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HUNTING JOHN DOE by Heather Hiestand

Check out this new release by Heather Hiestand

 

Once a royal prince, the man known as John Doe now lives the low life as an intergalactic bounty hunter. Avoiding the revolutionaries who need him as their figurehead, he’s chasing his latest contract, beautiful Gaia Marlowe, wanted for the death of her husband.

Long ago, Gaia had supported herself in exotic BDSM clubs. Her path out of that lifestyle only led her to the darker pleasures of the upper class. With two husbands dead, it’s time to take charge of her life as an underground mistress.

John needs to capture Gaia, but she can’t afford to let that happen. If only their connection wasn’t so magnetic. Two people are running for their lives…and a chemistry that cannot be denied.

Disclaimer: Expect sexy adult situations and practices.

 

HUNTING JOHN DOE

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At First Blush by Marianne Rice

AtFirstBlush_EB

Alexis Le Blanc enjoys her simple life in Crystal Cove, Maine. After taking a chance on romance and getting rejected, she has given up on love. Now she devotes all her time to running her family’s winery, Coastal Vines. She wants to keep it small and traditional, but her parents have other ideas—hence why they hire some big-shot marketing executive from Napa Valley to rev up business.

When Benito Martelli shows up in her family’s tasting room, she’s more than stunned to discover he’s the man who wined and dined her the night before. Alexis is beyond peeved at his deception in trying to get into her good graces for the sake of making money on her winery. At first, she wants nothing to do with him or his big business ideas, but she’s pleasantly surprised when they come to a compromise, and even more surprised when she gives in to the sparks between them.

Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as planned and Alexis is faced with complications she never could have predicted. Promises and secrets unravel, and she must decide if love and wine are as well paired as she hoped.

 

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BOOK LINKS:

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/s58mzq

iBooks: http://smarturl.it/zeb6r0

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/at-first-blush-3

B&N:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/at-first-blush-marianne-rice/1127779053;jsessionid=311F147D27BCAF936FDEDA7C95276577.prodny_store02-atgap03?ean=2940155053996

 AUTHOR LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariannericeauthor/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marianne-Rice/e/B00SICUIRM

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariannericeauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mariannericeaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MarianneRice

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mariannericeaut

Bookbu: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marianne-rice

Book + Main: https://bookandmainbites.com/search?q=Marianne%20Rice

Website: http://www.mariannerice.com

 

MRice Pic

 

Marianne Rice writes contemporary romantic fiction set in small New England towns. She loves high heels, reading romance, scarfing down dark chocolate, gulping wine, and Chris Hemsworth. Oh, and her husband and three children. You can follow her all over social media, and keep up to tabs with her latest releases on her website: www.mariannerice.com

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A Crazy Kind of Love – Mary Ann Marlowe

ckol

Release Date November 28, 2017

In this irresistible new novel by Mary Ann Marlowe, one woman’s up-close and sexy encounter with a tabloid sensation reveals the dizzying—and delicious—dilemma of dating in the spotlight . . .

Celebrities hold zero interest for photographer Jo Wilder. That’s a problem, since snapping pics of the stars is how the pretty paparazza pays the rent. So when Jo attempts to catch a money shot atop the broad shoulders of a helpful bystander, the only thing she notices about the stranger she straddles is that he’s seriously hot. Only later does Jo learn that he’s also Micah Sinclair—one of rock’s notorious bad boys…

Soon Jo is on the verge of getting fired for missing a Micah Sinclair exclusive. Until she’s suddenly being pursued by the heartthrob himself. But how can she be sure the musician’s mind-blowing kisses are the real deal? Her colleagues claim he’s a media whore, gambling on some free PR. But something has Jo hoping Micah’s feeling the same powerful pull that she does. A pull so strong, she can’t resist becoming his latest love, even if it means she might become the media’s latest victim . . .

“The perfect romantic comedy.” —RT Book Reviews

“Another sizzling, glitterati-filled story.” Booklist Online

“If you like wonderfully written, light, fast paced, swoon worthy moments, and chemistry so strong it jumps off the page, then this is the book for you.” Wit & Wonder Books

Paparazzi

Available November 28, 2017 from Kensington. Pre-Order at all digital retailers:

Amazon | BN | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads | BAM! | Audible

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c766fbcd3/?

 

MaryAnnMarlowe-279x300

 

Mary Ann lives in central Virginia where she works as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel.

Connect with Mary Ann

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Newsletter Signup

 

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Guarding Erin by Nicole Flockton

 

I just finished reading this book and loved it!  I think it might have moved to my top Nicole Flockton book.  I love military men and this has plenty.  Not just the dashing Carlos, the hero, but his whole SEAL team. This had a little more suspense and action than Flockton typically puts in her books but that’s kind of my jam, so I devoured it. Throw in the mob and some spicy chemistry and you’ve got yourself a winner.

NF_Cover_GuardingErin_Stoker

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AfPCuq

Blurb:

When Carlos “Italy” Porcelli helped a former SEAL brother, he never expected to come face to face with his high school sweetheart, Erin Furlan. The second he finds out her life is in danger from her former mob boyfriend, he will do everything in his power to protect her and keep her safe. Guarding his heart from remembering the past and wishing for a future will take all his steely SEAL resolve.

Erin Furlan believed her life was back on track after her mob boyfriend got arrested when the family he worked for got taken down. How wrong she was. Now he’s back and wanting retribution. What she never expected was Navy SEAL and former sweetheart, Carlos Porcelli, to swoop in and save her. As she tries to break away from her ex’s hold, she’s drawn closer to Carlos. Erin’s not sure her heart can take another beating, as she’s certain Carlos is going to walk away from her again.

Being in close confines, their past filters into their present and when Erin is kidnapped, Carlos will do anything to save the woman he’s falling for. He only hopes he reaches her in time.

 

GuardingErin_Teaser1

 

Excerpt:

Exhaustion bit at her heels. It had been a shit of a day. A computer software problem had all their reservations jumbled up tighter than a pair of stockings in a washing machine. The last thing she wanted to do was go to dinner, but she really needed a girl’s night.

She turned the light off and closed her office door. At the end of each day a sense of pride filled her with all she’d accomplished in the past four years. Hard work and determination had gotten her to the position of General Manager quicker than she ever imagined possible.

Before she left, she stopped at the registration desk. “If any issues crop up overnight, call me. No matter what the time.”

The clerk smiled. “Certainly, Erin. Hopefully, I won’t have to. Have a good night.”

“Thanks.” Secretly, Erin prayed her phone wouldn’t ring. After dinner she planned to go home and fall into bed. Between the stress of Bryan turning up in her life again, and today’s work drama, a solid eight hours of sleep sounded like an unreachable dream.

She skipped down the stairs, glad to be outside and absorbed everything that made New York, New York. The sounds of taxi drivers sitting on their horns, the aroma coming from the hotdog stand on the corner, the flow of people streaming out of the subway stations.

“Hello, Erin.”

Shocked at hearing Carlos’s voice, her foot slipped and she missed the bottom step. Instead of finding herself kissing the sidewalk, warm, strong arms closed around her. Without thinking, she laid her head on Carlos’s chest. She breathed deeply and the aroma of hotdogs was replaced with a tangy citrus smell that was intoxicating. She inhaled again.

He chuckled. “Did you just smell me?”

Erin came to her senses and pulled away from him. Surprise made way for embarrassment. “What are you doing here?”

If she thought her terseness would put him off, she was living in a fantasy world. Instead of putting distance between them, he grabbed her hand again.

“I got your text message and I was worried.”

“What text message?” Confusion colored her thoughts. She knew she’d sent him a text last night, but she hadn’t asked him to travel up to New York to see her. She expected him to call.

His hand went to his pocket and pulled out the phone, all the while he maintained his hold on her. Her skin sizzled from the connection, drawing her back to the first time they’d kissed when they’d been sixteen. At the time, she’d thought her reaction to his touches and kisses had been because he was her first boyfriend. A crush that had turned into juvenile love. Now she had to wonder.

After the first couple of dates with Bryan, her body had never flared to life like hers was doing right now. They were only holding hands for goodness sake.

“This message.” A phone was shoved under her nose.

“I didn’t send …” She re-read the message and then it hit her. This was the message she’d started to send to him while on the subway and then she’d had second thoughts. “I, um, I didn’t mean to send it to you.”

“Right. Who were you sending it to.”

She could fabricate that she was sending it to a friend. Somehow she didn’t think he would buy it. “You.”

“But?”

“Well you didn’t respond to my message last night and then I didn’t know what to say.”

Everything she’d told him was the truth. The only problem was she still didn’t know what to say to him. For a brief second on the train she’d wanted to ask him for his help with Bryan. She’d helped him, he could help her. But could she ask that of him though?

“I was out last night, and didn’t see your message until I checked my phone this morning.”

“Uh huh. Well,” she looked at their connected hands and then at the crowd bustling around them. “I’ve got plans, so I’d better get going. Good seeing you, Carlos.”

She went to pull her hand out of his grip, but he tightened his hold on her.

“What’s going on, E? And don’t tell me nothing. I know you. I can see the tension in you.”

Anger rippled through her and she yanked her hand out of his grip. “You don’t know me at all now. You were the one who walked away from me. From us. And yes, I’m tense. After the shit day I had, you’d be tense as well. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got places to be. Real friends to catch up with. Goodbye, Carlos.”

 

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AfPCuq

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36548736-special-forces

Author Bio:

Nicole Author photo 2017

Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.

On her first school report her teacher noted “Nicole likes to tell her own stories”. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first child and after having fun on a romance community forum that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.

 

Social Media:

Website: www.nicoleflockton.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicoleFlockton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleFlockton?ref=hl.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479388.Nicole_Flockton

Newsletter: http://nicoleflockton.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=027e33e71494440b9403da0d1&id=215ef7fa1b

More from the Author:

Amazon: https://goo.gl/Xuv9tW

Amazon CA: https://goo.gl/aNEU9H

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/RpD83L

Amazon AU: https://goo.gl/4A2MKn

B&N: http://goo.gl/jvqH4A

iBooks: https://goo.gl/yL885R

Kobo: https://goo.gl/GkGMaL

 

Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card (International)

Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/40fc5f29112/

 More Than Words Promotions

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/morethanwordspromotions/

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The Astonishing Thing by Sandi Ward

 

Welcome to my blog.

Thanks, Kari! The Kensington Books community—and romance writers in particular—have been amazing about helping me get the word out about my new novel. I appreciate it!

 What is your book about?

 The Astonishing Thing is the story of a troubled family and broken marriage, seen through the eyes of a cat named Boo. One day, the human mother of the family goes out and doesn’t return, and Boo is crushed. She’s determined to figure out what happened to her mother. She is very surprised to find out the truth.

astonishing thing

Is there romance in your novel?

 Absolutely! I love writing romantic scenes. Boo gets to see humans being romantic first-hand, because most people don’t kick their pets out of the room when they’re having a private conversation. Pets witness everything—the good and the bad. Boo knows when two people are truly devoted and in love, by their actions as well as their words.

What is your favorite love story novel?

 That’s an impossible question to answer—there are so many great books out there! One that’s stuck with me is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It was a wonderful love story—sad, of course, but when I finished the book I felt uplifted at the same time.

ABOUT THE ASTONISHING THING

In her inventive, sometimes bittersweet, ultimately uplifting debut, Sandi Ward draws readers into one extraordinary cat’s quest to make sense of her world, illuminating the limits and mysterious depths of love.

Wonderfully tender and insightful, THE ASTONISHING THING explores the intricacies of marriage and family through an unforgettable perspective at the center of it all.

“A unique and poignant tale of a family’s struggle as witnessed by someone who sees everything…a triumphant debut for Sandi Ward.”

— Helen Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Cleo

FIND THE ASTONISHING THING AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER, OR:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

ABOUT SANDI

Sandi Ward grew up in Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts. She attended Tufts University, and received her MA in Creative Writing at New York University, where she studied with E.L. Doctorow. She now lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, teenagers, dog and a big black cat named Winnie. Sandi is a medical writer at an ad agency in New Jersey, specializing in psychiatry and pain management.

Her first novel for Kensington Books is titled THE ASTONISHING THING, and it is available October 31, 2017. Her second novel is titled SOMETHING WORTH SAVING, available November 2018.

STAY IN TOUCH

Learn more at: www.sandiwardbooks.com

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A SHOT AT LOVE -Peggy Jaeger

Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .

Look for exclusive recipes in each book! 

 

AShotAtLove_hires (5)

 

 Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .

With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love…..

Excerpt:

            Dressed in similar sweats to what he’d worn the morning before, his body bathed in gleaming sweat, Ky pummeled one of the suspended bags. His hands were wrapped with white gauze, his arms toned and taunt as he executed each strike with perfect precision and technique.

Gemma stopped on the final riser and watched him batter the bag, fists moving with swift, defined actions, the jabs fast and hard, the recoils even faster.

Shoulders raised, elbows tight, hands balled and up blocking his cheeks and jaw line, he threw a right jab, left, then two rights, all aimed high, and a final forward thrust left, lower on the bag, his knees bending to give him balance.

Gemma wanted to race back to her room, grab her camera and capture the scene before her.

Kyros Pappandreos was the epitome, the very definition of a natural born fighter. Distinctly male, uniquely the warrior, his body moved with the grace of a panther, the stealth of a tiger stalking its prey, and the accuracy of a cobra striking. There was something so sensual, so primal, so animalistic about him, she knew she had to photograph him just this way.

She’d capture him in slow motion first, his tight fist connecting with his target, the sweat of exertion flying from his forehead. Then, she’d move to rapid fire, the image blurring with the speed of his hits. A pugilist, enigmatic, tough, and hard bodied, the bulging muscles and corded sinew in his arms distended with his action, outlined and bathed in the shiny moisture pouring from him.

Ky repeated the moves in the same series of strikes three more times before dropping his hands to his thighs.

He swiped at his forehead with the back of his hand, his breathing hard, but not labored, and turned.

~~

About Peggy Jaeger     peggyheadshot

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

 

 

 

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The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life by Sharon Struth

 

The sweet life

In Italy, the best attractions are always off the beaten path . . .
 
Mamie Weber doesn’t know why she survived that terrible car accident five years ago. Physically, she has only a slight reminder—but emotionally, the pain is still fresh. Deep down she knows her husband would have wanted her to embrace life again. Now she has an opportunity to do just that, spending two weeks in Tuscany reviewing a tour company for her employer’s popular travel guide series. The warmth of the sun, the centuries-old art, a villa on the Umbrian border—it could be just the adventure she needs.

But with adventure comes the unexpected . . . like discovering that her entire tour group is made up of aging ex-hippies reminiscing about their Woodstock days. Or finding herself drawn to the guide, Julian, who is secretly haunted by a tragedy of his own, and seems to disapprove any time she tries something remotely risky—like an impromptu scooter ride with a local man.

As they explore the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Mamie knows that when this blissful excursion is over, she’ll have to return to reality. But when you let yourself wander, life can take some interesting detours . . .

Acclaim for The Sweet Life

Struth’s novel is a great debut for a potential series…The story overall is intriguing, and of course, a setting in Italy is always something that makes for a great book. It comes with a strong recommendation and is worth picking up for a nice treat.” RT Reviews

The sights, the sounds, the smells and the food. Oh, the food! I had to make spaghetti and meatballs the day I started the book. Sharon Struth puts you right in Tuscany in a way that not only transports you to the crowded streets and vineyards, but surrounds you with them. Masterfully done.” Goodreads 5-star Review

You will like this if you’d like a nice tour of Tuscany (food, wine, just delightful), a little romance, and a happy ending. Perfect relaxation...” Goodreads 5-Star Review

* * * *

Buy Links:

Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Life-Sharon-Struth-ebook/dp/B01NGZAQ9J/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

B & N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sweet-life-sharon-struth/1125397307;jsessionid=BF35F516503FC5BE50DC563144CAA03F.prodny_store01-atgap02?ean=9781516103553

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-sweet-life/id1196636119?mt=11

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sharon_Struth_The_Sweet_Life?id=YU3KDQAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-sweet-life-16

Find Sharon on Social Media at:

Website: www.sharonstruth.com

Twitter: @sharonstruth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sharon-Struth-Author-Page-139641182749036/

Author Bio:

Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best first Book, and her Blue Moon Lake Novels include the bestseller, Share the Moon.

When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More at www.sharonstruth.wordpress.com.

Excerpt:

In the driver’s seat sat a square-faced man with a full Romanesque nose and short, dark hair. He greeted her with a wide smile. “Ciao, bella.”

She climbed the steps and smiled back. “Hello. I mean, Ciao. Sorry I’m late.”

Before the nice man in the driver’s seat could respond, a man standing about halfway down the aisle said, “I’m sorry, miss. You’ve got the wrong bus.”

Whoever he was, his cargo shorts and faded Led Zeppelin T-shirt didn’t carry any authority. But he held a clipboard, and his tone suggested he meant business. His Gaelic-looking face carried a slight boyish quality, hardened into a manly appearance due to his trimly cut mustache and beard. Wavy hair the color of cognac peeked out from beneath a gold cap with orange and blue lettering reading Wanderlust Excursions.

“I’m sure the hotel front desk can help you find the right tour.” He gave her a now-hurry-along smile and turned back to the man he’d been talking to.

“Did I just talk to you on the phone?”

He lifted his chin and raised a brow. “We’re waiting for Felix.” His gaze traveled her from top to bottom then he looked her in the eyes. “I’m pretty sure you’re not Felix?”

“No, but…” Mamie became aware of the silence and scanned the passengers.

Everyone in the full bus stared back. Quiet. Curious. She squirmed and her gaze drifted back to the man who seemed to be in charge.

“No. I’m not Felix, but if this is Wanderlust Excursions, it’s where I’m supposed to be.”

He squinted. “Wait. Are you the woman who answered Felix’s phone?”

“Yes. I’m taking his place on the tour.”

He snorted. A short, patronizing laugh. “I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re clearly not Felix.”

“But he transferred his vouchers to me.”

“Nobody told me. Our company rules state that purchased seats are not transferrable without prior home office approval.” He frowned and studied her again. “Besides, this is a specialized tour and you’re not a member of this group. Felix is.”

“How do you know I’m not?”

His lip curled into a little smirk. “Did you attend Woodstock?”

“The concert?”

“Is there another one?”

“Well, no, but…” Mamie scanned the other passengers more carefully. Other than the guide—everyone else was probably over fifty-five. Maybe even over sixty. “What group are they part of?”

“They are”—the guide, whose company sponsored tag read Julian, glanced at his clipboard—“the Woodstock Wanderers.”

“Felix may not have been part of it either.” Mamie never heard him mention them before.

“Are you kidding? Felix was one of our founder members.” A man with thinning white hair, dark-rimmed glasses, and a full white beard sitting in the front seat winked at Mamie. “Bernie” in capital letters sat square in the center of a nametag with a tie-dyed background. Beneath his name it said, “Favorite Woodstock Song: ‘Let’s Go Get Stoned,’ Joe Cocker.”

Mamie would’ve never put Bernie together with that song, but… The bus’s silence and everyone watching her jarred her back to the problem at hand. “Felix never mentioned your group to me.”

Guess she knew Felix but didn’t know him. The truth about how she and Felix knew each other, though, wasn’t something she could share.

So she did the only thing she could do. Staring Julian square in the eye, she said, “Uncle Felix wanted me to take this trip. I’m his niece. He insisted I go in his place.”

“His niece, huh?” The tour director rubbed the back of his neck and considered her again. He shook his head. “I’m sorry he’s decided not to come, but on the transfer, I can’t budge. Rules are rules.”

A thin gentleman sitting a couple rows behind Bernie, with salt-and-pepper patches of hair above his ears, piped in. “Julian. Dude. Can’t you just go with the flow? She looks harmless. Let her come.”

Mamie squinted. His tag read Bob, but before she could read more, the others joined in with choruses of “yeahs,” and she looked away.

“You know what they say, Julian.” A woman with curly brown hair, peace sign earnings, and a pretty smile said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Mamie noted her nametag read Martha and her favorite Woodstock song was “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Still, and Nash.

Julian pursed his lips. “All due respect Martha, me losing my job isn’t exactly small stuff.”

Martha grinned slyly and winked. “We promise to keep it a secret from the boss.” She glanced around. “Right everybody?”

Another chorus of loud “yeahs” filled the bus.

One slim man with thinning hair who sat in the last row fist bumped the air. “We aren’t afraid of the man.”

The passengers murmured and nodded, complete agreement on that one. Mamie loved this solidarity. Though she’d never considered herself a hippie—more like a loner—she had an incredible urge to be part of this group.

Julian watched them, frowning. He refocused his attention on Mamie. “Sorry. I’m going to have to ask you to step out so we can start. We’re already running late.”

Normally, Mamie respected timeliness, schedules, and rules. But she had a job to do. A mission to accomplish.

“Please. My uncle, he really wanted me to go and—”

Julian took several swift steps to the front of the bus and stopped close to her. He dropped his voice. “Listen, this isn’t personal. The last thing I need is to lose this job. Do me a solid and go see if you can get any of your money back.”

She quietly replied, “You don’t understand. I need to go on this tour.”

He narrowed his hard green eyes, but before he could say a thing, a chant filled the air.

“Let her stay. Let her stay. Let her stay.”

A blond-haired woman with a cherub face who sat at Bernie’s side spoke up over the chant. “Doesn’t she remind you of Tracy, Bern?” Her nametag read Sandra and her favorite Woodstock song was “Amazing Grace” by Arlo Guthrie. She patted Julian’s arm in a very maternal way. “Tracy’s our daughter. We’d love having some young energy around. Tracy’s just too busy working to spend any time with us.”

Julian’s lower lip dropped. He drew in a deep breath, looked at Mamie, and motioned to the door. “Let’s talk outside.”

She turned and headed off the bus. Little did he know, she wasn’t about to back down. Nothing would stop her from getting on this bus or making the most of this adventure. Two very good reasons existed for fighting the good fight.

The memory of her husband and daughter.

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