Archive for July, 2014

TV Series & My Mixed Tastes

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Howdy, this is a drive by blog because August 1 is the start of the Sizzling Summer Blog Hop which goes until August 3.

What prompted me to talk about television series? It was a weird idea I’ll admit. I watched an episode of Under The Dome and that made me think of other television series I’m currently watching. Okay, so I’m listing what I can recall off the top of my head that I watch…and from the length of the list you’ll probably think I watch too much television. Maybe I do. Here’s my list as I recall:

Under The Dome

The Strain

Swamp Murders

Killer Kids

Falling Skies


Ghost Adventures

Ghost Hunters

The Walking Dead

Downton Abbey

The Lost Ship

Hell On Wheels


Scared Straight

The Musketeers

The Dead Files


Dark Minds

Chicago Fire

Talking Dead

The Night Shift

Too Cute

Alaska State Troopers

I Survived

Hot In Cleveland

When Calls The Heart

Rookie Blue

The Big Bang Theory

The Haunting Of…




I don’t consider these all must see programs, in fact I’m starting to get tired of Falling Skies, Rookie Blue, and Defiance. Yep. I am. The shows I consider must see are: The Walking Dead, The Dead Files, Ghost Hunters, When Calls The Heart, I Survived, Talking Dead, Chicago Fire, The Musketeers,  and Downton Abbey. You can see there’s an eclectic bunch there, many of them paranormal in nature. You’ll also notice a lack of what I consider reality television. I’m probably forgetting something, but for the life of me can’t recall it at the moment. I haven’t see Manhattan yet or Outlander, so we’ll see how those work out. So if you watch television, which shows do you like?

Guest Author Marie Harte & Wetwork

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Today I’m featuring an excerpt from Marie Harte’s third book in her The Works series. This is a new release so please welcome Marie!


WETWORK (The Works, book #3)

New Release by Marie Harte

He might command her body, but she owns his heart.

Trevor Doran is trying to fit into civilian life now that he’s no longer working secret missions for the government. But his job as a financial investigator for a security firm doesn’t give him the thrill he needs. With his last love dead from a mission gone wrong, he doesn’t need that kind of life anymore. Does he?

His attention soon turns to the beautiful, shy Emma Clark—a friend of his sister’s who intrigues him. He’s getting a vibe from her that makes him want to know more. Is she as submissive as she seems? When Emma starts receiving unwanted attention from a secret admirer, he steps in to help. Then the case he’s investigating at work gets messy. Danger’s afoot, and it’ll take all his skill to keep Emma safe. And all her patience to get Trevor to open himself up to putting his heart at risk and loving again.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe



So strange to find the shy Emma Clark so perfect for him. Dana had been outgoing, brash, sexy and sure of herself. Emma was shy, funny, and insecure. He knew she didn’t understand her appeal, which made her that much more attractive. Unlike Dana though, Emma was overly caring. She went out of her way to make him feel comfortable, and he had to admit that pleased him to no end.

They connected in so many ways, but they hadn’t connected physically yet. Ever since that last kiss, he’d kept his distance. He’d meant it when he said he wouldn’t rush her. She looked at him with desire, but she didn’t seem ready to embrace her feelings. And with his own self-doubts, he didn’t want to tangle with her yet either.

It made no sense that he should feel such affection and lust so soon for her. Especially not now, when he should have been missing Dana all the more fiercely. Just last week marked the anniversary of her death. Dana, a woman who’d matched him in all ways. A fighter, a killer in high heels who knew which pressure points to use to disable a man. Lethal with a knife or a gun, beautiful, sexy…and dead.

He had to work to see her in his mind’s eye, and that bolstered the grief he wanted—needed—to feel. But then an image of Emma’s soft smile, her shy eyes, her vulnerability tugged at him and made him want to smile.

He swore and shifted in his seat, aroused and no longer surprised by it. The need to own Emma, to control her, ate at him. He wanted so much more than tame sex with her. But would she be able to accept that? Could she obey him, open to him the way he needed her to?

With a frustrated sigh, he turned back to his computer and forced himself to finish working on some financial statements for the firm’s other cases. By five thirty, he’d had enough distance from the woman he couldn’t stop thinking about. He packed up and rejoined Emma at her bakery. With her small staff on alert, everyone continued to look for anyone or anything suspicious.

No one had found anything yet. Which meant he’d need to spend more time protecting her. Sleeping in her house, seeing her, hearing her, breathing her in. He muffled a groan and studied her.

She wore her hair up in a ponytail, a Sweets ‘n Tweets tee-shirt and jeans making her look all of twenty years old. Too young for me, he tried telling himself. But he knew he only had ten years on her, thirty-four to her twenty-four. Not too old at all for what he had in mind.

Two men sat talking quietly while an older woman gathered her belongings and left the bakery.

He gave the men a cursory glance, recognizing John, the computer guy, and Garrett, a regular, close to John’s age, who had a sweet tooth and a fondness for Emma. He seemed innocent enough, though John remained a potential suspect in Trevor’s mind. He hadn’t taken anyone off his list, though, and made a note to go over Garrett’s background again. This time in more detail.

“Closing time,” Garrett said with a wink as he noted Trevor.

The regulars had noticed his presence and teased Emma about it. She’d confessed he was her new boyfriend, following his advice on how to explain his presence. Plus he wanted to see how her secret admirer took the news she was no longer available.

Because she wasn’t. Period.

John nodded to his buddy. “Come on, Garrett. We can continue our conversation at my place.”

Trevor made a mental note of the pair’s closeness, wondering how many other customers spent a lot of time in the bakery. John, Garrett, Mitchell, Thomas, Amelia, Sue. The list went on. Emma had loyal customers, sugar addicts needing a fix.

But for food or for Emma? Hell, Trevor even considered himself one of her many admirers. He sighed as John and Garrett left.

Cat poked her head out from the back. “I’m taking off since Trevor’s here.” She waved at him. “Hi.”

“Hey, Cat. Let me walk you out.”

He went out the back with her and waited until she got into her car and left. Then he returned to Emma, who waited for him while she finished wiping up her baking racks and cookie trays .

“I locked up the front. The tables are clean. We can go.”

“Okay.” Was it just him, or did her eyes seem even darker today? Tendrils of her hair had escaped the band holding it up, and his fingers itched to stroke the downy softness of her neck. Her bruises had faded, and he had the insane urge to plant new marks…with his mouth. Small stings from his lips to show everyone she belonged to him.

“Trevor?” She licked her lips. “I-I know you said I needed time. But I, well, would you kiss me?”

He’d been hanging on by a thread for days. Now she wanted him to kiss her, in the safety of her store.

Well, hell. “Kiss you?”

She blinked, doe eyes staring out at the big bad wolf. Her gaze traveled slowly down his body, resting on his evident erection. “Oh, er.” She sighed, bit her lip, and met his gaze with a shy one of her own. “I want you to kiss me…everywhere.”



Hot for SWAT (You’re Either SWAT, or You’re Not)

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Remember that line from the movie SWAT starring Colin Farrell? Okay, you might not. Why am I mentioning it? It’s time to talk about SWAT or SRT (Special Response Team)…one of those subjects that sometimes sends readers into a frenzy. The allure of hot men in dangerous occupations.

It has been a while since I talked about my SWAT series, so I thought I’d give you a taste! In my Heart of Justice series (see the hero profile page here) we get to meet some of the fascinating men who put their lives on the line for others in hostage or other situations. When I wrote these stories I did a ton of research, but I was also fortunate to have the expert assistance of two SWAT team members who could answer questions and keep me on the accurate track. Here are the blurbs for the series, and I hope you’ll read the excerpts on the special book pages. Enjoy!


Within His Sight


Mary Wickes didn’t want to acknowledge that ex-marine, now SWAT team member Dace “Hard Man” Banovic could draw her in with one smoldering, purely male look. Yet working with him for six months at the sheriff’s department proved her hormones didn’t care what she thought, only what she wanted. Now she needed to boogie out of Gold Rush, Colorado before he wore down her resistance. Tainted by bad memories of past betrayal and trust, she knows getting involved with him would be a big mistake.

Dace Banovic is puzzled by Mary’s avoidance tactics, and although he’s tried to ignore the powerful attraction he feels for her, he can’t help wanting to learn everything about the woman he’s desired for six months.

When danger comes, sometimes it takes a special man and woman to see it through to the end…

When a hostage situation brings them to a razor sharp edge of danger, only their determination will prove to them the true meaning of the feelings they’ve tried so hard to deny.

Stop here to read an excerpt!




Celeste Rice’s life has been shattered by terrible violence more than once. Violence threatens to creep back into Celeste’s world when her ex-boyfriend stalks her. When Celeste inherits her aunt’s home, she decides to move back into her childhood neighborhood after long years away. Upon her prodigal return, she encounters old friend and long-time object of her desire, Mick MacGilvary and knows that she is finally ready to pursue that heart-stopping attraction. She believes she’ll stop craving him if she has sex with him once and gets it out of her system. She decides to test the wildfire attraction, even though Mick’s violent past and his SWAT position frighten her.

Mick will do anything in her defense…

SWAT cop Mick MacGilvary’s instincts tell him Celeste’s ex-boyfriend has something evil up his sleeve. Mick’s uneasy past with Celeste makes him gun-shy around her. His protective feelings for Celeste have never abandoned him. Ten years ago, Celeste rejected his advances, and he hasn’t forgotten. The heavy-duty attraction he’s always had for her ramps up now that she’s near.

Danger lurks around the corner…

Caught up in a passion neither of them can deny, Mick and Celeste’s strengths and weaknesses are tested when her ex-boyfriend decides if he can’t have her, no one will.

Stop here for an excerpt.



SWAT sniper Trey MacGilvary likes his women wild and hot…

Trey’s adventurous streak once served him wrong, now it makes him dangerous to criminals and devastating to female hearts.

Englishwoman Olivia Scott’s quiet life as a librarian is about to fall apart…

With nothing more exciting to cogitate on than which video to rent on a Friday night and which pie to create for the local bake off, Olivia isn’t prepared for violence. When Trey rescues her from a man’s brutal attack, he vows she’ll be under his protection from that point forward. The enthusiasmand unpredictability of his life stirs erotic passions within her that threaten to reinvent the woman she always thought she was.

Trey attraction for the plucky, bookish woman boils sky high but he’s not in relationships for the long term. Still he battles with emerging feelings he never thought he’d have again for a woman. After all, she’s returning to England in six months. There’s no way they can forge a lasting relationship, even if they wanted to.

As a criminal resurfaces with revenge in mind and promises to harm everyone he loves, Trey’s skills as a sniper, a brother and a lover are tested. As danger closes around her, Olivia must find a core of strength she never knew she had, and capture a red hot passion she never hoped to find.

Stop here for an excerpt.



 With her job gone and her carefully crafted life plan wrecked, Leigh Strongdecides to take a short vacation from reality before she has to face putting it all back together again. A wild shootout puts her in the sight of SWAT cop Craig MacGilvary, the man she is fiercely drawn to, but that drives her crazy at the same time. She finds his stern, strong and silent personality a tad too uptight and decides he needs to live a little. She’s determined to discover if he’s really stoic, or if under all that starch burns a man of fire.

Craig’s ordered world is interrupted by the extroverted, live-it-up Leigh. Her in-your-face style disturbs his desire to keep things in line, and the feral attraction he feels for her arouses a fierce need to protect. They discover an unexpected and sizzling passion that makes him question his sanity. When her past and his catch up with them, and danger follows hot on their heels, the perils they’ll face apart and together will test all their resolve in both career and love.

Stop here for an excerpt.

(Side note I have a short story in the back of WITHIN HIS EMBRACE that is an extra for you, and it’s called WITH HIS KISS!)

Whew! Someone hose me down please! Ahem. On to more adventure! I hope you’ll read the HEART OF JUSTICE series and see why I enjoyed writing these characters so much.

Adventure! Snakes, Archaeology & Hogamany

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014


The weather has been a little more gloomy lately with our  monsoon season and that’s cool. We needed the rain. What it has done is make me long for my favorite season…fall and October! Halloween! Samhain! How I love it. Holy cow it’s July and I’m wishing it was autumn? Okay, maybe not yet. But it did get me to thinking about adventure, and the fact I love to write stories with adventure in them. Does that mean I’m an adventurous person? Well, I am more so than I used to be. I can’t say I’ve had too much adventure other than what I read, watch on the big screen, or create in my books. I’ve always thought the saying “by the seat of your pants” described as much about our daily lives than it did unusual circumstances. With pressures from work, social commitments, family, and cell phones, we can rest assured our blood pressure is high enough. Luckily for me, I don’t have much pressure in that respect, and I’m grateful.

Humans are strange creatures. Very strange. Think about it. We say we don’t like real life danger, yet we spend time in front of the television watching Most Shocking or Most Daring (I do), or we thrill to the danger in an Indiana Jones movie or the psychological scare of Disturbia (love that movie.) Some of us take it a step further and actually sign up for the white-knuckle experience of skydiving, base-jumping, rock climbing, or white water rafting. Truth is that most of us want the excitement to be vicarious. Take me. When I was a little kid, I was a girly girl. On the playground, I would say to the kid hanging on the monkey bars, “You’re gonna fall off that.” What happened? The kid would fall off. I felt vindicated.

It wasn’t until about ’85, when I joined an archaeological society, that I started to have relatively safe adventures, and I loved it. About the worst it could get would be heat exhaustion, sunburn and tangling with rattlesnakes. There was an archaeology trip to Hovenweep, Utah where a late May snowstorm hit with big winds and our tent almost got away. Oh, yeah. And I slept in the car one night because my friend snored so loudly there was no way I was getting any sleep.

One scene in The Mummy Returns parallels my archaeological life. Remember the scene where Evie discovers a snake crawling across her boot? That really did happen to me. I looked down and there was this small dark snake crawling over my boot and my automatic reaction was the same as Evie’s. I simply swung my foot and flipped the snake away. For a minute I thought maybe I’d imagined it, and probably no one would have believed me if they hadn’t seen me do it. Heck, now that I live in the desert Southwest (I was in Colorado when I had the boot slinging snake experience), I have seen more snakes, poisonous and otherwise, than I want to see. Still, the archaeology continued to be awesome in Colorado and was awesome when I found a new group in the Southwest.

One adventure I’ll never forget, though, came when my hubby and I ventured to Edinburgh, Scotland (we lived in England at the time) in the 90’s. We wanted to see New Year’s Eve celebrations (called Hogamany). Now we’re not that fond of big crowds of any type, so we should have realized that 250,000 people in a small space would prove overwhelming. We had a few hours to wander around in the city in the central area including the Royal Mile. That was great except for the cold and the hoards of roaming drunks. Don’t get me wrong. Scottish drunks seem to have less a propensity for outright skirmishes and violence than if you put American drunks in the same situation. Go figure. After the beautiful fireworks display presented from the top of Edinburgh Castle (still the best fireworks I’ve seen to date), we headed down the hill. We’d linked arms securely because of the huge crush of people. We quickly discovered that wouldn’t do the trick. The throng pushed in on all sides but it threatened to separate us. My hubby wrapped his arms around me from behind and held tight as he sort of maneuvered us like a big spider through the crowd. Basically he feared losing me in the mess of people, and I feared loosing him. We could have met up back at the tour bus, but it still would have been intimidating to say the least.

By the way, I’ve had a paranormal experience in Edinburgh that I’ve shared on this blog before, but I’ll share it again next week.

Until next week’s adventure installment, may you have a safe yet adventurous week.

Social Media Diet 2: Creativity & Mental Rejuvenation

Monday, July 14th, 2014


Howdy from the castle. Okay, I’m not in a castle right now, but I can dream, right? After all, I have a pretty vivid imagination.  Today is the start of another social media chill out diet for me. After my last social media diet a few months back, I’ve decided I definitely needed to abandon social media from time to time. By social media diet, I mean not engaging on Facebook or Twitter as often as I normally do. Here’s what I find avoiding social media for a week or more does for me:

1. My creativity jumps. I feel more creative overall.

2. I get even more writing done.

3. Mentally I feel less stressed and less likely to get obsessed reading stuff that serves nothing more than to rile me up.

Plenty of people engage in social media and feel no mental stress and they’re usually very good at brushing off other people’s stuff. I haven’t mastered that technique yet although I’m working on it. As an empath I’m really bad sometimes at sucking in people’s bad juju if I don’t watch out and shield myself.  So I’m taking the easy way out by avoiding social media.

I’m also discovering another wonderful tool that I’m recommending to friends who complain a lot about the negativity on Facebook. I’ve started using Facebook Purity. Now this isn’t some virginal, “I’m lookin’ to turn back the clock to a more wholesome era” scenario. Nah. As a paranormal and suspense author I’ve soaked my head in “unwholesome” plenty of times. No, it’s just an effort to declutter the feed from stuff that doesn’t serve me. With Facebook Purity I can just block out a lot of the political and/or religious stuff that gets posted on Facebook and even a few other things I don’t want to read. So far so good!

With that being said, I’m looking forward to the down time to finish a novella, relax and just reboot the mind. I’ll still check in to Facebook probably every couple of days or so and the same with Twitter (although I’ll retweet some things automatically through my Tribber account). I may even have a blog or two here and there to let you know how the social media blackout is going.

Talk to you again soon!

Feel The Heat Contest: Celebrate Book Releases With Denise A. Agnew and Marie Harte!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014


Marie Harte and I have new book releases this week and we wanted to share some of the fresh new book love with readers. Check out our books, comment on both my blog and hers for a chance to win some terrific prizes! Contest ends July 13th. Good luck!

*Marie is offering an ecopy of any two of her backlist and a $15 Amazon Gift Card. (Comment below to enter and stop by her website here to enter.

*I’m offering offering two ebooks (two winners receive one book each) from my backlist. (Comment below to enter.)

Here’s some information on both books to tantalize you!


A Major Distraction

Major Brad Cava has watched his siblings fall in love. He tried marriage once—it didn’t take. He’s been in a dry spell for a while, which must be why that smart-aleck at work, Ms. Genevieve St. James, is looking so good. Granted, she’s just his type. But she sets his teeth on edge with all her professional dictates and attitude at the office.

Genevieve has no idea why Major Annoying, as she likes to call the sexy Major Cava, is always on her mind. When she inadvertently catches her new mystery neighbor pleasuring himself, she automatically thinks of Cava. To her mortification, she finds out Major Hottie and her exhibitionist neighbor are one and the same.  They find themselves falling hard for each other. Until something strange happens at work, and Genevieve is blamed for things she didn’t do. Brad doesn’t seem to trust her, and she has to wonder if the love she’s beginning to feel is one-sided. When the truth comes out, Brad has to has to figure out if he can risk it all again for a woman. Has he learned from his past, or is he doomed to make the same mistakes again with a woman he can’t help loving?

Buy Links

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

Body Language

She runs.  She hides. But the stalker is determined to find her…

Lizbeth Cauldwell escaped the boardroom and her city life to forget a fierce attack. When she returns to the tranquility of her old home in Arizona, she discovers harmony she never expected when she takes over a bar and grill.  There she discovers another thing as mind-boggling as the evil that stalks her.  Her once skinny, shy childhood friend Thomas Giancomo has transformed into one grade-A, powerful, gorgeous man.

He never runs.  He never hides.  But a stalker is determined to hurt the woman he dares protect…

Memories of strong, sexy Lizbeth kept ex-soldier, now cop Thomas Giancomo alive during a long stay in the harsh desert.  Thomas is determined to protect her and to feel her surrender to raw passion in his arms.  When danger draws them closer, one intense night proves that long suppressed desires and feelings are too heated to ignore.

Purchase at:

Liquid Silver Books


Barnes & Noble




Thanks so much and be sure to comment!



New Release: Body Language is out!

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Today Body Language, my short romantic suspense story featuring an ex-military hero is available at Liquid Silver Books at this link and at Amazon here. Today I’m featuring a snippet of the sexy chemistry that burns between the hero and heroine. Plus, I wanted to let you know about a contest I’ll be running with Marie Harte on July 9. Here’s the snippet excerpt and information in the contest below. Warning, salty language in this excerpt. 🙂

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

What seemed only seconds later, she jerked out of her daydream. A shadow fell over her, and then a man’s hand touched her arm. She squeaked in alarm and bolted upright, heart pounding.

“Whoa,” Tom said as he straightened. “Easy. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

She took a gulping breath of relief. “God, don’t do that. My heart almost stopped.”

Before she could leave the wide chaise, he sat on the edge. His jean-clad hip bumped her thigh. She drew in a breath, more to steady the sharp coil of awareness in her stomach than her restless heart. His long, muscled legs caught her attention, and for one second she allowed her gaze to fall on the impressive bulge at his crotch. Oh, man. She looked away quickly.

Wicked thoughts flashed into her head faster than she could block them. What would it feel like to have him sliding inside her, a hard bar of thick flesh pushing, thrusting, and stroking deep into her aroused channel? To have all that rugged strength at her disposal, at her bidding? Her skin tingled from head to toe and desire coiled in her belly.

“I was worried about you,” he said, breaking her wild fantasy.

“I’m fine.” Did she have to sound so damned breathless?

“Right.” Doubt touched his voice. “You forget something. I can spot a liar at fifty paces.”

Unreasonable annoyance gripped her, and the warm bubble created by her fantasy evaporated. “Thanks so much. Now if you’ll excuse me–”

“Wait.” Regret flickered across his rough-hewn features. “I’m just saying you don’t need to hide anything from me.”

Oh yeah I do. Like wanting to jump you and do the nasty for the next ten hours. Yeah. That.

“I’m a small business owner. I can’t afford to wait for anything,” she said.

He sighed, and his gaze searched her face. “I need you to listen to me.”

She crossed her arms, suddenly obstinate beyond reason. “No, you need to stop being bossy.”

A smile flickered over his lips. It was fast, but it was just enough to make his dark eyes light with warm humor. “Sorry. Sometimes I don’t think about it. I’m a cop and half the time people are breaking the law and all they want to do is argue.”

She smiled this time. “Too bad. You might get an argument from me anyway.”

He held up his hands, his expression softer. “I didn’t just come in here tonight to drink iced tea.”

She lifted one eyebrow. “You looked pretty relaxed to me. The woman you were talking with couldn’t keep her eyes off you.”

Oh, damn. She’d never liked jealousy in other people, but as the words left her mouth, she realized she couldn’t deny it. She sounded and felt covetous.

Ever perceptive, his eyes narrowed. “You care whether I have drinks with beautiful women?”

In defense, she scoffed. “Tom, you’re a great-looking guy and…” Impulsively, she reached out and squeezed one of his ultra-hard biceps, “…and built like a rock, but why would I be jealous?”

“Bullshit.” The matter-of-fact curse slipped easily from his lips. “Just because you left this town years ago and just came back doesn’t mean you don’t know me.” He pointed at his chest. “This is me, Beth. We’ve known each other decades.”

“We’re changed people.”

“You think I’ve changed that much?”

“Yes. You’re not shy, retiring and wide-eyed any more. You’re completely different. Okay, maybe you still have a bit of shyness in you, but only in a social situation. Cops can’t afford to be reticent in their profession.”

“I’ve matured physically, but inside I’m the same guy.”

“I suppose you have some swamp land nearby you want to sell me, too.”

To her amazement, his eyes lightened as amusement broke over his face. A wide smile curved his mouth. “Yeah. I do. And the swamp is full of crocs, too.”

“You always did have a dry, wicked sense of humor, Tom. I was wondering where you’d hidden it.”

His expression turned intense with a soul-searching heat that threatened to melt her inhibitions. She’d remembered a younger Tom as much less expressive. Less smoldering.

* *

Hope you enjoyed the snippet. Now, on to the contest July 9. Marie Harte and I are holding a joint contest that day to celebrate our story releases. So stop by here and comment that day to enter the contest, and then trip on over to hers to enter for a chance to win her contest. It’s that simple. See you then.


Body Language releases July 7 & Preorder Discount!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Hey all! I hope wherever you are you’re have a wonderful day or evening. I’m reminding you that Body Language is out July 7 and you can preorder a copy directly from the publisher for a 20% discount here. How cool is that? Just to tantalize you, here’s the blurb and a small excerpt.

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

She runs. She hides. But the stalker is determined to find her…

Lizbeth Cauldwell escaped the boardroom and her city life to forget a fierce attack. When she returns to the tranquility of her old home in Arizona, she discovers harmony she never expected when she takes over a bar and grill. There she discovers another thing as mind-boggling as the evil that stalks her. Her once skinny, shy childhood friend Thomas Giancomo has transformed into one grade-A, powerful, gorgeous man.

He never runs. He never hides. But a stalker is determined to hurt the woman he dares protect…

Memories of strong, sexy Lizbeth kept ex-soldier, now cop Thomas Giancomo alive during a long stay in the harsh desert. Thomas is determined to protect her and to feel her surrender to raw passion in his arms. When danger draws them closer, one intense night proves that long suppressed desires and feelings are too heated to ignore.

* *

Just shoot me now.

Lizbeth Cauldwell watched Isaac Breena swagger to the bar for the sixth time that evening. She was too damn tired to tolerate him any more. She served tequila to a toothy redheaded man barely legal enough to drink, then returned her attention to Isaac and his cock-of-the-walk bluster.

Isaac had appeared at the Foxfire Bar and Grill a week ago and had been here only twice, but both times had proven more than enough for Lizbeth. The man gave her the shudders, and most, but not all, of her revulsion came from the fact he was on the make for any woman under the age of sixty-five.

Regardless of his scattershot approach to getting laid, he’d honed in on Lizbeth as the feather in his cap. In his fantasy world, he believed if he charmed her long and often enough, she’d succumb to his sticky charm.

Tonight his belly jiggled like gelatin and his presumptuous, odious smile made her more nauseous than usual. The wait staff called him Jabba the Hut and now Lizbeth couldn’t even think of him as Isaac Breena anymore.

The scent of burned onions accompanied him, and she wrinkled her nose. He’d stuffed two orders of onion rings down his gullet already this evening, on top of just enough alcohol to make him think he had a shot at finding a lady love.

God, what a pig.

Under the thump of rock music coming from the speakers and the steady hum of conversation buzzing through the building, weariness worked its way into her system. She needed a break, but quitting time hadn’t arrived.

Here in the bar, she felt relatively safe. The operative word being relative. After the attack in Phoenix two months ago, she wondered if she’d ever really feel secure again. Still, she wouldn’t abandon the noisy, rambunctious establishment for anything in the world. Busy and successful, the place rocked with an eager horde ready to party after long days at work. It usually made her feel alive, something she’d desperately needed after Phoenix.

But nights like these…yeah…they made a woman wonder why she’d relinquished the craziness of a corporate boardroom for the insanity of running this small Arizona mountain town business. Houndstooth was as homey and quirky as the name suggested, and with a population that hovered around ten thousand, the place felt comfortable and uncomplicated. Besides the fact this was her hometown and everyone knew her, she had never truly liked living in a city as enormous as Phoenix. She shuddered when she thought of the danger she’d encountered there. She touched the tiny scar that had formed on her neck, so close to her jugular. She shivered again and drew a deep breath into her lungs. Forcing back the beginnings of a flashback, she managed to control her fear. It wasn’t Isaac who gave her the willies, not really. But he was certainly nasty enough for her to use it as an excuse to stay as far away from him as possible.

“Hey baby. Give me another drink.” Jabba’s piggy green eyes seemed swallowed up in the mush of his rounded face and twisted smile.

This had been a crappy day, and all she needed was a man who wouldn’t take no for an answer, no matter how politely or impolitely she framed the refusal.

“No, sorry. I can’t. We’ve cut you off. Besides, the bar closes in fifteen minutes.” She glanced pointedly at the clock on the wall behind the bar that read ten minutes to midnight.

“I saw ya pouring a drink for old Giancomo over there a minute ago.” The inebriated asshole’s voice slurred as he jerked his thumb back in the direction from which he’d come.

She cracked a smile. “He’s drinking iced tea.”

Jabba grunted and placed his thick hands on his stout waistline. Tonight he wore what a friend of hers called a wife beater shirt. A t-shirt with the sleeves torn out and the words Keep Honking, I’m Reloading emblazoned across the front. He was a walking, talking redneck stereotype.

“That prick can’t handle a drink like a real man.” Jabba added a smile to his statement, his gaze glinting with malice. He cupped his crotch. “I’ve got what you need right here.”

Her stomach rolled. Crissakes, but Jabba was odious.

Her gaze darted to Thomas Giancomo in the far corner of the room. They’d been friends since grade school, but drifted apart when they each left town in search of bigger and better things. She’d left for college at University of Phoenix and also to escape her straight-laced, over-protective parents.

She allowed her attention to linger too long, her fascination snagged by the way he slouched in his chair, iced tea sweating on a coaster in front of him. She almost snorted a laugh. Um…yeah. Saying Thomas Giancomo wasn’t all man was like stating that there was no centerfold in this month’s Playboy.