Cover Reveal!

One of my favorite parts of publishing a new story is the cover reveal. I love getting a new cover and seeing what the artist has done with my ideas. Chiarra Giradelli at The Book Cover Designer created the cover for The Beautician and the Billionaire. I hope you love it as much as me!

Here it is:

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Shifting into Love Part 3


So sorry this is late, but the life of romance writers is, unfortunately, not always glamorous. If you’re here for the first time, please check out Part One and Part Two. Otherwise, please enjoy and help Samantha decide what to do at the end.


Samantha pressed her spirit through the door handle as the stranger tried to open it again. Warmth spread through her at his touch, and their souls mingled for another moment. He didn’t even try to open the door. She watched him step away from the red head and look around the bar. It would have to be enough, but he’d most likely drive off once his bike was fixed.

The ringtone echoed. Samantha relinquished her small amount of control over the bar and removed her hands from the tabletop. The cellar came back into focus. “What’s up Shannon?” she asked after pulling her phone out of her back pocket. The feel of his wanderlust lingered until her sister spoke.

“Make my fucking headache go away.”

“Ummm, take two aspirin and call me in the morning?”

“It’s Harrigans calling me.”

Samantha didn’t know what to say—it was exactly what she’d worried about, but she still couldn’t understand why Harrigans would want Shannon when she’d left so long ago. After a second, she took the tact she always did as a bartender. “How’s life treating you?”

“No. This is not about my divorce or job loss. This is about–”

“You lost your job?”

Silence answered Samantha. The divorce had been painful to hear about only by phone, and now her sister had no job. “There were massive layoffs last month. I haven’t found a new one yet.”

Maybe Harrigans was loosening his grip to make room for her sister—not a replacement, but a partner. “Come home, Shannon. You should be here.”

“I don’t even know where you are.”

“But you always know how to get here.”

The line went dead.

The bar was usually placid, but as soon as Shannon hung up, the ground of the cellar tilted Samantha toward the stairs. “If you wanted me to go after him, why did you block his soul from me?”

The only answer was a gentle lift up to the stairs. She took them two at a time and burst out of the doorway. But the stranger was gone along with the red head. As she stared through the crowd, the front door of the bar opened as if the wind had blown it.

Samantha caught her breath—the outside. She only ever saw glimpses like postcards of distant places she’d never visit. Staring out gave her the shakes. It was almost as if the bar was telling her to leave. It couldn’t just kick her out like this. Not after all these years of being together.

The sunlight reflected off red metal. She squinted—she actually had to squint. When her eyes adjusted, she saw a crimson motorcycle, which was old fashioned in style, but appeared mint. Something about it tugged at Samantha; she wanted to sit on it, to ride it. She realized with a jolt that there was already someone on it: the red head. The stranger stood with his hands across his chest, watching the mechanic. He appeared angered or maybe just annoyed.

The door waved back and forth as if it beckoned her outside. Samantha stepped behind the bar, afraid to get too close to the door. She placed her hands on the bar, ready to serve, but no one needed a drink. A breeze blew by her ear and seemed to whisper, “It’s okay,” but she decided it was only her imagination, at least she only wanted it to be her imagination.

And then she met eyes with the stranger again.

At that distance, she only saw black, but she thought, or maybe she wished, that the eyes smiled at her. The frown, though, as her turned back to the mechanic was unmistakable. He shook his head and said something that made her get off the bike and strut back into the bar as if she’d been extremely put out.

The stranger followed her in, but headed straight for the bar while the red head returned to her booth. The door remained open.

Samantha grabbed a rag and began wiping down the bar like she hadn’t been standing there watching anything going on. Her heart pounded faster when he spoke, and Samantha felt another pull away from Harrigans.

“Could I have whatever you have on tap?” His voice was strangely intimate, as if he only wanted Samantha to hear him speak.

She opened her mouth, but her eyes glanced outside again, making her mute. She turned away, took a beer mug off of the shelf, tilted it under the tap and watched a dark stout flow out.

“Nice,” he said behind her. “I got a taste of that when I was traveling through Europe. I don’t see it much on tap back here.”

Samantha turned back to him and set the mug down. She stared at the motorcycle again and said in a strangely breathless voice, “Did you take your bike over there?”

“Yeah, she’s beautiful isn’t she?”

“I’ve never seen one like her.” Samantha found it odd that she called the motorcycle her, but the bar was always male in her mind. Maybe it wasn’t so strange.

“I’m Levi,” he said.

She gazed back into his umber eyes and said, “I’m Samantha. Was she able to get your motorcycle to start?” Samantha knew the answer, but she wanted to hear more of what had happened.

“She had no idea. Of course, I don’t either, but I couldn’t believe she suggested that I was out of gas.”

“Yeah, how dare she.” Samantha tried to hide a smile when he looked up, but didn’t quite manage it. She was glad because the grin that spread across his face made even the music in the bar play with a happier beat.

“You caught me. I can be a bit of an ass when it comes to my bike.”

“Everyone’s a pain in the ass over something.”

“And what about you?” His hand reached out and took one of hers.

Wanderlust wrapped around her heart. She searched his eyes, determined for a hint as to what he needed from the bar besides a working motorcycle, but Harrigans kept blocking her. His eyes widened, and she realized maybe he could sense something from her spirit. She slid her hand out from his and said, “I can be a bitch when it comes to the bar.”

“I imagine you’ve kicked a fair share of people out of here. And you play pool like a shark.”

“Seems like I missed my shot when you walked in.” That was the wrong thing to say, or maybe the right thing.

He leaned in closer and said, “I’d like to think it was because of my incredible presence.”

Samantha broke into laughter. “You’re quite full of yourself.”

“Only around gorgeous women. Want to get a closer look at my bike? Maybe you have the magic touch to get it started.”

The door to the outside world stood wide open. Samantha couldn’t see much beyond the bike and the parking lot. She looked down at the beer she’d drawn from the tap. She never left the bar. It’d be the first time since her grandma had died if she went out. She hadn’t even realized she missed the open world until today when Levi walked in.

Maybe if her sister was here, she could go outside, but not now, not when the bar seemed to be loosening its hold on her. If she left, the bar could crumble, well, okay, she had no idea what would happen to the bar if she left.

What should Samantha do? Go outside with Levi, or play it safe and remain in the bar?

Shifting into Love Part 2

Samantha pulled herself up to her full height, swung her head so her blonde hair fell behind her shoulder and ignored her phone. Her sister had been the one to leave, and if she were making a play for Harrigans now, Samantha would fight it. She shrugged out of the stranger’s grip and turned to greet him, ready to know what he needed—how the bar could serve him.

Her mouth fell open when her eyes met his—brown like rich soil and completely blocking his soul. She had no insight into his desires or needs like she did every other person in the bar. It made her stagger back and balance herself with the pool cue. He reached out and caught her by the elbow too. Her phone quit ringing.

“Hey, are you okay?” he asked. Bangs fell over one eyebrow in a boyish manner, but his voice resonated with deep tones.

Goose bumps flared where he touched her, and she yanked her arm away. “I’m fine,” she quipped. In a calmer tone she added, “Can I get you a drink?”

“Actually, I was wondering who was a good mechanic around here. My motorcycle slowed down on it’s own when we got near the bar and then it just died. I can’t restart it, but I see no obvious problems.” He gave a sideways smile as if he was trying to impress her and said, “I rebuilt it myself.”

The smile made her want to lead him upstairs and forget about the rest of her customers, but she had to figure out what was going on with the bar first. She’d send him on his way and go to the cellar to focus. He was just another man, nothing special—except she couldn’t read him.

She scanned the room, hoping to find a mechanic. She never knew where the bar materialized and always had to rely on Harrigans’ knowledge for any local questions. Sometimes the bar had a phone book, but she’d try the crowd first. Her eyes landed on whom she was looking for, and she frowned. The mechanic was a red headed woman tossing back a beer. She was cute and young and perfectly unacceptable to introduce this enigmatic stranger to. Samantha scanned the room some more, but knew the red head was the only mechanic there.

What did Samantha care? She needed to mend the bond with the bar and not worry about her sex life. “Go talk to her.” She nodded her head towards the mechanic and turned back to the pool game. Her opponent had just missed the nine ball and left her a great shot. She sunk it with ease, winning the game. As the group cheered and jeered, and her opponent racked the balls for another game, Samantha watched the stranger’s easy saunter over to the mechanic.

The mechanic looked him up and down and grinned as he talked. Samantha’s stomach twisted.

Shit. She didn’t have time for jealousy. She handed off her cue and strutted through the bar to the stairs in the back. She descended into the only room that never changed: the cellar. It had casks of liquids, some of which Samantha hadn’t even tried, and floor to ceiling wine racks. In the center were a large oak table and chairs.

She sat in one of the chairs and placed her palms on the table. The room pulsed, weaker than usual. “What’s wrong?” she whispered.

Sometimes they’d get a customer who needed special attention, and Harrigans would be miffed at Samantha until she tended to her, but Samantha had felt no such need in the crowd. The only odd person had been the man with the broken motorcycle, but Harrigan’s had given her no insight into him. She pressed her palms into the table, and the room pulsed again. The bar pushed love and sorrow through her veins. Her guess had been right: there was someone at the bar whose needs Samantha was ignoring.

“Who?” she whispered. “I felt nothing.”

The bar took over her vision and showed her the main room. The red headed mechanic scooted out of her booth and took the boyish stranger by the arm. Samantha’s heart pounded with envy and fear as he led the mechanic to the door. Wait, maybe they were the ones who needed special attention.

She shoved aside her own fear that he would step outside and she wouldn’t see him again to try to sense their need. The woman clearly desired the motorcyclist, but Samantha could still feel nothing from him. “I don’t get it,” she said out loud to the bar. “There’s nothing special about her, and he’s completely blocked to me.”

The couple had almost reached the door when the motorcyclist said something that made the red head laugh. She took her hand off his arm and ran her hand down his back and to his ass, squeezing it.

Inexplicable rage coursed through Samantha. She pulsed her own power through the bar and locked the door just as the motorcyclist tried to push it open. When his fingertips touched the door, Samantha finally felt a bit of his soul—broody and filled with wanderlust. Her own spirit responded by swelling with the urge to travel. She allowed the desire to expand for just one moment before she squelched it as she always did.

The bar needed her to help someone. Her destiny was not one filled with new places, at least places outside of the Harrigans.

Her energy drained out in her effort to keep the door locked. Her phone rang and echoed her sister’s ringtone all around the cellar. If she answered it, the door would unlock and the motorcyclist would be free to leave. She couldn’t figure out why the bar had shown her the couple, when they didn’t seem to be the ones who needed help.

Her phone rang again. Maybe it was her sister who needed help. Samantha asked Harrigans what to do, but the bar remained silent.


What do you think Samantha should do? Answer the phone to see if her sister needs help and allow the door to unlock? Or keep the door locked long enough to get back upstairs and put her sister off one more time?