My scifi romance ebooks are also now just $2.99. CENTAURI, THE COMPLETE SERIES, is just $4.99 and SWORDS AND BLASTERS, which is the Centauri Series combined with the SWORDS OF GREGARA series is just $6.99 for all six books.
My scifi romance ebooks are also now just $2.99. CENTAURI, THE COMPLETE SERIES, is just $4.99 and SWORDS AND BLASTERS, which is the Centauri Series combined with the SWORDS OF GREGARA series is just $6.99 for all six books.
Looking for Legendary Events? We’ve got them at Wild Deadwood Reads 2018!
You are officially invited and welcomed to attend Wild Deadwood Reads Book Signing and Legendary Events in Deadwood, South Dakota. You’ll find so many things to do, including fun and adventurous outings planned just for us that weekend. Register right away so you won’t miss out on any of the excitement! Everything starts Thursday evening, June 7, with a Meet-and-Greet Cocktail Hour on the patio overlooking Deadwood. Check out the view!
Wild Deadwood Reads has grown since year one. In June, we had just under 50 authors, and since we’ve already registered more than 80 authors for 2018, we’re projecting we’ll double our author roster to around 100 for next June! To accommodate this bigger and more Legendary event, we’re taking over the entire, amenity-packed Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel, and we’ve negotiated a fabulous rate for guest rooms for you from Wednesday through Sunday night, so you can come in early, stay an extra day, or do both!
Get ready to jump onto a luxury motorcoach with 54 of your new friends-to-be on Friday morning for an all-inclusive sightseeing tour including three amazing destinations around the Black Hills.
Saturday morning you’ll enjoy a hot, delicious Breakfast With the Authors right in our hotel, in the Deadwood Mountain Grand’s Event Center on the second floor above the Non-Smoking casino. At one end of the Event Center we’ll relax over a scrumptious hot buffet breakfast, and at the other end are the ready-to-rock tables for the Author Book Signing!
The book signing begins Saturday morning at 10:00 am in the Event Center which is accessible by escalator, elevator, and stairs, and there’s lots of room for us at this lovely venue! We’ll even have vendor tables where local small businesses will tempt you with everything from hair pretties to chocolate!
During the Book Signing, you’ll have the chance to win something fabulous at the Basket Raffle, which will support a local non-profit organization. Authors, cover models, sponsors, and vendors are all very busy dreaming up the perfect goodies to place into a basket to catch your attention! Check out the basket examples on our website!
Saturday afternoon, we have The Rodeo! Right in town, it’s a gasp-provoking Professional Bull Riders Rodeo with the rankest bulls in the territory. We’re lucky to have an exclusive VIP Package, Behind the Chutes, where we’ll watch PBR Bullriders and stock contractors show us how they load the bulls into the chutes, and how the cowboys get themselves settled onto the bulls – for at least 8 seconds! We’ll enjoy VIP reserved seating for the rodeo, bus transportation both to and from the rodeo grounds, a special dinner after the rodeo at the No. 10 Saloon’s upstairs restaurant (in close walking distance of our hotel) featuring an entertaining show created just for us by our Rodeo hosts! Afterward, head downstairs for a live band at the official after-hours hangout for the Bullriders and all the rodeo staff. Get your cameras ready – they love to show off their belt buckles!
If you’re not in a Rodeo mood, we have the perfect event for you! Hosted at a downtown hot spot, Wild Bill Bar in walking distance of our hotel, join authors and readers for Wild Book Readings at Wild Bill Bar – with DESSERT! This sweet event takes us on a trip back in time as we head to their private, upstairs room which has been lovingly refurbished to look like a Victorian theater with bistro seating. A cash bar, an author-sponsored dessert bar of delicacies, and authors reading you their favorite scenes from their own books. Mix, mingle, and indulge! This event will be Legendary.
There’s so much to do and see in Deadwood and all around the area, you’ll have a must-see list that’ll keep you busy all weekend. And we give you plenty of time to explore on your own! Walking the streets of historic downtown Deadwood, you can easily imagine Wild Bill Hickok tipping his hat as he passes you on the sidewalk. Or Calamity Jane causing a ruckus at a noisy saloon. Or Seth Bullock facing down a gunslinger and sending him on his way to Mount Moriah Cemetery, just up the hill from town. And, well, you don’t have to imagine any of this. Deadwood stages free shootouts right on Main Street!
Wild Deadwood Reads Reader Registration is only $10 which includes a handy neck wallet and two more wonderful gifts which are listed for you on the website. Besides being the perfect spot for your phone and other essentials, the neck wallet holds your name tag which allows you to sign up for all the great weekend events listed above, some of which are FREE! Check out our website http://wilddeadwoodreads.com/ and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wilddeadwoodreads/ to see everything that you can experience! I am thrilled to be going to Deadwood next June, and I want to make sure you don’t let this awesome opportunity slip your mind or slide off your calendar. Register today and you’ll be all set to have one of the best, Wildest, and most Legendary times you’ll ever experience!
This novella touches on international adoption, a subject close to my heart as my husband and I adopted our daughter from S. Korea.
A billionaire and a single mother have more in common than they know.
He’s a billionaire businessman …
Luciano Donati, entrepreneur and eligible bachelor, lost his first wife to cancer. So though he lives in romantic Charleston, SC, he has every intention of ignoring the upcoming holiday for lovers … at least until he sets eyes again on his younger sister’s best friend.
He remembers Anastasia as a teenager who idolized him, not this lovely, fragile woman with heartbreak in her eyes. Heartbreak that he finds himself wanting to cure. Her smile warms his soul, her touch ignites his desire, and her little girl Soo-Min melts his frozen heart. Adopted internationally himself at a young age, Luciano understands all too well the strong need to belong somewhere.
She’s a single mom …
Anastasia Markow, cancer survivor and divorced mother, didn’t come to Charleston, SC, for romance. She’s here to make sure she has custody of her adopted daughter, Soo-Min. But when she encounters the first man she ever loved, here in the city of horse-drawn carriages and candlelight, her battered heart can’t help but bloom again. And when Luciano and Soo-Min take to each other, resisting his charm becomes even harder.
Handsome, self-assured, every inch the successful billionaire, Luciano is out of Anastasia’s reach. But when a hurricane strands them together and they must trust each other to survive … things heat up despite the driving rain and gale winds.
Can Valentine’s Day bring this unlikely pair together … this time for good?
Author’s Note: Thousands of families around the world have opened their homes and hearts through international adoption. Soo-Min is the embodiment of many, many fortunate adoptive children and parents who’ve together created forever families.
Don’t miss this poignant story of love, loss and renewed hope—get your copy of the novella today!
Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.
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Hi. :-) Thanks so much for having me. So excited to be here and be able to share a little about my new releases.
Tell us about your current series.
My ongoing series is called Whistle Stop Romances. It is set in the small Southwest town of Whistle Stop. The books aren’t necessarily cowboy books although some heroes most definitely are. The books are about the residents of Whistle Stop, no matter their profession, from rancher to baker to hairdresser. The quirky town has hit upon a stretch of economic hardship and people are moving away to finds jobs. But there are others that want to make the town vibrant again…if only they knew how.
The latest release in the series, A MOMENT ON THE LIPS, is a bakery romance. Piper Noble owns the Poppin’ Fresh Bakery in the town square and she’s about to get a next door neighbor, Joe Montoya. He plans to open the Fill-It-Up-Joe Coffeehouse. Sparks fly when these two are together and when they’re paired up to co-chair Whistle Stop’s Autumn Fest, things get real interesting.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Having a release for my overactive imagination. I can’t imagine not writing. There are so many characters and scenarios in my mind just waiting to get out. If only there were more hours in the day.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Believe it or not, in the shower is my number one place to sort out ideas for books or scenes. It is relaxing and my mind just wonders. Usually by the time I step out of the shower, I know what I’m going to write next. Sometimes when I get a really good idea and I’m afraid of losing it, I’ll rush to my computer dripping wet and type out the idea before I lose it. Thankfully that doesn’t happen very often as my laptop isn’t real happy about my hair dripping onto the keyboard. ;-)
The opening chapters by far are the most difficult for me. It’s like meeting someone new and trying to find mutual ground. It takes a bit to get comfortable with each other and for the conversation to flow smoothly. Well, it’s the same way with me and new characters. We have to get to know each other. By the middle of the book, my fingers are flying. I am comfortable and so are the characters. After I reach the end, I know so much more about the hero and heroine. So then I go back to the beginning and rework it, striking a balance between forward momentum and enough backstory to ground the reader in the character’s world. And when it all comes together, it’s like magic. ;-)
What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
I have a periodic newsletter that goes out whenever I have a book related bit of news to share whether it’s a special sale, a newsletter only giveaway, a special opportunity or a new release. I try to give my newsletter subscribers first dibs on everything book related. And if I have special opportunities such as openings on my book crew or extra autographed books, they are the people I go to first. They are amazing with their support and friendship.
I must admit with an increase in book deadlines that it’s getting increasingly difficult to keep up with all of the promo, but I do my best. I do blog posts/interviews with new releases. And I’m on Facebook daily except for weekends when it’s hit or miss depending on what the family has planned. And I blog frequently on Hearts & Scribbles. I have a lot of fun blogging, I just wish I had more time to do it.
Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
The readers!!! Hands down. I have met some of the loveliest people after they’ve read one of my books and sent me notes. They can bring tears to my eyes with their kind words. I can never tell them what their support means. It definitely helps me get through some of the challenging parts of a writer’s life.
In fact my November release, THE PRINCE’S CHRISTMAS VOW, is dedicated to my readers. After reading the first book in the duet, A PRINCESS BY CHRISTMAS, they wrote to me asking for the crown prince’s story. I forwarded those requests to my editors. In the end, my writing schedule was juggled in order for me to write the prince’s story for this Christmas. And it’s in large part thanks to my readers. :-)
Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Don’t ever let go of your dream. They really do come true. Look at me. I’d wanted to be a published author for more years than I care to count. For five and half years, I kept knocking on Harlequin’s door and taking advantage of all the amazing opportunities they have available to writers until I got ‘The Call’ all the way from London. It was literally a dream come true. So hang in there. It will happen.
What is your next project and when will it be released?
Next up, wedding bells are about to ring out in Whistle Stop. And trust me, it won’t be your typical wedding. It will be done up in Whistle Stop style. ;-) And if that isn’t enough, there’s a mayoral election underway that’s about to become rather sticky and not from the honey fresh pastries at the Poppin’ Fresh Bakery either. ;-) For years now, Mayor Ortiz has run unopposed, but all of that is about to change. Mason Noble is about to toss his hat into the election. But will his political pursuits endanger his engagement to the beautiful Bella Nez? And are the townsfolk of Whistle Stop ready to do away with tradition? So many questions. So many changes. Keep an eye out for the fourth installment in the Whistle Stop series ~ A MOMENT TO CHERISH coming Spring 2016.
If you’re new to the Whistle Stop Romance series, for the next week, you can grab the e-book of the first book in the series, A Moment to Love, for 99 cents.
He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I meant it when I said you’re pretty. No, make that beautiful.” His gaze slipped to her lips, lingered, and then returned to her eyes. “Any guy would be lucky to have you in his life.”
Was this really happening? Did this total stranger say that he found her attractive? Didn’t he see all of her embarrassing imperfections? She hadn’t even bothered with any makeup that morning. And her long hair, she hadn’t done anything special with it. She’d merely pulled it back and pinned it up out of the way—her usual no-fuss hairdo.
He hooked his thumbs in the corners of his pockets. “And you have a great smile. You should do it more often.”
A warmth swirled in her chest, easing the festering wound her mother had scratched open. The morning certainly was picking up. Piper hoped this stranger would stick around for a while.
“Thank you.” Her shoulders straightened, and her smile broadened. “Now, what can I get you? If you didn’t find what you want in the case, let me know. I don’t mind special orders.” Especially for special people with the most devastating smiles.
“Actually, I’m not here to place an order. I just need a moment of your time.”
At this point, he could have more than one moment of her time…heck, he could have the rest of her morning. She gave herself a mental jerk. What was she doing letting herself fall under this stranger’s spell? No matter how good he looked, she needed to remember what happened the last time she got involved with a man. She glanced down at her naked ring finger. It hadn’t ended well—not well at all.
Piper willed herself to sound professional and not like some schoolgirl with an obvious crush. “What can I do for you?”
“I stopped by to introduce myself.” He extended his hand. “My name’s Joe Montoya.”
Montoya? There were some families by that name around town. In fact, she went to school with some. She studied his handsome face with the chiseled jawline and startlingly blue eyes. There was something vaguely familiar about him.
Her thoughts short-circuited when his long, lean fingers engulfed hers. A zing of energy raced up her arm and warmed a spot in her chest. His hold was firm but not threatening. His skin was rough against her palm, as though he was a man used to hard work.
Upon realizing their handshake had gone on longer than necessary, she grudgingly pulled her hand free. She interlaced her fingers, resisting the urge to run her hand over the goose bumps trailing up her arm.
His gaze probed her, reminding her that it was her turn to introduce herself. “Nice to meet you. I’m Piper Noble, owner of Poppin’ Fresh Bakery.”
Piper Noble feels like she’s going places. Her business, the Poppin’ Fresh Bakery, is a culinary success story. Next on her to-do list is expanding the bakery into the vacant shop next door…and starting a new diet, like her mom keeps nagging her to. But when Joe Montoya steps into her life, her grand plans grind to a sudden halt.
Joe’s taken a big risk returning to Whistle Stop. But with his disastrous marriage over, it’s time for a fresh start, including opening a coffee shop…and coming to terms with his troubled past. Though his neighbor Piper looks like she’ll be a big distraction in getting Fill-It-Up Joe off the ground–with her honeyed smile, curvy goodness, and her unflagging determination to grab his storefront.
However, when Piper and Joe are elected as co-chairs of a fundraising committee to help the town’s revitalization project, the hostilities must cease. Joe’s not sure about spending time with a woman who, one moment, reminds him of all the good things he’s been missing, and the next minute drives him up a wall with her stubbornness. Meanwhile, Piper’s looking for the way to this gorgeous but grouchy guy’s heart–maybe serving him one of her fresh-from-the-oven pastries could be just the right start…
Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming romances. Step into the pages of exciting destinations with rugged cowboys, sexy tycoons & enchanting royalty. She is the author of the WHISTLE STOP ROMANCE series.
Jennifer is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, has been named a TOP PICK author, and has been nominated for numerous awards.
Now living her dream, she resides with her patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats.
Jennifer is doing a giveaway until the end of the month for a $15 gift card. Enter here:
Hi, Eileen, thank you for joining me today and thank you for your giveaway of a electronic copy of your new release, A Prince of a Guy.
Thanks so much for the invitation. The questions were great. The only trouble I had was choosing only eight.
There’s a great quote by Moliere. “Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for fun. Then you do it for a few close friends. Finally you do it for money.” That’s a pretty good outline of my own journey. I actually remember the moment I began to write. I was a Nancy Drew fanatic. Loved me my girl sleuth and her red roadster.
Then the day came when I realized I had read every Nancy in the library. And the librarian informed me that (sob) there wouldn’t be another out for a year. Well, one of the truths about me is that I do not wait well. I was devastated. And then, just like in the movies, I had this sudden idea. “Wait. I can write my own. And I can make them turn out the way I want them to.” I was ten.
The next phase started in seventh grade when I realized that an easy way to make friends was to put classmates into stories of adventure and romance with famous heartthrobs. Every morning there was somebody waiting for me to find out what happened the night before. Pretty heady stuff.
I stayed that route for quite a few years, although I retreated to having most of the adventures myself. It wasn’t until I was married, a mother, and had been working as an ER nurse for ten years before I hit the next stage. I was standing out in the hospital parking lot with a friend saying something like, “There’s got to be something better than this.” She was as big a reader as I was. She loved to write. She said, “I think we need to publish books.”And after about five years of slogging through the boggy land of publishing, I saw my first book published. I’m now on my 42nd.
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
If I had enough time (and focus. I’m the queen of ADD) I would write in most genres, because I read most genres, and you tend to write what you read. What has ended up happening, though, is that I’ve focused on romance and suspense I think it’s because both genres reinforce messages I like, romance the message of hope and suspense of justice.
The truth is that I began writing romance without actually understanding it completely. What I did know, however, was that the heroines were strong women who always won in the end. And that in the end, no matter what had happened during the course of the book, everything would be okay. When I started trying to get published, I was working as a trauma nurse. Kind of stressful. I realized much later that all the while I worked ER, I only wrote romances. I think it was because there were days that it was the only way I could make good things happen to good people.
After I retired I included suspense(amazingly enough, all set in medicine). I could go someplace darker then, and tell some truths about the world of medicine I couldn’t before. And I could reinforce again and again, at least for me, that there was justice in the world. That the people I took care of who did terrible things would be punished and the innocent rewarded. As I said, the world I worked in was, at best, uncertain. This helped me believe that the world could remain rightside up.
The best of both worlds, of course, is when I can have romance and suspense. I get to enjoy a mix of both.
Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?
Ya know, I guess I didn’t realize this before now, but actually, yes. The funny thing is that I never read romance growing up. Not Heyer or Cartland, and I thought most Harlequins were silly. I came up what I call the mystery/suspense pathway. Nancy Drew, Mary Stuart, Helen McInnes, Alistair Maclean, Robert Ludlum. I’ve always said that it was my friend Katie who gave me the idea to write romance. After all, she was an avid reader. I insisted I wanted to write suspense, history, fantasy.
What I never paid attention to is that all along what I wrote for myself was actually what I’d label romantic adventure. Couples in terrible danger. Sexual tension(although I didn’t actually call it that when I was young). Happy endings. (Although I was much more a serial writer. Maybe I should have been a soaps writer). But yes, in the end, I’ve actually been focused in this direction since I was ten.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Ooh, several things. That first inspiration. The moment you see something, or read something or hear something, and suddenly your brain goes, “What if….?” and sometimes within minutes characters and places and ideas are whirling around in your head. At that moment the book is almost a tangible thing you can hold in your hand.
Being caught up in the story, where the world you’ve created becomes the one that surrounds you. Dishes disappear and bills and that spat you had with your husband the night before. You’re actually running through Europe with a European prince trying to save the heir to the throne. You’re not in sweats, but an elegant gown as you stroll through the formal gardens of a castle, or breaking and entering attire as you sneak through a house. I admit it. Pretending for a living is a lot of fun.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
The long, hard, frustrating days when it seems the story is holding itself just out of your reach, when your characters won’t tell you why they’re really doing what they’re doing, when the plot just won’t come together(I have most problem with that. You’d think somebody who wanted to be a suspense writer would love plot. Nah.). I actually have an old ratty robe just for days like that so my family knows the book isn’t going well and that they should extend the safety perimeter.
Tell us about your current series.
Well, there is actually a series within a series. The larger one is called Korbel’s Klassics, the Humorous Collection. I have 20 books I’m putting back up, so I’m trying to organize them into some kind of order. My newest offering, A Prince of a Guy is (I hope) humorous. I think it is, anyway. I love making fun of royal protocol. As for the smaller series. A Prince of a Guy is attached to the next book, The Princess and the Pea, both about a royal family in a tiny European country. (And yes. It was particularly fun to pretend I was a princess for a few months. Well, a princess, a secretary, a prince, a spy….)
Give us an elevator pitch of your book.
Casey Phillips is a secretary from Brooklyn. When she wins a trip to Europe, she decides to pay a visit to the tiny country of Moritania, where her family originated. Instead of sitting on a tour bus, though, she suddenly finds herself impersonating a crown princess when that young woman—who looks exactly like her—is kidnapped right before her coronation. To complicate matters, Casey finds herself falling in love with the handsome prince who is helping her.
Tell us about your hero. Give us his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
Prince Eric van Lieberhaven is the epitome of a handsome, suave, intelligent prince. He is not the ruler. Instead he is the economic secretary. He is an eminently sensible gentleman who has been raised in a castle and mingles with the top crust of Europe. Surprisingly he is also honorable and awash in common sense. What he does not have is a sense of fun and spontaneity. It has never been allowed. So when a brash secretary from Brooklyn agrees to help save his country, it isn’t just her winsome prettiness that fells him, but her irrepressible humor and cheeky irreverence.
Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Casey Phillips is a young woman who has had to settle. She has royalty in her distant past, but the reality is that she lives in a third floor walk-up with her mother in Brooklyn where she works as a secretary and attends night classes for college. She is bright, happy, as I said, cheeky, and most of all adaptable. When she is pulled from obscurity to impersonate a princess, she makes indelible impressions on the position. Her weakness is that she could use a little more sense of self-worth. She doesn’t believe she’s worthy of the love of a handsome prince. She can’t imagine how the adventure in Moritania could end any way but her going home alone back to her normal life.
Excerpt from A PRINCE OF A GUY
The Royal Palace of Moritania, the Alps, 1987
Eric handed her up the steps before him as a silent groom appeared from somewhere and took the Bronco away. Casey half expected him to sweep the cobblestones behind them. When they reached the door, it magically opened, another liveried servant bowing and smiling as he passed them on.
“Rolph,” Eric said, easing Casey along when she slowed, “is Her Majesty the queen available for visitors?”
“I shall check for you, Your Highness. Refreshments?”
He stole a look at Casey, who was rubbernecking the paintings on the walls with undisguised astonishment. After a moment he nodded. “Yes, I believe they will be needed. In the Great Hall, if you please.”
Rolph dispatched a discreetly questioning look, but bowed and moved away. Casey was still trying to take in the extent of the entryway.
Train stations were smaller. The walls extended up some thirty feet, decorated with what looked suspiciously like old masters and terminating in a high, vaulted ceiling that some brave painter had gotten his hands on. It was all light and froth, cherubs and swirling gold banners swimming around a vault of milky white. The floors were of gleaming dark wood covered in what had to be priceless Oriental rugs. The effect was one of immense space, the inside of the building mirroring the image given by the outside. Quiet, understated grace and wealth.
No need for ostentation here. It only made her want to see more.
“Like your decorator,” she finally managed, casting a sidelong glance over to where Eric was enjoying her reaction.
“Moritania might not be big—” he bowed a little in acknowledgment, “—but it is a country rife with good taste. I’d like to show you something, if you don’t mind.”
“The only thing you could show me to beat this would be the Sistine chapel.”
Walking to the right side of the hall, Eric opened a great oak door. Casey walked past him into an even more impressive room. It was long, with six matched sets of crystal chandeliers and floor-to ceiling windows that reflected in the mirrors along the opposite wall.
“Been to Versailles, had they?” she breathed, coming to a stop.
Eric wouldn’t let her. Instead, he took her by the elbow and gently propelled her down the parquet flooring. “I’m sure you don’t know,” he was saying, “but my brother just died recently.”
Casey immediately turned to him. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t.”
He nodded with a sad little smile. “He was much older than I, and his heart was bad. The upshot of it is that next week his daughter, my niece, will become the new queen of Moritania. She is his only child, and his wife is also dead.”
Casey had no idea where the conversation was leading. He seemed so reluctant to tell her that she knew it was something important to him. She couldn’t think of anything more to do than nod.
Then he stopped walking. Turning to her, he took hold of both of her arms, his eyes trying to communicate something of import. They had softened. Casey felt even more confused.
“The portrait here at the end of the Great Hall has just gone up. It is a painting of the next queen of Moritania, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess Cassandra.”
He turned Casey to face the painting. Casey’s jaw dropped. Looking back at her from the canvas was a young woman with delicate features, a gently molded face with deep, wide-set hazel eyes and a small, straight nose. A small mouth curved just at the ends as if she was amusing herself immensely with a private joke. Diamonds and rubies glittered at her throat, and a mane of tawny hair swept back, thick and styled sleekly away from tiny ears where teardrop diamonds hung.
Casey turned to Eric and then back to the picture and then back to Eric again, unable to speak. Then she turned once again to the portrait and finally admitted what he’d been trying to prepare her for. She was staring at a portrait of herself.
“And here I thought losing the car was going to be the high point of my day.”
A Prince of a Guy
When New Yorker Casey Phillips visits the tiny country of Moritania, she simply wants to see where her ancestors came from. Instead, she’s mistaken for a princess.
The real princess has been kidnapped, and Crown Prince Eric von Lieberhaven insists Casey—a dead ringer for the missing royal—step into the princess’s shoes until she can be freed.
As Casey upends royal tradition, Eric finds himself hoping the cheeky American never returns home. But can a secretary from Brooklyn really find happiness with a prince?
New York Times Bestselling, award-winning author Eileen Dreyer has published 38 novels and 10 short stories under her name and that of her evil twin, Kathleen Korbel in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, mystery and medical forensic suspense. A proud member of RWA’s Hall of FAME, she also has numerous awards from RT BookLovers and an Anthony nomination for mystery. Eileen spent 16 years as a trauma nurse and is educated in trauma, forensics and death investigation. She is now focusing on what she calls historic romantic adventure in her DRAKE’S RAKES series, the latest of which, TWICE TEMPTED, is out now. A native of St. Louis, she still lives there with her family. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.
I am so grateful to Cindy for welcoming me to her blog. Thank you, thank you, Cindy! I am pleased to highlight my new series, the Morgan’s Run Romances, especially book one, Emma’s Dream.
How did you get started writing? In the early 1980s, a group of teacher colleagues and I formed a writing group to explore the process we were introducing to our students (thank you to the immortal Donald Graves!). From this group, my first book, Asamaran (a YA novel, as yet unpublished) was born! I haven’t stopped since.
What genre(s) do you write in and why? I write contemporary romances, mysteries (three series going), and YA fiction. I’ve also published three nonfiction books in my field of literacy education. I write the kinds of books I love to read, and, in the case of my nonfiction, the kinds of books I believe will be useful resources for K-12 teachers.
Tell us about your current series. I am really excited about my new series, Morgan’s Run Romances. They are contemporary, western romances set in the U.S southwest, a region dear to my heart and one I visit often. The first book, Emma’s Dream, was published on August 25, 2015, and book two, Lang’s Return comes out in 15 days on October 20th! Book three, Jeb’s Promise is scheduled to be published on December 8th! These books chronicle the lives of the amazing Morgan family and friends, who live and work in Saguaro Valley, Arizona. The cowboys are gorgeous, the women astonishing and their romances sweet, sexy, and hot!
What inspired your latest book? My travels to the U.S. southwest and my writing collaborators out there (son and daughter-in-law). It’s an amazing part of our beautiful country. Plus, I’ve always wanted to write a western series and it sounded like fun, which it is!
Where do you get the ideas for your stories? From anywhere and everywhere!
Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like? My view is a beautiful tidal river that constantly changes, one minute glassy and calm, the next white capped. For most of the year, I write on my sun porch, windows open, the breeze in my hair. When it gets cold and I shut up the sun porch and write in a comfy chair by the fire, the river still in front of me.
Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not? Yes, I use a pen name because I am an academic and the pen name separates my fiction from my scholarly work. Not sure it’s necessary, but I’m off and running as M. Lee Prescott now so there’s no turning back!
How far do you plan ahead? Several years. I try to create a schedule that changes constantly, but gives me some general direction. This year, while on sabbatical, I surpassed my goals and published two more books than I had scheduled!
What did you want to be when you were a child? A famous actress in my dreams. A teacher and writer in my rational moments.
Do you have any rejection stories to share? I have had many rejection notices over the years, but actually treasure some as they helped me to grow as a writer. My favorite was a six-page letter from a editor who gave me detailed suggestions for my mystery, A Friend of Silence, with many compliments about my writing and characters. While her publishing house did not pick up the book, but I am deeply indebted to her for the time she took to write such a generous, supportive letter.
Book 1: Morgan’s Run Romances
This is a huge mistake. Ben Morgan’s chest tightened as he steered the Range Rover over the Arizona mountain pass. Maybe the biggest one I’ve made in five years.
Then he remembered it wasn’t his decision. Doctor’s orders propelled him eastward, away from his gorgeous new home in Santa Barbara and a rapidly expanding business, which needed his attention 24-7. On the Coast Highway, halfway home, the pain now excruciating, he called 911 and told the operator he was having a heart attack.
The young whippersnapper cardiologist had smiled. “Fascinating diagnosis, Mr. Morgan, but totally incorrect. You’ve had a panic attack. I’m not sure what’s going on in your life right now, but whatever it is, you’d better see that it stops now, or you’ll be dead before your next birthday. Thirty-two is too young to die, don’t you think?”
Now, six days later, he was headed to his family’s ranch in Arizona, Morgan’s Run, and his enforced R & R in Saguaro Valley. As he turned right on Main and headed toward Gracie’s Diner, a horn blared and the clunker in front of him screeched to a stop. Ben braked, but not in time to stop the Rover before it tapped the rear of the clunker. Ben swore under his breath and backed up, pulling over to park at the curb. As he did, the clunker’s driver leaped from her car, screaming and waving her arms. He shook his head. Foolish woman had left her heap in the middle of the street. Tall and slender, she wore Jackie O. sunglasses, a baseball cap pulled low on her forehead, a faded cotton shirt over blue jeans, and cowboy boots, the uniform for nearly every female rancher in the valley. Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
As she approached the Rover, Ben noticed her jeans hugged every curve, full breasts not quite obscured by the baggy shirt. He couldn’t see her face, but he had to admit the rest of the package was intriguing and also vaguely familiar. “What’s the matter with you?” she screamed, walking in circles, arms still flailing. “Oh, my God, oh, my God, what am I going to do?”
Ben stared at her back, astounded at what was clearly a huge overreaction. The clunker was fine, hardly a scratch on it, although it would be hard to tell with all the other dings. Then, just as quickly as it started, the fire went out and she flopped down to sit on the curb, head between her legs, sobbing.
“Hey, hey, it’s not that bad, is it? We hardly touched each other. No harm done.” He sat beside her, wondering whether he should pat her on the shoulder. Immediately she quieted and looked up at him. “Oh, my God. This just gets better and better.” Ben Morgan, the one person she expected never to see again, sitting beside her in the middle of Main Street. Could things get any worse? She leaned forward, hiding her face, wondering whether he’d go away if she sat there long enough.
“Maggie? Is that little Maggie Williams? After five years, I’m in town less than a minute and the first person I bump into is you.”
Maggie groaned and buried her head deeper, praying this was all a bad dream. If she hadn’t had to make a quick run to the bank, she’d be at work in the cool, dark stables. “Please just go. I’m fine.”
She could feel his heat, his nearness rattling her to her core. A part of her longed to lean against him and draw comfort and strength from his warmth, but the wiser half screamed danger. She kept still, hoping he would disappear.
“You don’t seem fine. Look, I’m sorry.” Ben placed a hand on her shoulder. It sent shivers of warmth all the way to her toes. “And I’m not leaving until I’m sure you’re okay.”
Oh, no you don’t. Maggie stood and shook herself, stepping away from his electric touch. She put on her sunglasses. Another second near him and she feared she might actually swoon. His soft chestnut eyes regarded her with obvious concern. Although he looked tired and thin, Ben Morgan was still drop-dead gorgeous, in faded jeans and sneakers, his broad shoulders straining the seams of a worn Stanford tee shirt.
“I’m fine, really. It’s been a crazy day and you caught me at a bad time. I’m sorry I overreacted.”
Ben watched her, wondering why a fender kiss had caused so much distress. “Can I give you a lift somewhere?”
“No, of course not! I mean, thanks, but I’m okay now. Got to get back to work.”
“Sorry, I’m really late. Good to see you again. Take care.”
She hopped into her car and drove away before he could utter another word.
What the hell was that? Ben thought back to his one memorable night with Maggie Williams. They had both left Saguaro shortly after that night, but a part of him always wondered if there was something more to explore with his brother Kyle’s beautiful classmate. While he had pushed thoughts of her and their one night of passionate sex from his mind, as he watched her drive away, Ben realized that he had spent five years comparing every woman he met to Maggie Williams.
M. Lee Prescott is the author of dozens of works of fiction for adults, young adults and children, among them The Ricky Steele Mysteries (Prepped to Kill, Gadfly, Lost in Spindle City), The Roger and Bess Mysteries (A Friend of Silence, In the Name of Silence and The Silence of Memory) Jigsaw, Song of the Spirit, and her newest contemporary romance series, Morgan’s Run Romances. Three of her nonfiction titles have been published by Heinemann and she has published numerous articles in her field of literacy education. Lee is a professor of education at a small New England liberal arts college where she teaches reading and writing pedagogy. Her current research focuses on mindfulness and connections to reading and writing. She regularly teaches abroad, most recently in Singapore.
Lee has lived in southern California (loved those Laguna nights!), Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and various spots in New England. Currently, she resides in Massachusetts on a beautiful river, where she canoes, swims, and watches an incredible variety of wildlife pass by. She is the mother of two grown sons and spends lots of time with them, their beautiful wives, and her amazing grandchildren. When not teaching or writing, Lee’s passions revolve around family, yoga (Kripalu is a second home), swimming, sharing mindfulness with children and adults, and walking.
Lee loves to hear from readers. Email her anytime at email@example.com, and visit her website to hear the latest and sign up for her newsletter.
Connect with M. Lee Prescott
There’s a new holiday tradition that’s popped up in recent years, the Elf on the Shelf. For those of you unfamiliar with the phenomenon, these elves are sent out on scouting missions to help Santa decide who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. So I thought about what the elves might report back to Santa about the characters in my new book, Courting Trouble.
As the title implies, there’s a lot of naughtiness going on, but it’s not that simple.
Sienna is a nice girl who’s put in the position of taking on a naughty job. Jason is a naughty boy, who can be very nice when he likes someone. Sienna always follows the rules, but Jason tempts her to break them. And while Jason might be bossy and rough around the edges, he protects the people who are important to him. That definitely falls on the nice list.
In the end, neither of them is naughty or nice all of the time. That would be boring. What the elves would probably report is that they’re a couple who is nice to each other and naughty together. That’s something that Santa should reward. Don’t you think?
When times get tough, how bad does a good girl have to get?
Sienna Blakely is bright, articulate, underemployed and forced to rely on the one asset she vowed never to use – her looks.
With bills piling up, Sienna signs a contract with Luxxor Escort Services. A contract that strictly forbids any sexual contact with clients… And then she’s assigned to companion Jason Sloan. Just meeting the man causes a full-body jolt. Arrogant, powerful, and sexy, he’s trouble. And he can see through the facade she’s erected, right down to the intelligent and sensual woman underneath. He challenges her wits, and he challenges the rules.
Courting Trouble buy links:
Now you seem like someone who would fall on the nice list, so I have a stocking stuffer for you. Go get your free copy of my short story, Courting Jealousy here:
When Noelle hires an escort to accompany her to a charity event, it’s merely to show her ex that’s she’s moved on. Yet she gets more than she bargained for when Dane is assigned to accompany her. Tall, dark, and handsome, he knows how to arouse jealousy. He also knows how to arouse her!
Kimberly Dean is an award-winning author of romance and erotica. She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock ‘n’ roll, and a good book make for a perfect day.
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Thanks for having me as your guest today!
As a matter of fact – drum roll, please – as of March 1st I’m taking early retirement from my job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to become a fulltime author! Going to live the dream and I’m very excited. I’ve been cleaning out my office for the past few weeks, in fact. I told my boss the critical success factor for the retirement party would be a really good chocolate cake, so I hope he delivers on that. I worked on special business projects in the area of the Lab where we wrote contracts for everything from services to office supplies to parts for Mars Rovers. It was a fun career but my heart was in writing romance novels.
Cindy: Congratulations on what must be a scary move. But I know you’ll find it most rewarding.
How did you get started writing?
I started writing when I was seven, because there just weren’t enough books around that I wanted to read. My first epic tale featured flying cats, flying horses, princesses galore, and a riverboat captain as the hero. And I just kept writing. In 2010, when my daughters were grown and out on their own, I decided to get serious about learning my craft and really working to become published.
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I write science fiction romances set in the far future and I write a paranormal series set in ancient Egypt. I’m fascinated by both eras. My Dad was the science fiction influence as I grew up. My Mom had all the Time-Life book on ancient civilizations, and the “sword and sandal” novels. I just thought there needed to be more romance in everything!
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve got seven books published – two from Carina Press and the other five independently published. I usually say my favorite is my most recent book, but Wreck of the Nebula Dream, my retelling of the sinking of Titanic, set in the far future in outer space, is also a favorite. (And just recently it was favorably reviewed by Dear Author, which was a thrill.)
How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I LOVE self-publishing. In fact, Wreck of the Nebula Dream was my first venture into self-publishing. I’d written the novel before selling my first ancient Egyptian romance to Carina Press. After the flurry of edits and getting the other book released with Carina, I realized 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. There wasn’t time to submit the book to anyone and get it published, not even Carina, so I dove into the independent publishing world. I enjoy the total control over my books – I pick the cover, I write to my own deadlines, I can tell the stories I want to tell, the books can be as long or as short as I feel they need to be, I set the prices and do the promo that seems appropriate (and fun!). And of course I’m not sharing royalties with a publisher. I learned a great deal from working with Carina and I enjoyed that experience, but indie publishing really appeals to me.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Publishing is a business and when you publish independently, you’re the person who has to make everything happen. That’s the joy and the reality. I love the creative writing part but I recognize the need to hire strong editors, copy editors, find cover artists (although I’m fortunate to work with two of the best – Fiona Jayde and Frauke of Croco Designs), have the formatting done, upload the books to the ebook retailers myself, troubleshoot problems…And you have to do promo for your books. That part holds true whether you’re published or independently, but it is something to remember.
Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
My most recently published science fiction romance is Mission to Mahjundar. “Blind princess going to her loveless arranged marriage meets Special Forces soldier whose orders don’t include falling in love. When the inevitable happens and they do fall in love, the entire planet is set against them.”
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Before I begin, I usually know the opening and closing scenes of the book, who the hero and heroine are, a few major scenes along the way…and then I just start writing and the story fills itself in as I go and get to know my characters even better. So pretty much a pantster! If I plot the story out in too much detail ahead of doing the actual writing, my Muse feels I’m already done and then I can’t write. The creativity evaporates.
Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
I love being able to share my stories with readers! There’s nothing as satisfying as hearing from someone that they enjoyed the book, or they really related to one of the characters, or that they want more about a certain character.
Where can readers find you?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
My books are available at all ebook retailers – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook, Google Play, All Romance eBooks, Kobo.
I also have several of the books available as audiobooks through Amazon, Audible and iBooks, and all my independently published works are also available as paperbacks through Amazon.
Here’s a short excerpt from Mission to Mahjundar:
Mike Varone, Sectors Special Forces, saved the Princess Shalira’s life during a terrorist incident shortly after arriving on her planet. Shalira maneuvers her father into ordering Mike to accompany her on the journey to her arranged marriage, much to Mike’s displeasure. He has a mission to carry out that has nothing to do with Shalira. He goes to argue with her.
“Would you let the life you saved be lost so soon?” Tears shimmered in the depths of her unseeing brown eyes as she turned her face directly to him. Mike couldn’t look away, even though he knew she wasn’t actually seeing him, or his reactions. He put his glass on the table too hard, cracking the base.
“There are those who don’t want me to reach my wedding. The palace rustles with rumors of plots, schemes in motion to take advantage of this final opportunity to kill me. Once I’m safe with my bridegroom-to-be, I’ll be beyond the schemers’ reach, but I have to get to him.” Shalira rubbed her elegant fingers across the pendant as if it were an amulet giving her strength. “I hope that if you ride with me, those who plan my murder will be afraid to proceed under the attention of outworlders.”
What do I say to this? He hadn’t anticipated an appeal along these dramatic lines. “Do you think the bomb yesterday was an attempt to assassinate you?”
“No, assuredly Maralika was the target.” Shalira shook her head. “The empress is pursuing a host of unpopular actions—forbidding the older forms of worship, tearing down temples, forcing the people to pay taxes to her new gods, consolidating power for herself and her son. My father is not a well man, Major. Everyone knows he doesn’t have long to live, and she plans to rule when he’s gone.”
“But there’s opposition to her?” Mike was aware there was. Planetary politics had been a prominent part of his briefing, but he was curious how much Shalira might add.
“Her son is the heir since my brother was murdered, but the throne of Mahjundar has often been claimed by bloodshed rather than by rule of law. I have to get away from here, before the emperor dies.” She laughed, the sound bitter. “Playing the Princess of Shadows won’t protect me after his death.”
“Princess of Shadows?” Nothing about that in our briefing. He remembered the empress had also used the term to refer to Shalira.
“It’s an old folktale about a girl of royal blood who hid from her enemies in the shadows of the palace walls, disguised as a beggar, until her true love rescued her.” Gesturing to her eyes, Shalira said, “It’s meant as an insult to me, since I can’t see, not even shadows, and I’ve lived the past fifteen years on the fringes of the court, out of the ‘sun.’ I’m tolerated, protected only because my mother was the emperor’s Favorite till she died. If I reach the safety of my bridegroom’s people, then I’ll be safe, free of the empress’s plotting and hate. My mother’s clan is among his subjects.” Shalira blinked hard, and then her face crumpled as she wept.
Amazon best-seller Veronica Scott is a three-time recipient of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award winner, and has written a number of science-fiction and paranormal romances. She writes the SciFi Encounters column for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog. Veronica has two daughters, one grandson and two cats. She loves long blingy earrings, roses, the movie “Aliens” and Mars Rovers.
5 Hot Heroes / 4 Authors / 4 Worlds Discover five sexy alpha heroes in four hot adventures. They were each taken, tortured and tormented. These powerful males were held against their will, prisoners of fate. What happens when they escape their captors…and fall in love? Vengeance. Desire. Destiny. Nothing can stop…Alphas Unleashed.
A Warrior’s Heart (Marastin Dow Book 1.1) by USA Today Bestseller S.E. Smith
Sealed With A Kiss, A Djinn Novella by Mina Khan
Dead Drop, A My Immortals Novella by Carolyn Jewel
Chimera Born: The Beginning (Book 1 of the Chimera) by Michele Callahan
Please help me welcome Jacqueline Patricks to my blog today. Jacqueline is giving away an ecopy of her book to one lucky commentor, so be sure and comment.
When I was 15, I read Barbara Hambley’s Darwath Trilogy and I decided I wanted to write amazing stories like that. The bug bit me hard, too, because went to college for my creative writing degree initially.
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
My main genres are science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction and romance, but all tend to have strong romance elements to the stories. I won’t say that I’ll always write romance into my stories, but somehow it tends to end there most of the time. Mainly I love the freedom invent new worlds while playing with human emotions and psychology.
Tell us about your current series and wip.
My current book Dreams of the Queen- The Brajj #1 is science fiction/romance with lots of angst and twists. It’s not for the faint of heart or those lacking a strong imagination. It really takes readers on a psychological and emotional ride. Lots of characters with agendas and action and romance going on.
I’m currently working on Nightmare of the Queen – The Brajj #2 and another series involving fae, mortals and the end of the world called Fairytale Apocalypse. I’m hoping FA will be out late 2013 and Nightmare will be out early 2014.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Most of my ideas come from my dreams, but I like to read current events and really pay attention to the normal world. I dump a lot of information into my head, then it all marinates until something original and unique percolates to the surface.
How does your family feel about your writing?
My husband is a musician, so not only is very supportive but he understands the creative drive and obsessive need to be an artist. My family is also very supportive of my writing. They have been ever since I subjected them to my horrible teen crap. My dad used to read everything I wrote in Jr. High. I remember him being cautiously supportive. Now his positive feedback is genuine. He’s constantly bugging me for updates. When is the next chapter done? When can he read it? What happens next? I know most families and friends aren’t completely honest in their feedback, but mine are brutal. So to have mine be excited to find out what happens next… that’s the best!
What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
Self-publishing has been the best decision for me. I’ve collection my share of rejections. Gave up for a while and focused on working full-time, then fall back into writing again about three years ago. I’d forgotten how much I miss it. I love the freedom, but it’s a lot of hard work. You have to do a lot of research. Know what you’re getting yourself into and even then there’s a sharp learning curve. I had a bit of a false start last Nov 2012 when I first released Queen and had to relearn several things. But it’s stronger now and what I’ve learned I’ll do better with my future book releases.
I was always going to do a print run with my ebooks. Many of my friends and family wanted a print copy and so did it. Money aside, there’s just something about finally holding a physical copy of your work in your hands. Smelling it, flipping through the pages, pressing a flower or bookmark inside… it’s finally real unlike how an ebook will ever be. I will always do a print run of all my novel length books and anthologies of my short stories.
All self-pubbed books are rumored to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
Shoddy editing in self-publishing is a huge stigma. One that I and other self-pubbed authors I know are fighting to overcome. There are daily discussions on how to rise above this. One way is for authors to work extremely how to make sure their work is top notch. Get a great beta partner. Learn how to self-edit at a level of excellence. Don’t release your work too soon. Have several typo-catching readers, not editors, just friends who are great at catching typos. They don’t have to be good at grammar, just simple things like dropped words and transposed letters. Ask them to read your work very slowly. But all this is very important. I can read the first paragraph or two of a book and tell you if it’s well written or not. It’s that obvious.
Plotter or Pantser?
I am a total pantser! I start with an idea or premise, sometimes just a very simple one, and I’m off. I generally write from start to finish chronologically, but if I have an idea for specific scenes out of order then I’ll write that scene and save it for later. My brain is constantly working on ideas. While I’m only writing on two main stories right now, I actually have about six in various stages of work. Often my best scenes and dialogue happen while I’m panting my way through. I’ve had characters do things that surprised me, but I’ve realized worked better than my original idea for the scene. Improv is awesome!
Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not? How did you choose it?
I do write under a pen name. I work as a paramedic and have just under eight left to retire, so I’m trying to keep some separation in my two careers. I’ve always liked the name Jacqueline and Patricks is unusual as opposed to Patrick and I liked the feminine and masculine combination. Sort of like my writing, romantic yet strong.
What is your writing routine like?
I don’t actually have a set routine because of my full-time job. I tend to be able to write whenever I get a free moment. I’ve become very disciplined when I sit down to type out hundreds of words an hour when I’m in the right mindset. It’s all about being focused.
I’ll be attending Houston Comicpalooza
http://www.comicpalooza.com/convention/exhibitors/ and speaking on the author panels ‘Sex in Sci-fi’ and ‘Playing God-world building’. If you’re in the Houston area on May 24-26, stop by and visit!
Reviews for ‘Dreams of the Queen’
“”Devotees of the paranormal genre will appreciate Patricks’ original work […] science fiction and magic meld together perfectly. As readers’ imagination is put to the test, it’s apparent that only the strong will survive […]the dash of romance creeps in slowly, but doesn’t overwhelm or interfere with the plot that will keep fans itching for more.” InD’Tale Magazine May 2013
“The alien culture of the brajj is deftly revealed over time. Plot twists at the end are genuinely startling, and leave the reader anticipating the sequel. – IndieReader Nov 2012
I started writing fiction when I was 15, and like most aspiring writers, my work was terrible, immature, cliched drivel. I went college for my creative writing degree and got used to the typical reject letters. Eventually, I needed annoying things like food, clothing and rent, so I got a real job and ended up finishing my degree in paramedicine. Since then, I’ve gained 19+ years of experience as a paramedic and spend time in the army.
Then a wonderful thing happened. I woke up one morning with the fire to write fiction again. I’d been published online by writing medical articles and was paid to write for a crafts blog, but I hadn’t felt the particular desire to write fiction in nearly a decade. I was back.
Never before had she seen a man so beautiful, so supremely confident and calm. It stirred novel emotions within her, feelings of attachment she’d never hoped to find. Or perhaps she merely imagined feelings because of her dissatisfaction with Julian. Did Jeamon represent unattainable perfection to her subconscious? How to know what was real and false? And Jeamon was not human, how did that compare? So much to understand; how could she possibly ever hope to comprehend it all?
“May I assist you in some manner, my Queen?” He remained kneeling, head bowed.
“Pardon?” His head jerked up, swiveled to meet hers.
“My name, remember it’s Cass.”
The tense lines around his eyes smoothed as he smiled. His head tilted. “Of course, Cass. Though I wonder at your constant request for informality.”
The edge of the alcove suddenly interested her, and she picked at a loose bit of rubble with her fingernail, finding the details of it fascinating. “Do you need to understand right now?” She heard the rustle of his clothing and his boots rasping on the floor as he stood.
“No, I do not.”
Several heartbeats of stubborn silence passed. She breathed—in and out—“I’m sorry about earlier. I was … I’ve been confused. About a lot of things.”
“I, too, have been … confused.”
He placed a hand on the wall, near her fiddling one and leaned over her until she looked up. Inches separated them, his face so close to hers that she could count the sparkling lances in his irises from the random plays of distant sunlight. Her breath caught when one of Jeamon’s fingers swept faintly across one of hers. The usual electricity and blue light sparked and a negative red afterglow burned in her retinas while her skin ignited from her fingertip to her shoulder.
“That… what is that?” she asked, desperate for an answer while he continued to rub tiny circles, each one causing her breath to quicken a bit more.
“I do not know,” he said, his voice a bit husky. “Does it hurt you?” He pulled his finger away. The glow and tingling ceased.
“No.” She moved her finger back, brushing his and restarting the glow and tingling. “It feels … good … different but pleasant. What about you?”
“It is…” He paused, closed his eyes and leaned his head on the wall, causing his loose hair to slide over their hands. The delicate strands were like goose down drawing over her skin, and she sighed. “Stimulating,” he said, then his eyes snapped open and he gave her a keen look. “I have never experienced anything like it.”
The scientist in her stuttered for an explanation, while the woman just stuttered. His fingers caressed hers and a mounting need to be closer to Jeamon filled her. She stepped into his embrace, rested her head upon his chest, and inhaled his soft musk. Jules was right to be angry. She’d never felt like this with him or anyone else, nor could she explain why. But she wanted more…