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FIRST KISS=TUESDAY: MONTANA COWBOY (FREE) by Debra Salonen

January 10th, 2017

FREE 1 WEEK ONLY

 Montana COWBOY

Austen Zabrinski looks the part —

He’s got the ranch, the boots, the hat and even a few head of cattle, but everybody in Marietta, Montana, knows the former golden boy of Marietta High is a wealthy politician, not a cowboy. And even though that nasty scandal in Helena might have knocked him down a notch or two in the polls, what kind of a fool would trade access to the halls of power in Helena and a Harvard law degree for a ranch in western Montana? Possibly one whose new neighbor, Serena James–the woman the guys at Grey’s Saloon call “…the Red Hot Llama Mama”–makes him start to think about what he wants out of life, instead of what’s expected of him.

Serena James knows trouble when it hops her fence–

Moving to Montana and deleting her blog seemed like the perfect solution to her online stalker problem. Serena’s ready for a fresh start, but when her escrow on her ranch falls through, she has to scramble to find an immediate but temporary safe haven to rent for her herd of 50 alpacas, two llamas and one giant dog. Serena’s barely moved in when Austen Zabrinski–the man her landlord called “my absentee ranch owner brother who lives and works in Helena”–hops the fence in need of a lift. Even at first glance, Serena can tell he’s nobody cowboy, but who’s to say that isn’t a good thing? A little tryst with her gorgeous, sexy, here-today-gone-to-Helena-tomorrow neighbor might be the perfect welcome to Montana.


Excerpt © Tule Publishing

What’s his story?

Since they’d practically had sex–in her mind–she decided to ask.

Once he was seated with his safety belt snug across his flat belly, she turned the key in the ignition and put the truck in gear.

“So, fill me in. You own a ranch your brother called a tax write-off. You’ve as much as admitted you’re nobody’s cowboy. You wear three-hundred-dollar jeans. I don’t see a wedding ring. Your nose is sunburned. So I take that to mean you don’t have a wife or live-in girlfriend to remind you to put on sunscreen.”

He let out a gruff cough. “Very observant. The jeans are two years old.”

“But look brand new.”

“I don’t–didn’t–come to the ranch very often in the past.”

She waited.

“No wife. Never married. My last…friend-with-benefits wanted more than I’m in a position to give at the moment. I’m not sure we’re still friends. But I’m positive the benefits have been canceled.”

She’d always been a sucker for smart men with a sense of humor. The leftover dewy feeling in her crotch–and the fact she was a stranger in a strange land–made her bold. “So, if someone new to the area was interested in that sort of position–friends-with-benefits-no-strings-attached–how would one apply? Online? Or in person?”

He tossed back his head and gave a deep, masculine laugh that sent a stream of shivers down her spine, pooling conveniently in her already primed lady parts. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel.

Since they’d reached the end of her driveway and had no traffic behind her, she threw the shifter into park and turned to face him.

Before she could offer any slightly embarrassed disclaimer for such an obvious come on, he released the latch on his safety belt and moved closer.

“In person. I go with my gut. Usually one kiss will do. Either there’s chemistry or there’s not.”

“Chemistry. Crap. My least favorite subject in school. But I do like kissing.”

She leaned in, too.

#

Austen could have come up with a dozen–make that a trillion–reasons not to kiss this beautiful stranger. But, for all his reputed logic and claims he was a rule maker, not a rule breaker, he was lonely. And…as much as it killed him to admit the fact, he’d had reached a point where he was unsure of what to do next. Him. Rudderless. Now, living in the moment seemed like the only rational choice he had.

Besides…she offered. It wouldn’t be neighborly to turn her down. Right?

He caught her lips, which were softer than he’d imagined. A perfect match to his. Her eyes remained opened…for their initial contact, then her lids lowered in a sultry, utterly into it way that made him give a low, unplanned growl. What was it about that moment of surrender that brought out the beast in him?

When her perfect lips parted to invite him in, he closed his eyes, too. She tasted good. Mint gum? Maybe just leftover toothpaste. But there was sweetness, as well. A hint of honey. And he wanted more.

While his mouth plundered, his hands moved down her back to pull her closer.

“Um, oh…no. Seatbelt,” she murmured.

He pulled back and looked down. “Oh. Duh.”

He stabbed the release button so she could slip free of it.

They stalled…for half a second before she grinned and plastered herself against him. “Um. You’re a good kisser. Very good. But I want you to be sure. No doubts.”

She wasn’t aggressive, just methodical. As if she were hitting all the bullet points in a textbook called Rules of Kissing. Austen could have stopped her at any point and said, “You’re hired.” But a part of him couldn’t wait to be taken to school.

She nibbled and teased. Her tongue engaged his in a clever, nonverbal debate. A first for him. Kissing had always been a mere step on the road to the big show. With Serena, a stranger, the playful exploration was fun.

What would sex be like with her?

Would? Hell, no. Will. What will sex with Serena be like?

He wrapped his arms around her possessively. He had to find out. Now. Right now.

Honk. Honk.

 🙂

 ~~~

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Happy reading,

Deb

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FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from MONTANA REBEL by Debra Salonen

December 27th, 2016

 Montana Rebel, Big Sky Mavericks IX

MontanaRebel-MEDIUM

A masked ball. Two star-crossed lovers. A New Year’s Eve kiss at midnight. Who says Fate doesn’t have a sense of humor?

 

 

It’s that time of year again, my friends. How did New Year’s Eve get here so fast? Hopefully, we’ll all enjoy a fabulous 2017 and, perhaps, a special kiss at midnight. Maybe even one like the kiss my hero and heroine share: “Theirs was a reunion of souls kissing across eons, remembering.” Swoon. We should be so lucky, no?

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Excerpt MONTANA REBEL © Tule Publishing:

“It’s that time, my friends. Grab a glass of champagne and that special person. Here we go. Ten…nine…”

Bailey’s voice got drowned out by the crowd.

“Eight…seven…”

He closed his arms around Nicole to keep her safe as more people flooded onto the dance floor.

“Six,” she said, looking directly into his eyes. The lights had come up so he could study the subtle hues mixed in the blue of her irises.

Beautiful eyes.Familiar, somehow.

“Five,” a voice boomed to his left.

Tucker, who was holding Amanda the same way Justin held Nicole, gave Justin a guy-nod that seemed to say, “Way to go, bro!”

Justin liked to think he didn’t need his friends’ validation to feel good about his choices, but this time he was navigating new waters. Dangerous waters. This woman was about to become his boss. That couldn’t be good.

But Nicole didn’t feel dangerous or threatening.

“Four…”

She felt as though she’d been made to dance with him. They fit together perfectly. He liked every thing about her, except her job.

“Three…” If he and Nicole were going to do this, he had to make sure they had an end game in place.

New Year’s Eve. Maybe the weekend. They’d play that part by ear, but after Monday nothing could happen between them.

“Two,” he said softly.

“One,” she whispered, looking into his eyes with a question he was ready to answer.

“Happy New Year.”

“Happy New Year,” he said before lowering his head to press his lips to hers.

He expected the usual few minutes of testing the waters, feeling each other out, but that didn’t happen. From the moment their lips met, he felt as if he’d crossed the Rubicon. This wasn’t a one-time deal. They’d done this a million times. Together. Theirs was a reunion of souls kissing across eons, remembering.

Her lips parted, her tongue seeking his without hesitation. He hadn’t expected such frankness, but her greedy pleasure made him need more, too.

He closed his eyes and immersed himself in her sweetness, a combination of honey and spice. He would have gone on exploring this newfound fascination forever if not for the sensation of something touching his head. He pulled back and look around.

“The balloons,” Nicole cried, letting go of him to tap at the large white, gold and silver balloons cascading around them.

Confetti shot from somewhere nearby added to the glitter and excitement. Nicole was pulled from his arms to exchange air kisses and hugs with perfect strangers. Justin found himself in a bear hug, too.

“Helluva thing, huh? Beats the crap out of last year,” Tucker said.

Justin clapped Tucker on the back. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“I mean starting the year off with someone you care about. There’s a first time for everything, Ona always says.”

Ona, Tucker’s Cajun grandmother, was a font of truisms. Justin had met her twice and loved the dear woman as the grandmother he’d never had. I wonder what Ona would say about me kissing my future boss? Probably something arcane about not defecating where you eat, damn it.

He caught up with Nicole before anyone else could dance her away. He grabbed her hand and spun her slightly off-balance back into his arms. “Unfinished business,” he mumbled against her lips.

She may have started to protest but her reaction changed the minute she realized this kiss meant business. His tongue wasn’t polite or inquisitive. Justin knew what he wanted, and it started now. They were both breathless when he broke off the kiss before embarrassing himself too badly. His body reacted to her in a way he didn’t remember happening with any of his previous lovers.

“You’re coming with me, right?”

“That depends on which of our rooms is closer.”

Available here: AMAZON   iBOOKS  KOBO   NOOK

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Happy reading, my friends! And HAPPY NEW YEARS!

DEB

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from HANKY SPANKY CHRISTMAS by Amy Andrews

December 20th, 2016

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Hanky Spanky Christmas by Amy Andrews

T’was the night before Christmas….

With a sudden hankering to be spanked, Darcy Henderson figures Mitch Callaghan is the man for the job. But is she woman enough to take it?


 

Snippet © Amy Andrews

Darcy and Mitch are the only 2 twenty-something’s in an apartment villa complex full of match-making senior citizens. They’ve already shared a few tipsy kisses before the story begins but things are about to get serious. During a night out with the girls she ends up at the place where Mitch works – a kink club. Darcy is captivated. Suddenly a little bit of kink for Christmas is looking good, especially if she can convince Mitch to play…

They passed his apartment as he walked her another ten paces to her door, festooned with a lush green wreath. “Here we are,” he announced, dropping his hand from her waist lest he be tempted to crowd her back and do the kissing this time. Darcy may be cute as hell when she was tipsy but there was no way he was taking advantage of her liquored-up state.

Although, hell, if she wanted to lay one of those messy-hot, liquored-up kisses on him then he wasn’t going to stop her.

“Where’s your key?”

She leaned back against the white stucco wall beside her door, her breasts thrust out nicely. “In my bag.”

When she made no attempt to retrieve it, he took her bag out of her fingers, zipped it open, found her keys and shoved them in the lock. Then he reached for her phone. “What’s your code?”

“Why?”

“I’m going to set your alarm in case you forget to.”

“Good idea,” she nodded, prodding him in the chest again.

“The code?” he prompted as her finger took to stroking instead of poking, brushing against his nipple.

She shot him a grin. “Six nine, six nine.”

He shot her a sceptical look. “Bullshit.”

“Nope. I swear. Sixty-nine, sixty-nine. The year both my parents were born. Easy to remember.”

For more reasons than one. After all, what was more memorable than one sixty-nine but two?

Mitch keyed the code in and tried not to put Darcy and sixty-nine together in his head, a feat that was near impossible while she was drawing maddening circles around his nipple. He shook his head when it worked then quickly navigated to her alarm and set it for quarter past seven.

Rather her than him. He planned to be tucked up in bed dreaming about sixty-niners at that time.

“Okay,” he said handing the phone back to her. “You’re all set.”

She dropped her hand from his chest and slid it onto the phone but didn’t take it off him. “I want to do that,” she said.

“What?”

“Be spanked.”

Her words slammed into his groin with all the heat and intensity of a fireball. He’d seen plenty of people getting spanked (amongst other things) at Fine Lines. Clearly it worked for some, and Mitch was all for a bit of choose your own adventure when it came to sex, but he preferred it where everyone involved got off and no one was hurt in the process.

“Okay,” he said, sliding his hand on her hip and urging her off the wall. “I think you had one too many Callaghan’s. They kinda sneak up on you.”

She draped one arm around his neck and fisted her other hand in the front of his t-shirt as she settled against his body. Her breasts smooshed nicely against his chest as the sugary sweet smell of butterscotch took over from the heavy perfume of hibiscus.

His cock appreciated her move, even if it wasn’t what he’d been going for.

“I want you to spank me,” she murmured.

His cock appreciated that even more. “Oh you do, huh?” It was hard to keep the amusement out of his voice with a serious frown crinkling her brow.

“Yup.”

“Because I work at Fine Lines?”

“Yup.” She gave an exaggerated nod. “And because of this.”

She yanked on his shirt and rose on her tiptoes, pulling his head down, going straight for the kill, sucking him in to a kiss that was hot, deep and wet right from the first touch of their lips. Her tongue boldly sought his and Mitch groaned.

She tasted like booze and maraschino cherries.

His hands slid from her hips to her ass, tucking her in closer, her corresponding moan shooting like wildfire through his veins, setting fire to everything in its path.

She moved restlessly, hungrily, tantalisingly, against him and blood from every vital organ rerouted to his cock. If he didn’t pull away he was going to ruck her skirt up and fuck her against the stucco and that’d really give their neighbours something to talk about at the monthly unusual disturbances meeting.

There was a damn committee and meeting for everything around here.

Mitch gathered every skerrick of his rapidly diminishing self-control and wrenched his mouth away, taking a step back.

Neither of them said anything as they stared at each other, chests heaving. It was all he could do to breathe and remain upright.

“You need to get to bed,” he said eventually.

She nodded, her tongue running over her lips as if she was still trying to taste him, and he nearly reached for her hip again. “What about the…spanking?” she asked, her voice still breathy, her interest clearly still piqued.

Mitch doubted she was really serious. A lot of things that seemed like a good idea at booze o’clock soon lost their shine when all that was left was the hangover and a huge dose of what the hell was I thinking. A little light BDSM was one thing, but wanting her ass tanned red like the sub on all fours at the club was another.

And, frankly, he didn’t think she was the type. Not that there was a type— his work at the club had taught him members of the BDSM community came from all walks of life—but he’d developed a bit of a sixth sense since working there, and nothing about Darcy said tie me up and spank me with a riding crop.

He doubted she’d even remember this conversation in the morning.

“Ask me when you’re sober some time,” he said, then turned away before her leopard-print dress brought out the animal in him.

hankyspankypromographic5

Purchase HANKY SPANKY CHRISTMAS by Amy Andrews

Amazon / Barnes&Noble / Kobo / iBooks

~~~

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Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written sixty contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets and been translated into over a dozen languages including manga. She likes to make her readers tingle, laugh and sigh. And please don’t mess with the HEA!

She loves travel, the beach, good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and she did. They have two grown kids who never stay away long enough to be missed. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

www.amyandrews.com.au

 

 

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT by Margaret Daley

December 13th, 2016

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Silent Night, Deadly Night by Margaret Daley

Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations Book 8

Revenge. Sabotage. Second Chances.

Widow Rebecca Howard runs a successful store chain that is being targeted during the holiday season. Detective Alex Kincaid, best friends with Rebecca’s twin brother, is investigating the hacking of the store’s computer system. When the attacks become personal, Alex must find the assailant before Rebecca, the woman he’s falling in love with, is murdered.


 

Snippet © Margaret Daley

The first kiss in Deadly Night, Silent Night between hero, Alex Kincaid and heroine, Rebecca Howard:

He moved into her personal space and combed his fingers through her hair. “That’s good advice. It’s not always easy to put yourself in His hands totally, but we are much stronger with Him on our side.”

“That’s what I’m discovering. I’ve seen how it’s changed Clint. If he could survive being a war captive and managing to escape from the enemy, then I can do this.” She punched the up button on the wall.

Alex leaned in and only meant to kiss her briefly like a friend, but once his mouth covered hers, he couldn’t resist her lure. He deepened the connection, pouring suppressed feelings of longing from his teenage years into it. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed her against him while leaving a trail of soft nibbles all the way to her ear.

The ding announcing the elevator had arrived penetrated his haze and jolted him from continuing what he should never have started. They were good friends. He didn’t want to change that, and he certainly didn’t want to be rejected by her a second time, although she never knew that.

~~~

Purchase DEADLY NIGHT, SILENT NIGHT by Margaret Daley

Amazon / Barnes&Noble / Kobo / Google Play / ARe / iBooks

~~~

margaret-daley1-300x200USA Today Bestselling author, Margaret Daley, is multi-published with over 100 titles and 5 million books sold worldwide. She had written for Harlequin, Abingdon, Kensington, Dell, and Simon and Schuster. She has won multiple awards, including the prestigious Carol Award, Holt Medallion and Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest.

She has been married for over forty-five years and is enjoying being a grandma. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at www.margaretdaley.com.

 

 

 

 

FIRST KISS TUESDAY: MONTANA SECRET SANTA, Love at the Chocolate Shop Book III, by Debra Salonen

December 6th, 2016

 


 

Snippet © Debra Salonen:

With the entire table pressed into taste-testing service, Jonah stood and motioned for Krista to follow him across the room to an open space near a gorgeous holiday display. “Mom assured me this Santa thing won’t take every hour of every day. She said it’s gotten a lot easier since your partner set up an online presence.”

Krista tried not to inhale too deeply because his scent–a combination of winter fresh air, chocolate, and hint of pine–was too distracting. “We might consider creating a private Facebook group and doing the initial critique process for wishes there.”

He held up a hand for a high-five. “Great idea. Then, a few of us can meet here each morning to brainstorm ways to fill the agreed upon wishes and set a budget.”

The touch of his palm connected in a weird way that made her close her fingers in a fist as she dropped her hand to her side. “I may not be able to make every…” She pictured the check. “I’ll be here.”

“Me, too. It’ll be the incentive I need to walk the dogs early. Tonight, I’ll set up an overall plan and flowchart so we can track when and how our requests come in. We’ll need to do the same for the income side of things. I’m curious as to why the donation well suddenly went dry. The sooner we get our account set up online, the sooner we can track things in real time.”

Krista found his analytical approach reassuring. His grand gesture with the check might have had a bit of the theater behind it, but his approach to business was a lot like her own.

“Simple and transparent works for me. As I said earlier, my family is in show business. Nothing is ever straightforward when you’re surrounded by thespians.”

He moved a smidgen closer. “Simplicity of design is key to both my inventions and my business strategy. When I start overthinking something, I step back for a new perspective. I usually hop on my bike. Exercise is a great distraction for an overactive mind.”

“Well, this is Montana. Your bike riding is going to be limited to cycling in the gym for the next few months.”

She chewed on her bottom lip debating about how frank to be. He’d given her ten thousand reasons to say yes to this partnership, but what exactly would that involve? Her inner bullshit reader said he had to have another agenda. And she sure as heck never considered herself a spokesperson for Christmas.

“Blue Sky is my baby. Christmas is a one-off. Four weeks. Blow and go. It’s over and done and I’m looking at a new month, a new intern and no jobs lined up.”

“What about your partner? Is she out of the picture completely?”

Krista didn’t know and the not knowing kept her awake at night. She hated ambiguity. Black and white. Bottom line. Profit and loss. Those were her touchstones.

“Amanda should be able to provide backup by phone. But I want you to know that Blue Sky will always be my first priority.”

He held out his hand. “Understood.”

She shook it twice, intending to let go and return to their table, but as Sage passed by on her way to the counter, she said, “Mistletoe.”

“Huh?”

“What?”

Sage pointed up. “House rules. A kiss is mandatory.”

Krista groaned. She’d witnessed this bit of holiday mischief several times when she’d been in the shop. “But–“

Before she could express her protest, Jonah wrapped his arms around her–not unlike the way he had when he broke her fall. Only this time, he was in front of her. And his lips hovered an inch from hers, waiting for permission.

She closed her eyes and leaned in to get the silly kiss over.

The instant his lips touched hers, the magnitude of her mistake hit. Not only had Jonah Andrews been drinking her favorite cocoa, but the sweetness mixed with his natural chemistry created a potent combination that made her knees turn rubbery and her heart begin to pound. She kissed him back because she was powerless to do otherwise.

Luckily, a smattering of applause brought her back to her senses.

Cheeks burning, she turned and bowed. Being the daughter of an actor had to be good for something, right?

~~~

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MONTANA SECRET SANTA is available now!

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Happy December, my friends! See you next week.

Deb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from BLACK HILLS OUTCAST 99¢ SALE by Debra Salonen

November 29th, 2016

99¢ One week ONLY!

 BLACK HILLS OUTCAST, Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 6

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 Excerpt © Loner Llama Press:

“Are you an actor?”

He made a scoffing sound. “Good grief, no. I stay as far away from the Sentinel Passtime people as possible. I’m sure they’re nice enough, but their energy is enervating.”

Books. Art. Silk. Vocabulary words. She searched his face but nothing came to her. His beard was starting to fluff out again as it dried. His hair had filled in around his face covering his ears. He was starting to look more like the Rufus she knew.

“Listen, Rachel, I’m sorry about the peep show. I didn’t expect you for a couple of hours. I needed to think, and I do my best thinking in a bath. The house design didn’t lend itself to an indoor tub and I don’t like the cold well enough to sit in one outside in the winter, so I had the copper tub made. I call it my Saturday night special,” he said, a sort of self-deprecating humor in his tone.

She knew he bathed more often than once a week. “Today’s Tuesday.”

“I know. Like I said, I needed to think.”

Now, the humor was gone and something faintly foreboding seemed to linger in the air. “You’re pulling the plug on your Web site, aren’t you?”

“Not the sales part, but everything else,” he admitted.

She’d sensed his growing disenchantment with the whole online-community concept, but she’d ignored his concerns in favor of what she thought best for him. Shades of Mom, Jack would have said.

“Then, I guess we’re done here,” she said, trying to salvage a scrap of pride. She started toward where he was standing, intending to leave. He didn’t need her. No one did. Not really.

“Rachel,” he said, his voice low and conflicted. He stepped to the left to block her way. His large, warm hand closed around her forearm when she tried to push him aside. “You’re wrong about that.”

Then he pulled her to him, his arms enclosing her in a cocoon of warmth that made her think she might be in the middle of one of his Dreamhouses. Safe and secure.

His kiss was not at all what she was expecting. Soft, gentle and far too proper—at first. When she tilted her head and leaned into him, his reaction matched hers. Their tongues got involved. Their breathing changed. Her hands were touching—or were they gripping?—his massive shoulders.

She’d wanted to do that since day one. As wrong as it was, she’d never experienced anything that felt so right—even the odd, cushiony texture of his beard. She wanted more. Everything. Every inch of that gorgeous body she’d seen in the water.

At what price, Rachel? Her mother’s voice. You mixed business and pleasure once before and look how well that turned out.

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Black Hills Outcast available here:

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Happy reading! And thank you, thank you, thank you, for remembering to leave a review!

Deb

First Kiss Tuesday: MONTANA ROGUE by Debra Salonen

November 22nd, 2016

 

Two Christmas ornaments in front of a glittering golden background.

I’m so excited to tell you one of my favorite Big Sky Maverick books is now FREE for a short time. If you haven’t met Tucker Montgomery, here’s your chance. Yes, he’s rogue, but a lovable one with a giant heart–just ask his Louisiana grandma.

MONTANA ROGUE

Big Sky Mavericks, Book VI

Roommates with benefits. A temporary arrangement between two people with time on their hands. Who could possibly get hurt?

“Get your Zip On” – That’s Tucker Montgomery‘s slogan for the new zip line he’s building near Marietta, Montana. But before Tucker can get the first pole in the ground, he suffers an injury that could cost him everything, until help arrives in a surprising–but gorgeous–package: Amanda Heller. They’ll share her grandmother’s guesthouse while he supervises the old Victorian’s restoration… all with the added benefit of exploring a sizzling mutual attraction.

Amanda Heller knows her exile to Montana is her family’s excuse to spare them the embarrassing fallout from her very public break-up with her ex-boss’s son that left her jobless and living in her parent’s Manhattan home. But then Amanda strikes a bargain with injured, sexy businessman Tucker Montgomery, who needs a place to stay while recovering. A hot summer fling seems just the thing for Amanda and Tucker, something to enjoy for a month or two tops. Most certainly not long enough to fall in love….

 ~~~~~

         FIRST KISS ©DEBRA SALONEN:

He let out a sigh of relief when saw Justin catch up to Amanda. He could see them arguing but couldn’t hear a word over the rumble of a second cement truck idling in line. The concrete guys all huddled in readiness to shovel the wet cement into the hole and spread it around the four-foot square base as soon as the wet concoction started down the chute.

At the last possible second, Justin snatched the box from Amanda’s hands and dove for the hole. Luckily, the plan called for six inches of cement to go into the hole as a base for the pole that would then be raised in place using winches and pulleys.

Tucker held his breath as he saw Justin check the box then reach into the hole as far as he could. A second later, with the help of two concrete guys, he popped back to his feet.

Justin spun around to give Tucker a thumbs-up gesture at the same moment Amanda kicked him in the shins and stormed off.

Tucker was still laughing when Amanda reached him. “Your friend’s a glory hog. That was my job.”

“He didn’t want you to get dirty.”

“You didn’t trust me to do it right.”

It struck him that he and Justin accidentally had hurt her feelings. Did society girls suffer from wounded pride the way normal people did? “I was afraid you were going to break your neck or get run over by the cement truck.”

She crossed her arms and glared at him. “I’m tougher than I look. You have to be to survive in a family like mine. Next time you ask for my help, forget it.”

He moved closer and did something he knew he’d regret later. He grabbed her firmly by the shoulders, letting his crutches fall. Balancing all his weight on his good leg, he pulled her to him and kissed her. Hard, but not fast. The opposite of fast. He took his time to experience every damn nuance, like how she resisted him for three and a half seconds. And how, when she gave in, her mouth softened and her lips parted to invite him in.

The thought crossed his mind that this was one of those I’ll-remember-this-moment-forever sort of thing. Was it? Would he never forget the first time he kissed Amanda Heller?

Of course not. She was just a pretty girl who kissed like a damn siren luring him to the wicked rocks where he’d crash and burn. There was nothing special about her. Other than her taste, maybe. Honey sweet but with some intangible something all her own.

But even if Amanda was different from all the other girls he’d kissed–and enjoyed–over the years, she most definitely wasn’t a long-term prospect. God, no. Not that he was looking for a forever love–something he knew existed because Ona and Twig had been inseparable right up till the day he died.

But even if Tucker bought into that happily-ever-after fantasy, he had way too much on his plate to get involved with Amanda Heller–even for the short term.

Too bad he had a feeling that decision was completely out of his hands. Her kiss told him she might be up for a little tryst he decided to call: “Roommates with benefits.”

1

 


Purchase at these fine retailers:

 Amazon

iTunes

NOOK

KOBO

Google Play

TULE (print)

  ~~~~

Have a delicious, delightful THANKSGIVING, my friends.

In case you’re wondering what I’m thankful for, a BOOKBUB ad tomorrow, which I hope will introduce these characters to a whole lot of readers! I’m also thankful for all of my wonderful and supportive readers and blog followers! If you message me or email, I will happily send you a bookmark and a recipe card from my December 1 Love at the Chocolate Shop release.

May your Thanksgiving be a delicious memory-making day!

May your Thanksgiving be a delicious memory-making day!

Deb

 

FIRST KISS TUESDAY: Close To Her Heart by C.J. Carmichael

November 15th, 2016

Who doesn’t love a bargain?

RITA-nominated author—and friend—C.J. Carmichael’s book, CLOSE TO HER HEART, is 99¢ for a short time. This beautiful, emotionally moving story will grab your heart and pull it in. This snippet isn’t a “first kiss” in the classic sense, but I think you’ll agree it leaves you wanting more.

 

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Close to Her Heart by CJ Carmichael

Dani Carrigan has always relied on logic when making important life decisions, but when she discovers she’s pregnant – and that there’s a chance her baby may be born “not perfect”– logic lets her down.

It would help if the baby’s father would pop the question, but widowed father Adrian seems more interested in protecting his six-year-old daughter than committing to his new relationship with Dani.

The last time she felt this alone and scared was when she was 16 and her mother died, leaving Dani to raise her younger sisters with precious little help from her distant and disapproving rancher father. She felt so inadequate then, but is she any more prepared to be a mother now?

Support comes from an unlikely source. Dani always saw her next-door neighbor and friend, divorce attorney Elliot Gilmore, as a charming, handsome, playboy-type. But with each challenge she faces, from pregnancy, to delivery and beyond–Elliot reveals himself a better man than she ever guessed.

Is it possible that Elliot hasn’t been playing the field–but waiting for her?


 

Snippet © C. J. Carmichael:

C.J. says: “Close to Her Heart is a best-friends become lovers story—with the added complication that the heroine, Dani Carrigan, is pregnant. In this tender moment, her best friend, soon to be lover, has just brought her home from a medical appointment.”

Eliot had stayed with her throughout the two-hours at the clinic and insisted on carrying her suitcase and book bag, not only to her condo door, but right into her bedroom. He even checked her fridge and after pronouncing it pathetic, left and then returned an hour later with three bags of healthy groceries.

“You going to be okay, now?”

“I’ll be great. Thanks so much. For everything.”

“Sure.” He lingered at the door. “Turned out okay in the end, didn’t it?”

She nodded slowly. More than okay. In fact, it felt odd to say goodbye to him when they’d spent so much time together over the past while. When Eliot leaned over to kiss her on the cheek, she had a strong urge to put her arms around him and pull him close.

Ridiculous. Thank God Eliot couldn’t read her mind.

~~~

I love a friends-to-lovers story! And I love C.J.’s writing. Don’t miss this great story at a great price.

 

 

~~~

 

Purchase CLOSE TO HER HEART FOR ONLY 99¢ NOW!

Amazon Kindle / B&N Nook / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play / Smashwords / Amazon Kindle UK

 

 

 

 

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FIRST KISS TUESDAY: A Thankful Heart by Melissa McClone

November 8th, 2016

When is a first kiss not a first kiss?

I call this cute scene from A THANKFUL HEART — my friend Melissa McClone’s new Love at the Chocolate Shop a “near miss.” I think you’ll agree it’s just too charming to miss on a technicality.

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Snippet © Melissa McClone:

“I should let you get back to your father.”

“I’ll walk you to the door.” Bryce didn’t want to say goodnight. Not yet.

“This isn’t Seattle.”

“I know.” He got out of his truck and met her on the sidewalk. “But if Marietta didn’t have any crime, there wouldn’t be a police department.”

She narrowed her gaze. “Is everyone who lives in a big city this paranoid?”

“Not paranoid. Cautious.”

Bryce followed her up the steps. The wood creaked beneath his feet. Paint was peeling, but the structure looked solid. He’d love to see the inside, but his father was waiting at home.

The porch light bathed Dakota in a soft glow. Beautiful.

She looked up at him. “Thanks again for the ride.”

“Anytime.” And surprisingly, he meant it. “Though I doubt you’ll take me up on it again.”

Dakota raised her chin. “You never know.”

No, you don’t.

What Bryce knew was he wanted to do was kiss her. He didn’t know Dakota, but something about her appealed to him in a way he’d never felt. She captivated him.

Maybe it was the way she nurtured those around her. Or maybe it was her sense of humor that kept him off guard at unexpected times. Or maybe it was the easy way she’d forgiven him and accepted his apology.

His gaze traveled from her eyes to her lips.

Soft lips. The kind made for long, hot kisses.

His temperature shot up. His collar tightened.

Bryce wanted to kiss her, but that wasn’t why he was here. He straightened. “Keep us posted on what Lori says.”

Dakota stuck the key in the door. “Will do. Thanks again for the ride.”

She opened the door.

Something covered in fur bounded out and landed against him. He cringed, but this time the fight or flight response didn’t kick in. His muscles, however, tensed into hard knots. He hadn’t been prepared for another greeting from the beast, he managed not to be knocked backwards, but licking ensued.

More this time.

Bryce cringed. He really didn’t like big dogs. A good thing his dad kept hand sanitizer in the glove box.

~~~

I see conflict!! Love me, love my dog! Oh, Bryce, you’re in for it, now! 😉

 

~~~

ath

 

A Thankful Heart is available now!

Amazon KindleB&N Nook / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play / Amazon Kindle UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from MONTANA DARLING by Debra Salonen)

October 18th, 2016

First Kiss= TUESDAY

It’s October, Book Girls. We all know what that means:

Breast Cancer Awareness! 

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I’ve only written one book with a breast cancer surviver heroine, but Mia Zabrinski is one of my favorites. Heroic, stoic, determined to do the right for her children and herself–alone, if she must. And she certainly doesn’t expect to find someone who thinks she’s perfect. But a real hero loves with his whole heart–even if it’s battered and bruised from losses of his own. 

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EXCERPT ©DEBRA SALONEN:

He handed her one of the paper cups. “These should be cooled just enough. I come here once a week with my cocoa.”

 She snapped off the lid and lifted the rim to her lips. The lush warm smell made her taste buds gush. Her hand trembled a bit. Cocoa was made with sugar. Sugar fed cancer cells… Stop, a voice in her mind ordered. Her mother’s voice. Just enjoy for once.

 She took a sip. “Mmm,” she murmured, the cup’s rim still touching her bottom lip.

 She closed her eyes and drank more–a long, satisfying gulp of warm joy.

 She heard a clicking sound and looked at Ryker, who had his camera to his eye. “Sorry,” he said, still clicking. “The purity of satisfaction on your face was too perfect to pass up. Sage would pay me big bucks to let her use this image in her advertising.”

 His grin was so self-satisfied and unapologetic she wanted to yank the camera out of his hands, but in a way he reminded her of Hunter, who used to be that confident of his gifts, that happy when something he drew or made from a tub of Legos turned out. That was before he escaped into video games to avoid having to deal with his imploding family. She missed that look so much she could cry.

 Ryker distracted her, though, with a throaty, masculine chortle. “I almost forgot your test.”

 “What kind of test?”

 “You’ll see.” He stretched out his arms, fingers linked, like some kind of warm-up. The sunlight created something freakishly like glitter highlights in his mop of curls. The guy was handsome enough to be in a freakin’ TV commercial, she thought. He had the kind of face you couldn’t help liking and trusting. Hello, Ma’am. Might I interest you in something delicious but so bad for your body you may as well just throw in the towel? Trust me, you’ll love it.

 He set his camera aside and scooted forward. His butt must barely be touching the iron rail, she thought, resisting the urge to look. She hadn’t had sex–or even thought about sex–for so long she’d begun to wonder if her surgeon removed her libido along with all her other body parts. Most days she felt like a neutered cat, but, suddenly, seeing a handsome younger man balancing on the balls of his feet in a full squat while tempting her with some special, sinful treat, resonated with her inner cougar.

He unrolled the crimped bag, then reached inside with his long, beautiful fingers.

Who notices a man’s fingers, for God’s sake? she thought.

Horny, hormonal women with no social life.

“Close your eyes.”

“Again? I don’t think so. Standing on Main Street with people around was one thing, but you could have an ax in your backpack for all I know.”

His roar of laughter triggered a funny lightening inside her. She hadn’t laughed in too long. At what point had she turned hard and dry and humorless? No wonder her kids hated her.

Tears pricked behind her lids. She set her cup on one of the rails and leaned forward, too. Motioning for him to get on with what he had planned. “Just do it.”

He didn’t respond right away.

Nervous, she licked her lips. “Come on. I don’t have all day.”

“Open up.”

She swallowed first, the noise loud in her ears. Could he read her nervousness? She felt a blush creep into her cheeks.

Something small and soft was deposited carefully on her tongue. She closed her mouth and tasted. Flavors exploded so vividly she couldn’t quite register every aspect. The contrast of savory and sweet, smooth and chunky confused her brain’s identification centers. “Am I supposed to tell you what this is?” she said as well as she could manage without her saliva glands tripping her up.

“Yes.”

She kept her eyes closed so she could concentrate. “Caramel.”

It wasn’t a question.

“Uh-huh. Easy.”

“Dark chocolate. My favorite.”

For some reason, he groaned and muttered, “Really?”

“I’m pretty sure the tiny bit of crunch was sea salt.”

“Correct.” His tone was that of a teacher who expected her to fail.

Mia Zabrinski didn’t fail. She’d passed every test she’d ever taken…except for one–a mammogram.

She swished her tongue around, testing for the missing flavor. “Chili. Habanero, to be exact.”

She opened her eyes and looked at him. His wicked grin told her she’d gotten it wrong. “Close. Well, technically, I’d have given it to you if you’d left it at pepper. But Sage calls these Kick Starters. She’s been beta testing them for a week and finally settled on chipotle.”

The instant he said the word she tasted the lingering hint of smoke that had been masked by the rich warmth of the chocolate.

“Damn. You’re right.”

Their gazes met and held.

His eyes intrigued her, challenged her to go deeper and find out more about him. A foolish waste of time. The guy lived in a stupid tent. Winter was coming. He wouldn’t be sticking around for long. He was leaving. Not soon enough for her to get her basement dug, but soon.

A fact, which, a voice in her head reasoned, made him perfect for a rebound fling.

Once the word “fling” lodged in her brain she couldn’t unthink it. She’d been with two men in her life. First, her high school boyfriend who moved away their senior year and lasted about three letters and half a dozen phone calls before he broke up with her, and then she’d made the mistake of falling head over heels for her twin brother’s college roommate and best friend, Edward. Her college lover. Her husband. The narcissistic dilettante who abandoned her when she needed him most.

 Mia didn’t like it when people–especially strangers–invaded her space. Ryker’s face was closer than she normally tolerated, but she didn’t pull back. She couldn’t. His gaze seemed to look past the superficial aspects of her hair, her face, her features, to see into the depths of her soul to the damaged, brittle woman terrified to re-engage with life.

The last thing she needed was a man. A man who wanted something from her.

He wants my land, the lawyer in her thought.

He wants my body, the woman in her thought.

No. He only thinks he does.

“I have–had–.” She never knew how to put it. “Um…breast cancer.”

“That must have sucked.”

“It wasn’t the high point of my life. But I’m on the road to recovery. All my tests have come back clear. I caught it early and wiped it out at the source.”

She shifted her shoulders unconsciously feeling the dull reminder of the implants.

“You’ll feel more like yourself if you don’t have to lug around prosthetics,” Mom had coaxed.

“I don’t plan to wear falsies, Mom. I’ll be flat chested for the rest of my life. Lots of women are.”

“You won’t be happy with that, Mia,” Doctor Sharsmith had insisted. “Your clothes won’t fit right. Your femininity will take a serious hit. I’ve had patients who chose that route, but within six months they changed their minds. Breasts are a part of your body image, Mia. Let me give you back your natural curves.”

 So, she’d agreed to more surgeries. More risks. More fear that she might not wake up from the anesthesia, and her poor children would be left in the care of their irresponsible and morally challenged father.

Now, she was outwardly normal–or some vague semblance of normal. She was skinny. Weak. Vulnerable to germs. Terrified of carcinogens, sugar, processed foods, and artificial dyes. She hated looking at herself in the mirror, and the question had crossed her mind lately whether or not any man would ever desire her?

 If she wasn’t totally mistaken, this man found her attractive. Or thought he did.

Maybe this is a distraction to game me into giving up my land.

Like that would happen.

Members of the Big Sky Mavericks never gave up.

Period.

Suddenly feeling more like her old self than she had in months, she leaned in and kissed him. Three…four…seconds of heart-stopping strangeness. His lips solidly touching hers. No tongue or heavy breathing, just a tingling caused no doubt by the “mones,” as her future sister-in-law called the little buggers.

Bailey. Cake tasting.

She jerked back. “Cake.”

“No, thanks. But I wouldn’t mind another kiss.”

~~~

Mia’s a fighter, a survivor and a mom. If you need a bit of inspiration before you head to your annual mammogram…

MontanaDarling-MEDIUM

iBooks      KOBO       AMAZON       BN       GooglePLAY

Happy reading,

Deb

PS: you can get more insights into this couple’s HEA in MONTANA MAVERICK and MONTANA MIRACLE