Spotlight on Ambush in the Everglades

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author Petie McCarty. Today, Petie shares her latest release, Ambush in the Everglades.

Plenty of action-adventure in this romantic-suspense tale. Photographer Kayli Heddon is given the biggest assignment of her career—a photo essay on the Everglades Restoration—and a special airboat safari is arranged, so Kayli can get her pictures. What she doesn’t count on is being stranded alone in the Everglades with her handsome and unpredictable airboat guide. Kayli is forced to learn some tough lessons. Trust means everything in the dangerous River of Grass, and a skilled partner makes all the difference in your survival.

Skye Landers takes the airboat safari gig as a favor to his cousin who is called out of town. Skye doesn’t expect the governor’s photographer to catch his eye, but Kayli Heddon is unlike any woman he has ever met. He knows he should keep his distance, but common sense flies out the window whenever she gets near.

Unfortunately, Kayli thinks honesty is the most important thing in a relationship—any relationship—and Skye Landers is a fraud. When secrets surface from his past, Kayli and Skye are soon on the run from more than just alligators.


The trees were large and close together at the south end of the island where Landers had tied up the airboat. Kayli made sure to stay close behind Landers, so he broke up any spider webs stretched across the overgrown path. She didn’t care if he wondered why she stuck to him like a tick. The Glades had the biggest spiders she had ever seen, and she’d die if she got a faceful of web.

The only thing she liked less than the big banana spiders in the hardwood hammocks was the famous Florida palmetto bug—a giant behemoth of an insect with oversized brown wings and a GPS tracking system, which allowed the monsters to zero in on your position and fly right at you when spooked. Alligators and snakes, she could handle. Big, nasty bugs were another matter altogether.

Landers passed a gumbo limbo tree and pulled back a weighty branch as he passed so she could slip through the opening. Instead, the toe of her sneaker caught on a tree root. She tripped and pedaled at the air to regain her balance, stumbling forward a few steps as the branch flew back at her.

Thwack!

The leafy branch smacked the side of her head and shoulder, and she let loose a shriek. With a grunt, she fought to shove the branch away and pressed through to the other side where Landers waited, looking concerned.

“Are you all right?”

Well, maybe not all that concerned, but at least a little.

“Sorry, I thought you were right behind me,” he said. “You’ve been sticking like glue.”

More sass. Thank you very little.

“Well, I was, but I tripped. I tried to stay close, so you got all the spider webs,” she rambled, then wished she had just shut up since now she looked like a big baby.

He grinned and turned back toward the path, when Kayli felt a tickle on her leg. She couldn’t help herself. She had to look. Had Landers touched her somehow?

“Aaaahhh!” Her high-pitched scream could have awakened the dead.

Her muscles all froze in unison as she stared down at the ginormous palmetto bug clinging for dear life to the exposed skin on her thigh. Two antennae wiggled independently of the each other—back and forth to taunt her—and his nasty bug-eyed face audaciously tilted up to stare.

Paralysis sunk into her bones. Her mind screamed for her to brush the miscreant away, but her arms wouldn’t move. Her gaze remained glued to the shiny brown carapace covering the bug’s lower back. The insect body seemed to double in size right before her very eyes. Oxygen only entered her lungs in short jerky gulps.

Landers turned back around. “What’s wrong with you?”

One look at her face, and his frown vanished. His gaze swept down her body, and with a lightning flash movement, his big hand slapped the over-sized bug into the nearby ferns.

“Oh my gosh, thank you! I’m terrified of roaches,” she wheezed blindly, her eyes squeezed tightly shut.
In the next breath, she went dumbstruck with horror, feeling her lips form those words against the side of his neck.

She had crawled him like a tree!

His head twisted to see her face, but she turned away, casting a swift glance over her shoulder before leaping backward off him. Her fingertips tingled from the feel of the muscles in his back. She gauged his expression for fallout from her horrific faux pas.

No smirk. That’s good.

Landers’ lips were slightly parted, and he looked as shocked as she felt.

Holy smokes! His cheeks are pink.

She watched him take a deep and, it appeared, stabilizing breath. She alternated her gaze between staring at him and split-second glances down at her legs to make sure the evil brown monster hadn’t mounted a second attack.

He stared back, his eyes wide. “You really are scared of roaches,” he finally said, so quiet she almost couldn’t hear him.

She nodded.

“Wow.”

“Sorry. When they get too close, I panic and I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

“Yeah.” He nodded almost imperceptibly, still studying her as though she would fly apart.

“Once I ran out of a friend’s house and across the street when a palmetto bug chased after me, and I only remember landing on the curb outside and not how I got there,” she said, feeling desperate to explain.

“Wow,” he repeated, his voice still soft. “Makes me wish I had a pocketful of the suckers.”

The whine of an airboat in the distance grew audible. Her whole body had warmed enough to flush her pink—she had acted like an idiot for Pete’s sake—and the heat had no chance to retreat when she could still feel his rock-hard body pressed against hers and her hands gripping his broad shoulders for support.

“Sorry about that.”

“I’m not.” His voice rumbled low in his chest, and his eyes held hers captive.

The airboat’s thrumming roar grew closer. “We’d better go,” he said.

She tore her gaze from his and searched the immediate area around her legs. No surprise attacks. When she looked up, his smirk had returned, and her heart sank.

“I’ll watch for roaches,” he teased and brushed against her arm as he pushed past.

She curled all ten fingers at his retreating figure and growled in her throat, then shot a quick glance all around before hustling after him.

Goodreads | Amazon

Captivated from the start, I fell in love with both protagonists, Kayli Heddon and Skye Landers, and couldn’t read fast enough to find out what awaited them in this well-written, romantic adventure. An expert storyteller, Ms. McCarty has a wonderful eye for detail and a strong sense of place. She takes us on an extraordinary journey with Kayli and Skye as they confront the physical and emotional challenges of the Everglades. At times, it felt like the Everglades was another character in the narrative.

An excellent summer read!

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World—”The Most Magical Place on Earth”—where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband and an opinionated Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in No Angels for Christmas.

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Petie McCarty will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to one winner and ebooks of The Angel and the SEAL to three winners via Rafflecopter. Find out more here.

Follow Petie on the rest of her Silver Dagger tour here.


Book Blitz: Par for Cinderella

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Petie McCarty. Today, Petie shares her new release, Par for Cinderella.

Blurb

Billionaire Aidan Cross longs to escape his life of celebrity and become a regular guy, if only for a brief time. His chance comes when his yacht breaks down near quaint Cypress Key, Florida—the site of his planned five-star golf resort. The golf resort no one in town wants.

Casey Stuart has given up her dream of escaping to the big city. She refuses to desert her uncle, even when he hires the new stranger in town to replace her at their golf course. Casey vows to steer clear of the stranger called Aidan and the danger their inescapable chemistry provokes. Aidan’s stay is temporary, and falling for him promises only heartbreak.

When Casey discovers Cypress Key’s mayor is making underhanded business deals, she ends up on the wrong side of the powerful autocrat. Aidan steps in to rescue her, but secrets from his past threaten to bogey their newfound relationship.

Excerpt

Silhouetted in the outside light, he looked big . . . and dangerous. Over six feet of pure sin. Too much for her to handle, and Casey officially changed her mind. Turned chicken.

Aidan must have sensed her decision to flee, like a timber wolf senses his prey. “What are you doing down here?”

The deep sensual timbre of his voice vibrated along her spine and created tiny pinpoints of desire along its length. Her mouth had that dry feeling she got at the end of her tour spiel—dry and raspy.

“I-I was just going up to bed.”

“No, you weren’t.”

“I-I was too.”

His sexy chuckle rumbled in the darkness, and her skin prickled with anticipation. She couldn’t fool Aidan or herself.

Her brain taunted, Flight or fight, make up your mind.

She suddenly recalled her earlier decision following Janie’s call—to grant herself the month with Aidan. Better her have him than let Deedee steal him away. Casey had fully intended to enjoy every single minute of that month with Aidan before she’d chickened out just now. Instead of running away, she could enjoy the feel of those broad shoulders and muscled arms filling up the doorway right here. She could also allow herself a good long stare at that perfect butt when he turned, and maybe even enjoy that kissable mouth with those please-never-take-them-off-me lips.

“Stop looking at my mouth,” Aidan growled, “or you’ll be sorry.”

Her heart ended her dilemma. Go for it.

She could feel his unseen eyes track the movement of her chest, rising and falling with each hard-won breath. Time to force the issue for them both.

“K-Kiss me,” she whispered. Frozen in place, she left the outcome up to Aidan.

He didn’t move a muscle for three lifetime-lasting heartbeats.

One . . . he doesn’t want me.

Two . . . he’s still angry.

Three . . . my own fault.

She turned for the stairs, and he had her in two strides. His arms snaked around her waist and yanked her tight to his chest as his mouth took hers. This was no tender, make-up kiss. This was all need and desire and maybe a little punishment too.

She didn’t care. Her fingertips had gotten their Christmas wish, and Casey buried them in the silky hair at his collar, luxuriating in the soft texture and wanting to keep him close. Even that didn’t stop the tingling in her fingertips.

Aidan tongue teased at her lips, then swept inside and tangled against hers. She grew lightheaded as she reacquainted herself with the moist sweetness of his mouth, tinged with a hint of beer. A joyful reunion after the fear of separation, and she intended to savor every sexy nuance of flavor.

He growled low in his throat and turned his head to deepen the kiss. Casey just prayed he wouldn’t stop kissing her. Aidan had to care about her. He didn’t, couldn’t kiss another woman like this. Could he? An image of Deedee flashed behind her eyelids.

She pulled back, but her fingers refused to relinquish their hold on his soft curls.

“What was that for?” he asked, his voice rough with desire. “Not that I’m complaining, mind you.”

“I don’t want to be just friends,” she whispered.

“Thank God.”

Author Bio and Links

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-a-dash-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

My first five books released by the now-closed Desert Breeze Publishing–Everglades, Catch of the Day, No Going Back, Angel to the Rescue and The SEAL’s Angel–are temporarily unavailable while I change publishers. You can contact me at petiemccarty@gmail.com for updates on their re-release.

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Giveaway

Petie McCarthy will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card and five (5) ebook copies of Betting on Cinderella–Book 2 in the Cinderella Romances series to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter. Enter here.