Guest Post: Kay David, Author of Texas Hold’em and Giveaway!

Please welcome special guest Kay David to the virtual offices today! Kay is here to introduce her new series, Smokin’ ACES.  After, stick around for your chance to win some extra cool earrings!

Smokin’ ACES by Kay David

TEXAS HOLD’EM is the launch book for my latest romantic suspense series,  Smokin’ ACES.   Set on the dangerous Texas-Mexico border, the trilogy, published by Entangled Suspense, features a team of undercover Texas Rangers bound by their goals but torn by their secrets. Posing as a rogue motorcycle gang, the ACES are forced to walk a very thin line between good and evil as they search for a brutal cartel lord intent on controlling anything and everyone.

The scene below features Timothy Santos, the leader of Smokin’ ACES.  In the aftermath of a bar fight, Santos and his team are growing antsy and nervous; they need to make a move soon or risk the life of a confidential informant who’s gone missing. The team is leaving the local biker bar, The Ice House.

(FYI–I named the establishment this because I went to high school in a very small town on the Texas Gulf coast. There was only one place in town, at that time, that sold ice, and we, naturally, called it The Ice House. The place doubled as a bar, and a very raunchy one at that. I’d never considered going there until my mother announced it was forbidden territory. Needless to say, my buddies and I checked it out the following weekend.

She was right.

We were dumb teenagers, but not that dumb. We left and never returned. But, oh, the shiny allure of illicitness… It never dulls.)

Only one woman can help ACES, and she’s the one woman who has vowed she’ll never have anything to do with Timothy Santos again, Sheriff Rose Renwick.  The first time they loved was disaster.  The second time could destroy her.

Santos know he must overcome Rose’s objections, but telling her the truth will hurt her even more. He can protect his team, rescue the informant, or reunite with Rose, but doing all three might kill him—or Rose.  Doing nothing could have the same result.

TEXAS HOLD’EM: Outlaw bikers, dark secrets, and hot Texas nights!

Excerpt from TEXAS HOLD’EM by Kay David for

Entangled Suspense

Some of the bikers had already pulled bottles of Jack from their saddlebags and were passing the whiskey around in the dark.  As Santos and his men walked by, they made smooching sounds and mocked him.

      “Hey, cowboy, ya’ll going back to the ranch?  Better be careful now–them Harleys buck better than your skanky-ass girlfriends!”  More raucous laughter rang out. “Don’t fall off and bust your butts…”

     Santos’s crew heard the same taunts every time they came to the Rio County dive and they waved them away with one-finger salutes, the other men shouting with laughter.

Mounting their motorcycles, Santos and his men pulled onto the highway and rumbled toward their home away from home, a rundown house on the edge of the county line. The cold wind rushing over Santos’s raw face helped him stay upright, his stinging arm doing the same.

     Thirty minutes later, they reached the caliche road that took them the rest of the way.  Santos owned the house and the six-hundred-acre cattle ranch where it sat but for more than one reason, the name on the deed could never be traced back to him. His grandfather had turned over the property to Santos on his deathbed, the section of land in the family since Santa Anna had come and gone.

The ear-splitting roar of the Harleys echoed against the spreading mountains, a cloud of dust marking their progress. They reached the stone house after another thirty minutes and turned off their engines, the sudden silence as deep as the darkness.  The mesquite trees smelled like heaven after the smoky bar, their hollow shadows leading the men toward the windows warm with light.

     Santos made it to the living room and stopped before a ratty couch where he lowered himself to the cushions, every muscle in his body crying out. He was doubly glad the ranch was so isolated; if his newfound best friends could see him right now, they would have wondered just what kind of bad-ass biker he was. Of course, if they knew the real truth, more than Santos’s reputation would be at stake.

     Biker gangs and Texas Rangers didn’t normally mix.

     Timothy Santos had never been the kind of man who cared about normal, though, and even if he had, it wouldn’t have stopped him now. He and his undercover team had come to Rio County to stop the violence that had taken control of west Texas-and he was there to make that happen, no matter what it took, including cutting some corners that might have made other officers uneasy.  It wouldn’t be the first time he’d broken one law to keep another one, and it wouldn’t be the last.

     That was the only way to catch someone like El Brujo.

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About Texas Hold ‘Em:

Part law enforcement. Part criminal. And all deliciously bad…

Working undercover as part of an elite team of Rangers disguised as the Smokin’ ACES biker gang, Timothy Santos walks the thin line between law-enforcer and law-breaker. With one of his informants missing—and possibly dead—at the hands of vicious cartel leader El Brujo, Santos will do whatever it takes to find justice. Even if it means heading to Rio County to look up his former lover…who’s not only the sheriff, but Santos’s only lead.

Rose Renwick is not happy to see Santos. In the past, their chemistry had been explosive—raw, sensual, and unforgettable—but she’d been burned. Now Santos is back in town, looking just as lethal and as irresistible as she remembered. But Santos wants something from her—and suddenly Rose’s family is in danger and her town is under attack. The only way out is to trust the one man she swore never to trust again. Ante up…

A bit about Kay:

Kay David is the author of over thirty five romantic suspense novels. After enjoying a variety of careers including computer programming at NASA, custom home building and working in the oil and gas industry, Kay admits that writing has always her been her first love. Living in such diverse countries as the United Arab Emirates, Argentina and Bolivia has made Kay appreciate her own great home in Texas while allowing her to add intimate details to her books of the exotic settings she knows firsthand.

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Interview with Susan Stephens, Author of Diamond in the Desert

Please welcome USA TODAY bestselling author Susan Stephens to the virtual offices today! Susan is here to chat about her latest Harlequin Presents Diamond in the Desert.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you describe yourself?

[Susan Stephens] The children call me Ninja Carrot.  I prefer to think of myself as driven! I love people and music, art and food, and one of my main passions is travel, which allows me to immerse myself in all these things.

I have been lucky enough to travel the world singing, and now with my writing. It would be fair to say I’ve seen quite a bit of life along the way.

I have a deep love of animals and have never been without a pet of some sort in my life, even when I was forced to smuggle a ridiculously young puppy I found in a disreputable pet shop into my theatrical digs. Poor Fleur was so tiny she didn’t even have proper fur, and the vet told me that if she was still alive the following week she would put her on an inoculation plan. Fourteen years later Fleur left me. She was a life-enhancing privilege,  to know and love.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Diamond in the Desert?

[Susan Stephens] Diamond In The Desert is my first book in the Skavanga series. I feel so passionate about the heroine in this book. Britt is the oldest sister who feels herself responsible for the rest of the family, but Britt cuts herself no slack and has no personal life outside her work and family. I so want Britt to be happy and fulfilled in all areas of her life, and I hope I found a hero in Sheikh Sharif who can both excite Britt and show her that she can enjoy personal fulfilment without compromising her sense of duty.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Susan Stephens] I just love the concept of ice and fire. The characters exploded from these extreme settings and demanded to have their stories told

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Britt?

[Susan Stephens] Britt is strong, loyal, and lonely

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Sharif had a theme song, what would it be?

[Susan Stephens] My way

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Britt is never without.

[Susan Stephens] Care for those who rely on her

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Sharif’s bedroom?

[Susan Stephens] Alarm clock . A mirror. Pink cushions

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Britt’s greatest regret?

[Susan Stephens] She hasn’t saved herself for Sharif

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Susan Stephens] Life, my children, and the wonderful books I read

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Susan Stephens] The love of my family. My Betty dog lying on my feet, and the phone not ringing constantly.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Susan Stephens] Jeffrey Archer’s Clifton Chronicles

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Susan Stephens] Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Susan Stephens] Cook, bake, eat, travel, play the piano, entertain friends, read, walk, think about the next book

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Susan Stephens]

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Diamond in the Desert from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

Breathless in a Bedouin tent With the future of the Skavanga diamond mine in jeopardy, heiress Britt Skavanga needs an injection of cash-fast. She finds it in the mysterious Arabian investor known only as Emir… 

Britt travels to the desert kingdom of Kareshi to confront her arrogant benefactor. If diamonds are in Britt’s blood, then the scorching desert sand runs through Sheikh Sharif al Kareshi’s. He’s determined to show arctic beauty Britt how things are really done in Kareshi, including how hot nights in the desert can be…