Trick or Treat! Sweet Saturday Samples

It’s a Sweet Saturday/Bewitching Trick or Treat Combo:

In the spirit of October, I’ve chosen a seen from Elusive Echoes that takes place at this time of year. Hope you enjoy it.

“This belonged to my mother.” He opened the box and slid the ring out, holding it so she could see the heated fire of green emerald, the cool ice of white diamonds. His gentle laugh was a little breathless. “There’s a story that goes with it, that I’m sure Dad will tell you when he sees you wearing it.” He paused. “Melanie, will you let me put this on you? Will you wear it and agree to marry me? It can be tomorrow, next week, next year, ten years from now. Whenever you’re ready. You’re worth waiting for. I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you.”

Had she thought she would be ready for this? Her heart thumped painfully and squeezed into her throat and her chin quivered as tears filled her eyes. Her breath hitched and she couldn’t pull in enough air to speak. For answer, she held out her shaking left hand, and despite her tremors, he slipped the ring onto her finger.

“We’ve waited so long already,” she whispered, hooking her arms around his neck. “What do you think about January?”

“Happy New Year?” He leaned in and took her lips again, pushing her backward onto the seat and crawling in after her.

His body provided warmth against the cool October night, but Mel generated heat to match from deep within. Sean nuzzled her neck, spinning sensations that rocketed into her center, stirring the yearning of years and the emotions of decades. She snaked her arms around his back and arched into him. She knew the exact moment his slow burn became a recklessly ignited fuse that mirrored her own. And she reveled in the knowledge that she had sent him there.

The Echoes of Orson’s Folly: Lifeline Echoes and Elusive Echoes

Astraea Press     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

I’m giving away one PDF copy of Elusive Echoes. For a chance to win, leave a comment telling me why you’d like to read it.  Drawing on Monday, October 31, 2011

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Spooky October

Welcome to my leg of the Bewitching Trick or Treat Blog Hop.

So it’s that time of year again, when ghouls and ghosties run loose, with bats and witches competing for air space. Tell me your plans for All Hallows Eve…

Elusive Echoes: Sean

We first met Sean as the baby brother in Lifeline Echoes, when he welcomed Ryan home:

The skinny boy’s frame had become lean and muscular. Glow-in-the dark blond hair had toned down some but Ryan noticed it still had a tendency to curl at the ends even though his brother kept it cut short. Sean had been thirteen when Ryan left. He’d grown into a man Ryan scarcely recognized.

Sean’s tension visibly drained. His smile started slowly, in his eyes first, then spread to his mouth, where it bloomed into a full grin.

“Ry!” In two long-legged strides, Sean was in front of him. “Oh man, it’s good to see you!”

In a move too sudden for Ryan to dodge, Sean folded him into a bear hug and lifted him off his feet, his carefree laughter driving out the last vestiges of Ryan’s uncertainty.

…showed his brother up:

“Lost your touch with horses there, big brother?”

Ryan spun around. Sean leaned indolently in the doorway.

“Horses? No.” Ry shook his head. “I can still handle a horse. That?” He jerked a thumb at the stall behind him. “Is not a horse. That is a demonic replica of a horse.”

Sean pushed off the doorjamb and sauntered toward his brother. Inside the stall, the agitated snorts of the big roan continued but the kicking had stopped.

“Domingo? This guy’s a sweetheart. You just gotta speak his language.” He held up an apple.

“You mean you have to bribe him,” Ryan said flatly.

Sean smiled and held out his free hand for the lead rein.

Ryan stood well back when Sean eased open the stall door and stepped inside, apple first. When the horse took the apple, Sean clipped the lead to the halter.

…took his brother out on the town:

Ryan took a second look at the other girl. “Whoa! Is that little Melanie Mitchell?” he asked his brother.

Sean nodded, an eager grin splitting his face. So that’s the way it rolled.

Ryan whistled appreciatively. “She sure grew up well.” The poke in the ribs went a long way toward making him feel like a big brother again.

…told his brother the hard truth:

Ryan winced. “I didn’t think Dad ever understood any of it. I figured he’d have tried to stop us so I never gave him the opportunity, never told him much.”

Violence born from sixteen years of hurt and loneliness guided Sean’s punch into the wooden beam, so close Ryan felt the whoosh of air passing. Sean’s green eyes registered satisfaction when Ryan flinched away from the blow next to his head.

“You don’t give Dad enough credit,” Sean grated.

…had his brother’s back:

He was propelled on waves of obvious aggression, his obedient wife trotting in his wake, as though on a short leash. Sean stepped into Brody’s path, but the old man brushed him off, his eyes never leaving Ryan.

Sandy bit her lip. Brody MacKay had always made her a bit uneasy. Seeing him now, with obvious malevolent intent on his features, her sense of uneasiness increased tenfold. Somewhere in his fifties, he was a formidable antagonist, as big as his son but with a coldness that never failed to chill Sandy to her core.

Ryan made a barely perceptible hand motion, warning Sean to stay out of it. The younger McGee stepped back, but he didn’t go far. He had his brother’s back.

…and gave his brother support:

A Styrofoam cup of something hot was pressed into his hand. Ryan looked down at the coffee then up to Sean’s troubled face. His brother shoved a sandwich into his other hand.

“Mel and Charlie brought food.” Sean closed his hand over Ryan’s shoulder, giving a little shake. “You have to eat, Ry, just a couple of bites. You’re a liability if you’re running on empty.”

In Elusive Echoes…it’s Sean’s turn. Find out why frogs hold special meaning to him:

He didn’t think he’d ever be able to look at another frog anywhere without thinking of Melanie Mitchell’s underwear.

Why he’s talking about names:

When he noticed everyone was now eyeing him expectantly, he realized he’d have to say something. “Ah, um . . . well, I’ve always been partial to Grace.”

How he handles difficult topics of conversation:

“Are you and Mel doing it?” Embarrassment leaked like cherry-colored paint to stain the kid’s freckled face.

How he handles stress:

Her lips, so warm and welcoming, her body so soft and his for the taking. He’d never felt more alive than he did as he pinned her against the bar and lost himself in the passion that always hovered between them like an ion-charged storm, ready to erupt with thunder. She went limp in his arms with a moan as he claimed the affirmation of her life that he needed for his own to continue.

And why he’s about to make the biggest mistake of his life.

Elusive Echoes

Available at  Astraea Press 

Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Other titles also available: Lifeline Echoes, Heartsight, Heartsent, and Matrimonial Mayhem

For an opportunity to win a PDF copy of Elusive Echoes, simply leave a comment and tell me why you’d like to read it.

Click here for more blog links.

Spook-a-Licious: Where the Boo-ks Devour YOU! (blog hop)

1) HAVE FUN!!!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, October 17, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, October 24, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
Winners will be drawn and posted October 25th! ***
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!***Authors & Book Pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules**

With autumn in full swing, who doesn’t think about the fun traditions that have developed over the years? Hayrides to apple orchards and pumpkin patches, carving jack-o-lanterns, haunted houses, trick-or-treating, and the inevitable parties, complete with costumes.

Do you have a favorite Halloween custom? I used to enjoy the hayrides with my kids, apple picking for making apple pies, and the choosing of pumpkins, carving them and roasting the seeds. I love the smell of roasting pumpkin seeds.

So, who’s bobbed for apples before? Want to win a prize? All you have to do is tell me how many apples (0-15) the random number generator will say you snagged from my barrel. Anyone who matches the number the generator chooses gets their choice of one of the following in PDF version:

  1. Matrimonial Mayhem Anthology (contemporary romance)
  2. Heartsight by Kay Springsteen (contemporary romance)
  3. Lifeline Echoes by Kay Springsteen (contemporary romance)
  4. Elusive Echoes by Kay Springsteen (contemporary romance)
  5. The Picture by Stephanie Taylor (contemporary romance)
  6. Lucky for Her by Stephanie Taylor (contemporary romance)
  7. Double Crossing by Meg Mims (historical fiction)
  8. The Last Wizard of Yden by S.G. Rogers (fantasy)
  9. Wayward Soul by Kim Bowman (paranormal)
  10. Ghosts in the Graveyard by Kim Bowman (YA/Halloween paranormal) upon release
  11. Emily Dahil CID Part I by Lindsay Downs (YA, mystery)
  12. Trophies by J. Gunnar Grey (mystery)
  13. Blackbird Flies by Chynna Laird (YA)
  14. Legend of the Oceana Dragon by J.F. Jenkins (paranormal)
  15. Vala: Agendas by J.F. Jenkins (paranormal)
  16. Scent of a Witch by Bri Clark (Halloween paranormal)
  17. Glazier by Bri Clark (paranormal)
  18. Shawnee’s Creek by Stephy Smith (contemporary romance)
  19. Rescued From the River by Stephy Smith (historical romance)
  20. Lizzie and the Rebel by Stephy Smith (historical romance)

The blurbs for all of the above titles can be found on

I’m also actively seeking reviewers for my books. If you’re interested in reviewing my work, please let me know.

Return to Spook-a-Licious!

My latest release, set in Virginia: Heartsent by Kay Springsteen

With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina’s life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn’t even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?

Astraea Press        Amazon        Barnes & Noble

Sweet Saturday Samples


Happy Sweetest Day!

Sweetest Day is a day on which people in the United States celebrate romance, love, and friendship, showing our appreciation for friends, family, and co-workers with bouquets of flowers, gifts, candies, and other tokens of affection. The first Sweetest Day took place in Cleveland, Ohio, sometime  in the early 1920s. It started out as an occasion to give to the less fortunate of the city, and has since morphed into a celebration of sweethearts and family. Not to be confused with Valentine’s Day as a holiday for pure romance, Sweetest Day is still one of America’s sweeter traditions.

Another sample from Heartsent, just released from Astraea Press:

He hit number two on speed dial. His mother answered on the first ring. “What’s the occasion?” Then she laughed.

“Mom, I need a favor. A really, really—really big favor.”

She sighed. “I’m not helping you kidnap the love of your life again. If you screwed things up there, you’re on your own.”

“Mom, I need you to come shopping with me.”

Silence. Kevin checked his phone to see if they were still connected. “Mom?”

“I’m here. I was just skimming the medical dictionary for illnesses that cause auditory hallucinations.”

Kevin chuckled. He did hate shopping. But this was different. This was like being on a mission.

“Really, son? Shopping?”

“Here’s the thing.” He patted his pockets as he walked and talked, trying to remember where he’d shoved the keys to Lina’s Jeep. “I’ve got something to tell you, only it’s a big secret, so you can’t go telling anyone at work, especially Irene.”

She paused. “Do I need to be sitting down?”

“Lina got a baby.” He found the key in his right front pocket on the second try and pulled it out.

“She what? Got a baby?” His mother’s voice turned suspicious. “Did you have anything to do with that? I thought you two just started seeing each other.”

“Yeah. No! He’s her sister’s baby, and just a couple of days old, only her sister died six or seven months back, so Lina ended up with him. She was pretty surprised.”

His mother fell silent again. Finally, she spoke, her voice sounding perplexed. “Hon, were you fighting some sort of chemical fire without your facemask this morning?”

Now available from Astraea Press  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

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Heartsent in the Heart of Virginia

Heartsent is my newest sweet romance. The story takes place in Virginia, where I currently reside, so I thought I’d take a moment to show you around.

First, the Salem Fair. As Heartsent opens, Lina is operating a concession stand at the Salem Hills Founders Day Fair. Though the community I set the story in is fictional, as was the fair, I based the fair on the Salem Fair, which takes place every July here in the Salem/Roanoke area.

Hot air balloons are a common sight overhead, and though our Salem Fair does not have a balloon event as described in the story, well maybe it should.

Other sights to see on a visit to my area of Virginia would include Appomattox Court House, where the North and South were reunited .

Downtown Lynchburg has many historically significant sights to see, including some great historical architecture, a memorial to United States military personnel that takes up an entire city block, a fountain in the James River that shoots water 180 feet high, and more. The city itself is a unique combination of small town and bustling city.

And my tour wouldn’t be complete without showing you Sharp Top Mountain, a place near and dear to Kevin’s heart when he can’t take off in his balloon. Situated along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Sharp Top is one of the mountains that makes up the Peaks of Otter.

I’m giving away a PDF copy of Heartsent. For a chance to win, just tell me about your home town, and why you think it would make a great setting for a story. This contest will be open until Friday, October 14, 2011 at 11:59 a.m.

With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina’s life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn’t even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?

Astraea Press     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Find out more about me on The Sweet Life section of the Sweet Saturday Samples blog.

Sweet Saturday Samples/Heartsent

Lina Standish has a lot of rules but one that takes precedence over all the rest. She doesn’t date co-workers. Well, firefighter Kevin Daly is about to make some changes to her rules…

He kept his eye on the envelope as the balloon began its slow deflation to make sure it progressed evenly. The silky nylon undulated in a sensual rhythm as the air moved around inside, seeking exit through the vent opening in the top. When it began its wilt to the side, Kevin knew it would be a few minutes. He turned his thoughts back to the woman standing next to him.

With a start, he realized Lina was staring at him, head cocked to one side, waiting for something. She must have said something he hadn’t heard. “I’m sorry. I didn’t catch that.”

She held his gaze and explained with exaggerated patience. “I said Greg was giving me a ride home tonight. He was running the Ferris wheel until five.” She tapped her watch. “He’s probably waiting for me now.”

Paramedic Greg Fiskar could wait all night for all Kevin cared, but he pasted a smile on his face as he headed for the chase truck, calling over his shoulder as he walked, “Sorry, I didn’t know you had plans for this evening.”

Lina caught up with him in a few quick strides, her long legs easily keeping pace. She cast a sidelong glance in his direction, openly assessing. “The only plans I had with Greg were for a ride home so I wouldn’t have to fight for a parking spot. I don’t date—”

“—Inside the department,” finished Kevin, unable to keep the grin from spreading over his face. That was about to change. She just hadn’t admitted it yet.

Heartsent by Kay Springsteen…Tuesday!

Also available from  Astraea Press   Amazon  Barnes & Noble:


The Sweet Life:  Sweet Sadie Therapy

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