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I have to start with any apology for missing my regular blog post last week.  Work has been really busy, but mostly it was sick family that made me miss last weekend’s post.  Now that that is resolved (at least for the moment), things are closer to normal.  As close as close as things will ever be, I suppose.

( Photo credit: Foter.com )

So this weekend is much more relaxing than last, even with the household chores that always need to be done.  The big things are done now, and tomorrow will be for the smaller ones, and for writing, which makes me very happy.  I’ve also been re-watching Hell on Wheels, which I loved.  The characters and storytelling were terrific, and I still absolutely hate the Swede.  I still can’t decide if he’s more crazy or evil, but he’s awful either way. And Cullen Bohannon is still a great hero, even if he doesn’t want to be.  Even though I know how all of this turns out, I’ll still keep watching.  There are parts I had forgotten, characters whose contributions to the story that are important for Cullen, and for the final outcome.  Plus Cullen is yummy, right?  If you haven’t watched it and you have any interest in the old west or how the U.S. came to be, you should check it out.

And I am going to get some rest before I  spend most of tomorrow writing.  So before I head off to dream-land, I have a little story snippet from Hunting Medusa for you.

________________

Kallan wiped his sweaty hand down his jeans, hoping the shriek of the Medusa’s alarm shutting off hadn’t wakened her. He didn’t want her prepared for an attack. He’d prefer to kill her quickly and get the hell out. He could be back in Baltimore by supper tomorrow with the amulet in hand for Uncle Ari to destroy, ending the protective spell for the rest of the Medusa’s descendants.
He touched the doorknob, felt the locks disengage beneath his hand, then turned the handle and swung the door wide.
Silence greeted him, and he took that as a good sign. No creaking came from upstairs, as there would be if she’d wakened. Good. Nevertheless, he stepped inside cautiously, listening hard. He took another step after a few heartbeats, trying to remember just where the kitchen table and chairs stood from his limited view the day before.
He made it past the furniture and paused to listen again. Still nothing. He frowned. With the power off, the house was too quiet. Surely the sudden and complete silence would wake her, even if she hadn’t heard the brief noise of the alarm shutting down. He slid one foot forward on the smooth wooden floor, and suddenly she was there. Fiery pain shot up his left arm. He grunted, realized she’d stabbed him deeply. He swung his other hand up, managing to hit her on the side of the head.

She cried out but didn’t go down, swinging her blade again. He caught her wrist, but she managed to get another slice to his already-injured forearm before he yanked her arm behind her.
Her booted foot connected with his knee—hard—and he bit back a string of curses at the pain, but didn’t let her go. Why wasn’t she barefoot? If she’d been sleeping, she should be barefoot. His left arm was nearly useless, blood pumping steadily from his wounds, so he crowded her up against the nearest surface. The refrigerator. He shoved hard, hearing her moan when he twisted her arm a little more.
Her blade hit the floor between them. She kicked backward again, and her foot hit his knee from the other side this time.
“Dammit,” he muttered, flattening her between his body and the appliance’s cool metal surface. His arm burned, warm blood dripping from his fingers.
“Get off me, you murdering bastard,” she said, her words slurred slightly from her face being mashed into the refrigerator.
“Well now, that’s not very nice. Especially since I’ve never murdered anyone. Yet,” he added darkly, tightening his grip on her wrist. The bones in her arm were fragile and he was fully aware he could crush them, render her arm as useless as she had his. But he didn’t. He wasn’t Stavros.
“You’re not going to start with me, either, Harvester.”
Mouthy. He grinned at the back of her head. Even trapped and defenseless as she was now, she didn’t stop fighting, even verbally. He had to work to keep from laughing as she continued to threaten him. No one had warned him the Medusa would be talkative. Or soft, he realized when her bottom shifted back into his groin. He concentrated on breathing evenly when his nerve endings all came to life. He’d never imagined he might be aroused by the Medusa.

“Wh-what are you doing?” she asked suddenly.
Kallan realized he wasn’t moving—or most of him wasn’t. He shut his eyes for a second, clenching his jaw. Her ass now cushioned his throbbing erection.
“Hey!” She shrank closer to the fridge, making a soft sound when the move forced her arm higher behind her.
He shifted, easing her wrist a little lower. This wasn’t going at all as he’d imagined it. “Stop moving.” He forced himself to unclench his jaw.
“If you think I’m going to make it easy for you to kill me, Harvester, you have another thing coming.” She didn’t stop wriggling.
Growling, he flattened her completely between his body and the refrigerator again.

She froze, and he could feel her pulse beating crazily in the wrist he still held. Fear? He imagined that was one cause. Anger too, probably.
He doubted she was having the same unexpected reaction to him that he was to her.
Not that it was a bad thing that she wasn’t suddenly aroused, too.
He just needed to stop thinking about it.
Concentrate on the task at hand.
Kill the Medusa.
Feel how soft her ass was against him. If he shifted his hips just a little—
No. He growled again, and she shifted, just as he’d imagined so her softness cradled him even more.
“Get off, Harvester,” she whispered.
“Stop calling me that.” He hated hearing it from her lips for some reason. Yes, it was what his name meant. It was what he was destined to do. But the contempt in her tone… He didn’t like it at all.
As though the Medusa had room to be contemptuous of him.

________________

Here’s hoping for a great week for everyone!

 

 

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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.

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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!

 

 

I think summer is here already.  We had those few beautiful days, and suddenly the past three have been hot and muggy.  I’m disappointed.  I shouldn’t be, because we haven’t had too many good springs here in recent years.  Most of the time now, we get a few weeks of cool, early-spring weather, and then summer arrives with the heat and humidity.  One of these years, I’ll get a really great spring again.  Maybe next year, after a decent winter.

 

(  Photo credit: Sorin Mutu via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA )

But the flowers are blooming, which I like (and the weeds are sprouting, which I don’t like), so I’ll just look at the positive parts for now.  One more positive is I get to watch beautiful horses racing next weekend.  I’ll get the household chores in first, and I won’t drink a mint julep, but I’ll find something summery to drink with it.

And I have a three-day weekend this week, which means extra writing time, and that is definitely a positive.  I actually got a lot of writing done last week, even though the day-job has been crazy-busy.  I got a lot of new pages written in the mornings and on my lunch breaks.  I’m aiming for a decent night’s sleep tonight, because the next two days will be busy, before a little lull, but I still want more new pages.

I have a quick snippet of story from Hunting Medudsa to share with you, too…

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“You need to know I’ll die before I let him kill you,” he said, startling her.
Andi blinked, and he turned his head toward her, his green eyes as hard as his jaw. Her heart jumped up into her throat. Gods, he was serious. A hot splatter of stew hit the back of her hand, and she jerked her spoon away from the small pot to turn the burner off, forcing herself to look away from him.
“Maybe you should be practical,” she started.
“Maybe you should think about trusting me a little,” he cut in, swinging around to fully face her.
The front view was as distracting as the back, she realized, absently noting the crisp dark hair spattered over his wide, muscular chest and narrowing onto his flat belly, to that unfastened button…
She pulled her gaze back to his face when he stepped away from the cave opening.

“I got you safely away before Stavros could kill you. I just spent the last two days taking care of you.” His nostrils flared. “I don’t know how you’ve managed by yourself all these years.”
A lump pushed her heart down out of her throat, making her nose and eyes sting.
“If I haven’t earned a little trust after the last two days, I don’t see how you can ever trust anyone.”
That was low. She dropped her spoon into the pan and pushed to her feet. “That wasn’t very nice.”
“It doesn’t look like your family rushes to help you out every month.”
She couldn’t argue, as it was true, but that didn’t lessen the sting.
“So when did anyone take care of you last, Andrea? Besides me?”
“Not since I was thirteen,” she yelled. “Then it wasn’t so bad, until Annis died. Now I take care of myself.” Her vision blurred a little, and she blinked hard.
Kallan moved toward her, his mouth a flat line, his green eyes flaring sparks. “But you trust them anyway?”
“They’re my family.” It really was that simple. If she truly needed them, one of them would come.
“They’ve abandoned you to the Harvesters.” His shout echoed in the cavern.
To her horror, a tear slid down her cheek, but she didn’t wipe it away. “They need to be safe too,” she whispered.
“So the sacrifice of one isn’t a big deal if the rest are safe?” His tone was still rock-hard, though lower in volume.
Andi didn’t want to think about it that way. His view of the whole situation was so distorted.
Wasn’t it?
“As long as none of us get the amulet, it’s okay to lose the Medusa every once in a while?” He touched her cheek, wiping away the tear there.

Another fell, and she wasn’t sure if she was angrier at him or herself. Or her family.

_______________

Now I’m going to go listen to some good music while I dive back into my tiger shifter story.  I hope you all have a really wonderful week!

 

 

 

 

My lilacs are blooming like crazy this week, so spring is definitely here.  I suppose that means that, in addition to cutting them to bring in the house, I should also be clearing out the flower beds to get them ready for the new season. Instead, though, today, I’m going to enjoy the flowers I brought inside while I write.  I could write outside, but half the neighborhood has lawn mowers or other outdoor tools running, and even in the house, I can still hear them if I don’t have my headphones on.  So I’ll put my afternoon to good use by getting more words on pages.

I’m still working on my revamped writing goals for the rest of the year, and I’m counting that as my spring clean-up.  It kind of is, because otherwise, the rest of the year will be a shambling, disorganized mess, as far as my writing goals.  Probably otherwise, too, if I don’t get update this settled.  So I am aiming to finish this new writing plan before the end of this month.  I have to.

Before I get back to the writing, I have a little snippet of Medusa #2…

________________

Philomena let him seat her at a corner booth in the bright diner he found and didn’t protest when he told the waitress they both wanted the dinner special. She just kept thinking of her mother and Jason and the danger they were in because of her. Because if she didn’t think about that, she’d be thinking instead of the coming night and the monstrous bed in the tiny cabin she was about to share with Ryder. And that was unsafe territory after the past twenty-four hours, just as dangerous as the Harvesters, but in a much different manner.
“You’re thinking way too hard about this, Mena,” he said softly, stroking the back of her hand where it lay on the table.

She glanced up from her plate, aware of the warmth sliding up her arm from his touch. “How can I not?”
“Danny is going to make sure they’re safe.” His low voice was soothing, though it still sent a shiver up her spine in a way that was far from soothing. “They’ll be getting ready to travel tomorrow, then hit the road the following day.”
“Jason should be in school.” She didn’t let herself think of the other thing.
He smiled, setting his hand more securely over hers. “It’ll be fine, baby. I promise.”
She set her fork down. “You shouldn’t make promises like that. You can’t know for sure.”
His dark eyes went serious in a flash. “I will keep the two of you safe, Mena.”
Her stomach twisted at his words. “You should worry about keeping Jason safe first.”
“And how do you think he’d feel if I let something happen to you?” His grip on her hand tightened.

She looked away, swallowing. She didn’t want to think about that either.
“For all intents and purposes, you’re his mother, Mena. You’ve raised him since he was born. No–” he held up his other hand when she opened her mouth to protest– “just because she gave birth to him and physically lived there for a couple weeks afterward and sends him a birthday card when she thinks of it, that all means nothing. Desi is a lousy mother, but you aren’t, and Jason knows that. He’d be devastated if I let something happen to you.” He shot her a hard glance. “And even if I didn’t want you so bad my zipper’s about to burst, I’d need to keep you safe just because you’re family.”
That didn’t make her feel better. “So you have control issues and a knight in shining armor complex,” she said, lifting one shoulder.
He tugged on her hand, getting her attention again. “I may work well in protector mode, Mena, but I’m no knight in shining armor.” He held her gaze this time, his own heated. “Having a sheet of solid metal between us is my idea of torture.”

________________

Now I’m off to write.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

 

 

( Photo credit: _demare.thibaut_ via Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

I’ve seen a lot of the view above this weekend.  Yes, the weather’s been nice, but when the words are coming, why would I not take dictation, right?  Okay, yes, I did get my regular household chores done yesterday, but still got new words into my manuscript.  Yes, I spent two solid hours in the kitchen today, but I still got to write.  That makes me happy.  I think work is going to be kind of crazy at least the next two days, and possibly longer.  My team at the day-job is short-handed at the moment, and vacation season is going to pick up soon, so my writing time may be impacted a bit.

The weather’s been very nice this week, though I haven’t touched the flower bed yet.  Maybe next weekend?  Today, it was actually hot, which made the kitchen rather unpleasant when I turned the oven on.  But dinner was already planned before I knew it would be 85 degrees.  The warm weather is probably going to have some of my flowers blooming early.  My lilac doesn’t look like the ones below yet, but the buds are much closer to blooming than they should be in the middle of April.  I love the smell, though.  I actually miss the honeysuckle that used to bloom in the neighbor’s yard in the spring–the scent would waft all over the neighborhood, and it reminds me of my grandma, who used to wear a honeysuckle perfume.

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

Before I go back to the manuscript, how about a little snippet of tiger shifter?

_______________

But Vivi was climbing into his bed in nothing but a pair of black panties trimmed in grey lace, and looking like he’d kicked her.
He yanked at his already-loosened tie and shrugged out of his blazer. By the time he climbed into bed beside her, Vivi had curled up with her eyes closed and her back to him. He rolled onto his side, sliding his hand down her arm to where her hand covered her belly.
“I’m sorry, Vivi.”

She made an indistinct sound, and her shoulder jerked a little, the rest of her stiff.
He put his face into her hair and inhaled. “I’m not angry at you.”
She didn’t say anything.
“I’ve been worrying about you being so sick, and with the rogues stirring up more trouble, well, I’m being a dick. I’m sorry.”
She exhaled roughly.
“And Berdine evidently tried to call her mom earlier and got hung up on for her trouble.”
Vivi rolled to face him, startling him. “What?” Outrage flared in her golden eyes.
“Mari said she was busy and hung up.” He still wanted to put his fist through a wall, just as he’d wanted to do when India had told him earlier.
“Why would she do that to her child? What kind of woman would–” She stopped. “Never mind.” She glared up at him.

Boris smiled and smoothed a wisp of dark hair back from her cheek. “Because she’s selfish.”
Vivi looked like she wanted to add something more to his observation, but she pinched her lips together instead.
“What did your parents do to you, Vivi?” he asked softly.
Her lips parted, and surprise widened her eyes.

________________

So how did you spend your spring weekend?  Doing lots of work, or playing hooky to enjoy the new season?

 

 

( Photo credit: Jeremy A.A. Knight via Foter.com / CC BY )

Spring is really here.  I do love spring, with all of the pretty new growth on the trees and shrubs, and the abundance of flowers everywhere.  It feels like everything is new.  Of course not everything is, but why not take the opportunity to make something new?  Some things?  Like new goals.  A new coat of paint in a room that needs freshening up.  Maybe a new resolution in your personal life.  I actually like season changes better for starting new things and setting new goals than the new year.  The new year falls in the middle of winter, so it never feels like the right time to start new things to me.  I don’t know why, and it’s probably silly.  Maybe that’s why I never make New Year’s Resolutions.

New seasons, though, those feel like the right time to start fresh.

I’ve actually been writing like crazy lately, even with the day-job extra busy in the past few weeks.  I get to the office early in the mornings on purpose, early enough to get my giant cup of tea started and get my computer restarted so it’s ready to go when I actually have to start working.  And then I write.  Sometimes I get almost a half hour.  Sometimes it’s less, depending on which of my co-workers comes in early and is chatty.  And then if I get a lunch break, usually half of it is spent writing.  Sometimes more.  Yes, I should take a lunch break every day, but some days things are just too hectic.  But the writing is moving, which is wonderful.

I’ve been working on the fourth shifter story (yes, I know I need to finish rewriting the first one, but editing needs my laptop and I can’t do that at the day-job), and I have about 2/3 of it written.  I know it will need some rewriting and fine-tuning, but it’s moving along really well–I had to stop writing a scene the other day, because the characters are in a bad place, and it would be bad for me to be sitting at my desk sobbing in the middle of the office.  So I went back to it later.  But I’m pretty happy with it.  And I’m getting a better idea of things that still need to change in the first three stories in the series.  I know, plotting would help that, but my brain doesn’t work that way.

But as long as the writing is going well, I’m good.  I’ll keep going, with occasional breaks for rewrites.  I was going to wonder why I didn’t schedule any vacation days yet, but then I remembered I’m trying to hoard them for family emergencies this year.  So I’ll keep going with the time I get before and during the day-job and on the weekends and be happy for it.  Though I am still trying to refigure my writing goals for the year–which would be easier if I could decide whether I want to try to self-pub Hunting Medusa and the two follow-up stories, or try to market them elsewhere.

For now, though, I hope you’re enjoying early spring as much as I am, and here’s hoping for some fresh successes for all of us!

c 2090 Renee Silverman
Temecula August 2009

( Photo credit: Renee Silverman via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

 

 

 

It actually feels like spring today.  Looks like it, too.  Okay, so it’s a little too soon for the snapdragons, but because I love them, I’m keeping them.  The mini daffodils that were blooming under the snow a couple weeks ago are still blooming in the flower bed, but they’re very lonely.  Still, it was nice enough today to open the kitchen window while I had the oven on, just so the house didn’t feel like an oven.

I think the craziness at work may settle down a little this week, so my fried brain will have a chance to recover.  I didn’t get a single thing accomplished yesterday.  Nothing.  So all of the weekend household chores had to happen today.  Which is why dinner was a one dish affair, prepped and stuffed into the oven hours ago.  The laundry is ongoing, but will be done soon, too.  Which means a little writing maybe, before The Walking Dead season finale.

I mentioned elsewhere that I’ve always looked forward to the season finale for this show–it’s been one of my favorites since it started–but this season has made me consider giving it up.  Actually, that isn’t true.  This started at the end of last season when the finale consisted of the characters driving around and around to avoid blocked roads instead of going home, until the bad guy got them.  The story is dragging, characters I’ve loved have been doing really stupid things, and the bad guy is rampaging all over, unchecked.  I hate it.  So I have a lot riding on tonight’s extra-long episode.  I want to love it again.  It would suck to have invested seven years of my television viewing in it and have to quit now.

But because I’ve been hating the writing all season, it’s been good for one thing, anyway–making me take a look at my own writing.  Am I keeping the story moving?  Are my characters behaving like morons or the intelligent humans I’ve claimed they are?  That probably wasn’t what the show’s writers were going for, but at least it hasn’t been a total waste of my Sunday nights since October.  I probably wouldn’t mind so much, except it is the only show I watch live anymore.  We got rid of our satellite service last year (which replaced cable eons ago), and went to streaming services instead–why pay for so many channels we’re not watching, right?–but we had to find a way to still see this one show.

So I’m crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.  And in the meantime, I’ve got some writing time till that starts, and I’m going to make good use of it.  But before I go, how about a little snippet of tiger shifter #1?

________________

Harley felt better since he’d made up his mind. When he pulled up in front of the house, Tessa was just climbing out of her car.
He grinned and shoved his own door open. “Hey, Tessa.”
She stopped walking at the front step. “Hi, Harley.” She looked tired. Aside from the dark smudges beneath her eyes, she was too pale.
“Take pity on me.” He strode toward her.
She frowned, shifting her weight to one side. “What?”
“I’m starving. Don’t make me eat alone.”
“Harley, I really just–”
“Come on, honey. It’s only dinner. Somewhere casual, so you don’t even need to change.” She’d never seen him relentless before, but he could go there if necessary.
Clearly, she wanted to refuse.
“You need some supper, too.”
“Oh, Harley.” She sighed. “All right, but just something quick. I’m exhausted, and I wanted to go over to the house to do some clean-up.”
Point to Harley. He caught her elbow and steered her to his car. “When did you eat last?” He eased her into the passenger seat.
She frowned. “I don’t know. Last night, maybe. No, I had a granola bar earlier while I was in a meeting with Amy and David.”
He tsked at her. “You’re probably starving, too.” He closed the door, mentally congratulating himself for getting this far. And with far less hassle than he’d anticipated. She must really be tired.
He slid into his own seat and started the car again. “Anything in particular you’re hungry for?” He sneaked a sidelong glance at her and found she’d leaned her head back on the seat.
“It really doesn’t matter. We can go wherever you like.”

All sorts of inappropriate ideas sprang to mind, but he kept them to himself. It was far too soon to share those. “All right. Did you have a better day today?” Small talk. He could manage that till they got to the restaurant.
By the time he pulled into a parking space at Botticelli’s, Tessa had roused herself to polite conversation, and Harley thought this evening might turn out pretty well.

_________________

Here’s hoping for a great week ahead for all of us!

Yesterday was a very lovely day, though it was spent on household chores rather than enjoying the nice weather.  Today wasn’t as lovely, which was just as well, as I went in to the day-job to start my crazy week early.  The rest of the week should be warm, but I think rainy, which seems fitting, since the calendar is about to roll over into April by the weekend.

( Photo credit: Thomas James Caldwell via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

There are flowers blooming, and there is even a magnolia tree at the office that had flowers opening a couple of weeks ago when we got the first rush of warm spring weather (before the snow finally came).

So what will I be doing this week?  Working like a crazy person at the day-job, and, hopefully, getting in some writing time if my brain doesn’t turn to complete mush.  Last week was almost as crazy, but I still managed new pages in the mornings, before starting at the office, and a little during lunch breaks mid-week, so I’m hoping I can do the same this week.  I’m actually ready for a vacation, I think.  Too bad I didn’t schedule one until the end of July.

I think I’m ready for spring, since my winter was a total bust.  The only trouble with it being spring is that means summer will follow close behind, and you know how I feel about summer.

Once we get through this week and next at the day-job, the craziness will abate for a little while, which is nice.  And I’ve had some good news about the friends I was worrying about.  Both have made it through their surgeries, well, so now they just have to be patient about recovering.  A little stress off my plate.  The ill family members are still worrying me, though I know worrying is a waste of energy.

So how do you stop yourself, or at least distract yourself from fruitless worrying?  I could use a few pointers.  And maybe you would like a snippet of a tiger shifter and her wolf?

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India wasn’t sure how she made it through the meal. She didn’t taste anything, couldn’t even concentrate on the food she put in her mouth.
All her attention was on the man sitting too close to her, the fresh, wild scent of him driving her slowly mad, the feel of his warm fingers on her back reinforcing the throbbing in her belly, his hard thigh pressing against hers all through the meal.
She should never have agreed to meet him for dinner. What the hell had she been thinking? She needed to get out of here.
Rory’s big hand settled on her nape again. “You’re not eating, love.”
She stifled a little shiver. When he called her that, it had always made her melt, and she needed not to do that. Not tonight. Not ever again. “I’m not hungry.” She finally set the fork on the side of her plate.
“I was hoping to share dessert with you,” he teased, leaning closer so his warm breath brushed the top of her ear.
Heat burst in her middle at that. They’d shared many desserts, a long, long time ago. Damn him. “I can’t eat anything else.”
“Then maybe a walk.” He tipped his head to look at her, and she couldn’t look away.
“I need to go home.”
Instead of looking disappointed, Rory smiled, his bright eyes knowing. “Then I’ll walk you to your car.”
That was too easy. She frowned up at him, trying to figure out what was going on in his head.
He gave her nape a stroke, fingers and thumb coming together at her spine, that made her suck in a shaky breath. “Let’s go.” He reached into his pocket and took out some money, then pushed his chair back without releasing her. He held out his free hand.
If she took it… She tipped her head back to meet his gaze, unsurprised to see the heat flare in his eyes. Gathering her courage, she put her hand in his.
Rory pulled her to her feet, and into his arms.
She knew this was a mistake.
His hand slid down from her nape to the small of her back and settled, while his eyes darkened. “Come, love ,” he said softly after a moment, his hand slipping away from her spine, though he kept his other hand wrapped tight around hers.
And she let him. Just for a minute.
Or until they got outside.
Or maybe, she thought when they stepped out into the warm evening, until they got to her car.
His hard fingers were relaxed around hers, but she knew if she tried to withdraw, they’d tighten quickly, like a trap on a rabbit.
She had no intention of withdrawing her hand from his. She wanted just this little while. This moment would have to hold her for a very long time again.

_______________

Hope you all have a great week!

 

 

Evidently my snow from earlier in the week is all I’m getting this year, as it’s warmed up so much that there are huge patches of grass and much smaller patches of snow in the yard.  There are miniature daffodils in the side bed that are on the verge of blooming in spite of the snow.

( Photo credit: Derek N Winterburn via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

So instead of wishing we’d had a better winter, a more wintry winter, I’ve moved on, I surrender to the inevitable .  I do love spring, with all the flowers, including tulips, which are my very favorite, and the lilacs that smell so wonderful.  And for me, the change of season this year is a fresh start, kind of like the new year, with revised writing goals since my original goals for the year didn’t include finding a new home for Hunting Medusa.

Do you take the chance to start fresh when the seasons change?  Setting new goals for the new season?

Before I head back to my writing, I have a little snippet of the first tiger shifter for you.

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Tessa wasn’t sure if she should be scared or not when he guided the car into the family compound a little later. Back to the house. She hadn’t thought this far.
She couldn’t do that.
Not after everyone in the house had watched them leave together.
She shut her eyes. Her body hummed, too hot, too aware. Harley hadn’t stopped touching her, whether he was brushing his fingers over hers, or settling his heavy hand on her knee or her thigh.
The car stopped moving and shut off, and she realized he’d just driven to the guest house. Far enough away from his family to be alone. No audience.
“Don’t move.” He released her knee.
Like her legs would hold her up to go anywhere. She opened her eyes slowly, inhaling deeply to try to calm her pulse a bit.
Then her door opened, and Harley’s hand caught her wrist.
Her heart beat faster again. She met his gaze and couldn’t look away.
The heat in his golden eyes stole her breath.
“Those shoes are very pretty,” he said, his voice a low rumble, “but it’s a shame you can’t run in them.” He pulled her out of the car and into his arms. He scooped her up against his chest, and she braced herself with one hand on his shoulder. “But we’ve waited long enough.” He kicked the door shut and strode to the house.
Tessa swallowed.

She was really doing this.
Harley.
He carried her inside, never stopping until they reached the master suite at the back of the house, and then he set her on her feet.
She realized she was breathing much too quickly, that her pulse thumped crazily in her ears. And excitement pumped through her with every beat of her heart.
Harley turned on the light beside them, then yanked the blankets down on his way around the bed to turn on the light on the opposite night stand, too.
Then he faced her, smiling. And shrugged out of his blazer.
She heard it swish to the floor behind him.
Then he started undoing the buttons on the front of his shirt, watching her instead of what he was doing. “Take off your dress, Tessa.”
Her mouth went dry. Her knees knocked. Holy shit.
He held her gaze as he unbuttoned his shirt the rest of the way, baring more of his wide, tawny chest. “You like what you see?” He grinned at her, shrugging out of the shirt and dropping it carelessly to the floor, too. “I know you do. I can see your pulse racing there, in the hollow of your throat. You’d better get that pretty dress off, or it’s going to get torn.”

His conversational tone made her panties even wetter as her brain flashed images of him carrying out the sexy threat.
“Tessa.” His tone remained even, but the heat in his eyes flared hotter. “Take it off. Now.”
_______________

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

That is a fair representation of Harley in that scene, I think.

On that note, have a good week!

 

 

 

Since last week, the weather forecasters have been talking about this huge snowstorm headed our way, and how we would be getting a massive amount of snow.  When I went to bed late last night, we were still supposed to have about a foot of snow on the ground by morning, with another 8-12″ still to come.  Ha!  When my boss texted me early this morning to say the office was closed, it was sleeting, and it continued to sleet for about four more hours before changing back over to snow.  The sun has been out a couple of times now, though it is snowing again, lightly.  This is my ‘snowstorm’ accumulation…

Not all that impressive.  I think if it hadn’t changed to sleet early this morning, we might be a lot closer to where the forecast promised we would be by this afternoon.  Oh well.  I think this is all the snow I’m getting this year.

On the other hand, even though my snowstorm was a bust, the extra paid day off has been good for doing some necessary clearing out, and even some writing, which I’m aiming to get back to soon.

I need to redo my goals list for the year, too, though that will wait till the weekend, because it’s going to be a pretty massive redo, since my original list didn’t involve figuring out what to do with my book when my publisher went out of business.  I still haven’t made up my mind if I will head into the big, scary world of self-publishing to re-release Hunting Medusa, or if I will see if another publisher may be interested in it and the two other books in the trilogy.   Either is nerve-wracking.

But today, I am working on my tiger shifter.  He’s not ready yet for public consumption, but I have a snippet from the second tiger shifter story I think might be suitable for a cold, snowy March afternoon.

_______________

Then his pale blue gaze swung back to her face, and she couldn’t look away.
Holy hotness!
Even though she couldn’t pull her gaze away from his sky-blue eyes, she still noticed his rumpled white-blond hair brushed back from his face, the sharp angles of his cheekbones, and the width of his shoulders beneath a red polo shirt.
Wowza.
Vivi swallowed and dragged her gaze away finally. It landed on her drink, and she picked it up, taking a sip to wet her dry lips.
A tiger.
She needed to get away before her hormones got any happier. She put the glass down on the bar and sat back in her seat.
“Don’t let me chase you away,” the blonde said, his voice a low rumble that made her stomach clench.
She glanced toward him, but didn’t meet his eyes. “You’re not. I’ve just had a long day, and it’s time to go.”
“Without any supper?” He turned on his stool a little to face her.
Oh Gods. Vivi couldn’t help the flush burning her cheeks. The red shirt stretched over a broad, muscled chest, and it took her a few seconds to force her gaze up to his.
At least his mouth wasn’t curved in a smirk. Though if he’d been smirking or appeared as if he knew exactly what was going on in her head, she’d have found it easier to get off of the stool. “I didn’t actually come in for supper, just a drink with a friend.” She inched to her right.
“Have dinner with me.”
She froze. “What makes you think I’d be a good dinner companion?” she asked after a second.
His mouth relaxed a little, as if he might be on the verge of a smile. “Just a hunch. I’m sure you’re a far better dinner companion than I am. Sorry I bothered you.” He picked up his glass and took a sip of the golden liquid in it.
Vivi studied his profile for a few moments. There was something familiar about it. And something very appealing about him, aside from the face. Especially that, aside from not pushing her to stay, there was something lonely about him. “You know, telling a woman what a terrible date you are isn’t really the right approach. Probably going to bring your success rate down a little.”
He finally smiled, a slow, wide grin that revealed dimples.
Gods, she was a sucker for dimples, dammit.
He met her gaze again and stuck out his right hand. “I’m Boris.”
“Vivi.” She tamped down the little voice in the back of her head shrieking this was a Bad Idea. When his warm fingers wrapped around her hand, she shivered.
“Vivi, would you have dinner with me? You can give me some pointers on how this should work.”
“What the hell.” She was certain she’d regret this later, but it had been a long time…

_______________

I do love Boris, and when I started the first shifter story, I didn’t realize he would be getting one, too.  After all, he was married.  Then his wife turned into a selfish dirtbag and left him and their kids.  Poor Boris.  And lucky Vivi.  Eventually.

Now, I’m heading back to shifter #4, and then maybe making some grilled cheese sandwiches for supper before I write some more.