I wanted to let you know I'll be conducting an experiment. I've never had any books in KU (Kindle Unlimited). Frankly, I'm not a fan of subscription services on principle, but to limit my books' reach to a single vendor never sat well with me.
The fact of the matter is most of my sales come from Amazon and based on the pros and cons shared by other authors on their experiences with KU, I've decided to put my Pelican Cay series exclusively into KU for three months and see how it performs. I'll keep you posted if I decide to go back to wide after that.
In the meantime, I'll be de-listing these four titles today and once they're down, I'll proceed with Amazon. Thanks.
I'll be participating in The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads and Giveaway running in June.
My featured title, and apropos, is Intimate Strangers, book one of the Pelican Cay series.
I thought it would be the perfect time to officially 'launch' the new Intimate Strangers cover.
If you already own the story, be sure your device is set to accept updates to your library and the cover will refresh. Or should. If it doesn't work, I'm the last person you should ask about it. I always have to go running to other people for technical difficulties, or Google problems and solutions. Just sayin'.
I believe this is the web link to the Sizzling Summer Reads Party. You'll need to register and log in to participate because they need some way to track points for the game. Registration is free and easy.
Good luck and thanks for playing!
Sweetest Taboo just got a fresh and flirty new cover and blurb this week. To celebrate, I'm sharing an excerpt too.
An unconventional love story.
Best friends for years, Lance is the first person Kavita and Angie think of, the one person they can call for anything, so moving into the little beach house next to his makes total sense. Only, the open door policy between neighbors brings a level of intimacy none of them anticipated. Is there such a thing as too close?
Now How about that hot and spicy peek?
Angie rose and held out the nearly empty bottle. “Finish your wine first. I want to pop another bottle.”
Lance drained his glass and held it out to her. Kavita followed suit.
“Be right back.” Angie blew a saucy air kiss over her shoulder then sauntered into the house.
He grinned at Kavita. “She’s a flirty thing. I didn’t know that.” Wandering over to the railing, he leaned against it and sipped what Angie had poured him.
She laughed. “There’s a lot you don’t know about Angie.”
Intrigued, he simply studied the beautiful woman watching him. The expression in her eyes beguiled him. The temptress was out tonight.
Angie rejoined them, holding the next bottle. “Who’s first?” She looked equally wicked, or playful. Could she be both? He wondered.
“I’ll probably regret it…hit me.” Kavita held out her glass and Angie filled it halfway. Then Kavita cast a challenging glance his way. “Lance?”
“What the hell?” He offered his own glass and received an equal pour.
All three stood there in the waning light, contemplating one another while the steady sound of the waves rising then retreating filled the quiet gulf between them. He was getting the strangest vibe off of them tonight.
Kavita turned to Angie and asked, quite seriously this time, “I know we talked and talked about it, but now I’m having second thoughts. What do you think?”
The manner with which Angie quietly studied him made Lance swallow—hard. Then she nodded to Kavita. “Me too. We have to know. Go ahead.”
He drew back, suddenly wary. “What’s going on?” Growing more paranoid by the second, he felt a little like an explorer who’d just strayed into a band of cannibals.
“Nothing.” Kavita stalked slowly toward him. “Yet.”
He gave an uncomfortable laugh and looked over at Angie. “You can tell me. It’s okay.”
Kavita stopped right in front of him, her bare toes touching the tips of his. He felt the brush of her gorgeous breasts against his shirt. God, she was beautiful.
“Tell me something.” Her voice was in a seductive register. The musician, and the man in him, responded. He couldn’t look away from her dark eyes. They owned him. “Why aren’t you seeing anyone?”
His mind scrambled to find an acceptable answer for her. He swallowed again and said, “Not interested.”
“Uh huh.” She cast a look over her shoulder at Angie and they smiled at one another. Angie gave her a nod.
Turning back to him, Kavita set her glass of wine on the railing behind him then gently lifted his out of his hand. She set that glass beside her own. He was frozen, waiting, wondering, hoping, terrified to hope. What the hell was going on?
Then she rose up on her toes, leaning her body full against his, and slid her hand up his chest and around the back of his neck. He didn’t resist. He thought he should. Felt he should, but couldn’t. He’d wanted this for too long.
Their lips brushed, caressed then devoured. He wanted to gulp her down, consume her, yet he forced himself to keep his hands on her hips and not take over. What he couldn’t control was the long hidden secret spilling from his tongue to hers as they kissed.
Kavita eased back with a sad, sober smile and touched two fingers to her lips. “I thought so.”
He dropped his hands, ashamed of himself.
“Lance, are you in love with me?” she asked.
Knowing the truth was out now, it was pointless to deny it. “Yes,” he whispered. He looked toward Angie, silently begging her forgiveness, but she looked back at him with the same understanding smile.
“And Angie?” Kavita asked softly, bringing his attention back to her. “Do you love her too?”
Ah fuck. “There’s a distinct probability,” he replied, even more ashamed.
Kavita turned and held out her hand to Angie. “Come here. You have to try this. It’s nice.”
Drawing Angie forward, Kavita stepped aside and suddenly he was looking into Angie’s luminous face. Her eyes were a dark, midnight blue in this light and her slender body had less give than Kavita’s, but it was still soft and felt wonderful against him. She slid both hands up and behind him and he took hold of her slim hips as she drew him down.
The technique between the women varied, but he liked both kisses equally. Where tender Kavita gave and shared, Angie took. She was assertive, aggressive, and she made soft growling sounds deep in her throat as their hungry mouths mashed together. Those base sounds shot straight to his groin.
Then she drew back, stroking his face just before she broke contact with him.
“Very nice,” she agreed with a smile for Kavita.
“I told you.”
They considered him thoughtfully then both dropped their eyes down his body to the incriminating bulge in his shorts.
Angie turned to Kavita, her smile deepening, and said, “Something tells me it’s time we talked.”
Read the full story today.
I'm not sure why taverns seem to be the launch pad of choice for so many adventures and quests, but there's a tavern in mine too. This one is run by Charley's brother, Dink. Enjoy this scene.
Heidi put her camera away. “It’ll probably be a few days before I can get those prints to you, is that okay?”
Drake lifted his glass to his lips and glanced over at Charley for the twelfth time. He loved looking at her, and when he was standing behind her a few minutes ago, it took every ounce of self-control he had not to reach for that sleek fall of hair like a drowning man.
Heidi laughed at him. “A little distracted there, Drake? Why don’t you just invite her to join us?”
He slowly brought his gaze around and gave Heidi a cockeyed smile. “Because I’m having way too much fun figuring her out from a distance.”
“What? I don’t get it.”
He shot another quick look at Charley and got a frosty glare in return before she spun on her seat. Her pointed snub amused him.
Chuckling, he confided in an undertone, “Charley likes to pretend I’m totally irrelevant and she’s not the least bit interested. She needs to work on her poker face.” His eyes strayed back to her and he burst out laughing because it didn’t take an ornithologist to recognize the bird she showed him.
Heidi looked over to see what was so funny but Charley had already turned away. “Why?”
“I’m not sure, but I can’t wait to see how this plays out.”
Heidi considered Charley sympathetically over the rim of her glass. “She’s not happy we’re sitting together.” She fell silent for a moment before musing aloud, “I wonder if she’s ever had a girlfriend. She’s actually quite pretty.”
“She’s not a lesbian,” Drake murmured, his focus fixed on the cute tomboy.
Heidi snorted into her beer, barely holding it together. “I know that. What I meant was a girl friend, someone to soften her rough edges, initiate her into the sisterhood.”
He sighed. “Doubtful. From what I understand, she only hangs out with guys. It’s strictly platonic.”
Heidi studied Charley long and hard. “I can already visualize her swan-like transformation. That would be so—” She laughed and snapped her fingers under Drake’s nose, bringing his eyes back to
her. “I was talking to you. Oh, forget it. She’s doing just fine without the Eliza Doolittle treatment.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Heidi smiled at him. “She doesn’t need the trappings. She’s got your attention without them.”
***Read the Full Story today. ***
Can she ever forgive herself? Will she ever forget him? Enjoy this scene from Intimate Strangers.
“That Margarite is wearing me out. She might not have to juggle two jobs, but I do. I can’t keep going over there after Skipper’s closes. It’s tough enough getting up to go out with you bright and early after bartending the night before. I have to catch some sleep sometime,” Hero told Brady a week later as he reached for an orange off the counter.
“Uh huh.” Brady barely heard him, his attention fixed on a long list of old e-mails. He kept all of his reservations and records for tax purposes. “Damn it. Where the hell is it?”
“What are you lookin’ for?” Hero bounced the orange off his curled bicep and caught it. Kids.
“A name,” he told him, eyes scrolling down his screen.
“Oh.” His curiosity satisfied, Hero began to peel his orange, meticulously removing the oddly shaped rinds and dropping them into the open compost canister in front of him. It was annoyingly distracting.
Calming himself, Brady spoke up. “Hey, could you go and flush out the live well?”
“Now? Sure, I guess.”
As soon as Hero wandered out, Brady clicked on a potential message, dated six months prior. His heart sped at what he found. Though the e-mail address wasn’t remotely familiar, once opened, it was clear it originated from Mac’s law firm. Reading through the message, Brady found Mac’s personal e-mail address and contact info at the bottom of the page.
A little more reading, a bit of finessing, and he had Mac’s full name, obituary, home city, and…Kate’s last name. She never gave it to him.
Katherine Hayley Foster.
Foster. If she married him her initials would stay the same.
“Marry me?” Brady laughed at himself and ruffled his shaggy hair with both hands. “What the hell is wrong with me?”
He did a Google search for her and learned even more. Kicking back in his chair, he smiled at her college graduation photo, the tip of his finger tracing down her lovely cheek. He’d missed this face. He’d missed this woman.
“Coming soon to a city near you,” he murmured. His chair creaked when he suddenly sat up, struck with an idea. “Hey! Hero! Come here a minute.”
Hero popped his head in the open doorway. “What’s up?”
“If I want to find someone, find their home address, how would I do that exactly? Do you know?”
“Sure.” He shrugged. “It’s easy. If it doesn’t come up through normal channels, there’s usually another way. Course, if you have to, you can always tap into utility records, that sort of thing. Why?”
Brady stared at him, amazed. “Do you know how to do that?”
“Dude. That kind of shit is illegal.” Hero gave him a slow grin and cracked his knuckles. “Get your ass out of that chair. You didn’t learn any of this from me.”
Today I'm sharing a scene from Sexual Politics. Justine and Sean have already been caught together in the elevator of his apartment building by the paparazzi. The timing creates a feeding frenzy of speculation and they're chased back upstairs where Sean calls in reinforcements to sneak the Senator's wife out the back. We pick up the story after they've just dropped her off at her sister's townhouse. Enjoy.
Sean knew it was coming. They hadn’t reached the end of the block before Trent started in on him.
“She’s a beauty.” Pulling up to the stop sign, Trent looked at him incredulously. “Are you out of your fucking mind?”
Trent laughed. “It’s me. I won’t sell you out.”
“Read my lips. We. Did. Not. Have. Sex.” Shaking his head, Sean admitted, “Yeah, all right, I want to, bad, but she won’t. I only took photos of her last night.”
“You’re telling me she spent the night at your place and nothing happened?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. It was perfectly innocent.”
“What about the elevator this morning?”
“That was…unfortunate. We were saying goodbye.” He couldn’t hide how depressed he felt right now.
Trent glanced over, reading him as only a best friend can. “I’m sorry. Obviously you care for her.”
“I do.” Snorting, Sean dropped his head back and rubbed his temple. “You know what really pisses me off? Can I talk about this?”
“Go for it.”
“The rumors about her husband are true. The guy’s a total dick. Can’t keep it in his pants. I don’t know what kind of hold he has on her, but the marriage is basically over. She’s just waiting until November to divorce him. She doesn’t want to hurt him in the next election.”
“That’s fucked up.”
“Tell me about it.” He dropped his hand to his lap and sighed. “She’s a good person, Trent. Honest, warm, kind. I admire her.” Pausing to watch a meter maid ticket a parked car as they rolled by, he finally confided, “I’m falling for her and I can’t do a damn thing about it.”
Sean sighed. “Yes.”
“Is she strong enough to weather this?”
That was a good question, one that chilled Sean to the marrow. “I don’t know.”
“And those pictures you took?”
“Would only hurt us both at this point.”
“I figured. How did she look?”
Remembering the unblemished delicacy of her skin against the white muslin and those graceful feminine curves, Sean had to smile. “Spectacular.”
Trent’s soft laugh died out and he turned serious. “What are we doing now? Do you want to stay at my place for a while and wait for this to blow over?”
“I can’t. I’m too busy to hide out.”
“Bet you get even more clients now.”
Sean snorted. “I wouldn’t be surprised. Justine’s downfall just raised my profile outside the art world. People are going to want to take potshots at her and throw money at me.”
“Forward your calls to the gallery. I’ll only pass the legitimate numbers back to you.”
“You’d do that?”
“My staff will, but I suggest you do something nice for them as a thank you, like scoring tickets to a show or dinner at one of those trendy restaurants you’re going to be promoting. It’s next to impossible to get a table in some of those places.”
Trent glanced at him. “So I’m taking you home?”
“Then check the glove box.”
Curious, Sean popped the button and saw a hat and dark glasses inside. He laughed at the ridiculousness of his situation. “Thanks.”
“No sweat. I don’t play personal taxi for just anyone.”
“I appreciate it.”
“I hope things work out for you two.”
Trent had a shit-eating grin on his face when he asked, “Any chance I can see those pictures you took last night?”
That earned him a backhanded cuff on the arm. “Never.”
***Read the full story today.***
It's that time again. I thought it would be fun to share a scene from my romantic comedy, If You Want Me. Enjoy.
“Hey!” Melissa shrieked and hugged her bridesmaids one after another. Their unfettered excitement reminded Naomi of high school all over again.
Naomi groaned and massaged her temples, barely coping with the increased decibel level her friends brought to the already noisy restaurant.
Becky stepped free of Melissa’s embrace and noticed Naomi hanging back. She strolled over wearing a knowing smile and flicked up Naomi’s dark glasses to get a look at her eyes.
“Not as bad as I thought they’d be,” she admitted. “How’s the head?”
“And your tummy?”
Becky laughed. “I’ve got aspirin, antacids, and that chalky pink liquid just in case.”
Naomi gave her a one-armed hug. “You’re a good friend.”
“Well, well…look what the cat dragged in.” Melissa sidled over with a wicked grin. She cocked her head at Naomi and her dimples deepened. “How ya doin’ this morning?” she sang in an unnecessarily loud voice. Since she was already coming forward with her arms wide open, Naomi
had no choice but to return the hug.
“I get it. You’re chipper and excited, but you don’t have to be so loud about it,” Naomi muttered.
“It’s my wedding day. I’m allowed. But for your sake, I’ll be nice.” Melissa turned and noticed the host. “Looks like our table’s ready.” She hooked both Becky’s and Naomi’s arms and led them into the dining room, following the other three bridesmaids.
“I thought the guys were going to join us?” Becky said, drawing out a chair.
“They should be here any minute.” Melissa pointed around the table, figuring out the seating. “Let’s do this boy, girl, boy, girl. That’ll be fun. Heidi, scoot over one. Leave a spot for Todd.”
“Sorry ladies, I need coffee—right now.” Naomi wandered off, cutting between tables, her tired eyes on the cabinet of beverage options set along the distant wall, well away from the extensive buffet in the middle of the dining room. She filled two cups and brought one back for Becky as well.
Becky looked up at her with concern when she accepted the cup Naomi handed her. “You’re looking a little peaked. You going to be okay?”
“Not sure.” Naomi settled gently into a chair and covered her mouth, stifling a gag. “I think the smell of sausages is getting to me.”
Becky pulled the bottle of bismuth out of her purse and plunked it down on the table between them.
“This is brand new.” Naomi picked it up and quickly peeled the protective plastic away from the cap.
“Yeah? I stopped at the store on my way here. Call it a hunch.”
“I could kiss you. Thanks.” Naomi tipped it back, forgoing the coffee until her stomach settled a little. She was right in the middle of a healthy swallow when she spotted Ryan walking toward her with two of the other groomsmen in tow. She choked at the slow smile he gave her when their eyes met.
What was that supposed to mean?
To her growing alarm, he came right over, put his hand on the back of her chair, and leaned in.
“Hair of the dog might work better,” he said with a wink.
Becky’s eyes darted back and forth between them, her brow furrowed with suspicion. “What was that?” she asked him directly.
“Nothing.” His hand landed on the chair between them. “This seat taken?”
Whether it was or wasn’t, he’d claimed it now. The two women shared a look as he kicked back comfortably and contemplated Naomi.
“Guess the bottle in your hand answers my first question.” His eyes twinkled. “Anything I can do? Don’t be afraid to ask.” His offer was more like a reminder, dripping with innuendo.
Naomi actually felt her pallor flush from sickly green to deep pink.
“What’s going on?” Becky broke in, her left eyebrow rising sharply. Then her eyes bulged and she gasped under her breath, “You didn’t.” She grabbed Naomi’s arm. “Tell me you didn’t.”
Ryan gave Naomi an equally interested look, no doubt wondering what she’d admit to. She was going to get him for this.
“It’s not what you’re thinking,” Naomi told Becky then glared at Ryan. “And you’re not helping.”
His hands went up innocently. “Have I said anything?”
“You’ve said enough.”
“You were supposed to go right to bed,” Becky reproached, her head shaking with disappointment.
Ryan opened his mouth to speak—his smile a little too mischievous for comfort. Naomi gave him a hard poke in the ribs to shut him up. “Don’t.”
“Fine.” He reached for Naomi’s cup of coffee. “Are you drinking this?”
He took a sip, set the cup back down, and looked at Becky. “Would you excuse us?”
To the clear surprise of both women, Ryan shot to his feet and drew Naomi up with him. She felt his fingers link with hers and suddenly they were moving toward the front of the restaurant and the parking lot beyond.
She didn’t have the energy or wherewithal to fight so she just stumbled along after him. When the sunlight struck her full force, she groaned and flipped her glasses back down in front of her eyes.
He glanced back at her, chuckled, and cut left, walking her around the building and away from the big windows. Landscaping rocks crunched under their feet as he towed her over the curb and into a shaded corner out of site. A couple of small trees offered a little cover from the prying eyes of patrons who might walk by.
Naomi was glad she was wearing tennis shoes. She could have turned an ankle walking across the rocks in heels. “What the hell?”
The next thing she knew, she was up against the cool stucco wall and Ryan was invading her space, his right hand cupping her neck, the left curled around her waist.
“We need to talk,” he said, his face much too close. “But first.” Then he laid a kiss on her that dissolved her muscles and turned her skeleton to rubber.
Read the full story today.
Welcome to another Wingman Wednesday. This scene is from my romantic suspense, Friends and Lovers. Enjoy.
An hour later Wes and Chuck left the station. Wes clipped his cuffs back onto his belt and headed over to the driver’s side.
“Now what?” he asked across the roof.
Chuck gave it some thought. “I know it’s early but I could eat. Vickie’s grapefruit diet is killing me. I need a big juicy burger, and if you sell me out to my wife I’ll have to kill you.”
Wes laughed. “Noted. A hamburger sounds good.”
“But let’s walk over. It’ll give the car more time to air out. Goddamned alcohol fumes were making my eyes burn.”
Wes stepped back with his hands up, key ring bouncing against his palm, and grinned. “Now you’re talking. You sure you can handle a Broiler burger? Maybe we should find you a bib?”
Chuck snorted. “The wife will never know if I roll up my sleeves. Hell, I’ll open my shirt if I have to.”
“My day’s getting better and better,” said Wes dryly.
They cut across the parking lot, hopped a couple of curbs, and after a brief wait at the crosswalk, finally placed their orders at the window. The enticing smell of caramelized onion, sizzling beef, and crispy fries hung in the air.
Wes’s mouth was already watering when he picked up his tray and they claimed an empty picnic table. He bit into his burger then tugged a napkin out of the dispenser on the table, stopping a drip before it reached his watch. Glancing up at his partner, he snickered at all the napkins strategically poking out from between his buttons. At least the guy was still dressed.
“So, you start teaching tonight?” Chuck asked, munching a fry.
“That’s right.” Wes shook his head. “It’s funny how some things just seem to work out, like me dropping by the gym and finding out they were already looking for someone to take over the class.”
He took another bite, mulling it over as he chewed. Swallowing, he reached for his glass, using the straw as a pointer. “You should come too.”
Chuck screwed up his face in distaste. “No way. Unlike you, I have a woman who would miss me if I didn’t come home right away.”
“Rub it in.”
“Every chance I get.” Chuck popped a pickle into his mouth. “You really should give that woman at the shelter a call. It’s pretty obvious she floated your boat. What’s her name again?” He thought about it for a second and snapped his fingers. “Lauren.”
Wes set his burger down and blotted the corner of his mouth as it curled up. “Way ahead of you, big guy.”
“Good. There was something happening there, no denying it.”
Wes reached for his soda. “Is that right?”
Wes grinned and slipped his straw between his lips, allowing that comment to be the last thing said on the subject.
Hopeful scribe and word-aholic. Loves reading, loves writing, loves my family and friends, and is tickled beyond measure that you've stopped by.
Click the buttons to find my titles at the following retailers.
Share my blog.
Follow me on...
Read my FREE sampler.
CLICK ON THE COVERS TO READ MORE.
A romantic comedy with a hilarious punch.
Read the Kindle or
Get the paperback.
Audible / iTunes.
A musician with a BIG problem. A talented snob who can help, if she'll listen to him.
Read the Kindle or
Get the paperback.
Get the paperback.
When her big win in court draws a dangerous stalker, her best hope is a cop with personal demons of his own.
Read the Kindle or ebook today.
Get the paperback.
A weekend fix-up goes awry when Britt chooses another man instead.
Read the Kindle or
Get the paperback.
An innocent wife. An honorable artist. A scandal no one saw coming.
Read the Kindle or
Sexual Politics, available now in gorgeous paperback!
Get yours today.
The open-door policy between neighbors brings a level of intimacy none of them anticipated.
Read the Kindle.
Get the paperback.
Tara Mills's books on Goodreads
Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder
ratings: 209 (avg rating 3.83)
Friends and Lovers
ratings: 71 (avg rating 3.73)
Grading on Curves
ratings: 47 (avg rating 3.94)
ratings: 30 (avg rating 3.90)
In Love and War
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.03)