The Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder Book Tour and Giveaway :)
The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle
The Hotel LaBelle Series Book 1
by Sharon Buchbinder
Genre: Paranormal Romance
When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years.
Cursed by a medicine woman, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in.
With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can't help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again.
**On sale for only .99 cents March 1st-29th!!**
Lucius Stewart, a hard-working innkeeper is thrilled he has finally paid off the loan for his hotel. Now all he has to do is convince the love of his life, Mourning Dove, to move in with him. A late night visit brings bad news.
Hotel LaBelle, Billings, Montana, 1905
After five years of hard work, scrimping and saving, today Lucius Stewart’s dream became reality. This afternoon, he paid the Cattleman’s Bank off in full, and now held the deed to the beautiful Hotel LaBelle in his hand. He sat at his desk, sipped an exceptional whiskey from his bar, and dangled a fine cigar between his lips. He liked it when all the patrons and staff were in bed, asleep. During the evening in the crowded bar, with the piano player pounding the keys, it was impossible to even hear his own thoughts. Lucius blew a smoke ring and stared at the wood ceiling of his office. A good day. Perhaps the best of his thirty-five years of life. Though born and raised in New York City, the West had always called to him. When his mother died, he sold the family home and headed to Big Sky Country. During the ten years of working his way up to general manager in a large hotel in the city, he dreamed of building his own place. He wanted something for city folks like himself who hankered after a taste of the frontier—with the civilized amenities of a soft bed, fine dining, and good wine. If he’d been married, he would be celebrating with his wife. But the woman he loved turned him down, saying it would never work. In her nation, the women owned the home and all the family possessions. When a man and woman married, the husband moved into the wife’s home. And therein lay the rub. They came from different worlds. To keep the Hotel LaBelle up and running, he had to be present, pure and simple. The place wouldn’t run itself. Lucius knew if he blinked too long the barkeep would water the liquor, the cowboys would tear the place apart, and the hotel would be destroyed. So, he decided they were getting married, and she was moving in with him. They had to, especially with a little one on the way. An awful thought sprang into his mind. What if something happened to him before he could convince her his way was the right way? Life was unpredictable. Hadn’t his father died when he was a small child? If his father hadn’t provided for his mother, Lord only knew what his life would have been like growing up. Lucius set the deed to the hotel aside, picked up a pen, dipped it into the inkwell, and began to write.
An hour later, satisfied with his work, he dropped the pen on the desk. As soon as the ink dried, he’d put the second document in his safe place, along with the deed. Right now, he was plumb beat. He leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep.
“Lucius Stewart!” He fell backward, hitting the chair and his head on the wall. He rubbed the back of his skull and searched for the source of the voice. “Who’s there? What do you want? I don’t have any money—I took it all to the bank today.” An old woman stepped out of the shadows. She wore a buckskin dress covered in elk teeth. Eagle feathers perched on her head as if about to take flight. Anger creased her tanned face. “Beautiful Blackfeather.” The mother of the woman he loved stood before him, the feathers on her head trembling, and her face twisted in rage. “What’s wrong? Why are your arms bleeding? What happened to your hair? Is Mourning Dove not well?” Shaking from head to toe, his heart thundered in his chest like a bear trapped in a cage. All the traditional signs of mourning were right there in front of him, but he refused to believe his eyes. No, it couldn’t be. His vision blurred and he wailed. “No, no, tell me it isn’t so. Tell me Mourning Dove lives, please!” “Do not speak of my daughter, you worthless dog,” she spoke in Crow at the same time her hands flew in Plains Indian hand talk so fast and with such fury, he could barely keep up. “Slow down,” he signed back. “What is wrong?” “You. You are what’s wrong. You lay with so many women, you thought my daughter was another to toss aside. Now there is a child and you are not man enough to make things right.” “That’s not true!” Lucius jumped to his feet. “I love your daughter. I want to marry her. Here in my hotel, with a judge. Make it legal in the eyes of Montana law and white folks. Show her she’s worth more to me than a bride price of a horse.” “Liar,” Beautiful Blackfeather signed. “You love and leave all women. You hurt many and will do it no more.” “No, no, no. You don’t understand. I don’t want any other women.” Exasperated, he withdrew a gold wedding band from his pocket and held it out for Beautiful to see. “For Mourning Dove.” She pulled her medicine stick out of her belt and aimed it at his face. A wispy white feather hung on the tip and moved with his breath. She spoke in Crow. Though difficult to understand, Lucius knew enough of the language to recognize she cursed him. Beautiful Blackfeather wasn’t any ordinary mother-in-law to be. The Crow considered her the most powerful Medicine Woman in Montana. He had to stop her, make her comprehend his intentions. The room spun, colors twisted and whirled like a kaleidoscope, and his fingers and toes tingled. He grabbed the edge of the desk and squeezed his eyes shut to maintain his balance as the floor shifted. He opened them to discover Beautiful Blackfeather was gone. When he raised his hands to wipe away the sweat soaking his face, his stomach hit the floor. His hands had disappeared too.
Legacy of Evil
The Hotel LaBelle Series Book 2
When a wild mustang is shot in Montana, renowned horse whisperer and telepath, Emma Horserider, is called in to calm the herd and find out what happened. Once on scene she is almost killed by a bullet-spewing drone, and calls her black ops brother for back-up.
Emma's help roars into her life covered in tattoos and riding a Harley. Remote viewer Bronco Winchester takes the assignment because he is ordered to, but he wonders what type of assistance, his boss's sister needs. That is until he sees Emma, a valiant Warrior Woman proud of her Crow heritage.
Posing as a married couple, Emma and Bronco go undercover to infiltrate and stop a hate group. Both are anxious enough without the now growing attachment they feel for one another. When the lives of many are on the line, they are not sure if they will live or die—let alone have a chance at love.
**On sale for only .99 cents March 1st-29th!!**
Wild Mustang Ranch, Montana/Wyoming Border
Emma Horserider pressed the gas pedal of her battered pick-up truck like a NASCAR driver in a dead heat with the devil. She hoped no mountain goats decided to go for a walk in the middle of the road winding around the side of the rocky cliff. She didn’t have time to stop and wait for the stubborn beasts to decide if they would charge her truck or get out of the way. She was on a mission to protect the horses she loved and help to keep them unfettered by human saddles and reins. The call from Margie Hunter, the long-time director of the Wild Mustang Ranch, had been frantic, almost incoherent, “Terrible. Slaughtered. Horses panicked. Get here fast!” A lump rose in her throat, and tears threatened at the recollection of Margie’s grief-strangled message. She shook her head. “None of that nonsense, Horserider. Marines don’t cry. Semper Fi!” As she shouted out the last words with a defiant whoop, she rounded the last bend in the road. Stunned at seeing the gates closed, she skidded to a halt in front of the white truck with the ranch logo parked dead center in the way. A string bean of a man in a worn Stetson, boots, and shearling vest leaned against the hood of the vehicle, a shotgun cradled in his arms. Holy crap.” She’d never seen anyone bearing arms out here, much less standing guard. Things must be even worse than she thought. Grateful she’d brought her trusty Mossberg, Emma rolled down her window. “Thank God you’re here, Miss Emma.” Ralph, the director’s aged right hand man removed his hat and dragged the sleeve of his red plaid shirt across his pleated brow. “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” The creases on his sun-weathered face deepened. “We have no idea how it happened. No one’s been up here except the employees.” He pointed at the video camera mounted on the gatepost. “Nobody came through this gate last night. No one.” “Let me get in, see what’s going on.” Shoulders sagging, he nodded and opened the gate. “Talk to them, Miss Emma,” he called as she drove through. “They trust you.” Much as she kept her gift under wraps from the outside world, here in this equine sanctuary, everyone knew of her special bond with the animals. Her ancestor, Beautiful Blackfeather, would have called it horse medicine. Her brother Bert called it telepathy, in keeping with his work as Director of Homeland Security’s Anomaly Defense Division. No matter what other people called this ability, Emma had been born with an unbreakable sacred bond with horses, one handed down through generations of the Crow or Absaalooke people. When old age, sickness, or injury carried a mustang away, it was hard on the entire herd. But … Death by violence?
Eye of the Eagle
The Hotel LaBelle Series Book 3
One soars like an eagle. One strikes like a thunderbird.
But for both hearts, revenge can be deadly when it's nourished.
Anomaly Defense Director and shapeshifter Bert Blackfeather doesn't need a boss with no experience. So what if she's beautiful or gives him a jolt when she shakes his hand? He never plans to get seriously involved with another woman--not in this lifetime.
Phoebe Wagner, an empath with psychometric abilities and an advocate for the deaf, gets more than she bargained for with Bert. One touch and she relives his IED injuries. So what if he's handsome and hot? She doesn't need to add his secrets to her own. Phoebe's are bad enough.
When his niece goes missing from Hotel LaBelle, Bert goes to Montana to help--and Phoebe insists on going with him. Can these two hard-headed people share their darkest secrets in order to work together? It may be the only way to save an endangered child--and their own hearts when Bert's past rears its ugly head.
**On sale for only .99 cents March 1st-29th!!**
Bert Blackfeather is in Washington, D.C., dealing with the annoyance of a new and inexperienced boss. She’s a nuisance to be dealt with at work, nothing more. Or so he thinks.
Homeland Security Headquarters
Bert Blackfeather stared at the email on his screen, re-read it for the tenth time, and shook his head in disbelief. A political appointee—a woman with absolutely no background in Homeland Security or any other intelligence matters—was now his new boss, the Under Secretary for Management. Unbelievable. Third in command of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), assistant and advisor to the Secretary and Under Secretary on all administrative, financial, and personnel matters—and not a blessed thing in her bio indicated she was fit for the position—except the fact that her mother was the highest-ranking member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Not that he disliked Senator Ruth Wagner. She asked good questions, some so penetrating he wondered if she had a few psychic powers of her own. Her willingness to reach across the aisle and her impeccable integrity meant she accomplished more than many of her male colleagues who had served in the role. Senator Wagner’s husband, a member of the senior leadership team of the U.S. State Department, had died in a mysterious boating accident on the Chesapeake Bay. His unoccupied twenty-two-foot power boat had run aground on Tilghman Island, and the Coast Guard recovered his body two days later. The Medical Examiner said he died from drowning in brackish water, combined with hypothermia. Arguing that the bay was salt, not fresh or brackish water, rumor had it the senator had demanded the case be reopened, but neither the Talbot County Police, the Maryland State Police, nor a private investigator could find evidence of wrongful death. Case closed, Ruth Wagner soldiered on, raising her daughter on her own, without the live-in help she could have well afforded. If Senator Wagner had been the political appointee, he would have been fine with the placement. But accept her unqualified daughter as his equal, much less his superior? Never. The previous Under Secretary’s management style had been much more hands off, seldom interfering with his division—unless he ran over budget. This one, on the other hand—can you say micro-manager? Already, without even asking him if he wanted to do it, with not so much as an email, the new Under Secretary had appointed him to the intra-agency and inter-agency committee to combat human trafficking, the Blue Campaign. He had attended one session in person and found nothing of substantive value for him to contribute or learn. Besides, he had no desire to sit in face-to-face meetings while his wet-behind-the-ears boss sat with the head honchos in the enormous meeting room. In this case, maintaining a low profile was his best strategy. Rather than wasting his time watching the other directors and assistant directors vie for her attention, he chose to attend the monthly meeting by conference call. At least that way, he could get some work done and say “Bert Blackfeather, Director of the Anomaly Defense Division” when the chair asked who beeped in on the call. No one ever questioned him not attending the meeting in person, one of the few perks of being in a wheelchair. Most people had little understanding of what he could or could not do. He allowed them to assume his disability kept him away from the face-to- face meetings—not his lack of interest in the committee. It wasn’t as if he didn’t care about human trafficking. He did. Passionately. DHS was doing good work—between the committee meetings—not during them. The Anomaly Defense Division, however, had more than enough on its plate pursuing leads on terrorist plots. If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the other divisions needed his help, they knew where to find him, even if they didn’t know exactly what he and his agents did. That information was on a need-to-know basis. And they didn’t need to know. Irritated, he shrugged his shoulders, opened the fists he’d unconsciously been squeezing, and shook his arms to release the tension. He should have gone to the gym this morning. Thirty-three laps in the pool, some bench presses, pull-ups, biceps curls, and he’d be loose and relaxed. Maybe. His eyes strayed to the computer monitor again. A stunning champagne blonde smiled at him from the photo. Maybe he read the announcement too fast. He prided himself in considering all the facts before making a judgment. He took a deep breath, and re-read the email in the hopes he had missed some indication of her management expertise: Born and raised in Washington, DC, Phoebe Wagner attended Gallaudet University and obtained a B.A. in International Studies. Ms. Wagner continued her education at Georgetown Law and earned a JD, specializing in International and Comparative Law. A fierce advocate for deaf children, she won a coveted Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research on economic disparities at the Mexican Institute for the Deaf in Mexico City. Ms. Wagner is excited about the opportunity to apply her international expertise and diversity initiatives as part of her role as Under Secretary. When not volunteering her time as a legal consultant for the Deaf Community, Ms. Wagner can be found walking her miniature dachshund, horse-back riding, or practicing her martial arts. “International expertise and diversity initiatives? Is she going to have us sitting around in sensitivity training sessions, asking us to reveal our deepest, darkest prejudices,” he wondered out loud. “Fat chance.” Rolling his wheelchair to the dust streaked window overlooking the parking lot of the Nebraska Avenue complex, Bert stared down at the cars moving in and out and wondered which luxury vehicle belonged to the new Under Secretary. A knock pulled him out of his reverie. He wasn’t expecting anyone. He moved his chair to behind the desk and folded his hands—his “official” pose. “Come in.” The door opened and two women walked in, the first an attractive African American woman with salt and pepper hair, the second a breathtaking blonde. “Mr. Blackfeather, I’m Jean Johnson, and I’m a member of the DHS team of Interpreters for Under Secretary Wagner,” the first woman announced, positioning herself so the tall woman at her side could see her easily. She signed as she spoke. “I will speak when interpreting for Ms. Wagner and sign when interpreting for you, Mr. Blackfeather. Everything said in our conversations will be kept confidential. Also, I have a top-secret security clearance, should you need to discuss such matters. I will be using the first person, but you should keep your focus on Ms. Wagner, and not on me. This signal—” she held her hand up like a traffic cop, “—means I’d like you to pause so I can keep up with the interpretation. Everything said in this room will be interpreted. There are no side conversations with me, this is your conversation with Ms. Wagner.” Phew. Had the room temperature risen ten degrees? Or was it him?
Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. She is the author of the Hotel LaBelle Series, the Jinni Hunter Series, and the Obsession Series. When not attempting to make students and colleagues laugh or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, herding cats, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.
Character Profile: Emma Horserider aka Emma Bearkiller from Legacy of Evil, Hotel LaBelle Series, Book 2
By Sharon Buchbinder
Emma is a tall, athletic, muscular, Crow woman with high cheek bones, oval face, beautiful brown eyes, long black hair, and a regal bearing. Emma trains horses, and is known as a horse whisperer—but she’s truly telepathic. Her horse medicine is a gift from her ancestor, Medicine Woman Beautiful Blackfeather. Her work with horses is well known throughout equine circles. She works with the Indian Relay Racers, breaks horses in for new owners, and supports the a Wild Mustang herd on the Montana/Wyoming border.
Emma is all about relationships and is connected with family, clansmen and animals. While she appears to be laid back, she is very much in charge of her own life and not interested in changing her ways to conform to any man’s ideas of what a woman should be—or do. She is hard-working, respected in the community, and takes care of those she loves. Emma grew up connected to the earth and the world of animals. Her brother, Bert Blackfeather takes after his Medicine Woman ancestor and is an eagle shape shifter as Beautiful was. Brother and sister share a special bond because of these gifts. When trouble strikes, as it did in Iraq when her brother stepped on an IED, Emma felt the explosion and the pain in her legs. She knew immediately he was injured and near death. The connection goes both ways. At the age of sixteen, Emma killed a Grizzly bear when it attacked another girl while camping. She sustained claw marks and scars on her back and saved the other girl’s life—although her friend lost a leg. Emma followed the family into the military and served with distinction. After her stint in the USMC, she returned to the reservation to figure out what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. The horses called to her—literally—and her path was clear. Emma’s weaknesses are her pride and fear. She is proud of her heritage and her family. She fears losing face to Bronco, the man her brother sends to protect her. She worked too hard to get where she is to lose face to a man. She also fears losing her family members. Falling in love and losing herself in a man, becoming an appendage, rather than the independent Crow woman she has always been is not on her agenda. Over the course of the story, Emma takes risks with her life and her heart. She learns that love can come from the most unlikely situations—including hate at first sight.
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