Category: event


I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  We’re always busy, whether it’s with household chores, or day-jobs, or family things, or any of a thousand other things.  Responsibility trumps all else.  Sometimes, I think we should ditch the responsibilities for a few moments of relaxation and enjoyment.  Maybe more than just a few moments.

( Photo by jmd41280 on Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

This time of year, things get really crazy, and many of us forget to stop and breathe.  In my day-job, I’m always reminding people I work with to stop and breathe.  But I realized I sometimes forget to take my own advice.  This weekend, now that my day-job crazy season is winding down, I decided to get all of my chores done today, so that tomorrow I can spend my day reading or writing. Maybe a little bit of both.

We had a low-key Thanksgiving here, and I spent most of it in the kitchen.  It was a little weird without my aunt here, but I thought of her all day.  And the turkey looked and smelled amazing, but I didn’t miss it on my plate at all.

So today, I’m finishing my chores, and then tomorrow, I have big plans that involve only doing things I enjoy, like the big fat book sitting on my desk, and getting some of my handwritten pages from my breaks at the day-job into my laptop so I can keep going on this shifter story.

Speaking of shifters, I think I might have mentioned a story snippet last time, didn’t I?  And it’s been ages since I shared a little bit of story with you all, so I think I’m going to dig into the fourth shifter to give you a little bit of Laney and Anton today.

_______________

Laney smiled, watching Anton sitting on the floor with Boris’s youngest, in the center of a jumbled mess of blocks and toy cars, gamely making engine sounds and listening to the boy’s chatter. Perfectly at ease.

As if he sensed her gaze on him, he looked over and grinned, winking.

Her breath snagged. Gods, she was falling in love with him. Heat rushed to her face.

Anton’s grin faded, and his eyes darkened.

Shit. She swallowed and made her lips curve again. She could not fall in love with him. Lust was fine, but not anything more.

He pushed to his feet, slowly, holding her gaze, and her mouth went dry at the intent in his eyes.

She was supposed to be doing something, she thought, over the quick thumping of her pulse in her ears. She just couldn’t remember what, with Anton stalking her through the crush of his family, all male predator.

“Hey,” he said softly when he reached her, his warm fingers brushing her hair back from her cheek. He dipped down to feather a kiss on her mouth, still holding her gaze. “You ready to get out of this insane asylum?”

She took a shallow breath, inhaling the scent of him, and her pulse tripped up a notch. “Aren’t you playing with Bryce?”

“I’d rather play with you.” He nudged her nose with his.

Laney set one hand on his shoulder to anchor herself. “Shouldn’t we–” Her breath caught again when he settled his hands on her hips and drew her closer.
“Yes, we should, but we’re going home instead,” he whispered, his breath warm on her lips.

She flushed when someone catcalled from the other end of the room.

Anton’s slow smile made her heart beat faster. “Time to go.” He turned her and steered her out of the room with his hands on her hips.

The hallway was cooler, but she was still too warm, and when he bent to plant a quick kiss on the side of her neck, her temperature rose a few more degrees. “Anton?”

He turned her again and pressed her against the wall. “Say that again,” he growled, one hand sliding down to squeeze her ass.

“An-Anton,” she managed.

“Fuck.” He caught her mouth roughly.

She hung onto his shoulders and let him take what he wanted. What she wanted.

He lifted his head too soon, eyes dark and dangerous. “Let’s go.”

Laney nodded, breathless, and pushed away from the wall. He found their coats in the hall closet and helped her into hers. Laney shivered, watching him shrug into his own.

When they got into the car, he set his hand on her leg and squeezed. She sucked in a shaky breath at the rush of need that shot into her belly.

_______________

Tomorrow, I won’t be working on Anton and Laney, but his cousin Joe’s story.  I hope you all find some time to stop and breathe this week, to find a little enjoyment amid all the busyness of your everyday life.  Let me know how you spend your few moments of down-time this week.

( Photo by scott1346 on Foter.com / CC BY )

 

 

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( Photo credit: Foter.com  )

We’re heading into Thanksgiving week here in the U.S, which just happens to be one of our busiest weeks of the year at my day-job, though our crazy-busy is Monday and Tuesday, and then we’ll be a little slower the rest of the week.  Which is why I took an extra day off, so I can do less work in the kitchen on Thursday and enjoy the holiday more than some years when I spent most of the day working in the kitchen.  I think Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday all year long, though it is probably the one that is the most work.  Hours and hours in the kitchen cooking, baking, and in under an hour, the meal is over.

I should probably finish planning our meal–I have no idea what is for dessert yet, and I haven’t figured out what I’ll be eating instead of turkey.  This is my first holiday season since I quit eating poultry, so no turkey for me this time.  Maybe I’ll just be satisfied with all the sides and dessert.  I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out in the next couple of days.

But in the meantime, I’m going to work my butt off at the day-job and get in some writing time between bread-baking (gotta have homemade sage and onion bread for the stuffing!).  And I hope that all of you who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week have a wonderful day, with lots of amazing food and great company, and maybe even some reading time!  Next time, I should remember to share a little snippet of story, because we haven’t done that in a while.

Maybe some pumpkin cheesecake for dessert…

( Photo credit: apasciuto via Foter.com / CC BY )

 

It’s been a while since I got to share space with another author, and I’m excited that the one to break that drought is Alice Orr, who has a new book in her ‘Riverton Road’ series releasing this week!  At my very first writers’ conference a long, long time ago, Alice was one of the speakers, in her former life as a literary agent.  Now I get to host her here with her own romance novel, so I’m excited.   Welcome, Alice!

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A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5

Mike & Amanda’s Story

by Alice Orr #Romance #Suspense #MFRWauthor #IndieAuthor

 

I’m not used to readers reacting ambivalently toward my female characters, much less getting upset with them, but this is precisely what might happen with Willow Fowler. She’s an old friend of my heroine, Amanda Miller, whom I suspect most people will like, maybe even a lot. Willow, on the other hand, is a restless soul. That restlessness gets her into serious trouble sometimes, and she is about to drag Amanda into serious trouble as well.

 

I might have my doubts about Willow too if she weren’t, now that I think about it, a little like me. She’s headstrong and sometimes impulsive. She knows what she wants out of life and what she does not want. She goes after what she wants, occasionally without as much forethought as would be wise. I’ve been known to do that myself.

 

But, the problem here is this. What kind of mess can Willow get our Amanda into, and how will she find her way out of the mess while saving Willow also? Or, is any of that even possible?

 

 

Excerpt:

Amanda had survived her unexpected encounter with Mike Schaeffer. She’d been cool and impersonal. She hadn’t allowed herself a blink of an eye when the rasp in his voice made her want to touch the tanned skin of his throat where she might feel the sound. Part of her was still infatuated with him, but she hadn’t let a single sign of that betray her and she never would. She was repeating this resolve to herself and fitting her keycard into the slot in her hotel room door when Willow Fowler was suddenly there also.

“Get inside. Quickly!” she said.

Before Amanda could fully comprehend her surprise, Willow’s delicate fingers with their perfectly shaped nails were flat against the door, shoving it ajar. She slipped through the opening as urgently as she’d spoken into Amanda’s ear a moment ago. She followed inside and watched her old friend hurry to the window, yank the draperies closed, then peek between the folds.

“Please, shut the door,” she said, sounding even more anxious than she’d been in the hallway.

Amanda dropped her luggage and slammed the door’s lock guard shut as if her friend’s anxiety might be contagious. She’d seen Willow’s eyes just now, and something in their lustrous brown depths had leapt across the room. Amanda found herself suddenly apprehensive and not liking the feeling.

“What’s going on here, Willow?”

“I’m in the most desperate trouble, Amanda. You have to believe me.”

“I believe you. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

“And I cannot thank you enough for coming.”

Willow darted to Amanda’s side to grasp her hand.

“I was afraid you wouldn’t be able to tear yourself away from your responsibilities,” Willow said. “I know how busy you must be.”

“I needed a break,” Amanda answered. “Besides, I haven’t forgotten how you helped me all those years ago when I needed you.”

“Be that as it may, I do not recall anyone ever doing anything this kind for me. Not ever.”

Amanda smiled. Willow had always used phrases like, “Be that as it may.” Even when they were girls together, she’d sometimes talked like an old spinster lady with tatted doilies pinned to her furniture. At the same time, Willow was anything but spinsterish in most ways. She was irrepressible. Amanda’d had her own high energy in those days too, driven by her determination to get out of the North Country and never return.

Even so, her father’s relentless need to dominate and her mother’s distracted indifference could deflate Amanda’s enthusiasm. Those were the moments when having Willow for a friend was a special blessing. Amanda would plug into Willow’s exuberance and, before long, feel recharged enough to take on Jake or Millicent or anybody. Maybe Amanda could return some of that gift now. The possibility felt good to her, and right too. What didn’t feel either good or right was seeing Willow’s usual liveliness transformed into a state of near panic.

“What exactly has your husband done to you?” Amanda asked.

Buy A Time of Fear & Loving HERE.

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ALICE ORR is the author of 16 novels, 3 novellas, a memoir and No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. A former book editor and literary agent, Alice now lives her dream as a full-time writer. She has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and resides with her husband Jonathan in New York City and New Jersey.

Alice’s Website – www.aliceorrbooks.com

Alice’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter

Alice’s Twitter Page – https://twitter.com/aliceorrbooks

 

 

Resurfacing

 

My summer took an unexpected turn, as you will have noticed when I didn’t get to the rest of my birthday month celebrating in July.  I had mentioned here some time ago that I had two family members who were ill.  One of them is much better this year.  The other, my aunt, continued on a downhill path that ended in July.  Watching someone you love decline that way sucks.  The only good thing about it was that she did it the way she wanted.  There is a fantastic in-patient hospice in our area, and she was well-cared-for, between me and the staff there.

And since then, when I haven’t been at work, I have been working on clearing out her house, which was my grandparents’ house.  It’s been a huge project, and I am still not finished, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I think.  It’s also been interesting, digging through old papers that I can’t imagine why anyone left in a box (or in this case, many boxes!) in the attic for over 60 years.  But there have been fun finds, too, like pretty postcards saved from vacations, or adorable little wedding cards, or photos.  I actually spent a lot of weekends there, just to avoid all the driving back and forth.  The sunset picture above is from one evening  a couple of weeks ago after a rainy day had cleared out.

But because the Great Clear-Out is starting to wind down, I need to get back into a more regular routine again.  The one thing I haven’t stopped in the past four months is writing.  Even while sitting in a quiet hospice room, I wrote, which surprised me.  July was exhausting, from start to finish, but my story kept me company, which was a real comfort–I actually got to the end of a shifter manuscript at my monthly writing group, which was a huge boost.

So now I’m back here, too.  My writing goals for the year have all gone to hell, so I guess I should start thinking about what I want to accomplish next year–like what to do with my Medusas since I have the rights to the first one back and haven’t gotten to do anything about that.  I’ve still got some work to do at my aunt’s house, but it isn’t going to be as all-consuming anymore, which is nice.  More time for my brain to focus on writing, rather than how to deal with 8 chests full of blankets, or ripping up carpet that’s been on the floor since I was a little girl.  Nope, I’m coming up for air, and, unlike the humpback whale below, I won’t be diving as deep again into this project.  Now it’s time to breathe and get things back to normal.

Humback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaching.

 

 

 

( Photo credit: Foter.com )

We are officially into my birthday month now, so the party is on!  I’m not counting anymore, but this one is a big one, which means lots of celebrating this year.  Cake and balloons and probably a new tattoo, too.

How do you mark a big birthday?  Something casual or understated?  Or a giant blow-out party?

I’m going to start the party with a snippet of story for you.  Maybe a little snippet from the shifter story I’m hoping to finish this weekend?

________________

Then she realized he’d asked her a question, and her cheeks flamed hot again.  She dragged her gaze back up, expecting him to be smirking.  Then she realized he’d asked her a question, and her cheeks flamed hot again.  She dragged her gaze back up, expecting him to be smirking.

But he wasn’t, just watching her with those somber green eyes.   “I’m not hungry,” she managed.

He nodded, then turned away again.

She heard his light steps on the stairs, and she dropped flat onto the pillow behind her, eyes shutting.  Holy shit, she needed to get herself together.  She wondered if she could get dressed and go across the hall to the guest room.  Then frowned.  What was wrong with her?  A gorgeous man who had been very pleasant company earlier had just made her brain melt down.  If she got dressed and went down to sleep in his guest room, he think he’d done something wrong.

And he had definitely done everything very right.  She totally understood what the fuss was all about.  She hadn’t before.  Self-induced orgasms were nothing like that.  At least hers weren’t.  totally understood what the fuss was all about.  She hadn’t before.  Self-induced orgasms were nothing like that.  At least hers weren’t.

Anton reappeared, water bottles in hand.  She swallowed and pushed herself upright, then fumbled for the rumpled sheet.

He caught her wrist before she found the edge.  “Are you getting modest now?”  One of his eyebrows quirked up a little.

“Too late for that, I guess,” she muttered, taking the water bottle he offered.

“Oh, much,” he agreed, uncapping his water while she took a drink.  “I’ve already seen it all.”

She choked on her first sip of water, and he patted her helpfully on the back, then sat down facing her on the side of the bed.   She wiped at her watering eyes a moment later.  “That wasn’t nice.”

“Sorry.”

She gave his unrepentant expression a narrow-eyed stare, then she shook her head and took another careful sip.  “You know,” she started, cautiously, “I can go back to the guest room.  I mean, you said last night you don’t bring anyone home, so I don’t want this to be weird for you.”

His green eyes went to slits.  “What?”

________________

So tell me.  How do you celebrate milestone birthdays?  I really want to know.  Especially if you’ve come up with something I should have on my list for this month.

 

 

 

Sounds like the perfect day to stay inside and read, right?  That’s the sort of day we’re having here, grey skies and random showers, plus it’s cool enough to actually feel like spring outside.

( Photo credit: taiyofj via Foter.com / CC BY  )

So what have I been doing?  Writing, and household chores.  I should be figuring out supper, but I’ll wing it.  I have chicken breasts and sausage both defrosting, so I’ll just make whichever appeals most when it’s time, and make the other tomorrow.  My mind is too full of story today, deliberately.  Yesterday was a difficult day, so I made up my mind that today had to be better, and the best way for me to do that is to immerse myself in a story, whether it’s one I’m writing, or a great book I’m reading.

So I’m working on my shifter today.  Anton is not a bad boy like some of his cousins, but he is definitely wounded and in control.  Until he takes a mate he hadn’t planned on.  Then he finds out being in control isn’t as easy as he’s always believed.  I’m really enjoying his story, especially since I hadn’t intended to write one for him when I started the shifter stories.  He was just a background character in the first story.  But then he kept coming back in the next two, and I finally realized he needed a mate to shake up his world, that he deserved a mate who would heal his wounds.  So he’s got one, he just didn’t know what to do with her once he mated her.  Silly tiger.  So I think I’ll share a little snippet of his story with you today.

_______________

Anton still watched her when she glanced over again, and she smiled a little. “What?” he asked.

 
“I was thinking about that kiss earlier.”

 
He didn’t reply, but she noted the way his eyes darkened.

 
“Would you kiss me again?”

 
He frowned, and she braced herself for a refusal. “Why?”

 
She blinked, then frowned, too. “Because I liked it. Because it’s been a long time since a man kissed me. Never mind.” She shoved to her feet, but he caught her wrist. She gave him a glare.

 
“Sit down, Laney,” he said firmly.

 
She considered the grasp he had on her arm–tight but not painful. If she pulled, she thought he’d let her go. Instead, she sat on the edge of the sofa, not looking at him.

 

He released her arm and moved forward to the edge of the cushions, too, his leg brushing hers. “You don’t owe me anything, Laney,” he said gruffly.

 
Irritation flared, and she shot to her feet again, to glare at him. “You are a moron.” It escaped before she’d formulated anything besides the annoyance. She bit her lip, realizing what she’d said. Gods.

 
To her surprise, he smiled, just a little. “Not the first time I’ve heard that.” He reached out and touched her balled-up fist at her side. “I just meant you didn’t need to–”

 
“Offer sexual favors in exchange for saving me?” she asked, chagrined.

 
“Yes. I didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the kiss.” His fingertips stroked the back of her hand from knuckle to wrist, and he met her gaze. “But I did mean it when I said I wasn’t looking for a relationship.”

 

“So did I.” She made her fingers uncurl, then sucked in a little breath when he laced his fingers through hers.

 
“Sit down again, Laney,” he said softly.

 
She swallowed, searching his face for a moment, and then eased onto the sofa once more.

 
He lifted their joined hands and brushed his lips along her knuckles. Warmth spread over her skin, and she took a shallow breath. “Anytime you say stop, I’ll stop.” He held her gaze, waiting.

 
She nodded. She trusted him, she realized. That hadn’t happened in a long time either. She set her free hand on the edge of the cushion and curled her fingers into it to steady herself. Then leaned toward Anton.

 
He brushed his lips against hers, just a light caress. Warm, a tease. He did it again, a whisper-light kiss.

 
Laney wanted more. She tipped her chin up when he didn’t come back right away, and opened her eyes.

 
He watched her, from only inches away, his green eyes focused on her.

 
“Kiss me,” she whispered.

 
One corner of his mouth twitched. “No patience,” he teased gruffly.

 
She remembered the kiss earlier and shook her head.

 
He released her hand and brushed her hair away from the side of her face. “Haven’t you heard anticipation is a good thing?” His fingers slipped down from her cheek to her jaw.

_______________

Now I’m going to figure out what’s for dinner and then get back to Anton and Laney, see what kind of trouble I can get them into.  Hope you all have a great week!

 

 

We are missing out on the snow, again.  Our weather here this week has been extra-messed-up–mid-week it was 60, before the temps plummeted and we got a couple inches of heavy, wet snow that melted already, because the temperatures went back up into the 50s.  I want a real winter! Right now, it’s raining and looks like an early spring day more than a mid-winter day.  Of course, if we were a few states north, we would be getting buried in snow, and I would be thrilled about it.

So, what is a rainy Sunday good for?  Plenty, I suppose, like household chores and reading. Or visiting with family.  My day will probably combine some of the latter and a few of that first item.  And hopefully later some writing time before the second half of The Walking Dead season begins and our whole family settles in to watch.

I’m going to miss seeing some reader and writer friends today, but I got to see a whole lot of them yesterday, at the annual Valentine’s Day booksigning.  This was my third year of participating, and they’re always a lot of fun.  Talking books with readers and other authors is one of the best ways to spend a few hours, right?  This one was a little sad for me, though, because earlier in the week, we got the official news that my publisher is going to close up shop at the end of the month.  So I have to figure out what to do with Hunting Medusa (and the other two books in the trilogy, finally!) when I get my rights back.

Most publishers don’t want to publish a book that’s already been available from someone else, though it happens.  A better option, I suppose, is self-publishing the trilogy.  Scary thought!  I have to give this more time, to figure out the best thing to do, and then devising a plan to get it done.   Guess I’ll be reworking my writing goals for the year, once I figure this out.

Now, though, I need to go do some of those things on my rainy-Sunday list.  The pics below are some of what you missed if you weren’t at the booksigning yesterday.

dsc00239 dsc00244

And, before I go, maybe a little bit of Hunting Medusa for you…

_______________

“Aristotle Tassos.”
The elderly man started, jumping from his chair so the papers he held fluttered to the floor beside his desk.
Athena remained standing in the doorway to his office, watching his olive skin pale before he dropped to his knees, bowing his head.
“My Lady.” His voice shook.
“Your nephew has taken the Medusa away, Aristotle. How could a Tassos do that?” She glared, noting his silver hair was thinning far more than the last time She’d deigned to visit him.
“My Lady?” He straightened slightly, though not far enough to actually look directly at Her. “My nephews burn to kill the Medusa.”
“Not Kallan.” She watched his mouth drop open. “He has helped her escape.” She narrowed Her gaze on his stunned face. “How could you not know this about him?”
Her Harvester shook his head slowly. “I am so sorry, My Lady. I assure You I will find him. And her.”
“I am sure you will. I expect you will.” She set Her hands on Her hips. “Do not fail Me, Aristotle. It has been many years since your family has fulfilled its duty. It may be very bad for you and yours if you fail again.”
Aristotle nodded, bowing, his face flushed a ruddy color. Embarrassed, She was sure, by the reminder of the failures of recent years. Good. He and his should be humiliated to have been outwitted by the Medusas of the past several generations.
“I would hate to have to return to see you on this matter again, Aristotle,” She said, gentling Her tone just a little. “I understand you are loyal to Me, even if one of your number is no longer.”

His mouth tightened. “I will make sure we get her this time, My Lady.”
Athena nodded. “I will be monitoring your progress.”
She was gone before Aristotle looked up.

_______________

Oh, one last thing!  If you’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of Hunting Medusa (or any other Samhain title) you’re running out of time now.  Plus I just realized this morning (2/12/17) that it is on sale in the Samhain store for half price, so it’s probably a really good time to grab it in its original form.

Valentine’s Day is this week, so here’s hoping for a much better week this week, full of love and chocolate!

 

7024607531_cc3a6b87cc_z( Photo credit: RDECOM via Foter.com / CC BY )

It’s been a long month here.  Aside from the crazy first few weeks of the year at the day-job, things otherwise have been both busy and awful, and I have taken a real butt-kicking.  Until I got the ick and cough last week, though, I was still doing really well with my daily writing.  Last week kind of messed that up, and the best I could manage toward the end of the week once the fever finally went away, was working on revisions, and I’m sure I’ll need to look over those again before I actually finalize them, just to be on the safe side.

So this week, I have got to get back into my routine.  I am still coughing, but I feel like it’s slowly going away.  (Which is good, since I have the booksigning on Feb. 11; it would be terrible to still be hacking all over the place then.)  So I will ignore the coughing.  Harder to ignore will be the other distractions in my life, the family members who are ill, as those are ongoing and not going away like my cough.  If I thought they would help, I’d find myself a set of blinders, to keep my attention on the pages in front of me, but that doesn’t do anything for the constant flow of thoughts in my brain.

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( Photo credit: ** RCB ** via Foter.com / CC BY )

Hard to concentrate on one thing with that going on in your head.

So I’m looking for ideas on regaining my focus.  The things that are going on aren’t going to stop any time soon, which means they’re going to remain on my mind, but I still need to get back to being a productive writer.  So when you have a lot going on and still need to get things done, how do you manage to make your brain cooperate?  Meditation?  (I’ve tried it and am terrible.)  Something completely different?  Give me your suggestions.  I’m game to try some new things, as long as I end up back where I need to be.

And before I go, just wanted to remind those of you in the south-central Pennsylvania area, come see me and a whole lot of other romance authors the weekend before Valentine’s Day!

loveisintheair2017

 

 

 

Writing Hot

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( Photo credit: Frank Lindecke via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

Yes, I’m sick this week.  Coughing from an annoying tickle in my throat.  I don’t do sick days.  The last time I had a day off for a medical issue of my own was when I had my gallbladder out a number of years ago.  I took a day off last month for someone else’s medical issue.  Today, I actually left work early because I felt so terrible, just so I could come home and rest.  So that blog title isn’t just about the sort of stories I write, but about the fever I’ve had on and off all week.  I would love it if went away now.  My brain doesn’t have room for creativity right now, when it’s full of hot and headache.  So, instead of thinking so hard I make the headache worse, I’m going to tell you about the Valentine’s Day booksigning I’ll be taking part in this year.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 from noon to 3 pm at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouse, I’ll be hanging out with around 18 other romance authors, talking books and signing them, too.  This is the third year I’ll be participating, and they are always so much fun.  Plus for the readers attending, there are always giveaway goodies.

And now, so my feverish brain can rest, I think just a little snippet of Hunting Medusa for you.

______________

Perhaps he was a sick bastard, he mused, slowing his pace as they went deeper into the woods and the trail narrowed. Realizing the woman he wanted most was his enemy had just turned his world upside-down. His family’s enemy, a monster created by the Goddess.
He frowned up at the dark canopy of leaves above them. He wondered if any other Harvester had ever been tempted by his quarry. Or had surrendered to the temptation. If so, he was certain he’d never find that in the lore.
“Wait.”
He stopped walking at her quiet command, his gaze shifting in the same direction she looked. A doe and her fawn looked poised for flight several yards away, the mother watching them closely. Kallan held his breath as the fawn bent back to the small patch of grass. From the corner of his eye, he saw Andrea’s smile. He caught her hand in his without thinking about it first.
Her fingers were stiff in his for a long moment, then relaxed a little.
He turned to look down at her, studying her. The top of her head reached his chin, her dark hair curling in the slight humidity. Her bright gaze stayed fixed on the deer, but he knew she was aware of him by the way her pulse skittered in the hollow of her throat.

“Did I hurt you?” He kept his tone low, trying not to frighten the nearby animals.
She didn’t move anything but her eyes, shifting her questioning gaze up to his face.
“Earlier. Was I too rough?”
Color washed up her cheeks, and she swallowed, turning her attention back to the doe and her fawn. “No.” It was barely a whisper, her reply.
His heart pounded a little harder as he thought about taking her here, right here in her forest. It was foolish. He couldn’t. She would never agree to it anyway.
But he couldn’t stop the images behind his eyes, not now that he knew what she looked like, what she felt like around him, the way she sounded.

When she turned to look up at him again, he realized he’d tightened his grip on her fingers. Her expression was quizzical, then awareness surfaced, turning her eyes darker, like midnight velvet.
Kallan lifted their joined hands slowly, giving her time to stop him. When she didn’t, he dragged his open mouth along her knuckles.
Her lips parted slightly.
He bit one of her knuckles lightly and felt her shiver. “Maybe I am sick,” he breathed. “But I still want you.”
She shut her eyes, her throat working as she swallowed. “Bad idea, Harvester.”
His jaw tightened. For some reason, hearing her use the name his family had claimed many generations ago made him angry. He wanted to hear her use his name instead. Preferably while they were naked in her bed, bodies joined intimately as they had been earlier.
Instead of protesting, though, he nibbled his way down her finger until he could capture the tip in his teeth, then sucked it into his mouth.

_______________

 

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?

 

I hope you all stay healthy! And if the ick strikes your house, I hope you have a sufficient stash of reading material!

 

 

How many of you make New Year’s resolutions?  Or goals of some sort, even if you don’t call them resolutions?  Hands up!

 

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( Photo credit: Randy Heinitz via Foter.com / CC BY )

I learned a long time ago that making resolutions doesn’t really work for me, so I quit that a long time ago.  Instead, I focus my efforts on goals, broken down monthly, and sometimes weekly,  and mostly writing-related.

I’ve taken part in a goal-setting workshop the last couple of years with Delilah Devlin and her sister Elle James (which is wonderful, if you’re a writer looking to set better, more achievable goals for yourself).  I’ve whittled down my writing ‘wish-list’ each year to something I can actually do, as well as building in time to allow for unexpected things cropping up.  But this year, even though my writing output was really good, I had some serious distractions in my personal life pop up that put a huge damper on my  achievements.  Some of those things, I have mentioned here in previous blog posts, so I won’t go into them again.

So right now, I’m reworking my goals list for the new year while allowing for these big, personal things to still impact my plans (and I already know they will, unfortunately), but still actually achieving my goals.

 

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( Photo credit: Randy Heinitz via Foter.com / CC BY )

Part of my planning is to figure out everything that I want to accomplish, then break down the list by month, and sometimes even by the week within that month depending on what is going on.  I started with a pretty good list, but I’ve pared it down a bit, knowing that things that impacted my plans for 2016 will still be ongoing (and possibly bigger goal-killers than they already have been), and I’m fine-tuning now so that by the end of the week, I will be ready to kick 2017’s ass!

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( Photo credit: C. VanHook (vanhookc) via Foter.com / CC BY )

How do you work out your plans for the new year?  Just a vague list of things you want to achieve, or a day-by-day breakdown of everything you’ll have to do to make it happen?  If you share by Friday, December 30, 2016, I’ll put your name in a drawing for an ebook of Hunting Medusa.

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?