Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK

Maggie is nothing like Michael’s usual taste in women.
So why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Brilliant Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan has his life arranged exactly the way he likes it. As a founding partner at the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he can let his underlings do the legwork on the high profile defense cases his exclusive 50th floor division handles. He prefers to simply breeze in and do what he does best: dazzle juries and charm the press.

His private life is well-ordered, too. Michael doesn’t have the time or the patience for relationships. Instead, he has a contact list of hot blondes who meet his needs at any given moment, whether it’s a date to a gallery opening or awards show. Or he just wants to get laid.

Some people would call him shallow. But they’re just envious.

Maggie Flynn has her life mapped out as well. After she graduates from law school she plans to take a job with the Prosecutor’s Office where she interned. But when she attends a job fair and meets Michael Rannigan, her plans change. She’s studied his cases, even heard him speak once. He’s smart and sexy and she can’t resist interviewing with him.

Michael hires Maggie and has her assigned to his elite 50th floor team. He knows smart when he sees it. He also sees the spark in her eyes. She wants him. And having her nearby strokes his ego. It’s not like anything will come of it, she’s so far from his type. But there’s something unsettling about Mary Margaret Flynn, like she can see through his bullshit in a way no one else ever bothered to do.

Maggie realizes that her crush on Michael is all but hopeless. He’s a self-absorbed womanizer. But beneath that cool exterior, she’s seen the man he can be and she’s sure that love can bring that out. In the meantime, she’s content to work with him.

What would happen if they ever crossed that line?

RESISTING RISK is the first book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy. In this excerpt, Michael and Maggie meet for the first time. They have no idea that their lives are forever changed from that moment on.

Michael Rannigan dry gulped three ibuprofen tablets as the car from the service weaved its way through mid-day Manhattan traffic. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a hangover. The previous night had been exceptional. At an art gallery opening, he’d met twin flight attendants who matched him drink for drink before going home with him for an extended threesome adventure.

I’m getting too old for this shit. Should have called in sick today.

As a partner at Murphy, Rannigan, there was no one to question his absence. But it was his turn representing the firm at the job fair at NYU. Brian Murphy was out of the country on vacation. And James Metheny was recovering from surgery. Tonsils or some shit, Michael mused. Didn’t everyone have their tonsils out when they were five?

Sure, the firm needed new talent. But why did he need to be there? He knew exactly why. Without his presence, John Hemphill would be the senior man there, and that couldn’t happen. Hemphill’s an idiot, he thought.

The car dropped him at the entrance to Vanderbilt Hall. He knew it well. After all, NYU was his alma mater. He took a moment to straighten his tie before entering the building. As expected, the hall was full of fresh young faces, soon-to-graduate litigators who needed jobs. Unconsciously his eye roved, looking for nubile young female candidates. Not necessarily for the firm, mind you. He was always on the lookout for his next conquest. He passed a group of girls who giggled as he walked by.

“Ladies,” he greeted them, flashing his megawatt smile. Just get this over with, he begged as he zeroed in on the Murphy, Rannigan table.

Already seated at the table were John Hemphill, Stan Hodges, and Ellen Standifer. The trio were associates from the elite 50th floor of Murphy, Rannigan. They were good enough at what they did, which was mostly research and legwork, with the occasional foray into the courtroom when necessity called. Each had a laptop and on the table was a spreadsheet they’d worked out back at the office. Of course, they’d vetted possible candidates before they ever set foot at the university. Preparation saves time in the long run, they knew.

Michael took a bottled water from the table and sipped, standing behind the three and continuing to scan the room. “What’ve we got?” he asked.

Hemphill gave him a brief rundown. “We’ve interviewed five candidates so far, five of the ones we were interested in. We’ve turned away about a dozen others that didn’t meet our standards,” he related in his adenoidal drone that so grated on Michael.

“You’re turning away interviewees who aren’t on your candidate list?” Michael snapped. “How sure are you that your list is accurate? Paper and data don’t always tell the story.” Hemphill reddened a bit.

“Well, I…” the man floundered.

Michael grinned to himself. It’s the little pleasures in life that make it all worthwhile, he thought. He watched as a young woman crossed the floor, seeming to make a beeline for their table. She was petite, with red hair, and she was wearing a grey suit paired with a green silk blouse. What have we here, he wondered.

“Hello,” said the young woman. “I’d like to interview with your firm.” She reached across the table to shake hands with the attorneys seated there.

“And you are?” Michael asked, still standing behind the others.

“Oh, sorry,” she said, clearly flustered. She opened her folio to remove copies of her resume and several slipped out, sailing across the floor. Michael watched in amusement as she scrambled to gather them up again. “Sorry,” she repeated, as she handed a document to each of them.

“Mary Margaret Flynn,” Michael read from the top line of the resume.

“Um, Maggie, actually,” the young woman corrected.

“Have a seat, Ms. Flynn,” Hemphill directed as they read over her resume. Standifer pulled up Mary Margaret Flynn on their database and Hodges located her name on their spreadsheet. There were two stars beside her name. How have we not spoken with this one yet?

Michael took a seat directly across from her. He was impressed with the resume, and he’d found her name on the spreadsheet before

Hodges had. He looked from the document back up to her face. Her green eyes were wide and as she sat, she fidgeted nervously with the atrocious vinyl folio containing her resumes.

“So Ms. Flynn, your resume is impressive. It says that you interned with Rance Stockwell at the DA’s office. I’m surprised he hasn’t offered you a job.”

“Oh, he has,” Maggie replied. “I just haven’t accepted yet.”

“Looking for better offers, are you?” Michael asked, arching an eyebrow.

“I have a great deal of student loan debt,” she confessed. “It makes sense to me to look around and find my best options.”

Michael leaned back in his chair. “Are you familiar with our firm?” he asked.

“Yes, actually,” Maggie answered. “I heard you speak once at a charity luncheon. You said that everyone is entitled to the best defense possible, regardless of the circumstances of their charges.”

Michael tried to suppress a smile. “I said that, did I?” The others at the table snickered.

Maggie’s face reddened a bit as she glanced down the line of lawyers. “It really resonated with me,” she said quietly. “I also tried one of your cases as a mock trial project.”

“Which case did you choose?” asked Michael.

“People v. Lawson.”

The other three snickered louder and Michael looked down at his notes, suppressing another grin. “Well, Ms. Flynn, if you were going to try one of my cases, you might have chosen one I actually won.”

Maggie glared indignantly at the panel. “I, well, I tweaked it a little. I uncovered evidence that you overlooked.” Michael sat up straight; she had his undivided attention. “Testimony in the deposition was contradicted on the witness stand. The victim stated in the deposition that she’d met the defendant two weeks prior to the incident. On the stand, she said she’d just met him that night. It was enough doubt for the mock jury. I won your case.”

Michael looked at the other three. If someone had dropped the ball on the case, he or she was currently seated at the table. They all looked down, suddenly intensely interested in their notes.

He cleared his throat. “It seems, Ms. Flynn, we have everything we need. We’ll make a decision by the end of the week and let you know.”

Maggie stood and reached out her hand. “Thank you for your time.”

“Thank you,” Michael nodded, shaking her hand. He watched her walk back across the room and disappear into the crowd.

RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1, by Pandora Spocks

RESISTING RISK is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

A handsome rancher with a tragic past,
determined to hang on to his inheritance.
A spunky young corporate lawyer
ready to make her mark in the world.
A sinister plot against them both.

Hunter McFall is a fifth-generation Idaho cattle rancher. He’s been approached to sell a small fraction of his land to a big-city real estate developer. Something he has no intention of doing. He’s agreed to hear out the firm’s lawyer, but that’s the end of it. To his surprise, it’s just the beginning.

Red-haired Manhattan business attorney Poppy Chastain is determined to make the most of her first opportunity to show her bosses what she can do. Slade & Howell have sent her to the boondocks of Idaho to convince the hard-headed rancher to part with a tiny plot of his property. She didn’t count on the sizzling attraction between them.

Together, they find a passion they weren’t even looking for. But their love is threatened by a covert scheme to separate Hunter from his land by any means necessary. When he finds out, he’s sure Poppy has played him for a fool. Can she convince him otherwise, that what they’ve found is real?

If you love hot cowboys, sassy redheads, and steamy, romantic happily-ever-afters, you’ll love Hunter’s Pride.

Here’s a teaser from HUNTER’S PRIDE. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

A cool gust chilled Poppy as she headed back to the apartment.  Shifting a mesh shopping bag over her left shoulder, she closed the flowy beige cardigan more tightly around herself.  Her shift at Cuppa Joe’s had seemed long today, and she was tired.  The thought of resting her feet on her coffee table and watching something mindless on television was tremendously appealing.

Necessity had required a stop by the market on her way home from work.  Since her departure from Slade & Howell, she’d put herself on a strict budget.  The bunch of sunflowers in her bag alongside a few grocery items was an extravagant treat.

She crossed at the corner with a dozen other pedestrians, each preoccupied with his or her own thoughts.  In her own mind, she pictured the steps of her first-floor walk-up.  “Thank God it’s the first floor,” she muttered to herself.

Halfway down the block, she gazed up toward her brownstone apartment building and saw a familiar figure standing on the stoop.  As she approached, he removed his black felt Stetson.

“Poppy.”  His voice was soft, and his eyes seemed to plead with her, although for what, she couldn’t say.

“Hunter?”  She pulled her sweater protectively around herself.

“I just…”  He twisted his hat in his hands.  “I need to talk to you.  I need to apologize.”

Rattled to her core, she tried not to show it.  “Let’s go inside.  I don’t need the neighborhood knowing my business.”

Moving past him, she unlocked the front door and pushed her way inside, leaving it up to Hunter to follow.  She stopped at her apartment door and closed her eyes, willing her pulse to slow down.

Across the hall, a brown face in a hot pink turban peered out his door.  “Everything okay, lovely?” Roxy asked, giving Hunter the stink eye.

Poppy forced a smile and nodded.  “Yeah, it’s good.”

Roxy arched an eyebrow and scanned Hunter from head to toe.  “Well, you just let me know,” he said.  “Not sure how I feel about cowboys just showing up out of the blue.  Where are gentlemen with manners, that’s what I’d like to know.”

He turned back to Poppy.  “You need anything, you just holla, girl.”

“Thanks, Roxy.  We’ll be fine.”

“Mm-hmm, well he sure is fine, and that’s the God’s truth,” he murmured, half to himself.  “Wouldn’t mind climbing that tree myself sometime.”  With another glance in Hunter’s direction, he winked at Poppy and closed his door.

With a shaky hand, she unlocked her door and went inside.  Again, Hunter followed.  While he closed the door, she set the mesh shopping bag on the kitchen counter and shrugged slightly.  “Sorry.  My neighbor is kind of protective.”

Standing just inside the door, he nodded, still twisting his hat.  “We met earlier.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, have a seat,” she said, gesturing to a stool at the kitchen bar.  To have something to do, she rummaged beneath the sink and found a tall square glass vase, which she filled with water.

“What are you doing all the way in New York?”  She focused on the vase, afraid to look at him, but she watched him shrug out of the corner of her eye.

“Like I said, I want to apologize.”

“For what?”  Her tone was flippant, even to her own ears.  From a drawer, she withdrew a pair of heavy shears and lopped off the ends of the sunflower stems.

He sighed heavily and pushed up from the counter.  “Poppy, could you just listen to me for a minute?”

She plunked the flowers into the vase and faced him, pulling her sweater closed and leaning back against the kitchen counter.  Even with the hat resting on the counter, he continued to fidget with it.  She’d never wanted to whip something out the window more in her life.

He shifted his jaw tightly.  “I’m so sorry, Poppy.  I’m sorry I didn’t believe you.  I should have listened to you.”  He scowled, running a hand restlessly across his lips.  “I should have known.”

Pursing her lips, she nodded.  “I suppose.  But then, you didn’t really know me at all, did you?”  She echoed his words, the ones he’d hurled at her before he’d ordered her away.  “I mean, after all, we knew each other for what, a week?” 

He blinked at her words, and she knew they’d hit their mark.  Unable to take him full-force, Poppy turned her back and busied herself arranging the flowers.  “Does anybody ever really know anybody?”

Hunter didn’t reply, but she heard his steady breathing.

Unable to stand the silence, she gave an exasperated sigh.  “You know I lost my job, right?  I’ve been looking for a new one since I got back to the city.  And in the meantime, I’m waiting tables at a coffee place a few blocks from here.  All I can do right now is try to keep my head above water.  Tiny as this place is, it’s not cheap.”

He sank back down onto the stool.  “You lost your job at Slade and Howell?”

Poppy rolled her eyes.  “I suppose technically, I quit.  After I told them to go fuck themselves, I couldn’t exactly work there anymore.”  She risked a glance his way.

A glimmer of humor shone in his eyes.  “You told them to go fuck themselves?”

“After what they tried to do to you?  After they used me to do it?  What do you think?”

“How did the settlement come about?  How did they decide to give me that mountain property?  Did you have something to do with that?”

She exhaled sharply.  “I was waiting for them to call my flight at the gate in Sun Valley, and I started scrolling through my photos.”  She cut her eyes toward him.  “Don’t ask me why, because I was pissed as hell.  Anyway, I saw something in a few of the pictures I took the day we went riding in the mountains.”

“Ground squirrels,” Hunter nodded.

“Which, as it turns out, Slade & Howell knew about.  I had a friend of mine at the firm dig up the emails.”  She gave a satisfied nod. 

“Believe me, they were happier to settle by giving you the land than they were to go to trial and have to explain why they conspired to proceed with a project that they knew would destroy the known habitat of an endangered species.  And as it turns out, that was just the tip of the iceberg.”

She looked at Hunter.  “I figured that if the land went to you, you would ensure that it was never developed.  Kind of a win-win.  Even Slade & Howell wins.  The insurance money made sure they could just build their resort someplace else.”

You didn’t win,” he observed.

Heart pounding, she shrugged but said nothing.

He shook his head.  “I should have trusted you.  I’ve never been more wrong about anything in my life.”

Again, he stood.  “Please forgive me, Poppy.  Even if you don’t love me anymore. Even if you’ve found someone else.   I can’t go back to Idaho until I know that we’re okay.” 

She couldn’t miss the anguish in his eyes.  Focusing on the flowers was an exercise in self-preservation. 

 “And there’s more to it than that.  I came to do more than just apologize.”  He pushed back from the kitchen counter bar and stood, his head nearly touching the underside of her loft bedroom.  “I want to tell you that I love you.  Since you left Idaho, I’ve been a miserable son of a bitch.”

He shook his head miserably.  “I know we only knew each other for a week.  But damn it, sometimes a week is enough.” 

She heard him take a step closer.  His voice was softer.  “I love you, Poppy.  And I know you love me.  Or at least you did.  Before I let my ego make an ass of me.”

She squeezed her eyes shut against the emotions that swept over her.  Steeling herself, she turned to face him.  “What am I supposed to do with that?”  Her tone was biting.

His eyes widened, and he looked like she’d punched him in the gut.  “I just…wanted to tell you.”

“Words, Hunter.  Just…words.”  Thinking of all she’d been through in the last several months, she shook her head.  “Maybe in the movies that makes everything okay.  But this is real life.”

Her heart pounded in her chest.  I have to do it.  He deserves to know

“You mentioned that I didn’t win.  Well, I didn’t exactly walk away empty-handed.”

Feeling like she was in a warped dream, she opened the oatmeal-colored cardigan and slipped it off.  She’d recently had to give up her favorite Levis in favor of maternity jeans with a wide stretchy waist. 

Hunter’s jaw went slack as he took in the four-month baby bump just noticeable beneath her long white three-quarter-sleeve t-shirt.

“How did…  When did…”  Looking gut-punched, he sank back onto his stool.

Crossing her arms defensively, she shrugged lightly.  “I like to think it was that first time, the night we were stranded in the cabin on the mountain.  Although it could have been any of the other times, too.”

He frowned slightly, and she launched herself toward him, planting her palms on the counter.  “If you dare question whether it’s yours, I’ll slap the face right off the front of your head.  You’ll be looking up at yourself from the ground.” 

Hunter said nothing, but his eyes glinted with amusement.

Softening a bit, she opened a drawer and produced a paper strip of ultrasound images, sliding it across the counter.  “It’s a boy, by the way.”

Motionless, he blinked in shock, all amusement gone.  Wordlessly, he stared at the grainy black and white images.  “Were you going to tell me?” he finally asked softly.

“I don’t know,” she huffed.  “I mean, if I tell you, then you feel some kind of responsibility, right?” 

She eyed him sharply.  “Think about it.  When I lost my job, I lost my insurance.  To save money, I’m seeing a midwife for prenatal care and crossing my fingers I can deliver at home.  I’m counting every penny, and let me tell you, I would fucking kill somebody right now for some deep-dish pizza from Pronti’s.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/HuntersPride

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!

Why not read a steamy little teaser from ANNA’S HEART?

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–Bonus Scene!

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

JENNY’S VOICE is Book 1 in the Redheads & Ranchers Series.
Sexy redheads and the ranchers they can’t resist.

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

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

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

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

Here’s a special bonus scene from JENNY’S VOICE.

What am I going to do?  

The question hasn’t stopped swirling through my head for the last few hours.  Not since I arrived back at the ranch with my new client’s horse and found her hiding in my trailer.

Jenny.  

At least that’s what she tells me her name is.  Maybe tells isn’t the right word.  Because apparently, Jenny doesn’t speak.  

She won’t write, either.  I found that out quickly enough when I tried to get her to jot down her name on a notepad I found in the kitchen drawer.  

Somebody has scared the utter shit out of this girl, that much is clear enough.  Maybe the same asshole who gave her the black eye and the busted lip. The one I’ll kill if I ever get the chance.  I may be out of the Marines now, but I know how to handle myself.

Hell, I undoubtedly scared the shit out of her when I snatched her up off the floor of the trailer.  All covered up in my old barn jacket like she was, I couldn’t tell who’d stowed away in the empty stall beside Dahlia.  When I grabbed the front of the jacket and slammed her against the wall, it felt like lifting up a bag of nothing.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget my first glimpse of her face, with her left eye all purple and swelled shut, her lips battered and split.  Her good eye was the clearest green I’ve ever seen, and she stared at me with a terror that pierced my soul. 

She was shaking like a leaf, but whether it was from the cold or from fear, I couldn’t say.  Her legs and feet were bare, and I had to wonder if she wore anything at all under my old jacket.  

I didn’t even hesitate.  I scooped her up and carried her to the cab of the truck where I put the heat on blast.  At least she could warm up a bit while I got Dahlia sorted out in the barn.  

It gave me a little time to think, too.  How did this girl get in my trailer? And when?  I only made two stops. Once to pick up the horse, and once to grab lunch at the truck stop.

That has to be it.  The truck stop. She ran away from whoever was hurting her.  That’s the only thing that makes sense.  

With Dahlia squared away, I drove us to the house.  Blue greeted us at the door, and he took to the girl right away.  She seemed to like him, too, so that’s a good thing, I figure.

When she slid the hood down, I was surprised to see that her hair was long and red.  In the light of the kitchen, her bruises were more obvious, too. I didn’t want her to feel self-conscious about it, so I tried to keep things light.  After a while, it became clear that she doesn’t talk. It was a hell of a realization.  

Two thoughts hit me at once: one, that makes things more complicated communication-wise, and two, what the hell happens to a girl that takes away her ability to speak?  I’ve seen combat veterans who have been through hell on earth, but they could all speak.

When I offered her the chance to take a hot shower while I heated up some leftover beef stew, she jumped at it.  She went upstairs with me and waited with Blue outside the hallway bathroom while I went to my room to try to find something for her to put on.  I grabbed some old sweats and my softest flannel shirt, along with a pair of grey wool socks.

I handed her the clothes, and it nearly broke my heart when she tried to smile and her lip split again.  She set the clothes on the bathroom counter and slid off my old jacket.  

Underneath, she was indeed clothed, but only in the most basic sense of the word.  The dress she wore was a skimpy club dress made out of some shiny kind of material.  It left little to the imagination, and I deliberately looked away.  

But when she turned to go into the bathroom, I caught something on the back of her shoulder.  It was a raised circular mark about the size of a silver dollar. A second or two ticked by before my brain caught up.

Somebody has branded her.

Downstairs, I stirred the pot of stew and did some deep breathing exercises trying to tamp down the rage I felt.  Somebody motherfuckin’ branded that girl!  

When she came back downstairs, she seemed pleased to be clean and warm.  I was shocked to see that she’d cut her hair. When I left her, it had hung all the way down her back.  Now, it just brushed her shoulders, and despite her battered face, she was a pretty girl.  

Now that’s the kind of thought that can just go back where it came from.

Favoring her busted lip, she carefully devoured her bowl of stew like she hadn’t eaten in weeks. 

When she’d finished,  I took her up to my sister’s old bedroom.  It’s nothing special. In a lot of ways, it’s kind of a time capsule to back when Beth was in high school, but she seemed to like it.  I said goodnight and went to close the door, but she wasn’t having it. Without words, she made it clear to me that she wanted the door left open.  

I called Blue to come, but he’d already curled up on the rug beside the bed, so I figure that’s a good thing.  I think he senses her brokenness and has appointed himself to be her canine guardian.  

Now, downstairs in my office, I swirl the bourbon in my glass and wonder what comes next.  When I mentioned calling the police, the stark terror in her good eye returned. So I guess that’s out.  For now. Maybe as I gain her trust…

I wonder where she came from and who hurt her.  I have a million questions.  But I guess the most immediately pressing was her name.

Standing there in the kitchen, dressed in an old pair of my sweats and a faded plaid flannel shirt that swallows her whole, she finally trusted me enough to trace the letters with her finger on the kitchen counter.  

J-e-n-n-y.

It’s progress, right?  I suppose it is. But now what?

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

A platonic Dom/sub relationship?
It’s a damn odd arrangement.

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated. He’s the only man she’s ever loved. Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years. Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.

But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.

Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend. But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship. With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her. At her husband’s funeral.

A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking. But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.

Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi. She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies. In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive. But that’s simply ridiculous. He’s five years younger than she is. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her. Could he?

Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom. It’s perfect for the time being. Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?

And could it all end at the hands of a madman?

Read a teaser from 2018 Golden Flogger Award-Winner FOR SPARROW.

Jessi’s hands shook.  With her index finger she traced the writing on the front of the envelope.  She glanced out the back door to see Judd kick off his shoes and sit on the edge of the pool, sinking his feet in the water.  Buddy flopped down beside him and rolled over, wanting his tummy scratched, and Judd obliged. 

She turned her attention back to the envelope.  Her irrational self told her that if she didn’t open it, somehow everything could go back to normal.  But curiosity won the moment, and she slid her thumb under the flap and carefully opened the letter.

My dearest Sparrow,

I’m so sorry I’m not there with you.  I can feel my heart beginning to wear out.  Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you, I know how you worry about things.  We’ve had a good life together.  I’ve told you before and I’m telling you again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me.  The fact that you are the mother of my children amazes the hell out of me.  What did I ever do to deserve such a terrific family?

Jessi reached up to wipe a silent tear from her cheek.  Self-consciously, she flicked her eyes out to the pool deck to find that Judd was watching her intently, and he flashed a sympathetic smile.  Sniffing, she read on.

It would be pointless, I suppose, to tell you not to mourn.  Just don’t do it too long.  And don’t you dare wear black.  God, I hate all that maudlin bullshit.  Now Sparrow, you and I know that you are a natural submissive.  I don’t want you to feel lost without a Dominant in your life.  I want you to find one, a true Gentleman who will cherish you in the way you deserve.  One who will nurture the sexy, sensual woman you truly are.  Don’t you go back to some kind of vanilla half-existence.  That would really piss me off. 

Tears still streaming, she laughed because she could almost hear Graham’s voice. 

If you have this letter, you’ve met Judd.  I’ve known him for several years now, and he’s a solid Dominant.  I’ve asked him to check in on you and to take care of some things around the house.  I’ve also asked him to help you out until you find a Dominant of your own.  Judd is willing to give you knee time, Sparrow, to help you settle your mind and find peace.  I don’t mean sex and kink.  He would be a sort of ‘emotional Dominant,’ just until you get back on your feet.

On the other hand, if you found yourself attracted to Judd, it would make me happy knowing that you’d be in good hands.  He’s a good man, Jessi, a gentle man and a Gentleman.  He would be a perfect sexual Dominant for you.  I worry thinking about the dangers out there, Sparrow.  You and Judd could make your own way. 

Mortified, Jessi glanced out the back door.  Thankfully, Judd was staring out across the pool.  “I can’t believe you’re telling me these things,” she murmured to herself.

Anyway, I trust you, Sparrow.  You’re smart and strong, and I’m so proud of you.  Never forget that you are absolutely the love of my life.  I’m forever grateful to you for taking my hard, stuffy heart and helping me to be a better man than I ever dreamed about being.  Be sure the kids know how much I love them.  I love you, my Sparrow, with all my heart.  Live happy.  Find love and cherish it.

Your loving husband and Master, G.

Jessi was completely undone.  Sobbing, she folded her arms on the counter and rested her head on them.  She cried until she felt she had no tears left.  Moments passed and she raised her head.  It hurt and her eyes felt puffy.  With a glance at Judd and Buddy still sitting by the pool, she went into the powder room and splashed water on her face. 

Taking a deep breath, she forced her feet out the back door and across the pool deck.  Judd smiled up at her kindly.  “How are you holding up?”

Jessi shrugged as she stepped out of her sandals and sat beside him, slipping her feet into the cool water.  They sat without speaking, each gently sliding feet through the water, watching the ripples cross the pool and return to them.  Judd moved his foot under her leg and raised her foot to the surface.  The fuchsia nail polish was chipped and peeling. 

“How long since you had a pedicure, Jessi?” he asked gently.

She moved her foot away and looked at him sharply.  “What exactly did your letter say, Judd?”

He exhaled forcefully.  “Like I said, he was worried about you.  He said that you’re submissive and that you might need somebody in your life until you find your way.”  He glanced at her knowingly.  “When was the last time your mind was quiet, little one?”

A tear slid down Jessi’s cheek and she swiped at it roughly.  “So, you’re my appointed Dominant, is that it?” she asked testily.

“It’s not like that.”  Judd looked at her steadily.  “Graham and I were friends.  We talked about Dominance and submission for hours over the years.  He trusted me.  Trusted me with the one thing that meant the most to him in the world.” 

He paused, gazing at her thoughtfully.  “He didn’t want you to run into the wrong kind of man while you’re looking to ease your mind, to fill that emptiness that I see in your eyes.”  Jessi stubbornly looked away and swiped at her cheek again. 

“You know, it’s entirely up to you.  I’m going to complete the list of things around your house.  I promised him I would.  But whether you accept me as a surrogate Dominant?  Only you can decide that.” 

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair.  “You miss knee time, I know you do,” he said softly.  “A chance to just let go of all the concerns that weigh you down.”  Jessi turned back to look at him, her expression softer.  “I’m not talking about kinky sex, tying you up and all that.  I’m offering you a chance to clear your mind of everything, let me carry your burdens for a while.”

“Why?  Why would you do that?”  Her voice was strained.

Judd shrugged.  “I’m Dominant.  It’s what I crave, to be needed, to take care of a submissive.”  He laughed lightly.  “I’m a Dominant without a submissive, and you’re a submissive without a Dominant.  For the time being, it works out well.”

He gazed at her steadily, kindness in his brown eyes.  “Just say the word.  Do you want knee time, little one?”

Another tear rolled down her cheek.  And she nodded.  “Yes,” she whispered.  “I want knee time.”

He smiled patiently.  “Yes, what, little one?”

“Yes, Master.”

Judd shook his head.  “I’m not your Master, little one.  Yes, Sir will do.”

FOR SPARROW by Pandora Spocks

Award-winning FOR SPARROW
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ForSparrow

With Love From Dublin–Don’t Miss Out!

WITH LOVE FROM DUBLIN
Series: Voyages of the Heart, Volume 3
Cover Designer: T.E. Black with T.E. Black Designs
Release Date: September 26, 2019
Genre: Multi-Genre Romance
Still only 99 cents for a limited time!

VOYAGES OF THE HEART
Cities around the world have their own charming allure which pulls you in, allowing you to enjoy their secrets. They offer love, passion, laughter, healing, and even heartache.
The authors have penned these emotions and more into their stories one page at a time. Pack your luggage to join us on our voyage of the heart. Our next destination: Dublin!
WITH LOVE FROM DUBLIN
This voyage of love encompasses romance with an Irish twist that will have you kissing the Blarney Stone for a chance at true love. Being the perfect city to explore, each story is bound to bring you surprises along the journey. Ancient, present, and future combine when hearts mend together, forming their own traditions of song and dance. Known for its culture, power, and intelligence, Dublin will lure you into its magical grasp. Are you ready to risk your heart in Dublin?
Allison LaFleur, Alyssa Drake, Amy Cecil, 
Amy McKinley, Ashlee Shades, Bella Emy, 
Brian Miller, Erin Lee, G. L. Finch, 
Gracie Wilson, Jade Royal, Katherine LE White, 
Maria Vickers, Nia Farrell, Rosie Chapel, 
Roux Cantrell, Samatha Harris
PURCHASE NOW FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!!
With Love From London
AVAILABLE IN KU! 
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Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

Coming Soon!
JENNY’S VOICE
Redheads & Ranchers Book 1

Redheads & Ranchers is my new three-book series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels, each featuring a sexy redhead and a hot rancher they can’t resist.

First up is JENNY’S VOICE. It’s the story of Jenny Stone, a young woman in a world of trouble, and Cole Caldwell, a horse trainer with a heart of gold who wants nothing more than to protect her.

Upon returning to his ranch after picking up a new client’s horse, gifted horse trainer Cole Caldwell is shocked to find a terrified young woman hiding in his horse trailer. She’s been beaten, and beneath his old barn jacket, she’s barely dressed. She’s not even wearing shoes.

Mute since the violent day she was taken, Jenny Stone saw her chance to escape the thugs who’ve been holding her for the past two years, and she took it. Hiding in the horse trailer seemed like her only option.

Now, how can she explain to Cole that dangerous criminals will be out there looking for her? How long can she hide at his horse ranch? And can she ever recover her voice?

Here’s a teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.


By three o’clock that afternoon, Caldwell Ranch had been restored to normal.  Jenny helped Cole untack the horses and put everything away in the barn. The canopies and coolers were returned to their proper places as well.

As they worked together, Cole was uncomfortably aware of the conversation he needed to have with Jenny.  He wondered if he could put it off. It had already been a huge day for her. She’d faced her fear of being seen and he was proud of her, so proud.  But this was one of those conversations best had sooner rather than later.

He cleared his throat.  “You know, I feel kind of sorry for Apollo and Dahlia.  Everybody else got a nice workout today. They must be feeling a little left out.”

Jenny chuckled, hooking a thumb at Jade.

“Well, Jade, too.  But I’ve been working her hard, so she probably appreciated the day off.”  He stepped toward Jenny.

“Maybe we could take Apollo and Dahlia for a trail ride.  There’s a ridge toward the back of the property, overlooks the whole ranch and it has a nice view of the sunset.  What do you say?”

An hour later, they neared the ridge he’d told her about.  Perched atop Dahlia, Jenny had easily made the transition from riding in the ring to trail riding.  It seemed the more she rode, the more comfortable she was. Again, he worried about the time when Dahlia would have to go back home with Meredith.

I’ll just buy Jenny another horse, he decided.

As the trail grew steeper, Cole moved ahead on Apollo, leading the way up the ridge.  He glanced back at Jenny.

“How are you doing?”

She smiled and gave him a thumbs-up, her small whiteboard hanging at her side from a cross-body shoulder strap he’d fashioned for her.

He nodded with satisfaction.  “You’re doing great, we’re almost there.”

At the top of the rise, the ground leveled off in a grassy area dominated by a huge old oak tree.  Cole slid out of his saddle, gave Apollo’s nose an affectionate rub, and left the horse to graze as he headed to help Jenny down.
With both horses munching contentedly on grass, Cole and Jenny retreated to the shade of the giant tree.  Cole patted the trunk.

“This was one of my favorite places growing up.  When I needed a minute to myself, I could come up here and just be.”  He eyed the upper branches with a wry grin.  “Used to be a pretty good climber, too. I could sit way up there and look out all over the valley.  I also got out of a lot of chores that way.” He winked, and Jenny smiled.

The late March afternoon wasn’t inordinately warm, but it was as dry as ever.  From the small backpack he’d worn, Cole retrieved a pair of bottled waters, handing one to Jenny.  She unscrewed the cap and sipped thirstily as she stood at the edge of the rise looking out over the ranch below.

Recapping her water, she tucked it under her arm and scribbled on her board.  I had no idea how big the ranch is.

Cole nodded.  “Yep. It’s quite a spread.  Back in the day, my folks ran a much larger operation with a bunch of ranch hands helping out.  Later, they pared it back a little, then when I took over, I made it just about horse training. It’s what makes me happiest, and I’m able to make a good living, so it works out.”

Jenny nodded, wandering around the perimeter of the clearing as she took in the 360-degree view.  Occasionally, her gaze flitted in Cole’s direction and he wondered if he imagined a cautious glint in her green eyes.

Scrubbing a hand over his mouth, he decided to plunge ahead.  “You know, Jenny, I wanted to talk to you about something.” He sighed heavily, and she froze in her circuit of the clearing, her eyes now locked on him.

“Last night after you went to bed, I remembered that I needed to order some medicine for Minnie’s hoof.  I went online and pulled up my history to find where I looked at the medicine the other day, and that’s when I noticed some tabs I didn’t recognize.”

Jenny’s jaw tightened noticeably, and she crossed her arms protectively as she stared at a spot beyond him.

“You know you’re welcome to use the computer or anything else at the house,” he said quickly.  “You can consider my home as your own. And I didn’t mean to pry into your business, I really didn’t.”

Sweeping his hat from his head, he took a step toward Jenny.  “I read the article about Jennifer Stone from Boulder.”

Jenny cut her gaze away, but not before he saw the pain that flashed in her green eyes.

“Jenny,” his voice soft as he took another step toward her, “someone killed your parents?”

She drew a ragged breath and nodded brusquely without making eye contact.

“Damn it,” he swore softly.  “Were you there when it happened?”

She clapped her right hand over her mouth as large tears rolled down her cheeks, and again, she nodded.

Cole took another step closer.  “And then they took you?”

Jenny’s eyes squeezed shut as she sobbed silently.  Cole dropped his hat and went to her, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her to himself.  She was stiff in his arms, but he pulled her close, murmuring softly against the top of her head.

Eventually, she relaxed, leaning into his embrace, sobbing into the front of his shirt.  He held her like that for a long time before she quieted. Easing his hold, he peered down at her.  “Jenny, I’m so sorry that happened to you. And I’m so sorry about the way I found out about it.”

He exhaled loudly, shaking his head.  “But once I knew about it, I had to tell you.  I don’t play those games, those ‘keeping things secret’ kinds of things.  I believe in being honest, always. The thing is,” he took her hand in his, “now that I know, you don’t carry this burden by yourself.  I carry it with you.”

Tentatively, she looked up at him.  Cole saw the fear and suspicion in her eyes, willed her to see the sincerity in his own.  “I care about you, Jenny. And I’ll be…”

He cut off, infuriated at the idea of someone harming Jenny.  Deliberately softening his voice, he continued. “I’ll be damned if I’ll let anyone hurt you, ever again.

JENNY’S VOICE, Pandora Spocks

JENNY’S VOICE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 1, is due out in February. Keep watching here for the official cover reveal and the release date.

Watch This Space–BLOODLINE: The Beginning by April Fitts

If Werewolf/Wiccan/Fantasy/Dark Adult Romance is your thing, you are SO in luck!

Award-winning author April Fitts is all set to release BLOODLINE: The Beginning in February, but she’s giving us a sneak peek now.

Hidden in a cave; deep in the dark forest from the most vicious rogues, you will find a woman starving and alone, Amelia Dawn.  Amelia has only but her diary and a few berries to survive.  As her sources and sanity run low, she is forced out of her haven only do discover an inviting lake nearby.  Her desperate attempt for a bath and a quick taste of heaver come with a price, Alpha Marcus Calister and the thirsty Rowlers that both crave her enchanted soul.

Here’s a little teaser:

The Rowler starts to cough profusely as the color of its skin pales with every struggled breath.  The Rowler ask, “Why do you care so much about her? She is a simple human after all.”

Without letting go, he turns and faces me for the very first time.  As we look at each other, my tearful emerald eyes lock into this blazing blue eyes.  His breath hitches in shock as he utters one single word,

“MATE!”

BLOODLINE: THE BEGINNING comes out in February, but you can use this LINK to read it now on Wattpad.

April Fitts is the winner of an impressive list of awards:

1st place The Unity Awards
1st place The Chaos Awards
1st place The Fallen Angel Awards
1st place The Night Time Awards
1st place Jo Awards
2nd place The Rose Awards
3rd place Best Plot–The Fallen Angel Awards
3rd place The Chaos Awards: 2

Find out more about April at her website.

 

Watch This Space–Metanoia by Young

Metanoia is the fifth and final volume to A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young (five-book series). This erotically sensual and captivating autobiography is about a young man coming-of-age in a secret society before being spirited away to serve in several Middle Eastern male harems.

Metanoia follows Young and Andy’s (the young man’s lover-cum-chaperone) journey to their fifth Arabian Household at the opulent residences of their patriarch, Tad; an athlete of international fame. Although the couple had to maneuver through a minefield of explosive sentiments, they also acted as their “Master’s” confidante as they move through the world of the wealthy and elite.

This book is steeped in preternaturalism and spirituality. It is enlighteningly educational in the Middle Eastern way of life and the different aspects of Arabian culture.

This memoir is also an epic love story between Young and Andy. The joys and pleasures together with the trials and tribulations that come with heroic and unconditional love.

A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young (book series) is in Film Option contract.

Here’s a little teaser:

I was tossed about in the tiny confines of Murashshahaan (Running Mate), Sheik Fahrib’s eleven meters’ sailboat. A month before the races the doctor had transported this top of the line vessel from its mooring facility in Musandam Dibba Al Hisn, the Sultanate of Oman to Acapulco; in readiness for the 1968 Summer Olympics yachting competition. Tad (his team-mate) and he had been out daily to acclimatize to the sailing conditions in this Mexican playground of the rich and famous. A week preceding the competition, my Valet and I left from Daltonbury Hall to join them. With our Assalamu Alaikum service behind us, Andy and I needed the repose, to revivify our love and friendship. Our summer vacation was spent traveling around the tranquil English countryside, soaking up the beauty of the Lake District and getting reacquainted with one another. We needed to necessitate our physical and mental bond before departing to Aldhdhib Dann ( وكر الذئب Wolf Den) and Manarat Lilddaw’ ( منارة الضوء Beacon of Light); Tad Abdul Hafiz’s London and Riyadh residences. The both of us had a hunch that our services at our fifth household would not be as smooth sailing as compared to our previous assignments.

Much like Count Mario, Tad was a playboy at heart. His irrational and spur of the moment decisions often send those close to him into dramatic tailspins of immense proportions. It was under this circumstance I now found myself at the mercy of howling winds, roaring waves and pounding rain. Thrown repeatedly from the hull to the rear of this racing vessel. The vicious waves and torrential downpour lapped at my person. Not only did I puke up the gastronomical contents I had consumed not so long ago, but I also had to hold on for dear life in the unfortunate event I would be swept into the ocean. Seasickness had overtaken my person, and no help was available since every strong hand was working furiously to keep Murashshahaan afloat. Hard-pressed at the helm, the sheik steered his vessel away from colliding rocks while Tad and Andy held firm on either side of the riggings to steady the dinghy; in the unfortunate event that the mast should collapse under the onslaught of the ferocious winds. Within this treacherous weather condition, I was left to fend for myself. Not knowing how long this perilous dilemma would last, I rocked, slid and vomited while keeping myself from slipping into the abyss of this bottomless ocean. Suddenly, a hand reached for my collar to pull me away from the slippery taffrail. I was dragged into the boat’s cabin that was now filled with ankle-deep water. As if I had gone bonkers the sportsman glared at me transfixed.

“What in the world were you doing on deck. You were repeatedly told to stay below. This is not a time to tamper with the forces of nature. You could have been swept into the ocean and drown!” he chastised sternly.

“You, Fahrib and Andy are above deck…,” I muttered meekly.

He scowled at my defiance.

“We are experienced seamen and you, boy, is not,” he admonished. “The last thing we want on our hands is your dead body floating in the water.”

“Andy isn’t an experienced sailor,” I negated truculently.

He raised his hand to land me a slap for being an insolent brat. Before his hand could touch my cheeks, the boat’s violent oscillations hurled us in opposite directions. I crushed against the bulkhead while the athlete pulverized onto a dividing panel. Before he left me to my own expedient, his grimace had sent chills across my trembling body. When we finally came ashore, search teams were already scouring the vicinity for distressed boats adrift at sea.  The Running Mate was indeed one resilient lady whose damage was next to none. Thanks to our two experienced yachtsmen, we were relatively unharmed. Besides some minor bruises and concussions, the four of us were up and running after a good night’s sleep. I did not relate to my Valet what transpired in the cabin. After all, I conceded I was in the wrong and shouldn’t have put myself and crew in harm’s way, causing further perturbation if I should indeed fall into the turbulent waves. That would have been an unforgivable disaster.

Get your copy of Metanoia:
Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JM3WBCF
Print book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625268513

About the Author:

Young, alias Bernard Foong is, first and foremost, a sensitivist. He finds nuance in everything. To experience the world, he inhabits is an adventure which is mystical, childlike and refreshing. He has a rare ability to create beauty uniquely. His palettes have been material, paint, words and human experiences.

By Christine Maynard (screenwriter and novelist). 

Bernard Foong (designer) – A brief history

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the age of 8, he was assisting his aunt and cousin, learning the art of sewing and fabrics/colors matching. He attended an exclusive private boarding school in the United Kingdom before obtaining his Diploma in Fashion Design at the Harrow College of Art & Technology in London, England.  He went on to complete his Master of Design at the Royal College of Art & Design, London, England. During his college years, he won several international fashion awards and was already retailing bridal and evening dresses to several well-known department stores in England. Liberty of London, Selfridges, Harrods, and Harvey Nichols to name a few that carried his designs. His Royal College of Art graduation wedding/evening wear collection was sold to Liberty of London and displayed in their store windows for the entire month of June that year.

For four years, he worked for Liberty’s bridal department as their in-house designer until a trip to Hong Kong, while working on a freelance project for ‘Bird’s’(casual wear) company, he was recruited by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as their Fashion professor for the next 6 years. During his stay in Hong Kong, he freelanced for numerous fashion companies. From designing casual wear, swimwear, lingerie, and fur garments, men’s wear, bridal and evening fashions to accessories (bags, shoes, and head-wear). He also participated in and organized numerous fashion shows, events, functions, and presentations in the Asia Pacific region.

Working for Keys Far East Hong Kong as chief lingerie designer – traveling extensively to the United States, he was soon recruited as an Associate Fashion Design/Illustration Professor to the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also lectured at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design for a couple of years.

Foong was then appointed as the Fashion Development Manager by an established department store – Parkson Grand (22 stores in Malaysia and one in Shanghai, China). Producing under the label, Natural Life by Bernard Foong, he designed casual-wear collections for the Parkson Grand’s flagship store in Kuala Lumpur. After a couple of years later, he was invited by the Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore to join their design school to establish a Fashion Design department. For two years, he assisted several founding members of the design school – working on the fashion department’s teaching curriculum.

The Fitzgerald Theatre Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Oahu, Hawaii awarded a full scholarship for Foong to complete his second Master of Art in Theatre Costuming. Now a resident of the United States, he has assisted many charity organizations in their fundraising events with his extravagant fashion and performance shows/presentations. In 2005, he and his husband, Mr. Walter Jay Bissett opened Fire Dragon Bistro Orient & Design Shop. He also designs costumes/fashions for numerous theatrical productions locally and abroad.

Appointed as the chief lingerie designer for Cerie International Limited – Hong Kong, his lingerie designs can be found in major department stores in Canada and the United Kingdom.

He showcased the BERNARD FOONG R-T-W collections and BERNARD FOONG @ Modern Classic Ltd. (an established – Hong Kong bridal & evening wear company) collections in Hong Kong. His 2008 & 2009 bridal/evening/bridal lingerie fashion show, “Grace” & “Coming Up Roses” were premiered at Hong Kong Fashion Week in July 2007 and January 2008 respectively at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, garnering definite interest in many Asian press reviews, including a China nationwide television broadcast of his latest collection. Aika (International Opera Singer) wore several Bernard Foong special occasion dresses at her Japan & European tour in September & October 2009.

Foong was appointed as the Chief Creative Director for Official (Special Occasion fashion manufacturing company) Guangzhou, China  producing – BERNARD FOONG Couture (specialty one-of-a-kind creations), White (RTW – Wedding/Special Occasion wear), Foxy Cute (Smart Casual/Cocktail wear), SexZ Things (decorative bustier) & Diva Bitch (sexy erotic wear) collections.

Foong just completed his autobiographic five-book series of Mr. Foong’s young life:

A Harem Boy’s Saga: A Memoir by Young.

This intriguing story spanning 4 decades and 3 continents is about a boy who was sent to a very exclusive English boarding school in the 1960s where he was initiated into a clandestine sexual society and then spirited away to serve in wealthy and elite Middle Eastern harems. 

Ranked Internationally Best Selling Author on amazon.com

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – Initiation (a memoir by Young)

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book II – Unbridled (sequel)

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book III – Debauchery (3rd volume in the series))

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book IV – Turpitude (4th volume in the series)

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book V – Metanoia (5th and final volume in the series)

A Harem Boy’s Saga series is published by Solstice Publishing and is available in print and E-books internationally.

A Harem Boy’s Saga (series) – Film Option Agreement signed with a U.K./Hollywood Film Production Company.

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – Initiation is currently in film production.

Purchase the entire A Harem Boy’s Saga:
https://amzn.to/1FMlHVY

Contact Young:

Website: www.BernardFoong.com (fashion)
     www.AHaremBoySaga.com (books)
Email: young@aharemboysaga.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aharemboysaga/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aharemboysaga
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/haremboysaga/
  Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BernardFoong
Amazon Authors Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CENKJKM
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2992700.Young
https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernardfoong/

For further information, please visit or contact:
Emerantia Antonia Parnell-Gilbert:
(Gilbert Literary Agency)
hawkspurrproductions@gmail.com
Melissa Miller: Solstice Publishing
solsticepublishing@live.com

FOR SPARROW–2018 Golden Flogger Award WINNER for Best BDSM Book (BDSM Light)

I’m thrilled that the third Dream Dominant book, FOR SPARROW, was selected for this honor!  The Golden Flogger is awarded every year by the BDSM Writers Con, which is why it means so much.  They not only like the story, they approve of the way the book portrays the BDSM lifestyle.

FOR SPARROW is near and dear to my heart–it’s set here in Palm Beach County, my home for the past 25 years.  Throughout the story, I take the characters to some of my favorite places.

As a teaser, here’s the first chapter…

I buried my husband today.

The thought tumbled through Jessi’s mind over and over, like clothes in a dryer.  Voices around her sounded oddly muted, as though she were underwater.  Occasionally, someone touched her, a simple grasping of her hand, a gentle pat on her shoulder, and the sensation felt like burning embers showering down over her.

Following the graveside service, mourners had gathered at her home.  Hers and Graham’s.

Only Graham isn’t here.  We left him at the cemetery.  I buried my husband today.

Food had appeared in her kitchen.  Casseroles, desserts, salads.  There was even a brisket.  An army of women had set up a command post and were making sure guests had plenty to eat and drink.  Jessi wondered briefly if there was enough ice for the drinks.  Maybe she should ask Graham run to out and get some more.

I buried my husband today.

Since that day, her phone hadn’t stopped ringing.  Friends and neighbors hadn’t stopped calling and dropping by.  “How are you?”  “What can we do?”  “What do you need?”

Her business partner, Sarah Reid, had been her rock, taking over the events they had scheduled for the week, returning calls Jessi didn’t have the strength to deal with.

“You take all the time you need, hon,” Sarah had told her.  “We’ve got it under control.”

Since that day.

“Sparrow, I need to get the oil changed in my car.  Why don’t you drive to the mechanic’s and I’ll meet you there?  I’ll drop you at your office, and then we can do the reverse this afternoon.”

Jessi had waited at the mechanic’s shop.  After an hour had passed, she’d tried his phone.  A stranger had answered.

“This is Officer Brooks.  The owner of this phone has been in an accident.  Are you the wife of Graham Crenshaw?”

A police car had picked her up and driven her to the hospital.  “I’m sorry, Mrs. Crenshaw.  It appears your husband suffered a fatal heart attack behind the wheel of his car.  When the car hit the utility pole, he was most likely already deceased.”  The doctor had had an air of resigned sympathy.  Jessi had wondered how many people he pronounced dead on an average day.

Sarah had met her at the hospital and had driven her home.  Jessi wasn’t sure how her own car had gotten back to the house.  She’d somehow made the calls to Cara and Adam.  “Something has happened.  Your dad died.”

Cara, age twenty-three, had made her excuses at her job with the Weather Channel, and had taken the first available flight from Atlanta to West Palm Beach.  Adam, age twenty-one, had driven from Orlando where he worked as a video game animator.

Jessi and the kids had gone to the funeral home the following day to see to burial arrangements.  The funeral director had neatly folded his hands on top of his huge mahogany desk and smiled kindly.

“Mrs. Crenshaw, your husband has everything prearranged.  You don’t need to worry about a thing, it’s all taken care of.  He has requested that he be buried in a navy suit, with a white shirt and a blue and red paisley tie.  Do you know the things he means?”

Jessi had nodded dumbly.  What he’d described was her favorite suit of Graham’s.  He always looked so handsome, and he’d worn it when they’d celebrated their anniversary a few months back.

He had it all planned out.  But when?  Did he do it after the heart attack a few years ago?  Why didn’t he mention it?

“We’re just so sorry for your loss.”  The statement shook Jessi from her thoughts, returning her to the morbid gathering in her living room.  It was a neighbor couple from down the street.

“Thank you,” she murmured, not meeting their eyes.  She sipped her wine to have something to do, and wandered into the kitchen.

“Hey, hon, how are you holding up?” Sarah asked.

Jessi shrugged and gave a weak smile.  “I’m okay.”

“Can we get you something to eat?”

Jessi shook her head and headed back to the living room.

I buried my husband today.

“Jessica.  I was just chatting with your lovely daughter and son,” said Rev. Lyman.  “Graham was a good man, taken before his time.”  He looked at Jessi with slight reproof.  “I hope we’ll be seeing you and your family on Sunday.”

“Maybe, Reverend,” Jessi replied softly.  “If you’ll excuse me and my children.”

“Of course.  Family has to pull together at a time like this.”

They watched him work his way across the room.  “I’m not lovely?” quipped Adam.

Jessi smiled at her son.  “You’re lovely to me.  And you’re welcome for getting the good reverend to move along.”

“Do you love the way Rev. Lyman tried to get in a plug for going to church?” commented Cara.

“My personal relationship with God is exactly that.  Personal,” replied Jessi.  “How are you two doing?”

“It’s hard,” said Adam, his voice breaking.

“I know.  You don’t have to stay for all of this.  I have no idea when people will decide to leave.”

“I’m here until Friday,” Cara said.  “I don’t want to leave you alone to deal.”

Jessi kissed her cheek and then Adam’s.  “Thank you both.  I love you so much.  Your dad loved you, too.”  She felt tears forming again.  She felt as though she’d cried out her very soul, and yet tears were always near.

Cara’s here until Friday.  What day is it again?

Cara and Adam moved out to find their friends.  Jessi turned to look for a place to sit.  She was so weary.  She was stopped by a woman she vaguely recognized.

“Jessica, I’m Harriet.  From church?”

“Oh, yes, Harriet.  It was good of you to come.”

“Sweetie, I just want to remind you that Graham is in a better place.”  She beamed at Jessi, as though her words bestowed onto the new widow some sort of miracle.

Jessi felt a twitch begin at the outer corner of her left eye.  If I don’t get out of here right now, I’m going to scream.

“If you’ll excuse me, please,” she murmured, pushing past the woman.  She hurried through the kitchen, ignoring Sarah as she called to her, and slipped out the back door.

The lanai and pool deck were blissfully quiet in the early evening twilight.  The sun had set and the lights had come on automatically.  She crossed to the far side of the pool, and sat on the raised edge of the spa with her back to the house.  Finally alone, she leaned forward with her elbows on her thighs and let the tears flow.

She’d only been there a few minutes when she heard a sound, the soft scuff of a leather shoe against the brick pavers.  She sat up abruptly and whirled around.

“I’m so sorry.  I don’t mean to bother you.”  The man was tall and muscular, his dark hair in short waves framing a handsome face, his dark suit cut slim.  Large brown eyes were soft and sympathetic.

Jessi sniffed and stood, swiping at the tears on her cheeks.  “I just needed some air.  I buried my husband today.”  She looked up at him, shocked.  “That’s the first time I said that out loud.”

He smiled kindly.  “I’ll leave you alone.  I just wanted to say that Graham was a good man.  He was my friend and I’ll miss him.”

“Thank you.  Did you work with him?”

“No.  We were friends.  I’m Judd, by the way.”

Jessi nodded.  “Thank you for coming, Judd.  I’m sure he would have appreciated it.”  She began walking back towards the house.  Judd fell into step beside her.

“I thought maybe I would come back on Saturday, maybe help you with the lawn,” he said.

Jessi was only half-listening, wondering if Harriet had gotten the hell out of her house yet.  “Mm-hmm,” she murmured.

“Alright, Jessi,” he said.  “Take care, now.”

She nodded and went to find her children.

FOR SPARROW is available in both digital and paperback
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ForSparrow