Reading Improves Your Mental Health

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”  Joyce Carol Oates

May 1st to 7th is Mental Health Week here in Canada, not sure that holds for the rest of the world but it doesn’t really matter. Mental health is a subject for all 52 weeks of the year anywhere on the planet. I’m only just realizing how important a well rounded self-care regimen really is to one’s continued mental wellbeing. And seeing as my mental health isn’t always within the optimal range you could be fair to say I’m a slow learner. Good thing it’s never too late to start taking care of yourself.

Three websites listing MANY resources for those who are suffering or who know someone that is:

I wish I could list links for the planet, but hopefully the links above give you an idea of what information and resources you can search out in your own country or region.

But most importantly: Ask for help or seek advice from a professional – give your mental health the attention it needs and deserves.

I can say from personal experience, you won’t regret it. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy gave me important tools to manage my symptoms of depression and anxiety. But in reality it’s of benefit to everyone as we all have to deal with life’s challenges, stresses, and demands. Learn how to manage negative thinking or inaccurate thoughts. Learn the difference between positive thinking and realistic thinking. Make your mental health a priority!

We all need and deserve breaks. But we can’t all jump on a plane or boat and spend a month in Bora Bora. There are numerous ways to relieve stress that won’t put you in the poor house.

One of my favourite ways to relieve stress? Reading. Of course, reading has many benefits, but it’s also a way to reset and recharge. Six minutes of reading can reduce your stress levels by 68%. In the last few months I’ve taken to reading print books again, after having all but given them up. It was a craving really, a desire to hold a print book in my hands. There’s a term for this – slow reading. I guess it’s no surprise that I’m back to reading print (I haven’t given up ebooks!) as I’ve embraced a more mindful life style. Science has proven slow reading reduces stress, increases your ability to concentrate, and improves your sleep.

I’ve just started a wonderful (so far) book: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware! Good thing because this month promises to be a busy one.

When travel journalist Lo Blacklock is invited on a boutique luxury cruise around the Norwegian fjords, it seems like a dream career opportunity.

But the trip takes a nightmarish turn when she wakes in the middle of the night to hear a body being thrown overboard – only to discover that no-one has been reported missing from the boat.

How do you stop a killer, when no-one believes they exist?

Funny how reading about murder allows me to relax! What do you do to relieve stress? And please, offer book recommendations! I’m always in need of a great book to read.

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Off The Grid 99c Until January 22nd

Off The Grid is on sale for 99c!

It’s a steal of a deal for 99 cents until January 22nd! Set in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Off The Grid is the story of two people snared in the net cast by one man in a quest for power and dominance.

I think this book weighs in higher on the suspense side. Bad things happen in this book. Just so you know. It’s honest, emotional, and fast paced. If you love gritty romantic suspense, this is the book for you!

Poverty, Privilege and Power

Off The Grid by Karyn Good

Off The Grid by Karyn Good 99c until January 22nd

A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby’s father is one of the city’s most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who’s a little too confident and a lot too sexy.

Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn’t the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby’s father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.

But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives?

The Wild Rose Press * Amazon * Kobo * Barnes and Noble * iBooks

A Bit About The Inspiration Behind Off The Grid

The first time I heard about the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, famously dubbed Canada’s poorest postal code, I knew I wanted to set a story there. In a tough environment where I could explore the incredibly difficult choices some women are forced to make in order to survive. Not pretty ones, but real ones. I wanted a heroine who was compassionate, smart, and driven and a hero who was the product of privilege, ambition, and character. Two protagonists caught up in something bigger than themselves who must decide on which side of the line they are going to stand.

“These people, they aren’t invisible, and acknowledging that is worth something.” Eastside Stories

The video below is a powerful reminder that we’re all equal, that poverty isn’t catching, and that how we care for each other matters.

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Getting Ready to Release EXPOSED, A Small Town Romantic Suspense

I can’t believe I’m getting ready to release my third book. EXPOSED will be available on Friday, September 11th!

A small town romantic suspense and the second book in my Aspen Lake Series.

Find it at:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon * Kobo * Barnes and Noble * All Romance Ebooks * BookStrand

Kate Logan and Seth Stone. These two…

One of them likes shoes and one of them likes grunge rock. I’ll let you gues which is which.

But the real story isn’t their shoe or music perferences, it’s about deciding where to draw the line and then having to cross it.

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Kate Logan needs a safe haven, a place to start over after her modeling career disintegrates in scandal. But her hometown of Aspen Lake isn’t the sanctuary she hoped. Her vow of a low-key life is disrupted by a break-in and other strange happenings at her boutique. As the chair of Aspen Lake’s Gothic Revival Festival, she’s also drawn the ire of a religious fanatic. Kate is up to her stilettos in drama and intrigue including one sexy carpenter who’s determined to get in her way.

New to town, Seth Stone is seeking inspiration and solitude to concentrate on his art. Short on funds, he agrees to take on a second job restoring the damage to Kate’s Closet. Trouble erupts along with the desire to get to know Kate better. When he’s used as a pawn in a smear campaign against his gorgeous boss Seth fights back. But now the whole town is watching. Including the man determined to further his own agenda. Time is running out with nowhere to hide.

Enter to win one of two signed paperbacks at Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Exposed by Karyn Good

Exposed

by Karyn Good

Giveaway ends October 15, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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My Romantic Suspense, Backlash, On Sale for 99 Cents!

BACKLASH, Book 1 in my Aspen Lake series, is on sale for 99 cents until September 3rd!

Available Now

Available Now

 At all the using places, including:

Amazon  .  Kobo .  Barnes and Noble  .  TWRP

Blurb:

What he’s sworn to protect, she’s willing to sacrifice to save those she loves…

When dedicated teacher Lily Wheeler interrupts a vicious gang attack on one of her students, she vows it won’t happen again. But her rash interference puts her in the path of a cold-blooded killer and the constable tracking him — a man she has little reason to trust, but can never forget.

Constable Chase Porter returned to Aspen Lake to see justice done, not renew old acquaintances. But when he rescues the woman he once loved from a volatile situation, he realizes his feelings for Lily haven’t lessened over the years.

Now, the dangerous killer Chase has sworn to capture has Lily in his sights. Can Chase and Lilly learn to trust each other again before it’s too late — or will old insecurities jeopardize their future?

Backlash PC 2

Excerpt:

“What can you tell me about the confrontation in the parking lot?” asked Chase.

Lily didn’t want to tell him anything. “Shouldn’t we wait for one of the officers before getting into that?”

“Right now, I’m it.”

“I don’t understand.” Her fingers tightened around her cup, and the resulting pop from the pressure filled the small space. She glanced back at the door, all confusion, and he knew she was hoping for some kind of intervention. For someone else to join them, anyone else. “What do you have to do with all this? Why are you back here?”

Stalling, he settled his arms on the tabletop. She didn’t trust him. He also got that he was the last person she’d want dropping back into her life. The file between them held some of her answers. The rest were buried so deep inside him, it made ignoring them all part of the routine.

He offered her an anemic look of confusion. “Here?”

“Yes. Here. In this room. In Aspen Lake. In the parking lot of my school.” She spread her hands out and motioned around her. “Here!” She averted her gaze and inhaled a deep breath before spotlighting him, apprehension darkening her eyes, deepening the blue color.

“My job.” To him, it was that simple.

“Your job?”

“I’ve been transferred to the Aspen Lake detachment.”

“You’re a cop?” Her look of skepticism said it all.

The air of disbelief pricked at his ego. He shifted in his chair. Like all the times in fifth grade when his teacher, Miss Carlisle, had asked him why he had no lunch. Had asked questions about his father.

“Is that so hard to believe?” He had worked his ass off to get where he was, and he was a damned good cop. The work he did with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, and his reputation, proved his dedication to his job. None of which she’d be aware of, or care about if she did. When he burnt a bridge, the only thing he left behind was ash.

“Yeah, kind of. But then, how would I know? You didn’t feel the need to let me in on all your plans. Remember.”

“So, we’re going to do that here? Now? Rehash the past?”

“You’re right. There’s absolutely no need. Feel free to skip ahead to the part about why you’re back now.”

“Among other things, I’m part of a collective task force targeting organized crime.”

“Which doesn’t explain why you’re back in Aspen Lake.”

“Doesn’t it.”

She crossed her arms. “You think we have organized crime in Aspen Lake?”

While it had never been his, he needed to remember this was her place, her town, and her sanctuary, as well as a police matter. He kept his response brief. “Yes.”

“And the attack this afternoon? You think it was gang related?”

“And you don’t?”

She didn’t react, didn’t deny, which told him a lot. He sighed. “We know gangs are recruiting in the area. One gang in particular is increasing its presence, the Prairie Brotherhood. They run the gamut from drugs to money laundering and everything in between.”

“What’s any of this got to do with Jason? He’s a thirteen-year-old child.”

“That would be the question of the hour. Because one of the men who attacked him this afternoon, the one with the web tattoo, is a prominent member of the Prairie Brotherhood.”

She frowned as she uncrossed her arms and leaned forward. “But that doesn’t make sense.”

“Why?” He asked, because he needed all the facts, all the information on Jason he was able to gather, and figured his best bet was sitting in front of him.

“Because it just doesn’t.”

“You’re going to have to be a little more specific.” “How would Jason even know this person?”

He tapped a finger on the file folder between them. “This person goes by the name Raphael Tessier. On the street he’s known as the Enforcer, that’s also his job description, by the way, and he’s the number three man for the Prairie Brotherhood.”

Her palms settled on the table, and her chest expanded with the long slow exaggerated breath she drew into her lungs. “But what could he want with Jason? I can’t imagine Jason knowing this Enforcer person.”

“Or how the Enforcer knows him?”

“No.” She shook her head. “No idea.”

“How well do you know Jason?”

“Well enough to know he’d never get mixed up in this kind of thing.”

“Then apparently you don’t know him as well as you think. The Prairie Brotherhood doesn’t send out Raphael Tessier to terrorize kids. He has foot soldiers for that. He comes out when there’s a very heavy score to settle. When all other options have failed. When only the most brutal tactics will do.”

Hard to believe her skin could get any paler, but it did. He squelched the wave of pity and braced his arms on the table, ready to push back his chair. He needed distance. She reached across the table and laid a restraining hand on his arm. Before he knew it, memories got the drop on him. Of their special spot, of fogged over windows, of fumbling fingers and stubborn buttons. He set his butt back down in the chair. He didn’t have a choice. Standing wasn’t an option.

“So, you think…” She paused, collected herself. “You think they’ll be back. Looking for him again. Don’t you?”

He glanced down at her hand, registered the burn of his skin underneath hers. A four second time delay occurred before he stabilized enough to reply. “That’s what we have to find out.”

Her eyes squeezed shut for a couple of seconds. Her fingernails cut into his arm. “All right, you say you know your stuff. Tell me how to help him. I can talk to him. I can help.”

He carefully and methodically removed her hand from his arm and placed it on the table. “You can let the police do their job.”

She blinked, and the faintest flush of pink painted her throat and cheeks. “I need to do—”

“No, you don’t.” He gritted his teeth as she tucked her hands into her lap.

Her chin went up. “I’m involved whether you like it or not, so let’s skip past all the crap and move on to what I can do to help him. Because the one thing I will not do is stand aside and leave him to be terrorized by these…these people.”

Damn right you will, he thought. “Let’s not pretty it up. These people? These people are killers, thieves, drug dealers, and pimps. The police will handle it. The police will keep him safe.” He knew what happened to the people caught in the Prairie Brotherhood’s headlights, and she was the very last person he wanted trapped there.

“No offense, but from everything you’ve said, it might not be enough.” A true teacher, she held up a hand as soon as he opened his mouth. “He is in my classroom five days a week. I can help keep him safe. You can concentrate on the bad guys and put every effort into finding them. I, on the other hand, will be concentrating on my student.” She let her hand drop, took aim and fired her parting shot. “He’s all alone. His father couldn’t care less. You, of all people, should be able to relate.”

He closed his eyes at the low blow. Then he moved, made his way around the corner of the table, and came to stand beside her chair. “Still collecting lost souls, Lily?”

Her top teeth snagged on her bottom lip, and heat swept under his skin. She pushed her chair back and stood. “I don’t need to justify my actions to you.”

“You will if those actions put you, or anyone else, in danger.”

“You seem pretty sure of yourself.” Her hands went to her hips. “That’s new.”

“I do what it takes to get the job done.” No matter what.

“And when the job’s done? When there’s nothing left for you here?”

****

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt and take a chance on the whole thing. And if you’ve already read Backlash – thank you! Book 2, EXPOSED, will be out on September 11th!

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EXPOSED Is Available For Pre-Order!

EXPOSED, Book 2 in my Aspen Lake series, is available for pre-order! 

Coming on September 11th!

Coming on September 11th!

Find it at:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon * Kobo * Barnes and Noble * All Romance Ebooks * BookStrand

Kate Logan needs a safe haven, a place to start over after her modeling career disintegrates in scandal. But her hometown of Aspen Lake isn’t the sanctuary she hoped. Her vow of a low-key life is disrupted by a break-in and other strange happenings at her boutique. As the chair of Aspen Lake’s Gothic Revival Festival, she’s also drawn the ire of a religious fanatic. Kate is up to her stilettos in drama and intrigue including one sexy carpenter who’s determined to get in her way.

New to town, Seth Stone is seeking inspiration and solitude to concentrate on his art. Short on funds, he agrees to take on a second job restoring the damage to Kate’s Closet. Trouble erupts along with the desire to get to know Kate better. When he’s used as a pawn in a smear campaign against his gorgeous boss Seth fights back. But now the whole town is watching. Including the man determined to further his own agenda. Time is running out with nowhere to hide.

Excerpt:

Kate Logan pushed aside the yellow crime scene tape. She didn’t waste time pondering her options. Not many to consider. Her fingers tightened over the shattered wood frame of her boutique’s backdoor. It was going to take divine intervention to make things right in time for the festival. She didn’t need the nasty splinter stabbing into her thumb as confirmation.

“Darn it.” Finger in mouth, the metallic taste of blood on her tongue, she navigated the destruction in search of the tissue box. Files, catalogues, and broken shelving units littered the floor. Her desk was a ruined mess. Hacked apart. By an axe.

An. Axe.

Nothing terrifying about that. She shuddered. So was the thought of paying to fix it all. With her bank account sitting next to zero and her line of credit tapped, repairing the break-in damage was an expense she didn’t need and couldn’t afford. Sure, she had insurance but collecting took time, hassle, and energy she didn’t have. Tissues found, she ripped one free and pressed it against her fingertip.

An axe.

Aspen Lake was a small prairie resort town, a treed oasis in the middle of farming country boasting three thousand year-round residents. During the tourist season, the numbers swelled due to the influx of cottage owners and seasonal campers. Break-ins happened, not frequently, but often enough. But this? This was extreme. And big news.

This was tasty enough to coax any small-towner out of his or her comfiest lazy-chair. They would come. The curious and well meaning. The gloaters. The haters. The ones certain she was a designer handbag short of a full closet. All with a varying degree of poor, poor, pitiful Kate plastered on their faces. Here’s hoping the gawkers were also spenders. So long as they walked out with a black plastic bag emblazoned with her string of pearls logo and the words Kate’s Closet what did she care? Respect wasn’t a purchase requirement.

***

Pre-order your copy today!

Exposed Postcard Kate Logan v2 (1)

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5 Reasons To Make Reading An Absolute Priority This Summer

Besides the obvious, which is because we want to!

1. You can do it for free! And who doesn’t love free! If funds are tight it’s mandatory. Or you can save your money for mojitos and margaritas. Or the fabulous day trip you’ve been planning (don’t forget to pack a book). Get a pedicure! You can pick up print books from the library shelves, or borrow ebooks. God bless libraries. I consider them an essential service! They give you the opportunity to try a book you might not chance buying. You might discover a new-to-you author. Their backlist. Then there’s no stopping you.

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2. You can be an Extreme Reader and not risk your life! This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Unless you need me to tell you not to walk and read. Or maybe that’s only my clumsy self.

3. You can do it on the beach. In a hammock. In the park. In the shade. In a hotel room. In the airpost. Waiting for the ferry. On the bus. In your campsite. Any where. Any how. Any way. You might make a new friend over discussing the books you’re each reading. Also, reading is sexy. So…you know, it might help you score. Do the kids still use that word?

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4. Reading has absolutely zero calories. If you’re interested in that kind of thing. Or concerned about calories. But where’s the fun in that. It also pairs well with wine. Popcorn. Veggies and dip. Fresh berries. Reading is very versitile in that regard and I’m sure Gordon Ramsey would concure. Do it while eating pizza, burgers, or Chinese food. I’m a firm believer that a book look tattered and torn when finished. Unless you get it from a library. Or a friend. Then you might want to keep the crumbs to yourself.

5. Reading helps you chill out. Have stress? And who of us doesn’t? Books can take you away from your day-to-day troubles for a little while and help you relax. So go ahead, let a good book sweep you off your feet. Fall in love with a fictional character. Live in a fantasy world for a few minutes. Go back in time. Help solve a mystery. Play detective. Blush over the sexy bits. Get chills and thrills and crime.

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You can set yourself a summer reading challenge. Do a group read with friends. Or family. Like my sister, mom, and I are reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I’ve pre-ordered Kristen Ashley’s Ride Steady (Chaos #3). I want to read Searching for Sunday: Loving, Learning, and Finding the Church by Rachel Evans Held. Maybe J.R. Ward’s The Bourbon Kings. HelenKay Dimon’s Playing Dirty. Oh, who am I kidding, there are too many to mention.

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Read! Nothing goes with summer like a good book! What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? Also, share your recommendations!

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C Is For Curiosity #AtoZChallenge

Sexy Suspense

A2Z Challenge

 

The A to Z April Blogging Challenge

Curiosity isn’t just for kids! And forget about it killing the cat. It’s imperative for writers, and many others I suspect. Curiosity fosters imagination which encourages inspiration. This helps when we’re creating plot lines, characters, and dialogue, etc.

Recently a family member commented on the fact that I notice things she never would. Probably not true. Probably we notice different things. She’s very interested in facts and amassing them and somehow manages to retain them, where as I have no interest in retaining that stuff. But what makes people tick? Oh, yeah. What makes people do the things they do? People and their choices fascinate me. Do I take note of what they do when they think no one is watching, you bet. I pay attention to the way people speak, react, or reply. In line. At the doctor’s office. At the beach. Well, you get the idea.

Being curious and exploring means we’e engaged, living in the moment, and making connections. It’s about exploring the world around us. So embrace your curiosity. Have conversations, read books, watch films, take a walk, ask questions, take a class, try a new hobby. Try a new recipe, a new look, a DIY project.

Have fun! How do you embrace your curiosity?

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 Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – E.E. Cumming

 

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Inspiration and Bathtubs

Sexy Suspense

A person can find inspiration everywhere, in the smallest or biggest of places. Or anywhere in between. One source of inspiration for me is live theater. I adore it. I live in a small city, with a population of 200,000(ish). The largest theater company here is the Globe Theatre, and its performances are done in-the-round, meaning the audience surrounds the stage. The latest production was called The Drowning Girls.

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The Drowning Girls is inspired by a 19th century serial murder case where three women in succession where found dead in their respective bathtubs. Bessie Mundy, Alice Burnham, and Margaret Lofty were all married to George Joseph Smith who used many aliases to cover his tracks as a conman, bigamist, and murderer. The case became known as “The Brides in the Bath Murders”.

One of the things I loved about this play is its focus on the lives of these three women, on their histories instead of making it about the murderer. It gave us insight into how these women found themselves at the mercy of George Smith. It is the victims’ story. A cautionary tale of what can happen, be it the 19th century or the 21st. There was plenty of pathos, sincerity, and humour. Cleverly written and beautifully acted, with three bathtubs and water as the setting.

Yes, these three young actors spent a solid hour and a half dripping wet. There was water in those three bathtubs and the play opens with each of them submerged. Water fell from the ceiling, there was a moat of sorts surrounding the small stage. It splashed on the floor, on the actors, and maybe even the first row. Not only that but they don weddings dresses, veils, and silk stockings while soaked to the skin. The choregraphy of movement and body language was perfection. They were in and out of those tubs, danced on the slippery wet wooden floor, and they entranced the audience.

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If it comes to an area near you, you should check it out! Do you enjoy live theater

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Cocktail Suggestions And a Review Or Two!

Sexy Suspense

NBTMR_TourBanner_OffTheGrid

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February is nearly over. I have to confess it’s not one of my favourite months. I suffer from what I call my February Funk. Luckily there are birthdays and anniversaries and Valentine’s Day in there to help it speed by.

Yesterday I indulged in a little retail therapy. Tonight I think I’ll give myself a manicure. I have Dying Embers by B.E. Sanderson to read. I’m already getting chills! I might also sip a cocktail or two.

I’ve pinned some great ideas on my Cocktail Hour pinterest board. What’s your favourite beverage to curl up with in front of the fire? Or to sip while reading or watching a movie?

I’ve tried this one and I loved it: Dark and Stormy. Candied ginger, ginger beer and rum. Yum!

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Two lovely reviews for OFF THE GRID you can find on Goodreads! If you head on over to either of these two lovely review sites you can enter to win a $25 gift certificate!

Sassy Moms Say Read Romance

Huge secrets, drama, mystery, betrayal, cover ups, murder, romance, twists and turns on every corner kept me on the edge of my seat. Off the Grid sure satisfied my craving for that mystery I have been craving.

Sophie had to be my favorite characters in the book. She has a huge heart of gold wanting to help every patient in need. However, Sophie puts her own life on the line to help out a very pregnant Kellie. I loved the fact that they had scenes at a medical clinic in Vancouver.

Off the Grid’s book cover does not do the book justice.

4 out of 5 kisses

Undercover Book Reviews

HOT DANG!!!!  Yes, I’m trying to make my review as nicely worded as possible!  Folks this book will have you on edge!  The suspense it brings, the romance it gives, the balance it has of the characters  and story plot show the remarkable skill of the author!  The twist you don’t see coming… Yep, enough to expose enough truth, but why is it held back…  If you haven’t read Off the Grid yet, you are missing out!  I believe this will be a hot book for 2015!

The Wild Rose Press  *  Amazon  *  Kobo  *  All Romance Ebooks (ARe)  *  BookStrand * iBooks *

Available Now

Available Now

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#8Sunday:

Another Sunday, another eight lines to share. This weekend it’s all about attraction and that first tumble into love.

From my new romantic suspense, OFF THE GRID.

A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary.

No soft music played. The dim lighting was courtesy of an unlit dingy hallway. The smell of antiseptic and desperation laced the air. It didn’t matter. Sophie wanted to meet his challenge. She didn’t want to dodge. Or object. She wanted to kiss the hell out of Caleb Quinn.

Make sure and check out the other great offerings or continue on down the list @ The Weekend Writing Warriors.

Off the Grid postcard 2

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*  The Wild Rose Press  * Amazon  *  Kobo  *  Barnes and Noble  *  All Romance Ebooks  *  BookStrand *  iBooks

 

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