Archive for August, 2017


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox comes the first in the hot new Blue Bay Crew series that follows the sexy, blue collar Owens men who take over their family’s construction business in the small town of Blue Bay, CT.

Summer Wheeler is on the run. Hiding from the men who killed her father, Summer is on her way to her childhood cottage in Blue Bay when she runs into Sean Owens, the forbidden bad boy from her past. After giving him a fake name, she gives in to one steamy night with him, never expecting to see him again.

Sean isn’t sure why Summer is pretending to be someone she’s not, but he’ll play her game if that means he can indulge in one of his oldest fantasies – a night with Summer. He’s shocked to see her when he returns to Blue Bay, and even more surprised when Summer offers him a job renovating her old family cottage. Hot workdays turn into hotter nights, but when Summer’s secret catches up with her, she’ll have to decide if she can trust Sean with her heart—and her life.

Demolished nails the perfect combination of emotion, scorching intensity, and a touch of suspense that will draw readers to this fantastic new series!


DEMOLISHED by Cathryn Fox

SMP Swerve

Publication Date: August 29, 2017

ISBN: 9781250152954; Price: $3.99

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie), pizza, and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband.

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Summer Wheeler.

All grown up.

I can hardly believe I’m walking out of a Dick’s Inn and Diner—and hopefully into one of its rooms—with sweet Summer Wheeler, the girl I’ve always crushed on but couldn’t do anything about. Christ, back in the day two years might as well have been a chasm, but today, not so much.

Jesus, she’s gorgeous. Has lush curves that every guy’s dreams are made of. Her once blond hair is now as dark as the night sky, rich, luxurious, citrus scented, and damned if I can’t wait to see those curls spill across my pillow. She still has that sprinkling of freckles on her nose that make her look young and adorable, and those lips . . . Goddammit, never have I seen lips that were so plush, so damn kissable. A bolt of lust hits like a sucker punch, and my body trembles, anxious to taste her heat, to discover what she’s wearing under her professional clothes. Fuck, it’s all I can do not to back her up against that big truck of hers and take her right outside in the parking lot.

Yeah, sure, I’m supposed to be getting my shit together, turning over a new leaf, becoming a productive, upstanding citizen of Blue Bay and every other stupid fucking idiomatic expression that meant I needed to do better for my family. But I’m not in Blue Bay yet, headed back to a place where everyone knows my name—and the cops don’t like me—to take over my dad’s construction business. Yup, I get it, it’s time to step into the role I’d been groomed for since I could hold a hammer, and spend less time on the road satisfying my own selfish urges. When I get home I’ll be on the straight and narrow: no women, no distractions, and no trouble with the law. Until then, however . . .

I put my hand on the small of her back and the heat that fires between us is almost catastrophic. Jesus. Who’d have thought that after all these years there’d still be such a powerful pull? I shake my head. Chemistry like this doesn’t come along every day.

The warm night air falls over us as I push the lounge door open and guide her into the night. I pause and glance up and down the long strip of black street. I’d been in this Podunk town in the past, circling through as I went from one sponsored motocross event to the next. Hell, all I need is a place to lay my head, but seriously what is Summer really doing in a shit place like this? Designer clothes. Expensive truck. She is so out of her element. Where exactly is she headed, and who is this friend she’s visiting? More importantly, why is she pretending she doesn’t know me?

I’m pretty good at reading people and I spotted the recognition flashing in her whiskey-colored eyes the second I met them. Then again, maybe she doesn’t want to acknowledge me because . . . well . . . because for her, this is just a quick hot affair as she passes through town. Fine, if she wants to play it that way, I can, too. No names. Anonymous sex. This isn’t my first rodeo and all cards on the table, it’s for the best. I don’t have time for more.

“This town doesn’t have much, but there’s a pizza joint two blocks down. It’s decent.” Her dark lashes flash over darker eyes, meeting my gaze straight on. She doesn’t even look like she’s breathing, which gives me the distinct impression that this isn’t something she does on a regular basis. I brush my knuckles along her arm, and she shivers. “Unless you’d prefer to just—”

“I’d prefer,” she whispers.

My cock throbs. Apparently little Sean prefers that, too. I pull a key card from my back pocket, and the letter stuffed inside nearly falls out. I shove it back, not wanting to think about the stabbing pain behind each written—and unwritten—word. Later I’ll wallow in my own misery, kick my stupid fucked-up ass, and condemn myself for my selfish ways. Christ knows there’ll be plenty of time for that in the coming months.

“My room or yours?” I ask.

She grins at the cheesy comment, the tension easing a bit from her body. “Yours.”


Trust Erin Nichols to give new meaning to some things put on this planet, be it marshmallows, candy canes, champagne and not limited to (mind you) and now Chutes and Ladders, which happens to be one of my all time favorite board games when I was growing up! And what can be more fun than us reading Kit Derby and her childhood nemesis Dillon Alexander succumbing to their lust over a game of chutes and ladders? I would say totally orgasmic.


This story is my favorite of the three books in the “Taking Chances” series. It’s like Erin saved the best for the last. “Turned Up” is so much more sexily argumentative, humorously bickering, erotically charming, and emotionally challenging. The ER physician and the psychiatrist, one deals with the physical and the other of the mind, and when these two come together in a snowstorm, it’s nothing short of a “Turned Up” explosion.

As I said, Erin is maestro of imagination and the queen of plotting. The one-liners are rib tickling, the rapport and teasing between Jake, Max and Dillon is heartwarming, and the passion between Dillon and Kit is combustible, a piece of art worth every engaging word and explosive feeling!

Received an ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley for an honest review.

Veteran puzzle editor Fred Piscop created the cryptic puzzles that will appear inside the jacket in the hardcover edition of Secrets in Death, on sale September 5, 2017. Below is a behind-the-scenes exclusive interview. Enjoy!


Veteran puzzle editor Fred Piscop created the cryptic puzzles that will appear inside the jacket in the hardcover edition of Secrets in Death, on sale September 5, 2017. Below is a behind-the-scenes exclusive interview. Enjoy!

“Cryptic clues always involve some sort of wordplay. Moreover, cryptic clues are usually divided into two parts: a straight definition and a bit of wordplay, both leading to the same answer word.”

SMP: Hi Fred, thank you so much for creating such terrific puzzles for Secrets in Death. How did you get started creating puzzles?
FP: I’ve been a puzzle person practically all my life. When I was eight years old, I was placed into an experimental program in which 4th through 6th grades were done in two years. My teacher for both years was George Bredehorn, who introduced me and the class to anagrams, word games, mathematical brainteasers and all sorts of other creative stuff. George and I remained close until his death in 2012. If not for George, I probably would never have gotten into the puzzle biz.
I started creating cryptics in the 1980s and conventional crosswords around 1990. Perhaps not surprisingly, I found that I was pretty good at it. I constructed puzzles part-time until I got laid off from my computer job. Since then, I’ve been a full-time puzzler.

SMP: How many puzzles do you think you have created? 
FP: I estimate that I’ve created over 7000 puzzles so far.

SMP: Where else might people find puzzles you’ve created?
FP: My puzzles also appear in Newsday (Creators Syndicate) – in August my 1000th Newsday puzzle was published; The New York Times (I create a monthly bonus puzzle for online subscribers, and have taken over creation of Split Decisions, a variety word puzzle, following the death of its inventor, the aforementioned George); Crosswords with Friends (a new offering from Zynga, the folks who brought you Words with Friends – I’m proud to be part of that team); and several other outlets. And, I’m currently the editor of the USA Today Crossword.

SMP: How much math is involved in creating these puzzles?
FP: Interestingly, people who are good at math or music or both (I’m good at both) tend to be good at puzzles; while people who are literary (English majors and the like) tend not to be good at puzzles. Puzzle construction is mathematical in the sense that the constructor has to think in two dimensions and has to be cognizant of letter sequences that are more common than others, and letters that appear more commonly than others. A simple example: N is much more common in the alphabet than M, but if you look in a dictionary, you’ll see that the M section is four or five times as big as the N section. On the other hand, words end with N much more commonly than they do with M. So if you have a choice of starting a word with M or N, it makes mathematical sense to choose M – but the opposite is true with ending a word.

SMP: How do you come up with the clues for the puzzles?
FP: It’s an easy matter to just select clues from any of the massive databases out there, but I try to come up with original stuff when I can, using Google searches. Often I’ll find something interesting that I’ve never seen before. I recently clued ARM as “Tommy John surgery site.” It’s a fresh clue that I haven’t seen (not to say that it’s never been done).

SMP: With your love of puzzles, do you read mysteries? 
FP: I don’t read mysteries, but I have contributed crosswords to several books in the “Puzzle Lady” mystery series, authored by Parnell Hall. You have to solve the puzzle to discover a quip that is relevant to the mystery.

SMP: So you created two puzzles for SECRETS IN DEATH, a Crossword and a Cryptic. They look the same, what’s the difference?
FP: Actually they don’t look the same at all. Conventional crossword diagrams are fully interlinked; every letter is contained by an across and a down word. But in a cryptic, only every other letter in a word is crossed. And the clues have different formats: conventional crossword clues are generally straightforward, while cryptic clues always involve some sort of wordplay. Moreover, cryptic clues are usually divided into two parts: a straight definition and a bit of wordplay, both leading to the same answer word. (You can learn more about cryptics from my book Cryptic Crosswords & How to Solve Them).

SMP: What surprised you most as you created the SECRETS IN DEATH puzzle and cryptic?
FP: Actually I surprised myself that the cryptic construction went so smoothly. I hadn’t constructed one in over 20 years.

SMP: So many people do crosswords to relax. What do you do to relax?
FP: I solve the cryptic in the Guardian (a British paper) every day. I do my best to stay in shape: run, bike, go to the gym and play senior softball. And I’m a musician too, a keyboard player. I play at a few jam sessions every week, but don’t really gig anymore. My favorite jam these days is on Tuesday night at Katie’s of Smithtown. The house band consists of world-class players including drummer Bobby Rondinelli, who has played with Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Leslie West, and a host of others too numerous to mention here. And I take my niece’s dog Dina out for a long walk every day.

SMP: Thanks, Fred!

It’s always so wonderful to return to Hope Falls, Melanie Shawn’s creation of a town filled with warm caring citizens, extended families, and of course the proverbial alpha males and sassy females, ready to dose us with some heartfelt romance, heated passion and unconditional love.


The firefighter and the documentary filmmaker; dreams big and hearts filled with young love and a future they had planned breaks apart as circumstances pull them apart and sends them on a different course of life.

Eli Bishop and Mackenzie Sutton, years apart have created their careers as a firefighter and filmmaker respectively, and with Mackenzie coming to Hope Falls to make a documentary, fate seems to dangle a second chance with the promise of a white picket fence, two kids and a dog…. yet with so many unanswered questions burning between them, will the chemistry and passion be enough to give them a second lease of life?

As always, visiting Hope Falls is a pleasure, as you re-visit the founding characters and briefly glimpse how their HEA has turned out, and with the sister duo of Melanie and Shawna adding “Fire And Love” between Eli and Mackenzie, how can the story not be charming and heart warming.

As always reading Melanie Shawn is just loads of fun, followed by tingling sensations, heart palpitations and intense satisfaction of reading a good romance that warms the heart and brings immense pleasure.

Received an ARC from the author for an honest review.

Came across Cheyenne McCray a while back and loved her Riding Tall Series and has been a while since I caught up on her other works. Her stories of alpha men and their protectiveness, their women and their happiness, are always emotional reads as they explore the turbulent path to love and a future.


Book four of the Deadly Intent Series, “Point Blank” takes you into the world of narcotics and how innocent can be lured and blackmailed into a life of danger and evil. Quirky and accident prone Natasha Simpson loves her life, her antique store and the little town of Bisbee, AZ Little does she know that her store is being used as a narcotic trade store.

Special Agent Brooks Allen is super protective of his family and friends and getting the intel that Natasha might be involved in a drug trade brings him to Bisbee, to get to the bottom of the truth and also go by his gut that Natasha is innocent and protect her from being killed.

Sparks flare between the agent and the lady, attraction leads to romance and love seals their future as they try to stay ahead of the present and clear danger. “Point Blank” is an interesting story, with enough charm, chemistry and wit to keep the readers captivated and enjoy the romance.

Received an ARC from Totally Entwined Group and Totally Bound Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.

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