Crystal Creek Christmas by Laura Haley-McNeil

Today we welcome Laura Haley-McNeil and her Christmas tale Crystal Creek Christmas. This sounds like the kind of book you cozy up under a blanket by the fire and read. Enjoy! I know I will!

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Celebrate Christmas with the Whitlochs

When a blinding snowstorm shuts down the Crystal Creek Ranch’s cattle operation, the Whitlochs have one mission – save the cattle. ER doc Jake Whitloch joins in the rescue, but the form he finds in a snowdrift is no cow. It’s a woman, a woman who consumes his thoughts despite that two carat diamond sitting on her ring finger.

Noelle Beaupré thanks the rugged doctor for rescuing her from freezing to death and the Whitlochs for taking her into their home, but now it’s time for her to leave the ranch. She longs to stay with the man who’s determined to protect her, but she doesn’t dare. Her deadly secret is in hot pursuit. Any delay and she’ll endanger the family who opened their home to her.

Noelle leaving Crystal Creek Ranch? Jake can’t let her go, but how can he convince her he’ll do anything to keep her safe?

This book includes your favorite Crystal Creek characters from Book One of the Crystal Creek Series and several new characters, including Max Whitloch’s children from his previous marriages who come to the ranch for Victoria and Garrett’s wedding. All Max’s children will have their own books as they pursue their quests for love.

While Crystal Creek Christmas could be read as a standalone story, readers will enjoy it more if they have read Guarding Her Heart, Book One of the Crystal Creek Series.

 

Chapter One excerpt:

Chapter One

Dr. Jake Whitloch white knuckled the steering wheel of the old ranch truck and squinted through the windshield. The truck’s bumper crunched through hubcap high snow covering the service road. At ten o’clock in the morning, the heavy snowfall had shrouded Crystal Creek Ranch making the day as dark as night. He flipped on the headlights.

It was crazy to be out in this blizzard. Hunting for stranded cattle made the risk a priority.

The Whitloch’s hired hands corralled together their duallys and SUVs and headed out to the back pastures, doing what they did best–risking their lives for the good of the ranch and for the owner they admired—Rose Whitloch, Jake’s step-mother.

Jake couldn’t let the ranch hands do it alone. He volunteered to check the south pastures.

He was out in the blizzard for a reason he pushed out of his mind. In this weather, he focused on the truck and on the road. No time to think about why he left Philadelphia.

The windshield wipers kicked back and forth like the Rockettes performing their Christmas finale. The wipers flipped the snowflakes right, then left. Faster, faster, but not fast enough. The snow piled on the windshield, piled on the hood, kept falling, falling, falling.

Thlpt.

That sound again. Tire tread gripping for snow, sliding over ice.

Panic shot up Jake’s throat. Lodged like a spear gun at the base of his brain.

Tires scraped across the gravel-snow road. Jake downshifted. Pumped the clutch. Tapped the brakes. The mounds of snow covering the creek crept closer, closer.

The treads lodged into a road rut, jerked to a stop. The brakes wheezed. The truck groaned.

Jake glanced out the side window. Not face on. He didn’t want to see how close he was to the creek bank until his brain understood that he had a few feet of buffer before falling over the edge.

He shifted his eyes sideways so hard he felt the ache in the back of his head. He ignored it. He studied the ground. The truck had stopped a few feet from the creek’s edge.

Closer than last time. But a few feet was a few feet.

His lungs eased like a deflating tire. He’d been right. That was the thought he allowed into his head. Behind that thought pulsed the real relief— he was safe.

He eased out the clutch. The truck crept forward. He squinted through the snow that whipped at the glass like the Enterprise traveling through space at warp speed.

As far as he could see, thick snow blanketed the ranch’s rolling hills and ragged bluffs.

The storm had started Monday. Four days ago. There was no sign of it stopping. The snowbanks along the driveway and the paths to the barn, the outbuildings, and the bunkhouse grew higher until they were almost as tall as his stepmother’s two and one half-story ranch house.

The snow was beautiful. More beautiful than the snow covered Philadelphia concrete and asphalt he trudged through every day to work in the inner city hospital’s emergency room. He watched the pristine white sift over the trees. It was as soothing as soaking in a tub of scented oil.

Fluffy. White. Snow.

Beautiful.

With the beauty, came treachery. Namely for the cattle. They would be foraging through the snowdrifts in search of food.

Food that would be difficult to find during this storm.

Jake and the hired hands navigated various parts of the ranch to make sure the cattle stranded by the snowstorm had found the bales of hay dropped by the helicopters.

He saw plenty of snow but no cattle. He only prayed that no cow had been trapped in the snowdrifts and was starving to death or worse freezing to death.

His sister and half-sisters told him he was insane to go out in this weather.

It would’ve been more insane to sit in the house and brood over the decision he’d made last weekend. He had to get away, get away from the mental banter that questioned the wisdom of his decision.

Yes, he was glad that his half-sister, Victoria, had escaped the clutches of a serial killer, that she and Garrett Nelson Reynolds were getting married, that Garrett had changed his mind about pursuing his family’s vendetta to reclaim Crystal Creek Ranch.

He was glad Christmas was in three days.

But with Victoria’s and Garrett’s upcoming Christmas Eve nuptials, the house was in turmoil.

Add to that the mysterious disappearance of Maxwell Aloysius Whitloch, Sr., Rose’s ex-husband, Jake’s father and the father of his siblings and half siblings.

The entire Whitloch clan had converged on the ranch to help Victoria celebrate her wedding and to await word from their oldest brother Max Junior regarding their father.

No word came.

That was when Jake had snatched up the battered cowboy hat he wore whenever he visited the ranch, borrowed the foreman’s keys to the ranch truck, and ventured into the snowstorm.

Jake guided the truck over the bumpy road. Snowflakes batted the windshield. The wipers shoved the flakes aside but a new blanket covered the windshield almost as quickly as the wipers whisked them away.

It was between swipes of the blades that he saw the dark form in the snowdrift. That swelling he sometimes felt in his throat when he worked in the emergency room flooded him. The rush always accompanied unwanted emotions, emotions that bordered on fear, anxiety, that not-a-good-feeling feeling.

The form didn’t move, didn’t react to the sound of the engine charging through the snow.

He edged closer. The size of the form should have grown larger. Instead, it seemed to shrink. It was small, too small to be a cow. It had to be a calf. But in the middle of winter? He may be a city slicker, but even he knew calving season was in the spring.

“How’re you doing out there, Doc?” Ralph’s, the foreman, voice crackled over the walkie-talkie.

Jake pressed the talk button. “I haven’t seen any cattle, but there’s something up ahead. I’m going to check it.” Jake aimed the headlights over the mound and set the emergency brakes. “I’ll radio you once I find out what this is.”

“Leave it, Doc,” Ralph said. “No reason to risk your life for a cow. It’s snowing concrete blocks. When this storm lets up, me or one of the hands will check it out.”

“Don’t worry, Ralph. It’s not a cow. It’s too small to be a cow. I’ll get back to you.” Jake turned off the walkie-talkie.

Arguing with Ralph was wasting precious time if this mound was an actual living, breathing creature. Human or animal, Jake was in the business of saving lives.

He pulled up his coat collar and shoved down his cowboy hat until the band caught his ears. He climbed out of the cab and hunched his shoulders. Snow beat at his face and slapped his chest. He tucked his chin and barreled into an army of snowflakes.

In the few minutes since he’d first spied the mound, the snow had nearly covered the dark shape.

He reached a gloved hand toward the form and dusted away the snow. A streak of strawberry blond hair glinted beneath the flakes.

A snare drum heartbeat battered his rib cage. What was he seeing? A fox? No. Lying in the snow was hair, not fur.

He bowed over the form and with both hands brushed heaps of snow away from the figure.

Dark lashes appeared as two velvet crescents in a face as white as the snow.

“Dear God.” He breathed.

The form was a person, a small person, a child. What was this child doing wandering through a snowstorm?

Adrenaline shot through his veins. The familiar metallic taste of the emergency room lifesaving mode burst into his mouth. Someone in trouble. Save the person in trouble.

The muscles around his throat clenched. He’d worked in an emergency room long enough to know the many reasons children ran away. From home? From someplace else?

He scooped his arms beneath the tiny body, braced his back and lifted the child from the snow mound. The lightness stunned him. The poor thing weighed less than a bag of oats. How could a human weigh so little?

The child’s wool jacket was slippery with snow, and the unconscious form slid through his arms. He shifted the limp body and held it close.

His hand pressed a pillowy soft shape. He jerked upright. The stirring within heated him like a hot numbness that made him want to dive into the snow to cool off.

In his arms was no child. In his arms, he held a woman.

Buy it here:

Amazon

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Creek-Christmas-Book-ebook/dp/B00Q5V2FYW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450408634&sr=1-1&keywords=crystal+creek+christmas

Kobo

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/crystal-creek-christmas

 

Barnes and Nobel

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crystal-creek-christmas-laura-haley-mcneil/1121493147?ean=2940151317207

IBooks

Crystal Creek Christmas Book 2 of the Crystal Creek Series

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/crystal-creek-christmas/id982599818?mt=11

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/heartstrings/id988418118?mt=11

 

 

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Laura Haley-McNeil is an award-winning author of romantic suspense and women’s fiction in novel length and in short stories. Her work has been featured in several women’s magazines. She has studied piano and ballet and has been a board member for two community orchestras. She and her husband reside in Colorado. When she isn’t writing, she jogs, bicycles and crochets.

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Christmas on Wherever Island by Amber Polo

Today we welcome Amber Polo and her Holiday ebook Novella!

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A magic Santa brings Caribbean Christmas Joy in this Christmas romance novella to warm your season.
Marti Bell is facing the prospect of a very unmerry Christmas. Reluctantly, leaving her married lover she travels toward ice, snow, and judgmental family until a magic Santa sends her to a surprise destination in the warm waters of the Caribbean.
.
Wherever Island would be a winter paradise except the only place to stay is the beachside cottage of romantic globetrotting photographer Cliff Holmes. Cliff wants to unwind and treat Marti to a little romantic Caribbean Christmas fun but she’s determined to stay in the warm ocean and out of hot water.
 
 
Excerpt
From cold and teary, her body temperature rose until she was hot and furious. She would not take the blame, again. This holiday was going to be different.
She pushed her way to the only available ticket agent and handed her ticket over the counter. “I want to exchange this.”
She read the agent’s nametag, Sam Nichols, on his red airline blazer and looked into a smiling black face fringed with white beard.
“What is your destination?”
The man’s honeyed accent calmed her. A Santa hat sitting at a jaunty angle over close-cropped silver hair gave him an impish look. Just looking at him made her feel better. Her spirit buoyed and she laughed. “Someplace with better weather.”
“That won’t be hard, ma’am.” He gazed into her eyes and winked.
His sparkling green eyes dazzled her. She took a breath. Everything was going to be fine.
“Good. Because that’s where I’m going.”
“Where’s that?” Now his eyes sparkled brighter.
“Wherever.”
“You’re serious?” His face lit up.
“Completely.”
He nodded and typed into his terminal. A new ticket printed out. “One ticket to Wherever. Leaving Terminal C, Gate 56. You can make it.” He winked again. “I do like a lady with spunk.”
Buy it here

 

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The Twelfth Day by Alicia Dean

Here we go again🙂 Every day for the next few weeks I will be promoting a different author and their holiday book. You know how much I love the Christmas season. I am so excited … if you need me I’ll be busy reading🙂 Enjoy!!

 Brand new book alert!

Today we have Alicia Dean and her holiday Romantic Suspense novel The Twelfth Day that has been released today!!

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As a teen, party girl, Sabrina Spencer was the lone survivor of a serial killer’s attack on her family. Her testimony put the killer behind bars, and she spent the following decade carving out a new life and trying to forget. But someone hasn’t forgotten. Two weeks before Christmas, she begins receiving bizarre messages with demented references to the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Handyman Josh Cravens is remodeling the lake house she rents each year to escape the painful reminders Christmas brings. While his dimples and blue eyes are hard to resist, he’s the exact kind of player she’s been avoiding since she outgrew her wild days. But the isolated cabin and threatening messages boost her paranoia to fever pitch.

As Christmas draws closer, she’s torn between finding comfort in Josh’s arms, and fear that he might be behind the twisted countdown to the twelfth day.

 

Here’s a little excerpt to tempt you:

Sabrina ended the call with Halley and was about to shut down the laptop when the song started. Holding her breath, she warily eyed the screen. A note appeared.

On the sixth day of Christmas…

You cheated death a decade ago, but time is running out.

She let out a scream and jumped from the chair.

Footsteps pounded. She glanced back to see Josh and Dustin standing behind her.

Josh frowned at the screen. “What’s that all about?”

She slammed the laptop shut. “Nothing.”

“You’re trembling. It’s not nothing. Tell me.”

She wrapped her arms around her body. “I-I really don’t know what it is. I’ve been getting these crazy messages.”

Josh’s frown deepened. “That’s not the first one?”

She shook her head.

“Have you called the police?”

“And tell them what? That somebody, I have no idea who, is sending me creepy messages?”

“After what happened to you, don’t you think this might be a little more than that?”

Her cheeks were numb, and she had trouble forming words. “The killer is behind bars.”

Dustin’s eyes rounded. “The killer? Is there a killer?”

Sabrina forced a reassuring smile. “No, there’s no killer. Everything is fine.”

His confused expression turned petulant. “Don’t lie to me. Are you in trouble, Sabrina?”

“I’m not lying. There’s something a little…freaky going on, but I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.”

Josh pulled out a chair and sat at the table. “Maybe you should tell us everything.”

Sabrina sat as well and explained what had been going on since the day she arrived at the cabin.

By the time she finished, Josh’s scowl had become ferocious. “I don’t like this. Not at all.”

“I’m a high school teacher. I’m sure it’s just one of the kids playing a prank.”

“It’s not a very damn funny prank.”

She grinned without humor. “I never said it was funny.”

“Maybe you should leave here, go back home.”

“What good would that do? If they’re going to screw with me, they can do it as well at home as they can here.” And at home, she would be endangering Lindsey. Plus, reminders of Christmas would be all over the place. No thank you. She’d rather deal with a demented prankster.

 

Buy it here:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Twelfth-Day-Alicia-Dean-ebook/dp/B01MF4GV69/

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-twelfth-day-alicia-dean/1124892091?ean=2940156816026

The Wild Rose Press:

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4719-the-twelfth-day.html

 

Alicia Dean:

I am a suspense and paranormal author in Edmond, Oklahoma, and I have dreamed of being a writer since I was a child. I attempted my first romance at age 10 (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley), and I still have the tattered, pencil-written copy.

I lead a very busy life, but I manage to find time to read my favorite authors—Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and Lee Child to name a few—and watching (and rewatching) my favorite shows like The Walking Dead, Dexter, Justified, Friends, and too many other sitcoms to name. But, my greatest passion—other than my family—is writing, and I am exceedingly blessed that I get to do what I loves most.

Newsletter sign up: https://www.facebook.com/NovelNotesAuthors

Website: http://aliciadean.com/

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Once and Forever book 3 by M.S. Kaye

Please welcome the wonderful M.S. Kaye and her latest release Once and Forever book 3. I cannot wait to snuggle in front of the fire and read this one.

Once & Foreverbook 3

by M.S. Kaye

Who is the mysterious Santa who leaves toys on the convent steps?

After a twelve-year separation, Eden is finally reunited with her brother, Thomas, but why hadn’t she reached out to him in all those years? Eden, a nun, is constantly struggling against her dark past of living on the streets, and her attraction to Trace, an ex-convict farm worker. As Eden and Trace confess their pasts to each other and grow closer, will they be able to resist getting too close?

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.

To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website.

Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon | TSU | Pinterest | LinkedIn

Once, book 1

Her first and also her once.

Jonathan and Rebecca’s paths cross at exactly the right moment, when each most needs to hear what the other has to say.

But Jonathan is three days from entering the priesthood, and Rebecca leaves him to his peace. But he is unable to find peace.

Without each other’s comfort and strength, they must each struggle to forge a new path, with only memories of the one day that changed everything.

But are they able to forget and let go?

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | ARe | Goodreads

Once & Again, book 2

She was once his secret desire… Will she be again?

Father Aiden, an ex-marine and new priest, falls in love with Maylynn, but he struggles to stay away from her. He’s successful for many years, though he can’t keep her out of his dreams.

Then one day she shows up for a pre-marital counselling session with her fiancé, Davis. Aiden soon realizes Davis isn’t who he says he is, but what does that mean for Maylynn, and for himself?

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | ARe | Goodreads

Excerpt book 3:

“You know what he did to git sent to prison?” one of the convenience store clerks murmured to the other.
Trace could just hear them over the horrible rendition of “Jingle Bells” playin’ through the speakers. He ignored them, like he always did. He tried to come into town late in the evening to avoid people as much as possible, but that also meant it was quiet enough that he could often hear what people murmured about him. Once he’d grabbed some protein bars and a can of beer, he headed up to the counter to pay.

The clerk with a buzz-cut told him the total, and Trace handed him some cash.

Neither of the clerks made eye contact with him, but they both hovered over the cash register as if he might snatch it and run.

Buzz-cut closed the cash drawer right quick and handed Trace’s change back.

“Thank you.” Trace stuffed the change in his pocket, took the bag of protein bars in one hand and his beer in the other, and walked out of the store.

He headed for the back lot toward the alley. He could get through most of downtown by way of the alley. This late at night it was almost too dark to see where he was goin’, but that was part of what he liked about it.

“Bitch,” someone growled. And then the sound of something—or someone—smacking into the brick wall of the back of the convenience store.

Trace moved more quickly and turned the corner, and he caught sight of a skinny, young woman punching a man in the face. His head snapped back. But then another man slammed his fist across her jaw. She looked so frail that the punch seemed like shooting a cannon ball at a piece of notebook paper.

“Hey!” Trace roared and ran at them. “Git away from her.”

The Parking Space by Angela Christina Archer

Today I welcome the lovely Angela Christina Archer and newest release The Parking Space. This book sounds so good I can’t wait to dive into it!

Here is the BUY LINK https://www.amazon.com/Parking-Space-Angela-Christina-Archer-ebook/dp/B01LDKWXSW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Check it out!

Blurb

After her fiancé leaves her at the altar and a blind date stands her up, Helen Wright is done with love.

Married to her real estate career instead, the only thought on her mind is selling a top listed house in San Francisco so she can finally afford the home of her dreams.
After her wealthiest client fires her, Helen’s vision of moving away from her cramped apartment and the person stealing her parking space vanishes and leaving her professional life as pathetic as her love life. When her best friend, Lisa, informs her that she’s getting married in Bora Bora, Helen packs her bags for a much-needed vacation and boards a plane with the excitement of leaving all her Mr. Wrongs behind.
A new practice and a new place to live, those are the only two things that veterinarian Rick Stark needs after finding out his fiancé cheated on him. With his trust in women shattered, he jumps at the chance for the perfect job, leaving San Francisco in the dust. However, while visiting his possible new boss on the islands of Bora Bora, he finds himself in the company of a familiar face—the attractive owner of a patient who he once thought he wasn’t interested in.
Could it be that maybe he was wrong about her? And if so, what’s he supposed to do when her old flame falls into the picture wanting to rekindle what they once had?
***
Excerpt
“Aww, girl, I’m so sorry.”
“Nah, you didn’t know Travis wouldn’t show up.”
“Still, though, I feel bad. I never would have set you up if I knew he’d do that. He seemed so nice, and after I showed him your picture, he said he was interested. I wonder what happened. Do you want me to talk to him the next time I see him?”
“No, no, you don’t have to do that.”
“But what if he had an emergency? You don’t really want to write him off when it could have been beyond his control, do you?”
“Well, no, but I just don’t really know if I want to know what happened.”
“Why? I mean, I want to know and I wasn’t the one he stood up.”
Her words resonated in my chest. Surely, they made sense. Surely, I should want to know what happened to him. I should want to know why he left me waiting in the café all by myself, feeling less than worthy of any decency like a simple phone call.
I should want to know, and yet, I didn’t.
“If you want to talk to him, then talk to him. To be honest, I’m just not interested in dating right now. It just all seems so pointless, ya know?”
“Don’t say that.”
“But isn’t that when I’m supposed to find the one? Isn’t that what all the books and shrinks and all those love articles in magazines say? You always find Mr. Right when you’re not even looking.”
I laughed at my own joke. Lisa didn’t.
“Well, I’m sorry tonight didn’t go as planned,” she finally said.
“Again, it’s not your fault. But maybe next time, just let me find my own dates instead of pushing me toward another deliciously perfect for me man who is far from it?”
“Are you saying that I don’t have the gift of Cupid?”
“You don’t necessarily have the greatest track record.”
“That’s not true.”
“Oh please, Travis was just another one of your many hits and misses.”
“Many? Name one.”
“Well, let’s see, first you introduced me to the out-of-work actor who tried to move in with me after the second date because he couldn’t pay for his own place.”
“And I still say you should have stuck it out. One movie or TV show and you’d be living quite the luxurious life.”
“After him, you set me up with that physical trainer, who not only talked to and about himself in third person, but woke me every morning at four o’clock with his grunting while he screamed ‘just one more, Craig, just one more.’”
Laughter burst from the receiver. “Okay, maybe that one was a bust.”
“I think out of all of them, though, the surfer proved my favorite tragic moment. With his long blond hair and hang-ten vocabulary, he believed the he was the real Jeff Spicoli from that 80’s movie I remember from my teens. Of course, I wasn’t shocked to learn that it was not only his favorite movie of all time, but his favorite character, too.”
“Okay, okay, point taken.”
***
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Bio:

Angela lives on a ranch with her husband, two daughters, and many farm animals. She was born and raised in Nevada, and grew up riding and showing horses from hunter jumper, English equitation, western pleasure, trail, and halter. While she doesn’t show anymore, she still loves to trail ride her paint horse, Honky. In December of 2007, she and her husband moved to Oklahoma.

From a young age, she always wanted to write a novel. However, she never believed she could write anything well enough for a publisher to even consider her. Every time the desire flickered, she shoved the thought from my mind until one morning, in 2009, she awoke with the determination to follow her dream.

You can visit her website at www.angelachristinaarcher.com

Cover Reveal – Once & Again Book 2 by M.S. Kaye

Once & Againbook 2

by M.S. Kaye

  
She was once his secret desire… Will she be again?

Father Aiden, an ex-marine and new priest, falls in love with Maylynn, but he struggles to stay away from her. He’s successful for many years, though he can’t keep her out of his dreams.

Then one day she shows up for a pre-marital counselling session with her fiancé, Davis. Aiden soon realizes Davis isn’t who he says he is, but what does that mean for Maylynn, and for himself?
Will be released August 4, 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

Amazon preorder link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GIL5MO8 

Add to your to-read on Goodreads.

Author Bio:

M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.

To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website.

Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon | TSU | Pinterest | LinkedIn
Once, book one

Will be released July 2, 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

Her first and also her once.

Jonathan and Rebecca’s paths cross at exactly the right moment, when each most needs to hear what the other has to say.

But Jonathan is three days from entering the priesthood, and Rebecca leaves him to his peace. But he is unable to find peace.

Without each other’s comfort and strength, they must each struggle to forge a new path, with only memories of the one day that changed everything.

But are they able to forget and let go?
Once & Forever, book three

Will be released December 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

Eden, a nun, is constantly struggling against her dark past of living on the streets, and her attraction to Trace, an ex-convict farm worker. After a twelve-year separation, Eden is finally reunited with her brother, Thomas, but why hadn’t she reached out to him in all those years? As Eden and Trace grow closer, confessing their pasts to each other, will they be able to resist getting too close?

Excerpt:

“You’re studying to be a priest?”

He made himself meet her eyes. “I am a priest.”

She let go of his hand and stepped back.

Her smiled was tight. “I’m glad you found your path.”

Quiet.

He couldn’t quite read her expression. The distance between them felt like a gorge chiseled into the earth.

“Are you all right, Maylynn?” he asked.

“I’m really happy for you.” Then she added, “Father Aiden.”

For some reason, her words stabbed him in the gut. He usually liked when people used his title—it seemed to imply a certain amount of trust.

“I’m sorry, Maylynn.” He wasn’t entirely sure why he was apologizing. He just didn’t like to see her uncomfortable.

“I’m happy for you,” she repeated.

Then he realized what the problem was. He hadn’t anticipated this.

He moved closer. “I’m so sorry.”

Her forced smile finally dropped. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“It didn’t occur to me…”

“That I might be attracted to you?”

“Yes.”

“Why aren’t you wearing your collar?” Anger prickled the edge of her voice.

“My mother’s last wish was that I find my father. I’ve been following her notes. She was convinced he was somewhere in this area.”

“Wait… Your mother’s name was Adalina?”

He nodded. With the number of times the shelter was mentioned in the notes, he figured his mother and Maylynn had met.

A pause.

Anger flashed in her eyes. “You still should’ve told me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Why’d you play with me like that?”

“I swear that wasn’t my intent.”

“You knew damn well what was going on. Was it a game—see if you still had it? If you could still get the chicks?”

Under the anger in her eyes, he saw the hurt. He swore he could feel it exactly, as if it was his own.

He shifted even closer, just in front of her. “I’m sorry,” he said again. His voice lowered, quieted. “I didn’t see what you were feeling because I was fighting so hard myself. I still am.”

“Fighting what?”

“What I felt the first time I saw you, what I’m still feeling.”

She waited, glaring at him.

“I’m attracted to you,” he said. “Intensely.”