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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Black Irish Got It’s First Review on Amazon!

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Black Irish got its first review on Amazon – and it’s a five star!!

See it here!!

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Tuesday Tales – Library

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Hello and welcome to another Tuesday Tales!  This week’s word prompt is library. We are back with Thatcher and Miranda in The Thirteenth Knight.  Now, in between the previous post and this one is the first Tuesday Tale I ever wrote on the prompt “package” (you can find it here).  Don’t forget to stop by and visit the blogs of the other incredibly talented authors of Tuesday Tales!

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Thatcher sat on the large boulder jutting out from the hill as he took his turn as sentry.  He searched the landscape before him scrutinizing every single detail.  Everything was still.  He exhaled.  It still didn’t seem right to him.

It had been four weeks since the black clad men attacked.  Since then there had been no trace of them.  For the first few days the royal army was on guard anticipating the ambush.  None came.  Slowly Thaddeus sent scouts to the far reaches of the kingdom to see if the enemy had chosen a new target.  While they were gone the soldiers remained at the ready.  But time took its toll and they slowly let their guard down becoming more and more relaxed.  Thatcher was silently thankful.  Had they been attacked it would have been a massacre.

He smiled as he opened the book in his hands.  Miranda has been overjoyed with his gift.  She returned the squire to him with a gift of her own.  She knew how much Thatcher loved to read.  She snuck into her uncle’s library and found a book she knew he would love.  She was right – he loved it.  However he loved the sweet loving message she scrawled to him inside the front cover even more.

He found the place where he had left off and began to read.  He barely finished the page when he heard the sound of boot steps behind him.  He gripped the handle of his sword and brandished it as he spun around.

One of the soldiers under his command approached him with his hands raised in submission.  “At ease, sir,” the soldier addressed.  “I am here to report that the final scout has returned.  King Thaddeus requests your presence.”

Thatcher rose to his feet.  He nodded his thanks to the soldier as he slipped his sword in its scabbard.   He clenched the book in his hand as he accompanied the soldier to the camp.  Thaddeus smiled as Thatcher approached.  He addressed his troops.

“There is no sign of the black clad soldiers in our kingdom.  It seems that we have defeated them.”

“How?” questioned Thatcher.  “Does anyone recall dealing a death blow to their source?  They certainly weren’t human.”

“I agree the circumstances are strange, Thatcher.  We have two options.  Either we wait here for an attack that may never occur or we return to the palace and defend the heart of our kingdom.  I am ready to return home.  What do you wish to do?”

Thatcher did not answer.  He did not need to give an answer.  The twinkle in Thaddeus’s eyes confirmed the king knew how he felt.  He desperately wanted to go home.  Miranda was home.  And he desperately
needed Miranda.

“Very well, then,” Thaddeus concluded.  “At daybreak we will break camp and head for home.”

Stop by and Visit the other Authors of Tuesday Tales!!

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Giveaway!

Blog Interview!

I am on Laurie’s blog today…but she doesn’t interview me. Check out to see which of my characters she sat down and had a talk with!  Click the picture below to find out!

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Tuesday Tales – Bite

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It’s Tuesday and time for Tuesday Tales!  The word prompt for this week is “bite”.  This week we are joining up with Thatcher and Miranda in The Thirteenth Knight.  And don’t forget to visit the other incredible blogs by the talented writers of Tuesday Tales!

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Thatcher took a bite of the bitter, hard crust of bread as he ducked the low hanging branches still covered with snow despite the new warm weather.  He swallowed hard then tossed the rest on the ground.  Let the birds feast on it.

Thaddeus’s army had been at war for four months.  The battle had been long and extremely difficult.  The enemy appeared from nowhere and it seemed they could not be killed.  There were, however, periods of time when they disappeared.  The army learned quickly not to rest on their achievements.  It took one lesson really.  Thatcher shook his head sorrowfully at the memory. They lost at least a hundred men that day.  The black troops reappeared and the blood bath began.

The white wizard had been immensely helpful.  His power neutralized the black magic of the opposition only allowing a few troops to appear instead of a legion.  And when the black clad soldiers fought without falter into the night he gave Thaddeus’s men a potion to ward off sleep.  The enchanted blue liquid kept them alive, but fighting non-stop for days at a time left them exhausted.

And if the black clad army wasn’t trying to kill them, the vicious bite of a frigid winter was.  They lost nearly as many men to the frozen land.

Thatcher clenched the bound piece of cloth in his fist as he berated himself.  He had promised Miranda he would write everyday.  However, he never anticipated the brutality of this war.  He was constantly in battle.  And when those blessed moments of temporary peace came to him his body collapsed in dreamless sleep where he stood.

But when he saw the stone he held in his hand lying at the bottom of a clear stream, he had to get it to her somehow.  He scooped it out of the freezing water and chiseled a hole into it.  Then he strung a leather string through it.  Granted, it wasn’t the jewels a lady of the kingdom would wear.  He hoped she would like it.

He stopped at the sound of a bird call, peering among the trees for the one who sent it.  A squire from the palace peeked from behind the thickest trunk.

“My lord,” the boy greeted.

Thatcher strode to him and pressed the gift into the squire’s hand.  “Take this to Lady Miranda and go.  It’s not safe for you here.”

With a nod the boy scampered off with the cloth covered package.

Thatcher sighed as he watched him go.  He turned to find the wispy shadow that proceeded the arrival of one of the black clad soldiers.  Thatcher drew his sword as he prepared to fight.

Be sure to stop by and check out the other blogs of Tuesday Tales!!

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Secret Cravings Contemporary Romance Blog Hop!

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Welcome to the Secret Cravings Contemporary Romance Blog Hop and welcome to my blog!  My contemporary romance, Black Irish, was released May 8th on the Sweet Cravings Publishing site.

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To celebrate the Contemporary Romance Blog Hop, I am giving the following embroidered pillow, shamrock pin and cover flat to a lucky visitor to my blog!

Just enter a comment on my blog and at the end of the Blog Hop on Sunday night I will pick a winner!  Feel free to ask me a question – I’d be happy to answer!  Or just say “Hi”!

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Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?

Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?

You can find Black Irish at the following sites:

Sweet Cravings Publishing

Amazon

All Romance Ebooks

Here is an excerpt from Black Irish…

Sloan set the stick of chalk on the table next to the easel. He swiveled around and watched Abbey type furiously on the keyboard of her laptop. She sat sideways in her chair, her back leaning against one arm as she dangled her legs over the other. Her white T-shirt dipped low against her full breasts and clung tightly to her figure. Her flowered capris caressed her hips and thighs. A flip-flop hung precariously off each fuchsia-painted big toe.

She bit her lip as she stared at the screen. He groaned. Lord, she’s beautiful.

The doors of the foyer opened and shut. Both Sloan and Abbey turned to find Robert leaning against the wall. He flipped through a pile of mail in his hand.

“Did I get anything?” Sloan inquired sarcastically.

Robert laughed. “Nope, nothing. Just bills, checks…” His voice trailed off as he stared at one particular envelope. He looked up at Sloan, his face solid stone. “Sloan, we need to talk. Alone.”

“What is it?”

“This isn’t a good time. Your office, please.”

Abbey looked at Sloan, concern flooding her face. He smiled at her gently then turned back to Robert. “Just give me the letter,” he demanded patiently. “Who could it be from that’s so important?”

Robert crossed the living room in a couple of determined strides, the muscles of his shorts-clad thighs bunching with each step. He snapped the envelope under Sloan’s nose.

“The INS. They caught up to you.”

Alarm filled Sloan’s eyes as he took the envelope and tore it open. He scanned the letter.

Abbey sat up in the chair. “What is it?” she asked timidly.

“Sloan is most likely being deported,” Robert answered.

“Why?” she near-screeched.

“Because I’m here illegally,” Sloan answered calmly, his voice pitching dangerously. He felt the fight within him bubbling to the surface. By the alarm in Abbey’s eyes, he sensed she could hear it too.

“I don’t understand.”

He stood, still clenching the document in his hand. “I came to the United States on an Investments visa. I invested a million dollars in an art gallery here in Manhattan seven years ago and came here to oversee it. It didn’t last long. When it closed, I never went back to Europe. I stayed here.”

“But they can’t send you away. You work for Panda.”

Sloan looked at Abbey. His face softened. “Under contract. Just like you.”

“There has to be a way for you to get another visa,” she insisted.

“There isn’t,” Robert thundered, shutting her down. “We’ve already thought about this.”

Abbey sank into her chair, dejected. Sloan glared at Robert, trying to spit fire with his eyes. Robert’s my best friend, but he can truly be an asshole.

A tense silence filled the room for a long time. Sloan collapsed onto the leather sofa, crumbling the paper in his fist then throwing it with vehemence. He watched as it bounced against one of the glass walls.

After several minutes, Abbey’s small voice broke the quiet. “What if you got married? Couldn’t you get a green card then?”

Robert chortled incredulously. “Who’s he going to marry, Abbey?”

“Aren’t you his partner? Aren’t you a U.S. citizen?” she demanded.

Robert’s laughter echoed throughout the penthouse. Sloan looked up at Abbey. He knew she could see the defeat in his eyes. “We aren’t ready for that step, Abigail. We aren’t that close. Our relationship is…casual.”

They all fell silent again. Then, Abbey took a deep breath and spoke. “Marry me.”

Sloan’s head snapped up in surprise. He stared at her in awe. “What did you say?”

“Marry me,” she repeated.

Sloan sat back on the couch, dumbfounded. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not a quick ceremony and an annulment. We’d have to stay together for over a year or two. We may have to live together.”

“So? You have an extra bedroom, don’t you?”

“You’re marrying Michael in two years.”

Abbey shrugged. “We don’t have to tell him. If anything, it will buy you some time to find another solution.”

Sloan stared at her then shifted his gaze to Robert. Robert shook his head in disbelief. Sloan smirked back at him. I want Abbey for my own, and under the ruse of a marriage, I can have her.

“So?” she insisted.

“You would be all right doing this? Being my wife? Changing your name to mine? It would have to be very soon,” he warned.

She took a deep breath and paused for a moment. Then she smiled. “Yes. I suggested it, didn’t I?”

Sloan returned her smile. “Very well. Let’s get married. Tomorrow.”

“Sounds great to me,” Abbey agreed.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and on my website.

Thanks for stopping by!  Leave me a comment to enter for the Blog Hop Prizes!   And don’t forget to check out the rest of the blogs from the Contemporary Romance Blog Hop by clicking the badge below!

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The Queen of Savon Cover Art is Here!

I am so excited!  It is so beautiful!!

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Tuesday Tales – Small Town Picture Prompt

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It’s time for another Tuesday Tales! Today we are working with a picture prompt. I’m veering away from The Thirteenth Knight this week. Today we are catching back up with Max and Chloe in Breaking the Cycle. And don’t forget to check out the excerpts from my extremely talented fellow authors on the Tuesday Tales website!

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“Thank you for coming with me to my nephew’s birthday party, Chloe.” Max slipped the car keys into his pocket as he gave her the sweetest, largest smile she ever saw. “I can’t wait to introduce you to my family.”

Chloe trotted beside him as they walked along the sidewalk. “It’s only fair. You’ve met my mom.”

He laughed. “Chloe, sweetheart. I live with you and your mom.”

She giggled in response. As they strolled along the sidewalk she glanced around at downtown New Ulm. It was a far cry from Minneapolis. There were department stores most people in metropolitan areas hadn’t seen since the late 1970’s. There were small town gift shops full of quilting supplies, old books, beautiful Christmas decorations and German knick knacks. There was a stately, formal concrete building that housed the local bank. The storefronts along the street were dotted with family restaurants and corner bars, each with windows leading to apartments built on top.

She jolted to a stop as Max pulled open the glass door to the hardware store. She felt her face flush in embarrassment as she stepped inside. Max let the door shut behind him.

“Max!” An older man who looked almost exactly like Max stood behind the counter wiping his hands on a rag. He strode around the counter and wrapped him in a bear hug.

“Hey, Dad. How are you?”

“Doing well, big city boy. How was your drive?”

“Beautiful day for a drive.” Max gently pressed his fingers to the small of Chloe’s back. “Dad, I’d like you to meet Chloe.”

Max’s dad extended his palm to Chloe and shook her hand. “Hi, Chloe. Nice to meet you. Max has told us a lot about you.

Chloe glanced up at Max. What exactly did he tell his family about her?

This Wednesday, my first release with Sweet Craving Publishing went live!

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Sloan watched from a distance as Aubrey fought to keep Abbey from dashing away, a frightened doe in the terrifying forest named New York. Apparently, up to this point, the vicious predators of the city hadn’t sent her fleeing home.

Until he entered her world, obviously.

Sloan had to admit something about her alarmed him too. He knew many women and had been with several. But none of them like her. Innocent. Naïve. True. Or so she seemed at first glance.

He couldn’t pull away from her wide-eyed, burning, hazel gaze. He wanted to free her shining, brown tresses from her ponytail and bury his fingers in the locks. He wanted to taste her plump, rose lips. He wanted to caress her curves, feel her warmth.

Sloan could hear Abbey beg for another illustrator. He heard Aubrey counter that there was none better. He was part of the deal, or there was no deal. She was ready to walk away from a contract worth potential millions over a fear of him.

He wouldn’t let her do that. He wouldn’t let her leave his life before she ever became a part of it.

Slowly approaching the two women at the end of the hall, Sloan asked, “Aubrey, can I have a moment please? Let us talk it out and see if we can come to an agreement.”

Aubrey looked uneasily from him to Abbey then nodded. “Sure.”

Sloan waited for Aubrey to return to the conference room. He shot a warning glare at the associates that had gathered to watch the scene unfold before turning his attention back to Abbey.

“What’s the matter, miss?” Sloan took Abbey’s hands in his as he smiled encouragingly.

“I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re very talented. But I don’t think I would be comfortable working with you,” she confessed.

“You don’t even know me.”

“I know. And I’m sure you are a perfect gentleman. But, you see, I don’t think Michael would be very happy with me working with a…gifted man such as yourself.”

“Michael?”

Abbey blushed. “My boyfriend.”

Ah. There it is. A boyfriend. Sloan silently berated himself. He should’ve known a woman so beautiful would have already given her heart to someone. He couldn’t, however, allow her to get away so quickly. Perhaps he couldn’t have her, but that didn’t mean he had to let her go.

Thinking quickly, Sloan pressed one of her hands to his lips. “No worries, luv. I’m no threat.”

“How can you say that?”

“I’m gay.”

Her face brightened with relief. “Really?”

“Yes, Abbey. Gay.”

She blushed pink. “I’m so embarrassed I overreacted. Please forgive me?”

“Of course I forgive you. Now, will you stay and undertake this project with me?”

Abbey beamed. “Of course. I would love to.”

Sloan motioned for her to precede him back to the conference room. He watched her walk before him, his gaze transfixed on her hips, her slim waist, and her luscious curves. A little white lie. She’ll never know.

See Black Irish on Sweet Cravings Website!

 Don’t forget to stop back and check the rest of the Tuesday Tales!

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Tuesday Tales – Laughter

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It’s Tuesday – that means it’s Tuesday Tales day! Today’s word prompt is “laughter”. We will once again join Thatcher and Miranda of The Thirteenth Knight. Please remember to stop by and check out the other incredible blogs of the Tuesday Tales authors!

snow covered hills

Thatcher glanced around at the deserted town square. Carts still full of fruit, breads and colorful scarves laid scattered throughout the street. He tugged the reins of his horse towards the well in the center of the square. This place used to be filled with noisy chatter and boisterous laughter. Children played and ran through these streets. What possibly could have attacked them?

He looked up as Thaddeus and the other knights approached. The king shook his head sadly. “This town too.”

“What could have possibly caused this?” Thatcher demanded.

“I fear I know. These seem to be the same sort of me who attached my brother’s castle to cut off my linage. Thankfully he had enough forethought to send my niece away to safety.”

Thatcher exhaled slowly at the thought of Miranda. She already escaped with her life from these monsters once and fell into his. He’d give his life to keep it that way.

Slowly, silently the men rode back to the army encampment littered all over the snow covered hills. Thatcher slid from his mount and trudged towards his tent. Miranda filled his thoughts. She haunted his dreams. He promised to write and he would keep that promise.

He stopped short as he caught something out of the corner of his eye. Like a shadow it flickered then was gone. It returned but with more of his brothers. Thatcher dashed through the snow and mounted his horse again.

“Thaddeus!” he shouted.

Thaddeus strode through the tents. “Thatcher, what the devil?”

Thatcher simply pointed as one black garbed soldier after another popped out of the frozen terrain.

“Prepare the troops,” Thaddeus commanded. “Arm the white wizard. We are dealing with black magic, boys. Let the battle begin!”

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Breaking the Cycle Post Seven

Being Friday night it is kickboxing Friday.  Get well soon, Keoni!!

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Max drove down the interstate barely paying attention to the road.  For the last week and a half he couldn’t get Chloe out of his mind.  Her laughter on their date echoed in his ears.  Seeing her so sick she couldn’t recognize him twisted a knife in his heart.  Seeing her running from Roadie’s Gym in tears made him feel helpless and pathetic.  Not knowing how she was, what she was doing was driving him insane.

He glanced briefly at his smart phone for the time but instead caught the date.  Thursday.  He quickly ran dates in his head.  He paused for a moment.  Should I see if my hunch is right?  Can I handle what I’m going to find?  He nudged his turn signal on as he caught the next exit out of the corner of his eye.

Max turned the car off and stepped out.  He stared at the old, large white house for a moment before he jogged up the porch steps.  He knocked on the door and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  He heard the television on inside.  Someone was home.  He knocked again.

The front door was wrenched open violently.  It’s the witch.  Chloe’s mom glared at him.  He could feel her eyes sear through him. 

“Is Chloe home?” Max asked, his voice cracking weakly.

“Now’s not a good time, Mike.”

“Max.”

“Whatever.  Get off my porch.”

He glanced down at the stains covering her sweatshirt.  “Is she sick?”

“She’s in the bathroom.  Check for yourself.”

Max squeezed past her and wandered into the house.  His neck snapped around at the sound of retching from upstairs.  He took the steps two at a time and came to a stop at the bathroom door.

Chloe laid on the cold tile floor of the bathroom with a bucket near her.  Her head laid on a rolled up towel.  She didn’t turn to look at him.  She looks about aware of me as she was in that alley.  Her body started to writhe as she vomited again.

He knelt beside her and held her in his arms, helping her to the bucket to keep the mess off the floor.  When the retching stopped she slumped against him weakly.  He pushed a sweat soaked lock of brown hair from her forehead as he gazed at her pale, sunken face.

“So, want to stick around?” Chloe’s mom hissed from the doorway.  “She’s not done yet.  Are you all right with your precious expensive athletic wear getting all messed up?”

Max held her tighter to him as he scowled at woman.  “Yes.  They’re just clothes.  They wash.”

Chloe’s mom stared at him dumbfounded for several moments.  Max felt Chloe jerk against him again.  He supported her as she vomited again.  “So, this is what happens every three weeks.”

“Yes.”

“Do you have to take her to the hospital?”

“Hopefully not.”  Chloe’s mom watched him silently for a few moments as he settled Chloe back into his arms.  “My name is Liz.”

“Nice to meet you, Liz.”

She smiled at him.  “Can I get you a soda?”

“A glass of water would be fine.”

“Sure.  I’ll be right back.”  Liz disappeared down the hall.  Max listened to her footsteps pat down the steps.  He turned back to Chloe, gently stroking her cheek.  She relaxed, the tension that once ripped through her now dissolving.  Max shifted, crossing his legs to get more comfortable on the hard floor.  Liz reappeared, stepping over the two of them to sit on the edge of the bathtub.  She handed the glass to him.

“She seems to have relaxed,” Max murmured.

“That’s good news.  Hopefully she’s done.”

“Then?”

“She’ll be out for a little while.”

He glanced around at the puddles on the floor and the fluid in the bucket.  I can see why.

They sat in silence for nearly a half hour.  Liz smile.  “She’s done.”

Max cradled Chloe in his arms and carefully stood.  He glanced down at Liz.  “Where’s her room?”

Liz rose and motioned to him.  “Follow me.”

He followed her to a white painted room.  The furniture was also painted white and the bed was covered with a rose colored quilt.  Max pulled the quilt back and gently laid Chloe on the sheets.  He covered her with the quilt then pressed a kiss to her forehead.  He glanced at Liz as he strode from the room.

“You’re leaving?” Liz asked incredulously as she spun to follow him.

She stopped short as he walked into the bathroom and knelt on the floor.  He looked at her from over his shoulder.

“Do you have a towel or scrub brush or soap or anything for this?” He motioned to the puddles.

He met her stunned gaze evenly then smiled as she rushed down the hallway to get him a scrub brush and soap.