Nominated for a Liebster Award: WOW!

Liebster Award!

Liebster AwardI am touched and amazed to have received the Liebster (a German word in origin which means beloved, sweetheart, lover, darling) Award nomination! The Liebster Award, is an award given to new bloggers among the blogger community to get to know each other and highlight a newbie.

Gina Calanni Henning from Next Door Painting’s Blog nominated me for this award. I’m a reasonably new blogger featuring the work of fellow authors as well as my own. I like to participate in cover reveals and blog hops, and help out others in any way I can. On Sundays, I post Reviews by Sue, which are my opinions of books written by new authors like myself. On Wednesdays, I participate in a Mid-Week Tease, showcasing snippets from other authors as well as my own writing. In April, I’ll be part of the A to Z blog hop. Please make sure to come back and visit often. You never know who will be visiting and when there might be another giveaway.

Thanks to those of you who have been following me faithfully and to those who are new to Living the Dream. I hope you enjoy learning about me and my writer friends.

After receiving the award, I’ve been asked to answer a series of questions asked by my fellow blogger/nominator Gina:

What time of day do you blog?

I generally blog first thing in the morning before I start my work day. That way I can catch up on all the latest news and views, and if I’m posting a cover reveal or blog visit, the information gets out early in the day.

How often do you read other blogs?

I make a point of checking out all of the participants in the Mid-Week Tease on Wednesdays, and try to read at least another dozen a week.

Salty or sweet?

Salty. I love my potato chips.

IMG_0275Your favorite Blog entry (include link).

That’s a tough one, but I’ll go with last year’s Thanksgiving blog.

 What city would you love to get lost in?

Maybe not get “lost” in, but I’d love to visit Paris and see the Eiffel Tower, The Arch de Triomphe, and the cathedrals and cafes.  I’d like to take a cruise in a bateau-mouche on the Seine and visit Versailles. I can trace my family ancestry to Paris in the 1660’s so walking those streets would be a real thrill for me.

What do you find most interesting about blogs?

I find it interesting to read people’s opinions on a variety of topics as well as read snippets of their wip’s.

Last song you listened to.

Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac. I love the oldies.

Last book you read.

The Siren’s Realm by Megan O’Russell. I was given an ARC. The book is YA fantasy and very good. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Have you ever read something you wrote to a group?

Yes, but not recently. I used to write short stories written for children..

Do you like interviewing people?

That’s a two-edged sword. Some people like being interviewed. Others don’t. If the person enjoys answering personal questions it’s a lot more interesting than if they just want to talk about their career or occupation.

Share an exciting experience

I really lead a pretty boring life. I think the most exciting thing I’ve ever done was taking my first overseas flight to Europe to visit my son. We left Toronto in the evening on a direct flight to Finland. We arrived in Helsinki mid-morning their time, and when we left the plane, we followed the passengers into the terminal. There were two doors. One was marked, in English “Something to declare,” the other said “Nothing to declare.” Everyone was going through the nothing door. We had to hunt around the airport to find someone to stamp our passports.

Eventually, we found a cab who took us to the harbor and we spent the day looking around the area. It was incredibly beautiful. At suppertime, we boarded a cruise ship that crossed the Baltic Sea and took us into Stockholm. It was amazing. It didn’t get dark until almost midnight, and the sun was up, and us, by 4.  Coming into Stockholm that way was a real experience, made even more unusual for us because, once again, there wasn’t a custom’s officer to be seen. Such an usual thing when you consider the cross examination we got from our customs when we came home. Live and learn!

Here are my nominees:

  1. The Silent Pen
  2. Danielle Doolittle

 Here are the questions they’ll answer. 

  1. How often do you blog?
  2. What’s your favorite kind of post?
  1. Where do you get the inspiration for your blog posts?
  1. Beer, wine, or mixed drinks?
  2. What is your ideal vacation getaway?
  3. If you had a thousand dollars to spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy?
  4. What’s your favorite dessert?
  5. Name and rate the last movie you watched.
  6. If you could sit down and interview someone, who would you choose?
  7. City or countryside?
  8. What was the most romantic gift anyone ever gave you?

I look forward to reading their answers!


Reviews by Sue: The Tethering by Megan O’Russell

Welcome to another booksSunday book review. Although it’s Palm Sunday and 9 days into spring, It’s  -8 C outside which feels like -14 C with the wind–that’s  7 F for my American friends. You know, its sounds so much colder in Celsius! This morning, I’d like to talk about a great new series that captured my interest when I read it last year.

As a high school teacher, I taught several YA novels–books like The Giver, Holes, The Chrysalids, Island of the Blue Dolphin, Lord of the Flies, Z for Zachariah, A Separate Peace, The Pigman–all chosen for study because they had teenage heroes and heroines, but most of those books didn’t have happy endings. In fact, if you’ve read them, you know that many are set in a world where I’d rather not live. While The Pigman is humorous at times, I’m not sure it’s the best book for rebellious grade ten boys, and don’t even get me started on Lord of the Flies for role models.

Have you ever wondered why some books are chosen for schools and others aren’t? I used to think it was because someone in Toronto, (where curriculum decisions are made in Ontario) really hated teachers and wanted to see them suffer by taking what was a good book, totally ripping it apart to suck every last drop of entertainment our of it fro the students by making them analyze the thing to death. As an author, I now know that all of that served no purpose. Am I a critical reader–for sure, but I don’t have to do plot graphs, character sketches, plot analysis to enjoy a book. I read it!

If I could go back in time and had complete control over what I did in a classroom, I can guarantee my study of English literature would be very different. I’d teach reading appreciation. Read the book, now tell me what you remember about it, what made it memorable fro you and why’d you’d recommend it to a friend, why you’d read it again. That’s the way i feel about The Tethering, by Megan O’Russell. This is the first book in a series, and no, everything is not resolved at the end, and that’s a good thing, because you know there’s more coming.

TheTethering Book CoverThe Premise of the Book:

All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance. Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover. When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?

My Review of The Tethering5 stars

When I first started to read the book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. beyond what I’d read in the blurb, but I was in for a pleasant surprise.  It didn’t take long for to to realize this was a story while similar to Harry Potter books, was written in a darker, more dangerous world where wizards and other magical creatures play for keeps.  Jacob’s life hasn’t been a pleasant one, with an absentee father, no mother, and his only friend, a girl who vanished from his life years ago. When he learns of his father’s death, Jacob loses it–but he doesn’t realize he’s the reason all the windows in his school are broken. Frightened and alone, he goes home and is surprised when his one friend, Emilia, the girl’s he’s always cared for comes for him and what was a bad day turns into a living nightmare.

Discovering he’s a wizard isn’t an easy thing for Jacob to appreciate, especially when he can’t “do” magic.T make matters worse, Emilia has a rich boyfriend who happens to be good at magic and lives across the hall. Bummer, right? But when the magic world finds itself embroiled in a war with the Dragons, a group of wizards led by a very powerful sorcerer, and Emilia disappears, Jacob will do anything to find her and save her from a fate worse than death. Even if it means binding himself to her forever.

I loved the story. The characters are well described and the plot flows smoothly. I would encourage you to buy the Tethering. The second book, The Siren’s Realm is out next month, so you have time to read this one in time for the next installment. I’ve had the pleasure, and let me tell you it’s a real treat, but that’s another book review.

You can get The Tethering at:

The Next Best Thing Blog Tour: Let’s Try This Again

the-next-best1Hello again! I’m probably still not doing this right, but I’m trying. Thank you to Lois W. Stern

for starting all this. and to Vicki Ann Bush for inviting me along. When you get a chance, please  drop by and visit ,

Good morning. I hope it’s spring wherever you are and that  Mother Nature is treating you well.

Earlier this week, I tried to post this and I guess I messed it up, but Lois kindly set me straight.

Here were the directions I was supposed to follow:

I want to thank Vicki Ann Bush  for this neat marketing idea and pass it along to all of you. Here is a way to help market yourself while helping your fellow authors. The basic idea is to respond to ten questions about something you’re currently writing, a book or story you just published or are about to publish.

1. Post your responses to the interview questions about your book on your own blog page.      (see my example below)

2. Add my name, Lois W. Stern and my book cover montage (image) to your blog page and link them both back to this page.

3. Send me the URL of your completed blog page after completing steps 1 and 2, above, along with an attachment image of your newest book or book montage.

4. Send this blog to five or more other writers.

5. Each time you forward this message to someone, start with: “I want to thank  . . .” sentence as seen above, substituting my name, Lois W. Stern, for the one currently appearing in that first sentence.

4. Ask them to substitute your name for mine as they send out notices to their circle.

5. Tell them to post this same content on their website or blog, adding their book image and URL link, and to answer the questions below about their book.

6. Ask the writers you invite to answer the questions on their blog, substitute your name in the “I want to thank” sentence at the beginning of this posting and include a link to your blog.

7. They, in turn, link to five other writers, and the cycle continues.

I will add the first ten authors who complete my AUTHORS’ HALL OF FAME instructions above and e-mail me

@ with the information listed in step 3 above.

So that’s what I should’ve done. 

Apologies to Lois and Vicki Ann for messing up.


Interview with Lois W. Stern

So what did I learn?

First, I have no idea how to hyperlink and image.

Secondly, I don’t know how to link a URL to another

In short, I still don’t know how to do this, but I’ll learn. In the meantime, I’ve posted links to Lois’s interview and her tales to inspire blog. Maybe, in time, I’ll know how to do this right!

Susanne Matthews’ Responses: 

  1. The White LilyWhat is your working title of your book (or story)?

I’m currently working on The White Lily, Book 2 of the Harvester Series.

  1. Where did the idea come from for these books?

The basic idea for my stories all come from my imagination, but they’re based on news items that I tend to exaggerate and mesh together, as well as an article I read on the way terrorist recruit members and brainwash them.

  1. What genre do your books fall under?

I guess the overall umbrella group is romance, but I write in several sub-genres: contemporary, historical, but primarily suspense, which I’d say is my particular favorite.

  1. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Since the first book in the series, The White Carnation, is finished and due to be released soon, I’d probably pick Nathan Filion, best known for his role as Richard Castle to be Rob and Evangeline Lily, as Faye. She has the perfect eyes.

5. What is the short synopsis of your book?

Beware the false prophet. Beauty and power often cover ugliness and corruption. Joshua knows the truth, but convincing others the’s right will be harder than he imagines, and with the lives of the  children and Lilith in balance, he can’t afford to fail.

  1. The White CarnationWill your book(s) be self-published or represented by an agency?

Crimson Romance has purchased The Harvester Series. Book One, The White Carnation is being released on April 20.  Book 2, The White Lily will be available in the fall and Book 3, The White Iris comes out in December, 2015

  1. How long does it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It takes me roughly a month to six weeks, give or take a few days for a draft that can be sent in to the publisher.

  1. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I like to think my writing style is unique. In many ways, this book is similar to my own book, On His Watch. But, if you like suspense novels with a touch of romance in them, then you should enjoy this one.

  1. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

All of my books come from me. The story lines create themselves in my brain, but the characters themselves are inspired by people I know. In this case, the main characters were based on two of my oldest and dearest friends.

Thanks for playing! Watch for posts from the following:

Please watch for blog posts by the following people:

Danielle Doolittle

Gina Colanni Henning

Christy Newton:

Mid Week Tease: The Price of Honor

MWTease15Good morning. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and it’s 12 F. Dang. I knew it was too good to be true! Spring has yet to arrive.

Well, it’s been one of those weeks. Too many things to do and nor enough time to do them in. This morning, I thought I’d share a snippet from my historical romance, The Price of Honor. The book has 5 reviews now, all of them good, and the one constant comment is that the reader is looking forward to the next book. I just have to find the time to write it.

Thank you to Sandra Bunino and the other talented teasers for allowing me to read their work and share mine this way. Hope the weather’s better where you are.

This Week’s tease:Susanne Ebook cover

Isabelle came out of the cabin, her emerald eyes bright with tears, and her cheeks damp, but she still took his breath away. Her eyes had haunted him for years and would continue to do so for the rest of his life. He reached for her to comfort her, gave her a quick hug, and then led the way up to the weather deck.

Just as Sophie was obligated to marry within a year of her arrival in New France, so was he, especially if he wanted to keep his land and acquire more. Children to populate the colony was the price the king exacted for his generosity. No doubt, with is mother’s help, he could find a woman who would be a suitable companion, bear his children, and maybe in time he would come to care for her deeply, but it would never be the gut-wrenching, soul torturing love he had for  Isabelle. Would such a relationship be fair to Sophie? After all she’d lost, she deserved to be loved for herself, not because she resembled a woman who could never be his.

Isabelle would never return his affection. Pierre had had her love, and any other she had to give would go to her children. Would she grow to love the chevalier? He hoped the man would treat her with the care she deserved. The memories of their brief time together would warm his heart on cold winter nights. Silently, he led tearful Isabelle from the ship.

She stopped to thank Monsieur Martin and wished him a safe voyage. “When you return to France, if your ship sails into Le Havre, be sure to come and see us at Caen. I’m sure that if you ever decide to visit New France, Sophie will be pleased to welcome you too.”

Isabelle walked a few paces ahead of him as she went towards the carriage, but instead of getting in on the side she’d gotten out, he watched her step around to the far side. Guy followed her, indicated to the waiting driver he’d help her in, and opened the carriage door. Isabelle stopped in front of the door and turned to Guy. “I don’t have the words to thank you properly for everything you’re doing for Sophie. Half of my heart is buried at Caen. The other half sails on that ship. You’re a good man, Guy Poirier. I wish you’d come back to Caen years ago. I’ll never forget you.” She stepped closer and raised her lips to him.

Acting on instinct, Guy took her into his arms, bent his head, and claimed a prize beyond price. The kiss began tenderly, but soon the longing driving him deepened it.

Isabelle didn’t resist his onslaught. Instead, she returned his ardor. This wasn’t a chaste kiss, but a kiss full of passion and longing for what could never be. He hardened as he pulled her more tightly to him. Suddenly, she pulled away. Her eyes brimmed with tears.

Without a word, she climbed into the carriage, and he closed the door. At its sound, the driver shook the reins, and the horses pulled away from the pier. She didn’t look back, but he stood on the dock beside Monsieur Martin until the carriage was no longer in sight. He turned and limped back to the ship. The memory of that kiss would have to last him forever.

He walked along the wharf and climbed the gangplank. He went to the forecastle to see if Sophie would like to join him for a noonday meal. He stopped at her closed door but the sounds of her sobbing tore at his heart. He’d leave her to mourn alone. Food was probably the last thing she wanted now.

If you want to read more, you can find buy links to The Price of Honor and all my books on my website:

And, if you like jigsaw puzzles, here’s one to try. It’s the book cover!

Now, please take a few minutes to check out the other teasers. See you next week!

Mid Week Tease; Coming Home

MWTease15I’m a little late today, but I hope you’ll bear with me. Thank you Sandra Bunino for the opportunity to share again like this. Today, here’s a snippet from Coming Home, one of my Misty Matthews releases.

Home is where the heart is.

Motorcycle riding, attorney Alana Stewart is a far cry from the shy, teenager who left Chance determined never to look back. Family obligations force her to return to the town that only holds bad memories for her. A stop at her former sanctuary brings an unexpected surprise…the new manager just might be what she needs to get her through the holidays. When sexy, leather-clad Alana walks into the bookstore, Connor Tate, has a feeling he may be in for the ride of his life. Despite the fact that their lives are headed in different directions, they are drawn to one another. Connor is determined to prove to Alana that Chance isn’t the place she remembers, but will his efforts fail when she discovers he hasn’t told her the whole truth about himself? Can they trust each other enough to take a chance on love?

 Buy links: 

Secret Cravings Publishing:


Barnes and Nobles


Coming Home coverHere’s the tease: 

The soft brush of her lips surprised him, but like food offered to a starving man, he wasn’t going to refuse it. Connor groaned deep in his throat, entwined his fingers in her silky hair, and dragged her closer, pressing her body into his.

When she didn’t pull away, he deepened the kiss, giving free rein to the urgency within him. She moaned into his mouth fueling the fire burning through him. He shut his eyes blocking out everything but the sensation of her lips on his.

The taste of Alana was intoxicating and definitely the most wonderful thing he’d ever savored. He feasted on the flavor of his favorite coffee mixed with the tang that was hers alone, supped from the sweetness of her mouth, absorbing her very essence, and knew no other kiss had ever matched this one, and none probably ever would.

Her mouth was made for kissing—lush full lips, pulsing and throbbing with life beneath his—lips he suckled and sipped leaving them swollen and trembling, something he’d dreamed of doing from the second she’d sauntered into his store. He ran the tip of his tongue along them, and when she opened to him, he slipped into her mouth, intensifying the kiss, moving the encounter up a level and feeding from her sweetness.

Swallowing her moans, he took them deeply into himself and wrapped his arms tightly around her. When she placed her leg across his body, positioning her body to fit with his, he hardened to the point of discomfort, but he wasn’t going to do anything to end this moment until he had to, and he continued to kiss her trying to convey his need without putting it into words.

He made love to her mouth, nibbling and teasing her lips, taking pleasure from the soft, shy caresses of her tongue. His hands began to explore the softness of her body, moving up under the smooth cotton of her shirt to skim the silkiness of her skin. His hands roamed the side of her torso, feeling the edges of her breasts. He wanted to capture the mounds, taste the delicate flesh, but to do so, he’d have to turn her onto her back under him, and the rock was not the most comfortable bed in the world.

Being here with her like this had him on sensory overload. They continued to explore one another’s mouths, Alana suddenly taking and giving with an energy that matched his. His libido screamed for more, but his common sense warned him that if he didn’t stop now there would be no turning back. This wasn’t what he’d been expecting, and he wasn’t prepared for it. He wasn’t a randy teenager intent on getting laid on the first date. She deserved more than a quickie on a rock in the desert.

Gently, he untangled one hand from her hair, leaving his other hand where it was cradling her amazing derriere. Much as he hated to do it, the gentleman in him insisted he slow things down.

“I know I’m going to regret this, and it may very well kill me to do so, but we need to stop.” Contrary to what his words said, he continued to feather her face with gentle kisses. Every time his lips moved away from her, he could feel the air stealing away the taste and warmth of her. He didn’t like it.

Look Who Dropped by Today: Melinda Dozier

Good morning. When I was teaching, this week was my time to get some rest and relaxation. I anticipated it, and then it just flew by. Now that I’m retired, it’s just another week in the middle of March, but since I write full time, it’s a regular work week, and this is a regular Monday. Now that I’ve depressed you, let me brighten your day with a little taste of Melinda Dozier’s latest Crimson Romance book, New York Minute



Shy accountant Veronica Bass is determined to live it up a little before settling down with a perfectly respectable man to live a perfectly respectable life, just the way her mother wants.


So when rock star Diego Diaz flashes his bedroom eyes at her during a wedding reception, Veronica swallows her shyness and leads him to the nearest hotel room. Now this total sex god keeps popping up in her life, and she finds herself telling some not-so-little white lies to keep him interested.

Diego’s world evolves around music, women throwing themselves at him, and having fun. His lifestyle hasn’t allowed him to find the right girl to settle down with until now, but his own secret stands in the way of forming a lasting relationship with Veronica.

Is their love destined to last for only a New York minute?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Book Links:




Crimson Romance:



“They have the connection, physical and emotion … However, they left out some things from each other and that’s the real dilemma here. It’s all good because it ends nicely!” — Bookaholic Fairies

Every time I was away from this book, I couldn’t wait to get back to it. This is an amazing read…” Reader

“Melinda has done it again!!! I absolutely love the way that she makes us all swoon for her characters in her stories and not be able to put it down until we are done.” Reader

Excerpt #1 :

Time to focus on the Cosmo article she read two days before about flirting. She sipped her citrus martini, and as she brought the glass down, she licked her lips and glanced at her target. He actually flinched, the hunger in his eyes darkening. Barely enough for anyone to notice, but she did. She ran her hand up and down her neck, closing her eyes for a minute. When she opened them to look his way again, he had already started to walk in her direction. No, he didn’t walk; he actually strutted like a man on a mission.

She was his mission. Shit. Shit. Shit. Play it cool, Veronica. You’re a strong, sensual woman. You can do this.

She sipped her yellow drink again to calm herself, and if she was lucky, he wouldn’t notice her shaking. Calm. Sensual. Like a boss.

He positioned himself in front of her, one hand in his pocket and the other holding a tumbler of brown liquid, and rocked on the heels of his dark Dolce & Gabbana brogues.

“Hello.” His voice reverberated down to her core.

She gulped her martini to gain more liquid courage, but rather than bravery, the unthinkable happened. She swallowed the cherry that swam in her drink and the tickle in her throat drove her into a coughing frenzy.

She tried to smile through it, to let him know all was fine and she could still be the sexy seductress. As his large, firm hand patted her back, she fanned the air and grabbed his tumbler, downing the thick liquid.

After a last cough, she cleared her throat one more time. “Whoa. What was that?”

“Whiskey. Neat.” He grinned, his gorgeous caramel eyes lit with an inner glow. “You okay?”

A warmth spread over her cheeks. Holy freaking embarrassment. “It was strong.”

“I could’ve warned you, I guess, but you were busy.” He grinned and squeezed her shoulder with his large hand.

Was that an accent? Damn, could he be more perfect? Immediately, she glanced at his hand that revealed several tattoos peeking out of his jacket hem, from his wrist all the way down to his fingers. No ring. Thank God.

“Can we forget that happened? I’m not usually like that.” She waved her hand in the air and winced inwardly.

God, she wanted to erase that doomed first impression. She was confident, dammit. She didn’t want this dreamy man to know she could be less than sophisticated. Her act was more difficult than she imagined.

“It’s a shame. I kind of liked the unusual first encounter. Not that I want you to choke, but I was ready to save you.” He braced his tattooed hand against the wall behind her, moving closer. His manly smell was soapy, with a hint of wood.

Save her he might. “Who are you?”

He squinted his glowing eyes and turned his head to the side. He didn’t say anything for a long time, just studied her and then rolled on the heels of his feet. “Who are you?”

His “r” rolled off his tongue with a Spanish accent of some kind.

“When someone answers a question with a question, it’s one of two things. Either the person doesn’t have anything interesting to say or he’s hiding something. Are you hiding something?”

He lowered his voice and ran a hand up her arm. “I think we all do. Why are you hiding in the corner?”

Damned if the man’s touch sent shivers all the way to her toes. “So someone like you would find me.”

“Like me? How am I?”

“A man with questions … and a devious grin.”

As suspected, his smile grew and his gaze sought hers. “Well, I came over to tell you how stunning you look, but being a woman of such deep insight, you might take that the wrong way, no?”

“I’ll take it any way you want.” Yep. The alcohol had definitely gotten to her.

Trailer Link:

110b5-melindadozierAuthor Bio:

Melinda is a multi-published contemporary romance author with books from Crimson Romance, Swoon Romance and The Wild Rose Press represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. She lives in Guatemala, Central America with her husband/college sweetheart who brings “mucho amor” to her life. Melinda enjoys being the queen of her household and dreams of being pampered fully by her three boys once they are grown. Melinda’s guilty pleasures include reality t.v., traveling, blogging and playing Farmville.


Author Links:




Sign up for Melinda’s newsletter:

Join Melinda’s Street Team, Melinda’s Misfits:

Look Who Dropped By: Susannah Hutchinson


It’s my pleasure to welcome by friend Susannah here this morning and participate in the release of her first novel.

NTLCRTourButtonTitle: Never Too Late

Author: Susannah Hutchinson

Release Date: April 24, 2015

Publisher: Alegos Press

Genre: Thriller, Social Issues, Suspense

Book Description:

Sometimes, the right choice is the most difficult one to make.

Tina Blythe has led a difficult life, working hard to make something of herself. From the moment she met her future husband, she knew her happiness was assured. Clive was the answer to her prayers, a dream she thought came true.

It doesn’t take long for Clive to show his true colours, and her life takes an unexpected turn. Her husband has turned into someone she barely recognises, a mere shell of the man she married. Yearning for a fresh start, Tina is willing to do anything to give meaning to the life she lives. She refuses to allow herself to become a victim once again.

Determined to find a means to an end, she devises a plan that will help her gain her freedom. She knows it will be difficult, but somehow, someway, Tina is resolute. She will get past Clive’s harsh hold by any means necessary. Only then will she be able to lead the life she’s always wanted.

(Purchase links are not yet available.)




Chapter 1

Tina squeezed herself between several parked cars and stepped onto the pavement, jogging the last hundred yards to her home. Hot and out of breath, she blotted her forehead with the edge of her sleeve. The thought of what waited for her behind the front door made her heart race. Her hands trembled as she reached into her pocket for her keys. They slid through her fingers and hit the ground with a loud chink.

Damn it! she thought, and bent down to pick them up.

She rolled her shoulders to ease the tension and slid the key into the lock, promptly letting herself in. Her mouth grew dry as she set one foot on the doormat. There he was, sitting at the bottom of the stairs, a position he assumed when things didn’t go his way.

“You’re late. Where have you been?” Clive asked, his hands locked together, elbows balanced on his knees.

Tina’s face paled as she stared at him. “I’m only a little late. You know I’ve been to see Sam.”

She kicked off her trainers and then remembered to place them neatly with the other shoes in the rack.

Clive’s eyes narrowed as he stared back at her. “You should have left earlier.”

“I got carried away chatting.”

She hung her coat on the hook and leant forward to peck her husband on the lips then stroked his right cheek, hoping that it would ease the hostility between them.

He brushed her hands away and said, “We said eleven o’clock. You will not see her again. Do you hear me?”

“It’s only a few minutes. Why do we have to go through this every time I see her?” she asked. “You know she’s my oldest friend.”

Clive’s lips thinned to a tight line. Her body tensed as the words left her mouth. He stood and approached her, clutching her shoulders and pinning her against the wall.

“You won’t see her again,” he repeated. “Is that clear?”

Tina’s cheeks tingled as Clive’s breath puffed across her face as he spoke She cowered before him, dreading what was to come.

“I–I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to answer back. Please, let me go!”

Clive increased the pressure upon her shoulders, his eyes boring deep into hers. “I’m not making myself clear, am I?”

The scent of sour milk and garlic invaded her nostrils as his breath blew across her cheek. Tina’s spine pressed against the wall as she tried to back away from him to no avail. Clive wrapped his hand around her throat, pushing her jawbone upwards. His grip tightened, restricting her airflow. She slumped against the wall, feeling a little woozy. Spittle oozed from the corners of her lips, dripping onto his shirtsleeve. Incoherent nonsense came from her lips when she tried to speak.

A searing pain invaded her abdomen, causing her to double over. Through watery eyes, she watched as Clive shook his hand and flexed his fingers. The smug look on his face betrayed his enjoyment. A stream of urine slowly trickled down her thighs. Tina clamped her legs together, hoping to shield the wetness that was now seeping into her trousers from her husband’s view.

Her eyesight swam and she soon rolled to the floor. Curled up in the corner, Tina wrapped her arms around her middle. Her nostrils flared as she struggled to breathe, hoping that it would cure the dizziness she now felt.

Clive stared down at her and said, “You will not talk back to me again, bitch. Stop snivelling! I hardly touched you.”

Cowering against the wall, Tina tried to suppress her tears. She knew if she cried that it would fuel his anger.

“S–Sorry. I didn’t mean . . . to . . . answer back.” She paused and looked at him from the corner of her eye. “You’ve really hurt me this time!”

Using the telephone table for balance, she stood on unsteady feet. Clive shook his head in disapproval.

“You’ve pissed yourself. Sort it out. It stinks.” He offered her a hand. “Come on. I’ll make you a tea.”

Tina allowed him to lead her through to the kitchen. He helped her into a chair near the table, and set about in preparing a cup of tea. Her knuckles whitened to the point of hurting as she clenched her fists across her lap. He flipped the switch on the kettle. Neither of them spoke until he placed the cup in front of her.

“Thanks,” she said, her voice barely a whisper.

Her throat felt dry as her gaze landed on the cup. She reached for it, the heat of the porcelain mug warming her palms.

“I’m going to bed.” He smirked. “I want you up by midnight.”

She nodded, afraid of looking up at him. “Yes, Darling. I’ll drink this and have a shower.”

SHAuthorPhoto1About The Author:

Susannah Hutchinson was born and raised in Sunderland in the North East of England. She spent most of her childhood with either a book in her hand or riding horses. She moved to Norfolk in 1990, where she now lives with her long-term partner, artist Gerald Marsland.

Susannah turned to writing in the hopes that one day she would find a publisher and embark on a successful career as an author. She’s written several short stories and has one printed in a local magazine. Another was accepted and read in a podcast in the USA. Her ambition is to become a novelist.

At the age of 46, she has finished writing what will be her soon-to-be released debut novel titled, Never Too Late. Her genre of choice is Social Thriller. As well as entertaining the reader, she tries to send out a message within her work, while bringing social issues to the forefront of people’s minds. She is also a conservationist and supports several animal charities. She enjoys traditional art, reading almost any genre of books, and is very interested in Forensics and Psychology.

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