Romance Books, Uncategorized

#NewRelease #Giveaway – “The Target” by Tina Donahue


The Valesky Crime Family Book 1

by Tina Donahue

Genre: Dark Mafia Romance

A Russian kingpin wants her dead… the only one who can stop it is the man sent to murder her.

Toni Flores loved her dream job working for a respected US senator until he raped her. She’s determined to bring him to justice, no matter the cost.

For years, Dimitri Valesky, head of a Russian crime family in America, has bought off those in government. Just like the senator responsible for Toni’s assault. When she won’t keep quiet about it and risks Dimitri’s business, he orders his stepson Michael to kill her.

Michael’s a lobbyist not a mafia enforcer. He refuses the insane demand, but Dimitri insists. The power he holds over Michael and his brothers is absolute… or so he believes.

Rather than murder Toni, Michael intends to romance her. Once he convinces her to keep quiet about the Senator, she won’t be a target any longer and Dimitri will back off on the hit. The plan falls apart and now they are dodging mafia enforcers, bullets, and Dimitri’s outrage.

Michael and Toni fight to stay alive and save those dearest to them as they also fall hopelessly in love.

This is book one in the Valesky Crime Family series and has an HEA.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary dark mafia romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, action, adventure, adult themes, and possible triggers for some readers.

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Tina’s an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

On a less serious note: she’s an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, brakes for Mexican restaurants, and has been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally while wolfing down tostadas. She’s flown a single-engine airplane (freaking scary), rewired an old house using an ‘electricity for dummies’ book, and is horribly shy despite the hot romances she writes.

Website * MeWe * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

It’s not too late to win this Gift Card!

The contest will be over in a few weeks, so get your entry in while you can.

I’m celebrating the upcoming re-release of A Hero’s Heart–my spicy, second chance, romantic suspense novella–by giving away a $30 digital gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) to one lucky person.

Sounds great, right? But what do you gotta do?

It’s easy-peasy. Fill out the Rafflecopter below, but to earn the most points, PreOrder yourself a copy of A Hero’s Heart. It’s only .99 cents. Grab it from any online retailer, and email me a copy of the invoice. That’s it!

The contest will end on November 9th. I’ll contact the winner a few days later. Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lies. Betrayal. A million-dollar bounty.

After an undercover mission goes awry, DEA agent Jarrett Brandt hides out in the last place he wants to be—his hometown. Now he’s stuck with his judgmental parents and the memory of his perfect brother hanging over his head. His one bright light? Marissa Reinn Brandt—his high school sweetheart and former sister-in-law.

Marissa lost Jarrett once before. No way will she let him back in; then her son offers him their guestroom. His wicked charm and smoldering stares are hard to resist, but she’ll make him work to reclaim his spot in her bed.

When his enemies close in, how will Jarrett keep Marissa and her son safe, or will he lose his shot at redemption?

Interested in an Excerpt? Here you go…

“You can trust me, Jarrett. I won’t tell your parents anything you don’t want me to.” She sighed and stood as well. “You used to tell me everything. We never kept secrets.”

Jarrett paced between the coffee table and fireplace. “My parents’ opinion doesn’t matter. Dad would still throw up my juvie record or the fact that I’m not a cop, even if I was a model citizen. I’m not that lost, angry kid anymore. I know who I am now, and it’s not someone you’d want to know.”

“I disagree.”

“God, you don’t understand. Marissa, I’ve missed you so damn much. I’ve laid awake so many nights wondering what my life would’ve been like if I’d stayed here.” When he made love to other women, he imagined Marissa beneath him or above him, panting his name. When the nightmares of blood and gore faded, he dreamed of her. Those bittersweet memories and what if scenarios were almost worse than the nightmares. “I’ve done things I’m not proud of.”

“I hated you after you left, but I’ve gotten over it. Everyone feels regret and guilt over something. It’s all about being human.” She dashed away her tears. “I told you mine last night. Will you please show me the same courtesy?”

“I can’t.”

“At least tell me what you did last Christmas. Jason made it crystal clear that he didn’t want you alone. He wants you to have a tree.” She pointed at the Douglas fir. “Well, there you go. What did you do last year?”

Jarrett licked his dry lips, heat swelling in his cheeks.

He’d joined the Consuelo gang last December and spent the holiday in a slummy apartment with five thugs who sold cocaine on the streets of Albuquerque. Living around his drug of choice had nearly destroyed him.

“What about your last birthday?” Marissa blocked his path and braced her hands on her hips. “Did you have cake or go out with a bunch of buddies and get drunk? Did something horrible happen? Why won’t you tell me anything?”

He shoved a hand through his hair. “Damn it, Marissa. Yeah, I got drunk. A few of us went to a strip club where I fucked two dancers in a backroom. Is that what you wanted to hear?”

Her eyes widened as she stepped back.

Way to go, you fucking idiot. He brushed his shaky hands on his button-down shirt to steady them. “Marissa—”

She strode past him with a high head and left the room.

Her cold shoulder skewered him, but he didn’t deserve better.

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#NewRelease – “The Three Widows of Wylder” by Julie Howard

Tagline: Three women. Three terrible secrets.


Three women on the run.

After the death of her husband, Clara flees a hanging judge and seeks refuge with her brother in Wylder, Wyoming.

With secrets of her own and good reasons to flee, spoiled and vain Mary Rose joins Clara on the trek to Wyoming. Surely a suitable man exists somewhere.

Emma is a mystery. A crack shot and expert horsewoman, her harrowing past seeps out in a steady drip. She’s on the run from something, but what?

After the three women descend on Wylder, a budding romance leads to exposure of their pasts. As disaster looms, will any of them escape?

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Emma stood, legs apart, one hand on the pistol at her hip. The covered wagon was the type used years ago by pioneers, before trains tamed the prairie, and they still lumbered across areas where tracks hadn’t been laid. Two women sat side-by-side, too focused on their argument to yet notice the camp they entered. Their one horse, overmatched by the heavy wagon, was damp with sweat, its mouth flecked with froth. 

“We should have stayed on the main road.” The peevish one appeared much younger, curly gold hair topped by a large straw hat. She wore a light-yellow dress with lace at her wrists and throat, a perfectly inadequate outfit for travel. “Someone could have provided directions.”

The older woman had finely-drawn features, a few strands of gray threaded through her dark, uncovered hair. Dressed in sensible blue calico, she gripped the reins too tight and the poor horse gave a pathetic shake of its head. “The whole point was to avoid people,” she sniped.

Emma strode forward and seized the reins. “For God’s sake, you’re killing him.”

The two women gaped as though at an apparition. The horse, released from harsh hands, lowered its head and halted. Its sides heaved as flies drank at its sweaty flanks.

“Whomever let you two fools handle a horse should be whipped.” Tempted to dispatch the women to hell for their cruelty, Emma rested her hand on the pistol’s handle.

They two travelers spoke in tandem. “Who are you?” and “How dare you call me a fool.”

As Emma crooned into in the horse’s ear, her expert fingers undid the buckles at its shoulders and haunches. By the time the older of the two women climbed to the ground, the horse was unhitched and Emma led it to the creek.

“That’s our horse,” cried the one in yellow. “Clara, what is that insane girl doing? She’s stealing him.”

Emma halted, shoulders stiff. She turned and pointed the pistol at the one with lace at her throat. “I’m no horse thief.” She cocked the hammer. “Apologize.”

About the author:

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime mystery series and Spirited Quest paranormal mystery series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and editor of the Potato Soup Journal. Learn more at







Follow her on Instagram: @authorjuliehoward 

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#NewRelease – “Power and Persuasion” Lisabet Sarai

Historical BDSM Erotic Romance
18,400 words, 71 pages
Smashwords and Amazon KDP
ISBN (Smashwords): 9780463534946

Tagline – All the wealth in the world can’t buy willing surrender


She’s his natural enemy – and the only woman who can satisfy his perverse sexual needs.

Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with the daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart’s desire: a submissive partner to share his life.

Labor activist Olivia Alcott is dedicated to helping the exploited factory workers responsible for Andrew’s wealth. The strike she organizes triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another: his need to command and hers to surrender.

Note: This book was previously published by Totally Bound under the title Challenge to Him. It has been revised, expanded by two chapters, and re-edited for this release.

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Excerpt – PG

“Mademoiselle Olivia!” A skinny girl raced up the street that led to the riverside mill, stirring clouds of dust. “Il vient! He is coming!”

The sputtering racket of an internal combustion engine drowned out the girl’s excited voice. The crowd parted like the Red Sea for a boxy vehicle of shiny black, with silvery headlamps like extruded eyes. The noisy Studebaker rolled to a stop in front of the strikers, who stopped in their tracks like everyone else to stare at it.

The door creaked open. A tall man unfolded himself from the somewhat cramped interior, snatched off his hat and goggles and tossed them into the vehicle. He strode towards the massed strikers, his fists clenched at his sides.

“Where is she? Where’s your damned leader?”

The newspapers generally described Andrew MacIntyre as handsome. The epithet did not do him justice. As he stormed towards her, Olivia was struck with a sense of physical power and keen intelligence. He had wavy red-gold hair, a high forehead, a square chin, a determined mouth. His eyes were hazel, deep set under brows darker than his hair. Those eyes drilled into her, fierce and compelling. The women around her shrank backwards in alarm. Olivia steeled herself, holding her ground and fighting the urge to grovel at his feet. Instead of retreating, she took a step forward, holding out her hand.

“Mr. Andrew MacIntyre, I presume?” She marveled at the steadiness of her voice, the cool neutral tone.

“Damned right. And you are…?”

“Olivia Alcott.” She pulled herself up to her full height and forced herself to meet his gaze. She saw anger simmering there, but behind his irritation there was something else, something that intrigued and thrilled her. Something that she might be able to use to further her goals.

Olivia Alcott recognized lust when she saw it.

He towered over her by at least a head. Though his body was hidden by his loose touring coat, his decisive, economical movements suggested he was lean and athletic. For a moment he hesitated, staring at her proffered hand. When he finally accepted it, his firm grip confirmed her impression of strength. His palm felt warm and dry against hers. She suddenly wished that she were not so sticky and disheveled. When he released her, a momentary lightness swept through her, as though she might float away.

“And can I assume that you are the instigator and cause of this illegal strike, Miss Alcott?” He seemed flustered, less confident than she would have expected. Her spirits rose.

“Instigator? Perhaps. But not the cause.” Sweat trickled from her hairline, down into her eyes. She wiped it away with the back of her hand.

“Here.” He surprised her by offering a crisp handkerchief of fine linen, of a white so pure it almost seemed to shine with its own light. The initials ‘AM’ were embroidered in the corner, in golden thread. A faint scent of lavender reached her nostrils.

“Why, thank you!” The square of cloth was far more effective than her hand. When she’d mopped the perspiration from her face, she held out the swatch of now-damp fabric. “Here you are.”

He waved dismissively. “Keep it. I’ve got dozens more. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.”

“How much did this handkerchief cost, Mr. MacIntyre?”

“I have no idea. My secretary handles my personal expenses.”

“It’s imported linen, I suspect. Belgian, perhaps?”

“Maybe. I don’t know. Look, Miss Alcott—”

“And the monogram looks like real gold. Is it?”

“Honestly, what does that have to do with anything?”

Olivia tucked the handkerchief into her bodice, noting that MacIntyre’s eyes followed the movement. Indeed he didn’t try to hide his survey of her figure, rude as it was. Another tremor of strangeness fluttered in her belly.

“I’m no expert—I don’t have anything so fine myself—but I’d estimate that each of the dozens of handkerchiefs like this that you possess cost at least ten dollars.”

“Ah—really I don’t know—perhaps. Something in that vicinity.”

“That’s about two weeks of salary for one of these women who work here in your factory.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“The cause of the strike, Mr. MacIntyre. You asked about the cause of the strike. These poor women—your employees, sir, to whom you have a certain responsibility—generally make five dollars a week. They’d have to work for two weeks—twelve days, twelve hours per day—to afford one of your handkerchiefs. Do you think this is just?”

“Well, they should be grateful they have jobs.” MacIntyre leaned closer, his manner and his voice menacing. “And if you don’t stop your meddling, they won’t. I’ll fire every single one of them in a minute. There are plenty of people who’d be happy for steady work, for a reputable company that’s not about to go bust and put them out on the street.”

“Won’t you consider raising their salaries, Mr. MacIntyre?” Olivia countered, inserting a bit of sweetness into her own voice. She laid her hand on his upper arm and felt his muscles shift under her fingers. “An additional dollar a week would make a big difference to them.”

“I’m running a business here, Miss Alcott, not a charity.” He pulled away from her grasp and shook his head, as if to clear his thoughts, then stepped past her to speak to the assembled workers.

About Lisabet

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, Pinterest, BookBub, BingeBooks and Twitter.

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookSpotlight – “Unexpected” by Jana Richards

Genre: Small town contemporary romance
Themes: Marriage of convenience, friends to lovers, second-chance love, family conflict
Keywords: smalltown romance, addiction, damaged hero, infertility, troubled past,
ISBN: 978-1-5092-3829-3 Paperback
          978-1-5092-3830-9 Digital
Length: 352 pages
Heat Level: Spicy – R
Release Date: September 27, 2021
Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: A marriage of convenience. An unexpected love.


Single dad Ben Greyson wants only to retain custody of his two stepdaughters. A dysfunctional childhood has made family the most important thing in his life. When his late wife’s parents sue for custody, a desperate Ben is left with two choices – run away with his girls or marry his next-door neighbor.

Jamie Garven wants to be a mother. She’s intrigued by her handsome new neighbor and falls in love with his little girls. Then Ben is faced with losing his children, and Jamie agrees to marry him for a chance at motherhood. They’re determined to show the world, and the girls’ grandparents, two loving parents.

Their marriage of convenience turns into unexpected love. But Ben interprets Jamie’s efforts to save their family as betrayal—they could lose everything, including each other.


Ben was assailed by an overwhelming need to talk to someone. Jamie had been a good listener. He’d told her more about his circumstances, and his feelings, than he’d shared with either his brother or sister. He wasn’t sure why he’d opened up to her. He only knew she’d been kind to the girls. And to him.

Before he could talk himself out of it, he was looking up the number for the clinic on his phone. A moment later he listened to the phone ring.

What the hell am I doing? She didn’t want to hear from him, especially in the middle of a busy day at work. He was about to end the call when someone answered.

“Masonville Veterinary Clinic. How can I help you?”

Ben cleared his throat. “Can I speak to Jamie, I mean Dr. Garven?”

“I’m sorry, she’s with a client right now—oh wait, she just left the examining room. Can I tell her who’s calling?”

Again, he considered hanging up. Instead he heard himself say, “It’s Ben Greyson.”

“One moment please.”

The line went silent as she put him on hold. Ben paced back and forth on a small patch of gravel road in front of the clinic. He stared at his shoes, noting the dust covering the smooth leather. He didn’t know what he was going to say to Jamie. Why was he even calling her?

“Hello, Ben?”

The moment he heard her voice, his whole body relaxed. “Hi. I’m sorry to bother you at work. I know you’re busy.”

“No problem. What can I do for you?”

“Well, the girls have been asking about meeting Hector. Do you think it would be all right if I brought them over some time?”

“Yes, of course. I’m not working on Friday. Why don’t you guys come over for dinner?”

“I wasn’t angling for a dinner invitation.”

“I know. I’m offering. I’m a fantastic cook, if I say so myself.”

That made him smile. “Now I’m intrigued. Thank you. What time should we be there?”

“Come a few minutes before five and I’ll introduce Bella and Sophie to Hector.”

“Okay. See you then.”

“See you. Bye.”

Ben grinned as he put his phone in his pocket and began walking back to his office. 

Everything was going to be okay.

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Author Bio:

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist. 

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at 

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#PreOrderAlert – Returning home has never been so difficult…

Rekindling the flames of love has never burned so hot.

Synopsis for A Hero’s Heart:

Lies. Betrayal. A million-dollar bounty.

After an undercover mission goes awry, DEA agent Jarrett Brandt hides out in the last place he wants to be—his hometown. Now he’s stuck with his judgmental parents and the memory of his perfect brother hanging over his head. His one bright light? Marissa Reinn Brandt—his high school sweetheart and former sister-in-law.

Marissa lost Jarrett once before. No way will she let him back in; then her son offers him their guestroom. His wicked charm and smoldering stares are hard to resist, but she’ll make him work to reclaim his spot in her bed.

When his enemies close in, how will Jarrett keep Marissa and her son safe, or will he lose his shot at redemption?

— Want to find out how this second-chance couple will keep strong when Jarrett’s past follows him home? This sexy, roller-coaster ride of a novella will keep you on the edge of your seat as you devour it on your Nook, Kindle, or Kobo/Sony reader. Or even on your PC or as a paperback in your hands.

#Preorder for .99 cents — will be live on November 2nd

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#GuestPost – “Beautiful Eyes” by Gabbi Black

Why BDSM erotic romance?

In 2012 my family bought me an e-reader for Christmas.  I had no notion of what to do with it. I’d always sworn I would stick with paperbacks until the end of time, and felt this electronic book thing was a fad.  Boy, was I wrong.  I started exploring late at night, finding inexpensive and free books.  I also bought a few from my favorite authors.  I happened upon a book called Molly’s Lips by Annabel Joseph.  My life changed.  Forever.  The book is the middle in the Mephisto series so I snapped up Club Mephisto and Burn for You.  Then I nabbed every Annabel book I could find.

I didn’t know anything about BDSM.  Complete newbie.  Something clicked, though.  Possibilities exploded in my mind.  I grabbed other BDSM books and read all of them.  A few years later, Annabel was attending a conference near my house.  I found the courage to attend.  I met her and introduced myself.  I’d emailed her the previous year and she remembered.  We clicked, and she generously and graciously spent time with me.  I was so nervous.  I met other great authors that weekend including Cherise Sinclair, Eliza Gayle, Kallypso Masters, and Red Phoenix.  I’d read quite a few of Red’s books and meeting my idols was amazing.

By then I’d dabbled in writing.  I’d penned the In Their Eyes trilogy with no notion of what to do with it.  I was unpublished, and even the thought of putting myself out there was overwhelming.  The year after I met Annabel, I joined RWA and attended their conference in NYC.  Talk about being a fish out of water.  I was lost – metaphorically – but I met some great authors including Lucy Monroe and Dani Collins who encouraged me to follow my dream.  I pitched the first book, Amber Eyes, several times over the next few years, and although I had some nibbles, nothing ever came about. A friend suggested I send the book to The Wild Rose Press and the rest is, as they say, publishing magic.

My book found a home on a wonderful editor’s desk and she helped me publish it.  Beautiful Eyes is the second book in the series, but it’s a stand-alone.  I’ve had some great reviews and readers generally agree that Alessandra Soriano is one of my most damaged heroines.  That, I believe, makes her journey to happily ever after even sweeter.  Smith MacLean can be ruthless in some aspects of his life, but when it comes to the beguiling Allie, he’s facing his biggest challenge.  He wants her, but he only has thirty days to convince her to stay.  I invite readers to check out the book to see how he succeeds.

Thank you, Amber, for letting me visit today!

Beautiful Eyes Synopsis

Entrepreneur Smith MacLean is obsessed with Alessandra Soriano, a woman he met briefly who disappeared six months ago. After a shocking reunion at Club Kink, he insists she stay with him. He means to find out where she’s been.

Alessandra walked away from her life after making a mistake that cost everything. Her self-imposed penance is living in poverty and doing questionable things with questionable people. Now she’s in Smith’s luxurious condo, under his hand, and obeying his rules.

He has thirty days to convince her to come back from limbo. She has thirty days to convince him she needs to be forgotten. Unless the flames of lust consume them first.


She needs redemption.

He needs to demand it of her.

Exclusive Excerpt

The cab ride was relatively uneventful, and Alessandra stirred, took in her surroundings, then closed her eyes again.

He wasn’t thrilled, bringing a drunk woman home to his condo, but the only other choices were the drunk tank at the police station or the busiest hospital in downtown Vancouver, and neither seemed necessary, although he’d keep his options open.

The night security guard, Tarah, was there to hold the door for him. “Good evening, Mr. MacLean.” She eyed the drunk woman dubiously but said nothing.

“Could I impose upon you to come up and open my door? I’d hate to drop the lady.”

She nodded and went for her keys. He was pretty sure she mumbled something about Alessandra not being a lady, but he put her comments down to the fact he was carrying a woman in a spandex catsuit who wore four-inch stiletto heels.

The ride in the elevator was brief, and ever efficient, Tarah had his suite unlocked in no time. As he stepped through the threshold, Alessandra stirred.

She placed her nose against his throat and sniffed. “You smell good.”

The last thing he saw before the door closed was the concierge rolling her eyes. He’d have to make sure he gave her a good Christmas bonus.


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Publisher:  TBA

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Even though Gabbi Black is a firm believer in happy endings, she makes her characters work for it in every romance she writes, no matter what the genre. From contemporary to BDSM, they are penned early in the morning in her home in beautiful British Columbia while her trusty ChinPoo dog and her cantankerous Himalayan cat keep her company. She also writes gay romances as Gabbi Grey.

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Romance Books, Uncategorized

#SundayDeals — Grab these Awesome Romances!

I’ve included a couple sexy romance books in these Story Origin deals. Download any of the offered books before the deals expire. Have fun reading!


—add link—

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#AuthorInterview #Giveaway – “Death by Sample Size” by Susie Black

Let’s welcome Susie to the blog for a fun Q&A.

What kind of research did you do for Death by Sample Size? Did you travel, use the Internet, speak with experts on a topic, etc?

Like my protagonist, I am an apparel sales exec in the greater Los Angeles area. All my stories take place in the Los Angeles apparel industry. From the beginning of my career, I have kept a daily journal where I’ve chronicled the quirky, interesting, and challenging people I have encountered as well as the crazy situations I’ve gotten myself into and out of. My journal entries are the foundation of my research and writing. I also spent time in the California Apparel Mart, my company showroom, showrooms of colleagues and competitors and observed events. I interviewed sellers, buyers, designers, fashion school teachers, production teams, mart officials, and security people. 

That sounds like a cool job. What process did you go through when you picked your characters’ names for Death by Sample Size?

I choose the name of a real person and do a take-off on it. For example, Mr. Schulman becomes Mr. Schumansky.

I’ve done the same thing! Are your characters based on anyone you know? 

Yes, all my characters are based on people I know. 

Do any of your characters take over and write the book themselves sometimes? Who?

Yes. I always have a specific idea for the beginning and ending of a plot, but often the middle of the story could go several ways. If I am stuck and can’t decide which way to go, I allow the main characters to take over and write the middle of the story themselves. I tell them what mid-story plot options I am considering, and the characters can either choose one of them, or come up with one of their own. The only rule I have is that they can not change either the beginning or end of the story, so whatever they do in the middle has to make sense and work with how the story starts and lead into how the story will end. Of course, the characters are highly motivated to do a stellar job…they know if they don’t perform admirably, there is always the possibility I will write them out of the story or if they really mess up, I can kill them off!

It’s always nice to kill off misbehaving characters. What do you prefer: e-book or print? Why? 

When I am at home, I love to snuggle under the covers with a book. I am a traditionalist and love the feel of holding a book in my hands and turning the pages. But when I travel, e-books in my kindle are the way I go. 

Same with me. How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?

I have been writing stories since grade school. I decided to become an author when I realized my journal entries were the foundations of story plots. 

What did you do when you received your first Acceptance Letter? 

Honestly, first I cried, then I ran around the house like a crazy person yelling, “Oh my God! I did it, I did it!”

So funny! We all need a little inspiration in our lives. What’s your favorite quote and why?

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” As a woman who has had a successful career in a traditionally male-dominated industry, I’ve had to grow a thick skin, prove myself worthy to doubters daily, and push my way through all the obstacles put in my way. This quote has been my career anthem for overcoming challenges and has served me well in my writing adventure. 

Oh, I hear you, girlfriend! Any advice for the aspiring authors out there? Particularly those who are feeling a little discouraged?

Yes. Keep writing, no matter what, keep writing. Write what you know. If you don’t know it, learn it or don’t write it, because readers can smell a phony after the third paragraph and will stop reading your story. Never let anyone crush your dreams, and most important of all, never stop asking, “what if?”

Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

I am an enthusiastic and adventuresome traveler. I am an avid reader. I have been a stamp collector since childhood. And since life without ice cream and pizza as my core food groups is unimaginable, to keep my girlish figure, I am a dedicated walker of six miles a day, 

Six miles? Wow. Good for you. Thank you so much for chatting with me today!


“The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer.  Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge. Get ready to laugh out loud as Susie Black’s Death by Sample Size takes you on a rollicking adventure ride through the Los Angeles apparel industry.”
TAGLINE: Everyone wanted her dead…but who actually killed her?


Angela Wellborn and I nodded politely to one another as we entered A Jolt of Java together the next morning. I cautiously wished her a good morning and took it as a good sign when Angela told me to have a nice day. With any luck, maybe I’d save the account.

I worked my way around the table distributing the group’s coffees. When I handed Sonia her cup, the good vibe I had from Angela quickly disappeared. Sonia’s complexion was gray as day-old oatmeal. Her red-rimmed eyes said it all. 

I squeezed her arm. “What happened?”  

Sonia’s eyes filled. “I didn’t get it.” 

 “Did they tell you why?”

Sonia twisted her lips into a bitter smile. “My references didn’t pan out.” 

Bunny Frank sat at a table across from us sipping a latte and reading the West Coast Apparel News. Sonia walked the short distance to Bunny’s table. Bunny folded the paper and gave Sonia a shit-eating grin.  

Sonia growled, “You’re a miserable excuse for a human being. You couldn’t bring yourself to do the right thing for once in your life. You had to lie and destroy a fabulous opportunity because you could.”  

Bunny drew a circle in the air and put her index finger through it. “Bullseye, Wilson.” She wiggled her thumb and flashed an evil smile. “Gotcha right under here and I always will.”   

Sonia grabbed the latte out of Bunny’s hand and poured the drink over Bunny’s head. The concoction flowed slowly like lava down Bunny’s face and meandered into her cleavage. Too stunned to react, Bunny sat still as a statue as the foam seeped from her décolletage and stained her white knit top. 

Sonia crushed the empty paper cup and threw it on the table. The crowded room was silent as a tomb as all eyes swiveled to Bunny’s table. Not a soul missed Sonia snarl, “I promise I’ll get even with you. I will make you pay if it takes me forever.”  Sonia spun on her heel and stomped back to our table. She pointed to the barista’s station. “Anyone for a refill? This round is on me.” 

Buy Links



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Free Gift to Readers!

Hey, ladies! Want a fashion style guide for how to pick the best bathing suit for your body type? Author Susie Black is offering up a FREE guide to help you find your perfect suit.

View or Download it here:

Susie Black biography

Born in the Big Apple, Susie Black now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries. 

She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect. 

Looking for more? Reach her at

Just behind my college graduation, wedding day, and the birth of my son, June 9th was truly one of the most amazing days of my entire life. My debut cozy mystery Death by Sample Size was released for publication. I am humbled, honored, and proud to be able to say that now I am officially a published author! A life-long dream has come true, a hard-fought-for goal has been accomplished.






Romance Books, Uncategorized

#MFRWHooks – Will Susanna reach the altar?

Heat Rating – Sweet – 1 Flame
Regency Christmas novella


A perfect Christmas wedding, a snowstorm, and a shocking secret. What could go wrong?

Susanna Lorican must marry the man she loves before the truth is discovered, or face the gossip of the ton. With an unexpected snowstorm injuring the minister, her future hangs in the balance.

Viscount Camden Beckinworth vows to keep his bride safe, even if he must betray her confidence. When their love is put to the test, how will he uphold her honor without jeopardizing his own?

Warning: this sweet, complete Regency romance novella features a brief scene where the heroine is assaulted.

Second edition. Newly revised and edited.


Everything was her fault. Waves of heat billowed under her skin as her knees gave out. Susanna plopped on the settee with as much grace as a bumbling man deep in his cups. The tears dripping down her hot cheeks splattered on the bodice of her dress and darkened the fabric. The springs in the settee squeaked as Camden claimed the space beside her. He brushed his lips across her forehead in a touch so sweet and light that her heartbeat quickened.

“Breathe, darling. I’ll summon another man of the cloth right away.”

“No.” She gripped his shirt to steady her shaky hands. “The road is not safe for travel. We should not risk another reverend or anyone else becoming injured on our account.”

He nodded and clasped her face. “I love you, Susanna Lorican. Nothing will change that. Stay strong for me. We will get through this.”

She pried from his hold and dashed away her tears. “It’s all my fault. What was I thinking? A winter wedding? I must be insane.”

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