Weekend Excerpt–THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE

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!

Here’s an exclusive new (unedited) excerpt from THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE.

With a satisfied sigh, Ben stood in the window of his hotel suite and gazed down at the once-bare brick wall across the street. Raising a cold Corona from the mini-bar, he toasted his nearly completed work. One more day would do it, he reflected. And the day after that, he’d endure Darla Huntington’s splashy unveiling party, then he’d be heading down to Austin for the photoshoot.

Sipping his beer, he sighed again, ready to be finished with all of it and on his way to Bluebell and the sanctuary of his mother’s farm. His lips quirked a bit and he shook his head. That wasn’t really what he longed for, either. 

Seventeen hundred miles away was where his heart was. Tucked away in a tiny guesthouse in Pacific Heights. He wondered what Charley might be doing at that moment.

Retrieving his phone from his back pocket, he glanced at the time. It was 11:30 in Dallas, but that made it only 9:30 on the West Coast. Enjoying the flutter in his stomach, he clicked Charley’s name and lifted the device to his ear.

“Hey there,” Charley answered softly. “How are you?”

“Hey there, yourself,” Ben smiled. “Sorry it’s so late. Did I wake you?”

“No, I’m all cozy in bed reading a trashy romance novel,” she laughed. “It’s not my usual taste, but I couldn’t resist the cover. It’s really awful in the best possible way.”

Ben laughed too. “I don’t think I even want to ask.”

“No. You definitely don’t. So how was your day?”

“It was great. I’ll spend tomorrow tying up all the loose ends and it will be finished. Did you see the pictures?” He had posted three different angles of the mural on Instagram just before he left for the evening.

“I did. I may be as big a stalker as Gina,” Charley teased.

“Ha! I don’t think that’s possible,” Ben laughed again. “Although there’s a lady here who might be a serious contender.”

“Really? Who?”

Instantly sorry he had opened that particular can of worms, Ben realized he had no choice other than to elaborate. “Oh, the lady who nominated me for this mural seems to have maybe had some ulterior motives.”

“Ulterior motives? How so?”

Ben shoved his free hand into his pocket and paced the length of the hotel room. “I don’t know,” he shrugged for the benefit of the empty room, “she keeps trying to get me by myself, go for drinks or something. Makes me seriously question how I ended up getting this honor in the first place.”

“Don’t be silly. You’re very talented. Ms. Sexual Harrassment might have nominated you, but the entire committee decided you were the one for the job.” Charley’s tone was decidedly protective.

Ben felt the flutter again and he smiled. “I guess you’re right.”

“Of course, I am. You’ll learn this about me; I’m always right.”

Laughing with Charley was the best thing Ben had done all day. Maybe in several days. His mind skipped to another thought. “Hey, I was thinking I might bring you a prize from Texas. I’ve been looking around a little. They have Dallas Cowboys stuff everywhere, but not everyone is a Cowboys fan.”

“You don’t need to bring me anything. Besides, I’ve never really followed basketball, so I’m sure I don’t need any Cowboys stuff.”

“Well, the Cowboys play football, so there’s that,” Ben chuckled.

“I know. I just like saying stuff like that to annoy dudes. It’s kind of a hobby.”

Laughing harder, Ben shook his head to himself. “Is that right? I’ll have to make a note. But seriously, what can I bring you?”

“Besides yourself? Nothing. There’s nothing in the world that I need.”

“Nothing at all?”

He heard her laugh on the other end of the phone. “Nothing. But if you insist on bringing something, make sure it’s extra cheesy.”

“Extra cheesy. Okay. I guess I have my work cut out for me.”

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE by Pandora Spocks

Reserve your copy now for just 99¢!
books2read.com/TheGirlInTheGuesthouse

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Rannigan sees the writing on the wall.
And he’s determined to find redemption. 

Michael 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?

In this scene from the third book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, Bobby and Maggie head to his family home in Louisiana to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Beaulieu family.

Bobby gazed at Maggie across the table in the first-class lounge of the Atlanta airport.  It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and they’d decided to have dinner during their two-hour layover halfway to Louisiana.  “I’m so sorry I was impatient with you, cher.”

            Maggie smiled sadly.  “You’ve already apologized.  Several times.  And I get it.  I never want to put you last.”

            He looked down, frowning.  “You don’t.  I was wrong to say it.  You work your ass off at your job, and then take on caring for a sick friend.  And on top of that, you have this overbearing, insecure boyfriend who makes everything harder.”

            “You know I love you.  I don’t want you to question that.”  She sighed deeply.  “I just hate it when we fight.”

            “We weren’t fighting,” he said, grinning wryly.  “We were just discussing divergent opinions.”

            Maggie laughed softly.  “Yes, well…  With Veronica there to keep Michael company, I won’t worry about him being alone.”

            “Whatever it took for you to be able to come home with me, I’m glad you’re here,” he said, lifting her hand to his lips and leaving a gentle kiss there.

**

            They arrived at the Beaulieu’s home after eight o’clock that night, having driven from the airport in the silver pickup truck Bobby had reserved at the rental agency. 

“A truck?” Maggie had questioned.  Bobby had just winked at her.

            Jerilyn chased Savannah who bounded out of the house as they pulled up into the circular driveway.  “Daddy!” cried the child as she threw herself into Bobby’s arms.

            “Well hey there, June bug,” he said, hugging his daughter tightly.  “Look who I brought with me.  You remember Maggie, don’t you?”

            “Welcome, cher,” Jerilyn said as she wrapped Maggie in a huge hug.  “Come on in.  Are y’all hungry?”

            “I’m always hungry,” laughed Bobby.  He put Savannah on the ground.  “Come on, you can help us get our bags.”

            “This is such a beautiful home,” Maggie told Bobby’s mother.

            “Why, thank you, hon,” she smiled.  “Of course, you know Bobby had it built for us when he signed his first contract with the majors.”

            Maggie’s eyes widened, and she looked to Bobby who seemed uncomfortable.  “No.  I didn’t know that.”

            “Ro-bert, y’all are up in your room,” Jerilyn tossed over her shoulder as she headed back into the house.  “Get freshened up and come on down to the kitchen.”

            With Bobby leading the way, Savannah carried Maggie’s cosmetic case and Maggie followed with her suitcase as they went upstairs.  They traveled down a long hallway to a bedroom on the back of the house with a huge bay window overlooking the marsh beyond the expansive lawn. 

            “Okay, sweetie,” Bobby said to Savannah, “how about you go help Nana in the kitchen and we’ll be right there.”

            “Okay, Daddy,” the little girl said.  “Are you coming downstairs, Maggie?”

            Maggie smiled.  “I sure am.  I’ll see you in just a minute.”

            “You can sit by me,” Savannah said as she left the room, closing the door behind her.

            Bobby pulled Maggie to him and held her for a moment, kissing her neck.  “Thank you so much for coming home with me, cher,” he murmured against her neck.

            “I’m happy to be here,” she said.  “I’m surprised your mom has us sharing a room, though.”  He looked at her quizzically.  “I just figured we’d be in separate rooms, that’s all,” she shrugged.

            “You realize, cher,” he arched an eyebrow, “they know we have sex.”  He whispered the last three words, and Maggie blushed furiously while he chuckled.  “You’re so pretty when your face is pink.”

            Thursday was a blur of activity at the Beaulieu home.  Bobby’s sisters and their families arrived throughout the morning beginning around seven o’clock.  One by one, Maggie was introduced to them, and she made a concerted effort to remember everyone’s names and at least which kids belonged to which adults, if not the names of the kids.  She happily pitched in with the preparations in the kitchen while Bobby worked outside to set up the large outdoor fryer in which the turkey would be cooked. 

            “Have you ever had deep-fried turkey, Maggie?” asked Bobby’s sister Jenny.

            Maggie shook her head.  “I never have, but I’ve always wanted to try it.”

            “You should go outside and watch,” youngest sister Nancy told her.

            Taking a beer from the giant ice-filled galvanized tub on the back deck, Maggie walked down the steps to the area on the end of the driveway where Bobby and his father had set up the fryer on its sturdy platform.  The other men were keeping an eye on the kids playing behind the house. 

            “If it’s not the prettiest girl I know,” Bobby said, smiling.  “And she brought me a beer.”  He took it from her and kissed her cheek.  “How are you doing, cher?”

            “I’m great!  I came to see the turkey fry.”

            “Once you have it fried, you’ll never go back to roasted,” Justin told her with a wink.

            The holiday dinner around the family table was a raucous affair.  Following the grace, the passing of heaping platters and bowls was accompanied by loud conversation punctuated by frequent laughter.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Maggie sat back and took it all in.  Bobby rested his free hand on her thigh and grinned at her reassuringly from time to time.

            “Well, what do you think, Maggie?”  Bobby’s oldest sister Michelle smiled kindly.  “Are you coming back for Christmas or have we scared you off?”

            “Oh, well,” Maggie began, “actually I have a gathering at my place every Christmas.  It’s sort of affectionately known as the Orphans and Misfits Christmas.”

            “Being without family, Maggie invites her friends who don’t have anybody either.  She makes sure that nobody’s alone on Christmas,” Bobby elaborated proudly.

            “Well, she has family now,” Bobby’s sister Renée said, and Maggie blushed as threatened tears stung her eyes.

            Later that evening, after the kitchen had been thoroughly cleaned and leftovers had been packed away, the five Beaulieu daughters along with their husbands and children said their goodnights and went their separate ways. 

Suddenly the house seemed empty and quiet.  Jerilyn and Justin retired to the den to watch a holiday movie on television and Bobby put Savannah to bed, but not without a song from Maggie.

            Pulling Savannah’s door closed, Bobby winked at Maggie.  “Now, cher, there’s something I want to show you.”

            Ten minutes later they were driving away from the house in the rented pickup truck, country music playing softly on the radio.  “You want to show me something we have to drive to?” Maggie asked.

            His smile said he was pleased with himself.  “It’s not too far.”

            Soon they were driving in an older neighborhood populated with small family homes set closely together.  Most were well-kept, and a few had apparently used the holiday to get a jump on setting out their Christmas decorations.  Maggie smiled out the window at wicker reindeer lit with twinkling white lights, inflated Santas and other cartoon characters lit from within, and roofs outlined in sparkling icicle lights. 

            Bobby pulled to a stop in front of a nondescript split level with brick on the bottom and white clapboard on the top.  Black shutters framed the three visible windows.  A large tree stood in the front, skeletal in the cool fall air.  Maggie looked back to Bobby questioningly.

            “This is the home where I grew up,” he said quietly.  He looked at Maggie.  “We were happy here.  Crowded, because there are only three bedrooms and a bath and a half, but we were happy.” 

He smiled as he looked out across the brown lawn.  “See that tree right there?  It’s a maple.  I planted it from a seed when I was about five.  Savannah’s age now,” he reflected.

            Maggie smiled too, envisioning five-year-old Bobby slowing down long enough to plant a seed in a paper cup.  “Your mom said that you built their house.”

            Bobby gazed down at his hands on the steering wheel.  “My dad worked on the off-shore oil rigs, was gone for months at a time.  Maman taught school.  We never had two nickels to rub together, and they worked so hard, both of them.  We never lacked anything we needed, but it was always tight.  Then Pop got hurt and couldn’t work anymore.” 

            He looked back to Maggie, his eyes shining.  “They always sacrificed so much for all of us.  I didn’t want them to ever worry about their home.  And I figured, hell, might as well make it big enough for everybody.” Bobby laughed lightly.

            Maggie smiled at him proudly.  “You’re a good son.  A good man.”  She slid across the bench seat and leaned up to kiss him deeply.  Leaning back, she said, “Thank you for showing me this.”             He sighed.  “I just want you to know who I am, where I come from.” 

RANSOMING REDEMPTION by Pandora Spocks

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

But you might want to start at the beginning
with Amazon #1 Bestseller, RESISTING RISK.
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

Weekend Excerpt–CHASING ORDINARY

Petey is Nik’s first-ever 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?

Love a fairytale royal with a happily-ever-after? You’ll love CHASING ORDINARY.

Here’s a teaser.

The moment Petey closed the apartment door behind herself, she burst into hot tears. Jules, who had been relaxing in the living room with her Kindle, immediately jumped up and came over to her.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, reaching for her hand.

“I’m just so…fucking stupid,” Petey growled through her tears.

“But what happened?” Jules frowned deeply. “Did Nik hurt you? Because I will kick his ass!”

Petey was crying too hard to answer, so Jules put an arm around her and led her to the kitchen counter. While Petey settled onto a stool and continued to sob, Jules poured them both a shot of Cuervo Silver. “Here,” she said, handing a glass to Petey, “suck this down and tell me exactly what happened.”

Sniffling, Petey tossed back the tequila and coughed as it hit her throat. Jules downed hers quickly and repoured for both of them. “So talk,” she urged her friend.

“H-he lied to me,” Petey stuttered, trying to calm her voice.

Jules gasped. “He’s married! That son of a bitch.”

Petey shook her head miserably. “No. That’s not it. He told me he was in international business.”

“And he’s not?” Jules asked.

“No! He’s the fucking prince of Beruvia!” Petey’s tears started anew.

Jules blinked. “He’s the prince of Beruvia? Nik?” She shook her head. “Pete, that doesn’t even make sense. The prince of Beruvia is Prince Stefan. He’s all over the tabloids all the time. Here, I’ll show you.”

Cueing up Google Images on her phone, she chose a headshot of a handsome blonde man with stormy blue eyes, and she held it up to Petey.

“Hon, this is Prince Stefan of Beruvia.”

Petey peered at the image and bawled anew. “I know! He lied to me!”

Realization began to dawn on Jules. “This? This is your Nik?” Her eyes widened. “You fucked the prince of Beruvia in my guest room?”

She watched as Petey crossed her arms on the counter and rested her head on them, her back shuddering with sobs. Jules rubbed her back soothingly. “Petey, seriously, how did you not know he was a prince? I mean, everybody knows who he is. He’s like, Europe’s most eligible divorcé.”

Petey raised up her head slightly to scowl at Jules. “Well, thanks, because I wasn’t feeling stupid enough already.”

Jules shook her head and gazed out over the living room. “Geez, Pete, he’s always in the tabloids and on the gossip shows.”

“I live on a sheep ranch. In my spare time, which is precious little, I work on my sculptures. I don’t have time or patience for stupid celebrity gossip.”

“So how did you find out?” Jules wondered.

Petey, calmer now, sat up and swiped at her face with her hands. “We were jumped by a bunch of photographers outside of Paddy’s. Nik’s—” She paused, scowling. “Whoever’s people, they pushed us into a car and drove us away.”

“Paparazzi?” Jules glanced at Petey. “You realize you’re probably online right now.”

“Stop it!” Petey gasped.

Pushing away from the kitchen counter, Jules padded into her bedroom and retrieved her laptop. She returned to the counter and fired up the device. “Let’s see,” she murmured.

Watching over her friend’s shoulder, Petey watched as Jules entered Prince Stefan into the search bar. Immediately images of the man who’d introduced himself as ‘Nik’ filled the screen. Jules refined the search to ‘most recent’ and there she was, Petey Cavanaugh, gaping wide-eyed as she and Nik were pushed into the back of a black Mercedes.

“Motherfucker,” Petey breathed.

From deep within her purse, her phone began to ring. Jules glanced at her. “Are you going to get that?”

Petey shook her head. “It’s probably him.”

The ringing continued. Jules pursed her lips. “I think you should get it.”

“I’m not answering,” Petey said, crossing her arms defiantly.

“Then I’m going to get it.” Grasping Petey’s bag from the floor where she’d dropped it, Jules rooted around until she found the device. She showed Nik’s image to Petey before swiping to unlock the phone. “Hello?”

“Oh, thank God, Petey, I’m so sorry. Please allow me to explain,” pleaded a deep voice with a British accent.

“No, this isn’t Petey, this is Jules. Petey’s very upset. She doesn’t feel up to talking right now.” Quietly, Jules pressed the button for ‘speaker’.

“I beg your pardon,” replied the voice. “I know she’s upset, and I know she feels that I deceived her, but I need to explain everything. Is there any way she’ll talk to me?”

Jules looked to Petey, who flashed double middle fingers and mouthed a silent, “Fuck you!”

She frowned into the phone, “Yeah, Nik, that’s not looking too good right now. Tell you what, give me a few minutes and I’ll see what I can do.”

Jules watched as Petey stalked to her bag, dug around, and produced a small notebook and a pencil. She couldn’t quite make out what she was sketching on the paper, but the pencil flew.

The relief in his voice was palpable. “Jules, I’d so appreciate your help. I know she may not forgive me, but I have to at least have the chance to explain.”

“I’m not making any promises, but I’ll try to talk to her. I’ll call you back soon,” Jules promised, before disconnecting.

While Jules was finishing her conversation with Nik, Petey put down her paper and pencil, and busied herself searching the internet for more on the enigmatic Nik/Prince Stefan. Clicking a link, she waited for a news item to pop up. When it did seconds later, she gasped, clapping a hand over her mouth.

Filling the screen was one of the series of images snapped between the back door of the pub and Nik’s car. She wondered how many frames could be snapped in the span of half a second. She stared, absorbing the photo. In the still frame, Nik was in profile, facing her as he held onto her hand. Her own face was turned full into the camera, her expression, stunned.

But it was the headline over the photograph that stopped her heart.

Prince Stefan’s New Bimbo!

“Oh, my God!” She turned to Jules. “My family is going to see this.”

Jules took a look and whistled softly. “Wow. That’s…harsh.”

Petey buried her face in her hands. “What am I going to do, Julesy?”

“I don’t know, sweetie,” Jules murmured, wrapping her arms around her friend. “I mean, maybe you should give him a chance.”

Petey whipped up her head. “Are you kidding? He lied to me. He made a fool out of me.” She chewed her lip pensively. “He’s probably laughing at me right now, him and all his…entourage.”

“He didn’t sound like he was laughing, Pete. He sounded miserable,” Jules pointed out. “Let’s look at something.” Turning the laptop towards herself, Jules tapped a few keys.

“Now, let’s see what we find…” She’d pulled up the Wikipedia page for Prince Stefan of Beruvia. “It says here that his full name is Nikolai Stefan Torbjorn von Bahr.” She laughed lightly. “That’s a mouthful. But see, his first name is Nikolai. Nik is his real name.”

Reluctantly, Petey peered over Jules’ shoulder.

“It says that he’s the second son of the King and Queen of Beruvia. He has an older brother…” She paused, reading silently. “Here it is, Eirik Magnus Otto von Bahr, known as Prince Magnus…” She skimmed further. “Oh, who died seven years ago in a boating accident.”

“He told me about that,” Petey murmured.

“Petey, I’ve got to be honest with you. Everything he told you seems to be true. He just neglected to tell you about the whole prince thing. You need to at least give the man the chance to explain.”

“He made a fool out of me, Jules.” Petey shook her head adamantly. “Besides,” she said reasonably, “You know me. I spend my days up to here in sheep shit. What the hell would I do with a prince?”

“You were okay with him when you thought he was a rich businessman,” Jules pointed out.

“Well, I wasn’t comfortable with it. With his fancy dinners and his helicopters. Which is why, for today, I planned all sorts of normal things.”

“What did you guys do today? Before all hell broke loose?”

Petey sighed deeply. “We went to the park and had a little picnic. We watched a Little League game. We got dinner from a food truck. Then we were having pints at Paddy’s when we had to leave.”

“And you had a good time.”

“We had a great time.”

“And you planned to spend the night with him.” Jules folded her arms across her chest.

“Well, yeah, before,” Petey admitted.

“So, when Nik was just a businessman, you were okay with him, but now that he’s a prince, you don’t want anything to do with him.”

“Of course not. The whole…prince thing. It’s too ridiculous for words.”

“Then you, my friend, are a snob.”

Petey gasped. “I am not a snob. You take that back!”

“I won’t take it back,” Jules shrugged. “If you won’t go out with a guy, based on what he does for a living, that makes you a snob.”

“That’s just…absurd,” Petey sputtered. “There is no way I am a snob.”

“Then prove it. Give Nik a chance to tell you his side of this thing.”

Petey nodded angrily. “You don’t think I will, do you? You think I’m a snob. That’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. I’m a snob.” She rolled her eyes dramatically. “Please!”

“So just give him a call then,” Jules dared her, pushing Petey’s phone across the kitchen counter.

“Just give him a call,” Petey muttered. “Okay, I’ll do it, if only to prove to you that I am not,” she jabbed her finger at Jules, “a snob.”

Snatching the device from the counter, she swiped it open and stabbed in Nik’s number.

It rang exactly once before he picked up. “Hello, Jules?” he answered anxiously.

“No, it’s me,” Petey replied flatly.

“Oh, thank God, Petey, I need to tell you—”

“Shut up!” she snapped. “I agreed to call you just to prove to my good friend,” she glared at Jules, “that I am not a snob.”

“I’m glad to hear your voice under any circumstance. Please, I need to talk to you in person. I have to make things right.” His voice was desperate. Earnest. “Can you come over? I’ll send a car right away.”

“I’m not going anywhere tonight,” she said defiantly. “It’s late, and I’m about to get shitfaced until I pass out. When I’m conscious tomorrow, I’ll give you a call.”

CHASING ORDINARY by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Spoiled Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke
is used to getting her own way.
She’s met her match
in Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.

Blake Walker is no stranger to tragedy. Immediately following a horrific event years earlier, he was lost for a while until he embraced his Dominant nature and found his true calling. But things change and now he’s back where he started, helping to run his family’s secluded lake lodge.


When pampered Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks. There she meets sexy bush pilot Blake, who is tasked with seeing to her needs as the sole guest at the lodge.


Initially, Blake isn’t impressed with the spoiled actress, but he’s happy that her visit allows for his sister Jackie and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation. Try as he might, he can’t figure out what the hell Shasta Pyke is doing so far out of her element.


Shasta’s attracted to Blake’s obvious good looks, but there’s more to him than that. He sees through her armor to the vulnerable little girl she hides from the world. The Daddy Dominant in him craves to shelter her, to make her his own.


Is there any way Shasta will agree to submit to Blake’s Dominance?

Here’s a little teaser from LOST & BOUND.

When Shasta finally woke up the following morning, she felt worlds better. And she was famished. Donning a pair of jeans, a Joan Jett t-shirt, and a hot pink hoodie, she made her way once again to the kitchen cabinets. She moved around a few boxes and jars as she looked through the provisions, finding a thin rectangular blue box. Macaroni and cheese. A slow smile spread across her face.

Many years ago, she’d done a commercial for the stuff. Of course, when you make a commercial, you can’t actually eat the product. After every take, she’d been required to spit it into a bucket. But it had tasted good, and when she’d told her grandfather about it, he’d made her a box of her very own. She remembered it being one of the best things she’d ever tasted.

Shasta wasn’t a cook. She couldn’t remember ever cooking anything for herself beyond warming up left-over pizza. Turning over the box, she quickly read the instructions. “How hard can this be?”

Following the directions step by step, she lit the stovetop and put a pot of water on to boil. Unsure if she could cook with the lake water, she used the spring water just to be on the safe side, realizing that she’d have to make a trip to the spring sooner than she’d anticipated.

When the allotted time had elapsed, she drained the macaroni and stirred in the milk and butter from the tiny fridge. Then she tore open the foil packet and poured it over the mixture. “Orange powder? What the hell?”

She stirred and stirred until most of the lumps had disappeared, then sat down at the table to eat right out of the pot. She took her first bite and her eyes rolled back in her head. “Oh, my God, this is so good!” she moaned around a mouthful.

After she’d eaten as much as she wanted, she put the rest into a plastic container she found and placed it in the fridge. Holding the empty pot, she looked around for the best way to clean it. She finally settled on filling it with lake water and putting in back on to boil, dripping a few drops of dishwashing liquid into it for good measure.

When the pot was cleaned, dried, and returned to its hook on the wall, Shasta stripped out of the hoodie and wandered outside. The sun was bright overhead and the sky was a brilliant blue. She closed her eyes and listened to the breeze rustling in the tops of the trees, breathing in the scent of pine straw warmed by the sun. Opening her eyes, she shook her head. Under different circumstances, this would be an amazingly beautiful place.

Carefully, she picked her way down the slope to the dock and walked to the edge. The water was crystal clear and she could see huge boulders and the ghosts of long-ago fallen trees resting on the bottom of the lake. A light breeze rippled the water in a mesmerizing way, and she stood for a moment feeling a sense of peace settling over her.

When she looked up, she saw movement across the lake. Someone was walking along the water’s edge. Blake. Has to be. Everyone else left yesterday. He stopped and seemed to be looking her way. She sighed, remembering their last exchange, when she’d screamed and thrown a rock at him. “Sometimes, you are such an idiot,” she muttered to herself.

She watched him for a moment, watched him watching her. She wished he would come over. Shouldn’t he check on me? I’m a guest. The only guest right now. I mean, what if I needed something?

She sat on the dock, removed her shoes, and rolled up the legs of her jeans, dangling her feet in the cool of the lake. The sun was hot and the water felt good. She realized that once again, she’d failed to get her solar shower going. There probably wasn’t enough time for the water to heat up now.

Of course, I could always go for a swim. It would do until I can get the hang of this shower thing. She grinned mischievously in Blake’s direction. Maybe she could entice him to come over.

Giving an exaggerated stretch, she pulled the t-shirt up over her head and dropped it on the dock. Then she stood, shimmying out of the jeans, placing them on top of the shirt. She flicked a quick glance back across to water to make sure he was still watching and turned to reach behind her and unhook her bra.

Topless, she turned back towards the lodge. Blake was still there. Slowly, she hooked her thumbs into the top of her white lace panties and slid them down her legs, kicking them off to rest with her other clothes.

At the edge of the dock, she paused to smooth her fingers through her hair before executing a shallow dive, surfacing a dozen yards from the dock. Treading water, she turned herself toward the lodge. Blake was walking away from the lake in the direction of the main lodge.

“Well, shit,” she muttered to herself. “Maybe he’s gay.”

She swam until she felt cool and clean, then climbed back onto the dock. The sun felt good on her skin, so she stretched out on her back and dozed.

***

Blake woke up that morning feeling slightly guilty for not checking in on Shasta the previous day. It was odd that she hadn’t had lights on since she’d arrived. He couldn’t shake the feeling that she was trying to play him, though. He figured he’d get on with a few of his chores and keep an eye out for her. He could always head over in the afternoon if he still didn’t see any sign of her on the island.

He busied himself with checking the guest cabins, making notes of repairs he could begin making over the next few weeks. He’d just finished with the last cabin and was thinking about stopping for lunch when he glanced across the lake and saw her. She was standing on the dock apparently watching the water. Immediately, he felt a sense of relief. At least she hadn’t asphyxiated herself in the night.

Making his way towards his cabin, he took the route along the edge of the lake rather than the central path. Now she was sitting on the dock, with her feet in the water. He stopped to watch her, wondering what she’d been doing up until now.

Maybe trying to rig her phone to work, he chuckled to himself. He realized she’d noticed him and thought to wave, but at that moment she stood and removed her top. Then she performed a striptease, dropping her clothing item by item onto the dock. Even from this distance, he could appreciate the curves of her tits and hips, offset by her narrow waist. Dumbfounded, he watched as she wiggled out of her panties and paused seductively on the edge of the dock before plunging into the water.

He shook his head, willing his cock to go back to sleep. Nope, I’m not biting, princess. He turned and made his way back to his place.

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/LostandBound

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Halloween!

“This thriller – perfect for a Halloween night – will deliver the desired chill down the spine–complete with ghosts, scary characters, dark stormy nights, and tricks and treats.”
–Amazon Review

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove, still waters harbor dark secrets.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

If you love your romance with a little spooky, you’ll love MIDNIGHT COVE!

Read this brand-new teaser.

In the cab of Meyer’s truck, Bree pressed herself as far from him as possible, searching for an opportunity to escape.  Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him drive, his eyes straight ahead, his lips pressed together in a slight curve of a smile. 

When he slowed at a turn, she grabbed the door handle and threw her weight against the door.  It didn’t budge.

Meyer slid his eyes her way.  “You can’t get out until I let you out.  Which I’ll do when we get home, darling.  There are going to be some changes around here.”

“Why are you doing this?” Bree asked.

“Doing what?”  He sounded genuinely perplexed.

“Why did you try to kill Jake?  What do you want with me?”

He shook his head.  “First of all, if I’d wanted to kill Hanson, he’d be dead.  And tell the truth, I didn’t count on having to deal with him.  I mean, he’s on duty.  He shouldn’t have been a factor.  I just had to get you away from him.  I had to make you see.”

“Make me see what?”

“Make you see that you belong with me.  Can’t you see that?”

Bree gaped at him.  “Belong together?  Romantically?  You can’t be serious.”

He stomped the brake and Bree had to put out her hands to stop from hitting the dashboard.  His eyes flashed with anger.  “You rented my house out of season.  You offered me tea, for fuck’s sake!  You mean to tell me you weren’t sending me all kinds of signals?”

Eyes wide, Bree shook her head.  “No, I was not sending you signals.  I rented your house because I needed a place to stay.  I offered you tea because I was making some for myself, and I was raised with manners.  In no way did I ever intend to give you the idea that I was interested in anything beyond renting your house.”

Meyer shook his head, his glare replaced with an eerie calm.  “That’s the beauty of it, how we know it’s meant to be.”

He resumed driving down the road toward the lake house. 

Frantically, Bree tried to think of a way to get away from him.  He’d have to let her out of the truck at the house.  If she could somehow knock him down, she could take off running along the shore of the lake.  It would eventually lead to town, but she wondered how much running she could do in the long skirt.

Her thoughts were cut short when he pulled up at the empty house next door. 

“Honey, we’re home,” he sang, laughing.  “I’ll get your door.”

Bree’s heart pounded as she watched him walk around the front of the truck to open her door.  She slid out of the truck, and as he turned to close the door, she leaned down to lower her center of gravity and launched herself at him with all her might, catching him in the chest with her shoulder.  It felt solid, like she’d hit a brick wall.

Grabbing her upper arm again, he squeezed tightly as he backhanded her across the mouth.  “Do not do that again,” he growled. 

After the shock of the blow wore off, Bree tasted the metallic tang of blood as she allowed Meyer to drag her down the slope toward the lake.  They approached the house from the back, and Bree saw that the lights she’d left on in the den were now off.

He led her up the back steps to the deck, where he opened the back door without having to unlock it.  “I was here earlier,” he grinned.

The downstairs was dimly illuminated by the fire in the fireplace and a few candles placed around the room.  The place was deadly silent.

A fresh round of panic flooded Bree.  “Where’s my dog?” she demanded.

“The mutt’s fine.  For now.  A family needs a dog.  I gave him a little sleepy medicine.”  He jerked her arm.  “But that can change.”  Closing the door behind them, he propelled her to the kitchen.  “Make me some tea.”

“What?”

“Some tea.  I want some.  It’s going to be one of the things I expect around here.”

Bree frowned.  “One of the things you expect?”

“Damn it, are you dense?  Wives do things for their husbands.  It’s how it works.”  He flapped his arm in a frustrated gesture. 

Bree gaped at him in disbelief.

“And another thing.”  He nodded toward her laptop on the desk by the window.  “That will have to go.  Won’t be any time for that.”  He shook his head piteously.  “You’re on that damn thing every time I turn around.  No, you’ll be busy taking care of me and our home.”

The more he talked, the more incredulous Bree became.  She thought of the things he’d said to Christie.  He’s replaced her with me, she realized.

Breathing deeply against the panic that threatened to rise and swallow her whole, Bree took the kettle from the stove and filled it with water, hoping to stall long enough to come up with a plan.  When she glanced back at Meyer, he’d taken a seat at the kitchen table and was watching her with an oddly pleased expression.

“See?  This is nice.  We’ll spend our evenings here drinking tea while I tell you about my day at the hardware store.”

“I thought you live over the store,” Bree commented as she set the kettle over the flame. 

“Not anymore.  That apartment isn’t fit for a family.  We’ll raise our children here.”

Bree’s mouth was in gear before she could stop herself.  “Our children?  How old are you?”

At the kitchen table, he pulled himself straighter.  “I’m sixty-three.  But I’ve kept myself fit.  I can father children.”

She shook her head incredulously.  “But I don’t love you.  A relationship, a marriage, has to be based on love.  Besides, I’m in love with someone else.”

Meyer rolled his eyes.  “Yeah, Officer Loverboy, who’s currently taking a nap on the floor of the police station.  I’ve watched you fuck him upstairs in our bed.”

Bree’s mouth fell open.  “You’ve…what?”

He gestured with his thumb.  “I’ve got cameras all over the house.  I’ve watched you.  It’s how I know that you’re meant to be mine.  And, just so you know, I forgive you.  But it stops now.”

She felt her blood run cold as she tried to absorb what he said.

“So,” he went on cheerily, “the first order of business is that you let Hanson know it’s over between the two of you.  You’ve found your soul mate.”

“No, absolutely not.”  She crossed her arms across her chest adamantly.  “I’m not going to indulge this fantasy any longer.  You and I do not belong together.  You’ve built up some crazy fantasy in your head, and it’s never going to happen.”

He launched himself from the table with surprising speed, pinning her against the kitchen cupboards and gripping her by the neck.  His face was mere inches from hers.  “Do not call me crazy,” he growled.  His breath was hot against her face.

Blindly, Bree flailed her hands behind herself, trying to find anything to use to defend herself with.  Her hand landed on a mug on the counter, and she grabbed it, swinging up her hand and clocking him in the side of the head.

Meyer let go, roaring in a mixture of pain and anger as Bree dropped to her hands and knees and crawled toward the back door.  Still on her knees, she reached up and opened the door.  Suddenly, she felt herself being jerked backward by her hair.

“We could have done this the easy way, but no,” Meyer muttered as he dragged her backward across the floor.  Holding her by the hair with one hand, he used the other to open the basement door, then he dragged her down the steps.  At the foot of the stairs, he released his grip, and Bree lay on her back, struggling to catch her breath.

“Now we have the hard way.  Get up!”

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

I love October! One reason is that my birthday comes along about the middle of the month. But I’ve always loved Halloween. Who doesn’t love something a little spooky this time of year? Like, for example, my spooky paranormal romantic suspense book, MIDNIGHT COVE.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Here’s a brand new excerpt from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Back at her desk, Bree listened to Jake’s message and smiled.  He really was very charming.  Of course, Greg had been charming too, at first anyway.  She chewed her lower lip and frowned at the thought. 

Not everyone’s like Greg, she reminded herself.  If I view with suspicion every man that comes along, he wins.  And he doesn’t get to win

She shook her head with a snap.  “Fuck Greg,” she muttered, blocking the unknown number that had called earlier.  “I’ll block every number he tries.”

Checking her word count, she decided that she’d made enough progress on the book for one day.  And although it was about half an hour early, she decided to go ahead and make Murphy’s dinner, much to the dog’s delight.

As the yellow lab scarfed down his mixture of kibble, a healthy spoonful of canned food, and an egg, Bree thought about the chair Jake had mentioned.  Making a tour of the downstairs, she checked the coat closet and the storage area beneath the stairs but came up empty.  Another door revealed a wooden set of stairs that led down to an unfinished basement. 

Grimacing slightly, Bree pulled the string that turned on a single bare lightbulb and forced her feet down the stairs.  Basements always creeped her out, a holdover, she supposed, from visits to her grandmother’s house. 

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she chided herself softly.  “You already know there’s a ghost in this house.  And he’s nice.  So just go find the stupid chair.”

But the basement was virtually empty.  All she uncovered was a coil of spring-green rubber garden hose and a heavy wood patio set, items Mr. Meyer must have stored away until next summer.  A door off the main area seemed promising, but it was locked fast, so she made her way back upstairs.

Tail wagging, Murphy met her as she returned to the kitchen.  She ruffled his ears affectionately.  “What do you think, buddy?  Should we check upstairs?”

Claws clicking on the hardwood floor, the dog followed her to the second floor.  Bypassing her own room, she wandered into the bedroom across the hall.  It was set up with a pair of twin beds, perfect, she supposed, for the families who came to stay in the summer. 

Curious, she crossed to the window that overlooked the front lawn.  By leaning close to the glass, she could just see the back of her yellow bug parked in the carport at the south end of the house.

When she turned back, she caught a flash of movement out of the corner of her eye.  As usual, her heart skipped a beat.  She looked to Murphy, who sat looking in the same direction as the movement she’d seen, his expression curious.  Shaking her head, she exhaled shakily and walked to the heavy wooden closet door.  As she swung it open, she was not surprised to find the closet completely empty.  Not a lawn chair in sight.

But it had made sense to check, she supposed.  Maybe tomorrow, she’d make a trip into town.  Undoubtedly, she would be able to find a camp chair at Meyer’s Hardware.  She’d also noticed a tiny bookstore she’d like to check out just down the street from the market. 

Feeling pleased with the prospect of finding a new book to read, she started to close the door when something caught her eye.  Squinting slightly, she stepped into the empty closet and peered at the wall on her left.  Positioned low, about the height of a child’s reach, something was scratched into the wall.  Reaching above her head, she pulled the string that turned on the closet light.

Six letters were crudely scratched into the plaster.  S-T-E-V-E-N, all caps.  Gingerly, Bree brushed her fingertips over the name, feeling the grooves and raised plaster. 

“This was your room,” she murmured. 

Feeling suddenly like she was intruding, she stepped back and closed the closet door.  She glanced around, trying to imagine the room as it might have been when a young boy lived there and wrote his name on the wall of his closet. 

The sheer white curtain shrouding the closed window ruffled slightly.  This time, Bree wasn’t startled. 

“You know you’re welcome here,” she said softly.  “You’re right.  This is your house.  I’m just a guest.  I hope you won’t mind that Murphy and I are here.  We’ll absolutely respect your space.  You matter, Steven.  We’ll try to help you figure things out.”

**

Standing in the bedroom he’d grown up in, Steven felt a lump in his throat as he watched Bree and her dog head back into the hallway.  She’d acknowledged that he existed.  For so long, he’d had a nagging sense in the back of his mind that maybe he wasn’t real at all, maybe he was merely a character in someone else’s dream. 

Meeting Bree in her dreams was one thing–by the light of day, she might convince herself that he was simply a figment of her imagination.  But she knew he was there, and accepted him without question. 

She had no way of knowing what that meant to him.  She’d said she wanted to help him. 

He shook his head sadly.  That would be great, only he didn’t even know what kind of help he needed. 

Glancing around, he had a thought.  It would be nice not to be stuck here in this house.  If there’s a world beyond this one, maybe it’s time to find it.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–COVER REVEAL!

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!

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE comes out December 14, but for a limited time, you can take advantage of the special 99¢ pre-order.

Here’s a teaser…

Seated across from Drew and Alex Shepherd-Wang at the center of a long conference table, Charley struggled to focus as her head swam. Voices came to her as if she were underwater. In front of her was a stack of paper that constituted the agreement between herself and the couple on the other side of the table.

“What do you think about Item 15, Charley?” Jacqueline asked, bringing her out of her fog. “If the implantation of multiple embryos results in more than one fetus, are you willing to carry multiples?”

Charley blinked hard. “Multiples?” A glance across the table showed Alex and Drew watching her anxiously.

Jacqueline’s smile was kind. “Twins or triplets? On the off-chance, you realize. It’s not actually all that common. It’s just that implanting more than one embryo increases the chances of a successful pregnancy.”

Exhaling slowly, Charley nodded. “I understand. Yes, that’s fine.”

“Excellent.” The lawyer gave a satisfied nod. “Okay, everyone, initial Item 15. Obviously, Charley, in the unlikely event of multiple fetuses, your fee increases per baby.”

Charley nodded again and swallowed hard. Holy shit!

“Now if everyone can turn to page 5,” Jacqueline continued over the shuffling of paper. “Charley, the Shepherd-Wangs have a rather unusual offer. You can peruse it, but maybe it would be best to let them explain their thoughts.”

Frowning, Charley skimmed the item in question. …San Francisco…guest house… When Drew quietly cleared his throat, she put the paper back on the table and looked up at him.

“Charley, we’d like to ask you to move to the city. I mean, once you’re pregnant, of course.”

Frown deepening, she tilted her head. “What?”

Alex slipped his hand through the crook of Drew’s elbow. “We’re just a little concerned, that’s all,” he said. “There you are, living all alone in Modesto, at least an hour and a half away, having to schlep all the way here every time you have a doctor’s appointment. Plus, what if something happened? Or there was some kind of emergency?”

“We have a guest house out back,” Drew offered earnestly. “It’s not huge but it’s very comfortable.”

Alex leaned forward. “And I’ve been itching to redecorate it for ages. What’s your favorite color?”

Head spinning, Charley leaned back in her seat. “I’m always drawn to purples and blues, I guess,” she murmured. “But I can’t just move to San Francisco.”

“Why not?” asked Alex bluntly.

“Well,” Charley spluttered, “because.”

With amused expressions, the pair watched her expectantly.

She gestured in front of herself. “For one thing, there’s the house. I can’t just…board up the house for months on end.”

“So rent it out,” Alex suggested reasonably. “I’m guessing your grandmother paid it off a long time ago, right? So that income would be profit. Which helps with your goal of keeping her in quality care.”

Charley blinked, picturing the vintage white bungalow. It was a good idea, she had to admit to herself. She considered what she might be able to charge and figured it would go a long way toward adding to the Pacifico Manor account.

Then she thought about the marketing firm she’d left to take a chance on her own business.

“Plus, I was just about to see if I can get my old job back,” she said with a sigh.

Alex leaned forward on his elbows. “Is that your dream? Going back to a job you walked away from?”

“Of course not,” Charley frowned. “But what choice do I have?”

Drew’s smile was soft. “Rent out your place. We have a really comfortable life in Pacific Heights. Come stay with us in the guest house. Take the time to figure out your next move.”

“Besides owning your own bookstore, what is your wildest dream?” Alex gently prodded.

Charley blinked hard, attempting to slam shut the window on her most secret aspiration.

“It was right there,” Alex observed softly.

Charley rolled her eyes and shrugged softly. “It’s ridiculous, really.” She blew out a breath. “I’ve sometimes puttered around with writing a gothic romance novel, you know, like Jane Eyre or something. I know, it’s beyond–“

“Brilliant,” Alex finished for her. “You’re Charlotte, as in Brontë.”

She nodded as her face reddened. “My mom was a big fan, and she passed that passion on to me, I guess.”

“So come to our guesthouse and write your book.”

Sighing deeply, she shook her head slowly. “I don’t know. I mean, even if I did, I’d need to have a job. I can’t just…” she waved her hands again, “not work.”

“I own five companies. We can find you a job, if you insist. We want you to be happy. And we’d feel more comfortable if you were close by.” Drew watched her curiously.

Charley pushed back from the table and stood, walking over to the window where she looked out over the busy city. She was afraid to admit to herself that their offer sounded like the dream vacation she hadn’t had the luxury to take since she’d quit her full-time job. To not have to worry about the house other than to collect the rent payment, maybe occasionally see to some minor repair or other? To not worry about paying any bills other than her phone and the insurance on her ancient Honda?

But what about Nana?

She sighed. That was an issue.

Why, though? She could still drive out to see her grandmother anytime she pleased. She’d probably have more time to do it than she did now, certainly more time than she’d have if she worked full-time.

Doing a job she hated. At a place where everyone would know that she’d risked chasing her dream and gone down in flames.

Maybe this was her second chance. Inhaling deeply, she turned back to the table.

“I’ll do it,” she nodded.

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE by Pandora Spocks

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE
comes out December 14.
Reserve your copy now for just 99¢!
books2read.com/TheGirlInTheGuesthouse

Weekend Excerpt–ANNA’S HEART

She’s a rancher with a heartbreaking secret.
He’s Hollywood royalty,
poised to take a chance that risks
his reputation and his career.
Now that they’ve found each other, can he win her heart?

Anna Graves works hard helping to run her family’s Wyoming dude ranch. Still reeling from the tragic loss of her smokejumper fiancé in a horrific wildfire, she is content to hide from the world as she teaches horseback riding lessons to tourists by day and reads smutty romance novels by night.

When world-famous Scottish actor Angus McGregor needs to brush up his cowboy skills in preparation for his starring role in a new Western, he heads to Sweetwater Ranch in the boondocks of Wyoming. He is immediately fascinated by Anna, who won’t give him the time of day. Can he break down the self-protective wall she has built?

If you like hot cowboys, Scottish accents, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love ANNA’S HEART, the third book in the Redheads & Ranchers series!

Have you ever found yourself in an embarrassing situation? In this scene from ANNA’S HEART, rancher Anna Graves finds herself wishing she could melt through the floor.

As the last of the stragglers left the dining room, Anna left her mother and Simone to finish breakfast cleanup. A huge stockpot of hearty beef stew simmering on the stove would be ready for lunch in a few hours. Simone and Mrs. Graves would eventually make their way upstairs to join Lana in freshening up the handful of guestrooms located in the main lodge.

Anna would see to the cabins by herself, a job she’d insisted on as Simone and her baby bump had grown more and more unwieldy. Sweetwater Ranch wasn’t a hotel, really, so the day-to-day housekeeping was fairly light. While fresh sheets were available upon request, staff didn’t make beds or change the sheets on a daily basis.

On the other hand, between riding horses, working with cattle, and practicing outdoors skills, guests tended to get grubby as they participated in ranch activities, so daily fresh towels were a must. Anna also preferred to spot-clean the bathrooms and kitchens, straighten anything out of place, and remove the trash each day.

It was definitely easier when she split the duties with Simone, but over the past few months, Anna had worked out a routine that allowed her to finish her housekeeping duties in about an hour. And that left her plenty of time to make sure she was ready for her afternoon riding session before she headed back to the kitchen to help with lunch.

As usual, she started with Cabin 1 and worked her way back. The first five cabins, the newest of the bunch, were nearly always occupied for every session, summer and winter alike. When they had a larger-than-normal group of guests, the older cabins were used, beginning with number 6.

She herself occupied number 7, then numbers 8 and 9 were available to guests. Ross lived alone in Cabin 10. Andy and Simone had an apartment on the top floor of the main lodge, while Anna’s parents remained in the family quarters just off the lodge kitchen. It was where Anna and her brothers had grown up, and their father before them.

The newer cabins had been built when Anna was in high school. They were nicer than the older ones, but they were smaller. As she drove the golf cart from Cabin 5 to Cabin 6, she wondered what movie star Angus McGregor thought of his rustic accommodations. On the one hand, his cabin was larger than the others. But on the other hand, it was older. The amenities weren’t as new and the bathroom and kitchen hadn’t been updated.

Fresh towels folded over her arm, Anna snorted as she walked up the front steps of Cabin 6. Angus McGregor, cooking for himself in the little cabin kitchen!

Right! I’m still surprised he deigns to show up at mealtime, she thought to herself. Figured he’d call the front desk expecting room service.

Pausing at the door, she knocked lightly. “Housekeeping!” She knew that at that time of the morning, he was in Andy’s riding group. It was why she did these chores right after breakfast. Everyone had someplace to be, and it was a rare instance when someone was actually in their cabin.

Still, it was better to be on the safe side. She knocked again, then unlocked the door and let herself in. A quick scan showed the open living room/kitchen combination to be neat and tidy, save for a bunch of index cards spread all over the kitchen table.

She craned her neck to look at them briefly as she made her way to the kitchen trash can. Quickly, she removed the bag and replaced it with a fresh one, placing the old bag beside the front door. Everything else in the kitchen looked in order so she carried the fresh towels down the short hallway to the bathroom. Still envisioning the famous actor trying to cook something on the older-model gas stove, she smirked as she opened the bathroom door.

Clouds of steam rolled over her as a very naked Angus McGregor, towel in hand, froze stock-still.

“Anna?” Eyes wide, he moved the towel down to his waist, but not before Anna got an eyeful of a most impressive cock.

“Holy shit!” she gasped, stumbling backward into the hallway wall.

As she turned and rushed down the hallway, she heard his bare feet padding along behind her.

“I’m so sorry,” she offered without bothering to turn around. “You’re supposed to be riding right now.”

“Aye, about that,” he answered, “I switched to a different session.”

“I knocked, I swear I did.” Clutching the towels, she still faced the door. “I didn’t mean to just barge in on you.”

“I’m just back from a run. I didn’t hear ye over the shower. Anna?” His tone was soft.

Slowly, she turned around, willing her eyes to stay away from the bulge beneath the towel around his waist. She allowed her gaze to skim up his rippled abs to his muscular chest and wide shoulders. Water still dripped from his hair and he swiped a hand across his face.

Oh, yeah, that’s definitely better than staring at his package.

“It’s okay, really. Just a miscommunication is all. No worries.”

Utterly humiliated, Anna nodded mutely and turned back toward the door.

“Anna? Can I have the fresh towels?”

She rolled her eyes and turned back, handing over the towels. “Oh, yeah, of course. I just…well, I usually exchange them for the old towels.”

“Do ye want this one?” His grin was wry.

“No! Holy shit, no keep that on,” she squeezed her eyes shut and waved her hand. “I’ll get it tomorrow.”

She opened the door and let herself out onto the cabin’s covered porch, then stopped.

“Wait a second! You switched to what different riding session?” Turning back around, she placed her hands on her hips.

Lips pursed as though he were suppressing another grin, he leaned his shoulder on the doorway. “I’ve never ridden a horse before. I requested tae be placed in the Beginners’ group.”

“But that’s my group.”

“So I was told. I didn’t think ye’d mind.”

Anna worked her mouth, unable to come up with the proper words.

Blue eyes sparkling, he watched as though to see what she’d come up with.

Finally, her articulation skills gained traction. “But it’s a kids’ group. They’re all kids.”

He nodded. “Aye, I was told that, too. And they’re beginners, just like me.” He tilted his head thoughtfully. “If ye don’t want me in the group, just say so.”

“No, it’s not that, it’s just…” Anna’s heart pounded and she felt her head spinning. She willed herself to be anywhere except where she was. “Fine. It’s just fine. If you don’t mind riding with the kids, I’m sure they won’t mind.”

She hurried down the steps and got into the golf cart. “Well, again, sorry for…” She trailed off, feeling sheepish. The amusement sparkling in his eyes didn’t help at all.

“I’ll see ye at lunch,” Angus said, chuckling.

“See you,” Anna nodded, pressing the accelerator and speeding off down the trail.

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

ANNA’S HEART is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/AnnasHeart

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

If you love your romance with a little bit of spooky, MIDNIGHT COVE is for you!

Read a little teaser.

A flash of lightning lit up the downstairs of the lake house like an overexposed photograph. The crack of thunder was instantaneous, and Bree ducked her head reflexively. Murphy, never a fan of a thunderstorm, cowered beside her on the sofa.

The power had blinked off nearly half an hour earlier, and now the den was lit only by the fire in the fireplace along with a few scattered candles Bree had brought down from upstairs. She’d had a productive day of writing, and now she was content to watch the storm and read her Kindle for as long as the battery held out.

She patted the dog affectionately. “You’re fine, don’t be such a baby,” she murmured. “It’s nice and cozy in here, and I’m sure they’ll get the power back soon.”

The tiny digital clock in the corner of her tablet read 10:04, and Bree wondered if the power might be off until morning. Certainly, no one would be climbing up any power poles until the storm was over.

Briefly, she considered heading upstairs to bed, but her phone rang before she could definitively decide.

“Hi,” she smiled.

“Hi yourself,” Jake said. “How are you holding up in this crazy storm?”

She glanced at Murphy and shook her head. “Oh, we’re fine. Some of us are better than others.”

“Murphy’s not digging the thunder?”

“You guessed it. I, however, am enjoying the light show over the lake. I wish the power were on, though. It feels very 19th century. I’m so spoiled,” she laughed.

There was a slight pause. “We don’t have any reports of power outages. How long has it been out?”

Bree raised her eyebrows. “Maybe half an hour?”

“Can you see if mine’s out, too? I left my dock light on.”

“Okay, hang on.” Bree slipped off the sofa and padded to the back door. Through heavy rain, she could just make out a dot of light several houses down. “Yeah, I think I can see your light. The rain is so heavy, it’s hard to tell.”

Lightning flashed again, for a microsecond illuminating a dark figure standing directly in front of Bree, mere inches away on the other side of the glass. She shrieked, scrambling backward so fast, she tripped on the rug and ended up on her behind. Her phone landed beside her.

“Bree! What’s wrong?” Jake’s tone was urgent.

She snatched up the phone. “Holy shit! I thought I saw someone on the deck.” Bree’s heart pounded.

“Is someone out there?”

She shook her head. “No, that’s crazy, nobody would be out there.” Another bolt of lightning briefly lit up the darkness, and she saw it again. Someone in a dark hood was peering in at her from the deck. She gasped and crab-crawled backward to the end of the sofa, hiding herself from view. Murphy leaped off the sofa and charged the back door, barking for all he was worth.

“Bree? Bree!”

“He’s…he’s there! Somebody’s out there! I thought maybe it was just my own reflection, but he’s out there!” Bree felt hysteria rising.

“Bree, where are you right now?”

“I’m hiding behind the sofa,” she whispered.

“Is there someplace you can go, a closet or something close by?”

With Murphy still barking, she looked wildly around the room. From her vantage point behind the sofa, she could see the hallway that led to the foyer. She knew there was a closet about halfway down.

“Yes, yes,” she hissed. “The coat closet.”

“Stay low and get there. I’m on my way. Don’t come out of the closet. I’ll call you once I know it’s safe, okay?”

Phone pressed to her ear, Bree nodded.

“Bree, did you hear me? Hide in the closet and don’t come out for anything.”

Her teeth chattered, and she nodded again. “In the closet. You’ll call me.”

“I will. Everything’s going to be alright. I’ll be there as soon as I can get there.”

*******

Jake doubted he’d ever made the trek from town as quickly as he did that night. Dan Roebuck, also on duty that rainy night, followed Jake in his own patrol car. Blue lights flashing as the storm’s fury began to subside, Jake skidded to a stop in the gravel driveway and jumped out into the steady rain that still fell.

Heavy black Maglight in one hand and service revolver in the other, he nodded to Dan. They split up, cautiously searching around opposite ends of the house and meeting at the back deck.

Jake glanced down the lake toward his house and saw the light illuminating the end of his dock, just like Bree had said.

“Hanson.”

He turned to Dan, who aimed his flashlight on the wooden steps leading up to the deck. “Muddy footprints. Somebody was out here.”

Stepping carefully to avoid ruining the tracks, the men followed the trail up the steps and all the way to the back door, where they ended. Inside the house, Murphy continued to bark.

“It’s okay, Murphy, good boy,” Jake called to him.

As soon as the dog heard Jake’s voice, the barking was replaced by tail-wagging.

The two men crouched to examine the muddy prints. Jake’s lips pressed into a grim line. “The guy stood here for a while.”

He looked up, past the yellow lab who was now whining at him, into the den where the fire still burned in the fireplace. A half-glass of wine sat on the end table beside the place Bree would have been sitting on the sofa.

Jake felt a ripple of rage. Someone had stood out here watching Bree. He shook his head abruptly. “Hey, Roebuck, want to keep looking around? I need to let her know we’re here.”

Dan nodded and moved further down the deck, shining his light as he did. Jake took out his phone and carefully headed back down the stairs.

She picked up on the first ring. “Where are you?” she whispered.

“I’m here,” he answered as he rounded the end of the house. “I’m heading to your front door now. Come let me in.”

At the front door, he tapped lightly, exhaling deliberately as he tried to tamp down his anger. That someone had been prowling around the house, had been peering in at Bree, was more than he could stand. As she tentatively opened the door, he pasted on what he hoped was a reassuring smile. When she saw him, she threw herself into his arms.

“Hey, it’s okay, everything’s okay.” She shook uncontrollably as he held her. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Come on, let’s go inside. I’m getting you all wet.”

“I-I don’t c-care,” she told him. “I was so scared.”

“I know, babe, but you’re safe. I promise you’re safe now.” He walked her to the sofa where she sat. He took a seat on the coffee table across from her. “Now, tell me what you saw.”

Her eyes were wide, and she still shook. He took her icy hands between his own. “Bree, describe what you saw.”

“A-a man was just standing there. It was so dark. I only saw him for a second, when the lightning flashed. At first, I thought I had scared myself, that it was just my own reflection. Or maybe–“

She looked up at him like she was surprised to see him, and she shook her head again. “But when the lightning flashed again, he was still there. I was so scared,” she squeaked as tears began to fall.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

She’s the perfect combination of princess & 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 spin-off stand-alone story.

Read a snippet now.

“It’s a gorgeous day,” Scott commented.

“It really is. I haven’t been out in the woods like this in a long time.”

Scott watched her appraisingly. “Are you much of a camper?”

“I can hold my own.” She lifted her chin, and he saw a glint of challenge in her eye.

“I imagine you can,” he smiled to himself.

He watched her dig the toe of her boot into the soft black earth and push it into a small heap. “So let’s talk, Jackie.”

She exhaled loudly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw her grip her hands so tightly together, her knuckles were white.

“This makes you nervous,” he observed.

“Well, yeah! You’re over here wanting me to agree to be some kind of…I don’t know what…slave, I guess. That’s so not me.”

“You’re right, it’s not. I see in you a submissive soul, but a slave is not remotely what I have in mind. Jackie,” he straddled the log to face her, “you’re a strong, smart, sexy lady. I admire the hell out of you.”

“So why do you want me to give all that up?”

“I don’t want you to give anything up. I love all those things about you.” He laughed softly. “I love that you challenge me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Jackie’s expression was dubious. “I don’t understand what you want from me. Am I supposed to run and jump into your arms like Amy does Blake?” She rolled her eyes.

Scott had to laugh. “You’re not a slave, and you’re definitely not a baby girl like Amy, either.” He gave her a side-long glance. “Amy’s a sweet girl, but she’d drive me nuts. A Daddy Dom I am not.”

“Good, because there’s no way I’m calling you Daddy.”

“Our dynamic would be more King and Princess. You’d call me Sire.”

He was pleased when he saw her reluctant smile. “All I want is for you to let go and allow me to lead you, to help you be free to be your true self. You can depend on me, Jackie.”

Restlessly, Jackie got up and paced back and forth. “It’s not like it’s just me, Scott. I’m a mother. I have two kids to care for, and they have to be my priority. I can’t decide I’m going to just go off and do whatever I want. Plus, there’s the business…”

She stopped pacing and faced him. “I’m a whole ‘package deal’. You don’t need all that. You should be out meeting women who aren’t so tied down.”

Scott couldn’t stop the smirk as the image of a nude Jackie tied to the posts of a bed flashed through his mind. She must have realized it, because she blushed bright red. “I’ve met my share of women, Jackie. Women who don’t mind being tied down.” He chuckled. “I’ve done the club scene, and I’m tired of casual sex. When Blake told me he’d found someone, I have to admit, I felt envious. I took a hard look at my life and I realized it was time to make a change. I had no idea I’d meet someone so quickly.”

He considered going to her, but changed his mind, allowing her space. “I’m attracted to you, Jackie, in a way I haven’t been to anyone else. You have no idea how hard it was for me to resist you that night you came to my room. Hell, to resist you last night. You’re beautiful, Jackie, in case no one’s told you in a while. That one perfect exposed breast? I’ve had dreams about that.”

Jackie blushed, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Together we have an explosive chemistry. I know you feel it, too. I’m dying to take you to the next level.”

Arms still crossed, she shrugged. “Yeah, we have physical chemistry. Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time for me, I don’t know. And I appreciate the things you’ve done, like taking care of things when Emma was sick, and Jesus, you saved Grant’s life.”

She started pacing again. “And you washed my hair. I couldn’t believe you did that. So when you say, Now be my submissive,” she deepened her voice to imitate Scott, “it’s like I owe you.”

“You don’t owe me, Jackie. I washed your hair because it was what you needed. That’s what a Dom does.” He gazed out through the woods and exhaled sharply. “I think you’ve read too many so-called BDSM books about sadist Dominants. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about safe, sane, and consensual. Always.” He looked back to her. “You can depend on me, Jackie. I’ve got you.”

She walked to the edge of the clearing, her back to him. Her voice was small. “What if I depend on you, and you leave? I don’t think I could survive that. Better to be on my own and know what I’m getting.”

“Jackie, I’m not him. I’m not that guy.” Scott approached her, tentatively reaching out to touch her shoulder. “I’m this guy, right here, asking you to let me share your burden, to lighten your load, and set you free.”

She reached up to put her hand on his. Her voice was small. “I don’t know if I can do that.”

Leaning down, he kissed her hand. “Fair enough.” Ignoring the ache in his heart, he cleared his throat. “Are you about ready to go?”

Jackie nodded. Scott returned to the log to retrieve his backpack and together, they headed along where the trail continued beyond the clearing.

Almost immediately, the path led downward, although not as steeply as the way up had done. Before long, the forest ended at a rocky bluff about thirty feet above the lake.

“Is this where the trail ends?” Jackie asked.

Scott nodded. “I saw it on the map. It seemed like a good possibility for some of my more advanced clients, so I wanted to check it out. I figured we’d rappel down to the lake.”

Jackie’s eyes widened. “What?”

“Have you done any rappelling?” Scott already knew the answer, having asked Blake about it earlier.

“No, I haven’t done any rappelling.” Jackie eased forward and peered over the edge. “Would you seriously send your students here?”

“Only those with the right kind of experience.” He set down the backpack and removed a coil of black nylon rope. Watching Jackie out of the corner of his eye, he uncoiled the rope and loosely wrapped the center of it around the base of a sturdy young spruce not far from the edge of the bluff. He released the ends over the drop-off. Peering over the edge, he realized the rope was several feet too short.

“Okay, Princess, it’s not optimal, but we’re going to make this work. Watch how I do it.”

Scott stepped between the two sides of the rope and wrapped them behind his waist, bringing them forward and stepping through them to create a temporary harness. He had Jackie practice it, too, until she was able to do it herself.

“I’ll go down first, then it will be your turn.”

Scott rigged himself again and back stepped to the edge. “Now when you go, just lean back and start walking.” He leaned back and began letting himself down the bluff. About twenty feet down, he came to the end of the rope.

He looked up to Jackie who lay on her stomach peering down over the edge. “The rope’s a little short. For the last few feet you’re going to have to fall.”

Before Jackie could respond, he released the rope and dropped the final eight feet, landing on his feet. “Okay, Jackie, it’s your turn.”

“This is crazy.”

“Like I said, it’s not optimal, but it’s not so bad. Go ahead and get the rope situated. I’ve got you.”

Jackie worked the rope liked she’d practiced and backed to the cliff’s edge. “This is crazy,” she repeated.

“You’ve got this, Jackie,” Scott encouraged.

Slowly, Jackie leaned back like she’d seen Scott do, and she took a faltering step backwards. Her foot slipped, and she banged against the granite.

“It’s okay, just get your footing and keep coming.”

From below, he heard her huff, but she set her feet and leaned back again, taking a step at a time until she was about eight feet above his head.

“Now Jackie, this is where you’ll let go and drop the rest of the way.”

She froze on the cliff face. “I can’t do it. I’m going to fall.”

“I’ve got you, don’t worry.”

He watched as she debated with herself. She finally shook her head. “I can’t. I’m terrified.”

“You know, Jackie, sometimes you just have to let go and fall. But I promise I’ll catch you.” Watching her carefully, he stood on the shoreline below, arms outstretched.

He heard her huff again. “You’ll catch me?”

“I promise. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Okay. Here goes.” With that, Jackie released her grip on the ropes and plunged into Scott’s waiting arms. Automatically, he hugged her tightly as they sank onto a boulder on the shoreline. He felt her heart pounding.

“Admit it,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck, “it was kind of a rush.”

“Oh, my God, I thought I was going to die. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

“Would you do it again?”

Jackie peered up at him and smiled reluctantly. “Maybe.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

Find WARRIOR MINE at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/WarriorMine