Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents: Forever His by Christine Young

Forever His by Chrsitine Young
Excerpt Heat Level:
Book Heat Level:

August 30, 1895
Near Buffalo Creek,
South Dakota

Buy at Amazon


Christine Young has done it again in this historical romance. The blizzards, betrayal, deceit and a ruthless bandito like Chavez made this a great romance.

Melinda for Night Owl Romance     5 out of 5


Struggling to come to terms with the part she played in Jacob St. John’s death, Etta Barringer resigns from Pinkerton Agency and seeks peace and solace in a Rocky Mountain Cabin.

Jacob has vowed to discover the reason Etta has betrayed him, sold him out to his enemy and left him for dead.

Isolated in their cabin, they discover their love for each other and learn to trust. But the trust is shattered when Jacob learns she is married to his sworn enemy; the man who left him in the desert to die.


The sun beat down. Searing heat waves hit the hard packed earth, blistering, charring everything, even the dry prairie grass. Jacob St. John, his arms stretched overhead and bound to a whipping post, no longer counted the lashes tearing into his back, no longer felt the horrific agony.

More than a half-dozen men and one woman were gathered in the sage-patched backyard of the run-down shack. So far not one person made a sound as they watched Chavez wield the whip, stripping the flesh off his back.

If Chavez weren't so angry and seeking revenge of his own, he would probably have just had him shot. Revenge was a powerful motive. Chavez wanted Jacob to suffer, to yell before he died. It seemed Etta Barringer did too. So far Chavez was toying with him, taunting and teasing him, cutting an inch here, ripping an inch there, not doing much damage but making mincemeat out of his back.

Jacob hadn't made a sound yet, not even a sharp, indrawn breath. He wasn't about to even though he knew Chavez would get impatient and start slashing. There was no hurry. Chavez had as long as he wanted. No one save Etta knew where he was, no one would come looking for him, at least not until the sun went down. By then Chavez would be done with him, and he would either be dead or buzzard-bait. For the life of him, he couldn't figure why Etta would hand him over to Chavez. She had always been Pinkerton to the core, yet she had betrayed him once before. If he survived this, he meant to have answers. He'd move heaven and earth to search out the lying Etta Barringer and find out exactly what she had against him.

The pain of betrayal at the forefront of his mind, and vows of revenge against the instigator of this kept him going. He focused on the woman's laughter and the scent of lemons that permeated his soul.

He had been taken by surprise. Still, he didn't go down easily. It took all of Chavez's men to get him bound securely to the post in back of the shack. And of those men, not one came away from the encounter without a scratch. Blood from the multitude of small cuts Chavez had inflicted ran in rivulets from his back, pooling on the parched thirsty ground, soaking into the dirt, staining it.

He stood, his head proudly erect and that seemed to draw anger from Chavez. The grip of his fingers curled around the top of the post, the only sign of Jacob's pain--and fury.

The first real stroke of the whip felt like a red-hot branding iron searing across his back. Jacob didn't flinch, nor would he as long as he could hear her laughter or smell lemons floating languidly on the breeze. He wished he could see her, stare into her beguiling, green eyes until she knew he'd never stop hunting for her. Fury at his own weakness rose, and the anger he felt deep inside simmered, because she'd always attracted him. Ever since she showed up in a small town in Oregon, seduced him then drugged him and left him to sleep off the opium-laced whiskey, she'd fascinated him.

Concentrate on her--on what you're going to do when you find her again . . .

Christine Young has done it again in this historical romance. The blizzards, betrayal, deceit and a ruthless bandito like Chavez made this a great romance.

Melinda for Night Owl Romance     5 out of 5

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Tell Tale Tuesday: Dakota's Bride by Christine Young


Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:


When Emma St. John received her brother's letter imploring her to escape her stepfather's vengeful scheme and to trust Dakota Barringer with her life, she was willing to chance it. But the handsome, brooding riverboat owner Emma found in Natchez a danger of another kind. For Emma soon found herself surrendering to an unrelenting desire.

Raised by the Sioux when his parents were killed, Dakota had been betrayed once before by a white woman. He wasn't about to trust another, especially one claiming that her stepfather, a powerful U.S. senator, had framed her as a murderess. But he couldn't let Emma's intoxicating effect on him. Now Dakota would risk his very life to protect the innocent beauty who had seduced him with her tender love.


Moonless and frigid, the December night sent chills down Emma's spine. Yet she didn't stop at the lighted inn nearby, nor did she break stride when she stumbled over a rut in the muddy road. Instead, she pulled her skirts higher. A carriage raced by, hell-bent in the same direction, spitting mud as it flew past

A frantic look over her shoulder did nothing to relieve the fear. He was closing on her, forcing her from her hiding place. She stopped for a moment while she quickly shook the mud off her cape, then she turned to the little girl.

"You all right, Clare?" Emma asked.

The little girl nodded but didn't say anything, her face screwed tight with concentration, her breaths ragged and hard.

The big Mississippi paddle wheeler, due to leave in ten minutes, let out two loud, booming whistles. To Emma's frayed nerves, the sound was heart-stopping.

The wind from the docks smelled of fish and tar. When it shifted, she could make out the aroma of fresh baked scones coming from the inn. Emma gripped the tiny hand she held in her own a little tighter, and prayed that Clare could keep up the pace.

"It's only a wee bit farther. We can make it," Emma told the little girl, her sister. Half sister, she reminded herself.

Clare's father was not her own. His demonically hand­some face leering at her while he calmly explained what he meant for Emma to do in the bordello was something she'd never forget.

Clare was a tiny and very fragile seven-year old. She had loving green eyes and a long, slender nose coupled with delicate cheekbones. Emma knew that someday Clare would grow into a classic beauty.

One long blond lock of hair slipped loose from Clare's cap. The little girl pushed it away with her free hand, wrinkling her nose disgustedly.

Frost coated the road, and each hurried step caused the almost frozen mud to crunch beneath their feet. A horse and rider passed them, the man tipping his hat as he and his mount thundered by. Church bells rang out, the sound hollow and thin. It was almost six o'clock. She had five minutes to reach the boat.

A gust of wind caught her broadside and whisked the hood of her cape off the top of her head. She grabbed the soft fur and pulled the fabric back where it belonged. Distracted by the wind and her haste to reach the boat, Emma caught the toe of her shoe on a rock and balanced precariously for an instant.

She swore softly under her breath.

Had only one month passed?

No, three weeks ago her mother had died and two weeks ago she had learned the awful truth. Lawrence Stevens had slowly poisoned her mother. He had given her a small dose of arsenic each day until finally her mother took to her bed. Several days later Emma had held her mother's hand while she breathed her last.

Emma would never have known about the murder if she hadn't overheard Stevens speaking in harsh whispers with a friend of his. There were other things said and promised, things Emma had not wanted to acknowledge.

Disbelief and denial had caused her to waste precious time. Seven days had come and gone since she'd had her last horrible encounter with her stepfather. It was an encounter that had left her with no doubts that everything she'd heard was the god-awful truth. Stevens had meant to sell her to a whorehouse. Still, she'd had a difficult time believing the extent of Lawrence Stevens's depravity. But when he'd installed her in Madame leBon's bordello, she realized too late that her life was in grave jeopardy.

And Clare, sweet, sweet Clare, had understood all she'd told her and perhaps more. With the eyes of a child, Clare had somehow sensed the evil that surrounded her father long before anyone else did.

Five long days and nights they'd spent on the run. Clare had not complained. No matter how exhausted or hungry she was, the little girl had pressed on, understanding the imminent danger that faced Emma. Clare had somehow known that Emma had to get as far away from Lawrence as possible.

This incredible romance is one I positively fell in love with and is good enough to read again and again.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
4 Cups
I can’t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a book: Dakota’s Bride took over my weekend, and even now, am wishing to go peruse it one more time…

Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon Long and Short Reviews

Monday, December 29, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Mystery Monday: Shadow Fire by Courtney Rene

Shadow Fire
Courtney Rene
ISBN: 978-1-62420-096-0

Genre: Paranorma
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

No one really knows who Leif is. They know the man he portrays and the things he has done, both good and bad. He was a boy that came from nothing and grew into a man full of rage that almost killed the one person he set out to save. He roams the realms waiting for death. Waiting for an absolution that doesn’t come. Then a rumor surfaces. A threat has been made against Sunny. Leif sets out to try to right the wrongs of his past. He sets out to do what he was meant to do from the beginning, save the queen. Can he do it alone or will he have to do the one thing that is hardest for him, which is:  Ask for help.


"I have been looking for you."
I opened my eyes, turned my head, and stared up, way up into a pair of big brown eyes fringed in long lashes. Eyes so dark they looked almost black.
"You're a hard person to find."
That was the point. I didn't want to be found. I liked my hermit existence. I didn't have to see anyone or talk to anyone if I didn't want. I liked to roam the realms and see what I could find. There were so many things we didn't know about the four realms. It wasn't so much as fun, as it was time consuming. That was what I wanted, though. The sooner time passed, the better off I would be.
"You look like crap, Leif," she said when I didn't respond.
Her voice, although lowered in disdain, was soft and feminine. If I weren't waiting for death, maybe I would have cared more. I tried not to notice her creamy, pink tinged skin. I tried not to notice her high cheekbones, and lush lips. I tried not to, but I did anyway. How could I not? She was beautiful. Not that I cared.
"Man, and you stink. God, when was the last time you shaved…"
I lifted a hand up to my face and felt the length of coarse hair that covered the bottom part of my face. How long had it been?
"…or taken a bath for that matter."
A bit longer than I had realized apparently. "What do you want, Cinder?"
She was silent for a moment. Was it my voice? It was gravelly with disuse, but the tone was indifferent, not aggressive.
Finally she said, "I came to bring you this." This, being a sunshine yellow envelope with my name written in bold calligraphy on the front. She held it down to where I lay on the rocky red ground.
I hesitated a moment before I took the proffered envelope. I didn't open it. I could only stare at the writing. I knew the writing and, therefore, who it was from without even having to open it. What did she want? What did it say?
"Why are you here? Why are you laying down there on the ground like that?" Cinder asked.
I used her questions as an excuse to put off the inevitable and said, "I like it down here." I lay sprawled out on the rocky red dirt that made up the Fire Realm. The air was hot, the sun even hotter. If I lay there long enough, maybe I would just evaporate and be gone. No more Leif. No more running. No more hiding. Just gone. Finally.
"Yeah, but why?"
I didn't answer, instead my attention returned to the yellow envelope. I lifted the unsealed flap, and slid out the thick ivory card with silver writing.
…cordially invited…..
I slipped the card back within the envelope and dropped it down next to where I lay. One grain of the red clay had found its way on top. My eyes fell to that red dot.
"So, what?" I said still focused on the grain of clay.
"So, are you going to come?"
"Why not?"
I stayed silent. Everyone knew why not.
"She's not mad at you. In fact, she misses you. She talks about you all the time," Cinder said.
She did? Did she talk about how I tried to kill her? What about how I used her?
"She really is hoping you will come. That's why I'm hand delivering your invite. She wanted to make sure you got it. Saw it."
Did she really want me there? Was it all just a joke to get me back for all I had done?
"Will you at least think about it?"

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Romance Sunday: Love in Bloom by Rosemary Indra

Title: Love in Bloom
Author: Rosemary Indra

Genre: Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

When childhood friends reunite it takes two fairies and a matchmaking daughter to help them admit their true love for each other.


Mattie Harrison sat up in bed when two golden lights floated down beside her. The shimmering lights from her fairies caused excitement to bubble within Mattie in anticipation of their visit. For as long as she could remember, the two fairies were her constant companions. Tonight she had something important to ask them.
Cara sat cross-legged on Mattie's pillow. Kendra adjusted her green dress several times before she too sat down. Mattie looked down at her small friends then crossed her legs in front of her mimicking the way they sat.
Every so often Kendra's wings fluttered. Mattie knew she preferred playing than sitting still but tonight Mattie needed someone to talk to. Like always, Cara listened quietly as Mattie described her day and her plans for tomorrow.
When the fairies stood, their transparent wings flapped as they started to take flight. "Can you stay a little longer?" Mattie asked quickly.
Cara gracefully bowed her head and moved closer to the little girl. "What's troubling you tonight lass?"
A smile touched Mattie's lips at the sound of the fairy's soft voice. Cara had brown hair similar to her own. She always had suggestions and Mattie felt calm after talking to her.
They'd visit every evening when she went to bed to say goodnight. Mattie had asked her father for a nightlight not because she was afraid of the dark but so she could see the fairies easier without scaring them with the bright overhead light.
"My dad is very lonely." Mattie knew what she wanted but all of a sudden she didn't know what to say. She looked at her friends. "Can you help me find a wife for him?"
"Mattie it's bedtime. Quiet down," her father's voice carried down the hallway. "Tell your friends to go home."
Cara tapped her index finger against her lips and looked thoughtful.
"He doesn't believe in fairies," Kendra whispered. "That might be hard. He doesn't have faith in us."
"We haven't even started and you're already negative." Cara put her hands on her hips then glanced at Mattie, "You have to remember a non-believer doesn't like interference."
Feeling disheartened Mattie's lower lip started to tremble. She'd given this a lot of thought. After much consideration, Mattie knew she'd needed help to find a wife for her dad.
"We'll see what we can do." Kendra looked at Mattie her expression softened. "We'll help you."
Both fairies nodded. Now she'd have assistance in her quest. Satisfied, Mattie relaxed against her pillows.
When her father opened her bedroom door, light from the hallway flooded in casting elongated shadows across the room. The fairies instant disappearance didn't trouble Mattie. She knew as soon as her dad left the room they would return.
Her father stood beside her bed looking down at her. With dark circles under his eyes he appeared worried and concerned. He leaned down and pulled the blankets up to her chin.
"Dad, everything will work out." Mattie kissed his cheek. "Night."
"Goodnight sweetie. No more talking. You need some sleep. We're going to see grandma tomorrow."

After her father left the room, Mattie sat up in bed. She glanced at her friends who once again sat beside her on the pillow. Mattie raised her hands and wiggled her fingers in front of her. "Do you have any fairy dust to sprinkle on him?"