Monday, February 28, 2011

Excerpt: Dragon Blues by Edie Ramer

Today's excerpt is the newly released novel by Edie Ramer -- I haven't read this one yet, but the description compelled me buy it and add to my to-be-read list! Check it out:

Once a dragon…
Saxophone player Noah Long shifted from dragon to human 2500 years ago, but the dragon blood still coursing through his veins has kept him healthy and virile. Now his secret is out, and the man who discovered it will do anything to make Noah’s blood his own. Noah’s only ally is martial arts expert Lila Fox, who heats up the fire in his belly…and his heart.

Twice a killer…
Lila Fox’s first kill was at age sixteen after her stepfather put her mother in a wheelchair. Fourteen years later, she kills another abuser to save a woman’s life. When the man who wants Noah’s blood kills her sister, she can’t let the death go unanswered. She teams up with the strangely compelling Noah, and discovers he’s not all man and has a few tricks of his own.


5 stars! “Edie is brilliant! I love her snarky characters, the humor, the sex, the incredible story and the perfect narration she is able to spin into a single novel. I was on the edge of my seat while savoring another Ramer masterpiece! This comes highly recommended!” – Aimee, Coffee Table Press

From Dragon Blues:

Noah flipped the Open sign to Closed. Triple locked the doors. Turned on the alarm. He trod to the desk, his footsteps nearly soundless on the wood floor, and left the jade dragon and the ring on the desktop instead of locking them away as usual.

Tomorrow. He would put them away tomorrow.

Something tore at his throat, at his chest. A weight pressed down on his shoulders. Darkness devoured him, and he knew its name. Loneliness.

He was a solitary creature by nature, but there was a difference between being alone and lonely. At least this time he knew better than to do something that would make it worse instead of better.

He turned off half the lights, then climbed the back staircase to his rooms above the shop. His furniture in the living room was dark reds and black, and the lamps and the pictures gleamed with touches of gold and silver. A meow came from the black chair in the corner. Mystic, curled up, wisely staying away from the fracas. On the table next to the black chair, a tenor saxophone glimmered in the dusky light.

Noah crossed the room, bent and picked Mystic up. Her body was warm, pliant. He sat, draping her on his lap. She allowed him to pet her, her body rumbling with purrs.

“I have you,” he said. Usually he had more than one cat, but he’d seen too many die. Every death wore on his soul. Even beasts had souls, and sometimes lately he thought his was rubbed down to translucency. Like a fine silk cloth, so thin only threads remained.

A siren wailed outside. Mystic meowed, jumped off him and padded into the kitchen.

He didn’t follow her. He needed something to fill the gaping emptiness inside him. To smooth his rippled emotions. To bring him peace.

A need roared in his chest. Not for food, not for liquor, not for women.

Music. That’s what had kept him sane this all these years. Kept him alive.

He picked up the saxophone, the metal smooth beneath his fingers, bringing him a small measure of peace, mending the torn threads of his soul.

Then he lifted it to his lips, took a breath, closed his eyes and played “Is That All There Is?” The Peggy Lee version. Slow and sexy and sad.

The sounds outside faded, and nothing mattered. Not Beauty, not the thief, not the lonely, lonely years. Just the music that poured through him and out of him. Out of his soul.

When he finished, he sat in the chair for long moments as night invaded the room, darkness falling around him like a magician’s cloak.

“Is that all there is?” he whispered to the silent room. “Is that it?”

A noise answered, someone knocking on the alley door.


Edie Ramer loves her cat so much, she wrote CATTITUDE, a book in which a cat changes bodies with a woman. Edie tried to put herself in her cat's mind. She managed so well it was eerily freakish.

She lives in southeastern Wisconsin with her husband, two dogs, and the original Belle the cat. She started writing in the 1990's, selling short stories in the mystery genre to National magazines and two Women Sleuth books. In addition to non-fiction articles, she wrote verses for greeting cards, and she possesses a drawer filled with cards for any occasion.

She's co-founder of Write Attitude (, an inspirational website for writers, and a popular group blog, Magical Musings (

You can visit Edie at


More Books by Edie:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We Have a Winner!

The winner of a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card from yesterday's A Book and a Recipe is . . . .


Judy - email Markee at to arrange for delivery of your gift card.


I hope everyone enjoyed our most recent book club day. We'll be announcing the book for March next Friday. We hope to see you. And tell your friends!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Book and a Recipe Book Club: THE TESTAMENT by John Grisham

Welcome to our second Book and a Recipe Book Club!

Last month hostess, Markee Anderson and I began this feature by discussing One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. We had a lot of fun and hope you did too.

Today we're talking about THE TESTAMENT by John Grisham. Even if you haven't read this particular book, but have read some John Grisham, join in the discussion. At the end of the day, we'll be randomly drawing one name from the list of those who comment and that lucky person will win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card!

Okay, take it away Markee . . .

I consider this book to be one of John Grisham’s best. He takes a legal thriller and adds in some adventure and many forms of emotion.

In the beginning, an old man is ready to sign his will, but little do we know, his money will go to someone we never knew about. It’s up to a washed out lawyer named Nate O’Riley to find the person, taking him to the deepest jungles of Brazil, changing his life forever.

This book, and many of the older Grisham books, are wonderful to read, with different layers and subplots. My children read them for book reports, because I know they don’t have the things in them that I don’t want teenagers to know about yet. He writes simply, and there isn’t any unnecessary words to throw you off the plot, but keeps you turning the pages to know more.

I don’t want to give away too much, but seriously, this is one book that will strike your fancy. The beginning, with Troy Phelan, is perfect, in my mind. He’s quite a curmudgeon and I just love that character. It truly fits in ratcheting up the conflict, setting the scene for the entire book. I also love when Nate finds Rachel, and her comments to him. I about died laughing the first time I read it, in total shock. Brilliant…simply brilliant.

Anyway, I want to hear from you. What did you like about the book? Do you think, in real life, that the lawyers would try to prove Troy was insane? What other Grisham books do you like?

And to leave you with a wonderful sweet taste in your mouth, how about this recipe:

• 10 ounces semisweet chocolate bits
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 tsp vanilla extract (can use any flavoring here)
• chopped nuts, and/or toasted coconut, and/or cocoa powder, for coating truffles

Add the chocolate and the butter to a double boiler and melt. Slowly mix in heavy cream and remove from the heat when warm. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into 8X8 inch baking dish and put into refrigerator until cool for 1-2 hours. Using your hands or a spoon, scoop chocolate into balls and put on wax paper. Roll into nuts or coconut
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Makes 30-40 truffles.
So let the discussion begin! And tell your friends to stop by - not only do you get a chance to talk about a great book, but you might just win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card. Not too shabby!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Excerpt: Dead to Writes by Cathy Wiley

"I'm already hoping for more books in this great series." – Mark Baker, Amazon Top 100 Reviewer

I recently had the privilege of hearing Cathy Wiley read from her humorous cozy mystery, Dead to Writes, and I enjoyed the excerpt so immensely, that I just had to ask her to come share here at Fiction for Dessert. This is SUCH a fun read and the voice of Cassandra Ellis is so priceless that you won't want to miss it!


Author Cassandra Ellis is thrilled to death when her first murder mystery novel is released. She enjoys glowing reviews, praise from friends and family, and all the excitement that comes from being published.

But her celebration is cut short when she becomes the primary suspect for a real life murder. One of the sources she used while writing her novels has been shot, and Cassie is the last to have seen him alive.

When she’s taken into questioning, she spends more time than she wanted in Baltimore City police headquarters. (Although she’d like to spend more time with James Whittaker, the homicide detective assigned to the case.)

When another of her experts is murdered, again right after meeting with her, she needs to apply the knowledge she gained while writing mystery novels to find the killer.

Before more friends die... or before Cassie herself is targeted.


One day, she was going to kill her best friend for always being late.

In the meantime, she would just kill someone else. As Cassie Ellis looked around the upscale restaurant, she barely noticed the sleek design, the contemporary furniture, or the exposed brick walls. She concentrated on the people. Waiting, watching, for that perfect moment, that perfect mark. Her eyes fell on a distinguished older gentleman sitting in a back corner. She smirked when she saw him glance over to the considerably younger—and considerably more attractive—blonde with him. Clearly, he was checking to see if his date was impressed by the ambiance of the restaurant.

Just as clearly, he was her perfect victim.

Still, she was a fair sport. If he didn’t order wine, he’d be fine. If he did order wine—at least a particular bottle—then he’d die.

He ordered wine. He had to show off for the blonde, after all. Cassie wasn’t surprised to hear him order the most expensive Merlot on the menu; she had him pegged as a Merlot drinker. A pretentious one, she thought, staring at him like her cat stared at a doomed mouse. She knew something about that particular wine, that specific bottle.

The waiter unknowingly acted out his part of the drama. He took the bottle from behind the bar, walked over, presented it, and waited until the man nodded his approval before wielding the opener. He then handed the cork over to the man for inspection.

She let out a sigh of relief when the man nodded again. The fool didn’t notice anything.
The waiter poured a small portion into the man’s glass. Even with the dim lighting, she was able to see the rich, deep ruby color. She approved of the man’s technique as he raised the balloon-shaped glass and swirled. Rivulets of liquid flowed down the sides of the glass, showing off the legs of the wine just like the blonde was showing off hers in a beaded black dress.
The man brought the glass to his lips. He sipped delicately, inhaled to aerate the liquid, and swished it around in his mouth. Finally, after the wine passed all those tests, he swallowed.
And all hell broke loose.

He lurched out of his chair, sputtering and clutching at his throat as his face took on a dark red color that rivaled the wine. The blonde screeched as he dropped the glass on the table, destroying the pristine whiteness of the linen tablecloth with shattered crystal and splattered Merlot.

Cassie didn’t blink as she watched the man—no longer so distinguished looking—crash into the next table. The guests screamed as the victim thrashed about, sendingwhipped potatoes, baby field carrots, and black truffle meatloaf all over the restaurant. She could hardly blame them, she’d scream too at the loss of such a delicious-

“Are you okay?”

She blinked a couple of times and brought her mind back to the real world. Her waiter stood next to her table with a concerned frown on his handsome face.

“Is everything all right, Cassie? I kept saying your name, but you didn’t answer.”

“Oh sorry, Alan. My mind was …well, elsewhere. Hazard of the writing profession.” She looked over at the table in the corner, where another waiter was just now bringing out a bottle of wine for the distinguished gentleman and the blonde. “I’ll wait to order until Michelle gets here, but could you prep a bottle of the Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs?”

The waiter raised one sandy eyebrow. “Bubbly, Cassie? Do we have something to celebrate?” He paused a moment and grinned. “Let me guess, your book’s being pub—

“Don’t say it,” she interrupted and held up a hand. “I want to tell Michelle first. I promise I’ll tell you afterward. Anyway, I want to surprise her. Can you bring out the bottle about five minutes after she arrives?”

“Of course. Shall I open it with a big flourish?”

She smiled her approval. When Alan left, she turned back to her couple in the corner. Just like in her fantasy, the man went through the entire tasting process, including distributing the liquid in his mouth. Even with her love of wines and appreciation of the tasting ritual, she never liked swishing wine around her mouth. It reminded her too much of gargling mouthwash.

She watched as he swallowed. The results were less dramatic than the story in her head. She had to laugh at herself when she heard the blonde ask about the wine and refer to the man as “Dad.” Obviously, she had read that scene incorrectly. But in her humble opinion, her version of the story was more interesting.

Cassie bent down to snag a notebook and mechanical pencil out of her purse. Tucking a curl behind her ear, she made a note to check out the efficacy and speed of cyanide poisoning. She tapped the pencil against her lips and wondered how the poison could be added to the bottle without any evidence of tampering. If she could figure it out, it would make a fascinating murder method for The Merlot Murders, a title idea thatcame to her. It would establish the “M” alliteration pattern she had started with Mailbox Murders with that title for her second book.
Her second book. Alan had been right, but more right than he knew. Than anyone knew. She couldn’t believe she had managed to keep the secret for this long, but she wanted to be certain it really was going to happen. So she had waited. And waited. And now…

As she put away her notebook—something on her “never leave home without list”—a flash of red from the depths of her cavernous bag brought a mixed surge of butterflies and pride. She wasn’t nervous telling Michelle the news; she knew her best friend would be excited. But her temperamental friend might get upset that she had withheld the information for so long. Well, she’d find out soon.

She grabbed the salt shaker from the center of the table and slid it back and forth while she resumed observing those around her. This time, she decided to forgo her usual diversion of imagining murders. Not that she felt animosity towards her fellow diners; she just was fascinated by mystery stories, especially murder mysteries. Since childhood, she had enjoyed following along with the clues, outwitting the villain, and cheering on the detective. Later, she enjoyed writing new and different ways to commit and solve such crimes. Now, the stories she created were going to pay off. Literally.

That would be good, since she didn’t make that much teaching online writing courses. She was fortunate to have a trust fund from her grandmother that she used to buy a house seven years ago when she turned twenty-one. She didn’t have to worry about a mortgage, and the writing courses paid the rest of her expenses. Mostly. She still had tons of student loans. If she sold enough books, she might even be able to pay them off before she turned forty.

The advance would help with that. Of course, she was putting most of it towards promoting her book. It wasn’t cheap to send out postcards, advertise online, and attend conferences and book signings. But it was going to be worth it. Her Great American Novel was getting published. She hoped it would even sell.

She popped up from her chair as a petite blonde scurried into the room, breathless with apology for being late. Seeing Michelle Edwards in her work clothes, she was glad she had changed into a nice outfit. Her emerald silk shirt and black pants weren’t as nice as Michelle’s navy blue suit, but at least she wouldn’t embarrass herself. She gripped her best friend in an enthusiastic hug.

As they sat down, Cassie reflected on how much they both had grown and changed over the years. She had known Michelle since they were in elementary school. They met through a book, naturally, a book both of them had wanted to read at the same time. When they fought over Trixie Belden and the Mystery off Glen Road, the teacher told them to share and read alternate chapters to each other. Mr. Baldwin probably regretted that action as the two girls became best friends and giggled and whispered back and forth throughout the school day.

Back then, Michelle had been a shy, nerdy girl with messy braids, broken glasses, and a buck-toothed grin. Now, her long, brown hair was smooth, her glasses stylishly Bohemian, and braces had repaired the overbite.

Cassie hoped the years had improved her as well. Her carrot-red hair had darkened down to a burnished copper, although the curls were wild as ever. Her skinny, gangly body had morphed into a tall, athletic one. Not a graceful one though, unless she was on a bike. Then she could almost fly.

“So… tell me. Why are we here? We only come to Corks to celebrate, so tell me, tell me, tell me.” Michelle was never patient.

Cassie had to laugh. That very impatience was the reason they had fought over that book all those years ago. Michelle refused to wait until she was done.

Of course, she was just as impatient. So rather than the long speech she had rehearsed, she took a deep breath and blurted it out. “I’m being published. I mean, my book is being published.”
Michelle leaped out of the chair with a squeal and grabbed her in a choking hug. “That’s incredible, Cassie! Mailbox Murders, right? Who’s publishing it? When? How can I buy tons of copies?”

Her best friend was never lacking in enthusiasm, Cassie thought as her grin widened. “Yes, Mailbox Murders. DSG is publishing it.” The name of one of New York’s largest publishers brought out another squeal from Michelle.

“Oh my God! That’s so awesome. When will it be out? This year, oh no, probably not, publishing takes forever. Next year?” She sat back down, bouncing in her seat.

“Actually…” Cassie bit her lip as she reached into her bag. “July 8th.”

“Of next year?”

“No, this year. As in Saturday.”

While her dream of biking and camping around the United States never came true, Cathy Wiley has achieved her childhood goal of writing mysteries. She's happiest when plotting stories in her head or on the computer, or when she's delving into research, be it hands-on or in books. (Or yes, the Internet, but she makes certain to confirm that information.)

She draws upon her experience as an event planner and human resources manager to show the lighter, quirkier side of people. And upon her own morbid mind to show the darker side.

In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, dancing, wine, food, and reading. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, with two very spoiled cats. She would greatly enjoy getting e-mail from her fans. She can be reached at

You can also visit her website at:
or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Also on Nook

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Special - An Interview with Romance Writer, Kristie Leigh Maguire

Valentine's Day is a special day, so today I bring you an interview with a special lady - author of romantic tales, Kristie Leigh Maguire.

I first met Kristie at The Spinning Wheel - a virtual bookstore and coffee shop on the discussion boards at Kristie is the proprietor - readers and writers come together and chat in this virtual world. There is a fireplace, bookshelves galore, a coffee pot, and comfy sofa and a loft where some of the wilder patrons have been known to throw popcorn over the balcony to bounce off the heads of others. It is all in good fun - even if the popcorn isn't real! And there is a porch with a swing, and a path to a pond. But mostly why people come to the spinning wheel is to meet and share with others who love to read and/or write.

And Kristie Leigh Maguire made it all happen. She's there every day jumping into discussions and scheduling authors for virtual readings. She's an amazing woman with a load of her own stories to tell, and that's why I'm so excited that she's joined me for an interview today as well as agreed to share an excerpt of her romance, Second Chances.

Karen: Welcome to Fiction for Dessert, Kristie!

Kristie: Thanks so much, Karen! I appreciate you having me here at Fiction for Desert. What a lovely name for a blog.

Karen: When did you first start writing?

Kristie: Reading has always been my passion but I was a late bloomer to the world of writing. When my husband and I were living in Japan in 1997, I found that it was very difficult to find books written in English. Remember this was before e-books became so popular and available with the click of a mouse from most anywhere in the world. Since I couldn’t find books to read, I started trying to write my own books. I had no idea what I was doing. I’ve never taken a writing class in my life but I have read all my life. Because romance is what I loved to read, romance is what I wanted to write. Trying to emulate some of my favorite romance authors didn’t work for me at all. Fortunately, I soon discovered my own writing voice and a passion for writing that equaled my passion for reading.

Karen: What do you like about writing romances in particular?

Kristie: Love is the spice of life and is what makes the world go round. I like telling a good love story. It takes me out of the everyday world of troubles and woes and makes me feel good.

Karen: How do you formulate an idea for a new book? Do you write off the cuff, or do you plan intensively before you begin?

Kristie: Sometimes the idea of a character comes first; sometimes the idea of a storyline comes first. With my Desert Heat and Cabin Fever books (Affairs of the Heart series), the characters came first and then I developed the storyline. With my Second Chances book, the idea of the storyline came first and then I developed the characters. It just depends on what sparks my imagination.

I write off the cuff. How can I outline when I don’t know where the story is going to take me? As the story goes along, my characters take on a life of their own. Sometimes my characters don’t want the story to go the way I originally thought it should go. If I try to force them to go in a direction they don’t want to go, my writing becomes stilted and doesn’t flow well. Usually at that point, I throw up my hands and just let the story flow according to what the characters want. OK, take me away to the funny farm now because I sound totally crazy.

Karen: I know you’ve traveled extensively abroad – do you draw from your overseas experiences when you write?

Kristie: Not directly but my overseas travels have made me who I am today so I suppose indirectly it does.

Karen: I know that one of my favorite aspects of writing, is developing characters. Do you find that as well, and if so, do you have a favorite character or two?

Kristie: I love developing characters. My all time favorite character is Marcie Treyhorne in my Affairs of the Heart series (Desert Heat and Cabin Fever). Marcie is a feisty steel magnolia. She is fun and flirtatious but not easily intimidated. She won’t take no for an answer, or at least not easily.

Karen: Do you think you might try writing in other genres? If so, do you have anything planned?

Kriste: I have written a memoir/travel book based upon my overseas travels. The title is You’ve Got Mail from Japan. Other than that, I don’t know if I will ever write in any genre other than romance. I do have a few ideas in other genres floating around in my head but I don’t know if I will ever act upon them. I have learned to never say never though so who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see. 

Karen: Tell me a little bit about The Spinning Wheel and why you started it.

Kristie: The Spinning Wheel is a thread I started at Amazon’s Kindle Discussion Group. I created it as a safe haven for authors and readers. We are now on are second generation of The Spinning Wheel (Amazon has a limit of 10,000 posts to each thread).

The Spinning Wheel is located in a lovely old white brick building on the main street of Amazon Kindle Land. The navy shutters framing the double windows on each side of the door creates a nice contrast to the mellow yellow lettering against a sea foam green background of The Spinning Wheel sign over the door.

Inside we have rows and rows of books on shelves with pots of ivy and geraniums scattered around. The scent of mulled cider candles combined with the smell of homemade oatmeal cookies and coffee drifting through the air creates an enticing aroma that is hard to resist.

Miss Daisy, the resident cat, loves to curl up and snooze on the top bookshelf. Ralph, the resident dog, likes it best in front of the potbellied stove in the corner. It always seems cold on that side of the room so we keep the fire burning all the time. Feel free to wander over and warm yourself and throw a log on the fire if it needs it. Across from the potbellied stove is the lounge area with enough comfortable easy chairs for everyone to have a place to sit, relax, and enjoy a good book. There are so many books just waiting to be read. Open your mind. Explore new possibilities. Think beyond what has normally been your comfort zone. If you aren't up to exploring new genres, we are bound to have something you will like on our shelves. The possibilities are endless.

Karen: How can people find The Spinning Wheel?

Kristie: Go to: … or if we have completed TSW2 by the time this is posted, just go to the Main Kindle Discussion Group and look for the thread with The Spinning Wheel in the title.

Karen: Would you be willing to share an excerpt from one of your books with our readers?

Kristie: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I would like to tell everyone about my sweet contemporary western romance, Second Chances. I got the idea for this book when a friend of mine told me about an ad she saw in her local paper: “Free wedding dress. Worn only once by mistake.” My imagination caught fire trying to figure out what was behind that simple little ad in the newspaper.

Description of Second Chances:

Jane Porter’s dreams of marrying Mike Farley, the handsome cowboy who lives on the neighboring ranch, are shattered when Mike suddenly marries a redheaded stranger he met at the Wild Horse Saloon in Casper, Wyoming. After Mike stomped all over Jane’s heart with his cowboy boots, can Jane ever trust her heart to a man again?

Mike Farley marries beautiful Samantha Jo Smith after a whirlwind courtship with no thought to Jane Porter, his childhood sweetheart and the woman everyone in Fremont County thought he would marry one day. Mike soon learns to regret his hasty marriage to Samantha. Can Mike win back Jane’s heart even though he had shattered it into a million pieces?

Longtime friends and neighbors Jim Porter and Liz Farley turn to each other for support after the unexpected death of their spouses. Will Jim and Liz’s friendship turn into something deeper even though they both feel they have had, and lost, their chance at love?

Is it ever too late for love? Is it ever too late for second chances?

Set in rural Wyoming, Second Chances is a sweet contemporary western romance that will warm your heart. One reader stated, “I read it through in an evening, and felt as if I had spent that evening with ‘salt of the earth’ folk.” Another reader said, “I loved the double, no triple, second chance. It was a very sweet ending.”

Excerpt from Chapter 1 after Samantha finds out that Mike is going to marry Samantha:

“You bastard!”

Jane slapped Mike so hard it rocked him backwards, leaving an angry red welt in the shape of a handprint across his handsome face. Mike threw up his hands to ward off Jane’s angry blows but he knew he had it coming. Jane had every right to punch his lights out.

“Why am I the last to know you’re going to marry somebody else? You could have at least had the decency and enough respect for me to tell me first before everybody on God’s green earth knew about it!”

“I’m sorry you had to find out this way, Jane. I didn’t know Mom was going to hightail it over and tell your dad before I could tell you myself. I was going to come over and tell you this morning but she beat me to it. I wish she’d mind her own business and keep her nose out of mine.”

“Mike, you’ve never even gone out with anybody but me. Who is it? Who are you marrying?”

“Her name is Samantha Jo Smith. I met her when I was at the Wild Horse Saloon a few weeks ago when I went to Casper to stock up on supplies.”

“You’re going to marry some floozy you met in a bar a few weeks ago when for years you’ve led me to believe we’d get married? Have you been lying to me all these years? Did you ever have any intentions of marrying me?”

“I haven’t been lying to you all these years. I did intend for us to get married one day but I never counted on meeting Sammy Jo. She came into my life like a devil’s twister and turned it upside down.”

Jane’s beautiful brown eyes filled with tears as she looked at the man she loved, had loved all her life, trying to understand what he was saying. It was as though he was suddenly spouting Greek. Nothing he was saying made any sense to her.

“I never wanted to hurt you, Jane. You’ve got to believe me.”

“You can’t marry her, Mike. You can’t possibly love somebody you just met! You love me! I know you do. We’ve been going steady since I was twelve and you were thirteen. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”

“I don’t really know how all this came about. Me and Sammy Jo getting married I mean. I don’t remember actually saying the words ‘Will you marry me?’ but she must have thought I did because the first thing I knew she threw her arms around me and said yes. Now the date is set. She’s already bought her wedding dress.”

Jane gasped, her face going pale. She sank down onto the steps and put her head in her hands. Even though she had never fainted in her life, she felt as though she were going to now.

Mike sat down on the steps beside her and gently stroked her back.

“Look at me, Jane. Please.”

Jane raised her head but she couldn’t look at Mike.

Mike turned her face towards him, his black eyes looking into her teary brown ones.

“I’m a man of my word, Jane. I asked Sammy Jo to marry me even though I don’t remember saying those exact words. I have to stick by it. Can’t you please try to understand?”

“No, I don’t understand it! I simply can’t.” Jane sniffed back the tears that threatened to clog her throat and spill down her face. “What about me? I know I don’t have your engagement ring on my finger but for years you’ve led me to believe we’d get married one day.”

“I know I did, Jane. I’m sorry. I never meant for something like this to happen.”

“Mike, I’m begging you not to do this to us. Don’t throw away our future like this. We’ve never dated anyone else but each other since we were old enough to know there was a difference between boys and girls. My whole life has been wrapped around you. What am I supposed to do if you marry someone else? I can’t even picture my life as anything but being Mrs. Mike Farley.”

“I don’t know but I am going to marry Sammy Jo. I have to, Jane. A man’s word is his bond.”

“But you don’t know anything about her, Mike. She’s a complete stranger.”

“It’s true we’ve known each other only for three weeks but Sammy Jo’s not a stranger to me. Being with her is the most exciting thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

The tears in Jane’s eyes disappeared, burned away by white-hot fury. She jumped up, tossing the single heavy brown braid that almost reached her butt over her shoulder and glared at Mike.

“Are you talking about having sex with her?” She hit him. “Damn you, Mike Farley! If you don’t think having sex with me was exciting enough for you, then whose fault is that I’d like to know! All I know about sex is what you and I learned together. I was a virgin when we first made love down on the banks of Badwater Creek. I was only fifteen! I’d never been with anyone else but you and didn’t know a thing about how to do what we were doing except what you showed me how to do. Now you have the nerve to tell me that our lovemaking wasn’t exciting enough for you. If you didn’t like what we were doing, then you could have shown me how to do something different. I’m not such a prude that I wouldn’t have experimented.”

She hit him again.

“You lousy son-of-a-bitch!”

Mike caught her hands and held them.

“Jane, I never meant for this to happen. It just happened.”

“Just happened? Things like that don’t just happen!” she shrieked. “You could have kept your damned pants zipped! Even if you didn’t have enough self-control to keep from poking it to her, you sure as hell didn’t have to ask her to marry you!”

Jane struggled to get loose from Mike’s iron grip to no avail.

“We were supposed to get married, Mike. We were going to live the rest of our lives together. You and me! Not you and some floozy you met in a bar, for crying out loud.”

“Jane, I know I’ve hurt you and for that I’m very sorry. Can we still be friends?”

Jane looked at Mike as though he had lost his mind.

“Friends? I don’t want to be just your friend, Mike! If I’m not going to be your wife, I don’t want to be anything to you. You can go to hell. I never want to see you again.”

“Jane, please don’t be this way.”

“Let go of me, damn it!”

Mike let go of her hands and Jane turned to leave.

“I’ll never set foot on Double F Ranch again not even to see Liz. If she wants to see me, she can come over to my house. And don’t you ever come over to the Double P Ranch again either. I don’t want anything more to do with you.”

“Jane, we live on adjoining ranches. Our families are tied too closely together for us to avoid each other. Your dad is like a father to me and my mom is like a mother to you.”

Jane laughed bitterly.

“You should have remembered that before you asked Ms. Floozy to marry you. If I catch you ever stepping foot on my ranch again, I’ll take the shotgun and fill your ass with buckshot!”


“You are a bastard and a poor excuse for a man, Mike Farley! I hope you catch some kind of venereal disease from Samantha Jo Smith.”

Karen: That was wonderful – thank you so much for joining us here today and sharing. Do you have a website where people can learn more about you and your works?

Kristie: Of course I do. (smile)
Facebook Fan Page: KristieLeighMaguire
Sizzling Hot Romance and Other Genres (blog): Sizzling Hot Romance.

Thank you so much for having me, Karen. It has been my pleasure. (smile)

Karen: You can purchase Second Chances at for just $2.99.

Other books by Kristie Leigh Maguire:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Affordable eBook Recommendations!

Today's Recommendation:

Secrets of the Medallion: The Treasure Hunters Club, Book 1 by Sean McCartney


Treasure Hunting Legend...
Four Ordinary Kids...
Two Magical Medallions...
Pursued By An Ancient Evil...
In One Extraordinary Adventure.

Join the Treasure Hunters Club as they look to unlock the Secrets of the Magical Medallions.

...Some Secrets Are Better Left Alone.

When Tommy Reed received a medallion from his famous treasure hunting uncle "Diamond" Jack Reed he didn't think much of it.

Now an ancient evil is pursuing his every move and his treasure hunting club friends, Shannon McDougal, Jackson Miller and Chris Henderson are on the run.

They must unlock the secret to the medallion before evil can hunt them down.

An Amazon Customer Review:

"Secrets of the Magical Medallions will appeal to any age level child interested in adventure and history. The grown-up characters in the book present strong role models for children and the younger characters are easy for them to relate to. I am a former teacher and would have readily used this book in my classroom as a teaching tool. I bought the book for my grandchildren who are fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, nine and six. I read it first to be sure that it was appropriate reading as many of todays books are not. It was refreshing to read a fast paced story line with no violence or sexual inuendos. Two of my gradchildren have finished the book and are eagerly looking forward to Mr. McCartney's next adventure book. I plan to give the book to my daughter to read to my younger grandsons knowing that they will like it."

Only $1.95!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Affordable Children's eBooks

Today's recommendation: The Time Hunters by Carl Ashmore


Becky is a typical thirteen year old English girl. She likes Facebook, gossiping and plenty of sleep. So when she and her brother Joe are invited to stay with their 'loony' Uncle Percy at his stately home, she thinks it’ll be the worst summer ever. What she doesn't realise is that Bowen Hall is also home to a baby Triceratops, two Sabre-tooth tigers and the mythic hero, Will Scarlet...

'The Time Hunters' is a thrilling adventure that takes Becky, Joe, Uncle Percy and Will on a quest through time to find the legendary Golden Fleece.

The Clock is ticking....

An Amazon Customer Review:

"I read a lot of books and this is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my recent favourites. I bought it for my grandaughter, she loved it and encouraged me to read it too. I did, and I have to say I found it absolutely terrific. We (my grandaughter and I) have talked a lot since reading this about the clever plot and characters and sincerely hope there are more books to come. Just fantastic. Well done." ("Grannyreader")

Just .99 cents!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Affordable Children's eBooks

Today's Recommendation:

Night Camp by LC Evans

Here's an Amazon customer review:

"My son and I just finished reading "Night Camp." We started it a while ago and used it for his daily required reading. I believe he was to read at least a half hour per day for school.

This book really held my son's interest. What more could you ask for - spooky castles, caves, mysterious camp counselors, cute girls, dungeons, bats, and adventure.

I asked my son to provide his own review of the book. Here are his insights:

10 out of 10
A great kids book
I can't wait until she finishes Knight Camp (Me again: I have no idea if L.C. Evans is writing `Knight Camp' but my son would sure like her to.)

Great book. Thank you Ms. Evans!!"


A spooky graveyard. A creepy basement. A pair of coffins.
Thirteen-year-old Shane Andrews hates summer camp. When his parents allow him to choose, Shane decides to pick the worst camp he can find. Night Camp must be terrible. For one thing, activities take place at night and campers sleep during the day. That can’t be good, Shane reasons. His parents will realize Night Camp is even worse than they thought and they’ll come back to get him. Then Shane’s plans for summer freedom fall apart. His cousin Brad, a boy with a huge collection of tabloid magazines, convinces Shane that two of the camp counselors are vampires. Shane enlists the help of Brad and a girl camper named Nicole. The three set out to save themselves and the other campers. Then Shane uncovers the secret of Night Camp…

only .99 cents!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Affordable Children's eBooks

This week I will be featuring quality, affordable eBooks for children. I hope you find some gems!!!

Today's feature: Page Truly and the Journey to Nearandfar


What if … a girl and her tooth fairy flew away to the realm called Nearandfar and the girl discovered she had more power than the fairies?

Page Truly is on a mission. It won’t be easy. There will be danger. Page will have to be very brave and very smart.
It all happens one night when a sassy tooth fairy brings a borrowed wand and a big attitude to Page’s bedroom. She makes it look like a wand can do anything. That is until Page has to save Nearandfar, and discovers that a magic wand is only as powerful as the gifted one who knows how to unlock its secrets and use it wisely.
Page Truly and The Journey To Nearandfar is a fun adventure for children and adults alike. It touches on the issues of leaving childhood, accepting responsibility, relying on friends, caring for others, and being brave when it seems as if you have no power at all. As it turns out, Nearandfar is not so near but not so far either – if you have a child’s belief in dreams.

Written for ages 7 to 11, this is award-winning author L B Gschwandtner’s first novel for children.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Book and a Recipe Book Club: TESTAMENT by John Grisham

I hope you all enjoyed January's Book and a Recipe Book Club hosted by Markee Anderson! Markee will be back with us on Friday, February 25th, with another GREAT recipe and fun discussion of TESTAMENT by John Grisham. This is one I haven't read, so I need to get busy!

This month I'm trying something VERY new - we'll be doing a giveaway of 1 Kindle book - winner's choice - by random drawing from all who join in the discussion! (limit of $9.99 cost or less - 1 book only)

So I hope you'll stop on by AND tell your friends too! :-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Come to the KINDLE PARTY!!!!

WHEN? Tonight, Thursday, February 3 7pm - 9 pm

WHERE? The Soundry via Livestream on your computer!!!

WHAT? Right. Good question. WHAT is a Kindle Party? Kindle/Nook/eReader owners can stop on by in person or via livestream feed and enjoy while authors read from their eBooks.

FUN? You Bet!

The authors reading tonight are:

Tonya Plank - Swallow
Lisa Leibow - Double Out and Back
LB Gschwandtner - The Naked Gardner
Laverne Thompson - author of sensual romances
Cathy Wiley - Dead to Writes
Misha Crews - Her Secret Bodyguard
Karen Cantwell - Take the Monkeys and Run
DA Spruzen - Not One of Us

I hope people will tune in and join us in this new experience for author readings!


CLICK HERE for more information on The Soundry and the Kindle Party!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Giveaway Wednesday: Her Secret Bodyguard

Do you love a GREAT romantic suspense? If so, you should enter this week's giveaway:

TWO lucky winners will receive a Kindle copy of Her Secret Bodyguard by Misha Crews

(I'm sorry, this book is Kindle only, so we'll only be able to give away Kindle versions)


When a Special Forces veteran is hired to protect a Malibu playgirl, sparks fly faster than bullets. But will they live long enough to realize they're falling in love?

In an exciting twist on her timeless tales of heart and home, author Misha Crews sets her latest story in Los Angeles, playground of former model Blake Sera. Although she's not yet thirty, jaded Blake is sure she's seen it all. Until she discovers that the man she's been been living with is up to his neck in the murky underworld of crime. When Special Forces veteran Caleb McKenna is secretly hired to protect the glamour gal, he's sure that Blake is just another pretty face whose only interests are sunning, funning and shopping till she drops. But soon he realizes that there's more to her than big blue eyes and a killer smile. Can they survive their passion? Can they survive at all?


And trust me, it's as good as it sounds!

So, to enter for a chance to win in this GIVEAWAY, leave a comment to this post saying that you would like to be entered, and please leave an email address. NOT TO WORRY - I don't use email addresses for anything other than notifying the winners!!!

Winners will be announced and notified Saturday, February 5th