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Look Who Dropped By Today: Siren Allen

Today, there are two posts on Living the Dream. If you are looking for the October Frights Blog Hop, scroll down. If you want to take advantage of a great giveaway, check the end of this post! 

This morning I want to welcome fellow author, Siren Allen who’s got news about her latest book and a giveaway for you, too.Take it away, Siren.

Dress codes and giveaways with author Siren Allen!

silver I’m excited to announce that I have a new Sci-Fi romance available. The book is titled, Silver, and it’s available on Amazon. I thoroughly enjoyed writing Silver and I fell in love with the characters long before I began writing the story. Silver is an alpha male who is used to getting his way, while Malia is sort of shy but slowly learning to hold her own on a ship full of males.

I wanted her to be comfortable in her own skin AND in her clothes. Though she’s on a ship with all males, there’s no reason why she has to dress in big baggy jeans just so the crew members won’t lust after her. Their ability to control themselves has nothing to do with her and her dress code. So when her mate, Silver, asks her to change clothes, her answer is no.

Her answer HAD to be no. The topic of the way women dress is important to me. Too many times I’ve heard, ‘well, if she wasn’t wearing a short skirt they wouldn’t have thought she was easy’. Or, ‘she was asking for it with the way she was dressed’.

NEVER is a woman asking for it because of the way she’s dressed. Men can play outside on a basketball court with their shirts off and not be considered easy or fear that someone will do something to them because they’re half naked.

Men can get drunk in the club, stagger home and not fear getting raped because they’re intoxicated. They may get robbed, but getting raped probably wouldn’t be one of their worries. Now, I’m not saying that this type of crime doesn’t happen to men, because it does. But with the recent events, I feel the need to focus on women and what we go through. I travel a lot for my job. On my current assignment, I work nights which causes my husband to worry about me.

I must admit, I worry also. I wear baggy scrubs to work. I shouldn’t seem easy, right? I’m not drunk and staggering, so I’m not asking for it, right? Still, I fear walking across the dark parking garage late at night. I fear walking up the dark stairwell into the hospital I work in. I don’t just fear getting robbed, I fear getting raped. And it’s not only the horrible act I fear, I fear what happens next. The charges I have to press and the probing questions that will be asked. I fear that no one would believe me or even if they did, the culprit would get off with a slap on the wrist.

No woman should have these fears, no matter how she dresses. When I wrote Silver, I knew my heroine would be surrounded by males. I didn’t want her to be afraid. I didn’t want her to constantly worry about what she was wearing or how she looked or fear them hurting her. As the author, I was able to control the outcome of her situations. But outside of my writing, in my own life, I’m not as fearless as Malia.

I worry not only about myself, I also worry about my teenage nieces who are now going off to college. I even worry about other women, complete strangers I see in the grocery stores late at night, alone. I find myself praying that they make it home safely.

In Silver, I didn’t want Malia to have these worries, not from her own crew. Of course she’ll face them later on from other crews. But her guys are respectful. Her guys are loyal and would never hurt her. Her guys would give their lives to protect hers. Of course, her mate still doesn’t like her wearing hip-huggers. Unfortunately for him, Malia will never let a man dictate how she lives her life. I admire her. Below I’ve included info about the book and the awesome giveaway I’m having. I hope you enjoy reading Silver just as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 Blurb:faces
All Malia Valdese wants to do is survive in the Outlands and serve food to the patrons of her diner. She doesn’t want anything to do with the handsome silver-eyed stranger who keeps showing up after closing, asking her weird questions and making her feel something she hasn’t felt in years, desire.

She doesn’t care that he’s the sexiest male she’s ever seen or that he stares at her like she’s the main course. Steering clear of him is her plan. Well, it was the plan, before he turned her world upside down with four words…. You’re coming with me.

Apparently she has no say in the matter.

She’s not on the menu. But she’s what he hungers for.

Her scent tells him she’s his and the wanted pictures popping up all over the dark-net tells him he needs to lay low for a while. Having her next to him in bed while he tries to clear his name is the plan. Unfortunately, his enemies are closer than he thought and now they’ve found his weakness…. her. Can he shield his mate from the consequences of his dark past? Or will she flee to his enemies to escape him and the intense emotions he stirs inside of her?

No matter what she chooses, he has no intention of letting her go, ever.

Excerpt

Silver waited on her to get dressed. When she reentered the room, he saw red. “Not happening. You are not wandering around my ship in that.”

“What?” She stared down at her clothing.

“Those jeans are too tight. I can see all of your curves.”

“They’re hip-huggers. They’re supposed to fit like this.”

“I’m the only one who should be hugging your hips.” Her smile proved she wasn’t taking him seriously. “You know what, I’m tired. I don’t feel like giving a tour.” Silver sat down on the mattress, eyes still on the jeans hugging his mate.

“Everyone wears them,” she rubbed her hands over the offensive fabric.

“Everyone isn’t my mate.”

“So you’re one of those kinds of males.”

“What kind?” The kind that didn’t want his female showcasing her body to his crew.

“The kind that wants his female to be obedient in all things, even how she dresses.”

“Of course not. You have a mind. You’re free to make your own decisions.”

“Except when it comes to clothing.”

“Except when it comes to clothing that shows all of your curves. My males, they are unmated. Though they’re loyal, I don’t want them staring at you, lusting after you.”

“Well then maybe you should change clothes too. I don’t want any female on this ship lusting after you. Fair is fair.”

“There are no other females on this ship.”

“Oh, well, I don’t want your males lusting after you.”

“My males wouldn’t…. wait, if I change clothes will you?”

“No,” she threw her arms wide, a frustrated expression on her face. “I was just trying to show you how stupid this whole conversation is.”

“The tour is over.” Silver laid back on the bed.

“The tour never started.”

“And it won’t, not this night.”

“Are you really going to allow our first argument as a couple to be over a stupid pair of pants?”

“This is our second argument. The first was when you awoke and realized I’d kidnapped you.”

“Oh, yeah.”

He placed his hands behind his head, waiting her out. She was a curious one. She wanted to explore. She would give in. The sound of her clothes rustling reached his ears. He grinned. He knew she’d give in.

Even now she was moving over to the dresser to search for something else to wear, something more suitable for a mate. Something that wouldn’t lead to him bruising his males for staring at her.

Silver was just about to sit up when he felt her hands on his knees. What the hell? He raised his head and glanced down to find her on her knees in front of him. She rubbed her finger over the zipper of his pants, licking her lips as she did so.

“Malia,” he croaked. What was she doing?

“Remember what we did earlier?”

“How can I forget?”

She leaned forward and kissed his zipper. His hands balled into fists.

“I remember,” he told her.

“Did you like it?” She whispered.

“It was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“And do you want it to happen again?”

“Yes,” he groaned. Right now. Every day.

“Then I suggest you get up and take me and my hip hugging jeans on a tour.” Malia stood up and walked over to the door. “Come on, or you won’t come on me, again.”

“That’s blackmail.”

“You kidnapped me. Fair is fair.”

Damn, he should be pissed. Instead, he found her audacity attractive as hell.

“You win.” He strode over to her, resisting the urge to fix himself in his pants. “But after the tour, I want some more of what we did earlier.” Silver pushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

“So do I.”

Silver opened the door, eager to get this tour over with. When she stepped out in front of him, his eyes strayed to her hips. Damn.

“Are you sure you don’t want to change?”

“I’m sure.” She strode down the hall staring at the ceiling of the ship.

“Or at least put on a longer shirt.”

She tugged on the edge of her shirt that barely covered the top of her jeans. Her tug did nothing to help.

“This shirt is fine.” She stared over her shoulder at him. “Come on,” her grin was contagious. “I’m ready to explore.”

He would allow her to wander the ship in those jeans today. But as soon as they touched down on a station he was buying her more clothes, bigger clothes.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZJG2P3
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LZJG2P3
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LZJG2P3

Author bio:

Hi, my name is Siren Allen. I’m a writer and lover of all things supernatural and romantic. I reside in southern Mississippi where I write steamy romances that are guaranteed to make you blush. When I’m not listening to the characters in my head and jotting down their adventures, I am busy working as a Clinical Laboratory Technician.

I love to travel, preferably with my husband, so he can do all of the driving. I enjoy time with my family, who are just as silly as I am. My hobbies are reading, writing and shopping, though I hate trying on clothing. If I wasn’t a writer or a Laboratory Professional, I would probably be a Secret Agent. But that’s the beauty of being a writer; you can create your own world and be whoever you want to be. In my imaginary world, I am Queen and my siblings are my minions.

 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – www.amazon.com/Siren-Allen/e/B00ELF795O/

WEBSITE – http://sirenallen.com/

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/authorsirenallen

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/SirenAllen

PINTEREST – http://www.pinterest.com/sirenallen/

Siren’s Newsletter: Join to stay updated on my new releases and giveaways:

http://eepurl.com/Wr6Jn

Siren’s World: Join my Facebook group to chat with me about reading, writing and whatever else comes to mind: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1787481798155719/?ref=bookmarks

galaxygiveaway-_2 

****Siren’s Sci-Fi Giveaway: Be sure to enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a gorgeous Sci-Fi necklace.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a576fb1c12/?

 

 

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Day Five October Frights Blog Hop

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There’s only one day left in this week’s blog hop. I hope you’re enjoying this journey into the paranormal with me. Lynn C. and Katie M. have won digital copies of The Captain’s Promise from Tuesday’s giveaway. If you haven’t heard from me, please contact me to claim your prize. Today, I’ll give away a digital copy of Hello Again . Please comment on the post for your chance to win.

Today, I’m going to share another legend with you. I based my novel, Hello Again on this paraphrase, with more than a little artistic license, of a Sioux myth.

Love is supposed to be the most powerful force in the universe. In Hello Again, I used the idea of love conquering everything. Here is my version of the Sioux myth.

helloagain-ebook-smallOnce there was a Sioux maiden whose father had given her as wife to a cruel medicine man, one who practiced witchcraft and allied himself with the evil spirits. The husband constantly found fault with his young wife and beat her. Unable to remain with her husband for fear his next beating would kill her, she grabbed a small bundle of food and ran away from her home. The tribe searched for her for many days, but when they could find no sign of her, they eventually accepted that she was dead.

But the woman wasn’t dead. She wandered the prairie for many days and nights until, exhausted, without food or water, she sat and prayed for the Great Spirit to come for her. Knowing what an evil man her husband was, the Great Spirit took pity on her and sent a man to rescue her, but he was not really a man. He was the chief of the wolves, a shapeshifter, whose rare red coloring distinguished him from the other wolves. The chief fell in love with her and took her back to his village where she was amazed to find what she was sure were all the wolves and coyotes of the world.

For a year, she stayed with him in his village, falling more and more deeply in love with him, until she refused to consider ever leaving him. In exchange for her love, the chief of the wolves gifted her with the ability to talk to the wolves and other animals. The wolves treated her well, fetching whatever she needed to survive from the camp of men—flint for fire, a pot to boil her buffalo meat, a knife to cut it, and skins to make her clothes.

One night, her lover came to her tepee and he was greatly distressed. Her people were on the move, going on a great buffalo hunt, and they were headed this way. Unless she faced them and told them who she was, her people would kill all the wolves who’d cared for her, and because of an evil enchantment, he was powerless to protect the wolves whom he loved as much as he did her. He had to leave to find the source of the evil spell to protect those entrusted to him, but he would return for her as soon as he could.

The woman was sad, but knew she carried a secret within her—twins, powerful in good magic, who would be their father’s legacy. The next day, she saw the long line of people coming toward the wolf camp and went out to greet them as her lover had told her to, surrounded by the wolves who’d refused to leave her. Leading her people were her husband and her father who recognized her. Agreeing to go back to her village, she refused to go back as her husband’s wife and insisted they build her a tepee of her own where she lived with the wolves until the time came and she gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, both with their father’s unusual coloring and eyes as green as the prairie grass.

When the medicine man saw the children, he was enraged and cursed his wife and her lover, vowing neither one would ever be happy. Using his evil magic, he slew the wolf guardians and stole the twins away, selling them to the tribe’s enemies as slaves—the girl to one, the boy to another. In his jealousy, he sold his soul to wakhášica, an evil spirit, who trapped the chief of the wolves in his wolf form.

Unable to defend himself, the chief of the wolves fell prey to the evil medicine man’s spear. The medicine man skinned the wolf and presented the pelt to his wife’s father as a trophy, asking the man to intercede to force his wife to come back to him.

Believing her wolf lover would return to her and help her find her lost children, the woman refused her father’s pleas to go back to her husband. Day and night, she prayed to the Great Spirit and begged her lover to come back for her as he’d promised, but he didn’t come. In her grief and loneliness, she went to see her father. When she entered his tepee, the first thing she saw was her lover’s pelt. Distraught, she fled the tribe, wailing and lamenting the loss of her lover and her children, and wandered the prairie in search of his spirit.

Pitying her, the Great Spirit turned her into a wolf and reunited her with the pack she’d lived with, and there she stayed for the rest of her days, mourning with them.

Often at night, especially when the full moon silvers the land, the wind carries the lonely howls of the lovers searching for one another, still separated by the medicine man’s evil curse.

Hello Again is available from all Amazon dealers.  https://www.amazon.com/Hello-Again-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B01FGN88I6

Now, highlight the link and see what the other bloggers have to offer on this final day.

http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=662296

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Day Four October Frights Blog Hop

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Well, hello again. Nice to see you back. Today, I’m going to talk about reincarnation.

When my sister was younger, she used to say things like, “When I was an old lady…” One day, we went to Ottawa. Never having been there before, my dad took a wrong turn and got lost. My sister calmly explained what he had to do to get back where we were supposed to be. Trying to humor her, my dad followed her direction. Lo and behold, we ended up exactly where we were supposed to be. This uncanny ability to know things she had no way of knowing lasted until she was six or seven years old, and then, poof! It was gone and she never spoke of it again.

Image result for reincarnation
Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. It is also called rebirth or transmigration, and is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence.

 

While a lot of people don’t believe in it, the idea of reincarnation or transmigration is an intrinsic part of some eastern religions including Buddhism. Here are ten examples of stories of people who have been reincarnated.

http://listverse.com/2013/10/21/10-interesting-cases-of-supposed-reincarnation/

In my novel, Echoes of the past, my two main characters are reincarnated. While one is aware of her past life, the other isn’t. How would you react if you discovered you’d lived and died before?

Enjoy!

echoesebookfinalTony dropped down on the couch and stared at the closed door.

What is wrong with me? Why did I attack her like that? It’s as if there was some angry, jealous monster inside my head. In the space of forty-eight hours, I’ve become someone I neither like nor recognize. My God, I’m losing it. What the hell is this place doing to me?

He stood, went to the cupboard, and took out the bottle of fifteen-year old scotch he’d placed there—the bottle he’d brought with him to celebrate his discovery when he made it. He didn’t even stop to think, cracked it open, and poured an inch into the bottom of a water tumbler. He downed it in one gulp. He poured the same amount again.

Hell of a way to treat fine scotch.

The disastrous argument they had replayed itself like a bad movie—each frame clear, but the story only got worse. The minute the words had come out of his mouth, he had known he’d crossed the line. In his mind, he’d seen her lying naked on the bed, her face in the throes of passion, but the man hovering above her had been Ron, and the image had driven him insane. He had wanted to grab her and shake her—at least he’d been able to control that impulse.

He went out on the porch and stared out at the lake. The moon bathed it in silver. He could see the ripples shining, but nothing else. There were no ghostly canoes rising out of the mist, no strange lights on the surface, just a plain old lake. He felt torn in two. He sipped the scotch.

Michelle was right. He’d known he’d need more proof before he could go to the police. Hell, he’d sung that tune to his students himself.

Had guilt triggered his uncharacteristic behavior? He told them he’d needed proof. Jackson verified they had gone after that proof and had gotten themselves killed. Their deaths were on him.

His reactions to the thought of Michelle and Ron together bothered him the most. It was one thing to dislike a person, but where had this festering hatred come from? He knew he had absolutely no proof against the man, and the things he’d said tonight bordered on slander. The last thing he wanted was for Ron to have something else to hold against him.

Tony knew his attack on Michelle—and that’s what it had been—had been completely over the top. He’d been blinded by the jealousy of a lover who’d found the woman he loved with another man. He had no claims on Michelle. She might be married for all he knew.

That thought stabbed him in the heart, and he gasped. She couldn’t be married. He wasn’t sure how or why, but he was positive they were meant to be together, and he kept screwing it up. He knew sexual tension could mess with a man’s mind, but this was ridiculous.

Maybe they were only supposed to solve this mystery together, but he couldn’t separate the flesh and blood woman in his kitchen from the passionate vixen in his dreams. Michelle looked like his ghost, and the longer they had been together, the more she reminded him of his temptress, the one he craved like a drug. He loved her as surely as he could ever love anyone, and seeing her in Michelle was killing him. The thought that he couldn’t touch her, couldn’t hold her the way he wanted too, had increased his level of frustration, and when she’d defended Ron, he’d lost it.

Was Joseph right? Was he this how-many-times-removed uncle of his? His feelings for her were real. Reincarnation was the only thing that made sense, and yet, how could he accept that? There was no scientific proof for it. Gut feeling? He was a reincarnated man in love with a woman who resembled a ghost?

That makes me officially certifiable.

He saw her again sitting across from him, chatting animatedly as they ate their soup. It was the little things, like the way she held her head, the way she smiled, the sound of her voice, but the way she’d bitten her lip had pushed him over the edge. He’d seen her do it often when she would shyly disrobed for him.

He’d been hard as a rock, embarrassed as all hell, and frustrated. He’d wanted her and knowing she’d spent time with the one man he seemed to hate above all others had made him crazy. The accusations he’d thrown at her—how the hell was he ever going to apologize for those?

He let another mouthful of scotch burn its way down his throat. The glass was empty.

He turned back into the house, locked the door, and shut the lights. He went into his bedroom and got ready for bed. Somehow, he would have to apologize again, but damned if he knew how.

Want to read more? Echoes of the Past is on sale for 99 cents USD,  this month.

Highlight the link below to visit the other bloggers.

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Day Three October Frights Blog Hop

There are two blogs this morning. If you’re looking for the Midweek tease. it’s the one after this one. 

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Good morning. Welcome back. We’ve reached the midway point of our blog week and today, I’d like to talk about angels. We all have our own set of beliefs surrounding these heavenly beings. At one time, I never missed an episode of Highway to Heaven or Touched by an Angel. And then, of course there were movies featuring angels including Michael, and Heaven Can Wait.

guardian-angel

I had a poster identical to this one on the wall in my bedroom when I was a child.

Today’s fixation with angels seems more heavily geared towards demons as can be seen in the popularity of such television shows as Lucifer and Supernatural.  I’d like to believe good triumphs over evil, but I know that isn’t always the case.

archangel

I’m dabbling with writing a novel involving both angels and demons. I haven’t got much done on it, but here’s a scene you might enjoy.

Steve maneuvered the car onto the side of the road across from the garage where the body had been found. He opened the car door and stood, surveying the area, sensing the air for signs of supernatural activity. As a hybrid, part human, part fay, he knew that the demons Max had spoken of and Cassidy refused to believe in were all too real and deadly. He had his own ideas about this latest case, and if he were correct, this could explain a lot of what had been happening in the area. It also meant that he had a vigilante to worry about since he was supposed to be the only demon killer in the region. Sensing nothing unusual, he turned to his junior partner who had made her way out of the car and was waiting for him.

Cassidy stood staring at the garage, and asked, “Okay, here we are. It’s pretty deserted. What do you think we’ll find?”

Fighting the need to take her in his arms, Steve walked up to her and smiled. She was so damn beautiful that she took his breath away. Her shoulder length flame-red hair was a mass of curls and gave her that tousled look he found so sexy. Her clear green eyes reminded him of the lakes of his home world. She had fair skin, the kind of skin that burned in the shade on a summer’s day, and her nose was sprinkled with freckles. She had a full, generous mouth, perfect for kissing when it wasn’t making some smart-aleck remark or arguing with him. At 19, her body was honed to perfection, and he very much wanted to feel it pressed against his.

“Earth to Williams; hello?”

“Sorry, the M.E. mentioned dirt, so I thought we might look for a grave; if the guy’s supposed to have been dead for a year, he had to be buried somewhere.”

“A grave, eh? Makes sense,” she said. “That is of course if you buy the load the Doc was shoveling. I’ll agree that he certainly looked dead – long dead. Where do you want to start looking? The forensic team would have done an outside sweep of the building and didn’t notice anything, no holes or pits; they’d have reported those. How about we start out back? Maybe over on the other side of that cattle fence?  You know, you haven’t said anything about Dr. Landry’s so-called theory. What are you thinking?”

They walked across the road and moved around the garage to the yard where cars and car parts littered the ground. It had probably been a thriving business before the construction of the interstate; now, it was a decaying reminder that nothing lasts forever. Cassidy walked in front of him, looking for signs that the earth had been disturbed.

Steve was about to answer her question when he sensed it; there was something evil nearby, not a demon or vampire, but a revenant, a zombie-like creature similar to the one lying in the morgue. Before he could shout a warning, the creature emerged from the earth just ahead of Cassidy and lunged. She screamed at the sight of a fetid living corpse reaching out for her and veered out of its path.

Suddenly, a silver sword flashed in Steve’s hand. In one swift move, he jumped in front of Cassidy, close to the attacker. This was a young one, newly made, disoriented and hungry. As could his kind, he’d slithered up through the rocky soil at the possibility of food. In one swift blow Steve severed the assailant’s head from its body and the rest of the cadaver dropped to the ground mere inches from Cassidy’s feet, blood gushing from the artery and pooling around the body.

Where Cassidy had been frozen on the spot, she started to shake, unable to stop the tremors that were so strong they threatened to tear her apart. Ignoring the monster at her feet, Steve pulled her farther away from it and engulfed her in his arms. Terrified that he could have lost her so easily, he held her tight, the fear he had felt when he had seen the revenant attack her momentarily driving any thought of care and caution from his mind. The only thing that drove him now was need – need for her. He bent his head and captured her trembling lips in a hungry kiss.

The heat of Cassidy’s mouth on his pushed him over the edge. Her instant response fueled his desire. The need to feel alive, to make her forget the horror that she had just seen, urged him to deepen the kiss with all of the need and longing he had tried to suppress. She opened her mouth, and he accepted her invitation to plunder its depths; a dual of tongues ignited a need that scorched them both from the inside out.

Steve pulled away while he could still form a logical thought. This was not the place for this behind a ratty old garage next to the putrefying corpse of a creature that was the worst of the supernatural beings. He rested his forehead against hers, his breath coming in pants, his heart beating so fast he thought it might leap out of his chest.

“Sweetheart, much as I would love to continue this, it isn’t the time or the place. Let’s get you back to the car while I take care of the mess.” He looked down at the corpse that seemed to be aging and rotting right before their eyes. “I’ll get you home; we need to talk.”

I’m not sure exactly where I’ll go with this, but…

Now, as on previous days, highlight the link to visit the other bloggers. http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=662296

See you tomorrow.

 

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Midweek Tease: Secrets and Lies

There are two posts on my blog today. If you are looking for the October Frights Blog, scroll down below this post

MWTease15I’ve gone back into my older books for today’s tease. Published a year ago, Secrets And Lies was one of eight books, each written by a different author, all set in the same town of Braden, Iowa. Since my favorite genre was romance suspense, that’s what I chose. The books were all stand alone.

DEA agent, Emily Shepherd, is after the Chef, a crystal meth cook, who sets up labs for the Mexican cartel and walks away—the same man responsible for the deaths of her husband and unborn child. Her search leads her to Braden, Iowa, a small town just right for the Chef’s specialty. But identifying her quarry won’t be easy when she’s up against a woman who sees her as a threat, a male chauvinistic deputy sheriff, and an attractive school principal who might just be at the center of it all.
Secrets&LiesFinaleBookMediumJackson Harris has sworn off women. Life is satisfactory, if lonely, until he meets a hazel-eyed damsel in distress who gets under his skin, and triggers that protective instinct of his. There’s a killer in town, one who may or may not be a notorious drug lord. Finding him, and keeping his town, his students, and Emily safe, may be harder than he thinks.
Love is breaking out in Braden, Iowa. Follow all the romance with this collection of stories. Secrets and Lies is part of the Hearts of Braden Series, a multi-author series Secrets and Lies stands alone for your reading enjoyment, but the story doesn’t need to end there.

Secrets And Lies is available from all Amazon sites. https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Lies-Hearts-Braden-Book-ebook/dp/B0184FUC5U

Here’s this week’s tease. Enjoy!

Jackson drove down the highway toward home. He had followed the blue sedan down the street, slowing his truck when the vehicle turned into the Sunset Apartments’ parking lot. Once she’d stopped the car, he had honked his horn in farewell, and resumed his speed as he continued out of town on his way to the homestead. The optimism he’d felt earlier after receiving the message telling him to go ahead and offer the teachers he’d chosen new contracts had disappeared leaving him in the grip of the loneliness and despair that threatened to swamp him once more.

Before heading to Quinn’s for a much needed haircut, he’d gotten an electronic invitation to an old college classmate’s wedding, with Naomi listed as his plus one. He been too devastated to let his friends know she’d walked out on him and their fantasy Hawaiian wedding four years ago, just three months before the big event.

He had taken Uncle Jack to the Big Island since the vacation had been paid for, and while he had pleasant memories of his time with his uncle in the fiftieth state and its tropical lushness, the wounds Naomi’s rejection had inflicted never quite healed. Until he’d seen the brunette, he’d embraced the same lonely lifestyle of a confirmed bachelor that his uncle had chosen. Maybe his heart wasn’t as dead as he thought it was, and he should leave Braden, just the way Naomi had wanted him to. Staying here, in the homestead alone, only served to remind him of all his lost and broken dreams. But he couldn’t go now, even if he wanted to. Braden needed him more than ever.

He’d been all set to enjoy another bar meal when the mysterious brunette had entered Buddy’s. That the lady had been uncomfortable on her own in the place was an understatement. She’d done her best to avoid eye contact with any of the guys at the bar, including him, although she’d stared at him briefly when she’d arrived, and he could’ve sworn he’d seen recognition on her face. Instead of walking over as he’d hoped, she’d opted to sit by herself at the table. He watched her for a few minutes to see if she was expecting someone to join her, but she’d caught him staring, and he’d felt like a fool. He’d been about to make his move and go over and introduce himself when Deputy Douchebag had come into the bar and spoiled everything.

As one would expect, Kevin Carlyle had made an ass of himself when he’d gone out after the stranger, eager to throw his weight around and moving as if he was about to apprehend Public Enemy Number One. Jenny, Buddy, and the other guys who’d seen her come in knew she wasn’t drunk, and had told him so, but when that little pissant got an idea in his head, no matter how wrong it might be, there was no dissuading him. Calvin Hines had warned his deputy about jumping to conclusions, or trying to strong arm a suspect, but it never seemed to sink in. As Lola McBride would put it, good old Kevin had to live up to his reputation as a first class jerk.

Exactly why Jackson had chosen to go to the lady’s rescue he couldn’t explain, but he’d been drawn to her from the moment she’d stepped into the bar. She wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous the way Micah Thomas was; instead, she had an ethereal beauty about her that called to his protective instinct and brought out his hero complex. Once Kevin left, he’d been about to introduce himself to the intriguing damsel-in-distress and invite her to come back inside, eat her meal, and have a drink with him when he’d noticed the simple gold wedding band on her left hand.

It’d been like having a bucket of ice water dumped on him, but given his luck with women, it shouldn’t have surprised him. The good ones were all taken. He hoped to hell whoever had given her that ring knew he had a priceless treasure. He should stop thinking about her since nothing could come of it, but as hard as he tried, he couldn’t get her out of his head.

The first thing he’d noticed about her were the dark circles under her eyes, which bespoke sorrow and something more. As his uncle used to say, like called to like, and in her he’d sensed a kindred spirit, someone who’d suffered, and he didn’t think whatever had caused the slight limp he’d noted was responsible for all of it. She had lost someone—something—important, just as he had, and her lonely soul called to his. While her jeans had hugged her slender body, the worn T-shirt had been baggy, hanging on her slight frame, implying she’d been ill. Her skin might be pale, but it was almost translucent, not sallow, and her long, brown hair pulled away from her face and worn in a long, ponytail, shone under the lights. She’d ordered a burger and fries, and he was pretty damn sure from looking at her up close and seeing her clear eyes and beautiful smile that she wasn’t the binge and purge type either, the way he suspected Naomi was.

At times, that woman hadn’t eaten enough to keep a mouse alive, but then she’d pack it in like a truck driver, but never gained an ounce. Maybe she’d been on drugs. It would explain her highs and lows.

The brunette wasn’t a local as he’d pointed out to Kevin, but there were a lot of strangers in town right now, people who’d come to help family get their lives back on track after the tornado. Calvin needed to send Kevin for some sensitivity training classes. The man had been an absolute ass about her handicap status. That guy had to learn that many people had hidden disabilities that needed to be respected.

He had to give it to her. Even when the cop from Hell was being his most obnoxious, she hadn’t lost her temper, although her clenched fists had indicated it hadn’t been an easy thing for her to do. He admired her for standing up to Kevin, even though she had to know the guy could’ve made things even more difficult for her had the call not come in. Once the creep was gone, she’d shown her delightful sense of humor and her resiliency in the way she’d laughed off Kevin’s strong arm tactics. Deputy Dunderhead, as she’d nicknamed him, wouldn’t be impressed by the fact he hadn’t made a lasting impression on her, but then neither had he since she’d been in a hurry to get away from him as well. Probably wanted to get back to her husband. If she were his wife, he wouldn’t have let her go to the bar alone.

Jackson shook his head. Get over it. The woman isn’t anyone’s property. She can come and go wherever she pleases, and should be able to without someone creeping out on her.

Whatever was responsible for her sorrow and thinness wasn’t his concern, even though he’d like to make it so, and would’ve gotten on that right away if that wedding band hadn’t screamed “hands off” at him. That ring said the lady was married, and he didn’t mess around with someone’s wife. Well, she’d be gone in a few days and life would eventually get back to the frantic pace it maintained during the school year. He had other problems to deal with, and as soon as he got that brunette out of his head, he could focus on Ms. Jacobson and how he was going to get her and Mabel to get along.

Lightning lit up the sky as the rain came down more heavily, splattering the windshield.

Great, just frigging great.

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Day Two October Frights Blog Hop

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Welcome back. Yesterday, I discussed the legend I used to create my novel, Echoes of the Past. Today, I want to talk about another aspect of ghosts and that revolves around orbs.

What are orbs? Chances are, you’ve probably seen them before, and may not have recognized them for what they are, and you may even think the photographs you took have been ruined because of them, but think again. Orbs are translucent circles, usually white, that appear unexpectedly in your photographs. They weren’t there when you took the picture and suddenly, they were. Orbs come in different sizes and range from a single spot to a whole number of them.

Some people believe that orbs are just dust motes or drops of moisture on the camera lens, but others have different ideas. They believe these orbs are ghostly manifestations or perhaps angels,captured by the camera.  When these orbs appear near a person or a group of people in a photo, it’s a sign that they are blessed and protected. When orbs appear in a particular place, it’s a sign that angels are hovering around.

In the past, I’ve had occasion to have orbs appear in my pictures when I least expected them to. This picture taken in 2005 shows orbs of different sizes around the family image of four generations. There are several in the picture including three beside me and one on my daughter’s face.  None of the other pictures that day had orbs in them.

4-generations

In May, 2016, I had the pleasure of visiting the castle in the harbor in Norway. I took pictures in many rooms, but only pictures of this particular cabinet showed orbs.

According to the guide book several hundred people died in this section of the castle.  img_3506

So, do you believe in ghosts or angels? I do.

Comment on today’s post for your chance to win a digital copy of The Captain’s Promise ,

a historical romance with a touch of clairvoyance in it.

You can learn more about me and my books by visiting my website. Would love to have you drop over!

http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

Highlight and open the link below to read more blogs for the day.

http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=662296

See you tomorrow.

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Day One: October Frights Blog Hop

susanne matthews

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Are you afraid of ghosts? Have you ever had a sense of deja vu? Do you have dreams that are so real it’s more like a memory than an imagined thing?

For the next five days, I’m participating in the October Frights blog hop with 29 other authors whose novels fall into the horror or paranormal range. I have two novels that qualify for that designation, both based on Native American myths, dealing with ghosts, past life experiences, and reincarnation.

What was the catalyst for these books? Let’s talk about the first one.

Echoes of the Past is based on a Mohawk legend dealing with the Lake of the Mountain in Prince Edward County. The lake itself defies all geographical and geological theories.  The lake is well above lake Ontario and never changes waterlevel even though it flows into the lake via a small waterfall. No one knows the source…

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