From Mai Tais and Mayhem

The Penhallow Train Incident:

What do a small Maine town and the Queen of Sheba have in common? Rachel Tinker and Griffin Tate must find out before more people die.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Lovely Elaine Violette & Equally Lovely Narcissa Dunn are With Us Today

Welcome to Tale Spinner, Elaine Violette. We’re dying to hear about your new romantic release, The Diary of Narcissa Dunn.



Thank you for the kind invitation to tell your readers about my newest ebook, The Diary of Narcissa Dunn, released on May 1st for Amazon and coming soon to other outlets.

Scandalous secrets discovered in an old diary could shatter Olivia's identity and destroy her family. Will it be its finder or a messenger from the grave who reveals its hidden truths?

Blurb
The Diary of Narcissa Dunn is a ghostly love story that combines historical fiction with romantic and paranormal elements. Set in New England, pre-Civil War, the story reveals the complex relationship between a father and daughter. When Olivia’s father tries to force his daughter into an unwanted marriage, mysterious events occur, leaving the family on edge.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Pratt, desperately in love with Olivia, discovers an old diary that exposes scandalous, long hidden secrets. He becomes an unwilling messenger, torn between revealing truths that will shatter her identity and destroy her family, or keep the secret and watch her marry another. Either way, he’s bound to lose her unless a mysterious woman intervenes.
~~~

I love to include meddling, humorous, and often wise aunts or servants in my books. In this excerpt, Lovena, the housemaid, is there for Olivia in every crisis.

Excerpt (PG): Lovena

     Lovena’s head snapped toward the sound of the slammed door, nearly dropping the dish she’d just dried. “Livie, what’s wrong?”
     Olivia’s eyes blurred with unshed tears.
     Setting down the dish, Lovena went to her. “You better take a seat and breath. I’m guessin’ you and your beau had a fight.” She led her to a chair.
     “Has he left?” Olivia lips trembled as her eyes darted toward the closed door.
     Lovena walked over to the window that faced the porch, the one she used to keep a cautious eye on her charge. “He’s climbin’ into his carriage and he lookin’ none too happy.”
     Olivia walked to the table and sank into a chair. “William is not my beau though it appears everyone else believes so. He has done a better job courting my father than courting me,” Olivia burst out before covering her mouth and looking toward the parlor.
     “Your father’s gone up to bed. He left me to keep an eye out for you. You look like you need to talk.”
     “William believes it is God’s will we marry. He’s already talked to Father and received his blessing. What was I to say?  Do I even have a voice in the matter?”
     Lovena’s large bosom lifted and sagged. She shook her head. “You been spending time with Mr. Tapley, goin’ for walks and carriage rides. Didn’t you plan to go with him to the spring dance the town been plannin’ after Easter?  In his mind, you and him were courtin’ in a respectful way.”
     “Most of the time he was conversing with Father.” Olivia’s shoulders slumped. Had she led him to believe she was expecting a proposal? “I admit I was flattered by his attentions at first, but I hadn’t considered our relationship went beyond friendship…until recently.”
     “A man’s attentions to a pretty young woman ain’t never a desire for only friendship.” 
     “I hadn’t meant to lead him to thinking I’d want to marry him.” She covered her face with her hands.
     Lovena pushed out a chair and sat beside her. “I think you been enjoyin’ Mr. Tapley’s attentions until the Pratt boy started showin’ up.”
     Olivia couldn’t deny it. At first she was flattered by William’s desire to spend time with her but deeper feelings hadn’t grown, despite the time they spent together. Even his kisses were forgettable. It was so different with Ben. Her heart leaped in her chest the minute she saw him arrive to begin his work. Her body tingled into the depth of her womb when they were together.  
     Lovena wiped away a tear that rolled down Olivia’s cheek. “We can’t control those feelin`s inside, Livie, when the right boy stirs ‘em up.”
     “What am I to do?”  she pleaded. “Father will understand, won’t he? He can’t expect me to agree to marry a man I could never love.”

Elaine Violette


About the Author
Elaine writes British and American historical romances. Part of the fun of writing historicals, she says, is doing research into the past and creating characters who live and love in those sometimes glorious and sometimes harrowing times. A veteran English teacher, Elaine holds a BS in English Education from the University of Connecticut and an MS in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. She presently teaches public speaking part-time at a local community college. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Connecticut Romance Writers (CTRWA). Residing on the Connecticut shoreline with her golfing husband, Drew, she delights in being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Her favorite activities apart from writing are nature walks, kayaking, and playing Mah Jongg with friends.

Buy Links
Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1SZn6Pz
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/26LniMo
Amazon Central for all her books: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books

Author Links
Sign up for Elaine’s newsletter on her website:  www.elaineviolette.com  



Monday, May 2, 2016

Protecting Her Pigg--Hot Romance from Melissa Keir

Today we welcome Melissa Keir. She’s going to talk about her book Protecting Her Pigg, part of the anthology Summer Heat: Love on Fire releasing May 24. Summer Heat features 16 brand new short and sexy contemporary romance from best-selling authors, presenting the most sizzling romances ever. Pre-order price is 99 cents!

But first, let’s get to Melissa. Tell us something we don’t know about you.

First off, I doesn’t believe in down time.  I’m always keeping busy.  I’m a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, owner of a publishing company as well as an author. My home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice—a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes, and a mound of laundry. I love to write stories that feature happy endings and you can often find me plotting my next story.

So now you are up-to-date…but there’s something you don’t know about me. When I was sixteen, I wanted to be a police detective. Yes. A cop! Was it the uniform? The gun? The fast car? All the hot guys? Nope. None of those. It was the horses! I considered becoming a mounted police officer. I wanted to ride a horse to patrol the big city and keep citizens safe. And if I couldn’t get a horse, I’d be a K-9 officer.

Then one day I wised up. First, there was a tough basic physical training program. And I am not a runner or into anything healthy. Then, I would have to probably move to somewhere like New York City because small towns in Ohio don’t have mounted police. I’m not a city girl. So I gave up my dream to be a police officer and now just write about strong women who go above and beyond in the line of duty.

Lily O’Neill is such a character. In Protecting Her Pigg, she’s the daughter of a former chief and stands tall in the male dominated arson investigation field.
Protecting Her Pigg


Arson and fire bring them together, but what will cause the most damage…the arsonist bent on revenge or their own stubborn ways?

Excerpt (PG): Meet Mr. Pigg
When the call came, I pulled my long hair into a ponytail and quickly left for the crime scene. I’d constantly felt I needed to be tougher and better than everyone else, especially as a girl in a man’s world. I didn’t want any person to second-guess why I’d been given the job. No one could accuse me of nepotism.
Arriving on the scene, the smell of smoke with the tang of gasoline assaulted my lungs. The building was a total loss. It bothered me to see something once so beautiful destroyed.
“Sir, you can’t be here,” the officer I’d assigned to the perimeter yelled.
Turning toward the commotion, I witnessed a tall, dark-haired man storming toward me with violence in his approach. Sizing up the advancing danger, I threw my shoulders back and met the man halfway.
“This is my building. Who are you, and what do you know so far?” His gravel voice caused goose bumps to form on my skin.
“I’m sorry, Mr…?” Up close, the man took my breath away. His features weren’t “pretty boy” beautiful, but striking. Chiseled chin, full lips, slightly curved nose. Must have been broken at one time.
“Pigg, Lucas Pigg. And you are?”
Caught staring at his lips, I almost missed the question. “I’m Lily O’Neill, chief arson investigator. We don’t know much so far. I’ve only begun my investigation. This wasn’t an accident. It was set with gasoline as the accelerant. The smell is noticeable. I have some questions for you. I’d like to meet you in my office to talk.” No matter how good-looking, Mr. Pigg was my first suspect.
“You can’t think I did this.” Anger tinged his voice.
Even with my small stature, I wasn’t about to back down. Stepping closer, our gazes met and tempers flared.
“Look, Mr. Pigg.” My own voice grew louder, like a barking dog defending its territory. “Everyone’s a suspect until they’re eliminated. I’m looking forward to asking you some questions. You may want to bring your lawyer.”
His eyes narrowed. “Fine. I’ll meet you in your office.”
With his declaration, I turned toward the scene and sought out the fire chief. No man’s going to stop me from doing my job.

I hope you enjoyed another sneak peek into my life and my writing. Feel free to stop by my website for more shenanigans and information. http://www.melissakeir.com


Boxed set, 16 stories, 745 pp.
Released May 24, 2016, Chill Out Publishing
Authors:
Caridad Pineiro, Nina Bruhns, Rebecca York, Jennifer Lowery, Tailor Lee, Traci Hall, Stephanie Queen, Kathy Ivan, Jackie Ivie, Michele Hauf, Rachelle Ayala, Katy Walters, Melissa Keir, Dani Haviland, Jacquie Biggar, and Angelique Armae.

Join our release day party May 24/16:

We're giving away a Kindle loaded with books from the best selling authors of Summer Heat! There will chatting, games, and plenty of giveaways. Join us for the fun!



Buy Links:


Contacts for Anthology:

Melissa Keir
Contacts for Melissa Keir:





Sunday, May 1, 2016

Coming soon: A Widow's Walk--Romance in Maine

Look for A Widow's Walk, coming soon from I Heart Book Publishing. Romance and adventure in the wilds of Maine.
One of the moose Catherine meets in Maine

Here's the blurb:

Catherine Killean is a woman on a mission. When her new husband disappears, leaving a suicide note, she is determined to find out why. She follows his tracks first to the North Woods of Maine, then to Florida, and back again to Maine. Along the way, she meets the tall, dark, gruff Holden Taggart, a Maine guide.

In her doubt and loneliness she is drawn to Holden, leaving her confused and adrift. What will happen when she finally learns the truth about Jonathan? Can she leave her old love behind and embrace a new one? 

Meanwhile, check out my other great stories from I Heart :

Monday, April 25, 2016

Love, Lust and Murder on Chincoteague Island

Want a taste of my romantic suspense/murder mystery Dear Philomena: Love, Lust & Murder on Chincoteague Island? Read on!

Chincoteague is one of a pair of barrier islands off the coast of Virginia.  Its eastern sister, Assateague, is the actual home of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and of the ponies made famous in Marguerite Henry’s children’s books (remember Misty of Chincoteague?).

Chincoteague has a long, colorful history. First settled possibly by freed slaves in the seventeenth century, it was noted for its antipathy to the heavy hand of government. It was the only town in Virginia to support the Union in the Civil War. Given a glorious cornucopia of waterfowl and deer, many locals were disinclined to follow the strict regulations on hunting and fishing. Thus, when Dagne is shot at on the refuge, citizens, rangers and even the police were less than concerned.  As you’ll find out in Dear Philomena, they were wrong.


Blurb:

Dagne Lonegan, aka Dear Philomena, advice columnist, hoped that spending a year on the Eastern Shore island of  Chincoteague would extinguish any feelings she had left for Jack Andrews, erstwhile lover and long-time jerk.  It’s just her luck that in her first week on the island she’s entangled in a murder.  Only she doesn’t know it.  Unfortunately, the murderer doesn’t know she doesn’t know.  Strange and dangerous things begin happening to her, disrupting her new romance with Aidan Ellis, the handsome manager of the National Wildlife Refuge.  As if that weren’t enough, Jack arrives to take charge of the murder investigation.

Will Dagne stick with the tall, cool glass of a Ranger or risk falling back into the arms of the man who broke her heart?

I Heart Book Publishing, October 12, 2015
eBook, 72,000 words, Print 209 pp
Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Mystery Romance
M/F, 3 flames

Excerpt (G): The Sniper
           The afternoon sun beat down. Before long, perspiration dripped unpleasantly down her back and her neck began to burn. She reached a curve in the loop where a service road angled off. The cool shade of the evergreen alley beckoned, and she opened the gate and went through. Gravel popped beneath her sneakers and yellow-rumped warblers skipped from branch to branch, moving just ahead of her. She swung along, loving the feel of stretching her muscles, thinking of nothing.
At the end of the pines, the landscape opened out. Ponds choked with cordgrass lay on either side of the road, flanked by dunes on her right and scrub forest on her left. Ducks crowded the shallow water—mergansers, American wigeons, gadwalls. She stopped to watch a pair of diminutive black and white buffleheads putter around at the water’s edge. A cloud passed overhead, blotting out the sun. When it moved on, the light had changed to the desperate gold of a late afternoon teetering on the threshold of twilight. Time to go.
As she stood in the path, not yet willing to give up her afternoon off, she heard a loud crack. Woodpecker? Another bang rent the air, but this time the noise sounded much closer. Oh my God, that’s a rifle. Someone’s hunting out here! A surge of impractical outrage washed over Dagne. How dare they? This is a refuge for God’s sake! Nonetheless, prudence suggested she turn back.
She began with a walk, but some primitive instinct told her to accelerate. Directly over her head something zinged and a chunk of bark plopped at her feet. Her trot turned into a canter. Another shot hit the road, spraying pebbles into the air. They can’t be shooting at me. Can they? What should I do? Duck? Throw myself on the ground? Run into the trees? Instead, like some hapless cartoon character racing down the tracks ahead of the train, she ran straight down the road. By the time she reached the loop, her lungs were clawing for air. Stabbing pains scraped her chest and side. She’d heard no more shots, and after a few minutes’ rest, walked as fast as she could back to the parking lot, slowing every few steps to take a quick check of her surroundings.
She jumped into the car, locked the doors, and roared out onto the park road. At the Chamber of Commerce circle she slowed down, which gave her time to notice that the gas gauge read empty. She pulled into Ivan’s service station, Ivan II. She’d met the owner—a Belarusan native who had defected in the fifties—when he fixed a flat tire for her some years before. Despite his penchant for naming every store he owned after himself, she knew him to be a warm and generous man. He stopped polishing his vintage Morgan and came over. “Dagne, you’re shaking like a leaf! What’s wrong?”
It came pouring out. “Ivan, someone shot at me!”
Instead of reacting with shock, he chuckled, and wiped his hands on a towel. “Well, Milaya—I mean—my dear. It is hunting season. What were you doing—flitting around, doe-like?”
“No! I was on the wildlife loop!”
Hmm. Last I checked hunting is illegal on the refuge. Now poaching…”
“It’s not funny, Ivan. I heard three—no, four—shots! Someone was trying to kill me.”
“Now, now, Dagne, calm down. Tell me, where on the loop did this happen?”
She took a deep breath. “Well, I’d actually gone up the service road—as far as the Farm Fields impoundment. You know, beyond the pine woods?”
He nodded. “That explains it.” He removed the gasoline cap and inserted the nozzle. “I think they allow hunting up there on certain days. Did you see a sign?”
“No.”
“Well, check at the visitor’s center. If it’s not an authorized hunting day, you most likely ran into a poacher. The ranger should be informed.”
Dagne wasn’t about to go back to the refuge alone, but another idea had  insinuated itself while Ivan talked. She paid, headed down to Main Street, and parked next to Lance’s car behind the decoy shop. As she passed it, the sun glinted on something in the rear seat. She peered in. A rifle. The back door opened. “Dagne? What are you doing here?”
Did his voice sound odd? Did she hear a hint of menace in his tone? Lance sidled up to her. “Everything okay?”
“Sure…sure.” Should she run? No, that would be absurd. This is Lance after all.
Lance looked into his car and back at her. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost, Dagne. Does the itty bitty gun scare you? I haven’t had a chance to tell you—Dwayne Oates is giving me shooting lessons.” He struck what he evidently thought was a manly pose. “You don’t think the hairy-chested outdoorsy image suits me?”
The laugh bubbled up before she could stop it. “No, Lance, I’m sorry,” she spluttered. Then the thought of her recent adventure sobered her. “Lance, someone shot at me. On the refuge.”


Buy Links:
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dear-philomena-love-lust-murder-on-chincoteague-island

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Murder & Intrigue on the Gulf Coast: Mai Tais and Mayhem!

So many romances, so many crooks: can Tessa Diamond, turtle protector and amateur sleuth, keep them straight and still find true love?



I live on the Gulf Coast on a barrier island, the setting for Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine. In fact, the model for Tessa’s house, as well as the one for Dugan’s house, sits quite near me on the beach.

Many people don’t realize Florida has barrier islands—keys—on both sides of the state. Longboat Key, where Tessa lives, is a barrier island that protects Sarasota on the Gulf Coast. Eleven miles long, it is only half a mile wide at its narrowest point.  The next key up is Anna Maria, the very tip of which is called Bean Point. It is here that Cameron and Tessa become further acquainted.

I Heart Publishing, 12/7/2015
Contemporary romantic suspense/Mystery, M/F, 2 flames
eBook 68,840 words; print 208 pp.

Blurb:
When Tessa Diamond rescues a baby pufferfish from a hungry seagull, her good deed leads her into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages. She confronts murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and big fish, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.

Before she can drop her longstanding opposition to marriage and accept her true love, however, she must face the possibility that he could be a thief, and even a murderer.


Excerpt (R): Bean Point

“So this is Bean Point. What a glorious view.”
Tessa snuggled under his arm. “It’s named after George Emerson Bean, the first settler on the island.”
“Ah, so it’s not named for the fields of golden beans that used to wave across the…er…um…what?”
She laughed. “Hoist by your own petard, or in this case metaphor?”
Cameron tapped her nose with a finger. “I guess I’m distracted.”
Tessa gazed at him as the stars blacked out one by one, leaving only the ones in her eyes. He bent his head to her and their lips met. The next few minutes passed slowly in a dream of unbuttoning and unzipping, then of warm skin touching skin, of limbs interlaced, and finally, of complementary parts dovetailing in ardent abandon.
“There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Cameron brushed some sand off Tessa’s breast. The warmth of his fingers remained on her flesh, and she cupped the spot, not wanting to lose the sensation. He gently moved her palm aside and bent to kiss her nipple. It hardened and rose to meet him. His hand trailed down her belly, caressing her hips and edging toward her vulva. Tessa couldn’t move. Her whole body lay rigid, waiting, hoping he would make love to her again. Even the gritty sand beneath her buttocks couldn’t distract her from her hunger for more.
“You want some more?”
She could only nod. The half-moon rode overhead, fighting with the stars for dominance. Cameron flipped her over on her stomach. She felt his breath on her ankles but couldn’t see what he was doing. Something tickled the back of her knees. Soft lips nipped the sensitive spot there, then proceeded up her thighs and across her ass. He stopped at the small of her back and sucked a bit of the skin into his mouth, sending a hot wave of desire surging over her body. Tessa began to writhe, but stopped when broken shells ground into her knees. Her vagina ached for a satisfyingly thick, stiff prick to fill the vacuum. Juices leaked out in anticipation, puddling in the sand. Suddenly Cameron’s hand slipped underneath her belly. He inserted two fingers and wham! Her orgasm pulled her up on her knees and she bucked, grunting and moaning. “Oh God, Cameron.”
“Yes, baby? Does that feel good?”
“Oh, yeeesssss.”
“Wait till you feel this.” He spread her thighs, smashing her breasts into the ground. She felt his penis beating against her, moving up to close with her.
“Hello? Who’s there?”
The two lovers split apart, panting. In the dim light Tessa couldn’t see Cameron’s face, nor that of the uninvited audience, but the voice was embarrassingly familiar. Josiah. She grabbed her shift and dragged it over her head. Cameron had dressed as well by the time a chubby figure hove into view, swinging a flashlight to and fro. When the beam hit Tessa’s face she was sitting calmly next to Cameron. “Josiah? Is that you?”
“Tessa? I thought you said you couldn’t work tonight?”
Tessa decided on an aggressive approach. “I did. That doesn’t mean I can’t go to the beach if I want to. What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be down at Casa Del Mar tonight.”
“I got a report of a new nest around here and…” His light swung to Cameron. “Who are you?”
“Who are you?” Evidently Cameron had opted for offense over defense as well.
The question seemed to throw Josiah, not an easy thing to do. Finally he gabbled, “You first.”
Cameron replied cheerily, “Me? Mason. Cameron Mason. A friend of Tessa’s. Do you two know each other?”
Tessa touched Cameron’s arm. “Josiah is the president of our turtle watch group. He’s very…dedicated.”
Josiah drew himself up to his full five feet three. “We have to be, you know. Otherwise the sea turtles will go extinct and…”
“All of them?” Cameron didn’t keep the amusement out of his voice. “I thought only the Kemp’s ridleys are of concern?”
“Well, yes, the ridleys are endangered…but all of them are threatened. The only bulwark our fellow creatures have between them and oblivion are those few humans who aren’t afraid to stand up to the Man.”
“Huh?”
Tessa stood up. “I think we should leave this discussion for another time. Did you find the nest, Josiah?”
He shook his head. “I fear Angus sent me on a wild goose chase.”
“What makes you say that?”
“He claimed he’d gotten an anonymous call from someone who had seen a skiff pull up and lights flashing. The caller thought it might be turtle egg pirates.”
“I beg your pardon? Did you say egg pirates?”
Tessa grabbed Cameron’s arm and dragged him up, hoping he could make out the warning on her face in the dark. “My, my. Well, we’d best be going. Good luck, Josiah. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She attempted to sweep off, but when both feet landed on a nest of sandburs, she could only manage an ungainly hobble. She picked them off, wincing, and prepared to sweep again.
“Wait!”
She turned, desperation keeping a tight hold on her throat. “What is it?” she gurgled.
Josiah turned the flashlight on a wisp of lace panty, the scarlet ribbon fluttering in the gulf breeze. “Are these yours?”
Tessa snatched them and sprinted down the beach, trailed by Cameron’s snickers.

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