Weekend Excerpt–Christmas Surprises on Lake Miranda

She is the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

Scott Nielsen and Jackie Walker
Their attraction is instant from the moment they meet.
But he’s Dominant. And no way is she submissive.
Is it a missed connection? Or a divine appointment?

Scott Nielsen is ready for change. He’s walked away from his career as a wilderness counselor, planning to start his own outdoor survival school. He looks up his old friend and former colleague Blake Walker, intent on leasing space at Blake’s family’s remote wilderness guest lodge. That’s where he meets Blake’s sister Jackie, who runs the lodge with her brother’s help. Her strength and independence intrigue Scott. A single mom, Jackie has no intention of being anyone’s submissive.

In his personal life, Scott is tired of casual sex in the BDSM club scene. Envious watching his buddy Blake fall head over heels for his own submissive, Scott thinks he might be ready to take the plunge himself. As he and Jackie spend time together, he’s enchanted with her inner Warrior Princess. But Jackie’s been burned before. And she has two children who are her priority, not to mention the business to run. As independent as she is, she can’t see relinquishing her power to a man, not even one she’s falling for.

Scott’s heart aches at the idea of not having Jackie in his life. Can she take another chance on love, or will she insist on ignoring her submissive soul?

If you enjoyed LOST & BOUND, you’ll love this stand-alone spin-off story.

In this teaser, it’s Christmas on Lake Miranda, and there are a few holiday surprises in store for everyone.

On Christmas Eve, after the kids had gone to bed, the adults gathered around the enormous festively-decorated white spruce. Light Christmas jazz played in the background, and outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, snow swirled lazily in the half moonlight.

Jackie handed Amy a mug of warm mulled cider and settled beside her on a leather sofa with a mug of her own. On the floor, Scott and Blake sat amid the scattered pieces of a pink Barbie house ‘Santa’ had found on sale months earlier and had put away until now.

Winking at Amy, Jackie suppressed a smile. “Did you guys read the instructions?”

“We don’t need the damn instructions,” Blake huffed, pushing a stray lock of dark hair out of his eyes. “We’re two intelligent, grown men. We can figure out how to put together a dollhouse.”

The women clinked their mugs and giggled gleefully.

Amy looked from Blake and Scott to the twinkling Christmas tree, and to Jackie. “I love this.” Her voice was soft, and though she smiled, a tear was in her eye. “This is the Christmas I always wanted.”

Jackie’s heart melted, and she reached for Amy’s hand. “I’m so happy you’re here.”

Blake pushed up from the floor and pressed a tender kiss to Amy’s temple. “This is our life, kitten. This is our family, your family. You belong here.”

Jackie smiled across the room at Scott, who winked at her, and she felt a familiar tummy flutter. She loved the man more than she’d thought humanly possible. And when summer came, she’d marry him.

After Blake and Amy retired to the guest room, Scott and Jackie went to bed, quietly making love, then holding each other until late into the night. They awoke to a bright sunny day, the sky crystal cerulean, the sun reflecting brilliantly off the sparkling snow.

Emma and Grant squealed excitedly as they saw the mountain of gifts under the tree. Scott sat at the end of the sofa, and Jackie snuggled up beside him, each of them sipping steaming mugs of coffee. Blake and Amy sat opposite them on the sofa’s twin, smiling as they watched the children tearing into their gifts.

Once they were finished, the kids had fun delivering gifts to the adults. Finally, all the gifts were opened. Blake and Amy gave each other a conspiratorial look. “We have a few more gifts,” Amy said.

“More?” Jackie echoed, thinking of the extravagant handbag for her and the top of the line boots for Scott. “You’ve done so much already, seriously.”

Blake reached behind the sofa and picked up four identical shirt boxes wrapped in metallic red paper. He glanced at the tags and handed one to each of the children and to Jackie and Scott.

Amy leaned forward excitedly. “You have to open them all together. Ready? One, two, three!”

With a bemused glance at Scott, Jackie carefully opened her box. Grant and Emma ripped theirs open. “It’s a shirt,” Emma said, holding up a pink t-shirt.

Grant peered into the box. “Thanks, Aunt Amy,” he said, making an effort to sound enthused about a shirt. “It sure is…pink.”

Scott tilted his head as he looked at his, then elbowed Jackie lightly. She looked at his, then gaped at hers. In sparkling letters across pink cotton, she read, World’s Greatest Aunt.

Jackie gasped. “I knew it! I knew you were pregnant! I’m so excited for you!” she squealed, rushing over to give Amy and Blake a big hug.

“We didn’t want to tell anyone until we knew everything was going to be okay,” Amy explained.

“Cool,” Grant said, pulling his new shirt over his head, “we’re going to be cousins!”

“Aunt Amy, are you having a boy baby or a girl baby?” Emma asked.

Blake grinned. “It’s a little girl. That’s why we gave you pink shirts.”

“Congratulations, man!” Scott grinned as Blake stood, and the two embraced. “That’s great news.”

“I can’t believe it.” He shook his head. “I’m going to be a dad.”

Jackie sank onto the sofa beside Amy. “A little girl,” she shook her head smiling. “That’s fantastic.”

Amy nodded, eyes shining. “Do you want to see the ultrasound pictures?”

“I’ll get them,” Blake said, heading in the direction of the guest room.

Grant and Emma returned to their new toys. Scott perched on the arm of the sofa next to Jackie. “I’m so happy for you two,” he told Amy. She laughed happily.

From the direction of the guest room, they heard a tiny yip. Jackie frowned. “What was that?”

Eyes wide, Amy gave an exaggerated shrug. “I have no idea.”

“Uh oh,” Blake called from the guest room. “I think I found another present.”

Jackie looked up to see a shaggy black puppy with a giant red bow running into the room. He ran straight to the kids, yipping excitedly.

“A puppy,” Emma squealed.

Grant squinted at the tag on the big red bow and gasped. “Mom! It’s for us, from Santa!”

Blake leaned against the doorway, looking pleased with himself.

“From Santa, huh?”

“I think Grandma and Grandpa might have mentioned it to the big guy,” Blake grinned.

“Oh, for f-” Jackie glanced up at Scott. “Did you know about this?”

He raised his hands in surrender. “I promise, I knew nothing about a puppy.”

“They love Bear so much, they need one of their own,” Amy said, smiling.

“So, what are you going to name him?” Blake asked.

Brow furrowed, Grant watched the Newfie puppy for a moment. “Max. He looks like a Max to me.”

Ruffling the puppy’s ears, Emma nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah. Max.”

Jackie shook her head. “He’s cute; I’ll give you that. But I still want to see those ultrasound pictures of my niece.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

WARRIOR MINE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.

Weekend Excerpt–A Campbell Family Christmas

They say desperate times call for desperate measures.
Charley Weatherly is about to realize that it’s true.

Life isn’t working out exactly the way Charley Weatherly imagined it might when she walked away from her steady paycheck as a copywriter to start her own business. But as it turns out, not everyone in town is knocking down the door of her tiny independent bookshop. She has lost money every quarter since she opened.

Now, with her grandmother in need of more care than Charley can provide, some difficult decisions have to be made. The rest of her 401k plus the proceeds from selling the bookstore might keep Nana in Pacifico Manor for about a year. That would give Charley time to figure out her next move.

But when that money is irretrievably lost, Charley is faced with an impossible decision. Being a gestational surrogate for a couple who can’t have a baby on their own will bring in the kind of cash she needs. Can she really follow through?

Between trying to keep her small business afloat and caring for her grandmother, Charley’s personal life has been nonexistent. But when she moves to the city for a few months, she finds she enjoys the freedom of her part-time gig at Bravo Java. She especially enjoys chatting up the handsome local artist who spends his mornings there. Now that her life is taking an unexpected turn, has she finally met the right man at the wrong time?

Artist Ben Campbell has had his fair share of romantic disasters. For the time being, he’s content to follow his self-imposed schedule: gym, coffee, work, repeat.

But the new barista at his favorite coffee shop piques his interest. In fact, if he’s honest with himself, she looks a lot like the elusive redhead who haunts his dreams.

She seems to be attracted to him, too. So why does Charley insist on keeping him at arm’s length?

Prefer your romance with plenty of heat and tons of heart?
You’ll love The Girl in the Guesthouse!

In this holiday excerpt, a very pregnant Charley has traveled with Ben to Texas to experience a Campbell family Christmas.

Christmas Eve dinner was a rowdy, happy event, and Charley loved every minute of it. The holidays at her grandmother’s house when Charley was growing up had always been happy and loving, but quiet, with only herself and her mother and grandmother. In contrast, the Campbell table was lively, sometimes raucous, and filled with laughter.

At some point, Delbert had arrived and was sitting to Ava’s right, with Todd and Whit filling out that side of the table. Ben sat facing his mother at the other end, while Charley and Beth sat to his right. Livvi sat next to her grandmother and across from Delbert, who, like Charley, had been absorbed into the Campbell clan without reservation.

Everyone pitched in to help with cleanup, even the children, and before they were whisked upstairs and to bed, they all gathered in the living room where Ben sat between Livvi and Whit to read The Night Before Christmas, a Campbell family tradition.

Once the children were put to bed and sternly warned against getting up again, the adults relaxed in the light of the Christmas tree while holiday music played softly in the background. Ava handed out glasses of mulled wine and hot toddies. Charley gazed longingly at the wine as she made do with a cup of hot chocolate.

While they all laughed at stories of previous holidays, Ben helped Todd assemble a soccer net for Whit. Ben sat on the floor by Charley’s feet when the net was completed while Ava and Beth filled the children’s stockings.

“So, Ben, what’s this momma says about you going to Paris?” Beth asked.

From his spot on the floor, Ben shrugged. “I applied for a six-month residency. There’s no guarantee I’ll even be accepted, so I’m not actually going to Paris. It’s just a possibility. I heard about it from Claire. She applied way ahead of me.”

Beth wrinkled her nose. “Ew! You heard about it from Claire?”

Laughing, Ben balled up a sheet of paper from the soccer net assembly and chucked it at his sister.

“Y’all are going to have to go to bed soon so I can get your stockings done,” Ava said. “I don’t plan on staying up all night, and those babies will be up at the crack of dawn.”

She must be planning on staying up for part of the night, Charley’s cheeky self snarked. Cuz apparently, Delbert is staying here tonight.

Charley shook her head to dismiss those thoughts. Good for you, she smiled in Ava’s direction.

In Ben’s bedroom, Charley and Ben quietly made love before falling asleep in each other’s arms. To Charley, it seemed like she had just closed her eyes when there was a pounding on their door.

“Uncle Benji! Wake up! It’s Christmas,” Whit called through the door.

Ben groaned from the center of his very soul. “Hang on, little man. Let me wake up a minute,” he croaked. “What time is it?”

“It’s six o’clock. Mom made us wait until six to wake you up. Hurry!”

Groaning again, Ben looked over at Charley, who had to giggle. “Merry Christmas,” she whispered.

“I like the kind of Christmas that starts later,” he answered. “Sorry about this.”

“They’re just excited. They’re kids, and it’s Christmas,” Charley said.

Sniffing loudly, Ben pushed his hair back from his brow and shifted onto his elbow. “Are you ready for the mayhem to begin?” he asked.

“Let me just get dressed,” she laughed.

Christmas Day was a whirlwind of activity. While the children opened their stockings, Beth served mimosas to the adults. Ava brought Charley a steaming mug of spiced apple cider.

“It’s wassail,” she said. “You know, like here we come a-wassailing,” she sang in a deep tenor tone.

While Charley enjoyed the cider, she would have given her eye teeth for a glass of Prosecco. She was happy that everyone seemed to like the gifts she had brought. Gift cards to dinner and a movie had seemed appropriate for Beth and Todd. The children thanked her several times for the craft kits she had given them. Ava announced that the perfume gift set was her absolute favorite scent. Of course, Charley had Ben to thank for the hint. She’d even managed to bring an extra something that worked out for Delbert–a winter multi-tool for his car.

She was most pleased with Ben’s reaction to the markers she had purchased. He had started to unwrap the box almost haphazardly until he realized what they were.

“No way!” he said.

“Way,” Charley smiled.

Ben shook his head. “But how did you…”

She arched an eyebrow. “I have my ways.”

Charley was pleasantly surprised by the gifts she received from Ava and Beth, including a gift set of bath beads in her favorite lavender scent and a beautiful hand-knit scarf.

Ava and Delbert went to the kitchen to put together a light breakfast buffet once all the gifts were opened. Small plates and leftovers would round out the rest of the day’s meals. Beth and Todd had the children show them all the gifts they had received.

While everyone else was distracted, Ben sat beside Charley on the soft and placed a small wrapped box in her hands. “You didn’t open my gift yet.”

“You didn’t have to–” she started to protest. Although, to be honest, she had wondered.

“Didn’t have to,” he dismissed. “It’s Christmas. I had to get something special for the most beautiful girl in the world.”

“Ha!” Charley laughed. “If I see her, I’ll send her your way.”

“You’re hilarious. Now open your present,” Ben said, gently nudging her shoulder with his chin.

With a glance in his direction, she carefully removed the paper from the box. The lid was imprinted with the name of a jewelry store Charley had noticed not far from Bravo Java. She lifted the lid to reveal a tennis bracelet of oval amethysts set sideways in a silver setting. Charley’s mouth fell open.

“It’s purple,” Ben said. “I hope you like it.”

“I love it! It’s gorgeous!” She looked at him with a frown. “You really shouldn’t have been so extravagant.”

“You got me Copic markers. Who was extravagant?”

“Well,” she said.

Witty comeback, her cheeky self snarked.

She shook her head. “Well, thank you. I love it.”

“Let’s put it on you,” Ben said, taking the bracelet out of the box.

Charley held out her left hand, and Ben carefully fastened the sparkling piece of jewelry around her wrist. “Merry Christmas,” he murmured with a smile.

“Merry Christmas.” She leaned forward to kiss him.

Ben and Charley, sittin’ in a tree,” Beth sang loudly, and everyone laughed.

Ben gave Charley a rueful smile. “That about sums up a Campbell family Christmas.”


at your favorite online bookseller.

Weekend Excerpt–‘Tis the Season

Michael & Maggie.
It’s complicated.

Rannigan’s Redemption is the story of the complicated relationship between sexy high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and sassy red-haired fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn.

Michael and Maggie meet at a job fair, where he hires her practically on the spot. She’s smart and good her job. But there’s more to it than he’s willing to admit. He’s attracted to her. Which doesn’t make sense. She’s nothing like the women he dates. She’s way too smart, for one thing.

And Maggie’s in love with him, too. Realizing the situation is all but hopeless, she contents herself with working with him.

One night of passion tears them apart. And from that point, they’re both just running rogue, each making questionable decisions in their professional and personal lives.

A moment of desperation brings them back together. After Michael has burned all his bridges, Maggie’s the only one willing to stand by him.

And he’s grateful. He knows he needs to make it up to her, to somehow find redemption for himself.

Although Rannigan’s Redemption was intended to be one book, this story was too long and covers nearly ten years of Michael’s and Maggie’s lives, so it was originally released as three separate novels.

In this excerpt, Maggie is hosting her annual Orphans & Misfits Christmas celebration.

After everyone ate as much as they could, the guys agreed to do all the clean-up. Maggie supervised returning the tables to their proper places then sank onto the sofa, resting her feet on the coffee table.

“What about the dessert, Flynn?” Ben asked when the leftovers were packed up.

“Let’s be informal. Grab some if you want some. I want to do presents,” Maggie said. Michael brought her a fresh glass of wine. She looked up at him, grinning in appreciation, and patted the space beside her.

“I’ll sit on the floor, I don’t mind,” he said, sliding to a spot beside her feet.

“Now the way this works is, everyone takes a number. We go in order starting at 1. Number 1 picks first. Number 2 can pick a new present or steal from Number 1. Everybody got it?” Ben asked. Maggie watched in amusement as some played shyly while others were cut-throat.

“What’s this?” Michael asked quietly. She looked down to see him holding an ornament from the tree. It was a small red glass ball held by a green paper cone. Her name was spelled out in glitter.

“I think I was about six when I made that,” she smiled. “The Christmas ornaments were some of the few things I took from my dad’s house.”

He grinned. “I like it.”

When the gifts were over, Maggie had a new hand-crocheted toilet-roll cover. Michael had a $10 gift card to Starbucks. “Guess somebody didn’t get the memo,” he quipped so that only Maggie heard, and she giggled softly.

He winked and leaned close. “Mags, I should be making my way to the airport.”

“Okay,” Maggie sighed. “I’ll walk you out.” She got her coat and hat while he said his goodbyes. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Casey as they headed out of the apartment. They walked down the stairs without chatting.

Once out on the sidewalk, Michael turned and faced her. “I had a great time, Mags. Thanks for inviting me.” He glanced up. “We have an audience, by the way.” He waved at the crowd gathered in Maggie’s front window.

She looked up at them, scowling. “Come on,” she said, turning right and heading down the sidewalk. She stopped just around the corner.

Michael smiled. “Thanks. I just wanted to say goodbye privately. I brought you a gift but I didn’t want to give it to you in there.” He pulled a small flat box from his pocket. It was light blue, tied with a white ribbon.

Maggie’s eyes widened. “Sean Michael Rannigan, you did not!”

“How did you know the S stands for Sean?

She shrugged. “Everyone knows it’s Sean. I can’t believe you went to Tiffany…” She stopped and looked up at him, smiling sadly. “This wasn’t for me. This is supposed to be for someone else.”

“No, Mags, this is for you,” he said earnestly. “I mean, to be honest, I went there yesterday looking for something for Jana.”

“What, Toys R Us and GapKids were closed?” Maggie quipped.

“Ah-hah-hah, you’re very funny. I found a little trinket to give to Jana, but then I turned and saw this. All I could think was that you should have it. It’s for you, Mags.”

Curious, Maggie slowly pulled the white ribbon and lifted the lid. In the box resting on light blue velvet was a delicate silver bracelet. It had a vintage look to it with large rectangular milky white cabochons alternating with trios of small round diamonds surrounded by platinum filigree. She looked back up at Michael, eyes wide.

“Those are moonstones,” he said proudly. “This was in the vintage case. It was made in 1915.” He gazed at the bracelet. “It’s graceful and classy, just like you.”

“I don’t know what to say, Michael. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Will you help me put it on?”

He lifted the bracelet from the box and as Maggie held out her left hand he fastened it around her wrist. She held it out and watched it catch the natural light. As she did, she noticed a tiny platinum tag hanging from the clasp. Peering closer she saw that it was engraved. To Maggie, From Michael.

“See? I told you it was for you.” She looked back up at him, eyes shining, and as she did, a gust of wind caught some stray hair, blowing it across her face. Michael gently moved the errant strands, tucking them behind her ear. Without planning it at all, he planted a tender kiss on her lips.

He moved back slightly as Maggie looked up at him, eyes shining with desire. He leaned into her again, the kiss this time all heat and passion. She brought her left hand up to cradle his right cheek, her desire matching his. When he stopped kissing her, he pulled her close, tucking her under his chin and they stood like that for a moment.

Finally, he gently set her back from him. She looked up, the sad glint once again in her eyes. After all, he was leaving her to go to someone else. “Merry Christmas, Mags.”


at your favorite online bookseller.
This boxed set includes all three
Rannigan’s Redemption novels:
Resisting Risk, Running Rogue,
and Ransoming Redemption.

Weekend Excerpt–It’s December!

Michael and Maggie.
It’s complicated.

Rannigan’s Redemption is December’s Featured Book at Pandora’s Passionista Paradise on Facebook. It’s the story of the complicated relationship between sexy high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and sassy red-haired fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn.

Michael and Maggie meet at a job fair, where he hires her practically on the spot. She’s smart and good her job. But there’s more to it than he’s willing to admit. He’s attracted to her. Which doesn’t make sense. She’s nothing like the women he dates. She’s way too smart, for one thing.

And Maggie’s in love with him, too. Realizing the situation is all but hopeless, she contents herself with working with him.

One night of passion tears them apart. And from that point they’re both just running rogue, each making questionable decisions in their professional and personal lives.

A moment of desperation brings them back together. After Michael has burned all his bridges, Maggie’s the only one willing to stand by him.

And he’s grateful. He knows he needs to make it up to her, to somehow find redemption for himself.

In the final book of the trilogy, Michael Rannigan sees the writing on the wall. And he’s determined to find redemption. He knows he’s spent his life keeping everyone at arm’s length. He’s burned bridges and destroyed friendships, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. But he thinks he’s found a way to make things right. At least for the one person who’s never given up on him.

Maggie Flynn’s life is changing quickly. Just when she’s decided make work her focus and to be content with being single, she has a new man in her life. Thanks to Michael and his interference, anyway.

Bobby is almost too good to be true, with his tall good looks, his sexy Cajun accent, and his irresistible lop-sided smile. He’s head over heels for Maggie. She knows she’s found the real thing.

Together, can they face the biggest challenge they’ve ever endured?

Ransoming Redemption is the third and final book of the 5 Star reviewed Rannigan’s Redemption series.

In this spoiler-filled bite, it’s almost Christmas…

It was on a Saturday morning, exactly a week before Christmas, when Michael was rushed to the hospital.  When she’d come to check on him, Maggie had found him barely conscious and she’d called 911. 

Doctors discovered that the tumors were now causing breathing difficulties, and once Michael was put on oxygen, his color improved dramatically.  A few hours later and at his insistence, Michael was sent home, albeit with oxygen tanks and the information for a home nursing agency.

“Stop looking at me like that,” Michael complained.  Bobby and Maggie had accompanied him home and were trying to help him get settled in.

“Maybe you should have at least stayed overnight, man,” Bobby said.  “That was a pretty close call.”

“I’m fine.  I’ve got the oxygen, I’ll use it when I need it.  Plus, they’ve got some fucking nurse coming in here.”  Michael glared out the window.

“Do you want me to call Veronica?” Maggie asked.

He shook his head.  “I’ll call her later.”

“What can we do for you, Michael?” Maggie asked.  “I don’t want to just leave you here.”

Michael turned back to them with a sharp remark on his tongue.  But when he looked at their faces, at the concern he saw there, he softened a bit. 

“You know what I’d like?”  They shook their heads.  “I want a Christmas tree.”

Maggie blinked.  “A what?  A Christmas tree?”

“Do you want us to go get you one?” Bobby asked.

Michael looked from one to the other.  “Yeah.  I want a Christmas tree.  With those decorations from your tree, Mags.”

“The ones currently hanging on my tree?” she clarified incredulously.

He frowned a bit, seemingly uncertain.  “Is that asking too much?”

Maggie looked up at Bobby.  “Uh, no, I guess not.  So, we’re going out to get a tree?  And to denude mine?”  Bobby nodded at her and smiled.

“Also,” Michael continued, “I want to have the Orphans and Misfits here this year.”

She stared at him.  “You want to have everyone here?  Seriously?”  Michael nodded, eyes sparkling defiantly.  Maggie exhaled forcefully.  “Okay, Michael.  We can do that.  I’ll start letting everyone know.  You’re sure?”

He nodded again.  “I want this.”


That evening as snow peppered down outside, Michael sat on his sofa, oxygen in place, as he watched Bobby and Maggie set up the huge blue spruce in front of the floor to ceiling windows of his living room.  Once they had it level, they added lights, garland, and decorations.  Maggie smiled at Michael as she hummed along to the holiday music that played quietly in the background. 

“You realize we had to buy more ornaments, right?  The stuff from my little tree wouldn’t cover a fraction of this bad boy.”

“It looks great, Mags.  I really appreciate it.”

“It looks so great, I’m sad I won’t be here,” Bobby said as he crossed over to the bar.

“Yeah, me, too,” Maggie said wistfully.  “We’ve decided to have our Christmas when you get back from Louisiana, right?”

Bobby winked at her as he put three glasses on the bar and poured.  “Until last week I thought I was going to be in Texas.  In our custody agreement, Christmas is supposed to be Deanna’s holiday this year, but she decided at the last minute that she’s going on a cruise and wants me to take Savannah.  If I’d known earlier, I’d have brought her here.” 

Bobby handed Maggie and Michael each a glass of bourbon.  “Merry Christmas, everybody,” he toasted.

They each raised their glasses before sipping.  As Christmas music played softly in the background, the trio silently appreciated the decorated tree and its reflection as it twinkled in the night.


available at your favorite online bookseller.