Monday, May 31, 2021

Who Doesn't Love Space Cowboys? by Lyndi Alexander #cowboy #SciFi #romance


You're going to have fun with this one. I love hearing how stories come to be. Lyndi has a great tale for you SciFi fans, romance fans, action story fans. 

For several years in the early 2000s, I played in an online RPG that was essentially live RP, just online. The players were all sci-fi nerds of one shape or another. We had B5 people playing against Trek characters, Star Wars, Stargate, and a decent number of characters people made up to share those worlds. Fox Mulder even made a guest appearance now and then.

During those years, I played a young captain very like Valeni, and my best friend played a sexy cowboy from Earth named Garrett Rawls. My (now ex-) husband played a young robot who wasn’t always comfortable with his male designation and so constructed a female identity as well. J.R. became Jayna, as they chose. Often this generated some jealousy and tension as my character watched her friend and sometimes mate become female and interested in other partners.

Move ahead a dozen years, and the characters still appealed to me, even though the RPG was long gone. The question became how best to portray them. Val and Garrett could be reincarnated pretty much as-is; but what to do about the third party complicating their lives? And Nik was born.

Even though this is set in a science-fiction landscape, it is still very much a romance. Or two. Or three. And an action story. And a discovery of a new species story. And sibling rivalry. And so much more. I love that I can commemorate these characters and the love they once shared—and share it in a new form, fresh and new.

And who doesn’t love space cowboys? 


Valeni Pascual wants to be free to make a living hauling cargo with her spaceship and to understand the shapeshifting alien who presents sometimes as the steamy male Nik and other times as the blonde bombshell Nikki.

As a rebel insurgence builds against the oppressive government known as the Agency, Valeni and Nik/Nikki encounter a sexy Terran cowboy named Garrett Rawls. Since being pulled into this region of space by another mysterious wormhole, Garrett has looked for a way to return to Earth. After meeting Valeni and Nikki, he might have found something worth staying for.

 However, dark forces may have a much bigger picture in mind for all of them. Valeni, Nik/Nikki, and Garrett are pulled into a life and death fight that lays bare all of their secrets and their desires. Will they lose everything as the battle against the Agency rages around them or can love pull them through? 


One man in particular caught Nik’s attention. He was long and lean, dressed in a simple blue work shirt and denim pants over hand-tooled boots. He wore a broad-brimmed hat, which he took off to speak. His speech was slow, his vowels drawled, and his grin both shy and genuine.

            Rogers called on the man for his opinion. “Now here we have an import—a genuine cowboy from the old Terran system.”

            “Cow boy?” Nik asked Valeni. “Is he part bovine, then? He looks human.”

            Valeni chuckled. “I suspect he is human. Wait a minute.” She pulled out her handheld communication device and typed in the question. “Hmm. It is a old Terran term. A cowboy herds animals from horseback on a ranch.”

            Nik then asked about the term “horse” and the term “ranch,” both of which were unfamiliar. “It seems unlikely such a person could exercise these pursuits in space.” 

Author Bio 

Lyndi Alexander always dreamed of faraway worlds and interesting alien contacts. She lives as a post-modern hippie in Asheville, North Carolina, a single mother of her last child of seven, a daughter on the autism spectrum, finding that every day feels a lot like first contact with a new species. 

Author Links






Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Serial Killers Are Humans Too! by Mike Owens #RomanticComedy #DarkHumor #WickedWednesday


Sacrebleu! Holy Moly! OMG! If you like dark humor, you're going to love Mike Owen's latest book. 

Serial killers sometimes get a bum rap (did I really say that?). Like everyone else they have needs besides the obvious homicidal ones. Sometimes they just need to cuddle…without strangulation, to caress…without breaking bones, to sit on the sofa after dinner and share the day’s experiences with someone who will understand. Bertie puts it almost perfectly when, after she and Bernie roll another body into a deep ravine, she says, “You know, we’re like our own little Justice League. We do what needs to be done.” 

They looked alike, dressed alike, shared the same food preferences, finished one another’s sentences. What were the chances that in a world where opposites attract and likes repel, two people so similar in every way, including their successful careers as serial killers, would meet, fall in love and form one of the deadliest duos ever? Bernie and Bertie did just that, and this is their story.

The book is intended to be a romantic comedy (a little gory, yes) and the following brief excerpt in which the two set out to dismember a therapist who pushed Bernie a bit too far will hopefully set the tone for the work:

Bernie followed her inside past the hanging frozen carcasses to the back of the refrigeration truck,  half expecting a bloodied, frigid Dr. Carruthers to leap out and grab him by the throat.

“Here we are,” Bertie said. And there, between the carcasses of two pigs hanging from hooks, was the former Dr. Carruthers, wrapped in heavy plastic and hanging upright from a hook suspended from the ceiling.

“Bertie, she’s naked.” The nausea came roaring back.

“Of course, I couldn’t very well leave her in a dress. Anybody who came into the truck would have spotted that right off.”

“But you took off everything.” Obviously, Bertie was right about the dress. Leaving the therapist fully clothed would be silly at best, dangerous at worst. But the harsh fluorescent light left nothing to the imagination, and Bernie saw things he never ever wanted to see.

But Bertie was all business. “Look around, Bernie, do you see any meat hanging in here wearing a bra and panties?” 

Author Biography: A native Tar Heel, Mike Owens obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, and later, an MFA in creative writing from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where he now resides. His topics in fiction vary widely, ranging from science themes to end-of-life issues to erotica…go figure! His new release, Bernie & Bertie (Serial Killers Need Love Too) is a romantic comedy featuring two—you guessed it—serial killers who meet, fall in love, and form one of the deadliest duos ever. Enjoy! 










Monday, May 24, 2021

Ripped from the Pages... #MuseMonday, #Inspiration

When I don't have a guest on Muse Monday, I'll share excerpts with photos that inspired scenes from my books. The scenes are most likely never before shared excerpts. 

I fell in love with a ghost town hanging on the side of the mountain when I was a kid. Over the decades, Jerome went from mining town to ghost town to hippie haven to the artsy tourist town it is today. Changed very little over the years, the residents like to keep it alive in the spirit of the early 1900s. Spirits do reside there alongside wine tasting and crafts. Jerome, renamed Joshua for my books, is the perfect setting for my MacKenzie Chronicle.

Ripped from the pages... of Secrets of The Ravine

He sauntered closer. His eyes narrowed studying her. “Have we met?”

Her mouth went dry. “I’m not sure.”

“Do you ever get to Copperdale?”

“S-sure. For shopping now and then.” Joshua, Arizona focused on art, wine, food, and gifts. Any practical shopping had to be done in Copperdale, less than an hour down the hill.

“Hey, Zac.” His friend in the metal sculpture display area called out. “You have to see this.”

“Maybe we’ve run into each other there,” Zac said. “I moved to Copperdale from Phoenix recently.”


He stared a moment longer and then handed her the purchase, his fingers trailing along the side of her palm as he transferred the box. “I’ll take this. Excuse me.”

She managed a nod as he strode to the back of the shop, and she stepped to the checkout counter next to the shelf of music boxes. The last strains of the song ended. Her vision clouded with memories of another time and another’s touch.

“I think we’re ready.” The spiky-haired woman handed over her purchases.

Magpie took a deep breath and donned her shopkeeper persona. “Great.” The group of five gathered on the customer side of the counter. “So, you decided. This green jacket looked wonderful on you.”

The redhead and the other man—they appeared to be a couple—who’d been in the back of the store, placed a metal sculpture of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on the counter.

“Great piece.”

As she ran the card, Magpie asked, “First time here?” The man named Zac moved closer. A flutter trickled from her chest to her stomach.

“We’ve all been here, a few years ago. Except for Zac.” The other man in the group said.

“I didn’t realize what I’d been missing.” He spoke to no one in particular, but his smile landed on her.

Zac picked up the sack with the music box. “Are you the owner of this great store?”

“I am.” She returned his smile. “Magpie MacKenzie. And you are?”

“Zac Peartree. Is that your real name?”

Accustomed to his reaction, she gave her standard reply. “It’s a long story.”

“One I’m sure I’d enjoy hearing. Will you be working at your mercantile all weekend?”

She swallowed down the recurring flutter. “Mostly.”

“You all should have a drink at the Apparition Room tonight, the bar below the Copper Mountain Hotel down the block.” Phaedra finished stuffing paper around the sculpture for protection and then handed the box to the man with the redhead. “Our very own Magpie MacKenzie will be singing.”

Magpie scuffed a boot against her friend’s foot to quiet her.

“She’s on at eight.”

The blonde clapped her hands. “Great. Sounds fun.”

“I guess that means we’ll see you later, Magpie.” Zac followed his friends from the store but peered over his shoulder with an unreadable expression before he disappeared out the door and into the chilly wind.

Slightly lightheaded, Magpie braced herself on the counter. “Honestly, Phaedra, I could—”

“Now, Mags, you haven’t been this tongue-tied over a guy in years.” She retrieved her purse from behind the counter where she’d set it when she came in. “I need to get going, and you need to enjoy the quivers that guy is giving you. I’d guess he’s only thirty or close to it, but what the hell, he’s hot. Every man should fill his jeans like that, not to mention his shoulders.” She stopped by the door.

“You two looked at each other as if—”

“As if we know each other?”

“Know each other? I agree he bore a resemblance to Mark, but that’s all.”

“Really? Sacrebleu, Phaedra. When I stared into that face, I saw Mark…a soul…from twenty-eight years ago.” The soul of someone she’d loved.

Who might have been a murderer…or worse, murdered by my father.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Gulf of Deception by Kelly Hopkins #review #NewRelease


I'm so excited about this new book by up and coming author, Kelly Hopkins. You'll want to say you read her first book when she takes off, and then await her future releases. 

Beach life is killer, literally.

Gulf of Deception is the first in a series. This book is categorized as Young Adult, but this all-grown-up lady thinks you'll find a great read no matter what age you're classified. She puts you on that beach, in that beach town. Her setting is a character all to itself. The suspense is gripping, and the story is complicated so you can't put it down. I highly recommend this book.

On the cusp of her high school graduation, Lily Harmony needs to figure out how to break it to her lawyer parents that she doesn’t want to follow in the family footsteps--especially with her band in high demand on the Fort Myers beach scene.

But when her father is killed inside his office and their mother accused of his murder, Lily and her estranged sister Annabelle are convinced the police have the wrong person. Clues are hard to come by until a mysterious man hands Lily a flash drive and warns her the information contained on it might get her killed. As Lily works to unravel what the files and pictures mean, a stunning discovery reveals the murderer might be closer than she thought.

With the help of her gamer BFF and maybe something more, Lily and her sister scour the Everglades for connections to her father’s killer. But what they find hidden in the canopy of cypress tress is more dangerous than they ever imagined—a long-lost secret worth millions—and worth killing for.


Sunlight streamed through the windows, and pang thudded deep in my chest. Hard to believe I was
leaving this stunning scene in a few short months for college. A thousand miles north in Boston, away from the sun, the sand, and the balmy breeze. At least the ocean was nearby— except it would be the lumbering, lead-colored, frigid Atlantic, and I’d be wearing an unflattering parka with boots up to my knees. Maybe when the snow melted in June, I could trick myself into believing I was standing on the Gulf. 

All so I could one day add my name to the Harmony Law letterhead. Except that was the last thing I wanted. 

My feet stopped short as a shock reverberated through the walls, like something heavy crashed down in another part of the building. But there were no other offices on the top floor. I pulled my headphones from my ears and turned off the music. 

At the office door, I peered into the hall. A gust of humid air rushed down the narrow passage and ruffled my hair. Now where had the breeze come from? 

Delicate music came from the speaker system—some unnamed melody that sounded familiar and

should have vocals. Another blast of breeze hit me as if someone had forgotten to shut a window. 

“Mom?” I called. The law office answered me with soft strains of piano wafting down the hall. 

“Dad?” My father’s door stood ajar at the far end of the building. Next to it, my mother’s office door was shut. Maybe they were both in Dad’s office. His was the only one with a balcony. They could have gone outside and left the door open. 

Another violent crash came from the direction of his office. A gunshot rang out. Then another. Followed by a blood-curdling scream. 



Terrified, I crept down the hallway, my back pressed against the wall, my cellphone pulled from my pocket and clutched in my shaking hand. My heart pounded, making me faint. I blinked away the sensation. Sharp blasts of unintelligible conversation drew me toward the office as wind whipped down the corridor. 

I hesitated at the door and gasped. 

Mom knelt beside Dad, a gun in her hand. Blood colored the front of his polo shirt—a crimson stain spreading from his chest and down his left side on a backdrop of stormy blue fabric. Strangled sobs ripped from my lips. I rushed in, dropped to the floor beside my father, and took his limp hand. 

Glass shards bit into my knees as a terrible gurgle erupted from his throat. Bloody froth colored his chin and lips. The room spun around me.


Kelly Ann Hopkins is the author of Gulf of Deception (Gulf Shores Mysteries), High Vices (July 2021), and Buried Beneath (August 2021). She spends her days as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher where she challenges her students to read with abandon. When she’s not creating perilous adventures for her characters, she is dreaming of her next trip to the Florida Gulf Coast.

Kelly lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and too many books.

Connect with Kelly here:

Facebook  Twitter

Monday, May 17, 2021

Writing for a Cause by Paty Jager #inspiration #indigenous #cause


Today, Paty Jager is my guest with a captivating story of the inspiration for her latest book. With my native American background, it's a story dear to my heart. Read on, enjoy, and learn!

I have always been an advocate for unjust things. When I see an injustice, I have a need to help in some way no matter how small.

That is how I felt as I saw a post on Facebook about missing and murdered Indigenous women. Then when I started writing my Gabriel Hawke series, I subscribed to the CUJ (Confederated Umatilla Journal) the newspaper written and put out but the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla.  I wanted to know more about the area where I had imagined my character growing up and where his mother still lived. It helped me to see him better and to learn more about where he came from.

Every time I receive one of the newspapers, I read it from front to back. When the stories about the missing and murdered women and the cause- women speaking out and making noise- I was drawn to the movement. The more I read and learned how many Indigenous women, children, and men were lost to their families because of lack of concern by the authorities, my anger rose. I wanted to help.

The best way I knew was to use my voice—and being a writer, that meant my writing voice. I decided Hawke would be called to the reservation by his mother to help find a missing woman. Once the idea took root, I couldn’t shake it.

And to not only spread the word, I decided that proceeds from the sale of the book would go to the non-profit organization, Enough Iz Enough. This organization works on the Umatilla Reservation with classes on how to protect and watch out for potential dangers, and to give voice to the missing tribal members.

I was fortunate when I began pulling information together to write the book to ask the organizer of the program if she would be willing to help me make sure my portrayal of the situation was accurate as well as logistics and information about the reservation. She was accepting of my request.

After reading the finished product, she also gave me a lovely review: “The story was captivating, I couldn’t put it down. So many memories were brought to surface, so many emotions, like this has been lived before, because it has, this is a glimpse into our reality in the Reservation. Thank you for seeing us & helping tell part of the story.”  Kola Shippentower-Thompson Enough Iz Enough, Co-Founder & Director

I’m happy to say that Stolen Butterfly, Book 7 in the Gabriel Hawke Novels is now available for pre-order as an ebook. It will publish May 18th and be available in print by the end of the month and available in audio in July.

Also, this is my 50th published book. Which is why I am having a month-long Facebook party to celebrate. Join me over at Where we are discussing my books, writing, and life in general. I’m also giving away prizes every day through the month.


“We told the woman who called in, we have to wait seventy-two hours. These reservation women get liquored up and forget they have kids at home or decide they’ve had enough and walk out.”

Hawke stared at the bald-headed detective in his fifties that he’d been referred to when he explained why he was there. “Detective Lockland. You are stereotyping the reservation women. Most have strong motherly instincts and wouldn’t go on a drunk or walk away from their families. This woman happens to be one of those. She works at the bank in town, never misses picking her son up from the sitter, and doesn’t go out partying and drinking.”

“How do you know that? Her family could be lying to you.” The man wasn’t about to back down from his stand on what he thought to be the truth.

Ignorance about his people was something Hawke had fought all his life. “I know because I’ve been interviewing the people she works with and the people she spends time with. Something that might help us find her faster if you had done the same last night when my mother called you.”

The man leaned back in his chair and smiled. “Now I see. You’re one of them. Does your superior know you’re here poking around in someone else’s case?”

“Then you are going to investigate? If this is your case?” Hawke held back the disdain he felt for the man as the detective stuttered and tried to say it wasn’t a case until seventy-two hours had passed.

Here is the back cover blurb:

The proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the non-profit Enough Iz Enough. This is a community outreach organization that advocates for MMIP on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. 

Stolen Butterfly

Gabriel Hawke Novel #7

When the local authorities tell State Trooper Gabriel Hawke’s mother to wait 72 hours before reporting a missing Umatilla woman, she calls her son and rallies members of the community to search.

Hawke arrives at the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation and learns the single mother of a boy his mom watches would never leave her son. Angered over how the local officials respond to his investigating, Hawke teams up with a security guard at the Indian casino and an FBI agent. Following the leads, they discover the woman was targeted by a human trafficking ring at the Spotted Pony Casino.

Hawke, Dela Alvaro, and FBI Special Agent Quinn Pierce join forces to bring the woman home and close down the trafficking operation before someone else goes missing.

Pre-order Link for all ebook vendors:

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 50 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest   / Bookbub


Friday, May 14, 2021

Fearless Traveler by Kayelle Allen #FearlessFriday #military #travel


I'm so happy to have the amazing author, Kayelle Allen on Discover... today. She has a great tale of fearlessness. Enjoy!

24 years old, in love, and fearless: Kayelle Allen shares her European journey 

In 1975 I was 24 years old and fearless. Which is why I made a trip to Europe without buying an airline ticket, with only $400 in my pocket.

I was active duty military back then (Navy) and so was my husband. He was stationed on the John F Kennedy, doing a cruise in the Mediterranean while I was stationed in San Diego. Each was completely half-way around the world from the other.

We'd only been married since December of 1973, and it was now October 1975. He'd left on the cruise the day before Valentine's Day. (Thank you, Uncle Sam.) So when I had the chance to take 30 days of leave and go visit him, I jumped into action.

If you're active duty, you can hop onto a military flight at no cost, as long as there's an empty seat. I paid for a flight from San Diego to Pennsylvania, got a shuttle bus to the Air Force base there, and put my name in for a flight. I was a lower priority than someone reporting for duty, but if there was an open seat, I was in.

A retired couple who'd been there for weeks trying to get a flight told me it might take a long time. I was higher priority than they were, so I had a chance. But I convinced them that I was getting on a plane that very night, and for them to check out of their hotel and stay in the airport with me. One of those gut feeling decisions that you make with no reason. I am intuitive, and I had a good feeling about it.

About 3:30 in the morning, an unexpected flight came in that was heading to Germany non-stop. I wanted to go to Naples, Italy, but Germany was a lot closer, so I said I'd go. The other couple came with me. The plane took off a little after 4:00 with empty seats. The three of us had been the only people in the airport.

Once I arrived, I met an active duty couple who were flying to Aviano, quite a long way north of Naples, but still in Italy. I got on that flight with no trouble. The couple invited me to stay overnight at their place because there were no flights scheduled for 2 days. I joined them for an evening out with friends and ate the best pizza of my entire life. I hadn't slept well in a few days, so once I stretched out and closed my eyes, I was gone.

When the next flight was scheduled, they drove me to the base, and I thanked them and checked in. I was on a flight within an hour or so. This one went straight into Naples.

An American guy who was living in Naples said he'd show me the hotel if I'd pay the taxi fare for both of us, which I did. Had a wild ride through the city. He told me that the people in Naples start their car and blow their horns. It was noisy enough that I had no trouble believing that.

Next day, I got a ride to the Navy base where the liberty launch (a smaller ship) was bringing people in for leave. I was beside myself when I saw my husband. We had quite the unforgettable reunion, believe me.

This was all back before the internet or cell phones. One call home from Italy cost us $99 because we talked so long. We didn't have text messaging. We had to communicate where we'd be and when by mail, days ahead.

Looking back, it was a gutsy thing to do. I wouldn't dream of it now. But back then, I was young, in love, and fearless.

Check out one of Kayelle's books: 

Surrender Love

An immortal alpha male. An illegal, near-blind rock musician. And twelve thousand years of lies...

Luc is the most powerful man in an intergalactic empire of 22 planets—but he's alone, life after life.

Izzorah survives by hiding both his illegal status and his blindness for fear of banishment.

Luc's immortal blood can heal Izzorah's sight—but only Izzorah's love can heal Luc's heart.

Luc might risk violating the highest law among the immortals by sharing his blood, but it means revealing the truth of what he is, and that means baring every damning secret, every twisted truth, and twelve thousand years' worth of dirty hidden lies.

With no guarantee their love can survive that kind of truth...

Amazon worldwide and Kindle Unlimited 

About the Author

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role-playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is the author of multiple books, novellas, and short stories. She's also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.
Sign up for her newsletter and get free Sci-Fi stories, book recommendations, and become a Tarthian Empire citizen (and an immortal), among other reader exclusives.
Kayelle's Keepers

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Reading and #Reviews (Evanovich, Hayes, Brown)

I'm a writer, but I'm also a reader. Each month, I'll share with you reviews of present and past reads. My available time to read is limited because I write, but I love to curl up with a paperback or an eBook at night for the last hour of my day.

I tend to read what I write, but not exclusively. Besides Romantic Suspense, I read crime and law novels, once in a while a true story, WWII historicals, mysteries, and main stream character driven books.

Here are some of the books I've read recently or in the not-too-distant past. Maybe you'll discover a new book or author! 

Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich 

I’ve read a few of Ms. Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. Quite frankly, I got tired of them after several in a row. I waited a few years to pick up one again. This one is amusing. The suspense is lighthearted and Grandma does a lot of tongue in cheek actions, but that’s what is entertaining about the story. As far as the romance part, I didn’t realize she’d ended up with the cop. I didn’t know she’d slept with the other bounty hunter, Ranger, somewhere along the way. Ranger and the cop seem to be okay with each other, although Stephanie implies she could sleep with Ranger again. I doubt I’ll pick up another Stephanie Plum story for a while because they tend to be the same. But I just might have to read book eight when she slept with Ranger. He’s my fav. 


Grandma Mazur has decided to get married again - this time to a local gangster named Jimmy Rosolli. If Stephanie has her doubts about this marriage, she doesn't have to worry for long, because the groom drops dead of a heart attack 45 minutes after saying, "I do."    

A sad day for Grandma Mazur turns into something far more dangerous when Jimmy's former "business partners" are convinced that his new widow is keeping the keys to a financial windfall all to herself. But the one thing these wise guys didn't count on was the widow's bounty hunter granddaughter, who'll do anything to save her.



Date Night by Samantha Hayes 

I kept at this book because it was so confusing. I know that sounds odd, but a book has to be boring or written badly for me to put it down. The writing is not all that great in this one, and like I said, the way she hops around in the sequence of events is confusing. But the first-person telling had me a little hooked. I had to know the ending and didn’t want to just skip ahead. I was rather fascinated, probably because I write, to know how she was going to wind it up. 


Returning early from a disastrous date night with my husband, I know something is wrong the moment the wheels crunch the gravel drive of our home. Inside, the TV is on and a half-eaten meal waits on the table. My heart stops when I find our little girl is alone in the house and our babysitter, Sasha, is missing…

Days later, when I’m arrested for Sasha’s murder and torn away from my perfect little family, I’ll wish I had told someone about the threatening note I received that morning.

I’ll hate myself for not finding out who the gift hidden inside my husband’s wardrobe was for.

I’ll scream from the rooftops that I’m innocent – but no one will listen.

I will realise I was completely wrong about everything that happened that night…

But will you believe me?


The Crush by Sandra Brown 

Her blurb below is enough to tell you about the book. I read this years ago and found it mediocre for entertainment, but a decent read. The love scenes are good so that upped the entertainment value. 


After she unwittingly frees a dangerous contract killer, a surgeon reluctantly joins forces with a tenacious detective obsessed with taking down their enemy at all costs.

As a surgeon, Dr. Rennie Newton is the consummate professional. When she's summoned to jury duty, she brings competence and composure to the courtroom -- a skill she learned while performing surgeries. It is this commitment to precision that compels her to deliver a not guilty verdict in the murder case against notorious contract killer Ricky Lozada.

It will be the most regrettable decision of her life. When a rival colleague is brutally slain, Lozada's menacing shadow looms over the murder, but the investigators pinpoint Rennie as the prime suspect. Soon, the police begin violating the privacy she has cultivated and protected at all costs. And when Lozada begins an earnest courtship, it becomes terrifyingly clear that he is obsessed with having her.

Wick Threadgill is a detective on indefinite leave from the Fort Worth PD with a very personal agenda for the contract killer. Temperamental, bitter, and driven by loyalty and love, Wick is determined to destroy Lozada. In order to defeat him -- and save their own lives -- Rennie and Wick form an uneasy alliance.

Mistrustful of each other, they know only one thing with absolute certainty: like one of Lozada's prize scorpions, they won't see it coming when this killer strikes. The Crush will take you on a tortuous path through a twisted sociopath's eerie obsession, a haunted man's fragile hopes for redemption, and a woman's heart as she struggles to face her greatest fear: to open herself to love.


Monday, May 3, 2021

Cuddle with a Dragon for #Inspiration by Darcy Carson #MuseMonday


Please join me in welcoming Darcy to Muse Monday on Discover... We authors find our inspiration all sorts of ways. Darcy lives with hers, and he's cute and cuddly. Share with us, Darcy.

The music loving dragon, Torkel, in the third book in the Dragons Return series, SHE WAKES THE NIGHT, is based on my black, ten-pound toy poodle, Bandit. When I brought him home as a teeny-tiny puppy, he had a white chin and his middle claws on his back feet were white. I always wondered what he thought of that…so when I created Torkel, I patterned him after Bandit’s coloring. Bandit loved being held and putting his head on my chest and I imagined him listening to my heartbeat. Why not create a dragon who liked listening to music? That’s how a writer’s mind works sometimes. 


Trell Langois escapes a thousand-year-old curse. Being trapped as a tree wasn’t on her bucket list, but now she can continue as a healer. Traveling with her dragon, Torkel, she seeks out new cures to help others and meets Gren, an unfortunate soul who suffers from a dreadful disease.

Gren Oyg Har is a prince on a mission. In order to rule his father’s kingdom, he must first find a healer. Not just any healer, mind you, but one with a dragon. Yet, it is Trell who finds and rescues Gren, but wants nothing to do with him. If not for Torkel, she would leave him behind.

Separate goals soon become entangled, and both Trell and Gren are on their way to falling in love until secrets better kept hidden become known—and threaten to destroy all they hold dear.



“The music. The human stopped playing. ‘Tis all your fault.”

Trell shook her head. Sometimes… “Return to the dragon circle, if you dislike my methods.”

“I follow where you go.”

She gave up and paused to listen. Sure enough, the sounds returned to normal where people conversed with one another. The stomp of iron-hooves striking the ground added a low tremor as they continued to nicker.

Squaring her shoulders, Trell replaced the lantern to where she round it. She put water on the fire and wiggled under the wagon. Gren sat with his legs crossed, the flute in his lap.

“You must be weary,” she said. “I didn’t expect you to play while I was away.”

“I missed you, and playing allowed the time to pass quicker.”

Her heart fluttered at his flowery woods. “How do you feel? I’ve put a kettle on for Grandmother Lurri’s tea. I could make you some chamomile as well.”

“That’s unnecessary,” he answered. “My neck is just still, is all.”

“Allow me to make you feel better while the water heats.” She reached for him.

He jerked back. “Touching me is unwise.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said, continuing to scramble over to him. Her fingers brushed over his neck and shoulders. Much to her surprise, his muscles felt like the cords of a warrior, not those of a sick man.

He scrambled away and stretched his arm to prohibit her from getting closer. “Stay back.”

That fleeting touch caused a tingle to run up her fingers like warm water. The sensation flowed up her arms, seeping into all her pores until her head spun.

How sick was he? The disease caused a person to lose extremities due to repeated injuries and infection. They had to be amputated. Some people died within five years, others lasted for several decades. No one knew why.

She liked Gren and wanted to help him. Yet she was sure he hid something from her. How sick was he? Or was he sick at all? She hated having doubts. His feelings mattered to her. It wasn’t fair such a kind, decent man suffered. She watched him tuck away the flute with care. A task hampered by rags covering his large hands. Yet those same hands created beautiful music.

She eyed him and smiled. “I would say you have magic in your hands.”

“What you do mean?” He repeated her earlier words.

“You create powerful music. It brings joy to all who hear.”

She examined the back of his head from under her lashes as if her gaze could pierce his ragged cowl. His music tugged at her heart with its appeal, but something deeply earthy pulled her to the man himself.

That was wrong.


Author Bio:

Award-winning author, Darcy Carson, grew up reading everything her mother brought home from the library. Reading romances became her favorite genre. Eventually her love of those novels led her to start writing them. She resides in a Seattle suburb with her husband and a prince of a toy poodle. 

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