Release Day for A Marriage of Inconvenience by Elise Hepner

Best wishes and congratulations to fellow author Elise Hepner whose book, A Marriage of Inconvenience was released today.

AMarriageOfInconvenience300Blurb:

Izzy Thorton’s mother is dying.

Her best friend, Sebastian Leery, made Izzy’s mother’s dying wish come true.

Now Izzy and Sebastian are getting hitched in a quickie ceremony.

Among the myriad of problems for Izzy including her new husband’s little black book, his workaholic tendencies, and his hidden, although not so secret love of BDSM—she’s actually in love with him. Caught with the task of proving to him that his self-perceived sins hide a man only his secretly submissive best friend could accept, can she convince Bash before he pushes her away for good?

Sebastian Leery’s mother was murdered in front of him. To spare his best friend pain he’ll renounce his playboy ways. Now he needs to be a man he never thought he was capable of becoming—for his wife.

But his difficulties have only begun when his demons rise to the surface and tap dance all over his new marriage—with the potential to scare away the most important woman in his life. When Izzy insists she’s in love with him, he yearns to rip off the mask of normalcy, and bare it all so she knows the monster behind the man. Torn between her vision of him and his reality, Sebastian must walk a thin line. Can he convince Izzy that she’s in love with a mirage, without destroying their relationship in the process?

Tied together for life, will they choose to tighten the ropes, or break their bonds for good?

Buy Links:

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AMOIBowtie

Excerpt:

“Whoa, easy there, buddy.” Bash laughed. “You can’t kill me with a look, no matter how much you try.”

She came close to clawing out his trachea.

“Where in the hell are we going to find wedding dresses? Where are we going to find a ring? A tux? Someone to marry us? Huh, Einstein? Did you even think this through at all?” she spat out pushing him backward as he stumbled into the wall with a laugh that only infuriated her even more. “It’s not even close to funny!”

“It really, really is, Izzy. Why’d you agree to marry me so soon, anyway? Kind of a strange agreement for someone who’s now pissed about it, wouldn’t you say?”

“Just shut up.” Izobel thrust both hands through her hair and raked her nails down her scalp.

With a huge huff she moved to brush past him and head off to the parking lot before his hand shot out snatching around her wrist. Izobel made a small, strangled noise of surprise.

“Come. Here.”

Two seconds later, she was locked in his arms, surrounded by the inescapable warmth of his muscular, lean build. Her fingers tingled where they pressed into his well-built chest, while she was caught in the deep pools of his blueish-gray eyes. His smirk only intensified as shadows from the overhead lighting played down the to-die-for angles of his cheekbones. Her brain short-circuited as her pulse throbbed in her skull blocking out all other sounds or thoughts.

“Wha—”

“No, you shut up,” Bash whispered and kneaded his fingers into her lower back until she had two jelly doughnuts below where her knees used to be. Her eyes must have been wide and epically confused, because he licked his lips with the hint of a smile. “We’re going to do this properly.”

There was a twinge in his voice, a register she’d never heard before that made the hairs on the back of her neck prickle, and a shudder rolled down her spine. Whatever was happening between them, she hadn’t gotten the memo.

“I—”

“What did I say?” The sudden authority to his tone brooked no argument, and Izobel attempted to pull backward only for him to yank her forward until the last inch between them was history. “Don’t argue with me.”

Forced to confront the buildup of muscular man fantasy she’d been missing out on for years, she was in no way disappointed by the solid warmth pressed up against her from knee to neck. But Sebastian didn’t need to know that. Unfortunately, she was positive her face projected her feelings like the Hubbell telescope on steroids. One of his hands trailed up her back, fingers teasing her sensitive skin through her thin shirt, and she let out a small noise. When he cupped the back of her neck in a show of absolute dominance she stopped breathing.

“I’m going to kiss you. You’re going to kiss me back, do you understand?”

This was it. It was happening. Izobel squeaked, and either Bash didn’t notice or didn’t care because his mouth crushed down on hers, and nothing else mattered.

His tongue swept over her lips demanding entry, and despite her verbal jabs she went pliant in his arms. Boneless beneath his greedy, take charge attitude, Izobel allowed him to ravage her mouth while dizzying desire pooled low in her belly. He was a man used to getting what he wanted—and for a single second, Izzy really liked being what he wanted most of all. Beneath the crushing, delicious torment she became swept up in him. When his fingers tightened to bruising on the back of her neck she repaid him by biting his lower lip until she tasted pennies. But he merely growled, intensifying the kiss. She was drowning in him. Unsure what was real or fantasy as his free hand roamed over her ass and back to her waist as she curled her hands into his motorcycle jacket.

He took advantage of her mouth in every way imaginable until she could only hope to keep up, and the rest of her body screamed for release. She was at his mercy. Aware of every inch of him pressed tight, eager, and ready. Each of his movements was a claim, almost angry in his possession as he took her against him. But there was no part of her that she tried to hold back, to keep safe. Despite her mind’s knowledge that it was a bad idea, her body was all in, uncaring of what happened so long as they stayed locked together for one more second.

She didn’t pull away. Not until she was resting back on her feet and Bash’s hand eased around her hip as if to steady her, still so close she could sense his warm breath on the tip of her nose. The sharp sound of applause broke the moment into a million pieces. They both swiveled around toward the nurses’ station where the employees were clapping and wolf whistling behind the desk giving loud shouts of encouragement.

“There’s no need to stop on our account. That’s the best thing we’ve seen all day.” A passing nurse remarked, tucking back a lock of red hair with a waggle of her eyebrows.

“Shit,” Bash muttered rubbing the back of his neck.

Was he actually embarrassed? Izobel could count on one hand the number of times she’d seen him embarrassed—of course, right now she couldn’t count at all until her head stopped spinning. When she licked her lips, she tasted him. Peppermint, vanilla, and something…masculine. Spicy, maybe? His fingers dug into her hip. But when she looked back into his face, she saw no consciousness of his action.

“Well, at least we know we won’t have one problem in our marriage,” he exhaled and dropped his hand as if he’d suddenly realized he was still touching her and shoved it in his pocket. “I guess you should go back to your car, right? I’ll be over soon. Quick.”

“Uh, sure.” Izobel narrowed her eyes, still not processing much past the tingling of her lips and the streak of pinkish red lighting up Bash’s high cheekbones. “Are you…?”

Bash waved with one hand, turned on his heel, and all but ran in the opposite direction. His long legs made quick work of the never-ending hallway. Before she knew it, she was standing alone with her mouth opening and closing like a fish seeing nothing of her surroundings.

“A word of advice?” A woman wearing scrubs elbowed her in the ribs. “Don’t let that man go, you got it?”

“We’re getting married in two days,” she said in an eerie monotone, still processing the slow burn that was working its way through her veins from his touch.

With that as the start of their new relationship, whatever else she had to look forward to flashed across her brain in a naughty tussle of limbs, lips, tongue, and teeth.

“What have I gotten myself into?” she breathed.

“Something you don’t want out of, trust me,” said the nurse.

But that was the problem, wasn’t it?

AMOICuff

About the Author:

Elise Hepner lives in Pennsylvania with two spastic, co-dependent cats and her dachshund soulmate, Quinn. She’s a multi-published erotic and erotic romance author with several e-presses as well as in print. When not writing BDSM erotica she can be found ogling Jamie from Outlander, binge watching Netflix, or doing historical research for fun. For more information about her work see her website: http://www.ehepner.com.

 Other Social Media links:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EHepner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Elise-Hepner-Author-Page-311925106401/timeline/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elisehepner/

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Mid Week Tease: The White Lily, Book Two of The Harvester Series

MWTease15Good morning, everyone. elcome to September 30, 2015, and this week’s Mid Week Tease. Each Wednesday, a group of amazing and diverse authors share a snippet from their work in progress, a new release or an old favorite. If you like erotica, BDSM, shifters, suspense or contemporary romance, one of the authors is sure to meet and satisfy your tastes.

This week, the time has finally arrived for me to introduce you to the next phase in the search for the Harvester.

Thanks to Sandra Bunino and all of the other wonderful authors who make this weekly blog hop so much fun.

For those of you unfamiliar with The White Carnation, Book One of The Harvester Series, here’s the scoop.

The White CarnationThe last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.

For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.

Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?

If you haven’t read it, here’s the Amazon link for The White Carnation

Today, I want you to meet the two newest members of The Harvester Task Force Lilith  Munroe and Jacob Andrews. They are the heart and soul of The White Lily, Book Two of the Harvester Series 

About The White Lily

The White LilyThe Harvester is out there…watching, waiting, biding his time.

FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again. So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. But the Harvester is kidnapping babies, and Lilith’s profiling skills may mean the difference between life and death for the most innocent in society.

Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith’s greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to set aside his anger and save the woman he loves?

The White Lily is available for pre-order at Amazon

This week’s tease comes from the prologue.

Exhausted and thirsty, Lilith hung from the cold basement wall, her arms extended, shackled at her wrists, in a re-creation of the crucifixion. Her tired legs wouldn’t be able to support her weight much longer, and if she collapsed or fell asleep, her shoulders would separate, tearing the muscle from the bone, and the pain would increase exponentially. With her arms ripped from their sockets, her chest would sag, stretched to its full extent, and she’d inhale until her lungs were fully expanded, and then, unable to exhale because her muscles couldn’t function in that position, she’d slowly suffocate. The irony of this method of torture wasn’t lost on her.

How long had she been in here? Hours? Days? The total darkness of the grave surrounded her. She was going to die just like Turner had. They’d found his brutalized body in the desert, about thirty miles from the compound. Forensics had proven he’d been killed elsewhere, and she’d bet it had been in this dungeon. Had he been crucified on this wall? Had his blood embedded itself into the cold stone at her back? Pooled at his feet like hers did? The coroner claimed exsanguination as the cause of death, but perhaps Turner had simply given in to the pain.

Lilith, when you screw up, you really make a mess of things.

Turner had been one of the agency’s best men, with years of covert experience under his belt. She’d volunteered to take his place and infiltrate the Faithful Followers of the Word, looking for Senator Kirk’s granddaughter, the fourteen-year-old girl who’d vanished from her bunkhouse at ski camp almost a year ago. Why had she assumed she’d succeed where he’d failed?

There’d been concern about sending a female agent into this environment, especially one with no undercover experience, but in her arrogance, Lilith had argued a young woman might have a better shot at being accepted than another man. After all, wasn’t she the agency’s expert on cults? Besides, they’d had no real proof Kelly Kirk was there other than an anonymous tip and a grainy photograph taken by an aerial surveillance plane, so Lilith might simply be gathering vital information.

But she’d misread the dynamics of the cult. Foolishly, because his was the face everyone saw, she assumed Rivers was in charge.

Her left knee buckled, and she gasped as the handcuffs bit deeper into her wrists. Forcing herself upright once more, she gritted her teeth. Her tormentor was probably out there right now, waiting to hear her cry out once more, and by God, she’d die before she’d give him the satisfaction.

Want to read more? The White Lily is available for pre-order and will be released October 12/15

Now, Check out the rest of these great mid week teases.

1.

Tuesday Tales. Hello Again. This week’s word: glass.

Badge for TT - very small (1)Hello and welcome to the last September Tuesday Tales. Autumn has definitely arrived. Warm days give way to chilly nights  complete with frost.I can’t complain. We had a magnificent summer this year. Lots of beautiful, sunny days, and I’ve already booked my camping spot for next summer.

Tuesday Tales, made possible by Jean Joachim and a group of extremely talented authors, challenges me and the others in the group to write a scene in a story based on a single word or image. Hello Again, has been created for that very purpose and, since I’m a pantser,rather than a plotter, it’s taken on a life of its own. What started as a contemporary romance is morphing into a paranormal/romance/suspense story.

Here’s this week’s offering. 

tubCharley turned off the taps, having opted to take a shower rather than the bath her hostess had suggested. The old-fashioned claw footed tub was deep, and while she’d love to soak her aching body, she doubted she’d be able to leverage herself out of the tub once she was in it. Having a stranger, especially a male RCMP officer help her out of the tub—naked as a jaybird—wasn’t going to happen. She’d shampooed her short chestnut hair twice, mindful of the throbbing lump on the side of her head. The herbal-scented products made her feel fresh—fresh and about a hundred years old. The back of her hands stung and her leg ached, but she’d scrubbed herself with a facecloth and the lavender scented bar of soap, doing her best to get as much of the debris as possible out of her wounds. The leg was bleeding again, but it didn’t look as if there was anything stuck in it.

Drying herself with the towel her hostess had left on the stool for her, she avoided the bloody leg, pleased that the bleeding was down to a slow ooze. The stiff, snowy-white towel reminded her of her youth, when Nana had hung towels out to dry in the sunshine, and they’d had that same clean, fresh scent. Using the paper towels Mrs. Smoke had brought for the purpose, she dabbed at the deep gash in her leg, hoping it wouldn’t get infected. Finally, dry, she donned, the voluminous pink flannel nightgown the woman had given her and giggled softly. Beggars can’t be choosers.

Carefully, she brushed back her hair, wincing when the bristles rubbed against the sensitive spot. Grateful for the new toothbrush her hostess had provided along with a hairbrush, she cleaned her teeth, and then tidied the bathroom as best she could. Satisfied it was as good as she could get it, she opened the door and stared around the open-concept living room/kitchen, half of which appeared to be a stable.

“Feeling better?” Shirley asked.

“Yes, thank you. Do you always keep your animals in the house?” she blurted out, trying to ignore the various aromas competing for supremacy.

“Getting a might strong isn’t it? As soon as the sergeant gets the fence up, Elsie, Flower, and Chuck will go back outside, and I’ll get this all cleaned up. I needed to bring them inside to keep them safe from the twisters.”

“Don’t you have a barn?” Charley asked, wondering if she sounded as dim-witted as she felt.

“Did; don’t anymore. The boys will build me a new one as soon as they can, but the cattle will be fine for a few days in the pen. The sergeant will build a lean to for them. Now, come and sit down so I can look at the leg. City girl, eh? Well, the smell of a little cow manure won’t hurt you.”

Charley felt her cheeks heat. The last thing she’d wanted to do was insult her hostess. Moving as quickly as her leg allowed, she hobbled to the table and sat as ordered.

Shirley reached for her hands, examined Charley’s scraped knuckles, and nodded. “I’ll put some salve on them after you eat. They’ll be fine. Now, let me see your leg.”

Charley lifted the nightgown to expose the back of her left calf. With a surprisingly soft touch, Shirley examined the gash.

“You did a good job of cleaning it out, but it’s definitely going to need stitches,” she said, and Charley swallowed awkwardly. She wasn’t very brave when it came to needles and such, and the idea of having her leg sewn up like a tear in a pair of pants nauseated her.

“Maybe you could just bandage it for now,” she offered, “and we could get it stitched later.

Shirley chuckled. “A might squeamish are you? Not to worry. I’ll wait until after you’ve eaten. I’ll get you some stew.”

Grateful for the delay, Charley smiled, about to refuse the food, but her stomach let out a loud groan belying any excuse she’d been about to give. The aroma of fresh bread mixed with the less appetizing ones, and she realized how hungry she was.

“Thank you.”

stewShirley deposited a bowl of stew on the table and handed her a spoon. Seconds later, she came back with a loaf of bread and a crock of butter.

Charley picked up the spoon and dipped it into the thick stew.

“This is delicious. Aren’t you having any?” she asked, hoping this wasn’t the only food her hostess had.

“I’ll eat with the sergeant when he’s done. The bread’s fresh from this morning, still warm since I kept it in the oven.” She set down a cup of herbal tea. “I want you to drink it all down and then I’ll help you back into bed. It’ll help with the headache.”

While Charley ate, Shirley bustle around the room, opening the shutters and windows, allowing the fresh air to ease the scent of the animals.

“Do you live here alone?” Charley asked.

“I have for the last five years. Before that my husband was with me.”

“How do you manage?”

“Emile, he’s my chief, sends boys out to do the heavy work, and every now and then the spirits send me those who’ve lost their way and need saving.”

“Spirits? As in ghosts?”

“People use different names for them. Some call them angels, but I guess they could be called ghosts. You have a strong spirit attached to you. He’s worried about you. He came to me to tell me you were in trouble, and we went to get you.”

Charley swallowed. She didn’t believe in ghosts or spirits, but the last thing she’d do was admit it to this woman. Now, angels were a different matter. Nana had believed in angels, and Charley couldn’t dispute the fact that someone had been watching over her this morning.

When she’d finished two slices of bread and her bowl of stew, Charley reached for the tea. It wasn’t orange pekoe or any of the other varieties she’s tasted, but it was good with a hint of peppermint and honey, and she finished it quickly.

“That was delicious, Mrs. Smoke, she said recalling the woman’s name. She yawned. “I guess I’m still not myself.”

“Nonsense, a body needs sleep to heal. Call me Shirley since we’ll be together for a few days. Here,” she handed Charley two analgesic tablets. “These will help with the pain.”

Charley lifted the glass of water to her mouth, swallowed the two tablets.

The sound of the door opening made her turn her head and her breath caught in her throat.

It can’t be.

The tall man standing in the doorway with close-cropped red hair and deep green eyes was a dead ringer for Mike. Was she hallucinating?

“Mrs. Winters,” he said stepping into the room. “Nice to see you awake.”

He even sounds like Mike.

The room began to spin, and she grasped the side of the table. “Maybe I’ll just lie down for a bit.”

“That’s a good idea,” Shirley said, but her voice sounded far away. “When you wake up, you’ll be right as rain.”

Charley stood, but before she could take a step, blackness overtook her.

Damn,” Mike’s voice was the last thing she heard.

That’s it for this week. Now, please drop by and visit all the Tuesday Tales

Mid Week Tease: Eloisia, Episode Two, Secrets

MWTease15Good morning. This is a sad week for me. At my age, I expect dear aunts and uncles to pass on, but not old friends, especially old friends eight years younger than me. As I write this week, I’ll create a character based on Keith and immortalize the best of him my way.

As always, my sincere thanks go out to Sandra Bunino and the other marvellous authors who let me play along each week. Your imaginations astound me!  And of course I need to once again thank Danielle Doolittle who made the changes to the original cover for Episode Two.

We all have different aspect to our characters. Some of them are the ones we show the world, others come out on occasion when our grip on ourselves slips, and we have secrets we keep hidden from everyone–occasionally, everyone includes ourselves.

Secrets, Episode Two of my sci-fi space opera, Eloisia, tests Darla’s abilities and as she scans deeply into Striker’s mind in search for the saboteur. What she finds is the last thing she expected.

Here’s your tease.

Pushing harder, she forced back the layers of confusion and fear. The colonel’s breathing became erratic, his pulse increased as blood sped through his veins and arteries, pumped by a distressed heart. She couldn’t see what was upsetting him, but whoever had implanted that block and the terrors it contained knew the man well. She hadn’t even begun to probe the memory, and his body was reacting violently. She felt his nausea, afraid her body wouldn’t be able to distinguish between his reactions and hers. Whatever was coming would be unpleasant.

EloisiaEpTwoFinaleBookStepping deeper into his terror, she’s suddenly on a battlefield. She’s Striker, but she’s also outside of him, watching them move, Siamese twins in a strangely disturbing place. Their hearts beat faster, their breathing shallow, and she feels lightheaded. The terrain changes. It’s harder to walk, her gravity boots sink into the ground all around her, the surface sticky and wet, covered in a viscous liquid—not water, blood. Peering closely, she realizes what she’s mistaken for rocks are chunks of human bodies, a shoulder here, an arm, a leg, a hip there. What kind of weapon inflicts this damage?

The stench hits her. It’s the same odor Striker encountered in the cargo bay. Gazing down, she’s surrounded by bodies—men and women in space marine uniforms, some intact, others partially decomposed. Large black insects, the size of brown rats, multi-legged monsters too hideous for words, feast on the flesh all around them.

Low sounds, muffled by the clicking insects, grow stronger and she realizes not everyone is dead. Some are being consumed alive while other insects are spinning silken cocoons over the victims—food for a later date. Her stomach clenches as she recognizes the cries for help. One voice draws Striker. It’s a young marine, barely out of his teens, lying pinned under the bodies of two others, insects crawling over them.

Trevor! The name leaps out of the colonel’s mouth but the sound disappears amid the screams of the living dead. How can anyone even conceived such horror?

Forcing a calmness she doesn’t feel, Darla separates herself from Striker so that she can force him to look at her instead of the young marine. It’s a risky move, but he can’t dwell on this.

Jim, listen to me. This isn’t real. It’s a nightmare. Trust me. Trevor’s not here. These monsters are figments of your imagination. Let them go.

Using every relaxation technique her mother has ever taught her, Darla concentrates on erasing this vicious dream from the colonel’s mind. His heartbeat and respiration slow, only to increase exponentially when one of creatures sinks its teeth into his arm, the blood dripping from its mandibles. Whoever has planted this block is skilled at psychological torture. Activating nerves and pain centers when the subject doesn’t comply immediately isn’t easy. Looking down, she feels her skin bubble. The insects’ saliva is acidic. She has to stop this before they both collapse from the pain.

Swallowing her agony, she seeks that part of his mind that controls his rationality. Jim, listen to me. You have to fight this. It’s a trick, put here to prevent you from learning the truth. This is a nightmare. You want to know what happened don’t you. Fight your fear.

Without warning, flames shoot from the weapon in Striker’s hand, burning those around them, bringing death to both human and insect alike. The unmistakable stench of burning flesh gags her, and amid the crackle of fire, cocoons and bodies blacken as flames turn the landscape red. Fire licks at her arms and legs. Her skin peels, but it isn’t her opalescent skin—it’s Striker’s golden, sand-colored body—and she understands why he’s kept the scars. It’s his way of honoring his fallen comrades. What she’d thought a dream is an actual memory, and using a memory such as this makes the block even harder to break.

It’s over, Jim. This happened a long time ago. The burns have healed. Trevor’s gone. He’s at peace. Let it go, you’re safe. You’re in bed aboard your ship. We’re together. We need to keep going and find out what happened.

The nightmare ended as suddenly as it began, and she tweaked his libido. Better to deal with sexual desire than this.

Both Eloisia, Episode One, Stowaway and Eloisia Episode Two, Secrets are available from Amazon. 

Please take a few moments to visit the rest of this week’s teasers.

Tuesday tales: Today’s Word is “grim”.

Badge for TT - very small (1)Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. Many thanks to Jean Joachim and the other wonderful authors who participate in this wonderful weekly activity and to you, the readers, who come back each week to check out our offerings.

Today, I’m continuing with Hello Again, the story I’m crafting specifically for this activity.

“How is she?” Bill asked entering the house with two canvas bags and a backpack in his hands.

“Awake. She’d in the bathroom cleaning up. I’ll need to stitch her leg and give her something for the pain. I need you to go out to the shed and start the generator.”

“Shed? What shed? There isn’t a building out there other than the outhouse.”

Shirley chuckled. “That hasn’t been a privy in twenty years.  My pig pen’s around the back of it, but the generator’s inside.”

Bill scowled. “I didn’t see any wires…”

“That’s because they’ve been buried.” She shook her head and put her hands on her hips looking every inch the disgruntled school marm. “What good would it do to have a generator with wires that could get torn down as easily as the others?”

“When you put it that way…”

“There’s plenty of gas out there too. Once you get the power going, I’ll heat up the soup and boil water to sterilize the needle and thread and make tea. Once we’ve eaten and she’s asleep, we can get the cows and the calf out of the house. I’ve got another bedroom I can sleep in, but you’ll need to bunk in here, and I think you’d rather do it with Elsie, Flower, and Chuck outside.”

Bill laughed. “You called the calf Chuck?”

“I did that’ll be good beef on the hoof one day. I got him from Sven Lewis who runs Black Angus cattle. He gave it to me for curing his son’s croup last winter.”

Where had he ever gotten the idea Shirley was frail or helpless? Bill realized her breathing had improved, probably because the humidity had dropped. No doubt she could start the generator, move the cattle, and get everything set to right without his help. He got the distinct impression she was giving him busy work, the way his foster-mother had when she didn’t want him underfoot.

“Okay. Is there anything else you need me to do?”

“You’ll know when you get there,” she answered cryptically. “Now, go and get the generator working first so I can tend to Charley.”

“Charley? Who’s Charley?”

“The woman, of course. That’s her name Charley Winters. She’s going to have to come out of the water soon and it’s best there’s power and hot water when she does.”

Bill nodded. So Charlotte was Charley. Why would a beautiful woman like that want to use a name associated with a man? And she was beautiful, beautiful and strangely familiar. Even as bruised and banged up as she’d been, he’d felt as if he’d been hit over the head with a hammer when she’d opened those gray-blue eyes and stared at him. The momentary wonder had been replaced with sorrow when she’d called him Mike, a sadness made more profound by the fact the lady was married. There was no mistaking the wide gold band she wore.

“I’m on it,” he said leaving the house, forcing his mind away from the crazy idea he had that he’d met the woman before, and making his way out to the far side of the soddie.

saddleThe former outhouse, now a utility shed was larger than he’d thought. The building must’ve been added to when it had been converted. Tools of various shapes and sizes hung on one wall, next to a magnificent leather saddle, polished to a fine patina as if someone had just put the tack and saddle away. He hadn’t seen a horse, but even as feisty as she was, he doubted Shirley still rode.

The generator, a top of the line 20 kW model powered by propane, was hooked up to the sizeable tank he’d noticed on the outhouse’s far side, and its push button ignition fired on the first try. The electricity producer’s steady hum told him he’d done his job, the bright lightbulb overhead verifying it was putting out the power they needed. He exited the small building and walked around, looking for the sty Shirley had mentioned.

Whoever had designed this homestead had done a brilliant job of incorporating the landscape. The pig pen was built into a hillock with a small fenced area out front. Now that he knew it was there, he could see the ceiling vents that provided air flow. It was probably hooked up to the generator too. Windows, currently shuttered and a closed wooden door kept the animals safely inside. He shook his head. She did say the pigs would be safe.

Opening the small gate, he unlatched the shutters, opened the door, and moved aside quickly as a sow waddled out followed by six piglets and a red hen who’d taken shelter inside as well.

snowfencingMoving away from the sty, he noticed the roll of red cedar snow fencing and a half dozen steel posts lying on the ground between the outhouse and the tank. It never failed to amaze him how a storm as destructive as those tornadoes could leave things untouched close by. Returning to the shed, he grabbed a spool of wire, a sledge hammer, and wire cutters. It appeared the sprits wanted him to build Shirley a corral for her cattle.

Dropping the tools near the snow fencing, he pushed his cap up onto the back of his head. His uniform was filthy, and he doubted it would ever come clean, but since he had nothing else to wear, it would have to do. He removed his utility belt, complete with his gun and Taser, and set it on the ground near the propane tank, dropping his shirt on top of it.

The humidity was much lower now than it had been earlier. He looked up at the sun, judged the time to be close to noon. One parent might be responsible for his red hair and green eyes, but it was the other who’d gifted him with the Sioux skin tone that saved him from getting sunburnt.

It was hard to believe everything had happened in less than five hours. How much damage had the storm done? Were there more people out there, trapped in their vehicles or homes? With that grim thought in mind, Bill unwound the snow fence. He’d get Shirley and Charley safely settled and then walk back to Sintaluta to see what he could do to help. Maybe, just maybe, he’d be able to get a message to Regina, too.

That’s it for this week. Now, please drop by and visit all the Tuesday Tales

DRUM ROLL! Cover Reveal Today. A Marriage of Inconvenience by Elise Hepner

AMarriageOfInconvenience300

Available September 30, 2015 

Izzy Thorton’s mother is dying.

Her best friend, Sebastian Leery, made Izzy’s mother’s dying wish come true.

Now Izzy and Sebastian are getting hitched in a quickie ceremony.

Among the myriad of problems for Izzy including her new husband’s little black book, his workaholic tendencies, and his hidden, although not so secret love of BDSM—she’s actually in love with him. Caught with the task of proving to him that his self-perceived sins hide a man only his secretly submissive best friend could accept, can she convince Bash before he pushes her away for good?

Sebastian Leery’s mother was murdered in front of him.

To spare his best friend pain he’ll renounce his playboy ways.

Now he needs to be a man he never thought he was capable of becoming—for his wife.

But his difficulties have only begun when his demons rise to the surface and tap dance all over his new marriage—with the potential to scare away the most important woman in his life. When Izzy insists she’s in love with him, he yearns to rip off the mask of normalcy, and bare it all so she knows the monster behind the man. Torn between her vision of him and his reality, Sebastian must walk a thin line. Can he convince Izzy that she’s in love with a mirage, without destroying their relationship in the process?

Tied together for life, will they choose to tighten the ropes, or break their bonds for good?

Look Who Dropped By Today: Sherry Gloag

Good morning and welcome to another Meet the Author moment on Living the Dream.

Today, I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Sherry Gloag. A best-selling author, Sherry now lives in the beautiful East Anglian countryside in the UK. She spent her childhood in Scotland before moving to the Midlands of England.

After cutting her writing teeth with contemporary romance, Sherry tried her hand at light paranormal in her 2nd book of The Gasquet Princes series, His Chosen bride. Her next adventure, writing Regency stories, produced her best-selling novel, Vidal’s Honor.

When she’s not writing, Sherry enjoys walking gardening and her crystal craft work. “”It’s bit like writing 🙂 When you’re in the ‘zone’ everything just flows. It’s a great feeling.

Sherry is also one of the authors in the Hearts of Braden series premiering October 6. 2015.  My contribution, Secrets and Lies will be released November 17th. Sherry’s will be out in January, so stay posted for more information on that!

For From Now Until Forever:- Book 1 in the Gasquet Princes Series

From Now Until Forever_200x300

Book Blurb:-

For Prince Liam, families meant bad news, unwanted commitments, and the loss of his personal freedom.  Love spawned white picket fences, slippers at the hearth with a wife and kids making demands, so why did those images disappear when he met Melanie Babcot?

Melanie Babcot fought hard to escape the horrors of her youth and vowed to remain single and free, so when paid to protect Prince Liam from insurgents why did her personal pledge fly out the window?
Excerpt:-

“Liam, why do you suppose your every move has been tracked by palace security since you left three years ago?”

Frustration laced the security chief’s voice. “Why do you suppose your father tried to keep you close to home?”

“I suggest you tell me.”

“We knew you were the target.”

Liam heard the hard edge in his companion’s voice. “You have proof of this?”

“Get real. You’ve spent three years rebelling against your father and your position. If you’d wanted to, you could have gone back to working with your horses, but you were too intent on defying your father to follow your heart’s desire, to listen to

anything anyone else said. So, no, we didn’t think you needed to know.”

Paxman leaned his hand out the window, stuck a flashing blue light on the car roof, floored the pedal, and sailed past a convoy of vehicles.

From Now Until Forever To Buy Links:

http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=7105194

http://www.amazon.com/From-Now-Until-Forever-ebook/dp/B006GYAV44/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322854797&sr=1-1-spell

http://www.amazon.co.uk/From-Now-Until-Forever-ebook/dp/B006GYAV44/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322854884&sr=8-1-spell

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sherry-gloag-from-now-until-forever?keyword=sherry+gloag+from+now+until+forever&store=book

nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sherry-gloag-from-now-until-forever?keyword=sherry+gloag+from+now+until+forever&store=ebook

Book Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D7sLoMWp0o

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HisChosenBride_200x300His Chosen Bride – Book 2 in the Gasquet Princes Series

Book Blurb:-

Prince Henri Gasquet is happy to let his father, the king, choose his bride for him until he meets Monica Latimer.

Monica Latimer is not prepared to risk letting any man close enough to learn about her Gift. A gift that normally has men running for the hills when they find out about it.

Excerpt:-

She lost track of time until the flames caught her attention once more. They flickered from orange to gold, to silver, to white.

A flurry of snowflakes masked the flames and for a second Monica watched the most beautiful, pristine snow-scene she’d ever seen. Her lips curved in longing. How she’d love to get a toboggan and slide down that slope. She knew where it was, and had done just that many times in her childhood, first with her parents and then, in clandestine manner, with her brother. Sneaking an old tin tray from the back of her mother’s walk-in pantry, she’d then grabbed Billy’s hand and they’d rushed out the back gate, heading for the lakeside track that led up into the hills.

Darkness, dense and thick with grief dropped over the scene. Startled and disconcerted by the strength of emotion emanating from the vision Monica shifted to her knees, ready to stand, when a voice, a deep male voice, sharp with fear called out her name.
“Monica!”

She knew she’d never heard the voice before, and yet—it was as familiar to her as the image she saw in her mirror each morning.

“Help me, Monica.”

Desperate for more clues, she searched the darkness within the flames until it sputtered and faded. With a curse she jumped up and ran for the phone. With her outstretched hand hovering over it she halted and let her hand drop to her side once more. What could she say? What would the police or rescue team think of her if she called them and told them she’d seen a vision of a man in distress?

They’d laugh in her face and classify her as a lunatic. Well, maybe not. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d contacted them with positive information but something—an instinctive gut reaction told her what she’d seen this time hadn’t happened yet.

His Chosen Bride To Buy Links:

http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=9472803

Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/His-Chosen-Bride/book-M9o6aoRXPkyzBnmQNx4nLg/page1.html?s=6QB2_jmGp0C8JZqlrsuqVQ&r=2

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/His-Chosen-Bride-ebook/dp/B0079A7V9W/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357053794&sr=1-4&keywords=Sherry+Gloag

Amazon UK  http://www.amazon.co.uk/His-Chosen-Bride-ebook/dp/B0079A7V9W/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357053836&sr=1-4

All Romance https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hischosenbride-895285-149.html

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-chosen-bride-sherry-gloag/1108826897?ean=2940013929494

Stay Connected with Sherry:

My Website: http://authorsherrygloagtheheartofroman.weebly.com/ 

My Blog: http://sherrygloagtheheartofromance.blogspot.co.uk/  

FB: https://www.facebook.com/SherryGloagAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/SherryGloag 

https://www.facebook.com/SherryGloagAuthor/app_2415071772 

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https://plus.google.com/108759644426912348081/posts

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=sherry+gloag

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