Throwback Thursday: The Opinicon, the Grande Dame of the Rideau Great Once More

I’m back! Life has been busy as I scramble to finish one project and start new ones. In the midst of all this, I decided to take my husband to one of his old haunts as my anniversary present to him. Never did I expect mid-September to be hotter and sunnier than summer. The bonus? The setting is the inspiration for my new book, Same Time Next Year, which you can follow here on my blog each Tuesday as part of Tuesday Tales.

lockThe Opinicon Resort and Dining is a resort at Chaffe’s Lock, Lock number 37 of the 45 locks that make up the Rideau Canal. The resort is more than a hundred years old and strated out as a fishing retreat for men. If you want more information about the canal itself, follow this link. http://rideau-info.com/canal/locks/index.html For more on the resort or to book a visit your self, https://www.opinicon.com/

Back in July, when John and I heard that the resort had been bought and reopened, we drove to Elgin to see what changes had been made. For John, it was a trip down memory lane since his family had owned a cottage on Indian Lake when he was just a kid, and he had fond memories of the place with its friendly owners and staff. He would take his boat or his bike down there to get groceries for his mother and maybe an ice cream treat or a soda for himself.

Twenty years ago, he decided we should stay there and rented a cottage for our anniversary weekend. It was a perfect place for romance–just the two of us, no television, no friends, family, or phone calls, just time to reconnect and remember why we’re still together. Once I saw the renovated resort, I decided it was this year’s perfect gift.  While the cabins are still television free zones, there’s WI-Fi, so we were able to connect with others and keep up with the news, but all in all, the place is a romantic retreat.

At first glance, the outside of the resort looks the same, but the critical eye will notice all of the new patios and other upgrades, like new boards replacing those that were weak and a fresh paint job. The flower gardens were lush and well maintained, too, and the air is fresh and clean. You feel rejuvenated instantly.

Room 1 (2)We arrived around 3:00 pm, but unlike in the old days where check-in was in the annex, we parked the car and followed the sidewalk to the veranda steps and opened the iconic, red door.

check-inThis is a returning guest’s first look at how the main building has been repurposed. Gone is the narrow hallway leading to tiny rooms on the main level. The impressive dining room is on the right and directly in front is the new modern check-in counter, manned by friendly, helpful staff. A curved staircase leads  to a bar upstairs where you can play pool, chess, or even table top video games. If you prefer, you can sit, read the paper, or look out over the grounds and the lake, an area that will no doubt be popular next year when the new pool and cabana project is complete. Another reason to climb the staircase might be to attend a private function in the large party room people can rent. The facility seems to be a well-used wedding venue. Ezra

To the left of the desk is another surprise. Where the rooms used to be are beautiful, modern washrooms and double doors leading leading to  a gorgeous, well-stocked pub.

We spent a portion of both days we were there at the pub. While all of the staff were accommodating, Ezra, the server who most often saw to our needs, was fantastic. He talks about the resort and the plans the new owner has for it with an enthusiasm that’s contagious. In this picture, he’s the one on the right, working diligently to make my wine spritzer, incidentally, one of the best I’ve ever had.

The pub is the only place where you can watch television, so after dinner Monday night, guess who watched football? Giants lost.

The pub serves meals both when the dining room is open and when it’s closed. You can eat inside or out on the veranda. On Sunday we sat on the veranda, but Monday, when the mercury topped 30 degrees Celsius, we opted for the air conditioned comfort inside.

After checking in, we drove over to our cabin, BEECH. It’s located next to the modern children’s play area, complete with a mini zip line, and while there were a few kids there early on, by five, they were gone.

 

Parking isn’t an issue since there is specific parking for each cabin. Ours was right in front. We climbed the veranda steps and opened the door to out short-term little slice of heaven. The two-room cabin, one of them a spacious modern bathroom, was an open-concept room. There were six windows for natural light. To the right, a massive king-size bed, with bright and immaculate linen awaited us. The larger part of the room held an electric fireplace, which we did use when the temperature dropped in the evenings, two cozy chairs, and a leather couch that doubles as a pullout bed should the need arise. On the far wall, that piece of furniture with the green doors contains a mini fridge. On the top of it sits a new single-serve coffee maker, and they supply the coffee and cream.

Our first order of business after settling in was to take a walk around the property. We stopped at the marina to enquire about renting a motorboat for the following day and trekked through the woods. Along the path, clearly marked to keep guests safe, we found 2 decks where you can sit and admire the beauty of the lake as well as what could be a stage for plays or a gorgeous spot for a back to nature wedding.

After our walk, we adjourned to our deck for a drink before dinner. Isn’t my hubby a cutie? The dining room is divided into three areas, two porches where you can see outside during the day, and a central area. Since John and I like to dine late, we had an 8:00 pm seating. By then most of the early diners were gone. There is something about crisp, clean, white linen that denotes class, and all of the meals we had there were excellent. Prices were more than competitive and the quality and service superb.

The following day, after the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages, we enjoyed another stunning, surprisingly hot mid-September day. Following breakfast, we rented one of the resort’s motorboats, no speed demons here, and went through the lock to spend an enjoyable five hours riding around Indian Lake, Clear Lake, and Newboro Lake. When we came back through the lock, we drove around Lake Opinicon to Davis Lock and back again. A wonderful day. Here and there, signs of fall could be seen in amongst the greenery. We were lucky enough to see a heron catch a fish when we stopped at the Newboro lock to stretch our legs.

If you are looking for someplace to go and you’re in the area, I highly recommend the Opinicon. If you can stay for a few days, it’s the perfect place to rejuvenate and rest. The restaurant is open to diners from everywhere, but make sure you make a reservation especially on the weekends. While the resort is seasonal, there are plans afoot to keep the dining room and pub open as long as they can.  Guests get a 15% discount on anything purchased at the resort including, meals, drinks, ice cream and even the boat rental. Do check out the resort for yourself. We loved it and plan to return. When I signed the guest book, I scanned the entry above mine. Like Twyla, the heroine in my new book, that person had returned fifty years later. How cool was that?

To the new owners, congratulations on polishing a gem to perfection. Best wishes for continued success and we look forward to visiting again and seeing what new marvels you create for the Grande Dame of the Rideau Canal. This is without a doubt a five-star resort!

 

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Midweek Tease: A Taste of Something Yet to Come.

New midweek tease imageWelcome to this week’s midweek tease brought to you courtesy of Angelica Dawson. Each week a group of talented authors allow me to join them in posting a section from a book–be it published or a work in progress. This week, I decided to share a scene from my current w-i-p. Most of you are familiar with my work as a suspense/thriller writer. This week, I’m going to show you another side of my abilities.

Amidst all the chaos in the world right now, I’m hoping this scene will make you snicker. Wedding Bell Blues is set primarily in the Caribbean, not near where Irma has wrought such destruction, but on an imaginary island off the coast of Martinique, which I’ve named Paradise Island.

The premise:

What happens when the fiance turns out to be a lying, cheating bastard, and the bride decides to go on the honeymoon by herself, intent on getting something out of the debacle, only to discover the jerk canceled her reservation, forcing her to turn to the only one there to save her–her brother’s best friend, the man who broke her girlish heart fifteen years ago, who see her as his kid sister?

Here’s your tease. Please take a minute to comment. I’m looking forward to your feedback on this.

Paul slowed his pace so she could catch up and walk beside him.

“I’m sorry if I offended you,” he said sheepishly, and from the red on his face, she knew he was sincere. “I didn’t mean to. I’m kind of glad you’re here, even if you aren’t. The guy who sold me the vacation package didn’t tell me this was a couples’ resort. It’ll be nice to have someone around I know.” He frowned. “When Carla said you were single, I should’ve realized you would have a boyfriend or fiancé.”

Before she could think of anything to say, the path veered left, and she yelped.

“Holy shit! What the hell is that? Is that a dragon? They have dragons here?” she screeched, trying to climb up on Paul’s shoulders and join the backpack.

Paul laughed. “Calm down, Kid. It’s not a dragon, it’s just an iguana. It won’t hurt you. It eats nothing but plants and leaves. Even the bugs are safe. These are quite domesticated. See, it’s even got a collar.”

“What difference does a frigging collar make?” she asked, moving behind him, using him as a shield against the monster. “I’ve seen iguanas, and they’re green, not grayish like that one, and they definitely are not that big.”

“This is a green iguana, but its color fades to a greenish gray as it ages. I’ll admit it’s larger than most specimens you’ve seen, but it’s harmless. Right now, that poor little guy is as warm as you are, and that’s why he’s so pale. He’s heading into the undergrowth to cool off. If you see him tonight, he’ll be much darker in color.”

Little guy? Are you frigging nuts? If I meet that thing alone tonight, I’ll have a coronary,” she said, offended by the smirk he tried to hide. “What is it with you and overgrown animals? You’ve got a horse-sized dog and now this, this … dinosaur. That sucker’s at least four feet long and has to weight fifty pounds, and you expect me to believe it eats plants?”

“Twenty tops,” he said, his shoulders shaking.

He was laughing at her. If she weren’t so upset she might see the humor in the situation.

“His ancestors ate plants and look at the size of those.” Paul used his foot to nudge the reptile out of the way and send him back into the trees. The animal disappeared into the bushes.

MJ eyed the brush suspiciously, not convinced the monstrosity was gone, but unwilling to go looking for the lizard—if that’s what it really was. She realized Paul had started walking again and hurried to catch up to him.

“Some of his ancestors were meat-eaters, and who’s to say he won’t morph into an omnivore when salad isn’t enough to fill him up? I didn’t realize this island would be like the Galapagos Islands—they left that out of the literature.”

Paul burst out laughing. “Welcome to Paradise, Kid. I forgot how much fun you could be. Having you around for a few days will be great.” He turned and walked on.

MJ shook her head. “Comic relief,” she mumbled. “Great, just frigging great.” She hurried to catch up to him.

That’s it. I’ll be away next week, but I’ll be back on the 27th.

Please check out the rest of this week’s teasers.

#MidWeekTease September 13, 2017


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Tuesday Tales: It’s Picture Time!

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales, the weekly blog highlighting work in progress made possible by the lovely and talented Jean Joachim. Most of the time, our posts are based on a word, but once a month, we are given a selection of images and have to chose one. That week, we have to keep our post to 300 words as well.

For many of you, the last few weeks have been fraught with bad news and possibly living close to one of Mother Nature’s current disasters. My prayers are that you are all well.

This week is picture week, and I’m continuing with Same Time Next Year, my contemporary novel with a blast from the past in it.

banana split

Here’s the image I chose.  I can hear you saying, how does that fit when I left you hanging two weeks ago. Well, here’s the answer. Enjoy!

“You’re the last person I expected to see here,” Mavis said, sitting. “What’s it been? Thirty, forty years?”

“More like fifty,” Twyla answered. Did her smile appear genuine? “You’re looking well.”

Mavis’s lip rose in a sneer. “As are you, but why keep that red hair?” She smiled at Lana. “Yours is a delightful shade of strawberry blond, while hers used to look like overcooked carrots.”

Lana nodded, but Twyla noted the bright red spots on her cheeks.

“Grams hair is legendary. Few people realize she’s never had to color it. It’s lightened over the years, and I’m hoping the same will hold true for me. I’m sure you know how much time and money coloring your hair takes.”

Mavis glowered.

Twyla smothered a giggle. Once a bitch always a bitch.

“How rude of me,” she said. “Mavis Crowder, meet my granddaughter, Lana Markham. Lana starts at Princeton in September.”

“Congratulations, young lady. That’s quite an accomplishment,” Mavis said, but her tone implied the opposite.

Lana nodded. “Thank you. How did you two meet?”

“Mavis worked here. She dumped a banana split on me,” Twyla answered. “Weren’t you going into hotel management or something?”

“At one time, yes.” Her cheeks were redder. “I suppose marrying a millionaire, like you did—we saw the newspaper clipping—you didn’t have to work.”

“Grams is a bestselling author,” Lana said, jumping to her defense. “She’s written more than seventy novels.”

Mavis frowned. “Really? I don’t think I’ve come across anything written by a Twyla.”

Twyla chuckled. “William encouraged my career, but I chose not to disrupt our lives. Instead, I use Dawn Williams as my pen name.”

Mavis’s mouth gaped open. “I love those books.”

“Then, thank you for your support. Always nice to meet a fan.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales.

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Friday’s Featured Author: Welcome Back Christy Newton

Books CNToday, it’s my pleasure to welcome back fellow author Christy Newton. Christy and I started our writing careers around the same time, and as you can see from the photograph here, she is almost as prolific a writer as I am.

Whether you enjoy an easy read, an adventure with twists and turns, or a scandalous suspenseful book, Christy has written something for everyone who loves a happy ending.

If you haven’t given this author a try, now is a perfect time to do so. One of her books, a personal favorite of mine, Protecting the Enemy, a romantic suspense novel, is on SALE!

PtE

Julianna Fox was made for her job. Or so she is told. The only memory Julianna has of her past is after the explosion. She was a nameless victim until a man pulled her out of the darkness and gave her new life. A new purpose, because anything is better than being no one. When she is about to eliminate her next mark something stops her. The moment Julianna makes eye contact with Reid Castleton, she has a flashback of her forgotten past. How does she know the man? And why can’t she follow through with her assignment?

Expert assassin, Reid Castleton, has been told to kill the only woman he ever loved if he wants to live. When he finds his fiancée, he can’t go through with the hit, even if it means losing his own life. Either she can’t remember who she is or is damn good at acting.

Neither one knows who to trust. Both make a truce until they can find out why the leader of ETE 7 wants them both dead. What they uncover is a long line of lies and deception that started the moment Julianna was conceived. Will love conquer all or will fear make them do the unthinkable?

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Protecting-Enemy-Christy-Newton-ebook/dp/B00N9MQALO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492602644&sr=8-1&keywords=protecting+the+enemy

Author Bio:

CNPublished by Simon & Schuster, author Christy Newton is a hopeless romantic with a weakness for warm cookies and dark chocolate. She writes many sub-genres of romance. She currently has over a dozen published books, and is tapping away on her next. She lives in Indiana with her husband, and two amazing daughters.

 

Social Media Links:

*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christy-Newton/359791990763912

*Twitter: @CNewtonAuthor

*Author Website: www.christynewton.com

*Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=christy+newton

*Author Amazon Page: amazon.com/author/christynewton

Other books by Christy Newton include:

A Little Bit of Christmas,  Contemporary Romance

51jSahywbfL._SY346_After a tragic accident that brought the small town of Wynter Haven to their knees, Claire Belmont and Nick Lewis went in opposite directions coping in very different ways. Three years later, Claire gets a call urging her to come back to help her friend move past his grief.

It will take more than a little hot cider, gingerbread and mistletoe to bring back Nick’s holiday spirit. He hasn’t celebrated Christmas since his twin sister died. In fact, he’s mastered locking up his feelings so he will never be hurt again.

Claire has a secret and hopes that somehow she and Nick can both get a Christmas miracle this year. After all, Nichole would want them to be happy and cherish the holiday that had been their favorite. Maybe a little bit of Christmas is just what they both need.

Purchase Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Bit-Christmas-Christy-Newton/dp/1502859084

Naturally Enchanted,  Paranormal Romance

51-g7U-8ixL._SY346_Ezra Ravenhart has lived with the rumors of her family’s witchcraft her whole life. Too bad she doesn’t believe them – she’d conjure up a boyfriend. But the thing called love remains as mysterious as her Grana’s herb shop on their tropical island.

As a struggling journalist, Owen Cooper has to make a name for himself, and a tip that a real-life witch is living on Mango Cove may just lead to the big story he needs. Undercover as a shipwrecked tourist, he worms his way into Ezra’s family – and their secrets.

But how will he handle the fact that Ezra has found the magic answer to his heart when his body belongs in Chicago? And is their love strong enough to survive the evil stalking their every move?

Purchase Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Naturally-Enchanted-Christy-Newton-ebook/dp/B00WN6QDY6

Breaking Free,  Young Adult

51sRDl+ON7LBeing sixteen is hard enough without Elin Skye pretending to be a new person over and over again. On the run with her mom from a psycho stepdad, who happens to be a deputy sheriff, her life sucks. She’s determined to sever Wyatt’s hold on them even if it means breaking all the rules.
Sawyer Knight’s summer is doomed when he’s unjustly grounded and must stay with his pain in the ass older brother to earn back his parents’ trust. Things start turning around when he meets a pretty but odd girl trying to kill a vending machine. After Sawyer learns the truth about Elin he has to help her no matter the consequences.
Two teens on their own with little money could be dangerous, not to mention life changing. In order to be free Elin must do something her mom never could—stand up to the monster who made them his prisoners.

Purchase Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Free-Christy-Newton-ebook/dp/B017Y6RR62

Be sure to check out all of Christy Newton’s books. You won’t regret it.

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Throwback Thursday Alex Bay and Boldt Castle

20170826_165556Two weeks ago, John and I returned to one of our favorite spots in the Thousand Island, Alexandria Bay, NY.

Alex Bay is a tiny town, but it’s a tourist haven. People come by the busloads to take an Uncle Sam Cruise though the islands and gape at the gorgeous summer homes there built by the rich and famous. Two in particular stir the imagination. The first one is Boldt Castle on Heart Island, formerly known as Hart Island, and the second is Singer Castle on Dark island. While Singer Castle never fell into disrepair the way Boldt Castle did, it is worth the visit . http://www.singercastle.com/ but unlike Boldt Castle, sitting right there in the harbor, a five-minute water taxi away, it takes more than an hour by tour boat to reach.

20170826_193359Alex Bay’s claim to fame is the castle and the weekend events it holds all summer long to attract various different groups of people. There are Pirate Weekends, complete with parades, Bluesfests, Harley Weekends, and Antique Car shows. We were there for Rockin’ the Bay, a rock and roll weekend dedicated to the best music of the fifties, sixties and seventies. Here we are at the Tiki Bar at the Riveredge Resort with bartender Big Daddy. A word of advice. If you order one of the specialty drinks, which comes in a small pail, stop at 2. The third one’s a killer.  On our first night, after I made a remarkable recovery from that third drink, we attended an outdoor concert. The music was fabulous. We had a bite to eat in a nearby restaurant that had the best French fries and chicken wings I’ve had in a long time.

The second Day, we took a boat tour and visited Boldt Castle.  If you get a chance to visit the area, a walk through the castle is a must. 20170826_162914Not only is the building beautiful, but the grounds are exquisite, but wear good shoes.  http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/ Take a few minutes to read up on it and take the virtual tour!

The first time I visited the island back in the early eighties, the place was a mess. The Thousand Island Bridge Authority had purchased it from the family for a dollar in 1977, and other than make the area safe to explore, they hadn’t touched it. The original idea was to restore the building to the condition it had been in when Boldt stopped construction in 1904 when the love of his life, his wife Louise died. The couple had a wooden cottage on the island, but Boldt decided his princess needed more, so in 1900, he began construction on the castle and the other four stone structures on the island. He never finished it. After she died, he didn’t return to the island, and the place sat in ruins, deteriorating year after year for 73 years.

Today, much of the interior of the castle and its other buildings have been not only restored, but brought to the glory Boldt intended based on the architectural plans they have to work with.  Many of the furnishings, dishes, decorative items, and paintings  have been donated by family members. Others are period pieces purchased for the building.

Images, left to right starting in the top row: Organ, bathroom, Clover’s bedroom, kitchen, indoor swimming pool, formal dining room, family donated dishes, skylight.

The beautiful skylight decorates the entrance and the grand staircase. Even the indoor swimming pool is usable now, but no one swims in it. Instead, a ceramic frog floats on an artificial lily pad collecting coins and wishes.  The claw tub in the bathroom between bedrooms was accompanied by a toilet, the water box above it.  Just think of it. Indoor plumbing in the first decade of the twentieth century. What luxury!

20170826_164018

 

People can even get married and have receptions at Boldt Castle today. The day we were there, a couple was having a small wedding–only 9 bridesmaids, 1 junior bridesmaid and 2 flower girls. I suppose if you can afford a wedding like that, you can rent a castle for the party.

 

The first time I visited the island, I thought it was a sad monument to a broken heart, but if I look at it through 21st century eyes, the same eyes that tear down monuments, ban books and movies, and want to get the names of streets and schools as well as public buildings changed because the people memorialized had different values than they do, I see this not as a charming castle for a princess, but as a gilded cage, a place to keep the women he loved–maybe even obsessed over–all to himself. Remember the year. In the early 1900’s, it wouldn’t have been easy to get back and forth to the island. There were no helicopters, no planes to take you to Watertown, the closet city with an airport. People didn’t have cars the way we do today. Louise would’ve been isolated form New York and all her friends for days, weeks, maybe even months on end. Yes, she would have had staff and the children, and of course George when he could get away from the hotels long enough to visit, but forget anything else. Suddenly, the labor of love takes on a sinister look. There is a real danger in looking at the past through modern eyes. Beware.

That night, we had dinner at Cavalarios, the town’s premier steak and seafood restaurant and later listened to awesome music in the bar. All in all, I really enjoyed my visit to Alex Bay. Now, if someone feels the need to build me a castle, please do. I wouldn’t mind the beauty, luxury, and solitude one damn bit!

 

 

 

 

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Midweek Tease: More From All For Love

New midweek tease imageWelcome back to this week’s Midweek tease. Life has been hectic around here, but it may be settling down. No promises. It’s all about the adventure, right?

Thanks to the lovely Angelica Dawson for supporting this blog hop.

 

Here’s more from All For Love

To overcome your fear, you must first face it.
Someone is out to destroy Greg Robertson and everyone he has ever loved. After an accident leaves his teenage daughter depressed and distraught, Greg will do anything to make her happy again, including hiring a bodyguard to protect her.

Olivia Cummings lost both her fiance and her cousin in a deadly avalanche. She has vowed never to set foot on a ski hill again. But now, working as a bodyguard with Marshall Security, Olivia must face her greatest fears to save Greg and his daughter.

Something about Olivia’s determination strikes a chord in Greg, but will she be the salvation he needs, or will he be her destruction?

 

Here is this week’s tease.

“If it’s not political, then what? Why blow up your car?” Jack asked.

Greg sighed heavily. “Payback—revenge for something I may have done, something I don’t remember. But I’m beginning to think it could be about money. Greed, pure and simple. If I’d been in the car, as I was supposed to be, and had been killed on Russian soil, the publicity would have been tremendous. As it is, since my connection to Nadia—not the real relationship, just speculation we might have been dating—was made public, my book sales have tripled. Luckily, we managed to keep Sheena’s presence in the car out of the press.”

Jack whistled. “Considering the book’s been on the New York best seller list for over a year, that’s a lot of money.”

Greg ran his hand through his hair. “It is, and the press has had a field day speculating about terrorists. The movie has attracted a lot of new investors, and the Hollywood gossip is that it’ll be a box office success. A lot of people stand to get rich if I die without an heir—even richer if I die in some flamboyant way. Imagine the possibilities from the film’s revenue alone.”

“What do you mean?” Veronica and Vicki spoke in unison once more.

“It’s clear someone knows who I really am and knows the truth about Nadia and Sheena. If I die without an heir, while most of my fortune will revert to the family, all of my revenue directly related to my writing goes to my agent and publisher.”

Jack frowned and grunted. “Do you think it’s someone in the family looking for a bigger share?”

“No, I don’t. Besides, the police have checked that aspect and found nothing. If money is the goal, it has to be someone who stands to profit from my death who isn’t getting much from me alive. That’s the only thing that makes sense. With an heir, forty percent of my literary gains go to my publisher and agent. Without an heir, all revenue from the movie and all of my books reverts to them.”

Jack shook his head. “That’s the problem with you celebrities. Someone always wants to get a piece of your pie. You might as well have painted a target on your back. You’re too attractive dead.”

Greg grimaced. “Unfortunately, that’s true, but painting a target on George Stanton’s back is one thing, painting it on my daughter is quite a different story.”

“So, what do you want from us?” Jack’s voice was determined, showing Greg whatever it was he wanted, it was his for the asking.

Greg relaxed. “I need you to help me keep my daughter safe.”

“How?”

“Sheena’s a world class skier, but she was badly injured in the accident. While she’s recovered well, there’ve been a lot of changes for her.  I want to give her the opportunity to ski competitively again, meet new people, and make new friendships. I want to give her back her dream, and this is where I need your help, but with a maniac after me, it will be dangerous.”

Lord, if you’d like to give me the words to convince them to help me, it would be grand. The prayer would probably fall on deaf ears, but he couldn’t help uttering it. He wasn’t asking for himself. Sheena was just a child, and wasn’t God partial to helping children?

He took a deep breath and renewed his pacing. “I want to send her to ski trials in late January in Vermont—give her a chance to train with others. Her injuries have given her a new face, but she’ll need a false identity and an undercover bodyguard who can ski. I know I’m asking a lot, and you may not know someone who can handle that challenge, but that’s not all.”

“Go on.” Jack prodded.

Greg glanced at Tim who nodded.

“Although my daughter hates me at the moment, I won’t let her go anywhere without me. Tim is going to let me use one of his former identities … that is if you agree.” He looked pointedly at Vicki who scowled, and Greg read the uncertainty on her face.

Veronica stood up, seemingly oblivious to her twin’s inner agony.  She clapped her hands and turned to her husband. “And I know exactly who can help. Livy’s perfect for this job, and you know it.”

Please check out the rest of this week’s bloggers.

#MidWeekTease September 6, 2017


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Midweek Tease: All For Love

New midweek tease imageWelcome to this week’s Midweek Tease. Thanks to all of you for all the kind words and comments on No Good Deed. They were appreciated. Today, I bring you a snippet from one of my back-listed novels, All For Love. This is also a romance suspense novel. Enjoy.

Blurb:

ALL-FOR-LOVEKINDLE-NOOK (1)To overcome your fear, you must first face it.

Someone is out to destroy Greg Robertson and everyone he has ever loved. After an accident leaves his teenage daughter depressed and distraught, Greg will do anything to make her happy again, including hiring a bodyguard to protect her.

Olivia Cummings lost both her fiance and her cousin in a deadly avalanche. She has vowed never to set foot on a ski hill again. But now, working as a bodyguard with Marshall Security, Olivia must face her greatest fears to save Greg and his daughter.

Something about Olivia’s determination strikes a chord in Greg, but will she be the salvation he needs, or will he be her destruction?

Your Tease:

Surprised, Greg rose and began to pace. He’d expected Tim to do the talking. He hadn’t realized he’d have to bare his soul this way. He might be a writer, but there was a huge difference between putting words on paper and uttering them. He swallowed and licked his lips. Where to begin…

“It’s really quite simple. Someone is trying to kill me.”

“Kill you?” Vicki and Veronica jumped up and spoke as one.

“Why would anyone want you dead?” Vicki cried.

“I don’t know, but it’s not just me. It’s all those who are important to me—my daughter and her mother.”

“You have a daughter? Why didn’t I know that?” Veronica stared pointedly at Vicki.

“I thought you said he was single,” Veronica hissed.

Greg laughed self-consciously. “I am single. I’ve never married. Sixteen years ago, as a junior screenwriter, I had a fling with Nadia Eastman, but it didn’t last long, and we went our separate ways—something I’ll regret to the end of my days. I didn’t know Sheena was mine until the child was four. Nadia wanted money, and I wanted to see my daughter. We compromised. I got the short end of the stick, but little is better than none.”

“What do you mean?” Veronica asked, still glaring at her twin.

“Until now, I’ve only spent two weeks a year with Sheena, but it wasn’t by choice.”

“Well, that doesn’t sound fair to me,” Veronica stated loudly, her indignation obvious.

Greg swallowed. Talking about the accident was harder than he’d expected. “Six months ago, Nadia and Sheena were on their way to a reception when a van ran a red light and struck the Mercedes. The first responders were able to get Sheena out, but Nadia and the chauffeur were already dead.”

“That’s awful,” Veronica’s hands rose to cover her red cheeks. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Nadia Eastman sounds familiar,” Vicki said, ignoring her sister’s glare. “Who was she?”

“She was an actress. You’ve probably seen her on television, but she did more work in Britain and Europe than in America. You might remember her from The Secret Society. That film was nominated for an Oscar. It did well here.”

“Didn’t we go see that movie?”

Veronica cocked her head to the side. “I think so. Was the other driver killed, too?”

Greg shook his head in denial. “I don’t know. The driver fled the scene, and the authorities haven’t been able to find him, but you must understand. Nadia’s death wasn’t an accident.”

“Why do you say that? The van may have been stolen, but…” Veronica wasn’t the only one who looked perplexed.

“There was a bomb attached to the undercarriage of the car.”

Vicki and Veronica stared at him with saucer-sized eyes, their mouths agape. With similar expressions on their faces, the twins finally resembled one another. No wonder the babies looked alike.

“Someone rigged the car to explode?” Jack was on his feet in seconds.

“Yes. There was a press conference scheduled at the Russian Embassy in London. A few weeks earlier, she’d let me know she’d be bringing Sheena to me for her annual visit. Her career hadn’t been going well since her last film, and I think she hoped to get some free publicity. The press got wind of it—no doubt her agent had leaked the information. Something came up at the last minute, and I sent the limo ahead for them and called a cab for myself.”

Vicki gasped and stared at him. He could read the horror on her face.

“That’s awful. Do the police have any leads?”

“A fringe group specifically targeting Nadia’s politics tried to claim responsibility for her death. Her role in a recent IRA based movie didn’t endear her to some. Sadly, new evidence indicates it isn’t that simple.”

“That’s insane!” She turned an accusing look on her husband. “Did you know about this?”

“Not all of it, but I’ve since spoken our security teams, and they’ll be on the alert.”

“Our security?” Vicki’s voice went up an octave.

“Well, yes. If whoever is behind this knows we’re related, we could all be at risk. Words gone out to the others. I’ll keep the family safe.” There was strength in Tim’s words that reassured Greg.

“This has all the makings of a George Stanton spy novel,” Veronica added. “I don’t know London well, but isn’t the Russian Federation’s Chancery located on Kensington Palace Gardens?”

“It is. The police are toying with the idea the accident was just that and actually prevented a far greater disaster. While I’ll never forgive myself for Nadia’s death and Sheena’s injuries, had the bomb gone off in the chancery parking lot, things could have been much worse. I can’t even imagine the collateral damage it might have caused. I’m not ready to take the credit for starting another war.”

“So, if you are the target, what’s the reason?” Vicki asked.

Graven Image is set in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion,” Veronica nodded. “It’s an excellent book, one of your best, but you were very critical of the rebels in the novel—that can’t have made you too popular with some of the more militant factions over there.”

“It hasn’t. I had my doubts about the press conference, but my agent had set it up to announce the filming, and since a lot of the movie will be shot on Russian soil, the Kremlin was eager to be part of the announcement.”

“You think someone is trying to kill you because of that novel?” Howard asked quietly.

That’s it. Please visit the other teasers.

#MidWeekTease August 30, 2017


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