Friday, May 16, 2014

Welcome Cheryl Dragon!



Too Close for Comfort 

When Eric Ridgeway becomes a millionaire, he does what he couldn’t do before. Maine is the perfect place to open a think tank to help solve environmental quandaries. He knows nothing of shifters or paranormal creatures. 

A nice little group of bear shifters live among humans in a small Maine town. With woods to run in and peace in their territory, they just need to keep an eye out for newcomers who might betray the secret. Ray understands the danger but trusts Eric. It might just be the intense attraction but the bears can’t stop new people from moving in. Scientists building a big facility only miles out of town is a nightmare for most of the bears…even if the owner is a hunk. 

With Geek in the Woods and the Geeks in Nature series—I wanted to do a bear shifter story but something a little different. Brains and brawn. Geeks and Bears. All sexy men who are in it for the right reasons but can’t help their nature. The conflict isn’t personal, yet it is. The problem is built in to the system of the worlds they live in, the laws of their worlds, and who they are. The bears have every reason to doubt the scientists. Men like that love to conduct experiments, discover new things, and publish their evidence. 

These scientists are environmentally focused but even Eric is fascinated by the truth about Ray. They have every legal right to build but massive bears sabotaging the tank certainly could ruin the dream project. He must form an alliance or at least forge peace. Eric and Ray find passion and love but Eric will have to pick the scientists he invites to the tank very carefully… 

I loved this idea because you can believe in both characters and still see why there is mistrust. All it takes is one scientist who can’t resist the glory of a new discovery or one bear who decides there are too many newcomers poking around town. The potential for love is always there as is the inherent conflict between the geeks and the bears.


GEEK IN THE WOODS
Major construction disrupts more than Ray Hooker’s life; it rattles his small town with a secret. 

As sexy genius Eric Ridgeway continues building his state-of-the-art think tank, the town’s shifter population is terrified their identities will be uncovered by the group of incoming scientists. When fear drives vandals to slow construction, Ray helps Eric defend his property. Their relationship heats up and, in order to protect Eric, Ray reveals that he’s a bear shifter. 

Now, not only is his secret out of the bag, but Ray needs to decide if loving Eric is worth the risk of discovery by other scientists. None of that will matter if their newfound attraction can’t outlast fear, lies and distrust!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A lover of unusual things, Cheryl Dragon enjoys writing unique stories with sinfully hot erotic romance. Her two favorite settings are Las Vegas and New Orleans...where anything can happen! Cheryl lives in the Chicagoland area with her deaf albino cat. By day she analyzes numbers for a division of a large international conglomerate, which leaves the creative juices free for her erotic romance novels.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Welcome Ava Louise!


Ava Louise


Intergalactic Matchmaking Services
Amazon Bestselling Series!

Book 1 "Maggie's Story (Intergalactic Matchmaking Services)"

Women Wanted: Must have a sense of adventure and be open to new experiences. Must also be willing to relocate. Please contact...Intergalactic Matchmaking Services.
Maggie Cline decides to investigate her romantic possibilities after she becomes a target when she identifies the shooter in a local murder.
Can she find a soul mate away from everything she knows and has worked hard for here on Earth? What about her loyal companion? Will she have to give up her cat, Mamzell, for a chance at love?

This is from Chapter 11 of “Maggie’s Story.” She is meeting the aliens (Nordonians) for the first time.
Claire stepped back from the doorway, and in stepped two other people, dressed in black pants and wearing short cloaks. They had hoods over their heads, and their arms were tucked into their cloaks.
Indicating the person in the dark blue cloak, Claire said, “Maggie Cline, I would like to introduce you to Ambassador Pacer of the Rion clan. He is here to meet you and answer any questions you may have that I’ve not covered. The Ambassador speaks English, so that will make things much easier for you.”
Maggie’s eyes widened as she took in the stranger. He had pushed his hood back to reveal a face similar to a human’s but it was also different. He had no hair that she could see, and wore a black tattoo that wrapped around the sides and to the top of his head. The ambassador’s skin was a combination of light orange and pale green. It was hard to tell where each color left off; they blended seamlessly into each other in a slightly mottled effect. His eyes seemed to be a solid black and were a little larger than a human’s eyes. He held his hand out to shake hers. It was automatic to shake his hand. As she did, she noticed he had large hands. His handshake was surprisingly gentle. Well, I was right…there are no little green men; but there are definitely big green men, she thought to herself.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Cline. Claire has told me a lot about you. May I introduce the Starrays’ Security Chief, Daxon of the Flame clan?” He indicated the individual standing directly behind him. As he did, this person also removed his hood.
Maggie gasped as she took in this new person. She found him to be quite beautiful with his light blue and light green mottled skin. Again, the colors joined seamlessly, fading from one to the other.  He, too, wore a black tattoo wrapped around his head. The markings looked like stylized flames. His eyes were a dark blue, allowing Maggie to notice that his pupils were vertical, like a cat’s. The effect was quite startling. The Security Chief was almost a foot taller than Maggie at about six and a half feet in height. His nose was a bit broad and somewhat flat. She could see his nostrils flaring as he breathed. He didn’t say anything, just nodded his head in her direction. Maggie felt like she had been zapped with an electrical charge; she was speechless.
Mrawr,” came Mamzell’s voice from the bedroom doorway.
“Aha, this must be the pet Claire told us about, is it not?” asked the ambassador. He spoke so formally it reminded Maggie of older British movies she sometimes watched.
“Yes, this is my cat, Mamzell. She doesn’t normally come out around guests.”
At this time Mamzell sauntered out of the hallway and went directly to the security chief, wrapping herself around his ankles, rubbing along his pants legs. As he picked up his foot, Maggie called out, “Don’t kick her! She is only checking you out. She doesn’t normally go up to strangers, so I’m surprised.”
“I wasn’t going to kick her, I was just going to try to get her off of me. She is leaving her hair on my clothing,” said Daxon. His gravelly voice brought to mind Sean Connery; deep, rich, and a bit of a brogue.
“Well, cats shed a little. It won’t hurt you or your uniform. Come here, Mamzell, let’s put you back in the bedroom for now.”
Mrawr,” answered the cat. She really didn’t want to leave Daxon’s legs, though. Maggie had to resort to scooping her up, walking her into the bedroom and placing her in the middle of the bed. Maggie left her a couple of cat treats as a bribe.
“You stay in here; I’ll let you out once our company has left,” Maggie said, as she closed the bedroom door.
The two Nordonians looked at each other, each raising an eyebrow in query. “I didn’t realize cats were sentient beings, Claire. Ms. Cline talks to her pet as though it understands her. Do all humans talk to their pets like this? And do the pets understand them in return?” asked Ambassador Pacer.
Maggie had walked back into the room during this question and laughed out loud. “I talk to my cat all the time. And while we don’t understand each other like you and I would understand each other when we talk, I do know what she wants usually when we ‘talk’. Think of it more like a mother being able to understand the different cries of a child.”
“Ah, that makes sense then. I was afraid my research had been severely lacking. Ms. O’Donnell said you would not consider relocating without your pet, so we had to do some research on what exactly humans considered pets and how they dealt with them.”
Just like that Maggie was reminded she was talking to aliens. Real life aliens. How could she forget why these two exotic-looking males were in her home?
“You don’t need to worry about that, Ambassador, I have no intention of leaving Earth to live with aliens. I think this has been one big mistake. I’m not interested in being used as a breeding machine for the U.S. government or for aliens.”
This seemed to surprise both gentlemen for they each raised a hairless eyebrow ridge. It was a very human-like gesture. “Ms. Cline, I assure you, we are not looking for human females strictly for breeding purposes. While it would be great if the pairings between humans and Nordonians were to prove fruitful, we also value the emotional side of relationships.” The ambassador looked to Claire at this point.
“I told Maggie she was focusing too much on the reproductive side of the equation,” said Claire with a frown. “Perhaps if we all sat down we could continue this conversation more comfortably.”
“Fine,” Maggie replied shortly. She wasn’t really sure what else to say. She didn’t want to be rude and she was curious about what the aliens truly wanted from her. It was just hard to get past the fact they were wanting to mate with humans for the continuation of their race.
The security chief stayed in the entryway, his hands crossed behind his back, as the ambassador draped his own cloak over the end of the couch and sat.
“We Nordonians are used to forming relationships and family groups much like you humans do, Maggie. We have been missing that these last thirty years since the females of our race were exterminated in warfare. Tests have shown that humans are quite compatible with us not only for the continuation of our race, but for emotional balance, too. … It has only been about eighteen months that we have tried this program called the Intergalactic Matchmaking Services. There have only been six women so far that have agreed to leave Earth behind after meeting a suitable mate among our men.”
“What happens to the women who decide not to go with you,” asked Maggie. She wasn’t sure she was going to like the answer, but she had to ask the question.



Book 2 "Shirley's Story (Intergalactic Matchmaking Services)" 
Women Wanted: Must have a sense of adventure and be open to new experiences. Must also be willing to relocate. Please contact.....Intergalactic Matchmaking Services.
Just as Shirley decides to try opening herself up to a chance at love, a stalker from her past returns. How does she move forward when her past comes knocking? What's going on with her young student, Hannah? Will her dog, Oreo, be okay with Shirley looking for love?



This is Chapter 1 of “Shirley’s Story.”
“Women Wanted: Must have a sense of adventure and be open to new experiences. Must also be willing to relocate. Please contact Claire O’Donnell at Intergalactic Matchmaking Services, (360) 555-4416, for more information.”
Monday, December 9
Home Sweet Home, thought Shirley. It was good to be home after a day of teaching first-graders. She pulled into the driveway of the only home she had ever known. Taking a deep breath of the cool air blowing in off the Skagit River, heavy with the scent of salt from the Puget Sound, she felt her insides start to unwind. The old clapboard house was inherited from her parents on their death several years ago. A member of the Hampton family had lived in this house on Dunbar Road since the early 1900’s. Shirley was the last of the Hamptons in this area.
Before heading inside, she walked down the long driveway to the mailbox at the curb. With the mail in hand Shirley headed to the house. She could hear Oreo barking excitedly from inside the house. It was nice to have someone to come home to, but she would have liked it even more if there was a partner to come home to. Someone to share news with about the kids she taught. Someone to snuggle on the couch with. Oreo, the black and white Whippet she received as a gift three years ago, did her best to fill the void in Shirley’s life. It was easy to trust a dog; not so easy to trust men. Not after what she had endured.
“Hey, girl, how’re you doing, hmm?” she asked the bouncing dog. She bent down to pet her behind her ears; Oreo loved having her ears scratched. Her whole head was black except for the thin strip of white down the center from her forehead to her nose. Little Hannah Ford had named the dog Oreo.
Shirley put away her coat and purse. Gathering the mail to take with her to the back of the house, she turned to the adorable black and white dog.
“Let’s get you in the back yard, Oreo,” she said to the dog as she walked to the sliding glass door leading into the large yard from the dining room.
….
Shirley picked up the mail she had dropped onto the kitchen table. Junk, junk, junk, a postcard, and a business envelope. …
…She picked up the last envelope. A sense of dread crawled up her spine; sweat broke out on her brow and her palms became clammy. The return address on the envelope was the Washington Department of Corrections. She could think of only one reason they would contact her. They must be planning to release him.
Dear Miss Hampton,
This letter is to notify you that Mr. Bruce Mayfield has served his sentence in full and is being released on parole December 9, 2013. He has been advised to stay away from you, but there is no longer a Restraining Order or Order of Protection in place. If you have any concerns, please contact your local law enforcement office.
Shirley was breathing hard by the time she got to the end of the letter. What do they mean if she has concerns? Of course she would be concerned! The maniac had tried to kill her and had almost succeeded. Her legs folded then, no longer able to hold her up. Oh, god, please don’t let him come back to Mount Vernon, she prayed silently.
Shirley’s hand went to her abdomen. She could feel the hard line of the scars on her stomach; scars left on her by Bruce five years ago. He didn’t take it well when she ended their short, yet tumultuous relationship. He had been her first serious relationship, her first in so many things. After the death of her parents she had been so alone, so vulnerable. And Bruce had come into her life just when she needed someone to lean on. She thought he was her Mr. Right. Little did she know at the time he would turn out to be more Mr. Hyde. After she broke things off with him, Bruce had stalked her at all hours, coming to the school where she worked, parking outside her house, intimidating her by seeming to be everywhere she went.
One night he broke into her house, drunk and screaming that she had no right to dump him, that she was his. He had been served that day with a Restraining Order and Order of Protection. It set off his hair-trigger temper. Shirley met him in the entryway, the phone in her hand. She had dialed 911, begging them to please hurry. The police arrived in time to catch Bruce, but not in time to keep him from hurting her. He had attacked Shirley with a large serrated hunting knife that he carried in his boot. He had stabbed her three times in the abdomen and once in the back.
She had spent over a week in the hospital. The effect of that attack would be with her the rest of her life, though. Just the thought of the damage he had done to her angered her. The anger helped to burn away the fear. She was scarred, but the worst part of all was that her whole future would be affected by him. She would never be able to put the incident behind her completely. When he had stabbed her in the lower abdomen, he had hit one of her ovaries and the doctors had to remove it. She wanted kids someday, but her chances were now cut in half thanks to Bruce. Of course, it wasn’t like she was in the running for motherhood as it was. Trusting men did not come easy these days; it had been a long time since she had gone out on a date.
Oreo’s bark brought Shirley back to the present. Opening the sliding door, she let her energetic companion inside, then made sure she locked the door. She walked around the house making sure all the doors and windows were locked. Counting on Bruce to do the smart thing, and stay away from her, wasn’t something she would do. The smartest thing about Bruce were his wisdom teeth. The guy had drank too deeply from the well of ignorance.