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Available today just in time for Christmas: Baby It's Cold Outside from Sugar and Spice Press!

http://www.sugarnspicepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=108

Madeline Delaney has suffered a terrible loss. She's returned to her home town with her daughter to spend Christmas with Madeline's grandmother. Next door is Jack DeLuna, an adolescent crush that seems to be rekindling into a very adult passion. Still reeling from the death of her husband, will Madeline have the courage to let Jack into her heart, or will guilt and the fear of loving someone again keep her from the future Jack has waited years to give her?

Here's a wee excerpt for ya!

“Maddie?” Dark eyebrows came together and then cleared in shock as recognition dawned.

He was tall and his jeans clung to his thighs comfortably. She wondered if his frame was as broad and muscled as she remembered from the last time she’d seen him. Jack DeLuna. Good lord.

“Hi,” she replied, feeling a ridiculous girlish shiver that reminded her of the teenager she had been with her first serious crush on the handsome Mexican boy. She shook her head, telling herself she was shivering because of the cold.

He put the shovel down and walked over to her, a wide smile on his face. “I heard you were coming back to town. It’s good to see you.”

“Thanks. We’re here for the holidays. Afterwards…well,” she shrugged. “I’m not sure yet.”

His eyes softened with sympathy, his dark hair stuck in unruly curls on his damp forehead. “I heard about your husband. I am so sorry.”

Madeline bit her lip, a little ashamed of the reminder of her loss when for just a second, it’d felt so good to forget. “Thanks.”

“You said ‘we’? Your little girl is inside?”

“Katie yes. Gran is probably allowing her to gorge herself on chocolate chip cookies so I’d better get back inside before she puts my child into a diabetic coma.”

That made him laugh.

In school, she would have given anything to have made him laugh. God, would she ever be that carefree again?

“Why good morning, Jack!” Meggie exclaimed coming out onto the porch.

“Morning, Meggie. I was just catching up with Maddie. It’s so nice to have her back. I was about to offer to help her bring her luggage inside and maybe steal a cookie?”

“Of course. Come on in. What a gentleman. Isn’t that right, Madeline, dear?” Meggie asked.

Madeline looked at her grandmother curiously. Surely the old woman wasn’t matchmaking, was she? She glared at her and followed Jack back to the car.

“Thanks for your help, but you really didn’t have to do this.” She pulled one suitcase from the back of the silver BMW.

“Yeah I did. I really want that cookie,” he replied with a smile and this time she laughed while he grabbed one bag and pulled its strap over a shoulder and carried two more in his hands.

She felt a moment of surprise, realizing it was the first time she had genuinely laughed since Max’s death. Guilt clenched like a tight fist in her belly and she looked away and locked the doors.

She followed him into the house where Katie greeted them, her mouth circled with chocolate and cookie crumbs.

“Hi. Where you come from?” the little girl asked, surprised to see the man coming in ahead of Madeline.

“This is a very good friend and my next door neighbour, Jack DeLuna. He’s a teacher,” Meggie said as she came towards Jack with a plate of still warm cookies. He snatched one eagerly and she beamed when he made the appropriate noises of appreciation.

“Really?” Katie asked, her blue eyes lighting up. “I go kindygarten next year. You gonna be my teacher?”

“Afraid not, sweetheart. My students are a bit older than you,” Jack tapped her nose playfully.

“Jack teaches sixth grade,” Meggie explained.

Madeline tried not to show her surprise, not wanting to seem rude. Jack DeLuna had never seemed all that interested in school as a youngster. “That’s great,” she admitted. Beyond her own career as a script writer, she couldn’t imagine a more fun, fulfilling career than teaching.

Her grandmother had floor to ceiling shelves filled with books and Madeline had grown up with a love of reading that had followed her throughout her whole life.

“He won teacher of the year this past May.” Meggie beamed, wrapping an arm around Jack’s shoulders and Madeline watched the grown man blush at the pride in her grandmother’s voice.

“Oh my,” Madeline remarked, unable to hide her own admiration.

He smiled shyly at her. “Well, I’ve only been there two years so they could still find out I use to pronounce it ‘supposably’ and fire my a—” he looked quickly at Katie and caught himself. “—behind,”

Katie laughed. “I bet you were gonna say ass.”

He cringed and gave Madeline an apologetic smile. “That’s my cue to leave, I guess. Gotta go finish shovelling that drive just so it can get dumped on again tonight. Ah the joys of Massachusetts,” he added, getting up from where he sat on a stool at the kitchen island.

“I’m making roast chicken for dinner tonight to celebrate Madeline’s return. If you think you can manage my drive as well, you can come join us.”

Madeline stared at her grandmother and gritted her teeth. What was the woman thinking?

“Sounds like an even trade to me, but I don’t want to impose,” he said and Madeline could feel his eyes on her as she looked down into her mug of hot chocolate. A marshmallow bumped her nose.

She forced herself to take a sip to gather herself for a moment and looked up. “Of course not. I really appreciate you helping my grandmother out since she’s been injured.”

“Oh, that,” he gave a short chuckle. “She’s one of my most enthusiastic students. I try and get her to slow down, but you know your grandmother.”

“One of your students?” Madeline asked curiously.

“I teach salsa on Saturday nights. Oh, you should come by. It’s a lot of fun.”

Visions of the movie Dirty Dancing filled her head and Madeline focused back on her drink. “I’m not much of a dancer,” she admitted.

“Honey, believe me. Jack is an excellent teacher. The man moves like a dream,” Meggie insisted with a wink.

Jack rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Okay, now that is my cue to leave.” He grabbed one more cookie. He touched Katie’s shoulder. “Very nice meeting you, Katie.”

“You too, Jack!” the little girl replied beaming at the attention.

“Madeline, if it’s all right with you, I’ll be here for dinner?”

“Oh, of course,” she replied, though inside she was an uneasy mess.

He smiled and left them. She waited until she heard the door close before getting up from her stool and whirling on her grandmother. “Okay, what on earth was that?”




Shades Of Grey Now Available!



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Now available from Amira Press!

http://www.amirapress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=302

Claire Lauder was the girl next door who fell in love with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Now these ex-lovers find themselves on opposite sides of the law, but Claire soon learns that all is not as it seems. Ryan Wyatt is a man with a dark past who is given a second chance. The price? Betray the man and the organization that took him in when he had nothing. but will forgiveness be harder to earn from the woman he has never stopped loving?


Here's a wee excerpt!

“Why are you here?” she asked instead. “I mean, don’t you have deals to make or people to kill?” She saw him stiffen, and his blue eyes were hard as they met hers.

“I would remind you that it’s not very smart to insult the people who literally hold your life in their hands.”

She paled, and he cursed and shook his head, looking away from her for a moment.

“Damn it, Claire. Could you just for a second—” He pressed his lips together, cutting off the end of whatever he’d been about to say.

“What? Forget who you are? Forget what you’ve done? What you’ve become?” she asked, shaken by desperation in his eyes in that split second before he stopped himself. She’d felt an answering desperation in her to…yes…yes…forget what they had both become and remember only what they had been. “No!” she hissed, more to herself than him, but he jerked back as if she had slapped him all the same.

She saw the cold mask begin to settle over his face, and she felt sudden fury that he could just retreat within himself and create this polished persona that was above human emotions like guilt or regret.

Was there anything inside of him that knew it was a lie? That felt all these things with roaring ferocity behind the cold façade? She grabbed his arm and shook him. “Don’t you do that. Don’t go all cold on me, you bastard. You tell me how, how in God’s name could you live with yourself?”

Ryan jerked his arm out of her grasp. “I came here to walk with you. I thought you would enjoy the
fresh air. I do not need to explain myself to you, nor justify the path my life has taken. If you don’t want to be taken back to your room, I suggest you keep your mouth shut and enjoy the scenery.”

Claire felt a stab of sadness in her chest. “He really is gone, isn’t he?” she whispered, looking up into his face. She walked away ahead of him, knowing he would follow.

“Kyle?” Ryan asked.

She didn’t miss how his voice cracked around her brother’s name, and she wanted to feel encouraged by the show of emotion, but it only made her feel sadder and more angry at herself for that sadness. “No, you stupid man. No.”

“Claire,” Ryan said, but she shook her head, refusing to turn back and look at him.

She continued to walk, trying to take in deep breaths past the lump in her throat.
He followed silently for a few minutes, and Claire alternately wished he would stay and he would go away. She wanted this man to leave, this…imposter. She wanted Ryan to stay, the Ryan she’d known, the Ryan she told herself she could see there in his eyes, struggling to get through.
Was it stupid to believe he was still there? She’d spent years convincing herself that what they had was nothing but teenage passion, long over, and that they were both two very different people now. Walking with him now, side by side she could almost believe they were those two young lovers again.

“I wish I could have saved Kyle,” he whispered after a long time.

She stopped beside him. She gave a little start when she turned and realized she could no longer see the house, hidden as they were now beneath hanging greenery. “Stop,” Claire urged. “I don’t want to talk about Kyle.”

He touched her, just on the arm, but it was enough to send a shiver through her entire body, and she was unable to resist the urge to turn in toward him.

“I need…” He choked. “I need you…to understand.” He cleared his throat.

Claire squeezed her eyes shut, forcing herself to keep her hands tight at her sides so she wouldn’t reach up and touch him, wrap her arms around him, and plead with him to make her understand, make it okay to have these feelings flaring up inside of her for him again. She tried for a light, mocking laugh, but it came out strained to her own ears.
“What difference does it make if I understand? Kyle is still dead because of you.”

“I know,” he admitted, his voice thick with self-hatred, and she warned herself not to be moved by his words. “But I need you to know that if I had any idea Kyle was going to be there… It matters to me that you understand I would never have let anything happen to Kyle if—”

“Why?” Claire asked, her eyes filling with tears. “Why the hell does it matter?”
“Because,” he whispered, gripping her arms, pressing his forehead to hers, his ragged breath hot against her face. “I can’t bear it that you hate me. I can’t bear it anymore, Claire.”

With a groan he closed his mouth over hers, and Claire felt every nerve ending in her body explode under the sensual assault.






This March I'm going to be a host author for Coffee Time Romance.

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1233

We'll be doing a round robin kind of story where you can contribute to the story I'll set up for ya and every week there will be cool questions I'll ask ya'll. At the end of it all there will be a contest to win my current release Strawberry Wine! So head on over and join in the fun!






Two Great New Contests!

To win a free copy of my current release Strawberry Wine, answer the following Till Death Do Us Part trivia question: Where did Connor and Sara spend their honeymoon?

E-mail me your answer at nancy777ca@yahoo.ca and I'll pick a winner this Wednesday!

And how about another great contest, courtesy of Amira Press?

Book Lover's Delight Contest

It’s a rainy day, and you long to curl up with a good book… But to run out in the rain to the bookstore Um… No, it's cold and wet out there.
* * * *

It’s a cold wintry night. The fireplace is lit, and you want to cuddle up with a spicy read But every book on your to-be-read list is no more And you ponder what to do. Hmm, what to do?
* * * *

I can tell you how to fix this dilemma! Enter the Amira Press Book Lover’s Delight Contest! There you can win a pink e-reader! Yes, I said it. The e-reader is PINK!! You can download books as you please. So you are never caught without a delicious read On those days or nights built for curling up with a good book!
* * * *

How do you enter? Two ways…

Buy a book at our Web site www.amirapress.com And you are automatically entered. Every book purchase is another entry. Or email us at customerservice@amirapress.com To cast your name into the box of entries!

This contest will run until February 13, 2010 One lucky winner will be picked!

Good luck and happy reading!!


Strawberry Wine Now Available!

Now available from Sugar and Spice Press: Strawberry Wine
http://www.sugarnspicepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=54

Laura and Caleb were teenage sweethearts. Then Laura disappeared, leaving nothing behind but a simple note.

Now she’s back, a street smart cop on the trail of an underground child sex slave operation right in the heart of New York City and she’s been sent to Caleb’s division to help bring down one of the most reprehensible men in the country. When the old lovers are partnered up, can they put their old hurts aside to do their jobs and save the children?

Here's a wee excerpt!

She followed him into the living room and wouldn’t really look at him. She was still so damned beautiful. But her body was a little different. Tighter, yet rounder in places, and oh my God, her breasts. He tore his eyes away and forced his desire back to rage. He watched the nervous look on his mother's face when she came into the living room and hugged Laura before gesturing toward the pale green-and-white striped couch.

“Can I get you something to drink? Beer?”

“Ah, hell, Ma. You should let Laura just take a look in the fridge and pick something out herself. She's practically family, isn't that right?” Caleb asked, dropping an arm on the back of the couch, dangerously close to her shoulder.

Laura turned and stared at him, her face flushing, and clenched her jaw but said nothing.

“I don't think any of us were all that surprised when we found out Laura took up with Mike. I mean, Laura always did love our family, seeing that things weren't all that great with her own.”

Now both she and his mother glared at him. Caleb felt a burst of triumph at the flash of pain in Laura's eyes. That's right, bitch. Hurt. Hurt till you bleed. Though he knew it would never come close to what she’d done to him, maybe he could make things a little painful for her in his own way.

“Laura, honey, would you like to help me with the salad?” Caroline asked, giving Caleb a look that mimicked the 'wait till your father gets home' glares she used to give him when he was a child.

They came back out a few minutes later with some wine. Caroline handed Caleb a glass, and he watched as Laura now took the matching armchair seat furthest away from him.

“You know what I miss? That non-alcoholic strawberry wine you used to give us when we were kids. Man, I haven't had that in ages,” Caleb said, watching Laura choke on her wine.

“I thought you kids hated that stuff.” Caroline took her place next to Caleb.

“Nah, it was all right. Remember, Laura? It was an acquired taste," Caleb reminded her.

*Laura poured the wine over Caleb's head and then licked a path down his bare shoulder to his chest. “Hmm, doesn't taste half bad this way.” She smiled, settling on his lap.*

“I can't even really recall what it tastes like anymore,” Laura replied, narrowing her eyes at him.

Bitch, Caleb thought, scowling.
“I saw some in the grocery store a few weeks ago. I can pick some up,” Caroline offered.

He watched Laura cringe and felt a punch of satisfaction.

“Sure.”

Yeah, you remember.

Caleb had to stop looking at her. She had one arm behind her head, absently playing with her hair and staring out the window. Her cheeks were flushed with a hint of red, and he knew she could feel his gaze on her. He'd taken her many times on this very couch when they’d had the house to themselves. He wondered if she remembered that too.

She looked around the room. Anywhere but at Caleb.

Bitch.

A very long time ago, he’d dreamt that he and Laura would be partners in every way. But Laura had killed that dream. Killed all his dreams. He felt his rage begin to churn more violently, and he was afraid he would jump on Laura and strangle her with his bare hands.

“Excuse me,” he said, rising, needing to leave the room so he could breathe. "Gotta go to the bathroom.”