Saturday Excerpt – Directions of the Heart by Marie Lavender

Directions of the Heart - eBook coverHe pushed past her, casting pleasantries aside. “How is she?” he demanded as he turned to face her.

Mrs. Johnson wrung her hands. “I don’t know. I’m not sure what’s wrong. She…” She shook her head.

“Where’s Caitlyn?”

The woman pointed the way.

Jack followed a corridor to a small bedroom. Pink walls, pink spread. Caitlyn had thrown a red blanket over the window to block out the light. He saw a huddled form beneath the bedspread, reached out and threw back the fabric.

He sat down to get a look at her. Caitlyn rocked, wet tracks down her face. She must’ve been crying. Her eyes were shut tight and her hair was wild. She wore a pair of lavender sweats, and was pretty much unresponsive to his touch. He checked for marks on her arms and wrists, but found nothing. So she hadn’t tried to hurt herself.

He suspected what was happening, but could only try to pull her from the nightmare. It was too easy for someone who had been traumatized like she had to revert to a catatonic state and he wished that hell on no one.

“Caitlyn? Caitlyn, it’s Jack. Jack Thomas, remember?”

No response.

A small sound came behind him, and he glanced back to see her mother cover her mouth. It didn’t matter right now. It couldn’t.

“Come on. Come back to me. Caitlyn, can you hear me? It’s going to be okay. I’ll help you get through this,” he vowed, and almost choked on the words. He pushed through the panicked flutter in his chest, gathering her into his arms.

“Caitlyn, I won’t let them hurt you anymore, okay? No one will. It’s just you and me. You. And me. I’m going to take care of you, I swear,” he said with his lips pressed to her temple. “Come back to me, sweetheart. Come on.”

He tried once more, unaware what words spilled out of him. Desperation alone drove his actions. As he cradled her to his chest, a fruity scent drifted into his nostrils. Strawberries, he thought. He felt the strangest combination of rightness and deep concern. “The world needs you, darling. Don’t hide away. Come back to us. Please.”

After a few moments, a shudder went through her and a small voice whispered, “Jack?”

“That’s right. I’m here, honey.”

Tears filmed her eyes. “I, I was back there again. In the cellar.”

“Shh…I know. I’m so sorry. But you’re here now. You’re safe in this house, and with me. You just go ahead and cry it out, hmm? Then you can sleep.”

She sobbed hard as he held her tight. Soon, she quieted to the occasional sigh and he pulled back to look at her. Her face was flushed and wet from her tears. He caressed her cheek. “How ya doing?”

She shook her head.

“All right. That’s fine. It’s a hard road, but I know you can do it. I’ll help you.”

“You really mean it,” she whispered, her tone incredulous.

He nodded. “Yeah, I do.”

“Okay.”

Her skin was so soft beneath his hand and he had to stop himself from stroking further. “How are you sleeping?”

She didn’t answer.

“That’s what I thought.” He looked at her mother. “Mrs. Johnson? Could you get her sleeping pills?”

The woman slipped out of the room.

“What about your antibiotic? The pain medicine? Have you been taking those?”

“Yes. They make me a little nauseous.”

“Sorry to hear that, sweetie, but they are necessary. And if you do use the sleeping pills, don’t try to drive, okay?” She murmured an agreement.

When her mother returned with the pill bottle and some water, Jack measured out a tablet, then watched as Caitlyn took it, eyeing her throat. “Good, that’s good. I’ll stay till you get to sleep, but we need to talk this out soon. All right?”

She nodded.

Satisfied, he held her against his shoulder, the minutes passing, until she went limp and her breaths evened out. It shook him that he could’ve held her forever, and he wouldn’t have had a problem with it. He checked her eyelids to be sure she slept before he covered her up with the bed’s blanket and spread, and cleared out of the room.

Mrs. Johnson followed him. “What was that? What’s going on?”

“Your daughter almost went into a catatonic state. What happened was too traumatic for her.”

She sat down on the sofa abruptly as if she’d lost the strength to stand. “But…I assumed I could handle her. I thought she would be okay.”

“This is more than anyone can handle alone. And she won’t be all right for some time.”

 

Blurb for Directions of the Heart:

Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion…

​In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You

Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat

Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Memories

Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn

Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

Tags: Contemporary Romance, Dramatic Fiction, PTSD Awareness, Anthologies and Collections

Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31351684-directions-of-the-heart

Purchase links:

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV

myBook.to/DoH

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/729271

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/directions-of-the-heart-marie-lavender/1126548251

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/directions-of-the-heart-a-romantic-drama-collection

Create Space link:  https://www.createspace.com/7239124

Saturday Sexcerpt – Harlequin’s Deception by Candi Fox

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Ten years ago, the world as we know it changed. The shift is what it became known as. Overnight, paranormal beings came out of the proverbial closet. Something in reality has shifted. Those who had no idea they were paranormal were awakened to a new reality. Ten years in and Harlowe Lake Kelly, Harley to her friends, is back in her small Oklahoma town, widowed and striking out in a new career, namely, a successful magic agency. Her uncanny abilities at using potions, spells, and other means at solving supernatural crimes, thrust her into a partnership with local law enforcement. Things would be great if it wasn’t for the three sexy, but deadly, men who stand at all corners of her new life. Lucien, the ancient, alluring Vampire who has made it clear he wants more than Harley’s luscious curves. Cowboy, who wants to possess her in every way imaginable, and Aiden. The newcomer who has strict orders from his Vampire boss… but she senses has his own agenda. But in a world where things and beings are never what they seem, life isn’t promised and love comes with many strings. So what’s a girl to do to untangle those strings?

HD Kiss

Candi will be awarding 1 $10 Amazon GC, 2 Ebooks of Harlequin’s Deception and 1 Print Copy of Harlequin’s Deception to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

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Harlequin's Deception (1)

About the Author:

Candi Fox, co-host of the wildly popular radio show Candi and Company with over 900 thousand listeners began her venture in the paranormal at the tender age of two, when she witnessed her first apparition. From that moment on the paranormal seemed to follow her. No matter where she moved, the house she lived in the house next door, or the house down the street always seemed to be haunted.

She often wondered if she drew the spirits to her. Little did she know that she was indeed a magnet of sorts. It wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she found people who could not only explain her gifts but would also help her hone them. Armed with this new knowledge she began to openly explore hauntings and other paranormal phenomena.

Growing up in Indiana lent her the opportunity to explore many famous haunted places including the Hannah House, which was once part of the Underground Railroad. A little over two years ago she moved to Tulsa, OK and has begun to explore the haunted landscape in a new state.

Candi lives with her husband and furry children in Tulsa. She is passionate about the occult, saving and rehabilitating horses, horseback riding, magic, all things mystical and has her Reiki Mastery.

She uses her own paranormal experiences as well as her own life traumas to write from a grounded and realistic perspective about subjects that are hard to talk about and even harder to feel for yourself.

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Saturday Sexcerpt – What Happens in Bangkok by Daryl Devore

“… from my hot rock star romance- What Happens in Bangkok.  Quick scene set- Darien was taking a shower – a fully clothed Erika surprised him.”~Daryl Devore

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She lifted her gaze to his as she peeled her soaked pants down her legs. Stepping out with her right foot, she tucked the pants down with her left foot and kicked them to the side. Darien’s gaze tracked the stream of water that flowed down her thigh. Again, she reached up and ran her fingers through her hair, keeping her arms high and arching her back. The barest of red lace covered the delights Darien craved. A smile crossed her lips as she turned her back to him, bent forward, resting her hands on her knees. Twisting a bit to gaze over her shoulder, she moved her butt in a figure eight pattern. Each swish amped up his desire. Much more of this and he’d explode before he even touched her.

She straightened, reached up and slid off her right bra strap. Darien’s fingers ached to peel down the left strap. She lowered it to the side, releasing the front clasp. Pulling it open, she flipped it off and let it drop to the floor. Darien hissed. Having forgotten about the shower, he tilted his head back and sputtered when the water poured onto his face. He shook his head and blinked, then groaned. She’d turned, facing him, but had crossed her arms and covered her breasts with her hands.

That was wrong. It was his hands that needed to feel her nipples pebble against his palms. He shifted to move but caught himself. He didn’t want to break the spell. WTF? Who was he kidding? He wanted to shatter the spell, grab Erika, and back her up against the shower wall, drowning her in kisses. After nibbling his way up her thigh, he craved buried himself deep inside her and when both had screamed out a release, he wanted to do it all over again.

Erika stepped closer. She lowered her head and kissed the tip of his erect cock. He struggled not to do what he’d just fantasized about doing. She rose, kissed just below his belly button, then the middle of his chest, and, lastly, raised her lips, brushed her bottom lip across his.

His chest heaved. His blood pounded inside. His cock strained.

Water poured down from above and spurted out from the sides, caressing their flesh and heightening the tension. She lifted her right hand off her left breast, but shielded it with her arm, then crooked her finger, indicating he should move closer. He bent forward.

She placed her lips near his ear. “Knock. Knock.”

Blurb

To save Darien’s life his brother asks, “Can you walk in high heels?”

Erika Bailey, owner/manager of a drag queen club in Bangkok, Thailand has happily settled into all aspects of her new life, except for her lack of a love life. When a new diva auditions, Erika is bewildered over her instant attraction to the blond God, Apollo.

Darien Scott is on vacation after a world tour and mistakenly figures the safest place to be is at The Black Dragon with the head of a Triad. When the club is hit, Darien is the only person to get out alive. Now he’s running from the police and a Triad. Mistake number 1.

Disguised as a drag queen, he’s hired by Erika, but falls hard for his new boss, then struggles with not coming clean with her. Mistake number 2.

Can he fix his mistakes and find a life filled with love or is he headed straight for mistake number 3?

eXtasy Books

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Follow me – @daryldevore

5 Stars Really must read this one….,

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the chemistry between Darien and Erika was so hot that I thought my kindle would melt!

Saturday Excerpt- Updrift by Erinn Stevens

UPDRIFT Icon 200 x 300(From chapter 6 in Updrift)

The normally tranquil Blake household had transformed into an upscale frat house of sorts with the presence of more than a dozen truly beautiful young men. They were everywhere, milling around and lounging, looking as if a modeling agency had sent them over for a retro, Ivy League fashion shoot. Every single one of them oozed charm, vitality, and—Kate could think of no better word for it—virility. Several stood around a flat screen television to watch qualifying races for the U.S. Olympic men’s swim team. They seemed amused.

She stood wide-eyed inside the front door, not sure she wanted to navigate this group to find Carmen. Maybe she could just hand off the envelope and apologize later to her for being in a hurry. Her greeter closed the door behind her, however. The sound startled her. What happened next unnerved her.

“Hi, I’m Luke Hokeman.” The door opener extended his hand. “Catherine Sweeting,” she replied. She had no idea why she gave her formal name, which was used almost exclusively by her mother when she was in trouble. In fact, she felt like she was in trouble. She mustered up enough bravado to extend her hand.

Instead of shaking it as she expected, Luke turned it so he held it almost to his chest, and she panicked as she thought he might raise her hand to his lips. Did guys still do that? He placed his other hand gently around her wrist, she could swear to God, to check her pulse. “Are you home for summer break from college, Catherine?” He smiled. Distracted and more than a little terrified, she dropped her envelope, which attracted a different man to her side, bending to retrieve it. Yet another of the party came to stand behind her, placing his hand proprietarily at the small of her back. “Come in and sit down.” She broke out into a sweat.

“Hoke, Libby, Gins—back off and give the poor girl some air.” Kate felt weak with relief as she saw Gabe bounding lightly down the stairs. “Hi, Kate.”

He took her hand from Luke and tucked it through his arm, a gesture that would have been remarkable and strange in any other situation. He grabbed her envelope and led them firmly away from the front door and its trio of male sirens. “And no, she’s not home from college, Hoke,” Gabe threw over his shoulder. “She’s seventeen, which is I think what you were getting at. Too young for yo-oo-oo-ou,” he sang, grinning down at Kate.

Join me next week, when we meet another author. ~Tina

Saturday Sexcerpt – Beyond Fate by Susan V. Vaughn

Beyond FateJulia began to hum cheerfully while she hammered another nail into the wall. Already, he could hear the sounds of her nail scraping against a bolt.

That’s it. I can’t stand it anymore. He pulled the hammer out of her hand, and tossed it aside.

“Russ?” She looked up at him, curious. “What are you doing?”

He leaned down and covered her lips with his own. If he said something back, they would have gotten into a long discussion about why this was a bad idea. But it wasn’t a bad idea, it was a great one. They had talked in enough circles this weekend. It was time for action.

He wrapped his arms around the small of her back and pulled her close, kissing her long and hard, expressing what he wanted, and begging her to accept. In response, she pressed closer, and moaned deeply against his lips.

And that was it. With that one little moan, he was completely lost.

Join me next Thursday when we meet another author. ~Tina

 

 

Saturday Sexcerpt – Not the Hot Chick by Nona Raines

Danger even hotter“This is from my New Adult serial romance Not the Hot Chick:”~Nona Raines

No one would call curvy Layla Messner hot. Sweet and smart, yes, but not hot. All that changes when she meets sexy bartender Cam.  This bundle contains all four of parts of the Not the Hot Chick serial featuring a BBW heroine with heart and a hero with plenty of substance beneath his seductive style. Contains hot hook-ups, bitchy neighbors, ice skating blunders and—just possibly—love to last a lifetime.

This boxed set contains the complete Not the Hot Chick series.perf5.000x8.000.indd

 

Excerpt:

Since Cam had to work in a few hours, they decided to go to the Shamrock. Because it was still early on a week night, they had no trouble finding a table. “What would you like?” he asked as Layla took her seat.

Just as she was about to ask for a beer, she remembered her plan to seduce him. What had Jessi ordered the night they came here? Oh, right. “I’d like a Hard Fast Screw.” Layla looked him straight in the eye and hoped she wasn’t blushing as she ordered the bar’s version of a screwdriver.

A light glinted in his hazel eyes and he pressed his lips together as though trying not to smile. “Coming right up.”

Layla let go a sigh as he headed to the bar for their drinks. Channeling Jessi seemed to do the trick. Tonight, Layla decided, her mantra would be WWJD: What Would Jessi Do?

Cam returned to the table with her cocktail and his bottle of beer. “Cheers.” He clinked the mouth of his bottle to the rim of her glass and they both drank. The tangy juice slid easily down Layla’s throat. She couldn’t taste the vodka but felt its kick as it landed in her stomach. Warmth pooled in her middle and spiraled through her.

She admired him as she sipped her drink. The separate parts of his face—his square jaw, his strong chin with a hint of a cleft, his straight nose—all came together beautifully. Add to that his dark, wavy hair and a pair of greenish-brown eyes flecked with gold and he was a perfect work of art. And when he smiled… God. It was enough to make any girl drop her panties.

Fear fluttered through her. Was she crazy, thinking she could get with him a second time? He had his pick of women. Just looking around the bar, Layla spotted two or three cute, hot girls who were much more his type than she was. She felt a sudden urge to slug back the rest of her drink and bounce before she made a complete idiot of herself.

No, you’re not going to run. You have to try. The worst he can do is say no.

 To read the first installment of Not the Hot Chick for *free*, sign up for Nona’s newsletter here:  http://www.nonarainesfreebook.com/

If you’d like to read the complete set of Not the Hot Chick, find it here:

Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B01DUPLJ2O

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/not-the-hot-chick-boxed-set

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/not-hot-chick-complete-series/id1104307921?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-the-hot-chick-boxed-set-n-raines/1123727166

Join me next week when we meet another author.  Until then be Naughty! ~Tina