Welcome fellow Soul Mate Publishing author, Em Kaye…
She’s here to tell us about her sexy new release, At Your Service, and a bit about herself.
First a few questions…
Do you have a pet?
I have a cat named Fiona.
She looks like she has black fur but in the sunshine, it’s more like melted chocolate. She likes to drink dripping water. I’ve bought several drinking dishes before realizing that she doesn’t like the ones that have the water sliding down like a sluice and finally have one where the water bubbles up.
She also is addicted to ‘snackers’ (cat treats) and will sit and stare until she gets some.
In my just contracted book, Dear Diary – Alexandria’s and Zack’s Story, I based the cat called Muggins on her (although he’s a male).
Where does your novel take place? Why did you choose that location? Have you ever been there?
The place, Belleville, is imaginary, so I’ve only been there in my mind. There is no specific place that I based the book on. When the heroine is in hero’s office (on the top floor of a building), his windows overlook the harbor.
What is your favorite childhood TV show and what do you remember fondly about it?
I’m not sure that there was just one show.
I liked westerns – Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, etc. I used to climb a tree in our apple orchard and sit on a branch, pretending it was my horse. By the way, I loved horses so much that my school bus driver gave me a magazine featuring horses for sale. I teased until I talked my mother into getting me a subscription to it. I never did get a horse. I remember at a school-sponsored event, paying for a ride on a horse and so being scared. Guess that’s the last time I had dreams of being a cowgirl.
What was one of your favorite songs/bands in high school?
As a teenager, I was head over heels in love with Paul Anka and loved his song Put Your Head On My Shoulder. I can remember thinking how romantic it was.
What is your favorite decade and why?
I think the ‘60’s would have to be my favorite decade especially now looking back. There were so many changes taking place and it’s hard to describe to my kids and grandchildren how exciting and sad a time it was.
Our president, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
It’s when hippies and Woodstock (’69) were the norm and I wore wooden clogs, had long hair, and a MIA bracelet for with a soldier’s name on it to bring attention to the Vietnam War. I was married by the mid-60’s, but my heart was still with those making big changes in the world.
Do you believe in UFO’s?
Yes, of course!
How can we not think there might be other life, more advanced, that want to check us out? I have always, since I was a little kid, watched movies (Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a favorite) and documentaries on the subject.
Have I ever seen one?
No, but do I believe that they might be real? Oh, yeah.
Now…At Your Service, by Em Kaye!
Sydney Stewart had turned doing favors for friends into a growing business. Putting a bad relationship behind her, she was determined to guard her heart the next time around.
Desmond Butler was everything Sydney would want—if she were looking for a man—except she wasn’t. Plus, he had this one flaw. Could she look past his habit of spanking her whenever he thought she was naughty?
“This is the last straw!” Sydney Stewart muttered out loud. I’d asked politely, then nicely, and even one time more forcibly. The work crew wasn’t getting the message that they shouldn’t block my parking spot. A sleek, black SUV with darkened windows and a ‘Butler Industries’ sign on the side was parked just enough in front of the entrance to my space that I couldn’t get my car in.
There was no wiggle room to maneuver my vehicle into the slot. Mr. Ashton, from the accounting firm on the fifth floor, had parked his car with the wheels smack dab on the painted line separating our adjoining spots.
“Am I expecting too much?” I mumbled, continuing to present my case to no one in particular. Entering the construction site adjacent to my office building, I focused on searching for the idiot who had done this. Trying to dodge potholes, most containing water from the rain during the night, I grimaced when I stepped in one, my favorite shoe disappearing below the surface.
“Lady! You can’t go in there. It’s a hard hat area!” A guy hollered.
“Watch me,” I answered, never breaking my stride. Although in retrospect probably not loudly enough for him to hear.
Making my way up the metal steps to the door of the trailer posing as an office I flung it wide open, not even reacting to the loud sound it made hitting the trailer’s outer wall.
Seven pairs of eyes, belonging to men in work clothes and the required yellow hard hats, turned their attention from the blueprints scattered on the table in front of them to the irate woman standing in front of them – me. Stamping my wet foot hard, I began to question my judgment.
A man in a blue plaid shirt raised a quizzical brow. “Uh, ma’m?”
“Whose vehicle is that?” I pointed in what I hoped was the right direction.
After looking at each other for clarification, a guy in the back spoke up, “It’s the boss’s.”
“Where is he? I want to speak to him.” When no one made a move, I added, “Now!”
“He’s in his office, ma’am.”
“Where’s his office?” It was like playing a warped form of the game of Twenty Questions, but I planned on winning.
“The twentieth floor,” the man said, pointing back toward the direction of my office building.
“Perfect.” As I turned on my heel, a short guy with blond hair reached for his cell phone before I stormed back outside.
Yeah, you’d better tell him I’m coming.
So unlike me, I was surprised as I began to like this feeling of righteous anger.
Retracing my steps, I glanced at my car, now blocking half of Mr. Ashton’s car which made me mad all over again. My only thought was that this needed taking care of before he tried to leave. He always seemed like a nice man, smiling and nodding when I met him in the hall and I didn’t want to inconvenience him.
While taking the elevator up to the top floor, I called Maria, my receptionist/secretary/friend to let her know I was running late, but would be in shortly.
When the elevator doors opened, the smiling, perky receptionist seemed to be expecting me and directed me through a glass door. I entered the office of an administrative assistant who sat at a desk just to the left of a set of dark, forbidding double doors.
“Good morning, Miss . . .”
“Stewart, Sydney Stewart.”
“Yes, Ms. Stewart. Mr. Butler will see you now.” She got up from her chair and came around her desk. Looking back to make sure I was following, she knocked once sharply before opening one the double doors.
“Mr. Butler, Ms. Stewart is here.”
I continued farther inside, as she stepped back and closed the door behind me.
The room I found myself in was huge with a wall of windows overlooking the city of Loganville with an extensive view of the harbor. The light from outside made the room seem darker than it really was. I blinked several times trying to adjust my eyes to the contrast. A massive desk sat several feet in front of me. The top smooth and polished to a dull shine, and devoid of the usual stacks of papers one would normally find there. Hmm . . . wouldn’t even have to push the papers off to have passionate sex on top of it. I shook my head to dislodge the picture.
Rising from a large leather chair, a man came toward me with an outstretched hand. He was impressive, not so much in size, but in demeanor. The electricity in the air crackled with each step he took. A dark charcoal suit emphasized the whiteness of his shirt and gray and red striped tie which looked crisper and cleaner. His hair was shiny and black as coal, a lock escaping and hanging across his forehead. The ice blue of his eyes so penetrating it was like being X-rayed. I looked down to check if I still had clothes on.
Find Em Kaye on the following:
About My Life as a Writer
I was born in a small town at the base of the Adirondack Mountains. Some of my childhood vacations were spent with my parents in central Maine. My parents, as well as my sister, were readers and I got my love for books from them, liking the feeling of ‘getting lost’ in a book. I’ve always used essays and novels to express my feelings.
After I was married and had my children (3 girls), I went to community college where I took took creative writing classes and did several independent studies. I met my best friend, Ree, there. I won an award and had something published in the college magazine. That was the first time I actually had something I’d written published.
Thanks for sharing At Your Service, and all about you, Em Kaye.
And not the artist formally known as Prince, but the real McCoy from when he first started out. To this day, I still love that song. When he made it into a movie that was the only time I’d ever sat in the front row of a theater.
Yes, I’m from the eighties. Is that a problem?J
Sigh! I so loved Prince, had a huge poster on my wall, and had the album, Purple Rain and cassette tape! Yes, I said cassette tape, and no, my kids don’t know what that is.
Do you believe in UFO’s?
Nope. Yep. Wait…what was the question? Oh, yes, UFO’s. Unindentified Figments of an Overactive Imagination. Then that would make them UFofOI’s, wouldn’t it? And since I write paranormal to thwart the insanity scale, I guess that would make me a firm believer in using the imagination.
But all and out Martians coming to take over the world? No. I would suspect they’d burn up in the ozone layer. Besides, they have a really nice Land Rover to use. They’re not coming.
I do believe there is something out there. Who, what, I’m not sure, but there’s something. On the other hand, I’m one of ‘those people’ who still don’t believe anyone walked on the moon.
I say, If they did, do it again! They left some trash up there, and it needs to be cleaned up. Clean up the Universe, not just the Earth. ♥
This is a picture of one of the three UFO’s that me and my family saw last January. The first two came by, flying low, and went from the back of the house to the front and were gone by the time we ran after them. This one, came by itself, flew erratically toward the front of the house where it made a sharp right and disappeared.
I’ll leave you to decide what it was…
Do you have a pet?
Do I have a pet? Do I… HAVE A PET?
I have so dang many pets I need sticky notes on each of them to remember their names. No, really, a dairy farmer names EVERYTHING! Well, at least this one does. Every cow, every cat, every chicken, every duck…Come to think of it, the goldfish have names.
Over the years I’ve raised all the animals God made for farms. Never thought I’d allow lizards into my home, but I have those too.
I’m sure God hadn’t figured lizards would co-habitat with cats, but they do.
And don’t even get me started on the live crickets those lizards have to eat. At least the cats have some fun when a few of those crickets get loose before their ultimate sacrifice. My house sounds like a summer camping trip all year long. Boys! Gotta love their exotic natures, and the critters they can talk their mother into.
After a few years of dealing with goats and sheep, and huge losses of flowers (right from their pots!), goats and I no longer see eye to eye. Sheep… good for clothing and the stew pot, that’s about it. Nasty? Yes.
But Zaboo, the four-horn Jacob ram just about broke my arm. He’d get this twinkle in his eye, back up a couple of feet, and WHAM!
I sold him.
Now it’s just milking cows, heifers and calves, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, lizards and fish. Oh wait! There’s a fifteen-year-old cockatiel, too. I better go check if he’s still there. The lizards might have got him.
Oh my gosh, I’ve had all kinds of pets! When I was 18, I lived in Southern California and worked at a reptile wholesale distributor. I had Geckos, and a ten foot Burmese Python named Sid that ate live chickens! (My mother loved that)
Latest Release News COMING SOON 2014 Breathless Response (Bad Girl’s Redemption Series Book 1)
FBI Agent Jack Murray is going to take down Shelby McGuire by any means necessary. The woman is conning men out of hard-earned money for phony coins, and Jack hates con women—of any kind.
Shelby is also part of Jack’s past. He’d been her rock, her shoulder to cry on, and her lover while she was married to a man who beat her, and who Shelby murdered in cold blood.
Shelby is now out of prison on a technicality and Jack is dragging his heels with deciding if he is going to take her down as the FBI wants him too, or fall hard for the woman yet again.
She’d been good for him, but burnt twice by the same con should be avoided like the plague. Shelby says she wants out, but can Jack believe her? Especially when she is so great at lying to men to get her way.
And Please Check out other great titles released in 2014
Available on Amazon.com
Jevenna lives in Wisconsin in the same small town she grew up in. She is happily married, nearing the quarter century mark, and has two wonderful sons. Most say they married their high school sweetheart. Jevenna married the cute guy she’d met in her kindergarten class when she was five years old, but didn’t date until they graduated. Quite romantic! She has spent the last twenty-five years as co-owner of the family dairy farm and writes in her spare time.
With a smile, this translates to wet springs, cold winters…so, pretty much all the time.
She is a PRO member of RWA and Green Bay chapter member of WisRWA, and writes contemporary, historical, suspense, and paranormal romances. When not writing—and not farming—she loves to kayak, and do just about anything outdoorsy. “Every life should have nine cats…and one incredibly great man!” A motto she lives by.
As I began writing this week’s post, I was transported back to a musical time of my youth. One I remember fondly, and much to my kids chagrin, still play constantly.
Please enjoy the 80’s while you meet Crystal Firsdon as she discloses things you probably don’t know about her and, of course, tells us all about her new release…
What was one of your music preferences in high school?
I loved, what back then was called, Alternative music.
Yikes! You are speaking my language. I love, love, loved everything you’ve listed, so… I’ve given everyone videos to enjoy the sounds of the 80’s. Ahh, flashback!
Siousxie and the Banshees.
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
This was my big sister’s influence since I was the furthest thing from alternative. I did all the school musicals, sang in varsity choir and performed in the show choir (cue jazz hands), and cheered all through high school. Clearly, not alternative.
But I sure thought I was alternative-rocker cool. Remember how Ally Sheedy’s character in The Breakfast Club danced? She just kinda hopped around and closed her eyes and let her head roll around.
I actually danced like that at Cheerleading camp! And Show choir camp! (I was all about the camps.)
One of my favorite movies, just indoctrinated my kids a couple of years ago…they loved it too, even years and years and years later. 🙂
Do you have a pet?
What?! That’s crazy. You’re a parent, get your kids a dang pet!
I do not have any pets. Here’s why . . .
The day I finally got to deal with my—and only my—poop, well, that was one of the greatest days of my life.
I had pets growing up, but didn’t really do the poop-scooping. I grew up, moved out, and got married. I thought, Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have a pet again?
Then I had kids. And had to deal with poop that wasn’t mine. It was then that I realized there was no way on earth I would ever get an animal that poops. There are very few things about parenting that I don’t enjoy, but top on that list was wiping butts. Hear me, folks: Poop that isn’t mine . . . <can’t finish sentence due to gagging>
My kids began asking for a dog a couple of years ago.
Them: Mom, can we get a dog?
Me: You know you’ll have to follow a dog around and clean up its poop, don’t you? No matter how hot or cold it is outside, you’ll have to walk that dog and pick up its poop with only a bag over your hand.
Them: Ewwwww! No way!
Me: I know, right. What do you guys want for dinner?
Now my kids are a little older and beg for a dog. They swear they’ll follow it around and clean up its poop. Early in the morning? No big deal, they say. Frigid temps, steaming hot? We’ll still do it, they promise. I don’t believe them. I tell them to go play with our neighbors’ dogs. There’s lots to choose from.
So, until a dog learns to do this:
immediately after conducting business, I can’t. I just can’t. Sorry, kids.
What is one of the most embarrassing things that’s happened to you?
Picture this: A ninth grade economics class. A twenty-three year old student teacher—me. An overhead projector. (Remember those? This was before SmartBoards and a lot of the fancy technology you see in classrooms today.)
I was teaching a lesson on supply and demand. This includes graphing, which is best demonstrated on a big screen, hence the overhead projector. I had the grease pen in my hand. Of course the cap was off because I was explaining and graphing at the same time.
Then my face itched. Caught up in the moment, and stupidly forgetting the cap wasn’t on, I itched my face with the grease pen. In other words, I scribbled all over my cheek in front of a bunch of a bunch of fourteen and fifteen year olds. This wasn’t just a quick up and down with the grease pen. This was a holy-crap-my-cheek-really-itches-just-let-me-rub-the-pen-over-my-entire-cheek-for-a-good-long-time type of itch. The whole class burst out in gut-wrenching laughter at the same time I wondered why my cheek suddenly felt wet.
It gets better (for you, the reader. Worse for me.) The teacher whose class I was student teaching in had a doctor’s appointment for the afternoon of that lesson. Instead of paying for a half-day substitute, who would do nothing more than sit there since I did all the teaching at that point, the principal decided he would sit in the class in place of the teacher.
That’s right, I drew on my face in the middle of a lesson while the principal sat in the back of the class. There was supposed to be a retirement in the Social Studies department at the end of the year, and I was gunning for that job. Well, hey. At least the principal would remember me.
Oh wait, he already remembered me because he was a teacher at my junior high school in a different district. I failed one class in junior high—Drafting. (In my defense, I just cannot draw or make stuff with my hands. At all. Seriously, take a look at my last attempt at making a cake for one of my kid’s birthday party.
That . . . thing was supposed to be a Transformers cake. I decided not to embarrass my child so I grabbed a fork and dug in. Then my mom called and convinced me to send her a picture of my failure so she could laugh at my expense.
Anyhoo, guess who my Drafting teacher was. Yup, the now principal who watched me make a doofus of myself.
Luckily, I laughed at myself along with the students (and principal). It took a few minutes, but everyone eventually got back on track and I finished the lesson.
First chance I got, I went to the bathroom and scrubbed my cheek until it was practically raw. The marks didn’t come off all the way, but they were faint. I took a deep breath and made my way back to the classroom. The principal passed me in the hallway, stopped in his tracks, and said, “What? I don’t see anything on your face.” Then he just walked off.
LOL, that is sooo funny!
And now I bring you…
BACK COVER BLURB
1 creep. 2 bodyguards. 3 men who change Molly’s life forever.
Guitar player Molly Davis is taunted with disturbing gifts by some creep she hopes like heck is a harmless, misguided fan. The owner of the bar where her band plays isn’t taking any chances, however, and hires Gabe Cooper and Caleb “Ram” Ramsey to stand guard over Molly and the rest of the band.
Cooper is all business and doesn’t mess with Molly’s emotions. She can handle that. Ram is a different story. He’s gorgeous, has a good heart, and is sometimes infuriating. He doesn’t take Molly’s crap, giving him the potential to be the first man to shove his way through her stubbornness and into her life.
But a violent attack proves the creep isn’t going away. And that almost wrecks everything.
I unplugged my guitar and set it in its case, then grabbed the towel I always brought and wiped the sweat off my face and neck. Some guy yelled out a semi-lewd yet oddly flattering comment about my ass as I stood up, so I cracked a smile and half-waved. If I wasn’t already so hot I’m sure they would’ve seen my face turn red. The air conditioning in Brett’s Bar was fighting a losing battle thanks to August’s high heat and humidity and the couple hundred customers, many of whom had been dancing.
Since turning the big three-oh a couple weeks earlier, vocal appreciation of my backside didn’t bother me like it did ten years ago, but it still made me blush.It was nice to know that all the hours I’d put into running, yoga, lifting weights, and dancing wasn’t wasted.
But man, good thing whoever yelled that couldn’t smell me.
“The Song Wreckers, baby, yeah!”
I smiled bigger. Song Wreckers fans were the best. They had to have been roasting hot, and we were done playing our three sets, but they still cheered for us as if it were starting—rather than quitting—time.
“Good Lord,” Katie, my best friend and lead singer said, “It’s hotter ‘n hell in here.”
Fanning my face with my hand, I asked the rest of the band, “You guys wanna sit outside for a few before packing up?”
I needed fresh air and a cool breeze, but wasn’t going to stand in the back alley by myself while everyone else did all the work.
Courtney set down her violin case. “I could use a few minutes outside.” She looked at her husband, Josh. “You coming?”
“Yeah. I’ll grab some waters.” Josh set his drum sticks across his snare and headed toward the bar, while Katie yanked the curtain aside that ran along the back of the stage so we could hop down.
Once off the stage we took the few steps to open the door that led into the back alley where we all parked. Our footsteps crunched on the gravel as we each found a spot against the wall to lean, away from the Dumpster and our cars. The humidity was high, but the breeze was strong enough to feel somewhat refreshing, even with the smell of garbage twenty feet away. I lifted my ponytail to let the air cool my neck.
None of us four girls talked. After being in a loud bar for the past few hours, the quiet was a welcome change.
Josh walked out and handed each of us a cold bottled water. I rubbed mine on the front and back of my neck before opening it and guzzling half the bottle.
He walked toward his wife, and because he was wearing heavy boots, the crunch of gravel practically echoed.
“God, that’s a creepy sound,” I said. “Especially late at night with no one else around.”
Our bass player Heather hummed the “Doo-doot, doo-doot” of the Jaws theme song, then said, “Seriously, Molly. We’ve been parking in this alley for years. Nothing scary has ever happened back here.”
The Song Wreckers had been playing at Brett’s for almost a decade, but six months ago we struck a deal with Brett to play at his bar exclusively the first Friday and Saturday of every month, known as Wreckers Weekends. We were tired of traipsing our asses all over metro Detroit to play. A once a month set schedule, Brett’s makes a killing during Wreckers Weekends, total win-win.
“Hey, Mol. Speaking of scary,” Katie twanged. Her southern accent was always more pronounced when she was tired. “Can you believe this is the last Wreckers Weekend before the school year starts?”
We were both high school teachers and had to report back to work at the end of the month. “I just hope it cools down by then. Being in a room with thirty sweaty teenagers . . .” I took another drink. “Yuck.”
The back door opened and all our heads turned to see Brett poke his head out. “Good show, guys. As always. You need any help getting your stuff off the stage?”
He knew we never wanted help because it was faster and easier to set up and break down the equipment ourselves, but he was a good guy with a huge crush on Katie so I resisted rolling my eyes. “No thanks, we’re good. Just needed some fresh air. We’ll be back in soon.”
“Okay then. Uh, Katie, can I speak to you for a minute?” Brett asked.
I whipped my head toward Heather and Courtney. The lighting in the alley was crap, but it was just enough to see them smile. We all knew Katie had as big a crush on him as he did on her. Heather’s lips parted to speak, but she was close, so I put my hand over her mouth.
“Leave them alone,” I whispered to Heather. Katie stood up straighter and followed Brett inside. I tapped her arm for support as she passed me. “Do not ruin this for them.”
Heather pushed away my hand. “Dude. How long have we been waiting for him to make his move? I gotta say something.”
I glanced at the ground behind me to make sure there was nothing nasty, then sat in the gravel, legs out in front. “Better watch out, you may be a Wrecker, but that man is your boss.”
Heather was both Brett’s right hand girl at the bar and our bass player. She chuckled. “Dude, I can’t help it. Watching those two get all flustered with each other is funny.”
It was funny. If they started dating, I would miss it.
We spent another couple of minutes cooling off, then went inside to pack up our equipment. The crowd had finally settled down some, and the area around the bar wasn’t so clustered. Brett was nowhere to be seen, so he and Katie were probably in his office. God, I hoped he was finally going to ask her out.
I wound a cable from elbow to hand. Kyle hopped up and sat on the edge of the stage.
“Hey, what’s up?” I asked. “I’m surprised Midnight isn’t playing tonight.” Kyle plays bass for Crawling Home After Midnight, a damn good grunge band. He’d also played for The Song Wreckers between our original bass player and Heather.
He shrugged. “We play tomorrow night. Sorry about Adam earlier.”
I rolled my eyes. Ah, Adam. The kind of man who gave all men a bad name. He had a hard time taking “No!” for an answer, and carried himself as if he were God’s gift to everything. Adam was a great drummer, and I liked the rest of his band, but I preferred to steer clear of him.
Adam heckled us a bit tonight, but Katie put him in his place by dedicating our song “You Suck, Let Me Tell You Why” to him. He seemed to take it in good fun.
“Don’t sweat it. So where you guys playing tomorrow night?”
Kyle and I chatted about Midnight’s upcoming gigs, then Heather, Josh, Courtney and I set our equipment off the back of the stage in the hall by the back door, ready to be loaded into Josh and Courtney’s van.
Katie and Brett walked out of his office, Katie trying to suppress her excitement. We’ve been best friends since the first day of ninth grade, so I knew she was trying to play it cool but was really bursting inside.
I watched Brett walk back behind the bar. Heather shoved the door open and we each grabbed a piece of equipment and brought it outside.
I shot Heather a don’t you dare look. “So?” I asked Katie with a huge smile.
She stopped walking toward the van and turned to me with an exited look. “He’s taking—” Her excitement turned to confusion. “Molly, what is that on your car?”
“I believe it’s called a large trash receptacle, known by its more socially accepted name, Dumpster. What happened with Brett? Come on, spill.”
“He’s taking me out to lunch tomorrow. Not by your car, on your car, idiot. That.” She pointed to the hood of my Jeep.
I spotted the . . . whatever is was the crap lighting couldn’t let me make out on my hood, and jogged over to it.
“Mol, stop! You don’t know what it is,” Katie yelled. “Let Josh get it.”
Josh hopped out of the van when he heard her. “What should you let me get?”
Katie pointed to it. “That thing on her hood.” The rest of the band walked over to my Jeep.
The lump was actually a big, brown teddy bear holding a heart with its hands. Cute, I guess. The heart was shiny red with an opening at the top where a mix of multi-colored roses stuck out. Crammed in with the flowers was a piece of paper with something written on it.
“It’s a teddy bear,” I announced. “Just another Wreckers fan with a crush.” Crushes were usually aimed toward Katie, though, and didn’t involve gifts left on anyone’s vehicle. More like business cards slid in our back pockets, or names with phone numbers scribbled on cocktail napkins and left on the stage.
Courtney took a step closer and craned her neck forward. “Is that a note in the heart? What does it say?”
I picked up the bear to read the note and noticed a stick, maybe six or eight inches long, protruding from its back. Someone had taken the time to rip a hole in the seam of its back to shove the stick into it. What the fuck? Not cute. I took out the note and had to turn to get in the beam of the alley’s one light to be able to make out what it said.
It also had a hand drawn smiley face.
“Good Lord,” Katie said next to me. “How did we not see that? We were just out here.”
I handed the bear to Courtney and she examined it, turning it all the way around. “Do any of you know anything about this?” she asked the others. Of course everyone said no.
“Dude. That is disturbing. Especially the smiley face,” Heather said. “Who the hell did this?”
No one with a crush, that’s for sure. “I don’t know.” I took the bear from Courtney and threw it in the Dumpster.
“Mol, you shouldn’t have done that. You should’ve taken it to the police station or something,” Katie insisted.
“For what?” I asked. “Listen, don’t make a big deal out of this. It’s someone trying to be funny. Let’s go.”
The Song Wreckers were a country band, but our fans were all types. Including creepy, disturbing freaks who liked to scare guitar players apparently.
Heather was right, a creepy ass bear left on my Jeep was disturbing and I drove home feeling uneasy. I don’t know if the stick in the back or being called a bitch bothered me more. The stick in the back was mildly threatening, sure, but I am not a bitch and I don’t like being called one. Maybe the bear from Hell was meant for Katie or Heather. Not that I wanted it to be meant for them, but they’re more likely a target for a creep. They’re the ones who go out in the crowd and party it up during our breaks, not me. I usually hang out in Brett’s office and read or stretch or rest my eyes. Most likely Katie or Heather flirted with a guy who became infatuated with one of them. And he obviously didn’t know whose vehicle was whose.
The whole thing was stupid. And somewhat upsetting and definitely annoying. This was probably orchestrated by some jerk trying to get a rise out of me or one of the other girls. After all, my name wasn’t on the thing.
I chose to ignore the creepy bear because most likely this was the end of it.
Right, and monkeys will fly out my ass.
Crystal Firsdon is a former high school teacher, turned stay-at-home mom, turned part time substitute teacher and school volunteer.
Of course she loves to read, but any book she picks up must have romance! Crystal lives in Michigan with her husband and children.
Well, would you? Okay, maybe not murder… but how would you like a second chance for anything?
Ann Lacey is here today and she knows all about A Second Chance for Murder.
Read on as Ann Lacey she shares a bit about herself and tells us all about her new release from Soul Mate Publishing…
A Second Chance for Murder
What is your favorite decade and why?
Definitely the Sixties! My growing up years.Having brothers I watched westerns, campy sci-fi movies on Chiller Theater, and went to the first James Bond Movie starring Sean Connery (whom my eldest brother desperately tried to emulate but somehow his New Jersey accent didn’t fit the savvy spy’s persona).
I jumped rope outside with my friends (never got the hang of double-dutch, kept getting hit in the head with the rope, ouch!) and my roller skates were made of metal and had a key to tighten the fit which, to my mother’s dismay, ruined more than a few pair of my PF Flyers (sneakers). I talked for hours on the phone with my best friend. (We still talk today, but not at marathon length).
Yes, I was one of those hysterical girls screaming at the first sight of the Beatles.
I wore miniskirts (legs were in better shape, then), my hair was as short as Twiggy’s and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.
The sixties was a decade of change, some good, others sad but will always remain the decade filled with many of my fondest memories.
I thought this video would go perfect while reading about A Second Chance for Murder. Push play and see if you agree!
What is your favorite childhood TV show?
Westerns were the rage during my youth and my favorite was Bonanza.
It was the first western to be televised in color but that wasn’t the reason I sat glued to the TV screen every Sunday night.
I had a huge crush (my first) on Michael Landon who played the youngest Cartwright son, Little Joe.I promptly joined the Bonanza fan club and received an autographed photo of the cast, an official ID fan club card and, of course, a picture of the Ponderosa Map, the one that was seen at the opening of the show (wish I had kept that!)
I confess to owning a few DVD’s and will occasionally watch on old rerun on TV.
Sitting next to my laptop I have a Bonanza cup that holds my paper clips. Ok, so I’m still a fan!
Do you have any pets?
Currently, we have 2 dogs and 4 cats. Henna and Molly (dogs) Lulu, Kitty, Kiki and Hunter (cats).
All are rescues and each one has their own quirks and unique personality.
Take Lulu for instance. She is a junk food junkie. Just open a bag of chips and Lulu magically appears. She also loves spaghetti. Lulu doesn’t like the company of the other felines and spends most of her day with the dogs and has been known to steal from their food bowls.
Here she is enjoying one of her favorite snacks which she was busted after knocking it off the kitchen counter.
A Dorito eating Kitty…love it!
A Second Chance for Murder…
When local authorities are unable to find the culprit who murdered her dearest friend, Lady Thora Mannington decides to take the matter in hand and find the killer herself!
Fearing for his sister’s safety, her brother, Nyle, turns to his friend Garren Huntscliff for help.Though his investigating days are over, Garren cannot refuse his troubled friend and takes the case. Complicating his efforts is the lovely Lady Thora, who insists on joining forces with him yet refuses to adhere to his cautions and continually places herself at risk and is so disarmingly enchanting that he finds himself falling for her. Now Garren has two things on his mind: finding a crafty and elusive killer and keeping the reckless Lady Thora from becoming a victim.
Excerpt from A Second Chance for Murder
Satisfied that all her suspects had arrived, Thora startedto return to her seat to have a second cup of tea when suddenlythree voices rang out in unison, “Who is he?”Turning back to the window, Thora peered out in time to see a man ducking his head to alight from his carriage. Planting twohighly polished black boots on the ground, he unfolded hisextremely tall frame. From beneath a jacket of light woolbroadcloth, his massive shoulders pulled back to stretch. Hewore his thick, chestnut-colored hair long, swept back from hisface. His nose was straight and his chin firm.
Thora’ strained to see the color of his eyes, but they werehidden under such dark, long lashes that it seemed almost sinfulfor a man to possess them.“Do you know him, Thora?” Lauryn whispered excitedly.“No, I don’t,” Thora replied, without removing her gazefrom the stranger. “A friend of Nyle’s, I suppose.” Gazing downon the tree-sized stranger, Thora suddenly felt heated, as ifshe were standing dangerously close to a raging fire. When thenewcomer’s footman closed the gleaming black-lacquered door ofhis master’s carriage, her keen eyes noticed a brass familycrest that seemed vaguely familiar. A shield. Narrowing hereyes, she saw what appeared to be a raised symbol of some sort,proudly displayed at its center. Now where had she seen thatbefore? She only knew that it had been some years ago in theearly days of her youth.
Suddenly, as if he knew he was being watched, the striking,large-framed visitor suddenly looked up at the library windows.His perceptive gaze startled her three companions. Gasping,Floris, Lauryn, and Cecilia stumbled backward from theirconcealed viewing spot, tumbling over one another like circusThora rolled her eyes but, unlike the other three girls,she stood her ground, meeting the stranger’s stare with one ofher own. She was taken back when an unhurried smile spreadacross his face. That, she did not return. “Insolent rogue!” shemuttered under her breath, roughly pulling the curtains shut. Ina huff, she stalked back to her seat and dropped down onto itscushion. Quickly, she poured a much-needed cup of tea, sippingit slowly to hide the flush in her cheeks.
I love art deco, would feel naked not wearing a wrist watch, have a small but growing collection of rooster figurines and much to my family’s bewilderment can watch a favorite movie (especially film noir) more than once in a single day.
I have recently moved to North Carolina where I am renovating a historical townhome built in 1920. If I can accomplish one thing with my writing it would be my wish to entertain.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of A Second Chance for Murder by Ann Lacey. Just click on the cover and buy for only $2.99 from Amazon.
Thanks so much for being here, Ann! It’s been a blast.
Please leave a comment and let us know if you’d like a second chance for… anything. There are two things in my life I’d like a second chance for. Now, I could tell you what they were…but then I’d have to kill you…muwhahahaha. 🙂
Today I’ve got Emelle Gamble here to tell us about herself and her new release...Dating Cary Grant
But first, click on one of the videos to hear the soulful sounds of Janis Joplin while you find out all about Ms. Gamble and Dating Cary Grant.
Emelle Gamble’s favorite…”Summertime”
My personal favorite…”Me and My Bobby McGee”
Are you listening? Well, why not?
Okay, that’s better. Now, lets find out about Emelle and her new novel. Scroll down to read my review of Dating Cary Grant. I’ll give you a hint… I LOVED IT!
Where does your novel take place? Why did you choose that location?
DATING CARY GRANT is set in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of New York City. It’s where the late,
fabulous Katharine Hepburn lived,
and near to where the late, iconic screen god Cary Grant hung out.
I love the rows of stately brownstones,
and knew Tracy Connor would find herself there when she met…
What is one of the most embarrassing things that’s happened to you?
I did a whole blog post on this if you’d like to read the whole humiliating episode at my website, but the short version is this. Who? Me, new high heels and all dressed up.
What? Nora Roberts cocktail party. Where? Hotel penthouse at RWA. When? Several years ago, thank god…
It was hot. 100 people in the room. A dish of jumbo shrimp sat in a silver bowl on a bed of ice. I picked up the tongs, the dish began to spin, the rest is history known around town as ‘isn’t Emelle Gamble that woman who spilled 50 lbs of shrimp on her feet at Nora’s party?’.
What was one of your favorite songs/bands in high school?
The summer I was fifteen, my boyfriend, he of the long-hair, buckskin coat and knee-high buckskin boots,
bought me tickets to the Hollywood Bowl to see
Janis Joplin, Donavan and, I kid you not, the opening act of Santana.
It was heaven, leavened by the flat tire and $50 we had to pay for a tow on the way home. I have every song in every set memorized to this date, despite the rather ‘smoky’ atmosphere surrounding the open-air theater. HA!
Do not tell my children.
Blurb for Dating Cary Grantby Emelle Gamble
Dating Cary Grant
A modern Manhattan fairy tale starring…
Tracy Connor, a New York City career woman who loves her job and classic movies.
Mike Connor, her estranged husband, a small town Mayor who loves his wife but doesn’t seem to have enough time to see her.
The handsome stranger, Philip Adams, who lives downstairs from the small sublet Tracy has temporarily moved into. He’s charming, funny and looks a lot like her very favorite screen icon, Cary Grant.
Dating Cary Grant is a romance all about New York city career woman Tracy Connor struggling with real issues with her real guy, her husband of six years, Mayor Mike Connor of Cukor, Connecticut. Tracy is a smart woman, but some of her problems with relationships are partially caused by her unrealistic expectations that real guys should – and can – behave like matinée idols. Mike’s problems are also caused by the fact that he’s such a great guy and overextends his heart, and his appointment calendar, to every constituent, friend or stray animal who crosses his path.
Tracy is also being stressed by a TV reality show intent on showcasing Tracy and Mike’s personal life, as well as the imminent takeover of her employer, a small, private television station, by a billionaire with unlimited funds and no taste.
Dating Cary Grantconsiders just how selfless a man needs to be to meet his wife’s expectations, and just how honest a woman must be with herself about what she’s willing to give, and give-up. And Cary Grant is along to help prove that any woman’s search for ‘Mr. Perfect ‘ might take her to a surprising place to find him.
Excerpt from DATING CARY GRANT:
DATING CARY GRANT by Emelle Gamble:
Tracy put her hand on the knob to open the door a crack so she could hear better, when suddenly someone knocked, then knocked a second time!
The vibration went right through the door into her forehead. She yelped and stepped back, just like the other night, but this time, thankfully, the lock was engaged.
“Hello?” a man asked pleasantly. “Sorry if I startled you.”
Tracy stared at the door, immobile with surprise. She cleared her throat and put her right hand over her heart, as if that would slow the galloping beat down.
The man knocked twice again. “I don’t want to be a bother, but I’ve come to borrow ice cubes, if you have them. It’s quite a catastrophe, really, having no ice, so you can save the day if you have a tray or two to spare.”
His voice was smart and cultured. He had the accent of an Englishman by birth and world traveler by choice.
“Why don’t you come downstairs and have a drink, for that matter? If you’re decent, of course. Or even if you’re not.” He chuckled and tapped the door gently. “Come on. Shy, are you? Don’t be afraid, I promise I’m a perfect gentleman this time of night.”
“Yes, hello,” Tracy surprised herself by replying. “But I’m sorry; I don’t have any ice cubes. Sorry.” What a pinhead, she chided herself. Apologizing when I had no reason to, just like the woman on the bike told her.
“No ice cubes? You poor darling! Well, you must open up and go downstairs with me. I’ll steal some for you from the party. Right out of someone’s glass. It might be rude, but, well, I’m willing to be rude in times of crisis. No girl with a voice as lovely as yours should be without ice cubes on a Saturday night. What if she fancied a cocktail?”
Tracy smiled. “Actually it’s Sunday morning. About three thirty, as a matter of fact. And I certainly can’t come out, as I’m dressed for bed, and it’s a bit early for me to be drinking a cocktail.”
“Early? Well, that’s all the way you look at it, my dear.” The door creaked as the visitor leaned his weight against it. “To my way of thinking, 3:30 a.m. is the very heart of the evening. Why don’t you throw on something more acceptable to the general public and join me? What do you say?”
Tracy put her hand on the door and peered through the stained glass but could make out only a vague figure of a man in a dark suit. His voice was amazing. If he looked half as hot as he sounded, then the neighborhood was even better than she had expected.
Should she open the door to get a look at this guy? She glanced down and frowned at the white tee-shirt and pink socks she‘d been sleeping in. The shirt was Mike’s. Suddenly the image of her husband filled her head, squelching her curious impulse.
Tracy crossed her arms over her chest. “Thanks, but no. Sorry.” She grimaced. God lord, I am pathetic. “Goodnight!” Her voice was firm. “I’m going back to sleep now. Have a nice party.”
“Well, all right. But next time I’ll stay here until you come out and meet me properly,” the man replied. “I’ll go back to my friends. Although you don’t sound like you need it, you’ve still got a few hours to get your beauty sleep. Good night, Miss…?”
It’s Mrs., she thought. “Connor. Tracy Connor.”
“Sleep tight, Tracy Connor,” the man said.
My review of Dating Cary Grant:
Dating Cary Grant is a breath of fresh air. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was 13 and spent all of my allowance on them. I now write them, and know it’s very hard to come up with an original plot.
Emelle Gamble has done this brilliantly.
The story is new and exciting while keeping with the romance tropes we all expect when reading this genre. The writing is crisp and witty, and I fell in love with the characters immediately. I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but suffice to say you will be surprised and entertained while reading Dating Cary Grant.
*****Five stars from me!
DATING CARY GRANT book of the month at Long & Short Reviews
SECRET SISTER RONE finalist for BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL of 2013
Emelle Gamble became a writer at an early age. At six years old she was bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection, and this itch to tell tales evolved into bad teen poetry and tortured short works that, thankfully, never saw the light of day, or an editor’s red pen. She took her first stab at writing a novel in an adult education class in Mobile, Alabama when her kids were in bed for the night. As ‘M.L. Gamble,’ she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin Intrigue.
Soul Mate Publishing has now contracted for two romantic women’s fiction novels, Secret Sister, in July of 2013, and Dating Cary Grant, an April 2014 release.
Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Gamble’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. Emelle celebrates the adventurous spirit of readers, and hopes each will enjoy the exciting and surprising journeys her characters take.
Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her hero of thirty years, Philip, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. Like all good villains, the cats claim to have their reasons for misbehaving. Her children are happily launched on their own and are both contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Emelle. And thanks to all of you for giving us a bit of your time.
Today I’ve got Multi-Published Author, Lauren Linwood who’ll answer our burning question and let us know about her new release…Written in the Cards.
Let’s find out about Lauren…
Do you have a pet?
Jake the Wonder Dog is a pound puppy and one of the most loving pets we’ve ever had. Every single time anyone comes home or over to visit, he runs to the door to meet them—then turns and races to his favorite chair, which we call The Greeting Chair.
He jumps in it and faces them expectantly, waiting for the new arrival to come say hello to him in his special spot.
Once a proper greeting has occurred, then he goes from bouncing off the walls frenetic to as chill as they come.
Ahhh, I want a wonder dog!
What is your favorite childhood TV show and what do you remember fondly about it?
Growing up, I loved The Dick Van Dyke Show.
It came on in syndication at 5:30, and I’d watch it with my brother and sister while my mom cooked dinner. We knew every episode just a few seconds in and could even say lines word for word. We’d set the table between commercials. When it ended, my dad walked in the door like clockwork, home from his day at the office, and we’d gather as a family and eat dinner and share our day.
What is your favorite decade and why?
I am a child of the 70s! I went to middle school, high school, and college during that decade. I still think it was a golden age of movies (think both Godfathers, Chinatown, Dog Day Afternoon, The Sting, Star Wars, Rocky, Young Frankenstein).
I’ll always love the classic music (The Eagles, Elton John, The Beatles, Al Green, The Commodores, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, The BeeGees, Fleetwood Mac).
I love the Bee Gees!!! Rockin’ out while I write this. 🙂
Coming of age while news events such as Vietnam, Watergate, and the Iran Hostage Crisis occurred sparked my interest in the history happening around me, and it helped influence my decision to become a history teacher.
Picture of me in my drill team uniform my senior year of high school. I’m a lieutenant in it.
Such a great picture of you!
Now, let’s find out all about Written in the Cards.
Maggie Rutherford jilts her too-perfect society groom at the altar and flees to the American West, where she turns her travels into dime novels that she writes under the pen name Lud Madison.
Civil War veteran Ben Morgan marries his childhood sweetheart and takes her to homestead on the Great Plains. Losing her in an Indian attack, Ben becomes a gambler. When he kills a cheating opponent in self-defense, the man’s gunslinger brother swears revenge.
Ben hides on a cattle drive and brings in a herd to Abilene, where a waiting Maggie interviews him for her next story. Sparks fly as they wind up living in the same household, running a general store east of Abilene. But with Black Tex Lonnegan on his trail, will Ben run from his growing attraction to Maggie and the gunfighter’s promise of death–or will he make a stand for his life–and love?
“Stay close to me,” Ben warned. “The streets are full of devilry. You’ve come to a dangerous place, Maggie.”
He offered her his arm, and she slipped her hand through the crook. She knew he was right. Cowboys raced horses down the streets of Abilene, letting off steam after coming off the long drive. Fistfights broke out at scattered intervals. Drunken men staggered along, some passing out and falling along the street, where they were generally ignored. Maggie drew a little closer to Ben and smiled.
All these details would make for a wonderful narrative in her upcoming book.
And Ben would make for a marvelous hero. The minute she saw him, she knew he would be her next cover, whether she interviewed him or not. He looked like the perfect hero. She couldn’t wait to put ink to paper and capture his essence.
As they walked, her heart fluttered more rapidly. It differed from when she woke from a nightmare in a panic or when a situation seemed to close in on her. Those heart palpitations brought a strong nausea. These flutters brought an intoxicating sweetness, as excitement built within her.
All at once, she realized the truth. She was attracted to Ben Morgan. It made her wonder what it would be like to kiss this handsome cowboy. Now that would definitely be worth pursuing. She might want to write about romance one day. It only made sense to experience a true kiss. And she thought Ben Morgan would make a viable candidate.
Maggie wondered if she would be able to pull off kissing him. Maybe if she got a few drinks in him. At the end of their interview. She could thank him and move in for a swift kiss. That would be the ultimate in research.
Bio & Social Media Links:
As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.
Lauren’s novels focus on two of her favorite eras, medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.
Read on to find all about Samanthya and, of course, what Mighty Mouse, Herman’s Hermits and The Right One have in common.
What is your favorite childhood TV show and what do you remember fondly about it?
LOL Heckle & Jeckle andMighty Mouse.
“Here I come to save the day….
Mighty Mouse is on the way!”
I used to run around and act
like a Super Hero Mouse. How
retarded is that? Not to
mention I’m telling my age. LOL
What was one of your favorite songs/bands in high school?
I was in the band in high school. Oh, but you mean a rock band. A few friends started a band and the preacher’s daughter was the wildest kid I knew. And she could play any instrument. She was a wicked drummer.
The Supremes were my most favorite, and Diana Ross still rocks. The Beatles,
I had no idea who Herman’s Hermits were until I heard this song. 🙂 I used to sing it to my son, Henry.
And man, I I loved to dance. Still do.
If you had one do-over in your life, what would it be?
That I started seriously writing and thinking publisher much sooner. I loved historical romance. About fifteen years ago, I wrote to Catherine Coulter and was amazed that she wrote back. She was very encouraging and told me to join RWA. She said to write everyday even if it was only one sentence. I allowed life to get in the way. If I had pursued my dream of writing, I may have been published years ago.
I often regret not completing my historical and trying to get it published. Today the competition is fierce. But I hauled that story out of the closet and finally finished my historical romance, “The Right One”, the first of a trilogy, and I completed a contemporary romance “Something More”. I contacted publishers, sent my MS to editors, and continued to hope. And here I am today with two books being released this month.
Woo hoo! Wow, two books. I am impressed.
A few more things about me:
Ever since I can remember, I have loved curling up with a book. Blue is my favorite color. Never a pink girl. Wonder if that had anything to do with the fire trucks and guns I played with as a child. No dolls for me.
I spent hours putting their little plastic hats on their head, the little rubber hose in their tiny hands and positioning them on the ladder. Hours.
Hmmm. I’m working on Firemen of Station #8 Series. I wonder if I had deep desire even then.
I married a military man, we traveled the United States and abroad. He loves the mountains so we settled in the
I would love to ski, jump from an airplane, all the things I should have done at a much younger age.
Now, I love to go to the beach,
read a book, take walks, crochet, watch my grandkids.
I love to make people laugh. My hubby is so silly. And his playfulness has rubbed off on me. Anything can come out of my mouth sometimes, just for fun. I’ll say things that don’t make sense, have people raising their eyebrows, or just busting out with laughter.
At my age I still love rollercoasters. Where the heck is the top of this thing?
Dark lords are sexy. Every girl dreams of a strong hero and every man wants a sexy woman. The idea of mistaken identity intrigued me and I needed a hook. As I put my story to paper I created conflicts. This is the result.
Morgan Bartholomew Langston, Earl of Whetherford, has finally decided to accept his fate. Tired of dangerous assignments and putting his neck on the line, he has returned to his ancestral home to accept the title of his birthright and produce the required heir. But, when he arrives, he finds his home has been invaded and a female has taken off with his mother’s jewels. Morgan decides the traitorous jade will not get away, so he sets into motion a plan to bring her back. When he abducts the wrong woman, his reaction to her brings him dangerously close to breaking his vow of forbidden emotions.
Katherine Elizabeth Radbourn is a strong, independent woman, and at the age of twenty three is still unwed. In a desperate attempt to find her brother, she is abducted which leads her on a journey to love and mistaken identity. Once she meets her captor, fear and indignation dissipates to an overwhelming awareness. Even though he tells her she is the wrong one, Kat realizes she has finally met a man that—not only she is attracted to—but has awakened her woman’s body. Does he really care for her or does he secretly yearn for the woman she is supposed to be? Uncertainty makes her risk the very man she has given her soul.
I enjoy penning a story with strong characters, a bit of humor, and active scenes. I invite you to lay the worries of the world off your shoulders and get lost in the pages of a romance, where you embark on a journey with the hero and heroine, become involved in a dream, plunge into a world of fantasy, live an adventure your heart can share.
The Right One
He abducts the wrong woman . . . she proves she is the right one.
Enjoy an excerpt
Kat had been summoned. He had requested her presence, not demanded. Beckoned, as if she were an invited guest. The irony of it all.
Her stomach was tied in knots—had been ever since she received his invitation. She tried to slow her breathing. She swallowed, but the lump that lodged from her throat to the center of her chest never moved. Her head throbbed. The pulse in her temples pounded with every beat of her heart. So loud in volume, she feared surely someone could hear it. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw the blond man’s smirk, which was becoming all too familiar. He waited for her to enter the lion’s den. She faced the huge solid oak door, the only thing between her and her impending fate.
The vein in her neck throbbed. If she didn’t calm down, she would be at his mercy. And that would never do. She could not allow him to know how defenseless she believed herself to be.
Lord Whetherford should have absolved her by now. If he was any kind of a gentleman, he would have set her free. She hesitated another moment outside the door. He was at fault—not her. She would demand to be released at once. Her body as taut as a tightly-drawn corset, she knocked on the wooden door.
Hearing his utterance, Kat smoothed her hands down the sides of her gown and squared her shoulders. Knowing Hathridge studied her, she summoned the courage to enter with a confident determination she did not feel.
She opened the study door.
He stood by the window, facing the sunlight, his back to her. A large, dark, muscular man, in all his finery, with broad shoulders and a commanding stance. Inky black waves hung thick and unruly. Tresses just long enough to curl over the neck of a white shirt peaking from the collar of his black suit coat. This man stood as tall as her brother, and Stephen loomed well over six feet. Even from the back, his broadness showed plenty of muscle. Remembering his fight with the ruffians made her sigh, marveling at the instant craving that pierced her torso.
The latch of the closing door generated a spike in her already rapid pulse. No chance to flee since Hathridge, quite possibly, barred the door. She lifted her chin and forced her arms by her side. Not knowing what to say, or if he expected her to say anything at all, she waited. He remained motionless, taking his darn sweet time to acknowledge her presence. Why didn’t he turn around? Why did he ignore her? The silence drew out so long she thought her unsteady legs would not hold her much longer.
Finally, he spoke. “Would you like a drink, my dear?
She had forgotten the low deep timbre of his voice. The rich baritone sent surges of awareness down her spine. An unexpected, distinct wakefulness. She resisted the urge to clasp her hands and entwine her worrisome fingers. Kat answered in a voice she hoped would not crack. “No, thank you.”
She nearly jumped out of her skin when he whirled around like the lash of a whip. He didn’t speak. He stood like stone, the same as she. Smoldering dark eyes seized hers in a heated, locked gaze, drowning her in their penetrating force. She had not been prepared for the dark threatening expression—threatening in the way that she felt something move within her.
Time stood still.
Nothing else in the room existed but the two of them. His hypnotic pull seared her, sending a tingling sensation beginning in her stomach, then flowing down the back of her knees and extending through her limbs making it impossible to move.
Her throat tightened.
If those eyes could shoot fire, they would sear holes right through her. But the expression on his face . . . he looked like he’d just had a good kick in the teeth.
Morgan felt as though someone had just punched him in the gut—hard. His breath caught at the sight of the stunning creature before him. Lost in amazing green eyes—adrift in their sparkling jade and mystique sensuality. He scanned her high cheekbones with soft creamy skin, and let his gaze slide down to fasten on luscious lips. Suddenly his mouth was dry
A cloud of vibrant red hair floated around her shoulders—like the brightest sunset at the end of a day, resting on the shimmering ocean. Luxuriant masses of thick curls inviting a man’s hands. He flexed his to keep from reaching for her. The movement reminded him of the snifter in his palm, which brought him some sense of stability.
He took in her exquisite form, stared at the more-than-generous swell of bosom, letting his heated gaze linger there. A notion popped in the back of his mind telling him to breathe. He tightened his jaw to make sure his mouth did not hang open. His hungry eyes moved lower, perceiving a slim waist before the folds of her gown hid the rest. He swore under his breath. She is exquisite.
She stood straight and tall with her chin at an angle in challenge. Even with that rod in her backbone, he sensed her vulnerability. A pang of concern struck his chest.
“You,” he whispered. What the hell is she doing here?
An explosion went off in his brain. Holy Mother of God! Those fools. They must have brought her here thinking she was Juliana.
Blood and the devil!
Morgan’s heart kicked and landed somewhere in the bottom of his gut. Choking on the words for this unsettling circumstance, he compelled himself to speak hoping his voice would not betray him. “I owe you my profound apology. There has been a horrendous mistake, madam. And I fear that I have made it.”
Those beautiful eyes blinked. She stared at him as though someone had taken over her senses. Was this woman a simpleton?
He hurried to the sideboard. Even though she could quite possibly be in shock, he ignored the stronger spirits and poured a generous amount of sherry. He didn’t want to knock her on her bum, just bring some color back in her face. He strode back to the unknown beauty and placed the flute in her hand.
Changes came over her face. Stupor—awe—surprise—and . . . anger. Although Morgan was not a patient man, he waited.
Her eyes flamed with fire. “Did I hear you correctly? Mistake?”
Morgan stopped the oath before it left his mouth. “Yes. I believe your being here is a mistake.”
“A mistake.” She echoed with a stupefied look, unseeing the crystal she held in her hand. “That’s what I thought you said.”
She raised the glass and downed the liquid in one swift movement. Tears came to her eyes as she tried not to cough. She marched to the side table and he feared she planned to get more. Instead she set the glass on the table top. When she faced him, her hands were fisted and the fire in her eyes burned brighter than the flames in the hearth.
“Mistake?” she snapped. “I was kidnapped! I have been a prisoner in your home. Forced to come here and forced to remain. I’ve been scared out of my mind. Every day I worried if you still lived. I agonized over what would become of me if you died. Then I walk in here and you have the audacious daring to tell me it was a mistake?”
This book sounds awesome! And it’s on sale now for only $2.99.