Stranger in my House by Mari Manning

How about some mystery to spice up things today? I’ve got the right book for you. Stranger in my House is the second book in Mari Manning’s Murder in Teas series, featuring a feisty heroine, who assumes her sister’s identity to find a murderer, and a reluctant ranch manager who struggles with his growing feelings. Read on for all the book details and a delicious excerpt, but before you do, here is Mari Manning’s awesome idea to boost this summer’s romance.

Mari’s #RomanticIdea:

This is my favorite #romanticidea. On a clear summer night, swathe yourself in bug repellant, spread a blanket on the back lawn or your deck or the sand of a nearby beach, and count the stars. And while you’re counting the stars imagine you are on a giant spaceship traveling through the solar system at 66,600 miles per hour. Imagine the miracle of you, that out of all the billions of stars and planets and the infinitesimal bits of matter, you are.

If you are with a loved one, grab their hand and squeeze.

Stranger in my House

by Mari Manning

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Purchase Links: Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

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About Stranger in my House

When Officer Kirby Swallow’s half-sister is threatened, Kirby assumes her sister’s identity and journeys to the remote Texas ranch her sister calls home to catch a killer. Kirby confronts a growing list of suspects and a rising body count, not to mention the ranch manager, Seth Maguire, who sees past the charade to the warm, generous girl beneath. But can Kirby trust a man who rejects the one thing she holds dear: family? Her love dares all, but as the killer closes in, will it also be blind?

Self-reliant Seth Maguire is manager of the struggling Shaw Valley Ranch. His future appears empty until the ranch’s wild, unpredictable heiress suddenly morphs into a very hot lady cop. What starts out as just another seduction turns into something deep and, for him, frightening. Then the killer is revealed and Seth is faced with an impossible choice. Will his fragile, uncertain love be enough to save Kirby?

Excerpt

Maguire rubbed his chin and studied her. A dangerous gleam lit his eyes. “Never seen you so nosy before.”

Panic squeezed her, then it was gone. He couldn’t prove she wasn’t Frankie, and in a few days she’d be in Tulsa, and Frankie would be back in Shaw Valley. There was nothing more to learn here, and by the looks of him, Maguire needed time to cool down.

“I should go,” she said, stepping back from him.

“Stick around, Frankie. The new you is sort of growing on me.” His gaze swept down her body and landed on her ballet flats. “Maybe you’d like to help me clean the lavender screens. Seeing as you got your sensible shoes on today. You liked feeding the horses, didn’t you? This will be fun, too.”

Her heart thumped. “I’d just be in the way.”

“You helped me last year.” He studied her. “Remember? It was your first week at the ranch, and you came wandering in here. Just like now. Said you wanted to work at my side.” His eyes bored into hers. “You were wearing those ridiculous shoes. You remember them, don’t you?” Something in his gaze and the way he moved closer made her throat constrict.

“Uh, yes. Of course.”

“What did you call those shoes again?” He took another step. The heat of his body closed around her. The scents of detergent and perspiration and anger assaulted her nose.

She pulled out of his reach and said, “Heels?”

They were eye to eye now. Sparring for answers neither of them was willing to provide. The words hardly mattered.

Maguire shook his head. “No. Something else. Sounded Italian.”

Slowly, carefully, steadily, he kept coming. A hunter closing in on his prey. He breached her personal space, hovering over her. The toes of his boots pressed against her ballet flats. Her eyes were even with his thick chest. If she ran, he’d know. Guilt always ran.

She held her ground. “What do you think you’re doing?”

About the Author

_MG_7338-67Let’s start with the fun stuff. I love small towns, mysteries, quiet men, laughter, old-fashioned spaghetti dinners. I love boots and shopping and jokes and Hershey’s dark chocolate and white wine. I love lots of things. But my first love is reading.

I love to read. Just about anything, but it has to be well-written. I go through periods where I am into historical novels or romance or mystery or history or biography. I never know when my desires will suddenly change.

Now for the writer-ish, official stuff: Mari Manning is the author of several contemporary romances and three romantic suspense novels set in the Texas Hill Country. Stranger at My Door is the first in her A Murder in Teas series. The second, Stranger in My House will be released by Entangled on June 13. The third book in the series is Stranger in My Bed. Currently Mari is working on a series of cozy mysteries.

She and her husband live in Chicago.

Connect with the Author

Website: http://marimanning.com

Twitter: @mari_manning

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Visit The House at the Edge – my Gothic mystery romance novella, available for purchase on Amazon for 99 cents, FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

MM Jaye

Lady Elinor’s Escape by Linda McLaughlin #RomanticIdea

The #RomanticIdea author exchange posts continue, and this time I’m hosting the lovely Linda McLaughlin with her latest release, Lady Elinor’s Escape, a sweet Regency romance. The deliciously outdoorsy excerpt Linda kindly offers is a perfect tie-in with her suggestion for a deliciously outdoorsy idea to boost this summer’s romance. Read on.

Linda’s #RomanticIdea:

“A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou” – The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

I love that quote, and it makes me think of romantic summer picnics—at the beach, by a lake, in the mountains or a park—whatever location works best where you live or vacation. But what to pack? Wine, bread, meat and cheese are a given, but don’t forget the summer fruit—ripe red strawberries, lush juicy peaches or crisp apples. There’s nothing like a taste of fruit to sweeten a kiss.

Lady Elinor’s Escape

by Linda McLaughlin

Genre: Regency Romance (sweet)
Purchase Links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple ~ Kobo – Smashwords

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Blurb

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

Excerpt

Elinor looked around her. “Where shall we have our picnic?”

“I have a particular place in mind.”

A few minutes later, he reined in the horses near a small pond with a few ducks paddling on the surface. He put his hands on her waist and swung her down from the curricle. His hands lingered for a moment longer than necessary as he stared into her eyes. His were a dark liquid amber, like honey, and the warmth in his expression set her heart to racing.

Alarmed by her reaction, she stepped away from him. Oh my, this very private picnic might not have been a wise idea at all.

After tethering the horses, he spread a blanket under a nearby oak, and then produced a picnic basket. While Elinor lowered herself onto the blanket, removed her gloves and bonnet, he dug into the basket. The picnic turned out to be a hearty repast of cold chicken, cheese, bread and butter, cider and sweet, fresh strawberries.

Elinor did not realize how hungry she was until she took the first bite of chicken. Before she knew it, she had devoured a bit of everything, aware of Stephen watching her the entire time.

“I did not mean to eat so much,” she said, feeling a bit embarrassed.

“As you are so slender, I had not expected you to have such a hearty appetite,” he remarked with a smile. “I approve.”

“Everything was delicious.”

“I’ll pass your compliments on to Mother’s cook. She kindly provided the food.”

“You mean you cajoled her into it,” Elinor teased him.

He flashed her a boyish grin. “Cook always did have a soft spot in her heart for a hungry boy.”

“You must have had a wonderful childhood.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Fairly typical, I should imagine, except for my habit of bringing home stray and injured animals. I was the despair of my mother.”

Elinor laughed softly. “Then you have not changed much, only now you collect stray females. What does your mother think of that?”

Again he shrugged. “If only I were to marry one of them, she would not object at all, or so she says.”

“I see.” So he was under familial pressure to marry. But he could hardly consider a liaison with a seamstress. Was he pursuing her as one last fling before getting married?

“There is one strawberry left.” He held it out to her.

She leaned toward him and bit into the sweet pulp. A trickle of juice ran down her chin. With one finger, he captured the moisture, and then licked it off, all the while holding her gaze. Her eyes widened at the intimacy of the gesture as heat rose to her cheeks. She was in over her head here.

About the Author

 

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Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it’s only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O’Farrell.

 

Connect with the Author

Website: http://lindalyndi.com

Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/lindamclaughlin

Twitter: @LyndiLamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

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Visit The House at the Edge – my Gothic mystery romance novella, available for purchase on Amazon for 99 cents, FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

MM Jaye

Till Life Do Us Part by Carmen Stefanescu #RomanticIdea

“Part murder mystery, part romance, and part supernatural journey, TILL LIFE DO US PART is a book filled with multiple twists, turns, and surprising revelations.”

These are the words of an Amazon reviewer of Till Life Do Us Part, Carmen Stefanescu’s latest release, which I’m delighted to present today. Read on for all the book details and purchase links as well as an awesome #RomanticIdea by the author.

Till Life Do Us Part

by Carmen Stefanescu

Publication Date: June 9, 2016
Genres: Paranormal Mystery Romance, Reincarnation
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Purchase Links: Solstice Publishing ~ Amazon – Barnes & Noble

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Blurb

Barbara Heyer can hear voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.

Book Trailer

About the Author

 

Carmen (2)Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world that of the books.

Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002.

Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

Connect with the Author

Blog Twitter Pinterest Facebook – Goodreads Google+Amazon Author Page

Romantic Idea

Learn a romantic foreign language.

Take an intro-class together for a language that neither of you speak –  French, Italian, Spanish or Romanian  simply sound romantic –  and practice whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, in that new language!

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Visit The House at the Edge – my Gothic mystery romance novella, available for purchase on Amazon for 99 cents, FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

MM Jaye

Cowboy in Charge by Barbara White Daille #RomanticIdea

After a Christmas nod with my previous post, today let’s give the hot US Southwest its dues. Cowboy in Charge is a Harlequin Western romance, featuring a gorgeous cowboy who finally sets his goals straight. This post is part of the #RomanticIdea author exchange where authors present their latest releases and also give out, well, romantic ideas. Here’s what Barbara advises:

Readers, thanks for stopping in, and MM, a big thank you for hosting me today.

Here’s my take on a romantic idea for you to enjoy this summer:

When is the last time you and your significant other had a night alone together, without the kids, the checkbook, chauffeur duties, or the to-do list competing for your attention?

I suggest you pick a night, send the kids (if you have them) to a sitter, and turn off all electronics except the television…and okay, in case the sitter calls with an emergency, maybe have one cell phone on but out of reach in the next room.

Then snuggle up on the couch with your significant other to watch television. Popcorn is optional, and I strongly recommend kisses during the commercials!

Thank you, Barbara! Now, read on for all the book details and a tantalizing excerpt.

Cowboy in Charge

by Barbara White Daille

Publication Date: July 5, 2016 (available for pre-order)
Genre: Western Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Purchase Links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ Harlequin ~ IndieBound ~ Kobo

Cowboy in Charge

 

Blurb

From the cover of Cowboy in Charge, July 2016

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Single mom Layne Slater thought she’d seen the last of Jason McAndry when he chose the rodeo over her and their unborn son. Now Jason’s back in Cowboy Creek and just as handsome as ever. But Layne can’t give in to those feelings again. She has to protect her children…and her heart.

Jason wants to try to make up for the pain he caused when he left. The least he can do is help Layne while he’s home. Before long, Jason realizes he’s finally ready to be the husband, father and man his family deserves. But can Jason prove to Layne that this time, their love is forever?

Excerpt

With a young child and a new baby, single-mom Layne never has free time on her hands. Her life is hectic enough even before her ex-husband returns to town and claims her young son’s attention. Things only get worse when Jed Garland, the elderly local matchmaker, drops by for a visit:

“Jason’s been watching out for you all,” Jed told her. “Sounds like a step in the right direction.”

“A step too little, too late.” Even as she said the words, she flushed, thinking of all Jason had done for her in the past few days. And all they had both said in their argument at the Big Dipper.

“If that’s what you’ve set your mind to, that’s what you’ll tend to believe. It doesn’t mean it’s the truth. But my point is, you can’t handle everything on your own, especially when you’re recovering from the flu. Whether or not he’s laid out his thoughts about the future, he’s proven his good intentions for now, hasn’t he?”

She stared down at her mug.

“Layne,” he said gently, “whatever happened between you two, whatever might be going to happen, he is your boy’s father, after all.”

For all the contact you’ve had with him, you could have been a sperm donor.

She winced at the memory of what she had told Jason. “On paper, Jed, but not the way it counts.”

“No. Not legally, since you two never went that route. But morally, now that’s a different story.”

She heard the heavy footsteps out in the hallway then a knock at the door.

Scott scrambled to his feet. To her dismay he had learned to recognize that quick-tap, too. “Jason’s home!” he yelled.

She almost choked on the lump in her throat. What would happen when Jason left “home” again…for good?

About the Author

Barbara White DailleBarbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.

A larger print reissue of A Rancher’s Pride, book one in Barbara’s popular Flagman’s Folly series, is now available exclusively from Harlequin, while the e-book version is available everywhere. Cowboy in Charge, the next book in The Hitching Post Hotel series (July), is now available for pre-order, with other books in the series to follow. At the end of 2016, she begins a new sweet romance series for Entangled Bliss.

Connect with the Author

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Newsletter ~ Blog ~ Amazon ~ Harlequin ~ Goodreads

The Christmas Lights by Rachael Kosinski #RomanticIdea

SummerRI-buttonSummer is hitting us hard here in Greece, but if you want to go against the flow, why not cool off a bit with a … Christmas story? The Christmas Lights by Rachael Elizabeth Kosinski is a historical romance novella, ideal for a sweet summer swoon. Read on for all the book details, an excerpt and Rachael’s own suggestion for setting up the perfect romantic mood.

This post is part of the #RomanticIdea author exchange.

The Christmas Lights

by Rachael Elizabeth Kosinski
Purchase Links: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |   Kobo   |   MuseIt Publishing  |  Smashwords

The Christmas Lights FINAL

Blurb

“Where do Christmas lights come from?”

Those tiny bulbs of color that burn on a Christmas tree,

Or outside a house to shine in the night.

Does anyone really know where they originate?

What if someone told you

They weren’t intended for Christmas at all,

But really for a miracle?

That they were for love, a desperate idea, to light a boy’s way home?

In that case, you must have some questions. What boy? What love?

Have a seat. Allow me to tell you a story.

 

Excerpt

“Because your father requires…a dowry, of sorts. A guarantee you’ll be well taken care of.”

Emmy’s hand turned sweaty. “Oh, Louis. What does that mean?”

I swallowed the sour taste at the back of my mouth, nerves trembling in my fingers. “Our engagement lasts until December twenty-fifth. If by that time I’ve not returned—”

“Returned?” Emmy’s gaze burned me. “Louis, where are you going? Won’t my father give you a job?”

I didn’t move and barely opened my mouth to let the words escape. “He’s got me a job.”

“What?”

I loosened my shoulders and shrugged. “Marks Brothers pays their floor workers very well.”

“Who?”

“I’d stack inventory outside, in the clean air, and I’d work with a few fellows who’d watch out for me…” “Louis!”

“…I hear factories in London are much safer than here.”

“London! Louis, Louis, what are you talking about?” Emmy grabbed my face.

I squinted at two sparkling brown orbs. Was she crying?

“No.” Emmy covered her mouth with a hand. “No, you aren’t going to London. How could you? No one loves you there. No one knows you there…”

Your father seems to think it is my home country.

“Emmy. Emmy Emmy Emmy.” I held her close, stroking her hair. “I don’t plan to work there.”

She sat back. “What?”

“I’ve heard Mr. Godfrey talk about them. A London factory is the last place I should work. Your father means well, but I can’t do that. They wouldn’t take a blind boy.”

“Wh-where will you go, then? How on earth will you make money?”

“I have family in Paris. Mother says they have wine vineyards. I’ll work for them.”

“That…” Emmy’s fingers traced the veins on the back of my hand. “That’s much safer.” She was silent for the longest time. “You’ll be safe? And come home quickly?”

I pulled her hands away and stood, playing with the ring on her finger. “I will. I love you.”

“Louis…”

“Emmy. I don’t have a choice. You want to marry me, don’t you?”

“Of course I do. But, Louis…”

“Yes, love?”

“How long will you be gone?” How long? How long to board a ship, to find a place I’d only heard about, to earn and save an impossible amount of money? How long, indeed.

I set my expression. “I’ll be home by Christmas.”

About the Author

When she was little, Rachael Kosinski wanted to be a paleontologist, an astronaut, a nature photographer, a writer for National Geographic, an Egyptologist, and the next Jane Goodall. Instead of being a new link between man and chimp, or discovering a planet suitable for sustained human life, or maybe even winning renowned fame by stumbling across an undiscovered dinosaur, Rachael finally decided that, if she never became a writer, she would simply die. Nine years later, she now possesses a quirky knowledge of world mythology, an addiction to coffee, and a penchant for making over-expressive faces at her laptop.

Connect with the Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9856335.Rachael_Kosinski

Tumblr: http://the-girl-who-draws-with-words.tumblr.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Kosinski/e/B0151WRFMC

Romantic Idea to Enjoy this Summer

I find anything lake-oriented can be really, very cute. Walk along the shore, go swimming, have a lakeside picnic—go jet skiing, or boating or both! I live right next to a lake, and on weekends my family will explore this little town that everyone flocks to during the summer; it’s the perfect place to grab some ice cream and just wander as the sun sets. Have you ever seen the sun set across a lake, dappling the surface? Pretty romantic, if you ask me. It’s a thing you can watch for a long time. Then you can just hold hands and meander around all the little shops, or plunge off into the foliage if your lake of choice has parkland right next to it like mine does. Nothing feels more adventurous than anchoring the boat and swimming to shore, then wandering the quiet forest down a worn dirt path until you dry off. I’ve never actually done this date-wise, but it’s on my list!

 

 

 

CFO Affair by Tina Gayle #RomanticIdea

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A group of romance authors will cross-post about, well, awesome romance reads and also suggest a romantic idea for the summer.

Tina Gayle’s CFO Affair is a second-chance in love story about a wounded woman whose heart is besieged by an irresistible man. Read on for all the book’s details and an enticing except. Here’s Tina’s romantic idea:

 

Young or old, we all enjoy a night out.

Instead of going to the same old place, try some place new. Maybe a place with music for dancing or a winery for a tasting.

There are all sorts of new things to try. Do it with your lover and make a new memory.

CFO’s Affair

by Tina Gayle
Purchase Link: Amazon

 

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Blurb

Sylvia Donovan is emotionally wounded from the unexpected death of her husband and still haunted by their last conversation: his request for a divorce and his confession of love for another woman.  Her husband gone, her only daughter off to college, Sylvia faces the challenges of learning to live alone and move on with her life.

Vince Wilshire, enchanted with Sylvia, is more than willing to do what it takes to capture the heart of the hurting and untrusting Sylvia.

Can he help her forget the past and make her believe in love again?

Excerpt

A knock sounded on the window beside her and she jumped. Her head swiveled around and she stared at the man looking at her through the window.

Vince Wilshire’s handsome face could make any woman melt with desire. With it so close to hers—the glass being the only thing separating them—a rush of adrenaline swept into her system. She leaned sideways in her seat and knocked her hand against the steering wheel. The horn beeped and she muttered, “Damn it, Knox, why did you…”

The sound of his laughter sent anger flooding through her, the muscles in her arms tightening with the need to strike out. She lowered the phone and clicked the disconnect button in retaliation to his attempt to manipulate her.

Vince opened the driver’s side door and cold air rushed into the car. “Hey, beautiful, are you heading inside?”

“What is this? Are you guys ganging up on me?” Sylvia ignored the man beside her and glanced in the rear view mirror, checking to make sure her tears hadn’t caused any lasting effect.

A warm hand landed on her shoulder and Vince toyed with her hair. “Not at all, I like the idea of entering the building with a gorgeous woman on my arm.”

“Right,” she protested and stuffed her phone into her purse before turning to stare into his bedroom-brown eyes. The spark in their depths had her reevaluating her impression of the man. Yes, he had the face and body to rival every other Casanova in the world, but he also had a sense of humor. That alone sent a shiver of awareness through her.

She fought the desire gathering in her stomach and waved her hand at him so he’d move out of the way, letting her exit the car. “Did Knox make you wait out here in the parking lot to make sure I would come inside?”

Vince grinned and held her door open while she stepped onto the asphalt. His gaze fell to her legs.

She stared at her new, high-heel, red pumps and silently prayed she wouldn’t land face first in the dirt when she tried to walk across the pitted parking lot in them.

A low whistled sounded beside her. “Man, are you ever hot.”

She ignored the comment and didn’t turn until she heard the car door slamming closed. “And there’s not a woman you’ve ever met you haven’t wanted.”

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If you wish to read the entire first chapter of CFO’s Affair, click here

About the Author

Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loved to escape into the world of books.
After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing. Her books touch the heart and show the true joy of being a woman.

Connect with the Author

Find Tina Gayle everywhere

 

Home – www.tinagayle.net

Blog – www.tinagayle.blogspot.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Tina-Gayle/e/B002BM9GR8

Google + – https://plus.google.com

Linkedin – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759