Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stacking the Shelves, October 25, 2014

Books Stacked on My Shelves


These are the book stacking my shelves this week.  Alistair Reynolds' On the Steel Breeze  and Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart's Blood are from the library.  The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton is from Amazon Vine and I won Beneath the Patchwork Moon by Alison Kent.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Return to Emerald City by Allyson Lindt & Sofia Grey Book Blast and Giveaway


Allyson and Sofia will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

Return to Emerald City
by Allyson Lindt & Sofia Grey

~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


BLURB:

Return to Emerald City

A Collection of Sci-fi Romance Novellas Inspired by The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy’s Red Shoes

There’s no place like home… Dorothy is already feeling homesick for Emerald City, and wonders if taking a job halfway around the world was a mistake. When her love life crumbles–again–will she run for home?

His Replay Girl

If he only had the nerve… Ten years ago, Quinn made the best choice of his life, and the biggest mistake. It’s true, his band, Lionheart, is one of the biggest in the world, but how much does it mean if he can’t tell the woman he loves how he feels?

His Reboot Girl

If only he had a brain… Scott woke up with his head spinning and not much else going on up there. Now he’s a suspect in a terrorist plot, and on the run. One woman insists she's the key to his past and his freedom. Too bad he doesn't remember her.

His Rewind Girl

If he only had a heart.... Cam is as much machine as man. There are days he loathes the CyGes implants that saved his life but couldn't do the same for his family. They replaced his limbs, but now he needs someone to mend his heart.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Thoughts on Return to Emerald City

These are a series of inter-locking stories where some of the characters from previous novellas play a small part in the next story.  They are listed as Science Fiction but for most there is only a small SciFi element.  What all do have is very good writing, character development and plot construction.  None are long so you can work them in when you are pushed for time and don't want to leave a story unfinished.  


EXCERPT: 

“Ready?” Ben smiled when I turned to him “We can sit anywhere.” He held out his hand, but I stood frozen. Now I was here, I felt sick. I normally avoided big, noisy parties like this. Why had I come? Oh, yeah. Because I wanted to impress Matthew, and I wasn’t going to do that if I continued to lurk out here. I shoved down my fear, clamped a temporary lock on my social ineptitude, and with a grateful smile, slipped my hand into Ben’s. His palm was warm, smooth and dry. He laced our fingers together and gave me a quick squeeze.

I nodded. I could do this.  “Let’s go.” The words came out in a strangled voice, and Ben flashed me a smile. Heel, toe, heel, toe. I repeated the mantra in my head, and managed to walk beside him without tripping over my own feet.

A sultry jazz singer warbled softly from the stage, and wait staff flowed around the room, carrying trays stacked with canap├ęs. In one corner, a magnificent Christmas tree reached the high ceiling, glass baubles reflecting a copious string of flashing lights. My beautiful shoes pinched already, but that was just because they were new. All the same, I didn’t want to walk too far, and I happily sank into the first seat Ben found. It was an ideal position. From here, I had an excellent view of the entrance; I could see everyone who came and left.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

About Sofia Grey:

Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.

About Allyson Lindt:

Allyson Lindt is a full-time geek and a fuller-time contemporary romance author. She prefers that her geeky heroes come with the alpha expansion pack and adores a heroine who can hold her own in a boardroom. She loves a sexy happily-ever-after and helping deserving cubicle dwellers find their futures together.

Find Sofia Grey Online:

www.SofiaGrey.com





Twitter: @SofiaGreyAuthor   https://twitter.com/SofiaGreyAuthor 

Amazon author profile page: https://www.amazon.com/author/sofiagrey



Find Allyson Lindt Online





Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/allysonlindt

Catch Sofia & Allyson blogging at www.GeminiGirls.com






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Book Beginning and The Friday 56, October 24, 2014

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56.
 Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"Oscar Gatlin's BMW had plunged off the Edwards Plateau along the Devil's Backbone on a Sunday Evening at 7:42 p.m.""

Page 56:

"You were what, twelve when Felix was born?" she asked, the question returning him to his recent thoughts of his family falling apart, of his impotence at its happening."

From Beneath the Patchwork Moon (A Hope Springs Novel) by Alison Kent. I won the copy in a contest that Alison held and it arrived in the mail yesterday, just in time to be my choice for today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Festive in Death (In Death # 39) by J.D. Robb

Mystery

From Goodreads:

Eve Dallas deals with a homicide—and the holiday season—in the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn't count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who'd been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler's enemies, she's also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband's upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year's 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.

I don’t think I have missed reading any of the 39 books in this series.  Some have been favorites and some not so favorite but through it all I have stuck with Dallas and Roarke.  The ones that are my favorites have one thing in common.  They all feature new growth for Dallas and Roarke.  Festive in Death does that.  Written around the big Christmas party at Roarke’s mansion Eve has to let go and own her place by Roarke’s side.  I loved how she managed the set up for the party while still working her case.  With a house full of characters from previous books she realizes how may friends she now has and how much her life has changed for the better.

There is also a lot of interaction between Eve and Roarke that highlights how right for each other they are.  The mystery kept playing sometimes in the background and sometimes in the forefront.  I thought Eve was on the wrong track about the killer.  It was fun to realize I was right and that it took her time to see who was really guilty.

Festive in Death is a nice addition to the series and a Christmas story to boot.


I read the large print edition of Festive in Death by J.D. Robb published by Wheeler Publishing in 2014.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bar V5 Dude Ranch Series by Melissa McClone Blog Tour and Giveaway


Melissa will award a $25 Amazon Gift card and a Mini Swag Goodie Bag to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (international giveaway

Bar V5 Dude Ranch Series
by Melissa McClone

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURBS:

Three couples. Three stories, where you can follow one pair from meeting to wedding day!

1. Mistletoe Magic – short story – Free at Smashwords - Check Amazon for Price
2. Kiss Me, Cowboy – eBook novella — $0.99 on Kindle Oct 16 - 22
3. Mistletoe Wedding — eBook novella — New Release! only $2.99


Mistletoe Magic

Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin Butler. Until a stray kitten brings her face-to-face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin's heart and brings back long forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won't be spending this Christmas... alone.

Veterinarian Noah Sullivan isn't a Scrooge, but the Christmas Eve tradition of hanging mistletoe in the clinic's waiting room annoys him. Kissing doesn't belong at the Copper Mountain Animal Hospital. Noah rethinks his position when Caitlin arrives with a stray kitten she found freezing in the snow. All he wants now is to maneuver the pretty preschool teacher under the mistletoe. If he's not careful, he'll wind up on Santa's naughty list.

Kiss Me, Cowboy

She didn’t mean to kiss him…
When dude ranch wrangler Charlotte – aka Charlie – Randall kisses Zack Harris in an act of empathy, she falls hat over spurs for the handsome military veteran turned cowboy. Zack has too many demons, however, and refuses to get involved. A year later, he's still stonewalling, and Charlie needs to move on with her life so she can find a fulfilling relationship, not frustrating unrequited love. Putting distance between them seems the best way to get Zack out of her head and heart...but that means quitting the job she loves and accepting a position in Colorado.

He didn’t mean to kiss her back…

Growing up, Zack longed for a real family, and had one with his squad while deployed in Afghanistan. Now, he's back in the States and doesn't want anything messing up his new ranch family, no matter how much he's attracted to the sexy, hard-working Charlie. She could break his heart and ruin the comfortable working relationship they and the other wranglers enjoy. Besides, her friends claim she's looking for the perfect guy, and perfect he's not.

A kiss is just a kiss…or is it?

When Zack learns Charlie's thinking about leaving the ranch, he decides to find her a boyfriend — someone so good, so perfect, she has a reason to stay in Montana. Until he realizes too late that the only cowboy he wants her kissing is him. Can he commit to love and convince Charlie not to leave? Or has she made up her mind to put the past, and the kiss that started it all, behind her and move on without him?

Mistletoe Wedding

Longer: Event planner at the Bar V5 Dude Ranch, Meg Redstone is dreaming of a white Christmas with twinkling lights, sparkly decorations and strategically placed mistletoe. She loves making dreams come true for others, whether planning a holiday wedding or giving her young daughter the best Christmas ever.

Ranch foreman Tyler Murphy loves the holidays, but his newest employee has taken over his barn with her over-the-top decorations. He admires Meg’s desire to give her daughter the perfect Christmas while planning a winter wonderland wedding, but he wants to show her that a Montana Christmas is more than glitter and lights.

After raising his younger sister, an instant family is not on Ty's Christmas wish list. But he finds himself falling hard for the single mom and her little girl. Meg, however, is not interested in a romance with a cowboy like Ty, or any man. Getting her under the mistletoe is going to take a Christmas miracle . . . or a little help from Santa.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Thoughts on the Stories:

You can catch me anytime with a cute cat on the cover.  What makes these three stories so great is the combination of cat and Christmas.  I love Christmas Romances and can never get enough.  I also love stories where I do not have to skim pages of body parts trying to do something new.  These three have just good clean old-fashioned romance.  If you feel the same these three stories are for you.


Start with Mistletoe Magic where you meet Mistletoe (that is him on the cover), Caitlin Butler and Noah Sullivan.  Follow up with Kiss Me Cowboy where Caitlin and Noah show up as part of Charlotte Randall and Zack Harris’s story.  Then on to Mistletoe Wedding where again Caitlin and Noah play a part in Meg Redstone and Tyler Murphy’s Christmas romance.   Oh! Mistletoe does make an appearance in all  the stories.


EXCERPT:

MISTLETOE MAGIC

The clinic’s front door opened.

A woman in a puffy powder blue down coat entered. Her hat pushed long strands of brown hair over her face. She carried something bundled in a black and white checked fleece blanket. “Please help me.”

The crack in her voice and pale complexion sent him into action. Two long strides, he was at her side. “I’m Noah. A vet.”

Worried green eyes met his. Familiar eyes, except these weren’t as young and innocent as the ones he remembered. These eyes were wary and concerned. But they still reminded him of that girl he’d just thought about, the freshman with cute freckles and twinkling jade-green eyes.

Her gaze widened with recognition. “Noah. It’s you.”

His heart crashed against his chest. His world tilted.

“Caitlin.” His arm reached forward, as if touching her would assure him this —she—was real. That of all the vet clinics in Montana, she’d walked into this one. “I can’t believe it.”

“Me, either.” She gave her head a shake, then lifted the blanket toward him. “I found a kitten in the snow. Something’s wrong with him. Or her. I don’t know which. Can you help?”

Noah remembered where he was, what he was. He took the bundle, ignoring the million questions racing through his mind. Talking could wait.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!



Twitter: @melissamcclone

Buy links:

1.            Mistletoe Magic is Free on Amazon



Mistletoe Magic is FREE on Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/380641

2.            Kiss Me, Cowboy .99 Oct. 16 - 22

3.            Mistletoe Wedding - 2.99






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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Warrior (Breeder #3) by Cara Bristol Blog Tour and Review



Warrior
Breeder Series
Book 3
Cara Bristol

Genre: Sci-fi/fantasy romance

Date of Publication:  Oct. 21, 2014

Cover Artist: Mina Carter

Book Description:

A female yearning for freedom.  A male armed with determination. Can they save their people?

As a despotic Qalin marches through Parseon intent on conquering every province, Commander Marlix pledges his sister to another Alpha to protect her. Desperate to decide her own fate, Anika flees and finds refuge with the guerilla resistance movement against Qalin. Marlix’s beta Urazi, a male of lesser status, tracks her intending to bring her home to fulfill her duty.

But when love blossoms between them, and provinces fall to Qalin, Anika and Urazi realize home has ceased to exist and they alone are all that stand between the people of Parseon and the end of the world.

My Thoughts On Warrior:


Warrior is book three in the Breeder Series but works well as a stand-alone.  This is a planet that does not treat their women as equals and gives them very few rights.  That is changing and Anika and her story are part of the change.  She will not accept a future she has no part in planning and that sets her on a journey of discovery.  Along on the journey is Urazi, who must also break out of the role he has been placed in.  Together they find they are more powerful than anyone expected.  It turns out there are more warriors than anyone knew.  Warrior is a well-written story with a great plot and well-developed characters. 

Excerpt: 
  
She stared at the bloodied body. “Is Grogan dead?”

Urazi knelt and checked for a pulse against the alpha’s neck. “Yes.” He peered up at her. “Who is he to you? Has he used you?”

“Monto, no!” she gasped, not considering the alpha’s intentions pertinent.

“Grogan is the leader of the Guerilla Resistance against Qalin and Artom, which I have joined,” she explained. Urazi’s eyes narrowed, and she added, “Grogan was training me and other breeders to fight.” Breeders could approach a sentry without arousing his suspicion then immobilize him, allowing male guerillas to storm the post and secure it. She thrust back her shoulders with defiant pride. She, a female, was capable of supporting the war effort in a productive way.

Urazi rose to his feet to examine the paper target. “You are an excellent sharpshooter, but winning a battle requires more than skill with a crossbow. You would not fare well in hand-to-hand combat.”

Anika shrugged. “If I have a crossbow, I will not need to engage in hand-to-hand combat.”

“Did it help you today?” Urazi strode to Grogan’s body, and yanked up his bloodied uniform shirt. Attached to the alpha’s nipple was an insignia ring. Urazi unclipped it and carried it over to her.

Anika stared. A single star. Province one. Qalin.

“You have joined with the enemy to strike against your own people? You would betray your Alpha? Your sibling?”

Qalin’s insignia lay in Urazi’s palm, damning, but untrue. So untrue. “No! How could you say that? The Resistance plans to strike against Qalin. Against Artom.”

Urazi tucked the star into his uniform pouch.

“But maybe Grogan is an infiltrator acting alone,” she argued, fighting against the insidious memories; the ease with which she’d been accepted into the camp when her comrades learned of her familiarity with both Marlix’s and Dak’s provinces; Grogan’s constant but subtle questions about locations. He’d asked if she’d ever encountered Marlix himself. At the time, she’d feigned ignorance of the latter, fearing they would send her back to him.
Anika clutched her throat. What if Urazi’s accusation was correct?
“If he were an ordinary alpha or beta, I might concede it possible. But he is—by your account—the leader. I do not believe in coincidence. I have been observing the camp. Neither Marlix nor Dak would have sent females into combat.

“The Resistance you are so proud to be a part of is using you as expendable cannon fodder.”

About the Author:

Cara Bristol continues to evolve, adding new subgenres of erotic romance to her repertoire. She has written spanking romance, contemporary romance, paranormal, and science fiction romance. No matter what the genre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently calls Missouri home. She has a husband and two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling the world.




Twitter: @CaraBristol


Amazon UK - Warrior (Breeder Book 3) eBook: Cara Bristol: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Amazon AU - Warrior (Breeder Book 3) eBook: Cara Bristol: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store



Teaser Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:"
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book. 


My teaser today is from Festive in Death by J.D. Robb.  This is the latest in the Eve Dallas mystery series.  I chose a teaser from the page I am reading right now.

The Teaser:

"Rough patch in the marriage.   That's par for the course, right?  I don't get using that as an excuse to play around."

Playfully, he walked his fingers up the back of her hand.  "Which is why your're not naked on the street, my darling Eve."
Page 239

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sex, Love, Aliens #1 by Imogene Nix, Ashlynn Monroe, Jane Shields, and Beth Carter Blog Tour

Sex, Love, and Aliens
Volume 1 by
Imogene Nix, Ashlynn Monroe,
Jaye Shields, and  Beth D. Carter

Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance

Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Date of Publication: October 20, 2014

Cover Artist: Fantasia Frog Designs


My Thoughts on Sex, Love and Aliens

Like the title says there is sex, love and aliens in each story.  While I liked all four I did have a favorite.

Gravitation by Beth D. Carter had wonderful world-building and character development as well as a interesting plot surprise.  Bree is such a strong character.  She is a survivor and only realizes how lonely she has been when she saves Niah.  Niah is a mystery until the very end.  I would love to hear more about the world Carter created.  Gravitation would make a great prequel to a series featuring Bree and Niah.


Imogene Nix, Ashlynn Monroe, Jaye Shields and Beth D. Carter have put together a great collection of aliens and romance.  The cover says Volume 1.  I hope Volume 2 will follow soon.

Book Description:

TANGLED WEBS by Imogene Nix

In the course of a single day Gia Montgomery loses her job and discovers that her boyfriend—now ex-boyfriend—is a two-timing sleaze. After downing a bottle of wine, she catches sight of Cedun in her backyard. He’s the Ba’Tua heir who has been living on Earth for several years. Gia struggles to ignore the strong attraction between them, because she’s sure he’s seeing someone else. Someone very close to her, in fact.

When the situation with her ex turns nasty, Cedun finally has a chance to set things straight between himself and Gia, but nothing is as simple as it seems. Cedun must protect Gia and sort out an impossible love-life tangle before it’s too late.

Content Warning: this title contains sexy aliens and feisty heroines, together with enough action—of every kind—to keep readers on the edge of their seats



THE SPACESHIP CAPTAIN’S Wife by Ashlynn Monroe

Some treasures are the hardest to see.

On a dying planet, treasure waits for an honorable man to claim it. Captain Ric Julius believes the cargo of gems is what he’s come for, but there is one jewel he never expected. Her name is Kateri, and she changes everything.

Saving the woman’s life, and making a fortune in the process, requires only one thing of Ric—his freedom. In order to obtain the gems he has to agree to take Kateri to safety…and to make her his wife. Every man has a price, but is Ric willing to pay in full on a debt he owes to a dead man on a decomposing world?

Content Warning: contains sensual sex scenes

HIS HUMAN by Jaye Shields

Can a human clone trained to kill also learn to love?

Elara Roberts is the captain of a space shuttle sent to retrieve a group of cloned soldiers from the planet US-2. As soon as she lands, the shuttle is overtaken and all of her men killed.

Svarog aka Rogue, is the leader of a rebel group of clones who desire freedom. He’s been trained his entire life for one thing—to kill. But when he lays eyes on Elara, the only woman he’s ever seen, his first instinct is to love. Taking her for himself, his new mission becomes exploring the body of the creature, and punishing any other clone male who dares come close.

Elara witnessed how easily Rogue killed her men and fears she is next. But instead, the beast seems curious and more lustful than anything else. Her best survival strategy is to play along. But when she gets a chance to escape she realizes she may not be ready to leave Rogue behind.

Content Warning: this story includes a deadly, devastatingly sexy clone who isn’t above foul language and dirty sex

GRAVITATION by Beth D. Carter

Can Bree and Niah’s love overcome their species being at war with one another?

Bree has spent her whole life hiding from the aliens who destroyed what was once Earth. When she stumbles across a wounded alien, common sense tells her to kill him before he can kill her, but her compassionate side refuses to obey. Instead, she helps him.

The two forge a temporary truce when they’re forced to band together for protection. But as the days slip by, the alien Niah won’t leave her, and as friendship gives way to something more, she can’t help but wonder when, or if, them being on opposite sides will break the fragile bonds of love forming between them.

Content Warning: contains sexual content, strong language, and some violence


Get it now for just .99
Available at   Beachwalk Press     Amazon    BN    ARe     Kobo


TANGLED WEBS EXCERPT:

Turning away from her position, Gia caught sight of movement from the corner of her eye. This time she looked out the window and in her garden was a Ba’Tua male.

“Holy hell, what’s he doing here?”

Gia headed for the door just as Cedun was removing his Montgomery Industries t-shirt by the side of the pool. Her mind was sluggish and her coordination impaired, and she slammed into the edge of the door as she scurried through it.

“Shit!” The curse escaped her mouth as she kept moving, her hand rubbing the injured section of her side. “Cedun, what the hell are you doing in my backyard?” In her haste, she didn’t see the hose on the deck and tripped.

She did notice the bright violet of his eyes—wide and startled—and the bronzed rippling muscles as she cartwheeled, flailing for something to grab onto, then she was falling backward. It’s all so slow! A thunk sound married with the explosion of pain in her head.

The water closed around her and invaded her mouth and lungs. Her chest burned as the water weighed her down. Just as it all seemed too much, strong, vise-like arms slid around her middle, hauling her up to the surface.

“Do not struggle, Gia. Let me help you.” He did, hauling her out of the pool and laying her flat on the concrete.

Then he rolled her over as she hacked and coughed. Water gushed from her mouth and nose, and she moaned once the indignity was over.

“Now, De’ Gia, tell me why you ran out of the house and threw yourself into the pool. De’ Valerie told me that you had been removed from your post. It cannot be that which is distressing?”

“Job,” she corrected, quietly hoping to stop his liquid voice. Her head and chest ached viciously, and all she wanted was bed. “I want to go to bed.”

Cedun stilled. “Is that not precipitous?” A smiled crept over his face, and it turned her insides to molten lava.

Clarity speared her. Their grasp of the English language was literal. She said she wanted to go to bed and was speaking to him, ergo, he thought sex. Horror filled her.

Cedun was probably the most relaxed and least repressed of all the Ba’Tua she’d met. Gia also suspected he’d been involved with Valerie for some time. After all, Valerie was still young at forty-two.

Gia groped for his t-shirt, meaning to push him away. The realization of being so close to Cedun’s muscular and unclothed chest flooded her as her hands made contact with hard and well-formed naked flesh. He’d removed that covering before her fall into the pool. Heat flared beneath her fingers as her heart rate sped up. “Cedun, I didn’t mean…”

He chuckled. “I laugh with you, De’ Gia.”

She struggled to free herself. “Go laugh with someone else.”



THE SPACESHIP CAPTAIN’S WIFE EXCERPT:

Why am I doing this to myself? Damn, if I didn’t need the money… But he did.

As the girl came to kneel beside her father, Ric realized he’d rather face a laser pistol-wielding hijacker than this woman. The traditional charado robe that consisted of many layers of light, sheer fabric did nothing to hide the outline of her body. His mouth went dry and sweat stung his eyes.

The older woman offered him a light meal of native Darooian nuts and fruit. Ric shook his head. He didn’t want to risk polluting himself with radiated food. But this transaction was too important for him to offend them.

“Forgive me, I am far too full of…of joy to eat,” Ric said.

Marit’s woman gazed at him for a moment. Her shrewd eyes narrowed with doubt, but she nodded and pulled the offered tray away.

The kneeling girl was so still he couldn’t even tell if she was breathing. His host was watching the silent female with an unfathomable sorrow. Then he turned to study Ric without speaking for a drawn out length of anxiety-filled time. Ric fidgeted nervously.

Oh damn, I hope I haven’t blown this. I’ll lose the ship without this deal. Ric tried to hide his worry from the other man by keeping his face expressionless.

“We only eat food that arrives in bio locked containers. Our offering is safe. Kateri has not left this house since she was a girl of ten. She has spent half her life hiding from death, it’s long past time she was allowed to live,” said Marit in the gentle tone. There was no anger or censor on his face, just sadness.

The quiet girl flinched. The movement was subtle, but Ric was used to watching for the slightest tells during negotiations. The girl’s posture stiffened.

So she was twenty. He relaxed a bit. She was a decade younger than he was, but at least she wasn’t some underage child.

Embarrassed, Ric looked away. “Forgive me,” he said, unsure if he was apologizing for the planet’s destruction or his behavior.

“You have nothing to apologize for. Caution is an admirable trait. Integrity is another thing I respect. She will make a good wife…”

Marit paused as a string of quickly spoken Dar, their language, interrupted him. Her outraged voice drifted up from under the veils and proved she had a bit of spirit.

The older man’s fatherly tone ebbed between anger and softness. Ric only caught a few words, but he was almost positive the girl hadn’t known she was part of the conditions for this export.

When she was silent, Ric could see her shaking. The strangest urge to comfort her came over him, but he shoved it away. Perhaps it was the camaraderie of being tricked, but the protectiveness her reaction stirred in him didn’t go away.

She muttered something, and he fought to suppress his grin. He had the most inappropriate urge to peek under her veil and see her expression. Was she seething with rage, or was she pouting? He wanted to know. The veil tormented his naturally overactive Metrician curiosity.

“Kateri is a good girl, dutiful. She is…uncomfortable leaving her family behind,” said the anxious man democratically.

Ric cleared his throat awkwardly. He could respect the answer. If he truly cared about anyone, he wouldn’t want to leave them to die either. A planet hadn’t died since the days of old Earth. Pain squeezed his heart in a metaphoric vise. Guilt. His people treated their world like it was garbage, and yet Metricia would live on long after Daroo was space dust.

“Don’t look so dour, Captain Aydric Julius. We will die with our gods, but our daughter will live on for us and remember our names. Saving her life is worth risking my soul,” Marit said quietly. “She is the most precious gem in your cargo.”

Ric nodded. No one had ever loved him as this man loved his daughter. It was astounding and humbling to be entrusted with her life. He’d never wanted such a responsibility thrust on him, but now that it was, he couldn’t turn them down.

Is she willing to marry a stranger? What am I getting myself into?

Ric could tell the girl was looking at him. He wanted to talk to her and make sure she was willing. He didn’t believe in much, but his honor mattered to him.


HIS HUMAN EXCERPT:

“Why do you want to go to Earth so bad?” Elara asked.

Rogue didn’t answer readily, instead, he appraised her, his gaze lingering on her sweat-soaked blouse. “You haven’t been here long, woman, but surely long enough to see this planet rivals the hell that the humans make us read about. It’s dry here, hot enough to melt the skin right off your body during certain seasons. Those tunnels you saw dotting the landscape, those were burrowed by one of US-2’s many creatures. Leave my side, and they’ll snatch you up and swallow you whole. It’d probably be an easier death than you deserve.”

“Excuse me?” Elara glared at him. “Did you keep me alive to insult me to death?”

“Why would you sign up to take men as slaves, take them to a war they can’t even understand?”

“I’m not the bad guy here!” Her voice echoed through the cave, the sound suddenly making her feel more brave.

“Neither am I. Unless I’m crossed.” He stood, still nude, his well-muscled body towering over her. “Now that you’re my captive, perhaps you can appreciate what we are fighting for. Freedom.” With that, the clone walked away from her. She glanced away, trying to avoid looking at the well-carved butt cheeks as the massive soldier walked away. He had a perfect body. The kind of body that was built to kill.

Elara’s mind spun. Not only had two clones tried to rape her, but her epic plan to seduce Rogue didn’t work. He’d never before had a woman, and she still couldn’t please him. Yet he’d protected her from those men.

As far as Rogue was concerned, she wasn’t sure what happened. He’d seemed so close to coming. He’d moaned, but then he’d been disgusted by her, shoving her away. She should have been happy that his cum didn’t fill her mouth, but it also meant her death.

But if he was going to kill her, why didn’t he just leave her to those men?

Finally alone, the terror of the day washed over her. She’d watched her peers murdered, she’d gone down on her captor, and she’d nearly been raped by two killers. Tears leaked down her cheeks, quickly dried by the intense heat on US-2.

Just as soon as he’d left, Rogue returned. His strong hand pulled her out of the fetal position to face him. When he saw her tears, he sneered in disgust. “I’m leaving to retrieve rations. Don’t try to escape.”

Hope bloomed within her. Of course she’d try to escape. Was this clone daft? She just never thought she’d be left alone to try.

Elara thought back to the initial attack on the space shuttle. The interior had sustained damage, but clearly the clones had been careful, obviously planning to try to take it to Earth themselves.

Rogue pulled on his military cargo shorts, not bothering with a shirt. He pulled a sachet of lotion out of his pocket and slathered it over his hard chest and chiseled stomach. It was a body meant to punish.

She barely heard Rogue’s final warning before he departed. Something about danger. Duh. Elara may have been surrounded by a planet of rebel clones, but she was a military captain, specially chosen for this very mission. Her femme fatale Plan A had failed, but now she had no other choice but to try to ass kick her way off this planet. She was sure as dead anyway, might as well die trying.


GRAVITATION EXCERPT:

Niah’s leg must be healing nicely if he was able to move around to her side of the cold fire pit. She should be feeling fear because now he could easily overpower her. Kill her. Only he did neither. He just laid there with his hand on her hip and his eyes staring deeply into her own.

This was wrong. So horribly wrong.

And yet…it didn’t feel wrong.

And that scared her more than anything.

“Shh,” he whispered, and his hand ran soothing circles across her hip bone.

Bree closed her eyes because she couldn’t stand looking at him anymore, couldn’t face the attraction she was developing. And somehow she must have fallen asleep because the next time she opened her eyes it was daylight.

She sat up quickly, looking around. Niah was gone. His leg splints were in a nice pile, the only testament that he’d been there. She ignored the stab of pain that pierced through her and told herself it was better this way. He had gone back to his people, to where he came from. It was time she went to where she belonged.

As she gathered her things and slipped her backpack over her shoulders, she thought about when she asked him to save one life as a thank you. Well, it seemed like he’d done just that.

He’d spared hers.


About the Authors

IMOGENE NIX

Imogene is a mother of two, compulsive reader, and bookstore owner. She lives in regional Queensland, Australia with her husband, two daughters, dog, cats, guinea pigs, and chooks. She has a particular fondness for vampires, star ship captains, and things that go bump in the night (especially vampire types).

Imogene has tried many varied roles in her working life including kindergarten assistant, teacher, principal, and kindergarten and child care director, but rates owning a bookstore and writing her own novels as the absolute highlight.

In her mother and wife alter ego, she has traveled widely and lived in some very unique places including Far Western Queensland, Cape York, and even Tasmania. She loves to travel and rates China and Hong Kong among her favorite destinations.





ASHLYNN MONROE

Ashlynn Monroe is a busy working mom. She loves her kids and family. Her greatest joy is creating stories to entertain others, and she hopes they bring a little more romance into the world. She’s been writing since her teens, for her own enjoyment, but decided in her thirties to share her imagination with readers. Ashlynn enjoys biking, camping, reading, video games, and filling her home and life with love. If she’s not working or chasing her children, you can find her daydreaming up her next tale of romance.




JAYE SHIELDS

Jaye Shields is a flight attendant by day and romance author by night. Her addictions include reading, travel, and other activities not even a romance writer will confess to. She’s in a committed love affair with her readers, so don’t be shy!





BETH D. CARTER

Beth likes writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so her heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors, or corporate highrollers. She tries to write characters who aren’t cookie-cutter and pushes herself to write complicated situations that she has no idea how to resolve, forcing herself to think outside the box. She loves writing characters who are real, complex, and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love.

Beth has been pretty fortunate in life to experience some amazing things. She’s lived in France and traveled throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She’s a mom to an amazing little boy, and she’s surrounded by friends and family. She hates washing dishes but loves cooking, hates washing clothes but loves wearing them. Her favorite color is red, but she looks best in black (it’s slimming). She hates people who don’t pick up their dog’s crap in public places, people who don’t use turn signals, and people who are rude and condescending. She especially hates discrimination in all and every form. And although she loves holding a book in her hand, she absolutely adores her ereader, whom she’s named Ruby.