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We’ve talked about Esperance and Lady Calloway, but what’s up next for Gambler’s Folly?

Old Flame

They were friends in university thirty years ago, though they never dated. They were simply friends with no strings, no desires beyond that. His family had money to burn while she struggled to make ends meet.

Who would guess that thirty years down the road, with him single and her a widow, they would meet on their way to Gambler’s Folly?

And who would have guessed an attraction, which had been absent in their university days, would suddenly blossom?

Meet Kort Behrens, multi-millionaire tycoon. His family made it big in electronics with the development of a new drive for interstellar shuttles, along with other inventions and developments along the way. After two failed marriages, he’s decided not to risk any more entanglements. Women only wanted to be with him for the money and prestige.

Elizabeth’s husband died four years ago and she has secluded herself in her little mountain home seeing only her Reiki clients and any neighbors who stop by. She has her cat, Puzzle, for company and hasn’t even considered dating, let alone remarrying.

During an altercation in the hotel the night before her flight to Houston to catch the shuttle, a voice from her past intercedes on her behalf. Warm strong hands on her shoulders comfort her as he deals with the situation. But she was not prepared to see her old friend, Kort, alive and in person. And since she rarely listened to the news or paid much attention to the society rags, she didn’t realize that the young man she’d known at uni was the powerful bachelor billionaire in today’s world.

Neither was Kort prepared for their meeting, or for the feelings he developed during their flight to Gambler’s Folly. But he is determined to show her a good time on one of his favorite worlds. If nothing else, he could help her come back out and learn to live again.

Old Flame hasn’t made it to the editor yet, but how about a brief excerpt?

OLD FLAME

Gambler’s Folly Book 4

Checking her reflection in the mirror, she decided she didn’t look bad for a woman of her age. Her hair was beginning to gray a little, but it didn’t show too much in her blond hair. With a final tug at the skirt of her black dress, she slipped on pumps and took the lift to the third floor dining room. She preferred a table which wasn’t out in the open, so it took her a minute to get situated. Once seated, she took a deep breath and began to peruse the menu. 

“Excuse me, Mrs. Murphy?”

Staring up at the stranger, she said, “I’m Elizabeth Murphy, yes.”

“It’s about time we met,” the man sneered.

“I don’t know you,” she answered. “What do you want?”

“You may not know me, but you have received several letters from my boss concerning a debt of $10,000. We haven’t received your payment yet.”

“You’re with them? I’ve written back and explained everything to your boss. I don’t know what the debt is for, and I can’t get the money to pay it.”

“May I remind you of a trust your late husband set up for you that you can borrow money against?” the man asked.

“How do you know about that? There is nothing I can do. Go and talk to the attorney who administers the trust. If your claim is legitimate, I’m sure he’ll do what’s right.”

“Mrs. Murphy, it isn’t wise to anger the people I work for. I suggest you find a way to get the money and pay us what you owe.”

“Look,” she said, beginning to panic. “I don’t know who you are, or who your boss is, but I’ve never owed anyone that kind of money in my life. And I can’t imagine Joe did either.”

“Mrs. Murphy,” he began again.

“No! Go away. Go talk to the attorney, but leave me alone.”

Her whole attention had been on the man across the table, but she suddenly felt warm, strong hands on her shoulders.

“Listen, friend,” a deep and vaguely familiar voice said. “You have the lady’s answer. Anything more from you is harassment. Call it a night.”

“This is none of your business. It’s a private affair. Go away.”

“Your private affair became my business when you shouted it across the dining room. You are bullying this poor woman, who I understand has lost her husband. Say good night.”

“Listen, buddy, I don’t know who you think you are, but I can make big trouble for you,” the man threatened.

One of the hands lifted from her shoulder and she heard the man behind her speak into his com.

“Security? Behrens here. I need to have someone escorted off the property from the third floor dining room. I’ve sent a photo.”

“You can’t do that!” the man across the table shouted.

“I think you’ll find I can,” he answered as his hand returned to her shoulder. Liz felt so much safer with him here.

Almost immediately, two security guards from the hotel came down and took the man into custody.

“Anything else, sir?” one of them asked.

“No, thank you. He was making a nuisance of himself and upsetting this lady. We were going to have dinner.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you.”

As they took the man away, Liz felt drained and slumped into her chair. The hands left her shoulders, and the man came around to kneel in front of her.

“I’m sorry your stay here has been marred,” he said and then stopped abruptly, looking startled. “Liz? I mean, are you Elizabeth Stockton?”

Looking up into dazzling blue eyes that could belong to nobody else, she asked, “Kort? Is that you?”

“Yes. Liz, what are you doing in my neck of the woods?”

For some unknown reason, she sprang out of her chair and threw her arms around him. Tears she’d held back began to trickle down her face.

“Hey, it’s all right. I’ve got you. You’re going to mess up your makeup,” he told her softly.

Forcing herself to give him some space, she dabbed at the tears with the handkerchief he offered.

“I’m Elizabeth Murphy now. Our kids sent me tickets for my birthday, so I could come visit them.”

“How many kids do you have?” he asked.

“Two, a son and a daughter. Our daughter has two sons, who are eight and ten. What about you?”

“No. I married right after university, but it didn’t work out. A few years later, I tried again, and it lasted less than a year. I’ve been a bachelor most of the time since we last saw each other.”

“That’s a shame,” Liz said. “You were always such a sweet guy.”

With a hearty laugh, which was as delightful and sincere as she remembered, he said, “I know quite a few people who would disagree with you. Would you join me for dinner? We could catch up on old times.”

Seated comfortably at his table, she picked up the menu and began to look for something relatively inexpensive. She knew it was included in her holiday package, but she hated to waste money, even if it wasn’t coming out of her wallet..

“Liz, get whatever you like. It’s on me tonight,” Kort told her.

“Oh, no. I couldn’t,” she insisted. “Anyway, I’m sure you’ve got better things to do with your money.”

“Not really. I have loads of the stuff. Why not enjoy it?”

“Seriously? What do you do for a living?”

The look he gave her was part amusement and part surprise before he asked, “Do you watch the news?”

“Yes. Well, not watch. I listen to the news while I putter. Why?”

And then her mind put the facts together and she began to sputter.

“Oh! You’re that Kort Behrens–the billionaire who is always on TV?”

“Right in one,” he said with a smile. “How many Kort Behrens do you know?”

“Oh, Kort, or Mr. Behrens, you must have better things to do than entertain me. I’ll go order something from room service. Thank you for your help and everything,” she said as she began to push her chair away from the table.

“Liz, sit down. Please,” he insisted firmly. “I may be wealthy, but I love to visit with old friends. People who knew me before the media splashed my life all over the world.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. “I don’t even know how to talk to you. I can’t believe the Kort Behrens I knew became one of the wealthiest people on Earth.”

“Sit down. Forget the money. I’m Kort, Liz, the guy who almost lost you over a balcony one night.”

“Oh my gosh! I’d almost forgotten that dance.”

“It wasn’t one of my better moments,” he said.

“Nice save, though,” she added.

“Thank you.”

They talked over dinner and wine before he suggested a walk around the gardens. She had forgotten how big the man was. He towered over her. If he was anything like he’d been at university, there was no fat concealed under his three piece suit. It was all washboard muscle. It was a good thing he had such a mild mannered way.

“Are you headed back east tomorrow?” he asked her.

“It’s sort of funny, considering I don’t travel much, but I’m not. I’m headed to Houston.”

“What’s in Houston?”

“The kids bought me a vacation package—transportation and four weeks of vacation on Gambler’s Folly.”

“Five o’clock shuttle?” he asked with a curious look.

“Yes, as a matter of fact. Why?”

“This is quite a coincidence. I’m booked on the same shuttle.”

“To Gambler’s Folly? You’re kidding,” she said in amazement.

“What flight are you on tomorrow morning?” he asked.

“I’m on the ten o’clock Delta flight. Why?”

“I can call and have your money refunded if you’d rather fly with me. There are fewer lines and hassles when you fly corporate.”

“Seriously? Won’t I be in your way?”

“Not at all. Once I get to Gambler’s Folly I’ll have a couple things to check on for business, but for the rest of the time, I’m on vacation. Just plain old rest and relaxation.”

“I don’t know, Kort,” she said, hesitantly.

“Say yes, Liz. It’ll be fun.”

“If you’re sure,” she told him, not sure why she was agreeing.

“Perfect! I’ll have my driver get your luggage in the morning. We need to leave by nine-thirty, which will get us into Houston early enough to have a late lunch before we go on to the Spaceport. Do you have all your paperwork ready?”

“Yes, Kate and I made sure of that before she left the hotel.”

They chatted all the way back to the hotel, where they were besieged by people with cameras.

“Is this a new girlfriend, Mr. Behrens?” one of the reporters asked.

“No, Liz is an old flame from my university days. Say hello, Liz,” he said with a smile.

“Hello,” she managed as Kort turned away from the reporters and entered the hotel.

“Sorry about that. I hadn’t expected them so soon. I’m glad we’ll be off planet tomorrow night. By the time we get back, they’ll have something else to talk about, hopefully.”

“I hope so. I never thought about reporters,” she said, still a little shaken. “Old flame?”

He grinned widely at her expression, winked at her, and put his arm around her shoulders. When they got to her room, he looked deeply into her eyes for a moment.

 “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said before he pressed a warm, gentle kiss to her cheek. “Sweet dreams, Liz.”

It may be just a little while before this is ready to be published, but it is in the process.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

And as always

Don’t Forget…

…to Share the Romance.

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Maybe you’ve heard of Gambler’s Folly. And maybe you’ve wondered where the idea came from. So sit back, with a cup of something relaxing while I tell you the story.

Way back when, in the age of the dinosaurs, there was a song done by the Kingston Trio called South Coast. In the song, a man wins his wife in a card game. My husband being a Kinston Trio fan had been listening to some of their music one day, and the thought occurred to me that it would be difficult for that to happen in this day and age.

Wouldn’t it?

So the idea was settled into my brain and I couldn’t get it out. What if it was on another world, where there was a strong criminal syndicate, which could bend the rules to fit the situation?

Once I sat down to start writing, the story evolved from Karianna’s husband losing a card game in one of Gambler’s Folly’s casinos and betting his wife against his debt.

Which he lost.

The second book, Dante’s Angel, I wrote because I liked Dante’s character in the first book and wanted to explore his life and personality. Since he was one of Damiano’s right hand men, he would most certainly go with him to Earth for the church wedding. And perhaps he could meet a love of his own.

The Russian, Book 3, I wrote after seeing a photo of someone who just looked like a character who would fit right in to the rest of the bunch on Gambler’s Folly. A Russian rapper, he looked like the perfect match for a wolf shifter, to go along with Damiano’s leopard.

How about a little excerpt from Dante’s Angel?

Dante had waited as long as he could before he left for the shuttle. He’d never been off-planet before and was homesick before they even left. The rest of the party was already on board and enjoying the amenities before he even got to customs.

On top of it, the whole reason for the trip was the wedding, yet another reminder that he was single and had no prospects. And here was Damiano, with everything in the world going for him, going to Earth to marry his mate, his bond-mate. It just wasn’t fair.

What was wrong with him? He glanced at his reflection in one of the large plate windows. All right, he wasn’t as tall as Damiano, Marco, or Paulo, but he wasn’t a midget. He was six feet tall and around one hundred eighty-five pounds, with no fat to spare. Dark hair and dark eyes completely the look, from his Mediterranean heritage.

He’d been told he could be mistaken for Damiano’s younger brother, but it didn’t seem to do him much good. He was awkward in crowds and women tied his tongue in knots before he even started talking. He hadn’t had a date in over a month, and now he was going to a wedding on a planet he’d never seen.

Sighing deeply, he answered the questions at the customs desk, handed over his papers, jumped through all the hoops, and finally boarded the shuttle.

“May I help you?” the older man asked.

“Yes. I’m trying to find my berth,” Dante said.

“Ah! Take the lift to the fourth level, turn right, and it will be on your right.”

“Thanks.”

Trudging to the lift, he followed the instructions, used his pass card on the door, and took a look around.

His suite was nearly as big as his apartment. He’d have to thank Damiano for his generosity. Of course, they would be on the shuttle for a week. At least he wouldn’t go stir crazy. He stowed his luggage in the wardrobe and checked the time.

Pushing the button on his communicator, he checked in with Marco.

“Did you have any trouble, Dante?”

“No, sir. Just huge crowds of people. But I’m in my room now, so everything is good.”

“All our rooms are across the hall from yours. Damiano suggested we all get together for dinner, around seven this evening. But until then, relax and enjoy the trip.”

“When do we lift off?” Dante asked.

“In about an hour. They’ll make an announcement. Follow the instructions and you’ll be fine. It’s much like flying, but the take-off is a little stronger. Don’t worry, amico. I’ve done it several times.”

With nothing else to do, a nap sounded like a good idea. Slipping out of his shoes and jacket, he dropped onto the bed and closed his eyes. Maybe he could at least dream of happy times.

So if you like paranormal fantasy romance, with big handsome shifters, check out the Gambler’s Folly series. Meet Damiano and Karianna in Book 1.

Dante and Angela in Book 2

And Dmitri and Danni in Book 3.

Yes, there will be more coming along. The next book will feature a bear shifter billionaire and a woman he knew years before when they were both at university–Old Flame.

All the books are available from Amazon, Smashwords, or most major book sellers.

Ciao for now. Have a great weekend.

And Don’t Forget—

—to Share the Romance….

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I have never been quite so tired of an election. The phone calls–both landline and mobile, the text messages, the voice messages, the emails…

When will it end?

If you need an escape–and I sure do at the moment–why not escape to one of my worlds? I promise, not one mention of elections on any of them.

Esperance: https://amazon.com/dp/B074CF2323

Gambler’s Folly: https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07XM3VRXK

Cote d’Or: https://amazon.com/Master-Fleet-Sultonna-Nadine-ebook/dp/B07CQTTHV2/ #paranormal #romance #Magic

Come to Esperance for a slower pace of life, among people with unusual abilites.

Love the night life? Check out Gambler’s Folly and its crazy bunch of shifters, who do their best to keep the world safe from contraband.

Or if you love magic, come to the Cote d’Or, where magic is simply a part of everyday life.

Whichever world you choose, it will definitely give you a break from all the chaos here on Earth.

Have a wonderful week!

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How is everyone out there doing with the quarantine? I know a lot of people are getting cabin fever. But since we live out in the country and seldom go anywhere anyway, we’re not feeling so much of the stress.

Reading can help with the strain. You can grab a good book and take off into another world for a little while.

And to help you with that, each week during the rest of May, I will feature at least one of my books for FREE over at Smashwords! Each week will feature a different book, so go back each weekend to find out what’s on offer.

Go to my Smashwords Profile Page and scroll down to find my series and stand alones. No need for any coupons or codes. Just look for the ones which are FREE!

And for the rest of the books?

They are all on sale for $1! So if you want to get another book in a series, it won’t break the bank.

You can visit Gambler’s Folly or Esperance. Or take a trip up the cost to the Cote d’Or. They’re all on sale.

Check out the other books on sale as well. Several authors have books for free and at a discount during the quarantine.

Don’t let the isolation get you down. Take a trip into another world, one with magic, or shifters, romance and fantasy.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

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Miss what?

The Authors Give Back sale over at Smashwords!

The sale has been on for almost a month, but that month is nearly gone. Sale ends on April 20, so hurry over and check it out before it’s too late.

Authors Give Back is a special sale to help with the boredom of the quarantine. Lots of books have been discounted. Some are free!

Looking for my books? Yes, they are on sale, too. Everything I have on Smashwords is $1. Just click on the link to my profile and scroll down. I have two series and one stand-alone included in the sale.

Don’t let the quarantine get you down. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, snag a new ebook from Smashwords, sit back and take a break from reality for a while.

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Yes! Tomorrow is release day for THE RUSSIAN–Gambler’s Folly Book 3.

He is Dmitri Ivanovich Volkov, a wolf-shifter often referred to as The Russian. Born over five hundred years ago, he has been a lone wolf since his soulmate died in his arms. Since then he has avoided  long-term relationships. But maybe the universe is giving him a second chance at happiness.

Dani works for The Agency, in Speranza, on Gambler’s Folly. Most of her time is spent working or caring for her mother. She’d been lucky up until now, but tonight she’s accosted by one of the street gangs and is sure she’ll soon be dead.

Until The Russian steps in, saves her life, and captures  her soul.

Today is the last day to get The Russian for the pre-order price. So go on over and check it out!

It is available at either Amazon or Smashwords.

Haven’t read the other books in the Gambler’s Folly series?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XM3VRXK

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/46456

Go on over and get your copy of The Russian!

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Have you read the first two books of this series?

No?

Book 3, The Russian, releases this Friday, so if you’d like to catch up, go on over to Amazon, Smashwords, or most any other retailer and get the first two books.

Yes, you can read The Russian as a stand-alone, but books 1 and 2 give you a little more background about the world of Gambler’s Folly and our merry cast of characters.

Book 1–Gambler’s Folly

Book 2 — Dante’s Angel

Book 3–The Russian

Coming out Friday, January 24

Or go over to Smashwords!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/46456

So watch for Friday’s release, or pre-order now!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

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For what?

The Russian!

Release date is January 24 and it is available for pre-order at both Amazon and Smashwords!

What is The Russian?

This is the Book 3 from Gambler’s Folly, following Gambler’s Folly and Dante’s Angel.

Gambler’s Folly is a pleasure world, where you can find just about anything you’d like. Do you love life in the fast lane, the city lights, and casinos? Check out Speranza, the capital city.

Beaches? Go to Black Sands or Piaggia Sole.

There is year round skiing as well as mountain cabins and fresh air.

Added to this background are my casts of characters, shifters who work for one of Interpol’s special departments. They help track down contraband and a host of other things that come their way.

But one thing they don’t have to look for is romance. Several of our people have found their soul mates here, with more coming to join their ranks.

If you haven’t read the first two books, go on over to Amazon or Smashwords and check them out. Then you’ll be ready for The Russian!

Gambler’s FollyA pleasure world where the games are dangerous and the stakes are high.

Come join the fun!

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Yes, I know. I’ve been gone for a while. Between internet issues and doing a re-edit on several books I have the rights back for, it has been a little busy, with not much news.

But, later this month, you should see links for the re-release of Gambler’s Folly, Jareth, First Lord, and Viviane, First Lady. They all have new covers and have been re-edited for re-release. I’ll be publishing all of them as an indie author this time, so watch Smashwords and Amazon for them.

I also hope to release Gambler’s Folly Book 3–The Russian later this month. I think you’ll like the Russian. He’s a little rough around the edges, but he has been around for quite a while. And that’s enough to make anyone a little thick-skinned.

MORGAN–The Pixie and the Green Man and DANTE’S ANGEL are already available through Smashwords, with new covers. MASTER OF THE FLEET has also had a facelift.

So ready for a peek at the new covers?

See you again soon!

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Yes, it looks like it’s going to be another wet Friday. After last week’s eight inches of rain, I’m not feelin’ it. Know what I mean?

The sun has been playing hide and seek all day long and we’ve had a few small showers, but tomorrow should be wet.

A good day for reading.

What have you been reading lately? Anything to share?

I’ve been reading The Painted Lady Inn Mystery Books, by M.K. Scott and I thoroughly adore them. I like to write fantasy romance, but my reading preferences share the romance with mysteries.

So if there’s a book or series you just love, feel free to share it with us! I need something to read this upcoming rainy weekend…


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