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Friends ~ In the Pages of a Good Book #MFRWAuthor

We’re thrilled to be helping Beckey White and In the Pages of a Good Book celebrate their one year anniversary – congratulations, job well done! This Blog Hop runs today through Sunday, August 31. Enter my contest in the Rafflecopter link at the end, enter the hop contests, then click on the Linky List to travel to other authors and enter for their prizes.

pages of good book

FRIENDS

My husband is my best friend – how lucky is that? We were friends before we fell in love, so it’s probably no surprise that’s the kind of story we like to write, too.

Daisy Matthews and Nick Underwood start out being friends of a somewhat different nature. He’s just launching into the world of Thoroughbred Racing, so he needs a mentor, and she fills the bill just fine.

What’s she looking for? Someone experienced, gentle, and “safe,” to keep her from still being a virgin when she turns twenty one in less than a month. Her own special variety of “friends with benefits,” you might say.

Willow-Smoke-eBook-webWillow Smoke
Riders Up, Book Three
September 1, 2014
B&B Publishing
Romantic Suspense,
Heat rating: three flames (explicit sex, m/f)

Pre-Order Link

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BLURB

When the chips are down, there’s nobody there. Willowy blond Daisy Matthews has survived the Chicago streets with this mantra but is unprepared for the much older Nick Underwood’s urgent pursuit. The wealthy businessman receives a thoroughbred in payment for a bad debt and is thrust into Daisy’s world. She teaches him about horse racing; he teaches her about love. When Daisy’s seamy brother-in-law threatens Nick’s safety, she doggedly tries to stop him by herself, but flees to the familiar streets when he attacks. Can Nick find her in time – and if he does, will she still want him?

REVIEWS

Five stars at Goodreads: “…dreams can become reality, love can transcend age… Exciting, engaging and very entertaining story. The character interplay is spot on and the story is extremely well written.” Donna H.

EXCERPT

“So tell me,” Nick said, “where can I find a horse named RainbowBlaze?”

“RainbowBlaze!” Daisy gasped and glared at him again. “Why? What do you want with her?”

“Damn, you’ve got to be the most protective woman I’ve ever encountered. If you must know, she’s my horse.”

Daisy opened her mouth as if to speak. She glanced quickly at the chestnut mare.“There must be a mistake,” she stammered. “RainbowBlaze belongs to Michael Barnes.”

Nick crossed his legs and leaned against the stable wall, giving Daisy Matthews a slow satisfied smile. He’d found his horse. And he had a new employee. This could be more interesting than he’d imagined.

Furthermore, being his employee made Matthews safe to be around. He had a firm rule against personal involvements with employees. He flashed a look at the slender woman’s nipples that showed faintly through an orange tank top. Didn’t she know what she looked like?

Too young. He closed his eyes. He might be old enough to be her father. His eyes sprang open and he appraised her again. Maybe, maybe not.

GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away one free download of Cassie’s Hope (Riders Up, Book One) – Click on the Rafflecopter link to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the Rafflcopter links for the main Hop Prizes:

One for the Kindle a Rafflecopter giveaway

One is for Just Authors

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One is for an assortment of other goodies from gift cards to ebooks…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Click to Travel

Click on the Linky-Link graphic to travel to other Hop participants.

 

Cover Reveal and Book Hook: Willow Smoke #MFRWHooks

 

Willow-Smoke-eBook-webWe love our new cover by Rebecca Poole of Dreams2Media! We think she nailed the wary but stunning Daisy Matthews, the wealthy, quizzical and confident Nick Underwood, and of course the chestnut thoroughbred at the center of the story, RainbowBlaze.

Here are the first seven sentences – it’s Book Hooks Wednesday, so be sure to click on the links at the end to travel to the other authors!

EXCERPT

“I won’t let anything hurt you.” Daisy Matthews finished wrapping the ankles of the chestnut mare and sat back on her haunches to evaluate her work. The mare’s ankles were cooler than they had been two hours earlier.

It wasn’t easy to convince a horse to stand in buckets of ice, but after three years of being a groom and an exercise rider, she could do it about as well as anybody at Arlington Park. At least that was what her boss said when he promoted her to assistant trainer.

Daisy grinned. There wasn’t much prestige associated with being an assistant trainer for a fellow with a string of only twenty-some claimers and allowance horses, but it was something, particularly for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

RainbowBlaze took a step forward. “I know.” Daisy groaned. “Step one: pay attention. Sorry, I got lost daydreaming.You’re right. Taking care of you is an important job.” She chuckled. “I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.”

“Hey kid, do you always talk to horses?”

The horse reared and pawed. “It’s okay, girl.” Daisy kept her voice soft and ran her hand slowly along the mare’s neck.

When the mare had stopped trembling, Daisy stepped out of the stall, shaded her eyes from the sun and faced the interloper. She scowled at the man’s new sneakers, monogrammed shirt and neatly pressed slacks. He looked liked he’d be more at home on a sailboat than in a barn.

BLURB

When the chips are down, there’s nobody there. Willowy blond Daisy Matthews has survived the Chicago streets with this mantra but is unprepared for the much older Nick Underwood’s urgent pursuit. The wealthy businessman receives a thoroughbred in payment for a bad debt and is thrust into Daisy’s world. She teaches him about horse racing; he teaches her about love. When Daisy’s seamy brother-in-law threatens Nick’s safety, she doggedly tries to stop him by herself, but flees to the familiar streets when he attacks. Can Nick find her in time – and if he does, will she still want him?

Available for Pre-Order NOW!

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MFRW Authors Blog
 

When the Chips are Down, There’s Nobody There

When the chips are down, there’s nobody there.

Daisy-PromoDaisy Matthews grew up on the streets of Chicago, and if she learned anything, it was that she could count on no one to help her, ever. She knows she has to tough it out, protect herself, and when necessary, protect anyone she cares about. All by herself. No one else will do it for her.

Hubs and I have loved writing Daisy and her story. We first introduced her in Cassie’s Hope (Riders Up, Book One) – she’s the teenage waif in the group home where Cassie worked before she went back to training horses. We’ve known so many kids like her across our social service and academic careers. There’s a special kind of resilience that comes from growing up that way; kids who don’t develop it probably don’t make it, and we’ve known some of those, too.

She doesn’t know who her father is. Her mother, who died of an overdose when Daisy was little, was a prostitute. Fortunately for Daisy, her rock-solid grandmother took her in, but that grandmother died when Daisy was eleven. Unadoptable for whatever reason, she ended up in a group home through her early teenage years, until Cassie and Clint Travers became her foster parents.

We’ve dedicated this book to two of our ancestors who faced severe social stigma more than a century ago: my great grandfather, who was born to an unmarried teenage logging camp cook in the Pennsylvania mountains, and hubby’s great grandmother, a quarter-blood Cherokee in an era when the family tried to hide that information out of shame.

Maybe we gave Daisy an extra boost when we paired her with a handsome wealthy hunk in his early forties, but we think she deserves a bang-up happy ending for her determination, grit, and courage in the face of present day social stigma. We hope you’ll agree.

Willow Smoke
Riders Up, Book Three
Release Date September 1, 2014

Pre-Order NOW

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B&B Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9907476-0-4
ASIN: B00N0DH13I
Romantic Suspense, 87,000 words
Heat rating: three flames (explicit sex, m/f)

BLURB

When the chips are down, there’s nobody there. Willowy blond Daisy Matthews has survived the Chicago streets with this mantra but is unprepared for the much older Nick Underwood’s urgent pursuit. The wealthy businessman receives a thoroughbred in payment for a bad debt and is thrust into Daisy’s world. She teaches him about horse racing; he teaches her about love. When Daisy’s seamy brother-in-law threatens Nick’s safety, she doggedly tries to stop him by herself, but flees to the familiar streets when he attacks. Can Nick find her in time – and if he does, will she still want him?

 
© 2014 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.