Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a free signed copy of my book, a $50 Amazon gift card and prizes from other military veteran authors.
She kept her head high, as her mom always told her.
Chin up, my girl. Always chin up.
She’d put on a pair of black pants and a white wraparound blouse with a nice empire waist for the occasion. They presented her with a beautifully crafted glass award from RTNA, the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California, for her coverage on Syria. There’d been an awards ceremony put on by the RTNA, but she missed it when she was overseas. Her hands didn’t shake when she took the award, but despite her confidence, tears welled up. A year ago, she would have considered this a pipe dream. Richard stood aside and indicated she should say a few words.
Piper took a deep breath and moved toward the microphone. She cleared her throat and looked up. “Thank you. I—”
The first person she saw was Jack Spencer. He leaned against the wall on the other side of the room wearing dark jeans, a dark-blue T-shirt, and a black sports jacket. Time froze, and she stared. Her emotions battled it out, elation, anger, resentment, and a burning desire all fighting to the surface. Beneath it all, the magnetic zing which they’d had between them from the beginning resurfaced at full force. His face beamed with pride, and it hit her right in the heart. Piper blinked, and a few tears escaped. Maybe he’d come to make amends?
She looked around at the audience of her peers, who appeared to notice the exchange. “My time in Syria taught me about what it means to be grateful for what we have here. Thank you so much for this award. I’m grateful to my team of amazing cameramen and behind-the-scenes staff, and also to my fellow anchors, Hakeem Patel and Melinda Schaffer, who were my home front throughout the whole experience. This award means a lot to me, more than any of you could ever know. I hope our segments we did in Syria have stoked enough awareness about the crisis with the refugees. Not everyone will always agree about a decision, but when it involves children, I feel like we have an obligation to do our utmost to help. Thank you.”
She stepped away to applause. But instead of going back to her table, she kept right on walking. Straight toward Jack.
About the author
Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.
Tanner jumped from his truck and ran through the meadow to the cliff near the old back road on the edge of town. He and Brittney always met there every day after school, their special spot, and as long as her dad was out of town on business, they wouldn’t get caught. As he approached the cliffs, he saw her, her long blonde hair whipping in the breeze. It took his breath away every time. How was he so lucky? A boy from the wrong side of the tracks getting to spend his days with the most beautiful girl in the county. Luck maybe? It had to be the key, that and his charming personality. Brittney’s dad loathed Tanner and everything he stood for; he didn’t melt at Tanner’s charms, it was more of a fire in his belly every time he saw Tanner.
Graduation was a year away, but Tanner and Brittney knew what they were going to do the night of graduation–elope to Las Vegas and never been heard from again. Pushing through the tall grass, Tanner made enough noise, it got Britney’s attention, and she turned to look. Standing up from the edge, she ran to him, and he picked her up and swung her around, kissing her, then gently placing her back down.
“How was your day?” Tanner said as he stepped closer to the edge of the cliff.
“It was good. I missed you most of the day though. What’s going on?” she asked wrapping her arms around his waist as they stood looking over the Alabama mountains.
“Oh, I got called into the Principal’s office again. Seems your daddy is trying to cause problems, again. The principal said I’ve been ordered to stay away from you at school,” Tanner explained, getting comfortable as he sat down, his legs dangling over the cliff, patting the ground for her to sit down next to him. Britney sat down next to Tanner, her face burning with anger, not at Tanner, but toward her father.
“I don’t understand why he doesn’t like you, Tanner. You’ve been nothing but nice and accommodating to him, but he persists on making life difficult. I hate him,” Brittney cried “It doesn’t make any sense. He’s being unreasonable.”
“Well, until he becomes reasonable, babe, it looks like this is the only place we can be together. Your dad isn’t making it easy, but soon we’ll be together, and there isn’t anything he’ll be able to do about it.”
“I can’t wait for that day, Tanner. It’s all I ever think about, dream about, the day I can be your wife, and we can have a family of our own,” Britney replied, turning toward him. Tanner placed his hand on her cheek, pulled her in, and gently kissed her.
“It’ll be alright, Brit, I promise you. It isn’t too much longer. I gotta head into work, but I’ll see you tomorrow before school, okay?” As they kissed again, they heard a voice from behind them.
“Get your fucking hands off my daughter. Britney, get your ass to the car right now.” Carson Johnson barreled from the tall grass and bushes, right toward Tanner who attempted to hold his ground. Before he could get his footing, the elder Johnson swung at him, landing his fist on the young man’s jaw, knocking him to the ground.
“I told you to stay away from my daughter, and you wouldn’t listen. Get your ass up and take your beating!” Carson Johnson screamed at Tanner, but Tanner stayed down. It was best not to confront him; her dad could do a lot of damage to him and his mother using his influence around town.
“Sir, I love your daughter, and I want to marry her. If you just tell me what you want me to do to make this right, I will,” Tanner begged, but the elder Johnson wouldn’t listen.
“Stay away from my daughter. You’ll bring her nothing but pain and sorrow, and as long as I’m alive, you will never touch her again.”
About the author
Shannon started her writing career while still serving in the US Army. Shannon served from 1987 to 2015 during Operation Desert Storm and during Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In April 2015 Shannon retired from the US Army with 23 years of service.
She is a mother of 4 children and a grandma to 2. She was born and raised in Macomb, IL and has been married 25 years to her husband, Ken. They reside in Staunton, IL a small town along Old Route 66.
Veterans Day honors the service of all U.S. military veterans. It’s often confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who died while in military service. Also observed in May is Armed Forces Day, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.
I often look back on my service in the US Navy with fondness, and to this day, I wish I’d served longer. I miss the camaraderie, the routine, everything done by the book, traveling and meeting amazing people. Mostly, I miss being a part of something so amazing, awe-inspiring and downright kick-ass.
Those feelings of nostalgia are partially what prompted me to write my Military Romance. In Forbidden Kisses, Navy Lieutenant Ethan Parker falls head-over-heels for a woman he meets while he’s on leave to attend his best friend’s funeral. Layla offers him emotional support, even while dealing with a stressful situation of her own. Eventually, each of them realizes that they’re both in the Navy but since he’s an officer and she’s enlisted, their relationship is against military regulations. They’re faced with a difficult decision: follow the rules or follow their hearts.
This Veteran’s Day I’m teaming up with fellow Romance-writing military veterans to bring you a chance to win some great prizes.
1. “Like” this post, comment below and follow my blog for a chance to win a signed copy of Forbidden Kisses*! (Don’t forget to follow)
2. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
3. Visit each author in the hop for the chance to win individual prizes! Click here to go to the next author’s page.
*The winner of the signed copy of Forbidden Kisses will be chosen randomly. In the event the winner lives outside the US, the prize will be an E-copy of Forbidden Kisses.
Another day, another talented author as a guest on my site. Please welcome McKenna Dean. Not only has she been gracious enough to answer some questions for us, but she’s also sharing an excerpt from her latest book, Ghost of a Chance. Read on.
What is your reaction to a negative review?
In the past, I’ve let negative reviews ruffle my feathers. It’s funny, you can get fifty stellar reviews, but it’s the one harsh review that sticks with you. Most of the time, I can shrug them off. After all, if you check out the reviews of some of your all-time favorite stories, you’ll discover they’ve received negative reviews, too. Sometimes it’s simply that the reader couldn’t connect with the story. Sometimes the problem is the reader doesn’t like things you love, and that’s not going to change.
When it comes to the truly nasty gif-laden review, I finally realized there were only two reasons someone would write such a review. Either they are writing to an audience, one that expects and appreciates a kind of Simon Cowell harshness—or they really intend to wound with their words.
In the first case, it isn’t personal. They are just playing to an audience who applauds them for being cleverly mean. In the second, you have to ask yourself this: will this review, which is mean to destroy your confidence, make you quit writing?
If the answer is no, then it becomes clear that negative reviews have no power over you. Congratulations.
What is your reaction to a positive review?
Aw, positive reviews are like crack to an author. Especially when you get that email out of the blue, telling you how your story brought joy to someone, or helped them through a dark time. When a reviewer sings my story’s praise—going so far as to quote their favorite bits—I practically bark like a seal, clapping my hands with delight and spinning circles in my desk chair. That’s the kind of review you want to share with everyone, even if you feel as though you’re boasting when you do so.
Writers are going to write. We can’t help it. But that kind of validation makes us sit down at the keyboard and tappety-tap out the next story. It overcomes exhaustion and discouragement. It’s the like a can of spinach to Popeye.
Think back to the first book you wrote and then the last book you wrote. In what ways have you grown?
I think in some ways, when I wrote my first story, I was attempting to write to market expectations—or at least what I thought the market wanted. I had hopes becoming successful enough I could scale back on the day job to spend more time writing. I’ve since learned that I’d much rather publish a story that satisfies me as a writer than to crank out one after another that have nothing to distinguish them from each other.
I’ve also had to accept that I’m not speedy enough to develop a big following overnight. That’s okay. I’m in this for the long haul.
How long does it generally take you to write a book, from the spark of an idea to the finished product?
Hah! Sadly, at the moment, it seems to take me about a year to write a story that I’m proud to publish. That wasn’t always the case—I used to be more productive than I am now. Unfortunately, demands of work and family mean that I frequently find myself too wiped out at the end of the day to write the scenes I’ve been dreaming about all day long.
I’m taking steps to carve out more writing time for myself, though. That means less time online and making the social media rounds. The best advertisement is the next story.
There are many ‘systems’ to write a novel: story-boarding, the 7-point structure system, the snowflake system, to name a few. Have you tried any of them? If so, share your thoughts and experiences.
I’m the worst kind of pantser. I get an idea for a story that usually starts as a ‘what if?’ question. The characters come to me next. Sometimes I write out of sequence, getting the scenes I see the most clearly down on paper without worrying about how it will all come together. Sometimes I write 20 K words before I realize what the real story is and where it is headed. Most of the time this works for me, but I can see how inefficient it might seem. If I outline too much, it feels as though I’ve already written the story! But now that I’m writing series, I can see the need for a greater degree of outlining than I’ve used before. I re-read my material a lot. This helps me spot underlying themes that were perhaps only subconscious thoughts before, and allows me to expand upon them and weave them into subsequent scenes. It may slow me down a bit, but I frequently get compliments on my pacing and flow, and I believe this habit is a big factor in why it works for me.
What is the kindest comment/compliment you have ever received from a fan regarding your work?
I recently had a fan tell me my writing was as delicious and cozy as a Jennifer Crusie story, but because I write about shifters, which was right up her alley, it was a win-win for her. (I might have to have that printed up on a flyer!)
Do you have a blog and if so, what types of posts would a visitor find on it?
I do! I try to post once a week on my blog. I generally post about writing and the creative process, with guest spotlights of other authors. I also live on a farm, so I tend to post slice-of-life things as well. Once a month, I hold a WIP Wednesday, in which I post 500 or so words of the current WIP, and invite other authors to do the same. I love taking photographs, so any excuse will do to post pictures I’ve taken!
Describe a typical weekend.
Today was a good example. We’re having amazing fall weather right now, so I got up early to make blueberry muffins for the family, and then I headed out to the barn to go horseback riding. After that, I took the dogs out to the National Forest for a long walk among the falling leaves, stopping to take lots of photographs along the way. It was such a quintessential autumn day that I baked an apple pie this afternoon when I got back to the house, and as soon as I finish these interview questions, it’s me and the WIP for the next couple of hours. I like to participate in #RWChat Sunday evenings on Twitter, and then I have to do laundry and get ready for the work week tomorrow.
If every day could be like this one, I could knock out a novel every couple of months.
At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.
A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.
With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they each harbor secrets that might tear them apart.
For some reason, he glanced back at Sarah where she waited by the door. The back-light of falling snow through the glass in the shadowed hallway created the suggestion of a black-and-white photograph. The only spot of color was the bright red scarf at the collar of her coat and the wine-dark lipstick she wore. She leaned against the wall with her eyes closed. Something inside him clicked, as though recognizing a scene from a movie. His heart stopped a beat, flipped over, and thudded again with increased intensity.
No. It couldn’t be. Not her.
He hurried away, head still reeling at his reaction.
When he returned with an armload of clothing, she was nowhere to be seen. Her laptop sat by her shoes, one pretty little pump turned over on its side. As expected, he discovered her in the living room, staring at the pictures on the wall. “There you are.”
She jumped at the sound of his voice.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” He adjusted the heap of clothing piled over one arm and held out a pair of snow boots.
“She had so many photographs of me.” Sarah took the boots almost automatically, and indicated the walls covered with pictures, ones Casey had seen many times.
That had to be it. Why she felt so familiar. Why she seemed to be the one. Relief washed over him. Obviously, he’d spent too much time alone if he thought Sarah Atwell was his destined mate.
Sarah spoke quietly, as though she felt a sense of reverence as well. “So different from my own place. My walls are largely bare.” She turned in a slow circle, taking in everything in the room.
“Why is that?”
Her shrug seemed self-deprecating. “Less to dust, according to Simon. I got rid of most of my furniture when I moved in with him. It made sense at the time. His place was small and there wasn’t room for all my clutter.”
“I’m not much of a house-keeper myself.” There was no way he’d ever let someone as classy as Sarah into his ramshackle single-wide trailer. “But if something makes you happy, I think you should keep it.”
She smiled, though not at him. At his words perhaps. “This room is a shrine to a life well-lived. A love letter to the beauty Gran found in the little things around her.”
On the wall facing the door was a large dramatic shot of a bay horse jumping down from an impossibly huge obstacle into a body of water. Where her forelegs struck the surface, the spray shot up into the air, beading in the sunlight like tiny prisms. It was Casey’s favorite photograph of Athena, one of the best horses June had ever bred. Taken at one of Sarah’s last competitions as a teenager, Sarah was rocked back in the saddle, the reins looking dangerously long to the untrained eye. Of course, she had let them slip to allow Athena to drop down into the water. Seeing Sarah standing in front of the photograph now sent a weird jolt of recognition combined with dissonance through him. It was hard to believe she was the girl riding that mare. The look on her teenaged face in the photo had always captivated him. It was one of sheer joy, the thrill of the ride itself.
That girl had not only found life worth living, but had taken it by the reins as its master. The woman standing beside him looked closed off from joy, shielded.
What had happened to her?
McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.
She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, as well as the assorted dogs, cats, and various livestock. She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.
In continuing my celebration of authors for the entire month of November, I’m delighted to welcome Addison Brae as today’s guest. She discusses the differences between being a bitch and being a bad-ass. As an added bonus, Addison shares an excerpt from her story, Becker Circle.
Female authors strive to create strong female main characters. In real life, people often call strong women “bitches”. There’s a clear difference between bitch and bad-ass.
Women earn the “bitch” title when they act out with spite and no logical explanation—like a rubber band snap out of nowhere. These characters will likely be an antagonist. Readers love a bad-ass main character with firm, fact-based beliefs who delivers the message with grace and conviction. That’s why I created Gillian, a strong, imperfect but wise 21-year-old. The one I wish I had been.
In Becker Circle, Gillian is far from perfect, but she’s a bad-ass. During her fresh start in Becker Circle, she screws up, owns up, and learns from her mistakes. Like Gillian, bad-ass women are intensely independent and rarely count on a man to back them up. They also know their limits and are strong enough to ask for help when they need it.
The women who protect America in the Armed Forces, police, fire, and first responders are bad-ass. There are other high profile bad-ass women who influence us. I don’t always agree with these ladies, but I respect their kindness and conviction.
Life can be easier when you learn bad-ass ways early, but it’s never too late. If people think you’re a bitch when you handle things with strength, grace, and conviction, it’s on them.
Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today as an independent marketing consultant. She addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing, and hanging out with her artistic other half and their
“That’s what I hear.” I pour another round of shots. “Be right back. Just going to deliver these.”
On my return, I run into Bradweiser coming from the bathroom. “Give me a hug.” He opens his arms and squeezes me. It’s uncomfortable. When he loosens his grip, he slides around where his arm wraps around my throat. Tight.
I gasp for breath and my tray crashes to the wood floor breaking the somber near silence.
Everything rushes back. The night Connor left huge bruises on my neck then dragged me across the floor by my hair. All because I wasn’t ready to get engaged.
This time I’m not afraid. I’m ready to fight. Feet firm on the ground I wrap one leg behind Brad and slam my knee into the back of his. His knee bends and I twist out of his tight hold.
“What the hell are you doing?” I pick the tray up off the floor and step back to a safe distance, my heart still racing.
“I’m sorry,” he begs. “I’m so sorry, Gillian. I just wanted to hug you.”
“Gillian, are you hurt?” Steve asks, stepping between us with Joey right behind him.
“I’ll make it up to you. The best restaurant in town. Sunday?”
I don’t care how much Brad’s sleepy eyes beg, it’s not happening. “I don’t think so, Brad.”
“Brad, time to go home.” Steve leads him to the door. “I’ll close out your tab.”
Rule seven of my new life—violence is a deal breaker. No exceptions.
Q. Thank you for visiting with us today, Seelie. Let’s start with something basic: Why do you write romance?
Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.
Q. Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?
I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me!
Q. Why did you write “Snatching Dianna?”
Actually, for two reasons. First, when writing the Kinky Briefs series, there were certain couples I fell in love with: The Sheikh and his American lawyer wife who sue terrorists on behalf of their victims, the police chief (with a preference for handcuffs) and his criminal defense attorney wife who seek to right wrongs, and the covert agent and his law professor wife, who are smart, funny, and incredibly hot! Each of these couples have wonderful relationships and incredible lives. And each and every one of them is dedicated to preserving justice. I wanted their stories to continue. So, I created the Feisty Lawyers series. Second, “Snatching Dianna” deals with a law student who is kidnapped by a slave trafficking cartel. This plot permitted me to focus not only on the continuing problem of slave trafficking, but also on the investigative issues behind finding a missing adult. In this story, there is no evidence and no witnesses. It takes a lot of investigative savvy to piece together seemingly unrelated clues. I love complex puzzles and this story lets me go wild!
Q. Why slave trafficking? That seems like such an uncomfortable subject.
My book ends with this statement: Experts say that more than 3,000 people around the world are sold, kidnapped, or forced into slavery each day, many of them children. Even in the United States, men, woman, and children are snatched off the streets for the purpose of human slavery. Slave traffickers do not discriminate by race, gender, religion, education, or socio-economic status. Victims of slave trafficking come from all walks of life, as do those who traffic in humans. It is a crime of international proportions and one that requires committed international cooperation.
As a lawyer and a human being, I think it is a topic worth calling attention to.
Q. This book includes three very different couples. Wasn’t it a little hard to keep track?
(laughs) At times. However, each couple is at a different stage in their lives and each took a different journey to find one another. That helps to keep them separate.
Q. Romantic suspense is a new genre for you. You’re most known for your Kinky Briefs series, which are collections of stories about lawyers in love, with a dash of kink. Why the shift from erotic romance?
I have always had a preference for mysteries and thrillers. I enjoy plots that challenge the mind. Plus, I am a big James Bond fan. My characters still enjoy erotic, loving relationships, but now the action focuses on solving a dilemma or crime. Instead of “metaphorical guns,” these characters wield real ones. (Wink!)
Q. How does your former profession as a lawyer impact your writing?
After 30 years, the law and the legal world are so firmly embedded in my brain that I can’t flush them out. That has become the lens through which I view the world and that naturally guides my characters and plots. Little peculiarities that I have witnessed in lawyers and the law always work their way into my stories.
Q. Any plans to write outside the romance genre completely?
Actually, I ghostwrite non-fiction for other professionals—doctors, lawyers, financial gurus—so I dip my toes into a lot of different genres. However, I have been itching to write a book about a relative who founded a religious cult. I researched it for years and found a lot of information that had been buried. I have a pile of paper a foot high. Someday, I need to go through it carefully and start writing. I have the interest, just not the time.
Q. The cover of the book clearly says “Snatching Dianna” is part one in the Feisty Lawyers Series. How many more books can we look forward to?
At this point, I’m not sure. In each book, I introduce new characters with compelling stories, so it is difficult to predict how and when their stories will be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. However, the second book, “Infamy,” is in the queue, and I have a good start on the third, “Cult.” There should be at least one more after that.
After what seemed like hours in the sweltering van, it lurched to a stop.
Dianna heard a man bark orders. A door to the van opened and someone pulled the rope from her feet, then removed her hood. She took a deep breath. A man grabbed her by the arm, forced to her feet, and pulled from the van. Dianna stumbled when she hit the ground. The stones were hot and her feet were covered by athletic socks, no shoes. Show no weakness.
Dianna immediately surveyed her surroundings. It was still night, but she was in a well-lit courtyard. A large stone mansion stood in front of her. She looked to her right, then her left. The courtyard was enclosed by a large stone fence, at least eight feet high. A fortress. Fortunately, Dianna was a rock-climber. She could rappel over the fence with the right equipment. All she would need was something to serve as a pick, maybe a rope. A knife, a screwdriver, even a fork. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be ready.
A large black man, dressed in a white suit and a maroon turban, walked out of the front door and down the stairs. He stopped and flashed a malevolent smile. He flung his arms wide and in a cultured baritone boomed, “Welcome to paradise, ladies. I hope you enjoy your stay.”
Some of the guards laughed.
“Crikey,” Tillie muttered. “Sounds like a blasted genie.”
Dianna glanced sideways and for the first time, got a look at her new friend. She was tall and thin, her body well defined. She looked strong and aware, almost fierce. Her eyes seemed to be studying the place, taking everything in. She showed no fear. Instead, she seemed interested. Something was off. Tillie did not act like a victim as the others did. She was not cowed. Was she a cop? Or like Dianna, someone who would not permit themselves to be broken?
There was only one thing of which Dianna was certain. She had found a friend. A useful one.
Q. So where can we get a copy of Snatching Dianna?
Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen! In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of multiple works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, and The President’s Wife.
When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!
Infamy (Part Two, Feisty Lawyers): TBD
Cult (Part Three, Feisty Lawyers): TBD
Chasing Hope (Divorce Divas anthology): January 2019
The President’s Daughter (Stocking Stuffer): December 2018
Alan and Morgan Stuart are two brothers devoted to their businesses, each other, and their women. Maybe they both should rethink that order.
Chronicle One – Alan and Eloise are a power couple who have grown apart over their ten year marriage. What happens when they find that their marriage was never registered? Will an eminent natural disaster be the final straw that breaks them apart or will it rekindle their love and send them to the altar for a second chance?
Chronicle Two – Morgan and Margot are wild about each other. Secure about each other’s love, they focused on their careers. Commitment was not something either wanted. When they attend a friend’s destination wedding all Margot’s doubts are gone. She wants Morgan’s ring on her finger, but he keeps teasing her about their ‘no commitment’ agreement. Perhaps if he saw someone else interested in her he’d change his mind. That’s a dangerous game. Will they come to their senses or deny the loving relationship they both desire?
She didn’t mean to intrude. All she’d wanted was to step out on the wide porch for a breath of cool air to stop her head from spinning. Now she couldn’t leave fast enough. What was she doing here straddling the threshold, pinned to the spot like a fly in amber, a death grip on the French door handles? Leave. Give them a little privacy—but she couldn’t move. Instead she watched Gabe embrace her close friend Viv. His fingertips whispered down her back while his other hand drifted down her side and rested on her hip. But it was the smoldering looks they had for each other that made her breath catch.
It was hard to imagine Viv getting married. They’d known each other for years. She was five years older and would always think of Viv as a flighty kid. But it was easy to see Gabe and Viv’s commitment to each other. Commitment. She blew out the word in exasperation. She hadn’t understood how much she’d wanted that from Morgan—until now.
A burst of loud music behind her broke the spell. She stepped back into the banquet room and closed the doors without making a sound. In all the years she’d known Gabe and Viv she’d never seen them so love struck. Their bed was a playground, but they were die-hard singles—at least that was what Viv had told her. Sure they lived together, but…well, it was convenient. They were good friends with benefits, that’s what they were. What a joke. She turned and glimpsed the bride and groom through the glass doors. How did she not see they were head over heels in love?
With her back to the door, she scanned the crowded bachelor/bachelorette party to see if Morgan had returned. He’d stepped out an hour ago. Business, he’d said. Aren’t you glad we’re not doing this? She thought about his words from earlier in the day. No, damn it. This is what she wanted. Do you hear me, Morgan Stuart? I. Want. Forever.
The DJ had almost everyone—including every woman present—doing a line dance on the packed dance floor. She had a clear view of the bar where the men were hanging out, gawking and making comments while they had their drinks. Nope, he wasn’t there, either. She was about to give up when a movement by the nest of cocktail tables captured her attention.
Morgan raised his bottle of beer in salute. “And I only want forever with you,” she murmured. She ran her hands down her snug black dress—making sure it clung in all the right places—then maneuvered across the crowded room, eager to get to him. She wanted to see if his eyes smoldered when he looked at her. As soon as she reached him she realized she needed more courage. She removed the bottle from his hand and took a swallow.
“Whoa. You don’t like beer. Remember?” Ignoring his outstretched hand, she took another gulp and tried not to screw up her face. The stuff was vile, but she wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction.
Those little pink things—the ones with vodka, vermouth and strawberries that she’d had all afternoon—slid down so easily, along with the shots she’d had a few minutes ago with the girls in the bridal party. At the moment she didn’t care what she drank. Something wet and mind numbing was what she wanted.
Maybe the beer would steady the room and stop it from spinning. No, the dancers were a blur and now her stomach was complaining.
Since the beer made her stomach queasier, she placed her hands on the back of the chair and held on for dear life. A sideways glimpse was all she needed to see Morgan shaking his head.
“You’re going to regret this in the morning,” he said, bending close to her. She closed her eyes and tried to control a shudder as his low voice and warm breath bathed her ear. She turned to face him, his lips a kiss away and his eyes…his eyes—
“You two are next. You know why?” They glanced at Dave, a groomsman, who stood beside them looking at the mob on the dance floor. “Because you’re the last holdouts. How long have you been together? Ten years? When are you going to tie the knot?”
The bottle dangled from her hand. Morgan retrieved his beer and exchanged it for a large glass of water. One sip then she chugged it all.
“We’re happy the way we are. You can ask Margot. She’d be the first to tell you she doesn’t need a piece of paper.” Why didn’t he just take a knife to her heart? This wasn’t the first time he put it into words. She didn’t want commitment eight years ago, but now…
“Why spoil a good thing?” she said in a matter-of-fact tone and gave Dave her most dazzling smile. What else could she say? It was obvious Morgan liked the arrangement. She got on her tiptoes and kissed Morgan’s lips. She searched his eyes, trying to see if that special look, the one Gabe had for his Viv, was there. But with Dave next to them, Morgan had his game face on. When it suited him he could be hard to read. He was one of the best corporate attorneys in New York. This evening he was the poker-face master.
She choked down regrets that they weren’t alone. A family. The idea had been on her mind since their trip to Star Island. Now, at the wedding, she knew she wanted one of her own and she wanted one with Morgan. She’d loved him from the start but right now, at this moment, she understood how much. She loved his sense of humor, his unconditional acceptance, his steadfast friendship, his closeness to his family, his Chris Pine blue eyes, his voice, his touch, his…everything.
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/ marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. For more information, please visit RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.
November is full of opportunities to observe, remember and celebrate special causes, events and people. Some of personal interest to me are National Radiologic Technology Week because I just received my Dental Radiology License and Veterans Day because I’m proud to have served. Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to remember what we are grateful for… in the company of friends and family, while watching football and eating huge amounts of comfort food.
Today I’m delighted to welcome Meredith Bond as a guest on my blog. Show her some love!
There are some things in this world that, to me, just can’t be explained to my satisfaction. Science. Music. Medicine. Charisma. How does a scientist come up with the connections she finds? How does she even know to look, let alone where to look? How can a musician — trained or untrained — create something so beautiful it takes you away on a wind of sound and pleasure? Or conversely, create such noise you wonder how anyone could call that music — and yet, thousands do?
Do you ever stop to wonder how these people do these miraculous things? What about artists? Doctors? Mechanics, yes, mechanics! Anyone who can figure out how to take apart an engine and put it back together again and have it not only work, but work better is, to me, awe inspiring. How do they do that?
It’s got to be magic. There’s no other explanation that I can find.
In my mind, these magical people exist. They’re there all around us—a part of society, a part of history—helping us, moving the world along with medical and scientific advancement. Music, art and theatre. If you stop for just a minute and look, really look, you’ll see them. You’ll know.
But who are they? They’re called the Vallen (a Latin word meaning “Powerful”). They came to us during the time of King Arthur, Merlin and Morgan le Fey and they’ve been here ever since.
But with great power can come the opportunity for its mis-use. Those people are stripped of their powers (although, clearly, sometimes after it’s too late) by the high priestess who polices the Vallen. For centuries the seventh child in the line of Morgan le Fey held this role. For centuries, generation after generation this child became the high priestess.
Until Morgan was born. The seventh child of the seventh child in the seventh generation, destined to be the most powerful Vallen, to renew the powers of all the Vallen—which naturally diminishes with each generation.
But Morgan was a boy.
Will he have what it takes to become the most powerful Vallen? What will have to do to attain his destiny? The answer might shock you.
Set during the Regency period of England (early 19th century) Magic In The Storm is the story of what happens when the child destined to become the most powerful high priestess is born male.
Meredith Bond‘s books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith loves to take her readers on a journey they won’t soon forget.
Merry has two independent children and a loving, supportive husband. She is currently living in Europe enjoying the Bohemian life.
He can save mankind. After he does one important thing. Die.
Join the Ghost Corps, they said. You’ll live forever, they said. You’ll save mankind, they said. They didn’t say that to do it, first he had to die.
When Tornahdo signs on the dotted line, he puts his life into the steady hands of the mighty Ghost Corps. Three grisly deaths and three agonizing resurrections later, he’s assigned duty on the space station Enderium Six.
He’s facing his most dangerous mission yet, the very reason the corps exists.
Do they expect him to win? Fat chance. Tornahdo and his team are already dead and this mission is codenamed “Lights Out.” No, there’s more to this than he can see.
To discover the truth, he must face an unbeatable, unkillable enemy, and this time–somehow–find a way to keep himself alive…
Lights Out part of the Science Fiction/Space Opera anthology The Expanding Universe Vol 4, edited by Craig Martelle.
Go behind the scenes with the world and characters of Lights Out in a free downloadable illustrated book filled with inside information, exclusive character insights, and links to the author’s research.
The air reeked of antiseptic and starch stiffened the pillowcase. If only the mind-numbing jabbering would stop.
Tornahdo pried open his eyes. The flattened blood bag above him, stenciled equipment and gray walls screamed military hospital.
He’d died. Again.
Spanish curses slipped out. His abuela would’ve taken a switch to him. He made the sign of the cross and kissed his fingertips.
After yanking the tube out of his arm, he pressed a thumb over the entry point. Thankfully, this time, he wasn’t writhing on the floor in agony. Well, not yet.
A faceless android in a Ghost Corps uniform loomed over a bank of equipment displaying Tornahdo’s name and vitals. First impression was right. Military hospital.
The weapons-grade yapping continued.
“Did you hear?” a youthful voice bragged. “He killed six of ’em last night.”
“Yeah, but they don’t stay dead. They never do.”
“If Ultras didn’t come back to life, their plasma wouldn’t bring our own people back.”
The transfusion of enemy blood healed the hole in Tornahdo’s arm in seconds. He thumbed off the red smear and rolled over on the gurney.
An open door led to a sink and toilet built to let gravity do its work. Which meant this was a planet. You hadn’t lived until you were in space, floating in zero gravity while your body’s final twitches sent your corpse spinning.
Notices on the wall confirmed this was San Xavier in the Colonies of Man. Same place he’d bought it the first time.
This was getting old.
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is the author of seven books, three novellas, and multiple short stories. She’s also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
For the most part, last week was good as far as my Dental Assistant training. I learned a lot, had fun with my classmates and got a “B” on my exam. I’m pretty sure better management of my time could’ve resulted in me getting an “A”, though.
I spent some time with my kids and grandkids – yay. But my youngest… well, I’m supposed to brush his orthodontia-covered teeth daily. There was no follow-through on his end or mine, and I was just too tired to step up and take measures to make sure it got done. In this area, I failed completely this week.
I was also supposed to go to jury duty. One of the staff members at ACI prepared a letter for me to forward to the court explaining that missing even one day of class, would put me very far behind, yadda yadda. I never actually got that letter to the court. I was going to mail it, but since time was short, I wanted to take it in person, but since I’m in class during the time the court is open, that didn’t work out either and now the letter is still on my kitchen counter. Fail.
There are a number of tasks I was supposed to do, which I didn’t, including working on my story. However, I didn’t neglect my family, my health (too much) or fall asleep at the wheel (since I’m lacking sleep). So this leaves me with a positive enough attitude to strive for improvement next week.
#PassTheClass_WriteTheBook_KeepTheKidAlive #authorlife #amwriting