Well, it took FOREVER (sorry about that, y'all) but I finally finished! I even have a shiny new preorder on Amazon to prove it! You can preorder today, and it'll show up on your Kindle on 5/24 like magic! And just because I like you guys so much, I'm gonna give you a little sneak peek of chapter one. Are you ready? I hope so, because ready or not, here it is...
Sadie O’Connor always knew she’d see Gage Montgomery again one day.
She assumed it’d be at a family event. Her brother, Nick, was married to Gage’s cousin, Grace, after all. And even though she’d successfully managed to avoid every Christmas, Thanksgiving, and birthday gathering for the past five years—thank you, Luxe Adventures magazine for all the travel assignments!—she always knew her luck would eventually run out.
She just never thought it would run out in a tiny hospital in middle-of-nowhere Montana…while she had a giant gash across her left butt cheek.
Sadie could blame her job for her current predicament, too. As author of the “Scaredy-Cat Travels” monthly column in Luxe, it was her job to go wherever the reader challenges came from, tackle said challenges, and report on them to let other scaredy- cat travelers know if they could handle the adventure.
To date, she’d been challenged to do everything from cliff diving in Acapulco, to ice climbing in Canmore, and white water rafting in British Columbia. Amazingly, she’d never been injured badly enough to require a hospital run.
Who knew it’d be fly fishing in Montana that felled her?
Technically, she supposed, the fly fishing hadn’t been a problem. As she’d expected, it was relaxing compared to most of her assignments. It wasn’t until she was done fishing that the trouble really started.
“Trouble,” in this case, was the sad-eyed dog by the side of the road who’d somehow managed to get himself completely tangled up in a length of barbed wire cattle fencing.
Walter, the grizzled guide who was hauling her tired ass back to the motel after her fishing adventure, had told her that animals got caught in barbed wire all the time out here. He said he’d call his rancher friend to get the poor dog out of the barbed wire as soon as possible. But had she listened? Nooooooo. She’d been bound and determined to help that dog. And what had her burst of goodwill done for her? It’d landed her in the hospital with a gash across her left ass cheek.
“Do you know when your last tetanus shot was, hon?” the nurse asked, iPad in hand, ready to type in her answer.
Sadie caught her lower lip between her teeth. Her first instinct was to lie because she hated shots. Like, really hated shots. She hated shots with the kind of passionate loathing she usually reserved for country music and big hairy spiders. But ultimately, she knew she needed to suck it up and adult her way through this. She’d be damned if she was going to get freakin’ lockjaw because she was too much of a wuss to get a simple shot.
“It’s been at least ten years ago,” she admitted.
“Okay. We’ll get you a tetanus shot. Any chance you’re pregnant?”
The only sex partner she’d had in the last five years was a seven-speed vibrator she’d named Chris Hemsworth. “Um…no. No chance. None. At. All.”
The nurse, who’d said her name was Adele and looked like she was at least a hundred years old, gave Sadie a sympathetic head tilt and a sad nod. “I lost my Stanley last year. I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell myself, hon. I feel your pain.”
Sadie blinked at her. The thought of Adele having sex with her husband, who was probably also a hundred years old, almost made her cringe. Then she felt like the biggest bitch in the world when the rest of the woman’s words sunk in. “Oh, I’m sorry for your loss.”
Adele shrugged. “It wasn’t any loss at all. Bastard left me for some child bride over in Missoula. The little tart’s only fifty-two, for God’s sake. He should be ashamed of himself for robbing the cradle like that. Fucker.”
Sadie had no idea what to say to any of that, so she kept her mouth shut.
“Go ahead and flip over,” Adele told her. “The doc will be right in when he’s done with the dog. He’ll stitch you up and I’ll be back after that to give you your tetanus shot.”
Sadie did as she was told, cringing when cold air hit her bare ass. You’d think someone would invent a paper hospital gown that actually covered a person’s ass. But even knowing it was futile, she still tried to tug the thing closed. “Okay, thank…wait, what? I thought Walter said he was calling the vet in to look at the dog.”
The poor thing had been dirty, way too skinny looking, and so tangled up in the barbed wire that it wasn’t even struggling to get free anymore. It had obviously just resigned itself to the fact that it was going to die. Most of its cuts had looked superficial to Sadie, but Walter had promised he’d get the poor thing to the vet to get checked out.
Then a horrible thought occurred to her. Was she about to have her ass stitched up by a vet?
“Oh, there’s no way Doc Watson was going to make it here tonight,” Adele said. “I talked to him on his way out of town. He’s delivering a calf up in Jasper. He won’t be home till sometime late tomorrow, probably. It’s okay, though. I asked Doc Montgomery to look him over and take care of him while I took your history. He should be done soon. I’ll go get him for you.”
The name Montgomery set off three different alarm systems in Sadie’s body: one in her head, one in her heart, and one that originated in a place no one other than Chris Hemsworth had been in a long, long time.
But there was no way it could be him, right? What would a hotshot surgeon like Gage Montgomery be doing in a tiny little town like Last Chance, Montana?
Montgomery was a common name, her brain told her while her heart panicked and her lady bits hoped and prayed it really was Gage about to walk through that door.
When this whole thing was over and she no longer had a giant gash on her ass, she was going to have a long, stern talk with her heart and lady bits. It had been five years. It was high time they stopped overreacting at the mere mention of Gage Montgomery.
The fact of the matter was that she was a different person now. She wasn’t the scared, pathetic little girl she’d been when he last saw her. The old Sadie would’ve fallen apart in his presence. But the new Sadie fell apart for no man. Why, if Gage walked through that door right now, she’d confidently look him dead in the eye and say…
“Sadie? Sadie O’Connor?”
Whatever she was going to confidently look him dead in the eye and say withered and died in her throat as she glanced over her shoulder—past her bare butt cheeks—and up into the face of the man she’d been ruthlessly not thinking about for the past five years.
God, he looked good. Downright lickable—all six feet and however many inches of him. It should be illegal to look like that. Why did anyone have to be that good looking? It was gratuitous, really.
His shocked expression shifted into something decidedly cockier and…smirkier, which made her wonder if she could actually die of embarrassment, right here in this hospital, with her ass in the air.
Or maybe she could dive out a window like Jason Bourne and make a run for it? Or pretend she was someone else? Her own evil twin, perhaps?
But since none of that seemed feasible, she squeezed her eyes shut, and asked, “I said that out loud, didn’t I?”
“Oh, don’t worry, hon,” Adele said from somewhere behind Gage. “No harm in speaking the truth. Just don’t grab his ass, m’kay? I had to have a stern talk with old lady Hendricks last week about personal space and sexual harassment, and I’d really hate to have to repeat that.”
So this is what being so embarrassed you wish the floor would swallow you up feels like. Huh. You learn something new every day.
She’d gone five years without seeing or hearing anything about Gage Montgomery. And now, in the middle of Bumfuck Nowhere, here she was, bare ass in the air, right in front of the smirky, incredible looking jerk.
You’d think that a woman who made her living writing would be able to come up with a pithy quote from a literary genius that would apply to the situation and make her sound smart and witty and coy all at the same time. But sadly, the only thing Sadie came up with was a Bobby Singer quote from Supernatural.
What do you think? Ready for more? I certainly hope so!! Here's that preorder link in case you missed it...
You guys in the mood to read a little (more than a little, really...the first 2 chapters) of Semi-Obsessed before it's released into the wild on Friday? Well, you're in luck, because I happen to have them right here...
(Or you can go ahead and pre-order today, and it'll show up on your reader like magic on Friday!)
“I need your husband for a night.”
Marina Petrocelli wasn’t exactly sure how her sister would reply to the request. No one was ever really sure how Harper Hall would reply to anything. So, she steeled her nerves for whatever jokes or crudes remarks may come.
She didn’t have to wait long.
“I love you, but not enough to become your sister wife,” Harper shot back in a Sahara-sand-dry tone.
Marina’s nose wrinkled involuntarily. “Gross. Not like that. The station’s charity event is next week and I don’t have a date.”
The television station where Marina did hair and makeup for the on-air personalities was run like a sweatshop and the owners treated employees like gum stuck to the bottoms of their shoes, but the one thing they consistently did right was their annual charity event. No expense was spared, and a different charity benefitted every year. This year, Marina had talked the planning committee into raising funds for the Whispering Hope Humane Society.
“So what?” Harper asked. “Go stag.”
“I can’t go by myself.”
Marina repressed a sigh. Harper wouldn’t let this go. Shit, Harper never let anything go. She’d have to just come clean. “Dex will be there,” she admitted.
Harper let loose a string of profanities that would’ve earned her a smack upside the head from their mother before saying, “I’ll have Riddick break both his legs. That’ll keep the lying, secretary-fucking jerkwad away from the charity thingy so you can go enjoy yourself in peace. There. Done and done.”
The sad—and kind of awesome—part of that statement? Harper wasn’t kidding. Harper’s husband, Riddick, would totally break her ex’s legs if Harper asked him. But a few weeks in traction wouldn’t change the fact that her boyfriend cheated on her with his nineteen-year-old secretary. He’d even had the nerve to dump Marina before she could dump him. Fucker.
Marina’s friend Violet, who happened to be a shrink, had labeled Dex’s dalliance as a pathetic mid-life crisis. Marina didn’t really care to label it. All she knew was that she wasn’t going to let the greasy little weasel ruin the station’s charity event for her. She was going to wear the ridiculously expensive dress she’d been starving herself for three weeks to fit into and face the cheating bastard while looking more fuckable than she’d ever looked in her life.
Harper probably wouldn’t understand such a simple, petty revenge plan. She was the type who’d kick the door down, march into the event like she owned the place, and knee Dex in the balls before grabbing some champagne and dancing like no one was watching. That was just who Harper was.
Harper was the fun one. The wild one. If anyone in her family was ever going to need bail money, it was Harper, and there’d undoubtedly be a great story attached to why she needed it.
Marina was the first person Harper would call for the bail money. The responsible one. The mature one.
The boring one.
Everyone who found out she was related to Harper Hall was shocked. Harper is so talented, so gifted, they’d say. A psychic who owns her own paranormal PI firm? How exciting! Harper with her wild curls and fire-engine-red classic Mustang. Such a free spirit.
Marina’s thick brown hair was so heavy it couldn’t hold a curl on a dare and she drove a Camry, for God’s sake. A beige one.
(It got good gas mileage and she was able to get it for a song at Gary’s Discount Auto Land, okay? Don’t judge.)
When Harper was around, Marina was the other sister. The one with no paranormal gifts whatsoever. Everyone’s second choice.
And normally, that wasn’t a problem for Marina. She adored her sister, and someone had to be the responsible one. The sensible one. The one who wasn’t a drama magnet.
But today…today was different. Today, Marina would give a kidney to be Harper. Not because Harper was so fun and talented and vivacious, but because she had Riddick—a guy who looked like the love child of a Sons of Anarchy biker and a Calvin Klein underwear model, and gazed at Harper like she’d placed every star in the night sky with her very own hands. Someone who’d go with her to the stupid charity event so all her coworkers would stop giving her the sympathetic, oh-poor-Marina-got-dumped-for-someone-younger-and-more-fun head tilt.
That head tilt was really starting to annoy her.
So, while there was a certain appeal to the idea of Riddick, a huge, scary, motorcycle-riding dhampyre and former Sentry slayer, beating the hell out of Dex, the most generic human white guy to ever drive a white Volvo, Marina just couldn’t bring herself to do this thing Harper’s way.
“Going alone isn’t an option,” she said. “All my coworkers know Dex cheated on me, and I’m getting super sick of their pity.”
And since every on-air personality was in her makeup chair for over an hour a day, she rarely got a break from everyone’s pity. The good news, she supposed, was that Dex was in sales. If he was ever on-air and she had to apply his makeup, she couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t end up with an eyebrow pencil shoved up his nose. Sideways.
“Who cares what they think?” Harper asked. “They’re all just a bunch of old farts, anyway.”
Easy for someone who didn’t care about what anyone thought to say. With a frustrated sigh,
Marina said, “I work with those old farts every day. It’s my job. Can you just stop arguing with me and try to help me, for God’s sake?”
She could practically hear her sister’s eye roll. “Fine,” Harper said on an exhale. “I’ll help. But everyone at the station probably knows Riddick is married to me. They wanted to run that story on him last month, remember?”
Ugh. She’d forgotten about that. Riddick had brought down some renegade vampire who’d tried to rob the local blood bank, and her station had begged him for a good solid week for an interview. Dex had even tried to get her to talk Riddick into it, since he’d been sure it would be good for advertising sales.
In typical Riddick fashion, his answer had been a horrified fuck no. The man was one of the most anti-social creatures Marina had ever encountered. He’d probably rather be water boarded than participate in an on-air interview.
“Damn it,” Marina muttered, more to herself than to Harper. What was she going to do now?
Maybe she could ask Violet if her husband, Nikolai, would do it. Nikolai was a fuck-hot dhampyre, too. Showing up with Nikolai would probably kill the sympathetic head tilt forever.
But as soon as the idea popped into her head, she dismissed it. Violet was nine months pregnant and getting ready to go into labor at any minute. You probably couldn’t pry Nikolai from her side with a crowbar at this point.
Riddick’s sister’s husband, Lucas, was also out of the question. He was a cop, and everyone at the station knew all the local cops. They’d know he was married to Seven, who was somewhat of a local dhamypre legend, herself.
God, sometimes it really sucked to be ordinary.
“I could ask Benny to go with you,” Harper said. “He’d do it in a heartbeat.”
Harper’s employee and bestie, Benny, wasn’t a dhampyre. He was a halfer—part wererat, part vampire. Benny was cute and endearing in a Jon Cryer/Seth Rogan, loveable loser kind of way.
But he wasn’t a guy who’d make Dex regret the day he cheated on her. A guy who’d make Gloria, the station’s evening news anchor, stop trying to set her up with her son, Floyd, who still lived in his mom’s pool house and played Call of Duty all day.
And Benny also had an unfortunate habit of making inappropriate jokes and innuendos at the most inopportune times. Harper found those inappropriate jokes and innuendos adorable, while pretty much everyone else on the planet, well, didn’t.
But before she could tactfully figure out a way to tell Harper she didn’t want to go out with Benny, Harper said, “No, never mind. Last time he saw you, Benny said you have a bite-able ass. He’d just hit on you all night. It’d get tedious for you.”
Marina was a bit nonplussed by that information. If a half vampire said her ass was bite-able, did he mean that figuratively, or literally? She always assumed vampires would prefer to drink from the neck or wrist, but maybe…
Then she promptly gave herself a sharp mental slap across the face, because her ass and whether or not a vampire might ever want to drink blood from it was so not the point at the moment.
With a groan of frustration, Marina asked, “Am I just being stupid, Harper? Should I just give up and go by myself?”
Harper sighed. “Yes and yes. But I get it. Let me help you, okay? Give me a day or so, and I’ll come up with a plan.”
Skepticism crept up on her. Experience had taught her to be very leery of Harper’s plans. Anything could—and often did—happen when her little sister planned, well, anything, really.
Case in point, if she remembered correctly, there was still a clown in Rochester who had a restraining order against Harper and Riddick for something that went horribly awry at a birthday party Harper had planned for her daughter Haven’s third birthday party. Marina hadn’t asked for details. Plausible deniability and all.
“Your silence is a huge shot in the arm for my self-esteem, sis,” Harper intoned dryly. “Come on. You know you can trust me. My plans always work out in the end. What’s the worst that can happen?”
Visions of fire and brimstone and all manner of debilitating humiliation raced through her mind, but as she’d always done where her sister was involved, Marina merely gritted her teeth and said, “Thank you. Of course I trust you.”
Then she prayed there wasn’t a special place in hell for people who lied to their sisters. All the time.
When he saw an angel walk out of the television station across the street from the bar where he sat (where he’d been sitting all night, actually), Quinn Connell decided he might be a wee bit pissed.
Drunk, he reminded himself. Americans said drunk, not pissed. Pissed meant angry over here, for some reason.
Quinn hadn’t been back to Ireland in decades and he still sometimes struggled with American slang.
Not that it mattered. Pissed, sloshed, blathered, bollocksed, blotto, rat-arsed, blind-stinkin’-drunk…it didn’t matter what he called it. The cheap whiskey he’d been swilling for the past two hours had obviously started to dick with his eyesight. How else could he explain the presence of an angel in this shitty part of town?
She moved like a dancer, he thought as he watched her glide across the parking lot. Back straight, lean, toned limbs carrying her purposefully, but with a kind of elegant grace that Quinn could never pull off.
Dudes who were six-four and two-twenty with hands the size of hams didn’t really do anything gracefully.
But fortunately, grace had never been required of him. Speed, strength, ruthlessness…that’s all he’d needed in his years with Sentry. He’d been a blunt instrument of destruction. A slayer. A dhampyre, as he’d only recently found out from the Vampire Council, genetically engineered to be the perfect killing machine.
Not the type of person someone like the angel across the street would ever glance at twice.
It was just as well. What was he supposed to do? March up to her and say, “Hello there, lass who looks way too good for the likes of a poor orphan immigrant such as myself. I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful you are, as I’ve just been sitting here, drinking copiously while watching you like a proper creeper. I have no job, very few prospects—despite what the overly optimistic youngster at the employment agency says. But what I do have is a shady past with an organization everyone in the world pretty much hates these days, and a somewhat frightening paranormal heritage. And if it sweetens the pot any, I also did some prison time recently. Care to grab a drink with me sometime?”
Not fuckin’ likely.
Her thick mass of shiny brown hair fell forward and obscured his view of her face as she looked down and started pawing through her handbag. He assumed she was looking for her keys or her phone.
Big mistake, he immediately thought. Being distracted, looking down, not paying attention to her surroundings…she was leaving herself wide open to attack. Anyone could grab her, steal her purse, knock her down, or worse.
He felt his blood starting to boil the longer he watched her. It was dark, they were in a shitty part of town, and she was walking to her car, by herself, without even having her keys or phone in hand? Was his angel reckless, oblivious, or just plain stupid?
But his blood stopped boiling—stopped moving altogether, really—as he caught sight of movement behind her. His dhampyre status didn’t do shit to help him get a regular job, but it did give him much better than average eyesight, even at night. And that extra special dhampyre eyesight of his was now telling him that there was a man creeping up on his angel. A large one, too. No…wait. It wasn’t one man. It was two.
And she had no idea, because she was busy digging through her handbag, looking for God knows what.
Stay out of trouble, his probation officer had told him. Don’t be anywhere where crimes are being committed. If the cops have to question you about anything while you’re on probation, they’ll dump your ass back in Midvale faster than you can fucking blink.
And Midvale wasn’t someplace anyone wanted to be. Home to the worst supernatural criminals in the country, Quinn was pretty sure he wouldn’t survive if he got tossed back in now. He hadn’t exactly made friends while he was inside.
Which he thought rather odd. He was fuckin’ delightful, in his own humble opinion.
But as the two men closed in on his angel, he knew he didn’t have a choice. There was no way he could sit idly by and let anything happen to her. Even if it meant rotting in Midvale for the rest of his life, however short that might be. After all, he didn’t know her, but he knew himself.
And he’d be willing to bet good money that her life was worth a hell of a lot more than his.
He shook his head at the dark direction of his own thoughts. “Jesus, that’s maudlin,” he muttered, tossing a few bills down on the table to cover his drinks before climbing to his feet. He only swayed a little bit, and he was oddly proud of that.
Maybe superior eyesight wasn’t the only gift his dhampyre status had afforded him. He’d always assumed his Irish heritage was to be credited for his damn-near supernatural ability to hold his liquor, but maybe his hollow leg was a gift from Sentry’s genetic engineering department. Huh. Who knew?
Perhaps, like the little gal with the big eyes at the employment agency had told him, he actually was some kind of…superhero. Could she have been right?
Time to go save the damsel in distress and find out, he supposed.
What do you think? Ready for more? You can pre-order today and it'll show up on your reader on Friday like magic! You can get your copy here!
Lots of big happenings right now, folks. In case any of you weren't aware, the Harper Hall Investigations series has received a facelift. That's right, new covers all around! And in celebration of the new look AND the new release, Semi-Obsessed, Semi-Charmed is on sale for only 99 pennies. Click here for your copy! And stay tuned for an exclusive snippet of Semi-Obsessed...
It's true, folks. I have NOT been slacking off and avoiding writing to binge-watch Supernatural on Netflix. (I can do both, thank you very much. I'm an excellent multi-tasker.) And I have proof! The pre-order for Semi-Obsessed, a novella in the Harper Hall Investigations series, is up pretty much everywhere. Here's the link. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it!!
Remember when I said a while back that I wasn't going to put Semi-Broken on sale anymore because it's my favorite book in the series? (Shhh...don't tell the others) Well, this BookBub thing happened, which made a liar out of me. And I don't even regret it. So now, for a limited time, you can get Semi-Broken, my favorite paranormal book baby, for 99 pennies. I even put it on sale in the US, too. (I didn't want to leave anyone out). You can get your copy here! Happy reading, all!
So, I did a thing. If you read Semi-Sane, you know that at the end of the book, I asked what you readers wanted to see next from me. The votes were tallied (I had my son tally the votes. He's much better at math than me) and the winner kind of surprised me. While Harper Hall got lots and lots of votes, the majority of readers mentioned being interested in a contemporary romance (no vampires or anything). Weird, right? I thought so. But hey, I'm here to make y'all happy, so I got to work and finished a contemporary romance/romantic comedy book I'd started years ago called You Complicate Me.
And guess what? IT'S DONE!!! True story. I've got a buy link for it and everything. But just for fun, I thought I'd let you read the whole first chapter here for free! Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Big thanks (and hugs) to all who said they'd be willing to read a contemporary romance from me. Happy reading:
So, every now and then, I run a sale on one of my books. This time, the Semi-Sale is on book 1 in my series, Semi-Charmed. You can find it for only 99 pennies at just about every digital bookseller. Heck, it's even going to be a BookBub featured deal on 2/12/2018! (No joke!) Here's a buy link if anyone's interested (and I hope you are!): https://www.books2read.com/Isabel-Jordan
With the release of Semi-Sane tomorrow, I thought it might be a good idea to provide those of you who pre-ordered with a little note, excusing you from work--because who wants to work when they have a new book waiting for them on their Kindle??? So, feel free to fill in the blanks on this one, print it out, and give it to your employer. Happy reading!
Dear (insert boss’s name here):
Look, as much as you’d like (insert your name here) to pretend it isn’t true, she doesn’t like her job all day every day. No one does. Sure, there are always a few brown-nosing sycophants who are better at pretending the job is all rainbows, kittens, and unicorns farting rainbows than she is (*cough* insert name of office brown-nosing sycophant here* cough*), but let’s face it: everyone needs a mental health day every now and then. (Insert your name here) intends to take a mental health day on November 17, 2017 because Semi-Sane, the 5th and final book in the Harper Hall Investigations series, will drop, and she’s already pre-ordered. There are a few reasons why you should actually thank her for not showing up to work on that day so that she can read:
We’ll take your stunned silence as acceptance of this mental health day, and we’ll assume that your gratitude is forthcoming. You’re welcome.
Author, Harper Hall Investigations series
For those of you who aren't in my Facebook fan group, just wanted to make sure you saw this little snippet, too. Check it out:
And still he stood there, staring down at her, waiting for…something.
“What is it?” she finally asked when she couldn’t stand another second of tense silence.
Her mouth dried up and her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth when he slid his fingertips under her hair and let them rest lightly on the back of her neck. With his thumb, he gently brushed something off her cheek.
Powdered sugar, she realized.
His eyes held hers as he slowly—so, so slowly—lifted his thumb to his mouth and licked off the powdered sugar. Her entire body clenched at the sight of his tongue swiping over his own skin.
“Delicious. You taste even better than I remember,” he murmured before releasing her and walking away as if he hadn’t just reduced her to a puddle of lust right there in her own damn foyer.
Well, the good news, she supposed, was that her lady bits hadn’t dried up after all, as she had suspected earlier that day. The bad news? The man capable of awakening them was the last man in the world she should trust with her body—or her heart—ever again.
Yep. Seemed about right, given the day she’d had.
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