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.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Tall Cool Stranger: Dagne Meets Aidan in Dear Philomena

Something crashed in the woods.  Was it a deer?  Or something more dangerous? Dagne didn’t care; she just kept running…




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?


Chincteague National Wildlife Refuge

My family has been going to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands since my children were little, often twice, in the spring for the mating birds, and in the fall for the migrating snow geese. A barrier island situated east of coastal Virginia, it has everything: a lovely beach, a wonderful wildlife refuge, ponies, marshes, a lighthouse, and most alluring of all, oysters.  Dagne, like me, scarfs them up at every opportunity during her year on the island. Luckily, her new beau, Refuge Manager Aidan Ellis, is happy to treat her to them.



Excerpt (G): A Tall, Cool Ranger


As she leapt out of bed, someone knocked at the front door. She checked the clock. Eight. A bit early. Maybe it was the milkman. She clucked at her little joke, but took a moment to smooth her hair and flip off her fuzzy slippers. Halfway down the stairs, she peered through the glass door to see a tall, broad-shouldered silhouette. Someone new? And handsome too! Panting only slightly, she tripped on the last step and almost fell flat. Sucking in a couple of ragged breaths, she called, “Who is it?”
“Miss Lonegan? It’s Aidan Ellis. I’m the Chincoteague Refuge Manager. I apologize for the early hour, but I’d like to ask you a couple of questions.”
Questions? Dagne zipped into the kitchen and turned the burner off before opening the door. A tall, remarkably good-looking man in the tan uniform of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stood on the mat. His dark brown eyes flecked with cream reminded her of the Sika elk that roamed Assateague. The flat-rimmed ranger hat obscured his hair but his tanned face sported a bit of five o’clock shadow, which only served to highlight the straight Roman nose. He smiled a dazzling smile, and stuck his hand out. “Miss Lonegan?”
“Yes?”
“May I come in?” Dagne realized she was still holding his hand and gazing hungrily into those chocolate eyes. She shook her head to clear it.
“Of course, of course.” She led the way into the living room and indicated one of the easy chairs patterned in blue ponies. She sat down on the sleep sofa, only to spring up to clear the coffee table of half-filled take-out boxes and bits of underwear, her face burning. The ranger sat quietly, hat in hand, while she bustled about trying not to stare at his large, strong hands. A full head of rich brown hair too—is there anything that isn’t gorgeous about him? “Sorry. I’ve just moved in and I haven’t had time to organize, or even grocery shop.”
“I understand. Cora Anne said you’re staying for a year?”
Chincoteague sure was a small town. “Yes. I’m trying to write a novel.”
“That’s wonderful.” He didn’t seem surprised at the news. The pause lengthened. Dagne finally settled down on the sofa. “Well…Mr. Ellis, is it? What can I do for you?” How about a big, wet one?
“Miss Lonegan, as I mentioned, I supervise the wildlife refuge. I don’t know whether you’ve heard, but there’s been a murder.”
Dagne took a moment to pull her jaw back up and her eyes back in. “A what?”
“A murder. We found the body Saturday morning. On the refuge.”
“No, I had no idea. I haven’t talked to anyone yet today.” Wait a minute. When was I trapped on the Woodland Trail? “Saturday? The day before yesterday?”
“Yes.” He studied her, his eyes sharp. “I heard you were there on Friday afternoon. I mean, on the refuge. Nick, one of our volunteers, said he talked to you.”
Dagne tried to think. “Yes, that’s right. I stopped in at the visitor center just at closing around four. I’d seen a fawn with a broken leg on the Swan Cove trail the day before and wanted to let them know.”
“And where did you go after that?”
“I decided to walk the Woodland Trail.”
He sat forward eagerly. “You did? Did you see anyone else on the path?”
“There were a few people, yes, but they passed me early on. I was alone for most of the hike.”
“Did you see anyone in the parking lot?”
“No. No one. By the time I got back to my car everyone had gone.”
“What made you decide to go so late in the day?”
This was beginning to sound like an interrogation. His intensity made her nervous. “I…I didn’t really think about the time. I’d been working and thought I’d take a break and get some exercise. To tell the truth, I’d forgotten how long the trail was. When the sun went down the place spooked me a bit and I ran most of the way back.”
Hmm.” He sat back. A couple of minutes ticked by. He seemed lost in a reverie.
“Mr. Ellis? Who was murdered?”
“What? Oh, please, call me Aidan. A local girl, name of Terri Aster. She’d been missing for three days. We assumed she had run away, but then Park Service maintenance reported an…odor. Police dogs found her.”
“Oh dear. And do you know who killed her?” Now that’s a stupid question. Why would he be here if they’d already caught the murderer?
“No, ma’am. We’re just following up leads, looking for possible witnesses. That sort of thing.” He looked grim.
“I see…Aidan. And you can call me Dagne.” God, he’s cute. Did I just simper?
“Dagne. Nice name.” He smiled, and a tingling sensation trickled up her back. “Anyway, we don’t have much to go on yet. We’re questioning anyone who visited the refuge on Friday or early Saturday.”
Curiosity trumping prudence, Dagne ventured, “So, how was she killed?”
Aidan stopped smiling. “I’m afraid it would be inappropriate to give out details at this stage.” He stood. “Here’s my card. Since we found the body on federal property I’ll be in charge of the investigation. If you think of anything else that might be of interest don’t hesitate to give me a call. For example, if you saw or heard anything unusual.”
It was on the tip of her tongue to make a flirtatious reply, but she bit it instead. Talk about inappropriate timing! But he was so gorgeous, so polite, so different from Jack. Maybe, just maybe….

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge


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

Buy Links:


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Winner! Katie O'Sullivan, Come on Down!




We have a winner! Katie O'Sullivan, you have won a copy of Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders. The story does take place at Christmas--featuring a picture book town in the snow, crazy characters,  spicy romance, needlepoint stockings...and murder. 

Please let me know if you wish a pdf, or mobi or epub format. Enjoy the story and have a happy Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mary Morgan's A Highland Moon Enchantment is Here

Welcome Mary Morgan and her latest installment in the series Order of the Dragon Knights, A Highland Moon Enchantment.



Blurb:
You first meet warrior hero in Dragon Knight’s Axe, Order of the Dragon Knights, Book 3

Irish warrior, Desmond O’Quinlan has never surrendered his heart to any woman. He has no wish to have his soul tortured by love. Yet, the moment he locks gazes with Ailsa, his fate is destined for an adventure he never fathomed. He may have battled alongside a Dragon Knight, but his greatest challenge will come from within his own heart.

Ailsa MacDuff, a warrior among her clan, has no desire to have a man chain her to a life of obedience. However, that is before she meets Desmond. The temptation to allow this warrior inside her heart is a risk she dares to take, but one that could lead to a future of emptiness and sorrow. 

When betrayal looms from within, the battleground of love is no match for these two warriors. Can the power of a Highland full moon be strong enough to unite or destroy them?

A Highland Moon Enchantment
The Wild Rose Press, November 17, 2017
Genres: Historical, Medieval, Scottish, Paranormal, Romance, Holiday
Length: Novella


Excerpt (PG): The Moonlight Kiss

His mind screamed to stay rooted in his chair, but his body betrayed him. Standing, he reached for her hand. “I will escort ye to your chamber.”

She eyed him with curiosity and stood. “Nae. Take me to the north wall. I hear the view of the loch is one that steals the breath from your lungs.”

“Done.” When her fingers slipped into his, Desmond fought the urge to crush her to his chest.
Placing her soft hand in the crook of his arm, he led her quickly out of the hall and up the stairs. Bending to the left, he took her along a corridor and up a narrow circular pathway. The torches flickered as he approached the door leading to the north wall.

A cold draft blew by them, and she shivered. Instantly, regret filled him realizing he had not considered to bring a cloak for her.

Desmond paused by the door. “Ye should not venture out into the biting cold without a cloak.”

Her eyes narrowed. “I simply wish to capture a quick look, not spend the night sleeping out there.”

Shaking his head, he pushed open the massive oak door. Brittle air slapped at his face while they made their way up along the wall.
  
“’Tis cold,” she muttered, but chuckled softly and hugged his arm. “But ye are
warm.”

“We shall not tarry long,” he assured her and placed a warm hand over hers.

“Oh, sweet Goddess. Look at the moon, Desmond. Her light shimmers over the water. I have now witnessed the charm of the loch in sunlight and moonlight. Though our rivers are stunning on their own, they cannae rival this view. As I have told ye, our island is shrouded in mists, so ye cannae see verra far out into the sea.”

Desmond’s focus was not on the moon, but the beauty standing beside him. To take what he dared not possess. He marveled at her delight of the striking scene.

Ailsa turned toward him. “Thank ye, Desmond, truly.”

Her nearness was overpowering, seducing him in a way he had never known. Desmond cupped her chin. Her eyes widened, and her lips parted in invitation. Moonlight and lust danced within her eyes. No longer did he battle with his mind and body, and he slowly lowered his head.

And under the silent whisper of a full moon, Desmond captured her soft lips within his own. He could taste her sweetness mixed with the wine, and desire shot through his veins. His hands shook as he placed them securely on her waist. As he deepened the kiss, she placed her hands around his neck. Desmond groaned, crushing her body against him.

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Mary Morgan
About the Author
Award-winning Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
 
Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

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ORDER OF THE DRAGON KNIGHTS

Dare to journey with the Dragon Knights of Scotland!

They were an ancient order descended from the great Tuatha De Danann, a tribe from the Goddess Danu. Half human and half fae, each blessed with mystical powers. They were also given holy relics and guardianship over the dragons.

With the dawn of Christianity, the dragons were systematically hunted down and slain leaving only one. The Dragon Knights took her from Ireland to a land across the sea, settling in the Great Glen near Urquhart. The clan was known as the MacKay clan, descendants from the MacAoidh.

Yet, there were those who deemed the Order had too much power, and they tried to possess it for themselves. They were evil and twisted, and their plan succeeded one fateful night. A battle was fought and their sister was killed.

The Clan Mackay is no longer.

The Dragon Knights scattered across the land.

Yet out of the darkness, they will each fight for redemption.




Saturday, December 9, 2017

Author of the Month

I'm Author of the Month over at RomanceBooks4Us, the fabulous website.



http://romancebooks4us.com/


Also, if you click on my name under Authors, you'll find my calendar of events and news, updated regularly.

The Pit & the Passion To Be Released January 22!!!


RELEASING JANUARY 22, 2018
FROM THE WILD ROSE PRESS



THE PIT AND THE PASSION: 
MURDER AT THE GHOST HOTEL

Set on Longboat Key, Florida, it features an unexpected skeleton, a quirky romance between an arrogant though talented writer and a beautiful reporter, and a complicated set of clues that lead to a deadly secret long hidden by the most famous circus family in the world.

Genres: Mystery, Humorous/Romantic Comedy
Imprint: Crimson Rose
Rating: PG-13
418 p.; 97370 words