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Book Excerpt – Starlight Kisses

Book Excerpt – Starlight Kisses

Starlight Kisses

by Jeanette Lewis

(c)All Right Reserved

She stepped off the road and her boots broke through the thin crust of ice to send her sinking to mid-thigh into the snow. With a little squeak of protest, Mariah pushed forward, heaving herself through the drifts until she was deeper into the trees where, thankfully, the snow only came halfway up her calves. Even so, her leather boots were going to be ruined.

“Ow!” She stubbed her toe on a fallen tree lying buried in the snow and stumbled, only managing to stay upright by grabbing the limbs of a pine that towered overhead. As the branch bent, it unleashed its burden of snow and Mariah gasped loudly as it showered over her head and shoulders.

“Stupid trees!” she hissed in a whisper, glaring at the forest. She brushed as much snow off as possible, but some had already slithered down her collar. The cold penetrated her coat and seeped through her gloves. Jake’s truck was faintly visible through the trees and looked to be parked in a clearing. Shivering, Mariah stood still, considering her options.

“What are you doing?” A man’s deep voice shattered the silence.

Mariah whipped around and froze. Fear pulsed through her, making her legs shake. She hadn’t even heard the man coming up behind her, which was amazing—he was so big there was no possible way he could have moved silently. A thick green camo coat covered broad shoulders and the matching camo pants hinted at long, muscular legs, ending in sturdy black boots. His mouth turned down in a scowl and his eyes glittered menacingly beneath a black ball cap. Clutched in one hand was a large rifle, the metal barrel glinting in the pale light.

Mariah sucked in a breath of the frigid air and screamed—a loud, piercing shriek that echoed through the forest.

The man jumped back. “Geeze, lady! What’re you doing?”

“What are you doing?” Now that she’d knocked him off guard, her fear was turning to anger. Mariah drew herself up to her full height and glared at him. “Don’t you threaten me with that thing.” She pointed wildly at the rifle.

The man dropped his eyes to his rifle and then looked back at her incredulously. “I’m not threatening you. What are you doing lurking in my trees?”

“I’m not lurking,” Mariah protested. “I’m just … hiking.”

He cast a bemused look at her four-inch-heeled leather boots and the rather thin pink coat. “Uh-huh, sure.”

A door opened somewhere nearby and Jake’s voice filtered through the trees. “Riker?”

Mariah’s eyes widened. This had to be Riker Carmichael, Jake’s best friend and his soon-to-be best man. She’d heard all about him from Amy, but they hadn’t met yet. Then again, she’d only been in Snow Valley a couple of weeks.

“Riker?” Jake’s voice came again.

“Don’t tell him I’m here,” she pleaded.

Riker gave her a long, skeptical look, his eyes narrowed in suspicion. The dark whiskers covering his jaw were too long to be stubble, but were not quite to the beard stage. More of a I don’t have to go anywhere so I don’t have to shave kind of look.

He ran one hand over the not-quite-beard as he turned and called toward Jake’s voice. “Coming. One second.”

There was silence, followed by the thud of the door closing.

Riker turned back to her, his thick eyebrows raised so high they disappeared under the brim of his hat. “What’s going on?”

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Book Excerpt – Sweet Illusions

Book Excerpt – Sweet Illusions

Sweet Illusions

by Jeanette Lewis

©All Rights Reserved

The moon hung low and bright, bouncing off the sand and giving them more than enough light to hunt for shells. Arthur had stayed with Gina, but the rest of the children scampered ahead of Ben and Eva as they walked slowly up the beach. Ben had no idea where his shoes had ended up, and he was pleased to see Eva had slipped hers off too. They stayed on the edge of the water and every once in a while, a wave came boiling up the sand to swirl around their ankles before withdrawing again with a soft hiss.

“Man, I’ve missed it here,” he said, taking a deep breath.

“Jennifer said you’ve been in Atlanta?” Eva asked.

“Yeah. I was on the force there for six years.” His stomach knotted. What if she wanted to know why he’d come home? What if she’d heard about Griffin? Or maybe she already knew; she did live next door to Miss Lucille, after all.

“How do you like Indigo Bay?” he asked. Dumb question, but they had to start somewhere. He’d noticed how she tried to steer the conversation away from herself at dinner—a classic conversation tactic. Was she practicing Tinder’s Top Ten Tips for Dating, or was she merely a private person? And if so, how did he draw her out?

“It’s beautiful,” Eva said, and he remembered he’d asked her about Indigo Bay. “I love the ocean, and your parents’ house is amazing. I feel lucky to live here.”

“Yeah, that’s how I always felt too,” he said. Slightly ahead of them, three-year-old Ezra face-planted in the sand and Ben chuckled, watching as Abbie pulled him up and brushed him off.

“Do your brother and sister live around here too?” Eva asked.

“Tyler and Jennifer live closer to Hilton Head and Gina and Lee are about two hours inland,” Ben explained.

“Look at this one!” Jordan came running up, holding a small peach-colored shell.

“Calico scallop,” Ben told him. “Think you can find the other half?”

It would be nearly impossible to find a matched set of scallop shells, but the five-year-old took off running, his head moving back and forth as he eagerly searched the sand. Ben felt kind of bad sending him off on an impossible errand, but figured it was worth it to give him more alone time with Eva.

They walked past Miss Lucille’s house, rising three stories and ringed with balconies. Ben had never been inside, but when they were little, he and Gina had made up stories about Miss Lucille’s Fort of Surveillance. Inside would be set up like a crime lab from the movies—a dozen heavily muscled agents in black jackets sipping coffee in front of computer screens as they monitored everything that happened within a five-hundred-foot radius of the property; a helicopter waiting on the roof for a quick escape; three dozen cameras trained on the beach to keep an eye on the tourists; and a special forensics lab to determine exactly whose dog had pooped on the lawn.

Tonight, though, all the windows were dark except for one, where a small lamp burned on the lower level. Miss Lucille had mentioned setting him up with … was it her niece? He’d told her he planned to focus on work, but that had changed when he’d seen his mom coming across the sand with Eva.

He glanced sideways at her, noting how the moonlight kissed the bridge of her nose and the pale skin on her forehead. Her hair was so dark it blended into the shadows, but her enormous eyes glowed blue. He felt a stirring in his gut. She was reserved, but she’d laughed a few times at dinner and he’d found himself craving the sound, wanting to hear it again and especially wanting it to be because of him. He had an almost irrepressible urge to start showing off, like a teenager trying to impress a girl, wanting to be the source of her joy.

“Best thing about the chocolate shop—go,” Ben said.

“The chocolate, duh,” Eva said with a teasing lilt in her voice.

“And I’ll bet Miss Eulalie lets you eat as much as you can, right?”

“Of course,” Eva said. “We’ve got all the basic food groups covered: white in the morning, milk at lunch, and dark for dinner.”

He laughed. “Sounds like the perfect job.”

She threw him a quick smile, and he fought back a wild impulse to start doing push-ups.

“Actually, I like making them more than eating them. Is that weird? There’s something so satisfying about pulling the fondant out of the melted chocolate, putting a perfect little curl on the top.” She hesitated. “Sorry, that probably sounds lame.”

It didn’t sound lame at all. It made him want to watch her work, see her eyes come alight when she got the perfect curl.

“Uncle Ben, look at this!” It was Abbie this time. She extended her palm to reveal what looked like a small rock, only it was a matte green and gleamed in the moonlight.

“Sea glass,” Ben said. He plucked it from her hand and ran his thumb along the rounded edge. “Nice job, this is a good one.”

“Sea glass?” Eva asked.

Ben handed it to her and watched as she rubbed her delicate fingertips over it in fascination.

“It washes ashore from all over the world,” Abbie declared proudly. “Daddy says each piece could be hundreds of years old.”

“It’s really beautiful.” Eva held it up to let the moonlight shine through the frosty surface.

“Greens and browns are the most common; they’re usually from soda or beer bottles,” Ben said. “Or sometimes industrial glass like fishing floats. Most of it’s litter, but some comes from shipwrecks.”

Eva ran her nail along a small niche in the glass where the sand and salt hadn’t had time to completely obscure the shine. “It’s really neat,” she finally said, offering the glass back to Abbie.

“You can keep it,” Abbie offered.

“Are you sure? I mean, if it’s rare …”

Abbie shrugged. “I have a lot of green at home already.”

“Thank you.” Eva gave the girl a warm smile. “I love it.”

A whistle sounded above the waves, and Ben recognized it immediately, his dad’s call to muster the troops. The children heard it too; they did a one-eighty and charged back down the beach to where the embers of the fire hadn’t quite died out.

“Ben, can I ask you something?” Eva said as they followed the kids at a slower pace.

“Sure.”

“Did … did I steal your apartment?”

“Huh?”

She waved her hand toward the dunes, where the rooftop of his parents’ house was visible. “You could have had the apartment over the garage. Only now you can’t, because I’m there.”

Ben laughed. “Honestly, the thought never occurred to me.”

“You weren’t planning to stay there?”

“No.” He shook his head. “I love my family, but I don’t want to live at home again.”

“Your family is great,” Eva said with a slight defensive touch to her voice.

“True. But after being away for so long, I’m okay living across town from them. Don’t worry,” he added quickly, not wanting to worry her, “they’re a little intense sometimes, but way more Stark clan than Lannister.”

He’d been going for a laugh, but the look she gave him was totally blank. “Lannister?”

“Like in Game of Thrones? The Red Wedding, Rains of Castamere? We’re not into revenge killing. Though sometimes as kids Tyler and I would fight so much that—” He stopped when he saw the look on her face. The color had drained from her cheeks and her eyes were glazed, unfocused. “Are you okay?” Ben asked. He grabbed her arm, afraid she would faint, or something.

Eva shook her head as if to clear it. “Right, Game of Thrones.” Her voice shook. “Sorry, I got distracted for a second.” She threw a look to where the party was breaking up. “We should probably go help.” Before he could say another word, she hurried off, practically running down the beach away from him. During the chaos of cleaning up, she slipped away before he could tell her goodbye.

* * *

Eva closed the door and leaned against it, as if she could somehow shut out the past with her body. She turned the lock and dropped her shoes by the door, then dug the piece of sea glass from the pocket of her skirt. It was cool and smooth with indentations that fit against her fingertips perfectly, like a worry stone. She set it on the bookcase next to the lamp.

Worry was right. Clan. Revenge killing. He’d thrown those words around like they were nothing and sent her spiraling back into memories of dark days that were best forgotten.

She groaned. Of all the people in Indigo Bay to feel a spark with, she had to pick the cop? How long before he started digging into her past and showing up at her door wanting answers she couldn’t give?

Eva dropped her head into her hands as old fears and new combined to buzz at the base of her skull like a swarm of angry bees, trying to find a way in. Could she ever stop running?

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Love in Honor Given Trailer

Love in Honor Given Trailer

I had so much fun making this video for Love in Honor Given! Get gold fever and join us as we search for Lincoln’s Lost Gold.

Treasure hunting is loaded with danger and charged with love.

Sweet Whispers Trailer

Sweet Whispers Trailer

I don’t normally make book trailers, but I found an awesome sight for video and the perfect mood, so I couldn’t resist. This took me much longer than you’d think, because I’m still learning the software, but I love how it turned out. Take a look!

https://youtu.be/fAoCrpo1PRg

The Hopeful One is available now!

The Hopeful One is available now!

Nikki thought she’d found her happily ever after. But her story isn’t over.

Nikki Pendleton fulfilled the Billionaire Bride Pact she made as a teenager by marrying a wealthy man. But the Pact wasn’t why she accepted Darrin’s proposal. Darrin is Nikki’s handsome prince in every way and they are the poster couple for a happily ever after as they eagerly plan their future. But when life takes a tragic turn, their love will face the refiner’s fire. Can they come out gleaming or will Nikki’s hope be turned to ash?

Get The Hopeful One on Amazon, Free for KU users

What’s on my Kindle – Liz Isaacson, Sarah Gay, and Rachelle J. Christensen!

What’s on my Kindle – Liz Isaacson, Sarah Gay, and Rachelle J. Christensen!

 New releases from my favorite sweet romance Authors

Courting the Cowboy

by Liz Isaacson

May Sotheby is the heiress to the ritziest restaurant in Grape Seed Falls. In business for over a hundred years, her father wants the restaurant in Texas Hill Country to stay in the family for generations to come, so he lays down some hard news for May: She has one year to find a husband or the restaurant where she’s worked since a teen will go to her already-married sister.

Frustrated with the cowboy-only dating scene in Grape Seed Falls and needing to find a beau fast, she joins an online dating website, TexasFaithful, hoping to find her soul mate without having to relocate–or deal with cowboy hats and boots. She has no idea that Kurt Pemberton, foreman at Grape Seed Ranch, is the man she starts communicating with.

Kurt can’t get off the ranch much, so TexasFaithful is ideal for him to meet potential women without wasting time. As he nears fifty, he finds his patience for finding the right woman waning, and the Christian dating website fixes all that.

When he learns May is the beautiful woman he’s been corresponding with, he couldn’t be happier. May, however, is scared off by the close proximity of Kurt, the big white cowboy hat, and the expectations of her family. If she’d known she was courting the cowboy all this time, she might not have done it. Will May be able to follow her heart so she can keep Kurt and her restaurant?

Get Courting the Cowboy here

The Spark of a Kiss

by Sarah Gay

Julia, a witty and independent public defense attorney, doesn’t need a man—but she does need to secure a boyfriend by her twenty-eighth birthday to keep her mother from setting her up, if only for that day. She has her eyes set on February, the gorgeous firefighter from the benefit calendar on her wall. Unfortunately, when Julia meets Dax, AKA February, and sparks fly, she learns he’s a self-proclaimed bachelor.

Dax, a Park City firefighter, is living his childhood dream of being a local hero. Masking his abandonment issues with surface romantic relationships, he finds himself conflicted when he meets Julia and sparks fly, but she won’t date him. His determination solidifies when he finds that Julia has a stalker. How do you protect and care for someone who wants to go at life alone? Dax is determined to figure it out, and that may mean a trip to Brazil to come to terms with his past.

Get The Spark of a Kiss here

The Princess Bride of Riodan

by Rachelle J. Christensen

When a mysterious man offers to help Elise redecorate the old Bed & Breakfast, she gladly hands him a wallpaper steamer. After she discovers his true identity, she doesn’t know whether to curtsy or run and hide. Unfortunately, hiding isn’t an option because her heart is already tangled up with the handsome prince. At the same time, Elise’s old crush from high school wants a relationship and she’s forced to decide whether to chase after a fairy tale ending or stay grounded in reality.

Get The Princess Bride of Riodan here

What’s on my Kindle – Kimberly Krey, Lucy McConnell, and Cami Checketts!

What’s on my Kindle – Kimberly Krey, Lucy McConnell, and Cami Checketts!

New releases from my favorite sweet romance Authors

 

The Snapshot Bride

by Kimberly Krey

Love is in the air in Cobble Creek—for everyone but Anthony Marino. Month after month the owner of Tony’s Diner watches happy couples stroll through that bell-chiming door, and he can’t help but wonder if it will ever be him. The winds shift drastically in his favor when Kira Moretti rings that very same bell. During a childhood visit to Cobble Creek, the outgoing girl pegged him with his first kiss. When she sets those brown eyes on him years later, he’s pleased to find the feelings are still there. But is Kira here to stay, or does she—like the other women in Anthony’s past—have her eyes set on a different life?

It’s no surprise that Kira Moretti has an imperfect past that soiled the family name. So when Grandpa Moretti leaves his Cobble Creek photography studio to her in his will, Kira’s determined to prove herself worthy. Cobble Creek is just as charming as she remembered, and even better—so is the handsome guy from Tony’s Diner. Chemistry between them sparks fast, and soon Kira’s certain she’s right where she needs to be. But when someone from her past shows, offering long-sought redemption, Kira has to make a choice. Stay with the man she’s just fallen in love with, or take the offer and risk losing him forever.

Get The Snapshot Bride here

Dating the Rogue Cowboy

by Lucy McConnell

Oakley Price made a promise to her angel parents that she would see younger sister’s dream of becoming a barrel racer come true. When Bri is thrown into a fence and almost trampled by a high-spirited horse, Oakley’s doubts and fear of being alone threaten to shut down their rodeo season before it begins. She doesn’t have the knowledge or the experience to coach Bri; but, she knows who does—the helpful but shy cowboy from work, Will Dumont.

William Dumont spent his growing-up years in the saddle. He ran away from the Lime Peak Ranch at age 18 and has created a life for himself in the Silicon Slopes far away from rodeo, the Lime Peak Ranch, and his family. However, he wouldn’t mind spending time with the woman who walks by his desk every day. There’s just something special about Oakley. Which is why, despite all his misgivings, he agrees to coach Oakley’s little sister. But, William can’t hide from the Dumont legacy—not in the rodeo circuit—and soon his family becomes tangled in the complicated and delicate strands of his and Oakley’s potential relationship.

In order to keep Oakley in his life, William will have to figure out what kind of a man he wants to be—a runaway or a rogue cowboy.

Get Dating the Rogue Cowboy here

The Protective Warrior

by Cami Checketts

Ally, daughter of the Duke of Gunthry, has spent her life terrified of her father and dreams of the day when she can escape his tyrannical rule. When her mum helps her escape to the beautiful island of Kauai, Ally thinks she’s found paradise and maybe more with the handsome River who keeps crossing her path. But there are unexpected enemies lurking in the shadows. And no matter how tough River seems, no one can withstand the army her father will send when he discovers her location.

River Duncan is part of an elite security task force of ex-Navy SEALS. Little does he know his first assignment might prove irresistible to resist and protect. When he finds himself falling for the fun-loving Ally he plans to resign his position so they can join forces in their common goal of fighting human trafficking. River has never underestimated the enemy before, but is he fully prepared to protect and love Alexandria Gunthry?

Will River’s protection and Ally’s love be enough to conquer a lifetime of fear and responsibilities? Or will they be forced to give up on their dreams in the face of her sadistic and powerful father?

Get The Protective Warrior Here