Book Spotlights…..The Gangster’s Kiss by Ginger Ring & Lakam by Isobelle Cate

gangster kiss

The Gangster’s Kiss

by Ginger Ring
Book one from Ginger’s Love is a Dangerous Thing series


John O’Malley’s sister is missing. All the clues of her disappearance lead to Hayward County, Wisconsin and the crooks and questionable sheriff that reside there. Pretending to be one of them, John takes a job as bodyguard for the sheriff’s beautiful sister, Grace. It seems like the perfect way to investigate their crimes and corruption, but when someone threatens to kill Grace, the job proves harder than he thought. Is she an innocent witness to a crime, or just as guilty as everyone else?

Grace Sullivan just wanted a normal life: find a good man, get married and have a family. She has had enough of looking the other way while her brother hides behind his sheriff’s badge to conduct shady dealings. Hiring a gangster named John to watch her is the final straw. When a face from the past threatens her life, she is forced to put her life in John’s hands, but as time goes on, all she really wants is to be in the gangster’s arms.



“Grace, I have the seeds in that you ordered. Unfortunately, the fabric is not here yet.” The shopkeeper rattled on and on, but Grace kept her gaze on the young man by the car.
“Mrs. Kallstrom, do you know who that fella is? The one who’s fiddling with my brother’s car?” The older Norwegian woman waddled down the store aisle. She pushed her glasses up her nose and peered out the shop window.
“No. Afraid not. Could be one of those men from Illinois?” Her accent made it sound like ill-a-noise-ah. “Don’t know what this world is coming to. Gangsters in Hayward County.” She made the sign of the cross and walked to the candy counter.
“I’ll be just a minute,” Grace called, as she walked out the door. An overhead bell jingled as she passed. “Boy! Get away from that car.” She hurried down the wooden steps. Her heels clicked on the wood sidewalk as she rushed to Daniel’s vehicle.
He stood. His height now blocked the sun and shadowed his face. This was no boy. She had to look up to see his face. Grace cupped her hand to her forehead in hopes of seeing him better. His eyes were hazel. His jaw was clean-shaven, but already forming a shadow of whiskers. A straight nose and full lips accented his handsome face. The man was dressed cleanly and neatly in a blue shirt with white stripes, a navy tie, and reddish brown vest and trousers. A matching suit coat lay carefully folded on the wheel of the car.
“I, uh, I beg your pardon, sir.” Grace swallowed as her eyes fell to watch him slowly rub his hands on a clean rag. Not one to be lost for words, she struggled to find her next one. Her heart fluttered faster and her palms started to sweat.
“John, I see you’ve met my lovely sister.” Her brother grabbed John’s shoulder from behind. “Ain’t she a beauty?” John nodded in greeting, but remained silent. “Grace, this here is John. I’ve hired him to help around here and the homestead. He’s a wiz with cars too.” John continued to stare at her as Daniel introduced them.
“Well then, I’ll leave you two to finish whatever you were doing and I’ll continue with my purchases. I will see you at dinner time.” It was rude, but she couldn’t help it. John was the second man to unnerve her in less than twenty-four hours, and she hoped the pattern would not continue. Her stride brought her quickly to the store and she slammed the door. The bell clanged.
“Ah, there you are. Is there something else I can help you with today, yah?” Mrs. Kallstrom always seemed to answer all her own questions with an affirmative.
“Yah,” Grace shook her head, “I mean, no. That will be all, please.” Why the young man unsettled her, she did not know. He didn’t seem dangerous, but he troubled her nonetheless. She unclenched her fists and reached for her coin purse.
Payment paid in full, Grace gathered her purchases and placed them in a basket. “Thank you, Mrs. Kallstrom, and please give my regards to Mr. Kallstrom.”
“Oh, yah. Have a nice day.” She accompanied Grace to the front of the store. “Will Mr. Sullivan be driving you home now?”
“No, I prefer to walk.” She reached for the door handle.
“Be careful of the gangsters.” The shopkeeper tossed out before continuing the lecture in Norwegian. A knot formed in her throat, as the man’s face from last night flashed before her eyes.
Grace risked a look in the direction of her brother. Maybe she should have him drive her home, but he was still engaged in a conversation with the new guy. Her brother may be the county sheriff, but she never knew if he was talking to one of the good guys or one of the bad, especially now.


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lakam cover


by Isobelle Cate
book one from The Mana Series


The Mana Series, Mana is Filipino for ‘legacy’.
It is 1607. The Spanish have landed on the shores of the Philippines to pacify the natives, convert them to Christianity, and mine the islands for its gold.

Headstrong and loyal, Lakam, a Babaylan, refuses to submit to Spanish imperial authority and convert to Christianity. With her village destroyed and her people killed, she seeks refuge in the Cave of Rituals in the jungle vastness of the sacred mountains, but she is caught, raped and tortured. On the eve of her execution, she regains her freedom with the help of her jailer, Joaquin Santiago, who refuses to see her killed. Now a remontada (outlaw), Lakam realizes the old ways will cease to exist unless she finds a way for it to continue in the ruined ashes of the world she knows.



“Go back to your homes and prepare your belongings, but only what is necessary— food and clothing. Leave anything that will slow our journey. The white men will return soon and they must not find us here. I will send messengers to tell you when we leave and when you see them you should be ready to go,” The Datu told his people.

Everyone hurried away to do their chieftain’s bidding. Their hushed tones of alarm sounded like the waves against the breakwater. Children bewildered at not being able to play whined beside their mothers. A strong sea breeze rustled the coconut fronds overhead, dangerously knocking the coconuts against each other. People stayed away from the base of the trees burdened with fruit to avoid these falling on them. The warriors waited for the Datu to leave before they too went to their own families to make their own preparations. As soon as they were ready, they would bring their families to the great hall in the Datu’s house so they could be sure of their families’ safety and look after the Datu at the same time.

Lakam faced the wind defiantly, like the change she refused to accept. However, she knew after today things would never be the same again.


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