Wednesday Whisper ~ Icy Dare

December 7th, 2016

Thought we’d take a step back to the first Kindleworlds venture I was asked to participate in. Had a blast with Carly Phillips and her world. Will be revisiting it soon.

Burke_IcyDare_LGBlurb:

Sometimes the most passionate heat resides behind walls of ice…

Dorian West puts down the bottle when a request comes in from a man he respects more than anything to help find a woman running scared. Agreeing, he discovers, she is one he could spend a lifetime getting to know and still not unearth all her secrets. Hard to when she hides behind an icy demeanor. He does have one way to get her to thaw out…

Sakharre Myers is on the run. Her brother plays on defense for the Miami Thunder and she is tired of being used to get closer to him. After one relationship turns dangerous, she hightails it out of Miami. Despite her mistrust and attempts to get away from the man named Dorian there isn’t any way to ignore the sizzling passion between herself and this man sent after her.

Stress and fear can accelerate a relationship and then the question becomes, will it last once everything settles down? Will they have a chance together or will Sakharre once more retreat behind her walls of ice?

 

“I hate this life.” She got ready for bed, set her alarm, and crawled between the sheets.

Cold metal around her wrist woke her. Her watch had a cloth strap as metal attracted attention. With her luck typically unwanted. Exhausted, she struggled to figure out the reason for the metal.

She began to turn, only to find herself against a hard male body. Panic surged, and she struggled.

“Did you really think three men would stop me?”

Recognition sank in. “You! What the… How the… Get out of my bed. How dare you break in here?”

Anger lent her strength, and her shove rolled him off the narrow bed. Her satisfactory smirk lasted mere seconds before she was jerked off to land on him. And, yet, not chest to chest. No, her luck was such that her face sat buried in his crotch. His cock stiffened against her lips as she sputtered. Her right hand was stretched away from her body, and her shoulder screamed in agony.

It clicked in her head as to why. Handcuffs.

“You cuffed me?” Her tone dangerously low. “Cuffed me?”

As if she weighed nothing, he drew her up his body, easing the pain in her joint.

“Yes.”

Non-apologetic. Steadfast.

His hand—the one she wasn’t cuffed to—settled against her ass and flexed.

Damn her traitorous insides that were all for being locked to him. “Uncuff me.”

“No.”

His cock was hard and pressed against her core. She nearly rocked herself against him.

“We’re going to have a very ugly relationship, this way.”

“I’ll uncuff you when we get to Miami.”

“I’m not going there.”

His chuckle blew warm air along her hypersensitive skin. “That’s what you think. I’m like a bounty hunter. Since you’re not the one who hired me, I’m bringing you back.”

Her leg jerked as she tried to knee him. Bastard must have been expecting her move and blocked her before rolling them. She lay pinned beneath him, her legs wide and cradling him.

Late morning sun filtered through the window and graced his features. Almost with hesitation. He wasn’t a pretty man. Hard. Chiseled.

Drool worthy. The man over her was no boy.

“You really think you can drag me all the way across the country?”

“That’s what I was hired to do.”

“I dare you.” She forced it between clenched teeth.

“I accept.” His grin was akin to a teasing flick along her clit.

Hell, she was in trouble.

The Detective’s Lover

December 6th, 2016

One more that I got back the rights to. I am also working on the stories for the brothers so those will be coming as well.

This is the current cover, there will be a new one once I get it made.

TheDetectivesLover

The newly-dark skateboard park was shattered with a single shot, followed by muzzle flashes and the stutter of an automatic weapon.

Ra-tat-tat-tat. Ra-tat-tat-tat.

Silence returned as quickly as it had been destroyed. Not even dogs barked in the area. As the night progressed, rain came and cleansed the city. Blood mixed with the water and washed down into Seattle’s drainage system.

An early morning jogger heading through the park discovered the body. He grabbed his phone from his pocket, called 911, and then waited for the police to arrive.

****

A detective’s car rolled up and stopped, its red flashing light cutting through the misty conditions. A tall, powerful man exited. His stern face settled into grim lines as steel-gray eyes flickered around the crime scene, taking in the yellow tape defining the perimeter. He noticed an officer taking a statement from a man in running clothes. The coroner stood in the drizzle, beside a gurney and the sheet-covered victim, waiting on him.

The detective sighed. Nothing worse than starting a Sunday morning with a dead body. Being a detective was hard. However, Ian Cavanaugh added onto this by being in Homicide. Carrying his Starbucks coffee with him, he went to the victim.

“Sorry for the hold up, Parsons. Won’t take me but a minute and I’ll let you get the vic back to the morgue.” His deep voice stopped the coroner in his conversation with his assistant.

“Morning, Ian,” the old man said as he wiped some moisture off his face. The morning drizzle had picked up, becoming a steady rain.

“Whaddya got?” Ian crouched beside the dead body. His hand reached for the sheet and slowly drew it away so he could see the face.

Gil Parsons answered, “Multiple shots. Some through-and-through, some not. With the rain I don’t know what trace has been ruined and lost, but I’ll let you know, what I know, as soon as I know it.” The man sighed and waited for Ian to look.

“Thanks.” Ian glanced down at the unseeing eyes staring back at him. “Ah, hell,” he muttered.

“You know him?”

Running his hand down his face, Ian didn’t answer right away. He closed those sightless green eyes and recovered him with the sheet. Ian drained the remainder of his coffee before crushing the cup in his fist.

“Ian?” Parsons spoke in a low voice.

“This here is Gregory Maddox.” Ian rested a hand on his thigh as he pushed to his feet. “I know you’ve heard of the Maddox clan.”

Gil and his assistant got the body ready for transport with swift effectiveness. “The foster kids that raised holy hell?”

Ian helped load the body in the van, his mangled coffee cup stark against the somber blackness of the body bag. “Those are the ones. Trouble alone, terror on wheels when together.” He sighed. “Only one lives here now, I should go tell him.” At the last second, Ian grabbed his cup off the bag.

“Bye, Ian.” Parsons climbed into his vehicle and drove off.

Ian watched him go. His mind worked fast as he stood there in the increasing rain. I hope this is solved, and fast, before the Maddox Clan is reunited.

Shaking off the twinge of foreboding, Ian tossed the cup in a trash receptacle, headed to his car and on toward the house of Herschel Maddox. The streets of Seattle may very well turn into a war zone if this wasn’t cleared up very soon.

****

Fallon Maddox stood at a high vantage point, alone, and watched through the gray haze the burial of the only father she could recall with fondness. The hole was just waiting for the men press the button to lower his casket down into the waiting ground.

She picked out her four brothers. They had all made it. She hadn’t been sure, when Herschel called to tell her the news, if they would all make it. But there they were.

Clayborne. Shawn. Herschel and his family. And the youngest sibling, Dylan. She felt tears prick the backs of her eyes.

She never moved from her position. She was late in arriving and it was a miracle that she had made it. Part of her wanted to be down there, but the part that won wanted to be alone, needed to be alone. Fallon observed stoically as people said their farewells and got into their vehicles. It was a huge turnout.

Finally, it was just her brothers and a man she didn’t recognize. Snatches of their conversation reached her. The voice of the unknown struck her as familiar, but she couldn’t place from where. Her brothers were upset and it was from more than just their recent loss.

Fallon stopped herself from going down there when Clayborne sent his fist flying into the guy’s face. Now was not the time to get involved in an altercation. Herschel stepped in and so she remained where she was. The one in the scuffle with Clayborne turned his head and looked in her direction. Fallon stepped behind a tree and remained hidden from view. Hiding wasn’t her forte, but she wasn’t up to questions yet. Fallon had to say her goodbyes first, which was something to be done in private.

Once everyone had left, Fallon moved to the grave and laid a bouquet of flowers at her mother’s headstone before saying her final farewell to her father and leaving a single rose for him. Silently she walked to the waiting taxi and climbed in.

The taxi pulled up to her childhood home. Fallon paid the driver, took a deep breath, and got out. I can’t believe Pops is gone. Picking up her duffle bag, she walked up the steps, unlocked the door, and entered the silent house. The door clicked behind her, the sound reverberating through her empty soul. She was alone. Her bag hit the floor as she turned on a light. Her eyes swept the room. Memories danced before her. With another deep breath, she proceeded further into the room. It all looked the same. Light tan carpet and comfortable but old furniture.

The walls were covered by myriads of photos. A small smile crossed her face as she looked at her family. Why did Pops have to die?

“I miss you, Pops,” she said absently as she retrieved her satchel and headed towards the room she had used while living there.

Pushing open the door, Fallon was shocked to see that nothing in there had changed since her last visit. Her patchwork quilt still covered the twin bed. Over the pillow hung a framed cross-stitch her foster mother, Nadine, had made for her.

FALLON DELU MADDOX

She set her olive green bag on the dark cherry rocker and touched the framed work. The thread was vibrant red and sat on a white background. A new wave of tears threatened.

Fallon turned a complete circle, pausing as she was met by her reflection. The dark brown eyes staring back at her seemed dull and lifeless. Looking intently at her image, Fallon touched her face. Funny, she didn’t remember her face being that tired looking, there were bags under her eyes. Again tears threatened and this time she allowed them to escape. She was safe here. No need to be tough as nails. No one watched over her shoulder at how she behaved.

For the time being, she could be what her body needed to be. A child who had just lost a parent. Not a United States Marine. Not a hard-ass, take-no-shit instructor. Just a mourning child. A half-stumble landed her on her bed where she promptly curled up with her one-eyed doll. The sobs came and after a fashion so did the much needed sleep.

Voices woke her. Loud, angry voices. Fallon was instantly awake as she ascertained where the yelling was originating.

“Clay,” she whispered, getting out of bed and going to the door.

She would recognize the graveled baritone of her brother’s tone anywhere. The one she didn’t recognize was the one in the discussion with him. Still that ripple of familiarity danced across her skin, just as it had at the cemetery. So, whoever it was, the same person had exchanged blows with her brother.

Pressing her ear to the door, she eavesdropped on the two men.

Her brother was yelling. “I don’t give a flying fuck what bullshit story you told Herschel! I’m not buying. I want that report.”

“It was a gang hit,” a deep voice countered.

“Fuck you. That area is a neutral one, we both know it, and Herschel knows it as well.”

“The whole place was shot up. It’s just a case of wrong place, wrong time,” the unknown male responded.

She heard her brother growl low before the sound of flesh against flesh reached her. “Oh Clay,” she muttered, yanking open the door and moving swiftly down the hall.

Rounding the corner, she narrowed her eyes at the sight of her brother pressed up against the wall, unable to move an inch. There was a gun pressed against his back.

She reacted immediately. Within seconds, Fallon slammed the larger man to the floor, his gun skidding out of reach.

Monday Query

December 5th, 2016
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Can’t start off December without asking about snow.

Are you a fan? Do you like a lot or just a dusting?

Sunday Sentiment

December 4th, 2016
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

~Edward Abbey

Word Slinger Café news

December 3rd, 2016

Happy Saturday y’all.

I just wanted to share with you some information about the Word Slinger Café & Word Slinger Café Review Team.

 

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This is a place where Taige Crenshaw/McKenna Jeffries and Aliyah Burke have come together to talk books, life, and anything else that may come to mind. News, exclusive sneak peeks, occasional exclusive free reads, and more will happen. We are totally informal here, so settle in, grab your favorite drink, and prepare to do shenanigans…er, we mean have fun.

 

Now, we also are creating a Word Slinger Café Review Team. This is separate from the facebook group and the list will only be for our review team.

In addition to the group we do want to let you know that we’re creating a Word Slinger Café review team for those readers who may want to get a book, an ARC or it could be a backlist book, from one of us, when offered, in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to be part of the Word Slinger Café review team newsletter list, please go here http://bit.ly/2fGAI9L to get to the information on what the rules are if you join. Then if you’re in agreement then you can sign up.

Again, we do hope to see you there. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Saturday Selection

December 3rd, 2016

Happy first Sat of December.

This week I’m heading to Cristin Harber’s world. She is one of my fave authors and I have had this book on my TBR for far too long. Now, I finally get to start this series and get lose myself in the Titan novels.

514xYyqLC2L__SY346_First Book in Titan Series by New York Times Bestselling Author

After putting her life on the line to protect classified intelligence, military psychologist Mia Kensington is on a cross-country road trip from hell with an intrusive save-the-day hero. Uninterested in his white knight act, she’d rather take her chances without the ruggedly handsome, cold-blooded operative who boasts an alpha complex and too many guns.

Colby Winters, former Navy SEAL and an elite member of The Titan Group, has a single objective on his black ops mission: recover a document important to national security. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out operation. But now, by any means necessary becomes a survival mantra when he faces off with a stunning woman he can’t leave behind.

When Titan’s safe houses are compromised, Colby stashes Mia at his home, exposing his secret—he’s the adoptive father of an orphaned baby girl. Too soon, danger arrives and Mia lands in the hands of a sadistic cartel king with a taste for torture. As hours bleed into fear-drenched days, Colby races across the globe and through a firestorm of bullets to save the woman he can’t live without.

Friday’s First Liners

December 2nd, 2016

Here’s another first liner for you. This time from His Purrfect Mate.hispurrfectmate1Dane Sidorov sagged against the tree’s thick trunk. Blood poured from his arm, running to the frozen ground.

Paranormal, interracial, tiger shifter. Just sayin’…

 

Wednesday Whisper ~ Preconception

November 30th, 2016

This is my contribution to the What’s Her Secret series. I hope you enjoy the look back.

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A cop, a criminal’s twin and a cabin where anything can happen.

Carolyn Trufant has only recently discovered she has a twin. When Jasmine calls for help, she goes immediately, not willing to lose this new-found bond. Once in Atlanta, she finds herself in a succession of whirlwind events that result in a handsome cop taking her to a secure location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. But she’s not her targeted sister. And so the secret begins.

Declan McBride is the Atlanta PD cop assigned to protect Jasmine Hoyer, a woman who drives him crazy with all her escaping and disregard for the law. After he decides to put her somewhere safe that she can’t escape from him, he finds that he’s strangely starting to like this new Jasmine.

They grow closer and endure a lot together. But what if Declan discovers she’s not quite who she says she is? And how will Carolyn cope when she finds herself having to take her new identity to a dangerous, life-threatening level?

 *****

“I need your help, Carolyn!”

Carolyn Trufant nearly dropped the crystal vase she was filling in the sink. “What’s wrong, Jasmine?”

Cars honked. People yelled. The sounds of a busy metropolis’s downtown reverberated through the phone line. Where is she?

“Help me, please!”

She set the vase down, struggling to hear and decipher the rest of what Jasmine was saying. “I can’t hear you.”

“…meet me, please.”

“Jasmine?” Her voice rose a few notches. “Where do you want me to meet you?”

“Come down to Atlanta, please. Meet me where I told you I first visited when I got here. At ten p.m. please, tomorrow. I’m…really scared.” The call went dead.

Shit. Carolyn’s hands shook like leaves in a stiff breeze. She hung her head and tried to control her racing, out of control emotions.

What could she do? What should she do would be a better question.

I have to help her. There’s no way I am going to lose her after just finding her.

Caro stroked a finger along the silken petals of the flowers she’d received moments before her sister had called. She loved the variety in the mixture of flowers. Of course I have to go.

Allowing herself one more inhalation of the fragrant floral blooms, she swept her gaze around the room, ensuring all items resided in their proper place. Then she went to her office and booked herself a flight to Atlanta.

That evening, once supper had been eaten and cleaned up after, she curled up on one end of her sofa, tucked her feet beneath her and stared through the window of her Madison, Wisconsin, apartment.

She closed her eyes and her thoughts drifted to Jasmine. Her sister. More than that. Her twin. A woman she’d met a month and a half ago. Separated at birth and adopted by other families who didn’t know about each other. In fact, even the paperwork stated she had no other known siblings.

To say it had been a shock when Jasmine had first contacted her would be the understatement of the year. Caro had been suspicious, hard not to be when she’d received such a call. She’d asked her parents before about siblings and they’d given her the paperwork, which had denied such things. Still, regardless of her doubts, she’d gone and met her in Saint Louis.

There had been no denying it the moment she’d laid eyes on Jasmine. They’d spent the weekend catching up and learning about one another. Since then they’d exchanged some calls and had discussed having another ‘sister’ weekend soon. But never a call for help.

She walked to the large window and stared over the twinkling lights of her city. “Never a call with someone sounding so scared either.” Caro rested her head against the glass and sighed.

Concerned, she made her way and packed her carry-on. She didn’t expect to stay all that long but could take a bit of time off if needed since she had plenty of accumulated days. Lifting the receiver to her landline, she sat on the edge of her bed. She sucked on her lip as she dialled a memorised number. Yes, it was programmed but she did it this way to give herself a bit more time. Not much, true, but anything would be accepted.

“Hello?”

The gentle voice on the other end had her smiling. “Hi, Mama.”

“Caro. How are you doing, baby?”

“Fine, Mama. I just wanted to let you and Daddy know I’m taking a short trip.” She cleared her throat. “Out of town.”

“Hmm. Where to?”

“Down south.” She winced, hating the lie she was about to tell. “I have a two week vacation I’m spending in a timeshare.”

“Really? You didn’t say anything earlier.”

Because I didn’t know the twin—my twin sister you know nothing about—was going to call me asking for help. “Came up out of the blue. You remember my roommate, Jen? She was going to go but couldn’t.” She scrunched her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Just got off the phone with her. I have the time so I figured… Why not?”

More noncommittal noises. “Where down south?”

“Atlanta. I don’t have the info yet since she hasn’t texted it to me.”

“You’re leaving when?”

She could see her mother standing there with her head cocked to the side. “Early tomorrow.” Late tonight technically but what was one more lie in the grand scheme of things? She was already going to hell.

Her mom, silent for a moment, then made a delicate throat clearing sound. “Have fun and be safe.”

“Thanks, Mama.” The flush of deceit spread across her neck and face. She despised lying to her parents. “Tell Daddy I say hi. Love to both.”

Caro hung up and whimpered.

I feel terrible about this.

Her parents were an amazing couple who’d adopted her and raised her alongside the youngest of their naturally born children. A well-respected couple, they had raised her to understand hard work. When she’d come to Madison for college she hadn’t left, and now she worked for the same institution that had supplied her degree. Her boss had been on her case constantly about taking some time off, so she placed a call and left a message on his phone.

Her final call was to her friend who also rented in the same building, Terri Mosse.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Terri. I need a favour.”

“Sure thing, babe. What can I do for you?” The blaring music softened. “Everything okay?”

“I’m heading to Atlanta tonight for no more than a couple of weeks.”

She whistled low. “Jasmine?”

“Yes.” Why did she feel horrible that Terri knew but not her parents?

“You are stressed. What happened?”

“I don’t know. She’s frightened out of her mind. Asked me to help her.” She rubbed the back of her neck. “I can’t ignore her. She’s my twin.”

“I’m not judging, babe. You need to go, go. I will take care of your place. When should I expect you back?”

She pursed her lips. “Not sure. I’m giving myself two weeks if she needs help getting back on her feet. No more than that I wouldn’t imagine.”

“Your plans change, you let me know.”

“I will.”

“Caro?”

“Yes, Terri?” She carried her bag to the door.

“Be careful, yeah?”

“I will.” They hung up and she pocketed her phone.

Interwoven

November 29th, 2016

This story is related to Holiday Liaison which will be out again soon.

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Kane Lennox stared at the drying pools of blood around the bodies. Bodies of hostages which shouldn’t be there. Shoving back his anger, he shook his head. He couldn’t be pissed off about it now. There was a job to do. It wasn’t his fault they didn’t get called out until just now. Sweat ran down every inch of skin but he held his position, waiting for the “go” command. It was hot as fuck, crouched as he was in full tactical gear.

“Go.”

The order came, delivered by a graveled man’s voice. Smoker’s voice. In the point position, Kane kicked in the door as the rest of the ones with him followed. They moved swiftly and methodically until he got the all clear from the men with him.

“No hostages here.” Kane frowned. This wasn’t right.

“Where the hell did they go?” Mark “Hammer” Chavez asked the question they all wondered.

“How the fuck did ten hostages and the jackasses who took them disappear without a trace?” Kane muttered more to himself as he wiped more sweat from his face.

The other half of the team who’d gone in the back—to cover that exit—arrived. He stared into the angry blue gaze of Brenda Folton, the lone woman on the team.

“Well?” she snapped.

“Gone.”

Her round of curses only echoed what the rest of them felt. Ignoring the chatter in his ear, Kane readjusted the hold on his MP-5.

“Search again. False wall, trap door, something has to be here.” Pressing the heel of his boot down, he itched his foot. “Go now. The longer we dally the further they get.” He kicked over a chair and swore. “Who out there had the goddamn schematics for this place. And how the hell did you not notice the disappearance of thirteen heat signatures?”

Mumbled excuses reached him and he rolled his eyes in disgust.

“Gabriel!” He jerked his head up at the use of his nickname. “Over here.” Folton waved to him.

He strode through the house to the den where the couch had been slid back—on its track, a fucking track—exposing a trap door.

“This was planned.” He stated the obvious as he stared down into the darkness.

“we’ll take it from here.”

Kane whirled to see four guys there in suits and blue windbreakers with the yellow lettering announcing their affiliation.

“Feds?”

“Special Agent Morrison.” The man stepped forward only to be blocked by two of those on Kane’s team. He eventually went around them and walked up to Kane.

“You’re going down there with that? Your identifying windbreaker and your 9mm?”

Morrison glared. Kane was already bored with the exchange. This dickwad was taking precious seconds off the clock.

“We can use some of your gear.”

Snickers came from all around. “Sorry, boyo. Our gear. Our responsibility.”

“We have taken over.”

Kane sucked on his teeth. “You remind me of a little boy who wants to stomp his feet and whine to mama. Tell you what, my boss is out there in the shade beneath that large tent. Take it up with him.” He whirled around and gestured to the others.

“What’s up, Gabriel?” Hammer asked.

“I need two to stay here while the rest of us go down. See if you can find anything which may tell where this trail comes up. Then get there and wait.”

Hammer and Spike immediately walked off.

“What about the feds?” Brenda asked.

“I’ll be goddamned if I sit on my ass while they wait for some gear to be flown in. We’re going in.”

Fist bumps ensued.

“Feds say wait.” That was the voice of their boss, Smitty Jones.

“They can double-time it once they get all geared up and take over once they catch us.”

“Kane.” A warning.

“Captain. We’re here, ready, and have trained for this. I’m not sitting it out and letting more die. Do you not see the hostage bodies out there, bloating in the sun?”

“Damn straight you’re not. Get going.”

Kane signaled for them to proceed. Lights on, they descended into the dark gloom.

“Only one direction to go. Let’s get it done.”

The four of them set off at a jog, keeping an eye out for tripwires or things of the like.

“Smitty?” Kane asked as he brought up the rear. “Do you copy?”

Nothing.

“Stay alert guys, we’re on our own.” After a bit more, they pulled up at his order. “Smell that?”

“Metallic,” Doug commented.

Yes and a lot of it. He made his way to the front. “Lights out.” The tunnel cascaded into darkness. He flipped down his NVG’s. “Count it. One two. Stay sharp.”

Monday Query

November 28th, 2016

This is a very important question I think.

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I’m wanting to know what is the type of music you listen to most and if you had to recommend an artist from that genre, who would it be and what album to start me off with? I’m always on the lookout for new music.