It Had to Be Us–Unique and Delightful

From Dana Taylor: Some books just stick with you. I read the short and wonderful romantic memoir IT HAD TO US by Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence several years ago and interviewed Elizabeth for my radio show. I still remember the charming he said/she said style of this true story of two people once married, once divorced, married to others, widowed, and how they came together again. Now available to the world as an ebook, it will surely make its way to the bestseller list. Enjoy this excerpt!It Had to Be Us

One of the most romantic sequences in Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence’s IT HAD TO BE US comes when Harry decides to throw caution to the winds and be with Elizabeth, even though it means leaving his family and friends behind – and taking a dangerous, wild ride in the middle of the night. In the following excerpt from Chapter Three, Elizabeth remembers her feelings and what happened after a brief reunion with Harry in Las Vegas, and Harry recalls what led to his extraordinary decision.

ELIZABETH REMEMBERS: 

On the trip back to Los Angeles, I couldn’t sleep a wink (usually I sleep like a baby during a train ride) because all I could do was think about Harry and how much I missed him. The train was two hours late as the result of a fatal railway accident. This tragedy shocked and saddened me. It made me even more anxious to get home in time for the phone call I was expecting from Harry.

When I entered my condo, I saw a light on in the upstairs bedroom. Thinking it was a prowler, I armed myself with one of my small suitcases. While running upstairs to confront the intruder, I tripped over the strap of the bag and knocked my face against the stairs. Although disoriented and in a great deal of pain, I managed to crawl over to the telephone and call 911.

While waiting for the paramedics, I checked my phone messages. Harry had called and said, “It’s late and I’m getting worried. Call me as soon as you get home – no matter how late.” Before I could phone him, the paramedics arrived and my next-door neighbor came over to see if she could help. Although my nose was bleeding and I was in severe pain, I didn’t want them to take me to the emergency room until I had a chance to speak to Harry, so I told them I would be okay.

As soon as everyone left, I called Harry and explained what had happened. He sounded relieved to hear from me but worried just the same. After telling him how much I missed him, I hung up and drove myself to the emergency room. It was around mid-night. The X-rays showed I had a broken nose. The physical pain was minor compared to the pain of my loneliness.

HARRY REMEMBERS:

I’m home now. My depression is deepening. I can’t eat. My thoughts of Elizabeth keep me awake all night. . . I go to the golf course with my friends, but I’m not really there. I have a problem. I discover that I cannot get back into my routine.

I don’t want to get back into my routine.

 I only want to be with her.

It’s 7 p.m. Pacific time, but no call from Elizabeth. Well, I’m not going to call her. Somebody has met her at the train station and she is with him. At 7:40, I call her. I reach her answering machine and leave a message. I am seething inside and angry at myself for not believing in her. At 9 p.m. she calls. She tells me the train was delayed because of a fatal accident. She also reports that when she got home she noticed a light upstairs and thought a prowler was in her house. When she ran upstairs to check, she fell and hit her nose on a step and is in much pain.

After we hang up, I begin to worry. Doesn’t she know that if you think an intruder is in the house, you call the police? You don’t go in. She needs someone to watch over her. Now!

I know I should be at her side. I need to be with her.  I’m still clinging to the idea of these wonderful vacations together. I tell her I won’t be through with golf league business until October and I could meet her in Denver then, but if she wants me to come to her now I will. I desperately want her to tell me to come to L.A. She says I should do what I feel is right.

The only thing I want is to be with her every day, every hour. I call her back and tell her I can’t go on this way. I need to be with her and can I come out now? She says she feels the same way, and of course, I can come to her.

By Sunday my van is packed and ready to go. I call Elizabeth and tell her I’m on my way and will be with her Tuesday night.

 I cannot sleep. I leave for Los Angeles. The highways are icy all the way to Santa Fe. I can only do 30 miles per hour safely. I have become sleepy and almost lose control. I stop at Raton and try to sleep. I leave the car running with the heater on. I start to think what if the exhaust links and I die without seeing her again. I move on. It is foggy now and I barely execute a turn, so I stop but cannot sleep. I move on. Arriving in California, I call Elizabeth and tell her I will be at her place soon. She says she will make arrangements at the guard post for me to be let in. I break the speed laws. After getting lost in L.A., I finally get to the condo gate at 11 p.m. and find Elizabeth waiting there for me. 

For more information about IT HAD TO BE US, Harry & Elizabeth’s award-winning romantic memoir, click on the link below:

http://www.bettyjotucker.com/ithadtobeuslaunch.html

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Before there was “BraveThere was “Royal Rebel

Getting into the mood with Maureen A. Miller

 Hey babes–have you discovered romantic suspense author, Maureen A. Miller yet? This Golden Heart nominee is one of our fav’s. Her stories have just the right blend of romance, suspense, and mood. Maureen is a master of making you feel the scene, whether it’s in the frigid New England winter or the steamy jungle of Central America. Here is a peek at her latest release JUNGLE DECEIT, currently a STEAL at Amazon for only 99 cents.
Blurb
Mitch Hasslet, a war photojournalist relegated to a desk job, is the sole witness to a heist of Mayan artifacts. His goal is to locate the artifacts as swiftly as possible so that he can collect his compensation and get the hell out of the jungle.Alexandra Langley is about to run out of funds. She has yet to discover the lost Mayan civilization she knows lurks in the rainforest. To achieve her grant, she will accept the museum’s latest nuisance, Mitch Hasslet, and any other obstacle that is sent her way.As Mitch and Alex discover romance, will their bond protect them in a jungle filled with deceit?

Excerpt:
“Look…” Mitch stepped back and ran an unsteady hand through his hair. “Chalk that up to this godforsaken sauna, combined with my frustration over many things. You probably aren’t going to believe it, but I am very sorry about that.”For all intents and purposes, he appeared outwardly agitated…maybe even downright contrite, Alex thought. For a moment she nearly felt sorry for him, aware that she had been goading him.“I’ll do my job,” he added. “And I will get out of your jungle, alright?”“Just like you said.” She cleared her throat and tried in vain to feel the ice everyone assumed ran through her veins. “Do your job and get out of my jungle.”

Whatever thought went through Mitch’s mind at that moment, Alex was certain it wasn’t anger. There was a spasm at the corner of his mouth and a roguish spark in his eyes.

“You know what, Alex?” His grin grew.

God, he looked sinful like that. It didn’t help that she could still feel the friction of her breasts pressed up against his chest.

No. That didn’t help at all.

“What?”

He leaned in closer, and for one delirious second she thought he was going to kiss her. How would she react? The professional in her said that she would knee him in the groin and send him back on the first plane. The woman in her said that she would slide her arms up behind his neck and taste that masculinity, and ply her body to his in an attempt to satisfy the burning itch that still clung to her breasts.

I don’t think you want me to go,” he whispered close enough to elicit a chill.Her head tilted back to take in his profile, now eclipsed by the midday sun. Trouble was something she didn’t need in her life. And temptation—well temptation was something she outright refused.

But looking at Mitch Hasslet, she was certain that she was staring at over six feet of both of them.

“I do,” she murmured back. “I do want you to go.”

Bio:Amazon's Complete Selection of Maureen A. Miller Books
Maureen’s illustrious writing career began in the fourth grade with the blockbuster hit, Super Watermelon Man. A fan of the old Gothic romances, Maureen enjoys the formula of danger, romance, dark cliffs, and sinister houses. All these elements can be found in her romantic thriller, ENDLESS NIGHT.

Find Maureen on the web at– www.maureenamiller.com
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Before there was “BraveThere was “Royal Rebel

Hot Fun in the Summertime by Chicki Brown

Hey babes–kick back in your lounger by the pool, grab a cool one, and enjoy this excerpt from Chicki Brown!

Hot Fun In the Summertime

 Seven very different singles – four women and three men – rent a New Jersey beach house for the summer: author Shontae Nichols, self-employed accountant and realtor, Linda Harris, Linda’s sister, hip-hop video dancer Kinnik Watkins, cosmetologist, Jovita Blassingame, Calculus professor Curtis “Doc” Whetstone, actor and drama instructor, Kip Lee, and new housemate, up and coming film actor, Devon Burke. During their two month stay, romances bloom, friendships are tested and when a tragedy strikes one of the housemates, they all learn the answer to the age-old question: Can men and women ever be just friends?

 Excerpt:

The slam of a car door drew my attention to the window. A tall, slender man with a complexion that reminded me of coffee ice cream stood beside a gleaming silver drop-top Mercedes. A pair of expensive looking shades covered his eyes. This had to be our new housemate. He looked toward the window, and I leaned away from the screen hoping he hadn’t seen me staring. As soon as he turned away, I craned my neck to get a better look. He turned again, scanned the house as if contemplating whether or not to come inside then pulled several garment bags from the back seat.  I couldn’t decide which was more beautiful, him or his car.

“Kip, what’s your friend’s name again?” I asked.

“Devon. Devon Burke. Yeah, what’s taking him so long?”

“He’s here. I think he could use some help. Looks like he brought more bags than Jo.”

Kip rose from the bentwood rocker and headed out the front door. They shared a masculine embrace.

Devon hit a button on his key chain. “I have some other stuff in the trunk if you can grab one of those bags, man.”  Kip lifted one of the suitcases and headed for the front door. After a few seconds, Devon followed him and pulled off his shades once he crossed the threshold.

Instantly, it seemed as if all the air had been sucked from the room. Oh, my God! I spun around on the stool so he wouldn’t see me gaping at him, and my elbow hit my glass of iced tea. I jumped to catch the cascading tumbler, but my reflexes weren’t fast enough. The sweet liquid and crushed ice flew across the counter and onto the shiny hardwood living room floor. I must’ve looked like a deer in headlights.

“People, this is my boy, Devon.” Kip pointed to each of us. “You met Doc at my place. Linda, Jovita and that’s Shontae down there in the puddle.”

I grabbed and handful of paper towels and looked up at Devon from where I was squatting on the floor mopping up the spill. He flashed a megawatt smile that left all three of us women speechless then put his bags down and sauntered over to clasp hands with Doc.

“Nice to meet you, ladies.” His voice was so deep it startled me. A weird chill ran through me when he spoke. I’d heard that voice before. His astonishing features–high cheekbones, strong chin and heavy yet neatly trimmed brows framing deep-set ebony eyes–looked as if a master craftsman had chiseled him out of marble. The man was ridiculously fine. It almost hurt to look at him.

Kindle: http://amzn.to/dWZSxA and Nook: http://bit.ly/k4Z172

Author Chicki Brown:Image of Chicki Brown

Contemporary women’s fiction/romance author Chicki Brown has published five novels, four of which have made different Kindle bestseller lists. She is also a contributing author to the WG2E All-for-Indies Valentine’s Day Anthology. An avid reader, her favorite authors are Beverly Jenkins, Eric Jerome Dickey, Lisa Kleypas, J.R. Ward and Suzanne Brockmann.A New Jersey native, Brown and her family relocated to suburban Atlanta, Georgia in 1994, and she now proudly calls herself a “Georgia peach.”Her many homes in cyberspace include:

Website:  http://www.chicki663.webs.com
Blog: http://sisterscribbler.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/@Chicki663
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chicki.brown

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Before there was “BraveThere was “Royal Rebel

 

 

A Charming Crime by Tonya Kappes

 Have we a treat for you today! Take a peek at Tonya Kappes’ new release A CHARMING CRIME. You may just get caught in its spell!

   Bubble… Bubble.. 

June Heal has nothing to lose when she relocates her homeopathic cure shop, A Dose of Darla, from the flea market booth in her home town, to a quaint shop in the cozy but unusual little town of Whispering Falls, Kentucky. Or so it seems.

                               Cures and trouble… 

Whispering Falls has a lot of secrets. From talking snow globes to whispering animals not to mention a few sprinkles of fairy dust, June realizes Whispering Falls is more magical than she thought. . .literally.

Chapter One–A Charming Crime
   “I know, I know.” I waved my hands in front of me trying to stop anything that was about to come out of Oscar Park’s mouth, but I knew it was useless.
He slammed the door of his patrol car, took his hat off, and then waved it towards my shed. . .my burning shed. “You know what?”
   Truth be told, I didn’t know much, but I did know how to handle Oscar Park. Especially when it came to personal matters. “I know I went a bit too far this time, but I really need to figure out this new cure.”
   Oscar grew up across the street, raised by his uncle, Police Chief Jordan Parks. Like me, well sort of like me, Oscar’s parents got killed in a car accident while my dad was shot in the line of duty.
   “A bit?” Oscar shook his head and pointed to the flames shooting up in the air. “Unless you want the new cure to blow someone up, I think you were using the wrong ingredients.”
   “Now, Oscar.” I shuffled out of the way of the zipping fire truck, and took a bite of the Ding Dong in my hand that I had grabbed on the way out of the shed when I knew it was going to combust. “Was it necessary to call in all of Locust Grove’s finest?”
   “Yes, June Heal.” Oscar wasn’t the ten-year-old boy who created havoc with me in that very shed while experimenting with my mom Darla’s homeopathic cures. Though his crystal blue eyes were sincere, I knew he meant business. “But you’ve done it this time. It’s a total loss.”
   I held the uneaten round end of the Ding Dong up to him and he took a bite. A big bite. I grumbled under my breath. He knew Ding Dongs are my go-to comfort food.
Old Mac McGurtle came running through the herb garden I had planted after Darla died, screaming,“I told you she was going to set this whole town on fire if she kept mixing those chemicals.”
   Mr. McGurtle was always spreading gossip when Darla died about how I had turned A Dose of Darla, my homeopathic cure shop, into a fire hazard by putting all sorts of crazy concoctions together.
   “Settle down, Mr. McGurtle.” Jordan Parks snuck up behind us. “Thank you for calling us, and helping Ms. Heal save her business.”
   “Hhmph.” Mr. McGurtle threw his hands in the air and mumbled something under his breath.
   “He’s the one who called?” I huffed, my bangs flew out of my eyes, and I crossed my arms. “He needs to mind his own business. And stop walking through my herb garden!”
For a moment Mr. McGurtle and I stared at each other until Jordan stepped between us.
The shed looked like it was going to be a total loss this time. All the other twenty times I set it afire I was able to save it. Luckily, I only used the shed to create new homeopathic cures using Darla’s old remedies. I kept the main ingredients in the basement of our old house. . .my house now.
   “I think you did it this time,” Jordan warned, half serious. He walked away shaking his head. He stopped briefly to talk to one of the guys from the fire department.
   “Not only have you done it this time, you’ve really pissed off a lot of your neighbors.” Oscar put his hat back on his head, and looked around at the neighbors gathering on the other side of the fence in my front yard. “They think you are as crazy as Darla was.”
   Darla Heal, my mother, was the creator of A Dose of Darla, homeopathic cures. And everyone called her Darla, even me, because she didn’t like to be referred to as Ms. Heal, Mrs. Heal or even Mom.
   “Well, the old saying is right then.” I snarled, studying every face gawking at me. They were just being nosy like always.
   “And what old saying it that?” Oscar asked.
   “The apple,” I pointed to myself, “doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”
Oscar’s face split into a wide grin. “And we sure did have some fun times in there. But you’ve got to admit you’ve outgrown this place and selling your cures at the flea market.”
   I wish I had another Ding Dong.
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Enjoy all of A Charming Crime at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and wherever ebooks are sold
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Before there was “BraveThere was “Royal Rebel