The Saga is Set to Begin – Fire Devil

As I’m sitting here this morning watching the horrific fires occurring in California, I can’t believe what I have to write later today is about a terrible fire. The men and women firefighters, smokejumpers and First Responders are true heroes in my book. The danger they place themselves in every day in order to save lives as well as property is amazing. Smokejumpers are an elite group of firefighters specifically trained to provide from the air assault on fires. They often parachute into a fire zone, providing various kinds of support as they fight the raging flames.

Fire Devil is a seven book saga revolving around the lives of seven smokejumpers and the entire team in Missoula Montana. I fell in love with Missoula many years ago after my husband renovated a Best Products store in the gorgeous city. He brought back pictures and unforgettable stories and Fire Devil was born in my mind. The stories are action adventure, danger and intrigue, but they are also love stories, romance built on relearning to trust in order to love. Every man has a story. Every THree Rivers 500x755woman fights for their love. And every character should break your heart.

On October 24th, a free prequel – book one of two installments – will be made available and free. Standing at the River’s Edge. The stories pick a moment in time for each smokejumper. The stories are suspenseful, sad, happy, dangerous and full of – you got it – love. Three Rivers Run Deep – Book One of Fire Devil – will be available on November 4th. I hope you join in sharing with me a first excerpt of what I hope will be a timeless story.

THREE RIVERS RUN DEEP

Wha. Wha. Wha!

“We’re at the jump site,” Cooper screeched over the increasing noise.

“You’re not going yet. We have to wait for our orders,” Stoker insisted as he fumbled with his gear. Wind whipped through the open bay of the plane, creating a howling boom. Adrenaline was coursing through his veins as well as something else. Fear.

“Take a look at that shit down there,” Cooper huffed and shuffled toward the edge. “We can’t wait.”

Stoker reached out. “No. We follow orders. Remember?”

“Fuck orders. They’re people down there needing our help.” Cooper gave him a haunted look then donned his helmet.

As Stoker trudged, determined to stop his friend from jumping, he heard Cooper’s last words just as he reached out, grabbing Cooper. ‘See you in paradise.’

“What the fuck?” Stoker Hansen jerked awake, swimming up from the horrific dream. Swirling visions clouded his foggy mind, ugly reminders of a mission of healing turned into carnage. Rubbing his eyes, he twisted his head back and forth as his eyes became accustomed to the darkness. The sound of the alarm continued, blaring into the close-knit quarters. He sucked in his breath and held his hands over his ears. You’re okay. This isn’t war. You’re home and safe. As his breathing slowed, he shivered. Yeah, at least he was safe.

“Get the hell up, dude. We have a hot one.”

“What? Cooper?” Stoker asked. His stomach remained unsettled, the usual nausea pooled in the pit of his stomach.

“Cooper? Jesus Christ, Stoker. Get up sleeping beauty. We have a call.”

He plopped his feet on the floor and shook the cobwebs away. He wasn’t in Afghanistan. He wasn’t crouched in a pool of blood. This was his best friend, Garcia. Okay. I’m okay. After a deep breath he sprang into action, shoving his feet into boots and grabbing his heat and fireproof jacket. “Give me the details.” Live your life. You deserve. The sentiment would never leave him. He’d never be free of the words whispered by a respected soldier.

“Three alarm fire at a residence. Gotta hurry before it spreads to the woods,” Garcia stated and raced away.

Men ran past him, heading for the engines. They all knew the drill, could perform it in their sleep. Stoker hopped onto the engine a split second before it rolled out of the garage. The moon was full, highlighting a gorgeous star filled early morning. Within seconds the sky turned orange. “Shit.”

“Third one in as many days.”

Stoker nodded and glanced at his buddy. Garcia Puevos was grinning, enjoying the moment. The guy was an adrenaline junkie. “You have to wonder if arson is involved.”

“Jesus, bud. You think everything is a conspiracy.” Garcia slapped him on the back.

“Not everything.” Stoker grabbed the metal bar and leaned out as the engine picked up speed. Missoula, Montana had seen one too many raging fires in less than six weeks. Most of the investigations indicated they’d been started by carelessness or accident. His gut told him otherwise. Even the smoke jumping team had been called in.

Within seconds they were on scene. Two engine companies had responded, which meant they faced a serious situation.

“Fuck me. Unbelievable,” Stoker whispered under his breath as he secured his helmet. Flames licked up over the roofline of the massive house. Embers floated into the huge oak trees flanking the perimeter. An angry glow of red and tangerine brightened the sky as the sound of crackling wood created a roar.

“We do this by the book.”

Stoker glanced at his Captain of three years. The man was respected in every circle, including the Governor’s office. Captain Banyon could even run for office himself. “Could be arson.”

Captain Banyon shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. We’re called in as backup so you protect the outskirts. From what I’ve heard, nothing is secure yet and the fire’s too hot.”

Garcia jumped off the engine before it rolled to a stop, jerking the hose from its perch. “Everyone out?” he called as the various firefighters rushed into action.

“Family is out. Pets still inside,” came a voice from the smoke.

“Crap. Let’s go,” Stoker screeched as he took off running, turning on the powerful light attached to his helmet. Ominous shadows crisscrossed the terrain, creating a sense of foreboding. He heard Garcia calling from the distance. There was little time to try and save anything, let alone the family pets, yet he was damn sure gonna try. He yanked down his mask and raced into the melee, scanning the perimeter as he searched for an opening.

“What the hell are you doing?” Captain Banyon hissed.

Garcia flanked his side and lifted his mask as a team of early responders motioned their way. “Where are they?”

“The family is over there.” One of the men pointed as he wrangled with the hose, shooting water up at the roofline.

“Not the family. The pets.” Stoker located the front door. There might be two minutes before the entire second floor collapsed into the first. He calculated whether there would be a backdraft. No, the fire was burning in a controlled albeit destructive pattern. The house would be a complete loss.

“Not gonna happen. They’re trapped too far in.”

He glared at the shadowed mask of a man he didn’t know and turned toward Garcia. “We have ninety seconds. Let’s go.”

“You got it,” Garcia answered as both men took off.

“Get back here!” the Captain barked.

They ignored the command as Stoker kicked down the wooden door. A billow of black smoke poured from the interior. He tugged out his flashlight, turning on the high-powered beam, and for a second tipped his head, listening for any telltale signs. A strangled yelp grabbed his attention.

A single terrified woof trickled from the blackness. A second and deeper bark followed.

“Over there!” Garcia yelled.

Stoker kicked over a chair as he moved forward.

Boom!

Garcia shoved Stoker to the ground as debris slammed down from above. “Need to get out of here.”

“Not without the dogs.”

“You’re nuts, man,” Garcia hissed as he shook off fallen wallboard.

Stoker didn’t care. This was a mission he refused to fail. Another booming sound brought a series of whimpers from the dogs. He dug through wallboard and fallen wood until his hand wrapped around a trembling bit of fur. He managed to grasp two dogs, cradling them to his chest before crawling backward and getting to his feet.

“Come on. It’s about to give!” Garcia warned.

Stoker swiveled to his right, crouched low and headed for what he thought was the front door. Within a split second he became disoriented. The dogs howled and he knew they were struggling to catch their breath. His chest heavy, he shook his head as he recounted his steps. He yanked off his mask, placing the heavy plastic over their faces and shoved his way through the debris. After gulping acrid smoke, he stumbled.

I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget that the fabulous Fall Over Freebie Giveaway ends on October 12th. 24 FREE books (including one of mine – His Judgment) made available to you. Sexy and very hot men, fabulous stories and all kinds of wicked sex. Here’s the link and enjoy!

https://www.instafreebie.com/gg/tS8GY37exZs7Nu6J1N7R

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Kisses…

Piper

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My Special Guest – Cassandre Dayne

I’m continuing my serious on highlighting various authors. This particular author has written over 200 books and has worked with several publishing companies. She was also in charge of two imprints at Booktrope. While she’s written everything from BDSM to LGBT, her favorites are psychological thrillers. Her upcoming release with Blushing Books just might scare you to death. Coming tomorrow! Say hello to…

CASSANDRE DAYNE – RAVAGED

SYNOPSIS

When the final draft of erotic thriller author, Carrington Winters latest book turns Ravaged_500x755up in the wrong hands, the mistake sets off a course of events, some involving a complete stranger. The manuscript detailing her darkest desires, as well as mirroring a series of real-life murders, she’s drawn to the mystery man, throwing her inhibitions aside.

Haunted by the murder of his wife, architect Jackson Devereaux finds Carrington’s manuscript and her hidden needs too tempting to resist. As they learn to trust and explore their growing desires, they begin a cat and mouse game of guarded rendezvous until a murderer seeks revenge, targeting their budding love.

As new and heinous murders rock Chicago, Carrington is forced to face a past she was determined to shelve in an ugly black box, but secrets and lies refuse to be denied. What secrets do they both hold that could tear them apart? Is their new romance strong enough to survive a murderer intent upon destroying their lives?

EXCERPT

Do you hunger like I do?

Do you crave what only I can give you?

Come… be with me forever…

Carrington Winters snapped her head up and sighed before catching a glimpse of her notepad. She’d been doodling again. As she read the words twice she grimaced and looked down at the small trashcan nestled against the corner of her desk. She’d written the same passage at least six times in the last two nights. And every time in red ink. Hell, she didn’t even know she owned a red pen. “What’s wrong with me?” The answer was far too damning to think about. Push away the ugly thought. Yeah, that’ll do it. Growling, she shook her head. She was simply exhausted from her self-imposed brutal schedule. That’s all. Time to get back to business.

Brushing a damp strand of hair from her face, Carrington fingered her teacup and sighed. “It’s almost done. Almost?” Blurry eyed, she gazed at the screen and realized all the letters were starting to melt together. Groaning, she sat back in her chair and took a sip of the lukewarm tea. What she really wanted was a tall glass of merlot, but if she didn’t hit send on her manuscript tonight there would be hell to pay. Her editor had been patient. The wine could wait until she was absolutely done. The damn errand had cost her nearly two hours. She hated traffic and traffic jams and assholes that acted like the road belonged to them.

Chuckling, she knew she would probably kill off the bastards in her next book. Probably? She was in the business of killing creatively. The thought gave her a smile. Mixing erotic and mass murder was an interesting twist but one she loved. There was no doubt she was enjoying being able to murder some of her characters and not simply have them romp in bed. Brushing the tip of her finger back and forth across the seam of her mouth, she reread the last two pages then read them again. Dear God, she was bone tired but she had to finish. “You can do it.” Giving her computer the finger, she moaned. Sleep was highly overrated. Still, she loved the book and was thrilled with the outcome.

Her Hidden Desires, Carrington’s highly anticipated second in her gritty erotic crime thriller novels, was already pre-sold to the tune of thousands at every major e-book shelf internet store and failure to deliver wasn’t an option. The remaining brick and mortar stores had surprised her with the quantity of their orders—or shocked her editor anyway. The story was headline material. Centered around an incredible real-life event in her hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio almost three years before, Carrington knew this one could be a best seller.

Climbing to her feet, she walked to the bulletin board nestled in the back corner of her office and fingered the copious newspaper clippings pinned across the four by six corkboard. She’d read every article, every internet piece to garner the feel of the dark story. The murders had shut down the small town for two months and the killer had escaped. Shivering, she held her arms and wasn’t able to go down the road of wretched memories. She’d come too far to fall into the trap again. Her story was simply a way of giving a voice to the mutilated women and to allow them retribution within the pages of her novel. While completely fictional, with every scenario totally different than the actual chain of events, the haunting piece was certain to ruffle a few feathers. Carrington only hoped the publication wouldn’t drag her into hell.

In truth, changing from being what some called a fluffy erotic romance author to an erotic crime storyteller was a calculated risk and one she welcomed with open arms, hence the name change to C.W. Wynters for the planned series. Exhausted, Carrington sauntered toward the bank of windows, allowing her a spectacular view of the great lakes, and sighed as she palmed the glass. There was no doubt she loved Chicago but she remained homesick for her small town nestled at the banks of the Ohio River. Shaking her head, she gazed out at the star filled sky and smiled.

There was something so peaceful about working from home in the wee hours of the morning. More committed than ever, she headed back to her desk determined to finish the book, grab a glass of wine and ease into a sudsy bath. Then maybe when she finally fell into bed she could sleep without the vicious nightmares jolting her every other hour or so. Shivering, she exhaled and pushed the ugly thoughts away as she glanced at her watch. Thank God, she didn’t have any early appointments.

Staring at the last paragraph for what had to be a full five minutes, she rubbed her eyes then repeated the passage out loud, unsure if anything she’d typed for the last hour made any sense. “And as Sheila glared down at the killer, knife nestled in her bloody hand, she smiled. His vacant eyes shimmering in the moonlight remained mesmerizing. After all, she’d seen his domineering expression every time they’d made love. Her body shaking, she remembered all the lies and the promises. Hell, she’d been such a fool but no longer. She was different now and one who would never allow a man to take advantage of her again. Hearing the subtle plop, plop sound she finally tilted her head, enabling her to look directly at the slickened tile floor. She brushed the back of her hand over her swollen lips and caught a glimpse of the knife, glistening in the dim lighting and couldn’t help but smile. The pool of red blood reminded her she was very much alive and the monster, her monster was dead. Dropping the knife, Sheila held her hand in front of her face and began laughing as the realization hit her hard. She’d become the monster she’d so feared.”

“Not bad.” Rubbing her arms as a cold shiver trickled down her back, Carrington nodded in respect to her work. The ending was much grittier than the one before, her editor gave her some great advice. Then again, this was a far different ending than the real story. Finally satisfied, she saved the piece and opened up her email. As she searched for her editor’s email address she laughed. A new computer, a new operating system and a new email account meant no saved email addresses. Sadly, the switch had been a necessary evil since her entire life had been hacked and certain files corrupted while she’d taken a few days off.

Hissing, she grabbed her notebook full of her contacts and flipped to the page listing her editor. Blinking furiously, she chastised herself for wearing her contacts for so many long hours. Hell, she could barely see a damn thing. Jennifer Devereau had more than one email and only the favored authors had her private one. It seemed Carrington had come up in the world. The thought giving her a mischievous grin, she typed in the address, added the attachment and couldn’t help but tease. Here you go. As requested and I think you’ll find the haunting ending much more to your liking. And no more teasing about the kinky moments being what I want.

Carrington nodded in satisfaction and hit send. The sad thing was Jennifer had no idea just how much she craved every single one of the acts portrayed in the book. From bondage and the kinky clubs to acts of domination as explored by her heroine turned killer, Carrington had always enjoyed the kinkier sides of sex—if no other place than in her dark fantasies. The few experimentations had left her breathless and hungering for more but she wasn’t sure she could ever trust anyone that much again. Then again, with one call she could have exactly what she craved. No, she wasn’t going there. Period. Sighing, she turned off the large monitor and padded into the kitchen. Now she could relax and celebrate. What a shame no one was up at almost three in the morning.

Pouring a hefty glass of wine, she stood gazing at nothing but her mind was already reeling around book number three. Halfway done, she needed to put herself in the middle of the victim’s world and that might mean a trip to the location where the horrific crimes happened. She loved doing research and this one was centered around the seediest kink clubs patronized by the upper crust of society. Murder and sex knew no age or money brackets. Even Jennifer was excited about the additional aspects of the series. If she could keep up the pace putting out four of these a year, along with her other erotic pieces, she might make a name for herself by the end of 2018. Nibbling her bottom lip, she walked past the bulletin board and stood staring at the ugly pictures, bloody photographs of the real victims. How could the woman have endured so much pain? Swallowing hard, understanding wasn’t difficult.

Do you hunger like I do?

WHERE TO FIND CASSANDRE

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cassandre-Dayne-178164866655/

Amazon:  https://amazon.com/author/cassandredayne

Bookbub: https://bookbub.com/authors/cassandre-dayne

Blog:  www.cassandredayne.wordpress.com

twitter: https://twitter.com/cassandredayne

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/cassandredayne

Thank you so much for being here. Looks utterly terrifying!

Kisses…

Piper

Fire Devil – the Series

I’m so happy to announce that I have a new SIZZLING series coming to Blushing Books. This one has been in the making for months, even years. I absolutely adore smokejumpers. They are awesome, sexy and true heroes in my book. I have an amazing cover artist, Brenda Gonet, who has already created all seven covers. I thought I’d give you a taste of the first story – coming in October. But you have to wait to see the cover for a little while… Let me know what you think.

FIRE DEVIL – THREE RIVERS RUN DEEP

SYNOPSIS

Fire Devil: Whirlwind of fire

Zulies: Smokejumpers in Missoula

Jackals – the elite team of sexy smokejumpers

Secrets to tell. Love to conquer. Lives to save.

Fire Devil banner

Nestled in the heart of Missoula Montana are seven smokejumpers, exclusively trained men sworn to protect lives and the majestic land surrounding them. They are the Jackals, a name coined by their Captain. By day they indulge in their penchant for danger. By night they exude passion. While they have yet to find love, they are ready to lavish a woman with adoration, indulging their every desire. They share a bond of friendship as well as need. Burnout, an exclusive club, caters to domestic discipline. Each man has a story to tell, one of heartache, yearning and tragedy. Every smokejumper will steal your heart as they forge through fires, saving souls. Are you ready for their brand of domination?

Prevent. Protect. Preserve. This is their motto…

THREE RIVERS RUN DEEP

Rock singer Jessica Dunn is at a crossroads in her life, as well as in her music career. On a slippery downwards spiral, she’s yesterday’s news, the music no longer satisfying. Her love life is also nonexistent. She knew it was time for a change. When a friend suggests a vacation in Missoula Montana, she accepts, albeit with reservations. Cowboy country isn’t her style. While meeting a sexy rancher has delicious perks, she doesn’t like his attitude. After seeing a taste of the man inside, she’s determined to peel away his armor.

Stoker Hansen is no lady’s man. In truth, the wounded vet prefers tending to his ranch in order to soothe the personal beasts fighting to breach the surface. A fireman by trade, his cowboy behavior garners a lengthy suspension, keeping him from his beloved career. A damning secret haunts his every move. A chance meeting with a new girl in town lights his fire, but the opinionated vixen has a mouth and a bad attitude. Sparks fly, but he’d prefer to take her over his knee for a hard spanking versus develop any kind of a relationship. Still, he remains intrigued.

A series of events pushes Stoker into re-joining the smoke jumping team, if only for a single caustic event. The plane ride reminds him of the war and the sacrifice made by his best friend. Time for payback, he faces his greatest challenge in an effort to save his honor. Can the sexy singer still his aching heart as he learns to forgive? Will she leave the past behind, finding love as well as her voice?

UNEDITED EXCERPT

I remember when I was a little girl. I believed in fantasies. Handsome knights on large steeds, protecting everyone around them. I used to believe in heroes. I no longer do. 

You’re nothing and deserve to die alone…

“Everyone. Welcome to the stage, Jessica Dunn and Fringe!”

Jessica Dunn exhaled and clenched the neck of her guitar. Words. They were just ugly words. The vibrant lights from the stage ceiling danced across the band’s instruments, swirling in a random yet controlled fashion, neon flashes creating sensual images. She’d been through this before, now thousands of times. Once excited at the prospect of facing an audience, she was exhausted and no longer able to convey her once vivacious personality.

“Go on. You act like you’re heading for your funeral, girl.”

She gave the drummer and the man she spent most of her time with the finger. Cody Falcon grinned. Damn if she didn’t shiver. His dimples and shaggy raven hair always made her swoon. “Do you see anyone that gives a shit out there?”

“What are you talking about?” Cody leaned down, licking her earlobe. “The crowd loves ya.”

“Right. You mean all two dozen or so scattered in the theatre?” She darted a glance out into the audience, shading her eyes from the intense lighting. She and the band once filled massive stadiums. Now they were lucky to get five or six hundred people to attend their performances. They were once considered ‘the’ up and coming rock band, their first single going platinum. The second was heralded as the album of the decade. Now? They were left to play gigs at fairs and two-bit concert halls.

“Stop bellowing like a damn kitten. Get to work.”

After debating her ability to run far away, she adjusted the strap holding the guitar in place and took a step toward the slender opening of the curtain. This wasn’t what she’d hungered for fifteen years before. Act like a professional. Entertain. She brushed her hand through her long red hair and tossed her head back. “You mean tigress don’t you, big boy?”

“That’s my sexy gal.”

Taking long strides, she walked out on stage, waving to the crowd. Temporarily blinded, she whistled and laughed as she found her way toward the microphone. The band members were settling in behind her, taking their usual place, something they’d done countless times during their tenure together. “Anybody ready to rock the house?”

Those attending clapped, their whistles giving her a boost.

“Come on. Let’s get this party rollin’!” Her sultry voice reverberated across the shadows.

She shot Wally, the base player a look, winking and giving a short bow. They were a frisky group and their audiences loved their style. ‘Loved’ as in past tense. Times were different. “We are so ready to have a good time tonight. Are ya’ll ready?” A sickening feeling remained in her gut. She’d fought her nerves for a solid year. Tonight, she was ready to pass out from terror. Hands on the guitar. Start strumming. Everything will be okay. She forced back a single tear as the music began to play in the background. She knew the words by heart. She’d written every damn song after all. But that was a long time ago.

Jessica blinked several times as she shifted from foot to foot. “We are…” The words were lost. She gulped for air and fingered the strings, playing a chord that made no sense.

The crowd cheered, clapping as several people moved toward the edge of the stage.

She froze, unable to take a step or remember the words. Her heart raced as she attempted to focus on anything in front of her. “We are the ones who will…” Goddamn it! Out of the corner of her eye she noticed Wally walking toward her, his smile plastic. He didn’t give a shit about the band or anything to do with their record career. He wanted money and fame, something they’d tried so hard to achieve. She resisted lashing out, scratching his face.

“We are the ones who will rock you, rock you,” Wally sang as he pumped the bass and strutted closer. He gave her an encouraging nod, mouthing ‘you can do it’.

Shimmers of light pulsated around her, mixing with echoes of the music. This was their signature song, the one that rocked the house. She swayed back and forth as she tried to grasp onto what she was supposed to do. A thumping boom of the drums behind her jolted her back to reality. She stamped her foot and gave Wally a hateful look. He wasn’t supposed to be singing. Anger shoved her past an unseen threshold. “We are the ones who will rock you, rock you. We are the ones who fight.”

Wally nodded and grinned, singing alongside her.

All she could think about for the next three songs was kicking his motherfucking ass.

What do you think? I hope you enjoyed and I’ll post more coming soon.

Kisses…

Piper

Don’t forget I have some fabulous upcoming guests on my blog including Paige Parsons, Sheri Lynn, Jaime Phillips and Vanessa Brooks. Tomorrow’s guest? Jaime Phillips!

His Judgment – First Full Chapter

I thought you might like a real taste of His Judgment – so why not the first full chapter? That should give you just a hint of the heat, the thrill ride and the mystery. I hope that you’ll consider purchasing the full book. Be warned, from what a reviewer mentioned, you might need a new pair of panties after reading…

Enjoy! Don’t forget, I have a special guest on my blog tomorrow – Rachel De Vine!

SYNOPSIS

Buried inside all of us are dark desires, some we refuse to acknowledge. But we man on harleycrave…

I hunger for a powerful man, one strong enough to tame the woman inside. For highly respected attorney, Joelle Parker, the words had unleashed a hunger she could no longer control. Her days are filled with prosecuting monsters, vile men and women content on vanquishing the sanctity of innocent lives. Her nights are something else entirely. Fantasies of finding a dominating man, one who could yank away the tight confines of her conservative life, finally filter into her waking hours. Tasked with prosecuting a brutal and very political murder case, her needs are placed on hold—until a chance meeting changes everything.

Randolph ‘Craze’ Mitchell is a loner, preferring long rides on his Harley to human companionship. A man of the law, he has a difficult decision to make; whether or not to run for a seat in the State Senate. Every aspect of his life is well planned, organized and exactly what he doesn’t want. His dark desires, sexual needs encompassing kink and domination, are kept locked away. No woman can withstand his requirements. No one knows the real man or the secrets he holds. Painting is his only solace, he’s come to terms with remaining very much alone—until a vivacious woman crosses his path, daring to push aside his tightly woven shield of armor.

The two enter into a passionate and intense journey, the question of consent never far from the surface. Both crave what the other offers, as well as concern about discovery, but they can’t stay away. Every act shared pushes their respective boundaries, fulfilling their carnal needs, until reality thrusts them into the light of day—a blackmailer has surfaced. Craze is faced with a horrific choice, one that could end both of their careers. Can he use his best judgment or will he succumb to his personal demons?

Can Joelle and Craze trust each other enough to explore their needs together? Their chemistry is off the chain, is it real or just a chance encounter? Can they join together to protect each other from public scrutiny?

CHAPTER ONE

“Murderer!”

“Kill the bastard!”

“He should fry in hell for what he did!”

“He’s an innocent man!”

The screams and chanting from both sides came fast and furious. Joelle Parker took the courthouse steps two at a time, avoiding the bank of reporters, family, friends and co-workers of both the accused murderer and his victims. The mob was growing in number, the case an ugly reminder of the increasing horrific crimes in Baltimore. They were all judging her on her performance or lack thereof. Even her boss had threatened to take over, stating she wasn’t qualified to handle such a high priority case. To hell with all of them. She was damn good.

When she was safely inside, she breathed out and wiped a single bead of sweat from her forehead. She refused to be on the news, fodder for some buxom blonde who would use the fifteen minutes of fame to parlay a career on national television. Not her style.

She hurried through the checkpoints and entered the courtroom, her head held high. She was early and few people were inside. Sliding into the seat, she almost laughed as her skirt rode up her thighs from friction, exposing the tops of her thigh-highs.

She fingered the thin lace and bit her lower lip. What if everyone in the courtroom knew she was wearing a silk thong and stockings? Closing her eyes, she allowed her mind to wander to the events of the night before. The BDSM club was new in town, considered hot and very exclusive. The invitation had been a scintillating surprise, a gift from one of her previous clients. She’d tossed the gilded envelope in a drawer, rejecting the offer for almost two weeks.

Joelle was the good girl, the one who had made straight As in high school and all through college and law school. She was the best friend, tutor, mentor and big sister. She was the one who followed every rule. Everyone thought of her as the girl next door, who never, ever had kinky thoughts. She’d stymied the vixen most of her life. Only two years before had she succumbed to her burning desires, frequenting several clubs in the seediest part of downtown Baltimore.

Experimentation had turned into dark cravings until the nights became days and she’d made a choice—her career or BDSM. The need for money, clothes, an expensive car and a condominium won out in the end. A girl had to eat. What a shame.

No one had any idea about the woman inside. The search for the perfect man had gone nowhere. What man could handle such complexity? She licked her ruby stained lips as she thought about the last date she’d been on. How long had it been? Oh yes, almost three years. No man held the muster, a perfect specimen of masculinity and dominance.

When the invitation had arrived, she knew she’d received a sign. However, accepting the sign had taken courage. The memory held mixed feelings. She’d gulped down a full glass of wine, held her breath and ripped open the envelope with flair. hot man with chainsWhat she couldn’t understand is how had her client, a woman who fashioned herself a Domme, seen through her thick layers of bullshit to the girl locked inside a cage? On that very night and after two additional glasses of wine, she’d accepted the invite, happy as could be. After second guessing herself, she’d cowered in front of the television watching a documentary on The History Channel. Yeah, she had balls of mush.

The night at the club had been cathartic. Freeing. She couldn’t wait to return, even considering paying the one thousand dollar joining fee. She could afford a little luxury. She could even learn to be more careful in her methods of playtime, remaining in the shadows.

Why the hell did she care? What occurred in her private life was nobody else’s business. She was an adult, a very hungry adult and allowed to play. Then again, no one, not even her best friend knew about her penchant for pain, her desire to submit to a dominant man.

Meticulously she laid out her things, preferring an iPad to traditional pen and paper. This case wasn’t going to be easy, but she was prepared, well almost. The night before had been delicious, the event going well into the night. She snickered as she envisioned the neon lights, the pulsing music and the elongated bar. The dark and foreboding club was designed for anonymity as well as security. Anyone could be exactly who they desired to be.

She checked her watch—ten minutes to spare. After court she was going to dinner with friends, then back to the club. Whether or not she’d decide to join depended on the events of the night. A bit of show and tell was in order, complete with aspects of flogging. She tingled at the thought. Perhaps she’d run into Marco again. The stud muffin had shown her the ropes, literally. She giggled and eased her hand into her shirt, fingering the top of her push-up bra, remembering the delicious details.

“Welcome to Club Noir,” the man whispered, his face hidden behind a mask. “I’m Marco, very much at your service.”

Joelle eyed the tall drink of water and nodded. “Thank you. I’m Jewel.” She certainly wasn’t going to give him her real name.

“Jewel. A beautiful gem to be kept precious. I’m honored. I know that you’re new to our club. If you’d like, I’d be happy to show you around.”

As he held out his arm, she inhaled. His exotic scent was unrecognizable, the fragrance intoxicating just like the man. Tall and broad shouldered, his muscles were carved, his body long and lean. “I’d enjoy that.” Accepting his gesture, she clung to him as he walked her through the crowded space.

“Club Noir specializes in all aspects of BDSM. We cater to our customers, indulging them in their greatest fantasy. Tell me, sweet Jewel, do you have a particular desire, a bold hunger for aspects of kink?”

“I’m not certain.” Memories of other clubs crowded her mind. Her dreams were filled with yearning for domination as well as discipline.

“Ah, I understand. You may try almost anything you can imagine, from pain to pleasure. You are a submissive, yes?” Marco asked as he led her toward a series of closed off rooms.

Joelle could feel the heat rising from the base of her neck. “How did you know?”

He stopped and took both of her hands into his. “I’m good at what I do, Jewel. I advise, provide education and assistance for novices in every aspect. Come. Allow me to show you a spanking demonstration. This will be an excellent start in your journey.”

Journey. She’d never thought of her particular proclivities as a journey, but she accepted the word. “Yes.” Spanking. She shivered, her pussy clenching. How many nights had she lain awake craving a firm hand, a man controlling her, providing harsh discipline. Her mouth watered at the thought.

“Ms. Parker. Are you ready to present your case?”

Everyone has a dirty little secret. Everyone.

“Ms. Parker. Are you with us today?”

Jolted, Joelle shook the vivid images from her mind and blinked. The man’s brusque voice reverberated in her ears. “What?” Titters and coughs floated from behind her. She jerked her head toward the sound of the voice and grimaced. How in God’s name had she missed the judge’s entrance, standing out of respect?

This was the third time she’d been caught daydreaming in the last week. She needed a vacation. Get it together. You’re a professional. “I’m sorry, Judge Thompson. I’m more than ready to present.”

Judge Thompson narrowed his eyes and frowned as he leaned over the bench. “Are you certain or would you like a recess before we begin?”

She kept her curt smile, resisting giving the man of honor her finger. Some honorable judge he was. This was a murder case and already there were bets on the fact the criminal would never see a prison term. “No more than you, Judge.” Now there were gasps coming from the courtroom. Everyone knew she was a take-no-shit kind of prosecutor, but to continually push the judge’s buttons certainly wasn’t in her best interest.

His expression blank, his mouth thin lipped, he nodded. “Then by all means get on with it.”

Rising to her feet, Joelle pressed the flats of her hands down her skirt and eased from around the desk. She faced the jury, giving them her sweetest smile. They already didn’t like her. Half believed in the innocence of the man standing trial. The other half wanted to lynch him. All twelve had already determined that she was a bitch. She could see it in their eyes.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, thank you for being here. Today I’m going to prove to you that Ronald Taylor is responsible for the death of Tracy Riley. In fact, I’m going to prove to you that he strangled her with his hands and a rope in her bedroom on the night of October twenty-sixth, two thousand sixteen. The facts will state that Mr. Taylor entered the home of the deceased with full intention of raping and murdering her. The crime itself is heinous in nature and through photographs and the evidence collected, I’ll be able to prove my case.”

Joelle paused, making eye contact with every member. They were of mixed ages, race, and sex, and she suspected sexual orientation. She and the defense team had gone through over two hundred people before twelve and an alternate could be equally decided upon. Long hours were the norm.

There wasn’t a word said or a breath sound given. Everyone was listening to her intently. She moved back toward the table where Ronald sat with his three male attorneys. Eyes darted back and forth, sweeping the room, and two of the attorneys were writing furiously. Ronald was demure in his actions, looking more like a boy scout than a calculated cold-blooded killer. Only the lead attorney seemed to dare look her in the eyes, a smirk riding his carved face.

She could oh-so eat the man for breakfast. They’d sparred on more than one occasion. Gregory Brentwood was her absolute nemesis and a man she could strangle on any given day. Today, she winked and swished her hips.

“I’m going to prove to you that this man had motive, opportunity and a plan he’d developed for killing Ms. Riley weeks before.” She walked past the judge, giving him a respectful nod then turned to face Ronald, moving to the edge of the defense table. “Brutal. Bloody. Torture.” Her nipples hardened when she enunciated the three words. They had the desired effect.

Everyone was hooked, waiting for her next spoken words. They would wait. She certainly wasn’t going to tip her hand. Not now. Not ever.

Exhaling, she slowly walked back to her chair, sitting down with the poise of a ballerina, and folded her hands. You bet Greggie baby was confused as fuck. This wasn’t her normal method of operation. Maybe a night at the club had brought out the wanton woman.

“Thank you, Ms. Parker. Mr. Brentwood. Are you ready to proceed?” Judge Thompson asked after giving her a curious look.

Joelle heard papers being shifted. She didn’t bother looking toward Gregory or his team. She didn’t care what they were going to use as a defense. She only cared about the subtle but powerful facts. Today was her day to shine.

“Thank you, your honor. I am more than ready to provide proof that Mr. Ronald Taylor is a true victim, a creation of society and the internet.” Gregory walked past her without as much as a look. He believed himself to be a powerful man.

Power. Joelle craved power in all aspects of her career. Being an assistant prosecutor had been a fascinating switch from working in corporation law and a stretch of her expertise. Baltimore had many commanding women in charge, but in the manner of the law, the old boys’ club still reigned. She sat back in her seat, swiveling her chair so that she could cross her legs. Dressed conservatively, a blue suit and crisp white men’s style shirt, her hair woven tightly in a bun, only her nine hundred dollar Manolo Blahnik stilettos offered a chance of showing the woman hidden behind the mask. Her thoughts drifted back to the incredible experience.

Marco was certainly sexy, alluding an air of prowess, yet he was neither dominant or submissive. Still, she wouldn’t mind having him as her disciplinarian. She eased her pen to her lips, placing the tip just inside. The vivid image of the man standing with his legs apart, his arms folded and her between his legs sucking his cock flashed in her mind.

She would run her hands up on the insides of his thighs, caressing as he wrapped his fingers in her hair, the gesture keeping her in place. When allowed, she would wrap one hand around his swollen testicles and the other around the base of his cock. As he commanded her to open her mouth, she’d moan in anticipation, delighting in her requirements. If she was a very good girl, drinking every last drop of his sweet cum, perhaps he’d tie her to an “X” cross, spanking her ass and legs until they were covered in welts.

“Ms. Parker!”

Joelle jumped and dropped the pen. “Sir? I mean, your Honor?” Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!

“I asked you if you’d like to cross examine the witness,” Judge Thompson stated through clenched teeth.

Cross examination? What the hell? “I’m sorry, your honor I need to…” Her words trailed off as she fumbled to figure out where they were in the case. The girl on the stand she didn’t recognize at first. She was so fucked.

“Please approach the bench.” The judge waved her forward.

Holding her breath, Joelle rose to her feet and attempted to walk in a manner that would allow her to keep her dignity. She heard a slight chuckle coming from Gregory’s mouth and she wanted to turn around and rip out his eyes. That would be sensational news at five o ‘clock. When she approached the bench, she smiled. “Your Honor?”

Judge Thompson covered up the microphone and leaned over as far as he could. “Ms. Parker. I’ve had you in my courtroom a dozen times and I’ve never seen you so absent from your duties. Is there a problem? Do you need some assistance?”

“No! I mean, no, Your Honor. I apologize. I was merely going through details of the case and lost track of time. That won’t happen again.” Lying to a judge now. Perfect. She was on the fast track to being thrown out in the street.

He raised a single eyebrow and exhaled. Ten full seconds ticked by. “Very well, but see that it doesn’t or I’ll have to hold you in contempt of court. Am I clear?”

“Yes, sir! I mean Your Honor, sir.” She cringed and slunk back toward the chair, able to see the delighted expression on Gregory’s face. As she sat down, she banished the sinful thoughts to another planet. She was going to have to learn to separate the two worlds one way or the other.

At three-thirty pm on the nose, Judge Thompson called the day. Weary from the brow beating, some of her own making, Joelle shoved the iPad and pen into her briefcase, fiddling in a hope that Gregory would leave first.

He didn’t. Instead, he waited for her, standing by the defense table with his arms crossed, his eyes twinkling. “Not on your game today?”

“I’m doing just fine, thank you very much,” Joelle retorted and walked past him.

“This case is out of your league.”

While she knew the man was considered on the fast track to move into politics, she didn’t give a damn. Gregory was a bottom feeder, preying on lost souls. He had no remorse for his tactics nor did he have a conscience. She stopped short and turned. “Just try me, big boy. You might be surprised.” The words were dripping with sarcasm, almost said in a purr instead of her voice. Without waiting for a reply, she headed out of the courtroom.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. The Press were camped out on the courtroom steps. Vans from the various news stations were everywhere. She froze and shifted toward the left side, praying she could find a way to slink through without being detected. She loathed reporters, hated this part of her job. She simply didn’t like recognition of any type.

The crowd was huge and even though she stood taller than most of the women and men present, she wasn’t able to tell what was happening. This was her chance to skedaddle out of dodge. She clutched her briefcase and lowered her head. Suddenly the group of reporters rushed the stairs at the opposite end, heading in her direction.

No, this wasn’t going to happen. Swallowing hard, she raced down the stairs, thankful she didn’t kill herself in the four-inch heels. When she was a solid half block down the sidewalk, she turned to see if any of them had followed her. She chuckled. “Way to go, idiots.” The reporters had no desire to talk to a prosecutor with a dirty secret. They’d found some other poor, dumb fool to prey on. She laughed all the way to her car.

* * *

Randolph Mitchell, Craze to his friends, faced the near mob like group as he always did, with ease. He’d been in front of cameras his entire life and knew the reporters were merely doing their jobs. He plastered on his politician smile and waited as they jockeyed for position. He was due in court in less than thirty minutes for nothing more than a continuation. He could afford to spend time preening in front of the camera. His assistant would be proud given Mark continued to chide him on his public appearances.

“Mr. Mitchell, is it true that you have your eyes set on the White House?”

Randolph gazed down at the diminutive female reporter and slid into his charming mode. “Ms. Tanner, let’s not get the cart before the horse. I’m considering a run for Congress, but I haven’t made up my mind as of yet.” He made it a point to learn as much as he could about the influential reporters in town. They could make or break a career or a candidacy.

“When are you going to announce your decision?” the older male reporter asked, pushing his way in front of the gaggle.

“Mr. Wild, nice to see you again. I anticipate making my decision in the next three weeks. Trust me, you’ll be the first to know.” Randolph winked as the group laughed. He had them eating out of his hands.

“If you run, have you determined your platform? I know you worked hard to defend those who otherwise would not be able to afford a top-notch attorney. Every step of your career has been about making certain criminals have their day in court. How will that affect your chances?” the blonde and blue-eyed girl was swooning.

He couldn’t help but glance at her cleavage. She would drop to her knees in an instant if he asked. Unfortunately, he was through with playtime with women who could be his daughter. Besides, he appreciated intelligent conversations, spirited if at all possible. “Ms. Jones. Everyone who knows me understands that I care about what happens to the good people of Baltimore as a whole. Defending innocent people remains important to me and always will. My platform will simply be that the city and the state needs to be able to place their trust in someone, a man of honor.”

The words resonated throughout the crowd. Randolph made certain he looked into the eyes of everyone who was close. He could tell they believed him, even adored the sentiment. If they only knew about the man underneath the expensive suits and polished shoes. His persona had been groomed since he was a boy, his parents raising what they considered the perfect child. He snickered at the thought.

A few claps could be heard coming from the back. “I have time for one more question,” Randolph stated, his baritone voice cutting through the traffic below him.

A young male reporter, one Randolph had never seen before, held his hand higher than the rest. Randolph pointed in his direction. Every kid needed a start in the business. “Yes, sir. And you are?”

“Michael Trent with the Baltimore Sun.”

“Well, Michael, what is your question?”

“Do you have any skeletons in your closet?” Michael was expressionless, but his eyes were dark, almost ominous.

A single bead of sweat trickled down the back of Randolph’s neck. He cocked his head and chuckled. “Doesn’t everyone?” With the vague answer, the crowd laughed with him. However, Michael wasn’t smiling. In fact, he held an expression that said in no uncertain terms he had dirt on Randolph, a scandalous tale that Michael would use to his benefit at the worst possible time during Randolph’s political run for office.

And there was certainly enough scandal to ignite the Press.

“Thank you all for coming. I’m due in court. Have a wonderful evening.” Randolph shook the required amount of hands before entering the courtroom. Only then did he hiss under his breath. He’d have to find out what, or if, the young man had any dirt on him as well as Michael’s intentions of using the information.

* * *

Randolph took long strides down the hallway and into his office. The continuation had taken a mere ten minutes so he was back in the building before five. As he walked past his assistant, he nodded toward his office. He dumped his briefcase on the desk and went straight to his mini-bar. He loathed sparring with reporters that he didn’t know. They always had a hidden agenda.

Mark hurried into Randolph’s office. “You look pissed.”

“Close the door. I have something for you to do.” He plopped two ice cubes in a glass and poured a half glass of whiskey.

After shutting the door, Mark advanced. “Let me guess, the continuation didn’t happen.”

“Oh no. The case has been pushed back as I knew it would be. That’s not the problem.” Randolph took a swig of the liquor, savoring the flavor, before turning to face Mark. “Do you know the name Michael Trent?”

“Never heard of him. Why?”

“He’s a reporter from the Sun. Find out everything you can about him. I think we may have a digger on our hands.”

“A digger?” Mark asked as he frowned.

“As in digging into my life, my past.”

“Oh. Fantastic. I assume that means you want him shut down.”

Randolph rubbed his eyes. “I can’t shut him down. Every reporter in town will want to know why. I do want to know everything about this kid, including where he goes to eat breakfast and the woman or man he fucks. Everything. I need to know what I’m facing.”

Mark inched closer. “May I ask you what you’re worried about?”

While his assistant was completely trustworthy and a man who kept his confidences, Mark didn’t know details about his extra-curricular activities. No one did and he refused to allow anyone into his private life. “We all have secrets, some dirtier than others.”

“Anything I should know about?”

“Nothing that matters and shouldn’t to anyone, but I daresay if Mr. Trent is out to find dirt, he’ll stop at nothing to do so. Just find out what you can.”

“Of course. I’ll get started right away.” Mark turned to leave.

“Mark, I don’t mean tonight. I might be a tough taskmaster, but I’m not a slave driver. Go home. This can wait until the morning.”

“Are you certain? I’m here for you every step of the way.”

Randolph lifted his glass. “Go have a drink. Enjoy friends and family. You deserve it.”

Smiling, Mark nodded. “Thank you. I appreciate it.” He backed away toward the door. “I don’t care what anyone says about you. You’re not a tyrant.”

“Get out of here!” He laughed and shook his head. Hell yes, he was a tyrant. No wonder he’d never been able to find the right woman. Few women could handle his attitude, his intense needs and his dark requirements. As far as family? He wasn’t into afternoon cookouts and holiday get togethers. He preferred his time alone.

After Mark left, he gulped the rest of his drink and made another. Tonight, he had no appointments, either for business or pleasure. He was a free man. Huffing, he sat down at his desk and clicked on the internet. He opened the Sun Times website and searched through their files. There was one article written by Michael Trent, an article on a new corporation coming to town. The rather benign article shouldn’t have afforded the reporter time with a political candidate.

He sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. What would the young man want from him? Then again, what could he find? Randolph had spent his entire life under the microscope. His father, a retired Senator from the state of Ohio, had made certain his son was educated at the most exclusive schools, receiving the best education money could buy. Randolph was used to the finer things in life: wine, clothes, cars and even women.

He was also absolutely freaking bored to death. However, he was a picture-perfect candidate for office—at least on the surface.

If anyone found out what lay hidden under the mask, his career in politics would be over. He swirled the whiskey and grinned. No one was going to uncover his secrets, no matter what he had to do.

Not even one tenacious reporter.

What do you think? I hope you enjoyed. The purchase link is at the bottom but another treat for you. Snap me a picture of your purchase of His Judgment and email to piperstonecreations@gmail.com and you’ll receive two of my other books – your choice. Not too shabby for the weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend

Piper

PURCHASE LINK

 

a taste of… His Judgment

I think we all have a fascination of the law. I’m saddened by the ugly stories of cops being shot. Policemen and women should be our heroes – at least the majority of them. Just like with any breed, color, size, shape or gender – there are good people and bad people. Sadly, we concentrate on the bad, yet we celebrate the notoriety politicians and celebrities seem to mandate JUST because they think they’re all that and a bag of chips. We all have something to hide. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.His Judgement 500x755

Don’t lie. you know you do.

Sometimes good people are caught up in the political arena. They fight for what’s right as well as try to live their life as they wish. Often, they’re unable because we love to pry. We crave seeing the worst in people. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for poking at the candidate, actor, judge, etc. Sometimes those reasons are contrived. His Judgment is just this kind of story. Two people do indeed have something to hide, but not what many believe to be so horrible. Sometimes they are simply trying to find another to care about them. Hmmm…  Coming on August 1st from Blushing Books.

HIS JUDGMENT

Buried inside all of us are dark desires, some we refuse to acknowledge. But we crave…

I hunger for a powerful man, one strong enough to tame the woman inside. For highly respected attorney, Joelle Parker, the words had unleashed a hunger she could no longer control. Her days are filled with prosecuting monsters, vile men and women content on vanquishing the sanctity of innocent lives. Her nights are something else entirely. Fantasies of finding a dominating man, one who could yank away the tight confines of her conservative life, finally filter into her waking hours. Tasked with prosecuting a brutal and very political murder case, her needs are placed on hold—until a chance meeting changes everything.

Randolph ‘Craze’ Mitchell is a loner, preferring long rides on his Harley to human companionship. A man of the law, he has a difficult decision to make; whether or not to run for a seat in the State Senate. Every aspect of his life is well planned, organized and exactly what he doesn’t want. His dark desires, sexual needs encompassing kink and domination, are kept locked away. No woman can withstand his requirements. No one knows the real man or the secrets he holds. Painting is his only solace, he’s come to terms with remaining very much alone—until a vivacious woman crosses his path, daring to push aside his tightly woven shield of armor.

The two enter into a passionate and intense journey, the question of consent never far from the surface. Both crave what the other offers, as well as concern about discovery, but they can’t stay away. Every act shared pushes their respective boundaries, fulfilling their carnal needs, until reality thrusts them into the light of day—a blackmailer has surfaced. Craze is faced with a horrific choice, one that could end both of their careers. Can he use his best judgment or will he succumb to his personal demons?

Can Joelle and Craze trust each other enough to explore their needs together? Their chemistry is off the chain, is it real or just a chance encounter? Can they join together to protect each other from public scrutiny?

EXCERPT

“Murderer!”

“Kill the bastard!”

“He should fry in hell for what he did!”

“He’s an innocent man!”

The screams and chanting from both sides came fast and furious. Joelle Parker took the courthouse steps two at a time, avoiding the bank of reporters, family, friends and co-workers of both the accused murderer and his victims. The mob was growing in number, the case an ugly reminder of the increasing horrific crimes in Baltimore. They were all judging her on her performance or lack thereof. Even her boss had threatened to take over, stating she wasn’t qualified to handle such a high priority black and white Domcase. To hell with all of them. She was damn good.

When she was safely inside, she breathed out and wiped a single bead of sweat from her forehead. She refused to be on the news, fader for some buxom blonde who would use the fifteen minutes of fame to parlay a career on National television. Not her style.

She hurried through the checkpoints and entered the courtroom, her head held high. She was early and few people were inside. Sliding into the seat, she almost laughed as her skirt rode up her thighs from friction, exposing the tops of her thigh-highs.

She fingered the thin lace and bit her lower lip. What if everyone in the courtroom knew she was wearing a silk thong and stockings? Closing her eyes, she allowed her mind to wander to the events of the night before. The BDSM club was new in town, considered hot and very exclusive. The invitation had been a scintillating surprise, a gift from one of her previous clients. She’d tossed the gilded envelope in a drawer, rejecting the offer for almost two weeks.

Joelle was the good girl, the one who had made straight ‘A’s’ in high school and all through college and law school. She was the best friend, tutor, mentor and big sister. She was the one who followed every rule. Everyone thought of her as the girl next door, who never, ever had kinky thoughts. She’d stymied the vixen most of her life. Only two years before had she succumbed to her burning desires, frequenting several clubs in the seediest part of downtown Baltimore.

Experimentation had turned into dark cravings until the nights became days and she’d made a choice – her career or BDSM. The need for money, clothes, an expensive car and a condominium won out in the end. A girl had to eat. What a shame.

No one had any idea about the woman inside. The search for the perfect man had gone nowhere. What man could handle such complexity? She licked her ruby stained lips as she thought about the last date she’d been on. How long had it been? Oh yes, almost three years. No man held the muster, a perfect specimen of masculinity and dominance.

When the invitation had arrived, she knew she’d received a sign. However, accepting the sign had taken courage. The memory held mixed feelings. She’d gulped down a full glass of wine, held her breath and ripped open the envelope with flair. What she couldn’t understand is how had her client, a woman who fashioned herself a Domme, see through her thick layers of bullshit to the girl locked inside a cage? On that very night and after two additional glasses of wine, she’d accepted the invite, happy as could be. After second guessing herself, she’d cowered in front of the television watching a documentary on The History Channel. Yeah, she had balls of mush.

The night at the club had been cathartic. Freeing. She couldn’t wait to return, even considering paying the one thousand dollar joining free. She could afford a little luxury. She could even learn to be more careful in her methods of playtime, remaining in the shadows.

Why the hell did she care? What occurred in her private life was nobody else’s business. She was an adult, a very hungry adult and allowed to play. Then again, no one, not even her best friend knew about her penchant for pain, her desire to submit to a dominant man.

Meticulously she laid out her things, preferring an iPad to traditional pen and paper. This case wasn’t going to be easy, but she was prepared, well almost. The night before had been delicious, the event going well into the night. She snickered as she envisioned the neon lights, the pulsing music and the elongated bar. The dark and foreboding club was designed for anonymity as well as security. Anyone could be exactly who they desired to be.

She checked her watch – ten minutes to spare. After court she was going to dinner with friends, then back to the club. Whether or not she’d decide to join depended on the events of the night. A bit of show and tell was in order, complete with aspects of flogging. She tingled at the thought. Perhaps she’d run into Marco again. The stud muffin had shown her the ropes, literally. She giggled and eased her hand into her shirt, fingering the top of her push-up bra, remembering the delicious details.

“Welcome to Club Noir,” the man whispered, his face hidden behind a mask. “I’m Marco, very much at your service.”

Joelle eyed the tall drink of water and nodded. “Thank you. I’m Jewel.” She certainly wasn’t going to give him her real name.

“Jewel. A beautiful gem to be kept precious. I’m honored. I know that you’re new to our club. If you’d like, I’d be happy to show you around.”

As he held out his arm, she inhaled. His exotic scent was unrecognizable, the fragrance intoxicating just like the man. Tall and broad shouldered, his muscles were carved, his body long and lean. “I’d enjoy that.” Accepting his gesture, she clung to him as he walked her through the crowded space.

“Club Noir specializes in all aspects of BDSM. We cater to our customers, indulging them in their greatest fantasy. Tell me, sweet Jewel, do you have a particular desire, a bold hunger for aspects of kink?”

Breathless Bad Boys…

Don’t we all love a bad boy? Even heroes can have a streak that is oh-so delicious and dark, a man we love to hate. I’ve been so proud to be a part of Hero Undercover – a compilation of 25 novellas with 24 other award winning, best seller authors brought to you by Blushing Books. The stories are all very different and in my opinion, the perfect poolside read. Think about it. You’re already… HOT. and. WET.  I know, I’m allowing my bad girl side to show. Right? This is the last day that the 1776 page book is going to be a tiny little $.99 so grab a copy. Blushing Books is also having an amazing give away and I’ll provide the link down below.

I hope that if you’re new to Piper Stone, you’ll take the opportunity to read some of my other books. I have a new release and a fantastic sale going on in honor of both Hero Undercover and my latest release – Maverick Rescue Me. So leet’s get started.

Here’s my piece in Hero Undercover. I have a love of red wine and women who are brassy and bold. When you combine an undercover case involving wine fraud and a cowboy detective. Well, the purr-fect recipe for turning up the heat.

A TASTE FOR RED

Private Investigator Shanna Jacobs has no issue chasing scumbag criminals down on her Harley. Blackmailed into working with the local police department, the case involving wine fraud utilizes one of her many talents. However, going undercover correct hero undercover coveralongside a sexy cowboy cop may destroy her mask of steel. Detective Cody Walker is estranged from his ranch in Montana, taking the only job offered after his involvement in a horrific incident. Working alongside, Shanna and Cody realize the case isn’t what it seems. As they delve into the clues, sparks fly, but both refuse to accept their growing need. Can he save the woman he’s fallen in love with before it’s too late?

I write in several genres and don’t mind stretching the envelope with regard to kink. A Power Exchange in a relationship is exactly what you think. You’re giving up your power to another. Women who are very dominating in business often prefer to be very submissive in their desires and in their relationships, giving up full control. When the man is utterly powerful, a man most fear and so many hate, the perfect woman is the one who can tame him. This is the first in a collection of stories involving the ultimate Power Exchange. On sale for only $2.99 at Amazon – see what you think…

BECOMING – POWER EXCHANGE

SYNOPSIS

Blackmail – the ultimate in power…

Christopher Patterson is a business mogul, his prowess and influence creating a commanding empire. His methods of takeover are ruthless, garnering every expensive toy money can buy. He holds many secrets, ones that would obliterate his empire if discovered. His nemesis waits, shadowed in the darkness, determined to destroy everything Christopher has worked for. A tortured man, Christopher’s dark needs for complete control prove unsuccessful when dominating a woman. That is until Genevieve Tallen came into his life.

Becoming EbookGenevieve is a successful entrepreneur, her advertising agency well respected. Lonely and unfulfilled in every relationship, meeting Christopher is electric. She’s able to release her submissive side and become the woman she finally learns to accept. Drawn into a twisted relationship, satisfying their respective kinky desires, there is no way for her to know she’s fallen into a scandalous web of deceit. A secret men’s club, one fueling every deep-seated fantasy, is the backdrop for blackmail.

Two men vie for a woman’s submission, at the risk of losing their livelihood as well as their very souls. Forced to face a damning past, Christopher has a decision to make, one that could change his relationship forever. Obedience tested, only Genevieve can snap the tangled noose, the one dragging Christopher into the pits of Hell.

Danger. Dominance. Destruction.

Are Christopher and Genevieve strong enough to face and accept their needs? Is their relationship strong enough to weather the upcoming storm? Will their love survive?

 

EXCERPT

You have to have her, take her, use her.

The words were never far from his mind.

Christopher wasn’t entirely certain what to expect when he walked into her home, her gleaming kitchen. All afternoon, his anticipation of seeing her, being with her, had kept him from his allotted duties. Even his assistant had commented that his mind was elsewhere. For once, he didn’t mind a bit being sidetracked. Just after four, he’d left the office and headed for a bar. Somewhere along the way, he was sidetracked, taking a detour to the local Home Depot. He hadn’t been in a Home Depot in over a year. There’d been no need in his life.

He chuckled as he held out the new, red rope he’d secured. Seeing the face of the store clerk, who made the mistake of asking Chris what he was purchasing this particular type of rope for, was priceless. The mixture of shock and horror when he answered honestly was quite pleasing. Perhaps he was a sadist. You are a sadist. The thought was comforting.

“You truly look beautiful tonight.”

“Thank you, Sir. I prepared everything as required,” Genevieve said quietly, her eyes shifting down to the bondage material in his hands. “Have you been shopping?”

“Nothing but the best for my girl.” His laugh was much needed, and he could feel his tension easing. She always had a calming effect on him, a moment of pure peace in a sea of bullshit. Dropping his things, he moved toward her. Hearing her call him ‘Sir’ made his cock swell. “Did you forget your required greeting already, my dearest?”

She jerked her head up, her lower lip quivering. “No, Sir. Well, maybe yes, Sir. Ugh.” Very slowly, she leaned over at the waist, lifting the hem of her teddy. A slight moan escaped her lips as she spread her legs and reached her arms back.

He walked closer, every move deliberate, as he surveyed the objects on the table. A smile curled at the corner of his mouth. For some reason, he could tell a difference within her, as if she were ready to let go of the last snippet of control. His submissive ‘G,’ a pet name he’d coined in the beginning, continued to have her ways of usurping his authority. There was no method of breaking this down, only time and complete trust would allow her the freedom of unleashing old wounds. This, he very much respected. “Open those lovely ass cheeks of yours.” As soon as he issued the command, he could hear the single grunt.

“Yes, Sir. I, um…”

“Yes?” He could already tell what she’d forgotten. As he moved behind her, he could hear her breathing change, becoming scattered. He pressed down on her back, fingers drumming against her skin. “Genevieve.”

Yes, he is sexy but can you see the love-hate relationship?

My latest release is a true series involving the love of animals and how they can save and protect our hearts, souls and very lives. Maverick is a Golden Retriever, a carbon copy of one of my furry babies in actions and love. This is my heart child book. A suspense thriller that will keep you on your seat, the passion and love is something you won’t soon forget.

MAVERICK – RESCUE ME

 

If I can’t have you, no one will…

The words have haunted McKenzie Reynolds for months. Running away wasn’t the best answer, but she had zero choices. If she stayed, he’d have continued down his path of abuse disguised as domestic discipline. Once a man she thought she could trust, his evil deeds slip past the mask. A new home. A new life. Only her Golden Retriever, Maverick by her side. She is free, ready for every new challenge, including Maveric_500x755the chance at love.

Until he finds her…

Dr. Diego Mitchell, a struggling veterinarian, leaves his past and every bad memory behind, or at least he tries to. He has begun forging new relationships in a new community, while developing clientele. On a stormy night, he learns a valuable lesson as tragedy strikes. He’s forced to use his valuable skills to save a life, but what he doesn’t expect is a rush of emotions, including the need to protect. The mysterious woman might be his savior.

Two strangers bond together as a mystery develops, leaving the local ranchers terrified of the recent arsons. With several dead, including an unidentified man, McKenzie is not only the key but perhaps the intended victim. A game of cat and mouse ensues and McKenzie and Diego race to find answers before the monster strikes again.

Can McKenzie take a chance and truly trust Diego?  Can Diego push his demons away, so he can protect McKenzie? Will the rugged cowboy be able to rescue the woman he loves? Will the scared, haunted woman take back her power and rescue the man she loves, right back? Together, can they survive and heal?

The first in a collection of stories involving humans who rescue beloved animals. Or is it the other way around?

Just released and all from Blushing Books. You can find Maverick on Amazon and the Blushing Books site. I also have a pretty sexy release going on at Amazon. You can win a free copy – no purchase required. Just follow this link! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8c68ecfdf4a1e21e 

Here is Blushing Books fantastic hourly give away. You can’t go wrong with this one!

http://www.blushingbooksblog.com/prizes-every-hour-25-00-amazon-gift-certificate/ 

Finally, through today only. If you purchase a copy of Hero Undercover on any site – Amazon, iBooks or B & N and pm me on Facebook or at piperstonecreations@gmail.com a snapshot of the purchase, I’ll gift you two ARC copies of any of my books – your choice. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!!

Kisses…

Piper

HERO UNDERCOVER AMAZON LINK

 

Struggling for a New Life…

It’s interesting how people view abuse in books. As we know, OF COURSE, there are various kinds of abusive from physical to mental, from lovers to employers and everything in between. No abuse is okay at any time for any reason. Period. However, this is a sad part of everyday lives and I think stories of heroic efforts to change, move on, start a new live or find lawful methods of retribution need to be told. If some of my passages make you wince, cry, rage in horror and finally smile in Maveric_500x755peace, then I’ve done my job. Yes, I understand abuse in certain ways. I don’t think there’s a human being alive who hasn’t experienced or at least been a party to some form. Sad state our world is, but this is our truth.

The Rescue Me Series isn’t about the constant happy times couples have. They aren’t simple romances with fluffy animals. They are a telling of love, strength, horrors, happiness, anger – you get the message. Every story has a hero or two – including those in furry bundled love. I’m very proud of Maverick and would like to bring you another taste. I do so hope you enjoy. More will be coming later…

MAVERICK – RESCUE ME

EXCERPT

Guilt settled into McKenzie’s system. She stood staring at her reflection in the bathroom mirror, worried to death about Maverick and wondering how in the hell she’d gotten herself into such a mess in the first place. Anthony wasn’t a monster. Or was he? She wasn’t certain of anything any longer. Yes, she’d known about his anger issues as well as his arrogance. For some reason she thought love could conquer all. The bad boy and the good girl. She’d ceased being good a long time ago. He and his family had infected her mind if not her very soul.

After another gulp of wine, she set the glass on the counter and peeled off her clothes. The bruises on her face and neck would heal in time. The scratches on her arms would fade away. The scars on her heart would never leave.

She touched her face, memories of the good times providing a tearful moment. She’d loved him, even after his personality had changed. Now this. She might lose everything but she refused to give in, stay married to him for another month. Hissing, she started the shower. His rich family would no doubt stand behind him as they always did.

“She’s not good enough for you.”

“She’s beneath you, Anthony.”

“You can do so much better. The family deserves better.”

The family. What a crock of shit. The tainted words remained furrowed into the back of her mind. She stepped into the shower, allowing the water to cascade down over her head. Not a single member of his family had ever accepted her or their marriage. She’d wondered often if Anthony had gotten hitched to her simply to piss off his parents. What did the concern really matter any longer? They had their wish now. He was free as a bird and had all but destroyed her in the process.

Palming the cool tile, she dropped her head as the tears began to fall. How many times had she promised herself that she’d never cry again? How many times had she allowed him to slither back into her life? She was done. Finished. She had to be strong. She would fight. She would prevail.

cowboy standingYou’re so full of shit. She gulped air as the tears continued to fall, loathing her inner voice, the one that had kept her questioning every move she made. She slapped the wall and tilted her head back, issuing a strangled scream. “Why? Why can’t I have a normal life?”

Because you’re worthless. You have no skills. You are nothing without me.

She blinked and shook her head, the wretched words, his words would forever haunt her. “You’re wrong. You fucking asshole. You’ll see.” Yeah, she’d show the world. Her thoughts drifted to Maverick and her legs began to shake. She knew he was badly hurt. Even the good doctor was concerned. She could tell by Diego’s expression and the wretched look in his eyes. He didn’t want to tell her the truth. She was going to lose the one thing she loved in this very world, the only thing that she could love.

Crumpling to her knees, she cradled her arms around her legs, pulling them to her chest. The water continued to pound down, mixing with her tears. She rocked back and forth as flashes of the past fueled her now vile anger. She was going to destroy Anthony, no matter how long or how much money she had to spend in order to do so.

Maverick. She could hear his fearful whimpers in her mind. She knew he was looking for mommy dog. He was all alone and scared. He’d tried to protect her. He was her savior. No, he was her salvation. Strong. You will be powerful and you will fight. Sniffing, she whipped the salty beads away, determined to close down her emotions.

After a few minutes, she rose to her feet and finished her shower. Tonight, she’d placed her beloved pup’s wellbeing in the hands of a stranger. Karma was kicking her in the ass. This was going to be the toughest thing she had to deal with in her life.

McKenzie found a robe on the back of the bathroom door. A smile crossed her face as she studied the red and blue plaid design. Somehow, she couldn’t see the cowboy vet in something like this. Still, the flannel was warm and cozy, the scent all male. She held the material close to her nose, drinking in his essence. A staunch sense of embarrassment, she shook away the thought and donned the attire.

Antsy, she retrieved her wine and walked toward the kitchen to refill her glass. She stood staring out the window, thinking about the last year. There was nothing she could do but fight Anthony, demanding a divorce. He’d grow bored soon enough, preferring to play with one of his blonde bimbos.

Her thoughts drifted to Diego. The cowboy was certainly a breath of fresh air. He also understood her desires, not judging or condemning her. The concept was not what she’d expected from anyone. She could remember the look in her best friend’s eyes when she’d expressed her desires for discipline, being punished for being a bad girl. The admittance had almost cost them their friendship. As if that mattered. She’d left everyone behind forever.

“Stop,” she muttered. She had to start thinking clearly so she could develop a plan. Maybe Diego could help. Groaning, she rubbed her eyes.

What was it about this man, this stranger that intrigued her so much? Why was she thinking about future possibilities when her life was in ruins? Perhaps she’d never figure out the answer but certainly not tonight. Resigned, she sipped her wine and said a prayer for Maverick.

Chuckling, she noticed the orange glow in the distance and frowned, uneasiness settling into her system. She couldn’t help but wish Anthony would die in a massive fire. Yeah, then she wouldn’t have to worry about the crap she was going to have to go through. Yes, the concept was delicious.

Snorting, she settled on the couch, propping up her feet and finishing her wine. Minutes later she began to nod off. As vivid images settle into her subconscious, she smiled. If only there were bears in the Virginia woods. Perhaps a pack of wolves would do the trick. Or a hitman.

If only she had the courage.

SYNOPSIS

The words have haunted McKenzie Reynolds for months. Running away wasn’t the best answer, but she had zero choices. If she stayed, he’d have continued down his path of abuse disguised as domestic discipline. Once a man she thought she could trust, his evil deeds slip past the mask. A new home. A new life. Only her Golden Retriever, Maverick by her side. She is free, ready for every new challenge, including the chance at love.

Until he finds her…

Dr. Diego Mitchell, a struggling veterinarian, leaves his past and every bad memory behind, or at least he tries to. He has begun forging new relationships in a new community, while developing clientele. On a stormy night, he learns a valuable lesson as tragedy strikes. He’s forced to use his valuable skills to save a life, but what he doesn’t expect is a rush of emotions, including the need to protect. The mysterious woman might be his savior.

Two strangers bond together as a mystery develops, leaving the local ranchers terrified of the recent arsons. With several dead, including an unidentified man, McKenzie is not only the key but perhaps the intended victim. A game of cat and mouse ensues and McKenzie and Diego race to find answers before the monster strikes again.

Can McKenzie take a chance and truly trust Diego?  Can Diego push his demons away, so he can protect McKenzie? Will the rugged cowboy be able to rescue the woman he loves? Will the scared, haunted woman take back her power and rescue the man she loves, right back? Together, can they survive and heal?

The first in a collection of stories involving humans who rescue beloved animals. Or is it the other way around?

I so hope you enjoyed! 

Piper

Give Away – Enter for a chance to win a copy!! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8c68ecfdf4a1e21e

PURCHASE LINK

 

 

Release Day Celebration

I am so excited and thrilled that today is release day for an amazing group of stories. 25 sizzling bad boy novellas from some of the hottest authors in the industry. HERO UNDERCOVER is about – you guessed it, heroes who romance, thrill, chill and sometimes piss us off. But in the end, they are the prefect rugged man, the one we dream about. I want to say congratulations to my fellow authors and a huge thank you to Blushing Books for their help, love, dedication and belief in all of us. I correct hero undercover coverstill have my sexy contest going so help me get to 100 followers on my blog! Don’t forget to take a peek at one sexy trailer at the end. You are so going to love it!

BTW – Blushing is donaties to several charities upon each sale. The following are just two of them. Something to keep in mind. 

http://www.lawmemorial.org/http://www.copline.org/

Please enjoy a taste of my romantic suspense novella:

A TASTE FOR RED

SYNOPSIS

Private Investigator Shanna Jacobs has no issue chasing scumbag criminals down on her Harley. Blackmailed into working with the local police department, the case involving wine fraud utilizes one of her many talents. However, going undercover alongside a sexy cowboy cop may destroy her mask of steel. Detective Cody Walker is estranged from his ranch in Montana, taking the only job offered after his involvement in a horrific incident. Working alongside, Shanna and Cody realize the case isn’t what it seems. As they delve into the clues, sparks fly, but both refuse to accept their growing need. Can he save the woman he’s fallen in love with before it’s too late?

EXCERPT

Shanna held up the wine glass. The moonlight cast a smoky haze through the thin crystal. “Stoker and Scotty boy know each other.”

Cody coughed and eased beside her, sitting with his knees bent by the edge of the pool. “You’re observant.”

“Very. I need to be in my line of work. I suspect the little pudge ball of a man works for him. That’s my gut feeling.”

“You made such a wonderful impression on the poor, unsuspecting store clerk.” Cody chuckled and sniffed the contents of the glass.

Dangerous man with gun“He’s a putz. You really don’t know very much about wine. Do you?” Seeing Stoker at the store had almost derailed her.

“Enough to get by when taking a lady out to dinner. Granted, that’s been a solid two years.”

The comment surprised Shanna. She tipped her head in his direction. “Why? Don’t tell me you’re a closet gay guy.”

“You don’t mince words. Do you? And no, I’m not gay. Just…” He looked toward the pool, his brow furrowed.

“Some lady did a real number on you.”

“About as much as whatever guy made you hate all men.”

Shanna snorted. “Let’s drink to remaining single.”

“What’s so special about this wine anyway?” He took a sip of wine.

“Well, it’s priced at almost a thousand dollars a bottle and difficult to find in small wine shops.”

Cody choked, wine spewing past his lips. “Shit. I just lost a good fifty bucks or so. You bought two bottles of thousand dollar wine?”

“A message was sent. Very few people know their wines. They may pretend, purchasing something a friend told them about or a trendy wine, but this one is a sleeper varietal. If Scotty is in the middle of the game of fraud, ears have been perked up all over town.” She’d noticed at least two customers who she knew they’d see again. After taking a sip she smiled. “This is one of the finest wines I’ve ever had. Very seductive in the aftertaste. Rich with a floral aroma that just tickles your nose.”

“You do know your wines.” Cody polished off the remainder. “Let’s have another glass. Shall we?” He stood and grabbed the bottle from the table. When he sat back down he grinned. “Here’s to a one thousand dollar date. One of the best ones I’ve had in a hell of a long time.”

She held out her glass as he poured the rest of the wine into their glasses. Enjoying the moment, she bit her lip and kicked her feet out in the water. The lights were soothing, crimson and electric blue, creating shimmers in the lapping waves. She couldn’t think this way. She had to stick to her guns. There was no going back. Why? Why? Her inner voice had been nagging her all day. No, she couldn’t cave in. Business. Get back to business. “I do know my wines.”

“A resume builder?” He plopped back down and grinned, clinking his glass with hers. “Teasing. Can’t you take a joke? Lighten up.”

“Christine and I have gone to many wine tastings. That’s how she knew I could pass for an expert.” She turned her head before rolling her eyes. After this case, she’d terminate her relationship with Taylor and King. She refused to have anything held over her head. Why did his lips look so kissable tonight? She swallowed hard and hid behind her glass, catching her breath. The wine. Her reaction had to be because of the wine.

“Stoker is attracted to you. That’s for certain. Shit, I don’t blame him. The way you look in that dress. Whew.”

“Why do you say that?” She could tell what Cody was thinking. While his lurid thoughts should make her uncomfortable, instead, she was wet with desire. This wasn’t good. Not at all.

“He in as much told me that I need to control you and that he’d be happy to help. Are you certain he’s never seen you before?”

Shanna laughed. “I kept in the shadows the entire week I was following him. Control? The man has no idea how to control a woman. He’s merely an abuser, just like the majority of men.” Yes, her words were laced with bitterness, her usual defense. “Don’t ask, Cody. Leave it alone.”

Cody sighed and mumbled under his breath. “Wouldn’t dream of delving into your private life, but I’m sorry. You don’t deserve to be hurt in any way. I only hope you can chip away at that block on your shoulder before it’s too late. You also deserve happiness.”

Happiness. She’d love to be happy, sharing life and love with a man, dreams coming true. “You don’t know me. You don’t want to know me.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. I’d like to get to know you, if only you’d drop that suit of armor you’re wearing.” He reached out, brushing the back of his hand across her arm.

Thank you so much. I’m a part of an amazing blog tour. Here’s a link to a raffle. Good luck on the win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PURCHASE LINKS

http://tinyurl.com/y9gjs7tj   iBooks

amzn.to/2s1di5J  Amazon

tinyurl.com/ycktvt24   B & N

SEXY TRAILER

Imagine Needing Rescue…

We’ve been talking a lot about heroes as of late and again, I’m so thrilled and proud to be a part of Hero Undercover – a compilation with 24 other authors from Blushing Books. The huge collection is all about heroes. Well, heroes come in all shapes and sizes – including furry ones. My love of all things animal related has always been a part of my writing, but I wanted to highlight just how amazing in particular dogs can be. I have two beautiful Golden Retrievers and they are my world. They’d also super intelligent.

Rescue Me is a series revolved around animals and whether humans rescue them or Maveric_500x755the other way around, the love and honor given by fur babies is amazing. The first, and I have to admit, is all about a beloved Golden Retriever who is the only thing left in our heroine’s world. She’s gone through trauma, forced to leave everything and everyone she knows and try and forge a new life.

Unfortunately, monsters – the human kind – really do exist. They feed on our nightmares, our insecurities and they know how to destroy us. Or do they? The first coming from Blushing Books on June 27th. Please celebrate with me the extreme love and a book I’m so  very proud of.

MAVERICK – RESCUE ME

SYNOPSIS

If I can’t have you, no one will…

The words have haunted McKenzie Reynolds for months. Running away wasn’t the best answer, but she had zero choices. If she stayed, he’d have continued down his path of abuse disguised as domestic discipline. Once a man she thought she could trust, his evil deeds slip past the mask. A new home. A new life. Only her Golden Retriever, Maverick by her side. She is free, ready for every new challenge, including the chance at love.

Until he finds her…

Dr. Diego Mitchell, a struggling veterinarian, leaves his past and every bad memory behind, or at least he tries to. He has begun forging new relationships in a new community, while developing clientele. On a stormy night, he learns a valuable lesson as tragedy strikes. He’s forced to use his valuable skills to save a life, but what he doesn’t expect is a rush of emotions, including the need to protect. The mysterious woman might be his savior.

Two strangers bond together as a mystery develops, leaving the local ranchers terrified of the recent arsons. With several dead, including an unidentified man, McKenzie is not only the key but perhaps the intended victim. A game of cat and mouse ensues and McKenzie and Diego race to find answers before the monster strikes again.

Can McKenzie take a chance and truly trust Diego?  Can Diego push his demons away, so he can protect McKenzie? Will the rugged cowboy be able to rescue the woman he loves? Will the scared, haunted woman take back her power and rescue the man she loves, right back? Together, can they survive and heal?

The first in a collection of stories involving humans who rescue beloved animals. Or is it the other way around?

EXCERPT

Diego’s car careened to the side. He twisted and turned the wheel but skidded straight into a ditch. His body jerked forward, constrained by the seatbelt, yet the force knocked the wind out of him. When the car stopped, he sucked in his breath and shook his head. He blinked until he could focus and grabbed the rearview mirror. He’d hit something, but what? The darkened road was all he could see. He peered out of the windshield and controlled his breathing. Maybe a tree limb?

“God help me.” Fiddling with the belt, he struggled to release the clip. As he scrambled out of the car, he blinked in an attempt to make out anything. The wind howled but he heard a distinct whimpering sound. Swallowing hard, he lumbered forward. The rain continued to pour, making seeing anything all but impossible. Shaking, he stopped and listened.

“Eeee…”

He folded his arms across his chest and continued trudging in a straight line as the wind slashed rain across his face.  A lump formed in his throat. A knowing.

“No! My baby. No!”

cowboy with lassoHe heard anguish in a woman’s voice. The sound was close. Too close. Gulping, he held his hand over his eyes and continued walking. “Hello?”

The woman was crying hysterically, her wailing heard above the storm. “No! Please God no!”

“Miss, are you all right?” Dear God, let her be okay. Please God. Please.

“My baby. You hurt my baby,” she screeched. “What’s wrong with you? No. No. No.”

“What?” Diego could no longer feel his legs. He closed the distance and peered down. A dog lay in the middle of the road. The pup’s chest was heaving and the breathing irregular. This can’t be happening. “Oh God. I’m so sorry.” He looked up and down the road. If anyone came around the blind corner, they’d be crushed.

“You have to help me! He’s all I have. Why? Why?” She was shaking, her voice rattled.

“Hold on. Let me see. I might be able to help.” As he knelt down he touched her shoulder. She flinched and kept her hand on the dog’s head.

“Why? Why didn’t you stop?”

“I didn’t see you. The storm and…” He couldn’t finish his sentence. What if he hadn’t been distracted? What if he’d kept his eyes on the road?

Crack!

As the thunder rolled, a flash of lightning gave him a momentary view of the injured animal. There was a massive gash on the dog’s neck as well as one of the back legs was twisted in an unnatural position. He realized that the animal could be in critical condition. Talk to her. Keep her calm. “What’s his name?” He eased his hand down the length of the dog’s torso. The heart rate was fast, but strong.

“Maverick. His name is Maverick and he’s all I have. All I have.” She crouched down, placing her face against the dog’s. She moaned as she rubbed his back. “He’s everything.”

The name stunned him momentarily. “Maverick?” An unwelcome memory surfaced and he was momentarily lost, the past strangling his breathing.

“You have to help him.”

“I’m trying. I don’t know what you want me to do.”

“He’s dying. You can’t let him die,” she wailed as she clutched his jacket, tears streaming down her face.

“I…I can’t. I don’t know how.”

“Mister, are you hearing me? You have to help him.” The woman turned her head in his direction. “You just have to make everything okay. Do you understand me? Do you!”

“I…” Diego jerked back to reality, shaking from the intense vision. Another flash of light and he managed to see her horrified eyes as well as her swollen lip. They’d both been running from something. You can do this. You’re trained. You know what to do. “Okay. I’m a vet. Let’s try and get him to my car. We’re not safe here on the road. Are you able to walk?” Placing his hand on Maverick’s heart he knew the situation was dire. There was no doubt the dog had to have internal bleeding. He had no choice but to move him.

“Yeah,” she mumbled and wiped rain from her face.

Maverick lifted his head, a single whimper escaping his lips. He lifted his paw to Diego, his eyes imploring.

Diego calculated the dog’s chances of survival. He believed that things occurred in the world for a reason. Tonight, his entire being was being challenged, let alone his very soul. “Come on buddy. It’s going to be okay.” He gingerly lifted the dog into his arms and rose to his feet, nuzzling the injured pup close to his chest. He prayed the car would start and he could get out of the ditch.

“Careful. Don’t hurt him. Please.” She huddled behind Diego as they struggled to get back to his car.

He opened the back door and eased Maverick inside. From the amber glow of the interior light, he managed to study her features. Whatever had occurred, the woman had suffered almost as much. “Go to the side of the road until I can get the car out of the ditch.”

“I’m not leaving him.” She gripped his jacket, her fingers digging into his arm. “Never. Do you hear me?”

Feigning a smile, he patted her hand. “And I’m not going anywhere. Okay? Trust me.”

In a few seconds she released her hold and took a step back, looking over her shoulder. She bit her lip. “Looks like you’re stuck. Why did this happen. Why?”

“Don’t count my old steed out just yet, missy. I’ve been through much worse.” Diego crossed his fingers as he climbed into the driver’s seat, leaving the door open. He’d seen her terrified expression. Someone was after her. “Here we go.” The engine clicked twice before turning over. The roar of the V-8 was at least a good sign. He pushed the gear into drive and pressed his foot on the gas pedal. The tires did nothing but whirl, spinning in the mud. “Damn it.”

“Too much gas and power. Put the gear into first and tap the pedal.”

I so hope you enjoyed.

Have a sizzling day

Piper

Monster – Hero Undercover – Guest Jennifer Bene

Only a week away from the official release of one of the hottest compilations around. Being a part of Hero Undercover, novellas highlighting sexy heroes who have dangerous professions, is incredible. There are 25 stories from some of the most sensational authors around. We all love dark and dangerous men, those who thrill us while either protecting or attempting to destroy. Remember, Hero Undercover is available for pre-order at only $.99. While the official release is June 27th, the price is for a limited time only. Grab a copy or two!

Today, my guest is a wonderful lady, a great author and a new friend. Please take a taste of her inclusion…

MONSTER

SYNOPSIS

I’m a monster.

There are no pretty words to wrap up the things I’ve done, the things I’ve been witness to, all in the name of the law. But wrong or right gets mixed up the longer you’re undercover, and what used to be a mask feels more like who I really am with each passing day.

Cold, ruthless, vicious. I’m Paulo García’s monster, and I’d swallowed that bitter pill whole, learnedMonster_promo1_med to deal with it… until she stormed into the house like some avenging angel.

And that’s what she is, an angel.

Nicole wants to save her brother. She showed up with an envelope full of cash and a smart mouth and found herself in a den of monsters. I wish I could say I was the best of them, I wish I could say I wanted to protect her — but she’s so damn sweet, and my life’s been bitter for too long.

And all I want is a taste before this world destroys her.

EXCERPT

The boys opened the front door, and Paulo strolled into the sitting room, making his way to the wet bar. One of the most violent drug lords ever to come out of South America, and he looked like he was on vacation with his casual clothes, his falsely friendly demeanor. My grip on the tequila bottle tensed as I stared at the man, but I made sure my expression was blank. It didn’t matter how much I hated him, I was his until the job was done.

“Not curious about the girl, Andre?” Paulo asked, tilting up his fresh drink to take a sip.

“Why should I be curious when I can get the play by play just from listening?”

“Well, José seems to think she’s a security risk.”

“If you need her handled, I’ll do it, jefe. Otherwise, I see plenty of ass walking around Miami.” I stayed still. Discussing shit like this was practically second nature now.

Paulo chuckled, leaning back with his elbows on the bar. “That’s what I like about you, Andre. Cold as ice.” He waved his drink at the men crowding the front door where a buzz of conversation had picked up. “The others are so hot tempered, they don’t think. You think.”

“Emotion clouds judgment.”

“You’re right. My father used to say… mata a tu corazón, o te matará. Do you know correct hero undercover coverthis phrase?”

I hadn’t heard it before, but I knew what it meant, and it fit Paulo perfectly. “Kill your heart, or it will kill you.”

A shark’s grin spread across Paulo’s features. “Exactly. Emotion makes you weak, and weakness is death.”

“Your father was a smart man,” I answered, voice on automatic, but the words were almost overridden by the feminine shout that came from the front door.

“Are you in there Paulo García? HUH?”

The man’s eyebrows lifted the tiniest fraction, his chilling smile not shifting. “Let her in, José.”

“Keep your fucking hands off me.” The blonde that stumbled into the room from the foyer was clad in shorts and a form fitting blue shirt that had some phrase across it in pale, swirling text. Male laughter followed her, and I forced myself to be still, not even breathing so I wouldn’t move.

She was definitely American, and fucking beautiful, and as I turned my eyes back to Paulo I knew the man smelled blood in the water. A wicked hunger waking up in those coal black eyes — the same hunger that I hated myself for feeling. “Hola, señorita. What can I do for you?”

“Do for me?” Her voice was practically boiling with rage, tanned cheeks flushing with it as she held out a thick envelope. “How about leaving my little brother the fuck alone? I’ve got your money, and I want you to take it and then never fucking speak to him again — any of you! That is what you can do for me, asshole.”

Marco and Diego started laughing behind her, amused by her little outburst as they looked over her curves, her strong legs, all the way down to the multi-colored running shoes on her feet. Even Paulo seemed vaguely amused as he spread his arms wide. “I have no idea who your brother is, belleza, but if he owes me money that was his choice.”

“Fuck you! I know you hurt Chris, threatened him, but this is it. Take your money, and get out of his life!” She shook the envelope again, shouting, and my cock twitched at the same moment my stomach dropped.

Brave and stupid. Paulo was going to eat her alive.

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