#Featured “The Garden of Eden: A Romance Standalone” by Millie Belizaire

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Eden is an R&B superstar who has lost her passion for music. Andrew is a pastor who doesn’t believe in God. Although for different reasons, both of them move through life with an enormous amount of pressure on their backs.

On the night of her concert in New Orleans, Eden sneaks out of an afterparty and mistakes Andrew’s car for her ride home. Despite the fact that Eden claims she’s famous, Andrew’s never heard of her and he doesn’t care that she’s stranded.

Eden’s not used to people saying no to her. And that’s exactly what Andrew does, marking the beginning of a journey neither of them saw coming.

Andrew and Eden are unlike each other in many ways, but both are dealing with their own demons. Just as their issues threaten to crumble them both, they find each other.

This is a standalone.

  • This book is a contemporary slow burn romance.
  • Despite the summary and story elements, this is NOT Christian fiction. At least, not in the traditional sense.
  • Language and sexual content in this book may offend some.

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#Excerpt “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” by Robert Archibald

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Mystery/Thriller
Date Published: July 17, 2020
Publisher: Blue Fortune Enterprises LLC, Cactus Mystery Press
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Check your email. Help is out there…
When Sherry and Beth discover what their boyfriends have been up to, they want in on the action. Working as vigilantes and providing justice for wrongs committed is a noble thing to do, but the women decide the stakes need to change.
Once again, the conflict is personal.
This follow-up to Roundabout Revenge follows former Professor Phil Philemon as he and his friends continue to seek elusive justice for victims who may not have been able to speak for themselves. Lurking in chat rooms, the group finds a large number of women who have been sexually harassed on the job. Sexually harassed in horrible ways. Harassed until their jobs, their reputations, and their sanity is on the line. And what they find is that the story of he said-she said is not always one that ends well.
But not everything goes as planned, and soon the four friends need to come to terms with a larger reality, including a crime of arson and an FBI investigation.
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EXCERPT

FROM CHAPTER 6

When Ralph and Beth returned to their apartment after sending the email, Ralph asked, “What you said about your experience? I didn’t know you had trouble with sexual harassment.”

“It’s not the kind of thing you talk to boyfriends about, but I guess I should tell you.”

“The way you talked about it tonight told me it’s still bothering you.”

“I guess it is.”

“When Sherry explained this project to us, she explained her motivation clearly. She’d had a lot of trouble with men in her past, and she hadn’t gotten any satisfaction when she’d lodged sexual harassment complaints. The men denied any wrongdoing. It came down to he-said-she-said, and the men got off. I thought you were joining the team because of me. I had no knowledge about anything you’d gone through. Can you tell me about it?”

“Let’s grab a beer and sit on the couch. It’s a bit of a long story.”

Ralph went to the refrigerator and took out two beers. Beth liked low-calorie beer. He thought it too weak. He opened their beers and headed for the couch.

Beth seemed a little nervous. “I got my first job at a big hospital in Pittsburgh. From the very start one of the doctors, Doctor Burns, took too much interest in me. He kept asking me to go out with him after our shifts. He was married. Heck, I’d even met his wife. I turned him down flat. Actually, he was in his fifties. I found the whole thing creepy. He didn’t get the message. He wouldn’t stop. He continued to pester me for dates. When he started grabbing me inappropriately, I finally lodged a sexual harassment complaint at the hospital. It didn’t work. The hospital personnel people told me they didn’t find any evidence to back my complaint. My experience resembled Sherry’s.”

Ralph put his arm around Beth. “It must have been frustrating. I guess he only made advances when you were alone.”

“Yeah, it was always just the two of us, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t avoid those situations.”

“Sure, nurses and doctors have to work close together at times.”

“Right, but that’s not the worst of it. Things changed after the sexual harassment complaint. People started treating me differently. Doctor Burns had lots of friends on the staff, and they all turned against me. It depressed me. I found it completely unfair, yet I couldn’t do anything about it. It was so wrong. Burns had misbehaved, yet I got punished.”

Ralph hugged Beth, whose eyes were tearing. “It’s all right. It’s in the past.”

“Even now when I think about it, it still bothers me. And I guess I didn’t handle it well. I started eating too much. Food provided comfort. I broke up with my boyfriend, Billy. He didn’t show any sympathy at all. Finally, after I put on close to thirty pounds, I decided I had to make a complete life change.”

“So, you moved to Lackey?”

“I wanted to get out of the city. I applied to a bunch of small-town hospitals, and Lackey responded first. Nursing jobs are fairly easy to get. And the hospital here is a good one. After I moved, I put myself on a diet, but I had trouble sticking to it. I guess I’d still been upset about what had happened. Luckily, my work went well. The people in Lackey are nice. As I told you before, I got along with Phil’s wife Mary Jane right away. I even told her about why I left the hospital in Pittsburg, but I didn’t tell anyone else.

“Finally, I started to come out of my shell and got more serious about my diet. Meeting you gave me an impetus to change. I really liked our exercise group. Dieting together really helps.”

“I always wondered why you wound up here. I never really thought about it too hard. I figured I had good luck. Now I’m torn. Part of me is glad you had trouble at the Pittsburg hospital, but that’s not right. I shouldn’t think that way.”

Beth responded. “I never thought about it like that. So, you’re saying we’d have never met if I hadn’t had my problems?”

“Yeah.”

“I understand. Nevertheless, I’d have been happier if we’d have met some other way.”

Ralph gave Beth a kiss. “Whatever, now we have each other.”

“And it’s great,” Beth said. “Now you’ve got the full story, I guess you can understand why I’m so eager to be part of the project along with you and Phil and Sherry.”

“You bet. It makes a lot of sense.”

Beth glanced at her phone. “Look at what time it is. We’d better get to bed,” she said as she pulled Ralph off the couch.

“You don’t have to ask twice.”

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About the Author
Robert Archibald was born in New Jersey and grew up in Oklahoma and Arizona. After receiving a BA from the University of Arizona, he was drafted and served in Viet Nam. He then earned a M.S. and Ph.D in economics from Purdue University. Bob had a 41-year career at the College of William & Mary. While he had several stints as an administrator, department chair, director of the public policy program, and interim dean of the faculty, Bob was always proud to be promoted back to the faculty. He lives with his wife of 47 years, Nancy, in Williamsburg, Virginia.
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#Featured “Voices & Visions (The Touched Series Book 1)” by Lashell Collins

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A psychic so powerful his abilities come at a cost. A woman so special she alone has the power to touch him.

Detective Isaac Taylor is a broken man. Isolated by his strange abilities and what others perceive as weird behavior, he keeps his head down and excels at his job. But he hears the whispers of his colleagues and family members, and he feels like a freak among them. Then one wrong number phone call changes everything.

Sidney Fairchild is no stranger to danger. She’s a woman on the run, in hiding and existing below the radar. Despite her efforts to stay invisible, she witnesses a crime she knows could get her killed. Then she answers a wrong number phone call that changes her life.

Bound by their undeniable connection, Isaac and Sidney forge a bond stronger than anything either has ever known. But will his psychic abilities save her or lead to their mutual destruction?

Voices & Visions is book 1 in Touched, a new romantic suspense series. If you like compelling characters, realistic dialogue, and heartwarming bromances, then you’ll love this new thought-provoking series from Lashell Collins.

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#Featured “Payback: A Small Town Romantic Suspense Novel (Vigilante Justice Book 1)” by Kristin Harte

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“Exactly the testosterone ride I needed today. A quick action-packed romance that starts with a fire and burns even hotter.” – Kira Gold, author and RITA award finalist

In a town called Justice, there’s nothing to fear except a man willing to break all the rules for the woman he craves.

As a former Green Beret, I know how to follow orders and obey rules. I’ve learned to be patient, to look at a situation from every angle, and to live by a code of honor most men know nothing about. But when a motorcycle club puts a target on not just my hometown but the five-foot-nothing blonde who unknowingly holds my heart in her hands, obeying the law takes a back seat to keeping my woman safe. I’ve never had something so precious to protect, and I’ve never been willing to cross so many lines to get a job done.

My need to destroy those who threaten Shye could cost me my home, my freedom, and my life…but I’d sacrifice it all to save her.

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PAYBACK is a full-length contemporary romantic suspense novel from USA Today bestselling author Ellis Leigh writing as Kristin Harte. It’s the first book in the Vigilante Justice series featuring stories of very good men doing very bad things to protect those they love.

“This book had it all. Suspense, family devotion, love and how sometimes you will risk it all, even your life, for the one that has hold of your heart. Loved. Loved. Loved.” – Melissa Marino, author of the Bad Behavior series

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Song Lyric Sunday | “Better Days” – Dianne Reeves

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Best/Better/Good/Great.

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One of the things I love most about SLS is not just sharing great songs that match the weekly prompt, but also finding new artists and music! Many thanks to Amy at ailovemusic.net for last week’s Midas Hutch and Freeze, and Bee Halton at thebeewrites for Wiyaala and We Are Going and Village Sex! I’m following both artists on Spotify now! Also kudos to Irene at My Slice of Mexico for posting an additional video to show a closer look at a couple doing the traditional folk dance and tying a ribbon with their feet! 🙂 🙂

Known primarily as an award-winning jazz and scat singer, Dianne Reeves spent twelve weeks on Billboard Magazine’s R&B charts with Better Days, a moving recounting of experiences shared with her grandmother and how their relationship became a source of inner strength for Reeves.

Better Days came out of work I had been doing with another songwriter, Tony Lorrich, who coauthored it with me,” she explained. “My grandmother had passed away and so had his mother, so the song is about both of them. And people have even said to me that [‘Better Days’] reminded them of another special relative, maybe an uncle or an aunt.”

FUN FACTS:

  • Dianne Reeves was born into a musical family. Her father sang, her mother played trumpet, her uncle is bassist Charles Burrell, and her cousin is composer/sing-songwriter/producer George Duke.
  • She was a member of her high school band, and while performing at a convention in Chicago was noticed by trumpeter Clark Terry, who invited her to sing with him.
  • Dianne studied classical voice at the University of Colorado and has won five Grammy Awards during her career.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Better Days

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