Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

She is the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

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

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

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

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

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

WARRIOR MINE came about as a follow-up to LOST & BOUND. While readers enjoyed Blake and Shasta’s story, they were eager to know what happened with Blake’s sister Jackie and his best friend, Scott. From the get-go, Jackie was strong and independent. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great to write a submissive who rescues her Dominant?

Here’s a snippet from WARRIOR MINE.

Wringing her hands in front of her, Jackie paced back and forth by the windows as cold fear thrummed through her veins. The storm seemed to have increased in intensity, but she wondered whether it was just her imagination.

She’d received Scott’s text half an hour earlier, and she’d forced herself to walk away from the computer where his GPS location was being tracked on a map of the lake. Watching minute by minute wasn’t helping anything, and she had guests to attend to.

A glance showed her that Emma and Grant were still playing quietly, unaware of the danger Scott faced alone in the snow. Perhaps it was that, to them, strong and larger than life as he was, he was simply invincible. She envied them, she realized.

“He’s fine, Jacks.” Blake materialized beside her, handing her a mug of coffee.

Jackie accepted it, nodding her thanks. “I know. I just…” She shrugged, not knowing what else to say.

A loud bang from the reception area startled them, and a whoosh of cold air swirled into the room.

“Oh, thank God!” Jackie ran to the dining room door, several others following behind her. Across the reception area, the lodge’s front door had swung all the way open, banging against the wall. Snow swirled wildly on icy gusts around a lone figure in a black parka.

Jackie grabbed his arm and pulled him further into the room, then battled the wind to close the door. Hadley Pierce tugged down his hood and stomped to shake off the snow from his boots and clothes.

“C-c-cold,” he shivered, pulling off his heavy gloves.

“Come on, bud,” Dan Spinelli said. “Let’s get you by the fire.” He helped the man out of his coat and guided him into the dining room.

Jackie hung the coat on a hook and followed. “Where’s Scott? Putting away the snowmobile?”

Pierce pulled off his black knit beanie, uncovering his shaggy dark hair which stuck out in all directions. He dropped the cap to the floor and held his hands out toward the fire. “So fucking cold,” he muttered.

“Scott! Where’s Scott?” Jackie grabbed the young man’s arm and spun him around.

He blinked down at her.

“Dammit! Where is Scott?”

“How should I know?” he shrugged, turning back to the fire.

Jackie grabbed him again, whirling him around and slamming him against the stone of the fireplace. “You should know because he went out looking for your sorry ass when you went out in the middle of a fucking blizzard,” she growled.

Blake placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Easy, sis.”

Indignance flashed in Pierce’s eyes. “Look, all I know is, your piece of shit snowmobile broke down, and I had to walk all the way back here. I don’t know anything about Scott.”

He shoved past Jackie to return to the fire. “He’s a sorry excuse for a wilderness expert, you ask me,” he muttered.

Before Blake could stop her, Jackie spun the young man around once more and slapped him hard across the face. A second crack rang out before Pierce could recover from the first.

“You listen to me, you snot-nosed motherfucker.” Jackie waved her finger in his face.

Blake gently wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her away from the young man.

“He’s out there looking for you after you ignored his instructions. He told you not to go out in a blizzard. He’s risking his life for you, you sorry sack of shit!”

Pierce opened his mouth to reply, but Jackie raised her hand as if to slap him a third time. “Not another word. You keep your mouth shut, and you stay away from me. As soon as this storm’s over, I want you out of here, and I never want to see you again.”

She turned on her heel, heading to the office. Blake followed close behind her. “Jacks, we’ll just text him and tell him to come back.”

“Yeah, but it still infuriates me that one idiot created such a mess. And the snowmobile didn’t ‘break down.’ He wrecked it on the rocks at the end of the lake. Scott found it.”

She tapped in the password and the screen lit up with a topographical map of the lake. Leaning closer, she blinked. The blip that had been Scott was gone. She refreshed the page, but there was no red path leading from the lodge to the end of the lake.

“What the…” Blake clicked a few things, but nothing changed the map.

On her phone, Jackie sent a quick text.

The douchebag just showed up. Hurry back now.

The message was immediately returned with an error notification. Receiving device unavailable. Try again later.

Jackie looked up at Blake, who shrugged slightly. “Something must be wrong with his sat-com.” He scrubbed a hand across his mouth as he sank into a chair. “So, we don’t know where he is, and we can’t communicate with him.”

“I’m calling the police,” Jackie said, determination in her voice. She tapped the number into the office phone.

After a trio of rings, someone answered. “Eliot Lake Police, Ned Hart.”

“Ned, thank God! This is Jackie Walker at Lake Miranda Lodge. One of our survival school students went AWOL in the storm, and Scott went out after him. The thing is, the guy wandered back, but Scott’s still out there. We can’t get ahold of him on the sat-com, and I’m frantic. Can you send someone out to look for him?”

There was a pause on the other end. Then, “Jackie, I can’t send anyone out in the middle of a blizzard. Now I’m looking at the radar, and it looks like this might all be past us in another couple of hours, but I’m sure you understand, I can’t risk the lives of my team in the middle of a storm like this.”

Jackie felt as though she’d been gut-punched. She fought to breathe.

“Jackie?”

She pulled herself straight and tall. “Fine,” she said softly, “I’ll just go find him myself.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE

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

I’m so excited that my new novel, THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE, is finally out! It’s been a long time coming, with one interruption after another, but hopefully, it’s worth the wait.

The idea for this book came from a news report I saw about a celebrity becoming a first-time parent via gestational surrogate. I began to wonder…

Who is this woman having a child for a stranger who can’t do it on their own? What is her motivation, her life situation? What are her hopes and dreams?

So I began to explore these notions by writing. This book is the result. Read the official blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a little teaser.

Looking around the room, Charley saw some of the paintings she had watched Ben working on in his loft. She took a few steps toward one, an abstract in bright colors. “This is amazing,” she whispered. “Look at this! All your work for people to see.”

“And buy, hopefully,” he laughed. “I’m always hoping to sell my pieces.”

He stepped toward her and took her hand. “There’s something I want to show you.”

Curious, Charley allowed him to lead her around a corner where another few paintings were hanging. Ben stood her in front of one and stepped back. “These are the ones I wanted to keep a surprise until today.”

Frowning slightly, Charley gazed at the vast canvas rectangle. The first thing she noticed was the riot of color. But unlike the abstracts she had seen in the main part of the room, this painting, and the ones beside it, were clearly representational, albeit more impressionistic than realistic.

In the first one, a hand reached out toward a form moving away from it. Looking closer, Charley saw that it was a woman. A woman with red hair. Frowning, she turned her head to look at Ben, who pursed his lips and waited for her reaction.

She moved to the next painting. In this one, the red-haired woman was closer, but her back was still turned. In the third piece, the woman was closer still, and now she looked over her shoulder at the viewer, a happy, impish expression on her face. Unconsciously, Charley reached up to touch her own face. “Is this me?” she asked quietly.

Ben stood beside her, draping his arm around her waist. “I had this dream so many times. You were always just out of my reach. Obviously, I didn’t know it was you. Until I did know it was you. And everything fell into place. This was a story I had to tell.”

Worry knit his brow as he looked down at her. “Do you hate it?”

“Of course, I don’t hate it. I love it! And I love you.” Even in her boots, she had to tiptoe to reach him to press a kiss to his lips. “It’s amazing, and I’m flattered beyond, well, anything.”

Ben exhaled loudly. “Thank God! I thought it was a great idea, and I kept it a surprise, but then, I started having second thoughts once it was up in here. What if you hated them? What if you were angry that I painted you?”

Charley chuckled. “You worry a lot. Who wouldn’t love this? I suppose that, in a way, it’s our story, right?”

“It is at that,” Ben agreed, drawing her to himself. “I am a lucky, lucky man.”

“Okay, the doors are opening!” someone shouted into the room. “Ready or not, here they come.”

“Hoo, boy. Here goes nothing,” Ben muttered.

“This is going to be great,” Charley reassured him.

**

And it was. The buzz about Ben’s work was highly positive, and several of the pieces sold in the first hour. Their friends Robin and Cam came, and Ben was glad Charley had someone to hang out with while he schmoozed potential buyers and chatted with old friends.

Drew and Alex popped in, purchasing a painting Drew said he planned to hang in his office.

Occasionally, Charley would flit by to bring him a drink or to squeeze his hand reassuringly. Ben’s heart ached at the pride he saw in her eyes. He was, indeed, a lucky man.

He was chatting with Charley when he heard a familiar voice.

“Great work, as usual. No surprise there. How are you, Ben?”

He turned to see Claire holding a glass of wine in salute and felt his eyes widen. “Claire?”

“I heard you had a show, and I wanted to see your new work.” Her words were for Ben, but her eyes were on Charley.

Belatedly, he realized he needed to introduce them. “Claire, meet Charley Weatherly. Charley, this is Claire.”

He didn’t miss the narrowing of Claire’s eyes. Or the way she was laser-focused on Charley’s baby bump. What surprised him was that Charley gave Claire the same look. He recognized Charley’s forced smile as she reached to shake the woman’s hand.

“Nice to meet you,” Charley murmured politely.

Claire nodded rather imperiously if he wasn’t reading too much into it. “Likewise.”

Charley lightly squeezed his arm. “I’m going to see if I can find Robin and Cam.” She looked at Claire. “Again, nice to meet you.” She scurried off without waiting for a reply. Which was just as well since there wasn’t one.

Instead, Claire crossed her arms and glared at him. “Wow, Ben, what have you been up to?”

Opting to ignore the real meaning of her question, he shrugged lightly. “Oh, you know, same old same old. I kind of busted a hump to get this show ready, but other than that, just the usual.”

“You know what I mean. You’re going to be a father?”

Ben glanced around to find Charley talking with Robin, whose eyes were shooting daggers Claire’s way. He had to suppress a smile.

“No,” he shook his head. “The babies aren’t mine.”

“Babies? As in plural?” Claire was aghast. “You’re dating a chick who is pregnant with someone else’s babies, plural?”

“They aren’t hers, either. Charley’s a surrogate. The twins are actually Alex and Drew’s, and they’re due in May.”

“Unbelievable,” Claire muttered, shaking her head. “You’ve reached a new low, do you know that?”

“I have no idea what you mean,” he answered, trying to tamp down his growing irritation.

“You’re dating a pregnant chick,” she hissed. “Do I really need to explain how pathetic that is? You’re a young, great-looking guy, and you can do way better. And you know it, too.”

“Hey!” Ben had had enough. “I love Charley. And she loves me. I know you, Claire. I know that genuine love is a foreign concept to you. For you, it’s all fun and games. But I’ve always been looking for the missing part of me.”

“Right,” Claire rolled her eyes. “And this Charley person is it.” Her tone was beyond sarcastic.

“Okay, Claire,” Ben said stiffly. “Thanks for coming by. I need to mingle with the other guests. See you later.” He tried to move off before she could say anything else.

“I was accepted into the residency. I’m going to Paris at the beginning of April.”

Ben paused. “Congrats!” he hurled over his shoulder. “I hope you enjoy it.”

“Have you heard from them yet?” Claire asked.

He shook his head. “Nope. Goodnight, Claire.”

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE by Pandora Spocks

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE
is now available at your favorite online bookseller!
books2read.com/TheGirlInTheGuesthouse

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

She’s the perfect combination of princess & warrior.

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

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

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

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

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

Read a snippet now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This makes you nervous,” he observed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jackie blushed, wrapping her arms around herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jackie’s eyes widened. “What?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This is crazy.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’ve got you, don’t worry.”

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

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

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

“I promise. I’m not going anywhere.”

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

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

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

“Would you do it again?”

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

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

She is the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

Scott Nielsen and Jackie Walker

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

Scott Nielsen is ready for change. He’s walked away from his career as a wilderness counselor, planning to start his own outdoor survival school. He looks up his old friend and former colleague Blake Walker, intent on leasing space at Blake’s family’s remote wilderness guest lodge.

That’s where he meets Blake’s sister Jackie, who runs the lodge with her brother’s help. Her strength and independence intrigue Scott. A single mom, Jackie has no intention of being anyone’s submissive.

In his personal life, Scott is tired of casual sex in the BDSM club scene. Envious watching his buddy Blake fall head over heels for his own submissive, Scott thinks he might be ready to take the plunge himself. As he and Jackie spend time together, he’s enchanted with her inner Warrior Princess.

But Jackie’s been burned before. And she has two children who are her priority, not to mention the business to run. As independent as she is, she can’t see relinquishing her power to a man, not even one she’s falling for.

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

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

Here’s a teaser from WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.

Early the following morning, grey light filtering into the tent and the soft chirps of purple finches outside roused Jackie. Scott and the children were still fast asleep, but feeling the call of nature, Jackie quietly wriggled out of her sleeping bag and slipped out of the tent.

In the early morning chill, she pulled her blue hoodie around herself and headed into the woods behind the tent.

Minutes later, she returned, for the first time, looking out toward the water. Early morning fog shrouded the surface of the lake, but what caught her attention was the black bear curiously nosing around the skiff at the edge of the water.

Following dinner the previous night, they’d placed the cooler back in the boat to keep from having it at the campsite, and Jackie realized that even from inside the large plastic cube, the smell of hot dogs was probably extremely enticing. But the fact that her children and Scott slept mere meters away pushed her into action.

“Nope! No way!” she shouted, waving her arms wildly. “This is not working for me. Get out, bear! Go on, get!”

The bear looked up in surprise. Jackie stepped closer, continuing with waves and shouts. Stooping, she picked up a rock and lobbed it in the bear’s direction, plinking the side of the aluminum boat with a resounding thunk.

Opting to search for an easier meal, the bear turned and splashed through the water before loping up a hillside further down the shore.

Jackie turned to see Scott standing outside the tent, barefooted and hair askew, his jeans and red long-sleeved cotton t-shirt wrinkled from sleep. His expression said that he wasn’t happy. Wide-eyed, Emma and Grant peered around his legs from inside the tent.

“What was it, Mom?” Grant asked.

“Just a bear, but don’t worry about it; he’s gone now. You can go back to sleep.”

“A bear?” Emma echoed shrilly.

“He’s gone, baby, it’s okay.”

“You guys rest for a little while longer,” Scott said. “We’ll get you up for breakfast.”

Squatting, he withdrew his boots, then zipped the tent. After slipping on the boots, he marched toward Jackie, finger-combing his hair and tying it in a loose knot at the back of his head.

Sensing his anger, Jackie crossed her arms and squared her shoulders.

When he reached her, he took her gently by the elbow and led her further down the beach. “That was not safe, Jackie. What were you thinking? No way should you have approached that bear on your own,” he hissed.

“What was I supposed to do, let it get into the boat? Into the cooler? All I wanted to do was scare it away.”

Scott shook his head and exhaled in exasperation. “When I think about what might have happened…” He looked back at her. “Jackie, you have to keep yourself safe.”

She raised her chin indignantly. “I needed to keep you and the kids safe. That’s what I was thinking.”

“Careful with your tone, Princess. You’re in enough trouble as it is.”

“Oh, please, are you serious right now? I scared away a fucking bear. What should I have done? Gotten you up so you could scare it away?”

“You should have let me help you. That’s what you should have done. And I’m keeping track. Going after the bear by yourself, the tone, the sass. And the language on top of it all? Your ass is going to be so red.” He leaned over her, eyes flashing with a mixture of anger and desire.

Jackie wanted to stay angry, but she felt her core melting at the promise of a spanking. Still, she couldn’t resist pushing back. “Is that so?”

A low growl rolled up from his chest, and he grasped the front of her shirt, pulling her to himself and capturing her lips in a rough, demanding kiss. When he released her, she was breathless. “That’s so, Princess. Mark my words. Your ass is mine.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–WIP Sneak Peek!

When your back is against the wall,
how far will you go to provide for the ones you love?

Three years ago, Charley Weatherly walked away from a nine-to-five she hated to take a chance on her dream, running her own boutique bookstore. Unfortunately, business hasn’t been good. Whether it’s the location or the fact that most folks seem to prefer to buy their books online anymore, the remainder of Charley’s 401k might be enough to keep her afloat for another six months, tops.

Between trying to keep the business going and caring for the grandmother who raised her, Charley’s lovelife is nonexistent. It’s a sacrifice she’s willing to make, at least for the time being. She’s too tired to think about men anyway.

But when her grandmother nearly burns down the house while Charley is work, it becomes obvious that Nana needs more care than Charley can provide. So rather than propping up the business for one last try, Charley realizes that she has to use that money to get Nana into a quality memory care program.

Here’s an unedited snippet from what I’m tentatively calling THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE.

“Okay, Nana, that about does it.”  Charley placed the last stack of clothes into the large suitcase on the bed.  “You’re all set to go tomorrow.”

Celeste smiled vaguely.  “Where am I going again?”

“You have a new room at Pacifico Manor.  Remember your friend Mary?  And Cole Porter?”

“Oh, yes,” her grandmother said.  “That’s just lovely.”

From the back pocket of her jeans, Charley’s phone rang.  “Hello?”

“Yes, Ms. Weatherly, this is Ruth Allen at Pacifico Manor.”

“Oh, hello!  We were just getting Nana all packed.”

The other woman hesitated for a moment.  “Yes, well, we have a bit of a problem.  I’m sure it’s just a simple oversight, but your grandmother’s auto-draft for her first month with us was declined due to insufficient funds.”

Charley frowned as she stalked away from Celeste’s bedroom.  “Insufficient funds?  There must be some mistake.  There was more than $30,000 in that account.”

“Like I said, I’m sure it’s just an oversight of some kind.  But we need it sorted out before Mrs. Martin can move in.”

“I understand.  I’ll check into it and get back with you.  Thank you so much.”

She returned to the bedroom where Celeste alternated between hovering over the bags and bewilderedly peering into the empty closet.  “Come watch some TV, Nana.  Then we’ll go out for a little dinner.”

With Celeste settled on the sofa watching a Golden Girls rerun, Charley took her laptop to the kitchen table and fired it up, heading for the bank website.  Pulling up the new account, she quickly found the balance and blinked unbelievingly.  

$0.00.

Her heart pounded.  How can that be?  Last week I moved $30,000, the last of my 401k.

Hand covering her mouth, she stared at the screen.  I’ve been hacked.  It’s the only thing that makes sense.  

It had happened before.  The contents of her checking account had been drained a few hundred dollars here and there from several ATMs in Toronto, a city in which she’d never set foot.  The matter had been resolved in about a week, but it had been stressful nonetheless.

But $30,000 certainly raised the anxiety factor.  She pulled up the account details to see if she could determine the location of the withdrawals.

The most recent activity was when Pacifico had attempted to draft Nana’s first monthly payment.  But that had been declined.  There was only one other transaction.

Charley’s mouth dropped open.  The entire $30,000 had gone to the Universal Church of the Apostolic Divine.  “Son of a…” she breathed.  “That shady TV preacher.”

How?  How did they get their hands on that account?  Charley wracked her brain.  The day she’d moved the money, she’d left the checkbook in the kitchen.  She’d been certain she’d left it on the table, but later, she’d found it on the counter.  

On shaky legs, she walked into the living room.  Celeste had changed the channel and was now engrossed in yet another sermon from Pastor Pompadour.  Charley drew a deep, cleansing breath and focused on keeping her voice even.  

“Nana?”  She used the remote to mute the television.  Celeste looked up at her expectantly.

“Nana, did you give money to that man?”

Celeste glanced back at the television.  “God told him he was going to die if he didn’t buy a new airplane.  We had to help.”

Charley squeezed her eyes shut and roughly scrubbed her lips with the palm of her hand.  She followed her grandmother’s gaze to the screen where the man silently moved his lips and waved his hands.  A telephone number was emblazoned across the bottom of the screen.  

We have to get the money back, that’s all there is to it.  She retrieved her phone from her back pocket and tapped in the number.

Handing the remote to Celeste, Charley stalked out the front door and into the mild evening.  The phone rang twice, then was answered by a woman with a strong southern accent.  

“Thank you for calling our love line.  I hope you’re having a blessed day.  How much would you like to give?”

“Um, yes, I need to speak to someone about getting back a donation?  My grandmother inadvertently gave some money that was meant for another purpose.”

“You need financial help?  I’m sorry, this is the wrong line for that.  This is the line for giving.”

Charley pinched the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger.  “No, what I’m saying is that my grandmother gave $30,000 that she shouldn’t have.  I just need it refunded.”  

“Oh, no, ma’am, we don’t do that.”

With more patience than she felt, Charley forged ahead.  “I need to speak with someone in charge.  Do you have a supervisor I can talk to, please?”

With a humph, the operator responded with a “Just one moment, please,” and didn’t bother to put Charley on hold.  “Yeah, Dot, we’ve got a live one.”

Another cheery southern voice came on the line.  “Hello, I sure hope you’re having a blessed day.  What seems to be the trouble?”

Feeling her temper rising, Charley took a deep cleansing breath.  “I was explaining to your colleague that my grandmother donated a very large sum of money that was meant for something else.  She suffers from dementia and she didn’t realize what she was doing.  I’m just asking that her donation be refunded.  Please,” she tacked on for good measure.

“Mm-hmm.  And is your grandmother’s name on the account she used?”

Charley thought for a second.  “Yes, it’s a joint account with both our names on it.”

“Okay, then.  Your grandmother made a generous love offering out of her own bank account.  She’s a grown adult and as such, is free to do as she pleases.  And it pleased her to give of her tithes and offerings to the Lord.  Far be it from us to stand in the way of her blessing.  And shame on you for trying.  Have a blessed day!”  The last sentiment sounded more like a curse just before the woman disconnected.

Bewildered, Charley looked at the phone in her hand.  Then she looked back at the house.  What are we going to do?

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE by Pandora Spocks (unedited excerpt)

Watch for more about this WIP in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, why not read RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION,
my all-time fan favorite?

Weekend Excerpt–Making Out Old-School

She was the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

After the release of LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2, some readers were interested in hearing the story of two supporting characters. Jackie Walker, sister of Blake from Lost & Bound, and Scott Nielsen, Blake’s best friend, were clearly in a relationship by the end of that book, and people wanted to know the steamy details.

So I wrote WARRIOR MINE, Jackie and Scott’s story. Jackie is a tough single mom, working hard to run the remote Canadian guest lodge that has been in her family for generations. When her brother’s friend Scott shows up one day hoping to base his new wilderness survival school at Lake Miranda Lodge, Jackie is immediately attracted to the tall nordic outdoorsman. And he likes her, too.

But he’s Dominant. Is there any way this fierce, independent woman will gift him with her submission?

Here’s a teaser from WARRIOR MINE:

Forty-five minutes later, they drove into Fairson, the next town north of Eliot Lake. As they drove past darkened shop windows, Scott glanced at Jackie, enjoying the fact that she had no idea where they were going. Just outside the town limits, Scott turned onto a small road leading out through the forest.

Before long, they came to a place where the countryside opened onto a broad field beside a small lake. Rows of vehicles were parked in the field, facing a large inflatable screen. Jackie’s expression was quizzical.

Scott had to laugh. “I saw a flyer in Manitoulin today. I couldn’t resist.”
They drove through the gate and followed instructions to the next open space, where Scott backed in.

“You’ll never guess what they’re showing tonight,” he said as he opened his door. “Stay right there, I’ll come around.”

Pleased that she did as she was told, Scott opened Jackie’s door with a flourish. “My lady?” Jackie accepted his hand and allowed him to help her out of the truck.

From behind the seat, he retrieved the black duffel bag, then closed the door.

“Are you going to tell me what they’re showing?” Jackie asked.

“Nope.” With a smug grin, he led her to the back of the truck, where he lowered the tailgate. He unzipped the bag and removed a wool blanket with a large red and black plaid pattern. With a shake, he unfurled the blanket in the truck bed.

He hoisted himself up, then helped Jackie climb up, too. They settled, leaning against the truck’s cab. From the bag, Scott produced a bottle of white wine and a pair of plastic wine glasses. Jackie held the glasses as he poured.

"And if you'll hold mine for just a second..." Scott reached into the bag, this time withdrawing a bag of popcorn. This he placed between them.

"One last thing," he said, holding up a finger. He took a small black device from the outer pocket of the bag. "FM receiver," he said.

"You thought of everything, didn't you?" Jackie observed. He gave her a wink. "I wanted to impress you."

She sipped her wine and smiled, gazing out over the field. Scott wondered what she was thinking.

Beyond the crowd at the end of the field, the screen lit up and the opening credits began to play. Scott watched Jackie carefully.

She gasped lightly. “The Birds!”

Scott grinned. “See? When I found out, I couldn’t resist.”

**

As flocks of homicidal avians descended on Bodega Bay, Scott rested his arm on the back of the truck’s cab with Jackie nestled against him. Though he was as much a Hitchcock fan as the next guy, he couldn’t have cared less about the movie. Having his arm around Jackie drew his thoughts in a completely different direction.

With his middle finger, he drew lazy circles on her exposed shoulder and watched as she kept her eyes on the movie screen and pretended to ignore the goose bumps that appeared on her arms. He leaned down to press soft kisses where he’d drawn circles, lingering to drag his goatee across her skin. When she finally looked up at him, he fixed her with a heated gaze, watching as she unconsciously caught her lower lip between her teeth.

Lowering his head, he stopped just short of touching his lips to hers. He heard her breath hitch and watched as she closed her eyes and parted her lips just slightly. Then he dipped his head, accepting her invitation, claiming her mouth. Jackie let out a low moan and Scott increased his intensity as they slid down onto the blanket.

His hand resting on her hip, he slowly drew it up her side, pausing to cup her right breast, the one he’d glimpsed that night when she’d come to him. Easily, he located her pert nipple, capturing it between his thumb and forefinger. Jackie broke their kiss to gasp as he pulled it taut. He gazed down at her, assessing the heat in her eyes before renewing his assault on her lips.

Captured once again by his kiss, Jackie slid her hand between them to stroke the rigid shaft held hostage by his jeans, and this time, it was Scott who moaned. Knowing better than to let her tempt his cock for much longer, he gently slid her hand around to his ass, while he eased his knee between her thighs, parking it against her sex. He felt the heat there as she ground against him.

Determined to keep a cool head, Scott slowly began to pull back, shifting to light kisses along the side of her neck and returning his knee to a more neutral perch, gradually bringing them back to their surroundings. Straightening their clothes, they were still catching their breath as the movie ended.

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

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

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read an excerpt from WARRIOR MINE.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m going to wash your hair.” 

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

“Jackie,” he said softly, “sit.” 

She wrung her hands.  “Well, I…” 

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

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

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

“How’s that?” he asked. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

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