Noelle Adams | An unlikely Hero is Born

Cyrus Damon, the hero of CHRISTMAS AT EDEN MANOR, wasn’t supposed to be a hero.

He’s not hero-material at all. He’s in his late fifties, not incredibly handsome, rather eccentric, often grouchy, and very old-fashioned. In almost every way, he’s the opposite of what we’ve come to expect for the hero of a romance.

He was originally a character in a previous series of mine, the Heirs of Damon. He was the uncle of the four heroes in that series, and he was intended as a mild antagonist and a blocking figure. He worked quite well in that regard, although he did grow and soften as a character throughout those four books. When that series was finished, I started a spin-off series (Beaufort Brides), and I’d always had in mind I might bring Cyrus back as a minor character in one of those books. I couldn’t fit him in, though. When I started another connected series (Eden Manor), I knew for sure I was going to bring him back, but I still never thought he would work as a hero.

Then readers started asking me if he would get a book. I told them “maybe,” but the truth is I never really intended to write a Cyrus book. After all, Cyrus wasn’t even attractive—at least, I’d never described him as such in the previous books. Plus, he had rather Victorian sensibilities about sex and relationships, and I couldn’t figure out how to make that work. But enough readers asked about it that I started to take the idea seriously.

I also had a leftover character from the Beaufort Brides series—Brie, the sister of the hero from HIRED BRIDE. Readers were asking about her too. So I was originally thinking I might write another sequence of three stories in the Eden Manor series, giving one story to Cyrus, one to Brie, and then finding another character for the last one. But I couldn’t see how so many stories would fit into my writing schedule for the next year, and I didn’t want to wait two years to finish the series.

I was taking a walk one morning in June, trying to figure out what to do, and I had the crazy thought that I might just put Brie and Cyrus together in the same book. I laughed, since Brie is barely thirty, and everyone would think I was crazy if I paired her with Cyrus—who couldn’t be any younger than his late fifties, based on the history I’d given him in previous books. But I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. Brie and Cyrus should be a couple. The whole story came to me on that walk, and I knew I had to write it.

So that’s how Cyrus Damon, crusty, eccentric billionaire—nothing at all like a hero—became the hero of CHRISTMAS AT EDEN MANOR. I loved writing the book, and the readers have responded very well to him. He’s really quite endearing with his quiet sexiness and his old-fashioned sense of romance. I’d love to see more heroes who are older than the norm—or really heroes who are different in any way from the young, buff, gorgeous, overtly sexy heroes we’re used to.

About Noelle Adams

Noelle Adams

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

The Protectors | Eden Manor | Heirs of Damon | Beaufort Brides



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Eden Manor #4

Christmas at Eden Manor

Brie Graves might be jobless, living with her brother, and recovering from a painful break-up, but she’s determined to enjoy the holidays. Until the end of the year, she’s going to do anything she wants to do, no matter how crazy it might be. Soon, she discovers exactly what she wants–to spend a week with a fascinating, sophisticated stranger. It doesn’t matter that she only knows his first name or that he’s more than twenty years older than her. After this one week, she’ll never see him again.

Cyrus Damon has spent his life making money and holding himself to impossibly high standards. Pressured into taking a vacation in Savannah, he’s alone and at loose ends, so he lets himself do something he never would have considered otherwise. He gives in to his attraction to a beautiful, free-spirited, and much-too-young woman. But, after the week is over, he’ll once more be the man he’s always been, left with nothing but the memory of a woman who made him happier than he’s ever been.

He has no idea that when he visits his nephew in a charming bed and breakfast called Eden Manor, he’ll find the woman he thought he’d left for good.

Romance Contemporary | Holiday [On Sale: October 5, 2016, e-Book, eISBN: 9781536559378]

Eden Manor

One Week with her Rival
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One Week with her (Ex) Stepbrother
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One Week with her Husband
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Christmas at Eden Manor
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Jennie Marts | Top Ten Ways to Hook A Sexy Lumberjack Mountain Man

Are you looking for your next bearded book boyfriend? Mountain men make great heroes. They’re strong and rugged and oh so sexy! The flannel, the Timberline boots, and those beards! Yes!

Have you ever wondered how to snag one of these muscled mountain men for yourself? Well, look no further—here’s Jennie Marts’ Top Ten Ways to Hook A Sexy Lumberjack Mountain Man:

  1. Wear flannel button-ups as easy lumberjack bait
  2. Hang around Christmas tree lots
  3. Sport a catchy T-shirt that reads “I Love Beards”
  4. Loiter in the Timberline department of the boot store (even better if you are loitering while wearing the above-mentioned shirt)
  5. Spritz on a little pine scented body spray
  6. Get a part-time job at REI or just nonchalantly lurk around the flannel shirt section
  7. Forget the beach—instead plan your next vacation to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest
  8. Skip the next wine and cheese party, and do a girls night out at a Lowes DIY class
  9. Trade your curling iron and nail file in for a stocking cap and chainsaw
  10. And if all else fails- try getting lost in the woods of Colorado or the Great Northwest

That’s it! Sounds easy—now go forth and capture your mountain man!

In HOOKED ON LOVE – the newest book in my Cotton Creek Romance series, Avery Oliver is a city girl journalist who gets sent on assignment to the mountains of Colorado to learn how to fish. She had no idea her week in the woods would lead to a fake relationship with a hunky fly fishing guide, a near-death experience, and a snake literally in her pants.

All Sullivan Reed needs in life is a fly rod and the roar of a river. He knows playing guide to a hot little reporter can’t end well…until they strike a deal that’s mutually beneficial. She’ll pretend to be his girlfriend to deflect an overly flirtatious neighbor, and he’ll help her with the article. It’s a win-win.

Until it isn’t. By the time a storm strands them in his cabin, Sully’s done pretending. He wants Avery—badly—but she’s a big-city girl looking for adventure, not his simple life. So why does releasing her feel like he’s lost the perfect catch?

HOOKED ON LOVE releases October 17th, and I’m so thankful for Fresh Fiction’s support of my release. To keep on top of all my news, including sales and new releases, please visit to sign up for my newsletter and I would love to invite you to join my street team, Jennie’s Page Turners at:

I would love to hear of a time when you felt like a fish-out-of-water –maybe in a new job, or a new town that you moved to, and how did it end up turning out great? Then be sure to grab a copy of HOOKED ON LOVE, and I hope that you fall in love with my sexy lumberjack, Sullivan Reed, the way I did.

Thanks again and I hope you love the new book. Happy Reading!


About Jennie Marts

Jennie Marts

USA TODAY Best-selling author Jennie Marts loves to make readers laugh as she weaves stories filled with love, friendship and intrigue. She writes for Entangled Publishing and reviewers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and full of great characters that are “endearing and relatable.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two sons, two dogs and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small town romantic comedies in her upcoming Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.

Page Turners | Hearts of Montana | Cotton Creek


HOOKED ON LOVE by Jennie Marts

Cotton Creek Romance #2

Hooked on Love

Avery Oliver can see the byline now. What better way to jumpstart her journalism career than to head out into the woods with a sexy guide? It’s all very Bear Grylls, but she’ll take it, even if it means ditching her beloved designer suits and handbags.

All Sullivan Reed needs in life is a fly rod and the roar of a river. Playing guide to a hot little reporter can’t end well…until they strike a deal that’s mutually beneficial. She’ll pretend to be his girlfriend to deflect an overly flirtatious neighbor, and he’ll help her with the article. It’s a win-win.

Until it isn’t. By the time a storm strands them in his cabin, Sully’s done pretending. He wants Avery—badly—but she’s a big-city girl looking for adventure, not his simple life. So why does releasing her feel like he’s lost the perfect catch?

Romance Contemporary [Entangled, On Sale: October 17, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781682813133 / eISBN: 9781633757745]

Casting GHOST TIMES TWO by Carolyn Hart

The surest way to lift an author’s spirit (can’t resist) is to receive an e-mail from a Hollywood producer inquiring if the rights are available to the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series. Yes, indeed they are. And Bailey Ruth’s new adventure, GHOST TIMES TWO, is a love story and a mystery that would make a GREAT movie.

As is often the case with Hollywood queries, nothing has come of it to date, but I’ve had great fun picking out a superb cast and I want to invite readers to offer their choices.

In GHOST TIMES TWO, Bailey Ruth returns to earth to encourage Jimmy Taylor, an engaging fun madly-in-love ghost, to climb the Golden Stairs to Heaven. The object of Jimmy’s affections is Megan Wynn, a young lawyer. She is beginning to recover from his untimely death in a kayak accident in the rapids. A fellow lawyer Blaine Smith would like for her to join his law firm and be his partner in both law and love. Jimmy is doing his best to thwart the romance. Megan quarrels with a partner in her present firm who blocks her plan to leave. When Megan is found at the scene of his murder, Bailey Ruth and Jimmy go into overdrive to save her from arrest. Jimmy truly loves Megan and will go to any length to save her, even if she ends up in Blaine’s embrace.

Here, in case Hollywood is listening, is my dream cast of characters:

  • Bailey Ruth – Debra Messing
  • Wiggins – Ryan Kwanten
  • Jimmy Taylor – Ansel Elgort
  • Megan Wynn – Kaitlynn Dever
  • Blaine Smith – John Francis Daley
  • Doug Graham – Michael Shannon
  • Sam Cobb – Joaquin Phoenix

There is also a bevy of sharply defined women who work in the law offices of Layton and Graham. Each one has a reason to wish Graham dead.

The book goes on sale October 2. Movie minded readers are invited to submit their choices for the cast to my website It will be fun to report the variety of actors and actresses who fit the bill in the eyes of readers. And perhaps a concentration of thought waves wending to Hollywood might stir action. You know, lights, action, camera!

In my dreams . . .

About Carolyn Hart

Carolyn Hart

Carolyn Hart is the author of 58 novels. She writes two series. The Death on Demand series is set on a South Carolina sea island in a mystery bookstore and features Annie and Max Darling. Lively energetic ghostly sleuth Bailey Ruth Raeburn returns to earth to help people in trouble. Sometimes you see her, sometimes you don’t.

Hart’s books have won the Agatha three times for Best Mystery Novel and been nominated nine times. Hart was named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime and lives in Oklahoma City, OK, with her husband Phil.

Death on Demand | Jason Wade | Bailey Ruth Ghost


GHOST TIMES TWO by Carolyn Hart

Bailey Ruth Ghost #7

Ghost Times Two

Carolyn Hart—New York Times bestselling author of Ghost to the Rescue—returns with a new Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel in which one woman shatters the glass ceiling…with a little help from beyond.

Bailey Ruth Raeburn’s latest mission is to guide the happy-go-lucky spirit of a deceased young man named Jimmy to the next life. But Jimmy is determined to watch over his still-living girlfriend, Megan, whom he wants to be happy even without him—which is easier said than done.

As if being haunted by her late boyfriend wasn’t enough, Megan is dealing with an arrogant, manipulative senior partner who threatens to fire Megan’s vulnerable secretary if Megan accepts a partnership at another law firm. She’s in an impossible bind.

Since Jimmy refuses to move on while Megan is being blackmailed, Bailey Ruth agrees to help him. But after the partner turns up dead and Megan is found at the crime scene, Bailey Ruth and Jimmy have to find a way to uncover a killer before the love of Jimmy’s life is ordered to spend a lifetime behind bars…

Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: October 4, 2016, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425283738 / eISBN: 9780698411531]


Tell us what you think of the casting line up and one of you will win the paperback copy of GHOST TO THE RESCUE


Bailey Ruth Ghost

Ghost to the Rescue

New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Hart’s ghostly gumshoe Bailey Ruth Raeburn is frequently amusing…but this is the first time she’s been a muse.

When you wish upon a star, you get…Bailey Ruth? You do if you’re a little girl whose mom needs help and you touch the soft heart of Supervisor Wiggins at Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions. Granted it’s not the usual task of an emissary, but then again Bailey Ruth is not your usual emissary. So Wiggins dispatches the spunky spirit to her old hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma, to help a single mother and struggling writer find some creative solutions to her problems.

Deidre Davenport is just about broke, trying to support her two children, and has her hopes pinned on getting a faculty job with the Goddard College English department. Jay Knox, who is in charge of the writer’s conference she’s participating in, will decide who gets the job, but he’s more interested in her body than her body of work.

Not long after his advances are rejected, Knox turns up dead—and Deirdre’s fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Bailey Ruth knows Deirdre is innocent, and that the professor’s lewd behavior is bound to have rubbed others the wrong way. Now she must find out who really knocked off Knox…if Deirdre and her family are ever going to have a happy ending.

Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: October 4, 2016, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book (reprint), ISBN: 9780425276570 / eISBN: 9780698170896]

Ella Carey | Parisian Courtesans during the Belle Époque

Paris is always the perfect idea. The French capital has long led the way in fashion, culture and art-but during the late nineteenth century, Paris was something else. The city of love resonated with everything modern and luxuriant and uproarious and risqué-Paris was, quite simply the epicentre of the Belle Époque.

In FROM A PARIS BALCONY, we meet the Parisian courtesan Marthe de Florian-inspired by the real life demimondaine, whose real abandoned apartment in Paris was rediscovered in 2010 after being locked up for seventy years. I wanted to delve into both Marthe’s world and her feelings, but first, what was the scene in Paris when she was young?

Three world fairs, in 1878, 1889 and 1900 contributed to Paris being the leading cultural capital in the world. Life in the city was an intertwine, an entanglement of burgeoning industry, artistic modernity and the pursuit of pleasure.

The Third Republic, starting in 1870, is considered the Golden Era of the highest class of prostitutes, Parisian ‘It girls’ now known as ‘demimondaines.’ A generation of young men from all over Europe came to France’s capital to play with the forbidden fruits.

Enter one of my characters, the charming heir to one of Britain’s greatest Estates, Henry Duval. Conflicted about the role he is supposed to take on at home, and frustrated by the constant expectations that have been placed on him since he was a child, Henry is drawn to Paris.

There he meets one the city’s most fashionable demimondaines, the famous Marthe de Florian. These women dictated fashion, became the ultimate Parisian women, and were the trophy companions of powerful men. It is now well recognised that top courtesans were some of the first women to run their own lives- but of course, the duality of their role was extraordinary. They were hidden, yet utterly on display- often seen out in places such as the Opera, the Bois de Boulogne and The Folies Bergère.

But what if you were a young American girl, what if you were a girl named Louisa Duval, a ‘problem’ who had been tutored by a governess who believed in women’s rights, only to be sent over to England as a debutante to do what was expected of her- marry well. But what if, even as a debutante moving in the highest circles of society, Louisa still had aspirations of her own to be independent, to run her own life, to be more than simply someone’s wife? So what if she fell for a man like Henry Duval beguiling, fun, charming and theatrical? What if she married him and became drawn into a passionate adventure of her own…

What if, in 2015, Louisa’s great-great-niece in Boston, Sarah West, heartbroken and lonely after her husband left her, found something that led her on a journey to Paris to investigate the unsolved mystery surrounding Louisa’s tragic death? What if she stayed in Marthe de Florian’s abandoned apartment, which she had to share with a talented wunderkind of an artist, the handsome Laurent Chartier- exactly the sort of man she is trying to avoid after the way her ex-husband treated her…

And what would happen when all these worlds came together to crash around the death of a girl, a story that had been swept under the carpet, like an unimportant woman’s life, wiped away, dismissed for over a hundred years? What if that mystery came to the fore again, exposing the passionate, heartfelt story of a girl who lived in a world where women couldn’t make their own choices…

The novel is set in two eras- the 1890s and 2015.

Thank you for reading this article.

I hope you enjoy FROM A PARIS BALCONY.

Ella Carey xx

About Ella Carey

Ella Carey

Ella Carey is a writer and Francophile who claims Paris as her second home. She has been studying French since the age of five, and she has degrees in music, majoring in classical piano, and English, majoring in nineteenth century women’s fiction and in modern European history. Her debut novel, Paris Time Capsule, has captured global attention and her second novel, The House By The Lake, was released in March 2016, remaining in top 100 of all kindle books in the US for six months. Her third novel is From a Paris Balcony and is releasing in October, 2016. She lives in Australia.



From a Paris Balcony

Heartbroken and alone, Boston art curator Sarah West is grieving the recent deaths of her parents and the end of her marriage. Ultra-sensible by nature, she’s determined to stay the course to get her life back on track. But fate has something else in mind. While cleaning out her father’s closet, she finds a letter from the famous Parisian courtesan Marthe de Florian, dated 1895. The subject? Sarah’s great-great-aunt Louisa’s death. Legend has it Louisa committed suicide…but this letter implies there’s more to that story.

Determined to learn the truth, Sarah, against her nature, impulsively flies to Paris. There she’s drawn into the world of her flatmate, the brilliant artist Laurent Chartier. As she delves deep into the glittering Belle Époque to unravel the mystery, Sarah finds that her aunt’s story may offer her exactly what she needs to open up to love again.

Following Sarah in the present day and Louisa in the 1890s, this moving novel spans more than a century to tell the stories of two remarkable women.

Women’s Fiction | Historical [Lake Union Publishing, On Sale: October 11, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781503940505 / ]


Have you read about the abandoned apartment in Paris? What do you imagine the reasons were for abandoning it for 70 years? One reader will win a signed copy of FROM A PARIS BALCONY

Why The Second Novel is Scarier Than The First

By the time you read this, my sophomore novel, “>Can’t Help Falling, will have just been released. Coming just under six months from the release of my debut novel, Close To You, has made for a busy year!

Before I was published I remember hearing a few times that your second novel is scarier than your debut. As I prepared for the release of my first book, I couldn’t understand how that was possible. Your debut is the first of everything! First time working with a publishing house, first time navigating cover and title selection, first one-star reviews, first readers letting you know what they didn’t like about your book or what you got wrong.

You’re (Usually) Writing Under Contract For the First Time

When I wrote Close To You it was the crazy story that I genuinely believed no publisher would be interested in. Who would want a romantic comedy set in New Zealand about a Lord of the Rings tour of all things? I had no expectations and no deadlines beyond the (moveable) ones that I set for myself. If life got in the way of writing it wasn’t a big deal.

When I signed my publishing contract for two books all I knew about the second book was contained in one sentence. It was to be set in Oxford and have a C.S. Lewis theme. I had eight months to take that and turn it into a 90,000 word manuscript.

This time the day job being crazy, children being sick, the muse not showing up or you feeling more like spending your evenings watching reality TV over wrestling with obstinate characters were irrelevant. There was a deadline set in a contract with an advance that would have to be paid back if I didn’t deliver. At the back of my mind was the insistent voice asking over and over What if I can’t do this? What if the best that I’ve got in me is that first book? What if I’m about to fail my editor, my agent, myself, and all the people who have believed in my author dream?


Your debut novel is a crazy exciting terrifying time. Your first book baby is being released into the world and you have no control over how readers are going to react to it. However, readers also don’t have any expectations based on previous reading experience as to what they expect from a “X Author” novel. You have a blank slate as an author. This changes with the sophomore novel. People have thoughts, opinions and hopes as to the kind of story you might be deliver. Now you feel the weight of hoping, praying, that your new story will not be a disappointment to those who enjoyed your first.

You Know How Really Hard It Is To Get Readers To Take A Chance on a New Author

With your debut novel you knew this in theory. As a reader you knew how hard it was to convince you to spend your hard earned money on an unknown author when your budget didn’t even reach to all those authors you already know and love. But you naively hope that between sheer force of will, your great hook, and feeling like you’re wallpapering the internet with all your guest posts/interviews/articles that readers will flock to your story.

With the sophomore novel, you’ve learned in the trenches that you are the rule, not the exception. You’ve eyeballed sales figures that have you wondering if the system lost a digit somewhere. You’ve let out many a silent virtual scream at people assuring you that they can’t wait to read your book, they’re just waiting for the e-version to be made free. You’ve seen much coveted positive reviews in sought after publications give your sales figures a low double digit bump that week. You’ve learnt from experience that this author thing really is a long game.

But, in all of that, you also know the joy of having readers who love your writing. A tribe of people cheering you on for no other reason than they love your imaginary friends. Readers who become friends and tell you you can do this. And that makes facing down the fear worth it over and over again.


Can't Help Falling

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

Inspirational Romance | Inspirational [Howard Books, On Sale: October 11, 2016, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9781501117343 / eISBN: 9781501117350]

About Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Her debut romantic comedy, Close To You, is about a disillusioned academic-turned-tour-guide and an entrepreneur who knows nothing about Tolkien who fall in love on a Tolkien themed tour of New Zealand. Her sophomore novel, Can’t Help Falling, is about about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England and was recently named an RT Top Pick for October 2016. When she’s not working her day job as a public servant, chasing around a ninja preschooler and his feisty toddler sister, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She loves to connect on Facebook and Twitter.



Kara is giving away a copy of CLOSE TO YOU and CANT HELP FALLING and a mini-journal

Tara Taylor Quinn | Christmas X Two

I’m all taken up with Christmas this month. It’s always this way for me. I get two Christmas’. One the first weekend in November and the other in December with the rest of the world. My November Christmas is really my mother’s bash and the month of October is consumed with last minute preparations. When I was kid Mom would take me around to boutiques and would show me things that she thought were beautiful. I remember how excited she felt. I wasn’t sure about all the stuff, but because she was excited, I was happy, too. I loved those times. They were like the official start of the holiday season for me. She used to tell me that someday she’d like to run her own holiday boutique. And now she does. Because when you want something badly enough, if you keep the dream alive and work hard for it, dreams really do come true. Mom has a group of crafting ladies who meet at her house all year long. They donate talent and many of the supplies and make gorgeous things. They work at home, too. And then, for two days, they sell their wares at Mom’s church. All profits go to children’s ministries – Mom’s choice. She’s in her 11th year now. I’m the slug. I load up the rented U-Haul at the storage unit. Unload at church. I’m also an arranger. I love the aesthetics and spend a day creating displays that show the bounty in best light. And I run the cash register. Last year we took in more than $10,000! In two days!


Mom’s boutique works because of the beautiful handmade crafts. But more, it works because of the spirit of Christmas that embodies all of those involved – the crafty ladies, their families, church personnel, and shoppers – the willingness to give, to share, to befriend, and spread joy. The anticipation I felt as a kid at Christmas time – the magic – that was real. While as a kid I might have been hoping for some great toy under the tree, the belief that something great could happen, was what excited me. And excites me still today. If we are kind, (Santa told us to be good) we are blessed (Santa said he’d give us a toy.) Christmas is real. Because kindness is real. Because hope is real.


So…you can imagine how ‘right’ it felt to me when I was invited to participate in a Christmas anthology with 15 of my author peers, many of them USA Today bestselling. Three of the authors had created a town, Christmas Town, Maine, and invited the rest of us to write our own stories in their town. It was a lot of work. A LOT of work. But it was so worth it! The anthology – 15 Harlequin Heartwarming authors, 15 holiday novellas, more than 2000 pages of reading – has been out less than 24 hours as I write this and is already ranking #1 on Amazon!

I’m an admitted Christmas addict. Not only with crafting year round, but with at least one Christmas decoration in every room in my home year round. The decorations are there to remind me of the spirit of Christmas. To give me a boost of anticipation. To remind me that there is always hope. To remind me to be kind. If you’re anything like me, and need your own Christmas fix, A Heartwarming Holiday is a guaranteed win. And our bonus gift to you? For an additional time, it’s available for only 99 cents! 2000 pages of bestselling, feel good, completely original and brand new reading for 99 cents! Merry October Christmas!

A HEARTWARMING HOLIDAY by Shirley Hailstock, Tara Taylor Quinn, Anna Adams, Melinda Curtis, Anna J. Stewart, Tara Taylor Quinn And Colleagues

A Heartwarming Holiday

Your favorite Harlequin Heartwarming authors are back with fifteen all new stories set in charming Christmas Town, Maine.

This holiday season, warm your heart with 15 connected sweet, clean & wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 15 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

There are five connected books in A Heartwarming Holiday. That means each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, Maine, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually. A Heartwarming Holiday will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1200 pages.

Book 1: Once Upon a Holiday by Anna Adams, Anna J Stewart & Melinda Curtis:
Three former college roommates start a business to bring the magic of the holidays to everyone in Christmas Town.

Novella 1: Once Upon a Thanksgiving by Anna Adams, award- winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 2: Once Upon a Christmas by Anna J Stewart, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 3: Once Upon a New Year’s Eve by Melinda Curtis, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Book 2: Holiday Heroes by Leigh Riker, Tara Randel & Cari Lynn Webb:
Three former Navy SEALs come together to restore an outdated resort.

Novella 1: Thankfully Yours by Leigh Riker, award- winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 2: Cooking Up Christmas by Tara Randel, Barnes and Noble bestselling, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 3: Countdown to Romance by Cari Lynn Webb, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Book 3: 24 North Pole Lane by Carol Ross, Amy Vastine & Cheryl Harper:
Romance is being delivered to 24 North Pole Lane this holiday season.

Novella 1: Hers by Thanksgiving by Carol Ross, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 2: Peace, Love, and Baby Joy by Amy Vastine, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 3: Never Say Never on New Year’s by Cheryl Harper, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Book 4: Magic Moments by Tara Taylor Quinn, Shirley Hailstock & Liz Flaherty:
Three different times, three different stories. They all bring magic to Christmas Town.

Novella 1: Christmas Past by Tara Taylor Quinn, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 2: It Only Happens in Christmas Town by Shirley Hailstock, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 3: The Magic Stocking by Liz Flaherty, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Book 5: Nutcracker Sweethearts by Dana Mentink, Roz Denny Fox, & Amie Denman:
As the stage production of the Nutcracker unfolds in Christmas Town, three couples find love with the help of a little holiday magic!

Novella 1: Thanksgiving Duet by Dana Mentink, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 2: Christmas Curtain Call by Roz Denny Fox, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Novella 3: Set for New Year’s by Amie Denman, Harlequin Heartwarming author

Holiday | Romance Anthology [IndieWrites, On Sale: October 11, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781680160932 / eISBN: 9781680160932]

Tara Taylor Quinn_Christmas Past Meme

Hettie Ivers | Seduction by Steak (includes recipe so you can try at home!)

To celebrate this week’s release of the third book in my paranormal romance series, REVENGE OF THE WRONGED, I’m excited to share with Fresh Fiction readers a very popular paleo recipe from the first book in the series, SLIP OF FATE.

I received so many emails from my readers who tried this recipe at home after reading the chapter in which our big, scary, bad-boy supernatural Alpha dons a tall white chef hat and apron and pan sears rib-eyes for our very confused and reluctant vegetarian heroine, Milena. In the book, Alex prepares the steaks following a slight variation on the recipe provided below, which has been taken from I hope you enjoy it as much as Milena ends up loving it in SLIP OF FATE!


Pan Seared Rib-eye Steaks (Recipe credit:


  • 2 grass fed ribeye steaks (about 1″ thick and 10 oz each)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (preferably Himalayan or Celtic)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • coconut oil


  1. To make the dry rub, combine salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Set aside.
  2. Heat cast iron pan on high for a few minutes.
  3. Rub room temperature steaks with some coconut oil to help the dry rub stick.
  4. Sprinkle dry rub on steaks.
  5. Once the pan started smoking, place steaks and cook for 3 minutes on the first side for medium rare.
  6. Flip it and cook the other side for 3 more minutes.
  7. Place cooked steaks on a plate and cover with foil so that they rest for a few minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic cloves, rosemary and butter to the pan dripping.
  9. Cook until rosemary is fragrant and garlic is soft.
  10. Pour on top of cooked steaks and serve immediately.


Bad-boy werelock meets stubborn human girl in this epic series.

Finding love at first sight with your fated soul mate sounds so romantic. Unless, of course, that “mate” happens to be your brother’s sworn enemy and the overbearing Alpha werewolf-warlock who has taken you hostage.

Things get complicated in this twisty love-hate trilogy about a stubborn American girl who stumbles upon forbidding paranormal circumstances and finds herself at the center of a blood feud between rival South American werewolf packs.

The task of taming a formidable, drop-dead sexy werelock has never been so hard. And so hot.

In REVENGE OF THE WRONGED, the highly anticipated finale to the first trilogy in the Werelock Evolution series, Milena Caro faces her greatest challenges yet.

Torn between her loyalty to her brother and her growing affection for his nemesis, Alex Reinoso, Milena vies to salvage some remnant of her former life as she becomes increasingly enmeshed in the bitter feud between werewolf packs.

Will blood prove thicker than water? Will the ill-fated blood curse Milena wields destroy her and all those she holds dear?

In the struggle between good and evil, ideals and reality often clash. And in this game of survival amid conniving, bloodthirsty supernatural opponents, it’s the player no one saw coming who will change all the rules.

**Mature Content Warning** This book contains violence, strong language, and graphic sex and is intended for adult readers.


Tell us what you think about the meal Alex cooked for Milena, one reader will win a copy of Fear the Heart paper back and Reading Is Sexy mug

Excerpt from SLIP OF FATE

The kitchen scene where Alex cooks the rib-eyes for Milena

I continued to nurse my carbonated red wine, enjoying the new flavor the more I consumed, as I watched Alex begin to sort through the pre-assembled ingredients and cookware items the nervous young kitchen worker had gathered.

I’d been dubious as to Alex’s ability to boil water without assistance, so initially I simply stared in stunned silence as he heated a large cast iron skillet over the gas stovetop before brushing what appeared to be a half a dozen rib-eye steaks with coconut oil. But I snapped out of my stupor when he began sprinkling the raw meat with a dry rub preparation of herbs and spices.

“Um … so I’m a vegetarian,” I announced.

He raised his head and paused for the briefest moment before continuing to season the steaks.

“As in I don’t eat meat,” I clarified stupidly after a beat.

“I’ll fix a salad to go with your steak,” he said as the iron pan started to smoke. He placed two steaks onto the skillet, and almost instantly my mouth began to water at the delectable scent of raw meat cooking.

I hadn’t consumed animal flesh since I was twelve. Yet now it smelled like the only food I wanted to eat. Confused, I gulped down more of my fizzy wine while I watched Alex poke and flip the rib-eyes with a two-pronged steak fork.

I soon found myself staring at the way his chest and arm muscles flexed as he worked. Studying the blue veins that ran up the underside of his forearms beneath his golden brown skin. Pondering completely inappropriate and wholly irrelevant things like how the smooth skin covering his absurdly cut abdominal muscles might feel against my lips. I pulled at the collar of my V-neck henley and fanned myself, feeling hot all over.

“Shouldn’t you be wearing a shirt?” I complained, my breath sounding ragged. “Or an apron at least? It’s not very sanitary cooking half-naked like that.”

His lips curved slightly as he glanced up at me, his eyes warming as they caught mine, some sort of understanding glinting in their depths.

“Would you like me to put something on, princess?”

“Yes, please.” My voice was a faint whisper. But he’d heard me, because he turned and I found myself gawking at his muscular, broad back next while he sifted through a basket of folded linens on a metal storage shelf located behind him.

Grabbing a white waist apron, he wrapped it around his midsection and tied it so that it was slung low across his hips overtop his lounge pants, effectively covering nothing that hadn’t been covered already. I felt my brows draw together and my lips purse into a pout. He gave me a toothy grin and went back to attending the stovetop.

“You should wear the hat, too,” I insisted upon eyeing a classic-looking, white chef hat that was sticking out of the top of the bin he’d rummaged through.

His brow lifted and he eyed me curiously before following the path of my pointed finger to the shelf behind him. I was sure he was going to deny my silly request, but he turned and snatched up the article I’d pointed at, slowly unfolding the comically tall chef hat and placing it atop his head. “Satisfied?”

He looked positively ridiculous! I immediately clasped my hand over my mouth and screeched at the sight of him, swinging my legs giddily back and forth over the side of the table in a rush of girlish delight as I cackled.

He shook his head, frank eyes assessing me up and down. Then he stepped forward and plucked the wine glass from my hand, threatening under his breath, “You’ll be the one wearing this hat and nothing else later if you don’t slow it down with the wine and quit being so cute.”

Unsure of how to process the way my lower region warmed in reaction to his remark, I chose to ignore it. Alex emptied the rest of my carbonated wine concoction down his own gullet and set the empty glass atop the prep table.

The steaks appeared largely uncooked still as he removed them from the cast iron pan, setting them aside onto a serving plate. I estimated he’d cooked each side for no more than a few minutes.

Reducing the gas flame, he tossed butter, fresh rosemary, and several peeled, whole cloves of garlic into the skillet. The scent of rosemary, butter, and garlic simmering in the pan drippings was divine. My eyes glazed over with undeniable longing when Alex ultimately drizzled the buttery garlic rosemary sauce over the undercooked steaks.

Setting the serving plate next to where I sat on the countertop, Alex grabbed a fork and knife, cut a small piece of the heavenly-scented rare meat, and offered it up to my lips.

Though I was desperate to taste it, I shook my head in denial. “I really can’t eat that; I haven’t had meat in six years, Alex. I’ll get sick.” My stomach growled its disagreement.

“You won’t get sick. I promise.”

I made a childish whimpering sound, my mind and my body torn.

“C’mon, you have to at least try it. I made it for you,” he beguiled in a seductive whisper, “… and while wearing this stupid hat you forced on me.”

The guilt tactic proved the final straw to break my shaky resolve. It was my Catholic girl curse.

I opened my mouth and let him feed me the bite of steak. My eyes rolled back in my head and I moaned as the soft, buttery meat virtually melted in my mouth. It was pure perfection!

I gazed dreamily back at Alex and found him waiting, another bite of meat poised on the tip of the fork, ready for me. He seemed so genuinely thrilled that I liked it, I reasoned there was no way I could refuse a second bite.

So I didn’t. And I even let him feed me a third bite before politely prying the fork from his fingers so that I could shovel the meat into my own mouth at a less leisurely pace.


Werelock Evolution #3

Revenge of the Wronged

Oracles foretold that the ascension of the next vessel would unleash enough discord and controversy to incite a vicious feud between the strongest of the werelock species—but that it would be the untimely death of a guilty innocent caught between two rival packs that ultimately sparked a great war between those opposing factions.

An unforgivable sacrifice—destined to unearth a wrath so black as to obliterate light. Ushering forth the war of the century, the rise of a blind warrior, and the dawn of a decade without light.

In a game of survival amid conniving, bloodthirsty supernatural opponents, it’s the player no one saw coming who will change all the rules …

Romance Paranormal [Author Self-Published, On Sale: October 11, 2016, e-Book ]

About Hettie Ivers

Hettie Ivers engages in legal battles by day and smut storytelling by night. Hettie favors stories in which realistic, relatable characters must navigate fantastical, larger-than-life circumstances. She’s a sucker for sexy antiheroes, underdogs, and flawed protagonists, and she enjoys fresh spins on classic tropes with a sprinkling of satire.

Werelock Evolution


Other books in the Werelock Evolution Series

Slip of Fate

Fear the Heart

Revenge of the Wronged

Abbie Roads | What a Nightmare

I woke to the familiar shadows of gray and black blanketing our room, but for some inexplicable reason I felt afraid. Almost like I’d just had a nightmare.

I faced the edge of the bed, my husband spooning me, his arm around my waist, his head behind mine on the pillow. There was something off about his breathing. It wasn’t the calm, slow breathing of someone asleep. No. It was the kind of breathing that came from great exertion. Or fear.

When my husband spoke it was more breath than sound and meant only for me to hear. “Someone’s in here.”

My heart exploded. My body tensed. His arm tightened around me, telling me with his action that we should lie there unmoving, pretending to be asleep, and hope the intruder wouldn’t bother with us.

My gaze ping ponged around the room, searching for the man. At first I didn’t see anyone. Then I spotted him. He crawled on his hands and knees along the side of the bed toward me.

I thought I had known fear.

I hadn’t known fear until I knew he was going to kill me. Kill us.

Then I woke up.

Yep. That was one of my dreams. I had that nightmare many years ago. It was one of those stick-to-your ribs bad dreams that I’ll never forget.

My nightmares started when I was three years old. I don’t remember any specific bad dreams from that far back, but I do remember waking up absolutely terrified. So petrified that I couldn’t move my arms or legs, and worse, I couldn’t scream. I would lay in my bed opening my mouth trying to force sound out of it, but couldn’t. That feeling of helplessness is what I remember most.

And then there were the times I would wander out of my bedroom during the night. Once at 3:00 A.M my parents found me walking around saying I needed to go outside to get my hairbrush. They thought I must be sleepwalking too. They took me to the doctor.

The diagnosis: Night Terrors.

The solution: Limit my TV watching. I was absolutely not allowed to watch anything scary. So I didn’t.

Looking back, I think that helped somewhat. I don’t remember having nightmares until my teen years. When I was sixteen, I had a vivid dream of my ex-boyfriend stabbing me to death. I died in that dream. When I woke in my room, I was super confused. It took me a moment to realize I wasn’t dead, but had just had a nightmare.

Currently, I have a couple nightmares every week. My husband has to wake me up because I’m moaning in my sleep. Moaning in my sleep means I’m actually screaming in the dream.

There’s no real reason for me to have bad dreams all the time. I don’t have a traumatic past. Not like the clients I work with—I’m a mental health counselor.

What are my nightmares about? Anything scary. They are never the same. In my dreams I’ve eaten cookies poisoned by human flesh. I’ve experienced the terror of having a hundred snakes crawling on the bed with me. I’ve watched helplessly as loved ones have died. I’ve planned how to escape a pack of wolves chasing me or tried to hide from the grizzly bears that broke into my house. Seriously, anything that could possibly terrify me—I’ve lived through it a bunch of times in my dreams.

The funny thing is…

I’m not scared of the nightmares. I’ve always just viewed them as a part of who I am. A part of how I’m wired. Possibly even a gift. I’ve used them as inspiration in my writing. Pieces and parts of them end up in some of the scariest scenes I write.

There’s a scene at the end RACE THE DARKNESS that was inspired by a dream. In my dream it was nearly dawn and the birds were already singing their morning songs, but I was running toward the river to escape a man pursuing me. He shot me just as I reached the water’s edge. I fell into the river and all the lovely birdsong muted as I went under the water.

This isn’t what happened to Isleen in the book, but it gave me the insight to take that scene a bit deeper.

Is it any wonder that all the heroines in the Fatal Dreams Series have special nightmares?


What is your worst nightmare, tell us and one reader will win a copy of RACE THE DARKNESS!

About Abbie Roads

Abbie Roads

Abbie Roads, the author of the Fatal Dreams series, is a mental health counselor by day and a writer by night. She lives in Marion, Ohio.

Fatal Dreams



Fatal Dreams #1

Race the Darkness

If he loses, she dies

Cursed with a terrible gift…

Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you-he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night-the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

A gift that threatens to engulf them

Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.

Romance Suspense | Romance Paranormal [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: October 4, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492639176 / eISBN: 9781492639183]

Victoria Davies | Organized Chaos

Organization makes life easier. Four words I’ve been told again and again as a writer. Four words I simply can’t live by.

I’m always jealous of the people I meet who are able to write lists and structure their days in a way that allows them to move seamlessly from task to task. When I first started joining writing groups, many of the people I met fit this picture. They created detailed plots and planned out every aspect of the epic growth and transformation of their characters. They could pull out journals and bits of paper from their purse where they jotted down every idea to flit through their incredible brains and created a road map of exactly where they wanted to go.

I, on the other hand, live in a constant state of chaos. Seriously, you should see my home. I’m of the opinion that if I put something away I’ll forget it forever. Out of sight, out of mind. So when I tried to learn from my peers about their writing styles, I quickly learned what worked for them didn’t work for me. When I write, I don’t do so in order. I write the big, important scenes first and then find ways to hook them together. I write backwards from the end, or I start in the middle. I hate knowing where I’m going when I sit down to type.

In RIGHT BILLIONAIRE, WRONG WEDDING my heroine Allison Reed is everything I’m not. She’s organized, meticulous, and controlled. She likes plans and structure but is also capable of bending when she needs to. And falling for Darian requires quite a bit of bending for both of them. They say writers put themselves into their characters but for me, writing a heroine who was so different from my personality was exciting. It was a way to explore a path not traveled. I think that’s what I appreciate most about creating these stories. Despite the chaos of my writing style, I always get to test out different personalities, careers, and goals. Writers can be mad scientists throwing ingredients together just to see how they’ll react. I might never be the sort of person capable of planning all the moving parts of a complicated wedding but Allison is. She can be my window into her life.

When I was writing this book, I was actually also part of a real life wedding. It was the first time I’d ever been a bridesmaid and so I drew inspiration from real life. When the bride was chatting with me about flowers, I wrote the scene where Darian and Allison take a trip to the flower market. When my friend sent me pictures of her dress, I wrote about Allison trying on the picture perfect gown. Again, nothing was in order but it made sense to me. In my mind, books are like jigsaw pieces. They turn out better if I let them evolve organically, writing the scenes I’m excited about or inspired to create. Sticking to one script where I work on a novel from start to finish moving forward in a straight line has always lead bang-my-head-against-the-keyboard moments every writer experiences from time to time.

My advice for those interested in creating their own stories or books is therefore pretty simple. Ignore the rules. Ignore what the writing guides tell you is the “right” way to write. Every author has a different process and each one is as valid as the next. Find what works best for you. Try out multiple methods. Discard the ones that make you want to tear your hair out. Maybe you’re a highly organized person or maybe you need a little bit of chaos to get those creative juices following. I’ve always been the firm believer in the fact that the most important thing to do is just get started.

I hope you enjoy RIGHT BILLIONAIRE, WRONG WEDDING. It’s my first venture into the world of contemporary romance and I greatly enjoyed sharing Allison’s world for a little while. Good luck creating and happy reading.

About Victoria Davies

Victoria Davies

Victoria Davies’s passion for writing started young. Luckily she had a family who encouraged believing in magic and embracing imagination. From stories quickly scribbled in diaries, her love of storytelling developed. Since then her characters may have evolved and her plots may have grown decidedly more steamy but she never lost her love of the written word. Writing is not only a way to silence the wonderful voices in her head, but it also allows her to share her passions with her readers.

Currently she writes from Toronto, Canada. While she has a healthy love for the unknown, this corner of the world will always be her home.

Fated Match



Right Billionaire, Wrong Wedding

Darian King has never met a challenge he couldn’t handle. Running a billion-dollar corporation? Piece of cake. Hostile takeovers? A walk in the park. But when his little sister begs him to plan her wedding, Darian finds himself less than prepared for the task. Luckily, he knows just who to ask for help.

Allison Reed wants nothing more than to leave King Enterprises behind. Being the personal assistant to a man like Darian is a 24/7 job. Asking her to help plan a wedding is simply the icing on the stress-filled cake but to leave she needs a glowing reference and will do anything to get it. Even plan a wedding with the man of her dreams.

Stepping outside the office has unexpected consequences. Darian doesn’t believe in relationships, yet he’s starting to see Allison in a whole new light. But he doesn’t know her secret, and she fears that by the time the vows are exchanged, she won’t just be leaving her job behind but her heart as well.

Romance Contemporary [Entangled Indulgence, On Sale: October 10, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781682813140 / eISBN: 9781633757530]

Right Billionaire Wrong Wedding (1) #DONE #2

Asa Marie Bradley | Excerpt from VIKING WARRIOR REBEL

Luke’s leg brushed against hers, triggering an immediate response from her overactive hormones. Just being near him turned her on. He held himself differently now than at the club. Tension coiled in his muscles like he was prepared for an imminent attack. “You seem very familiar with military terminology,” Astrid said, keeping her tone casual.

He shrugged. “I served for a while.”

She’d bet it was for more than “a while,” judging by how quickly his mind had snapped into strategic planning. It would have been a career. “What branch?”

“The Marines, of course. There is no other worth joining.” Holden fired one of his grins at her. She wasn’t overly familiar with the different branches of the U.S. military, but she did know that the marines were elite soldiers. She and her battle brothers and sisters were einherjar, Odin’s and Freya’s elite soldiers. She wondered if Holden’s training had been similar to theirs but doubted his had included how to kill supernatural creatures like Loki’s wolverines. “What about you?” Holden asked.

Startled from her thoughts, she didn’t know what he meant. “What about me?”

“You obviously know something about the military. Did you serve?”

Talk about a loaded question. She’d been born a thrall but earned her freedom as a shield maiden. “I did.” She still served as a soldier. She served her gods and her fellow warriors.

“And in what branch?”

She didn’t even have to think about it. “Navy,” she said with a small smile on her lips. The Viking ships she’d sailed on were a far cry from the modern ships he’d associate with that term, but it was close enough.

“So we’re both sailors,” Holden said. “I never asked where you’re from, but did you serve here in the States?”

Astrid shook her head. “I was born in Sweden.” Almost a thousand years ago, but a woman didn’t discuss her age.

Luke opened his mouth as if to ask something else, but then quickly picked up his binoculars and aimed them down the hill. “Something’s happening.” He stood.

She peered down at the buildings through her own optical device. One of Loki’s wolverine-human hybrids walked across the courtyard to one of the buildings that looked more like a barn. He carried a tray in his hands, and she could see steam rising from one of the plates. “I don’t think that’s one of the ones who attacked me.” It was hard to tell because the creatures looked so much alike.

“What do you want to bet that’s food for their prisoner?’

Astrid fought the worry rising in her chest. “That’s a fair assumption.”

Holden lowered his lenses and reached for her hand. “You okay?”

She had to look away to not reveal how much that small gesture comforted her. “I’m good.” Why was she so emotional around him? She needed to get a grip and warrior up.

He gave her hand a squeeze and turned back to the buildings. She did the same. After about twenty minutes, the door on the barn opened and the wolverine came out again. The tray was empty.

“At least we know they’re feeding him,” Holden said.

The thought of the wolverines mistreating Naya’s brother overwhelmed her. Despair welled up so fast in her throat that she choked.

Dropping his binoculars back around his neck, Holden turned and reached for her. He enveloped her in his arms. “Hey, we’ll get him out.”

“This is all my fault,” Astrid forced out through her constricted throat. His body heat was both comforting and disturbing.

He rubbed his hand up and down her back. “You didn’t know they planned on taking him.”

She rested her head against his broad chest, reveling in the strength she found there. She’d fucked up so badly. If she didn’t get this right, she’d never be able to look her queen—her friend—in the eye again. She’d never be able to fight among her Norse brothers and sisters. They would not trust her and she’d be a liability in battle. And fighting was the only thing Astrid had ever been good at. It was what had changed her from a slave to a person of worth.

Holden’s nearness inundated her senses. She needed some distance so she could think clearly again. She flattened her palm against his chest to push him away, but paused when he hissed in a breath at the contact. She could feel his muscles contract underneath her hand. Slowly she raised her head to look up at him.

His gaze smoldered and zoomed in her lips. They parted of their own accord, and her breath hitched. His hand on her back pulled her closer, while the other cupped the back of her neck. “Fuck it,” he whispered and descended on her lips.

The kiss seared her senses, firing through every nerve of her body. She moaned and he slanted his head, deepening the kiss. His tongue explored her mouth, sending darts of pleasure zinging through her body.

She laced her hands behind his neck and pressed into his warm, solid body.

Holden growled into her mouth and backed her up against one of the aspens. He grabbed the back of her knee and hooked her leg over his hip, angling down so all his hardness pressed in just the right spot. Liquid heat shot from her core through her limbs. She groaned her approval and buried her hands in his hair. A powerful need built inside her.

More. Mine, whispered the berserker, feeding on the sexual energy radiating off Holden. Horrified, Astrid froze in place, panting heavily. What the fuck? Her berserker could not be claiming Holden.

He immediately stopped, leaning back to gaze into her eyes. “You okay?” he asked, a frown marring his face.

She looked away and slid her leg out of his grip until she stood on solid ground with two feet again. “This is not right,” she managed to whisper.

He leaned his forehead against hers, and she closed her eyes to savor the sensation, while desperately forcing the berserker back into slumber. “This is the most right I’ve felt in a long time,” Holden countered. “We need to stop kidding ourselves about how badly we both want this.”


Viking Warriors

Viking Warrior Rebel

She can’t let him discover…
Immortal Vikings are among us

Astrid Irisdotter is a Valkyrie-a fierce warrior fighting to protect humanity from the evil god Loki and his brutal minions. She’s on an urgent mission for her queen when everything goes hideously sideways. Undercover agent Luke Holden arrives on the scene just in time to save her life-and put his own on the line.

Luke may have saved her, but that doesn’t mean Astrid can trust him. Tempers flare as they hide secret upon secret from each other, but Astrid’s inner warrior knows what it wants…and it will not take “no” for an answer.

Romance Paranormal [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: October 4, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492618874 / eISBN: 9781492618881]

About Asa Maria Bradley

Asa Maria Bradley

2016 double RITA finalist Asa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired the immortal Vikings and Valkyries in her paranormal romances. She arrived in the U.S. as a high school exchange student and quickly became addicted to ranch dressing and cop shows. Asa currently resides on a lake deep in the pine forests of the Pacific Northwest with a British husband and a rescue dog of indeterminate breed. She graduated from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers program at Eastern Washington University with an MFA in creative writing and also holds an MS in Medical Physics from University of Colorado. Visit her at , or follow her on Twitter @AsaMariaBradley.

Viking Warriors