Saturday, September 28, 2013

Win, Win, Win in the NOR Scavenger Hunt

Win Books and Prizes in the Night Owl Reviews Halloween Web Hunt

It's that time of year when ghosts and spirits are celebrated.

This year, I've joined the fun at Night Owl Reviews to show off one of my favorite books.

My contemporary paranormal story "Summer's Growth."

In the Scavenger Hunt, they ask a question about my book which is revealed in the book's blurb.

In this book, I have a whole family of spirits and one very special ghost.

Blurb -

Forced by the family spirits to get a life, Mattie Winston has to train her replacement Amber Harrison to be in charge of all the workings of the Winston estate. Reluctant to make changes in her life, Mattie forms a bond with Amber, when strange accidents start happening which threaten their lives and an unknown ghost makes an appearance.

After being rescued by an old flame, Quincy Miller, Mattie faces old wounds of rejection. As the general contractor for Amber’s redecoration project, Mattie is in constant contact with Quincy and realizes she still in love with her childhood sweetheart.

Amber, learning her new role in the family, wants to discover the identity of the ghost who keeps appearing. After several appearances, Gwen, Amber’s distance grandmother, shifts the book into more of Amber’s struggle to find out why her grandmother disappeared two hundred years ago without a trace. In a fight to claim her position in the family, Amber searches for clues to solve the mystery.

Mattie and Amber are both challenged when the family spirits decides Amber shouldn’t be the keeper. Battling for Amber, Mattie realizes she wants a life with Quincy outside the Winston estate.

Amber realized the importance of her new spiritual family, and she works to discover how Gwen died.

Can these two women achieve their goals?

Read First Chapter of "Summer's Growth"
Purchase ebook at:

Hope you enjoy the Scavenger Hunt,
Tina Gayle

Friday, September 27, 2013

Scottish Castles: A Guest Post by Becky Banks

Hi Tina and Tina Gayle fans! 

Thanks so much for having me today, I’m going to dive into one of my favorite subjects, Scotland. The weather has begun to turn Fall-like for most of us and for me it makes me think of misty cliffs and highland whisk(e)y.

Scotland is the home of the highlands, haggis, Hebrides and castles!

Not in a red kilt, but close! :0) [via]
When we think of Scotland (and we’ve enjoyed a romance novel or two!) we often times think of an image evoking a 16th century strapping highland Scotsmen swathed in a blood red kilt. And depending on your imagination’s enthusiasm he might also be standing tall (did I mention broad shouldered too?) on heather clad hillocks overlooking their foggy land. We don’t have to wander far into the historical romance section of our favorite bookstore to find it.

Though, traveling through Scotland today, our strapping Scotsman is noticeably absent. But in his place are emerald colored bluffs jutting proudly into the grey Atlantic and misty rolling hills, pink with heather, being bisected by streams and rivers that empty into one of the many lochs of the land. Nestled on those hills and dales are crumbled and in some instances still majestic stone towers and walls of ancient castles. The castles our highland hero from above would have lived. 

When my hubby and I toured Scotland a few years back, I spent most of the trip slack jawed in awe. These stone feats of strength had seen centuries of battle; bakers, cooks, ladies and chieftains had walked their halls. All of these peopled had once lived and loved within those stone edifices. Through the different castles there were three types: restored, treasured rubble and original.

Our first castle on this mini tour of Scottish castles is the unique Eilean Donan, which was built on a tiny island in the middle of a loch. Without a crane.  

One of the more picturesque of the Scottish castles, Eilean Donan, was erected in the 13th century
Eilean Donan restored to its former glory.
and yes purposefully built on the water. Why, you might ask, would someone wish to constantly have water in their cellar and mold in their closets? In one word: defense. Having Viking roots, it made sense for these water-based people to build a defensible curtain wall on an even more defensible tiny island. With just beach access, anyone wishing to do harm to the castle inhabitants would have to be brave enough to come ashore. Thus, becoming a stronghold for rebels in it’s later years. After the wall was built subsequent centuries added on to it, but it’s final glory - which we see today - is due to the restoration efforts of Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap between 1919 and 1932. Restoration was necessary since in 1719 the English sent Navy ships in to quell a potential uprising and when they met hostile forces they reduced the castle to rubble. Or as
Wikipedia says:

“Early in the morning on Sunday 10 May, HMS Worcester, HMS Flamborough, and HMS Enterprise anchored off Eilean Donan and sent a boat ashore under a flag of truce to negotiate. When the Spanish soldiers [aka rebel forces] in the castle fired at the boat, it was recalled and all three ships opened fire on the castle for an hour or more.[40] The next day the bombardment continued while a landing party was prepared. In the evening under the cover of an intense cannonade, the ships' boats went ashore and captured the castle against little resistance. According to Worcester's log, in the castle were "an Irishman, a captain, a Spanish lieutenant, a serjeant, one Scotch rebel and 39 Spanish soldiers, 343 barrels of powder and 52 barrels of musquet shot."[41] The naval force spent the next two days and 27 barrels of gunpowder demolishing the castle.[42]

I think we can all give the MacRae-Gilstrap family a big high-five for their spectacular work in restoring the castle to its former glory, as it was no small task in rebuilding it from the rubble.

Speaking of gunpowder and blowing castles to bits, that brings me to second castle I want to share with you. This one will be brief since it is its ending that I find the most interesting: Urquhart Castle.

Urquhart Castle nestled on Loch Ness. [via]
Also a water edged castle on the shores of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle it is believed to have had its beginnings in medieval times. However, its current ruins can be dated back to the 13th century. While in Scotland I had the good fortune to visit Urquhart and walk its ruins and listen to the history lesson they gave before releasing visitors to the castle grounds below.  In the lesson we learned that ownership of the castle was with clan Grant for many years. However over the centuries they lost it to marauding cattle stealers, the MacDonalds and in the later years Jacobite friendlies. Losing your beloved castle more than once can cause any human being to fret, but being Scotsmen through and through the Grants did more than blow it a kiss. On their final goodbye clan Grant, using barrels of gunpowder, lit fuses and left. Thus, reducing the gate house to rubble. As the narrator - in the history lesson I’d heard before viewing the castle - said of the Grants, if they couldn’t have it, no one would.

And finally, Dunvegan, the original. 

There are many castles in Scotland some are rubble - as you saw - and some have been restored. But rare is it to view one that has had continual residence in it since the moment its last stone was laid. 

Dunvegan castle dates its origins date back 800 years and its artifacts to well before that. Most notably is its Fairy Flag which is thought to predate the Crusades. Dunvegan is has been and is currently inhabited by the MacLeod clan. Currently on their 30th clan chief, who I hear is a good singer, has family that inhabits the property year round (but I hear the summer parties draw the biggest crowd). Updated continuously since its inception Dunvegan Castle boasts updated amenities much like a grand century-old home with lavish paintings, gold brocade wall paper and polished Queen Anne furniture. So awe-like is the feeling of being in a castle whose inhabitants had blood ties to the founder of the place eight hundred years prior that I felt compelled to write a book. And write one I did, the novel is called The Legend of Lady MacLaoch.

The story is central around the Castle Laoch and the clan chief has many of the same headaches as well as pride points as a real life clan chief might. It can be said that for intents and purposes Castle Laoch in the story is Dunvegan. :0) 

To wrap up our mini-castle tour here's a summary of the Dunvegan-inspired novel The Legend of Lady MacLaoch

The Dunvegan inspired novel.
In present-day Scotland, the laird and chief of the MacLaoch clan is an ex-Royal Air Force fighter pilot who has been past the gates of hell and returned a changed man. Rowan MacLaoch does battle with wartime memories and a family curse that threaten to consume him-unaware that his life and that of the history of the clan will be changed forever by the arrival of an American woman.

Cole Baker, a feisty recent graduate of a master's program, stumbles upon the ancient curse while researching her bloodlines. Moved by the history of the MacLaoch clan and the mystery of its chief, she digs into the legend that had been anything but quiet for centuries.

On their quest for answers, Cole and Rowan travel to places they have never before been and become witnesses to things they have never before fathomed. The legend-one started with blood-will end with more shed as its creator finally exacts her justice.

Thank you Tina Gayle and fans for having me today. You all have been great! 

Becky Banks is the award-winning author of historical romance The Legend of Lady MacLaoch and the newly released contemporary romance Forged.

Becky can be contacted online at: | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Thanks for stopping by Becky, best of luck with your books, Tina

Thursday, September 26, 2013

#AuthorQuote by Kitty Baron

"An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and


"Life will always knock you on your ass. Learn to roll with the punches, get back up and go again."

Favorite personal quote:
"An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and


A fifteen year-old Christian girl, on the brink of losing her faith in mankind as a whole.. until one old man's kindness and generosity changes her life forever.


Why does the whole world have to take a shot at me? I rubbed my tight shoulder and stomped on a bug, grinding it under my foot. Go away you nasty thing.

My shoulders hunched and my chin fell to my chest, eyes closed as something heavy settled in my belly. Great, now I’m attacking little critters? I swallowed in an attempt to hold back the tears that stung my eyes. One hand gripped the wooden rail to keep me from falling to my knees as the depression closed in around me, making my stomach toss like waves.

Please God, there has to be at least some decency out in the cruel, harsh world. I can’t take it anymore. Help me be rid of my bitterness. My constant anger has left me miserable.

Buy Links:

 Kitty Baron

Thanks for sharing,


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

#AuthorQuote by Richard Brawer

"I couldn’t understand why the Lord had let my life turn out so well, until they sent Thomas to prison for twenty-five years."
by Richard Brawer
From: The Nano Experiment (Cover attached)
The Nano Experiment is a high concept thriller where a wrongly convicted woman escapes from death row and evades the FBI, escapes from the Coast Guard and battles a private security force to uncover the evidence that will prove her innocence. “Eileen Robinson is a sympathetic, engaging character.  She is a tortured soul, but has hope for reuniting with her children and clearing her name.  You root for her from the beginning.”  Tim Sheard, author of the Lenny Moss crime novels.
Read the book jacket, all the reviews and an excerpt from where the one line came from at:
The Nano Experiment is available on Kindle and any e-reader, computer, Apple or Android device that has a Kindle app, or any table that can access Kindle books. Here is the link to the amazon page:

Richard Brawer

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Katalina Leon - Hopping Along with the NOR Contest

Katalina is also another author who is involved in the NOR Halloween Hop. I thought you might want to learn more about her book and her. So read on...

Have you ever tasted Absinthe? It’s strange, beautiful stuff and something of an acquired taste. Straight from the bottle it’s an earthy golden-green similar in hue to high quality olive oil. When mixed with water it becomes an enchanted, cloudy shade of pale opalescent jade. The mysterious green transformation is where the legend of the La Fée Verte, the green fairy begins. In cafés of the 19th century a patron would be served a fluted, parfait style glass, a small pitcher of water, a filigree spade-shaped spoon that often was a work of art in itself, and a tiny dish of chunky oblong sugar cubes.

The patron would balance the spoon across the top of the glass, place the sugar cubes atop the spoon and very slowly drizzle the absinthe over the sugar cubes, saturating them. Then a small amount of water would be trickled over the sugar cubes and allowed to dissolve them. The final step after the last bits of green sugar had slipped through the spoon is to stir the mixture until it becomes opaque. At that moment it’s time to ask La Fée Verte to be kind with you.

The first impression that might leap to mind while tasting modern commercial absinthe might be “Dear god that’s strong”, or it might be, “Wow this is just weird black licorice and a lot of booze.”

Taste it again and the other subtle flavors begin to come forward. Taste it again and you’ll notice there are a lot of layers to this stuff, multiple ingredients that are familiar yet very hard to name. Anise is right at the top, screaming “licorice!”, but there are other quietly seductive flavors as well as the possibly of a few sinister properties. Absinthe as it was made in the 19th century contained wormwood as one of the principle ingredients, which is said to induce hallucinations and eventually madness.

Madness? Wormwood? You might think that sounds a little unsetting but it didn’t stop the French from guzzling the stuff. Until World War I Absinthe was the most popular alcoholic beverage in France. French veterans returning from the Crimean War came home with a taste for exotic herbed alcoholic beverages. Absinthe’s astonishingly high alcohol content and notorious ability to intoxicate added to its popularity among the poor and serious café drinkers alike.  Absinthe’s allure crossed all social boundaries in 19th century France. Intellectuals, artists and well-to-do middle class matrons all enjoyed and often overindulged in La Fée Verte’s warming and yet numbing embrace.

For professional purposes only I drank a little absinthe while editing Fairy In The Flesh. I called on La Fée Verte to bring me a beautiful vision as I asked the question, “What if your soul mate was born a century before you?” Fairy In The Flesh explores that question big time.

In this excerpt Maya has been tricked into drinking mojo laced absinthe, travels back in time and wakes up in 1903…

Blurb: Fairy In The Flesh
Katalina Leon 

Maya Rousseau’s fantasy vacation in Avignon France heats up when an eccentric enchantress tricks her into drinking mojo-laced absinthe. 

An unexpected encounter with the green fairy causes Maya’s reality to have a serious melt down. She travels back in time and wakes up naked in the bed of her favorite bad boy Bohemian artist, the tall, dark and mysterious André Bosco. There’s nothing wrong with that except it’s 1903. 

For André it’s love at first sight. He begs Maya to become his cherished model, muse and lover. The chemistry and shared passion between them is overwhelming. André’s a generous-hearted dream man but there’s a catch. Every hour they spend together bonds them tighter and time is running out. The same powers that flung Maya back to 1903 are preparing to snatch her back.

With a hundred and ten years separating these soul-bound lovers it’s uncertain if they can find a happy ending without the help of a little magic and La Fée Verte.

Note: Story contains super hot sex with an unattainable man, enchanted hallucinatory beverages, mischievous time-twisters and green fairies.

Bio: Katalina Leon
I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

Ellora’s Cave:

 Loose Id:


All Romance eBooks:

Night Owl Reviews Author Page:



 Twitter: Katalina_Leon

Thanks Katalina for stopping by and sharing,


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Want to Read Some Awesome Books?

Then come on along to

  Win Books and Prizes in the Night Owl Reviews Halloween Web Hunt

Have some fun and win some prizes at the

Halloween Scavenger Hunt 2013


Become a Future Hunt Sponsor
Some baskets are digital and some are tangible. USA Shipping on shipped prize packages unless otherwise stated.

BIG HINT: Print out this page of fill in the blanks and write the missing word(s). Don't put your answers directly into the entry form without writing them down somewhere else. Technology can fail and you could loose your work. We are not responsible for technology or user mishaps.

Here's the answer to my entry.

Captionless Image

Hope you have an awesome time,


Friday, September 20, 2013

Hopping Buddy - Zoe Dawson

As you all know from my prior post last weekend, I'm doing the NOR Halloween Blog Hop.

I wanted to introduce you to one of my fellow Blog hoppers -- Zoe Dawson.



I’ll get you and your little dogs, too!

Veterinarian Poe Madigan enters The Fur Ball with her Jack Russell terriers (aka The Terrible Two) to compete for a substantial cash prize that will keep her mother from losing her home. But when her fabulous partner sprains his ankle, Poe must trade him and his talented Bichon for a sexy, muscle-bound hunk who can't dance and his basset hound, Lazy Daisy. If that's not enough to make her despair, it seems The Terrible Two have angered someone and they're receiving death threats!

Security specialist Jared Taylor promises one of Poe's friends that he will go undercover as her dog dancing partner to protect her from danger. He didn't expect to have his staid, traditional life turned all topsy-turvy and he would find a soft spot for a neglected hound and fall for a Goth princess. But when he reveals who he really is and why he is in Poe’s life will it destroy the foundation of trust they’ve built? Could he lose the real prize - Poe?


Excerpt from Hounded
Book #3
Going to the Dogs
By Zoe Dawson
All rights reserved
Chapter One
Pain exploded through Poe Madigan’s right cheek and eye. She slammed into the concrete wall, crying out when her shoulder hit with more vibrating agony, everything fragmenting into multi-colored pieces with layers of disconnection and disorientation. Shock coursed through her in a surreal I-feel-like-I’m-watching-from-a-distance way as she crumpled face down.
What the hell…?
A man. Above her. Masked? Had he punched her in the face? Where had he come from?
Edgar, the larger of her two Jack Russells, went crazy. He leapt at the man’s face and latched onto the mask concealing her attacker’s identity, the weight of the small dog dragging at the man’s torso. Allan’s ferocious barking peppered with mixed growls indicated he’d joined the fray. The signal to Poe’s brain to get up and fight short-circuited. Dazed and immobile from the blow, she could only watch helplessly.
A muzzy thought drifted along the edges of her awareness. Could this have something to do with that awful note someone had shoved under her door?
The man swung his arm and dislodged Edgar. Her dog cried out with a sharp yelp, and she tried again to get up. Edgar was hurt. She needed to help him. The man put his foot into the middle of her back and trapped her against the dirty pavement. He yanked at her purse, which was fortunately partially jammed underneath her. No way! He couldn’t have her too-cool zombie bag. Much too trendy for this lowlife scum. As he reached for the straps and tried to jerk her off the purse, Allan snapped at his hand, slashing it with his teeth.
Her attacker backed off, cursing and swatting at Allan, but the dog was too quick. Allan went for the man’s pant legs, shredding the fabric with his sharp little teeth while Edgar launched himself at him again. Someone shouted, but Poe couldn’t make out the words over the ringing in her ears. The sounds of her dogs attacking receded. Then someone touched her, making her flinch—no, wait, this was a helping touch, trying to find out if she was okay. She finally let go and drifted toward sooty blackness.
She jerked awake. One of the EMTs was talking to her in low, soothing tones as they loaded her into an ambulance, the glare of the blue revolving light making her head hurt. She thought she’d answered his questions, and he seemed satisfied.  Suddenly her throat closed up and lucidity rushed at her, tightening her chest. Where were her boys?
“Wait,” she cried out, trying to rise, but the doors closed with finality.

Buy Links:




Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, new adult, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

#AuthorQuote by Karalee Long

Karalee's Favorite Quote -"Never, never, never give up."  Winston Churchill.


Allie Blair, a divorced marriage counselor accused of murdering her ex-husband, tries to prove her innocence but unwittingly accepts the help of the one man who wants to prove her guilt.

Greg Weston, a Denver homicide detective, vows to bring his cousin's accused murderer, Allie Blair, to justice.  To win her trust, he signs up for a class she's teaching, "What Women Want."

When Allie becomes a target of the actual killer, her sizzling chemistry with Greg ignites passion too hot to ignore.  But Greg knows even if they survive, he'll lose Allie when she learns he's a cop.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Need Some Writing Tips - A Helpful Site

I'm always looking for writing tips and thought this site might be helpful to new writers.

She listed a number of tips.

1. Put the editor on hold.
2. Read your work out loud.
3. Use strong verbs.
4. Use structure.
5. Use strong verbs and nouns.
6. Be wary of adverbs and adjectives.
7. Use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
8. Work the details.
9. Cut, cut, cut
10. Use active voice

For more explanation for each item on the list and to see more tips visit her site at

Hope this helps you.

Have an awesome day,


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Have Fun and Win Prizes on Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Win Books and Prizes in the Night Owl Reviews Halloween Web Hunt

It's that time of year when the ghosts and spirits come out to play.

So I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell everyone about my contemporary paranormal story "Summer's Growth."

The answer to question for my book is in the blurb below.

In this book, I have a whole family of spirits and one very special ghost.

Blurb -

Forced by the family spirits to get a life, Mattie Winston has to train her replacement Amber Harrison to be in charge of all the workings of the Winston estate. Reluctant to make changes in her life, Mattie forms a bond with Amber, when strange accidents start happening which threaten their lives and an unknown ghost makes an appearance.

After being rescued by an old flame, Quincy Miller, Mattie faces old wounds of rejection. As the general contractor for Amber’s redecoration project, Mattie is in constant contact with Quincy and realizes she still in love with her childhood sweetheart.

Amber, learning her new role in the family, wants to discover the identity of the ghost who keeps appearing. After several appearances, Gwen, Amber’s distance grandmother, shifts the book into more of Amber’s struggle to find out why her grandmother disappeared two hundred years ago without a trace. In a fight to claim her position in the family, Amber searches for clues to solve the mystery.

Mattie and Amber are both challenged when the family spirits decides Amber shouldn’t be the keeper. Battling for Amber, Mattie realizes she wants a life with Quincy outside the Winston estate.

Amber realized the importance of her new spiritual family, and she works to discover how Gwen died.

Can these two women achieve their goals?

Read First Chapter of "Summer's Growth"
Purchase ebook at:

Have fun on this Scavenger Hunt,
Tina Gayle

Friday, September 13, 2013

Author's Poignant Saying/Quote - Do You Have One?

I'm starting a new segment on my blog call Author's Quote.

I wanted a fun way for other authors to share their inspiration for writing, life, etc.

So here's how it goes.

Send me a quote.

Something like

I'd like to get away from the earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin again.

-- Robert Frost


Shared joy is double joy,
and shared sorrow is half-sorrow.

-- Swedish proverb

Only make it a quote you wrote either from your book or one you wrote to inspire yourself.

Alone with the quote. I will display one of your book - cover, blurb, buy link and your personal links as well.

If interested in being apart of the fun. Email me - with several dates on either Tuesday or Thursday, I'll schedule you a date and contact you with all the information you need to send me.
You can send me everything before hand or I'll send you a reminder when we get closer to the date.
Your choice - I'll also post the list of guests for each month on the side bar of my blog once I have a few people sign up so make sure to send me you website so I can link to it.

If interested email me at

I look forward to hearing from you,


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Final Day, Final Hours to Download CFO's Affair for #Free

Now, is the time to do the deed and download my book.

Want to read the teaser for
Dilemma of the CEO’s Widow (coming out in 2014)

“Hey, Mom, how was the party for Vince and Sylvia?” Travis hugged his mother and stepped into the house. “Sorry I couldn’t make it. I’m busy at work on a new case that needs some extra attention.”

Marianne watched him stroll into the living room, his tall good looks reminding her so much of the man who’d captured her heart so many years ago. Jack Clark had been her world. She didn’t believe she’d ever love anyone like that again. Nor did she want to. The cost of losing him required a price she refused to pay.

Not liking the direction of her thoughts, she closed the door and turned.

Travis sank into his father’s favorite recliner with a low sigh of pleasure.

Not certain of the attraction, she contemplated getting rid of the chair. No, her boys rebelled each time she suggested it.

Why? Did they see the worn-out recliner as a reminder of their dad?

“Did everyone else show up?” Travis settled deeper into the lumpy cushions and kicked up the foot rest.

“Yes, the whole gang was there. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good time. With each of them happily married, they’re now looking at me as if they expect me to head to the altar next.” Marianne recalled the covert glances between the other executive wives. They were excited about their new lives and wanted her to share in their joy.

She did, but that didn’t mean she wanted to travel the same path. With numerous activities in her life, she didn’t need a man.

“I bet Knox was willing to throw himself under the bus and do the deed with you.” Travis’ teasing tone played against Marianne’s already frazzled nerves.

“Not yet, he’s more concern with what is going on between you and his daughter.” She locked gazes with her son and studied his reaction to the question.

“Oh, right. Now, that she’s working in the same building as I am, we’re carrying on a nefarious affair.” Travis shook his head and waved her into the chair next to him.

“Please tell me it’s not true. The girl is ten years younger than you are.” Marianne sank into the rocker beside her son, convinced she’d never persuade Knox to just let it be. He’d want to charge in and rescue his daughter. He wouldn’t be able to see that Lyndsey only wanted to have a little fun and then move onto someone else.

Marianne leaned back and guided the rocker into motion. Did she have any hope of persuading Knox to listen? If he didn’t, he just might lose his daughter.

“She’s over twenty-one.” Travis continued, “And from what I hear she’s now living on her own.”

“Look, there’s too many years between the two of you. You can’t have anything in common,” she argued, knowing as she said the words, her son wouldn’t listen. Still, she had to try for Knox’s peace of mind.

“Is that why you won’t marry Knox? Are you’re worried he’s too young for you?” Travis leaned forward and the foot rest slid into place under his chair.

Anger shot through Marianne at her son’s attempt to shift the conversation to her instead of answering her questions about his involvement with Lyndsey. She knotted her hands into fists and glared at him. “At our age it doesn’t matter as much.”

“Right, because you guys are already over the hill.” The smirk on her son’s face reminded her so much of his father. A flash of grief pierced through her chest. She lowered her gaze and fought to draw in a breath. So many times Jack had used the same wicked grin when he believed he had the upper hand in an argument.

“No. Knox is still young enough to remarry and have another family. I, on the other hand, have one smart ass son who won’t behave.” She turned and glared at him, distinguishing him as the one she was referring too.

With a small groan, she continued, “And I have another one who has several children. As a grandmother, I have no business getting involved with a younger man.”

“Oh, please, are you hearing what you’re saying?” Travis stared at her and then his face fell. “Damn, you do believe that dribble, don’t you?”

“I won’t disgrace my family by running after a man half my age.” Marianne stiffened in her seat and fought the desire to do the exact opposite. Knox in so many ways offered her a second chance. They shared interests she hadn’t enjoyed with Jack.

“Mom, are you crazy? The man is no more than ten years younger than you are.” Travis dropped out of his chair onto his knees and clasped her hands in his. “You have a right to enjoy the rest of your life with someone who loves you. If Knox wants you as his wife, why say no?”

Tears blurred her vision and emotions clogged her throat. Unable to speak, she shook her head and swallowed several times. How could she explain?

Knox was a good man, fun, carefree, loving, someone she like spending time with...his touch, kisses, heated glances caused desire to bloom. Then as quickly as her blood heated, it cooled when her mind shifted to thoughts of Jack. A heavy cloak of guilt fell over her shoulders. She fought not to crumble under the weight and straightened. “I can’t do that to your father. I’m his wife. I can’t turn my commitment off to him just because he’s not here with me anymore.”

“Oh, Mom, don’t you think he’d want you to be happy?” Travis stared into her face, his eyes drilling into her with the same intensity as Jack’s had.

“I’m, uh, not sure I can give Knox everything he deserves.” Visions of making love to Knox flashed in her head and her cheeks burned. Embarrassed, she tugged her hands free. “This is not a subject I should be talking to you about.”

“Why? You have no problem butting into my love life.” He caressed a hand across her cheek, wiping her tears from her face.

She batted away his caress. “Then you don’t mind telling me what’s going on between you and Lyndsey?”

He smiled. “I’ll tell if you will.”

Staring at her son, Marianne fought the emotions building in her chest. Her children had always consumed her world, their happiness paramount to her own. “Do you really care that much about Lyndsey?”

“Yes. I enjoy spending time with her, just like you adore time with Knox.” He rocked onto his heels and rose to his feet. Stepping away from his chair, he paced across the room.

After a moment, he turned. “Am I thinking about getting serious? I can’t say, but I’m not opposed to the idea either. I plan to take it one day at a time and see what develops.”

He paced back to her. “Can’t you do the same? Knox deserves a chance. In fact, so do you.”

Disgusted with herself for overreacting, she pushed to her feet. “We still meet for coffee every Saturday morning. So I guess for now, you can say we’re still reviewing our options.”

Her son grinned and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Good, then we’ll both see where this leads us. If it’s to a little white chapel, fine. If not, then we still have each other.”

“Oh, man, can you imagine if Knox was both your step-father and your-father-in-law?” Marianne considered the opposite scenario of Lyndsey being her...chills went down Marianne’s spine.

Damn, could life get any more complicated?


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