Thursday, January 30, 2014

FINALLY Got To Read A Book! #Review of Ghosts in the Mirror #YAlit #Paranormal

Seeing as how I had a baby and two releases in the last four months, is it any wonder I haven't had time to read?!?

So, finally having a moment's silence I wanted something easy. Light. 

YA, I thought. They're rarely intense enough to keep me up late into the night.

Ghosts in the Mirror has been on my TBR pile since its June release - LOVE the purdy - so I pulled it up on my kindle.


Paranormal at its finest, folks. While it started out a smidge slow and I was confused for perhaps the first two pages or so, let me tell you ... this puppy picked up and creeped me the H E double hockey stock right out.

The MC, Jeremy, is a host for spirits waiting to cross over to 'the other side'. While he desires to help put them to rest, thus releasing himself from their hold, they take a tole on his young body.

Just cocky enough to be true to the YA genre, Ms. Mangola doesn't disappoint. The kid spews more than a breastfed infant. I know, I know. Gross. BUT the rasons for those purges?


This debut novel is fresh in a genre clogged by paranormal yawn-ness IMO. It's all been done already from what I've read, but Ghosts? Never read another story like it.

Definitely worth the read! I'm looking forward to what else Joyce Mangola cooks up!

Click on image to add on Goodreads

Release Date: June 2013
Publisher: Lycaon Press

Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Riggs has lived his life in and out of the hospital. While the doctors are clueless as to why he lapses into comas, he is well aware of his unique ability to merge with a wandering spirit. With his own soul too weak to sustain life, it's the only thing keeping him alive.

Waking up from a coma a year after being found at the county dump—next to the remains of the last spirit to inhabit him—Jeremy finds the newest spirit is nothing like the previous ones. It's bent on revenge and has the will to take control over his body. With the police lining him up as a murder suspect and an ancient evil pursuing him, Jeremy must help the ghost hitching a ride in his body find eternal rest without seeing his own soul snuffed out.

Purchase Links

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Wonderful World of Book Trailers - Diana Green #WWW #WritersLife #WriteTip

The Wonderful World of Book Trailers 

Opinions on book trailers vary. Some people will tell you they're a waste of time, while others say they are "a must" for savvy authors. In my opinion, the success of book trailers depends on the quality of their design and also on the specific audience. Some people just aren't interested in watching them. Many others, (myself included), love the combination of visuals, music, and text. The final product can draw viewers in, intriguing them with a multimedia experience of the story.

Between one and two minutes is usually the best length for a book trailer. That's long enough to hook the reader's interest, but not long enough to bore them. Of course, pacing matters. If the text and images fly by too fast, the audience won't be able to take them in. On the other hand, having things move too slowly can make the production drag.

These decisions will depend partly on the kind of a story you're showcasing. Is it suspenseful, sweet,  dramatic, or adrenaline-pumping? Pace your trailer accordingly. Also, pick music that fits the theme and setting. Be wary of soundtracks with lyrics. They can work, but often the words are distracting and compete with the text of your trailer.

You must own the rights (or have permission to use) any music or images in your trailer. There are many excellent resources for finding both. I have a list of links which you might find helpful.

Finally, make sure your text is clearly readable, and be sure to include information about where the book can be purchased. I generally place my website address at the end, so it will be the last thing viewers see. Hopefully that means it sticks in their minds.

You may be wondering how to put all this into action. Animoto is a fantastic tool for trailer creation. Thirty second videos are free, and you can pay $30 for an entire year of making longer videos. The process is simple and user-friendly, ending with a professional quality product.

Book trailers are a great addition to your website. They can also be distributed through You Tube, Facebook, and various book promotion sites, or provide links to them from blog posts. To see several sample trailers you can visit my website.

A world of possibilities opens up with trailers. It's a unique way to get readers excited about your books, and (even better) it's fun. If you haven't tried it yet...jump in. The water is fine!


On the Outside

In a not-so-distant future, the privileged live within protective walls, and the rest fend for themselves...on the outside.

From a life of relative comfort and safety, Orla is plunged into a struggle for survival. Her newly emerged phasing powers force her to become a fugitive, hunted by government agents, and driven to the edges of society.

In desperation Orla joins a band of smugglers. Their caravan could offer the perfect hiding place, or it could be her undoing. Much of that depends on Charlie, top gunslinger and ‘teeth’ of the operation. Will he prove to be a valuable ally or just another kind of trouble?

Available at Amazon


Author Bio

Since her childhood, growing up in New Zealand, Diana has been an avid storyteller. For years she enjoyed teaching art and special education, while continuing to write as a hobby. After she developed chronic fatigue syndrome, a career change was necessary, but happily this led her to become a professional author.
Diana’s favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, historical, and romance. She currently lives in beautiful Washington State where she writes for Champagne Books and The Wild Rose Press.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Like #Fantasy #Romance? Check out The Princess and the Templar

Romance / Fantasy
by Hebby Roman
Release Date: KDP Discounted Rate November 25th
Worldwide release on March 21, 2014

Raul de Porcelos, a dedicated Knight Templar, is duty bound to bring orphaned Irish Princess Cahira O'Donnell to wed the Earl of Orkney, Raul's lord. But Cahira has a mind of her own and resists the handsome Templar, refusing to relinquish the castle and lands that her family died to protect. Thrown together by fate, they come to know each other and a forbidden passion is kindled. Who will be the first to surrender to desire, the warrior-princess or the warrior-monk?

Purchase Link:


About Hebby Roman

Hebby Roman is the author of eight print published romances, four historical romances and four contemporary romances. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the past president of her local chapter, North Texas Romance Writers. She was selected for the Romantic Times "Texas Author" award. She lives in Arlington, TX with her husband, Luis, and Maltipoo, Max. 

Please visit her at: or on Facebook at:  If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, please send me an email at:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Her Knight in Black Leather - #Contemporary #Romance #Excerpt

Her Knight in Black Leather is today’s Kindle Daily Deal! That means for TODAY ONLY it’s only 99 cents on Amazon!

Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.

When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here.

As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?

99 cent buy link on Amazon: 



“What did you need from me last night, Cat?” His hot breath teased her neck, the sensitive skin below her earlobe, and images invaded her mind. Of his mouth latching on there, leaving his mark. The possessive look in his eyes when he plunged inside her body, claimed her as his. How simultaneously wrong and right it felt to be claimed that way. They were strangers, yet deep down, she couldn’t deny she gave him a piece of herself last night.

“I wanted the fantasy. You were a little wild, a little dangerous. A Harley-riding bad boy in black
leather with a wicked gleam in your eye who challenged anyone to try to judge you.”

A faint chuckle sounded behind her, so infectious one corner of her mouth curled in response.

“You were everything I wanted to be and exactly the type of man I never go for.”

“Is that why you took that ride with me? Spent the night with me? Because I’m different?”

She hesitated, her heart stalling in her chest, then shook her head. She spent the night with him because the façade intrigued her. The unexplainable pull between them and the uninhibited desire in his eyes sucked her in. The tenderness of his touch overwhelmed her. He overwhelmed her.

“No. I did it because I felt safe with you.” Safe to fulfill a fantasy without fear of it getting out of control, without fear she’d find out he really was every bit as dangerous as he appeared. And though she couldn’t explain how she knew, she’d bet every last cent she had that the only thing truly dangerous about Michael Brant were his discerning eyes.

“That’s exactly what I needed from you. The anonymity. You were the only person in this town who didn’t seem to know who I was, who hadn’t already formed an opinion of me. Over the years, I’ve convinced myself I didn’t care what people thought, but I came back expecting judgment. There are people here who aren’t fond of me. And with you, for one night, I was just a man. I had no name, no obligations, no expectations.”

He shifted closer, his body brushing her back, his heat seeping into her skin.

“I needed you.” His breath against her sensitive skin made her shiver. “I was just … me. I wasn’t
sure I wanted to know if you’d ever heard of me, what you thought of Michael Brant.”

His hands slid onto her arms, his touch light and hesitant, as if he couldn’t resist but wanted to give her room to object. When she didn’t — couldn’t — those hands skimmed along her forearms, over the backs of her wrists, awakening every nerve ending along the way and setting the tiny hairs to standing on end.


About the Author:

JM writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believe everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

#WriterlyWisdomWednesday: How to Trick Your Readers by Chrys Fey

How to Trick Your Readers

As writers, we get away with a lot: plot twists, nail-biting suspense, cliff-hanger endings, killing off our protagonists, and we can also trick our readers into believing a character is good (or bad) even if they aren’t. Some of the tips below are ones that I used in my eBook “Hurricane Crimes” with the hero, Donovan Goldwyn.

6 Tips to Make a Hero/Heroine Appear Bad:

1.    Reveal his/her thoughts, but give them a sinister twist a reader will use as evidence that he/she is bad.

2.    Bring glaring evidence into light that clearly confirms he/she did something bad or is a killer.

3.    When the protagonist confronts your character, have him/her say something that could indicate guilt. You can also show a personality switch. For example: their eyes can darken, their voice can deepen, and their attitude can change drastically from what it was before the confrontation.

4.    Have moments when the protagonist’s back is to him/her. During these moments, the mysterious character can sneak up on the MC, hide something, or lift an object that can be used as a weapon. This works best if you use multiple perspectives to tell the story.

5.    Make sure your main character becomes suspicious of the hero/heroine. If the MC feels a certain way about another character, the reader will be inclined to feel the same way. Or if your MC is the suspicious one then let minor characters show unease toward him/her.

6.    Uncover a weapon or something he/she was trying to hide.

The main thing to remember is that although you make your hero/heroine appear bad, they really aren’t. You have to explain why they did, thought, or said certain things that made them look bad. Most of all, you have to prove their innocence! Or he/she can really be bad, in which case you just put your readers through a vicious mind tug-of-war. Bravo!

6 Tips to Make an Antagonist Appear Good:

1.    Give the antagonist an alibi. Even if it’s completely false, make it seem rock-solid.

2.    When they are being questioned about a crime, give them the appropriate emotions that an innocent person would convey. You can even make them act too good.

3.    Make them charming. It’s always the charmers that you have to watch out for! Nothing is more creepy, or shocking, as realizing the man/woman the protagonist kissed is evil.

4.    Have the antagonist do everything right. A true antagonist does this so they don’t get caught.

5.    Let the antagonist be perfect. We all know no one is perfect, but someone with a past to hide, with secrets to keep, and with a criminal mind will make themselves appear perfect to fool everyone.

6.    To make him/her perfect, don’t show their anger or hate for anything, always have them presentable and poised, and easily likeable. Only you, the writer, will know about the true evil lurking beneath their disguise.

Bonus Tip: You can keep the identity of the antagonist a secret from the reader, which would create a bigger shock once you unmask him/her.

Of course, the antagonist can’t be good all of the time. At the end of your book, or when you want to show him/her for who they really are, put a wrench into the antagonist’s plan to trick everyone. Bring his/her lies out in the open and show his/her true nature.


Click on image to add on Goodreads

After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he's trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

Purchase Links:


Chrys Fey is the author of the short stories—The Summer Bride and Fallen. She created the blog Write with Fey to offer aspiring writers advice and inspiration. She lives in Florida where she is ready to battle the next hurricane that comes her way.

Author Links:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Online Marketing - What Works? #WritersLife #MarketingTip

While I haven't had great success - or thank God a major failure!!! - in online marketing, I know one thing.


If people connect with YOU, they'll be more apt to support you.

Click on the button above to hear other stories / tips of those who've gone before.  :)


Marketing in the cyber world is not an easy thing. Sure, there’s Twitter and Facebook pages, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, and a dozen or so other sites to lurk, but how many people who ‘follow’ you are you really reaching? How many people actually see your posts let alone read them? Share them??!?

I saw a statistic a few weeks ago that stated only around 7% of all tweets are seen. Sad, isn’t it? Totally true, though. I follow a few hundred people and I can honestly say that I rarely (never) sit in front of the computer for longer than 20 seconds to see what other peeps are tweeting about. I’ve got TweetDeck, so I’m able to keep an eye on people of ‘note’ IMO –other authors, bloggers, & publishers I have connected with, but that’s it.

Only ONCE have I ever followed an Amazon link to purchase a book because the author tweeted about it.

TWICE have I gone to Amazon to nab a copy of a newest release someone on Facebook posted about.

Sad, isn’t it?

So what about all those virtual book (blog) tours we authors strive and stress over to put together? Do they work? I’ve done / overseen a half dozen or so, and honestly I’m torn about their effectiveness. The purpose of said tours isn’t just about gaining sales—it’s about the author gaining exposure. It’s about letting readers get an insight into your mind, your muse, & your life so they’re able to connect with you. And hopefully follow you faithfully!
While I can’t say I’ve sold a million (or even a hundred!!!) copies of any of my titles, I have gained a few cyber buds along the way. The faithful few who’ve connected with me as a person, not just my writing style.

THESE are the folks who will help get the word out about my next release. THESE are the peeps who will Tweet & Facebook share to their own followers when I need them to.
My take on marketing in the cyber world? Do as much as you can, whenever you’re able to. Meet peeps along the way & hope they’ll like you for YOU and help promote your babies.

I wrote a post a while ago - Setting Up A Blog Tour 101 if you're interested in learning the how of virtual book tours.

And finally ...

Don’t forget to cross your fingers & pray to whatever god floats your boat. Perhaps you’ll get lucky.


And on another note ... book signings.

Last week I finally ventured into a little indie store, trembling in fear, to ask if they would be interested in hosting a local author for a book signing. 

I didn't even get to pull out a copy of my fantasy debut novel, Eye of the Soul. When I said 'fantasy', the arms went up and it was a big NO.

While I was thoroughly bummed, I had to remind myself of the WHY it was a no.

The store is tiny and has a certain clientele. Fanasy? They no likey.

So was this a failure? Depends on how one looks at it. I made my first attempt at booking a signing. I've gained experience, something I plan on expanding upon either this week or the next! Not EVERYONE will say NO right?!?

Done a virtual book tour? Hosted one?

Booked a signing? 

Any tidbits or tips to share? I'm all ears.  :)

Old Flame Memories - got any? #Giveaway #Romance #NA

Tour Schedule

Have some old flame memories that stick in your memory like stink on ... well, clow flop? hehehe

Yup. I got me a few.

So for part of Ms. Blume's Old Flame tour, I just had to ask ... Wha are your Top Ten old flame memories?

Here's what she had to say. 


1.    My first almost kiss in 8th grade. The boy was so cute, he was like a little surfer Ken doll. I was clueless that a boy of such social stature might be interested in me, and he chickened out, so the kiss didn’t happen –– until we were 17.
2.    The time, my sophomore year, when I went on a date I didn’t know was a date until my mom said, “Did you kiss him?” I replied, “Why would I do that?” And she said, “That’s typically what happens on dates.” Duh.

3.    My first breakup with my first boyfriend that same year, which I thought was how all breakups would go. We agreed we just weren’t into each other anymore and hugged. The next breakup was a rude awakening. He was a good first boyfriend and breakup. We ended up at the same college, but I was with the boy mentioned in #8.

4.    When I ended up dating a guy for a year about whom I initially remarked, “Well, his sister clearly got all the looks in the family.

5.    The boy who tried to be anything for me. I was oblivious. 

6.    The boy who wanted to save me from myself. He liked The Cure but I was the emo one. Our phone conversations went late every night, but I never realized he might like me more than a friend. We’re still friends.

7.    The other boy who wanted to save me from myself. He liked Nine Inch Nails and, looking back, I’m not sure which of us was the more maladjusted. He brought over that NIN snuff film to watch one night. That didn’t last long. I always wondered what happened to him.

8.    The time I dated the guy I wrote in my diary I hoped would stop calling me. For 3 years. And ended up engaged to him.

9.    When I realized I deserved so much more and broke off the engagement. We made each other miserable, one of us had to do it. So I did.

10. But the best memory I have is of the man that isn’t an old flame, but my forever flame. I can still recall the very first moment I saw him. And even now, when he walks in a room, I my heart leaps into my throat and my fingers tingle just like they did that did that day.


The Hearts Aflame Files
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Keywords: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Series, Novella
Release Date: January 15, 2014

Hannah Sullivan has spent the past three months stalking her ex-boyfriend, lurking in the bushes and hiding behind fake social media personas, convinced she can eventually rekindle the love they once shared. But when she meets Marc, who is everything James never wanted to be and more, she begins to wonder if she’s got it all wrong. 

Hannah must come to terms with her own demons before she can decipher between her delusional mission and the man of her dreams.

Purchase Links:


Annabelle is a best-selling Romance and New Adult author, that is, when she's not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Wife, mother, and creator of alternate worlds, Annabelle has a penchant for that which is outside the norm.

Her degree in Sociology has given her the ability to construct worlds that exist only in her head and translate them passionately to the page. The time spent studying individuals, interpersonal relationships, and particularly, women, within the constraints of our society led to Annabelle's unabashed ability to talk about sex as it fits into our modern lives.

She's also the author/personality of The Bombshell Mommy at where she helps modern Bombshells and their families live “green”. 

Annabelle’s Links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beasts of Burdin #ARC #Giveaway!!! LOVED this #UF / #Demons debut novel!!

J. Taylor Publishing are giving away FIVE ARCs of Beasts of Burdin by Alexander Nader!

Check it out!

Demon hunter Ty Burdin hung up his guns, knife, trench coat and fedora a year ago. Bags packed, hands washed of all demon politics, he’s done. Forever.

In fact, to get far far away, he dragged Nora, his rockabilly secretary, from Miami to the Tennessee mountains where he’s lived a life of peace—if peace can be defined as drowning in scotch and taking private eye jobs to keep the lights on. Jobs for real people. Not demons.

No demons.

He’s retired from that. Remember?

Demon hunters aren’t a dime a dozen, though, and when Ty’s brother asks him for a favor—just one—what’s a brother to do? Agreeing to take down one hillbilly demon shouldn’t take that long. In. Decapitate. Out. Favor complete. Back to the office where Nora and his bottle of whiskey are waiting.

Unfortunately for Ty, staying retired doesn’t seem to be in the cards, and an avalanche of bad luck draws him right back to an agency he despises and the career that nearly cost him his sanity.

This time, Ty has no way out and will have to face his own demons just to survive.

BEASTS OF BURDIN is the first installment in an exciting and witty new urban fantasy series, featuring Ty Burdin, a retired demon hunter turned private eye. And J. Taylor Publishing is giving away FIVE ARC copies.


You don’t even have to be a book blogger!

Nope, so long as you are willing to leave an honest review between the dates January 27th - February 10th 2014, you are eligible to enter.


Then just  fill out the form and keep your fingers crossed.
You have until midnight of January 26th to enter.

You have until midnight of January 26th to enter.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Unchained Memories by Maria Imbalzano #Romance

Click on image to add on Goodreads
Unchained Memories
by Maria Imbalzano

As a rising medical malpractice attorney, Charlotte Taylor believes in standing up for the injured, giving them a voice, and advocating for their rights. She couldn't do it for her mother, so she does it for others, even if it means losing the love of her life.

Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town...until he discovers her chosen career path.

Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away?

Purchase Links:

I Tunes

Maria Imbalzano is a matrimonial lawyer in central New Jersey where she not only uses her law degree to navigate her clients through the court system, but her psychology degree to guide them through their personal struggles. While writing motions, legal memoranda, and briefs is fascinating, it pales in comparison to creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys.

In addition to practicing law and writing fiction, Maria enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters either at home or at the Jersey Shore.

Visit Maria at

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cover Love: Muir Bhreatan #Historical #Romance

Check out the purdy purdy!!!

Muir Bhreatan
historical romance
To be published February 14, 2014
Breathless Press

Liberators of gold from the British on the high seas, Aedan ó Loinsigh and his brother have never shied away from a challenge on the open waters. Aedan’s only tie to solid ground is the lovely Kaitlin who possesses him like no other. When the brothers are captured and awaiting execution, a mysterious man offers to free them if they pay off their debt aboard his ship. The brothers waste no time in agreeing to the proposal only to find their new lives are not much better than those of slaves. Desperate to reach Kaitlin again, Aedan must figure out a way to save not only the other indentured servants aboard the ship but get back to his true love. Salvation could come at a price. One that Aedan will have to live with for the rest of his life.

Isn't it gorgeous? This is one I would pick up without even reading the blurb. 

Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!!!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Writerly Wisdom Wednesday - A Heroine's Journey

A Heroine’s Journey

I love watching a heroine grow. She always had hidden strengths, she just didn’t know it. Think of Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone. Two scenes bookend how she sees herself. At the beginning of the movie, we see her frightened of the street vendors, her arms clutched around her manuscript and, more importantly, around herself. After her adventure, she walks down that same street smiling at the vendors, even talking to them. In one arm she holds a bag of groceries, the other swinging a flower bouquet. What a visual difference in attitude.

In my romantic suspense One Red Shoe, my heroine Daria decides her life is too boring and needs to do something about it. When her parents died, her oldest brothers put their lives on hold to take care of their thirteen-year-old sister. Unfortunately, sixteen years later, they still consider their baby sister incapable of striking out on her own. Going to a writers’ conference in New York City is her first step. She sets off on her journey with high expectations. If she’d known how that journey would end, she would have stayed home. No way would she consider rescuing a wounded spy and helping him escape assassins.

But that’s the point. At the beginning of the story, she’s not ready. Each stage of her journey prepares her for the next. Is she scared? How about terrified. Does she think she can do it? No. She refuses. Smart girl. Unfortunately, she has a soft spot when it comes to the wounded. But she’ll only help him out of the building. Then he’s on his own. Okay, she’ll get him to a doctor, but that’s it. She has to get back to her conference. All right, she’ll take him to his friend but no farther. And that’s how a cross country road trip begins with Daria and her wounded spy one step ahead of the bad guys.

Step by step along her journey, Daria grows in confidence. When her spy keeps passing out from gunshot wounds, she has to make all the decisions. When he complains, she tells him “tough”—something only the heroine in her book would do—not her. Even near the end of her journey, she’s still surprised when the hero says she’s the real kick-butt hero.

Isn’t that the way stories should end? With the heroine discovering her hidden strengths.

Who is your favorite heroine?


Wannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?


Jimmy bent down to look at the right front tire. “I don’t like the looks of this.”
“The tire is fine,” Daria said.
The others ignored her and all bent down to look. While they debated whether she should get a new tire, Rover dashed up. The reddish-brown mutt of indeterminate heritage nearly knocked her over with his usual enthusiastic greeting. She gave him a quick hug and ruffled his fur.
“Billy, don’t feed Rover any table scraps. Only two cups of kibble a day. Andy, you’re going to put food in the barn for Archy and Mehitabel, right?” She didn’t wait for his response. “And, Tommy, you’ll take care of—”
Jimmy straightened. “For crissake, Daria, it’s a goddamn zoo around here.”
At least he wasn’t trying to delay her with talk about new tires. She reached up and patted his cheek. “Don’t swear.”
“I mean it, Daria Jean,” Jimmy said. “Don’t you dare bring home some wounded stray. I don’t care if it’s bleeding. No more.” He ran his hand through his hair. “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. You’ve never even been east of Chicago.”
She smiled. “I know.”
“I hoped you’d get this foolishness out of your system.” He blew out a breath and thrust a small item at her. “Since you’re determined to go, this is a top-of-the-line cell phone. It has GPS tracking so if you have car trouble and call for help, they’ll know exactly where you are.”
Daria ignored the first part of his rant. She’d heard it before but was surprised at his thoughtfulness with the phone. She gave him a hug then the others. Standing back, she looked at the four of them. Tears threatened. She blinked rapidly. For goodness sake, it wasn’t like she was leaving forever. A week away from home, that’s all. She got into her car, eager to get started.
“Call every night,” Jimmy ordered. He just had to spoil the moment. “So we know you’re okay.” The others nodded. They meant well, she reminded herself.
She put the key in the ignition. Oh, God. This was it. She was going after her dream. A mixture of fear and excitement shot through her. She hadn’t felt like this since... since leaving for summer camp when she was ten. How pathetic was that. When she got back, things were going to change. First, she was going on a real adventure.
New York City, here I come.

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Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, the first book in a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

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