DARE TO LOVE AGAIN pre-order link is live. Excerpts are posted. Order your copy now and get ready to read Ron, Mary and Jeff’s story on August 30th. https://www.bookstrand.com/dare-to-love-again-mfm
DARE TO LOVE AGAIN pre-order link is live. Excerpts are posted. Order your copy now and get ready to read Ron, Mary and Jeff’s story on August 30th. https://www.bookstrand.com/dare-to-love-again-mfm
Been a while since I posted here. I’m working on revising and editing an urban fantasy book that an agent requested. I’ve got another story in formation stages from outline notes and pieces of chapters that a publisher asked for. In between, I’m thinking about new stories to bring to all my readers. While I’m working on that I’d love to hear from you about what stories and ideas you like to read about. Input from readers is a vital thing for authors. One-It tells us what you like and want to read. Two-We get to know more about you.
Let me expand on this. Knowing what our readers like and want to read fuels our imagination. It gives our muse fodder to ponder and turn into a story idea. I’m working on a novella working title A MATE OF THEIR OWN. While I’m structuring the word count for 17k. I got a hunch it will be more. Not sure who I’m going to submit this too when its done. I work on it in between my other projects.
Interacting with our readers forms bond and personal connections that are awesome. I enjoy knowing about my readers. Sometimes these people are the best advertising we authors can have. I’ve learned about unique outlooks, perceptions, and lifestyle from the readers I’ve met in person and online. Also met new authors I’ve added to my TBR pile and others as great friends.
Please take sometime and let me know what stories you would like to see or situations you enjoy reading about. Maybe a sequel to one of my prior books.
Mick looked out across the pavilion floor. Twenty to thirty sixteen year old shape shifters filled the dance floor. Tyburn stood at one side nodding his head as Rachel talked with him. On the opposite side, the two new security guards stood, their gazes patrolling one end of the dance floor to the other.
The two guards hadn’t said much since they rolled into town three weeks prior. Rampant rumors said they were mixed breed runts that looked worse than their bark or bite. Mick shook his head. One was a frilled lizard shifter relocated from Australia after his tour in Iraqi. The other was a porcupine. His accuracy with knives and guns even had several on the police force giving him wide berth. So new breeds came to town. Would they settle down as others had? Find what they were looking for and know they’d come home?
“Makes you think twice about having kids,” Vernon said, strolling up.
Mick chuckled. “I don’t think you’ve got much choice. Yours are here and grown.”
“Good point,” Vernon conceded. “I don’t remember giving my parents as much crap as today’s kids do.”
“Vernon McMahon stopping lying,” Miss Ellie chastised, coming up behind her husband. “You’ve told me your sainted mother pulled your wolfish ass out of more fights than your father did.”
“Fights with my litter mates. Raising twelve rambunctious cubs isn’t easy, “Vernon offered.
“No wonder your father took that traveling salesman position.” Miss Ellie linked her arm with Vernon’s.
“Wasn’t that your late husband my dear?” Vernon lifted Miss Ellie’s hand to his lips and licked her knuckles.
Mick turned ready to make his escape when Miss Ellie spoke. “I see Mooney, Nick, and Zivia. Let’s go see our grandchildren.”
“Yes, dear,” Vernon replied guiding Miss Ellie through the crowd toward the other end of the pavilion.
“I wonder if we’ll be as tame when we’re there age,” Trina asked moving up beside Mick.
“Tame?” Mick questioned. “You haven’t seen those two when they’re pranking.”
“Pranking?” Trina entwined her fingers with his. The rough edges of the two-carat diamond ring she wore roughed his fingers.
Mick raised their hands to his lips. He kissed the back of Trina’s hand and winked. “Oh yeah. Ask Gill about snow ball fights with Vernon and Miss Ellie vs. Thor and Loki.”
Trina snickered. “Another time. You promised to show me some stars once the music got going.”
As if on cue, music began playing and many of the teens started dancing. Mick slipped his arm around Trina’s waist and leaned closer. “Stars and much more once we get home tonight, my love.”
In the DC area over Columbus Day weekend and a book lover? Register for this local event. I’m attending as a featured author. Local romance writers of all genre are attending. Cone on over and sign up! We’d love to have you!
Gill rushed to his office window. The loud roar increased as he pulled back the curtain. Outside the sun blazed down on the parking lot closest to his office. He looked left and right unable to ascertain where the noise came from. He turned ready to yell for Rachel when the loud squeal of sirens started.
He rushed back to the window. He looked down to the corner of the asphalt he could clearly see. He squinted as sun glare flashed off the chrome of not one, not two. He blinked and counted again. Four motorcycles all bearing police decals and the city’s emblem. What the hell had happened while he and Chloe were on vacation? Had Vernon gone off the deep end during his time as deputy mayor?
A loud knock sounded. Gill inhaled, exhaled, and started for the door. Another knock sounded. “Ok, I’m coming,” he called out. Picking up his pace, he quickly crossed the room lest the knock start again. He reached for the door as another knock rattled the heavy oak door. Gods and Goddesses above! What was on the other side of the door?
He took a hold of the knob and turned it. He uttered a quick prayer and flung the door open.
Rachel stood between two of the burliest biker dudes he’d encountered. He looked at Rachel. She shrugged and stepped toward him. “Boss man, looks like we got a couple new citizens that want to speak with you.”
Rachel moved into the office and away from him and the bikers. She turned and pointed to the one wearing a red emblem on his helmet. “Zeke from Red Bluff, Arizona.”
Zeke nodded and removed his helmet. His army crew cut hinted at who might have sent him.
Rachel pointed to the other biker wearing a blue wave emblem on his helmet. “Deke from Pacifica, Oregon.”
Deke removed his helmet, nodded and stepped up beside Zeke.
Gill kept glancing back and forth between the two trying to figure out who they reminded him of. He jumped as Rachel touched his shoulder. He glared at her. Rachel snickered. “Boss man, hear them out. Tyburn said phoenix connections are important.” With that, Rachel walked out of the office closing the door behind her.
Gill held out his hand, hoping Zeke or Deke took it. They understood shaking hands, didn’t they? Who’d sent them?
Happy Weekend Gang!
Tyburn can be obnoxious and heavy handed. Has he over done it with sending new troops in to guard the Peak? His baby daughter is turning 16 within a few weeks. Rachel doesn’t seem phased by it. Or is she? Has the angsty teen years hit the Peak? Gill and Chloe’s triplets along with Rachel and Tyburn’s twins. Look out here comes trouble?
I think this serial is going to be fun writing as the birthdays approach.
Until Next Time,
“Ask me something?” Trina wrapped her arms tighter around her. What could Mick want now? Her mind went off in different directions. Her heart skipped a beat as he moved closer.
“Yes,” he said, stopping a foot away. “Better to ask than assume, don’t you think?”
Mick’s smile reached inside her into a place she hadn’t planned. A place where warmth sparkled more than she dared hope for. Hope sprang up, bubbling forth. Most males didn’t ask they assumed, demanded, and took. Those who tried mimicking their alpha role models sucked at it. Horribly sucked at any sense of decorum and what leadership was about. Trina inhaled slowly, and let go a deep sigh. She couldn’t let fear rule all of her judgments and decisions, could she?
“Okay,” Trina replied, unfolding her arms. She shook her hands and laid them in her lap.
“You sure?” Mick reached for her hand closest to him.
Trina looked down, back up at Mick. She lifted her hand and held out to him, palm up. “Yes, I am.”
Mick took a hold of Trina’s hand and stood. He stepped down on to the bleacher seat below him. He turned so he faced her and kneeled. He waited until her gaze met his, the he spoke. “Will you run beneath the full moon with me? Dance under the starts with me? Allow me to show you a different side of life?”
Trina pulled back, her eyes going wide. He didn’t let go of her hand. He held on firm. He leaned forward, nodding. “A life that allows joy, happiness, and understanding of who you are.”
Trina licked her lips. He wanted to lean closer still. Close enough to press his lips to hers. Hold her to him and calm the fears he smelled and sensed. Would she accept the gift he offered?
Gill stepped up to the microphone, looked down at his speech, and swallowed. Many of the Peak’s citizens turned out for the festivities in the park. Grills with lit charcoal briquettes in them stood close to many of the picnic tables. Portable ones sat next to the tables and chairs others brought with them. Earlier games pitted adults against children and those in similar age brackets too. A lot of fun and happiness filled the air. Now silence and staring filled it instead.
“My fellow citizens,” he began. “Many gave their lives to keep us safe. I’m not talking shape shifter or supernatural only. Many humans fought on foreign shores to keep others safe too. We continue to do so as a country. Here at home, many take on the task of keeping us safe within our fine country.”
A few murmurs sounded. Several heads nodded. A youngster stood up with a miniature flag waving it back and forth. A few others did the same.
“Some of our fellow Peakites gave their lives so we might enjoy the freedom and safety we have today. To honor them we started collecting funds to build a memorial. Names are coming in. Someone contacted the state about this.”
Heads began shaking. Others yelled out. “No! Not the state here again!”
Gill tapped the microphone. The crowd quieted. “I hear what you’re saying. Our representative, a former Peakite, contacted us too. They’re forming a delegation to oversee the funds we’re getting from the state. A few other supernatural towns and cities are getting money too. Disaster avoided!”
Smiles and nods appeared again.
“So in closing before others who served whether in the military or supporting areas speak, I want to say I’m a proud Peakite! Can you say it with me?”
Gill stepped away from the microphone, raised his arm, and yelled. “I’m a proud Peakite!”
Many in the crowd stood, yelling and chanting with him. Some smile and clapped.
May your Memorial Day be filled with love, fun, safety, and memories. Take a moment to thank those that keep us safe and devote their lives to this!
Trina looked over the group of men standing close to her. Two male wolves, three coyotes, and one snow leopard made up the group. None of them particularly drew her attraction or thoughts. Yet, dancing with one or two of them might get conversation flowing. After all, chaperoning a high school dance didn’t require more than keeping the kids out of dark corners. Making small talk with the other parents present and enjoying the music. Miss Elly and Vernon were out on the dance floor cutting their path across the gym. More fifties music blared out of the speakers. Even Gill and Chloe tried their hand at some of the intricate dance steps the music teacher had shown everyone before the music started.
She wiped her hands down her heavily starched poodle skirt. Missy Elly’s kindness included loaning her clothes in theme with the music. Her teased and sprayed hair bounced each time she nodded her head in time with the music. A few feet away one of the teachers named Mick stood wearing a black leather biker’s jacket, tight ass-incasing jeans, and a dark red t-shirt with the outline of wolf on it. His slicked back hair refused to adhere to the gel. Two lone curls close to the top of his forehead gave him an air of mystique. An edge that caused her breath to catch and set off warmth the reached deep into her. Sex for the sake of physical release stymied her. Her chemistry required more. An attraction and mutual interest revved her hormones. If she wanted to get off—she snickered at her use of male thoughts and terms—her battery-operated boyfriend worked fine thank you. No need for making small talk and acting nice when all she wanted and needed was a hard fast orgasm. One that rocked her to sleep or into a blissed out state that lasted more than someone poking her saying ‘my turn now.’
Mick looked up from the table, counted the number of couples on the dance floor, and smiled. At least four of his students were out there trying the steps he showed them earlier. Many were standing in segregated groups of boys and girls. Their parents were doing much the same. When had kids lost the art of mingling and mixing with the opposite sex? This was Talbot’s Peak. Sex and what it entailed wasn’t shunned or stuffed in the closet. No, every kid new the basics by age eight. After all short gestations could manifest themselves quite easily. Ah, making sure his students understood the birds and bees aspect of life wasn’t his teaching area. Music and art took more than a few hour-long sessions per week to understand and enjoy. Good thing Gill and the town council got the need for after school activities like these.
He glanced over his shoulder back to where the redhead stood. Her petiteness intrigued him. She also ignited a protectiveness he was sure she didn’t require. After all, she was part wolf and coyote, two animals that could take care of themselves. Still making her acquaintance and enjoying a few dances didn’t entail getting involved. Friendship added to life. Why not add a new friend to his group? A female one too. Mick tossed his empty cup in the trash receptacle near him and turned. The next song was a slow hold your partner close one. Easy to dance too and long enough to learn a few things about each other. Yes, a good choice. He started toward Trina.
Mick walked across the floor, keeping Trina in his sight. She ducked her head, looking away. He’d watched her peruse all the males present. The teens that danced past her, she smiled at and shook her head no. The older ones made conversation and moved off to find their mates or spouses. The few women who stopped to talk, pointed to males at various points throughout the gymnasium. He reached Trina as the opening strains of the melody began.
“May I have this dance, please?” he asked, holding out his hand. He kept his gaze on her face. The costumes hid much of their physique. Not that it mattered. Many here used scent and their other senses along with their animal sixth sense to pick out their chase. There were no victims here. Matting happened when all parties agreed. Dancing didn’t resemble the sweaty pleasure enhance bed rumpling stints most of the youth here tried to do. No, dancing was for conversation, getting to know each other, and asking for another dance. Even time to nibble finger foods and sip the sickening sweet punch the cafeteria provided. He’d heard whispers Louie from Rattigan’s was due at midnight; something about road kill stew and other more delightful cuisine.
Mick smiled. Trina turned toward him. Her hands lay one on top of the other, resting on her fanny pouch. Most of the women carried purses or clutch bags. Not this one. Dare he ask what she carried in it? Too personal a question too soon? He wet his lips ready to change topics when Trina spoke.
“Thank you. I’d love to dance.” Trina stepped closer to him. “Been a while since I slow danced.”
Mick chuckled. “Easy to remember. Like riding a bike. Of course, unless you like to lead.”
“Oh, I’m not supposed to?” Trina grinned, raising her arms. “Maybe you better show me how this is done. You know I might need a bit of private tutorial here rather than out there.” She point to the open dance floor.
He glanced over his shoulder. “Okay, one tutorial coming up. Then we make our way across the gym and back. This is the slow long songs portion of the evening.”
Trina nodded her understanding and moved closer until he could easily see her in the darker portion where they stood. He took a hold of her wrist, instructing her as he did. “You hand goes on my shoulder. A light touch is fine.”
He reached for her other hand; Trina held it out to him. “This one goes with this one?” She touched his palm with two of her fingers. Heat burst off her deep into him and jaggedly made its way up his arm. Mick swallowed hard and nodded. Did she realize what affect she had on him?
Trina pressed her lips together. Letting out a startled gasp might send him moving away. Heat like this hadn’t happened since her late husband. The one man—human not shapeshifter—who understood her and ignited a sexual chemistry that kept its volcanic explosions going until illness claimed him. Too bad, he turned out sterile. A child or two by him to remind her of the passion and love they shared would’ve eased the pain and sorrow. She blinked pushing the five year old past memories back to where they belonged, deep in the memories of another time in her life. She’d come here to start over and it appeared she’d chosen a good place to do so.
Mick slid his hand along Trina’s waist. Her hand rested lightly on his shoulder. He moved closer to her until they were approximately three feet apart. She smiled, shaking her head.
“What’s funny?” Mick asked, looking down. He placed his foot between Trina’s. His size ten and half shoe stuck out between her smaller ones.
“Us. This reminds me of the dancing lessons I took in junior high school. Most of the guys could shake their bootie and move around the dance floor like their pants were on fire.” Trina glanced down.
Mick snorted. “Seems that started the phase of trying to teach us etiquette and some form of courting.”
Trina’s laughter warmed his cheek. He winked and moved tighter to her. “Now shall we practice those steps and moves our parents spent money on?”
Trina arched her neck, looking up into Mick’s eyes. They reminded her of the blue sky over the lake during summer. The time of year, she could laugh and run free all over the campgrounds her parents owned. Summer camp allowed her and her siblings time to let their animal counterpart out. No harried admonishments either about hiding or keeping her furry side under tight control.
She licked her lips and nodded. “Sure. I can waltz; do a mean two-step, the occasional foxtrot, and a slow sultry dance that permits conversation. You have a preference?”
“Slow dance and conversation. Sultry is a little much for the kids.” Nick winked, stepping back wards as the music began.
“Yes, we chaperones need to keep an eye on the youngsters.” She chuckled moving in sync with Mick as he guided her out across the dance floor toward the middle of the gym.
“Ten questions each? A little getting acquainted info?” Mick swirled her in a circle creating more space between them.
“Okay. You pulling away?” Trina looked down and back up meeting Mick’s gaze.
“No, just allowing some room so we can talk easier. “ Mick grinned. “First question. Favorite color.”
“Mauve. Same for you.”
“Turquoise. Reminds me of the ocean.” Nick nodded. Vernon and Miss Ellie danced by them.
“Nice song choice, Mick.” Vernon twirled Miss Ellie, pulled her back into his arms and titled her back over one arm. “Allows a little swing and sway.”
Before Mick could answer, Vernon and Miss Ellie danced away. Mick glanced back at her. He stopped and started swaying back and forth in place. “Vernon’s right.”
Trina burst out laughing. “What about the other songs?”
“Fifties music and a few early sixties tunes. The rest are ones the kids requested. I don’t know if there’s much to dance to in their choices.” Mick started moving them around the dance floor again. “Why mauve?”
“The color of my grandma’s kitchen. She loved to cook and bake. That was the one place all ten grandkids could gather and all have grandma at once.” Trina shook her head as Mick opened his mouth again. “You’ve asked two questions. My turn.”
Mick nodded. “Go ahead.”
“Where’d you grow up?” Trina closed some of the space between them as another song started.
“All over. My dad joined the military right out of high school. He wanted to see how the other half lived. Human half.” Mick paused near the bleachers as the music picked up beat. “Continue dancing?”
“Please. Makes our conversation less conspicuous.” Trina glanced over her shoulder. “Second question. Why turquoise?”
“San Diego, California. The one place we stayed more than two years. Mom decided that moving wasn’t a good idea with changing schools constantly.”
“A place you call home?” Trina started nodding her head in time to the music. “Almost a latin rhythm to it.”
“Yes. Maybe we can two-step our way across the gym. And that was your third question.” Mick picked up pace and changed steps to match the beat of the music.
“So answer it. Then your turn.”
“It’s a place where I found me. My parents bought a house and Mom put down roots. All five of us graduated from high school and college there.” Mick leaned closer to her. “My third question is why Talbot’s Peak?’”
She’d kept so much of her past hidden. The pain and hurt dulled after a while. Could she talk about leaving home and knowing she couldn’t go back? The unofficial ‘get out’ her father ordered when he found out she wasn’t his daughter stung for a long time. Many didn’t take her mixed heritage well. Would Mick?
Trina swallowed hard. She inhaled, counted to three, and slowly exhaled. Her palpitating heart slowed some. No one asked her why about anything she’d done up to now. Even Phil’s wife took what she said at face value and checked her references on prior nanny positions. They offered a place to stay and a bond with a group that accepted her. Let her be her and embraced what she brought to the table, a person who gave from her heart and took what she needed, a roof over her head and acceptance. Maybe that made more sense than trying to explain it all. Acceptance meant comfort, approval, and belonging. That topped her needs list. A place where her mixed heritage didn’t end up another label to wear or a taunt that got repeated over and over. She turned and faced Mick. She wet her lips and spoke. “Why Talbot’s Peak?”
“Because here everyone knows your name, doesn’t care where you’ve been or come from unless it pertains to your work, and they care about me as a living being. “ She paused, ready to say more.
“I understand,” Mick said, smiling at her. “Finding a place where you fit in can make or break you.”
Trina shrugged trying to ignore the tears threatening to run down her cheeks. A lot of the places she’d been to scoffed at her. Treated her like a second-class thing. She didn’t ask why she threatened people. She packed up and moved on like her family had for many years until her parents bought the farm close to the Wyoming Montana border. Find her place on her own counted. After all, she wasn’t a young inexperienced woman. She’d hit her thirtieth birthday last year.
Mick reached up, knuckled a tear off Trina’s cheek. He could see trust wasn’t easy for her. Gaining hers would take time and effort. The soothsayer predicted his mate, his heart mate, would affect him like no other. Holding Trina as they danced set off a warmth and a desire he hadn’t felt in a long time. Maybe she was the one. Was he ready to take another chance at love? He and his heart hadn’t fared well the last time.
Happy Weekend Gang!
Sorry I missed a few weeks. Edits and rewrites took more time than expected. Weather bouncing all over hit the Spice Homestead and laid DP, me and Gal Pal low for a bit. Mage and his family got a few sniffles too. We’re back on our feet and ready to enjoy warmer weather.
First chapter of Trina and Mick’s story is done. Pris finally got them to agree tell us more of their love story. I hope to bring you chapter two next week. We’ll have to see what Mick and Trina reveal next. No one ever said the path of love and joy was a smooth one.
Until next week, keep positive, a song in your heart, and joy pouring forth!
Together Again (MF)
Pacific Cay Trilogy 1
Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 66,484
AVAILABLE: Tuesday, May 17th
[Siren Allure: Erotic Contemporary Romance, M/F, HEA]
Tim Smith wants a second chance with his first love, Susan Nealson. Convincing Susan he’s worth a second chance isn’t going to be easy. Given his on-again-off-again ex-boyfriend past with her, he isn’t sure how to proceed, due to the apology he believes he owes her, and his divorce.
When Susan agrees to be a mutual friend’s maid of honor, Tim might have the incentive he’s looking for. Susan isn’t anticipating being paired up with the dateless best man, Tim—her ex-boyfriend. She wouldn’t turn down a chance to revisit their past sexual chemistry. Beyond that, she’s unsure taking a risk on Tim is in her best interest.
Giving first loves a second chance requires letting go of the past and embracing what today offers. When their chemistry ignites into more than sex, can they move past their botched history and embrace their second chance at love? Or will they remain stuck in the past trying to correct it?
A Siren Erotic Romance
Now the fine turning of editing begins, readers and fans! I’m working on polishing Tim and Susan’s story with help from my editor. The content round of edits are hard from the view of “What do you mean change my wonderful story?” They really make the story stronger, richer, and fuller. So I’m diving in! Have a great weekend everyone!