Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Available Now: One Night in Oxford by Clarice Clique

City Nights, #28
Clarice Clique

Length: Novella
Genre: Erotic Romance

Price: $2.99 (99c/99p through 20 Novmber)


Alice is an exceptionally gifted student with predictions of a bright and glittering career ahead of her. But on her last day in Oxford, all she really cares about is whether the handsome, charming figure of Harry will be any part of her future. For three years she’s been too scared to confess her true feelings to the man who has been her friend and confidante through all her ups and downs. Should she tell him now, or is it already too late?

Against the backdrop of the beautiful, historical city, Alice has one final day to make a decision which the rest of her life may depend upon.

• • •

Now, on her final day in Oxford, she watched Harry walk down the street and didn’t call out to him.

In the crowds of students all dressed in the same sub fusc of black clothes, mortarboard and white shirt, he stood out as if he was the only man in the whole town. Her eyes widened as she admired the familiarity of his figure. But she hadn’t wanted to see him today.

She didn’t want to say goodbye. Didn’t want to listen to promises about staying in touch and to desperately hope for them to be true. The reality of eternal friendship really meant the odd ‘liked’ photo on Facebook.

She looked up at the sky, tried to appreciate the beauty of the spires of Oxford. It was a sight that she might never see again. Her immediate future involved an education at Harvard. She had relatives in Massachusetts, there was research at Harvard in her main area of interest, and she had had lots of positive contact with the professor leading it. It was already half settled that if things went well, she would stay in the USA. When would she ever have enough time, opportunity, or luck to see Oxford in all its majesty on a clear, warm day like today?

Still her gaze returned to Harry, no matter how much she told her heart to let go of him. The more permanent beauties of the city were nothing to her when Harry was near. Or rather, they were integrated in his charms. Oxford was special because it was the perfect setting for all the time she spent with Harry. The city proudly possessed an intoxicating mix of standard high street shops, ramshackle student hangouts that changed their name every couple of months, bookshops that hosted Shakespeare productions, and cinemas with late night showings of subtitled films boasting unpronounceable names. Then there were the smells of the covered markets, with the dead eyes of pig heads in butcher’s shops, staring at boutique handcrafted jewellery. All of it dominated by the grand century-old colleges.

Alice would miss it. But as she stared at Harry’s back, it was clear what she’d miss most about her university life.

Then Harry turned and saw her.

• • •

Clarice Clique has had stories featured in many anthologies, including several Xcite ones.  Through her erotic writing she likes exploring relationships, the good the bad and the fantastically beautiful. Her BDSM novel, Switch, focuses on the intimate love and trust between a sub and dom. With her latest work, The Kindness of Strangers, she plays with the idea of what happens when couples experience the sexual intensity of a swingers weekend.When not writing, she’s thinking about writing.

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Monday, 14 November 2016

Available Now in Print: Lady of the Two Lands by Elizabeth Delisi

Elizabeth Delisi

Length: Novel
Genre: Time Travel/Paranormal Romance

Digital Price: $3.99
Print Price: $/£


One minute, Hattie Williams is in a museum, sketching a gold necklace that belonged to Hatshepsut, first female Pharaoh of Egypt; and the next, she's lying in a room too archaic to be the museum, with a breathtakingly handsome, half-naked man named Senemut bending over her.

Hattie soon discovers she's been thrust into the body and life of Hatshepsut, with no way back to her own time. Tuthmosis, the heir to the throne, hates her; the High Priest of Amun and the commander of the army want to kill her and Tuthmosis; and the best bathroom facilities in the country are the equivalent of a cat-box.

To make matters more difficult, she's falling helplessly in love with Senemut, and soon, she's not sure she even wants to return home. To protect Tuthmosis from assassination, the lovers arrange to put Hattie on the throne. But, what should she do when she suddenly finds herself, an obscure artist from Chicago, crowned ruler of all Egypt?

• • •

Tom laughed, then left her alone. As soon as his footsteps died away, she flipped open her sketch pad to a clean page and set it on the table next to the necklace. Before she tried again to imagine Hatshepsut’s features, she wanted to make a detailed drawing of the collar.

Within half an hour, she had the broad outlines of the necklace faithfully reproduced on the paper. Yawning, she laid her pencil beside the tablet. Even the beauty of the necklace couldn’t keep her awake forever. Maybe it was time to call it a day. She could duplicate the intricate hieroglyphs tomorrow.

No sooner had she decided to quit than the back of her neck prickled, and a warm breeze stroked her cheek. Not again! She whipped around, determined to catch the furtive watcher this time. Her left arm hit the partially open door, which promptly slammed shut.

Hattie reached for the doorknob and turned it, giving the door a jerk. It remained firmly closed. She jiggled the knob and pulled on it, but it was quite obviously locked. “Great!” she muttered. “Just what I need. I wonder how long that meeting of Tom’s will last?”

Her mouth dropped open as a horrible thought occurred to her. What if Tom didn’t return after the meeting? What if he went straight home? “Tomorrow’s Sunday,” she reminded herself grimly. “I might be stuck here in this…this broom closet for two days!” There was no one at her apartment to miss her or report her absence—not even a dog to bark and alert the neighbors.

Hattie banged on the door. “Is anyone there? Let me out!” She shouted and beat on the door with her palms, but all was ominously silent. If someone had been watching her, they had no intention of helping her out of her dilemma.

At last, resigned to her fate, she returned to her sketchpad. “If I’m going to be stuck in here, I might as well finish my work,” she murmured. “Tom’s bound to come back—I’m sure he will.” Her voice echoed unconvincingly in the dusty, claustrophobic room.

Picking up her pencil, she focused deliberately on copying the tiny hieroglyphics with extreme precision. Gradually, she became absorbed in her work and forgot her predicament. Minutes flowed by with the only sound in the room the scratching of her pencil on the paper.

At last, she completed the final symbol on her detailed drawing and set down her pencil with a twinge of disappointment. She was curiously drawn to the glittering possession of the ancient, yet strangely modern woman. Hatshepsut had ruled Egypt fifteen hundred years before Christ, at a time when women were considered no more important than servants or dogs. How had she managed it?

The vagrant breeze whispered past her face again, leaving a whiff of exquisite perfume in its wake. A rustle, like the caress of costly linen against bare skin, drew her attention. She felt a strong presence, though she knew she was alone in the tiny room.

“Touch it.”

The words were so faint, Hattie wasn’t sure she’d actually heard them.

“Who’s there?” she asked, though she didn’t expect to get a response. The room was too small to hide anyone.

“Touch the necklace.”

Hattie spun around, searching for the source of the barely audible words. “Tom, is that you? If it’s you, I don’t think this is funny! Open the door right now.” She thumped it with her fist for emphasis.

There was no response.

Hattie turned back to the exquisitely fashioned falcon. Maybe it was her overworked imagination playing a trick on her, but the advice seemed sound. Perhaps if she touched the necklace, she could make a connection—psychic, empathic?—with the long-dead monarch. The necklace was strangely compelling, like a long forgotten yet treasured memory.

She reached out slowly, cautiously. As her fingertips gently grazed the golden bird, an electric shock pulsed through her and a sudden wave of dizziness sapped her strength.

“Come to me,” the ghostly voice whispered, stronger now. “Come to me. I have need of you.”

The sweet, cloying scent of incense filled Hattie’s nostrils, and flashes of light exploded behind her eyes. Her vision blurred; she felt as if she were reeling, falling down a long, dark tunnel. Gasping, she reached out blindly for something, anything, to steady herself. Her fingers skimmed across the surface of the table and fastened around the necklace. Clutching it, she fell heavily to the floor as everything went black.

• • •

Elizabeth Delisi wanted to be a writer since she was in first grade, and probably would have written in the womb if she could have convinced her mother to swallow a pencil. But life hasn't always gone the way she planned, and on her road to publication she worked as a motel maid, waitress, secretary, administrative aide, substitute teacher, and newspaper reporter.

Elizabeth is a multi-published, award-winning author of romance, mystery and suspense. Her time-travel romance set in ancient Egypt, Lady of the Two Lands, won a Bloody Dagger Award and was a Golden Rose Award nominee. Her romantic suspense novel, Since All is Passing, was an EPPIE Award finalist and Bloody Dagger Award finalist. Fatal Fortune was a Word Museum Reviewer’s Choice Masterpiece. Elizabeth's contemporary romance novella The Heart of the Matter is featured in the Valentine's Day-themed anthology Cupid's Capers and was an EPPIE Award finalist. A Carol of Love is part of Holiday Hearts anthology and an EPPIE Award finalist. A Cup of Christmas Charm is part of Holiday Hearts 2 anthology and was also an EPPIE Award finalist. Elizabeth is also the author of the newly released speculative short fiction collection, The Midnight Zone.

Elizabeth is an instructor for Writer’s Digest University. She has taught Creative Writing at the community college level, has worked as a copyeditor for several small publishers, and edits for individuals. She holds a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing major from St. Leo University.

Elizabeth is currently at work on Deadly Destiny and Perilous Prediction, the sequels to Fatal Fortune, and Knit A Spell, a paranormal romance.

Elizabeth lives in New Hampshire with her husband and feisty parakeet. She enjoys hearing from her readers.

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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Available Now: Prisoner of the Highlander by Kate Robbins

Highland Chiefs series, #4
Kate Robbins

Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance

Digital Price: $4.99 (99c/99p through 13 Novmber)
Print Price: $/£


Annabella Beaufort, cousin to the Queen Consort of Scotland, visits court in Edinburgh upon the queen’s urging. She has little interest in this wild and rugged land and is pleasantly surprised to find Linlithgow Palace and King James’ court quite refined. An attack on Edinburgh Castle by a savage Highlander results in her capture. This flaxen haired giant is like nothing she’s encountered before, but her fear of him quickly turns to lust and she prays he will not also claim her heart.

Son of the great Alexander MacDonald, beloved Lord of the Isles, Angus MacDonald refuses to bend to King James’ tyrannical rule. After his father is imprisoned, he becomes acting chief. Unlike his father and his schemes, Angus will attack and bring this king to his knees. His attempt to release his father is thwarted and instead he abducts the Queen’s cousin. His desire for her is intense and immediate, despite her flawed Sassenach ways. But he must keep her at arm’s length regardless of the raging passion she evokes in him. She is his pawn—his prisoner—and he must always remember that.

Though they fight on opposite sides of the battle for power over Scotland, Angus and Annabella discover a fire that will not be ignored or denied. Will their loyalties to their families tear them apart? If he sets her free, will she return to him? Or will she in turn imprison his heart for all eternity?

• • •

“No! You must not open that door. We do not know who is outside,” Joan warned. “If we stay here out of sight, the danger will surely pass us by.”

“I will not allow your child to come into this world on a cold stone floor. I am no midwife, and you need help. I shall peek out and see if there is a way to acquire a guard’s attention.”

“Please be careful. I do not want to give birth here, either, but I would rather live to do so wherever it may be.”

Annabella could not argue with that. She turned her head and leaned toward the door again. This time there was no sound for her to decipher. She carefully lifted the round metal latch on the wooden door and pulled just enough to peep through. There did not appear to be anyone near the cannons nor along the main cobblestone walkway.

She pulled the door open and stuck her head out. The sun shone so bright she had to squint to see the battlements. She could almost find humour in how she might appear to anyone who might be looking her way. But there was no one about.

Annabella swung the door wide and stepped out onto the stairs. The walkway leading to the portcullis appeared abandoned. Where could everyone have gone in such a short time? The air was warm, and a gentle breeze lifted her unbound hair.

A noise behind her made her turn to the left and look out toward the end of the battlements. Three guards ran toward her. Thank God! She had not wanted to encounter a Highlander. She’d been told of their savage ways and how they were wont to rape and pillage. Surely God would judge them harshly when their time came.

When the men had almost reached her, they stopped. All three were large men; the Scottish guards were each impressive, but these were larger still. And one in particular was even more so. He turned in her direction and walked toward her.

“Will you assist us?” she asked him.

“Us assist you?” he asked with raised eyebrows and a smirk. His hair was flaxen and his green eyes sparkled like gemstones.

“Yes. My cousin, the queen, is with child and needs a midwife.”

The man’s smile disappeared. As if on cue, Joan let out a mighty cry from within the chapel. She stumbled out through the door. “I can ride. I want to return to the palace now.”

“But that is a long ride, and in your condition we should go to the infirmary here,” Annabella said, wrapping her arms around her cousin.

Joan leaned forward. “You there. Can you secure a carriage? You will escort me to the palace immediately.”

The man scrubbed his beard as he considered them. “Hamish,” he said over his shoulder, “do you think you can secure a carriage for the queen and her cousin?”

“Aye, Angus. I can.”

“Do it then, man.” He stood at the base of the stairs and swept his hand toward the narrow cobblestone walkway leading out through the gates and onto the esplanade of the castle grounds. “Graham and I will accompany you out through the gates.”

Annabella nodded and linked arms with her cousin, helping her along as swiftly as possible. Someone needed to teach these men some manners. They were in the presence of a queen and yet had not bowed to her. Had she not been so concerned for Joan’s wellbeing, she would have taken the time to chastise them.

“Did you help overpower the filthy Highlanders?” she asked, hoping the answer would be a resounding “aye”. It was an affirmation to which she was not well accustomed, though this part of the kingdom used it frequently.

The two men exchanged a glance and grinned. “Aye, we have dealt with the filthy Highlanders. They will not be bothering anyone here again,” the one called Angus said.

“I am relieved to hear it. Do you know what they wanted?”

“They wanted their laird returned.”

“Their laird? Is he imprisoned here?”

“Aye, he was.”

“He was released, then?” Talking to him was like pulling teeth! He did not appear to want to offer up any information freely.

When they were almost through the gates, Annabella risked a glance behind her. It was very odd that there were no other guards about.

The sound of two horses and a carriage drew her attention back to the esplanade.

“How did you manage that so quickly?” Angus asked.

“Her carriage was already waiting for her. I relieved the drivers and told them we would see her safely to the palace ourselves.”

Annabella could not imagine why the guard, Angus, found this funny. But laugh he did as he lifted the canvas flap at the back and pulled out the stepping stool to help them inside.

Once she settled Joan onto the long padded bench and wrapped her legs in blankets, Annabella turned to the man.

“Thank you for assisting us. Please make haste, but have a care. That is, unless you want to bring a babe into the world with your own hands.”

His eyes grew wide for a moment, then he nodded and let the canvas flap fall back into place. A few moments later, the carriage rattled along the muddy streets. It would take them a few hours to return to the palace this way, but as long as the babe stayed put in his mama’s belly, Annabella was happy enough to leave Edinburgh Castle behind her.

• • •

Kate Robbins writes historical romance novels out of pure escapism and a love for all things Scottish, not to mention a life-long enjoyment of reading romance.

Kate loves the research process and delving into secondary sources in order to blend authentic historical fact into her stories. She has travelled to Scotland twice and visited the sites described in her Highland Chiefs series.

Her debut award winning novel, Bound to the Highlander, is the first of three books set in the early fifteenth century during the reign of James Stewart, first of his name.

Kate is the pen name of Debbie Robbins who lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

See Debbie here on Canada's Back Stage Pass TV program, aired 4 March 2014.

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Available Now in Print: Finding My Highlander by Aleigha Siron

Aleigha Siron

Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Digital Price: $4.99
Print Price: $/£


On a windswept cliff above San Francisco Bay in 2013, 27 year-old Andra Cameron, the last member of her family, prepares to scatter her family's ashes to the wind. An earthquake catapults her to the Scottish Highlands in 1705. She wakes, aching and bloody, to the sound of horses thundering through the trees. Terrified and with no other options, Andra accompanies these rugged warriors. She can't deny the undeniable attraction that ignites between herself and the handsome but gruff Kendrick. Will she trust him to provide protection in the harsh reality of 18th century Scotland and with her secret, or will she find a way to return home to the 21st century?

Laird Kendrick MacLean and his men, escaping a recent skirmish with their worst nemeses, clan Cameron and their Sassenach allies, are shocked to find an injured, unprotected female in their path. How could she not know her kin and how had she landed in the middle of the wilderness alone? His men suspect she's a spy or a witch. Still, Kendrick will not abandon an injured woman, even if she speaks unusually accented English, and her name is Cameron. Will he ransom her to others or will their closed hearts open to each other? Although he questions her every utterance, this feisty, outspoken woman inflames his desire like no other.

• • •

“Lass, can I help you?” His voice was softer than the others, his stance relaxed, composed, despite the dirt and blood splattered over his massive arms and clothing. He seemed to be a quiet, gentle man, though physically as imposing as the others.

“You could bring me my bag.”

He moved his hand from behind him and cautiously extended her mother’s old carpetbag. “Do I need to check it for weapons?” A slight crinkle lifted the corner of his mouth. A piece of leather cord tied wavy, light-brown hair at the nape of his neck and tight braids spilled alongside sharp, scruffy checks. His eyes were dark and shadowed.

“Thank you…it’s Rabbie, correct?”

“Aye,” he nodded.

Andra granted him a guarded smile. “I’ll pull no further weapons if you promise to be kind.” The slight attempt at humor from both of them eased the tension coiled in her gut.

He swept an arm gracefully in front of him and bowed, “Always, m’lady, as I learned at me mother’s knee.” Then he left her to tend the horses.

She searched her bag for the washcloth, hand towel, and first aid kit she always carried when traveling. The washcloth came to hand first. She dipped it into the cold water and wiped the dried and clotted blood from her face and hair. Then she dunked her head in the pool several more times.

“I seem to be awake,” she whispered, just for the comfort on her own voice. “My surroundings feel solid enough,” she pounded her fist on the dirt, “so it must be real. Accept it, Andra, and decide what to do next.”

She could hear the men speaking Gaelic, hushed yet clearly distraught about the condition of their clansman. They gathered near another pool of water several yards from where she knelt. She watched them over her shoulder for a few minutes struggling to fit the scene into her new reality. A million questions rose in her throat.

“Not now. Patience and observation are what’s required. All will be revealed in time.” What a stupid cliché.

Should she offer her help with their friend; would they accept it? She could not sit here and do nothing when one of them was seriously injured. Besides, anxiety always spurred her to take action. Her father had always said, “Move, keep busy, and don’t let dust gather under your feet.” With her father’s words ringing in her ears, she approached the men cautiously, keeping her eye on the mean one, Struan.

“May I be of assistance?” She stood with her feet firmly planted on the hard-packed, dirt floor, her head held high, one hand pressed flat against her side, the other rested on the cross dangling on her chest. It took an extreme effort to control her trembling body. Her palms moistened with sweat. She steadied her focus on Kendrick. His strong hands moved carefully over his brother’s body. The mean one harrumphed and growled.

A growl? Really?

Kendrick looked up, concern etched on his face. His dark, probing eyes bore through her. “Are you a healer, then?” he asked.

“Not a healer exactly, but I have cared for ill and injured persons and have some training in first aid. I wish to help if you’ll permit me.”

“I dinnae ken your meaning. What’s the first aid of which you speak? As you can see, we give him aid, but if you can do anything to help save my brother’s life, I will gladly accept your offer.”

The mean one growled again. “Don’t trust her, she’s the enemy and will just as soon slit his throat.”

Ignoring the slur, she continued, “Have you determined the extent of his injuries?”

“Aye, his shoulder is dislocated, several fingers broken, which we have straightened and bound as best we’re able. We need to stitch multiple, deep wounds, and he’s lost a lot of blood, though blood no longer flows freely.”

The injured man lay on a plaid, stripped completely naked, his kilt torn away from his battered body. Mud, blood, and all manner of vile debris caked the hard planes of his bronzed chest. Andra couldn’t identify the severity or location of all his injuries. He moaned but appeared unconscious, or so she assumed, since he hadn’t opened his eyes. Clumps of dried blood crusted over wounds on one leg and foot. Dark, matted refuse covered the entire other leg.

His manhood lay flaccid against his thigh, and none of the men seemed concerned about his state of undress in front of a strange female. She stood quietly, waiting for several breaths.

• • •

Following an accident several years ago, Aleigha's road to recovery was paved with the adventures and excitement of romance novels, inspiring the creation of her own tales. Recently learning about distant Scottish ancestors, she traveled to the land of craggy peaks, mists, bogs, and the ubiquitous heather, where she fell in love with the setting for her first full-length time-travel romance novel.

In her lengthy business career, Aleigha wrote and derived an array of management and other technical training programs until she turned her writing efforts to her true loves: fiction, and poetry. Her poetry has been published in numerous anthologies and university presses. Most recently, her poetry was included in an Escondido Municipal Art Gallery collection, merging art and poetry, a form known as ekphrastic poetry. The San Diego Poetry Society also selected a poem for publication in their 2015-16 Annual Anthology.

Currently, Aleigha is busy working on two new novels and plans to revisit a Children's Book written years ago for her many nieces and nephews. When not writing, reading, or attending poetry workshops, she often walks along the shore at sunset with her husband and her trusty Labrador helper, Strider, breathing in the ion charged air while seeking inspiration.

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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Available Now: A Hundred Hands by Dianne Noble

Dianne Noble

Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Price: $4.99 (99c/99p through 4 November)


When Polly’s husband is jailed for paedophilia, she flees the village where her grandmother raised her and travels to India where she stays with her friend, Amanda.

Polly is appalled by the poverty, and what her husband had done, and her guilt drives her to help the street children of Kolkata. It’s while working she meets other volunteers, Liam and Finlay. Her days are divided between teaching the children and helping with their health needs. But when Liam’s successor refuses to let Polly continue working, she’s devastated to think the children will feel she’s abandoned them.

After a health scare of her own, she discovers her friend, Amanda, is pregnant. Amanda leaves India to have her child. At this time Polly and Finlay fall in love and work together helping the children. Tragedy strikes when one child is found beaten and another dead. Polly feels history repeating itself when Finlay becomes emotionally attached to a young girl.

Can Polly recover from her broken heart and continue to help the children, or will she give up and return home?

• • •

Bhubaneswar, India

Polly noticed the smell first. Naked apart from a loincloth, his tiny body caked in dirt, a boy danced and keened a song in a reedy falsetto. His mother stood beside him, eyes pleading, clutching a baby and a tin begging bowl.

‘The poor little soul, just look at him!’

‘Come away. There’s nothing you can do.’

Distressed, Polly watched the child. His voice became ever more shrill as he sensed a few rupees. ‘But he’s so thin, he—’

Amanda grasped her wrist, pulled her away. ‘This is India. They’re everywhere. Get used to it.’

The child’s mother followed them, touching Polly’s arm, pulling at her shirt, only dropping back when they reached the platform.

A wall of sound and motion, a roaring cavern with smells of stale clothes, tobacco, diesel. On every side were heads—heads and hands and bundles.
Amanda hugged her. ‘Come back. Please come back. It’s been so good to see someone from home.’

Polly fought against the crush of passengers surging off the train, her last glimpse of her friend a small, white face in the crowd, looking sad. She hauled herself up into the carriage, handicapped by her backpack. With a jerk, the train pulled away. She peered around her with no clue as to coach numbers.

She showed her reservation docket to a guard whose body didn’t fill his uniform. He gestured, unsmiling, in the direction she should go. Clambering over parcels and baskets, battling her way past a hundred people and their curious eyes, she finally reached her seat out of breath. With a last spurt of energy, she lifted her backpack over her head and hefted it onto the luggage rack.

In the time it had taken Polly to find her place, the train and its passengers had left the town behind. She rubbed her shins, sore where she’d banged into sharp-edged boxes and watched the countryside unfolding outside the window. Vivid, green rice fields alternated with villages of dirt roads and brick shacks. An old man in a red turban and a long, white shirt leaned on a stick as he watched them pass. Behind him, the horizon wobbled in the heat, and laundry lay drying on the corrugated-iron roofs of shacks. They were no more than hovels, and her thoughts flew to the budget hotel she had booked on the internet. Please let it be okay. On her own now, the luxury of Amanda’s home left behind, excitement and fright battled for position.

Amanda. How sad she’d looked standing on the platform. Had she made a mistake all those years ago when she’d been bowled over by Salman’s obvious wealth and good looks?

Polly’s gran—who’d always been fond of Amanda—had tried to talk her out of it. ‘They have different ways in India, cariad,’ she’d said.

But Amanda had fallen in love, and that was all that mattered.

Polly shivered in the fierce air-conditioning. The carriage had large, reclining seats, three on one side, two on the other, all occupied and not another European in sight. Mosquito-like buzzing came from the earphones of the woman sitting next to her, loud snores from behind. She stiffened as another blast of frigid air hit the back of her neck. Her journey to Heathrow had been equally cold, with freezing fog hovering over the white fields. She rummaged in her bag for the shawl Gran had pressed on her, the faint smell of lavender and home making her throat ache. The bag had seen better days. It was the one she took swimming because of its waterproof interior. Its battered appearance shamed her, but she’d been too afraid of leaving the house to go shopping for anything better. After a while, lulled by the train’s motion, she slept.

‘Chai, chai.’

Polly woke with a start, heart racing. Where am I?

A boy in a ragged shirt pushed a tea-urn on wheels, his gaze darting around the carriage in search of customers.

Amanda’s words echoed in her head. ‘Disgusting stuff, chai. Loose tea leaves boiled in a bucket. Stunning amounts of sugar. Industrial quantities of buffalo milk. Don’t go there.’

The tea-urn trundled past, followed by a procession of people trying to sell bottles of water, crisps, and sweets. Poor things, they didn’t seem to sell much.

With a squeal of brakes, they made a short stop at a station—neat with cream and terracotta paint. Small spirit stoves had been set up on the platform. The smell of frying eggs wafted through the carriage as omelettes were cooked then wrapped in palm leaves, secured with a twig.

A child, struggling with a bucket almost as big as he was, washed the outside of Polly’s window. He rubbed away, his expression solemn. He could only reach halfway up and moved on to the next one, leaving her view obscured by grey rivulets of soapy water.

After a lunch of biryani—the stringy chicken suggesting the bird had led an active life—Polly went in search of a toilet.

‘Use the Indian one,’ Amanda had urged. ‘Your bum won’t have to come into contact with anything then. Unless you fall over.’

• • •

Dianne Noble was on a troopship sailing for Singapore at the age of seven and hasn’t stopped travelling since. Her last trip was to Moscow but her favourite place remains India. The atmospheric settings of her novels reflect her experiences.

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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Available Now: One Night in New Delhi by Kemberlee Shortland

City Nights series, #27
Kemberlee Shortland

Length: Novella
Genre: Erotic Romance

Price: $3.99 (99c/99p through 24 October)


Hannah Maguire and Sudesh Kumar had been lovers in Dublin City, both studying for their degrees in similar areas of Archaeology. What she had treated as a college romance, Hannah realized, as he was leaving Dublin for the job of a lifetime back home in India, was she had lost her heart to him.

Now, five years later, Hannah is working as an archivist in the National Museum in Dublin when she's invited to the National Museum of India in New Delhi to inspect a new and rare artefact found on an archaeological dig.

The last person she expects to see when she enters the museum is Sudesh. She didn’t know where he was, or even if he was still in India, but soon learns he's the one who made the discovery, and had been the one encouraging the museum to invite her onto the project.

On meeting, everything they'd shared washes over Hannah—all of the love and passion, and a heart so broken, she still hadn't recovered. To make things more difficult, it's Deepavali/Diwali and Sudesh has promises to make it a memorable experience.

Will this one night really be one to remember, or will it send Hannah into a tailspin she might not recover from this time?

• • •

New Delhi, India


Startled, I spun at the sound of my name and stumbled into his arms, my feet coming out from under me, and the dupatta falling off my head.

As much as I hadn’t expected to see Sudesh while I was in New Delhi, it hadn’t really occurred to me that if I did, it would be in the museum. It was an illogical thought. He was as much an archaeologist as I was.

My flesh came alive as I slid against him, and every ounce of familiarity crashed over me, his familiar scent washing over me in a tidal wave. My heart pounded in my throat, cutting off my air. I was sure I looked as startled as he did.

The weight of my body in his arms compounded our closeness, as he stumbled to keep us both from falling to the floor. A few inches more, and I’d be supine with him on top of me. The thought made that place between my thighs thrum to life.

I’d always loved the way he pronounced my name. His soft accent made the old-fashioned name I never liked sound sensual and beautiful. Even now, after so long, the one simple word was like a punch in the gut that brought up all the feelings I thought I’d cried out of me.


Even to me, his name sounded like a sensual caress on my lips. I clung to him, praying he’d opt for the floor, even as he pulled me up to stand before him.

Namaste,” he greeted.

He didn’t release me but embraced me with tender familiarity. He cupped my cheek in one hand and kissed me. I felt his fingers at my nape as his palm seared its imprint on my face. I gasped against his mouth.

His kiss was too short to be passionate, but also too long to be casual. But it was just long enough to muddle my thoughts. I tasted the Masala tea on his lips, and this morning’s dream flashed before me. The short stubble around his mouth heightened the electricity building inside me.

I fisted the fabric across his back and felt the muscle mass there I hadn’t remembered from our time together in Dublin. I knew every inch of his body. His time working dig sites had obviously filled him out, and I was curious to see him as he was now.

I didn’t push him away—I couldn’t—but I had to fight my instincts to pull him closer. He’d left me heartbroken, but damn it, I suddenly didn’t care.

But as quickly as he’d kissed me, it was over. It was Sudesh who finally ended the kiss though he didn’t take his arms from around me.

His dark eyes, framed with black lashes, darted over me as if searching for something.

I couldn’t look away. Through all of my mixed emotions, I wanted to see all of him too, and compare the man he was now to the man I’d previously known.

His black hair was a little shaggier than I remembered. It fell around his face as if he’d only finger-combed it before searching me out.

The stubble around his mouth was also something new. The short whiskers surrounding his perfectly shaped full lips told me he hadn’t just missed a couple days shaving, but his style.

At college, Sudesh presented himself as a clean-shaven young man with a short hair cut. On the outside, very businesslike. He wasn’t my type of man so reluctantly agreed to go out with him but quickly realized never to judge someone by their looks. It was in the bedroom that his inner tiger emerged. Now, that tiger was very much in evidence. And I liked it.

• • •

Kemberlee Shortland is a native Northern Californian who grew up in Carmel, a community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. Over the years, Kemberlee has worked with several Carmel notables, including Doris Day, Kim Novak, and Joan Fontaine. It was in 1997, she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was during this time she met the man she would marry, and permanently relocated to live in Ireland. While always writing since a very young age, Kemberlee earned her keep for fifteen years as one of Ireland's foremost travel consultants, and also wrote travel articles about Ireland. In 2005, she saw her first romance sell, and to date, she has thirteen published titles to her name, including the best-selling Irish Pride Series. Her most recent release is Murder in Mornington, is the first book in a new cosy Irish mystery series, set in the community Kemberlee and her family now call home. Kemberlee enjoys hearing from her readers, and promises to reply to every message. Please feel free to visit her on her website or social media sites.

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Monday, 24 October 2016

Available Now in Print: The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner

The Watcher Rising Series, #1
Erika Gardner

Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Digital Price: $3.99
Print Price: $/£


There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours. 

It’s time to find out why she has this power. 

Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.

• • •

The memory has haunted me for years.

In the middle of a bright California summer, dark days came. My mother and grandparents spoke in hushed, serious voices, arguing about my absent father. Was it my fault he left?

A soft whimper escaped my throat and my eyes burned. I needed a hug, but no one paid any attention to me that day. So I ran away to the refuge of my grandparents’ garden where I could hide among its statues and flowers.

My eyes lingered over the familiar garden ornaments. I passed the old birdbath, the statues of gnomes, and a cheerful squirrel. I ran one hand over the stone deer. Its brown paint had faded from years under the sun. Walking with quick steps down the gravel path, I made my way to the center of the garden, my special spot where my favorite statue waited.

A gnarled apricot tree grew there. Right now it was covered with tiny green apricots. Later in the summer the sweet fruit I loved would ripen. I would get to pick them with my parents, no, just with my mother. My lip trembled. My father wouldn’t be here.

The bright-green dragon lay curled at the foot of the apricot tree, partially covered by vines. My mother called the color jade green—the same shade as my eyes. As a child she talked to all the statues, but I only spoke to the dragon. I named her Daisy. Sitting down next to her now, the tears welled up at last, spilling over my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around my legs, making myself into a little ball of five-year-old misery.

“Child, why are you sad?” said a woman’s voice.

“Who said that?” I asked, wiping my cheek.

“I did.”

“Where are you?” I stood and peered at the plants and statues around me.

“Right here.”

“Are not,” I retorted.

A soft laugh filled the air and the woman spoke again. “Perhaps you are right. Easy enough to fix, I suppose.”

The breeze picked up. The space beneath the apricot tree shimmered. Ripples warped the air like the heat over the barbecue when my father cooked. The sweet notes of wind chimes filled the yard. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have any wind chimes. I whirled around to find the noise.

Under the branches appeared an enormous green dragon’s head. My mouth opened in a silent O and I held my breath.

• • •

Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.

Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World), you can find her online at

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Available Now: Swallow Hall Murder by Noreen Wainwright

Edith Horton Mysteries, #4
Noreen Wainwright

Length: Novel
Genre: Mystery

Price: $3.99 (99c/99p through 24 October)


What links the dead poet to Swallow Hall? Many lives have been damaged by a controlling mother, and more than one person has ties to the dead man.

Edith has her mind full with concerns about her own relationship and her brother’s health.

But, when one of her old friends returns home, Edith is soon involved in the mystery of the Swallow Hall Murder.

• • •

“She’s on the war path, again. I went into her room with the morning tea, knocked properly, waited for her gracious permission to enter, and all the rest of it. She still bit my head off. Tell the truth, Sylvia, I’ve had about enough of it.” Ivy took off her cap and pulled her hair back off her face, replacing the hairpins with a stabbing movement.

It was only in the safety of the kitchen when they were on their own that Ivy would refer to Sylvia by her first name. In front of the Turner family, she referred to the cook as Mrs. Casey.

Sylvia shook her head, her forehead wrinkled beneath her pinned back, greying hair. “I know. She’s getting worse. I can understand why young Beryl left, though how she could face going back to her mother and a houseful of brothers and sisters with no job, I’m sure I don’t know.”

Ivy, the parlour maid, now doing the work of the departed housemaid, Beryl, on top of her own tasks, took the opportunity to sit down for a minute. She’d been up since half-past five, and her feet were on fire.

“You did your best. I hope I did my best too, but Sylvia… imagine it, fifteen years of age and stuck out here in the middle of nowhere in what must have seemed like a madhouse. Can you blame the kid for hightailing it back to her family? For two pins, I’d go myself…”

“Don’t you dare, Ivy Moss. Look, Miss Hester will sort them out. You’ll see, things will get better, now she’s here.”

Ivy slipped off her shoes and stretched out her legs, in their sensible lisle stockings. She flexed her feet, sighing.

“I hope you’re right, but I have my doubts. It’s gone beyond that, I’m afraid. After Miss Elizabeth had accused me of coming across the corridor like an elephant,” Ivy glanced down at her eight-stone frame, “she started on with her usual nonsense.”

“Saying that you’d moved things around?”

“Worse than that. She said I’d been taking things out of her room and selling them. Ornaments, figurines…stuff that’s impossible to prove was never there in the first place. She’s clever despite it all. That’s the frightening thing.”

“Oh, Ivy. Look, no-one is going to believe her, not in a million years. Everyone knows she’s as mad as a March hare.”

A moment’s silence fell where the only sound came from the big grandfather clock. Ivy put her shoes back on and went across to the window, looking out at the back of the house. Rain pattered on the window and rustled on the ivy-clad walls. The trees were barely coming into leaf, and she could just glimpse the soft-hued stone walls of the kitchen garden. She thought she saw a glimmer of colour, then shook her head. It was nothing.

“A miserable day…outside as well as in.” She smiled at her own words. “Will we have a quick cuppa, Sylvia? Maybe turn the wireless on too? The work will be still there waiting for us when we’ve finished.”

Her friend crossed to the stove and moved the big kettle onto the hob. “Too right, girl. We ‘as to make our own fun, where we can, in this place.”

• • •

Noreen is Irish and now lives in the Staffordshire Moorlands with her husband, a dairy farmer. She works part-time as a mentor at Staffordshire University and the rest of her time is spent writing. Many of her articles and short stories have been published and she has co-written a non-fiction book.

She loves crime fiction, particularly that of the “golden age” and that is what she wants to recreate with Edith Horton’s world.

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Available Now in Print: Marred by Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta

ISBN: 9781311566508

Length: Novel
Genre: Thriller
Price: $4.99 (99c/99p through 18 Oct)
Print price: $10.99/£9.99

Buy Here: Tirgearr Publishing

When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets from that night—secrets she swears to take to her deathbed.

Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller begins tormenting Sage—she can’t outrun the past.

When Sage’s twin sister suddenly goes missing, Sage searches Niko’s case files and discovers similarities to the Boston killer. A sadistic psychopath is preying on innocent women, marring their bodies in unspeakable ways. And now, he has her sister.

Cryptic clues. Hidden messages. Is the killer hinting at his identity? Or is he trying to lure Sage into a deadly trap to end his reign of terror with a matching set of corpses?

• • •

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Even the weather betrayed me. Aqua-blue sky, not a cloud in sight. Niko and I sat in silence during the two-and-a-half hour trip north. Next week offered a new beginning, a chance to leave Boston and never look back.

I lowered the back passenger window. A light breeze ruffled farmland acres, and a full, round sun shined, burned, blazed as though this was an ordinary day. The limousine tires hit cracked asphalt, the road worn from a brutal New Hampshire winter. Birds whistled serenades. Preteens played basketball within the confines of school grounds. Young, adolescent voices carried in the crisp morning air, rustling hues of burnt orange, scarlet, and burgundy through autumn leaves. Mountains stood proudly as if they could protect us. Here, perhaps, but not in Boston, where my nightmare began eight days and six hours ago.

We drove by the Minot Sleeper Library, and my gaze narrowed on the patrons. A middle-aged woman clutched my latest novel close to her heart like a coveted treasure. Scorching heat jagged up my chest. Soon she’d enjoy my words while I endured the harshest committal.

Didn’t she know? Couldn’t she feel my pain, my anguish? Pure evil enveloped my life and then spit me out like bitterness on a delicate palate, leaving me reeling in torment.

The hearse carrying our dreams, our endless devotion, veered right through tall, iron gates and followed a winding road to the back of the cemetery.

My fingers curled around the armrest, and I shifted my sight to Niko.

Splayed hands on his knees, he turned only his head and offered a weak, faint smile. “You okay?” His voice was barely above a whisper.

To demonstrate what I thought of his stupid question, I shot him a cutting glare.

Palms up, Niko opened his arms. “What? I only asked if you were okay.”

“Seriously?” I said. “How could anyone be okay with this?”

Two funeral employees in dark suits dragged a tiny coffin from the back of the hearse. Stark white, the casket rode in their hands as the men marched over burnt, dead grass. Lowering the coffin onto two bands, they stepped away. My baby lingered above the mouth of an awaiting grave—displaying my shame, announcing my cowardice.

“We’ve gotta go.” Niko’s words churned the sickening feeling deep in my gut.

I peered through the side window, the cemetery dark and gloomy through tinted glass. The world now appeared as it should, mourning along with me.
Niko said, “Babe?”

The limo driver opened my door and startled me. He reminded me of a prison guard, hands clasped behind his back, eyes focused straight ahead. Behind him, rows and rows of ghosts, shattered lives buried deep with nothing left but a headstone to mark their existence. In the distance, an emerging sea of blue soldiered toward the grave—Niko’s fellow detectives, the ones who did nothing.

I twisted toward my husband, and a stabbing pain stole my breath. I bit my upper lip, waiting for the pang to subside. “Why are they here?”

“To pay their respects, Sage. Look, if you wanna blame someone—”

“Don’t,” I warned.

My crutches in hand, he dashed around the back of the limo to my door. Jaw clenched, I sneered at my new mode of transportation and steadied my balance with the toe of my splinted leg. I dropped my chin to my chest. Dammit. Why didn’t I fight? Why didn’t I do something, anything?

With a supportive arm around my waist, Niko coaxed me toward the gravesite. I passed him one of the crutches and rested my head against his strong chest. If only he could sweep me away, so I didn’t have to face this devastation.

I squeezed my eyes closed. I couldn’t look, couldn’t witness the finality. It wasn’t fair. I had no memories to savor. No first touch, no tiny fist gripping my finger. No first steps, first word. I never had the chance to admire a newborn’s searching eyes, gazing at the world as a wondrous place. Instead, I had the harsh reality that wicked men roamed free, leaving destruction in their wake.

I had nothing, except the faint recall of precious feet kicking my insides, yearning to break free and experience life. My baby’s lungs never had the chance to expand with oxygen-infused air. He would never know the magic of Christmas, or admire glorious lights dancing on tree limbs. My boy would not have the honor of placing a brilliant star on the top branch as his daddy lifted him so his delicate hands could reach.

For God sake, he didn’t even have a name. The headstone was marked only with, “Baby Quintano.” This was so cruel. Why did we have to endure such torture? There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for my unborn son. But this? Dear God, not this.

Bob Jordan, the funeral director, recited the opening remarks. I cocked an ear, my grip tightening around the crutch. I slid my gaze toward Niko. Did he notice slight nuances in Bob’s pitch, the unspoken truth I insisted he conceal?

Beneath gauze bandages, sweat seeped through the multitude of stitches zigzagging across my forearms. Pain throbbed from a dislocated knee, and broken ribs labored my breath—my injuries refusing to allow a moment of repose. Thanks to a mass murderer who slipped through Niko’s grasp, tranquility no longer existed.

Tears brimmed in my husband’s red-rimmed eyes and he offered me a reassuring squeeze. “It’s almost over, babe.”

I swallowed, averted my gaze. I didn’t deserve his kindness, his love.

We huddled together opposite six Boston detectives in department dress blues. Cold stares in my direction, foreheads rippled in accusation.

Bob Jordan asked if we wanted to speak. Niko swept my hair out of my face, but I kept my head down, staring at the ground.

“I think we’re all set,” he said, tears hitching his voice.

Bob gave a slight nod and cranked a handle that lowered our child into the maw of nevermore. Hot tears slipped down the sides of my face, salt biting jagged wounds on my cheek, upper lip, and neck. The cemetery became eerily quiet. Soft gasps and muffled cries from my heart fracturing beyond repair pierced a cool September wind.

Inside I screamed, “No! Don’t take our baby! Please, stop! I can’t survive this!” Verbally, as usual, I remained silent.

As we rode through the cemetery gates, I swiveled to peer out the back windshield, a piercing ache deep in my empty womb. If only, somehow, this was just a bad dream.

• • •

Sue Coletta is a member of Mystery Writers Of America and Sisters In Crime. She lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband and four-legged baby. If you catch her strolling on the beach or roaming the rural backroads don't be surprised if she stops to chat with you about her books or her two beautiful granddaughters. Just don't ever call her Grandma.

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Available Now: The War Queen by J.M. Robison

J.M. Robison

Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Price: $4.99 (99c/99p through 2 October)


Altarn is the first woman to hold the position of State Head in Blindvar. When Lord Kaelin, State Head of Ruidenthall, propositions her to merger with their states, Altarn believes it’s his subtle way of taking her kingdom for his own, making himself king. On the cusp of war, she rides in disguise to her last ally, Luthsinia, to ask for help.

During her journey, Altarn is ambushed but rescued by a man called Torren who offers her protection. Quickly they realize they share a mutual attraction. Upon their arrival to Luthsinia, Altarn receives news that an army has invaded Blindvar in her absence and blames Kaelin. Except it’s not Kaelin’s army, because she discovers Kaelin is in Luthsinia for the purpose of spying on her to take her land. And Torren is not who she thought he was.

Taking advantage of the unraveling situation, Kaelin kidnaps Altarn so he can take her land without her in the way and brings her to Ruidenthall. There’s a war ship on the horizon, led by a fallen angel craving mortal worship. Kaelin realizes he needs Altarn’s help to fight this army if he’s to save his kingdom. She’s forced to agree, but how will she react when he’s wounded in battle? If she lets him die, can she fight the enemy on her own? Or if she saves his life, will he still try claiming her kingdom, or try claiming her heart?

• • •

All seven members were already seated, one baron for each major city in Blindvar. There were actually six cities, but there could not be an even number on the court.. The seventh was a random member qualified to be a court official, currently held by a female named Brigot. The idea of females serving in positions of authority was not settling easy.

Altarn walked to the head of the table, sitting in her large, leather chair which felt awkwardly like a throne, reminding her of the last king the Blindvarn citizens had dethroned more than three hundred years ago.

Her seven members waited for her to speak. Perseth pushed his glasses higher up his sweaty nose. Leodin coughed into his sleeve.

Females were not discouraged from positions in politics, but the concept still troubled many. It had been a traditionally male position to hold both the state’s title and to fill the positions in court, but Altarn had been in a particular mood eleven years ago and had broken it. She became the first female State Head and had already served one year out of the three-year session.

Two men had competed for the State Head with her. The background check on one revealed he had a criminal record. The second was leading the election by a large margin until authorities discovered he was born in Luthsinia.

“The minutes will reflect the presence of all representatives from their respective cities,” Altarn began. “On seven Midar, year three twenty-four After the Reign of Kings.” She paused to let the court scribe catch up. “So being, I am unaware as to the nature of the request for court so I will let another member proceed from here.”

Perseth stood from his chair and straightened his buttoned waistcoat over his round belly. “Baron Perseth of the City of Fellsbarren requested this session due to concerns with the present dealings with the State of Ruidenthall.”

His nasally voice made Altarn want to hand him a tissue. She drummed her fingers on the armrests. She had suspected as much.

“May I speak freely, Lady?”


Perseth pushed his glasses higher up his nose. “We all think it is impulsive of you to threaten Ruidenthall with war.”

His eyes, too round and too close to his nose, swept over the other members of the room, who all nodded.

“They have been our friends and allies since the war to dethrone our king. If Luthsinia didn’t cut straight between our two states, we might even be one. A lot of us have family who either came from Ruidenthall or who live there now.”

“Is it so easily forgotten the Lord of Ruidenthall is trying to steal Blindvar from us?”

The members at the table moaned.

“Please reflect on my use of the word ‘impulsive.’”

It pushed on the edges of her serenity to listen to Perseth’s boldness and not respond to it. But she’d been called to court to listen to a problem, not create one.

“Scribe, will you please read us the letter from the Lord of Ruidenthall concerning the matter our lady has just mentioned?”

The scribe pulled a book off the shelf at his desk and thumbed through it, pages snapping crisply. “Seventeenth of Kaidar,” the scribe read. “Year three twenty-four After the Reign of Kings. Addressed to Lady Altarn Shadheing from Lord Kaelin-drath Morrendrake. It reads:

Greetings, Lady of Blindvar.

It is fortunate our two states are such great friends. It has come to my recent attention that a number of Ruidenthall citizens have taken a fancy to your small town of Heathe. So much so, that there are more Ruids than Blindvarns. I’ll have to visit to see what the attraction is. After all, who would sacrifice great Ruid food to live in a small Blindvarn town where the closest city is thirty miles out?

Of course, having this offset of Blindvarns to Ruids must make it a tad more difficult for the yearly census for you, which gave me an idea. Since our states are such good allies, I propose—just as a speculative thought—that Heathe be merged into the State of Ruidenthall in exchange for a small bit of land out of my own good state, if you like.

Maybe this small exchange can start something bigger, and maybe someday Endendre will eventually be one state instead of divided into three. Of course, it is just an idea, and something like this has never been done before between our two states. Please reply with your thoughts. If it is disagreeable, I’ll digress.

Signed, Lord Kaelin-drath Morrendrake of Ruidenthall.

The members at the table watched Altarn like ghosts waiting for the moment they could pounce on the living and suck out their souls.

• • •

Born in small town Bennington, Idaho, J.M. wanted to be just like her big, story writer sister. Big sister paints now, but that initial role model was all the springboard J.M. needed to fearlessly leap into writing the novels of her heart. Getting around the world as a soldier has helped broaden J.M.'s views on cultures and personalities, and settling down as a Deputy Sheriff in Nevada for a time has helped her maintain all the fine intricacies humans are capable of which has helped define her characters into something realistic and believable. Without any prior claims to fame, J.M. is proud to showcase that hard work, even from rock bottom, DOES pay off.

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Available Now in Print: Dublin's Fair City by Cathy Mansell

Cathy Mansell

Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Print Price: $


also available in digital: $4.99

On her deathbed, Aileen’s mother reveals a secret she has kept for eighteen years, and pleads with her daughter to fulfill a last wish. Torn by grief, Aileen leaves Dublin, the Fair City, and Dermot, the man she has grown to love.

Lonely and vulnerable, she unwittingly befriends a salesman at the seed mill where she has found work. Suddenly, her life becomes entrenched with danger.

On a visit back to Dublin, Aileen discovers a devastating truth, but her mother’s last request is still shrouded in a mystery she is determined to unravel. When she finally decides to return to Dermot, and the family she loves, will the secret she too is now hiding tear her and Dermot apart?

• • •

Aileen Maguire stood up to stretch her back and looked out the bedroom window overlooking the busy Dublin street. Business went on as usual. England had won the World Cup, and men walked out of the newsagents with rolled-up copies of the morning’s newspaper stuffed into their jacket pockets. But, in the bedroom above the haberdashery on the corner of upper Dorset Street, eighteen-year-old Aileen’s mother lay dying.

With a sigh, she turned her attention back to the bedroom where her father was slumped in a chair by the side of the bed, his head in his hands. She picked up a cup of beef tea and held it out to him. ‘Come on now, Da. You’ve got to stay strong.’

He glanced up, exhaustion on his pale face. ‘Your mother’s been rambling again,’ he said. ‘For the life of me, I don’t know what she’s on about.’

‘Look, Da, you go and get your head down. I’ll sit with Ma.’

Jonny Maguire stretched his tall, lean frame and stood up. His hair, the colour of gunmetal, hung limply below his ears and across his forehead. Aileen had given up nagging him to have it cut. Since Ma had taken ill three weeks ago, he had dug in his heels. He cupped his hands around the mug as if he was cold. ‘You’ll call me if…’

‘I will, Da. Now, go on! I’ll nip down and check the shop later.’

Her ma’s eyes were closed but she appeared agitated, as if she was having a bad dream. Aileen pulled a chair closer to the bed and held her hand.

‘Jonny. Is that you, Jonny?’ Jessie Maguire’s voice was but a whisper.

‘It’s me, Ma. Da’s having a kip.’

Jessie turned her head towards her daughter. ‘Aileen! My perfect little girl!’

‘Not little any more, Ma, and not perfect either.’

As her mother gripped Aileen’s hand, the doorbell jingled in the shop below. Her mother tightened her grip and struggled to sit up ‘Is…someone looking after the shop?’

‘Everything is fine, Ma. No need for you to fret.’ Her mother appeared to have forgotten she had recently employed a woman part-time.

‘You’ll look after things. Your da won’t…cope well without me. And watch out for Lizzy. I don’t have long, so…listen to me.’ Her mother’s voice rasped as she struggled to breathe. Aileen stood up, dipped a cloth in a bowl of cool water, wrung it out, and gently bathed her ma’s brow.

‘Don’t try and talk,’ Aileen said, concealing her distress. ‘Da will be fine, Ma, and so will you. So, please, no more of that talk.’

Her mother’s face looked grey against the white cotton pillowcase. Aileen gently lifted her ma’s head and helped her to suck through a straw the nourishing drink recommended by the doctor.

‘I need to confess. Ask…the priest…to call in.’

Aileen placed the glass back on the side table. ‘But it’s only a week since he was here, Ma. What do you need forgiveness for?’ Aileen kissed the side of her mother’s face.

• • •

Cathy Mansell writes romantic fiction. Her recently written family sagas are set in her home country of Ireland. One of these sagas closely explores her affinities with Dublin and Leicester. Her children's stories are frequently broadcast on local radio and she also writes newspaper and magazine articles. Cathy has lived in Leicester for fifty years. She belongs to Leicester Writers' Club and edited an Arts Council-funded anthology of work by Lutterworth Writers, of which she is president.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Available Now: One Night in Sidney by Jan Graham

City Nights, #26
Jan Graham

Length: Novella
Genre: Erotic Romance

Price: $2.99 (99c/99p through 2 October)


Abigail Devon is all about business, until the dream of keeping her company alive fails and she finds herself seeking distraction in the arms of a tempting stranger she met on the plane. Kane Matheson is a man like no other, and once Abby gives into her attraction to him, passions spark and a night of erotic pleasure begins.

Kane can’t believe his luck when his flight to Sydney places Abby along his path to a fun filled weekend. She’s his kind of woman—business minded, clever, and with curves in all the right places. When he discovers they have more in common than savvy business expertise and undeniable sexual heat, he’s faced with a daunting choice, and left wondering if pleasure can win out over wise business sense in one of the most beautiful harbour side cities of the world.

• • •

“You know, if you like, we could hang out together in the city for a bit, maybe when you’ve finished your busy day.” Kane didn’t look at her this time; speaking from his reclined position, head tilted back against the rest with his eyes closed. “I only have to try on a suit and then I’m done for the day. You could meet me there, let me know if you think I look okay, you know, thumbs up or down, and then we could grab a bite… or something. Whatever takes your fancy, beautiful.”

He raised his lids and angled himself slightly to look at her for the final part of his statement, the wicked expression and cheeky glint in his eyes giving Abby the distinct impression he hoped that he’d be the something that took her fancy. He did. But it couldn’t happen.

Abby didn’t believe in love at first sight, but she did believe in lust at first sight and Kane ticked all her boxes. Feeling breathless, hardened nipples, feeling flushed when they touched, and that increasing ache between her legs. Luckily the flight was a short one, so she’d be able to escape him soon enough. In her party days they probably would have been in the bathroom, reaffirming her membership in the mile-high club, but those days were behind her. She doubted she’d renew that membership again any time soon.

“I really don’t think that’s possible. But thanks for the offer.” She wondered if he knew she was lying. Of course it was possible, all she had to do was say yes. She merely chose not to.

“That’s a shame. I have this feeling we’d get along really well.” He tore the edge off the bottom of a page in his magazine, grabbed a pen from his shirt pocket, scribbled a number on it and handed it to her. “In case you change your mind.”

Abby laughed and stared at the mobile number in her hand. He certainly was persistent.

“I assume you’ve run out of business cards?” She continued to chuckle as the plane began its descent. “You did say you understood business, right?”

“I did. I also said I was on a pleasure trip. I’ve left all business accessories at the office. This weekend, I’m just a regular guy who uses any piece of paper on hand to give the woman he likes his number.”

Oh Lord, thank heavens the plane had just touched down. She folded the paper, slipped her fingers into the front of her shirt and tucked the number into her bra. It was a mistake to put it there, and Abby knew it the moment her gaze met Kane’s, who was now standing waiting for her to step out into the aisle.

“What?” she asked innocently as Kane stared down at her cleavage with a devilish grin on his face. “It’s just a silly habit I picked up in my partying days. I’d pop anything important in my bra and that way I wouldn’t lose it.”

Grabbing her handbag from the floor, she stood and moved to walk out into the aisle but Kane blocked her way. His body forming a human wall as he retrieved her bag from the overhead cabin. Luggage sorted, Kane didn’t move, fixing her in place with his heated gaze.

“I’m glad you think I’m important.” His devilish grin didn’t waver and he spoke in a tone laced with lust. “I’m also delighted to know that when you take off your clothes tonight and get naked, you’ll be thinking about me.”

She was about to burst into flames. Abby raised her hand, placing it on his chest with the intention of pushing him back, only to find her fingers lingered on the defined muscle beneath her touch.
“We’ll see,” she whispered.

Kane placed his hand over hers, gently gripped her fingers and raised them to his mouth. He kissed her knuckles tenderly and smiled. “We will. Now off to your very busy business day, Abigail Devon.” Stepping back, Kane handed over her bag before ushering her into the aisle. “I look forward to receiving your call later today.”

Unsure how she made it to the plane’s exit on trembling legs, Abby breathed a sigh of relief once she made it into the terminal. Allowing the disembarking crowd to carry her forward, she picked up her pace. The more distance she put between Kane Matheson and herself, the better. Today was all about saving her company, not indulging in a quickie with a man she met on a plane.

• • •

Jan Graham is an author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense; all her writing is erotic, some of which includes BDSM elements. She has numerous published titles to her credit, with more to come once she overcomes her current bout of procrastination.

Jan lives in Newcastle, Australia where she writes, reads, feeds her Netflix addiction, and drinks coffee with friends.

For those who enjoy labels and tags, as well as being an author, Jan is a blogger, a submissive, an aunt, dyslexic, a lover of all things erotic, naughty, a participant in the BDSM community, a widow, an orphan, and a member of The Australian Sex Party (no it’s nothing kinky, they are a legit political group).

In short, she is generally a bit of an eccentric who lives her life slightly left of center.

You can find out more about Jan and her work by stalking her on the various social media sites where she occasionally hangs out.

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