The Mari and Valerie Show
Ha! This week we’re taking over the blog. Since Mari has been gracious enough to give me a million opportunities to design covers for her, we thought we could showcase those books this week. (This is Mari–haha–gracious…yeah…that’s me. It has NOTHING to do with the fact Valerie is TALENTED and I love her work…nothing at all to do with that!).
The latest one is a book she wrote a long time ago. It had a home at another publisher, but never did well. We’re hoping with a new cover and some tweaking on the story, that we can give this great story a new life. (What Valerie’s trying to say is I’ve learned how to write cleaner and dirtier in the past five years–lol).
Here’s the ebook cover:
Since this is the first in the series, these books really needed to go to print. Here is the full wrap cover:
Thanks for sharing all the pretties, Valerie. I’m actually quite in love with this book (and the June Girls series). These books saved my life. I’m sure readers who’ve been around for a while have heard me talk about how I started writing. Basically, I was super stressed out at work and I stopped sleeping. Hello insomnia. I’d get up at 3 a.m. every morning and trek down to the UNfinished basement in my house where we stored the family computer. This was YEARS ago before computers became central to the home. To escape the pressure of my real world, I disappeared into fiction. At the time, I was the biggest Diana Gabaldon/Outlander fan on the planet, so I started writing my own “time travel” stories. Because my primary reading interests revolved around Regency England, my modern day women traveled back to 1800′s England. I started writing No Return (Erin’s story) and hit the old “new writer” brick wall. Because Hayley was screaming in my head, I put Erin away and wrote No Recourse. And by golly, I made it all the way to the end. And immediately started Tori’s story in No Regrets. I learned how to write, how to tell stories, how to create characters and dialogue with these books. They are also the characters I’ve created that I probably love the most…simply because they were in my head for years!
Jack was my first hero and I still love him dearly. He was alpha (of course), but he was also compassionate, kind, sexy. Hayley was…well…in a lot of ways…me. Curly red hair, opinionated. The type of woman who should try not to talk so much, but who never quite masters it. The book also contains one of my blackest villains, the Earl of Wilshire. There is one scene of near rape…I feel like I should point that out for folks who are sensitive to that storyline. But there is also love and romance, forgiveness, understanding and healing. And for those of you who say my stories are too short, this sucker is a FULL-length novel. LOL. A steal at $2.99. I hope you’ll consider giving it a try.
Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?
When Hayley Garland finds herself out in the English woods late one night, she’s nearly struck by lightning during a freak storm. But what she thought was a near miss is actually a direct hit.
Captain Jack Campbell is riding along the Dover shoreline, cursing his ill-timed trip in a torrential downpour. Before he can find shelter, he discovers something much more interesting: a beautiful redhead.
Sparks fly whenever Hayley and Jack are together—in and out of the bedroom. But between a wicked earl, a missing woman, Hayley’s penchant for finding trouble, and the inconvenience of an unexpected trip through time, they have to find a way to work out their differences before events from the past threaten to take away their future.
This book was previously published and has been revised from its original release.
“Besides, you’re just mad, because if you take a look in a mirror, Black Jack, you’ll see that I kicked your ass.”
Rising on his elbow, he spoke through gritted teeth. “Adding offensive language to your list of charms does not endear you to me and if I look rough, it’s because I was too much of a gentleman to use my brute strength against a woman last night.”
Despite his annoyance, he reached out and tried to grab her hand as she paced beside the bed. Her impassioned speech had put color in her cheeks. He felt the now familiar tightening in his loins she seemed to inspire. He’d thought her attractive last night, but this morning, tousled and angry, she was absolutely lovely. He wished her warm body was back in the bed and there was absolutely nothing honorable about what he wanted to do to her.
As it stood now, he’d certainly done more than enough to compromise her should her story about being a friend of the mistress of the Grange proved true. That thought should be more unsettling to him than it was. In fact, he couldn’t seem to summon any remorse about his behavior. Instead, he longed for more.
She backed away from his hand, avoiding his touch. Irritated at her withdrawal and his body’s uncontrollable response to her, he retaliated. “Believe me, Hayley, you have nothing to fear from me. I like my women soft and willing. That was a hell of a fight you put up last night and, while I must admit I admire the effort you expended to protect your virtue, you didn’t have to try so hard, firebrand. It was never in danger.”
She flinched at his sarcastic use of the word virtue. He’d clearly left no doubt in her mind that he considered her to be less than virtuous.
His blatant insult infuriated her even more as she launched into a new tirade. “You insulting, arrogant, smug, son of a bitch,” she yelled. “How dare you insult me for defending myself? If your present charms are any indication of your typical behavior, I’d be surprised to discover that you weren’t a virgin.”
He was shocked by her crude language and insult to his reputation. “Well, if you weren’t such a shrew, I’d give you a demonstration of my charms that would leave you in no doubt of my experience.”
“Touch me again and I’ll blacken the other eye.” She stormed toward the cabin door.
She reached for the knob, but he caught her before she could make good on her escape. Jack caged her in with his arms while holding the door closed. Spinning angrily, she started to utter another string of insults. However, her scathing words never made it past her lips as he pressed his mouth hard against hers. Her threat had only served to incite him as he roughly grabbed her shoulders. His mouth was cruel and relentless on hers, but once again he was lost to the taste and smell and feel of her. His tongue forced her lips apart and invaded her mouth.
He planned to give her a lesson in dominance and control, but Hayley was too smart for him. Rather than struggle, she stood still against his assault. She didn’t participate this time, didn’t shyly touch him with her tongue. Jack’s frustration and anger grew as she stubbornly held herself aloof, apart from the kiss.
He cursed himself for a fool and knew power wasn’t going to scale the walls Hayley had built around herself. Last night, she’d responded to his kiss and he wanted that reaction again.
Changing tactics, he softened the kiss, but refused to release her. His hands moved from her shoulders to her face, touching her with soft caresses. Gasping, she tried to stop him, her hands pushing against his shoulders.
His mind briefly registered the strangeness of her responses. She stood still, braced and resigned to his hard kisses, while his kindness seemed to unsettle and upset her.
“Shhh, I won’t hurt you.” He spoke the words against her lips. Soon, the gentle touches and soft kisses broke her resolve and Hayley moved her hands to his chest.
He was thrilled by the touch of her fingers, even though they rested unmoving on his chest. He deepened his kisses, trying to drag out the moment, coaxing her passion slowly. Hayley was passion personified and he longed to strip off her mannish clothing to uncover the woman hidden beneath.
He barely moved as his lips rubbed lightly against hers, his tongue running softly along her lips and teeth, teasing hers to come out to play once more. He was starving for a taste. She rewarded him, lifting her hands to his face. Hayley ran her fingers through his hair as, at last, her tongue touched his. Time stood still as they explored each other’s mouths with the simplest and sweetest of kisses.
Their tongues danced together as he reached down and began to unbutton her shirt. His actions were so slow and deliberate he suspected she didn’t realize what he had done until she felt his firm hands touch her breasts.