Hattie Cooks scrambles to exonerate her sister when all fingers point to Tracey as the murderer of her ex-husband.
Story blurb: Newly employed at Wedding Wonderland, Hattie Cooks is learning the industry from a woman she greatly admires. When her former brother-in-law is found dead in his luxury SUV, all fingers point to Hattie’s sister who is planning her own I dos.
Detective Allan Wellborn is caught between a rock and a hard place—Hattie’s family and investigating the murder of a well-connected Sommerville resident, the same loser who was once married to Hattie’s sister. Determining who’s the bad guy—or gal—isn’t going to be easy and sure to piss off someone.
Can Hattie beat the clock to find out who murdered Tracey’s ex before she is charged with the crime and her wedding is ruined?
Sometimes, I felt like a small white mouse housed in a cage with lots of small white mice, whose playground activities involved eating, sleeping, and continually revolving on the exercise wheel. Just like one rodent friend—who I named Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky, having a field day back-flipping from the top of the spinning wheel—something happened. Unexpectedly, I found myself airborne.
Not hurt, a sense of disappointment overcame me, plus a bit of confusion, and a whole lot of colorful adjectives too numerous to list. I, mostly known as Hattie Cooks, shook off the pine shavings and joined the rat race. Sometimes, life sucked.
But wallowing? Not a good solution.
Being positive? A better one.
In most cases, a pitstop was a good idea, and I found comfort in my chocolate stockpile. And in most cases, I found empty shelves, for I had little dough to supply my habit due to the loss of my adored job as an assistant buyer at Sommerville’s top-class department store, Tucker’s, and the subsequent low-paying temporary ones I reluctantly took in the interim. Due to the expenses of rent, food, utilities, budgeting became my new compadré. However, for my recent birthday, Mom suggested friends and family provide me with treats. They were generous—gifting lots and lots of my favorite M&Ms in vast colors and flavors.
Mom’s idea totally rocked as the best birthday gift ever.
From outside my door, I heard Allan Wellborn smack the doorframe.
“You know how to find me.”
I roused from my ruminations and banged my forehead against the wall.
Author bio: Funny sweet, and quirky, Vicki Batman’s stories are full of her hallmark humor, romance, and will delight all readers. She has sold many award-winning and bestselling romantic comedy works to magazines and most recently, three humorous romantic mysteries. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby.
When I wrote this poem, I was thinking of all the patient people out there who sit with their friends who have seen too much, learned things they weren’t ready to know, or dealt with things they never knew they could survive. Friends who sit and listen are one of life’s greatest gift.
Claimed at Theirs by Kryssie Fortune is now available!
When she is captured and thrown into a cage filled with ravenous vampires, Gwen assumes she will be devoured. But among the horde is a huge, terrifyingly powerful berserker who has other plans for her. She will belong not only to him, but to all of the vampires of his triad, and her beautiful body will be theirs to use and enjoy as thoroughly and shamefully as they please.
Gwen soon learns that her new masters will demand obedience from their little human, and it isn’t long before her defiance has earned her a painful, humiliating spanking. But even with tears still running down her blushing cheeks, her helpless arousal cannot be denied, and as she is claimed and ravaged again and again her pleas for mercy are soon lost amid her cries of pleasure.
Publisher’s Note: Claimed as Theirs is a stand-alone novel set in the same world as Taken as Theirs. It includes spankings and rough, intense sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Naked, one arm twisted behind her back, Gwen stumbled down the spiral stairs. The stench of stale urine and filth stole her breath. The cacophony of hisses echoed toward them, chilling her soul. Red eyes peered through the darkness. Focused. Hungry. Inhuman. Fixed on her.
A huge natural cavern spread before her, colder than the North Pole. Iron bars stretched across its narrowest point, each thicker than a bodybuilder’s thigh. Mold crept from algae-covered puddles and stained the rock walls.
One glance at the red-eyed, skeletal mob penned inside and her knees buckled. Goosebumps erupted over her naked body and her stomach churned. Pressed against their cage, blood-starved vampires waited, fangs bared as they howled for fresh meat—for her.
Darkness blocked her vision until only the smell of neglect and dirt remained. Bile rose in her throat. Her muscles trembled like half-set Jell-O, and she struggled to breathe. If her captors tossed her in with those monsters, she’d be toast. Well… vampire catnip. Whatever, she’d end up dead.
The fat warder’s breath came straight from a pigsty. His celery-stalk–thin friend sported enormous boils on his cheeks and hands. Don’t these creeps understand personal hygiene?
The way Fatso groped her exposed breasts made her flesh creep. Until today she’d delighted in her Marilyn Monroe curves, but around this pervert, she felt dirty and ashamed. When the boil-covered guard unlocked the entrance, hungry blood-drinkers surged forward.
The other guards approached the cage, nightsticks swinging. The prisoners howled, wrapped their arms around their heads, and dropped to the floor. Weakened by their hunger, they were no match for well-fed soldiers. Wary now, they backed off and formed a semicircle, penning her in the entrance.
Fatso released her arm and whacked her between her shoulder blades. Her breasts bounced as she stumbled farther into the dark cavern. Behind her, the door shut with a clang. The sound of the oversized key turning in the lock sounded her death knell.
She slammed one hand over her bare cunny and wrapped her other arm across her chest. Darkness choked her and terror froze her bones. As her eyes adjusted to blackness, a mass of ragtag creatures shuffled toward her. Their fangs gleamed through the cavern’s endless night.
When her spine pressed against the bars, they felt like icicles branding her flesh. Worse, her generous curves stopped her squeezing between them. Her pulse hammered three hundred beats a minute.
Palms clammy, she batted away the filthy hands that clawed at her naked body. Not that she had a hope in hell of coming out of this alive. “I’m a trained killer. Come near me and die.”
The feral vampires parted like the Red Sea before Moses. For one brief, beautiful moment, she thought her bluff scared them. No such luck.
A giant of a man strode toward her, his muscles bulging beneath his black leather jerkin. Shaven-headed, with a goatee beard and neat moustache, he could have passed for a member of an old-style biker gang. His dominant swagger and bulk made her pulse pound in a mix of bone-deep attraction and stomach-churning fear. Again she tried to cover her nakedness with her hands.
This gorgeous man-mountain’s eyes glowed with smoky red-gray lights—burning coals that illuminated the darkness. He dominated the other vampires by sheer force of will. “Disperse. Now.”
The mob dropped their chins and edged away.
His wide-legged, chin-high stance proclaimed him the biggest, baddest thing in there. To her, he seemed like sunshine and strength, a savior come to rescue her—unless he considered her his next meal.
With his pointed fangs and red-eyed gaze, he should terrify her. Instead, her tongue crept over her lips, and her nipples pearled as she took a step toward him. Then her common sense kicked in. He was a vampire—a natural-born killer who’d drink her dry.
His arm shot out, yanking her against him. The contact made her cunny ache for more. Determined to escape him, she thrust her knee toward his balls. Lightning fast, he stepped sideways, but his grip on her wrists tightened.
With a sexy growl, he hoisted her over his shoulder. “No dirty tricks, cupcake.”
God, his voice. Rich with bass notes, it reverberated through her bones. Everything about him, except his incisors, sent wicked desire blazing through her. But cupcake? She’d show him cupcake.
An amused laugh rumbled around his chest as she pounded her fists on his spine. He landed a single hard slap on her bare bottom. She squealed at the unexpected pain. Her cunny clenched, but hung like a slab of meat over the giant’s shoulder, she felt powerless and vulnerable.
His oversized hand stroked her naked behind before he slapped it again. The sound echoed around the cavern. Squealing, she beat on his back. Another inmate drooled as he crept closer. “Need a taste.”
Her captor shoved at the overfamiliar vamp’s face. “Don’t touch what’s mine.”
A blast of dark, sensual heat shot through her as he claimed her as his. If she wasn’t careful, this mammoth with the toe-tingling, growly voice could consume her in more ways than one.
Paranormal romance novels Wolf’s Challenge and Tiger’s Last Chance are both on sale for $1.99 each on Amazon through February 14, 2021!
In the strange town of Great Oaks, VA, the road to love is full of surprises. Wolf’s Challenge is the first story in my Stranger Creatures series and features Derrick and Sydney’s story.
When temptingly handsome, powerful shape shifter Derrick dares shy, single mom Sydney to take a chance with him, will she rise to the challenge or will she run for safety, leaving him in the dust?
Sydney sat in the conference room at Brass Cat Advertising, sipping her coffee and wishing the caramel latte could take her to an alternate reality. One where Derrick Porter wasn’t sitting in front of her. His presence had caught her off guard. She took another sip of her coffee and tried not to stare stupidly, but holy chocolate-covered cherries, the man was hot.
Dark hair and eyebrows made a striking contrast against his strong bone structure and fair skin. His lips, good grief. They looked so soft. His long, lean body fit nicely in a suit. The material stretched over his broad shoulders and came in at the waist. He probably had amazing six-pack abs.
When they’d met Saturday in running group, it hadn’t merely been the fog coupled with Sydney’s exhaustion and two-year streak of celibacy that made Derrick appear so handsome. Even under the bright lights of the conference room, he was gorgeous. What rotten luck that she couldn’t seem to get away from him.
Wolf’s Challenge is 1.99 on Amazon through February 14, 2021
Sean and Nikki from Wolf’s Challenge get their own story in Tiger’s Last Chance!
Here’s a little excerpt from Tiger’s Last Chance
For the briefest moment, Nikki felt the depth to which Sean might be capable of pushing her. His kiss was crushing and brutal. His tongue pushed past her lips and his grip in her hair tightened. If desire were a vine, it would have wrapped itself around her veins and encased her heart. The heat between them flooded her. There was a sweetness, too, in his kiss, and the sweetness made her burn hotter.
A polite cough from inside the waiting car put a quick end to things. Sean pulled away and met her gaze. No words, but she got the message. She wasn’t alone. Comfort and friendship; he’d probably meant the kiss to comfort her and had gotten carried away in the heat of the moment. He’d carried her away with him, and she wanted to take him so much further into the unknown.
With each second, each step towards the waiting car, she tried to find reasons and more reasons to ignore her growing attraction to Sean. The number one reason to forget about the kiss they’d shared—relationships were trouble. She had plenty of other amazing things in her life, including her career, her volunteer work, and her band, even though the band rarely played anywhere because the members had trouble aligning their schedules. She didn’t need a man. Besides, he was probably still messed up over Sydney. Also, he was a regular. Or mostly regular. Not to mention he lived over a thousand miles away in Texas. She should tell him the kiss was a mistake. One look at him and she couldn’t bring herself to say the words. The kiss they shared had been anything but a mistake.
On sale for $1.99 on Amazon through February 14, 2021
Aiden “AJ” Shephard from Bear’s Edge gets his own story! I’ve been working on book 1 of the Haven Forest paranormal romance series which will be a subseries of my Stranger Creatures books. AJ’s mistake during a Shifter Army Enforcement rescue mission cost Ellie’s brother his life. Ellie wants to hate AJ but a chance encounter in a rowdy bar reveals he’s not the cold, heartless man she thought him to be. Accepting a job at AJ’s new shifter resort means the promise of a fabulous new career for Ellie. If only she could forget about blazing hot kiss they shared. Will Ellie’s growing attraction to him become more than just a temporary complication? AJ sure as hell hopes so.
For updates (also occasional poems and weird memes) you can find me on social media at:
When the people holding the keys and opportunities
When paltry charity
masquerades as mercy
and humiliation is just another weight to bear
when hands that don’t understand
When the untested judge
demands the not so simple task of conformity
Their ultimatums press down, immobilize, incarcerate
When the well intentioned pleas of
“why can’t you just….
follow the path
bring tears, leave scars
every day of defiance
every day of survival
is a day closer to the chance
to seize those elusive keys and opportunities
and sacrifice order
by Christina Lynn Lambert
This poem is for everyone who has struggled and hoped to find a way to one day thrive instead of just survive within a world that isn’t patient and doesn’t always know or understand how to help, and sometimes doesn’t want to.
Children are the most vulnerable and tend to be at the mercy of those who often want order by any means necessary. For all the kids who struggle under the weight of society’s expectations of normal, for the kids who disagree with the messages they have been given and told to believe, for the kids who speak out against the injustices they see and want to change the world, for the kids who struggle to find their voice and their courage, for the kids who struggle with a disability- whether that disability is visible or not, for the kids who are forced to face changes in their lives they never thought possible, for the kids who challenge their peers’ perceptions of normal, for the kids who don’t have enough to eat or a safe place to live or clothes that fit or safe neighborhoods to play in, for the kids whose safe neighborhoods have become oppressive, paved, video-monitored conformist hells – don’t give up. Keep struggling. Keep fighting. May you find the strength to endure the present and the help and inspiration to find a better, brighter tomorrow.
Books 4 and 5 of the Stranger Creatures series are in progress! Each book in the series features a different couple on their journey to happily-ever-after. Lately, I’ve been working on Luke and Jordan’s story (to be titled later). After surviving a battle with cancer, Jordan decides life should be about taking chances. She’s never met another person with psy abilities before, until Luke. Though she’s still nowhere as bold as she wishes she could be, she comes up with an idea that would allow her spend more time with him. Luke agrees to Jordan’s plan to spend the holidays together and even though he wants something more permanent than their current holiday arrangement, he vows to keep that thought to himself. Would Jordan still want him if she knew his past? Can they stop an elusive research company from experimenting on vulnerable people or will Luke and Jordan’s time together be over too soon?
The above poem is dedicated to the greedy, murderous health insurance and pharmaceutical industries as well as all the soulless politicians who pocketed bribes and allowed this for-profit healthcare nightmare to endure.
Tied down by guilt and separated by quarantine, Mateo and Deja decide to free themselves with a New Year’s Eve night of passion. But will it destroy their family and friendship?
A Stroke at Midnight by Lyndell Williams – A BDSM Romance
He will have her before the year is out!
Mateo spent too many years craving the taste and touch of Deja’s body. He restrained from taking his brother’s widow to bed. Now the sinner in him is winning the battle. He is through imagining all the naughty things he can do with her. Time to put all his kinky plans into action.
He assembles his toys, determined to stroke Deja by the time the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve.
Deja knew it was wrong to lust after her dead husband’s brother. She tells herself that Mateo only wants to help raise her son, but she can’t keep ignoring the way he looks at her and how it makes her tingle with desire. She can’t resist the call of his hot body, and she does not want to.
Tied down by guilt and separated by quarantine, Mateo and Deja decide to free themselves with a New Year’s Eve night of passion. But will it destroy their family and friendship?
A Stroke at Midnight is a BDSM holiday short with an alpha male into kink. **NO abuse, NO cliffhanger, guaranteed HEA!**
“Can I help you?” asked a soft voice behind him.
Mateo turned to the petite, blond salesperson. “Yes, I want to assemble a fetish box, mainly BDSM.” He had thrown out his old toys as soon as he got home. Everything had to be brand spanking new for when he first spanked Deja. He pointed to the wall. “Let’s start with a flogger.”
“I’m interested in genuine leather.”
The clerk nodded and stood on her tiptoes. She pulled down a satin bag. “This is made of genuine leather with a bamboo handle.”
He opened it and glided the strands over his hand, letting them slide through his fingers. Yes, this was the one. Not for their first time, though. Deja had revealed a lot during their conversations. Her sex life, when she had one, was mostly puritanical. He didn’t want to scare her but ease her into his play.
“I’ll take it. Do you have any ticklers with a leather crop?
Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer and bestselling author. She is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She is an editor, writing coach and mentor. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals and writes for multiple online publications.
What do dragons, knights and romance have in common? Grab a copy of multi-published author Daryl Devore’s medieval fantasy romance – The Last Dragon and discover the answer.
A sorcerer craving dominance merged with a dragon, the power overwhelmed him causing him to split into three dragons. Demora ruled thought, but was lost in time. Yidithe offered protection, shining like the light of the sun. Ayrradex craved chaos, revelling in destroying souls.
Many knights died, attempting to slay the devil beast. One knight, Prince Hawkyns, did not fear death. He’d lost everything. Away on a mission when Ayrradex attacked his father’s kingdom, Penrythe, Hawkyns returned to find his noble father – feeble and defeated. His wise mother – crazed. His beautiful wife and unborn child – dead. Only a pile of ashes remained for him to bury. He knelt before his King and vowed to slay the devil-beast or be slain.
Derry was born with powers that terrified her parents. They delivered her to a nunnery to be raised in secret. Jathe, a wise sorceress, discovered the young girl and trained her to one day use the secret hidden in her soul.
Legends spoken around campfires hinted the sole way to destroy Ayrradex was when the hearts of a knight and a golden dragon became one. But after a vicious battle with Ayrradex, the golden dragon was thought to be dead.
Can Prince Hawkyns’s bravery and Derry’s powers end the reign of the devil-beast’s terror?
There will be other links – Books2Read etc – but not until after the Dec 21 release date.
“Will ye join me in the garden?” The monk led the way to a small worn, wooden bench resting beneath a massive old oak tree. He settled himself, straightening his long black robes. “I’m Father Jacobus. The abbot of Baswich Abbey.”
“Baswich?” Hawkyns rubbed under his nose. “That is many, many days ride from my home.”
“And where is home?”
Hawkyns shifted to face the monk. He bowed his head and placed his hand over his heart. “I am Prince Hawkyns of Penrythe. I am on a quest. I hunt a dragon. The one that destroyed my father’s kingdom and…” His voice failed him. “Also, my wife and our unborn child.”
The abbot closed his eyes, crossed himself and mumbled a prayer. Hawkyns hoped it would make his family’s place in heaven a little sweeter.
“I offer comfort as ye look troubled.”
Hawkyns raised both hands and rubbed his face. “Father, there is so much I do not understand.” He waved one hand around. “I know not how I came to be here. I was a few days’ ride from my home. When I went to bathe in the river… I know not what happened. I awoke on a field of soft summer flowers. An angel stood over me. I should be dead. But, I live. I am of flesh and bone. I know right from wrong. My heart has not hardened. My soul is still mine. But, now…” He shook his head, rubbing his forehead. “I am here. How can that be?”
A mischievous smile crossed the monk’s serene face. “Those who witnessed yer arrival say ye fell from the sky. Like a fallen angel.”
Hawkyns raised his brow. “I am not an angel. Nor a demon. I am a mortal. I cannot fly. How is this possible? Some evil magick?”
Bio and Social Media
Two writers in one. Daryl Devoré writes hot romances with sexy heroes and strong heroines and sweet romances with little to no heat. She has several published books available on Amazon in ebook or print book and available at other book retailers via Books2Read.
Daryl (@daryldevore) lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and 2 cats. Daryl loves to take long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth, and a meteorite. She’s been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter, and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life’s an adventure and Daryl’s having fun living it.