An Affair to Dismember (The Matchmaker), Elise Sax {$0.99}

Certain to appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, and Katie MacAlister, Elise Sax’s hilarious series debut introduces matchmaker-in-training Gladie Burger, who stumbles into a dangerous quagmire of murder and red-hot romance.

Three months has been Gladie Burger’s limit when it comes to staying in one place. That’s why Gladie is more than a little skeptical when her eccentric Grandma Zelda recruits her to the family’s matchmaking business in the quaint small town of Cannes, California. What’s more, Gladie is also highly unqualified, having a terrible track record with romance. Still, Zelda is convinced that her granddaughter has “the gift.” But when the going gets tough, Gladie wonders if this gift has a return policy.

When Zelda’s neighbor drops dead in his kitchen, Gladie is swept into his bizarre family’s drama. Despite warnings from the (distractingly gorgeous) chief of police to steer clear of his investigation, Gladie is out to prove that her neighbor’s death was murder. It’s not too long before she’s in way over her head—with the hunky police chief, a dysfunctional family full of possible killers, and yet another mysterious and handsome man, whose attentions she’s unable to ignore. Gladie is clearly being pursued—either by true love or by a murderer. Who will catch her first?

What readers are saying:

“Elise Sax’s new Matchmaker series is off to a rousing start! . . . Sax gives the comic mystery genre a new spin. . . . A fun read sure to entertain.”—RT Book Reviews

“Fans of laugh-out-loud romantic suspense will enjoy this new author as she joins the ranks of Janet Evanovich, Katie MacAllister, and Jennifer Crusie.”—Booklist

“Elise Sax will win your heart.”—New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis

“In the tradition of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Elise Sax’s new novel is a funny, sexy ride.”—Valerie Frankel, author of Four of a Kind

“What a fun book! It will leave readers begging for more.”—Kim Gruenenfelder, author of There’s Cake in My Future

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.5 stars {55 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase An Affair to Dismember (The Matchmaker) for  $0.99 from Amazon!

The Guestbook, Andrea Hurst {$2.99}

EVERYONE REMEMBERS THEIR FIRST LOVE…
BUT SOMETIMES IT’S THE SECOND LOVE THAT LASTS

“Evocative and heartfelt, The Guestbook is the profound story of one woman’s journey toward hope, renewal and a second chance at love on a lush Pacific Northwest island. Curl up with your favorite cup of cocoa and enjoy.”
~Anjali Banerjee – author of Imaginary Men and Haunting Jasmine said about this women’s fiction romance

This book weaves together the heart of Nicholas Sparks, the romance of Nora Roberts, and the charm of Debbie Macomber.

Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily.

Left with only an old guestbook as her guide–a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history–Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man.

Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart in this romantic love story.

The Guestbook is the first book in the Madrona Island Trilogy. www.madronaislandbandb.com

What readers are saying:

This is a story that captured every sense engaging the reader from the first page. With savory recipes that made my mouth water, elegant descriptions of the Pacific Northwest which made me remember why I love living there, and a story that filled the soul, I loved this book.-Amazon Review

If you’re looking for a book with charm and a great atmosphere, I would definitely recommend The Guestbook. Everything from the island to the inn to the town and its people and food is lovingly rendered to really draw you in.-Amazon Review

I cannot express how very much I enjoyed The Guestbook. A wonderful debut from author Andrea Hurst and I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy!-Goodreads Review

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.4 stars {509 reviews}.

 

Click here to read more about and purchase The Guestbook for $2.99 from Amazon!

 

Love at Absolute Zero, Christopher Meeks {$0.99}

LOVE AT ABSOLUTE ZERO is a comic romance about Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old star physicist at the University of Wisconsin who’s determined to meet his soul mate within three days using the Scientific Method. As he channels his inner salmon (for speed dating), he accidentally steps on the toes of a visiting Danish schoolteacher–and his life turns upside down.

“A deeply resonant read that manages to be funny without sacrificing its gravity. Highly recommended!” -Heather Figearo, Raging Bibliomania

“Thermodynamics are nothing; it’s that love thing that is so frustratingly hard to figure out. ‘Love at Absolute Zero’ is an excellent read that is very much worth considering, highly recommended!” -Midwest Book Review

What readers are saying:

Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalist

“Highly recommended!” – Midwest Book Review

“The book is a hilarious read! – BookGeeks (UK)

“Laugh-out-loud funny!” -NY Times bestselling author Darcie Chan

The average Amazon reader review is currently 4.2 stars {43 reviews}.

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Dance For A Dead Princess, Deborah Hawkins {$2.99}

Sponsored Post

Deborah Hawkins‘ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Get it now, here

Description of Dance For A Dead Princess:

  • Historical fact: In January 1997, Princess Diana received a phone call telling her she would be assassinated.  In response she made a video tape, naming her killer and gave it to a trusted friend in America for safekeeping.  It has never been found.
Fiction:  Wall Street attorney, Taylor Collins, has something Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham, has been searching for since the death of the Princess of Wales:  Diana’s January 1997 video tape.  Determined to avenge Diana’s death by exposing her killers, Nicholas lures Taylor to England with his promise to sell his ancestral home, Burnham Abbey, to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls. But Nicholas, who has dated American actresses since the death of his beloved wife, ten years earlier and who has vowed never to fall in love again, is immediately overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.Taylor, unaware that Diana’s tape is in the estate of Mari, her long-time friend and client, and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish and is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York. But while working in the Abbey’s library, Taylor uncovers the Tudor-era love story of Thomas, the first duke and founder of the Carey family. As she reads Thomas’s agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine. But just as Taylor’s own feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana’s voice from the grave, she is confronted with evidence Nicholas may be responsible for a double murder. When Nicholas is arrested and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth once and for all about Nicholas Carey and the death of the Princess of Wales.


Accolades:

“A debut romantic mystery that spans centuries, with a modern love story at its center. . . It’s a great book for a long journey, as it’s both easy to read and intellectually gratifying. . . . British history and contemporary conspiracy collide in this satisfying novel.” – Kirkus Reviews“This is one of the first romance novels I’ve read in a while and it is definitely the best one I’ve ever read. . . . Both of the main elements of the plot, the romance between Taylor and Nicholas and the mysteries, are tied together to create a well-written book that I couldn’t put down.” Alex

“I just finished reading “Dance for a Dead Princess” and I was sad to put it down! The author has a great story and tells it very well. The book truly engaged me – I highly recommend it!” Kathryn

 

Reviews:

Dance For A Dead Princess currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars from 4 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

The Lydecker Mysteries is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99


An excerpt from Dance For A Dead Princess:

PROLOGUE

Mid-April 2010, Paris

In the gray spring rain, he stood in the Place d’Alma staring down at the tunnel where she had vanished from his life on the last night of August 1997. He came here whenever he was in Paris. He counted the pillars until he reached number thirteen, the one that had taken her life. Tears formed behind his eyes, as they always did in this place. But he refused to let them overflow. Instead, he took a long breath of fresh rain mixed with the exhaust of cars speeding through the tunnel.
When the big black Mercedes entered its skid that horrible night, his last living link to Deborah had been taken from him. Diana and Deborah, West Heath girls, friends forever. Deborah had been dead since 1994, but he had lost her long before she became his wife, three years after he met her at Diana’s wedding to the Prince of Wales in 1981. How many nights had he spent talking to Diana about his marriage, about her marriage, about his guilt over Deborah, and about the impossibility of being in love? Too many to count. He ached to tell her now how empty his life had become without either of them.
He stared down the long, gray tunnel, wondering as always what she had felt as she had slipped away from everyone who loved her. Had she struggled against it, as Deborah had? Or had her torn and broken heart quietly accepted its fate? No, he doubted that. She’d have fought to stay with her boys. Diana hadn’t gone into death quietly. That January, she’d had a warning of what was coming. She’d recorded a video tape naming her assassins and had given it to someone in America for safekeeping. But she would never tell him who it was. Too dangerous, she always insisted. If you had it, they’d come after you, too. Leave it alone, Nicholas. The tape is safer out of England.
His phone abruptly interrupted with a text message from his assistant. He was late for a meeting of the Burnham Trust at the Trust’s Paris headquarters, and everyone was waiting. Well, they could wait. All day and all night if he wanted. He was the Eighteenth Duke of Burnham and the second richest man in England after the Duke of Westminster, and he’d be late if he decided to be. He hadn’t wanted to be a duke but having been forced into the job, he was going to enjoy every possible perk.
As soon as the news of Diana’s death reached him, he’d vowed to find her tape and make it public. No luck for the last thirteen years, but his latest operative had just come up with a stellar lead at last. It was so stellar that not only was he pretty sure he was going to find the tape, he was also going to have the opportunity to unload the decaying family seat in Kent and exact his well-deserved revenge upon his father, the Seventeenth Duke.


Dance For A Dead Princess is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

Connect with Deborah Hawkins:

Website: http://dhawkinsdotnet.wordpress.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DanceForADeadPrincess?fref=ts

Twitter: @DeborahHawk3

Promise Cove (A Pelican Pointe Novel), Vickie McKeehan {FREE!}

 

Stuck in backwater Pelican Pointe, California, Jordan Phillips is still trying to recover from the loss of her husband, Scott, who died in Iraq. She’s left with a baby daughter to support and Scott’s dream of turning the old Victorian family home into The Cove Bed and Breakfast, something he’d wanted to do before leaving for Iraq. But Jordan faces formidable odds at every turn. Facing foreclosure is the least of her problems. Pelican Pointe, Scott’s hometown, has never really accepted her. The hostile town treats her like an outsider. Feeling isolated and lonely, the odds of success are heavily stacked against her until a stranger arrives.

Nick Harris is battling survivor’s guilt, leftover from the war. Haunted by an unwitting promise he made during the heat of battle, Nick has come to Pelican Pointe in hopes of simply unburdening his guilt to Scott’s widow and moving on. But that all changes when he realizes Jordan is in way over her head. Facing an uphill battle, the two of them try to overcome every obstacle the townspeople throw at them.

As Nick and Jordan struggle to come to terms with the loss of Scott, each in their own way, they discover a promise kept, sometimes changes lives.

From the Author
I like to write about everyday people, putting them in difficult, real life situations, and have them rise to the occasion using their wits and strong will to overcome the obstacles to bring down their foe.

And I especially like to give my readers a resolution and a happy ending.

Vickie’s Kindle Fire Fan Appreciation Giveaway is in full swing until March 24th. 
Grand Prize: 7″ Kindle Fire 
First Prize: $25 Amazon GC
Second Prize: $20 Amazon GC
Third Prize: $10 Amazon GC 
Enter at her Facebook page for your chance to win. No purchase necessary to win.
https://www.facebook.com/VickieMcKeehan

 

What readers are saying:

“Promise Cove is an emotional story that has been cleverly crafted into an engaging and uplifting read.” BestChickLit.com

“Promise Cove is a story about life–it’s heartbreaks and celebrations. This makes it the perfect read…an innocent intrigue.” Carolyn Arnold, author of The Madison Knight Series

“An extraordinary affair of the heart…” John Darling, author of The Detective Anderson Mysteries

“I lived this story. It was a page turner for me… I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good, realistic romance.” Joan Adamak, author 

The average Amazon reader review rating is currently 4.6 stars, with 58 reviews.

Click here to read more about and purchase Promise Cove (A Pelican Pointe Novel) for FREE!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Desert Sheikh (Books 1, 2 and 3 of The Desert Sheikh romance trilogy), Katheryn Lane {$3.99}

Sponsored Post

Katheryn Lane‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Desert Sheikh:

The complete bestselling Desert Sheikh romance trilogy

******

Book 1: Kidnapped By The Sheikh

Sheikh Akbar needs a hostage.

Sarah Greenwich needs to escape.

But sometimes what you need is not what you want.

When a powerful sheikh kidnaps Dr. Sarah Greenwich, she leads him to believe that she is the wife of the British ambassador, but how long will she be able to keep up the deception and what will happen to her when the sheikh finds out that she has been lying to him?

Sarah is about to discover that the desert is an exotic wilderness, where anything can happen…

Book 2: Married To The Sheikh

When Sarah Greenwich marries Sheikh Akbar, her life is full of wedded bliss in the arms of a loving, passionate man. However, not everyone shares her happiness and Sarah soon discovers that when you’re married to a powerful warlord, problems can come from the most unexpected sources.

Can love overcome the obstacles that are placed in front of it?

Book 3: The Sheikh’s Son

When Sheikh Akbar manages to track down his long-lost wife, he also discovers the one other thing that he has always wanted: a son. However, reclaiming what he wants and loves is not as easy as he first thinks.

Who will win in this renewed battle of wills and what lengths will Akbar go to in order to keep his child?

 

Accolades:

5 Stars! Love Is The Best Bridge
“I really enjoyed this one! The Desert Sheikh was filled with sweet romance and two people working to bridge the cultural gaps that kept them apart. A strong woman finds a strong man, and they come together to create a successful marriage of two cultures. Love is the best bridge between people. Highly recommended.”

Reviews:

The Desert Sheikh currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars from 5 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from The Desert Sheikh:

Excerpt from Chapter 5 of The Desert Sheikh (Book 1, Kidnapped By The Sheikh) by Katheryn Lane

“I need to go back to the capital straight away to get some antibiotics for your mother,” Sarah said in a loud, clear voice across the sheikh’s tent. She did her best to ignore that fact that he was inspecting a large collection of guns spread out in front of him and his men.
“Here you are again demanding something.” Sheikh Akbar laughed. “You go to my niece’s tent and come out demanding that I cancel her wedding. I send you to my mother’s tent and you come out demanding a trip to the capital. If I sent you to stay with the camels, would you come in here demanding more food for them?” All of his men laughed along with him.
“Your mother is very sick. Her leg’s infected.”
“I’m not going to talk about such intimate matters in front of other people,” the sheikh replied.
Sarah remembered that in the local culture it was deemed highly inappropriate to discuss female relatives in front of non-family members. “Tell your men to go away then.”
“And be alone with you again? Twice in one day? It would, of course, be a pleasure, but my men will talk.”
“I don’t care what they think. I have to get some medicine for your mother.”
“Go. Leave us,” the sheikh ordered.
His men picked up some of the guns and made their way out. Sarah heard several of them snigger and the word “whore” was muttered by more than one of them. An Arab woman would never willingly put herself in a situation where she was alone with a man who wasn’t her relative or husband, unless she was a slave or a prostitute. However, Sarah had no choice. If the sheikh wouldn’t discuss his mother in front of others, then he would have to discuss it with her alone.
“Please, make yourself comfortable.” The sheikh reclined against some bolsters along the far side of the tent in one of the darker corners.
“I’m fine, thank you. We must drive back to the capital, now, and get some medicine.”
“You must think I’m stupid. Do you really think I’ll take you back, so that as soon as we arrive, you can jump out and run off, leaving me empty-handed? No, you’re staying here. And as you’re here, please, sit.”
Sarah remained standing. “Your mother is very sick. It seems that a camel trod on her leg. It’s now very infected. If she doesn’t get the right medicine, the infection will spread and the sepsis, blood poisoning, will kill her.”
The sheikh stopped smiling and spent a few minutes thinking. “Stay here. I’m going to see if what you’re saying is true.” He walked out of the tent, leaving Sarah staring at a pile of guns.
She wondered whether she should grab a gun and try to force her way out. However, she had no idea how to use one and she had absolutely no intention of killing anybody. Her job as a doctor was to save lives, not to impair or take them away. Even if she got past the sheikh and his men, how would she get back to the city? They had travelled along unmarked dirt paths to get to the camp and there would be no signs showing her the way back.
She looked again at the assorted guns on the floor. She wondered whether maybe she should take one of the smaller ones for protection. She picked up what looked like a pistol. Sarah had never touched a gun before. She held it up in front of her to see what it felt like, only to find herself pointing it directly at the sheikh.
“First you’re demanding things and next you’re pointing guns at me,” the sheikh said, more amused than surprised to be in such a situation. “But please, don’t aim that pistol at me. For a start, it isn’t loaded; none of them are. Do you think I would leave you alone with a bunch of loaded guns? And also, what you said about my mother is true.”
Sarah put the gun down, and couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed that it wasn’t full of bullets. “Did you see your mother’s leg?”
“Of course not!” The sheikh looked horrified at the suggestion that he would look at his mother’s naked flesh. “I asked the girl who waits on the women. She told me.”
Sarah guessed that he was referring to Onnab. “So we’re going to get the medicine then?”
“No, we’re not.” The sheikh sat on the floor as if to prove the point that he wasn’t going anywhere.
“But your mother is sick. Onnab confirmed it.”
“How do I know that your medicine will help? How do I know that you won’t try to poison her?”
Sarah sighed in exasperation. “I promise you. I’m only trying to help. Why would I want to kill your mother?”
“Will you take the medicine first to prove it?”
“Yes, of course.” It was a ridiculous thing to demand, but she agreed to do it. “So, can we go now?”
“No, not now. It’ll be dark soon and it’s not safe to travel through the desert at night. I’ll go first thing in the morning with some of my men.”
“And me?”
“You don’t need to go. Just write down what we need to buy and where we can get it.”
Sarah knew of a pharmacist that would sell them over-the-counter antibiotics. She wrote down the details in both English and Arabic on a piece of paper that the sheikh brought her.
Sheikh Akbar looked at the paper and seemed puzzled. “You not only speak Arabic, you write it as well. Sit down and tell me how you learnt my language.”
Sarah was clearly not going anywhere soon, so she accepted his offer and sat on the floor next to the sheikh. Once she was comfortable, she told him all about her childhood friend, Amira, who was from the Middle East. Amira had taught her Arabic so that they could use it as a type of secret language, because no one else at school could understand it, including the teachers.
“So you were strong and wilful even as a child.” The sheikh smiled at her.
Sarah smiled back as she thought about the times that she and Amira had annoyed their teachers and upset the other students.
“I hope your husband cherishes you,” Akbar said.
Sarah was so busy thinking about her childhood that she was surprised by what he said. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”
The sheikh moved nearer to her. “If I were the British ambassador, I wouldn’t let my wife travel on her own to the airport where she could get abducted and taken away by another man.”
Sarah felt the colour rise in her face, though she wasn’t sure whether it was because she was nervous about the fact that she was an imposter, or because the man who sat next to her seemed to be strongly attracted to her. Deep down, Sarah couldn’t deny that fact that she found him very attractive, too.
“My husband wouldn’t approve of you saying such things,” Sarah lied.
“But your husband isn’t here, is he?”
“No, I guess he isn’t.” Sarah felt her body rise up towards the sheikh.
“If he were, what would he do?”
Sarah felt his hand brush against her knee. A strong burning sensation rose to the top of her legs. “He would kiss me,” she whispered.
“Like this?” The sheikh moved forward and put his lips lightly on her own.
Sarah closed her eyes and breathed in the smell of mint tea and incense. “No, more like this.” She put her hands around his head and pulled him towards her until she could feel the weight of his body on top of hers.
He reciprocated by wrapping his arms around her and clasping her tightly to him. He was unbelievably strong, so strong that he was able to lift her up from the cushions. He was on top of her, but she was lying on nothing more than the hot desert air. It was as if she were floating underneath him.
Suddenly, he dropped her and she fell with a thud onto the cushions below. He stood, straightened his clothes and walked to the other side of the tent.
“Go! Go!”
“What’s the matter? What have I done?” Sarah was completely confused.
“I have behaved dishonourably. You are my guest, Lady Bolton, and I have taken advantage of the weakness of women.”
“Hang on a minute. I’m not weak. It wasn’t that long ago that you were going on about how strong I was.”
“All women are weak. That’s why they need the protection of men.”
“How ridiculous! What a stupid thing to say!”
“Get out! Go back to where the women are and take care of my sick mother.”

 

The Desert Sheikh is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99

 

Connect with Katheryn Lane:

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: A Cupid Kind Of Day, L.A. Dale {$0.99}

Sponsored Post

L.A. Dale‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of A Cupid Kind Of Day:

Lily Appleby was down on love. Her dreams trampled on, her belief in romance shattered, she was about as happy discussing Valentine’s Day as a vegan discussing meat options.
Then, she met Damon in a cobbler’s shop, of all places, and over a near death incident with a hairy spider and a mix up over shoes, a bond was formed. For Lily, the attraction was instant and beyond chemical. She felt as if someone filled her veins with champagne and the fizz was overflowing. For Damon, it was just as strong. So strong, in fact, that he was prepared to go to all manner of lengths to ensure that Lily ~ the girl he barely knew ~ had the best Valentine’s Day ever and that her faith in love would be restored.

Or would it?

Will Lily fall hopelessly in love over a CD and a Crunchie Bar? Or will she choose NOT to love again?


Accolades:

“I loved this book. It was a quick read that had me laughing out loud in a few places. A great new twist on the Valentine’s theme.” S. Saujani.

“5 stars again to Lindy Dale. This author knows the chick lit genre and how to melt a reader’s heart. I simply loved this story.” M Bonnell

“This is the perfect story to read whilst curling up on the couch on a cold winters day or whilst sitting around the pool or beach on a hot summers day.” D. Kitchen

 

Reviews:

A Cupid Kind Of Day currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.8 stars from 6 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

A Cupid Kind Of Day is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99


An excerpt from A Cupid Kind Of Day:

The walk back to the office was only a few blocks and having a spare ten minutes ~ Lily liked to make full use of her one-hour lunchbreak ~ she stopped at The Cobbler Shop to pick up her shoes. Under normal circumstances, having a pair of shoes re-soled would have been out of her realm of comprehension, Lily was more of a ditch-them-and-buy-new-ones type of girl but the shoes in question had sentimental value. Lily had been wearing those pretty red pumps with the impossible heels on the day she’d been offered her current job, the one she thought she’d never be offered. She’d been wearing them at the bar the night she and Travis met. He’d complimented her on them. She’d also had them on when she’d discovered she’d won two VIP tickets, complete with backstage passes, to see Coldplay. Yep, those red pumps were her lucky shoes and there was no way she was letting them die.

Letting the front door swing closed behind her, Lily approached the counter, rustling in her handbag for the docket as she went. She stopped, taking in the pigeon holes filled with newly mended shoes, all fixed and ready to be loved again. A smell of leather and shoe polish filled her nose and she breathed it in thinking how odd it was that people never polished their shoes anymore. She still did. She loved the look her biker boots took on after a good spruce up.

Placing her manicured finger on the bell, she gave it a quick ‘ting’ to summon the cobbler.

“Hi, can I help you?”

A large hand swung back the plastic curtain, revealing an unidentified man, who sported the nicest shoulders Lily had ever seen ~ well, through clothing. This certainly wasn’t the cobbler, who would’ve been pushing eighty on a good day, but it certainly was a nice surprise. A very nice surprise.

The man was wearing a baby pink checked shirt, sleeves rolled up to the elbow and a pair of stone coloured pants with a thick brown belt. His forearm bore a tastefully small tattoo of what looked to be a girl, like one of those 1940’s pin-ups. Lily would have loved to get a little closer to see the detail but she was vaguely aware that she was staring and as her mother had always told her staring was very rude. Even if the object of the stare was hotter than a bushfire in summer.

“Can I help you?” the man repeated, running a hand through his sooty hair and making it stand deliciously on end.

“Oh, um, yes. I’ve come to pick up my shoes. Leroy said they’d be ready today.” She handed him the ticket with her order number on it. His fingers brushed faintly against hers and Lily’s heart did a little skip inside her chest. Okay, well actually it was a more of a high jump.

The man pivoted to look along the rows of mended shoes, which was fortunate as it gave Lily a view of his bum that she otherwise would not have seen. And gosh, what a lovely muscular bottom it was, the perfect ending to a pair of perfectly muscled legs.

Realising she was staring again, Lily raised her eyes to the ceiling and tried to look casual, cool.

Oh. My. God.

Was that a spider coming across the roof towards them? One hairy step closer and she’d be leaving without her shoes. Confident and capable under normal circumstances Lily turned to jelly when it came to spiders especially the big, grey hairy type. She was petrified of Huntsmen and no matter how many hypnosis sessions she went to, she was unable to conquer the overwhelming fear. Biting her lip, she watched the spider advance. She wished hot-butt guy would hurry with her shoes. Because she was either going to faint with fright or puke all over his floor.

The man’s hands scanned the collection of shoes and stopped; sliding out a particularly hideous, clunky, tan-coloured pair with the most sensible sole Lily had ever seen. He placed them on the counter.

“This them?”

With one eye on her eight-legged companion, Lily looked at the proffered footwear.

Oh puh-lease! Was he taking the piss or something?

“Uh, no.”

“Thought not.” A devilish twinkle sparked in the man’s as he put the shoes away.

“What about these?” He plonked another, equally atrocious, pair in front of her.

At least they were from the last decade.

“No.”

Lily began to tap her foot. Geez, did he have to be so hot while he was annoying her like this?

“What colour are they?”

Lily swallowed, the words choking in her throat which was at that moment beginning to constrict so that she couldn’t breathe. Her tapping foot froze. The spider was making its way down the wall, past the rows of shoes. Lily could practically see its big nippy pincers, its black eyeballs. She could feel tiny beads of sweat forming on the hairline of her neck. She was inhaling hard and it wasn’t from the sight of the guy in front of her. Though that would have been the preferable option.

“Red. Patent.”

Turning back, the man produced what seemed to be a pair of the extremely large ruby slippers and clomped them down on the counter, looking at Lily in expectation. Their sequin-covered toes blinded Lily and she blinked. No Dorothy, unless she was six feet five and a cross-dresser would be seen dead in them.

“You’re kidding, right?” she gasped, almost hyperventilating.

“They’re red.”

“They’re also hideous.”

The spider was by now crawling down the side of the shelf and heading towards the counter, and her! Lily’s skin began to go clammy. Perspiration trickled from her armpit and down her side.

“You okay?” the man asked.

Unable to open her mouth for fear she might vomit, Lily pointed.

The man looked around. The spider ambled closer, taunting her with its invisibility to everyone but her. Then it started to run. And it makes sense, that if you have eight legs, you can run a lot faster than when you have two.

Lily screamed. Her knees buckled and she stepped away from the counter grabbing the bench next to it and trying to shrink into the corner of the seat. She pointed again, a feeble gesture that by the time she’d raised her arm was utterly useless because the spider had moved.

But this time, the culprit was caught. With a move swifter than Usain Bolt could run the hundred metres, the man took a dustpan from under the counter and smacked it over the spider, squashing it into mud-coloured slushy particles and bits of leg. Then he took a tissue, scraped up the remains and tossed them carelessly in the bin.

The man brushed his hands together in finality. “All gone.”

“Thanks.”

“You look a bit pale. Can I get you a glass of water?”

Lily didn’t want to ask if that would involve being left alone in this possibly spider infested room. “Yes, please.”

Thirty seconds later, the man was back, a large glass of iced water in his hand. Squatting in front of Lily, he gave it to her. A tender palm came to rest on her knee while she drank. His deep brown eyes examined her face.

“Better?” he asked.

If only he knew he was making things twenty times worse by looking at her like that. It was like someone had taken to her with a Taser gun. Pulses of energy were shooting up from her knee to her groin.

“Much,” she mumbled.

Lily sat for a minute longer, enjoying the warm pressure of his hand and the concern in his eyes. Then an odd thought came to her. Travis had never looked at her like that, not even when she’d slipped on the ice in the gutter and torn the ligaments in her ankle. He’d just said it was her own fault for wearing those ridiculous shoes. Come to think of it, she couldn’t remember him ever being this sweet. Had she imagined he cared?

“Sorry to cause a scene like that. Huntsman spiders scare the crap out of me.”

“I kinda figured that. What’s the deal?”

“It’s embarrassing. Well, for me anyway.”

“I’m into embarrassing. I’ve got tonnes of embarrassing stories. We could swap embarrassing stories if that’d make you more comfortable?”

Oooohhh. How cute, he was willing to share his drunken exploits with her in the name of compassion.

“Well, I’d love to,” Lily said, glancing at her watch and seeing that she only had two minutes left to hike it back to the office before Jordy Brown-nose dobbed on her for being late. “But if I don’t get back to work in the next five nano-seconds I’m going to get fired.”

A Cupid Kind Of Day is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

Connect with L.A. Dale:

Author Website: www.LADale.net

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/L.A.Dale.Author?ref=hl

Author Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/LA_DALE

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Isn’t She Lovely?, Bettye Griffin {$4.79}

Sponsored Post

Bettye Griffin‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Isn’t She Lovely?:

Bettye Griffin’s 20th novel is a riveting story centering around secrets, scandals, old wounds, and new attachments amid a gubernatorial campaign…

In the years since her husband left her, it’s been a struggle for Tracy Pegram to support her children as she balances a full-time job with college classes to advance her career. Then her son is injured in a hit-and-run accident…and when she learns the irresponsible driver is the son of a millionaire politician, she wants blood.

Illinois Attorney General Keith Norwood’s promising political career stalled after a horrific road accident killed his wife and her mother before his eyes. Voters felt he should tend to his traumatized young son, who also witnessed the crash, and he lost his party’s nomination for governor. Now, four years later, he’s back in the race and leading in the polls when his troubled son, Josh, runs over a child and flees the scene in a panic.

When Josh Norwood asks to apologize to her son, Tracy sees into the heart of the troubled teen and opens her home and heart to him. Before long she recognizes a tortured soul under the rigid public persona of Keith Norwood as well, but opening her heart to the father the way she has to the son is out of the question…or is it?

 

Accolades:

From USA Today: “I predict major discussions over Bettye Griffin’s latest release, Isn’t She Lovely, a masterpiece of complexity and philosophical life lessons with a heartwarming romance. Griffin builds the conflict to dizzying heights that left me having out-loud conversations with the characters. Moral and ethical dilemmas color the characters with good doses of realism. Their motivations often play out with brilliant intensity as they steadfastly try to stick to their goals. The cast of characters is born onto the page with lots of good qualities but with subtle shades of imperfection to make them memorable.”

From a reader at Amazon.com: “Bettye handcrafted the main and supporting cast of characters out of very real personalities, and there are many facets to this tale: steamy romance, parental choices, dating just for dating’s sake, politics, and of course, the requisite interfering exes. This is one book that I just couldn’t put down until I finished. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.”

From a reader at BN.com: “Isn’t She Lovely was a lovely book. Being a divorced mother of two, it gives me a clear goal for the type of blended family I would hope to one day have. As usual Ms. Griffin did it again, delivered an enjoyable and inspiring book that I found hard to put down.”

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Isn’t She Lovely? currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 12 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Isn’t She Lovely? is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.79

 

Excerpt from Isn’t She Lovely?:

A nervous Keith followed his attorney into his office. In one of the chairs facing his desk sat a woman who looked nothing like what he expected. It was probably silly of him, but from Jeff’s description of a struggling divorced mother, he hadn’t expected anyone who looked, well, quite so together. For one thing, she was petite. Keith imagined that her schedule of full-time work, part-time college, plus caring for her children didn’t leave much time for nutritious eating, but Tracy Pegram hardly had a figure of a woman who grabbed a lot of greasy hamburgers and French fries on the run.

She was also fashionable. Her hair was cut in an extremely short natural that emphasized delicate features and a graceful neck. From what he’d seen, the shorter a woman’s hair the larger her earrings tended to be—perhaps to prevent her from being mistaken for a man—but Tracy Pegram’s lobes were decorated with small gold love knots, just one in each ear. She wore a simple black sweater and black pants with a black-trimmed collarless kelly green suit jacket. A thin gold chain hung around her neck with a curvy capital T hanging from it. To Keith’s eyes, Ms. Pegram looked as well-dressed as, well, Wendy, who was in a considerably higher income bracket.

“Mrs. Tracy Pegram, may I present Mr. Keith Norwood,” Jeff said.

Keith saw the flash of recognition in her dark eyes. She shook the hand he offered like she was in a trance.

“You might recognize him,” Jeff added lamely.

She spoke for the first time since Keith entered the room. “Yes, I do.”

“Keith, you sit there,” Jeff instructed, indicating the chair to Mrs. Pegram’s right, then went around to sit behind his desk.

After Keith was seated he cleared his throat and began to speak. He noticed that while he sat all the way back in his chair, she sat upright, her legs bent backward at the knee and demurely crossed at the ankle. He tried not to be intimidated by her stern body language. “Mrs. Pegram,” he began earnestly, “I can’t tell you how sorry I am about what happened yesterday. My son, Josh, has been unhappy lately about my campaign. You see, if I should win it’ll involve moving to Springfield. He’s fifteen and doesn’t want to leave his friends.”

“I don’t mean to sound rude, Mr. Norwood, but is that supposed to be an explanation for what he did? *Your* son has a tantrum because he doesn’t want to move and *my* son ends up with a broken leg?” Her eyes flashed with anger.

He resisted the urge to exchange worried glances with Jeff. The last thing he wanted to do was make Tracy Pegram think they were ganging up on her. “Of course not. I just wanted to give you some background information.”

She nodded. “I know about the accident that killed your wife and mother-in-law,” she said softly. “I truly am sorry for the…horrendous experience you and your son suffered, but perhaps he should be supervised more closely.”

Keith’s spine stiffened. He understood the message behind her words: that he shouldn’t be out campaigning, he should be at home with his son. And he didn’t like it. Who was this woman to tell him how to raise his son? With all she had on her plate, how much time did she spend with *her* kids?

She kept looking at him with anger in her dark eyes. Keith didn’t know if he’d ever had her vote to begin with, but if he ever had it, he’d definitely lost it now.

Jeff quickly intervened, leaning forward personably. “Listen, we’ll all parents here. We have to realize that even the best-behaved child is going to act out every now and again. I’m not saying that Josh has had no problems stemming from witnessing the accident that killed his mother and grandmother, but that ordeal is pretty much behind him. What happened yesterday was really a one-time impulse that he regrets very much. Mrs. Pegram, I asked you here today in the hopes that we can reach some kind of a quiet settlement.” He put just the right emphasis on the word ‘quiet.’

Keith found himself holding his breath as he waited for her reaction.

Tracy felt torn. She was being asked to take money in exchange for not pursuing legal action. Josh Norwood had left the scene of an accident, and one with injuries at that.

But he was also the son of a wealthy man, and she’d recently begun dipping into her meager savings to keep her bills paid on time, something she wouldn’t be able to keep up for very long. She was still paying back the loan she’d taken against her retirement account to finance her divorce from Clint. Her credit card balance was creeping upward because of emergency repairs for a nine-year-old car she couldn’t afford to replace. And the kids always needed something, especially the rapidly growing Gabe. Things were worse now than they’d ever been before, and her stress level was becoming unendurable. Just last week she’d actually been reduced to tears when she realized she’d accidentally picked up two half gallons of more expensive premium orange juice instead of the regular kind she usually bought. Things had to be pretty bad when an expenditure of a dollar and forty cents made her cry. In that case it wasn’t so much the money as it was the strain of trying to keep up. And who knew when Clint would be able to send her anything?

It might not be fair that rich men like Keith Norwood could buy their children’s way out of just about any jam, but she had no choice. She had to hear him out.

“I’m listening,” she said quietly, trying not to sound defeated.

“I wanted to give you an amount that would cover your out of pocket expenses for your son’s medical treatment and would leave plenty left over,” Keith Norwood said. He paused, then said, “Twenty-five thousand dollars.”

“You give the word, and I’ll get the papers drawn up right away,” Jeff added. “You’ll be able to pick up your check this afternoon. Of course, there are some terms we have to ask that you agree to.”

Tracy’s fingers gripped the arm rests of the chair, forcing her facial expression to remain impassive. Twenty-five thousand dollars! That was probably two-thirds of her annual salary. To think that Keith Norwood could pay her that much money in one lump sum, the same way she would buy a ninety-nine-cent burger at McDonald’s. She could actually pick it up on her way home from work, Jeff said.

But nothing was as simple as it seemed on the surface, and Jeff Howard’s words suggested a catch. “What kind of terms?” she asked, her voice low with suspicion.

“Confidentiality. We would expect for the details of the situation itself, as well as the financial settlement, to be kept secret. No friends, no family…not even your ex-husband should be told.”

Her eyes narrowed. She had broken her promise to Amber and hadn’t yet telephoned Clint, but it bothered her that Jeff knew about Clint in the first place. “How do you know I have an ex-husband?” Once again she was reminded of the creepy feeling she’d gotten that morning when Jeff called her house.
As he hedged, the answer came to her with the force of a strong ocean wave. “My God, you’ve had me *investigated*,” she said accusingly. “You did more than just find out my name and phone number. You’ve snooped into my personal business, going over any records that exist on me. You invaded my privacy!”

While listening to her tirade, Keith noticed that her voice had a husky quality to it that was charming. In a different setting he’d find it sexy. He pushed that outrageous thought aside and sought to reassure her. “Mrs. Pegram,” he said in the most soothing voice he could muster, “I can understand your being upset at the thought of a background check being done on you, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s only common sense to get an idea of a person’s character before you offer them cash to keep something quiet.” Too late, he realized that pointing out his ability to pay her for her silence would only antagonize her.

She turned on him with blazing eyes. “And what if my character had been questionable, in your opinion? That doesn’t change the fact that my son has a broken leg because of your son’s reckless driving. So then what would you have done?”

His answer came without hesitation. “I would’ve brought Josh to the police station to turn himself in. I would have let the insurance company handle the settlement, dropped out of the race for governor, and done everything I could to protect my son against the law.” Keith spoke with quiet resolve that conveyed he was every bit as concerned for his son’s welfare as she was for hers.

He certainly sounded convincing, she thought. She felt herself softening, then swiftly changed her mind. She couldn’t cave in now. Josh’s leg would be in a cast for the next six weeks. She’d have to shuttle him to and from school all that time, and she was already exhausted.

No. As far as she was concerned, Keith Norwood was as sincere as Fred C. Davis, the character of a do-nothing, hot-air Chicago alderman on the old TV sitcom Good Times. His decision to stay in the governor’s race four years ago after his wife was killed before his eyes suggested he was power-mad and wanted to be the nation’s second black president. Couldn’t he see that his son had been traumatized and needed his dad? That might be why the kid took his grandfather’s car keys in the first place, to get his father to stop running for office and pay him some attention for a change.

It almost seemed unfair that such a cold, unfeeling man—even if he did manage to project warmth and sincerity on the surface, like that heartfelt claim he’d just made—should have been blessed with a personal fortune, Tracy thought. Imagine, paying someone twenty-five thousand dollars just like that!
It just went to show how real estate often made people rich. Keith Norwood owned properties all over Lake County. It was likely those lucrative investments more so than his salary as attorney general, that allowed him to write five-figure checks without a second thought.

She blinked. Wait a minute. Real estate. That was the key. Keith Norwood could do something for her that would help her even more than twenty-five thousand dollars’ cash, something that would help her get back on her feet.

“Um, Mrs. Pegram?” Jeff Howard prompted.

She decided to go ahead and ask. All he could say was no. She could even make him sweat a little, suggest subtly that she’d press charges if he didn’t give her what she wanted. She wouldn’t actually do that, of course. Tracy had no interest in revenge. She just wanted a chance to get ahead for once in her life, and a better future for Amber and Gabe. If he resisted, she’d just accept the money and go about her business. But he didn’t have to know that. That damn background check showed she wasn’t a criminal, but it wasn’t like they could read her thoughts by reading a piece of paper.

“I’m going to make you a counteroffer,” she said. “Your offer is very generous, and while cash is always wonderful…”

Keith and Jeff looked at each other in puzzlement, and she knew they were wondering what on earth she was about to ask for.

Tracy rushed on. “But what I’d really like is a rental house with free rent for five years, a house with three bedrooms in a good school district, like Gurnee.”

There. She’d said it.

 

Isn’t She Lovely? is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.79

 

Connect with Bettye Griffin:

Author Website: bettye@bettyegriffin.com

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bunderful-Books/171124786244747

Author Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/BettyeGriffin

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Color of Heaven, Julianne MacLean {$3.89}

Sponsored Post

Julianne MacLean‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

 

Description of The Color of Heaven:

A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter’s unexpected illness and her husband’s shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold dark depths of the water, a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie’s past, and teaches her what it means to truly live…and love.

Full of surprising twists and turns and a near-death experience that will leave you breathless, this story is not to be missed.

 

Accolades:

“A box of tissues should be included in the purchase price of this book…. I finished THE COLOR OF HEAVEN in a matter of hours, but I’ve no doubt the read and the lessons imparted through Sophie’s story will stay with me… probably forever. THE COLOR OF HEAVEN is an incredibly poignant and unbelievably gripping novel, deserving Romance Junkies’ highest rating.” –FIVE BLUE RIBBONS – Chris at Romance Junkies

“A gripping, emotional tale you’ll want to read in one sitting.” – New York Times bestselling author, Julia London

“Brilliantly poignant mainstream tale.” – 4 ½ starred review, Romantic Times


Amazon Reader Reviews:

The Color of Heaven currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 91 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

The Color of Heaven is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.89


Excerpt from The Color of Heaven:

Not long after I crossed the border into New Hampshire, the temperature plummeted. If I had been out walking, I would have felt it on my cheeks. The chill would have entered my throat and lungs, but I was strapped tightly into the cozy confines of my vehicle with the heat blasting out of the dashboard vents, and was therefore shielded from the conditions outside. I will always wonder what brought that deer out onto the road just as the puddles from the melting snow turned to ice. I saw her out of the corner of my eye, galloping onto the pavement, and my whole body went rigid.

Wrenching the steering wheel left to avoid her, I hit the brakes at the same time, which was, of course, the worst thing I could have done.

The car whipped around 180 degrees, so I was now facing the oncoming headlights from the vehicles traveling behind me. My tires skimmed sideways across the pavement toward the shoulder of the road.

I remember everything in excruciating detail, the noise especially, as my car rolled five times down the steep embankment. Glass shattered and smashed. Steel collapsed. The world spun in dizzying circles in front of my eyes, so I shut them and gripped the steering wheel hard, bracing my body against the jarring impact as the roof collapsed over the passenger side and the windows blew out.

Down I went, tumbling and bouncing over the rocks like a stone skipping across water.

Then all at once, it was over.

There was only white noise in my ears, and the thunderous sound of my heartbeat.

I opened my eyes to find myself hanging upside down in my seatbelt, with the side of my head wedged up against the roof.

The engine was still running. Other sounds emerged. Music blasted from the radio – an old favorite song of mine from the 80’s, The Killing Time, which was ironic, but in that heart-stopping moment, I was not that reflective. All I could think of was getting out of there.

Panic hit me. Hard. I felt trapped, frantic to escape, and began to thrash about.

I groped for the red button on the seatbelt buckle, but my hands were shaking so badly, I couldn’t push it.

My breaths came faster and faster.

I cried out, but no one heard.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a whip cracked. The vehicle shuddered.

I froze and tried to see past the smashed windshield in front of me. Everything outside the car was pure white, covered in snow.

If only I knew where I was. If only I could see something beyond the broken glass.

But it didn’t matter what I could, or could not, see. I knew what was happening…

My car was sitting on its roof, resting on a frozen lake. The crack of the whip was the sound of the ice breaking.

Creak… Groan…

My SUV shifted and began to slowly tip sideways…


The Color of Heaven is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.89


Connect with Julianne MacLean:

Website: http://www.juliannemaclean.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JulianneMacLean

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JulianneMacLeanRomanceAuthor?ref=pb

Tall Tales and Wedding Veils, Jane Graves {$3.99}

Accountant Heather Montgomery is a planner. So never in her wildest dreams did she think she’d run into sexy charmer Tony McCaffrey in Vegas, play lady luck, and celebrate his jackpot with a champagne-soaked night. And she certainly never expected to wake up the next morning married! How could this good girl pick a man whose fridge is empty and whose apartment is a disaster zone, yet still drives her so crazy with lust she can’t see straight?

Quickly hitched and happily ditched, Tony can’t wait to get back to his playboy ways. But when Heather’s family is thrilled that their no-nonsense daughter is finally in love, he proposes a plan: stay married for a month to repay his good luck charm, even though she sterilizes his toothbrush and forbids anything between the sheets. But Heather is more than he bargained for–a sharp-witted, passionate woman who just might turn his near miss into wedded bliss!

What readers are saying:

“I can’t recommend Tall Tales and Wedding Veils highly enough. I’ve been looking for a book like this one – funny, and touching with wonderful characters and great love scenes. This is the best feel-good book I’ve read in a long time and I know I will read it again, and again.” –All About Romance

“A breath of pure romance, this book is a charmer. If you like Jennifer Crusie, you will go for this one. I sure did.” –RT Bookclub

“Opposites attract in this fast-paced, diverting romantic comedy with more than its share of lively fun.” –Library Journal

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 4.5 stars {26 reviews}.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...