Saturday, 19 April 2014

HELP!!!! The writing has come to a horrible stop...

Back to school, my darlings!!

Until these Easter school holidays I thought I was pretty good at time management…but how very wrong I was! Oh, lordy, lordy! Almost three long weeks of barely typing a word and when I have it hasn’t been very good – not a great recipe for producing something polished enough to submit to Harlequin in a few weeks time.

I’m mum to teenage and almost teen daughters – the age where I stupidly assumed they would be out with their friends enjoying this rare and gorgeous sunshine we’ve had. Remember when we did that? Yes? Well, as other writer mums out there reading this undoubtedly already know, such expectation is laughable. I soon discovered kids don’t need to go out with friends when they have virtual ones all over the internet and TV, arrghh!!

Alas, the holidays are almost over and my little darlings will soon be back to school. I intend to feverishly write once more, in the hope of finishing the synopsis and first three chapters for Harlequin book five as well as polishing and submitted Kensington book three.

But anyway, onwards and upwards, we are into April now and don’t have to think about the summer holidays…for at least three months, eekk!!

Writers block? What’s that? Haven’t got time for such a thing ;)

Happy holidays wherever you are!

Rachel x



Thursday, 17 April 2014

Welcome romance writer, Noelle Adams...


A BABY FOR EASTER
by Noelle Adams

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

BLURB:


Alice Grantham lost her fiancé and her job, so she’s had to come home to Willow Park to live with her parents. To recover some sense of independence and security, she’s cobbled together different part-time jobs, including one as assistant to the pastor of her hometown church. Nothing seems to be going right for her. Even Micah, the pastor’s brother and the first boy she ever loved, is standoffish with her now.

Micah has always been a prodigal son, but now he’s trying to put that lifestyle behind him. Then a five-month-old daughter he never knew existed is dropped on his doorstep, the result of one of his many one-night stands. He needs help from Alice to care for his daughter, but he can’t let himself hope for anything more from her than that. He can’t help but want it, though…


EXCERPT

Now, however, Alice was regretting her random impulse to put on a skirt that morning, since she was on her knees in front of the bookshelves, putting the last of the commentaries back in place.

At least no one was around to see her undignified position, with her skirt pushed up to her thighs to give herself freedom to move.

“Daniel,” a voice came from outside the office. “Daniel!”

She recognized the voice, but he was in the office before she could move or pull down her skirt. She froze as she looked over her shoulder, befuddled by Micah’s sudden appearance.

He seemed equally startled to discover her on the floor, after his eyes scanned the room for his absent brother. “Oh,” he said, standing in the doorway.

It took her a minute to pull herself together, but when she did she managed to smile. “He went to the hospital to see Mrs. Cooper.”

“Oh.” Micah was such a self-assured man that it was strange to see him so stumped.

Then there was a different sound in the office. It took Alice a few seconds to even identify it. It was so unexpected that she was sure it wasn’t right.

It sounded like a baby whimpering.

Finally, her eyes drifted down to something Micah was holding. A baby carrier. A baby carrier.

“Is that a baby?” she asked, her voice hoarse with surprise.

He looked down at the carrier as if he’d forgotten he held it. “Yeah.”

She scrambled to her feet, rather clumsily, and hurried over to look at the baby as he set the carrier on Daniel’s desk, right on top of the printed copy of sermon notes for Sunday.

She peered into the carrier and saw the baby—maybe four or five months old—wearing a pink sleeper. Her eyes were blue and grumpy, and her whimpers were quickly turning louder.

Instinctively, Alice reached out for the girl and pulled her up to rest against her shoulder, patting her back in a comforting manner.

Alice had always liked kids. She’d never had baby-fever, but she certainly knew what to do when one was starting to cry.

“What are you doing with her?” she asked Micah, who’d been staring at the baby with that same glazed look of bewilderment.

“I…I don’t know.”

“Well, whose is she?” Surely this baby hadn’t dropped from the sky into the back of Micah’s truck.

His features twisted slightly—maybe anxiety, maybe disbelief. “That’s the thing. I think…I think she’s mine.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

Social Media:

Book Trailer for A Baby for Easter:
  
Buy links:




A Baby for Easter will be offered at a special release price of $.99 through Easter day! Regularly priced at $2.99.



Noelle will be awarding prizes via Rafflecopter as follows:

* One winner will receive a $25 GC to Amazon or BN
* Two winners will receive signed paperbacks of Married for Christmas and A Baby for Easter
* Ten winners will receive their choice of ebook of any title from Noelle’s backlist.
One randomly drawn host will win a $10 Amazon or BN GC.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/03/sbb-baby-for-easter-by-noelle-adams.html

 Comments??

Monday, 14 April 2014

Welcome Lyrical Press author, Kristina Mathews...

Guest Interview 4


1)   What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

The best thing I’ve learned from my editor is how to improve my writing. It’s the little things that can make a big difference. The worst thing I’ve learned is how much grammar I’ve forgotten. Some of my edits come back and I cringe because I should know better.

2)   What is your typical day?

A typical day? Wow, I’m almost afraid to think about it. I usually wake up between five and six. Sometimes I lay in bed thinking about a particular scene, and waiting for the sun to come up. I usually get coffee and check my e-mail first thing in the morning. I’m on West Coast time, so I often have messages from my editor or publisher. Sometimes I can get a few words in, or work on edits while my kids get ready for school. I drop them off and then have about 15-20 minutes before I start my shift as yard duty at the elementary school. I can get a lot done in that short period of time sitting in my car. I got most of this interview written while sipping coffee and waiting for my alarm to go off.

I do everything from yard supervision, parent drop-off/pickup (or as I call it, project inspection and smile distribution), I work with reading groups, one-on-one with Kindergarteners, special education students in small groups or one-on-one.

When I get home, I spend about a half hour catching up on social media. It’s my way of switching gears from school to writing mode. I get a little writing in before dinner, but most of my creative work is done at night before bed. I try to get 1,000-2,000 words a day in. Some days I write a little less and some days I can get up to 5,000 words. Those are usually weekends when my family is off skiing or fishing.

3)   What do you read while in the midst of a project? Or don’t you?

I usually read something in my genre or from a favorite author of mine. I read in the tub. It’s about the only place where I’m not interrupted. Somehow sitting at my computer with earphones on screams “come talk to me” to my family.

4)    What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?
I keep them. Almost all of them. That’s why my husband bought me a Kindle for Mother’s Day a few years ago.
5)    Are you nervous about friends reading your book?
A little. But at this point it’s too late. My book is already out there.
6)    What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?
Sometimes it’s events that happen in real life. Better Than Perfect was inspired by my love of baseball, my dislike of sports scandals, and my husband’s nickname as a kid. His older cousin Mike was travelling with them one summer and he teased my husband, saying he wasn’t really a Mathews, but his real name was Johnny Scottsdale. It made him cry, and he’s had the nickname ever since. I thought it would be a great name for a hero, and a good way to get back at his cousin.
7)    What’s next for you?

My second book, Worth The Trade is coming out in July. I’m working on books three and four in the series. I also have a series I started when I was first learning the craft of writing that I’d like to revisit, it features whitewater raft guides as the heroes (and one heroine).



Better Than Perfect
by Kristina Mathews

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

BLURB:

The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field.

Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.”

Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son.

With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love.

CONTENT WARNING: Some strong language, consummated love scenes



EXCERPT

“Yeah, the kid’s kind of growing on me.” Johnny sounded surprised. But pleased. “I thought it would be hard to be around him. Since he’s…Mel’s. But, he’s such a great kid.”

The lump in her throat grew. She should tell him. Now. Before she lost her nerve.

He stepped toward her. “You have mascara, here.”

He reached out and wiped the smudge under her left eye. Her lashes automatically fluttered closed at his touch. A sigh escaped her lips, an instant before he captured her mouth with his.

He pulled her closer. Closer. Kissing her like they’d been apart for merely a two-week road trip, not fourteen years. His hands wove through her hair. Moved down her back. She leaned against him. She could feel him, his need pressing against her belly. Her insides dissolved. Longing filled her. Powerful. Uncontrolled.

 “Ali…” His breath was ragged, heavy with desire. “Oh, Ali.”

She was about to surrender completely, when she heard the toilet flush upstairs.

Zach.

“Johnny. Wait.” She pushed him away. Smoothed her blouse. Her hair. “Zach’s upstairs. He could come down any minute.”

“Right. Zach.” Johnny stepped back and her heart gave a small whimper. “I should go.”

“Johnny, please… Stay.” They needed to talk. She needed to tell him the truth. Or what could be the truth about Zach.

“I really need to go.” His eyes rested on the formal family portrait. He didn’t need to tell her any more. He wasn’t ready for a family.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kristina Mathews doesn't remember a time when she didn't have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn't until 2010 that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing romance novels.

While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she's remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, Parent Club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.





Kristina will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC plus a digital copy of the book to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

Encourage your readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Comments??

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Happy 40TH Birthday to ME!!!!




40??? 40??? How can I be 40??!!!

Ha, ha! I love the age I am now and have SO much less of a problem turning 40 than I did turning 30 - I have no clue what got into me on THAT birthday. I was a mess of anxiety and worry that all the best times were behind me. How wrong could I be?

These past few years––the last three especially––have been fantastic, both personally and professionally. I have signed with an agent, signed multiple contracts with Kensington and Harlequin as well as shaping the career I've always dreamed of. I am writing the books I want to write and they are selling. What more could a dreamy, will it ever happen for me, writer want?

As for my personal and family life, my girls are growing into phenomenal and talented young women. They are so completely different but gorgeous and amazing in their own individual ways - my eldest still wants to be with me as much as possible, and at 15 I don't take our close relationship for granted! She is beautiful, funny, caring and showing fabulous talent as an Army cadet which is perfect training for her long-desired wish to be a police officer.

My kind, sensitive, beautiful and big-hearted youngest has never stopped working at her dream to be a singer and these last two years has won many certificates and awards for both her choral  work and her musical theatre work - watch this space for one of our newest West End stars! ;)

As for my soul mate, best friend and lover, my fabulous Mr B is realising his own ambitions and is in increasingly demand for his talents as smooth crooner and all-round sexy singer, Terry Franks. We have been married 16 years this coming June and together for 21…and I couldn't love him more.

So, in a nutshell, I'm happy embracing my 40th…bring on the next ten years. I'm ready for ya! :D

Rachel x

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Welcome romance author, Kemberlee Shortland...



 Hi Kemberlee! So great to welcome you to my blog after talking to you on and off for months online :) I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your work! Let's get started with the questions...

1)     Did you set any goals for 2014?

Not in the traditional sense, like New Years’ Resolutions, but there are things I want to achieve this year — blogging more, get in more personal writing time, sleep . . .

2)     How long does it take you to write a 50,000-60,000 word manuscript?

If I have the story in my head and I know what’s happening, I’ve been known to write a 100K manuscript in 6 weeks. I did that with Rhythm of My Heart. A Piece of My Heart took 8 weeks. Shape of My Heart was 7 weeks. But it’s been two years since I started Beguiler, a short novella under my pen name, Scarlett Valentine J It’s all about having time and the story in my head. I have the story in my head, but haven’t had time for it lately. Booooooo!

3)     Tease us with a blurb/short except

My big release is Shape of My Heart, book three from the Irish Pride series. This is the back cover blurb —

Gráinne has moved back to Dublin to get her life straightened out. She dreams of college and a better life. She’s working for her brother, Kieran, in his newly reopened pub, The Blues Tavern, but the money isn’t enough to support herself and pay tuition. Moonlighting at The Klub! as an exotic dancer seems to be her answer fast money.

John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.

When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.

4)     Tell us about a new author you’ve recently discovered

Kat Simons. She just released her first novella called Once Upon A Tiger, book one in a new series called Tiger Shifters. This story is set in a time when the female to male ratio is way off and males have to compete for the few available females. The male who successfully wins the female mates with her over a three day period in The Mate Run. If she gets pregnant, they can marry. If not, she has to run again, and the cycle continues until the female gets pregnant. The heroine of this story is a bounty hunter and has not been required to participate in the mate run . . . until now. Someone could die if they force her to mate, and it won’t be her. The hero has not been allowed to run because of a deformity and the elders don’t want it passed into the species genes. As her friend, he’s sworn to protect her, but what about love? The story is erotica/erotic fantasy romance so it scores high with me. Especially her unique hero.

5)     Name two romances you’ve read more than once

Most of Linda Howards’ romantic suspense. My favorites of hers are Dream Man, Mr Perfect, and Kiss Me While I Sleep. Especially Mr Perfect because the back story is about hotrods, and I love classic cars.

6)     Tell us about your first car

Speaking of hotrods . . . 1969 Firebird convertible. I called her Betty Lou after Bob Seger’s song, Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight. I had to surrender the keys to the parents more than once for not honoring curfew, and when I got my wheels back . . . va-room!

7)     Tell us something you’ve lied about?

Besides my weight and my age, you mean?

8)     Kissing in public? Yes or no?

Sure, why not. Make love, not war, man!!



AUTHOR BIO

Kemberlee Shortland was born and raised in Northern California in an area known as America's Salad Bowl. It was home to many authors, including John Steinbeck, and for a while Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1997, Kemberlee had the opportunity to live in Ireland for six months where she ended up meeting a man who convinced her to stay. Kemberlee is now celebrating her seventeeth year in Ireland and has been lucky to travel the country extensively, picking up a cupla focal along the way—a few Irish words.

Kemberlee was an early-reader and has been writing since a very young age, and over the years she has published many travel articles and book reviews, as well as worked some notable authors who’ve set their books in Ireland.

After publishing travel articles since 1997, Kemberlee saw her first short stories published, and now has eight published books to her name and half a dozen others languishing in a drawer.

Away from the computer, Kemberlee enjoys knitting and other needlecrafts, playing with her Border Collies, castle hunting, travel, reading, gardening, and cookery. One day she hopes to have time to learn to play guitar properly.


Blog: www.hearticles.blogspot.com



RHYTHM OF MY HEART
Irish Pride series, book one
Kemberlee Shorthand

BLURB

Artist Representative, Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career so that other women could have a fair chance at having their music heard. Having suffered rejection from callous men in the industry, she thought she would get away from ‘casting couch’ mentality. But when she finds herself in the office of Fergus Manley, all bets are off. Disgusted by his continual come-ons and lewd invitations, Eilis is looking for ‘the one’ who will take her career to the next level, getting out from under Fergus’s controlling thumb.

Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.

When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.

Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.

Will Kieran be able to protect her?


EXTRACT

Dublin's Northside looked far different by day than it did at night. Last night’s storm had been one of the season’s worst. Huge puddles hampered traffic, and trash had collected in the corners of doorways and blocked the gutters. The lingering breeze was still crisp and signaled the imminent winter. Wisps of dark clouds streaked the pale blue sky but remained reminiscent of last night’s tempest.

As the taxi drove through Dublin’s inner city, a blur of tacky euro shops, shoddy newsagents and off-licenses, all with shop fronts that had seen better days, flashed by.

Finglas wasn’t noted as one of Dublin’s prime locations. This was a large blue collar suburb in a rapidly expanding city. Lack in a pride of ownership was evident, as residents struggled to make ends meet, which gave the area a rough underbelly. The Little Man Pub was a perfect example of both.

Eilis wrapped her arms around her middle, instinctively protective. Was this the compromise she must face to get where she wanted?

When the taxi slowed at a junction, she pressed herself back in her seat. A group of out-of-work young men sipping something from a paper bag spun their heads and looked at her.

Just this once, just this once, she chanted to herself.

Just this one trip to find Kieran Vaughan and that would be it. She’d never have to come back to this place ever again. She could stay safely tucked away in her D2 house for the rest of her days. She’d worked hard for that house. She deserved it. She deserved it all the more now by putting herself through this.

Long ago, Eilis had vowed never to set foot in the Northside again. But if it took this one last visit to get what she needed, it would be worth it.

The taxi pulled around the corner and the now familiar entrance to The Little Man Pub came into view. Nicotine-stained curtains were pulled across windows, reflecting the unkempt street. The façade’s red and black paint was weather-faded to pink and gray. The ‘M’ on the sign hung askew and swung in the breeze, and the ‘P’ was missing altogether. Had she not been here last night she would have thought the place was shut.

She pulled some money from her purse to hand to the driver. “I’ll wait fer ye, luv,” he said, waving her money away. “Taxis can be hard to come by ‘round here.”

Eilis was suitably taken aback. “Thank you. I won’t be a moment.”

She swallowed hard, got out of the taxi then entered the pub.

Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dark room. The few men sitting around the bar turned their gazes in her direction. Understandably. A well-groomed businesswoman in the pub was surely a novelty. These men were long since retired, or long since employed. Their stubbled faces meant they hadn’t shaved in several days, or possibly weeks. The dim light hid the worst of their unkempt appearances, but nothing could disguise their unwashed clothes. A pong in the room wafted into her nostrils, causing her stomach to lurch again.

Shoulders back, she strode to the bar.

The same man from last night stood behind the counter. He was short and pudgy with missing front teeth. His disheveled appearance made him look like one of his patrons. Had he not been behind the counter she wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.

His striped brown and white shirt had frayed cuffs and was open to mid-chest, showing a sweat-stained t-shirt underneath. His brown trousers had seen much better days and were held together not with a button or belt, but with a bit of twine looping between his belt loops, his round belly spilling over. The only thing holding up the trousers was his equally round bum. It seemed to push the waistband up in the back as his belly pushed it down in the front. The sight would have been funny if her stomach hadn’t been flip-flopping.

Her voice cracked when she first spoke, but it picked up strength in her determination to make something of this horrid trek. “A-are you the proprietor?”

A broad gap-toothed grin creased the man’s face and, loud enough for his patrons to hear, he said, “I’ll be who ever ye want me to be, luv.”

His friends burst into laughter. Eilis felt the flush rise in her cheeks. Not because she was embarrassed, but from frustration. She just wanted to get this meeting over with and she wasn’t in the mood to spar.

She stood her ground. “I’m looking for the man who played guitar here last night. Kieran Vaughan. We have business. Will you please tell me where I can find him?” She looked the man in the eye, much as she could, considering she stood a good half-foot taller than him, even without her heels.

“No, miss, I doubt you have any business with himself. ‘Speshly a fine lass such as yerself. Now, if ye were to come home with a real man like meself, well . . .” He left the rest unsaid, the insinuation hanging in the air.

Her gaze never wavered as she stared the little man in the eye.

“Sir,” she smiled sweetly, honey dripping from her words. She leaned over the bar just enough to give him a glimpse of the swell of her breast through the opening of her blouse. “I doubt you have anything I would be interested in. Besides, you don’t really want me to find out why this place is called The Little Man, do you?”

This earned the publican long oohs and sniggers from the patrons, who were now on the edges of their seats waiting to hear the disagreeable little man's response.

Obviously taken aback by such a brazen retort, the man stood gaping and red-faced at her for a moment before he got his wits about him. He winked at the men around the bar. “Oy does like me birds feisty!” That only encouraged more laughter.

Eilis could have enjoyed the banter if only the man wasn’t so repulsive. All she wanted to do was meet Kieran Vaughan and get out of Finglas as quickly as possible.

When the laughing stopped, Eilis’s gaze never wavered as she said, “Well?”

“Well what, loov?” he asked, wiping the tears from his eyes with a dirty bar towel.

“Are you going to tell me where to find Kieran Vaughan?” He was trying her patience, but she did her best to keep the frustration out of her voice.

Then she sensed someone step up behind her and straightened instantly. Somehow she knew it was Kieran. The feral scent of him permeated her senses and quickened her pulse. Butterflies replaced the strange ache in her stomach that had been there just moments before.

She slowly turned and looked up at the most handsome man she’d ever seen in her life. She found herself instantly speechless.

She'd seen him on stage the night before and knew he was handsome. But this close up . . . Never before had she seen such blue eyes. As she gazed into them, they changed from the light steel blue to the color of storm clouds heavily ringed with gunmetal. That he had dark brows and thick lashes only made his gaze seem more intense.

“Ye’ve found him, loov,” said the little man, taunting her. “Now what are ye goin’ ta do with him?”

The hammering of her heart and the pulsing blood in her temples blocked out the noise in the room as she looked into Kieran Vaughan’s eyes. To her dismay, her knees actually quivered.

Something in the pit of her belly ached. No, something else. It was like warm melting honey running through her marrow. In that moment she longed to touch him, to brush the unruly wave of his dark hair away from his face, to feel his lips against the pads of her fingers, to . . .

When he spoke she almost didn’t hear him.

“Like the man said, now that you’ve found me, what are you going to do with me?” His eyes sparkled with unabashed mischief.

“Anything you want me to.”



SHAPE OF MY HEART
Irish Pride series, book three
Kemberlee Shortland
http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Shortland_Kemberlee/shape-of-my-heart.htm
http://www.kemberlee.com

BLURB

Gráinne has moved back to Dublin to get her life straightened out. She dreams of college and a better life. She’s working for her brother, Kieran, in his newly reopened pub, The Blues Tavern, but the money isn’t enough to support herself and pay tuition. Moonlighting at The Klub! as an exotic dancer seems to be her answer fast money.

John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.

When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.


EXTRACT

Over the next couple hours JD tread lightly around Gráinne and peace settled between them. He hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to her again with the evening prep, but as he looked at his watch he knew her shift ended soon.

He’d tried almost every tactic he could think of to get her to reveal more about herself and he was getting anxious at her continued aloofness. He didn’t want to have to resort to seducing her. While the idea of getting her into bed was appealing, he just preferred to do it under other circumstances. He fancied her like hell, but he couldn’t let his libido get in the way of his job. She was his best hope at getting the information he desperately needed. So he’d have to resort to another tactic if he was going to get her to talk. Blackmail was one he was loath to use, but at this stage in the game, he had little choice.

There was a lull in the pub now that the afternoon crowds were gone and the evening prep had been done. If he was going to confront her, he had to do it now.

Gráinne stood at the end of the bar flipping through a magazine. The twinkling Christmas lights over the back bar shone on her dark hair. As she moved, the highlights reflected like electric current through the strands curling around her face. His heart thumped a little harder looking at her.

He reminded himself he wasn’t here to bartend. He was here to gather information. His future depended on it. He couldn’t afford another wasted day so it was now or never.

His pounding heart made it suddenly hard to breathe. He hated having to do this to her.

“Gráinne, can we talk?”

“Talk?” She put her magazine aside. “About what?”

“I think you know.” He locked gazes with her. He could tell she was nervous by the way she started fidgeting.

Then she turned away, refusing to look at him for longer than a millisecond. “My love life is none of your concern,” she told him, reminding him unnecessarily of their previous discussion.

“That’s not what I’m talking about.”

“Then I don’t know what you mean.” She spun on her heel, intent on leaving the bar area.

He grasped her arm. To his surprise, she didn’t struggle. But something odd happened as he loosened his grasp. He felt something powerful pass between them. His fingers tingled as he touched her. It radiated up his arm and shot through his body.

For the second time today, he felt himself stiffen, and wished that circumstances were different, that she was naked beneath him and gazing up at him with eyes he knew would undo him.

She glanced over her shoulder, but not directly at him. “Let me go.” Her barely audible words shook him back to the moment. It wasn’t a command, but he couldn’t help noticing her words were tinged with pleading.

“Will you stay to talk with me? I think this is important.” His own voice was softer now. When she relaxed he reluctantly released his hold. She kept her gaze averted, her arms folded protectively in front of her, refusing to look at him. He knew she was waiting for something, anything, to draw her away.

Reaching under the bar, he extracted the black plastic sack he’d brought in with him today. He knew the item inside would shatter any peace he hoped to make with her.

He looked at the sack for a moment, thinking about what could never be between them. There was a job to be done and it didn’t include getting emotionally involved. He hoped the more he reminded himself of this fact he’d eventually come to believe it.

Sighing, he extracted a black velvet bra and held it up for her inspection. She only cast it a side-glance.

“I take it you know where I got this.”

“Anne Summers?”

“No.”

“Well then, I have no idea.”

He saw her swallow hard then move over to the taps to pour herself a cola. She swallowed deeply from the glass.

“I think you do. Let’s not . . . dance . . . around the subject, Gráinne. We both know where I got this, and I’d lay odds at Paddy Powers your brother doesn’t know what you’ve been up to.”

His heart ached as he forced himself to goad her.

The look she shot him would have incinerated the average man, but he wasn’t average. He was a man with a mission, and Gráinne was the only one who could help him.

“By that look, I’d say I’ve hit the nail on the head.”

“So, what of it.”


“Why haven’t you told Kieran?” he asked, trying to keep his voice calm.

“I somehow doubt he’d understand why I’m . . . moonlighting.”

JD chuckled lightly. “Moonlighting? Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

“Just stop. What do you want from me? Not that it’s any of your business what I do on my own time.”

“I need your help.”

A single brow arched over her eye. “With what? Wait, let me guess,” she seethed, throwing her hands on her hips. “You want a private show. Or you want me to entertain some friends. And you’re going to use this,” she fingered the bra he still held in his hand, “as a bribe to get me to do it for free.”

“Not quite. While I wouldn’t mind a private show, it’s not entertainment I’m looking for.”

“What’s this?” Kieran suddenly appeared behind the bar, startling them both. JD saw Gráinne’s face go pale, and thought she would faint then and there.

Kemberlee is here to chat and take questions?? Fire away… :)