Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TEASER TUESDAY: Melinda Dozier

Welcome to another installment of TEASER TUESDAY. I'm excited to have the lovely Melinda Dozier here with us today. She'll be sharing an excerpt from her contemporary romance, BREAKING THE RULES. 


Colin reached behind her and rubbed her back. “You deserve better than that asshole.”
“I know.” She looked up at him. “That’s when I decided to look for an administrative  job outside of Virginia. A few months later, Kelly told me about the job here and that’s
how I ended up in Harbor Bay.”
“Lucky us.” He rubbed her neck and smiled. “Now I see where you’re coming from.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean with all this secret stuff.” He pulled her closer. “We don’t have to be a secret. There’s nothing wrong with us seeing each other.”
“I’m not so sure.” Her smile wavered.
“I’m sure.” He reached for her chin and raised it. “I’d really like to see you, date you ... kiss you ... whatever you want to call this.” He shook his head. “Shit. I’m so bad at this.”
She giggled and reached for his hands. “I want to do it too, but there’s a line drawn between us already we can’t erase.”
“To hell with the line. Dr. Patel can be your doctor from now on and your being Jason’s principal has nothing to do with our relationship. There are principals and teachers out there who teach their children. People do it. We’re just dating and we’re professional. I mean, do you have something written in your contract that says, ‘No dating doctors’?”
She opened and closed her mouth. Funny how he just spilled his thoughts out in the open. She pulled her ear and cocked her head. “Hmmm. I don’t think so.”
“Then to hell with it. We deserve to try this thing out.” He motioned between the two of them. With her hesitation, he added. “Maybe making out for a few minutes would help us.”
She laughed and pushed him.
Then when he eyed her closely, he added. “I mean it.”
She sighed. He was right. Absolutely right. “Okay. Let’s try it. ”
His smile grew wider.
She held up a finger. “But, when we’re at school, no physical contact.”
He grabbed her finger and pulled her to his chest. “We’re not at school right now.”
She laughed against his neck. “No, we’re not.”
“So, no more dating other schmucks, right? No Kevin or ... whoever.”
“No. Only you.” She moistened her lips.
“Then come here.” He pushed her down on the blanket and held his body above her.
“You really drove me crazy today, you know that? In that bikini of yours.” His hand grazed her stomach and reached under the sweatshirt. Leaning down, he gave gentle kisses on her neck. “God you feel so good.”
The mere touch of his hand and the words from his mouth sent a shiver through her.
She placed her arms around his neck and groaned. His hand moved up more onto her bare skin and up to her bikini top, feeling her breasts underneath them. “So good.” He moaned.
She grabbed his face and pulled it to her own. The kiss was as tender and light as the fall breeze around them. But as soon as she opened her mouth, the breeze turned into a whirlwind of desire. She wanted him and from what she felt against her leg, she knew he wanted her just as much. The kiss turned into a burning ache for each other that had been building for weeks. Opening up to him had pulled something within her, too. A real relationship between them. No more hiding. No more denying it.
She quivered at his tenderness as he showered more kisses around her lips and then moved around her jaw. A low groan sounded from his throat and he stopped to look down at her. “We better stop.”
She lazily smiled. “I guess.”
“I don’t want to stop though.” He grabbed her ass.
“We are on a public beach.” And as if on cue, another couple walked by a few yards away from them. “See.”
Colin laughed and he bent down, first kissing her nose, then each eye and finally a sweet kiss on her lips. He sprawled out next to her and grabbed her hand, taking a deep breath. “This day is even better than I thought it’d be.”
She squeezed his hand. “The best bucket list adventure yet.”
In their comfortable silence, she could feel Colin’s heart beat next to her, even though they only touched shoulders and hands. His foot lingered over and curled with her own.
They turned heads at the same time and he smiled at her. “So, you’re my girlfriend, then?”
She bit her lip and tried not to laugh. “You really are sweet, you know that?”
Groaning, he took his hat off his head and pulled it on top of his face. “Don’t keep saying that, especially around Tim. He’d never let me hear the end of it.”
Hope reached over and held the hat up. “You’re sweet, Colin, whether you want to admit it or not. Sweet. Sweet. Sweet.” She kissed him with each word and lay back down.

“I told you not to call me that.” He rolled to his side and pulled her closer. “Bad girls will be punished, Ms. Robinson. You should know that.”

A forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.

Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.

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Melinda lives in Guatemala, Central America with her husband and three boys. She teaches English to middle schoolers during the day and finds time to write at night. Melinda has always been an avid reader and writer, enjoys watching reality tv, blogs, and relaxes with Zynga games. You can find Melinda at www.melindadozier.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/melinda.dozier

California Sunset: Casey Dawes

Divorced mother Annie Gerhard meets rugged new bookstore owner John Johnson at the worst possible time in her life. Her high tech company is threatening to lay her off if she doesn’t move from California to New Jersey and her 15-year-old son David is causing trouble. The recession has hit Silicon Valley hard and there are no jobs for a middle manager, even if she hates what she does. And this is no time for romance, no matter how good the man looks in his jeans.

John has escaped Montana memories of a deceased wife and betraying girlfriend by buying an independent bookstore in California. He’s got bigger problems than falling for a spunky woman with control issues. Keeping a bookstore afloat in a recession and finding a home where he can stable his horse are all he can handle right now.

Unless . . .

John and Annie must both face their pasts in order to greet the future. Can they risk it?

Slow Ride: Kat Morrisey

Kyla O'Grady hit the gas and drove her Mustang out of Rock River, Pennsylvania with one goal in mind: find somewhere to start over. Her life had gone sideways back home and Kyla needs something new, something fresh, and she needs to find the music again. But on a stretch of road off the coast of Maine, her car has other ideas. Broken down just inside the town limits of Ashten Falls, Maine, Kyla is stranded.

Cooper Moretto has a problem. In fact, the whole town of Ashten Falls has a problem in the form of a corrupt town official. Cooper had enough on his plate to last a lifetime, but on a stretch of highway heading into the town he spots a '67 Mustang Coupe and does what any decent mechanic would do: stop to help. But getting this car back on the road is the last thing on his mind when he sees its owner, singing as if she weren’t in the middle of nowhere.

Kyla is speeding away from her past, unsure how to move forward. Cooper has been on cruise control, just hoping to get through every day without being arrested or harassed. Can the two slow down long enough to see that maybe the answers to both their problems lie in each other? And can they survive when enemies that are lurking in the shadows try to destroy them both?

Coming Home: Christine S. Feldman
No woman ever really forgets her first love. Callie Sorenson is no exception. Hers was tall, tanned, and - as her older brother’s best friend - completely off limits.

Danny McCutcheon.

It’s a name that Callie hasn’t spoken in years, even if the man to whom it belongs has never really been all that far from her thoughts. Or her heart. But now a twist of fate will bring her back to the childhood home she left behind years ago, and to the hometown boy for whom she secretly longed.

When her mother takes a bad fall and breaks her hip, Callie leaves the bright lights of New York City to fly back west and help with the rehabilitation. It’s a tense homecoming due to a long time estrangement between mother and daughter, and it drives Callie to confront both a painful personal loss and her unanswered questions about the father who abandoned her when she was just a child.It also brings her face to face with Danny again, and Callie quickly realizes that old feelings die hard.

But for Danny, it’s new feelings that are a problem. Callie is not the young girl he remembers but a woman now, and a very desirable one. They both have reasons to fight the growing attraction between them, but the temptation may just prove to be too much to resist, despite some very real risk to their hearts. The past casts a long shadow over the future, though, and Callie will have to overcome it or else face losing the one man who means the most to her.

Begin Again: Christy Newton
What if one night changed your life forever?

Maisie Scott lost not only her husband and unborn child in a tornado two years ago, she lost her will to live. Keeping busy is the only way she can get by. This small town waitress won't let herself get attached to anyone . . . until Ryan, the new veterinarian for exotic animals, starts making regular trips to her diner. As hard as she tries not to feel anything, Ryan ignites a spark in her broken heart.

Ryan Tucker craves a happy family of his own more than his momma’s apple pie. Getting over his fiancée leaving him six months ago, he moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. When he meets Maisie and notices the sadness in her eyes, he is determined to put a smile on her pretty face.

When another dangerous storm hits, Ryan stays by Maisie's side. She fills the missing piece in his heart, but will Ryan share his secret? Can Maisie move on from the past and learn to begin again?

Lake Effect: Johannah Bryson
Shelby Aylesworth knows what real love feels like. She also knows the pain of losing that kind of love. With her faithful collie dog, Norman, she takes refuge on Whiskey Island to try to put her life back together. When Norman arranges a most unusual introduction to the island’s newest resident, Shelby finds herself wondering if it isn’t time to stop grieving and start living.

Wyeth Packard has come to Whiskey Island under the guise of restoring and making profitable an old vineyard and manor house. What he really wants is some peace and quiet away from the fast pace of NYC. Being considered one of the city’s most eligible has thrown him into the path of every gold digging society princess out there. He longs to find a balance but has given up on ever finding a woman who will love him for who he is, not what he has.

Together they navigate the slippery slope of what it means to begin again. Can a new love fill the void left by an old love?

All About Charming Alice: J. Arlene Culiner

Alice Treemont has given up hope of meeting the right man and falling in love. Living in depopulated Blake’s Folly, a community of rusting cars, clapboard shacks and thirsty weeds, she cooks vegetarian meals, rescues unwanted dogs and protects the most unloved creatures on earth: snakes. What man would share those interests? Certainly not Jace Constant whose life in Chicago includes elegant women, fine dining and contemporary art. He’s in Nevada doing research for his new book but definitely won’t be staying: he hates the desert’s bleakness, the dust on his fine leather shoes and the dog hair on his cashmere sweaters. As for snakes — they terrify him.

So why does the air sizzle each time Alice and Jace meet? Why are they so fascinated by each other? Their feelings might go deeper than raw desire, but any long-term relationship is clearly doomed.

In need of juicy gossip, the other 52 residents of Blake's Folly have decided Alice has been alone for long enough. The attraction between her and Jace is so obvious, why worry about differences? If you trust in love, solutions do appear. But don’t those solutions call for too many compromises, too much self-sacrifice?

 Broken Wings, Soaring Hearts: Beverly A. Rogers

Hailey Holman is a woman determined to keep her dad's memory and his dream of reopening their small-town Texas base station alive. Jack Stinson is looking for a peaceful place to escape the rat race of the big city life and big city business of his own family's airplane manufacturing business.

What a perfect match. Other than the fact that her mom hates the flying business with a passion and fights Hailey's every effort, and Jack's dad fought his every effort to make the break, then disowned him for leaving. Throw in two town bullies who insist on opening a base station of their own and reeking havoc on Hailey's plans and her own determination not to get personally involved with the employees, and it's anything but smooth sailing.

But these two focused pilots might just be surprised how things can work out with enough stubbornness . . . and faith.

Charmed: Inés Saint
Jamie Sullivan is a fun-loving, widowed mother of twin five-year old boys. A
creative goldsmith with her own line of designer charms, she is determined to forge her own unique brand of success. Jamie guards a painful secret that leads her to be emphatic about not letting a man into her life.

Nick Grey is the gorgeous, charming, and daydream-inducing headmaster of the private elementary school Jamie's children will attend. After single-handedly bringing up his daughter while earning his doctorate and proving himself to the school's board of directors and the community, he feels burned out. Come the end of the semester, Nick is taking a year off to travel the world. 

When they meet, an instant attraction blazes through both. Nick and Jamie soon find their hard earned peace of mind threatened by meddling matchmakers, old rivalries, and children who can't keep their feet out of their mouths. But Nick's not interested in starting over and raising kids again, and Jamie's sure she can't trust her heart. Will they be able to nurture their friendship and attraction into something that can last forever?

Angel Without Wings: Mari Manning

A war widow at twenty-six, Linnea Reyes is haunted by the soul-shattering fight she had with her husband just before he led his detachment into the ambush that killed him. When one of the wounded soldiers from her husbands battalion asks her to help save his family’s farm, she jumps at the chance for redemption. Unfortunately, she runs straight into a six-foot roadblock – the soldier's older brother who has plans of his own.

After resigning from a promising army career to help his mother and wounded brother, Jesse McCormick is at the lowest point in his life. Now they are about to lose the family's organic farm and only one plan will earn him enough money to get his family out of debt and him off the farm – a dangerous assignment with a paramilitary group. He can brush aside the protests of his worried family, but the good intentions of Linnea Reyes prove to be more than he can handle.