Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Crimson Roses Blitz

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Romantic Suspense
Date Published: October 2019
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Pepper Chan tried to leave the scars of her abduction behind her when she joined her current veterinary practice. However, a chance encounter with Roddy Eastman, the brother of her former best friend, leaves her shaken and desperate to keep her distance. The last thing Pepper wants to do is relive the terrible ordeal from so many years ago. Her kidnapper was never caught, and Pepper is afraid to trust anyone.
Attorney Roddy Eastman is determined to find out why Dr. Chan wants to avoid him. He tries to convince himself that his drive to seek out answers from her is just his concern for his sister’s friend and not something deeper—like his long-standing attraction to her since high school.
The sudden murder of her boyfriend makes it clear that a deranged murderer is taunting Pepper, waiting for the right moment to strike. When Pepper reluctantly reaches out to him, Roddy offers her his help. Together, they must dig into her past to uncover the identity of the stalker before his twisted plans can become a reality.
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 Excerpt
CHAPTER 1
The raven-haired veterinarian stepped into the examining room and watched as a frustrated man tried to gain control of the angry, spitting cat climbing up his arm.
After tightening his grip on the short-haired, gray feline, he looked up at her. She recognized the boyish smile on the handsome man’s face. It was Roddy Eastman, and he was even more attractive now than he had been when they were in high school in Angel Falls. “How can I help you, Mr. Eastman?”
His eyes widened, and he stammered, “Pepper Chan?”
She smiled and said, “Yes, it’s me. Long time no see. How’s your sister? I think about her often.”
“Kris is great.”
“When did you move to Albuquerque?” she said.
“I went to UNM, and after I graduated I stayed.”
“I understand you’ve acquired a new cat?”
“No, I mean, yes, but he acquired me, not the other way around. He showed up on my porch one day and has refused to leave. He thinks it’s okay to come into my house and sleep on my bed.” His eyes twinkled and he grinned. “I’m sorry. I’m babbling like an idiot.”
Pepper was amused at his efforts to control the cat. She hoped he wouldn’t lose a finger as he set the beat-up tom on the stainless-steel table. The animal hissed again, but Roddy held it firmly. She began to examine the cat and then heard a tap on the door.
Pepper turned toward her partner who was speaking from the doorway.
“Sorry, to interrupt, Pepper, but there’s a surgical emergency out here that I’d be more comfortable placing in your hands. I can take over here if you don’t mind?”
“Okay with you, Roddy?” Pepper said.
“Yeah, that’s fine. It was great seeing you again. I’ll tell Kris.”
~ ~ ~
Pepper had rushed out of the room so quickly that Roddy wasn’t sure she’d ever been there, or if she was merely a wishful daytime fantasy.
The doctor who took over for Pepper was a tall, buxom woman with blond hair and brown eyes peering out from glasses. She was a couple of inches shorter than he was, and she spoke with a distinctive Boston accent. She was friendly enough and seemed to take in stride the quick change in plans.
“Looks like this old boy has been around the block a few times, literally,” the vet said. “I’m Doctor Barbara Ashland, and what is this fellow’s name?”
“Devil Cat,” Roddy said giving the animal his best stern fatherly look. Changing the subject, he said, “I noticed Dr. Chan still uses her maiden name for the business. I guess she’s never been married?”
The look Ashland sent him made it clear how out-of-line his question had been.
“Sorry,” he muttered. “I knew her in high school.”
“I see. Well, I’ve been her partner for over a year, all I can tell you is she isn’t married now.” She scratched Devil Cat between the ears. “What’s the story?” Dr. Ashland said.
For a minute, Roddy thought she was talking about Pepper, but then he realized the doctor was asking about the cat. “One day, he showed up on my front porch and wouldn’t go away. So I fed him, and then next thing I knew, every time I opened the door he came inside. Seems to think he belongs there.” Roddy reached out and gave the cat a gentle pat. “To tell you the truth, the dang thing has grown on me.”
Dr. Ashland picked up a clipboard. “He needs shots, a check for worms, and he’ll need to be neutered, of course, but otherwise he looks good. You want to leave him today?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess.” Roddy’s brain was still trying to grasp what the vet had said, and he wanted to grab his own balls and hold on to them. He leaned over and whispered in the cat’s ear, “Sorry, man, I really am. I bet if you’d known this was going to happen, you’d have gone to someone else’s porch.”
~ ~ ~
Roddy rolled down the window on his pickup and threaded the cool breeze through his fingers. Early spring was one of his favorite seasons in Albuquerque, even if Mother Nature was fickle and unpredictable. Today, it was in the high seventies, but tomorrow a front could come pushing in and drop the temperatures into the forties. Most of the snow had melted off Sandia Peak, and the redbud trees were popping their blooms.
He sang along to a country love song on the radio, Roddy thought back to Pepper’s haunting eyes. She had been so gorgeous back when he was fifteen. Time had been good to her. She was still breathtaking. Her Chinese ancestry was evident in her shiny black hair and the shape of her eyes, but not their color. They were a deep, dark, indigo blue.
She had been his first serious crush, although she never gave him a second look. He remembered she had moved after her senior year, and he had thought about her now and again over the years. His older sister Kris was in the same grade as Pepper. Maybe she would know something more about her.
His truck bumped over the gravel road leading to his home and property. He’d scrimped and saved to put the down payment on the land when he’d first taken a position as a criminal defense attorney right out of law school. A few more years of saving and a couple of good verdicts had brought him more affluent clients who gave his bank account a much-needed boost. He was able to build a cozy, ranch-style home in Belen, a small community on the outskirts south of Albuquerque.
Kris’s black Dodge Ram was parked next to the barn where she kept her two prized quarter horses. After her separation from her husband, Roddy suggested she move in with him until she got back on her feet. Kris was still angry with her ex-husband. The rotten, drunken, SOB, as she liked to call him, had managed to gamble away almost everything they ever owned. All she had left were the horses and the truck because they were in her name before she married.
 “Hey, little girl,” Roddy greeted his sister as he watched her groom the handsome chestnut horse.
“Hey, yourself,” she said, straightening up from cleaning out the animal’s hind hoof. “I thought you were going to drop off Hell Cat and go to your office.”
“Please, Sis, get it right. It’s Devil Cat. You’ll hurt his feelings.”
She put the horse’s leg down and walked toward Roddy. “I don’t see him anywhere around. I think I’m safe. I gather they could take care of him today?”
“Yeah, poor guy. He’s going to lose his nuts you know.”
“Weren’t you expecting that?”
“Eventually I guess, but not today.”
“Better him than you,” she laughed and punched him hard on the arm.
“Hey,” Roddy said. “What was that for? Because you hate the male species?”
“Not all,” she said, “just most. What’s up? Why are you back so early?”
After opening the gate to the pasture, Kris gently swatted the horse on the rump. Roddy helped her put the grooming tools away, and they walked back toward the house. “I can work from home tonight. I don’t have anything pressing, and I want to talk to you about something,” Roddy said.
“Okay. What?”
“Do you remember Pepper Chan from high school?”
“Wow! Talk about a blast from the past,” Kris said while kicking off her muddy boots near the back door. “Sure, I remember Pepper. Why?”
“I saw her today. She’s a veterinarian now.”
“Small world isn’t it? I was so sad when her mom died, and she had to move and go live with her dad. We said we’d stay in contact with each other, and we did until we both started college. After that, I got a couple of emails and phone calls, but then they stopped. I always hated that we lost touch.” Kris moved toward the kitchen sink to wash her hands and said, “Well, how is she? How does she look? Is she married?”
 “Beats me. Pepper didn’t stick around long enough for me to ask. She had an emergency, and another vet took over.”
“I remember hearing that something bad happened to her when she was in college,” Kris said, “but I never knew what.”
“Strange,” Roddy said, opening the refrigerator and taking out a beer. “I wonder what it was?”
“And you’re not going to leave it alone are you?”
“Not a chance.”
About the Author

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Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson are sisters who live over 1400 miles apart. They combined their two last names into the pen name Tess Thompson and have been writing novels together since 2002.

 

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BENI by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #4 Publication Date: October 7, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance Date Published: September 17, 2019 She’s in love with her
Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance Date Published: September 17, 2019 She’s in love with her
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BENI Blitz

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BENI

by Bethany-Kris
Guzzi Legacy, #4
Publication Date: October 7, 2019
Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

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AVAILABLE NOW!

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SYNOPSIS

Chicago has never been more fun, or dangerous …

Sent away with his identical twin to get their wild ways under control, Beni Guzzi expects nothing to change. Same crap, new city, right? But if the boss of the Chicago mob can’t set the principes straight, then nothing will.

And then she rolls into town.

Stuck in a job that seems intent to keep her working behind a desk, August Rivera hopes a trip to the windy city for an assignment will make the magazine finally give her a spread. But getting to see her best friend, well, that’s just a bonus.

And then she sees him from across a club.

With a gang causing trouble for the Outfit, and a Capo’s crew in shambles, Beni has a million other things to focus on except the beautiful New Yorker who keeps finding her way into his bed. The thing is, when he’s with August, everything is better—easier.

Falling in love while handling family drama and mafia affairs is anything but simple … and in this business? It only takes a single mistake to lose it all.

That lesson can’t be taught, and it always comes too late.

*

NOTE: Beni is a standalone novel within The Guzzi Legacy series. It can be read as such.

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EXCLUSIVE RELEASE EXCERPT

Spinning around while taking a sip of the hot coffee, August came face to face with a smirking Beni. Damn, he looked good today. Gone were the dark wash jeans, leather jacket, and the Converse shoes. Oh, sure, she liked him in that, too, but today he had settled on something a bit more … classic, and fancy.

Black slacks, and a white button down that was rolled up to the elbows. A blazer hung over his arm, forgotten, likely because of the current summer heat sweeping through Chicago. No tie, she noticed, but that was okay because he’d left the top two buttons of his shirt undone, giving her a peek at the golden skin of his throat, a couple days’ worth of facial hair covering his jawline, and the way his Adam’s apple bobbed when he looked her over, and swallowed.

So good looking.

Did he know how he looked?

Because Jesus

At least, August didn’t feel underdressed standing in front of him, considering she had thrown on a black dress with elbow-length sleeves, a scoop neck, and a pencil skirt that fell to her knees. Black pumps matched the dress, and she went for a simple, rose gold necklace and matching earrings to draw attention to her little makeup, and the braids she had piled high on her head in a spiraling bun.

She did have a meeting today—one that involved talks about a possible job. She had to look professional, didn’t she?

“No work today?” she asked.

Beni flashed her another one of his sinful smiles. “Nah, I had better things to do.”

Was she one of those things?

He was here.

So … yep.

August liked that.

Too much.

There was something about a man that made a woman his priority that did it for her. Beyond sex, a man that cared enough to put in effort … it was all about the fucking effort with a woman like her.

She appreciated it.

“And you didn’t answer me,” he said. “Is this the second date?”

She gave him a look. “We didn’t really have a first.”

“Well—”

“That was not a first date.”

Beni chuckled, shoving his hands into his pockets as he looked her over from head to toe. There was something about his slow perusal that had her heating up from the inside out, butterflies beating hard in her stomach all the while.

What was he doing to her?

“So, we consider this a first date, then?”

August nodded. “And depending on how it goes, well, we’ll see about another one.”

His dark, husky laughter coated her in something sinful and wicked as he stepped alongside her to wrap a strong arm around her waist. He pulled her into his side for a one-armed hug, his mouth coming down to press a quick kiss to her soft line of baby hair along her forehead.

“Never stop doing that,” he told her.

August tipped her head back so that she could stare up at him. “Do what?”

That—keeping me on my toes. Nobody ever does that anymore, and I like it.”

Noted.

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ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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THE REBOUND LIST by L. Moone The Undateables, #2 Publication Date: November 4, 2019 Genres:
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CHRIS by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3 Publication Date: September 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic

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Dark Justice – Tour

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Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance
Date Published: September 17, 2019
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She’s in love with her sister’s killer…
Lauren has loved Luke since first grade. They planned to marry—until he murdered her sister. The moment he was sentenced to prison, Lauren fled with her secret baby and made a new life. Now she’ll do anything to keep their daughter safe. But her hard won peace shatters when Luke is exonerated, and it sets her on a path of mixed emotions to discover the truth. Letting a killer into their tightly knit family is out of the question. Or is it?
She almost destroys her life by threatening his…
Prison stole his future with Lauren and twelve years of Luke’s life, so the last thing he needs from her is a knife in the back or a gun in his face. Lauren believes he killed her sister, and he has no plans to pick up where they left off. Luke can’t afford to trust her, but he wants nothing more than to convince her he’s worth fighting for.
Their daughter is in danger…
Luke is heartbroken when he learns they had a child together. Now his daughter is in danger. Lauren trusted the wrong person for far too long, but he hopes she’ll now trust him. Luke will risk everything to keep them safe. And Lauren will risk everything if she lets him into her heart.
EXCERPT

Adapting to the openness had taken awhile. In prison, he’d been alone, despite the crowd. But here, he was out in the boondocks with the crickets croaking and the coyotes yapping, echoing and prolonging the eerie silence afterward. 

He loved it. But after his release, he dreaded every moment. The silence. Feeling incredibly alone. He’d considered a pet, but the upkeep was more than he was willing to handle at the moment. 

He jumped when the door slammed and Lauren waltzed out. 

“I love jalapeno poppers,” she said. “Can’t remember the last time I’ve grilled some of those.”

“I’ve got the makings if you want to do it.”

She clapped her hands together. “Yes, let’s do that.”

“I picked enough jalapenos this morning, but we can always grab more from the garden if you want.” 

“Too dark and I’m afraid of snakes. I’m sure you have plenty.” 

She prepped the poppers and he prepped the fire, and they drank another margarita while the food cooked. They sat around the fire under the stars instead of the deck, near a large oak tree that had been the focal point of many parties with friends and family. They chatted about the weather, the river and the current news. Once the poppers were done, they ate a few and chatted more, but nothing too serious. 

“You wanna just eat jalapeno poppers and margaritas tonight?” he asked, never wanting this night to end.  

“Sounds wonderful.”

He grabbed a stick and thrust a wiener on it. “How about we at least roast wieners?”

Laughing, she seized the stick and jabbed it in the fire. “I thought I had already roasted yours.”

His loins jumped. “That you did.” 

She removed the burning wiener from the fire and blew on it. As she took it from the stick she muttered. “Hot, hot, hot.”

He grabbed a paper plate and placed it under the wiener, where she let it fall. “Of course, it’s hot silly. It just came from the fire.”

She set the plate on the table and blurted, “I’m sorry I didn’t trust you.” 

“You didn’t trust that the hot dog was hot?” He took his from the fire and blew, but laid it across the plate before sliding it from the stick.

“No.” She swept her hand through the air. “About everything else. For years I thought you had slaughtered my sister. How can I step away from that and remember what things were like before?”

Shadows skimmed Lauren’s body. The dim light from the fire and from the deck’s lighting flickered around her, enough to discern most of her features. He leaned closer and brushed a finger across her cheek. “Knowing me the way you did, how could you even think I would do something like that?”

Lauren shrugged. “Maybe I had a few doubts, but I called it wishful thinking. Then I went through such pain and heartache I didn’t have room for doubts. Everyone convinced me. Your cap. Your knife. Your motive. Clint…” Her voice bubbled, a tenuous thread of something he couldn’t name. Regret? Remorse? Confusion? 

Luke jerked away. His muscles tensed, gut twitched. 

“We became friends. Not like you and I were, but he was there for me—” 

“Of course he was.” His voice was harsh, hot like the fire steaming from his pit.

“As Laramie grew up, he became her godfather. But she didn’t like him and never wanted to be alone with him. She never accused him of anything, but she steered clear of him. Even her instincts were right and I couldn’t see through my pain.”

He stood. Yes, they should have this conversation. They needed to have this conversation at one point. And now was as good a time as any. But it was too hard to sit. Too hard to face the demons that Lauren’s mistrust in him had stirred. 

“If I had doubts, I…I—”

“You had too many people lying to you.”

She stood and planted her palms on his chest. “But you never lied, did you? You were the only person who didn’t.”

About the Author

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Angela Smith is a Texas native who, years ago, was dubbed most likely to write a novel during her senior year in high school. She always had her nose stuck in a book, even hiding them behind her textbooks during school study time. Her dream began at a young age when her sister started reciting ‘Brer Rabbit’ after their mom read it to them so often. She told her mom she’d write a story one day and never gave up on that dream even though her mom was never able to see it come to fruition. By day, she works as a certified paralegal and office manager at her local District Attorney’s office and spends her free time with her husband, their pets, and their many hobbies. Although life in general keeps her very busy, her passion for writing and getting the stories out of her head tends to make her restless if she isn’t following what some people call her destiny.
Contact Links
Purchase Link
Romantic Suspense Date Published: October 2019 Pepper Chan tried to leave the scars of her
BENI by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #4 Publication Date: October 7, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance Date Published: September 17, 2019 She’s in love with her
SEAL Team Alpha, Book 1 Romantic Suspense Promo Special – Currently Free in ebook format

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Dark Justice Release Blitz

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Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance
Date Published: September 17, 2019
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She’s in love with her sister’s killer…
Lauren has loved Luke since first grade. They planned to marry—until he murdered her sister. The moment he was sentenced to prison, Lauren fled with her secret baby and made a new life. Now she’ll do anything to keep their daughter safe. But her hard won peace shatters when Luke is exonerated, and it sets her on a path of mixed emotions to discover the truth. Letting a killer into their tightly knit family is out of the question. Or is it?
She almost destroys her life by threatening his…
Prison stole his future with Lauren and twelve years of Luke’s life, so the last thing he needs from her is a knife in the back or a gun in his face. Lauren believes he killed her sister, and he has no plans to pick up where they left off. Luke can’t afford to trust her, but he wants nothing more than to convince her he’s worth fighting for.
Their daughter is in danger…
Luke is heartbroken when he learns they had a child together. Now his daughter is in danger. Lauren trusted the wrong person for far too long, but he hopes she’ll now trust him. Luke will risk everything to keep them safe. And Lauren will risk everything if she lets him into her heart.

 

Excerpt

 

When Lauren strode through the door and saw Luke, she halted. A panic switch flicked on in her chest, heart pounding in fight-or-flight mode.
Stay. Don’t run. She forced her erratic breathing to slow.
Laramie stood beside her. Laramie. Why hadn’t she picked up the car later, when Laramie wasn’t around? Oh yeah, because she never expected to confront Luke at the same body shop he recommended.
Jim Edwards approached. She didn’t know him well, but enough to know he was a good man and ran a good shop. He and his wife owned and managed it together. Despite Luke’s recommendation, Jim’s reputation made it her first choice. Knowing Luke worked here would have changed everything.
Jim was tall but squatty, with a permanent curve to his back, a twinkle in his eyes, and salt and pepper hair. Grease covered his clothes. He rubbed his hands in a towel but didn’t offer a shake.
“Ms. Cooper, good to see you again. Your vehicle is ready. You wanna look it over first?”
The shop was full of grease and tools and contraptions expected to be in such a workplace. A sign to her right pointed to the office. That’s the direction she should have gone. If only she had known to avoid Luke.
“Um.” She wet her lips, swallowed, and ignored Luke’s gaze from the other side of the garage. “Who handled the repairs?”
“Oh, that’d be Luke Fuller. Great technician. He’s standing right over there if you’d like to talk to him.”
Jim pointed, but she knew exactly who Luke Fuller was.
What kind of joke was this? A joke with destiny? How had Luke been the one to repair her vehicle? It was practically his fault she had wrecked. Not directly his fault, but indirectly. She had been running from him and from all the emotions he’d wrought in her.
He should have told her he worked here.
“Luke,” Jim called, waving him over. She hadn’t answered, so he must have thought that meant she wanted to talk with the technician.
She didn’t. She wanted to get into her car and run away. She’d have to force herself to go slow and easy so she didn’t wreck. Luke’s long strides ate up the distance between them.
“That’s okay, we’re good to go,” she told Jim, but he kept waving Luke over.
She had wanted to talk to him. Tell him how sorry she was about everything that happened. But now wasn’t the time. Her whole body shook, weakness assailing her when her daughter gasped beside her.
“Laramie, get in the car,” she whispered.
Laramie was busy studying the man coming toward them, blatantly curious. She undoubtedly recognized Luke from her online search.
He stopped in front of them. Lauren tried to turn Laramie away, but Jim spoke.
“Can you go over the Escape with Ms. Cooper? I’ve got to run. Great to meet you and do business with you, ma’am. You can settle up your deductible in the office there. Claire will take care of you. Or Luke can take care of it, too.” He nodded toward the door and offered his hand. “Have a great day, little lady,” he said to Laramie. The man walked away, and she stared at his disappearing back, her mouth opening but no words formed.
I don’t want to talk to Luke, she wanted to say.
She avoided his gaze and eyed Jim’s retreating back as if he was her lifeline. But when she turned back to Luke, his brows creased and his head swiveled between Laramie and her.
She planted her hand on Laramie’s shoulder. “Get in the car. I’ll be there in a minute.” Her voice was shaky, empty, and way too tactless not to sound suspicious. She couldn’t have him studying Laramie too long. She didn’t need him to figure things out. And she damn sure didn’t want Laramie questioning anything.
 “As you can see, ma’am, we replaced the passenger door and fixed the front fender. The bumper was a bit skewed, and—”
She whirled on him, her eyes flashing fire. “And what else did you do?” Her whisper was a silent but scorching scream, only meant for his ears. But not silent enough Laramie wouldn’t hear the irritation. Her daughter continued to stand beside her, but she was too shocked to do anything about it.
He gave a slight headshake as if confused by her outburst. “Excuse me?”
“I’m supposed to get into this vehicle now? After you’ve touched it?”
He took a step back, his mouth opening.
“I replaced your fender and repaired your passenger door. Your bumper needed a bit of adjustment, too.”
Angry fire clogged her throat, her voice an eerie grumbling twang. Laramie stood silent beside her, watching her, observing her reaction. Lauren bit back on her fear.
This was Luke’s daughter. Luke’s daughter, and he didn’t know it, didn’t need to know it. She never would have brought her if she’d known he was working here. But now her best interest was to know everything she could about him, including his daily routine and where he worked, so she never had to run into him again.
Best to stay composed and avoid attention. She didn’t need her daughter wondering, or Luke studying her daughter too much.
She needed to get out of here.
His gaze flipped to hers, then to Laramie’s. She shielded her by shifting ever so slightly in front of her, but the question in his eyes revealed his curiosity.
“Mom?” Her daughter’s voice held that tween-angst-trust-no-one-and-question-everything tone.
“Get in the car,” she told Laramie, biting back her name. She refused to speak her name in front of Luke, as if that made everything real.
“You have a daughter?” Luke’s voice rose in a choppy wave of aggression.
No one besides them was in the shop. What would Jim’s reaction be if he knew he’d left her alone with the man who had sired her child and gone to prison for murdering her sister?
Her belly tightened. The car stereo fired up, jolting her back to reality. Laramie had climbed into the car, doing as asked, and a boomy bassy song blared from the speakers. The rumble resonated in her heartbeat.
“How old is she?” Luke asked. Why was she still here, her feet planted into the concrete floor as if stuck? His eyes flashed, lips curled. Her entire body shook. Curled into knots.
She squared her shoulders. “Thank you for the repair,” she said, then turned on her heel toward the car.
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About the Author

 photo Angela media small2_zpsfsrtv4zz.jpg

Angela Smith is a Texas native who, years ago, was dubbed most likely to write a novel during her senior year in high school. She always had her nose stuck in a book, even hiding them behind her textbooks during school study time. Her dream began at a young age when her sister started reciting ‘Brer Rabbit’ after their mom read it to them so often. She told her mom she’d write a story one day and never gave up on that dream even though her mom was never able to see it come to fruition. By day, she works as a certified paralegal and office manager at her local District Attorney’s office and spends her free time with her husband, their pets, and their many hobbies. Although life in general keeps her very busy, her passion for writing and getting the stories out of her head tends to make her restless if she isn’t following what some people call her destiny.
Contact Links
Purchase Link
Romantic Suspense Date Published: October 2019 Pepper Chan tried to leave the scars of her
BENI by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #4 Publication Date: October 7, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance Date Published: September 17, 2019 She’s in love with her
SEAL Team Alpha, Book 1 Romantic Suspense Promo Special – Currently Free in ebook format

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Ruckus Blitz

SEAL Team Alpha, Book 1
Romantic Suspense
Promo Special – Currently Free in ebook format at all online retailers.
 
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For U.S. Navy SEAL, Bowie “Ruckus” Cooper, going on a mission into the most dangerous place on earth wasn’t new, neither were the orders to tag and bag an international criminal, but when Bowie finds a captive American reporter, that wasn’t exactly run of the mill. Neither was getting separated from his team, teaming up with her or protecting her against all odds, while working to keep his hands from around her neck and off her delectable body.
Other Books in the SEAL Team Alpha Series:
Kid Chaos
SEAL Team Alpha Book 2
Cowboy
SEAL Team Alpha Book 3
Tank
SEAL Team Alpha Book 4
Blue
SEAL Team Alpha Book 5
Scarecrow
SEAL Team Alpha Book 6
Wicked
SEAL Team Alpha Book 7
Hollywood
SEAL Team Alpha Book 8
Dragon
SEAL Team Alpha Book 9
Ruckus tablet
Excerpt
Turbo, Columbia, South America
 
Heading into the world’s most dangerous jungle hadn’t  been on Dana Sorensen’s radar until months ago when she’d gotten an email from her dying mother asking Dana to do something for her. Tell these peoples’ stories. Let the public know what was happening. It had been the last correspondence Dana had received before her mom, her brave, beautiful, accomplished mom had lost her fight with cancer.
As a surgeon involved with Doctors Without Borders, her mom had met and married Dana’s dad, who was a nurse also serving with them. She often wondered if she could even live up to her mom’s ability to be so selfless. Even as the tears moistened her eyes, Dana tried to tell herself that she had no way of knowing her mom was going to go so fast, before Dana could get home. And, with guilt pressing in from all sides, eating at her, the grief still fresh, Dana was going to fulfill her mom’s dying wish. Come hell or high water.
She’d pitched her mom’s story to the editor for Trek Magazine about migrants traveling through the Darién Gap to make it from Colombia to Panama, then up through the Central American peninsula with the final destination the US. It had all stemmed out of her mom’s last trip to Asia where she’d found out that a lot of migrants were heading through South America to bypass the routes that had dried up due to stronger restrictions. And it wasn’t just Asia, but a slew of foreigners looking for a better life free from war and persecution.
But here she was standing on a dock in Turbo, Colombia, a disreputable port town rife with violence on the coast of Colombia and in the horseshoe of the Gulf of Urabá to fulfill her mom’s wish. It was just before dawn, the sun nothing but a glimmer on the horizon. She waited for a boat that would take her and her crew into the Darién Gap, a place that was teeming with dense jungle, dangerous wildlife, impenetrable swamps, wary guerrillas, intense paramilitary, deadly drug traffickers, disreputable guides and no marked trails.
The Darién might be a ten-thousand-mile swath of inhospitable land, but Dana was a correspondent who, due to her mom and dad’s noble example, had given up reporting about the war in exchange for pieces on the human condition. She was now a writer, photographer, filmmaker and contributing editor to International Humanitarian Journal. From her war correspondent experience, she could handle stressful encounters and dangerous people as situations that were all in a day’s work. She’d had some harrowing experiences in her life, but had gotten the story every time. This piece was timely, a hot button and would allow her to showcase what people would do for freedom and a better life along with keeping her promise to her mom. But going into the Gap was risky. She was well aware of the dangers, but had never let that stop her before. These stories needed to be told.
She needed to tell them.
There were several people with her from her film company, along with porters heading to Domingodo to meet up with a representative from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, Cuba-backed guerrillas who had been at war with Colombia since 1964. They controlled the most direct route through the Gap, and it would be her best chance of meeting and talking to migrants attempting the crossing. Permission had been obtained from an official in Havana to pave the way for her and her crew to do this timely story.
The soft drone of an outboard motor broke the predawn quiet. James Quinn, a freelance videographer she’d hired to document the trip leaned over and said, “Are you ready for this?”
She smiled. “I was born ready.” He and her South African producer and naturalized American, Liam Nelson were the two crew members accompanying her on the trip. Her cell chimed and she pulled it out of her cargo pants and read the screen. Jeffrey. He had been calling ever since she’d left San Diego and her office to make this trip.
She hit the accept button and said, “Hi, there.”
“Dana, geez woman, you’ve been a hard one to get a hold of. I really needed to talk to you before you left. It was important.”
“I know, but the okays came through for this trip and I had to go. You understand.”
He sighed heavily. “I do. I know how much your mom meant to you.” At his words, her eyes filled, and she worked at not losing it. “Look I’d be the first one to say what you do is great. You have more courage than some men I know. I would never stand in the way of that, but—”
“I know, and I promise to make time when I get home.”
She wiped her slick palm on her pants. Why was this simple conversation with Jeff making her palms sweat? She swallowed and kept her voice nonchalant. Because she had been sure that he was going to pop the question. That’s what he wanted to talk to her about—getting married. She wasn’t sure she was ready for that. If she would ever be ready for that.
She squeezed her eyes closed on that thought, the unnamed emotion clogging her chest. Every time she thought about marriage it would crop up like some kind of plague. She’d been in some pretty scary situations, so why did marriage make her want to run for the hills like a scared little girl?
“Promise?” he said.
“Promise,” she replied. The motor boat pulled up beside the dock along with another boat whose engine had been drowned out by their transportation. It was a ferry to Sapzurro and Capurganá where migrants could then traverse overland to La Miel, Panama. These migrants weren’t forced to go through the Gap as they had documentation that would allow them to pass without a problem. That wasn’t the route of her story.
People without documentation were forced to hire coyotes, part of the Clan Los Piratas who would charge between five hundred to seven hundred dollars, and transport them in poorly maintained boats, often leaking. But were also notorious for conscripting migrants as mules, then disposing of them.
That was her story.
The most dangerous clan in the area, Clan Los Piratas was a neo-paramilitary group with upwards of twenty thousand members. Dana had read that they had murdered several Americans, many DEA agents in the area and were on the US government’s list. They had a stronghold in the Darién Gap, but she was confident they wouldn’t bother them with their FARC approval and their sanctioned story about the migrants.
Even as the sun rose and the misty jungle lay like a dense, dark giant across the river, she shivered in the steamy air.
As her crew loaded up their gear into the motor boat, Dana disconnected the call. She’d worry about Jeff when she got home. She didn’t need distractions on this trip. After meeting their contact, Captain Enrique Escobar, a middle-aged, dark-haired man with gray at the temples and in his close-cropped beard, his sharp eyes and features telling Dana he had seen plenty in the Gap. During the dire week, with the constant threat of robbery, kidnapping, and death, he and his men hiked the route, while she and her crew recorded one of the world’s most dangerous journeys. She and her crew had hacked through spiderinfested mangrove swamps, walking for days in muggy, ninety degree temperatures, the migrants surviving on crackers and gulping river water. Each of these people—a man from Jafar,  Bangladesh trying to escape its cutthroat political gangs and miserable working conditions; another Bangladesh woman, not much more than a girl—a rural laborer who’d gone to the jam-packed cities for work and found herself locked in the bowels of unlicensed garment factories working for twenty cents an hour; and countless others, Syrians, West Africans, and Cubans. She’d interviewed many of them who told their heartbreaking stories. She and her crew documented everything on memory cards and they were carefully kept in a waterproof bag in her pack. By accident, she found some old footage of her and her mom when she’d met up with her overseas and interviewed her for a piece that had never been aired. Stupidly, she’d forgotten about it and realized this was her only copy. She’d edit this and get it aired when she got home. She’d contact someone she knew at 60 Minutes or National Geographic who would jump at the chance. Once they reached their destination, they were stopped by Senafront, Panamanian soldiers who guarded the border, the travelers’ hopes of freedom and respite were dashed. The migrants were denied entry into Panama, everything they had suffered and endured had been in vain. Fighting her sense of justice, she tried to tell the Panamanian patrol what kind of journey they had made, how courageous they had been. The officer was sympathetic, but he had no choice, he had to follow orders. There was nothing she could do. All that was left for her was to tell their story, document their journey so that their efforts meant something. A painful discomfort under her sternum along with a healthy dose of guilt suffused her as she boarded a piragua to take them to Panama City and the airport for their trip out of the Gap. Home to San Diego to civilization, concrete and glass, teeming with urbanites. But her uneasiness wouldn’t go away. She tried to think about processing this film and documenting the trip. Her heart was heavy, real sorrow for the plight of the people she’d gotten to know so well in the week of traveling with them through the dangerous and deadly Gap, an emptiness deep inside she couldn’t name for fear of… what?
As a storm came up quickly and violently out of the south, they were forced to pull to the bank to wait it out. Dana pitched her waterproof tent and settled inside, lying down on her side. As the leaded sky darkened, she fell into a fitful sleep.
She woke to the crack of gunfire, screaming and running feet. Before she could move, a gun was shoved into her back. She looked over her shoulder at the merciless dark eyes of the man holding the weapon.
“Hello, Dana Sorenson. I’ve got a job for you.”
Before she could gasp a response, he had her out of the tent.
“Who are you?” she demanded. “What do you want?”
“Oh, before too long you will know who I am and what I want.”
A black hood descended cutting off light and hope.

When she fought, someone clipped her on the back of the head and she fell to the ground.
She’d been taken.
Kidnapped.
About the Author

Zoe Dawson, the author of 40+ books had always dreamed of becoming a full-time romance writer. Her other passions include traveling the world, owning a beach house (she believes she was a mermaid in another life), and seeing her books in movies. When she’s not writing, she’s painting or killing virtual MMORPG monsters in World of Warcraft. She lives in North Carolina with her two grown children and one small, furry gray cat.
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Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance Date Published: September 17, 2019 She’s in love with her
Romantic Suspense / Contemporary Romance Date Published: September 17, 2019 She’s in love with her
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy Publisher: Blue Moon Creative   Beware of dogs, romance and deep

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