Whirlwind Romance

A rush of emotion dropped a veil over all but the tiny world of the two people in seats 11A and 11B, in a jet plane floating somewhere over the Atlantic, in a still moment in time.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Spicy Excerpt from Nicole Campbell's New Secret Cravings Release


Now for a spicy excerpt (R rated) from Nicole Campbell's new release Redemption for a Dark Soul--one of Secret Cravings fine authors.

Is Proud to Present




Jaeger Reineiner is a vampire on a mission. No more lurking in shadows or hiding in the middle of nowhere—the tattooed, pierced black denim and leather-clad bad boy wants a more normal life. He wants to win the heart of the little Goth spitfire he feels can redeem the red from his soul—the red stain of blood from centuries working as an assassin for hire.

Emily O'Connell, the youngest Deputy Coroner in state history, hasn't had time for love until Jaeger walks into her life and now she can't imagine him walking out. When his psychotic past hunts him down to kidnap her, cause chaos and bloodshed, and use her as bait to get to him, Emily will fight for him and beside him.

Is Jaeger's love for her strong enough to find her in time? Will Emily's love for him prove pure enough to redeem his soul?

Excerpt (R)
Jaeger looked down to find devotion shining in Emily’s eyes back up at him. His heart swelled with his cock, but he didn’t want to finish in her mouth—even if it was what she had planned for right now. Her wicked little tongue flicked over his Prince Albert, making his knees go weak. Pushing her back gently, Jaeger pulled her up against his chest to kiss Emily deeply, holding her as close as he could. He shut the water off, since it was starting to go cold, and lifted her out of the shower to set her on the vanity top beside the sink. As they both dripped onto the tile floor, Jaeger toed the throw-rug under them to keep from slipping around, then pulled her to the edge of the counter and kissed her hard. He pulled back and smiled. “Thank God the other woman on this floor is damn near deaf.” He smiled as he knelt before her, and his face disappeared between her legs. He kissed her inner thighs, alternating left and right. Each kiss landed a little higher until he reached his goal, and without delay Jaeger busied himself licking and sucking Emily’s clit, gently tugging on her hood ring until she had a death grip on the edge of the vanity counter and panted his name. Panting wasn’t good enough for him. He stood and pulled Emily against his chest, kissing her deeply while his fingers toyed with her hood ring. Almost roughly, he spun her around and bent her against the counter, entering her in one firm thrust.
Emily screamed his name as her first orgasm crashed over her almost immediately. She wasn’t expecting his rough handling, and she liked it. Looking into the mirror at him, Emily could see that his eyes were bloody red, and it triggered a smaller orgasm to know he was that turned on, that hungry for her. “Oh, fuck me…” she said on a long drawn-out moan.
Jaeger checked himself. He didn’t want to feel as if he’d taken her against her will. He’d felt and heard her orgasms, but he didn’t want to hurt his precious Emily or get too rough with her. She wasn’t turned, she couldn’t handle him losing control. Leaning against her back, he set his teeth on the back of her neck and clamped down hard to mark her, before easing up his thrusts to lift her legs like a wheelbarrow. “Flip over, baby.” Still buried deep inside her, Jaeger helped her turn over to face him and set her ass on the counter. He smiled against her panting mouth when she instinctively wrapped her legs around his hips.
Emily wrapped her arms around his neck. “I was so afraid I was going to lose you,” she whispered. She kissed him with a hunger that would leave her lips swollen and bruised, but she didn’t care. “I love you Jaeger. I need you. I’ve never learned how to really love anyone but Mary, and that’s a different love. I just know I don’t want to be without you, ever.”
Jaeger slid his hands under her ass and carried her to her bed. They were both still wet, but neither cared. “I’ve never truly loved, either. We will learn together. I’ll not let you go. Not when I feel that you are the one to make me a better man, the one I’ve searched for to redeem my reddened soul. My heart is yours, Emily. You make me feel whole.”
She unlocked her ankles and slid back on the bed until she was centered, and stacked a couple of pillows under her head. Spreading her thighs and looking into his eyes, Emily beckoned him closer.
Jaeger’s eyes held the predatory gleam she loved as he smiled. “Ich bin da loei, siezuessen, bissieschreien.” At her puzzled look he chuckled and continued. “Vador a mangiarefino a quando non sigrido.” When Emily rolled her eyes at him, Jaeger pounced on her, his hands splayed across her hips to hold her still. “I said I’m going to eat you until you scream. First in German, then in Italian.” He gave her one long slow lick then looked up at her. “Then I want you to ride me baby. Be my cowgirl, and show me what it means to feel alive.”
For hours they went at each other like rabbits—if rabbits got freaky, that is - from licking here, stroking there, changing positions until finally Jaeger stood Emily on shaky legs beside her bed. He had her hands on the wall, slightly bent over as he entered her slowly and pulled her right leg back up almost around his hip.
“Yes, Jaeger, yes!” Emily panted, barely able to keep herself up. She could feel the orgasm building. “Don’t stop, baby!”
Jaeger grunted. “Not stopping till you come for me, love. Give it to me.” He groaned, feeling her inner walls tighten against him, making him hyper-aware of his piercings.
No more words were coming from Emily. She moaned and screamed as ecstasy took control of her body. She’d been trying to tell him she loved him, but the words wouldn’t form in the midst of orgasm. As her body tightened around his, and her cream began to flow in time with her screams and violent body shudders, Jaeger threw his head back, bellowing his own release deep inside her, his own body shuddering almost as violently. He caught Emily before her jelly legs gave out, and flipped them both to her bed.

Buy Link:

About Nicole
A long time ago Nicole decided there were too many perfect characters in the books she read. She decided that she would add imperfections to her characters to make them feel more real, even if it was only in her own heart, but she hopes you enjoy reading about them as much as she loves creating each and every one of them.

Whether in the foothills of the Laurel Highlands in Southwest Pennsylvania or in the little worlds of her own making, Nicole is happy to be at home with her husband, her children, and rambunctious dogs. After all, every day is an adventure and you should live it as such. Tomorrow is never a guarantee - live for today and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. You never know when you won't have that chance again.

Never stop dreaming - never stop believing - If you want the moon and stars - go get them... They won't just land in your lap without a little bit of help.
Other books by Nicole Campbell
Arabian Night Walker
Loving A Dark Soul (Dark Souls Book 1)
Salvation for a Dark Soul (Dark Souls Book 2)-(Ebook and Print)
Teacher's Pet: Let's Make Music Together
Devil's Devotion
Tori’s Yule

Warriors of the Veil: Flower Fae Series Book 1

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Welcome to the Final Day of the Summer Romance Blog Hop

Welcome Summer! Welcome Summer Romance! We are hopping blog to blog to jam about summer from May 24 to 30 with lots of prizes, including a Grand Prize of a $100 Amazon GC!

Anyone who has spent time in a sauna will understand what it's like in Washington, DC in August. Spend five minutes outdoors and you begin to feel like a sieve—you pour water down your throat and it immediately dribbles out all over your body. This is why Congress takes its major break in August, which leaves more room for the hordes of tourists that descend on the glistening white marble city in the summer. In fact, at noon on a typical day, it's hard to distinguish between the glistening marble and the glistening people.

My latest novel, The Mason's Mark, is set in Washington in August. Did I choose the setting to torture my heroine? No, of course not. I chose it because otherwise my hero, Senator Gideon Bliss, would be too busy with legislative work to fall in love, find long-lost papers, and help solve a murder. And because most people in Washington in August are too damned hot to pay much attention to any mysterious corpses that show up unexpectedly.


Secret Cravings Publishing (2014)
78,400 words, Romantic suspense, Murder mystery, M/F, 3 flames

In both the best and worst first day at work ever,  docent Claire Wilding meets the man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial falls apart when she discovers a dead body. Together with Detective Ernest Angle, she's drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons. Also cloaked in mystery is her new love Gideon Bliss.  A George Washington expert, he haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she'll fall in love with him only to learn he's a thief or even a murderer.

Juggling two eccentric mothers, an inquisitive sister, and an increasingly smitten Ernest, Claire must find answers to a complex web of intrigue, including which black ops agent to trust,  whether our first president strayed, and if she and Gideon will ever be together.

From a reviewer: "Tip-toeing somewhere along the fine line between modern, easy-to-read fiction and a language style of her own that reminds me of crime novels of the past, the author delivers a powerful read that has made me a fan forever." Devika Fernando, 5 stars.



Buy Links (Ebook and Print)

Excerpt (PG): Black ops and Renegade Masons...and the Other Woman
The heat smacked into them as they walked out of the police station into an empty parking lot. Washington had finally clawed its way out of August, but September looked to be more of the same—hot enough to grip your diaphragm and shake it, and humid enough to forestall dehydration. Claire wiped a drop of perspiration from the tip of her nose. “I feel like I’m slogging through a bathtub full of water.”
Ernest pointed to a high-rise office building in the distance. “Since they built the new station on landfill nobody wanted, we’ll have to hike a few blocks to get to the commercial district.” They strolled up Eisenhower Avenue, trying not to breathe in the aromas of melting deodorant and sunscreen from passing bodies, until they came to a coffee shop. “Let’s get something cold to drink.”
Claire’s mouth watered at the prospect of iced tea. Ernest found a table for two by the picture window and went to the counter while Claire watched a Lincoln Navigator and a Mini Cooper duke it out for the last parking spot.
When he returned with two large glasses, he carefully surveyed the restaurant. The place was empty except for a booth on the other side of the room. He sat down and said in a low voice, “Have you ever heard of Operation Gladio?”
Claire dipped the napkin in the tea and dabbed at the back of her neck. “No.”
“According to military historians—and a lot of conspiracy theorists—the CIA and NATO set up a secret organization at the end of World War II to disrupt any attempts to establish Communist governments in western Europe.”
“Oh, yes, I did read about that—black something…”
“Black ops—short for operations. Until yesterday I would have shaken my head in regretful disbelief at the idea. We’ve got one guy at the station who does nothing but monitor wacko websites. You wouldn’t believe—”
“You’re saying it exists?” The coffee, a pint of water, and now iced tea, were taking their toll on Claire’s bladder. She thought she could manage another ten minutes of literary foreplay, but that was it.
“Yes. I have a contact at the Pentagon—he sometimes feeds me information through non-official channels. He told me Operation Gladio is still very much alive, and they were the ones who told the Italians to back off. My man told me Truffatore had been linked to Operation Gladio after World War II and he thinks they’re on Scordato’s trail. One agent has been after him for over ten years.”
“Do you suppose he’s looking for the lost treasure?”
“Lost treasure? Oh, Truffatore’s stash? Nah—these are government types, not treasure hunters. It must have something to do with P2 and its dealings with the KGB. Or the Mafia. Or the Perónists. Or…” He took a long pull on his iced tea. “At any rate, a couple of months ago, the Gladio agent intercepted a message from Truffatore’s daughter to Scordato. Whatever it said, it sent Scordato into a tizzy.”
“What do you mean, ‘whatever it said’? If the black ops guy intercepted it, why couldn’t he read it?”
“According to my source, it was in code—a new one. When he couldn’t decipher it he got the wind up. The last his superiors heard from him he had hopped a plane to Washington, in hot pursuit of Scordato.”
“Has he turned up?”
“Not that we know of. But then we wouldn’t. My friend said all communication from the Gladio people abruptly shut off a month ago. He has no clue what’s going on.”
Her body indicating in no uncertain terms that she would embarrass herself if she didn’t find a ladies’ room immediately, Claire stood. Ernest rose, an anxious smile on his face. “Was it something I said?”
“No, no, I’ll be right back.” As she wended her way through the empty tables toward the restrooms, she approached the one occupied booth. A hat of indigo straw bobbed just above the tall seat back. She heard furious whispering. As she passed the booth she slowed and a woman looked up and straight at Claire. Dorcas. She turned hastily away, but not before Claire had seen a reddened nose and flushed cheeks that clashed harshly with huge chocolate eyes filled with tears.

Tell me your favorite spot to spend a summer and have a chance to win a copy of Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota romance), another romantic suspense set in the hot Gulf Coast summer. Click on the Rafflecopter link and be entered in the running for the grand prize--A $100 Amazon gift certificate. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment.


Then click below to go to the other fabulous authors on the hop or click on individual authors. Have fun!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Welcome Another Fabulous Secret Cravings Author and Her Release Redemption for a Dark Soul


Is Proud to Present

Blurb
Jaeger Reineiner is a vampire on a mission. No more lurking in shadows or hiding in the middle of nowhere—the tattooed, pierced black denim and leather-clad bad boy wants a more normal life. He wants to win the heart of the little Goth spitfire he feels can redeem the red from his soul—the red stain of blood from centuries working as an assassin for hire.

Emily O'Connell, the youngest Deputy Coroner in state history, hasn't had time for love until Jaeger walks into her life and now she can't imagine him walking out. When his psychotic past hunts him down to kidnap her, cause chaos and bloodshed, and use her as bait to get to him, Emily will fight for him and beside him.

Is Jaeger's love for her strong enough to find her in time? Will Emily's love for him prove pure enough to redeem his soul?

Excerpt (PG)
Jaeger thought of Emily constantly. It was true there was nothing but black in his wardrobe, but he’d begun adding chains and spikes to switch between Badass Biker Assassin ‘just-leave-me-alone-and-I’ll-let-you-live’ look to be a little more Goth like Emily. He hoped she took the change in his look as a compliment, and not as being a copycat or creepy. He inhaled her scent—jasmine, vanilla and woman—it made his head spin. “Alone at last,” he chuckled.
Emily sighed as she tossed the magazine to the table. “So we are.”
His blood pressure shot up when she coyly looked down at her lap, then slowly back up at him through her lashes, lowering her voice to just above a whisper.
“Jaeger, thank you again for finding Marlin and bringing him home to Mary. She was so worried she’d screwed up their whole relationship.”
Jaeger shrugged. “It wasn’t a big deal. There’s almost nothing I wouldn’t do to help him or Paul. They're my brothers. I’m already happier here in Pennsylvania than I ever was in Ontario. The scenery is much prettier.”
Emily’s jaw dropped a little and she started to blush. “Are you flirting with me?”
“Yes. I am.”
“Why?” Emily immediately went on the defensive. With her record-of-accomplishment of users and liars, it was almost natural for her to question anyone’s motives.
“Because there's something about you that caught my attention, caught me when I first saw you and heard your voice. I’m told women today like honesty, so I’m being honest. I’m not used to attempting to win a woman. The women I was used to, years ago, weren’t big on the word kind of discussion.” He waggled his eyebrows to be sure she got his meaning, and laughed when she narrowed her eyes at him. “Paul and Marlin said you know about us—you're aware of our family kind, I should say. You should know that we're all hunters at heart. Just some are better at it than others.” His German accent became thicker the more he was aroused by a woman, a hunt—or in this case, both—or a fight. He smiled at her nod of understanding. “I am glad you understand all this. Know this as gospel truth, my Emily. As I said, there is something about you that has caught me, and I will catch you.”
“You plan to lead me into temptation then?” Emily laughed, with a devilish twinkle in her silvery-grey eyes. “Or is it the other way around?”
He wanted so much to pounce on her, to wipe that cocky grin from her face, make her whimper for him and prove who would win the temptation game. “Temptation? I cannot be led into temptation, my dear girl. I am temptation.”
Emily only laughed, as if she’d figured everything out beforehand and already made up her mind. “You are temptation? What if I’m not so easily led?” The challenging gleam in Emily’s eyes was too much for Jaeger to deny.
“Then I shall have to prove I’m worth it.”
Emily laughed. “Men are after one thing. When they finally win that pussy prize and get tired of it, or see a prettier piece of ass walking down the street, off they go. You want me to think you’re different, or that you’re not another one of the out-of-work bums looking for a new cash-mama to take care of him so you can lay on my couch watching television all day.” She shook her head. “You've got a long hard road ahead of you, buddy. This girl don’t trust men any farther than she can throw them. There are just way too many bad experiences when the word trust was involved.”
“Buddy? I am not ‘buddy’! I am Jaeger Baldwyn Reiniener. Would it impress you to know that was once the Markgraf of Speyer? I ran an entire city-state, like an emperor or a king.” He laughed bitterly.
Emily shook her head. “Are all you guys some kind of European royalty? Damn! But no, Jay, it don’t impress me.”
He smiled. “Jay? I think I like this shortening of my name. Especially with that foul alcohol on the market. People add ‘meister’ to my name all the time, and find it funny. I think I will like to use Jay.” His grin broadened. “I also like a woman who isn’t impressed by something so silly and outdated. You are a smart woman, my Emily. Your intelligence shows in your eyes.” He drew a finger down her cheek, causing her to lower her eyes and hide them from him. “Why do you hide from me now? They are an amazing color. In all my centuries, I have very rarely seen silver eyes in a human woman. I like to see them sparkle with laughter, and can’t help but wonder…do they darken to the grey of storm clouds when you get truly angry, or caught up in the throes of passion and lust?”

Buy Link:

About Nicole
A long time ago Nicole decided there were too many perfect characters in the books she read. She decided that she would add imperfections to her characters to make them feel more real, even if it was only in her own heart, but she hopes you enjoy reading about them as much as she loves creating each and every one of them.

Whether in the foothills of the Laurel Highlands in Southwest Pennsylvania or in the little worlds of her own making, Nicole is happy to be at home with her husband, her children, and rambunctious dogs. After all, every day is an adventure and you should live it as such. Tomorrow is never a guarantee - live for today and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. You never know when you won't have that chance again.

Never stop dreaming - never stop believing - If you want the moon and stars - go get them... They won't just land in your lap without a little bit of help.
Other books by Nicole Campbell
Arabian Night Walker
Loving A Dark Soul (Dark Souls Book 1)
Salvation for a Dark Soul (Dark Souls Book 2)-(Ebook and Print)
Teacher's Pet: Let's Make Music Together
Devil's Devotion
Tori’s Yule
Warriors of the Veil: Flower Fae Series Book 1


Monday, May 19, 2014

WINNER

Congratulations to Elizabeth@bookattict.com. You have won a copy of either Losers Keepers (for more on the smoldering Jack) or Lapses of Memory (for a chance to spend time with naughty Elian). Look for an email on the subject. To all my readers and hoppers, thanks for reading!

On the Road with Secret Cravings--New Release Nina's Choice by Natasza Waters

On the Road with Secret Cravings Publishing

Is Proud to Present
Code Name: Nina’s Choice

Nina Samson, an analyst working at Coronado Base Command, lands in Navy sniper Mace Callahan’s lap like an I.E.D. Two weeks of fiery passion with the lithe redhead, and the self-proclaimed bachelor raises the white flag.

Arriving in San Diego, Nina, a single mother with an eight-year-old daughter, spots danger ahead. Mace’s Hollywood goods looks and wicked smile makes her heart run a zip-line of crazy. Lust for the sexy SEAL swiftly turns to fear when he deploys to Syria for a mission.

Mace returns home angry. Believing his injury destroys their future, unable to pleasure any woman, especially one like Nina, he tries to sever their relationship. She deflects every round Mace fires at her heart, determination controlling the helm. Just as the seas calm, fate advances. Another warrior sets his sights on her. Mace will wage war for her heart, but it’s “Nina’s Choice."

Buy Links:
Secret Cravings Publishinghttp://tinyurl.com/kk24c35
Natasza Waters
All Romance E-bookshttp://tinyurl.com/ouf2v3p
Book Trailer for A Warrior's Challenge series http://tinyurl.com/mnd4bst


About Natasza:

I grew up on the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia with the Pacific Ocean on my western doorstep, and thousands of acres of forest on the other. After finishing school, my life took a drastic twist, and a lifelong working relationship with the marine industry began.

After a twenty-year hiatus from my creative writing, the stories swirling in my mind began to swim hard to resurface, and I threw them a life ring. I juggle my creativity during my days off, and then get back down to business, working in Vancouver Harbour. My life is a mix of creativity vs. black and white procedures. With a lifetime of working in the marine community, there’s plenty of stories to tell. It’s a different world, different language, unsung heroes and heroines aplenty, heated moments, and blissful silence when all is well. Reading and writing is the way I turn down the loud hum that my work causes, and after thirty years of humming, it’s time to vent.

Find Natasza Waters at:


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Please Welcome Jennifer Labelle and Her New Book Second Chance Love

 Jennifer Labelle is with us today and she has a fabulous offer. Jennifer--the floor is yours!

Who Wants a FREE Book?
FREEBIE over HERE…
Have I got your attention yet? J
I’m pleased to let you all know that my novel, Second Chance Love, will be FREE on Amazon this Saturday May 17th and Sunday May 18th so please don’t be shy, SPREAD THE WORD.
 I’d like to thank everyone for joining me here, and I hope you enjoy it! *coughs* Don’t forget, I’m always up for some new reviews too. If you have the time that is, in the meantime please check out the blurb and excerpt below and get your very own copy today before time runs out! J

Book blurb:
Goody, goody Teegan Hallowell was tired of being teased for following the rules. So, when her brother’s sexy friend shows an interest, she rebels, and learns all about the good kind of bad.

Now ten years later, Teegan returns home to escape a horrible mistake, but wonders if she’s made an even bigger one by returning. There was a reason she left Digby, when her dreams shattered and the man she loved betrayed her. So when she realizes she’s still in love with him, matters become complicated when he reveals her reason for leaving him was all in vain.

Liam Bates has every intention of loving Teegan again, but she’s had it rough and he needs to rebuild her trust.  The spark is still there, and as they explore what once was, their love is tested when Teegan disappears, and Liam will stop at nothing until he finds her again. 



 Excerpt
Jagged rocks aligned across the coastline. The moist salty air was refreshing, and the tide slowly rose against the Fundy Shore. It was good to be home again. Teegan sat on the fallen tree trunk, and tried to capture the beauty of the scenery with her sketch pad.
She hadn’t been there in years and the beauty of it still captivated her. This secluded patch of beach once belonged to Liam’s family and she wondered if it still did. Seeing Liam again brought so much back to her, that she just needed a place to unwind, and some of her most precious memories belonged right where she was.
Smiling, she turned up her iPod and sang along to the lyrics of Shinedown’s Breaking Inside, relating to the lyrics. Subconsciously, she ended up adding a boy and his father fishing right where she sat into the picture. Liam! Why can’t I seem to let you go? Sighing, she almost fell off the log and into the water. Her heart raced, and adrenaline pumped as she wondered who in the Lord’s name snuck up on her like that.
Large arms wrapped around her, pulling her close as his heat enveloped her senses. He was the one man in the entire world who could make her weak in the knees by just being in close proximity to her. The one man she was trying to avoid. Too afraid of her emotions. Oh Lord, he smells so good. Get it together, Teeg. You don’t even know him anymore.
“Liam?” She sounded breathless and winced turning away. She could not let him see how he affected her, could not risk losing her heart again. It hurt too much.
“Hasn’t anyone ever told you not to sneak up on someone like that? Geez, you just about gave me a heart attack not to mention an unwanted swim.” Placing a hand to her heart she turned to face him again only to have the urge to smother his smile with her lips. He was beautiful, and she missed the taste of him.
“It’s good to see you too.” He chuckled, “And there is no way I would have let you fall in. Hasn’t anyone ever told you that this is private property?”
She could tell by the glint in his eye he was only teasing, and she hated how easily he could make her smile. As if, she was eighteen all over again. “Ya, but you see, I used to know one of the owners of said property very well. I have many fond memories here, and I just had to see if it was as remarkable as I remembered it.”
“Well is it?” His face turned serious as he closed the distance between them.
With his closeness distracting her she whispered, “Is it what?”
      Before she knew it his head was lowering and her breathing turned rapid. Be careful what you wish for. She could feel his breath against her and all she could think about was the taste of his lips on hers. Soft, plump, and delectable...

AMAZON LINK:

Biography



Author contact links

So hurry on over to Amazon this weekend and get your free copy. Thanks for sharing the news, Jennifer.




Monday, May 12, 2014

Welcome to the Book Boyfriend Blog Hop--Meet the Heroes

Welcome to the Book Boyfriend Blog Hop. We'll be here May 12 to 18. All authors will be offering prizes, but in addition we are offering a grand prize: signed HIS HAVEN paperback by Harper A. Brooks, signed CLOAKED IN FUR paperback by T.F. Walsh, and a $20 Amazon gift card!

Heroes

I don't know about you, but I like my heroes slightly eccentric. Handsome yes—usually with striking eyes and dark hair. They are real men, as in a Sean Connery kind of man—one who has lived a life of adventure and knows what he likes and wants. But they also have a streak of something peculiar—a slight glitch, like the one dropped stitch in your sweater. That's what makes them endearing to my independent, spirited heroine.
I love all my heroes, but for now let's focus on two of them.

Jack Andrews in Losers Keepers.
Gabriel Byrne
Jack is—was—a loser. Total washout, a creep. At least when Dagne first loved him. It took her a year and the advent of the young and lithe Samantha for her to get over him. Then, bang! He shows up at the intersection of her heart and a murder. Lucky for her, he's all "growed" up now.

The story:
DagneLonegan, aka Dear Philomena, advice dispenser extraordinaire, hoped that spending a year on the Eastern Shore island of  Chincoteague to write her novel would clear her sinuses, if not her heart, of any feelings for Jack Andrews, erstwhile lover and long-time jerk.  It’s just her luck that her first week on the island she’s in the right place at the right time to be involved with 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, interfering with her new romance with Tom Ellis, the handsome manager of the National Wildlife Refuge.  To complicate matters further, her Jack arrives to take charge of the murder investigation.
Will Dagne stick with the tall, cool glass of a Ranger or fall back into the arms of her first tempestuous passion?

This is what Jack used to be like:
Three years ago, on a rainy night in the middle of December I met a man…let’s call him Jack. I felt immediately, irredeemably, passionate about him, despite all my friends’ fervent warnings. They called him a salesman, a politician, a glad-hander. Cynical, superficial, shallow, and cold. And they were right. He was the kind of man who would sidle up to the desk clerk and talk to her in an intimate whisper as though they’d been friends for ages. You’d usually find him in a crowd of acquaintances, usually at a bar, calling the bartender by name. Or handing out cigars at some candidate’s rally. Or gazing soulfully into his latest victim’s eyes.
The victim being a woman, of course.
Women were always taken in because Jack listened. Even on the first date his prey would find herself telling him all sorts of secrets. He’d look deeply, with remarkably authentic sympathy, into her eyes, and before she knew it, she’d be feeding him tidbits from her plate. With any luck she’d recognize him for the hollow creature he was before it went too far. Jack wasn’t even an empty suit, more an empty polo shirt that he’d picked up as a freebie at a celebrity golf tournament.
I left Jack before he could finish eating my soul. I pretended to believe his self-serving observation that I didn’t love him, that I couldn’t possibly love him. I thought it would make it easier to forget him.

But then he redeemed himself:


He looked the same. A little more grizzled perhaps. Thinner. He wore a black suit and an aqua tie that drew her eyes straight up to his. He accepted her examination with patient equanimity. “What are you doing here, Jack?”
“You wouldn’t see me. I had to see you.” He peeked at her from under his bristly salt and pepper brows.
Dagne held her anger in check. “So, how’s Samantha?”
“I don’t know.” His voice was resigned.
“What do you mean?” Was it the Tabasco sauce in the boxers or the dog poop in the sweatshirt?
“I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t seen her since I last talked to you.”
Dagne tried to take a breath and failed. Mother always said, “If you can’t think of anything to say, don’t say anything.” She waited.
“Dagne…I…”
Apparently the conversation had peaked. She brought it back around. “Cora Anne said you were looking for me. What do you want, Jack?”
“May I sit down?” She nodded at a chair. “To be honest, Dagne, I’m here on business.”
“Business? What kind of business?”
“Police business.”
Dagne stared at him. So he’d finally taken the plunge. “You made it onto the police force?”
Jack grinned a little sheepishly. “Yup. When you walked out I had nothing to do but get my act together. Went to the police training academy, the whole works. Can you believe it? The State of Virginia in its infinite wisdom promoted me to detective last month.”
Despite herself Dagne was impressed, but she had no intention of showing it. Jack’s finally finding himself at forty-five didn’t seem all that much of an accomplishment.

Also the perfect bad boy:  Elian Davies in Lapses of Memory.
Simon Baker

Elian is a man who knows what he wants. He just doesn't bother to tell Sydney, the heroine. When he first set eyes on her at the age of seven he knew she was his true love. He also knew he wanted to be a journalist and cover international crises. He was great at the latter; not so much the former. He and Sydney spend more of their lives as competitors than as lovers.


To Sydney, Elian is an underhanded, womanizing, creep who scoops her stories without batting an eyelash. But there's something about that auburn cowlick, the scar on the back of his hand, the tantalizing blue eyes, that draws her.


Lapses of Memory is a novel in which two romances intertwine as a mother recounts her life-long love affair while her daughter juggles two lovers.  The story follows the exploits of two journalists as they travel the globe reporting on various world catastrophes. In one of their encounters they find themselves embroiled in the early stages of the revolution in Iran and only barely escape. A few years later we find them rivals in the search for a scoop on the Lebanese Civil War. 

Their love is reignited each time they meet, but in the long years following each encounter she forgets him. For his part, her lover knows from the age of seven that they are meant for each other, but when she finally sees the truth, he has lost his memory—literally.  Can she make him remember her? Will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

Blue-pencil Elian
Sydney pulled out her crossword puzzle, mints, pen, glasses, embroidery, and tissues and set them on the other seat before stealthily slipping the miniature bottle of Jack Daniels into the magazine pocket. She checked her ticket once again. They’d be in Rome tomorrow morning and from there the flight to Beirut should be less than five hours. As she searched for her seat belt a husky voice behind her ear said, “Excuse me. I believe I have the window seat?”
The scent of licorice filled her nostrils. She looked up into a pair of deep indigo eyes, half-obscured by a tangle of hair the color of cordovan. He used his angular chin, cloaked in reddish brown stubble, to indicate his seat. She looked him up and down without moving, and pronounced, “Elian Davies.”
He drew back, an expression of mock surprise on his face. “Sydney Bellek? Could it be you after all these years? My, how you’ve aged…I mean matured.”
Whatever joy she’d felt at seeing him faded. “You.”
He scooted around her knees and sat down. “Me.”
She picked up her crossword puzzle and pretended to work on it. He pointed a tanned finger at a spot on the page. “Eleven down is Oslo.”
“Duh.”
The stewardess came by. “Please buckle your seat belt, sir. We’ll be taking off in five minutes.”
“Oh, Miss—” he peered at her name plate, “—Petula? What a lovely old-fashioned name!” He beamed at her. “Would you mind bringing me a glass of ice before we begin to taxi?”
The stewardess opened her mouth, then opened her eyes wide. “Why, you’re Elian Davies, the famous photojournalist, aren’t you?”
“At your service, Petula.” He bent in a graceful half bow.
“Right away, sir. I’ll be back in a jiffy.” She tore down the aisle, knocking into passengers’ elbows and knees along the way. Holding a glass high, she ran back like a bartender in a Bastille Day race, and proudly plunked it and a packet of peanuts on Elian’s knee.
When she’d gone he took a furtive look around and pulled a miniature bottle from his pocket. Sydney’s annoyance dissolved in giggles. “You too?” She pulled her own small whiskey out.
“Oh good, we’ll share this first one, shall we?”
She couldn’t say no, and besides, sipping kept her busy. Elian. She’d spent the last four years trying to hate him. It should have been easy. His reputation as an ace reporter and first-class scoop jockey had only grown since Tehran. Too many of her colleagues told stories of him racing across the tarmac just ahead of them to catch the final words of an escaping dictator, or jumping into a helicopter for a one-on-one interview with said dictator upon his triumphant return. Along with his derring-do came the even more infamous reputation as an inveterate ladies’ man, which the recent episode with Petula only confirmed.
She studied his left hand as it popped a peanut in his mouth—steady, strong, tanned. It looked familiar. Oh yes, I watched it unbutton my blouse in a supply room in Tehran. She turned away to hide the blush. When her cheeks had sufficiently cooled, she turned back only to have him glance away quickly.
Staring out the window, he inquired in a casual voice, “So how’s your boyfriend holding up while you’re off on these wasted efforts to follow in my footsteps?”
Her momentary affection melted away. Old Blue-pencil Davies at it again. Prick. “They’re all moping of course, poor babies. And yours?”
“Me? I don’t hold with leading women on.”
“That’s not what your adoring public thinks.”
He swung around on her, the customary smirk on his lips gone. “They’re wrong, Sydney.”
The remark—and his deadly serious face—threw her. To cover her confusion, she sipped her drink. After a minute he turned back to the window. As she watched his shoulders gradually relax, she reviewed the stories about him. From what she’d heard, women who crossed paths with him considered a one-night stand the standard reward. Could he be telling the truth? Just then Petula passed, slowing as she neared their row and heaving a soulful sigh. Sydney remembered the lovelorn look on her secretary’s face. Nah. He may not lead women on, but he sure draws them in.

Then the tables are turned:



“Sydney? Can I ask you something?”
“Uh huh.”
“Would you have picked me up that day at the Smithsonian if you didn’t think I was this Elian of yours?”
She started to say something flippant, but noticed his eyes glistened in the lamplight. “I…”
He continued to stare at the water. “Sydney, these last two weeks have been…special. I never thought…I mean, I know it’s strange. And me with no real background—nothing to offer you, no…me as it were. I—”
She stopped his meandering with her lips. His arms went tentatively around her. For a minute they floated in a cocoon of mist, the voices and music fading into the background. She drowned in a mixture of new feelings and old memories, of hope and despair, of the past and the possibility, hitherto unanticipated, of a future. He stepped back, holding her at arm’s length. His voice steady, he whispered, “The moment. Let’s live for that tonight.”
Resolved to accept his wish, at least for now, she followed him.


I hope you enjoy these forays into my heroes' psyches. If you'd like to win a copy of either Losers Keepers or Lapses of Memory, leave a comment describing your own hero. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment.


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