Triple Crown Fever
Have you caught it yet? In our house-on-wheels, we’re really pumped about the Belmont Stakes, running today at 6:52 Eastern. California Chrome looks like the horse to break the thirty-six year streak of no Triple Crown winners since Affirmed in 1978, if racing luck holds. And there is always racing luck.
Besides the fact that we always follow the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, we feel a special connection to California Chrome, in two ways. The first is our own brief foray into the horse racing world. Some years back, hubs came into a small inheritance, and we used it to pursue our dream: he and a trainer friend flew to the fall Barretts sale and brought home two thoroughbred fillies. One of them ultimately won a race at Los Alamitos – the race course where California Chrome went to train after Hollywood Park closed last December. We share the same turf.
Here’s a photo of her win at Los Al:
The deeper connection, though, is fictitious. We’re halfway through our four-book romantic suspense series set in the horse racing industry, Riders Up. In Book One, Cassie’s Hope, our heroine leaves her job for six months to help her father pursue his dream after his stroke. Tug O’Hanlon’s story parallels the story of California Chrome’s owners, who bred and raised their foal against the advice of seasoned trainers and pinned their dreams to him as they began to see what he could do. They were offered six million dollars for him before he won the derby, and they turned it down. Tug would have understood, as you’ll see in the excerpt below.
and a fiercely loyal rancher
Five stars at Goodreads and Amazon:
“Extremely well written and very entertaining to read. Real life hopes and dreams becoming a reality. This story really moved me.” Donna H.
“I loved Cassie and Clint. These two stubborn, prideful people remind me of Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett…Cassie’s Hope is the first book of a series. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books” Sheila G.
“I took their journey with them. I felt their pain, their sadness, their struggles, and most of all their love. And that is the mark of a truly good book.” Faith H.
What happens when a fiercely loyal widowed half-Ute cowboy meets a fiery redhead with an Irish temper to match? Cassidy O’Hanlon – Cassie, to her friends – has set aside her Chicago career for six months to train racehorses for her dad after his stroke.
Furious the interloper has shipped in a ringer from the Chicago circuit to his Wyoming turf, Rancher/trainer Clint Travers sets out to put her in her place. Sparks fly immediately, but after their rocky start, the two quickly forge a passionate relationship, and he follows her to Chicago.
When it becomes clear someone is drugging Cassie’s horse, Clint sets out to solve the mystery, but storms off in a cloud of wounded pride when suspicions turn to him.
Can love trump pride?
To celebrate the Belmont Stakes, Cassie’s Hope is #FREE all day today at this link:
“You’ll do it then?” Tug’s voice squeaked.
Guilt, excitement and fear washed over Cassie in such quick succession that she couldn’t sort them out. Was she yielding? Hell,it’d been a done deal before she’d left Hope in her paddock. “Yes, I’ll try. Six months. No more. She is a very promising filly. I still don’t know how we can afford to do this.”
“We can afford it.” Tug’s eyes twinkled. “I got somethin’ else to tell you. Didn’t wanna till after you made up your mind. Didn’t wanna influence you too much…I’ve agreed to sell eighty acres to Mr. Dillingham, who’s been after that land for the last five years. After taxes and everybody’s fees, we should net a little over a million dollars.” Nodding softly, he said, “For once, I think we can afford to chase this dream.”
“Holy shit!” Cassie shrieked. “You did what? Why now?”
“There’s plenty of farm left for horses. Thought maybe I’ve been too stubborn for my own good. This may be my last chance, Cass. Holdin’ on to land is an important principle. But bein’ land poor probably don’t make much sense either. It’s yours, you know. I’m just gonna share some of it with you for awhile.”
“Oh, Daddy.” She bent down and kissed him on the cheek. “I don’t know what to say! We could go out and buy contenders. Horses that could be competitive stakes runners right away.”
“I know that.”
She saw a quick flash of that familiar stubborn streak set deep in his cat-gray eyes.
“Nope. The key is to raise a big horse—not just buy it. Any rich fool can buy into a good race horse. That’s what baseball owners do when they ignore their farm teams. It takes skill to raise a contender.
Available in both print and digital formats!
Deejay Valerie Percy rejects the phony life she’s led in L.A. and travels to remote Takinsha Island, Alaska, determined to start over. She’s looking for a fuck buddy, an accessory she considers more important than mascara. She wants a warm, outgoing man to laugh with her, hang out with her and shag her silly. She doesn’t think she’ll encounter any difficulty in Alaska, where the odds of men to women are twenty to one. But as the locals say, the odds are good, but the goods are…odd.
Valerie falls for Fisher Chugatt, a loner who doesn’t do relationships. But Cupid has other plans for this couple, and so does Valerie. She doesn’t waste any time seducing Fisher. Sex in the shower, hummers on the couch and a spectacular encounter beneath the northern lights seal the deal in Valerie’s mind. Having fallen in love, she wants it all—home, husband, babies.
But shadows from his past may prevent Fisher from committing to anyone…Valerie included.
The ferry bumped against the dock, and she went below to get into her faithful V.W. bug and drive it off the boat. Packed with her belongings, Old Faithful had somehow crawled from Los Angeles all the way to Bellingham, Washington, where Valerie had boarded the Alaska Marine Highway, the ferry system to Takinsha.
She crammed herself into the small car, crowded with boxes and bags. Digging the key out of her purse, she started O.F. and slowly drove out, rolling and clattering over the ferry’s metal bib. When she emerged into the thin sunshine illuminating the dock, a box slipped from the top of the stack in the front seat. It fell, jamming the brake. “Shit!” She pumped furiously at the pedal, but O.F. kept rolling along the crowded dock.
Dammit, she couldn’t stop her car. Images flashed by her panicked eyes. Tourists jumping out of her way, cameras swinging like misshapen pendulums. Fishermen swearing as they dodged O.F. The crunch of crab pots and assorted other gear she couldn’t identify, not when it was being crushed beneath Old Faithful’s tires.
The tall, dark hottie she’d seen from the ferry turned, his eyes widening. Just before the bug rolled into him, he leaped onto the hood of her car, shouting, “Jesus fucking Christ!”
Scrabbling for a grip, he grabbed a wiper. It broke off in his hand. Swatches of angry red flagged the hunk’s furious face. He spread his hands on the window, plastering himself along it as best he could, bending his knees onto the hood so he wouldn’t lose a leg.
“Shit, shit, shit!” Screeching with dismay, Valerie dug her hand between two boxes to grab the brake below. Something snapped, probably one of her acrylic fingernails. She didn’t care. Thankfully, the car had stopped before it could inflict much more damage to the truck and dock, to say nothing of the hottie.
Like what you read? Find it here in digital format and paperback:
About the Author:
Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press, where she is currently Managing Editor. She also takes private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.
A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.
–Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
–For editing services, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
–She tweets her reading picks @ReadThis4fun and @Suzdemello
–Her current blog is http://www.fearlessfastpacedfiction.com
Welcome to my stop on the Duty Bound tour with Sidney Bristol and BippityBoppityBooks. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, where you can read stop-exclusive excerpts and some reviews!
Bayou Bound # 2
by Sidney Bristol
Publisher: Inked Press
Published 26 May, 2014
Romantic Suspense / BDSM Elements
About the Book:
She’s the woman he sent away.
Lisette wouldn’t be back in New Orleans if she didn’t need protection—and who better to turn to than her ex-boyfriend turned Detective? She’s got a closet full of secrets that include a stalker ex and a kinky past. She vows to not dream about Mathieu…much. If only he were a Dominant, one who would not just flog her into bliss, but love her as well. A girl can dream, can’t she?
He was her first love.
Mathieu wants nothing to do with another damsel in distress, but he can’t say no when the little blonde woman walks back into his life with proof her ex is big trouble. He’ll give her a place to sleep, but nothing more. His heart is locked up tight. Except, Lisette uncovers his past in the BDSM world and she’s never backed down from a challenge. He can handle her, can’t he?
Lisette and Mathieu embark on a relationship that is strictly about sexual gratification, but evolves into more. When the bodies align, the hearts entwine. Except their rekindled flame is in danger. Lisette’s ex has found his prey, and he’s not afraid of taking a life.
Excerpt from Duty Bound: Bayou Bound # 2
© Sidney Bristol 2014
No, your eyes are not deceiving you; it really is me. Kinky Girl, your fearless leader. I know I haven’t been around lately, and for that I apologize. Life caught up to me in the worst way possible and I’ve needed to deal with it in my own way.
I’ve been trying to compose this blog in my head for weeks, but I wasn’t sure how to start it. As I sit here, I’m still not sure what I’m going to say except this.
I, KG, am a victim.
Many of you will remember the discussion from a year ago about dating vanillas that caused a lot of comment drama. I eventually documented my struggles with falling for a man who had no kink inklings and you all helped me through that break-up. I’ve misled you all into believing the saga with my ex has ended.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In the intervening months between admitting the break-up and now, my ex has beaten me and put me in the hospital. The extended absence I took a few months ago was for necessary surgery on my arm because he broke it so badly it took all the hospital’s doctors and all the hospital’s nurses to put me back together again.
Writing this isn’t about accusing my ex of his wrongdoings. I can and have done so to the police and proper authorities.
This is about me taking my life back.
Yes, I am a victim.
I have hidden this from my closest friends. My bloggers. And even my family is unaware of the full extent of my injuries, but that’s another topic entirely.
Today, I refuse to hide any longer. I did not ask for the broken bones or bruises. It was a criminal act against me, and for that, I will never apologize, but I will fight for justice, and I will regain all the little pieces of me that have shattered and scattered during this journey.
I realize this could be potentially triggering for those of you with similar backgrounds, so I will tag the blog with the appropriate warnings. For now, I’m closing the comments because I did not warn the blogger team I was posting and they have lives. My internet access is sporadic, so if you feel compelled to email me, know I’m getting the messages, but I cannot reply to all of them in a prompt manner.
I hope this doesn’t change how my readers view me, but I have to accept that it will. And that’s the hard part for me. Abuse wasn’t something I asked for. It happened to me. I’m still the same person underneath, but I would be ignorant if I didn’t also know this will change me. I’m not sure how. The future will tell.
Now for something a bit lighter. The other day I was out in a cute park and I snapped this picture. Yes, it’s a new foot picture of my toes in the grass. Remember, the Foot Fetishist book will be coming out in just a few months and my feet will be in it!
About Sidney Bristol
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.