Football Widows, Pat Tucker {$3.79}

Football Widows are people who feel like their relationship dies during the NFL season. Their significant others are so focused on the game, they may as well be single.

What readers are saying:

Good read and the book was like looking into a TV realty show. Some of the characters were likable and some others were crazy!

This is a must read !!
If you are thinking about reading this book then I say do it !!
It makes you wonder who you can tell your deepest secrets to,or should you ?.
Be careful your secrets might come back to haunt you. They might even appear in a book ? Lol

Football Widows was so good that I am getting ready to order another book by the same author.

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 4.2 stars {18 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase Football Widows for $3.79

Between Boyfriends, Sarka-Jonae Miller {$0.99 After Memorial Day Sale!}

At first glance, twenty-one-year-old Jan Weston has it all: a gorgeous boyfriend, fun friends, and wealthy parents who take care of all those pesky credit card bills.

Then her boyfriend dumps her, her friendships fall apart, and her parents cut her off. Suddenly without money, without a man, and without a plan, it’s time for Jan to grow up.

Determined to get her life back on track, Jan decides it’s time to make it on her own. Can she find her way as a single lady in San Diego? Can she fix her friendships, her job prospects, and her hair? And can she keep her vow that she’ll never date again, even after she meets a guy who just might be perfect for her?

BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is a sexy, hilarious story of living life, finding love, and growing up… but not necessarily in that order.

What readers are saying:

“This book is the ultimate chick-lit read–a light-hearted romp focused on the travails of Jan, a college student dumped by her boyfriend, an SDSU student. The moment proves an epiphany, as Jan resolves to stop dating and find fulfillment as a single woman.” – East County Magazine

Between Boyfriends “presents a unique twist on the chick lit genre.” – Hollywood & Vine magazine

“Over the course of the book, Jan, who is in her early 20s, begins to grow as a person and even strikes up a true friendship with a man, a first for her.” – Rancho Santa Fe Review

“Between Boyfriends is a delicious slice of chick-lit! Snappy dialogue sets this story apart from the pack as it follows a young woman who, financially cut off by her parents when she fails to attend school, learns that life is more than her Amex card, and reunites with a mother who has endured her own brand of pain.” – Jan Moran, bestselling author

The current Average Amazon Review Rating is 4.2 stars {56 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Between Boyfriends for $0.99

The River Valley Collection Boxed Set, Tess Thompson {$2.99}

In the first two novels of THE RIVER VALLEY COLLECTION, bestselling author Tess Thompson (formerly known as Tess Hardwick) assembles a colorful cast of endearing small-town characters and takes you on two journeys that will make you believe in the possibilities of life and renew your faith in love, friendship and the power of community – even in the face of unimaginable grief.A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food – THE RIVER VALLEY COLLECTION entertains while reminding you of life’s greatest gifts.

RIVERSONG – April 2011
When Lee Tucker’s husband commits suicide, he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother’s dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee’s resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband’s debt as her business blooms. Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read.

RIVERBEND – New release May 2013
“Tag. I found you.”

Just as Annie Bell’s reputation as one of the best chefs in the Pacific Northwest grows to new heights, she receives a threatening phone call from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Marco is out on parole and hungry for revenge, blaming her for his ten-year imprisonment. Fearing for her life and that of her young son, Annie reluctantly accepts help from Drake Webber, a cold and wealthy recluse hiding a dark history of his own. Supported by the gang of misfits from their restaurant Riversong, Annie forges ahead despite her growing terror that Marco will appear at any moment and make good on his threats.

Also includes an exclusive preview of RIVERSTAR, the third book in The River Valley Collection, coming September 2013!

What readers are saying:

5 star Amazon Review - I am a huge fan of Tess Thompson’s. Her books always leave me wanting more. I fell in love with the characters and the beautiful settings and most of all I fell in love with the message of hope. If you like suspense and intrigue with romance thrown into the mix you will love the River Valley Collection.

The current Average Amazon Review Rating is 5 stars {7 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase The River Valley Collection Boxed Set for $2.99 

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Thirty-Nine Again, Lynn Reynolds {$1.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Lynn Reynolds‘ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Get it now, here

Description of Thirty-Nine Again:

A “Chick Noir” novel from award-winning author Lynn Reynolds.

So what’s Chick Noir? It’s like chick lit, but with guns and dead bodies instead of shoes.

A portion of author royalties from the sale of Thirty-Nine Again will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.

On her first thirty-ninth birthday, Sabrina O’Hara battled cancer. This year, she discovers her fiancé Scott’s leading a treacherous double life. Now she’s on the run – from Scott, from the Mexican Mafia, and from one dangerously sexy Homeland Security Agent. Thirty-nine the first time was horrible. But can Sabrina survive Thirty-Nine Again?


Accolades:

J★★★★. 4 Stars. A first-class mystery and . . . a first-class read.”
~ Cindy Himler, RT Book Reviews

5 Cups. Sabrina . . . has strength and tenacity in abundance. With the guns, bad guys, and sexy men, Thirty-Nine Again is a wonderful and exciting read.
~Coffee Time Romance

. . . a contemporary romance full of excitement and suspense. You will be rooting for Sabrina and Evan until the very end.
~Night Owl Romance

5 Ribbons. A Romance Junkies Blue Ribbon Book of the Month.
~RomanceJunkies.com

 

Review Rating:

Thirty-Nine Again currently has an average Amazon Review Rating of 4.5 stars {32 reviews}. Read the reviews here!

 

Thirty-Nine Again is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $1.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!


An excerpt from Thirty-Nine Again:

Evan jogged around a corner and stopped beside me. “Hey, I thought maybe you decided not to come!”
I looked up, disappointed to discover his dark eyes were hidden by a pair of those Oakley sunglasses that are big with military guys.
“Ready to go?”
“Yeah, sure!” I felt my face heating up involuntarily and heard the perky little exclamation point in my voice. It made me ill. I charged up the steps next to the Harbor to cover my embarrassment, but I’d never finished with that whole shoelace-tying thing, so I got tangled in my own feet and stumbled. Badly. I stumbled in a way only I could stumble. I started to fall face forward right into Evan’s arms. That threw me into such a huge panic that I windmilled my arms wildly and tried to arch away from him. I flailed backwards, somersaulting down the steps and coming within a millimeter of rolling into the dirty, oily water of the harbor. The only thing that saved me was Evan, who dove down the steps with incredible speed and grabbed me by the arms. I wound up with my legs in the water but my clothes unscathed. He pulled me onto the steps, and I buried my face in my hands.
“Oh, that went way better than the gym,” I muttered.
Evan snorted, blatantly failing to hide his amusement. “Are you okay?”
“No,” I replied. “I am not. I have a bloody knee that’s probably been exposed to all sorts of mutant flesh-eating bacteria. And my pride is utterly in tatters.”
“Not to worry. Be right back.” He left me there and jogged over to the nearby tourist mall. When he returned, he was carrying two cups and a little plastic shopping bag.
“Water, bandages, and lemonade.” He knelt beside me.
“What good will all that do?”
He hooked his sunglasses over the neck of his t-shirt. Then he lifted the lid on the cup of water, put his hand under my knee, and poured the water over the wound. The water was warm, but it stung nonetheless. Still, I was impressed at the effort he’d made to get the water temperature right. I peered at him surreptitiously. His head was down, and the sun’s rays glinted off shoulder-length hair so black it almost seemed blue. He wore it tied back in a ponytail, which looked natural, not phony and pretentious. At my firm a couple of investment bankers with receding hairlines had adopted the mini-ponytail look in some lame effort to compensate. On them, the effect was comical. Not on Evan though.
The hard lines of muscle in his shoulders and back flexed as he leaned forward and blotted at my knee. To my surprise, he used the hem of his olive green t-shirt to clean the wound.
“Oh, Evan, don’t,” I protested.
“It needs cleaning.” He glanced up with a reassuring grin. His almond eyes were so black I couldn’t even see the pupils. But his smile was so open and honest, like none of this was the least bit of trouble, and there was no place he’d rather be.
“This is an old shirt,” he added. “From my Army days. It’s seen worse than this. Anyway, time to let it go.”
We both laughed, because when he laughed, I couldn’t help but join him. His eyes gleamed, and little crinkly lines formed at their corners. How could a woman not want to laugh with him? No wonder Scott had blown a gasket last night when I’d said I was going running with Evan.
Scott and I considered ourselves engaged, even though no ring had ever been proffered. He was an immigration lawyer at Homeland Security, and he came from an uptight, politically well-connected Southern family. They didn’t blow gaskets in Scott’s family, so his display of temper had come across to me as almost flattering. Making Scott a little jealous was one thing, and not a very classy thing. But I knew it was about more than making an indifferent lover jealous. Scott wasn’t even here to bait, yet I continued to sit, immensely enjoying the feel of Evan’s hands all over my leg. Guilt fluttered at the base of my skull, like a moth trapped in a light.
Evan pulled a couple of bandages out of the bag he’d brought with him.
“Where did you find those?” I peered over at the pavilion he’d just left. Baltimore’s big tourist Mecca was full of overpriced chain restaurants and gift shops. No drugstores in a place like that.
“I went to their first aid station. No big deal.”
He shrugged in that mellow way he had. Everything about Evan as my personal trainer was like that—laid-back, low-key. So unlike the other Evan I came to know later. He ripped open a packet of antibiotic cream and dabbed it all over my knee as I winced.
“That’s what this is for.” He handed me the lemonade. “To take your mind off the pain.”
“I’m sorry I’m being such a girl,” I said.
“I’m not.” His voice sounded uncharacteristically husky. When his eyes tried to meet mine again, I looked away.
“I should go.” I half-rose from the step, his hands still wrapped around my leg.
“Come on. First let me bandage this,” he insisted.
I sat back down. He laid a piece of non-stick gauze against my knee before fixing the big square bandage on top. His hands were broad with long, thick fingers, and they moved with swift confidence, like he’d done this a million times.
“Can you walk okay?” He rose with a lithe, animal grace and offered me his hand. As I took it, I realized I’d never remotely believed he was gay or bi. Except in a couple of really weird fantasies involving him and me and Matt Damon. I shook my head hard, trying to knock those embarrassing images out of my head.
“Does your head hurt?” Evan threw his arm around my shoulders, not in a romantic way, but like he was trying to steady me.
My head did hurt now, mostly because I’d shaken it so hard. I’d almost been able to hear marbles rattling around.
“It’s fine.” I squirmed out of his unexpected embrace.
“Where’s your car?”
Normally I wouldn’t even have my car with me. I can walk to my office from my condo at Harborview and usually do. But I’d driven to a client’s that morning and then left my car in the office parking garage. When I told Evan where I’d parked, he said that was a long walk with a sore leg, which it wasn’t. Then he offered to come with me. I don’t know why I said yes. Okay, I do know why I said yes. But at least I had the dignity to hesitate a bit.
We lumbered down the street side by side in silence.
Evan interrupted my private musings, laying a hand on the middle of my back as he guided me into the garage. We came to a halt in front of a bank of elevators.
I turned to face him. “I’m on the top level. Thanks for walking with me.”
And then I kissed him, just like that—a shy little girl kind of kiss, a geeky peck on the cheek. I slapped a hand over my mouth.
He froze, his golden-brown skin darkening slightly. This would be the moment where he would tell me he had a girlfriend in L.A. or wherever he was from. A girlfriend way prettier than me, who didn’t try to drop barbells on him at the gym or trip over her own shoelaces. He stared at me for the longest two seconds of my life.
“Hey, come on,” I joked. “It wasn’t that bad.”
He gave a peculiar little smirk and turned away, planting his hands on his hips as if he were angry or thinking hard about something. I was fourteen the last time I’d tried to kiss a guy first, and it had gone about as well as this seemed to be going. I looked down at the grimy concrete floor and opened my mouth to apologize.
Evan spun around with a fluidity that startled me. He caught me by the elbow and pulled me close. He pressed his other hand against my neck, so that his fingers were tangled up in my hair and his thumb teased at the corner of my lips. Then he ducked his head down and kissed me, long and hard. My hands slipped around his back as if they were used to going there. I staggered a bit as his tongue slipped into my mouth. When we stopped for breath, he pressed his forehead against mine and sighed.
“That was incredibly unprofessional of me,” he murmured.
He surprised me. I had suspected personal trainers were like tennis pros—that a fair percentage of them were in the job for the extracurricular benefits. I thought about Scott and how angry he’d been last night. He’d implied I was trying to bait Evan, and I’d denied it heatedly. Now here I was proving him correct. I’ve always hated women who try to make their boyfriends jealous.
“I should really go. Now,” I said. The elevator doors opened and I felt a childish tear steal its way down my cheek.
“Hey,” Evan protested softly.
He raised a hand again, as if he wanted to touch me. But then he drew it away, balled it into a tight fist, and clamped his other hand on top.
“I’m sorry,” I babbled. “Scott and I had a fight yesterday, and he left for his business trip in a really bad mood. He was so flustered he even took the wrong damned laptop, which is not like him. He never lets me touch his computer. Barely lets it out of his sight. He’s going to be in such a mess at his meeting in Mexico, and then he’ll be in an even crankier mood when he calls later.”
Behind me, the elevator doors whooshed closed again. Evan’s face twisted, a deep line creasing his brow.
“Do you have the laptop with you?”
Talk about a non sequitur.
“What, when I go jogging I should bring someone else’s computer? Not even my own?”
I laughed but he didn’t. His whole demeanor had changed somehow, like a panther sighting a wounded rabbit.
“Do you have it in your car?” He said it with a weird, disconcerting urgency.
“What do you care?” I was baffled and even a little alarmed. The kiss had obviously rattled us both way more than it should have.
“You know, I need to leave.” I thrust out a hand to keep him at bay and backed up a little. What did I know about him, except he looked hot in a muscle shirt and could probably wrestle me into submission with frighteningly little effort? As I stepped away from him, two silver-haired businessmen approached the elevator and pressed the call button. The doors slid open again.
“Sabrina,” Evan said, lunging toward me. “Wait. I need to tell you something.”
“Please don’t,” I said, backing away.
I positioned myself close to the two, fatherly businessmen, who eyed Evan with suspicious sneers. One of them moved to block the center of the elevator doors. He pushed the “close” button before Evan could follow me.

 

Thirty-Nine Again is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $1.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Lynn Reynolds:

Website: www.lynnreynolds.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorlynnreynolds

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Scent of Triumph / Historical Fiction, Jan Moran {$0.99}

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Jan Moran‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Scent of Triumph:

When French perfumer Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens to devastate her beloved family and young children.

Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches for the remains of her family until she is forced to flee to America.

Gathering the fragments of her impoverished family, Danielle begins life anew in 1940s Los Angeles. Through determination and talent, she rises from meager jobs in her quest for success as a perfumer and fashion designer to Hollywood elite. Through it all, the men she loves suffer mounting losses.

As the war continues to rage around the world, Danielle aids the French Resistance in its quest for freedom, and continues the search for her lost son, Nicky.

Can Danielle and her family overcome the devastation that haunts their life?

Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, SCENT OF TRIUMPH is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience.

 

 Accolades:

“SCENT OF TRIUMPH offers action, suspense and romance as it follows its intrepid heroine through the turbulent years of World War II, from the depths of tragedy to the heights of success.”
- Nancy Arnott, A&E Television Networks

“[A] historical fiction carried by a complex, resourceful heroine with a nose for business.”
- Kirkus Reviews

“SCENT OF TRIUMPH [is a] World War II epic.”
- Los Angeles Times

“Jan Moran is the new queen of the epic romance.”
- USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Forster, Author of Expert Witness

“I absolutely loved this story!”
- Carrie, a reader from Goodreads

 

Reviews:

Scent of Triumph currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars from 61 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from Scent of Triumph:

Danielle Bretancourt von Hoffman braced herself against the gleaming mahogany-paneled stateroom wall, striving for balance as she flung open a brass porthole. A damp kelp-scented wind whistled through the cabin, assaulting her nose with its raw intensity.
She kept her eyes focused on the horizon as the Newell-Grey Explorer slanted upward, slicing through the peak of a cresting wave. The sleek new 80,000 ton super liner creaked and pitched as it heaved through the turbulent grey waters of the icy Atlantic on its voyage from New York to England. Silently, Danielle urged it onward, anxious to return home.
A veil of salty spray prickled Danielle’s fevered brow, and her usually sturdy stomach churned in rhythm with the sea. Was it morning sickness, or the ravaging motion of the sea? Probably both, she thought, her hand cradling her gently curved abdomen. She gnawed her lip, the metallic taste of blood spreading on her tongue, thinking about the last few days.
Dabbing her mouth with the back of her hand, she blinked against the stiff breeze, her mind reeling. Had it been just two days since she’d heard the devastating news that Nazi forces had invaded Poland?
A staccato knock burst against the stateroom door. Gingerly crossing the room, Danielle opened the door and caught her breath at the sight of Jonathan Newell-Grey, vice president and heir apparent to the British shipping line that bore his name. His tie hung from his collar, and his sleeves were rolled up, exposing muscular forearms taut from years of sailing. A rumpled wool jacket hung over one shoulder. Though they hadn’t been friends long, she was truly glad to see him.
“Is your husband in?” His hoarse voice held the wind of the sea.
“Max will be back soon. Any news?”
“None.” He pushed a hand through his unruly chestnut hair. “The captain has called a meeting at fifteen hundred hours for all passengers traveling on Polish and German passports.”
“But I hold a French passport.”
“You’ll still need to attend, Danielle.”
“Of course, but—” As another sharp pitch jerked through the ship, Jon caught her by the shoulders and kept her from falling.
“Steady now, lass,” he said, a small smile playing on his lips.
Feeling a little embarrassed, Danielle touched the wall for support. Suddenly, she recalled the strange sense of foreboding she’d had upon waking. She was blessed—or cursed—with an unusually keen prescience. Frowning, she asked, “Jon, can the ship withstand this storm?”
“Sure, she’s a fine, seaworthy vessel, one of the finest in the world. This weather’s no match for her.” He stared past her out the porthole, his deep blue eyes riveted on the ocean’s white-capped expanse. Dark, heavily laden clouds crossed the sun, casting angled shadows across his face. He turned back to her, his jaw set. “Might even be rougher seas ahead, but we’ll make England by morning.”
Danielle nodded, but still, she knew. Oh yes, she knew. Anxiety coursed through her; something seemed terribly wrong. Her intuition came in quiet flashes of pure knowledge. She couldn’t force it, couldn’t direct it, and knew better than to discuss it with anyone, especially her husband. She was only twenty-four; Max was older, wiser, and told her that her insights were simply rubbish.
Jon touched her arm in a small, sympathetic movement. “What a sorry predicament you’re in. Anything I can do to help?”
“Not unless you can perform a miracle.” Jon’s rough fingers felt warm against her skin, and an ill-timed memory from a few days ago shot through her mind. On Max’s encouragement, they’d shared a dance while Max spoke to the captain at length after dinner, and Danielle remembered Jon’s soft breath, his musky skin, his hair curling just above his collar. He’d been interested in all she had to say, from her little boy to her work at Parfums Bretancourt, her family’s perfumery in France.
Danielle forced the memory from her mind, took a step back out of modesty. “I had a bad feeling about this trip from the beginning,” she started. She caught sight of herself in the mirror, her thick auburn hair in disarray, her lip rouge smeared against her pale cheek. She drew her fingers across her cheek, straightened her shoulders, and went on. “We’d planned to take care of our business in New York, then return to Poland to close the chateau. After that, we were to join Max’s mother, Sofia, and our little Nicky in Paris, for a brief visit with my family before returning to America.”
“Why didn’t you bring Nicky with you?”
“I wanted to, but he’s so young that Max thought he’d be better off in Paris with my family.” Why, oh why, had she agreed to leave Nicky? Max had made it sound so sensible. Wincing with remorse, she fought the panic that rose in her throat. “But now Sofia’s terribly ill, her last cable said that she and Nicky haven’t even left for Paris.”
Jon wiped a smudge from her cheek and said quietly, “Danielle, they’ve got to get to Paris as quickly as possible.”
Mon Dieu! she thought. They hadn’t realized Sofia was so ill. ‘It’s just a cold,’ her mother-in-law had told them as they left. What if Sofia isn’t well enough to travel?
The ship pitched, sending the porthole door banging against the paneled wall. Shifting easily with the vessel’s sharp motions, Jon caught it, secured the latch, then turned back to Danielle. “Max told me he thinks he has your immigration to the States sorted out.”
“That’s right, a senator from New York helped us secure a financial partner. Max plans to reestablish our crystal manufacturing facility there by the end of the year, but now, the workers he’d like to bring—” Her voice hitched as she thought of what their friends and family faced.
“You’ve done the best you could, Danielle.” But even as he spoke, his gaze trailed back to the sea, his eyes narrowed against the sun’s thinning rays, scanning the surface.
She matched his gaze. “Anything unusual out there?”
“Could be German U-Boats. Unterseeboots. The most treacherous of submarines. Bloody hell, they are.” He moved toward her, and leaning closer he lifted a strand of hair, damp with sea mist, from her forehead. “If I don’t see Max, you’ll tell him about the meeting?”
“We’ll be there.” She caught a whiff of his salt air-tinged skin, and as she did, a vivid sensory image flashed across her mind. A leather accord, patchouli, a heart of rose melding with the natural scent of his skin, warm, intriguing…then she recognized it—Spanish Leather. But the way he wore it was incredible. She was drawn in, but quickly retreated half a step.
His expression softened and he let her hair fall from his fingers. “Don’t worry, Danielle. The Newell-Greys always look after their passengers.” He left, closing the door behind him.
She touched a finger to her lips. Jon’s casual way with her sometimes made her uncomfortable. Fortunately, Max was too much the German aristocrat to make a fuss over nothing. And it was nothing, she told herself with a firm shake of her head. She loved her husband. But that scent…her mind whirred. Fresh, spicy, woody…she could recreate sea freshness and blend with patchouli.
Abruptly, the ship lurched. Cutlery clattered across a rimmed burl wood table, her books tumbled against a wall. She braced herself through the crashing swell, one hand on the doorjamb, another shielding her womb. She pushed all thoughts of her work from her mind, there were so many more urgent matters at hand. Her son, their family, their home.
When the ship leveled, she spied on the floor a navy blue cap she’d knitted for Nicky. He’d dropped it at the train station, and she’d forgotten to give it to Sofia. She pressed the cap to her cheek, drinking in the little boy smell that still clung to the woolen fibers. Redolent of milk and grass and straw and chocolates, it also called to mind sweet perspiration droplets glistening on his flushed cheeks. They often played tag in the garden, laughing and frolicking amidst thicketed ruins on their sprawling property. Oh, my poor, precious Nicky. The cherished memories enveloped her with sadness.
She picked up her purse to put his cap inside, then paused to look at the photo of Nicky she carried. His eyes crinkled with laughter, he’d posed with his favorite stuffed toy, Mr. Minkey, a red-striped monkey with black button eyes she’d sewn for him. At four years of age, Nicky was an adorable bundle of blond-headed energy. A streak of fear sliced through her. She stuffed the cap into her purse and snapped it shut.
The door opened and Max strode in, his proud face ashen.
Danielle turned. “Jon just left. There’s a meeting—”
“I know, he is behind me,” he said, clipping the words in his formal, German-accented English. He smacked his onyx pipe against his hand, releasing the sweet smoky scent of vanilla tobacco.
Jon appeared at the door. “Shall we go?”
The muscles in Max’s jaw tightened. He slipped his pipe into the pocket of his tailored wool jacket. “I need a drink first. You, Jon?”
“Not now.”
Max pushed past Danielle to the liquor cabinet. As he did, he brushed against her vanity and sent her red leather traveling case crashing to the floor, bottles bursting from within, smashing against one another.
“Max, my perfumes!” Danielle gathered the hem of her silk dress, and sank to her knees. The intoxicating aromas of jasmine, rose, orange blossom, bergamot, berries, vanilla, cedar, and sandalwood surged in the air, jumbling and exploding in her senses like brilliant fireworks. She sighed in exasperation. She knew Max hadn’t meant to destroy her precious potions, but she wished he’d been more careful. Now there was nothing she could do but pick up the pieces. With two fingers, she fished a crystal shard and a carnelian cap from the jagged mess. “Max, would you hand me the wastebasket?”
Instead, he turned away and reached for the vodka. “Leave it, Danielle. The cabin boy will see to it.”
Jon crossed the stateroom and knelt beside her. “Are these your creations?”
“Yes, I blended the perfumes at my family’s laboratory in Grasse. The case was Max’s wedding gift to me.”
Max poured a shot of vodka. “Get up, Danielle. And for God’s sake, open the porthole. That stench will kill us.”
Anger burned in her cheeks, but she said nothing. She angled her face from Jon and continued picking up slippery shards, though she was glad for his help.
Jon rested a callused hand on hers, sending a shiver through her. “These are beautiful works of art, Danielle. Max told me you were once regarded as the child prodigy of perfumery.” He took a sharp piece from her. “Don’t hurt yourself, I’ll send someone to clean this up while you’re gone.”
She caught his eye and mouthed a silent thank-you, then rose and opened the porthole. A gust caught her long hair and slapped it across her face, stinging her flushed cheeks. Staring at the ocean, a sudden thought gripped her, and she spun around. “Jon said there might be U-Boats out there.”
Max paused with his glass in mid-air. “Impossible.”
“Anything is possible.” Jon brushed broken crystal into the wastebasket and straightened.
Danielle arched an eyebrow. “Is that why we’re zigzagging?”
Jon shot a look at Max. “Smart one, your wife. I’ll grant you that, Danielle, but it’s just a safety measure. U-Boats aren’t a threat to passenger liners.”
Pressure built in her head. “Like the Lusitania?”
“That was a long time ago,” Jon said. “A disaster like that couldn’t happen today.”
“And why not?”
“There are measures to ensure against such errors,” Jon replied. “In times of war, every captain checks Lloyd’s Register to compare ships. It’s obvious that this is a passenger ship, not an armed destroyer. It’s virtually impossible to make such a mistake.”
Her mind whirred. “But you said anything is possible.”

 

Scent of Triumph is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

Connect with Jan Moran:

Author Website: http://www.janmoran.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/janmoranbooks

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

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Caramel and Magnolias, Tess Thompson {$0.99}

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Tess Thompson’s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Caramel and Magnolias:

Crushed by a broken heart ten years ago, Cleo Tanner walked away from her acting dreams and now leads a quiet, secluded life in Seattle. Sylvia, her best friend from college, is trapped in a loveless marriage, distraught by her inability to conceive a child – until an adoption agency owner in relentless pursuit of Cleo offers to help.

Just as Sylvia begins to experience a profound love that only a mother can feel, a detective approaches Cleo with disturbing questions about the adoption agency. Determined to protect her friend, Cleo jumps into a dangerous investigation that forces her to confront the ghosts of her past.

Bestselling author Tess Thompson, whose debut novel Riversong touched the hearts of readers worldwide, delivers a captivating and suspenseful tale of the possibilities that await us in life and in love – if we can find the courage to get off the sidelines.

A toast to friendship, motherhood, mended hearts and new beginnings, Caramel and Magnolias reminds us it’s never too late to reawaken the heart.

 

Accolades:

“It kept me completely engaged with love, mystery, drama, and a few twists! I loved “Riversong”, but I have to say I just might love this one a bit more”
 
“I’ve never read a book that was so relateable! I laughed. I cried. I cringed. I rejoiced.”
 
“You can’t help but fall in love with the characters in” this book as they finally awaken to the possibilities that life has to offer.”
 
“I got swept off my feet, my heartstrings were pulled, I held my breath, and tightened my muscles in suspense.”


Reviews:

Caramel and Magnolias currently has a customer review rating of 5 stars from 17 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Caramel and Magnolias is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

An excerpt from Caramel and Magnolias:

The call from Scott Moore came just as Sylvia was getting out of the shower.

“You sitting down?” Moore asked.

“No, yes, it doesn’t matter,” she said.

“We have a baby girl available for adoption. This is a somewhat unusual circumstance in that the birth mother gave her blessing to our agency to choose adoptive parents and then disappeared. She was very young and wanted nothing to do with the child. Wouldn’t even hold her. This will be a closed adoption, meaning she’ll never be able to learn the identity of her birth mother. You’ll have to explain this to your daughter after she’s older. It’s my experience that most adopted children, or those who never knew one of their birth parents, become very curious about their origins, usually during their teens.”

A closed adoption? It was too good to be true. She sank onto the side of the bed and looked out the window to Lake Washington. “Really?” Several speedboats carrying water-skiers dressed in wetsuits sped around in circles on the gray water.

“The baby’s on her way to Seattle. She’ll be here by tomorrow morning,” said Scott.

“I can’t believe it.”

“Believe it.” He paused. “Do keep in mind that nothing’s legal until after the six-month waiting period.”

“Yes, I understand,” she said. But if it was a closed adoption, it was unlikely that anything could come up between now and then, she told herself.

“I don’t suppose you’d put in a good word for me with Cleo?”

“Of course,” she said. When Hell freezes over. This guy was unbelievable. She must keep him far away from Cleo.
She hung up, reeling, and dropped to her knees, thanking God, grateful tears dripping down her cheeks onto the cross she always wore at her neck. Then, realizing her teeth were chattering from both excitement and cold, she wrapped her wet hair in a towel before pulling on her terry cloth robe that the housekeeper had draped over the end of the bed.

She went down the spacious hallway, habitually running her fingertips over the lip of the white wainscoting, imagining the tea-colored walls one day lined with family photos. She stood at the top of the stairwell, looking for Malcolm. His keys were on the hall table and his briefcase was sitting near the front door but the spacious den off the main foyer, where he often had a drink after work, was empty.

She found him in the kitchen, still wearing his suit from the office. He stood at the counter, typing something into his phone. On the counter was a glass of red wine. Red wine? That was odd. Maybe he’d poured it for her.

“Malcolm,” she said, moving towards him. “Scott Moore called. We’ve been chosen. They have our daughter.” Tears started at the back of her throat.

He blinked as if trying to figure out who she was, like she was an American acquaintance in a train station in Paris. She almost expected him to say, “How do I know you?” Instead, he sighed, running his fingers through his hair. His eyes looked guilty, evasive. She shivered. Rain fell in slants onto the patio furniture in the courtyard beyond the French doors. She tugged on the end of the towel still wrapped around her hair. “What is it?” she asked.

“I thought I’d have more time,” he said, almost like he was speaking to himself.

She felt relief, tightening her robe. He was only shocked, that was all. “Well, they say you’re never prepared. We’ll just have to dive in.”

He faced her, shoving his hand into his pants pockets. “No, I’ve come to a decision. An important decision.”

She watched him. He seemed jittery but also resigned. What had he done? Quit his job? Bought a vacation home without telling her? “What is it?” she asked again, this time with impatience.

He cleared his throat and looked out the window. “I’ve met someone else. I want a divorce.”

She felt her legs go weak. She leaned against the counter for support, trying to understand what he was saying. “But we’re about to have a baby.”

“All four years of this marriage, Sylvia, it’s just been you and your obsession with having a child. There’s been no room for me in this house.” His cell phone buzzed. He set it on the counter but she saw his eyes moving. He was reading a text from her. She expected to go into a rage. She could almost see herself lunging towards him and snatching the phone, perhaps even calling the number and accusing the woman on the other end of wrecking her life. But somehow she was stuck, rooted to her place in the doorway, with the rain now sliding off the gutter and dripping on the black metal table in the courtyard where they liked to have coffee on a summer morning.

Malcolm’s eyes and voice were expressionless. “She actually notices I’m in the room. I’m in love with her.”

For a long moment, she stared at him, untangling his words like a knot on a package she urgently wanted to open. “But what about the baby?”

He took a step back. “This is what you say when I announce our marriage is over?”

“Well what do expect me to say? We’re supposed to go pick up our baby. You told me you wanted this too.”

“I never said that. I agreed to it because I knew it was what you wanted. But I don’t. Realizing this is actually happening makes me know more than ever that this marriage was a mistake. You’ve never loved me.”

“That isn’t true.”

“At this point, wouldn’t it be better to stop lying, Sylvia?”
She gaped at him, rage coming now, roaring and crashing like waves between her ears so that she heard nothing but that hum like an angry electric fence. “You’re the liar. I’ve been loyal to you every minute of this marriage, which is more than I can say for you. Who is she?”

He turned away, his eyes darting to his phone. “You don’t know her. Someone from work.”

“How long has it been going on?”

He looked back at her. “A year.”

“Oh my God. I think I’m going to be sick,” she said, rushing to the sink, where she vomited up her breakfast.

“Sylvia, I’m sorry.”

“Get out,” was the surprising thing she uttered, wiping her mouth with a paper towel. And then she pointed at the door, as if he didn’t know where it was. “My father will be delighted he pushed me on the pre-nup.”

 

Caramel and Magnolias is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99


Connect with Tess Thompson:

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Playing Along, Rory Samantha Green {$2.99}

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Rory Samantha Green‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Playing Along:

Two Lives. Two Continents. One Song…

Then: George Bryce was an awkward, English schoolboy fantasizing about being in a band.

Now: George is frontman of Thesis, an overnight indie scene sensation. Intense, creative and self-deprecating, his childhood dreams have all been fulfilled – so why does George still feel so lost?

Then: Lexi Jacobs was a confident Californian high school cheerleader, planning her future marriage and a meaningful career.

Now: Lexi is searching for substance in a life full of mishaps. Cautious, bemused and rapidly losing the control she used to rely on, none of her teenage dreams have delivered and she’s left wondering, “What next?”

Follow George and Lexi as they navigate their days thousands of miles apart. Fly with them from London to LA and back again, as George copes with the dynamics of his tight knit band and loose knit family, while Lexi juggles her eccentric new boss, bored best friend and smother mother.

Even though there’s an ocean between them and their worlds couldn’t be further apart, George and Lexi are pulled together through music, and their paths appear determined to cross.

The question is – when?

At the end of this delightfully quirky, irresistible story, you too will be left wondering which of your fantasies are destined to come true…

 

Accolades:

“You’ll fall in love with George and Lexi…All the characters are so clearly defined. ””Green is an amazing writer, can’t wait to read more from her.”

“Love the references to music and the time it takes place. It’s hard to find books that will pull you in like PLAYING ALONG.”

 

Reviews:

Playing Along  currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars from 6 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

Playing Along  is available for purchase at:

 

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

 

An excerpt from Playing Along :

PLAYING ALONG

by Rory Samantha Green

THEN

GEORGE, 1st November, 1994, Stanford in the Vale, Oxfordshire

“Your brother’s grown up a bit, hasn’t he?”

George holds his breath when he hears these words swoop past his bedroom door. He’s thirteen, but his sister is two years older and her friends are an enigma. They smell like grapefruit and cigarettes and layer mascara on their lashes until they look like pandas. Most of them have boobs. Big ones. He’s fascinated by the divide. George’s sister, Polly, has maybe said one word to him in the last two weeks and that was muttered in disdain when he had mistakenly knocked her make-up brush off the counter and into the toilet. It had floated forlornly in the bowl like a drowned rodent.

“Arsehole!”

But now there’s a chance of redemption. Despite his skinny legs and spotty rounded face, it seems as if one of the awesome grapefruit girls has noticed something in him. Something unique. He reckons it will take a very special woman to appreciate his nuances. His love of Grover from Sesame Street (so underrated – why did Kermit get all the limelight?) and his adoration of the most amazing music the universe has to offer – Bowie, U2, Portishead, Dylan, New Order. The woman who takes his heart must take his record collection as well.

“My brother?” replies Polly in dramatic shock. ”Yeah, you could say he’s grown up – into a first rate troll.”

The grapefruit girls giggle and their laughter snakes under his door and rings painfully in his ears. George bites his bottom lip, scraping his teeth against peeling skin. Another nervous habit.

“And listen to this… he claims one day he’s going to be in a famous band and be on the cover of NME and have groupies. What a joke!”

George, prepared for the inevitable cackle of mockery, grabs his headphones and his CD player and presses play with an urgency. “Fools Gold” by the Stone Roses floods his brain. He turns up the volume as loud as it will go and hurls his notebook across the room where it ricochets off the wall and slides under his bed. The notebook is filled with songs. George has been unpacking heartache from his sensitive soul since the age of ten.

His sister’s harsh words are never as brutal as the words he calls himself.

He knows what he wants, but he’s pretty damn certain that a boy like him is never going to get it.

LEXI, November 1st, 1994, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California

“I’m psyched about the game tomorrow!” Andrew enthusiastically polishes off his second burrito, gazing longingly at Lexi across the table. She smiles at him mischievously knowing that she drives him crazy with her Juicy Fruit breath, her shiny brown hair, and her legs which have conveniently slimmed out and toned up since she started diligently attending an after school kickboxing class.

“I’m excited too,” she replies, playfully nudging his size twelve basketball shoes under the table. “I hope you win, so we can celebrate.”

Lexi and Andrew are the couple at Pali High. Just embarking on their senior year, they have been an item since the eleventh grade. Andrew first kissed Lexi on Zuma beach with the waves lapping at their bare feet two nights after passing his driving test. His parents had given him a convertible Mustang for his sixteenth birthday and when he drove her home, one hand on the wheel, the other holding hers, Lexi had a sweet taste lingering in her mouth and salty wind in her hair.

“So unfair,” her best friend, Meg, had complained the following morning. “It’s not supposed to happen like that. He’s supposed to drool, or run out of gas, or step on your toe or something. Why is your life like an Audrey Hepburn movie and mine like a bad TV sitcom?”

And Lexi certainly didn’t want to be smug, but there was some truth in Meg’s observation. Things just seemed to go her way. Her parents had raised her to believe in herself and face life with a positive outlook. Not that she was syrupy or self-obsessed. She worked hard at her studies and had an excellent Grade Point Average. She volunteered at a local homeless shelter, fingerpainting with vulnerable kids after school. She’d started up a current events debate club in her junior year and persuaded many of her friends to join. They now competed nationally. Oh and of course, she kickboxed and played on the girls’ volleyball team, and thankfully had the sort of hair that didn’t frizz on damp mornings when the fog rolled in off the coast.

Lexi had lost her virginity to Andrew on the floor in his bedroom on a Sunday afternoon while his parents shopped at Target. He had lit a scented candle stolen from his mother’s bathroom, and the smell of orange mimosa flooded the room. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by UB40 was playing on his CD player.

When it was over (slightly painful, but not nearly as uncomfortable as she had imagined), he leaned on his elbows beside her and whispered in her ear, “I can’t help falling in love with you…” One year later, sitting opposite him watching him wipe guacamole from the side of his lips, Lexi feels in her heart that she loves him too. In fact she is sure, along with almost everyone else at Pali High who either knows them or admires them from afar, that they will most likely end up getting married. Lexi’s mother has saved her own wedding dress for the occasion, wrapped in delicate layers of archival tissue in an ivory box on the top shelf of her cupboard. “It’s just waiting, my beauty,” her mother has promised.

Lexi can picture their home now (a cozy New England style house, a few blocks from her parents, with whitewashed floors and shabby chic couches), two or maybe three kids (she really doesn’t have a preference for boys or girls) and most definitely a dog, a black Labrador called George. She imagines a fulfilling and creative part time job as well, maybe a teacher or an art therapist, something that leaves her with the freedom to be a hands-on mom. So what if she is only seventeen? It’s just a dream, but life has already proven to Lexi that dreams do find a way of coming true.

NOW

GEORGE, 1st November, 2009, Greenwich, England

“George… I love you!” On certain nights this professed love is yelled out a hundred times from men and women alike. Most nights it disappears into the roar of the crowd, but at some gigs a single voice will miraculously separate out and hover above the throng of faceless fans and George hears it and needs it to be true.

George is at the piano finishing the final chords of “Beyond Being,” a poignant ballad based on his teenage existential musings and a lyric which popped into his head one day as he polished off a carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream. The audience sways in time and cell phones punctuate the blackness like rechargeable flames. George hangs his head as the song comes to a quiet end, his voice wavering with a sad clarity.

Thousands of fans cheer and whoop in adoration and George looks up shyly with his trademark grin. ”Thank you very much for coming. We appreciate you might have better things to do with your Saturday nights, like watching X Factor, and the boys and I really enjoyed playing to you tonight…” This, as intended, whips up the crowd into an even louder frenzy as George and his band mates lope off the stage with a schoolboy charm that has captivated fans across the world from Denmark to Chile, and every destination in between.

George has come a long way from the corner of his brown bedroom. His band, Thesis, stormed onto the music scene with an unstoppable force after his best mate and guitarist, Simon Ogden-Smith, persuaded George to start up a Myspace page and stream some of their music. George, Simon, Simon’s cousin Mark, and Mark’s sister’s friend Duncan from Australia, had been playing local pubs in Islington and had been slowly building up a loyal fan base. But the Myspace page catapulted them into a whole new stratosphere, and with a swiftness which at times found George’s throat closing with unprecedented anxiety, they burst onto the alternative music scene and made their mark. Three months after being signed by a record company they were flown to Los Angeles to record their first album,Twelve Thousand Words. George Bryce, still a sweaty lonely teenager at heart, found himself surrounded by attractive, fawning women called Claudia and Agnes and Nell. They willingly offered their breasts to him without any pleading involved and he indulged in a whole new adolescence at twenty-two.

The band’s first big hit was a rocking anthem called “Grapefruit Girls,” an opportunity for George to get his revenge on those elusive females who had inducted him into the hall of shame. George became an unlikely heartthrob, a self-deprecating lad who wore T-shirts with Grover on them and gave interviews about obscure comic books and rare vinyl. His boyish looks, lopsided smile and thick shaggy black hair, once his greatest insecurity, suddenly became irresistible. Even America, notoriously hard to break for an unheard-of alternative band, lapped up the accents and the awkwardness. Critics either loved or hated Thesis and George made a point of reading every review, because no matter how famous they became, he never stopped caring about what people thought of him.

 

Playing Along is available for purchase at:

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Connect with Rory Samantha Green:

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RorySamanthaGreen

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Sex, Lies & Hot Tubs, Elissa Ambrose {$2.99}

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Elissa Ambrose‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Frugal Find of the Day

Description of Sex, Lies & Hot Tubs:

If a woman tries to preserve a marriage that has been damaged by infidelity, is she heroic or is she delusional? How many times does her husband have to cheat before she calls it quits? How many times does he have to get caught?

Meet Ellen Dunwell, doting wife, loving mother, high school teacher extaordinaire. She’s worried that her husband, the respected Dr. Jeffrey Dunwell, successful dermatologist, wonderful father, great lover, is having another affair. A man of many interests, Jeffrey also dabbles in real estate. But Ellen won’t confront him about what she’s sure is his latest interest, his perky new lab assistant, Keeley Wilder. She doesn’t want to sound like a shrew, but worse, what if she’s right? As if that’s not bad enough, her friends don’t understand her, her neighbor’s son is a Peeping Tom, and her angst-ridden teenage daughter is stashing pot in her room and dating a control freak. When Jeffrey suddenly disappears, Ellen nearly slips over the edge. Instead, she pulls herself together and sets out on a mission to find him—only to get caught up in a web of intrigue and danger, where nothing is as it seems and the stakes are her life.

 

Accolades:

“In Ms. Ambrose’s realistic portrayal of Ellen’s situation, you can understand how a woman would feel following an affair, how difficult it is to regain the trust that has been severed, and how dramatically it impacts an entire family…If you’re looking for a fast, lifelike piece of women’s fiction, look no further. You won’t regret it.”

“on the edge of my seat all the way to the stunning ending”

“The mystery was really a mystery until the very end. I had problems setting the book aside to go about my real life. Plenty of humor sprinkled in with intrigue! Really a delightful read!”


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Sex, Lies & Hot Tubs currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 20 reviews! Read the reviews here!


Sex, Lies & Hot Tubs is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

Excerpt from Sex, Lies & Hot Tubs:

From Chapter 6, “Don’t Let the Bastard Grind You Down”

It all started two years ago when I arrived home from school and found a package on my doorstep. It was from La Femme Mystique, the racy new lingerie store that had opened at the mall. Even though it was addressed to Jeffrey, I assumed it was for me. Why else would he buy lingerie?

I had no reason to be suspicious. Our life had an easy rhythm, and I was content. I thought we both were. We’d hoped for a larger family, but when that didn’t happen, we’d adjusted. We went on, as families did. So even though Jeffrey was working overtime at the clinic and had a sideline in real estate, even though he spent one or two evenings a week with his racquetball friends, aka The Boys, I thought, as any trusting wife would think, that this gift was his way of saying, “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you. This is to let you know I’m thinking of you.”

Eager to discover what my husband had bought to appease me, I tore open the box right there in the foyer. Lying on a bed of lavender tissue were red lacy panties and a push-up bra. The bra was strapless and patterned with pitchforks, the panties crotchless and sprouting wings at the hips.

Was Jeffrey getting religion or was he getting kinky? Was he saying he found our sex life boring? Maybe I wasn’t woman enough for my husband. “You have to be a whole woman,” my mother used to say. Would my father have stayed if she’d been whole? What did that even mean? I used to look at her and try to discern what part of her was missing.

You’re being silly, I told myself, fingering the lace. Your husband loves you, and this is his way of telling you how much. I grabbed the box and headed to the bedroom to try on the lingerie. If a whole woman was what he wanted, a whole woman was what he’d get.

Two red stripes pinched at my hips and chest. I was petite, but this outfit would hardly fit a Barbie doll. Not that I faulted Jeffrey—what man knew his wife’s dress size? I giggled when I saw myself in the mirror. I looked like a cross between a hooker and a barbershop pole. My giggling evolved into full-blown laughter and I couldn’t stop, even when I doubled over with pain. If Claire had been home, she would have gotten a never-before-seen view of her mother, and then she would have had me committed.

Come on! Was this what men wanted? Did women actually wear these things?

I noticed the envelope and came to my senses. The lingerie was a gift after all, and who was I to knock another person’s fantasy? Didn’t I have fantasies of my own? (They did not, however, involve Lucifer.) I plucked out the card:

My angel, my temptress, tease me, please me, make me yours. Wear this on Saturday. Waiting in anticipation, your Devil-May-Care.

Saturday? This Saturday?

On Saturday, Jeffrey would be at that dermatology convention in Flagstaff.

Oh.

My laughter started up again, only this time it was born of panic. It came out as a constipated chortle, as if I’d read about an incurable disease and recognized the symptoms.

This weekend was the mother-daughter luncheon at the high school. He knew I couldn’t go with him to Flagstaff.

Not that he’d asked.

On the dresser sat several framed photographs, some of Jeffrey and me, some of just Claire, some of the three of us in various stages of family life. Aiming for the wedding photo, I hurled the box across the room and knocked over my bottle of Allure, a present from Jeffrey for my forty-ninth birthday. Drifting through the room, the overly sweet scent of lilac made me want to gag.

A folded piece of paper flew out of the box and soared toward me like a paper airplane. I watched, mesmerized, until it ran out of steam and landed on my thigh. I picked it up. Two addresses were listed: ours, here in Scottsdale, in the left column under Jeffrey Dunwell; the other, Lariat Lane in Tempe, in the right column under Angelica Kravitz.

The only Angelica I knew worked in Jeffrey’s clinic. Angelica Woodward, the overly made-up, pint-size, permed receptionist who’d recently thrown out her husband because, as she’d put it, according to Jeffrey, “He’s a lowlife sack of shit.”

Was Kravitz her maiden name? Maybe she’d discarded her married name along with the sack. Very generous of her, giving back his name. Considering she’d kept everything else.

But if Jeffrey was having an affair, wouldn’t he have it with some brainless twitty half his age? Wasn’t that what middle-aged men did? Seriously, who had an affair with a brainless twitty old enough to be my…sister?

That I felt insulted rather than hurt was probably due to shock. In my stupor, still wearing Jeffrey’s love-garb, I ran to the kitchen. Asia glanced up in expectation, pouting when I didn’t stop to pet her. “What are you looking at?” I snarled. Tail straight in the air, she paraded over to her dish and waited for me to make amends. Figuring a little kitty karma wouldn’t hurt, I gave her a treat before pulling out the phone book.

Angelica wasn’t listed under Kravitz, but when I looked up Woodward, I hit pay dirt. A Trevor Woodward lived at the address listed on the packing slip.

Well, not anymore.

Apparently, the information in the phone book was out-of-date. Obsolete, just like Trevor. Apparently, too, the lingerie store had made a fatal boo-boo. It had sent the underwear to the bill-to address instead of the ship-to.

“Where shall we send ze underwear, Monsieur Dunwell?” I imagined the little French salesgirl asking. She’d be bursting out of her bustier, teetering on four-inch heels.

“The lady is at this address,” Jeffrey would answer, scribbling away.

Lady, my ass.

Jeffrey might have gotten away with it, if not for the screw-up. Even if I’d been in charge of the household accounts, he knew I’d never see the bill. He had a few credit cards apart from me entirely, which he used for his other business.

Clearly, not all his business was business.

I ran back to the bedroom and threw myself onto the bed, but the tears wouldn’t come. Maybe I wouldn’t let them. Maybe I feared I’d never be able to turn them off.

I rolled onto my back and stared at the ceiling. It’s just a fling, I told myself. Didn’t these things usually end? But at what price? Thoroughly chastised and emotionally castrated, the errant husband begs for forgiveness, and the betrayed wife is torn between saving her marriage and ripping out his heart.

That lowlife sack of shit.

An hour later, he called to say he’d be late and don’t hold dinner. I got dressed, tossed the tart’s tawdry togs into the trash, and headed out to Lariat Lane.

And I waited.

And then I saw him. With great flourish, he swerved his BMW into her driveway, jumped out of the car, and headed up the walkway. Coward that I was, I sped away.

 

Sex, Lies & Hot Tubs is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

Connect with Elissa Ambrose:

Author Website: www.elissaambrose.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/elissa.h.ambrose

Author Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/#!/ElissaAmbrose

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: A Bibliophile Christmas (The Bibliophiles), Karen Wojcik Berner {$0.99}

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Karen Wojcik Berner‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of A Bibliophile Christmas:

HOLIDAY DIGITAL SHORT

From the author of “A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One)” and “Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two)” comes a heartwarming holiday tale of friendship and family.

Sarah Anderson and Annie Jacobs have not had the best of years. And now, here come the holidays.

Great.

Sarah’s husband Tom is stuck in Boston after a nor’easter dumps a foot of snow on the day he is scheduled to leave for home.

And Annie is working hard at picking up the pieces of her life after a painful divorce.

But, maybe with a little help from their friends, Christmas won’t be a total wash after all.

This holiday season, take a break from all the hustle and bustle, pour yourself a beverage, and have “A Bibliophile Christmas.”

 

Accolades:

“At turns funny, frustrating (at least for the characters), and touching, A Bibliophile Christmas is a fun read that will be appreciated by fans of Berner’s series or anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit. Chances are you’ll recognize situations you’ve experienced yourself.”-BigAl’s Books&Pals

“A heartwarming tale from one of our favorite authors, Karen Wojcik Berner’s A Bibliophile Christmas is a story of love, family, and friendship that can make a chilly day much more pleasant. Featuring near-disasters around the holidays, Sarah and Annie need to find a way to rescue the holidays from bad luck and disappointment. This is a story any true bibliophile will love!” – Kindle Fire Department


Reviews:

A Bibliophile Christmas currently has a customer review rating of 4 stars from 1 review. Read the reviews here.


A Bibliophile Christmas is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

An excerpt from A Bibliophile Christmas:

“God rest ye merry, gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay…”

Of course, men need not dismay, Sarah Anderson thought. What did they have to do for the holidays anyhow? Show up? Wow, that was taxing.

Her husband slammed the lid of his suitcase. “I’ll be back on Friday. Will you pick me up, or do you want me to take a cab?”

“If you’re back on Friday, you might as well go straight to the lawyer’s office.”

“Christ, Sarah. That’s extreme.”

“Friday’s December twenty-sixth.”

“Christmas is this week?”

“And they pay you the big bucks? You’d better be here on the twenty-third. The boys would be heartbroken if you missed Christmas Eve.” She lowered her voice. “You have to help me with the you-know-whats.” Let Tom think the kids cared if he made it home for Christmas all he wanted, as long as he returned in time to assemble the various cars and bikes slated to magically appear under the tree on Christmas morning. That was the one thing on her “To Do” list with the initial “T” next to it, one measly task among the never-ending items marked with an “S.”

“Four days? How the hell am I going to get the system up and running in only four days?” He picked up his suitcase, laptop backpack, and phone. “I’ve got to call Deanna and Shrevani and move Wednesday’s meeting to early Tuesday.”

She trailed him through the kitchen, family room and down the hall. He stopped briefly at the front door to dial a number on his phone.

She leaned toward him. “Have a good trip?”

He merely nodded, shushing her, as he balanced the phone between his cheek and shoulder. Picking up his luggage, he dashed outside to the waiting limousine.

Silly her, she had thought he might actually give her a kiss. “No need for formal goodbyes,” she muttered, slamming the front door so hard that the pinecones almost flew off the wreath.
Seven days until the big event. By this stage of the game, Sarah had already completed seventy-five percent of her list. Christmas cards depicting Santa’s workshop were signed, addressed, stamped, and mailed, complete with the requisite darling photo of the boys. The tree was decorated, wrapped boxes containing cinder blocks placed strategically around it, a barrier through which two-year-old Alex couldn’t pass. Since he had become mobile, Alex had spent most of the last year climbing. First, it was stairs. Going up was no problem. Watching him come down was the part that nearly gave Sarah a heart attack after seeing him tumble and land with a thud. Blood trickled over his mouth and chin from his nose banging on the last stair. Eventually, the little tyke learned how to scoot safely down each step on his bottom. After stairs, Alex graduated to the backyard fort’s ladder, followed by the rigging leading to the fort’s top tier. Each stage was accompanie d by many “Oh, shit!” moments that required several deep breaths for Mommy and the secret desire to down a bazillion martinis to calm her nerves.

The Christmas presents had been purchased, wrapped, and hidden someplace high and safe from prying eyes. Nicky was getting older and had heard some rumors questioning the validity of a certain round fellow typically clad in red. Other gifts, like those for the extended family, were also hidden in case Alex couldn’t control himself again. Last year, he had flown through all the presents on Christmas Eve like some sort of Tasmanian Devil. What did he know? He couldn’t read, an oversight her sister-in-law Marjorie could not get past. “When Peter was that age, he was already reading Cat in the Hat.”

Really? Her son could barely form a two-word sentence. He would be lucky not to flunk second grade.

The only items left on the “To Do” list were grocery shopping, cleaning, baking, and cooking. Tight, but doable. Maybe she and the boys would bake a batch of cookies together tomorrow

Anyhow, Tom would be home to occupy the kids while she prepared as much of Christmas dinner as possible before they left for the Andersons’. She was heading into the home stretch.

***

Sarah snapped Alex into a fresh, one-piece footie pajama. Yawning, he cuddled into her arms as they read Goodnight Moon. Somewhere between saying goodnight to the stars and air, Sarah kissed his damp head, a whiff of sweet honey combined with baby shampoo filling her nostrils.

“Mommy loves you,” she whispered. Alex smiled and pointed at the book, reminding her she wasn’t finished. After the last page, she tucked him in, turned on his teddy bear music box, and closed his door halfway.

“Hey, wanna watch Frosty?”

“Shush, honey! I just put Alex down.”

“Oops, sorry,” Nicky whispered. “Let’s go downstairs.”

They crept along, soft strains of Brahms’ “Lullaby” echoing down the hall, mindful that any creak of the floor could potentially wake up Alex, whom they still referred to as “the baby,” even though he was firmly into the toddler stage and would be going to preschool next year. Sarah didn’t want to think of that right now.

She had to get through Christmas first.

Copyright © 2012 Karen Wojcik Berner

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THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Sobornost, Austin Wimberly {$3.99}

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Description of Sobornost:

A story of mothers and sons, of acceptance and rejection, set in Yekaterinburg, Russia in the years after the collapse of communism, Sobornost is the story of one boy’s adoption and of three Russian mothers who are forced to make heartbreaking decisions for their children.

 

Accolades:

Thought-provoking and entertaining, the stories of these women are unforgettable.


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Sobornost currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars, with 1 review! Read the reviews here!

 

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Excerpt from Sobornost:

She lived an immoral life.  That’s all they said about her.  They never told us what she did, but left her sins nameless.  Illegitimate.

Orphaned.  I never told you what they said.  It didn’t seem right.  Whatever else she did, she gave birth to you, my greatest joy.  I couldn’t call the source of so much good “immoral.”

You asked why she couldn’t keep you, and I said she was sick.  You asked what she had, and I said I didn’t know.  You asked if I would ever get sick like that, and I held you tight and said, no, of course not.  That tamped down your wondering for a while, but the questions remained, smoldering.

It’s been over fifteen years.  Years in which I’ve watched you grow, watched you become.  A steady stream of firsts.  Steps.  Words.   Another one last week, when you got your driver’s license.  All of it happening so fast that it seems like I put you down in the crib one night and awoke to find you shaving.  And after all this time, the same questions.  Questions that deserve an answer.  Answers I can’t give.

I’ll never know why she couldn’t keep you.  I’ve tried to understand, to attach some rationale, but it will forever remain a mystery.  The only thing I know for certain is that she loves you.  She always has.  Deeply.  She made it clear, hoping that I would pass her love on to you.  It’s taken me this long to figure out how.

 

Sobornost is available for purchase at:

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On Twitter – @AustinWimberly1

 

 

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