#ThriftyThursday- The Lady Said No #Mystery #Reading


The Lady Said No is on Sale– 0.99!

#Free in #KindleUnlimited!

The Lady Said No

Timeline: 1953

Location: Lexington and Bourbonville Kentucky

The posts on this site may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase using a link.

And Now on Audio Book!http://a.co/23uX6b8

Start your #Free Trial Today! https://www.audible.com/pd/B074VFB534/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-094041&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_094041_rh_us

And check out my other #audiobooks here: https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-Biggar/B00MSIJQBG

The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country

Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder, John Jorgenson, is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing.

Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive.

Rebecca Hayes owes the Jorgenson family her loyalty. They gave her a new life after a disastrous affair leaves her alone and pregnant.

With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty?

Or follow his heart?

International link: http://books2read.com/The-LadySaidNo

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1581ZC/

TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41560041-the-lady-said-no

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-lady-said-no-augustus-grant-mysteries-by-jacquie-biggar

The hero is a bumbling police investigator. (Think shades of Columbo :))
Growing up, I always wondered what it was that led Columbo to catch his man. When I started this mystery novel, he came to mind and so Detective Augustus Grant was born.
This story is set around the multi-million dollar horse racing industry. When a well-known breeder is found dead just days before the big race, Gus is brought in to investigate.
Is it suicide, or something much more devious?

What Readers are Saying

“The Lady Said No is an addictive mystery filled with cagy characters with the backdrop of the greatest horse race known to man.”

“I thought I knew who the killer was, and was really only partially right, shocking me until the end when it was revealed.”

Detective Augustus “Gus” Grant seems like an uncomplicated man with clumsy ways, but in reality he’s… well, I’ll let you discover just how perfect he is.”

“Can murder be wonderful? LOL Yes, if the author writes an entertaining story and creates an interesting cast of characters.”

“The high-stakes world of horse racing and Southern fortunes lead to murder, blackmail. gambling and danger. The plot is well-crafted to create suspense and mystery.

“This book was a delightful romp through a “Columbo-style Mystery” in the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby.”

Excerpt

That was interesting. He’d heard rumors around town that the Jorgensons were in financial straits, but he’d put it down to jealousy and human nature. Obviously, there was more to the story than he’d figured.

Maybe even enough for murder?

Gus finished the soup and thanked the young cook before making his way into the main part of the house. Fine hardwood floors and the dark wainscoting lined the walls. Everything was polished to within an inch of its life and glistened from top to bottom. How could anyone feel comfortable in a place like this? Bet the Jorgensons never kicked their feet up onto the coffee table to relax, or left their rooms in robes in search of a midnight snack. This was the type of house that demanded decorum.

As if to prove his verdict, a man came into view at the end of the hall. He was directing the coroner, Nancy Huggins, to a room with a police guard, disapproval radiating from his immaculate frame. He wore a suit nicer than Gus’ funeral attire, all three pieces starched and pressed to perfection. A wrinkle wouldn’t dare latch itself to those clothes.

Gus looked down at his own rumpled shirt and skewed tie and shrugged.

Nancy caught his eye and raised her brow. “Augustus. What brings you to the back of beyond?”

The manservant turned, and a chill crawled down Gus’ back. The guy had the deadest, black eyes he’d ever seen.

“I’m…ah, here to investigate the Jorgenson case. The Brass called and requested me for this one.”

“Hmm, must be important then. I heard you received a medal from the President.”

Gus squirmed.

He hadn’t done anything to deserve a medal. It was pure luck that he figured out the plot to kidnap the President’s daughter, and was able to catch the perps before they got away with the deed.

“Why were you in the back of the house, sir? That area is reserved for the servants.” The manservant folded his arms and waited for an answer. Gus felt like a misbehaving child all over again.

“I, ah… came in from the pool, after talking to Mrs. Jorgenson. She gave me permission to question the staff as I see fit.” He met the man’s coal dark gaze. “And you are?”

Gus didn’t think it was possible for the broom handle to climb any further up the man’s butt.

“That’s Ernest. He takes a while to warm up to strangers,” a lilting voice drifted down from the upper reaches of the home.

Gus froze. His heart battered the walls of his chest. There was a ringing in his ears. The chicken soup threatened to revolt.

“Hello, Augustus.”

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

#SundayStills- It’s a Bird’s Life


This week’s Sunday Stills Challenge- birds that visit your yard Terri Webster Schrandt has a wonderful blog where she posts a weekly photography challenge. Check it out here My Iphone doesn’t do these birds justice, but I thought I’d share some of my favorite bird pics, anyway. Some are taken from the beach about two… Continue reading →

Sunday Lines: Sunday, October 25


Originally posted on Word by Word:
Here are a few encouraging #SundayLines provided by our #WordbyWord authors with the theme WHEN THE ROAD GETS BUMPY. Interested in learning more? Click on the pictures below to gain more insight into each author. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to…

#ThriftyThursday- The Guardian is #Free #Suspense


It’s Thanksgiving Day Weekend in Canada and I’m celebrating with a #free Spooky Suspense!

When I was young, my family and I were returning from a trip to the big city (my hometown had a pop. of about 5000 at the time), Mom and Dad in the front, my brother and I flopped out on the backseat- no seatbelt laws back then. We traveled through a village situated along the highway and were almost out on the open road when a vehicle broadsided us. The force of the collision sent our car into a spin. It threw me to the floor, my brother landing on top of me. The scream of metal against metal blended with my Mom’s cries and Dad’s curses.

By the time it was over (a matter of seconds) we knew it was bad. The dash had caved in over Mom’s body, basically trapping her. Dad banged his head on the wheel and had a big lump forming on his forehead. My little brother and I were in shock.

The ambulance came and took Mom away, scaring us even more. A bystander watched over us while Dad gave a statement to the police. I was maybe five or six at the time, but it’s stayed with me all these years and formed the idea behind The Guardian.

The premise for The Guardian is that a couple of free living movie stars have their lives changed forever when they are involved in a horrific car accident. One dies, Lucas Carmichael, and seeks redemption for his carelessness by vowing to help those he left behind.

Scott Anderson is lost and bitter without his best friend and blames himself for the accident. When the ME charged with investigating the case is harassed, Scott tries to help and finds himself caught up in a dangerous web of lies and deceit.

Cook County Medical Examiner, Tracy York, has seen the extreme violence humans can inflict on one another. Her sister was murdered when she was a teenager and it has made her wary of the male population. When she is tasked with the investigation into a suspicious crash that killed one mega-star and injured the other, Tracy must put aside her reservations and accept the hand of a stranger.

Can two lost souls come together to stop a madman and find love and peace with the help of a sarcastic angel, or will fate deal them a losing hand?

I really enjoyed creating these characters. Lucas is sarcastic and irreverent, great qualities for an angel, and Scott is bitter and antagonistic. It takes a special woman and a near death experience to help all three to see the light and maybe get a chance at a happy ending.

💔 The Guardian: Paranormal & Romantic Suspense!  💔

The posts on this site may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase using a link.

International Buy Link: https://books2read.com/TheGuardianMendedSouls1

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29510815-the-guardian

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-guardian-mended-souls-1-by-jacquie-biggar-2018-07-27

And now on #Audiobooks- https://www.amazon.com/Guardian-Mended-Souls-Book/dp/B07B412349

@Audible.com- https://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/The-Guardian-Audiobook/B07B3YQ29B

Haven’t joined the latest craze yet? Join here and get a free book-

And check out my other #audiobooks here: https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-Biggar/B00MSIJQBG

Can two lost souls stop a crazed madman?

Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.

A car accident ends Lucas’ life and leaves Scott injured and bitter.

As the local ME, Tracy York, investigates the case, discrepancies begin to point to more than a simple drunk driving incident.

When threats are made to Tracy’s life can Scott and his guardian angel, Lucas, protect her?

 Or will she become another casualty of a crazed madman?

What Readers are Saying

This is a fast-paced novel with a plethora of fascinating characters!

InD’tale Magazine

A serious topic handled not only with touching moments but a few humorous moments also. Romance, suspense, family ties, friendship, angels that aren’t sure about being angels, some sad moments, some nail biter moments, and a darling dog named Sugar Bear….what more could we want? I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

Barbara Cassata

Everything from the in-depth characterization to the intricate plot, from the conflict of Lucas to the guilt of Scott to the swoon-worthy romance made this one of the top books of 2016. Jacquie portrayed Heaven (and God) in an original concept which is well-done, considering the amount of books written in this genre. Filled with emotional angst and the allure of making amends, I was touched by all three main characters. I cared instantly for all three and I wished for everyone to be okay at the end. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. 

N.N. Light

Excerpt

Scott couldn’t believe he’d escaped from a hospital just a few hours before and now here he was, riding in the back of an ambulance. He was pretty sure it wasn’t SOP to transport a canine, even if it was extenuating circumstances. But the moment the paramedics had shown up, his companion had run roughshod over their objections. It was sort of sexy.

Tracy York.

He had a difficult time equating her as a medical examiner. She seemed too… young. Naïve. Cute.

That is until a person got close enough to read the deep green pools of her gaze. They spoke of suffering, those eyes. They made him ache inside. He wanted to hold her. Offer to help, even though his world was a screwed up mess.

Her thigh rubbed against his every time the ambulance changed lanes and was slowly driving him crazy. Every nerve strained closer, waiting for the next teasing friction of silk and jean meshing together and then apart.

The vehicle took a corner and she lost balance, threw out a hand to steady herself, and came dangerously close to finding out exactly what she was doing to him.

Scott grasped her forearm in his good hand and stopped her forward momentum. He froze, their lips a hairsbreadth apart. Her eyes grew large and he felt like the wolf at Red Riding Hood’s door. His heart skidded along his windpipe like it was an Olympic medal winning luge run. How had he thought her merely cute? She was gorgeous, with hair like the finest brandy and skin that rivalled any fairy tale heroine he’d ever read about. He leaned toward her, solely focused on tasting that lush, honey-sweet mouth.

And she frowned at him.

Just like that the noise came rushing back in, the creak of the van, the beep of machines, and the stifled snort of the paramedic who suddenly pretended to act busy. Tracy pulled her arm free. She ignored him to reach out and pet the mutt’s gnarled coat, and move a careful few inches down the bench.

Scott glared at the grinning paramedic and sat back, his head resting against the cool metal wall behind him. He couldn’t honestly remember the last time a woman turned him down. He was disappointed, but there was no denying the fact that the doc intrigued him. If she were anyone else he’d be tempted to pursue the matter. But she held his and Lucas’ reputation in her dainty little hands. He couldn’t afford to alienate her.

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

#ThriftyThursday- The Lady Said No #Mystery #Reading


The Lady Said No is on Sale– 0.99! #Free in #KindleUnlimited! The Lady Said No Timeline: 1953 Location: Lexington and Bourbonville Kentucky And Now on Audio Book!– http://a.co/23uX6b8 Start your #Free Trial Today! https://www.audible.com/pd/B074VFB534/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-094041&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_094041_rh_us And check out my other #audiobooks here: https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-Biggar/B00MSIJQBG The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky… Continue reading →

#NewRelease- Perfectly Imperfect #RomCom #Romance


https://books2read.com/Perfectly-Imperfect

Today is the Day! Perfectly Imperfect is live!

I’m thrilled to share my new romantic comedy with you today, and it’s my mom’s birthday!

2020 has been (and still is) a tough year for many, including Mom. She ended up in the hospital on Mother’s day 😦 and was there for a month. Since then, she’s developed horrible black and blue bruising on her legs that became open wounds. We’re working to get them under control and the pain level down, but any prayers would be appreciated.

And now, for a lighter topic; I created a book trailer for Perfectly Imperfect and it only took me three hours for a fifty second clip! lol

Cute, right?

https://books2read.com/Perfectly-Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FDFWDF2

International: https://books2read.com/Perfectly-Imperfect

TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55208881-perfectly-imperfect

Recommend on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/perfectly-imperfect-by-jacquie-biggar

What happens when Miss Perfection clashes with Mr. Casual?

Chaos!

Georgina’s in trouble. The startup money she borrowed from her parents’ retirement fund is long gone and her dream of owning the next big thing in market-to-table cuisine disappeared with it.

Her only choice? Merge her company into the corporate giant, CLO, and hope she isn’t making a huge mistake.

Rhys Turner is his father’s progeny, born and raised to take over the empire when his dad deems him ready. Rhys doesn’t mind the fast-paced lifestyle, though he detests the coldblooded mantra of the corporation- Buy from the weak and sell at a profit.

It’s made his family millions. But now, just when CLO’s reins are within reach, he’s run into the one woman who could change everything.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and New adult, Perfectly Imperfect has something for every reader.

What Readers are Saying

I noticed some – not a lot – but some resemblance to my favorite movie, ‘You’ve Got Mail.’ You know the story – Kathleen Kelly, played by Meg Ryan, and Joe Fox, played by Tom Hanks, are total polar opposites, forced together thanks to business, and they end up in happily ever after. Best story ever thanks to the comedic timing of the tale brought to life by Hanks and Ryan. Biggar does that with her two characters – expertly putting each piece of the tale in just the right order to make the reader love it, and want more.

Georgina and Rhys sitting in a tree … k-i-s-s-i-n-g … I am calling for a sequel.

Becky Holland- Reedsy Reviewer ( https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/perfectly-imperfect-jacquie-biggar )

I loved everything about this story…the characters, the story line and the amusing and witty dialog. I think we can all use a “feel good” story and this one would be my choice. 

Paytonpuppy- Goodreads Reviewer
https://books2read.com/Perfectly-Imperfect

Exclusive Excerpt

“Did you buy out the store?” I ask, my voice snarky, a carryover from the conversation with my dad. I hoist a chenille dog bed under one arm and a big bag of grain free—written in large letters—food in the other.

Her glasses are foggy from the exertion of getting all the packages out of the store, but I still feel the chill of her sarcasm. “Not quite. I left the doghouse for you.”

Zing.

The call with my father fades away. I grin and follow her to the wreck she calls a car. The parking lot is crowded, forcing me to put the food in the bed, lift the whole thing over my head, and slide sideways to the back of the car where she already has the trunk open and is rearranging a pile of… stuff, so we can unload our parcels.

“You should have a truck,” I mutter, cramming the dog food into a corner. I bang my head on the trunk lid and curse as I straighten.

“There’s no need to swear, I didn’t ask you for help.” Georgina crosses her arms under full breasts and eyes the red mark I must have on my head as though I’ve done it on purpose.

“God forbid. Why is it that women always expect men to do things for them, but they refuse to come right out and ask us, and then get upset when we don’t pick up on the signs?” I rub the sore spot and slam the trunk closed with a satisfying bang.

“Why should we have to? If men paid attention, the world would be a better place.” Satisfied she’d gotten the last word in, Georgina sashays to the driver’s side and opens the car door. I hear a startled cry, then she drops to the ground.

Holy shit, is she having a heart attack? My own heart leapfrogging out of my chest, I race around the back of the car, my feet feeling as though they’re weighted by sandbags, only to find Georgina’s shapely butt in the air and her arm under the vehicle parked next to ours, a SUV with black running boards.

“What are you…?” Oh, no. Upset from the conversation with my father, I hadn’t replaced the lid on Buttercup’s box.

I fall to my knees behind Georgina and try to get a look under the SUV. “Did you see which way she went?” I ask, my mouth going dry.

Her butt waves in my face as Georgina shifts to glance back at me, eyes wide. “Hurry, run to the other side before she gets away. She’s behind the front tire.”

Not wasting another second, I jump to my feet and sprint to the driver’s side of the SUV, praying the traffic stays away. Nightmare visions of the tiny pup ending up beneath the wheels of a car turn my stomach inside out.

I roll onto my back and edge under the vehicle, doing my best to ignore the claustrophobia tightening my chest. Pebbles dig into my skin and an oily aroma warns me I’ve probably ruined another shirt since taking on this project, but none of that matters when I catch sight of Buttercup. She’s shivering and shaking, huddled against the dirty tire rim, her sandy brown fur mussed and dark with oil from the stain on the pavement.

“Come on, Buttercup. That’s a good girl. Come on, sweetheart. It’s okay, we’ve got you.” I stretch out my fingers and hold my breath, hoping she trusts my scent enough to come to me rather than making a dash into the parking lot.

Paperback for Perfectly Imperfect

Finally, I just wanted to share this incredibly cute cover Michele Hauf created for the paperback of Perfectly Imperfect

https://amzn.to/2RHZ0C9

I love it, don’t you?

Back to Where it all Began- Tidal Falls is #Free #RomSuspense #Reading


https://amzn.to/3gyfkyY

It’s been six- six!- years since I published my first book- Tidal Falls. Who would have thought this small town restaurant owner could become an author?

I still get a thrill every time I release a new novel- number 26 coming soon!

I’m celebrating by putting Tidal Falls, first in a six book, so far, series, free for a limited time. If you like military romantic suspense, I think you’ll enjoy Nick and Sara’s story.

Tidal Falls- Wounded Hearts book 1

A woman and child in danger teaches Nick life is worth living.

ALL SHE WANTS IS TO LIVE HER LIFE 

Abused, Sara Sheridan finds the courage to escape her husband. She has no interest in getting mixed up with another alpha, attitude-laden male. Especially with her ex hot on her trail. 

ALL HE CRAVES IS PEACE AND QUIET 

Marine, Nick Kelley prefers solitude, away from the memories haunting him. So what is it about his reticent neighbor and her child that tempts him to give it up? 

UNTIL LOVE GETS IN THE WAY 

Nick and Sara’s growing attraction  leads them down a dangerous path as her ex-husband closes in on the new life she’s made for her daughter and threatens to blow it all apart. 

Now available on #audio https://www.amazon.com/Tidal-Falls-Wounded-Hearts-Book/dp/B0799TD474

 @Audible.com – https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Tidal-Falls-Audiobook/B0799XFY23

Haven’t joined the latest craze yet? Join here and get a free book!- https://www.audible.com/pd/B0799XFY23/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-106676&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_106676_rh_us

And check out my other #audiobooks here: https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-Biggar/B00MSIJQBG

Nick Kelley spent years working as a dog handler in the U.S. Marine Corps. His sole focus, to keep his team alive in the midst of chaos. When he fails to notice an IED in time and loses most of his teammates, Nick shuts down. It takes meeting and falling in love with a woman in danger to make him realize life’s worth living.

Sales Links:

Amazon- http://amzn.com/B00MS89MA6

http://books2read.com/TidalFalls

Excerpt

The searing pressure eased enough for him to open his eyes. Jake sat with his head cocked to the side, his ears laid back in commiseration. Nick nudged him with his knee and gave his sides a good hard rub, Jake groaning his thanks. “Okay, big guy, what do you say to finishing our run?” He’d learned a long time ago that pushing through the pain was often the best medicine.

He had that in common with Sara. She’d gone through both a physical and a mental trauma that would have crushed most. She was doing great, but he bet a violation like that was something from which no woman ever fully recovered.

It humbled him that she had trusted him enough to allow him to make love to her last night. Nick would never hurt a hair on her head, but there was no real way for her to be sure of that. He hoped and prayed no one would ever crush her again, and swore to do everything in his power to make sure of that, starting with Sheridan. If those files contained half of what Sara had intimated they did, he’d need some help. Checking to make sure no one was around, he pulled his cell out of his sweats and made the call.

“Hey, Chief, how are you? It’s Nick, Nikolaus Kelley. Long time, sir, too long. Shit, I’ve missed the team. How’s the whizz kid?” A big grin split his face as he listened to Frank describing Jared’s latest and greatest.

“No kidding, trust Martin to take the term, Land of opportunity, to a whole new level, right?” He laughed. Man, it was good to talk to the chief again. Why did people always let the important ones in their lives fall to the wayside, while they went about the business of life?

He could well believe Jared had almost shut down the strip; the man was scary good with electronics. “I understand that you’re out of the loop these days, sir, but I was hoping I could ask you, and Jared if he’s still with you, for a helping hand. I have a situation here and could really use your input.”

Relief coursed through his veins at the quick response to his plea. “I’ll tell you all about it when you arrive. Tomorrow then, and thanks—Frank.”

#SundaySnippet- Married to The Texan #RomanceReads


This week’s Sunday Snippet comes from my box set, Married to The Texan- Free this weekend!

I’ve chosen a short excerpt from the fourth book in the set, A Magical Christmas, not available for individual sale.

https://books2read.com/MarriedtotheTexan

Exclusive Excerpt

Madeline Shaughnessy roamed the small, one room shack in Hidden Valley—part of the family ranch. The main hacienda where she’d raised her children, and later on her son’s children, was a hub of activity with Christmas just around the corner, but this… this was home.

Her fingers trembled as she traced the entwined wedding rings etched into the massive oak wardrobe Joseph had built for her as a wedding gift. They’d been young and in love, two kids with stars in their eyes. The Franklin stove she’d learned to cook on still crouched in a corner of the room as though waiting to awaken with the addition of logs and the flame of a match. She could see Joseph feeding wood into the blackened maw, a satisfied smile on his handsome face. The many wonderful memories embedded within these walls wrapped around her, warming her chilled body. Their beautiful baby boy was conceived here, in the hand-hewn bed Joseph’s father built for his bride.

Traditions—forging family ties.

There was no denying the first few years were a steep learning curve; she’d been a town girl and he was the heir apparent of a sprawling cattle ranch, but they’d made it work. Their son had thrived on the land, following his father everywhere he went. At first, Madeline worried about a small child running wild in the countryside, but their new maid, Consuela—hired by Joseph as a companion as much as housekeeper—assured her the ranch-hands would never let anything happen to the pequeño.

And she’d been right.

Madeline could smile now, remembering the gangly cowboys who’d made her curious son their priority—not an easy task. He’d been a handful, even back then.

It was the reason she was here today. Her heart fluttered. Oh, how she dreamed of seeing her son holding her beloved husband in her arms again.

Soon, my love. Soon.

But she had business to finish before she could see them again. Her instincts clamored, warning her trouble was afoot in paradise. She hoped she was wrong; her grandkids had been through enough turmoil.

She smiled, remembering the shy young woman Matthew brought home to the ranch posing as his fiancée. The only one he’d fooled was himself. Now they were married with children of their own, proving fate works in mysterious ways.

She’d wished her beautiful, tempestuous granddaughter, Sophia, would find the same kind of happiness and her prayers were answered by the ranch foreman, Tony. Unfortunately, Madeline passed away before the wedding, though Consuela assured her it was dreamy.

And now, her stubborn, headstrong grandson, Aaron, was preparing to wed his true love on Christmas Eve, here at the cabin. She loved the melding of past and present. Joseph and his father would be proud.

A sudden commotion beyond the door, accompanied by a series of shrill cries, sent her dashing to the window. Her husband’s graceful gray stallion paced the yard, head held high, mane and tail flowing.

Madeline stepped onto the wraparound porch. “What are you yammering about? You’re going to wake the dead with those screeches.” It had taken her a while to overcome her fear of the great beast, though Joseph swore it would never hurt her. After he died it had disappeared, and only rarely showed itself, earning the title Ghost Stallion of Balmoral Ranch.

It reared now and paced away from the cabin, heading toward the narrow pass leading into the valley, before wheeling to trot back to her. Clearly, he wanted her to follow.

“What in blazes is wrong with you?” she muttered, soaring down the steps.

A far-off scream rent the air and Maddie froze, her heart jumping into her throat. That sounded like a… child.

Without further thought she raced to the horse and leaped on, gnarled fingers wrapping into the mane. “Hurry, boy. Hurry.”

As they galloped across the field and tears blurred her vision, Joseph’s words rang in her ears. “Alive or dead, my spirit will ride by your side—always.”

https://books2read.com/MarriedtotheTexan

Grab your copy before the deal is gone!

Married to The Texan: Gambling Hearts Series

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XBV6D8Y

International: https://books2read.com/MarriedtotheTexan

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48072574-married-to-the-texan

Recommend me on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/married-to-the-texan-gambling-hearts-series-by-jacquie-biggar

August is Hot but this Deal is Even Hotter! #FreebieFriday #Romance #Boxset


https://books2read.com/MarriedtotheTexan

It’s Hot out there, so how about some #Free #Romance #Reads?

Receive 3 full-length heartwarming romances plus one bonus short story from USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar

All your favorite alpha heroes and independent heroines!

Sweet, sexy romance. The perfect reading deal for your Kindle! Grab a drink and curl up for an unforgettable boxed set of romance best sellers. Each book is a standalone contemporary story of love, honor, duty, and family dilemmas.

💔 #KindleUnlimited! 💔

Married to The Texan: Gambling Hearts Series

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XBV6D8Y

International: https://books2read.com/MarriedtotheTexan

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48072574-married-to-the-texan

Recommend me on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/married-to-the-texan-gambling-hearts-series-by-jacquie-biggar

https://books2read.com/MarriedtotheTexan

What Readers are Saying

Romance designed to thrill and entertain!
An old song says you can gamble for gold but never for love.
Well, these cowboys will prove you wrong!
Enough spice to hold you spellbound.
Good story lines with strong characters.

Evonne Hutton

A collection of compassionate love stories, one could call it an epic. You will laugh, get aggravated, tear up, maybe openly cry. You will definitely feel like you are part of the character’s lives.

My favorite – A Magical Christmas. A little girl gets lost and magical angels help her out. I highly recommend Married to the Texan box set by Jacquie Biggar.

Special Angel
https://books2read.com/MarriedtotheTexan

In the Set

Hold ‘Em

In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.
Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.
Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Tony Morrison had been in love with the youngest Shaughnessy for almost as long as he’d been employed at her family’s ranch. Trouble was, he had secrets. Things he couldn’t tell anyone, especially the beautiful Sophia. So, he’d let her go.

But now she’d returned, bringing the winds of change to the Texas ranch, and Tony wasn’t sure he could protect her from the fallout.

My Girl

Aaron is overjoyed at the opening of his family’s guest ranch, until he learns their first guest is his ex-girlfriend, her parents–and a fiancé.

And that isn’t the only surprise.

A Magical Christmas

When a little girl goes missing, it takes faith, love, and the help of a Christmas angel to guide her to safety.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and mystery, Married to The Texan has something for every reader!

#SundaySnippet- Perfectly Imperfect #RomCom


https://books2read.com/Perfectly-Imperfect

Sunday Snippet for Perfectly Imperfect- coming September 16th!

I’ve been working on a new romantic comedy novella and decided to stretch my wings by writing in 1st person, which is harder than I expected! The present tense thing keeps tripping me up, along with the odd he/she where it should be my/I.

I’ve set the release date for my mom’s 75th birthday on September 16th. I hope you enjoy the following short excerpt (and if you catch any errors, let me know!)

Blurb

What happens when Miss Perfection clashes with Mr. Casual? Chaos!

Georgina’s in trouble. The startup money she borrowed from her parents’ retirement fund is long gone and her dream of owning the next big thing in market-to-table cuisine disappeared with it.

Her only choice? Merge her company into the corporate giant, CLO, and hope she isn’t making a huge mistake.

Rhys Turner is his father’s progeny, born and raised to take over the empire when his dad deems him ready. Rhys doesn’t mind the fast-paced lifestyle, though he detests the coldblooded mantra of the corporation- Buy from the weak and sell at a profit.

It’s made his family millions. But now, just when CLO’s reins are within reach, he’s run into the one woman who could change everything.

https://books2read.com/Perfectly-Imperfect

Exclusive Excerpt

Rhys

This is lining up to be one of those days. The flight from Vancouver departed late, and the car service my PA hired got a flat tire on the freeway, leaving me stranded for forty minutes at the airport until another could be arranged. Serves me right for not grabbing a cab, but it doesn’t help my mood whatsoever.

I’d argued with my father and the board of directors over the wisdom of adding to our investment portfolio at a time when the market was so unstable. Their answer; “We must strike while the iron is hot. These companies are selling for a tenth of what they’re worth. If we don’t step in and scoop them up, someone else will.”

I’d heard that jargon or something close to it ever since I’d finished university with a masters in business administration and been persuaded—none too gently—to repay the debt I owed my father by putting my education to work—for him.

I couldn’t blame Dad, not really, but it annoyed the hell out of me when my recommendations were ignored, leaving me to wonder why I’d spent the last eight years busting my ass to get a degree I couldn’t even use.

My elevator companion is eyeballing my high tops with misgiving. I smirk, taking a selfish joy out of doing something my father would most certainly disapprove of—a style faux pas.

“Does your boss know you take time away from work to go on a coffee run?” I stare at her with disapproval. No wonder the company is failing if it’s run so shoddily.

Her mouth drops open, then snaps shut as though she’s biting back some creative language. She’s cute in a librarian-meets-fashionista kind of way with an upswept bun thingy in her thick brown hair, oversized glasses that makes her green eyes huge, and wide-leg white pants hugging curvy hips. But she is still on my dismissal list.

If Bloomin’ Right is going to have a second chance, it’s my job to get rid of the deadwood—case in point, Miss Sassy pants.

“My boss,” she emphasizes, “Doesn’t know his di… plomacy from a hole in the wall.” She lifts a brow as if to say, ‘so there.

“Are you always so forthright?” I glance at the blinking numbers over our heads, five… six… seven… and try to slow my racing pulse. You’d think at thirty-six years old, I would have overcome my irrational fear of closed spaces, but, not so much. If I wasn’t already running late, I could have taken the stairs. Instead, I’m counting on a pint-sized walking, talking danger zone to keep my mind off the fact we’re in what basically amounts to a steel coffin.

“It’s called honesty. You can’t fire a person for that, can you?” With the umbrella hooked over her arm, wavy curls teasing flushed cheeks, and the tray of drinks in hand, she looks like a younger, sexier version of Mary Poppins.

My lips pull down at the corners. Great, now I feel like I’m here to get rid of the nanny. “Regardless,” I intone, sounding way too much like my father for peace of mind. “You can’t go around—”

The elevator jerks to a halt, causing a gasp of dismay from my companion as the coffee sloshes out of the air holes in little mocha-tinted bubbles, and a gusty sigh from me that we’re about to be released from our prison. Except…

The doors don’t open.

I look at Miss Sassy and she looks at me, and as one we both look up in awed disbelief at the frozen number nine mocking our fears.

“Great. This is just great,” Miss Sassy says. She backs into the opposite corner of the elevator and clunks her head a couple of times against the wall. “Did I mention I hate Mondays?”

I ignored her and jabbed my finger on the alarm button, working to stem my panic.

In. Out. In. Out.

Breathe.

“You need to call for help,” Miss Helpful suggests, nodding toward the phone box on the wall.

Easy for her to say—literally. My throat is so tight I see black dots.

“Here, hold this,” she mutters impatiently and shoves the coffee tray into my hands. She presses the call button, and after a blessedly short amount of time a male voice comes through the intercom.

“Stay calm,” he says. “We received your alarm and will have you out soon. How many are in the cabin, please?”

“Just two, Sam,” Miss Sassy replies, glancing over my face with something like concern. “Hurry, will you?”

“Georgina, is that you?” The voice crackles with static.

She smiles and I frown again. So, she and this Sam are friends, are they?

“It is, I’m having a day.” She laughs.

Laughs. I’m trying not to hyperventilate, and she’s flirting with the handyman.

“Do you think you could save this for later,” when she’s unemployed, “and get us out of here, please?” My voice squeaks at the end, startling Miss Sassy—Georgina.

She shoots me a glare. “How long, Sam?”

“Well, these things take time. You just relax and we’ll have you out of there as soon as we can. If you have any questions, feel free to call. And Georgina? Don’t worry.”

“Too late for that, I’m afraid. See you soon.”

The sudden silence is more nerve-wracking than the tête-à-tête I’d broken up. “Mind if I drink one of these?” I lift the coffee tray.

She shrugs. “Knock yourself out. They’re probably cold by now, anyway.”

With that endorsement ringing in my ears, I choose a cup and take a tentative sip. A bit more sugar than I normally use, and a shot of whiskey would have helped to steady my nerves, but beggars can’t complain. Actually, after the early morning flight and the hiccups I’d encountered so far, it tastes damn good.

“Want one?” I offer her the tray.

“Gee, thanks.” She rolls her eyes. “So, if we’re stuck in here together, we may as well exchange names—I’m Georgina Michaels, and you?” She takes an appreciative swallow of the lukewarm brew and sighs. “This, I needed.”

I set the last cup on the floor and lean against the wall, crossing my ankles and biting back a grin when her gaze seems to compulsively drop to my sneakers. I turn them so she can get a better look. “Nice, right? Limited edition Jordan’s, light as air.”

“Interesting choice with a business suit,” she replies, eyeing me appraisingly.

“What is it you do, Georgina Michaels?” I glance at the floor numbers, then raised a brow. “We seem to be heading to the same floor.”

Her gaze follows mine and her forehead furrows. “Bloomin’ Right? Are you a new client, then?” She straightens and throws a hank of wet hair over her shoulder.

I almost feel sorry for her. She’s probably a receptionist or secretary and needs the job, but I have something to prove to my father, so she’s about to become a casualty of war.

“Something like that,” I murmur, the coffee suddenly tasting bitter on my tongue.

Georgina wipes a hand on her slacks, then holds it out for me to shake. “Mr.… I didn’t catch your name?”

This is where things get interesting.

I take her hand, momentarily sidetracked by her soft skin. “I’m Rh—”

The elevator jerks, throwing us off-balance and Georgina into my arms. Shocked by the lush fullness of her breasts pressed against my chest, it takes a moment to realize something isn’t quite right. I lean back and look down to see Georgina’s wide eyes staring at the brown stain spreading over my favorite blue dress shirt.

“Oops,” she says.

https://books2read.com/Perfectly-Imperfect

Last Chance Beach #Romance #Reading @BonnieEdwards @LizFlaherty1


Last Chance Beach

LAST CHANCE BEACH is the island paradise where Dreams go to live again, and Wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity.

There’s plenty of time left to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances, hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, love at first sight and romantic delight, enemies to lovers and opposites attract.

Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special romance collection of 14 all-new short stories from bestselling and award-winning authors. These summer stories—created especially for this collection—will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some are sweet: some are sizzling! Some are humorous; some are serious. All the stories will make you sigh!

LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End will make you want to book a vacation to the island of legend and love, the place where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

Joan ReevesNY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
When they met, it was hate at first sight. Now they’re stuck in the same overbooked beach cottage and horrified to discover they have the hots for each other!

Liz FlahertyUSA Today Bestselling Author
Their lives are planned out…until they’re not! Are they in love or just stuck in a habit?

Nancy FraserTop 100 Bestselling Author
At a high school reunion; old flames meet again. Can they re-ignite what they once had and take a last chance on love?

Caroline ClemmonsTop 100 Bestselling Author
She faces a hard decision; he encourages her to choose with her heart. Will the solution drive them apart or into one another’s arms?

Maddie JamesTop 100 Bestselling Author
It’s the typical annual week on the beach with the girls—until her summer fling from 20 years back shows up. He’s the one who got away. She’s the one who couldn’t commit.

Jan ScarbroughNational Bestselling Author
The kids are grown; her husband has an important career, and she wonders if she still loves him, and if he loves her. Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?

Kathleen LawlessNational Bestselling Author
Of all the beaches on the coast, who shows up on her beach? Him! A former competitive surfer runs into her former love, and revisits all the reasons things didn’t work out for them before.

Bonnie EdwardsNational Bestselling Author
She wants a divorce—he doesn’t. What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!

Marcia King-GambleNational Bestselling Author
She’s hiding from the paparazzi after a scandal. He’s the guy next door, an amateur photographer. Will he accept tabloid money for pictures of her? Or will he choose love over jumpstarting his career?

Kathryn HillsAward Winning Author
Kat must convince her Gran to move to the mainland, but Gran—and hunky neighbor Ben—want Kat to takeover the B&B and antique shop. What will it take for Kat to stay? Some of Gran’s special island magic?

Connie VinesAward Winning Author
She returns to Last Chance Beach to begin a new life. He’s a single dad on vacation with his pre-teen daughter. He’s worried his daughter may become too attached to her, but maybe he’s the one whose heart is at risk.

Laura HunsakerAward Winning Author
Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past? She’s looking for a fresh start, but he’s rented the same beach cottage. One bed, two people? Whatever will they do?

Nora LeDuc
He’s handsome and in town for only 2 weeks. She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.

Hannah Rowan
She won the big lottery, but doesn’t want anyone to know. He’s a fixer-upper specialist, but things aren’t always what they seem.

Excerpt from Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards

Now that Danny Carling had his career on track he focused on his next goal. Staying married to Stacy Leon. His little sister’s best friend had been tying him in knots since she first appeared in Jenna’s life.

A high school sophomore had been way too young, and he’d waited patiently for his crush to fade. It had taken years. He told himself he had not been waiting for Stacy to grow up. He’d moved on a long time ago, grown past the fevered dreams and yearning.

He’d had plenty of other women, appropriately aged and experienced and ready to say “so long” when his next assignment came in. Nothing in his life had been permanent. He’d chased every dream around the globe, taking photos that had won him awards, acclaim, and cash.

And then, last month, he’d gone to Vegas for Mason’s bachelor party while the bridesmaids had done their thing on the other end of the strip. As the men had wandered up the strip, the women had wandered down, crashing together somewhere in the middle. The only thing that wasn’t a blur was seeing Stacy, her luscious body glittering with sparkly stuff, her skirt tight and her top loose so her breasts could swing free.

Her eyes had widened when she saw him, and her lips had pouted when he’d pulled her into a bear hug. But she’d stayed under his arm and when the two groups separated again, they stayed together. Alone.

About the Author

Multi-published author Bonnie Edwards lives with her husband and pets on the rainy coast of British Columbia. Her earthy, irreverent love stories sometimes have a paranormal twist, like curses and ghosts, other times not. But her books always entertain and guarantee a happy ending.

With four ongoing romance series (Tales of Perdition, The Brantons, and The Christmas Collection) and contemporary family novels in her newest series, Return to Welcome, she rarely spends a day without writing. She has written novels, novellas, and short stories for Kensington Books, Harlequin Books, Carina Press, and Robinson (UK) although now she publishes her work herself. Learn about more exciting releases by subscribing to her newsletter Bonnie’s Newsy Bits.

Follow her on BookBub, a great site for readers and writers to connect and talk books!

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/bonnie-edwards

https://www.amazon.com/Bonnie-Edwards/e/B001IO9UTO

https://www.facebook.com/Bonnie.Edwards.Author/

Cocktails on Last Chance Beach is the companion recipe book to Last Chance Beach: Summer’s End Box Set – available right here at Amazon.

What’s not to love about savoring a fruity, icy cocktail in the dog days of summer? Or sipping a crisp spritzer to wake up your senses after a sleepy afternoon on the beach? Can any of us resist a tart margarita or the lure of a tequila sunrise during a beachside seafood dinner? Perhaps there are those who could resist all of the above–but not the authors of the Last Chance Beach: Summer’s End collection of romantic short stories set–where else?–in Last Chance Beach.

The authors have teamed together for this exclusive box set–chock full of original and never before published short stories–and to create this recipe book of our favorite cocktails to enjoy at the beach. Some of these cocktails are featured in our stories, and some not, but all are guaranteed to whet your thirsty summer whistle!

We hope you try out and enjoy each of these recipes soon–perhaps while you are reading our stories! We’ve provided a story excerpt along with each of our recipes.

The Last Chance Beach: Summer’s End box set features the following bestselling and award-winning authors and their stories. You can purchase it today at Amazon. Read stories and recipes by: Joan Reeves, Liz Flaherty, Caroline Clemmons, Nancy Fraser, Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough, Kathleen Lawless, Marcia King-Gamble, Kathryn Hills, Connie Vines, Laura Hunsaker, Nora LeDuc, Hannah Rowan.

#NewRelease Last Chance Beach- Summer’s End #Romance #SummerReading @KathleenLawles6 @JoanReeves


LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End will make you want to book a vacation to the island of legend and love, the place where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

Hot August Night by Joan Reeves, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

When they met, it was hate at first sight. Now they’re stuck in the same overbooked beach cottage and horrified to discover they have the hots for each other!

Something New by Liz Flaherty, USA Today Bestselling Author

Their lives are planned out…until they’re not! Are they in love or just stuck in a habit?

I Do…Again by Nancy Fraser, Top 100 Bestselling Author

At a high school reunion; old flames meet again. Can they re-ignite what they once had and take a last chance on love?

The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons, Top 100 Bestselling Author

She faces a hard decision; he encourages her to choose with her heart. Will the solution drive them apart or into one another’s arms?

That One Summer by Maddie James, Top 100 Bestselling Author

It’s the typical annual week on the beach with the girls—until her summer fling from 20 years back shows up. He’s the one who got away. She’s the one who couldn’t commit.

Romancing the Spouse by Jan Scarbrough, National Bestselling Author

The kids are grown; her husband has an important career, and she wonders if she still loves him, and if he loves her. Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?

Blue Sky Summer by Kathleen Lawless, National Bestselling Author

Of all the beaches on the coast, who shows up on her beach? Him! A former competitive surfer runs into her former love, and revisits all the reasons things didn’t work out for them before.

Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards, National Bestselling Author

She wants divorce—he doesn’t. What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!

One Last Shot by Marcia King-Gamble, National Bestselling Author

She’s hiding from the paparazzi. He’s the guy next door, an amateur photographer. Will he accept tabloid money for pictures of her? Or will he choose love over jumpstarting his career?

Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills, Award Winning Author

Kat must convince her Gran to move to the mainland, but Gran—and hunky neighbor Ben—want Kat to take over the B&B and antique shop. What will it take for Kat to stay? Some of Gran’s special island magic?

Paradise Perfume by Connie Vines, Award Winning Author

She returns to Last Chance Beach to begin a new life. He’s a single dad on vacation with his pre-teen daughter. He’s worried  his daughter may become too attached to her, but maybe he’s the one whose heart is at risk.

Dreams of the Past by Laura Hunsaker, Award Winning Author

Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past? She’s looking for a fresh start, but he’s rented the same beach cottage. One bed, two people? Whatever will they do?

Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes by Nora LeDuc

He’s handsome and in town for only 2 weeks. She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.

Can’t Buy Me Love by Hannah Rowan

She won the big lottery, but doesn’t want anyone to know. He’s a fixer-upper specialist who’s also keeping a secret.

                                                   ***

Grab your limited-time-offer collection here for only 99cents. https://amzn.to/3hJseeT

I LOVE Kathleen’s cover, don’t you?

Welcome to the blog, Kathleen Lawless. Can you tell us the inspiration behind your story in the Last Chance Beach- Summer’s End box set?

Like so many authors, I tend to pull real life experiences into my books.  I was only four or five when I watched my mother rescue a young boy who was drowning at the beach where we spent our summers.  That memory has never left me and finally it worked its way into BLUE SKY SUMMER, my contribution to a box set with 13 other bestselling authors.  LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End is a binge-worthy beach read collection for only 99 cents. 

***

Of all the beaches on the entire coast to see him again. . .

What are the chances?  Former competitive surfer, Alisha, heads for Last Chance Beach, where no one knows who she is. 

No one except Mark.  Talk about a blast from the past, and the worst kind of luck she chose this island for her vacation. 

When Mark sees Alisha on the beach, memories come flooding back, along with the pain he felt when she dumped him.   Her actions might have been well intended, but the results were a disaster.   

They’re older now.  Are they also wiser? 

Here is a snippet from my second-chance romance, BLUE SKY SUMMER.

         Alisha spread out her beach towel and lowered herself onto it, straightening a floppy sun hat to shade her face.  It was the first time this week she’d ventured to this particular cove, home to the island’s surfers.  The break was small this morning, and the few surfers in the water looked like beginners.

         She leaned back, resting her weight on her hands, and tried to remember what it had felt like the first time she’d caught a wave.  One initial rush of freedom, and she had been hooked.   

         She’d barely settled in to watch the action and live vicariously through others, when she saw a newcomer walk to the shoreline with a board under his arm.  Something about his long-legged, self-assured gait took her back fifteen years, and the first time she’d seen Mark.

         She gave her head a shake.  She hadn’t thought about him in years.  Much.  Just because this surfer was the same height and coloring . . .

         As he positioned himself on his board and headed for the break, she pulled out her binoculars, more to reassure herself it wasn’t him. 

         She zoomed in, and the bottom fell out of her stomach.  

         It was Mark! 

Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her alpha male heroes. 

 Her hero, Steele, in UNDERCOVER, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was wooed by a man called Steel— while he’s not a cowboy, he is an Alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

Not that she can ever stick to just one genre.  So many stories to tell—never enough time.

With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.        

Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Group to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1

Christmas in July- #FreeReads #Romance


Photo by Melissa on Pexels.com

I’m Celebrating Christmas in July!

I almost forgot to share this, but my holiday novella, Mistletoe Inn, is available for #Free today!

Mistletoe Inn

International link: http://books2read.com/MistletoeInn

TBR List- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42204464-mistletoe-inn

BookBubhttps://www.bookbub.com/books/mistletoe-inn-by-jacquie-biggar

A grieving man finds the greatest gift is love in this heartwarming holiday romance.

Molly McCarty is in need of a new beginning after a disastrous divorce. When the opportunity to invest in a bed and breakfast appears online in Christmas, Michigan she’s intrigued.

A snow storm derails her travels and leaves her at the mercy of a grim stranger- who turns out to be her new partner!

Noah Kincaid loses his parents in a tragic fire that leaves him scarred inside and out. He’s raised by a great-aunt and is devastated when cancer takes her life. But vowing never to care about anyone again is hampered by his troublesome new partner and her son.

Will a Christmas miracle bring three lonely hearts the gift of love?

Excerpt

Noah was acutely aware of the child and his mother, their bodies tense as the snow seemed to take aim at them, sending hypnotizing white bullets against the windshield.

“Is it always like this?” Molly asked, her voice shaky in the dark interior.

“Lake Superior isn’t known for its moderate climate, Miss McCarty,” he said, flicking a glance her way. Shock was a concern. He wanted to get her and the kid inside the house before the storm got worse. “What did you expect when you accepted the offer to move to Christmas, Michigan?”

She choked out a laugh. “Something a bit more romantic? Snowmen and elves and mistletoe, maybe. And it’s Mrs.,” she added.

She was married. Good. Easier, since they would be sharing a house. “Is your husband joining you for Christmas?” If so, he’d make himself scarce. He had no interest in seeing their homecoming celebration.

“That’s unlikely, we’re divorced,” she said, and shifted as though uncomfortable with the conversation. “Why did you need a partner, Mr. Kinkade? You seem less than pleased to have us here.”

She had that right. “My aunt wanted you, not me.” She could take that however she liked.

“Oh, I get it.” The humor in her voice rankled. “You don’t seem the social butterfly type.”

“Hell, no,” he muttered, slanting a glance at his passengers. “Sorry, not used to kids.” Leo was staring outside, mesmerized by the falling snow. Molly’s gaze was focused on Noah, and she turned away when he caught her, as though embarrassed.

“Leo knows not to use bad words, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t come after you to donate to the swear jar, he’s saving for a bicycle. I’m trying to break the habit, too,” she admitted.

With her wavy blond hair and blue eyes to rival the midnight sky, Molly looked more like an angel than a lowly human with faults.

Bitmoji Image

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

Release Day for Virtually Gone #MurderMystery #Crime


It’s release day!

Julie Crenshaw, Connor O’Rourke, and Matthew Roy are back! Virtually Gone picks up from The Beast Within‘s police investigation of murdered young women on Victoria’s Galloping Goose Trail.

Investigative reporter Julie Crenshaw stumbles upon the case of a lifetime–one that could cost her everything.

When Julie is called on to investigate a string of sexual abuse cases, she doesn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial rapist. Soon she’s in a race to find the facts before a killer makes her the headline.

Detective Matthew Roy is frustrated with his inability to track a rapist terrorizing his city. Added to that, his partner’s reporter girlfriend is dogging his every step and won’t heed his warnings. Time is ticking with the perpetrator escalating his crime to murder. Matt needs to find the killer soon, or chance losing someone he cares for- the question is, how?

★★★★★ “This author is an auto-buy for me. Each of her novels including this one is a perfect mix of angst, suspense, humor, and steaminess.”

Exclusive Excerpt

Julie sat at her computer in the madhouse that was VIBS headquarters and tried to concentrate. Something about the way Matt had avoided her questions bothered her. Of course, it was part of the dance journalists and the police did on a regular basis. Death was always awful, but this seemed… different. If only she could put her finger on it.

“Hey, Doll-face, what do you have there?” Henderson invaded her personal bubble to watch the playback of her interview with the detective.

Julie frowned at the cutesy name tag but moved aside so Ron could see. When she’d first transferred here from Chicago, the chip on her shoulder had clashed with the laid-back attitude of the station’s lead reporter. It had taken a near-death experience—her second one—to make her realize he was a good guy under all that persuasive charm.

She eyed the half-eaten donut in his hand and her stomach grumbled, reminding her she’d been running late this morning and hadn’t stopped to eat. And then she remembered why she’d been running late and smiled.

Of course, he caught the lustful look in her eyes and attributed it to his food. He shoved the thing in his mouth and swallowed it down. “Sorry, I’d share, but…”

“But you’re a pig,” she said, humor restored. “And furthermore, it was your turn to buy.”

“Hey.” He threw his hands in the air, sending grains of sugar scattering. “I did buy. They just didn’t make it through the door.” His smile was pure mischief and had the desired effect of making her laugh. “That’s better,” he said. “You were looking grim when I arrived.”

She sobered and nodded toward the screen, frozen on a seemingly peaceful bridge with broadleaf maples shading the walkway. “There was another sexual assault,” she said. “The victim didn’t survive this time.”

Ron stared at her for a moment before using his foot to tug an office chair from across the cluttered aisle to her side. He sat, knees butting into hers, and grasped her hands. “Listen, Jules, I know you want to do your job, but after what you’ve been through, maybe you should give this one a pass.”

He was talking about the ABC Killer who’d almost taken her life, of course. But he hadn’t, and it was all the more reason she needed to investigate stories like these. If she could save just one woman from the terror she’d felt, or the horror the woman today had gone through, it was up to her to do that. A calling almost. Besides, if it was Ron, he would never quit.

“I can’t,” she said simply.

On Sale for a limited time- $0.99

Virtually Gone: A Mended Souls Novel (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 6)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085PQTV69

International: https://books2read.com/VirtuallyGone

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/virtually-gone-a-mended-souls-novel-high-tech-crime-solvers-book-6-by-jacquie-biggar

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52329219-virtually-gone

Father Figure by James. J. Cudney #Suspense #Sale @jamescudney4


Father Figure is a .99 Kindle download from 5/23 thru 5/27 – help yourselves!

Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it! You should pick it up before the virtual book club coming up soon… check it out

This was my introduction into James J. Cudney’s work, and can I just say, wow! Here’s a link to my review- https://jacqbiggar.com/2019/07/11/father-figure-by-jamescudney4-suspense-bookreview/

Father Figure’s plotline is nothing short of brilliant, with a surprise ending you won’t guess is coming!

Download @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure for only .99 this week

Overview of Father Figure

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.

Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.    

Father Figure was officially launched for sale on Amazon on April 2, 2018 as both an e-book and a physical book. Reviews have been extremely positive between Goodreads and Amazon since the 5-day free download and 5-day book blitz.

  • Book Blitz: For 5 days, (4/30 thru 5/4) we posted promotions, hints, and feedback
  • Blog Tour: For 5 days (6/4 thru 6/8) we posted reviews, interviews and a giveaway

Reviews

★★★★★ – “The book deals with abuse, identity, acceptance, overcoming obstacles, crime, sexuality, family secrets, and knowing who you are. Another great story to read, especially if you love emotive, suspenseful family dramas.”

★★★★★ – “Gripping and emotional… Mr. Cudney has written a book full of twists and turns that kept my eyes glued to its pages.”

★★★★★ – “Amalia and Brianna are fully developed characters with all the fears, naivety, anxiety and angst of teen, young adults; full of questions and doubts… Can’t wait for James Cudney’s next work.”

***

Book Excerpt

Chapter One – Amalia, August 1984

“I didn’t raise no harlot, Amalia. When you’re done with softball practice today, you will go directly to the hardware store and help your father manage that cash register.” The stagnant air, sealed tightly like an old glass jar of long-forgotten jelly, refused to dissipate in the Graeme family home—even it was afraid of Janet’s wrath.

“But Momma, I’ll be home to cook dinner before sunset.” The strains in Amalia’s voice weakened with each of her mother’s refusals to let her live the normal life of a teenager.

“Didn’t you hear me the first time, child? Only little whores go to the lake.” Janet’s stern voice emptied through thin lips stained from devouring a blueberry cobbler before they’d started cooking breakfast. “Are you a little whore, Amalia?”

Retribution for daring to break any of her mother’s rules was always swift and fierce. Amalia had obeyed every word since her mother locked her in the storm cellar for ten hours when she was a toddler —punishment for spilling juice on an antique lace tablecloth. “No, I’m sorry. I thought you might let me celebrate just this once…”

The plea had barely escaped Amalia’s hesitant lips before the clammy grip of Janet’s bony hands shoved her down the hallway. “Stop your sass talk, girl. We can take another trip downstairs if you don’t care to mind me.”

Amalia’s left arm grazed the wall when stumbling from the kitchen into the dark mudroom. Dingy white paint chips rained to the floor and clung to her favorite new red blouse while passing through the dilapidated archway. She cradled her elbow, flicked off the last few flakes of her mother’s venom, and firmly held her ground. “It’s not fair. You let Greg hang out with his friends all the time.”

“Leave your brother out of this conversation. Your responsibility belongs first to this family and then to the hardware store. Who said anything about friends? Now get yourself off to practice.” Janet’s one good eye stubbornly left behind after diabetes stole the vision in her other glared while Amalia reluctantly marched toward the back door. “You’re a spiteful little child.”

“I’m taking out the trash, Momma.” Her voice carried the defeat of a soul unable to find the words or summon the strength to defend herself anymore. As she leaned over, the scoop neck on Amalia’s blouse revealed the slightest hint of cleavage between her ample breasts.

“Stop right now. What are you wearing?” Janet’s tone lingered thick over such insubordination. A special brand of disdain had been developed by watching her daddy preach to his Southern Baptist congregation for nearly forty years before he anxiously married her off to Amalia’s father.

“It’s just a pretty shirt I found at a yard sale. I’m not showing too much skin.” Amalia dropped the trash bag on the mudroom’s gray linoleum and recalled the similar, previous lectures. She refused to turn around to face the woman. “I’m not a child anymore, Momma.”

Janet stampeded through the kitchen and kicked the garbage into the far corner. Though the vinyl flooring had peeled away from the walls as the house settled, it was still not one of the more noticeable improvements desperately needed in their home. “It’s lesson time, girl.”

Amalia yelped and dashed to safety after a cast iron frying pan full of hot grease collided with bare skin on the back of her arm. “No, Momma, please…” She dropped to her knees, scooted across the mudroom floor, and cowered behind the pantry door to protect herself from any further blows. An acrid burnt plastic odor from a fiery singe on the linoleum beneath her wafted through the air as she shuddered in pain. The nerves in her forearm and elbow convulsed when the wound began to blister from the impact of her mother’s lesson.

“Someday you’ll learn how to behave yourself.” Janet grudgingly placed the frying pan on the washing machine and lifted Amalia by the curls of her hair. She tightly squeezed her daughter’s breasts while trying to raise the blouse over Amalia’s head. “I don’t know where you got these girls from. You’re hoping to entice all the boys to put their dirty little hands where they don’t belong.”

Amalia pushed away her mother’s sticky fingers willing to risk more punishment if she kept them off her trembling body. The putrid smell of Janet’s three-day-old sweat and decaying teeth littered the air between their lips. “Leave it. I’ve got a bra on underneath to keep them strapped down. I know the rules.”

Amalia’s breasts had begun to develop when she turned eleven years old. By thirteen, a custom-size bra was bought to contain them. Dresses were never allowed given the attention they’d drawn to her body’s hourglass shape. Though Janet’s words were enough of a rebuke, reduction surgery was still threatened should Amalia’s breasts grow any larger.

“I pray every night for them to stop getting bigger and for God to teach you some morals. It’s like you’re rubbing my great Aunt Tilly’s rose garden’s Miracle Grow on those dirty pillows. Tramps like you get themselves into some mighty trouble when they don’t protect their bodies.” Janet stomped back to the kitchen with the now-emptied frying pan and quickly snapped her fingers. “Cover yourself up or forget about going away to college this summer.”

“Yes, Momma.” Amalia heaved herself from the floor with the help of the door handle and collected the remains of her veiled dignity.

“And put out the trash already. It smells like a sewer in here,” snickered Janet.

Fighting back the tears brimming on the surface of her weary eyes, Amalia sighed with relief upon noticing the frying oil hadn’t ruined her blouse. In a rush to tend to her wounds while running through the living room and up the flight of stairs, Amalia crashed into her father, Peter. At sixty, he’d begun to settle into a grandfatherly presence contented by a quiet and ordinary life. He’d aged quickly in the Graeme household. Everyone did.

“Daddy, I’m so sorry. I was…” Amalia hugged her father, rested her head against his narrow chest, and listened to his enfeebled lungs wheeze with exertion.

Peter fell toward the wall and knocked over the family portrait they’d photographed during Greg’s high school graduation. “Oh, my pet, what’s wrong?” He pulled Amalia closer with one hand and adjusted the brass picture frame with the other. A thin layer of ashen skin on his face failed to cover years of misery being married to Janet. He’d long-accepted divorce would never be permitted by the daughter of a Baptist preacher and that his life would be fraught with reproach. “Did you have another squabble with your mother?”

Amalia sniffled and concealed her burns, desperate to splash cold water on the pain. “She hates me, Daddy. Momma never loved me the way she loves Greg.”

“That’s not true, honey. She’s tougher because you’re leaving later this month.” Peter brushed away a few loose curls from Amalia’s face and smiled with a fatherly love that hadn’t receded over the years. “What happened this time?”

A cherubic expression brightened her pale face with the hope he would understand but disappeared once she remembered begging had never helped before. “I asked if I could go to the lake today with the rest of the softball team for Brant’s town fair, but Momma says I have to work at the store like I do every other day.”

The population of their hometown, Brant, Mississippi, founded in 1784, hovered around five hundred inhabitants, the majority born and raised in the surrounding isolation. The Graeme family, still considered outsiders, had arrived in the mid-1800s settling about a half mile from Lake Newton—the livelihood once used to transport goods to the neighboring settlements. Over the years, as the county paved new roads to share crops more efficiently among all the nearby villages, the lake became a gathering place for the local families and visitors to enjoy each summer. Store owners had organized a bicentennial celebration for the upcoming weekend where all the citizens would barbecue ribs, hold square dancing lessons, and play various outdoor games. Amalia looked forward to it every year believing she always had the chance to find a new friend who might make the rough days pass by a little easier.

“Your momma knows best, honey. We need to be available for our customers.” Every penny was important to Janet Graeme, especially with two kids attending college—they could never close the store early. Janet often reminded them how pitching in around the house or store was impossible on account of her many illnesses. Peter nudged Amalia away and kissed her cheek. “You can leave work early to meet your teammates at tomorrow’s picnic. Will that make you happy?”

“It helps, but I’ll be the only one not going tonight.” Amalia buried her flushed cheeks into the crook of his left arm. He always smelled of Old Spice. She’d bought him the same cologne for Father’s Day every year since shopping on her own.

If Peter noticed the stinging red color or the slight favor of her left arm, he either ignored it or thought she’d injured herself in a recent softball game. He adhered to an insulated belief that his wife’s normal way of parenting didn’t include hurting or abusing their daughter. It wasn’t the first time he’d misjudged a situation. Peter once took Amalia to a movie theatre as an early birthday present telling Janet they’d stayed behind at the store to count inventory and order stock, but she found a few popcorn kernels on the floor of the family Dodge the next morning while driving to church. Janet waited until Amalia arrived home from school later that week to teach her daughter a lesson about lying. Though Amalia had only been trying to catch a schoolboy’s attention by lightening the color of her hair with lemon juice, it was a vengeful wrath she’d unexpectedly invited as Janet took a pair of shearing scissors to her daughter’s golden mane. The emotional scars from an abusive homelife were profound, but Amalia never regretted sneaking off to watch the movie. She was proud of being a daddy’s girl. He was her hero, the father she’d always treasure, the man who made it easier being the daughter of the wicked Janet Graeme.

Peter patted Amalia’s back offering any chance to ease her disillusion. “I know, but tomorrow when you go to the lake, everything will be back on track. Bring some clothes to change into so that you don’t have to come back home in between. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“I can’t wait. I love you, Daddy.” She hugged him again and raced up the stairs to change her shirt before her mother had another outburst. Amalia applied cream to her wounds, then chose a long-sleeve button-down sweater she fastened two inches above the dip in her neck. After checking the mirror and wishing a bit of foundation could hide the uneven colors, she splashed water on her face to erase the evidence of her pain. One of Janet’s more ridiculous judgments echoed among Amalia’s numbed thoughts. ‘Only the vile women in this town wear makeup!’

Amalia flew back down the stairs and searched for the trash bag she’d left behind, realizing it would mean another lashing if her mother had stumbled upon it first. As she rushed into the living room, her father handed her a banana and elbowed her out the front door. “I already put it in the outside bin. Get to softball practice, my pet.” His voice barely audible, his expression as loud as a parade.

Amalia smiled and released an uncontrollable giggle as her countenance relaxed for the first time that morning. Although the tense nerves in her neck retreated into partial hiding, her body remained hypervigilant and always waited for the next blistery strike from her mother. She left the house flickering with excitement for the town’s festivities over the weekend but frightened at what her teammates would say about her missing the lake party. No one ever declined their much sought-after invitations without hazardous repercussions.

Although she’d graduated high school two months earlier, Amalia continued playing in the county’s summer tournaments to keep her pitching skills primed for college games. Risking a loss of the unexpectedly received scholarship—as it was the only reason she could afford to go away to school—was not an option. After practice, where she conveniently forgot to tell her teammates about missing the upcoming lake party, Amalia worked side-by-side with her father for a few hours and avoided any further trouble with her mother at home. Once Amalia climbed into bed that evening exhausted from an emotionally and physically grueling afternoon, she drifted asleep clutching her pillow and wished things would somehow improve the next day.

****

The following morning, Janet took the family’s only car to the First Baptist’s services leaving Amalia and Peter to trudge the two-mile distance to the center of town. Graeme Hardware Store was part of the town’s original train depot when first built in the mid-nineteenth century. Shortly before World War I, the train line was re-routed to a larger city a few miles away. This prompted Brant’s town council to vote in favor of converting the train depot into a lunch café and expanding the footprints of local shops hoping it would draw more income from surrounding villages. The loss of the train station left Graeme Hardware Store with far fewer customers managing barely enough to keep afloat during a good year.

Peter unlocked the store and began his morning routine to review the previous day’s sales and prepare the inventory. While he dragged a rolling stand filled with buckets of nails and screws to the exterior porch of the store, Amalia brewed a fresh pot of strong coffee. She retrieved a starter till from the safe under the desk and counted a hundred dollars in small bills and coins, then placed it in the cash register atop the laminate countertop. She grabbed a few dollars to buy breakfast from the local café and strolled to the front of the store. The sharp clank of the bell loosely hung by a nylon cord on the door bounced off all the metal tools and reverberated throughout the building. Amalia held the outer screen door to prevent it from slamming shut and made a mental note to convince her father to repair the hinge that afternoon. Customers didn’t appreciate buying tools from a hardware store with a broken front door.

“I’ll be right back, Daddy.” Amalia bounded down three short steps and traveled the building’s main wooden pathway. Frustrated by the inability to meet the girls from the softball team the prior night, Amalia recoiled at how much of an encumbrance Brant had become to her over the years. She often daydreamed of leaving it all behind but remembered no one had ever escaped. She scoffed at her emotions, slid her fingers across the pathway’s splintered handrails, and ignored the desire to run deep into the woods.

Father Figure Purchase Links

Kindle: http://mybook.to/FatherFigure

Paperback: http://mybook.to/fatherfigurepb

Large Print: http://mybook.to/fatherfigurelp

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Spring Sale- #Free #Romance


Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

It’s spring and I’m getting that shopping itch, are you?

I’ve also been doing a lot of reading and not so much writing- oops!

Here’s a couple of free books I put on sale for the weekend in case you’re looking for some deals 🙂

Hold ‘Em

In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.

Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.

Will two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

International Link: http://books2read.com/HoldEm

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34682965-hold-em

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/hold-em-gambling-hearts-1-by-jacquie-biggar

Excerpt

“Is this you?” Cassandra asked, holding up a picture of him in a black and white tux, his then girlfriend, Candy, perched on his arm in a bright yellow ball gown.

“Prom,” he answered, amazed he’d ever looked that young.

She ran a finger down the glass and his body responded as though she’d physically touched him. He cursed under his breath. The last damn thing he needed was to be attracted to a woman who detested the ground he walked on. Never mind the fact she was engaged to be married—and it wasn’t to him.

He shoved away from the wall and stalked across the spacious room to his desk where his overnight bag had been left by one of the staff. He unzipped the side compartment and pulled out the distinctive blue box.

“Put this on.” He tossed the container at her and had to admit he was impressed with her swift catch.

She eyed it warily, then slowly slid the lid off to reveal the midnight blue velvet box within. “Is this what I think it is?”

There she went with that finger again, rubbing the box like it was a gene’s lamp. Matt stared. Goosebumps chased up his spine and whispered in his ear that he was in a boatload of trouble. Yeah, he had that part figured out.

“You need a ring,” he said, shifting to ease the sudden pressure behind his zipper. “Grannie will expect you to have one. You can keep it when we part ways—consider it a bonus.” God, he could be such a dick sometimes.

She sent him a glance that cut to the bone, then carefully pulled the box out of its wrappings and opened the lid as though she thought it might explode in her hand. The flash of surprise she quickly hid tugged at his heart. She liked it.

“Where’s my ring?” she asked, sliding the pretty solitaire onto her finger.

He was happy to see it fit. “You mean my ring, don’t you?”

She snapped the jewelry box closed and he winced.

“It’s in a safe place. You live up to your end of the bargain, princess, and I’ll live up to mine.”

Cass waved her hand in the air, and the new ring glinted under the lights. “I’m here, aren’t I? Let’s just try to get through this week without killing each other.” She flopped onto the side of his bed and bounced a couple of times. “Where are you going to sleep?”

Matt hid a grin. If this weren’t so serious, and she wasn’t holding all the cards, he’d be hard-pressed not to like this girl.

“Well, darlin’, that’s where it gets interesting.”


The Lady Said No

And Now on Audio Book!- http://a.co/23uX6b8

Start your #Free Trial Today! https://www.audible.com/pd/B074VFB534/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-094041&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_094041_rh_us

And check out my other #audiobooks here: https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-Biggar/B00MSIJQBG

The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country

Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder, John Jorgenson, is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing.

Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive.

Rebecca Hayes owes the Jorgenson family her loyalty. They gave her a new life after a disastrous affair leaves her alone and pregnant.

With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty?

Or follow his heart?

International link: http://books2read.com/The-LadySaidNo

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41560041-the-lady-said-no

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-lady-said-no-augustus-grant-mysteries-by-jacquie-biggar

Excerpt

Gus finished the soup and thanked the young cook before making his way into the main part of the house. Fine hardwood floors and the dark wainscoting lined the walls. Everything was polished to within an inch of its life and glistened from top to bottom. How could anyone feel comfortable in a place like this? Bet the Jorgensons never kicked their feet up onto the coffee table to relax, or left their rooms in robes in search of a midnight snack. This was the type of house that demanded decorum.

As if to prove his verdict, a man came into view at the end of the hall. He was directing the coroner, Nancy Huggins, to a room with a police guard, disapproval radiating from his immaculate frame. He wore a suit nicer than Gus’ funeral attire, all three pieces starched and pressed to perfection. A wrinkle wouldn’t dare latch itself to those clothes.

Gus looked down at his own rumpled shirt and skewed tie and shrugged.

Nancy caught his eye and raised her brow. “Augustus. What brings you to the back of beyond?”

The manservant turned, and a chill crawled down Gus’ back. The guy had the deadest, black eyes he’d ever seen.

“I’m…ah, here to investigate the Jorgenson case. The Brass called and requested me for this one.”

“Hmm, must be important then. I heard you received a medal from the President.”

Gus squirmed.

He hadn’t done anything to deserve a medal. It was pure luck that he figured out the plot to kidnap the President’s daughter, and was able to catch the perps before they got away with the deed.

“Why were you in the back of the house, sir? That area is reserved for the servants.” The manservant folded his arms and waited for an answer. Gus felt like a misbehaving child all over again.

“I, ah… came in from the pool, after talking to Mrs. Jorgenson. She gave me permission to question the staff as I see fit.” He met the man’s coal dark gaze. “And you are?”

Gus didn’t think it was possible for the broom handle to climb any further up the man’s butt.

“That’s Ernest. He takes a while to warm up to strangers,” a lilting voice drifted down from the upper reaches of the home.

Gus froze. His heart battered the walls of his chest. There was a ringing in his ears. The chicken soup threatened to revolt.

“Hello, Augustus.”

Happy Reading!

peacefully reading

Choosing a Genre- #HenLit #Reading @JoanneGuidoccio


All About Fantasy Hen Lit

Guest Post by Joanne Guidoccio

I never intended to write fantasy. I avoided books that featured werewolves, vampires, witches, and other dark creatures. I’m probably one of the few people on this planet who couldn’t read past Chapter 1 of the first Harry Potter novel. But after participating in a series of science fiction workshops, I decided to try my hand at light, breezy fantasy with inspirational elements.

So, I sat at my computer and came up with a contemporary version of my favorite fairy tale: The Little Mermaid. While the original version by Hans Christian Anderson always fascinated me, I struggled with the ending. I wanted a happily-ever-after ending for the little mermaid and the prince and couldn’t wrap my mind around this depressing prediction:

You, poor little mermaid, have tried with your heart to do as we are doing; you have suffered and endured and raised yourself to the spirit-world by your good deeds, and now, by striving for three hundred years in the same way, you may obtain an immortal soul.(Hans Christian Anderson,1836 )

When the Disney version was released, I still wasn’t satisfied. I realize now that I wanted to read about a different kind of mermaid, one who could enjoy a happy and successful life, with or without the prince. And maybe one who wasn’t quite so young or so beautiful.

Keeping this vision of an older and wiser mermaid firmly in mind, I wrote Between Land and Sea, the first book in the Mediterranean trilogy. Later, I added Book 2, The Coming of Arabella.

In early query letters, I described Between Land and Sea as urban fantasy. That did not sit well with one agent who commented that my novel was too light to be considered urban fantasy. Her suggestion: Use “contemporary women’s fiction with fantasy elements” in future queries. I used that mouthful several times and was relieved when senior editor Debby Gibson of Soul Mate Publishing classified Between Land and Sea as a paranormal romance.

Confusion followed when the book was released on Amazon. One friend confided: “When I heard it was a paranormal romance, I assumed you were writing about witches or werewolves. I’m so glad to hear you’re writing about mermaids.”

Still wondering about the “right” descriptor, I started reading articles about literary genres and sub-genres and came across an interview with literary agent Jenny Bent. Asked about the future of chick-lit, Ms. Bent replied, “I think if there’s any future for chick lit, it will be in paranormal chick lit or multicultural chick lit or in mom lit or hen lit.”

I zeroed in on hen lit.

I discovered that these books focus on older female characters (aged 40 to 65) as protagonists and address such themes as giving birth after age forty, dealing with three generations living in the same house, dating after divorce or widowhood, and launching second (third or fourth) careers. To address the mermaid element, I added fantasy.

My new sub-genre: Fantasy Hen Lit.

Now, if I could only persuade editors, publishers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble…

Blurb – Between Land and Sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

On sale for 99 cents – March 29 to April 4

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

Blurb – The Coming of Arabella

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

On sale for 99 cents – March 29 to April 4

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Arabella-Mediterrean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Arabella-Mediterranean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU/

Bio

A member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime, Joanne Guidoccio writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Website – https://joanneguidoccio.com

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Guidoccio/e/B00FAWJGCG/

Spring Equinox Deals and Steals- #amreading #Romance


It’s Spring!

I know many of us are dealing with uncertainty and fear with the Covid19 Pandemic, which makes it even more important to enjoy the things we can- blue skies, cherry blossoms, longer days and warmer nights.

It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I decided to run a week of sales and share my new release, Sunset Beach! https://books2read.com/SunsetBeach

Click the covers to be taken to sale sites.

First the Freebie

The premise for The Guardian is that a couple of free living movie stars have their lives changed forever when they are involved in a horrific car accident. One dies, Lucas Carmichael, and seeks redemption for his carelessness by vowing to help those he left behind.
Scott Anderson is lost and bitter without his best friend and blames himself for the accident. When the ME charged with investigating the case is harassed, Scott tries to help and finds himself caught up in a dangerous web of lies and deceit.
Cook County Medical Examiner, Tracy York, has seen the extreme violence humans can inflict on one another. Her sister was murdered when she was a teenager and it has made her wary of the male population. When she is tasked with the investigation into a suspicious crash that killed one mega-star, and injured the other, Tracy must put aside her reservations and accept the hand of a stranger.
Can two lost souls come together to stop a madman and find love and peace with the help of a sarcastic angel, or will fate deal them a losing hand?
I really enjoyed creating these characters. Lucas is sarcastic and irreverent, great qualities for an angel, and Scott is bitter and antagonistic. It takes a special woman and a near death experience to help all three to see the light and maybe get a chance at a happy ending.

I’ve read a handful of titles written by Jacquie Biggar in a few different genres, and one thing remains the same throughout—she doesn’t disappoint.

The Guardian absolutely doesn’t.

This novel plays the “what if” game and asks, “What if you’re the only survivor of a car crash that claims your sister and best friend—and your best friend comes back?”

No, this isn’t a weird Pet Sematary kind of thing. Lucas (the dead best friend) comes back in supernatural form. As an angel.

Oh, how I wish it were true and we could all see our loved ones again. (Not that life as an angel is all it’s cracked up to be for poor Lucas.)

This is a beautifully written tale of grief and hope. But before you write it off as too speculative or sappy, let me tell you about the murder mystery. And the red-hot romance.

Yes, Ms. Biggar has managed to wrap all that and more into a read-in-one-sitting novel. I tore through the pages, desperate to know if Scott and Tracy would lower their guards or harden their hearts. I needed to know if Lucas and Mike could put aside their differences to move on. I was desperate to find out who was behind it all and why.

Sorry; I’m not going to tell you. I highly recommend you read the book yourself for the answers to these questions and more. I enjoyed every word and eagerly began reading the second installment of the series the second I was done with this one.

Amazon Reviewer

Next the Deal

Captivating chance encounters, sizzling second chances, unforgettable attraction

3 full-length heartwarming romances plus one bonus short story from USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar
All your favorite alpha heroes and independant heroines!
Sweet, sexy romance. The perfect reading deal for your Kindle! Grab a cool drink and curl up for an unforgettable boxed set of romance best sellers. Each book is a standalone contemporary story of love, honor, duty, and family dilemmas.

Romance designed to thrill and entertain!

An old song says you can gamble for gold but never for love.

Well, these cowboys will prove you wrong!

Enough spice to hold you spellbound.

Good story lines with strong characters.

Amazon Reviewer

And the New Release!

An explosive secret threatens the peace and tranquility of Sweetheart Cove

Single father Trace Michaels hands are full coping with a rebellious teenage daughter, troublesome ex-wife, and campaigning for the mayor’s election. He doesn’t have time to get distracted by an old flame from his past– one he’s never forgotten.

When an unknown source leaks surprising news that could damage his career, Trace turns to the one person he trusts for the truth.

Single mother Mona Samuels knows how difficult it can be to raise a daughter. She empathizes with Trace, but when he comes to her for advice she’s conflicted. They say the truth will set you free, but unburying the past could destroy everything she’s worked so hard to build.

Just about everyone can understand the turmoil of Mona in this story. A teenage Mona finding herself pregnant and then breaking up with the boyfriend, the hard decisions she must make and then many years later the old flame is back. Must read this well written story that will make you laugh, smile and cry in places. Sunset Beach by Jacquie Biggar.

Bookbub Reviewer

Stay safe everyone and breathe ❤

Bitmoji Image

A Little Sweet and a Lot Sassy #Romance #Reading #mgtab


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Looking for your next read?
Our Sweet and Sassy boxed sets are a great way to discover a new author or try out a different romantic genre for only 99 Cents. Some are steamy and they are all a little sweet. 
Here we go- click the covers for more info… 

Enjoy being curled up with a good book by the fire or under a palm tree. 

New Release News- The Player by Jacquie Biggar #RomCom #SportsRomance


I have a new release and it’s a Rom-com!

When I started writing the second book in the Men of WarHawks series I had in mind a suspense novel with a female antagonist because I’d read somewhere that something like one in ten women are criminals. Enter Olivia Brandt- psycho stalker.

Excerpt from Villain’s POV

Unable to help herself, Olivia lifted the spyglasses just as Roy got out of the car and went around to open the door for the chunky woman who climbed out and stared up at the rather impressive log cabin in front of them. What did he even see in her? She had no style sense—seriously, bubble coats when you’re plump is like adding wrapping paper to a watermelon, there is no hiding those curves—and what was with those glasses and hairstyle? Did she dream of becoming the next Marilyn Monroe?

Roy put a hand to the woman’s elbow and solicitously helped her over the icy gravel drive and up the stairs to the wraparound porch. They paused for a moment while he unlocked the door, then ushered her inside. Olivia’s blood boiled. She threw the binoculars onto the seat—where they promptly bounced to the floor—and smacked a gloved hand on the steering wheel.

“She’s going to pay for getting in my way,” she vowed.

“You’re going to jail, is what’s going to happen,” Mike retorted. “C’mon, sis, you already have a restraining order against you thanks to this guy, isn’t that enough?”

Heat rose up her chest and coated her cheeks. “I told you, it’s a misunderstanding. Once I get a chance to speak to Roy, he’ll clear it up. That’s why I need you.”

He rolled his eyes. “You’re making excuses. He doesn’t want anything more to do with you. He’s moved on, why can’t you?”

Rage rose in a tidal wave. Before she knew what she was doing, Olivia reached down, grabbed the binoculars, and rammed them into her brother’s face.

“Ow, you bitch,” he yelled, putting both hands up to protect his bleeding nose. “What the hell was that for?”

The anger ebbed, the monster in her head silent for now. She started the truck and backed down the drive until they were out of sight of the house. A couple of maneuvers later, the four-by-four was turned around. Olivia glanced at Mike and frowned. She threw a roll of paper towel from under the seat in his direction. “Clean yourself up, we have a date with a rental agency.”

“You’re fricking crazy,” he mumbled.

She laughed, exhilarated now that the time was near. Soon we will be together, darling. And no one was going to stand in her way.


As you can see, Olivia has a few issues. But, as well as her character came together, I couldn’t tame my protagonists into having the proper respect and solemn attitudes given the seriousness of the situation.

Roy Donaldson is an attitude-ridden hockey player, frustrated with his general manager’s request demand to take time away from the game to get his personal life in order, and Patience Kennedy is the unfortunate PA hired to help him. Roy figures he can boss the PA into leaving so he can get back on the ice, but Patience isn’t the pushover he expects.

Short Excerpt between Roy and Patience

Roy stripped down in the empty locker room and stepped into the shower, sighing as the warm water massaged his back. He’d paid a hefty price to get the arena to himself, but it was worth the fee to escape the merciless eyes of the press. If he wasn’t under contract… hell, who was he kidding? His career was all he had left, he wasn’t going anywhere. His cell phone jingled, wrecking the quiet. He tipped his head back, letting the water roll off his face. Olivia. Again. He had nothing to say to her. She’d made a fool out of him in front of his entire team—unforgivable.

He rubbed his face and blinked unseeingly at the tiled wall. Two months. He and Olivia had been happy together—well, content. God. If he hadn’t come home early that day and found her ensconced in his bed…

They’d agreed to take things slow, enjoy the natural growth of their relationship. Instead, she’d stolen his keys, inserting herself into every part of his life. Calling his mother, arranging a dinner with his teammates, adding her name—in a relationship—to his Facebook profile. He pounded the wall, then bowed his head, failure ringing in his ears.

He rinsed off and left the shower stall, hands squeezing the water from his over-long hair—he needed a cut. A startled screech stopped him in his tracks. A curvy brunette sat half-turned on the bench. She’d covered her eyes and held out his towel, reminding him of a pinup from the fifties with her flouncy dress, short sweater and colorful knotted headscarf.

“Who the hell are you?” he snarled, making a grab for the towel to cover his privates—though it was probably too late for modesty. So much for having this place to himself.

“Umm, P… Patience Kennedy.” She peeked at him from an oversized pair of mint green glasses that made her brown eyes look huge.

Great, they were sending ingénues for reporters now. Didn’t matter, he wasn’t buying into it. “Well, Patience Kennedy, this is the men’s locker room. You aren’t supposed to be in here. Tell whatever rag you’re working for the whole sex kitten thing is wasted on me.” There, that should send her running in…

One.

Two.

The young woman erupted off her seat in the most interesting flurry of bounces and wriggles. Hands on hips, she glared at him in all her bifocaled glory. “That is a horrible, sexist thing to say.” Her eyes lowered to his bare chest and the towel tucked haphazardly around his hips. She jerked her gaze up, cheeks flushing a becoming pink. “This is a misunderstanding. My boss suggested I come down and introduce myself after your practice. I wasn’t expecting…” Her hands flapped in front of her like a frightened peacock attempting to take flight.

Unexpectedly, he grinned. “Never see a naked man before, Patience Kennedy?” He double-checked the towel and chuckled when she sealed her eyes shut. “Don’t worry, your virtue is safe with me.” The smile faded. “I learn from my mistakes.” He looked around for his clothes, realized he’d left them in his locker and Kennedy stood in his path.

“I wish I could say this has been fun, but…” He waited until she reopened her eyes, then jerked his chin in the direction of the other room.

She tipped her head and a heavy sweep of chestnut hair slipped over her shoulder to cover the plump fullness of her breast—not that he was looking. “Sorry?”

He saw the moment the lightbulb went on. Her eyes widened and her mouth made an oh that hooked his attention. She had a beauty mark. “My clothes are behind you—unless you plan on holding me hostage until you get your story?” And why the hell did that not sound like a bad idea?

She jumped out of his way and promptly twisted an ankle on the wet bricks. “Ouch,” she cried, leaning over to cradle the injury.

That damn sweater was too small, her breasts were hanging out of the top, jiggling with every pained breath she took. He was such a pervert. He crouched to get a closer look at the injury, tucking the towel between his legs. Yep, she’d sprained it. Who came into a locker room in three-inch heels anyway?

“You’d better sit down. You can’t walk on it like that.” He rose and took her elbow, frowning when she jerked away.

“Don’t tell me what I can or can’t do. It’s fi… fine,” she groaned as she put her weight on the foot in question. Her face paled and she reached behind her for the bench, easing her rump down. “Dammit, what else can go wrong?”


If you’d like to find out how these two survive themselves and the crazy Olivia, check out The Player releasing Feb 28th!

The Player: Men of WarHawks- Book 2

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083CZVVLG

International: https://books2read.com/ThePlayer

TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50439233-the-player

Recommend on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-player-men-of-warhawks-book-2-by-jacquie-biggar

Sometimes, love happens when we least expect it…

NHL defenseman Roy Donaldson lives for the game. When an ex-girlfriend/stalker causes trouble for the team, Roy gets benched.

And the only way he can return to the rotation…? Accept help from sassy, sexy PA Patience Kennedy.

Patience is one step away from a junior partnership– all she needs to do is restore a sullen, annoying, attractive hockey player’s image.

Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Early Reviews

Oh this one took a surprising turn and I couldn’t put it down. I won’t give any spoilers but it is a doozy! It is well written and a nice blend of sports player, strong woman, romance,a touch of humor, twists, family and yes, suspense!

Bookbub reviewer- The Player

I love sports stories (especially hockey ones) and Jacquie gives us Roy who gets sidelined from NHL thanks to his stalker ex so he ends up needing some little help from a PA Patience … so you can imagine the good laughs and antics and aww moments she mixed up for us and to be frank, I think the story would have deserved to be longer! I for sure will keep my eyes open for more by Jacquie!

Bookbub Reviewer- Irresistible Valentine Anthology

I #Read My Own #Book, and I Liked It! #Romance


I read my book, Valentine, and got a kick out of it!

Authors, do you ever go back and read books off of your own backlist?

I’ve always avoided it, I’m not sure why. Maybe, I was scared to find out how bad they were, lol. I think we writers have fragile egos (or I do, anyway) and worry we’re doing the old, fake it, til we make it, with regards to our books. Then too, I’m my own worst critic, so that doesn’t help.

I remember the first time I made bread. Spoiler alert; I hate baking, but I wanted to do something nice for my family, so like a trooper, I got the recipe from my mom (who makes baking look like child’s play) and put all the ingredients together, feeling pretty proud of myself. But then, the loaves came out of the oven, flat and heavy and looking nothing like my mom’s. Hubby said he could use them to fill in the holes in our driveway, they were that bad!

I never baked bread again.

You may wonder what this has to do with writing, and honestly I’m not sure, other than to say I’m glad writing doesn’t require kneading!

Do you have something you epically failed at? Were you like me and gave up, or did you keep going until you got it right?

My Review for Valentine: A Hearts & Kisses Romance

Free until Feb 16th

It’s been a couple of years since I wrote Valentine and had forgotten most of the story. It was like reading a new book- one I really enjoyed!

Sierra Johnson is recovering from a bad breakup (boyfriend conned her out of all of her life savings) and works two jobs in order to survive. One is a temporary caretaker/home repair person for an aging brownstone, and the other is her dream job- catering. Unfortunately, her boss isn’t the easiest to work for, and her fellow boarder at the brownstone is an obnoxious, aggravating male who keeps showing up at the wrong moment.

Val Hodgins is on the island to help his great-aunt with her brownstone, and his twin sister with her catering business, but an annoying, klutzy, cute firebrand keeps him on his toes.

Favorite Lines

Love was a two-way street and it turned out theirs was a dead end.

Valentine- Jacquie Biggar

She looked stricken. “Val, I’m sorry we didn’t work out. I love you, I’ll always love you. I’m just not in love with you. It took me a long time to figure out the distinction, but it’s all the difference in the world, isn’t it?”

Valentine- Jacquie Biggar

If betrayal were a color, it would be gray.

Valentine- Jacquie Biggar

I highly recommend going back and reading your books. You might be proud of what you’ve achieved!

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

Ways to Inspire Your Writing #WritingTips #WritingCommunity


Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com

Ways I’ve found to inspire my writing

I often get asked where I go for inspiration. There are literally a million different storylines out there- you just have to be open to ideas.

The other night, on America’s Got Talent there was a trapeze act where the woman flipped in mid-air over a fiery pit of spikes. It made me wonder what her backstory was; why would she risk her life for a moment’s glory that way?

I follow a couple of amazing photographer blogs; Tofino Photography and Steve McCurry. Both of these men delve deep into the souls of their subjects. They fill me with awe and endless ideas for stories.

Another way that I get story ideas is from news clips. Whether you write murder mysteries, romance, paranormal, or true life there’s a story waiting to be told. Here’s an interesting story from my home province:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/possible-meteor-alberta-1.5457429

Many know my obsession with covers. I truly believe a great cover can lead to sales and the trickle effect of having your book noticed and talked about, but that’s not all. As a writer, if you decide on a cover prior to starting the book it can serve as inspiration for the story.

This is true for my contemporary romance, Valentine: A Hearts and Kisses Romance

Free from Feb 12-16

When I came across this cover, I immediately saw a rom-com and couldn’t resist snatching it up!

Blurb:

Take two humans who pretend they can’t stand each other and one matchmaking canine and the fun is nonstop!

Val Hodgins is on the road to success. His architect firm handles some of the biggest contracts along the western seaboard. He doesn’t have time to babysit his aunt’s aging house or her pain in the butt dog, but when she falls ill with pneumonia he drops everything to go to her aid.

Sierra Johnson’s dreams of owning a catering company go up in smoke thanks to a bad choice in boyfriends. Now, she’s stuck working for a tyrannical boss, care-taking an aging townhouse, and being tormented by the owner’s aggravating, caustic, way-too-attractive nephew.

Will these two get over their prejudices in time to realize love comes without a price tag?

Excerpt:

Val opened the door to the brownstone and ushered Norma Jean inside. What a fiasco. He was just glad it was over.

“Thanks for accepting my apologetic dinner. My aunt’s dog isn’t usually so…”

“Cute?” she supplied, smiling as he helped her remove her wet coat. Of course, it had to be pouring when they left the restaurant.

“Troublesome,” he corrected. Though really, he’d only been living here a week, so what did he know?

“It’s strange I never saw him here before your aunt became ill.” A horrified look crossed her pretty face. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.”

He shrugged, uncomfortable. She couldn’t, he barely knew his great-aunt. “It’s fine, we aren’t that close.” He hung her jacket by the door. “Maybe next time we go out we can avoid setting off the fire alarms.”

He’d meant it as a joke, but when he turned and caught the hopeful expression in her sky-blue eyes he cursed his loose lips.

“That sounds amazing,” she sighed, then glanced down the hall. “Something smells good.”

Oh, hell. He’d left his roast slow-cooking while he took her out, but he hadn’t planned on the delay with the water sprinklers and the firemen who wanted to know what happened. He’d be lucky if it wasn’t beef jerky by now.

“Thanks,” he said. “I’m stocking the freezer for those days when I don’t want to cook after work. Do you want to join me for coffee and a sandwich?” he offered reluctantly.

She gazed longingly down the hall, but shook her head. “Maybe next time. I need to study, mid-terms are coming up soon.”

He sighed his relief. She was nice, and would make a great friend, but he wasn’t interested in anything else. He’d been burned by women enough to last a lifetime. He’d give love a pass.

“Okay, well… have a nice night,” he ventured, waiting for her to go up the stairs to her room.

She laughed softly and leaned close to brush his cheek with her cherry red lips. “Don’t try so hard,” she murmured, before sashaying away on the stilts she wore for shoes.

Val rubbed his jaw and strode down the hall. Maybe they could just be friends.

He entered the kitchen expecting smoke, and instead found himself staring at the shapely bottom of a woman bent over his oven basting his roast while the mutt who’d ruined his day sat nearby, a sloppy grin on its narrow face.

Now what?

Your turn; what inspires you to write?

Don’t forget, Valentine is FREE until Feb 16th!

happy valentine's day

Love in The Suburbs by @DEHaggerty #BookBuzz #Romance


About Face

Love in the Suburbs #1

by D.E. Haggerty

Genre: Romantic Comedy

My grandma is trying to hook me up.
To be painfully specific, my seventy-five-year-old grandmother thinks a little hanky-panky would cheer me up. Direct quote. Since I’m currently living with her, I can’t escape the endless line of grandchildren of friends who keep ‘dropping by’ for dinner. Literally, I can’t escape. I can barely manage the trek to the dining room at this point.
While Grandma’s determined to find me a husband, I’m determined to learn how to walk again so I can walk away from her matchmaking skills. Spoiler alert: She has no matchmaking skills.
But then I get a brilliant idea. I can fake date my physical therapist. Only he wants a real date. Gulp. A real date with me? Is he for real? I’m no longer the stylish girl with the glamorous job. Now, I’m a woman with a shattered leg and a scarred face.
If I’m going to learn to live with my new reality and give love a chance, my attitude needs to do an about-face. Easier said than done.

Excerpt:

 

“Now, young man.” I chuckle. Bert is not young by anyone’s measure except Grandma’s. Based on his receding hairline and the white tinting his beard, I’m guessing he’s somewhere in his late thirties if not older. “What’s this about you having a girlfriend?”

Bert, who just stuffed a huge portion of pork chop into his mouth, chokes but holds his hand up when Grandma stands and pulls her arm back as if to whack him on the back. He takes a drink of water and manages to swallow his food. “My grandmother Alma doesn’t approve of my relationship.”

“Why not?” Grandma asks as she sits down. “Are you a homosexual? Do you need me to talk to Alma? She should know better in this day and age than to discriminate against you gays.”

Bert starts choking all over again. This time on mere air. When he gets control of himself, he shakes his head. “Um, no. I’m not gay. I have a girlfriend,” he explains making sure to emphasize ‘girl’.

“Why doesn’t she approve of your relationship?” I ask before Grandma can start on some other inane theory.

“My girlfriend is in prison.”

My eyes widen at his answer. I can honestly admit of the dozen scenarios running through my head – drug dealer, too young, single mother – ‘girlfriend in prison’ never entered the realm of possibilities. “What’s she in for?” His lips turn down at my question. “What? Is it not proper etiquette to ask?” Like I care. I will find out what crimes his girlfriend committed.

He shrugs. “I guess I can tell you as you’ll probably never meet Shayla. She was arrested for intent to distribute drugs.”

My mouth gapes open. “Your girlfriend is a drug dealer?”

Bert’s eyes narrow on me. “No, she is not. She has a problem with addiction for which she’s being treated.”

Sure, she’s not. “Does she get treatment in prison?”

“She’s going to NA.”

I nod. NA is better than nothing I guess, although I wouldn’t be surprised if she was ordered to attend NA as part of her sentence. Wow. These blind dates are making me cynical. I take a bite of pork chop as I consider my next question. “How did you two meet?”

“Online.”

“Like online dating before she went to prison or…” I trail off when I see him shaking his head.

“No, I met her on this website for dating prisoners.” There’s a website for dating prisoners? People, who are not in prison purposefully choose to find a prisoner to date? Fascinating. I have to find this website. Maybe his girlfriend is still listed on there.

“But you have met her in person, right?”

“Of course.” Bert smiles. “I drive down to the prison about once a month to visit her.”

I lean forward and whisper. “Can you like touch each other and kiss and stuff when you visit?” Is it rude to ask someone if they can have sex with their prisoner girlfriend at the dinner table? I sneak a peek at Grandma whose mouth is hanging open as she stares at Bert. Okay, probably not best to ask about sex then.

Bert’s face goes nuclear red. Even the tips of his ears are red. It’s kind of adorable. “Not really. But she’s out soon…” The implication is clear. He can’t wait to do the horizontal mumbo jumbo with his prisoner girlfriend.

Grandma clears her throat and stops any further questions of which I have about a gazillion. I’ve never met anyone who dated a prisoner before. I don’t think I even know anyone who’s been to jail, let alone prison. I’m intrigued.

“What about in the meantime?” Grandma asks.

“In the meantime? What do you mean?” Bert asks, but I have a sneaking suspicion where Grandma is going with this line of inquiry and I don’t like it one bit.

“Don’t you need some female companionship since your girl is … um …. unavailable?”

Oh my god! Is my grandma trying to pimp me out?

 

1 about face teaser 1

At Arm’s Length

Love in the Suburbs #2

Jackson Schmidt is the biggest jerkity jerk ever. They should totally erect a statue to commemorate his jerkityness, jerkdom— Uggh! There are literally not enough words for ‘jerk’ to depict the man.
Unfortunately, Jackson is also the most gorgeous specimen of manhood I’ve ever laid eyes on. One look at him and I want to jump and climb him like a tree. But whenever he opens his mouth, his status as the biggest bastard on the planet is immediately reinstated. It’s impossible for the man to say anything remotely nice – at least not to me. To my best friend, though? To her, he’s Mr. Perfect Gentleman. Did I mention he’s carrying a torch for my engaged best friend?
My libido does not give one flying hoot Jackson is a dick who has a crush on my bestie. Nope. Not at all. No matter how much of a schmuck the man is – and trust me he takes schmuck to the next level – I continue to pant after him like a nerdy freshman crushing on the prom king. If I want to keep my sanity, I’m going to have to keep Jackson at arm’s length.
Sanity is totally overrated.

Hands Off

Love in the Suburbs #3

I am done with men. D – O – N – E. DONE!
I don’t care how much billionaire Roman Cadwell pushes (and, oh boy, does the sexy man push ALL my buttons), I am not dating him. Especially not when he’s wearing a golden band around his ring finger. I do not get involved with married men. Call it my line in the sand. If a man can’t be faithful, I want not one single thing to do with him.
But what if Roman isn’t really married? What then? No, no, no. I will not fall into Lying McLiarson’s trap.
Only every time the man touches me, my body forgets I’m a good girl and wants to give in. Hands off, Mr. Lying Pants, before I forget I’m a good girl.
Although – no one said I had to be a good girl forever.
Author’s Note: This romantic comedy contains absolutely, positively NO cheating. None. But it does have a whole bunch of witty dialogue and a super sweet happily ever after. And maybe more drama than the author originally intended. What can she say? The characters have minds of their own.
Hands Off is book 3 of the Love in the Suburbs series but can be read as a standalone.
I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
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