a contemporary rodeo menage by Cat Johnson

Bronc riders Mason and Clay have shared both good times and bad, but they never expected to share their boss’ daughter, April. Can two friends love one woman, body and soul, without it destroying them?

The heart wants what it wants. For April that means not choosing between the two cowboys she loves, no matter how wrong it may seem inviting them both into her bed. But can the relationship survive when life sends the three lovers in opposite directions?

Filled with hot sex, passion, and realistic characters, and set amid the world of rodeo where life is lived eight seconds at a time, Rough Stock sends author Cat Johnson galloping full speed into the tantalizing realm of ménage romance.

Available in eBook and Trade Paperback

Excerpt PG 17:

“I’ve thought about us being together…like that. The three of us.”

She stared straight up at the ceiling as she let that bomb drop on them both.

For once, even Clay was speechless. All Mason heard come out of his friend was a soft shocked wheeze of air at April’s comment. She’d said it so casually, as if she hadn’t just blurted out the most outrageous, tantalizing thing Mason had ever heard in all of his eighteen years.

He realized just how close their three faces were. So close, that when she turned her head slightly on the pillow, her breath tickled his nose. Her hand came up to pull Mason’s head even closer. She kissed him softly on the lips.

Then, as Mason’s heart pounded with the possibilities, April turned her head and planted the same soft kiss on Clay. Only Clay wasn’t as polite, or perhaps not as shocked, as Mason had been. It took barely a second before Clay tangled his hand in her hair, tilted his head and kissed her deeper, just inches from Mason’s face. He watched his two best friends kiss, amazed, aroused, confused…

As their tongues tangled and Clay let out a small moan, Mason began to wonder what the hell to do. Should he leave? Stay? Join in? Mason moved on the bed, sitting up, unsure until April blindly grabbed his denim-clad thigh with one hand and held him there. Her touch sent shockwaves through his body, directly into his now rock hard erection. She broke the kiss with Clay and turned her head back to him.

In the dim light, Mason saw her lick her lips before she leaned in. Then the tip of that tongue he’d watched dart out of her mouth just seconds before, was parting his own lips. Her mouth was hot and wet and tasted of toothpaste.

His eyes still open so he wouldn’t miss one moment, Mason saw Clay’s hand snake around from behind her to cup April’s breast through her t-shirt.

If Clay wasn’t fighting this, Mason sure as hell wasn’t going to.

Reviews and more info at

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Jenny’s Passion by Diane Wylie
Vintage Romance Publishing
ISBN-10: 0981559247
ISBN-13: 978-0981559247

In a time of war, theirs was a forbidden passion. What price would David and Jenny pay for a love that consumes them both?

Excerpt from Jenny’s Passion

Jenny retrieved her special treat from her bundles, stealing glances at him all the while. How she wished that things were different. If only there were no war, no animosities between North and South. If she could have chanced to meet David at a party or ball somewhere and her father had had a chance to see what a good man he was…

“Look what I brought for you!” She held the fragrant, golden-crusted pie in front of his face.

He looked up at her in surprise and grinned, making his eyes twinkle in a most attractive manner.

“This is your surprise, Jenny?”

“Yes,” she answered proudly. “I smuggled it away right out from under Patsy’s nose. Here.” She placed the pie in his hand and handed him a fork.

“Shouldn’t I cut a slice for each of us?”

“Oh, no.” She shook her head emphatically. “The whole pie is for you. You have grown so thin, and you need to regain your strength. Besides, I can always get some at home. Patsy made several. This one won’t be missed.”

“Oh! This is wonderful,” he mumbled, closing his eyes.

She clapped her hands and laughed. “Oh, I knew you would like it!”

He was chewing with eyes closed and such a winsome expression on his face that Jenny could bear it no longer. Gently placing her hands on his cheeks, she bent down and kissed him softly, hesitantly, afraid of what he would think of her. Apparently David needed no further encouragement. Placing the pie tin on the table, he reached for her with both arms, pulling her onto his lap.

His mouth was sweet and warm, tasting of apples and cinnamon. She felt an unfamiliar, but thrilling sensation when his tongue darted into her mouth, probing, but gentle. He made her senses come alive. Her skin was so sensitive that her clothing was suddenly extremely restrictive. Reaching up, she unbuttoned the top button of her high-necked dress so she could breathe. An urge to remove every scrap of her clothing jumped into her head. She was shocked at herself. Not only did she want to take off all her clothing, but she wanted the captain naked as well. It was outrageous that she should have such thoughts! Jenny opened her eyes and pulled away.

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Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving REO!

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The soft candlelight reflected in his eyes reminded me of the night I had spent with Dracula.

He was the closest I’d ever come to being able to touch a dream. He was the most surreal and yet the most tangible fantasy I’d ever had. And as I took his hands in mine I tried my best to keep him from my thoughts, and explained what I had in mind.

He listened patiently before asking, “You would do this willingly?”

“What? Share a memory?”

“Allow me into your mind.”

“After you’ve been in my pants, I hardly see it as in intrusion,” I teased.

“My angel, I am serious. My mind is not something so easily discarded.”

“We were talking about my mind, remember?”

“Yes, but to allow me access to your thoughts, you would have the same to mine, if I chose not to block it.”

That scared me. I didn’t ever want complete access to Dracula’s memories.

“But you will block it?”

“Of course, of course. I would never deliberately traumatize you. I am just surprised at your willingness to let me in.”

The way he said those last words tasted like more than curiosity, and he was talking about more than my mind.

I sighed and said, “Now, I’m going to close my eyes.” He smiled wickedly. “I’ll be thinking about you,” I finished.

I still remembered every detail of how dream visitation was supposed to work, only I’d never tried it completely awake before. Alek and I had been practicing since he had moved in the dungeon. He was The Dream Weaver, after all, and dreaming with him was always a wonderful experience.

So, I followed his instructions and pictured Dracula in complete detail. When I say complete, I mean it. I saw him standing in my bedroom. His back was turned to me, and he was completely naked. He remained one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever beheld, and one of the reasons I was grateful to have eyes. Surely the sight before me was what twenty/twenty vision was meant for. Candles were lit all around, and the light reflected off the many whip scars across his back.

I walked forward to touch him. I could feel the skin beneath my fingertips as if it were real. The scar I touched was slightly raised, just as it was in real life. Then I realized we were not sharing a dream, because I wasn’t dreaming. We were not in a memory, because this exact moment had never happened before. We were simply communicating mind to mind, and it was something I had never experienced. What happened with Alek was different. The very thought of Dracula did things to me that the presence of others was not capable of. There was magic in my fingers as I caressed his back once more.

At that moment Dracula turned to face me and I was captured by the deep emerald of his eyes. I moaned as hands caressed my body, but he hadn’t moved.

“Why are you naked?” I asked, trying to control myself.

“I am not in control of this vision, my angel. Obviously it is what you wanted to see,” he replied with a smile.

Original Sin is the fourth book in the Lilith Mercury: Werewolf Hunter Series by Tracey H. Kitts, Coming this December from New Concepts Publishing.

For information on the other books in the series please visit

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Introducing STEAMY NIGHTS: MACHINATIONS, by Marie Treanor

It's out now! The first part of a hot new trilogy from Changeling Press...

Out now at Changeling Press

In Edinburgh's menacing, old-town district, prostitutes are mysteriously disappearing. Fighting for her life in the dark of the night, Miri stabs the wrong man -- an eccentric University student named Caratacus -- and ends up in his arms.

Although he's determined to find a way to get back to his own dimension, Caratacus lets Miri distract him long enough to try to put an end to the killings. But she knows that's all she is -- a distraction. How can a penniless whore hope to make him forget his lost love? And will his amazing steam-powered machines save Edinburgh -- or destroy it?

“You,” he said, but since he paused and bent to adjust something on the engine, it could have meant anything. Impatiently, he snatched off his steamed up spectacles and tossed them on the ground. Miri wanted to pick them up before he stood on them, but her trembling legs wouldn’t move.

He said, “Your admirers have gone, haven’t they?”

She nodded. He tightened something forcefully with the spanner. “Did you show them a good time?

“They’ve got no money,” she whispered, and wanted to die. To make it worse, he turned his attention from the engine to her. She wondered how much he could see without the glasses.

“Don’t you ever do it just because you want to?”

“Free shots?” she hazarded. Hope began to rise in her. “Sometimes…”

“And how does that work out for you?”

“I… what do you mean?”

He sat back on his heels. “Does it give you pleasure?”

“I don’t… You shouldn’t ask me such things!”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m a whore! And you’re not interested in using me!”

“Using you? No, that’s true.”

She turned her head away. As shame doused her excitement, she was conscious of the pulse beating between her legs. It seemed to throb to the rhythm of the pistons beside Caratacus’s head.

He said, “Doesn’t mean I’m not interested in you. I’m just asking if you like sex? Making love?”

Curiosity brought her head back round to look at him. Considering the subject matter, his voice had sounded cool, almost clinical, but his intense green eyes were hot and misted, mesmerizing her. Behind him, she was aware of the pistons plunging rhythmically up and down, almost like the act of love. Sex…

Excitement rose again, higher. She felt daring, wicked, talking to him like this, she wanted to tell him what she did, see his reaction, tell him more…

She gasped, “I like to give men pleasure. Apparently I’m good at it.”

“Oh I’ll bet you are. You could just lie there and be good at it. But I’m interested in $your pleasure. What -- or who -- makes you orgasm?”

She thought her knees would buckle.

“I don’t think I… should I? No one’s complained…”

He shuddered, maybe with laughter, although he didn’t smile. He rose to his feet, reaching up one hand to hold onto the beam above his head.

I think you should.”

“You’ve no right. You don’t even want me…”

“I want to make you orgasm.”

She couldn’t believe she was having this conversation with anyone, with him. She should be dying of shame, and yet if he stopped it now, she’d explode… So she drowned in his hot eyes and whispered, “How would you do that?”

“Oh lots of ways… all the ways I thought of last night while your breast pressed into my naked skin. I think I’d kiss you lots -- your mouth is shaped for kissing. I’d catch your little tongue when it sneaks out to wet your warm lips, and I’d lick it and bite it. I’d hold your lovely breasts in my hands and kiss your nipples, caress them until they stood out like organ stops, begging for more.”

Steam had begun to belch harder from the engine. Miri knew how it felt. Her imagination followed every word Caratacus spoke and her whole body was on fire.

“I’d open your legs, bathe my fingers in your wetness. And if you let me, I’d put my cock in you and fuck you until you screamed with joy.”

Miri moaned, pressing the heel of her hand hard against her pubic bone, wishing the thin shabby fabric of her gown wasn’t there. She couldn’t see him now for the steam, so she just closed her eyes and listened to his voice.

She gasped out, “Why didn’t you do these things last night?”

“I had an idea you’d appreciate me more for being allowed a night’s sleep.”

“You could have had me any time…”

“A fuck for fourpence? I don’t have the money, so you have to have the orgasm.”

She snapped her eyes open. “My payment?” Suddenly, she was outraged, as ugly reality swept over the delicious fantasy. Caratacus emerged through the cloud of steam and kept walking.

“No. Mine,” he said and, seizing her damp face between his hands, he covered her mouth with his.

Steamy Nights 1: Machinations by Marie Treanor is available now at Changeling Press

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Looking for Some Touch by K. Z. Snow, Book One of the Utopia-X series (futuristic M/M urban fantasy), is now available from Loose Id.

* * * * *

Pablo Creed—amateur poet, professional whore, and upstanding citizen of the Utopian Metroplex of Regenerie—wants a new job. The all-male Coven of Three—a trio of mismatched wonder-workers who live in Regenerie’s subterranean Undercity—needs a “Touch” to sexually spark its collective energy.

In danger of being assigned to a sadistic VIP client, Pablo applies for the position. What he didn’t count on was his immediate, intense attraction to the gorgeous Win, one of the Coven’s members. Or the immediate, intense hostility of Tole, another member, who resents that attraction.

And Pablo certainly didn’t expect to be drawn into the center of a bizarre missing-person investigation that puts him in harm’s way.

He soon learns that the Coven of Three is not what it seems to be. That revelation will either send him fleeing to the desolate Interzone…or taking a chance on a sublimely sensual man who’s more unusual than anybody Pablo has ever known.

* * * * *

A car pulled up, and the four available givers sauntered over to it so they could be examined. The tinted window on the passenger side lowered. A nondescript middle-aged man leaned out while his driver discreetly stared straight ahead. Pablo figured the man was a Vip, since Pros almost never had chauffeurs.

A glint of reflected light came from the man’s narrow eyes as he surveyed his choices. He had fair, neatly trimmed hair and a doughy face with little definition. Even his nose looked shapeless. Crawling blobs of shadow made his features melt further.

The pie man, Pablo thought. Whimsical phrases sometimes leapt into his head. Maybe that was because he liked writing poetry. Language had always been one of his favorite toys.

“You,” the man said, lifting a stubby finger in Pablo’s direction. “Take off your jacket and shirt.”

Pablo withered like the grass beneath his feet. Wonderful. Such a balmy night, perfect for a striptease. Still, he did as he was told. Defying a Vip could have serious consequences. As he handed Aaron his shed clothing, the cold air slid over his skin like sheets of metal.

The potential client’s stare moved up, down, around Pablo’s torso. Then he murmured, “Turn around.” After a moment, he said, “Very nice. Very nice. You can get dressed again. Do you exercise to keep your body toned?”

“When I have the chance.” Pablo slipped his black knit shirt over his head and donned his jacket. He realized he hadn’t been to one of the free gyms in a while. He wasn’t big on work-outs, but he couldn’t afford to neglect them. A nice body was a giver’s stock-in-trade.

“How old are you?”


The man nodded in approval. “Are you...” He licked his lips. “Are you well endowed?”

“I exceed the minimum requirement for a giver,” Pablo said mechanically. He was already tiring of this encounter. The intriguing want-ad again swam through his mind.

“Exceed substantially?” With a kind of salivating hope, the man’s gaze bounced between Pablo’s face and his crotch. His crotch got most of the attention.

“No. I’m not extraordinary.”

The man seemed to consider this. Pablo was afraid he’d have to pull out his dick to be scrutinized. It wasn’t a farfetched concern. Such things did happen.

“I assume you’re clean,” the man said.

Guy must’ve been new at this. “Of course. We’ve all been vaccinated. And if a client wants extra protection, we’ll use extra protection.”

“I do like your body. Very much, in fact. I assume you have a service computer for recordkeeping?”

Pablo pulled it out of his jacket pocket. A small plastic tab embedded with a microchip hung from one corner -- his employee card.

“Log yourself in,” the man said.

Pablo inserted the tab into the appropriate slot. He handed the device to his new client. The man inserted a similar tab -- his UMoR ID card -- in the slot on the opposite side. The meter was officially running.

“Good. Now get in.”

For a split second, just a split second, Pablo almost bolted. He had an urge to run for the nearest sub entrance and flee into the Undercity. But he didn’t. He slipped into the backseat of Pie Man’s car.

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Just out for the holidays, A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS is available in download for $3.50 at Sapphire Blue Publishing. It's a contemporary Border patrol story, with a kick butt heroine with a gun, who encounters more than she can handle on Christmas Eve, in the person of a gorgeous human smuggler, or so she believes...
Answer three easy questions about this story and you can win any of my previous paperback books. Check out the details at:
Did she just see something move? Maybe not.

Raising her infrared binoculars, Kaitlin focused on that particular area. There it was again. A flicker of movement. Then she saw people furtively running from rock to rock. She couldn’t tell how many. Fifteen? Twenty? Did they know she was watching? Had they seen the lights of the visiting Jeep? Heard the engine? The conversation?
Sliding down the slope, she searched the Hummer but couldn’t find the blasted radio. Then she remembered it hanging from Josh’s belt. Now it rode with the nitwit toward a damned titty bar.
She flipped the switch of the car’s com system. Only static. Strange, Josh had used it earlier and it worked then. She shrugged. Electronics could be so unreliable and she wasn’t computer savvy. As a last resort, she pulled out the cell phone at her belt and checked the reception. Out of range.

Damn and triple damn!

Light gravel dribbled down the incline. She dropped the cell phone and reached toward her holster. Drawing the Beretta, she turned around, her back safely to the Hummer. Her heart faltered as she held the firearm toward the sound.

“Sweet Mother of God!” She gasped as her target came into view.
Apollo himself couldn’t have looked more handsome under the full moon. Muscles rippled on the smooth torso, shirtless beneath the open denim jacket.

“Stop right there. Hands on your head,” she croaked rather than shouted.

He held up his hands, jostling the backpack on his shoulder.

Glossy black hair fell over his forehead, and the dark gaze of the Latino man burned with intense fire. He pinned her with his stare as if trying to say something important, but no words came out. He appeared to be unarmed, strong, yet she sensed no threat emanating from him.
“On the ground. Face down. Spread ’em!”

He didn’t move, maybe he didn’t understand, so she motioned with the Beretta. Would he resist arrest? Somehow the thought conjured appealing images.

He dropped the backpack and laid face down.

She took the four steps separating them, kicked away the back pack then reached for the handcuffs at her back. She spread his legs apart. Long, muscular thighs, calves bulging under his jeans. He turned his head to watch her, a half smile on his lips. His temple glistened with sweat. He must have been running but seemed hardly winded. Unlike her breath which came in quick gasps.

Fascinated by his physique, she could not think. But who other than an illegal would roam the desert on Christmas Eve? He didn’t look afraid. Why? The memory of the group she spotted came to mind, but she heard nothing move in her immediate vicinity.

She straddled the man. He didn’t resist when she cuffed his hands behind his back, then patted him down, looking for a knife or a handgun. Her hand only found the planes of his hard muscles. It had been a while since she’d felt a male body this close. He exuded the musky scent of sage. Astounded by her sensual musings, she rose and stared back at him. She hoped she looked fierce, like a predator hypnotizing her prey.

She slowly moved away and motioned with the Beretta for him to get up and get into the Hummer.

The man smiled as he stood up slowly and stared past her. “Ola!” he said in a deep baritone.
“Ola!” another man answered, disturbingly close behind her.

Kaitlin froze and a shiver ran up her spine. She’d made a mistake by leaving the protection of the Hummer.
Good reading, good luck, and keep reading.
Vijaya Schartz
Girls with Guns, Romance with a Kick

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Emma and Mike's story...

On the publisher's best sellers list for two consecutive months!

Excerpt -
She tore her mouth away to catch her breath, moaning with pleasure when Mike ran his open mouth along the side of her neck to her exposed collarbone, and lower still to the deep part of her blouse. She was certain she was going to go up in flames when his tongue dipped inside her cleavage, teasing and licking her ultra sensitive flesh until she was a mindless, quivering mass. Her knees buckled.

Oh my God!“Mike,” she began, gasping for air, unsure of the wisdom of what they were doing.

“Don’t say anything,” he rasped, gently pulling her blouse down until her shoulders were revealed. “Just feel.” He planted fiery kisses along the smooth flesh he slowly exposed.

She was feeling! Way too much, too fast. She’d been dreaming of this moment, yearning for it. There was a spot actually throbbing between her thighs, a moist heat dampening her panties. Her limbs were trembling wildly and she clutched Mike’s shoulders to remain on her feet. Suddenly his hands were moving beneath her blouse and before she could murmur a protest they were gliding slowly upward, bringing the material with them. Emma felt a cool draft against her midriff and then against her breasts. Their eyes clashed, and then Mike lowered his gaze to take in the bounty he’d just bared.

His low groan echoed through the small room as he bent his head, putting his open mouth on Emma. Taking her naked breasts in his mouth in an exquisite kiss that finished with a slow glide to the tip of her nipple. Once there, his tongue lazily circled the nub, lapping at it as if it was a tasty treat. Emma shivered deliciously, burying her hands in his hair and holding him to her. As his tongue stabbed at her flesh she was painfully aware of his throbbing arousal. The strength and fullness of him made her bold.

Uncontrollable hunger forced her hand down his torso until she reached the top of his slacks. Taking a shaky breath she hesitated, until passion over ruled common sense and with a muffled cry of surrender her hand continued down the front of Mike’s zipper. She teasingly trailed her fingertips over his impressive hard on until her actions drove him wild. In a movement that bordered on savagery he grabbed her probing hand and held it tightly against him, controlling the pressure while moving her palm up and down his cloaked shaft.

He shuddered in a moment of weakness. The metallic taste of blood filled Emma’s mouth as she bit down hard on her bottom lip, her eyes misting with deep emotion. A sob escaped her before she could swallow it. Mike’s head jerked back so he could meet her eyes, and then he was cursing sharply beneath his breath.“Oh damn!” His fist pounded the door above her head, rattling the fragile old wood. “I didn’t mean for things to go this far.” He leaned his forehead against hers, panting for breath. “I only wanted to kiss you,” he explained, laughing in spite of himself. “Hell, you make me forget where I am and what I’m doing.”

“Don’t blame this on me, detective,” Emma whispered breathlessly, a trembling smile playing upon her lips as she tried to calm her racing heart. “Is it the wig?”

“Pardon?” Mike pulled back to search her eyes for the answer, his still dilated with desire. The knowledge that she’d been the one to put that desire there made Emma heady with power.“The blond wig,” she repeated. “Is that what made you lose control? Some men can’t resist a blond,” she said with humor.

His chest rumbled with quiet laughter. “Hell no. I wish it was that simple.”

“Why does it have to be so hard?” she countered seriously. His erection jumped against her and she burst out laughing. “I’m serious, Mike. What are we going to do about this? It’s obvious we’re attracted to each other.”

He started to shake his head. “Emma…”

“Shake your head all you want, it won’t change the truth. Why else are we here plastered against this door with the rest of the world on the other side?” Her eyes followed him when he distanced himself from her. She watched as he ran his hands through his hair, his expression changing with his varying emotions. It was plain as the nose on his face that Mike didn’t know what to say or do.

And he was running.

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Who wouldn't want this Desperado under the tree?

A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS is on sale in ebook download for $3.50 today at:
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
ISBN 078-1934657-09-6 PG-17

Who said a woman couldn't have it all?

Rookie Border Patrol Agent Kaitlin Harrington hates Christmas and all men, since her lover jilted her on Christmas Eve. This year, as she guards the Mexican border, she encounters more than she can handle in the person of Miguel, a gorgeous desperado who challenges her. But Miguel is a man of many secrets...

In this breathless race across the desert, more than the sage bushes feel the call of romance. Even in the direst of situations, in the strangest circumstances, love can flourish, and on Christmas Eve most of all, miracles do happen.

Amidst the many dangers of this Christmas night, will Kaitlin finally find love?



“As much as I’m enjoying this, Agent Kaitlin Harrington, it’s not a very good idea.” Miguel had spoken perfect English, without a trace of a Hispanic accent.

“You speak English?” Kaitlin hated herself for not suspecting it. “You, son-of-a-bitch!”

“Sorry about meeting like this.” He pushed himself up, stood, and brushed the dust off the denim jacket. “I’m not the man you think I am.” He offered her a hand to get up.

“You are not Miguel?” Kaitlin refused his help and stood on her own. What the hell was he talking about? Confused, Kaitlin didn’t understand.

“My name is Miguel Carrera, undercover FBI agent, born and raised in Los Angeles.” He searched her eyes for a sign of understanding. “I’ve infiltrated a coyote ring in a sting operation, and there is much more at stake here than just illegal immigration.”

“You said FBI? Sting operation?” How stupid of her for not figuring it out. Kaitlin should have known there was something odd about this coyote. “Why didn’t you let me know before?”

Miguel snorted. “You didn’t exactly give me a chance. And I could hardly tell you in front of the others.”

“If you are FBI, why didn’t you just arrest those guys?” It was a dumb question. She berated herself for losing her wits around Miguel.

He chuckled. “First, the illegals would probably lynch me if I arrested their guides, and second, the FBI wants these criminals alive if at all possible.”

“Why? So they can cut a deal and get away with a slap on the wrist?” Kaitlin knew better, but couldn’t help her sharp tongue.

“We are out to catch the largest smuggling operation along the border. I’m talking drugs, terrorists, illegal weapons. The FBI needs all the information they can get.” The intensity in his gaze told of his passion for his job.

It made sense, but Kaitlin didn’t like the idea of waiting. She wanted these bastards arrested now. She slapped gravel and dust from her pants. “What were you looking for in my Hummer?”

“I didn’t rush back here to make pleasant conversation.” He winked. “Although I did enjoy it…immensely.”

Vijaya Schartz
Girls with Guns, Romance with a Kick

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Fertile Domain, available now!

Fertile Domain
by Jude Mason
ISBN 978-1-60659-095-9
Contents: m/m, bdsm, femdom, science fiction, futuristic
Publisher: Phaze

Buy Now


In a world where pollution and greed has pushed humanity to the brink of extinction, fertility is one of the priorities. Men must prove themselves to fertile fems. For those who are lacking, or who cease to please the women, harsh treatment follows. Two new men, Jax and Trev, vie for a place among the elite 'studs' of a beautiful fem. Will they succeed, will the love they feel for each other survive?


Trev got to his feet and skinned out of the rough shirt, letting it drop to the floor. He shivered, his tiny flat nipples tightening. "I’ll get some more wood before we bed down." He turned and stepped out of the ring of light, gathering wood from the mounds of wreckage in the centre of the room. Jax noticed a jagged scar on his back, running from his right shoulder blade half-way to his waist. It was old, but looked like it had been pretty serious when it was done. He made a mental note to ask about it.

Pulling himself to his feet, Jax cleared a larger section of floor close to the wall. His bag would hold them both comfortably, and as he spread it out, his erection pressed firmly against the crotch of his jeans. Deftly, he squeezed his cock. A shudder gripped him. Anticipation made his skin crawl and he eagerly shucked his soft leather jerkin, tossing it to the head of the dark blue double bag. He turned and stretched, knowing that would emphasize his size and the muscular chest he knew was a turn on for most men. The sparse thatch of coarse dark hair across his chest didn’t hide his nipples, which he was sure were darker than his newfound playmate’s’. A thin trail of it ran downward until it disappeared into the waistband of his jeans.

Trev added a few sticks of wood to the fire, leaving the rest within easy reach. Then rising, he watched for a moment, before he too reached for the fastening of his jeans. Together, both men unbuttoned then unzipped. Jeans pushed down to knees, then both of them dropped to the floor where they pulled off their boots, Jax’s older, more worn pair, and Trev’s fine, new pair. Neither wore socks or underwear, no one did, so the squirming out of their jeans left them naked and eager.

The wind howled and sent both men scrambling for the sleeping bag. Jax held it open for the smaller man, and managed to steal a stroke along Trev’s back and ass as he slid in. A moment later, his thigh slid along the smooth, nearly hairless chest. A hard nipple scraped along his hip and down side, and Jax shuddered. When he eased down further, their bodies rubbed full length along each other, sending a wave of goose bumps racing along his flesh. His cock throbbed.

"Been awhile," Jax murmured, easing onto his side.

Buy Now

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A bodyguard turned kidnapper has his hands full in "THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER"!

Excerpt -

The elevator door opened and Brent stepped into the hallway just in time to see Sophie disappearing behind the stairwell door. Shooting Tom a look of disgust he took out after her. If you want something done right, do it yourself, he thought with annoyance. All Tom had to do was escort her to the apartment across the hallway and hold her there until he arrived. It was his fault for not taking into account that Tom’s adventures were strictly limited to office work and not kidnapping.

Brent knew he had to stop Sophie before she reached the garage, and security. Senator Adams had spent nearly a week just convincing him to help and now the whole plan was about to go up in smoke. There was no way he was going to face his old friend this early in the game with news of failure.

He hit the door running, the force sending it against the wall as he sprinted after her taking the stairs two at a time. Her speed and determination surprised him, she was already a floor away. Funny, she hadn’t struck him as a survivalist but more like a woman who’d be helpless against someone kidnapping her. He’d taken her softness and pampered up bringing for granted and should have remembered that looks could be deceiving.

Just as she reached the third floor he heard her gasp, watching as she stumbled before releasing a cry he suspected was from sheer frustration more than pain. Gaining on her he reached out, his fingertips just grazing the delicate bones of her shoulder. A scream of pure fright echoed through the hollow stairwell almost breaking his eardrums. She might as well have pulled the fire alarm. He swore. If the security guards didn’t hear that and come running it would be a miracle.

His hand closed firmly over her shoulder and he pushed her into a dark corner, entrapping her there with his body. Sensing she was about to let out another scream he quickly slapped his hand over her mouth effectively cutting it off. “I’m not going to hurt you…damn it!” he swore when she bit down on his hand. “Unless you do that again!” he threatened, grating the words down at her as he shook his hand.

Print and ebook at Whiskey Creek Press.

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Read ARIADNE’S THREAD – it’s recommended by Angels!

Well, Fallen Angels :)

I’m thrilled that Ariadne’s Thread is a Recommended Read at Fallen Angel Reviews this month!

Whitney, who also awarded it Five Angels, called it “a fast-paced story with a very strong element of farce in it... Addie is a gal from “the wrong side of the tracks” in working-class Glasgow. Readers will love her tough attitude and her smart mouth and will be charmed by her strong Glaswegian accent. John Maxwell is a man in a kilt, and who doesn’t love a man in a kilt? He has a wonderful, eccentric family that the reader will want to adopt as their own, ghosts included. This story will have one rooting for the hero and the heroine and wondering how they can possibly end up together.”

You can read the full review here.

I’m particularly delighted because this review comes hard on the heels of Coffee Time’s review. Lototy praised the book for its “wickedly humorous characters, and a plot that proves to be as intriguing as it is sexy.”

And here’s a naughty excerpt involving those mischievous (and randy!) ghosts :)

By Marie Treanor
From Samhain Publishing
Available now at My Bookstore and More


It was supposed to be a simple burglary…but the ghosts had other ideas.

Glaswegian single mother Ariadne McSween is not having a happy New Year. Instead of celebrating with family and friends in time-honoured tradition, she’s helping her scallywag brother and his even less-savoury friends burgle a mansion in the Scottish Highlands. And nothing is going right.

First there’s the bad weather and car breakdowns. Then, instead of a quick, quiet robbery under cover of a noisy party, Addie finds herself flirting outrageously with the house’s owner, sexy concert pianist and accused murderer, John Maxwell. Worse, her violent and erratic accomplice, Shug, takes their hosts hostage.

Another complication: The house turns out to be haunted, and not just by the ghost of eminent composer Christopher Maxwell. Two randy spirits drawn to the lust of living want to join the party—along with the vengeful shade of John’s murdered wife.

Soon Addie becomes entangled in a host of mysteries, like why are Ariadne and her cohorts being paid to rob a house that holds nothing more valuable than dusty musical manuscripts? And most of all, how does she avoid falling in love with the chief victim of her crime?

Warning: This book contains explicit and musical sex, adult language and swearing in Glaswegian.


(Addie's erotic dream is rudely interrupted...!)

Oh, Jesus Christ, do you only exist to get in my way?

Addie’s eyes snapped open. She was still orgasming as the door of the room pushed inward. Somehow she managed to grab at the fallen quilt, half-tugging it across her body. Through the haze of pleasure that still held her helpless, she gazed toward the door, waiting for Shug to appear. Instead, John Maxwell strolled into the room.

The man of her dreams was more rumpled than ever, his black hair wild, his shirt opened most of the way down his chest, half in, half out of the kilt’s waist. Addie wanted to shout at him to get out, but as she was still in the throes of orgasm, only something like a whimper escaped from her lips. The sight of him at that precise moment was beautiful. It was appalling.

Helplessly, she dragged her hand over her face, hiding it, hoping feebly that he would imagine she was just trying to wake herself up. It gave her a moment to get herself back under control—sort of—and when she looked again, Shug was hopping into the room, leaning heavily on a walking stick. In the other hand he grasped the inevitable gun, pointing it, of course, at John Maxwell.

“Nice tits, Addie,” Shug said, “but there’s no need to show the world.”

“Fuck off, Shug,” she said shakily. She dragged the quilt farther up and realized that, humiliatingly, John Maxwell was not looking at her but at the foot of her bed. Which is when, belatedly, she saw the naked man who sat there.

His skin gleamed a warm shade of sepia. Long, tangled hair fell around his shoulders and across his curiously unclear but handsome face. Beside him stood another young man wrapped in a faded plaid. Through the latter’s body she could still see the window and the pale grey light of dawn gleaming through the curtains. They were both transparent.

It seemed she was still dreaming, a dream now well out of control, but hey, it was a hell of a lot more fun than her waking life, so she was quite prepared to run with it.

But no, Shug was distressingly real. He kept looking at her, as if willing the quilt to fall again.

“No, really, Shug,” Addie said dangerously. “Fuck off.”

“Thought you fancied a quick one for auld lang syne.”

“Oh, I think she’s had one,” John Maxwell drawled…

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

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Hot Romances by Tory Richards!

Maggie Myers returns home to rebuild her life and to escape her stalking ex-husband. To local small town sheriff Matt Dillon she’s more trouble than he needs. But the lady has enough sass and curves to tempt a saint. Well, he never claimed to be a saint, and Maggie is about to find out she’s been teasing the wrong man.

Logan Knight is staying with his grandfather while recuperating from an accident that killed his two best friends. He needs time to heal his body and his heart from the tragedy. Libby Turner is on a hell bent mission to keep her grandmother out of an assisted living facility, even if it means masquerading as a seventy-year-old woman.

From the moment the two meet sparks fly, and they can't keep their hands off each other. The only problem is, neither is looking for a relationship, so they come up with an outrageous solution. Can they stick to their plan of keeping their relationship strictly sexual, or do they give in to the overwhelming love that threatens to claim their hearts?

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A BLUE BIRD ON HIS SHOULDER short spicy Christmas read


He was a prison escapee on the run.
She was no princess but they were stuck with each other

available at ROMANCE AT HEART PUBLICATIONS all formats and a tiny Christmas price


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Romona Hilliger
Author of Romantic-Suspense


Author website A war between love and loyalty

ISBN 978-1-897445-34-1

Set in rural Victoria, at the very southern edge of mainland Australia

Bryce has forsaken everything, even Kate, the love of his life since childhood, and all for the sake of his career in medicine. His obsession is not for fame or money, but to bring health to underprivileged, indigenous children in the far remote regions of Northern Australia.

Frank, the returned war hero from Iraq, wants Kate because he can’t have her. She still loves Bryce. But the brutality of war has twisted Frank’s mind and he’ll stoop to anything to snare her love.

Will Bryce and Kate ever find a way through the heartache that their separate ways has brought them? Or will they have to accept that the bonds they forged as children were not meant to last into adulthood.


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THE SOLDIER’S GIRL rating v. sensual contemp.
TRAILER can be seen at

Chapter 1

Wakefulness brought realisation and with it, the grim reality that today was ‘make or break’ time.

Katherine Morgan rose and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. On silent bare feet, she padded across the bedside carpet and polished wooden floor to the window. She flung it wide to the sweet morning air of Dongala and breathed in its purity. The small rural town in Victoria, with its green, gently sloping hills, was located at the very bottom edge of Australia. The earthy smell of freshly turned soil, abundant-flowing rivers, sheep, dairy cattle and vast fields of waving grain; these were things that made her hometown so special. But today, her spirits sagged depressingly; the decision she had to make would influence the rest of her life and her stomach clutched in cold anticipation. If only she’d left things as they were, then, life would still be simple and uncomplicated.


The five councillors from the Dongala City Council, gathered at the apron of the dirt airstrip. Kate stood with the crowd gathered in the small building that served as an airport lounge. There was an atmosphere of festivity as the buzz of chatter mingled with the sounds from outside where the school band practiced with brash notes on bagpipes and drums. Frank Davis, Dongala’s sole but proud contribution to Australia’s efforts in the Iraq war, was coming home on leave today.

In all the hustle and bustle, Kate spotted Bryce Collard and her heart leapt until reality smacked her flat in the face. She watched him stop to talk to people. Well-liked, they were glad to see him, and with eager smiles on their faces, they clapped him on the back in affection.

She willed herself to remain calm despite her foolishly racing heart. After last night she must not show her emotions, not ever again. She hung back in the area of the airport lounge that was marked OFFICE and though she was making every effort to put the final touches to the “welcome home” banner she’d been working on, her trembling fingers hampered her to the point of being a fumbling mess.
Funny, how things had just happened; Bryce was in Dongala, too. He and Frank had been best mates since their school days and it was fitting that he be here on this special occasion.

“Been a long time since the boys first went away.”
Kate turned. It was Mr. Collard, Bryce’s father. Stooped and gaunt after his long bouts of illness, he leaned on the work-bench she was working at.
“Hello Mr. Collard, nice to see you out and about,” Kate smiled.

Mr. Collard turned and, better to brace himself, rested his behind against the bench. “Bryce, my dear boy, insisted I come and join in the celebration.”

“Yes. Ten years in fact,” Kate continued. “Soon after they left high school.”

“Aye, Kate. Both lads set off to carve out the careers they aspired to. Barely twenty at the time. Bryce gone off to study medicine in Melbourne and then, to specialise in paediatrics in America.”

Kate gave him a glance as he reminisced quietly, but his tone and eyes bursting with pride.
He shook his head. “That long time gone, it knocked me up some, I can tell you,” he sighed. “Still, I admire his commitment, and I’m proud of him.”

Kate studied the drawn and saddened face. Everybody knew only too well how close father and son had been, and how Bryce leaving home had devastated his father.

“And Frank gone off to join the army,” her voice took on a keen edge, in the hope of changing the subject and softening the hurt in his eyes. But bar a faint smile in politeness, she knew it hadn’t worked.

No. She too, still recalled that time with a heavy heart. From as far back as she could remember she’d worshipped Bryce and still did, but he’d never shown any more than a ‘shared-childhood’ interest in her. He thought of nothing but being a doctor. His obsession was not for fame or money but to bring health to the indigenous children in Northern Australia. Now he was back, albeit one of his rare visits, with his father the only reason. He hadn’t changed much. Except for the tan derived from the tropical Queensland sun, and it only served to enhance his masculinity. Tall and broad-shouldered, with deep-blue, smiling eyes that matched the smile on his lips, gave him the kind of sensuality that women found hard to resist. And as he’d always done, he wore it all with such ease, as though he wasn’t even aware of how his maleness could have had such a devastating effect on the female gender.

Kate risked another glance at Bryce. He’d stopped to talk to one of the councillors and was now coming toward her. The very sight of him brought back that old longing that refused to be extinguished. His dark, short-clipped hair revealing his small well-shaped ears and the turn of that handsome jaw was held in a strong and determined line. Bryce was a stunning contrast to Frank’s boyish good looks. A blast of red hair and brown eyes with pinpoints of mischief dancing in them. But in Bryce’s long absences it was the gregarious Frank who displayed more than a platonic keenness in her and gradually he’d helped her heal from the loss of Bryce, at least, cushion its sharpness, and they’d started going together.

“Well, Frank’s plane is due, so, I’ll go wait outside with the others,” Mr. Collard said, standing up and dusting off the seat of his pants. “Come visit some time Kate, it would be lovely to see you.”

“Thank you, I’d love that,” she smiled and watched him walk away, then made another assault on the last of the gold cords she was working with.

“Hello Kate.”

She stiffened at the sound of that deep clear voice. She looked up, way up, and into that brilliant smile.

“Bryce,” she responded quietly, her voice barely a quiver riding up from a throat that was so stricken with mixed feelings, it caught and choked.

Bryce studied her face. He understood how she felt about the whole sorry situation, because he’d been there with her, too. A short but deeply poignant situation, that didn’t die just because they had ended it the night before.

“The banner done?” he said, idly as though that was all that mattered, while his gut ached as if he’d been hit hard, right in the solar-plexus. “I was told to collect it from here. I wasn’t aware that you—”

Still smarting from their long and painful parting of the night before, she returned sharply. “Yes, I’m the one getting the thing together.” She could hide her anger and pain from him but not her passion and if she didn’t watch out, it would be her undoing, so, she was glad of the moment they snatched to lapse into silent reflection, each of their own hurt.

To indulge his long-denied love for this woman who’d always tortured him with her gentle charm. The innocence of it. Every move she made, the way she walked, the smoky tone of her voice. The delicate bone structure of her face, the evocative aroma of her hair and the breath-taking seduction of breasts, now truly a woman’s, thrusting erotically against the soft silk of her blouse. He gave a short laugh that he hoped would disguise his own painful emotions. “Seems like only yesterday that we were all still at school, and look at Frank now. A war hero,” he remarked, with naked pride in his old friend.

Kate knew he was trying to keep the conversation on a safe level but it wasn’t that easy for her. “Frank and you were good mates,” she said, a little too brightly. “You still are!” she plunged on, with unexpected vehemence.

Bryce swallowed hard, he knew what she was getting at but he wouldn’t rise to it. He’d just let the ensuing pause linger without further comment that he knew, would only erupt into a heart-breaking scene.

Kate worked at the banner a little more furiously. No, he wasn’t going to let anything destroy that mate-ship and she realised the thought of it was stirring her to fury born of frustration. She had to stay calm and to achieve that, she might as well talk.

“All those years ago, Frank became restless after you left. That’s why he joined the army. Did he ever tell you? He wanted to serve his country. Do something worthwhile. Like you. You two always stuck up for each other—” she broke off, and the piteous way she’d strung all those sentences together, brought Bryce close to breaking his resolve to let her go from his life.

“You were precious to us too. Five years younger, we always looked out for you.”

Precious? A moment of hope soared in her heart then it came crashing down again, like a dying man in a desert who thinks he’s seen water. No. It wasn’t the ‘precious’ she yearned for. “How could I forget?” she said, brushing aside her disappointment. “The way you sailed into that big Buckley boy who tried to grab me at the high school party…”

Bryce’s arms ached at his sides, he was hardly able to restrain his desire to drag her into his embrace, press her to his heart and hold her there. Her gaze fused with his and he was on a collision of guilt and desire. “I couldn’t stand anyone else even touching you,” he said, his voice unusually rough.

“Those were good days,” Kate smiled, pretending she didn’t care. “Along with the other kids we’d all go swimming and fishing together and those football games we’d cheer you and Frank on until we were hoarse.”
His presence was elating her and she felt the stir of stimulation, a gentle pulse within the sensitive part below her belly, so heady and warm. She cast her eyes down. She had to refrain from the bittersweet pleasure of brushing against him, as he stood not two feet away. “Bryce, I loved you even then. Didn’t you know?” she said, her eyes slowly lifting to meet his, and in their bleakness, she saw his bared soul. It made her want to cry.

Bryce bit on his bottom lip. Lying to her would solve nothing. He might just as well tell her the truth.

“I loved you Kate, I still do.”

Kate snapped her glance away. “Got a funny way of showing it,” she said, brusquely. She knew if she didn’t, her voice would tremble and he’d know how she was hurting. She didn’t want that. She kept working, harder than she needed to, her fingers flying and finally, the last few inches of gold cord were set in place and knotted.

“Take it and go,” she said, thrusting the banner rudely at him as though she couldn’t wait for him to be gone. But oh, God, she ached for him to hold her, even just to touch her—but the mere brush of his fingers against hers, as he took the banner, made her shiver, and that would have to suffice.

“Kate,” he pleaded. “Try to be happy.”

A frown marred her smooth forehead and she snapped. “Happy? Did I hear you say ‘happy’?”

He set the banner aside and reached out. With a firm grip of her shoulders he pulled her forward and lifted her chin up to his face. He had no desire to inflict more wounds on her. Breaking up something that hadn’t even had a chance to begin—it was already tearing them both apart. “Katie, I’ve told you my darling, how things are…”

She twisted and jerked, trying to break away from those steel-like fingers.
“How dare you call me Katie, as if you still cared, and don’t call me darling either, you don’t love me. You never did. That’s why you went away the first time, ten years go and barely kept in touch.”

“I came back during holidays.”

“Not always.”

“We had some good times…”

“Good times? Yes, until you went to America, and then… then just silence… I never heard from you Bryce…” she sobbed. “I waited for you for so long…”

“You know why I couldn’t keep contact.”

Kate used the heel of her palm to swipe the hot tears that stung her eyes. “Too much to do, you had to study too hard, what else?” Her jealous rage blazed her to fury. “Another girl?” Her eyes flared as the words ripped from her soul. “A sweet American chick?”

She was beautiful in her rage and it made his gut tighten, his pulse quicken, destroying the very fibre of his resolve. “For God’s sake, you know better than that.”

“Then why didn’t you ever tell me, ask me to wait, anything to show you cared? “

“Kate! We’ve been through all that, last night.”

“So, we’ll go though it again.”

“Oh, Kate, I did tell you. I told you, long ago. I loved you, but my career would not take the stress of a marriage.” The silence was electric as she heard again, the words she’d hoped would wear thin over time and he’d realise that it was her who mattered more than his career. But she was wrong. His voice grew low and gentle. “Once I left here, Kate, I left everything behind.”

He heard the little choke in her throat and it tore him apart. He stood motionless, until the hollow sensation he felt in his chest made him draw a deep breath. “Kate…” he sighed, his gaze deep and penetrating but she swung away.
“Listen!” His voice was firm as was the grip of his fingers on her arms.

“Damn it, Kate. Hold still and listen!” he snapped, his tone quieting her. She caught his stare and she was held, fixed, her eyes unable to move from his commanding gaze. “Committing to a relationship might have cost me my degree. I couldn’t afford distraction. And you were one hell of a distraction.”

“And now, Doctor Collard,” she emphasized with sarcasm, “now, that you have your degree and even been practicing for some time, you’ve achieved all you set out to do but you still reject me. Why did you come back? I can’t believe it was only because of your father. Wasn’t it me, too? Admit it Bryce. You know we are in love. Deep down, you know we always have been. Why do you want to deny it?”

Bryce had no way of hiding the raw look in his eyes it was there for her to see. “I don’t. God knows how much I love you.”

“You love me but you don’t want me. Just a little interlude these past two weeks making sure you fill in your time before going back—“

“What?” His face went slack with disbelief. “Is that what you think?” Horrified, he stared at her for what seemed like forever and she shifted uncomfortably, her eyes fixed with that unshakable gaze.

He longed to tell her he wanted her beneath him, his fantasy sweeping him away on an intoxicating experience. Tell her how crazy he was for her, how he ached to caress her, to pull her legs to him, part her thighs and drive into her with every urge that obsessed him, every act of carnal love. That unique something kept in reserve for that one special woman. His voice was raw. “That’s not true Kate, and you know damn well that it’s not. Don’t you understand? It’s not just my work. It’s Frank… I can’t betray Frank. I told you that last night. He’s my oldest and best mate and you are his girl, you’re getting engaged to him on this leave. How can I just butt in and steal you from him?”

Kate drew in a sharp breath and her eyes swept past him down to the ground. His words were like a bucket of ice water in her face. She knew he was right but there was nothing she could say. She felt cheated, defeated and all she could do was slump helplessly against him. No. They couldn’t betray Frank. It all hurt so much until she let out that sob she was trying so desperately to hold. “So, you’ve been fooling me, over these past weeks. A little fun to pass the time in Dongala, is that it?”

“No Kate. Don’t keep saying things like that. All the years of pent-up emotions just had to break sometime. Seeing you day after day, first meeting by accident, then coffee at the café, chatting about old times together, how could it not? I was going crazy with hunger for you.”

A pang of guilt struck at Kate. In her desperation to flesh out what Bryce really felt, she’d been the one to initiate their meetings. She had to know before he went away again. In her desperation, she’d led him on, all during these two weeks. Strolls in the park, coffee at the café. Even making sure that they had in, his favourite cake—Battenberg. Any little thing to remind him of old times and lure him, and now, now things were even worse than ever before.

“And so, now you’ll go back to your remote bush clinic,” she said softly, in a manner and tone that spelled resignation. “I don’t come into your scheme of things. I never have done.”

“It’s hard enough, Kate, don’t make it worse for either of us.”

Her eyes still implored, even now at this last moment. “Bry,” she cajoled, “we could tell him the truth and then go away together.”

“And break his heart? A man who has to face guns and bombs and sneaking marauders? His life always on the line? Should I be taking his girl, too?” He searched her face and considered his question. “He has said he intends asking you to get engaged this leave?”

She nodded. “Told you last night.”

Kate sought his eyes and pinned them with her own agonizing gaze. “Noble gesture, not breaking Frank’s heart. And what about my heart, Bryce? Your heart? The only reason this situation exists at all is because you made no commitments and I thought I could never have you, so when Frank showed he cared...” She twisted her hands in frustration and a very long silence spun out until she spoke tiredly, and with a kind of submission. “He wanted me and you didn’t.”

“So, you took up with him.” It was more of a statement than an accusation.

“Of course,” she said, stiffly. “Did you expect that I should hang about forever waiting for you?” Anyway, it’s too late. There’s too much between us now, I guess. It’s mum, too. She needs care after her heart-attack, so there’s that to be considered as well.”

“Yes, I guess there is that. She took your dad’s death pretty hard.”

Kate nodded. “And, I can’t just dump her or hand her over to her sister. I love her too much. In any case, Aunt Mae lives in Darwin, too far to drag her away from all she knows…”

“Yes. I realise that,” he said, and his frustration was so strong in his voice it broke with the strain of it.

Kate couldn’t hold back her grief anymore. She tried desperately to steady her trembling lip but with little success, and tears surfaced, rivulets trickling down her face. Bryce caught her up in his arms, smoothing her hair over and over. That beautiful mass of sunshiny-gold, still unchanged since she was a little girl who followed him around everywhere and he, always glad to see her tagging along. “Kate, please don’t cry.”

“Why did it all happen this way, Bryce? Why have we been brought together at all if fate decrees otherwise?”

Pain and disappointment fused and emerged from some secret depth of him as though the enormity of what he’d left undone, until it was too late, now tore him apart. “I don’t know, Kate. All I know is that you’re sweet and sensitive, too sweet and sensitive to be hurt any more.”

“You want me to forget you, but I never will. I’ll learn to love Frank. He’s a decent man and cares a lot for me too, but no man will ever replace you Bryce, not ever. When you are alone at night with your thoughts and memories, remember that, and how you hurt me.”

“As much as I will be remembering the woman I could have had as my wife, but whom I let slip away, and she now belongs to my best friend.” The thick husky quality of his voice was the product of his agony, the syllables shaking on his breath, each drenched in its own pain.

Kate hated the way Bryce could make her feel and hated herself for being unable to take that burning ache for him and turn it into hate. Overwhelmed by the hurt she felt, another sob broke from her.

“Hush, Kate,” he soothed, “please don’t cry.” Still stroking her hair he murmured little tender things in her ear until her sobbing subsided to tiny sharp in-takes of breath. Bryce framed her face in his hands, sweet and childlike in its purity, it hurt when he saw her pretty mouth tremble and tears shimmering in those appealing grey eyes that had always tugged at his heart. His thumbs trailed the dampness all the way down her cheeks to her moist mouth and gently snagging her lower lip, he kissed between her teeth and the soft flesh within. “Oh, Kate, if only—”

“If only,” she murmured, against the warmth of his mouth, shaping the soft contours of her body to fit into the hard firm lines of his. She nuzzled into his chest quivering with the fire he was igniting within her and growing wet. She grazed her fingers down his chest and the side of his pectoral muscle. It flexed at her touch and she curled her fingers in the crop of chest hair. “You’re beautiful, so beautiful. I love you, Bry,” she breathed, almost to herself. But still smouldering with desire, reluctantly, she pulled gently, away. “Yes. The world is full of ‘if onlys’, Bryce. Pity they come when it’s too late.”

He stared, dumbfounded. Whispered words that delivered a world of impact on him and when he heard the muffled tone of his mobile phone, instinctively, without much interest, he lifted it from his back pocket.

“Doctor Bryce Col…”

Kate watched his face become grave as his sentence slid away. “Hell! That bad? Isn’t Tom there? How about Jimmy?”
His face clouded as he picked up Kate’s questioning gaze. His arm went out and drew her back into him. “Yes,” he spoke against the mobile. “I’ll be back—yes!” he said, with a good measure of impatience. “I’ve told you, I’ll be back. Keep him cool and comfortable…Yes. Get the flying doctor, if necessary.” Another silence spun out and then he switched the small machine off with concern knitting his eyebrows.

Kate eased away as she spoke, studying his face. “News from the clinic?”

“A little boy I was treating.” The eyebrows relaxed but lines of concern still etched his face. “He’s taken a turn for the worse.”

“And nobody else is available, is there, Bryce? You must go…” The words were sarcastic but without the malice. She saw in his face the agony of a bitter decision merge with concern as he replied.


The work-bench lent support for Kate to rest on as she felt her behind soft against its surface. Her gaze travelled to the floor and her shoes seemed to take on new interest. She waved a foot absently, the ache in her heart a familiar one. She knew what would be the outcome of that phone call—she’d always known. “Well, that just about wraps it up then, for you and me.” The ghost of pain brushed across her face and released regret, its usual companion, into her eyes. “It seems impossible that we can have any future together.”

Bryce captured her gaze, his eyes seeking understanding. “Kate they depend on me…” He stopped as though in considered thought and a flutter of hope rose in her heart. “Hell, Kate, even that, that means so much to me, I’d give up for you, if it came to the push…but…”

The half-spoken sentence hung in the air and Kate knew from the look in his eyes that her moment of elation was about to crash—she was beaten. In a quiet voice she finished his sentence for him. “But, nothing will induce you to betray your best mate…”


The plane arrived a half-hour later and Kate watched it land, taxi along the runway, crawling slowly, to a stop. The banner was up with its gold-lettered WELCOME HOME FRANK aimlessly flowing back and forth in the sluggish wind. In moments the door of the plane swung open and right on queue, the school band exploded into Waltzing Matilda.
Frank, the hero from the Iraq war made his appearance at the top of the steps and Kate’s heart dropped to her toes.


Bryce shivered and pulled the collar of his jacket up around his neck. “You can say that again.”

The pilot grinned. “Well apart from that, nothing much has changed in Dongala,” he said. Bryce returned his smile and moved on toward the gateway.
He wasn’t thinking of the changes in Dongala, or its weather, his mind was focused on Kate.

Since the last time he’d been here and Frank’s homecoming from Iraq, he’d had no contact with Kate, but he could never completely erase her from his mind. There was always something that kept the thread of memory burning and alive. That picture of her when they’d been fishing and she was barely twelve years old. He had no idea why he still carried it in his wallet, nor why he’d never been able to sling the picture out. He had others of Kate. Group photographs as she’d matured to young womanhood, but something in this old photograph seemed always to haunt him. Something in the way she was looking up at him. The pleading in her face as though she needed him to say something that would take her pain away. The way she cuddled lovingly against his arm. Why hadn’t he noticed? Why had he always dismissed her affection as some childish ploy for his attention? Why did he see it only now? A tender love rejected and so painfully held within her, while his obsession for his work and loyalty to his friend had consumed him. Bryce walked the short distance from the airstrip to the town centre and from there he intended to just keep going on home.

There was nobody to meet him as he hadn’t told his parents that he was coming for this one last visit before heading to an even more remote location. This time it was in the northernmost part of the Kimberley region of Western Australia as head of the health unit. He thought of the hope his father had held that he’d come back to Dongala to stay. But now he was heading even further away, and though his father and mother were aware of it, face-to-face was a different matter. He knew he’d hate the underlying look of pain he’d see in his father’s eyes. The stalwart man, who despite his grief at losing his son to medicine and distant places never reproached him, rather always encouraged him. Bryce felt the stab of pain in his heart. Though he didn’t come home often, he always held in his heart, the wonderful times he’d spent in company with his father.

Bryce slung his back-pack over his shoulder and hitched it across to hook his other arm through. Deep in thought and head down, he sauntered along the familiar road through town, now and again responding to waves of welcome and shouts in greeting, until he reached the end and was passing the pub.

“Bryce,” called a familiar voice. His head shot up and Bryce turned to peer into the smoky dimness of the bar and there was Frank making his way toward him. Once more they slapped backs and laughed their greetings. “How’re you going mate?” they each cried out in unison and before he knew it, Frank in his eagerness, had Bryce by the arm.
“Have a beer before you head off,” he insisted, dragging Bryce into the pub.

“This early, Frank?” Bryce grinned, taking in the few diehard drinkers crouching over their drinks.

“It’s 4 o’clock,” he said taking a glance at his watch. “The sun’s at the yardarm, well near enough. Gets dark earlier in winter,” he laughed. “Besides, I’m celebrating. Haven’t you heard? Kate and I are getting married day after tomorrow. You’re just in time for the wedding, pal. Did you know?”


Bryce turned to follow Kate. Stepping outside, he caught sight of her running along the gravelled path and on into the side garden. “Kate.” His voice was loud and clear but her slender figure kept right on.
She swung into the tiny side garden, its bushes and potted plants had become her refuge, along with the shady mauve canopy of the jacaranda. This little corner was somehow, magical, a sudden calm absorbing all those who entered its gracious portals. She slipped behind the gigantic ferns, but too late, Bryce was gaining on her.


She started to run on but stopped long enough to glance over her shoulder.
“If you go away again, I won’t forgive you.”

In a couple of strides he caught up with her and swung her round to face him. In the soft light of the ornamental lamppost, her eyes blazed like live coals in her pale, grief-stricken face. “I’ll never forgive you, Bryce. Haven’t you done enough? I swear, Bryce, you leave me again and I’ll never forgive you for the rest of my life.”

“Kate,” he swooned as he cradled her in his arms and uncontrollable, hysterical sobs wracked her small slender body stirring a brew of love, regret and pain, systematically, ripping him apart and torturing his soul.

“All you say is false, Bryce. Only your indifference is genuine.”

“Dear heart,” he murmured, his voice reflecting his heartbreak. He didn’t know what he could say to soothe the pain he knew was the core of her raging outburst and that terrible hole he felt in his own heart. Oh, God, would they ever find a way through this?



Can also be seen at PUBLSIHER WEBSITE.

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New Release> Embracing the Darkness

If you love vampires then you won't want to miss my latest release in my Darkness series, Embracing the Darkness. What you will find when reading about my vampires is that they are not your typical vamps. Mine don't go poof in the sunlight, they can enter a church, sacred ground and wear crosses. Also, the true vampires, the ones that were created first, have special abilities such as mind control, transportation, using the earth to creat storms and more.
My vampires are also very much alive. What they suffer from is a vampire disease.

Interested? I hope so. If you want to know more about how the origin's of my vampires, you can check it out at,

Now, to give you a taste of the third book, Embracing the Darkness.


One upon a time Jonah Moore had it all. Then his wife and unborn child were taken from him, leaving his life darker than when Chaos and his evil vamps stole the sun. Now, Jonahs lost the will to face another day, which could be a problem, considering he’s just been turned into a vampire and is now destined to live for eternity.

As a nurse, Raven Moony was used to tending to the needs of others. Until an accident changes everything… When she is abducted and forced to tend to Chaos’ needs, she is more than ready to give in and willingly accepts her role as his slave.

Then Jonah enters the picture and she finds herself fighting for his safety and freedom as well as her own. Can she convince Jonah he should go on despite her own doubts? Can they open their hearts to love and learn that there is indeed life after death?

Shiela Stewart’s third novel in The Darkness series continues the heart stopping, action packed battle of light against dark. Enter a world where light shines from within and love always triumphs…even in the face of pure evil.


“I thought we would try this again.”

Startled out of his sleep, Jonah glanced towards the door as Raven entered. He’d been peaceful in his sleep, lying in the arms of his wife and stroking her swelling belly.

And now that he was awake, he was reminded that it had just been a dream and the cruelty of reality was that he would only have her in his dreams from now on.

“Since my threat of shoving a feeding tube down your throat didn’t come to fruition, I thought I would try to persuade you to eat and drink something. Again.” She set a tray with a sandwich and a cup on the table beside his bed.

He glanced at it half heartedly then turned away. “I’m not hungry.”

“We could go with that feeding tube then. Here, I brought you more ice.” She held up the bag as she walked around his bed and lifted the covers. “Can you roll onto your side, or do I need to help you?”

“I can manage.” He hoped. Grabbing the side rails,Jonah pulled himself over, shifting until he lay on his right side. He held onto the rail while she slipped the previous pack away and replaced it with a fresh one.

“There you go.”

He flinched when her hand touched his arm as he rolled himself back. “I can do it.” Jonah insisted and pulled the covers up to his chin.

“You’re a contradiction, Jonah. You don’t want me to help you, insisting you can do it on your own, yet you refuse to eat or drink in hopes of…what? Starving yourself to death? Seems like a cruel way to die.”

“Why would I deserve an easy death?” he muttered, folding his arms across his chest. The head of the bed rose, startling him. He needed to calm his nerves and be less jittery.

She held the button until he was sitting upright, then released it to grab the tray. “I don’t know why you want death in the first place. Here, drink.”

He glanced into the cup and saw the blood. Though his mouth watered and his body alerted him to the need for it, he rejected it with a turn of his head. “What do I have to live for?”

“You’re like a child, turning your head away from the food like it’ll deter me from forcing it into you mouth. I will, you know, because even though you think you have nothing to live for, I believe differently. Now drink.” She shoved the cup to his lips.

He slapped it away, knocking the cup onto his lap, spilling blood all over his bedding and himself.

“Now look what you’ve done. You’re worse than a child. I swear.” Shaking her head, she marched from the room.

He could literally feel his body begging for the blood that was soaking into his bedding and his clothes. It wasn't a hungry sensation, but a need so great that it called to his blood, to his body to take. Slowly, he slid his finger along the blood soaking into the fabric, pooling some onto his finger. Lifting it, his heart speed up and his pulse quickened and before he registered what he was doing, his finger was in his mouth.

“Thank God there are plenty of fresh linens. I’d hate having to go down into the basement alone to wash some.”

Pulling his finger from his mouth quickly, he tried to look nonchalant as she walked towards him.

She dragged the wheelchair to the bed after setting the fresh linens on his bed tray then began gathering the soiled bedding. “I saw you pull your finger from your mouth. Did you enjoy the taste?”

He refused to acknowledge her comment and decided instead to stare blankly at the ceiling.

“Have it your way.”

His eyes jerked down when he felt her hands on the front of his nightshirt. “What are you doing?”

“Removing the soiled shirt. I have a fresh pair of pajamas here for you.”

He slapped her hands away again and unbuttoned it himself. “I can manage it.”

“Suit yourself.” She stepped back and folded her arms across her chest, waiting. “What was your wife’s name?”

That caused him to pause, then he swallowed the misery he felt and continued. “Ariel.”

“That’s a pretty name. How long were the two of you married?”

He had the buttons open and began pulling his arms free. “Four years.”

“Still fresh. I’ll take that.” She took the shirt before he could drop it on the floor. “You’ll need to remove the bottoms as well.”

“Excuse me?”

“They’re soiled.” She pointed to his crotch and the huge blood spot soaking into the material. “You’ll probably need help removing them.”

“I can do it myself,” he insisted, refusing to allow her to undress him. He wasn’t a complete invalid. “Just give me a fresh shirt.”

Shrugging, she handed one to him in a pasty green.

He slipped his arms, one at a time, into the sleeves then quickly buttoned them. “I’m not taking the bottoms off with you watching me.”

“Do I need to remind you that I have seen you naked already?”

He clenched his jaw. So she had. He’d been stripped naked when he’d been chained to Chaos’ wall. Still… “Just turn around.”

“Whatever you say.” She turned her back to him, her arms once again folded across her chest.

He lowered the waistband, but sliding them down his hips was a little more difficult. He had some mobility in his waist and hips, enough that he could swivel back and forth to wiggle the waistband down, but when he tried to slide them down his legs, he came up against an obstacle. His legs wouldn’t bend on his command, which made it harder to slide the pants all the way down. And when he tried kicking them to shake the pants down, that too failed.

“Damn it!”

“Need a hand?”

He didn’t like the smugness in her voice. “No.” Yet here he sat, pants tangled at his knees, naked, exposed, and not able to get them all the way off. “Yes,” he finally said, deflated. “But close your eyes.”

“I can’t help you with my eyes closed, Jonah.”

He cupped himself as she turned around. She shook her head and rolled her eyes then grabbed a fresh pair of bottoms. Setting them on the foot of the bed, she grabbed the soiled ones and slid them free of his legs. “I should have thought to bring in a bowl of warm water. I’ll be right back.”

And there he was, sitting in a hospital bed, naked from the waist down and unable to do anything about it. He hated what his life had become.

“Here we go.” She set the bowl on the tray, then took the cloth from the water and squeezed out the excess before laying it on his thigh. “Since the blood stain was mostly over your crotch, I’m going to have to wash that as well.”

“I don’t think so. I’ll do it.” He took the cloth from her then waved his hand indicating he wanted her to turn around.

“You’re being ridiculous.”

“It’s called dignity.” He waited until she’d turned to wash himself off. Holding his limp member, not being able to feel his palm against the flesh was an ugly revelation he was having a hard time dealing with He was even discouraged when he washed it off and couldn’t feel the warm water. “Done.” He set the cloth in the water while cupping himself with his other hand.

She turned around and pulling the cloth out of the water, proceeded to wash his legs and waist. “You have nice muscles in your legs. Do you work out?”


“Hm, what do you do for a living?” She washed down his leg, bending it at the knee and moving it up and down.

“I work with computers. What are you doing?” He shifted one hand to cover his now exposed balls.

“Flexing your muscles, keeping them limber. I’ll need to do this several times a day so they don’t stiffen up. What sort of computer work do you do?”

“Everything from computer repair to debugging or reconstruction.” He wished he felt at least something when she moved his legs up and down.

“Sounds fascinating. My guess is that it’s mostly desk work. Sitting for long periods?” She moved to the next leg.

“More or less.” Couldn’t she do this when he had the pants on?

“Yet you stay fit. And without exercise. Interesting.”

“I walk. Well…I did at least.” That was another thing he’d never do again. He’d loved walking once. Long walks with Ariel on warm summer evenings. He’d never have that with her again.

“Well, if you eat and drink it’ll help strengthen your body, which will enable it to heal faster.”

“Nice try.”

She looked up at him as she flexed his other leg. “If you’re comfortable being a lump for the rest of your very long life, so be it. Do you know what happens to a vampire if they don’t feed regularly?”

“Yes.” He knew it all, well most of it, given the fact his best friend was a vampire. He missed Trinity and he hoped she had listened to him and stopped looking for him. He didn't want anyone else harmed because of him.

“How do you know?” she inquired.

“My best friend and colleague is a vampire.” That had her pausing. “You might have heard of her. Trinity Ford?”

Her eyes went so wide that the whites nearly took over the rest. “Get out. The queen of all vampires is your friend?
The one Chaos is after?”

“Yeah. Do you think we could get me into some pants now?” He felt more than a little awkward having a conversation with her while he was partially nude.

“If you know her, why the hell aren’t you calling her to come get you?” She lifted his left leg and slipped his foot through the pant leg.

“Because I don’t want her to come for me.”

“Why not?” She slipped the other foot through then slid them up his legs.

“Because I don’t. I can manage it from here.” He pushed her hands away, then waited until she turned around before he pulled his pants all the way up.

“That’s a stupid reason. Because. What is it with men when they’re sick or injured that they revert back to being children?”

“I’m done,” he grumbled and that was the only response he was giving her.

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