excerpt

“I’m Mark Robison,” he continued. “I’m out here look¬ing for some answers myself.”

Cover_Perfect Fit copyRachel could only stare as he came toward her. He was tall and broad. A silhouette framed in moonlight.

He stopped and dipped his chin. “Are you all right?”

She gave her head a quick shake. “Fine, yes. Just preoc¬cupied. With the house.”

No question about it. That had definitely been an award-winning dream. Why else would she have thought, for even a moment, that he was the man she’d seen in her room?

But then he said, “Why don’t you tell me your name?” in a silvery Southern whisper that was all too real, and Rachel found herself moving closer for a better look.

He laughed when she drew her head back. “Am I that strange-looking?” he asked.

“No,” she said, and almost laughed with relief. “Not at all.”

Broad shoulders, slim hips, all of that was right, but this guy had a beard. Never would she have dreamed a beard. A moustache perhaps but a beard? Definitely not.

She stuck out a hand. “I’m Rachel Banks.”

Beard aside, he did have a rather nice smile. And eyes that were heavy lidded and fringed with long dark lashes. The kind that give a man a sensuous, soulful look and seemed to see—

“Did you want to sit down and talk strategy?” he asked. “There’s an all-night club down the way.”

Rachel backed up a step, telling herself there was no magic and no man. It was a dream. Nothing more. And eyes hadn’t even entered into it.

About the Author

AuthorPic_Perfect Fit copyLynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her – like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

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Lori Ryan: The Triple Play Curse Novellas

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Lori will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Thank you for having me, Susana! I love the chance to connect with new readers and the Triple Play Curse Novellas are one of my favorite projects. I was beyond thrilled to be asked to write in Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World, but quickly realized I had a problem. Although I’ve been to my share of Super Bowl parties, I had never been to an NFL game and, truth be told, I paid more attention to the food and the commercials at those parties. I loved reading Bella’s football books, but I was a little worried about my ability to write about football players and the world they live in when I hadn’t seen a game live. I didn’t really think I could do it justice the way Bella had.

BookCover_GameChanger_1 copyBut, in a brainstorming session with my contact at Kindle Worlds, I mentioned my love of baseball. He suggested I write about baseball players instead, and voila! A book, or rather set of three, was born. I could remember sitting in the stands, watching Nomar Garciaparra up at bat for the Boston Red Sox. I knew the sounds, smells, and atmosphere of a major league baseball game. I had felt the excitement of the fans sitting in the stands at Fenway. That was something I could write about.

As an author, there’s nothing better than the feeling of bringing our readers into our world. I love it when readers tell me they felt as though the characters in my books were their friends. I felt that way when writing these stories. I hope you feel the same! Get absorbed in the world of the San Francisco Strikers and the women who love them.

About The Triple Play Curse

Every member of the Strikers, San Francisco’s professional baseball team, knows about the Triple Play Curse. When one Striker falls in love and gets either married or engaged during the season, two more will fall for a total of three. And, whenever the curse is in play, the team suffers for it. More errors and injuries, lost pennant runs, you name it. No one wants to trigger the curse.

Game Changer (Book One)

Shortstop Rafe Wilson has his routines down to a science. How he ties his shoes, what shirt to wear under his jersey, which foot touches the field first, and how to enter the batter’s box. It works for him. The proof is in his stats. No question; the routine works. Until it doesn’t. When Rafe is left scrambling to figure out what went wrong, he quickly finds the newest addition to his pregame routine. A kiss. And, not just any kiss. Ashlyn Daniels’ kiss to be exact. But, can he convince Ashlyn to be part of his arsenal of “superstitions” that keep his game going? Or will the pregame kiss trigger an even worse superstition? The Triple Play Curse.

BookCover_GameMaker_2 copyGame Maker (Book Two)

Pitcher Aiden Kyle knows the Triple Play Curse has the ability to mess with his life and with his team’s performance. And, now that the curse has been triggered, Aiden also knows he has to do all he can to avoid being its next victim. And that means strippers and hand lotion in the shower for the rest of the season for him. Until Lily Dupree whirls into his world with a crash that puts a kink in his plan. If Aiden can find a way to help Lily and get her out of his life, he just might avoid being the next victim of the curse.

Game Clincher (Book Three)

After two of his teammates fall prey to the curse, Gage Collier realizes he’s got worse things to worry about than the power of the curse alone. He’s got his mother to fear, and the woman is on a mission. When a columnist spills the beans that the curse is in play and there’s only one victim left to be had, Gage’s mother spins a web designed to trap him into being its third victim and give her the grandbabies she’s been wanting. Though the bait she sets is tempting, Gage has no interest in falling in love. With his mother strategizing against him, Gage probably doesn’t stand a chance, but he’ll go down fighting before he takes this hit.

Game ChangerGame MakerGame Clincher

Excerpt

BookCover_GameClincher_3 copyAiden raised a brow at Gage when he answered his cell phone. Gage mouthed “Mom” to Aiden, drawing a laugh. All the guys knew Gage was a bit of a mama’s boy. He couldn’t help it. The woman had raised him on her own, with no family support or help from his absentee dad. She deserved to be the only person whose call he would take right before a game. That didn’t stop Aiden from mouthing back “wuss” before Gage turned his chair toward his locker, blocking out his friend.

“Hey, Mom,” Gage said, lowering his voice so the rest of the guys wouldn’t hear the entire conversation. Of course, his mother had other ideas. Her voice came through the phone loud and clear.

“Hi, baby! Tell my boys I say hello and good luck,” she all but hollered into the phone and he knew ‘her boys’ meant the whole team. It didn’t matter if a player had been a part of the team for a day or for years. Once you were a Striker, you were one of Barb Collier’s boys.

Gage switched the phone to his other ear now that he could no longer hear out of his left. He rubbed at his left ear as he laughed at his mom.

“I will, Mom. I gotta go soon, though. I need to keep stretching so I don’t tighten up.”

Normally, he’d talk on the phone and stretch, but he didn’t want to talk for his mom too long today. He just wanted to be sure she didn’t need him for something, and then he’d get off the phone as fast as he could. She’d been all over him lately about the Triple Play Curse, as she and the columnist who was spreading the story liked to call it. Gage cringed every time he heard the words.

Brian James, a guy who was equal parts gossip columnist and sports analyst, was doing his best to ensure that all of San Francisco knew about the curse currently plaguing the Strikers. It wasn’t the first year they’d faced this curse, and all of the unmarried players on the team were unhappy about it. Any year one of the Strikers’ players got either engaged or married during the season, the curse was triggered and two more players would end up falling in love and getting married or engaged. He wouldn’t think it was so bad if it weren’t for two other facts. One, every time the curse was in play, the team suffered from the distraction. They’d end up with either an unprecedented number of injuries or errors, or they’d lose the pennant race or any number of other things that could plague an American League baseball team.

And, two, Gage had absolutely no interest in being engaged or married. None.

His mother, on the other hand, desperately wanted him to be the third player to fall.

Hence, his efforts to keep the conversation short. He was tired of her dropping hints that he should make an effort to meet ‘the right girl.’ She’d stepped up her usual attempts at matchmaking to a gargantuan effort, and he had a feeling this phone call would be headed the same way. He wasn’t disappointed.

“I’m just calling to let you know I set up some interviews for you tomorrow,” she said, as casual as could be.

Well, that was new. Now she expected him to outright interview women for the position of … of what? Girlfriend? Wife?

“Um, what?”

“Interviews, Gage. It’s time you got some help at your place. It’s a pigsty every time I come over. Laundry all over, no food in the refrigerator, your plants all die.”

Well, at least she was trying to disguise her efforts, this time. Thinly, but she was trying anyway.

“That’s because they’re your plants, Mom. You buy them and then abandon them at my place hoping I’ll be able to keep them alive. It should be clear to you by now that I can’t.”

“Pfft. Nonsense. Anyway, it’s time for you to have some help. I put an ad in the paper and online for a housekeeper and cook for you. Whoever you choose will come in and clean and cook for you four days a week. I prescreened most of the applicants,” she went on, and he knew that meant she’d weaned out anyone ugly or too old for him. “I couldn’t get to a few of them, but on the whole, you should have some great applicants coming by.”

“Mom,” he tried to cut in, but she was gone.

Aiden had apparently heard enough of the conversation to laugh while Gage banged his head against the edge of his locker.

About the Author

Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. Her books range from sweetheart to steamy in heat level (for sweeter, read the Evers, TX series.)

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children (with another on the way!), two mostly well-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has fallen in love with writing. She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series, the Evers, Texas Series, and will be putting out several novellas with baseball player heroes in Bella Andre’s Kindle World, Game For Love, in late 2014. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

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Eva Scott: Red Dust Dreaming

Interview with Eva Scott

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Eva%20Scott%20Web copyEva: Red Dust Dreaming is about losing your dreams, and finding them again. It’s about what makes a family—and that sometimes it’s okay to choose your family rather than stick with one that diminishes you.

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Eva: I am working on another rural romance—this one is about an Aussie showgirl who has spent the last 12 years dancing at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. She’s exhausted ( a dancer’s life is short) and inherits a farm off of her favourite uncle. So she decides to head home and see if she can make a career out of farming cattle. Of course she knows nothing about cows—but she can learn anything she needs to know off of Google, right? Throw in a handsome neighbour with a secret and stir.

Susana: What are you reading now?

Eva: Right at this very moment I’m reading The American Lady, the second book in The Glassblower Trilogy by Petra Durst-Benning. Next on my list is Deep by Kylie Scott. I’ve been hanging out for that one…

Susana: What author or authors have most influenced your writing?

Eva: I read Isabel Allende in the early 1990s and she blew my mind. Magic Realism was something I’d never encountered before and it was mesmerising. More recently I learned a lot about the elegance of writing from reading Donna Tartt and Kauai Hart Hemmings.

Susana: What would we find under your bed?

Eva: Abandoned Lego, my dog taking a nap and the odd random shoe.

Susana: Describe the “perfect hero.” What about the “perfect hero” for you?

Eva: Okay, so this will sound super corny but it’s my husband, G.W.Gibson. He is thoughtful and attentive. My happiness is a priority for him and he knows me better than I know myself. As a result he is there to catch me long before I fall from exhaustion/stress/whatever else ails me. He’s romantic (yes, flowers and jewelry girls!) and there’s never a moment I don’t feel valued and loved.

Susana: What is the one modern convenience you can’t do without?

Eva: My smart phone. It acts as a book/phone/notepad/internet/game. If I’ve got it on me I can get anything done on the run. Genius!

About Red Dust Dreaming

In the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

Elizabeth Langtree has her life in order—safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, but they are nothing she can’t handle. Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect her orphaned nephew.

It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback—the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.

Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.

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Excerpt

“You know it’s wrong to put those ideas into Luke’s head, don’t you?” Elizabeth hissed at him from across the table.

Red Dust Dreaming Cover copy“Don’t look at me.” He raised his hands in mock surrender. “All of that came from your sister.”

“New York smells and there are no horses?” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him with those blue eyes.

“Okay, so that bit was me,” he admitted.

“And I bet you think it’s all very funny, don’t you?” She glowed with a strange kind of beauty when she was fuming.

“You’ve got that wrong, sister. This isn’t a joke to me. This is war. You’re trying to take Luke away from the only home he’s ever known to give him to people who his mother spent her life trying to get away from.” He leaned towards her, palms pressed flat against the table.

Elizabeth pushed her chair back and stood up. “You’re the one who’s got it wrong, buddy. And if you cared so much for my sister and her son why didn’t you marry her and adopt him?”

Caden’s chair scraped loudly on the floor as he rose to his feet. “My relationship with Angela is none of your business. She lived her life the way she wanted to.”

Elizabeth gasped in outrage. “What are you implying?”

“Implying? Nothing at all. I’m not implying anything I’m saying it plainly. She ran away from your dysfunctional family and made a new family here with us. We’re Luke’s family, maybe not by blood but sometimes blood just doesn’t matter.” He noticed he’d walked around the table to face her. When had he done that?

“I live my life the way I want to.” She narrowed her eyes, her fists were balled up at her sides. Unless he was mistaken she was sizing him up.

“Right, sure you do. You did whatever Mummy and Daddy wanted. I bet life is just peachy. Well it wasn’t, to hear Angela tell it.” Caden really hadn’t meant to start this fight. If he could take it all back he would but the words just kept pouring out of his mouth uncensored. He had to stop before they both all went too far.

“My childhood wasn’t so great either but I made the best of it. Angela rebelled every inch of the way and look where that got her!”

“What exactly are you implying?”

“I’m not implying anything. I’m calling it as I see it. She ran away to hide in this godforsaken place and left me to face our parents on my own.” Her hands were on her hips and her cheeks were flushed. Damn she looked pretty! And that particular fact only fuelled his anger.

“I can’t stop you from taking Luke to New York. Believe me if I could I would. Just ask yourself this question, if New York is so damned good why did Angela run so far? Why did she deny your parents their grandchild? Why didn’t she tell you she was dying? She had a choice and she exercised it. She chose freedom. Do you really want Luke to wind up as uptight and miserable as you are?” He’d gone too far now. His words whirled about their heads like a flock of startled sparrows. Caden’s heart pounded in his chest. In some strange way he was having Angela’s argument for her, the one she never got to have. He’d heard her side of the story a thousand times and part of him justified his cruel words in defence of Angela.

Elizabeth looked as shocked as if he’d slapped her, and in some way he had—verbally. His bravado evaporated as he looked into her eyes. Fury and pain lurked in their blue depths. He’d ignited both tonight.

“I am not uptight,” she bit out between clenched teeth. She looked so angry, so small and alone in his kitchen there was only one logical thing to do.

He took a step closer, inhaling her scent of sultry summer flowers. “Oh really,” he said before crushing her to him and kissing her with everything he had.

About the Author

Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.

She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

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Laura Strickland: Dead Handsome (A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure)

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Laura will be awarding a pair of hand-crafted, Steampunk-style pierced earrings – US only – to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Dead Handsome

Clara Allen needs a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome.

Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.

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Excerpt

“Now remember,” Clara whispered to her husband, “don’t say anything about having been in jail. Or having been dead.”

perf5.000x8.000.indd“What do you take me for?” Liam shifted uncomfortably inside his suit and adjusted his tie one more time. They stood on the doorstep of a splendid house – a mansion, really – on Delaware at Edward Street, waiting for the door to open. And all he could think about was tearing the dress off his wife’s body and having his way with her yet again. As if twice had not been enough. Quite possibly, he could not get enough.

The taste of her still lingered on his lips, the sweetest thing ever to grace them. He remembered the places he had put his tongue and felt half mad to put it there once more. By God, she –

The door swung open and he found himself faced with a mechanical man. He’d heard of them, of course, but could not remember – for he could remember so little – if he had ever seen one up close.

“I should have warned you,” Clara murmured. “My grandfather keeps a number of mechanical servants – the ordinary sort will not stay with him long.”

“Good afternoon, Miss Clara. Please come in.”

The butler’s voice box clicked when it spoke. Its body, made of silver alloy, stood as tall as Liam but was much thinner and its surface had been sculpted to resemble a suit of clothes. It turned to lead them with a distinctive puff of steam. Clara knew it had an internal combustion chamber where a human’s guts might be.

“Thank you, Max,” she said and tightened her grip on Liam’s arm. They stepped in.

And oh, the house was like a picture drawn to intimidate, everything perfect and in place, not like walking into a real dwelling at all. A large entry hall opened from the door, with a black and white marble floor and flowers on tables so highly-polished they gleamed. A double staircase curved in two branching arcs just ahead but the steam butler led them to a door on the right.

“Miss Clara, your grandfather had us bring him down to receive you in the parlor.”

“How is he, Max?” Liam admired the calm in Clara’s voice but he could feel her tension flowing into him through the contact point of her arm on his.

“Much the same, Miss Clara.”

The butler hauled the door of the chamber open; they went in.

A vast room, well-proportioned, languished in gloom. Even though the sun shone brightly outside, the draperies on all the windows had been drawn. Liam found it difficult to locate his host at first. But a lamp burned on a table and beside it sat a wizened figure in a push chair. Clara’s fingers dug into his arm again.

Aye, and he would be careful. He understood what was at stake–his right to her bed, for one thing.

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_DeadHandsome copyBorn in Buffalo and raised on the Niagara Frontier, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. To her the spunky, tenacious, undefeatable ethnic mix that is Buffalo spells the perfect setting for a little Steampunk, so she created her own Victorian world there. She knows the people of Buffalo are stronger, tougher and smarter than those who haven’t survived the muggy summers and blizzard blasts found on the shores of the mighty Niagara. Tough enough to survive a squad of automatons? Well, just maybe.

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