Hot New Release in S.E. Smith's Magic, New Mexico Kindle World!
Drake Winston was dealing with the biggest struggle of his life. At risk of losing the one thing he valued most in the world, he didn’t have time for romantic pursuits. Then he met Antonia Hendricks. His online profile allowed him a chance to show a side of himself he hadn’t shared with another in years. Her smile, her sweetness and her faith in a friendship forged in a chat forum shakes his world.
Drake knows he should be honest. He should leave the curvy sweetheart alone and stay far away. But someone else is interested in his Antonia and Drake will sacrifice anything to see her come through unharmed. Even if it means giving up his magic. Read More
Hot New Release in S.E. Smith's Magic, New Mexico Kindle World!
Daisy needs a mate. Orion needs a miracle and the Fates think they need each other.
According to her coven's genetics Daisy Blanchet must mate with her true love on her twenty-fifth birthday. She dreams of a husband and children, but there's an expiration date on her fertility without a decent man in sight. Living in Magic, New Mexico and selling spell laden decadent pastries in her bakery, she knows time is running out. Known in town as Bad-Date Daisy, she turns men into onocentaurs and sends them on their way. Only with Orion, her spells don't work.
Orion Krazolz from Tesceanus comes to earth searching for a witch from the Blanchet coven who he hopes is powerful enough to break a sleeping spell on his sister and save the kingdom. But he's going to find it difficult to convince any witch to return with him to his planet where all the witches were killed or fled years ago. Time is his enemy to save the kingdom and he's having a hard time convincing the delightful Daisy to return with him.
Will Daisy sacrifice her mating birthday to travel with Orion to Tesceanus to break the spell and still find her mate? Or could it be she's been searching in the wrong place for the man of her dreams. Read More
Lily is book 5, a standalone in the STEAMY historical Wildflowers of Montana series!
Jack Matthews came to the Montana Territory to track down an outlaw, not claim a bride. But the first time he sees Lily Lenox about to be run down by a stage, he lifts her into his arms and carries her to safety. The problem is, once the sassy redhead is safe in his arms, he discovers he doesn't want to let her go.
Lily Lenox is smart, too smart to be caught up in Jack's strong arms and intense gaze. And she might have escaped, if he hadn't kissed her. Now it's too late, for Jack's touch has burned her like a brand and he's all she can think about. For a spinster, blue-stocking such as herself, the offer of marriage from Jack is impossible to resist. In one day, Lily goes from innocent maiden to a well-loved and conquered wife. Happy and in love, Lily is content to wait as Jack leaves for a business trip, promising to return.
Jack lied to his new bride. He's not a businessman, nor a gentleman. He's a Pinkerton agent going undercover in one of the most dangerous and notorious robber gangs in the Territory. Part of the plan is to plaster his image as a wanted man all over town. Shocked and unsure, Lily can't believe the man she's fallen in love with is an outlaw. She decides there's just one way to discover the truth...she has to find him. All too soon Lily is caught by the gang, and neck deep in Jack's web of danger and lies. Desperate as Jack is to protect her, he'll have to risk everything, even Lily's love, to save her now. Read More
Hot New Release in S.E. Smith's Magic, New Mexico Kindle World!
Stone has been alive for centuries, but he has never truly lived. Created by magic, he was duty bound to watch over the Drummond family and guard them with his life. Now, his last master is dead and there is no one left to protect. Instead of gaining his freedom at last, Stone finds himself locked in his granite form, a living mind trapped inside a statue of a gargoyle. Lost in despair and on the verge of madness, the days blend together into one everlasting nightmare…until he begins to dream of her.
Adina Diggersby lives for her art. Sculpting stone is her passion, one that fills her days and keeps her loneliness at bay. She spends her time in her studio or walking among her personal collection of sculptures and statues gathered from all over the world. The last thing she ever expected was for her newest purchase to come to life and inform her that he was her new protector.
Adina won’t rest until Stone is free of the spells that enslave him, but unraveling the dark magic that created him will come at a price. Are these two souls doomed to be forever alone, or is their love strong enough to be etched in stone? Read More
Thank you for having me. Rhonda and Blake have been in hiding and this is the first time they’ve been able to venture out. In the following scene the wished they’d stayed put. Here is an excerpt.
They didn’t make the turn off Bourbon Street. He mistook the first shot for part of the drum solo from the band performing at the next bar they passed. The second, he recognized for what it was: a blast from a shotgun, suppressor on. It pinged the wall beside his head, sending shards of brick into the air. Grabbing Rhonda’s hand, he made for the door of the nearest club. A fellow the size of a small truck blocked the entrance.
“Cover charge, folks. Cash only,” he said, clueless to the danger around them.
Blake rapidly scanned the area, trying to assess where the shots had come from—and if they we’re sitting ducks. He considered going for his gun but thought that could create panic. Panic they could hide in, but innocent bystanders might get hurt. The third shot answered his question. It struck the doorman in the shoulder. He snatched up Rhonda by the waist as she bent down to help the injured man. Ignoring her protests, he pushed past the other doorman who’d come to see what happened.
“Blake, he’s been shot.” She continued to argue as he dragged her through the club.
“We’ll be next,” he shouted as the band played, unaware of the menace outside.
“Blake,” she complained, struggling against his hold, vainly attempting to free herself. No way was he letting go. He was running on adrenaline and if he stopped now, he was afraid he might not be able to continue.
“Stop it, Rhonda,” he yelled over his shoulder as the music abruptly cut off. Inside the partiers were at last attuned to what was going on. He took a chance and stopped. He’d protect Rhonda with everything he had. He could do this. He pushed her up against the wall as the crowds dispersed, some toward the front, some back. Would the gunman continue to take out bystanders? He didn’t know and right now, he couldn’t concern himself with that. His priority was Rhonda. Read More
Her Highland Master
The first traces of apprehension swept over her now that she stood near hopeful salvation. The door was a heavy scrolled oak number, with a huge brass knocker in the form of a crest with three stars on a shield, and above it a knight's helm with a stag's head, which her befuddled brain didn't recognize.
Holding the image of that roaring fire and hot tea in her mind, she alighted the dark stone stairs. She seized the brass knocker, her fingers all but frozen inside her gloves, and knocked on the heavy door. After a few minutes with no response, Zoey started banging incessantly against the wood using both her fist and the knocker.
"Hello," she cried, as the wind kicked up and swept the sound from her. Not that anyone heard her as the wind howled with a ferocity that made her wonder if it would pick her up and sweep her to Oz. When no one answered as she stood there shivering, searching for a doorbell, colder than she had ever been in her life, she grew impatient, frustrated that the dreamt about hospitality wasn't forthcoming. She finally spied a doorbell, coated with snow. Her body trembled so fiercely that her arm shook as she pressed the bell, and then she did something she normally would never do. She tried the door handle and when it turned with an audible groan, she opened the door to another person's home and stepped inside.
Settings can anchor a story, add flavor, and create mood. I plunked Ian McGregor, the love interest in my romance, COOKING UP TROUBLE, in the small town of Mill Pond. I wanted a story with a close-knit community, where people know and care about each other. Their shops rely heavily on tourists, who stop to eat and shop on their way to the national forest and park close by. To attract them, Mill Pond’s already added old-fashioned street lamps on Main Street and a public dock at the lake. When Ian buys property on the lake to open a resort, they see it as a good thing. They want him to succeed, but Ian’s from New York and doesn’t really understand the feel of a small town where everyone knows everybody else. His neighbor, Tessa Lawrence, tries to enlighten him:
Ian turned his light-brown eyes on her. They looked almost golden in the center. "Does everyone know everyone else around here?"
She laughed. "It's a small community. If you fart in your front yard and the wind's blowing east, your neighbor will be talking about it the next time you see him."
He blinked. "I'll try to wait till the wind's blowing toward the lake."
She shook her head. "No good, the wind usually blows to shore. You'll have to wait a long time."
He stared at her a minute, then threw back his head and laughed. "I get it. Everyone knows your dirty laundry here."
"Then I'd better learn to be discreet." Read More
As a writer, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told, write what you know. To that I say, Hellooo. Fiction! The whole “write what you know” thing is off in my book. The way I see it, the proper instruction should be “include what you know, learn what you don’t, and open your mind to your imagination for the rest.” I’m not ashamed to admit, if I only wrote what I knew, I would have been tapped out after one book, and readers would most likely have been so bored, they’d have tossed it at the wall.
By definition, my stories are fake. Made up. My characters don’t resemble me. Who would bother reading about them if they did? My fictional play mates say and do things I never would dream of doing and that’s the beauty of being a writer. I get to live vicariously through my characters. Experience worlds I’ve never seen and sometimes wouldn’t want to. I get to meet people from all walks of life, wear sexy clothes and gorgeous high-heeled shoes that would give me bunions, and tell off the snotty teller at the DMV without fear of having my license revoked. Occasionally, I even get to plan and carry out murder, preferably at that same DMV. And since I write romance, I always win the hot guy, of course. (Honey, if you’re reading this, that last part isn’t fiction.)
That’s not to say my characters don’t have an element of me in them. Especially the heroines. I create them. They come from my imagination. They’re a part of me. Whether it’s a love of sports (totally me), a snarky sense of humor, (guilty) or the sidekick dog that drives them nuts (yeah, I have one of those, too) a little piece of me goes into each of my girls. And when I give them what I know and let them run with it, they usually end up in trouble, like Jessi from my new release, TO WIN HER HEART. What I know about Jessi, is that like me, she can’t cook…
“You sure you don’t want any help?”
Ten Days in August is the story of Hank, a New York City police detective, and Nicky, a female impersonator (a drag queen in modern parlance), but both of these characters are a lot more than that, too. I wanted to share an excerpt in which they get a little further below the surface. This scene occurs shortly after Hank, who is naturally suspicious, followed Nicky to his sister’s home in the Lower East Side tenements, and walked into a crisis. After helping, Nicky and Hank, who still don’t quite trust each other, confer while sitting on the steps of a church on a very hot day:
“This is what I come from,” Nicky said. “My parents came here from Ireland during the famine. They had nothing when they left and even less when they arrived. We lived in a tenement just like Brigid’s. I was born after the war, but my father is no war hero. He is a failed farmer who drank to forget his failures. Since he is not at the church now, there’s no telling where he is, though I imagine he found a saloon to drown in.” Nicky took a deep breath, unwilling to look at Hank for fear of what might be on Hank’s face. “My mother never quite recovered after she had my younger sister, and she died on a hot day not unlike this one.” Read More
Now he is a young, successful surgeon. Women throw themselves at his feet, and he gives them what they want, as long as they don't ask for his heart. The strategy is working well for him until he meets freelance reporter Jessica Finley.
She's smart, she makes him laugh, and she sees right through his playboy persona. When the past she's tried so hard to forget comes roaring back to life, Jessica's world implodes, and Mitchell Walker is at the center of the detonation.
Jessica's fire may burn hot enough to keep him up all night, but will their love be strong enough to burn away the ghosts of their past and melt the ice around his heart?
** The Love You Like A Love Song series features original music written to accompany the books! To check out the music please visit www.laurenkayley.com.
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