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Coming May 9th – Welterweight

~~Preorder Welterweight today – Releases May 9th~~

#mma #welterweight #paranormal #mate #werewolf #hallowbrothers #caleb #fight #mated @HartwoodBooks

A mysterious force binds Meg Riley to the dark, mysterious werewolf Caleb Hallow. Can they put aside their differences and give themselves over to their union, or will their pasts destroy them?

Caleb Hallow doesn’t need anyone. All he needs is to dominate in the MMA cage and become world champion. His plans are derailed when he wakes up with a mysterious tattoo of his ancestors after a one night stand with his opponent’s ex-girlfriend, Meg Riley. Sharing the mark with her joins them as mates for eternity. Can Caleb deal with Meg for the rest of his life? Can he keep her safe from his past as he falls deeply in love with her? And will she stay by him when she finds out he is actually a werewolf?

It was just a fling, a chance to get revenge on her cheating ex. At least that’s what Meg Riley tries to convince herself. But the indescribable pull that draws her to the dark, dangerous Caleb Hallow tells her differently. Although she is furious when she finds the strange tattoo on her back after their night together, and even though he tells her some convoluted story about him being a werewolf, she can’t stay away from him. She can’t stop herself from falling for him. When her ex threatens Caleb’s life, how far will Meg go to save him? Will she be willing to sacrifice her life for his?





An Excerpt from The Heartbreaker

~~Get your copy of The Heartbreaker, Book Two of the Hearts of Braden Series!!~~
He let go and stretched out over her. “Mine,” he repeated. “I want you in my bed. I want you out of my bed. You are mine.”
Their eyes locked for several long moments. His? I’m his? He wants me? I want him more than anything in the world. With a soft smile, she raised herself until her lips met his, parting them timidly, so her tongue could tangle with his.
He wrapped his fingers around her ribs to hold her closer to him.

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~~~And get it on Audible!!!~~~

Tuesday Tales – Boredom


Hey there! Welcome back to Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “boredom”. We’re back with Reese and Lily in The Heartbreaker. 

Reese went back to Las Vegas to fight after his agent threatened to not only ruin him but those he loves. Lily is still in Braden but pregnant and about to marry a man she doesn’t love. Is there any hope for them? Let’s find out!

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Lily spun towards Reese, her lower lip dropping open in surprise by his sudden appearance.  He slowly approached her, taking her in his arms.  He smiled gently.  “I know about the baby.”

Lily frowned, her heart still twisted like a pretzel. “You said nothing. You just left.”

“I’m so sorry, baby. I tried calling you every day. I left countless messages. After a couple weeks I knew you were done with me. It killed me. I love you with everything I am. I didn’t want to leave but the threats Roxy gave scared me. I don’t care if she destroys me. I can’t let her hurt you and Buddy. It was twelve weeks of training, misery, heartbreak and boredom. I just wanted you at my side.”

“Reese, I’m sorry.  I should have told you about the baby. I didn’t think you wanted to be a father so…”

“Stop.  Just stop.  Do you remember that night when we made burgers at midnight?”


“Do you remember asking me what was wrong?  Do you remember my answer?”

“You wanted something you couldn’t have.”

“Yeah.  I wrapped my arms around you to open the olives.  For a moment I let my mind wander.  We were still in the kitchen cooking but it wasn’t Buddy’s house.  It was our house.  We were cooking late not because we had sex.  It was because we had just gotten our baby to sleep.  What couldn’t I have?  You, baby.  All I ever wanted was you.  And all I wanted was to have a baby with you.  To start our family together.”  He paused.  “Then you didn’t you wait for me.”

“You know how fast rumors travel in Braden.  When the news of my pregnancy spread, I became a pariah.  People avoided me.  Not everyone.  The mayor wouldn’t let me quit my position at the library.  Connor convinced me that he was the only man who would ever want me.  I didn’t think you were coming back.  Your life here had to be far better.  Fighting is what you love.”

“No, baby.  You’re what I love.”

Lily smiled as she gazed into his blue eyes.  “I love you too.”

“I got a bunch of stuff planned for us but I have to get to my weigh in.  Roxy and my coach are probably flipping shit right now.”  He rubbed her arms before taking her hand gently in his.  Blinding pain seared through her arm.  She fought back her whimper but failed.

“Lily, what’s wrong?”

“Connor got a little excited when he got off the plane.  He squeezed my hand a little hard.”

Reese’s face darkened as he let go.  “Make a fist.”

She flexed her fingers to her palm, cringing as she did so.  Most of her digits complied.  A couple didn’t curl up completely.  She looked up as she heard Reese curse under his breath.  “Is it bad?”

“I knew I should have cold cocked that son of a bitch when I had a chance.  We need to get your hand looked at.  I think it’s broken.”

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Tuesday Tales – Picture Prompt


Hey there! It’s time for another Tuesday Tales! This week’s we write to a picture prompt. We’re back with Reese and Lily in The Heartbreaker.

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Lily stared down at the plate of bacon and eggs Buddy sat in front of her. Her stomach lurched violently. The dry toast was the only thing that looked remotely inviting. She picked up a piece and nibbled on the corner.

Buddy stalked across the kitchen and slumped into his chair. He looked at her plate. “Eat.”

“I don’t feel well,” she mumbled.

He frowned. “I thought you were supposed to be through the morning sickness by now.”

“Guess I’m special.”

Buddy stabbed at his eggs with his fork puncturing the yolk. The wound seeped yellow, puddling around his bacon. He shoveled a bite into his mouth and chewed. Sighing, he set his fork by his plate. “Lily, I’m begging you. Don’t marry Connor. He doesn’t love you.”

“I don’t have a choice, Buddy. He’s right. I’m shunned by nearly every person in Braden. No other man in this stupid little town will have anything to do with me. Ever.”

“You always have a choice.”

“Like what?”

“Like me. Marry me.”

Lily set her toast on her plate. “I can’t marry you.”

“Why not?” Buddy demanded.

“Do you love me?”

“Of course I love you.”

“As a friend or as a lover?”

Buddy scowled at her silently. She took a deep breath and continued. “A lover is the reason someone breathes, the reason their heart beats. It’s someone they want to share their body, their bed, their life with. They are that person’s every thought, their very soul. Maybe I wasn’t that to Reese but he was that to me. And I love you enough to not tie you down to someone who you don’t feel that way about. Even if I’m carrying your best friend’s baby.”

“Ex-best friend,” Buddy growled.

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Could you do me a favor??

  I know I have gone on and on about Hard Drive. I do it because this place has honestly, truthfully changed not only my but my daughter’s life. They are my second family.
Please take a second to check out their page. And please give them a “like”. I would love to get them likes from not only Cedar Rapids but all over the world!

Can we do it??? Yes we can!!!

Thank you everyone!! You are the best!!!


Tuesday Tales – Twenty


Hey there! It’s time for another Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “twenty”. We’re back with Reese and Lily in The Heartbreaker.

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Reese rubbed the rag on the bar, scrubbing a little harder at the sticky ring left from the beer mug he had just taken back to the kitchen. He sighed as he stopped and looked around him. The dark green walls, the tables scattered across the grey cement floor, the thick scent of stale beer was only one thing to him now. Home.

It was the first time he was left in charge of the bar. Jenny was off for a few moments to get the pretzel rolls from the Triple B Bakery. Buddy was off meeting his lawyer friend in Waterloo about the future of the bar. A content smile crossed Reese’s lips. In a matter of weeks he would be the proud co-owner of Buddy’s Bar. He couldn’t wait to put pen to paper and make it official.

The glare of the summer sun preceded the sound of the door chime. Reese squinted to see the figure that stepped in. At first all he could make out was the long legs balanced in a pair of stiletto heels. The body they belonged to was clothed in a power suit with a skirt that ran a little too high to be professional. As the woman stepped out of the light Reese felt a growl rumble in his throat.

“Roxy,” he spat.

“What a surprise,” Roxy cooed as she tossed her blonde locks off her shoulder. “I just stopped in here to ask where I could find you and low and behold, here you are.”

“What do you want?” Reese demanded.

“I have exciting news. I have a fight for you.”

“Not interested.”

“How could you not be interested? You are the best fighter I’ve ever laid eyes on. You have been since I found you at the tender age of twenty.”

“Twenty-two. You found me at twenty-two. Do you have any idea how old I am now?”

“Baby, you’re a devastatingly sexy twenty-seven. Old enough to rock a woman’s world in the sack.”

“So you have no concept of time,” Reese snarled. “Again, I’m not interested. Braden is where I belong.”

“What could possibly be here that you don’t have in Las Vegas?”

“The woman I love.”

The news actually stunned Roxy off her feet. Her heels wobbled as she stumbled, clearly shocked by his words. She took a second to straighten herself then met him with a cold, hard glare. “Love? You’re in love?”

“Yes. I have been with her for long before I left Braden. Now I finally have her and I’m not letting her go. I’m going to buy into this bar that my best friend owns. I’m making my life here.”

“Well, baby, I have news for you. Did you forget something when you received your last purse and your last two sponsor checks? What was that? Oh, yes. My cut. Either you come back with me and take this fight or I will sue you for everything you have. I will own this bar, your friend’s bar. And I will plow it to the ground.”

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Tuesday Tales – Mug


Hi and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  Today’s word prompt is “mug”.  We’re back with Reese and Lily in Between the Shelves.

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**caution…there is some adult language.**

Lily shuffled down the sidewalk, her eyes trained to the cement beneath her feet.  She never felt so lost and lonely in her life.  Sleep eluded her.  Tears felt at the drop of a hat.  She forced herself to keep busy so she couldn’t think about Reese.  Because if she did…

Wiping a stray tear from her cheek, Lily picked up the pace.  The last place she wanted to go was her father’s church.  However it was the one place in Braden that people left her alone, including her father.  And at the moment she just wanted to be alone.

“Well, if it isn’t Lily Dixon.”

Lily glanced up to find Buddy leaning against the wall of his bar, his arms crossed over his broad chest.  The summer sunlight made his shaggy blond hair almost white.  He shoved himself off the wall and stormed across the street until he was standing in her way.

He glared down at her.  “Where are you going, Lily?”

“What does it matter to you Buddy?”

“I want to have a little chat with you.  Why don’t come over to my bar so we can talk?”

Lily cast a wary glance at the bar.  Reese is in there.  Probably with her. “I don’t want to talk.  And I don’t drink.”

“Bullshit.  I know how much wine you and Molly drink.  Who do you think she buys it from?”

“I’m not interested in talking.”

Buddy grasped her arm.  “I am.”

“Don’t bully me.”

Buddy chuckled.  “I’m not bullying you.  I just want to talk to the bitch that broke my best friend’s heart.”

Lily stared him in amazement.  Buddy pulled her slowly up to him until they were eye to eye.  “I know Reese can handle himself physically.  He’s an MMA fighter.  But his heart is fragile.  He’s had no love, no family his entire life.  No one has ever wanted him.  So when you fuck with his heart, you fuck with me.  Get it?  Now, shall we go have a chat?”

Lily slowly nodded.  Buddy lowered her back to her feet then pointed to his bar.  She scampered ahead of him, not stopping until her rear was firmly planted on a bar stool in the dim building.  Buddy pulled a frosty mug from the freezer and plopped it in front of her.  She nudged it away.  “I don’t drink.”

He sighed and pulled out a shot glass, filling it with a golden liquid.  “Like cinnamon?” he questioned.


He set it in front of her.  “Try it.”

Lily stared at it a moment before she slammed it down.  She winced as it burned but Buddy was right.  It was good.  She looked up from the shot as he leaned across the bar towards her.  “So now, tell me.  Why did you break Reese’s heart?”

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Tuesday Tales – Catch


Hi Everyone!  I’m back!  This week’s word prompt is “catch”.  This week’s excerpt is from “Between The Shelves”, Book Two of the Hearts of Braden Series coming to Secret Cravings Publishing in October 2015!

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The library was unusually busy for a Monday evening. Lily weaved between the tables, glancing down at the students busy scanning through book after book for answers. She glanced over at a group debating the benefits of Mountain Dew over milk in the school cafeteria. She pressed her fingers over her lips, sushing them sternly. She watched as each head dropped in embarrassment. Fighting back a giggle, Lily slipped behind the circulation desk. It was typical of finals week. It happened every year.

Lily gathered the piles of books heaping on the counter one at a time and set them on the cart to be tucked away where they belonged on the shelves. She softly hummed a tune to herself so the kids couldn’t hear. After a full day of obsessing over Reese Cooper she finally got her head on straight. Granted it took sharing a bottle of wine with Molly and all the dirty magazines in her desk drawer, but she was pretty sure he was gone. After setting the final pile on the bottom rack of the cart, she stood upright and straightened her skirt until it was once again past her knees.


Lily’s heart slammed in her chest as her eyes darted up. Something soft thudded against her chest and landed on the floor. She looked down to find the paperback on the floor, the name Stephen King staring back up at her. She lifted her gaze back up to find Reese on the other side of the counter grinning at her.

“I told you to catch,” he defended.

Lily knelt down to pick up the book as she started to tremble. So much for getting him out of my system. She heard a soft, deep groan. She looked up to see Reese leaning on the counter, his eyes glued to her chest. Her eyes followed his, right to the gaping collar of her blouse and the gentle curve of the lace of her bra hugging her breasts. She felt her cheeks blaze hot as she stood.

“I thought you said you’d take care of the books you borrowed,” she chided weakly.

“I did up to the point I said ‘catch’. I can’t help it you didn’t catch it,” he answered, his voice still thick and his eyes narrowed and hungry. It made Lily shudder.

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Tuesday Tales – Picture Prompt


Hey everyone!  Welcome to Tuesday Tales!  This week is a picture prompt.  This week we’re stepping away from Emma and Gideon.  Instead we are stopping by to visit Max Thomas in the Hard Drive Series prequel, Hard Drive.  Let’s take a look at Max before Breaking the Cycle!

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The bar was crowded and loud. Tables of people fought to talk over the hard rock band that played on the makeshift stage constructed on the dance floor. Max glanced over the crowd looking for Tyler. The two of them became friends in the first few days Max started at Roadie’s Gym. That was a year ago. Since then every Friday and Saturday they were out on the town. Tyler drank himself into a stupor then Max drove him home. It wasn’t the most ideal of friendships but it worked.

Max turned back to the bar and took a sip of his water. He watched as the bartender picked up the television remote to switch the channel then returned to the strange colored martinis he was concocting. Max scowled at the screen. Two men faced off in an octagon, each waiting eagerly for the ref to call out “fight!”. It was the first time Max had anything to do with MMA since he left Mankato and moved to Minneapolis. He didn’t even watch it anymore. The memories of all that had happened were just too painful.

Max couldn’t pull away from the TV screen. His mind tumbled with thoughts as he watched to two men attack each other. A couple of months ago, Max ran into an old teammate at the mall. Quinn and Torie lasted about four months, their relationship dying when Quinn was arrested for DUI. His legal troubles kept him from training just long enough to stop being useful to Torie. Before Quinn knew it she had moved on to a guy from an opposing team. Max chuckled to himself. Couldn’t happen to a better guy.

He studied the fight as he took another drink. The smaller of the two, a dark haired fighter, was quick as lightning. He seemed to anticipate his opponent’s move before he made it. Max had been that good before his knee gave, before everything blew up.

He heaved a sigh as the black haired fighter locked a triangle on his opponent. Moments later the other fighter tapped in submission. The dark haired guy’s hand was raised in victory. Max muttered the fighter’s name as he read it. “Rico Choate.”

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What Makes Me Different

Boxer woman

When I’ve scan Amazon lately for my next book to read, I’ve noticed that one of the hot new trends is MMA or Fighter romances. I love it because I am a sucker for MMA and, incidentally, write MMA romance myself. But I’ve noticed a big difference in the books I’ve read and my own…the fighting excerpts themselves.


What could be the difference between those other books and my own? Very simple. It’s one thing to watch MMA fights and interview fighters. It’s a whole other thing to strap on gloves, slip a mouth guard into your mouth and face off with an opponent. Which I have. I am proud to tell anyone who asks that I am a mixed martial artist.

I never had the intention to be a fighter. If you told me two years ago that I would be doing this I would have laughed. My book, Breaking the Cycle, is actually what made me step into a gym in the first place. I wanted my character, Max, to quit a job he loved for one he was apprehensive to be part of. After a lot of thought, I decided to have him train MMA fighters.

To do my research, I e-mailed the owner/coach, Keoni Koch, of my local MMA gym, Hard Drive MMA, to see if I could ask him questions. He graciously agreed. I took a look at the gym’s website and saw they offered kickboxing classes. I always wanted to give it a try and figured one month wouldn’t hurt. It’s been sixteen months now. I not only take kickboxing classes but I have now been doing jiu jitsu for three months. I haven’t made it into the octagon…yet. But training six days a week I hope to make it soon.

What does this have to do with writing MMA romance? I know the terminology. I know the difference between a jab and a cross, the Gable grip and a rear naked choke. I know because I’ve done them (or have had them done on me). Knowing the intimate details of the sports makes the fight scenes believable. And what’s a MMA romance without fighting? And along with the fight scenes, the relationships between the fighters in the gym are a lot like the ones I have with my friends and teammates.

I am excited that I can take two things I love, MMA and writing, and blend them into one. And I hope my readers find reading my fight scenes just as exciting as watching a fight.