Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Winner Take All by Mary B. Rodgers: Only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle.

Winner Take All (Superstars Book 1) by [Rodgers, Mary B.]

Book 1 of the Superstars Series, is definitely not your typical encounter with a handsome doctor!

  Hot shot skier and unrepentant party girl Carly Carrington is on top of the world until a disastrous crash destroys her championship dreams. Can she lower her guard long enough to trust the one man who might be able to heal her body...and her heart?

 When it comes to sports doctors, buttoned-up Paul Blackburn is the best of the best. But when Carly upends his carefully ordered little world, will Paul fight his one chance at true love, or go for the gold in...WINNER TAKE ALL!

And it's only 99 cents! Who could ask for more?  Check it out here: http://bit.ly/2xCpxsU

Friday, December 22, 2017

A sadly familiar story: The Salad Oil King: An American Tale of Greed Gone Mad.

The Salad Oil King: An American Tale of Greed Gone Mad by [Crisci, M.G.]

 Inspired by real events that took place in the 1940-60's. An unpretentious, diminutive Manhattan-born high school drop-out named Alfonso Gravenese morphs into one of the great scam artists in American financial history.

Watch "Fonso" graduate from a modest childhood scam into an executive who initially steals hundreds of millions of dollars from Federal domestic and international aid programs. And ultimately becomes a cunning entrepreneur who creates a $14 billion Wall Street scam that halts NYSE trading and destroys two venerable brokerage firms.

Along the way, you meet an unforgettable collection of friends, enemies and accomplices. Notably benevolent Mobsters, a jealous and compliant wife, a vicious yet oddly romantic right-hand man, and a collection of opportunistic Government and Church officials.

*****Let me ask my friends and cousins - who does this remind you of?  

Only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle: Amazon Kindle Link

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Always right for Christmas! Lorraine Pascale shows us A Lighter Way to Bake.

Product Details

This cookbook came out a few years ago, but the recipes it offers is a Godsend for anyone who struggles with pre-diabetes, like myself or with weight issues. And countless people do a balancing act with calories during the Holidays. Entertaining holiday baking championship judge Lorraine Pascale looks like someone who bakes light; she is slender and graceful. With the dishes she offers in A Lighter Way to Bake, you can see that she is not just baking sweets.

Some of her offerings include Skinnier Mac and Cheese, Herb Baked Chicken Tenders with Mustard Dipping Sauce,  Raspberry and Banana No-Knead Breakfast Loaf, and Extra-Bannanery Banana Loaf. She also recommends substituting ground almonds for flour, which is great for almond lovers like me.

It's not too late to get it on Kindle! Check it out:  http://amzn.to/2Bgzv54

Raspberry and Banana No-Knead Breakfast Loaf

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas in Paradise: Is it as safe as it sounds?

If it's a book by Deborah Brown, you know you're in for a wild ride!
From what I read, the visit to Santa at the mall sounds like a disaster. I just feel sorry for the little kids waiting to see Santa.

Here is Chapter One, if you'd like a sample:

 of them I recognized as “friends” of Crum’s.
Santa waved his arms, encouraging their raucous behavior. At the end of the song, he clapped and bowed, which left the women giggling like schoolgirls.
The ill-fitting suit in the corner, who had mall management written all over him, stomped over, steam practically rising from his head.
Whatever tirade he was about to unleash came to an abrupt halt when the twenty-five-foot Christmas tree rocked side to side, toppling over and partially covering Santa’s gingerbread house, which the mall had built for the big man’s “family” and used for processing the pictures of the children who sat on Santa’s lap. Large ornaments crashed to the ground, sending shards of glass flying.
From where I was standing, I could see that Mrs. Claus had awoken from her drunken stupor and stumbled into the tree… and by whatever miracle escaped going down with it. She covered her dismay at the crunching under her feet with a giggle and lurched over to Santa’s throne, making herself comfortable and hiking up her skirt, mumbling, “Damn dress.”
A few of the women in line screamed, jumping back. Two of them attempted to squeeze under the velvet rope. To jump into Santa’s arms? That turned out to be a bad idea – one’s bouffant got stuck on the stand and brought the barricade tumbling down on their backs. They lay in a heap, arguing over whose fault it was that they were sprawled on the ground.
The handful of children in line started crying. Too much adult drama.
“Fabiana Merceau, get back over here,” I hissed at my partner, who was trying to slink off into a shoe store located temptingly close. If I was going to have a headache, then so was she. That’s what best friends did – they shared.
Fab stomped over to my side, arms crossed. “Madison Westin,” she mimicked. “Crum had the nerve to suggest that I be one of Santa’s elves. The costume is threadbare, ugly, and it smells. And even if it were brand new, I wouldn’t do it.” She added, “No way!”
It took everything I had not to burst out laughing. We had been drinking eggnog lattes at our favorite bakery when I got a frantic call from Santa.
“Everything’s gone south on me,” Crum, the shopping center’s newest Santa, had huffed. “The missus passed out. One elf didn’t show. I really need your help. Get over here as quick as you can.”
I’d managed to hold back a loud snort, but just barely. “What exactly do you want me to do?” I asked before realizing he’d hung up.
I hadn’t bothered to fill Fab in on what was happening, being deliberately vague because I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance of her setting one of her designer shoes into the middle of this mess if she knew about it in advance, especially if she found out it had anything to do with Crum. At least, not without intense blackmail.
Professor Crum resided at The Cottages, a beachfront property that I owned. He loved women and drama and always had some unsuitable moneymaking scheme up his sleeve. I’d almost laughed when he told me he’d gotten the Santa job, thinking uncharitably that no one else must have applied.
Fab and I had arrived just in time to snag a good vantage point where we could see the drama unfold and overhear every word.
The mall suit jerked Crum by the arm, trying to drag him off to one side, but Santa dug in his boots, slowing their progress. “I let you choose your own helpers,and what a disaster that’s turned out to be.” The man’s anger vibrated through his body. “The only reason you’re not fired on the spot is that I can’t get a replacement here today. Now you listen to me – if you need this job as much as you say you do, get your act together and now.”
The old “poor mouth” routine. Crum demonstrated all the eccentricities of a bag person but was far from one. He was a retired college professor with a healthy pension.
“I’ll take care of everything,” Crum reassured the man. He turned, rolling his eyes, caught sight of me, and almost tripped over his feet getting to me before I could duck out.
I’d put money on his idea of taking care of the problem being throwing a hissy fit or walking off the job in a huff. The only thing stopping him was all the people around, who would laugh about it for the next decade.
The man stopped in front of me, out of breath, his agitation at an all-time high. “Get Miss January out of here,” Crum said to me in a mini-panic. “Then hurry back.” He ran his eyes over me. “You’ll fit in the dress.” At my puzzled expression, he said, “Think of the children.” He glared at Fab, who’d started laughing. “Fab doesn’t give a damn about the kiddies and their happiness. Besides, she’s too fat for the dress.”
As funny as I thought that was, I bit back my laughter. I knew my friend didn’t have an ounce of fat on her and was in kick-butt shape. Spinning around, I grabbed her wrist and cautioned, “Do not shoot him.” When Fab’s glare calmed to a simmer, I dropped her hand and turned back to Crum. “If you value your body parts in their current location, I suggest you curtail your comments.”
The tops of his cheeks, which showed above the bedraggled beard, turned bright red. He scuffed the ground with the toe of his boot, mumbling incoherently.
What the man wanted finally sank in. “You expect me to be Mrs. Claus?” Time for Plan B. I had no intention of being sucked in by his sentimental drivel. “I don’t need your high IQ to figure out that, since this entire area is a mess, you’ll be closing the gingerbread house for the day. Unless management moves your location, which is probably not doable. But either way, they need to get everything cleaned up. I suggest that you get your ho-ho-ho on and go over and schmooze the kids, making this an experience to remember as opposed to a disaster.” Being a fan of the big man myself – the traditional version anyway – I frowned at the thought of the kids not having fun. “Not even one glance at your fan club,” I scolded. “Those hussies need to go shopping, which will please the management.”
My very first job had been as a Santa’s helper. He’d been a drunken lech. Every day, me and Mrs. Claus laughed at his jokes, even though I didn’t understand most of them. I never confided in Mother, instinctively knowing that the job would come to an abrupt end if I did.
The mall manager—whose nametag read Jared Greg—was back, a maintenance man by his side. “You’re fired.” He glared at Crum. “We’re closing Santa’s village.”
“Wait,” I interjected. “This situation is salvageable. When are you planning to reopen?”
“Who are you?” Jared snapped.
“A friend.” I nodded in Crum’s direction.
“That’s not much of a reference.”
“I can get replacements here so you can re-open this afternoon. That’s if you do your part and get this cleaned or moved – whatever. You might want to rethink firing Santa, though. Him, I can’t replace, and it was his idea to salvage the experience for the children.” I tried to shove Crum forward, but he once again dug in his worn boots, trimmed in fur that looked suspiciously like cotton balls glued together.
I’d heard he had to supply his own shoes, and from a brief glance, it appeared they were a major score from a dumpster. The man loved his unusual hobby, told me once that dumpster diving calmed his nerves after a stressful day. It would have been a good story if I hadn’t known he made his rounds in the early morning hours on trash day.
Crum stepped forward and spoke to the manager, selling my idea with enthusiasm, excitement in his voice, his arms waving. He had storytelling down to an art.
Jared clapped him on the shoulder. “You get these women to go shopping, spend some money, and you’re rehired.” He practically salivated at visions of dollar signs. “Get your butt over there, take pictures with the children, and get them thinking about sugar plums and fairies. You better not mention coal again, no matter what you think of the kid.”
“Can’t you ever mind your own business?” Fab asked from behind me.
I turned and mouthed, “Holiday spirit.”
“Forgot who I was talking to for a minute,” Fab said with melodrama. “In case you thought of asking, I’m not taking on extra work at this time.”
I fished my phone out of my pocket and walked away, knowing that would annoy her. “Need your help,” I said when my property manager, Mac, answered the phone. I went on to tell her the events of the morning.
Mac Lane managed The Cottages. I’d hired her to corral the guests and long-term tenants and keep them out of trouble. To say she’d worked out well was an understatement. Another of her great attributes was she never said no.
“I wondered how long Crum would last,” Mac said. “Should have tried to hustle up a few side bets. Probably wouldn’t have gotten any takers.”
“I need a Mrs. Claus and an elf. No drunks… or only the ones that can hold off until they get off work.” The Cove being a small touristy town, the shops closed at six unless there was a big event. “Bonus in it for you if I can make this your problem and not mine.”
“I suppose you want me to start now, once again without the notice a reasonable person gives?” Mac sniffed.
“If you weren’t such a superstar at problem-handling, you wouldn’t be my first call.”
“Flattery. Love it.” Mac laughed. “I’ll be the missus until I can get a replacement, and I’ll bring Joseph along with me. He’s not ideal, but I can boss him around easy enough.”
I winced at the thought of Joseph being involved. “Maybe… look for someone to replace him also. I’ll make it clear to Crum that you’re top dog—you call the shots, and he better damn well listen.”
“I’m going to enjoy every minute of this job.” A smile was evident in her voice. “What about Miss January?”
“Since Fab probably won’t let her sit in the SUV, we’ll tie her to the roof and bring her home.”
Both Miss January and Joseph were tenants inherited with the property. Of the two, Joseph managed to stay sober at least half the day while Miss January could only manage a few hours.
Fab banged her head on my shoulder. When I walked off, she’d followed and gotten close enough to listen to both sides of the conversation without me having to use the speaker. I’d say it was shocking behavior, but it wasn’t. The woman couldn’t stand to be left out of anything, and it never mattered that she said she wasn’t the least bit interested.
“I’ll be there in a half-hour, assuming Joseph is dressed.”
I flinched, not wanting that image to take hold. I put my phone away, and me and my shadow headed straight over to Crum. “Mac’s got this handled. Don’t upset her in any way,” I told him, adding a finger jab. “Just a reminder: you owe me big… huge, in fact.”
“I knew if I called you, you’d help. Anyone else would hang up on me.” Crum had mustered up a pitiful tone. “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. My only one, really.”
I felt a poke in my back. Not wanting to ruin this greeting card moment, I said, “Hmm…” Doing my best to make it sound like an appropriate response. I waved him off to the children, who were anxiously awaiting his return. Now that the female hangers-on had been cleared out, the line was down to a manageable dozen.
“Ready?” I asked Fab.
“Finally. I have a great idea.”
Probably not, judging by the cagey look on her face, but I didn’t say anything.
“We’ll send Miss January home in a cab and be there to pick her up.”
~ ~ ~
Fab grumbled about our next task until I couldn’t take it anymore and gave her one of Mother’s “you better behave” stares. We found Miss January passed out in the last place we’d seen her, no one apparently wanting to wake the snoring woman. I came close to threatening Fab with bodily harm before she finally relented and we each took an arm and hauled the woman up and off Santa’s throne, guiding her down a long hallway to the dressing room. There, Fab sliced her finger through the air, letting me know she wasn’t having any part of the next stage of the plan.
I helped Miss January out of her costume, hanging the skirt, blouse, and jacket up for Mac to wear. The tag read, “one size fits all,” but without the belt, the dress would’ve swallowed up the woman. On Mac, it would create a totally different look—the next Mrs. Claus would be all womanly curves.
I’m not sure who’d thought it was a good idea to talk Miss January into doing this gig. Being a betting woman, my dollar was on Crum having no other options and running out of time. The diminutive grey-haired woman drank and smoked from the moment her head rolled off the pillow. How she managed to control her nicotine habit, sometimes for hours at a time, had amazed me. Then one day, I found nicotine gum in her pocket. She’d opened one eye and mumbled, “Almost choked,” and pointed at the package. I threw it away and fished through her pockets, getting rid of the rest.
Getting her dressed was a lot easier, only requiring that I slide her muumuu over her head and shove her feet into a pair of slippers. At that point, I needed Fab’s help to get her out of the building and into the car. Without her help, Miss January and I would both end up in a heap in the middle of the parking lot. I snapped my fingers in frustration, pointing for Fab to once again grab an arm.
On the way out, I grabbed a trash bag off a janitor’s cart, fairly sure the woman wouldn’t get sick but just covering my bases.
Fab eyed the bag and snapped, “What if she misses the bag?”
“I’ll call the crime scene cleaner guy. He can get dead smell out of a house; sick smell out of a car ought to be easy-peasy.” I ignored her death stare. “We’ll put the seats down, shove her in the back, and I’ll sit with her. The rubber mats back there are expendable.” If you didn’t know how our relationship worked, you’d think my SUV belonged to Fab, as I rarely got to drive it.
I’d finally gotten my Hummer back after its long stay at the auto body shop. Most of my relatives had noticed its disappearance from the driveway and suggested that, had I used the family business for the repairs, I’d have gotten it back long ago. But then everyone would know I’d lied when I passed off the “minor damage” as the result of a little fender bender, minimizing the details of the incident that had left the SUV totaled and me using the insurance check to get it fixed. Every time I walked by it, I scrutinized it for damage and couldn’t find any. It had even passed Fab’s white-glove inspection.
It took both Fab and I to heave Miss January into the back. She drifted in and out of her stupor, barely noticing her change in surroundings. I climbed in next to her, trash bag in hand.
For once, Fab didn’t drive like a crazy woman, dodging and weaving in traffic. She still managed to make it to The Cottages in record time, and pulled into the driveway of the U-shaped ten-unit beachfront property with no additional drama.
I pushed open the back door and grabbed hold of Miss January’s legs, pulling her to the edge, sitting her up, and placing her feet on the ground. The door of her cottage slammed opened. Her boyfriend stood on the top step, staring, as though trying to figure out was happening. What was his name again? I was getting as bad as Fab. In my defense, he kept a low profile.
They were an unlikely couple, looking like grandmother and grandson when they were actually close to the same age. Miss January was a good example of hard living taking its toll.
“What happened?” he asked, concern in his voice.
“Drunk on the job. She got fired,” I said.
“I knew it was bad idea, but she was so excited.” He scooped her up and carried her into the cottage, kicking the door closed.
“Thank you to you too,” I yelled after him and flounced back to the car.
“I…” Fab said as she slid behind the wheel, then appeared stuck as to what to say next.
I waved my hand. “I’m mostly certain that whatever it is that is about to come out of your mouth isn’t the least bit holiday-ish, and I won’t stand for it.” I gave her a demented stare, trying to cross my eyes, which I wasn’t very good at. Probably a good thing.
I flipped on the radio. Jingle Bells blared out of the speakers, and we both laughed.
~ ~ ~
Deb has a lot more where this came from! Have a look: http://deborahbrownbooks.com/

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Stay tuned for the talent show on steroids: Steve Gadlin's Star Makers.

If you don't know this Shark Tank success story, I'll bring you up to date. Back in 2014, Mark Cuban invested $10,000 in Steve Gadlin's off the wall business I Want to Draw a Cat for You. Link: http://iwanttodrawacatforyou.com/ Cuban got his money back in less than six months.

After going viral on the internet and drawing way over 10,000 cats, Gadlin branched out to start his TV show, Steve Gadlin's Star Makers in 2015. It's cross between a talent show and a variety show featuring a lot of oddball acts like pickle licking, rhythmic clapping, belly slapping, tapless tappingGadlin puts it all before the cameras, judgement free. Don't get me wrong; there are some more conventional performances, too. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW6xHrYx6iw&t=3s

He's moving on to Season 3 in 2018. 

If you want to see the Seasons one and Two on You Tube - Click here: 

And...you can get a sneak peak at Season 3 if you join Patreon: 

To quote the Cat Drawing Guy - Whoopy!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

What Unites Us. Dan Rather's book couldn't come at a better time!

Product Details

These are troubled times. My two co-workers and I were just taking a time out from political stress today. It seems so many people in the U.S.A. are dazzled by Tweets and a slick marketing campaign. There are even Latinos for Trump after all of the horrible things The Donald said about Mexicans during his campaign. What is happening to our values?

Dan Rather's What Unites Us brings us back to the basic principles upon which the U.S.A. was founded. He kicks off his book with a preface titled Night Flights which recalls his journalistic career. He paints a good word picture.  Rather wrote a series of essays that remind me of building blocks: Freedom - the vote, dissent, the press; Community - inclusion, empathy, immigration; Exploration - science, books, the arts; Responsibility - the environment, public education, service; Character - audacity, steady, courage.

The Amazon link: Kindle version of What Unites Us

For Dan Rather's website, News and Guts - Click here: https://www.newsandguts.com/

Dan Rather has a lot of guts and I admire him for it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How about a free ebook to kick off your Thanksgiving weekend? A Dragon among the Eagles.

At the peak of Rome's might a dragon is born among eagles, an heir to a line both blessed and cursed by the Gods for ages. In A.D. 197, Emperor Septimius Severus led one of the largest invasion forces in Rome’s history against the Parthian Empire. Among the men of thirty-three legions is Lucius Metellus Anguis, a young man from an ancient Equestrian family. Against the wishes of his conservative father, Lucius is determined to pursue a career in the military and resurrect the glory of his family name on the battlefield rather than the marble of the Senate. However, as in all conflicts, Lucius’ ideals and his faith are challenged as he witnesses the worst in humanity. As the imperial legions fight their way through Mesopotamia to the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon, Lucius discovers the inner strength that may well ensure that this young dragon rises from the ranks of Rome’s eagles. Can a man survive the trials of war unscathed? Do the Gods indeed favor the bold?

This sounds very interesting. You don't come across a lot of historical novels set in the 2nd Century.

Download it by following this link: Free Books Hub Link

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Book reviewers: Do you have a taste for some Culinary Lit?

The Girl in the Dark: Gripping romantic suspense in which every picture tells a story... by [Willis, Susan E.]

Susan Willis cooked up a romance with a generous helping of suspense. Let me give you a few bites.

Synopsis: When Kim starts a new food styling contract, she knows exactly who to ask for help: her old photographer friend Sidney. But a trip to his photography studio soon becomes interesting when she meets his new assistant, Alex. Suddenly, Kim is catapulted from her mournful existence into an explosive romantic relationship with Alex. 

Sidney, however, is wary. He thinks there’s something not quite right about Alex, and begs her to stop seeing him. Soon, Kim is wondering if she’ll look back and wish she’d listened…

Now, that would make me uneasy.  Here is the link for Amazon Kindle: The Girl in the Dark

And once you've read it, please leave a review - Thanks - Liz 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

My review of Destiny's Fate by Melissa Bell: A new twist on a romance between a god and a mortal.

Destiny's Fate: Dutiful Gods Series Book # 1 by [Bell, Melissa]

This is the first book in the Dutiful Gods Series. And here is my Amazon Kindle review:

Customer Review

on November 8, 2017
Zandra Wilson has an insecure, toxic boss. Coming home late from a work party, 
someone runs a red light and nearly kills her and leaves her unsure if she will recover her sight. 
But then, she ends up in another dimension with a handsome, godlike man - a dream lover? 
This dream lover is distressed when she returns to her own dimension and wants to find her.
The dutiful god, Destiny bargains with his mother to seek her out. 
I find this a fresh, new concept. And I like books that are unique. 
It really draws you in.

Melissa Bell's Amazon Page: 

And while you're in the neighborhood, 
check out the new book review group on Facebook: 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gliese 581: The Departure - Free on Kindle through Sunday. Is this where Earth is headed?

Gliese 581: The Departure by [Shuck, Christine]

Many people on the Science and History channels are talking about colonizing Mars or the Moon. At the end of this century, what if we did?  Now take a look at what happens with the Calypso.

In the final days of the 21st century, Daniel Medry and a crew of brilliant and talented scientists and researchers leave Earth on a mission to the Gliese system - the first extra-solar journey of its kind.
Shortly after their departure, a terrible virus is unleashed upon Earth, highly infectious and nearly 100% fatal.
Soon the colonists will learn that there are some of the last unaffected humans left.
And if the challenge of establishing a colony on a distant alien world and re-creating the human race wasn't enough, someone on board is trying to kill them all.
Will Daniel and the rest of Calypso's crew survive the journey?

It sounds very thought provoking...
Want to check it out?  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lainy Lane offers a free prequel to Field of Innocence to be released this Friday!


And to sweeten the pot, this first book in the Euphoria Series is only 99 cents! 
What's it about?

Not all Faerie tales start with once upon a time or end with happily ever after.
Calandra thought she lived a normal life. She constantly fought with her dad, had a boyfriend who she knew was "it" for her, school was coming to an end, and her father would be out of town for the summer. Then a stranger comes to her in a dream, and life takes an unexpected turn. Calandra is thrown into a whirlwind, where she unearths the heritage her father has been hiding from her. She discovers a whole new world and finds that destiny doesn't always hand you the life you dreamed of.As she watches the pieces of her life fall, shatter, and settle, she must decide whether to piece them back together, or start over and attempt building a new one. Somewhere in-between those options, she might find who she is meant to be. The person strong enough to take her destiny face on, no matter how impossible it seems.

Sometimes Destiny is far too dark to give us a normal Faerie tale.

Find the free prequel here: http://amzn.to/2yObuzM
And the link for Field of Innocence: http://www.lainylane.com/works.html

Thursday, October 19, 2017

This ebook looks like fun - And it's free! Harry Watt Bounty Hunter.

Harry Watt Bounty Hunter: 2150 AD - And Harry's Life Just Got More Complicated by [Guy, Rob]

It sounds like poor Harry has his hands full.

Mars needs a hero, and fast. 

For Harry Watt, Bounty Hunter, simply doing what he's told was never an option. When the best hydrologist on Earth goes AWOL after first helping himself to some company funds, Judge Headlock, Harry’s employer and nemesis, instructs him to bring back the runaway to face justice.

A trip to Mars onboard one of the new ships with the StrateLine Drive sounds like fun, but Harry soon discovers something stinks about this job, and it’s not one of his socks. He realizes he must first travel to Venus Station, but it’s not easy to be in two places at once. And getting framed for murder doesn’t help matters.

So with the help of his dead partner, an erstwhile assistant, and a host of lady friends, Harry embarks on a rip-roaring ride through the Solar System in a bid to prevent a Martian civil war, and maybe earn a few credits along the way.

And when you look inside the ebook on the Amazon Kindle page and click two pages over, you can get two more free ebooks from Rob Guy. How generous of him! With the artwork by Patti Roberts, how can you go wrong?

The Amazon Kindle linkhttps://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00YMZ5NRO/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Friday, October 6, 2017

Get ready to be Ambushed in Paradise!

Deborah Brown has another adventure for readers in her Paradise series.
Here's a teaser - Chapter One:

“He’s dead.”
The man’s voice continued, “Shot in the line of duty.”
“Nooo…” I heard a woman scream.
Was it me? I couldn’t be sure. The world went dark.
The first time I laid eyes on Creole, he came up the driveway at The Cottages, lean and lethal, his dark hair pulled into a ponytail. Too bad he didn’t stay around long enough to exchange a word of conversation.
“Creole,” I murmured.
He pushed me up against the wall and kicked the front door closed. Tracing a trail with the tip of his tongue down my chin, down my neck, nibbling lightly, sending shivers through my body. Our first kiss. Taking me by surprise, he backed me against the door, pushing my hands above my head, holding them in place while devouring my lips.
I threw my hands out, struggling to ward off… what exactly?
* * *
In the early afternoon, dark clouds had rolled in, bringing a noisy, pounding storm that covered the town of Tarpon Cove at the top of the Florida Keys in fat water drops that beat against the roofs and windows. At one point, the clouds were so low, I was certain I could reach up and touch them, just to see how full they were. Eventually, the rain rolled out over the Gulf, leaving rising temperatures and a taste of humidity hanging in the air.
I glanced sideways as Fabiana Merceau, my best friend and roommate, wiggled out of the house in a black string bikini, setting a tray of drinks at the end of the patio table.
“Stay down there.” I pointed and put the finishing touches on the table settings for four.
The two of us had planned a dinner for our boyfriends—our favorite Mexican foods—and I’d picked up an assortment of beers for the guys.
“We could eat off paper plates.” Fab smirked, handing me a margarita.
“And deprive me of the chance to drag out my collection of dishes? I don’t think so.” I’d chosen the mismatched Fiestaware in assorted beachy colors for tonight’s dinner.
I had inherited the two-story Key West-style house from my aunt Elizabeth. One of my biggest projects had been turning the outdoor patio space that overlooked the pool into an entertainment area for family and friends. Any excuse to eat outside.
Fab clinked the edge of her martini glass against mine. “To friends.”
“You’re up to something.” I narrowed my eyes in an intense stare meant to suck the information out of her brain without having to ask.
“I hate it when you do that. Stop it.” Her lips quirked, so I knew she was on the verge of laughter.
“Cherie.” Didier appeared in the French doors that separated the patio from the living room.
Fab’s boyfriend—Didier, just the one name—was ­tall, dark, and deliciously naughty. He’d charmed the entire family and was the love of Fab’s life, and he felt the same way. He was also a roommate; the three of us made it work, as we often kept different hours.
Both Fab and I looked up.
He looked straight at me. “Help is coming up the driveway.”
The undercover detective’s name was supposedly Stephan, although Fab and I had never been able to verify that; his attitude about it was “mind your own business.” The moniker of “Help” was one that Fab and I had given him.
Right on cue, the doorbell rang.
“What does that cretin want?” Fab turned up her nose.
“Fabiana,” Didier chastised.
I pushed off the side of the table.
“Stop at the junk drawer and grab your Beretta,” Fab called out.
I shook my head and hurried through the house, opening the door.
“You should be asking who’s there before opening the door,” Help grumped. He appeared disheveled and worn around the edges, as though it had been a tiring few days.
“I already knew it was you.” I motioned. “Come in.”
“Do you mind if we talk out here?” He led me a foot away from the entry, stopping in front of my latest acquisition, a two-tone pink hibiscus.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” he said with a solemn air.
I zeroed in on his face, his words filling me with dread, nausea creeping into my stomach. I couldn’t bring myself to snap, “get to the point.” Instead, I stared.
“Creole’s dead.”
* * *
“Madison Westin, open your damn eyes!” a familiar voice yelled.
I tried to jerk away from a foul odor, but to no avail; the last thing I expected to see was Fab leaning over me, waving a small bottle, her troubled eyes expecting something from me. I didn’t have the energy to ask what.
It took me a moment to realize that I was lying on the daybed. How did I get here? Was I out cold?
Fab threw her arms around me, hugging me tight. “Thank God.”
“What happened?” I tried to shove a pillow under my head. I vaguely remembered the last thing that happened… words… dead and shot. Then understanding… Creole wasn’t going to walk through the door and hold me in his lap and kiss me ever again.
I rolled onto my side, tears coursed down my cheeks. “He promised,” I sobbed. “He promised.”
It was early morning. Creole picked his jeans up off the floor, whispering, “I’ll be back in a couple of days. You behave yourself.” He leaned down and brushed my lips with his.
“And you?”
“No getting hurt,” he promised.
We hooked pinkies.
He zipped up his pants, wiggling his hips, then sat on the bed and pulled me into his arms and kissed me, a kiss that was rough and sweet and possessive. A hungry kiss. It lasted longer than usual, and when his lips pulled away, I moaned.
“Where’s Creole?” I wiped furiously at my face. Fab helped me to a sitting position. “I need to go to him.”
Help stood on the other side of the room. He fidgeted from one foot to the other, briefly making eye contact. “The funeral’s tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” I shook my head, certain I hadn’t heard correctly. “That’s not possible.” Water dripped off the end of my nose. “Why wasn’t I called to handle the arrangements?”
“You’re not his wife or a blood relative. Since Creole didn’t have a next of kin, the department made the arrangements. He was cremated,” Help said to the floor.
Didier crossed the room, sitting down and putting his arm around me. Fab sat on the other side, handing me a tissue.
“Where the hell is the chief?” Didier growled. “Why didn’t he show up for the notification? Do you think this is the way Creole would’ve wanted the woman he loved to find out about his death?”
The Chief of Police in Miami was Creole’s boss and a friend to both of us.
“I don’t know all the details,” Help said, an inscrutable expression on his face. “Three days ago, Creole’s cover was blown. His partner’s too.  A shootout ensued, and they both died at the scene.”
“Three days!” Fab shrieked.
“What took so long?” Didier asked. “I’m surprised you showed at all. You draw the short straw?”
“I volunteered.” Help shot Didier a withering glare, but no one believed him. “I thought it would be better coming from someone Madison knows.”
I sniffed and blew my nose, head pounding. My mind filled with thoughts of what Creole would want done. Anger seeped in. I’d rather have heard the news from a stranger.“Creole’s murderer… arrested? Dead? That would be better.”
“This case is being kept under wraps, need-to-know basis, and I’m not on that list,” Help said.
“Where’s the funeral? The time?” I hugged myself for comfort. “I can get there early and take care of any last-minute details.”
“Don’t have the information on me.” Help had one eye on the door, taking a step in that direction. “I’ll… uh… call you.”
“You get the damn information,” Fab exploded. “It better be tonight.”
Didier nodded in agreement.
“I loved him beyond reason,” I whispered, mostly to myself. Tears filled my eyes again; I couldn’t hold them back and didn’t try very hard to keep them from streaming down my face. “I want the funeral information before you step foot off my property,” I choked out, then gulped in some air and continued. “Screw me, and I’ll make the biggest scene at Miami PD headquarters that they’ve ever seen. They can arrest me; I’ll go to court, demand a jury trial, and invite the media.”
I scooted into the space Fab had vacated and curled up in a ball as she followed Help out the door. She wouldn’t let him out of her sight until she got the information. My hundred-year-old, long-haired black cat, Jazz, jumped up next to me. I laid my head on his side. “Dead.” The tears came in a torrent.
* * *
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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

No ordinary Stakeout!

Detective Daniel Mancini is on the trail of a vampire who lives in a posh suburb of Chicago.
When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn't even human: he's a 200 year old rogue vampire!
The department doesn't believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which s ends him into a downward spiral.

Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.
But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny's strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.

About the Author:

Lily Luchesi is the award-winning author of the bestselling Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she's not writing, she's going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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