Tag Archive: romance author


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

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

It’s been a pretty decent writing week this week, which was nice.  I didn’t expect it with my work schedule at the day-job.  I’m going to hope I get as much in this week as well, though the day-job should be busier.  If I do manage it, I should be pretty near the end of the first draft of this shifter story, if not to the very end.  That would be a great way to wind down the month.  Especially since I didn’t get much accomplished this weekend, except for household stuff.  I suppose accomplishing anything is good, but I’d rather have gotten more writing in than I did.  On the other hand, there is clean laundry, and my guys have enough leftovers in the fridge to last the week, and I have juice for the next two days.  Now if I could get the mp3 player to import my audiobooks so I can listen at work, I’d be all set.  To be honest, I wasted too much time fighting with that earlier, more than I should.

We have a baby bunny in the backyard again, still little enough I could hold it in one hand.  I won’t, of course, but he (or she) is absolutely adorable.  That was the first thing I saw this morning when I was in the kitchen, making tea.  Not a bad start to the day.

Now I just have to hope none of the feral cats in the neighborhood get him.

Is it wrong that I’m already thinking about vacation when it isn’t scheduled until the end of next month?  I don’t know why.  Maybe my brain is just ready for a break.  I am going to take a slightly longer weekend in a couple weeks, and I’m overdue to drive out to see my dad, though I may try to time that for when my sister drives up from the south to visit, too–I haven’t seen her in even longer, and I worry.   Silly, maybe when we’re adults with grown children, but what can I say.

Before I get back to the tiger shifter, I think maybe a little snippet of Hunting Medusa for you…

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“You know there are drawings and sculptures of the original Medusa, with the snakes and her still very beautiful face.”

“I’m aware.” Her jaw clenched, and she glared at the floor. “Not too many men are in the market for a woman so dangerous, however. Not to mention going out in public like that would be like sending out a worldwide bulletin to your family: ‘here I am, come kill me’.”

He nudged her shoulder with his own. “I’m attempting to cheer you up, Andrea.”

“It’s not working, but thanks.” A larger divot had appeared in the floor, and she slid her shoe forward to touch the mark with the toe.

Kallan released her hand and put his arm around her shoulders. “Should I distract you in a different way?”

“I thought we agreed that wasn’t happening.” She didn’t move away, though she knew she needed to. Before her hormones really kicked in. She rubbed the bigger dip in the wood floor with her toe again.

“Stop glaring holes into the floor,” he murmured, nuzzling the top of her ear.

“Better the floor than you, wouldn’t you say?” She tilted her head away from him, but he just bent to the side of her neck.

“You smell good.” He licked her skin, sending a shock through her. “Taste good.”

Andi jumped when his other hand settled on her thigh. “Harvester.”

“That isn’t going to work,” he whispered, nipping her throat.

“Neither is this.” She resisted the need to whimper when his teeth grazed her neck in advance of a slow, open-mouthed kiss over the same spot.

He squeezed her thigh lightly, and heat shot into her middle.

Well, okay, maybe it was working. A little.

When he tilted her back, she let him catch her mouth. Just for a minute. She wouldn’t admit it to him, but this really was a pretty good distraction.

His kiss was even better now than that morning. Much better than last night. It turned her brain to mush and made her pulse quicken. Made her ache.

When his tongue slid along her lower lip, she met it with her own, coaxing him into her mouth, and then the mush of her brain disintegrated into ash. Poof—nothing left.

________________

So what did you intend to get accomplished over the weekend that you didn’t cross off your list?

 

 

 

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

I remember being a kid and being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.  When you’re young, there are lots of things you might want to do when you’re a grown up.  I remember playing with a doctor kit and thinking I wanted to be a nurse–but that was way before science classes, which weren’t my strong suit.  I remember playing with my younger siblings and thinking how great it would be if I was a teacher when I grew up, but that idea went away as I got older–not nearly enough patience for that job.  When I was ten and started writing stories, I just knew I wanted to be a writer.

When you’re ten you have no idea how hard it will be to do the thing you want to do as a grown up, but if you’re lucky, no one will discourage you yet, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll get encouragement as you continue to work on it.  I was lucky there, as I had teachers all through high school who did that.  Many times, though, you’ll also hear about how hard something might be, and shouldn’t you have a back-up plan?

Sadly, lots of people will listen to those suggestions instead of the encouragers.

I admit that I let other voices sway me for a while.  Oh, sure I was still writing, but not seriously.  After all, succeeding as an author was really rare.  I heard it a lot, but I kept writing, just because I had to, not because I expected to ever publish any of it.

Then one year I discovered there was a nearby writers’ conference, so I went.  I met some amazing writers there, made some great friendships that have lasted twenty-odd years.   Even better, I started to think maybe I could really do something with my stories.

I’ve been trying to remember that feeling this spring, after the ups and downs with my publisher over the past year.  It’s been a challenge some days.  But I’ve been trying to just keep in mind the encouragement, rather than the helpful, practical voices suggesting other things, because this is the one thing I love, still love after all this time, and I know I can do this.

Have you had to ignore helpful, ‘well-meaning’ suggestions about something you love?  Or did you take it to heart for too long?  Me, I want to be a writer when I grow up, so I’m going back to my tiger shifters for a while.  How about you?

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Excerpt from Hunting Medusa:

Andrea rested her head n her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet. She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.

But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.

She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.

And she should definitely not still want him.

When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.

Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”

Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”

She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.

“The Harvesters are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”

Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”

“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”

That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”

His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.

She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.

Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “You remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come again to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.

One more cousin safe—none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”

“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”

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

This week has been absolutely gorgeous here, finally.  After a week or so of mostly rainy days, the beautiful weather the past week has been a glorious change.  I got a couple of tomatoes planted, though the greenhouse didn’t have the lemon basil I wanted, so I’ll have to go back again and look soon, because that is my favorite.  I have lemon balm in my garden that is like two shrubs at this point, but the lemon basil has the best smell ever.

I’m really not just getting my hands dirty in the garden, though.  I’ve also gotten a lot of writing done in the last couple of weeks.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I have almost reached the end of the first draft of this shifter story.  I suppose I’m like most romance writers this way, but I think the hero of this story is one of my favorites.  He’s so yummy and wounded and hot as hell.

I’m not saying that I don’t love all the heroes who came before.  I do.  But he just happens to be the one getting most of my attention right now, which means I like him best.  And maybe you will, too.

________________

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?”

She glanced away.

“You really just said you’d rather sleep across the hall than here in my bed?”

His dangerous tone made her look up at him again, eyes widening. “That isn’t what I meant.”

________________

( Photo credit: Foter.com )

Now I’m going to do a little editing, and then more writing tomorrow.  Hope you all have a good week!

 

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

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!