FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from The Taming of the Bachelor by Jane Porter)

 

auth_JanePorterPlease welcome my friend and author extraordinaire, Jane Porter. You are sooo lucky today because she’s sharing a snippet from her brand new release, THE TAMING OF THE BACHELOR, a Taming of the Sheenans romance. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for Dillon’s story!!!

~~~~

Dillon Sheenan refuses to be tamed…

After three years running the family ranch, sexy thirty-year-old Dillon Sheenan has a one way plane ticket out of Montana. He’s eager to put small town life, with its emphasis on brides, babies, and families, behind him as he’s certainly not interested in being a dad, or even ready to settle down.

Beautiful single mom, Paige Joffe, juggles a lot, between running Main Street Diner and coping with her money-pit of a Victorian on Bramble Lane.  She doesn’t have time for anything but taking care of the loves of her life, Addison and Tyler, and working to pay down bills. But one date–and an incredibly hot kiss–with Dillon Sheenan wakes her up and makes her dream again.

Until she finds out Dillon’s already bought his ticket out of town…

Is Dillon about to break the heart of the only woman he’s ever loved?

 


The Taming of the Bachelor

by

Jane Porter

 

“It’s late,” Dillon growled, rising, grabbing the dishes and picking up plates and cups and carrying them to the kitchen.

One of the forks fell midway and she picked it up and followed him into the kitchen. “Just leave the dishes in the sink,” she said, “I’ll do them tomorrow.”

He did as she directed, then turned to face her. “What about you?” he asked, arms crossing over his chest. “What do you need?”

She wrinkled her nose as she counted off a list on her fingers. “New electrical and plumping…a furnace that works. Windows that seal. Floorboards that don’t creak. Not too bad, huh?”

His chest tightened. She was making light of her problems, but it couldn’t be easy. Her life hadn’t been easy. “That’s it?” he teased gently, admiring her more than ever. “That’s all you need? Fix those little things and your life will be a dream?”

“No, but the house would be sorted.”

Her smile never wavered but he saw a glimpse of exhaustion in her eyes and it made him want to protect her. Someone should protect her. “There’s nothing you want for you? Nothing you need?”

She moved past him, squeezing in to turn the water on in the sink, covering the dishes. “I don’t know…I don’t let myself go there.”

He didn’t move, so they were both at the sink, practically standing hip to hip. “Why not?”

She grabbed a scrubbing pad and attacked the dishes. “It’s better not to question. Better to stay focused.”

His brow furrowed as he watched her scour the dishes as if they were baking pans instead of simple dessert plates. “That makes you happy?”

Her slim shoulders twisted and her blonde head dipped, making it difficult to see her face. “It keeps me…focused.”

“Focused?”

“You know….to keep from losing…hope.” Her hands stilled, and for a moment the only sound was that of the running water, and then she drew a quick breath and turned the water off. “Or is it faith?” she added, frowning and reaching for a dishtowel to dry her hands. Her frown disappeared as she flashed a rueful smile. “To be honest, I’m not sure anymore.”

Dillon felt out of his depth here. He hadn’t grown up attending church regularly. His mom was Catholic, and she’d raised her oldest boys Catholic, but stopped going to church regularly when Dillon was in kindergarten. “Your faith was important to you?”

“It was once everything.”

“What happened to it?”

She draped the yellow striped towel on a bar, smoothing it. “Lewis died and I’ve just felt very….alone. Hard to see God in all the struggles.”

He didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure he was supposed to say anything.

Paige managed another small, wry smile. “So now I don’t ask for too much, or want too much. I count my blessings and stay busy, appreciating what I have, rather than thinking about what I don’t have.”

“This is why I’m such a fan,” he said quietly as he reached for her, his arm circling her, drawing her towards him. “You are strong and funny and sweet—”

“Stop there before you call me nice. Because I’m really not all that sweet, or nice.”

He smiled crookedly then carefully brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. Her skin felt so warm and soft. His fingers curled in. He stroked her cheekbone again.

Her lips parted and he felt the whoosh of air leaving her mouth as a caress against his neck, down his chest. She was so beautiful. Need throbbed in him, warring with common sense.

He should go. He needed to go. They were too alone here.

Far too much temptation.

“Should go,” he said, dropping his head, covering her lips with his.

It was a goodbye kiss. That’s really all it was. Goodbye, and closure. The end of a sentence…a chapter. He was closing this chapter, the one where Marietta was home, and Paige owned a piece of his heart. But now he was leaving—Montana, his family, the ranch, her—leaving all of it to start a new chapter.

The kiss was equal parts sweet and bittersweet, and he drew the kiss out, lingering over the sweet fullness of her lips, and the stunning heat of her mouth.

Her lips were softly parted when he lifted his head, her eyes wide, dark, bewildered.

“That was um…” She swallowed, blinked, trying to pull herself together. “Not bad.”

The corner of his mouth tugged. He brushed his knuckles across her lovely flushed cheek. He was hard and hungry but there was no way in the world he’d hurt her. Not when she’d been hurt so badly by others before him. “As long as you’re not disappointed.”

“Don’t think I’m disappointed…well, actually, I’m not sure.”

“No?”

“You might need to do that one more time. Just to know for certain.”

Amused, he drew her closer, her hips against his, his arms locking in the small of her back. “Sounds as if I didn’t get the job done right.”

She tipped her head back to better see him. “No, no. I wouldn’t say that. It’s probably just me. I’m out of practice.”

There were so many secrets in her eyes, secrets and shadows that made her expression mysterious, and yet vulnerable. She was both strong and soft, tough and tender, and maybe that’s what drew him to her—the fact that she was such a contradiction. How could you not admire her?

His head dipped and he kissed her again, drowning out the voices in his head that said he shouldn’t be doing this, that he shouldn’t care. He couldn’t get involved. He wasn’t good for her. He’d never be good for her, or her kids. They needed a father. He didn’t want to be a father. So simple. All of this was so simple.

Except when his mouth was on hers and his lips were parting hers, tasting her, and nothing felt more right, or natural, than her, in his arms.

~~~

For your convenience, here are some buy links:


 Ooooh, how yummy and romantic is that? Thank you, Jane!

And thanks for reading, my friends. I appreciate your interest, your comments and your shares on FaceBook.

We have some great snippets coming up.

See you next week.

Deb

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from His Blushing Bride, by Dani Collins)

DaniCollins-cover

Hello, wonderful Deb Salonen fans! I’m so excited to be visiting with you again!

The last time I was here, we had a great time reminiscing about our four-leaf clover searches as kids. This time I want to talk about childhood pets.

First, though, I should explain: All of my Montana Born stories can be read as stand-alones, but like all the Marietta stories, the characters overlap and are often friends and relations of previously published characters.

That’s why I’m giving away a print anthology of Montana Christmas to one lucky commenter. My hero in His Blushing Bride, Sebastian (Bastian) is the brother of Liz from Blame The Mistletoe, which is included in the Christmas anthology.

You’ll see that His Blushing Bride has a dog, Charlie. He’s a composite of all the goofy dogs I have met in my life, not a specific one that I know.

My husband and I are more cat-people and we’ve been horribly unimaginative with names: Tigger-bear, Charlotte, and Buddy. My sister had a dog named after the Maori war dance, “Haka,” which I’ve always thought was a great name for a pet.

To be entered into the draw, comment with the most colorful (or most boring) pet name you or someone you know has given an animal. Have you had a strange animal as a pet? Wanted a weird one? Please share what it was.

Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…

Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.

Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.

They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?

Excerpt:

“Hey.” Bastian’s running shoes appeared in front of her bare feet. He was suddenly a huge wall of masculinity, right in front of her. Her pulse tripped, then galloped when he set a gentle finger under her chin and tilted her face to look up at him. “I think you’re hot as hell.”

She desperately wanted to believe him, but, “You’re just being nice.”

He choked out a short laugh. “I’m not that nice, Piper.”

Maybe not. “No, you’re a player. Aren’t you?” She was inexperienced, not stupid.

His gaze remained steady. “I like to consider myself a connoisseur. Which is why you should trust that I know what I’m talking about.”

Her turn to laugh. “An expert, huh? And you’re…what? Willing to fix me?”

“Why would I need to? There’s nothing wrong with you,” he countered.

“Oh,” she chuckled. “So smooth.” She shook her head in amazement, dislodging his touch. “Seriously, Bastian, I’m tempted. I really am. But I need the training-wheels version of you. Not this…” She indicated all the rippling muscle under tight control that belonged in fire fighter calendars. “There are other women in this town, you know. You don’t have to settle for me.”

His head went back as if she’d taken a swipe at him.

“See, that pisses me off,” he said, tone still casual, but several degrees cooler. “I’m not trying to get laid here. I like you. You turn me on. I think I could rock your world hard enough you wouldn’t give a crap what your old boyfriend ever said and I’m damned sure you could rock mine. If you’re not into that, say so. But don’t act like you’re not good enough for me because that’s something nobody can fix except you.”

She dropped back a step.

“Really,” she breathed. “I turn you on.” Her face was going hot, probably red as the Marietta fire engine. This conversation was killing her, making her chest feel tight, but she couldn’t break away from those piercing blue-green eyes.

“Have a look, sweetheart. I’m already hard and I haven’t even kissed you yet.”

Don’t.

She did.

His fly was decidedly bulged.

Her insides trembled and her bones went weak.

She flashed her gaze back up to his and found his eyelids had lowered so his stare was now a sexy, intent, lazily hungry message of desire. “I really want to kiss you, Piper.”

She swallowed. Her lips began to tingle with anticipation. “Okay,” she whispered.

He didn’t laugh. He stepped closer, so tall and wide he overwhelmed, but even though she nervously brought her hands up, she just rested them lightly on the hard plane of his chest. She started when his hands found her hips, fingers splaying with confidence. She twitched again with nerves when his head dipped and tilted.

Then his mouth brushed hers and she relaxed. Receptive.

His mouth opened, and she let her lips part. A low, gruff noise sounded in his throat and he settled more firmly into the kiss. His stubble lightly stimulated as he slowly rocked her mouth open under his until they were kissing. Then kissing deeply.

Passionately.

Her knees felt weak and her arms went around his neck to hold on. His arms closed across her back, pulling her tight into his solid frame. His thighs were almost too hard against hers, like leaning against steel, but all that firm, warm muscle felt good, too.

They broke away to switch sides and his hand moved to palm her butt. Delicious radiations of pleasure went into her middle and spiked between her legs, making her wriggle closer and rub against him, liking that he was aroused. His other hand started to climb up her waist, over her ribcage. Her breast felt hot and heavy and tight, aching with expectation—

He took a stumbling step into her, scaring her into squeaking out a cry of alarm. He caught her close to steady her as he tried to keep his footing and bit out, “Damn it, Charlie.”

The dog circled and tried to goose the two of them with his nose, making them break away to dodge and catch their balance. Piper brushed the dog away, using the moment to try to gather her composure. Good grief. The man did rock a woman’s world.

“Worst wingman on the continent,” Bastian grumbled, giving the dog a disgruntled scowl.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: US | Canada | UK  

Kobo | GooglePlay | iBooks | Smashwords


 

Award winning author Dani Collins wrote for twenty-five years before selling to Harlequin Mills & Boon in May of 2012. Since then, she’s turned in more than a dozen titles to Harlequin Presents and HarlequinE along with another four sexy, small-town novellas to Tule’s Montana Born. She has even found homes for some of her previously rejected manuscripts, including indie-publishing her single title romantic comedy, Hustled To The Altar and signing with a small press for her medieval fantasy, The Healer.

Dani doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing. Look for Seduced Into The Greek’s World on shelves in June and His Blushing Bride from Montana Born on all digital platforms.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her here: danicollins.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Montana Born Brides Series

Book 1: The Fairy Tale Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Book 2: His Blushing Bride by Dani Collins

Book 3: Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm

Book 4: Finally His Bride by Maisey Yates

Book 5: Kiss the Bride by Rachael Johns

Book 6: Two Nights with His Bride by Kat Latham

To be entered into the drawing, comment with the most colorful (or most boring) pet name you or someone you know has given an animal. Have you had a strange animal as a pet? Wanted a weird one? Please share what it was.

 

 

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from The Millionaire Daddy Project by Roxanne Snopek)

First Kiss= TUESDAY

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The Millionaire Daddy Project

By Roxanne Snopek

Men of the Zodiac Series

 Take one wealthy, driven restaurateur, throw in a four-year old daughter he never knew he had and the uber-efficient assistant he’s never really noticed, put them on a wild, West Coast fantasy island for a month, and what do you get? Sun, surf, steam and heart-clutching new beginnings.

Roxanne headshotThat’s the basis of THE MILLIONAIRE DADDY PROJECT, my friend Roxanne Snopek’s latest sexy alpha-hero novel for Entangled Indulgence’s Men of the Zodiac series.

Roxanne says: “My hero, Dane Bergman, is a total Leo: determined, sensual, generous – and self-centered and oblivious. But don’t worry, there’s nothing like instant fatherhood to challenge a man to find his better self, especially with a suddenly-sexy but determinedly-professional executive assistant pointing out all his flaws. Dane finds love, times two, but I don’t make it easy on him!”

EXCERPT:

“You think you know what’s best for me, don’t you?” He watched with pleasure as Pam’s pupils widened, making her eyes look as dark as the sea.

She snorted. “Because I do.”

Heat scorched between them as they stood toe to toe, their arms brushing together, their eyes locked.

She didn’t seem the least bit uncomfortable that they were both half naked.

“Maybe at work,” he said. “But we’re not at work now.”

He nudged her arms with his and bucked one thigh forward until it bumped against her hip.

She shook her head, her gaze like a laser burning into him. “Not appropriate, Mr. Bergman.” But she didn’t back down, didn’t take her eyes off his. Instead, she lifted one eyebrow, the barest hint of a smile teasing her lips.

Her nearness acted like lighter fluid to a spark. How long had this been simmering? How could he have worked so closely with her for so long without noticing her in this way?

And what about her? She knew him, knew his reputation, better than most. She knew enough to insist they keep this private, secret.

Their clandestine getaway.

Her blazing blue gaze told him everything he needed to know.

“What if I don’t want to be appropriate, Ms. Atwater?”

He leaned his head down and lowered his voice. “What if I want to sling you over my shoulder and carry you out to the tide pools, where the water is warm from the sun? What if I want to strip off that top and pour handfuls of warm water over your shoulders, letting it trickle over your breasts, down your belly?”

“Definitely not appropriate.” Her voice trembled slightly but she didn’t break eye contact. A light sheen of perspiration had broken out on her forehead that was not due to the summer heat, he was certain.

“What if we both get in the water to cool off, but we find it’s a little too cold, so I lift you up against me and all of a sudden we’re not the least bit chilly anymore.”

He heard her breath catch in her throat.

“Sounds like.” She paused to swallow, but a smoky husk remained in her voice. “Like we might get sunburned in some delicate areas.”

Only the color in her cheeks betrayed what his words were doing to her composure. It was wildly arousing.

“Oh no. Those would all be under water, hidden and slippery, so all anyone could see from the surface would be us kissing. Completely innocent.”

His own voice was hoarse.

She swayed slightly, and touched his shoulder as if to steady herself. “Innocent,” she said.

He uncrossed his arms and put them around her gently. “Just like this.”

He bent down and touched his lips to hers. A quiver jolted through her and he felt the gasp against his mouth. She gripped his neck and pulled him down closer to her, her tongue meeting his, making the kiss deeper, longer, wetter and sweeter than he could have imagined between them.

 ~~~

Available at these retailers:

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iTunes


 Woot, Roxanne! What a great, provocative, heart-thumping scene! I can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for sharing another great kiss on First Kiss=Tuesday. 

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR by Roxanne Snopek)

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Roxanne MBB-smallPlease welcome one of my Tule Publishing sisters, the delightful Roxanne Snopek to First Kiss=Tuesday. I’m excited to share two of Roxanne’s connected books this month. Today, you’ll read a darling snippet from THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR (Book 3 in the This Old House series), and releasing in two weeks will be Book 4: CINDERELLA’S COWBOY.

Here’s Roxanne to give you the set up for this scene:

Hello readers! I’m delighted to share with you a brief First Kiss scene from THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR. This is actually a “sort-of” First Kiss scene, as you’ll see soon, but I hope it conveys the push-pull of their growing relationship as well as the humor that runs between these characters.

My hero, Eric Anders, is worried because Jackson, the old dog next door, showed up at his place alone and is now leading him and his own dog, Blue-Girl, out into the pasture, apparently searching for someone.

Night is falling and Eric thinks he hears Leda, the girl he can’t stop thinking about. He fears she’s out here somewhere, lost, cold or hurt.


 

TCND-snopek-MEDIUM

 

THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR

by Roxanne Snopek

 

A shiver ran down his spine. Coyotes could sound like women crying, babies crying, too, luring out unsuspecting, curious dogs. A pack of them would make short work of Jackson.

“Come here, buddy, stay close,” he said. The dog complied.

But what if it wasn’t coyotes? What if it was a woman? Or a child?

What if it was a woman, a child, and coyotes?

He stepped up his pace. It could only be Melinda or Leda. And Mel would never do something like that to Austin.

That left Leda. Who had no one looking out for her.

Even if she’d just gone for a walk and gotten turned around, even without coyotes or wolves or bears or jagged rocks and hidden logs to stumble over, darkness would fall quickly and with it, the temperature.

“Hello?” he called. “Can you hear me?”

Instantly, the sound stopped. Then it started up again, changed and very, very recognizable.

Leda. And she was mad.

Unlike her usual Gollum dig-it language, this was the real meal deal. Curses of every color floated over the evening air, creative, expressive and sometimes hilarious.

But definitely the adult version. Nothing sanitized here. Such nasty words to come from such a sweet mouth. The intrigue he couldn’t help feeling around her turned to something else. Something more.

Something dangerous.

She might be spouting r-rated language, but she was just a kid. A kid with a kid, someone he had no business feeling… intrigued… about.

“Go away!”

His heart slipped. She was definitely crying. Crying and cursing at the same time. That was never good.

The words came from a gully to the left of the trail, he thought.

“Come on, Jackson.”

They wound their way along the rocky ground and suddenly, there she was, huddled against a mossy rock.

Sobbing.

“Leda!” He was on his knees beside her before he knew what he was doing. “What’s wrong, honey? Are you hurt?”

“Go away!”

She was shivering. He shucked off his jacket and set it on her shoulders, where it hung like a tablecloth.

“I don’t need you,” she said, her voice hitching.

Jackson pressed against her side, nudging her with his muzzle. She put her arm around him and he crept halfway onto her lap. Good. The dog would help warm her up.

Eric sat down on her other side. The rock was still warm from the sun but the ground beneath them was cool. He lifted his face to the sky and took a deep breath.

“Nice out here, isn’t it?” he said.

He could feel her body beside his, her slender thigh running alongside his own leg. She was vibrating.

“What?”

He adjusted his position and casually slung his arm across her shoulders. He felt like the kid in a movie theater, pretending to stretch so he could get closer to his date. Only this time, he was doing it to keep her warm.

And maybe keep her from bolting.

“The sky. The air. Smells good. And look at those colors.”

“I came out here to be alone, you know.”

“I don’t know. I’m only here because of Jackson.”

She put her face down and kissed the dog’s head. “Sweetie boy. Come here, Blue-Girl. You’re a good girl, too.”

“Oh sure,” said Eric. “The dogs get kissed. I on the other hand, don’t get so much as a civil word. That hurts my feelings.”

She sniffed, but some of the tension left her body.

“You sounded like a pack of coyotes.”

At that, Leda lifted her head. She turned to face him, which put her once more well within kissing range. Inches away, it seemed. Her eyes shone in the light of the setting sun, her lashes damp, her lips swollen.

All very kissable.

“Coyotes, huh?” One eyebrow lifted, as did one corner of her mouth, but she didn’t move away.

“Rabid ones, maybe.”

He moved closer. It would be a shame to waste an opportunity like this, after all. She needed comforting. It would be a comforting kiss, nothing more.

“That might have been safer,” she murmured. Her eyes dropped to his mouth. “For you.”

The dogs squirmed then and knocked against Leda’s shoulder. Her face collided with his, in a cheek-bumping, tooth-clattering connection that was nothing like a kiss.

“Ow!” Leda sat back, and put her hand to her mouth. “You bit my lip!”

“I most certainly did not!” He ran his tongue over his bottom lip and tasted salt. “You bit mine.”

Heat ran through Eric like an electrical current, the touch of her mouth on his like lightning, leaving him smoking and shaken. If that’s what an accidental kiss felt like, what would a real, full-on kiss feel like?

Jackson lifted his head. With one swipe of his enormous tongue, he French-kissed them both and the moment was broken.

A bloody lip will do that.

##

Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Next-Door-This-House-ebook/dp/B00SS19ECS/

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cowboy-Next-Door-This-House-ebook/dp/B00SS19ECS/

Amazon Australia:

http://www.amazon.com.au/Cowboy-Next-Door-This-House-ebook/dp/B00SS19ECS/

Amazon Canada:

http://www.amazon.ca/Cowboy-Next-Door-This-House-ebook/dp/B00SS19ECS/


What a kick! French-kissed by a dog. That has to be a first FIRST KISS=TUESDAY. I love it!

Thanks, Roxanne. Now, we can’t wait to see what you give us next. 

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from THE BACHELOR’S BABY by Dani Collins)

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Dani Collins Headshot

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m so excited Deb invited me to visit with you all today and share my first kiss from The Bachelor’s Baby. I suppose we can call it a Blarney Stone kiss because they certainly get lucky after!

 The Bachelor’s Baby is Book Three in Montana Born’s Bachelor Auction series. Fun Fact: It’s also Book Three in my own series for Montana Born. That’s why my giveaway includes a print copy of the Homecoming series. My first Montana Born novella, Hometown Hero was part of that series. (Blame The Mistletoe is second.)

 Another Fun Fact: My grandmother used to find four leaf clovers while she was gardening. I thought you had to spend hours on the lawn to find one—I never have—but my daughter inherited her talent times a million. She’s one of those people who wanders along for a minute or two then plucks one up with a casual, “Here’s one.”

 Have you ever found one? Did it bring you luck? Leave a comment telling me about your four-leaf clover experience to be entered for the giveaway draw.

Deb Salonen Blog Giveaway Prize


 

THE BACHELOR’S BABY

by Dani Collins

 

Your date with Bachelor #3 includes champagne and chocolate in the limo that collects you, a helicopter tour or Marietta and the surrounding mountains and valleys, and dinner at a five star restaurant in Great Falls. While oil baron Linc Brady wines and dines you, a maid service will completely clean your home.

Who could resist this tempting offer? Meg Canon plans to do just that. She’s only home to clean out her childhood bedroom for her brother’s new step-daughter, then she’s outta her childhood small town and back to her life in Chicago. Then she meets the sexy, renegade millionaire while she’s stuck in the snow. Sparks fly and Meg is tempted to stay a little longer.

Linc Brady is new in town and happy to help a kid in need, but a bachelor auction? Technically he doesn’t owe Meg a damned thing after she sets him up for the auction, then bids on him, but her high-class city polish is his fatal weakness and makes her impossible to forget. When she agrees to come home with him, he makes it clear he’s a confirmed bachelor. This is a one-night thing.

One night that turns into nine months and maybe…a lifetime?

COLLINS-TheBachelorsBaby-LARGE

 

He shifted to face her, leaning his wrist on her seatback so he edged into her space. “C’mere,” he invited.

“What.” A grin tugged at her mouth, but wicked, sexual reactions took her at the same time. Her nipples prickled and her breathing changed. “You want to kiss me?” She wanted him to. Rather badly.

“I do.”

“Is it a test?” She turned her head, aware of how close he was, how he smelled faintly of aftershave and clean Montana air.

“Little bit,” he murmured.

“Gonna leave me here if I don’t pass?” she challenged, trying to sound urbane when she actually felt girlish and shy.

His fingertips played gently against the ends of her hair, coaxing her to lean a fraction closer toward him. “I’m the one making the pass, sweetheart.”

He closed in. Warm male lips brushed hers, giving her a moment to savor the sensation of smooth, sensitive skin rubbing lightly against her own. Then he pressed with more purpose, enticed her into parting her lips and playing her mouth against his in delicious rubs as he gradually settled into the kiss. He stole over her so skillfully, she was caught and held before she realized how completely he owned her.

She thought—

Actually, there were no thoughts in her head. Just his scent and the warm dampness of his strong mouth exploring hers. The tip of his tongue briefly tagged her inner lip. Their breaths hissed quietly as their breathing changed. His cheek was smooth enough not to snag her knit gloves, making her want to pull them off so she could run her fingers into his hair.

She slanted her head, encouraging him to deepen the kiss. Pressing the back of his skull to encourage more pressure.

His free hand settled on the side of her neck, thumb stroking deliciously under her throat while he pulled at her bottom lip, his flagrant sucking making arousal bloom down her front, spiking her nipples into sharper peaks and spearing hot need between her thighs. Oh man did she want to go home with him.

And he was drawing back, making her primal core weep.

“What do you think?” he asked in a voice that was like a velvety summer breeze caressing her naked skin.

She made herself sit straight, breath unsteady and way too revealing of his effect on her. Her fingertips pressed her buzzing lips, trying to calm the rest of her.

“I didn’t realize it was that kind of test,” she said, voice papery.

“It’s not. Come over for a drink if you just want to throw off the shackles for a while. I wasn’t trying to see if you put out. But if we were going to fizzle, I figured here was a better place for it.”

Fizzle? She choked on a laugh, mildly horrified by that phrase ‘put out,’ and even more horrified by how disappointed she would be if he left her here instead of taking her to his place.

“Do you think we fizzled?”

“Ha! No,” he said firmly, making her tuck a grin into her collar.

It was gratifying and flattering, but…

“You do this a lot, don’t you?” she asked in a voice that came out smaller than she meant it to. “Pick up women, I mean.” Silence as he eased back into his own seat, then he sighed. “I’m not good at relationships, Meg. A lot of it was the nature of my job, but the truth is, I’ve never seen myself married with kids and the whole nine yards. But I like women and I like sex.” His jacket shifted as he shrugged and made himself more comfortable behind the wheel. “What do you want me to say? That I’ve never taken a woman home? You’d be the first here. Does that help?”

“I’ve never done it,” she said, then hurried to add, “I mean, I’ve had relationships. Just not, um, such a brief one.”

Somewhere along the way, maybe because she had friends that she respected who sometimes had one-night stands, she had developed a sense that they could be empowering. She didn’t feel embolded, though. She felt insecure. Longing gripped her, like she was wishing for something she would never get.

“That’s not the sort of first I’d like to be for a woman,” he said dryly. “Don’t change your values for me, Meg. Call me the next time you’re in town and we’ll do lunch in Great Falls.” He put the truck into drive.

“No, wait—” She covered his gloved hand with her own, could sense the strength in his firm grip of the stick. This evening couldn’t end with her packing and nursing What If. “I’m really attracted to you, Linc. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t go home with you.”

He studied her in the blue gloom off the dash for a long moment.

“Sure?”

“I am.”

He reversed back onto the road.

Amazon: US | Canada | UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo


Canadian Dani Collins spent twenty-five years dreaming of becoming a romance author, made her first sale in 2012, and promptly won a Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times. Best known for her Harlequin Presents, she has also published a romantic comedy, a medieval fantasy romance, two erotic romances and The Bachelor’s Baby is the third of four novellas for Montana Born. Married to her high school sweetheart, Dani has two mostly-grown children (one of each) and doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

HOW MUCH WAS HER BID? I DEMAND A RECOUNT! 😉  I’m off to buy…wait…already did!…I’m off to read this book!

Thanks for sharing, Dani! And thanks for the fabulous, free book prize, too. Dani will pick the winner on March 22nd. Good luck, everyone! Please share the love.

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from FOLLOWING HIS HEART by Donna Fasano)

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Look who’s here to share an excerpt from her delicious romance Following His Heart:  Donna Fasano, a USA Today bestselling author whose award-winning books have been translated into nearly 2 dozen languages and have sold 4 million copies worldwide.

Donna Fasano Author Picture2Sara Carson is a 30-something widow with a busy life. Two fun-loving best friends, a caring mom who needs her, and a thriving sweet shop. What more could a woman want? But when the ancient plumbing in her shop springs a leak and a gorgeous, dark-eyed stranger rushes to her rescue, hilarity unfolds–and Sara quickly sees exactly what she’s been missing.

Something most peculiar draws Landon Richards to Ocean City, Maryland–and to the lovely Sara. This woman touches his heart like no other, and the two of them explore the heady attraction that pulses between them. But haunting dreams have a way of encroaching on reality, and the strange phenomenon that brings these two together will also threaten to tear them apart.

This is the first book in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series, where life for three enterprising women, Sara, Heather, and Cathy, isn’t just fun in the sun–love is waiting on those sandy shores!

 

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 Excerpt from FOLLOWING HIS HEART

by DONNA FASANO

            

“Landon, I can do things with buttercream frosting that would blow your mind.”

“I have no doubt.”

A couple of things happened simultaneously; she realized there had been a couple of heartbeats of swollen silence before he responded, and she replayed the words she’d just spoken in her head. She blanched and her hands went still. Then her lips parted, but no words came out. She set down the bag of icing and the cupcake on the stainless steel counter and tried to smile, but failed.

She blinked and gazed into his eyes, saw the desire smoldering there.

“That came out sounding much more, um…” She searched the air for a proper word, licking her lips and drawing her brows together. “Eh, ah, inappropriate than I intended.”

One corner of his mouth tipped upward. “I think it sounded perfectly appropriate, Sara.”

The air left her lungs at the sound of her name. How did he do that? Say her name so softly, yet make it sound so rich, and resonant, and full of emotion?

The oddest feeling churned in her chest, a heated giddiness that made it difficult for her to draw breath. Her arms felt shaky, and she set the cupcake on the counter so she could clutch the cold, rounded metal edging. She needed the support, and besides that she hoped to hide the tremble of her hands.

He was attracted to her. Wanted her. She’d have had to be stone-cold unconscious not to recognize it.

Before meeting Landon, she hadn’t thought about touching or being touched in a sexual way for a long, long time. She’d have thought desire was something she’d completely forgotten how to feel. But the human body was an amazing machine. Adrenalin surged and hormones coursed as a hot, greedy need thudded through her. Even as she stood at the island with at least three feet of space between them, she could feel herself being drawn to him like opposite poles of a magnet. The attraction was powerful. Too strong to be denied.

How they came together was anyone’s guess. Had she moved toward him, he toward her? Or had they converged simultaneously? Sara couldn’t be sure.

When she lifted her hands to place them on his chest, she noticed a smear of frosting on the side of her index finger, and she made to pull away so she could wipe her hand on her apron. But Landon captured her wrist and guided her finger to his lips. He slowly ran his tongue along her skin, the wet heat forced her breath to snag in her throat. Then he closed his lips around the pad of her finger and sucked gently.

“Mmmmm.” The low, husky sound reverberated from deep in his chest. “Delicious.”

“Come on now,” she whispered, sensual teasing in the words as she nuzzled his chin with the tip of her nose and then a light touch of her lips, “don’t you think you should share?”

His arms wrapped around her and he kissed her languidly, once, twice, three times, and then he covered her mouth with his, delving his tongue into the soft and willing recesses.

She closed her eyes and reveled in the luscious taste of sugar and butter and vanilla and him. Without thought, she leaned into him, drawing back her shoulders just a little and pressing her breasts into his chest. Oh, to be naked and feel the heat of his bare skin against hers; that would be wonderful. The desire urging her on was all-consuming; she didn’t have time to think about her actions, or to feel embarrassed by her bold behavior. She wanted to taste more of his kisses, she yearned to feel his hands on her body, she hungered for more… so much more.

 

Buy links:
Kindle US: http://amzn.to/12jdyvR
Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/1zk0xi9
Nook: http://ow.ly/FBcWI
Kobo US: http://ow.ly/FzCrP

4stars

WHEW!!! Cold shower, anyone? 😉 Don’t miss this one by my super talented friend!

DEB

Five reasons to love October

Do you have a favorite month? Please, don’t say December. That’s too easy. I’ve given this some semi-serious thought and I pick: October.

Here are MY 5 reasons why:

#1 – My anniversary is October 19th.

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Math is not my strong point, but, yes, it was quite a few years ago. I was blond. My mother sewed my pale blue wedding dress–and all the bride’s maids full-length gowns, too. What a woman!

If you promise not to be scandalized, I’ll share one silly memory of that day…or rather the morning after.

We were married in Brookings, South Dakota, which is a very popular destination for pheasant hunters. Opening day of pheasant hunting season happened to coincide with my wedding day. Given young men’s predilections for decorating the bridal getaway car, it probably shouldn’t have surprised us when we exited the Holiday Inn Bridal Suite the next morning to see our MGB adorned with streamers, cans, and…yes…prophylactics.  One even encased the antenna. I still shake my head imaging the laughter this evoked amongst the hunters that morning.

#2 – My sister Jan was born on Oct 26, 1936.

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We lost her to cancer four years ago, so I am dedicating this blog to her–and to my friend Linda Barrett, who has bravely written a memoir about her TWO battles with breast cancer. If you know anyone dealing with the hateful demon, please forward them the links to this beautiful, redemptive, hopeful love story written by a two-time survivor.

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Createspace (print)     Amazon   iTunes   BN(Nook)

#3 – Sierra Art Trails is this weekend (Mariposa County, California).

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I realize this is a local event, but I’m sure you have similar venues that celebrate the creative spirit in your area. Once a year, local artists open their studio doors to patrons. Writers are not included in this particular venue for the simple fact that watching a writer work would be BORING (my dogs complain all the time), but I know how good it feels when someone acknowledges your hard work with a kind word and/or actually buys what you produce. 

So, let’s celebrate ART this month!

#4 – Halloween/Fall Festival

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Our grassroots charter school holds a Fall Festival on the last weekend before Halloween. Students/parents/ grandparents wear costumes, play games, walk in circles to win cakes and goodies. We laugh a lot and enjoy all that is good about Halloween. Winter is coming, people. (Why, yes, I am a Game Thrones groupie. How ever did you guess?) Let’s have some fun while we can.

#5 – I get my breasts squished.

images-2Just do it. For yourself. For the people who love you and want to keep you around a bit longer. October is a great month to schedule your annual exam because…well, how could ever forget with all this pink around?

Wishing you all a very happy October!

Deb

More sex!

Oh, my, Debra! More? Really?

Forgive the salacious title, but it fits. Here’s why:

  • Ebooks are fluid.
  • Epublishing is not yo’ mama’s written-on-paper-bound-to-hang-around-for-as-long-as-yard-sales-exist kind of production.

Got typos? Fix ’em.

Hate your cover? Change it.

Missing a scene? Add it.

As long as the story is alive in the mind of the author, there is room, time and potential for change.

As a writer, I find this both scary and exciting.

Why?

Because most of the authors I know are perfectionists who can agonize for hours over the placement of a single word. Myself, I’ve tweaked a story to near death only to have my editor shrug off my concerns with a casual, “Oh, that’s nice.”

“Nice? Don’t you see the blood and brain matter on that page?” I wanted to shriek at her.

"Nice? I'll give you nice!"

Anyway, the point of this blog is, as the title says, “More sex.” Here’s why:

Now $1.99!

In my second Screw Senility book, In With A Bang, I committed the writerly sin of falling in love with a cool line–a really nice cliffhanger line, granted–at the expense of story.

I knew this in my gut, but I didn’t listen to my inner author…until a reader–thank you, Ruth–asked, “What happens with Jed the Contractor? Do he and Judy get together in the next book?”

“Um…no,” I stutter while my brain scrambles to remember who Jed is. “He and Judy are just friends. Didn’t I make that clear?”

Of course not, dufus, or she wouldn’t have asked.

I realized immediately that poor Jed the Contractor got screwed. Or, rather, did not get screwed quite enough. He and Judy had unfinished business.

In a conventional print book, I, the author, and you, the reader, would be SOL (So…out…of..luck–don’t ask me why there’s only one O. I don’t know.) But this an eBook. I’m the ePublisher. So, guess what?

I added a new scene.

And yes, yes, yes (this is more affective if you say it ala Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally), it’s a sexy scene. A very Judy Banger scene. Jed got lucky. Very lucky. French tickler lucky.

When Harry Met Sally “I’ll have what she’s having.”

There’s a lot to be said for satisfaction, don’t you agree?

Deb

PS: If you purchased In With A Bang! and your ereader doesn’t let you upload the most recent version, please contact me.

Hello…goodbye

I’d planned to blog about my second foray into the e-publishing world this morning. Say hello to Deb Salonen’s short e-story #2: Gator. And say, “Oh, yeah!” to my cover artist, Kim Van Meter. Does she rock or what?

Gator is very different from the first story I published. For one thing, Gator won a short story contest back in 1999–a few months before I sold my first full-length book. I considered that accolade a good omen, so it stood to reason, I’d jump at the chance to bring the story back to life once the right e-pub vehicle appeared. Thank you, Amazon/Kindle.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004YTN5EG (By the way, if you read this and like it, would you please, please, leave a “thumbs-up” Like or, even better, a brief review? Apparently, reviews drive the e-book machine. Sigh. And if you who don’t own an e-reader and don’t want to upload the free Kindle app on your computer, Gator will soon be out via Smashwords, which offers a whole slew of other types of applications: Mobi, PDF, RTF, etc. Check out: Smashwords.com. A Hundred Years or More is now available at Smashwords. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/56874 )

There.

That’s what I’d planned to blog about.

But then I got some sad and upsetting news on Sunday. A high school classmate of mine suffered a heart attack and died. And since this blog is about what’s happening in Debland, I decided I needed to blog about: Bob Kenny.

In high school, Bob Kenny was cool personified. He had the hair, the clothes, the attitude, the guitar…oh, yeah, he brought something new and a little bit scary to my close-knit high school class. And, I think I can say that, across the board, we embraced him because he was different.

Bob and I were friends in a broad, fellow-classmate sort of way. I liked him, but I never liked him. I was going steady with my hubby-to-be at the time. Bob’s circle and mine didn’t overlap often. But, looking back, I can appreciate what a lot of guts it must have taken to be your own person at such a young age.

Here are a couple of comments that have come in on our classmates loop since news of Bob’s death was posted:

Class,

I must say I am in shock as well. It’s very sad to think Bob is gone for good. I always considered Bob a friend. He was a good guy, and underneath it all – a true gentleman. I was fortunate enough to have seen him at our mini-reunion at Linda’s farm a few years ago and talked with him for a long time. We talked  how his daughter and my wife both have M.S., and about his desire to wind down the business. I remember running around with him and Dean when we were around 14, and going to Youth Temperance Coucil meetings and then going out drinking afterwards.

Bob Bork

LOL. That pretty much matches my memory of that time. 🙂

Did I mention Bob was a musician of some repute?

Wow. One of my best friends ever is no more. I credit Bob for helping Mr. Nerd (me) come out of his shell and convincing me that I needed a bigger sense of adventure. Lord knows the Ride provided a good taste, and Bob was instrumental in getting me to Lawrence, Kansas, where we spent a couple months living on popcorn and cokes from the soda machine at the Red Dog Inn before the Young Raiders came along. He didn’t make it to the Flippers, but he did make a wonderful life for his family after he got out of the Rock biz.

Barb & I visited him a few years ago, and I made a trip to see him last summer while I was back in the Midwest. His business was winding down and he was looking for other things to do, but he and Jill had created a wonderful retreat in the woods of Illinois, and we had a joyous two days just getting reacquainted, reminiscing, and figuring out what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. Bob had a huge collection of guitars, and I know he was looking forward to another reunion if we could find a reason.

It’s a little ironic – Jim W. mentioned that the Ride had been nominated to the SoDak R&R Hall of Fame, but they decided to wait because there were older groups with aging members, and they wanted to make sure they got recognized before the players died.

If there’s a moral to the story, it’s do what you always wanted to do when you can – you don’t know how many tomorrows you’ll get. I join with all the others in wishing Bob’s family peace and good memories.

Gordon M. Johnson

Bob and I recently re-connected via Facebook and email. In fact, a couple of days before he died, I sent him a copy of my first short story, A Hundred Years or More. This is what he wrote back:

Deb:

This came through fine and it is a wonderful piece – and that comes from someone who seldom cares for or reads short stories.  Before the early 70’s, it would have been perfect to run in the Saturday Evening Post, and even today, perhaps as a segment in Ira Glass and This American Life on PBS.  But if it’s to be, Amazon, so be it.   Ever consider starting up an online publishing house for short stories?  Might be an interesting side business.  I am sure that all across America there are stories in drawers that will never see the light of day, and some of them should.  If you ever want to try, Greg could help, and I would love to edit/proofread.

A personal note……….

When my oldest son, now 40, was in 5th grade and nearly failing, I told him if he picked up his grades he could have any pet he wanted.  He said he wanted a Parrot and proceeded to become an “A” student finishing the year at the top of his class.  In anticipation of this outcome, about a month earlier we put a deposit on an egg, visited the breeder to see the egg, visit the egg, hold it, watch it hatch and hold it, and watch grow it’s first feathers, take its first wobbly steps and feed it from an eyedropper.    It was the beginning of a fascinating close relationship, that only ended a year or so ago.  It was a yellow collared Macaw (sp) and was reputed to live at least 80 years.  I often wondered what would happen.

My son went to college during which time Charlie tolerated my wife and me as caretakers, but then my son met the girl, got married, got two dogs his wife liked, and had twins.  The bird didn’t have much of an appreciation for anyone in the house except my son. Finally facing the fact that his wife was distinctly not fond of ”the bird”  who was capable of taking a child’s finger off,  he spent a year finding a person who ran a bird adoption sanctuary, and thus said good bye to his long time pal Charlie.

They stay in touch, from time to time, and Charlie is still going strong.  But you made me think about what he thinks of it all.

I relate so to your wonderful story, having from the beginning been fairly sure that the parrot would outlive me, and wondering what would happen when he outlived my son. I think that could easily happen still.  Sort of like an ongoing life as a foster child.  And I wonder if that is kind or not.

B

Life is strange, is it not? Oh, and here’s a photo of Bob–and friend–from his Facebook page. (Thank you, Jackie.)

You will be missed, Bob.

Debra Salonen…publisher

Yes, folks, it’s official. I have gone to the dark side. I’m now a publisher. My very first original eBook–a short story titled “A Hundred Years or More” is for sale at the Kindle store. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004XNOV6O And let me tell you being a publisher is no picnic. You have to deal with crazy authors…like me.

Here’s my e-pub saga:

Thank heavens for friends! My pal and Novelist, Inc. roomie, Laurin Wittig, gave me a step-by-step cheat sheet on How-To-Self-Pub.

First step: get a cover.

So, I contacted my Superromance writing buddy, Kim Van Meter. Kim is fast and fabulous. I sent her my short story (it’s only 11 pages) and she sent me two awesome choices. I picked the one you see above. Isn’t it amazing? Captures the wistful, looking-out-the-window-at-life quality I didn’t even know I wanted for the cover. Yeah, Kim!!!

Then, came the tricky part: uploading my text.

Amazon/Kindle is very user-friendly, but like Smashwords (a step I’m still working on, Laurin), it works BEST with MS-Word. Unfortunately, I don’t have Word on my Mac. I can save a text file as a Word document, but I can’t edit as a Word document. Kim helped, bless her heart, but I missed a key step in the process (review!!!) and my first publishing effort was not a pretty sight. (This is where working with neurotic authors comes into play.)

The author (me) cheerfully, optimistically opens her Kindle app, types in the title of the story: “A Hundred Years or More,” pays the 99-cents, waits while it loads, then FREAKS OUT! The publisher (me) uploaded the wrong cover (the prototype, not the beautiful finished product) AND the text appeared without paragraphs. No paragraphs! The formatting was wrong. The publisher screwed up. The author was irate. The author’s husband laughed. It was not a good morning.

Thankfully, both mistakes were easily fixed once Kindle finished the uploading process and let me back into the program to make the changes. Finally–48 hrs from start to finish–my short story and cover were up.

I haven’t been on the Kindle boards, yet, but word is spreading and I’ve started getting some lovely reviews. My favorite is from a high school classmate of mine who actually bought his son a parrot and lived through some of the same experiences.

And, there’s a cool feature that both writers and publishers like about Kindle: you can check your sales daily…maybe hourly (I’m afraid to go there) and Kindle posts your ranking against other books in your category. (I think they have ranking for everything.) Currently, my book is number 3 on one of their lists. If you want to see how esoteric the category you’re just going to have to check it out yourself. I’m #3. That’s good enough for me. LOL.

So, what does this publishing business mean in terms of Deb Salonen books and writing? Well, I’ve hired a new web-mistress to help me re-vamp my current website. My first goal is to create a page devoted to my new e-pub projects. I plan to post all the great comments many of you–my first beta-readers–gave me after pre-viewing this story, along with photos of pet parrots, if anybody would like to contribute.

Here’s a great shot–not Captain Jack, but gorgeous none-the-less–from my pal Jackie Maxwell. www.jaximages.com

And, I’m currently putting the finishing touches on another short story. It’s title is: Gator. What’s with me and animal themes, right? LOL. Actually, I call this one: “A short story about love…or something like it.”  Poor Kim’s going to have her work cut out for her to come up with a great cover for this quirky little story, which actually took “First Place” in a short story contest many moons ago.

I know a lot of people aren’t thrilled about the whole e-book revolution, but for authors the medium provides a wonderful opportunity to find a home for those odd, little pieces that demand to be written but don’t fit with the average publishing houses. (Remember Saturday Evening Post and McCall’s? I used to love reading their short stories.)

I loved writing “A Hundred Years or More.” It came to me as one of the pure, sit-and-write pieces that only required transcribing. At first, I thought it might be the synopsis of a bigger story–and maybe, someday, it might–but for now, Captain Jack’s story was the perfect vehicle to explore my options and give publishing a try. And, frankly, if you can handle the crazy author-types, publishing’s not a bad gig.

Deb