Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Thank you!

Rachel Grant, Meg Tilly, Toni Anderson, and me!
Now I understand that saying, "it is with a heavy heart...". I don't want to leave. I will miss every author, every reader, every publicist, and every publisher whom I've had the pleasure of working with here on the JUST sites.

Almost ten years ago, I spoke to publishers and authors, and heard the disheartening prognosis that romantic suspense was a genre of the past. I thought, how can that be? I love romantic suspense! There must be others like me out there.

...and thus, JRS was born. I started reaching out to romantic suspense authors, asking if they would like to participate in the site. Back then, I would write authors, and address them as Mrs. Last Name (I'm looking at you, Mrs. Lena Diaz!). After Lena scolded me for being so formal, I loosened up slightly. 

Angi Morgan


Alison Stone
And here we are, all these years later...and guess what? Romantic Suspense didn't fade away! (insert fist pump). 

Julie Miller
Nora Roberts

To all the authors that considered JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE a home away from home, you are my extended family. We've been through all those quarterly giveaways together! And to the visitors of JRS...to quote Jerry Maguire, "you complete me." YOU have been the reason I have kept these sites going for so long. Your loyal participation has made sharing such wonderful books worth every second.


Kat Martin
As time went on, the demand for "JUST" sites for other genres arose. JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE and JUST PARANORMAL ROMANCE were born. So many great books have been shared, and so many new authors debuted. 

But, the time has come for the lady behind the green curtain to gracefully bow out (while she's still young enough to bow--or be graceful.)

It's not goodbye. This industry is intimate. Readers and authors alike open their hearts and share their love of books on a daily basis. And I will be an eternal fan of this tight community. 

Keep writing.
Keep reading.
Keep smiling.

Love you all!

Maureen

P.S. If you're looking for me, you can always find me here. I'll still be plugging away at romantic suspense, just in a different capacity!




Monday, September 28, 2020

Never Let Me Go

 With: Kianna Alexander


Giveaway Alert!


Tender, emotional contemporary romance—you’ll fall in love with this band-of-brothers and the


strong women they’re determined to win.

Architect Maxwell Devers is laser-focused on winning the contract to build a new cultural arts center—his biggest project yet. But as a single dad of a beautiful baby girl, he has to find some help if he’s going to stay on track.

Yvonne Markham is thrilled to get her first nanny assignment. She knows the high-paying job will speed her progress toward owning a child care center of her own. Maxwell’s daughter is a delight, and she quickly comes to love the bouncing baby girl. Falling for her handsome new boss, however, was not part of the plan…

Hang on to your heartstrings: This multicultural romance features a single father, a sweet baby daughter, and the nanny who falls in love with them both.

Like any good Southern belle, Kianna Alexander wears many hats: loving wife, doting mama, advice-dispensing sister, and gabbing girlfriend. She's a voracious reader, history nerd and craft fanatic. A native of the TarHeel state, Kianna lives with her husband, two kids, and a collection of vintage 80's Barbie dolls in Raleigh, NC.


Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fVn8uW

B&N: https://bit.ly/2ZnrwfN

Apple: https://apple.co/3fUFmgb

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2QNjdWB 

Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3gx9WMG

BAM: https://bit.ly/3lgMI0N


Excerpt: 

Yvonne clutched her black leather purse tightly, the straps crushed between her fists as she crossed the parking lot toward Devers Architectural. The conversation she’d had at the Wittenmyer office with Mrs. Cross thirty minutes prior was still playing in her head.


“You’re in luck, Ms. Markham,” Mrs. Cross had said. “You’ve been with us for a very short time, and we already have an assignment for you. I’ll need you to be at this address within the hour.”


After that, her boss had gone on to give a vague description of the job. A father had requested someone of the highest skill to care for his baby girl, and the client had offered a generous bonus to get someone over right away. Yvonne’s jaw had dropped when she heard the salary, but she’d quickly shut it. Wittenmyer was the top agency in town, and she didn’t want to look like a poor country urchin in front of Mrs. Cross or the two coworkers also in the office.


Now, as she approached the beautiful, contemporary building, she wondered why she was meeting the client here instead of at his home. She pushed the thought away, knowing she’d find out the answer soon enough. For a fifteen-hundred-dollar bonus, we could’ve met wherever he liked.


Entering the building, she stopped at the reception desk.


The petite redhead there greeted her right away. “Welcome to Devers Architectural. I’m Mary Alice. Can I help you, miss?”


Feeling her hand begin to cramp, Yvonne finally loosened her grip on the purse straps. “Hello. My name is Yvonne Markham…”


Mary Alice stood. “Oh, from the agency. Just go down the hallway to your right. Carson will be waiting for you.”


“Thank you.” Yvonne turned and went in the direction she’d indicated, taking in the soft-hued decor, wood paneling, and modern art. The place was immaculately decorated, but then she supposed she should expect no less from an architect.


At the end of the corridor, a rather nervous-looking young man with brown hair and blue eyes stood, tapping his foot. When she approached, he asked, “Are you Yvonne?”


She nodded. “I am. Are you Mr. Devers?”


The tapping stopped, and he seemed less agitated now. “No. I’m his intern, Carson. I’ll escort you in. He’s waiting for you.”


Carson turned and opened the heavy wooden door behind him, gesturing for her to enter.


Yvonne entered the room with Carson close behind her. It was a small office, and by Carson’s quick steps, it appeared they were only passing through. They came to another door, this one made of the same wood but with an intricate monogram, MD, carved into it.


Carson knocked.


“Come in,” called a deep voice from within.


Carson opened the door and stepped away. “Go in, please.”


Yvonne took three cautious steps into the room. This inner office was much darker than the outer one, and looking around, she could see most of the window blinds were shut.


Except for one window, where a man stood, looking out. His back was to her, but she could see his shape clearly. His frame, tall and broad-shouldered, seemed imposing despite the size of the room. Without being able to see his face, she couldn’t gauge his mood. The dimness of the room didn’t exactly make her feel  welcome. This was her first encounter with her very first client, and she didn’t want to do or say anything that

might offend him. She stood by the door, waiting for him to speak.


After a moment or two of silence, he spoke. “Come in, Ms. Markham. Have a seat.”


She eased to the chair by his large, oddly shaped desk and sat down, placing her purse in her lap.


He turned then, and her eyes widened at the sight of the sleeping baby in his arms. Sure, it was the first  meeting, and she didn’t know exactly what being an architect entailed. Still, she doubted bringing a baby to work was standard practice for professionals in the field. I suppose that’s why I’m here.


He moved away from the window, circling the room and opening the vertical blinds, all while carefully balancing his slumbering child. As the light began to fill the space, it became far more inviting. Once all the windows were adjusted, he came to stand behind the desk.


As she looked at his face for the first time, a prickling sensation went down her spine. The afternoon sun streaming into the room let her see his smooth, caramel-skinned handsomeness, and she thanked the heavens for the good weather. He had a strong jaw, piercing brown eyes flecked with green, and the most kissable lips she’d ever seen. His suit, a rich shade of royal blue, had obviously been tailored with care to fit his tall, muscular frame. She knew she should say something, but staring at him seemed to be all she could manage.

***

Excerpted from Never Let Me Go by Kianna Alexander. © 2020 by Kianna Alexander. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Link to giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7965/?

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Friday, September 25, 2020

A Tail For Two

 With: Mara Wells

Giveaway Alert


All paws on deck!

Carrie Burns has a successful business, a young son, Oliver, and an energetic Jack Russell terrier. She doesn’t have time in her busy schedule for her ex-husband and his talk of working together again. But when she runs into Lance in the dog park, their lives are turned upside down.

Lance Donovan wants to promote his fledgling construction company by helping his brother Caleb with a big condo conversion. Lance even knows the perfect interior designer to make this project a success—his ex-wife, Carrie. But after a fateful meeting at the dog park, Lance finds himself not only petsitting both his brother’s dog and the beloved Jack Russell terrier he had to leave behind in the divorce, but babysitting a young son he never knew he had while his ex-wife tries to get back into dating. How did life get this crazy?

Mara Wells loves stories, but especially stories with kissing. She works in academe, and lives with her family and two rescue dogs—a poodle-mix named Houdini Beauregarde and Sheba Reba Rita Peanut, a chihuahua-mix in Hollywood, Florida.


Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3c3efgw

B&N: https://bit.ly/36zgh6W

Apple: https://apple.co/3d9xVAO

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2PQHRVH 

Bookshop: https://bit.ly/31PStuE 

BAM: https://bit.ly/36CL8zK

Walmart: https://bit.ly/3hOeEXO


Excerpt: 

Carrie called the elevator, nerves stretched so tight she thought she could hear them twang as she walked. That had been close, too close, and now here she was owing Lance for saving the day, for charming Kristin into extra time, for getting her business back on track. She felt unsettled by the whole thing, from her panicked call to him to his casual acceptance of the job. The Lance she knew wouldn’t have been so calm, would’ve argued about Kristin’s timeline and threatened her with all the things that could go wrong if the job was rushed. When had he learned to schmooze a client like that? When had he traded his anger for charm? For all that she’d lived with the man for five years, she found herself staring at him like she’d never seen him before.

“Come by the Dorothy tomorrow.” Lance followed her into the elevator, unaware she was silently freaking out. “You could bring Oliver.”

That snapped her right back into the moment. “To an active construction site?”

“Right, bad idea. I heard it as soon as it left my mouth.” He smiled ruefully, a familiar expression that made him her Lance again.

“You take lunch breaks?”

He leaned broad shoulders against the back wall. “Yeah, most days.”

“You can have lunch with us.” She busied herself looking for something in her purse. Keys? Sure, it didn’t matter. She just couldn’t look at him. “If you want.”

Lance waited until she looked up, and his eyes locked with hers. “Oh, I want.”

Carrie stilled. Caught. Because she wanted, too. She watched him watch her, sure that want on his face was reflected on hers. He’d always read her so easily. It was one of the things she loved about being with him, how completely she felt seen. Understood. Only now she wished he wasn’t quite so perceptive.

He took a step toward her. She took a step back and another until she was pressed against the elevator doors. He followed, stopping when he was close enough that the heat of his body radiated through the thin T-shirt, warming her. Melting her resistance, one particle at a time. She grasped the strap of her bag tightly with both hands. She would not reach for him.

“You want me, too.” It wasn’t a question, but her head bobbed in agreement. His eyes flared at the movement, pupils darkening, widening. He leaned toward her. She wobbled on her heels, knees suddenly too weak to support her. Lance shot out a hand and steadied her, using his grip to pull her closer.

He lowered his head. He was going to kiss her. She knew it, knew she should do something to stop it. Nothing good could come of kissing Lance. But he’d come and helped when she called, hadn’t stayed angry at her about Oliver. And he smelled so good, a citrusy soap and that something in the air that was simply Lance. Her Lance.

“Yes,” she said even though he hadn’t asked a question, and his lips crashed down on hers.

It was fierce, their first kiss since Oliver was conceived, like the years apart had left them both starving. She was starving. She let go of her bag’s strap and fisted handfuls of T-shirt, hauling him closer until her breasts pressed into his chest. She moaned at the pressure. He changed the angle of their kiss, going deeper, harder. She couldn’t breathe and didn’t care. He was all the air she needed. God, she’d missed him. Missed this, the very us of them together.

The door dinged and opened, bringing fresh air against her back. She gasped and pulled away, stepping backward and over the threshold, wiping her palms down the front of her chocolate skirt. What a mistake. What a colossal mistake. She should say that out loud, tell him to forget it happened. She opened her mouth, but one look from his smoldering eyes silenced her. Instead, she turned and fled. She was pretty sure he’d get the message. Lance Donovan was not something she could have, and her raging hormones would simply have to calm down and get over it.

He followed her to her Blazer and leaned in the window once she’d pulled on her seat belt. “See you tomorrow?”

Oh God, tomorrow. She swallowed. “Yeah.”

He tapped the top of her car. “Sleep well.”

“I always do,” she lied. Then she lied to herself all the way home about how letting Lance back into her life was only for Oliver’s sake. And Beckham, of course. Yeah, it was all for them. She would put the kiss out of her mind. Old habits and all that. She was sure it meant as little to Lance as it had to her. If she never mentioned the kiss again, she doubted he’d even bring it up. It was better this way, really. She repeated that in her head until it started to sound true.

***

Excerpted from A Tail for Two by Mara Wells. © 2020 by Mara Wells. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Link to giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7964/?

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Shooting Stars

 


There’s a saying that “hurt people hurt people,” but maybe that’s not always true. Maybe hurt


people can love others in extraordinary ways. Shooting Stars is a novel about our chosen families—the friends and lovers with whom we laugh, cry, and heal. If you’re looking for something hopeful, inspirational, and full of love, please check out my little love letter to love itself.


Excerpt:


When they arrived at Jack’s small apartment, he took her coat. She glanced around and noticed the walls were completely bare. “How long have you lived here?” she asked.

“About nine years,” he replied. “Can I get you some coffee or something else to drink?”

She shook her head and meandered over to his bedroom. He followed. He took the back of her head in his hand and started to kiss her, gently and with increasing passion. He pulled off his shirt and they continued kissing. He pulled back to look at her and she noticed the scars on his body: two on his right shoulder, another on his abdomen, and smaller marks along his upper arms. When he noticed her looking, he turned around to lower the light, revealing the gashes across his back. She brushed her fingers along the deep marks. “I’m sorry,” he said. “War wounds. A couple of gunshots. Some other stuff from when I was in the Gulf. I know it’s gruesome.”

“It’s wonderful,” she whispered.

“What?” he said.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just that I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.”

He looked at her sympathetically.

“I was abused when I was little. My grandfather and my uncle. It started when I was eight. No one can see my wounds, but they’re there.”

He stood still, looking at her.

“I’m so sorry. I’ve never shared that with any man I’ve been with in my entire life, and I just met you. That has to be the least sexy thing ever. I’ll leave,” she stammered, trying to walk past him.

He took her hand and pulled her back toward him. He cupped her face in his hands, gently caressed her cheeks, and kissed her. They made love with their eyes locked on to each other. Afterward, he held her in his arms and said, “That was so special. Spend the day with me tomorrow.”

“Okay,” she replied, and they fell asleep, their limbs entangled.


Shooting Stars



Tess Lee is a novelist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find personal happiness. Jack Miller is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself. The night Tess and Jack meet, their connection is palpable. She examines the scars on his body and says, “I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.” The two embark on an epic love story that asks the questions: What happens when people truly see each other? Can unconditional love change the way we see ourselves? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who mysteriously calls her Butterfly; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend who never fails to lighten the mood. Shooting Stars is a novel about walking through our past traumas, moving from darkness to light, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – heals us. Written as unfolding action, Shooting Stars is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.


AMAZON 


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

According To Plan


Hello! My name is Victoria Ellis, thank you so much for taking the time to read my guest blog


post today. For my post, I wanted to share a snippet of my new release, According to Plan. According to Plan is a southern, small-town romance that is the second book in a six book stand-alone series. I hope you enjoy this excerpt!


PROLOGUE


“Madi, will you marry me?”

His question evokes an automatic response from my gag reflex—I am choking on my goddamn buffalo wing.

There’re no dramedies here, I am full on choking.

I bring both hands to my neck, what I assume is the signal for holy shit, I’m choking, please help me before I die, but Tate has no clue. He’s handsome as hell, but sometimes I’m convinced he’s missing half his brain.

I reach for water, thinking I can wash down the half of a chicken wing that is lodged in my throat, but the water only exasperates everything that much more.

I look at Tate again and stand, pointing at my throat, unable to make a noise no matter how hard I try. Suddenly, his eyes are bulging out from their sockets, more than likely because my face is damn near certainly changing colors.

Tate doesn’t move, and instead stays frozen in his chair, bringing both of his hands to his mouth like he’s shocked that I’m dying in front of him.

Give me the fucking Heimlich and I won’t be! I want to scream.

Two strong arms grip around the center of my body, and an intense pressure in my upper abdomen rocks me forward—and out pops the chicken wing. It rolls across the table and lands right in front of Tate as a horrified expression spreads across his face. I quickly gasp in as much air as I possibly can and bend at the waist, losing myself in a coughing fit.

When I finally catch my breath and I’m no longer heaving like I just ran a marathon, I turn to face the person who saved me—expecting it to be some large, burly man—but no one’s here. 

“She’s right there,” Tate says, pointing toward a woman who turns at the last minute before leaving the restaurant, tipping her head to me and giving me a slight wave.

There are still nice people in the world. It’s refreshing. 

Now, back to business.

I clear my throat and dab at my face with my napkin as I sit back down. 

“Are you okay, babe?” Tate asks, and the only thing I can think about right now is having one less chicken wing. I’m hungry, the PMS is real, and those two seldom mix well. 

Will you marry me?

The words fell from his lips nonchalantly, easy as pie, like they don’t have the power to change the entire trajectory of both of our lives.

“That didn’t exactly go how I had planned it,” he says, staring at me over his plate of macaroni and mashed potatoes. 

How you planned it?

“Tate.” I rub my throat, trying to calm the daggers that shoot pain throughout it. My voice comes out hoarse, “Did you really just propose to me over chicken wings?”

Honestly, I wouldn’t marry Tate if my life depended on it. I actually planned on ending things with him tonight, over said chicken wings, because this just isn’t going anywhere. In the three months I’ve dated him, I just haven’t really felt that spark that’s necessary to continue on with a relationship. The fact that he just proposed to me after only three months of dating and when we are very clearly on very different pages, if not a completely different book all together, only signifies things.

Anytime I try to date someone for longer than a few dinners or a late-night rendezvous in my small New York City apartment, it ends up coming to an end like this. They want more, I just can’t get there. I’m not sure if I’m just not compatible with anyone here or if it has anything to do with the bar that was set years prior. Maybe my standards are just too high.

But I know that the man I want exists. 

I just can’t have him.


About the Author


Victoria Ellis, the founder of Cruel Ink Publishing, LLC, is a multi-genre author that publishes psychological thrillers, suspense, and romance novels. She is also the author of two poetry collections. She resides near Chicago, Illinois with her husband, seven month-old daughter, and an abundance of animals.


SOCIAL MEDIA:


Website: https://www.authorvictoriaellis.com 

Newsletter Signup: https://bit.ly/vellisnews 

Instagram: https://bit.ly/vellisig 

Facebook Page: https://bit.ly/vellisfb


You can read According to Plan for free in Kindle Unlimited, or purchase via her website or Amazon:

Signed Copies: https://www.authorvictoriaellis.com

Amazon: https://bit.ly/SHRBook2 


Monday, September 21, 2020

Here For You

 With: Pat Simmons

Giveaway Alert!


Emotional, poignant women’s fiction from acclaimed inspirational romance author Pat


Simmons featuring a hero and heroine who are better at taking care of other people than themselves, a dark moment that shakes their faith, and a profoundly satisfying happy ending.

Caregivers sometimes need a little TLC too.

Rachel Knicely’s life has been on hold for six months while she takes care of her great aunt, who has Alzheimer’s. Putting her aunt first was an easy decision—accepting that Aunt Tweet is nearing the end of her battle is far more difficult.

Nicholas Adams’s ministry is bringing comfort to those who are sick and homebound. He responds to a request for help for an ailing woman but when he meets the Knicelys, he realizes Rachel is the one who needs support the most. Nicholas is charmed by and attracted to Rachel, but then devastating news brings both a crisis of faith and roadblocks to their budding relationship that neither could have anticipated.

PAT SIMMONS is the author of more than thirty-five inspirational romances. She has worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. For fourteen years, she oversaw the media publicity for the RT Booklovers Convention. She lives with her husband in Florissant, Missouri.

Author Website: https://www.patsimmons.net/


Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NvTBvC

B&N: https://bit.ly/3ez4hpp

Apple: https://apple.co/380153s

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2EpBeHT

Bookshop: https://bit.ly/3dD15Ym

BAM: https://bit.ly/3jdSX4v

Excerpt: 

With Aunt Tweet gone, there would be no more ministerial visits. It was up to Rachel to do her own soul-searching, and she needed inspiration now more than ever to ease the hurt of her wounded spirit. 

She continued her stroll down one aisle of the parking lot, inhaling the unseasonably warm April air and gaining strength from the sunshine. Although her mind was drifting as she recalled happy times with her aunt, she heard footsteps behind her. 

“Rachel.” The voice was unmistakable. Had she conjured him up? A breeze brought a whiff of a familiar cologne to confirm Nicholas was nearby. 

She shaded her eyes from the sunlight with her hands until he stood 

within a few feet of her. She had never seen him dressed up before, and he was handsome beyond measure in a suit and tie. He looked serious until he caught her staring again, and he smiled. 

“I saw you step out. I wanted to check on you. Are you okay?” He frowned. 

“Will I ever be?” she said more to herself. “I was hoping no one saw me,” she said, “especially Jacqui.” 

“Yes, you will, and I did.” His voice was barely above a whisper. “I’m flying out in a few hours, but I would like to pray with you before I go.” Why did his words seem to lighten her burdens? “Thanks for coming here.” Rachel’s eyes watered, but she got a handle on her emotions. “I didn’t realize ministers attended the funerals, especially those who are out of town.”

“I wanted to be here for you. The location didn’t matter.”

“Thank you, Minister Adams.”

“Always Nicholas to you. I don’t need the title to do God’s work.” 

His words were kind and thoughtful.

“Okay.” She studied him, really looked at him. Was there a special lady in his life waiting for him to propose? If so, the woman had a keeper, Rachel thought as he watched her. 

Nicholas blinked first, then cleared his throat. “I called a couple of times to check up on you. Did you get my messages?” 

Rachel shrugged. “Jacqui has been checking messages, answering emails, and stuff. I’m sorry.” She bowed her head, embarrassed. 

“Hey.” That low voice of his gently commanded her to look at him. “I’m available to listen about anything whenever you want to talk.” 

He reached for her hands. His fingers were coarse but gentle. “Father, in the name of Jesus, let Rachel feel Your presence from this day forward. Comfort her when she’s lonely, and when she’s weak, give her strength. And let the memories of her aunt give her joy...” 

His words were like a balm to her spirit. Rachel whispered, “Amen,” with him when he finished. “Thank you.” 

“Anytime. Take time to heal emotionally and mentally. There’s no expiration date for the process, and remember what I said—if you call me, I’ll listen.” He frowned, and his stare was intense. “I mean that, Rachel,” he said and squeezed her hand. 

Although the gesture was comforting, Rachel yearned for a hug, one of those cocoon-type embraces where she could close her eyes and sigh as she snuggled. But she had no one to offer her that. 

When he released his hold, his eyes seemed to dance with amusement as he glanced down at her feet. “Oh, and I wouldn’t walk too far in those heels. My feet hurt even thinking about it.” He shivered, then chuckled before he swaggered away. 

“A man with a sense of humor.” Mirth stirred in her belly until a chuckle escaped her lips. He actually had made her laugh. 

Later that night, back at Tabitha and Marcus’s house in her old neighborhood, the sisters’ heels, dresses, and makeup came off. They lounged in the family room in their flannel pj’s, reminiscing about Aunt Tweet and the sizeable inheritance she had left them. 

Marcus entered the room. “Came to check on you ladies and give my wife this.” He leaned over the sofa and brushed a kiss against Tabitha’s lips. 

Rachel’s heart fluttered; she longed for that type of deep-rooted affection. The couple was a perfect match for each other. He had been Tabitha’s rock when she needed it. Aunt Tweet had been a handful while she stayed with Tabitha, but Marcus had somehow wormed his way into their lives and charmed her aunt and Tabitha too. 

“Okay, I came for what I needed. Carry on.” He grinned and ducked to escape the pillow Tabitha aimed at her new hubby’s head. 

When Tabitha faced her sisters, Rachel and Kym were smiling. 

“You’ve definitely got you a winner, Sis,” Kym said and sighed. “Honestly, I thought Rachel would beat us to the altar.” 

“Me too,” Tabitha agreed, “but I have no regrets about being first. Aunt Tweet harped on having no regrets, and I have none being Mrs. Marcus Whittington.” 

“I don’t know why you thought I would get hitched first.” Rachel shook her head. 

Kym gave her a surprised look. “Because you draw men like a car 

show—from your sultry voice to your calculated catwalk to your form- fitting fashions. You, dear baby sister, have men wrapped around your manicured finger.” 

“I think that was wishful thinking, but you don’t see any standing in line with a ring, do you?” Rachel challenged them. 

“Nicholas Adams might be a prospect. Marcus likes him, and he did make a special trip to be by your side during our sorrow.” Tabitha nodded. “And that man is downright good-looking.” 

“Nope.” Kym shook her head. “He’s hot—sizzling,” she teased. “He’s a minister. That’s what he does—prays and is there for people.” “I think you need to rethink that, because I would give that darker 

version of actor Daniel Supta a second look.”

“It’s Sunjata who played on Graceland, and both men are unmistakably handsome. I figured ministers are attracted to women of God like missionaries or evangelists, and as my two sisters have pointed out, I may have other men wrapped tight, but Nicholas—I mean—Minister Adams’s focus is on God’s work.” 

“If you say so,” Kym said and eyed Tabitha. “You may be part of his work in progress in a personal way.” 

Nicholas wasn’t interested in her in that way. He hadn’t asked for a date or dinner but offered her prayer, which, surprisingly, Rachel couldn’t get enough of, as if she were dying of thirst and hearing it quenched it.


***

Excerpted from Here for You by Pat Simmons. © 2020 by Pat Simmons. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

GIVEAWAY LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7963/?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A FAST WOMAN


Congratulations to "Hefleyl2169" and "Bn100", the winners in Laralyn's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!


A bold, female stock-car driver versus a charming, champion, male open-wheel driver…dangle a coveted contract and rev the engines with undeniable chemistry—A Fast Woman is an enemies-to-lovers story that will keep your heart racing.

Strap in—it’s a heck of a ride!

CJ Lomax
People called me a fast woman—not because I slept around—because I broke men’s hearts on the racetrack. While climbing up stock car’s highest level of racing, I learned three truths: Adrenaline was my drug of choice, wearing a pair of heels was a form of torture, and I didn’t have time for distractions—especially from men.
I had one goal—a Cup Series contract—and it was within my reach.
Until Grady McBane cut me off—sending me, and my dreams, into a tailspin.
His damn smile, his charm, his talent… his touch. My damn hormones overrode my focus.
Grady McBane
The moment the beautiful, spitfire CJ Lomax tripped into my arms, it felt right.
Then Karma stepped in and laughed—Redeeming my reputation meant ruining her dream.
Even though I needed the contract to salvage my career, I found myself chasing her instead of racing her.
Her focus, her sass, her grit…her passion. I wanted it—I wanted her.
How could we cross the finish line without wrecking each other’s hearts?


A Fast Woman
Excerpt
Grady casually put his hands in his jean pockets, rocking back on his feet and stood next to me, flashing everyone his devastating full smile. “You shouldn’t have said that about Dewey, you don’t want to ally yourself too closely with me. I’m a lightning rod when it comes to him.”
He shrugged. “He doesn’t scare me.”
Just look at him. How in his element he was—how sure of himself he was.
Then, there was me. Put me in the monster machine and I was a beast. Confident, strong. But here, on the outside of the machine, standing next to this man with his golden aura and oozing charm? My confidence was as small as my stature suggested. Did they know?
I turned my gaze from the myriad of faces and focused on his. He looked down at me. And I knew that would be the next photo to go viral.  The twinkle in his eye said he knew it, too.
But I wasn’t alone.
He turned to face me, and quiet enough so I was the only one who could hear, he said, “Let’s get you in our car.”
Damnit, I wanted to hug him.
Hug him. I wasn’t a hugger. I wasn’t even affectionate.
What the heck?
Maybe it was seeing the other drivers with their families and the thought of Tommy earlier. The thought of being a bit lonely.
Grady put his hand on my shoulder and the contact seared straight through me. It electrified me.
“Good luck, kick butt…run them over…put them in the wall…all that…” He lifted his hand as if to place it on my head before I stopped him.
“If you ruffle my hair, I’ll kick your butt right here on national TV.” I smiled and sweetly said it through clinched teeth and stepped on his foot to get my point across.
Just like that, he threw his head back and laughed.*


Laralyn Doran
Laralyn is a multi-award-winning writer of contemporary and urban fantasy romance. Her alter-ego is a proud special needs mom, and an autism and dyslexia awareness advocate who lives in Maryland—equidistant from the mountains and the beach—with her husband, children and three dogs. 
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A Fast Woman

*Excerpt modified for publication

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