Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Meet Michele Zurlo, Author of Kiss Me Goodnight

One World Singles Magazine Blog would like to welcome Michele Zurlo, author of Kiss Me Goodnight, a contemporary romance novel.  On her Virtual Book Tour, she has stopped by to give you a preview of her book.

Following is Michelle’s introduction to two of her central characters, Thomas Pritchett, Jr. and Dylan Day who are competitors for the protagonist, Lacey Hallen.

Dylan vs. Thomas

Many classic love stories involve a triangle of some kind. When Lacey meets Dylan, they have instant chemistry. However, that doesn’t lead to love at first sight. Lacey is dealing with a host of quirks related to her OCD, and Dylan is wrestling with some demons of his own. Though they like one another, their timing is a little off. When Lacey meets Thomas, tension definitely crackles between them. Thomas is a lot faster on the draw, and Lacey likes him too. So let’s take a closer look at these two contenders for Lacey’s heart.


Vitals: Thomas Pritchett, Jr has pale brown eyes that glow when he smiles, light brown hair, a neat goatee, likes to wear suits, and is built. He’s wealthy, handsome, down-to-earth, and charming.

Background: Thomas meets Lacey when he comes to town to close down and sell off his father’s business—for which Lacey works. Thomas’s parents divorced when he was little, and he grew up in the Boston area. Though his first meeting with Lacey didn’t go well—firing people is never a great way to meet a love interest—he reenters her life with good intentions.

Reasons to Love Him: Thomas knows about Lacey’s problem with lying and he likes her anyway. She can be open and honest with him. He doesn’t judge her, and though he takes her on some spectacular dates (airplane travel is involved,) he never pressures her to move the relationship forward faster than she’s comfortable with. He’s very good at the communication parts of a relationship, and he is nothing but supportive of what Lacey wants out of life.


Vitals: Dylan Day has black shaggy hair and teal eyes. He wears jeans and concert T-shirts. By day, he’s a family counselor; In the evenings, he’s the front man for Kiss Me Goodnight, an alt-rock band that’s new on the scene.

Background: Lacey meets Dylan when he sits next to her in a crowded coffee shop. She inadvertently spills her iced latte on him, and he follows her to the bathroom when she flees in mortified shame—to wash her hands.

Reasons to Love Him: Dylan is sexy badness. He’s a bit arrogant and self-centered, especially when he thinks something (or someone) is his. He’s ten kinds of trouble—but he means well, and he has a good heart…And he’s determined to make Lacey fall in love with him.

Lacy has one hell of a dilemma. Who would you choose—Dylan or Thomas?


I’m Lacey Hallem, and I have a few secrets. These aren’t them: I wash my hands a lot and lie when I’m stressed. Also, I have horrible taste in men. That’s how I knew Dylan was trouble the first time I saw him…

Life can be challenging for Lacey, especially when things don’t come in sets of six, but she’s smart and funny and able to keep her demons at bay—most of the time. She might have sensed trouble when she set eyes on Dylan, a delectable musician in a vintage T-shirt, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about him, or spending more and more time in his company.

Enter Thomas. Wealthy, handsome, and completely adoring of Lacey (flaws and all), he’s everything a man should be. So why can’t she convince her heart to fall in love?



After the show, I introduced my best friends Jane and Luma to Dylan’s band. Thank goodness neither of them looked at the men like they were a buffet.

Gavin looked at Dylan and clapped Levi on the back. “We should clear out.”

“No, you shouldn’t.” Heads swung and everybody looked at me. It was a little disorienting. I won’t be going on a stage anytime soon. I swallowed. “I mean, this was your first performance. There have to be a hundred women and more than a few men hanging out in there who enjoyed your show and wouldn’t mind meeting you. Mingling will help build your fan base.”

I needed to shut up before somebody asked me if I was a publicist. Knowing me, I would probably answer in the affirmative. I have a major in finance with a minor in business administration. Nothing there speaks to this situation.

“Sorry. Just throwing out ideas.”

Jane and Luma chuckled nervously. Jane moved closer, probably ready to drag me away if I kept going.

Levi nodded thoughtfully. “Good ideas, though. They make sense. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re heading back inside.”

Daisy linked her arms through Jane and Luma’s, and the three of them went first. Levi and Gavin followed.

Dylan held the door for me, which led to a hallway behind the stage. He grabbed my hand, holding me back when I would have followed everyone else through the door into the main room.

I cocked my head and gazed up at him.

“You liked the show?”

“Very much. I’d even see it again.” I still think they need some backing vocals. “I especially liked the last song. That’s where you took the name for your band?”

He nodded. “I wrote the song a few years ago.” His eyes clouded over the tiniest bit, a combination of nostalgia and melancholy.

I was about to ask him if he was okay when he tilted his head down. The right moment had finally come. He was going to kiss me. My lips tingled with anticipation. My senses came alive, attuned to every molecule of this moment.

He pulled me against him, holding me so I could feel the hard length of his thighs (yes, thighs, you perv) against mine. But that wasn’t enough. Taking one step forward, he moved my back against the wall. Throwing caution to the wind, I gave in to my urge to run my hands over his chest. I broke my gaze from his, putting off a moment I knew would blow away every kiss I’ve ever had.

You don’t think I’ve set my hopes too high, do you?



Michele Zurlo, Author
I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. During the day, I teach English, and in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at or @MZurloAuthor.



*Michele will be awarding an autographed paperback of Kiss Me Goodnight and $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn Rafflecopter winner (US only).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dr. Ava Cadell Announces “NeuroLoveology” Book Release

After a whirlwind exclusive speaking tour throughout Australia and India, international love guru, Dr. Ava Cadell, has released her new book “NeuroLoveology: Power to Mindful Love and Sex.” Dr. Cadell, Founder of presents her breakthrough discoveries on how to grow your romantic relationship while growing your brain cells. “NeuroLoveology” is the first work to be released from the three-book series.

Dr. Ava Cadell’s “NeuroLoveology,” is published by Premier Digital Publishing and sells for $14.95 in print and $9.99 in digital format. The subject matter explores how the brain processes attraction, relationship conflicts and sexual intimacy. “NeuroLoveology” introduces new ways to make your environment love-friendly, so that your mind and body are ready, willing and able to give and receive love. “NeuroLoveology” also features an eWorkbook that is available for digital download for $3.99.

"By becoming more fully aware of what your brain is doing, you set the foundation for an even greater romantic life because what used to be stumbling blocks can now be transformed to building blocks,” states Dr. Ava Cadell. “I’m going to share how to make love and intimacy a priority in your life with NeuroLoveology and provide lots of techniques that will help you to overcome daily distractions that prevent you from connecting to your partner intimately."

Order "NeuroLoveology" on Amazon today!

Monday, April 14, 2014

5 Key Benefits of Being Single

Married life has its benefits, not the least of which is creating a family to carry-on your lineage. But while married couples are quick to point out the advantages of exchanging vows, single life carries its own benefits, too.  Ultimately, whether or not to tie the knot is up to you, regardless of how outsiders view your single status, but before you take the leap, consider some of the key benefits of staying single.

Freedom of Movement - For people who don't like to be tied down, marriage is not the best approach to achieving happiness.  Single men and women have unlimited mobility, enabling them to pursue employment and other far-flung opportunities, which can be limited by a partner's inability to do the same.  While couples do find success compromising and establishing mutually beneficial living arrangements, one partner or another always gives something up to make it happen.

If you are adventurous, anticipating extensive travel or other frequent moves; consider staying single for the freedom and flexibility it furnishes.

Decision-Making Autonomy - Just as travel and residential decisions are shared between married couples, other important considerations also require input from both sides of a married equation.  Single folks, on the other hand, make most of their major life's decisions independently, unencumbered by divergent opinions held by their spouses. And even minor everyday outcomes are orchestrated with the utmost autonomy.  Who, what, where and when are each decided according to a single person's desires, rather than relying on compromises made between a husband and wife.

Self-Actualization - Being your best self requires flexibility and the ability to respond to shortcomings in real-time.  Too often, self-improvement takes a back seat to the new entity created by marriage, standing in the way of personal progress for the individuals involved.  Single life doesn't bear the same hallmarks, instead enabling selfish pursuits, which help individuals realize their full potential at work and in other settings.  There is only room for one at the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, so self-actualization comes more naturally to single people, who are not pulled off-course on their way toward personal fulfillment.

Accountable to Yourself - Marriage brings added pressure and accountability, which are not as pronounced among single men and women.  While you probably strive for positive outcomes, regardless of your marital status, failure takes on a different complexion when you are accountable to your spouse.  Single people fail in business and personal life, without fear of far-reaching consequences capable of interfering with another individual's well-being.  Couples, on the other hand, are tied to the actions of one another, each possessing the capacity to sink the ship.

Financial Independence - Double-income families bring more money to the table than single individuals, in many cases, but the flow of cash in the other direction is often enough to cancel-out the dual-income benefit.  Single members of society make spending decisions without having purchases approved by committee, establishing a tangible relationship between the money they earn and the things they buy with it.

Being single is sometimes viewed as simply not having met the right mate yet.  But there are benefits to staying unwed that many singles recognize.  Independence, autonomy and personal accountability are a few of the benefits single men and women cling to, furnishing a clear upside to single life.


Author Bio: This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from best people search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Blast Tour: When Ice Melts by Al Tonya Washington

Book Blast and Giveaway. Author is giving away $10.00 Amazon Gift Card, One signed autograph copy and one ebook copy of When Ice Melts.

Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Al Tonya Washington (January 3, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0989145557
ISBN-13: 978-0989145558
Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Women Fiction
Age group: Adult 18+

About The Book

Icia Graham’s love affair with Rakim Transou had the makings of a fairy tale romance with the happily ever after ending, until the night of Rakim’s college graduation party. For Icia, it was the night her life was forever changed. So desperate to escape the horrific memories she’d suddenly been saddled with, Icia left school and the man she loved. The years passed and; in that time, both Rakim and Icia reached goals that carried them to the heights of success. For Rakim it was a powerful advertising agency that brought him a respected and revered name in the business. Icia’s accomplishment was a bit darker, but no less revered and she had no desire to revisit the past and be tortured by thoughts of love lost with the only man she’d ever wanted. A series of events however, would bring Icia right back to where she swore she’d never return. Once more Rakim Transou was back in her life and she was simultaneously overjoyed and distraught. How could she start anew with the man who still meant everything to her, when there were so many secrets between them? When the need for vengeance on those; who were still very much a part of Rakim’s life, still raged so viciously inside her?

About The Author

Al Tonya Washington, Author
Al Tonya Washington has been a published romance novelist for 10 years. In 2013, her Harlequin Kimani novel "His Texas Touch" won the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Series Romance of 2012. In addition to being an author, AlTonya also works as a college Reference Librarian. Writing as T. Onyx, AlTonya released her latest erotica "Ravenous: Ruler of Perfection II" in 2013.

Her newest title with Harlequin Kimani is "Provocative Passion" nominated for an AMB Ovation Award for Outstanding Interracial Romance and the sequel to the January 2013 release "Provocative Territory". In November she will release "A Lover's Debt", the 17th title in the Ramsey Tesano saga.

Buy Links

Amazon ebook:
Amazon paperback:
Barnes & Noble:

Social Links

Tour Hosted by WNL Book Tour:


Houston, Texas~

"Here you go, Val," Rakim Transou was saying to his assistant as he signed the last of the three contracts on his desk. "I don't have time, man," he grumbled to his Vice President.

Charles 'Cory" Henderson shook his head at his boss and best friend, before perching his lean body on the edge of the desk. "You need to think about this, Kimm."

"Is that it, Valerie?" Rakim sighed, pleased to see his mound of work slowly dissolving.

Val scanned the documents and smiled. "That's it," she sang and headed out of the office.

"Kimm, what's the point of owning this place if you're not gonna have fun runnin' it?" Cory asked, once Val was gone.

Rakim ran both hands over his soft, close-cut hair. "The last thing I need to do is waste my day looking at pictures."

"Of models," Cory pointed out, smiling devilishly. "Do you know how stress-relieving that can be?"

Rakim groaned. "Here we go," he said, leaning back in his leather swivel chair. "You know I get tired of you telling me how sad my life is. If I hadn't been focused on business all these years, you wouldn't be working for one of the most successful ad agencies in the country."

Cory nodded, familiar with the speech. He cleared his throat and braced his hands on top of the polished cherry wood desk. "And given that you own one of the most successful agencies in the country, why can't you have some fun?"

Rakim leaned forward to pin Cory with his deep, obsidian stare. "I don't want one of the most successful agencies. I want the most successful agency, period."
Cory slapped a hand against his bald head. "Man, thinking like that'll never get you a steady woman."

"I can live with that," Rakim easily replied, focusing his attention on the appointment book lying open on the desk.

"I give up," Cory mumbled and walked out of the plush, twentieth floor office.
Alone, Rakim allowed the facade to fade. He massaged the bridge of his nose, then opened the bottom desk drawer and pulled a tattered envelope from the back. The expression was fixed, intense on his handsome, dark-chocolate face. His midnight gaze was riveted on the contents of the note he knew by heart.

Rakim, I'm so sorry I couldn’t be there today. Something's happened and I have to leave. I'll be changing schools. Don't try to find me. My parents won't tell you anything. I hate doing this to you, but I can't see you again.  I just can't. I do love you-so much. It's really better like this. I love you, but if you hate me now, I understand.  Coco.

            As usual, once Rakim finished reading the letter, he pressed the page to his nose. He swore he could still smell her perfume clinging to it.

The relationship they shared had been so right. She was everything to him and he trusted her with his life. When he walked into his bedroom the afternoon of the graduation, his entire world changed. He found the note lying in the center of the bed. Icia Graham had taken anything else that would have reminded him of her-including all the pictures. The brief letter provided no answers. It was most effective; however, in helping him lose his temper. Rakim grunted as he remembered the way he demolished the house. Cory and Fred had been so spooked by his mood that they left him alone for a week.

Just then, Cory's earlier comments filtered his mind. He had completely buried himself in work after Icia left. He took the job he'd been offered in Richmond and worked there while obtaining his Masters degree. Afterwards, he went back home to Houston and put everything he had into building his company. Now, The Transou Agency was respected by its competitors and clients alike.

Of course, Rakim acknowledged that his private life may have suffered. Not that there weren't women. There had been several. Unfortunately, he only had to be in the relationship for a matter of months, before he began to compare his companion to Icia. Not even that flaw could keep the women away, though. Rakim Transou's good looks seem to intensify with age. He stood well over six feet and had been blessed with a flawless deep chocolate complexion and the type of lean, muscular frame that flattered everything he wore. The thick, curly afro he used to sport had been trimmed to a close-cut fade. The style only enhanced his pitch, deep-set eyes and sleek brows. His wide mouth was made more enticing by the set of double dimples which appeared whenever he spoke or smiled.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Why It Is Important to Register Your Work with the Copyright Office by Vivienne Diane Neal

Since many of our guest bloggers and visitors are self-publishing authors or are planning to write a book, I thought I would share this bit of information.

Recently, I received the following e-mail from a site that sells my book:

Hello, we have removed your document "Malicious Acts" because our text matching system determined that it was very similar to a work that has been marked as copyrighted and not permitted on Scribd.

Like all automated matching systems, our system is not perfect and occasionally makes mistakes. If you believe that your document is not infringing, please contact us at and we will investigate the matter.

As stated in our terms of use, repeated incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and prohibit you from uploading material to in the future.

To prevent us from having to take these steps, please delete from any material you have uploaded to which you do not own the necessary rights and refrain from uploading any material you are not entitled to upload.

For more information about's copyright policy, please read the Terms of Use located at

I responded to Scribd by informing them that I had registered my book with the Copyright Office in 2011 and attached a copy of my Copyright Certificate, proving that I am the owner of the work. Up until now, I have not heard a word from the site.

This is why it is not enough to just place the copyright notice on your work, even though your work is supposed to be protected under the law. But I have always taken that extra step, especially if you bring legal action against any entity who claims to own your work, which will have to be registered in order to prove your case.

Registering your work with the Copyright Office can be done online or through snail mail. I would strongly recommend that you register your work online, which cost less and is faster than doing it though the US Postal Service. Because of safety measures, it may take up to a year before you receive your certificate, whereas if done online, your work is instantly registered once you submit it and pay the fee.

You can register an unpublished or published work. If you do register an unpublished work, you won’t have to register it again once your book is published.

For additional information on Copyright laws and to register your work, go to


Friday, April 04, 2014

Cover Reveal Book Blast Tour for Dreams of Perfection by Rebecca Heflin

Welcome to the Cover Reveal of DREAMS OF PERFECTION by Rebecca Heflin a Contemporary Romance available this spring from Soul Mate Publishing. The tour is organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Rebecca will award an ebook copy of Dreams of Perfection to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Check the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for other ways to enter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Take a look at this beautiful cover:

What if perfection isn’t truly perfect?

Best-selling romance writer, Darcy Butler, is holding out for perfection in the form of her own carefully-crafted heroes. Once blissfully engaged to be married, Darcy’s post-traumatic commitment phobia is depriving her of the very thing she wants most: her very own happily-ever-after. Now, here she is just six months shy of her thirtieth birthday, and not a Prince Charming in sight.

Successful lawyer, Josh Ryan, is the boy-next-door with a soft spot for the less fortunate, and Darcy’s best friend without benefits. Darcy often comes to him lamenting her love-life, or the lack thereof, whereupon Josh patiently doles out his sage advice. Problem is Josh is in love with Darcy.

But when Darcy finds herself looking into the handsome face of the man who graces the cover of her soon-to-be-released novel, she’s convinced her dreams of perfection have come true. Or have they?

About the Author:

Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women's fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.

Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.


2013 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)

2013 Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Winner (Rescuing Lacey)

2013 Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Award of Merit (Rescuing Lacey)

2013 Georgia Romance Writers Published Maggie Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)

2013 Shooting Star Award (Rescuing Lacey)

2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)

2013 Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers' Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)

2011 Royal Palm Literary Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)



Twitter: @RebeccaHeflin


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 31, 2014

Meet Dakota Madison, Author of Community Service

One World Singles Magazine Blog is delighted to welcome Dakota Madison, author of Community Service, a contemporary romance novel. Dakota has made our Blog one of her stops on her Virtual Book Tour.


As Maggie Mitchell enters her final semester of college, the last thing she wants is a guy in her life, let alone two of them.

Her new lab partner, Sawyer Reed, is still the overconfident and sexy jock that made fun of her in high school. The only thing that has changed is that he now uses a wheelchair, the result of a skiing accident.
Jude Marino is a hot actor who all the girls want and would do anything to get. He works at a local theater where Maggie has been assigned to complete community services hours after rear-ending a police car.

Both Sawyer and Jude want Maggie but only one of them will be able to capture her heart.

Book Excerpt:

 “Looking for a lab partner?” I heard a voice say from behind. The voice sounded familiar but I couldn’t quite place it.

When I turned around, I was surprised to see Sawyer Reed staring at me. I hadn’t seen him since high school. He was a year older than me but I still knew who he was. Everyone in school knew Sawyer Reed. He was a popular jock who all the kids adored. He still had the same boyish good looks that I remembered so well. And the same sexy little grin that could light up any room. And the same killer green eyes that would drive girls wild. The only thing that was different, and it was really different, was that he was in a wheelchair.

It completely floored me.

I had the biggest crush on Sawyer Reed. I think every girl in our school did. It was hard not to. He could charm the pants off of any girl in a matter of minutes, and usually did, or so I heard. I wasn’t a girl that guys wanted to charm the pants off when I was in high school. I was awkward bordering on geeky. My mom called me a late bloomer.
And I definitely wasn’t on Sawyer’s radar…

Except when we were on the school bus. Every day when he passed by me on his way to the back of the bus, he’d call me Freaky Four Eyes. Not that I didn’t deserve the moniker. For some reason, when I was a teenager, I thought it was a good idea to wear Marilyn Monroe Cat Eye glasses. Not that I looked anything like Marilyn Monroe. In high school, I had frizzy brown hair and the body of a 12-year-old boy. I could have been called the antithesis of Marilyn Monroe, if there was such a thing. But I sure loved those glasses.

I didn’t think there was any way that Sawyer would remember me. I looked a lot different than I did in high school. I found product, so my long brown hair now fell into controlled waves and I wore contacts. I’d also filled out a little. I was still no Marilyn Monroe in the curves department but I had a decent 

And why would he remember some younger girl he teased on the bus anyway?

Author Bio - Dakota Madison has been writing since she learned to read and fell in love with books. When she's not at her computer creating spicy new romances, Dakota is traveling to exotic locales or spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.

Giveaway - During this tour, there will be a tour-wide giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card.  

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Connect with Dakota Madison on her Facebook Fan Page or on her Blog

Links - Get your copy of Community Service at Amazon and Smashwords

Monday, March 24, 2014

Special Announcement

Hello friends, family, and supporters! I need your help! I have just entered my book into UBAWA’S Best Book Cover Contest. Please help me take home the prize by “liking” my photo after clicking on the following link:
I appreciate your support!

VOTING BEGINS TODAY AT 6 PM EST. The author whose book cover receives the most "likes" will receive $100, a free book review, and homepage feature. VOTING ENDS March 30th. Grand Prize Winner will be announced on Monday March 31st.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Questions You Should Never Ask On Your First Date by Miss Know It All

Dating can be defined as a social engagement between two people, which often has a romantic character. When you go out on a date, you would most likely know something about the person, but if you meet someone online, you really know nothing about this individual, except for what you read in their personal profile.  If you decide to go out with that unfamiliar person, there are certain questions you should avoid asking until you have dated that individual for a while, have gotten to know that man or woman and believe your rapport with this person will develop into something special.

If you are seeking a lifetime partner, think before you start to bombard the person with personal inquiries. Unless you want to scare your date away, never ask the following questions or engage in certain conversations, which may result in an uncomfortable outcome:

How much money do you make?
Tell me something about your family.
How many children would you like to have?
Are your parents still married?
Don’t ask anything about past relationships.
Avoid talking about politics, religion.

Try to listen and direct the dialogue in a comfortable manner, so that the person talks about him or herself. People enjoy those who listen. By paying attention, you may not have to ask a horde of inquiries. You could ask what type of movies the person enjoys, the music they love to listen to or what hobbies he or she enjoy doing in their spare time.

Dating does not necessarily mean you are going to marry that person or become romantically involved after your first, second or third get-together. It just means you are going through a getting to know you stage, which may or may not lead to a happily ever after ending.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Meet Demelza Carlton, Author of Water and Fire

We are delighted to introduce you to Demelza Carlton who has made us one of her stops during her Virtual Book Tour. She is the author of Water and Fire, a steamy contemporary medical romance involving a sexy doctor, a naughty nurse, a midwife on a mission and a mysterious predator in Albany, Western Australia.

Working as a student midwife in an Australian country hospital is never easy, but Belinda finds more trouble than most.

There's the intern doctor who follows her around like an overgrown puppy, the dangerous local wildlife and her own secrets she must keep.
When she finds herself without a place to live, what else can possibly go wrong?

Or is it time for something to go right?

Following are two excerpts from Water and Fire:

Excerpt No. 1

I touched my fingers to his shoulder to steady myself before reaching for my drink.
His face split in a wide grin beneath his ocean-deep eyes. "I think you've had enough. What'll you give me for it?"
I shrugged. "What do you want for it?"
His smile shrank, becoming more thoughtful. "You could start with a kiss."
I looked into those yearning, deep-water eyes of a man who seemed all fire. It's been a long time, but I think I still remember how.
I cautiously touched my lips to his. His mouth was open, so the draught of his breath cooled my lips for the briefest moment before I pulled away.
"Fuck that!" He strode to the coffee table and clunked the glasses down. His hands were empty for barely a moment before they were splayed warmly on my back. "Belinda. That's not a kiss."
I moved with him as he pulled me closer, one of his hands travelling up to the back of my neck as the other drifted down to the small of my back. I leaned in closer still.
He bowed his head as I tilted mine up. I wet my lips and parted them, feeling fear for the first time. Perhaps I have forgotten how to do this. This is a stupid idea.
He pressed his mouth to mine, layering our lips as we shared a breath. His smiling blue eyes drooped to show blue-veined lids as his tongue stroked mine.
I haven't forgotten. This is new and I'm going to…I'm going to…
His shoulders were smooth beneath my questing fingers, his lips warm and responsive as I deepened my kiss. I felt his chuckle rumble through both of us, though I couldn't see him with my eyes closed. He tasted of whiskey with a hint of chocolate and I wanted more…
"Now that's a kiss."

Excerpt No. 2

His coffee clunked loudly to the table, the contents of the cup slopping around like the storm swell in the port that morning.
"I swear it's some kind of crazy conspiracy. Now the Nannup Tiger's broken a man's leg – or someone's pulling mine."
I looked up in surprise as Aidan slumped into the seat across from me. His hair was tufted and on end again. He took a slurp of coffee. For the first time, he looked annoyed.
"How can an extinct creature break a man's leg?" I asked calmly.
"Murray Piesse, a dairy farmer from over Elleker way. Swore he saw a thylacine on his lawn, drinking from the bird bath. So he grabbed a camera and went out into the dark after it. The beast disappeared, if it ever existed at all. Murray stumbled over a tree stump or something in the dark and broke his leg. He managed to crawl back up to the house by morning to call for help. The ambulance brought him in." Aidan's brows met over his nose as he gulped down more coffee.
"I wonder if he got a photo of it…" I mused.
Aidan snorted, then choked as he got coffee up his nose. It took him a few minutes before he could do anything but splutter, so I waited without speaking. "Do you honestly believe him? Or are you making fun of me, too?"
I wet my lips. "I believe it's possible – he might have seen a thylacine," I replied carefully. "But I'd want to see pictures or the beast itself before I'd believe it for sure."
He looked hard at me, as if he was trying to decide if I was telling the truth. Finally, he spoke again. "Thing is, if Murray really did see the Nannup Tiger, it was headed toward my place. I live next door to him in Elleker and it's all bush except where the house is. If the beast's out there, it could be hunting my place at night, and it's just me out there."
"If you're so scared of the Tiger, don't go out at night then," I replied lightly. "Besides, it doesn't sound like the Tiger was the real danger for Mr Piesse, but the tree stump he tripped over. Take a torch if you go outside at night and you should be fine."
"I do that already," Aidan grumbled. His expression cleared. "You could come up any night you're free and watch for the Tiger, if you like. A proper stakeout. Maybe we could discover an extinct species in my backyard." He looked hopeful.
I forced a smile. "No, thank you. We'd probably just see a lot of darkness and no Tiger, or freeze if it's a clear, cold night."
"I wouldn't let you get cold. I'd keep you warm, Belinda," he replied instantly, the sound of longing in his voice.

About the Author

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.

She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy.

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