Finding Retribution

Happy Sunday everyone. I’m happy to say that the next book being released is tentatively titled Suffer and the second in the Calduchi mafia family. You may remember Caught…my #1 Best Selling Release in Gothic Romance. Suffer is about the very dark and VERY dangerous brother – Giovanni. In truth, there wasn’t going to be another story but reader’s asked for Gio’s story so…  I thought you might like a taste – unedited but I think you’ll enjoy. Oh, and it’s releasing on March 22nd so be prepared for a haunted and very dominating man…

SUFFER

“Eh, Luigi, this is the best gravy you’ve made in decades.” When Montego Calduchi spoke, man with gun three
everyone listened and the entire room was leaning forward, as if the ordained crime boss was about to give an important speech.

Or issue a hit.

The man was powerful, considered one of the most dangerous men in America. He was without question a brutal monster, lording his reign over everyone. There wasn’t a single syndicate in the country who wouldn’t enjoying dethroning his empire, what would be my kingdom at some point.

Chicago.

Home of the White Sox and some of the sexiest women in the Mid-West.

Home of the most notorious crime family in the country.

My father had been head of the family for almost forty years, his acts of cruelty leaving a trail of blood for decades. No one defied him.

“Thank you, sir. Thank you so very much,” Luigi said, his raspy voice, altered by decades of heavy smoking, was no match for Montego’s deep baritone. He leaned over, obtaining the obligatory kiss on each cheek and a hug, my father slapping the frail man’s back with vigor.

The private suite door momentarily opened, I was given beautiful and sultry change in scenery. The long legged brunette had no doubt made a point to stand just outside the door, hoping for an opportunity to showcase her voluptuous body. I gave her a respectful nod, envisioning her naked body draped over my lap, my well-worn leather belt in my hand. The thought made my balls tighten and my cock press in the most uncomfortable manner against my Armani pants. Sadly, the sensuous vixen was like all the rest; hungry young women longing to obtain status as a Mafia mistress. The concept bored the fuck out of me.

“Me amigo,” Montego said as he pushed Luigi away, dismissing him from the room.

Already weary, I sat back, fingering the base of my wine glass, staring absently out the picture window and allowing the smoke from my Cuban cigar to billow in my father’s direction, one of many annoyances. A light rain continued to fall, creating a slight fog hovering over the busy street. This was my father’s favorite place to have lunch, a restaurant I’d often visited as a child. I only wished the location held the same found memory as did for my aging father.

Chuckling to myself, I took a sip of the expensive cabernet, longing to get the hell out of Chicago, even for a little while. Recent discussionswith my brother had left me with a nasty taste in my mouth even after the asshole had disappeared, ruining a decent business opportunity. There were seven of us positioned around a specially carved table, crafted from the finest and nearly extinct Brazilian woods.

All to my father’s likings and because of his demands.

The meeting had been mandatory, myself included. Seated were five top capos, the most vicious men in the syndicate. Bodyguards, the newest soldiers, remained on the outskirts of the room, keeping watch on the crowded street.

After giving me a dirty look, Montego’s eyes followed the chef, waiting until the aging man had left the room, closing the door behind him. Privacy was everything. “Prick.” He tossed his fork and yanked the napkin from the collar of his shirt. “Stupid man can’t make gravy to save his ass. He needs to get out of the business.”

My father certainly didn’t give a shit about anyone or anything.

Including his children.

Montego had already eaten the majority of his capellini, as always and we’d only been here fifteen minutes. The man truly disgusted me and the worst part? I’d ended up just like him. Hard edged, refusing to budge and my joy of slicing and dicing legendary. I was a man to be feared. I took another puff of my cigar, savoring the rich smoke. The box of Cubans had been a gift from one of the dozens of businesses my family protected. The expensive smokes had also been a thank you for allowing the greasy pig owner to live after being light on his payment.

There would be no more second chances.

“Then why are we still coming here, boss?” the soldier asked, his foot tapping on the floor from eagerness. “I could give you suggestions for some pretty good places.”

I held my tongue. The young soldier had just made his first blunder. He’d opened his mouth.

“Will you listen to that babbo?” Montego said, laughing as he glanced from one capo to another, expecting their agreement. His eyes landed on me last, the laughter turning sour given I was ignoring him. He called everyone in our organization an idiot, including his own sons. “The pussy boy thinks he has a brain inside that big head of his. Suggestions my ass.”

The men laughed, as they always did. Poor Antonio looked sheepish, regretting spewing the question. The kid shifted back and forth, trying his best to shrink into the woodwork.

“Can we get on with it?” I asked casually.

Montego’s smile instantly faded and he pounded his fist on the table. Complete silence swept across the room. “Fine. Let’s get to it.” Shifting back, he tapped his finger on the lip of his glass, his expression cold. “All this talk about New York taking over has put our organization in a precarious position. We have a rat in our family and we are going to find him. I won’t tolerate cock sucking pigeons. He needs to be put on ice.”

I blew out another puff of smoke, my lips allowing a floating ring to form. I’d heard rumblings in the organization, the same shit as months before. My concern was that not just the New York Syndicate was attempting to muscle in. There were others who saw our family as weak, especially given my brother had turned his back on the Calduchi name. However, Montego seemed to care less. He adored Jagger, the favorite son.

“Who the fuck is it?” Marco asked, his upper lip curled into a snarl.

“Yeah, boss. Any idea?” Daniel huffed, his fat face puffing out from anger.

I’d grown up with Marco, even considering him my best friend. Daniel, on the other hand, I didn’t trust for shit.

“That’s for you boys to find out and you’re going to do so within twenty-four hours or blood will rain in the streets,” Montego commanded then polished off his glass of burgundy before adjusting his tie.

Lunch was officially over.

The capo’s all nodded, and in my mind, three quarters of them were nothing but dancing bobblehead dolls. No brains but every one of them had damn good killer instincts.

“Stay, Gio. I need to discuss something with you,” Montego said without looking in my direction. Then he slowly turned his head and for a few seconds, I could see the strangest emotion in my father’s eyes.

Sadness.

I nodded, keeping my place but my gut told me things were about to change.

The second Montego pushed back from the table, the others rose out of respect. A split second before my periphery of vision was cut off, I noticed a glint and my instincts kicked in hard. I reached for my Glock, jumping over the table in an effort to yank my father away from the window. Mother fucker. “Get down!”

Pop!

Pop!

Pop!

***

“You’re going to fuckin’ save him!”

Antonio’s voice? What the hell was going on? I tried to move or focus, but my arms and legs weren’t responding. I don’t…

“You need to back off, sir. There’s a waiting room just outside the corridor. Go there!”

Waiting room. A torrent of images flooded my mind. Blood. My father. I was so cold, so freaking cold. Help me. Where the fuck was I?

“Well, you better take care of him, doctor!” The deep voice was one I recognized. Why couldn’t I speak? Marco, I…

“You’re going to be fine, boss!”

Light flickered then blackness and…

“We’re losing him. Get him into surgery. Stat!”

Wheels in motion. Voices. Blood. The world passing by…

“Where the hell am I?” There was no light, other than an orange glow somewhere in the distance. My mind was foggy, cobwebs filtering through every thought. I shook my head, expecting blinding pain. There was nothing. No cold. No anguish. No emotion.

Nothing.

The world was slanted, askew like my vision. Survival. The word hit me like a ton of bricks, leaving me with an urgent need to get the fuck out of this bleak place. Move. Move! My legs were sluggish, unresponsive. I slapped my hands on whatever surface was near me, struggling to move forward even a few inches. Jesus. What had happened? I would do this. What mother fucker had put me in this predicament?

With every inch of success, an overwhelming feeling of failure slithered into my system, filling me with dread and fear unlike anything I’d ever experienced.

Figures and faceless shapes seemed to come from nowhere, shoving against me as they moved, more and more of them until claustrophobia strangled every breath. I clawed at my neck, confusion mixing together with the fog.

“I warned you, son. There’s still time to repent.”

The voice was so warm and loving. I turned sharply, unable to see who’d issued the words. “Who are you?” There was no immediate answer. Anger. Now, all I could feel was extreme anger. Blinding rage. “Where the fuck are you?” I pushed and shoved, trying to force my way through the crowd but the faceless group seemed to block my way.

“Redemption. Pray for redemption, my sweet and loving son.”

“Mother?” The fucking assholes wouldn’t get out of my way. I punched, catching one then two of them, knocking them to the ground. Shapeless monsters. There were more of them, hundreds if not thousands, all heading in my direction. “Mother?”

“Find a way,” she whispered.

What do you think? I so hope you enjoyed.piper-party-time-banner

Don’t forget to stalk me in all the other sexy little places. And if you haven’t tasted Caught yet, well, you’re missing out!

CAUGHT

You don’t say no to a man like him.

If you’re forced to come to an arrangement with someone as dangerous as Jagger Calduchi, it means he’s about to take what he wants, and you’ll give it to him… even if it’s your body.

I got caught snooping where I didn’t belong, and Jagger made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. A week with him where his rules are the only rules, or his bought and paid for cops take me to jail.

He’s going to punish me, train me, and master me completely. When he’s used me so shamefully I blush just to think about it, maybe he’ll let me go home… or maybe he’ll decide to keep me.

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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

 

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

Rescue Me – Maverick

For any of you who know me, you learned very quickly that I’m a huge animal lover, especially dogs. I have two gorgeous Golden Retrievers and they rock my world. I also believes they are much smarter than most humans and deserve all the love, treats and care you can give them. Hence the concept of this brand new series. Sometimes we as humans have to rescue our fur babies, but what happens when its the other way around. Coming June 27th from Blushing Books – a story I’m very proud of.

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 Maveric_500x755mouse 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

Boom! Crash!

McKenzie Reynolds cringed as she inched toward the bay window. Another bolt of intense lightning sent tingles skating down her spine. She rubbed her arm and brought the wine glass to her lips. Stop. Just stop. Fear of the weather she didn’t need.

“Wwwaaaa…”

Maverick. Shivering, she swallowed hard hearing whimpers coming from the other room. Her beloved golden retriever hated thunderstorms as much as she did. A sip of wine turned into a gulp. Sadly, even the expensive merlot couldn’t calm her nerves. Nor had the sleeping pills the night before. The storm added to her growing list of fears and concerns, the majority intangible. At least her only real girlfriend kept telling her. Little did Jessie know about the life she led behind her usually pristine mask. The mask was now brittle, pieces falling away into oblivion. She laughed bitterly before tipping her head towards the terrified pup. “There you are. Were you hiding under the bed again?” Of course, he sensed her worry. He always knew when she was sad or angry. How many tears had she shed while burying her head into his fur?

Maverick padded into the living room, his tail hanging between his legs. “Woof.”

“It’s okay, baby. Nothing’s going to hurt you.” Not unless she was six feet under. After patting her thigh three times, Maverick finally inched forward, his eyes never leaving hers. “My baby boy. Mommy loves you.” Crouching down, she snuggled against his neck, drinking in the same sweet scent he’d had since a puppy. He licked her face as his tail whapped back and forth. Her baby was her constant comfort, sleeping next to her every night, abating nearly all her nightmares. She kissed his muzzle and eased to her feet. Every nerve was on edge.

“Sometimes I feel like there’s not going to be a tomorrow.” The words were hollow, the sound little more than a ragged whisper, but Maverick understood. Nuzzling against her legs, he huffed as if acknowledging her concerns.

“I know, baby. A new life. A better world. Maybe I’m just a fool.” All she wanted was peace yet the hackles on the back of her neck remained armed and ready. The storm was a nasty reminder of her past – cold and stormy.

Wham!

“Shit!” The exclamation rushed from her mouth. She opened her eyes wide and watched as a tree limb thudded on the rain soaked ground. Maverick turned in circle after circle, his nails scraping against the old wooden floor. She allowed a thin smile as he nuzzled in between her legs. As she placed her hand on top of his head, a pair of headlights in the distance caught her attention. She expected no one, not on a night where the weather station had mentioned the possibility of tornadoes. A thin line of sickening anticipation slithered down the back of her legs as her intuition kicked in.

The monster was here.

McKenzie rubbed Maverick’s ear and licked a bead of wine from her glass. The warm day had turned into a tumultuous night. The humid and wet weather pattern was completely unusual for Virginia at the end of December. Christmas Day had brought torrential downpours, further exacerbating her horrific mood swings. Now she was praying for the start of the new year. A bitter laugh slipped past her lips. As if there’s be something to look forward to. Her thoughts turned ugly, memories of so many wretched months lingering deep in her psyche.

Maverick’s yelp dragged her back to reality. She prayed the visitor would veer off toward one of her two neighbors, even if they were acres apart. When the stream of light drew closer, she cursed under her breath.

“Go away. Please, go away.” Don’t let him get the best of you. He’s a lying sack of shit. He’s a piece of dirt. He’s a worthless son of a bitch. All true. Then why did tears threaten to fall down her cheeks? She gripped Maverick’s neck for support. This was merely a poor soul lost in the storm. The unwanted visitor had to be a stranger.

The lights dimmed and blipped, going off completely then popping back on a second later. Whoever had found her wasn’t going anywhere.

“Gggrrr…”

“Shhh… We have late night visitors. Be on your best behavior.” Please God make them go away. Please, oh please.

“Woof!”

Boom!

Biting her lip, she eased away from the window. Shadows had become her friend. She concentrated on the bright LED lights on her Christmas tree. The colorful decoration was supposed to have brought her happiness. Right. There’d been no Christmas for her, except for a single party with a few acquaintances. Even the festive event hadn’t brightened her mood. This was no longer her favorite time of year.

A vivid series of images flashed in the back of her mind. She’d been happy once upon a time. Laughter and love, nights spent in front of the fireplace or outside on the deck had been the norm. Then everything had changed, leaving her empty.

A series of lightning bolts made her shudder. Within a few seconds, she heard the sound of heavy feet on her front porch. Her stomach churned as the front door knob was turned, the person behind the door anticipating entrance without interference.

“Asshole,” McKenzie whispered. She took another gulp of wine and moved in front of the door. She glanced over her shoulder as Maverick whined. The poor baby didn’t know there was a jerk off standing less than a foot away, only three inches of solid oak standing in the way. Or maybe he did know given his teeth were barred. This couldn’t be happening. She’d planned carefully, or so she thought. Maybe her attorney had accidentally slipped, giving out her address. If so, she’d fire his ass.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

Instantly she placed her index finger over her mouth and shook her head, willing Maverick to be quiet. She held her breath hearing nothing for a full minute.

I hope you enjoyed and do something for me today – donate to a shelter. Fur babies will bring you more joy than you’ve ever known.