MCBRIDE'S MAYHEM




Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Dashing Rogue #MFRWhooks

The Treasure (Time Walker Series Book 2)  
by Sloan McBride 

‘A Pirate’s Life for Me,’ that is Celeste’s plan. Revenge drives her to be daring. Attacks by smoke demons, and the appearance of a swashbuckling rogue—a handsome rogue with magical powers—detracts her from the mission and reveals frightening truths about her family.

Orion is a time walker—a protector of the human race—and warrior against the Underworld King and his minions. The shadowy creatures seek the young woman who has the blood of the gods running through her veins. Orion senses something mysterious—and wrong—in Celeste’s blood.


Time Walker law dictates no interaction with humans, but Orion can’t stay away. Celeste has the uncanny ability to draw demons and time walkers, alike. To protect her, Orion must keep her hidden from the Underworld and his own people. Should the gods discover her secret, they will destroy her, and he won’t let that happen.

Excerpt: 

A shadow moved in the corner of her eye then a dagger pressed against her throat piercing the skin. A trickle of warm blood dripped down her neck. The assailant looked like a cloud of peat smoke bundled into a person. Its black eyes had no substance.

Bedtime stories her papa used to tell her about wicked magickal creatures that snuck up on children at night played through her head. “What are you?” she said.

A crackling rumble came from him as he raised the other hand which held some sort of small pick. No doubt he meant to stab her with it. Celeste kicked out, catching him off guard. She dropped to the ground grabbing for the dagger in her boot.


Before she could grasp the handle, a tall, striking man engaged the blackness. With the grace of a sword master, he twirled and sliced off the assailant’s arm then his head. The bedeviled creature disappeared. Her brain barely pieced together what had happened, certain her tired eyes were playing tricks. Mere seconds expired until she stared into the frowning countenance and turbulent, brandy-colored eyes of the stranger. He raised two fingers to her temple and pressed.

******

The door creaked open. “Pleased to see you home safely.” Rafael greeted her with a kiss on the back of the trembling hand and a wink.

“‘Tis good to be home.” Native French spilled from her mouth as the door closed.

“I took the liberty of setting up the bath in front of the fireplace upon news of the fleet’s arrival.”

She sighed. “A bath sounds lovely.”

“You are home,” Beatrice said excitedly and crushed her in a hug. Her round face flushed from the dash down the hallway.

“I have missed you both.” Celeste pulled the smelly shirt away from her body. “Please soak these distasteful clothes in lye.” Unfortunately, burning them was not an option.

Celeste smiled as she eased her aching body into the steaming water, cursing the man responsible for her being on this blasted island. She longed for the small French town where she’d been born, the life she’d once had. To see her mother smile at the knotted, uneven stitches Celeste had sewn into a cloth while attempting to master proper technique.

The worst part of being aboard ship—the filth. Freshwater ran out quickly, leaving no clean water to drink or wash, sometimes for weeks. The pirate crews plied themselves with rum often enough. She hoped it wouldn’t be much longer before she fulfilled her vow and ended this quest.

“Blackbeard,” she spat. The bastard trusted no one, so she’d been unable to accomplish her goal. She leaned her head against the side of the tub and sighed.

Her mother used to scold her for worrying too much. “A lady should not have worry lines,” her mother would say.

Tears filled her eyes. It had only been a few months since she’d lost her mother and started on this vengeful trek.

Of course, she had worried. The stipend from her father ceased, and her mother’s weakened condition worsened. The duty to find ways to bring in food and money fell on her young shoulders. Her stomach grumbled as if the memories brought the hunger she’d battled, on days when food and money were scarce. Other women who were alone with no money sold their bodies. She chose to be a thief instead. She closed her eyes and let the warmth seep into her bones, and tight muscles, loosening her body. Drifting in the place between sleep and awake, she had no worries.

A bright light flared behind her eyelids. Her mind flashed to the dock in the North Carolina port—a steel tip at her throat, a scream lodged beneath the fear—a dashing rogue.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Distance Between Them #MFRWhooks

Dangerous Heat: Men of Fire Trilogy, Book 1 

by Sloan McBride 


The onset of fire season should be the hottest thing about interviewing smoke jumpers for Whitney Storm - until she sees Tom MacKenzie. He set her heart aflame 10 years ago, then disappeared. As an empath who doesn't need emotional turmoil, this six-foot-tall dark and dangerous memory has no place in her life.

As a smoke jumper, Tom's job keeps him face-to-face with danger, and he thought he knew how to handle heat. But the uncontrolled burn whenever he's near Whitney is hotter than he remembers. He's ready to face the past and make amends. She's made it clear she wants nothing to do with him.

A life-threatening problem flares when a killer's greedy obsession threatens everything. Can Tom and Whitney learn to trust each other again and protect all that they hold dear, or will their world turn to ashes around them? 


Excerpt 


In a gruff voice he said, “Are you going home? I would be happy to escort you.”

Another wave of unease assaulted her going straight to her stomach. She managed a small smile and shook her head. “Actually, I’m going to stick around and eat. I’m starving.”

“I’ll walk you that way then.” He stayed close while she got a plate of food and her beer. A rowdy group of teenagers caught his attention so Bell excused himself to handle it, throwing his beer can in the trash as he went by.

Whitney was hopelessly attempting to wipe the last of the sticky barbeque sauce off her fingers with a thin paper napkin when bright-eyed, liquored-up Terry Smith ambled over in a weaving pattern.

Terry had been the all-around home town football hero in high school. His sandy blond hair, brilliant white smile, and well-toned body had looked awesome in those tight football pants. They’d dated for a short while, but it hadn’t lasted.

Now, his once gorgeous hair had thinned, his athletic body had grown saggy, and he sported a beer belly. The word around town was his wife had filed for divorce.

“What about it, Whitney, you ready for a dance?” He sidled up close. “I’ll ask the band to make it a slow one.”

Don’t light a match around him.

She pressed a hand to his chest and gently pushed to put distance between them. The festival brought out the partiers, and it smelled as though he’d been at it for a while. He grabbed her hand and dragged her onto the make-shift dance floor so quickly she didn’t have time to say no.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Not if I'm lucky #MFRWHooks

Dangerous Heat (Men of Fire Trilogy Book 1)
by Sloan McBride 

The onset of fire season should be the hottest thing about interviewing smokejumpers for Whitney Storm—until she sees Tom MacKenzie. The firefighter set her heart aflame ten years ago, then disappeared. As an emapth who doesn’t need emotional turmoil, this six-foot tall dark and dangerous memory has no place in her life.

As a smokejumper, Tom’s job keeps him face to face with danger and he thought he knew how to handle heat. But the uncontrolled burn whenever he’s near Whitney is hotter than he remembers. He’s ready to face the past and make amends. She’s made it clear she wants nothing to do with him.

A life-threatening problem flares when a killer’s greedy obsession threatens everything. Can Tom and Whitney learn to trust each other again and protect all that they hold dear, or will their world turn to ashes around them?

~A page turning, couldn't put it down paranormal romantic suspense by author Sloan McBride~
~Ten years ago, Whitney Storm said yes to Tom MacKenzie in more ways than one.~ 




Excerpt 

Chauvinist.
“After all, there is an election coming up, and I’ll want to make sure you cast a friendly vote for the mayor.”
She shifted slightly. “Speaking of which, I called to make an appointment with the mayor, and his office never got back to me.”
“I can’t understand why they’d be avoiding an interview. I’ll make it happen for you.”
Whitney glanced at his sharp profile in the twilight. His straight nose, square jaw, and short brown hair looked sinister in contrast to those same features in daylight.
“I’ll want to see the list of questions you intend to ask.”
“So you can prepare the appropriate responses.”
“It’s customary practice to review questions prior to an interview.”
She sighed. “Fine. Where do you want them sent?”
Dylan pulled out a business card. “You can email them to my office.”
Whitney took the card, doing her best not to touch the man, and put it in her daybook.
A couple of miles later they passed the welcome sign and pulled onto Oak Valley’s main street. Townsfolk were gathering in the square around a bonfire to start off the Elk Run Festival. The locals used the annual event to bid farewell to summer and greet the early fall. Heavenly smells of barbeque chicken, grilled corn on the cob, and hot apple cobbler floated through the open window, making her empty stomach growl. She could use a beer too. First, she needed to call her mom and let her know of the unfortunate mishaps. The Storm family internal communication network began transmitting the minute the tire blew and she crashed into the ditch. Her mother, the commander and chief of the family empaths, would be expecting a report.
Gotta love genetics.
Not being able to reach Whitney by phone would have sent her mother into worry mode. The trip had taken much longer than originally planned. She hated having to tell her son the horse he’d set his heart on had gone to a higher bidder. “Drop me here, please.”
“Sure.” Dylan stopped the car. “I can take you to your house though.”
“That’s okay.” She didn’t want him anywhere near her house. She unbuckled her seat belt and threw open the door.
“How about a dinner meeting with me and the mayor? We can discuss the upcoming election, maybe a few personal tidbits. It would be an exclusive.”
“That’s very generous.” To her knowledge, the mayor hadn’t been giving anyone exclusive anything. “I’ll speak with my editor about it.”
“I hope we’ll see each other again soon, Whitney.”
Not if I’m lucky.
“I look forward to receiving those questions.”
She watched Dylan leave, then headed toward the center of activity. Since her brother, Adam, owned a bar, he always had a booth at the festival. Family would inevitably be there.
Her eldest brother had no knack for humor or tact. “Whitney, you look like shit. Where the hell have you been?” Adam scolded when she strolled up to his booth.
“Don’t start,” she snapped. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

“I do, you know,” #MFRWhooks


Dangerous Heat by Sloan McBride 

Available in Audiobook, eBook, and Print


Blurb: 

The onset of fire season should be the hottest thing about interviewing smokejumpers for Whitney Storm—until she sees Tom MacKenzie. The firefighter set her heart aflame ten years ago, then disappeared. As an emapth who doesn’t need emotional turmoil, this six-foot tall dark and dangerous memory has no place in her life.

As a smokejumper, Tom’s job keeps him face to face with danger and he thought he knew how to handle heat. But the uncontrolled burn whenever he’s near Whitney is hotter than he remembers. He’s ready to face the past and make amends. She’s made it clear she wants nothing to do with him.

A life-threatening problem flares when a killer’s greedy obsession threatens everything. Can Tom and Whitney learn to trust each other again and protect all that they hold dear, or will their world turn to ashes around them?

Excerpt: 

Scanning the room, she took comfort in familiar things until her gaze rested on the old trunk beneath the window. The trunk held treasures and memories. She walked over, flipped the latch, and lifted the lid, knowing that it would do no good to dredge up the past, but not being able to stop. Hinges creaked, and dust flew into the air, making her sneeze. Whitney retrieved a small rectangular wooden box. The night of her college graduation came to life.
Twilight fast approached. Crickets chirped, and the sound of ripples in the water said fish were jumping to greet the moonlight. He gently tugged and guided her through the woods at Waldo Lake, until they came to a small clearing. He wasted no time scalding her with a kiss.
He presented her with a neatly wrapped box. “You did it.”
The purple bow set off the lavender color of the paper, and she could tell he’d taken his time wrapping it. She carefully removed the puffy bow, in her favorite color, and painstakingly sliced each piece of tape with her fingernail, savoring every second.
When the paper fell away, her breath caught. With great care, she moved her hand lovingly across the smooth texture of the wooden box. It must have taken him hours of shaping and sanding to create the exquisite piece she held. Initials were carved into the lid: TM and WS with a small heart in between. Tears trickled down her cheeks.
“I do, you know,” he whispered and captured her lips again.
Photographs fell from the open box and floated to the floor. The melancholy memories brought a reluctant smile to Whitney’s face.
A small folded piece of yellowed paper lay against the blue velvet, taunting her. She couldn’t bear to read it again, but she didn’t have to. She knew exactly how many words were there and knew them all by heart.

My darling Whitney, when you read this note I’ll be gone. I don’t have to tell you things haven’t been right since the fire. I’m messed up, which is not good for either of us. It would be unfair to tie you down when you’re at the beginning of a promising life. You deserve better than that. I will always love you. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Wild fire #MFRWhooks

The onset of fire season should be the hottest thing about interviewing smokejumpers for Whitney Storm—until she sees Tom MacKenzie. The firefighter set her heart aflame ten years ago, then disappeared. As an emapth who doesn’t need emotional turmoil, this six-foot tall dark and dangerous memory has no place in her life.

As a smokejumper, Tom’s job keeps him face to face with danger and he thought he knew how to handle heat. But the uncontrolled burn whenever he’s near Whitney is hotter than he remembers. He’s ready to face the past and make amends. She’s made it clear she wants nothing to do with him.

A life-threatening problem flares when a killer’s greedy obsession threatens everything. Can Tom and Whitney learn to trust each other again and protect all that they hold dear, or will their world turn to ashes around them?




~A page turning, couldn't put it down paranormal romantic suspense by author Sloan McBride~

~Ten years ago, Whitney Storm said yes to Tom MacKenzie in more ways than one.~ 



Excerpt 


The reporter’s laughter floated around Wolf as he approached, caressing him like a heat wave from a wild fire.
“Lookout, can I interrupt?” Kevin asked.
“Sure.”
The woman spun around with a smile, but it faded as soon as she saw him.
“Ms. Storm, I’d like you to meet Thomas Wolf MacKenzie.”
“Hello, Tom,” she said with cool detachment.
Tom gulped air that seemed to have evacuated his lungs from an invisible punch to his chest. “Whitney?”
“You two know each other?”
Whitney turned her full attention to Kevin, but not before Tom saw the flare of surprise then anger in those electric blue eyes. She kept her tone matter of fact. “We met a long time ago, Kevin.”
“Whitney, honey.”
“Don’t.” She averted her frosty eyes and clenched the notepad she carried in front of her like a shield.
“We’ll let you two get reacquainted.” Kevin grabbed Jones and ushered him toward the door.
“Ten years feels like a lifetime,” she whispered with her back turned and her spine rigid.
Tom cringed. Her words stung with unmistakable bitterness. He had thought of her a million times, even picked up the phone and dialed her number, but never got past the first ring. And now, here she stood as radiant and beautiful as he remembered in his blazing wet dreams. “What are you doing here?”
“Believe me. It has nothing to do with you.” The venom spilled from her lips.
“I didn’t—”
She turned to face him. In a glacial tone, she said, “I’ll make this simple. Because I am a professional, I will conduct myself as such. I’ll talk to the others, take my notes, and be gone by Friday. You,” she shot him a lethal glare, “stay out of my way.”
“Whitney, I—” He reached out, but she stepped past him and exited the hangar.
In the empty barracks, Whitney threw her notebook against the wall and crashed onto the small cot, curling into a ball and grabbing her knees to still the convulsive shakes. Tears broke the plane of her bottom lid and trickled down her cheeks as her teeth bit her lip to hold back the sobs. How could he be here? She’d convinced herself he’d gone to Tibet to live with monks or the Alps to work with rescue teams, to get as far away from her as he could. How ironic that he ended up living only a few hours away.
Wolf suited him, the journalist in her registered, even as she reeled from the shock of seeing him again. Waves of hair fell around his ears. Those green eyes held the same fiery spark, and she didn’t remember ever seeing his body in such fine shape. The gray t-shirt he wore clung to broad shoulders, thick biceps, and a hard slab of abdominals. He’d matured.
Tom’s persistent determination had planted him in her life twelve years ago. His fierce love for his family softened the rough edges. She’d been lost the moment she looked in his eyes.
The tone of his voice still made her quiver. “Damn him.”