Tag: Book Excerpt

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.

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: 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.

TARNISHED GOLD by Barbara Townsend

thumbnail_TG Print-Cover, bleed trimmedTARNISHED GOLD by Barbara Townsend

Placer City, Wyoming, 1933: Em Olson struggles to keep her log hotel operating in the busted gold mining town. Her only help comes from a spoiled cousin and a loyal but disabled family friend. Her sister in California encourages Em to sell the crumbling family hotel. Their father had abandoned the family years earlier–an act that Em believes caused her mother’s death. But the thought of leaving the peace of her mountain village for the bustle of a major city repulses her. 

While Em worries over the decision, a handsome geologist arrives at her hotel to scout for a gold mine for his boss. He explores the area for a suitable prospect as the attraction between Em and Finch grows. She’s stunned when he uncovers a swindle involving her property. Then she’s horrified when he stumbles on the reason for her father’s disappearance. Stressed to the breaking point, she seeks answers to so many questions while the man she has grown to love prepares to depart on his next assignment.

Book Excerpt of Tarnished Gold by Barbara Townsend:

Continue reading “TARNISHED GOLD by Barbara Townsend”

Book Excerpt: THE LOST SEASON OF LOVE AND SNOW by Jennifer Laam

Cover.The Lost Season of Love and SnowBOOK EXCERPT

From The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam. Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.


A man says he will die for you. A woman is taught to lower her gaze and blush before hiding once more behind a silken fan. Men are given to self-aggrandizement, while women flatter egos and keep men tied to this earth. Such is the way of the world, or so I was taught in the days before I gained a reputation as the villain of St. Petersburg.

I know better now.

When a man declares he will die for you, sometimes a woman must take him at his word. For to allow one’s husband to perish on the field of honor is a shameful affair, worse even, than murdering him by your own hand.

The solemn men who gather at our flat fall silent as my husband draws his final breath. A prickly chill, like the first wave of a fever, washes over me as I realize my husband is gone. The sorrow tightens my chest and clamps down, squeezing until I think my body will snap in two. I sway on my feet and believe I will faint. Only the invisible force of my will keeps me upright. Dark blood still seeps from his abdomen and a sharp metallic scent clings to the air.

For two days my husband had been one of the waking dead, suffering a cruel and lingering death. Though I was not present at the duel where he fought to defend my honor, the image of Alexander collapsing, his blood staining the snow crimson, haunts my every thought. I have slid into despair, veering between hysteria and hopelessness, while Alexander’s wound festered and his once vibrant face distorted with agony.

His friends stand in a semicircle around his body, backs erect, mouths set in stern lines, and expressions stoic even as their eyes dampen with tears.

“What a waste,” I hear one of them mutter. “A genius lost over a woman.”

The words echo in my head. I was the wife of a distinguished man of letters, the greatest in our land, and I let his life slip through my fingers. These men suppose I care only for material comforts and romantic diversions and don’t believe I possess the wits about me to appreciate my husband’s talent. Rumormongers have convinced them I love the empty-headed Georges d’Anthès or have fallen prey to the advances of our iron-jawed tsar. They consider my behavior traitorous, as terrible in its own way as if I had joined the ranks of the Napoleonic soldiers who once threatened our very heartland.

I will confess to basking too long in the attention of Georges and even the tsar himself, yet I am no Jezebel, merely human, as vulnerable to flattery as any other creature. Much as I may wish to do so, I cannot change the past. The damage is done. A fresh wave of tears threatens and subsides, as though nothing remains inside me to expel. I wonder how long I will live with the torment of my guilt and the censure of those who claim to love my husband.


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.”