Dallas Fire and Rescue Kindle World

Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire and Rescue Kindle World just had a new launch!! I wrote a sequel to my January release, Dallas Hot, and it’s titled Dallas Hit! Both are crossovers between my Fab Five series and Paige’s Dallas Fire and Rescue series.

I am thrilled to be a part of this new launch with these awesome authors, Aliyah Burke, Heather Long, Irish Winters, Ripley Proserpina, Megan Mitcham, Donna Michaels, Delilah Devlin, Rachel Naquin and Kandi Silvers. Check out all the books in the Dallas Fire and Rescue world here:  www.paigetylertheauthor.com/BooksDallasFireandRescueKindleWorld.html

Buy Link for Dallas Hit: https://www.amazon.com/Dallas-Fire-Rescue-Kindle-Novella-ebooks/dp/B071S1Q941/

Want to know a bit about my story?

Blurb:

Beth O’Grady survived the ultimate betrayal, only to find herself the target of a stalker who is out to destroy her.

Colin Sutherland is the undercover Dallas cop who saved her life once before. Now that they are building a relationship, will he be able to stop the stalker before it’s too late or is he a little too close to the situation?

And who is behind the notes, phone calls and text messages? When her twin sister, Mary Kate, and her new husband, Braydon, become the first example of the seriousness of the situation, Colin decides to step up the security by moving Beth into his house. The stalker, however, is one step ahead of him…

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Beth O’Grady stepped back and admired her masterpiece. She sighed deeply and smiled. Perfect!

Her mother, petite and perky Chloe O’Grady, walked in and gasped. “Oh, Beth, it’s beautiful! Mary Kate will be so pleased.”

“Do you really think so? I want it to be everything she always dreamed of.”

“I am absolutely positive she will love it, sweetie. Ah, here she is now, you can ask her yourself.”

“What are you going to ask me, sis?” Mary Kate, Beth’s twin sister, asked with a giggle as she entered the kitchen of the family’s upscale Dallas restaurant.

“See for yourself,” Beth said as she pointed to the seven-layer wedding cake she had just lovingly baked and decorated. In fact, she had spent the entire morning crafting the perfect cake for her sister and her fiancée, Braydon Butler.

Mary Kate, or M.K. as she was known to family and friends, stepped back, her face full of awe. “Oh, my. Oh, my.” She turned to her twin.

“Uh oh, is that a good ‘oh, my’ or a bad ‘oh my?’ Beth asked worriedly.

She needn’t have been concerned, which she quickly learned when her sister grabbed her and gave her a big old sisterly hug.

“It’s wonderful, sis. It amazes me how much talent you have.”

Beth grinned and pointed to their mother. “Everything I know, I learned from the master.”

Chloe O’Grady blushed at the compliment. “Thank you, my sweet girl; I may have taught you to cook and bake but you possess a passion for it.”

“Yeah, I missed out on that particular part of the gene pool, it seems,” M.K. said with a sigh.

“Hush now! Not everyone is cut out to be a chef or baker. You have your own special talents. You help people every day in your job as a fire investigator,” Chloe said.

“She’s right, you know,” Beth added as she gave her sister another hug.

“What’s on your agenda today?” their mother asked as M.K. poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down on one of the stools in the kitchen.

“My leave time officially starts today so I’m planning to do some last-minute shopping for the wedding and for our trip afterward.”

“Would you like some company?” Chloe asked.

“Actually, Mom, that’s why I stopped by. I know Beth is working all day but I thought you might be able to sneak out for a few hours. I’d really like some time with you before everything gets hectic with last minute wedding craziness.”

“How can I turn down an offer like that?” her mother asked. “Give me a few minutes to wrap up some things in my office and I’ll be ready to go.”

“Take your time. I’ll sit with Beth and drink my coffee and chat while she works.”

When she was certain their mother was out of earshot, Mary Kate asked her sister quietly, “Anything else weird happen lately? Any more phone calls or mysterious notes on your car?”

Beth glanced over at her before replying. “No, not since the two notes a few weeks ago. And there was only one strange phone call, which could have been a wrong number.”

“Still, I want you to be aware of your surroundings at all times. That scuzball ex of yours probably has connections. He could be arranging for you to be stalked, even from inside prison.”

“Sis, I really think you are overreacting. I know, with everything that went down last year, you are worried for me. I honestly don’t think Dalton is doing any such thing. And, if you are thinking of his dad, you know he knew nothing of his wayward son’s plans.”

“So he says,” her sister said with a frown. “I still don’t know if I believe that story.”

“Well, he’d be pretty despicable if he allowed his son to take the full rap for the fire.”

“And your point?” Mary Kate asked. It was obvious she didn’t trust father or son.

“Look, sis, let’s not get into that whole mess now, okay? Your wedding to Mr. Dallas Hot Fireman is only a few days away. We should be concentrating on that and enjoying every second of the frenzy.”

Her twin sniggered. “Ah, Braydon still blushes every time one of us refers to him by that nickname. I really had no idea when you first referred to him that way in my hospital room, I would end up marrying him. I thought he was the biggest playboy ever.”

“If I remember correctly, he thought you were a rich society girl, stuck up snob.”

“Luckily, we were both wrong,” Mary Kate said wistfully as she poured another cup of coffee and helped herself to a Danish.

“I’m glad you’re finally happy. It took a while to get your life together but, now, it’s perfect. You’ve found the best job for you and the hottest, sweetest guy.”

“You make it sound like I was lost before. I was doing fine, being single and working here until the right career caught my attention. As for the hot, sweet guy, that was never supposed to happen. At least, not at the time it did.”

“But aren’t you glad it did?” Beth asked.

Mary Kate smiled and took a sip of her drink.

 

* * *

 

Chloe breezed back into the room, accompanied by her sister-in-law, Katy. “I’m ready when you are, honey,” she said.

“I came down to say hello to my beautiful nieces,” Katy added.

“Aunt Katy, would you like to come with us to the mall today? You have such good taste, and I know we will have a blast together, the three of us,” Mary Kate said.

“Oh, I don’t want to intrude on the mother and daughter time,” Katy said.

“Nonsense, you know you are always welcome. She’s right, it’ll be fun,” Chloe was quick to reply.

“Well, if you’re sure I’m not butting in, I’d love nothing more,” Katy said. “Let me run back to my office and grab my purse.”

“Beth, I’m sorry you can’t go,” Mary Kate said, looking at her sister who was busy putting together a lunch order.

“It would be fun but I will be able to spend the next few days with you. Today is my last day on the schedule until after the wedding. You guys enjoy. You and I will do something tomorrow.”

Katy returned and the three O’Grady women said their goodbyes to Beth and the rest of the staff before starting out on their shopping adventure.

Mary Kate suggested one of the better malls and Chloe offered to drive. They piled into her SUV and, soon, they were getting out of the vehicle in the parking lot and walking into the mall. The first stop was a jewelry shop, where Mary Kate purchased gifts for her bridesmaids. After that, they went into one of the boutiques and, with the help of her mother and aunt, she chose two new outfits for her wedding trip. After that, she found two adorable bikinis. Then, they decided to break for lunch before hitting the Victoria’s Secret store.

After they were seated in a booth at a chain restaurant in the mall, Chloe said, “You’ve done well so far. I love that turquoise outfit you chose.”

“Do you know where you are going or is it a surprise?” Katy asked.

The server came by to take their drink orders just then. When she had gone, Mary Kate answered her aunt’s question. “We are going to South Padre Island for a week.”

“Oh, that’s one of Ryan’s and my favorite spots. You’ll enjoy it, I’m sure,” Katy replied with a smile.

“Yes, it is lovely there,” Chloe agreed.

Each of them ordered a salad and the conversation revolved around the wedding for the rest of the next hour. When they finally decided it was time to move on, Katy offered to treat her sister-in-law and niece. “Lunch is on me. I’m so glad you included me today.”

“Thank you, Katy, that’s so sweet,” Chloe said.

“Yes, Aunt Katy, I’m glad you were able to join us. I told you we would have fun.”

Victoria’s Secret was their next stop. Mary Kate blushed profusely when her aunt chose a racy little red lace teddy for her. Her mother’s pick was a tiny bit more demure, in pink, but still very sexy. After deciding on a white negligee and a black lace short gown, Mary Kate decided the four new lingerie items were enough. She paid for her purchases and joined her mother and aunt.

“Where to now?” Chloe asked.

“I think I’m finished, unless one of you would like to go to another store.”

“I’m good,” Katy said.

“I am, too. I finished my shopping for the wedding last week,” Chloe said.

“I should get back to the office to finish some paperwork today. I want to devote tomorrow to decorating for the rehearsal dinner and, of course, Saturday morning to the reception,” Katy said.

“I’ll help you,” Chloe said.

“I can help, too,” Mary Kate said. “I know you will make it the most beautiful reception ever. The party room at the restaurant is the perfect place.”

“What else do you need to take care of? Is there anything I can do to help?” Chloe asked as they got back into the SUV.

“I just need to follow up with the florist and photographer to make sure everything is set. Since the restaurant is catering, Beth will take care of that.” Mary Kate seemed calm for a girl about to be married.

“You’ve picked up the dresses?” her mother asked.

“Beth and I will do that tomorrow. We had our final fittings last Saturday.”

“Sounds like you have everything under control,” her aunt remarked.

“I hope I haven’t forgotten anything but I think we’re good. I’ve had a lot of help.”

“Is Braydon working today?” Chloe asked.

“Yes, his leave begins in the morning. He has a list of things to take care of, too.” Mary Kate giggled. “He was going over it all last night with me.”

They reached the restaurant and said their goodbyes, Chloe and Katy returning to their offices and Mary Kate heading to the kitchen to speak to her sister.

But when she entered the room, Beth was nowhere to be seen. She asked one of the other chefs where she was.

He nodded toward the employee lounge. “She got a phone call and seemed upset. She’s in there, taking a break.”

Mary Kate wasted no time in getting to her sister. When she opened the door to the lounge, she shuddered. It hadn’t been all that long ago that her life had hung in the balance in that very room, or rather, the employee lounge that had been there before the fire that had destroyed her family’s restaurant. If Dallas firefighter, Braydon Butler, hadn’t rescued her, things would have turned out very differently, indeed.

Right now, though, her attentions needed to be focused on her sister, who had also nearly lost her life to the same madman who had set fire to the restaurant, her fiancée at the time, Dalton Raymond.

She found Beth curled up in a ball on the window seat, sobbing.

“Beth, what is it?” she said softly as she crossed the room and sat down next to her sister. She wrapped her arms around her.

“It h-happened again,” Beth said between sobs. “Another c-call.”

“Male or female?” Mary Kate asked.

“It was a man. He said, ‘I know what you did and you will pay.’ Oh, M. K., what did I do? I have no idea what he is talking about.”

“I don’t think you did anything. I still think this has something to do with the whole Dalton fiasco. I think either Dalton or his dad or someone who works for them is harassing you, blaming you for his being found guilty.”

“He was sent to a prison for the mentally ill. That wasn’t my fault. He was proven guilty and he admitted setting the fire. He also threatened to kill me. His own dad heard him say it, as well as the police officers who were at the scene. Colin saw it all through the window, too. He saw that I was tied to a chair and that Dalton had a gun.”

“I know that and you know that, but Dalton is nuts. His dad is a powerful man.”

“His dad made restitution for all the damage. Why would he hire someone to harass me now?”

“Revenge, who knows? Have you told Colin any of this?”

“N-no, not yet.”

“I think it’s high time you did. Please, Beth, talk to him. Tell him about the phone calls and the notes. I don’t want to leave town on my wedding trip worried about your safety.”

“I am meeting him for dinner tonight. I promise to tell him then. I don’t want you to worry about me. This is your special time with Braydon and nothing should mar it.”

“How can I not worry, after all we both went through in the last year?”

Beth shook her head. “It never seems to end. We both thought we got our happy endings—you, with Braydon, and me, with Colin. Now, I just don’t know about that.”

“Oh, honey, Colin is your destiny. Never doubt that. Just tell him, so he can protect you. He is an undercover cop, after all. He can surely arrange for some sort of extra protection.”

“I will tell him. This last call has really unnerved me. I tried to pass this off as a prank of some sort, but now, I’m not so sure.”

“You need to take it seriously. Now, how much longer until your shift ends?”

Beth looked at the clock on the wall. “Actually, I need to get back out there and finish something; then, I can leave.”

“Go splash water on your face. I’ll wait for you and walk you to your car. I’m not doing anything tonight since Braydon is on duty until the morning. I’ll stay with you at home until either Mom or Dad or Colin shows up. I will most likely stay in tonight, anyway.”

“Thanks, sis. I won’t be long.” Beth freshened up and returned to the kitchen, leaving her twin to worry about her.

Seeking extra protection, Mary Kate left the lounge and found their cousin, Alex. Alex was Katy’s son and the general manager of the restaurant.

“Hey, cuz, do you have the pre-wedding jitters yet?” he asked as she approached him.

She smiled. “Not pre-wedding but other jitters. Can we talk in private for a minute?”

“Sure, what’s up?” Alex asked as he led her into the private dining room and sat down.

“Promise you won’t say anything to anyone else just yet. Not your mom or Ryan or my parents, you have to promise.”

“Okay,” her cousin replied hesitantly.

She quickly explained to him about the calls and notes Beth had been receiving.

“Wow, just wow. I thought this was all behind us. What do you need me to do? You know I’d do anything for either of you girls.”

“Beth will be off duty in a few minutes. I’d like you to walk both of us out to our cars when we leave. I’m going to follow her home and stay there with her. She’s having dinner with Colin tonight and she’s promised me that she’ll tell him all about this.”

“You mean she hasn’t told him yet?” Alex asked in surprise.

M.K. shook her head. “Apparently not yet. I think I’m the only person she’s confided in. She didn’t want to upset Mom and Dad right before the wedding, I think. She also thought it was nothing more than a prank until today’s phone call.”

“I will do that and I’ll make sure, from now on, she always has an escort. Although, I imagine when Colin hears this, he’ll arrange for around the clock protection for her.”

“That’s my hope. I’ve been encouraging her to tell him.”

“We’d probably better get out there; she’s probably looking for you. Her shift should have ended five minutes ago,” Alex said as he looked at his cell phone.

They walked out of the private dining room together and, sure enough, Beth was looking for her.”

“Oh, there you are. I couldn’t find you. Hi, Alex.”

“Hi, Beth. Are you ready to go? I’m going to walk out to the parking lot with the two of you,” he informed her.

Beth looked from one to the other. “You filled him in?” she asked.

“Yes, I thought it was necessary but I’ve sworn him to secrecy,” her sister replied.

“It’s okay, Beth. I’ll keep your secret, as long as you tell Colin tonight, at dinner,” Alex said.

“I’ve already promised M.K. I would. Thank you, Alex.”

The three of them walked outside into the late afternoon Texas sunshine. Alex looked around to make sure no one suspicious was around before allowing the girls to proceed to their cars. He walked Beth to hers and made sure she was securely buckled in and the doors to her vehicle locked before he escorted M.K. to hers and did the same. He leaned down and told Mary Kate, “Call me when you get to the house.”

“I will,” she replied as she rolled up the window and waved to her sister to leave first. She followed Beth out of the parking lot and all the way to their parents’ house, where both girls still lived.

Safely inside the house with the doors locked, she phoned Alex to let him know they had arrived. Turning to Beth, she said, “You need to take a load off. Go take a hot bath and relax. I’ll brew some of that herbal tea you like and we’ll have a cup when you come back down.”

“Thank you, sis. I hate that this is happening two days before your wedding but I love that you’re taking care of me. I’ll be back down soon.”

Mary Kate watched her sister walk slowly up the stairs, shoulders slumped. She sighed as she headed for the kitchen. She was going to get to the bottom of this. No one terrorized her sister and got by with it.

 

 

Dallas Fire and Rescue Kindle World

Hello again! I am back with some exciting news!! Last week, my first kindle world book was released! That’s right, the amazing Paige Tyler invited me, along with several other authors, to join the world she created. For my Fab Five readers who didn’t want the series to end, I wrote a bonus novella, crossing over some of my characters from the “Fabs” series with the characters in Paige’s world.

My title is “Dallas Hot” and I’m going to share a little bit of it with you today. If you followed the series, you’ll remember Shane and Chloe’s twin daughters, Mary Kate and Angie Beth. Well, in Dallas Hot, M.K. and Beth are all grown up. This story is about them; it’s mainly Mary Kate’s story, but in May, I’ll be writing another one, and it will be Beth’s story.

Here’s the blurb for Dallas Hot:

Mary Kate O’Grady is at loose ends, working in her family’s downtown restaurant while she figures out what she wants to do with her life. Until the night a sexy Dallas firefighter saved her life, then it all became crystal clear.

While her family is busy rebuilding, Mary Kate is pursuing her future. A new career was always the plan, but a romance with her rescuer, Braydon Butler, definitely was not.

As the two become closer, the investigator’s report comes back and the result is arson. Mary Kate discovers the culprit and his motive is shocking. She has the grim task of telling her family of her findings and it could ruin her relationship with her twin forever.

How can she find the happiness and fulfillment she has longed for if her sister isn’t there to share it with her?

See, all grown up…

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the story:

Mary Kate O’Grady sighed as she stood up from her seat in the break room. She tossed her trash away and carried her dishes into the kitchen. Resigning herself to another boring evening working in her family’s downtown Dallas restaurant, she squared her shoulders and started to walk out into the dining room. She was on waitress duty that night, and the place was busy. Truth be known, she would like to be anywhere but here.

“Better put a smile on that mug before you go back out there,” her twin sister, Beth, said from her place in the kitchen, where she was putting the finishing touches on one of their mother’s famous desserts.

“Easy for you to say, you love this place,” she retorted.

“M.K., I know you don’t like working here, but it’s a darn good thing you have this to fall back on until something more to your liking comes along. Just try to go with the flow, what do you say?”

“You’re right; it’s just that I want so much more in my life. I crave excitement and adventure. You’ve always loved this place. Even when we were kids, you wanted to be here. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking, waitressing or hostessing, you thrive on it. I don’t, I just…don’t.”

“I get that. We may be twins, but we are nothing alike, that’s for sure. I see myself running the family business someday, with Alex. You can’t wait to get out of here.” Beth shook her head.

“I have to go. You and Alex make the perfect cousin team, and I’m sure that, one day, you really will be running this place with him, if not running one of the other restaurants in the chain. Hell, you’ll probably be running the whole chain. Later, sis,” she said as she headed toward the swinging door that separated the kitchen from the dining room.

Dark-haired, brown-eyed beauty, Mary Kate, made her way back to her cousin, Alex, to let him know that she was back from her break. Alex was the stepson of her Uncle Ryan and had been managing the restaurant in Dallas for several years. He and his wife, Chelsea, both worked there, as did Ryan, his wife, Katy, and Mary Kate’s parents, Shane and Chloe.

It was truly a family business, built from scratch by Ryan, Shane and Chloe, many years before. Chloe was an excellent cook, and when she and Shane decided to open the original restaurant, they invited Ryan to move out from Indianapolis to join them in the venture. Having just lost his first wife in an accident, he welcomed the change. The place was such a success that, a few years later, the trio decided to expand. The family now owned a chain of restaurants across the country. Of course, the fact that all three of the offspring were a part of the business thrilled the family. Mary Kate did not intend to make it a lifelong career, though. How her parents would react to that news when the time came for her to move on, she didn’t know. She only knew that she had to get out. She had to find something else or she would go crazy.

Alex smiled at his younger cousin. “I hope you had a nice break, because this place is hopping tonight. I have four tables ready to seat in your section.”

Pasting a fake smile on her pretty face, she replied, “Okay, let’s get going, cuz. You get them seated and I’ll be around to take drink orders.”

The rest of the night passed in a blur. After those four tables of patrons were gone, more arrived. At the end of the evening, while she was counting her tips, she decided it hadn’t been a wasted Saturday night after all. She had raked in quite a pocketful of cash. Of course, even though the patrons who frequented the establishment were known to tip well, it was always a shock to her when the actual totals were tallied at the end of a long and tiring night.

She walked into the kitchen, where her twin was finishing up. Beth looked exhausted.

“Sis, are you okay? You don’t look like you feel well.”

“I am just tired. I’ve worked seven days without a break. At least, I have the next two off. As soon as I finish cleaning up for the night, I am going home to a nice hot bath and bed.”

“Why don’t you go on and let me finish for you?”

“Are you sure? I would have thought you would be out the door by now.”

“I haven’t worked seven days in a row. Now, go on. You know I don’t offer often, so better take me up on it.”

“I think I will. Thanks, sis.” Beth untied her apron and tossed it into the laundry bin. She hugged her sister and whispered, “Love you; I’ll see you at home later.”

Both girls, although in their twenties, still lived at home. Neither of them was ready to move out. Beth was seeing someone, but it wasn’t serious. Mary Kate was about as picky about dates as she was about her job. Until the right one came along, she would continue to live at home and work in the family business.

She finished cleaning the grill and talked to the others who were still lingering in the kitchen as she worked. When the kitchen was once again spotless, she said goodbye to the other workers as they trickled out, one by one. The only person still in the building was Alex. As general manager, he always stayed until everyone else was gone.

“Hey, Mary Kate, you about ready to head out? It’s been one busy night, and I, for one, am ready to call it a day,” he said as he walked into the kitchen.

“Sure, I’ll walk out with you,” she said. “Just let me grab my things from my locker.” She went into the break room and grabbed her purse before joining her cousin, who was waiting by the back door.

Alex walked her to her car before he got into his own vehicle and pulled out of the lot. Mary Kate waved goodbye to him as she fumbled in her purse for her cell phone. She knew her friend, Julie, would still be up, and she wanted to make plans with her for the following week. Finding a mint in the jumbled contents, she unwrapped it and popped it into her mouth. Where was that darn phone?

She emptied out the contents of her leather bag onto the passenger seat. There was no phone. Putting everything back in, stopping to pitch some old receipts into the trash, she finally had her purse back in order. “Nothing like cleaning out my purse at midnight in the parking lot at work,” she grumbled aloud as she opened the console in her car to see if she had left her phone there before work. No such luck, she thought as she realized that she must have put the missing phone in her locker after she had last used it on her break. Damn! She was going to have to go back in and get it. She was off until tomorrow night, and she just couldn’t do without her phone until then.

Looking around to make sure no one was lurking in the lot or the area nearby, she carefully got out of the car and ran to the back door of the establishment. Fumbling with her key, she finally unlocked the door and went into the break room. It was eerie, being in here alone after hours, with no one bustling about. She walked into the break room, located just off the kitchen, and unlocked her locker. Sure enough, her cell phone was sitting on the shelf. She hadn’t noticed it when she had grabbed her purse in haste earlier. She sat down at the table and dialed Julie’s number. I might as well call her now, before I go back outside, she thought as she waited for her friend to answer.

“Hey, M.K., what’s up? Did you just get off work?” Julie asked when her voice came on the line.

“Yeah, a little bit ago. I had to come back in and get my phone. Dumb me, I forgot it in my locker.”

Julie laughed. “Sounds like a typical M.K. thing to me.”

“Very funny, Jules,” she retorted. “Sorry to call so late, but I figured you were still up.”

“You know it. I got in from a date a while ago. I don’t think I’ll be seeing this one again. Can you say boring with a capital B?”

“You seem to have a lot of those. You need to be more selective, like me.”

“If I was as choosy as you, I’d never go out,” her friend replied with a giggle.

“True, that may explain my lack of a social life these days,” Mary Kate agreed. “Anyway, all that aside, I am off Thursday and Friday this coming week. Think you could swing a few days off and join me for some fun?”

“I am off on Thursday every week, so I can use a vacation day for Friday. What did you have in mind?” her friend asked with interest.

“I thought maybe we could head down to San Antonio Wednesday, after work. I am on day shift that day. Head back Friday night. Just a short girls’ trip,” she said.

“Sounds like a plan to me. I haven’t been down there in ages. We can do some shopping, go to the Riverwalk, and relax.”

“Exactly what I was thinking.”

“Make the plans, I’ll put in for the day off on Monday morning,” Julie said with enthusiasm.

They chatted for several more minutes before Mary Kate announced that she had better head home before her family started to worry.

“I sent Beth home a while ago and she’ll be freaking out,” she explained to Julie.

“Tell her I said hey, I haven’t seen her in a while.”

“I will tell her. She’s always working or out with the new guy in her life. I don’t see much of her anymore, either, to be truthful.”

She ended the call soon after that and picked up her purse and keys. Glancing around, making sure she had everything this time, she went to the door of the break room.

“Ouch!” she exclaimed when she touched the doorknob. Why was it so hot? She quickly looked down and saw it. But not before the smell of the thick smoke assaulted her nostrils. Smoke! But how? She had just come in a few minutes ago, hadn’t she? Had she lost track of time while talking on the phone?

Frantically looking around the room, she spotted a blanket in the corner. Thank God, someone had left it there! She quickly ran to fetch it and carried it to the sink. Wetting it first, she placed it under the crack in the door to keep the smoke out. She felt the door. It was scorching hot! She dialed 911 and waited nervously for the dispatcher to answer.

“What is the nature of your emergency?” a voice asked after the second ring.

Mary Kate hurriedly told the voice on the other end of the line the nature of her dilemma and her location. “I-I had to come back in for something I forgot. I made a call, and I guess I lost track of time. I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I got ready to leave again.”

“You are alone?” the woman asked.

“Y-yes, I am trapped in the employee break room, off the kitchen. Apparently, the fire is in the kitchen. I can’t get out. Please…send someone. My parents and my aunt and uncle are the owners. The O’Gradys, you need to contact them. Please, help me!”

“A unit has already been notified. They are on their way. Is there a window in the break room?”

“Y-yes, but it’s a very small one. It’s up high; I don’t think I can climb up there.”

“Stay put, help is on the way. Stay on the line with me until they arrive, miss.”

“I need to call my dad,” she protested.

“No, I need for you to stay on the line with me, please, Miss O’Grady. Help is on the way.  Someone is notifying your family as we speak. Please, remain on the phone with me.”

“Okay,” Mary Kate said in a low voice. She had never been so frightened in all her life.

“Now, I need for you to remain calm. Is smoke coming into the break room now?”

“N-no, I put a damp blanket under the door.”

“That’s good, quick thinking.”

“Shouldn’t I try to go out there? There is a fire extinguisher by the door. If I could get to it, I could…”

“Absolutely not, do not try to be a hero,” the dispatcher advised. “Stay where you are until help arrives.”

In the distance, Mary Kate heard sirens. She listened as they got closer and closer, screaming to other drivers to get out of their way. She said a silent prayer that they would get to her in time and that they would save her family’s business. She felt guilty about her lack of enthusiasm for her job earlier. Even if she wasn’t cut out for a life in the restaurant business, it meant everything to her family. Please, God, make them hurry.

“I-I can hear the sirens,” she said into the phone.

“Good, they should be there in another two minutes. Just try to remain calm.”

She got up and walked over to the door. Tripping over the legs of the chair in her haste, she went down. Hitting the floor with a thud, she groaned. The smoke was beginning to seep in, in spite of the blanket she had placed under the door. Her face was now parallel to the door…

 

***

 

“Who could be calling this late?” Chloe asked sleepily as she heard her husband, Shane, answer the phone. “Are the girls home?”

“I see. Thank you, we are on our way. Oh, have you notified my brother?”

Chloe sat up in bed, wide-awake now. When Shane hung up the phone and turned to her, she asked, “What is it? What’s happened?”

“We have to go, now! The restaurant is in flames, and Mary Kate is trapped.”

“What? How can she be trapped? What is she doing there alone? Where are Beth and Alex?”

“I don’t know. Ryan and Katy are on their way there and probably Alex. Get dressed and see if Beth is here. There is no time to waste.”

Chloe O’Grady hurriedly changed into a pair of jeans and threw on a sweatshirt. Running a brush through her short blonde hair, she joined her husband and daughter in the hallway, a few minutes later.

“Beth, thank God you are okay! Why was your sister still there?” she asked as she hugged her daughter.

“S-she offered to finish cleaning up for me. I was so tired, I didn’t argue with her. But I don’t understand how she is trapped. Alex always waits until the last worker leaves. I can’t imagine that he left her there.”

“We don’t have time to speculate about it. Come on, we have to get downtown,” Shane reminded them as he headed down the stairs.

When they arrived at the scene, the rescue squads were there. The firefighters were already dousing the flames, and an ambulance was waiting.

“What is going on?” Shane asked one of the rescue workers. “I am Shane O’Grady, one of the owners. I was told that one of my daughters is inside.”

As Shane spoke with the worker, Chloe spotted her sister-in-law, Katy, coming towards her. Katy hugged her and said, “Alex says that he walked Mary Kate to her car and made sure she was safely inside before he left. The only thing that makes any sense is that she must have gone back inside after he left.”

“Where are Alex and Ryan?” Chloe asked.

“They are up there, as close as the firefighters will let them stand. They are waiting for word. Come on, I will take you to them.” Katy turned to her niece. “Come with us, honey.” She pointed to where the men were standing.

Shane soon joined them as they waited for what seemed to be an eternity. Flames shot through the roof of their beloved business. None of that mattered to any of them right now. None of the O’Grady family would breathe easily until they saw Mary Kate exiting the building safely.

“Stand back, folks,” one of the firemen said. Chloe watched as the men did their jobs. Nervously, she glanced back to the entrance.

“If Mary Kate is in the break room, shouldn’t we be waiting around back?” she asked suddenly.

Shane spoke to one of the men in charge. He shook his head. Shane returned to the group and repeated what the man had said to him. In a solemn voice, he said, “They say we must stay here. It’s much too dangerous for us to be back there, since the kitchen is where they believe the fire originated. We have to do as they say. I’m sorry, baby, we have to wait here…and pray.”

The seconds slipped away, each one of them knowing that the longer they waited without seeing their beautiful daughter, the slimmer the chances became of her being rescued in time. Shane put his arms around his wife as she cried softly into his chest. Ryan pulled Beth close and comforted her as Katy went to other friends and employees who had arrived on the scene.

And then, Shane gave a shout as he saw a man, dressed in fire gear, walking around the side of the building. In his arms, he carried a woman, her long dark hair blowing in the breeze. Shane started to go towards them, but the workers held him back.

“Sir, please, let him get her to the ambulance. The rescue team will assess her condition.”

No one was stopping Chloe. She broke free from her husband’s grasp and ran to the ambulance to see her daughter.

The entire original Fab Five series of nine books is now available as a box set, too, so you can catch up, if you have yet to begin the journey. Here is the buy link.

And here is the buy link for Dallas Hot:

Check out the rest of Dallas Hot and the other books in the Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle World here:

http://paigetylertheauthor.com/BooksDallasFireAndRescueKindleWorld.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loving the Nobleman…New Series

Remington's RulesIsabella Kole has a new series out with Blushing Books, her first Regency, Loving the Nobleman. Book One released in April and in the first week ranked #2 in Erotic Historicals and #1 in Hot New Releases on Amazon. Remington’s Rules is a great introduction into the love story of Charles, the future Duke of Remington, and Emily, the red-haired, spitfire chambermaid he has known since the day she was born. Emily’s Emergence follows in June and Duchess’s Desire in August. 

Available at Blushing Books, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, here are the buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Remingtons-Rules-Loving-Nobleman-Book-ebook/dp/B01E64ONTE

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/remingtons-rules-isabella-kole/1123656873?ean=2940157837891

Blushing Books: http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3799

Now, let me share the blurb and an excerpt from Remington’s Rules with you.

BLURB

Emily Crawley has lived in Remington House her entire life. Her parents have been in service to the Duke of Remington and his family for years, and now that Emily is of age, she has joined the staff, as well.

When the Marquess of Remington, the duke’s eldest son, Charles, returns after his years at school, Emily realizes her heart has always belonged to the handsome Lord. But, alas, he is to be wed to the rude and condescending Lady Caroline, a marriage that was arranged years ago.

Charles seems to enjoy bantering with Emily, though, and even turns her over his knees a few times for minor infractions. But when he refuses to go through with the arranged marriage and his younger brother steps in as the groom, will Emily have her chance? Or will the fact that she is a commoner keep them apart? A passion exists between the two that cannot be denied, but will it be enough if Charles is forced to relinquish his title to his brother in order to marry his Emily.

If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, how about an excerpt?

Emily Crawley hurriedly swiped the cloth over the wardrobe. She was behind in her duties, due to the fact she’d spent the past ten minutes literally swooning over the pictures of Charles, Lord of Remington, that were displayed around his bedchamber. Pictures of the young marquess at Oxford, playing sports and accepting awards, adorned the walls of the chamber proudly. Lord Remington, next in line to be the Duke of Remington was a handsome lad, indeed. Of course, he could no longer be referred to as a lad, by any means, but having grown up in the house with him, Emily still remembered him as the rambunctious boy who had spent many a day teasing her and her sister when they were children.

Ah, the days when she was a carefree child with no duties to speak of. Emily’s parents had been in service at Remington House for as long as Emily could remember. She and her older sister, Amelia, had lived there with their parents all their lives, in the quarters provided for them behind the kitchen. Their mum was the cook and their dear father provided services to the Duke himself, as his valet. In an era when most of the more affluent families employed a male chef from France in their homes, the Remington family was quite happy with Mrs. Crawley and the meals she prepared for them and their guests. Amelia and Emily were free to enjoy their childhood until they reached the age of sixteen, at which time they joined their parents in service to the Remingtons. Mrs. Crawley also supervised the housekeeping staff, which consisted of her own two daughters and several other young women.

Charles, on the other hand, had gone away, first to Eton and later to Oxford, in order to receive an education befitting his title. His younger brother, Henry, followed suit just a few years later. But now, Charles had come home. His father, the duke, was ailing, and since Charles was the heir, his place was by his father’s side. Emily had caught a glimpse of him a few times since his return and was pleased to see what a handsome man he’d become. She was sure there were young ladies of stature just waiting for their chance to become his duchess, one in particular, if the rumors she had heard were true.

Emily had turned eighteen on her last birthday. Her sister, Amelia, was twenty and was very much in love with one of the young men who worked in the stables. The two of them planned to marry and remain in service with the Remington family. Emily, however, had always dreamed of something more. She knew the chances of her ever leaving Remington House were remote, at best, but she still had hope that she would meet the perfect young man, and he would take her away from a life of service.

“Ye are still here,” the booming voice brought Emily out of her thoughts and made her jump.

She turned and smiled shyly at Charles. “I must apologize, milord. I shall return to finish my duties.”

Charles Remington brushed a wayward lock of his dark brown hair from his forehead with his hand. “Stay, Emily. I shall only be but a moment. I forgot important papers for my appointment.”

“Yes, milord,” she replied, unused to addressing her childhood friend as such.

Charles turned to her and grinned. “Come now, Ems, it’s me, Charles. Must ye be so formal?”

“I believe so, milord.”

“If I wasn’t in shortage of time, I should turn you across my knee. First, for pretending we did not grow up in this very house together and secondly, for dawdling in your duties. But, alas, duty calls, and I must go. Carry on, Miss Crawley.” And he was gone, ending the conversation on an equally formal note.

Emily sighed. What it would be like to be turned over Lord Remington’s knee? And such fine knees, at that. Charles had grown into a robust, well-muscled man. From his unruly dark hair to his broad shoulders and muscular thighs and calves, all quite visible beneath his tight breeches, he was a sight that took the breath away. She remembered a time when they were teens, and she had picked flowers from the garden. Charles had unceremoniously turned her over his knee and administered a few slaps to her young bottom. She had been stunned, yet not entirely appalled by the action. He had been home on summer break. That was the last summer before she began her housekeeping duties. Although he was older than her, Charles had always made time for his young friend, Emily, whenever he came home.

Shaking her head to rid her mind of such dangerous thoughts, Emily returned to her work. If her duties were not completed by the time he returned, he might very well follow through with his threat.

By mid-afternoon, she was finished with her duties and went into the kitchen, where her mum was working.

“My dear, ye must be famished. I have some soup on the stove. Sit, child.”

“I worked through lunchtime,” Emily explained. “I was running behind and lost track of the time. I’m sorry, Mama.”

“No harm done, child. Her Grace would not be happy to know ye went without yer lunch. A fine lady, she is.”

Emily sat at the table in the massive kitchen and enjoyed the hot soup. “Where is Amelia?” she asked.

“Your sister has gone to the market. Her Grace asked that she accompany her to the shops, and while she is there, Amelia will pick up some things for the kitchen.”

“The duke’s wife asked Amelia to accompany her?” Emily asked in surprise.

Her mum smiled. “Yes, my dear. I’m sure she will invite ye one day. I’ve always admired the way the lady of the house treats her staff. She was asking me just this morning about Amelia’s marriage plans.”

“How is the duke today? Is he feeling any better?” she asked.

“The doctor stopped in and I saw His Grace in the library earlier. I delivered a tray with tea and cakes.”

“He is such a kindly man. I hope he feels better.”

“Kindly, yes, but not the type of man you should wish to cross. I believe Lord Charles will fill his father’s shoes nicely, when the time comes.”

Emily finished her soup in silence. When Charles became the Duke of Remington, he would require a duchess. Why did that thought suggest a void in the pit of her stomach?

When she finished her late lunch, Emily washed her bowl and spoon and asked her mum if she needed assistance with the supper preparations.

“No, child, ye have done your day’s work. Go and enjoy the sunshine while ye can. Winter is nearly upon us.”

She grabbed her cloak from her room and went out the staff entrance to walk in the beautiful gardens. Smiling at one of the other members of the staff as she hurried down the walk, she looked up to the sky. It was sunny, but the air was chilly. Her mum was right. Winter would be upon them soon. She walked briskly to the gardens and found her favorite bench. She sat down and took a rest, enjoying the beauty that surrounded her.

“Ah, I have caught ye dawdling again,” a deep voice said with a chuckle.

“I shall have ye know, milord, that my work for the day is done.” She turned and smiled sweetly at Charles, who was standing close by.

“A cheeky attitude to add to the list of offences, I see,” he replied as he sat down next to her on the bench.

Ignoring his remark, she said, “I presume your appointment went well.”

“It did at that.”

“Mama said yer father was up, in the library, today. That’s good news.”

“Ah, yes, he is beginning to get his strength back. I fear winter shall be hard for him.”

“He is lucky he has his eldest son to fill in for him.”

Charles sighed. “That may well be, but I am not ready to fill his shoes, I am afraid. I sincerely hope this illness to be short-lived.”

“The duke is still a young man. I am certain it shall not deter him.”

“If I could but share in yer faith that be true,” he replied. “My mother, the duchess, assures me my father will be around for quite some time to come. I sincerely hope both of ye are right.”

“My sister accompanied your mother into town this afternoon. I should go see if she has returned.”

“I have heard rumblings about a marriage between yer sister, the beautiful Amelia, and Thomas, one of our grooms. Is there truth to the rumor?” he asked.

“Ah, yes, ’tis true,” she answered as she stood up and prepared to leave.

“And what about the fair Emily, do ye have a beau?” he asked as he stood. He towered a full foot above her in height.

She craned her neck to look up at him. “Not as yet,” she replied simply. “I simply must be getting back. It’s been a pleasure visiting with you, milord.”

“Charles,” he reminded her.

“I do not think that to be proper, given the circumstances, milord. We are no longer children. I am in service to the House of Remington, and ye are the heir apparent. Things have changed.”

He reached out and touched her cheek lightly. “Ye will always be my little Emily, the carefree little girl I spent my summers with, climbing trees and running around the grounds.”

“Ah, but good memories, ’tis all, milord,” she said. She turned and ran quickly back to the house, away from the man who had set her heart to racing with one simple touch to her cheek. Her face flamed as she thought of his hand upon her face.

She walked into the kitchen and saw that her sister had returned. As she walked to her quarters to hang her cloak, Amelia said, “Where have ye been, sister? Ye look flushed. Are ye coming down with something?”

“I am fine, ’tis a bit chilly. I had a brisk walk in the cool air, ’tis all.”

“Well, I am glad of that. Come; see what Her Grace purchased for my wedding.”

“Her Grace bought something for yer wedding?” Emily asked in surprise.

“Why, yes, silly,” her sister said. “She always helps the staff when there is a wedding afoot. I have heard the lady of the house loves weddings and anything romantic.”

Emily joined her mum and her sister at the table to admire the lovely lace fabric. “‘Tis for my wedding gown,” Amelia explained.

“Mama, are you going to make the gown?” Emily asked.

“Yes, child, I shall make the gown, as I shall make yers when the time comes.”

Emily ran her slender fingers over the delicate fabric. “‘Tis truly beautiful,” she remarked wistfully.

“There is white satin for under the lace,” Amelia explained. “Her Grace was most insistent upon the fabric she chose.”

“We are most fortunate to be in the employ of the Remington family,” her mum said. “The duke and duchess are truly appreciative of their staff.”

Her two young daughters shook their head in agreement.

“Now, ’tis time for supper to be served. Put this away, Amelia. After I have served the family, we shall meet with the rest of the staff for our evening meal.”

Amelia carefully wrapped the fine fabric and retreated to the room she shared with Emily. Emily stayed behind to assist her mum in serving supper to the family. She carried steaming bowls of vegetables to the great dining room while her mum followed with a platter of succulent meat.

As she placed a bowl of food on the table, she caught the eye of Lord Remington. He winked at her, which she promptly ignored. Why did he insist on teasing her so?

When the family had been served, the Crawley women joined the rest of the staff in their own dining room and enjoyed a pleasant supper. The evening meal was a time of reflection upon the day’s work among the staff, along with discussion about the goings on in their private lives. Tonight’s discussion centered upon the upcoming nuptials of Amelia and Thomas, much to Amelia’s obvious delight.

“Have ye set a date for the ceremony?” one of the maids asked.

“We shall do that very soon,” Thomas replied as he cast a smile in the direction of his blushing bride-to-be.

“With the holidays fast approaching, a Christmas wedding would be so romantic,” one of the other maids added.

“Oh, that is too soon. I don’t think we can be ready,” Amelia said.

“‘Tis true, that would be soon. Perhaps a spring wedding?” Emily asked.

“Will ye be getting married here, at Remington House?” another asked.

The conversation continued throughout the meal. Emily excused herself to clear the table in the family dining room and to deliver their dessert. “Sit, Mama, I’ll take care of it. I’m sure you want to take part in the wedding planning.”

Glad to be away from the constant talk of her sister’s upcoming marriage, Emily set about with her task. It wasn’t that she wasn’t happy for Amelia, she was. It was just that she, too, dreamed of becoming a bride. The problem with that was that she hadn’t yet found anyone worthy to be her groom. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There was one man who had been invading her dreams for years, but he was the man she would never be allowed to share her life with. The man who was sitting in the dining room winking at her at that very moment, the same man who had threatened to turn her over his knee, the one who had joined her in the garden earlier, yes, Charles, Lord of Remington, the next Duke of Remington, was the only man who had ever excited young Emily Crawley.

But, alas, it was not to be. They may have spent their childhood frolicking about the grounds of his family home, but now they were adults, with adult responsibilities. Men like Charles didn’t marry girls like Emily. It was unheard of. The future duke would be expected to marry a lady of nobility. The daughter of the cook and the duke’s valet would certainly not fit in that category. The sooner she forgot her childhood dreams, the better off she would be.

After serving dessert to the family, she carried the remainder to the staff dining room for the others to enjoy. She excused herself and began the task of cleaning up. One of the other maids joined her, and soon, the kitchen was again spotless, ready for her mum to begin another day of cooking the next morning. Emily said goodnight and retired to her room, where Amelia soon joined her.

“No evening walk with Thomas tonight?” she asked when her sister entered the room.

“No, he had to return to the stables. One of the mares is about to give birth.”

“So, how are the plans coming along? Did ye come up with anything tonight?”

“I know that the Remingtons open their home for staff weddings, but Thomas will have to ask the duke for permission. I guess we shan’t make official plans until that task is done.”

“Are ye scared?” Emily asked.

“Scared to ask the duke?” her sister asked in reply.

“No, silly, scared to get married.”

“I am a bit nervous about the wedding night, if truth be told. But not scared about becoming a wife to Thomas. I love him, and I think he will be a fine husband.”

“Have ye not ever wanted something more? Something outside of Remington House?” Emily asked.

“Ah, ye are such a dreamer, little sister. I suppose, at times, I have wondered about a life away from here. But, the Remington family is one of the finest in the nobility to be employed by. They are fair and kind. I have found my love here, so I believe it is my destiny to remain here.”

“Yes, we are fortunate. I just cannot help but think of a life different from this, though.”

“I doubt ye will have a prince or a duke to rescue ye from a life of service. ‘Tis not the way of the land. ‘Twould be a scandal for sure.”

“But…what if…”

“Only in yer dreams, little sister, only in yer dreams. Now, I suggest we get some sleep. Good night, Emily.”

“Good night, Amelia.”

That night, Emily’s dreams took her to a place far away. She was a lady of nobility, dressed in the finest gown, dancing with a handsome man. His face was not clear to her in the dream, but when his hand gently caressed her face, she knew. She knew the touch of his hand as well as the touch of her own. Her heart was beating rapidly when, in the dream, the man leaned his head down to touch her lips with his.

She awoke, soaked with sweat, flushed from the thoughts her dream had planted in her head. Someday…her dream would come true. She just knew it. There was no other acceptable outcome for her life. Nothing else would do, nothing else at all.

And there you have it! Watch soon for the blurb and an excerpt from Emily’s Emergence, Book Two in Isabella Kole’s hot, new regency series, Loving the Nobleman.

RemingtonPromo

 

Isabella Kole’s Desire for Discipline series

The Desire for Discipline seriesBlushing Books has just released Isabella Kole’s third book in the Desire for Discipline series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but the story begins with Jill Lincoln in book one, moves to her sister, Janis, in the second and concludes with Lyndsey, Janis’s sister-in-law, in the conclusion. Accepting His Terms is priced at a mere $0.99, Submitting to Bryan is $2.99, and The Longing Within sells for $3.99. They are all available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Blushing Books. Below, you’ll find the blurb from each, along with the buy links. So, one-click, sit back, relax and enjoy The Desire for Discipline series.

Book #1: Accepting His Terms

Jill Lincoln has the hots for her stern, hunk of a boss, Jarrod Baine. With his piercing steel gray-blue eyes, hair as black as coal, and a body to be enjoyed, she wonders what it would be like to be his woman. But she’s only one of many who would give her eye teeth to be in his bed.

The day Jarrod rescues her from a would-be assault by a young mail clerk, she finds that he is as attracted to her as she is to him. As the two begin a relationship, it becomes very apparent to Jarrod that Jill is a nervous, high-strung lady and he searches for the best way to ease her tensions. Together they begin to form a strong bond as they experiment with discipline.

As the couple realizes their feelings run much deeper than an office affair, Jarrod asks her to be his wife. As they enter into a hot, passionate marriage, complete with the discipline, by mutual consent, a deeper emotional bond is formed that continues to grow much stronger over time.

But when Jill suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage and Jarrod is not by her side, she retreats into a deep, dark depression, turning away from the one man who can save her.

Will their bond be severed forever?

http://www.amazon.com/Accepting-His-Terms-Desire-Discipline-ebook/dp/B00FPWB1QK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/accepting-his-terms-isabella-kole/1117061855?ean=2940148463177

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2781

Book #2: Submitting to Bryan

Janis Lincoln found the man of her dreams in handsome co-worker, Bryan Walsh, until he tells her exactly the type of marriage he expects. She is shocked. Can she submit completely to him? A free spirit, she balks at his first attempt to discipline her.

Returning to her old college crowd and an old flame, she finds herself caught up in the club scene once more. Realizing her heart is with Bryan, she nearly loses her life before she has a chance to decide if she can be the kind of wife he wants.

When the couple announces their engagement to his parents, another storm is brewing. Janis is not the girl they’ve chosen for their son. On Thanksgiving night when Jan walks in on her fiancé and the girl his parents want their son to marry, she bolts a second time and calls off the wedding.

Will Bryan be able to convince Janis she is the only one for him? Can Janis submit completely to Bryan?

http://www.amazon.com/Submitting-Bryan-Desire-Discipline-Book-ebook/dp/B00LXM1MRY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/submitting-to-bryan-isabella-kole/1119975673?ean=2940149741601

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2916

Book #3: The Longing Within

The conclusion to Accepting His Terms and Submitting to Bryan, this is Lyndsey’s story. Orphaned at the age of four, Lyndsey Greene was raised by her parents’ best friends, Bob and Maeve Walsh. They’ve given her a good life and an education, but there has always been something missing, a longing she can’t quite put her finger on.

When she’s about to marry the love of her life, John Gordon, she discovers her fiancé lived the life of a Dom before he met her. When he presents the idea to her of living the lifestyle once they’re married, she agrees without qualms. Her own adopted brother and his wife practice DD in their marriage, so the idea does not frighten her. Lyndsey has the perfect balance in her life, a fulfilling career with a local publisher, where she maintains control, and her submissive life at home, where she has willingly relinquished control to John.

But when she is let go from her job with no warning, her life begins to spin out of control. She no longer has the best of both worlds and is having a hard time finding any semblance of balance.

Will she go against John and make a move that will end their marriage and all they’ve built, or will John’s love be the force that keeps her on track and ultimately brings balance back into her life?

http://www.amazon.com/Longing-Within-Desire-Discipline-Book-ebook/dp/B017X5GGPM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-longing-within-isabella-kole/1122940821?ean=2940156682386

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3588&welcome=1

About the Author:

Isabella Kole lives in southern Indiana, where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Always an avid romance reader, she began writing several years ago and although she has had several sweet romances published under a different pen name, Accepting His Terms is the first erotic romance in her collection.

When not writing, Isabella can be found traveling around signing books and meeting her readers, working at her day job, or simply enjoying life.

You can find Isabella on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Kole-Author/580591041984962?ref=hl

Other books by Isabella Kole:

The Highlander’s Curse

The Marshall and the Heiress

The Seduction of E.J.

Rescuing Raven

A Special Birthday, An Anniversary, and A Celebratory Sale…

RIP blingHi again from Anna’s world! It’s the first day of August, and like everyone else I know, I’m wondering where this year has gone! I have a lot of things on tap this month, finishing my current book, starting on a Christmas novella for an anthology I am proud to be a part of, my 25th book release, which I’ll talk about in another post, and a conference later in the month. Busy, busy times in the life of this author. Today, though, I want to tell you about a very special birthday. Rebel Ink Press, the very first publisher I received a contract from three years ago, turns five this month. All kinds of exciting things are planned to celebrate, including the fact that several books are on sale for $0.99 on Amazon the entire month. That’s a great gift to our readers, don’t you think? This month also marks the second anniversary of the release of one of my favorite books, Remember Our Promise. The book was so well received when it debuted in August of 2013 that some readers asked if it was going to be a series. Actually, I had no plans of that nature, but after thinking about it and talking to the folks at Rebel Ink Press, it was decided to make it a trilogy. That’s how The Promises Trilogy came to be. Book two released earlier this year and to celebrate the birthday of the publisher, it will be included in the lineup of $0.99 choices this month. I’m excited to bring you A Cowboy’s Promise at a discounted price. Get caught up, because next year the final book of the trilogy, The Forgotten Promise, will be added. Here’s the blurb for Remember Our Promise:remember-our-promise-jpeg.jpg Lily Wells has been in love with David Black since she was fifteen years old. When she was eighteen, he broke her heart, leaving her with a promise that the year they turned thirty, if neither was married, they would find a way to reconnect. As fate would have it, twelve years later, while she is in her hometown for her grandmother’s funeral, she runs into David. Still as breathtakingly handsome as ever, now a prominent Texas attorney, he makes it clear he’s a confirmed bachelor. After one perfect, romantic weekend together, Lily returns to her job as the acquisitions editor for a New York City publishing house, knowing that a life with David is still her heart’s desire. Believing that to him she’s only one of his many female companions and that he has no recollection of the promise she’s clung to for the past twelve years, she goes on with her life in the Big Apple. She and David remain in contact with each other, however, seemingly growing closer. Will he break her heart a second time or is it possible that she’s misreading the signs? And now the blurb for A Cowboy’s Promise:Cowboy's Promise-flat Valerie Kennedy is feeling restless. Bored with her life in New York City, she finds herself searching for something more. She dreams of peace and serenity. Love has eluded her until she decides to pay a visit to her old friend, Lily Black, in Texas. There she is introduced to hot cowboy, Levi Ridgeway. Her first impression of him isn’t good, but as she spends more time with him she discovers that Levi and Texas might just hold the key to her happiness. The pot is sweetened by an offer to join Lily as a partner in her publishing company. When one crisis after another forces Val to stay in New York and put important decisions on hold, will she let her dreams fade away and give up the only man she’s ever loved? Buy link to the sale… http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Promise-Anna-Kristell-ebook/dp/B00S1PRIPQ/ref=la_B00B1LK14W_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438456239&sr=1-2 Enjoy the romance and let’s meet back here in a few weeks when I tell you all about my twenty-fifth book… Love, Anna

THE LEGEND OF BLACKHAWK MANOR

Blackhawk Manor coverThis has been a busy week in Anna’s World, starting with the release of Abraham’s Soul from LazyDay Publishing earlier in the week and my first book with Mystic Books, The Legend of Blackhawk Manor, yesterday! This one is a little something new for me, as it not only has a little bit of romance in it, but also an unsolved murder mystery from the fifties and some paranormal activity…

Let me tell you where the idea sprang from first of all.

 

Several years ago, while visiting with our son and his family, my husband and I were guests at the famed Blackhawk Hotel in Davenport, Iowa. It was an eventful weekend, with several unexplained things occurring in our room. We were later told by employees of a neighboring hotel that it was common for guests of the Blackhawk to experience the paranormal…

And so, building on that experience, The Legend Of Blackhawk Manor came to life. Yes, some of the things in the story actually happened in our room on that weekend long ago…

Are you curious now, maybe a little skeptical, perhaps a whole lot intrigued?? Let’s go on and I’ll share the blurb with you.

BLURB:

On the banks of the Mississippi, in a small Iowa town known as LeClaire, sits a quaint, two-story brick building. Known as Blackhawk Manor, a lucrative local inn, the establishment has housed many a famous name, actors and actresses, as well as singers.

Perhaps the most famous of guests, however, was a young construction worker named Robert Thorndale. Robert and his bride were spending their honeymoon at the inn when the handsome young bridegroom met his death at the hands of an unknown man. The murder was never solved and many years later, when two young college friends decide to spend a week at the historic inn, they find themselves in the middle of a fifty year old mystery. Strange appearances begin to occur, clues are left and it is up to Hannah and her friend, Cassie, to solve the crime.

Will they find the killer before it’s too late?

If that wasn’t enough to get you interested, how about a little excerpt?

EXCERPT:

Along the Iowa banks of the mighty Mississippi, in the small historical town of LeClaire, sits a quaint two-story brick structure. Known as Blackhawk Manor, the cozy inn was built in the year 1918 and in 1942 was converted by the family of the original owner to the business that continues to provide a lucrative income for the current generation.

Actors, actresses, and singers have graced the rooms of the beautiful establishment. With the Adler Theater not far away in Davenport, many sought to relax in the small river town rather than the city when their night’s performance was done. Perhaps the most famous of names to be seen on the register was not one of those theatrical types, but rather a young businessman named Robert Thorndale. Robert and his bride had signed the roster hours after their wedding. They had planned to spend a week enjoying the shops and scenery before returning to the apartment waiting for them at their home, not far from the inn. Robert was a builder for a major construction company several miles up the river. His new wife, Pamela Sue, was looking forward to making a home for her husband and the children that would surely follow soon.

Neither of them could have known that their time together was to be cut short. But, as fate would have it, on a cool summer evening in 1954, Robert met with a death too abominable to comprehend, and the life they had planned with such excitement and high hopes ended. Pamela Sue returned to their home for the funeral, but no one seemed to know what had happened to her after that. The locals would have you believe that Robert’s ghost still walked the halls of Blackhawk Manor, searching for his bride.

The current year was 2015 and two young college girls were planning a week-long stay in the quaint little town.  It was the summer between their junior and senior year and the two roommates had scrimped and saved in order to spend their last summer of freedom, as they called it, traveling and having fun. They had chosen to stay in LeClaire at the famed bed and breakfast for the first adventure of the summer. Hannah Stone was interested in the local folklore and had heard of the legend surrounding Blackhawk Manor. She had convinced her reluctant friend, Cassie Sharp, to accompany her.

“I want to know if the things they say are true. You know this stuff interests me,” Hannah said as she turned her car off Interstate 80. “This is our exit.”

“I don’t know why, but if it makes you happy, I’ll humor you,” Cassie replied with a laugh. “I can see it now, old Robert will be roaming the halls at midnight, calling out for his dear Pamela, and you’ll be recording it.”

“It’s kind of a sad story, you know. Think about it. They were on their honeymoon and they are out walking along the river one evening when someone appears from behind and tries to kidnap his precious new bride. He does the chivalrous thing and defends her, fighting off the man, only to be stabbed in the heart. He fell to the ground, dead as a doornail.”

“I know, I know, and then the would-be kidnapper runs away, leaving poor little Pamela screaming for help.”

“How do ghosts haunt, do you think?” Hannah asked as they pulled into the parking lot of the beautiful brick home.

“I guess you’re about to find out. This could turn out to be one hell of a week,” Cassie said teasingly.

“Then again, it may be boring as all get out,” Hannah answered with a giggle.

The two girls pulled into a parking spot near the front of the building and got out of the car. As they took in the sights all around them, they had to agree it was a gorgeous setting.

“Perfect for a romantic honeymoon, don’t you think?” Hannah asked.

“Don’t go getting any ideas. I have my room and you have yours,” Cassie teased as she walked around to get her bag from the trunk.

“Very funny, I don’t swing that way. You just aren’t my type. Besides, I think Chad might have a thing or two to say about that,” Hannah replied. Chad was her current boyfriend.

“I doubt that Alan would approve either,” Cassie retorted.

“Are you guys going to get married, do you think? I mean you’ve been dating forever,” Hannah asked as she lifted her own bag out and slammed the trunk closed.

“Maybe,” Cassie said with a flip of her shoulder length red hair. She was a pretty girl, with flashing emerald eyes to go with the gorgeous red mane.

The two friends walked onto the porch of the house and went inside. They were greeted by the sight of a beautifully decorated lobby. A brick fireplace graced one wall with a china blue couch and two blue and yellow floral upholstered winged chairs in front of it. The fireplace was flanked with bookcases full of books on either side and there was a table with coffee, juices and cookies for the guests. On the other wall was the check-in desk. They made their way over so they could register.

“Hi, I’m Hannah Stone and this is Cassie Sharp. We have reservations for the week,” Hannah said to the man behind the desk in a confident tone as she pushed a loose strand of her blonde curly hair out of her face. She was cute with her short, bouncy blonde curls and snappy blue eyes.

He scanned the computer. “Ah yes, we’ve been expecting you. Let me print up some paperwork for you to sign, get you some keys and you’re all set.” Once that had been taken care of, he told them his name was Steven and dinner would be served at seven. The young man was fairly good-looking, probably in his twenties and obviously interested in the inn’s newest arrivals.

“We not only serve breakfast here, but lunch and dinner,” he explained. “Of course, if you prefer to check out some of the local spots, you’re most welcome to try them. Between you and me, you won’t find any better fare than our dining room, though, and the pool is open until ten.”

“Thank you,” Hannah said as she accepted the key he held out to her.

“You’re in room five and Miss Sharp is right next door in seven,” Steven informed them.

“Thank you, if you could just point us in the right direction,” Hannah replied with a sugary smile.

“Certainly, just take a left down the hallway and you can’t miss them on the left side of the hall. Enjoy your stay. I’m on duty until midnight if you need anything. Maria will be here during the night.”

“Thank you so much,” Cassie said with a flutter of eyelashes. When they were out of earshot, she giggled. “Not bad for a sample of the local fare,” she whispered.

“Cassie, really, you are such a flirt. How have you and Alan stayed together so long?” Hannah teased.

“It’s all in good fun, harmless,” Cassie replied.

The girls found their rooms and arranged to meet in thirty minutes. Hannah walked into her own room and the sight that greeted her simply took her breath away. Cherry furnishings, polished to a high gloss, the bed was covered in a stunning dark blue and maroon paisley comforter. A dark blue throw lay at the foot of the bed and the draperies at the window matched. In front of the window sat two maroon winged chairs and a cherry table. The cherry armoire held a television set and there was a bureau for her clothes. She quickly unpacked and found hangers and a tiny closet for the things she preferred to hang. Wandering into the bathroom, she wasn’t disappointed when she saw gleaming white fixtures and marble counters. The floor was tiled and there was a Jacuzzi tub and a separate shower stall.

Slipping off her flip-flops, she let her feet sink into the thick, luxurious deep blue carpeting. “I could get used to this,” she said aloud as she grabbed a menu from the table and plopped down on the bed. “Seafood and steaks, makes sense,” she said as she perused the dinner choices. Glancing at the dainty gold watch on her left wrist, she saw that it was nearly time to meet her friend. She jumped up and ran into the bathroom, where she splashed her face with water and dried it. Taking her makeup out of the cosmetic bag she’d packed that morning, she touched up her face and ran a brush through her short blonde curls.

She was just walking back into the bedroom when there was a knock on the door. She ran to open it. “Cassie, come on in. This place is great. What’s your room like?” she asked as she stood aside to let her friend in.

Cassie looked around the room. “It’s similar, although my color scheme is gray and mauve. I’m famished. Did you look at the menu yet?”

“They have seafood, so I’m content to stay here and try out the dining room. They have an all you can eat buffet tonight.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me? You and your love of seafood,” Cassie said with a laugh. “I’ll probably have a steak.”

“Your tastes are so boring.”

“Blame it on growing up in the Midwest, on a farm, no less,” Cassie told her. “Can I help it if you big city gals have different tastes?”

“How we ever became best friends in college is beyond me. They couldn’t have paired two more different personalities as roommates.”

“True, but after that awful first few months of adjusting to each other’s quirkiness, it just all sort of fell into place. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through the last three years without you.”

“This fall will be our senior year. We have to make a pact to stay in touch, no matter where our lives lead us after graduation.”

“Of course we will. Why would you think otherwise? Let’s go eat.”

Arm-in-arm, the two friends walked down the hall to the dining room, which was located beyond the lobby. They were seated after a short wait and the view of the river from their table was breathtaking.

“Look at all the boats on the water,” Cassie said.

“There’s a barge moving downstream,” Hannah pointed out.

After a delicious dinner, they walked around the grounds, marveling at the sights. The gardens and surrounding grounds had obviously been tended to carefully. Ending the night by sitting on the porch in rockers with some of the other guests, they listened to an older couple telling some of the other guests about the legend.

“You know they make such a big deal about the young man who died on his honeymoon defending his bride, but there was also a very famous actor who died in his sleep in this very place. They don’t talk about that much,” the woman said.

“Really?” another woman asked. “I have never heard that story.”

“It’s all kept very hush-hush. Apparently, he suffered a heart attack and the maid found him the next morning when she went in to clean the room. He was in his seventies, so I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal, but still, he was pretty famous in his day.”

“Who was it?” one of the other guests asked.

“Roman Carrington, I’m sure you’ve heard of him. He played in several movies years ago and also did some work on Broadway.”

“The name is familiar. I guess the story of the young honeymooners was of more interest.”

“Well, it is much more romantic than an old man dying in his sleep,” the woman telling the story replied. “You know, the murderer was never caught.”

Hannah listened intently, but she could see that her friend was growing bored with all the talk of the deaths that had occurred in the area.

Cassie yawned. “I think I’m going to my room to call Alan before it gets too late. Are you coming?” she asked.

“Yes, I’m sure Chad will call when he gets in from his shift at the hospital.”

When they were outside Hannah’s room they made plans to meet at eight for breakfast. “We’ll plan our day while we eat. I hope to work some shopping in. I know they have some really neat shops here,” Hannah said as she turned the key in the lock and prepared to go inside.

“Have a good night. Don’t get spooked by any ghosts, young or old,” Cassie said with a giggle as she headed for her own room.

“Very funny,” Hannah said as she went inside.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to share. You’ll have to one click and read it for yourself…

This weekend, LazyDay Publishing, Mystic Books, Anne Welch and I are hosting a double feature release party to celebrate both my new releases. Lots of fun and some great prizes are on the billboard. If you’d like an invitation, send me a message on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anna.kristell.39 and I’ll make sure you get in.

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Immerse Yourself…

blog for MDayIt’s Mother’s Day again and what better way to celebrate than with a new grandbaby? Let me explain, eight years ago, my first grandson was born on Mother’s Day. Now eight years later, we’re about to celebrate the birth of our second grandson. Those little girls all chose other days to make their debut into the world, but the boys…well…they like Mother’s Day.

What does Mother’s Day mean to you? Do you have any special memories? One of the best gifts I ever had was the year my daughter was three and my son was six months old. The hubs gave me money and said, “Head to the mall, I got it covered here.” To a stay at home mom with a colicky baby and a busy toddler, that had to be the best gift he could have given me. My mother lives in another state, about eight hundred miles away from me, so I’ll be seeing her next month, but not for Mother’s Day. Do you have special celebrations in your family?

I think the mothers I wrote about in my Fab Five series are pretty special ladies. Marianne, for example, had to experience the pain of watching her youngest son recover from a horrific automobile accident, not knowing if he would ever walk again. Angie suffered the pain of losing a baby and being told she would never carry a baby to term. Katy lost her only daughter in a head-on collision. Lizzie watched her daughter suffer the loss of her young husband days after learning she was carrying their first child. Chloe yearned for a family, but couldn’t conceive. Now, I didn’t make them suffer forever, being the nice author that I am. Things  turned around for Marianne’s family and Lizzie’s daughter eventually found happiness. Katy’s son was a source of comfort for her throughout the years. Angie found a way to make her dreams come true and Chloe…well, I can’t give everything away. Read the series and find out for yourself. Throughout the series each of the women used their strength and love to nurture, protect and encourage their offspring, much like you or I might do with our own. We watched as their children grew up and found their way, stumbling at times.

Feel free to share your special Mother’s Day memory in the comments. I look forward to hearing them. And please…be sure and visit the other blogs. There might just be a signed copy of Book One in the Fab Five series, Crossroad To Love, Crossroad Cover 3D