FIRST KISS: TUESDAY – from Prince Charming Undercover

Welcome back to my First Kiss: Tuesday blog! It’s been awhile, I admit, but I’ll try to do better. In fact, all of December I will be featuring first kisses from holiday books to keep us in the Christmas spirit.

Prince Charming Undercover excerpt (© Loner Llama Press)


“No, hey, you. You’re a guest here. I picked you up from the airport, then didn’t see you for the rest of the day. Would it hurt you to play the friendly chatter game?”

That sounded almost as though she was disappointed. Nick kicked off his shoes and walked to the edge of the pool. Grace looked up, her eyes wide and mouth slightly open. He stepped over the edge and sank down, fully clothed. His feet touched the tile bottom and he pushed off. When he opened his eyes, his face was a few inches from hers.

“How friendly did you have in mind?”

Her mouth opened and closed the way it had when her cousin’s kids and her niece had tried to pick his pocket. Nick had a feeling it took a lot to leave her speechless. Instead of answering, she turned to swim away, but he caught her arm.

She tensed as if he were a threat. Maybe he was—to his own peace of mind, most certainly. To this case, very possibly. He had to stop whatever was going on with his libido before it got out of hand. And he would. After he kissed her.

Just once. Because her lips were too tempting to resist. Even now, when her expression was one of consternation, her lips were ruddy and full. Her upper arm was soft, although the muscle seemed solid and ready to fight him off if necessary. But the slightly questioning look in her eyes told him it wouldn’t come to that if he kept things civilized.

He kicked his feet. His jeans were heavy and cold on his skin even though the water was warmer than he’d expected. When he was close enough to detect the faint odor of garlic and spearmint on her breath, he said, “It would probably be uncouth to kiss you, wouldn’t it? We haven’t even dined together, yet.”

She ignored his question. “I work odd hours. Sort of the split shift from hell.”

“How ’bout breakfast?”

Even in the faint light, he could tell that she’d read more into the offer than he’d intended. “My treat,” he added. “We could meet out front. You can take me to your favorite spot.”

She laughed shortly, confirming her embarrassment. Oddly, this small vanity made her suddenly very human, and real. He knew without a doubt that she wasn’t Charles’s stooge or cohort. She was Grace Parlier, her father’s princess who was just trying to keep her family together.

He’d never met a woman like her, and if he had, he’d have pushed her away. This time, he pulled her closer. Her chest brushed against his.

“I think you might be crazy,” she said, laughing. “And here we were worried about you being a hit man. You’re really just plain nuts.”

“That’s one explanation. Dazzled by your beauty is another.”

He lowered his head to kiss her, but she slipped, mermaid-like, from his hold and swam underwater to the far end of the pool. She pulled herself up and out of the pool, grabbing a towel from the back of a lawn chair. Even in the misty lighting, Nick could tell her breathing was shaky.

She started away but stopped and turned slightly. With a smile that made him groan, she blew him a kiss and said, “See you at breakfast. Any day but Saturday— I sleep in on Saturdays.” Then she disappeared into the darkness.

As he sank under the water, he heard the sound of a door closing. Submerged, eyes blinking against the sting of the chlorine, he shook his head. She was right. He was crazy.

Ain’t love grand? 😉

Download for FREE for a short time only at the vendor of your choice: DOWNLOAD.



Also, my book is being featured on Thursday November 29th 2018 at Check it out for free and bargain ebook deals!

Happy reading,



What trumps a Black Friday bargain?


For a short time only, you can download PRINCE CHARMING UNDERCOVER – Book I in the Betting On Love series – for $0.00 at all vendors, globally. (At least, that’s the plan. I honestly don’t know if Italy will ever play ball. Sigh.)


Buy links: 





—50 % OFF all ebooks from TULE PUBLISHING—

That means, if you missed any of my Tule Holiday favorites, you can grab them now for 1/2 off retail! 1 DAY ONLY!!! Don’t wait.

Click on any of the covers below to go to the Tule Bookstore page. And while you’re there, check out the gazillion other fab titles from fab authors at a fab price. (I’m in Black Friday shopper mode, can you tell?) 😉




What are you thankful for?

I’ve started my gratitude list to share on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a tradition my granddaughters started a couple of year ago. We all take turns reading our lists aloud.

Here’s mine:

  1. My family. We are all healthy, mostly happy, very fortunate and reasonably bemused human beings.

  2. Firefighters. (I live in California. Really, what else can I say? Heroes all!!!)

  3. Good friends. Never underestimate the value of someone who shares the same number of decades as you. They save you from having to explain who Tom Jones is or how to use a rotary phone.

  4. Book lovers: people who love to read, people who write fabulous stories I can’t wait to read, publishing professionals who make the books I love to write and read, writer and reader friends who help me navigate this crazy business of book production with humor and a modicum of grace.

  5. The last peaceful day before Christmas. That’s how I’ve come to regard Thanksgiving. I’m all about the feast, the conversation, and the respite today offers!

  6. The fact that I have a house. It’s not perfect, but it’s also not burned to the ground. My “stuff” has not reduced to ash. I have running water, a good roof, a cozy bed, and I don’t have to rebuild it all from scratch.

  7. Food. And the means to prepare it.

    The list goes on, but you get the idea. Most of us are pretty darn lucky, but fire doesn’t play fair and so many people in this beautiful state have been impacted by the devastating wild fires.

    I live a long way from the two large fires, but my heart aches for all those displaced by this catastrophe. Next week, my granddaughters and I will be buying $10 gift cards at WalMart, Target and Grocery Outlet to send to victims of the Camp Fire. I got this idea from my dear friend Barbara McMahon. She wrote: “Can you spare $10? If everyone bought one $10 gift card at Walmart or Target, or a Visa card or gas card or something that is universally used, and sent it to the victims of this devastation, it would help so much.” She inspired me to research how to make this happen.

    Here is what I learned: “Officials in California say the victims of the fires would benefit from gift cards to Walmart, Target, gas stations or grocery stores, as well as other stores in the affected areas, including the grocery store Raley’s, Food Maxx, Grocery Outlet, Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Big Lots.”

    If you’re interesting in helping those impacted by the Camp Fire, hese are addresses where you can send gift card donations:

    Evacuation Shelters, Neighborhood Church of Chico, 2801 Notre Dame Blvd. in Chico, California 95928

    Oroville Hope Center, 1950 Kitrick Ave A, Oroville, California 95966

     Habitat for Humanity Yuba/Sutter ReStore at 202 D St. in Marysville, California 95901.

    Wishing you all a happy, happy Thanksgiving!



    PS: Here’s a little Thanksgiving gift for all my readers!

  8. Click on image to download for FREE at the vendor of your choice!