Weekend Excerpt–Lost & Bound

LOST & BOUND is the second book in my Dream Dominant Collection. The series is currently four stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring sexy Alphas and the smart, strong redheads they can’t resist, all with a healthy dose of light BDSM.

In Lost & Bound, spoiled Hollywood actress Shasta Pyke is sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario for a few weeks following a brush with the law. When she encounters bush pilot Blake Walker, she assumes she can manipulate him the way she does everyone else in her life.

But this Daddy Dom’s not falling for her act. In fact, as Blake spends time with her, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world. Could she be the baby girl he’s been looking for?

Here’s a teaser from Lost & Bound.


Blake went outside, needing space, needing to breathe.  She followed along behind him.  “What do we need to do now?” 

“Are you hungry?” 

She frowned slightly.  “I guess I am.  I hadn’t thought about it until now.” 

“How about I catch us some fish for lunch?” 

Her expression was doubtful.  “Just like that, you can catch some fish?” 

“Just like that.”  He winked at her and headed for the plane to get his rig. 

While Blake took his fishing rod a few yards down the shore, Shasta sat tailor-style on the dock and watched him.  He flicked his wrist and she heard a whirring sound as his line flew out over the lake and plopped into the water.  Then he slowly reeled in his line, the lure bobbing along the top of the water as it moved closer to him.   

His open tackle box sat beside her on the dock and she began to look through all the items it held.  There were lures of all sizes, shapes, and colors.  In the bottom was a clear plastic box full of lead balls of various sizes.  And one small compartment held a pink rubber worm that sparkled in the sunlight.   

Curious, Shasta picked up the pink worm and grinned as she squeezed it. 

From the shoreline Blake called to her.   

“Hey!  Are you touching my tackle?” 

She looked up at him, surprised.  While the aviators hid his eyes, there was no mistaking the smug curve of his lips.  She matched it with a sassy smirk of her own.  “Do you want me to touch your tackle?”  Her giggle echoed across the water, and he grinned broadly. 

“Here we go,” he murmured, reeling halfway through his third cast.  He jerked up on the line and reeled faster. 

Shasta jumped up.  “Did you get one?” 

“Yup.  He’s not a huge one; we’ll need at least one more.”  He reeled the fish closer to the shallow water and scooped it up with a blue net before depositing it into a large bucket filled with water.   

Shasta ran over to look.  The fish in the bucket was pond-scum green, mottled with streaks of brown.  “Ooh, he’s kind of ugly.” 

“Ugly?  That’s a smallmouth bass right there.  He’s good eating.”  She eyed him skeptically.  “Would you like to try?” 

“Really?” she grinned, wide-eyed. 

“Really.  Go pick out something from the tackle box and I’ll put it on a line for you.”  While Shasta returned to the tackle box, Blake retrieved another fishing rod from the plane. 

“I don’t know what to pick.  What if I pick the wrong thing?” 

Guilt gnawed at his gut as he remembered the way he’d criticized her earlier in the day.  “You can’t get it wrong.  Pick anything you like.” 

She grinned up at him, and he felt his heart melt.  “I like the sparkly ones.  I think I want the pink worm.  He’s nice and squishy, plus, he sparkles.”   

Blake nodded.  “The pink worm it is.”  Quickly he attached it to her line and handed her the rod.  “Now, all you do is…”  He stood behind her, reaching around to help her hold it properly.  “Just bring it back and flick it forward, holding your thumb on this button on the reel.”   

Shasta watched as the pink worm sailed out over the water.  “Now just slowly reel it back in.”   

She did as he said.  Blake stepped back to watch as she concentrated, absently chewing on her bottom lip as she turned the reel.  When the worm lifted out of the water, she turned to him, frowning.  “I didn’t catch anything.” 

“Just keep doing it,” he chuckled.  “It takes time.”  He returned to his place on the bank and cast out his own line again.   

On her fifth cast, Shasta felt a tug on her line.  “Ooh, I think I have something.” 

Blake dropped his rod and hurried back to her.  “Good.  You’re doing fine, just reel him in.”  She gripped the rod like her life depended on it, reeling as quickly as she could, her rod bending dangerously toward the water.  “You’ve got it, bring him a little closer and I’ll get him in the net.”   

As soon as the fish was within reach, Blake used the net to scoop up their second smallmouth bass.  He took it off the hook and placed it in the bucket with the other one.  Shasta peered into the bucket before grinning cheekily at Blake.  “My fish is bigger than yours.” 

He laughed out loud.  “Yes, yours is bigger.” 

She nodded proudly.  “Yep, me and the sparkly pink worm, we rocked this.” 

She circled her fists around in front of her, performing an impromptu “cabbage patch.” 

“Do you want to clean yours by yourself?” 

Shasta immediately frowned.  “No.” 

“Well, don’t go getting too big for your britches, then.”  Blake carried the bucket to a board wedged waist-high between two birch trees.  “How about I build a campfire and clean the fish?  You can go get the skillet and some plates?”  He nodded toward the cabin. 

When she returned from the cabin carrying a large cast-iron skillet stacked with a pair of white-dotted blue enamelware plates and a variety of utensils, a fire was roaring in the stone ring and Blake was filleting the first fish.  Shasta placed everything on a stump near where he was working and sank onto a log close to the fire.   

Neither of them spoke.  Somewhere further down the lake, a loon called and they heard it echo across the water.  Blake’s attention was on the fish but out of the corner of his eye, he watched her assessing him. 

“Have you always been a mountain man?”  Her expression was earnest. 

Blake’s head dropped back as he laughed out loud.  “A mountain man?  Is that what I am?” 

Shasta smiled sheepishly.  “Aren’t you?” 

“Well, I grew up at the lodge.  My grandparents built the place.  My grandmother was Miranda.  The lake is named for her.  But I haven’t always lived here.  I went away to college.  After graduation, I worked for a while as a wilderness counselor.  I was in the woods a lot, but I was based in Toronto.” 

“A wilderness counselor,” she repeated thoughtfully. 

“Yeah, you know, we worked with troubled city kids, took them out and taught them survival skills and self-reliance, that kind of thing.” 

“You worked with bad kids?” she wondered. 

He shook his head.  “They weren’t bad, really.  Just…lost.  They needed help to find their way.”   

“Why did you stop?” 

Blake shrugged.  “My folks ran the lodge for years until my dad’s stroke.  They retired to Florida.  My sister and her husband started running the place full-time.  When that asshole bugged out, I came to help her.” 

Shasta watched him appraisingly.  “That was really nice of you.” 

“She’s my sister.  I’d do anything for someone I love.”  He placed a grate over the fire and set the skillet on top.  “Besides, I’m happy to be home.  I drive past my old school every time I go into town.  There are a lot of great memories.  I don’t really miss the city.”  He sat opposite Shasta on another log. 

She laughed lightly.  “It must be odd to come back to live where you grew up.  I imagine you were the big football hero around here.” 

He shook his head.  “Football is for sissies.  We played hockey.” 

“Oh, excuse me, hockey,” she laughed.  

“That’s right.  Hockey.  A man’s sport.”  He reached into his mouth, and to her surprise, removed his right front tooth and the one beside it.  “Where I come from, if you have all your teeth, you weren’t really trying.”  He laughed at her shocked expression as he refit the teeth into his mouth. 

Shasta grinned smugly.  “I’ve got you beat, mountain man.”  She stood and leaned toward him, parting her lips and baring her perfectly straight, whiter-than-white teeth.  She ran her forefinger across them.  “All of these are fake.  I had them all capped.  Can’t have uneven or discolored teeth in Hollywood.  Nope.” 

She sighed as she sat back down.  “Nothing about me is real,” she murmured. 

He eyed her curiously.  She gave him a sidelong glance, then ran a finger down her nose.  “Nose job.”  She waved a handful of hair.  “Extensions.”  She grabbed her tits.  “Boob job.”  She looked down at the dirt.  “Even my name is fake.” 

Blake had been watching her with interest.  “Your name isn’t Shasta?” 

She snorted.  “Who would name their kid Shasta?  Eddie gave me that name when I was five.  He told my parents that nobody would hire Amy Malone.  I needed a name with pizzazz.”  She waggled jazz hands.  “I think he has a list of names in a drawer someplace and you just get the next one on the list.” 

“So your name is Amy.” 

Shasta nodded.  “But nobody’s called me that since my grandpa died.  He thought all the acting stuff was stupid.  He kept telling my parents to let me just be a kid.”  She laughed.  “He refused to call me Shasta.  My grandpa was a pretty stubborn guy.” 

His expression was soft.  “Why would you get a nose job?  Or breast implants?” 

She shrugged and pulled her sunglasses down over her eyes.  “Eddie said the boobs would help me transition between being a child actor and an adult.” 

Blake could feel his protective nature surging.  “Eddie’s that guy who brought you here?  He made you get a boob job?” 

“He didn’t make me.  But I knew he’d be disappointed if I didn’t.”  She used her toe to push a patch of pine needles back and forth. 

The fish was done, and Blake was glad for the distraction.  He plated the fillets, handing one to her and taking the other for himself.   

“Oh, my god, this is amazing,” she moaned through her first bite. 

He grinned.  “Nothing like fresh bass, right out of the lake.  Unless it’s fresh trout, right out of the lake.  That’s pretty good, too.” 

They enjoyed their lunch without conversation, appreciating the quiet of the wilderness.  The silence was broken only by the crackling of the fire or the occasional call of a loon.  Once again, Shasta felt a sense of peace settle over her. 

Blake took her plate when she was finished.  “Now, we’ll see about washing up these few things and then we’ll blow this pop stand.” 

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND is available at this universal Amazon link:
mybook.to/LostAndBound

Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

When I started writing the Dream Dominant series, my collection of stand-alone novels featuring light BDSM themes, I wanted to do something different. There are tons of billionaire Dominant stories out there, and I love reading them, don’t get me wrong.

But I was more interested in writing about ordinary people who quietly live out a power exchange dynamic in their real, every day lives. There are plenty of couples out there who have discovered their true Dominant or submissive selves and are blessed enough to have found partners who understand them. I know. I’m one of them.

One of the most rewarding moments of my writing career thus far was winning the Golden Flogger Award for Dream Dominant Book 3, FOR SPARROW. It’s meaningful to me that not only did they like the story, they approved of the way I portrayed the lifestyle.

In FOR SPARROW, Jessi Crenshaw is devastated when her husband Graham dies unexpectedly. But he seems to have had an inkling that his health was in decline, because he made provision for Jessi in case something happened to him. Turns out he’s asked his protege in the lifestyle, firefighter paramedic Judd Farris to look after Jessi until she’s on her feet again.

As the pair struggle to navigate their unorthodox platonic Dom/sub relationship in the face of their growing mutual attraction, they each wonder if maybe Graham had something more permanent in mind.

Here’s an excerpt from FOR SPARROW.


Downstairs, Judd was battling his own imagination.  Ducking under the outdoor shower, cold water ran over him, washing away the traces of salt and sand from their surfing adventure, but his thoughts were on Jessi, currently naked and in his shower.  He’d spent the afternoon drinking in the sight of her perfect ass as he held the surfboard for her.  Not like he hadn’t had his hands on it before, but always with the barrier of clothing.   

His misadventure in dating had done nothing to slake his libido which was currently doing a floor show in his swim trunks.  All he wanted was to unleash his inner beast on a woman who could not only take it, but would enjoy it. 

Was it wrong to think of Jessi like that?  Could that possibly be what Graham had had in mind all along?  His thoughts drifted to the last conversation he’d had with his friend.   

“I swear, Judd, I want Jessi with every fiber of my being.  Once I gave her a safe space in the context of a Dom/sub relationship, she bloomed sexually.  She’s so sexy and uninhibited.”  Graham shook his head sadly.  “Truth is, I can’t keep up with her.  Things don’t…work the way they used to.  I’m too old for her.  Always was.  Hell, she was eighteen when we met.  I’m a selfish fool.” 

Turning off the water, Judd sighed deeply, dried quickly with a towel, and headed into the house to prep the fish for the grill. 

He was humming softly as Jessi came downstairs.  He still had on the black board shorts, and he’d pulled on a white t-shirt.  She was wearing the same pink and green Lilly Pulitzer sundress she’d worn to the baby shower, but she’d scrubbed her face clean of makeup, belatedly realizing that she’d forgotten to toss her makeup into her bag, and she’d towel dried her hair as much as possible, leaving her red waves to dry the rest of the way on their own. 

“Hi!  What can I do?” 

Judd turned, started to reply, and stopped, mouth open.  Without makeup, Jessi looked ten years younger.  And he’d never seen her hair when it hadn’t been straightened.  It was drying in sexy waves around her face.   

“You look—“ 

She rolled her eyes.  “I know.  I forgot to pack my makeup.” 

“I was going to say, you look very pretty.  Is your hair naturally wavy?” 

“Yeah,” she blushed, “I usually blow it out straight, but…” 

Judd shook his head.  “I don’t know why you do that.  It’s beautiful the way it is.” 

Jessi blushed a deeper shade of pink and clasped her hands together in front of her.  “Anyway…  What can I do?” 

“Well,” he said, picking up a plate of fish fillets, “I just seasoned the mahi.  Rice pilaf is going on the stove.  If you wanted to throw together a salad?”  He raised his eyebrows. 

She nodded firmly.  “Salad.  I’m on it.” 

They enjoyed dinner on the patio, the sky shifting from the orange and pink Jessi had noticed upstairs to a deep indigo twilight, the stars blinking on over the gentle swells of the ocean.  The teak table was lit with a pair of citronella candles against the odd mosquito, and Judd had built a fire in the pit just off the patio.   

Conversation over their grilled mahi dinner and sauvignon blanc centered on their adventures over the past couple of weeks.  The mood was light and happy, and Judd, for one, was glad for Jessi’s company.  Her face lit up as she recounted her surfing attempts and the pair laughed easily.   

Buddy devoured his bowl of kibble and promptly passed out again.  Judd and Jessi carried their dishes into the house, quickly restoring order to the kitchen.  Jessi glanced at her watch and decided that she should be leaving soon. 

“Do you have to go?” Judd asked, noticing her checking her watch. 

“Oh, you know, I should probably head home.” 

“We haven’t had dessert yet.” 

Jessi chuckled.  “I’m so stuffed from that delicious dinner.  I don’t think I could take another bite.” 

“Come on, Jessi, there’s always room for dessert,” he coaxed.  “Wait til you see.”  Judd opened a cabinet, removed a few items, and placed them on the counter. 

Watching curiously, Jessi had to laugh.  “Chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows.  S’mores?” 

Judd nodded proudly.  “S’mores.  You can’t resist s’mores.  Nobody can.  It’s a known fact.” 

Laughing again, Jessi followed Judd back outside.  “I haven’t had s’mores since…  Well, probably not since that time I took the kids camping.” 

“Then you’re long overdue.  This stuff is left from when my sister and niece were here.”  He took two steel barbecue skewers, placed two marshmallows on the end of one, and handed it to Jessi.   

“One, please.  I just want one marshmallow.” 

He grinned, sliding a single marshmallow onto the other skewer, and they traded.  “Lightweight,” he teased.  “Now, let me show you how it’s done.”  He held the marshmallows a distance away from the flames, allowing them to slowly begin to warm. 

“Careful there, you might accidentally roast those guys,” Jessi jibed.  She poured more wine for him and for herself. 

“Kid if you must,” Judd replied, “but these bad boys are going to be perfection.” 

Jessi sipped her wine, watching as the marshmallows began to slowly expand while remaining pristinely white.  “I have a different method,” she commented. 

“Oh, you do, do you?” 

“Yup.”  She prepared a graham cracker, breaking it into two pieces and placing a square of chocolate on one of them.  “Watch and learn, fire boy.” 

Taking her skewer, she fixed him with an arched eyebrow before plunging her marshmallow directly into the flames.  When she pulled it out again, the round white confection was engulfed in blue flame.  Gently, she blew out the fire to reveal a charred marshmallow. 

“You burned it,” Judd observed. 

“It’s crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside.  Pure perfection.”  She lay the marshmallow on top of the chocolate and used the other graham cracker to slide it off the skewer.   

She waved her hand over the top of her dessert with a triumphant flourish.  “Tah-dah!” 

By this time, Judd’s marshmallows had tripled in size and were just beginning to turn a toasty golden brown.  “See, this is how you make a s’more.” 

Carefully, he carried his marshmallows to the table where Jessi had prepared his graham crackers and chocolate.  He slid the marshmallows off the skewer and pressed the top cracker on, gooey marshmallow running over the sides. 
Judd motioned for Jessi to sit, and he perched on the stool at an angle to her, their knees just brushing under the table.  He lifted his s’more and held it out to her.  “To adventure!” 

Jessi picked up her own dessert and touched it to Judd’s, laughing lightly.  “Adventure.” 

He continued to watch her thoughtfully as she nibbled her s’more.  “Thank you, Jessi, for such a great day.”   

In the candlelight, his eyes flickered and Jessi felt the tingle in her belly.  And lower. 

“It was fun.  It really was,” she murmured, hoping the dim light hid her blush. 

Judd bit into his s’more with gusto, leaving a trail of marshmallow down his chin that dripped onto his shirt.   

Jessi giggled happily.  “I knew that was too much for one s’more.” 

“It was just the right amount,” Judd returned, sweeping the errant goo off his shirt and licking it off his finger.  “The graham cracker just couldn’t hold all the awesomeness.” 

Jessi laughed again, pointing to his chin. 

“What?” 

“You missed a spot.” 

He cocked his head, trying to see his chin.  He aimed his tongue at the corner of his mouth.  “Now?” 

She shook her head and slid off her stool.  “I’ll get it.”  Stepping closer, she swiped her finger up his chin, removing most of the white confection.  Without thinking, she popped her finger into her mouth, but she didn’t miss the heat in his eyes. 

Impulsively, she leaned forward and lapped at the corner of his mouth.  He tasted of chocolate, marshmallow, salt water, and sin.  A low groan emanated from Judd’s chest.  Jessi leaned back to look him in the face. 

“Little one,” he whispered. 

Stepping deliberately closer, she straddled his right knee and leaned in again, planting light kisses where the marshmallow had been. 

Judd placed his hands on her hips and moved her back a bit.  “Are we crossing this line?”  His voice was soft, hopeful. 

Jessi blinked and nodded.  “Yes.  Please.” 

He didn’t wait for further permission.  He wasted no time in claiming her lips, devouring them as he pulled her closer, raising his knee to meet the warm needy place between her thighs.   

Jessi gave herself over completely to his kiss.  She’d craved it for longer than she was willing to admit to herself.  She’d loved Graham.  But Graham was gone.  And he’d given her permission to move on.  It was time she gave herself permission. 

Judd broke off the kiss and stood her back from him, steadying her when she wobbled a bit.  He fixed her with his best Dominant glare.  “You will be kneeling at the foot of my bed in two minutes.  You will be dressed.  I will undress you.” 

Jessi immediately bowed her head.  “Yes, Sir.” 

Watching her scurry into the house, Judd leaned back, interlacing his fingers and placing his hands on the back of his head, and exhaled slowly.  The thing he hadn’t dared hope for was happening.   

He’d known the minute he’d seen Jessi, way back at Graham’s funeral, that he was attracted to her.  The time they’d spent together had only solidified that fact.  But convention and their own agreement had kept him from considering a relationship a possibility.   

Now it seemed they were both on the same page.  He sighed again, thinking of the responsibility of formally being Jessi’s Dominant, and he realized that it was precisely what he wanted. 

He nodded to himself.  “This is right.”  Dousing the candles, he pushed away from the table, checked the dying embers of the fire, and followed Jessi inside. 

FOR SPARROW by Pandora Spocks

One-click award-winning FOR SPARROW today!
mybook.to/ForSparrow

Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA


“It’s not a big deal.  I like to be in charge when it comes to romance, to sex.  I like to be the protector, to take care of my woman.  And,” he added softly, “if it doesn’t blow your mind too much, I think you are the perfect submissive.” 

My Dream Dominant Collection is a series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels with a light BDSM theme. The books feature sexy Alphas and the sassy redheads they can’t resist.

LUKE & BELLA is Dream Dominant Book 1. The story grew out of my musings on what might be the best job in the world. I decided traveling the world and being paid to do it must be the ultimate ‘nine to five.’

In the story, veteran television journalists Bella Grant and Luke McGillicutty are thrown together to create a new tv travel show. As they visit exotic cities and stay in luxurious hotels, they eventually give in to their mutual attraction. But there’s something important Luke has neglected to mention to Bella that could ruin everything.

Here’s a teaser from LUKE & BELLA.


Bella padded out into the sitting room in her pajamas, a thin black tank with pink bottoms.  Looking down, she realized she wouldn’t feel comfortable dressed this way if Luke came in, so she went back for a bathrobe.  Still hot from the bath, however, she draped the robe over a chair thinking she could grab it when she heard the door.  If, that is, I’m still up when he comes back, she considered. 

She poured another glass of wine and wandered to the french doors, watching as lightning streaked across the sky, occasionally replacing the warm glow of the firelight that filled the suite with flashes of cold blue.  Large raindrops peppered the glass as the wind whipped the hotel, Edinburgh castle lit up and barely visible in the distance. 

It’s such a lovely place, Bella thought.  Such a cozy night.  I could curl up now and fall asleep to the sound of the storm. 

Instead, she sat on the floor in front of the fire, laptop before her.  Luke had dumped the raw video and created folders on the desktop.  She perused them one by one.  Airport, Ailsa, McTavish’s, Distillery…Hmmm…Let’s start at the end and go backwards, she decided.  Distillery it is

She was completely engrossed in the video of their lunch with Nevin and Maw when Luke suddenly burst through the door.  Every molecule of her body went rigid and a strange gasping scream rolled up from her toes. 

“Jesus H., McGillicutty!” she exclaimed, jumping up.  “You scared the shit out of me!” 

He started to reply and couldn’t.  For a moment all he could do was stare.  She was dressed in a black tank top with pink pajama bottoms.  And, he noticed, she wasn’t wearing a bra, erect nipples pointing toward the ceiling.  Probably had something to do with being startled out of her skin, he realized.  She’d been working on the computer.  There was a glass of wine next to her. 

“Are you ok?” she asked, more softly.  She flushed, understanding the focus of his gaze and belatedly she realized she’d left the robe on the other side of the room. 

“Um, yeah,” he answered.  “I was just ready to come back.  Is there more wine?” 

“Sure,” she answered gently, “but you’re absolutely drenched.  I’ll get you a towel.”  Her robe was on a chair next to the bedroom door, but the wine made her feel bold, so she ignored it.  Let him look, she thought, and she felt her nipples harden again at the idea. 

Bella returned with a fluffy white towel from the bathroom.  “You’re dripping water everywhere,” she observed quietly as she handed him the towel. 

“Sorry,” he whispered. 

She shrugged.  “Not my floor,” she replied.  “I can hang your shirt over the shower,” she offered. 

Luke pulled the buttoned chambray shirt over his head, the way men so often do.  Bella shook her head.  Why don’t they ever use the buttons? she wondered irritably. 

He handed her the shirt, murmuring his thanks, and began to dry off using the towel.  She eyed his muscular shoulders and broad chest, appreciating the fact that the latter was dusted with salt and pepper hair, oddly enough white on the left side, black on the right, with a black line trailing down his toned abs toward…  Focus, girlfriend, she scolded herself. 

When she returned from hanging his shirt, he’d finished toweling off and had draped the towel around the back of his neck.  Bella poured him a glass of wine and topped off her own as well.  Turning, she walked to him and handed him his glass of wine.  “What’s going on, Cowboy?” she asked.  He looked at her, startled.  “I’ve heard you call yourself that.  I like it,” she shrugged, replying to his unasked question. 

“Like I said, I was ready to be back,” he explained.  “The pub was noisy and I was tired.  How’s the footage?” he asked, steeling himself for her reaction. 

“Great!” she answered, smiling.  “Beyond great, actually.  I was already happy with the content, but Luke, the lighting, the angles, the composition…You have an amazing eye.” 

Luke couldn’t believe his good luck; she hadn’t seen his video from the airport.  He sipped his wine and watched her looking at him, concern still showing on her face.  He gently touched her arm, lightly stroking from her shoulder to her elbow.  Bella felt electricity ripple through her body and she stopped breathing. 

“I missed you,” he said simply. 

After a beat, she recovered enough to try to make light of his words.  “Missed me?” she laughed lightly.  “You were gone for a couple of hours.”  Nervously, she turned and moved to the french doors again, the better to watch the storm and get a little space. 

Towel still hanging around his neck, Luke followed her to the window and stood behind her, looking over her head and out at the storm.  He gently placed his hands on her shoulders and she stilled breathlessly.  Leaning down, he caressed her right shoulder with his lips.  “Bella,” he whispered, and he turned her to face him. 

She looked up at him, breath ragged.  He moved his hand to lightly stroke her jaw line with his thumb.  “I missed you,” he said again, his eyes dark.  He traced her lips with his index finger and Bella struggled to catch her breath.  “I want to kiss you,” he said.  “Would that be okay?”  Bella, brown eyes wide, could only nod assent. 

Luke leaned in to her slowly; it seemed like it took a week for him to reach her, and then his lips were on hers, gently at first and then more intense, more demanding.  She wrapped her arms around his neck, her kiss matching the fervor of his.  He held her waist, slowly moving his hands down to cup her ass, pulling her in to him. 

Luke moved his right hand up until it cupped her left breast and she moaned into his kiss.  Then he brushed her nipple with his thumb, causing her to gasp.  “I want you,” he breathed into her ear. 

Bella leaned back and looked at him, eyes shining with desire, her heart pounding.  She buried her hands in the hair on his chest, then looked back up at him again.  Luke tugged at the front of her tank top, pulling it down to expose her left breast with its hard pink nipple and he covered it with his mouth, licking and suckling hard.  She arched her back forcing her breast closer to him. 

“Oh, God, Cowboy!” she breathed.  “Please…” 

He looked up at her and grinned.  “Please what?” he teased. 

“Oh, please…” she managed. 

He gripped her shirt by the bottom and pulled it over her head, standing back to admire her.  “Jesus, Bella,” he breathed, taking in the sight of her before he wrapped her in his arms again. 

He lay her gently on the floor in front of the fire.  “Put your arms over your head,” he whispered, and she complied.  Lightly, he brushed her body with his fingertips starting at her hands, then down her arms and across her breasts, down her stomach…He paused at the pajama pants, then slid his hand over the mound between her thighs, caressing through the fabric.  She bucked and brought her hands down to his shoulders, but he took them lightly and replaced them over her head. 

“Shh, be still,” he whispered.  Gently, he tugged at the pajama pants and pulled them down and off, panties and all, so that she lay naked before him, firelight reflecting off her body. 

“Seems to me you’re way overdressed, Cowboy,” Bella said, gazing up at him, her voice husky. 

“We’ll fix that,” he grinned as he unbuckled his belt, undid his khakis, and stepped out of them, revealing black boxer briefs containing an impressive erection.  Bella chewed her lower lip in anticipation.  Luke knelt over her, leaning down to kiss her, and then stretched out beside her, head propped up on his left elbow, allowing his right hand explore her form. 

“I want to touch you,” she breathed.  He nodded so she brought her hands down, first running her fingers through the hair on his chest before coming to rest on his hard sex. 

He closed his eyes and moaned with pleasure.  “Oh, baby, you’ve got to stop or this will be over way too fast.”  Removing her hand, he reached to stroke between her legs, caressing and circling before sliding a finger inside.  Bella buck and gasped, almost coming right there. 

“Well, well, m’lady, you seem to be ready for me,” he whispered. 

“Please Cowboy, I want you,” she begged. 

Luke pushed himself up over her, shimmying out of his boxer briefs.  “As m’lady wishes,” he breathed into her ear, and he began stroking her soft folds with himself before pushing inside.    Her center was warm and wet and the pleasure was intoxicating. 

He felt Bella grip him and she began to rock her hips up and down, matching his rhythm and increasing with his intensity. 

“It’s okay, baby girl, let it go,” Luke whispered.  And she did. 

“Oh, Cowboy!” she cried as she shuddered, gasping. 

He was close behind her, his own ecstasy tearing through him like a freight train. “Fuck!  Bella!” he gasped and then collapsed beside her. 

LUKE & BELLA by Pandora Spocks

LUKE & BELLA is available at this Universal Amazon link:
mybook.to/LukeAndBella

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

When WARRIOR MINE, the 4th book in the Dream Dominant series, came out a few months ago, it was to 5-STAR reviews. Like all Dream Dominants, it’s a stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novel featuring a hot Dominant and a strong, smart submissive.

But unlike other Dream Dominants, it’s actually a spin-off from an earlier work, LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2. Readers of that book suggested that a pair of supporting characters deserved their own story, and WARRIOR MINE was born.

Single mom Jackie Walker is the older sister of Blake Walker, hero of LOST & BOUND. She’s strong because she’s had to be. When her husband abandoned her and their two children in favor of greener pastures, Blake gave up his job as a wilderness counselor and returned to Lake Miranda to help her run the remote guest lodge that’s been in the Walker family for generations.

Now, his best friend and mentor Scott Nielsen has left the same youth camp to start his own wilderness survival school. Hoping to base his school at Lake Miranda Lodge, he looks up his old friend.

Blake has mentioned that he has found the submissive of his dreams. And while Scott’s happy for him, he feels a nagging sense of envy. What would it be to give up random encounters at the BDSM club in favor of his very own sub?

Jackie fascinates Scott. She’s strong and capable, determined to make a go of the business, even in the face of extreme setbacks. Is there any way she’d accept him as her Dominant, any way she’d agree to just let go and allow him to care for her?

Read an excerpt from WARRIOR MINE.


While Jackie got the children tucked in with an extended bedtime routine, an allowance made due to Emma’s illness and Grant’s injury, Scott made a few preparations.  By the time Jackie closed Grant’s door, Scott was waiting for her in the hallway. 

She gave him a tired smile.  “All I wanted was to wash my hair today, and now I’m so tired, all I can think of is to fall into bed.” 

He nodded.  “I know.  Come with me.”  She gave a puzzled frown and he gestured.  “Come on.” 

She followed him to her bedroom door, which he opened, allowing her to precede him.  The first thing she noticed was that her bed was made, in stark contrast to the disorganized heap she’d left that morning.  She looked at him sharply. 

“As long as I was making the bed anyway, I gave you fresh sheets,” he explained. 

Her mouth flew open.  “You didn’t have to do that,” she said quickly. 

He tilted his head toward her.  “I know.”  He gestured further.  “Come.” 

He led her into her bathroom, where he’d placed a kitchen chair backed against the bathtub.  Jackie stopped and frowned again.  “What’s going on?” 

“I’m going to wash your hair.” 

Jackie looked up at him in disbelief.  “No, Scott, seriously, you don’t have to do that.  I’ll just wash it tomorrow.” 

“Jackie,” he said softly, “sit.” 

She wrung her hands.  “Well, I…” 

He pointed to the chair.  “Sit.”  His tone was quiet but intense. 

Reluctantly, Jackie sat in the chair and looked up at him. 

“Good girl.  Now hold on, because I’m going to lean you back.”  While Jackie gripped the sides of the seat, he carefully tilted the chair, so it leaned against the side of the tub.  He rolled a towel and gently placed it under her neck. 

“How’s that?” he asked. 

“Um, it’s good, but really, Scott, you don’t have to—” 

“Enough.  I want you to just relax.  I’m going to cover your eyes.”  He folded a washcloth and lay it over her eyes. 

Jackie breathed out heavily and clasped her hands tightly in her lap.  Scott started the water, allowing it to reach just the right temperature.  Then he pulled the knob, diverting the water to the hand-held shower head, which he used to soak her long dark locks. 

Scott spoke in gentle, hushed tones.  “Okay, Princess, it’s time to clear your mind.  Just let everything go.  Concentrate on what you feel.” 

“See, the thing is, you really don’t have to do this—” she began. 

“Jackie, if you don’t stop talking, I will gag you.” 

Her mouth formed a tight O, and she clamped her lips closed.  Scott grinned as he worked fragrant lavender-scented shampoo through her hair.  When the lather was thick, he gently massaged her scalp, earning a soft moan. 

“That’s right, Princess.  Relax.  I’ve got you.” 

He thoroughly rinsed her hair and followed up with conditioner, treating her scalp to another massage.  Jackie released the death-grip on her hands, her arms now dangling loosely beside her.   

After Scott rinsed her hair for the final time, he wrapped her head in a cottony blue towel and gently sat her up again.  Jackie blinked against the harsh bathroom light as the cloth covering her eyes fell into her lap.   

“Now, sit tight.  I’m going to dry your hair,” Scott told her. 

Jackie started to object, and he silenced her with his best Dom look.  “Not a word, Princess.  We’ve come this far.  Don’t make me gag you now.” 

She pressed her lips together and crossed her arms, and he had to laugh. 

Sectioning off her hair, he used a large round brush to dry each part until her long dark hair was glossy.  He put down the dryer and checked to see that her hair was completely dry, running his fingers through her tresses, and not missing the way she closed her eyes and sighed.   

“Okay, Jackie, I think we’re done.  Now,” he fixed her with an arched brow, “do what you need to do to get ready for bed.  I’ll be tucking you in tonight.” 

He left her in the bathroom and crossed to her bedroom door.  “I’ll be back in ten minutes.  When you’re ready, you can wait for me right there.”  He closed the door behind him before she could answer. 

Out in the hallway, he released a heavy sigh.  Washing Jackie’s hair had been a deeply sensual experience, and he knew that she felt it, too.  Heading over to the island for the time being was the right call.  Aside from the obvious benefit of freeing up one more guest room, it would give her the distance she needed to consider the things he’d told her about entering a Dom/sub relationship. 

And it would give him the distance he needed to stop daydreaming of having her in his bed, having her on her knees at his feet.   

He snorted.  There wasn’t enough distance on the planet to get those thoughts out of his head.  Still, moving out of the lodge was the right decision.  He’d get busy with the cabin renovation and hopefully, things would sort themselves out.   

A glance at his grandfather’s watch showed him that ten minutes had elapsed.  He returned to her bedroom door and knocked lightly before letting himself in.   

As she’d been instructed, Jackie was seated on the chair in the bathroom.  She’d changed out of the jeans and t-shirt she’d worn all day, and was now wearing an oversized white Mickey Mouse t-shirt, which she self-consciously pulled as far down her thighs as she could. 

Scott nodded approvingly.  “Good girl.  Come,” he held out his hand, “I’ll tuck you in.” 

Jackie stood, reaching for his hand.  He led her to the bed where she waited while he turned down the covers, then she sat on the edge and pulled her feet up.  Scott fluffed the pillows and patted them gently.  Jackie lay back and allowed him to pull up her covers.   

Tenderly, he gazed down at her.  “Okay, Princess.  It’s been a long day.  I hope you have sweet dreams.”  He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead.  “Good night.” 

He started to go, and she reached out to take his hand.  “Scott?”  He turned to her.  “Thank you.  I really appreciate everything you did today.  Especially for saving Grant.  I don’t know—” Her voice hitched.  “I don’t know what I would have done.” 

He leaned down to kiss her hand.  “You’re more than welcome.  I’m so happy I was there.” 

He crossed to the door, pausing to turn.  “Good night now.  Sweet dreams.”  He clicked off the light and closed the door. 

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

One-Click WARRIOR MINE today!
https://amzn.to/2E5bFKC

Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA

Luke hasn’t been completely honest with Bella.
If he tells her now, he could lose her forever.
Can he risk everything on the chance they could have it all?

LUKE & BELLA is the first book in the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone novels featuring hot Alphas, the feisty redheads they can’t resist, and light BDSM themes.

In LUKE & BELLA, two experienced television journalists are thrown together, hired to create a brand new television travel program. As they tour exotic destinations and relax in luxurious hotels, is it any wonder they fall in love?

But it all happened so fast. Luke should have been up front with Bella from the beginning and told her he’s Dominant. What will happen if he tells her now? He could lose everything he never knew he wanted.

Here’a a teaser from LUKE & BELLA.


Luke ordered a light dinner of tapas delivered to the suite along with a bottle of local wine.  Bella wore a fluffy white bathrobe.  He’d put on faded jeans and a grey t-shirt.  She smiled lazily at him across the table, a woman sated.  He poured them both some wine and they nibbled on the baked feta and tomatoes, olives, and fresh fruits and breads.

Bella sighed and said, “I was thinking…”

“Uh-oh,” Luke laughed.

She gave him a wry smile.  “Seriously!  I was thinking about that really nice evening you planned for us in Edinburgh.”

“Yeah, you liked that, did you?” he asked, grinning.

“Um, yeah!  Wine, music, flowers, an amazing dinner, mind-blowing sex…what’s not to like?” she said.  “But, I was thinking that I should plan an evening.  You know, it’s my turn.”

“No, I don’t think that’s necessary,” he replied slowly.

“Not necessary?” she laughed.  “I’m not saying I feel obligated, just that I’d like to return the favor, so to speak.”

Luke waited a moment, considering his response.  The timing’s a little sooner than you planned, Cowboy, he thought.  Play it safe or risk losing her? 

Decision made, he took the risk.  “The thing is, I’m not a fan of surprises.  I’m something of a…dominant…kind of guy.  I like making the plans,” he said evenly.

Bella looked at him, brow furrowed.  “You’re a ‘dominant kind of guy’?  As in, Dominant/submissive ‘dominant’?” she laughed lightly.

“Well, yes,” he said, looking at her directly.

Bella blinked.  “You’re kidding, right?” she asked incredulously.

Luke shook his head.  “No, not kidding.”

Her eyes went wide and her mouth hung open slightly.  “I don’t understand.  What does that mean that you do?”

He shrugged.  “Whatever makes me and my partner happy.  Blindfolds, restraints, spanking, safe words.  When we play a scene, she is mine, completely surrendered to me.  And I protect and care for her.”

When she didn’t reply, he continued, “It’s not a big deal.  I like to be in charge when it comes to romance, to sex.  I like to be the protector, to take care of my woman.  And,” he added softly, “if it doesn’t blow your mind too much, I think you are the perfect submissive.”

She shook her head slowly, eyes wide with disbelief.  “You are SO barking up the wrong tree.  I am anything but submissive.  I need to be in control.”

“I’ve noticed,” he said quietly.  “But you’re not good at it.  I said before that you try to control things by putting them into neat little categories, boxes.  When that doesn’t work, you shut down.  Imagine not having to control.  Not having to think or worry.  Just letting go and allowing someone else to be in control for a while.”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Bella whispered.  “You have lost your mind!”

“I understand your reservations.  Between your father and your ex, you’ve never had a man in your life that you could completely trust,” he said gently.

Bella felt as though she’d been gut-punched.  His words rang in her ears and she knew they were true.

“I am that man, Bella.  Do you trust me?  You can completely let go.  It will be the most freeing experience of your life,” he stated with quiet confidence, looking at her steadily, hoping to reassure her.

She shook her head again.  “I’m falling in…” it came out as a sob, “and now I realize I don’t even know you!”

She abruptly left the table and went into the bedroom, emerging a few minutes later completely dressed in jeans and a white tank top.  On her face was the hard, closed expression he’d seen that night in Amsterdam.  “I’m going out for a while,” she told him firmly.

“Bella, I wish you wouldn’t go alone.  It could be dangerous,” he worried.
She waved him off and walked out the door, closing it behind her.

“Shit!” Luke exhaled deeply, and he ran his fingers through his hair, wondering if he’d made a mistake, if he’d lost her.

LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1

There are currently four Dream Dominant books, but there are more in the works. Wouldn’t you love to start at the beginning? One-click LUKE & BELLA today!

Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

I’m still beyond grateful that the BDSM Writers’ Con honored Dream Dominant Book 3, FOR SPARROW, with 2018’s Golden Flogger Award for Best BDSM Book in the BDSM Light category. It means so much to me that they not only liked the story, they also approved of the portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle.

In the preface to the book, I talk about the way I write BDSM romance. There are tons of books about billionaire Doms who reveal their brand of Dominance to young, naive submissives. And I love those stories, don’t get me wrong.

But I’m more interested in exploring the lives of real-world people all around us who quietly live the D/s lifestyle and go about their day-to-day business. The deep intimacy involved in a power-exchange relationship is the stuff of romance, and that’s what excites me as a writer. And it’s what you’ll get when you read any of my Dream Dominant books.

Here’s a little snippet from FOR SPARROW.

Judd Farris scanned the room uncomfortably.  He didn’t belong here, not really.  The truth was, he had been friends with Graham Crenshaw.  Good friends.  But Graham was his only connection to this gathering, and Graham was dead. 

Judd had attended the funeral at the church, and then the burial out at the cemetery.  There’d been no need to follow up with the gathering at the Crenshaw home.  But he’d been asked for a favor, and he hadn’t yet completed it.  There hadn’t been opportunity at either the funeral or the burial.  Maybe he could find a moment here.

He took a glass of wine from a buffet table in the dining room simply to have something to do with his hands, then made his way to a vacant spot by the wall in the living room.  His position on the edge of the crowd afforded him a perfect place from which to people-watch.

He’d spotted Jessi in her simple black dress from the moment he’d entered the house.  She was hard to miss with her bright auburn hair, her air of tragedy.  Of course, he’d seen her at the other two places as well, but not up close.  There were dark circles under her green eyes, and she looked thin and drawn, not unexpected under the circumstances.  But she was pretty, too, in an unassuming kind of way.

Take care of Jessi for me. 

Graham’s words echoed through his mind.  He’d met Graham a few years earlier, and they’d struck up an odd friendship.  Graham was a good twenty years Judd’s senior.  Maybe that was why they’d clicked.  Judd had looked to Graham as a mentor, and the two had met for coffee about once a month.  The last time they’d gotten together, nearly three weeks earlier, the older man had seemed preoccupied. 

If something should happen to me, please take care of Jessi for me.  She’ll be lost at first.  

At the time, Judd had noticed that Graham seemed to have lost a little weight, and he was perhaps a bit pale.  Judd had promised that in the unlikely event something should happen, of course he’d be honored to look after Jessi, see that she got her feet under her.  Before they parted that last time, Graham had given him two envelopes.  One was labeled with Judd’s name.  On the other one, he’d written For Sparrow

Open yours if something happens to me.  The other one, you should give to Jessi.  You’ll know when the time is right.

She’s young for a widow, he mused.  Graham had said she was, what, forty-five?  That made her five years older than Judd, he calculated for no reason in particular.  He watched as she hugged her son and daughter.  They seemed close.  Graham had spoken proudly of Adam and Cara, both out on their own and doing well.  He knew Jessi was glad to have them here.  They’d eventually have to go back to their own lives, though. 

He imagined he could feel Jessi’s envelope in the inside pocket of his suit jacket.  He’d opened his immediately when he’d heard the news of Graham’s death.  He’d read it over and over until he knew it by heart. 

Dear Judd,
If you’re reading this, I must be gone.  Dammit, I didn’t mean to leave this soon.  It shocks the hell out of me, really.  I want you to know that I appreciate your friendship.  You’re a good man, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you.  Hopefully I’ve been able to pass along some things I learned the hard way. 

I respect you as a man and as a Dominant.  I know that you’ve worked hard to be the best of both that you can be.  That’s why I’m tapping you to be the one to look after my Sparrow for me.  Jessi is a smart, strong woman, but she’s a born submissive, and although I know she’ll be stubborn, she needs a Dominant to take her in hand, at least until she finds someone.  I can’t bear to think of her falling prey to some of those psycho ass-wipes out there posing as Dominants. 

The letter to her explains some of my thinking on this subject.  That and a few other things.  I’ll trust you to give it to her when the time is right. 
The other part of this letter is a to-do list of sorts, things that will need to be done around the house.  Things Jessi will never ask anyone to do, because like I said, she’s stubborn.  I’m also giving you the number to an account that I’ve set up to cover the expenses of these projects.  Please don’t use your own money to fix up the house.  I’d be awfully pissed off if you did. 

I appreciate you, Judd.  I hope that somehow some of the things we talked about will help you as you make your way in the world.  I hope that one day you find your own Sparrow, and that she makes you as happy as Jessi has made me.  You deserve every happiness.

So long, pal.  See you on the other side.
G.

The clatter of something dropped in the kitchen brought his thoughts back to the present.  He watched the new widow as people buzzed around her, pausing to murmur some heartfelt platitude before buzzing off again.  God, people said some stupid shit when they didn’t know what to say.

Judd saw a large woman in an ill-fitting black pantsuit lean over Jessi.  He’s in a better place?  What the fuck kind of thing is that to say?  Jessi was facing his direction, and he watched her eyes widen with disgust.  She simply excused herself and pushed past the ignoramus, retreating into the kitchen.

Thinking that this might be his chance, Judd set down his glass and followed her.  He made it into the kitchen in time to see her disappear through the back door.  He continued to follow her, but hesitated just outside.  Jessi crossed the pool deck and perched on the far side of the spa.  He watched her hunch over, and he realized that she was crying. 

Shit!  I’ll know when the time is right?  I sure as hell know when the time is wrong.

He waited a few minutes longer before beginning to slowly walk towards her.  His loafer scraped on an uneven paver, and she immediately sat up and looked his way. 

“I’m so sorry.  I didn’t mean to bother you,” he offered.

“I just needed some air.”  She wiped at her face, and seemed to be trying to hide the fact that she’d been crying.  As if someone would judge her for mourning.  “I buried my husband today.  That’s the first time I said that out loud.”  There was a haunted look in her eyes.

He felt his heart melting in his chest.  “I’ll leave you alone.  I just wanted to say,” he cleared his throat, “that Graham was a good man.  He was my friend and I’ll miss him.”

She smiled sadly.  “He’d be so please that you came.  Did you work with Graham?”

This is so not the right time to get into all that.  “No.  We were friends.  I’m Judd, by the way.”

She seemed to take in what he was saying, but he noticed that she didn’t introduce herself.  He decided to push forward.  “I thought maybe I would come back on Saturday, maybe help you with the lawn,” he said.

She gave a vague answer, and he felt that he’d done enough for one day.  “Alright, Jessi,” he said.  “Take care, now.”

–FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant Book 3

One-click your copy of FOR SPARROW today!

Weekend Excerpt–It’s the Holiday Season!

Happy December!
I’m in the mood for holiday stories, so this teaser is from WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.

When Blake and Amy returned to Lake Miranda the week before Christmas, snow blanketed the compound.  After the lake froze solid, and Scott’s students either hiked to the island or were shuttled by snowmobile.

His last session before the holidays ended just before Blake and Amy came home, but the lodge had guests scheduled throughout Christmas and New Year’s.  Trina and the restaurant staff came up with a festive holiday menu, and Walker’s on the Lake was completely booked for both holidays.

When Jackie called her parents to ask about their holiday plans, she was surprised to find out that the elder Walkers had reservations for a Christmas cruise to the Caribbean.  “Your father just couldn’t stand the thought of all that snow,” Ann laughed.  “You all have a wonderful holiday!”

Blake and Amy agreed to spend Christmas at Jackie and Scott’s house, the better to enjoy the kids’ excitement on Christmas morning.  The day after they returned, Scott and Blake took Grant and Emma snowmobiling in the forest to find a proper Christmas tree to set up in the window of Scott and Jackie’s family room.

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 huge red bow come 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.”

One-click WARRIOR MINE at Amazon.