Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Highlanders, Time Travel & Romance. Avenged by a Highland Laird by Sky Purington.



Hello all! It’s time for more Highlanders! The last book in The MacLomain Series: A New Beginning has finally arrived. As usual, when I finish writing the last book in a series, I got teary. It’s never easy saying goodbye. Nevertheless, it was awesome spending time with all the characters one last time and of course, following Bryce and Jessie’s journey. Naturally, they took me on a whirlwind adventure full of twists and turns I won’t soon forget. 

Be sure to join me on book tour for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! More info below.

About the Book

Laird Bryce MacLeod will do anything to see Scotland’s history saved. Even if it means chasing down Jessie, a twenty-first century lass who might very well be his enemy. What he discovers when he catches her, however, is someone with deep, dark secrets and unanticipated intentions. Hidden truths so remarkable a whirlwind adventure through time begins.    

First, they find themselves in league with Angus Óg MacDomhnaill, Lord of the Isles, a noble Scottish captain rumored in some circles to be a pirate. Danger and intrigue abound as they help the Scots capture three English supply ships and deliver their cargo to the Scottish army. As they do and more mysteries are unveiled, attraction ignites and roars to life.     

Caught in the throes of newfound passion, they finally join King Robert the Bruce and face off with the English once more at the Battle of Byland Moor. Yet there’s another enemy as well. An evil whose sole purpose is meant to test their hearts in a way neither saw coming. An enemy determined to rip Jessie away from Bryce forever. Will the power of love be strong enough in the end? Or will the curse that threatens Scotland be too much to overcome? Find out in Avenged by a Highland Laird, the epic conclusion of The MacLomain Series: A New Beginning.

Purchase at Amazon

Excerpt

She didn’t miss the flash of disappointment in his eyes before he managed a small nod and held out his hand. “Aye then, lass, step around me…Ma would want me to work with you for the sake of our country.”

Jessie clenched her teeth, disappointed that the small bridge they had built was so swiftly knocked down. That he was so quick to dislike her again. But that wasn’t to be worried about right now.

Well aware time was running out, she carefully turned, so she was facing the wall, took his hand, and began moving. Step by step, she made her way along the ledge to the point where they would have to share a space.

She met his pale golden eyes and tried to ignore the flustered way they made her feel. “Are you ready for me to pass?”

“I am,” he lied.

She could tell by his guarded expression he was nowhere near ready. Not because he was a coward but because he was aware of his effect on her. More so, how much he liked it. His wariness had nothing to do with plummeting to their death but allowing her close enough that she could pass. Close enough that he would feel the heat of her skin.

So a bridge might have been knocked down, but something else was taking its place. She worked to steady her breathing at the quickly escalating attraction between them. Now was most certainly not the time.

Yet she had known this would likely happen, didn’t she? That it would be unavoidable. At least for her. How else could it be considering the secrets she still kept? Secrets she was foolish enough to have thought she could keep from him for his own safety. But then she had very little real-life practice when it came to attraction. Especially the sort she felt being so close to Bryce. He was the real thing and far more than she anticipated.

However, now definitely wasn’t the time for a chat about deep dark secrets that would only upset him further.

They needed to keep moving.

Though tempted to close her eyes so she didn’t drown in those piercing golden orbs of his again, she kept them open and made her move. With her hand braced on the left side of his waist, she began moving along the front of him. She was halfway across and directly in front of him when he touched the side of her waist, lowered his lips close to her ear and whispered, “Dinnae move, lass.”

His words floated through her mind. “There is a stranger standing across the way.”

I feel him,” she responded as her eyes rose to his. “He doesn’t see us yet.”

Though she thought it was her breath that caught when they’re eyes met, it might have been his. Alarmed by the impact of being this close, she nearly teetered back, but his arm slipped around and pulled her even closer.

Unable to breathe at all now, she didn’t look away. She couldn’t if she wanted to. “Let me go, and I’ll hide us without him knowing.”

Unmistakable heat gathered in his eyes. Heat and lust he warred to contain, but she saw it…then she felt it as his arm tightened. The pale gold flecks in his thickly lashed eyes only grew brighter with curiosity. While she could tell herself that he simply wondered how she would get them out of this, she knew better. His curiosity was entirely focused on the strong chemistry between them.

Despite the waterfall’s intense spray and the fact an enemy could very well be staring at them right now, she was human enough to get caught up in what was happening between them. How erotic it felt to finally be pressed against his long, hard body. 

To finally lay her hands on the physical form of someone she had known for so long.

“No,” she whispered, suddenly frightened as heat swept through her and pooled below. “Not now. Not yet.” She swallowed hard and shook her head, suddenly lost in memories. No matter how real this might be, she had long trained herself that she couldn’t trust lustful feelings when it came to him. That she should not indulge in them. “Let me go. Please.”

Though her response could simply be that of a woman choosing to reject what flared between them, he seemed to sense there was more to it. His arousal turned to protectiveness as his brow furrowed in determination and his grip tightened ever-so-slightly. She couldn’t help but wonder if he was inherently responding to her past. To those moments he was so much a part of without ever knowing.

Purchase at Amazon



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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Love Paranormal Romance? Viking King's Vendetta: Rise of the Dragon #shifterromance




It’s almost that time again!! My Viking dragon-shifters are making a comeback in an action-packed new series full of adventure, sizzling romance and dynamic, unforgettable characters. Though Viking Ancestors: Rise of the Dragon launches this summer, Viking King’s Vendetta (Book 1) is already available at a special discounted pre-order price!

Here’s a bit about the book…

Taking a few months to reflect on what she truly wants from life, Emily returns to her family home in Winter Harbor, Maine. Yet she should have known her ties with ancient Scandinavia and those with dragon blood would catch up with her. Moreover, that her connection with the man she loves would be impossible to ignore. Something soon proved when he pulls her back in time to tenth century Norway.

Determined to help his people defeat a dark prophecy, Viking Sven Sigdir returns to his homeland to find two regions minus their beloved kings. Leaderless, both clans look to Sven to rule. Though willing to rise up, he must first uncover the root of the prophecy. That means reuniting with the woman who holds his heart and setting forth on a perilous journey.

Sven and Emily navigate not only their feelings for one another but the burgeoning prophecy that might take it all away. Will they be able to conquer their new adversary before it's too late? Or is this just the beginning of something that will change life as they know it? Join them as they embark on their adventure in a new action-packed series ripe with sizzling passion, epic battles, dynamic characters and most especially, powerful dragon-shifters.

Available now for pre-order at Amazon.

Coming soon to iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.




Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Love Fantasy & Time Travel Romance? Check This Out! #BookSweeps



Hello all! Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with 25 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of fantasy & time travel romances to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you'll receive a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering? ;-)

You can win my Viking Ancestors' Boxed Set (includes SIX books!), plus books from authors like Jessi Gage and Livia Quinn. 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here:  

Good luck and enjoy!
Sky
xo

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Adventure and Passion Await in The Blood Reaver! @barbara_devlin #HistoricalRomance



Sail ho! There’s another ship on the horizon and another incredible pirate tale to go with it! A big congrats to USA Today bestselling author, Barbara Devlin on the release of The Blood Reaver (Pirates of Britannia Book 6)!

Ready your sea legs because adventure and passion await!

About the book…

After her father and her older brother die of an infectious fever, and an unscrupulous sea captain abandons Rose Armistead in Port Royal, Jamaica, she must find safe passage home. When she meets a handsome mariner with his own ship, in an establishment of ill repute, she pays him to carry her, her mother, and her younger brother to Charles Town. But the man she considers her savior hides a dark secret, and it may destroy her. Can Rose accept her man’s true identity and find love?

When a beautiful woman walks into the most notorious brothel in Port Royal, Turner Reyson, a cunning pirate known as the Blood Reaver, offers his assistance, because he wants her in his bunk, but he conceals the nature of his business, as he casts off. At sea, Rose displays a peculiar ability to spot prize and booty, and his suspicious crew declares her the Lady of Fortune, which places her in a perilous position, when they insist on keeping her aboard ship. Playing two sides of the same coin, Turner must win his woman or risk mutiny, which would endanger her and her family. Can the Blood Reaver save Rose?

A guaranteed great adventure in this Pirates of Britannia novel!

Scoop up your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Also available at iTunes

Chapter One

March, 1680

It was not the most ideal introduction, to meet a beautiful young woman at the wrong end of a three-barrel flintlock pistol, which she stole from an unoccupied table, while the owner got his nutmegs sucked.  Garbed in a fancy blue dress, with a matching ruffled contraption on her head, she did not belong in one of the most violent brothels in Port Royal.  Biting her bottom lip, she adjusted the gun in her grip, belying the fact that she possessed little if any experience with weapons, and crept further into the whorehouse.

“Hello.”  Her hand shook, as she took aim at the crowd, in general.  “I do not wish to be rude or cause trouble, but someone stole my trunk, which was sitting in front of this fine establishment, while I asked for directions, and I would like the return of my belongings, please.”

A fiddler screeched a bawdy tune, as several cup-shots took a flyer with a rough collection of three-penny uprights, in the back.  At the bar, Turner Reyson, a pirate known on the high seas as the Blood Reaver, studied the pretty bit o’ fluff, while everyone else ignored her, downed his rum, dragged his sleeve across his mouth, and navigated the tables, to get a closer look at his potential prey, given he had yet to fill his bed.  Just as he drew near, she cocked the pistol, pointed toward the ceiling, closed her eyes, scrunched her face, and pulled the trigger.

The shot echoed, and she started and shrieked, as quiet fell on the bordello.

Halting in his tracks, he snickered and waited to see what she did for an encore, but if she were half as spirited between the sheets, he would be a happy man.

“I beg your pardon.”  She cleared her throat, as he moved behind her, for close inspection.  From beneath her bonnet, he spied sweet little brown curls at the nape of her neck, and his fingertips itched to toy with a thick lock.  “I am so sorry to disturb you, but I must have my things.”  She stepped forward, and Turner splayed his arms to part his fellow buccaneers.  “Now, my mother and my brother wait for me, outside, and I cannot leave without recovering my property.”

“Watch out, men.”  Turner chuckled, given the chit’s moxie.  “I would rather set sail on a Friday, with a Jonah, than tangle with an armed, angry woman.”  To hoots and hollers, he raised his hands.  “Come on, swabs, humor the little lady.”

In unison, the motely crew of raiders and whores parodied his stance and howled with laughter.

“But, I am serious.”  She peered over her shoulder, and he glimpsed glorious blue eyes and lush red lips he could not wait to sample.  “I must recover my trunk.”  She waved the pistol in the air.  “Whoever took it should be ashamed, because it is wrong to steal.”

“Can you describe the item in question?” a grey-haired salt asked, in a mocking timbre.

“Yes.”  The pistol fired, and she screamed, when a lantern shattered above the bar, and Red Doyle, the bartender, ducked for cover, along with everyone else.  In that moment, she glanced at Turner.  “Did I do that?”

“Aye.”  He nodded and bit his tongue against a guffaw, as she struggled with the weight of the weapon, and he did not want her angry with him.  “Be careful, before you hurt yourself or someone else.”

“Oh, dear.”  With a lethal pout, which he wagered could bring the most ornery pirate to his knees, she addressed Doyle.  “I hope you are all right, but I seek my trunk, which is made of camphor wood, with red painted leather, featuring floral motifs, and the initials RA on the top.”

“Lady, Skip Peterson has it, and he’s over there.”  Doyle pointed to the offending party, and she marched forth, with Turner in her wake.  “He’s the one in the floppy black hat.”

“Aw, come on, Doyle.”  Perched atop the trunk in question, Skip pounded his fist on the table.  “Finders, keepers.”

“How dare you take my things.”  The fascinating creature stomped a foot.  “You could at least display a modicum of contrition, because you stole my trunk, and I insist you give it back, this instant.”

“Oh?”  Skip stood and rotated to face her.  “Who is going to make me?”  He surveyed her from top to toe, and Turner could almost read the thief’s thoughts.  “You?”

“Peterson, carry the trunk outside, and put it where you found it.”  Turner folded his arms.  “Now.”

“I didn’t know she was with you, Reyson.”  Peterson scratched his temple and shuffled his feet.  Then he smacked another tar.  “Here, now.  Give me a hand with the lady’s trunk.”

“You swiped it.”  The burley swab chuckled.  “So, you may ask my arse, because it is not worth the fight.”

“Oh, all right.”  With a grimace, Peterson hefted the fancy coffer.  “Where do you want it?”

“Where I left it.”  Despite her frippery, the wench showed courage, as she tapped her foot.  “And have care with my property, as the trunk was a gift from my father.”

“My lady, I am your most humble servant.”  Of course, Peterson taunted her, but she appeared oblivious.  “What else do you require?  Shall I wipe your—”

“Please, do not be crude, as I would conclude this most irksome business, posthaste.”  At the entrance, Peterson continued outside, but she paused, set the weapon on the table, from where she claimed it, faced the crowd, and smiled.  “Thank you, so much, for your cooperation.  You have been very kind.”

To Turner’s disgust, a couple of buccaneers actually stood and saluted her.  As she stepped into the sunlight, a cheer erupted from the brothel, and he cursed under his breath.

At the roadside, a portly woman withered beneath a frilly parasol and fanned herself, while a young lad lingered at her side, and both eyed Turner with a healthy dose of scrutiny absent in their fetching relation, to her detriment, because he presented a very real threat to her.

Without acknowledgement, Peterson dumped the chest and brushed past Turner, and he gave his attention to the skirt.

“I see you found your things.”  The scamp scowled at Turner.  “Who is this gentleman?”
“I am no gentleman.”  Turner actually took offense to the mere suggestion, as it left a foul taste in his mouth.  “And you should not insult me, when I extended my support to the lady.”

“Oh, I almost forgot about you.”  She blinked.  Now that hurt, because he had no trouble filling his bunk.  “Clinton, mind your manners, because this gentle—nice man supported my cause, and I owe him a debt of gratitude, which we are honor-bound to discharge.”

“I have no interest in your gratitude or your honor.”  At the end of his tether, Turner folded his arms, planted his feet, and wondered how long it would take him to get between her thighs.  “Well, are you going to tell me your name, or am I to guess?”

“Forgive my impudence, sir, but it has been a rather taxing day, and I am a tad out of sorts.”  She squared her shoulders.  “I am Rose Armistead, this is my mother, Bettine Armistead, and this is my brother, Clinton Armistead.  We are pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“I am not.”  Clinton narrowed his stare.  “And I shall be hanged before I claim otherwise.”

Clinton.”  As her cheeks shaded red, Rose compressed her lips and then met Turner’s gaze.  “My apologies, as my brother has been unwell and is still recovering.  To whom do I owe my thanks, good sir?”

“I am neither good nor a sir, and you would do well to remember that.”  Just as he prepared to inform her of his true occupation, he reconsidered his tack, given his pirate name would inspire more fear than confidence.  “I am Captain Turner Reyson.”

“A captain?”  Rose clasped her hands beneath her chin and bounced on her toes.  “Can it be possible that fortune smiles upon us, after our difficulties, of late?  Are you by chance master of a ship, Captain Reyson?”

“Aye.”  He nodded once, more than a little confused by her expression, as he revisited the niceties and the proper address she would expect from a regular seaman.  “I command the Malevolent, Miss Armistead.”

“Mama, our prayers are answered.”  To his surprise, Rose briefly clasped his forearm and then withdrew.  “Captain Reyson, might I hire you to take us home, to Charles Town, in His Majesty’s Province of Carolina?  I can pay you well.”

“I am not a transport service, Miss Armistead, though I might be persuaded.”  In truth, the idea appealed to him, because a lot could happen in the close confines of his brigantine, and he needed the money, but there was another reason that swayed his position.  If he sailed north, he could launch a surprise attack, given most pirates embarked from the south, on a galleon loaded with gold, bearing east from the Spanish Main.  “First, I would know how you arrived in Port Royal, because you do not belong here.  And if I were to deliver you home, what would you pay me?”

“Ours is a sad tale, Captain Reyson.”  With her hand, she shielded her face, and he admired her flawless skin of pure ivory.  “My family journeyed to Alicante, so my father could open new trade relationships for Charles Town.  During our stay, he became ill with an infectious fever, which later struck my elder brother, and both perished.”

“I am sorry to hear that.”  Given the vast markets exchanged in the Spanish port city, he concluded her family must possess great wealth, which further stimulated his interest.  “So, what brought you here?”

“Although my father arranged return passage, we missed the departure, due to his failing condition, and I was left to secure alternative travel for myself, my mother, and my younger brother, after burying our loved ones, in Spain.  On the recommendation of an acquaintance, we hired Captain Donat.”  With a trembling chin, and a furrowed brow, she frowned.  “After paying full fare, for three passengers, we set sail aboard the Sea Serpent.  A sennight into the voyage, we discovered the captain carried human cargo, which we do not support, so he put us off in Port Royal, while he conducted business, and refused to refund any portion of our money.  Thus, we are at your mercy, and I beg you to consider my request.”

“What did Donat charge to deliver you from Alicante to Charles Town?”  Turner mulled the possibilities and associated cost.  Since he missed his last mark, due to foul weather, he had to find something to satisfy his crew’s thirst for booty.  “And what sort of accommodations do you require, because options are limited aboard the Malevolent.”

“We will take whatever you provide and be glad of it, Captain Reyson.”  Rose reached for her mother’s hand.  “And we paid five pounds sterling, each, for myself and for my mother, and two pounds and ten shillings for Clinton, as is the usual rate, or so I am told.  However, I am unwilling to pay more than half, up front, given Captain Donat took advantage of us, so I shall remit the remainder of our fare upon our arrival in Charles Town.”

“You are a shrewd negotiator, Miss Armistead.”  As much as he hated to admit it, she gained a measure of respect, because she did not cower in the face of adversity.  Where most women would cry and yield to hysterics, in similar circumstances, Rose simply sought another course of action, which included the none-too-smart but audacious invasion of a whorehouse rife with cutthroats and pirates.  “Allow me to suggest the Port Royal Inn, where you can take rooms for the night and enjoy a decent meal.  In the morning, meet me at the docks.”

“Does that mean you will help us?”  Given her smile, there was little he would not do for her, and he promised to weigh anchor in her, no doubt, uncharted territory, before the journey’s end.  “You will take us home?”

Inclining his head, he winked.  “Miss Armistead, you got yourself a ship.”

Scoop up your copy at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Kobo.


Also available at iTunes