Julie Castle | The Story Behind the “story”

The story behind the story of BOUND TO SERVE

  1. The first thing you need to know is that I love spy novels and movies. So naturally I had to come up with, Delta Star, my own clandestine agency. It was a bit like going on an undercover mission creating my own super-secret black ops world and I loved every minute of it. Of course the agents had to be pure ice.

Condor earned his reputation by being Delta Star’s ultimate secret agent. He’s untouchable, unstoppable, and he always nails his targets. But no matter how many times he’s saved the world, he’s a ghost who will never take credit. He works best alone, and to continue to protect his country, he’ll stay alone.

  1. Some of my books start with an opening line that tantalizes me until I write it down and others begin with a general, I wonder what would happen if I… idea. BOUND TO SERVE, was born after a marathon 007 and Jason Bourne viewing weekend. Hubby also loves them you see.
  1. The book is set on a lush tropic island because I truly love the Caribbean. Sparkling water, warm sand beaches, and balmy breezes, what’s not to like. Best of all those hot tropic nights can lead to all sorts of romantic entanglements. Toss in a private resort where passion is always on the menu and a dangerous mission where star crossed partners have to contend with the enemy and their own inner demons to survive and it just doesn’t get any better for me. I’m now trying to talk my hubby into jetting off to a secluded isle, purely for research of course.
  1. I always did like my heroes a little dirty so I couldn’t make Condor too squeaky clean. Besides, bad boys are much more fun. I wrote my ghost agent the way I saw him flaws and all. He’s called in when other agents screw up. He doesn’t make friends; that’s not his purpose.

Ross Longtree, code named Condor, leaned back in his chair. A flash of heat hit him hard as he watched the feisty, buttoned-up redhead react to his presence. Oh, yeah, her reputation as a ballbuster was true. He could read it in her defiant green eyes. He shifted in his chair, uncomfortable and annoyed with the way she made him feel. She shouldn’t be able to make him feel anything at all. “You’re ice, damn it, fucking act like it.” He was very good at keeping people at arm’s length. It was what kept him safe, and more, what made him the lone wolf able to protect people from the shadows. But his skills seemed to vanish when he looked at her—and she looked right back. The godawful suit she wore did nothing to hide the curves underneath. And that fire in her eyes. Most women crumbled beneath his touch, eager to be dominated and consumed. But Bridget? If she wanted him to subdue her, she’d make him fight for it. The thought set every nerve in his body on fire. “She’s not for you, stupid, and you sure as hell don’t deserve her.” His hand closed over the antique gold band in his pocket anyway, and he fingered the emblem of his dominance.

  1. I love strong, smart, adventurous women and I wrote my heroine Bridget Jamison with those attributes in mind. She’s obsessed with capturing Simon Perez, the elusive terrorist responsible for her ex-fiancé’s death. When the Delta Star director hands the case over to Condor, a mesmerizing ghost agent who has the power to make her weak in the knees with one intense look, Bridget agrees to be Condor’s partner so that she’s not dropped from the case and her chance for justice.

She rose as Condor stepped her way, and she stared him down. Most men backed down from her fierce, take-no-prisoners, glare. Condor didn’t even blink.

  1. Now they’re on a mission to infiltrate a dangerous criminal organization and capture Perez. It’s up to Condor to keep this beautiful, determined agent out of harm’s way, and to keep their explosive passion contained long enough not to risk their cover…and their lives.

About Julie Castle

I’m author Julie Castle. I’m a natural born romantic with a modicum of artistic talent that I inherited from my mom and a love for telling tall tales that I got from my dad. I guess that set me up for being a starving artist, the biggest fibber in the world, or a romance author. I’m so glad that I chose the latter.

I’ve always had a love affair with the written word. As a child growing up in a small town I loved visiting the local library, a converted gilded age mansion, and getting lost between the pages of a book. The drafty old mansion could be a spooky place but I still loved it. I enjoyed poking into behind the scenes areas I wasn’t supposed to venture into. I’m still the same way which is why I love writing romance with an edge, paranormal, suspenseful, super sexy, or just laugh your pants off funny I hope you’ll find it in my books.

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About BOUND TO SERVE

Bound to Serve

Condor earned his reputation by being Delta Star’s ultimate secret agent. He’s untouchable, unstoppable, and he always nails his targets. But no matter how many times he’s saved the world, he’s a ghost who will never take credit. He works best alone, and to continue to protect his country, he’ll stay alone.

New Delta Star field agent Bridget Jamison is obsessed with capturing Simon Perez, the elusive terrorist responsible for her ex-fiancé’s death. When the Delta Star director hands the case over to Condor, a mesmerizing ghost agent who has the power to make her weak in the knees with one intense look, Bridget agrees to be Condor’s partner so that she’s not dropped from the case and her chance for justice.

Now they’re on a mission to infiltrate a dangerous criminal organization and capture Perez. It’s up to Condor to keep this beautiful, determined agent out of harm’s way, and to keep their explosive passion contained long enough not to risk their cover…and their lives.

Buy BOUND TO SERVE: Kindle | BN.com | iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

My Memorial Day Memories

When I was a little girl the last weekends in May leading up to Memorial Day were filled with red poppies and chicken bar-b-que. Yes, in Pennsylvania that is how I was taught to spell barbeque. Our grilled chicken did not have red or tomato based sauce instead it was slathered with a butter and vinegar mixture and grilled in wire frames over coals or flames. The smells were amazing. The chicken skin was dried but the rest was moist and delicious. Paired with homemade pepper cabbage and mustard potato salad the meal was topped off with a square of chocolate iced butter cake. Every church and school and family gathering had a chicken bar-b-que in May, raising money for causes or just the easiest food to make for a large gathering.

bbq-chicken

At the stores or market, old men would be standing with arms or baskets full of red poppy pins. For a donation, and my grandmother always thought a nickel was enough, you got a red poppy to wear on your dress or shirt. My grandmother would mutter and fuss but she always bought a poppy for all of us and tell us to be sure to wear it to church on Sunday. Little did I understand her perverseness when I was a child. For our church, a Mennonite one, was staunchly anti-war. The red poppy was the symbol of battlefields in Europe. Wearing a red poppy pin to church was tantamount to declaring a war of sorts.  That was my grandmother, full of pepper.

She also grew a patch of red poppies in her garden. One of the first flowers to grow each summer, after all the spring flowers and bulbs had faded, the straggly plant my mother called a weed if it grew anywhere except in grandmother’s garden, was a harbinger of summer. The flame red flower lasted for a week or two and was followed swiftly by strawberries. Not many other gardens had poppy plants or if they did, the flowers were coral or pink, but grandmother’s were only red, a bright red. After my grandmother died, her poppy patch faded away as well.

Red-Poppies

After I moved south I learned about other traditions celebrated in May. What are your memories of Memorial Day?

Merrie Olde England

In May, thoughts turn to the May Pole dances and Spring celebrations in Merrie Olde England. This month’s selections illumine the worlds of court and entertainment, revealing the sometimes stark reality of life for women in England in the 18th century—both high-born and commoner.

Beginning with the political, we have MISTRESS OF THE COURT by Laura Purcell.

Married off to the dissolute, violent son of distant relations, Henrietta Howard endures a life of increasing hardship until, to evade her husband’s creditors, the two escape to Hannover. There, they ingratiate themselves with the heirs-in-waiting to the British throne, Prince George and his wife, Caroline of Ansbach. Henrietta becomes a Woman of the Bedchamber, her husband one of the prince’s staff. But the prince has more in mind for Henrietta than attending his wife, and to buttress herself against her abusive husband, Henrietta reluctantly yields to him. So begins a relationship with the man who will become King George II that spans decades, embraces a sort of friendship with Queen Caroline, and ends finally with Henrietta building a life for herself as a woman of style and intelligence who counted Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift among her friends and built Marble Hill House, the prototype of the English Georgian villa that remains a gem of the National Trust collection. Purcell’s story illumines with deftness and detail the intricate, often boring, sometimes tawdry, life at the early Georgian court.

About MISTRESS OF THE COURT

Mistress of the Court

Orphaned and trapped in an abusive marriage, Henrietta Howard has little left to lose. She stakes everything on a new life in Hanover with its royal family, the heirs to the British throne. Henrietta’s beauty and intelligence soon win her the friendship of clever Princess Caroline and her mercurial husband, Prince George. But, as time passes, it becomes clear that friendship is the last thing on the hot-blooded young prince’s mind. Dare Henrietta give into his advances and anger her violent husband? Dare she refuse?

Whatever George’s shortcomings, Princess Caroline is determined to make the family a success. Yet the feud between her husband and his obstinate father threatens all she has worked for. As England erupts in Jacobite riots, her family falls apart. She vows to save the country for her children to inherit – even if it costs her pride and her marriage. Set in the turbulent years of the Hanoverian accession, Mistress of the Court tells the story of two remarkable women at the centre of George II’s reign.

Buy MISTRESS OF THE COURT: Amazon.com | Kindle
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Moving on to the third George, Laura Purcell explores the life of Queen Charlotte in QUEEN OF BEDLAM. By 1788, Charlotte is forced to admit that her once-beloved husband, for whom she bore fourteen children, had descended into madness. While his wife battles to hold onto her husband’s throne in the midst of war and revolution, the King’s illness also exacts a grim toll on the lives of his six daughters. A princess cannot marry just anyone—but what royal family wants its son to wed the daughter of a madman? Charlotte’s struggles and the voices of two of the trapped princesses, Royal and Sophia, remind us that life in a royal palace is not always a fairy tale of luxury and privilege.

About QUEEN OF BEDLAM

Queen of Bedlam

An emotional tale based on historical fact imagining the impact of King George III’s madness on the lives of his wife and daughters

London 1788: the calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. The King of England is going mad. Left alone with 13 children and with the country at war, Charlotte has to fight to hold her husband’s throne. It is a time of unrest and revolutions but most of all Charlotte fears the King himself, someone she can no longer love or trust. She has lost her marriage to madness and there is nothing she can do except continue to do her royal duty. Her six daughters are desperate to escape their palace asylum. Their only chance lies in a good marriage, but no prince wants the daughter of a madman. They are forced to take love wherever they can find it, with devastating consequences.

Buy QUEEN OF BEDLAM: Amazon.com | Kindle
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Sadly, madness wasn’t confined to George III himself. In her classic THE LOST QUEEN, Norah Lofts gives us George’s youngest sister, Caroline Matilda, who was married off at age 15 to a cousin, King Christian VII of Denmark. In echoes of King Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves, the groom took an immediate dislike to the bride. The initial disdain of the king, who was probably schizophrenic, deepened over time, and though she was lovely, talented and eager to please, the princess found herself scorned and isolated. In her loneliness, she fell in love with the king’s personal physician, Johann Struensee. When the King’s illness worsened to the point of interfering with his ability to govern, Struensee became for several years defacto ruler of Denmark. But the King’s mother opposed the two lovers, threatening both stable rule, and Caroline and Johann’s very lives.

Finishing with the more merrie brings us to WICKED COMPANY by Ciji Ware.

Fleeing persecution in Scotland, Sophie McGann accepts the help of an actor friend, Hunter Robertson, who spirits her to London. Using skills honed in her father’s business, she takes over her aunt’s bookstore and print shop in Covent Garden. Drawn into the theatre community, she finds a mentor in actor/theatre manager at Drury Lane, David Garrick, who encourages her to write her own plays. But theatre censor Edward Capell dislikes women playwrights, and the charming but devious Sir Peter Lindsay-Hoyt champions Sophie for reasons of his own. A vivid portrait of the English theatre world of the late 18th-early 19th century, Ware’s novel places her heroine at the center of lively society inhabited by the real-life Garricks, Sheridans, Capells and Brinsleys of the day.

About WICKED COMPANY

Wicked Company

All of life’s a wicked stage and love a dangerous drama…

If Shakespeare had a sister…

In 18th century London the glamorous Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres were all the rage, beckoning every young actor, actress, playwright, and performer with the lure of the stage lights. But competition and back-biting between theatre owners, patrons, actors, and writers left aspiring playwrights with their work stolen, profits withheld, and reputations on the line. For a female, things were harder still, as the chances of a “petticoat playwright” getting past the government censor was slim.

In this exciting and cutthroat world, a young woman with a skill for writing and an ambition to see her work performed could rise to glory, or could lose all in the blink of an eye…

In Ciji Ware’s signature style, real-life characters of the day create a backdrop for a portrait of a glittering era, a love story, and a compelling glimpse into what life was like for a strong and independent-minded woman in an emphatically man’s world.

Buy WICKED COMPANY: Amazon.com | Kindle
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Ready to plait your flower crown, join the dancers, and join in a round before heading off to the palace—or the theatre? Courtesy of this month’s authors, the sights, sounds and smells of Merrie Olde England await!

About Julia Justiss

Julia Justiss

Real, intense, passionate historical romance

After twelve years as a vagabond Navy wife, an adventure that took her from Virginia Beach, VA, to Monterrey, CA, to Tunis, Tunisia to Oslo, Norway and back, Julia Justiss followed her husband to his family’s East Texas homeland. On a hill above a pond with a view of pasture land, they built an English Georgian-style home. Sitting at her desk there, if she ignores the summer heat, she can almost imagine herself in Jane Austen’s Regency England.

In between teaching high school French and making jaunts to visit her three children (a Seabee in Gulfport, MS, a clothing buyer in Houston and a mechanical engineer in Austin, TX) she pursues her first love—writing historical fiction.

Series: Regency Silk & Scandal | Hadley’s Hellions | Ransleigh Rogues

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About FORBIDDEN NIGHTS WITH THE VISCOUNT

Forbidden Nights With The Viscount

Leader of Hadley’s Hellions, a group of outsiders who bond together at Oxford vowing to reform Society, Giles Hadley wants nothing to do with the earl, his father who banished him, or his stepbrother George, who is the bane of his existence. But he’s curious about the woman rumor says George is to marry, daughter and political hostess of prominent Tory Lord Witlow.

For her part, Lady Maggie finds angry rebel Giles far more fascinating than George—so fascinating, that though she has no intention of risking her heart after losing her beloved husband, she might just be tempted into an affair…

Buy FORBIDDEN NIGHTS WITH THE VISCOUNT: Amazon.com | Kindle| BN.com| iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

Tracy Wolff | What does LOVEGAME’s Veronica and Heath Ledger have in Common?

Hi Everyone :-) I’m so excited to be here today with a sneak peek of my June 7th release, LOVEGAME. It’s been a long process to get this book from idea to reality, but now that release day is right around the corner, I can’t believe how fast these last few months have gone.

The excerpt I’m posting today was actually inspired by what I know of the time before Heath Ledger’s death. Ledger had a difficult time after playing the Joker, one of the most diabolical, damaged and sociopathic characters in film today. He struggled with nightmares and numerous other problems for months, traumatized by the character he’d immersed himself in, until he finally died of a drug overdose. In LOVEGAME, my character, Veronica Romero, has also just played a sociopathic monster for film and now that the movie is about to come out—and she’s having to do the press and photo shoots for it, press and photo shoots that take her right back into the heart of the darkness she had to confront—she’s terrified of losing herself to the woman she spent so many months portraying.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt and can’t wait to hear what you think. And to celebrate LOVEGAME’s imminent release, I thought I’d do a giveaway of PLAY ME! All you have to do to be entered to win is leave me a comment letting me know what you think of LOVEGAME. xoxo

About LOVEGAME

Lovegame

Hailed by J. Kenner as an author who “knows how to steam up the pages,” Tracy Wolff delivers a darkly addictive novel of seduction and psychological obsession. The stakes are high in Lovegame, when a movie star with a shattered past meets a man who can either break her or make her whole.

True Crime novelist Ian Sharpe has spent his career writing about serial killers for very personal reasons. For his latest exposé, he is taking on the sadistic madman known as the Red Ribbon Strangler, and when his research leads him to Hollywood’s most private and provocative actress, he will break every rule to uncover her truth.

The daughter of one of Hollywood’s golden couples, chased by paparazzi and treated as a commodity her entire life, Veronica Romero wields her sex appeal like a weapon. She expects Ian to be as easy to control as every other man she’s ever known. But from the beginning, he refuses to fall into line. Mysterious and cool, challenging and just a little bit dangerous, Ian somehow makes her feel safe—even as he digs into the deepest secrets of her life and pushes her to the breaking point.

As raw ecstasy gives way to agonized truths, their dark obsession exposes secrets that have been buried for far too long. Ian wants to tear down her walls and heal the sensual woman underneath. But if Veronica’s learned anything, it’s that the line between pleasure and pain is a narrow one—and when caught between them the only thing that matters is how you play the game.

Buy LOVEGAME: Kindle
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Lovegame is a true masterpiece, with thrilling suspense, crazy hot sex, and writing so truly beautiful that it stays with you long after you put the book down. It’s my favorite read of the year by far.”—Sawyer Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of Sugar Daddy.

“Tracy Wolff is at the top of my auto-buy list, and Lovegame is the perfect example why. From the very first page, Wolff sucked me in with a story that crackles with sensual energy and characters that are scarred, sexy and wonderfully compelling. Go one-click Tracy Wolff’s Lovegame right now—you can thank me later.” –J. Kenner, New York Times bestselling author of Release Me.

“I loved Lovegame! It’s a hot, sexy thriller of a book, with so many twists and turns I never saw coming!”—M. O’Keefe, author of Everything I Left Unsaid

Reviewers Are Saying!:

Tracy Wolff is one of those authors that needs to be on everyone’s ‘auto-click’ shelf.” –IscreamBooks

“Lovegame is a steamy, psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat all the way through.” –Bookangelbooktopia

“This is the second time so far in 2016 that I have been blown away by an unexpected release from one of my favorites. Tracy Wolff is one of many authors that I adore – I have read and reread her Ethan Frost series and I loved Accelerate, which came out last year. Lovegame is completely different from anything that I have read by Tracy Wolff, which was surprising and refreshing … Lovegame was a fresh read that surprised me in so many ways. I hope that you’ll give it a chance because it’s one of the best books of 2016.” – Garden of Reden

Lovegame had me breathless, sticking with me for days after I read it.”—Sarah Robinson, author of the Kavanagh Legends series

Excerpt:

I take picture after picture, with a vintage champagne glass in my hand or my face buried in a huge bouquet of dahlias. Toward the end, Marc has the stylist and his assistant wrap me up in a long string of artificial belladonna since the real stuff can cause problems if it touches the skin. Then they heap my gloved hands with a mountain of the poisonous black berries and Marc has me hold my hands out to the camera in a deadly macabre offering.

Again and again Marc shoots me like that, taking pictures from every possible angle. On his knees in front of me, looking up. From a ladder above me, looking down. Beside me. Behind me. Across the room. Up close. Again and again he points and clicks. Again and again, I smile and pout and make every other expression he asks for. I even take his suggestion to tilt my head back with my mouth open wide and hold one of the berries between my thumb and index finger as I pretend to be about to drop it in. As I do, I close my eyes and pretend not to be totally icked out.

When I open them two minutes and twenty shots later, the first person I see is Ian. He’s leaning back against one of the mirrored walls and for once his omnipresent notebook is nowhere to be seen. Instead he’s staring straight at me, a half-snarl on his normally calm face and his eyes burning with a mixture of contempt and desire.

It’s the first time I’ve seen anything but pleasant or puzzled interest from him and it has the tiny hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Has ice skating down my spine and a desert taking up residence in my mouth. Because, in that moment, as our eyes lock and his turn impossibly darker, impossibly blacker, I don’t know who he sees. Can’t tell who he wants.

Me or her?

Actress or murderer?

Sentient being or a character he helped create?

It’s just more fuel to add to the fire of my earlier doubts and in that one tense and electric moment, it comes to me. What the cover shot should be.

What I need it to be.

Marc backs off a little, has his assistant come forward with a trash bag for me to throw away the last of the berries and the gloves I’ve been wearing. As she pauses to tie up the bag in front of me, I ask her for a couple wipes.

She quickly returns with a box of baby wipes and I smile my thanks even as Marc instructs me back against the mirror for what he calls “the last series of shots.”

I do as he instructs, but as he’s fiddling with the lighting, I turn toward the mirror and swipe the wipe over the right half of my face.

“What are you doing?” my makeup artist squawks as he comes racing across the room at me.

“Trust me, Dalton,” I tell him as I continue to scrub.

“Stop doing that!” he orders as he grabs on to the end of the wipe and actually tries to wrestle it away from me.

“Just wait,” I instruct, refusing to let go no matter how hard he tugs.

“But—”

“What are you up to, Veronica?” Marc asks. He sounds more intrigued than annoyed.

“I’ll show you,” I tell him, pushing gently at Dalton’s hand until he finally lets go with a whimper.

And then, with the whole room—including Ian—watching me intently, I wipe the entire half side of my face clean of any and all makeup. I do it carefully, making sure that the line that runs down the center of my face is exact so that both sides are completely symmetrical.

When I’m done, I reach up and take off my right earring and hand it to Dalton who still looks slightly shell-shocked. Then I step back and stare at this new reflection of myself in the mirror.

Half me at my most natural, half her at her most armored, it’s a devastating look. Made even more so by the elaborate fifties makeup Dalton has me in—all red lips and thick black liner and long, long lashes.

There is a difference, I tell myself fiercely as I study myself. I am not her. I will never be her, no matter what it felt like four months ago.

In the background I’m aware of Marc cursing softly, of him snapping picture after picture. I don’t turn around, instead continuing to give him my back so that he gets both me and my reflection in each shot.

“Turn around,” he breathes after he’s taken at least three dozen pictures.

Reluctantly, I do as he requests, then follow his impatient gesture for me to move away from the mirror. I step forward and then the camera starts again, clicking away to get the shot from this angle as well.

At that moment, Ian moves and I make the mistake of glancing his way. Our gazes lock and heat slams through me at the look he’s giving me, has my eyes widening and my lips parting on a gasp as I struggle to draw air into lungs that have abruptly forgotten how to work.

“Fuck,” Marc breathes from where he’s narrowing in on my face. “That’s it. That’s the money shot.”

I drag my eyes away from Ian, but it’s too late. For the first time in a very, very long time, I feel vulnerable. And I hate every second of it.

About Tracy Wolff

Tracy Wolff

Sexy Men. Bold Women. Wicked Romance.

Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where-and sometimes who-she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story-something with a rainbow and a prince- and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.

And for all of those who want the unedited version:
Tracy Wolff lives with four men, teaches writing to local college students and spends as much time as she can manage immersed in worlds of her own creation. Married to the alpha hero of her dreams for twelve years, she is the mother of three young sons who spend most of their time trying to make her as crazy as possible.

Shaken Dirty | Extreme Risks | Ethan Frost | Play Me | Hotwired | Hacked

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lovers-to-legends-fb-party

Men of Legend Are Galloping Your Way!

They are men…They are brothers…They are Legends

I’m so excited about my brand new historical western romance series that will kick off on October 4th. Men of Legend has the big feel of the old Bonanza TV show. Patriarch, Stoker Legend, is busy running the huge Lone Star Ranch while trying to keep tabs on his three sons – Sam, Houston and Luke. Sam Legend is a famed Texas Ranger and is featured in Book #1, TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER. Houston Legend is a rancher and cowboy like his father. And Luke Weston Legend is an outlaw with a price on his head. Though Sam feels a duty to arrest him, he can’t bring himself to do it. Putting his brother in jail will rip their family apart. But if he doesn’t, he’ll lose his job and might find his own butt in the calaboose.

This family comes from tough stock. They don’t back down. Ever. They know exactly how to administer their own brand of Legend justice—and do.

About TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER

To Love A Texas Ranger

Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?

Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her—his life, his badge, his very soul—knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.

Pre-order TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER: Amazon.com | BN.com | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound |

Watch for TO LOVE A TEXAS RANGER on October 4th. Preorder links are up at Amazon and B&N (but just in paperback…ebook version will appear soon.)

So saddle up, put your feet in the stirrups, and hang on. It’s gonna be a wild ride!

About Linda Broday

Linda Broday

Romancing the West One Story at a Time

Linda Broday is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and makes her home in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. She is a multi-published western historical romance author who lives and breathes cowboys and the American West way of life. Here in the panhandle it’s very common to see cowboys, they’ve provided lots of inspiration. There’s just something about a man in tight jeans, a Stetson and boots that gets her hot and bothered!

Linda grew up watching TV westerns back in their heyday and fell in love with the desperados, lawmen and strong men and women who portrayed the people who settled this wild land that offered so much opportunity for those who wanted to seek it. They taught her the values, the strength it took to survive and the tremendous will to keep going when things got tough. She loves writing stories about similar people who could’ve lived back then.

When Linda is not writing, She’s scouring the internet looking for little tidbits to add depth to my stories. She has also been accused, quite unfairly she might add, of haunting museums and libraries. Linda’s desire to keep history alive is what drives her and she can’t imagine writing anything else.

Bachelors of Battle Creek | Men of Legend

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Liana LeFey | The Making of an Eighteenth Century “Superhero”

For me, making the hero for TO LOVE A LIBERTINE wasn’t about giving a guy in tight breeches a bunch of cool gadgets or putting him in a secret underground lair. It was about showing a man’s struggle to overcome a dark past and figure out who he wanted to be. Lord Percival Falloure, Marquess of Tavistoke, started out as the quintessential bad boy—and when I say bad, I mean Vicomte-de-Valmont-bad. Yes. My darling, dashing Percy once was a cad and a blackguard. He once tried to steal his best friend’s bride!

When TO LOVE A LIBERTINE begins, however, we see a penitent Percy who has only recently set foot on Reformation Road after losing in love and unwittingly helping to rescue a severely abused young prostitute from certain death. These experiences have irrevocably altered his perception, making him question himself and his role in the world.

Whereas a villain is made when a person decides to embrace their badness, a hero is created when the opposite occurs. But how does one become a true hero? Wanting to be good or simply not being bad isn’t enough. Otherwise, we would never have seen Clark Kent transform into a spandex-wearing, caped icon of heroism. While Percy left behind a mile-wide damage path, I didn’t feel that cleaning up his own personal messes was enough to make him a “hero” in my protagonist’s eyes. I needed the Superman factor, which meant giving Percy a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to overcome that would draw out the best in him as a human being and prove him worthy of Eden’s (and the reader’s) heart. Enter the higher calling.

One of the topics I researched for this book and its sequel (which I’m working on now), is the life of prostitutes and brothel workers in Georgian England. If you think the world of vice is worse now than it was then—think again. Those who take criminal interest in the young and vulnerable have always been around. The only difference now is we hear about it on the news and we have special law enforcement to combat anything illegal. London in the early 1700s was a center for every imaginable kind of depravity. Just about anything could be bought if one had enough coin, including people—and there was no organized law enforcement to address the problem.

Enter our hero. As a self-imposed penance for his former dissolute life, much of which was spent in brothels, Percy takes on the flesh industry. Armed with a secret identity, he rescues young women and children from the clutches of London’s worst predators and gives them a second chance at life. It’s a dark, lonely, dangerous job—one for only a true hero.

In addition to fighting monsters in the outside world, Percy has some pretty fierce inner demons to conquer. The biggest obstacles always come from within—they’re the most potent form of Kryptonite! I took the “you are your own worst enemy” approach with Percy and ran wild with it. Digging deep into his psyche, exploring his wounds, and giving him a second chance was so rewarding. There is nothing like turning a total scoundrel into a savior worth loving wholeheartedly. I hope you enjoy Percy as much as I loved writing him!

About Liana LeFey

Liana LeFey

Liana LeFey delights in crafting incendiary tales that capture the heart and the imagination, taking the reader out of the now and into another world. Liana lives in Central Texas with her dashing husband/hero and their beautiful daughter. She’s also privileged to serve one spoiled rotten feline overlord.

Fed on bedtime stories from such authors as Tolkien and Baum, Liana became a language-loving, book-gobbling monster at the age of four and has yet to be sated. All books are delicious, but her favorite flavor by far is romance! She began reading romance novels at fourteen with The Kadin by Bertrice Small and is now thrilled to be writing them for fellow enthusiasts.

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About TO LOVE A LIBERTINE

To Love a Libertine

When the Terror of the Ton takes on the Hellion of Holker Hall, it’s anybody’s guess who will come out on top!

Both have secrets. Both have reputations. Both fear falling in love.

London, 1727. When Miss Eden Lowther catches the eye of Lord Percival Falloure, Marquess of Tavistoke, she’s delighted, for his wicked lordship is anything but boring. The canny coquette who declined five suitors the season prior sets out to capture the infamous “Terror of the Ton” for keeps, but the man she finds behind the façade isn’t at all what she expects.

Having suffered heartbreak and humiliation two years ago, Lord Tavistoke is wary of love. But once on the market, always on the market until wed or dead. Desperate to throw London’s single ladies off the scent, Percy looks to reestablish his rotten reputation with a rousing scandal. His mark: Miss Eden Lowther, a tearing beauty reported to have left devastation in her wake last Season. If anyone has asked for ruination, it is the heartless “Hellion of Holker Hall”…

Eden and Percy soon find themselves falling dangerously in love, despite their fears and her family’s objections. But will love alone save them when a ruthless rival forces her hand?

Buy TO LOVE A LIBERTINE: Kindle
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Kristina Knight’s Top 5 Vacation Spots

I love to travel – short trips, long trips (but, really, are any trips long enough?), weekend trips and daytrips. I usually say ‘anywhere with a beach’, but in reality if a trip involves a plane, train, car or cruise ship, I’m in – even if a beach doesn’t come with the visit! I also love coming home, because the best thing about going on a trip is coming home to your own bed and your own chair and your own cooking. We’ll ignore the laundry for just a bit. Here are five of my favorite places to visit:

  1. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

I know, this one isn’t exotic, but it’s home for me. I was raised in a small town on a farm/ranch near the Lake of the Ozarks. RadioMan, bebe and I call Lake Erie home now, but it’s always so much fun to go back to Missouri, see the extended family and spend an afternoon or three cruising Lake of the Ozarks on a pontoon!

  1. Chicago

I know, I know, traffic. But the train system is amazing and can get you wherever you need to go without battling other cars or trucks. Plus, there is Navy Pier with all the people watching anyone could ever want!

  1. Mexico

Cozumel is one of my favorite places – ever. Seriously. It’s warm, the locals are friendly and the beaches are pristine. I absolutely love that I can wear flip-flops all day, every day and no one cares!

  1. Bermuda

Snorkling! It’s a newfound pleasure, and I just might take up SCUBA, too.

  1. Las Vegas

There is something other-worldly about Las Vegas. You get a taste of the pyramids at the Luxor, there is a mini-Eiffel Tower, there is Cesar’s Palace. And on Fremont, you can walk outside with a neon roof over your head. Street performers will greet you on the streets, and you can gamble all day and all night if you want…or you can escape the crowds into the desert or the Grand Canyon. It’s amazing, and when I needed a place to set my Billionaire Cowboy‘s series I knew Vegas had to be part of it!

So, dear readers, if you could vacation anywhere, what destination would you choose and why?

About Kristina Knight

Kristina Knight

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police—no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband, three–year–old daughter, and twenty–year–old fur–kid. Happily ever after.

Anthem | Billionaire Cowboys

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About WHAT THE HEIRESS WANTS

What The Heiress Wants

Denver publishing heiress Miranda Clayton craves more from life than society parties and shopping sprees, but her tycoon father refuses to take her seriously. Her solution? Beat him at his own game by going to work for his top competitor, Connor Reeves, in Las Vegas.

Connor isn’t fooled by Miranda’s new plan for a second. He knows exactly who she is; what he doesn’t know is why she’s pulling him into her games. After their first meeting, Connor knows what he wants – Miranda in his bed! But the more he’s around his new vice president, the more he wants something deeper than a short-term fling. The question is does the lady want Connor – or his business?

Buy WHAT THE HEIRESS WANTS: Kindle
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Mimi Jean Pamfiloff | And Now, a Word from Cimil, Your Friendly Neighborhood Goddess of the Underworld…

Well, hellooo there, my little people pets! My name is Cimil—aka, Goddess of the Underworld. Also known as Ah-Puch by the Mayans, Mictlantecuhtli by the Aztec, Grim Reaper by the Europeans, Hades by the Greeks…you get the picture! And yes, yes. I know you have many questions for awesome me, but before we begin, I would like to remind you pervy mortals out there to text, message, tweet, stalk on FB, smoke signal—whatever works—this author person, Mimi Jean. While her upcoming release TOMMASO certainly has some juicy, indecent moments, we demand she get super-raunchy, XXX-kinky, mother-will-disown-her-sexy, for the next book! #GodOfWine #MakeItDirtyMimi! My unicorn, Minky, demands it.

Alrighty, now that we have that important business out of the way, I bet you’re wondering what a Goddess of the Underworld does all day besides star in books, take souls to their final resting place, and watch reruns of The Love Boat.

Yep! You guessed it. I sit around being awesome! (And super evil.) I also answer a lot of fan-mail.

So what’s the one question I get asked the most? You guessed right again! “When will the world end?” To which I respond, “Who the hell cares? You’re all going to die anyway.” And when they do go, those who’ve behaved will be rewarded greatly and sent to the big garage sale in the sky where they can peruse other people’s useless crap for all eternity. As for those who misbehave, well those naughty little mortals get sent to my very special purgatory. Mojitos may be involved. And Polka music, too. Okay, it’s a huge party and way cooler than that other place. The moral of the story being…stay naughty, my friends!

What else is on my mortal-peep’s minds? Let’s see here…Dalitza, one of my many naughty followers, would like to know if TOMMASO finally gets his woman or if this book is another one of my tricks.

Okay, girl, all Auntie Cimi can tell you is that Tommaso has a lot going in his favor:

  • He’s freaking hot
  • He’s hung like a fire hose
  • He dresses nice
  • He behaves like a gentleman
  • He can cook
  • He’s lethal
  • And he’s freaking hot. Yes, I said it twice because he gives me the urge to take off my panties! (If I were wearing any. And weren’t already mated to an ex-pharaoh.)

On the other hand:

  • He is turning into a vile, evil Maaskab (think Predator meets evil Mayan priest meets roadkill—it’s not good).
  • The clock is ticking
  • And he may have kidnapped and tormented (totally by accident) the one woman who’s meant to save him.

So, my precious weaklings, you can already see that it’s an uphill battle. But so is the journey of love; full of potholes, hiccups, and distracting garage sales. In the end, it tis what we make of it.

Until we meet again!
Cimil

#GodOfWine #MakeItDirtyMimi!

About TOMMASO

Tommaso

From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff…

TOMMASO, Book #2, Immortal Matchmakers, Inc. Series (Standalone)

SOMETIMES, HOT MEN CAN BE REAL MONSTERS…

Tommaso Fierro is used to the finer things in life—nice suits, nice car, nice house. Okay, his past isn’t so nice, but that’s in the past. Or at least it was until he blacked out after meeting the woman of his dreams.

Annnd possibly capturing her.

Annnd possibly terrorizing her before she got away.

Annnd discovering that he’s turning into a horrible creature he loathes with all his heart.

Luckily, there’s a cure. Unluckily, it will require him to track this woman down and convince her to give him a second chance. But if he finds her, will she ever believe that he’s really not a monster?

Buy TOMMASO: Kindle | BN.com | iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dream. Mimi lives with her Latin Lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and the rat terrier duo, Snowflake and Mini Me, in Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men

Accidentally Yours | Immortal Matchmakers, Inc.

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Jamie K. Schmidt | Pamper Yourself like a Dragon Queen

When you are a dragon Queen, you are pampered and spoiled by your court. Of course, if you don’t have a court yet, like Queen Margery in my latest Emerging Queens book, THE QUEEN’S DANCE, you’re fighting for your life as rampaging Cultists try to kill you and greedy dragon studs try to kidnap you. But all the more reason to form a court and be treated like the Queen you are.

Dragon Queen Carolyn from the first book in the series, THE QUEEN’S WINGS, recommends a few good books to read and then a few more downloaded onto your tablet. And maybe a quick visit to the library to round out your TBR pile. Make sure you bring your long suffering protector or consort to carry all those books for you. Once you have all the books to read, you can indulge by reading in the tub, in bed, in a hammock, in the car…

Some of Carolyn’s favorite books are:

On the other hand, Dragon Queen Viola from THE QUEEN’S DANCE thinks nothing is more relaxing than knitting something mindless with soft yarn. She recommends you make yourself some fingerless mittens. It’s basically a large rectangle that you wrap around your wrists and then use the yarn to sew it up and leave a thumb hole. Or if you’ve got size 15 needles and super bulky yarn, knit a scarf which is a long rectangle or you can do a big triangle and have a shawl. Then, when you’re surrounded by soft warm knits, you can cuddle up with your mate for a quick snooze.

Queen Margery, the heroine of THE QUEEN’S DANCE, spends some of her time in the lovely state of Vermont. There’s plenty to pamper yourself there. Lake Champlain chocolates and pure maple syrup. Not to mention all the tasty cheese samples at the Grafton Village Cheese Shop. But what really floats Margery’s boat is tea. Here are Queen Margery’s top five favorite teas and tisanes:

  1. Teavana Pineapple Blueberry Kona Pop
  2. Harney & Sons Ginger Peach
  3. The Republic of Tea Cinnamon Plum
  4. David’s Tea Pom-Diggety
  5. Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger

So now that you have your books, your warm knitted garments and a cup of tea, you can continue to pamper yourself in a Queenly fashion by having all those dragon studs that you control give you a foot massage. If you do that, you may want to have them whip up this recipe to use.

Queen Margery’s Green Tea and Peppermint Foot Soak

  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (You can also use almond oil or sunflower oil. Even olive oil will do in a pinch)
  • 5 teaspoons of green tea. (Margery says, if you have the bagged kind, cut open 5 bags and dump the contents into your container.)
  • 15-30 drops of peppermint essential oil

Dump all the ingredients but the oil in a quart size Mason jar. Shake to combine. Drip in ½ of the essential oil. Shake to mix together. Test the scent. If it’s too much add equal amounts of Epsom salt and baking soda. If it’s too faint, add the rest of the essential oil. Fill up a basin with the hottest water your feet can stand to be in comfortably and then add in ¼ cup of the mixture. Soak for ½ hour or until you get through a few chapters of that book or a few rows of that scarf. Then put on some thick, cotton socks to keep in the freshness.

Now, it’s time to get on the massage table and have one of your handsome dragon studs rub out all the aches and pains from your body.

Queen Margery’s Earl Grey Massage Oil

  • ½ cup of the carrier oil of your choice. (Sweet almond is Margery’s favorite, but you can also use grapeseed oil or coconut oil.)
  • 2 Earl Grey tea bags

Pour the oil into a Mason jar and drop the tea bags in so they’re submerged. Put the cover on and leave them it out in the sun for an afternoon or out on the counter for two or three days so that the Earl Grey steeps into the oil. Then remove the tea bags before use.

I hope you enjoyed these recipes. If you like things like this, please consider signing up for my newsletter at jamiekschmidt.weebly.com.

About THE QUEEN’S DANCE

The Queen's Dance

Despite his handicaps outside his natural habitat, water dragon Remy “Champ” Champlain fights to protect Queen Margery from those who plot to quash her damaging news reports by silencing her…forever.

He can never have her, but he’ll protect her with his life.

After newly shifted sky dragon Queen Margery is rescued from smugglers by water dragon Remy Champlain, she debates whether to flesh out the story that nearly got her killed or embrace her royalty and build a court of protectors and studs. Sparks fly between Remy and her. He’d love her to give up her job and settle down…hopefully with him…but he can’t fly and she can’t swim, so their relationship can never get off the ground.

Buy THE QUEEN’S DANCE: Amazon.com | Kindle
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About Jamie K. Schmidt

Jamie K. Schmidt

Jamie Kleinkauf-Schmidt has over thirty short stories published in small press and ezines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in Secondary Education English, which is a fancy way of saying she went to college to teach high school English. When that didn’t pan out, she worked as a call center manager, a Tupperware consultant, a paralegal, and finally a technical writer for a major conglomerate company. She is an active member in the Romance Writers of America (RWA), serving as the PRO liaison for her local chapter Connecticut Romance Writers of America (CTRWA).

When not writing, Jamie relaxes with a mug of hot tea and knits or makes beaded jewelry. She sells her handcrafted items at The Dudley Farm during the summer. A voracious reader, Jamie has a Kindle and is not afraid to use it.

Hawaii Heat | Emerging Queens

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Nancy Scanlon | Five Reasons We Love Time Travel

Time-travel romances can take you anywhere, any time, and in any direction. But what makes them eternal? I’ve come up with a list of five reasons why we love time-travel romances.

  1. The experience

So many people long for experiences, but the reality is, we can’t possibly experience everything in this life. That’s where books come in – and that’s especially where time travel shines! Of course we know that times were rough in earlier periods, but as time-travel romance readers, we get to experience the best of what the era had to offer, while looking at it all through the rosy glasses of hindsight. We can take the best of a culture, spin the most heroic qualities of the time into a hero (or heroine!), and make an ideal out of it. We can take a piece of ourselves – the piece that we relate to in one of the characters – and get that happily-ever-after, in the most perfect setting, in a time where the good always outweighs the bad.

  1. Love is transcendent

It’s one thing to know that your beloved would give up his phone for you, but it’s a whole new experience when he’d be willing to give up everything he’s ever known! A once-in-a-lifetime love is spectacular, but a forever love is eternal. The chord struck in our hearts when two souls meld together for eternity is a sweet one, and stays with us long after The End.

  1. Suspension of belief

Life is hard, and it’s not always a bed of roses. So when the chance comes to escape to a time completely different than our own, it can be easy to suspend belief for the pleasure of the story. Going along with a character as he or she tackles problems so far outside our own gives a sense of victory that we all need once in awhile. Cheering for a modern-day heroine who’s stuck in a time when she’s regarded as little more than sheep, then watching her conquer the hero’s heart with her wit and brains and sense of self, is a phenomenal way to recapture the feeling of accomplishment – and perhaps inspire ourselves to go out and conquer our own troubles.

  1. The potential in us all

In time-travel romances, when an everyday woman (or man!) is thrust into such an unexpected and unfamiliar situation, the reaction to her new surroundings doesn’t necessarily define her for the rest of the story. How she reacts to subsequent challenges, such as convincing a medieval hero that she can do more than sew in a tower, or challenging the norm of the ton that marriage is the only option for women, taps into a collective curiosity. What’s the potential of this heroine? How clever can she be? How far can she be pushed before she pushes back? As the story progresses, the question of how the two characters manage to grow together, when their minds and cultures are so far apart on every level, is eventually resolved after many hurdles. As a reader, I can connect to these characters. I cheer along with the good choices and cringe alongside the bad. And they all lead towards one thing – fulfilling the potential of the character.

  1. True love conquers all

When two souls are meant to be together, in a romance novel, there is nothing the Universe can throw at them that prevents them from bring together. Distance, financial status, disapproving parents, societal standards…all these challenges are surmountable if both parties are willing to give up something in their lives. But different eras? How does one decide that love is greater than indoor plumbing, glass windows, even medicine? Most romances are loved for the simple reason that readers are usually guaranteed a happily ever after – and time-travels are no exception. After twisting through trials and times not their own, both main characters must adapt their ways of thinking and behaving for true love to work. Seeing the characters change into a better version of themselves is emotionally satisfying – and it’s fun to see how traditions and history is blended (or, in some cases, bent) to the story. In a time-travel romance, The End is just the beginning, because when you’re willing to trade everything you have for the chance to be with the other half of your soul, then you know that true love has conquered all – including time itself.

If you have any to add to the list, let me know at nancy@nancyscanlonbooks.com, or on my Facebook page.

About AN ENCHANTED SPRING

An Enchanted Spring

Nancy Scanlon continues the timebending saga she began with The Winter Laird, pulling heroes and villains alike through the portals of time to help save their futures and find their truest loves.

A time travel accident has left Aidan MacWilliam, younger brother of a medieval Irish laird, trapped in the future. Though he’s become a successful entrepreneur in the twenty-first century, Aidan still can’t banish thoughts of the world he left behind. In search of distraction, he heads to New York to scout a PR person for his cousin’s matchmaking firm, Celtic Connections.

Emmaline Perkins might be the perfect candidate. A PR expert and closet medievalist, Emma has always put work before her social life. When a breathtakingly handsome man who looks like he stepped straight out of the Middle Ages proposes business, she struggles to keep her professional and personal lives separate.

Then Emma’s ex-fiancé resurfaces, threatening Emma’s livelihood, her home, and ultimately her safety. Aidan jumps to protect her and not just because she’s good for business. He feels a primal need to defend the alluring young woman. But the question is not where she’ll be safe, but when.

Buy AN ENCHANTED SPRING: Amazon.com | Kindle
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About Nancy Scanlon

Nancy Scanlon

Born and raised near Boston, MA, Nancy wrote her first romance novel at age 16, when she realized that fictional boyfriends were much easier to figure out than real ones. In the time since, she managed to earn her B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, obtain a graduate certificate in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and marry the man of her dreams (but she still holds tight to her fictional boyfriends).

Nancy adores all things misty, caffeinated, chocolate and grammatically correct. Currently, she resides in Puerto Rico with her husband, two small children, and two not-so-small dogs.

When not writing, Nancy spends her time reading romance and watching too much HGTV.

Mists of Fate

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