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Saturday, November 15, 2014

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder Tour and Review








Mira has never known anything other than the island she grew up on. Her father, a ‘monster” and an invisible friend her only companions. The more she grows the more she wants off the island to explore the things beyond. Her father Dante however has other plans. He fears for Mira and wants to protect her at all costs. When a ship crashes close to their shores Dante wants to prove to his daughter that anyone not already on the island is bad. Mira is terrified of her father and of the things he can do. A great tale of black magic, wondrous inventions, creatures of nightmares and fairy tales all set in a time of prices and kings.  



True North by M. E. Montgomery


Women of Murder, Mystery & Mayhem..Spotlight Tour... Jerri Hines

Click the banner to see a list of all the tour stops!




Jerri Hines

Colleen Connally is a pen name of Jerri Hines. Under Colleen Connally, she has written a historical romance series, Secret Lives, which is riddled with romantic suspense. The Secret Lives consists of Seductive Secrets, Broken Legacy and Seductive Lies. Fragmented, Book One of Boston’s Crime of Passion, marks Ms Connally’s first contemporary suspense thriller.   One can find other historical series under Jerri Hines, including Winds of Betrayal and Tides of Charleston. Coming soon, she will release a Civil War saga, Southern Legacy, beginning with Belle of Charleston. She is also a supporter of The One Fund, a charity supporting the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing, and Alzheimer’s Association.




Into the Mind of a Woman of Murder and Mayhem

My inspiration for writing murder and mayhem is real life. I’m an avid reader and love a good mystery. But my writing comes from real life scenarios. I’m a huge fan of the books of Ann Rule, the Queen of True Crime. Growing up, I was fascinated with my grandmother’s Reader Digest.  I expanded my interest to present day true crimes, especially of writers such as Ann Rule, the Queen of True Crime.

I hold a fascination with the psychology of a murderer. To write a convincing murder/mystery, you need to understand the motivation of the killer. Ann Rule has tackled some of the most horrific crime stories including Ted Bundy and Diana Downs. But what she has done is given insight into their lives which helps when someone like myself dives into creating a fictional story.

I write romantic suspense. I have tried to write a sweet romance, but the story always turns with the heroine finding herself in mortal danger. Real life has inspired many of my stories. Irene Sandler inspired Broken Legacy. Although Broken Legacy is set during the French Revolution and Irene Sandler lived during WWII, she was a shining example of bravery in the face of untold odds. Irene Sandler saved hundreds of children by working with the Polish underground against the Nazi. Her life showed me the courage of a woman and the extremes they will go to when saving innocents.

To me, a mystery is a puzzle needing for the puzzle pieces to fit together to show the whole picture. When I write, I want the reader to feel as if they are there. I want to make it feel real…


Fragmented
by Collen Connally

The first in the Boston’s Crimes of Passion Series! A pulse-pounding thriller! Ms Connally’s first murder mystery delivers! Suspenseful…shocking…a psychological thriller— leaving readers on the edge of their seat. Cameron Quinn is caught in a web of deceit. Protecting her brother from being framed for a murder places Cameron in untold danger. When the real killer diverts his attention to her, she has nowhere to turn, especially not to the man she shared one unforgettable night… who now is trying to put her brother in prison. A “must read” for any suspense lover!

She would do anything to protect her family...
Cameron Quinn watched her father fall into a world of despair after being falsely accused of causing her mother's death. Now, her brother is a suspect in a crime she knows he's not capable of committing. She'll risk everything to save her brother from the same fate as her father, even destroying evidence that implicates him in a series of murders.

He would do anything to win a case...
ADA Darren Kennedy is known as ‘the bulldog.’ He doesn’t lose. When a killer emerges on the streets of Boston, he’s dead-set on putting that killer behind bars...along with anyone that stands in his way.

A killer would do anything to get his heart's desire...Cameron soon discovers that the police aren't the only ones who suspect her of covering for her brother. The murderer is still out there and he isn't happy his plans have been disrupted. Now, the twisted psychopath has turned his attention towards Cameron and will stop at nothing until he has her in his control.



The Heavens Shall Fall
by Jerri Hines

Be swept up within the Winds of Betrayal saga! Captivating!
Spies and Traitors; Love and Betrayal!

The world of spies and traitors-love and betrayal converge on the path to the ultimate betrayal--the treachery of the American's most infamous turncoat, General Benedict Arnold!

The cry for Freedom is at its darkest hour! 

After the devastating loss at Saratoga, the British respond with a vengeance, aiming at taking a strategic hold on the South. In New York, the American spy network is in turmoil, leaving Rupert Arnett to pick up the pieces. Never has it been more dangerous, but never has the stakes been higher.

Under siege by the RedCoats, Charles Town collapses, giving the Americans their most humiliating and worse defeat of the war. When Dr. Jonathan Corbett is taken prisoner, Rebekah faces her greatest personal challenge...for the only way to save her husband's life is to betray his trust. She turns to the one man Jonathan despises the most, General Marcus Durham.

On the return of Major John Andre to New York, Rupert recognizes something is amiss. The British intelligence seems to know Washington's every move. Pressure mounts on him to discover what the British have planned. Amid untold dangers, Rupert turns to his one operative that can uncover the truth.

Now, time is of the essence. The crucial hour of the revolution is upon the Americans. There is a traitor in their midst. Can the network determine who the traitor is before all is lost? At what cost? Who one will pay the ultimate price for the cry of freedom?



Meet the rest of the #eNovAaW
Women of Murder, Mystery & Mayhem


Mimi Barbour

Author, Mimi Barbour, has five romance series at this time. The Vicarage Bench, a Spirit-travel, Time-travel Series / Angels with Attitude Series – Angels Love Romance / The Vegas Series—fast-paced, thrilling and loved by readers / Elvis Series—make an Elvis Song a book, and her latest suspense series with gritty characters, constant conflicts and emotional highs and lows sharing humor on every page, The Undercover FBI series.
“Mimi says - I’ve taken early retirement on Vancouver Island to spend my days and many nights, hovering over my computer and spinning the stories that have been vying for my attention over the years.
My husband is supportive, drags me out to feed me and plans occasional forays into the outside world. I have a son who makes me happy I was born a woman so I could be his mom, and a niece whose family adds to my full cup of happiness.




Special Agent Francesca
by Mimi Barbour

Special Agent Finnegan
by Mimi Barbour



Lorrie Farrelly

A Navy brat and graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, LORRIE FARRELLY is proud to be a Fightin' Banana Slug. Following graduate school at Northwestern University, she began a career in education that included teaching art to 4th graders, drama to 8th graders, and finally, math to high school students.

She's a three-time winner on "Jeopardy!" She has shepherded wide-eyed foreign exchange students along Hollywood Blvd, and has happily curried and shoveled as a ranch hand at Disneyland's Circle D Ranch. And always, she writes.

Lorrie has won a Presidential Commendation for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics. She's been a Renaissance nominee for Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the Orange Rose Award in romantic fiction. Her novels have been awarded Readers' Favorite 5-Stars. TIMELAPSE and TERMS OF SURRENDER are winning MEDALISTS in the 2014 READERS' FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS. Lorrie and her family live in Southern California.




Dangerous
by Lorrie Farrelly

The Guardian's Angel
by Lorrie Farrelly



L.A. Lewandowski

What happens when a Jersey girl falls in love with the Florida sunshine? Lois's life changed when she made sultry Tampa her home. It might have been the subtropical heat that forced the stories out of her head and into the books she writes. The southern migration has allowed her to pursue her passions; cooking for family and friends, growing orchids, and learning tennis. Her food blog, the Culture and Cuisine Club, continues to push the envelope of dinner club creativity. She's obsessed with art in all forms, and her interests are the entrées that fill her books with a fillip of sexy seasoning to spice things up. On most weekends she can be found enjoying the perfect cocktail with close friends.




Born To Die ~ The Montauk Murders
by L.A. Lewandoswki

A Gourmet Demise ~ Murder in South Tampa
by L.A. Lewandoswki



Julie Frayn

Julie Frayn pens award-winning novels and short stories that pack a punch. And a few stabs. She has published three novels and two short, short story collections. Her work has won two gold medals in the 2013 Authorsdb cover contest, and the Books and Pals 2014 Readers’ Choice award for women’s fiction.

A bean counter by day, Julie revels in the written word. When she is not working or writing, she spends as much time as possible with her two children (grown adults, really), while they still think she’s cool.




Mazie Baby
by Julie Frayn

It Isn't Cheating If He's Dead
by Julie Frayn




So what or who is #eNovAaW?

eNovel Authors at Work is a group of indie authors who believe in paying it forward…

We are dedicated to helping one another to understand the challenges facing writers in the digital universe.

Everything we discover will find its way into these pages, to help authors and readers alike to navigate the ever-changing world of books.

Our goal is all about THE BOOK. We help each other to get our books noticed and expand our audiences. Indie Publishing is constantly changing, and we do our best stay informed.

Our members can participate in individual and group promotions.

Whether an author has published one book or ten, success requires diligence, dedication, and focus. We don’t know all the answers, but we are learning who to ask, who to listen to, and how best to use the tools available to sell BOOKS.

While we respect an author’s choice in what he or she writes, we do not promote erotica, gratuitous sex, or violence.

Right here is where you can subscribe to our newsletter (at the top of the sidebar on any page). eNovel Authors will only land in your mailbox when a good book is free 99 cents or a special deal . Now and again we’ll tell you about a new release, a blog hop, or a book we discovered that made us laugh or cry or dream.





Friday, November 14, 2014

Blog Tour Rumor by Skye Jordan


 RUMOR by Skye Jordan



About the Book
Title:                Rumor (Renegades Novella)
Release:          November 4, 2014
Genre:                         Contemporary Erotic Romance
Blog Tour:       November 10, 2014 – November 14, 2014
Buy Links:        Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo

Book Summary:

Former Navy SEAL Josh Marx thinks he has it all figured out. He’s living the bachelor lifestyle in southern California, running risk assessment for the Renegades, but most importantly, he’s finally gotten over the unrequited love he’s harbored for his former teammate’s ex wife. Then his buddy calls from overseas, worried because he hasn’t heard from his ex, and asks Josh to check in on her. Josh doesn’t want to get involved, but the same code that urged him to walk away in the first place is suddenly pushing him to change his Christmas plans.

Grace Ashby doesn't appreciate the sexy SEAL trying to step in and take over. He thinks she’s hit rock bottom by working at a strip club, but she knows differently. She could set him straight, but he’s already rejected her once, and she doesn’t need one more man judging her.

She tells him to butt out of her business and her life. But Josh’s conscience won’t let him walk away this time. 

About the Author
Skye Jordan is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Skye’s novels are about enjoying that little wild streak we don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we rarely get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, and maybe even acting a little naughty. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance.

And, yes, even love, because while wicked-great sex is good, happily ever after with wicked-great sex is even better. Skye (aka Joan) lives on the central coast of California in the heart of wine country with her husband and two daughters. As often as possible, she retreats to a hotel with critique partners for a power-writing week where much drinking, laughing, and yes, even working, ensues. When she’s not writing, Skye goes to breakfast with her hubby, attends her daughters’ barrel races, and spends a lot of time with her own horse, Riddle…while her two dogs, Paxton and Indie, tag along. She also loves to read, knit, craft, row, ride, and dabble in photography.




Giveaway Details
There are two sets of Giveaways on this tour! The first one is the grand prize and will be included in the Rafflecopter provided. The second is a giveaway for each blog stop. You can decide how you want to handle it on your blog. Just send the winners’ information to amy@somanyreads.com and I will get the information to Joan so she can send to the winners.

Tour Grand Prize (Rafflecopter):
·         6” Kindle Tablet (1 winner from the entire tour – US/Canada only)

Rafflecopter Code for Grand Prize:
<a id="rc-bacb1e4981" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bacb1e4981/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script>

Rafflecopter Link for Grand Prize:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bacb1e4981/

Each Blog Stop (No Rafflecopter):
·         Winner’s choice of Reckless, Rebel or Ricochet AND a $10 gift card (1 winner at each blog stop – US/Canada only)
·         3 Swag Bags (3 winners at each blog stop – US/Canada only)


Blog Tour Stops

November 10, 2014

Smut Book Club (Excerpt 1)

Same Book Different Review (Excerpt 2)

So Many Reads (Excerpt 2)

November 11, 2014

I Am A Book Addict (Excerpt 3)

Just The Write Stuff (Excerpt 4)

November 12, 2014

Cricket’s Chirps (Excerpt 5)

TBQ’s Book Palace (Excerpt 6)
November 13, 2014

Becky on Books (Excerpt 7)

Books-n-Kisses (Excerpt 8)

Maldivan Book Reviews (Excerpt 9)

Ms. Romantic Reads (Excerpt 9)

November 14, 2014

A Closet Full of Books (Excerpt 10)

Smut Book Junkie Reviews (Excerpt 10)

For the Love of Candy Book Blitz & Review


For the Love of Candy
by Patrice Wilton
Series: Candy Bar, #4
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 5, 2014



FOR THE LOVE OF CANDY is the fourth and final book in the Candy Bar series. For everyone who has read and loved this romantic comedy series, I want to thank you for buying my book, loving my women, laughing late into the night, and sharing this joy with me. The happiness you have given me by reading your wonderful reviews were the greatest gift I could ever receive, and made me believe in myself as a writer. It is because you cared and asked me for Candy’s story that I gave this story life, and I hope that I will have fulfilled your every wish. The magic is here. Please read on and enjoy the final conclusion to Candy’s story.

The Candy Bar is in trouble. Crime and corruption has changed the landscape of the street. Candy can stay and fight it, or sell and run. She has called an emergency meeting with her dear friends, the sisters of her heart, to tell them her decision. Enter Harrison Wolfe—Boston lawyer, probably a Mayflower descendant by his arrogance and arresting good looks. He has come to the Candy Bar to tell her that his daughter is engaged to her son Billy. He’s only 21 and graduating from college, and is certainly not ready to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Harrison is also strongly opposed to this engagement and wants to put an end to it before it even begins. Thunder cracks open the sky, lightning strikes, and Harrison and Candy are caught up in the magic and madness. Now they have to fight their attraction—and keep their pants on--to stay focused on keeping their children apart. This hilarious, touching, upbeat story will engage your emotions and hopefully have you laughing one minute, and wiping tears the next. 



CHAPTER ONE

Sunshine filtered through the stained-glass windows as I opened the door to the Candy Bar, but the cavernous interior remained dark and gloomy. It was always this way until the room filled with people, then the sound of laughter and bubbly good times turned this old Mission Inn into something magical.

I maneuvered through the clusters of tables and chairs, then dumped my keys and handbag on the mahogany bar, turning the lights on dim.

For the past ten years the Candy Bar has been my home, bringing pride, joy and a comfort of living that I never expected. Still, nothing remains static. The rivers of life keep flowing and a girl has to adapt to the sudden change of current, or drown.

One thing for sure—I’m great at adapting. I took the lemons life tossed at me and created a profitable lemonade stand. Kicked out of my house with a baby on the way, I’d had to scrape out a living. It hadn't always been easy and it hadn't been pretty, but I’d done what I needed to do. Successfully, on my terms.

And so I would again.

I’d tell my friends, sisters of the heart, that it was a business decision and we all needed to keep our emotions out of it. Right? As if that would happen.

I stepped behind the bar and wiped my damp palms with a dry cloth. Perspiration dotted my upper lip and my brow, but I knew it wasn't the Miami humidity. A nervous stomach was the culprit.

I lifted my chin and glanced in the mirror. “Buck up, Candy Thompson,” I told myself. “This isn't your first rodeo and it isn't your last. The girls will understand.”

My eyes told me differently. I sucked in a breath. Okay, telling them I was going to sell would break their hearts. I knew that. It was also breaking mine. There was nothing to do about it; the decision was made and it was final.

I expected them to arrive any minute, but I couldn't sit down to wait. Instead I grabbed the cloth and began to polish the already perfectly polished bar. Once that was done, I played with the liquor bottles in front of the brick wall, rearranging them attractively so they lined up in a row.

I was still puttering when the door opened. Momentarily blinded by sunlight, I blinked and made out a tall, svelte body topped with fiery red hair.

I gripped the edge of the slick wood. “Hey, Lydia,” I greeted her as though I didn’t have a care in the world. “You’re the first to arrive.” A lawyer, a mother, a wonderful friend—who still made time in her busy schedule to see me in the middle of the day.

I closed my eyes against the onslaught of memories and walked around the bar, into her hug. My smile was as big as it was false.

“Candy,” she cried, searching my face for clues. “What’s up? You’re scaring the heck out of us, calling this emergency meeting.”

“I’ll tell you as soon as the others get here.” I laughed weakly. “Middle-aged drama. Nothing life threatening.”

Lydia sniffed. “Middle-aged? Hardly. You’re younger than Fran and me, although outside of this room, I’d deny it.” She stepped back and crossed her arms to study me, knowing there was more to it. “The rest of us have drama, but you always handle things in stride.”

“Guess I’m due for a meltdown, then.” I hoped the others arrived soon so I could explain my decision just once.

As if on cue, Fran and Susie entered together and I breathed a sigh of relief. After warm hugs, I gestured them to their barstools. For years they’d each parked their butts in the same order along the bar. Lydia, Fran, Susie.

I looked at their beautiful faces and choked up, my airway clogged with emotion but no way would I cry. How could I tell my dear friends that it was time for me to move on? I knew they’d do anything, say anything to rope me down and keep me here.

I returned to my spot behind the bar, my source of comfort. I sucked in a couple of deep breaths and then straightened my shoulders, determined to say what had to be said. My stomach rolled with nerves.

“As you all know, the Candy Bar hasn't been doing so well lately. Business has slowed to a trickle during the week, and is about half of what we used to bring in on the weekends.”

“It’s the end of the season. Things always get slow,” Lydia said, her tone defensive.

I shook my head, and fought back my emotions. The head had to overrule the heart.

“This neighborhood has changed in the last couple of years. It used to be quiet, set back from South Beach, but the action has crept here. I’ve seen drug deals go down on the streets and I’m pretty sure there’s some prostitution three blocks over by the gas station.” Before they could speak, I rushed on. “The cops are everywhere, but they don’t, or can’t, stop the progression of crime. It’s killing my bottom line. I need to sell before it’s too late to see even a small profit.” Although it wasn't about the money. Not really.

Fran’s brow creased with concern. Her honey-toned pixie spikes bobbed as her chin rose. “There’s a new sports bar down the street, and that dance club, Dominique’s, which opened last year.” She rubbed her fingers together. “They are packing in the crowds, and don’t seem worried about the crime element.”

Probably paying off the right people, I thought.

Fran was like a determined terrier-once she sunk her teeth into something, she’d hang on to the bitter end. “So, if it’s just slow business, we’ll think of something to bring the crowd back here. Won’t we, girls?”

I rested my elbow on the bar. “My regulars are disappearing and it’s not likely they’ll be coming back. Not unless I sink a lot of money into the place.” My friends opened their lips to argue, so I raised my hand and continued, “And the club crowd, well, they are so young and flaky, that I’m just as happy not serving them. Jake and I had to crack down on fake ID. It hasn't made us popular. We don’t condone drug use on the property, which has become a real problem.”

“Drugs are a problem everywhere,” Lydia said. “And it seems the criminals are getting younger every year.”

I expelled a breath. “I don’t want the Candy Bar taking a nose-dive. I worked too hard to make it a place to be proud of, not some cheap pick-up spot for hustlers.”

“It won’t. Not this magical place,” Susie said with some heat. Her delicate features belied a strong will. “This is the best bar in South Beach, isn't it girls?” She didn't wait for an answer. “You don’t have to worry about the riff-raff. You've created a sophisticated ambiance, and you’re the savviest person around. Plus you've got Jake, the best looking hunk of a bartender in the state of Florida, and magic, to boot. The other bars can stick their head down a toilet, because the Candy Bar is here to stay.”

I slowly shook my head.

“You can’t sell.” Fran twisted her hands in her lap, her face blotchy. “You can’t. This is as much our place as it is yours.” Her cheeks turned a solid crimson.

“Fran,” I said, my heart aching. “This was a hard decision to make, but I have to get out from under the bar before it buries me.” I also needed a change. It was time to be something more.

Fran cleared her throat and lifted her chin, a pint-sized country rock maven ready to do battle. “That sounded selfish of me, but I don’t care.” Her lovely voice rose with passion. “Hell, Candy. You can’t do this.” She glanced around the room, her gaze lingering on the empty stage, and then back at her friends. “This is the place where we found our true loves. Where dreams come true. Susie’s right. It’s a magical place, and you can’t let it go. Not for love or money,” she paused and added, “or someone like Jay.”

I backed up a step, struck. “Jay has nothing to do with it.” Other than being an impetus toward getting my life together. What had I been thinking, hoping to change a man who liked all women? I’d never accept being one of his groupies, so I had to end it, or continue down a path of heartache and self-loathing. It had been fun for awhile, but that short affair was over.

“Well, then,” Lydia said, searching my face. “If it’s really just a financial decision, we can work something out. I agree with Fran, and I don’t want you to sell.” She reached for her expensive leather purse and pulled out her checkbook. “I’m going to give you a little something until things get back in full swing again.”

I raised my chin and straightened my shoulders. Even at the lowest point in my life I hadn’t taken handouts. “Put that back. I’m selling. That’s my final decision.”

Susie slid from her barstool and walked behind the bar, grabbing a chilled bottle of Sonoma Cutrer. “Candy, you better open this. It might only be three-thirty, but we’re going to need it for this conversation.” She thumped it on the counter then took her seat on the other side of the bar. “Yes, you may be the sole proprietor, but we have a stake in this place too.”

I opened the bottle and filled four glasses, then we all just looked at each other, knowing that somehow we’d reached a crossroad. Four friends that had found each other, supported one another—even though we each embarked on separate journeys, they all led back to here.

Susie broke the silence, and lifted her glass. “If it hadn’t been for that art show I might not have reconnected with Brett. I’d still be sitting here meeting men from on-line dating services who looked nothing like their pictures.”

“I remember watching you, thinking what is that beautiful girl doing, wasting her time on loser after loser?” I clinked my glass with Susie’s.

“We were married at this bar,” she whispered with tears in her bright blue eyes.

It was difficult to stay strong in the gale of her memories, but I stiffened my spine.

“I met Jed here,” Lydia spoke quietly. “The storm, the magic—we conceived Braden that night.”

I nodded. “We hadn’t met yet, but I clearly remember the magnum of champagne you’d ordered, and that you were celebrating something. Your friend got a little wasted.”

“Client.” Lydia said with a shrug. “A very good, affluent client who used my services through three of her divorces.”

Like it had been yesterday, I could still remember how Lydia had looked professional and composed, taking care to feed her client and order a cab, as the lady waved the bottle around, and flirted with every guy around.

“After you called her a cab,” Lydia spoke quietly, “I left during the tropical storm and found my car with a dead battery. Jed jumpstarted me in more ways than one,” she added with a grin.

Fran took a quick sip of her wine, then pushed the glass aside. She jerked her chin toward the small dance floor. “I saw John when I was up on that stage singing. The way our eyes connected, well, it was like a shot of electricity had gone right through us. We were two lonely people who hadn’t been out on a date in years. But in that moment everything changed—and I became quite the vamp.” She laughed. “Took him to bed that very night, I did.”

“Candy Bar magic worked for all three of you. You found true love. We came together, and I couldn’t ask for better friends.” I gave a weary sigh. It would break my heart to sell this place, but I couldn’t afford to hang on to it for sentimental reasons. “It’s gotta go.”

“Jed and I could help out,” Lydia offered, without touching her purse again, thank heaven. She didn’t understand that there was more than just the money behind my decision. Probably because I hadn’t told them that I wanted more—something new to sink my teeth into. “An interest free loan,” Lydia said softly, “if you won’t accept the gift. I insist.”

“Oh, no you don’t,” Susie said, brushing her long blonde hair to the side with slender artist’s fingers. “My paintings have been selling well, and Brett and I have a little extra to spare. We want to invest. Right here.” She indicated the first four seats. “This is our corner of the bar. We own it. I’m going to buy these seats right now.”

Fran smacked the counter with typical determination. “Whoa. Wait a dang minute. My career started on that stage, and if anyone is going to put money down, it’s me. So back off, everybody. This is personal.”

I’d known they’d be upset, but to fight over giving me money? It was enough to bring me to tears. I glanced away and sucked them back. “I figured you’d be upset, but I never thought you’d try and rescue me. I should have though. It’s what we do.” I pinched the bridge of my nose. No crying, damn it. “I love you crazy girls to death, but I don’t want any one of you to float me a loan. This is a business decision, and one that I alone will make.” I met their confused, questioning gazes, imploring them to understand.

“You see…I want a clean break. To go someplace fresh. Live life for a change and stop working all the time.”

“You want to leave South Beach? Leave us?” Fran asked, her voice full of hurt.

My heart ached so badly I had to look away. My glance rested on the mural that Susie had painted, the stage where Fran had sang—so many happy memories, and ones I would always treasure. Still, as much as I loved the place, I couldn’t weaken now, or I’d be stuck here behind the bar—forever.

“You all have your own lives now, and nothing stays the same. It’s my turn to move on. I’m getting too old to be a barmaid.” I removed my straw hat and ran a loving finger across the brim. “Too old to be dressed like some sexy cowgirl.”

“You’re not old,” Susie said. “And if you take off your hat and start dressing all prim and proper,” she sniffed, “then I guess I’ll have to do the same. All of us will. No more party girls. No more Candy Ops. No more fun. Let the boring times begin.”

I grimaced at Susie’s dramatic prediction for our future.

“Put your hat back on,” Fran demanded. She grabbed it from the bar and shoved it back on my head, then continued yelling as though I were stone deaf. “What do you think you’re doing? You don’t quit. None of us do. We’re survivors, dammit, and we’ll figure a way out of this mess without selling our magical place.”

“You keep saying this is a business decision. So why won’t you take a loan?” Lydia narrowed her eyes. “You sure this isn’t about Jay Carpenter? Didn’t you go see him last week?”

I turned away from the girls, hiding the truth. “He’s not a part of my life anymore, and not a part of this decision, that’s for damn sure.” The only way Jay had influenced me was to show me what I didn’t have in my life, and what I still may want.

“Why?” Fran asked, zeroing in like a hawk on prey. “What happened in Tampa?” She reached out and touched my shoulder, turning me around.

I tugged at the brim of my hat. “Same old,” I said, like it didn’t bother me. “Found him in bed with another girl.” I grabbed my neglected glass of wine, and took a large swallow. “She was younger and prettier than the last.”

With great pretense, I gave a carefree shrug. “I finally realized that there’d always be another one, a continuous parade of women competing for Jay’s attention. Who was I to think I might change him? That man doesn't want to be corralled, and I for one have lost interest in trying.”

I tossed my head, sending my straw hat flying toward the row of booze on the bar. “I’m ready to move on. He’s not invited.”

“Oh, Candy,” Susie said softly. “I’m so sorry. You really liked him. He seemed so into you.”

“Into me, and anybody else he could nail.” That had been the hardest part for me to accept. I’d understood Jay’s celebrity status gave him carte blanche to party like a rock star. What had hurt was realizing I wasn't special enough to tame the man. For a while, it had been fun trying.

“Did you love him?” Susie asked, compassion in her tone.”No,” I answered honestly. “I don’t even like him so much anymore.”

“Ah,” Susie said. Lydia’s eyes welled and Fran’s cheeks turned red as if they all felt my misery. Unbidden, hot tears of disappointment coursed down my cheeks, my shoulders shook and I couldn’t catch a breath. Gasping, I sobbed gut-wrenching tears. Crying like I hadn’t cried since leaving home at sixteen—pregnant, rejected by my family who disowned me, sending me off to find my own place in the world.

The Candy Bar had become my place. Could I really leave it behind? My friends abandoned their barstools and came around the bar, locking me in a protective group hug. Lydia smelled like expensive perfume, Susie sandalwood and Fran like hair gel.

“We’ll always be friends,” I said, clearing my throat and pushing out of their circle. “This is so embarrassing.” I whispered. “Carrying on like this. I’m fine. Really.” Secretly, during my weak moments I’d always build myself up by thinking of myself as Candy the Conqueror. Well, that Candy had just lost total control and was blubbering like a baby.

Lydia looked like I’d smacked her in the face. “Embarrassing? We’re not only your friends, we’re your family.” She used an embossed cocktail napkin to dab at my tears. “And don’t you forget it.”

Fran stepped back, her lower lip jutted out. “I’m going to kill that Jay Carpenter. Worse, I’m going to call every person I know and have him permanently black listed.”

The idea perked me up a little and I forced a smile. “You can’t do that. His name is bigger than yours.”

She tilted her pug nose in the air. “Not for long. And once I do a proper smear campaign, no one will want to touch him. Not even his faithful groupies.”

“Need help?” Susie asked, her angelic face a mask of beautiful fury. “You twitter, and I’ll tackle facebook.”

“No one is going to do anything,” I told them, pushing them back toward their barstools. “Even if he is a two-timing whore. Darn, I can’t even call him that. He makes no bones that he screws anyone he pleases, so he doesn’t really cheat. He was honest about it from the start. That makes me stupid, not him.” My bottom lip trembled so I bit it viciously and tasted blood.

“Don’t you dare stand up for him,” Lydia said savagely. “I don’t care who he screws, as long as it isn’t you.”

“When I saw him like that—in bed with another woman, I was so filled with disgust—for him and for myself. He’d made it perfectly clear where I stood on his priority list, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like who I was. On the drive home, I came to terms with the fact I’m almost forty. My son is a legal adult graduating from college.”

I took a deep breath, smoothing my fingers across the bar. “Billy is starting new, too. It’s time I thought about finding someone to spend the rest of my life with. Someone who doesn’t sleep around and who’ll cherish me. I deserve that, don’t I?”

“You do, Candy,” they said in unison, as if they’d been practicing all week. Who needed a sexy cowboy you could ride all night and leave you cross-legged in the morning, when you had women like these at your back?

“So selling the Candy Bar isn’t just about the money.” Lydia reached for the almost empty bottle of wine.

Passing it over, I shook my head. “The neighborhood is going downhill. Just like me.”

“Will you stop saying that?” Susie frowned. “You are beautiful.”

“I saw a gray hair this morning,” I answered.

“So? You just pull them out,” Lydia responded. “Doesn’t mean you’re not hot stuff.”

“Well, I think you’re one of the most beautiful women, I know,” Fran said. “And maybe tonight some cute guy will walk in, and you’ll find your magic just like we all did.” She beamed. “Why not? Your bar, your turn.”

The Candy Bar was an old mission inn, built on an ancient Indian burial ground. We didn’t have any factual proof of any mysterious forces at work, but we liked to think that the Indians were up to old tricks. During tropical storms when the skies opened up and lightning crackled in the air, the brick wall behind the bar would begin to sweat. Inside the bar, candles flickered, lights dimmed, and whoever was the lucky or unlucky recipient of this electrical current would get zapped by magic.

By now, most of the customers knew the routine. I’d shout out “make a wish,” and the lucky recipient would wish for something and it would be granted. Since it’s never happened to me, I’m not sure what I’d wish for. I’d like a husband, but it wasn’t the top priority in my life. I wanted to give back to the people who had once supported me.

I’d eventually ended up at a women’s shelter, and they had let me stay until the baby was born. Without their nurturing care, I’m not sure if either Billy or I would have survived. So I like to think that if the magic struck me, I’d be a bigger, better person and not ask for love, but a means to help other unwed mothers.

“It’s not going to happen. I think I’m immune.”

“Next time,” Lydia suggested, “throw yourself in front of it. Don’t let anyone else steal your wish. It’s your turn for love, girlfriend.”

“I need a lot of other things first, like a demolition crew to clean this neighborhood up. That’s the only thing that will keep this business alive long enough for me to sell to a solid buyer. If I only have one wish, I sure can’t make it a man.” I was independent and quite capable, and well used to doing things for myself. A man would keep me warm at night, but then so would a blanket. And if I wanted affection, I could always get a puppy.

“Make it a rich man,” Susie said with a devilish grin. “And a drop dead gorgeous one. Go for the whole enchilada!”

“Clear skies today, girls,” I said, reaching for another bottle of wine. One of the perks of owning the place was drinking the finest wine with the best friends any girl could have.

My heart twisted as I thought of somebody else behind the bar. My bar. Had I made my decision to sell too quickly? No…it was time.

The door swung open, allowing the late afternoon sun to illuminate the dim bar. I tossed my hair back, narrowing my eyes to bring the shape of broad shoulders wearing a suit into focus.

He paused at the door, surveying the room before finding the four of us in the near gloom. I flicked a switch, softly lighting the area around the bar tables—he could see us, and we could see him.

He moved forward with a confident stride. Tall—really tall. Perhaps 6 foot 6, with dark hair. His suit was tailored, the fabric expensive even from a distance. Something about him screamed trouble and I wiped my palms on the front of my jeans.

“I’m looking for the owner,” he said, with a deep rich timber to his voice.

Trouble, yes, but from where? He was too smooth to be one of the jackasses who’d been after me for protection money for the bar. Maybe he was interested in buying the place, though I’d just listed the property last night with a realtor.

I came around the bar, with a reserved smile. I was wearing a hot pink tee that read Candy Bar in silver sequins across my considerable bosom. And hot pink cowboy boots. My attire suited the Candy Bar. Suited me. But for some reason, it made me feel ever-so-tacky next to Wall Street Ken.

I held out my hand. “I’m Candy.”

For better or worse, that’s me.



A great read to end the Candy Bar series. I loved the passion and chemistry with Candy and Harrison. It was very real. Candy felt threatened in keeping her bar alive and kicking because of all the crime that was happening all around. She keeps toying with the idea up jumping ship, selling and starting all over that is until Harrison walks into her life. Can he be more than what she bargained for? Will the attraction that she has for him lead to more than just a close friendly relationship. Be sure to pick this book up and finish off the series.



Buy the rest of the Candy Bar Series
Book 1: Replacing Barnie

Book 2: Where Wishes Come True

Book 3: Night Music


Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. As a voracious reader, she gobbled up books, and her imagination soared. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about.
Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages.

She is the proud mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience.

Her best selling books are the Candy Bar series, the Serendipity Falls series, and her returning war hero series. She joined a group of talented, NY Times and USA Today best selling authors and released a ten book box set--TEN BRIDES FOR TEN HEROES, followed by TEN CHRISTMAS BRIDES.