Monday, June 30, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Sea

Welcome to another edition of Tuesday Tales, and more White Moon, Yellow Leaves, an M/F contemporary romance.

Last week we met our leading lady, Dana, her son, Rhett, and her great-aunt, Josephine. This week the threesome have arrived at the tiny cabin on Mud Puppy Lake, and we meet our leading man. (He still makes my heart flutter and it`s been nigh onto two years since I penned this tale!)

Our word this week is 'Sea'. As always, all comments are greatly appreciated. Make sure to check out all the Tuesday Tales authors great contributions.



White Moon, Yellow Leaves





“Wait until you walk the grouse path,” Aunt Jo-Jo said, her enthusiasm catching apparently because Leopold began to bark shrilly as we neared our cabin. It was the last one in the line, nearly hidden by tall green pines and crimson oaks. We pulled into a small gravel drive beside the bungalow. Leopold was nearly turned inside-out so great was his need to get out of the car. My son was in a similar state.

“I`m gonna go walk the grouse path right now!” Rhett announced, fumbling to free himself from the seat-belt.

“You don`t even know where the grouse path is,” I laughed, his ebullient mood chipping away at my dour disposition. The doors front and back flew open. Lad and dachshund escaped their confines. “Stay away from the water!” I shouted as I slid from the car with a popping spine.

Aunt Jo-Jo`s cane was already on the ground by the time I got around to helping her from the rear. Her silver head came to my chin when she got her feet under her properly. None of the women in my family are particularly tall. And most tend to be on the round side. Think Hobbits in babushkas. I blame that on the Polish cooking. Not being short, being round.  I grew up eating pierogies, halupkies, and kielbasa. My size sixteen ass is a direct result of dough stuffed with mashed potatoes, stuffed cabbage, and spicy sausage, as well as divorcing a cheating husband. Let`s not forget all those nights spent making love to pints of mint chocolate chip.

“Looks like Andy has gotten the cabins all opened up,” Jo-Jo noted, her eyes roaming over the other smaller homes used for hunting camps. The summer folks wouldn`t be here until Memorial Day weekend of next year. A brisk wind blew over the lake, carrying the smell of rotting leaves and mineral rich water. Aunt Jo tugged her bright pink sweater under her chin then toddled towards her cabin, her steps muted by the blanket of wet leaves.

“I thought Andy had fallen down and broke his hip,” I called over the yips of boy and wiener dog racing around tree trunks.

“Maybe one of his kids stepped in,” she shouted to be heard over the ruckus.

I nodded and began the chore of toting in a week`s worth of food, clothes, and kid stuff. Knowing Andy Big Deer as I did, he probably gimped down from his house to tend to the cabins as he`s been doing for fifty years. Andy is one stubbornly proud caretaker. Arms filled with duffle bags and suitcases, I turned to look at Hans and Jo-Jo`s retreat. It was a simple home, quite small in comparison to a couple other houses along the lake, but well-loved. I always thought it looked like it should rest beside the sea in Maine instead of a New York State lake.

 The sides of the little bungalow were cedar shake shingles, baked slate grey by years of sun and fog. Many were ragged on the edges. I made a mental note to talk to Andy`s son and see about getting some shingle replacement done next spring. A porch sat waiting for someone to sweep the leaves off the flagstones and knock the cobwebs from the corners of the slightly bowed roof. A tendril of wood smoke wafted past, tickling my nose.

Rhett and Herr Poopbottom tore past me, each with a stick, then disappeared around the side of the cabin. The standard mother warning about running with sticks bubbled up from behind the mound of crap in my arms. I heard the front door squeaking open and Aunt Jo pattering on about how nice it had been of Joe`s boy to get the wood stove going. Turned sideways to try to force my rump and the mountain of bags through the narrow doorway, I paused when I heard Rhett shout. I listened, my biceps straining under the load, to see if a wail of pain or a laugh would follow. What came next was a dachshund kicking up twigs and leaves in his wake with a six year old boy on his whippet of a brown tail.

Rhett tripped over his sneakers, a common occurrence when the lad was nearing mach, and crashed into me. The heavy load teetered precariously. Herr Poopbottom went between my legs like a rocket hound. I danced to avoid stepping on the dog and the entire unstable load as well as its bearer fell into the cabin. Bags and suitcases tumbled down over me. Rhett stumbled over his mother lying buried under the debris then raced to throw his arms around Aunt Jo-Jo`s round waist. I kicked at a Spider-Man duffel bag and caught a peek at a pair of big work boots stepping onto the porch. They were worn brown leather and well scuffed on the toes. The boots were exposed up to the ankle where they then gave way to light blue denim that hugged muscular thighs as thick as a New York pine, or so it seemed from the planks of the floor.

I didn`t know if I should look any higher since my ears and nose were beet red already. I decided to roll with it then blew a strand of dirty blonde hair from my face with panache. The jeans climbed up and up and up, the lean waistband hidden behind beech and ironwood chunks freshly split for the stove. All I could see were well-corded forearms the color of sienna. The man stepped over me splayed so gracefully on the floor, dropped his armload into the rack by the door then turned to gaze down on me. Plump lips were tugged up in a bemused smile, a white splash of perfect teeth set into a face crafted by the Seneca gods themselves.  High cheek bones set off a nose that was a bit too wide to be considered Hollywood perfect. It was the nose of Andy Big Deer. It fit his face perfectly.

His eyes were obsidian. His hair, black as a raven`s breast, was pulled back into a thick ponytail. He folded his arms over a New York Rangers XXXL hoodie that was littered with chips of bark, moss, and dirt.

“Andy always says that Dana Prescott makes grand entrances,” he chuckled. One dark eyebrow moved up his smooth brow. He then did the gentlemanly thing by uncrossing his arms and extending a hubcap-sized hand down to me.

“Good Lord, is that really you, Jonah Big Deer?” Jo-Jo exclaimed with a frightened boy still buried in her belly. He pulled me to my feet with ease. His hand was warm and calloused and lingered in mine for a second too long. “I haven`t seen you since your mother came down with Joe. It was that time I ate that bad mushroom and got so sick. Hell, what was that? Twenty years ago?”

I slid my suddenly damp palm from Jonah`s then tipped my head back to look at the young man. He smiled widely at my aunt. Something sinful began to sizzle deep inside my stomach.

“Yes, Ma`am, it probably was,” he replied politely, those dark eyes roaming over my child snuggled up to my great-aunt. “I was probably his age, maybe younger.”

“I don`t remember making any grand—you`re only twenty-six?” fell from me before I could stop it. Jonah glanced back at me.

“Actually, I`m only twenty-five.” He winked. “I best get the rest of that wood in for the other cabins. Sorry about scaring the boy.” Jonah bent to pick up a duffel bag, place it in my hands,  then exit with much more poise than I had displayed.

“He`s twenty-five,” I muttered, a duffel bag dangling from my fingers absently. Well, so much for that hot flapjack of attraction on the griddle of love. “Who wants pancakes for dinner?”


Copyright 2012 ©by V.L. Locey


*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.


See you next week!




Please Welcome Jami Davenport!


I`m so happy to have the lovely Jami Davenport here today. Jami is one of my fellow Seduced by the Game authors, and she`s here to share some great news about her newest sports romance, Time of Possession. 




BLURB:

The clock’s ticking down, and Estelle Harris and Lumberjacks quarterback Brett Gunnels are about to enter crunch time.





SYNOPSIS:

CRUNCH TIME

Supposedly undersized for the NFL, Brett Gunnels went off to do a stint in the US Army right out of high school. Returning damaged yet stronger and more determined than ever to prove himself, he was picked last in the draft. Mr. Irrelevant, they called him. The last few years as a backup quarterback have given him no opportunity to compete for the starting job. That’s why he has a chip on his shoulder the size of Puget Sound.

Estelle Harris is engaged to a man she doesn't love, working a job she hates, and fooling everyone including herself in the process. Her love of animals is the only thing that gives her purpose—a love she shares the Lumberjacks’ reclusive quarterback. And then their mutual friendship turns a hot, dark, forbidden corner and there's no going back.

True love is like football. It’s not always how long you have the ball. It’s what you do when you get it.

AUTHOR BIO:

An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy romantic comedy, sports hero romances, and equestrian fiction. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare.

Jami works in IT for her day job and is a former high school business teacher and dressage rider. In her spare time, she maintains her small farm and socializes whenever the opportunity presents itself. An avid boater, Jami has spent countless hours in the San Juan Islands, a common setting in her books. In her opinion, it is the most beautiful place on earth.




AUTHOR LINKS:
goodreads: /1637218.Jami_Davenport


RAFFLECOPTER:

LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3bb62e156/








Chapter 1—Mr. Irrelevant
Brett Gunnels had fostered an intimate relationship with his clipboard over the past several football seasons.
After all, as the backup quarterback, he played his game on that clipboard, not out on the football field. Every Sunday during the season he stood on the sidelines making endless notes. One day he’d get his chance, a chance to prove that Mr. Irrelevant—the title bestowed on the last player picked each year in the NFL draft—was anything but.
Today, like any game day, Brett roamed the sidelines, clipboard in hand. Every once in a while, he stopped, cupped his hands to his mouth, and called out warnings or advice to the Seattle Lumberjacks’ starting quarterback. Not that Tyler Harris heard him or would listen even if he did. Harris did his own thing, and to hell with anyone else, even his teammates and coaches.
A couple penalties set the Jacks back to San Francisco’s forty yard line, and the offense was looking at third and twenty-five with fifteen seconds on the clock.
Harris took the ball from center and stepped back, staying in the pocket with the coolness and finesse of the elite quarterback he was. A second later, the pocket collapsed around him and he scrambled, running for his life while looking for an open receiver. Every one of them was covered.
Harris never saw the streak of pure muscle and brawn coming from his blindside. Brett cringed as the linebacker slammed into Harris with a vicious hit, falling on him in the process. Harris was known for his toughness, but from Brett’s point of view, knees didn’t bend like that.
As the offense returned to the huddle, a couple of them looked toward Harris, as if expecting him to bounce to his feet. He always did. But not this time.
Sprawled on his back, the two-time championship quarterback didn’t move. Not even an eyelash.
A hush came over the crowd, eerie in its silence, while a cold wind of fear blew through the stadium. Harris’s cousin and the Jacks’ top wide receiver, Derek Ramsey, knelt beside the immobile quarterback, as the coaches and trainers hurried onto the field. The offensive line huddled nearby, pretending not to stare but doing so anyway, worry etched on the big guys’ beefy faces.
Brett might not like Harris much—not many guys did—but his grudging respect for the guy’s talent and work ethic overrode any personal issues he might have. Besides, no one wanted to see a teammate laid out on the field like that, or anyone else for that matter.
An icy shiver radiated up Brett’s spine as his brain transported him to another time where sand stretched as far as the eye could see, another body down and not moving. Nothing. Just like Harris was now.
A cold sweat trickled down Brett’s forehead, and he dropped his clipboard and scrubbed his face with his hands, forcing those memories back into the compartment where he kept them tightly locked up.
This wasn’t a war zone—well, not exactly—and his teammate was known for his dramatics. He was probably taking a two-minute siesta at the expense of everyone’s nerves. Any second, he’d hop to his feet and chastise them for being such pansy-asses.
Only Harris didn’t move. Brett couldn’t stay on the sidelines and do nothing. He ran onto the field to join his teammates standing in concerned clusters. Harris’s chalky face looked like death. Brett swallowed back the fear and bolstered his courage. He’d be okay. He had to be. He was too mean and too tough to be seriously injured.
After several tense minutes, Harris sat up and shook his head. The team breathed a collective sigh of relief. Groggily, he accepted assistance to his feet, only to have his knee buckle. He went down again, clutching his leg, pain carved into his usually stoic face as he rolled back and forth on the turf. A few seconds later, two linemen helped him onto a cart, and they zipped him off the field and down the tunnel.
Only then did Brett realize the coach was yelling at him.
“Gun, get your helmet on and get your ass out there on that field.”
Standing on the fifty yard line, the guys in the huddle gawked at him, waiting for him to assume control. Frantic, he looked for his helmet but couldn’t find it. Zach Murphy, their All-Pro linebacker, shoved it in his hands. Strapping it on as he ran, Brett got to the huddle, only to find the mic in his helmet wasn’t working. After tapping on the helmet a few times, he took several deep breaths and squelched the growing panic inside him. He could do this. He would do this. He had to do this. The team was counting on him.
Brett turned to the guys gathered around him, his gaze determined. He knew exactly what play to call in this situation, having rehearsed it over and over in his mind and on the practice field. He called for a quick out-pass to Derek, hoping to catch the defense expecting a run because of the quarterback change. He took the snap from center, pedaled backwards, and tossed an easy lob to Derek, who collided with a defensive end as they both went for the ball. The end batted the ball into the air, and a San Francisco linebacker in the right place at the right time scooped it up before it hit the ground and ran it back for a touchdown.
Game over.





At first his stunned teammates stared at the end zone as if they couldn’t believe their bad luck. Then one by one, guys patted him on the back amid murmurs of “good try,” “tough break,” and “we did the best we could.” Regardless, Brett blamed himself because that’s what a good quarterback did. A great one carried the whole team on his shoulders and found a way to win. Just not today.
The woman of Brett’s dreams stood in the open doorway wearing a black sweater covered in dog hair.
Forget that she was as tall—or taller—than him. Forget that her brother happened to be a premier asshole and the Seattle Lumberjacks’ starting quarterback, well, at least until he’d torn his ACL yesterday.
Forget that she wore a diamond on her ring finger that would have choked Hoss Price, the team’s mammoth starting center.
Forget all that. Standing there on the porch, Brett Gunnels fell in love at first sight—or definitely in lust. He didn’t know if it was her brilliant sky-blue eyes, her beautiful face, the dog hair, or a combination of all three. He only knew that he was hooked with just one glance.
“Come on in.” Estelle Harris smiled at him, a kind, warm smile, a smile that cast light into all those dark corners he swore would never see the light of day again. His heart kicked into overdrive and slammed against his rib cage, while his lungs forgot breathing was their purpose.
She turned and ushered him into her house. Brett stared after her, his body motionless and temporarily rendered out of service like a city bus at the end of its nightly run.
She glanced over her shoulder, and her curious expression rebooted his brain.
He lurched forward and stumbled on the threshold but recovered nicely and stepped into the modest entryway, his pride in tatters. Her amused grin spread heat through his body faster than a California wildfire in high winds.
God, she was stunning, and way out of his league in so many ways.
“I hope you’re Brett, and I didn’t just let a Ted Bundy copycat into my house.” Her sweet laughter wrapped around him like a warm blanket on a cold winter night.
Brett shook his head, appalled she might be serious. “Yes, I’m Brett. And you are Tyler’s sister Estelle?” He cringed at the stiff formality in his voice. Again that smile, like Mona Lisa. Only Mona Lisa had nothing over this woman.
“Everyone calls me Estie.”
“Estie then.” His own smile rushed to his lips and refused to cease and desist. He probably looked like a half-witted, grinning fool. He held out his hand. She took his in her soft one with a firm grip of long, sexy fingers. He stared at their joined hands, hers with the cotton candy pink fingernails and his with its bumps and scars. Her hand was so soft, so feminine, so perfect.
Estie cleared her throat. Finally, she slid her hand from his grasp, giving him an odd look. He’d been hanging on too tight and too long. The heat rose to his cheeks and ears to rival the heat in the rest of his body. Way to go, Gun. Make an idiot of yourself with the first woman who’s interested you in eons.
Estie walked across the room like an angel gliding through clouds and stopped in front of a bird cage. She pointed at the large parrot inside who had cocked his head and was watching them both. “And the name of your foul-mouthed friend here? Lavender was in such a hurry to fly to San Fran to be with Tyler, she never told me this guy’s name.”
Estie laughed again, and her voice took on this breathless quality as if he affected her as much as she affected him. Her deep blue eyes—so much like her brother’s, but he wouldn’t hold that against her—mesmerized him. All that romantic shit he’d heard over the years from his sisters hit him like a speeding car on the freeway. His brain did a free-fall into a self-induced coma, his feet became one with the floor, and his heart pounded louder than a series of bombs dropping on an enemy target.
“The parrot? What is his name?” Estie frowned as she repeated her question and her neatly plucked brow furrowed. Brett blinked several times in an attempt to signal his brain to snap out of it.
Obviously tired of waiting for his dumbshit owner to get a grip, the African Gray took matters into his own wings, “Bongo, pretty lady. Bongo. Bongo wants to see you naked.”
Her eyes grew big, and she stared at the parrot with her gorgeously sinful mouth hanging open. To her credit, she recovered quickly and peered inside the cage, a smile once again tugging the corners of those pink lips. “You’re a little devil, Bongo. I’ve been asking you your name all evening.”
“Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.” Bongo rang a little bell attached to his perch for emphasis.
This time Estie laughed, an amused tinkling laugh. “Did you say you left him with my brother?”
Brett nodded. “You can tell, huh?” Tyler Harris was known for his fondness of the F-word, a bad habit he’d passed on to the bird, or more likely trained into the bird.
“Absolutely.” Again the Mona Lisa smile. Damn, he was going to have to get a print of that painting and hang it in his bedroom, but then he’d never get any sleep.
“I can’t leave him alone, especially not for a few days; he gets lonely and destructive. I used to put him in animal daycare, but they kicked him out for bad behavior and worse language. Then I left him with a neighbor kid to babysit. His mother had a fit when Bongo told her husband that she was messing around with the college student next door.”
“Was she?”
“I have no idea,” he chuckled.
“So you put it back on my brother to provide babysitting since he taught the little guy some naughty words.”
“Something like that. Lavender loves animals, and she didn’t mind. I really appreciate you stepping in to help me out.”
“It’s all for the animals.” She walked into the living room, tastefully furnished with overstuffed furniture covered with neatly folded blankets, most likely for her furry children. Oh, lord, a woman after his own heart, with the comfort of her animals coming first. Despite the animal comforts, nothing was out of place, nothing like his messy house, nor did it smell like animals lived there. In fact, it smelled wonderful, like a combination of spring blossoms and a mountain meadow. The hardwood floors gleamed, not one fluffy cloud of dust and cat hair anywhere, and he was pretty sure she had a cat based on the pictures on her mantle.
Brett followed her, his eyes dropping to her blue-jeans-clad ass, a really, really nice ass, and those long take-me-to-heaven legs. Any guy in his right mind would fantasize about those legs.
Brett tugged on his collar and wiped his brow. He cleared his throat and swallowed. He was hooked, but judging by that impressive diamond ring, so was she. Leave it to him to fall for an unattainable woman—wouldn’t be the first time. As the Jacks’ backup quarterback, women looked right past him to the starters. It was the story of his life, and he was used to it. Not that he’d grown complacent, but being pissed about the hand life dealt you wasn’t his way. He was first and foremost a fighter.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday Throwback Tune

Some of the most beautiful songs of the era were sung and written by this man. Today he`s known as Yusuf Islam, but for the millions of fans of his music, like me, he`ll always be Cat Stevens in our hearts. I still listen to him almost daily. There is something about his music that seems eternal, at least to me.

What`s your favorite Cat Stevens song?


Monday, June 23, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Ride

Welcome to another edition of Tuesday Tales!

I have to tell you, last week I found myself in a bit of a pickle. We had wrapped up Laco Law. What I`m working on now, Final Shifts, book six for my Wildcat series, is chock full of juicy secrets I didn`t dare share at the risk of divulging something huge. Everything else in my files has been contracted (I am not complaining, mind you!) so I couldn`t share any of those tales, either.

 I was pretty well stumped. What to do, what to do?  I dug into my archives, hoping to locate something to share. Imagine my joy when I found this romance! It had been written nearly two years ago, and I had rather forgotten about it.

White Moon, Yellow Leaves, a M/F contemporary romance, started out as a four-part mini for the Thanksgiving holiday season. Well, that wasn`t quite enough, so I then penned a Christmas special. Nope. I still couldn`t leave this couple. So, I then added a much longer serialized story for them. We`ll start off with the first story, tidied up as well as I can tidy, and broken into excerpts of one thousand words or thereabout per week. I think it will be a lovely read for the Tuesday Tale family to enjoy. As always, all comments are greatly appreciated.

Make sure to check out all the Tuesday Tales author`s wonderful contributions.



White Moon, Yellow Leaves




“Mom, if great-uncle Hans is in heaven, and Aunt Jo-Jo misses him and wants to visit his spirit, does that mean that Mud Puppy Lake is heaven?”

I glanced over at the six year old on my right. He was looking at me with his father`s eyes: deep blue with flecks of gold framed by dark lashes. Those blue eyes were bubbling with curiosity. I opened my mouth to reply but Aunt Jo-Jo in the backseat chimed up to answer the lad’s question of the moment.

“Sometimes I think Mud Puppy Lake is heaven,” she said, peeling a chunk off a pecan nut-roll she had purchased at the church before we left Pittsburgh. Her dachshund, Leopold G. Poopbottom, ingested the snippet whole, his whip-like tail beating the backseat soundly.  “But no, it`s just one lake out of a thousand. It is a special lake though.” She leaned back to continue eating her nut-roll. “Hans and I used to come up here every year, to get away from your great-grandmother.”

“Aunt Jo, can we not dig into grandma right off?” I asked, peeking into the rearview to catch the devil shining in the woman`s hazel eyes. She waved an age-spotted hand around her head to indicate that she would behave…for now. “Thanks. So, would you like to know how Mud Puppy Lake got its name?” I asked Rhett. He nodded vigorously.

“When I was about your age, I started coming up here with Aunt Jo and Uncle Hans for Thanksgiving and spring break. Great-grandma Helen gets a bit—”

“Asinine?” the backseat, nut-roll eater offered. Five seconds. That`s longer than usual for the firecracker in the back to be good.

“I would have said intense.” I gave my grandmother`s sister, one of five, a warning glower, which she promptly ignored. “Grandma Helen tends to get really involved in holidays. She likes everything to be perfect.”

“Like I said, asinine.” Jo-Jo spoke to her dog. Leopold yipped merrily. Rhett giggled at the bad word. I blew out a breath and drove through a spinning vortex of gold, scarlet, and bronze leaves dancing across the road. The ride upstate at this time of year was always breathtaking.

“Anyway,” I interrupted keeping a lookout for our little turn off road, “Back when I was a kid, we came up here twice a year, one week around Easter and then for a week in the fall. ‘The summer is for the fishing and fall is for the hunting’ Uncle Hans would tell me. The first summer I visited Uncle Hans and Aunt Jo he and I went fishing every morning. Well,” I glanced down at my boy. He was hanging onto every word. “While Uncle Hans was fishing, I was playing in the mud. Lakes have the best mud for modeling.”

“When we get there I`m gonna model mud too,” Rhett announced. Aunt Jo-Jo leaned forward to tap the horn at a trucker rolling past in the opposite direction. He tooted back. She cackled in glee. My ears turned red.

“Aunt Jo, this isn`t Clairton,” I cautioned as she guffawed and starting nibbling nut-roll again. “You can`t toot or wave your bare leg at every trucker that passes.”

“I can if I want to,” the woman who was creeping up on eighty-five replied. “That killjoy attitude is Helen coming out of you,” she warned, as if sounding like my grandmother was a reprehensible thing. Okay, sometimes it was, I admit it.

“Can I shake my leg at a trucker?” Rhett asked, nearly climbing out of his seat to watch the spinning leaves exploding off the front of the semi behind us.

“No, only old women who want to piss off their sisters do that,” I said. A very naughty chuckle came from the backseat. “So, back to the story?” I asked. Rhett nodded. “After a long time spent fishing Uncle Hans came back to me, showed me his two bass, and asked what I was making in the mud. I showed him my dogs. They were really terrible looking mud dogs.” I smiled in recollection, turning slowly onto the dirt road that would lead us back to one of many small, unnamed lakes in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.

The lane was littered with discarded oak, beech, and sumac leaves. Clouds more were fluttering down in the cold air, the trees along the dirt road growing barer with each gust of wind. The memories of Rhick and I coming here seven years ago engulfed me. My fingers tightened on the Cavalier`s steering wheel.

“Your mother`s dogs weren`t really nothing but red clay balls with sticks for legs, but she was proud as a beaver with a new dam over them,” Aunt Jo neatly stepped in. “Hans said when he told her he had never seen dogs of such kind she told him that they were special mud puppies found only at this lake. Right full of shit and vinegar she was! Hans decided that if the lake could make such fine mud puppies then it should be called such. And that is how Mud Puppy Lake got its name. Leopold, stop chewing on your ass! Here, have another bite of nut-roll.”

We rolled over a rise in a diversion ditch and the eastern shore of the lake came into view. I heard Rhett inhale in awe. Creeping along the road that circles the three mile wide lake, I too had to admit it was stunning, and I had been coming up here nearly yearly for as long as I could recall. The water lay in a semi-circle, clear as a diamond from the springs that fed it year round. Hunting camps and summer homes lined the shore. Some were quite up-market, others were kind of dingy, but the natural beauty of the state woods in fall made each look like a mansion.

“Do you see that one with the big bench by the water?” Jo-Jo asked, her scratchy voice rising in excitement. Rhett mumbled that he did. “That`s our cabin!”

“This place is awesome,” my son whispered. I knew he would be stunned. The child had never been out of Pittsburgh before. My wages at ‘Tomes a ‘Plenty’ book store didn`t leave much extra cash for vacations. The child support I got from Rhick went for clothes, food, and school supplies. I bet the new wife isn`t struggling to pay the electric bill. I winced at the bitter thought. Far be it for me, Dana Waters, to condemn the woman for being a twenty-year old Swedish model.

I refused to look down at my thirty-five year old, mother-of-one breasts. You`d think that a year would be long enough to get over being tossed aside for a svelte Swedish model. I needed more time I guess. Well, I needed something, although what that something was I didn`t know.

Copyright 2012 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.


See you next week!



O Captain! My Captain! Teaser

Hang in there Wildcat fans. July 9th is right around the corner!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jean Joachim Is Here! Free Book Giveaway!

I`m always thrilled to have Jean visit. She`s one of my favorite authors, the head of Tuesday Tales, and one of the funniest, kindest women I have had the pleasure of meeting. Please make her feel welcomed, and don`t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free book! 

*~*


Leave a comment and one lucky person will win their choice of any of these books.



Series Blurb

Brought together by their pugs, four single women form The Manhattan Dinner Club, which meets once a week for a meal. They share more than food, opening their lives to each other, seeking advice and support. On the menu: Men, work, laughter, tears and always wiggly, lovable pugs. Join Rory, Bess, Brooke and Miranda as they wind their way through the maze of life to their happy endings.

Meet Rory Sampson and Hack Roberts in RESCUE MY HEART

Sexy snippet from RESCUE MY HEART

She opened his shirt then began working on his belt.
He took a big slug of his drink as he stared at her body. “You’re naked under there, aren’t you?” She nodded. “You know that drives me crazy.”
“That’s why I do it.” Rory grinned up at him.
“You’re a vixen,” he said, burying his nose in her neck. His free hand settled on her waist, moving her flush up against him. He was already getting hard. That stoked Rory’s fire. Bruce inched her short dress up until he could slip his palm underneath the flimsy material and cup her rear end. “You have the firmest butt of any girl I’ve known.”
“All that dog-walking you hate has benefits.”


Meet Bess Cooper and Whitfield Bass in SEDUCING HIS HEART

He’d started down the hall when a heavenly aroma assaulted his nose. Chocolate? Fresh coffee? His stomach rumbled. Yum. A vision of spreading warm chocolate with his fingers on certain parts of Bess’s body then licking it off made his groin twitch. I’ll bet she knows everything there is to know about sweets. And I know lots of ways to consume them she probably hasn’t even tried.

Meet Brooke Felson and Preston Carpenter in SHINE YOUR LOVE ON ME

“I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about it.” She turned her back to him.
Pres rested a hand on her shoulder. “Any time you want to, I’m here.”
She faced him, her eyes full.
He eased her into his shoulder and rubbed her back. “It’ll be okay. Whatever happens,” he whispered.
She rested her head against him and snaked her arms around his waist. He kissed her hair. The touch of his lips snapped her to attention. She pushed away from him.
“I shouldn’t be doing that.”
“I won’t tell.” He grinned.


Meet Miranda Bradford and Penn Roberts in TO LOVE OR NOT TO LOVE

(Coming 7/28/14)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jeanine McAdam`s Pays a Visit! Free Book Giveaway!

Today I`m happy to have fellow New York Ranger fan, and all around lovely lady, Jeanine McAdam here. She`s going to give us some info on her upcoming hockey romance, as well as chat about a few of her favorite guys that wear the blueshirts of the Rangers. Take it away, Jeanine! 
*Note: Neither Jeanine or I own the images of the New York Rangers used in this post. *
*~*
A big thank you to V.L. for hosting me on her blog.  I`m a lover of hockey too and this summer I plan to finish up the first book in my new hockey trilogy!!  I haven't selected a title yet but here`s a blurb:
Nurse Gabriella Guerrera is of Dominican descent and lives in Washington Heights with her close-knit, overly protective Latino family. Canadian Benjamin McKenna is a forward for the New York Rangers and the highest scorer on the team. His demanding fashion model girlfriend expects nothing less than a super star on her arm. All that changes when Ben is checked into the boards and suffers a debilitating injury. Gabby cares for Ben and as the hockey player heals he gets dropped by his girlfriend, discovers that cultural clashes can be interesting in an arousing sort of way and learns to respect a very determined girl from the Heights.
A few of my favorite hockey players:
Brian Boyle is big.  He is 6'7, weighs 244 pounds.  Comes from an Irish Catholic family of eleven or it may even be thirteen.  Leave a comment below with the correct number.  And, Brian becomes a free agent July 1st.  Hopefully he’ll end up back with the Rangers.


Mats Zuccarello is 5'7, (note a foot smaller than Brian Boyle) weighs 180 pounds and is fast.  He's a little guy from Norway who zooms around the ice.  Mats is also in contract negotiations this summer.




A new favorite Chris Kreider.  He’s an American.  Grew up in Massachusetts and like Brian Boyle he went to Boston College.  Did a terrific job for the Rangers during the playoffs.





Even though I'm moving on to hockey players there are always the bull riders to swoon over too.  I'm giving away an ebook copy of THE BULL RIDER AND THE BARE BOYCOTTER the first book in my 'Skirts and Spurs' trilogy.  Leave your email address below.




Find me at:






Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Lovin` Blog Hop! Free Book Giveaway!

Hi and welcome to my little corner of the internet! My name is V.L. Locey. I`m a multigenre erotic romance author and I am tickled to be part of the Summer Lovin` Blog Hop!



Among many things that I enjoy like a good hockey game, reading, and of course writing smoking hot M/F and M/M romance tales, I love musicals. Yep. I do. I admit it. And if you`re a fan of musicals like I am, perhaps the first thing that popped into your mind upon hearing the theme of this hop was this classic tune from Grease.


Ah, Olivia and John. What a mismatched pair, and yet, we knew they would make it work out. Sometimes those summer flings don`t last, but sometimes they do. Have you ever had a summer fling? I`d love to hear about your summer romance, if you`d like to share. Just leave your recollection about steamy summer nights in the comment section below. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a free digital copy of Pink Pucks & Power Plays, the first book in my  To Love a Wildcat erotic hockey romance series. How about a peek at the toasty cover as well as a blurb?



Blurb:

Viviana Land just can`t seem to say no her younger sister. Somehow, the curvaceous society page reporter gets lassoed into serving as her niece's Busy Bee scout leader. One overheated engine later, Viviana and her girls find themselves in the Green Hills Ice Rink. Enter Alain Lessard, the charmingly handsome defenseman for the Philadelphia Wildcats, who is donating his summer to coaching the youth league.

When our intrepid reporter is given the opportunity to write the break-out story of her career, Viviana leaps at the chance. Thinking it would be easy to flirt and tease some juicy tidbits out of Alain, Viviana soon finds herself falling for the sensual, younger, kind-hearted man. Will she put aside her virtual pen for a chance to stay at her new paramour`s side? Or will Viviana finally get away from those mundane bakery opening articles by using the man she may possibly be falling in love with?



I don`t know about you, but curling up with a hockey player to watch a summer sunset sounds just about perfect to me! If you agree, make sure you leave a comment. And please include your contact information. I cannot contact you to tell you if you win without it. Any commenter who does not leave an email address will be passed over. I know that sounds harsh, but I just don`t have the time to track down people on the web. So, if you want that chance to get your hands on some sizzling hot hockey goodness, make sure you add your contact info!

Thanks for dropping by! Please visit all the participating authors, enter in the Rafflecopter, and have a wonderful, sexy summer!

V.L. Locey


a Rafflecopter giveaway







Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday Tune

This is my favorite song by this man. And that`s saying something as I adore most of his work. I never tire of hearing his lyrics or voice. 





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Say Hi To Susan Eileen Walker

Please welcome new friend, and Sweet Cravings Publishing author, Susan Eileen Walker to our little corner of the interweb. She`s here to discuss her new release, The Magic of Dragonfly.




Cover Blurb

 Unhappy with her life, Bay Alexander decides it is time for a change. She declares the next year to be “The Year of the Dragonfly,” a nickname her great-grandmother had given her with plans to make her dreams come true.

When she receives word her grandmother has died, Bay inherits a new set of goals and dreams. With the help of her best friend, her grandmother’s backdoor neighbor, and some new friends, Bay works to fulfill the terms of Fanny’s will in order to hold onto the Bay House and the Dragonfly Day Spa.

Can Bay make her dreams come true while working to fulfill her grandmother’s last wishes? Will her “Year of the Dragonfly” be yet another impossible dream? Can she help the townspeople of Larksboro reflect the beauty trapped in their souls using the magical secrets Greega left her along with the spa?






Author’s Biography


Susan Eileen Walker was born in Maryland, a state her family never lived in. At the age of five, she fell in love with books and knew she was meant to be a writer so she could share her daydreams and stories with the world.

Susan lives in eastern North Carolina with her seventy pound mixed breed furbaby, Honey, who is a combination protector, personal trainer, and alarm clock.



CONTACT:
Contact person: Susan Eileen Walker
Phone: 252-675-8144
E-mail Address: sewalker101@hotmail.com
Website address: www.sweetcravingspublishing.com

Magic, Friendship, and Hair Care Highlighted in Author’s New Work

New Bern, North Carolina – After a seven year hiatus, New Bern author Susan Eileen Walker has a new book on the market. The Magic of Dragonfly will be released from Sweet Cravings Publishing (www.sweetcravingspublishing.com) on June 6th in e-book form and later this fall as a paperback.

The Magic of Dragonfly is a G/PG rated mainstream women’s fiction set in a small town in eastern North Carolina where Bay Alexander learns that sometimes it takes good friends, and a little magic, to make your dreams come true.

Unhappy with her life, Bay Alexander decides it is time for a change. She declares the next year to be “The Year of the Dragonfly,” a nickname her great-grandmother had given her with plans to make her dreams come true.

When she receives word her grandmother has died, Bay inherits a new set of goals and dreams. With the help of her best friend, her grandmother’s backdoor neighbor, and some new friends, Bay works to fulfill the terms of Fanny’s will in order to hold onto the Bay House and the Dragonfly Day Spa.

Can Bay make her dreams come true while working to fulfill her grandmother’s last wishes? Will her “Year of the Dragonfly” be yet another impossible dream? Can she help the townspeople of Larksboro reflect the beauty trapped in their souls using the magical secrets Greega left her along with the spa?

“This is a heart project,” Ms. Walker said, “and I hope my readers, both young and old, will identify with Bay as she struggles with lost dreams, lost family, and a magical inheritance she never knew about.”

In addition to working on her next novel, Ms. Walker keeps busy attending writer’s conferences, knitting hats for a variety of charities, and playing with Honey, her shelter rescued furbaby.

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Ms. Walker at sewalker101@hotmail.com or visit her website at www.susaneileenwalker.com.


 Contact information

Susan Eileen Walker
1700 Greenbrier Court
New Bern, NC 28562

Phone: 252-675-8144

Email: sewalker101@hotmail.com

Website:
www.susaneileenwalker.com


Excerpt from The Magic of Dragonfly

“Happy birthday to me,” she whispered hoarsely just before the tears blinded her and overflowed. She began to cry in earnest as she mourned the passage of her youth.

Yet another Friday night without a date but this one also marked her fortieth birthday.
Someone should have thrown me a party, she thought with a second of bitterness.
But all your friends are married and busy with their own lives, her sensible side argued. Besides, do you really want someone to witness your misery as you mark the passage of another year of dissatisfaction with life?

Kyle, her eighteen and a half-year-old son, was in his second week of Air Force boot camp. Though he had called the night before, neither of them had mentioned her birthday in the too-short five-minute call. There were other things to talk about and Bay did not want him to feel guilty for forgetting. He needed to focus on getting through the weeks ahead and moving forward with his military career, just as it should be.

Nick, her ex-husband and the last person she wanted to hear from, had called her at work that afternoon. Since she had been up to her elbows in Mrs. Jennings’ hair color at Shelly’s Spa where she worked, she ignored the call. Later, she had to listen to the long and rambling message on her voicemail. It ended with an assumptive plan that she would not only be free but willing to take his latest girlfriend’s dog to the vet on Monday since she would be off and everyone else he knew had to work.

Their divorce had been finalized more than two years before but he still called to ask favors on a fairly regular basis. It was as if he could not understand that she was no longer obligated to pick up his laundry, take his car to get the oil changed, or whatever other errand he had forgotten to do himself. She had taken care of the mundane details of daily living during their twenty-one-year marriage and he did not see why things had to change now that they were divorced. Bay deleted the message without responding. Hopefully he would get the message that he and his latest chica needed to learn how to pick up their own slack without depending on her.

Brian Warren, the man she had been involved with for the past few months had not called but then she had not expected him to. They had talked a few days ago and sometimes they would go weeks between phone calls or visits.

Over the last month Bay had begun to think it was time to kick his ass to the curb and find a man who would value her for more than just sex but kept talking herself out of taking the steps needed to severe the few ties between them. Something in her heart and soul continued to hope that he would figure out she was more than a warm, willing body he could call on for a good time whenever he was horny and had a free hour.

Problem was, Bay could not do confrontation. She had never been able to face down anyone about anything so Brian continued to think she was okay with their current arrangement. In reality, she hated it. But then, she hated a lot about her life.

Nick and Brian were not the only ones who treated her badly. Everyone in her life had taken advantage of her at one time or another, in one way or another, without her uttering a word of complaint. At least not to them. Sweetums, on the other hand, heard all of them.

Her mother had raised her to be a giver, a nurturer, and a caretaker. She had been trained since birth to put everyone else’s needs ahead of her own. She ate her anger with a side of macaroni and cheese or a chocolate bar and washed it down with a Pepsi instead of standing up for herself and saying no. She hated hurting others almost as much as she hated how her life was turning out. Instead, she had learned to live in a pale gray sort of misery, most days having a hard time finding anything in her world to smile about.
Picking up her fork, she scooped up some of the bright blue frosting from around the base of the little cake. Licking the tines, her nose wrinkled at the too-sweet electric blue taste.

The soft clink of a metal chain drew her attention from the cake to the dog patiently sitting on the floor next to her chair. Sweetums, her three-year-old spaniel, terrier, something else mixed breed, waited patiently for his part of her cake.

“You know, boy, I’ve been waiting all my life to start living for me and no one else.”
The dog cocked his head as if contemplating her words though he continued to watch her without blinking. Then he licked his lips as drool dripped from the side of his mouth, making a small puddle on the linoleum floor between his front paws.

She poured the last of the bottle of wine into her glass. “For forty years I’ve worked hard to please everyone around me, hoping someone would love me for my efforts. First, my parents and then Nick and Kyle, and now Brian and my customers at the shop. Where has all that pleasing others gotten me? I’m spending my fortieth birthday talking to a dog, drinking wine to numb my emotional pain, and eating about a zillion calories I don’t need.”

Sweetums lifted his head and made a whining noise deep in his throat that clearly meant, “Gimme. Cake. Now.”

“I look back on my life and I don’t like what I see. Did you know that?” she asked as she cut into the cake with the side of her fork and ate a bite herself instead of giving in to his demands.

The next bite she lifted from the fork and held between thumb and forefinger before lowering it so the dog could take it politely from her fingertips. After swallowing it whole, Sweetums enthusiastically licked her fingers clean of any residual frosting then began the wait for his next piece.

“Yep, I’ve always lived my life to please others. It is long past time I start living how I want, not how the rest of the world thinks I should. Don’t you agree?”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Father

Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week I`ll be sharing excerpts from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.

This week our word prompt 'Father’. In this excerpt we see where things stand at the end of the story with Clayton, Zeke, and the Price family.

A note for my readers:  This is a gay romance novel, and so the romance that occurs is man on man. If this is not your cup of tea, no one will think less of you if you read no further.

 As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!



Zeke exhaled then began to speak. He stopped when a fancy surrey turned the corner onto Main Street. It was a quality conveyance, nearly as well-made as Peony Rose`s buggy, but less flashy. I stood up as I recognized Charley, Mrs. Price`s Chinese butler, steering the matched bays with style. The black and red buggy arrived in front of the jail. Zeke slowly got to his feet, eyeing the proceedings carefully behind damp curls that hung past his chin. Mrs. Price leaned forward in the rear seat. She was done up fine in a bright blue dress, bonnet, a thin silky blanket of deep blue over her useless legs, and matching parasol even though the surrey had a fringed roof. She surely did spend her father`s money well.

“Good afternoon, Sheriff!” she called, her smile wide and white. I stepped out into the sun, removing my hat quickly. Charlie sat stiffly looking forward, his black suit looking dapper, even if the collar seemed a tad tight. “Please, do inform your deputy he has no need to seek the shadows in my presence. Call him up so that he may be introduced to me properly.”

I turned to look at Zeke over my shoulder. He seemed less than comfortable but did as Mrs. Price asked.

She offered him her tiny gloved hand. He looked up and down the street. Several citizens had stopped to gawk at the proceedings. Zeke shook the petite hand then stepped back from the surrey.

“There, now the locals will see you as less of a threat, and more of a gentleman,” she said, dismissing my deputy with the ease of the beautiful and wealthy. “I was just heading to Pester Falls to catch the train. What a pity it hasn`t made it here yet.”

“Yes Ma`am, it is a pity. So,” I said wishing my hair weren`t flattened to my rather round head, “You`re travelling? Going down to Galveston to spend time with Mr. Price?” I asked as casually as possible. I had not forgotten my meeting with the man that owned Laco County and all who resided within it, my deputy and me excluded, of course. Brooks Price may indeed  pay our stipends, but little does he know our wages are then turned over to the nuns in San Antonio who took in all those abused boys. I will keep him in the dark as long as I wear this star. 

“No, Sheriff. Mister Price is far too busy to be frittering his time away with me. I`m off to meet my brother in Philadelphia,” she said then opened her lacy white fan to cool her face. “He has recently returned east after a rash of health problems caused him to leave his ranch outside San Antonio. If only Oscar could learn to control that speech impediment of his. Then he could find a suitable wife. Imagine, a man of almost fifty still unwed!”

I put one foot on the red spoke of the surreys front wheel. “What manner of speech impediment does your brother have, Mrs. Price? If I`m not being too forward in asking?”

“Sheriff, a man as finely cut as you can never be too forward.” Mrs. Price eyed me then fanned with more speed. “Oscar has been cursed with a heavy lisp since childhood. I do hope you and your exotic deputy will keep my husband`s town safe while I`m gone. Charlie, let`s move on. Price Railways are always punctual.”

“I`ll do my best, Ma`am,” I said as I removed my foot. Charlie looked down at me, smiled briefly, then clicked the horses into motion. They rode off briskly, leaving me to ponder upon things.

“So the lisper might be her brother,” Zeke said. I grunted in reply, my mind trying to neaten all the tidbits.

“Might be, yes,” I replied after a moment while walking back under the porch to enjoy the shade. I retook my seat, my eyes fascinated by the cloud of dust Mrs. Price`s fancy surrey had kicked up. It was so thick one could barely see Miss Sarah sweeping off the porch of the feed store across the way.

“You got no proof,” Zeke said, dropping down beside me on the hard wooden bench. His knee rested against mine. My body reacted instantly to his proximity.

“Not yet. Sometimes you just got to let the dust settle a bit.”

“That what we`re doing now? Letting the dust settle?” he asked, pawing around inside his pristine green shirt for his newly purchased bag of tobacco. I nodded then lowered my Stetson over my forehead. Paw-Paw Moore always said only stupid men rode into a foggy swamp all het-up.

“Yep,” I said then waved at Miss Sarah.

The End

Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

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And that ends Laco Law! I hope you enjoyed reading excerpts from my first western as much as I enjoyed writing, and sharing, them. I`m not quite sure what next week will bring. It will be a surprise for all of us by the sounds. Thanks so much for coming by. See you next week with something new!