Tag: Book Excerpt

Book Excerpt: THE LADY’S ARRANGEMENT by Colleen L. Donnelly

perf5.000x8.000.inddTHE LADY’S ARRANGEMENT by Colleen L. Donnelly / Released May 31, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Book Excerpt

Ben was tall, and he felt even taller as he took a step closer and leaned my way. “It takes two to bind a contract, and since I’ve just withdrawn, your arrangement is null and void. And just so you know, you can thank your lucky stars I’m not staying to marry you, because I take surprises a lot better than I take orders.” His eyes stayed on mine until his gaze traveled from my face down to my boots. “And wearing trousers doesn’t make you any more suited to giving orders than wearing a skirt would make me fit for giving birth.”

My nails dug into my palms as I rolled my hands into fists. A word I’d heard Ted say when a pail slid off his bad arm came to mind. The word was immoral, but probably not too immoral for Ben Miller. “Just so you know, Mr. Miller, I’ve been running this ranch for three weeks now, in pants. I find skirts get in the way of things you’d probably be surprised I can do.”

The half-smile returned. “I won’t argue that. Skirts surely do get in the way.” Ben straightened and slapped his hat tighter on his head. “Been my experience, too.

Fortunately, neither one of us has to put up with one, since you can keep right on doing things the way you have been. I’m giving you an early parting. I’m leaving.”

Book Excerpt: A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON by Katie Baldwin

51p-JYWN6WLA KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON by Katie Baldwin / Saving Graces Fantasies Book 1 / Spicy Contemporary Romance / Released March 2017 by  the Wild Rose Press

Bethany Michaels leads a fairly isolated existence, but she longs to be an outgoing and sexually confident woman. When her celebrity crush comes to town, and literally falls at her feet, her prayers seem to be answered. But can she protect her heart while still experiencing true passion?

Hollywood celebrity Aidan Shannon, drunk and lost in small-town Virginia, finds himself in the home of a beautiful woman, and he finds her more than just a little alluring. Bethany is voluptuous and nurturing, fragile, yet steely. And that is a problem for a man who never wants to be tied to another woman again. 

Living in the now is good enough for Aidan and Bethany for the short term. When the universe steps in and shows them what’s important, will Aidan take a chance on love a second time around when his girl needs him?

Book Excerpt

Well, either she was a crazy fan about to poison him or she was a shapely woman who was about to save him from a diabolical hangover. In for a penny, in for a pound. He eyed the tea one more time before making a decision.

Aidan carefully sipped the tea, unsure what to expect. Before the liquid touched his lips, his stomach clenched. This was going to be dreadful. Not even someone with his acting skill could pretend this tasted good.

“Drink it all, Mr. Shannon, or it won’t help,” the sweetly militant voice cautioned.

“It tastes worse than it smells,” he said, trying not to whimper. But then he realized she had said “Mr. Shannon.” He sighed. “It appears you know who I am.”

“Are you kidding?” The woman before him giggled softly. “The entire town is in ecstasy because you guys are filming your movie here.” She paused as she narrowed her eyes. “Wait a minute. Don’t try to distract me; drink your tea. How about this…? If you drink it, I will make you some eggs.”

He considered arguing but drank the whole thing down like a shot of whiskey.

Continue reading “Book Excerpt: A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON by Katie Baldwin”

Book Excerpt: ANGEL LOST, ANGEL FOUND by Annalisa Russo

perf5.000x8.000.inddANGEL LOST, ANGEL FOUND by Annalisa Russo

Historical Romance / Released Nov 2015 by The Wild Rose Press

Charity strode over the weathered oak floor toward the front of the restaurant. A man stood hipshot on the other side of the front door. Tall, rangy, with a head of unruly light brown hair, sun streaked and too long for what current fashion dictated. Mussed now, she saw, from the ride on the Harley motorbike parked in front of her place, or perhaps from shoving his fingers through it impatiently, as he was doing now.

He was in his shirtsleeves— definitely not protocol. The leather jacket he’d worn for the ride was thrown over the bike’s seat, but he didn’t appear too worried about it. His shirt was casual but, to Charity’s trained eye, expensive, like the scuffed boots he wore. He pounded on the door again, and his brows slashed over eyes a cold ice blue. His pretty face and squared off jaw needed a shave.

“I’m not hiring,” Charity said through the door and started to pull down the roller shade mounted above the glass.

He glanced up when she spoke and gave her a quick and rude perusal. “I’m not looking for a job.” His drawl sounded like honey over gravel, and he didn’t appear too pleased by her response. “I’m here to see Charity O’Malley.”

“About what?” The man appeared irritated—with her.

“Look, lady, Big Mike sent me. Go get her, and I’ll explain.”

“Big Mike’s dead. He didn’t send you.”


Annalisa Russo is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago, the setting for her historical romance novels based in the 20th century. Her first series was completed with the release of Angel Boy, the fourth book of The Cavelli Angel Saga. The series chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s and 30’s. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

Book Excerpt: AN ANGEL HEALED by Annalisa Russo

perf5.000x8.000.inddAN ANGEL HEALED The Cavelli Angel Saga  by Annalisa Russo

Historical Romance / Released Oct 2014 by The Wild Rose Press

He hadn’t heard her voice in seven years, but it had the same effect on him as if it was yesterday.

   God help him.

Silk over honey, huge green eyes with smoky edges, a half dozen freckles sprinkled over a small, straight nose, riotous blonde curls with the scent of a spring morning—and the girl it all belonged to—the one he’d traveled half way across the world to forget.

“I have business here,” Hope insisted. Trying to yank her arm free from the burley man’s grasp was like trying to take a bone from a snarling dog. The bold blue uniform topped by a bright gold badge stretched over his girth. She glanced down at the wooden night stick tucked in the loop of his wide leather belt. It gave her the willies, but she had to hang onto her composure. He didn’t know anything about her, and she needed to keep it that way.

“I have an appointment with Miss Cavelli, Constable. You’ll make me late.” She tried for a nonchalant demeanor, but she couldn’t seem to make her queasy stomach follow her brain. The man was just doing his job, but if he didn’t let go soon she’d probably hurl on his spit-shined shoes.

“What’s wrong here, Flynn?”

Hope glanced over her shoulder and groaned. Another man. This one had worn, paint-splattered trousers on long legs. Honey-colored hair curled on his collar. His scarred boots matched the jagged scar on his face. Hip-shot now, with thumbs hooked in his belt loops, eyes, a warm shade of blue, a bit glazed over, stared at her. Probably St. Rose’s handyman.

So much for sneaking in and getting out unscathed.


ANNALISA RUSSO is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago, the setting for her historical romance novels based in the 20th century. Her first series was completed with the release of Angel Boy, the fourth book of The Cavelli Angel Saga. The series chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s and 30’s. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

Book Excerpt: SECOND CHANCE IN LAGUNA by Claire Marti

thumbnail_SecondChanceinLaguna_w10862SECOND CHANCE IN LAGUNA By Claire Marti

Released March 31, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.

“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.

“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.

Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”

Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.

The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital.

The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?


Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress. Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. She teaches at studios, online for the international website http://www.yogadownload.com and also has a Yoga for Cancer Recovery DVD.

Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation for cancer survivors. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and has written a memoir on her experience as a breast cancer survivor. Her debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Molly and third place in the Maggie. The Wild Rose Press will publish it in March 2017. Check out a teaser here: Second Chance in Laguna. She’s hard at work on the second and third novels in the Finding Forever in Laguna series. Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the San Diego Romance Writers.

Book Excerpt: CHASING SHADOWS by Karen Harper

chasing-shadows-front-coverCHASING SHADOWS by Karen Harper

But it wasn’t her family at her hospital room door. It was a senior partner of Markwood, Benton and Chase, Attorney Nick Markwood, not decked out in his lawyer suit but in gray casual slacks and a bright blue golf shirt. He took the roses from the cop and came in to sit in the chair beside her bed, laying the bouquet beside her sheet-covered leg. Like an idiot, she hoped her hair and make-up looked okay. At least she had a robe over this stupid-looking hospital gown.

“I know that officer,” he said. “I asked him not to say it was me, or I figured you might not see me. We were adversaries, and I know you probably hate me for grilling you the way I did. But I have a proposal—a job offer—if you’ll just hear me out.”

“I don’t hate you, and I want to thank you for helping me yesterday. They gave me a transfusion, but it could have been worse if you hadn’t stopped my bleeding.” Still, she thought, that didn’t mean she trusted him. But if he was going to offer her a job at that prestigious law firm… “Okay, here’s the deal,” he said, crossing one ankle over his other knee. “I intended to talk to you about this just before you were shot. I could use your help immediately on an important issue in St. Augustine.”

“St. Augustine? Do you have an office there? With this situation—I have a young daughter too—I can’t really work outside this area.”

“I need your expertise and talents and so does an innocent woman who’s a friend of mine. If we don’t move fast, she may soon be indicted for murder. She’s the dead woman’s daughter, and the whole thing hinges or whether it’s an accident, suicide or murder. It will not only impact her, but the state of Florida. Needless to say, I’ll make it worth your while. I’d like to retain you as a consultant, have you conduct some interviews on site there. We need to prove that her daughter did not commit the murder.”

“If it were a local case, but St. Augustine’s about as far from here and still be in the state. As I said, I have commitments here.” “I hear you’re being released later today. I’m sure you’ll want to get home to your daughter, but can we meet to talk this over again soon, and I’ll give you more details? I saw your physician in the hall, and he said not to stay long right now.”

Her eyes widened and her lower lip dropped before she got hold of herself. The reach of this man amazed her. He knew the cop on her door; he’d consulted with her doctor. Wasn’t anything about her condition or release privileged? Was this master manipulator the kind of client she could trust? She really should not have trusted poor, dead Fred Myron either. But, she sure needed that job, and this one could be an entre to others. It had to be high-profile.

“Claire, could I pick you up tomorrow and take you over to Lake Avalon mid day? I’ll bring lunch. We’ll talk, so I can explain everything. The case, the people—your fee, of course. Unless you’d rather not go out into open spaces right now.”

“I’m not going to cower under my desk. Besides, those bullets surely weren’t meant for me. Really, I don’t have any enemies…not someone who would do that.”

Just yesterday, she would have said this man was her enemy from his trying to tear her testimony to shreds. She shouldn’t trust him now. No way she was going to leave Southwest Florida to work for who knew how long in the northeastern part of the state. She might as well be going to Alaska for all she knew of that area. And this was something that would affect the entire state? This guy was good with words, with convincing people, but not her.

“I  really don’t want to do profiling of possible murderers,” she told him. “That can be tricky and dangerous. That would be what you’re looking for, isn’t it, I mean if it’s murder? In Lifeboat v. Sorento, I was only trying to establish that Sol Sorento was alive. I turned up nothing to prove his friends and family wanted him dead or would have committed murder.”

He put both feet on the floor and his elbows on his knees as he leaned closer and fixed her with his riveting, silver stare. “Think of it this way then. I’m not asking you to profile a murderer, but a victim. Surely, this woman’s daughter would never have hurt her. The deceased had panic attacks and was on powerful meds, so maybe she accidentally or intentionally overdosed. It would be what you called on the stand a forensic autopsy.

I want you for this. And then we’ll go from there.” I want you…And then we’ll go from there…And the woman had panic attacks…powerful meds… Claire closed her eyes for a moment. She felt for this poor dead woman and her daughter. And, she hated to admit it, but she was moved by Nick’s passion for this case.

Book Excerpt: LOVE’S TETHERED HEART by C L Etta

51br1r9nfdlIn this scene, Danny is interviewing Mico and they were joking and laughing. Mico’s ventilator delivered a breath at an inopportune time and Mico needs Danny’s help.

“Jeez, I give up. You’re too quick for me, Mico, and this interview has totally disintegrated into song title chaos.” Laughing and shaking my head at our inanity, I tried to set my hilarity aside and to reacquire my professional demeanor. I glanced at Mico to ask him a question and saw his nose twitching back and forth and up and down.

“Do you think you can do me a favor, Danny?”

“Sure. What do you need?”

“Can you grab Santiago for me? That last snort got a little messy, and I need him to clean me up a little.”

“Aw, there’s no need to bother him. Let me help.”

“You sure?” His uncertainty lay in his eyes, but then he twitched his nose again, clearly uncomfortable.

“Tell me what to do.”

“Grab a couple of tissues from the box on the table and help me clean my nose, if you don’t mind. There are vinyl gloves as well.” He bit his lip and twitched his nose once again.

I donned the gloves, pulled the tissues from their box, and stood in front of Mico, awaiting further instructions. I saw the mucus on his upper lip, but before I could swipe it with the tissues, he said, “You know, Ry never would have done this for me. You’re amazing, Danny. I need my nose wiped like a booger-smeared two-year-old, and you volunteer without a second thought.”

I wondered about “Ry” and made a mental note to ask at the first opportunity.

I cleaned him up and removed my gloves by pulling one over the used tissues in my hand, then placing that glove in the palm of my hand and pulling the other glove over it. I caught Mico’s wide-eyed expression as he observed me. “My mother’s a nurse,” I offered as an explanation. “She taught me the correct way, the safe way, to remove gloves when handling potentially infectious tissues. She’s actually a bit of a germophobe. Makes you wonder why she’s a nurse, doesn’t it?”

“Well, I imagine she’s very good at her job and very conscientious. It was frightening to live among the things I observed while hospitalized. I’m lucky I didn’t develop a raging infection after the months I spent incarcerated.” “You mean incapacitated?”

“No, Danny. Incarcerated. The first month I was so disoriented— what with the drugs and concussion—I didn’t know up from down. When I was lucid again, I felt incapacitated, but by the third month I felt as if I had been sentenced to solitary confinement.”

“What do you mean?”

“At first my friends visited or checked in with Dad or me on a regular basis. My boyfriend was by my side through it all. But by the third month, people began to dwindle away while they led their busy lives. Dad stayed away more and more too. I can’t blame him, though. Witnessing me existing but not living while he was still mourning Mom took its toll. Hearing and seeing him struggle to find excuses for why he didn’t visit became too painful for me to watch. So I quit asking.”

“What about your boyfriend?” Wondering whether this was Ry, I pushed. “What became of him?”

“Let’s just say he never aspired to become a prison warden and leave it there, for now. Besides, it’s getting late, and it takes Santiago at least an hour to prepare me for bed. Why don’t we meet again tomorrow—say around ten? It will still be cool enough that we can sit outdoors and talk.”

“That’s perfect, Mico. I’ll let myself out and send Santiago back to you. Pleasant dreams, buddy.”

I returned to the resort, dropped twenty bucks into a stingy slot machine, and then went to the bar. Chris was working, and with a welcoming smile, he poured me a frosty beer. The couple at the end of the bar got up and left. After he picked up their glassware, he kept me occupied with stories of his last, bad boyfriend, his coming out, and the gay nightlife in Albuquerque. Chris’s easy chatter helped pass the time and kept my mind off my ever-growing attraction to Mico.