Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Under a Texas Star



Texas Hearts Book Nine
UNDER A TEXAS STAR

Military hero Tom Garrison is an expert in high intensity emergency situations. But after years of military service, all he wants to do is hide from the world. When single mom Jenna Atkins bangs on his door in the middle of the night begging for his help for her sick young son, Tom can't ignore it. He flies Jenna and her son to an emergency center that can help the sick child, but can he just walk away? Despite his efforts, Jenna and Brian capture his heart—just as he captures theirs. Both Jenna and Tom have battled life's surprises and been touched by tragedy.. Can they overcome the past to open their hearts to love again?

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Excerpt

“Please open up! It’s a matter of life and death!” Jenna Atkins, panting from her run through the rain, listened for movement inside the farmhouse. She hoped that the little slice of light she’d seen when she’d driven by at this late hour meant that her new neighbors had moved in and that they were awake.

If she’d been just a little closer to the Silverado Cattle Company ranch, she would have called on the Gentrys for help because she’d known the family her whole life and knew they’d help.  But the run down the road and then up their long driveway was too far.  This small ranch, which had been empty for several years, was much closer.

With the heel of her wet palm, she banged on the door again and waited, peeking through the sheer curtain for signs of movement. Cupping her hands against the windowpane, she strained to see. There was still a light on inside. Someone had to be awake.

Finally, the thud of feet hitting the floor let Jenna know she’d been heard. Her lips quivered and her body trembled from the cold seeping into her bones. She had only a moment to notice the curtain in the porch window lifting and then falling back into place before the person suddenly disappeared from view.

Within seconds the porch light blazed and the door swung open wide. Shielding her eyes from the sudden blast of light, she found a man standing at the thresh¬old, taking up every inch of space in the doorway with intimidating height that was only slightly less menacing than his eyes. She couldn’t make out their color, but the dark outline that puffed beneath them was telling, letting her know she’d interrupted his sleep. His dusty blue sweatshirt was slightly hiked up on one side. He probably wasn’t even fully awake.

Guilt invaded her, but she instantly pushed it aside. Her baby needed her.

“Please, help me. It’s an emergency!”


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Friday, December 8, 2017

HEART BEAT 2 is on sale at @iBooks and @Kobo!

HEART BEAT 2 Boxed Set 4-6 is on SALE at Kobo Books and iBooks!!!  The regular retail price for HEART BEAT 2 Boxed Set 4-6 is $9.99, but right now it's on sale at Kobo and iBooks for just $4.99 and on sale at Amazon for $8.99.  

I didn't want to let this sale pass without letting everyone know about it.  We're all so busy with shopping and getting ready for the holidays that it's always nice to take some down time for ourselves.  Why not do it and save?



   (Use Code GIFT50 at Checkout)

For those of you who buy from Barnes and Noble for your Nook, never fear.  You can still buy HEART BEAT 2 Boxed Set 4-6 at the discounted $4.99 price buying it from either Kobo Books or from iBooks.  Then you can side load the book to your Nook because all three eReaders use an ePub file.  OR you can download the Kobo eReader App here: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/apps
 



If you haven't had a chance to get HEART BEAT 1 Boxed Set 1-2, you can order it at all retailers for $4.99.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Lone Star Lady



Texas Hearts Book Eight
LONE STAR LADY

Taos, New Mexico wasn't far enough from home for Theresa Morales to run to. But this Texas girl didn't think there was anything that could wipe away the pain of her mistakes, even in the arms of Dr. Dennis Harrington the local doctor at the Taos ski resort where she sought refuge. But the past quickly caught up to her when a local kid, Dennis's nephew, becomes traumatized by a fatal New Year's Eve accident that has left him feeling responsible. Dennis couldn't deny he was immediately taken by Theresa the moment they'd met. But the accident that pulled him away from the New Year's Eve gala where he'd danced with her and held her close, had change things for all of them. Now he's desperate for Theresa to help for his nephew, who is so fragile he fears the worst. The sadness Dennis sees in Theresa's brown eyes tells him she's running from something that happened in Texas. Something she can't face. When the past comes back and Theresa heals enough to return to Texas, will it leave both of them brokenhearted?

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Excerpt

New Year’s Day

“I didn’t know who else to go to. I really need your help.”

Teresa Morales listened to Dr. Dennis Harrington’s words as she sat curled up on the soft beige sofa in the lodge at the Taos Falls Mountain Ski Resort. The fire in the huge granite fireplace in the center of the room was burning hot—almost too hot for her comfort. Or maybe that was just her anxiety kicking in. This was supposed to be her vacation. No one was supposed to need her help here.

She bookmarked the page in the book she had been reading before Dennis’s abrupt arrival and closed it, setting it aside on the end table. With a swift motion, she untangled one long leg out from underneath her and brusquely hit her bare feet to the wide pine floor with a dull thud. If this was his idea of a joke, she wasn’t laughing.

“Dennis, I’m just a tourist here. What help could I possibly give you?”

“Last night...” His voice trailed off. His face looked stricken, and Teresa knew he wasn’t talking about the New Year’s Eve party they’d both attended—or the dance they’d shared. No, he was referring to what had happened afterward—the reason behind the beeper call that had pulled him out of her arms and away from the party after their dance. The horrible car crash on the bridge just a few hundred yards from the ski resort had been the only topic of conversation throughout Taos Falls today.

“I’m not sure you understand how severe the accident that took place last night really was.”

“I do,” she countered sympathetically. “I could see the whole awful mess right upstairs from my window after I left the party. And I saw what was left of it once the fog lifted this morning. Anyone with a condo facing the west side of the mountain had to have seen and heard what was going on after midnight. It must have been horrible.”

It was human nature to be curious in the wake of flashing emergency lights and sirens, and she certainly had been. After Dennis had left the New Year’s Eve party, she’d returned to her room intending to go to sleep. But the flashing lights below had drawn Teresa to the window. She’d stared wide-eyed into the night as the snow fell like ash from the dark sky. There were so many lights, so many emergency vehicles.

She hadn’t been able to bring herself to close the curtains, to shield herself from what little she could see through the snow. Soon after the storm subsided, the flashing red, white and blue lights still screamed out into what had been a festive evening. Dragging herself away from what was happening down in the valley didn’t seem right. She’d felt she couldn’t leave the window until the last tow truck had pulled away. The last of the vehicles, the one that had plunged into the icy water, had been the last to be towed away.

Five months ago, she probably would have been right out there on that road along with the rescue workers, trying to offer what help she could. As far as she knew, Dennis’s clinic didn’t have a psychologist on staff. Though she specialized in dealing with children, with her training and experience, she could have been there for the victims, for their families, helping them cope with the tragedy surrounding them.

At one time, maybe Teresa could have done some good. Her gentle guidance might have made a difference between choosing to deal with painful truths or run from them. Now she was the one who was running—running from the events that had shattered her confidence and from the tormenting truth that she had failed.

He shrugged. “It was a tough night. I’ll give you that.”

She was sure it’d been more than just tough for Dennis. He was the only doctor in town—the clinic that he ran was the only medical facility in nearly fifty miles. He’d probably been up all night tending to the victims of the accident.


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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Wedding Dress



Texas Hearts Book Seven
THE WEDDING DRESS

Eight years ago, Hannah Ward thought she’d found the perfect wedding dress to wear when she and her childhood sweetheart, Dane Bancroft, decided to elope right after graduation. But instead of walking down the aisle like she dreamed of, she was not only outbid on the wedding dress at the auction by an old billionaire who didn’t need the wedding dress like she did, but she never ended up getting married. Needing to escape Dane after the break-up, she enlisted in the military and left Liberty, Texas behind. But now she’s back, and not only does she have to face Dane, the deputy sheriff in town, but she’s just been willed the very wedding dress that was supposed to be the beginning of her and Dane’s happy life together. Can they both get a second chance so she can finally wear the wedding dress of her dreams and marry the only man she’s ever really loved?

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Excerpt

It was just a box with fabric inside.

Hannah gazed at the white box that had come with the letter with longing for time that has long since passed her by. Although she’d stared at the dress in the auction catalogue for hours before deciding to drive to San Antonio more than ten years ago, she’d only seen that wedding dress up close for just a few minutes before it had been snatched away from her by the higher bidder.

She was a smart women. She didn’t need the dress. Or the memories that were now tumbling through her mind. Good and bad, they were all there together. The wedding dress had been the start of it all. And the end.

Sighing, she got up from the bed and walked over to the box that sat like a tangled blanket at the foot of the bed after a rough night of sleep. The wide white organza ribbon was tied tightly around the box to keep it secure and then knotted into a pretty bow on top. With a quick tug of the organza, the ribbon untied and fell to each side of the box.

Her heart pounded as her fingers felt for the edges of the box. She didn’t want to see the dress. Not really. Why was she doing this? She should just put it in her car and drive right over to the consignment shop in the next town and let someone else buy the dress for their wedding. Get rid of it. Get rid of the memory.

She lifted the top of the box off and placed it carefully on the bed next to the box. Pink and white tissue paper covered the contents, keeping her from seeing inside.

“Ugh. For a soldier who has spent the last eight years in combat boots and fatigues, you’re being a wimp, Hannah.”

She reached for the tissue paper, then quickly stopped and looked at her hands, turning them over. Most days her hands were covered with grease and oil from working on a plane engine. Today her hands were clean. Even her fingernails showed the white half-moon nails that were clean.

Hannah held her breath as she pushed aside the tissue paper and had her first glimpse of the dress. A lump lodged in her throat as she thought of the day of the auction nearly ten years ago. This was supposed to be her wedding dress. If she’d married Dane back then, she would have worn this dress. Who knew what their lives would be like now? Maybe they’d have a house and a few kids. That had been her dream.

Taking a deep breath, she slipped out of her T-shirt, then unbuttoned her cut off shorts and let them drop to the floor. She carefully lifted the sleeveless dress out of the box, holding it by the shoulders and letting the fabric drop to the floor. There were a million buttons in the back and she knew she’d have a hard time fastening them all. But she had to see what she looked like in the dress.

It had haunted her all these years. Deep down, she hope when she put it on, she’d hate it. It would look ugly on her or wouldn’t fit right in the boobs. Or it would make her hips look as wide as Texas. She look at herself and hate it so much that what happened with Dane when she’d left Liberty would finally fade into the back of her mind and she could move on.

It took a while, but when the last button was fastened, she walked across the room to the mirror and looked at her reflection.

“This never would have fit me like this ten years ago,” Hannah said, staring at herself in the standing mirror. But now, it fit perfect. It was as if she needed to grow out of the young girl’s body and become the woman she was now in order for it to fit.

Tears filled her eyes but she refused to let them fall. Reaching behind her to undo the first button, she muttered, “It would have been nice.”

A gust of breeze came in through the open window. Along with it, Hannah heard the sound of male voices talking. Jackson had gone out for a ride earlier with Cole. There were other ranch hands here now.

Her stomach dropped. It wasn’t just Cole or Jackson. If she lived a thousand years, Hannah would always recognize the deep timber of Dane Bancroft’s voice.

Still wearing the dress, Hannah rushed to the window and pulled back the curtain just enough to see outside. She groaned.

“You would have to show up today. Of all days,” Hannah muttered to herself as her heart pounded in her chest. She gazed down from the window to the dirt driveway below. Dane Bancroft stood next to Jackson, talking about something interesting that made them both laugh.

He was as tall as Jackson, but he wasn’t the straight up and down young man she remembered. His police uniform did little to show off the muscles she knew were under his shirt.

Just when she thought she couldn’t take anymore, Dane lifted his face up in the direction of the window. Their eyes locked for a brief moment. It took a few seconds, but then he smiled, making Hannah’s heart remember what it was like to be close to him. To have his arms around her and love her the way he used to. She actually sighed.

Damn him.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: His Texas Heart



Texas Hearts Book Six
HIS TEXAS HEART

Time was running out for Cole Rivers.  He may not have been born in the United States, but Texas was the only place he'd ever called home.  He had just weeks to find the proof he needed, or risk being deported.  All he needed was a little help from the daughter of the local doctor who'd treated him years ago.  He didn't count on Dr. RaeAnne Daniels being so difficult to work with.  But despite his own troubles, and the distraction this beautiful woman became with each passing day, how could he leave her in her time of need?

RaeAnne Daniels never knew why it was so important for her father had set up his medical practice on the border of Mexico instead of working in a thriving Texas city like the one she practiced in.  But when her father died and left RaeAnne in charge of cleaning up his office, she found it hard to leave the border town and people she'd always resented growing up.  Cole Rivers had been her father's patient and he had problems of his own.  The break-ins at her father's clinic and the drugs being stolen were her problem.  But that didn't stop her from falling for the devastatingly handsome cowboy with a heart of gold...or stop him from showing her how wonderful true love could really be.

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Excerpt

“The office is closed. Unless it’s an emergency, you’ll have to come back in the morning.”

The woman calling out to him was clearly annoyed by the after-hours intrusion. And who could blame her? It was a hundred and fifteen degrees outside and probably just as hot inside. But a closed door had never stopped Cole Rivers before. The truth was, he’d lived a lifetime with doors slamming in his face.

Undaunted, Cole stepped into the office and took a quick look around. He had no memory of ever being here, although if today were his lucky day, he’d find evidence to prove it.

The sound of tools being hastily moved around in a box pulled his attention to the back room. He slowly walked down the narrow hall toward the source of the noise. That’s when he saw the woman.

“Air conditioning out?”

Startled, the woman turned around quickly and fell on her backside from the crouched position she’d been in.

Looking up at him through the sweaty hair that had fallen in front of her face, she said, “You wouldn’t happen to be an electrician, would you?”

“No.”

She heaved a sigh as her shoulders sagged. “I was all ready to barter services with you if you were. Sorry, the office is closed.”

“I heard you from the other room,” he said.

She pushed her hair away from her face and tilted an eyebrow. “And you decided to ignore me and come in anyway?”

“That’s right.”

She grunted her frustration. “Look, I’m really busy. If this isn’t an emergency, I really need you to come back tomorrow.”

“What’s wrong with the unit?”

She squinted her dark eyes, making them even harder for Cole to see them. “Excuse me?”

“Your air conditioner, what’s wrong with it?”

“If I knew that, I could fix it. But right now it’s all guesswork.”

“Mind if I have a look?”

“You said you’re not an electrician.”

“I’m a jack-of-all-trades, also known as a ranch hand. I’ve fixed everything from tractor motors to washing machines when I had to.”

“Really?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She took a step aside. “Be my guest then.”

He looked down at the box on the floor and picked up a butter knife with a mangled tip, most likely the result of using it as a makeshift screwdriver.

“It helps when you actually have tools to work with.”

She cocked her head to one side. “You don’t say? It also helps when you have a medical practice that actually has patients who can pay their bills. But since this isn’t one of them, we make do with what we have.”

Cole felt his lips lift to a smile despite her sarcasm and the uncomfortable temperature inside the building. He liked her spirit. Up close, he decided he liked the woman’s full lips, too. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d noticed golden flex in a woman’s eyes, but she had them as well, and they were a sharp contrast to her eye’s dark brown color.

“Do you have a name to go with all that sass or do you just scare people off before they have a chance to find out?”

She gave him a bashful smile. “Rae, ah, Dr. RaeAnne Daniels.”

“I see. I’m going to need a little room here to pull this apart. Do you mind taking a few steps back, Rae?”

She moved out of his way. Cole brushed against her leg as he got into position in front of the air conditioner.

Using the butter knife, he unfastened the screws on the front of the air conditioner unit and put them in his pocket for safekeeping. “Good Lord, when was the last time you cleaned this filter?”

Her face turned crimson. “I’m guessing it’s been a long time. I don’t know how often my father did it but he passed away last year. I’ve been working at the Hawk Pass clinic a few months digging out, ur, through his files.”

He gave her a half grin. “Well, if this isn’t the problem, it’s certainly contributed to it. Do you have a vacuum?”

“Yes, in the closet. Let me get it.”

Cole took the few minutes it took for Rae to collect the vacuum to inspect the innards of the air conditioner. She came back with the small vacuum that was probably about as old as she was, and had seen better days.

“Have you cleaned out the bag in this thing?”

She cocked her head to one side again and gave him a sarcastic look. “This morning.” Then she made a face. “I was sucking up spider webs in the back room.”

“At least we know the vacuum works.”

Rae plugged in the vacuum and Cole went to work sucking out all the dust that was impeding airflow from the air conditioner. When he was done, he gave the inside a quick inspection to make sure no wires were pulled away. Then he popped the cover back on and turned the unit on.

A small amount of residue dust blew out through the vents as it turned on. Within a minute, it was pushing out cool air along with the dust.

After the dust cleared, Rae bent down and put her face in the stream of air and quickly pulled back.

“It smells awful.”

“I’d say it’s time to get a new unit.”

“Unfortunately, that’s not in the cards right now. This practice isn’t exactly making a profit.”

“It’s working now but I can’t guarantee it’s going to make it for very long.”

“I’ll squeeze as much time out of it as I can. Thank you so much for doing this. I was about ready to take a sledge hammer to it.”

She rushed to the door of the small room they were in and closed it. “This should help it cool down quickly. I might actually be able to get some work done.”

Turning to Cole, she said, “I can’t thank you enough.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Now, what was so urgent that you needed to see a doctor after hours?”

“I don’t actually need a doctor. I needed to talk to Dr. Raymond Daniels.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I was one of your father’s patients.”

She pulled back slightly, surprised by his admission. “Oh, it must have been a long time ago.”

“Yes, it was.”

It may have been a year ago that her father died, but the emotion was still very strong and showed in her expression when she talked of him.

Cole did his best to squash down his disappointment. It paled in comparison to her loss.

“I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sorry for your loss,” he said.

“Thank you. I don’t know if there is anything I can do to help you.”

“I was hoping he’d remember me. But since he’s passed away, I guess I’m out of luck.”


* * *

Terrific. She’d been down in this godforsaken border town for two months and she had yet to meet a single person who’d been born in this country. She looked at the man’s face. She’d been drawn to his dark eyes from the moment she’d looked at him. He was a handsome man, but in a rugged sort of way that she wasn’t used to. Unlike most of the men she’d met during med school and her residency, this man was an outdoor man. His skin was bronzed from the sun and his hands—yes, she’d noticed them, too—were calloused on the palms. He wasn’t afraid of hard work.

But that didn’t make him like all the other people she’d met since she’d arrived in Hawk Pass. Maybe he wasn’t from around here.

Rae crossed her arms over her chest and sighed, trying not to show the impatience she felt. Her practice these days consisted of patients who wanted to pay for their services through bartering. She didn’t need a goat, not that anyone had offered. But she did need someone to help her repair the damage neglect and age had caused to the building.

The only problem was she couldn’t trust any of the people who’d walked through that door to help her do it. Most of the people who’d come and gone wanted day work and a paycheck. The next day they were a no show on the job, leaving her with a mess bigger than the one she’d had when she’d arrived.

“I’m sorry for your troubles. I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do to help you.”

“On the contrary. I was told that your father, Dr. Daniels, was one of the few border doctors who kept meticulous records of all of his patients. I’m hoping I can get copies of my medical file, if it still exists.”

“Who told you something like that?”

“I’ve done my research. It doesn’t matter who told me.”

“What matters to me is that if someone is out there spreading rumors, I want to know who it is. If I’m to be of any use to anyone at this clinic, then I need to know what’s going on down here.”

“You mean your father never told you?”

Irritation bubbled up inside of her. Secrets and more secrets. How many times had she heard her mother ask her father about the time he spent here only to have him close himself off. Her father had lived a lifetime of secrets, and she and her mother paid the cost.

No, her father had never thought revealing his life here was necessary. He’d encouraged Rae to go into medicine. That is, when she saw him. And that wasn’t very often at all. Why her mother had stayed married to him all those years, Rae never understood.

But Rae knew the answer to that question all too well. Her parents had loved each other. She’d seen it with her own two eyes. When they were together, it had been like nothing Rae had ever seen with any other couple she’d met. It was something she longed for herself, but had yet to feel.

“My father ran this clinic his way. I do things a little different. When was it that you last saw my father?”

“It was a long time ago. I was still very young. I was counting on him still having the records though.”

Rae knew that if this man had actually been here any time during the thirty plus years her father had his practice, it meant those records were here somewhere. Her father never threw out anything, which is why the place was such a mess. Finding those files was just a matter of unearthing them from “the vault”.

“I’m sorry. I can’t help you. I have way too much work to do to get this office looking anything that resembles a real clinic and right now I’m all there is. I just can’t spare the time to look through the files unless they are from my father’s current clients.”

He considered her for a moment.

“It is really important that I have access to those records if they exist.”

“I understand. My father had a lot of patients. Thousands. The vault, uh, the storage locker has records from years ago. But my father’s only obligation was to keep records for his current patients. I’m sorry. There’s just too much work for me to do around here to go searching for ancient records.”

“What do you need to have done here?”

“Excuse me?”

“What do you need to do to get this place running?”

“Well, for starters I need to make repairs to the building. I need to find a contractor who can work for next to nothing and work miracles with the materials I have and then show up every day to work instead of disappearing on me after a day’s work. I need to log what is here and still in working order and then order new supplies, that is, if I can afford them. The windows in the back of the exam rooms need to be glazed because the office was broken into. Oh, and I have to find some money somewhere to get an alarm system put in so the clinic doesn’t get broken into again. And that’s just for starters. So you see—”

“Done.”

She blinked. “What?”

“I can make a list of the repairs that need to be made to the building and start working on them tomorrow. If you already have the glass for the windows, I can glaze them. I don’t know anything about alarm systems but I’m sure we can find someone within a twenty mile radius of Hawk Pass who knows a thing or two about them, or where to get someone who can install one.”

She shook her head as disbelief filled her. “Why are you doing this?”

“I need that file. Sooner rather than later would be best.”

He spoke directly and soberly.

“How soon?”

“Fifteen days.”

“So no rush then?”

He smiled then, although she was sure he found no amusement in his situation.

“I’m good with a hammer. I’ve done ranch work for years. And I’m the best price in town.”

She shrugged with a smile. “And what’s that?”

“Can’t get any better than free.”

Rae took a slow look around the office. It was a mess. She’d been here two months and although it looked far better on the inside than it had been when she’d arrived, the exterior was still a disaster. She needed to step up her game and get the clinic open again. She needed patients who could pay and make this a thriving practice.

On his deathbed, her father had begged Rae to give one year to the clinic, sort out what she could, and then see about getting another doctor in to replace her when the year was up. Filled with despair over losing her father, she’d made a promise to him to commit to a year. And each day of the two months she’d been here, she’d wondered why he gave up life with his family for this.

“I guess you can start by telling me your name.”

Rae was rewarded with a wide smile that hinted of the playfulness of a young boy. But this was no boy. This man with dark eyes and rich brown hair that made a woman’s fingers itch to comb through it was probably about her age. His shoulders stretched the fabric of his shirt tight against a wall of muscles on his chest. It annoyed her that she’d noticed at all.

Dark eyes. Warm eyes.

“I’m Cole Rivers.” He held out his hand and waited for her to slip her hand against his palm. The simple act of flesh on flesh made her head dizzy. As a doctor, she touched strangers all day long. But this was…different.

“Pleased to meet you, Cole Rivers.”



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Friday, November 17, 2017

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Good Reads Review

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