Category Archives: COVER REVEAL

#WOTR18 #CoverReveal #FindingTheGreenRoom #RyanAndJess #TheSutterFamily #SurferRomance #NewAdult #FriendsToLovers #PreorderNow #OneClick – Finding the Green Room, Sutter Family Book 3 by H. D’Agostino

I’ve always known what I was meant to do… surf. I’ve spent practically every day in the water since I was six searching for the green room. This is where I met my best friend, Ryan. We’ve been inseparable for the better part of our lives. He has always ‘just a friend’, and I am ok with that.

As time passed, our friendship evolved into what I thought could be love, only to be tested. A chance to go pro, to find the green room, was right within my grasp. I had a choice to make… Ryan or the future I’d only dreamt about?


Pre-Order Lnks

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Heather D’Agostino is an avid reader turned Bestselling Author of the Contemporary Romance Series The Broken Series, The Shattered Series, The Second Chances Series, The Cook Brothers Series, and Romantic Suspense series The Witness Series.

She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics.

She currently lives in Central New York with her husband, two children, two dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing she can usually be found at the dance studio, soccer field, or one of the many other places that she plays ‘Supermom’.


#WOTR18 #CoverReveal – OUTCAST, A Good Guys Novel by Jamie Schlosser @SchlosserJamie

 OUTCAST by Jamie Schlosser is set to release March 15th!

A New Adult/College Standalone Romance



My infatuation with Ezra Johnson started how all obsessions begin—with a simple crush. Over the years I silently soaked up every shy smile and random act of kindness, wrestling them away to a secret place in my heart meant for unrequited love.

Because if it wasn’t for the fact that I tutor him once a week, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t even know I exist.

Then I find his sketchbook.

And it changes everything.


There are two certainties in my life: I’ve been in love with Kayla Reynolds since I was fourteen, and I can’t have her.

I’ve spent years settling for a two-dimensional fantasy world, capturing her beauty with a pencil and paper. She’s kind, smart, gorgeous… and she belongs to someone else.

Or so I thought.

An interesting turn of events makes me realize things aren’t always how they appear on the outside, and now I’ve got my chance to be the man she deserves.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been called a loser. The cripple. An outcast.

But maybe—just maybe—this time the good guy won’t finish last.

Photographer: Lindee Robinson

Models: Brian Boynton and Destiny Hughbanks




Jamie Schlosser grew up on a farm in Illinois surrounded by cornfields. Although she no longer lives in the country, her dream is to return to rural living someday. As a stay-at-home mom, she spends most of her days running back and forth between her two wonderful kids and her laptop. She loves her family, iced coffee, and happily-ever-afters.



#CoverReveal #DarkDuet – Almanza Duet ,Titles: Cartel Bitch ~ Cartel Queen, by Chelsea Camaron


Duet Title: Almanza Duet
Titles: Cartel Bitch ~ Cartel Queen
Cartel Bitch Release: March 15, 2018
Cartel Queen Release: April 19, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Model: Mike LaCombe
Cover Photographer: Golden Czermak/Furious Fotog
Cover Designer: Cassy Roop of Pink Ink Designs



I’m to be feared.

When your family is as much a friend as an enemy, there is no one to trust.

I am Javier Almanza.

Cartel kingpin.

No one can touch me.

No one can hurt me.

Except her.

Mari Belle Dominguez.



I refuse to break at the hands of a man.

My situation makes me his.

He’ll never really have me.

I’ll never let him hurt me.

Until he claims more than my house, my body, and my life.

When Javier Almanza claims my heart, I’m no longer his cartel bitch.

No, I am the queen.

Chelsea Camaron is a small town Carolina girl with a big imagination. She is a wife and mom chasing her dreams. She writes contemporary romance, erotic suspense, and psychological thrillers. She loves to write blue-collar men who have real problems with a fictional twist. From mechanics to bikers to oil riggers to smokejumpers, bar owners, and beyond, she loves a strong hero who works hard and plays harder.


#CoverReveals #Cowboys #AntiHero- Trails of Sin by Pam Godwin

Cover Reveal: A NEW series!

TRAILS OF SIN is a cowboy romance series done Pam Godwin’s way.
Dark – Kinky – Lawless – Modern – Anti-heroes

Each book spotlights a different couple.
No cliffhangers.
Must be read in order.


Coming May 1, 2018

I try to forget her.
It’s impossible.

Growing up together, Conor and I shared all our firsts.
First love, first kiss, first…
Not all our firsts.

We were sixteen the night she was violently assaulted while I helplessly watched.
I’ll never forget the sounds of her suffering.
Or my inconsolable agony when she left Oklahoma.

Years later, she returns to honor our teenage pact.
Except the boy she loved is gone, replaced by a ruthless cattle rancher knotted with secrets.
She doesn’t know my dark cravings or the trails of sin that lead to her.

I don’t deserve her, but one truth remains.
She’s mine.


Coming July 10, 2018

BOOTED, Book 3

Coming Sept 18, 2018

Pam Godwin

Pam Godwin Books GrayScale

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.
Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Other Books by Pam Godwin

Tangled Lies Series

Deliver Series

Trilogy of Eve


#NewCover – Darker Water by Lauren Stewart

Title:      Darker Water

Series:   Once and Forever #1

Author: Lauren Stewart

Genre:   Contemporary Romance/New Adult

Release Date: Oct 3, 2014

Word Count: 94,000


After another painful breakup, Laney finally understands that love is a fairytale and sex rarely comes with a happy ending. She’s too busy for it right now anyway—she has a business to run, art to create, and candy to crush. Eventually she’ll be ready to switch from a plastic-or-silicon lover to a flesh-and-blood one. But before that happens, she needs to be sure she won’t feel any of those annoying emotions that make her heart do things it wasn’t meant to do…

Like break

Carson is completely upfront about what he wants, and it has nothing to do with Laney’s heart. Her lips? Hell yeah. Other parts of her body? You better f*cking believe it. But her heart? Nope, not even a little. Until it does…a lot. But having feelings for someone isn’t allowed. It’s the kind of thing you’re supposed to push down deep and cover up with one-night stands, sarcasm, and booze…

 Like secrets

Two people want the same thing—a commitment to nothing more than great sex in a bunch of different positions. Simple. Enjoyable. A win-win. Problem is, those two people have families and fears and pain that spill into every moment of their lives, control what they do and who they are. And if either Carson or Laney can’t free themselves from the past, they’ll both be pulled under by it.

*** Darker Water is a stand-alone contemporary romance that does not end in a cliffhanger.




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Twitter: @ReadLaurenS






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Lauren Stewart’s other work

Virtually Impossible (Once and Forever #2)

Deeper Water (Once and Forever #3)

Unseen (The Heights Vol. 1)

Unearthed (The Heights Vol 2)

Hyde, an Urban Fantasy (Hyde, Book I)

Jekyll (Hyde, Book II)

Strange Case (Hyde, Book III)

No Experience Required (a Summer Rains novel #1)

Second Bite


Lauren Stewart lives in Northern California with one teenager, one almost-teenager, a mellow cat, and an incredibly high maintenance puppy.  On the nights when Lauren doesn’t pass out from exhaustion, she reads almost every genre so, naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you’ll find elements of other genres–fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women’s literature, all with a touch of humor.

Because what doesn’t kill us should make us laugh.


What Inspired This Book?

 It began on a dare—that I wouldn’t be able to write a standalone novel that ended in a happy ending (until then, I’d always written series where one couple takes a few novels to reach their happy ending).

Darker Water is a twist on The Frog Prince, with the heroine believing she has the metaphorical power to turn good men—princes—into assholes—frogs. Because all the men she’d fallen for had seemed perfect right up until she found out they were total pricks. So what does she need to make her believe in love again? A frog, of course. An asshole who, because of her love, finally shows us that he’s been an amazing man all along.

The fairytale at the beginning of the book came to me as soon as I started typing. It was incredible and set up the entire framework for the story. The second part of Laney and Carson’s fairytale, at the end, encapsulates what they’ve learned and where they’re headed.


I took one of the comfy chairs in the corner, put my coffee and my feet up on the large ottoman in front of me, and opened the Angry Birds app on my phone. About fifteen minutes later, I saw jean-clad legs in my peripheral vision. His shoes were pointed towards me, but he didn’t say anything.

“Listen, I’m sure you’re a wonderful person, but I need to focus.” I pointed to my phone without raising my head. “Or I’m going to break my winning streak.”

“I’m not sure if you know this”—the legs moved a step closer—“but when you win, you don’t actually get any candy. Yeah,” he grumbled. “The day I found that out was one of the worst days of my life.”

I wiped my mouth to cover my smile—he’d probably take it as a sign I wanted to keep talking to him. “As much as I appreciate the tip, I’m not interested.”

“Me neither. Wait, what aren’t we interested in again? Oh, did you mean you and me…being interesting together? Then yeah, actually, I am interested in that.”

I looked up at him briefly. Well, no one could ever mistake him for average looking, that was for sure. Full lips that looked very comfortable wearing a smirk. The tattoos covering most of both forearms would’ve made my mom shake her head and say something witty like, Maybe his parents didn’t give him enough coloring books when he was little. Light-brown hair tossed in a hot, I-have-more-important-things-to-take-care-of-than-my-hair way. One of those more important things might be his body. If I wasn’t completely cured of men, I’d thank him for making it a priority. Not that I didn’t find men attractive anymore—I couldn’t control that. And sure, I’d love to take a few more looks at the guy. But that wouldn’t bring me anything but frustration. And frustration didn’t bring me anything but the need for more batteries.

Three months ago, I would’ve been blushing, stuttering, making a fool of myself, and planning our wedding. Now I had more important things to take care of, like my sanity. And some very unhappy birds.

So I slumped into the chair and went back to my game. “Trust me, you don’t want me to get to know you, not if you like who you are right now. I’m cursed. I could turn you into a frog with barely any effort at all. Go find someone else to pretend to be in love with. I wish you luck.”

He picked up my coffee from the ottoman and sat down. “Congratulations. You’ve just made yourself twice as intriguing. You have to know that all men enjoy a good chase every once in a while.”

“I’m not running—I’m telling you to run. Go hunt down someone else.”

“I’m Carson.”

“Okay, go hunt down someone else, Carson.”

“Maybe three times as intriguing.” After a second, he stood. “Nice to meet you, Lane.”

“It’s Laney, but how did you—?”

He glanced down at my coffee cup, which he was still holding. My name was written in big letters on the side, the ‘Y’ an illegible scribble. I should’ve gone the more environmentally friendly route and skipped the paper cup. But not a big deal. All he knew was most of my name and my drink order. Thankfully they didn’t write my phone number on there, too. Not that he would remember it three minutes from now, because frankly, I’m not worth that much of his effort.

He handed my coffee back but didn’t go away, seemingly content to keep staring at me with a cocky grin. Okay, he was really far from average looking. But guaranteed, he was as much a liar as they all are. Maybe worse because the more attractive a guy is, the more he thinks he can get away with. I take that back—the more he can get away with. Because women are idiots.

“Let me guess,” I said. “You’re different from every other guy, searching for the one woman who will complete you. You’re considerate, caring, and really want a chance to know who I truly am.”

“Not at all,” he said, ticking the points off with his fingers and grimacing. “Definitely not. Dear god no. That’s not even close to what I want from you. And…was that all of them? I got distracted by your breasts for a little while there, so I may have missed one.”

I coughed, covering my mouth before I spit my coffee out. “Seriously?” In the last few months I’d had a lot of similar conversations with moderately similar guys. But not a single one had an answer even remotely like that.

“Seriously. I’m a complete asshole who only cares about what he can get from someone. Take you, for example. I saw you sitting here alone, no ring, great body. And thought, ‘I want to fuck her.’ And yeah, those were the exact words that went through my head. On the way over here I tried to figure out the fastest and most efficient way to get you into my bed—which isn’t far from here by the way—hoping you weren’t the type who needed a couple dinners out first. So, Lane”—he popped an eyebrow—“are you?”

I didn’t know how to respond. Was I? I used to be. Except it had taken more than a couple dinners before I slept with someone. It had taken a commitment of some kind. And now? Even though I was done with relationships and love, I didn’t want to be celibate for the rest of my life. I wasn’t sure I was ready, but there was only one way to find out. And, as far as guinea pigs went, I couldn’t have found a more attractive one. So…

Fuck it. For some unknown reason, I’d shaved my legs this morning. Maybe it was a sign from the universe that today was the day to do some experimenting.

Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m about to do this. I stood, grabbed my bag, and pushed past him on my way to the door. Then I turned around. “I think that was an exceptionally efficient way to get me into your bed.”

Short Quotes

Fairytale Ending

Once upon a time, there was a woman who, though not stunningly beautiful, thought herself to be. Because she was in love with a man who made her feel that way.


How fucking ironic—I’d been looking for love for the last eight years. And when I finally stopped wanting and believing in it, it found me. I didn’t have feelings for Carson—I was in love with him.

’You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.’ My mother’s favorite expression was completely fucking wrong. If you kiss a lot of frogs, all you end up with is sore lips and a bunch of frogs. And if you kiss a lot of princes, hoping at least one of them will stay that way, all you get is a horrific amount of disappointment and even more frogs

I didn’t have feelings for Carson—I was in love with him. And what’s worse than falling in love when you don’t want to? Falling in love with someone who can’t love you back.


“If it could be anyone,” he whispered, “it would be you.”

“Life’s too fucking short to spend any of it embarrassed or guilty. If you’re going to learn how to put yourself first, you can’t keep being controlled by what other people do.”

“Seriously. I’m a complete asshole who only cares about what he can get from someone. Take you, for example. I saw you sitting here alone, no ring, great body. And thought, ‘I want to fuck her.’ And yeah, those were the exact words that went through my head. On the way over here I tried to figure out the fastest and most efficient way to get you into my bed—which isn’t far from here, by the way—hoping you weren’t the type who needed a couple dinners out first. So, Lane”—he popped an eyebrow—“are you?”



#CoverReveal – Ignite the Flame by Susan Griscom

Title: Ignite the Flame
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
He can take her anywhere her heart desires, but she can bring him to his knees with the gentle flick of her finger.
When the tragic death of her father brings Addison MacKenna back to the town where she was born, she can’t understand the strange sensations that have begun to consume her. Plagued with nightmares of her father’s sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe that his demise was accidental.
But that’s not the only thing Addie struggles with.
Caught up in the horrors of her latest nightmare while driving to work one day, she’s startled beyond comprehension when she almost runs down a man standing in the middle of the road. A gorgeous, stunning man she can’t seem to take her mind or her eyes off of. All of a sudden, the impossible seems possible, and it’s not clear whether that’s a blessing or a curse.
Cael Sheridan may be arrogant and mysterious, but he’s also undeniably gorgeous. A member of a secret society, he is sworn to protect the woman he believes to be the daughter of his recently murdered mentor. In the process, he finds it impossible to resist her magnetic sensuality, complicating his efforts to shield and guide her as she learns to manage her newly acquired skills. He’s faced with the tough decision of whether to let her in or sabotage their new relationship in order to keep her safe as well as his own heart.
Fate has brought them together, but will it make them stronger or destroy them in the end?
This book is NOT a typical paranormal romance with vampires or alpha dogs. However, it is full of magical abilities from shape-shifting to healing powers as well as teleporting, and it is a sexy, steamy romance with intimate scenes and adult situations.
*Ignite the Flame, formerly known as Whisper Cape

Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She’s hooked on sexy romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.
She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence.
She lives in Northern California in wine country and one of her favorite weekend excursions is wine tasting with the love of her life. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.
Author Links:
Facebook Author Page: 
Amazon Author Page:

Buy Links:
Ignite the Flame:
Reflect the Flame:
Tame the Flame:

#COVERREVEAL – No Hesitations (The Fighter Series #5) by T.C. Matson

  Title: No Hesitations
Series: The Fighter Series #5

By: T.C. Matson
Publication Date: August 11, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations

My life is perfect.
I have it all—the woman of my fantasies and my shot at the championship.
It’s all right in front of me. In my grips. I can see it, taste it, feel it.
No chance in hell I’ll lose.
Until I fall at the mercy of another man’s hands.
I’m torn apart and forced to make difficult decisions while staring malicious hatred in the eyes.
Doors open and others close—ones I’m not ready to see go.
My course changes. My dreams begin evading me.
You think I fought hard to get where I’m at now?
You haven’t seen the depth of my perseverance yet.
This isn’t the end of me.

He has everything in his hands—his career, me, our future.
One costly mistake, a defiant decision, and everything vanishes.
As he holds my hand through the darkness, he loses it all.
I watch with anguish as he struggles to put the torn pieces back together.
It’s not as easy as he had hoped.
But his strength proves powerful. His determination unbreakable.
Together we’ll conquer.
Together we don’t accept defeat.

Pre-Order Links!


The Fighter Series Book One
The Fighter Series Book Two
The Fighter Series Book Three

No Holds

The Fighter Series Book Four


“Dreaming in Reality…You dream in reality when you pick up a book and get lost in it. In my writing, I strive to take you to a place where reality and fantasy become a blurry line. Everything should be relatable. It could happen…couldn’t it?” ~ TC Matson

TC Matson loves to let her character’s voices be heard. With a head full of stories, she puts her keyboard through a beating daily. With an understanding that love isn’t always instant and full of flowers—her writing mirrors it.

She’s a romance junkie at heart and an avid reader. Add those two together and she will devour books within hours, getting lost in the world the author creates.

Matson resides in the peaceful Piedmont area of NC with her husband and three boys, where staying hopped up on caffeine is the key to her sanity. Chaos is indefinite and a sense of humor is an absolute must.

Social Media Links
Goodreads –
Twitter – @TC_Matson
Instagram – tc_matson
Author Amazon Page –

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# CoverReveal More Than Love You (More Than Words 3) by Shayla Black

Release Date: February 13, 2018
Designer: Rachel Connolly
Photographer: Sara Eirew
Add To GoodReads Here


I’m Noah
Weston. For a decade, I’ve quarterbacked America’s most iconic football team
and plowed my way through women. Now I’m transitioning from star player to
retired jock—with a cloud of allegation hanging over my head. So I’m escaping
to the private ocean-front paradise I bought for peace and quiet. What I get
instead is stubborn, snarky, wild, lights-my-blood-on-fire Harlow Reed. Since
she just left a relationship in a hugely viral way, she should be the last
woman I’m seen with.
On second
thought, we can help each other…
I need a
steady, supportive “girlfriend” for the court of public opinion, not
entanglements. Harlow is merely looking for nonstop sweaty sex and screaming
orgasms that wring pleasure from her oh-so-luscious body. Three months—that’s
how long it should take for us both to scratch this itch and leave our
respective scandals behind. But the more I know this woman, the less I can
picture my life without her. And when I’m forced to choose, I’ll realize I
don’t merely want her in my bed or need her for a ruse. I more than love her
enough to do whatever it takes to make her mine for good.
This book is the third in the More Than Words
series. The books are companions, not serials, meaning that backstory,
secondary characters, and other elements will be easier to relate to if you
read the installments in order, but the main romance of each book is a
This book contains lines that may make you
laugh, events that may make you cry, and scenes that will probably have you
squirming in your seat. Don’t worry about cliffhangers. HEA guaranteed! (Does not
contain elements of BDSM or romantic suspense.)

Kindle US I Kindle UKKindle CAKindle AU


More Than Want You, Book 1

Available Now

Kindle USKindle UKKindle CAKindle AUNookiBooksKobo 

More Than Need You, Book 2

Releasing June 13, 2017

Kindle US I Kindle UKKindle CAKindle AU I Nook I iBooksKobo 

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today
bestselling author of more than fifty novels. For nearly twenty years,
she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via
traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold
millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.
Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of
daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her
love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the
stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in
Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the
bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s
been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.
 Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully
supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and two spoiled tabbies.
In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to
an eclectic blend of music.

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#WOTR #COVERREVEAL – Numb (King’s Harlots, #4) by J.M. Walker


He doesn’t remember.

In the beginning, women and alcohol were one in the same. Until he met her.

The pain and heartache he caused her died when he was shot and fell into a coma.

Waking up is the only way he can get back to Maxine Stanton while she does everything she can to push him away.

She hates him.

Every fiber of her being loathes the man she fell in love with but she can’t control her heart and wants him just the same.

When Dale Michaels finally wakes up, she realizes they need to end this once and for all, before it destroys them both.

When an unexpected source rips through what they’ve worked hard to maintain, only then do they realize the full potential of their love.


★•☆•★King’s Harlots Series!!!!!!!!!!★•☆•★

“An unexpected evil brings both the MC and Military world together in this brand new series by J.M. Walker”

1 – Grit
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2 – Stain
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2.5 – Grim (Listed as #3 on Amazon)
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3 – Rude – can be read as a standalone
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#MCRomance #MilitaryRomance #KingsHarlotsSeries#JMWalkerBooks #CobyEffinPorter #SharingIsCaring

Are you a Jem? Join my reader group for all things Kings Harlots. See teasers, covers and more, before anyone else.

#CoverReveal – Possessed by a Vampire by Susan Griscom

Title: Possessed by a Vampire

Author: Susan Griscom

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR


They possess the power to make their dreams come true—but it won’t be easy.

Preston Knight—Elvis to his friends—loves being a vampire. The night he was turned was the first step to him becoming the kind of man he always hoped to be. Now, he’s a rock star. What could be better? But the one thing that would make his world complete is just out of reach. The woman he yearns for has some serious secrets, and despite him knowing that she wants him just as much as he wants her, she won’t let him in.

Lily Gray never asked to be a vampire. The choice was taken from her eons ago, and things never improved. Now, she finds herself peddling drugs on the streets of San Francisco and playing the part of doting wife to a possessive and sadistic vampire with delusions of grandeur. But family means everything to Lily, and she’s willing to sacrifice everything for it…even her one chance at happiness with the sexy-as-sin vampire who sets her heart ablaze.

When one night of passion opens the door for a century of secrets to be revealed, Lily and Preston must fight for not only what they believe in but also what they love.


Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She’s hooked on sexy romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.

She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence.

She lives in Northern California in wine country and one of her favorite weekend excursions is wine tasting with the love of her life. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.

Author Links:

Facebook Author Page: 

Amazon Author Page:

Facebook personal:


Buy Links:

Tempted by a Vampire (Free):

Captivated by a Vampire:

Rocked by a Vampire:

Possessed by a Vampire (Pre-Order):

“It’s up to you, Elvis.” Lincoln, the dealer, nodded in my direction and waited. I kept my eyes trained on the center of the table where chips sat in a small pile. I didn’t need to look at my cards again. I knew what I had: an eight and a queen of hearts.

There were six vampires at the table, counting both Gage and me. Gage had folded right after the deal, and so had one of the other players. I was the last to bet, and sometimes, I liked to spice things up a bit, so I matched the bet and sat back.

Heavy smoke hung in the air like delicate streams of fog, swirling in circled patterns under the light hanging from a long cord above the table. Four other lights hung on fixtures attached to the otherwise stark, tawny brown walls. Even with all the lights, the room seemed dark.

Maybe it was the darkness of the souls in the room. I wasn’t sure.

A droning sound buzzed from outside, a little annoying, but I managed to drown it out as I nonchalantly watched the faces around the table as the dealer revealed the flop.

The first card the dealer turned up was a jack of hearts, then a nine of hearts.

Holy fuck.

It was raining hearts for some reason, and I held two of them already. I held my breath, waiting for the third card in the flop. Crap, an eight of diamonds.

Not exactly what I was looking for, but a pair of eights with a queen high wasn’t completely a loss so I decided to hang in there and see if one more heart would show. There were still two cards to go, and a flush was possible.

I kept my eyes straight, my thoughts blank—or I tried—like I usually did as each card was revealed, always attempting to keep my composure, never deviating from the norm, not wanting to give away my emotions. I was an expert at reading people. Especially in a poker game. A blink of an eye, a slight twitch, a swallow, the slightest movement, anything…different could give someone’s hand away. I wanted to reach up and finger my shades that sat on top of my head. Just one little nudge and they’d be sitting comfortably on my face, shielding my eyes. But not only were dark glasses frowned upon in this high-stakes game of Texas Hold ’em, but any movement out of the ordinary might tip someone off about my cards.

This wasn’t our normal gathering with my brothers at the mansion. This was a high roller, unsanctioned but heavily guarded poker game with some seriously high-powered city officials that I’d bet my right nut were a drug cartel of some sort or another. The two thugs in the monkey suits positioned on either side of the door to the entrance had stood like statues most of the night; the bulge of a holster protruding from under their jackets an obvious clue. At least they were on the outside of the room, but they still remained at the ready if their services were required.

Gage and I didn’t normally seek out games with such high stakes, but he’d been bored lately, and when he ran into Lincoln—the game’s host—at Club Royal a couple of weeks ago, Lincoln had

invited Gage and me to join. Said they’d recently lost two of their regulars and needed a couple of fill-ins.

When Gage approached me, I’d shrugged him off at first, not wanting any part of something that sounded so sketchy, but after he’d pestered me for the entire week, I finally gave in, needing a distraction from the long hours—sometimes days apart—from Lily, the sexy and sweet vampire I’d been trying to get to know better. Except, she was either playing hard to get, or just wasn’t that interested in me. Though I had a difficult time believing the latter of those two options since she continued to meet me whenever she had the time or, in her words, “could get away.” Away from what, I hadn’t been able to find out. Yet.

Getting thoughts of Lily off my mind was nearly impossible Her fair, silky-smooth skin; her mesmerizing dark coffee eyes that could hold my gaze for hours on end; the tips of her long, thick locks kissing the cleavage of her breasts where my lips longed to skim. I managed to clear my head just in time, as it was my turn to bet again. I slid my bet forward, raising the pot three thousand for appearance’s sake. In truth, without another heart or a ten, I had squat. I didn’t think the pair of eights would cut it. I had an excellent chance for a straight or a flush if either of the next two cards went my way. Since Gage had already folded, he sat still as a statue beside me, his hands together on the edge of the table. I knew he was busting a gut wondering what I held in my hand.

There were only four of us left in this hand, and I didn’t want to go home with a loss. Not against these guys. Two of them sat puffing on brown cigarettes, looking rather tough. They were tough, the sort who would drain the blood from a homeless person and leave them to die in the gutter without so much as a “thank you, ma’am.” Particularly, the one at the end with the light brown wool Stetson on

his head. The word dangerous exuded from his pores. He wore that hat pulled low on his brow, shading his eyes just enough to where it was legal but not enough to reveal much about him. A neatly trimmed goatee graced his chin and his upper lip. A long ponytail made of cornrow braids hung down his back. He seemed on edge, or maybe it was just an act to throw me off.

Which he did when he raised another five thousand. That was steep, and the other two guys folded. Either the guy had something powerful, or he was bluffing his ass off and had nothing. Since I had the queen of hearts, I knew he couldn’t have a royal flush. But that didn’t rule out a straight or four of a kind. The bald-headed guy next to him folded, as did the next two. Now it was up to me, and six thousand was just about all I had left, so I shoved the entire stack I had into the middle of the table.

“I’m all in,” I said with feigned confidence.

After all the bets had been matched, the dealer flipped the fourth card.

A fucking nine of spades.


I watched out of the corner of my eye as cowboy hat’s mouth curved up on one side, the tip of his fang biting into his lower lip. Could mean he was nervous. Or cocky. Either way, my hand was dead unless a ten or another heart showed up.

My heart skipped a beat when the fifth card was flipped over. There it was, sparkling as if someone had lit it on fire. I managed to keep my composure as I chilled, though I could have sworn I heard fireworks go off outside.

The beautiful ten of hearts.

Stetson vamp chuckled and said, “Too bad. You played a nice hand.” Then he laid down his cards. A pair of nines, giving him four of a fucking kind, which would beat most hands. When he started to grab at the pile of chips, I cleared my throat.

“Hold on there, space cowboy,” I heard myself say, not sure if the cockiness in my voice would help or hinder, but that pile of chips in the center of the table belonged to me, and there was no fucking way I was letting this douche have them. I had a fucking straight flush, queen high. Beat that you fucking cocksucker. I wanted to gloat but managed to keep my cool and simply turned the two cards in my hand over and placed them face up on the table.

His face paled, if that were possible. His dark-stubbled jaw flexed. His eyes narrowed to slits. His left ear twitched, and he placed both his palms on the table as he stood, glaring at me. Everyone sitting around the table stiffened. The chips lay in a heap in the middle. He kept his large ebony eyes on mine, never faltering. I allowed myself to stare right back, not moving a centimeter. I was good at stare-out games. I’d had a cat, many in fact, and we constantly played this game. Stetson hat was no different in my mind. Though I was positive he thought differently. This guy was too fucking arrogant for my taste. I’d wondered from the moment I sat down if he was going to be trouble.

“Jace, you ready?” he barked.

The guy at the end of the table—Jace, I assumed—nodded. “Yep, I’m all tapped out. Ladies.”

Stetson hat shrugged into a light brown wool coat, generously embellished with dark brown fur at the lapel, all the while keeping his eyes glued to me. “Be sure to join us again. I look forward to the opportunity to win that back.” His eyes briefly averted to the large pile of chips in the middle of the table before returning to mine, and then he touched the rim of his hat and nodded like he was fucking Clint Eastwood. “Gentlemen.” He kept his lips tight as he turned and walked out. Stopping by another vampire on his way, he looked down at him, made some sort of gesture with his hand, and left the room. Jace, and two other large vampires went with him.

Gage cleared his throat. “Fuck, man. That was intense.” The three dudes left at the table all sighed heavily.

The vampire that Stetson hat had gestured to stood up. “Roach would like you to join him at his employer’s mansion.” Roach? What the fuck kind of person names their kid Roach? I almost laughed. The poor guy. No wonder he was so intense. “It is open to you any Friday evening. That is the night they

entertain small groups. Midnight. Here’s the address.” He slipped me a card. I glanced down at the etching on the flat piece of metal.

It read:

Sweet’s Delicacies

Whatever your pleasure, we’ve got it.

Sweet Towers, Sky Deck.

When the vampire had left, Gage grabbed the card from me. “Shit. Looks like he wants a rematch.”

“Well, he isn’t getting one,” I retorted and threw the fancy card down on the table. This was over right now. I didn’t want any part of whatever the fuck that guy was dealing.

“I wouldn’t be so quick to pass on that invite if I were you, Elvis,” Lincoln, the vampire who’d hosted the night’s game, said. “That vampire works for Sweet, one of this city’s most dominant and influential business owners. He has the support of the local labor board, as well as several other highfalutin bigwigs in the city. It’s quite the honor to be invited, even if it was by his right-hand man. Sweet doesn’t give out invitations to his private parties very often. And his parties don’t have anything to do with card games, if you get my drift. Roach must have liked you.” He winked.

I raised my eyebrows up at Lincoln in question.

“You know. Sex, drugs. Those kinds of parties. Group or single, whatever you desire, so I’ve heard.”

Whatever kind of parties, I wasn’t into group sex or drugs. I had a woman, or at least a woman I wanted, as the vision of Lily’s striking brown eyes set against her smooth, deep black hair floated through my mind. I got to my feet and shrugged into my coat. “Come on, Gage, let’s split.”