For The Love Of Coffee (and other more important stuff)

When I was a kid, the worst thing that could possibly happen to you, was biting into a nice piece of chocolate only to discover it was coffee flavored.  Mind you, this may be a German thing since I don’t recall this happening to me past the age of ten or so. I’ve switched countries, but I certainly haven’t cut back on my chocolate intake, so I’ll assume the experience is exclusive to the latter. Point being, I thought coffee was about the most vile thing I’d ever tasted.

But, as is often the case with youthful ignorance, I grew out of it.

These days, a good cup of coffee is a one way ticket to my happy place. If I could, I would guzzle it by the gallons (some days…I probably do) but even though the thought of coffee always sounds inviting to me, I’ve learned to practice a little self-control. However, having said that, coffee is an absurd sort of constant in my life.

We joke, we writers, about our love for coffee, but for some it’s really not all that funny.

As much as we would all love to roll out of bed around noon, roam around the house in our robe and pajamas for an hour before settling down at the computer to put in a solid eight hours of quality writing, for most of us, that couldn’t be farther from reality.

We have day jobs. Children. Spouses. Friends and Family…all of which expect us to be present in the ‘REAL’ world for most of the day, the hours regular people deem important. It’s only after the work is done, the children have been put to bed, the Spouses have been sufficiently sedated with prime-time TV, and the friends and family have gone home to do the same, that we can sit down to write. Some nights (okay…pretty much EVERY night), this is well past a time of day that people would consider to be their most productive.

But…We roll with it. And often, we’re night owls anyway…actually, if people wouldn’t insist on our participating in all of that OTHER stuff, these WOULD be our most productive hours of the day. But…alas…we’ve been up already for fourteen plus hours tending to a gazillion other things and needs and our brains are fried. But we need to write. Not because we have deadlines, but because we NEED to write. It’s in us. It MUST come out.

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Enter Coffee – a little something I like to call my magic writing potion. Doesn’t matter how loopy I’m feeling at ten o’clock at night. I know once I suck down that over-sized mug of super elixir I’ll be set to go come midnight. And while I may not get in a solid eight hours of writing, I can count on at least two. Maybe four or five if I’m feeling really ballsy (cuz you know this chick has to get up with the dogs and kid come seven a.m.)

And while all of this may seem like a ridiculous topic to some, the underlying message isn’t all that stupid. Because it’s not really about the coffee. It’s about the dream. And what you’re willing to do to make it happen.

I’m willing to drink coffee. A LOT of coffee.

How about you?

Have you had your cup today?

New Release ~ Incantation Paradox by annamaria bazzi

Tour Banner

 

Novel: Incantation Paradox

Author: annamaria bazzi

Cover Designer: Natasha Brown

Available: June 2

 

Synopsis

IncantationParadox-small

Magic is an illusion. It doesn’t really exist. Or does it?
A horrible car accident destroys Dolores Reynard’s life. But instead of waking up in a hospital bed, she awakens in a teenager’s body. Soon, she discovers she is at the heart of the murderous mystery surrounding the death of Mona, the young girl whose body she occupies. Caught between an evil greater than she ever imagined and a wizard who heals her tattered heart, she is forced to play a dangerous game of intrigue in the hopes of finding a way to return to her previous life.
Will magic be her ally, or will it lead to her demise once and for all.

Book Links:

Amazon / smashwords / B&N

Enjoy the second chapter of the novel. If you follow the tour you’ll be able to read all three chapters. I hope you enjoy the read.

 

Excerpt

Chapter Two

In the dark recesses of the cavernous basement, flickering candlelight played with the shadows cast around the room. Eric moved through the motions he’d studied for the past year. He whispered an incantation. “Adah solicani dusio. Abrami solis verdana.”

The words swirled around him like the smoke of an ancient Indian war signal. They spiraled, encircling his body, shooting up through a vent in the rocky ceiling. The sweet rose water scent oozing from the flaming candles tickled his nose. He scrunched it to relieve the discomfort.

“Dulisio mordicani andahit.” He moved his body in harmony to the chant’s cadence. The expressions, strange and difficult, were alluring and hypnotizing even to him.

Had an hour passed, a minute? He’d lost all sense of time, pursuing the arduous work he had studied hard to master. He wouldn’t know the result right away. Therefore he needed to keep alert. His “father” had used the same incantation once before, but had forbidden him to try because of its complexity and the need for precise details. Only one wrong syllable and the outcome would be uncertain…even disastrous. He smirked. Since the man wasn’t his real father, why should he follow his overly cautious advice?

The room filled with thick fog, making it difficult to see. As the white smoke seeped into the ceiling and through the vent, black appendages snaked down toward him, slithering, curling. An acrid scent of burned wood replaced the annoying rose water aroma. Eric stopped moving while silky strands engulfed him, forming a tight, translucent cocoon. His heart beat faster, but he had no time for fear.

“Adai columbarih andath doluri.” Though muffled, he continued, his chant rising to the ceiling before the cocoon exploded into a million pieces like a shattered mirror. Each shard puffed into dust as it hit the ground,.

Breathing heavily, his movements slowing, he doubled over, dropping to the cold floor. His mind drifted to the time when he pushed Mona down the stairs. Uncle Richard had rushed her to the hospital, but Eric knew she’d died.

Cold and stiff, his body twitched a few times before slipping into what he thought must be a semi-catatonic state.

***

Eric limped into the dining room to find his fake father eating. “I see you’ve started without me.” Dragging out his usual chair, he sat then opened the crisp, white napkin, laying it across his lap. Still frazzled about his clandestine actions, Eric sucked in air as panic squeezed his lungs. He pulled at his shirt collar.

His dad radiated anger, filling the air with a tension that blocked Eric’s windpipe. He squirmed in his chair and took a deep breath to calm himself. Whatever was up the man’s ass, he wanted nothing to do with it.

“You’re late for dinner.” He glanced at Eric, his dark brows pinched. “What have you been doing?”

He shrugged and picked up his fork. “Not much, really.” He focused on his plate, not trusting himself around the man, who was just too sharp to miss anything going on in the house.“Have you finished your school project?”

“Yeah. Got that done a few days ago.”
Jason nodded and took another bite.
Eric wiped his mouth to hide the smirk spreading across his face. Reaching over, he grabbed

the saltshaker and used it generously.
“You eat too much salt. Put it down.”
He stared at the man from the corner of his eye and, with deliberate movements, made it

snow over his dish. Strong fingers wrapped around his wrist, causing him to drop the shaker. Clunk. It rolled a few inches, stopping against his water glass.

“You have blood pressure problems. After all you’ve been through with your health, do you want to die of a heart attack?”

He yanked his arm away. “If Uncle Richard says I can have some salt, then I can have some salt.”

“When we attended medical school together, we studied the effects salt has on the body. I seriously doubt Richard ever said you could eat a mountain of salt.”

“It’s my body and—”

Grabbing his steak knife, he pointed it at Eric. “Be very careful with what you’re about to say.”

At the man’s dangerous inflection, he swallowed, deciding to keep quiet. He’d never won a battle with Jason and found it best to surrender before it got ugly. After a moment, the guy returned to his meal, slicing a bite of sirloin and stuffing it into his mouth.

Relief shuddered through Eric. Deciding on safer topics, he asked, “How is Mona doing?”

“I’m not aware of what went on between the two of you, but she’s home,” he rumbled. “She didn’t suffer a concussion, but despite the unusual circumstance, she’ll recover.”

He sighed with satisfaction. So my hocus-pocus worked.

“We agreed she should be well enough to attend school tomorrow, so be sure to pick her up. It’s always best to arrive with someone you know when starting a new school in the middle of the year.”

“Will do.”

“By the way….” Jason wiped his mouth, placed the napkin on the table, and stood. “Don’t think I don’t see what you’ve been up to. The consequences of your actions will catch up with you and cost dearly.” He walked out of the room, his posture as stiff as if he’d swallowed a croquet stick.

Annoyed at the fact the man missed nothing, Eric jumped to his feet, knocking the chair to the floor. “Shit.” Grumbling under his breath, he righted his chair. “Can’t fart in this fucking house without him knowing.”

Chucking his napkin at his half-empty plate, he took refuge in his bedroom. It would be a long evening in his little sanctuary, but he didn’t want to risk the questions that could arise.

Sitting at his desk, he pounded his fist. Jason might be a powerful man, but that wasn’t the main problem. Too many people loved him, so getting rid of him would raise too much suspicion—all fingers pointing to him, the belligerent son. Although murderous thoughts circled his mind, he settled for no action. No, I have to work around him.

Placing his elbows on the desk, he buried his face in his hands. But can I accomplish all my plans while dancing around that jackass?

Annoyed at the situation—terrified to be exact—he lifted his head, examining the shadows around the room. Glancing at his cell phone, he rubbed his chin. Damn! I didn’t realize it was so late. Pushing to his feet, he took off his pants, adjusted the elastic of his boxers, and crawled between the covers.

He clicked off the bedside lamp, closing his eyes. Thoughts of Mona filled his mind.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

 

~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~

annamaria bazziAlthough born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

You can visit Annamaria at:

blog / website / Facebook / annamariascorner@yahoo.com / twitter / goodreads

Check in on Kendíka’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kendika.burkeshire

Because You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know…When You Don’t Know.

When I first entered this business over two years ago, it’s pretty fair to say that I didn’t know squat about it. It would also be fair to say, that when it comes to learning how to do new things I tend to use an ‘I’ll just wing it’ approach. I know it’s not the smartest way of doing things, but I’ve always had an aversion to being taught things or reading instructions. I’m just not patient enough…so, publishing was no different.

I took just enough time to learn what I needed to to be dangerous. Basically, I was led to the self-publishing page on Amazon…from there, it was really just a matter of a few clicks before I was making a full-blown ass of myself.

My first book was a little non-fiction story about a child’s perspective on losing a parent. I wrote it for a variety of reasons, none of which were an expectation that it would ever make me tons of money. To this day, while it’s still published, I rarely mention it, I certainly don’t try to sell it. Mostly, I just like to think that those who need it will find it and then hopefully not judge me for the multitude of errors I made when publishing it.

Once I realized how easy it was to have a book on Amazon, I was on a roll. All of the projects I had been working on for the last few years suddenly had a place to go. I published my first novel, Country Girls, shortly after. Followed up with Lucky In Love pretty quickly. Both were incredible learning experiences for me and here’s why ~

When I hit publish on both of those books, I never set out to burden the world with an unprepared literary mess. It wasn’t like I just wrote them and uploaded them. No, I did the best I could with the knowledge I had and the funding available. Problem was, they both amounted to ZERO and I was only aware of that regarding the funding.

So, here’s what I didn’t know, I didn’t know…when I didn’t know.

Editing means more than just having someone check for typos and punctuation mistakes (turns out those people are proofreaders and something entirely different than editors).

A great cover requires more than a great graphic artist. There are rules. Starting with the shape (which should probably be a rectangle – as in the actual shape of a book. I know, it seems obvious now!)

Formatting involves things like page breaks and page numbers. The way it looks all neat and proper in my word document is in no way a real reflection of what it will look like on someone’s kindle…let alone in print.

The three most important steps in preparing your book are editing, cover and formatting. After reading plenty of badly written, but well edited and formatted books with awesome covers that sell like hotcakes, I can attest to this as being true. I don’t get it either.

Amazingly enough, while I was quite lacking in all of those areas when I first started, by some miracle I still managed to generate some sales and even some very positive reviews. However, I also wound up with a couple of very harsh responses from readers regarding my book’s shortcomings and those were hard to take…mostly, because I had to learn the hard way that they were right.

In the meantime, I’ve had a chance to learn a great deal about what it takes to be a contender in the world of self-publishing and while I sometimes shudder at the mistakes I made in the past, I’m glad I made them. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here now. And I like where I’m at. More importantly, I’m looking forward to where I’m going as I continue to discover what I don’t know -I don’t know, and use that new knowledge to better myself as an author and publisher.

Basically what I’m saying is this – You won’t know what you don’t know until you do it. So what if you fall flat on your face a few times? That didn’t stop you from learning to walk did it?! Why would you let it stop you now?

Don’t be THAT guy…

As a writer who is friends with LOTS of other writers on a variety of social networks, I tend to be exposed to a large number of writing related quotes. Some are brilliant. Some are hilarious…and some make me wonder if I’m doing things wrong.

The thing is, there seem to be a great deal of writers out there who enjoy re-writing their stories. I’m not one of them. I pretty much write the book the way I intend for it to be the first time around. Now, I’m not saying I haven’t ever re-written anything. I definitely have. Usually it’s the parts I forced myself to write even when I knew I was getting off track and needed to step away. Those are also the parts I wrote shortly before my computer fell ill to a near deadly virus – or crapped out on me all together. My point is, I’ve learned to follow my instincts when it comes to writing because I know if I don’t, I not only will end up deleting and re-writing, I’ll also need to buy a new computer because the universe will step in and put a stop to my half-assed writing one way or another.

In addition to the fans of the re-write, there are those who believe that in order to write a good book you have to cut a third of it out after you’re done, as if the masterpiece is hiding somewhere buried within an excess of unneeded words. Well, again, I say…I wrote it the way I meant to the first time. I didn’t add three pages of fluff that had nothing to do with the story…why would I waste my time like that? And I’m not saying I’m in some way a superior writer, quite the contrary, reading these quotes and snippets of wisdom make me question myself and my work over and over again. I wonder if I should be scrapping 2/3 of every first draft. If I should produce at least five versions of the original story before it is even worthy of being read by another human being. I wonder…but I don’t change. And here’s why ~

It will never be perfect.

It’s as simple as that. I could sit down right now and find things to change on a book I wrote two years ago, because really no story is ever finished. The only reason you’ve been able to read it and reach ‘the end’ is because I wrote it there and I made it so. It was a conscious decision and every writer has to make it at some point in the writing process. The key is figuring out when.

From what I’ve seen there are two main types of writers when it comes to making this decision. There are those who write a first draft, believe that it is brilliant as is and proceed to publishing. Don’t be that guy. Nobody writes a brilliant first draft. Even if you wrote every aspect of the story as intended, even if you didn’t add random pages of dialogue that don’t move the plot onward, even if you have a supernatural talent for always writing error free – your first draft is not ready!

Then we move to the other end of the spectrum to the writer who writes and re-writes the same book 25 times and still isn’t satisfied. Don’t be that guy either or your book will never see the light of day…and it deserves to. You wrote it. You poured your heart and soul into it, now get out of the way before your head goes in and makes a big mess of things.

Want my advice? Well, you’re gonna get it either way…

Write your first draft. Write it well and follow your instincts. You know damn well when you are writing crap, so don’t do it. When you catch yourself – stop! You need a break. Step away and come back when you’re ready. In the long run you’re saving yourself a lot of wasted time and words.

Once you’re finished let it breathe for a moment. At least overnight. Then, go through and edit and revise. This is your opportunity to fix anything that doesn’t quite make sense, to flesh things out a bit more where needed or to scrap what you don’t.

Now that you’ve had your say, pass the story on to someone new. Send it out to as many beta readers as you can get your hands on and then sit back and wait.  When every last one of them has read it and you’ve received all of their feedback, open up that file again and have another go at it. This is probably my favorite round of editing because I get to discover all of the mistakes I didn’t know I made while writing because I already knew the story. For example, in my most recent novel there was a scene where my protagonist should have asked about her daughter, only I didn’t think to write that part in until a beta reader pointed it out because naturally, I already knew her daughter was fine 😉 – side note – Beta Readers ROCK!

Now that you’re holding draft number three in your hands, move on to your editor. After it comes back yet again covered in notes and red ink, sit down once more for your final clean up.

Draft five. That’s the magic number. Now you’re ready. Well, as ready as you’re ever gonna be. Some writers recommend sending it through one more cycle with a proofreader, but that would take me to draft number six, which might be fine for you, but I have a thing with numbers  and don’t like six so I would have to skip it and find a way to get to seven…and there’s no way I’m doing that.

Are my books perfect? No. But I’m pretty sure the perfect book has yet to be written, so I’m okay with that. Do I wish some of my earlier works were up to the same standard I’ve been able to achieve with my more recent books? Obviously. And I make continuous improvements when I can because I absolutely agree that it is important to strive for quality. Thing is though, I’m also working on quantity…and there’s no way I’d ever have enough time to tell all the crazy stories floating around up in here if I was still hung up on finding new and improved ways to tell the first one.

There’s a New Virtual Book Tour Service In Town!!

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New Release ~ ETERNAL NIGHT by Jade Kerrion

Eternal Night ebook

“What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships…these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive.”—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King

“Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark

Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.

Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.

Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.

As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

READ AN EXCERPT

With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber.

Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss.

Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.”

Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain.

Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.”

Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul.

“Go deep,” Tera said.

But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason.

Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons.

The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free.

Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul.

She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble.

Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?”

Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.”

Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?”

The icrathari nodded again.

Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss.

Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul.

The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man.

She closed her eyes and remembered love.

As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake.

At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig.

Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

~*~

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

HOT NEW RELEASE by CHANTEL RHONDEAU

Love & Deception (Agents in Love ~ Book 1)
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Author: Chantel Rhondeau
Genre: Romantic Suspense


What if everything you believed in was a lie?

In hiding for six years, Carlie Hollis is tired of running. All she wants is to stay in Sayle, Washington and make a success of her struggling delicatessen. Because of her past, she’s suspicious of anyone who takes an interest in her.
Nick Kendall works as a spy in a top-secret government operation, protecting innocent people from danger. Sent to Sayle on a mission to infiltrate a suspected terrorist organization, Nick finds himself attracted to Carlie, an alleged key player of the group.

Despite her misgivings, Carlie develops feelings for the handsome stranger, believing he is there to help her. But when Nick finds evidence of her guilt, he’s given orders to do the unthinkable—eliminate the target, one he’s fallen hopelessly in love with. Will he follow orders…or become hunted himself?


CONTENT WARNING: Violence, language, sizzling love scenes.
Agents in Love Series:
Book 1 – Love & Deception (October 2013)
Book 2 – Love & Redemption (Spring 2014)
Book 3 – Love & Compromise (Fall 2014)
More to come…


Buy it now:
Kindle Edition:
Amazon: US | UK
Apple iStore:  US | UK | AU | CA
Barnes & Noble

Kobo 
Smashwords

Mark it as “to read” on Goodreads


Excerpt:

Silence rushed to fill the space between them. Desperate to keep the conversation moving, Carlie jerked her chin in the direction of the chandelier. “I love how big that is.”

“Really?” Nick lifted one eyebrow and his lips quirked at the corners. “I’ve heard size is important.”

Embarrassment burned all the way up her neck and face. “I meant the chandelier. I wasn’t saying…” Holy crap. She was supposed to flirt. Another woman would have come up with a witty comeback, but Carlie had nothing.

He laughed and reached across the table, patting her hand. “Relax. I figured that’s what you meant. Just trying to lighten the mood.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be so nervous.”

“It’s okay, but you really don’t need to be. I don’t bite. Well,” he glanced at the tablecloth briefly before looking at her again, heat in his gaze, “not on the first date.”

“I…you…” Carlie gasped for a few seconds and then sighed. Shelley would be so disappointed in her. “I’m not good at this.”

“You’re not trying to tell me you don’t date much, are you?”

“Well, actually, I don’t.” She took a sip of water. The truth was the wrong path to take here. Guys wanted worldly, experienced girls who knew how to have a good time.

Flirt!

She winked at him, hoping it didn’t look like she had something in her eye. “At least, not men as sexy as you.”

He winked back. “And big, don’t forget big.”


Author Bio
Chantel once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Before long, the need to create her own stories took over. She spend her days in the clinical profession of medical transcriptionist, but her passion is in the hours spent with her characters in the evenings.

She live in the western United States, and when she’s not writing she love playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with her lazy kitties.

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Website: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com
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