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Brisbane, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Brisbane, Australia. Visit my website at www.noelleclark.net

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ellie Eden is Letting Evil In


Sexy, Scary Romantic Suspense 

LETTING EVIL IN

by ELLIE EDEN  


Available now from:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

They wandered along the sand in the honeyed glow of evening, making their way towards the lights of the hotels. As they reached the beach steps, Kristi stumbled and felt Tony’s hand steady her. Poor guy, always saving me, she thought. He makes me feel protected. Some men are like that. She was sure women would love him. Any woman with any sense would want a man like Tony. She wondered if he was married.

Sitting down on the second step, she wiggled her toes in the warm sand.

“Tell me about yourself,” she said. “Have you always lived in Rio?”

He shook his head. “I was born in Sorrento, Italy. My father’s Italian and my mother’s Brazilian/American. They came to Brazil with me and my brother when I was ten. My father’s a rancher in Bahia. It’s a ways from the city. I went to college in Boston.”

“Oh. Why?”

“My mother wanted me to. Her parents live there. It was great, I loved it. Boston is so different from Rio.”

For some silly reason she was delighted to hear he’d been to college in a city she knew. “I grew up in Boston. Which college did you go to?”

He laughed. “You’re not going to believe this. I went to Berklee College of Music. I hoped to be lead guitarist in a famous band.”

She beamed at him. “You studied music! Josh is going to be so impressed! I can picture you. I bet you had long hair. Yeah? Curly, long hair. Did you play Hendrix?”

“Yeah. Voodoo Child. I rocked.”

“You’ll have to jam with Josh. Will you do that? Before we go? Please!”

“Sure.”

Almost unconsciously she turned her head to look at him. As he was sitting on the step below her, they were almost eye to eye. His half-smile was sweet. Sexy. It made a shiver run through her. She jerked her gaze away. Suddenly she felt lost. What was she doing on the beach on a tropical night with this good-looking stranger? It would be fun to be single, to be flirting with no worries or complications. Was Michael doing that somewhere close by? Was he having  an affair? Maybe her whole family about to be shattered, like hers had been when she was not much younger than Josh. Tears filled her eyes. Quickly, she wiped them away. Then without meaning to, she gave a loud sob. You’re not going to cry! She forced herself to stop. She hiccupped. Some tourists passed by, carefully looking the other way. Oh God. What was she doing!

“Kristi,” he said, softly. “Whatever it is, we can figure it out. My brother, Rafael, is working on finding your husband. He is Deputy Chief of Civil Police. He’ll do everything anyone possibly could do. We’ll find your husband.”

Embarrassed, she nodded.

“Come on. Let’s get you back to your hotel,” he said, sounding awkward as he helped her up.

“I’m sorry I cried like that. I didn’t mean to.”

“It’s okay.”

“I got an email yesterday. It was from Michael. It showed him hugging a local girl. They were at the beach right here in Copacabana. Michael had on those horrible little Speedos and the girl was wearing a mini bikini. They looked as if they were having a ball. I don’t know why he sent it to me.” Again, her eyes filled with tears. She blinked hard to hide them. “I don’t know what he thinks he’s doing. How can I ever take him back? I don’t even want him back. I don’t feel the same way about him. But what about Josh and the twins?” Now she’d told him all her problems again. What was wrong with her!

He sighed. “Oh Kristi.”  Reaching out, he took her hand tentatively as if taking hands was not something he normally did. His fingers were hard and his palm callused. She liked hands like that. She felt a hot quiver run through her. She pulled her hand away. Where was she going with this? Was she crazy?

Of its own accord it seemed, her body leaned towards him. She slipped her hand back into his. The feel of his hand felt natural, comforting. Holding hands was underrated. She really, really wanted to hold his hand. She could feel the heat of his body where it touched hers. “You’ve been really nice to Josh and me,” she said. “I feel so strange. What if nothing was the way I thought it was for all these years?”

“Don’t judge anything now.”

“I didn’t know you did marriage counseling.”

He shrugged. “I only know it from the worse case scenario. If anything good happens, don’t consult me.”

“You’re married?”

“I was. She left me. It was my fault.”

She was about to ask what happened, when the first big drops of rain pelted down. “Want to make a dash for it?” he said. Fingers locked, they ran through the drizzle. As they reached the hotel foyer, he let go of her hand. They stood apart in the brightly lit elevator. Without meaning to, she again swayed closer to him, feeling her shoulder touch his warm arm. Self-consciously, she moved away, noticing the muscles of his arms and chest outlined by his damp tee-shirt. Rain pasted her wet tee-shirt to her body. Wondering if he could see her nipples, she pulled the clinging fabric away from her damp bikini top.

She unlocked the door and walked into the room. They were both wet. For a moment they just stood, looking at each. Then Tony laughed. “We’d be better on the balcony,” he said. “We’re dripping on the carpet.”

“Would you like a hot shower?”

“Not much point. I don’t have anything to change into.”

“Well, at least we can dry off a bit.” She grabbed two of the big, white towels and followed him out into the night. The air outside was balmy, much warmer than the air-conditioned room. Steam rose from the wet tiles, but the patio furniture was dry, protected from the rain by the balcony above. Tony crossed over to the railing and stood looking at the view, which Kristi noted was meltingly beautiful: white waves crashing, reflections of car lights shimmering on rain drenched Avenue Atlantica, the glittering lights of the favelas on the slopes of the mountains and hunched above it all, the dark jungle-covered morros.

She handed him a towel and stood watching he pulled off his damp shirt and began to dry himself off. He looked soooo good. He was just so indescribably hot and her husband was such an indescribable jerk. As he turned towards her, she quickly pulled her eyes away from his athletic body and found herself looking at his mouth. He had a beautiful mouth, lips tilted slightly up as if he’d never be able to look really angry. She wondered what it would be like to kiss him. There just seemed to be too much space between them and she had to close it. She moved towards him. His eyes, thick lashes still wet with raindrops, looked into hers. She closed her eyes and turned her face up to his. His lips touched hers. She knew she hadn’t left him much choice. His mouth was gentle, his lips warm and firm. She’d imagined a passionate kiss. She didn’t quite know what to do with a gentle one. His kiss was almost shy. Warmth throbbed through her. She was hot enough to melt. She longed for him to kiss her more.

He pulled away slightly, his hands holding her upper arms. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured, stroking a tendril of wet hair back from her cheek. “Your husband is an idiot.” His eyes were filled with an emotion that sent a thrill through her. It was so good to feel appreciated, to feel again that someone thought she was beautiful. He looked at her quizzically. “I should leave.”

“I don’t want you to leave. I want you to stay.” Unable to resist, she buried her face in the warm place between his neck and broad shoulders.

“You’d regret it tomorrow,” he said. “There are things you don’t know about me. I come from a very different world.”

“Rubbish,” she giggled. “You went to Berklee College in Boston. How different can that be?” Then she shivered, knowing the shiver was because of him and not the weather.

He took the towel and wrapped it around her shoulders, making a cocoon for her against his warm body. Without meaning to, she gave a soft moan of appreciation. She looked up quickly to see if he’d heard. What if he thought she was trying to sound sexy? He lifted her long, wet hair, using the nearest end of the towel to dry the dripping strands.

She looked up at him. “You were right. I shouldn’t have come to Rio. I’ve landed in such a mess, I...”
Before she could finish the sentence, his lips touched the corner of her mouth. For a second he hesitated, then his lips closed over hers, warm and sweet. She clung to him, kissing him passionately, drawing from his strength, escaping into the feeling of someone caring about her just for now. She pressed up close against him. Everything about him felt good: his strong arms around her, his broad shoulders, his hard, lean body. He responded by holding her tighter and kissing her with more urgency, his breath quickening. The heat of the kiss and the feel of his body chased every thought from her head. She could feel the hardness of his groin and she throbbed with wanting him.
Was she really going to do this? She pulled away. They stood for a second just looking at each other. His eyes were dark with arousal. How could she do this? Omigod, how could she not? The Moroccan-style outdoor sofa looked incredibly inviting and she sunk down into the pillows pulling him down beside her. For a second, she thought it funny that she was the proactive one here.

“You shouldn’t sleep with me,” he said, his voice sounding gruff.  Immediately she wanted him even more. She was totally hot for him. In reply she wrapped her arms around his neck and tried to continue the blissful kiss where it had left off. Her heart raced, her body throbbed. She could feel his heart thudding too.

“Kristi,” With a groan he pulled away. “This is not a good idea.” His voice was thick with desire. For some no doubt worthy reason, he was trying not to do this.

“Why isn’t it a good idea?” she said. She could hear her voice sounding petulant and rebellious and somewhat like Josh when he was thwarted. Why was she doing this? Maybe because she was hot, so hot, to sleep with him. Burning with longing to sleep with him. Totally wanting to be right down there, right now, in the bed, or on the sofa, or even on the wet tiles, making passionate love to him. 

“Don’t you want to sleep with me?”

He gave her a lopsided smile and raised his eyebrow. Then suddenly he wrapped the towel tightly around her again, kissed her lips hard and quickly, and stood up. He was leaving! “Call me if Josh isn’t back by eight,” he said.

She stood, clutching the towel. Disappointment filled her. The night had been perfect. So amazingly romantic with the rain pouring down around them, the inky ocean crashing out there, a full moon slipping in and out of dark, flying clouds.  “It felt like a dream,” she said slowly. “A super-cool dream about a dream lover in a storm.” She sighed. “You’re ruining my dream.”

“A wet dream,” he said wryly. A flash of lightning silhouetted his dark shape. Thunder crashed. 

“You’d regret it in the morning.”

“If you say so.” She knew she was pouting. How silly was that. She turned her back on him. “Why don’t you just go already?”

“Of course I want to sleep with you. I’m longing to sleep with you. Not sleep. Make love. What do you think?”

Thunder crashed again. As another flash of jagged lightning ripped the sky. She shivered.
“You’re wet. Aren’t you cold?”

“Nope,” she said.

“You better get those wet clothes off.”

She looked him in the eye. “Good idea.” Slowly she pulled off her wet tee-shirt and tossed it into the air. Then she slid out of her wet shorts. Watching his eyes as he took in her body in her new bikini and her silver sandals, she walked over to the balcony railings and stood there. She knew she was standing provocatively, her butt nicely rounded as she leaned on the railing. She was glad the rain shower suddenly stopped. To tell the truth, she was cold. But she hoped that would change soon.


Within seconds, she felt his warm, hard body behind her. “Beautiful,” he murmured. “You’re so perfectly beautiful.”

Contact the author:


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Season to Remember - Christmas Anthology blog tour - #6

A micro-story exclusively for you:

This blog tour brings very special people together. People who would never normally meet. Continuing on our theme of delving deep into the psyche of our characters from the forthcoming Christmas anthology - A Season to Remember - today we will visit with two delightful young couples - Laura and Michael (from Three Ships); and Molly and Connor (from All That Glitters). They meet up at a Christmas party.

The old lady, Kitty Pryor, fell asleep ungracefully on the tapestry couch, sliding sideways until she was leaning heavily on Laura’s shoulder.

“Here, let me help you there.” The girl’s voice sounded close.

Laura turned to see the girl, already reaching forward and lifting Mrs. Pryor up and setting her back against the couch. With a huge effort, the girl managed to get the old lady to stay put, and she propped a cushion under the woman’s head.

“I’m Molly. Merry Christmas.”

Laura looked into the dancing eyes of Molly. “Thanks you. Merry Christmas to you as well. I’m Laura.”

“Come on, she’ll be okay for now.” Molly extended her hand. “Join us over here?”

Laura clasped her hand and stood, glad to have someone else to talk to, now that Kitty Pryor had drunk herself into a sherry stupor. She glanced up at the clock on the mantle, mindful that she must not leave too late or she would be marooned on the mainland all night.

Molly must have noticed. “In a rush?”

“Well, not really. But I need to leave before the tide turns. I live on St. Joseph’s Rock, you see.”

Molly’s eyes widened. “Really? Where the lighthouse is? I met another man who said he’d been there recently. His name is, um…Michael something.”

Laura felt her heart stop. “Not…not Michael Renten?”

“Yes, I think that’s right. Oh look, here he is now.”

Laura turned to see Michael coming towards them holding two glasses of sherry. She offered Michael a beaming smile, which he returned.

“Ah Miss Molly, I see you are acquainted with my fiancee,” he said, handing one of the glasses to Laura and offering the other to Molly who refused the drink with a polite shake of her head.

Michael Renten was tall, equally as tall as the man who now joined them - Connor Rathmore - who wrapped his arm around Molly's waist.

“Usually about now we put on the stereo and begin the 80s karoke,” Connor quipped.

Laura frowned. “I don't know that word, is it Japanese?”

It was Connor's turn to frown. “Yeah, I think it is. It means to have a sing along.”

“That could be fun,” said Laura enthusiastically. “But I'm not sure I know any songs from the 1780s.”

Molly burst out laughing. “Well if you don't, I don't think we would either. I think Connor was thinking of more 1980s.”

“Yep, big hair and shoulder pads,” he then leaned in to say in a stage whisper. “Just like Molly's step-mother.”

Kitty Pryor, leaning back comatose on the setee, muttered and shifted in her sleep but didn't waken.

“I found something that looks like a music box in the other room,” said Michael, offering his arm which Laura accepted. “Mr Rathmore might be familiar with its workings. It appears to be called a 'Wurlitzer'.”

Thank you to Elizabeth Ellen Carter - author of Three Ships, and Eva Scott, author of All That Glitters, for contributing to this very special and exclusive micro-story of the meeting of two young couples.

On November 28th, you'll be able to download your free gift copy of A Season to Remember, and enjoy four stories full of romance, adventure, love, and Christmas. Stay tuned for the download link..





Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Season to Remember - A Christmas Anthology blog tour - #5

A micro-story exclusively for you

This blog tour brings very special people together. People who would never normally meet. Continuing on our theme of delving deep into the psyche of our characters from the forthcoming Christmas anthology - A Season to Remember - today we will visit two women from very different worlds, very different times. There's Kitty from Dugong Point; and there's Andra from the spaceship Bluefire. What could these women ever have in common?


Captain Andra Veluthian stared at the screen. She reached forward and hit the button, zooming right in on the woman who sat in a chair high on the cliffs overlooking a beach.

The woman seemed to be staring back at her. It was un-nerving. Surely she couldn’t see the Bluefire with her naked eye! Still the woman stared.

Andra zoomed in as far as she could. A droplet of water, which she knew the Terrans called tears, fell out of the woman’s eyes and trickled down over her cheeks. Andra shook her head. Since she’d been with Nick, she seemed to have developed a capacity for emotional responses that was quite alien to her. Watching the woman’s sad countenance, she felt a growing melancholy within her own body.

“This can’t be happening.” She switched off the screen, and the woman disappeared. Annoyed with herself for showing such softness, she stomped off to the bridge, hoping that there was something more exciting to see than a Terran displaying that very human trait.

The bridge was deserted. A soft blue luminosity from the instrument panels caused an eerie glow. She looked out the main window and saw the magnificent sight of planet Earth, suspended gracefully in space. Her heart turned over. Damn! She couldn’t stop thinking about the sad old woman.



She reached out and hit a button. The monitor jumped to life. With the turn of a few knobs, she  zoomed back in. The woman still sat there, her face shiny from tears. Andra compressed her lips,
 reached across, and pressed the sonar-linguistic button.

“Hello. What’s wrong?” Even to her own ears, she sounded comforting—a trait not natural to Gravlarians.

The woman jumped, then squinted, looking intently at the Bluefire which must look like a very bright star to someone down on Earth.

“Oh, I’m just being a sad sack. It’s Christmas night and I’ve had a marvellous day with my family.” The old woman sighed. “But, I do miss my Billy.”

Andra swallowed hard to rid her throat of the lump that had formed. “Tell me about Billy?”

The old woman started to speak, but her words faded in Andra’s head, instead replaced by her own monologue. Since she and Nick had fallen in love, her whole perspective on Earthlings had changed. Once derided by Gravlarians for their strange, emotion-ruled lives, she now marvelled at how the Earthlings managed to infuse emotions into everything they did.

Even this little ritual they called Christmas brought out the very best in whole communities. They shared meals together, shared religious festivities, and the quaint little habit of sharing gifts was, well, delightful. Suddenly she felt so enriched by the Earthling’s emotional ways, that she wondered how her own race – the Gravlarians – had ever survived without the warmth of touch and love in their lives.

She blinked, noticing that the old lady was smiling. “I feel so very much better for having told you all about my Billy. Thank you.” Her smile broadened. “And Merry Christmas.”

Andra wiped a tear from her eye. “Merry Christmas to you too.”

Thank you to Susanne Bellamy, author of A Touch of Christmas,  for contributing to this very special and exclusive micro-story of the meeting of two of our characters, Kitty and Andra.

On November 28th, you'll be able to download your free gift copy of A Season to Remember, and enjoy four stories full of romance, adventure, love, and Christmas. Stay tuned for the download link.



Monday, October 6, 2014

Hard hitting, expertly written: Hard to Forget from Incy Black

If you're a fan of James Bond films, crime novels, the Secret Service, and if you enjoyed British author Incy Black's first novel - Hard to Hold - then her new offering, out today, will have you scrambling for a copy.




Hard to Forget will not disappoint.









Forewarned is forearmed, especially when it comes to Jack Ballentyne, the hero in Hard to Forget. A
man whose motto is: The end justifies the means, and fuck the collateral damage.

Yes, he’s somewhat lacking on the conscience front, but he has his reasons. He’s a Special Agent for a start. With the British Intelligence Service. Tasked with leading a particularly dangerous unit of men unofficially known as ‘The Assassins’. A motley crew of rule breakers whose activities are ‘plausibly deniable’ by necessity.

Back to forewarned...Jack’s not exactly communicative, he’s more a man of action, (vengeful action) so here are a few subjects best avoided should you chance to engage him in conversation.

1.   Shooting Lowry. It’s an incident he’d rather forget.
2.   Having Lowry court-martialed. Another incident he’d rather forget.
3.   His twin, Richard. These two brothers took ‘sibling rivalry’ to the extreme, and the consequences were devastating.
4.   Climbing or Base Jumping. Two activities guaranteed to raise the hairs on Jack’s neck fast. (see Caution 3 above)
5.   Patient Peter. A serial killer so foul, even Jack’s cast-iron stomach churns.
6.   Trust. Jack has a few issues having experienced the whip-lick sting of betrayal.
7.   The Intelligence Service. (see Caution 6 above)
8.   Lowry…actually she’s a fairly safe topic. You may even find it difficult to shut Jack up about his new wife. Just don’t ask about the past, how he met her, what he did to her, or, mention handcuffs.


So, what is Hard to Forget about? Well, you can find the blurb and Chapter 1 free HERE but as a tease here are a couple of quotes:

He didn’t want her trust. What the hell would he do with it?  Jack Ballentyne

Protective custody? What’s that a euphemism for, exactly?  Lowry Fisk

And an endorsement:

"The Hard to… Series is an amazing book series with strong characters and a powerful story. It is truly a MUST-READ series and the author herself is MUST READ and MUST FOLLOW!!!"-- Mia's Point of View

And yes, there are buy links and contact points:

Buy links

Connect with Incy Black






Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Share the Moon - new from Sharon Struth

I'm thrilled to once again host my friend from Connecticut, USA - Sharon Struth - on my blog today. Sharon's first book, The Hourglass, has been a runaway success, and her new release - Share the Moon - is set to eclipse this. Welcome back, Sharon! Over to you.
Sharon Struth

Thank you, Noelle, for sharing your blog with me today.

Anybody out there like shortbread cookies? I’m talking about those mouth-watering, buttery delights from the same land that gave us kilts. Shortbread was originally made as medieval "biscuit bread,” over the years the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter and…voi·là, you have the cookie we know today!

In my latest release, Share the Moon (Kensington Publishing), Scottish traditions have made their way to the pages, including shortbread cookies. Although the story takes place in the U.S.--Connecticut to be exact, the book’s heroine, Sophie Shaw, has fond memories of her nana, a woman who made the best darn shortbread cookies in New England and had a strong belief that name meanings hold true. Sophie doesn’t buy the name meaning theory, but she still carries on the shortbread ritual.

If you try this recipe, a word of caution; don’t take shortcuts. The most important part of this is letting the dough “season” at least overnight (I do 24 hours) and don’t make the mistake of thinking those fork-poked holes are mere decoration. Everything little thing matters when trying to get the best flavor from these three ingredients.

Ingredients:

 2 ½ cups of flour
½ pound of softened butter-2 sticks (or you can use ¼ lb. margarine, ¼ lb. butter)
½ cup of sugar (I use a generous half cup, no leveling)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients well. Form into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight, at a minimum. Twenty-four hours (or even two days) adds to the flavor.

Baking:

Remove wax paper and let the dough warm at room temperature. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Press dough evenly into a round 8” pan. The dough will be crumbly. Once pressed, use a fork to poke holes on the top layer, spaced maybe ½-1 inch apart. Cook around 45 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned. Remove from oven. Cool before cutting.

A little more about Share the Moon

Blurb:

"Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion.  Struth is an author to watch!"
—Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winning The Sweet Spot

Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn.

Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out to sea.

Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.

Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.







Author Bio:
Sharon Struth is an award-winning author who believes it’s never too late for a second chance in love or life. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sharon writes from the small town of Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived. For more information, including where to find her other novels and published essays, please visit her at www.sharonstruth.com



Buy Links for Share the Moon:

Sharon’s Website: www.sharonstruth.com

Twitter: @sharonstruth

Also from Sharon Struth: