Happy Thanksgiving to the rest of you too!  It’s all about food in my house so all you have to do is eat too much and you’re part of it too!

(Now don’t go chiding me about the giving thanks part, Thanksgiving-ites, we all have our own priorities.)

Here’s a picture from outside my window today – Just For You!116_9658

116_9657116_9656

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Brought to you by Toni Linenberger
Blonde Betty reviews
The Illustrious  Leader of the Intrepid BBs
11/27/14 
 
 
Enjoy and excerpt from Last Chance Family by Hope Ramsey

Charlene stood in the kitchen doorway, her hair wet, her stomach empty, and her heart suddenly racing.  Mike leaned against the counter, his head hung low.  He seemed to be struggling to draw breath.

She crossed the room and put her hand on the middle of his back.  His T-shirt was soft, the body beneath it hard and warm.

He straightened and let out a big breath.  “Sorry.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Killer heartburn,” he said, then immediately changed the subject.  He moved toward the coffee maker, shaking off her touch.  “You want some coffee?”

He turned and gave her a quick glance.  That’s all it took.

Her heart wrenched, and she responded the way she always did when confronted with unspoken pain.  She encountered it often, usually in the eyes of animals.  But it was there, beyond that mild-mannered expression he tried to wear.  He was hurting.  She reached up to stroke his cheek.  Her fingers encountered his warm skin and rough stubble.  That touch flipped her switch.  Electricity flowed inside her.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath as her fingers moved over his face to his ear and up into his bright red hair.

“Don’t,” he whispered, but he made no attempt to move away.  He reminded her of an abused animal that growls when all he wants is a little kindness.  She cupped the nape of his neck and pulled him down as she rose up on tip-toes.

She gave him a soft, gentle kiss.  Nothing deep or sexy, just a little kiss, intended to comfort.  But it didn’t stay that way.  Mike grabbed her by the cheeks and pulled her up into it like a man starving for love.  His tongue stroked hers.  His right hand dropped to her hip, and he yanked her forward and into his chest.

Her knees almost buckled.  But she didn’t fall, because Mike had her.  His hand found the small of her back as he sagged against the counter.  They leaned together, thigh to thigh, chest to chest.  The kiss turned utterly carnal.  His hand wandered up over her spine to her breast.  He palmed it.  Her nipples came alive.  He groaned.

And her whole body throbbed.

She broke the kiss and looked up into his face.  His eyes had dilated with desire.  His breath sounded ragged.  His skin flushed red.

“I want you,” he said in a hoarse voice.  “I want to strip you naked and do it right here in the kitchen.”

His words ignited a bad-girl fire that pretty much torched her reservations about him.  “Okay.”

His gaze widened.  “I’m not a reliable bet,” he said.

She laughed.  “You think I don’t know that?”

“Oh.”

She could almost feel him having second thoughts.  And she had no intention of allowing that.  She’d have the rest of her life to regret this choice.  Or not.

Which would she regret more?  Letting her reservations about him put the kibosh on this?  Or spending the rest of her life wondering if maybe she should have bet on Mike Taggart?

Heartbreak was her middle name.  “I’m a gambler,” she whispered.  “And sometimes the long shots pay off.”

“Not usually,” he said.

“Maybe not.  But I’m the eternal optimist.”

 

 

About LAST CHANCE FAMILY
Mike Taggart has always been willing to take a gamble. But these stakes are just way too high – there’s no way he’s prepared to become a legal guardian to his five-year-old niece. His only option is to head from Las Vegas to Last Chance to sort things out as quickly as possible. Problem is, he arrives to find an inconsolable little girl, her sick cat, and a gorgeous veterinarian he can’t get out of his mind. Charlene Polk has two talents: healing sick critters and falling in love with the wrong men. Mike has trouble written all over him, but she can’t leave him in the lurch. And the more time she spends with the sexy high roller, the more she sees that this ready-made family is the best stroke of luck they’ve ever had . . .
About Hope Ramsay
Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.
Hope’s social media
Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1FapmNm
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/1qKhFwx

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EXCERPT:

Beckett and Emilie watched Shane pick glass out of Marz’s arm was about as comfortable as having an armful of glass in the first place. Marz actually hadn’t registered how much it stung until Shane started working.

Tweezers. Plink. Tweezers. Plink. Tweezers. Plink

The more Shane picked at the debris in his arm, the harder Marz’s head pounded. He absolutely loathed the idea of doing this, but everyone else was busy. “B, will you find me some ibuprofen, please?” He rubbed at his forehead above his left eyebrow.

Beckett’s eyes went wide. He was the one person Marz made a point of not asking for help unless the guy offered or Marz had no choice. Not because he thought Beckett wouldn’t do it—he would. But because Marz didn’t want his best friend to see him as any weaker than he already did.

“Careful,” Shane said, eyeballing Marz. “You’re gonna have a shiner.”

“Oh,” he said, dropping his hand. A moment later, he accepted four little red pills and a glass of water from Beckett. “Thanks.”

His friend gave a tight nod. And then it got quiet and awkward again. Marz felt like whistling. Or telling knock-knock jokes. Or sticking a fork in his eye. Literally, anything would’ve been better than having the woman he wanted and the friend who couldn’t not worry about him watch him get doctored up.

Bracing his hands on the counter, Beckett dropped his head and rolled his neck. Marz frowned as the guy eyeballed Emilie, because Marz could almost see the wheels turning in his friend’s head.

“Did you know Derek saved my life?”

“Beckett,” Marz said, as surprised to hear those words come out of his friend’s mouth as he was embarrassed that Beckett was telling Emilie.

Her mouth dropped open and she shook her head.

“Our Special Forces team got ambushed at a roadblock,” he said, completely ignoring Marz. “Seven didn’t make it. I’m only here—”

“B.”

“—because Derek knocked me out of the way of a grenade. Instead of being blown to bits, I only had a busted-up leg and this,” he said, gesturing to the scars around his eye. “Lost a little vision, too. But Derek”—Beckett met his gaze, and Marz’s chest got tight at the emotion in the other man’s eyes—“well, he lost a leg. And while he lay there bleeding to death, he told jokes. Worst injury of any of us, and he told jokes to keep everyone’s spirits up.”

Marz felt Shane looking at him, but he couldn’t meet the guy’s gaze, because hell if Beckett’s words weren’t lodging a freaking giant knot in his throat.

Beckett twisted his lips and his Adam’s apple bobbed on a hard swallow. “He is the most loyal and self-sacrificing person I’ve ever known—”

“Jesus, Beckett,” Marz said, dropping his face into his hand. Why the hell was the guy doing this right now?

“—and he didn’t have a choice but to lie to you. To protect us and to protect you. And since he was protecting us, he couldn’t immediately trust you. Not when you were the sister of a man who, I’m sorry, we know is involved in criminal activity and we have more than a passing suspicion was involved in the corruption in Afghanistan that led to the ambush, our friends’ deaths, and our discharge from the Army.”

Emilie blinked at him, mouth and eyes wide.

“So, I hope you’ll give my man here a chance, because he deserves it. And because there’s a lot you don’t yet know.”

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About HARD TO COME BY:

Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he’s become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…

Buy at Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Hard to Come By on Goodreads

 

Pre-order or purchase before December 2, and get awesome bonus content!

 

And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:

Hard As It Gets

Hard As You Can

Hard to Hold On To

 

Praise for Hard to Come By:

“Rough sex and explosive fights power Kaye’s third Hard Ink novel, a thrilling adventure that feels more like an action movie with a romantic subplot than a typical contemporary romance. New readers will head straight for Kaye’s backlist after powering through this installment.” ~Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“TOP PICK! If you’re looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion, then Kaye has just the book and the series for you.” ~RT Book Reviews Magazine

About Laura Kaye:

 

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

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Lucky you.  My new method for dealing with earworms is to deconstruct the offending song. This time my apologies go out to Phil Collins, whose music I tend to enjoy, even if he is rumored to be a bit of a diva. Maybe he’s grown out of that phase of his life. Who knows?

 

Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)

How can I just let you walk away, just let you leave without a trace (Excuse me? If I want to walk, I will. You aren’t “letting” me.)
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh  (Actually, I prefer you to take your own breaths. I will admit that’s a little romantic.)
You’re the only one who really knew me at all (And whose fault is that? Not mine.  If you want people to know you then let them see inside you.)
How can you just walk away from me,  (sorry, but if I’m walking away, there must be reasons.)
when all I can do is watch you leave (and why is that. Did you do something that precludes you from asking me to stay?)
Cos we’ve shared the laughter and the pain and even shared the tears (So? I share those things with lots of people. What makes you so special?)
You’re the only one who really knew me at all  (Please stop whining, and see above.)So take a look at me now, oh there’s just an empty space (Okay, that’s just creepy. You’re just an empty space without me? Why would I want to stay?)
And there’s nothing left here to remind me, (it just gets creepier and creepier)
just the memory of your face (And I’d take that too, if I could.)
Ooh take a look at me now, well there’s just an empty space (Oh my God, you are such a whinger. And see above.)
And you coming back to me is against all odds and that’s what I’ve got to face  (Again, exactly what did you do?)
I wish I could just make you turn around, (Thank the mercies you can’t make me do anything.)
turn around and see me cry (Sorry? I’ve seen you cry, remember? We shared the tears already.)
There’s so much I need to say to you, (And you’re blowing your chance on this song?)
so many reasons why  (Reasons why is just another word for excuses.)
You’re the only one who really knew me at all (I can only think of so many ways to say feeling sorry for yourself is not attractive.)
So take a look at me now, well there’s just an empty space (You blew it, my laddo.)
And there’s nothing left here to remind me, just the memory of your face (You could paint it from memory and then you’d have something. Only don’t.)
Now take a look at me now, cos there’s just an empty space (And yet again, where are you? There must be more to you than just me.)
But to wait for you, is all I can do and that’s what I’ve got to face  (And here we are, waiting for you to face it, and shut up.)
Take a good look at me now, cos I’ll still be standing here (Most people have other things to do. But if you want to spend your days standing there then have at it.)
And you coming back to me is against all odds  (Yep.)
It’s the chance I’ve gotta take  (Really, cause I was hoping you’d just move on.)
Take a look at me now (Sorry. No.)
 My apologies to Phil Collin’s fans everywhere.  ~ :-)  Kate

 

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Brought to you by Toni Linenberger
Blonde Betty reviews
The Illustrious  Leader of the Intrepid BBs
11/11/14 
 
 

 

In Stacey Kennedy’s steamy paranormal romance novel, a rookie guardian sworn to combat the undead risks life and love in a world of violence, witchcraft, and seduction.

 

9780553395136Title: Witches Be Burned, a Magic & Mayhem novel

Author: Stacey Kennedy

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Page Count: TBA

Publisher: Loveswept by Random House

Format: Digital eBook

ISBN: 978-0-553-39513-6

 

Synopsis: Nexi Jones has lost her family, she’s been stripped of her guardian duties, and she’s still learning the ins and outs of white magic. At least she has Kyden, the smoldering hot elite guardian who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi completes her training, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Ready or not, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.

Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the Black Witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed Nexi’s blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock who covets Nexi’s heart. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.

Goodreads     Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Additional purchasing options

Author Bio

STACEY KENNEDY is the USA Today bestselling author of the CLUB SIN series. Growing up, Stacey’s mind wandered the path less traveled and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and she continues to feed off emotion – staying true to her heart. Those traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two young children. If she’s not on mom duty or plugging away at a new story, you’ll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter and obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy

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