Monday, November 25, 2013

Southern Magic is Playing Santa! Giveaway!!


Merry Christmas!!

Southern Magic is playing Santa this year to one reader who has been nice--or very, very naughty! *lascivious grin* Many of the wonderfully talented authors of Southern Magic are giving away a huge 34 books to one winner! How about that in your Christmas stocking?

Romance novels by many of today's brightest and best authors that range from New Adult to historical to paranormal to erotic romance! Something to satisfy every reader's desire!

From November 25th through December 16th, anyone can enter, and one reader on Santa's list will be randomly selected as a winner. Each author will mail her gifts separately so the winner will receive numerous packages--either by snail mail or electronically--throughout the Christmas season, but in time to cozy up with awesome books for the holiday! Books and maybe--just maybe--other goodies! Who knows what might turn up under your tree?

So go! Enter now through the Rafflecopter below!

Here are the authors participating in this special Christmas Giveaway!

Bette Bolte
Carla Swafford
Christy Reece
Debbie Kaufman
Ingrid Seymour
Jamie Farrell
Jillian Chantal
Julie Johnstone
Katherine Bone
Kerry Freeman
Naima Simone
Paula Graves
Rashda Khan
Susan Carlisle
Suzanne Johnson

Merry Christmas!!

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ignite October Cover Reveal!

Check out these gaw-geous covers for the Ignite October releases!! You can join the Ignite Cover Reveal and have a chance to win a $15 Amazon or B&N Gift Card! Just share the covers on your Facebook page from my page, and then enter the Rafflecopter below!

Soooo....

1. Ogle the covers below.

2. Go to my Facebook page and share my post about the covers.

3. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win the GIVEAWAY!









In the Arms of a Stranger by Virginia Kelly

To Love and Serve by Caridad Pineiro  

Two Can Play by Dawn Atkins 

Her Rocky Mountain Guardian by Margery Scott 

Leaving Las Vegas by Aleah Barley 


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Sexy & Out: Hot LGBT Athletes

Today I'm so psyched to have my fellow Southern Sister of of Steam, Kerry Freeman, visiting me! Yaay! *jazz kick and hands* She and three fab-u-lous authors, Shae Connor, Marguerite Labbe, and Kate McMurray have a HAWT new anthology out from Dreamspinner Press entitled, Playing Ball. Pun totally intended. Kerry's here to tell us about the anthology as well as have some fun! :-D Take it away, Kerry!

* * *
Thanks so much to Naima Simone for having me on the blog today - you rock!
Today, more and more athletes are coming out, and more are openly supporting them as allies. For a bit of fun, I thought I’d highlight some sexy and out LGBT athletes.

belle-brockhoff.com

Olympic-bound Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff recently came out publicly in response to Russia’s awful anti-gay laws. She plans to compete in Sochi next year.

Joshua Dixon/Twitter US gymnast and Olympic hopeful Joshua Dixon came out in 2012. He made the finals for the US team that year, and he hopes to make the team in 2016.
jessicaaguilar.com Jessica Aguilar is ranked the #3 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world and is openly bisexual. Last year she was the Florida Female MMA Fighter of the Year.
Noah Salzman/Wikipedia Coming out while playing in Britain earlier this year, Robbie Rogers is the first openly gay man to play in a North American professional league as a winger for the Los Angeles Galaxy. He is currently recovering from a torn hamstring.

Ampatent/Wikipedia Megan Rapinoe helped the US women’s soccer team win gold in 2012. She is currently playing for the Seattle Reign FC.
Philip Myers/Wikipedia
Australian diver Matthew Mitcham came out in 2008, the same year he won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. He also competed in 2012, and the world was introduced to his adorable YouTube videos.



If you want to find out about more LGBT athletes, check out Wikipedia’s list here!

***

This was awesome, Kerry! Thanks so much for hijacking the blog today! Now on to the goodies--the book and GIVEAWAY!!



Book info:
Title: Playing Ball
Authors: Shae Connor, Kate McMurray, Kerry Freeman, and Marguerite Labbe
Cover: Aaron Anderson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 270 pages

Blurb:
Baseball—America's favorite pastime—provides a field wide open for romance. A Home Field Advantage may not help when Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it. In 1927, Skip hides his sexuality to protect his career until he meets One Man to Remember. Ruben and Alan fell victim to a Wild Pitch, leaving them struggling with heartache and guilt, and now they've met again. And on One Last Road Trip, Jake retires and leaves baseball behind, hoping to reconnect with Mikko and get a second chance at love. 

The anthology contains the following novellas:

Home Field Advantage by Shae Connor

Toby MacMillan, grandson of Atlanta Braves owner Ray MacMillan, lives for baseball and loves his team. When he meets new team member Caleb Browning, an innocent welcome-to-the-big-leagues dinner leads to a not-so-innocent night together. Toby quickly calls things off, afraid of the ramifications of their tryst, but the two men develop a friendship that soon becomes more. After Caleb takes a fastball to the head, their budding romance hits the news—and Toby’s grandfather hits the roof. When Ray MacMillan demands Toby deny the relationship, Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it.

One Man to Remember by Kate McMurray

It's 1927, and in New York City, Babe Ruth and the Yankees’ unstoppable batting lineup, Murderers' Row, is all anyone can talk about. Across town, the Giants' rookie infielder Skip Littlefield racks up hits, creating a streak to rival the Babe’s. Worried his secrets could get out, he avoids the spotlight, but he catches the attention of lauded sports reporter Walter Selby, a notorious dandy whose sexuality is an open secret. Skip reluctantly agrees to an interview, and mutual attraction is sparked. Skip can only hope the more charismatic stars will draw attention away from his romance with Walt. Otherwise, his career and everything he loves is at stake.

Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe

Ruben Martell fell in love with Alan Hartner during their years playing baseball. They stepped over the foul line once, but the encounter left them struggling with heartache and guilt, turning away from each other to focus on their families. Now retired from the majors, they run a batting cage together and coach rival Little League teams as they juggle fatherhood and being single again. Though Ruben has never given up hope that Alan might look at him as more than a friend, Alan seems determined to keep things the way they’ve always been. But long-buried feelings and desires have a way of resurfacing, and Ruben can't wait forever.

One Last Road Trip by Kerry Freeman

With the last game of his Major League Baseball career behind him, Jake Wilson hits the road. Years have passed, but he never got over the romance he shared with Mikko Niemi back in college. Finally, he's ready to do something about it. He starts with some crucial visits to his ex-wife in New Mexico, his son in Oklahoma, and his daughter in Tennessee. But his true destination is Mikko's home in Georgia, where he's hoping to get a second chance at love.

Available at:



Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she works for the government by day and reads and writes about people falling in love by night. Shae writes primarily gay contemporary romance and is published with Dreamspinner Press, MLR Press, and Wilde City Press. Shae is active on Twitter @shaeconnor and posts snippets, updates, and thoughts on writing and editing at her web site, www.shaeconnorwrites.com. You can contact her at shaeconnorwrites@gmail.com.






Kate McMurray is an unabashed romance fan. Her first published novel, In Hot Pursuit, came out in February 2010, and she’s been writing feverishly ever since. She likes stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. When she’s not writing, Kate works a nonfiction editor. She’s currently serving as Vice President of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter of Romance Writers of America. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with a pesky cat. Visit her at www.katemcmurray.com.




Kerry Freeman was born and raised in Alabama and she grew up swearing she was going to get the hell out of Dodge the instant she could. Turns out Dodge ain’t so bad, and she never left. Alabama’s version of a city girl, she married a country boy, and the couple lives in a small town with their two socially awkward dogs. Kerry loves to write about love, and it turns out most of the voices in her head are men. She also loves to write about the South, so most of her stories end up there, one way or another. You can visit Kerry at http://kerryfreeman.com/


Marguerite Labbe has been accused of being eccentric and a shade neurotic, both of which she freely admits to, but her muse has OCD tendencies, so who can blame her? Marguerite loves to spin tales of stubborn men with smart mouths, working toward a deep and lasting love, no matter what else she throws at them. Visit Marguerite's web site at http://www.margueritelabbe.com.





To celebrate the release of PLAYING BALL, Shae, Marguerite, Kerry, and Kate are giving away two great prizes:

Grand prize: A print copy of PLAYING BALL signed by all four authors, a unisex BBQ apron featuring hot athletes from Originals by Lauren (https://www.etsy.com/shop/OriginalsbyLauren), and swag from all four authors.

Runner-up prize: An ebook copy of PLAYING BALL and swag from all four authors.

The giveaway will run from 12AM Central on September 21, 2013 to 12AM Central on October 11, 2013. To give an opportunity for the authors to get together to sign the book and gather swag, the winners will be picked and the prizes shipped after the end of GayRomLit 2013.

Rules:

You must be a resident of Earth, 18 years or older, who lives in a place where the viewing of adult material is legal. By entering the giveaway, you are indicating your agreement to the rules. Winners must provide a physical mailing address to receive their prizes. If a winner does not respond to the prize notification within 48 hours, the prize will be re-awarded.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Oh Jesus.
If I had the sense God gave a gnat, I wouldn’t be approaching this dark house in an isolated section of Dublin, Ireland by myself…at night…armed with nothing but an Ipad and a recorder. Not that a gun or sword—or hell, a freakin’ nuclear bomb—could protect me from what waits on the other side of this door. Let’s face it. If the creature I’m here to see is in a bad mood, I’m screwed.
And soooo not in a good way.
One more knock on the door. Just one more, than story or no story, I’m outta here…
Day-aamn.
A petite, slim female with long, dark hair stands motionless inside her open doorway. Eyes the color of brilliant lightning stare at me, unblinking. Measuring. As if determining which of my body parts she should cleave off first.
Sinéad, the cruxim—the Black Angel—who hunts  in the territory of Dublin for vampires, the cruxim’s mortal, or rather immortal, enemies.
And the person—using that term veeery loosely—I’m here to interview.
Sinéad: (crossing her arms) Well aren’t you brave?
Me: Umm…excuse me?
Sinéad: Just showing up here… And assuming I won’t kill you on sight.
Me: Er, uh…wow. I think that’s against the rules…isn’t it? I’m human. You protect me, not slice ‘n dice me.
Sinéad: (shakes her head) You chroniclers. You totally miss the meaning behind “secret race”. And for the record, I don’t protect you. I hunt and execute vampires who just happen to find you a tasty snack. Let’s face it, if they decided to become vegetarians tomorrow, there would be a surplus in crops and you’d be on your own.
Niiiiice. I would respond, but as she shuts the door and turns around, the sight of the scabbard strapped across her back with the hilt of a silver gladius jutting out steals my voice. Nervously, I circle my throat with my hand and heave a silent sigh of relief. Whew. Still intact.
Me: (clearing my throat) Duncan MacLeod has a watcher, you have me.
Sinéad: (snorts) Turn off your fear, chronicler. The stink of it is offensive. I haven’t killed you…
“Yet” hangs in the room like a string of gaudy Christmas lights in mid-February. I swallow—hard—and try to summon a smile and hide my fear. Snicker. Riiiight. I’d forgotten the female is an empath as well as a fierce warr—
Me: (gasp) What the hell?
Sinéad: (whirling around in a crouch, her hand reaching behind her head) What? What?
Me: (horrified, pointing to the table in the living room) Potato chips. Cereal? What the hell? You drink vampire blood not, not…snacks! And what’s that on television? Television? Since when did you start watching—what is that? Twilight?
Sinéad: (slowly straightening and grumbling something totally unintelligible) Mimeumingow.
Me: What did you just say?
Sinéad: (whirling around with a snarl) I said, I’m human now. All I do is sit on the couch, eat and watch television. And cry at those damn Hallmark commercials.
Maybe my face says all the WTF racing through my head because she huffs out a breath and shoves a hand over her head. Another shock. On any other woman the gesture would be frustration, but cruxim don’t do frustration. They’re emotionless. They don’t do…anything.
Sinéad: Stop moving your mouth up and down like a fecking fish. Shite.
Fecking? Shite? Fu—Ohhh. The Irish accent through me off for a bit… Then the import of all she’s confessed rolls over me like that first wave of 4 am Black Friday shoppers at Walmart.
Me: Good. God. You’re, uh…I mean, what happened?
Sinéad: (sigh) A wounded hippogryph male. Blood. The only kind act I’ve ever done in my life and now I’m…this. Humans are right. No good deed goes unpunished. Now I’m a damn walking meat suit.
God. I feel so sorry for her. So sorry I don’t even take offense at being called a “walking meat suit”. I probably will be later, but not now.
Me: You should be out hunting. But obviously…
Sinéad: (viciously rubs the heels of her palms over her eyes. I can’t help but wince) All I’ve known for three hundred years is fighting, killing…blood. Now I’m in an unfamiliar body, with out-of-control emotions and an appetite for flat, deep fried potatoes. I’m so. Damn. Lost.
Me: (whispering) Are you scared?
Sinéad: (drops her arms and stares at me) I’ve never been afraid. Never feared dying. I still don’t. But I am terrified of every morning when the sun rises and it’s another day in this skin. Another day when I can feel my soul screaming…
As she trails off an uncomfortable silence fills the room. She’s probably horrified at the display of emotion, and I… Well I just don’t know what to say. Hallmark doesn’t have a card for “I’m sorry your life just went to hell in gasoline drawers. Thinking of you!” Yeah. Words are pretty much inadequate. Really there’s only one thing I can give her...
Me: Your secret’s safe with me. I won’t tell anyone.
Sinéad: (her eyes narrowing) A chronicler? Not telling a story?
Me: (shaking my head) Not this one. It’s yours to tell.
There’s a slight softening on her face that I would have never thought I’d see on one of these Black Angels.
Sinéad: (bows her head) Thank you then.
Me: No problem. I’m going to, uh, y’know, go. Leave you to your (I do a finger crinkle at her snack buffet and television marathon) whatever.
I turn around to leave, but damn… I just have to ask. I have to!
Me: One thing. (she arches an eyebrow) Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? (My eyes widen as she slowly reaches for the sword behind her back) Gotcha. Nunya, right? Nunya bizness. Okay. See you, um, well. Yeah. See you.
I rush out of the room and the house as quick as my boots can slap the floor. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I need a drink.
Buy Bitten by Ecstasy here!


Dark Judgment, Book Two
A brutal attack left Bastien Sarris for dead. But a chance encounter with a mysterious female drags him back from the brink of death—and transforms the hippogryph healer into a monster he doesn’t recognize. Now a terrible hunger consumes him—one that is becoming impossible to satisfy. Desperate for a cure, he hunts the cruxim who cursed him to a hellish existence. But the petite warrior ignites a fierce desire for her body that overwhelms the sweet call of blood.

For three hundred years Sinéad lived and hunted as a cruxim—a winged vampire hunter. But one sacrificial act stripped her immortality, leaving her human, vulnerable and unprepared for the reappearance of Bastien in her life. The hippogryph is harder and colder than she remembers…and he triggers an onslaught of need within her that is as powerful as it is unfamiliar. She craves his kiss, his touch. Yet even as she surrenders to this newfound passion, she faces a crucial decision—betray the man she’s come to love and regain her immortality or save Bastien and condemn herself to a human life and death.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Mystery Men of Ignite...Gabriel Revealed!

Sigh.

Yeah, that’s what I do when I think about the men of Ignite, Entangled’s suspense line. Hot. Explosive. Dangerous but, whew boy, do they keep you warm…burning up…like feverish…
Yeah...
Riiight. Focus.
Gabriel Devlin, the hero of my Entangled Ignite book Secrets and Sins: Gabriel, embodies those qualities…and then some! When the book opens, Gabriel is volatile, combustible. He’s teeters on the edge because of the tragic loss of his wife and son two years earlier. He vacillates between grief, anger, and reluctant acceptance. And then throw in the growing, resented desire he’s feeling for his best friend, Leah Bannon…yeah, it’s a situation firmly set on 10…9…8…7…6…
While plotting Gabriel and visualizing who my hero reminded me of, one man immediately came to mind. You know that guy on—okay, you knew it wasn't going to be that easy!
Here is my inspiration for Gabriel:
 I can hear you now: His back. Then a whispered aside to the person next to you: This chick is loose! Is she serious?
Yes! Look at his back. Now get past the total hotness of the cut muscles. Notice the scars and the tattoo. The mystery man who inspired Gabriel wears his scars on his skin, and my hero wears his on his soul and heart. Both men have faced torture and survived to tell the tale. And also, the tattoo? Aside from its total hotness, the tattoo states he’s not afraid of commitment.
Do you know who he is yet?
Shh! Don't tell but one last cheating pic:
Okay, no more! You’ll drag no more info out of me! Not even if you threatened to pry my fingernails off. Or bust my knee caps…or make me sit through a 24 hour marathon of Mariah Carey’s Glitter.
Now all week from August 5th to the 8th Ignite authors Maya Blake, Kay David, Eve Devon, Stephanie Feagan, Joya Fields, Elle James, and Cathy Perkins will also be posting body part pics  and dropping clues to the mystery men who inspired their heroes. More man flesh and dangerous, sexy heroes!!
Here’s the line-up:

Tuesday: Joya Fields and Maya Blake

Wednesday: Cathy Perkins and Me!

Thursday: Elle James and Eve Devon
Come give us your answers or best guesses at The Mystery Men of Ignite…Revealed! Facebook event on Thursday, August 8th from 7 to 9 pm! We're dropping more hints, having tons of laughs and giving away prizes, including a special journal to record your own secrets and sins in from moi and a $100 Amazon Gift Card!
Make sure you visit these awesome authors all four days to pick up clues to their mystery heroes to win more prizes! Don't forget to join us on Thursday! See you there!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Grave - Part 4


Desperate, he escaped the room. He bolted through the back door and the cold, fresh air slapped him in the face. He sucked in a deep breath, thankful for air free of tears and pain, and dropped to the top step of the back porch.
Tears burned his eyes. Fear surged up in his chest and he blinked furiously. If he started crying he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to stop. With a sigh, he scrubbed his palms over his face, pressing them to his gritty, burning eyes. It had been forty-eight hours since he’d last slept. But it had also been forty-eight hours since the nightmares had plagued him. Forty-eight hours since he’d jerked awake, a hoarse cry razing his throat.
If only he hadn’t suggested they drive separate cars to the Christmas party. If only he’d driven in front of Maura instead of following her and Ian. If only, if only…so many damn “if only”s. Even now he could hear the squeal of rubber tires. The screech of metal colliding with metal. Maura’s whispered pleas to save Ian first…Ian’s terrible silence. The acrid scent of burning gasoline invaded the cold, crisp breeze, and Gabriel sucked in several breaths, his heart working double time to keep up. Gold dots appeared in his suddenly dim vision and black streaks encroached on his vision, threatening to drag him under …
The gentle touch on his back was a length of rope he grasped and clung to with frantic hands. The length of thigh pressed to his drew him back over the ledge. The delicate, familiar vanilla and peppermint shoved back the dark.
Leah rested her head against his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his back and waist. She didn’t speak; she didn’t ask him how he was doing or offer condolences for his loss. She just held him. Unlike Ana, Gabriel didn’t have the urge to shove her away. As always, the woman with the bewitching green eyes, quiet strength and gentleness slipped under his guard. Since she’d been a child Leah had commandeered a piece of his heart, and where his best friends couldn’t offer him the comfort of holding him, touching him, she could. The warmth of her arms and body melted the chill encasing him.
How long they sat there, he didn’t know. When the tears came, he had no idea. He wasn’t aware of dragging Leah into his lap, clutching her to him, and sobbing out his grief into her neck.
Through it all Leah bore him up so he didn’t plummet into the abyss of insanity that clawed at him.
She was his…sanctuary.
***
To read Part 3, click here.
To read Part 2, click here.
To read Part 1, click here.
 
Twenty years ago, Leah Bannon’s beloved Uncle Richard vanished without a trace. Leah, now a private investigator, begins to suspect it was murder. When she reopens the cold case, Gabriel Devlin—-the man she loves but can never have—-inexplicably stands in her way.
          Only four people know the truth about Richard’s mysterious disappearance—-Gabriel and three childhood friends...who have all sworn to take that secret to the grave. But a hidden enemy wants those shocking secrets brought to light...even if he has to kill to make it happen.
          After experiencing an unimaginable loss two years ago, Gabriel refuses to put himself through the pain of loving someone who could be gone in an instant. But as he thwarts Leah’s investigation at every turn—-both to keep his friends’ pact, and to keep her safe from danger—-the sexy PI makes it impossible for him to protect his secrets. Or his heart...
Purchase here!
 
 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Grave - Part 3


Hours later Gabriel threaded through his in-laws’ living room packed with mourners and well-wishers. He moved like a wraith, insubstantial, barely grounded to the floor. He dimly heard the murmured condolences, hardly felt the consoling touches. A dense, invisible wall had erected around him five days ago. A wall that didn’t permit compassion or kindness. If he allowed even the tiniest bit of emotion to filter through, than the grief—the horrible, clawing grief—would rip pass his defenses and splinter his mind into so many shards he wouldn’t be able to assemble them together again.
“Would that be so bad?” a dark, seductive voice whispered.
How many times in the past week had he pleaded with God to take him too? Let him go into a sweet sleep and never wake from it? Then he would join Maura and Ian in eternity; they would be a family once more.
But each morning he woke, alone and hurting so much he couldn’t comprehend how he continued to function. How a heart that didn’t exist could still pump blood to his organs, forcing him to live. And each morning, he hated God a little more. His very Catholic mother would gasp at that admission and perform the sign of the cross for her son’s blasphemy.
But it was true.
 “Gabe.” The hoarse cry echoed the depths of pain buried beneath the layers and layers of ice in his chest. “She’s really gone. My baby is gone.” Janie O’Keefe, Maura’s mother, lumbered forward, her gait unsteady and reeling. Before he could guess her intention, she threw herself against his chest. She enfolded him in her arms and wept, her body shaking with jagged sobs.
On reflex, Gabriel clutched her arms, prepared to wrench away. The shock of her touch and overwhelming display of emotion threatened the protective barrier around his own feelings. And perversely, a small part of him envied Janie her freedom to surrender to the pain.
“Come on, Mrs. O’Keefe.” Chay appeared out of nowhere, his quiet murmur both gentle and firm. His friend wrapped an arm around her shuddering shoulders and loosened her desperate hold. With low, soothing words, Chay guided the sobbing woman toward the brightly lit kitchen. Gabriel remained frozen, aware of the pitying glances cast between him and Janie.
It proved too damn much.
***
To read Part 2 click here.
To read Part 1 click here.
Part 4 of The Grave concluded on June 10th...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Grave - Part 2


Leah.
His best friend. His mother had worked as housekeeper in her family’s home for years, and her father had been a father figure to him since his own had disappeared long before Gabe was born. Leah and James Bannon were as much family as the three men standing next to him.
“Gabe.”
He started, tore his gaze away from Leah and met blue eyes as familiar to him as his face. Ana Devlin, his mother, squeezed his hand, grief heavy on her face.
“It’s over, Gabe,” she whispered. “Are you ready to go?”
Panicked, he jerked his head back to the casket. Already employees of the funeral home were removing the flowers, and people headed across the cemetery to their waiting cars. No, his mind screamed. Terror and agony shredded him, and he wondered why his blood didn’t seep into the withered grass at his feet. Nothing should hurt this bad and not bleed.
He must have released a bit of that animal-like howl because Chay shifted closer and grasped his shoulder in a hard grip, as if bracing him. Or prevent him from leaping in the earth with Maura and Ian.
“You go ahead, Aunt Ana,” Malachim murmured. “We’ll stay with Gabe and bring him with us.”
“If you’re sure,” his mother stammered. “I can wait, too.”
“No,” Rafe assured her, his voice low, soothing. “We have him.”
Gabriel couldn’t rip his eyes from the white, large box that a crane slowly lowered into the ground with an eerie creak reminiscent of a raven’s caw.
He couldn’t leave, couldn’t force his feet to move from this place where his wife and son would find eternal rest. God help him, he couldn’t leave them behind.
***

To read Part 1 of The Grave, click here.

Part 3 of The Grave continued on July 8th...

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Grave - Part 1

When Gabriel Devlin's story begins in Secrets and Sins: Gabriel, two years have passed since the deaths of his wife and son. Below is the prequel to his story...where it really begins...
***
The grave gaped wide like a dark maw in the earth, eager to swallow up the casket that perched above it. Bouquets of colorful flowers draped the closed lid, seeming incongruous with the priest’s solemn prayer and the overcast, grey sky, heavy with the promise of snow.
Gabriel Devlin stared at the white casket, large enough for the wife and son that rested within its depths. Grief squeezed his heart in its icy grip. He shivered and wondered if he would ever be warm again. His gaze returned to the scarred earth and received his answer.
No, he would never know the warmth of love again.
His breath hitched and his throat burned with the tears he refused to shed. Though his mother flanked one side of him and his best friends, Malachim Jerrod, Raphael Marcel, and Chayot Grey positioned themselves on the other like tall, silent sentinels, he was alone, separated from everyone and everything else but his grief.
The priest’s monotone offered up a prayer, commending Maura and Ian’s spirits into God’s keeping. Rage clawed at his chest. God had entrusted them into Gabriel’s hands, why had He chosen to take them from him? Had he done such a horrible job?
He squeezed his eyes shut, guilt flaying the skin from his soul. When he reopened them, he stared off into the distance, needing to look at anything but the casket that contained his family’s remains.
As his gaze skimmed the crowds, only a few met his eyes, most skittering away as if unable to stare into the face of sorrow. Hell, he knew what he looked like. A gaunt, empty-eyed caricature of the man he’d been.
His gaze settled on a tall, slim figure. As he stared the woman lifted her dark head and eyes as green as the leaves on top of the casket met his. Unlike the others, she didn’t avoid his stare, but held it. Sympathy, sorrow, and love glistened, along with her tears.
Leah.
***
Part 2 of The Grave continues on Wednesday, July 3rd...
 
Twenty years ago, Leah Bannon’s beloved Uncle Richard vanished without a trace. Leah, now a private investigator, begins to suspect it was murder. When she reopens the cold case, Gabriel Devlin—-the man she loves but can never have—-inexplicably stands in her way.
          Only four people know the truth about Richard’s mysterious disappearance—-Gabriel and three childhood friends...who have all sworn to take that secret to the grave. But a hidden enemy wants those shocking secrets brought to light...even if he has to kill to make it happen.
          After experiencing an unimaginable loss two years ago, Gabriel refuses to put himself through the pain of loving someone who could be gone in an instant. But as he thwarts Leah’s investigation at every turn—-both to keep his friends’ pact, and to keep her safe from danger—-the sexy PI makes it impossible for him to protect his secrets. Or his heart...

 
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Secrets and Sins: Gabriel Blog Tour and "Boston Strong" Swag Pack Giveaway!

The Secrets and Sins: Gabriel Blog Tour has officially started! The tour runs from June 24th through July 24th with various stops and blogs about secrets...sins...songs about stalkers... Hee-hee!

Up for grabs at the end of the tour is an Amazon Gift Card and Gabriel's "Boston Strong" swag pack, which includes a Boston Strong tee and matching tote bag! Just enter through the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the dates and places of where I'll be for the next month! Come visit me at these sites through the tour. I'd love to see you there!
Naima


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Flowers, George Washington and My Trusty Kindle!

Stop #3 on my When-I-Go-To-Boston-I-Must-See-This Tour!

The Boston Public Garden. While my husband abandons me to go and visit Fenway Park after I've dragged him to Sondra Celli's dress shop, The Freedom Trail and Charles Street for shopping, I would stop by one of Boston's famous parks, located right in the heart of downtown Boston. It's like an oasis of vibrant, colorful flowers and trees with a lake, beautiful bridge and swan boats.

And the statues. Sigh. Did I mention the statues? The towering bronze figure of George Washington on his horse, the stately image of Massachusetts congressman, Charles Sumner, and the adorable bronze figures of a mother duck and her ducklings all in a row from the children's story, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Just to name a few.

 
Oh yes. While the hubby basked in baseball heaven, I'd pick a bench, pull out a book--or a Kindle--then sit and enjoy one of Boston's beautiful landmarks--it's own slice of heaven.

So there's Stop #3! Remember, the GIVEAWAY for the Amazon Gift Card and Advanced Readers Copy of Secrets and Sins: Gabriel is still going strong until Sunday, the 23rd! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gypsy Wedding Dresses &Freee-duum! (As Cried by William Wallace)

So Stop #1 on my trip to Boston:

Sondra Celli's dress shop. One of my guilty pleasures is TLC's My Big Fact American Gypsy Wedding. I'm just telling all my secrets! Hee-hee! Well one of the reasons I tune in is to see what over-the-top, outrageous creation dressmaker, Sondra Celli, will create for the American traveller community. She is amazing! And walking through her Boston-based store and work space would be such fun! I'd love to see where the magic happens!

  Stop #2:
 The famous Freedom Trail! I love history. When my husband and I go on vacation, it's almost always to cities rich in history--Savannah, Charleston, St. Augustine... Okay, I pick the cities but, anyway, he enjoys himself. I mean, that's what he tells me... Anyhoo, the Freedom Trail is a must-visit place for me. Walking in the footsteps of America's freedom fighters, seeing where this country's independence was hard fought for would be an incredible memory. Faneuil Hall, the Bunker Hill Monument, the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere's home, the grave marker for Crispus Attucks. It would be like strolling through time.

 
So those are two of my When-I-go-I-must-see stops in Boston!  
Remember, the GIVEAWAY for the Amazon Gift Card and Advanced Readers Copy of Secrets and Sins: Gabriel is still going strong until Friday, the 21st! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway