Broken Angel from Author Amanda Jones

Give a warm welcome to Amanda Jones, author of  Broken Angel, Book Two of The Fallen Chronicles Available for pre-order from Amazon! Today Amanda is a guest blogger on Author’s Secrets, talking about Writer’s Block!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and  enjoy Amanda’s post.  Then we’ll talk a litte about Broken Angel releasing June 30, 2017.

Take it away Amanda!

Writer’s Block – Perks and Drawbacks

Chapter fifteen of The Fallen Chronicles: Forbidden Angel is proving to be the bane of my existence this week so let me share my experience from Monday to Friday!

Why Writer’s Block Sucks:

1) Turning on my laptop and staring at a flashing cursor like my brain is a slug going uphill through molasses in winter.

2) Actually becoming hypnotized by the repeated flashing of said cursor.

3) I start participating in the imaginary arguments between fictional characters in my head…leading to…

4) Wondering if I have a real need for anti-psychotic medication.

5) Frustration building to the point where I’d willingly trade places with ANY of my characters – including the ones currently trapped in the Abyss of Souls…the darkness may allow me to get some sleep!

Why Writer’s Block Rocks:

 1) My home has never been so well vacuumed – despite the vacuuming occurring repeatedly at 3am…(the house is clean, but the cats are terrified!).

2) The crown moulding in my living room finally got painted…at midnight…two nights in a row…

3) I’ve gotten halfway through re-watching Star Trek Deep Space Nine for the first time since it aired and love it as much as I did the first time (thank you NetFlix)!

4) Driving around in the middle of the night playing my favourite tunes with nobody else on the road (as I try to plug a plot hole) is relaxing.

5) I get to share this experience with everyone in the Blogosphere!  Poking fun at something we all go through as authors makes it so much more fun!

Thanks so much Amanda!  Now how about a little about Broken Angel?

Mara is a beautiful and talented surgeon with everything going for her…at least on the surface.  She has a dark secret she has kept buried for centuries.

Bataryal is a fallen angel broken beyond repair…or so it seems.

Will the beautiful surgeon who saved his life also be able to redeem him, or will Bataryal’s damaged soul lead them both into the depths of Hell…

Can we have a sneak peek between the pages of Broken Angel? 

Mara flopped back on the pillows. B crawled back up her body, tucking a stray red curl behind her ear as he smiled down at her.

“So? Was that okay?”  He asked.

Mara chuckled.  “If that was any more okay I think my heart would have started beating again.  You’re definitely a fast learner and you do good work, sir.”

B gave her a cocky smile.  “We’re just getting started, darling.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.”  Mara said with a wink.

Pre-Order Available from:  Amazon

New Concepts Publishing

About the Author:

Amanda Jones lives in Toronto with her exceptionally spoiled pets.  Aside from sharing her crazy imagination with others through her books Amanda enjoys travelling and frequent Netflix binges.  Amanda has worked in several fields including sports, music, film, corporate human resources, and is a graduate of York University and Sheridan College.

You can find more information about Amanda Jones here:

Website: www.amandajonesauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/darkangelauthor/

Twitter: @AmandaLJ1981

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14761429.Amanda_Jones

Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0196WYYRW

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Broken Angel.


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Marie Dry Author of Alien Resistance

Something a little different today, Give a warm welcome to Marie Dry, author of  Alien Resistance! Marie has offered up a chapter of her new release, Alien Resistance, for your reading enjoyment today.

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Marie and her Alien Resistance.

Tell us about you.

I write paranormal and science fiction romance. I hand out daily on my facebook author page and love to chat about my favorite books and movies.

Learn more about Marie Dry at: http://www.mariedry.com and her author Facebook.

Tell us a little about Alien Resistance.

In a bleak future where government systems are breaking down and poverty and violence reign, Madison Johnson is about to qualify as a doctor, after years of study and backbreaking work, in order to keep the promise she made to her dying sister, only to have an arrogant alien take over the hospital and decree that she would no longer be allowed to practice medicine. Hassled by the resistance group that’s trying to recruit her and exhausted from working impossible hours, Madison struggles to convince the disturbingly sexy alien, who always watches her, to let her be a doctor. As she and Viglar grows closer, Madison worries that she’s falling in love with one of the aliens who caused her brother’s disappearance—an alien who does not know how to love…

Available from Amazon. and Black Opal Books

Chapter 1 – Alien Resistance.

Madison woke moaning and clenching her thighs together, reaching for a nameless muscled green alien that haunted her dreams with savage lovemaking. She sat up and wiped her sweaty brow. “Dammit, this is not happening. I’m not a freak.”

Because only a freak would dream sexy dreams of their invaders.

“Total freak,” Madison muttered. She pushed off the blankets and got up. Even the air around her smelled heavily of sex, how freaky was that? “Obviously, I take after that great, great, great voodoo priestess ancestor of mine.”

She stumbled out of bed and went to the tiny downright ugly bathroom to take a quick shower, praying there’d be water. The bathroom might be ugly, but it was a luxury to have her own. When there was water.

She almost cried in relief when the water poured out of the spout and didn’t even mind that it was cold. After dreaming of sex with a green alien, that looked suspiciously like their invaders, she needed to cool off.

“If this continue, I’m going to end up a crazy recluse living in the swamps, just like my voodoo priestess ancestor.”

She could understand dreaming of aliens after that humongous hologram of a muscled scary-looking green alien appeared all over the country and told them the earth had been conquered by them. And then a few months later that horrific parade of alien soldiers marching through Washington. Thousands upon thousands of aliens. What she couldn’t understand was having sex dreams about an alien instead of nightmares.

She scrubbed her neck where the dream alien had tried to bite her with abnormally long teeth. And she’d begged for it like some sex-crazy idiot. Quickly finishing in the shower she dressed in the white slacks and white short-sleeved jacket all the doctors wore and went out, carefully locking the safety padlocks her brother Joshua had installed on the door to her small flat. She then locked the security gate in front of the door and ran down the steps.

Clutching the length of iron Rory had made her promise she’d keep with her when she was out on the street, she rushed to the hospital entrance in Helena, Montana, where she worked as an intern. Walking alone on the streets was never her favorite pastime, but her friend Rachel, who also had a flat in her building was on night duty last night. Otherwise they’d have walked together for safety.

A group message had gone out on the TC last night, instructing all staff to report to the hospital at six this morning. She kicked at the rubble on the pavement. Who called a meeting at six in the morning? As far as Madison was concerned, the day started at ten. After several cups of coffee.

Rachel, her friend and fellow intern, waited for her in front of the entrance. The doors were supposed to open and close automatically, but they had broken down months ago and now stood open day and night. If the hospital had air conditioning, it would’ve been a serious problem. Now the perpetually open doors served to provide some relief from the stuffy humidity inside the hospital.

“Thanks for waiting for me,” Madison said.

Rachel smiled. “I was going to go in, but I saw your hair when you were three blocks away. It looked like moving flames.”

Madison pulled a face. She’d been teased and bullied about her red hair and freckles her whole life. She didn’t have auburn hair, or rich dark red hair, or anything nice like that—no she was blessed with ginger red hair that acted like a beacon if she stood in the sun.

“Do you know why we’ve been summoned? The message only said we should be in the hospital foyer at six. It’s a miracle I woke when the TC beeped.”

Something called the internet was used once to keep data on. When it crashed, their civilization almost collapsed. The Touch Cell Communication Device, TC Comm or TC for short, was invented by Soft Cell a century ago, and it allowed the user to make calls. It also functioned as a holograph device for watching movies and news programs and a storage device for documents. In the hospital they used TCs to keep track of patients and their treatments and medication.

Rachel shrugged. “No one knows.”

“Do you think it could be the aliens?” Madison asked.

She balled her fists. If they killed Rory, the resistance would be the least of their problems. She’d hunt each and every alien down and kill it. And her brothers would come all the way from Alabama to help. If they hadn’t gone hunting them already.

Since that huge hologram had appeared a few months ago, and the parade of soldiers months later, Madison hadn’t seen any aliens. They didn’t walk in the streets, didn’t come to the hospital. In fact, no one she talked to had ever seen an alien. The films about their savagery and reports on the battle at No Name Town where humans had tried to defeat the aliens were the only proof that there actually were aliens around.

When no aliens were seen, people had assumed it was a hoax or that the aliens didn’t have enough man power to police everyone, despite that parade.

Riots had raged for nearly three months. Sadly, Madison thought it was people’s general dissatisfaction with their lives, more than the arrival of Aliens that got people rioting. Most people were still in shock at the idea of being ruled by beings from outer space. Madison remembered her first reaction had been that she lived in a country ruled by beings who didn’t have her well-being at heart. Their invaders had dealt with the riots swiftly and without mercy.

“I got a message last night,” she told Rachel quietly.

Madison knew she was paranoid about the aliens monitoring them, but how did they know they didn’t have cameras and listening devices everywhere? If that hologram was any indication, they were centuries ahead of earth technologically.

“Me too,” Rachel said, barely above a whisper.

“I’m a doctor, I want to save lives, not plant bombs,” Madison said quietly. She’d promised Ana that she would learn how to save injured and sick people. Joining the resistance would teach her to kill and she wanted to heal. She needed to heal. To redeem herself.

“Any word from Rory?” Rachel asked.

“Nothing.” Her brother had disappeared more than two years ago. Madison and her family never gave up hope that he’d appear one day in their house in the swamps, smiling his cocky smile.

“Don’t give up hope,” Rachel stopped and stared. “Good heavens the whole hospital staff is crammed in here. How do they breathe?”

Madison nearly walked into her. The normal sounds of garbled intercoms, rubber-soled feet, and the squeak of trolley wheels were replaced by the din of a great number of people crammed into a small space. The smell of sweat hanging unpleasantly in the air made her want to gag.

All the doctors, nurses, office and cleaning staff were crammed in what was normally a large foyer and wide hall leading to the different wards. There were lifts on either side of the hall, but no one ever used it since it broke down all the time and people had been known to be stuck in there for days. An air of expectancy hung in the room along with the oppressing humidity. Sweat broke out on her face. She probably looked like a greased pig. She envied Rachel whose light brown skin glowed attractively when she was hot and sweaty.

“Too many bodies breathing in here,” Madison muttered and inched back a little. She’d never get used to how many people are crowded into the cities. In her home town, everyone knew each other. Getting more than fifty people together was a challenge, as most people had left for the cities.

Everyone looked worried and Madison didn’t blame them. There’d been severe budget cuts lately. The broken and cracked tiles, the walls that hadn’t seen paint in decades, the lack of staff, all indicated a worrying lack of money. The only reason they had cleaning staff was because so many people were desperate for work that labor was cheap. Madison lived in fear that the hospital would be closed down, like so many others these last few decades.

Her worry was reflected on the faces around her. They all knew it was just a matter of time before they were shut down. All the hospitals in her home state of Alabama had closed when she was still in high school. Many big hospitals in cities all over the country had closed their doors in the last few years.

This was the only hospital left in several states to service most of the surrounding cities. They frequently had to turn people away who couldn’t pay, or when they didn’t have space or doctors to tend to them. The doctors were understaffed, but they had fourteen security people whose only job it was to get rid of the people the hospital couldn’t help. Madison hated those guards who stood at the entrance and made crude remarks to all the women entering the hospital.

“If it’s not the aliens, old Jacobson will probably get rid of some of us,” Madison muttered.

Jacobson was the administrator of the hospital, and he’d hated Madison ever since her brother threatened to beat him to a pulp if he didn’t accept Madison as one of the interns. She couldn’t really blame Jacobson for hating her. Rory could be scary when he was in protective mode. He loved making announcements and appearing important. If Jacobson had any sensitivity, he’d quietly call in those members of staff he planned to get rid of and do it in the privacy of his office.

Madison swallowed, her mouth suddenly drier than cotton off the stem. Jacobson hated her. He’d relish the opportunity to fire her in front of everyone.

“Shhh, he could be behind us and you know he’s got it in for you,” Rachel whispered.

Something cold slithered down Madison’s back. She checked behind and then around them and blew out a relieved breath. It would be just her luck if Jacobson lurked right behind them. Still, for a moment there, she’d felt something powerful breathing down her neck. A presence not quite human. She shrugged, her imagination had always been overactive.

A short distance from her and Rachel, two interns, Sandra and Viktor, stood talking. Of course, they didn’t look worried.

“It’s just not fair.”

“What?” Rachel asked.

“Everyone coming from families living in high cotton will get to stay.” Madison liked Viktor and had nothing against him, but a person should be able to keep their job based on the kind of work they did. Not on the amount of money your family donated to the hospital.

She’d applied six times before she was accepted into medical school. She’d learned later that Rory had bribed someone on the panel that chose the entrants. She hated that the only way anyone got in was by paying a bribe. Things shouldn’t work like that.

It had taken her two years of backbreaking work to finish her studies. After all her hard work, the only hospital hiring had been the one in Helena. An outbreak of drug resistant pox had decimated the numbers of their doctors.

“Not necessarily. You work twice as hard as any of us,” Rachel said.

“That’s not going to help me. Steto hates me and Rory isn’t here to force him to keep me.”

The hospital had received many more applications from interns than there were posts. The positions were offered to doctors from prominent families who could offer incentives. Her younger brother Rory, had promised her she would be accepted. He’d paid the administrator, Jacobson, a visit and assured him if Madison wasn’t offered a position, all seven of her brothers would return. Apparently, there had been some bloodshed before Rory got Jacobson to appoint Madison. Rory hadn’t been as surprised as Madison at how the system worked. He simply did what had to be done to help her reach her goal.

“Maybe Joshua will come,” Rachel said with real hope.

“No, it would just make more trouble.” Madison sighed and adjusted her collar. “Just ignore me. I’m being selfish, worrying about my own job.” She had to find a way to tell Rachel that Joshua would never be interested in her, but it would devastate her friend.

Rachel smiled mischievously. “Rory did say all seven of your brothers would be back if he messed with you.”

Jacobson had wisely decided he didn’t want to eat his food through a straw for the rest of his life and had appointed her. But he made no secret of how much he hated her.

Madison had been appalled at what her brother had done, but she’d also grabbed the chance to train in a city hospital. He might have caved and appointed her, but Jacobson had found ways to get even. Ways that normally left her without a salary for months on end, which meant no coffee. A vicious cycle as far as Madison was concerned.

“He’s still trying to get you for speaking out against the aliens,” Rachel said. As usual when she talked about the creatures that had invaded and conquered earth, there was something in her voice, something Madison couldn’t quite identify, but that she thought might be hatred. Intense personal hatred. As if they’d wronged her somehow. Rachel refused to talk about it and Madison respected her privacy.

Madison had made no secret of her own hatred of the aliens. The fear that Rory had been slaughtered at the Battle of No Name Town haunted her. A few years ago the government had released a statement and shown the world a purple alien. They’d been told that more aliens were living near No Name Town. Raiders and opportunists had swarmed to the small town, only to encounter a kind of force field that kept them away from the aliens—until the freaks, that turned out to be green, came out and slaughtered every man in that camp. Madison suspected Rachel also had family in that camp, because she shut down whenever the battle was mentioned.

“They caught me by surprise,” Madison mumbled.

It hadn’t been her best moment. She’d seen the film the resistance had released, showing the aliens viciously killing humans. When that reporter had asked her about her opinion, all her hatred had spilled out. The film had played on her fears about Rory who’d been missing almost two years at that stage. She should’ve kept quiet. She’d half expected a TC message, that told her she was fired for opening her big mouth against the aliens that took over their planet.

“There he is, pompous ass,” Rachel muttered.

She couldn’t stand Jacobson, but was better at concealing it than Madison. Madison envied Rachel her ability to keep calm in situations that had Madison spewing venom.

Jacobson’s tall thin frame brimmed with excitement. He touched the old fashioned stethoscope he always wore around his neck in a nervous habit and then dropped it.

“Old steto is bursting with news,” Rachel whispered.

He’d earned the nick name because as an administrator he had no reason to wear a stethoscope, but was never without it.

“And he’s scared.” Madison could see his Adams apple work as he kept swallowing and adjusting his stethoscope.

Jacobson cleared his throat. “Good morning, colleagues. As you are aware, you were all called—”

A very tall, muscled green alien in a silver uniform stepped forward. He appeared as if from nowhere and a gasp went up in the warm stifled room. Madison had the most peculiar feeling, a deep instinctive knowing that the imposing alien, with the soulless black eyes, would have a profound impact on her life. Her heart stopped beating for one endless moment, when it felt like gravity fell away. He wore a white coat over his uniform and she knew that face with its sharp cheekbones and cold black eyes. It was the alien from her dream. Or nightmare. If he stood among a thousand aliens, she’d be able to pick him out of the crowd. Yet she knew she’d never seen him before. How was it possible to have sex dreams of someone you’ve never even seen before?

He pushed Jacobson aside. The poor man stuttered and stopped speaking, swallowed and slinked back. A murmur went through the crowd. Some of the people gathered there inched towards the exit.

The alien looked at them with those soulless black eyes that made you feel it looked deep into your soul and found you wanting. His gaze rested briefly on her and a small shock went through her system, as if that gaze was a live wire. Dead silence had fallen over the room and, to Madison, it felt as if the heat had intensified.

He was tall and muscled, much taller than human men, with green and copper striations on his skin that made her think unpleasantly of a reptile, but it also gave him a tough armored look. What would his skin feel like if she touched it? In her dreams it had been warm, rippling with muscles. Madison forced her mind back from those dangerous speculations.

He regarded the humans with black soulless eyes above sharp cheekbones and a jaw so square and exaggerated, he reminded her of a classic batman illustration. A ridge bisected his bald head and stopped just above his nose. His white doctor’s coat appeared incongruous over his silver uniform.

How was it that he looked exactly like the alien in the holograph, and yet she knew she’d be able to tell them apart?

“Ugly bloody bastard,” Madison muttered between clenched teeth and his eyes flicked to her. And again that electrified feeling zapped through her system.

When his gaze left her, it felt as if it left a physical touch on her body. She’d been hot before, now she burned.

She exchanged an uneasy glance with Rachel. How sharp were those recessed ears? Rumor had it they had super human strength. That bullets bounced of them.

“What the hell does he want with us?” she mumbled very, very softly.

His gaze flicked to her again, so brief, if she haven’t been looking at him, she would’ve missed it.

“This hospital is under Zyrgin control.” His fang like incisors flashed white in the artificial lights provided by the bare light bulbs that hung from frayed wires from the ceiling.

His voice sent goose bumps over her whole body. Cold and clipped with an undertone, as if ice cubes were grating against each other. It stroked her nerve ends in a roughened caress and she shivered. She was losing her mind. No way could one of those hated aliens make her feel like this with only his voice. She blamed those dreams that played havoc with her body and made it think it should react with pleasure to the alien’s presence and voice.

“You will address me as Viglar. I rule this hovel you call a hospital. Until further notice, you are taken off medical duty.” He looked around the room, managed to convey his disdain of each and every human present. Madison was sure he looked at her specifically for a few tense seconds.

Loud protests from the crowd.

“Quiet, humans.” He didn’t raise his voice, but silence fell in one chill swoop.

His lip curled back from those wicked incisors. “You will assist with building and painting the new hospital. You will no longer be able to be lazy.”

“Lazy,” Madison exclaimed and his gaze flicked to her very briefly, but still she felt it like a whip mark on her skin.

“And who’s supposed to do any doctoring,” someone in the middle of the crowd called out.

“A limited amount of doctors will be allowed to continue tending to the patients. Your training and knowledge are pitiful. New doctors will be trained to have adequate skills and to replace you.”

“Oh, I don’t think so,” Madison muttered, so angry she barely heard the noise of her colleagues protesting. Who did this alien think he was, to come in here and try and take away her career. She’d worked so hard to get here. To be able to keep her promise to Ana. ‘Help me, Maddie, make the pain go away.

She looked around, still so angry she was dizzy. Everyone talked at once, shouting at the alien, while he stood with his booted feet planted wide apart and his arms crossed over his chest, looking at the humans as if they were slaves beneath his notice.

“Quiet, humans,” the alien said. He didn’t raise his voice, didn’t move or shout, but again quiet descended.

All the humans who’d been shouting at him inched back a little.

His lip curled up a little on the right side of his thin lips, sneering at them? “Medical units will be installed. These units are too advanced for your primitive human brains to understand, but will deal with minor health problems.”

Murmuring broke out again and he silenced it with a look. “All you need to know is that it functions at a higher level than you do and can assist patients faster with more efficiency and knowledge than you are able to do.”

“We demand to continue as doctors. We’ve got contracts.”

The alien seemed to think about it. “I doubt you are capable of acquiring the knowledge needed to function at an acceptable level. Your contracts does not interest me.”

An angry murmur went through the humans, gaining momentum. Madison wanted to storm up to that alien and grab him by the throat and, no doubt, the others felt the same. How dare he belittle their skills like that? Brush off their accomplishments as if all the studying and hard work and sacrifice was nothing?

The alien merely looked at them with that expressionless face.

“What the hell?” Dr. Paulsen, their seasoned doctor muttered.

“We’ve got rights,” a few people shouted.

“Who are you to come in here and tell us what we can and can’t do?”

“Quiet,” the alien repeated in his firm, gravelly voice. Again, he didn’t have to raise his voice. The humans all stilled. Madison had the same reaction, her body freezing in place. It was an involuntary fright reaction. As if her brain recognized being confronted by an animal higher up on the food chain. She’d never hated anyone as much as she hated this alien. She glared at him, not caring if he saw her.

“From now until a new hospital is built, all humans will be required to work longer hours. Laziness will not be tolerated,” he said in a grating firm voice.

“Like we’re just sitting around doing nothing,” Rachel murmured.

“Lazier than cut strings, that’s us,” Madison said. “I’m fixin to wash his mouth out with soap.”

“Shhh,” Rachel whispered without moving her lips.

“Your shameful habit of taking long breaks will not be tolerated,” he said it as if taking a break is akin to murder.

“I thought we’re not good enough to be doctors. Why would we stick around and do your building for you?” Clarkson shouted from somewhere in the front.

“Yeah, as if we actually have time for breaks now.” Even while she quietly whispered to Rachel, Madison worried.

That green alien looked pretty determined to her, and she was afraid he was going to destroy her lifelong ambition to become a doctor. She could return to Alabama and set up a practice in the small town close to her parents and brother’s house. Doctors were scarce. But she had so much more to learn. She needed to know everything, to make sure she could help all the patients coming to her.

He stopped speaking for a long tense moment, his eyes on Madison. How sensitive are those recessed alien ears of his? she wondered again.

Another murmur went through the humans. The alien continued to speak. “You will complete a ten hour shift on building duty and then do a further four hour shift when necessary.” His glance seared Madison. “Your weak human females will have painting duties.”

At the front, Clarkson elbowed his way toward the alien. Although unions had disbanded ten years ago, he liked to call himself the union representative. Madison thought he’d earned the title, going toe to toe with Jacobson almost every day.

“Now he’s done it,” Rachel murmured.

“Yeah, world war four is upon us,” Madison agreed. She didn’t appreciate being called a weak female, but Clarkson was about to go through the roof.

One of the new interns, Clarkson had started protesting working hours and working conditions the moment he walked into the hospital. While the alien talked, Madison had noticed Clarkson getting redder in the face.

Rachel and Madison both refused to take part in the sit ins he organized to protest their sixty-hour work week. Madison, who routinely put in eighty-hour work weeks, couldn’t justify leaving her patients unattended. She also knew there was no money in the budget to appoint more doctors. Rachel always kept a low profile and managed to avoid angering Jacobson or Clarkson. Madison and Clarkson frequently had trouble with their paychecks because they never backed down when dealing with Jacobson. Problems Rachel never experienced.

Madison might not do sit ins and demand shorter work weeks, but her mouth frequently got her into trouble with Jacobson.

“I won’t be used for slave labor,” Clarkson said. He took a step forward. “We have rights, and you cannot come in here and lay down arbitrary rules without consulting with us first.”

Everyone gasped and a hush fell over the room. A few people inched toward the exit, but froze in place when a chill alien gaze pinned them.

“You have to admire his moxy,” Madison murmured. She wasn’t going to allow this alien to dictate to her, but she didn’t have the guts to face him down in front of everybody.

Rachel nodded her agreement.

Madison cringed when that empty looking gaze went to Clarkson. That was what his eyes reminded her of. A huge black hole that sucked in everything that came too close. A place where nothing survived, not even stars.

The alien moved so fast he was a blur. One moment he stood against the wall and the next, he grabbed Clarkson by the throat, lifting him off his feet. “You will work when I tell you to, human. I will not tolerate laziness or disrespect.”

His calm gravelly voice again sent shivers to places Madison didn’t want affected by that alien. Especially not while he held Clarkson like a rag doll.

Clarkson was red and turning purple. “I have rights,” he gurgled through the pressure on his throat.

Madison had to give him points for courage, or stupidity. She balled her fists. Everyone was scared, including her, but she couldn’t stand by and allow that cold-blooded reptile to kill Clarkson. She wasn’t a fan of Clarkson, but he didn’t deserve that for speaking out.

Holding Clarkson up with one hand, the alien turned him from side to side, inspecting him like a specimen under a microscope. The scary part was the fact that Clarkson’s feet were a few inches off the ground. The alien moved him easily, as if he weighed no more than a doll.

Madison was about to rush forward when the alien dropped Clarkson, who fell on the floor with a sickening thud, where he writhed, coughing and wheezing.

The green freak returned to his previous spot against the wall. With that attitude, it was a wise precaution. He was sure to get stabbed if he allowed anyone at his back. She’d like to storm up there and stab him in his putrid green heart with a scalpel. Did he help slaughter humans at the Battle of No Name Town, or did he only heal the wounded murdering alien scum? Every time she saw those clips showing their savagery, Madison thought of Rory maybe dying at their hands. Alone, without his family.

The alien continued as if Clarkson wasn’t wheezing for breath at his feet. “Jacobson will allocate new duties.” He turned his head, making eye contact with everyone. “Laziness will be dealt with. You are dismissed.” He moved back a step and then disappeared.

Everyone gasped and deadly silence descended on the room for a few minutes. Then Clarkson dragged himself up, and, as if that broke the spell, everyone started talking and shouting together, demanding to know what was going on.

Madison and Rachel cued with the others in a long line in front of Jacobson, who managed to stand on something that made him stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

“Vain bugger,” Rachel muttered.

“Bet you he gives me the worst tasks,” Madison mumbled. Her mind still on the fact that the aliens planned to train new doctors and get rid of her and her colleagues. “Though he’s a picnic compared to that alien horror we have to put up with.”

She didn’t know if she was angry or afraid, but her insides trembled and every now and then she’d feel dizzy with the need to go and grab that alien by the throat.

They stood in silence for a while, but Madison couldn’t keep her resentment in. She’d never have Rachel’s ability to hide her feelings.

“He basically told us we’re too stupid to be doctors.” How dare he judge them without even knowing them? She worked eighty hour weeks most times and he had the gall to tell them laziness will not be tolerated.

“Who, Jacobson?” Rachel said with a frown.

“No, that blasted alien.”

Whispers went through the queue in front of them, and they stood on their toes trying to see what was happening. Three interns who joined the hospital recently were informed that they would be kept on medical duty. Madison was livid. “I worked the longest hours. I’m the one that should be kept on medical duty.”

A long time later, they reached the front of the queue and stood before Jacobson who barely looked at Madison. Sandra, an intern stood next to him with a TC held against her ample chest, helping him. It was rumored that she and Jacobson had an affair, though Madison couldn’t imagine having a relationship with him. To each his own. Sandra’s nasty little remarks to Madison had intensified these last few weeks and that did bother her.

Madison was assigned to emptying store rooms in preparation for the changes to be made to the building. Afterward, she had to join the painting crews to paint the areas that would not be rebuilt.

That was the start of a grueling six hours being worked like a slave. Madison was so tired that night when she got home, she fell into bed without eating. Every bone in her body ached, and she cursed that alien freak. She’d studied medicine because she wanted to save lives. She didn’t mind carrying bricks and emptying the storeroom. But what if the building took years? She needed to qualify, to learn. She was so close to keeping her promise to Ana. That alien wouldn’t stop her.

Two weeks later, they were all called to assemble outside at the back of the hospital. She and Rachel, still in their paint spattered over coats, trudged in the wake of the others.

“Now what did that alien come up with to torture us,” Madison muttered.

“Shhh, he might hear you, he can turn invisible. For all we know he could be standing right next to us,” Rachel said softly.

“I hope he’s close to us, he needs to hear a few things about himself that might improve his attitude.”

They entered into the bright spring morning air to find three men and a woman with their hands tied behind their backs. They stood with their chins raised, their eyes blazing. The first day Madison started at the hospital one of the other interns had told her never to mess with any of the three, who had some nasty connections.

“Now what does that alien think he’s doing?” Rachel muttered.

“They’re the three running the drugs out of the hospital. Daniel is a nasty piece of work. I try to stay out of his way,” Madison said.

The few times she’d had to go to him to get drugs for a patient, the way he’d looked at her had made her want to take a bath.

“If it’s the alien that tied them up, I wouldn’t be so defiant,” Rachel said.

They’d all developed a healthy respect for the alien. He didn’t hesitate to physically enforce his commands. And that was what they were, commands. He didn’t ask or instruct, and Madison didn’t have to guess who tied the hands of the two men and one woman in front of her. Everyone knew they belonged to the medical Mafia and ran drugs out of the hospital and they were all too scared to take them on. Only one being wouldn’t hesitate.

“Yeah, I doubt the aliens are scared of any human mafia.” Madison despised those three, but was careful never to show it. They had killed and maimed family members of doctors who tried to take get them kicked out of the hospital.

Viglar appeared in that way they hadn’t been able to figure out. One moment he wasn’t there and the next he was. He paced in front of the three drug smugglers and addressed the crowd. “Humans have no honor. Stealing from the sick and injured is the act of a woumber and a coward. Stealing drugs in this hospital will not be tolerated.”

“What’s a woumb—what the hell?”

A sword appeared in his hand as if by magic.

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Alien Resistance.


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Sandra Tilley, Author of The Ghost and Mrs. Miller

Give a warm welcome to Sandra Tilley, author of  The Ghost & Mrs. Miller!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler or there’s a pitcher of fresh lemonade on the counter.  Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie  are on the plate beside the pitcher. So let’s find out a little about Sandra and her guests, Eli Anderson and Libby Carlisle Miller of The Ghost and Mrs. Miller.

Eli, how about you go first? Tells us about the real you.     What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you?

Freshman year at the University of Alabama, tore my ACL in a freak accident playing flag football with a bunch of sorority girls. Lost my scholarship and my dreams of the NFL. Thought that was life-changing. Until I had to identify my best friend’s body. Changes your perspective on everything.

What do you most value?

Family.

What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?

That’s easy. I knew in kindergarten Libby Carlisle was the only girl for me. But she ended up marrying my best friend.

What do you consider most important in life?

I’d have to say honor. If you don’t stand for something, what’s your point? If I tell you I got your back, you don’t need to turn around and look.

What is your biggest secret?

Never told. Never will.

Awww…. you’re no fun!  Well, Libby, you’re next. Who are you really?

Are you talking yesterday or five minutes ago? Thought I knew who I was–until Neil betrayed me.

Who were the biggest role models in your life?

My mom and dad. Mom could be a little overwhelming at times. Of course with three daughters, I totally get it. But Dad could jump into the middle of a three-ring sister argument, start his clowning around and make us all laugh. We knew the clown had another side, though. If Mom needed backup, he was strong, too.

What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with?  

Do I have to choose right now?  Neil and I married right out of high school, and I literally went from living with my mom and dad to living with my husband. Now that he’s gone, I want to be in charge of myself for a while.

What kind of man would you never choose? 

Never choose a bully.

What is most important to you in life?

My children.

What is your biggest fear?

Neil finding out that I lied.

LIbby and Eli, thank you so much for being here!

Sandra, just a couple more questions. Tell us a little about writing this story.  Was it fun or difficult?  Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?

I’m basically a plotter, but I do love it when the characters take over. This story began as four short stories; and after eights year and seven name changes, it became The Ghost and Mrs. Miller.

Wow, those are a lot of changes.

Sandra, Wwat is The Ghost and Mrs. Miller all about?

Libby Miller is a good Southern girl, and good Southern girls know the rules. But Libby forgot about fate. And fate has no rules.  On Libby’s nineteenth wedding anniversary, she catches Neil cheating with his assistant; and fate whips up a tornado of turmoil. But the storm’s not over until the karmic gods have finished playing and Neil’s flipped his BMW and his ghost is swinging from the chandelier. How is Libby supposed to grieve and raise their teenage children with Neil’s ever-present, meddling ethereal presence? She wants to move on with her life, if only Neil will transition to where ever it is he needs to go. And adding to the karmic soup are two men from Libby’s past–both of whom want a second chance.

Can we have a peek between the pages?

“I was your high school sweetheart and husband for nineteen years. I’ve only been dead for two months. Why aren’t you despondent with grief? Or at least sad?”

The weight of his words pressed down, pinning my eyes to the ground. I felt his eyes digging into my skull, but I couldn’t lift my head to meet his accusation. I removed a flip-flop and swatted at a line of ants traveling inside the groove of grout between the stones. “The therapist says we handle grief in our own way.” I turned my head to the side. “How can I be sad if you’re still here?”

You can find The Ghost and Mrs. Miller at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Wow.  A little more about Sandra:

She grew up in a small town near Birmingham, Alabama, where friends always entered through the back door and where everyone spoke the same language—Southern. After a successful teaching career, she packed up her pearls and headed toward her inspiration: the sugar-white beaches of Orange Beach, Alabama, on the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Follow Sandra on Facebook at Sandra Fetner Tilley-Author and on Twitter @SandyFTilley. Or stop by her web page at http://www.sandratilley.com/

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with The Ghost and Mrs. Miller.


Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged , , , , by with 26 comments.

Anthology: All In For Love

Give a warm welcome to the six talented authors  Sharon Buchbinder,  Lashanta Charles, Keta Diablo, Kat Henry Doran,  Margo Hoornstra, M.J. Schiller  of An Anthology: All In For Love!  Happy Release Day Ladies!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about All In For Love:Anthology.

Six award-winning authors bring you six *sweet to sensual* romances filled with suspense, thrills and maybe even a ghost or two—for less than the price of a cup of coffee—99 cents!

Welcome to La Bonne Chance Resort & Casino! What happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always sayt at La Bonne Chance. Are you ready to roll the dice?

With thousands of people passing through the casino’s doors on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that a variety of lives and loves are on the line there. It’s said that you’re more likely to lose your heart at La Bonne Chance than a hand of poker. Whether you are the Director of Casino Operations or the guy who created its software, a jilted bride or a black jack dealer, a past guest’s ghost or a sous chef–when it comes to love, the stakes are high.

Thank goodness what happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance….

Ready to roll the dice?

An Inn Decent Proposal, Sharon Buchbinder
Can an hotelier with a past and a chef with a future revive the grand dame in a neglected old inn?

Perfect Odds, Lashanta Charles
When a jilted bride meets the man of her dreams, will she embrace the new plan, or cling stubbornly to the old one?

A Ghost To Die For, Keta Diablo
She didn’t believe in ghosts…until one showed up in her room.

Raising Kane, Kat Henry Doran
Funny how a night in jail will change a woman’s outlook on life.

For Money Or Love, Margo Hoornstra
She’s the one woman he can’t afford to lose.

Take A Chance On Me, M.J. Schiller
Who do you count on when the chips are down?

Giveaway

To add to the fun, we are giving away one gambling themed handmade item to ONE lucky commenter who will be selected by a Random Number Generator.

Links

Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071V94BWM

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/allinforloveanthology/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35052000-all-in-for-love

How about a sneak peek between the pages of All In for Love: A Lucky 7 Anthology and a few Author Fun Facts

Excerpt from An Inn Decent Proposal by Sharon Buchbinder

After the hotel auction, a stunned Jim Rawlings and excited Genie King go to Sips, a local coffee house. Overwhelmed with self-doubts verging on buyer’s remorse, Jim begins to question his sanity. Genie, on the other hand, is bursting with enthusiasm and ideas…

“Why did you want this place?”

“The old girl called to me, begged me to save her.” He gave Genie a wistful smile. “Do I sound crazy?”

“You call the Inn ‘she,’ too?”

“Yes, she’s like a grand old dame who’s fallen on hard times.  Remember the parties? The famous people who stayed and played there? Celebrities came to the Inn because they knew their privacy and secrets were safe with us. If those walls could talk!  Every day was new and exciting. I would love to bring back her glory days.”

Genie leaped up, ran around the table and hugged him. “I have the same dream. We can do it.”

He hesitated for a moment, then returned the gesture, his hands unable to resist lingering on her luscious curves just a tad too long. Genie’s inviting cleavage made him wish they were somewhere private. He could scarcely breathe and had to shake his head to dispel naughty images of nuzzling her soft breasts. “We can do what?”

She sat down again, but clung to his hands. “I’ve done the research. The Inn should be in the National Park Service Historic Registry—but it isn’t. If we can get her added to the Registry, there are laws and standards about how we make the rehabilitation. We can bring it up to modern codes, but have to use certain treatments—”

“I hate to burst your bubble, but where will we get the money to do all this?” He wasn’t sure he could afford too many more big gambles like this last one.

Her face flushed and her sapphire blue eyes sparkled. “If we can get her added to the Registry, we’ll qualify for special low interest loans. And for a major tax credit. And we have a million dollars in equity.”

“Pretty, smart—and you say you can cook? If you can do all that, you are a genie.”

She released his hands, pulled her shoulders back, and inadvertently gave him a better glimpse of her bosom. Genie gave him a scalding look. “Are you challenging my cooking, Mr. Rawlings?”

Uh-oh. He never dreamed of Genie having a little temper. He couldn’t resist tweaking her. “I’m sure you’re a solid cook.”

She stood, almost knocking her chair over. “Solid? What the hell does that mean? Average? Good enough to make the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner for the family—but not good enough to cook for guests? Tell you what, Mr. Critic, you come to my house for dinner tomorrow night.” She scribbled her address on a business card and threw it on the table. “My food makes men go weak at the knees.”

Hypnotized by the sway of her voluptuous ass as she stalked out of the nearly empty café, Jim bet it wasn’t just this saucy woman’s cooking that made strong men weak.

About Sharon Buchbinder

Sharon Buchbinder and her husband used to breed and show Egyptian Maus and Color Point Persians (formerly called Himalayans). If you’ve ever seen the mockumentary, Best in Show, you have an idea of what life was like 24 out of 52 weekends a year for this wild and crazy couple. When Sharon returned to school for her PhD in 1986, she decided a doctoral program plus a toddler plus a full time job was more than enough and they placed all their cats in good homes—including their own.

* * *

Excerpt from Perfect Odds by Lashanta Charles

Callista is meeting her fiancé at the airport so they can fly out to N.Y. where they’re supposed to get married, but it seems plans have been changed without her knowledge.
“James? Where are you? They’re boarding everyone now,” I say when I answer.

“I’m not coming,” he says.

I pause in making my way to the attendant station. Surely I heard him wrong.

“Hang on a sec, let me ask them how long we have before they can no longer wait. If you’re here already it shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll just need to hurry. Like, sprint through the airport or maybe get one of those guys on the carts to give you a ride somehow.”

The attendant smiles at me and holds her hand out for my boarding pass. I move to give it to her, but hear James speaking again.

“Cali, you’re not listening. I’m not there. I’m not coming,” he says.

Pulling my boarding pass away from the attendant, I force a smile and step away for privacy. “What are you talking about, James? I’m here waiting for you.” As if he doesn’t know that. He helped me load our luggage into the car before I left this morning. Is this some sick joke he’s pulling right now?

“I’m not coming, Cali,” James repeats for the third time.

I stare numbly at the ‘now boarding’ screen above the attendant. I heard him the first two times. It makes as much sense now as it did then – none.

“I don’t understand. You can’t not come. I can see if they’ll schedule us for a different flight. I’m sure it’s not too late. We’re getting there early enough that one day won’t really matter,” I tell him.

He lets out an exasperated sigh. He’s annoyed? We’re two weeks away from our wedding and I’m at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, sans fiancé. I battled an hour and a half of traffic to get here and get us both checked in two hours early, lugged all our suitcases – overweight, I might add – only for him to call when it’s time to board the flight to New York and tell me he’s not coming, yet, he’s the one who’s annoyed?

“I don’t know what else to say, Cali. I’m trying to do right by you here. We both knew this wouldn’t end well.”

I splutter. Try as I might, I can no longer get the words to flow from my mouth to have this conversation. We didn’t know anything of the sort. Do right by me? How is standing me up for our wedding doing right by me? I didn’t ask to marry myself. I didn’t insist on us having a short engagement or me moving in with him. I definitely didn’t count on any of this.

About Lashanta Charles

So I don’t really have anything too witty, but I have a 6-year-old with a sharp tongue. One of the things I always tell my kids is that mommy and daddy knows everything. So one day I’m taking my daughter to the store to buy toys with her birthday money. This is how the conversation went:
Her: So, who gave me this birthday money?

Me: Poppy (Grandad)

Her: Oh, I really miss Poppy. I want to go see him.

Me: Well, you have to wait until this summer, when you’re out of school.

Her: Why?

Me: Because you have to learn things in school and if you miss a day, you’ll miss what you need to learn and then you won’t know everything.

Her: Ohhhhh, you mean like you and daddy don’t really know everything even though you say you do?

Me: *speechless*

 

* * *

Excerpt from A Ghost To Die For by Keta Diablo

Rooney encounters a stranger in her hotel room and soon finds out he’s a ghost!

 

Rooney looked at the man through narrowed eyes. “You weren’t at the séance on stage, so what then, were you in the audience?”

No, I was on stage, but kind of hanging around in the background. He put his hands in the air, palms out. I swear, I won’t hurt you, but I been lurking around this hotel for two months now wondering how I was going to get out of this mess. Then you arrived at La Bonne Chance with your sister, you know, the fabulous Fontaine sisters, the crème-dela-crème of psychics, and my prayers were answered.

She snorted. “I’m not a psychic, mister, so if that’s your angle, you picked the wrong sister.”

No, I picked the right sister. Now if only I can get her to hear me out.

“I don’t want to hear you out; I want you to get the hell out of my hotel room. Like now!” When he didn’t comply, she moved the can of hair spray until it loomed inches from his face. “I’m going to count to three. If you aren’t out of that chair and out that door by then, I’m giving you a face full of hair spray.”

Go ahead. Maybe then you’ll realize what I am and listen.

“You asked for it.” She held the nozzle down and let him have it right between the eyes. He didn’t move a muscle, didn’t react at all. Much to her dismay, she didn’t even have the satisfaction of seeing him blink. The drizzle and aroma of hair spray hung heavy in the air but didn’t seem to bother him nearly as much as it did her. Through a series of chokes and chortles she managed to eke out the words. “What are you, some kind of weirdo with inhuman defenses?”

A ghost.

“What!”

You asked me what I am and I’m telling you. I’m a ghost.

Eyes wide, voice in shriek mode, she fell onto the edge of the bed and glared at him. “You can’t be a ghost. I don’t believe in ghosts!”

Understandable. Neither did I until I became one.

She reached out and touched his arm, more to prove him wrong than anything else. A startled scream escaped when her fingers danced through vacant air. Coming to her feet, she paced a small area beside the bed. “This can’t be happening. It isn’t possible.”

That’s exactly what I said when they pushed me off the balcony and I wound up in this state.

She resumed her prior position on the bed. “Someone pushed you off a balcony?”

More like tossed me over, right here at the La Bonne Chance Casino, seventh floor, two months ago.

“Two months ago? You’ve been wandering around here for two months?”

He released an exasperated sigh. I thought you might be a good listener, but I’ve said that twice now. Two months ago I died, and yes I’ve been hanging out here, twiddling my thumbs and trying to figure out what to do next.

“You can’t leave the hotel?”

Not yet, anyway. I’m working on it, but you have no idea how much energy it takes just to project my voice. No one else has been able to hear me, or see me, until you, Rooney, and now I seem to be experiencing a renewed sense of energy.

“Stop saying my name as if we’re besties.”

Well, after that séance and the conversation you had with Violet about your little sister, Vanessa, I kind of feel as if we are.

 

About Keta Diablo

Keta once dressed up as old man on Halloween and picked up her 9th grader at school in costume! Needless to say, he wasn’t pleased. In fact, he refused to get in the car. She followed him out of the parking lot and down the street for two blocks before he’d even look at her. Yes, he finally got in, but didn’t appreciate her humor…at all. Update: He’s in college now and says the “old man” incident is now one of his fondest childhood memories.

* * *

Excerpt from Raising Kane by Kat Henry Doran

Lt. Kieran Pollack signs in to work and comes up against the woman of his dreams: Mallory Kane, ace investigative reporter. Unfortunately she’s just spent the night in jail and is in no mood to speak with anyone–particularly a cop.

Anything I need to know before I head upstairs, Sarge?”

“It’s all there.” The night duty man passed him the report from the previous platoon. “The usual pugs, thugs and mugs threw themselves a circus down at The Dirty Dawg last night.”

Kieran scrawled his name on the sign-in roster. “Again? Somebody ought to look into closing down that pest hole.”

“I bet the Mayor is thinkin’ along those same lines. With the Chief on vacation and the Deputy Chief at a meeting out of town, as PIO it’s your job to handle the fallout. Lucky man.”

Fall-out? “What are you talking about?”

A woman with mile-long legs and hair the color of roasting chestnuts strode past the desk, heading in the direction of the revolving door.

“Overnight guest,” the sergeant advised under his breath. “TV Reporter. I was you, I’d head that one off at the pass.”

In addition to a talent for scoping out shapely legs, Kieran possessed the good sense to act on sound advice. After shooting both cuffs and ensuring his tie hung straight, he glided up beside the woman. “Excuse me, miss?”

She stopped, threw back her shoulders, then turned. “Yes?”

In the shimmer of an early morning sun he saw a nasty bruise blossoming across one cheekbone and winced. “Does that hurt as bad as it looks?”

“Who are you and what do you want?”

She possessed a voice designed to make a man think of hot nights and cool sheets. Extending a hand, he launched into his usual PIO song and dance. “Kieran Pollack, Public Information Officer for the Victory PD. What’s a pretty thing such as yourself doing in a joint like this?”

The screech of tires on the street outside obscured any response she might have made. Panel vans bearing the logos of the local TV affiliates disgorged reporters and camera-persons who wasted no time in storming the doors to the Public Safety Building.

Kieran attempted to head her off at the pass with a fast two-step and a faster line of bull. “Look, can you help out this hard working public servant?”

She raised one hand to shield her injured cheek. “Not without my attorney.”

“Aw, now. Why do you want to go and do something like that? We don’t need no lousy lawyers to make things right, do we?”

“I believe it’s somewhere in the Bill of Rights,” she murmured, eluding his out-stretched hand with a fast step to the left.

“Please. Hear me out,” he pressed, one eye on the camera-persons now jockeying for position just inside the doors. “I can make this all disappear―if we could go someplace to talk. It would be to your advantage, I promise.”

A spark flared in those dull, pain-filled eyes. “I’d sooner walk barefoot through a nest of pit vipers than spend one second alone with any member of the Victory Police Department.”

 

About Kat Doran

There was the time I played private duty nurse for my uncle, after he underwent a resection of an aortic aneurysm. Very scary for a number of different reasons. It became my job to ensure Father Joe got sufficient rest which boiled down to playing traffic cop and time-keeper on visitors. On one afternoon, I could see Joe was fatigued and needed a nap. As I rounded up the crowd to send them out the door, one smirked at me. “Who’s Nurse Ratched, Joe?” he asked.

I said, “Who are you, the Pope?”

He said, “Close to it, honey. I’m the Bishop.”

Aw geez.

 

* * *

 

Excerpt from For Money or Love by Margo Hoornstra

Lindsey Carr’s two best friends, Rita and Anne, discuss exactly why she and her mega-millionaire boss, Daniel Montgomery, are no longer romantically involved.
Shooting Lindsey a quickly manufactured smile, she turned her full attention to the eye candy. “No doubt about it. Those are bedroom eyes.” She trailed her fingertips over Daniel’s forehead, down his cheek and onto the outline of his lips.

Lindsey brought both hands to her lap under the table, locked her fingers together and squeezed. It was a four-page spread in Today’s Tech magazine. The picture of Daniel’s forehead, cheek and lips.

An important distinction to remember. If that had been her boss in the flesh he’d be blushing beet red from all the fluttery female attention. Daniel Montgomery was different than most other powerful millionaires. Those she’d heard about anyway. Certainly drop dead gorgeous as had been established. With a mile wide shy streak not many people knew about or even suspected. Hands still clasped, Lindsey leaned away from the display.

Anne slid her glass aside and moved up to fill the void, her critical gaze focused on Daniel’s picture. “I’m never sure what the term ‘bedroom eyes’ means.”

“Not droopy or sleepy.” Rita didn’t bother to look up. “Sexy. There’s no other word for it. Well, maybe erotic would fit. I must say, Lindsey. It amazes me you can work side by side with this man day in and day out and manage to keep your hands to yourself.”

“It’s easy.” She murmured the blatant lie. Very easy. He does the same and then some.

“You and this marvelous specimen.” Rita waited until Lindsey glanced up then met her eye to eye. “As a couple, are old news, right? That’s what you’ve said.”

“Absolutely.” Purposely lowering her voice, she mentally counted to five before she spoke again. “We did the dating thing for a while.” She shrugged one shoulder for effect. “It didn’t work for us.”

Lindsey took a small gulp of wine to avoid having to share more, and was relieved when Rita and Anne went back to hunk browsing. Trying her best to ignore the fact it was Daniel’s hunk they browsed, she gave up to give into her own thoughts about the man.  Bowing to a mutual attraction that became evident soon after they met, Lindsey and Daniel dated for a time. A very short time, consisting of a few casual dinners, a couple of movies.  That one night in….

“Why didn’t it work for you exactly?”

Unsure who asked the question, Lindsey looked up then blinked. “It just didn’t.” She slowly let out a breath. “I don’t think of Daniel Montgomery in that way.” Much anymore.

“Then why are you blushing?” Her sharp gaze unrelenting, Rita leaned considered her from across the table. “Care to share?”

I’ll have no peace around here until I do. Taking her time to indulge in another sip, she completed a long, slow swallow then licked her lips.

 

About Margo Hoornstra

Becoming a coffee connoisseur wasn’t an instant fall head over heels event for Margo Hoornstra. Initial cups were loaded with milk and sugar. When the children arrived, two AM feedings coupled with six AM risings for work necessitated more indispensable caffeine. Flavored, iced, lattes and such, a true coffee aficionado, she covets them all.

 

* * *

Excerpt from Take A Chance On Me by M.J. Schiller

After chasing leads at the station, Cash returns to his home where his partner, Ian, is supposed to be watching over the murder witness, Harper…

 

Cash slowly pulled his keys out of the door, examining the pair. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing. Right, Ian?”

Ian nodded loosely. “Nothing. Like she said.”

Cash closed the door and set his keys on the end table. “Uh-huh.” He stuck his hands in his pockets. “What’s behind your back?”

Ian shot a glance at Harper. “You’re on your own.” He ducked into the kitchen.

“Coward,” she mumbled out of the side of her mouth.

Cash moved forward, and she took a step back. He lunged, catching her, and causing her to scream. He wrestled the bottle from her hand and brought it out where he could see it. Ian ran in, his concerned gaze darting to Harper. He stopped and put a hand over his heart, leaning against the side of the archway between the two rooms.

“Hmm.” Cash took a step back, tilting the bottle. He fought the smile tugging on his lips. “Is this my Jäger?”

Ian and Harper looked at each other with open mouths, but neither spoke.

Cash ambled over to the coffee table and clinked the bottle against the shot glasses as he set it down. “So—and correct me if I’m wrong—it looks like, while I’ve been out working my ass off, the two of you were busy getting snockered.”

“Oh, no.” Harper shook her head. “We were working hard, right, Ian?”

Ian made an attempt to stand straight, but swayed comically. “We were working hard.” He nodded, but turned to Harper. “What were we working hard at again?”

“Looking at the mug shots.”

“Oh. Yeah. That’s right. We were looking at the mug shots.” He faced Cash. “And doing shots.”

“Sh-sh-sh. It’s a secret.” Harper laughed.

Ian chuckled along with her. “Oh, yeah.”

Cash put his hands on his hips. “Well, I hate to tell you, friends, but the cat’s out of the bag now.”

“Cat? What cat?” Harper laughed, seeming to be slightly more sober than her partner in crime, his partner.

“He has a cat?” Ian seemed genuinely confused, looking around for the feline. “You never told me you had a cat.”

Harper sputtered and broke into laughter again.

Cash sat, hiding his chuckle. She was so damned cute. He put his feet on the coffee table, spreading his arms out along the top of the couch. “Whose idea was this anyhow?”

They pointed at each other.

“It was mine?” Harper asked. Ian nodded. “Oh. It was mine.” She smiled and didn’t appear to try to hide her pride.

Cash shook his head, staring at them for a moment. He stood and pulled out his phone. “Okay, Ian. I’m calling you an Uber.” He punched some buttons. “Chrissy’s gonna kick your butt. And the next time she sees me, she’s gonna kick my butt.” He looked at his screen. “Two minutes away.” He came over and put his arm around Ian, steering him to the door.

“I’m leaving?”

Cash grabbed his jacket off a recliner. “Yes, you are. Maybe the night air will sober you up some.”

“I doubt it.”

Cash laughed. “I doubt it, too. And you, little missie—” he swung around to point to her.

She looked about, then put a finger on her chest and mouthed “Me?”

“Yes, you. Don’t think you’re off the hook. I’ll deal with you when I get back.”

About M.J. Schiller

One day–when M.J.’s triplets were about two, and her eldest four–she was doing laundry and matching up the socks, one of her least favorite chores. She lined them up all along her arms as she hunted for their mates. After a bit of fruitless searching, she glanced at the time and realized she needed to hustle to be on time for a prayer service she was attending at her church.

She made it in time, her four children in tow, and removed her coat before kneeling to say a prayer. An half hour later, as she piously prayed along with the congregation, her eldest asked, “Mommy, why do you have a sock on your shoulder?” She had missed removing one of her husband’s long, mateless gym socks!

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime.  Wishing you all the best with All In For Love!


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