Book Blitz & Excerpt: Red Rock Romance + Giveaway

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Red Rock Romance, by Jane Colt

Word Count: 78,512
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 292

GENRES:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CRIME
CRIME AND MYSTERY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MULTICULTURAL
MYSTERY
PARANORMAL

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Book Description

A brilliant Native American archaeology student and her Brit ‘bad boy’ professor find the key to love, hot sex and…what? A lost civilization?

Cocheta ‘Cat’ White Eagle is a Native American archaeology grad student on a mission to prove the existence of her ancestral Lost Tribe. A vision tells her it’s somewhere high in the treacherous mountains of Sedona. The only problem is she’s afraid of heights! Trying to conquer her fear through pole dancing—of course—she attracts the attention of a bad boy Brit. He’s exciting, brilliant and sexy but totally off-limits. He’s her new professor, a hound, and if he recognizes her as the girl behind the mask of ‘The Contessa’, her career will be over before it begins.

Colin Tucker is a drop-dead-gorgeous Londoner who is rocketing to the top of his field. Alas, the sandy-haired, blue-eyed wunderkind has a weakness for sexy women—including the French Ambassador’s daughter, no less. Banished to the Colonies, he finds himself torn between the exotic stripper and his brilliant student. After being put to a sexy test, he gives his heart to Cat, his student. He pledges to help her in her search, they join forces and live hap—

But wait! Smugglers, deception and danger… Oh my! Colin breaks up with Cat to keep her safe, gets arrested for stealing artifacts and helps the thieves trying to thwart her quest.

Is that really how to win the girl?

Reader advisory: This book contains explosions, death threats, outdoor sex and minor instances of racism from a secondary character.

Nick and Rebecca are madly in love, kinky as hell and ready to push the boundaries a little. As her Dom and her Daddy, fulfilling all her desires is both Nick’s responsibility and his privilege, but while Rebecca loves the idea of Nick sharing her with another Dom, she’s not sure if she’s ready to turn her fantasy into reality.

Nick is eager to facilitate the threesome of her dreams, but it’s no hardship to wait until she’s ready…and, in the meantime, maybe give her a hint of just what two Doms can do for her.

With a small taste of the very sexy possibilities, it doesn’t take long for Rebecca to get on board, especially since she’s developed a small, harmless crush on Nick’s preferred co-Top, his good friend and fellow Dom, Cade.

Nick and Cade have teamed up before, so he knows they can deliver on the promises Nick has made. Together, they’ll be sure to give Rebecca a scene—and a night—none of them will ever forget…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of erotic humiliation and multiple partner sex.

Excerpt

The tremor in her arm was the first sign Cat was reaching her limit. Her labored breathing was the second. She’d pushed so hard during this climb that every bit of clothing she wore—her long-sleeved gray jersey, her sports bra underneath, her long black climbing tights—was soaked. Sweat ran down from her sopping bandana into her eyes. The salt stung. She clenched her jaw.

I can do this.

The fear she’d fought so hard to ignore disagreed. ‘No, you can’t,’ cackled the demon within.

She fought back.

Hang in there. Stay here for a minute and rest. We’ll be okay. Relax. Just don’t look down.

She took a deep breath and gripped the red-hued rock tighter. Her gloves weren’t thick enough to protect her from its knife-like edge. It bit back. “Ow!” The burn spread through her arms. She kept shifting her right foot to find a more secure foothold.

Better. Worse. Better. Worse. Damn!

The struggle only added to the strain on her upper body. Now both her arms were shaking. Stop! she commanded. They ignored her. She took a series of deep, hard breaths, hoping to get oxygen to her muscles. Her throat burned from the effort.

Put the weight on your left foot to get a better grip.

The black rubber sole slipped off the rock and shot into mid-air. She grunted and instinctively tightened her grip even more, which only increased the pain.

Defying the agony, she pulled herself up a few more inches. Her heart thundered against her chest. Straining, she gasped for air. Safety was within sight. If she could just grab the next handhold, she could regain her balance and give herself a chance. She gritted her teeth and stretched—but it was just out of reach.

She put all her weight on one leg and explored the rough surface with her free foot. Miraculously, she found a foothold that would let her lift herself.

I can do this!

She shifted her weight onto that side.

Stretch! Push! Pull! Fight! Just two more inches.

But the pressure on her leg was too much. The pain in her calf was instant and searing.

Fuck! A cramp!

The muscle tightened with a mind of its own, oblivious to the fact that it was bringing about its own destruction. With her legs now useless, she shifted back to her arms. Drained, they shook. Even her hands had nothing left.

No! No!

She gulped as dread washed over her. But she still struggled.

It will be okay, she lied.

Her heart pounded as her fate became undeniable. Her throat tightened and her face flushed. She didn’t know which felt worse—the pain in her hands from gripping so hard? The searing burn in her muscles? The terror at being so high? Shame at having overreached and being the author of her demise? Swallowing hard, she knew that, given what was about to happen, the question was academic.

Her trembling arms told her that she had only seconds before her body betrayed her. She closed her eyes tight, clenched her jaw, kept fighting and prayed for a miracle. But her final bit of energy evaporated.

Even as the cold, merciless hand of Death pried her fingers from the rock and pulled her to her tragic destiny, she refused to surrender.

No! No!

But gravity pulled her backward like a rag doll.

No! No! Please, God! No!” she screamed into the void.

She plummeted.

Three feet.

The sturdy black safety harness snapped sharply around her. She grunted in reply, and her friend slowly lowered her to the gym floor.

Lauren greeted her with a big smile and a warm hug. “Twenty feet. That’s a new personal best, Cat. Congratulations. Of course”—she laughed—“it doesn’t change that you just died again. What is that…five times today? But it’s still an accomplishment. High five!”

Cat’s arms were so spent that she couldn’t raise either one in response. As her friend helped her out of the harness, she hung her head and wiped her face. “I know you’re trying to be encouraging, but being so weak and terrified only twenty feet off the ground is humiliating. I’m such a failure!” She began to cry.

Her friend covered her in an oversized pink towel to sop up the perspiration. “They’ve got the AC blasting, sweetie. You’re drenched from going all out. You don’t want to catch cold.” She put her arm around her as they walked to the locker room.

As she and her friend dressed in the pristine locker room after showering, Lauren pointed to the sopping mountain of heavy, colorless, sweat-soaked fabric in front of Cat’s locker. “That’s at least one problem you could solve in one stroke. You’d be cooler and more comfortable climbing in shorts and a sports bra. All that wet cloth makes you overheat and drains your energy.”

Cat winced. She was a failure as a climber. Now she couldn’t even dress right.

“I’m sorry, Cat.” Lauren hugged her. “You know I’m your biggest fan. I’m just trying to help. Let me treat you to coffee. I’ll even spring for a chocolate croissant. The good news is that since you’re now nearly a ghost, calories don’t count.”

Cat mustered a weak laugh.

“Seriously, it takes real guts to face your fears like this. You should be proud. You’re a fighter!”

“Sure, a fighter without a punch,” she replied dejectedly.

Lauren wrapped Cat in another big hug, and Cat laid her head on the comforting shoulder, took a deep breath and relaxed into her warmth.

“You’re the best, Lauren. I’d have given up weeks ago if it weren’t for you.”

As they left the gym, Cat squinted at the bright sunshine and winced at the heat then she tossed her bag into the trunk of her old canary-yellow Toyota. It was a glorious day in Sedona. The spectacular blue sky perfectly framed the red rocks glistening in the distance. Normally, Cat took comfort in the natural beauty around her—especially the rugged red mountains that reminded her of her heritage and her mission. Today, defeated by the climbing wall yet again, she barely acknowledged her surroundings. Her friend pointed to the mountains. “You have my word,” she said resolutely. “You’re going to own those rocks.” Cat shrugged. She was too tired to argue.

They walked the few blocks to the café arm in arm. Lauren wore cute pink shorts and a tight white sleeveless top. Cat had on long, loose-fitting black track pants and an oversized, long-sleeved, gray, Red Rock University T-shirt. Pressed down by the weight of her exhaustion, the best she could manage was a slow trudge.

As she reached for her coffee on the white stone counter, her arm still shook. She had to use both hands to pick up the red paper cup. She carefully placed it on the sturdy wood table so it wouldn’t spill. As she started to sit down, however, her leg began to cramp again. She lost her balance and jostled the table. The cup rocked, but Lauren grabbed the drink before it could tip over and stain the red-and-white checkerboard tablecloth. Despondent, Cat plopped into a chair and stretched out her leg to stop the cramp. Once the pain had passed, she picked up a sugar packet—but tore it so badly that it exploded over a pair of cute guys walking by. As she brushed the white powder off her gray T-shirt, she noticed that they looked her way then chuckled. She flushed hotly, put her head on the table, covered it with her arms and sighed.

“They thought it was cute,” Lauren said quietly. “Sit up. They’re hanging around. They want to come over and chat.”

Cat sat back up, shook her head and mumbled something incomprehensible.

Lauren caught the guys’ eyes and shrugged apologetically. They picked up their drinks and headed out. “Okay, the coast is clear.”

Cat shook her head in disgust. “See? I can’t even manage a cup of coffee and cute guys. I’m pitiful—a pathetic sack of fears destined for failure. I’m an aspiring archaeologist who’s afraid of heights. Even after presenting at a bunch of conferences, I’m still terrified of public speaking. I hate it when anyone even looks at me. Those guys were gawking at adorable you. They noticed me only because what I did was stupid. I have ‘career fiasco’ and ‘relationship nightmare’ written all over me. I’m hopeless.” She slumped again.

Lauren took her hand and gave her a warm smile. “Are you kidding? Bumping into the table and not being able to open the sugar are signs that you went all out on your climbs. You don’t do things halfway. I admire that about you.” She put her finger under Cat’s chin, raised it and looked directly in her eyes. “Now, tell yourself you’re a fighter…and mean it! That’s an order!”

She sighed. “Fine. I’m a fighter,” she murmured sullenly.

“Cat!” Lauren replied.

“Okay, okay. Despite my unbroken string of miserable failures and despite the obvious futility of continuing to try, I stupidly haven’t given up,” she said.

Lauren laughed. “If that’s the best you can do, I’ll take it. And also tell yourself that you’re a beautiful, sexy woman. I’ve seen you naked at the gym. Those guys were checking you out because you’re hot—even when you insist on dressing like a nun.”

Cat managed a weak smile then the tears started again.

Lauren reached into her white backpack and handed her a tissue. She stroked Cat’s arm gently. “I know it doesn’t feel like it, sweetie, but you actually had a good day. Once you get past the fear of heights, you won’t waste so much of your energy gripping so tightly. And weight work will give you the strength you need.”

Cat wiped her eyes and made a face, recalling how embarrassing her recent sessions at the gym had been. “I struggle so much, even with small dumbbells, that I get that pitiful look from everyone around me. They ask me if I’m okay, like I’m coming back from major surgery or something. I’ve even tried to go when no one else is there, but then the trainers come over. I can see it in their eyes. They’re worried I’m going to hurt myself then sue them. I’m so self-conscious that it’s humiliating.”

Her friend paused, a frown furrowing her forehead, and looked down at the table. She sat quietly for a few seconds, pursed her lips and moved the saltshaker from a red square to a white one as deliberately as if she were playing chess. She glanced back up at Cat. “Maybe…you…” She took a sip of coffee. “It’s just…”

“What?”

“Nothing.” Lauren looked down and took the pepper shaker this time. Staring in its direction but not really looking at it, she rhythmically tapped it on the table as she pursed her lips.

Cat sighed. “Come on. I can take it. You’re going to tell me I’m stupid to think I can do this. I need to face facts and give up.” She closed her eyes and covered her face with her hands as though someone was going to punch her.

Lauren gently took Cat’s hands and put them back on the table. “Look at me, Cat. I am not going to criticize you. You do that too much already. How do you forget so quickly that you graduated summa, won a great graduate fellowship and are on a fast track to your Ph.D.? Didn’t the school just send you to that conference in Greece where everyone raved over your presentation? You’re awesome! You’re the only one who doesn’t know that. I wasn’t going to criticize you. Actually”—she looked out of the window—“I might…have an idea,” she said hesitantly.

Is there hope?

Looking back at Cat, Lauren sat quietly. She leaned in, lowered her voice and spoke. “I have a thought…about a Plan B…to solve your problems. It’s unusual, but…” She left the sentence incomplete.

Cat leaned forward excitedly. “A Plan B? Really? Tell me.”

Lauren looked into her coffee and stirred. She took a deep breath and sipped. Then her face tightened and turned red. Quickly looking down at the crusty croissant in front of her, she said abruptly, “Boy, this coffee is hot.” Flustered, she tore off a piece of her pastry. “And this looks great.”

Cat was startled. She didn’t believe that hot coffee could make her friend’s face turn scarlet. What is she not saying?

Lauren looked away and pulled her long blonde hair behind her. “Um. Not weights.” She looked down and tapped her fingers on the table. Her face tensed, and—to Cat’s surprise—she bit her lip and held her breath for a few seconds. When she exhaled, she almost imperceptibly shook her head.

After a few seconds, she looked up and glanced out of the window. “I mean, let’s figure out why you’re so afraid first. If we can reduce your panic, you’ll be more relaxed and will climb better,” she said, looking back at Cat. “Then we’ll worry about body strength. So, where does the fear come from? And if you’re so terrified, why are you so committed to learning to climb?”

Everything—Lauren’s cadence, expression, posture—screamed that she’d deliberately changed the topic.

Cat frowned. If there were another way to tackle her fears, she didn’t understand why her friend wouldn’t tell her. But it was obvious that pressing for an explanation was the wrong thing to do. She’d respect Lauren’s wishes. At the same time, she wasn’t ready to confide everything to Lauren yet about her embarrassing fears and weird obsessions—at least not in a public coffee shop where she could be overheard. “I promise I’ll explain—but let’s save it for a day when I haven’t fallen to my death so many times.”

“Fair enough.” Lauren smiled. “But enough with the sad stuff.” She leaned in with a naughty smirk and lowered her voice. “Tell me all about the conference. Any cute guys?”

“I told you I’m not interested in anything that could distract me from my work—and certainly not a relationship until after I have my degree.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it. Did you follow my suggestion”—she nudged Cat conspiratorially—“and engage in some wanton revelry? God knows you deserve it after how hard you’ve been working.”

“Wanton revelry?” Cat looked puzzled.

“Sorry. Too much Shakespeare. When you got to the conference and unpacked, you must have found my strapless red dress I snuck into your bag. Did it work? Did you get laid? Surely there were any number of hot young studs happy to service you.”

Cat laughed. “Hot young studs? Have you ever seen what archaeologists look like?”

“Sure. Indiana Jones. The hat. The whip. The bedroom eyes. Bedroom hands. Bedroom you-know-what.” She playfully raised her eyebrows a couple of times.

“Sorry,” she chuckled. “That’s the movies. Real life archaeologists are nerd city.”

“Wait a minute. Didn’t you text me that there was some drop-dead gorgeous guy all the women were drooling over? The one who’d made some sort of amazing discovery?”

“Oh, him. The Brit who found an ancient Grecian vase that’s going to rewrite the history of the period. Because my flight got delayed, I got to the conference after his lecture, and he was nowhere to be seen. I don’t believe he was as good looking as everyone said. Nobody’s that handsome! Even so, I wouldn’t be interested. He’s not my type.”

“Not your type? Handsome and brilliant? He’s every woman’s type!”

“No, I mean he’s a hound.” She waved her hand in the air dismissively and grimaced. “He pursues women with the same vengeance he uses to look for artifacts. We’re just prizes for him. The rumor mill said he was bed-hopping the entire conference. Colin Tucker is the last man I’d ever be interested in!”

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About the Author

Jane Colt

Jane Colt began writing romances to deal with the stress of a ‘day job’ that’s mainly about examining the various ways people treat one another badly. An incurable romantic, her stories give her hope that we really can live happily ever after—even if only in our imaginations. She writes erotic romances because, having been raised in a morally rigid home, she wants to encourage in her readers a healthier, ‘sex positive’ outlook. She especially wants her heroines to be as sexy and passionate as they desire. You can count on the fact that her couples end up in love and having great sex! … OK, maybe they have the sex first!

Her stories aim to be light-hearted, fun, upbeat—and sexy! No dark, brooding, broken, tortured guys who need fixing. Just great, handsome, smart, sexy, ‘real men’ whose only weakness is being unable to resist the women she pairs them with. Think Lifetime or Hallmark movies plus hot sex!

She’s lived on both coasts of the U.S., recently leaving the beaches of Los Angeles to return home to the glorious autumn foliage of western Massachusetts. Married, she and her spouse are happy to be the devoted servants of two adorable cats. She loves traveling. Favorite cities: San Francisco, Boston, Venice, London, London, London!

By the way, anyone who knows her would be shocked to learn she writes erotic romances. “Jane Colt” is a pen name. So, shhhhhh.

Find out more about Jane at her website.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and get a FREE eBook from the author!

Jane Colt’s Red Rock Romance Giveaway

JANE COLT IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 10th August 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Book Blitz & Excerpt: These Small Hours + Giveaway

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These Small Hours, by Gloria Herrmann

General Release Date: 20th July 2021

Word Count: 86,701
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 322

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
CRIME
CRIME AND MYSTERY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MYSTERY
THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

Keep writing…or die trying.

Charlene Vanderberg is a bestselling author whose world is turned upside as she experiences writer’s block for the first time. She now faces a deadline to redeem her career after her last book, a sappy romance, flopped. Charley had only wanted to try her hand at a different genre, one with a little less murder and mayhem, but had ended up creating some disgruntled fans. That’s when the words disappeared, and Charley found herself unable to write a single sentence.

After being plagued with crippling writer’s block for months and about to hang up the towel, Charley’s agent Pamela has convinced her that a change of scenery would help get her creative juices flowing again. She sends Charley off to a cozy lake resort and has enlisted some protection for her in the person of Nick Capra, a detective who is running from his own demons, has no desire to babysit the famous author but finds himself unable to stop developing feelings for his charge.

Famous for writing chilling tales, Charley isn’t prepared for the nightmare in store for her. The sleepy lake community where nothing bad ever happens begins to see a string of grisly murders. Charley discovers these murders were meant to inspire her to write her next novel. A copycat killer is reenacting scenes from her bestsellers. No one is safe from this killer—not even Charley.

Reader advisory: This book contains incidents of alcohol use, violence and murder.

Excerpt

“You can’t possibly be serious?”

“I am, and it will be good for you. I promise. You need to trust me on this.”

Charley—also known as Charlene Vanderberg, a bestselling author—was currently experiencing writer’s block for the first time. The words were there, locked somewhere in her mind and refusing to come out when she sat down every night to free them. Nothing. Just a blank page staring back at her, taunting Charley with the blinking cursor of where words should form. It had been months since Charley had written anything that hadn’t ended up on the wrong side of the delete button. At this rate, she feared there might never be words again.

“It’s the perfect solution,” Pamela beseeched.

Her agent was a force of nature and had the manipulative power of getting her way. That’s why Charley had agreed to sign on with Pamela Mansfield once her second manuscript had been complete. Charley had needed someone fierce to land her a book deal and steer her career in the right direction. Rejection letters didn’t help her fragile writer’s ego, and it was challenging enough to be recognized by any publisher without an agent. That’s why she needed one like Pamela. That woman knew her way around the publishing world and had seen something in Charley.

Her advice and encouragement had pushed Charley and ultimately launched her into the success she was now enjoying. Over the years, they had become good friends, almost like family. Charley had learned a great deal from this tiny woman who was set on building a brand and empire with the clients she represented. Pamela only worked with the best, most talented people in the industry, and Charley still couldn’t believe she was among them. She didn’t want to disappoint Pamela and worried that if those words didn’t start making an appearance soon, there would be some ugly consequences. They both had reputations to uphold.

Charley eyed Pamela curiously from across the table, half-hoping to break her agent’s resolve. It wasn’t going to happen, and they both knew that. The unwavering but tender stare as Pamela held her ground on what a great idea this was showed Charley that it truly was in her best interest.

“So, you honestly think by shipping me off to some lake resort in the middle of nowhere, I’ll really get this book done? That magically all of my creative juices will start to flow again because you’ve got me locked up in some hillbilly cabin?” Charley scoffed. “Sounds like all the makings of a Stephen King novel, and we both know how those go,” Charley teased as she poked her straw at a bobbing ice cube in her sweaty glass of water.

“Not just any cabin, Charley. My nephew owns the cutest little resort in Crescent Lake. The best part is that it’s only a few hours from here. Just imagine, all these quaint cabins around that gorgeous lake. Besides, you know very well that you give Stephen King a run for his money.” Pamela winked and turned her attention to the plate in front of her. “I thought nature was sort of your thing? Aren’t you some kind of country girl?” Pamela countered playfully as she stabbed her colorful salad of varied bright leaves and vegetables.

“It was. I mean, I like it well enough, but I’m hardly a country girl,” she answered with a touch of sophisticated sass.

“That’s right. You’re a famous writer now and living in your fabulous apartment with a perfect view of the Seattle skyline.” Pamela smirked with her fork to her lips. “Too good for the great outdoors?”

“What I meant was that I haven’t done anything remotely outdoorsy for years.”

“Then you’re long overdue.”

“I just don’t see how it will help.” Charley shook her head and looked away. The restaurant with its elegant lighting and décor was filled with patrons all sipping wine and dining on extravagant dishes. Her writing had afforded her this lifestyle. Maybe I’m a little out of touch. The years of success and landing movie deals had pampered her with opportunities she’d never dreamed possible, especially for a girl who’d grown up on a rural farm town in the middle of Washington. She gazed back and saw a peculiar flicker in Pamela’s hazel eyes.

“What?”

Pamela squirmed ever so slightly in her seat and bit her mauve-painted bottom lip. All the playfulness abandoned her face and was quickly replaced with something else. Charley studied her and tried to figure out exactly what it was. She could sense her agent’s nervous energy.

“They want that book before fall,” Pamela stated bluntly as she gently placed her fork down.

“And if they don’t get it by then?” Charley asked. Her belly began to do anxiety-induced flip-flops. So many what ifs ran through her mind that her sense of reason started to trip over them.

She clasped her hands together in prayer form. Pamela exhaled but kept her eyes locked on Charley. Through a forced smile, she calmly replied, “Let’s just focus on getting this book done.”

“Nothing like a little pressure to add to my already-growing problem.” Charley nibbled on a dry piece of skin on her bottom lip.

“You need a change of scenery and a little quiet inspiration then that ridiculous writer’s block will be gone. Every author goes through this at some point,” Pamela reassured Charley but nervously twirled a strand of her chestnut hair between her fingers. “I’ve had clients who’ve been down this road before.”

“I haven’t ever had this problem,” Charley confessed in a near whisper. “I’ve never had an issue with writing—like…ever, Pamela.” Charley’s heart beat a little faster with a sudden pang of anxiety. “The stories always kept coming, the characters made their demands well known and now poof, they’re gone. Writing is what I do—what I did.” As the words left her mouth, Charley realized the severity of her problem. If she didn’t pull it together and find a way to get her writing mojo back, Charley didn’t know what would become of her career. By the look on her agent’s face, it definitely wasn’t good. “Fine… I’ll go to your nephew’s little resort.” Charley defiantly speared the lemon wedge that rested on her perfectly cooked salmon. She no longer had an appetite as her brain developed images of her impending failure. She could lose it all—her swanky apartment, ridiculously expensive SUV and her famous name. It could all be gone.

Pamela smiled. “Don’t worry. We’ll get this book done and you’ll be back on top again. Everyone wins.”

Charley hoped Pamela was right.

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About the Author

Gloria Herrmann

Gloria Herrmann is a contemporary romance author originally from California but now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and pug Rizzo. Her stories are a reflection of the love she has for family, friends, and real-life moments.

You can follow Gloria on Instagram here

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous prize and get a FREE eBook from the author!

Gloria Herrmann These Small Hours Giveaway

GLORIA HERRMANN IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET AND YOUR FREE GLORIA HERRMANN ROMANCE BOOK! Notice Notice: This competition ends on 3rd August 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Book Blitz & Excerpt: Sun, Sea and Small-Town Secrets + Giveaway

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Sun, Sea and Small-Town Secrets, by S.J. Coles

Word Count: 48,634
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 193

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CRIME
CRIME AND MYSTERY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FAKE RELATIONSHIPS
GAY
GLBTQI
MEN IN UNIFORM

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Book Description

Small towns are full of secrets, some harder to keep than most.

Sebastian Conway is a professional psychologist and accomplished criminal profiler, but when one of his patients is sentenced to life in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, he simply cannot let it go. His borderline obsessive behaviour has embarrassed his boss and lover, Gerrard Wilson, and the relationship has come to a bitter end.

Seb has now grudgingly taken Gerrard’s advice and come to the small coastal town of Ruéier in the South of France to get some distance and clear his head—but he cannot sit by and do nothing.

He has started writing a book he believes will address the failings in the case, but when he gets swept up in a local investigation into suspected drug trafficking, which is led by the enigmatic and strangely enticing Antoine Damboise, the book—and Seb’s intentions to avoid active criminal cases—take a back seat.

He knows it’s a bad idea to get involved, but he can’t seem to help himself. And when it seems Damboise is tempted to make their relationship more than professional, Seb finds it easier than ever to ignore his better judgment. But when a local drug dealer is murdered and Seb is implicated, everything gets a whole lot more complicated.

Can the two men set aside their personal feelings long enough to figure out what’s really going on before Seb ends up in prison? Or worse…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of murder and drug use.

Excerpt

I turned over with a sigh. I’d thought that second bottle of red would help me sleep this time, but all I’d achieved was insomnia with a headache.

The moonlight creeping in round the edge of the blind illuminated the bold, minimalist prints on the walls and the simple, spartan furniture that was so at odds with the balmy, luscious countryside outside.

Gerrard had always liked his surroundings…controlled. Even the washing powder was the same brand he’d used in the flat at home, so the sheets smelled like him.

I pushed them back with a frustrated grumble then wandered into the living area. I stared at the open laptop on the desk, the piles of journals and drifts of paper surrounding it. I shook my head, returned to the bedroom, dressed then left the villa.

The cool night air felt good against my flushed skin. I strode along the seafront boulevard where the cafe and boulangerie shopfronts were bleached shades of grey in the moonlight. I took deep breaths, inhaling the smells of salt and dried seaweed.

I checked my phone. It was getting on for two-thirty. I rubbed my face, admitting I wasn’t feeling much better than when I’d left the villa—no better than when I’d stepped off the plane a week before, either. I sat on a bench and gazed out over the deserted beach. During the day, the sand was so light and the sea so blue that it was almost tropical. Even at night it was beautiful, all shifting shadows and pale sand under a sky so vast and crowded with stars that it was like it belonged to another world.

I’d never visited France before. Hell, I’d never ventured outside the UK, apart from that one—and best forgotten—trip to Majorca with Gerrard for our anniversary. But I had to admit that Ruéier was picture-postcard perfect—small, unspoiled, off the beaten track, so not overrun by tourists and the inevitable high-street chains that followed them. It was everything Gerrard had said it was—the perfect place to get some distance and write my book.

So why can’t I sleep?

I stood, thinking to walk the long way home and avoid analysing the question too deeply but stopped when the sound of voices rippled the easy quiet of the night. Stepping out from the shadow of a tree, I saw one of the boats in the harbour had its cabin light on. It illuminated the wide deck and a tall wheelhouse. Several figures were aboard and another on the pier, loading large bags into the hold.

I wasn’t sure what made me look closer. There had to be plenty of reasons for loading a boat at night. But something about the way they moved and the low urgency of their muttered French raised the hairs on the back of my arms.

When the figure on the pier handed over the last heavy-looking holdall, his jacket lifted and I glimpsed a gun tucked in his waistband.

I stepped back into the shadows just as the hooded face turned my way. I held my breath. The voices went quiet but then the roar of the boat’s engine tore through the silence.

I swore silently to myself. I’d come to Ruéier to get away from suspicious figures with guns. I held my breath for several more heartbeats before daring another look. The boat was heading for the harbour mouth and the figure from the pier was coming up the stairs less than five meters away. I ducked behind the tree and held still. I could hear his footsteps now, coming right for me.

He walked right past, heading south, down the boulevard toward the ferry port. His shoulders were hunched, his hands in his pockets and his head moved left to right as he scanned the shadows on either side.

I didn’t breathe again until he’d turned a corner and disappeared.

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About the Author

S. J. Coles

S. J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.

She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.

Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.

Find S. J. Coles at her website and follow her on Instagram.

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