WIP It Up Wednesday–Invisible

Ever have a wild-hare idea and you just knew you had to follow it?  That happens to me sometimes, usually when I’m busy trying to concentrate on something else.  But sometimes, a story just comes to you, or at the very least, a nugget of an idea.  If I can, I try to write it down before I forget.  Eventually, I plan to write the whole story.

This snippet comes from a project I’m tentatively calling Invisible.  My love is dying for me to finish this story.  One day…

invisible

Henry sat across the table watching her devour his hamburger and fries.  When he’d asked, she’d said she wasn’t hungry, but when his food arrived, she hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of it.
     The impromptu meal started when he’d asked if he could buy her a coffee.  It seemed a small thing, seeing how she’d rescued him from an embarrassing predicament.  He never should have tried to go after Joanne.  He’d been a fool.  She hadn’t just now decided to break up with him, it had been brewing for a while.
     He’d found himself trapped in the door of her building, the sleeve of his overcoat caught when it slammed shut.  He’d pulled and tugged, kicking at the door, but to no avail.  He couldn’t even manage to take the damn thing off and the driving rain was soaking him anyway.
     That’s when she’d appeared.  “Are you stuck?” she’d called to him up the steps.
     “No, I enjoy standing in the rain!” he’d fired back.
     She’d shaken her head and bounded up the steps, pulling her soaked black fleece hoodie tighter around herself.  “No reason to be an asshole,” she muttered. 
     She began pressing all of the buttons beside the door.  “Let me in!  It’s rainin’ out here!”  The door buzzed and he was free.  She gave an exaggerated bow and hurried down the steps, stopping under the awning of the building next door.
     Sheepishly, Henry followed, standing beside her under the awning.  She glanced down at him then resumed looking out at the rain.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “I didn’t mean to be an asshole.”  She continued staring toward the street.  “Can I buy you a coffee?  My way of saying thanks.”
     She looked back at him again seeming to think for a moment.  Finally she sighed.  “I guess I’m not goin’ anywhere until it stops rainin’ anyways,” she said.  That was when he noticed her drawl.  She certainly wasn’t from around here.
     She must be homeless, he guessed.  He figured her to be in her early twenties, twenty-three tops.  She was pretty, too, as far as he could tell.  Her long wet hair was plastered to her head, but it seemed to be red.  She had huge blue eyes that were watchful, flitting all around the room as she ate.  He’d never seen a woman eat like that.  And she was skinny, too. 
     “I’m Henry, by the way,” he told her.
     She paused, french fry halfway to her mouth.  “I’m Shelby.”  She chewed thoughtfully and swallowed.  “What were you doing stuck in that door, Henry?”
     He looked down at his hands.  “Acting like a fool, I suppose.”
     She smiled knowingly.  “It was a girl,” she said definitely.  Henry declined to answer.  “So what do you do, Henry?”
     “I’m a professor of English Literature at Columbia,” he answered.
     Shelby’s already large eyes grew bigger.  “No shit?” she said softly, and she laughed to herself.
     Henry felt his temper rising.  Having been born with dwarfism, he’d faced ridicule all his life.  “What, is it so unbelievable that someone like me could be a university professor?” he demanded.
     Shelby stopped laughing.  “That’s a hell of a chip on your shoulder, there.  A chip that big ought to have its own name.”  She shook her head.   
     “What I meant was, who would have thought that someone like me would ever meet a professor, let alone sit and have dinner with him?”
     “What do you mean, someone like you?” he asked, realizing that he owed her another apology.
     She shrugged.  “I’m not very smart,” she said simply.  “I never finished the eighth grade.  I don’t even know anybody who went to college, let alone anybody who teaches there.”
     Henry let that thought sink in.  I’m not very smart.  “Where are you from, Shelby?”
     She shook her head, grinning.  “You never heard of it.”
  
     “Try me.”
     “I’m from Pine Grove, West Virginia,” she said, watching him carefully.
     Henry smiled slowly.  “You’re right, I never heard of it.”
     She laughed.  “Count yourself lucky, then.  It’s smack in the middle of nowhere.  Everybody there works in the Hastings plant, processing natural gas.  They actually have red lights to stop the cars about a mile away from the plant, just in case the shit hits the fan.”
     Henry nodded.  “Is that why you left?  You didn’t want to work in the plant?”
     Shelby looked him dead in the eye.  “I left in the middle of eighth grade because I was tired of getting fucked by my mama’s boyfriends.”  She paused.  “I figured if I was going to be doing it anyway, I might as well be getting paid for it.”
     Henry’s eyes widened.  “You’re a…” he stopped.
     She narrowed her eyes.  “Now who’s judgin’?” she asked.
     Henry backpedaled.  “No, I mean, I just…”

     “I don’t do that anymore.  I quit three years ago.  I have a new gig,” she said.  “I take pictures.”  Henry noticed that she pronounced it pitchers.  “I have a friend who sells postcards and shit to the tourists.  He sells my postcards and splits the profits with me.”

     “Really?” Henry said thoughtfully.
     “I have a nice camera,” she said, for the first time opening up her jacket to reveal a small camera bag.  She placed it on the table, opening it carefully.  “It’s mine, I bought it at a pawn shop,” she said, slightly defensively.
     Henry looked over the camera appreciatively before handing it back to her.  “It’s very nice,” he said.
     “That’s why I came uptown.  Somebody told me that I’d like to take pictures at Columbia.  Said there’s cool buildings there.  I was pissed off and not thinkin’ straight.  It was dark by the time I got here.  Plus I didn’t know it was going to rain.  I wasted a whole damn trip for nothing.”
     “Where do you live?” Henry wondered.
     Shelby rolled her eyes.  “Long story,” she said, “but when I’m in between places, I usually stay at Grand Central.”  He thought of the train station.  “It’s pretty clean, and you can leave your stuff in a locker for two weeks before you have to move it.  There’s a guy who lets me clear tables for a few dollars.  Plus, you can eat what people leave on the trays.  You wouldn’t believe how much food people just waste.”
     Henry listened, astounded.  He’d never known a moment when he didn’t know where his next meal was coming from.  “So you came uptown to take pictures at the university?”

     “Yeah,” she said around another mouthful.  “Kind of stupid, I guess.  It was too late to begin with and then when I came out of the subway, the bottom just fell out of the sky.”

     “So are you going to go back to Grand Central?” he probed.
     Shelby shrugged.  “I guess so.  I’d better hurry, though.  The good places get taken early.”
     Henry sat back in his seat, picturing Shelby stalking through the train station dripping wet, trying to find a good place to settle down for the night.  His own words surprised him.  “You could stay with me for the night.  I’ll take you to the university in the morning, give you a tour.”
     Shelby’s eyes narrowed.  “I don’t fuck for a place to sleep.”
     Henry blushed furiously.  “God, no!  That’s not what I meant at all,” he stammered.  “I just thought, you’re all the way here, you’re soaked, it’ll take you, what, another hour to get back to Grand Central.  What if you can’t find a place?”  He cleared his throat.  “I’m just saying you could stay on my couch, go with me to work tomorrow.  You can get your pictures and get back at a reasonable time.”
     Shelby popped the last bite of hamburger into her mouth, gazing steadily at
Henry.  “Okay,” she finally said.

Finishing this story isn’t on my radar at the moment,

but check out my Amazon Author Page for other great reads.

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

lost-bound-cover-jpegIn LOST & BOUND, spoiled Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke is sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario for a few weeks after getting into trouble with the law.  It’s there that she meets mountain man Blake Walker, a former wilderness counselor and current bush pilot who’s helping run his family’s remote guest lodge.

Sparks fly almost immediately, but not the romantic kind.  Shasta behaves like an entitled brat, and Blake’s only too happy to stay out of her way.  But there’s something about her petulance that appeals to his Daddy Dom nature.

Could she be the baby girl he’s been looking for?  And is there any way she’d ever agree to be his?

Here’s an excerpt from LOST & BOUND.

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.


They didn’t speak during the ten-minute ride across the water to the small island in the middle of Lake Miranda.  It would have been difficult over the roar of the small outboard motor, even had she been facing him.

Blake expertly angled the small boat to rest beside the tiny dock and killed the motor, tying off his end before jumping out and tying the front end as well.  Then he again offered his hand, helping Shasta climb out of the boat and onto the dock.

She stood taking in the view as he unloaded her things.  The lodge was visible across the water, seemingly closer than it actually was, judging by the ten-minute ride.  If she hadn’t been in such a foul mood, she would have found the place beautiful.  The only sound she could hear was the wind in the tops of the countless pine trees covering the island.  It would be a short climb up to the crest of the island where a log cabin sat.  She could see a stone-surrounded fire pit flanked by a quartet of dark green wooden Adirondack chairs and further away, stretched between two large pines, was a white canvas hammock.

When all her things were on the dock, Blake turned to her.  “Let me take you to the cabin.  There are a few things I need to show you.”

He took off up the hill and Shasta teetered along behind him, carefully avoiding large rocks that were in the way.  “Are you making it?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’ve got this, don’t worry about me,” she muttered.

Blake turned away and grinned to himself.  He was waiting for her when she finally made it up the hill.  “I hope you brought other shoes.”

Out of breath, Shasta put her hands on her hips and nodded.

He unlocked the door and held it open for her to enter the cabin.  She stepped into an open room featuring a seating area in front of a fireplace immediately to her right.  Further into the room, a kitchen was arranged in the back left quarter of the space with a cast iron stove on the back wall and a kitchen table pushed against the right wall down from the fireplace.  Between the fireplace and the kitchen table was a small desk that held some sort of radio equipment.  Shasta peered into an alcove to her left and saw that it was a tiny bedroom.

“Now,” Blake was saying, “the lights run on propane.  You turn this little lever and you can light them with a lighter.  The fridge and the cooktop also run on propane.  Same thing, you turn the knob and then light it with the lighter.  I already lit the pilot on the fridge and it should be fine.”  He indicated a small metal box beneath the kitchen counter.

Wordlessly, Shasta followed him around the room, trying to take in all his instructions.  “Now if you want to bake, or if you’re just cold, you can build a fire in the stove.”  He showed her where to put the wood.  “And there’s always the fireplace.  Wood is stacked outside against the back of the cabin.  I can always bring you more, too.”

He waved at the few kitchen cabinets.  “We’ve stocked the cabinets and the refrigerator but if you need anything, just let me know.”  He headed for the door.  “Water comes from a spring near the front of the island.”

“Wait.  What?”

“Water.  You know, to drink?”

Desperately, Shasta searched the room, making a beeline to the sink.  Instead of a faucet, there was a green-painted old-fashioned hand pump.  She worked the handle a few times and a spurt of water came out.  She looked back to him, bewildered.

“Well, you can’t drink that.  Not without boiling it for about ten minutes.  It comes straight out of the lake.  Use it for dishes and things.  You can drink the spring water right out of the ground.”

“Wait a second.  Where’s the bathroom?”

“I was just going to show you.  Follow me.”

Blake headed out the door and Shasta followed along behind him.  He turned down the right side of the cabin, following a narrow trail through the trees.  Shortly, the path opened onto a small clearing and to the right of the clearing was a tiny log structure.  “Here’s your bathroom,” he pointed.

She began to shake her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” she murmured.  “There must be some mistake.  I don’t do outhouses.  Does Eddie know about this?” she demanded.

“Who’s Eddie?” Blake returned, picturing the smarmy suit guy.

“No.  Absolutely not.  This is completely unacceptable.  Besides,” she breathed deeply, trying to regain her composure, “where is the shower?”

“Well, some guests bathe in the lake.”  He took in her incredulous expression and continued.  “On the other hand, we do have a solar shower.  I’ll show you.”

Shasta followed him down the other side of the cabin, to the place where the tiny bedroom jutting out from the main cabin made a little sheltered corner.  A post was situated in the corner with a pulley rigged to the top.

“This is a solar shower.”  Blake held up a large flat rectangular vinyl pouch that was clear on one side and black on the other.  The clear side had a large round valve and there was a handle on one end.  The other end had clear tubing attached and at the end of the tubing was a tiny shower head.

“You fill this up with water, seal the valve, and lay it out in the sun.  The dock is a good place.”  He watched as Shasta held her forehead with the palm of one hand, gaping at him in disbelief.  “Anyway, when you’re ready for a shower, you hang it up here,” he indicated the pulley, “and just shower away.  The spruce trees right here make for privacy, although you shouldn’t have any folks out on the lake, seeing as how you’ve rented out the whole place.”

Wordlessly, Shasta turned and hobbled back to the front of the cabin, sinking into one of the Adirondack chairs.  Blake followed, hands in his pockets, uncertain whether or not to continue the tour.  She glanced up at him, deciding to change tacks.

“Listen,” she smoothed, “we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.”  She pasted on her dazzling Shasta Pyke smile.  “Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake.”  Standing, she approached him, pushing her glasses back up onto her head and fixing him with soft brown eyes.

“Here’s the thing.”  She reached out to stroke his arm, biting her lower lip provocatively.  “I can’t stay here.  And you don’t want me here, not really.  The place is already paid for.  Just,” she stepped closer, brushing her breasts against his arm, “maybe you could drive me someplace where I can get a cab or an Uber or something, and I’ll be out of your hair.”  She wrinkled her nose and winked.  “What do you say?”

A slow smile spread across Blake’s face.  “What do I say?”  He laughed lightly, shaking head.  “I say, you’re a piece of work, lady.”  With that, he turned.  “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

“Wait!” she shouted after him.  “You can’t just leave me here!”

He waved over his head and didn’t turn around.

“Come back here!  You come back here right now!”

Wordlessly, he cast off from the dock and pushed the boat away from the shallow water.

“What about my bags?  They need to be taken to the cabin!”

“And it will be dark soon.  So you might want to get on that,” Blake chuckled.

Shasta was on the dock by now and she stomped her foot, fists balled at her sides.  “Do you know who I am?” she screamed.

“You look to me like a little brat who needs her ass tanned,” he fired back.

She shrieked unintelligibly and threw a rock at the boat.  She missed by a mile and the rock plonked harmlessly into the water.

Blake laughed again, started the engine, and headed back to the lodge.

Lost & Bound is out promo2

LOST & BOUND is Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone erotic romance novels featuring a light BDSM theme.  You can find it at this universal link:
books2read.com/LostandBound

And don’t miss LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1.
books2read.com/LukeAndBella

Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

ipadmini_707x1018 (2)RANSOMING REDEMPTION is the third and final book of Rannigan’s Redemption, a three-novel epic contemporary erotic romance/law drama.

A warning before you read any further: Spoilers abound…

In the first book, RESISTING RISK, high profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan hires Maggie Flynn straight out of law school to join his prestigious criminal defense practice.  While they’re both attracted to each other, they resist the risk, knowing that nothing good could come of an office romance.

In RUNNING ROGUE, the second book, one night of passion has torn Michael and Maggie apart.  She’s left the firm to pursue a career with the District Attorney’s office.  With Maggie gone, Michael is simply running rogue, making one bad decision after another.  And without Michael, Maggie is making her share of mistakes as well.  One cold, rainy night, desperation brings them back together.

In the finale, RANSOMING REDEMPTION, there’s a new man in Maggie’s life.  It’s all thanks to Michael, who sees the writing on the wall and feels the need to find redemption for all the ways he’s failed Maggie.  But putting her together with Bobby wasn’t easy.  She’s reluctant to take another chance on love.

Here’s a steamy excerpt from RANSOMING REDEMPTION.  Phone sex, anyone?

While the tub filled with hot water and lavender-scented suds, Maggie padded to the kitchen to pour herself a glass of wine.  Returning, she turned off the water, lit a few candles, and switched off the overhead light.  As an afterthought, she set her phone beside the wine glass on a stool she carried in from the living room.  Maybe Bobby would call.  She didn’t want to miss him because she was in the tub.

Satisfied, Maggie slowly sank into the steaming bath, leaning against the back of the tub and sighing contentedly.


In the privacy of his room, Bobby dialed Maggie’s number.  It was after 11:00, he realized, but they always seemed to talk at that hour anyway.

She picked up on the third ring.  “Hi!”  He could hear the smile in her voice.

“Hi, yourself, cher.  How are you?”

“I’m so much better now.  It’s good to hear your voice.  How is Savannah?”

Bobby smiled.  “She’s fine.  Tonight she was running around all over the place.  How was your day?”

Maggie sighed.  “Work was work.  I was glad to be in the office all day, though.  Oh, by the way, my boss asked about you today.”

He frowned slightly.  “What do you mean?”

“Someone told him that we left together for lunch.  He seemed…amused.”

Relief replaced the frown.  “That’s good.  I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble.  How’s Michael doing?”

Maggie gasped.  “Holy shit, you’ll never believe it.  Michael shaved his head today.  He’s completely bald.”

“Bald?” he laughed.  “I can’t even imagine.  Why did he do that?”

“He said the hair was falling out anyway and he wanted to be in control of it,” she replied.  “I’ll tell you, it was a shocker.”

“I’ll bet,” he chuckled.  “You sound funny.  Where are you anyway?”

“I’m in the bath,” she giggled, “I put my phone next to the tub.  I had a hunch you might call and I didn’t want to miss you.”

Bobby felt his cock stirring and gave a low chuckle.  “So what are you wearing right now, cher?”

Maggie glanced down at herself and grinned.  “Well, I’m wearing bubbles but they’re starting to disappear.”

She heard him laugh again.  “Really?” he asked.

“Really.  So what are you wearing?” she asked.

“Hang on,” Bobby said into the phone.  Maggie could hear noise in the background and he spoke again.  “I locked the door and took off my shirt and jeans.  I’m down to grey boxer briefs.

“Mmmm,” Maggie cooed appreciatively.  “I love grey boxer briefs.”

“I’m more interested in bubbles that disappear.  What do you see now?”

“Well,” she grinned, “in this candlelight it’s a little hard to see but I’m pretty sure those are my nipples sticking up out of the water.”

Bobby stretched back on the bed and pressed the phone to his ear.  He could picture those nipples, feel them on his lips.  “Touch them for me, cher,” he purred.  The line went quiet for a moment before he heard her moan lightly.  His cock stood at attention, and he stroked himself there, closing his eyes.  “How is that?”

“It’s nice.  Not as nice as when you do it,” she said softly.

He smiled to himself.  “I wish I could be there right now.  Move your hand lower.  Touch yourself for me.”

Her hand wandered lower coming to rest between her thighs.  “Oh, that’s good,” she breathed into the phone.

Bobby slid off his boxer briefs, kicking them to the floor.  “Make yourself come, cher.  I’ll do the same.”

“I’m putting you on speaker,” Maggie told him.  Moments later he could hear heavy breaths occasionally interrupted by soft moans.

Bobby gripped his cock and slid his hand up and down, remembering how it was to be inside her.  “Come on, cher, we’ll do this together,” he urged softly.  “Are you touching your pussy?”

“Yes,” she breathed.  Maggie worked her clit feverishly with one hand and pulled her nipples with the other, feeling herself nearing the edge.  “Oh, shit, Bobby, I’m so close…”

“Do it, cher, come for me, baby,” he breathed as he neared his own climax.  When he heard her call out loudly, he couldn’t hold off any longer, his release exploding across his stomach and chest.  “Oh, baby,” he murmured into the phone.

Maggie dried her hands on a towel and picked up her phone, taking it off speaker.  “Bobby, that was…” she panted.

“It was indeed,” Bobby agreed.  “You should see me, cher, I’m a mess,” he chuckled.

She giggled.  “I don’t mind a mess. In fact,” she continued, feeling emboldened by the combination of wine and their long-distance connection, “if you ever wanted to pull out and come on me, I kind of like that sometimes.”

His eyes rolled back in his head as he cock sprang to life again.  “Is that a fact, cher?”

“Mm-hmm,” she replied.  “You know, cum across my belly, dripping off my tits, off my chin…  I’m naughty like that.”

“Are you, now?  I need to get myself back to the city,” he growled, and she laughed lightly.

RR3 promo

You can get RANSOMING REDEMPTION here:

books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

1

Save when you buy the entire

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION COLLECTION

in one boxed set.

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Weekend Excerpt–JUST ONE NIGHT

Spring is in the air!  Days are longer and warmer, and summer’s just around the corner.  For this edition of the Weekend Excerpt, I’m featuring my naughty little summer novella, JUST ONE NIGHT.

On summer vacation, teacher Katie Parker is happy to leave behind her latest dating disaster as she joins her best friends from high school for their annual group outing.  This year, they’re going on a Caribbean cruise, and Katie is determined to find a hot guy for just one night of anonymous passion.

On board the ship, she meets hunky Mac Coleman, cruising to Mexico for his brother’s wedding.  He was more than willing to go along with the sexy, mysterious redhead’s plan for forgetting her ex.  But now, can he convince her they’re worth more than just one night?

Here’s a little teaser.

“So where is your redhead going?” Tommy wondered as he and his brother watched the women leave the dining room.

Mac shrugged lightly.  “She said something about karaoke tonight.”

Danny watched him for a moment.  “Aren’t you going after her?”

“Nah, she wasn’t really up for getting together.”

“Dude, that dress is killer.  She’s all dressed up for somebody,” Tommy observed.

“Yeah, well…”  Mac sipped his water for an excuse to stop talking.  “Hey, aren’t we hitting the casino tonight?”

Seated between his brothers at the roulette wheel, Mac watched the tiny white ball skitter around and come to rest on the thirteen.  Of course, he’d bet on the twelve.  After three rounds, he’d lost forty dollars.  Tommy had the best luck, winning with every spin.

“Gents, I’m going to have to stop while I’m behind,” Mac said, pushing back from the table.

Tommy gathered his chips and Danny joined them.  “What do you want to do now on your last night as a free man?”

Tommy grinned impishly at Mac.  “I’m kind of in the mood for karaoke.”

Mac’s expression was dubious.  “Karaoke?  Since when are you into karaoke?”

“Since my older brother started mooning over some sexy redhead whose name he doesn’t even know.”

The brothers pushed their way through the crowded lounge searching for an empty table.  Not finding one, they lucked out with three stools at the bar.  Settled on his stool, Mac scanned the room and found her nearly immediately at a table fronting the stage.  Her red hair stood out in the crowded room.

She looked up and her eyes widened in surprise before her lips curled in a suppressed smile.  He raised his beer that had just been served and she smiled wider, lifting her shot glass and overturning it dramatically.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the emcee announced, “up next, we have the Heartbreakers!”

A squeal rose from their table and the four women made their way onto the stage.  Mac watched in fascination as they took their cordless mics and stood with their backs to the audience.  Wondering what they might sing, he heard the opening disco beat and bass of Hot Stuff and laughed out loud as they women began a slinky choreographed dance routine.  He watched as the four took turns singing lines.  When it was her turn, she locked eyes with him.

“Dude, your girl is hot!” Tommy commented.

“Yes, she is,” Mac agreed.

“I’m guessing they’ve done this before,” Danny opined.  “God bless’em!”  He raised his beer in salute.

***

Much like that first time back in high school, the end of the song was met with thunderous applause and the four friends returned to their table flushed with the exertion.  “That never gets old,” Michelle laughed.  “Do you remember the look on old man Adams’ face?  He couldn’t decide whether to kick us out of the talent show or give us first prize.”  The women laughed at the memory.

“It took forever for our turn,” Chelsea commented.  “I want to go blow some money in the casino.  Are you in?”  She looked around the table.

“You guys go on.  I’m enjoying the music,” Katie hedged.  “Maybe I’ll just stay here a little longer.”

“Yeah, her mystery man and his brothers are here,” Michelle laughed.  “She wants to blow something, just not money.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake!”  Katie blushed furiously.

“Come on girls,” Jayma said, “let’s give Katie a little space.”  She kissed Katie’s cheek gently.  “Good luck, hon.  Have fun!”

Katie waved goodbye to her friends as they left.  Another group was onstage, working their way through Paradise by the Dashboard Light.  She saw his brothers stand and leave the bar.  He sat smiling at her and she smiled back.

Taking a cocktail napkin, she wiped the water rings from the table in preparation for his joining her.  Except that he didn’t join her.  When Katie looked again, he was watching the singers with rapt attention, even swaying a bit on his stool.

She frowned a bit.  His brothers left.  He saw the girls leave.  What gives?  She crossed her right leg over her left and jiggled her foot restlessly.  No way am I going over there.  If he thinks I’m going over there, he’s got another think coming.

She glanced his way again.  He was watching her with that same amused expression.  The one that made the butterflies in her stomach go bungee jumping.  Oh, fine!

As the group onstage finished and another singer was announced, Katie left her table and made her way to the bar, relieved to see an empty stool beside him.  As she approached him, the corner of his mouth curled slightly and his eyes sparkled with the smile he suppressed.

“Hey, you.  Would you mind if I joined you?” Katie asked.

“Hey, you.  I’d mind if you didn’t.”

She accepted his hand and he helped her onto the stool next to his.  “Thanks!”

“My pleasure.”  He surveyed her appreciatively.  “That’s a really nice dress.”

She flushed with pleasure.  “Thanks.  I wanted to be dressy for Formal Night.   You look very handsome yourself.”  She reached to touch the cuff of his shirt sleeve, pushing back his jacket.  “Cuff links?”  She fingered the textured silver squares.

He watched her with curiosity and nodded.  “Is that okay?”

She looked back to his face.  “I love cuff links.  They’re so…civilized.”

Mac laughed out loud.  “Something I’ve never been called: civilized.”

Katie’s brow furrowed.  “So why?  Why didn’t you come to my table?”

His eyes smiled.  “Because you said ‘one night only’.  I respect your boundaries.”

“Yeah.”  She idly fidgeted with a cardboard coaster.  “About that…”  She looked up at him through her long lashes and began to lightly caress the inside of his wrist as it rested on the bar.

He watched her another moment, a knowing gleam in his eyes.  “You can’t resist me.”

She looked back down to his hand.  “You’re pretty cocky.”

He gave an exaggerated snicker.  “You said ‘cock’.”

Katie giggled and rolled her eyes.

The next singer came on and began a spot-on version of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On.  They both laughed.  Mac grinned and joined in, his cheek brushing hers as he sang along softly.  Katie felt goose bumps as he crooned into her ear.  “Let’s get it on…”  Lightly, he nibbled her earlobe.  He planted a gentle kiss on her bare shoulder.

Katie took his hand and he looked back up.  “Come on, let’s go,” she said softly.

Originally, JUST ONE NIGHT was available exclusively on Amazon.  Now, it’s on sale everywhere, and it’s only .99!

Get your copy here:

books2read.com/JustOneNight

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Bashing Romance Novels–Don’t Do It

In this terrific article from Bustle, author Sarah Maclean asserts that bashing romance novels is just another form of slut-shaming.  This image is from the article and I’ve included the link below…

https://www.bustle.com/articles/186881-sarah-maclean-bashing-romance-novels-is-just-another-form-of-slut-shaming

Romance, erotic romance, and erotica may not be your cup of tea.  But that doesn’t mean that those who enjoy it are somehow morally inferior.  It doesn’t mean that romance authors produce inferior work.  If you don’t like it, don’t read it.  Like a good friend of mine always says, ‘To each his own.’

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Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1

Happy Weekend!  I hope your week was great.  Mine was looooong, so I’m thrilled for a couple of days to chill.

Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel contemporary erotic romance set in Manhattan.  Michael Rannigan is a founding partner and the handsome face of the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, and Metheny.  When he meets spunky redhead Maggie Flynn at a job fair, he hires her to join his elite high-profile criminal defense team.

Maggie changes her mind about the job she’s already been offered at the District Attorney’s office, taking the opportunity to work with Michael, the object of her all-but-impossible crush.

Michael isn’t unaware of Maggie’s feelings for him.  He sees that look in her eye.  And it feeds his insatiable ego.  But she’s so unlike his usual choice of vapid bottle-blondes, the ones he calls when he wants a little company for a few hours.  He’d never consider her dating material.  She’s too smart, for one thing.  On the other hand, there’s something about Mary Margaret Flynn that he can’t quite ignore.

This weekend’s excerpt is from RESISTING RISK, the first book of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.

“Mags,” she heard out of the shifting fog.  “We’re back in town.  I need you to tell us where to go.”

She opened her eyes and realized that she’d been sleeping with her head on Michael’s shoulder.   “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”  She sat up abruptly.  “I didn’t realize…  I wish you’d awakened me.”

“No worries.  But we need to know exactly where to take Ben and where your place is.”

Maggie could see the driver watching her in the rear view mirror.  “My place.  Right.”  She gave the address and the driver thanked her, the partition whooshing back into place.  “Ben can sleep it off on my couch.  It won’t be the first time.”

The car came to a stop in front of Maggie’s apartment.  “Nice building, Mags.  Is the whole thing yours?”

She fairly snorted.  “In my dreams!  One day when I’m rich and famous, I’ll have my own brownstone.  For now I’m happy with a tiny part of the second floor.”  She smiled gratefully.  “Thanks again for the ride.  You are a life saver.”  She moved to open the door but the driver was there first.

“Let me help you get him inside,” Michael offered.  They both glanced at Ben, who hadn’t so much as shifted during the entire ride.

She looked back at Michael.  “Probably a good idea.  I won’t be able to get him up the stairs by myself.”  They succeeded in rousing Ben enough for him to put his arms around their shoulders and they moved him to the sidewalk.

Michael spoke quietly to the driver, who nodded before returning to the driver’s seat and slowly driving away.  Maggie looked at him questioningly.  “I told him to find a place to park.  I’ll call him after we get your date settled.”

They managed the stairs and Michael leaned Ben between himself and the wall as Maggie unlocked the door and let them into her apartment.  “Let’s just lay him on the couch,” she said, cocking her head in the direction of a large grey velvet sofa with navy blue accent pillows.

They worked together to get the unconscious and snoring Ben safely onto the couch, Michael studiously ignoring the way his jacket gapped open, inviting views of Maggie’s breasts as she leaned over to place a pillow under Ben’s head.

“Thank you so much, Michael,” she said as she removed his jacket and held it uncertainly.  “Can I offer you a beer or coffee or something?  Or do you need to go?”

“Coffee sounds good,” he answered.

Maggie smiled brightly as she gently placed his jacket over the back of a kitchen chair and set about making coffee.  Michael wandered around the living room area to the bay window and looked out over the street.  He turned back around to take in the view of the room.  It was small, of course, but nice in a quirky sort of way.  She’d left on a dim lamp near the window that gave enough light to the space without being intrusive.  “This is a nice place,” he commented.

She smiled at him from the kitchen counter.  “Thanks.  And again, I really appreciate your giving us a ride.”

“Mags, you’ve thanked me about a thousand times,” he said gently.

She blushed slightly.  “Well, I didn’t want to forget,” she said sheepishly.

He watched her as she worked in the kitchen, measuring out coffee into a French press, putting a kettle of water on the stove, little mundane domestic tasks.  His mind skipped to flashes of her from throughout the night.  Slowly it dawned on him what it was about Maggie that made him uncomfortable.

She’s real.  She has no hidden agenda.  She isn’t playing some game, she doesn’t want anything from me.  He sighed deeply. She’s the kind of girl who could make you forget your own rules.

Michael slowly crossed the room and stood by the kitchen counter.  “Can I help with something?”

“No, it’s all done.  We’re just waiting for the water to boil.”  She leaned back resting her hand on the counter.

He gently placed his hand on hers.  “You…are very dangerous,” he whispered, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it softly, his deep brown eyes peering into hers.  Her brow furrowed, perplexed.

Gently, he tilted up her chin with his fingers and leaned down, meeting her lips with his own, lightly at first, and then more urgently.  He ran his other hand down the smooth fabric of the back of her dress coming to rest on her firm ass as he probed her mouth with his tongue, seeking hers.

Maggie responded, matching the heat of his kiss, reaching up, tangling her fingers in the hair behind his ear, giving herself over to his embrace.  Michael’s hand left her ass and smoothed its way back up to her side, her ribs, stopping just under her breast.  Reluctantly he pulled himself away.

Maggie breathlessly gazed up at him.  He smiled gently.  “We’re both a little drunk,” he said.  “Which is why I’d better go.”  Tenderly, he kissed her once again and walked out the door.

RESISTING RISK is where it all begins.
It’s available for just .99 at this link:  books2read.com/ResistingRisk

But you can get RESISTING RISK for FREE when you sign up for my Newsletter:
https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EvsRs

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Weekend WIP Excerpt–For Sparrow

It feels like it’s been forever since I posted an excerpt!  Today, I’m giving you a sneak peek at FOR SPARROW, my current work in progress, and Book 3 of The Dream Dominant Collection.  Since it’s a Dream Dominant book, you know there are some things you can count on: a stand-alone story featuring a smart redheaded leading lady, a drop dead sexy Dominant man, light BDSM themes, and romance with plenty of heart.

In FOR SPARROW, Jessi Crenshaw, at forty-five, is a shell-shocked young widow.  Although her husband of twenty-five years had survived a health scare in the past, she couldn’t have imagined that he’d be gone so suddenly.  Having lived the last several years as Graham’s submissive, she’s lost not only her husband, partner, lover, and friend, she’s lost her Master.

But it turns out that Graham had had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he made provisions for Jessi, in the form of hunky fire rescue paramedic Judd Farris, whom the older man had mentored in the BDSM lifestyle.  Graham made Judd promise that in the event of his death, Judd would look out for Jessi, at least until she got back on her feet.

Could it be that Graham’s intentions went beyond a temporary solution?

Here’s a brand new excerpt from For Sparrow.

Jessi held herself together while the kids were home.  No sense having them worry about her.  They needed to get back to their lives.  She certainly didn’t want them feeling as though they needed to babysit her.

Adam left for Orlando on Friday morning.  By the time Jessi dropped off Cara at Palm Beach International on Friday afternoon, she was exhausted.  She hadn’t been able to keep food down since she’d gotten the news about Graham.  She also hadn’t been able to sleep.  Now, with the house to herself, she finally let herself fall apart.

In the hamper in the master bath she found an undershirt of Graham’s.  It smelled of his cologne and dirty clothes.  She undressed, shrugged into the ‘wife-beater’ tank top, and crawled into bed.  There, she cried for hours, screamed for a while until her voice was gone, and ranted at the universe for letting her down.  When the tears dried up, she curled into a ball and found herself in a sort of twilight not unlike subspace, but rather than feeling safe she simply felt empty.

Eventually, disoriented and having no idea of the time, Jessi headed downstairs to the kitchen.  The clock on the microwave blinked 2:34.

Must be a.m.  It’s dark outside, she thought vaguely.

Checking the fridge, she saw that it was still half full of casseroles she couldn’t bear to uncover, let alone try to eat, so she closed the door and headed to the liquor cabinet in the dining room, choosing the first bottle her hand touched.  It happened to be a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels.  Uncapping the whiskey, she took a long pull and coughed as the warm liquid hit her raw throat.

Unable to bear the emptiness of her bedroom, she took the whiskey with her and let herself out the back door, choosing a lounge chair by the pool where she proceeded to drain the rest of bottle before passing out.

Slowly, Jessi became aware of the noise of some sort of lawn equipment.

                Damn neighbors.  She tentatively cracked open one eye and wondered at the gecko staring back at her.

               Holy shit, I slept outside.  She carefully peeled her cheek from the seat cushion and pushed herself to a sitting position on the lounge chair, immediately regretting the sudden movement.

“Oh, my God,” she groaned, reaching to hold her head.  Still, the relentless sound of trimmers echoed in her ears.  From her position at the edge of the pool deck she could see past the end of the house, and to her surprise, a stranger was in her yard.

Portrait of a calm handsome young man leaning to the wall outdoo

Ignoring the pounding in her head, she stood and walked toward the source of the sound.  A tall muscular man with dark brown hair was trimming her hedges.  He was dressed in a white t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and worn brown leather work boots.

“Excuse me!” Jessi shouted, the effort sending pain shooting through her head.  The man didn’t respond.

Moving closer she tried again, holding her head with both hands to prevent it from blowing apart.  “I said, excuse me!”

Startled, he jumped and turned off the offending machine, his brown eyes made larger by surprise.  “I’m sorry, did I wake you?” he asked.

“What are you doing here?” Jessi asked.

“I’m trimming these hedges.”

Jessi frowned.  “Yeah, I can see that.  I mean, why are you on my property, trimming my hedges?”

The man frowned as well.  “Um, I mentioned to you that I’d be here today to help out with your lawn.”

“Who are you?  When did we decide that you’d come here to do my hedges?”

He smiled in a friendly way.  “I’m Judd.  Farris.  We spoke at the funeral?  I said that I’d be over today to help out.”

Jessi blinked at him, trying desperately to recall ever having had a conversation with this…Judd person.

“Out by your pool?  I know, there were a lot of people here.  It probably all runs together.”

You have no idea, she thought.  “Oh, you were friends with Graham?”

He grinned broadly.  “Exactly.  Graham and I used to go for coffee every once in a while.”

Jessi aimed for a kind smile.  “Well, look Judd, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  But you really don’t need to come over here and trim the hedges.  It’s very nice of you, but I’ll be okay.”

Judd shook his head.  “I promised Graham I’d check in on you, take care of things like this.”

“That’s great of you, but there’s no need.  I release you from your promise,” Jessi said, her patience wearing thin.

“It was a promise I made to Graham.  You have nothing to do with it,” he said reasonably and he prepared to continue with his work.

“I have everything to do with it.  Graham isn’t here.  You’re dealing with me, now.”

Judd let the trimmer hang down at his side and looked at her intently.  “You look like shit, if you don’t mind me saying so.  When is the last time you combed your hair?  You have little leaves in it.”

Jessi’s eyes went wide and she started to reply, but he cut her off.  “You do realize you’re standing in your yard wearing only a stained men’s undershirt, right?  I was trying to ignore it, but damn.  A guy can only keep his eyes averted for so long.”

Jessi glanced down to see Graham’s undershirt, which barely covered her panties and clung to her breasts like Saranwrap in the humidity of the morning.  “Shit!” she swore.

“No worries, Jessi.  I’ll be out of your hair as soon as I’m done with these hedges,” Judd said as he started the trimmers again and returned to his work.

Jessi hurried back to the pool deck and into the house.

I’m still hard at work on FOR SPARROW.  Stay tuned for news on a cover reveal and a release date.  In the meantime, check out the first two Dream Dominant books, LUKE & BELLA and LOST & BOUND.