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Midweek Tease: Another Scene from Sworn to Protect

 

New midweek tease imageWelcome to this week’s Midweek Tease and the last one I’ll be participating in until the end of July when I return from my camping vacation. I thought I’d finish off with one last excerpt from Sworn to Protect. Many thanks to all of you who visit each week and to Angelica Dawson who maked this blog hop possible.

Here is this week’s scene:

Sworn to Protect“Marshal Copeland?” The nurse’s voice startled him, and he realized he’d dozed off. It was after midnight.

“I’m Doris. I’ll take you to your wife now.”

Neil followed the nurse to the elevator. The ICU floor was abuzz with hospital staff. Two heavily armed men in Kevlar stood just outside the elevator and stopped them.

“Identification,” demanded the gorilla who stood a good two inches taller than he did. The nurse showed him her ID card, and he nodded.

Neil pulled out his badge. “My wife is Nancy Frost.”

“She’s in ICU 7,” Doris added.

The police officer looked at Neil’s credentials. “Inspector, are you armed?”

Neil opened his jacket to reveal his .22 Glock. He raised his pant leg to display the Ruger LC9 on his ankle. “I was on a case when I got called. Do you need me to surrender them?”

“No, sir. Just glad to know we have back-up if anything happens.”

Neil nodded. “I hope it won’t come to that.”

“So do I. Let’s hope they figure out who’s to blame for this sooner rather than later. No one’s safe until these people are caught.”

“If you’ll follow me, inspector, your wife is down here.” The nurse used her card to open the glass doors that separated ICU from the rest of the floor.

Neil trailed her down the hallway.

She stopped and pointed to the door. “She’s in there. You’ll find a recliner under the window, and I gave you a pillow and a blanket. It’ll be noisy with all the machines, but I hope you can get some rest. You look worse than some of the patients.”

She turned and walked back to the nursing station.

Neil swallowed his fear and pushed open the door.

The sound of the respirator and Nancy’s heart beat thundered in his ears. He looked at the forest of poles and wires surrounding her. Her head was swathed in bandages, and what little of her face could be seen beyond the respirator mask was almost as white as the sheets on which she lay. He saw the recliner but ignored it. Instead, he walked over to the bed, pulled up the hard chair closest to him, flipped it around, and straddled it. He leaned his chin against the back of the chair and reached out his hand to touch hers. Her fingers were cold, deathly cold, and he shivered. She looked so frail. Tears ran down his cheeks.

“I’m here, Nancy. I don’t know who did this to you, but I swear when I find out, I’ll make them pay dearly.”

He laid his head on his arms and cried. The last time he’d wept like this had been four years ago. What else was a man supposed to do when his heart was shattered?

Need more?

Before I go, I would like to give you a peek at my new release coming July 31st, now available for pre-order.

Psychological chills and thrills are woven around a heartwarming love story in this action-packed romantic suspense novel.

Escaping from her abusive fiancé, Alexa O’Brien pulls into a gas station only to walk in on an execution. She’s in protective custody until she can identify Nicoli Zabat, Montreal’s mob boss, at his trial. But her safe house has been compromised, setting in motion a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

Lieutenant Mike Delorme on the Sûreté Du Québec has spent the last eighteen months undercover in narcotics to take down Zabat, the man he blames for the death of his wife and unborn child. He doesn’t have the interest or patience to babysit a woman whose memory isn’t clear—but he’ll carry out his assignment to show the brass he’s a team player.

As Mike and Alexa dodge danger, it appears she’s in deeper than merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the mafia hit she witnessed is revealed to be just the tip of an international terrorist’s plot, they must rely on each other to survive—but only if they can learn to trust their instincts and let love map out their next move.

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

#MidWeekTease June 28, 2017


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Tuesday Tales: From the word STRAP

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the blog hop featuring an excerpt from a work in progress based on a word or picture prompt. Last week’s tease was based on a picture and left everyone guessing. What did the mermaid give her? This week’s word is STRAP. Enjoy!

“But she must have given you a gift. If she takes something, then she must return to you something of hers of equal value. Have you checked your pockets? Sometimes, the sirène leaves her gift for you to find. The one who rescued my grandfather all those years ago took his gold hoop earring and gave him a beautiful abalone shell comb in return. It is one of my family’s prized heirlooms.”

Reaching for the strap of the bag she’d dropped at her feet, MJ pulled it onto her lap and opened it to remove the shorts she’d been wearing. In one pocket she found the three soggy ten-dollar-bills she’d put there. In the other, there was a small round disk. She held it up for Paul and Lucette to see.

gold coinThe object was a thin, circular, gold coin about the size of a silver dollar. The outer rim was about a quarter inch wide and solid, while the inside of the circle resembled netting yet was made of gold with tiny holes pierced into it. In the very center was a small, oval, turquoise stone. There were no other markings on the object, its reverse side identical to the top one, minus the gemstone.

“It’s beautiful,” MJ said, examining the coin. “But what is it?”

Lucette shook her head. “I do not know. I have never seen anything like it.”

“Can I see that?” Mark asked eagerly, stepping closer to them. He’d been waiting to get Lucette’s attention. How much had he overheard? His eyes were bright, his eyebrows raised, the tip of his tongue sticking out slightly between his lips. He reminded MJ of a kid looking in a candy store window. Why would this interest him? Bill stood next to him.

Looking around the room, MJ noticed Melena and Christy sitting on the far side of the lounge. Melena’s color was back to normal.

MJ frowned, but unless she wanted to be rude, she had no choice but to hand the coin to Mark.

“Where did you say you found this?” he asked, his face more animated than she’d ever seen it. His eyes glowed and his jaw hung open. He licked his lips.

He was salivating? Over a coin? What the hell was it?

“I didn’t say,” MJ answered, not sure she wanted to share this discovery with him. He might be able to use her slow-wittedness to argue that she had indeed given him the vacation.

Schooling his features, Mark handed it back to her. “Nice forgery.”

Paul moved closer to them. “A forgery of what?”

“Just some old Incan money. The producers must’ve dropped all kinds of it around to lure us in. Where did you get this particular piece?”

“She found it near the tip of the island yesterday afternoon,” Paul lied before she could answer.

Frowning, she glanced at Paul’s frown, and in her peripheral vision, saw Lucette shake her head. Instead of correcting Paul, she finished her juice and stood, putting the strap of her bag over her shoulder.

“I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had enough excitement and adventure to last me for some time. I’m kind of tired, too. It must be that unexpected dip in the ocean combined with last night’s storm. I’m going to lie down before dinner.”

Paul rose. “You never have to ask me twice to take you to bed.” He winked.

MJ’s cheeks burned, but she smiled.

“Wait,” Mark said, biting the inside of his cheek, the muscle in his jaw jumping. “Why don’t you leave the coin with us, and we’ll look it up online?”

Paul smiled. “Have you got your phone?”

Mark frowned. “Yeah.”

“Then here, take a picture. Take two, front and back, but I don’t think MJ is going to part with her good luck piece, are you honey?”

“Nope. It kept me alive today. I’m not going anywhere without it.”

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

 

Blog:
Living the Dream
Topics: books, authors, romance. life, you name it!

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Friday Feature Artist: Textile Artist Esther Bryan and the Quilt of Belonging

quiltAs authors, we create beauty with the written word. Esther Bryan and her many helpers use a variety of media to create lasting works of art like the Quilt of Belonging. But the Quilt of Belonging is more than an art project; it is the story of all the different ethnic groups who make up the mosaic of Canadian society. Visit the website to learn more. https://www.quiltofbelonging.ca/

historyThe Quilt of Belonging project started in the fall of 1998 by artist Esther Bryan. After visiting Slovakia with her parents in 1995, a place her father had left 43 years earlier, she dreamt of creating a piece of art that would allow every group and culture to tell its own unique story. In her creation, visitors can see that there is “A Place for All”.

squareI first got involved with the Quilt of Belonging project when a close friend and fellow teacher lost her teenage daughter suddenly. Those of us who worked with her wanted to do something special and so I contacted Esther and supported the construction of one of the blocks in Sarah Meyer’s memory. The block chosen was the one dedicated to the small country of San Marino, the world’s oldest surviving republic, only 60.5 sq km in size, founded in 321, AD.

Today, the quilt is 120 feet long and 10 feet high, with 263 squares representing 71 aboriginal groups and the 192 immigrant nationalities found in Canada. Each block is unique, designed and created by hand incorporating a number of different media ranging from abalone shell, to porcupine quills, bobbin lace to worry dolls. It must be seen to be truly appreciated and I had the opportunity to see it last night at a reception at Ottawa City Hall hosted by the Slovakian ambassador to Canada.

INVITATION Ottawapdf

costumeIt was an incredible thing to see all of the people there.  Some wore national dress. I had a conversation with a woman from Slovakia, sampled their cheese and sausage, ass well as their wines. My husband John met an up-and-coming aboriginal artist who recognized the Star Trek insignia on his shirt.  As Dr, Seuss once said, “it’s amazing the people you’ll meet.”

John and Norman

Canada officially turns 150 years old on July 1, 2017. My country has a proud heritage that goes back much farther than that, but we are a wonderful nation with people who believe in the dignity of all.

I am proud to be a Canadian, proud of my country, its rich heritage and all of those who contributed–past and present–to making it the place it is today.

Happy Birthday, Canada. You look great for your age!

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Midweek Tease: Sworn to Protect

 

New midweek tease imageWell, it’s officially summer! Yay! Now, if Mother Nature got the memo and stayed consistent for a few weeks, that would be awesome.

Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease made possible by Angelica Dawson. If you’ll recall, last week, Neil had just learned the extent of his wife’s injuries.

Here’s this week’s tease:

Sworn to ProtectThe sound of the nurse’s phone brought Neil back to the present.

“You don’t have to stay.” Neil turned to Todd. “I’ll be okay. You can go back to work.”

His partner shrugged his shoulders. “I told you before, I’m not going anywhere, and Anderson knows it. Mac made some calls. We’re covered.”

He nodded, moved again by the way everyone was being supportive.

They sat side by side in silence, listening to the clock ticking away the minutes of Nancy’s life. After an eternity, the waiting room door opened, and a woman in OR greens came in. Neil looked up, and his heart plummeted. He knew from her face the news wasn’t good. He hoped she wasn’t there about Nancy and felt guilty for doing so.

“Mr. Michael Levinstein?”

The man with the newborn stood. “That’s me. Is Hilary going to be okay? She only went back to work today.” The doctor bowed her head and slowly shook it side to side.

“No! Oh God, no.” He collapsed to his knees beside the infant seat. His sobs filled the room and pulled at Neil’s aching heart.

“I’m sorry. We did everything we could.”

His companion dropped down beside him, taking the broken man into his arms. The man wept bitter tears onto his friend’s shoulder. There was no consoling him, and as if the infant understood what she’d lost, she started to cry, too. The father turned his tear-stained face to his daughter and picked her up. The doctor spoke to the man’s companion who nodded and then she turned, her own eyes filled with tears, and left. The man, his baby girl clutched to his chest, and his companion, carrying the empty infant seat, followed the doctor out of the room.

By half past ten, the waiting room had emptied as one by one, the families had received either the news they’d prayed for or the one they’d dreaded. Two others hadn’t made it through surgery. The television in the lounge was fixed on CNN which continued to report on the bloodbath. The body count stood at twenty six including the two people who’d been killed on the street. The city was on lockdown. The mayor had asked the president to send in the National Guard to support the police. The hospital itself was under heavy guard. There were still four people in critical condition, including Snakebite, and no word on Nancy. The last time he’d approached the nurse, she’d called and confirmed Nancy was still in surgery. She wouldn’t or couldn’t tell him anything else.

The door opened. He looked up and the frazzled, tearful woman standing next to his partner ran over to him.

“Any word?” Meredith asked.

He shook his head. Todd handed him another cup of coffee. It was the last thing he needed, but the only thing keeping him on his feet.

Meredith collapsed into the chair next to him, and Neil realized what a toll this had taken on her. The larger than life woman seemed to have imploded and looked older than forty-six. Her pale skin was translucent, tears had smudged her mascara, and her gray eyes were shadowed. Her short, spiky, dark brown hair clearly showed the tracks her fingers had worn through it. Wishing he could offer some consolation, he squeezed her hand, but as each second ticked by, he moved closer and closer to despair. A head wound and eight hours in surgery. How could she possibly survive?

The Blurb:

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?

 

Please check out the rest of this week’s teasers. Remember. This is a blog hop.

#MidWeekTease June 21, 2017

This is a Blog Hop!

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Happy Release Day!

Anaiah Press

We’re so excited to finally welcome HIGH COUNTRY DILEMMA and A FURROW SO DEEP into the world! These two new romances are sweet, fun, and heartwarming. You won’t want to miss these!

HIGH COUNTRY DILEMMA by Dena N. Netherton

high country dilemma 1600x2400Fallon Hart has landed her dream job—directing the annual melodrama, Miss May’s Dilemma. But when Fallon arrives in Pine Ridge, Colorado, she finds her new apartment in flames. To make matters worse, her manager wants her to sing an impossible solo. Her family wants her to give up the theater and join the family jewelry business. And her selfish, controlling ex-fiancé wants her back. The biggest dilemma of all, though, is trying to make everyone happy.

Handsome firefighter, Lucas O’Farrell, is searching for his soul-mate, a lady who’ll share his love of the mountains, small-town living, and kids. He knows exactly what he doesn’t want: a sophisticated city girl like Fallon…

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Tuesday Tales: Picture Prompt Time

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. Usually we post an excerpt based on a word. This week, we have a picture and a 300 word limit. I was going to start something new, but I’ll post a couple more from Wedding Bell Blues and begin a new book after my camping holiday in July. It’s a good time to start something fresh!

So, here is the image I chose:

booze

And here’s this week’s Tuesday Tale.

Paul led MJ into the bar, remodeled to resemble the interior of an old ship. A rough wooden plank replaced the smooth granite top.

“I heard about your miracle,” Lucette said, her eyes aglow, placing a glass of scotch on the bar for Paul. The bottle slipped from her hand, and lay on its side, drops of liquor saturating the wood.

Excusez-moi,” the bartender added, handing MJ a glass of juice. “I have never met anyone who has seen la sirène.”

MJ’s fingers traced the uneven grain of the dark wood. She frowned. “What’s a sirène?” She mangled the word in her attempt to say it.

“A mermaid, like Manman Dlo. I can’t wait to hear about her. Only a handful of people have seen one, and most of them are dead now. My grandfather’s father was rescued by a blue one. Those who see them are blessed.”

MJ licked her lips. “Not sure I feel blessed, more like scared to death now, but the creature I saw didn’t look like the statue. She had dark hair down to her waist, and these incredible purple scales and a marvelous tail—all shiny and reflective. She didn’t speak, just held up her hand and when I touched it, I was suddenly in the water, breathing under it. I saw Paul swimming to me and she left. When she did, I couldn’t breathe and my mouth filled with water …”

“I saw a purple shadow under you,” he admitted, his forehead creased more deeply than ever. “When it vanished, and the water entered your mouth … I never want to see anything like that again.”

MJ’s cheeks heated at the intensity of his gaze.

Before she could comment, Lucette spoke. “What did she give you?”

“Nothing, why?”

“But there must be a gift.”

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

 

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Monday Morning Musings: Fates and Furies Blog Tour

It’s a pleasure this morning to be part of the Fates and Furies Blog Tour.

The Olympian gods have caused Hope nothing but chaos…

Hope escaped the Underworld with her life, but her memories are as blank as the Book of the Fates she brought back. Still determined to break the curse, she and Xan take an offering to the Olympian temple to solicit the goddess Artemis for aid. But the petition has disastrous results, and now the gods are hunting her.

Athan sacrificed everything for Hope, but she’s leaving him behind to travel with Xan to Mount Olympus. But the closer they get, the more Athan’s mortality becomes a liability. Forced to seek refuge in mists and darkness, Athan tangles with deities that weave the very threads of fate. But these goddesses also wield the immortal blades that lay ruin to destinies.

With everyone she loves damaged or destroyed by the blood of Olympus, Hope must face the power of the past to change the fate of her future.

 

Raye Wagner writes young adult urban fantasy with a Greek mythology twist. She’s a big fan of both the Percy Jackson series (shocker) and the Twilight saga (gasp), and those two series *might* have led her to pursue her dream of writing teen fiction.Raye’s a big believer in realistic characters and draws on her background in healthcare to ensure that her strong protagonists are believably flawed and act rationally. She loves reading YA romantic fantasy so there’s bound to be some kissing in her books. That being said, Raye writes for all ages, so it’s clean romance. 😉 Raye also relies heavily on her martial arts training to pen realistic fight scenes (3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do) with believable consequences.

Raye loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her via Facebook (Raye Wagner), Twitter (@rayewagner), Instagram (rayewagnerauthor), or her website: rayewagner.com

 

Best of luck with your books!