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Sworn to Protect

Sworn to Protect

Susanne Matthews

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?

Excerpt:

“You’re firing me right now? Without any notice? You can’t do that,” she whispered, so shocked she could barely speak.

This couldn’t be happening. Her heart thundered in her ears as the reality of the situation sunk in. How would she pay her bills? She’d refused alimony from Neil. Sure she had a few personal tax clients and could always do more forensic accounting work for Meredith and some of the other lawyers, but those jobs were hit or miss. Three years of her life down the drain just like that. She wasn’t the low man on the totem pole, so why cut her, why let her go?

“I can assure you we can, and we have. Don’t make this any harder than it needs to be. I’m sure with your abilities you’ll find work elsewhere.” He glared at her.

What on Earth had she done to piss him off this way?

“Will I at least be getting a letter of recommendation?” She’d need one to find another job.

“By all means. Mrs. Willis has it ready for you. You can pick it up with your check. Good day, Ms. Frost.”

“I’m sorry, Nancy,” Clive said, opening the door for her, his thin lips drawn in a smug smile.

“You bastard!” She spat the words at him. “Just because I wouldn’t sleep with you is no reason to feed me to the dogs. I could sue you for sexual harassment.”

“Don’t flatter yourself.” He looked down his nose at her as if she were some kind of bug. “And as far as suing me,” he said, chuckling, his sapphire gaze boring into her. “It’s your word against mine.”

Shaken by the icy animosity in his voice, she swallowed her retort. “Who will take care of my clients?” she asked, grasping at straws. “I should talk to them and bring them up to date.”

“I’ll look after them, and believe it or not, I can do the job as well as you can.” He dismissed her, entering his office without a backward glance.

“This way,” the goon reached for her arm again, and she yanked it away.

“Touch me again, and you’ll regret it,” she hissed. “I know where my office is.”

Mustering all the dignity she could, Nancy led the way back to the small space she’d called her own. In her absence, someone had emptied her desk and packed up her photographs and other memorabilia. The partially filled box sat in the center of her blotter.

“If you’ll put your arms out at your side, I’ll search you.”

Gritting her teeth, her cheeks burned.

“Oh no, you won’t. I warned you what will happen if you put your paws on me again. There are no pockets in this skirt or jacket, and I’m not about to let you cop a feel,” she ground out, her chest heaving in her fury.

Buy Links:

Sworn to Protect is available from Amazon:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072MHFQJF

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Sworn-Protect-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B072MHFQJF

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sworn-Protect-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B072MHFQJF

 

About the Author

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Her first novel, Fire Angel, set the tone for an exciting new career. While most of her books are romantic suspense, Susanne writes stories that range from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America. 

When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books or as interesting entries for her blog, Living the Dream. During the summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television. 

Follow Susanne on her: Website Facebook page Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page and Goodreads author page

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Middleweight

~Available August 8th!~

#shifter #wolf #werewolf #werewolves #paranormal #mma #fighter #brothers #vampire #romance #love

Primal attraction brings Eve Romero together with Micah Hallow, one of the infamous Hallow Brothers. Will their union heal them—or destroy them both?
Micah Hallow doesn’t believe he’ll ever find his mate. That is until a mystic tattoo appears on his back after a wild night with a stripper that marks her as his mate. Despite a life-threatening injury that brings him to his knees every time it strikes, he commits to a fight in the octagon to save her life. What will she do when she finds out he’s one of the infamous Hallow Brothers—and a werewolf?

Eve Romero can’t escape her violent boss, Deacon. That is, until the hottie she slept with puts his life on the line in exchange for hers. She can’t fight the primal attraction to him even though she doesn’t feel she’s worthy of the Hallow brother. Can she overcome her past to be with him? And when a new, murderous threat strikes close to home, will the two of them survive?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uGOpxl

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2uIuMo8

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2uKftvK

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/-Thrlb.l

My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

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Welcome to My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop!  I am glad you have stopped by!  Thank you to Harper A. Brooks and TF Walsh for having me!

Lately I’ve had a problem.  My heart is torn in two.  For the past year my heart has been wholly devoted to my alpha hero from my Black Irish series, Sloan O’Riley.  Black hair, blue eyes, the body of a Greek god, my Irish millionaire has a bit of a dark past.  When he meets naïve children’s author Abbey Wright, he’ll do anything to keep her in New York City with him including lie by telling her he is gay.

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Abbey’s heart thundered in her chest. She was alone with Sloan. He betrayed her. Yet she couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was time for answers. Her stomach twisted at the thought of asking for them.

“I’m glad you’re here. I was running out of gift ideas,” Sloan crooned. “Does this visit mean you’ve accepted my offer?”

“I have some questions first.”

“Of course.” He motioned her forward.

She timidly stepped into the living area. Compared to the opulence of the space and its owner, she in her waitress uniform was certainly the thing that didn’t belong.

Taking a deep breath, she asked quietly, “Why did you lie to me?”

Sloan paused. “I couldn’t have you leave.”

“Why not?”

He didn’t answer.

“You said it wasn’t the money or the visa. Then why? Why couldn’t you let me leave?”

Sloan slowly crossed over to her. He gently caressed her cheek with his fingertips. “I needed to know if there could be something between us,” he answered softly.

Oh wow! Her knees turned to jelly. “And do you think there could be something between us?”

His mouth turned up in a sexy smile as he gazed into her warm, hazel eyes. “I’d like to think there could be.”

Oh, double wow. Abbey’s heart picked up its rapid pace. “Sloan, I’ve been wondering. Did you ever get to a lawyer? I mean, I didn’t. I didn’t have the money. Are we still…”

She felt his breath on her face as he leaned closer to her. “Married? Aye. We’re still married. I did not get an annulment.”

“You’re still my…” Her voice failed her again.

“Husband. Aye, luv, I am.”

“And I’m still your…”

“My beautiful, wee wife.”

We’ve had the perfect relationship – he antagonizes me, I get angry with him, he reminds me with that oh-so-sexy brogue who is really in charge (in full detail!) and then I write. 

Handsome shirtless young man with boxer's gloves

But then…he stepped into my life.  MMA Bad Boy Rico Choate.  Granted we had met before in the first book of my Hard Drive series, Breaking the Cycle.  He intrigued me then.  But now as I wrap up his book, Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive Series #2), I have fallen head over heals in love.  Cocky, confident, love ’em and leave ’em attitude just dying to be tamed.  I am totally smitten.  Please don’t tell Sloan.

The sun was low in the horizon when they finally stood to leave.  Avery beat him to the blanket, folding it neatly and tucking it in her arm before Rico could get a hand on it.  He picked up the basket then hand in hand they walked back to the Jeep.

They sat outside Avery’s house for several moments before Rico walked her to the door.  You will pick me up in the morning? she asked.

Of course I will.  I will do anything to spend time with you.

She blushed.  Rico grinned.  He’d do just about anything to tinge her cheeks pink like that.  What are you doing this week? he continued.

Studying.  I have some big tests coming this week.  What about you?

Working then the gym.  Like normal.  Want me to help you study?

She laughed.  You know as well as I do, Rico, if you try to help we will not be studying.

He chuckled with her.  True.  But I will be on my best behavior.  Just as long as you are on yours.

Avery gasped indignant as she slapped him on the arm.  I am always on my best behavior.

Really?  So you are saying I am the bad influence?

She giggled.  Yes.  I am.

It is good to know we are on the same page.

Avery giggled again.  Rico studied her face.  Lord, she was beautiful.  Her features were normally so cool and collected.  She used to be a Marine.  Not much fazed this woman.  It was one of the things he loved about this woman.

But right now her eyes held a wicked glimmer.  She slowly reached across his seat.  Her fingers weaved themselves in his hair.  The sensation alone sent his heart racing.  She pulled her to him and parted his lips with hers.  It didn’t take long before her tongue tangled with his.  Instinctively he pulled her tight against him.

Feeling her curves mold against his body, the taste of her on his lips set him on fire.  The old Rico, the one who couldn’t remember the names of half the women he slept with, started to creep to the surface.  He could take her back to his place.  One night with her would be incredible.

He looked into her eyes as the kiss broke.  She was perfect.  He couldn’t ruin what they had.  He didn’t want her for one night.  He wanted her forever.  He wanted to promise eternity to her.  He wanted to raise a family with her.  He couldn’t risk everything on one night.

He nuzzled his nose against hers and brushed another kiss against her lips.  He didn’t think before he talked.  The words just tumbled out.  “I love you.”

An amused smile graced her lips as she signed.  I love you too.  I guess I better go in.

I guess so.

He grabbed the picnic basket out of the back seat.  He wrapped his arm around her and tucked her close to him as he walked her to the house.  He could see Lindsay glaring at him through the window.  Rico didn’t care.  As they reached the front door he pulled Avery to him for one last, soft kiss.  She sighed as she took the basket from him and looped her arm through the handles.  See you in the morning?

Cannot wait.

Rico waved to Lindsay as he held the door open for Avery to pass through.  A grin spread across his face as he jogged down the steps.  The whistling started again.

Now that I have introduced you to my TWO book boyfriends (does that make me a book slut?), I would like to let you get to know them a little more intimately.  So, leave a comment below and I will award four commenters their choice of e-book in their choice of format.  You can choose of one of Sloan’s books – Black Irish, Heartland or the Troubles – or Rico’s current published book, Breaking the Cycle.  Which of my book boyfriends would you like to spend the night with?

Don’t forget to get your name in the Rafflecopter drawing for the grand prize! 

And click here to jump back to the Blog Hop!  Thanks for visiting!!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Being Irish, I love to celebrate this day.  I have since I was little.  I have my green on, my Irish Beef Stew is simmering in the crockpot and I am ready to celebrate!!

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The best way to celebrate is to give a present to YOU!  Comment below to win e-book copies of each of the Black Irish Series – Black Irish, Heartland and The Troubles!!  I will draw later on tonight.  Good luck!!

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If you want to hear me talk about the Black Irish Series and one of my favorite alpha males, Sloan O’Riley, tune in to The Hummingbird Place tonight at 6:00 pm CST.  We’ll be talking all books Irish!!  Join us!! http://blogtalkradio.com/hummingbirdplace

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For my readers over 21, I have an extra surprise for you.  When researching the name Black Irish on Google, I found movies, a band and an alcoholic drink!  My hubby and I have tweaked the recipe – here’s to a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Black Irish

2 shots Irish Whiskey (we like 2 Gingers)

1 shot Kahlua

1 cup coffee ice cream

1/2 cup ice cubes

Mix all the ingredients in a blender and combine until milkshake consistency  A word of warning – this is a VERY strong drink!!

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Secret Cravings Winter Wonderland Third Anniversary Blog Hop!!

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Welcome to the Secret Cravings Publishing Winter Wonderland Blog Event!  There are lots of prizes to win on both the main blog and each author’s blogs to celebrating our third anniversary.  How do you win on the Secret Cravings Publishing blog?  It’s very simple!  Find the missing letter on each author’s blog then e-mail your answers to reviewcoordinator@secretcravingspublishing.com for your chance to win!!

And how do you win on my blog?  Just comment below!!  And what could you win?  You could win a copy of either Black Irish (Black Irish #), Queen of Savon or Breaking the Cycle!!  I will be picking three lucky winners on the evening of January 30th!!

This is Secret Cravings Publishing’s third year of romance and this is my first year with them.  This has been the most incredible year.  I have published five books (soon to be six!), I have met fans and other Secret Craving’s authors.  I have been interviewed and have done some interviewing.  I have become a radio show host and an E-zine editor.  My dream since I was little was to be a writer.  Now I am leaving my dream times ten.  Let me give you a taste of what I have published this year.

BlackIrish_SMBlack Irish (Black Irish #1)
Released May 8, 2013
Find here on Sweet Cravings Publishing
Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?

Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?

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Queen of Savon
Released June 11, 2013
Find here on Secret Cravings Publishing
Cassandra is brought to the palace by her grandfather, the sorcerer Malicar, after her parents are brutally murdered.  After being presented to King Thomas she is raised alongside two boys – Thomas’s son, Matthew and Victor, the young man chosen to be Matthew’s commander of the army.

However her life in the royal palace comes at a price. She is vowed into a life of servitude Matthew’s advisor, forfeiting the dream of having a husband and children of her own.

As they mature into adults, childhood curiosities turn to jealousy and burning desire. Cassandra finds herself caught between the two men and forced to make a decision – to throw away her vows for the life she dreamt about with a man she does not love or to stay shackled to the promises she made as a child to be with the man she wants with her heart, body and soul but cannot have.

wpid-Heartland_MED.jpgHeartland (Black Irish #2)
Released August 6, 2013
Find here on Sweet Cravings Publishing
Sloan and Abbey move to Abbey’s hometown of Mount Vernon, Iowa, to start their new lives together away from the chaos of New York City.  And they are not alone – they are joined by Gordon, Maggie, and Bartholomew each looking for a fresh start and new love in the small rural town.

Their marriage is put to the test by the reappearance of Abbey’s father, bullies from her high school days, a business opportunity in Miami, and a new baby on the way.  When a person from their past comes back looking to make Abbey his own again, will he be able to tear Sloan and Abbey apart forever?

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The Troubles (Black Irish #3)TheTroubles_LRG
Released November 24, 2013
Find here at Sweet Cravings Publishing
While Sloan and Abbey are in Las Vegas to celebrate Gordon and Mary’s wedding,  a enemy from Sloan’s past nearly kills her.  Sloan is forced to do the unthinkable – he files for divorce.  He moves Sloan Enterprises to Switzerland far away from the woman he loves to save her.

Three years pass.  When Sloan invites Robert to Switzerland to celebrate his fortieth birthday, he learns shocking news – Robert is living with Abbey.  Refusing to lose Abbey, Sloan relocates the company to Minneapolis, Minnesota where Abbey is living and makes her the Chief Operating Officer.  He fights against his desire for her as he contends with her two new beaus, his own new girlfriend, her hostile family and Amelia, his four-year-old daughter.

When his enemy makes another attempt on Abbey’s life, will Sloan be able to save her – or is this a war he just can’t win?

btccoverpinklogoBreaking the Cycle
Released January 13, 2014
Find here at Sweet Cravings Publishing
Max is excited when Chloe, a girl that works for the same gym he does, agrees to go on a date with him.  He is disturbed, though, when she becomes violently ill after he kisses her.  Max can’t shake how he feels about her.  He sacrifices his job and does everything he can to find an answer to her illness.  But is it enough to save their relationship – and save her?

Chloe can’t believe Max Thomas, the hottest guy at Roadie’s Gym, wants to go out with her.  When their date is a disaster, she thinks she’ll never see him again.  She is stunned when he reappears in her life and tries to find the answer behind whatever has made her sick since she was a child.  However, will he stick around or abandon her like her father did?  Can she trust him enough to let him into her heart?

And coming in February 2014…TheThirteenthKnight_LRG
The Thirteenth Knight
Life is simple in the village when Thatcher and Miranda realize that their lifelong friendship has turned to love.  Their world is turned upside down when Miranda’s true identity is revealed – she is the niece of the kingdom and the next heir to the throne.  She is swept away to the palace giving Thatcher the only solution available to him.  He will become one of the King’s knights and therefore worthy of Miranda’s hand.

When dark magic strikes the kingdom, it is Thatcher’s bravery that saves the King and the kingdom.  Yet being a knight is not enough nobility to marry the woman he loves.  When the source of the dark magic captures the palace and vows to make Miranda his bride, both Miranda and Thatcher work to overthrow him.  Will it be enough to bring them together – or will dark magic and the King himself keep them apart?

Innocent 'til Proven Guilty CoverAnd we can’t forget my free serial read that is updated every Sunday on the Sweet Cravings Publishing site, Innocent ’til Proven Guilty!
Find here at Sweet Cravings Publishing
Livvy Randall won’t let anything stop her chance at a journalism career in Chicago.  That is until the passenger train she is riding in breaks down in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a town not much bigger than her home in Lincoln, Nebraska.  She acquires a room at the Hotel Montrose where she meets the devilishly handsome Frankie O’Carney, an Irish bad boy working in maintenance at the hotel.

When Frankie is accused of murdering the wealthy H.M. Goodrich, Livvy does everything she can to clear his name.  With danger at every turn, Livvy searches for answers to the questions plaguing her.  Is Frankie with the quiet, brooding Poppy?  Why, when the Irishman is near, does her heart beat out of control?  Will she get out of Cedar Rapids and back on the train to Chicago with her heart intact?  And – is Frankie really innocent…or is he guilty?

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.  Please make sure to stop by and check out the blogs of the other incredibly talented authors of Secret Cravings Publishing!  Click on the badge below to return to the main blog.

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Best of Tuesday Tales

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Welcome to another Tuesday Tales!  This week we are celebrating Thanksgiving with the Best of Tuesday Tales.  It was a difficult choice.  However, my current work in process made the choice for me.  And the choice was appropriate.  This Thanksgiving, this series is the center of one of things I am most thankful for.

What could it be?  Take a look… Thanksgiving Best of Tuesday Tales.

And don’t forget to stop by and see what the other very talented authors of Tuesday Tales has picked for their best!  Click the picture below to journey back to Tuesday Tales.

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The Cover Art for The Troubles (Black Irish #3) Is Here!

Here is the cover art of The Troubles (Black Irish #3) is here!!  I love it!  What do you think??

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Tuesday Tales – Hard, Rough and Dirty

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Hello, everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  The word prompts for today came from a challenge – could we use the words hard, rough and dirty together?  Preferably without it being about sex?  Challenge accepted! 

My excerpt comes from Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4).  This is hopefully the last excerpt from that tale.  Next week I hope to introduce you to a new hero, Gideon, as we take a step back to Victorian Steampunk England.

And please don’t forget to stop and enjoy the other excerpts from the very talented Tuesday Tale authors!!

building deck

Abbey clenched the warm coffee mug in her hands as she pushed the back door of her parents’ house open with her hip and stepped out into the cool spring morning.  She roused Ame and Ethan out of bed specifically for this trip to Grandpa and Grandma’s.  It wasn’t anything earth shattering by any means.  But she wasn’t going to miss it for the world.

Sloan was not your typical man.  He intimidated anyone who came near him.  He was a Greek god with an Irish bent.  He played rugby.  He worked out.  He swam daily.  No one compared to him in creativity.  But she never actually saw him do any sort of manual labor.  Not that she doubted he could.  Sloan could do anything he set his mind to.  But, coming from a small rural town where manual labor was the norm, watching him actually work intrigued her.

She smiled slyly at the piles of lumber that were stacked across the back lawn.  The boys were all mulling around, a couple rather grumpily for being waken up so early on a Saturday morning.  They were all there to help Gordon build the deck that her Mom had wanted since they moved to Minneapolis.  Liam was even awake and ready to build.  Abbey giggled.  Bet he didn’t think he was doing this when he visited from Belfast.  Her brow knitted in confusion as Logan appeared from around the garage.  How’d he get roped into this?  The glare Logan shot Sloan answered that question.  Another chuckle erupted from her throat. 

 Sloan picked up a four by four in his large, gloved hands and inspected it.  “Hmm,” he hummed to himself as he slapped the wood against his palm, breaking free some of the residual dirt that clung to it. “Rough…Hard…Dirty.”  His gaze met hers, his ice blue eyes twinkling.  Abbey could read the message they said.  Her husband may have been talking about the board in his grip, but his thoughts were far from it.  She felt her face flush hot as her mouth went dry.

 “Don’t you need the boards to be clean?” she squeaked out in protest.

 Robert shot her a glare.  “It’s a footing, Abbey.  We’re about to sink it into concrete.  Plus it’s going to be exposed to the elements.  So, no.  Are you planning on playing supervisor this morning?  Where are your kids?”

“Maybe I am.  The kids are watching cartoons with their Grandma.  Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” Abbey quipped back.

 Robert snarled at her before he returned the pile of lumber he was sorting.  Abbey grinned as her husband winked at her in victory.  She settled into a lawn chair to watch construction begin. 

Don’t forget to check out the other excerpts from Tuesday Tales!!

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Tuesday Tales – Fall Scene

Badge for TT - very smallHey everyone!!  Welcome to Tuesday Tales!  We are working with the picture prompt below.  Today I am taking an avenue I haven’t so far on Tuesday Tales.  My excerpt isn’t from The Thirteenth Knight or Breaking the Cycle.  Today’s excerpt would be the first seen from the next in the Black Irish series I will be starting – Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4).  Incidentally, The Troubles (Black Irish #3) comes out in November 2013.

Please don’t forget to check out the incredible blogs of my very talented Tuesday Tales friends!

fall scene

Abbey wrapped her arms tight around herself as she walked along the plank-covered path alongside the lake.  She gazed at the wildfire of brilliant leaves that blazed along the path.  The vibrant crimsons, oranges and golds were beautiful.

She loved this path that circled the lake behind the house.  The neighbors all around the lake took full advantage of it.  For Abbey it was the rare retreat Sloan and she shared.  There weren’t too many occasions that they were without Ame and Ethan.  But when the chance came that someone else was watching their children, they would find their way to the trail.  They would walk the entirety of it, their fingers intertwined.  They wouldn’t talk much.  They would just enjoy being together.  Sloan would stop and pull her to him just to hold her in his arms.  Between their company and his past there was no such thing as peace.  Here there was at least the illusion of it.

She hugged herself tighter as she closed her eyes, her long brown hair blowing in the cool breeze.  She could feel Sloan’s presence wrapped around her – strong and warm.  She could feel his breath on her cheek, his lips pressed against her skin.  Even though he was thousands of miles away locked in a Belfast prison, she could still feel him there.

She jolted at the vibration of her cell phone.  “Hello?”

“Hello, lass,” Liam greeted.

“What have you found out, Liam?” Abbey begged.

“I think I have a plan.  But it requires you, lass, to be here in Belfast.  And for you to do some very questionable things.”

“Will it free my husband?”

“I believe so, yes.”

“Then consider it done.  When do you need me?”

“As soon as possible.  And bring Maggie and your mother.  You are going to need a team.”

“All right.  I’ll let you know when our flight will be.”

“Very good, lass.  See you soon.”

Abbey end the call on her phone.  With a sigh she jogged along the planks back to her house.

Don’t forget to check out the other excerpts from the Tuesday Tales writers!

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The 100th Sunday Snog!!

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Welcome to the 100th Sunday Snog!  I am very excited to be part of this blog hop – and who doesn’t love kissing??  I myself am a fan!!

**To celebrate The 100th Sunday Snog, I will be giving an e-book copy of both Black Irish and Heartland to one lucky commenter below!!**

BlackIrish_LRG       Heartland_LRG

When thinking of kissing and all the characters I’ve written, one stood out above the rest.  That one would be the first kiss between Abbey Wright and Sloan O’Riley in Black Irish.  Why would this be so singular?  First it was their wedding day.  Second – well, the blurb for Black Irish explains it all…

the-hero-gets-the-girlBlurb for Black Irish:

Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?

Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?

Yep, Abbey thought her new husband was gay!  So how great could their first kiss really be?  She was in for a surprise…

danielstarkphotography-com-1Sloan led Abbey through the corridors of the courthouse, followed by Robert and Gordon. Pushing open a dark-stained door with a frosted glass window, he motioned her in.

Inside sat a man huddled over a stack of papers on a desk of the same dark-stained wood as the door. His salt and pepper hair was combed over his balding head. The freshly pressed robe he wore draped down from his shoulders. He looked up at them through the spectacles on his nose then smiled and stood to greet them.

The justice shook Sloan’s hand emphatically as he quipped about some recent city legislation they had both been part of—legislation that Sloan’s influence had swung in Judge Goldstein’s favor. Abbey stared at Sloan, puzzled. She knew he had money. She knew he had an immense artistic talent. But he has political power too? What deep, dark secrets does he have?

Judge Goldstein turned back to his desk to retrieve a book then turned and faced them again. Abbey’s heart caught in her throat. This was it—her wedding day. True, it wasn’t a real wedding with the big, white dress, the five-tiered cake, and hundreds of guests. In fact, her soon-to-be husband was gay. But at the end of this, she would be Mrs. Sloan O’Riley. She glanced around the cold chambers then back to Sloan.

Instead of her heart clenching in regret, it fluttered rapidly in excitement. She wrapped her arm around his, hugging it to her. He looked down to her, his ice blue eyes shining brightly as he beamed at her. Then, he softly nudged her, turning her attention to the justice.

“Ms. Wright?” Judge Goldstein questioned.

“Ummm…yes?”

”Do you take Mr. O’Riley as your husband?”

Abbey’s eyes shot from him to Sloan as she felt her face flush hot. She didn’t want to know what shade of red her cheeks now were. “I do.” she squeaked.

“And Sloan, do you take Ms. Wright as your wedded wife?”

Sloan’s gaze was soft and gentle. “Oh, yes. I absolutely do.”

“Do you have rings to exchange?”

Sloan reached into his slacks pocket. After a few moments of digging within the cloth, his hand returned with the simple gold bands. He gave the larger of the two to Abbey and kept the smaller for himself.

Abbey was oblivious to the justice’s words as she pushed the ring onto Sloan’s finger. She let go a tiny squeal of excitement as she watched him slide her band into place against one Michael had already given her. Sloan clasped her hand in his as he chuckled at her reaction.

“By the power invested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride,” Judge Goldstein announced.

Her eyes locked onto Sloan’s mouth as he gathered her into his arms. She felt an ache deep in every nerve to know what his kiss would feel like. A wave of disappointment hit her. It will only be a quick peck. He is gay after all.

As Sloan’s lips engulfed hers, Abbey quickly discovered how wrong she was. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she sank into his kiss. She let out a sigh as he pried her mouth apart and dove deeper. His warm breath, the softness of his lips, the sensation of his large, powerful hands holding her close—it all made her dizzy and giddy at the same time. She clung to him as they finally parted.

Steadying her, Sloan smiled, a sweet, seductive glimmer sparkling in his eyes. “Shall we go to lunch to celebrate, Mrs. O’Riley?”

Abbey giggled. “Of course.”

They paraded arm in arm through the courthouse all the way to the curb, where Gordon had the Hummer waiting. Sloan opened the car door, waving both Gordon and Robert away, then offered his hand to Abbey. Once she was settled in her seat, Sloan climbed in beside her. He took the hand smoothing the white satin of her skirt and held it tight in his as they pulled into the busy downtown traffic.

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