17 January 2017

Books Revisited Love and Diamonds ~ Valentine Anthology

This week Love and Diamonds ~ A Valentine Anthology
is the Book Revisited
"An outstanding collection of stories with memorable characters and engaging story lines. Each author has put their personal stamp on their story and each one left a definite impression. I bought this book because it had stories by authors I have come to know and enjoy in recent months. I now have a new collection of authors I will be following. If you enjoy quick, sweet romances I recommend this book!"
by Just my opinion 
Love And Diamonds is a varied collection of romantic love stories for Valentine's Day by:-
      Heather Gray,    Patricia Kiyono,    Zanna Mackenzie,    Kelly Martin,   
So sit back, relax and fall in love all over again.
 No Love, No Diamonds: The Story I Couldn’t Write
By J. L. Salter

“No vampires either?” My best friend clutched me like she feared I’d lost my mind. “Susan, no editor in her right mind is going to waste five minutes on a submission like that.” Though she was also my occasional beta reader, Allie didn’t know nearly as
much about writing and publishing as she pretended.
“I don’t want my characters to be un-dead,” I protested. “I want them full of life.” We’d already covered this territory. “I think readers want flesh and blood humans they can identify with.”
Allie shook her head the whole time I was speaking —one of her annoying habits. Susan, just tell that to those paranormal writers who sell millions of books every day.” She also exaggerated. “Well, I guess you could have some humans, but they’ll need to be shape-shifters at the very least.”

* * * * *

The Flood By Amy Mullen

Tapping her feet nervously, Manda eyed the dyke three hundred feet away. The rivers were high and expected to spill over. She sat on damp concrete steps trying to summon the courage to knock on the door behind her. Faint sounds could be heard coming from within the house. He was there. All she had to do was stand up, turn around, and face him.
Shouting erupted in the distance, startling her. Flashes of red and blue reflected off a large bay window across the street. The gray clouds above threatened to release more rain. The warnings had not deterred her from entering a potential flood zone, but now
she was having second thoughts.
Standing, she stepped up and went to the door. It was now or never. She didn’t know what he would do or say, but it had to be done. The mistake was all hers, she knew that now. If nothing else, she owed him an apology.

 * * * * *

Meet Me in the Copy Room By Brenda Maxfield
Gen flashed her hand in front of my face. “What do you think?”
I pasted on a smile, shocked her fourth finger hadn’t broken off from the weight of the diamond. “It’s beautiful.”
I was a nice person, but right then I wanted to slap her silly.
She leaned in, staring at me with makeup-laden eyes. “Don’t worry, Leanne, your day will come.”
I choked back a smart retort.
She batted her false lashes and caressed her ringed hand like a pet rabbit. “My diamond was frightfully expensive. Cost a fortune, I’m sure. I told Roderick not to be extravagant, but he said I was so worth it.”
My smile stayed super-glue tight.
“But then, you know Roderick’s family.” She stretched out her arm, gazing at her jewel from a distance. “They wouldn’t have approved of anything less. I can’t stop looking at it.”
But she did stop, instead, zoning in on me. “We haven’t set a wedding date yet, but you’ll be first to know.” She pursed her mauve lips into a little-girl pout. “You’re okay with this, aren’t you? I mean, you said you were over him a long time ago, right?”
* * * * *

The Heart of Africa   By E.A. West

 A pair of thuds on the wooden porch of the mission’s main building interrupted the paperwork in front of Mara Taylor.
“What on earth?” She rose from the beat-up desk to check on the noise, but Gary Delaney’s arrival stopped her.
“Wait here,” he said as he crossed the small, brick-walled office. “Let me make sure it’s safe first.”
Mara’s heart pounded as she watched him cautiously open the weathered wood door. Even though the rural area surrounding the mission had been fairly quiet in recent weeks, Central African Republic was far from safe. Between the rebels running nearby
diamond mines and the government forces trying to regain control of the country’s security, gunfire and violence were disturbingly frequent occurrences.
If God hadn’t called her to this place, she never would have come.
* * * * *

Treasure Hunt By Vivian Roycroft

Kingwood, Texas
February 14

The weathered sign read Deer Ridge Park in faded script, and a bit of white fluttered after the k like some sort of intermittent punctuation mark. Ellena paused on the roadside, standing back  out of reach of even the worst Houston driver, and peered at the flapping thing. With every flap, the brilliant white paper reflected the strong winter sunshine, flashing a bright pop of light her way. Her pulse quickened, matching the rhythm. It would be just like Frank to arrange an adventure along with a picnic.
Yep, it was an envelope, taped to the sign, and even across the road’s wide lanes, even through the passing traffic, two bold, swirling ells stood out. Well, it was too beautiful a day to waste with padding her writerly word count, the first halfway warm day
since January, and she was ready for some fun. At a break in the cars, Ellena scurried across.
Frank’s strong handwriting couldn’t be mistaken, and she grabbed the envelope, tearing its tape from the roughened wood. Heavy paper, not his usual cheap, whatever’s-on-sale stock; he’d put some thought and preparation into this unannounced adventure. It was something important to him, then. With a surge
of giddy delight worthy of a teenager, she slid the envelope’s flap free and pulled out the equally heavy sheet within. Two stanzas… wait, what? Poetry? From Frank?
* * * * *
Even When it Hurts  By Heather Gray

 "I need your help." Her voice was timid, her uncertainty evident in the stumbling hesitation that tripped over each word. Which was it? Was she unsure whether she needed help or whether she should have called him?
Her voice still had the power to make his heart stutter. Dawson Page was calling him and asking for help. Three years ago – a lifetime it seemed – Liam wouldn't have thought anything of picking up the phone and hearing her throaty voice on the other
end. He'd had dreams of marriage, children, and picket fences, but then she'd told him to get out of her life and never contact her again.
Much as he wished it were otherwise, he couldn’t blame her. He'd been working on the drug taskforce then and had orchestrated a raid on a warehouse suspected of housing a drug lab and a large stash of street-ready product. The raid was successful by most standards. His team took the warehouse and everything in it, but there had been a casualty. A rookie went down. Charlie Page, Dawson's baby brother, gave his life that day, defending the city and people he loved.
* * * * * 

Love and Diamonds By Jennifer Gravely

 Lane Andrews sat in the back row of the auditorium hoping not to be noticed by his fellow teachers. The summer was difficult for him, and everyone knew it. Since the divorce last winter, he’d fallen into a deep depression. In fact, his drinking almost cost him the head baseball position at Keowee High School. Luckily an officer intercepted him before he climbed into his truck after the town’s Fourth of July event and called him a ride. Saved him a DUI charge and proved a wake-up call. Since that night, Lane hadn’t had a drink.
The principal continued to talk about the school’s mission  statement, and Lane zoned out. This was his third year at the high school, and he’d heard the opening day speech before.
* * * * *

The Engagement Ring By Kathy Bosman

Rosalee pressed her hands into the pockets of a somber gray suit jacket. Sometimes she cringed while checking pockets before placing the clothes in the dry-cleaning room. She’d encountered melted and then hardened chocolate, moldy sandwich crumbs, and
even a jagged, rusty blade that had cut her finger.
Her hand brushed against something hard yet velvety soft. A ring box. Everything in her was swept away into a vortex of memories. Time seemed to stand still. The dry-cleaning room where she worked became the machine and she the garment. Her
head spun. Why did she always get such a physical reaction to such a simple, common thing—an engagement ring?
The black velvet box was on her moist palms, the little gold clasp mocking her.
Reality jarred her. She placed the box down on the desk. This wasn’t the one she’d received about a year ago. No, it belonged to one of the customers at the dry-cleaning service where she worked in Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa. No need to feel like
her whole world was spinning out of control again.
* * * * *

The Best Catch By Kelly Martin

Justin Scott rolled the princess cut, diamond ring around his finger. He couldn't sleep, and the ring made it even more difficult.
It stared at him, mocked him, called him a liar, called him an idiot...what if she said no? What if she laughed in his face? Worse, what if she said nothing?
What if she just ran?
Well… he had that covered. They'd be in a fishing boat. She couldn't run.
Or could she...
Justin rolled over and looked at the red numbers on his nightstand. 3:48.

* * * * *

Facets of the Heart by Kristine Cheney

The callous jackal dared to hold her flush against his muscled chest. Stealing the liberty of cupping her buttocks through her leather pants, he gifted himself the favor of a chauvinistic squeeze; a luxury she’d never permitted. The sleek black of his
clothing meshed with hers, creating no beginning or end to where the contours of their bodies shared contact in the darkness. The only feature giving him away was the blond of his military flat-top that escaped beneath the edges of his raven wool cap. Her heart
hammered in her chest with pure adrenaline, aware that at any moment, Braddock would guide her through the narrow blade-cut  window to rappel into the depths of the heavily secured store. An enhanced voltage of internal energy gave her a heightened sense of awareness. Never had she felt so alive…to the point of wanting to hurl.
* * * * *

All For Love by Nicole Zoltack
Felecia tossed the spear into the air. The weight, the length, and the feel of it in her hands all perfect. Too bad coal comprised the head.
"Nothing stronger?" she asked. The coal tip didn't even cut the flesh of her thumb.
"I'm afraid not. Ever since the castle confiscated all of the steel and the gems, coal is the strongest available. Durable, too."
Not nearly strong enough to cut through a dragon, though. Still, a spear was better than no weapon. "How much?"
"A copper shieldnote."
She paid the tanned, dark-haired blacksmith and exited his stifling shop. The market thinned out, and the blue sun rode low in the sky. Night would make an appearance soon, and with it, the dragon Grul. If it was the last thing she did she would steal Grul's
life away, as he had confiscated her heart.

* * * * *

Operation Rhombus By Patricia Kiyono

 Ellie Hartwell dismissed the students in her Freshman Literature class, thankful to be finished with her final group of the day. She waited until the last student left, and then sat back at her desk. She had two hours to get her essays graded and plans for
 next week finished before meeting Paul for dinner. Since they both taught at rural Willow Run High School in rural west Michigan, she and math teacher Paul Cramer saw each other every day. Through conversations in the teacher's lounge they'd found they had a lot of the same interests, liked the same movies, and both loved to cook. Soon they'd started trying out new recipes on each other.
But Thursdays had been their night to eat out ever since they discovered that they both preferred to stay late at school that afternoon in order to avoid taking home a lot of work on Fridays. Paul often spent weekends working on his father's farm, and Ellie
helped out in her parents' flower shop in nearby Pine View. So on Thursday nights, they always went out to eat at Dinah's Diner, and then they'd buy groceries for the following week.
* * * * *

Queen of Diamonds By Sherry Gloag

“How could you do this to me —again?” Sybil Diamond stormed round her brother’s living room.” I told you I wasn’t interested, and it’s the third time you’ve pulled this stunt without my permission.” She whirled on Ritchie and aimed her fist low into
his gut. It did nothing to appease her rising fury when he deflected her punch. Ritchie worked out more hours daily than she spent shopping.
When she nearly tripped on the discarded shirt he’d dropped on the floor, she swore, bent to pick it up, and threw it on top of the pile of clothes on a nearby chair. “When are you going to shovel some of this lot into the washing machine?” she demanded,
hiding a satisfied smirk at her brother’s wince. He may be a world champion surfer, but much as she loved him, the guy was a slob when it came to his living quarters.
Instead of trying to fix me up with all your friends, you should concentrate on clearing up this mess and getting a girl of your own.”
“Aw, Sis, don’t be like that. Culley’s okay.”

* * * * *

One of These Days by Zanna MacKenzie
Megan pulled her jacket off and slung it over the back of a nearby dining chair. “We’ll go out again later,” she promised Tizzy, who fixed pleading brown eyes on her. “I have work to do. More walkies after dinner, I promise.”
Duly satisfied, the Terrier curled up in her basket. Megan, who was a self-employed graphic designer, worked from home, which suited her just fine.
“What time is it anyway?” Megan asked, glancing at her wrist, aware she was in the habit of talking to Tizzy as though she understood every word. Maybe she did. “Oh no!” Megan gasped. “Please no!”
Frantically she dropped to her knees and started searching the rug, the floor and underneath the table. Next she turned the sleeves of her coat inside out. It was no use. It was gone.
* * * * *

Delusions of Love By Liz Botts

 Moonlight shimmers on rippling waves that lap gently on a white sand shore. A gentle breeze sways the palm trees. The man puts his arms around the woman. They are both laughing. The moonlight catches a delicate glimmer on the woman’s left hand. A diamond ring!
I glance furtively around and then gently tear out the ad. I’ll just add this to my collection of romantic proposals. I leave them out in strategically random places in Ryan’s apartment: the bathroom by Ryan’s shaving stuff, in the refrigerator by the orange  juice, underneath his pillow. Sometimes if I’m feeling really creative, I’ll roll them up and stick them in silly, out of the way places, where Ryan just might happen to stumble across them, like in his running shoes.

     Love and Diamonds is available from            Amazon UK        Amazon     


Jeff Salter said...

thanks for posting this terrific anthology. Very nice to see all these opening moments (from each of the 15 stories) presented here in one place.

SherryGLoag said...

Your very welcome Jeff. Love and Diamonds is jam-packed full of great stories for readers who enjoy a quick and satisfying read.

Jeff Salter said...

I hope this anthology jumps to the top of the Amazon listings.