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Midweek Tease: Cosplay and Just for the Weekend

mwtease15Good morning and welcome back to this week’s Midweek Tease made possible by Angelica Dawson. Enjoy clips from published works and works in process from truly creative authors. Heat levels vary and there’s something for everyone!

For the past fifteen days or so, Eastern Ontario has been caught in a heat wave of epic proportion with temperatures hovering around 30 C (90 F), but with a humidex sending them soaring of 40 C (104 F). Not your typical Canadian weather for this time of year. In fact, we didn’t have heat like this all summer. Can someone whisper climate change? It did make me think of places where it’s hot all year round, which brought me to this week’s offering.

Sunday marked the debut of Discovery, the latest entry into the world of Star Trek, my all-time favorite series. The new franchise offers a twist as the main character isn’t the captain, but his first officer: Michael, a black woman raised by Vulcans. In fact, the captain didn’t even appear in the two-hour season premier.

In honor of my favorite show, I decided to revisit Cleo as she goes to Vegas for a sci-fi convention. She might not want to be noticed, but dressed in the skimpy costume of an Orion slave girl, that’s impossible.

Blurb:

Just for the Weekend cover.It’s time to play with the grown-ups.

Kindergarten teacher Cleo James needs a change. Three years at her widowed dad’s beck and call are enough. A weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention with her best friend will do for now, and the hot guy who wants to spend time with her only adds to her excitement. After all – it’s just for the weekend. What can possibly go wrong?

Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. He’s looking for someone who’ll fall for him, not his wallet. When he meets a shy, green-skinned slave girl, she pushes all his buttons – the best part is she has no idea who he is and mistakenly believes he’s a Chippendale. Between the sexual attraction and too much alcohol, he wakes up married to his green-skinned beauty, but the bride has vanished. Finding her will be a lot harder than he thinks.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Enjoy!

Cleo followed Mitch into the convention hall packed with hundreds of people in various alien costumes, and allowed some of the excitement in the air to calm her fears. She recognized outfits from various sci-fi movies and television shows, as well as others straight out of the video game world. There were several Orion slave girls in a variety of  shapes, shades, and sizes, and Cleo saw the not-so-friendly glares she got from them—especially when one of their male friends stared admiringly at her. She nodded in return and chuckled when one girl gave the guy she was with a jab in the ribs.

She tried to keep up with Mitch who barreled across the room as if she were in a speedwalking race. Barefoot as she was, conscious of the icky, sticky carpet, Cleo moved slowly to  avoid stomping boots and heels. She’d almost made it to the promised land of booth security when a giant, in snake-like make-up and the dark gray leather and chainmail associated with the Cardassians, grabbed her arm. He spun her around quickly.

“Hey, let go of my…” Her angry words died on her lips.

“What have we here?” He eyed her hungrily. “Are you lost, my pretty little slave girl?”

Familiar chocolate eyes pierced hers, and she couldn’t think straight. His whiskey-smooth voice caressed her; his touch ignited a fire along her spine. Realizing what he’d said, she searched for an answer.

“Lost? No, I got separated from my Klingon friend. She’s over there.”

She pointed to the publishers’ autograph area where Mitch stood.

“Then allow me to escort you safely to her.”

Holding her close to him, he ushered her across the congested convention floor. He bowed to Mitch and gave the Cardassian salute.

“I believe she’s yours, but I’m entitled to a reward for coming to her assistance.”

He smiled wickedly before pulling Cleo into his arms and capturing her mouth with his.

Cleo held herself rigid, but the kiss poured liquid fire through her. Of their own volition, her arms wrapped around his neck both to hold her upright and to encourage the incredible sensations to continue. His mouth devoured hers as if she was his last meal. She’d been kissed before, but never like this. When he slowly pulled away, she was breathless. She read desire in his eyes.

“Later, my Orion beauty.” He turned and walked away, disappearing into the crowd.

“Who the hell is that?”

“I have no idea.” Cleo reached for Mitch’s blue-tinted Romulan ale and drained the glass.

*

Sam Mason turned from the enticing beauty and noticed the crowd staring at him. He’d just taken the sexiest woman in the room into his arms, and the men probably all envied him. So much for keeping a low profile. He made his way across the convention floor through the crowd of curious aliens, laughing good-heartedly at some of the comments and scowling at others. Okay, so maybe he’d gone a little over the top, but who could blame him?

Charlie waited for him at the bar, a huge grin on his face. Sam’s breathing was ragged, and his heart beat madly. Another part of his anatomy clamored for attention, too. Thank God for Cardassian armor. It had been a long time since a woman’s kiss had turned him on like this. The chemistry between them was unbelievable.

Charlie’s going to have a field day.

“Bravo!” Charlie chuckled and raised his glass in a toast.  “I thought you wanted to stay under the radar. I think everyone in the room’s got your number now. Damn good thing no one recognizes you in that costume. The paparazzi would go wild.”

Sam reached for the scotch Charlie had ordered him and downed it in one gulp.

“Whoa, buddy. You keep pounding them back like that, you won’t last the night. I’ll say this much, you sure know how to pick’em. She’s superb. Maybe I should try my luck, too.”

Unexpected jealousy reared its ugly head and clawed at Sam’s stomach. “Don’t even think of it, Charlie. I’ve got dibs on the lady tonight.”

“Relax! I was kidding. I saw you stake your claim—so did half the people in this room. I thought you’d sworn off one-night stands, but maybe that decision was premature.”

Check out the rest of this week’s teasers.

#MidWeekTease September 27, 2017


 

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Tuesday Tales: From the Word COAT

Badge for TT - very smallWelcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. While the calendar says we are at the end of September, two weeks away from Canadian Thanksgiving, Mother Nature is having a hot flash here. The temperature has been close to or above 30 C for the last ten days, with humidex values pushing that up over 40 or 104 F. This has been the hottest weather we’ve had all year, and to be truthful, I feel guilty as I look up at the sunny, clear skies and think of all my friends facing natural disasters such as tropical storms and hurricanes like Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria. God wiling, there will be no more of these horrific storms this year. My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered because of this weather just as it does the the millions in Mexico reeling from 3 major earthquakes in  less than a month.

Tuesday Tales is a place where books are born. Each week, a group of talented authors add to a work in progress and do it based on a word or picture prompt. Last week’s word was CRUSH, so I used it , too, even though I wasn’t able to post. This week, the word is COAT–not a good choice considering the weather! I’m continuing with my contemporary romance, with a working title, Same Time Next Year. If you’ll recall from my last post, Twyla has just met Mavis, an old acquaintance that was anything but a friend.

Enjoy!

“Yes, well, life is full of surprises,” Mavis said. “So, after all these years, what brings you back to The Colonel’s Inn?”

“Rest, relaxation, and inspiration. I’m working on a new book.” Not that it was any of her damn business.

Mavis smiled, although it looked as if the action hurt.

“Another Hannah James spy thriller?”

“No, but it’s bad luck for an author to discuss a book before it’s finished. This one will be quite different. What brought you back?”

Twyla drained her glass of wine. Where was Ezra when she needed him? He could bring the bottle and leave it now.

“Oh, I come here at least once a week. My husband Rick and I own a cottage on Indian Lake just a hundred yards from the old Morrison place. Raven, my granddaughter, is getting married to Peter Markab—he’s Nessa’s nephew—do you remember her?”

Twyla nodded. Nessa had been another of Mavis’s targets that summer.

“Since they loved this place, they chose to have the wedding here,” Mavis continued. “While they’ve invited their friends, Rick and I decided it would be the perfect opportunity for a reunion with the old gang. I assumed we’d reserved all fifteen cabins, but apparently not.”

Ignoring the implied slight, Twyla pictured herself tossing Mavis into the weed-strewn lake and breathed deeply.

“I don’t seem to remember anyone named Rick.”

“You probably didn’t meet,” she said signaling the server. “His family had a farm in Elgin, and we all attended school together. The summer you were here, he was enrolled in a special course at the agricultural college in Kemptville. His father wanted him to take over the operation, but Rick opted for law instead of farming.”

GreenAcres3rdSeasonCoverTwyla coughed to cover a giggle. As a writer, she could imagine a lot of things, but Mavis as a farmer’s wife wasn’t one of them. She would fit in as well as peignoir-wearing Eva Gabor had on Green Acres, a television show from the sixties where a millionaire left Park Avenue to become a farmer.

“Yes, Mrs. McKeown,” Ezra said, coming over to the table. “How can I help you?” Can you get my friends another drink on me? I’m late for my meeting with Julia. Call up and say I’m on my way.’

“Right away, ma’am.”

Mavis watched the young man walk away, her eyes fixed on his black clad backside.

“I must say Julia has done well with the staff she’s hired.”

Lana nodded.

“I agree. Everyone has been super. So, when are your guests arriving?” she asked, her eyes shining. “I’m sure Grams would love to see some of them again.”

“Not for another week.” Mavis turned to her. “Will you still be here?”

“Yes.” Her heart raced. Had the old biddy included Michael?

“Do you remember Lydia Morrison? She’s coming, but I don’t know about Michael,” Mavis said, reading her mind. The woman’s gaze speared her. “Most of us were stunned to hear about your wedding. You never mentioned a beau let alone a fiancé when you were here. Poor Michael was quite crushed by the news. He requested early deployment. I haven’t seen him since.” She stood. “Well, if you’re still around, feel free to crash the party.” She turned to Lana. “The offer is open to you as well. I have to go. If I don’t see you again, have fun at Princeton.”

“It’s Harvard.”

“My mistake.”

Mavis turned and walked away, her hips sashaying the way they always did. What had Mother called her? A shameless guttersnipe intent on rising above her station? Judging by the Louis Vuitton bag she carried—not a knock-off either—she’d landed on her feet.

“Wow! Are you bleeding? I felt those cat scratches from here.”

Twyla chuckled. “I suppose you did, and I know you’ve got questions. Ask away.”

Ezra deposited fresh drinks in front of them.

“Will there be anything else?”

“We’re good for now.”

He nodded and moved back into the pub. For Twyla, some of the beauty had gone out of the day.

“I’m assuming Michael was the boy you made the promise to?” Lana asked.

“Yes.” Twyla picked up her fork and began to eat the salad she’d neglected, but as delicious as it was, her encounter with Mavis had spoiled her appetite. She pushed her plate away.

“So, tell me more about Mavis Crowder McKeown and the banana split,” Lana said, continuing to make her way through her charcuterie. “Something tells me there’s a lot more to the story.”

Twyla sighed, reached for the wine glass, and leaned back in her chair.

“There really isn’t much to tell.” She sipped the wine. “Before I arrived that summer, Michael and Mavis had been an item, and she was upset when he turned his attentions to me. Mother and I had been to church with friends and I was still in my Sunday best. As soon as we returned to the resort, I went straight to the Liars’ Bench where he was waiting for me. Mavis was sitting with him. When he saw me, he looked up and smiled, but the glare I got from Mavis was so cold, I could’ve used my winter coat.”

“I can imagine. Things got a little frosty not too long ago,” Lana said.

“They did. At any rate, Mike suggested we get a banana split and share it. As luck would have it, Mavis had to dish out the ice cream. We waited at the table, staring at one another, talking about nothing, and when she came over, she dumped the entire dish on me. I had ice cream and chocolate sauce from one end to the other. I was mortified.”

“What a bitch!”

“Michael wasn’t impressed. She apologized, claimed she’s tripped on a floor board, but she almost lost her job over it. After that, I made sure not to get to close if she was serving.”

There was no point in mentioning that Mavis, a close friend of Lydia’s, had been the last person she’d spoken to all those years ago when she’d been the one to answer the phone when she’d called, desperate to speak to Michael. While she couldn’t prove it and Mavis would never own up to it, she would bet the royalties from her last two books that the woman had never given Michael her message … but she’d sent the letter, and he hadn’t responded to that either.

Twyla finished her wine.

“Ready?” she asked, signing the bill and assigning the charges to her cabin. “My muse is screaming, and I want to get started.”

Lana chuckled. “Well, you write and I’ll swim. We can have a farewell dinner tonight and then you’ll have all the peace and quiet you need.”

“And the memories would swamp her.

Her granddaughter tilted her head to the side. “Will you crash the wedding?”

Twyla chuckled. “Why not? Free food and drinks? Besides, I would like to see how some of my old friends fared,” she admitted, but if Michael wouldn’t be there, did it matter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Midweek Tease: A Taste of Something Yet to Come.

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

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

The premise:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#MidWeekTease September 13, 2017


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Tuesday Tales: It’s Picture Time!

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

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

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

banana split

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mavis glowered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday’s Featured Author: Welcome Back Christy Newton

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

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

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

PtE

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

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

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

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

Author Bio:

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

 

Social Media Links:

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

*Twitter: @CNewtonAuthor

*Author Website: www.christynewton.com

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

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

Other books by Christy Newton include:

A Little Bit of Christmas,  Contemporary Romance

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

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

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

Purchase Link:

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

Naturally Enchanted,  Paranormal Romance

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

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

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

Purchase Link:

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

Breaking Free,  Young Adult

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

Purchase Link:

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

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

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Throwback Thursday Alex Bay and Boldt Castle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20170826_164018

 

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

 

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

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