For those of you who don't know I love football. I watch it both Saturday and Sunday during the season. And I have been know to sit in front of my television every night of the week if I can find a game.
But I can't really say when the love affair started. Was it when I was two -- those black and white figures dancing across the screen?
Or sitting every Sunday on the couch with my dad? What girl didn't want to watch those tone body race down the field? Or hear the crunch of the hit? Oh...the tears of victory or the pain of defeat...what would my childhood been like without those moments -- shared by the members of my favorite team.
I don't know. But while search for sites that offered insight into the game I stumbled onto this blog "Art of Manliness."
After reading the first paragraph I felt a kinship with the writer. Though not a man, I shared his passion and understand his reasons for loving the awesome sport of football.
This week, we had the very hard chore of putting our dog down.
At fourteen, she'd been loyal, sweet and a pure joy in our life.
A lab/gray hound mix, she, at times, seemed to be a cat in a dog's body. She didn't bother you or demand attention. Except if she wanted her rump scratched, then she'd let you give her a few pats on the head and then she'd turn for the real treat.
Not a noisy dog, she didn't bark or howl like most dogs unless provoked. Brave and loyal, she'd stand right beside you, her hair raised on her back and give a few barks. But she wouldn't leave your side or run off.
Born sometime in October, we got her from the pound when she was just six weeks old. A true member of the family, she will be missed.
All dogs go to heaven so she living an even better life now.
Missed the HWG meeting in Omaha, but managed to make it to OCC.
Boy, I can't tell you the difference between the two. While HWG is a small group, I love see the ladies and learning about what is going on in thier lives and with their writing.
OCC meeting is held in a large hall with over seventy people. I did talk to a number of old friends and caught up on what they were doing but it is a very different setting. Something I will have to adjust to.
I'm just thankful for a chance to meet with other writers. I can't tell you the thrill I get from seeing other authors and knowing I'm in the same room with such creative people.
As you can see from the time that has passed between posts.
My life is crazy, right now.
And I had such grand plans to tell you all about my wonderful father. Now, look, June is gone, and I didn't get-her done.
Oh, well, now, we are in July.
And still I'm struggling to get things done. Since traveling to Texas for my father's 90th birthday, I've made a trip with my son to University of Tennessee for his freshman orientation. Then I've traveled to Illinois several times with my husband.
Only to find out that we will be moving to California. (Yeah, team, My husband has a new job.)
My grandparents were both hard working people. Who lived on a farm most of their lives.
As you can see my grandmother had an attitude. She lived to be ninety-six and was a small little lady with a never stop drive to get what she wanted.
My grandfather died when my dad was in the military so I never got the chance to meet the man. Luckily, my father had a number of brothers who never married and lived with my grandmother. They were like my grandfathers.
Both of my grandparents were the first of their family to be born in America.
To celebrate his life, I plan to show off a number of old pictures and let you in on the wonderful people in his life.
This picture is of my father while he was in the military. He served in World War II. He had a several brothers who also served in the war. One was part of the team that held load the bomb that was dropped on Japan. While another one landed on the beach in Normandy.
Luckily for us, they all returned from the war.
Hope you enjoy this tribute to my father. He, like so many men of his time, are or were awesome.
Most of the time, I double knot my shoe laces to keep them tied, but I found a new techique that works too. If you spritz the laces with a little water before tying, when they dry, they'll hold the knot and not come undone.
It is easy to defeat the defeated. They’ve already decided to let you win.
So if you have lost your self-confidence and don’t think you can achieve your goals, sit down and make a list of all the things you have going for you.
"Hey, Tina, I have nothing going for me."
"Really? You have no family, or friends, or co-workers that like you?"
"What about your health? Your ability to learn new things? The way your smile lights up a room. Everyone has something."
This reminds me of a story I heard as a child. It was about two men. One man had died and everyone it the town was glad because he was a mean, cruel, ugly man. Everyone thought he had no redeeming qualities.
But everyone in town was going to the man’s funeral.
Because the other man, who only saw the good in people, was going to tell everyone the mean man’s one redeeming trait.
The church packed. Someone asked. "What can you say was good about Mr. Mean?"
The answer: "He could whistle like a nightingale."
Find that one thing that makes you happy and dance like a hummingbird.
My son wrote the following article for his class based on the Bud Light commercials.
I enjoyed it and thought you might too.
Tonight, Bud Light salutes you, Mr. I work too hard in English class guy.
While all the other children are out playing sports, you’re reading Moby Dick, Grapes of Wrath, and War and Peace all at one time. When the other students go to bed, you’re the one that stays up writing the full eight logs, and working on your grammar.
Yes, you are the straight A, Valedictorian, fortuitous student that is always attentive and focused in class.
When Ms. McCoy asks a question, your hand is the first to reach for the sky.
That is why we salute you today, tomorrow, and maybe sometime next week for being the intelligent human being you are, Mr. I work too hard in English class guy.
Way to show everyone up and serve as an example for the way we should act in English class.
Inspiration oozes from every pore known to exist on your frail but literary gifted body. Continue in your conquest for literary achievement in the Ivy League, in your memoirs, and on your deathbed, granting us with quotes from Shakespeare long after we’ll have forgotten them. To be or not to be, that is the question; you have chosen to be, to be the sparkling diamond in a pile of coal.
Sleep well tonight Mr. I work too hard in English class guy because your night to shine, is every night. That is why you keep everyone awake because you are so bright, darkness evaporates and no one can sleep.
Turn off the light once in a while and let us shine for once, we may salute you, we may envy you, we may even cheat off of you in class, but we are not ignorant to your silly charade, we know what you’re up too, Mr. Teacher’s pet.
We may salute you now, but tomorrow, we won’t hesitate to nugget you and stuff you in a trashcan for making us look idiotic.
So enjoy our salute now, Mr. I work too hard in English class guy, because our recognition won’t last.
I only wish you could hear him read it because he does an awesome job of telling the story.
In today’s world there are many women that we could look up to and try to emulate. But I find that the women that most inspire me are women that I know personally. Their stories have a way of connecting to my life in ways that a stranger’s can not.
For instance, I look at my female relatives. All these women are part of my family. Each worked hard to make a difference in the lives of their children.
"What did they do that was so special?" you ask.
Let go back in time, we all know the world was different then, but how. Women didn’t have the rights we enjoy today. My grandmother, who was born in 1886, never missed a chance to vote because she knew what it was like not to get to vote. My mother and aunts were some of the first women to work outside of their homes. Their labor paved away for all of us. The conditions and low pay they endured help us move into high paying jobs and careers that women of their time didn’t even dream about having.
"Big deal, I have a job, does that make me special?"
"Yes, it does. But does it make you someone’s hero?"
"I don’t have that answer."
"So what’s the point?"
I guess the point is that you could be someone’s hero without even knowing it. The women in my life are unique. Each struggled to do what they had to do to make their life and their family’s lives better.
Are they superheroes? Can they leap a tall building?
No, but they make their small piece of the world better because they are in it. Superman can dive in and save someone’s life in a few minutes, but going to the same job for thirty years so your family can live in a nice neighborhood is much harder to achieve. That’s the act of my heroes.
I see their little acts of every day living as ripples that change the generations that follow them. If they can do it, I can too.
A woman in love. A ghost in need. A man possessed.
Myrddin, Cassandra's frisky feline familiar, has his work cut out to get two lovers together.
Evelyn is in love with Raritan Manor's resident ghost, Quinn, but can only experience his embrace in her dreams. Quinn, who doesn't realize he's a ghost, loves Eve and wishes she'd stop saying they can't be together. While at the manor, her friend, Julie, is prompted by Cassandra and Myrddin to invite their cousin, Alex, for a visit. When Alex arrives, Evelyn's hopes rise. Perhaps she will be able to have a real relationship after all.
Alex, though, has no interest in Evelyn. Yet, every time Myrddin comes around Alex feels like a man possessed and wants Eve with a passion, but the moment the cat leaves he's back to his old self again.
Caught between loving a ghost and putting up with a man who can't make up his mind, Evelyn is at a loss of what to do and feels as if she's losing her mind.
Can Myrddin get the right people together without causing too much heartache in the process?
Excerpt from Look What the Cat Dragged In
He looked at her, his gaze traveling over her face, searching her eyes. Then, he crushed her to him and pressed his lips on hers. Hypnotized by his kiss, she matched his eagerness with her own. His hands did a hungry search of her body. Warm passion rose in her and her thoughts fragmented. When his hand molded around her breast, a sense of caution clicked in her mind. She pulled away.
His broad shoulders heaved with every breath. "What is it, love? What is wrong?"
"Quinn, we can't keep doing this," her voice, faint and breathless, hitched on the words.
"Why not, sweetlin'?" She rose from the couch and smoothed her palms along her shorts while gaining her composure.
"Because, I told you, you're not real. You're a man who haunts my dreams and my friend's aunt's house."
Quinn's face darkened, his eyes narrowed. He stood and grasped her shoulders. "I wish you would stop this nonsense talk. You are not dreaming and I am real. The other day I thought I showed you—"
Evelyn put a finger up to his lips. "We had a wonderful experience, but it can't happen again. I wouldn't be able to live with myself."
"There's someone else," she lied.
Sadness melted Quinn's gaze. "Do you love him?"
Evelyn breathed with exasperation. "No, I don't." She paused, then added another lie, "Not yet at least."
Quinn took her in his arms. "Good. I do not know if I could handle you being in love with another man." He placed a kiss on her cheek, then nibbled her neck.
Her harnessed control broke free. Excitement drilled a hole in her center and desire twisted in its wake. Her mind spun in turmoil. She wanted him, but what would forging a bond with a ghost do to her psyche?
A relationship like that would eventually drive her insane.
Blurb- With rock-hard fortitude, Marohka Taunton battles to maintain her position as top mineralogist and refuses to see why she should marry even if the law requires she take a mate. Fighting her attraction for Stihl Fermesium, she struggles to save her father’s company.
Stihl, determined to win her as his mate, is faced with the commission deal of a lifetime and needs the money to save his family land. He wrestles with her emotional resistance and discovers someone other than Marohka is unhappy about their union. In fact, they want to separate them in the most basic of ways, death.
With the stairs a few steps ahead, she tasted victory and allowed herself a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness."
A masculine voice in front of her chuckled. "It’s not over yet, princess."
Marohka paused to inspect the stranger. The laughter reflected in his warm brown eyes—surprised, the intelligent focus—intrigued, and the dark spark of interest—captivated.
A foreign response slithered through her chest. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Her heartbeat rang in her ears. Her hands turned clammy. Awareness of the man claimed her senses.
His face, framed by dark brown hair, showed rough lines of strength and fortitude. A crooked nose, a square jaw, and a chiseled chin marked his unique personality. Added together, the sum indicated the man rarely backed down from a fight. He’d stand up for his beliefs and defeat his opponents. His lopsided grin with a dimple at the corner of his mouth teased her.
A silly feature on such a stern face. The little mark claimed her heart and spoke of a rare sense of humor, a trait absent in most men.
A tingle ran down her spine. Her toes curled. Either as an appealing partner or a worthy adversary, the man presented a dangerous combination. Right then, without question, Marohka decided never to cross paths with him again.
"It is for me," she responded to his comment. She lifted her chin a little higher and repaired the chip in her armor with a sassy comeback. "But you’re welcome to any of the girls behind me. I’m sure they’ll enjoy your charm."
Marohka lifted her skirt and swept up the stairs. The sound of his laughter spoiled her intended snub.
Betsy McLaughlin's future seems bright. Her father is the richest man in Covington, and she's engaged to the son of a wealthy, socially prominent family. But then Kyle Alexander enters the picture. Kyle is newly paroled after serving time for armed robbery. He's free now, and he can't keep his eyes off his boss's beautiful daughter. Can prison really change a man for the better? Betsy's about to find out.
“Where would you like to go?” Kyle asked. The night air was balmy, and he took a big breath to free his lungs of the smoky air from the Cue. “Anywhere.” “Have you had dinner?” “No.” “I didn’t either. Let’s find some place to eat.” “The Chicken Shack has the best fried chicken you ever ate.” “Sounds good to me.” The Chicken Shack was always crowded, but it wasn’t what you’d call an upscale establishment. Covington ’s working class frequented The Shack, and several people nodded to Kyle as he and Betsy followed the waitress to their table. “Did you see anybody that you know?” Kyle asked wryly as he and Betsy sat down. “No, but you did.” “Yeah. The young guy with the blonde woman and the babies lives in my apartment complex, and the older woman works at Chef’s Pantry in the bakery. How’d you find out about a place like this?” “One of Daddy’s suppliers was bragging on the chicken, so Daddy and I stopped in for lunch one day.” The waitress took their order and there was a short, uneasy silence. Kyle cleared his throat and said, “I thought you were engaged to Todd Warner.” “I am,” Betsy replied, ignoring an unexpected stab of guilt. “Then what are you doing here with me? Did you have a fight, and this is your way of punishing him?” “No, we didn’t have a fight. I… just thought it would be nice to get to know you better. You never finished your story that you were telling me at the picnic.” “Why do you want to get to know me?” asked Kyle shortly. “Is the lure of forbidden fruit getting to you? Is the princess who lives in the castle amusing herself with her father’s peasants?” Betsy was annoyed. “No, it’s nothing like that, and thank you very much for the compliment.” “Don’t blame me for wondering what you’re doing here,” Kyle answered with a shrug. “We both know I’m not the kind of man you should be with. I’ve done time and our families run in different social circles.” “Does that bother you? Are you threatened by the idea of a woman in my social class being interested in you?” “Yep, I sure am.” “Well, that makes no sense to me,” Betsy replied stiffly. “Really? Think about it. You wouldn’t be the first girl to get interested in a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. I expect you want to have a little fling before you get tied down to Warner, and I guess my reputation made me an ideal candidate.” “That’s nonsense.” “Is it?” Kyle paused as the waitress set their chicken on the table and refilled their glasses. “You’ve never known anybody like me before, have you?” he continued. “Just the fact that I come from trash makes me seem exciting, but that wouldn’t last. One day you’d take a good long look at me and run back home to daddy.” “You flatter yourself,” Betsy responded hotly. “Who said I would ever consider having a fling, as you put it, with you?” Kyle reached across the table for her hand and gently kissed the inner side of her wrist. “That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”
The sound of Havyn’s voice in her head startled her so much she lost her grip and fell forward. She kicked out her wings and glided to the wall between two abandoned stalls. Her heart pounding, she told herself he couldn’t be anywhere nearby. She must be imagining things.
The other bird might squawk or send her his feelings of unease as a warning, but he couldn’t talk to her in a language she could understand. She glanced around nervously, trying to catch her breath. Havyn wasn’t here. He left her several hours ago after bringing her home from the market. He probably planned to leave her in the barn for a few days until her father left the area. Then he’d try to train her to be his pet. She’d gone through the routine before.
“You’re not getting away.” His voice sounded in her head again.
At the same time, the large black falcon swooped down and landed on the wall beside her. The shock of both Havyn’s voice and the bird knocked her off balance. She tumbled onto the hay in one of the stalls. She rolled and tried to right herself, but a large wing covered her chest and held her down.
"Transform Faye Lynn."
His voice, his touch, the familiar scent of him, all hit her senses at once. She stared into his onyx eyes and shifted her shape. Her wings became arms. His beak softened into full lips. Black feathers turned to silky tufts of hair. Legs tangled. A rich scent filled the air. His chest crushed her breasts. The thick length of him found its home in her.
Transformation complete, Faye Lynn found herself lying on a bed of hay. Havyn’s weight covered her. His erection pumped heat through her system. She could smell him, taste him and hungered for him more than she ever longed for a man.
He must be a wizard was her last coherent
With no memory of her past, Faye Lynn Berton clings to a father who curses her ability to shape-shift, then uses her special skill to scam local villagers. The only freedom she knows comes as she soars through the sky in falcon form. A chance meeting with another changling turns her world upside down. Beyond satisfying the powerful sexual cravings that follow transformation, he reveals a surprising dimension of sex between their kind…one to unlock the secrets of her soul.
Havyn Westmore has questions…Faye Lynn holds the answers. Determined to unravel her secrets, he strives to gain her freedom and trust. Teaching her the finer techniques of transformation keeps her close while sex strengthens their bond. But on the trail of discovery, Havyn must confront his own past. Accused of a heinous crime, he was banned from his homeland. Now, he must choose between returning to face certain execution—or robbing Faye Lynn of her birthright and a life in Paradise.
Available at thewildrosepress.com and fictionwise.com
buy link - http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/the-soldier-s-return.html
Wet with anticipation, Janelle waits in her sexiest attire. She longs for her husband’s return from deployment in Afghanistan. When he arrives, she has a surprise for him. But she isn’t the only one with something to share.
Will this homecoming be as fulfilling as she desires?
Excerpt The key in the lock sent her pulse racing, and she stepped into the hallway, wanting to be the first thing he saw. The door opened. His finely pressed military uniform accentuated the thick muscles of his chest and arms. His dark hair and swarthy complexion gave him the appearance of an Arabic sheik, and she wanted to be his harem girl.
A loud thump reverberated throughout the room as he dropped the bags he carried. Ignoring his widening eyes, she jumped into his arms, pressing her warm flesh to him. Ron's muscles rippled under her hands. He kicked the door closed behind them, and her lips covered his, her tongue desperate to discover the heat of his mouth.
Thank you, Ava, for your sharing your book with us,
Mike and I stopped by President's Hoover's Library. He was an amazing individual, gave away a great deal of his own money to help starving people across the world. A successful geologist, he found gold any a number of countries around the world.
Also available in e-book in most formats at Internet outlets
When the orphan train arrives in Heart Junction, South Dakota in 1912, Laura Windsor happily greets the little girl she intends to take into her home. Her plans are shattered when Gavin Maitland explains that the orphan train children may be placed with married couples only.
Gavin hates disappointing the lovely Laura, but he has no choice. He is bound to follow the rules of the town council. When he is unable to place Angelina with a willing couple because she is a sickly child, he arranges for Laura to take her in temporarily.
Circumstances surrounding Angelina's care and placement keep Laura and Gavin close enough for each of them to realize that there is much more between them than their concern for a child. But can two people at odds ever join together? Not without breaking conventions, promises and even a few laws.
Laura let her gaze drift around the office. She appreciated the fine look of the large hardwood desk, but she could have done without the stale stench of cigar ashes emanating from the ash tray on Mr. Farah’s desk.
Mr. Maitland’s melodious, deep voice drifted through the open door.
Angelina’s sweet laughter followed the sounds of keys striking paper on a modern typewriter.
Laura relaxed a little knowing that Angelina seemed to be content. She peeked around the frame of the door into the lobby. Mr. Maitland touched Angelina’s cheek and smiled at the child. The man who was about to ruin Laura’s life appeared to be charming the daughter he was ready to destroy. Gavin Maitland was most assuredly two men in one. Charming, handsome, some women might say irresistible with his mass of caramel hair and his hazel-brown eyes. Yet heartless, cruel, uncaring had to be accurate words to describe him if he intended to stop Laura from making Angelina her daughter.
Laura pulled her gaze from the lobby of the train station and leaned against the door jamb. She closed her eyes. He can’t take my daughter from my arms. We need each other.
Mr. Maitland came through the door, nearly brushing his broad chest against Laura’s shoulder. He shut the door and stood inches from Laura, looking down at her.
She stared up at him, studying his eyes, wondering what she had to say or do to convince this sober, unrelenting stickler for the law to bend the rules this one time so she might keep Angelina with her in Heart Junction.
“Shall we sit down?” he asked in a coarse, husky voice.
Laura blinked and gazed up at him a moment longer. Would charm work? Scolding? Intimidation?
Her cheeks burned. She looked away. “Yes, let’s sit.” Just the thought of how far she may or may not go to keep Angelina warmed her whole body.
"And exactly why does he hanker for a wife and a child?" She pointed her cell phone at Vaughn’s chest. "Because I’ll tell you, marrying a woman just to produce kids is a really bad idea."
"I couldn’t agree with you more." Vaughn stepped forward and held out his hand. He craved her touch and the sensation of the fast beat of her pulse against his fingers. "By the way, I’m Vaughn Reagan. Philip introduced us at the start of the evening." Her forehead wrinkled, and she tilted her head slightly to the right.
Vaughn added Philip’s earlier description. "I’m the computer nerd who works at home and never gets out."
"Oh, yeah, shows you what a total idiot he is." She shifted her phone to her other hand.
She closed her cold fingers around his, and their palms touched briefly. The image of her hand stroking other parts of his body teased his mind with erotic possibilities. He released his grip and reminded himself to take it slow. Six months marked a long enough dry spell to suffer without a date.
"My son is working on his degree in computer science," she added and slipped her hand from his.
"And even though he doesn’t travel much, he’s brilliant. He surfs the Net and learns all sorts of useful facts. Knows more about the world than anyone I’ve ever met."
"Yes, well, the Web can be a lonely place. Chat rooms and cybersex don’t provide much of a physical connection." His words registered. At the same time, she jerked back with a shocked look on her face. "I mean . . ."
She shook her head, her full lips quirking into a grin. "I know what you mean." Her gaze shifted to the people still inside the house. "But sometimes I think companionship is overrated."
"No, there are jerks everywhere." He crowded closer and pointed to her phone. "But I can’t blame you for wanting to leave. Bill and Karen are nice neighbors, but some of their friends are less than polite."
"So you live around here, too?"
"Next door." He pointed over her right shoulder. She turned, and her arm brushed his shirt.
A sweet fragrance tickled his senses, almost the same scent as fresh-baked cookies. He drew in a deeper breath and identified the alluring scent.
Vanilla. His mouth watered for a taste.
She glanced back over her shoulder. The sexy pose plunged his heart into overdrive. "That really is close."
"Yes, and it provides an easy way to escape the boring company of fools." He forced himself to step around her and held out his hand. "Why don’t you run away with me?"
Her hair caught by the wind blew across her face and blocked his ability to read her expression. She shoved the silky auburn strands out of her eyes and frowned. "That’s not a very good idea. I don’t even know you."
"Yes, but are you sure you’d like to return to the party?" He read the answer on her face. The light from the sliding glass door lit the frown forming on her lips and the subtle narrowing of her eyes.
The notion of her going home with him caused excitement to race through him, and he tried to remember if the place appeared presentable.
"No, but if forced to choose between the devil I know and the devil I don’t . . ." She strolled forward and laid her hands in his. "I guess you win."
Marshall reached for his wineglass before sitting back on his stool. For the hundredth time in an hour, his eyes went to the beauty mark on Annie's face. The reason the small flaw captivated him was because it was so close to temptation, and he suspected a taste of heaven. He had a burning desire to kiss her and find out if her lips were as smooth and soft as they appeared.
More than that, he wanted to taste her, in more ways than one. Earlier, in the bedroom, it had been a struggle not to throw himself down on her and give in to the situation building between them. She'd looked damn appealing on his water bed, glaring up at him with indignant fire in her eyes.
He was willing to bet the fire in her eyes would intensify when it was replaced with passion. The innocence she eluded wasn't a ruse, but a thin layer protecting the woman he sensed was hidden beneath the surface. When was the last time he'd met a woman like her?
"That was good, Detective." Annie's compliment broke the silence. She pushed her empty plate aside and dropped her napkin over it before reaching for her glass of wine. "Either you've never been married, or you've been divorced a long time." She narrowed her eyes at him over her glass.
"Fishing, Doc?" Marshall grinned, pouring more wine into his glass. A tiny smile played upon her lips, making him wonder what she was thinking.
"What now, Detective?" She ran her pinky along the edge of her glass, dipping it slightly into the liquid before bringing it to her mouth.
In spite of the sophistication that cloaked Annie, she looked extremely vulnerable at that moment. Her action under normal circumstances would have been a natural prelude to an intimate moment between them-like a kiss. But he knew she wasn't aware of the alluring quality of her movements. She didn't seem the type to purposely tease a man using seductive coyness. In fact, she seemed a thousand miles away.
The shower had done her good. She looked refreshed and sexy as hell in faded cut-off jeans that left her shapely, slender legs bare all the way to the tops of her suntanned thighs. A sleeveless top completed her casual look, something thin and airy that tied beneath her breasts, emphasizing their perky shape.
And I'd thought there wasn't enough there to fill my hands?
A tingle of awareness surged through his blood, warming him more than any wine.
He hadn't denied her comments about being horny. Hell, she'd hit the nail right on the head, but she was the one making him that way, turning him inside out. When Michelle had kissed him and pressed her body against his, he'd felt nothing. Not a twinge of the old passion had resurfaced.
All Annie had to do to turn him on was be in the same room with him, like now...
*Previously released with New Concepts Publishing. With 20,000 words of new content including a new last chapter, if you enjoyed the ebook than you'll love the print version of this sizzling, suspenseful romance!
When I wrote this book, I wanted to show both the struggles of an unwed mother but also the pain of not being able to have a child.
Hope you enjoy the excerpt.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me, Kelly. He’s a smart guy. Why would he need me to help him with the class?” Susan watched the blade of the knife go through the onion. She was glad her job in Kelly and Jason’s household didn’t include cooking. Kelly had insisted she liked the chore. Susan, as the maid, only had to clean up.
“Jason is a smart guy, too. But he can’t spell worth a damn,” Kelly said around the matchstick in her mouth. Susan really didn’t believe the technique kept the tears away.
“Yes, but Jason loves you.” Susan wondered if anyone could not find Kelly loveable. Besides being a beautiful blonde with blue eyes and a killer figure, she was smart. Too bad she . . .
“Maybe, but when we were teamed up together in the master’s program, he was a royal pain.” Kelly threw the match in the trash. “I think the man went out of his way to find big words to use in our report so he could ask me how to spell them.” She scooped onion pieces off the cutting board and put them into a skillet. “And believe me, he was just like Colt. Jason wanted me to go out with him, and he thought if he pestered me enough, I’d give in.”
“So what should I do?” Susan shifted on her wooden barstool to get more comfortable. The baby rolled over and stretched. The soft pressure against the wall of her abdomen drew her hand to her stomach. “The man is hot. I’m not going to be able to resist him.”
“What’s wrong?” Concern rang in Kelly’s voice.
“Nothing, why?” Susan said, confused by the quick shift in topics.
“You had a funny look on your face.” Kelly picked up the green bell pepper and started chopping.
“Oh, the baby is moving.”
“Really?” Kelly’s eyes lit up.
Susan knew how much Kelly wanted to have a baby. It was part of the reason she was living with Kelly and Jason. “Do you want to feel the power of an all-star kicker?”
“Yes.” Kelly put down her knife and walked around the counter.
Her hand must have alerted the baby, because a kick hit Kelly’s palm.
“It must be amazing to feel a little person growing inside you,” Kelly said in awe.
“Usually.” Susan shrugged. “Sometimes, though, it’s more discomfort than amazement. Like at night when the baby wakes me, or during the day when he lays on my bladder. Sometimes I feel like an alien is invading my body, with demands I can’t meet.”
“You know you don’t have to face this alone. Jason and I will help you in any way we can, even if you don’t want to let us adopt your baby.” Kelly placed her hand on Susan’s shoulder. “You know we think of you as part of the family.”
“Yes, but . . .” Susan didn’t want to go over this again, but she still didn’t know what she should do. “If I keep the baby, how am I going to be able to go to school and get a degree? And if I let you and Jason adopt it, my parents will never forgive me.”
Black Dragon's Heart (also in paperback) by Anita Philmar
Devoted chemist, Sarah VanHorn, lives for her research but fantasizes about loving Jake Ramsey. Her two worlds collide when the dragon center agent arrives to rescue her from the company suspected of producing chemicals dangerous to those with dragon blood.
Sarah's not the only one with fantasies. Jake wants Sarah as his mate and he's waited years to claim her. Now, under his protective custody--not to mention the influence of Syndetic's sexual stimulant scenting the air--he can't resist the fiery temptation to finally make her his.
But when tragedy strikes and their dreams are threatened, will Sarah sacrifice her career, Jake, and possibly her life to discover the answers? And will Jake let her?
Excerpt - (PG)
“William sent you here, didn’t he?” Sarah laid her hands on Jake’s shoulders, wondering if she’d lost her mind. For a lifetime, she’d wanted to make love to him. Now, he covered her chest, stomach, legs.
“Yes, and he’s the reason I shouldn’t let this go any further.” Jake shifted her hips to the edge of the narrow bed. “My assignment isn’t to sample the pleasures of your body, but to free you from here and carry you home to your family.”
His gaze fell to her breasts. Sarah smiled. The fire in his dragon blood demanded the same relief hers did. “But you will, won’t you? Because if you don’t, I might press the button by the door. You know it’s the responsibility of every cadet to report to security when a stranger enters their room.”
Jake’s eyes lifted to hers. “Are you trying to force me into complying with your will?”
“Do I need to?” Sarah raised her upper body so her breasts brushed against his chest. The hard evidence of his desire bit into her thigh. She wished he'd find a better place to rest, like deep inside her. “We both want the same things.”
“You have no idea the things I long to arouse in you.”
Put a workaholic Yankee together with an amiable Southerner and watch the sparks fly! Annabelle travels to Charleston, where she stumbles across the trail of a long-buried Civil War mystery. Along the way she finds steamy passion, steadfast friends, mortal danger, and the love of her life.
Well-known journalist Annabelle Carlyle is stunned by the personal twist of her latest assignment: her best friend Vanessa is missing. Annabelle goes undercover in the Old South to search for answers. Full of thick accents and a way of life rooted in the past, Charleston is as foreign and strange a place as any Annabelle's visited. And before she finds a single clue, she runs into a sexy man she can't shake.
Tall, dark and charming, Mark Dering is happy to show the gorgeous Yankee his hometown. He's captivated by the quick witted, quick tempered redhead. But when they're shot at, he realizes she's far more than just another tourist. Soon they're knee deep in a mystery that goes all the way back to the Civil War. For once Annabelle is in over her head. Desperate to find Vanessa, she reluctantly accepts Mark's help. It isn't long before romance blooms right alongside the magnolias.
The stakes grow higher when a body is discovered. Someone is willing to kill to keep a century old Confederate secret hidden. With her best friend missing and a killer on the loose, it's the worst possible moment for Mark to try and unlock Annabelle's heart. Or is love exactly what her life's been missing?
And the excerpt:
Step into the world of Carolina Heat.......
Annabelle pushed through the baggage claim doors and stopped dead as a dense wall of humid air immobilized her. No, it was more like being slowly smothered. The humidity was a wet blanket lying over the entire city of Charleston and it sapped the tiniest dreg of energy she hadleft.
Spotting a cab idling in the pick-up lane she hurried forward, wincing as her laptop case banged against her hip. A quick shrug brought the strap back onto her shoulder. It also threw her off balance enough to slip right off the edge of the curb. Her knees crumpled. Exhaustion dulledher reflexes, so she was on her way to the ground when a well-muscled arm sprinkled with curly black hair shot forward and grabbed her wrists, keeping her upright.
"Careful there. I guess it's too late to tell you to watch your step?"
Annabelle stared at him for a moment without responding. The only thought in her brain was Wow! The man had to be several inches over six feet, and every speck of skin she could see was tanned. The way his muscles bulged under the plain white T-shirt told her his amazing physique didn't come from weekly visits to a gym. And were those really dimples bracketing his smile?
"Uh, thanks," she said belatedly. This behavior was ridiculous. She'd interviewed world leaders, celebrities, but was struck dumb by a complete stranger in an airport parking lot? Another part of her brain catalogued how well his deep black eyes were offset by his olive complexion and thick, black wavy hair.
"Are you okay?"
"What? Oh, yes, I'm fine. Apparently too tired to walk a straight line, but overall I'll live."
His dimples deepened. "Good to hear."
"Thanks for catching me. The way my day's gone, I would've fallen and broken my wrist."
"Pleasure's all mine. Now I can scratch `rescue damsel in distress' off my to-do list."
"Hmmm. When you look at it like that, it's almost as if I did you a favor," Annabelle teased.
"Then I should pay you back. Would you let me buy you a drink?"
This guy was smooth. And fast. On the other hand, this was the most fun she'd had in days.
He cocked his head to the side. "Come on, take a chance. I promise – no nefarious schemes. I'm gainfully employed, straight, single, and I think this could be fate. After all, it isn't every day a gorgeous redhead falls right into my lap."
"I appreciate the offer, but I don't even know your name," she stalled.
"It's a genuine pleasure to meet you, Miss Annabelle."His voice was flat out amazing. The vowels oozed like warm honeyfrom between the consonants. This was her first encounter with such a thick Southern accent, and she was completely enthralled by his slow Charlestonian drawl.
She realized her hand was still clasped in his, and abruptly pulled free. Annabelle didn't make a practice of standing in the middle of the street gaping at a man, even if he was unbelievably handsome in a brawny sort of way. As an investigative reporter she was used to meeting people, quickly cataloging her first impressions, and moving on. Being phased by a syrupy accent must be an oddity brought on by the extreme heat, she decided. This weather was enough to melt even her composure!
He waited until the elderly lady left then re-entered the shop. “All right, suppose I buy something.”
“Suppose you do. What are you talking about?”
“I’m trying to get you to like me.”
Sophie turned her back on him and reached for her bottle of water. She took a drink and faced him again with a smile. “That would be a serious mistake, don’t you think?”
“Why? I’m a nice guy.”
Sophie only smiled for a response.
“Sophie, come on.”
“All right,” she shrugged as if her next words were no big deal. “I’ve always wondered what I missed. So why don’t we go to bed?”
He blinked in surprise. “What do you mean? Just like that?”
“Why not? We’re grown up. All right, let me rephrase. I’m grown up. I can decide to go to bed with someone, if I want to. I was only sixteen when we dated. And you were three years older, more experienced and ready to go off to college. You were a bit out of my league.”
Joe, obviously dumfounded, was momentarily unable to respond. Idly he wondered how this woman had somehow gotten the upper hand. Had she just insulted him? “You don’t think I’m grown up?”
Sophie shrugged. “I don’t know you well enough to say.” And that was the truth. She couldn’t judge the man on the little she did know.
“All right, you want to go to bed with me. Didn’t you just tell me it would be a mistake to like me?”
Sophie dismissed his remark with a light frown and a gentle shake of her head. “I don’t have to like you to have sex.” She took a deep breath. “You know, when I was a teenager, I heard about this woman. She was writing a book. In it she rated every man she ever slept with. All right, perhaps ‘slept with’ is the wrong terminology, but you get what I mean.”
Joe swallowed. “And what, you’re looking to rate me?”
She laughed at his bleak look, thoroughly enjoying this teasing conversation. “Well, I wouldn’t mind seeing for myself what all the fuss was about.”
“Jesus, nothing like putting a little pressure on guy,” he said, his voice slightly strangled.
“Well, if it’s only a little pressure, it shouldn’t bother you any.” She grinned at his sour look. “Being a kid, I thought she was disgusting, but reconsidering, she was quite brilliant, don’t you think? Imagine how hard those guys worked once they realised what she was about?”
Finally, he managed a dour, “When?”
If he appeared a bit glum about the prospect, Sophie thought he’d get over it soon enough. She smiled. “I have plans for tonight and tomorrow. Are you busy Friday night?”
“What time?” he asked without the slightest bit of pleasure.
Sophie grinned. For someone who appeared to be unhappy with the thought, he surely was an amicable sort. “I close the shop at six. Is eight o’clock all right?”
“Fine, should I bring—”
Sophie interrupted with a shake of her head. “Nothing. This isn’t a date. I’ll make dinner.” She laughed as she watched his brows rise, his gaze obviously confused.
“I thought this wasn’t a date. I thought you only wanted sex.”
“I have to eat, don’t I? As long as I’m cooking, I might as well make enough for two.” She laughed softly as she gave him a knowing look. “And you can be dessert.”
Dr. Scott Hensley (introduced in Tempered Hearts) has built a wall around his heart since the death of his wife and parents. Katrina Simmons is recovering from scars inflicted on her as a battered wife. Can dreams be renewed and faith strengthened? Can they find joy and peace in God’s love and in love for one another?
He grinned. "I'm not blaming you. Yeah," he contradicted. "I guess I am. It’s not my fault that you're so beautiful you take my breath away."
"Right," she snorted. "I'm so beautiful. My legs are too short, my breasts are too small, and my hips are too big. And you think I'm beautiful. You, doctor, need your head examined. Or your eyes."
Scott glared at her, irritated beyond belief at what he was hearing. "That low-life son-of-a-bitch really did a number on you, didn't he?"
Trina gasped, surprised and shocked at his anger. "I was just joking."
"Well, it's not funny. You're constantly putting yourself down, and I'm sick of it!" Lunging from the couch, he carried her into the bedroom and stood her in front of the full-length mirror. "Look at yourself," he insisted, urging her chin up with his hand, determined that she see herself as he saw her.
"Your skin is like silk, all peachy and soft." He brushed his knuckles down her cheek. "Your hair is like satin, thick and shiny, makes me think of..." he hesitated. How could he describe the rich gold shot with equal proportions of red? he wondered, running his fingers through it, pulling her head back against his chest and placing a kiss on it. "Makes me think of a fiery sunset."
"And those eyes," he groaned, forcing himself not to turn her around to face him, "are big and luminous and incredibly rich. Like two huge chocolate drops in a bowl of fresh peaches and cream. Those lips," he traced them with his thumb, "soft and full, beg to be kissed."
His fingers trailed down her throat and over her shoulders until he cupped her breasts in his hands. "Feel perfect to me," he breathed, giving them an intimate squeeze. Releasing the tempting flesh, he continued, running his hands over her torso to cup her waist. "Beautiful," he assured her, his voice thick and husky. "So tiny. I can almost clasp my hands together, you're so tiny."
His hands continued their torturous journey, cupping her hips. With a gentle tug, he pulled her firmly against his body. "Flared just right,” he hummed. “Baby-making hips. Watching you walk, with that subtle sway of yours drives me crazy," he confessed.
"And those legs," he rolled his eyes with a satisfied grunt. Turning her around, he picked her up, and wrapped them around his waist. "Not long, true. But incredibly slender and well toned. The sexiest pair of legs I've seen in a long time. And I see plenty of them in my profession," he admitted, stroking her thigh.
"You have an abundance of energy, and depths of untapped passion that shows in the way you carry yourself, the glow you radiate, and the way you laugh and cry, with all of your emotions. That in itself is a turn on, knowing that when you love, you'll love with all of your being; that you'll hold nothing back, you'll give yourself freely and completely. I know you haven't been loved like that before, and it's hard for you to trust that you ever will, or can. But I love you, Katrina. I love you like that," he whispered.
~Blessings~ Pamela S. Thibodeaux "Inspirational with an Edge!" (TM) http://pamelathibodeaux.com http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com
Member White Roses in Bloom Authors Member/CoFounderBayou Writers Group
A dear friend sent me this note and I thought I would pass it on. There's no cost just a sharing of ideas.
I am working on a little project close to my heart and would love for you to help me out. If you would be so kind,check out the link below and if you would like to contribute, I would be very grateful.
I snatched the application and plopped myself into a leather chair. I didn’t have time for random idiocy, I needed a freakin’ job. Quickly, I filled in all the usual information. Dana Arthur. Age twenty-two. Previous experience: various crap jobs, some waitressing. Two-year degree from Long Island Community College. Strengths: motivated, hardworking, willing to do just about anything to move out of my house. (Okay, so I didn’t actually write down that last one.) It didn’t ask about weaknesses, but I don’t mind saying them. No tolerance for boredom, restless, problem with authority, a couple of hidden piercings and not-so-hidden tattoos, one or two DUIs. Or three. I attached my resumé to the application and handed it to Bizarro Girl. Showing absolutely no interest in it, she slid the papers into a manila folder and stood. Something flashed into my eyes, and I realized, after recovering my vision, that she’d taken a Polaroid of me. While I was still blinking, she popped it into the folder and left the room. Alone in the lobby of Cowell & Dirk, I seriously debated walking out right then and there. What kind of place took a Polaroid of you without so much as letting you get the McMuffin crumbs out of your teeth? But I let it go. For one thing, there was something very relaxing about that lobby. It was so quiet, like a super-secret, soundproofed vault. Not a single sound came in from outside. The colors were all bland and soothing. Beige carpet, black leather armchair and couch, blond wood receptionist’s desk. The overall look was what I would call Corporate Zombie. I could totally picture the people who worked there—pudgy-bodied, dull-eyed, combed-over drones in yellow ties and brown dress shoes. Every Friday they went out for after-work drinks at the nearest T.G.I. Friday’s. Mondays they spent the first few hours recounting their wild weekends, consisting of football games and blind dates who wouldn’t go down on them unless they paid for dinner. Shows what I know. When the door opened again, the sexiest man I’d ever seen in my life came toward me. My nipples got hard the instant I set eyes on him. I still can’t put my finger on exactly what made him so hot. He was good-looking enough, with eyes like chips of green stone and black hair. Black Irish, I think that look is called. He had a rolling, in-charge kind of walk, as if he were walking onto the deck of his own personal pirate ship. The pirate comparison wasn’t half-bad, he even had a scar on his cheek, a thin, white crescent around his mouth. His mouth might have been the sexiest of all. Surrounded by a slight stubble, it curved in a way that implied I know you and I know what you like. He was the kind of man who looked like he had a lot of secrets, secrets you might regret learning. The kind of man any normal mother would never allow anywhere near her daughter. But my mother was long gone, and I hadn’t listened to my stepmother from day one. “Ms. Arthur. Thanks for coming in.” Those eyes of his were mesmerizing. Half-hypnotized, I barely noticed he was patiently holding out his hand to shake mine. I got to my feet. But instead of shaking his hand, I stuck out my chin. “And you are?” “I’m Simon Dirk, Executive Vice President.” He could have said, “I’m the King of the World,” and I wouldn’t have argued. I shook his hand. “Nice to meet you.” Was there some kind of extra electricity when our hands touched? I can’t be sure. I was too bewitched by his eyes. From closer range, they looked more forest than grass-green, more cool than hot. They were slightly narrowed. This man was taking me in. Assessing me. It made sense, of course, he was considering whether or not to hire me. But, in retrospect, I know he was assessing me for something else. He looked down at my application. “So, you’re interested in the receptionist job.” Something told me he wouldn’t mind a cheeky attitude. “Yes. It’s a lifelong goal.” Right away his gaze darted up to meet mine. He gave me a long, cool look. “Do you plan on greeting clients in that manner?” “Absolutely not. Clients will get my complete and undivided servitude.” “I see.” After another long look into my soul, he pulled my resumé from the folder and scanned it. “Interesting job history.” I couldn’t help a wince. “It’s a tough economy.” “Yes, but two months at The Lotus Circle? Six months at Chuck E. Cheese? U-Stuff Taxidermy?” He looked up from my resumé, the most endearing frown making a dent between his eyebrows. Oh, how I wanted to feel that crease in his flesh. “Only one month there.” “What do you have, Job Attention Deficit Disorder?” Those eyes sent me a sexy green sparkle. “Undiagnosed.” A smile tugged the corner of his mouth and I watched the scar retreat up his cheek. Without the scar, his face would have been almost too pretty. But the scar, and a bump on his nose that I knew meant it had once been broken, kept him on the rugged side of fucking gorgeous. And then there was the animalistic heat he gave off. Quite a feat, under his crisp business suit. “Well, Ms. Arthur, I have a feeling you’d fit in well here.” I wasn’t entirely sure that was a compliment, given the Corporate Zombie decor. “Thanks.” “Can you start on Monday?” “Uh…sure.” I inwardly danced a jig. Hired! At last! That meant I could skip my Monday appointment at the hospital to participate in a blood sugar experiment that would pay me fifty dollars. “But…silly question, I know, but what is it that Cowell & Dirk does?” “We’ll get to all that during the training period.” Simon Dirk frowned. Had I asked something inappropriate? “Oh, and we’d like you to wear this on your first day.” From behind the receptionist’s desk, he produced a white box with a fancy department store logo I didn’t recognize. “If, that is, you’re serious about working here.” What did I need to do to convince him? “I’m serious. It’s either that or sell my blood by the pint.” He chuckled. I hoped I would be answering to him personally. Little did I know how personally.