Friday, February 15, 2008

Dare to Dance

Dare to Dance

Lainey Bancroft


The 3-D Club==deceived, discarded and divorced==coerce Alex into performing at a gentleman’s club in an effort to help her shake her inhibitions, and the damage her ex-husband inflicted on her during their half-dead marriage. How could Alex know a few bumps and grinds will land her in the arms of her first love?



“Coyote Ugly. That’s it!" Riana crowed. "You better figure out how to howl at the moon, girlfriend. We registered you at Coco’s Gentlemen’s Club for the ‘Dare to Dance’ night.”

“The strip club?" Alexandra felt her gorge rise. "Dare to bare is more like it.”

“Nah, it’s a burlesque routine. They don’t want to see actual nudity, just a tease," Suzette qualified. "Ditch those granny-panties and shake it, baby.”

“I can’t.” She pressed a hand to the mix-master stirring her gut.

“Please, don’t make me do this.”

A waiter finally arrived, delivering a pitcher of margaritas and three salt-rimmed glasses. She poured with a shaking hand and downed half her drink in one healthy gulp. “Please don’t make me do this,” she mumbled again, growing dizzy at the thought of parading around on a strip club stage.

Riana laughed. “Shake that junk in your trunk. You’ve got it. Flaunt it.”

Praise for Dare to Dance . . .

Dare To Dance is a darling short story by Lainey Bancroft. Alex is courageous, even if she won’t admit it, and a wonderful woman. Life has not always been easy for her and she is determined not to let it get her down. Matt has spent years longing for Alex but he didn’t feel he was good enough for the beautiful woman. Now that he has her in his arms he is determined to claim the woman who got away. I loved his determination to reclaim Alex. I loved this story and it stayed in my mind long after the last page. I would love to know where the characters are today and how their relationship developed. An enjoyable read, Dare To Dance has its place on my keeper shelf!

Reviewed by Tara Renee Two Lips Reviews 5/5



As a full time mother to a teenaged daughter and son, pet wrangler of two spoiled labs and one ornery cat, part time bookkeeper, chief cook, bottle washer, and oh yeah, writer, Lainey Bancroft leads an active, fun filled life.

Drop by her blog at where she gabs and giggles about everything from the path to publication, to gardening, groceries, and Gas, who she’s been married to for eighteen years.

Dare to Dance is the first story in Lainey’s 3-D Club trilogy, available now at The Wild Rose Press


Lainey's Contest
A free pdf of book 2, Waiting to Waltz for one randomly drawn comment on the Break Time Blog who tells me what the trio of friends is drinking. C'mon , it's a giveaway. All you have to do is read the excerpt and you could win!
(Lainey, caught your post on Denyse's Loop ;o)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Perfect Candidate

The Perfect Candidate

by Tricia Ballad


Caroline Lakehurst lept at the chance to manage her own project team at ACG Marketing. Now she’s wondering if instead she jumped into an endless cycle of long hours and deadlines that threaten her growing relationship with Joshua Walters.She has one last interview on Friday afternoon before their date. Caroline hopes to heal the cracks she sees forming in their relationship, before it’s too late - but Joshua has other plans...

Can Caroline save her relationship before it's too late?



Caroline went into her office and closed the door. What could Joshua need to talk about so urgently that he’d call twice in one afternoon? Could he finally have had it with her lack of time for him? She took a deep breath and told herself if he was calling to say he was finished with her, she could remain calm—at least until she hung up the phone. Before she had a chance to imagine life without Joshua, Caroline dialed his number. A strangling wave of loneliness swept over her at the thought he might not be there by the time she finally got through the endless pile of work on her desk.

The phone rang three times as she paced the room. Finally, he answered, his voice strong and confident. “Joshua Walters.”

Caroline closed her eyes and savored the image of the man she loved. He kept his sandy brown hair pulled back in a shoulder-length ponytail, but a few wisps inevitably escaped. His body was toned and muscular from long hours of heavy labor, and his pale blue eyes always seemed to be laughing.

“Hi, Joshua,” Caroline said as she neatened the piles of paperwork on her desk. ”Look, I’m sorry I didn’t call you back the other day. I finally got out of the office around seven o’clock, and I just went home and crashed. I meant to call you back first thing this morning, but— ”

“—Hey, sweetheart,” his gentle, solid voice cut her off. “Slow down. Everything okay?”


Learn more about Tricia Ballad at her website:



The Perfect Candidate, by Tricia Ballad is available at The Wild Rose Press


Friday, February 1, 2008

The Dragon of Croatia

by Valerie Everhart


Gavriel Dimitrios, the dragon of Croatia is loose and with vengeance on his mind. Stubborn Callie Stewart, the woman responsible for his release from the ancient stone tablet may be too cozy with the smugglers Gavriel has vowed to capture. Their shared passion and deceit has the Adriatic Sea at a boiling point as they delve into caves and race across islands, into the very heart of danger.



Excitement quickened through her. Then she saw something that she would never forget. On the east side of the hall. A relief on a wall, showing a woman wrapped in the sun, with the moon at her feet, her hair blowing out around her. To the side, she was threatened by a large dragon, his mouth opened wide. She shone her light first on the woman, then the dragon- and caught her breath. His scales a brilliant flame of glitter like diamonds reflected the light back to her. Shimmering ice like brilliance.

The more she stared at the picture the more she wondered the purpose of the dragon. Maybe he wasn't threatening the woman. Could it be he was protecting her? Then it changed again. To Calie, it looked like the dragon hungered for the woman. Her imagination was running wild. Dragons always hungered for women.

She needed to go back and find what the men had left here. That was her first concern. But she was too fascinated by the dragon. It looked as if he watched her now. She turned away, a shiver slithered through her, a tingling that felt sexual pulled at her. She stepped back from the dragon. That was when her eyes found the bundle. Back behind a ledge, to the right, a cloth peeked out from some smaller rocks.

She walked over and crouched down, the dragon and woman forgotten for the moment. She pulled the burlap back from the bundle. This wasn't what the men brought; they had huge bundles of something. This was too small. It was a stone tablet with hieroglyphics. She recognized some of the symbols from studying the bascanska ploca, the famous baska stone tablet, which had been discovered in Croatia ten years earlier. Probably something a schoolteacher might not know, but an agent sent to apprehend smugglers, might.

Most of it she couldn't decipher. However, she only recognized about every fifth symbol. She studied each mark, frustration building with her inability to decipher the symbols. Moving her finger to the next line there was a space empty of any symbols; a gap of about four inches. Then more symbols. However, these characters were different. She didn't recognize any of the writing, and it was far smaller hieroglyphs. She ran her fingertips over the symbols, hoping for some enlightenment. Her brain didn't recognize anything. She shivered again, much like she did while studying the dragon. A frisson of excitement ran through her. Her nipples hardened. She glanced at the dragon on the wall. A picture burst forth in her head. A dragon taking flight in the air. A brilliant shot of light. The wall shimmered, seemed to come to life. She realized she was no longer in the cave, but on the ground, in a clearing. While the dragon circled overhead.

He landed on a rock outcropping, and the gleaming dragon became a man, huge, tall and heavily muscled, bulging arms and a massive chest.
Lethargic, she could do nothing but watch his approach. His head swung around scenting danger, his gaze honed on her, and his head tilted, as if unsure of where he was also. It reduced her anxiety. He was magnificent. If she thought the dragon was awesome, the man was tremendous. Dark flowing hair, taut rippled muscles. He approached her cautiously. He didn't seem threatening to her. He was a stranger. Her dragon stranger.

He knelt in front of her. She wasn't wearing her caving equipment. In fact, she wasn't wearing anything. All the dirt and grime was gone. She no longer smelled of coconut butter and sweat. This was one terrific fantasy. Unclothed, no wonder he didn't hesitate in approaching her. Not that he was wearing much more than she.

He touched her then, gently drawing her slowly toward him. Her heart pounded. His hands brushed through her curly short hair, tussling it. His dark eyes deepened as he stared hungrily at her; focused only on her. Her mouth went dry. He pulled her into the shelter of his large frame, blocking out everything around them. Her insides were melting, going up in flame, and she took a deep breath. She felt his rippling muscles, his scent masculine and sexy. She reached up and laid her hand on his chest, and felt his steady pounding heart. She raised her gaze to him and was lost in the pool of burning desire she saw there. She could only stare up at him. His fingertips brushed her throat, and sent fire racing through her blood. He bent his head and kissed her. Mind blowing, drugging kisses that she never wanted to stop. His tongue swirling over her lips, capturing her tongue. A soft moan escaped her. Sensations increased.



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bonbons & Truffles

Bonbons and Truffles
Sweetheart Rosette
by Teri Wilson
Melody Sweet is a lonely, single girl who has a way with chocolate. Her world turns upside-down on Valentine’s Day when she simultaneously acquires a precious English Cocker Spaniel puppy and a secret admirer. Will Melody and her puppy, Bonbon, solve the mystery of who is leaving flowers and dog biscuits on her doorstep? Or would she just be better off not knowing?
Teasing Excerpt:
Finally, The Day itself arrived, dawn bringing forth a secret smile to Melody’s lips. As she dipped strawberries in melted milk chocolate and wrapped last-minute gifts in colored cellophane, she floated around the chocolate shop in a dreamy haze. So distracted were her harried customers, they didn’t even notice the subtle change.
Charlotte, however, narrowed her eyes. “You seem unusually happy today, Melody. Do you have big Valentine plans for tonight?”
“Oh, nothing special.” Melody smiled, thinking about the very special appointment she’d made for this evening. But, she preferred to keep it to herself, like a treasured secret.
“Are you sure? You look like the cat who swallowed the canary.” Charlotte winked.
A warmhearted feeling came over Melody. After years of working in the chocolate shop alone, she enjoyed the camaraderie she shared with the teenager. “Well, if you must know…”
Before Melody could share her secret, she looked up and saw the enchanting bookseller sweeping the front steps of his shop. The broom moved back and forth in a gentle rhythm in the bookseller’s hands. She imagined for a moment he held her instead of the broom and the two of them waltzed up and down the sidewalk. She completely lost track of what she was saying. “I-I’m going to-to…”
Charlotte’s eyes flew open wide and she jumped up and down. “Melody! Do you have a date?”
Short Bio:
Romancing the pet-lover's soul Teri Wilson loves romance, dogs and wearing pink. Her stories are often filled with happy endings, splashes of humor and a loveable critter or two. After all, Cinderella never would have lived happily ever after without a little help from her animal friends! Teri is the recipient of the 2006 Westminster Kennel Club Angel on a Leash Writing Award and the 3rd place winner of the 21st Annual American Kennel Club Short Fiction Contest. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, son and three delightful dogs.
Thank you for stopping by. Blessings. Aithne

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Apple of His Eye

Now Available at
Forbidden Publications

Stacy Dawn's

~ The Apple of His Eye

Story Blurb:

The Golden Rule of Friendship: Do not covet thy best friend’s fiancée.

An easy rule for Shane Gallagher to obey when he first meets Eden, as staid and business-minded as his friend she was about to marry. But when she starts blossoming before his eyes, can Shane stay away from the forbidden fruit?


Teasing Excerpt:

“You don't have to do this.”

“You're starting to sound like a broken record there, Gallagher.”

Shane didn't care. He held firm to Eden's arm, balancing her as they made their way to the homemade ice rink in the backyard.

“I'll be fine. Honest.”

Even though a grin sparkled in her eyes, her earlier trepidation when he mentioned skating at Rockefeller Center concerned him. Added to the fact she wore an old pair of men's hockey skates instead of a better fitting lady's skate, he planned to stick close—very close. How would he explain returning a bruised and battered fiancée back to Brad? The bruised and battered part wasn't pleasant—neither was the returning part. Not a thought he was willing to dwell on at the moment, especially when he had more important things to take care of.

He stepped onto the ice first. There wasn't a winter day in his childhood memories and beyond that didn't have half the neighborhood out here skating at the homemade 'Gallagher rink'. All his siblings, sisters included, grew up in various hockey leagues.

Holding her securely, he stepped over the short rim. “Okay, watch your step here. Hold onto my arm and....whoa!”

He grabbed for Eden as one of her skates slid out from under her. Keeping his own balance was a chore as they danced a farcical pirouette. Her laughter bounced off the glass surface, crashing like a body check into his chest and effectively toppling him onto the ice. He ended up on his back with Eden clasped atop his chest, her infectious giggles fanning his chin.

“Sorry. I caught my toe on the rim.”

Her gaze sparkled down at him. The tip of her tongue darted out to wet rose-colored lips as her breath warmed his face.

Cold seeping into his back brought him back to reality. The reality that she was a taken woman. Taken by his best friend.

For the only time he could remember, Shane was honestly jealous of Brad.

This was a bad idea.

Carefully, he disentangled himself and got them to their feet. “Look, we should go back inside.” Where he could put a table or, better yet, a whole room between them for safety. His or hers, he couldn't be sure.

“No, please. I've got it now, see.”

She let go of his arm and stood alone. He kept his hands at the ready even though her balance seemed much better. In fact, she looked remarkably relaxed.

Eden's gaze danced to the others practicing their slap shots. “Do you have a stick I could use?”

“Whoa there, Gretzky,” Shane chuckled. “Let's get you skating first before you try your hand at a stick.”

“What? You mean like this?”

He grasped at empty air when she suddenly pushed away to slide smoothly backwards. A mischievous glitter twinkled up to him as she swayed her hips, propelling herself faster. Before he could say her name, Eden skidded to a stop and returned to him all in one fluid movement, ending with a small spray of ice shavings over his own skates.

Why that little...

Crossing his arms over his chest, he narrowed his gaze. “I thought you said you can't skate?”

“Can't skate? Can't skate? Nope, I don't recall actually saying those words,” she mimicked. Eden zipped around him in a circle, her laughter trailing after her like fairy dust. “I believe what I said was 'it'd been a while'. Years in fact. Guess it is like riding a bike after all, huh?”

When she stopped, Shane took his turn, unable to stop himself from assessing the snug jeans under the ski-bunny attire as he slowly circled her. “What other tricks do you have up your sleeve, Ms. Rossi?”

“Wouldn't be much fun if I told you all my secrets, now, would it?”

He slid off to the far side and retrieved two hockey sticks. “All right, Red. Let's see what you got.”


Praise for The Apple of His Eye

4 Lips from Two Lips Reviews!

Shane is shocked by his best friend Brad’s marriage plans. Brad plans to marry business woman Eden. Their marriage is for purely practical reasons. There is no love of passion between Brad and Eden.

Shane agrees to show Eden around before the wedding while Brad is called to work. Shane quickly sees through Eden’s business persona to the woman underneath and it isn’t long before he begins to yearn to make her his. But, best friends don’t steal their best friend’s girl. Even if she is the love of his life.

I truly enjoyed The Apple of His Eye by Stacy Dawn. Shane tries his best to show Eden how great marriage can be when entering into it for the right reasons. The book really flows well. Stacy Dawn shows true talent for constructing a fast paced passionate novel. Her characters feel like real people and I liked them all.

Stacy Dawn is an author to watch!

Written by Tara Renee,
Two Lips Reviews


~ The Apple of His Eye ~ Forbidden Publications

Also available at Fictionwise


Learn more about Stacy Dawn! She has a whole library shelf of short romance for your reading pleasure.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Truth About Daydreams

Now Available!

Donna Michaels'

~ The Truth about Daydreams

Story Blurb

I, Lexi Harper, college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Network Cyber Security, used to have a sound mind, until I returned to my hometown of Fodders Creek and attended the Malloy’s cookout. Eagerly looking forward to greet as an adult, Brad Malloy, the man of my daydreams…which still persist to this day—I hadn’t counted on his younger brother, Sammy, my childhood partner in crime, to have transformed into a super hero hunk capable of attracting my signal.

Did I waste all those years Brad-worshiping when I should’ve noticed my best friend? I realized the answer the moment I discovered the truth about daydreams.

Teasing Excerpt

The Truth about Daydreams

“Oh, Lexi…you’re my world, my love, my life,” Brad said, his lips on my neck nuzzling a path to my ear.

Goosebumps raced down my body in search of my toes. I’d waited a decade to hear Brad Malloy profess his love and hardly believed his acknowledgement was finally happening.

Firm lips heated a trail along my jaw, and my heart beat faster the nearer his lips moved toward my mouth. The kiss I’d longed for…hoped for…ached for. His mouth inched closer…closer…


No! I groaned as Brad and his full, tender lips faded away, replaced by my assistant’s wrinkled forehead.

“Lexi. You’re wanted on line one.”


If you're looking for a short, sweet read, The Truth About Daydreams, Donna's first story in first person POV, is a 10 page Sweetheart Rosette available today at The Wild Rose Press.

Donna Michaels is a mutli-published author of Romaginative Fiction who loves variety and humor in books. To learn more about her and her stories, plus some cool trailers and contests, please visit her WEBSITE today.Visit Donna at her website to learn more about her stories.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sky Purington's The King's Druidess

Sky Purington's The King's Druidess is an enchanting read.

Story Blurb:

Chiomara Ruadh, Druidess of Ulster, will not be swayed from prophecy. If the Gods of Ireland request that she couple with the king, so be it. If it is also their wish that he marry another woman, who is Chiomara, a simple Druid, to stand in their way?

Erc Breac, king of the Dal'Raida, can only think of Chiomara. Her beauty is surreal and the tales that follow her across the land unsurpassed. But that is not enough when faced with the obligations of a king. His people must come first. His future wife and queen, Macha, must come first. Yet, fate is a slippery thing. Will Erc risk the whole of his kingdom for what lays in his heart?

Teasing Excerpt:

King's Druidess

Chiomara walked around the stones and stood beside the oak. Her back was straight and her head high as she waited. It was the full moon that gave his face to her first. He stood tall and beautiful at the edge of the tree line. She had not seen Erc Breac, king of Dal'Riada, for many years. He said nothing but came to her. His eyes were of the earth, deep brown and thickly lashed.

At arms length, he stopped. "Druidess, you are even lovelier than I remember."

She lifted her hand and touched his bare chest. "Were we not still macdacht, children when we last met?"

His muscles rippled at the contact and his hand covered hers. "We were as you say, but we are grown now. And we are both led to this place at this time."

Erc's heart beat strong beneath her fingertips and his heat scorched her blood. "So we meet with one purpose."

His hands came up to her hood and pulled it back gently. "I can not promise you that."

The rumble of Erc's soul encased his fingers as they ran the length of her hair. Sifted through the platinum depths of it until the pleasure of his touch drew her closer.

She breathed the prophecy through eager lips. "Do they not foretell us coming together for one purpose?"

His words turned sensuous and contemplative. "They do. But what do they know of how I will feel once I have tasted you?"

Info about purchasing this great short story can be found at The Wild Rose Press.
The King's Druidess ~ $3.00

If you like more information about Sky why not stop by her MySpace? there you will find interesting tidbits about Sky and her other stories. (psst... Fate's Monolith is also a great read.)