Christmas in July Facebook Hop

Do you love Christmas? I do! It’s one of my favorite holidays! The music, the decorations, the family fun, it’s all just wonderful. ♥ I am busy working on another Christmas story for this year, and maybe that’s why I’m so excited for the holiday to get here. So I decided, why wait? Let’s celebrate it in July!

I’m organizing a fun-filled Facebook Hop, dubbed appropriatedly, Christmas in July Facebook Hop. Awesome, right? There will be giveaways on each page and a big giveaway on the event page with Christmas in mind. Gifts galore!

If you’d to participate in this awesome event:

Please Sign Up Here

If you’re a lovely reader and want to mark the event:

Please Click Here

Can’t wait to celebrate Christmas in July with all of you!!! ♥

 

 

Fun times ahead…

Eek! You know what I just realized today? It’s only a week away until two amazing events start! Woo hoo! Book sale events are always so much fun!!!

On July 1st, a super duper fun event with Support Indie Authors is going on. One day only sale! The #SIAFBB Beach Reads Title Wave will have 75 free & discounted books to choose from. Say what?! That’s a lot of books you need to have.

And you know what else #SIAFBB will be having that day, a super fun Facebook event featuring some of the authors offering free & discounted books. Make sure to mark your calendars!

Check out the SIAFBB Facebook event here!

The other awesome event going on the same weekend is the Summer Sizzling Reads with Love Indie Romance. Get a great selection of free & discounted romance reads on July 1st and July 2nd. A wonderful two day event!

They will also be hosting a fun Facebook event with some of the authors featured in the book sale in their Facebook Group, so join today!

Check out their Facebook Group right here!

I’m pretty excited about these two events. I bet you’re wondering what books I’ll be offering. Eek! Okay, I’ll tell you!!

One Taste of You (Book 1) will be free, and One Taste of Love (Book 2) will only be $.99! Awesome, right?! And hey, don’t forget that One Taste of Crazy (Book 3) is on pre-order right now for only $.99! That’s the entire series for only $1.98. Woo hoo!

I’ll also have Sunrise Awakening for free, and Sunset Darkening only $.99!

It’s gonna be a great weekend filled with fun, sales, and books, books, books! Doesn’t get any better than that. Save the dates and come join the fun!

Flash This!

Prompt: Crayons are colorful.

Alex followed Ms. Appleby inside her apartment and frowned. On the outside, dressed in a white silk blouse that clung to her body from the rain and a pair of khaki slacks, she appeared like a woman in control and very organized. She looked downright beautiful, even soaked to the bone. He really needed her to change as much as she wanted to change. The way her clothes clung to her body was not helping to reduce the sudden attraction he felt for her. He never let his emotions control him, or found a potential suspect so enticing.

And he needed to stop that thinking in its tracks. Not only would it be bad to get involved with a woman who could be a murderer, but he could never date someone as messy as her. He liked everything in order and put away. Not like this disaster zone.

Her entire apartment looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in months. From the doorway, he could see the kitchen, living room, and dining room. One large room that was covered with crap in every spot. Her kitchen counters were lined with dishes, even a pizza box that looked like it should’ve been thrown away last week. Her dining room table held papers and what appeared to be art supplies of all varieties: paints, color pencils, crayons. You name it, she had it in stock. Her living room, besides a dingy old couch in the middle, was covered with drop cloths around the entire floor. Speckles of paint littered the cloths. Clearly, that’s where she created her works of art. At least, in her mind. In his, they were the starting point for a killer’s imagination.

“It’s that bad, uh?”

He met her gaze, probably with a look of disgust that he couldn’t hide, and shrugged. “I’d like to say I’ve seen worse.” He looked away, walking toward the dining room table. “Please, change. I’ll wait.”

Shifting a piece of paper around to look at it more clearly, he almost smiled at the beauty of it. A simple drawing of a mountain landscape with the sun setting in the background. The lines were choppy and uneven, considering it looked like it was drawn with crayons, but the colors were beautiful, especially with the way they collided together.

How could a woman paint such brutality, and then this kind of beauty? One filled with death and mayhem. The other with happiness and splendor.

“The Teton Mountains. That picture obviously doesn’t do it justice.”

Almost afraid to turn toward her, he steeled his features as he glanced to his right where she stood. She had changed into a pair of gray sweatpants and a black t-shirt. Both were rather baggy on her, but his mind could still conjure the image from before. Slender body. Delicate curves. Ample breasts. Not good. At all.

“It’s drawn with crayons.” Why the hell did he say that? Any idiot could see that.

“Crayons are colorful. They give you a different sense of a scene than acrylic paints or color pencils or even chalk can.” She fingered the edge of the drawing. “I don’t just paint.”

“Why is this beautiful?”

She pinned a hard glare at him. “Was that a mixture of an insult and a compliment?”

“You paint death, yet color beauty. Why?”

Her eyes turned down. “I’m thankful I still have beauty inside me.”

He couldn’t resist. His hand reached out and tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “Why would you think you have no beauty inside of you? You’re certainly beautiful on the outside.”

“I guess you didn’t find everything there is to know about me, did you, Detective?”

Well, that didn’t take a genius to figure out. The question is would she tell him what he was missing?

She jerked away from his touch and headed for the kitchen. “Would you like something to drink?”

“I’d like to know why someone would follow you. Why someone would copy your painting to the T.”

Pulling a water bottle out of the fridge, it looked like her hand shook as she twisted the cap off. “Are you sure someone was following me home?”

“Positive. I know what I’m doing, and I do a damn good job of it.”

“I don’t know. I honestly can’t tell you anything.”

He moved so quickly she almost dropped the water bottle. He grabbed it from her hand before it fell to the floor and set it on the counter behind her. His body boxed her in. “I think you do know. You know something.”

“You should leave.”

“And you should tell me what I missed when I investigated you.”

“I want you to leave.”

His breath hitched. His heart shook with an unfamiliar feeling. His senses reeled from standing so close to her. “I want to kiss you.”

Her hands slapped his chest, then pushed, making him stumble back. “I don’t know what game you’re playing, but it won’t work with me.”

Shit! What the hell just came over him? He had no idea what game he was playing either. This was new territory for him. His gut was finally telling him something.

It said she was innocent. It said he needed to protect her. It said something evil was coming and she was the center of it.

He almost crumbled over in pain from the barrage of emotions hitting his gut.

Air. Some air and some distance was needed. Now.

Pulling his wallet out, he set his business card near the sink, then headed for the front door. His hand gripped the handle hard. “Call me if you remember something I need to know.” His eyes found hers. “But I will be back regardless.”

He left without waiting for her response. Because if he stayed any longer he would give into his impulse and kiss her.

Kiss a potential suspect? He had to clear her name from the list before he did that.

♥♥♥

Eek! I hope you enjoyed this weeks flash fiction:) Oh, and if you didn’t know, One Taste of Crazy is available for pre-order for only $.99! Awesome, right?!?!

Flash Fiction Friday

Prompt: Yeah, an umbrella.

Ginny ate her ice cream as fast as she could, the yummy chocolate deliciousness doing nothing to calm her down. How could she be calm when the nasty detective refused to leave her alone?

Not much had been spoken since he assumed she was threatening him. She may do some idiotic borderline things at times, but she’d never be dumb enough to threaten a detective.

She wished he’d leave already. As she scooped another spoon full of ice cream in her mouth, she returned his unnerving stare. If he insisted on staying, he could at least say something rather than stare at her.

Maybe this was part of his ploy to get her to confess. Ha! He’d be waiting for a very long time because she had nothing to confess. She did not kill that woman, nor had any intention of killing somebody.

Please do not let another person die like one of her paintings.

Her paintings were not for the faint at heart. They were very private pieces. Part of her soul that she needed to cleanse from her body. Maybe some wouldn’t understand, but she didn’t really care. There were things so dark and disturbing inside of her that she needed to get out. Painting was the only way she knew how to do that.

Setting her empty bowl on the table, she then scooted her chair back and stood up. “Have a good day, Detective.”

With that, she left. He didn’t follow her, which rather surprised her. He didn’t even say a word of goodbye.

What was the point of sitting there and staring at her for so long if he wasn’t going to stop her from leaving? Was this another ploy? Well, it wasn’t going to work on her. She had nothing to confess. Nothing that would help him with his murder case, anyway.

She waved goodbye to Tommy, who was behind the counter helping a customer, and rushed out of the café as fast as her feet would carry her.

Light drizzles of rain fell on her cheeks, warming her up. The rain always lifted her mood, just as ice cream did. She loved the simple things in life. Rain, to most people, was a dreary mood killer. For her, it just made her feel happy. There was nothing more fun than jumping into a big puddle and creating a huge splash. Or catching raindrops on her tongue. When she was home, curled in a big comfy blanket, listening to the pitter-patter of rain falling down always soothed her. The sound centered her into a sense of peace when most of the time she was a tumble of torrent emotions.

A smile lifted as she started to walk. She needed this, especially since the ice cream didn’t do the trick. As she strolled down the sidewalk, making her way to her apartment a few blocks away, her heart skipped a beat as the rain picked up its pace. Light drops to a steady flow.

Fifteen minutes later, she made it inside her building, almost sad that her walk was over. She even slowed her pace to enjoy as much of it as she could.

The cold air, mixed with her wet clothes, made her skin prickle with goose bumps as she waited for the elevator. Suddenly, a warm hand captured her shoulder. Jumping, she turned to see Detective Brands standing before her. His hand fell away.

“This is harassment. I should report you to your supervisor.”

An umbrella hung by his side, his knuckles white. “Don’t you pay attention to anything?” The frown he wore turned fiercer. “Where the hell is your umbrella? You’re soaked to the bone.”

What about her threat to report him? He was just going to ignore that. Why did he care about the rain? What was his deal?

“An umbrella? Did you not pay attention? Stop harassing me!”

A muscle in his jaw twitched as he lifted his umbrella. “Yeah, an umbrella. It keeps the rain away.”

“I like the rain.”

“And it can be used as a weapon.”

She jerked back. “Excuse me?”

He stepped closer, almost nose to nose with her. “Like I said, you don’t pay attention. You didn’t see the black car following you home.” His hot breath enticed her more than she cared to admit. One little inch separated their lips. “What are you hiding?”

And that simple question broke the spell he had weaved upon her senses. She stepped away. “Nothing. I’d like to change out of my wet clothes. Since you insist on being a pest, let’s go and get this over with.”

She knew he wasn’t about to leave. And honestly, she didn’t want to be alone just yet. She didn’t like him at all, but oddly, he made her feel safe.

He was also right. She hadn’t been paying attention. She had no clue someone followed her home.

Who was it?

And why?

♥♥♥

Flash Fiction Friday

So, little funny story before the flash. I asked my seven year old for a prompt while we were in the kitchen and she said, “Can I have some ice cream, please?” My four year old comes running into the kitchen, “I want some, too!” Umm…*chuckles* I had to calmly tell her that her sister wasn’t really asking for ice cream and she had to wait until after supper for some. We almost had a crisis on our hands. lol

Writing prompt: Can I have some ice cream, please?

Alex leaned back in his chair as he waited for Ms. Appleby to answer his question. He couldn’t tell yet whether she was guilty or not. He had a weird six sense for telling whether a suspect was guilty within seconds of meeting them. From there, he found every possible evidence there was and nailed their ass to the wall.

Some thought he was crazy with his intuition. Others just nodded and went along with him because they knew he was right.

But her. He still couldn’t get a read on her and it was slowly driving him insane.

“Ms. Appleby, please have a seat.” He tried to offer a smile, not a kind one either, but a smile nonetheless. He knew that type of thing calmed people down. The problem was he never liked to smile much. In his line of work, there wasn’t much to be happy about.

With a tremble in each movement, she picked up her chair and sat down, although didn’t scoot her chair closer to the table.

“It’s uncanny, isn’t it? The details. The placement of the body. It looks just exactly as you painted it.”

“I didn’t do that.”

He brushed the picture of the dead woman to the side so her painting showed as well and tapped the photo. “But you painted this.”

Her bright green eyes with a sprinkle of yellow specks gazed at him, almost as if she was trying to peer into his soul. Not that he thought he had much of one. After so many years working in homicide, dealing with death day in and day out, his soul had withered to nothing. He barely felt anything but wanting justice for the victims who needed their voices heard.

His brother had been trying to pull him out of his routine, his quest for justice for so long, that he all but pushed him out of his life. Nobody understood his need to make people pay for their heinous crimes. Nobody.

“Ms. Appleby?”

She shoved her hair behind her ear. “I thought it was a rhetorical statement. You know I painted it.” She leaned closer, but didn’t move her chair, and tapped the photo. “But I didn’t murder this woman.”

“Well, if you didn’t do it, and you don’t know who did it, how did this woman die? How come the crime scene looks exactly like your painting?”

He couldn’t wait to hear this answer. Perhaps he’d finally be able to get a read on her. His gut churned like a rough current in the middle of the ocean. He still couldn’t say either way, whether she was guilty, or even involved, besides being the artist of the painting. Which he hated to admit was quite masterful. The tiny details she painted, the way the color splashed out of the picture. The way the emotion screamed at him. He really hated to admit she had talent.

Before she could answer, the scraggly looking guy from behind the café counter walked up to the table. His eyes glossed to the photos, yet no expression punctured his face. Odd.

“Ginny, you okay? This guy bothering you?”

She smiled, a tentative one, but slightly beautiful. He didn’t like thinking in those terms, but he couldn’t deny the beauty that graced her face when she smiled.

“I’m fine, Tommy. He’s a detective. He’s just asking a few questions.”

Tommy, who looked like a street bum rather than someone who should be behind the counter serving food to people, nodded. His unruly hair waved around, the scruff on his face giving him a creepy vibe. Something with this guy didn’t sit right with him. Even his clothes, wrinkled from head to toe, didn’t speak highly of him. Why in the world would management let this guy look and dress like this while working?

“If you’re sure.” Tommy glanced at him with a hard glare as if that would scare him. He didn’t respond with anything but to return a hard glare. His head turned back to Ms. Appleby. “Can I get you anything, Ginny?”

“Actually, yes. Can I have some ice cream, please? Chocolate.”

He smiled with a nod and walked away.

“Ice cream?” Alex couldn’t hold the surprise or the slight sarcasm out of his tone.

Wringing her hands, she kept her head down as she answered. “It calms me down.”

“And why are you upset?”

Her eyes whipped to his. Her piercing stare gutted him. “Honestly, Detective, do you have no feelings? Do you think it’s easy to look at a picture of…of an innocent woman murdered? Please put them away!”

He turned away from her stare and gathered the photos, shoving them back into the folder, not because she told him to, but because he couldn’t handle the way her eyes drove straight to the pit of his stomach. He couldn’t describe what it did to him, but it made him uneasy.

“Who said she’s innocent of anything?”

“Regardless of who she was as a person, nobody deserves to be murdered in such a way.”

He pulled the folder closer and glanced at her. He wouldn’t allow her to unnerve him. And he needed to get a read on her. The only way to do that was to push her to the limit.

“You’re hiding something, Ms. Appleby. What is it? Who are you working with? You have some other interesting works of art. When will the next body pop up?”

Her face turned ashen. “You think…you’re wrong, Detective. And if you keep pursuing me as your prime suspect, then yes, another innocent victim may just appear.”

Leaning forward, he watched as the color in her eyes morphed from green with a small sparkle of yellow to a golden halo of brightness. “Was that a threat?”

“Of course not. Just the truth.”

Well, shit. Not only did she further confuse him, he still couldn’t decide if she was guilty.

♥♥♥

Flash Fiction Friday

The prompt this week really made me think. Kudos to my daughter! But when an idea popped into my head, I got really excited. Hope you enjoy this new storyline that’ll probably last a few weeks!

Prompt: I never paint.

The shadows danced around, flickering in and out, up and down. But the nice thing about every dark silhouette that loomed near her, it might’ve wrapped her in sadness, but just as quickly, passed her by as if she were insignificant, worthless.

Worthless.

Now, that’s a word she heard too much in the past. Wasn’t it fitting she’d still think that? Didn’t it make it true?

Another shadow hovered. She blinked once, taking a sip of coffee, then looked up from the book she had been mercifully trying to concentrate on and failing miserably at, to see why the latest shadow didn’t disappear.

The man before her looked foreboding, mysterious, and calculating, all traits she despised. No smile punctured his lips. His brows hung low, little lines wrinkling his forehead as his scowl seemed to deepen. Sharply contoured jaw. Neat, combed black hair. Rigid posture, his hands tightly by his side, a folder tucked in one hand. And his eyes, almost as black as death. Yep. Nothing about his features made her think she was going to enjoy whatever conversation he had in mind.

She turned her head down, deciding that she wouldn’t even indulge him with a simple, “Go away.” He should get the drift.

“Can I sit down?”

Refusing to glance his way, she shook her head no. She wouldn’t even engage him with words back.

A chair scraped against the café’s floor, then the table shook, causing the words to blur before her. Who was she kidding? She hadn’t been concentrating on the words long before he showed up.

Steeling her strength for the interaction she assumed would test her patience, she looked up. The man still glared at her, his hands resting over the folder on top of the table.

Her curiosity got the better of her. She wanted to know what was in the folder. Of course not badly enough that she would ask.

“I said no.”

“You did.” His eyes glossed over her, assessing, weighing, judging.

She hated that feeling. Did he know that? Is that why he looked at her that way?

“I’d like to read in peace. Please leave me alone.”

“Are you Jezabelle Cotton?”

She managed to hide her surprise. Barely. No one called her that anymore. Actually, no one ever called her that. When she first started to paint, she knew she would never be able to use her real name if she ever decided to share her art with the world. That’s the thing. She didn’t find the nerve. How did he know her pseudonym?

“Who are you?”

His hand slid under the table, just as quickly popped up. A bright shiny piece of gold shimmered as he laid it on the table.

A cop.

“Detective Brands.” A tiny corner of his lip curled up. “Let’s skip the games. I know you’re Jezabelle Cotton, the artist. Your real name is Ginny Appleby.”

She closed her book, wrapping her hands together on top of it. “And how can I help you, Detective?”

He picked up the folder, leaving his badge on the table and placed a photo before her.

Bright flashes of color. Red shouting from corner to corner, almost seeping from the paper into the table and right into her hands. Her painting. She named each painting, as if they were her babies. A part of her soul. This particular painting she named “Drenched in Blood”. Oh, yeah. She didn’t paint the pretty pictures with flowers or nature or color splashed over the canvas with happiness.

No. She painted brutality, death, the pain hidden inside of yourself.

This particular painting was of a young woman, draped over the side of a bed, blood dripping to the floor and graced all over her body. Stab wounds from head to toe, sprinkled around like one would dot holes in a rum cake for the rum glaze to enhance the flavor by making sure it hit every corner of the cake.

“This one is quite vivid. The details you managed to capture…” His eyes pierced her with heavy unease. “Do you always paint murders?”

“I never paint…” She tapped the photo, showing not only him, but herself, the picture didn’t affect her. “This isn’t murder. If you can’t look at my paintings and see the real meaning behind it then you’re an idiot.”

She leaned back in her chair, too tired, too strung out from her harrowing emotions to care that she insulted him.

He opened the folder once again and placed another photo over the first one.

She scrambled away from the table so fast, her chair toppled over. Her legs barely kept her standing, but she dug deep for strength she knew would shatter any second.

He tapped the photo. “This looks like murder to me. Nothing but a crime. A crime I will solve.”

Staring at the exact replica of her painting she created six months ago, a tear slid out.

Someone stole her work.

Someone made her painting come alive more than she ever could.

Someone actually killed a real woman and copied her painting to the T, right down to the blood trailing down the side of the bed, her arm hanging loosely to the floor, her fingers dipping into her own blood.

“Tell me, Ms. Appleby. Did you do this yourself, or do you have a partner?”

♥♥♥

Sales, Giveaways, Takeovers…Oh, My!

Welcome to June! Where has the time gone? Seriously?! I have lots of fun news to share. First, The Danger With Love is on sale for only $.99 from June 1 to June 7! Eek! So exciting. ♥


To make it even more exciting, I also have a Goodreads Giveaway going on from June 1 to June 9 to win a signed paperback copy of The Danger With Love. *claps excitedly*

Click here to enter the Goodreads Giveaway

♥♥♥

I’m also joining the Book Haven Book Blog Turns One Blog/Author Hop! That starts today (June 1) and ends on June 6 at 12 AM CDT. Gosh, what a week of fun!

Join over 120 authors of fun. Each stop will have a giveaway *squeals with excitement* with a grand prize at the main event for an Amazon Kindle Fire!

Join the fun here!

Oh, and here’s my page if you wanna hop there to see what I’m giving away!

♥♥♥

Stay tuned…I’ll be doing a few Facebook Takeovers this month as well. Here’s a sneak peek:

♥ BHBB Reader Cave Author Takeover: 7:00 – 7:30 PM EST on June 6, 2017
(Note: This is a closed group. Must join to participate.)

♥ Ember-Raine Winters Beautiful Deception Release Day Party: 4:00 – 4:30 PM EST on June 30, 2017
(Note: This event will be held in The B & B Naughty House. This is a closed group. Must join to participate.)

♥♥♥

Have a beautiful Thursday!

Escaping Memories is on sale!

Where has the time gone? It’s the end of May already! Say what?! The year went so fast that after Memorial Weekend, my kids only have two days of school left and then OMG they’ll be home with me! ♥ Hehehe That rhymed. *chuckles*

I feel like I’ve been neglecting this little darling of mine, and we can’t have that, because I love all my books. lol For the next few days Escaping Memories will be on sale for only $.99!

 Only $.99! From May 28, 2017 to May 31, 2017


Click here for a sweet romantic suspense!

Sheriff Logan Caldwell just wants to keep his beloved county safe, yet feels like he fails when a father kills his own daughter. Open and close case. Nothing more for him to do but start his vacation like he originally planned before that tragedy swallowed him whole. He never imagined the day would get worse when he finds a woman in his cabin. She’s dirty and bruised with blood all over her body. She has no memory—of anything. He failed the little girl, but he won’t fail this woman. He swears he’ll find out who hurt her, keep her safe, and help her gain her memory back. Only problem is, he just might fall in love with her at the same time.

#gimmethatwordtoday: See

See

Mimicking his frown from earlier, her fist clenched the fifty. “I think you’re trying to appease me so I forget about the money. I don’t forget things, Elliot.”

“Maybe I just want to enjoy your company. Is that so hard to believe?”

“Take the money and I’ll believe you.”

“Follow me and I’ll consider it.”

She couldn’t resist that lovable smile of his or the way his eyes glittered with anticipation. “Fine. One cup. And you will take the money.”

“We’ll see. I’m not officially convinced yet.” He chuckled as he placed a hand on her back briefly, then let it fall as they made their way down the sidewalk.

From Merry Me

Or…

When my seven year old loves to do magic tricks. She came into the living room with a cup filled with water and a piece of paper over the top of it. “Okay, watch this guys. It’s a magic trick.” She turns it upside down before we can say anything, and we watch as the water slides out to the floor. She looks down and chuckles, “Didn’t see that coming.” My husband and I could only laugh. #magicianinthemaking

Love & Happy Endings

I love connecting with readers! I’ve done a few takeovers and fun events lately, and it’s always so much fun to interact with readers. I have a few events on Facebook coming up in June, what better way as a reader to keep up to date with me than joining my group Love & Happy Endings! It’s a closed group, but no worries, I’ll add you. *wink* In addition to keeping up with the events I’ll be participating in, I’ll also post excerpts, teasers, giveaways, and so much more, because I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Horrible memory, just in case you didn’t know. Oh, ARCs, yeah, I’ll be giving some of those out, too. (Psst…Book 3 in A One Taste series will be coming soon.)

If you never read one of my books yet, let me give you a break down of what I write. A romance with a definite happy ending! lol Okay, you wanna know a bit more. I love writing suspense, although you’ll find my suspense is on the lighter side. I also like to dabble in contemporary, but I’m partial to writing suspense. You can usually count on a sexy detective, sheriff, cop, or even an undercover FBI agent. Yep, I’ve written all of those so far. I’ve even been told I write awesome insta-love, if that’s something you love.

Is there something different you want me to write? Awesome! Join my group and let me know. This will be the place to bounce off ideas and have fun with me as I create some more amazing stories.

Have I enticed you yet to join me for some fun? No? Okay, how about this…just a taste of the fun you’ll have with me…when you join my group, I’ll give you any one of my books as a thank you! Because, without you wonderful readers, I would only be writing for myself, and I love to write stories for you! ♥

Join Love & Happy Endings