Thursday Threads

Welcome to Thursday Threads. This week we celebrate Sandra Harris‘ fun Sci-Fi Romance, Love, Encoded:

Love Encoded Cover Small

Title: Love, Encoded
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Heat Level: Sizzling
Website: http://www.sandraharrisauthor.com
Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/pz2b22u

Blurb:

Book 1 in the Selected Evolution Series

Do you really know who you are? What you are?

Earth: Near Future
Experience has taught Sarah Rasmussen that hot guys don’t go for geeks like her. Their retreat speed is usually proportional to the value of her IQ. However, for every rule it seems there is an exception—or in her lucky case, two.

When confronted with the disturbing fact she has been genetically manipulated in order to save an alien race stranded on Earth for a thousand years, she needs the strength of the men’s devotion to deal with the life-changing news. But when she learns that the love of the two men she has come to care for deeply is not quite as it appears, it could shatter her heart forever.

Nick Bannister and Adam McKeoun will never stop fighting to convince Sarah she is their world, no matter what the source of their emotion. They will let nothing stand in their way of forging a happiness that will transcend any challenge, especially not a calculating and determined enemy bent on Sarah’s destruction.

 

Excerpt:
Fear coated Sarah Rasmussen’s harsh, rapid breath.

 
Her feet pounded over the uneven, dirt track and she pushed her body hard to keep the pace up a rise. Through the thick, early morning mist the familiar stippled trunks of spotted gum loomed like every nightmare she’d ever had. Her heart beat a frantic rhythm against her ribcage and her ears strained to catch the slightest sound of her pursuer.

 
She pulled to an abrupt halt, heaving cold air into her starved lungs, then struggled against her desperate need for oxygen to smother her gasping breath and listen. Through the mist the echo of footsteps slowed, halted. Sickening apprehension corkscrewed through her stomach. A shiver prickled her heated skin.

 
She tried to force some semblance of calm over her panicking wits, but her instincts would not be denied. The fact that initially an unseen runner seemed to play cat and mouse with her had spooked her. They’d remained out of sight, had not responded to any of the hails she sent into the mist. She’d even taken a small sidetrack to try and throw them off.

 
The footsteps picked up again and the possibility of what might happen if she were caught speared a surge of black fear through her heart. Adrenaline charged through her body and she took off, feet flying over the rough surface of the track. The sole of her shoe landed heavily on a small rock. Her ankle collapsed and she lurched sideways, straining every muscle to remain upright. Twisting, burning sensation ripped through her right calf. She choked a cry as she tumbled to the hard ground, her running shorts and sleeveless top providing little protection. Every bone in her body jarred to the cruel impact.

 
A whimper of frustration and dread escaped her lips as the strangling pain of cramp throbbed through her leg. She made to stand. Agony tore through her lower limb and she collapsed back to the hard dirt. Desperation and pain stole her strength and for a moment she huddled on the ground in a limp mass. She dragged determination from the depths of her soul and pulled herself together, raised a shaking fist and pummelled it into the tight knot of her muscle. Again. Again. Her weak punches had no effect.

 
Footsteps approached. Terror twisted her nerves. Her skin felt like it wanted to crawl off somewhere and hide. She’d love it to do just that, so long as it took her with it.

 
Maybe I’m just being fanciful.

 
Her fears seemed to think otherwise, coiling nausea through her stomach. She pushed herself to her hands and knees. Sharp-edged pebbles and forest debris dug into her flesh as she crawled off the track. She thrust her back to the wide girth of a big gum tree and forced her breath into slow, deep inhalations. Heart faint and fingers trembling, she pulled her cell phone from a pocket again. And again hope died at the lack of coverage bars.

 
That shouldn’t happen. Not here.

 
She closed her eyes tight and bunched her fists against escalating terror.

 
Get a grip, Sarah. Get a grip.

 
The cool air brushed a clammy hand against her hot skin. A soft footfall and the rustle of clothing drifted through the mist. She snapped her eyes open. Gravel crunched. Her heart exploded into a wild gallop. Frantic, she scanned the ground for a weapon. Anything. A rock . . . sand . . . broken glass left by a careless hiker . . . anything. The smooth, pearl grey bark of a discarded ghost gum branch poked through yellowing clumps of grass. She lunged for it, wrapped her fingers around its width and lifted. The weight of the solid, four-foot piece of wood eased a little confidence into her mind.

 
Yeah, and now I’m being self-delusional.

 
Despite her doubts, her resolve strengthened. Looming shadows snatched her attention to the edge of the mist. Dark shapes moved towards her. Her heart leapt to her throat. She struggled to her feet, put her back to the tree and hefted the branch across her shoulder.

 
Two big, jeans and T-shirt clad men stepped clearly into her vision.

Romance Weekly – #LOVECHATWRITE

Love Write ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride!

 

Welcome. If you’re joining me from Victoria Barbour’s blog, you are probably still shaking. Check out her incredible Hearts Ease Series.

Against Her Rules

If you are starting your blog hp here, get set for a scary-fun ride, because today we have another Flash Fiction challenge. Cursed be the Wicked final

Jo Richardson has challenged us to: Tell me a spooky story – real or not real, doesn’t matter. 300 words or less.

Okay Jo, here it is. A little something I call:

Wink

Sarah viewed the body on the slab with a deep sense of sorrow. As Clark County Medical Examiner she’d viewed hundreds of bodies, but this one was different. Dr. Harold Baker had been her mentor and friend.

Harold studied death all his life. As the previous M.E., he’d taught Sarah so much, even staying on after his retirement, dropping in whenever she had a body on the slab to offer his insights.

“You never stop learning,” he’d said.

He’d be at her side this minute, if he wasn’t the one on the table, his eyes closed in death. Though, he had said he was going to stop coming in.

“Giving up studying death?” she’d asked.

“Heaven’s no, but I’m moving to a new phase of my studies.” He’d given her a wink, a gesture he used often.

Sarah turned to the tray of instruments, selecting a scalpel. Turning back she noted his eyes . . . wide open. Weren’t they closed? Was there a phenomenon where a corpse’s eyelids would spontaneously open? Harold would have known.

She hovered the scalpel over Harold’s chest. This was harder than she thought it would be. “Sorry Harold.” She scanned back to his face, and a chill crept up her spine. His right eye was now closed, as if winking.

“Dr. Sarah, I need you to look at something.” Mary’s voice startled her, causing her to jump. Taking a deep, calming breath, Sarah turned and dropped the scalpel back in the tray.

Mary only needed a few forms signed, so Sarah left Harold and moved into her adjoining office to complete the task. She sat at her desk long moments after Mary left, then sighed. She had a job to do.

But, when she returned to the autopsy room, Harold’s body was gone.

***

So, did I hit the mark? Let me know in the comments below, then move along to visit Leslie Hachtel for another spooky story.

Thursday Threads

Today we feature Elle Hill‘s Sci-Fi Romance, The Tithe:

 

 

 

 

Elle Hill theTithe_505x825

The Tithe
By Elle Hill

Genre: Science fiction romance
Heat level: Sensuous

Back blurb:

“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”

No one knows exactly what happens to these seventy Tithes, but everyone knows who: the “unworkables,” those with differing physical and mental capacities. Joshua Barstow, raised for twenty years among her town’s holy women, is one of these seventy Tithes. She is joined by the effervescent Lynna, the scholarly Avery, and the amoral Blue, a man who has spent most of his life in total solitude.

Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.

How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.

 

 
Excerpt:

The lights in the Great Room went out.

 
No flickers, no dimming, no sizzling sounds—nothing. Just darkness where light used to be.

 
A man cried out and several people gasped.

 
“It’s all right, everyone,” Marcus called. Really, he was beginning to annoy Josh, too. He didn’t know that. No one did. “I’m sure this has—”

 
A whooshing sound, like air displaced, sliced through the room. For a tiny, tense moment, no one spoke.

 
“Is it an angel?” a child’s voice asked.

 

 
Several voices broke out then, some in shouts, some in startled cries, one or two in terror.

 
Just like the night before, the fold and crack of feathered wings in motion breathed through the room. Weak light from the multiple hallways leaked through the perimeters. Now that her eyes had adjusted to the sudden darkness, Josh found she could identify vague outlines.

 
Someone a few seats down leapt to her feet and hurled herself toward Josh, perhaps seeking the sterile safety of the kitchen. She stumbled over Josh’s outstretched legs and hurtled to the ground. Josh gasped in pain.

 
And still, the snap and sigh of wings overhead.

 
Josh wanted to stand up, to defend herself. She wanted to shrink into the upholstery, to make herself as small as possible. In the end, she sat still, trembling in indecision.

 
“The angels!” someone cried in something like terror, or perhaps ecstasy.

 
“Keep them away from me!” Someone—she thought it might be Len—shrieked.

 
Several people jumped to their feet and pushed their way through the room, seeking some kind of safety. The woman who’d tripped over Josh lay whimpering on the ground.

 
Whump, whump . . .

 
A warm arm encircled Josh’s shoulder. She shrieked before realizing it belonged to Blue. The baggy sleeves of his black tunic partially covered her head. She turned to him, and he pressed her closer.

 
I don’t think I want to court you, she remembered him saying, and almost sprayed laughter. Who knew they’d practically snuggle later that day?

 
The thump of wings grew closer. An outline of a human-sized object hurtled through the air and the darkness toward her. What had to be its wings spread around it, moving and tilting. Some stray ray of light gleamed whitely off the area where eyes should be. They seemed fixed directly on her.

 

Links:

Email: elle@ellehill.com

Website: http://www.ellehill.com

Blog: ellehillauthor.blogspot.com/

Book buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Tithe-Elle-Hill-ebook/dp/B00MVCPJFG

Romance Weekly – #LOVECHATWRITE

Love Write ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride!

 

If you are joining me from Fiona Riplee’s site, or just starting your blog hop here, welcome.

themagicsparkcover

Today we feature another writer’s challenge, this time from Mishka Jenkins: ‘Time for a challenge! Write a love letter, 400 words or less that has to include the words ‘Sweet, Pumpkin, and Brush.’
Swiftly Half Cover3

 

For this challenge I’m going back to my first book, Swiftly Beats the Heart, and my hero Ryan (Speedster) writing home to Beth (Cheetah) from an extended mission battling the bad guys:

 

 

*****

Hey Pumpkin,

It’s been too long. Sleep comes hard (yeah, you took that right) each night I’m away from you. I miss so much the sweet brush of your lips against mine, the way your hair smells when we spoon, and the vibrant red I can raise in your cheeks with just a wink.

You’re blushing even now, as you read this, aren’t you?

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but that’s just not possible in this instance. My heart is completely yours, and absence only makes my heart ache. I count the days . . . hell, the minutes . . . until we can be together again.

I’d send you some flowers, but I know better. So I’m sending another Amazon gift card so you can load up on those trashy romance novels you seem to devour so voraciously. Do you think of me when you’re reading them, or are you off on an adventure with some Fabio type hero?

Not that I mind your book boyfriends. Well, okay, maybe I’m a bit jealous. They never seem to have to try at all to have those fabulous bodies, and incredible good looks. Sure, I can complete a half-hour workout in five minutes, but it’s still work. And they always have the right words, while I, hell, there just aren’t the right words to describe how perfect you are.

But, I digress.

I’m wrapping things up down here as fast as I can, and hope to be home sometime next week. I know, you’d think the fastest man in the world could move it along a little quicker, but the Mutant League hasn’t been making things easy for us.

How’d the doctor’s visit go yesterday? Has the morning sickness passed? I know you’d rather be here in the field with me, but you know that won’t be possible for another few months. You’ve got a more important mission on your hands, well, in your womb.

God, I’m going to be a father. That still hasn’t really sunk in. I love you so much.

Take care, and write when you can.

Love,

Ryan

*****

Hmmm, maybe there is a sequel in my future.

In any case, jump to Victoria Barbour’s blog and see what she wrote. She’s one of the amazing authors in the Passionate Kisses collection:

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Thursday Threads

Today on Thursday Threads we feature Char Chaffin‘s nostalgia romance, Jesse’s Girl:

Char Chaffin JessesGirl

Title: Jesse’s Girl, by Char Chaffin
Heat Rating: Sensual
Genre: Nostalgia Romance

Book Cover Blurb:

In 1965, Tim O’Malley returns to his home town of Skitter Lake, Ohio, to clear his name and get the girl: Dorothy Whitaker, the love of his life since eighth grade. Blamed for a destructive fire he didn’t set, only Tim and Dorothy know the truth; that Jesse Prescott, Tim’s best friend and Dorothy’s boyfriend, did the deed that changed an entire town. But Jesse died in that tragedy and seven years later, Skitter Lake still honors him as a hero, rather than Tim, the boy from the seedy side of town whose father was a drunk . . . and whose quick actions saved six people from perishing in that horrendous fire.

 

In trying to set the record straight and finally claim Dorothy as his own, Tim—and Dorothy, too—will discover that in some small towns the legend often outweighs the truth . . . and their family and friends will forever see Dorothy as “Jesse’s girl.”

 

Excerpt:

Now the need to lock Dorothy in a tight embrace, and never let go, overwhelmed him. He would have picked her up and carried her to his car, then driven her all the way back to Los Angeles just to get her away from a life he instinctively knew made her miserable. Tim remembered her folks. Wilma Whitaker had been a difficult woman when she was healthy and relatively happy. He couldn’t imagine how losing Dorothy’s dad would have twisted Wilma up inside.

 
He must have squeezed too tightly, because Dorothy let out a breathy gasp and wriggled until he loosened his arms. She stepped backward with a blush and downcast eyes. “I really do have to go, Tim.” She raised her head and all the longing he’d already been experiencing, all the need, was plain to see on her lovely face, for about half a second.

 
Then, her expression shuttered, she picked up her purse from the battered nightstand next to the bed where she’d laid it, and moved toward the door. Tim followed, unsure what to say even though a hundred different lines crowded his head. Stay with me. Get to know me, again. Love me, the way I never stopped loving you.

 
They remained locked behind his compressed lips as he escorted her to the door and wished the last seven years had never happened.

 
In the open doorway she formed a smile that fell short of her eyes. “I’m glad we got to spend a little time together, Tim.” She slipped her arms around his waist for a quicksilver hug, then stepped back before he could reciprocate. “Please give your folks my best when you get back home.”

 
Tim flicked his eyes up to hers, then over her face, prettier than ever and without a speck of makeup. Her silky, red-blonde hair, combed back in its usual ponytail, was so unlike the current style he’d seen not only in California but here in Skitter Lake. Her dress wouldn’t have been out of place at the sock hops he remembered from twelfth grade. It was almost as if Dorothy Whitaker had frozen herself in time.

 
And he suddenly knew he wouldn’t be leaving at the end of the week. He’d stick around and see what was what. For Dorothy, and maybe even for Jesse.

 
Slowly, Tim reached out and clasped her fingers, then her wrist. Before he could talk himself out of it, he yanked her into his arms, up against his body, catching the back of her head, right below her ponytail. As her lips parted to speak, protest, whatever, he covered them with a kiss that spun out of control the instant it began. He wound an arm around her waist to anchor her tightly, but she’d already thrust her hands into his hair as she kissed him back. Tim groaned into her mouth and felt it echo back to him in the whimper she uttered that throbbed in the scant space between them.

 
For what seemed like an eternity, he kissed her, deep, then slow, then fast, greedy, pouring years of want and desire into a single, perfect moment. If he’d ever kissed another woman like this, he couldn’t remember. He deepened the kiss even more, and felt her fingers fist reflexively in his hair. He didn’t care if she ripped it out by the handfuls, as long as she never let go.

 
And as if she’d somehow heard his thoughts, she stiffened, opened her fists, slapped her hands on his chest, and pushed until he released her lips. Rosy red and swollen, they quivered as she stared up at him with shock in her eyes. She pushed again, a silent demand for him to let her go. It about killed him, but he loosened his arms and stepped back.

 
Silently, Tim bent to pick up the purse she’d dropped, and gave it to her. As her fingers closed over the pale yellow leather, she whispered, “Why?”

 
He managed—barely—to keep his hands to himself as he replied, “Because I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying. And when I do leave, Dorothy, you’ll be coming with me.”

 

 

Buy Link, Amazon: http://www.amzn.com/B00JK0DUD0/

 

Char’s Links:

Website: http://char.chaffin.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/char.chaffin
Twitter: http://twitter.com/char_chaffin
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5337737.Char_Chaffin

Cover Reveal: Collette Cameron’s TRIUMPH AND TREASURE

Today I’m happy to bring you a cover reveal from my good friend, and fellow Romance Writer’s Weekly group member, Collette Cameron. Today she’s previewing the cover of the first book in her exciting new series:

ColletteTriumphandTreasure_850HIGH

Triumph and Treasure

Book I in the Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series

A disillusioned Scottish gentlewoman.
Angelina Ellsworth once believed in love—before she discovered her husband of mere hours was a slave-trader and already married. To avoid the scandal and disgrace, she escapes to her aunt and uncle’s, the Duke and Duchess of Waterford. When Angelina learns she is with child, she vows she’ll never trust a man again.

A privileged English lord.
Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore, led an enchanted life until his father committed suicide after losing everything to Waterford in a wager. Stripped of all but his title, Flynn is thrust into the role of marquis as well as provider for his disabled sister and invalid mother. Unable to pay his father’s astronomical gambling loss, Flynn must choose between social or financial ruin.

When the duke suggests he’ll forgive the debt if Flynn marries his niece, Flynn accepts the duke’s proposal. Reluctant to wed a stranger, but willing to do anything to protect her babe and escape the clutches of the madman who still pursues her, Angelina agrees to the union. Can Flynn and Angelina find happiness and love in a marriage neither wanted, or is the chasm between them insurmountable?

 

 

Collette Cameron picture

Bio:
Award winning, Amazon best-selling author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series and Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

Connect with Collette

Website: http://collettecameron.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/collettecameronauthor
Blue Rose Romance Blog: http://blueroseromance.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/collette_author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7047979.Collette_Cameron
Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/regencyrose
You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Google+ too.
Just head to her website for the links.

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