Archive for June, 2014

Military Monday: Major Pleasure

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Howdy all! I’m back with a military excerpt, but this time it’s a Monday. Today I’m introducing you to an erotic romance novella featuring a military hero. I loved putting together this story several years ago. I hope you enjoy the hot excerpt! You can find Major Pleasure at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

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He’s got the military command…
Army Special Forces Major Blayne Forbes has always desired Jemma Teagan, but knows she’s off limits for a casual relationship. The last thing he wants is involvement with a forever kind of woman. Jemma’s desire for the diamond-in-the-rough soldier has never faded, and when he tumbles into her arms, the tough guy sends her heart rate into orbit. She doesn’t want to love a man destined for danger, until he challenges her to a display of hardware she can’t resist.

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Jemma saw the big man walking toward her with confident strides. Her heart leapt in surprise and happiness, then thundered with excitement.

She couldn’t restrain how her breath quickened and her body hummed whenever she saw him. It didn’t matter that months of separation parted them, or that he traveled the world keeping freedom, hope, and democracy intact. No, she responded to him with unadulterated pleasure and a full-on lust she couldn’t control.

Then reality intruded. What was Blayne doing home? She almost called out to him in greeting, until she saw his slight limp and the tired expression on his face. Pale, with five o’clock shadow and a haunted look in his eye, he didn’t appear like the tough, indomitable soldier she’d known for almost two years. He caught sight of her and his trademark sultry smile started, then came to a dead stop. His mouth opened but instead of greeting her, he put one hand out to prop against the doorframe.

“Damn,” he muttered as his eyelids started to flutter.

Worried, she reached up to cup his face in one hand. “Blayne, are you all right?”

The dazed look in his eyes retreated. “Yeah, I’m okay.”

With instincts honed by years of growing up with brothers who didn’t see the doctor unless their parents hogtied them, she shifted her touch to his forehead. “You’re feverish. What’s wrong?”

He blinked as if someone had just told him he’d jumped out of a plane without a parachute. “Nothing’s wrong. I’m good.”

A little surprised by his gruff tone, she withdrew her hand. His stubble-roughened jaw scratched against her palm, and though he looked tired, he could still make the molecules in her body come to a standstill and take notice. No doubt about it, in her personal dictionary under the word hunk, the description said Blayne Forbes. From the first time Graham introduced them, she had a gut-level reaction to the man. Blayne’s unique combination of gallantry combined with a dangerous edge intrigued her. So did the soulful, sexually charged nuance in his thickly lashed dark eyes. A short, military cut restrained the curls in his lustrous, thick ash-colored hair. His somewhat crooked nose and strong jaw line added to the craggy image. His incredible, conditioned body spelled sin. In the recipe book of life under delicious there should be a picture of Major Blayne William Forbes.

For too long, steamy, sexy dreams of being with him haunted her. It didn’t help he looked delicious enough to eat. Swirling heat filled her loins and mixed with her extreme pleasure at seeing him. God, the man is gorgeous.

Today he wore a black leather bomber jacket, thick red turtleneck sweater, and butt-loving jeans showcasing his long, muscular legs. But it didn’t matter what he wore because every time she saw him, her libido caught on fire whether she liked it or not.

More often not.

After all, getting involved with a footloose, rough-and-tumble Special Forces officer didn’t define her idea of safe and secure. He had a risky job. Chances are one of these days he’d come back from a mission in a flag-draped coffin.

Right now, though, he looked anything but tough and it worried her.

He kept his hand on the doorjamb. “Sorry, Sweets. It’s been a long day.”

Sweets. Only Blayne could get away with calling her something like that. And she’d been too damn chicken to ask him why he’d pinned her with the nickname not long after they’d met. He never said it in an insulting manner, but always in a warm, teasing tone.

“I didn’t know you were coming home,” she said. “I figured Graham would have mentioned that your unit was back.”

A grim, almost sarcastic smile spread over his face. “Graham may not have heard. I’m back alone.”

“Why?”

Clutching at the doorjamb, he shrugged those mile-wide shoulders. “Long story.”

Her eyes narrowed as she frowned. “I saw you limping. Is that why you’re back?”

His mouth thinned, his gaze sharpening. “Among other things. Is Graham here?”

“I stopped by to see if he wanted to go out to lunch, but he apparently ran out to do some errands.”

“I should have called first.” He released the doorjamb gingerly, as if unsure he could stand without the support. “It doesn’t matter. I needed to come on post anyway.”

His gaze centered on Jemma again and this time the way he looked at her brought wild, rushing feelings back to her. Warm and appreciative, his attention caressed her face. Her cheeks flushed under his unbridled interest. As her nipples tingled in response, she wanted to reach up and hug him. Every so often she thought she caught two emotions running across his expression and it always caught her off guard.

Lust and tenderness.

Tingling built in her belly, moistening forbidden areas deep between her legs in a shocking rush. The man knows how to turn me into mush every time.

“You look good, Jemma.” His smile went brilliant, a touch of the old Blayne in his grin. “How are you?”

“I’m great.” Before she could thank him, he closed his eyes a second and winced. That did it. She clasped his arm. “I think you should sit down a minute.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“Right. You almost fainted in my arms a moment ago and you look like the semi from hell plowed over you and then backed up and did it again.”

He placed his palm over her hand, effectively trapping her fingers against his arm. Big and well-shaped, his hands always inspired some pretty interesting fantasies for her.

He resurrected a wolfish grin. “Big, bad Special Forces officers don’t faint.”

She rolled her gaze to the sky a moment, then sighed. “Oh, excuse me. You don’t faint, you pass out.” She tugged on his arm and started to pull him along. “Well, Major Forbes, what am I going to do with you if you fall flat on your face right here? I’ll have to call for EMS and that would embarrass you, big bad Special Forces officer or not. Why don’t you sit in my car a minute and take it easy.”

To her surprise he allowed her to guide him to her Taurus. She opened the door and he slid into the passenger seat. She got into the driver’s seat.

When he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, she asked, “So what’s wrong? Why did you come back early? Were you injured during the mission?”

The thought of him hurt at any time made her heart drop into her shoes.

He opened his eyes but kept his head back on the seat. “Maybe I should have taken a nap before I drove straight to the post.”

“You just got back? No wonder you’re out on your feet.”

“I changed clothes and came right over. I need to talk with Graham.”

“Well, in lieu of my big brother, I can be a pretty good listener.”

He shook his head.

She grinned and crossed her arms. “Oh, is this one of those I’d-love-to-tell-you-but- then-I’d-have-to-kill-you things?”

“Yeah, some of it is.”

She sensed an undertone in Blayne’s voice, something dark and serious beneath the evasiveness.

Go for it, Jemma. “Since my dear brother stood me up for lunch, maybe you could have lunch with me.”

He looked at his watch. “You don’t have to go back to work?”

“I’m on two weeks’ vacation.”

He grunted. “You know, I think I’m going to go home and crash.” He flicked a warm, almost sensual look her way before opening the door and starting to get out. “Good to see you, Jemma. I’ll talk to you later.”

Fine. Be that way. She didn’t care if she had lunch with him anyway. He probably has a girlfriend waiting for him at home. The thought made unwelcome jealousy rise inside her.
Instead of leaving the car, he came to a stop and put his head in his hands. She reached out to touch his broad shoulder. “That’s it, Forbes. You’re telling me what’s wrong. If you’re ill, you’re going to the doctor.”

He removed his hands from his head and managed a crooked grin. “Forbes?”

“Okay, Major Forbes.” She blushed. “Blame it on my brother. He calls you that.”

Although he looked weary, he smiled. “I figured that’s where you got it.” He shook his head. “I’ve told you to call me Blayne.”

Resistance to the idea remained steady in her psyche. “Tell me what’s wrong. You’re not healthy. I can see that.”

He rubbed his hand over his chin. “I’m getting over the flu.”

“I think you should see a doctor,” she said. “Then I’ll take you home.”

His gaze cleared long enough to rake over her with a sudden, blazing energy. Flickering with sensual awareness, his gaze locked with hers, then drifted to her lips.
“Yeah.” His voice came soft and sensual. “Maybe I need some nursing.”

Jemma’s belly fluttered and tingled. My, oh my. She couldn’t deny the innuendo, and she knew he realized what he’d said. She dared search his eyes, probing for his intentions and enjoying the heated way his gaze moved over her. With any other man, the blatant once-over might have seemed insulting. When Blayne looked at her like this she felt uninhibited and willing to take a dare. Hell, she felt devoured.

 

 

Historical Paranormal Romance: Shadows Rise & World War One

Friday, June 27th, 2014

This month, a hundred years ago, the incident that brought on World War One happened. World War One and romance? How does that go together? Well, more than you would think. With any war there are love stories hidden inside the strife. When I wrote my Asylum Trilogy I stretched the story of an old asylum over three time periods…1906, 1918 and modern day. Shadows Rise is the 1918 story, which is the year the war ended. During that time people suffered through many of the things people do today. PTSD (though it was known as shell shock then), broken marriages, broken romances, new romances. World War One (or The Great War as it was called) was a time ripe for turmoil and drama. I thought I’d share a snippet of Shadows Rise with you today and give you a taste of the hero and heroine together in 1918.

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A time of war, disease and supernatural threat tests the fabric of one woman and one man…

Annabelle Dorrenti is ravaged by her experiences in World War I, her body marked by wounds, and her psyche damaged by guilt. To save herself, she becomes a nurse at the asylum and discovers the haunting is just beginning. Perhaps she’s imagining the shadows that flicker nearby, waiting. A creeping dread presses in upon her, and she sees signs everywhere that something just isn’t right at the asylum. She doesn’t want to admit it anymore than she wants to acknowledge her building attraction to a handsome soldier as broken as she is. A man who blames her for his sister’s death.

Army Captain Cade Hale suffers from shell shock and the terrible fear that the dead haunt his every step. He knows that danger terrorizes the earth, but he also feels Tranquil View could cure him of addiction and grief over his sister’s death. He’s determined to lay the blame for her death where it belongs, directly at Annabelle Dorrenti’s feet. Drawn down to his soul to Annabelle, he hates their attraction and struggles against it. Yet he knows the asylum harbors evil, and his fear for Annabelle demands he protect her, no matter what the risk, no matter what she’s done in the past. When evil and illness manifest, Cade and Annabelle step up to challenge a horror far more insidious than insanity.

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Tranquil View Asylum

Simple, Colorado

October 1918

Annabelle Dorrenti limped as the ache in her left leg reacted to long hours on the ward. She continued down the hallway, albeit at a slightly slower pace. No point in paying attention to pain. Her shift wasn’t even half over.

A soldier entered the asylum and changed everything in Annabelle’s life. Physically he looked fine—more than fine, actually. He came through the massive front doors, old metal and wood creaking and each assured step thudding on the floor of the rotunda. He didn’t look anything like the soldiers who resided here now. She was used to frail-looking military men with odd gaits, thousand-mile stares, and souls so destroyed they’d never find their way back to sanity again. This man had presence, and there was nothing fragile in how he presented himself.

He was a big man, easily six feet three inches. Strength showed in his broad shoulders, trim waist, and steady walk. His long wool uniform coat fit him as if tailored, his boots were polished, and his bearing was upright and imposing. His height would intimidate most men and women, but his gaze might give people pause. It was a dark, haunted gaze that would stay cloaked to strangers, but could read a woman’s secrets within minutes.

His face didn’t have the classic good looks of Douglas Fairbanks. She’d seen Fairbanks in only one film this year called Say! Young Fella and hadn’t been as impressed as the women who sighed and simpered at the mere mention of the actor. Her friend, Penelope Billings, another nurse at Tranquil View, thought the actor was the most handsome thing she’d ever seen. No, this man was harder than Fairbanks–raw with energy and grounded. Real.

His jaw appeared carved out of granite and his cheekbones sculpted, but he was far from pretty. His hair, thick and black, fell in unruly waves that defied the short cut. It made him appear untamed, a wildcat few could cage or train. His mouth was caught in a thin line etched with pain or disapproval, or maybe both. Something powerful radiated from him and mixed with a vulnerability that snatched the breath from her. She didn’t understand how she knew it, but he would become important in her life.

Compelled, she stepped into the rotunda from the north wing first floor ward. She’d intercept him and help. Perhaps he wasn’t a patient, but a friend coming to see one of his wounded buddies. Nurse Liza Olmaster saw him, too, as she strode from the administration offices located in the back. And when Nurse Olmaster latched on to a person they never escaped.

Annabelle hadn’t gone more than two steps before a powerful arm slung around her neck and drew her back into the hallway. She managed one strangled cry, surprise mixing with anger.

“What you doin’ Kraut? You think you’re going to spy for the Kaiser and tell those Huns where we’re at?” He pulled on her neck again and she gasped for air.

The gruff voice was thick with drug, but also strong with hatred. She recognized that foul-mouthed mid-western accent right away. Problem was, she could barely squeak, much less plead with Sergeant Martin “Pepper” Culpepper. Pain shot through her throat. She gripped the man’s hard forearm with both hands, but she couldn’t make him budge. If he crushed her larynx she wouldn’t have to worry about anything. She wouldn’t have nightmares, or sweats, or feel her heartbeat slamming relentlessly against her chest every time she tried to leave this building anymore.

“Soldier!”

The deep, commanding voice boomed, startling her as much as it did Pepper. The man hauling her backwards into the hallway stopped. As Annabelle’s eyes watered, she tried to see through the pain.

The handsome man walking toward her and Pepper brushed passed Nurse Olmaster. Nurse Olmaster, petite but blustery, took instant offense. “You have no business—”

“Shut up,” the new man said, his voice cold and harsh.

Nurse Olmaster gasped, and turned right around to dash back to the administration offices.

The tall man coming to her rescue took each step slowly, and he held up one hand. “Soldier, what are you doing out of your barracks?”

Is this man crazy? Yes, he probably was.

Pepper’s grip around her neck eased, and she realized she was wheezing like a bellows. “Pepper, you know I’m not German,” Annabelle said.

“Soldier, what’s your name?” The tall man asked, inching closer.

The hard muscle behind her shifted, and pressure came down on her windpipe again. “Martin Culpepper. My friends call me Pepper.”

“Well, then, Pepper … may I be so presumptuous to call you Pepper?”

“Sure.”

“Good. Now, this woman you’re holding is a German?”

Pepper’s arm loosened a little, but not enough to allow her to escape. She sucked in breath, enjoying the air almost too much to notice anything else. “Yeah, she’s a German … Captain? You is a Captain?”

Hale tapped his insignia. “I am.”

“In the U.S. of A Army?”

“Yes. Where are you from, Sergeant?”

“Missouri.”

“A fine state.”

“Yes, sir.” Pepper loosened his grip even more. “Sir, I’ve brought you a prisoner. Those bastards done blew up my entire regiment sir. They left me alone.” Pepper’s voice turned ragged as he started dragging her back down the hall. His voice rose. “They left me with blood all over me. Blood and guts and … aw, Chrissakes Captain, it was the most awful damned thing I ever saw.” Pepper’s voice broke. “You don’t understand. You just don’t understand.”

The Captain followed, his steps quick, but not crowding the man. “I know how that is Sergeant.” The Captain had the gall to smile. “This one time I saw a man’s head blown clean off at the shoulders. Was the most horrible thing I thought I was ever going to see. Found out later it wasn’t.”

Annabelle considered that maybe the captain had no intention of helping her at all, and fear slid up her throat like a bad taste. What if this new soldier was here for the same war sickness problem Pepper had?

The Captain gestured casually as he stepped closer. “I know they told you living in a building like Tranquil View would make you better.”

She couldn’t see Pepper nodding, but she could feel his movements. “They did say that, sir.”

“And does it?”

“Yes.”

She wanted to growl at the captain. After all, he wasn’t the one dangling off this man’s arm with his throat hurting like the dickens. Now that the captain stood nearer, she saw that his eyes burned like coal, their brown so dark they almost looked black. But there was nothing cold in his expression now.

“Look Pepper, even if she’s guilty I know you wouldn’t hurt a woman. It’s not the way we do things in the Army. It’s not the way a real man would do things. Let her go now. She’s my prisoner. I’ll take it from here.”

She didn’t know whether to be relieved or to still worry about Pepper’s intentions. Fear still scuttled hot through her body. Annabelle remembered what her father told her before she went to war.

Darlin’ you’re going to see some things. Things no man or woman should ever see. My Daddy said Gettysburg killed him long after the war was over. You need to get it right in your head to be strong. Anything else, and you’ll be like your Granddaddy jumping at his own shadow.

She’d thought she’d been ready. How wrong she’d been. Even leaving the war didn’t really mean leaving the war.

By now they’d drawn a crowd with a few nurses showing up. Her knees shook, and her mind whirled. Shame followed quickly. She’d dealt with plenty of disturbed individuals as violent as this man, but none of them had been able to waylay her from behind until Pepper. Annabelle decided to take charge if she could. Allowing the patients to run the show could prove disastrous in more than one way. She needed this position to work.

She cleared her throat. “Pepper you know me. I’m not a traitor to our country.”

“She’s a nurse, Sergeant. She wouldn’t hurt you,” The captain said. “You’re hurting her.”

The Captain’s face stayed granite as he talked. She took in his calmness and refused to panic any longer. She’d make it through this somehow.

“Let her go soldier.” The Captain moved closer. That’s an order.”

Pepper relaxed his grip. “Yes sir.”

She eased away from Pepper, relief and sympathy hitting her all at once. Her knees wobbled as she took an involuntary step toward the captain. Two nurses and one male attendant came up behind Pepper and grabbed his arms. Annabelle automatically reached out. “Don’t hurt him.”

Head Nurse Summit appeared and talked quietly to Pepper. “It’s all right, son. Come this way and we’ll get you something to eat.”

Pepper was led up the staircase back to his ward.

Her rescuer stepped forward and gently clasped Annabelle’s shoulders. “You all right?”

She wanted to control her reactions; anything else meant unprofessional behavior. A man had never shown concern for her well being, and Annabelle didn’t know what to think or how to react.

“Miss, are you all right?” the captain asked again.

She croaked her answer. “Yes.” She peeled herself away, missing his strength and heat in the unforgiving and cold asylum. “Thank you for talking him down. I was taken off guard and couldn’t think what to do.”

“Big difference from a person who’s been in war, and one who hasn’t.”

“I agree. But I’ve been in war.”

He lifted one eyebrow, and those dark eyes intensified with interest. He must have seen memories etched in her face. “Then you’ve earned every bit of your time here.”

“I’m a nurse, not a patient. As you can see from my uniform.” She glanced down at the white and gray dress. She almost reached up to touch her cap. “Why are you here?”

“Checked myself in, and I have serious business with a staff member here.”

She frowned. “No orders from a commanding officer?”

He snorted softly. “Yeah. They think I’m fruity as hell.” He saluted, his handsome smile swiftly appearing and disappearing. “And if you knew me better you’d agree.”

 

 

Pardon My Dust: Finished The Book Daze

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

I’m in a book daze. This is the period right after I finish writing a story and my brain needs a vacuum. A rejuvenation and creativity overhaul.

This last week I finished the second story in the trilogy I’m working on. This darned trilogy. It’s a post apocalyptic type of story, but on the other hand it isn’t. And that’s hard to explain so I won’t try right now. 🙂 Anyway, this trilogy is one of those situations where I’d planned on writing one story on one thing and it morphed into wanting to be three separate stories. I say stories because they’re too long to be novellas but they’re not long novels. Anyhoo, that is neither here nor there! For about a week I’m planning on flooding my brain with trivia. Reading, watching movies and doing other things around the house that need doing. After that I’m good to go with starting on the third story. After that I’ll have another break and then get to the historical novel project I’ve been researching off and on for some time.

During all that I have new stories coming out, and I have another trilogy to revise and overhaul. Yes. Overhaul. 🙂

In the meantime, don’t forget that you can pick up Body Language at a preorder 20% discount here.

Okay, onward and upward! I will still be on the usual social media sites this week, so I’ll see ya there! Have a lovely week!

 

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Military Tuesday: Hot Pursuit

Monday, June 16th, 2014

I know. I haven’t had one of these up here in a while! So here ya go. 🙂 Hope you enjoy! This story is the last one in my Hot Zone series. Beware, this is a long one.

Heartbreak drives her toward a reckless path…

Lucy Creed stomps into the local bar eager to hook up on New Year’s Eve after seeing her boyfriend kissing another woman. Betrayal seems to follow her—she’s dated other military men who always dump her for someone else. Vic Moore comes to her attention and she can’t deny she’s wild for him. The young man she dissed in high school has turned into one delicious man. But damn it, he’s also a soldier, and she doesn’t want anything to do with his kind.

When Lucy comes under Vic’s radar, he burns with a desire too intense to regret. He wants to gain her trust, yet he’s still stinging from a relationship with a female soldier that proved precarious to his career. In his mind Lucy is the one that got away. Now that she’s here, he wants their attraction to head straight into the bedroom. As a scorching chemistry between them builds intensity, they’ll learn secrets about each other that could make or break their fragile trust.

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New Year’s Eve. Three hours to midnight. Clarksville, Wyoming.

Lucy Creed walked into Dixie’s Den with the full intention of finding a one-night stand.

In military terms, this would be a single engagement. A hot pursuit. She wouldn’t be denied satisfaction.

She stood at the entrance just inside the double doors, bombarded by music from the old-fashioned jukebox. A country singer wailed a pitiful melody of love lost and love found. The steel guitar twanged. The man’s voice throbbed low with sorrow and mimicked the pain in her chest. Her heart twinged along with him.

No. Don’t go there. You’re here to scratch an itch. To forget that scum bucket, low-down, dirty dog Mendoza.

Now that had all the makings of a song. Low-Down, Dirty Dog.

She’d move on to staid men in business suits, accountants or maybe men who worked in the high-tech industry. Just no more soldiers, sailors or marines.

God, that sounds so bad.

It made her sound and feel like a military hanger’s on. A groupie that liked military men for the alpha male mystique. Like the women who wanted to get laid by a Navy SEAL because they figured the men were all studs. Sure, she respected the military for what they represented, and she’d run into a lot of people in the military who didn’t fit the stereotype of alpha male. At the same time, she had to wonder at her rotten luck with military men. What was that all about anyway?

Lucy didn’t care if her closest friends, Freddie, Marisa and Neena were married to military or ex-military. She wasn’t doing the military again even if he looked like a god.

Chatter echoed all around her, the place packed and the room decorated with New Year’s Eve decorations from one end to the next. The large bar area smelled like peppermint, alcohol and the piney nuance of the real eight-foot Christmas tree in the corner. Old-fashioned decorations gave a Victorian air to the tree.

Christmas. The tree reminded Lucy of Christmas Eve and that scum sucking dirty…

Damn it. Forget it, will you?

She sighed and shoved that unfortunate night right out of her mind. Or at least to the back burner.

Low lights gave the bar and restaurant intimacy, and yellow and silver streamers hanging from the ceiling twirled and bounced shiny sparkles around the room.

Laugher broke out occasionally, especially at one big round booth in the back. Six women that could have been sextuplets giggled like girls at a birthday party in grade school. They wore party hats over their cascades of long blonde hair and she instantly was reminded of Felicia DeAnza. Blond. Buxom. Gorgeous Felicia.

The woman she didn’t want to hate, but had to.

“Good riddance, Mendoza. You and Felicia deserve each other,” she said out loud. She glanced at the women again. “Honestly. Six blonde women at one table?”

Surely one of those gigglers was a bottle blonde.

She glanced around to see if anyone had heard her mumblings. No one cared. The crowd seemed to have grown by twenty people since she’d walked inside. It was early but the place rocked. Good. She hoped there were a lot of men here. Eligible. Hot. Yeah, hot as hell would be a real bonus.

Determination motivated each step as she sauntered through the crowd that spilled over from the bar into the restaurant. Dixie’s Den had opened a month ago, a country-and-western theme predominate in the decorations that were sprinkled throughout the bar and restaurant areas. She’d been here once, with that D-bag of a boyfriend, and now she wanted to wash the memory right out of her hair by christening the place with a new man. Huh. Christening wasn’t exactly the right word for what she needed.

Mindless, wonderful, screaming sin sex.

Anything less…well, she’d had less. She wanted more for a change.

A man who’d treat her like a princess and make love to her like he never wanted to let her go.

As she gazed around, she didn’t expect to see what she did. A room full of cowboy hats, most of them on the heads of older men averaging age sixty and their going-grey wives. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t the best place on a New Year’s Eve to forget about a two-timing asshole. Then some of the cowboy-hat heads in the back turned, and several were young. Too young. Maybe barely legal. No. She didn’t want or need that complication.

She spotted a man sitting on a stool at the bar, a long-necked beer bottle in his right hand. And oh, my, my, my. He would photograph well. She could have used him in this year’s charity calendar arranged by her friend, Neena. A brunette with flowing long hair headed for him. She wore a tight white T-shirt, butt-skimming mini-skirt and teeter-totter screw-me shoes. She clasped his forearm and leaned close to whisper.

She saw his eyes go wide for a half second, then laughter burst over his face. A low, deep toe-curling laugh that sent sensual vibrations all through Lucy. Holy macoroni. The man shook his head and said something to the woman. The woman’s body language held regret as she pouted and sauntered away, looking stinking drunk and ready to fall of her too-tall shoes.

Lucy’s mouth went dry as she took a closer look at the guy. He seemed familiar somehow, but she didn’t know from where. The room seemed twice as loud and her vision twice as clear. Though he sat at a slight angle away from her, she could see the breadth of his wide shoulders stretching an emerald green sweater that looked soft and touchable. The sweater managed to enhance his muscles without appearing too tight. He cupped his hands behind his neck. Muscles rippled. His biceps and forearms bunched with sculpted muscles, but he wasn’t a body builder in an overdone way. No. He was perfectly symmetrical. Powerful. The man screamed of sex and that primitive, knee-buckling, unable-to-control attraction that hammered a female over the head and made everything inside her return to the cave. This was the kind of man a woman could get crazy with, loose inhibitions and forget her own name with.

Jeans curved over long legs consisting of hard thighs and calves and ending in sensible all-weather black boots. She’d bet on a stack of bibles he had a world-class butt. She’d love to photograph him with or without clothes.

Her active imagine went into overdrive. Without clothes. Oh, yeah. Would his chest have a hint of hair, or would it be smooth? She liked chests with hair and never understood the trend toward a man waxing his chest.

Instinct drew her forward one step. Two. Soon her boots moved across the room with confident strides. She sensed a couple of men at the bar checking her out, and she worked it, allowing their blatant appreciation to expand her confidence as she walked. She moved with major attitude. Tall, tough and with the slightest swagger.

The man she’d ogled swiveled the bar stool and looked straight at her. Her breath caught. Thick, dark lashes framed piercing brown eyes. Black hair cut short waved close against his head. His features were cut sharply, as if heaven had designed him with a rough hand. He had a long nose, broad but well-sculpted mouth and an almost cruel look that probably scared the hell out of the enemy. He was so—well, he was so not beautiful. Just all…man. Primal female response stood up and noticed. Her body flushed, heated with total awareness of him as a male. Her hormones screamed for attention.

His face lit up with recognition. The dark eyes softened with warmth, the mouth curved into a smile. “Lucy? Lucy Creed?”

His voice was deep, mellow, with an underlying edge of steel.

She blinked. “I’m sorry. I don’t…”

He stood, and her five foot six inches had nothing on over six feet of hard muscle. The sweater stretched over his chest a little and his front looked as fantastic as his back had.

He sauntered toward her, beer bottle forgotten on the counter. When he stood near, his woodsy, leather scent caught her attention. A brown bomber jacket was slung over the back of the barstool. Mmmm. Leather.

“You don’t remember me, do you?” That damned voice had mellow qualities, a deceiving softness with an underlying rumble of pure passion.

There was a familiar something about him she couldn’t put her finger upon. “No. Should I?”

He grinned and her body responded with a flash of heat. “Last time you saw me I was at our senior party. At Jennifer Calvin’s house over on Ridgeway.”

“I still don’t remember.”

His grin widened. “I sat next to you in chemistry and we had English lit together.”

She frowned, embarrassed that she couldn’t remember him.

“I was short.” He tilted his head to the side. “Skinny. Ugly as sin. I hear I’m still ugly, but at least I took care of the short and skinny.”

Oh. Holy. God. Recognition slammed her at the same time as embarrassment. “You’re not Victor Moore? No way.”

 

 

 

Up. Hill. Seven. Miles. Both. Ways.

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Yeah, I should be writing. But I couldn’t resist putting up this blog on how generations perceive other generations. Stick with me…I’ll admit there’s a fair bit of rambling happening here.

Lately I’ve noticed posts on Facebook that focus on what I call the sky is falling syndrome.  Older people (and I mean my age on up and I’m 51) lamenting how younger people act, the fact that we grew up in a different time, etc. You know the old joke, “When I was a kid I had to walk to school up hill seven miles both ways.” Yeah, that mentality. Sometimes I laugh because I catch myself commenting on all the things we think are essential these days. I’ll say, ”How did I ever make it in my car from one road to the next without a cell phone?” My husband talks about riding skateboards with no helmet whereas kids now are padded up like crazy. I mean how the hell did we make it to this age in one piece without all the frills? The other things that should have killed us but didn’t:

Eating raw cookie dough.

Having only four television channels and no 24/7 weather or news.

Walking to the school bus without getting kidnapped (which doesn’t really happen as much as the news media would like us to believe).

Drinking water from the garden hose.

I could go on and on. These same people, who survived all these things, have the tendency to think of their past as so much better than the present. People always have a myopic view of life based on what they hear on CNN or Fox news. And those networks aren’t invested in telling you what’s right with the world. They tell you what is wrong 4,000 miles away that you can’t change and ask you to worry about it. To fill your day with those images instead of living your good life right here and now just helping the people around you. Distracting you from concentrating on the wonderful life you can create this minute. This paranoia seems to have created many awful side effects in my generation and those older than me. We’re becoming totally uptight, stick-up-the-butt people. Where are the free and easy thinking people I knew in the 70’s? Yeah, we all change and hopefully grow and learn. But my God we are a righteous bunch these days. We’re worried about everything and so determined to pretend that we lived in the good ole days where we claim we lived charmed lives. The truth is that every time period is the bad ole days and the good ole days. There is no such thing as a golden age and never has been. Each time period has its challenges. Every time period has its politics, its wars, its plagues, its suffering. It seems to me many in my generation are trying to turn back the clock. I say don’t even try. You can’t.

Let’s face it…I think every generation that comes along thinks the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I remember my mother saying that HER parents said the same thing about HER generation. My mother was born in 1921 and my father in 1918 and they went through the Great Depression and made it through World War 2. My mother’s parents were born in 1890’s, survived World War I and the Spanish Flu (which was one of the most awful close to apocalyptic things to happen in recent history).

Nothing illustrated this to me more than when I researched World War I and the Spanish Flu for my novel Shadows Rise. It was a horrible time in history for millions of people, and yet we spend so much time lamenting our world now. In my opinion, after reading what happened between 1914 and 1920, we have very little to complain about in the larger scheme of what our world was once like. Yeah I’d venture to say that during those times a lot of people were wringing their hands, moaning, suffering and generally having the most wretched time of their lives.

Yet here we are talking about how our generation is so much more well-adjusted than the ones coming after us? (Denise rolls her eyes and laughs). There’s a lot of great people in the world and many fantastic young people doing selfless, awesome, inspiring things. Because the 24/7 news media is overloaded with doom and gloom people start to forget these young people and the good in the world in general. So come on folks. Let’s remember the truth…there’s a lot of wonderful in our lives and our world if we’d just open our eyes.

Open your eyes.

 

Zounds! Preorder Body Language for 20% off!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my blog. I was away for a few days. Just learned today that Body Language is now available for preorder at 20% off. Official release date is July 7, but if you order now through Liquid Silver Books here you’ll get it for the discount. How cool is that? Just a heads up, Body Language is a short novella. Here’s the blurb to tantalize you!

* *

She runs. She hides. But the stalker is determined to find her…

Lizbeth Cauldwell escaped the boardroom and her city life to forget a fierce attack. When she returns to the tranquility of her old home in Arizona, she discovers harmony she never expected when she takes over a bar and grill. There she discovers another thing as mind-boggling as the evil that stalks her. Her once skinny, shy childhood friend Thomas Giancomo has transformed into one grade-A, powerful, gorgeous man.

He never runs. He never hides. But a stalker is determined to hurt the woman he dares protect…

Memories of strong, sexy Lizbeth kept ex-soldier, now cop Thomas Giancomo alive during a long stay in the harsh desert. Thomas is determined to protect her and to feel her surrender to raw passion in his arms. When danger draws them closer, one intense night proves that long suppressed desires and feelings are too heated to ignore.

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