Weekend Excerpt–CHASING ORDINARY

Petey is Nik’s first taste of ordinary.
And everything he ever wanted.
If he doesn’t blow it.

Red-haired Petey Cavanaugh is a sculptor who welds steel and glass creations. A young widow, she lives on her in-laws’ sheep ranch in Montana where she helps out during the day, working on her art at night.

Looking to raise money to expand the ranch’s business, she gratefully accepts her art school roommate’s offer of a gallery show in Manhattan. It’s been years since she was in the city, and she’s happy to visit her old friend.

Nik is in New York on business. He’s been traveling for nearly a month, enduring endless meetings, attending obligatory dinners, and battling jet lag. On his way to yet another business dinner, his world collides with Petey’s one rainy Manhattan night.

Their mutual attraction is immediate, but Nik’s skeptical. Could it possibly be that this gorgeous, enchanting artist has no idea that he’s Europe’s most eligible prince?

Spending time with Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary. What will happen when she finds out the truth?

In this snippet from CHASING ORDINARY, Petey and Nik get a second chance at a first impression.

Petey stared into the dressing room mirror. “Oh, my God, I look like Alice Cooper on a three-day bender!”

“And we’re getting a picture of it, too,” Colin said, snapping a photo with his phone before she could protest. “Because this is going to be a hell of a ‘before and after.'”

Colin clapped his hands loudly. “Okay, people, we have an extreme makeover. STAT. Let’s see…” He circled Petey, brow knit in concentration. “First, we ditch this horrid dress. Honey, I don’t know what you were thinking.”

“Unh, this was my friend Jules’ idea,” Petey snapped back.

“Well, what did you do to make her hate you, because this thing is a nightmare. Arms up,” he directed.

“This from a guy in orange pants,” Petey snarked, as she raised her arms. Two female assistants gripped the hem of the dress and pulled it over her head.

“These are harvest rust, and they’re Prada.”

“Dude, they’re orange.” Uncomfortably, she clutched her arms in front of herself in a vain attempt to cover her panties and bra.

Colin barked with laughter. “I like you. You’re feisty.” He continued to peruse her closely. “And you have great tits.”

He reached to cup one of her breasts and she batted his hand away. “Hey! Watch it!”

He just rolled his eyes. “Honey, please! Tits are not my thing, except the way they fill out couture.”

To one of the assistants, he snapped, “Elaine, go to the stash of Agent Provocateur and find something in a, what? 34D?” Petey nodded mutely.

“And Zoe? I’m seeing her in that pink Solace London. The one with the mock turtleneck?” The two women hurried off, presumably to find what they’d been sent to get.

Colin turned back to Petey. “Get out of your wet undies and slip on a robe. We’ll get you cleaned up, and then we’ll polish you until you sparkle. Don’t worry about a thing.” He winked at her and sent her on her way.

For the next twenty minutes, an entire team worked to put Petey back together. Her hair was washed and her face was cleaned. While someone worked on her makeup, another person gave her a pedicure, while a third did her nails. Finally, her hair was blown out.

Colin returned to inspect their handiwork. Nodding approvingly, he smiled at Petey. “Okay red, in the dressing room, you’ll find new lingerie, a dress, and a pair of shoes. Get dressed and come on out.”

Petey stepped into the dressing room and closed the door. The mirror was covered with paper, and she’d only seen a maddeningly brief glimpse of herself in the makeup chair. A plush chair held a cardboard box lined with tissue paper. Inside were a pretty bra and panty set. A pink dress hung on a hook on the wall, and she saw a shoe box on the floor.

Lifting the bra from the box, she admired the sheer burgundy fabric, embroidered with peach and deep pink flowers. The tag still hanging from the garment announced its price–$215. Petey gaped. The matching panties turned out to be a thong, priced at $130.

Her most extravagant lingerie purchases had been a few bras from the Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale. It had taken over an hour to find something she liked, and she’d had a sneaking suspicion they’d made a stack of ugly bras just so they could discount them.

Shaking off her reservations, she dressed quickly, careful to pull the dress over her head without looking at the tag. It seemed better not to know.

The shoebox held a pretty pair of mauve velvet ankle-strap stilettos. She sank onto the chair and fastened them on her feet. God, what I wouldn’t give for a mirror right now.

Glancing at her watch, she saw that it was exactly twenty-five minutes since he’d left her to go upstairs. He. She had no idea of his name. In all the chaos, she hadn’t thought to ask.

When she opened the dressing room door, a crowd was waiting, with Colin smack in the middle. There was a collective gasp as he snapped a photo. The group burst into applause, and Colin took a bow. “That, ladies and ladies, is why they call me the ‘miracle worker’.

He took Petey by the hand. “Come look,” he said. He led her to a tri-fold mirror at the top of a small dais. “Go ahead,” he nodded.

Petey carefully climbed the three steps to the top, and stopped short. Gazing back at her was the most beautiful self ever to greet her from a mirror. Her long red hair was blown out silky and smooth, her makeup, including false eyelashes, expertly applied. The pastel pink dress fit her like it was made for her, the mock turtle collar hugging her neck, leaving her shoulders and arms bare. The clingy knit hugged her curves, and the hem hit just below her knees. The color complimented her hair and skin flawlessly.

Colin stepped up behind her. “Naturally, the dress is meant to be shorter. But because you’re such a shorty, it hangs longer on you. If we had the time, I’d have it taken up.”

Petey turned to him, eyes shining. “Thank you so much. I can’t possibly afford these things. I’ll take them to the one-hour cleaner first thing tomorrow and return them.”

The man gave a friendly chuckle. “Don’t worry about it, sweetie.”

“Hello? Is she ready?” a male voice called.

Petey turned around. Her rescuer had returned. For the first time, she noticed his British accent. Their eyes met and she gasped lightly. He was the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen. His dark blond hair was neatly trimmed, a thin scruff of beard defining the contours of his chiseled square jaw. Deep blue eyes gazed back at her, wide with apparent surprise.

Certainly, she’d looked different when last he’d seen her. As had he, to be honest. He was now dry, his hair neatly back in place. While the suit he’d worn earlier had been blue, the current one was a deep charcoal.

They stared across the room for what felt like an eternity. Finally, she broke the ice. “Hi.”

“Hello,” he replied softly. “Are you ready?”

Petey looked to Colin, then back at him. “Yes, I think so.”

“Before I send you back out into the monsoon, I’m putting a coat on you. No more getting drenched.” An assistant appeared with a trench coat in a black and white chevron pattern. Colin helped her into it.

She threw her arms around him. “Thank you! Thank you for everything.”

“My pleasure, red. You come back and see me anytime. I mean that.” He kissed both her cheeks. “Have fun.”

She headed to the doorway where he waited. He called across to Colin. “Thank you. You’re a lifesaver.”

Colin laughed and waved. As the pair left, he shook his head. “Well, kids, I think we just witnessed history.”

CHASING ORDINARY by Pandora Spocks

CHASING ORDINARY is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

A traumatized young woman held hostage for years.
The rancher who comes to her rescue.
The crime boss who will kill them both if he finds them.

Jenny Stone’s voice was silenced the horrific day ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin executed her parents in cold blood and took her as his personal good luck charm. Now she’s his pet, at his mercy when he summons her to warm his bed. Or the beds of his more esteemed business associates.

When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, hitching a ride with an unsuspecting cowboy, horse trainer Cole Caldwell. Cole’s stunned to find the terrified young redhead hiding in his horse trailer. She’s as skittish as some of the horses he works with, and she’s apparently mute. But the nurturer in him wants to shelter her, to protect her. He’ll do his best to ignore the attraction he feels, content to help her know she’s safe with him.

When Jenny first escaped, her only thought was to get away. But now she’s worried. She’s put Cole in unspeakable danger. Should she leave before Victor finds them? Could it already be too late?

If you like your romance filled with hot cowboys, suspense, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love JENNY’S VOICE.

In this snippet from JENNY’S VOICE, Jenny works to overcome crippling fear as she finds her way back to a normal life.

After Cole left, Jenny aimlessly wandered around the house. She gazed again at the photos hanging in the hallway, making a mental note to ask Cole about them sometime.

In the kitchen, she found the chicken he’d mentioned, a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. She chewed her lip thoughtfully, then opened an upper cupboard. There she found flour, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a small container of dried parsley. She frowned. Dried would do if he didn’t have fresh parsley.

In the fridge, she found butter, grated Parmesan, a lemon, and a partial bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. She surveyed everything on the counter, frowning.

Capers. If only he has capers.

Dragging a chair from the table, she climbed up and peered into the upper cabinets once more. Shoving aside all the items in the front, she leaned up on her tiptoes, straining to see what else might be in there. All the way in the back, she spied a small round jar. She had to climb onto the counter to reach it.

Capers! Yes! Gleefully, she pumped her fist in the air.

Now that she had everything she needed, she filled the sink with water and submerged the package of frozen chicken. Cole had said he’d be gone a couple of hours. That should be plenty of time to prepare chicken piccata.

Before, Jenny hadn’t done a lot of cooking. She’d always been busy with school and her friends. Her mother hadn’t much of a cook herself, preferring to pick up take-out on her way home from work. That was before.

After, alone in her little room, sometimes she was given old magazines to pass the time. Never anything with news, mind you, but magazines about home décor and cooking, issues that someone else had thumbed through and gotten tired of, always months out of date. But to Jenny, they’d been a tiny window onto the outside world.

Hour after hour, she’d pore over the articles and recipes, even creating the dishes in the kitchen of her imagination, following step after step. Eyes closed, she’d mixed seasonings, sautéed the beef or chicken or whatever the directions called for, and at times, she’d have sworn she actually smelled the dish she was cooking.

A recipe for chicken piccata had particularly interested her, and she’d read it so many times, she had memorized it. And with all the ingredients, she was finally going to bring the dish to life here in Cole’s kitchen.

While she waited for the chicken to thaw, she gazed out the kitchen window. Across the yard was another pasture she hadn’t noticed before. She couldn’t see any horses there, but waving in the gentle March breeze were scores of wildflowers.

They’d look beautiful on the table with dinner. Anxiously, she wrung her hands. Could she risk going outside? Cole wasn’t home. There would be no one to protect her.

Her stomach flipped at the thought of Victor or his men watching her. That was stupid. He had no idea where she was. No way to trace her. How could he?

She shook her head. I will not let Victor run my life. Not anymore.

With determined steps, she walked to the front door, took a deep breath, and opened it. Glancing around, she saw no one. The horses were still out in the pasture, although Minnie had returned to the gate as though she wanted to go back to the barn.


The only sound Jenny could hear was the wind whispering through the oak trees along the drive. She glanced to her left and saw the flowers she’d seen from the window. Blue sat at her side and looked up at her questioningly. She patted his head.

Twenty steps. Twenty running steps will get me to the flowers. Then twenty steps back. She breathed in deeply and glanced down at the dog.

Heart pounding, she took off sprinting across the sideyard, ducking under the fence rail and into the field. Blue barked happily and chased along beside her, unsure of the game but pleased to be playing anyway. Jenny stopped at a large patch of bright yellow poppies and grabbed a handful. She was about to run back when she spied tall purple lupines further into the field. Glancing around to reassure herself that no one was around, she darted to the lupines and snatched a few before running back to the house.

She slammed the front door closed and leaned against it, panting. Ears up and tail wagging, Blue grinned up at her as if to ask if they could do it again. Jenny smiled and patted his head, then went to find a vase for the flowers.

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

JENNY’S VOICE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/JennysVoice