Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Friday, February 23, 2018
Echo--romantic suspense by Anne Conley in the Pierce Securities series.
Cover Model: Devon Ryan
Photography: Tresal Photography
Cover Art: LoveBooks Cover Design
One attack in her home is enough to make Lacie Hill freak out, but a second is enough to make her check out. Lacie was happy with her solitary life—kindergarten teacher, weekly girls’ nights out, and a father she’s close to. When she’s targeted for sick games with unknown players, she forces herself to act normally and hope everything will go away. You know, ostrich impersonation. The police are doing everything they can to help. Nothing left for her to do, right?
When Lacie’s father hires Pierce Securities to help her, the only person not working a job would be the boss man, Simon— a control freak who loves his rules. He’s trying to find his sister’s stalker while keeping his micromanaging eyes on all the guys in the office. He has policies in place for reasons. For safety. For professionalism.
For his heart.
But will Lacie’s case be an echo of his past? Or will he be able to protect her and love her at the same time, breaking all his hard and fast rules?
Lacie Hill was painfully early to school, obtrusively to get ready for her day, but unobtrusively, to avoid her own home. As she walked around straightening desks and picking up papers, she gave herself a talking to. She was leaving all the negativity at home, where it belonged. She didn’t need to show her fear to her students. This was where they came to learn through play, and Lacie was all about teaching. She loved being a teacher, and watching the children as they grasped concepts and gained knowledge, even without knowing it. It was why she existed.
“Hi, Daddy!” With long strides, she walked over and hugged the man who had raised her after her mother died when she was eight. He rarely had time to come into her classroom, but had managed to visit more since last week. She hated that the evil following her had tainted his school the way it had, but at least it hadn’t managed to invade her classroom.
He squeezed her tightly, cocooning her in only the safety a father’s hug could. It wasn’t until she’d squeezed for a good thirty seconds that she saw the man standing behind him.
“I finally managed to get you an Aide for the classroom. Mr. Pierce is going to help you out with your students, and anything else you may need.” Her father stepped back, and the stranger held out his hand to shake hers. She almost didn’t see it, though, because… his eyes. The heat flashing in them as he stepped forward to shake her hand consumed her, a hunger that tracked through her veins and coursed around her body before it shuttered into a look of benign nonchalance. It was so fast, if it hadn’t have had such a physical effect on her body, Lacie might not have noticed it.
Lacie glanced at her father. Surely the new man was vetted and verified, because with everything that had happened, she was wary of strangers. The hunger that had flashed in his eyes had been terrifying.
And this guy was definitely strange.
For one thing, he was dressed in a suit. Lacie had never seen a teacher’s aide who dressed nicer than the teachers. Or the administration either. His suit was designer, she could tell that much. And it stretched across a frame that wasn’t used to sitting behind desks and working in classrooms. This Mr. Pierce was built like a small line-backer—broad shoulders, tapered waist.
But it was his eyes that struck her most. Gray eyes with a light green ring around the pupil gave them an eerie quality, but they were clear and held an intelligence that belied his position. Not that teacher’s aides were stupid by any means, but this guy did not fit into that mold. And the way he had looked at her sent shivers down her spine, and Lacie reminded herself again, that Daddy had checked the guy. But his look was full of something dangerous, hot, and feral, all wrapped into one darkening gaze.
“Ms. Hill,” he spoke, prompting her to realize she was staring at him.
“Sorry,” she held out her hand to shake his. “Mr. Pierce, it’s nice to meet you. I’m excited to be working with you.” Not that she had known about him, but knowing her dad, he’d probably busted his butt to get her someone in her classroom to help out since the tire-slashing incident last week.
As her hand touched his, Mr. Pierce’s grip surprised her. Warmth filled her hand, almost a zinging like what she’d read about in romance novels. Which she’d always thought was stupid. But she had the inane desire to shake the tingling off her hand when he let go. His had was calloused, as if he was used to working. Although, if the muscles that seemed to shape the suit were any indication, he probably lifted a lot of weights. And apparently had an electrical socket hidden in there somewhere. The buzz of electricity that flowed up her arm was ridiculous, but he didn’t seem to notice it, with the exception of his sharpening gaze.
“Well, I’ll leave you two to it, then,” her father said awkwardly before backing out of the room. “Have a great day, sweetheart.” He winked at her, then left Lacie alone with the stranger in the suit who was supposed to help her all day.
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Anne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the past several years. Currently, she has four romance series. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human. In Pierce Securities, she gives us Ryan, Evan, Miriam, Zack, Quinten, and Simon. Her newest series, Book B!tches, is all about a group of women in Mystic, Texas who get into all sorts of shenanigans.
She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.
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Thursday, February 22, 2018
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Friday, February 16, 2018
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Monday, February 12, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Friday, February 9, 2018
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Friday, February 2, 2018
When London was fifteen, a fortune teller told her she would meet her soul mate on June 23rd. The only problem is, which June 23rd? The woman wasn’t specific and only called him her dreamer. Desperate to find her mystery man eleven years later, London sets out to search for him but is waylaid by a mugger instead.
Elliot has had his eye on the woman who jogs past the park where he coaches his nephew’s baseball team for the past month. When he’s the first responder for a mugging victim on June 23rd, she’s barely conscious. She’s the woman tattooed on his chest. He’s seen her in his dreams and has been drawing her for years.
They’ll both sound crazy if they reveal their secrets, but they can’t stay away from each other. Elliot has priorities, promises made to his late sister. London’s trying to live a more intentional existence instead of waiting for everything to fall in her lap.
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How did you two meet?
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Excerpt from Fortune's Kiss:
He lowered his mouth to hers in a tender touch of their lips. She could feel the warmth of his lips on hers, and they explored in a leisurely kiss as if they had all the time in the world. Sounds of the carnival faded away as they rose higher into the sky.
Elliot surprised her by not getting handsy. He only touched her neck, wrapping his hand around it while his other hand went to her waist. He seemed content to just kiss her and not do anything else.
She returned his kisses, luxuriously running her tongue across his teeth, exploring the recesses of his mouth with a whimper. The kiss was perfect; it didn’t ask for anything or make demands. London relished the feeling of rightness in this moment with Elliot.
London suddenly understood a fundamental truth about couples in general. She kissed Elliot because the setting was perfect. It wasn’t a claiming thing or an interest in going further, it was a kiss. She kissed him because the intimacy of the gesture showed her desire to be close to him, and not in a sexual way.
She’d always thought holding hands and kissing in public were signs of possessiveness, but they weren’t. Instead of possessiveness, she realized it showed a desire to be close—to maintain contact in a way that was acceptable to others.
And this kiss was perfect.
The leisurely contact, as she wrapped her arms around Elliot’s waist to pull him closer, was amazing. There was absolutely no other place in the world she wanted to be right now. She was in her thirties and had never kissed a man like this.
A throat clearing had them pulling apart reluctantly to find the Ferris wheel had stopped and the tattooed, toothless attendant was standing there with a giant grin on his face. “Magic in the air, tonight! Want another go?” Bushy eyebrows waggled at them.
London couldn’t have told him her name after that kiss, much less the story behind it. She was afraid if she went on another turn with Elliot, he’d have her kissed into brain mush.
Elliot got out, a small smile on his face, and turned to hold out his hand to London. Shetook it and, weak-kneed, managed to stumble out of the Ferris wheel carriage before another couple got on.
Leading Elliot down the midway, they were silent as she digested the way she felt right now. She wanted more with Elliot, and he was the first man to ever make her feel that way. He held her hand as they walked, and London’s traced her swollen lips with her fingers as she stared at the ground in front of her.
His hand was massive, wrapped around hers, and spoke of safety, protection, and belonging. Their hands swung absently between them as they weaved in and around people. The lights flashing, bells ringing, and people laughing all faded into the distance as London was just present with Elliot.
“That woman is waving you over, London.” Elliot’s soft voice spoke the first words since they’d gotten off the Ferris wheel.
London’s head snapped up, her eyes focusing on the woman he pointed to. It was her.
The dimly lit tent at the end of the midway looked so familiar, even twenty years later. The woman looked the same—old and wizened, with a wild array of dark curls spilling around her face.
“I know her.” Not really, but she’d dreamed of this woman so many times, remembering her, wondering about her. They walked over to the fortune-teller, ignoring all else. “Hi,” London said stupidly. “How’ve you been?”
The woman’s dark eyes went from London to Elliot before her face broke into a smile. “I see you found your dreamer. Do you feel it?” London wasn’t sure what she felt, but she felt something, so she nodded.
Part of London wanted to go inside the tent and see if it had changed, but another part of her didn’t think this was real. She looked up at Elliot, who was watching the woman with a bemused expression on his face. Okay, so he saw her, maybe she was real.
The woman turned her attention to Elliot, who stiffened under her scrutiny. “Destiny is difficult … Very difficult …” Her attention back on London, she said, “You’ve found him, now keep him.”
She went back into her tent, and London tugged Elliot away.
“Friend of yours?” he asked, laughing nervously.
“Not exactly. More of an acquaintance.” London turned to look back at the tent, and as before, it was engulfed in darkness, as if there was no one there. “Take me home.” Elliot’s eyes darkened under the lights of the carnival, and he wrapped his hand around her waist, his fingers lingering just above her butt.
“With pleasure,” he spoke with a promise that took her breath away.