Could it be? Is it finally here? Oh my! One of our favorite parties each year and we have so many awesome authors and prizes for you!
Today (8/30/14) check out Sarah Grimm at: http://www.sarahgrimm.com
Also check out our featured authors today!
The vampires were forced into government housing like the Cemetery, a windowless high-rise complex, and have to exist on government issued rations of animal blood. But no matter how many restrictive laws are on the books vampires are drawn to the living.
The stories of the Cemetery vampires are told in my Forever series: Eternity Factor, Night Sins and Nightglow. Forever is an erotic romance series.
Cate wants what Nightglow prevents, up close and personal with a vampire.
Nightglow is about to be introduced to the world. Dunn wants freedom for his kind and he’s willing to walk the runway once again, wearing the heat sensitive, ultraviolet jewelry that makes physical contact with humans too hot to handle.
The mayor wants Nightglow to put the city back on the map. Acting as the city’s liaison, it’s Cate Auburn’s job to make the premiere of Nightglow a success. There’s only one hitch. Drop-undead-gorgeous Dunn is drawing her to the dark side. She’s never had a vampire lover, but her life is about to take a dramatic turn.
Cate is lush, hot and pulsing with everything Dunn wants. Loving her comes easy. Forever is difficult.
Desire slammed through him. His fangs ached. Dunn knew all he had to do was lift her skirt to have her. And once he was inside her all it would take was one sweet bite to bind them together.
But now wasn’t the time to indulge in his personal pleasure or endanger the project with a sip of her rich blood. Soon the mayor would worry about the well-being of his assistant. Fang marks and rumpled clothing were a dead giveaway.
Perhaps one small pleasure, for her.
He lifted her onto the counter. She didn’t protest when he stood between her knees. She didn’t resist when he slid his hands beneath her skirt. Her thighs were firm and her skin silky soft. He sensed the pulsing heat between her legs, hot and molten. He throbbed, each ache in rhythm with hers.
He should pull his hand away. He should walk away. He shouldn’t give into the sweet pleasure that was Cate Auburn.
She moaned and ran her hands up the front of his shirt to his shoulders. “Please.”
If he were a religious man, he’d pray. But Dunn knew he was forever condemned to the dark side. He wasn’t a devil, but he’d never be part of the living.
And Cate was so vibrant and alive. His fingers trailed along the hem of her underwear. “Touch me.”
He did, gasping as the heat of her flesh seared his cold skin. Dunn was starving for her. His fangs extended to painful, razor-sharp points.
“Really touch me.”
Blind Acceptance – Book 1
Will Luke accept his son, Phillip’s blindness?
When Phillip is injured in a wagon accident and blinded for life; his father must come to terms with the fact that his only heir will be unable to run his beloved ranch unaided. He struggles to accept his son is still whole; even the beautiful teacher he employs to help Phillip can’t seem to break down Luke’s walls.
Then, without warning, there is an event on the ranch that will change their lives forever.
Received 4 1/2 star review from InD’tale Magazine and Crowned Heart for Excellence – November 2013
…..Phillip rifled through the things his father had stacked in the shed until he finally found his fishing pole.
“Phillip, please hurry up.” Marie snapped impatiently. She knew Jack would be waiting to take them to town.
“I found it, Ma. I’m coming now.” Phillip called over his shoulder as he pulled at his fishing pole. It was wedged under several other objects and as the pole came free they collapsed at his feet and began to spill out of the door.
Phillip put his pole on the ground and began putting things back in the shed.
“Just leave all that Phillip; I’ll help you put it away when we come back.” Phillip ran to his mother and held his pole up proudly. “We’ll have to get some worms, Ma, if we’re gonna catch fish. They’ll be in the mud on the bank. Pa showed me how to get them.”
Marie ignored what he said, took his free hand in hers, and began heading for the trees and the river.
Phillip’s small legs had to run to keep up with his mother’s fast pace. When he stumbled Marie tightened her grip causing him to cry out in pain.
“Ma, I don’t want to go any more. I wanna go back home.” Phillip began crying. He sensed something was wrong. He wanted to return to the comfort of the house and to Miss Meg who he knew he could trust.
Marie finally stopped and glared down at her son in disgust. “Don’t be such a cry baby. We’ll have such fun. Dry your eyes and let’s go.”
She handed Phillip a hankie from her pocket and he swiped at his tears before handing it back. Marie again picked up his hand but this time held it more gently and slowed down her pace.
At the tree line she began looking around for Jack and her head turned from one side to the other.
“Are you searching for someone pretty lady?” Jack stepped out from amongst the trees and he swept Marie into his arms for a kiss.
She pushed at his chest with one hand while she continued to hold Phillip’s hand with the other. She needed Jack to release her.
“What’s wrong my pet?” Jack didn’t like being pushed away and Marie thought he looked almost angry.
“Phillip is here Jack.” She inclined her head to the side to indicate her son who now stood with his mouth open.
Who was this man who was kissing his mother?
Jack crouched in front of Phillip and held out his hand. “Hello Phillip, my name is Mr Wright. I’m a friend of your Ma’s and I thought you might like to go for a ride in my wagon.”
Phillip shied away and hid amongst his mother’s skirts. He didn’t like Mr Wright.
“Phillip, please behave like a proper young man and say hello to Mr Wright.” Marie pulled Phillip out of her skirts with a jerk and stood him in front of her. “Now be a good little man and shake hands”
Phillip heard the threat in her voice. Jack once again held out his hand and Phillip placed his small, trembling hand into it and shook.
“That’s much better.” Marie glanced down at her son with a smile on her face.
“How about that wagon ride Mr Wright offered? I thought we’d spend the night in town and have supper at the hotel”
Marie took Phillip’s hand and began walking towards the tree where she’d hidden their suitcases. When she pointed it out, Jack reached in and pulled a case into each hand before leading the way to where he’d hidden the wagon.
Phillip pulled back on Marie’s hand which only tightened its grip once again.
“Ma, noooo.” he cried as he planted his feet and finally brought his mother to a stop. “We can’t go; I’m going into town with Pa after lunch.”
Marie thought fast. “I left a letter for Pa to meet us at the hotel, now come on.” Phillip began crying as she tugged on his hand and forced him to begin walking.
When he began crying louder Marie hurried to catch up with Jack.
“I’m afraid he’s going to start screaming Jack and with the way sound travels around here Luke is sure to hear him.”
Jack stopped and placed the cases onto the ground. “I don’t know why you insisted on bringing him. What does it matter if he stays at the ranch instead of going to school? Either way you’ll be rid of him.”
He untied his cravat and began moving towards Phillip who started backing away. Jack snaked his arm out and grabbed him around his waist; Phillip began to wriggle and kick. “Hold him still.” Jack snarled as he took hold of Phillips head.
After stuffing part of the cravat into the little boy’s mouth he tied it securely at the back of his head. “If you touch it I’ll cut your fingers off.” Jack threatened before picking up the cases and continuing on.
Phillip sobbed as his mother dragged him on.
She didn’t care.
“Lift him up on the seat while I put the suitcases in the back and for God’s sake make him shut up.”
Phillip clutched hold of his fishing pole with the grip of someone three times his size.
Marie was forced to allow him to keep it as she positioned him onto the centre of the seat.
“Be quiet. Jack will not put up with this behaviour.” She climbed up onto the seat next to her son while Jack climbed up on the other side and took the reins into his hands. He released the brake holding the wheels, turned the horse towards town and, when he made a clicking noise with his tongue, the stallion broke into a canter.
As they travelled further from home Phillip became more distressed and began wriggling around on the seat. “Keep that damn brat still, Marie, he’s going to unsettle the horse and cause an accident.”
Marie reached around Phillip’s shoulders and attempted to calm him. He only became more hysterical and he used as much force as his little body could muster to push his mother away. His strength caught Marie by surprise and she almost slid off the seat and into the dust.
“Phillip, you almost pushed me off and under the wheels.” she screeched as she positioned herself closer to the centre of the seat. She slapped him hard on the arm which only served to make him behave even worse.
Jack could see the stallion had become skittish with Marie’s screeching; with a crack of his whip he urged him to move faster in the hopes it would settle him down.
Phillip continued to wriggle and jump up and down as the wagon thundered along the uneven road. It didn’t matter how much Marie or Jack threatened, he just refused to calm down.
Jack saw Phillip raise his fishing pole above his head in anger but couldn’t react fast enough to stop what happened next.
Phillip brought the pole down on the horses’ rump as hard as he could. The horse whinnied and reared before beginning to run in a frenzied zigzag pattern from one side of the road to the other.
Jack couldn’t bring the huge stallion under control and as the terrified horse galloped flat out; Jack began to panic. He knew their speed along such a rock littered road was dangerous.
It was all he and Marie could do to hold on and Phillip bounced up and down like a ball in between them.
Then it happened – the wagon’s wheels hit a boulder and all three were thrown from the seat high into the air.
The stallion, with the wagon behind, continued to race towards town leaving three broken bodies behind in his wake.
Buy Link: http://horsnells.wix.com/susan–1#!books/c15nm
Blind Achievement – Book 2
Phillip Johnson has been blind since the age of six after sustaining a head injury in a wagon accident. Growing up on a ranch outside of Austin hasn’t been easy for the young man but he has thrived with the loving help of his Step-Mother, Rachel, and the faithful support of his father, Luke. At 18 years old, he has made the decision to head to Macarthur to attend the Wyoming College for the Blind. He plans to study Civil Government Law and Political Economics. It is here that he meets Belinda and he falls deeply in love with her. Belinda hides a dark and dangerous secret. A ruthless man is obsessed with owning her. This threat has the power to ruin their relationship and put their lives in jeopardy. Can they overcome such obstacles and find happiness together?
….Phillip’s first day of classes passed uneventfully but he found his mind wandering to where his family might be. Several times he had to refocus his attention back on his teachers.
He felt bone weary as he traipsed back to his room with Daniel by his side.
“Do you have any assigned work tonight?” Daniel enquired.
Phillip’s arms were full of books and his cane was tucked firmly under his arm.
Daniel gently guided his friend with a nudge to his elbow and verbal commands.
“No, nothing tonight. I think they are giving us time to settle in before assigning us extra work.
“I would appreciate another lesson in Braille if you’re not too tired. It seems the rest of the class is doing better than me and I have some catching up to do.”
“I am planning on an early night but I have time to spend with you first.”
Daniel placed his books on the floor while he unlocked the door to their room. He removed the books from Phillips arms and set them down on his desk. He guided him to a chair at his desk.
After Daniel retrieved his books and closed the door, both boys collapsed onto chairs facing their desks. Phillip ran his hands through his hair. “I’m glad today’s over.”
“Yeah, me too.” Daniel agreed. “They sure keep us busy.”
“At least it all ran smoothly. Thanks for getting me to all my classes on time.”
“It was easier than I thought it was going to be. The teachers’ don’t hold us back because they know a lot of us have to help the blind people move around.”
Daniel rose and headed for a pitcher of water that stood on the chest of drawers. “Glass of water?”
Daniel placed the glass on Phillip’s desk.
“I wonder how everyone is. They should be halfway back to the ranch by now.”
“You’re gonna miss them a lot aren’t you?”
“Yeah. I have relied on them for so much over the years. It seems strange not having them near me. I will miss my long talks with Pa, Ma’s encouragement and hugs. Not to mention her cooking.”
“It will get easier with time and classes will help keep your mind busy.”
“I sure hope so. Let’s get into your lesson before I fall asleep sitting here. I’m sure weary.”
Daniel shimmied his chair closer to Phillip and placed his writing materials on the desk in front of them.
Six months had passed and Phillip was thoroughly miserable. Teachers favoured him for his good nature and excellent grades while other students taunted him mercilessly for it. He thanked the Lord daily for his friendship with Daniel. Without him school would be unbearable and he would be on the next train back to the ranch.
He was now familiar with the classrooms and labyrinth of hallways so he was able to get around if Daniel was required elsewhere.
It had been a long day and he tapped his way back to his room. He was startled from his thoughts by an ear piercing scream. Coming to an abrupt stop he listened. Sounds of a scuffle and banging came from what he knew was a classroom ahead. He approached and threw open the door without hesitation.
“What the hell? Get out!” a gruff voice bellowed.
“Please help me.” A girl’s agonized plea tore at his heart.
“What’s going on?” Phillip demanded to know.
“None of your damned business, half-wit. Get out.” Phillip could not place the voice.
“Let me go,” she screamed again.
“Let the young lady go.” Phillip said angrily. “Come here to me Miss.”
He could hear her struggling to get free.
“I have asked you to let her go. I will not ask again.” Phillip loaded his voice with menace.
The man guffawed. “Do you really think a blindy like you can stop me?”
Phillip used the man’s voice to help him move closer.
The girl took advantage of her captor being distracted and bit down hard on his arm. He yelped with pain, and she wrenched free of his grip and launched herself into Phillip’s arms.
The air rushed from his lungs as she collided with his chest. He wrapped his arm protectively around her trembling body as she sobbed into his shirt.
Phillip lifted his cane as a warning for the man not to approach. “I am taking her to speak with Mr Carver. I expect he will also want to speak with you.”
The girl in his arms continued to tremble and sob.
“Come with me. We’ll ensure this never happens again,” he told the girl gently.
She moved from his grasp and wiped the tears from her eyes. Mr Collins, I will make you sorry for this,” she promised bravely.
“As if Mr Carver would believe you over a teacher he respects and trusts. I will tell him you made advances towards me,” he snarled.
The girl grasped hold of Phillip’s hand. Her obvious terror fired his anger.
“You forget, sir. I was here.”
“You’re blind,” he sneered. “How would you know what was happening?”
“A girl doesn’t scream like that if she is a willing participant.” Phillip tightened his hold on her hand and pulled her from the room.
“We will check Mr Carver’s office first. He often works late so he may not have gone down to his cottage yet.” Phillip led her back down the hall he had just come from.
“What is your name?” he asked.
“I’m Belinda. Thank you for rescuing me.”
“My name is Phillip and you are welcome. I’m just happy I came along when I did. What happened?”
“I was on my way back to my room after delivering some papers to a student. He grabbed me as I passed the classroom. He said he had been watching me and knew I wanted his body.” She shuddered and burst into tears.
Phillip stopped and pulled her into his arms. She buried her head into his chest as she shivered and cried.
He ran his hand gently over her back in an attempt to soothe her. He could smell the subtle perfume of her hair and skin, lavender perhaps?
“What’s going on out here?” Mr Carver growled from his office door up ahead.
Belinda stepped back and Mr Carver noticed her red, teary face. “Belinda, what’s wrong?” he asked as he rushed towards the young couple.
“We need to speak with you, sir.” Belinda squeezed Phillip’s hand tight as he spoke.
“Come into my office.” He led the way in before closing the door.
Belinda led Phillip to a chair facing the desk. Once he was seated she sat in the chair next to him and clutched at his arm. He ran his thumb over the back of her hand in an effort to reassure her.
“Explain to me what’s happened. You’re as white as a ghost, Belinda and I can see you shaking from here.”
“I was coming down the hall after delivering some papers to a student when Mr Collins dragged me into his office. H….he made improper advances and I couldn’t get away.” She withdrew her hand from Phillips, lowered her head into her hands and sobbed.
“I can see how distressed she is but what do you have to do with all of this, Phillip?”
“I was on my way back to my room when I heard her scream. I entered the room and confronted Mr Collins. He eventually let her go. We came straight to you here, sir.”
Belinda lifted her head and swiped at her tears with the sleeve of her dress. “He only let me go because I bit him.”
She watched as Mr Carver’s face darkened with shock and fury.
“I’m very sorry, Belinda. I have suspected impropriety from Mr Collins before but we were unable to prove anything. I assure you he will be dismissed immediately.”
“Thank you, sir. I will see Belinda back to her room if you don’t mind.” Phillip stood and she slipped her hand trustingly into his and it felt good.
“I think a cup of tea may be in order first. Take her down to the dining room and tell the staff I sent you. I will deal with Mr Collins immediately.”
“I will and thank you again, sir.”
“Thank you.” Belinda murmured.
Buy Link: http://horsnells.wix.com/susan–1#!books/c15nm
A powerful story of forbidden love in a world where emotion no longer drives
society but cold hard technology. Crystal, a rare Source seeks more than her
protected existence. Nathan, a Companion, will do anything to free her. Together
they will defy the rules of BioGen and reclaim the freedom to love.
The Source – A Wild Clan Saga (KnightFall Collections) Available Now
– ebook, Print, Kindle, Nook
BUY at Smashwords – http://tinyurl.com/lorea5v / Amazon (Print) – http://tinyurl.com/kxdbnr6 / Amazon (Kindle eBook) – http://tinyurl.com/mq9qxa7 / Barnes & Noble (Nook eBook)- http://tinyurl.com/pygl52u & where books are sold!
Christine Murphy – Romance Author
Creator of: The Sphinx Warriors Series, The Midnight Riders Series, The Wild Clan Sagas
Check out my books at: http://www.eredsage.com/store/MURPHY_CHRISTINE.html
“You look good.” Ty interrupted his size-up, and he had to tear his gaze away from the way the pants hugged his hips.
“Thank you.” Not owning even one piece of fetish wear, Daniel had dressed in his usual black slacks and a dark gray button-down shirt. “Is there anything I should know?”
“No. Just stick by me, and you’ll get the hang of it. You’re not here as a sub or a pet, so you can talk to whoever you want.”
“Got it.” Daniel followed alongside as they passed by the bouncer and descended into chaos. He couldn’t process everything going on. It would’ve taken hours to figure it all out. There were naked people, semi-naked people, people tied to what he recognized as a St. Andrew’s Cross while other people beat them, and collared people sitting on the floor at the feet of others who pretended they didn’t exist.
“It’s something, ain’t it?” Ty chuckled as he led him to the bar.
“It is a lot to take in.” Daniel didn’t hide his obvious stare. He took a seat at one of the stools at the bar and turned to face the open floor.
“More fun happens in the private rooms, but we’ll hit those later.” Ty gave him a wink and licked his lips.
“I won’t lie. I could sit here all night and stare.” He wished Jesse was here to enjoy it with him. A naked girl chained to a cross on stage was being lashed. That had to be up his partner’s alley.
“You turned on?” Ty asked, getting closer to him.
“More intrigued,” Daniel said, ignoring the man’s advance.
“You’re such a lawyer, having to study everything from every angle. When you decide what you think, I’ll be here.” Ty rolled his eyes.
“In my defense, I would be checking your ass out in those leather pants if there wasn’t so much other fun stuff to distract me.” He took the offered beer but didn’t look away from the two guys across the room, making out and fondling each other.
“Had I known leather did this to you, I would have done it long before now. Next time, I’ll have to wear the leather in a place you can take it off.”
That got Daniel’s attention, and he looked over. “Are you flirting with me?”
“I am.” Ty tipped his beer to his lips.
Find J.R. Gray online:
Paranormal Elements – BDSM
A willing slave to possession, punishment, pleasure…
Dreams of a manor where submission and dominance once ruled draw Faith to hypnotherapist Colin Danes. Potently virile, he looks remarkably like her most cherished master from a past life. Desire smolders in his eyes, proving he’s never forgotten her.
Their carnal dance continues in the present and leads to their past when she was known as Eve. Through hypnotherapy, Colin brings her back to the Victorian era, a hidden estate where she eagerly submits to whatever he and her other noble masters crave.
The exquisite discipline of the strap. Being bid on and mounted each night. Displayed and used for the enjoyment of all.
Most will take her. One will try to imprison her. Only he will be her true master in that life and this.
Inside scoop: Faith’s paranormal journey takes her to a time of debauchery, including many voyeuristic, some male/male encounters. Faith’s past life encounters also contain some reluctant consent situations.
A young girl has inherited her parents horse ranch but she needs to marry to keep it; she reluctantly sends for a mail order husband. A young Ranger wants his own ranch but doesn’t want marriage. When he is offered a part ownership in a ranch if he agrees to a marriage, it is a future he just can’t refuse. Will these two come to an agreement they can live with? Will they find who is threatening the ranch and the young girl’s life?
Please Note: this book is a work of fiction and for the sake of the story I have stated that a single girl in Texas in the 1800s was unable to own property. This is however untrue, a single girl could own property but it became her husband’s once she married.
Claire Sullivan stood up, slapped her dusty Stetson against her denims and pushed her loosened hair back behind her ears. She had been attempting to break the recalcitrant roan stallion for the past four days and she was still no closer to remaining in the saddle.
“Not looking good boss.” her foreman, Carter, commented as he hung over the corral fence watching.
Claire limped over to the fence and leaned with her back against it watching the spirited horse run wildly in circles around the corral.
“You okay?” Carter asked as she limped towards him.
“Yeah, just twisted up the ankle a bit is all. It’ll be fine.” She frowned at the antics of her high spirited horse as he began to kick out his rear legs.
Claire had been breaking horses to the saddle for almost ten years now and had been riding since before she could walk. As an only child on the Flying J Ranch she had been around horses all her life.
Local people reckoned she was the best in the county at breaking horses, better in fact than any man. She neither knew nor cared if she was. She just loved being around horses.
Her father, John, had come west from Virginia more than thirty years ago to realise his dream of starting a ranch and she wanted to continue his work. She was proud of the Flying J ranch’s reputation for supplying the finest riding horses to the US Army
At 20,000 acres, the ranch was only a small operation compared to most in the area but played host to around 1600 horses at any one time.
She wonders if her preoccupation with her thoughts on this matter is the reason why the horse is reacting this way.
“I can’t understand him Carter. I’ve never had a horse that didn’t respond. I can’t even remember Papa having one that took more than two days to break.” Claire watched as her wranglers – Ben and Clayton, attempted to calm the horse down.
Ben Mitchell and Clayton Simpson are two of the best horse wranglers in the business and together with Donardo Vega, a Vaquero her father befriended and hired when he first arrived in the area, they are responsible for the success of the ranch.
“Do you wanna cut him loose?” Carter asked but he already knew what the answer would be. Claire was not a quitter and she would find a way to work with this horse.
“Hell no!” Claire moved off the fence and swung around to face her foreman who had a grin on his face. “He’s a real challenge but I’m not giving up. You knew that didn’t you?”
She punched his shoulder playfully and leaned back on the fence.
The horse eyed her with suspicion as Ben walked him past her to take him back to his stall.
Claire sighed and pushed away from the fence. “Call it a day men and wash up for supper.”
As she hobbled towards the house, Claire stopped to admire the two storey wooden, whitewashed building with a huge wrap around verandah. She loved to sit and read in the chair out front when she had time to herself, which isn’t all that often.
Since the death of her parents Claire has taken over the running of the ranch but she is now in danger of losing it.
She needs a man to marry who will be her husband in name only. Being a woman she is unable to legally own the ranch and needs a man to prevent it from being taken away from her.
Claire hates being put in the position of having to marry as she would much rather remain single and answer to no-one.
After talking with friends, Henry and June they have come up with a solution that hopefully will solve her problems with the law and keep her happy. She just needs a man to agree to her conditions.
The dilemma weighs heavily on her young mind. She has refused any man from town and as it could drive a wedge between the men on her ranch, should she choose one of them, she has also ruled that option out.
Carter watched as Claire hobbled up to the house. He hoped this little girl, who he’d known all her life, could hang on to the ranch and he would do anything he could to make sure she did.
All Buy Links: http://horsnells.wix.com/susan–1#!books/c1n2f
I will gift an ecopy of a book of your choice from my website to a attendee who leaves a comment.
Hello readers, I am ready to post more. I came home today with almost 200 emails to cypher through. That is an exhausting job. Exquisite Quills is having an author interview if you would like to check that author out. The link would be http://www.equisitequills.com Right now here is the blurb and excerpt from one story in my true crime anthology Twisted Love.
ALL FOR THE FAMILY
Blurb: In 2003, as a way to erase her 22-year-old husbands criminal past, 19 year old Molly Abbott devises a ghoulish and desperate strategy.
If nineteen-year-old Molly had listened to her mother, perhaps the slender, freckle-faced felon and her now-divorced felon husband Ernie would not be sitting in a Texas prison. The way the auburn-haired Molly chose to make a new life for herself and Ernie shocked the town and became forever known as the cruelest and dumbest action one could take when one wants to do “all for the family.”
Candy will say she tried to talk her daughter out of marrying the lazy, drinking, sandy-haired, blue-eyed Ernie. But Molly was “starry-eyed head over heels in love,” or so she thought.
Molly insisted she knew the seldom-employed Ernie well enough to be his wife and allow him to be the only father her four-year-old son Mathew knew. Even though Mathew was conceived from an earlier relationship, Molly insisted that the uncouth and chain-smoking Ernie treated him respectfully. “He loves me and Mathew,” Molly would say.
After a two-month courtship, Molly married twenty-two-year-old Ernie Abbott. According to Candy, she hated Ernie and wanted everyone including Molly to know it. She told Molly she was making a drastic mistake by marrying Ernie, but her eldest daughter, insisted the two were soul mates. “He’s the one,” Molly said.
In a simple backyard ceremony with the theme of Harley Davidson motorcycles, the pair exchanged wedding vows. As if straight from the pages of American Rider, the bride wore jeans and a sleeveless Harley shirt. The groom donned black leather chaps and a vest emblazon with the famous cycle logo.
Friends and relatives surrounded the glowing couple and, happily toasted them with keg beer. A reception followed, with grilled hotdogs and burgers as the main course. They received numerous wedding gifts and money, to help them on their way to a long and happy life together…or so the giddy couple thought.
Candy was not the only one who disapproved of the courtship. Baby-sister Janie was as different from Molly as igloos are from tropical huts. Janie was known as the “pretty” sister and Molly the “plain Jane”. Janie thought Ernie was a loser, as did most of Molly’s family. She believed her big sister thought she was in love, because, according to Janie, Ernie was the first man to pay attention to Molly in a long time.
According to Janie, Molly called her jealous. Afterward, Janie thought it best to let Molly find out for herself what a “bad apple,” Ernie was. She gave the marriage two years, “Good things come to those who wait,” she said.
The next move for the newlyweds was buying the dream home Molly wanted so much. According to Molly, when she saw the two-story ranch-style house in a quiet and family-oriented neighborhood, with an adjoining playground and dog park, she knew, “This is the one for us.”
She said Ernie picked her up and swung her around, telling her the house would be theirs. They called the realtor, and three weeks later they moved in-but as renters, not owners.
According to the loan officer, both had inadequate credit. The loan officer informed the couple that with neither earning more then minimum wage, and Ernie’s upcoming legal matters, he did not see a home in their near future.
Molly was devastated, recalled Candy. Besides being a mother, Molly wanted so much to be a homeowner, she said.
Another person who had doubts about the couple getting the home was Rita, Ernie’s mother. Tall and skinny, with waist-length red hair, Rita dressed and partied like a teenager. When she learned of her son attempting to purchase a home, she told relatives, “With Ernie’s credit and legal matters, he couldn’t get a loan for a candy bar.”
MIDNIGHT HEAT (Black Phoenix 2) by Sarah Grimm
Coming November 2014
“Forty year old male involved in a T-bone MVC,” the medic called as he and his partner pushed the stretcher through the doors and into the emergency department. “SUV versus semi. SUV rolled multiple times before stopping on its passenger side.”
Adrenaline surged through Dr. Rebecca Dahlman’s system, revving her pulse, pushing away the fatigue of an overly long shift better than the half pot of coffee she’d already consumed.
“Upon arrival, patient was unresponsive. We were able to get the c-collar on him right away, but had to wait for rescue’s hydraulic equipment to extricate.”
Gown and gloves in place, Rebecca ran her gaze over the man strapped to the backboard with orange belts as they swung into room one and transferred him to the ER’s bed. Her team moved efficiently around the patient, cutting off his clothes with trauma shears.
The medic continued feeding her pertinent information as she began her assessment. “Blood pressure is one-twenty over seventy-five, pulse ninety-five. Pulse ox is one hundred percent. Pupils – dilated, equal, and reactive.”
The guy was a bloody mess. Blood covered his face, soaked the left side of his head and shoulder of his shirt. He had a laceration on his left upper arm, deep enough to require sutures, and some bruises were already beginning to form at his left shoulder and right hip from the seatbelt doing its job of holding him in place. Even more troubling was the bruise forming on his right side, a sign of rib trauma. Ribs weren’t the only common injuries from impact with the center console. The ones she couldn’t see were what caused her the most concern.
“I want an ultrasound of the abdomen,” Rebecca stated automatically as she shifted closer and listened to her patient’s chest. Lungs clear, no abnormal heart rhythm. She looped her stethoscope around her neck and leaned in, searching the man’s scalp for head trauma. “Get me a cross-table C-spine, chest and pelvis x-ray. Draw a trauma panel, type and cross, and a tox screen.”
Karmen Williams, Rebecca’s best friend and charge nurse for the night, pulled the man’s wallet from the pile of clothes on the floor.
Directly above his left ear Rebecca uncovered the source of all the blood. Pushing her fingers into his hair, she palpated the injury site. The wound immediately began to bleed again.
“No skull fracture that I can detect.”
“I’ll want a CT scan of the head and neck.”
“Rebecca.” Karmen’s voice was tight and pulled her attention. “It’s Dominic.”
For a moment, a heartbeat really, the words didn’t make sense. Then, she looked closer. As if in slow motion, Rebecca dragged her gaze up the torso, locked it onto the face partially hidden behind long, blood-soaked black hair. Her breath snagged in her throat and she froze, the echo of her pulse beating in her ears. It was a struggle to keep her hand steady as she pushed his wavy hair away from his face and focused on his mouth, those lips, the bottom one slightly fuller than the top, the thin, straight nose.
“Stud,” she whispered, her voice torn.
His eyes were closed, ringed in thick black lashes. Were they open, she knew they would be the color of the sky just after a cleansing rain.
Her world tilted.
No. It couldn’t be. This wasn’t Dominic. Dominic didn’t have a goatee or a scar across his right clavicle. Dominic wasn’t in California, he was in London. Safe in London.
Not unconscious and bleeding in the middle of her ER.
Black Phoenix bassist Dominic Price made a mistake three years ago when he walked out on Rebecca. A mistake he plans to rectify. But first he has to convince her to open her heart to him again.
The unconscious man wheeled into Dr. Rebecca Dahlman’s ER is sexy—devilishly sexy—and injured. This isn’t just any patient in need of medical help. He is the only man she’s ever loved—the one who still haunts her dreams.
One touch of his calloused hands reignites their passion. Can they rekindle their trust as easily, or will her fears cause her to lose him again…this time to a man bent on revenge?
You can find Sarah here:
A Western Romance from Susan Horsnell
Vowing never to fall in love and be at risk of more heartbreak, Sam throws himself into his work at the family ranch.
Then, he finds Annabel. A young girl who life has not treated fairly. She is on the run from a savage Grandfather. Will she ever find happiness? Will Sam be her Savior? How does an orphaned Prairie Dog help?
Sam stood, shoulders slumped and head bowed. A lone tear trickled a path through the stubble, which covered his cheek, while the small coffin was lowered onto the larger one.
His sister, Edith clutched his hand so tight, it was numb. She rested her head against his chest and her small body shook with sobs.
Sam’s mother and father clung to each other, their faces etched with grief.
Moaning echoed through the hills as the coffins disappeared beneath shovel loads of pungent earth. As the final covering of dirt was patted down, Sam released himself from his sister. He knelt next to the fresh mound and gently placed a single white lily, Hattie’s favorite flower, and a silver baby’s rattle atop.
The mourners watched with tears in their eyes before turning and trekking down to the homestead.
Sam was left alone with his grief. He reached out and placed his palm on the fresh grave while his tear filled eyes attempted to focus on the grave alongside.
It had been only two months since they had buried Isaac. Why hadn’t the war ended just one day earlier? Isaac would still be alive and Sam wouldn’t feel like he’d broken his promise and let his brother down.
“Isaac, over here.” Sam whispered. He could just make out the shadow of his brother in the failing light.
Dust and smoke filled the air, swirling around them, as Isaac joined Sam and they crept towards the trees. This battle had been the worst they had been involved in. Bodies of men, some old enough to be grandfathers and others so young they should still be in school, lay strewn across the battlefield. They would not see tomorrow, or, the much hoped for end of this war.
North and South had suffered severe losses. How much longer would this bloody war persist? The brothers, mercifully, had again survived. They had discussed how it was only a matter of time before their luck finally ran out.
Sam had already been shot in the thigh and now walked with a limp. His insistence on remaining in the war troubled Isaac greatly but, Sam steadfastly refused to leave his ‘big brother’.
They took shelter under a small outcrop of rocks surrounded by trees and out of sight of any stray southerners.
Isaac and Sam Miller hailed from Cedar Gulch, up in the Texas Panhandle. They had left their ranch two months earlier to fight for the Union, the cause they believed in, even though most of their friends had joined up to fight for the South. Both men believed strongly, it was past time that slavery was brought to an end. If the cotton crops were affected by lack of labor, then, so be it. They had argued with friends, time and again, that no man had the moral right to enslave another. Opinion in their home town was split down the middle.
Now, here they were, huddled together, grateful to be alive after witnessing such atrocities. They were well and truly ready to go home. It had been two long months of hell.
Isaac pulled out his canteen and took a large gulp of warm, less than pure water. As he wiped his mouth with the remnants of his tattered uniform sleeve, he held the canteen out towards Sam.
His brother took it and drank thirstily. “What are we going to do? Our horses are gone and it’s a long walk back to the fort.” Sam screwed the lid onto the canteen and handed it back.
“I’m not sure but I suggest we wait out the night here. Best to be sure there is no-one around before we move. We’ll make our way back to Fort Cook at first light. Hopefully they might send out scouts to see if anyone is alive and we can hitch a ride.”
Sam shimmied down and lay with his head on his arms, his rifle beside him. As he gazed heavenward at the stars obscured by smoke, he let out a loud sigh.
“What’s wrong, little brother?” Isaac asked as he settled alongside.
“Just thinking about our friends who got killed today. Ma, Pa, Edith, Hattie, the ranch. Do you think we’ll see them again soon?”
“Who? Our friends who were killed or home?”
Sam chuckled despite the seriousness of their situation. “Those at home of course.”
“Phew, for a minute there I thought you meant our dead friends.” Isaac joined Sam in chuckling but within seconds he became serious again. “I surely hope so. I’m kinda hoping to get home in time to be with Hattie when she has the baby. I’ve got two months to get outta here.”
All Buy Links: http://horsnells.wix.com/susan–1#!books/c1bv0
Available from Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00ITFZ0SU
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940149593538
I will gift an ecopy of a book of your choice from my website to a attendee who leaves a comment.