Have you ever had a meltdown? Of course you have. We all have them. Who was there to bring you back to earth? Was it your mom? A babysitter? A best friend? Your partner? We all have them and they are usually over something that seemed important at the time. I wonder what Claire would think as she got older about this little meltdown from The Guardian’s Heart…mind you she is only two and half. Don't forget to go all the way to the bottom to enter and win.
Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. -Oprah Winfrey
“I wanna my mama,” Claire screamed on the playground as she held her bloodied knee.
“Claire, it’ll be okay. Just let me look at it,” Mandy said, trying to calm down Claire’s tantrum. She’d been running across the playground in the back of the daycare when she fell down.
“Wants mama Bee Ms. Mand,” Claire pleaded.
Normally the staff would try to calm the child down themselves. Even little Lukey knew he wouldn’t get Mary Beth if he cried for her. To him all of the owners might as well be his mother. But Mandy was shocked. Initially she thought Claire was asking for her real mom, not Gabbie.
Gabbie was rocking a baby in the infant room while the devastated Claire sat sobbing in the lobby. Mandy came in and shook her head at Gabbie.
“Claire wants her mother,” Mandy said with her hands on her hips.
“Oh, well…” Gabbie always got a pain her chest when any of the Thomases talked about their parents. It was still so fresh.
“Bee, her mother Bee.”
“She called me her mother?” Gabbie said, a little set back.
Claire had said some things over the past few weeks that she was a good mama, but to say she was
her mama…Gabbie stood up and put the now sleeping Jane in one of the cribs.
In the lobby, Claire sat on the bench by a set of cubbies with her injured leg elevated.
“Mama, I’s toreded my preddies,” Claire said as her bottom lip trembled.
“I see that,” Gabbie said, sitting on her knees in front of Claire and opening the first aid kit Mandy had left on the bench.
“My preddies no more,” Claire cried as Gabbie put on latex free gloves and started to clean Claire’s injured knee.
The fact she’d hurt herself was not the reason Claire was crying. She had torn her tights or “pretties” as she liked to call them. Claire cherished every one of her pretties. Gabbie had learned Claire was very much a girl, something Gabbie never was. Gabbie never cared about dresses or sparkly shoes when she was growing up, but to Claire they were a necessity.
As Gabbie pulled down Claire’s soft pink tights with the lacy backs, Claire looked as if she was being skinned alive. Whatever pain she felt from her scraped knee could have been as great as an amputation, she’d never acknowledge it compared to losing a set a tights to a hole in the knee.
“Mama inks my bess,” Claire sobbed as if she was just shot through the heart with an arrow.
“You still have your white and your blue and your orange pretties and don’t forget your ones with the little flowers on them.”
“I’s never gets better preddies…” she declared with all the melodrama befitting Scarlett O’Hara declaring her love for Tara.
“These pretties were almost too small for you, you’ve been growing so much. How about this?” Gabbie suggested, trying to hold back from laughing in the poor child’s face. To Claire this was life or death. “Your daddy and I will pick you up a new pair on the way home and maybe some big girl underwear since you’ve been doing so good on the potty. These pretties were made for little girls that wear diapers.”
Claire’s eyes perked up. She started to smile, but only briefly, holding the now-torn tights to her heart as she stood up and stuck her chest out.
“Dees was bestest preddies ever,” one little crystal tear fell from her dark mahogany left eye, catching on her soft lash then flowing down her chubby cheek.
Gabbie gave Claire a hug to hide the fact she was about to piss her pants from laughing. She released Claire, who returned to the toddler room still clutching her torn tights and Gabbie fell back on the floor and covered her face with her hand so she could laugh without hurting any feelings.
“Is it safe now,” Mandy said holding her gut as she gasped for air. “I lost it when…when she said…” Mandy couldn’t hold in her laughter. “I’s never gets better pretties. Did you see her lip quivering?”
“She’s in pain right now,” Gabbie said, trying to be serious. Instead, she ended up rolling on her stomach. “My daughter is such a drama queen.”
“Your what?” Mandy said, catching her breath. “Gabbie, she’s not your daughter.”
“I just called her my daughter,” Gabbie sat up and put her head in her hands. What was she thinking?
“Yeah, you and Case have been together a month and you’re already claiming children that aren’t even his as yours.”
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Case Thomas is always in control whether its on the basketball court, the lab where he works, or in his love life. He thinks he has everything all figured out. All that changes when his parents pass away during his last year of college and Case is thrown into fatherhood when he becomes temporary guardian to two adorable twin toddlers. Weeks later, exhausted and running out of time, Case must decide if he's ready to become a father to these children, or give them up and move on with what's left of his life. Then he meets Gabbie Vaulst. Gabbie is amazing with the kids, owns her own business, and has all the right curves in all the right places. She can tell Case is attracted to her, but does he really love her or is he just settling for a surrogate Mom who can wrangle his new kids? Knowing that she's falling in love with him, she chooses to push him away until his world straightens out. Can Case prove to Gabbie, and himself, that his feelings are real? Or is this sudden family too much for both of them to handle? The odds, as well as members of their past who've come out of the woodwork, are against them, but when kids are involved, all bets are off.
Image courtesy of YaiSirichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Regret, by Ryan Whitaker
Brody Jensen sat straight up in bed as though the house was on fire and frantically searched for the remote control. "It's just a lame ass, late night, cable access show " he chanted to himself as he groped the empty space to the right of him without success, knowing he must have left the remote nearby if he'd fallen asleep with television screeching at him yet again.
"I hate it when I do this crap," he hissed to no one as he failed to find the stupid plastic controller that served as his constant companion these days. While his friends were out playing nicely with others, Brody sat in stony silence thinking about what he’d done with her, to her, and the damage it had caused. Wishing he could at least find a way to dampen the sound if nothing else, Brody turned and stared in the direction of the forty seven inch Sony flat screen hanging on the wall opposite his empty, king sized bed and found a cold, black rectangle staring back at him. The television wasn't on.
Looking at the digital read out on the clock nearest his side of the bed, Brody flung himself back against too many pillows taking up too much space where another body ought to be and dared not close his eyes even though it was barley three a.m. No way. To risk falling back to sleep, if that's what he could call it, would mean risking his mind to her again. Follow RyanBlind Love by W. Lynn Chantale
Joshua studied Amelia’s naked form. Sunlight kissed her ample curves, giving her warm butterscotch flesh a satiny glow. He longed to caress the softness of her flesh and he envied the sun’s rays.
Desire burned low and all he wanted to do was erase the last five years, but there was still so much between them. She divorced him and married someone else. Maybe that was the part he was having trouble with, how could she not have known what she was signing? Then who told her he was dead?
He followed her movements as she crossed the room. Her long ebony hair bounced around her shoulders stopped just below her shoulder blades. All he could think about was wrapping the silky length around his fist, tilting her head back and imbibing the intoxicating sweetness of her lips.
She paused in front of a large window and lifted her face, her features disappearing in the glare of the sun. Amelia was beauty personified. He held his breath. No matter where she was she always seemed comfortable in her skin. Even now, after they’d been apart for five years it felt as if he’d never left.
Unable to resist, Joshua crossed the room to stand behind her. “You tempt me,” he whispered in her ear. He watched her reflection smile in the glass.
“Perhaps you should strive for a stronger resolve.”
He curved an arm around her waist and flexed his hips against the lushness of her buttocks. “I want you.”
Follow W. LynnIf You Love Me by Anna Kristell“Adam, I’m not going to sign the papers.”
“Why the hell not?” he asked as he tried to keep his eyes on her face and not her luscious naked body beneath the skimpy towel that covered it.
“I don’t want to,” she replied stubbornly.
“The sooner you sign them, the sooner we can put this whole farce of a marriage behind us, and the sooner you can move on with your lover.”
“Is that what you really want, Adam?” she said as she gently caressed his face.
He took her hand from his face and answered, “Ash, I don’t know what kind of game you think you’re playing here.”
She moved closer to him, letting the towel drop to the floor. She leaned up and pulled his face down to hers, letting her lips touch his gently. She bit his lower lip, and kissed him. He surrendered to the kiss, pulling her to him. He forced his tongue between her teeth as she willingly opened her mouth to allow him access. He caressed her back and her hands went to his thick hair. She moaned as she ran her fingers through it.
“Make love to me, Adam,” she whispered.
Abruptly, he released her. “Get some clothes on, Ash.”
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked as she grabbed a robe from the bed and wrapped herself in it.
“What’s wrong with me? You’re all over that guy on the dance floor, now you try to cozy up to me, and you ask me what’s wrong with me?
Every author wants to hold their book in their hands. Feel the paper against their skin and enjoy the weight of the manuscript that they may not of even printed off. Some authors are ecofriendly that way, or just too darn broke to afford the ink for the printer, but I digress.
As we continue to move into a paperless society (okay everyone says the catch phrase in business then the lawyers step in and next thing you know it’s there in triplicate) the publishing world is taking it on from the base level. There are some traditionalist that need a pen and paper to write with but most of us use our computers for the full process. Outside of one imprint publisher I’ve never sent my manuscript off in paper form for submission.
So from writing, querying, submitting, editing and publishing books are done electronically. The contracts though do have to be printed (see lawyer comment above.)
Now to the consumer. I have many friends, relatives and fans that love the feel of a book in their hands. Some of them just want my book in their hands because they know me, etc. Others haven’t moved into the e-reader stage yet for one reason or another. I remember thinking my friend was crazy when she first showed me a Kindle I don’t know how many years ago. When my husband bought mine over a year ago as a congrats-you-got-a-publishing-deal I was sure I’d barely use it. I’m not one to do much on my phone or even my Nintendo DS. Like most kids I get bored after a month or two. Well I’m sure you guessed where my fully stocked Kindle is, yep always by my side either being read or reading a story to me on audiable. I still do have a print book that I’m reading at all times. I used to keep three or four print books around the house for when my mood changed now, I have multiple books going on my Kindle.
We’re not moving away from print and I could never truly see that happening, but as I hear horror stories of e-readers being broken I’m not as disturbed as a book being dropped in a mud puddle. Why? Because safely tucked in a cloud is the e-reader library waiting to be accessed.
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Studio's Guest by Michel Prince
The noonday sun cut through Sadie’s dance studio as she prepared for her early class of Kindergarten girls all dressed in their pink leotards and ballet slippers. Giving up her career had been the daughterly thing to do as she cared for her dying mother. Secretly she prayed her mother would refuse her help because Sadie was living her dream, well not her dream but earning her dues at a regional level.
“Do you have private lessons?” a familiar deep voice broke Sadie from her task.
“I’m not sure I’ll be able to teach you much.”
“I’m sure there’s something I don’t know.”
“I didn’t say you didn’t need to learn, I said I wouldn’t be able to teach you. You never were one to take instructions.”
“When did you ever try to teach me?”
“I do remember a few times.” She smiled at her ex as crossed the room and took her in his arms.
“I’ve missed you?”
“I could tell by all the letters and phone calls.” She grimaced.
Matthew stroked back the few loose hairs that had escaped her bun and tucked them behind her ear. A shiver shot down her body culminating in her pointing her toes. He’d always made her quake and even the warm sun coming through her window couldn’t calm the chills racing through her body.
“You left me.”
Sadie tried to pull herself from his arms only to have him hold tighter. Her anger over the year of loneliness melted as she did against his firm body
Memories by Suzzana Ryan
Transition: Senior Prom 1967 Transition
was the senior Prom theme. Trixie shook her head, such a lame ass theme. They were seventeen years old, who was thinking of Transition.
Who even had clue what the stupid theme meant. However, they all went along with it because Carol Tremont was the class president and what Carol wanted Carol always got. She got the captain of the football team, was the head cheerleader, and was running the committee for the Senior Prom. Yet Trixie didn’t even have a date for the prom yet.
Trixie snarled she then giggled. One thing Carol didn’t have was Trixie’s talent. Trixie could snap her fingers and make things happen. She came from a long line of finger snappers. So Carol had better watcher her ass, she was going to snap her finger if there was one more outburst from missy prissy.
They’d had the gym almost done, and Trixie had to admit, it looked spectacular.
“Nope, this simply won’t due. You idiots!” Carol yelled at them.
“I think it looks great. What is your problem? You’d better take that back Carol,” Trixie warned her.
“Or what Trixie? I’m afraid of you. Take down the banner and put the one up I made!” she yelled.
Trixie thought this was the last straw. She snapped her fingers.
Carl Tremont looked around and smiled at Trixie. “So baby, wanna go to the Prom with me?”
Trixie grinned. “Sure Carl loved to.” Trixie admitted Transition
certainly took on a new meaning and with a snap of a finger.
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Shadows and Light
By Elissa Daye
Empty. A house once filled with the echoes of laughter and tears was now completely bereft. The light splayed through the window panes making a pattern of spindles on the ground. What could have happened to make such a beautiful place into the mysterious house on the hill? Now it was nothing more than an empty shell filled with shadows and light.
Natalie turned on the EVP even though most activity could be recorded during the witching hour, the time between the light and dark. However, as a medium, she knew that activity can occur at any time, mostly when you least expected it. This house definitely had some paranormal activity. “I feel you here, are you ready to talk?” She waited for an answer.
A snort sounded to her right.“I still don’t see how you can feel
anything here, but at least I can give you points for bringing something scientific
“Shut it, Justin!” Natalie was tired of having to prove her abilities to unbelievers. She understood the need to prove that something exists, but sometimes the best things in life are the things are unseen.
“If you ever want to be taken serious…”
“I’m about to be as serious as heart attack all over your…” A loud crashing sound interrupted her. Looking over at Justin, Natalie saw that her companion had turned pale and small beads of sweat had dribbled down his face. She swallowed a laugh and gestured to the other room ready to explore.
Memories by Gregory Hart
The old man stood at the door of the century old dance hall for the last time. It was closing its door one last time. Nobody wanted to hold grand balls like they once did back in his days as a youth. He looked around and remembered the very first time he entered these great halls and the first time he met his wife of nearly ninety years…
He stood at the far end of the ball room with teens his own age. They had gathered together like the girls did on the other side. Neither side wanted to go up to the other and ask them if they wanted to dance. Both sexes were afraid and nervous as this was the first time they attended a ball.
There was a change in the air and everyone noticed it. Along with him, everyone turned to see a young woman no more than his age, step out onto the dance floor. He felt himself bewitched by her presence and he soon joined her on the dance floor.
“My name is James Lawrence.” The young man said as he bowed to her. “Will do me the honor of having a dance with me?”
She smiled and held out her hand. “Why, yes, James Lawrence, I will dance with you.”
Soon everyone came out of their shells and began to dance. He, of course, didn’t pay attention because he was with a young lady…
The old man, now in his nineties, wiped away a tear he’d felt trickle down his cheek. This was a place with a lot of history as well as memories. He was going to miss coming here every month and dance with his wife.
Emptiness by Winfield Strock
Roger’s breath left him and his sea bag fell from his hands as the shock hit him. Impacting the floor it reverberated throughout the apartment and bore witness to the absolute emptiness of it. No brand new couch, plasma TV and especially no welcome home love from Corrina.
Months deployed at sea, miles from home and fathoms from sunlight, Roger’s dream homecoming shattered and left him swooning from the impact.
He walked in a daze until he found his first clue in the bedroom closet; all his clothes sat piled in the floor. In the bathroom, anything personal not found in the closet lay heaped in the tub. His mind ran through scenarios grim, glum, and otherwise; searching for an explanation. In the kitchen, only the refrigerator’s hum disturbed his thoughts. As he eyed it, his heartbeat raced and his stomach tightened.
With a quaking hand, he opened it. On the top shelf sat an envelope with his name scrawled in Corrina’s harried handwriting. He tore the letter open and struggled to read as the paper shook in his hands. I can’t live like this, moving away from family, traipsing from one navy town to another before we can make any friends. All this without the one person who’s supposed to be with me through everything; I can’t take it.
Roger crumpled the envelope in his hand until something bit into his skin. He uncurled the paper and discovered Corrina’s wedding ring.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Secret Talent by Randi Alexander
“You promised.” Carrie held up the bra she’d just removed without using her hands.
“Baby.” Jake had seen it, but couldn’t believe it. Her hands had been above the covers the whole time she’d wriggled and shimmied underneath them. “I only promised because I thought you were bluffing.”
Carrie sat up. Her beautiful, round breasts, topped with cherry red nipples, made Jake’s tongue circle in his mouth, wanting a taste. Holding the bra in both hands, she pulled it tight. “This should hold you.” She grinned. “Now give me your wrists, cowboy. It’s my turn on top.” It came out on a purr.
Jake’s staff hardened and swelled and his hips jerked. “On top is one thing, baby. But tying me up with your bra and blindfolding me…I ain’t so sure about that.”
She lay beside him and her lips caressed the spot on his ear that turned him feral. “Let me give you a brief summary of what I’m going to do.”
Her warm, soft breath sent a shiver along his spine. “Yeah?”
“Mmm-hmm.” Her hand slid across his chest. “I’m going to kiss you. Here first…” She made a circle around his nipple with her finger. “And then here…” Her fingertip wiggled into his navel.
His entire body tensed and heated.
“And then I’m going to kiss you…” Her palm flattened on his belly and eased under the covers.
“I did promise…” He held out his hands, wrists together. “And I never go back on a promise.”
Nathan’s little red Lie By Suzzana C Ryan
I was meeting my boyfriend for lunch when I bumped into a man waiting for a Taxi. I knocked his briefcase to the ground and his coffee went south. I was mortified and then managed to look at him and found myself looking into the most magnificent pair of blue eyes I’d ever seen. When my vision adjusted I found that were owned by a ruggedly handsome man, maybe in his mid-thirties and when he smiled at me my stomach churned like butter.
“So sorry,” I told him.
“No problem. Sweet heart, are you hurt?”
“No, just rushing.”
“To meet a boyfriend I presume.”
“Yes.” As I gave him my answer my cell rang. It was a text, he couldn’t make it for lunch.
I sighed, “well not anymore.”
“Lunch date off?”
Did you ever meet someone you felt you knew your whole life? In the middle of New York City he pulled me against him and kissed me soundly. It was magic.
“Lunch?” he asked.
“Room service,” I said.
“Nathan’s mine and yours?”
“Lois,” I answered.
We ordered room service and spent the afternoon in bed. When I went to kiss him my red bra came between us. When I held it up, he said “always liked red, and did you know a physic once told me the woman of my dreams would be wearing red.”
He was such a liar. But after twenty years of loving him, I still have that red bra.
Untitled by Elissa Daye
Miranda picked at the lacy edge of her skirt, and stared at her fingers when he walked back into the room. What was she thinking? When she had entered Madame Luca’s she had no idea what would be in store for her. Her friend Deirdre had recommended the secret club to her last week, stating that Miranda’s lack of inspiration was due to her tightly wound coils. Miranda was not usually a risk taker, but she was desperate. If she wanted to keep her job at Tinley & Barton, she would have to draft a building so spectacular that they would consider making her a partner and letting go might actually make that possible.
When a flutter of fabric fell to the ground, Miranda raised curious eyes. What did he say his name was? Raymond? Miranda licked her dry lips unconsciously and tried to avert her eyes, but the specimen before her was hard to ignore, like a male Adonis sculpted from the finest clay.
“Seen enough?” His voice was smoky and sensual, a timber made for loving. He moved closer, his dark brown eyes searching for hesitation. His hands reached for hem of her shirt and he lifted it over her head effortlessly. Her skirt soon followed, leaving her exposed in her new red lingerie. His gaze roamed over her body and chills tickled her spine. When his mouth came closer to hers, she almost pulled away uncomfortable with the intimacy of the moment, but his warm lips prevailed.
REAL PORN by Lizbeth Selvig
She knew she was lucky—a woman who needn’t dread Valentine’s Day, Cilla Blackstone—wife of the exquisite Rhys, mother of three—who could, so said friends, still give supermodels pangs of envy. The Valentine’s Queen. Every year decorations and special treats for her four men. But lately with the sports, the volunteering, and Rhys’s damn new job—she might have a Downton Abbey
-sounding name but life was far more Survivor
Now she was supposed to crawl into bed with a husband so tired he’d barely agreed to their unbreakable Valentine’s night date? She stared at him snuggled into their soft white cotton sheets. Bare-chested and, lord, still so incredibly handsome, he snored softly.
His voice startled her. “I have a confession.”
“Oh?” She slipped beside him, but his hands stayed under his pillow.
“I tried this weekend to do something helpful, what you call women’s porn—in my case, laundry. That bra you love? The lacy one you’ve searched for all week?”
Relief and welcome humor flowed through her. “You gave it to another woman.”
He laughed. “Worse.”
With sudden insight, she dug beneath his pillow, felt fabric and yanked. Her pristine bra was pure red. She dangled it above them, and laughter bubbled forth like a cleansing bath.
“It was hooked to Joey’s red practice jersey. I didn’t see it.”
It was the sexiest Valentine’s present she’d ever received. Tossing it, she launched herself into his arms. “Well, buster,” she said. “Just for this—you’re going to pay.”
Zoe’s Fantasy by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
“So,” Zoe said as she flourished the red scrap of lingerie above Marcus. “Who does this belong to?”
“Isn’t it yours?” He had to know it wasn’t, not when everything she’d worn lay scattered across the carpet. “No. Red’s not my color.”
Marcus flushed but Zoe couldn’t tell whether anger or embarrassment fueled it. God, she shouldn’t have said anything. So she came home with him after a party, a little drunk, a bit high and shared mind blowing sex. She’d known twelve hours, maybe less. Who he screwed wasn’t really her concern. Zoe parted her lips to apologize but he spoke. “It’s Belinda’s.”
“Oh.” She didn’t know or care who Belinda might be. “I guess I should get dressed and go.”
“Don’t. I can call her – she’ll come over.”
That would be the last thing Zoe wanted, some other lover, maybe Marcus’ girlfriend to retrieve what was hers – silk and male both. “That’s okay.”
His rich dark eyes met hers. “I don’t think you understand, Zoe. Belinda’s my neighbor and she’s into ménage. I thought maybe we could do a threesome.”
She’d never admitted her fantasy to anyone but Zoe often imagined a sexy hunk of man, another woman. Sandwiched between them would be the ultimate. “I, uh, well, maybe.”
His eyes radiated heat. “You’ll like it, I bet.”
Zoe tingled, her skin as sensitive as if she burned with fever.
“Call her - I’m ready for something new.”
Sometimes fantasy turns real, she mused, with sweet anticipation.
Follow Lee Ann
Lila's Visiting today
For those of you who know me, you’re used to seeing me blog about my hotter reads like the Identity series and my BDSM or ménage stand-alone titles, but for the past few days I’ve been out and about the blogging circuit resurrecting my roots. My writing roots that is, the ones which started out in the more sensual side of the house and sort of sprouted a few sprigs here and there which eventually led to hotter and hotter and hotter titles.
The Slower Lower series was in fact my first series of books and book one, A Slower Lower Love, was actually only my third title to hit the e-shelves. In fact, it was a stand-alone in its humble beginnings until E (editor extraordinaire) emailed me one day after an initial read and said, “We need to talk.” **cue heart racing and cold sweat**
It turned out okay though because we needed to talk about the potential she saw in my characters and she wanted to see more and suggested I turn the whole thing into a series…thus the Slower Lower series was born.
Now, I’m sure at this point you’re wondering just what in a blue moon that has to do with chickens. Gather round kids…do I have a tale to tell you…
Way back in 1996, only a few short weeks after I’d met the love of my life and future life mate, I made the decision to road trip with the man I barely knew all the way from Missouri to Delaware—home state of said love of my life and the setting for the Slower Lower books. I had no idea then Sussex County Delaware would one day serve as backdrop for the Delaney brothers and all their love woes. It was a few hours out from our destination when love of my life began to tell me the ground rules of being “introduced” to slower lower living (whatever?) and the eastern shore way (again, whatever?). Follow along my blog tour—the dates and places are on my calendar at Realmantic Moments
—and I’ll be ‘splainin’ what exactly slower lower means over at Britni Hill’s place in a few days.
So, ground rules. Rule number one: Don’t crack chicken jokes. (hehe? Crack? Okay…moving on…)
I asked why not and he proceeded to tell me in a few miles I’d begin to see why and he’d not have much ‘splainin’ to do past that. Could he have been more right?
Oh. My. God.
My first glimpse of a chicken farm came in the early morning after 24 hours on the road and zero sleep. I thought at first I’d fallen asleep and was dreaming after his instructions not to make chicken jokes.
“What the hell is that?” I asked.
“That?” (love of my life swerves in the direction he’s talking toward) “That’s a chicken house. They take their chickens seriously here.”
Umm…ya think? I knew right then there would be no chicken jokes. Not that I really knew any, but had I I’d have kept them to myself. J
I kid you not kids. If you’ve never been exposed to the “chicken culture” let me ‘splain a bit. They are not chicken houses—they are in fact chicken hotels. Some of the hotels are three stories tall with auto-feeders and heat. Also, in case you get curious and go off in search of this phenomenon because you simply must see these chicken hotels, take a clothes pin with you. P. U.
And why do I visit today ‘splainin’ the chicken culture a bit? Because the Delaney boys are farmers and guess what they grow…
A Slower, Lower Leap
Book 3, Slower Lower series
Rebel Ink Press
February 17, 2013
Purchase Links: Amazon ARe Barnes and Noble
When you’re the last man standing…
Not only was Logan Delaney the last of his siblings to remain unmarried and unsettled, his entire family believed he’d never find a wife. The baby of eight, he’s been dubbed an irresponsible player and told he’ll never amount to a hill of beans. And at one time, Logan may have been okay with those descriptions, but no more. On a quest to prove his worth, he’s spent the entire summer learning the family business, staying in at night, and saving his money. And if his family would stop meddling in his affairs and trying to dictate who he should and shouldn’t be seeing, he might just show them he’s found the one, Lizzy Jenkins.
And have a bad reputation to blame…
Elizabeth Jenkins had always known Logan Delaney existed, but he’d never so much as turned one glance her way until she handed him his butt on a silver platter in three sentences or less over the phone. After that it seemed at every turn there he was and the more she resisted the heat building between them, the bigger the fire got. Until his family interfered. And why wouldn’t they? Between Logan’s legacy and her baggage, they were a disaster in the making.
Can you be trusted with a fragile heart?
But Logan doesn’t run when he finds out about Colby. In fact, he embraces Lizzy’s special needs son and defies the advice of everyone urging him to leave Lizzy alone. But after one moment of weakness, Logan finds himself knee deep in a marriage complete with the little boy whose father bailed before his birth and Lizzy’s grandfather, who needs constant care as well. Then there's the man who just might be the demise of it all.
Excerpts, please choose one:
With a mixture of emotions swirling through her, Lizzy watched the same storm overtake Logan’s features which was brewing inside her. A veritable lightning bolt passed between them as soon as he’d touched her. She knew she’d always been attracted to Logan, but the instant heat still scalding her skin from his fingers left her unsettled. It was but a mere couple of hours prior she was trying to convince herself she could do with some sort of quickie sexual gratification, although she’d admitted it could never be with Logan, and now she wanted nothing more and the door to her emotions was wide open leaving her vulnerable and believing maybe they could have both. And just as she was trying to tell herself to stop trusting the lies her deprived body was concocting, Logan decided to try to convince her he might be interested in more as well.
Where was Logan the player and who was the imposter sitting across the table from her who could probably talk her right into his bed with one sentence or less and keep her coming back heartbreak on the horizon or not?
As her pulse slowed a bit, she turned to look at Colby and reminded herself why she couldn’t be playing horizontal Twister with anyone let alone Logan. And she sure couldn’t go letting Colby think there was a reason to get too comfortable around him. He seemed to like Logan and the Delaney herd of kids and she didn’t want him getting his feelings hurt because she couldn’t control her hormonal urges. What if she made the mistake of screwing Logan’s brains out, things didn’t work out, and that made it awkward to be coming around anymore? This was the first time anyone had really taken them in and welcomed them unconditionally and she didn’t want to rob Colby of it.
Lizzy watched Colby make yet one more circle around the living room with his arms spread and sighed in frustration. He was oblivious to the disruption he was causing which only added to her exacerbation with the situation. How could she possibly be angry with him when he didn’t grasp the concept of time or what it did to her nerves when his unscheduled moments of innocence hampered what should have been her scheduled life? And it surely wasn’t his fault he was the way he was or that he’d even been conceived at all for that matter. No, his conception was wholly her fault and she’d been paying for it for nearly six years. Alone.
But the truth was, no matter how many times she kicked herself for believing whispered promises in a back seat and guilt swamped her even though medical science would argue it was nothing she’d done to make him this way, Lizzy loved her little boy more than life itself. There were days, though.
Like today, she wanted to sit and cry until there were no more tears left then cry some more. Rarely was it, though, Lizzy had time for such frivolities as tears. What time wasn’t taken up with Colby’s care was spent at her job as the assistant officer manager at the farmer’s market, somewhere she had no intention of working a lifetime and which brought her to yet another responsibility on her list. School. When she wasn’t working or caregiving, Lizzy was an almost full-time student and watched the sun rise on a new day without sleep having studied all night more than once. In a word, she was not only exhausted physically, she was just plain tired. Never in her life would she have imagined being twenty-three and feeling so defeated.
What she wouldn’t give for one night of freedom. One night filled with beers and dancing. Maybe even some hot sweaty sex in the form of someone who would disappear the next day and not look back. Well, that and not leave her knocked up. Alone was fine, with another baby to tend to by herself, not so much.
Of course she had no idea how to go about this stranger for one night sex. The closest she came to any man was when they made deliveries to the market or they drove their grandfathers to the Senior Center for bingo and hung around waiting for the old farts to get tired of dotting cards and fighting the caller over what had come out as B-five but was mistook for B-nine because someone’s hearing aid battery was running low. And although they all knew
her fairly well, they avoided her for the most part because of which grandfather she dropped off at bingo. Thank God none of them knew Michael Silcox was the one who’d left her high and dry with a special needs child, not exactly prime bait to fish with in the pond of hooking up. Her name associated with his would only add fuel to the stay away from Lizzy fire as his family owned most of Georgetown.
Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual softer read to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, the Identity series, and the Private Collection. Currently she is working on two new series set to release summer of 2013, the At Your Service line and the Steele Image line.
She’s a member in good standing of RWA. Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be found at Realmantic Moments Facebook Goodreads Twitter
You can also contact her via email at email@example.com
and you can find all her works at: Amazon ARe Nook Bookstrand
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Case Thomas is always in control whether its on the basketball court, the lab where he works, or in his love life. He thinks he has everything all figured out. All that changes when his parents pass away during his last year of college and Case is thrown into fatherhood when he becomes temporary guardian to two adorable twin toddlers. Weeks later, exhausted and running out of time, Case must decide if he's ready to become a father to these children, or give them up and move on with what's left of his life. Then he meets Gabbie Vaulst.
Gabbie is amazing with the kids, owns her own business, and has all the right curves in all the right places. She can tell Case is attracted to her, but does he really love her or is he just settling for a surrogate Mom who can wrangle his new kids? Knowing that she's falling in love with him, she chooses to push him away until his world straightens out.
Can Case prove to Gabbie, and himself, that his feelings are real? Or is this sudden family too much for both of them to handle? The odds, as well as members of their past who've come out of the woodwork, are against them, but when kids are involved, all bets are off.Amazon
, Barnes and Noble
, AllRomanceebooks, Bookstrand
and Secret Cravings
This is a story I can see myself reading over and over again when I find myself needed to be inspired.
Click for full review
By Lizbeth Selvig
Based on the way I can talk anywhere, anytime, to anybody for any length of time, and based on the fact that, as a writer, I inevitably translate my gift of gab into word-heavy first drafts desperately in need of trimming, I worried that writing a short story would be torturous for me. I’m proud (and relieved) to say the process was anything but a torture.
In fact, it was pure pleasure. And I’m so honored to be part of the anthology “Love in the Land of Lakes” with 16 of my very favorite Minnesota authors.
There are a handful of reasons writing a short story about Minnesota, love, and lakes came easily to me. First, I started my writing career doing “short” work as a reporter and as a wannabe Good Housekeeping/McCall’s/Ladies’ Home Journal short-story-ist. I have a substantial body of short work living with the dust bunnies under my bed. I’m also a born and bred Minnesotan. Scandinavian names are ubiquitous in my world—from Lena and Inga to Narve and Knut. And relating to the natural “don’t make waves” nature of Minnesotans is natural for me. So, thinking up a good Minnesota heroine like Sophie Tollefsrud was easy.
Most importantly, visiting lakes, camping at lakes, paddle-boating, fishing, and listening to loons on lakes has been part of my life since I was old enough to hold up a crappie by its tail. Not that I’m much of a fisherman anymore. But recalling the sights, sounds, and smells of a lake took little effort.
So it was when coming up with ideas for my story “What’s Up Dock?” a hundred images and mini-ideas flooded my brain. The fun thing was, these mental pictures weren’t only of the serenity, the beauty, and the peacefulness of Minnesota lake country. I was inundated with memories of the crazy stuff: animals getting into places they don’t belong, mosquitos, poison ivy, storms, power outages, inner tubing, old wooden docks, crazy cabin owners . . .
And, I remember heading out camping and bringing along friends who knew nothing about the out-of-doors. There’s not much funnier to a kid than another kid who’s jumping at the sound of a rabbit thinking it’s a bear, or picking a bunch of berries and leaves and learning he’s collected a bouquet of poison ivy. (Hey, admit it, kids are mean.)
When I started writing “What’s Up Dock?” I wanted to bring some of those funny experiences to my heroine and her hero. Sophie is a seasoned resident of lake country. She can handle raccoons, poison ivy, and summer storms. Alex, on the other hand, is a lakeshore newb who runs from raccoons, and doesn’t know poison ivy from petunias. Plus, he has the added “eccentricity” of using Sophie’s neighbor’s yard as a place in which to bury five-foot-five-inch, lumpy plastic bags.
How do you make such a clueless, worrisome hero heroic? The magic of a Minnesota north woods night with the lake as a backdrop and loons as dinner music can turn a killer into a Casanova. How? I hope you’ll pick up a copy of “Love in the Land of Lakes,” and find out.
And, the really cool thing is—there are the Minnesota memories of sixteen other wonderful authors that have been translated into fun, fanciful, even historical tales, so you don’t have to stop at just one little story. We’ve got Minnesota Lakes to last you all winter long!
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and just as many love stories. Love in the Land of Lakes
brings you seventeen of these stories, from two childhood sweethearts connecting on the end of a dock on a warm summer's evening, to a city boy's chaotic weekend at his girlfriend's primitive cabin. We bring you the story of a savvy horse who leads her owner to love in post–Civil War farm country, and the haunting romance of an ageless gambler who inhabits a historic riverboat and charms the boat's new owner.
A kaleidoscope of sunshine, snowstorms, and thunderstorms grace our contemporary, mystery, historical, and paranormal stories as the authors of Midwest Fiction Writers spin lovely romances that will send you drifting into happily ever afters.
to see where the authors are stopping to blog and chat with you the reader.
Digital:Buy at SmashwordsBuy at All Romance eBooksBuy at Amazon
Our Stories:Laura BreckBobbers 'N Bait
- The evocative marketing gimmick at the new bait store in town has the fishing outfitter all hot and bothered.Rhonda BruttA Cut Above the Rest
- Rachel knew that a simple haircut had the power to change someone’s life. What she wasn’t counting on though, was how it would change hers.Amy HahnLira & Gavril
- A dilapidated riverboat brings together a passionate historic preservationist and a man who called it home during the Victorian era.Rosemary HeimLake Dreams
- Olivia had her life all planned out. All except for that one impulsive night with her childhood crush. Can he convince her the result is worth the risk?Ann HinnenkampHook, Line and Stinker
- An LA makeover artist comes home to Minnesota and must use all her skills to tame a wild man.Kathy JohnsonSnowbound
- Caught in a snowstorm, the last person she expects to need her help is the man she loved but lost to someone else.Rose Marie MeuwissenDancing in the Moonlight
- Anna Thorstad never imagined reopening her parents' lake cabin would also open her heart to love again.Barbara MillsHooked
- An avid outdoorswoman takes her city born and raised boyfriend for a chaotic weekend at her family's primitive cabin on the lake.J.S. OvermierHenrietta's Man
- A savvy horse carries her Civil War-torn soldier north in search of healing and a future.Jana OttoComing Home
- A young widow’s faith and courage are tested when she falls in love with her husband’s best friend.Michel PrinceHer Stranger
- Each night a stranger comes to Rachel’s cabin door. What is it that makes her fall into his arms?Mary SchentenLake Secrets
- A weekend getaway at the scene of the crime has Elly struggling to keep a secret from her best friend.Susan SeyUnwrapped
- Movie star Sloan Leighton sells love; she doesn’t believe in it. Then one frozen midnight on the shores of Lake Superior, everything changes.Joel SkeltonThe Bouncing Bobber
- Will a budding romance, sidetracked by youth and ambition, be what it takes to lure Jacob and Nate back into love’s net?Lizbeth SelvigWhat's Up Dock?
- Sophie’s handsome new neighbor is burying body bags in his garden. But he’s afraid of raccoons—how could he be a killer?Naomi StoneWind from the Lake
- Wishing on a star? Alien contact? When childhood friends Connie and Hank meet again, they don't need to believe in anything but each other.Jody VitekRoadside Catch
- She swore off relationships with doctors, until one finds her injured on the roadside and has her rethinking the possibilities.
Dearest Alice by, Michel Prince
Milton sat at his typewriter trying to put into words the way he felt about Alice. How could he sum up in just a few strokes of his fingers how she’d changed his life? She’d entered his world in a flurry of lace and feathers dancing on the stage at the speakeasy. Lost in a line of twenty girls and yet with one thrust of her hip when she looked over her shoulder at him he was struck.
Was it her blue eyes? He didn’t know. But somehow deep in his heart he knew she was the one for him.
The keys of his typewriter had been freshly oiled and the ribbon was new when he fed the paper on the reel. It was his fingers that weren’t ready. They sat poised above the letters unable to press down even a simple D to being the letter Dearest Alice.
Falling back against his wooden chair he ran his fingers through his brown curls in frustration. He envisioned her standing before him in just her under garments as his fingers then would have a purpose. Tracing the lines of her hips as he brought his lips to her navel and kissed the delicate flesh around her belly.
His dream took on a life of its own as he continued on his journey of Alice’s soft flesh and he could feel it against his skin. When he opened his eyes what appeared before him was the letter, typed and ready to bring his fantasy from the page to his room.
Grandma’s Typewriter by Dahlia DeWinters
Katie placed the typewriter in the corner of her office, hoping
Grandma Elsie’s inspiration would rub off. As she typed on her
laptop, the tapping of the old typewriter’s keys startled her. She
turned around, a half-smile on her face, prepared to scold her husband
for disturbing her writing time.
No one was there.
Katie turned back to her computer, tried to get back into the scene
she was writing. As she read what she had written, the tap, tap, tap
of the typewriter made her whip her head around.
“Grandma?” The single word slipped out.
Katie stared at the now-quiet typewriter. Her heart pounded, a
rhythmic pulsing she felt in her neck and wrists. She drew in a deep
breath, excited but unafraid. Summers with her grandmother had been
full of the unexplainable. Mysterious events had been dismissed with
casual waves. Abnormal became normal during those times.
Katie slipped a sheet of paper from her printer. Though the office
was warm due to the open window, her arms were ridged with goose
bumps. The chair creaked when she rose and walked over to the
typewriter. She rolled the white paper against the platen and
adjusted it. She returned to her chair and turned her back to the
When the tapping began again, Katie sat still, keeping her breaths
even so as not to startle the typist. When it was done, she retrieved
the paper. One sentence, typed in an uneven line:
Six feet under wasn’t deep enough.Follow Dahlia
The Brother’s Story by Gregory Hart
Thomas sat staring at the type writer, unsure of what to write. His creative writing teacher had told the class to write a ten page report about their family. Normally he would never have this much trouble with coming up with something to write but that was for a work of fiction. Not once did he ever write about his family.
He continued to stare down at the keys of the typewriter, hoping something would magically appear on his paper but nothing. Thomas let out a sigh and looked up at the clock hanging on the wall above him, reading one in the afternoon. He had to do the assignment that night because it was due the next day.
Suddenly, he heard a commotion outside in the front yard. Rising up, Thomas saw his father and mother running outside to greet a visitor. To his surprise, he saw it to be his older brother embrace his parents while dressed in his World War II uniform. Smiling big, Thomas sat back down at the desk and he soon began typing away. It was the inspiration he was looking for, he was going to write about his brother and his involvement in the second world war.
It was about two hours later when the opened and his brother entered the room. “What are you writing about?”
“I’m doing a writing assignment for my class. I have to write something about my family and I chose you and you’re part in the war.”
His Promise, by DH Black
Michael glared down at the typewriter, a mixture of apprehension and raw adrenaline sweeping through his body. He inhaled deeply and tried his best to control his ragged breathing, brushing the tip of his index finger across the worn keys. For a few seconds he closed his eyes, remembering her face, the way she smiled at him, her eyes full of delight. Her flaming red hair was a distinctive contrast to her creamy white skin, the look sensuous. The way her stunning green eyes flashed when she laughed reminded him of a life he’d missed out on, the one stolen from him. Sadly, the ugly truth was she’d never even noticed him. He was invisible.
Snarling, he shook his head and adjusted the paper, merely a scrap he’d found in his desk. This was almost cathartic and something he was compelled to do. As he eased down onto the hard wooden chair, he pictured her face when she read his words, his admission of love.
“Delilah.” Merely whispering her name sent a shiver from the back of his neck all the way down his spine. His cock was throbbing, pushing hard against the tight confines of his pants and for a few minutes he contemplated allowing relief. “No!” Michael knew better. A sweet and very justified promise meant only for the one love of his life was much more important than self-indulgence. He began to type. When he was finished Michael smiled, satisfied.
“In death we’ll share love and eternity.”
The Dream Machine by Winfield Strock
He’d been grandma’s favorite and yet from amongst her riches she left him only a battered, obsolete typewriter in her will. He found a note tucked into the type guide. You’re a writer and a dreamer, like me. Carry on my tradition, write every day. It’ll set you free.
Sweet and imaginative, she’d been Robert’s only ally as his parents chided him for his lack of interest in typical boyhood pastimes. While everyone else played they’d shared their imaginations.
Only when he ran out of money, women, and friends he recalled the heirloom sitting on a kitchen chair since the funeral. Half drunk and wholly furious, Robert shouted his angry rant while he typed it.
“If we’re both dreamers, how’d you die wealthy and happy and I’ll to die broke and lonely? What did I do to deserve this lousy machine rather than a fat check like all those other slobs?”
Hoarse and thirsty he stumbled to the sink for a glass of water as his pounding head sent him lunging for the cabinet. As he grabbed the aspirin he spied valium, a fringe benefit of an ex-girlfriend’s exodus. Dark thoughts, a simple solution crossed his mind. No, too easy. Something’s bound to go right soon.
He yanked the page from the typewriter; ready to giggle at his alcohol induced dyslexia but gulped instead as he read.
“Type your questions and read your answers. Type your dreams and read their hidden truth. This humble looking gift will unlock your fortune.”
Check out Winfield's book Adventures above the Aether
Keys of Regret by Ashley Fontainne
The clanking of the ancient keys
Reverberates no longer in my sorrowful ears.
The metallic tinkling the produced your flowing words is gone,
I am trapped inside of my worst fears.
Gnarled fingers that once pecked out
A constant, rhythmic tune
Withered into oblivion
Their gentle strokes taken way too soon.
Your reservoir of creative juices
That once drenched the table
Are now only remembered by the feeble stains
Atop the keys that wrote poems and fables.
Selfishly, I begrudged your heartfelt passion
When you released your art each day.
You departed to the next realm
So here I sit and type, for to you I have much to say.
To be eligible for the grand prizes... bloggers have to answer/match a minimum of 25 of the 30 authors to their location. They will email Dawne @ firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers- .
Blurb for The Guardian's Heart
Case Thomas is always in control whether its on the basketball court, the lab where he works, or in his love life. He thinks he has everything all figured out. All that changes when his parents pass away during his last year of college and Case is thrown into fatherhood when he becomes temporary guardian to two adorable twin toddlers. Weeks later, exhausted and running out of time, Case must decide if he's ready to become a father to these children, or give them up and move on with what's left of his life. Then he meets Gabbie Vaulst.
Gabbie is amazing with the kids, owns her own business, and has all the right curves in all the right places. She can tell Case is attracted to her, but does he really love her or is he just settling for a surrogate Mom who can wrangle his new kids? Knowing that she's falling in love with him, she chooses to push him away until his world straightens out. Can Case prove to Gabbie, and himself, that his feelings are real? Or is this sudden family too much for both of them to handle?
Purchase The Guardian's Heart in Paperback and ereader on Secret Cravings
, on Allromanceebooks
, or Bookstrand
My location for the grand prize is... BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINAGrand Prize- iPad2
First place- Kindle Fire
Second Place- $50 SCP gc
Third place- $25 SCP gc
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