Category: Book Excerpts

Book Excerpt: NEVER YOU by Stacy Gold

519QFX4EvNLNEVER YOU Emerald Mountain series book 3 by Stacy Gold / Contemporary Romance / Released March 5, 2018 by The Wild Rose Press

Ski Hut Caretaker Morgan Monroe doesn’t do casual relationships. Not anymore. Certainly not with the obnoxious, flirty, too-hot-for-his-own-good chef she’s wanted to strangle all season. He’s the kind of man she wouldn’t date in a million years. Chef Dan Griffin doesn’t believe in relationships. But a one-night stand to celebrate the end of ski season? Hell yes! Especially with the gorgeous caretaker. She’s the kind of woman who could convince a man to get serious…if he were the relationship type. When things heat up on a cold winter’s night, will they play it safe or follow their hearts?


Chapter 1

My phone vibrated against my thigh. I balanced my stack of boxes on the seat of my snowmobile, pulled off my glove with my teeth, and fished it out.

“Hey Sam, what’s up?” I crossed my fingers and stared up at the sky, just going lighter blue to the east. My breath puffed out in white clouds in the light from ski area lodge, where the early shift was prepping breakfast. Same thing I needed to be doing, but Sam’s news came first. For sure.

“I got in. Full scholarship.”

I punched my fist into the air. “Wahoo!” This was about to be the best, last day of the season ev-ER. “I knew you could do it.”

“I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Awww, come on. You’re the one with the engineering brain and the good grades. All I did was listen to you read your essay.”

“Don’t sell yourself short. Your suggestions were spot on. And you’re the one who made sure I always made it to class. And

had a hot breakfast.” Her grin came through in her voice. “Critical building blocks of success.”

“Whatever.” I fidgeted with flap of the box on the top of the stack. “I’m just really proud of you, Sam I Am.”

“Thanks, Daniel. You’ll come visit me at Dartmouth, right?”

“You know it. And we’ll celebrate together tomorrow night.”

“I can’t wait!”

A thump and muted voices came through the line.

“Hold on, Mom wants to talk to you. See you tomorrow!”

Switching my phone to my gloved hand, I stuffed my bare fingers under my armpit before they froze solid.

“Daniel, when should we expect you?”

“I ought to be home by five. Want help with dinner? I can pick up groceries, and make that pineapple upside down cake Samantha loves.”

“Yes, please. I’ll email you a shopping list.” She paused. “I’m glad you’re coming home. It’s been too long. The girls and I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. It’ll be weird when Sam leaves for college.”

“It will.” Her voice went low and soft. “The house is going to be so quiet with all three of you gone.”

“Awwwww, Mom. It’s not good for you to be alone. Maybe you should try dating again?” Not that she could ever replace Dad, but still. He’d been gone eighteen years. It was past time, and Mom deserved to do something for herself.

Her laughter came in a short, sharp burst. “I’m too old to start dating.”

I pictured her in our sunny yellow kitchen, lips pursed, hand on her hip. Her light brown eyes tight at the corners. The way she’d always looked when I pleaded permission for something she didn’t want me to do.

“No way. If I was twenty years older, and not your son, I’d be begging you for a date.”

This time when she laughed, the loneliness I’d heard before was gone. I grinned.

“I’ll make you a deal…” she said. “I’ll start dating when you do.”

“Ha. Good one, Mom.” Not like that was gonna happen anytime soon.

Lights came on in the lift shack at the base of the gondola. “Listen, I’ve got to run or I’ll be late. And hungry backcountry skiers can get violent.”

She laughed again. “Well, we can’t have that. The hut is a long way from first aid.”

I smiled. “Give Sam a hug for me, and I’ll see you all tomorrow night.”

“Okay. I love you. Be safe.”

“Love you, too.”

I shoved the phone in my pocket and did a little dance. Hella good start to my last day. If everything went according to plan, I’d be doing another kind of dancing tonight. With Morgan.

Book Excerpt: OUT OF SPLINTERS AND ASHES by Colleen Donnelly

thumbnail_OutofSplintersandAshes_w11919_300 (2)OUT OF SPLINTERS AND ASHES by Colleen Donnelly / Historical Romance / Releasing Soon

She couldn’t love her enemy, because he did.

OUT OF SPLINTERS AND ASHES is a pre-World War II story of the disrupted love affair between a German romance author and a US runner in Hitler’s Olympics. She wrote for him and he carved for her until their world exploded, sending him back home to the US, separating them forever…except in her stories and the wood he carved, enough evidence to the families each went on to have that someone else lay in their backgrounds.

The hints, the indications, and the awareness of an absence that family members could sense brought out the worst in everyone, and eventually brought Dietrich from Berlin to the US to discover if the man in his grandmother’s novels was real.

Cate’s grandmother keeps an old mirror on her New York City bookstore’s wall that resembles one in a pre-World War II German woman’s love stories. Both mirrors have been burned, and both hold carved flowers on their frames. Her grandmother believes, but Cate sets out to disprove, that neither the mirror nor the stories mean a thing…and that Cate’s grandfather isn’t the man in the book who at one time carved flowers and attached them to a mirror for someone else.

Dietrich and Cate find themselves the generation called to resolve and experience what it is to love an enemy, but even more so, what it is to become the enemy of the one you love.


Grandma was impossible to stop. She charged around me, into the room, flipping on a light as she did.

“You can go now,” she barked at the soldier still holding the door. “This won’t take long.”

He nodded at Grandpa, then shut us in, us and the mirror.

I saw Amabile’s story all over again as Grandpa spotted the mirror, the deep down flicker I’d noticed before, but brighter now. Grandma and I disappeared as time took him backwards, his face transforming from old and haggard to young and alive—then to terrified, and lastly to nothing, except guilt. Grandma didn’t raise the mirror as I expected her to, and shake it in his face. She let it hang in front of her, between them, the charred frame and lone lily all he could see.

I stared at the trembling finger that stretched and touched the blackened wood, scars this man probably deserved exposed at the cuff of his sleeve.

“I believe this is yours.” Grandma’s voice was low. I’d never seen them this close together before, never seen them face each other. But I’d seen the mirror between them forever without knowing it was there.


thumbnail_me (160x160) (160x160)AUTHOR BIO

Colleen L Donnelly is a US Midwestern author whose first published novel set her on a new course in life by making the Amazon number one bestseller list. Sticking close to historical fiction as her preferred genre, she has broadened her story base to include romance, western, and a little bit of mystery. When not writing, Colleen is outdoors, hiking through the woods, searching for rocks, or observing wildlife.

Colleen’s other books can be purchased through The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

Mine to Tell

Asked For

Love on a Train

The Lady’s Arrangement

Out of Splinters and Ashes – Soon to be released


Contact Colleen at:





Book Excerpt: COLD HEARTED VAMPIRE by R.E. Mullins

51KIzItcWgLCOLD HEARTED VAMPIRE by R. E. Mullins / Paranormal / Released Sept 2017 by The Wild Rose Press


      He’d just had sex, twice now, with a vampire. Been inside the living undead. Even as the idea boggled his mind, he found he only wanted a chance to do it again.

Because, vampire or not, he had feelings for the lovely and cool Dr. Michaela. From their first kiss, he’d known there was something about her. Something that drew him in. Not just animal magnetism, but the almost indiscernible vulnerability he’d glimpsed in her eyes. Anyone who thought her cold and unfeeling had obviously never looked below the surface—or had her in the sack.

She was open in her lovemaking. Kept nothing hidden, and it made him wonder why she considered it so necessary to keep her passionate side hidden the rest of the time.

The front door suddenly slammed open. Hitting hard against his hip and almost knocking Michaela off of him. Their private time ended as three men clambered through the broken door.

Seth instinctively reached for a weapon that wasn’t there.

“Dad!” Michaela squealed and everything inside him froze solid as ice. Scrambling off Seth’s body, giving a flashing view of that lovely backside, she attempted to use his body as a shield.
Even as he sat up straight, she was tugging at him, and cowering behind his back.

Catching the look of pure venom in Andris Blautsauger’s eyes, Seth slapped a hand to his forehead, and groaned.

Things were about to get really ugly.


thumbnail_WIN_20171229_14_13_49_ProR.E.Mullins has returned to her old stomping grounds in the southwestern part of Missouri. Over the years, she’s lived in Oklahoma, Michigan, Missouri, and Colorado. She earned her B.A. in Psychology a long, long time ago. She was also employed as a phlebotomist and assisted teaching practical applications in a Phlebotomy Adult Continuing Education Course. Keep up with her at

New Release: IN DEEP by Stacy Gold

IN DEEP51F936MJGXL by Stacy Gold / Contemporary Romance / Released Jan 31, 2018 by The Wild Rose Press

Sophie Tremore is building a career in the male-dominated world of Ski Patrol. Difficult, when her new boss is her smokin’ hot ex-lover. She hasn’t forgotten how good they were, although he’s making it easier by treating her like she’s incompetent. Ski Patrol Director Max Demford is avoiding his former flame, given his judgment is clouded by those eight mind-blowing weeks two years ago. He couldn’t handle another person he cares about getting hurt on the mountain. Forced to work together, an adrenaline-filled day turns into a night they’ll never forget. Will they risk their careers for each other?


Chapter One

The wooden door of the ski patrol shack slammed into the wall. A gust of cold air and snow, and a tiny, powerful tornado, swept into the room. The door slammed shut, but the tornado kept coming. Continue reading “New Release: IN DEEP by Stacy Gold”

Book Excerpt: A POLICE ACTION by AA Freda

51-sakeTNBLA Police Action, is a coming of age historical novel. It the story of two young people starting out and trying to make sense of their lives. Complicating the process is a small war going on in Southeast Asia involving some two million soldiers. A war that our country, for political reasons, refused to even call a war.


Coppi’s definition of a lifer is any man who enlisted to join the service, any 

soldier that has the initials RA on his dog tags, RA standing for Regular 

Army. Draftees, like Coppi, are not lifers. Their dog tags begin with the letters 

US, which stands for United States. The army probably doesn’t even consider 

them regular soldiers. 

Continue reading “Book Excerpt: A POLICE ACTION by AA Freda”

Book Excerpt: THE CULINARY ART OF MURDER by Heather Haven

51iAhgy7QDLThe Culinary Art of Murder • Book Six of The Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven

Lee’s Uncle Tío is smitten with the guest chef at a Silicon Valley culinary arts institute. When the woman is arrested for the murder of a fellow chef, a reluctant Lee agrees to help prove Tío’s lady love innocent. But Lee suspects the ambitious, southern belle of a cook might just be guilty. Undercover work at the institute proves to have more pitfalls than whipping up a chocolate soufflé. The killer isn’t done and tries to get Lee out of the way permanently. But just who is the murderer? The accused? One of her two sons? Another inmate from a cooking school with more to hide than dirty dishes? With secrets as plentiful as sauces, the nagging question remains, if Lee proves the lady chef guilty, will Tío ever forgive her for sending his new love to jail?


Chapter One

And Then There Were Nuts

“Well, looked who’s honored us with her presence. Welcome back, Lee. I almost forgot what you looked like, which is stunning, of course.”

“I see you got hauled in at the crack of dawn, too. For eight AM on a Monday morning you don’t look so bad, yourself.”

Continue reading “Book Excerpt: THE CULINARY ART OF MURDER by Heather Haven”

Book Excerpt: POISON by Galt Niederhoffer

51RENPsWuDLPOISON by Galt Niederhoffer / Thriller / Released Nov 2017 by St. Martin’s Press


The party is over, and Cass and Ryan are walking, heading to their parked car through the streets of downtown Portland. The city is in a perennial state of rainfall. It is always either about to rain or about to stop raining.

The cobblestones in the old part of town are slick, and the brick on the buildings looks mossy. Ryan walks with the halting steps of a broken robot. The car is several blocks farther, on a small side street called Cherry. The walk is challenging for Ryan given the number of drinks he has had, the wet cobblestones, and the manic energy of oncoming trick-or-treaters.

They reach the curb as the light turns red, and just as cars rush toward them, Ryan touches Cass’s back, pushing her ever so slightly into the path of oncoming traffic.

“I’m gonna have to do it this way,” he says, “because you clued into the lobster so fast.”

“Hey! What are you doing?” Cass regains balance and stumbles back to the curb. She is more shocked than scared, more confused than outraged. The push was a gentle shove, as opposed to a forceful thrust, but it was a surprise nonetheless—as was the rush of headlights speeding toward her. “What the fuck, Ryan. Are you trying to kill me?”

“Oh, Cass, you’ve always got a theory.” He says this in the usual way, his demeaning demeanor, with all the usual implication. He says this as though there are two distinct ways to push someone into traffic—one humorous and one homicidal—and that she has jumped to the wrong conclusion, disappointing him once again with her shitty sense of humor.

“Are you trying to kill me?” she says. “You’re trying to kill me.”

“Yup,” he says. “And I know exactly how I’m going to do it. I’m gonna make it look like a suicide, and everyone’s gonna believe it.” He is smiling like a mischievous child who has successfully stolen a cookie.

“Fuck you, Ryan,” Cass says. “Fuck you. That’s not funny.” Cars are rushing past them now, making the threat of the act all the more potent. Cass hurries to the car, opens the door, starts the engine. She is pulling out of their parking spot as Ryan gallops toward her, fumbles to open the passenger door, and collapses into his seat in a fit of laughter.

The car is silent as they drive home, away from the city of Portland, over Back Cove and Tukey’s Bridge, into the dewy suburbs. The only sound is Ryan’s breath. In. Out. In. Out. A request and a rejection. A threat and a promise. A death threat or a diabolical joke. A mind game or a confession? Cass watches the light recede as they approach Cumberland, holding the light in her gaze as though the city is safety and every mile she drives away, she is farther from it.