Monday, June 30, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Mystery Monday: Shattered Tomorrows by C. L. Kraermer

Shattered Tomorrows
C. L. Kraemer
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
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Lucy Daniels has a secret--a deeply guarded secret.
Her life was going along just fine until she accompanied her best friend, Cassie, to her attorney’s suite on top of the Equitable Building in downtown Salem, Oregon.
Once inside the lawyer’s office, the world turned upside down and Lucy was forced to face a demon from her past. Thirty years ago, life had been different. Lucy had discovered Prince Charming and was headed to her happily ever after.
That’s when the devil intervened and because of her brush with the devil, innocent people died.


Staring at the reflective elevator door, I didn't recognize the middle-aged face staring back at me.

When had I grown so old? When had gray become the dominant color of my dark brown hair? And please, tell me, where the hell had I picked up those doggie jowls?

Cassie Thorpe, my best friend since, well, what seemed forever, looked into the reflection.

"What are you doing?" She cocked her head in that funny way she always does when she's questioning my sanity. This time she added crossed arms and a hitched eyebrow.

"Wondering how age snuck up and attacked me without my knowledge." I peered at my likeness, my finger tracing a line from my nose to my chin around what used to be a full voluptuous mouth.

"Oh, God."

I watched Cassie roll her eyes as she uncrossed her arms and adjusted the purse on her shoulder. She shook her head and blew air between her lips.

"Lucy, just schedule a face lift. I told you I'd front you the money."

The elevator had reached the top floor of the Equitable Building in downtown Salem. The interior had recently undergone a major renovation and featured Italian marble in most of the lobby and down the hallways. Small areas of plush carpet covered the remainder of the floor. The new owners had muted the government gray walls with a faux Tuscan-inspired paint, adding art deco sconces to the walls. Bronze lamps hung from the cathedral ceiling adding a touch of elegance to the lobby area. Dark leather couches and chairs placed in comfortable conversation settings invited the visitor to stop and admire the effect. Every effort had been made to rid the visitor of the government feel of the square, granite and smoked-glass building.

"Where are we going again?" I followed Cassie out of the lift toward a hallway that wound to sculpted, cherry-stained office doors bearing the gold suite number.

She placed a hand on the gold-plated door handle and turned as she spoke to me. "My lawyer. Bobby's balking about handing over the chalet at Mt. Bachelor."


We entered an office painted in muted tones of blue. The money invested in the cherry wood desk occupied by the receptionist would've paid for that facelift Cassie had offered. The blue-gray guest couches were satiny soft and comfortable.

Speaking into her silver, state-of-the-art headset, the pencil-thin blonde at the desk announced Cassie.

I hadn't even transferred the latest issue of People magazine to my lap when a door, magnificently blended into the cool blue wall opened revealing a young man wearing a fitted, black Baroni suit. A Rolex peeked from beneath the sleeve of a silk dress shirt and Gucci loafers covered his feet. He lifted a manicured finger and beckoned us into the inner sanctum.

I would've been happy to stay and read the most recent dirt on the latest it couple, but Cassie dragged me behind her. My feet sank into the carpet. I swear. It was like walking on that miracle foam bedding. I turned to see if I'd left my footprints. Cassie cleared her throat and shook her head.

I shrugged my shoulders and stood awkwardly, waiting for permission to seat myself.

The young man moved around the L-shaped desk made of Koa wood and seated himself in a large steel-blue leather chair. He motioned us to sit in the two upholstered chairs in front of his monstrosity of a desk as he perched straight backed and rigid in the chair. Behind him an impressive ten foot tall, thirty foot long array of silver gray curtains waved slightly with the breeze from the rising warmth of the heater.

Once we were all settled and our roles firmly established, he moved to the front of his desk to languidly lean on the edge. Grasping Cassie's hand, he placed a delicate kiss on the top of it, his steely eyes gazing into her chocolate brown ones.

"What can I… do for you?"

Courtney Rene for Rogue's Angels says:  "If you are looking for a good fast paced read this is the story for you."

Other titles by C. L. Kraemer:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Addicted to Writing and Romance Sunday ~ The Purrfect Picture by Angela Castle

Title: The Purrfect Picture
Author: Angel Castle

Genre: Paranormal/Erotic Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5

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In the heat of the Australian Summer, Tinder Munro has been sent to an obscure little town, in the Australian bushland, to uncover its secrets. What she never expects to discover, is the devastatingly sexy Hawk Black, who seems very intent on embedding himself into Tinder’s body mind and soul.

Hawk, Panther shifter and beta of Black Town, volunteered to baby sit a Photojournalist, only to discover the feisty red head his is true mate.

Now nothing will stop Hawk from getting into Tinder’s life, and keeping her just were she belongs, with him, in his arms. But when others discover the truth behind Black town, they decide to make Hawk and Tinder pay a high price, in more ways than one.

Hawk races against time to save Tinder, and keep the secret of Black Town secure


Pictures speak more than a thousand words; Tinder Munro's mother, the artist, drilled the words into her head at an early age. So, what was the picture before her trying to say? It was odd and out of place. No way, this couldn't be real; someone was playing a prank on her.
She didn't care. Even pranks which kept her mind off her current situation were better than sitting around stewing over things she couldn't change.
She sighed, needing to get closer. Blackened, scorched ground crackled as she lowered herself to her knees, inhaling the still-smoky air of the surrounding bushland. It was a few weeks since the devastating fires ripped through this part of the Black National Park.
Her current, and temporary, employer sent her up into the New South Wales Mountain region to an obscure little town to investigate.
It was good to get out of the city. When this job was done, she would like to find a smallish town with a little newspaper. She hoped someone would employ her and buy some of the many photos she had collected over the years as a photojournalist.
She had nothing to go back to. What little she did have was stuffed in the boot of her beat up old car. Black Town Motel would be her home until she finished this job, got the rest of her money, and moved on.
Tinder ran over the odd conversation in her head a few times, trying to figure out what the Sydney money tycoon, Felix Roads, wanted exactly.
'I want anything and everything suspicious reported. There is something not right with those Black brothers, and I want to know what it is.'
'Are you sure you want to use me, Mr. Roads? I'm a photojournalist not a private detective.' She stood in front of his six-foot wide, polished mahogany desk, in the tall fifty-five story building in the Sydney business district, overlooking Sydney Harbour bay and the Opera house.
'No, you're exactly what I need. I want picture evidence of whatever they're up to. There is something odd with those Black Town people. I think you would do better than any detective…someone they wouldn't suspect as much.'
'Just what do you expect me to find in Black Town?'
'I want any dirty secrets which can discredit them from the contract they stole from me.'
Basically, she was being sent in as a spy. But how could she object when Mr. Roads handed her a three-thousand-dollar check?
'Half now, half when you bring me evidence of what I need to get my contract back.'
This is money she desperately needed to start over. She would do her job to the best of her ability; if it was secrets Mr. Roads wanted, then secrets he would get.
After doing a little background digging on Black Town, via the internet, she kept coming across rumour after rumour of big cat sightings in the area. Tinder contacted the local park ranger to obtain permission to have a look around.
During her travels through Africa, she had photographed many majestic big cats, and had seen their paw prints in those counties, just like the ones she now studied.
Leaning closer to study the odd paw prints in the scorched earth, she saw the solid evidence those cat rumours were true.
She sat back on her heels and reached for her tan canvas equipment bag, riffling around to find her tape measure. Leaning back over, she placed it along the side of the print, careful not to disturb the ground. She lifted her digital camera, placing it over her right eye and closing the left as the automatic focus adjusted.
Her trigger finger pressed gently to snap a few shots.
"This has to be too good to be true." Her got voice lost in the soft whistling of the warm summer wind in the burnt trees.
Tinder climbed to her feet, bent over to follow the print trail. She peered over a fallen, two-foot log, where this cat obviously leapt, leaving lovely, deep prints.
Her excitement bubbled; oh yes, big cat indeed. If she could be the one to capture it on film, would this be what Mr. Roads wanted? She shook her head; at this stage she didn't care. Maybe she could earn some more money by finally proving there is a big cat living around Black Town Forest.
Her clothes were now probably streaked with soot, but it didn't matter as her finger pressed down on the trigger again.
"Holy shit!"
The sudden deep masculine voice from right behind her jumpstarted her heart into a junkie's, high adrenaline spike. Her scream pierced the tranquil air and she spun around, only to lose balance and fall backwards onto her large arse.
She stared up into a pair of striking, pond-blue eyes. He looked just as startled, his handsome face twisted down into a fierce frown, making her scramble back further.

 Other books in this series:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents: Sci/fi Fantasy Saturday and Dragons Among the Eagles by C. L. Kraemer

Dragons Among the Eagles by C. L. Kraemer
Excerpt Heat Level: 0
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Aleda Sable faces the toughest decision of her life--to stay in dragon form, live as a two-legged or put one foot in the human world and one talon in the dragon world.
An urgent call from her newspaper editor sends Aleda to report on an accident whose driver appears to be a dragon. Authorities have the scene locked down and aren't allowing access to anyone. Television broadcasts flash pictures of scaly legs hanging from a crashed car. However, the bodies disappear into thin air. When the stations try follow-up reports, all they find are state highway workers busily tearing up the roads.
In determining the truth of the shifter disappearances, Aleda finds the truth of her own dilemma.


Rain thwacked against Aleda's leathery black appendages. Her arms ached; heck, every muscle in her body ached. This flying thing was going to take more practice. The continual downpour of the spring night slithered past her shielded turquoise eyes, bathing her scales in cool refreshment. As much as she would like to have frolicked in the showers, she was more interested in landing in one spot, curling up and sleeping for the next four days. If only…

Cyre winged up to her side.

"You go in first and I'll follow. I want to wash off the grit of the trip."

Aleda pulled back her lips in a semblance of a smile.

"No problem," she shouted over the wind drafts.

When Cyre's sister, Brittany, had first suggested Aleda attend the dragon council in China, she'd been ecstatic. Her recent discovery of her true identity--half human, half dragon--had put her beliefs to the test. She imagined being around those like her would make her transition simpler. Cyre and Brittany, full-blooded Celtic dragons, had helped as best they could by explaining rules of dragon protocol and pointing out the good guys from the bad guys at the council meetings. By the end of the week, Aleda's fairy tale illusion had fallen abruptly on sharp rocks. Politics and power were as rampant in the dragon-shapeshifter community as in the human community.

Brittany was going to spend a night or two in Cyre's den before continuing her journey back to Scotland. Then Aleda and Cyre would be faced with the decisions they'd both been putting off since their first meeting.

She felt the solid rock beneath her talons and breathed a sigh of relief. The council meeting had been exhilarating, educational and overwhelming all at once. It was nice, really nice, to be back in the Northwest of the United States. Aleda stood, getting her land legs then shook the extra moisture from her body. Placing her talon on the button in the rock wall, she pushed and the door of the cave slid open. Watching the heavy glass trundle into the backside of Mt. St. Helens still gave her chill bumps. So much about the twenty-first century dragon world made her shake her head. How could they survive with all the advancements humans had accomplished? Knowing the answer still didn't stop her from asking the question.

The few minutes she'd stood contemplating questions already asked had given the cavern a chance to air out. While her sense of smell wasn't as acute for some things, sulfur being one of those, she still hadn't been able to adjust completely to the acrid aroma Cyre tolerated in his cave.

As she dragged her tired feet over the threshold, Cyre backwinged his way on the landing. Aleda turned just in time to catch the wicked twinkle in his eyes.

He sprayed water over the landing, his laughter bubbling over the surrounding rocks like thunder.

"Cyre! I just dried off! Jiminy!"

Aleda wrinkled her brow and glared at the young gray-green dragon. His mirthful smirk did nothing to help her anger.

"Hey, you two. Get in here and dry off. I did some hunting before you got here and there's dinner in the great room. I've had mine and to be quite frank, I'm exhausted. I'm going to sleep."

Brittany tromped back to the great room and found a warm spot near the back wall.

Cyre and Aleda located the carcasses of the deer where Brittany had dropped the bodies. Each took one and moved off to eat, alone, before settling in for the night. Minutes after devouring their meals, the trio of dragons were fast asleep, the decisions of the previous week set aside for the normality of life.

Dragons Among the Eagles is an excellent sequel that will hold your attention until the very end and leave you craving more.  Well done Ms. Kraemer for delivering yet another awesome book!

Worthy of a 5 Angel Eyes rating
L. Nickels for Rogue's Angels

Friday, June 27, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents: Friday's Featured Title ~ The Wager by Christine Young

The Wager
Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

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Amorica Hepburn was sent to London to find a husband. However, finding a man was the last item on her agenda. With her two cousins, Amorica wagers she can dissuade her suitor before the others. Despite her efforts she discovers a chemistry that cannot be denied. Suddenly she is the arrogant man's wife, pledged to a marriage neither desire. But swept off to his ancestral home above the Dover cliffs and into his strong embrace, Amorica is soon possessed by a raging passion for the husband she had vowed to despise…

Damian Andrews couldn't afford to trust the emerald-eyed spitfire who happened upon his secret. Amorica's hatred of all men of his kind only inflames the war that rages between them. Still, he can not control the intense desire his stubborn bride inspires, or make her surrender to his will until he has conquered the headstrong beauty on the battlefield of love…


Coast of England 1816

"It's a bloody cursed day." Damian Andrews swept the child into his arms and waded through the pounding surf to the beach. He braced himself against the out-going current then sloshed through the crashing waves. Salt spray clung to the wind, stinging his nostrils.

Damian turned. Beneath his ribs, his heart pounded the cadence hard and fast. He swore again as he watched the captain shout orders to his crew. The French brandy that was supposed to have arrived this night would have to wait.

Standing in the longboat, the captain of the ship that brought the brandy as well as the political refugees from the Germanies held a torch aloft--the only light in the vast darkness. "Hurry, laddie. We have human cargo tonight and the tide is changing."

A little girl whimpered.

Damian pulled her into his arms, bent on protecting her at all cost.

"It's all right. You will all be together soon." The smuggling of French brandy was a cover for the cause that meant so much to him. Religious and political refugees--at times it seemed they came in droves. All were seeking a better life. A life of freedom. "Your mother is coming as well as your baby brother. You will all be safe."

Damian looked to the captain. "The father?" he queried.

"He didn't come with his family. He said he had one more thing to do. You must hurry."

The child leaned into Damian, her little face nuzzling his shoulder, her silent sobs gut-wrenching. He pulled her closer, cursing at the elements as well as mankind and wishing he could find a way to shield the tiny child from all harm. He knew the feat to be impossible. The little girl touched a place in his heart and for a moment filled that broken space with light. Yes, the mother would be with her children, but why had the father stayed where his life was in peril? He had learned long ago one could come to regret rash actions. And he'd also learned one could lose all chance at love in one instant.

Lord, but he'd lost his concentration and in losing that, he could well lose his edge.

No secrets-- no lies. The thought haunted him.

His life was a lie, but he would change nothing until his penance was paid. A constant drizzle soaked him to the skin. The wind sent goose bumps rising on his arms. He reached shore and handed the girl over to Aric Lakeland, a trusted friend and accomplice in this night's work, then turned and walked back to the longboat. Her baby brother as well as her mother waited.

He had never meant to get involved. It was the greatest of ironies that he was here now. He'd been a man who loved his family and his home.

He'd been content but that seemed years ago--a life time.

It felt like centuries.

The captain spoke, his voice hushed. "Hurry, now, Master Damian.

It's the watch. They are due to ride by here any time now. The patrols have doubled these last few weeks. I fear it's not as safe as it used to be." The captain handed over the baby wrapped in blankets. Damian stared at the child. The babe couldn't be a year old. The child didn't make a sound, not even a whimper.

This was injustice, a travesty. He looked at the mother. "Can you make it on your own?" He prayed the fragile lady standing before him had more courage than she appeared to have. She nodded and with the captain's help, she stepped into the ocean, struggling for balance. Yet her shoulders were squared and her spine stiff.

As soon as the captain placed the babe in Damian's arms and the three of them were headed for land, he gave orders. Two sailors rowed out to sea, moving toward the black ship that rose and fell on the distant waves.

On a cliff above, the dark silhouette of a third man, Ryder McClaren, could be seen for a brief moment. He waved his arms then disappeared into the shadows once more.

"Hurry," Damian bade the mother, his hand resting on the small of her back, urging her forward.

Other titles in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series: