Tuesday, 26 June 2018

99cents for a 258 page ebook for a limited time!


Excerpt:

Suddenly, an ominous rumble of the ground beneath her feet. She froze. Listened. What the hell was going on? Earthquake? Something crashed landed? Which direction? Unfreezing and spinning around on the spot, she looked intently for a clue as to what was happening. Did someone need help? Her heart beating wildly, she had no choice but to wait, unsure of which direction the sound had come from.
A loud shout. There.
She took off running, shoving the phone into her pocket, adrenaline coursing through her veins, feet pounding down the path.
She raced around a curve in the path to find a sinkhole opening a few feet away, the ground still tumbling.
“Holy shit!” she exclaimed, stopping dead in her tracks. Should she move any closer? Would she destabilize it even more? She backed off a bit.
As the dust settled a man emerged standing upright in the pit. Not just any man, but a truly pissed off one. She could only see him from the shoulders up until she moved in closer for a better view. He appeared unharmed.
“If you wouldn’t mind lending a hand, darlin’,” he said, his tone suggesting she was not being very helpful just standing there gawking. “Just in case this thing decides to settle even more.”
“Oh, yes, of course.” She extended her arm. The poor guy was covered in dust and debris. He grasped her hand, she gave a mighty pull, and he scrambled up the side of the hole. He slipped at the last possible second on the unstable edge and tumbled forward, landing right smack on top of her.
Fuck. She went down with a thud, the breath whooshing from her lungs in a wild rush, his sudden closeness to her person a hell of a shook. The fragrance of his body wash mingling with his manly aroma washed over her as he lay prone on her body, his head cradled by her breasts. She starred into the bluest eyes ever as his startled glance locked with hers. A complete stranger, embracing her. Albeit, a very handsome and hot one that gave off a tantalizing fragrance if that made it any better.
The man had the grace to look even more horrified than her. When he realized his hands were on her person, and more specifically, squeezing one very sensitive breast, the nipple pebbling from the intimate contact, he extracted himself, getting to his feet, and then bending down to give her a hand up.
“My God, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” he apologised.
“I’m fine,” she croaked, swallowing hard. Her backpack worked to absorb most of the fall.
He took a moment to shake and pound the soil off. Her hands trembled as she took off her backpack to retrieve a water bottle. She drank deeply, offering a second bottle to him. He took it with a nod of thanks, downed half in one quick go.
“Wow,” she finally ventured. “That really was something.”
“Yeah, that was something all right,” he agreed.  She got a better look at him as he emerged from his dust cocoon. Topping six feet two at least he towered well above her, wide shoulders encased in a blue work shirt, sleeves rolled up to the elbows, jeans hanging on narrow hips. His blue eyes blazed his square jaw tight. He reminded Casey of a young Robert Redford from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Golden Boy. Sweet Jesus.
  “Oh goodness, I’m so sorry! What happened? Are you okay?” A voice intruded as a young man rushed up dressed in a beige uniform, clip board in hand, expression aghast. Oak Island Tours printed in white on his red baseball cap blazoned his occupation.
“What happened is a blasted pit opened up under my feet. And I nearly hurt this young lady by landing on top of her.”
“I’m so sorry—” The man looked down at his clipboard. “Professor Harrison. I didn’t get the chance to warn you. I was running late, oh my goodness—you’re not going to sue the company or anything? I could lose my job.”
“Weren’t you off the marked path?” Casey interrupted, glancing over a black backpack lying at the base of a pine tree at least ten feet off the trail.
“What? Uh, yes, okay. I did go over to look—”
“Well, then, you’d better not sue the tour company for your own negligence.”
“What in the world are you talking about? Who said anything about suing anybody?”
“Well, it was obviously your own fault.” A devil made her say it. Blame it on the last few confusing moments. Things needed to get back under control. Her control.
“My fault!”
Yes, you strayed from the path, didn’t wait for the tour guide to give his safety speech.” She crossed her arms over her breasts, pursing her lips.
His blue eyes flashed and narrowed. “And you did? Why are you here anyway?”
“I booked a private tour. A perfectly acceptable reason I believe for being here.”
“I see you didn’t wait for the tour guide either. Isn’t that a breach of the rules?” he noted, his jaw tightening.
The tour guide pipped up. “Oh, I’m sorry about that. Apparently, I’m double booked for a private tour today.”
“You sure are sorry about a lot of things today,” he muttered, not letting up on his scowl.
“Mr. Harrison,” she began.
“Truman,” he said.
“Truman Harrison,” she parroted. That name sounded familiar.
“Precisely, darlin’. And you are?”
“Uh, Casey Madison.” She’d appreciated his pronounced southern accent having always enjoyed Kevin Spacey playing Francis Underwood on House of Cards. Compared to her stark Canadian accent, his sounded vastly more charming. Even when pissed. Make that royally pissed.
The tour guide spoke up, glanced her way. “Casey Madison from the U of M. Right?”
“University of Manitoba?” Truman asked, furrowing his brow. He leaned forward, pulling something from her hair. He held out a dry bit of twig. She took a step backward, chewing on her bottom lip.
“Yeah, so?” she kept up the brave front, smoothing her braid curving its way down her breast. She regretted tying a bright red ribbon around the blond ends this morning.  She glanced at his hair shining bright gold in the sunlight. Oh yeah. A real pretty boy. And being a bit of a jackass.
“Department of Archaeology?”
“Yeah.” Casey chewed on a fingernail.
“Don’t you think it only right and proper to welcome your new department head?”
Casey pressed her lips together into a grim line. Just. Fuckin’. Great. Of all the people to run into here, in Nova Scotia, he would have been the seventh billion in plausible possibilities on her list. Was this payback for stealing Soapy’s Gold? Her fingers twitched to squeeze the life out of the stress-ball printed with the Chancellor’s image thoughtfully presented to her by a fellow Ringer at Christmastime. 

Friday, 1 June 2018

Excerpt: Chasing Lacey by January Bain (released June 19, 2018)




“Happy ever after. Ha. It’s a myth, Lily. A legend. A shell game meant to sell more expensive wedding packages.” Lacey Cameron gave a snort, glancing away from the awesome view of crystal-blue water, fluffy white clouds and careening shore birds to stare her monozygotic twin right in the eye. Her carbon copy made that face—the one that suggested Lacey was being a pain in the butt. Again.


“Just because our parents couldn’t make a go of it—”

Make a go of it!” Lacey could hear the shrillness in her voice and took a deep breath to quiet the tinnitus that immediately pounced, dulling and annoying at the same time. The day loomed too beautiful and too shiny, a virtual Christmas package floating in cyberspace, to have this conversation. Besides, they were just about to the correct location to weigh anchor—the coordinates she was certain would bear fruit. Of the golden variety, of course. This was her number one bucket list item—diving for sunken treasure off the Florida Keys—and nothing was going to spoil it, especially memories best left in the past.

“It was far worse than just not making a go of it, as you darn well know,” she growled, refusing to go there, to relive the pain of her childhood. How Lily could was beyond Lacey’s comprehension. Best to outrun it and keep running. That had worked for her until now, so why change what worked?

She swung the thirty-six-foot Nautitech catamaran around. She stood in the cockpit, feet planted, savoring the most amazing panoramic view provided by any of the boats offered for charter. She preferred the stability of the twin-hulled dive boat and was pleased with herself for coming down a day early to get her safety competency card and boating license. A rarity for her, that much planning. But the freedom of being her own captain far outweighed any inconvenience.

“Well, I think Casey and Truman will make a go of it,” Lily huffed. “They’re good friends, like to do the same things, both love adventure and they have a ton of other stuff in common. Frankly, I think they’re a good bet.”

“Yada, yada, yada. Careful. You’ll jinx them.” Lacey smirked. No way was she ever going to latch on to one man, no matter how good a friend he was. No, not a chance that was ever going to be part of her life plan. She had decided on a different approach, brought on by her recent karate training at the dojo. It was based on the warrior mindset and had brought her some clarity, some purpose. Learning all the five hundred-plus techniques was going to take far longer than embracing the philosophy, but it was a beginning.

All she got for her trouble was the expected disgusted glare when she glanced Lily’s way for a split second. But it was the twinge of deep hurt that also crossed her twin’s face that flung the worst arrow. She’d just been reminded of her warrior creed, her sworn duty to protect the innocent, and if anyone was innocent it was Lily, incapable of seeing the world through anything but rose-colored glasses. How that had happened was beyond Lacey’s understanding. They had both been raised in the same dismal household.

“Hey, maybe it will work out for them,” Lacey reasoned in a more level tone of voice, swallowing hard. “Lord knows, it has to for some, right? Otherwise, why have the institution?” She pushed back a strand of bright red hair broken loose in the wind created by the boat flying across the water at an exhilarating speed. She tucked the hair under her ballcap and breathed in the fresh fragrance of the salty foam churned up from the propellers. Ah, the smell of adventure. Bring it on, world.

“We don’t have to let the past destroy our chance at a good future, do we, Lacey?”

Damn it. This wasn’t on the agenda for this gorgeous summer morning. Why was the past visiting now, when it was her turn? The much discussed, much anticipated week of treasure hunting?

“Honestly, I don’t know. But I find it best to just forget about it and keep moving forward.” She shrugged, not trusting herself to look at her sister. “What else can you do?”

She powered down the twin engines of the catamaran. They had arrived. The perfect time to end this verbal wrestling match that could never resolve things, anyway.

“Come on, let’s do this thing. Leave the past where it belongs.” She pushed the button that would drop anchor and stabilize the boat. This was the moment she loved best. The anticipation of things to come. The only thing that would beat it was holding some amazing treasure in her hot little hands.

Lacey grabbed her dive suit and hurried to step into it, tugging it up her body and zipping it in place under her chin. Hefting her air tank, she took a moment to check the equipment was working properly before setting it in place on her back. She watched Lily finish suiting up, then gave her twin two thumbs-up.

Seconds later, they were in the water.

She vanquished all thoughts of the upcoming nuptials of fellow Brass Ringer Casey and her fiancé Truman, because nothing was going to be allowed to interfere with the clear level-mindedness that diving in the waters off Little Conch Reef promised. The blue jewel of Plantation Key, especially when surrounded by a mosaic of rainbow-colored fish that immediately began to dance with her, made everything seem possible. It was the sea version of that Hollywood blockbuster, like her sister was blabbing on about with all the false promises to love and to cherish until death do us part. What was it called again? Oh yeah, living in La-La Land. She was too smart and too burned for that trap.

The exhaled bubbles rose steam-engine-style around her while she used her flippers to propel herself through the clear water. Absolute pure magic. A poet with a great deal more talent than her would have some struggle capturing this moment of sublime freedom. The tinny sounds vanished from her mind, leaving only anticipation for the immediate future in their wake. She thrust her body back and forth on a downward trajectory, moving away from her twin like a mermaid-in-training, her long hair streaming behind her.

Finally. It was really true. She wanted to pinch herself just to make sure, but it was past time to get to searching and find what the depths would reveal to her that day. What King Midas had in store for one Lacey Anne Cameron. Excitement glowed from an ember to a raging wildfire within her body in a split-second.

She swam parallel to the ocean floor, checking every nook and cranny of the Spanish galleon El Infante for a glimpse of something, anything, manmade. That brigantine lay battered and almost unrecognizable on the white sand ocean floor, a victim of the 1733 hurricane. She really didn’t expect to find anything at the actual wreck site—its bones had been picked over years ago—but farther out… Now, that held distinct possibilities.

The morning passed in the sweet sense of being on point, of something just over the horizon waiting for her to discover. Yes, the best of times for her was just before something occurred, the quiet of the hush. But still, this was taking longer than she’d imagined. She’d been certain that she’d bag important treasure before her sister. It had always been a contest to see who could beat the other to the prize. The only other person whose competition gene rivaled her own was Will, her best male friend and hang-out buddy. And today, this was going to be her day. She felt it deep in her bones.

She checked the tank monitoring system occasionally, making sure she had sufficient air to continue. She swam in and out of an underground cave, caught up in the mystical flow. Then a glint under the shifting sands at the cave mouth drew her eye and she was on it in an instant. Fanning the sand away, she worked to uncover the find.

It was deeply planted, the ocean reluctantly giving over its hoarded treasure only after a major tug-of-war. A large golden cross nearly eighteen inches across with a number of encrusted gems. A find worthy of King Midas himself. Ahhhh.

Then everything changed in a split second.

The reef hushed, gone silent.

The brilliantly hued school of fish abandoned her, skipping town like an old western’s inhabitants during a showdown at high noon, racing for the security of the reef and the bleached bones of El Infante. Even the sea anemones shut their flower-like structures, closed to business, paled to gray to match the death-like scene.

Why?

Lacey’s heart nearly stopped, skipping a full beat and making her chest bone shudder.

A lidless black eye. Unblinking and cold as sin. And with the audacity to materialize right smack dab in front of her face.

Sneaky freakin’ bull shark.

He’d blindsided her, swimming up silently in the warm waters off the Florida coastline while her attention was diverted elsewhere, digging for treasure. She sucked in a lungful of air, almost biting her mouthpiece in two.

Available soon!     Totally Bound
Amazon  

Friday, 13 April 2018

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Great news!

Hi all,



Don't you just love it when you work and work and work, then one of your books get offered a contract?!

DRUM ROLL, please:

Announcing: Coming June 19th, CHASING LACEY, is being released by Totally Bound, the second book in the Brass Ringers Sorority series.

I am so stoked!!!

And what is CHASING LACEY about, you ask! Well, here's the unvarnished book blurb:


Lacey Cameron, private investigator and treasure hunter, takes being headstrong and passionate to a whole new level. It takes exactly one morning in a school teaching young minds for her and her identical twin sister to break the whiteboard pointer in half, throw their keys on the teacher’s desk, and heed the seductive call of wide open spaces and awesome adventures.
William James Thornton Ш, a renaissance man and warrior poet who defended his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, knows he’s got his hands full trying to get Lacey to see him as more than just a friend. He’s ready to settle down, marry the woman of his dreams, and make his mother a happy grandmother. Hell, he’s got enough treasure in his bank account for two lifetimes.

And then things go from normal craziness to extremely dangerous in a heartbeat as hired killers are sent after Will and Lacey to prevent them from discovering the truth. They stumble on such an unexpected twist to the story that no one in their right mind would believe it  or have suspected. If Will can get them out of this mess, he vows to lay all his cards on the table with Lacey. Get her to recognize what they can share as a couple. Passion. Love. And a commitment to blending her wild nature with his own—the perfect spicy blend. Even if it looks like it might just be the death of him.

Part madcap caper, part serious treasure hunting, the Brass Ringers never fail to entertain or get their way!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Please give a warm welcome to H K Carlton!

Please welcome, H K Carlton, an outstanding fellow Canadian author (so sweet to be able to say that of such a warm, wonderful human being) of many outstanding books! Thanks so much for being here! I'm looking forward, with pleasure, to your sharing your thoughts on writing and learning more about you and your work. :-) So, without further adieu...

(1) When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer? Or what inspires you to plunk yourself down for hours on end and write, opening a vein in the process?

I’ve always told myself stories while trying to fall asleep at night, from my earliest recollection. That hasn’t changed. I still do it. I do some of my best plotting then. The hard part now, is remembering all the good stuff when I wake up. 😊

I’ve always been a jotter. I’d write down scenes or ideas that came about, but other than assignments for creative writing class in school, I didn’t write entire stories from beginning to end. At the time, I never considered showing anyone else.

It wasn’t until son number two, left for college—he was the first to leave the nest— that I started writing entire manuscripts. Mainly, I was simply trying to keep my mind occupied and not worry twenty-four-seven about my baby out there in the big bad world. But also at that time, I had about three very different stories and a cast of characters that I could not get out of my head. It wasn’t until I actually wrote them down, that I found some peace. And when I was finished, I didn’t think they were half bad. I mustered up the courage to send bits and pieces to my sister—I left out the smutty parts. Lol. [To my knowledge, to this day, she still has not read the racy scenes]. That was a big step all on it’s own. To open myself up like that. But I knew, she would be honest with me. I trusted that if it was bad, she would out and out tell me so and would dissuade me from submitting it and embarrassing myself that way. But she loved it and actually hounded me for the next chapter and the next. It was just the encouragement I needed to polish it up and start sending out queries to potential publishers. And to my surprise, all three of those early stories found homes. My three children have also been extremely supportive and my loudest cheerleaders. I’ve always encouraged them to follow their dreams, now they say, it’s my turn.


(2) What has been your best experience as an author so far?

The best part of this process has been the people I’ve met along the way. Readers, editors, publishers, fellow authors. I’ve met some truly wonderful and talented people on this journey and made some friendships that will last a lifetime even if this writing gig hits the skids. 😄


(3) What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?

I find the promotion part of it tough. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to market and write and edit and blog and keep up a social media presence etc. It’s hard to get noticed. The advice I’ve been given is to write the next book, and the next and the next. Easier said than done.

Also lately, I’ve been going through a slow period. I have so many ideas and more unfinished manuscripts than I can keep track of but zero ambition to finish them. It’s not writer’s block, the ideas are there, I just don’t want to do the work. I used to want to write more than anything else. I’d get almost angry when real life cut into my creativity. Now it’s the opposite, I’ll do just about anything to avoid getting down to work. It’s like I’ve lost my passion and the early excitement I used to thrive on. Unfortunately, I haven’t overcome it yet. Any advice, tips or tricks, would be welcome, folks.


(4) How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?

I pretty much do the research as I go. I look things up as they come up in the storyline.


(5) Tell us a little about your writing nook! What time of day you write? Do you have any rituals for getting into the process?

I write whenever, wherever the mood strikes me. I just need my laptop, my trusty Chihuahua, Ken. He’s my sidekick/co-author. Sometimes, I also have a bowl of dry Honey-nut Cheerios. And yes, we share. 😉





(6) Of all the characters you’ve created or written about, who would you most want to be/or date?

I suppose I’d want to be Holly Cambridge from the Always Cambridge Series. Although being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge, her life is filled with violence and tragedy. But on the flipside she more than makes up for it, in the man department. Between her rugged and steadfast bodyguard, Randy Phillips, and later FBI Agent Alex Orton, who challengers her at every turn, to drop-dead gorgeous, Victor Mayhue, from the Mayhue crime family, one of the Cambridge families’ biggest rivals, Holly’s love life is turbulent but incredibly passionate.





(7) What’s your best advice to new writers?

Take the good with the bad. Savour the good reviews and praise, and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, but also take note of the criticism, and learn from it, turn it into a positive and make your writing better. And always remember, you can’t please everybody.


(8) What project are you currently working on? Can you share something about the characters or story?

I’m working on a piece for an anthology call. Though, with my lagging ambition, I’m not holding out much hope for hitting the deadline.


(9) What’s next for you?

I’m hoping—fingers crossed—to get a jump on the holiday season.

I started a couple of Christmas themed stories last year. I’d really like to finish those up and submit them for the season ahead.


Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog, January!
I’m honoured to be your first guest. Hugs!


Latest Release – Autumn’s Healing – Totally Bound
Paranormal Erotic Romance
Released – May 16, 2017


Blurb:

Rarely do we get to pick our battles… Often, they choose us.

Single mom Mikaylah MacDonough and her only daughter Autumn have been on their own a long time. So, when Autumn goes off to school, it seems only natural for Kaylah to pull up stakes and follow, though with some clear-cut boundaries, of course. She’s determined to give Autumn space to enjoy the whole college experience but remain close enough for emergencies, meals and laundry. But when the closing date of the current house overlaps with taking possession of the ‘new’ house, along with orientation week, Autumn has to go it alone. From that moment on, Kaylah’s dreams of a new beginning turn into a complete and total nightmare.

When former serviceman Jerusalem Aames drives up to the century-old Cleary house, he sees dollar signs for himself and his all-veteran crew. The rundown, old place would finally put his fledgling construction-renovation firm in the black. But the moment he meets the gorgeous homeowner who had been duped into buying the money-pit, his attraction is swift and instantaneous.

However, there’s something very strange going on in the dilapidated house that has nothing to do with rotting timbers or shoddy wiring. Whatever it is, it’s affecting Kaylah’s state of mind, and Salem finds himself in a battle he’s not sure he can win.



* * * *
The Always Cambridge Series


Series Blurb: Always Cambridge 1 - 6, Romantic Suspense

The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years, into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge.


~

Caught up in a bitter blood feud with the rival Mayhue family and unable to bear the violence that claimed her mother, Holly sets out to right her father's wrongs. But instead she embarks on an epic journey of sex, love, loss, tragedy and life-altering choices that not only impact her life but that of her beloved bodyguard, Randy Phillips; unsuspecting Federal Agent, Alex Orton; and surprisingly of all, Victor Mayhue, a member of the reviled Mayhue clan.

Can Holly distance herself and the ones she loves, from the violence and corruption she abhors, or will she discover a truth she's feared all along ... Mob life is forever!


Books In Reading Order
Always Cambridge
Running
Misfortune of Birth
Law & Order : Crime & Chaos
Afterlife
Always Holly


Author Bio:

H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and it’s varied sub-genres.

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Monday, 10 July 2017

Heartwarmingly beautiful & sexy tale

AUTUMN’S HEALING by H.K. Carlton

WOW! What a heartwarming, beautiful tale of two people struggling through the pain of unexpected disasters. I promise you that you will cheer for Kaylah & Salem to come together, their characters being so finely drawn by the author. Long past reading this page turner you will remember them. And wish them well. Not to mention the story is spicy hot with sexy, powerful scenes set against an intriguing backdrop. A Guinness World Record idea never held more merit! Throw in an unexpected plot twist that makes perfect sense in hindsight, one that you’ll never see coming or at least I didn’t, and you have the real deal. I look forward, with pleasure, to reading more books by this fine author.


*I was so into this book, I read it in 2 hours Sunday afternoon!