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A Piece of Ourselves #RomanticSuspense #Giveaway #MFRWAuthor

Our autographed print giveaway this month is Heat Wave, Book Two in Riders Up. Contest details below, after the excerpt.

There’s always a piece of us in any story we write, but I suspect there are far more than usual in our Riders Up series. You already know both my husband and I loved horses long before we met, and you might know that as adults we were finally able to own or partially own six horses, one or two at a time. Five of these were racehorses; the sixth was not, and we’ve saved him for the final book in the series, Detour Ahead.

So it goes without saying we’ve poured what we learned about caring for and training race horses into this series, but there’s more. Just as Cassie’s Hope (Book One) drew on our ancestor’s family farms in McHenry County Illinois, Heat Wave draws on early family history in rural central Iowa, somewhat north of Des Moines. It’s set in the year 2000. Iowa farm values had dropped precipitously during the 1980s and were beginning to recover, but many family farms were still struggling and went under, especially as corporations moved in to purchase them. We used this knowledge to place our widowed heroine’s family farm in danger and force her to make a bold decision.

Our hero, Ed Harrington? We ourselves have never been horse trainers, though we co-owned our racehorses with a local trainer. But Ed has struggled with alcohol, and Heat Wave focuses on his recovery journey – a journey we’ve walked alongside some close family members. They helped us out with those sections of the book for authenticity. We hope some of the depth, struggle, and love from our own journey shines through as Ed and Maggie come together to save her farm.


Ed didn’t blink, staring at the single shot-glass of whiskey and a stein of beer sitting on a tiny, circular table.

He gripped its pedestal between his knees. The darkened corner of Mel’s Tavern in Beaverhill provided a welcome hiding place. Almost as good as a cave.

He’d driven for hours after leaving the farm—after running as quickly as he possibly could from that menacing woman. That night had been spent in his car…

He ran a finger around the rim of the shot glass. Long moments dragged by while his mind resembled a blank slate. He knew if he drank enough, he could make those blank periods last longer. Blackouts—they enticed him and terrorized him. He would be able to function, but not remember. Was that bliss, or a coward’s way out? It wouldn’t take long, if he only had the courage to take that first drink.

Hah. So many people in those meetings he’d been attending talked about the courage necessary to avoid that next drink. Here he was asking himself if he had the guts to lift a single glass to his lips and let the stinging, hot whiskey glide down his throat. He could practically feel the familiar burning. So why didn’t he just gulp the damn stuff down and get on with it?

He could leave them all behind. No Maggie harping at him, wanting more than he could give. No worrying about which kid was going to get injured next. No wondering when they’d all figure out he didn’t measure up—that he was some kind of fake, a figment of their imagination.

Ed glanced furtively around with renewed awareness. His senses sharpened. How long had he been sitting like that, gawking at his future? The waitress and bartender were staring at him as if he were an alien. He scratched the two-day growth of beard. He swore inwardly at the booze. He swore at the memories.

Why couldn’t he just walk away from her? He didn’t owe her anything. Not anymore. He’d paid his debt. But she wanted more, much more.

The bouncy, buxom waitress stood in front of him. “Listen, Bud, if you’re gonna drink, drink up. We’re gonna be closing soon. And don’t forget my tip.” Leaning over, jiggling huge breasts, she whispered, “Or maybe you’ve got something else in mind. You’ve got possibilities. I can see that.”

She withered under his icy glare. “Okay, I get the message, Bud. Why don’t you just get out of here? You give me the willies. Any man who buys whiskey and beer and then just stares at them for more than an hour can’t be much of a man in my book.” The waitress brushed back curly brown hair and then flounced off to serve other customers.

Ed hardly knew she’d left. He wet his lips. Trying to steady his hand, he reached for the whiskey glass. Lifting it, he paused, and then slammed it down, splashing its contents over the scarred table.

He might be able to run from all of them, but he knew he’d never be able to run from himself.

Pushing his chair back, Ed stumbled getting up. He threw some coins on the table and rushed toward the exit.

Outside, Ed gulped for air. His hand shook like some ancient reminder of what used to be and could so easily have been again. He placed a hand in his pocket and curled his fingers around the ninety-day chip.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Too much pain…#Sunday8 #wewriwa #SundaySnippet #MFRWAuthor #Contest

Our giveaway of an autographed print copy of Heat Wave lasts all month – of course, you can always read it free at Kindle Unlimited!

Be sure to visit Weekend Writing Warriors to check out the rest of today’s exciting excerpts!

Contest details after our Sunday Snippet:

Last week we watched as Ed Harrington arrived on Maggie’s front porch. That wasn’t the first time they’d met – as the book opens, she’s chased him down in Des Moines on a trusted friend’s recommendation and offered him a job. Here’s the reader’s first glance at his reaction:


Harrington glanced away from Maggie Anderson’s penetrating blue eyes. They reminded him of robin’s eggs. He grimaced. He hadn’t seen a robin’s egg since he was a kid. But that wasn’t the reason he’d looked away. The woman was carrying too much pain; he already had more than enough pain for any one human being. He sure didn’t need to borrow any of hers.

Hang onto the land – but at what cost? Feisty widow hires ace racehorse trainer to salvage her family’s heritage. Can they survive escalating threats to life and limb?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Out Now—Stateless (Stateless Series, Book 1) by Meli Raine (@meliraineauthor) #romanticsuspense #romance #suspense #newrelease

Release date: October 15, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Blurb:

When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.

I lie for her.

I hunt for her.

I kill for her.

And above all, I betray my mission for her.

She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.

I do.

Treason comes in many forms.

Love is one of them.

Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.

Our teachers forgot one important detail:

Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.

Yet we do.

It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.

And I know exactly where mine are aimed.

The Stateless Series also includes:

Traceless (releasing 11.19.19)

Fateless (release date TBA)


Amazon (everywhere): https://geni.us/statelessAMZ

Barnes&Noble: https://geni.us/statelessBN

Kobo: https://geni.us/statelessKobo

Apple Books: https://geni.us/statelessApple

Google Play: https://geni.us/statelessgoogle

Audiobook narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt!

Audible (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAudible

Amazon audio (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAMZaud

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2mSDQ8B

BookBub:  http://bit.ly/2ozxs6w

Website:  http://bit.ly/2mSPzUE


I do not sleep.

Kina does, though, and that matters more.

Sleep is a luxury when we are in Woods. She knows it. I know I should catch an hour or two, especially with my five-night punishment and determination to go for six, but I can’t.

What did I just say?

What did I just do?

Kina has the dreams. I have the dreams. I’ve never told anyone else anything that wasn’t one hundred percent part of The Mission.

To confess emotion, to confess my own dreams that do not fit The Mission, could be punished by death.

Or worse. What if I really am so weak? Emotion is shameful. It’s disgusting.

We fail every time we feel.

She knows this. I know this.

And yet we both spoke. Shared.



What does this mean?

With her sleeping beside me, I let my mind wander, giving in to the luxury of imagination. For years, the dream has been the same.

A burning wood fire.

A screaming boy.

A woman with long hair being shot.

A man with a shaved head and blue eyes like mine beaten by another man with a log.

And me with my bow and arrow. My hands are tiny, the skin around the knuckles dimpled. I’ve worked with the four-year-olds here at the compound. I know what young hands look like.

Why would I dream like that?

Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://meliraine.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meliraine

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/meliraineauthor

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meli-raine

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536295.Meli_Raine

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/beV0gf

Reviews and Endorsements for Meli Raine Books:

“The first book in the False trilogy is a psychological thriller worthy of Hitchcock, keeping you guessing until the very end.” — Apple Books Editors

“…intrigue and dark humor on display in this thriller…”

While the immediate—and more compelling—tension in Raine’s (A Shameless Little Bet, 2018, etc.) heart-pumping series opener comes from Lily’s constant proximity to her would-be killer, the action takes place against a backdrop of secret government scandals. The “screwed-up D.C.-insider scandal,” as it is clumsily summarized early on, is pleasingly twisty…

Fortunately, Lily’s voice is captivating, wry, and tough enough to sell this thriller. The novel ends with a cliffhanger that startles, if only because readers will have become so attached to Lily.

— Kirkus Reviews

“Fresh, riveting, and thrumming with emotion and romantic suspense, False Memory is absolutely unputdownable. You need this book!” – New York Times bestselling author Meghan March

“I accidentally lost a day to this trilogy! It is unputdownable. Apparently I’m on a dark-and-twisty binge, and this book is addictive.” – USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen (review for Harmless series)Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services

© 2018 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.
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