Home » Articles posted by natalienicolebates

Author Archives: natalienicolebates

The Heart of the Hunter/Natalie-Nicole Bates + Giveaway

The Heart of the Hunter E-Book Cover

 

I will give away to one lucky reader, a $10 Amazon gift card! To enter to win, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during the party!

 

The Heart of the Hunter is my romantic suspense.

Blurb:

After a devastating accident, Barret Atkins has accepted a quiet, solitary existence. His life is turned upside down, when he finds the badly injured Kansas Smith, left for dead in a case of mistaken identity. As Kansas begins to recover, Barret must face some deep scars of his own. When the couple begin to fall for each other, their lives spin into a revival of past hurts, jealousies, and betrayals, causing Barret to put a halt to their budding relationship.

Barret’s hesitation causes his best friend-turned vicious rival, Duncan Craig, to pursue a friendship with Kansas. Where will this leave Barret? Can they all hold on long enough to escape Kansas’s attacker, and will they ever conquer their own inner demons intent on keeping them apart?

“Emotionally driven, The Heart of the Hunter will have you rooting for Kansas and Barret. It’s heart breaking, shocking in places,  and inspiring as well.  Well-developed characters and a deep plot await you. Natalie-Nicole Bates has a style that is all her own. A definite must-read.”

5 Stars TOP PICK

Night Owl Reviews

You Tube First Chapter Reading

 

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Facebook Fan Group

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

ITunes

Lulu (paperback)

Kobo

Excerpt:

 

On Saturday morning, Kansas could wait no longer. She could no longer live under the same roof with a man she was deeply in love with without telling him how she felt, and finding out once and for all how he truly felt about her. Now she stood leaning back against the counter sipping a cup of coffee, her stomach ached from nerves for what she was about to do.

Most of the night she was awake rehearsing speeches on the same theme–confessing her love to Barret. Now all her carefully rehearsed words failed her.

Barret sat at the kitchen table in t-shirt and jeans, absorbed in the newspaper. A shadow of a beard emphasized his maleness.

Setting the cup on the counter, she took the few steps to stand beside the table. “Barret, why don’t you like me?” she blurted, immediately wishing she could bite back her words.

Looking up from his newspaper, his eyebrows slashed together. “Excuse me?”

Confusion consumed her, and she felt trapped and exposed, hesitant to continue. When he stood, she wanted to shrink away from him.

“Whatever gave you the idea that I did not like you?”

The demanding look in his blue eyes only made the words harder to form. Finally, she found her voice. “I love you, and you don’t love me,” she finally admitted.

His shoulders visibly stiffened and the color drained from his face. Obviously, she caught him off guard. “I…I do love you, Kansas. But…but I don’t love you like you mean,” he stuttered.

Her heart sank heavily in her chest. She raised her chin and looked back at him. She had to know. “What is it about me you don’t like?”

“I like everything about you, Kansas. No, I love everything about you,” he told her as he planted his hands firmly on her shoulders causing her to want to crawl out of her skin and away from his touch. She’d said way too much,  and upset their whole stable situation.

Finally, she looked into his confused eyes. “I’m sorry, Barret. I just couldn’t go on like this. Just tell me what it is about me that…” her voice trailed off as she slowly came to terms with the fact that he didn’t love her as a woman.

Lifting her chin, he forced her to make eye contact with him. “Listen, angel, it’s not you, you’re absolutely perfect,” he told her,  and  smiled a smile she knew was forced.

“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, and you’re an amazing person. You can have any man you want, but I’m not the right man for you,” he said gently.

Continuing to maintain eye contact with him, she decided she wasn’t going to allow him to get off with such a broad response “Why?” she demanded.

“The accident changed me, Kansas. I’m not the same man I was before it happened, and I’m glad for that. You wouldn’t have liked me then. I was an arrogant, self-absorbed bastard, and now I’m not sure who I am anymore,  or what I really want. But I do want you to know that if things had been different, and I wish they were…”

Finally, she could take no more. “I got it, Barret,” she said shaking loose of his grip and turning away.

“It’s just the hero thing, Kansas. You’ll get over it. You think you love me because I saved you that horrible day in that swamp. When some time passes, you’ll realize you’d never be happy with an almost forty year old detective. You would only resent me for taking you away from your old lifestyle.”

She whirled to face him, her hands on her hips. “Why you arrogant… You don’t know me at all!” Finally, she lost the battle not to cry and tears poured freely down her cheeks. “I thought we were so close, but I guess I was completely off base about that. I don’t care about money or scars! I only care about you! We could have been so happy–”

The doorbell rang cutting off Kansas’s words and she felt some relief that it had interrupted her intense venting. She felt like such a fool now.

She’d received the answer she was after.  Unfortunately, it was not the one she wanted to hear.

 

Sara-Kate’s Spirit/Natalie-Nicole Bates + Giveaway

Sara-Kate's Spirit WEBSITE USE

I’m thrilled to be here at TRS this week to to tell you a bit about my books. I am giving away to one lucky reader a $10 Amazon gift card. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during this party.

First, here is where you can find me:

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Facebook Fan Group

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

Sara-Kate’s Spirit is my paranormal romance novella and recent 5 Star TOP PICK review at Night Owl Reviews!

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Kobo
Barnes & Noble

Blurb:

Fallen spirit guide Sara-Kate has cocooned herself into an isolating, lonely life on earth. After a series of devastating incidents, she now prefers solitude to contact with others.

Her quiet existence is shattered when one night outside of her home, Sara-Kate awakens to the sound of a horrible accident, and finds a man near death. She offers comfort to the dying man before setting off back home.
Soon after, a knock at the door brings a surprise.

The dead man has somehow managed to follow her home!

Reed Thayer is dead, and doesn’t know it.

As Sara-Kate struggles with how to tell Reed about his new existence, her feelings for him continue to grow and a relationship blooms. She knows nothing will ever be the same for them when he finally learns the truth, and that their new found love may die when all is revealed.

 

“On the surface, “Sara-Kate’s Spirit” seems like a light little paranormal—it is not. Although it is novella-size, it is crammed full of emotion and deep character development. The reader feels for Sara-Kate, for her past pain and her current predicament with Reed. I welcome that the love scene does not read as a sex manual, but rather a beautiful act of love. The story is of certain duality between a human life and a spirit life. You rarely see a spirit guide as a character in a romance, and “Sara-Kate Spirit” does not disappoint.”

5 Star TOP PICK ~ Night Owl Reviews

 Excerpt:

Sara-Kate’s peaceful sleep was shattered by the sound of crunching metal and images of black smoke.

If she were conscious, the decision would be easy. She would shut out the world and stay in her comfortable bed.

It wasn’t her job anymore to worry about the welfare of people in trouble. As it was now, she still went above and beyond what was expected of her.

But often in sleep, the unconscious overrides common sense, and the emotions of spirit were harder to keep in check.

Sara-Kate rose out of her body with the grace of a butterfly. With her feet hovering several inches from the oak floor, she floated from the bedroom, down the staircase, and through the front door as if it wasn’t there.

Her instincts carried her through her front garden, beyond the gate and onto the road—the place she never ventured to in her human form. Her self-imposed exile wasn’t because she was cold or cruel, she simply couldn’t face any more heart breaking loss. To stay inside her own piece of heaven was to keep her heart safe. Besides, there were strict rules when it came to spirits and the living.

Something looked different.

Even though she never left the sanctuary of her home, she knew how the road beyond looked, the layout of the houses. This place was different. This was another dimension.

She died a long time earlier, and could pass through dimensions with ease. Occasionally, she couldn’t control it—like tonight. It happened before. Still, no matter where she travelled, she still managed to find her way home.

Now, there was a matter at hand.

An acrid smoke filled the air, a sure sign an accident occurred on the unfamiliar road. This was confirmed by the sight of twisted metal. Bittersweet emotion filled Sara-Kate. While it was true that a human life was most likely lost, a soul would move on to a new plane of existence, where peace and love might be waiting.

A plane Sara-Kate never rose to.

She drifted to the car, one time a fancy little red import, and passed through the window. and into the passenger seat. By the look at the interior, the car’s airbag failed to deploy, and lurched its driver forward against the restraints.  Her eyes focused on the driver, by his uneven breathing, he was still alive, just barely.

Blood bubbled from his nose, and his eyes fixed to the ceiling. She leaned over and smoothed back his long dark hair from his face. Laying a gentle hand against his forehead, she tried to instill healing into the man, but her instinct told her clearly her healing would not be enough to save him. Instead, she hoped her touch would instead bring him comfort.

His head turned only enough to connect his eyes to hers.

Shock rocked her. Could he actually see her? There was a fear and disbelief in his eyes for sure, but  he was focused on her eyes, as well. Even at the brink of death, no one ever detected her before. Now she thought, he’s very, very special. He would go on to do amazing things in his next existence, and that brought Sara-Kate great joy.

“Just let go,” she encouraged.

“I don’t want to die,” he whispered, his voice thick and raspy.

“It will be better, Reed,  I promise.”

“You know my name.  You must be some kind of angel.”

She smiled. “Not exactly. I’m just here to help you transition into your new life.”

Tears poured from his eyes. “Please don’t leave me.”

“I’m not going anywhere, she said, and sent as much comfort and love through her hand and into his body as she could muster, without completely draining herself. Sirens blared off in the distance, and Reed’s breath became ragged. As he took his final breath, she lifted her hand from his forehead, and pressed a kiss against his cool skin.

When she saw the flashing red and blue lights of police and ambulance vehicles, she decided to make her exit from the scene. There was nothing more she could do now but return home to her own dimension, to her body and her bed.

Sara-Kate’s Spirit/Natalie-Nicole Bates + Giveaway

Sara-Kate's Spirit WEBSITE USE

I’m thrilled to be here at TRS today to talk about my latest release, a paranormal romance novella, Sara-Kate’s Spirit.

I will give away to one lucky reader their choice of ebook of Sara-Kate’s Spirit or my romantic suspense, The Heart of the Hunter. To enter, simply leave a comment at this post.

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Facebook Fan Group

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

 

Blurb:

Fallen spirit guide Sara-Kate has cocooned herself into an isolating, lonely life on earth. After a series of devastating incidents, she now prefers solitude to contact with others.

Her quiet existence is shattered when one night outside of her home, Sara-Kate awakens to the sound of a horrible accident, and finds a man near death. She offers comfort to the dying man before setting off back home.
Soon after, a knock at the door brings a surprise.

The dead man has somehow managed to follow her home!

Reed Thayer is dead, and doesn’t know it.

As Sara-Kate struggles with how to tell Reed about his new existence, her feelings for him continue to grow and a relationship blooms. She knows nothing will ever be the same for them when he finally learns the truth, and that their new found love may die when all is revealed.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Kobo
Barnes & Noble

“On the surface, “Sara-Kate’s Spirit” seems like a light little paranormal—it is not. Although it is novella-size, it is crammed full of emotion and deep character development. The reader feels for Sara-Kate, for her past pain and her current predicament with Reed. I welcome that the love scene does not read as a sex manual, but rather a beautiful act of love. The story is of certain duality between a human life and a spirit life. You rarely see a spirit guide as a character in a romance, and “Sara-Kate Spirit” does not disappoint.”

5 Star TOP PICK ~ Night Owl Reviews

 

Sara-Kate’s Spirit-Excerpt #1

 

Sara-Kate’s peaceful sleep was shattered by the sound of crunching metal and images of black smoke.

If she were conscious, the decision would be easy. She would shut out the world and stay in her comfortable bed.

It wasn’t her job anymore to worry about the welfare of people in trouble. As it was now, she still went above and beyond what was expected of her.

But often in sleep, the unconscious overrides common sense, and the emotions of spirit were harder to keep in check.

Sara-Kate rose out of her body with the grace of a butterfly. With her feet hovering several inches from the oak floor, she floated from the bedroom, down the staircase, and through the front door as if it wasn’t there.

Her instincts carried her through her front garden, beyond the gate and onto the road—the place she never ventured to in her human form. Her self-imposed exile wasn’t because she was cold or cruel, she simply couldn’t face any more heart breaking loss. To stay inside her own piece of heaven was to keep her heart safe. Besides, there were strict rules when it came to spirits and the living.

Something looked different.

Even though she never left the sanctuary of her home, she knew how the road beyond looked, the layout of the houses. This place was different. This was another dimension.

She died a long time earlier, and could pass through dimensions with ease. Occasionally, she couldn’t control it—like tonight. It happened before. Still, no matter where she travelled, she still managed to find her way home.

Now, there was a matter at hand.

An acrid smoke filled the air, a sure sign an accident occurred on the unfamiliar road. This was confirmed by the sight of twisted metal. Bittersweet emotion filled Sara-Kate. While it was true that a human life was most likely lost, a soul would move on to a new plane of existence, where peace and love might be waiting.

A plane Sara-Kate never rose to.

She drifted to the car, one time a fancy little red import, and passed through the window. and into the passenger seat. By the look at the interior, the car’s airbag failed to deploy, and lurched its driver forward against the restraints.  Her eyes focused on the driver, by his uneven breathing, he was still alive, just barely.

Blood bubbled from his nose, and his eyes fixed to the ceiling. She leaned over and smoothed back his long dark hair from his face. Laying a gentle hand against his forehead, she tried to instill healing into the man, but her instinct told her clearly her healing would not be enough to save him. Instead, she hoped her touch would instead bring him comfort.

His head turned only enough to connect his eyes to hers.

Shock rocked her. Could he actually see her? There was a fear and disbelief in his eyes for sure, but  he was focused on her eyes, as well. Even at the brink of death, no one ever detected her before. Now she thought, he’s very, very special. He would go on to do amazing things in his next existence, and that brought Sara-Kate great joy.

“Just let go,” she encouraged.

“I don’t want to die,” he whispered, his voice thick and raspy.

“It will be better, Reed,  I promise.”

“You know my name.  You must be some kind of angel.”

She smiled. “Not exactly. I’m just here to help you transition into your new life.”

Tears poured from his eyes. “Please don’t leave me.”

“I’m not going anywhere, she said, and sent as much comfort and love through her hand and into his body as she could muster, without completely draining herself. Sirens blared off in the distance, and Reed’s breath became ragged. As he took his final breath, she lifted her hand from his forehead, and pressed a kiss against his cool skin.

When she saw the flashing red and blue lights of police and ambulance vehicles, she decided to make her exit from the scene. There was nothing more she could do now but return home to her own dimension, to her body and her bed.

Change of Address/Natalie-Nicole Bates/Excerpt + Giveaway

Image

 

Change of Address is my contemporary romance and 2012 Finalist at the Festival of Romance Readers Awards for Best Ebook.

I will give away a $10 Amazon gift card to on lucky reader! To enter, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during the party!

Blurb:

Saved from a traumatic past and successful in her present as a home care nurse, Josselyn Adler’s dream of home ownership in the idyllic town of Unity are dashed to pieces when Dr Ben Parnell, a cancer specialist, shows up on her doorstep claiming to be the rightful owner of the house—and Ben has a will to prove it! To Josselyn, the house represents a new start in her life. With a stable home, hopefully a much wanted family wouldn’t be far behind. 

After a near career-ending allegation is made, Ben has returned home to lick his wounds. But now he must prove Josselyn’s claim to be a fake, that she used her position as a live-in nurse to his sick father to ingratiate herself into his good graces. But as he gets to know her, he can tell by her shy, often standoffish behavior, that Josselyn is a woman who has been deeply hurt in her past. Although he is attracted to the dark haired beauty that has invaded his life, he is still suspicious of her true motives and her past involvement with his father.

Buy Change of Address:

Sweet Cravings Publishing

Excerpt:

When she arrived at the foot of the stairs, the front door rattled. Fear, cold and stark, rose up in her throat and choked her as she heard the lock snap and watched, rooted to the floor, the creaky old door jiggle in its frame. The anticipation mingled with fright, produced a potent, sick feeling churning inside her like the bad horror movie she’d recently viewed on late-night cable television.
After what seemed an eternity, the door flung open. The first thought entering her brain was a ghost had entered her home. A younger, blonder visage of Morgan stood in the threshold. Before she could utter his name, a second, more coherent thought followed; a ghost wouldn’t use a key.
The man in the doorway took one step inside and stopped abruptly, clenched his jaw, and stared. The familiar stranger invading her new home could only be one person. 
“My goodness, you’re Ben! You’re Morgan’s son!” she exclaimed.
“Well, we know who I am. Now who the hell are you, and why are you trespassing in my house?” 
“Your house?” she asked with disbelief. “This is my home. Morgan gave it to me!” 
“I don’t know who you are, lady, but I suggest you get a move on it. I’ll give you five minutes before I call the police.” He pointed to his platinum-cased wristwatch for emphasis.
“Don’t bother waiting.” She reached into her handbag and removed her cell phone. With shaking fingers, she punched in 911.
The line connected after the second ring. “911, what is your emergency?” asked the female dispatcher.
“My name is Josselyn Adler. I’m the new owner of 22 Little Pine Road. A man has let himself into my home and is now threatening me.” Although she was quaking on the inside, she strove to keep her voice and demeanor strong and confident.
“I have an officer on the way, Ms. Adler. Would you like to stay on the line with me until he arrives?” she offered.
“No, thank you. I’ll be fine,” she assured her.
As she disconnected her phone, Ben’s gaze burned into her. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of showing any fear. While growing up, she had dealt with her share of tormentors. One forty-year-old, blond-haired bully was not going to intimidate her or drive her from a home that was rightfully hers.
“Very nice performance,” he said snidely.
“Excuse me?” She furrowed her brow and made eye contact. Ben Parnell had his father’s glacial, blue eyes.
“Any moment one of Unity’s finest will be arriving to play knight in shining armor and save the poor maiden from the big, bad wolf.”
Before she could utter a word in reply, a black patrol car came to a screeching halt on the street. An officer threw open the car door and made long, quick strides to the house. His uniform and Unity Police Department baseball cap matched the color of his car.
A lump formed in her throat. As she was growing up, a police car in front of the house and an officer at the door meant her father was in some sort of trouble yet again.
“Good evening, Miss. I’m Officer Smith.” He looked to Ben. “It’s certainly been a long time since you’ve been around, Ben.” Not waiting for an answer from him, he turned his attention back to Josselyn. “What seems to be the problem tonight?”
He knew Ben by his first name. They looked to be about the same age, and in this small town, it was likely they knew each other growing up. Although Officer Smith seemed friendly enough, would he side with the hometown boy rather than with the stranger girl? 
“This is my house. Morgan Parnell left it to me in his will. Now he…” She paused and pointed at Ben. “He thinks it’s his house.”
“I have a will, too,” Ben loudly interrupted. “And mine is legitimate!”
His deep voice vibrated through her, causing her head to ache. Flustered, she pulled an envelope from her handbag. Morgan’s attorney gave to her a copy of the will a few days earlier. She handed it to Officer Smith. To her dismay, Ben also produced a document from a briefcase. 
This is very bad
She hoped Ben had been bluffing.

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

Remember the Stars/Natalie-Nicole Bates + $10 Amazon gift card

Image

Remember the Stars is my 12,000 word short paranormal romance novella infused with a bit of horror.

I will give away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during this party!

Blurb:

For Leah Rhodes, life as she knows it has just changed forever.

Waking in a gutter in the dark surroundings of her distant past, a familiar man stands out in her confusion.
But Remy Moreland has been dead for years.

It soon becomes apparent to Leah that both she and Remy are trapped in a hell of their own making. 
Can one night together not only lead to the way out, but to love as well?

Buy Remember the Stars:

Amazon

Excerpt:

“Remy,” she said his name. Where did she know that name from? It wasn’t common. Think, Leah, think. Then it hit her—hard. 
She remembered exactly who Remy Moreland was. 
He was in the newspaper years earlier. Her mother had shown her a copy. Remy Moreland was involved in a fatal street race. His Porsche had been split in two, killing him and a young woman in another car. 
Remy Moreland was dead.
But if he was dead, what was he doing here, alive, and with her? 
Sweat broke out on the back of her neck and her vision clouded. This was someone’s idea of an evil, evil joke. She had to get out. She had to find her way home.
Standing, she grabbed the edge of the deck for support. “I have to get out of here,” she mumbled and stumbled her way around the desk.
He grabbed her around the waist. “You can’t go back out there. It’s dangerous.”
She sunk her open palms against his chest and struggled to get out of his grip. “Get off of me, you malevolent freak! You’re dead! You’ve been dead for years!” she blurted.
Immediately, he let go and jumped back from her as if he had been stung.
“What are you talking about? He demanded.
She backed away, ready to make a run for the front door. But the confused mix of anger and disbelief in his contorted expression stopped her. 
How could he not know he was dead?
“It was years ago, Remy. You had an accident. It was in the newspaper.”
He tilted his head, his blue eyes huge. “Do I look dead to you?”
Well, he was pale, his blue eyes ethereal. She hesitated, and then spoke. “Now that you mention it…”
“You bitch!” he snapped.
The force of his voice caused her to flinch and she raised her fingers to her throbbing temples. All she wanted at that moment was to get out of this man’s sight and find her way home.
“I’m not dead,” he stated ominously.
“Okay, you’re not dead,” she conceded as she rubbed circles on her temples.
He took a step closer. “As a matter of fact, right now I am languishing across town in a nursing home. I eat through a tube in my belly and piss into a catheter bag. I remain nothing but an emaciated, contorted version of the man I once was.”
She closed her eyes. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening. None of this was real.
When she opened her eyes, he was in front of her, a macabre grin creasing his handsome features. He lifted a brow. “So, what did you do?”
“Do? What are you talking about?”
“To get here. You know my situation, so what’s yours?”
He wasn’t making any sense. She turned away from him, left the office and began to walk the long hallway to the front door, but he followed her closely.
“Let me guess,” he provoked. “You look like a murder-suicide kind of girl. You’re not wearing a wedding ring, so I’m assuming you shot your boyfriend in the head and then offed yourself in some spectacular way—like jumping off a balcony and splattering on the ground. How could you have known you would wind up here?” he chuckled unpleasantly.
She stopped cold. How could he say such a horrible thing? She turned back to him only to find him mere inches from her. “You’re horrible. You don’t even know me, but you’ve resorted to participating in some sort of evil joke on me. I just want to go home…or wake up.”
“Your life as you know it is over, Leah.”
“What are saying, Remy? That I’m dead?”
“You’re not dead…not quite. This is limbo…purgatory…the first circle of Hell. The most wretched place on earth where you are sent to atone for your sins.”

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

Back To You/Natalie-Nicole Bates + $10 Amazon giveaway

Image

 

Back To You is my contemporary romance and 2012 Finalist at the Festival of Romance Readers Awards for Best Short RomanceBack To You is available as an ebook, or as a collection in ebook and paperback with BONUS stories Antique Charming and Remember the Stars.

I will give away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during the party!

Blurb:

On the surface, Lynsey Reznor seems to have it all. She is beautiful, brilliant, and a successful true-crime writer who has been living the past decade in Miami. But what Lynsey lacks is what she needs the most—a family.
After the death of her mother, and yet another failed relationship, Lynsey makes an impulsive decision to return to her hometown of Unity. But Unity will present its own bittersweet memories, most notably, her first love, Nick Lincoln.

Twenty years ago, Nick broke teenager Lynsey’s heart when he decided to marry another. He had his own private reasons—reasons he never explained to Lynsey. Now she is back, along with a chance to reclaim her love. But Lynsey wants answers from him that he may never be able to give out of duty and guilt.

Buy Links:

Back To You (Single Release) Amazon
Back To You (Collection) Amazon
Back To You (Paperback) Amazon
Books To Go Now
Back To You (Single Release) Kobo
Back To You (Collection) Kobo

Excerpt:

When he heard her, he came to her, took her into his arms, and kissed her. It was a comfort that he wasn’t regretting their lovemaking. She didn’t think she could handle being rejected by him twice in her lifetime.
“Do you have to leave soon?” she asked.
“I’m sorry. I don’t want to, but I have to.” He went to the stove and prepared her a cup of coffee. “I think we should start planning our wedding. We could be married at Christmas.”
She was taken aback. Is this his proposal ? This was supposed to be so romantic and memorable, not talk about planning a Christmas wedding while he stirred a cup of coffee.
“Do you even want to get married?” She took the coffee mug he offered. “I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that you told me you weren’t sure you ever wanted to be married again. You said you didn’t see fatherhood in your future, and Nick, I want a baby…more than one. I grew up as an only child and I was so alone. I don’t want my child to have to experience that.”
“Well, I didn’t use a condom last night. You could be pregnant right now,” was his reply.
Heaviness descended upon her heart. This was so not how she wanted this morning to be, and certainly not the marriage proposal she had dreamed of. “I’m on the Pill—I won’t get pregnant if that’s all you’re worried about.”
“I’m sorry, that’s not the only reason we should get married.”
“Then why?” she asked suspiciously.
He let out an exaggerated sigh. “Lynsey, I don’t have time to get into this with you right now. What do you want me to say in the five minutes I have before I leave for work?”
She couldn’t believe his glib attitude. “How about saying something to me like…‘I love you, Lynsey, and I made a tremendous mistake by not marrying you twenty years ago?’ That would take you less than thirty seconds to say, and you could have easily gotten to your precious job on time.”
Suddenly his jaw set and his eyes narrowed. “I didn’t make a mistake by not marrying you twenty years ago! I let you go to become a success in life—and you did. I can’t regret that!”
“So, what I thought all these years was correct. I was nothing to you but a quick and easy way to shed your virginity.” Just saying the words was devastating. 
“That’s not it at all,” he vehemently insisted. “You were always so intelligent. I mean, you were a sixteen-year-old senior in high school! Just how many grades did you skip over, anyway?”
“Two,” she answered in a low voice.
“Do you know what would have happened if I hadn’t married Kelly?” He didn’t wait for her reply. “I’ll tell you what. You and I would have been ostracized by everyone in this town! We would have had to be married right away, and we would have had to live with your mother, because I had no money.”
“My mother loved you. She would have been happy to have us live with her,” she interjected.
“And we were so naïve, Lynsey. You would have graduated high school with either a big belly, or a baby in your arms…if you had graduated at all.”
She crossed her arms over her breasts and looked at the floor. She was too afraid that if she looked at him she would break down. “Some of the girls in school were married. A few of them had babies.”
He lifted her chin and forced her to make eye contact with him. “And you were too smart to be stuck in this town, and just another housewife. You would have become bored and resentful.”
“I wouldn’t have known the difference,” she countered.
“I had serious doubts then. I still have doubts now,” he admitted.
Her dark lashes flew upward. “What is that supposed to mean?” 
“I believe that you will become bored and restless in Unity and will want to go back to Florida or maybe California. I have a job and a family here, Lynsey. I don’t ever want to give that up. I’m afraid that we’ll have a child, and you’ll take my baby and leave. I can not allow that to happen.”
She couldn’t believe what he was saying. Nothing was further from the truth. “Do you think I would have sunk so much of my savings into that house just to abandon it? I would never, ever do what you’re saying. But if circumstances changed, I would expect you to support what was best for our family. Couples who are committed make sacrifices for each other!”
It was becoming clearer and clearer that things were rapidly falling apart between them.
“Lynsey, didn’t what happened between us last night mean anything to you?” he asked.
She chuckled unpleasantly. “I suppose that with us living in such close proximity, last night was inevitable. But don’t worry about it happening again, Nick. When you get home this evening, I won’t be here.” 
“Where are you going to be?”
She wanted to hurt Nick like she was now hurting. “I’m sure that Caleb wouldn’t mind me bunking down at his house for a week or two.”
“Over my dead body,” he seethed. “I will drag you away from him kicking and screaming if it comes to it. I’ll handcuff you to my bed if need be. Believe me, Lynsey, I’ll do it!” He flopped down into a kitchen chair and buried his face in his hands.
“I have to go now, Nick. I’m meeting your sister for breakfast. Listen to me. You need to pull yourself together. In your line of work, bad things happen when you lose your concentration.”
When he didn’t reply, she let out a sigh of resignation and headed for the door. At the last minute she turned to him. “Thanks for almost making it happen between us.”

 Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

Come Full Circle/Natalie-Nicole Bates + $10 Amazon giveaway

Image

Come Full Circle is my contemporary romance. Come Full Circle was a 2013 Finalist for Best Short Romance at the Festival of Romance Readers Awards, and a 5 Star Top Pick at Night Owl Reviews.

I will give away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during the party!!

Blurb:

Fifteen years ago, Bethany Minor fled her hometown after being left at the alter by Dane Brennan. After the sudden death of her mother, she is forced to return home and face her past.

The years have been hell for Dane, and seeing Bethany again only reopens wounds he long thought closed.
When they realize the flames of their past love never died, Bethany and Dane will need to confess all before they can have a chance to reclaim their life that once should have been. 

But when the truth of the past is finally revealed, will they still stand as a couple?

Buy Come Full Circle:

Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:

Dane felt strangely nervous about meeting Bethany. What could she possibly have that belonged to him? When he’d seen her earlier, at first she’d barely acknowledged his presence. 
But when she hugged him so hard it almost took his breath away, all of the old feelings came welling back up inside him, along with the regret of losing her, and the promise of everything a life with her would have brought.
The feelings of loss and sadness became so acute, that he could actually feel a pain in his chest. He’d made so many mistakes, and the gravity of those mistakes was still apparent.
Finally, he caught sight of her walking slowly up the street toward him. She was dressed only in a loose-fitting old sweatshirt and jeans, totally inappropriate for the cold, rainy weather. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to take her in his arms, and beg her for a second chance. That, he would not do. He still had some semblance of pride and reality.
“Bethany, why did you walk here in the rain? I would have been happy to come to you,” he said, and dared to push a few errant strands of her dark hair away from her face.
“I need fresh air. Being in my mother’s house with all of her things…it was closing in on me.”
“I’m sorry. Would you like to get out of the rain? We could go somewhere and get a cup of coffee, and talk,” he suggested hopefully.
“I’m not really to being around a lot of people, Dane. The funeral will be hard enough.”
“Would you like to come home with me for a while? At least you won’t be alone.” He made the offer, but from the look on her face, he already guessed her answer.
“No. Thank you for offering, though.”
Her refusal made it sound as though she’d said no to a business associate, not someone she’d once loved.
After a few minutes of silence, she spoke again.
“So anyway, here is what I came to give you.” She produced a small, familiar-looking box, from the front packet of her jeans.
He licked his lips. “I hope that’s not what I think it is.”
She lifted the lid, and as he feared, it was the engagement ring he’d given her, when he thought of her as his princess. The round diamond twinkled proudly under the harshness of the street lights. 
“I don’t want it back,” he stated firmly. He didn’t ever want to see it again. The ring was a harsh reminder of what might have been.
“Well, I don’t want it either, Dane. It belongs to you. I thought my mother returned it to you after…after we broke up. It was wrong for her to keep it.”
She was trying to push the box into his hand, but he refused to open his hand and stepped back from her.
“Throw it into the garbage, Bethany.” He pointed to the public trash receptacle.
“I can’t throw it away; it’s too expensive!” she exclaimed.
“Then give it away, donate it, sell it! I don’t care!”
When she shrank back, he realized his tone was harsher than he’d intended. Immediately, he stepped forward and pulled her into his arms. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he repeated over and over again.
He wasn’t sure exactly, how it happened, but his lips found their way to hers. He closed his eyes and basked in her familiarity, her taste, and his tongue gently parted her lips. As their kiss deepened, he became keenly aware of the contrast of the intense heat coming from her skin, and the icy coldness of her hand on his neck. In that one moment, he was ready to beg Bethany to escape with him forever.
“Hey, Mr. Brennan.”
The voice jolted him back to reality. A teenage boy held the hand of a teenage girl as they passed by. They looked vaguely familiar; most likely they were from the neighborhood.
“Hey,” he answered back.
“Hear that? If I’m Mr. Brennan, what does that make my father?” he whispered into Bethany’s ear.
Without a word, she tilted her head back and connected her beautiful espresso brown eyes―the eyes he’d fallen in love with―to his, and held him captive.
There was so much he wanted to say to her, but the words wouldn’t come. He touched a hand to her cheek, and found that her skin burned beneath his fingertips.
He then spoke the obvious.
“Bethany, you’re burning up with fever. You can’t be alone tonight. Come home, and let me take care of you,” he implored.
She blinked a few times, and he held a tiny hope she would agree to leave with him, but she reached up and ran her fingers through his beard, and said, “You know I can’t do that.”
“Well, at least, let’s go to the apartment upstairs at BFC. I lived there for a few years. It’s really nice.”
Her eyes grew huge. “I never want to go to that apartment again!”
Then she darted away from him, and hurried off in the opposite direction.
For a moment, he simply watched her leave, perplexed at her final words. Why was she so upset at the mention of the apartment? It wasn’t as though she ever stayed there. It was mostly for interns from the mortuary college, who were on-call during the night. 
He slowly crossed the street and walked to his car. Reaching his hand into the pocket of his jacket to get his keys, he found the box with the engagement ring. A caustic laugh escaped his throat. While he was lost in their kiss, she’d found a way to return the ring.

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

The Heart of the Hunter/Natalie-Nicole Bates + $10 Amazon giveaway!

Image

The Heart of the Hunter is my sweet, romantic suspense, and 5 Star Top Pick at Night Owl Reviews!

I am giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during the party!

 

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

 

Blurb:

After a devastating accident, Barret Atkins has accepted a quiet, solitary existence. His life is turned upside down, when he finds the badly injured Kansas Smith, left for dead in a case of mistaken identity. As Kansas begins to recover, Barret must face some deep scars of his own. When the couple begin to fall for each other, their lives spin into a revival of past hurts, jealousies, and betrayals, causing Barret to put a halt to their budding relationship.

Barret’s hesitation causes his best friend-turned vicious rival, Duncan Craig, to pursue a friendship with Kansas. Where will this leave Barret? Can they all hold on long enough to escape Kansas’s attacker, and will they ever conquer their own inner demons intent on keeping them apart?

 

“Emotionally driven, The Heart of the Hunter will have you rooting for Kansas and Barret. It’s heart breaking, shocking in places,  and inspiring as well.  Well-developed characters and a deep plot await you. Natalie-Nicole Bates has a style that is all her own. A definite must-read.”

5 Stars TOP PICK

Night Owl Reviews

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

ITunes

Lulu (paperback)

Kobo

Excerpt:

 

     On Saturday morning, Kansas could wait no longer. She could no longer live under the same roof with a man she was deeply in love with without telling him how she felt, and finding out once and for all how he truly felt about her. Now she stood leaning back against the counter sipping a cup of coffee, her stomach ached from nerves for what she was about to do.

     Most of the night she was awake rehearsing speeches on the same theme–confessing her love to Barret. Now all her carefully rehearsed words failed her.

     Barret sat at the kitchen table in t-shirt and jeans, absorbed in the newspaper. A shadow of a beard emphasized his maleness.

     Setting the cup on the counter, she took the few steps to stand beside the table. “Barret, why don’t you like me?” she blurted, immediately wishing she could bite back her words.

     Looking up from his newspaper, his eyebrows slashed together. “Excuse me?”

     Confusion consumed her, and she felt trapped and exposed, hesitant to continue. When he stood, she wanted to shrink away from him.

     “Whatever gave you the idea that I did not like you?”

     The demanding look in his blue eyes only made the words harder to form. Finally, she found her voice. “I love you, and you don’t love me,” she finally admitted.

     His shoulders visibly stiffened and the color drained from his face. Obviously, she caught him off guard. “I…I do love you, Kansas. But…but I don’t love you like you mean,” he stuttered.

     Her heart sank heavily in her chest. She raised her chin and looked back at him. She had to know. “What is it about me you don’t like?”

     “I like everything about you, Kansas. No, I love everything about you,” he told her as he planted his hands firmly on her shoulders causing her to want to crawl out of her skin and away from his touch. She’d said way too much,  and upset their whole stable situation.

     Finally, she looked into his confused eyes. “I’m sorry, Barret. I just couldn’t go on like this. Just tell me what it is about me that…” her voice trailed off as she slowly came to terms with the fact that he didn’t love her as a woman.

     Lifting her chin, he forced her to make eye contact with him. “Listen, angel, it’s not you, you’re absolutely perfect,” he told her,  and  smiled a smile she knew was forced.

     “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, and you’re an amazing person. You can have any man you want, but I’m not the right man for you,” he said gently.

     Continuing to maintain eye contact with him, she decided she wasn’t going to allow him to get off with such a broad response “Why?” she demanded.

     “The accident changed me, Kansas. I’m not the same man I was before it happened, and I’m glad for that. You wouldn’t have liked me then. I was an arrogant, self-absorbed bastard, and now I’m not sure who I am anymore,  or what I really want. But I do want you to know that if things had been different, and I wish they were…”

     Finally, she could take no more. “I got it, Barret,” she said shaking loose of his grip and turning away.

     “It’s just the hero thing, Kansas. You’ll get over it. You think you love me because I saved you that horrible day in that swamp. When some time passes, you’ll realize you’d never be happy with an almost forty year old detective. You would only resent me for taking you away from your old lifestyle.”

     She whirled to face him, her hands on her hips. “Why you arrogant… You don’t know me at all!” Finally, she lost the battle not to cry and tears poured freely down her cheeks. “I thought we were so close, but I guess I was completely off base about that. I don’t care about money or scars! I only care about you! We could have been so happy–”

     The doorbell rang cutting off Kansas’s words and she felt some relief that it had interrupted her intense venting. She felt like such a fool now.

     She’d received the answer she was after.  Unfortunately, it was not the one she wanted to hear.

 

Sara-Kate’s Spirit/Natalie-Nicole Bates + $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Image

I’m thrilled to be here this week to talk about my books and give away to one lucky reader a $10 Amazon gift card! To enter, simply leave a comment at any of my posts during the party!

Social Media Links for Natalie-Nicole Bates:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Street Team Sign Up

Sara-Kate’s Spirit is my paranormal romance novella and recent 5 Star TOP PICK review at Night Owl Reviews!

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Kobo
Barnes & Noble

Blurb:

Fallen spirit guide Sara-Kate has cocooned herself into an isolating, lonely life on earth. After a series of devastating incidents, she now prefers solitude to contact with others.

Her quiet existence is shattered when one night outside of her home, Sara-Kate awakens to the sound of a horrible accident, and finds a man near death. She offers comfort to the dying man before setting off back home.
Soon after, a knock at the door brings a surprise.

The dead man has somehow managed to follow her home!

Reed Thayer is dead, and doesn’t know it.

As Sara-Kate struggles with how to tell Reed about his new existence, her feelings for him continue to grow and a relationship blooms. She knows nothing will ever be the same for them when he finally learns the truth, and that their new found love may die when all is revealed.

 

Sara-Kate’s Spirit-Excerpt #1

 Sara-Kate’s peaceful sleep was shattered by the sound of crunching metal and images of black smoke.

If she were conscious, the decision would be easy. She would shut out the world and stay in her comfortable bed.

It wasn’t her job anymore to worry about the welfare of people in trouble. As it was now, she still went above and beyond what was expected of her.

But often in sleep, the unconscious overrides common sense, and the emotions of spirit were harder to keep in check.

Sara-Kate rose out of her body with the grace of a butterfly. With her feet hovering several inches from the oak floor, she floated from the bedroom, down the staircase, and through the front door as if it wasn’t there.

Her instincts carried her through her front garden, beyond the gate and onto the road—the place she never ventured to in her human form. Her self-imposed exile wasn’t because she was cold or cruel, she simply couldn’t face any more heart breaking loss. To stay inside her own piece of heaven was to keep her heart safe. Besides, there were strict rules when it came to spirits and the living.

Something looked different.

Even though she never left the sanctuary of her home, she knew how the road beyond looked, the layout of the houses. This place was different. This was another dimension.

She died a long time earlier, and could pass through dimensions with ease. Occasionally, she couldn’t control it—like tonight. It happened before. Still, no matter where she travelled, she still managed to find her way home.

Now, there was a matter at hand.

An acrid smoke filled the air, a sure sign an accident occurred on the unfamiliar road. This was confirmed by the sight of twisted metal. Bittersweet emotion filled Sara-Kate. While it was true that a human life was most likely lost, a soul would move on to a new plane of existence, where peace and love might be waiting.

A plane Sara-Kate never rose to.

She drifted to the car, one time a fancy little red import, and passed through the window. and into the passenger seat. By the look at the interior, the car’s airbag failed to deploy, and lurched its driver forward against the restraints.  Her eyes focused on the driver, by his uneven breathing, he was still alive, just barely.

Blood bubbled from his nose, and his eyes fixed to the ceiling. She leaned over and smoothed back his long dark hair from his face. Laying a gentle hand against his forehead, she tried to instill healing into the man, but her instinct told her clearly her healing would not be enough to save him. Instead, she hoped her touch would instead bring him comfort.

His head turned only enough to connect his eyes to hers.

Shock rocked her. Could he actually see her? There was a fear and disbelief in his eyes for sure, but  he was focused on her eyes, as well. Even at the brink of death, no one ever detected her before. Now she thought, he’s very, very special. He would go on to do amazing things in his next existence, and that brought Sara-Kate great joy.

“Just let go,” she encouraged.

“I don’t want to die,” he whispered, his voice thick and raspy.

“It will be better, Reed,  I promise.”

“You know my name.  You must be some kind of angel.”

She smiled. “Not exactly. I’m just here to help you transition into your new life.”

Tears poured from his eyes. “Please don’t leave me.”

“I’m not going anywhere, she said, and sent as much comfort and love through her hand and into his body as she could muster, without completely draining herself. Sirens blared off in the distance, and Reed’s breath became ragged. As he took his final breath, she lifted her hand from his forehead, and pressed a kiss against his cool skin.

When she saw the flashing red and blue lights of police and ambulance vehicles, she decided to make her exit from the scene. There was nothing more she could do now but return home to her own dimension, to her body and her bed.

Back To You/Natalie-Nicole Bates + Giveaway!

Image

Back To You is my contemporary romance and 2012 Finalist at the Festival of Romance Reader’s Awards for Best Short RomanceBack To You is available as an ebook, or as a collection in ebook and paperback with BONUS stories Antique Charming and Remember the Stars.

I will give away an ebook of my new paranormal romance novella, Sara-Kate’s Spirit, or my romantic suspense, The Heart of the Hunter (winner’s choice) to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment at any of my posts.

Blurb:

On the surface, Lynsey Reznor seems to have it all. She is beautiful, brilliant, and a successful true-crime writer who has been living the past decade in Miami. But what Lynsey lacks is what she needs the most—a family.
After the death of her mother, and yet another failed relationship, Lynsey makes an impulsive decision to return to her hometown of Unity. But Unity will present its own bittersweet memories, most notably, her first love, Nick Lincoln.

Twenty years ago, Nick broke teenager Lynsey’s heart when he decided to marry another. He had his own private reasons—reasons he never explained to Lynsey. Now she is back, along with a chance to reclaim her love. But Lynsey wants answers from him that he may never be able to give out of duty and guilt.

Buy Links:

Back To You (Single Release) Amazon
Back To You (Collection) Amazon
Back To You (Paperback) Amazon
Books To Go Now
Back To You (Single Release) Kobo
Back To You (Collection) Kobo

Excerpt:

When he heard her, he came to her, took her into his arms, and kissed her. It was a comfort that he wasn’t regretting their lovemaking. She didn’t think she could handle being rejected by him twice in her lifetime.
“Do you have to leave soon?” she asked.
“I’m sorry. I don’t want to, but I have to.” He went to the stove and prepared her a cup of coffee. “I think we should start planning our wedding. We could be married at Christmas.”
She was taken aback. Is this his proposal ? This was supposed to be so romantic and memorable, not talk about planning a Christmas wedding while he stirred a cup of coffee.
“Do you even want to get married?” She took the coffee mug he offered. “I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that you told me you weren’t sure you ever wanted to be married again. You said you didn’t see fatherhood in your future, and Nick, I want a baby…more than one. I grew up as an only child and I was so alone. I don’t want my child to have to experience that.”
“Well, I didn’t use a condom last night. You could be pregnant right now,” was his reply.
Heaviness descended upon her heart. This was so not how she wanted this morning to be, and certainly not the marriage proposal she had dreamed of. “I’m on the Pill—I won’t get pregnant if that’s all you’re worried about.”
“I’m sorry, that’s not the only reason we should get married.”
“Then why?” she asked suspiciously.
He let out an exaggerated sigh. “Lynsey, I don’t have time to get into this with you right now. What do you want me to say in the five minutes I have before I leave for work?”
She couldn’t believe his glib attitude. “How about saying something to me like…‘I love you, Lynsey, and I made a tremendous mistake by not marrying you twenty years ago?’ That would take you less than thirty seconds to say, and you could have easily gotten to your precious job on time.”
Suddenly his jaw set and his eyes narrowed. “I didn’t make a mistake by not marrying you twenty years ago! I let you go to become a success in life—and you did. I can’t regret that!”
“So, what I thought all these years was correct. I was nothing to you but a quick and easy way to shed your virginity.” Just saying the words was devastating. 
“That’s not it at all,” he vehemently insisted. “You were always so intelligent. I mean, you were a sixteen-year-old senior in high school! Just how many grades did you skip over, anyway?”
“Two,” she answered in a low voice.
“Do you know what would have happened if I hadn’t married Kelly?” He didn’t wait for her reply. “I’ll tell you what. You and I would have been ostracized by everyone in this town! We would have had to be married right away, and we would have had to live with your mother, because I had no money.”
“My mother loved you. She would have been happy to have us live with her,” she interjected.
“And we were so naïve, Lynsey. You would have graduated high school with either a big belly, or a baby in your arms…if you had graduated at all.”
She crossed her arms over her breasts and looked at the floor. She was too afraid that if she looked at him she would break down. “Some of the girls in school were married. A few of them had babies.”
He lifted her chin and forced her to make eye contact with him. “And you were too smart to be stuck in this town, and just another housewife. You would have become bored and resentful.”
“I wouldn’t have known the difference,” she countered.
“I had serious doubts then. I still have doubts now,” he admitted.
Her dark lashes flew upward. “What is that supposed to mean?” 
“I believe that you will become bored and restless in Unity and will want to go back to Florida or maybe California. I have a job and a family here, Lynsey. I don’t ever want to give that up. I’m afraid that we’ll have a child, and you’ll take my baby and leave. I can not allow that to happen.”
She couldn’t believe what he was saying. Nothing was further from the truth. “Do you think I would have sunk so much of my savings into that house just to abandon it? I would never, ever do what you’re saying. But if circumstances changed, I would expect you to support what was best for our family. Couples who are committed make sacrifices for each other!”
It was becoming clearer and clearer that things were rapidly falling apart between them.
“Lynsey, didn’t what happened between us last night mean anything to you?” he asked.
She chuckled unpleasantly. “I suppose that with us living in such close proximity, last night was inevitable. But don’t worry about it happening again, Nick. When you get home this evening, I won’t be here.” 
“Where are you going to be?”
She wanted to hurt Nick like she was now hurting. “I’m sure that Caleb wouldn’t mind me bunking down at his house for a week or two.”
“Over my dead body,” he seethed. “I will drag you away from him kicking and screaming if it comes to it. I’ll handcuff you to my bed if need be. Believe me, Lynsey, I’ll do it!” He flopped down into a kitchen chair and buried his face in his hands.
“I have to go now, Nick. I’m meeting your sister for breakfast. Listen to me. You need to pull yourself together. In your line of work, bad things happen when you lose your concentration.”
When he didn’t reply, she let out a sigh of resignation and headed for the door. At the last minute she turned to him. “Thanks for almost making it happen between us.”

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64,738 other followers