Cover Reveals for the Guardian Angel Series

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Here they are, the beautiful new covers for my time travel historical romances of the Guardian Angel Series. The first book, If I Stay, is the story that will always be near and dear to my heart! Now Ariana and Justin's story finally gets a lovely cover makeover, and I'm only sorry it took me so long!


I've been falling in love with this couple all over again as they play peacemakers between the seemingly mismatched Percy and Alison in the second book of the series, An Unsuitable Entanglement. The sparks between these two have been an enormous amount of fun to write and I hope you will find them as entertaining as I have!

This book will be released in December (*possibly sooner*), and it is available for preorder now at these retailers:


These covers are the lovely creations of Carrie Spencer at Cheeky Covers! Thanks so much Carrie!

First Look Excerpts and Preorders for An Unsuitable Entanglement and Worth the Risk

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I've been having a lot of fun writing my next paranormal romances! Time travel and magic anyone? Both of these stories are available now as preorders so I thought I'd post a couple of excerpts. First up...some fun with...

An Unsuitable Entanglement
(cover to be revealed soonish!)
1816 - Bramleigh Park, England

 “Why not Lord Strathmore you ask? Because he’s an idiot, that’s why not.” 

Alison dabbed at the corners of her eyes, trying to control her mirth once she realized Ariana had been serious in her preposterous suggestion.

“You will have to be more specific, Alison.” Ariana smiled across the candlelit ballroom, somewhat distracted. Her besotted focus, Alison knew, was on her husband, the duke. Although how Ariana found him in  a sea of similarly black and white attired gentlemen she didn't know. To her, they seemed like life-size puppets who had their movements choreographed in advance --bow to the ladies dressed in their colorful finery and sparkling jewels, elegantly offer them an arm to lay a gloved hand upon, lead them gracefully onto the dance floor. It was slightly hypnotic to witness and Alison had to shake her head to break the spell.

She heaved a gusty sigh. It had been a mistake to come. She'd hoped to speak with Ariana about urgent business, but this ball, a belated wedding reception for Ariana and Justin, was not the time to talk shop.

But finding an opportune time to speak with Ariana had become a challenge. Ariana spent half her time here, at Bramleigh, and half her time at Dragon's Keep. Her efforts to blend her past as a guardian with her present as a duchess continued to have disconcerting side effects for everyone within her sphere. It explained Alison’s inclusion on the guest list and it explained Ariana’s notion that her husband’s best friend, Lord Percifield Winthorpe, Earl of Strathmore, could possibly be considered a candidate for recruitment in guardian affairs. Granted, she had a grudging respect for Justin’s proven ability to adapt, but that respect did not extend to Lord Percifield.

Alison tapped her fan on Ariana's arm to get her attention. "You want examples of the man's incompetence?” Alison had plenty. "Where do I begin? I will start with the most important. You seem to have forgotten that he can’t even teleport without getting sick.”

That should have been the beginning and end of the discussion, but Ariana shrugged off the valid point with an unconcerned lift of a slim shoulder. “It is hardly fair to use that incident as proof of his lack of intelligence. It happened one time. Once does not make a pattern. Perhaps he won’t be laid low by the experience the next time.”

Alison gave an inelegant snort. “I will pass on being present if there is a next time, thank you very much.”

Ariana turned her head, giving Alison her full attention. “Why do you dislike him so?”

“My opinion has nothing to do with like or dislike. I have simply assessed his skills and found them lacking. He is entirely unsuitable.” She relished the opportunity to get back to the business of listing his faults. “He is too beautiful by far. A veritable Greek god."

Ariana’s eyes sparkled with laughter. "Since when is that a fault?"

 "With a face and body like his, how could he possibly blend into the background? He probably gets distracted by his own image in every mirror.” Speaking of distracted, the recurring malody had apparently struck Ariana again. Her gaze was fixed over her shoulder and Alison assumed the duke had relocated. She resisted the temptation to snap her fingers in front of Ariana's face. “Shall I go on?”

Ariana bit her lip. “You might not want to do that.”

“Why stop now? I'm  just getting started.” She paused to take a breath to continue, but found she’d lost her train of thought. Where was she on the unsuitability list of Lord Strathmore? In the lull, a deep voice inserted itself somewhere above her left ear.

“What, may I ask, has my face and body disqualified me from?”

 Alison jumped. Percy. How had he managed to appear behind her unnoticed? Not about to credit him with some unwarrented skill of stealth, she blamed the chatter and bustle of the crowded ballroom.

"Nothing to concern yourself with Lord Strathmore." She turned to face him, irked that he could tower over her. It made it difficult to look down her nose at him, but she hoped the disdain in her voice made up for the unfamiliar loss of her height advantage. "Your talents are not required."

He raised an eyebrow. “None of them? Are you sure you don't want to find out what they might be first?"

His husky voice suggested wicked talents. Alison cursed the flush she felt warm her from head to toe. "Quite certain."

 His dimples flashed. "Why Alison Gray, I do believe you need some fresh air to cool your cheeks."

Release date: December 6, 2015

Now available for preorder at these retailers:


And, now, the second, longer excerpt, of a paranormal with a heavy dose of romantic suspense that beings with a contemporary setting...

Worth the Risk

What did a professional hit man look like anyway? She knew the tough guy image created in the movies wasn't accurate. No, he’d have to be average enough to blend into the crowd. And he'd have a convenient “day job” to keep his taxes legitimate -- something that didn’t require background checks or require staying long in one place. That would be about right. And he’d have a nice, but unremarkable face, like a character actor who played the same role with a success you hardly noticed.

  Carrie Riley hoped the accuracy of her profile wouldn’t be proven today. She knew he lurked out there somewhere, hiding in plain sight. One of the joggers running with his dog in the adjacent park? One of the coffee shop’s customers? Or even the waiter who approached her now from across the leaf-strewn patio. He had a nice face.

She assessed the waiter from behind her sunglasses. His youth didn’t automatically clear him, but his job involved too much...well, waiting in one place, she thought ironically, for him to be the one. He’d have to have known she’d come here and that was impossible. She had no routine.

Unbidden, her thoughts turned back. Instead of the friendly, smiling face of the young waiter before her she saw an older gentleman. Vander had known her routine. He'd had a nice face too. She'd been his target and she’d escaped only through an extraordinary coincidence of having unknowingly helped his son out of a legal jam. Her brother called it her extraordinary luck. He worried it made her an idealist, or that she thought nothing could touch her. In her experience, that was true. That day a hitman had been in her debt and spared her life. He'd even come back to save her.

He'd died in the effort. On that day, 304 days ago, her extraordinary luck had run out.

"Would you like more time to decide?"

Startled, Carrie realized she'd been staring at the waiter. For how long, she didn't know. Embarrassed heat flushed her cheeks. She shook her head and ordered a cappuccino.

After the waiter left, Carrie chided herself to relax. She lifted her face to the lingering rays of late autumn sunshine. This had always been her favorite season in Washington, D.C., when the southern warmth advanced to reclaim the city from a northern chill like a Civil War battle charge. It was a season of stolen days, and too much temptation for someone who longed for a stolen hour.

Wasn’t this why she’d convinced herself to leave the hotel room? One more hour with only her thoughts and the television for company and she would have lost her mind. It had been barely tolerable while the cold rain spattered against the windows, but once the sun came out she hadn’t stood a chance of staying put. Without even registering a conscience decision being made, she’d made an abrupt detour in her pacing to grab her black pea coat, tuck her distinctive red hair into a throwback knit beret, and head out the door for a glorious taste of freedom.

She rationalized her impulsiveness by deciding her original plan had flaws. According to the final stage of The Plan, she was to stay put at her hotel until the last minute when secure transportation arrived to deliver her to the Federal Courthouse in Alexandria. There were no field trips allowed in The Plan.

But as the minutes dragged into hours, she began to have doubts. Her imagination took flight. Wasn’t she drawing attention by sequestering herself? Was the hotel’s staff talking about the strange woman in Room 682 who never left and hid in the bathroom when room service arrived? Possibly. She imagined a chart in the kitchen for the staff to keep track of bets. Maybe they thought the mystery guest had a horrible disfigurement. Or maybe she was a celebrity recovering from plastic surgery. Or maybe she was Carrie Riley, the star witness for the political scandal of the year.


Put that way, it seemed an easy deduction to make that she had to get out. Logically, she should get out to avoid drawing curiosity. She bit her lip. It might be too late for that. Tomorrow she’d move to a different hotel and modify her strategy. She needed to act normal, keeping a low, but not too low, profile. She’d go shopping and play the part of a tourist.

Her chin lifted. If he could hide in plain sight so could she. But as a cool breeze brushed along the nape of her neck, it seemed perfectly timed to elicit a shiver as a reminder of her exposure. Was she risking everything she’d so carefully arranged by changing things up now?

The waiter returned with her cappuccino, and Carrie’s effusive thanks had more to do with her gratitude for distracting her from her dwindling confidence than for the beverage. She wrapped her fingers around the warmth of her cup. Four more days, she reassured herself. In just four more days, she’d tell her part. She had foolishly hoped they wouldn’t even need her testimony since she hadn’t actually been an eye-witness to the worst of Matt Banning's crimes. That task fell to the Senator and his daughter, her sister-in-law Beth. They were the ones who had been witness to Matt's final meltdown at the Senator's mansion. He'd shot Margaret, the Senator's wife, in cold blood. The Senator had been his next target, and he'd been saved only by Ben's extraordinary intervention.  In spite of his efforts, Beth had ended up in the line of fire. To her eternal gratitude, Beth, who she loved dearly, had survived being shot.

They had all survived.

Her hand shook as she lifted the cup. She knew all this second-hand. It was what she knew first hand that made her a trembling wreck. The prosecutors didn't even know the extent of what had happened earlier that day when Matt had found her alone at the hotel. No one did, not even her brother and Beth. The event had slipped under the radar in the aftermath of the shooting. By the time Beth had recovered and Ben had seen her again, the bruises could be hidden. What Matt had done to her, according to the hierarchy of law, hadn’t been the worst.

Carrie swallowed hard and hot liquid went down the wrong way. Instantly, her eyes watered. Oh, crap. Now she’d done it. She had a split second to think: cough quietly. Maybe no one would notice.


She noisily gasped for breath and a couple sitting at the next table with their toddler glanced over at the sound of her sputtering. Carrie lifted her hand in an “I’m all right” gesture. She lied. The more she tried to suppress her cough, the less graceful her efforts became. Finally, she ended her coughing fit with a sneeze.

At least that was over.

Carrie blew her nose, calling herself ten kinds of idiot. She should leave. Were curious eyes watching her now, trying to place her? She glanced around, but no one was paying her any mind. Coughing wasn’t a crime. If anything, once the potential need of medical attention had passed, everyone purposefully avoided eye contact, as polite, ordinary people tended to do.

But two-year-olds, like the toddler with the blonde curls at the next table, hadn’t learned this social nicety yet. The little cherub held a cracker suspended in her chubby fist and her china-blue eyes were locked on Carrie in an unblinking stare. Carrie winced when the baby opened her mouth and made her announcement loud and clear into the quiet.

“Lady choke!”

Several chuckles erupted from the patrons. The baby clapped and Carrie had a feeling she should take a bow.

“I don’t choke,” the baby said. “See?” She shoved her crackers in her mouth, including her fist.

“Samantha Jo, that’s too much!” The baby’s mother pried crackers from her child’s chubby fingers and smiled apologetically at Carrie.

Carrie’s smiled weakly back. Keep a low profile. Right. Somehow that never seemed to work out for her. She wouldn't have needed her extraordinary luck if she didn't always land in trouble. Her brother also used to say she needed a “keeper.” As much as she hated to admit it, her current mess seemed to prove him right.

At the thought of her brother, she blinked away the sting of tears. He’d pulled her out of more than one scrape, but this time she was on her own. Ben couldn’t help her now. He had enough guilt on his plate for not seeing Matt for the traitor he'd shown himself to be. She wouldn't add to it.

No, she could not tell Ben what else Matt had done. Especially not now, when it looked like he might just get off scott-free. The two eye-witnesses had been handled -- the Senator quieted with blackmail, and Beth's testimony had been barred from the trial. When she’d last spoken with Ben he’d been spitting mad and rightly so. It galled them all that Matt had found yet another way to add insult to injury and further exploit Beth's history. And Ben...well, there was no way he could even prove he'd been at the Senator’s mansion.

That left her. She had to see it through and testify. Then maybe she could finally get her life back.

Carrie bit her lip. Who was she kidding? She didn't know if she'd ever get back what Matt had taken from her. Gone was the girl who had taken such pleasure in goading him every chance she'd had. She'd never liked him, but he'd been her brother's best friend and she hadn't thought him dangerous. Now she knew exactly what he was capable of, and the last thing she wanted was to face him in court.

She didn’t doubt he felt the same about her. He’d see her dead first.


The sudden nearby noise wreaked havoc on her jumpy nerves, but Carrie relaxed when she saw it was only a tennis ball that had hit the sidewalk. The ball must have sailed over the hedge bordering the park. A black and white puppy barreled through the shrubs and skidded after the ball. He trapped it between his front paws, and plopped down on the sidewalk with his rear end stuck up in the air.

Cute. She smiled, grateful for the puppy for making her field trip worthwhile. Five more minutes and then she would go.

Carrie took a careful sip of her traitorous drink and turned her attention to the park. She focused on an oblivious-to-the-world teenage boy who skateboarded down the hilly path. Damn, he was good. And the kid was texting on his phone as he skateboarded. She couldn’t help admiring, and also envying, his amazing sixth sense for avoiding obstacles, never once looking up as he approached the turn from the park’s path onto the sidewalk.

Carrie glanced back toward the puppy still on the sidewalk. If he didn’t move, he’d be directly in the kid’s path.

She whistled. It was soft, but the puppy perked its ears and cocked his head in her direction. He wagged his tail but maintained his playful stance.

Oh, for Pete’s sake. Subtlety was not working. She patted her jean-clad thigh and called to the pup, trying to keep her voice little more than a whisper while inflecting every ounce of cajole she had in her. “Come here, boy! Come, on!”

The puppy settled his butt down to chew on his ball. And the kid on the skateboard rounded the curve onto the sidewalk.

She jumped to her feet. As her luck would have it, she knocked a tray out of a passing waiter’s hands. China shattered on the brick of the patio.

Carrie groaned. The baby laughed. The puppy didn't move.

Oh, hell. Subtlety had never been her style, anyway.

She sprinted across the grass, yelling at the kid, but he couldn’t hear her over the headphones. She swooped up the puppy, turning just in time to realize she was going to become the object the kid with the sixth sense wasn’t going to move around.

The impact knocked her into the shrubs. Somehow she landed on her back, still holding the squirming puppy.

Ow! Rose bushes. Carrie stared up into the sky as the puppy whimpered and licked her face. “Knock it off, you troublesome beast.”

She laughed and hugged the pup. It was crazy, but by rescuing the puppy she felt she’d somehow gotten back a tiny piece of what had been stolen from her. If she hadn’t been there, something bad would have happened. It had been worth the risk.

The sky darkened.

Carrie blinked up as a broad-shouldered man blocked the sun. Her warning signals went into overdrive as he lowered the length of his body to crouch beside her.

He looked...hard. As dark as a fallen angel and just as beautiful.  Dark, overlong hair framed a face straight out of every woman's Byronic fantasy of a man 'mad, bad, and dangerous to know.'  Her eyes took in every detail of full, thick lashes, chiseled cheekbones and a strong nose. Perfection was broken by the lines bracketed his mouth, making her think he hadn’t sleep well in a long time. And he needed to shave.

"Are you all right?” His harsh, gravelly tone didn't match his question. He plucked the puppy from her arms. She missed the warm contact. Was he the owner? He didn’t look like a puppy owner, but Carrie desperately clung to the explanation. The alternative was much less appealing.

“Yeah, are you okay?” The skateboarder hovering behind the man asked after her welfare much more anxiously. "I didn’t see you!”

Carrie spared the kid a thought that at least he wasn’t a hit and run skateboarder, but it was the man who held her attention.

“I’m fine.” She struggled to sit up. Her hair had escaped from her hat and become entangled in the thorny bushes. “My hair is caught...”

“Then hold still.”

Carrie froze. She didn’t blindly obey anyone, but he’d spoken to her like she was a child who said her eye hurt when she rubbed it with her finger. No sympathy. Just a “then don’t do it.”

“I’ll deal with you in a minute,” he said, his low voice for her ears only. He moved his leather jacket aside, giving her a glimpse of a shoulder holster and a gun. “Stay put and keep quiet if you don’t want the boy or anyone else to get hurt.”

Carrie sucked in her breath. No, he wasn’t a puppy owner. More than that, her profile of average when it came to hitmen had just been shot to hell.

“Do we understand each other?”

Did she understand? The puppy he cradled in one large hand licked his fingers. The gesture of simple trust gave her a pang of regret. How could someone so beautiful be a killer? No, she didn’t understand at all.


Her eyes flew to his at his use of her name. They were flint gray, unreadable. She doubted her own eyes were masking her feelings and desperately wished her sunglasses hadn’t flown off. He waited for an answer.

“Yes,” she bit out.

He gave a nod and stood. He towered over the skateboarder kid who backed up a step. “You got lucky,” he said in his raspy voice. “She’s not hurt but she could have been. Trust me, that would have been bad for you.”

In any other circumstance, Carrie might have enjoyed the protective act. But she knew that’s all it was. An act. Bitterly, she couldn’t help wondering why it mattered to him if she’d been hurt. Wasn’t he planning to do more than hurt her?

He took a step toward the kid. “I want two things from you."

“Yeah, yeah, sure.” The kid tripped over his words. “Anything.”

“One, apologize to the lady.”

The boy’s thin shoulders slumped with obvious relief and he instantly complied. “I’m sorry!”

Carrie opened her mouth, but he answered for her. “Apology accepted.”

She shut her mouth and glared. Hypocrite, she thought snidely. In one breath he ordered manners and in the next he showed how they didn’t apply to himself.

“Wh-what’s the second thing?” the boy asked.

“Get this dog back to its owner.” He thrust the puppy at the boy and nodded toward the hedge. “Try the twin girls over there.”

Through the shrubs from her vantage point, Carrie saw the girls he referred to searching for their puppy. The kid took the puppy and pushed off on his skateboard back to the park, obviously glad to leave Carrie in his hands.

Wait! I need your help! Carrie bit her lip to hold back the words. She couldn’t involve the boy. Her eyes darted around looking for somebody. If she screamed…


His softly spoken word held a world of warning. Carrie swallowed hard. The remaining onlookers had scattered like the autumn leaves and her window of opportunity was disappearing fast. She felt as alone with him on the public sidewalk as she would have in the desert. She knew she couldn’t entangle anyone else in her mess. All those months ago with Vander she'd been lucky. She missed her long lost extraordinary luck.

“You don’t happen to have a relative I’ve helped in the past do you?”

He frowned, obviously not understanding her weak, inside joke. He crouched down next to her again.

“You scratched your face.”

It was her turn to be confused. There was that misplaced concern again. Even in a state of fear she could not deny the kick to her solar plexus from the contact with his steel-gray eyes. She turned her head away, wincing as her hair, still caught on the thorns, pulled at her scalp.

“Hold still.”

His long fingers began to work loose the strands of her hair. Carrie shivered. It could have been because she sat on the cold ground, but she didn’t think that was it.

Release Date: February 7, 2016

Now available for preorder at these retailers:

Barnes and Noble


If you'd like to catch up with The Guardian Angel Series, the book If I Stay ($2.99) and the loosely linked book Ghost of a Promise (available for FREE at the retailers above  limited time!) It can be found at the right for Amazon (may still be 99 cents here). 

Total Pageviews