Monday, 14 March 2016

Spotlight: Midnight Heat by Cat Johnson

Enter to Win a Print Copy of MIDNIGHT HEAT

Midnight Cowboys #3
Cat Johnson
Released February 23rd, 2016
Zebra: Kensington

He needs to escape...

Justin Skaggs is on the road to anywhere—as long as it's far from home—when fate throws a kindred spirit across his path.

She needs to get to Oklahoma...

Phoenix Montagno can't believe her luck when she runs into the hottie from the bar.  He's the key to her getting everything she's always wanted, but she can't tell him that. Luckily he's not interested in learning her story any more than he is in sharing his.

Both have secrets they don't want to share...

It's the perfect arrangement. No personal details. No talking at all. Just two strangers sharing the cab of a truck heading the direction they both need to go. . . until they decide to share a bed, too.

Phoenix Montagno looked at the devastation around her.
The havoc she’d wreaked in the space that was her apartment hadn’t produced the results she’d wanted. All she’d made was a big mess.
Papers covered every square inch of the carpet immediately surrounding her, and in spite of the chaos she’d created, the one piece of paper she needed wasn’t among any of the others.
She sighed. How could she lose her birth certificate?
When she’d moved out of her parents’ house, she’d made sure to take everything important. That had included her high school and college diplomas and her birth certificate.
Her diplomas were there, along with her income tax paperwork going back three years—as if she’d ever need that. She’d never be audited. Not on her minuscule teacher’s salary. The IRS had far bigger fish to go after.
She’d found her social security card, but what she’d been looking for—the birth certificate—eluded her. She even remembered holding it in her hand and thinking how she’d better put it in a safe place, but she’d be damned if she could remember where that safe place was.
It should have been right there with everything else. Why wasn’t it?
Her parents were going to flip.
They’d offered to keep her important papers for her, locked up in their fireproof document safe. Instead Phoenix had insisted she would be responsible for holding on to her own things. She’d taken it, against their advice, and now she’d lost it.
Her father had always said she should be more organized. How everything important should be in labeled folders inside a locked, preferably fireproof filing cabinet.
That was his way, not hers. They were different people and they operated completely differently. Just as she hadn’t picked up even a little bit of her mother’s perfect housekeeping skills, her father’s organizational skills had also skipped her generation.
Phoenix huffed out a breath in frustration. How could she lose anything in this tiny apartment?
Her place wasn’t small in a bad way, just cozy and quaint. She loved the home she’d created and the space she’d chosen to create it in. From the big windows that offered a view of the park across the street to the location, close enough to town so she could walk to school and the coffee shop on nice days.
Most important of all, it was all hers.
Besides, it was what she could comfortably afford right now on her teacher’s salary—living in California wasn’t cheap—but the point was, her place was too damn small to lose something in it.
It was also too small for the big, not to mention ugly, metal filing cabinet her father would have her get if she’d listened to him—or if she admitted to him that she’d lost her birth certificate.
Phoenix liked her own filing system. She kept her important papers in a big floral hatbox on the floor in the corner of the room. What didn’t fit in there went into a few more decorative rectangular boxes. They were sold by stores for photo storage, but she used them for paperwork and was very proud of her decorating savvy in repurposing the items for her own unique use.
The most pressing things that required attention, such as bills that needed to be paid, went into the wicker basket on top of the hatbox. She had a system and it worked fine for her—usually.
She had to find that certificate, and not just because it was an important piece of identification. She needed it or there’d be no passport. Without a passport, there’d be no trip to Aruba during midwinter break with her friend Kim.
That was enough inspiration to find the birth certificate, but on top of her trip and her need for official ID for any number of reasons in the future, if she had to admit to her parents that she’d lost it, she’d never hear the end of it.
Sometimes it was painfully obvious she’d been adopted, and she wasn’t talking about her blond hair and blue eyes being the opposite of her father’s dark brown hair and eyes and her mother’s chestnut hair and green eyes.
When it came to her temperament, her interests, her easygoing nature, she couldn’t be more different. She loved her parents to death, but she was nothing like them.
The differences just proved the nature versus nurture debate. She could grow up with parents who had every aspect of their lives planned, organized, and compartmentalized, but somewhere deep in her DNA she carried the genes that made her the opposite of the couple who had raised her.
Usually being a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl worked for her. Not today.
This was too much to deal with alone. She needed backup.
Crawling toward her phone, on the floor just past the mess, Phoenix stretched and grabbed the cell before flopping back onto her butt amid the explosion of papers.
Phoenix dialed the number and waited for Kim to pick up.
Bracing for her friend’s displeasure, Phoenix drew in a breath. “We have a problem.”
“What kind of a problem?” The wariness was clear in Kim’s tone.
There was no way around it. She had to ’fess up. “I can’t find my birth certificate.”
“Um, okay. And that’s a problem because . . . ?”
“I need it to get a passport so I can go with you to Aruba.
That’s why.”
“You don’t have a passport?” Her friend sounded shocked.
“No, I don’t have a passport. I’ve barely traveled outside of California, never mind leaving the country to go anywhere I needed a passport.” Phoenix sighed.
Kim was missing the point. Her lack of a passport wasn’t as big a problem as her current lack of the proper identification she needed to get a passport.
“Don’t worry about it. You have plenty of time to get a passport. We’re not going away for months.”
“But I read it can take months to get a passport. And that’s not the problem anyway. Didn’t you hear me? The problem is that to apply for a passport I need my birth certificate, which I can’t find. What do I do about my birth certificate?” Phoenix was ready to scream as her frustration mounted.
How could Kim, whom Phoenix knew was an intelligent woman, not understand the enormity of the situation?
“Oh, well, that’s easy. You just have to send away for a duplicate birth certificate.”
“Wait, I can do that?”
Her heart leaped. If what Kim said was true, it would solve everything.
“Yes. Of course you can, silly. Seriously, you think they expect people to be able to hang on to one little piece of paper from birth until death? That’s crazy. Did you think you were the only person in the country ever to lose their birth certificate?”
“No. I guess not.” That concept made Phoenix feel moderately better about the whole situation. Could it really be that easy? It was hard to believe. “You’re sure I can just get a new one?”
“Sure. My mother lost my brother’s. When he got old enough to drive and needed it to get his permit, she just had to apply for a duplicate in the county where he was born. It came in the mail like a week or two later.”
“Wow.” She could do this. Fix her mess without her parents ever knowing. “Wait. I’m not sure what county I was born in. I only know my parents adopted me in Arizona.”
“Just ask your parents.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Why not? Will they care we’re going to Aruba? Aren’t you going to tell them? How are you going to explain your tan?”
“I’m not trying to hide the trip. I’m trying to hide the fact that I lost my birth certificate. My father thinks I’m scatterbrained as it is, and I doubt my mother has ever lost a thing in her life. I’ll have to try to get out of them where I was born somehow . . .”
“Uh, Phoenix?”
“Think about it.”
“About what?” She was in no mood for Kim’s guessing games.
“Your name.”
Phoenix frowned, not understanding what Kim was hinting at and wishing she’d just come out and say it. “What about my name? A Phoenix is a mythical bird.”
“And it’s also the largest city in Arizona, the state where you were adopted. And it’s in . . . hang on a second . . .Maricopa County. At least it is according to the search I just did online.”
“You think that’s where I was born? Phoenix, Arizona?”
“I think the odds are pretty good. If you really don’t want to ask them, I’d try applying for the duplicate certificate in Maricopa County and see what happens. The worst they can do is say you weren’t born there.”

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A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cat Johnson writes contemporary romance in genres including military and western. Known for her unique marketing and research techniques,
she has sponsored pro bull riders, owns a collection of camouflage and western footwear for book signings, and a fair number of her consultants wear combat or cowboy boots for a living. For more visit

Don't Miss Any of the Midnight Cowboys

Release Day Spotlight: Because by Jennifer Foor.

Seven Year Itch book 4
By Jennifer Foor

I’ve heard if you can make it through the first seven years of marriage you’ve made it past the tough part and it's smooth sailing.
Whoever said that was an idiot.
I’ve been married for seven years, and in that time I’ve waited for my immature husband to grow up and become a responsible man.
It still hasn’t happened, and I’m at the end of my rope. I need him to be a father to our child, not someone who needs his own toys to be content.
I want a partner, not a guy more concerned about his friends than his wife.
This is my marriage, and before I throw in the towel I’ve decided to do something drastic to make it happen.
I’m Shayla Vincent and this is my story.

Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author.
She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing stories that come from her heart. She's best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.


Blog Stop & Excerpt: Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody

It was meant to be the job opportunity of a life time.

It turned out to be so much more…

At the age of twenty five, Emma Lexington takes off to New York on a once in a life time twelve-month job exchange with the New York Warriors. Determined to make the most of the opportunity, she prepares herself for life in the big apple—fast paced, exciting and a whole lot of fun. What she hasn’t prepare for though, is meeting him.

The charming Will Jensen is in the prime of his playing career. As the star quarterback for the Warriors, his carefree, football centric life is thrown into disarray when he meets Emma, the beautiful, easy going Australian girl who joins the Warriors staff.

Unwilling to throw her professional reputation away on a fling with the playboy quarterback, Emma turns down Will’s advances, even though she can’t deny the attraction she feels for him. Their pull toward one another grows, but it takes a near disaster for Emma to finally give Will a chance.

Getting together might have been hard, but figuring out how to stay together will prove even more challenging as Emma must decide between conflicting loyalties.

Lexington and 42nd is a fun, sexy romance, set in the exciting world of the NFL in the fabulous city of New York.

He handed me my drink and motioned to a half-empty booth. “Sit with me?”
A very small part of me hesitated, but there was too much of me that wanted to be near him to truly consider saying no. At that point I think I would have followed him to Antarctica if he asked me. I slid into the booth after Will, being careful to keep some sort of respectable distance between us despite my earlier behaviour.
We sat in silence for a while, both taking in the party. Every so often I’d feel a set of eyes on him, sometimes on both of us, more often than not a female’s wandering glance trying to figure out if Will was taken for the night. Even with the alcohol giving me a false sense of confidence, it made me uncomfortable, like I was playing a dangerous game that was out of my league.
You never told me how your date went the other night.”
I took another large gulp of my drink before turning to look at him, already wanting the conversation to be over. His features were smooth. He could have been talking about the weather.
Unsure of how to respond, I shrugged. “It was fine, nice.”
He leaned in close, so close to me that if I moved in a fraction, our lips would have met. “You had a nice date? I don’t think I’d be too pleased if I took a girl out and she said it was nice.” He raised an eyebrow in challenge, so cocky I wanted to smack the smug look off his face. No, scrap that, what I really wanted to do was climb into his lap and lick it off.
I held my ground, determined not to wilt under his stare. “Fine, we had a great time. Is that better?”
Is it the truth?”
Does it matter?”
His features hardened. “If you don’t know the answer to that, then you clearly weren’t listening to me the other day.”
I sat back a little, trying to break the intense mood we’d created. “Do you really want to talk about this now, Will? You have me here, hanging out with you in a bar. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
He smiled, but it wasn’t overly friendly. “Trust me, sitting in a nightclub with hundreds of people around us is the last place I want you.”
The visuals I got from that sentence alone were ridiculous. I was so dead.
As if reading my thoughts, he smiled. “Somewhere else you’d rather be?”
I’m good here,” I whispered.
Did you wear anything like this on your date?” Will’s eyes blazed as he hooked a finger under the strap of my dress and ran it over the length of my shoulder, setting my skin afire.
I swallowed. “No.”
With the way his eyes roamed me, I couldn’t have been more naked if I’d peeled the dress off right then and there.
Will…I don’t think—”
You think too much, Bambi.”
This shouldn’t happen.” I shifted slightly and his hand dropped, his head falling back against the wall. Instantly I wanted his touch back. I craved it.
I studied him as he sat with his eyes closed, drinking in the way his Adams apple became more prominent below his jawline, his clenched hands highlighting the sculpted lines of his forearms.
He raised his head slowly, eyes coming to rest on my face as he leaned in again. “Emma, we both know this is going to happen. I’ve never been surer of anything in my life.” I didn’t move, I couldn’t. My face was mere inches from his as I felt his hand skim across my knee, slowly tracing the skin up the inside of my thigh. With every centimeter his hand moved, his eyes dared me to stop him, but my resolve of just a few seconds ago was long gone.

Kim Carmody lives in Australia with her husband, in a sunny little part of Melbourne that she never wants to leave. Except for frequent trips to New York, she is happy to leave at least once a year for those.
She holds a Masters in Commerce Marketing and while she spent her younger years training to become a professional dancer, she somehow ended up working in the sports industry, where she met her now husband.  Never a participant or spectator of sport growing up (she was too busy flitting around in a tutu), she has grown to appreciate, if not love many sports and eventually found herself writing about them too.
As an avid book lover from the moment she was introduced to The Babysitters Club as a seven year-old, Kim never expected to be able to call herself an author, but is beyond excited that she now can.
Lexington and 42nd is her first novel.

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