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Monday, November 23, 2020

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

 Everyone is wrapping packages and mailing them to relatives and friends, especially this Christmas when Covid makes it hard or unsafe to be with our families. And the post office has some problems now so everyone is trying to get the packages off early. 

But as crazy as all of this it, things regarding the post office have been crazier in the past. It’s hard to believe but in 1913, a little over 100 years ago, when the parcel post service began in the US, people mailed babies. At least two children were mailed with stamps stuck on their clothes. I swear I’m not making this up. There’re actually pictures of mail carriers with children they delivered.

This inspires all sorts of ideas for books, especailly steampunk stories or those set in the early 1900s. A child could be sent by mail by the mother to the baby’s father, who didn’t know about the baby. A child could mail themselves to the North Pole so they could see Santa and get all the toys. A runaway child could even stamp themselves to go out west for adventure. A child could get delivered to the wrong address.

Western mail order brides could actually be sent by mail with stamps on their dresses or foreheads.  A mail order bride could be delivered to the wrong man. Instead of a train to deliver mail you can use an airship or a mail balloon to send stamped people about. And you certainly don’t have to keep this practice in the Edwardian era, you can move it to the Victorian era wild west.

A mailed woman or child could end up riding pillion with a pony express rider through Indian country. They could even ride on a stagecoach that carries mail.  If the train, stage or airship is held up by outlaws and a mailed person is taken as a hostage is that tampering with US mail? Would the Calvary be brought in to recover the stolen person or rather package? The ideas are endless.

Wood Guthrie wrote a cute song about this practice of mailing children.

This practice of mailing children is definitely one of those what were they thinking scenarios. In this case, what they were thinking was how to do something cheaper. How to get out of the cost of an expensive train ticket. The how to do something cheaper thought process often causes people to do strange things. As a writer, you can always use that idea for one of your characters and as a reader, it's a fun premise to read. ; It might be a challenge to come up with something crazier than mailing children but if you can think of it chances are someone has actually done it. For many people cheaper and easier seems to outweigh unresponsible and dangerous and leads people to make some pretty foolish mistakes. Also characters who always try to do things on the cheap can be fun for readers to read and for writers to create. 

And if you like to read Steampunk or Victorian comedy romance, here are two of mine that fit the bill.

The Brass Octopus

Spinster Librarian Piety Plunkett is happy alone with her books, until … 
Piety's sister transforms her with a bras octopus beautifying machine. With her new look, the librarian catches the lusty attentions of London’s most notorious rogue. Blake Blackmore enjoys the favors of beautiful women from the brothels of London to high society’s most fashionable debutantes but only the spinster librarian consumes his mind night and day. Piety insists she will not wed but devote her life to her position as head librarian, but Blake will stop at nothing to win her. He takes matters into his own hands and tutors her in carnal pleasure in three passion filled lessons. Now that she is sharing her body, instead of just her books, Piety is shocked yet pleased at how naughty she can be under Blake’s personal tutelage. But if anyone finds out about what goes on in the library after closing time, her reputation would be ruined. Is that Blake’ ultimate plan?

To Love A London Ghost

A Wild Ghost Chase
Queen Victoria orders the premiere phantom hunter, Sexton Dukenfield, to track down England’s missing ghosts. On the job, Sexton stumbles into Ceridwen, a phantom Celtic warrior woman. Not only does Sexton find her intriguing as a clue to the missing spirits, her sultry beauty haunts him as well. Though they both burn with desire, it’s difficult to quench their fiery passion since Ceridwen is so translucent.

On a mission through the bustling narrow streets of London, to a dreary match factory, and to the Otherworld and back to stop a genius scientist and his phantasm debilitater machine, the ghost and the ghost hunter also seek the secret …to freeing the boundaries of life and death. Is it possible…or just a wild ghost chase?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Milestones

 

Today is my birthday. It’s always a milestone to celebrate another year. I’m healthy and have a wonderful family, so life is good. I usually make it a weeklong event. Okay, sometimes a month long one. It’s the simple things that make me happy. I’ll have a small cake, or a large cupcake, depending on my mood. I’ll buy a book, maybe visit a favorite store and treat myself to a small treasure. I’ll also look at the past year and see how I’ve changed and grown and contemplate the coming year.

 

I’ve recently celebrated another milestone—16 years as a published author and 106 books. October 27, 2020 marked 16 years since my first book Annabelle Lee (now available as Uncovering Annabelle) was released by Ellora’s Cave. It’s been a wild journey, filled with huge ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have missed a moment of it. I’m looking forward to what the next year brings.

 


And the release of IVAR’S ESCAPE, book 2 of the Assassins of Gravas series, earlier this month, makes it 107 books. I’m sharing a teaser below.

 

The American Thanksgiving is in a few days. Have a safe and wonderful holiday with your family and friends.

 

Ivar’s Escape

Assassins of Gravas, Book 2

 

Ivar el Gravaso—a prince of Gravas—wakes in a prison cell with no idea how he got there or even who he is. If his captor can’t get answers from Ivar, his days are numbered. When a strange woman sneaks into the prison and promises to get him out, he’s suspicious. Is this nothing more than another trick by his captor or is she truly there to help?

Delphi is an assassin sent by the Gravasian government to infiltrate the space pirate stronghold of Tortuga in search of the missing prince. She finds a prisoner who is well-spoken, knowledgeable, and ready to fight, even though he has no idea who he is. He might be her target. It’s difficult to tell due to his ragged appearance. But no way can she leave him behind, no matter who he is.

 

TEASER:

 

“I’m going to get you out of here.” Her words sent warmth to his heart.

 

“It’s too dangerous.” It was a miracle she hadn’t been found out.

 

“I won’t be caught. And if I am, I’m not without skills.”

 

He shook his head, not sure if she could see him. “The guards don’t have blasters, but they have knives and clubs and they’re big bastards.”

 

“And I’m deadlier than I look.” The air in front of him stirred as her dark hand came toward him. He flinched before he could stop himself. When she started to withdraw, he grabbed her fingers. She curled them into his, squeezing gently. “I’m going to get you out of here.”

 

The promise sank into his bones, strengthening them, firing his determination. “You can’t risk yourself. I don’t have much time left. Balthazar wants information I can’t give him. Even if I could remember it, I wouldn’t.”

 

“Not even to save yourself?”

 

He shook his head. “No, honor is everything.” He’d said it without thinking. It was part of the very fabric of his being. “Family and honor is all.”

 

Her fingers tightened around his. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ivar.”

 

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MDXY2PP/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1052405

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ivar-s-escape

Evernight Publishing: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/ivars-escape-by-n-j-walters/

 

 


 

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

                   

Visit me at:

Website: http://www.njwalters.com

Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com

Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/gdblg5

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

 

 

Welcome to Sweet and Sexy Divas & This Week's Word

Hello Fans and Friends of Sweet and Sexy Divas, 

I like to post new words for everyone to learn. Whether you're a reader or a writer, we can all extend our knowledge by learning new words. Visuals help too. I hope you'll be able to use This Week's Word in your writing . . . or, if you're a reader, when you come across the word in a book you can say, "Hey, I know what that word means!

 


Hoise

Verb [hoyz]


Lift, raise, especially to raise into position by or as if by means of tackle.

You'll rarely encounter hoise in any of its regular forms: hoise, hoised, or hoising. But a variant of its past participle shows up fairly frequently as part of a set expression. That variant past participle is hoist. The expression is hoist with (or by) one's own petard, which means victimized or hurt by one's own scheme. This phrase owes it popularity to Shakespeare's Hamlet."For 'tis the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petar(d)." A petard is a medieval explosive.

Oh, and if you're playing scrabble this word is worth 7 points! How about that.

* * * * * * *

I'd like to share with you one of most recent contemporary romance novellas - TRUTH OR DAIRE.

About the book: (for a few more days, this book is available in KDP

When the unthinkable happens and Cagney Kissler discovers her boyfriend, Daire Bembry, is a lying, two-timing cheater, she tosses him out on his a** and heads to Florida to mend her fractured heart.

The Villa Bay Resort is everything her best friend, Lily, told her it would be, and more. But the trendy, popular bar at the resort, known as Sleazy Swallows, is a little more than Cagney can stomach.

On her way out the door, she meets someone who shares her reservations about public sexual-indulgence. Evan might be just what she’s looking for, and even if he isn’t, she’ll show her ex the true meaning of Truth or Daire.

Stand-alone erotic romance. Happy Ending
 


AMAZON KDP

Thanks so much for visiting Sweet and Sexy Divas. Check my post out again next month for another 'This Week's Word". Remember, knowledge is power!

In the meantime, stay safe and most of all, healthy!

Follow me here on the Net

Twitter: http:/www/twitter.com/ketadiablo

Author Home: https://www.ketadiablo.com


 

Wild Mustang Security Firm rides again plus a FREE book

 

Hampton

He loves the chase...

 

John Hampton is a US Marshal on the way home from an extended fugitive retrieval assignment. When he stops in at his favorite steakhouse he finds that what he wants most … isn’t on the menu.

 

Mandy Adams wasn't looking for love, least of all at work. She's not only surprised at John's attention but also her quickly developing feelings. John is on the fast-track to claiming Mandy as his own, but Mandy balks at the bossy marshal and flees when her feelings for him threaten to overwhelm her.

 

Apparently, she isn’t aware that a marshal’s tenacity in running down a target isn’t limited only to fugitives, but to naughty females as well. He soon has both sets of her cheeks blushing from his attention.

 

But when the chase is over, will Mandy still be able to resist his brand of courtship?

 

FREE on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08N17HV5Y


Mac

She got away once ...
He'll make sure this time she is thoroughly reclaimed.


When US Marshal Ethan McDaniel is sent to Arizona on a fugitive retrieval assignment, he is confronted by his former love, Willa Reynolds.

 

Sparks fly when Willa becomes a material witness and must submit to Mac’s authority as her protector.

 

It isn’t long before Mac asserts his dominance in all areas of their renewed relationship...and Willa realizes that being claimed by the marshal is all she ever wanted.

 

Publishers note: Mac was previously published as Reclaiming Willa. It has been expanded and updated.

 

Available on Amazon and in KU - https://www.amazon.com/Mac-Wild-Mustang-Security-Firm-ebook/dp/B08MXWGDLX/


About the Author:

If you're looking for paranormal, dark and contemporary western erotic romance, you've found your new favorite author!

FREE books anyone?

Delta James has four or more novellas per year for her VIP readers group. Want yours? Copy and paste this link in your browser!

https://www.subscribepage.com/VIPlist22019
Alpha heroes find real love with feisty heroines in USA Today Best Selling Author Delta James' sinfully sultry romances. Welcome to a world where true love conquers all and good triumphs over evil! Delta's stories are filled with erotic encounters of romance and discipline.

Delta is always happy to hear from her readers and responds personally. Reach out today!

 


Friday, November 20, 2020

NEW RELEASE! Gentleman Sadist


 

Good morning everyone!

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to share not only this cover, but the links to Gentleman Sadist with you today. Michele and I have been quietly working on this book for months. And, so far, the reviews have proven all of our hard work has paid off. Will and Robert's story wasn't easy to write. We had to dig into Will to get an emotional response from him. Robert on the other hand, was kind of easy. He's like an open book, you just have to find the right buttons to push and let's just say, Will pushes all of them. lol

Michele and I really do hope you enjoy Robert and Will's book, now stick around for a sneak peek at the first chapter of Gentleman Sadist. 

Available at Amazon KU

Blurb: 

One incident changed Will Ander’s life forever...

As the Assistant Curator for the Tampa Bay Museum of Art, Will thought he had it all. A great job, a boyfriend he adored, and friends and family he could count on whenever he needed them. But, on the worst day of his life, the facade came crumbling down, exposing the truth. His life was a sham. The home he built with his partner had been made of cards and it was collapsing all around him.

FBI Agent Robert Famosa loved his job on the Art Theft Task Force. When the call comes in that another piece of precious art had been stolen—the sixteenth in the last year and a half—he’d been even more determined to solve the case and bring the perpetrator to justice, no matter the cost. What he hadn’t been expecting was the amber-eyed Assistant Curator stealing his heart.

A change of pace...

No matter how hard Will tried to forget about the delicious agent who made his heart trip a beat, he couldn’t. After a chance meeting, Will steps back into the BDSM lifestyle, something he swore up and down wasn’t for him. However, with Master Robert’s guidance, Will’s fears turn into pleasures as he re-explores his sexuality.

The truth comes out...

After another burglary’s reported, Will must face his past, if he wants to have a future with Agent Famosa. But when the truth is revealed, will Robert be accepting of Will’s transgressions, or will the FBI Agent walk away, leaving Will to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, once more?

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Robert Famosa stopped his primer black Ducati Streetfighter 848 at the caution tape line and grabbed his badge clipped to his jeans. Flicking up the visor on his helmet, he peered at the unfolding scene with a critical eye. “Agent Famosa, FBI.” He showed his shield to the bored officer who stood a little taller when he noticed the insignia engraved on the gold plated metal. After the officer lifted the tape, Robert dropped the bike into gear and drove the short distance to his new crime scene, the Tampa Bay Art Museum.

The call had come in as he'd gotten out of the shower. Someone had taken an expensive piece of art from the museum—the third one in less than three weeks—the sixteenth in the last six months. Besides the basic rundown about the incident, the only information he had was the name of the assistant curator and the building's address. Tampa had one art museum and it wasn't even a large one, considering all of the other places the thieves had struck. It got Robert's mind churning while he drove, in rush hour traffic, back to Tampa Bay—what makes this place so important?

The art theft ring in Florida was new by all accounts, but sophisticated. If this incident turned out to be like the others, there was only one assailant, though it didn’t mean there hadn’t been a team backing the person up. The suspect or suspects, due to the profile he and Benjamin Wilcox, his partner, built, came at night usually when security was on break. From the records provided to them by the museum, the suspect was also able to break the security codes and erased their tracks when they were done, making it appear as though no one entered or left the building. From start to finish, each heist took less than five minutes. Those pieces of the larger puzzle had been the only aspects of their cases to remain the same.

The prime suspect for Robert was someone who'd been inside the museums, knew the layout of the place, and perhaps had the alarm codes. When it came to exiting the premises without leaving any trace of their existence behind, he deduced the person also knew how to wipe the memory on the alarm system, clearing out everything but the morning and evening deactivation and activation timestamps. Benjamin had agreed. However, without any fingerprints or DNA left at the scene, tracking or finding their person of interest had been a dead end. Not to mention the fact there were forty-eight museums in Florida and, as of that moment, only two of the Bureau's sixteen active theft cases were close together. All of the rest were spread out across the state of Florida, which momentarily nixed his idea of it being the same group of thieves, though the notion of it being an inside job, stayed on the table.

Crowds gathered as he drove along the street. People clumped together in small groups trying to piece together what happened and he assumed if they were safe. Word got around quick in Tampa Bay. Since the museum was a popular tourist attraction, even the local media was present. Thankfully, the officers holding the perimeter were doing a good job of keeping them back so as not to contaminate his crime scene. He pulled up to the curb in front of the museum and parked his bike at the same moment Agent Benjamin Wilcox, his partner for the last five years, joined him, stopping his vintage, grape-purple '67 Camaro inches from Robert's motorcycle. The guy appeared about as tired as Robert felt. They'd been going non-stop since the first robbery six months ago. Not having any conclusive clues or leads to go off of, made the assignment more tedious and exhausting. Hopefully, this time, they'd find some shred of evidence to lead them in the right direction.

Robert raised his hand in greeting after pulling off his helmet. Benjamin grunted his response as he headed for the door. Yeah, same to you too, buddy. They were at their wits ends. It made both of them cranky and in desperate need of blowing off some steam. Since he’d started this case, he’d spent less time at the Pleasure Dome than he liked. 

Maybe he needed to take a night for himself.

As the majority owner of the club, it was up to him to do the monthly inventory, oversee the discipline of unruly unattached subs and attend to the application process. Today, he was a month behind on all of it, and Riggio aka Manic, one of the co-owners, was forced to pick up Robert's slack. His only saving grace in the whole mess had been the fact the majority of the Pleasure Dome's members were in some type of law enforcement or EMS. There were a few lawyers, doctors, and professors in the mix too, which made the group eclectic and an interesting mix. So, they understood Robert's lack of visibility, however, the thought had occurred to him, how much longer would they allow him to slide?

Don’t think about it for now. Concentrate on the case.  Seemed he told himself the same thing more often than not and, more often than not, it didn’t do him a bit of good.

He joined his partner at the door and showed his badge to the officer standing guard. Once the man opened the door, Robert stepped into the foyer of the museum and glanced up at the giant TBMA sculpture along with the deconstructed artwork surrounding it. There were small white benches for people to sit on as well before going inside the museum proper. He took in every detail of the space. From how many windows surrounded them to the height of the impressive structure.

Robert tapped on the glass and snorted, jacking his thumb at it. "Bulletproof."

"Interesting." Benjamin narrowed his eyes as he inspected the casing around the windows. "I suspect it's protection against gale-force winds during a hurricane."

So did Robert. Still, it'd been intriguing, to say the least, and another quandary to add to their investigation. "The assistant curator's name is Will Anders. He's the one who called it in this morning."

Benjamin pulled the small memo pad he carried everywhere with him, out of his jacket pocket. He flipped through the pages then came to a stop. “Yep. Says when he showed up, he made his rounds of the museum and found the piece missing, so he called the cops. They, in turn, called us.”

“I’ll interview the curator,” Robert said. “You have a look around.”

“Let’s just hope this isn’t like the others.” Benjamin left Robert’s side and went through the door on the right while he went through the door on the left.

As he stepped inside, one thing became abundantly clear, this museum wasn't like the others. He could smell the money emanating from the walls and not necessarily from the collections either. This place, according to the pamphlet he grabbed out of the stand beside him, had been created through donations. When he flipped it over, there was a list of people and places who sent in contributions. Reminds me of PBS, before they cut it all to hell. As he continued to flip through the brochure, he noticed two exhibitions were going on at the moment. One was for the Turn of The Century artists and the other was for the National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. This year, it appeared, from what the pamphlet said, the museum was showcasing some of the most popular Cuban artists.  

Interesting.

Chatter from the room he’d been standing next to, drew his attention. He stepped closer to the entrance and glanced around the corner to see who was there. A man wearing a tailored suit stood next to a woman who wore a tan jacket and blue skirt. She wrote everything the man in the suit said, in her hardback journal then closed it and placed a black rubber band across it, securing it. She smiled up at the man before exited the space. 

Robert cleared his throat, entering the area and the man jumped.

“Hasn’t anyone told you not t—” The guy spun around and paled. “I’m so sorry.”

"Don't be. My mother always threatened to put a cat bell around my neck." Robert closed the distance between them and extended his hand. "Agent Famosa of the FBI. I heard you had a break-in."

The man cleared his throat and, with a nervous chuckle, accepted Robert's handshake. "My apologies. My name is Will Anders and yes, we did."

"Would you mind showing me where the aforementioned piece should be?" Heat spread from where their hands were connected up Robert's arm. The man standing in front of him was handsome and nothing like his type. Will had light brown hair that was longer in the front and swept to the side. He had beautiful amber eyes framed by black eyelashes, so dark, he thought the man used kohl liner to accentuate them. Will's lips were full, bracketed by stress lines Robert wanted to smooth away. The thought sent a jolt through him. He wasn't there to find a lover, he had a job to do.

Keep your dick in your pants, Famosa.

“The painting is called, La Carretera Solitaria—The Solitary Road by Matías Fernández Garcia." Will pulled his phone from his pocket along with a pair of glasses. Once he had them on, he swiped his finger across the screen then tapped it a few times before handing Robert the device.

The painting had been done in vibrant reds, golden-yellows, and oranges depicting the sun setting on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. To the right, a lone decrepit tree stood proudly in the desert sand. On the left, sage bushes and sprigs of desert shrubbery pushed out of the barren ground around a solitary rock. A small skull, bleached by time and exposure, lay against the bolder in such a way, Robert wondered if the animal had purposely come to that particular spot to die. The emotional connotations of the painting were stunning. Depression being the biggest one. Lost and alone, the others. He wondered what the artist had been going through at the time he sat down to create it. "It's beautiful."

"One of my favorites." Will retrieved the phone from Robert. "Anyway, I stopped to stare at it, as I've done every morning since the arrival of the painting. Unfortunately, when I made my rounds this morning, I found the space empty." The man frowned, deepening the lines around his mouth and between his brows. "Agent Famosa, it was there last night before I left, and, like I told the officers then the detectives, the alarm was also set when I left."

“Still armed when you arrived?” Robert cocked a brow.

“Yes, it was.” Will frowned. “How did you know?”

Robert blew out a breath. It appeared they had another incident to add to their heist case. Shit. “No other entries on the alarm log?”

“No.” The man narrowed his arresting amber eyes. “Why do I have a feeling you know what’s happened here?”

“Can’t say for now,” he replied. “Do you have any tour guides or whatever they’re called, here?”

Will chuckled, erasing some of the tension in his lithe frame. "Docents. Yes, we do. We employee three, and we have three who volunteer on the weekends when we're packed."

“Do any of them have alarm codes?”

“No,” Will answered. “The docents come in after the regular staff. They also leave after the last tour of the day, before the regular staff. It’s part of the rules we have in place to ensure stuff like this doesn’t happen.”

“How many staff members have the codes?” Robert prodded.

“Myself, Ted, who is the head curator, Janice, the operator who directs all of our calls, the janitorial staff and our security guards—who should have been on duty last night.” Will frowned again. “For the life of me, I can’t figure this out.”

Robert wished he could have told the assistant curator everything, but due to the on-going investigation, he couldn’t say a word. With every answer Will provided to Robert, the facts were leaning in the direction of it being connected to his other cases. It also went with his and Benjamin’s suspicions of it being an inside job. “You said you have security guards?”

Will nodded. His hair fell into his eyes, giving him a boyish appearance. “We have three during the day when patrons are in and out of the museum while one attends to the facility at night. I suppose after this, we’ll have to hire another officer for the overnight shift.” He sighed as he continued through the museum and into the Cuban Heritage section. 

"It might be for the best." Across from where they stood, was an empty white spot on the wall, no more than twelve inches wide by fifteen inches long. The starkness of the blank spot stood out in contrast with the room. Robert strode toward it and came to a stop at the roped-off area. The marker below the empty space had La Carretera Solitaria—The Solitary Road by Matías Fernández Garcia emblazoned on it. “How much was this particular painting worth?”

Will shrugged, drawing the corner of his lip between his teeth. “Honest, I’m not sure. Ted would know the exact amount. However, the insurance policy the museum took out on it before the estate would allow us to show it, was five million.”

Robert whistled. “Expensive.”

“The rendering went up in value after Mr. Fernández Garcia passed away earlier this year. This particular piece is or was, for now, one of his last.”

Robert stepped closer, pulling his phone from his pocket. “Do you mind? I want to get a few pictures and compare it to other theft cases we have.” He motioned to the area surrounding where the painting should hang.

“Be my guest,” Will answered. “Not sure what you’ll find, but if it gets our painting back, it’ll be worth it.”

Robert grunted. “Thanks.”

Benjamin cleared his throat, coming up beside them. “Sorry to intrude.”

Will glanced at Robert’s partner. “What can I do for you?”

“The security guard wouldn’t allow me to view the footage from last night without your permission.” Benjamin cut his gaze toward Robert. They’d never had an issue before when it came to obtaining the security feed. Most places encouraged it, especially when priceless pieces were missing.

“Of all the...” Will blew out a breath pinching the bridge of his nose. “I am going to kill them all.”

“Probably not the best thing to say in front of FBI agents,” Benjamin said.

Will glanced at Benjamin then Robert. “Let me guess, he’s the strait-laced, uptight one and you’re the bad boy.”

Robert smirked. “Well, now that you mention it.”

Will laughed. “I knew it.” He wiggled his finger at Benjamin. “Come with me so you can get a copy of our video from last night.”

While they were away, Robert took photos of everything from the rope cordoning the section off, so people didn't get too close, to the floor in front of the painting. He wouldn't leave any stone unturned as he made his way through the area of interest. When he was finished, his partner returned, holding a thumb drive.

“Got it.” He handed the stick to Robert who placed it into his pocket. “That man is not someone to trifle with. He threatened to turn the guard into an exhibit.”

Robert snorted. In the short time he spent with Will Anders, he didn’t put it past the man to do just as he said. There was a spunky sassiness to the haughty man in his tailored suits. He wondered what it would be like to have a man like Will under him, whimpering Robert’s name. A thrill ran down his spine as the wicked thought rolled through his head before he pushed it aside.

He wasn’t there to find a bedmate. He had a job to do.

"I'm done here as well." Robert pulled a card from the inside pocket of his leather jacket and went in search of Will. He found the man two exhibits away, in the mixed media section, talking to one of the employees. As the person walked away, Robert approached Will. "We're finished, for now, I believe."

“So soon?”

“Investigations on TV aren’t anything like they are in real life. We do more work in the office than in the field sometimes.” He held out his card. “If you can think of anything else that could help us, give me a call.”

Will put his glasses back on and ran his finger over the raised font. “Robert huh? Fits you.”

“I like to think so.” He turned from the man and started for the exit.

“Agent Famosa,” Will called out. “Stop back anytime when you’re not working. I think you might enjoy a day at the museum.”

He lifted his hand in acknowledgment. The museum wasn't what he wanted to see. It'd been the man who'd captured his attention. As he stepped out into the mid-day, early fall sun, he glanced around. It was a long shot, but before they left, he'd stop by each business to see if they had any camera footage from the night before. At least, maybe then, they'd have something more to go on.

“Agent Famosa,” the lead investigator from the Tampa Bay’s police department, called out. 

Instead of heading to his bike, as he’d intended, Robert joined the investigator. “What can I do for you, Investigator?”

“Do you have a specific email or fax number I can send over the preliminary evidence and incident file to?”

Robert pulled another card from his pocket. “All of my information is there. When you have it together, send it on.”

“Thanks,” the man said. “One more thing. Can I bend you ear for a second?”

“Sure.” Wasn’t like he had anywhere particular to be on a Saturday morning. “What are you thinking?”

“It’s a copycat,” the investigator said. 

Robert tilted his head. “Oh? What gave you that impression?”

“The scenes are identical to be sure, but something is off. I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Well, the evidence will tell us what happened here. If it’s a copycat, we’ll be able to catch them. If not...” Robert didn’t even want to contemplate it. “Anyway, thanks for the tip. I’ll start going through the evidence when I get back to the office. Hopefully, we’ll find a lead.”


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Sneak Peek: How To Rope A Rich Cowboy by Anya Summers

 It's here! One of my favorite books ever! I had a blast writing How To Rope A Rich Cowboy. In it we meet the sexy owner of Silver Springs Ranch, Colt Anderson, who finds an absentminded scientist, Avery Morgan, illegally staying on his property. And the fireworks that ensue are epic. Today, I bring you a small snippet of Colt and Avery's first meeting. Enjoy!


Excerpt from How To Rope A Rich Cowboy

The telescopes and corresponding equipment filled the small space, dripping everywhere. Colt could only wonder about the water damage these things would do to the hardwood floors.

In the interior light, he studied the woman while she flitted around the equipment, apparently unconcerned that she was just as wet, or that she was alone with a strange man who had a firearm. She used the big plush towels that they stocked in the bathrooms to dry off the gear.

This was one of their honeymoon cabins with an open plan floor. The walls were a golden, honey-toned wood, and the hardwood floors matched them in color, giving it a feeling of warmth. On the left was a pinewood king bed with matching nightstands, and a chest of drawers against the wall. On the left beyond the bed was the bathroom that held a full-size tub and shower, and was the only room that was walled off. There was a full-sized fridge, and electric stove in the kitchen on the far right. There was even a stacked washer and dryer unit on the wall between the bathroom and kitchen. But directly to Colt’s right was the living room with big, plush dark brown sofas, and his uninvited guest and all her equipment taking up every ounce of free space.

The woman was maybe pushing five two, making her a good foot shorter than he was. She was slight and trim; her jeans had holes in them and were plastered to her slim legs. Her yellow tank top was slicked against her chest and damn near translucent from the dousing it had sustained. As it was, the thin material outlined the high swell of her breasts. The nipples were drawn into taut points beneath it and pushed enticingly against the see-through material.

But it was her face that drew him the most. She had smooth, unblemished skin that was sun kissed golden, delicate, high cheekbones, and a wide, generous mouth currently set with grim determination as she moved around the gear. The tip of her slim nose was slightly upturned, and her eyes were like dark, liquid pools of mahogany framed by thick, inky lashes. Her dark hair ran over her shoulders to drape against her chest and back, but he thought it might be lighter in color when dry, more of a tawny caramel than a burnt walnut.

Colt rubbed a hand over his face to dispel the sudden influx of lust her wet form engendered in him. He had to remember this woman was in the cabin, on his property, as a freeloader. He hated people who took advantage of the immense acreage of Silver Springs Ranch. It was stealing, plain and simple. Once the storm had abated, he would deal with her—harshly, if it came to it. With anger lacing his clipped words, he said, “I’m going to ask you again, who the hell are you, and what the hell do you think you’re doing in this cabin?”

“Isn’t it obvious, cowboy? I’m staying here.” Sarcasm dripped from her words, her voice like silken honey. “I should be asking you the same thing.” She all but ignored him as she took care of the equipment with absolutely no apparent fear that he could be a rapist or murderer.

“This cabin was not rented out.” He knew this as, when he’d received the updated guest manifest from registration yesterday evening, this cabin, B42, was listed as being a vacancy. That meant she was here illegally. “I don’t know how you even got in without a key.”

She shoved wet hair out of her face and shrugged. “Well, I’m renting it, technically. Although there might be some issues with the rental in the sense that I still have to pay for it, but it’s the stream’s fault. Why? You work at the ranch?”

He cocked a brow. She hadn’t asked if he owned the ranch but if he worked on it. A photo of his face was on the website. It was hard to miss that he owned it. And Colt didn’t know why, but he didn’t want her to know he was the ranch proprietor, so he omitted the fact. “Yep. I work for Silver Springs Ranch. I know for a fact that there’s no guests listed as renting this cabin. It’s supposed to be empty. That makes you a squatter and a freeloader.”

She cast a haughty frown in his direction, like he was the one taking advantage of the ranch instead of the other way around. He curled his hands into fists to keep himself from grabbing her and shaking the truth out of her.

All Colt had wanted was a day to himself without any problems. And this sexy as hell scrounger had tossed a wrench into the works on the first day he’d had off in weeks.

It had happened before: people squatting in their cabins without paying. With as much acreage and as many remote cabins as they had, at times it was hard to monitor each one. And if the last renter or housekeeping forgot to lock the front door, it was easy for somebody to enter.

“Look, I’m not a damn squatter. Besides, what are you doing here? It looks like you were planning to move right in.” She tossed the damp towel on the sofa and made him wince. She set her hands on her hips, emphasizing her slight curves, and scowled with defiance. 

Colt prowled toward her as the cabin shuddered in the crashing thunder, peeved that anyone would take advantage of his place. “I call it like I see it, lady.” He moved until they were standing no more than a foot apart, glaring at each other.

“Oh yeah, and what are you doing out here but using this place illegally?”

“Besides needing to take shelter from the storm? About to kick a squatter off ranch property,” he growled.

“Look, cowboy, I can’t take my equipment back out in that storm without it getting damaged. And for the last time,” she drilled a finger into his chest, “I’m not squatting. I fully intend to pay for my stay.”

He snorted. “And you just forgot to stop by registration? How did you even get inside? Did you pick the lock? You’ve got some nerve, breaking and entering. I’m sure the sheriff would be mighty interested in your activities.”

“The door was open, wise guy. And you think my staying here’s ballsy?” She gripped his wet shirt in her hands, and yanked his face down until their eyes were level with one another. The woman was far stronger than she appeared, and Colt wondered what she planned to do. But then she planted her hot mouth against his lips.

Shock filled him for all of two seconds as her exotic, red-hot honeyed flavor swamped his senses.


HOW TO ROPE A RICH COWBOY
Silver Springs Ranch, Book 2

Colt Anderson is burned out. Every part of his daily life has become a tedious chore. He cannot remember the last time he took a day off or, better yet, felt a woman’s willing surrender. And it’s just his luck that on his first day off in ages, he runs into a sexy squatter on his property, never expecting that single interaction would alter the very fabric of his world.

Still, he cannot seem to stay away from the sultry scientist, Avery. Colt feels bad for her, worries that she is running from something, and decides to cover her stay at the ranch. After all, he owns the place and has plenty of cash. Although that tiny little detail is a secret he plans on keeping to himself. It is addictive having a woman look in his direction and not see dollar signs for a change.

Because when Avery casts those goddess eyes his way, he’s just a man, a man she craves and submits to body and soul, like he’s her man, and his longing for her has him tied up in knots. With trouble and danger drawn to her like magnets, Avery pulls out his protective, dominant nature. The woman needs a keeper, and he’s the perfect man for the job.

Now he has less than two weeks to convince her to stay, to make her fall for him before she discovers he’s rich. But will she hate him when she discovers his deception?

Available at: Amazon ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ Apple


About Anya

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

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