Welcome Fall into Books Blog Hoppers!

fall into books bh badgeEarlier this week, the first day of autumn arrived. The fall season summons images of leave turning yellow, orange or red. The last explosion of life before they drop to the ground soon to be covered by snow. That’s the perfect time to curl up in a comfortable chair, wearing sweaters and thick socks and enjoy a good book. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The problem is that autumn in central Arizona lacks every element I just described.

Instead, we look forward to the evenings cooling off into the 70’s (versus being in the low 90’s) and hope that by November the hot desert cools off to the 60’sto 70’s during the day. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we can curl up with a book, but in this part of the country, we’re more likely to be sitting on the patio or by the pool soaking up the sun and reading that book. What is it like where you are?

For this blog hop, I’m going to help one winner fall into a new book. One lucky visitor will win a free autographed copy of my sweet romantic suspense, Someone to Watch Over Me and a $10 Starbucks gift card.
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To enter, simply comment and let me know where you like to read your books. If you would like extra entries, you can like me on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter. If you do all three you will get three entries.

Please take a few minutes to check out our sponsor’s blog at Candlelight Reads: http://candlelightreads.blogspot.com.

Click here to view the other blogs in the hop…

And the winner is…..

Congratulations to Kathy W. who won my grand prize for the Fall into Romance Blog Hop. She’s won her choice of a $10 gift card from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Starbucks.

Didn’t win? Check back this weekend as the Fall into Books Blog Hop will be in full swing and I will be offering another prize for one lucky visitor.

Want to be kept up-to-date with contests, new releases and be eligible for special exclusive offers? Then sign up for my newsletter today.

Welcome to the Fall into Romance Blog Hop!

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Don’t you just love starting a new book? I do. There is the brief moment when I stare at the cover, drinking in the image of the hero or heroine as if to imprint their faces in my mind before I go to the first page and begin.

Today with all the pressures and demands placed upon us from all sides, we all need a little escape, even if it is just for ten to fifteen minutes. A good romance book can take you away and give you a glimpse into another world and other lives. And just sometimes, make you realize that you don’t have it so tough compared to the trouble that some fictional characters must deal with.

For example, in my upcoming book, Playing with Fire, Matt Anderson not only is charged with protecting Stella Adam’s construction site from theft and arson, but  he’s been estranged from his family for over ten years. As his relationship grows with Stella, he begins to consider if he should take steps to reach out to them. To read a scene, scroll down to the blog post before this one. Playing with Fire which will be out in a few weeks so please sign up for my newsletter to get updates and information on contests.

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In this contest, the winner can choose a $10 gift card from their choice of Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.

To enter, simply comment and tell me what you’re reading now. If you would like to increase your chances you can also sign up for my newsletter or like me on facebook. If you do all three you get three entries for the gift card.

In addition to my individual prize, there is a grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift card. To enter for the grand prize, fill out the Rafflecopter box below and press enter.

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To visit the other participating author’s websites, here is a linky back to the list the blog hop home page:  www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com

Thank you for stopping buy and good luck.

Loving a hero with a past…. and Playing with Fire

Coming fall 2014, Playing with Fire, Book two, Sonoran Security Series

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Here is a sneak peak of a scene from the book that is currently under edits and           will be released soon.

Matt Anderson, co-owner of Sonoran Security, has been hired to provide security for a major remodel project in North Scottsdale.

Stella Adams has stepped out on her own and away from her family’s real estate development business by purchasing a foreclosure of an estate home. This move has created a major rift with her family, especially her father, Robert Adams.

When Stella’s father contacts Matt and asks him approach Stella about providing security for her construction project, Robert Adams had hoped to keep tabs on his feisty, independent daughter. Instead, he unwittingly places Matt in the unlikely role of peacemaker between father and daughter. Years ago, Matt had walked away from his family and never looked back and now as he falls in love with Stella, his carefully built façade of cool, efficient control is begins to crumble.

When he discovers that a nearby construction site fire was the latest in a string of arsons and things begin to happen on Stella’s remodel, Matt works against the clock to find out who is responsible. He must stop the arsonist before he strikes again.

 

The waitress arrived at the table with their dinners. “Careful, both plates are very hot,” she cautioned as she set them on the table and left.

Matt unwrapped the foil which held flour tortillas and began to load beef and vegetables on one. He paused briefly. “Life as a child of domineering father isn’t a bed of roses.”

Stella took a bit of her tamale and considered his comment. The other day he’d commented that he knew what it was like to have a father run his life. Now, he’s opened the door again with this comment. Maybe it was time to ask again. “Now that you know everything about my family, tell me about yours.”

Matt finished chewing his tortilla and took a large sip from his tea. “My family history is something that I never discuss.”

Stella looked down and stuffed a forkful of rice in her mouth. She’d just spent the last ten minutes baring her soul to this man. It was time for a quid pro quo. “Why?” She asked.

He avoided her look and began to assemble another tortilla with fillings. “I just don’t.” Matt replied.

Despite his size and experience, there was a “little boy lost” aura about him when the topic of his family came up. Stella suppressed a smirk. With four brothers and being the only girl, if there was one thing she knew how to do, it was how to handle little boys who wore size ten shoes. She waited until he’d taken another bite of the fajita he held and then asked, “Serial Killer?”

Matt’s head snapped up. “What?”

“If you’re reluctant to talk about your family there must be some deep dark family secret. So, who’s the serial killer in the family?”

Matt’s lips curled into a smirk. “I can’t tell you. If I did I’d have to kill and bury you with all the other bodies.”

Stella grinned. “And where are these bodies buried?”

Matt laughed and she took another bite of her tamale.

“Is this another way to find out where I come from?” Matt asked.

“Yep partner.” Stella drawled. “Yesterday you talked a lot about barns and horses. Are you a city boy or a country boy?”

“Both.”

Stella smiled. Now we’re getting somewhere. “So, you grew up on a ranch and went to school in the city.”

“Good guess. Give the lady a yellow rose.”

Buoyed by his playfulness, she continued, “Longhorn or Aggie?”

Matt chortled a short laugh, “darn sure ain’t an Aggie.”

“Went to University of Texas?”

“For a while,” Matt replied.

“Major?”

“Engineering.”

“Did you like it?” Matt’s expression darkened. Stella sensed that she had started to tread into dangerous territory.

“Not really,” he replied.

“What year did you graduate?”

Matt set down his fajita. “I didn’t,” he growled. “Are you finished grilling me yet?”

Stella watched as he reached over and finished his remaining iced tea in a couple large swallows.

“Matt, what happened?”

Matt set his glass down and signaled for the waitress. When she arrived, he ordered a beer. Stella picked at her rice and tamale while he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He clearly wanted to say something. If she’d just wait, maybe he’d open up.

When the waitress returned with his beer, and he took a long pull from the bottle, and began to nervously pick at the label.

“Look Stella. I’m not terribly comfortable talking about the specifics but let me say this. I understand what’s it’s like to have a father who is determined to plan your life. My old man was like yours. He was tough on us. One night I hit the breaking point and walked away. From everything, family, college, friends, you name it. I understand that you must create your own destiny, but be careful. You may end up destroying things that can’t be put back together later down the road.”

Matt brought the bottle up to his lips and took another couple gulps of beer.

Stella leaned forward and spoke quietly. “Matt. You’ve done so well. You’re a co-owner in a very successful business and you’ve done it on your own. They’d be proud of you.”

He didn’t look up and continued to pile beef, grilled onions, tomatoes and peppers into another tortilla. She watched in silence. He was precise and controlled as he layered the ingredients, as if he had no cares at all. Stella wondered how he could dial back the emotions she witnessed moments ago so quickly, or was he just really good at hiding how he really felt.

“You’re telling me that you haven’t spoken to anyone in your family since you left college?”

Matt looked up at her. His brown eyes which had twinkled with humor a few minutes ago were somber and reminded her of a picture of lone dog sitting a kennel in a Humane Society advertisement.

“No. I’m sure the old man disowned me when I left.”

The Winner’s Circle….

Now that the last blog hop has been completed for a few weeks, I’m pleased to report who were the lucky winners. Congrats go to:

Misha E who won a free autographed copy of Someone to Watch Over Me for the “Freedom to Read” Giveaway Hop.

Mona G who won a $10 Starbucks gift card and a free digital copy of Someone in the Midsummer’s Eve Giveaway Hop.

Sharon R was also a winner of a free autographed copy of Someone for coming by and commenting on my blog at The Write Authors. (I one of a team of authors who will be blogging there regularly. Each week an author in the group will write a blog and offer a prize. We all write different types of fiction so please feel free to come at www.thewriteauthors.com and leave a comment to be entered to win the weekly prize!)

Angel who won a $10 Amazon gift card on the “Take a Bite Out of Summer” Blog Hop.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts from the next book in the Sonoran Security Series, Playing with Fire and running some fun giveaways, so check back soon.

Fireworks!

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Fireworks! With this blog taking place over the 4th of July holiday weekend I toyed with what to talk about. Freedom to read? Yes, absolutely, but what do I want to read. Given when this giveaway hop happens, the word “fireworks” quickly came to mind.

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As a writer and reader of romance novels, I look for fireworks. That moment when the hero and heroine meet and despite a totally the appropriate “business handshake”, the sizzle of fireworks takes place. That moment when, even though both may deny it, things aren’t quite going to be the same from this point forward. In my romantic suspense, Someone to Watch Over Me, my heroine, Morgan Kennedy experiences fireworks when she first meets Shawn Randall. Unfortunately for her, he had a much better poker face and she couldn’t discern if the feeling was mutual.

Excerpt:

She heard Stella open the door and say, “Shawn, thanks for coming.” Her friend’s voice dropped, and Morgan could not make out the low masculine reply. She cocked her head to the right in hopes of catching more of the conversation. The discussion paused and within moments Stella entered the room with a man following her.

Morgan studied the man and an electric crackle sizzled through her. The only experience she had with security personnel were the middle-aged, paunchy guards who came to the store to pick up money and jewelry for transport. This man was a whole different breed of animal. He moved with a quiet grace as he scanned the surroundings, taking them in, before focusing on her. His dark brown hair was cut short, and the dusting of gray at his temples lent an air of experience about him.

His eyes were crystal blue and had an edge to them which left her with the impression that they missed little and had seen much. For a brief moment, a flicker of appreciation appeared as he studied her. Almost instantly, the expression faded, and cool analytical detachment replaced it. Morgan’s mouth went dry. She didn’t know anything about him, but from the “don’t mess with me” aura he exuded, she’d bet he was former military, police, or both.

He extended his hand. “I’m Shawn Randall from Sonoran Security. How can I be of assistance?”

Morgan stepped forward and shook it. “Morgan Kennedy. I’m glad to meet you.”

A small smirk broke on his lips and the irony of what she had said hit her. He took her hand. Attraction and nervousness sent an adrenaline surge coursing through her. She searched his eyes, hoping for an indication he had the same reaction, but he regarded her with calm scrutiny.

I’m being studied like some insect. She pulled back and crossed her arms defensively. Taking a shaky breath, she wondered what she should say next. Just give him the facts.

She willed herself to stay calm as she explained, “I’ve got a stalker. I don’t know who he is, but this morning he vandalized my car. This afternoon, he sent flowers to my home as an apology. The police haven’t been terribly encouraging. I don’t know what to do.”

There. She said it. A short, simple, direct reply. Morgan blinked as she fought to hold back the tears.

Would you like to win a free autographed print copy of
Someone to Watch Over Me?

All you need to do is comment and let me know what is your favorite Fourth of July activity is. If you would like to have more than only entry to win, you can sign up for my newsletter or like me on Facebook for up to two additional entries.

Thank you for stopping by and please use the link below to visit the other participating sites for this hop.

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Welome Midsummer’s Eve Blog Hoppers

It’s mid-July in central Arizona. Hot? Oh you bet! For most of us we run from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned buildings and will for the next several weeks. So how do you survive a hot summer?

Well, I recommend peach iced tea, Sprouts Market gelato (the lemon flavor is to die for!), and a good romance novel. You know the type of story I’m talking about. A good-looking hero, a true love kind of guy, who by the end of the story you’ll love him as much as the heroine does.

For this blog hop I’m offering one lucky winner a $10 Starbucks gift card and a free digital copy from Amazon.com of Someone to Watch Over Me.

To enter, comment and let me know what you do to stay cool during the hot summer. If you are interested in putting in additional entries for my prize, you can like me on Facebook and/or sign up for my newsletter.

Thanks for stopping by and here is the link to continue on the hop.

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Welcome Take a Bite out of summer blog hoppers!

Welcome to the Take a Bite out of Summer Blog Hop. Don’t you just love the fruit and veggies that summer brings us? I do. Suddenly, cucumber and tomato salad is “on the menu” and the summer fruits such as watermelon, cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, and grapes.

I live in central Arizona so June, July and August are hot. I mean really hot! Appetites tend to back off a bit and cool fresh fruit simply hits the spot and often is the go -to dessert around our house.

In Someone to Watch Over Me, both the hero and heroine are people who can cook. Although neither of them mention anything about summer produce, it’s a pretty safe bet that both of them are fans of the “fruits of summer”.

For this blog hop, I’m offering a $10 Amazon gift card.To enter all you need to do is comment and let me know what your favorite summertime food is. If you would like to have extra entry for my prize, you can sign-up for my newsletter.

Thank you for stopping buy and please feel free to use the link below to visit the other participating hosts on the hop.

Take a bite out of Summer Blog Hop

Drum roll please……

Congratulations to my prize winners for the Hoppy Easter Eggstraganza Giveaway Hop!
Jessica Cox took the grand prize winning a $10 Amazon gift card, and Danielle B and Michelle Willms each won a $5 Starbucks card.

In addition all three winners will be receiving a digital copy of Someone to Watch Over Me.

Thanks to everybody for stopping by and letting me know what your favorite Easter Candy is. By far and away Cadbury Eggs was the hands-down winner, however peanut butter eggs, peeps and jelly beans were also often mentioned. Goodness, I think I put a couple pounds just reading about all the sweet treats!

If you didn’t win, please watch for upcoming contests and giveaway hops. I regularly have something going on every few weeks, so check in on my webpage from time to time.