Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Back To The Beginning: A Duet by Laramie Briscoe and Seraphina Donavan Release Blitz and Giveaway

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BACK TO THE BEGINNING: A DUET
BY LARAMIE BRISCOE & SERAPHINA DONAVAN
RELEASE BLITZ
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Join Laramie Briscoe & Seraphina Donavan as they take you back to where it all started for their two most popular series!
Back to Basics features Liam and Denise of the Heaven Hill Series & Remembered features Vincent and Ophelia of the DuChamps’ Dynasty Series.
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Purchase Links


BLURBS

Back to Basics: A Heaven Hill Novella

Family

Community

Club Duties

Responsibilities are time-consuming. They take hours, minutes, and seconds away from moments that could be spent strengthening relationships.

When Liam realizes he and Denise have done precious little communicating and loving lately, he takes her on a little road trip with one goal in mind—getting to know each other all over again, body and soul.

Amongst waterfalls, adult conversations, visits with old friends, and childless hotel rooms, they get back to basics.

Remembered: A DuChamps’ Dynasty Novella

After two years of marriage, Vincent DuChamps is more in love with his wife, Ophelia, than ever.

Their life together is perfect… except for one thing. One dark, ugly secret looms over them and threatens everything Vincent holds dear.

A lost night, hours that he can’t account for and waking up in a stranger’s bed, naked—the gaps in his memory and the fear that he did the unthinkable torment Vincent daily.

But his worse fears are realized when photos from those missing hours fall into Ophelia’s hands.

With his whole world hanging in the balance, Vincent knows one thing… whatever happens, he’s not letting go of her, even if she wants him to.

Add it to your TBR lists on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30129814-back-to-the-beginning

ABOUT LARAMIE

Laramie Briscoe is the best-selling author of the Heaven Hill Series & the Rockin' Country Series.

Since self-publishing her first book in May of 2013, Laramie Briscoe has published over 10 books. She's appeared on the Top 100 Bestselling E-books Lists on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. She's been called "a very young Maya Banks" (Amazon reviewer) and her books have been accused of being "sexy, family-oriented, romances with heart".

When she's not writing alpha males who seriously love their women, she loves spending time with friends, reading, and marathoning shows on her DVR. Married to her high school sweetheart, Laramie lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband (the Travel Coordinator) and a sometimes crazy cat named Beau.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.laramiebriscoe.com

Email: Laramie.briscoe@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaramieBriscoe

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/laramie_briscoe

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/laramiebriscoe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaramieBriscoe



ABOUT SERAPHINA

Seraphina Donavan is a hopeless romantic with a wicked & oh-so-dirty mind! Those things, combined with her love of writing, prompted her to take the leap and transform those fantasies into written words on a page. As a curvy girl herself, Seraphina has made it a point to celebrate those women with delicious curves with her work through writing and the hot men who love them.

She currently has 18 published books and one anthology and is working on many more..

Living in Central Kentucky, Seraphina spends her time rescuing stray animals, working for a non-profit agency and dreaming of becoming a best-selling author. She lives in a home that has more character than working parts and enjoys spending time with her fur babies. Feel free to contact her with any questions or thoughts on your mind.. She loves connecting with her readers & hearing from anyone!

If you'd like to see more information about Seraphina's books, events and appearances or to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website: www.seraphinadonavan.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Seraphina-Donavan-211121168972963/?fref=ts
GIVEAWAY
Be in with a chance to win a $50 Amazon Giftcard!

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Princess of the Dark by Taniquelle Tulipano Release Blitz

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Book: Princess of The Dark
Series: The Monstrum Vampire Series #3
Author: Taniquelle Tulipano
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover Designed by: Francessca’s PR & Designs
Hosted By: Francessca’s Romance Reviews

Synopsis:

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Raphael and Rosannah have been through the wringer, but surely, it's almost over now? They have been through so much together; what more can possibly be thrown at them? Something that has been bubbling below the surface since they first met is about to boil over. Someone, who has had a close eye on Rosannah, has a diabolical scheme up their sleeve and will risk everything to see their plan succeed. Hell is about to knock on the Monstrum's front door and with it, secrets will surface, lives will be lost, and irreparable damage will be left in the wake of disaster. The darkness is descending and when the shadows clear, who will be left standing and who will be left by the wayside? But most importantly, will anybody be victorious?

Contains adult themes and explicit sexual content. Also contains cliffhangers.

Add To Goodreads

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Purchase Links

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Nook
iBooks
Kobo

Excerpt

“You two will certainly star the next time I flick the bean. You are both drop dead gorgeous,” she admits while she’s still under the influence of Lawrence’s brainwashing.

“If only you knew the half of it,” Lawrence flirts. I punch Lawrence in the arm faster than Nora can register. “I think Raphael here would love to hear anything else you may have to say,” he says and sidesteps away from me.

“I hate you,” I whisper to him as Nora starts talking, until she is cut off by Lawrence’s reply.

“Such anger Raphael. I think you have a problem.”

“Yes, it’s called Lawrence,” I say through gritted teeth.

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Other Book In The Series

Dead Beginnings


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Amazon UK
Amazon USA
The Lost Brother

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Amazon UK
Amazon USA



About The Author

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Taniquelle is an author and the founder of Bella Tulip Publishing, a publisher of adult romance and Bella Tulip Reviews, a blog that reviews and promotes books. In 2015 she introduced Raphael Monstrum and Rosannah Morgan to the book world in her first published book Dead Beginnings from the much loved Monstrum Vampire Series. The sequel, The Lost Brother, was published soon after and followed the trend of the first book with numerous five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Taniquelle predominantly writes romance but also writes a variety of other genres.

Her reading tastes are based around adult romance and erotica.

Taniquelle resides in London, England with her husband and daughter.

Dead Beginnings (Monstrum #1) is published and available in digital format from Kindle, iBooks, Kobo and Nook and paperback format from Amazon.

The Lost Brother (Monstrum #2) is published and available in digital format from Kindle, iBooks, Kobo and Nook and paperback format from Amazon.

Princess of the Dark (Monstrum #3) is set to be published May 2016.

Blood Entwined (Monstrum #4) is set to be published in 2017.

You Can stalk her here:

Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Manacle by Bella Jewel Release Boost and Giveaway





Title: Manacle
Series: MC Sinners Next Generation #3
Author: Bella Jewel
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
 Release Date: May 23, 2016

Blurb


I’ve loved Danny since I was five.
He’s loved me longer.
It seemed destined that we would be together, it seemed like the stars had aligned.
Then we grew up and life got in the way.
He’s stepping up to be president of the Motorcycle club we grew up in.
And I want no part in it.
I want to be free, to travel the world and experience life without violence.
He’s not willing to give up the club.
I’m not willing to be an old lady.
But giving him up is like losing a part of myself.
Love isn’t easy.
Life certainly never is.
The manacles he has wrapped around me will hold me to him.
No matter how hard I try to run.




Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA


Also Available



AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA




AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS


Author Bio

Bella Jewel is a self published, USA Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013 she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her writing career, planning many new releases for the future.
Author Links

Giveaway

Kellen's Tempting Mate by Elle Boon Blog Tour

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A NOT SO NAÏVE SHE-WOLF: Laikyn O’Neil has loved Kellen for years. Thinking to prove her love, she sets out to learn how to be a good submissive, only to find herself needing a savior.
THE RELUCTANT ALPHA: When Kellen Styles finds Laikyn in the last place he expected, he rides to her rescue, but then can’t stop his dominant needs from taking over. Sure that he has moved too soon, he backs off to give Laikyn time to come to terms with the fact that they are mates. Instead she leaves, thinking he didn’t want her.
AN UNDENIABLE BOND: Kellen is determined to claim his tempting mate and earn her forgiveness, and nothing and no one will stand in his way. When their world is suddenly rocked off its axis by vampires, fey and more, their pack will have to unite with these strangers in order to defeat the beings that threaten those they love.

Amazon US / Amazon UK 
Amazon CA / Amazon AU

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Story Excerpt
“You would have saved me,” Laikyn said against his lips.
Her faith in him made him feel ten feet tall. “I’ll always protect you. You come first, middle, and last in my world. My every waking breath will be filled with your scent. I need you, Laikyn.”
“We should help Rowan unload the trailer into the barn for the night.” Laikyn nuzzled against his neck.
She fit him. He called her his kitten, and the way she was rubbing up against him, the soft little sighs, he truly thought the name appropriate, even though they were wolves.
“Alright, let’s get it done, so I can make you mine properly.” Kellen opened his door, climbing out with Laikyn in his arms.
“It’s a good thing you’re such a big man, Kellen.” Laikyn wrapped her arms around his neck.
He looked down at her. “Why’s that,” he asked letting her slide down the front of his body.
“You’re always picking me up, and I’m far from a small chick.” She stood on her toes and kissed his beard stubbled chin.
Kellen gripped her ass, bringing her flush with his hard-on. “Thank god for that. I love how you fit against me.”
Banging on the door had him growling. “Damn that Rowan.”
She laughed. “He is probably wanting to get home and practice making babies.”
“Boy needs to figure that shit out,” Kellen mumbled striding to the door.
At the door Rowan and Lyric stood with worried expressions. Rowan held his hand up, ready to knock again. “I know how to make babies. I just enjoy the practice. Tell her we are ready to do the making and its game on. Now, what the fuck happened?”
They spent the next few minutes getting the trailer in the barn, then Kellen ushered the couple into the large log home. After he shared the information Damien had given them, Rowan began to pace.
“How do we protect the entire pack if he decides to pull the same shit on them that he did on you two?”
“Forewarned is forearmed, man. Besides, I can share with everyone at once.” Kellen kept his tone level.
Lyric stood in front of Rowan. “He’s the alpha, remember.”
“So do you send out a call or text?” Humor laced Rowan’s voice, but Kellen saw through to the real worry.
Kellen nodded. “Something like that. I believe a mind-fuck some might call it, but I will do a little love tap first. I hate to bombard everyone at once, however it must be done now. I’m going to give Xan a heads up first.” Kellen gave Laikyn a kiss. “You will have to ignore his snarly attitude.”
“What do you mean?” Laikyn blinked up at him.
“I don’t plan to keep you out, so when I tap on Xan’s mind, he’ll more than likely be snarling back at me. Ignore him.”
Within minutes Kellen and Xan were mind-speaking, luckily he and Breezy weren’t in the process of doing the deed, making the snarling minimal. As Kellen’s second, Xan would help Kellen funnel the information throughout the pack.
“I say we use Rowan and his link with Lyric as well. He’s a strong alpha, not to mention a force to be reckoned with,” Xan suggested.
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About Elle Boon
meprofile
Elle Boon lives in Middle-Merica as she likes to say…with her husband, two kids, and a black lab who is more like a small pony. She’d never planned to be a writer, but when life threw her a curve, she swerved with it, since she’s athletically challenged. She’s known for saying “Bless Your Heart” and dropping lots of F-bombs, but she loves where this new journey has taken her.
She writes what she loves to read, and that is romance, whether it’s erotic or paranormal, as long as there is a happily ever after. Her biggest hope is that after readers have read one of her stories, they fall in love with her characters as much as she did. She loves creating new worlds, and has more stories just waiting to be written. Elle believes in happily ever afters, and can guarantee you will always get one with her stories.
Connect with Elle online, she loves to hear from you:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/wewroteyourbookboyfriends/
Presented by WLKBookPromotions.com

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Dirty Work by Chelle Bliss and Brenda Rothert Cover Reveal




Authors - Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rothert

★STANDALONE NOVEL★

Release Date - July 26, 2016

BLURB

After serving his country with distinction on the battlefield, there’s only one place left for Jude Titan to fight – Washington, DC. The people of the great state of Illinois welcomed home their hero, and it’s because of them that he’s running for Congress. #TrustTitan

But there’s a problem. His opponent, Reagan Preston, is a temptation he can’t afford.


Reagan Preston grew up in politics, groomed from an early age to carry on the family tradition. She’s in the biggest fight of her life against the golden boy, Jude Titan. It’s an uphill battle against one of the most eligible bachelors in Chicago, but she’s ready. With the backing of her family and friends, her campaign is a force to be reckoned with. #PurePreston


What starts out as a fight for the ages turns into an attraction so intense they’ll both risk ruin for it. #PoliticsIsFilthy #DirtyWork


http://amzn.to/1NNCdzL

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About the Authors

Chelle Bliss, USA Today Bestselling author, currently lives near the Gulf of Mexico, but hates sand. She's a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend. She loves spending her free time with her 2 cats, hamster, and alpha male boyfriend.

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She's a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.


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Three Wishes by Emma Nichols Release Blitz

ThreeWishes

Buy now on Amazon only 99 Pennies! Read for FREE with KU.


Blurb:


With his gift for storytelling and his degree in film making, his plan had always been to see the world. A semester from finishing his graduate degree, Ben was assigned to make a dying girl’s wish come true. If he could hold it together, he might just fulfill one of his own. The problem was he’d never been good with kids and even less comfortable with beautiful women.




Life hadn’t been easy for Charlie after being kicked out of her parent’s house and dumped by her boyfriend when she refused to have an abortion. Now, six years later, Charlie’s daughter had leukemia and all she wanted was the same thing she’d wanted since she took the pregnancy test so long ago: for her baby to live.




After two long years of treatment, and news it hadn’t helped, Olivia had one last wish: to leave a legacy for her mother. As she worked on the documentary with Ben, it seemed to be working and Olivia felt better than she had in a very long time. Then the father she’d never met showed up.




Three people. Three wishes. One chance to make all their dreams come true.

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Snippet:


“Why would you do this?” My voice came out a whimper.




“Babe, I’m trying to help.” He sounded more than a little exasperated.




“How does it help me to know I have so many people pitying me?” I shook my head as tears dripped down my nose. “All I have is my self-respect and my pride. You’re killing it.”




“How’s that?” Ben backed away from me and threw his hands in the air.




“My father obviously now knows we’re struggling. He’ll run and tell my mother. She’ll get to be all smug about our situation.” I dabbed at my eyes with the handkerchief he’d given me when he arrived.




“Listen, if they are sitting around gloating about your ‘situation’ as you put it, then they are shit human beings. If they have the ability to help out and they aren’t, they are shit human beings. If they aren’t there for you in your time of need…”




I glared up at him. “Newsflash, Ben. They are shit human beings. Glad we’re all caught up.” I watched as he swallowed hard. Obviously, my words hit him hard.




“I don’t know why this surprises me so.” He closed the distance and reached out to hold my hand. “I guess it’s more that I don’t understand how someone could abandon you, hurt you and Ollie.” Ben pressed his cheek to my thigh.




“Good Lord! Are you pitying me too?” I reached out to push him away.




“No one pities you, Charlie. Do you not get that yet?” He stuffed his phone in his pocket. “These people donating want to help. I want to help. No one should have to go it alone. Understand?” He gazed up at me with these pleading eyes.




“Not really. I’m not used to this. It feels bad to me.” My head hung and I couldn’t face him.




“An outpouring of love can be overwhelming at first. Just accept it. Let them love you.” Ben took both of my hands in his. “Let me love you.”

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Snippet:


Professor Morceau sighed. “Anyway, I thought the timing might be better now for you to meet her.”




I wished I didn’t have to talk to him in the car. I thought better when I could move around, give my ideas room grow. The car was stifling in every sense. “Why would now be better? Ollie’s sick. She’s convinced she’s dying.” My heart froze. “Did you think I’d be a better match for Charlie if Ollie was gone?”




“Well, who would want to raise another man’s child? Who would want her?” He spat.




Bile rose in my throat. This man completely sickened me. I can’t believe I ever admired him. “A good man. A good man would see what a treasure Ollie is. A good man would fall madly in love with the incredible woman Charlie has become. I’m that man. I always was.” I slammed my hand on the dashboard. “I could’ve been there for them the whole time. I would’ve.” I rubbed my forehead, feeling one hell of a headache threatening. “You stole years from us. You decided Charlie’s fate, threw her into the cold when she needed a safe haven. How could you?”

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Snippet:


Breathing easier, I stepped off the elevator and rushed to Ollie’s room. I swear I just wanted to gather both of them in my arms and never let them go, maybe run off even. We could find a new hospital, new doctors, and I’d stay off the internet this time.




That thought was immediately crushed when I met Charlie’s scowling face at the door. “Outside,” she growled as she backed me out of the room.




“So, we gave blood. Damien says he’ll be back later, but you never really know with that guy, do you?” I shrugged. “Anyway, I’m here, and I thought I’d work with Ollie for a while before her lunch and nap. You know, the usual, from a guy you can count on.” I started to give her a kiss on the cheek, but she pushed me back. Undeterred, I started to open the door.




“We’re not finished yet,” Charlie snapped.




“We aren’t?” I feigned confusion and scratched at my head as if I couldn’t possibly imagine what we had left to say to one another on the subject.




“Listen, you need to pull it together. I can understand why you’d be upset…” She threw her hands in the air.




“Good. I’m glad you get it. I’m glad you understand.” I huffed for a moment, but the last thing I wanted was to push her further away. Rubbing the back of my neck, I bit my cheek for a moment as I struggled to calm down. “Please, can we get back to where we were, before he came, back when you liked me?” I gave her a pleading look.




Charlie softened some. “I’d like that, but I think there’s something you need to know first.” She limped closer and wrapped her arms around my waist. I could feel my fury beginning to dissipate. “Damien wants to spend time with us, wants to get to know Ollie.”




I stiffened and peeled her off me so I could look her in the eyes. “Do you think this is a good idea? She’s so fragile right now. I mean, the way you explained it, the guy abandoned you. I don’t want Ollie exposed to someone who could hurt her like that.” I meant it too. It was all about what was right for Ollie. It just so happened that having him gone for good was better for Charlie and me as well.




She took a step back and crossed her arms over her chest. “Then it’s a good thing this isn’t up to you. Who do you think you are anyway?” Charlie frowned.




“I thought I was the guy who loved you, the guy who was always there for both of you. I guess I thought maybe that gave me the right to an opinion, being taken into consideration.” My heart sank. “I forgot there’s only room for two in your world. My mistake.” Slowly, I turned to walk away. I needed to clear my head and get these raging emotions under control before I spent any time with Ollie. The kid didn’t miss a thing and she didn’t need to be part of our fight.




“That’s right. Run away. Run just like every other guy I’ve ever known,” she hissed.




Whipping around, I flexed my hands a few times before speaking. “I’m not running. I need a cool down period. I think I deserve at least that. I’ll be back.” I sighed. “I always come back.”




Charlie crumbled against the wall. I wanted to go to her, to hold her and tell her everything would be all right, that I would help her handle whatever came our way. Only this time, I didn’t know if it was true. I didn’t know where I stood now that Damien had returned. There was an ache in my chest like I hadn’t felt since my mother died. Oh, but I recognized it, the feeling of loss, despair. Although this time, no one had died, but our relationship seemed to be in cardiac arrest.

Giveaway






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What made her decide to be a romance author?




Simple.




How else was she going to parlay her two favorite past times into a career?




Emma is single and loving it. Like her first character, Alysin, Sin for short, she doesn't believe in settling or in settling down. She loves to indulge in her passions whenever the mood strikes and enjoys keeping all of life's cliché moments spicy.




Known for her sense of humor, Emma surrounds herself with friends whose antics often become the source of book fodder. Her ideal situation would be to explore the Caribbean while writing. She pursues that dream daily.

connect with emma:


Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/0SiQn


Website: http://emmanicholsromance.com


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Tour Hosted by:


lkb


Gone Wild by Dakota Madison Review Tour

Title: Gone Wild
Series: Love in Midlife Series Book 2
Author: Dakota Madison
Genre: Adult Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 15, 2016
Tenured English professor Bly Daniels believes the short walk from her campus office to the university library is too much exposure to the harsh elements of the outdoors. She would prefer to spend her days (and nights) comfortably seated indoors reading classic literature.

When Bly is arrested for reading one of the great books while driving home, a judge sentences her to thirty days of community service with The Wild Way, a therapeutic wilderness program for troubled teens.

There she meets Turner Wild, the owner and operate of the wilderness program. Turner is everything Bly despises: rugged, unrefined and outdoorsy. For Bly a trip to hell sounds more desirable than spending an entire month with Turner and his band of hooligans as they traverse the woods of rural northwest New Jersey communing with nature.

Bly certainly never expects to form a bond with the troubled teens she's been assigned to mentor and forge an unlikely relationship with their fearless leader, Turner Wild.


REVIEW


Bly was a stick in the mud Engish professor who was not well liked because she was a hard cookie. After a misunderstanding and soe bitter feelings she finds herself on a road less traveled. While not prepared for the road ahead she is dressed in pumps and a suit. She finds herself over packed, breathless, blistered and among the free and closed off.

This adventured turns into raging waters and strong storms that send her on a mission to be a better person. Yes these are actual events but what stands out is how Bly allow someone in and places all her courage in just doing. No doubts, no regrets, just determination and drive. Turner in turn assist when he was raged and grabs the bull by the horn and reel in the Doc and her shadow.

This was a very deep book that was more educational on a deeper level than funny. Although there were moments of humor I found myself more engaged in the transformation of Dr. Bly Daniels than anything and especially loved the way she connected with Kia. This is a must read.
“This is as far as I go,” the crusty old cab driver barks as he stops in front of a long dirt road that disappears into the woods.

“How far is it to the wilderness camp?” I ask.

“Pretty far, I would imagine. It’s not visible from the road at all.”

“And how am I supposed to get there?”

“I guess you’re just going to have to walk.”

I laugh until I realize he’s not joking. He expects me to walk into the woods on a dirt road that is God knows how long.

Then I realize I’ll also have to carry my bag as well. I could barely carry my suitcase to the front stoop for him to place in his truck.

“I can only take the cab on paved roads,” he tells me. “Company rules.”

Is that supposed to make me feel better? It doesn’t.

I heave a huge sigh. “How much do I owe you?”

“Thirty.”

I hand him three ten dollar bills, plus a five dollar tip.

“Let me get your bag out of the trunk.”

When he exits the cab I take a moment to compose myself. I’m already so far out of my comfort zone I feel like I’m having a panic attack, and I haven’t even made it to the camp yet. 

You’re an intelligent woman with a doctoral degree, I remind myself. You can do this.

By the time I exit the cab my bag is already on the side of the road waiting for me. 

“Good luck,” the cab driver says.

“Thanks.”

It probably wasn’t the smartest idea I ever had to wear a dress and pumps. In my defense I don’t have much else in my wardrobe. Work attire and lounging outfits for around the house are about it. When I teach I always wear a dress or a suit with dress shoes. I wouldn’t be caught dead outside of my home in one of my lounging outfits. 

Calling the dirt pathway a road is extremely generous. The trail is much rockier and uneven than I initially thought. The shoes I’m wearing are not even close to being appropriate for the conditions. I’ll be lucky if I don’t turn an ankle. 

My suitcase is another problem entirely. I can barely make it a few feet before I have to set it down. The muscles in my arms are already throbbing and I haven’t even made it far enough to spot the end of the trail yet.

Luckily it’s still early in the day. I’ve got many hours of sunlight left. Even if it takes me several hours walking a few steps at a time I should make it there before dark.

Unless it’s a few miles to the camp, then I’ll be in a bit of trouble.

Two hours and thirty seven minutes later I’ve had about all that I can take. My feet are blistered and aching. I’m afraid when I finally remove my shoes my feet will be bloody as well. 

My arms are so weak I don’t think I can lift the suitcase again. 

And I’m on the verge of complete exhaustion.

What was I thinking packing so much stuff? I was thinking I’ll be here an entire month and I need reading materials.

Here is no water but only rock

Rock and no water and the sandy road.

Those words from T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ seem appropriate right now. I take a seat on my suitcase and wipe the sweat from my brow with a tissue that I just happened to have shoved in my pocket. I can’t even remember the last time I sweated. It may have been in high school when we were forced to play those utterly horrendous sports in our Physical Education classes.

I was supposed to be at the apex of my career this year. I was finally promoted from Associate to Full Professor. Edgar had been hinting that when he retired I was first in line to take over as Chairperson of the English Department. I was just a few months away from paying off the mortgage on my house.

Now it looks like I might lose everything, and I’m sitting in the middle of the woods helpless to do anything about it. Edgar was not happy when I told him I needed to take a month of personal leave and he’d need to find a substitute to teach my classes. That coupled with the fact that my arrest and conviction has tarnished the reputation of the institution does not bode well for me still having a career upon my return from this journey into the wilderness.  

The sun is starting to get higher overhead, and it’s beating down on me. I’m not sure how much of the blistering brightness my pale skin can take. I should probably edge closer to the tree line where it’s shaded, but I’m too exhausted to move.  

I’m just about to fall asleep seated on my suitcase when a large pickup truck whizzes by. I try to raise a hand to wave the driver over, but to no avail. My arm won’t lift high enough.

Instead I choke on the dust left in the truck’s wake.

Then to my surprise the trucks comes to a screeching halt, reverses and heads back towards me. 

When I rise to greet the driver my legs feel like cooked noodles. They’re so weak I can barely control them as I move towards the truck.

My eyes go wide when I see who has hopped out of the vehicle. The driver is a young, petite woman of Asian descent. 

From the neck up she’s beautiful, with long silky dark hair and perfect features. From the neck down she’s dressed like a man. She’s wearing well-worn jeans, black combat boots and a green Army jacket. 

“Are you lost?” Her tone is accusatory, definitely not friendly. 

I shake my head.

“You know this road leads to a wilderness camp for troubled teens.”

“I do.”

She looks me up and down. “You don’t look like you’re ready for the wilderness, and you’re definitely not a teenager.”

“I’m aware of that.” My voice is weary. “I’m court ordered to be here. Community service.”

She rolls her eyes. “Lucky us.”

“Unfortunately the cab driver wouldn’t take me beyond the main road. I’ve been walking for hours.”

“Would you like a lift?” She raises an eyebrow.

“That would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”

She lets down the tailgate of the pickup, presumably for me to place my luggage in the empty truck bed.

I do my best to drag the suitcase over to the truck, but I feel like my muscles are on fire. There is no way I’m going to be able to lift the suitcase into the back of the vehicle.

The woman and I both stare at the suitcase for several moments. 

“You can’t lift it, can you?” she asks finally.

I shake my head. 

“Unbelievable.” She grabs the suitcase like it’s no heavier than a rag doll and tosses it into the back of her truck. Then she slams the tailgate of the truck closed.

She glares at me for several seconds. “I have some advice for you. Never pack more than you can carry.”

Before I have a chance to respond she marches over to the driver’s side of the truck and hops in. 

I hurry over to the passenger side of the vehicle and stare at it for a few moments. I’m five feet seven inches tall. The woman is easily five inches shorter than me and she got into the truck with very little effort. I have no idea how I’m going to climb into this thing, particularly in my dress and heels. 

“Are you coming?” She glares at me again. She’s very good at glaring. Despite her small stature she’s quite intimidating.

“If you’ll give me just a few seconds I need to figure out how to get inside of this truck.”

“Oh, for God’s sake.” 

She jumps back out of the vehicle, makes her way around to my side then gives me an extremely hard shove right on my buttocks which propels me enough that I’m able to climb into the seat. 

She stomps back over to her side of the truck, leaps into her seat with the ease of a rabbit then slams her door shut.

“Your truck is very high off the ground,” I observe.

“No shit, Sherlock. Now fasten your seatbelt.”

The woman doesn’t say another word to me as we head down the dusty road toward the camp.

Thankfully she parks extremely close to what appears to be a main building. It has a placard which says: The Wild Way Administration.

I do my best to hop out of the truck in my heels. The woman opens the back of the truck, hoists my suitcase out of the truck bed and tosses it on the ground.

She doesn’t wait for me to say anything, not even a thank you. She marches back over to the driver’s side, leaps into the truck like a frog, and drives somewhere behind the administration building.

I’m not sure what to do. I don’t feel like dealing with my suitcase so I just leave it where the woman tossed it. There’s not another soul anywhere so I don’t think it’s in danger of being stolen. Not that my clothing and books would be of value to anyone but me. 

I walk up the small set of stairs to the administration office. The building is really just a large cabin, much like all of the other smaller cabins scattered about the heavily wooded property. 

Unfortunately the front door is locked. I try knocking, then pounding, but to no avail. The place appears to be deserted. 

The person with whom I spoke on the phone, Turner Wild, the program director, told me specifically to report to the camp today. I even wrote it down. He was very short with me, much the way the Asian American woman was, so I wasn’t able to get him to commit to a specific time. 

My feet are throbbing. I’m not that motivated to walk over to any of the other cabins, which are a significant distance from this one, several hundred yards at least. 

The small porch that I’m standing on doesn’t have any chairs, or seats of any kind, so I guess I’m stuck standing here for a while until someone appears, or I figure out something else to do.

I wait for what feels like an hour, but when I glance at my watch I realize only twenty minutes have actually gone by. Time seems to pass very slowly when I don’t have my nose firmly planted in a book. 

That’s when I hear rustling on the roof of the administration building. Panic begins to set in when some tree debris fly off the roof and nearly hit me. 

What’s up there? Is it some kind of animal?

Then I hear stomping—loud, heavy stomping—right above me. Is it possible for a bear to climb on a rooftop?

My chest tightens and I feel like I can’t breathe. I’m going to get killed by a bear and I haven’t even started working here yet.

More tree debris rain down on me: branches, bark, pine cones.

What is going on up there?

Then I hear hammering. To my knowledge bears don’t know how to use hammers. Is Turner Wild on the roof? Or maybe the woman who gave me a lift in her truck?

“Hello?” I shout when the hammering stops. “Hello?”

“You made it,” a male voice shouts back.

I nearly jump out of my shoes when the guy, presumably Turner Wild, jumps down from the roof and lands on the porch next to me. 

“Community service?” He places his hammer on the porch rail next to him and wipes his dirty hands on the sides of his jeans. 

“That’s what I’m here for.”

The man is different than how I pictured him from our very brief phone conversation. I thought he’d be a lot younger, maybe late twenties or early thirties, but he looks more like he’s my age, mid-to-late forties. 

That’s not to say there isn’t a youthful air about him. 

Everything about this man is rugged and outdoorsy. His brown hair is cut in a short, military-style haircut. His strong features look a bit rough and weatherworn. His dark jeans and t-shirt are tight fitting and display every one of the large muscles on his exceptionally masculine body.  

And he’s wearing a very large knife hanging from his belt. I’m not surprised he runs a wilderness camp. It would be difficult to imagine someone who looks the way he does doing anything else.

Well, maybe serving in those Special Operations Forces in the military. I could picture him in one of those SEAL teams like the one that killed Bin Laden.

I decide there are only two likely vocations for this man: killing bears or killing Bin Laden.

His sea green eyes are like lasers as he stares at me. I’m immediately uncomfortable. I wonder if there is any way I could contact the judge and tell her I’ve changed my mind. Fifteen months in jail is starting to seem much more desirable than a month in the woods with this frightening character.

I extend a hand because I’m not sure what else to do. “Hello, I’m Dr. Daniels.” 

He stares at my limb like I’m a leper. Then he looks me up and down. “What kind of doctor are you?”

I clear my throat. “I’m an English professor.”

He laughs. “So you’re not a real doctor.”

I immediately bristle at his ignorant comment. I hate when people say that. “For your information the word doctor is derived from the Latin word docēre which means to teach. The title Doctor has been used for centuries in Europe as a designation for someone who has obtained a research doctorate such as a Ph.D. Thus a person with a medical degree is more accurately described as a physician, not a doctor.” 

He pats my shoulder in the most condescending way imaginable, like I’m some kind of pet. “Whatever you say, Doc.”  

“Why are you touching me?” His hand is still on my arm. I can feel the heat from his body move through mine. It’s extremely disconcerting. 

“Sorry.” He stares at me for a long moment before he removes his hand. 

I try to brush away the tingly feeling flowing down my limb. “Why did you call me Doc? This isn’t a cartoon. You’re not Bugs Bunny.”

He laughs again. I don’t like people who laugh so easily. I’m immediately suspicious of them. 

“I’m serious,” I tell him. “There’s no reason to laugh.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re wound up tighter than Dick’s hatband?”

I glare at him. Does that expression even make sense? I have no idea what he means, but it feels like an insult. And he’s smirking, which makes it worse.

He looks me up and down. “You can’t wear that.”

“Why not?”

“This is a wilderness camp, Doc. We’ll be getting down and dirty. Living in the woods. You can’t wear a dress and heels.”

“I’d appreciate it if you called me something other than Doc. Dr. Daniels would be fine. Or Ms. Daniels. Or my first name, Bly, if you insist. Just not Doc.”

“I could call you Community Service. Would that be better?”

I shake my head. 

“That’s what I thought. What about the clothes, Doc?”

USA TODAY Bestselling author Dakota Madison is known for writing romance with a little spice and lots of heart. She likes to explore current social issues in her work. Dakota is a winner of the prestigious RONE Award for Excellence in the Indie and Small Publishing Industry. When she's not at her computer creating spicy stories Dakota likes to spend time with her husband and their bloodhounds at their home outside Phoenix, Arizona.






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