Today we welcome Alandra Pargas from RENDEVOUS WITH DANGER! Can you introduce yourself? Tell us a bit 

about yourself?

My name is Alandra Pargas and I’m a former CIA Counter-Intelligence officer, but a couple of years ago, I went back into nursing. I’ve always had an adventurous life, but it took a turn for the worst three years ago. I was on assignment in Guerrero Mexico and things went horribly wrong. My cover was blown, and I was kidnapped by the most dangerous drug cartel in Guerrero, Mexico. My boyfriend at the time, Quinn Hamilton, was a former Navy SEAL. Instead of waiting for the CIA to get a team together to get me out of Mexico, Quinn and a couple of his friends rescued me.  

Quinn had already hated my job, saying that it was too dangerous and by the time he finished blowing up buildings in Coyuca de Catalan and killing Orlando Medina, a ruthless drug lord, he wanted me to quit my CIA job. Of course I didn’t. Well, anyway, if you’re interested, that whole situation was captured in a short story, Secret Rendezvous, that’s FREE at all ebook online retailers.

Shortly after the situation in Guerrero, when I returned home to the D.C. area, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I would have to endure a lengthy debriefing. Unfortunately, things got worse before they got better. I was not only accused of selling secrets to North Korea, but I was also lured to Tzbekystan, a small fictitious country near Germany. That turned out to be the worst time in my life. I was gunned down in front of the man I love more than life – Quinn, and almost bled to death from a gunshot wound. It’s a long story… but long story short, Quinn was seriously injured during that ambush, and thought I had died. And I’m embarrassed to say, but for three years, I let him believe that I was dead. I know it sounds crazy…but I had good reason to do what I did. I don’t want to bore you with all the details, but you can read about our reunion in Sharon C. Cooper’s latest release, Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series.

What is my physical condition and my concepts of comfort? Is physical exertion normal for me, or difficult, or somehow socially disparaged?

I’m happy to say that I am in excellent physical
condition. Despite the life-threatening chest wound I received in Tzbekystan, it didn’t leave any life-altering disabilities. It only left a five-inch scar, and at times some severe nightmares.

For the most part, I’ve always been athletic and even studied Taekwondo. I’m now a third degree black belt. My skills have served me well especially over the last few years where I have been literally fighting for my life. And because of my former job as a counter-intelligence officer, I have made it a point to stay in shape by running and working out on a regular basis.

When you think of your childhood kitchen, what smell do you associate with it? Why is that smell so resonant for you?

As you can probably tell, I’m mixed race. My father was Latino, my mother African American. So needless to say, food was a big deal in our house. Both my parents were excellent cooks. We were well fed on tamales, tacos and arepas, as well as collard greens and fried chicken. Lol! I don’t think there is one smell that resonates with me more than another, but if I had to pick one, I would have 
to say the smell of tamales. My father was killed in Kuwait when I was younger and I can’t help but think of him whenever I smell tamales. They remind me of times when my sisters and I would crowd around him whenever he was in the kitchen cooking.

How do you show who you are in the way you maintain your appearance? How far do your social and economic circumstances allow you to control how you appear to others? What clothing or adornment feels comfortable to you? Will you endure discomfort for the sake of meeting social expectations of beauty or power? 

I keep things pretty simple. Since I normally have to travel light, I don’t have a whole lot of stuff, which means I don’t have closets overflowing with clothes and shoes. There was a time when Quinn and I were apart and I was in between jobs that I couldn’t afford to do a lot of shopping, and now that I have an unlimited budget, I’m still not a big shopper. I’m at my most comfortable in jeans and a sweater or a T-shirt. My hair is naturally curly so I don’t spend hours at the hair salon, and according to Quinn, I don’t need make-up. So I’m a get up and go kind of girl. Now don’t get me wrong, when I’m going out with Quinn or attending a government function, I go all out with the nice dress and heels.

What are your most prized possessions? Do you hoard anything? Do you have so much of anything that I care little if I must give it away?

I’m definitely not a hoarder. When I was accused of selling secrets to North Korea, I got out of town – quick, leaving pretty much everything behind except for my numerous passports and identifications. I left town in order to do my own investigation into the situation and to figure out who was trying to frame me. During that time, I was lured to Tzbekystan, where I was almost killed. I had nothing except the clothes on my back. I friend helped me get to California, where I hid out for three years and slowly put my life back together. With all of that said, my most prized possession is a diamond ring that Quinn gave me recently that I will cherish until the day I die.


Quinn eased around the paint-chipped pillar, and along the musty-smelling hallway, his gun held close to his body and ready to shoot anyone who got in his way. All he needed was to leave the building without being detected.

“You have twelve minutes to get out of there Q,” Malik said through Quinn’s earpiece.

Quinn proceeded through the corridor, his body tight against the uneven wall. He made the first turn and moved down the dimly lit hallway where a single bulb dangled from a sub-standard light fixture. He heard voices coming from a room to his right, so he turned left and maneuvered down the staircase. Ten more yards and he would be home free.

He made it to the final step and halted when he heard footsteps running on the level above him and then down the stairs behind him. He ducked into a nearby utility closet, not closing the door completely.

“We have a problem,” he heard Malik say in his ear.

No kidding, Quinn thought.

“Two snipers on the rooftop of the building adjacent to the one you’re in. Sit tight.”

Missions like this Quinn normally did solo, but he was glad Malik was there. They’d run into a few snags, and his presence had proven beneficial.

“All clear.”

No longer hearing footsteps, Quinn eased back into the hallway, down the back stairs and out of the building into the night. He made sure the information he had just stolen was secure inside his jacket, and he inched toward the gate. A tree branch snapped. Quinn slammed his body against the brick wall, blending into the darkness of the night. He stood still for several seconds and heard it again. Slowly, he turned his head toward the noise. What he saw, several yards away under the dim moonlight, made his heart stop.

Alandra. What in the… He blinked several times, unable to fathom why she was thousands of miles from home, and standing in the middle of what could easily become a war zone.

He retraced his steps. She anxiously looked around the area and then back at the small device she held in her hands. Within five feet of her, he must have made a noise because her head shot up and their eyes connected. And in slow motion everything exploded around her.

“Get down!” he yelled and saw her fall to her knees.

Without thinking he ran to her and chaos erupted in every direction. He scooped her up and nestled her behind a long concrete block and then he noticed she’d been shot.

“Oh, shit.”

“Quinn,” she said, grasping at his shirt, her eyes wild. “Please … be careful.”

“Malik, I need you. Now!” Quinn growled into his mouthpiece giving Malik his location while he jerked out of his jacket and placed it under Alandra’s head.

“On my way,” Malik said.

“Hang on baby. We’re going to get you out of here.” He ripped open her down vest and then her shirt to determine the extent of her injury. Blood spilled from the chest wound. Damn. He glanced around trying to decide the best route to safety as he removed his shirt, leaving him with only a black T-shirt on. Gunshots rang out around him as he pressed his shirt over her wound to slow the bleeding.

“Quinn… I love…you. I have to tel…”

“I love you too, baby, but I need you to hold... Oh, damn. Alandra? Alandra?” he growled when her eyes rolled to the back of her head. He cradled her closer to his body, willing her to stay with him. “Lan…” he started but felt a bullet slap the back of his shoulder - and then his back. Paralyzed by the sharp pain that traveled down his spine, gripping him like steel claws, he struggled to hold on to Alandra, fighting the blackness that threatened to overpower him.

“Alandra, baby, I...need you…to hold on.”

Terrific, heart-pumping excerpt! Get

Rendezvous with Danger on Amazon (This book is exclusive to Amazon)


Sharon C. Cooper

Best-selling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense.

Sharon is a Pro member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit


What better to get us over the hump of the week, sliding back down hill to the weekend, than visiting with Dane and Sara from ESCAPE TO MY ARMS? I love it when fictional characters take time out of their busy lives to share with us!

So Dane--I love that name by the way--tell me about yourself? What are your strengths & weaknesses?

I’m an outdoorsy kind of guy. I like to hunt and fish and go to the range for target practice. My biggest strength is probably that I know a lot of survival skills that don’t involve any kind of gadgets. I can navigate with only a compass and a map, I can kill and cook my own food, I can pump my own water from my well. I’m pretty self-sufficient. My biggest weakness is that I don’t let people in to know me on a deeper level than just being the guy having a beer at the bar.

That's a problem for a lot of guys, but it's good that you are so self-aware. What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

My family is all gone so I’m on my own. Being on my own has really affected a lot about me. It’s the reason I am a bit withdrawn from people, the reason I live in the cabin and the reason I am so content with living on my own. I’ve been on my own so long now that it’s hard to remember what it’s even like to have a family.

That must be a lonely existence. If you could pick any tangible object to symbolize you, what would you pick and why?

Probably my bow. It’s strong and powerful even if it doesn’t come off that way. I take aim, fire and hit my target, always getting what I want.

How did you and Sara meet? And what was your first impression of her?

We met when I shot at her truck in the woods. In my defense, her truck shouldn’t have been on my property in my woods. Luckily I only hit the truck and not her. My first impression was that this girl who tried to defend herself with a teeny tiny pocketknife was way out of her element and that she was probably going to be a pain in the ass. I was right. 

Ooh! So what DO you like about Sara?

What’s not to love? She’s smart and funny and sarcastic. She’s resourceful and surprisingly prepared for any situation. And I do mean any situation. Good thing too or that would have been an uncomfortable evening for me. She’s a quick learner and a good listener. And she’s hot. Have you seen her in a tank top? Damn. My darlin’ is fine.

On that note, let's turn the tables for a minute and ask Sara a few questions. Sara, tell me about yourself? Strengths, weaknesses?

I’m your average kind of girl. Except that I have a hidden bunker with my family full of supplies that will help us survive the end of the world as we know it, should it ever happen. My biggest weakness is that I haven’t trained with any kind of weapons. I’m sure that makes me easier prey if the time ever comes. But for now, it doesn’t bother me that much. I don’t want to fight anyway. I’m not a fighting kind of person. My biggest strength is probably my resourcefulness and problem solving. I can usually see a problem and plan how to fix it before it even becomes an issue.

What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

My family is the reason why I got into the prepping lifestyle. They were all big into being prepared for anything and I guess it just rubbed off on me. After a while, adding supplies like clothes and food to a hidden bunker each month just started to feel normal. Now I can’t imagine what I’d do without the bunker and my prepper family.

Okay. Now that we've got the basics out of the way, let's go for a juicy one. Describe Dane for us. What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?

I was terrified of Dane when we met. He was this big, scary guy with a gun and I didn’t know what he’d do to me after he found me on his property. Lucky for me, Dane is only big and terrifying on the outside. Inside he’s a big mush. My opinion totally changed to seeing him not as a threat but as an ally. Now he’s my big, muscley protector!

He is at that! But is there anything about Dane that you would consider a flaw?

He’s stubborn and set in his ways. Did I answer that too quickly? He knows what he wants, what he likes and what he’s willing to do. Try to get him to change something that his mind is set on and you may as well be trying to make a pig learn to fly. It just isn’t going to happen.

I believe it! How about a lighter question? If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?

If I had a free day… a free normal day… I’d find a beach somewhere, sit in the sand, drink a fruit beverage and watch the water. I can almost feel the breeze on my cheeks now.
Sounds wonderful about now! Thank you for stopping in and sharing yourselves with us today.

Thank you so much for having Dane and I here today to chat! We had a great time!
My pleasure! You can check out ESCAPE TO MY ARMS by clicking on the following links:




Find out more about Heather Thurmeier by going to her website at:




Sara’s been preparing for this moment her whole life—she just never believed it would actually happen. With her bug-out bag and emergency food already in her truck, her only goal is to get to her family’s hidden bunker and wait out the pandemic that’s hit every major cruise ship port in the US. But her plan quickly falls apart. She’s out of gas, her route to the bunker is now a two-lane parking lot with no alternative in sight, and her only weapon is a pocketknife. For an experienced prepper, she’s made every rookie mistake.

Dane believes he’s safe in his cabin, off the beaten path and in the woods with his own source for water, electricity and an endless supply of food to hunt. After finding Sara stranded and alone, he’s suddenly not only providing for and protecting himself, but also the girl who wandered out of the woods and into his life. When looters come looking to take what he has, Sara and Dane’s only option is to make a run for their last hope—the bunker.

Can Sara and Dane find safety in each other’s arms and will they survive long enough to escape to a future together?

Love the premise! Here's an excerpt:

Sara sipped her wine and nibbled on another square of chocolate. He was right. Again.

They didn’t know what would happen in the future. Hell, they didn’t even know if there was a future to look forward to at this point. So why shouldn’t they enjoy the moments like this one while they could? Moments when they were safe, warm, fed, and comfortable. They might not get many more nights like this if things kept getting worse, as they seemed to be. Best to savor the time while you had it instead of squandering it away with fights.

At this point, she didn’t even know what future awaited her at the bunker. Would she live with her family for the rest of their lives, never to interact with people from the outside world again? That’s sort of what they wanted, wasn’t it? Wasn’t that why they hadn’t told anyone about the bunker, because they couldn’t trust anyone?

What if this was her last night on her own? It might be her last night to live her life however she wanted to before she had to start making group decisions with her family.

“You’re right.” She polished off the last of her wine in a big gulp. Her head already swirled with the effects of the alcohol. She’d always been a lightweight when it came to getting drunk. Tonight would be no different. Good thing she’d planned to stop at one this evening. She had other plans for the rest of the night.

“Right about what exactly? I said a bunch of stuff.”

She put her wineglass on the floor and took his hand in hers. “You were right about enjoying this moment we have tonight since we don’t know what the future holds, or even if we have a future.”

“Does this mean I’m forgiven?” He smiled, squeezing her hand.

“Yes. And then some.”

Sara took the wineglass from his hand and set it down next to hers, then straddled his lap, resting her hands on his chest. She pressed her mouth to his, delighting in the surprise on his face.

She wasn’t a throw-caution-to-the-wind kind of girl, but for once she was going to do just that, since she didn’t know if she’d have wind to be cautious of later on. Tonight, she’d live by her feelings. Tomorrow she’d go back to surviving.

Great excerpt! Well what are y'all waiting for? Click on over to Amazon and pick a copy up!


Truly author Becky Flade had me at Aidan and Maggie. Two of my favorite names paired together, who could ask for more? And then, she allowed me to interview them...

So Aidan, tell me about yourself. For instance, what is your occupation, and why? What are your strengths & weaknesses?

Hello. My name is Aidan Gael. I’m independently wealthy due to a large family inheritance and I keep that income stream steady with stock ventures and savvy investments. But I consider my occupation to be a horse rancher, that’s what I “do.” I’m not comfortable discussing my strengths and weaknesses. Matter of fact, I’m not comfortable discussing the answers to most of your questions. I am a very private person.

Well I appreciate that you are stepping out of your comfort zone to spend some time with us today. Would it be safe to ask how you two met? What was your first impression of Maggie?

Maggie and I first met, officially, when she came past my ranch to go for a horseback ride. I wasn’t aware that Sly, my ranch hand, had invited her and I was deliberately rude. She held her own and I was intrigued with and attracted to her, despite myself.

What is it that you want out of life?

Before Maggie barged into my life all I wanted was to be left alone with my horses and my secrets. But now, all I want is Maggie.

You've done a great job answering the hard questions, so I'll give you a break and ask you a few fun ones.  If you owned a CB radio what would your "handle" be? What would Maggie's be?

I guess mine would have to be “Asshole” and Maggie’s would be “Rockstar.”

*Clears throat.* I see. Well what CD is in your CD player right now?

Assuming Maggie hasn’t gotten to it? Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits.

Thank you, Aidan. Now we'll find out a little bit more about Maggie. Maggie you get to start off with the same question. First, tell me about yourself.  What is your occupation, etc? Then, your strengths, weaknesses.

Hi, I’m Maggie O’Connell, wow, occupation okay, investigative reporter turned tabloid journalist turned aspiring novelist. I’m naturally curious and I tend towards stubborn when I get my teeth into something, that’s probably both strength and weakness. I’m fiercely independent but that’s more from upbringing than design. I try to be honest and fair with others and I expect to be treated the same in return. I love music, books, and animals.

Okay. What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

My family is complicated. My father died when I was young. My mother and I are not close; she isn’t what one would call, maternal. And my stepfather is a jerk. But I was blessed. My former nanny, Mrs. O’Connell, I took her name after my mother remarried, and my best friend’s family stepped in and filled the void left by my mother’s lack of affection. They loved me.  They kissed my scraped knees and tanned my butt, when needed it.
I expect that has a lot to do with the woman I am today.

If you could pick a tangible object to symbolize you, what would it be?

I don’t know that it symbolizes me, really, but I have this carving of a wolf that an Indian woman gave to me in the mall in Brandwyne the day I went shopping for my first date with Aidan. It was beautiful but way out of my price range. The shop owner followed me out of her store and gave it to me anyway. The whole exchange was pretty crazy, but that carving? I can’t really explain why, it’s precious to me.

Is there anything about Aidan that you would consider a flaw?

Other than his awful taste in music? I’m joking. Aidan is incredibly guarded. He’s afraid to trust; and not just others, he’s doesn’t even believe in himself. He needs faith.

And finally, what CD is in your CD player right now?               

Slash’s Apocalyptic Love               .

Interesting! Well thanks with sharing with us today. And now I'd like to tell folks a little more about your story.


Investigative journalist Maggie O’Connell went from hard hitting exposés to alien abductions in the

blink of an eye, but she did it with style. Her next big lead takes her to northern Minnesota hot on the trail of a werewolf and straight into the arms of Aidan Gael, a horse rancher with way more secrets than he has friends. Maggie may get the story but the man who shares the wolf’s compelling green eyes may end up with her heart - provided they can keep each other alive.


She watched as the wolf sauntered closer. She followed him with her eyes as he passed by. He really was insanely large. She guessed him at nearly four feet tall and probably near six feet in length. His pelt was beautiful, thick and gray with the occasional fleck of black and silver. The urge to reach out and run her fingers through his pelt was intense, but Maggie thought it would be rude, so she simply watched in awe as he settled down about a yard in front of her. Laying his massive head on his paws he cocked his head to the side and watched her.
“Would you have known I’d been to your little clearing if I hadn’t left the chew toy? Wolves have very sharp hearing and sense of scent; you would’ve been able to smell that I’d been there, right? You’ve been watching over me, haven’t you? That’s really sweet but very human behavior.” The wolf snorted. “Did you think that was funny, offensive, or did you simply get some pollen up your nose?
“This is bizarre; I’m interviewing a freaking wolf, like you can answer my questions. What are you going to do, stomp your foot four times?” This time she saw the humor in the eyes and heard the chuckle. “So you were laughing at me the other night.
“I’m assuming of course that you can understand everything I’m saying to you. Maybe I’ve finally lost what little sense God gave me. Or, I could be sleeping. That is very possible. I tend to have very vivid dreams. Of course, if I were dreaming, you’d probably be answering me with a vague Australian accent not unlike Hugh Jackman’s.
“Well, dream or not, I guess I should introduce myself. The name is Maggie, and if it’s not too much trouble could I feel your fur? I mean, not like pet you. You’re far too beautiful and free to be treated like a pet; you were very National Geographic the other night. But your pelt just looks so soft…” Maggie trailed off, rather embarrassed by her rambling to a creature that wasn’t likely to understand a word she was saying. She started puttering around her small camp and was looking down at her hands trying to figure out why she felt embarrassed when his muzzle bumped her under her elbow.
Despite his size he had moved silently across the forest floor; she’d not even realized he’d stood let alone crossed the few feet between them. But here he was, those startling green eyes only inches away, inviting her to touch him. Maggie ran her hand along his side and felt the muscles corded underneath the silky fur. “Wow,” she said as she threaded her fingers through the strands. She’d repeated the motion several times when she heard a low rumble in the wolf’s throat. The closest comparison Maggie could make was a cat purr. “You like that?” In answer, the wolf licked her cheek with his dry, raspy tongue. Maggie laughed. “Who said I kiss on the first date?”


When I was little I thought everyone had stories in their head. I didn’t find out that wasn’t the case until kindergarten. I remember thinking that was sad; and that I should share the ones I had. I asked my teacher for help. I had her cut, fold and staple the paper into a suspiciously book-like shape. Then I drew the cover art and illustrated the interior pages. Finally, and most importantly, I dictated the text. And violà … a writer was born.

It took thirty years for me to get from that first attempt to being a published author. I think the road thus far has added some depth and experience to my writing. At the very least I learned I shouldn’t ever do my own illustrations.

A city girl, born and bred, I tend to place my stories in and around southeast Pennsylvania, or at least have a character or two from the area. Home is where the heart is and I make mine with my very own knight in slightly tarnished armor, three beautiful daughters ranging in ages from college through pre-school, and a grandson who arrived on my birthday last year. When I’m not busy living my own happily ever after, I’m writing about someone else’s.

I’d love to have you visit with me on my blog; at Facebook and Twitter; on my Goodreads and Amazon author page; or write to me directly at


And to purchase FATED SOULS:


Thanks for having me, MJ! I’m pretty excited about and proud of my new book. In fact, it may not have ever seen the light of day if it weren’t for SYTYCW 2012 and, ultimately, Crimson Romance. Kirby started out as a screenplay that I just didn’t know what to do with – my nerves and inexperience had already doomed it to an eternity at the bottom of my blue bin of WIPs. It remained there until last year, when I found myself in need of a story to enter in my first SYTYCW competition. I was pressed for time (submission week had already begun!), so I pulled Kirby out and wrote a chapter to see if it had legs. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of a feverish novel-writing campaign – I had 58,000+ words to finish in 12 days! And after hours of lost sleep, a few frustrated tears, and very loud chats with myself, I met my deadline. I may not have won the competition, but Crimson saw something special in ‘Kirby’ and signed me in January of 2013. I’m so happy to be able to share my writing with readers the world over! ‘Kirby’ is a fun, flirty read with a little sass, a little steam, a whole lot of Hottie McCoffeehouse; it’s also available at the following links:

*      Amazon
*      Google Books
*      Crimson Romance Store
*      iTunes Store

You can also link to any of these through my website, , where my blog can also be found. 

Hope you enjoy Kirby!


Rachel Sirianni is a twenty-seven year old native New Yorker with dreams of becoming an editor for Equinox Publishing, one of the top imprints in the city. And it seems she’s finally gotten her foot in the door, until one wild morning turns her fast track into an uphill climb.

Unable to pay her bills, she takes an unlikely second job to make ends meet and finds herself struggling to maintain two lives – her own, and that of her alter ego. Kirby is a sassy, imaginative, and extroverted fireball whom Rachel had no idea was lying dormant inside of her.

Enter Joe, a larger-than-life, brutally hot writer with a heart of gold. Rachel can’t seem to control herself around him, despite the fact that she’s sworn off men until she can get her career back on track. Their backgrounds and interests very nearly run parallel, and the Universe seems to keep pulling the pair together – in every aspect of Rachel’s life. What happens when two worlds collide, particularly where it concerns Joe? The ride of her life may just lead to love – or it could lead back to the drawing board.


“Good God, how do you make it to work?"

Rachel’s breath caught in her throat and she realized she was caged in a pair of strong massive arms. Her eyes trailed upward, past a strong chest and a sprinkling of hair. Her gaze extended further and she finally saw his face. Those eyes, the smile that dripped with swagger.

Hottie McCoffeehouse.

His arms locked around her waist, he looked down and smiled. “Really, gorgeous – we have got to stop meeting like this."

Rachel’s breath left her body in a low steady stream. His lopsided grin was covered in a few days growth, and his hair fell forward in unruly black waves over the sides of his face as he towered over her.

Wow, she breathed inwardly, and it occurred to her that the heat of his body would unglue her if she stayed in his arms any longer. Forcing herself to stand, she pulled away from him. She found herself shaking the cobwebs out of her head as she looked at him...again.

“Do you just go to random coffee shops and wait for women to fall into your arms?”

Joe let out a throaty chuckle, deep and masculine. Rachel's body ignited with tiny little sparks, and she fought to hold them down. "Not usually, but if you’re the one that keeps falling, I may have to look into a career change.”

And there was that lopsided grin again. Rachel wanted to groan just looking at him. She figured him to be six feet five, less than 300 pounds. Every single inch of Hottie McCoffeehouse was solid, and her eyes widened as he began to take his blazer off.

“What...what are you doing?"

“Huh,” he replied, oblivious to the fact that she was mentally undressing him, “Oh, you got my blazer with your frappe. I’m just going to get it off..."

Rachel could’ve sworn the heavens had just opened up. Beneath the dark blazer he wore a white V-neck that fit him like a second skin, probably because of his size. With every movement of his well-muscled torso, the shirt threatened to tear at the seams.

Rachel averted her gaze, refusing to absorb any more of the raw sexual energy that seemed to ooze out of him.

“I’m so sorry about that,” Rachel stammered, keeping her head down, “It’s's a nice blazer."

Hottie McCoffeehouse grinned, finally appearing to tune into the way he was affecting Rachel.

“It’s all right,” he replied, placing a hand under her chin and looking her in the eye.

“Listen, that’s twice in less than a month that you’ve ended up in my arms. Don’t you think we should at least have dinner now?"

Rachel’s eyes widened as his touch burned her skin. It was insanely electric; could he feel it too? She stepped backward and away from him, blushing uncontrollably.

“Yeah,” Rachel spoke, slowly, “That’s probably not the best idea...but thank you for the offer, Mister...?"

“Joe,” he smirked, allowing her to pull away, “Just call me Joe. And I’ll tell you what, if this happens again --"

“If what happens again?” Rachel asked, “If I fall?”

Joe chuckled. “If you trip again, and I’m there to catch you, then you have to have dinner with me. Agreed?"

Rachel closed her eyes with a grin, opening them again to meet his gaze. "Fair enough, Joe."

“I have a feeling I’ll be seeing you again,” he closed the gap between them.

Rachel tried to remain composed as he towered over her. "I'm sure you do, Joe."

Joe smiled, seemingly amused by her refusal to react to his advances. He stared at her for a moment, his eyes darkening as a mischievous grin appeared on his face. The tiniest of growls escaped his parted lips, and Rachel's breath caught in her throat. She nearly hit the floor.

Without another word, he turned and walked away. His pants looked fit to burst as his massive legs flexed with each stride.

Every woman in the shop watched him leave, jaws dropped, and Rachel couldn’t help but fan herself after he was gone. She had no idea where on this planet Joe came from, but she couldn’t help but think that he was right – this would not be the last time she saw him.

What a fun excerpt! Here's Samantha's bio. She sounds like one interesting chick!

I’m an NYC-based fiction writer, raised in the part of the Bronx that produced the likes of Jennifer Lopez and renowned choreographer Darrin Henson. I’ve spent years nurturing an eccentric personality, and I’m proud to boast an insane obsession for rock music, love songs, romance and chick lit. I’m also a bassist for a female-fronted punk band called Running Thoughts and a hell of a baker who’d like to one day run her own bakeshop.

I’m a creative person at heart, and when I’m unable to express my creativity I end up withering like a malnourished plant. I strive to live right, love hard, and laugh often. My inner child may be the only child I’ll ever get to indulge and emotionally cuddle, and for now I’m okay with that. I’m intensely proud of the fact that I’ve clawed my way through life, and earned every bit of happiness and success that I’ve achieved so far. My plan is to make it count – all of it.

We'd love it if you'd share your thoughts with us today! Thanks for reading! ( ;


What better way to start off your Saturday morning than chatting with the characters from FINDING JORDIE! Please welcome Nathan Harper and Jordan....

We'll start off with Nathan.  So tell  me about yourself. What is your occupation? Why? What are your strengths & weaknesses?

I’m an actor. I get paid to have schizophrenia pretty much. Why am I an actor? Well, according to my wife it’s because I’m “a panty dropper,” meaning girl's drop their panties for me. Ha! My strength is my family and my weakness is Jordie in my T-shirts.

What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

My parents are amazing people. They’ve been together for 20 something years…high school sweethearts. That had everything to do with my upbringing. I would see families falling apart all around me and I couldn’t imagine what they felt like because I never had that sort of insecurity when it came to my family.  So, that’s what took so long. I didn’t want to mess around and invest time and emotions into something I knew wouldn’t work out…I was waiting for Jordan to come along. And now, well, as you can see my family has grown and it’s my turn to give our kids that same sense of security.

Very nice. Tell me, if you were told to pick a tangible object that would symbolize you, what would you pick?

It’s kinda crazy that you’d ask this question because I was just discussing it with Frank the other day. He's my body guard. I lose things. I leave shit behind everywhere I go. Anything important, Frank has to hold on to for me. Paper work, schedules, my cell phone, anything I really need.  Hence his fashionable man purse as Jordie calls it. Lol  So right before I was about to shoot a scene, David, (my director) reminded me to take off my wedding band and when I took it off I literally felt anxious about it. That ring symbolizes something so important to me…well, it symbolizes EVERYTHING that I’d ultimately sacrifice my own being for…and it defines me now. I’m not Nathan Harper anymore…I’m Jordie’s husband, Emma and Nathan’s father and last, I’m Nathan Harper. That ring is who I am…it symbolizes everything about me.

That's beautifully said. So how did you two meet anyway? And what was your first impression of Jordie?
      Surely you’ve read about this in the tabloids, no? Well, to be quite honest it didn’t happen quite the way they told the story. (Laughing) That still pisses Jordie off til this day.  I had just gotten into New York that afternoon, and my friend Tyler wanted to check out this bar he was going to be playing at. So we headed on over there and the place was jammed packed. I mean wall to wall people, so nobody would have really noticed me. I went outside for a smoke and Jordie caught my eye when she was mouthing off to some drunk guy that was getting kicked out of the bar.  Then she was laughing at something and her smile had me mesmerized. I had never seen anyone so beautiful. When she went to walk back into the bar, the drunk guy she just kicked out came back and they exchanged words. You had to see her. All five foot nothing standing up to this guy. I nonchalantly made my way through the crowd so I was standing a few feet behind her when the guy just hauled off and popped her one right in the face.  Immediately I went to help her up but before I could she was already up and starting to go back at the guy, so I grabbed her around the waist and held her back. You had to see her, mad as hell, and she’s strong when she’s pissed. LOL Anyhow, the papers reported I stepped in and rescued her but the only person I rescued was that drunken fool, because she was out for blood. LOL

Sounds feisty! So, Nathan, what is it that you want out of life?

Everything it has to offer. But more than anything I want to grow old and grumpy with Jordie and to see my kids grow up and lead happy, full lives.

I like that answer! But how about disappointments? Has life handed you any major disappointments?

Life has handed me a few disappointments, yes. I’ve been kind of lucky in the life department. I mean, before I met Jordie, I had my trust issues, and what not. I know poor me right? Lol Honestly though, it sucked. I had no idea who was my friend and who just wanted to use me for fame and money. With the exception of Tyler and my family of course, oh and Frank, I was alone. So yeah, it was sort of disappointing there for a long while…but it was worth the wait that’s for sure.

Now for a fun one. If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it? 

I’d go house hunting. We need a bigger place now since we’ve expanded. My schedule sucks sometimes so whatever free time I do manage to get, I spend with my wife and kids. Well, Jordan will sleep and I spend time with the kids. It’s that “up all night” stage right now for her with Nate getting up every few hours to eat. By the time she’s done feeding and changing him and falls back to sleep he’s up again.  (laughs) I don’t mean to laugh but she can be quite amusing the morning after a long night.  

If you were to leave Jordie out of the equation, who would be your best friend?

Tyler Duncan. He moved to Sacramento when we were kids and been inseparable ever since. Good guy. Calls BS when he sees it and is the brother I never wanted. Heh.
Last question, and then we'll move on to Jordie. What CD is in your CD player right now? 

Indie singer Ruston Kelly. 

Hmm...I've never heard of him. Now, Jordie. You've been waiting patiently. Tell me about yourself. What is your occupation?

I’m a full time mom and wifey right now but I also own a bar in New York City’s East Village. “The Post.”

Very interesting! Strengths, weaknesses?

My strengths are…Jesus that’s a loaded question huh? I guess they’d be my kids and my husband. They’ve made me stronger…I know it sounds so cliché’ but it’s the truth. And my weaknesses are the same thing probly’ LOL I’d do anything for them…well that and my husband in his faded jeans barefoot with no shirt on. My god that makes me weak in the knees. Yup, definitely my weakness right there. Lol

Okay. What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

It’s just me and my sister Kelly left from our family. Our parents died when we were pretty young so that had a lot to do with our upbringing. We learned very early on you had to work your ass off if you wanted to make it in this world. We took care of each other though. 

That must have been hard. What is your earliest childhood memory? 

I was around four, Kelly, me and our mom were sitting out in the back yard by the lilac tree braiding each other’s hair. … A chilly breeze came through so we decided to head back in the house. Before we got inside though, mom hugged us really tight and said she loved us with her whole heart and then some. I remember her hair smelled like lilacs and honey.

I asked Nathan this one, now I want to get your take. What tangible object would symbolize you?

Right now, my breast pump…Oh shit. Did I say that out loud? HA HA HA… I’d say my wedding ring…it’s everything I want to be and more. It’s everything I’m proud to be, lucky to be and as long as I live, will be. 
Describe Nathan for us. What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?

At first I thought Nathan was crazy. LOL No joke, I used to call him nut-job. Our first encounter with one another was me getting nailed in the face by some drunken guy, my face bleeding all over and him having to hold me back like some rabid animal trying to attack the guy that hit me. I figured he had to be nuts if he insisted on walking me home after that shit show.  LOL I knew I would love him though…something inside me just came to life when he was around. I guess you could say it changed over time in the sense that it grew into what we are today. But I still think he’s crazy LOL

Has life handed you any major disappointments? 

Oh holy hell…up until I was 22? 23? My life was one continuous stream of disappointments. It wasn’t easy being me…everyone dying on me…young widowed mom…thank god I had Kelley and Rachel.
On to happier thoughts. If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it? 

Sleep. Then I’d get up and sleep some more.

And last question, what CD is in your CD player right now? 

Some indie singer Nathan likes.

Thanks for joining us today, Nathan and Jordie, and I wish you two all the best! We've had a hint of what FINDING JORDIE is about, but here's the blurb to tell you more:

Jordie is a survivor, tough and independent.

She's had to be, since her husband was killed in Iraq. For the last eight years, raising her daughter and owning a popular New York City bar has kept Jordie plenty busy, leaving her no time for much of anything else. Aside from her sassy yet squirrely best friend Rachel, Jordie's social life is bare bones and her love life nonexistent. Truth be told she wouldn't change a thing; she's never been

Then she meets Nathan, and he changes everything with one crooked smile, triggering a chain of life-altering events for the two of them, filled with romance, chaos, and deadly peril. Neither of them could ever imagine their relationship would resurrect an unknown darkness from Jordie's past, lurking in the shadows, just waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Jordie has never needed to be stronger for all of them to make it out alive.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

The following excerpt contains strong language.

“Fuck!” I blurted out as I reached my steps. Nathan was perched there halfway up and, my Lord, he was
looking fine.

“Is that a statement or a request?” He grinned mischievously at me, a grin that touched those amazing blue eyes.

Oh shit, he’s here … on my front porch. My heart slammed into my throat and I was pretty sure I had lost the ability to form a coherent sentence. “Hi?” was all I could manage to say.

What was he doing here at three A.M.?

“I wanted to make sure you made it home safely,” he said, as if answering my silent question.

“Nut. Job,” I mouthed slowly to him.

He laughed, unveiling that beautiful, perfect, white-toothed smile that made his eyes even brighter. Then it happened. With that one smile, I surrendered to whatever it was inside of me I was fighting. I could no longer worry about how this story would end when all I wanted to do was start it.

I walked past him. “Want to come up for a beer or something?” I unlocked the door and waited for the impact of the rejection.

“Or something.”

I could hear the smirk in his tone. “Is that a statement or a request?” Ugh, what are you doing? Is this flirting? I silently sighed. Rachel had never been more correct — it had been too long.

“Lock the door behind you, please.” I started the two-flight journey to my apartment. We reached my door, and I took a deep breath while I unlocked it. We walked in and I tossed my crap on the table as usual. He closed the door, and I heard the click of the lock. “Want some breakfast?” I asked him, walking past the large sectional in my living room into the kitchen. Nathan followed but stopped in the dining room and took a quick glance around my place as he leaned against the wall.

“Assuming I will be here for breakfast?” he asked in a sultry voice full of humor.

Flushed, I popped my head out from behind the fridge door. “Smart ass, I meant now. I’m starving. Yes or no?”

“Sure.” He got dimples when he smiled.

“Can you make some coffee?” I pointed to the pantry closet door.

“Yes, ma’am.” He stepped into the pantry. “Pop Tarts? You eat Pop Tarts?” His muffled words became clearer as he walked out, holding coffee in one hand and a box of Pop Tarts in the other. He
closed the door with his foot.

“I enjoy a good Pop Tart.” I pouted, crinkling my eyebrows.

“Seriously? Strawberry? I thought you said you enjoyed a good Pop Tart.” He eyed me suspiciously.

“Shut up — it’s the sprinkles. They make me happy.” I quickly looked back down to the pan, trying not to stare at his amazing blue eyes.

“Do you know what these are made of?” He sounded appalled, as if I were eating a cockroach instead of an artificial pastry.

“No, please enlighten me.” I noticed my cheeks hurt because I had been smiling for the past five minutes.

“All right, sassy pants, I will.” He was attempting to be serious, but began to laugh while he poured water into the coffee maker.

“C’mon educate me, I need a good schooling, and have you ever made coffee before?” I playfully grabbed the coffee from his hands, swiftly dumped four scoops into the top of the machine, closed the lid, and pressed the start button.

“Impressive.” He hopped onto the counter holding the box of Pop Tarts again, watching me. “It’s a sugar coma is what it is. I can’t explain it. I just know anything that has a shelf life of fourteen years and is still edible after a nuclear winter can’t be good for you.” He held his head high and tightened his lips as if he was triumphant in convincing me.

I stared blankly at him, trying my damnedest not to laugh, but the corners of my mouth betrayed me as they tightened. We both burst out in laughter.

“Really? That’s all you got?” I snatched the box from his hands and put it back on the counter. “Like I said, it’s all about the sprinkles, so if there is in fact a nuclear winter, at least I’ll be happy.” I tossed him a loaf of bread. “Can you make toast?”

“Can I make toast?” He hopped off the counter. “Of course I can make toast.”

When I turned to look at him he was standing at the toaster with a confused look on his face.

“You’re kidding me, right?” My mouth popped open wide in shock and he laughed.

“Gotcha.” He winked, pushing down the lever.

Oh my, no no no. I won’t survive this night if he keeps shit like that up.
• • •


Aren't they cute together? Now for more about author H.J. Harley:
HJ is just a Jersey girl surviving in the good ol’
South. She's a fan sunglasses, good coffee, original
stories, her pets, and laughing with friends. Most importantly, she loves being a mother to her beautiful daughter.