Angels Protect in New Release

Man holding a woman out of the stream, with a mill in the background. They are kissing. Title is No Going Back. Author Petie McCarty. Presented by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.Hi Lynette! Thank you so much for allowing me to spend time with your readers today! I’m so excited about my April release, No Going Back.

Glad to have you here, Petie. I can’t wait to learn more about this book and your new series! Angels are a fascinating topic. Tell us more.

This release is the first of what I call my Rescue Angel romances — wild and fun love stories with a secret angel hidden in the plot, and the reader doesn’t find out the angel’s identity until the finale. If I’ve done my job right, I’ll fool my readers every time. My second Rescue Angel romance — appropriately named Angel to the Rescue — is due out in December.

I enjoy it when an author keeps me guessing. I admit I enjoy figuring out or sometimes being surprised. Set the scene for us?

In No Going Back, Kellen Brand’s inheritance turns out to be a whopper — one dilapidated farm in West Virginia and one guardian angel. Since no sane woman would choose to live in Riverside, Kellen vows to sell her farm and quick. Her handsome neighbor Luke Kenyon must block the farm sale or risk exposure of his family’s secrets.

Kellen has located one potential buyer, but she faces a town full of objectors. Someone is trying to frighten her off, and Luke is forced to step in and rescue her more than once. Unfortunately, Kellen has a penchant for finding trouble. She stumbles onto a clandestine hazardous-waste-dumping operation next to her farm, and she prays Luke has one more rescue up his sleeve. It’s her only hope of staying alive.

Unless her mother really did leave her a guardian angel…

* * * * *

 Here is a little excerpt from No Going Back:

Vera tells me she told you about the haunted cemetery,” Gerald McRae called to Kellen from the checkout counter.

The bell on the store’s front door jingled again.

“She did,” Kellen called back, concentrating on her candle selection.

“Don’t worry. I’ll protect you,” said a familiar voice behind her.

If it was possible for a voice to leer, this one did. Her spine twitched, and she slowly turned around. “I don’t need any protection, Sheriff.”

Reilly eased in much too close for her liking and cornered her between the last two rows of shelves. “You never know what to expect up here in West Virginia, right?” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

His rat eyes glittered like two black aggies, and she suddenly felt a glimmer of panic. The evil eyes of the mean boy who threw dirt clods had changed to the leering eyes of a much larger and quite fearsome man. The mean boy was now Sheriff. If he threw dirt clods, who would she call?

He edged closer.

She stepped back and bumped into the last row of shelves. She felt just like the jackrabbit her dog once cornered in the barn.

“I can look out for you while you’re here, Kellen. Special like.”

The way he said her name sent shivers down her spine. She could feel the lower shelf jabbing into the back of her calves.

He took one more step.

She could smell his sour breath.

“Real special.”

She could hear Gerald talking to a customer. No help coming there.

Reilly lifted his hand toward her face. She swallowed hard and steeled herself to jerk back or swat the hand away.

The fleshy hand eased closer.

A fist came out of nowhere and snagged the sheriff’s wrist. “She doesn’t need any protection,” a deep voice growled. “She has plenty.”

Luke Kenyon had an iron grip on Reilly’s wrist, his knuckles white with the effort. Reilly tried to glare him into submission, but the steel-like glint in Kenyon’s eyes forced the sheriff to blink. Kenyon tossed off the wrist, but stood his ground. Reilly yanked his hand back to his side, and for a brief instant, Kellen forgot how maddening Kenyon was. She wanted to grab him and kiss him for saving her from the foul-breathed sheriff.

“Watch yourself, Kenyon,” Reilly snarled. “I run this county.”

Luke matched his glare. “Not all of it, you don’t.”

Kellen tried to catch her breath. She blinked, and the Sheriff was gone. Luke stood so close she could feel the heat radiating from his body, and that certainly didn’t help her remember to breathe.

“Are you all right?”

Had she seen worry in his eyes? For her? Oh good heavens — she was still staring! Now he was asking her something. What was it? Oh yeah — was she all right?

She nodded.

Words were too much at the moment. Too many emotions. First, panic at Reilly accosting her again after all these years and then finding out she actually had a knight in shining armor. She did, didn’t she? Luke’s focused gaze sent her heart fluttering and from more than fear. She couldn’t seem to get any air in her lungs.

“Do with your property as you please,” his voice rumbled.

She blinked again, and he was gone. They were both gone, the Sheriff out the front door and Luke to who knew where.

“Everything all right, Kellen?” Gerald called from the checkout counter.

Her fists had a death grip on her basket. Everything about this town made her feel like a child again. Except she didn’t want to go back to her childhood.

Download this exciting new book right now from Desert Breeze Publishing or one-click from her Amazon  author page.

Animal Helpers key to story

 

Mike’s Helper appears …71916925269910592_1wlk4eov_b

Tap, tap, tap. They both tensed and looked at the terrace doors.

“You expecting company from the back door?” she whispered.

He scowled at her and drew his weapon, dropping to a whisper as well. “I’m on the sixth floor. Unless super man is making house calls, whoever it is, is not welcome.”

She drew her service revolver also and stood. Without making a verbal plan, he took high and she took low, both weapon arms out straight with the other hand supporting at the elbow.

Tap, tap, tap.

“Sure is a noisy burglar,” she couldn’t help but bring out.

He shot her a look of pure venom and promised restitution, then, his hand on the handle of the door, he mouthed. “One. Two. Three.”

He swung the door open and they both pointed their loaded weapons at the small gray cockatiel sitting on the ledge, tapping its beak against the iron railing.SurvivalInstinctCoverArt

They both dropped their arms and gaped at the bird.

She turned to him. “You keep your bird outside?”

He shook his head and scowled. “It’s not my bird.”

As if on cue, the bird that didn’t belong to Mike ruffled his feathers, then with a graceful swoop of its wings took flight, to land right on Mike’s broad shoulder.

Her brows rose and she shut the door. “Not your bird, huh?” she teased. “You should probably tell him that.”

The bird ruffled its feathers, then rubbed his head against Mike’s cheek.

Mike sneezed.

Startled, the bird took to flight, landing on one of the surveillance monitors.

Mike shook his head. “Bird, if you poop on that monitor, you’re going to be dinner tonight.”

If possible, the bird managed to look affronted by the threat and said, “Beef for dinner, not fowl.”

Both Mike’s and her own jaws dropped, then they burst out laughing. They laughed so hard, by the time they stopped, they were both swiping tears from their eyes and holding their stomachs.

“The bird has to belong to someone,” Mike mused.

Winter shrugged. “I just had a stray cat attach itself to me. It seems the rules of who chooses who in the pet department have changed.”

Mike glanced at her. “A cat?”

She nodded. “A scraggly little calico. Looks just like the one that followed me around all the time while I was growing up.”

Mike’s brows drew in. “I remember seeing that stray following you.”

She ran a hand through her hair. “Really?”

IMG_0606He nodded. “Yeah, every time I’d see you around, the calico was always nearby. I don’t ever recall you paying any mind to it, though.”

She shrugged. “I’m not really an animal person.”

He laughed. “Don’t let your Grandma Allison hear you say that. She’s in her eighties and still goes to the clinic when they are busy and call her up.” He considered. “Do you think it is the same calico?”

She shook her head. “It looks just like her, but how could it be? I left home five years ago, and I swear that cat from home has followed me since the first day I walked to kindergarten by myself. There’s no way the cat who attached itself to me now can be the same one.”

He crooked a brow. “Who you trying to convince, me or yourself?”

She walked over to the bird, which oddly seemed to be listening with some focus to their conversation. “What’s your name, sweetie?”

“Napoleon.” The bird squawked ” Protector. Don’t eat me.”

She grinned at the bird. “Okay, Napoleon, who is your owner? Who do you belong to?”

There was no reply. Napoleon began to groom one wing with his beak.

Winter tried again. “Pretty bird, Napoleon. Who are you protecting?” She reached out one finger, tentatively, and stroked his head. He swiveled to look right at her.

Then he gave a squawk and fluffed his feather. “Protect Mike,” he squawked out. “Mike’s bird. Protect Mike.”

Winter and Mike’s jaws hit their chests, again, at Napoleon’s ramblings.

“See?” Winter could not help but say. “I told you he’s chosen you as his owner.”

Mike sneezed and his eyes puffed up and turned red. “There’s only one problem,” he said. “I’m allergic to birds.”

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Meet Mike, Hero and home town boy…

Winter ran away from home…but home caught upSurvivalInstinctCoverArt

She glanced up and saw their reflection in the mirror hanging over the dresser. She had to admit, they made a striking image sitting together like they were. She ran a finger over her blacking left eye, and then turned to scowl at the man who had blackened it. She was almost certain it had been his elbow that had caught her.

Apparently he had not been as focused on his thoughts as she had assumed, or maybe his thoughts were somehow following hers. He turned to her and ran a surprisingly gently forefinger over the bruised flesh under her eye. “I just wanted to stop you, not hurt you.”

She jerked a shoulder, oddly unnerved by his softer side.

Hometown boy. Never. Nope. No way.

“How’d you see me anyway?” she asked. “You didn’t have night goggles on.”

He blinked his big gold eyes and she frowned at him.

He smiled, a chuckle accompanied the gesture and her stomach did a funny little dip. “Part of my top of the line spy package,” he told her. “Contacts. Two rapid blinks night vision, three blinks heat sensor, four, normal mode.”

She whistled. “I want to work where you work. Cool toys.”

He grinned at her. “The coolest.”

“So, what gives?” she demanded. “You won’t tell me what branch you work for, I get that, but at least tell me who the other players are. How did you get involved, anyway? How long have you been snooping around as a mild mannered reporter to get all those names?” Another thought took precedence over his answer and she said. “By the way, what kind of spy are you if they knew you were investigating them? The task I had to do, in order to not be sent to 867 for offing the creep and to keep my grandmother alive, was to kill you after I found out just how much you know, but dude, they know you’re on to them.” She shook her head and shot him a disgusted look. “You’re really a lousy spy. I’m surprised your bosses trust you with all this high tech stuff.”

His jaw firmed and the hand next to hers on the bed fisted. She’d touched a nerve and she had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from smiling.

“I will have you know, lady,” he bit out. “My cover was to be a reporter who was obviously investigating the corrupt cops, in order to draw them out in the open so I could shut them down.”

She believed him, but it was just so easy to rile him up that instead of telling him so, she said instead, “Hmmm.”

He glared at her reflection in the mirror. “You’re ticking me off again.”

She couldn’t help herself, she winked.

He lifted his arm, to do what she didn’t know.

Tap, tap, tap. They both tensed and looked at the terrace doors.

To be continued tomorrow, when you will meet Mike’s Animal Helper

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Love in the Midst of Turmoil – Detective Forced by Crooked Cops

SurvivalInstinctCoverArtWill Winter be forced to do their bidding?

Winter tried to shake herself awake. She was standing, barely, kept on her feet by two sets of meaty hands lodged under her armpits.

It took a moment to realize the roaring in her ears was coming from the Pacific Ocean.

She blinked the ocean into focus, and then turned her gaze to the semi-circle of people in front of her.

They were all tall. She counted ten of them in the dawn light, an even dozen counting the two holding her upright, all dressed in hooded police-issue rain gear. The cloth badges glued over their hearts were getting soaked with the mist and the steady, light downfall of rain.

The sound of rain hitting plastic filtered through her stunned brain, and she glanced down at herself.

She was also completely covered with her hooded rain gear.

What was going on?

She tried to make her mouth work, but it was dry and her vocal cords were tight, barely allowing air into her lungs, much less allowing her to speak.

One of the officers at the center of the pack stepped forward. As with the others, she could not see his face through the deep plastic hood.

He reached to his throat and flicked a switch on a VDB, a voice disguising box. “The drug we used to knock you out makes it impossible for you to speak. All you have to do during this little staff meeting is listen.”

Her hood was jerked off her head by the man on her left, and her eyes widened at the leader’s words.

She’d been drugged? Her heart thundered within her breast in panic. She struggled to assess if or how they had harmed her.

He laughed, the sound altered to a robot-like cackle, rather than a person; making it  impossible to identify the speaker or even if be sure he was a man.

“No, not that drug.” He smirked. “We haven’t spent the night taking advantage of you. That would be unethical and we are all sworn to uphold the law.”

Was he serious, or was sarcasm lacing his words?

Her mind raced as the effects of the drug lessened by the moment.

Twelve men, police officers, if the speaker were to be believed, had drugged her and rendered her voiceless.

Why?

“There’s a small task we have decided only you can take care of for us.”

She frowned at him. The cold rain plastered her hair to her scalp and ran into her eyes and down her face, dripping from her chin. Her heart raced so fast she was surprised it didn’t beat out of her chest.

The metallic taste of fear filled her dry mouth and her stomach did a slow churn.

Her knees buckled and the hands holding her up tightened so she could not slip out of their hold.

She was going to have bruises the size of hams when this was over.

“There’s a reporter in town.”

Something in the cadence of his words seemed familiar. Did she know her attackers?

“He is doing some… shall we say investigating…, on our little band here.” The leader’s arm swept out to encompass the other officers. “Your task it to find out what he knows about us and make sure any incriminating information is destroyed, before you get rid of him.”

She frowned at him and shook her head, completely at a loss. Why would a reporter investigate a group of officers? What had they done to warrant the notice of the press?

She tried to ask, to make her vocal cords relax enough to get the questions through.

The hooded officer standing next to the leader reached to his throat and flicked a switch on his VDB. “She doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”

The leader nodded. “Then perhaps we should spell it out for her.”

Five officers took three steps to the left and the other five men of the semi-circle took three steps to the right. There, on the sand, was the lifeless body of the creep who had come on to her last night. Eyes she had stared down in the bar mirror were now glazed with death and sightlessly fixed on her.

Download and read April 11 from Desert Breeze Publishing.

Time-traveling enemy in San Francisco

Counting down to April 11 release of Survival InstinctSurvivalInstinctCoverArt

Meet Winter, Allison and Sean’s grandaughter from the very end of Animal Instinct, the first in the Time After Time Saga with Tami Dee.

She pushed her hair behind her ears and glanced down, considering her faded jeans, black tee, short, silver studded black leather jacket, and beat up black combat boots. It was her usual off duty attire. There was no reason they couldn’t be her working clothes too.

The other detectives had their own distinct looks, mostly casual, comfortable, but each look uniquely their own. They already ribbed her about her fresh, small town girl face, with a body to pull off a sexy as sin; bad girl, biker image. However, that was their take on her appearance, not particularly hers.

In all fairness; the good natured teasing  she had endured for the past five years may have stemmed from that first day, when she roared into the police academy parking lot on a Harley.

She had picked up the hog the same day she’d arrived in San Francisco.

Some guy down on his luck had been trying to sell it. She’d offered him five hundred dollars cash and he’d snapped it up.

Granted, it had looked like a hunk of junk. She allowed herself a wry smile. It still looked a hunk of junk for that matter, but it ran, and that’s all that mattered to Winter.

She chuckled at the memory, especially her ‘crash course’ in learning to ride the thing. Amazingly, she hadn’t killed herself or broken anything.


Survival Instinct releases April 11. Download from Desert Breeze Publishing.

Facial scar changes how others respond

EyeOfTheBeholder_w11220_680[1]Eye of the Beholder by Patty Froese

Tricia Hunter loses her beauty in a highway accident. When the doctors can’t do anything more, she heads to a cabin in the woods to make her peace with the scars. What is left to love when a woman loses her looks?

Jesse Reynolds is a forest ranger and when he sees Tricia, he recognizes her right away as the beauty from high school who broke his heart. She doesn’t recognize him, though. She never did take much notice. But the accident that marred her good looks is the very one that took the life of his fiancee, so Jesse isn’t exactly sympathetic.

Thrown together in the autumn woods, can Jesse and Tricia find the healing they’re longing for?

God doesn’t cause pain, but He does redeem it–sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

Excerpt:

Tricia Hunter dropped her bags on the scratched wood floor of her uncle’s cabin and took a deep, cleansing breath. She could already feel the potential of this place. The musty scent of old smoke from the stone hearth mingled with the tangy aroma of falling leaves. This was just what she needed, a hideaway in the middle of the autumn woods with a crackling fire, a stack of cozy quilts, and a wide window that let in a pool of golden afternoon sunlight.

Perfect.

There wasn’t a mirror to be seen in the place, and Tricia smiled wryly. That was probably what she needed most, time without having to look herself in the face.

Tricia raised her hand to touch the scars running along her jaw line, her fingers moving over the puckered skin with absent-minded familiarity. As much as she hated these scars, she was becoming more accustomed to them. She hadn’t made peace, exactly, but the shock was gone now, and in its place was a sort of confusion. Who was she now that she looked… like this?

She opened the door to a bedroom, and her gaze moved over the double bed that nearly filled the space, leaving room for only one tiny bedside table. Seeing no other door that might lead to a bathroom, she closed her eyes and cringed. So that actually was an outhouse she’d seen. She’d hoped that there was some other explanation for the little shack, but unfortunately, it made perfect sense. A kitchen sink was going to have to do for bathing, and the air inside was already feeling quite chilly in the autumn morning. This stay was going to be more rustic than she’d imagined.

“Maybe I should have gone to a resort instead,” she muttered, but she didn’t really mean it. She’d come here for a reason. She had a lot of things to think through, and spas and shopping didn’t leave her enough silence and solitude to hear herself think, let alone listen for God’s voice.

Outside, a truck’s engine revved, and she glanced out the window to see a black pickup pull into the drive. It rumbled for a moment before the engine shut off and the driver’s side door opened. A tall, broad-shouldered man hopped out. Whoever he was, the outdoors suited him. The sunlight that filtered through the red and golden leaves touched his auburn hair and caressed the rugged lines of his face. He dropped a hat on his head and swung the truck door shut with a bang. When their gazes met, he touched the brim of his hat in a polite salute. Tricia pulled away from the curtain, her cheeks warming when she realized she’d been staring.

His footsteps echoed on the stairs leading to the door and she opened it before he had the chance to knock, flashing him a smile.

“Good—” he started, but then his face blanched and he quickly cleared his throat. He looked down, then brought his gaze back up with a recovered smile.

Nice save. “Hi.” She tried to ignore that familiar sinking feeling when her scars evoked this reaction.

“Good morning, ma’am.” He said, this time without a hitch. “I’m the park ranger. I wanted to come by and make sure everything was OK.”

“I think so.” She gave him a reassuring smile for his efforts.

“Good.” Whatever his first reaction, his discomfort seemed to seep away. His dark eyes moved over her face. When she raised her eyebrows, daring him to ask her about those ugly scars, he met her gaze easily.

“I’m Tricia Hunter.”

“Tricia Hunter…” There was something in the way he repeated her name. “I’m Jesse Reynolds. Nice seeing you.” He held out his hand. His rough, calloused fingers folded gently around hers, and he paused, expectant.

Tricia cleared her throat and released his hand.

“It’s been a dry summer, but we’ve gotten two or three heavy rainfalls, so using the fireplace shouldn’t be an issue.” He nodded in the direction of the hearth. “You’ll need it tonight. It’s been dipping well below freezing.”

She nodded and his gaze moved over her face again, lingering on the scars that crept down her jaw line.

“If you don’t mind me asking,” he said after a moment. “What happened?”

Tricia was used to the question. With scars like hers, people’s curiosity held no bounds. She was past being offended, though. She gave him a shrug. “A highway accident.”

Jesse made a thoughtful sound in the back of his throat. “It must have been bad.”

“It was.” Tricia raised an eyebrow. “You should have seen me before. This is after all the plastic surgery the doctors can do.”

Jesse’s gaze traveled over her face from the sweep of her brow to the tip of her chin. He nodded slowly, almost appraisingly. “It could be worse,” he said finally.

Tricia shot him an exasperated look and turned away. It could be worse. Yes, when you thought about it, everything could be worse.

“Sorry about that.” His tone was sheepish. “I don’t mean to be callous.”

“Well, looking like this has been an…adjustment.” She turned back towards him, waiting for a reaction.

“Hmmm.” There was no pity in his eyes, just curiosity.

She was used to pity. She knew how to deflect pity. This reaction was something she hadn’t encountered before, and nervous chatter welled up inside of her. “People used to tell me I was quite attractive before the accident, you know. I mean, you wouldn’t know it to see me now. I’m still not used to this. In my head, I still look like I did before. Like those war vets who still feel their toes when they lose their legs.”

“Except you can still walk. And feel your toes.”

His dry tone made her cringe. “That came out wrong…” She wasn’t really shallow enough to think that her situation was on par with men who’d lost their limbs when fighting for their country, but the change in her appearance had still been a traumatic event, more so than the pain, stitches, and surgeries to correct the scarring and the hours upon hours of recovery combined. If he’d just react like everyone else, she’d know exactly what to say to him, but this ranger was throwing her off.

“Don’t worry about it.” He gave her good natured wink. “I like the way you look.”

“You’d be the only one.” Tricia pulled a hand through her hair. “Hey, I’m sorry. I’m a nervous talker. Can we rewind and make this a little less awkward?”

“Rewind?”

“You ask what happened and I’ll say, ‘an accident.’ And that’s where I’ll stop. No more messy elaboration.” She laughed self-consciously.

“OK, if that’s how you wanted this introduction to go. And I’ll tell you that you’ll need to put your garbage directly into the covered box outside and make sure it’s completely shut and locked at all times to keep your site protected from bears.” The flicker in his eyes turned familiar but not exactly warm. He seemed undecided on his opinion about her.

“Bears? Should I worry?” She glanced towards the window.

“Not too much, but it’s always good to be careful.”

She nodded. “That makes sense.”

Jesse’s gaze met hers for a moment. Once more she felt as if he was waiting for something, but she had no idea what it was. Did rangers get gratuities or pattysmall-25something? It suddenly seemed possible.

“Well, I’ll be around if you have any questions or need anything.” He gave her a nod.

“Thanks.”

He turned abruptly back towards the door. “Take care. Winter comes early some years. Like I said, I’ll be around.”

Tricia nodded, attempting to appear more confident than she felt

“Oh.” Jesse placed his hand on the door knob. “Your uncle keeps an ax behind the door.”

“I have wood.” She nodded towards the pile next to the hearth. It must have been left over from whoever used the cabin the month before, along with the half bag of plastic cups sitting on the kitchen counter.

Jesse laughed out loud and shook his head. “You’ll need more than you’ve got there. The wood pile is behind the cabin, but you’ll need to chop it into smaller pieces.”

“How much do I need, exactly?” She eyed the ax uncertainly. Wood didn’t burn that quickly, did it? The idea of chopping wood sounded tedious. She turned towards Jesse with a smile, letting her eyes linger on his a little longer than necessary. The movement was one of habit, a learned behavior that used to get her what she wanted. “You wouldn’t want to give a girl a hand, would you…” She allowed her smile to sparkle in her eyes. “Jesse, was it?”

“That’s right. Jesse.” His tone was dry, and then an amused smile tugged at the corners of his lips. He rubbed one hand over his chin, the sound of his stubble against his palm rasping softly. “If I were you, I’d start chopping, Ms. Hunter.” He gave her a grin and dropped his hat back onto his head. “ You’ve got time before dark.”

She sent him a tight smile and he met her gaze, his expression unreadable.

“Take care, now.” He pulled open the door and disappeared into the chilly morning.

As his footsteps clomped down the front steps, she let out a frustrated sigh. Once upon a time, a man would have stumbled over himself in his eagerness to chop wood for her.

She shut the door and leaned against it. Obviously, those days were over. A brilliant smile bought her nothing. A flirtatious laugh held the promise of something no one wanted any longer. Instead, she was left with the reminder that she had two legs and a back strong enough to chop wood. Try as she might to be a bigger person, it was annoying. She was no longer the woman she used to be, and, frankly, she didn’t have to like it.

Buy today at Pelican or Amazon and visit Patty on her Amazon Author page.

Romance under the Sapphire Skies of Montana

sapphireskiescoverart72dpi__27473.1357185032.1280.1280

Historical and Inspirational Fiction

Austrian immigrant Lili Kohl wants to get a homestead In Montana for her family to live on when they come to the United States. But someone in the town of Cedar Creek is using their influence to keep the property from her.

Homesteader Gabriel McCall has put a hold on the property adjoining his, hoping his younger brother will homestead it later, fulfilling a promise Gabriel made to their dying father. Meanwhile he tries to be helpful to Lili, because he sees her as a greenhorn. After he rescues her from abductors and they stay warm in a cave, their attraction to each other grows.

Then her parents arrive unexpectedly and her father disapproves of Gabriel, who has finally given up on farming with his brother. Now Lili fears losing her family’s approval by loving Gabriel.

EXCERPT

“Do you need a place to stay?

She sure did, and hoped it would not be too expensive. “Yes, sir, I do.”

“The hotel has reasonable prices.”

Lili took a deep breath, hoping her English would be correct. “Where may I find it?”

“Right up the street, the building with the wagon in front. I can have your trunk sent there.”

Lili thanked him, and picked up her valise.

“Now, remember, there’s a train going east next week, in case you want to go back.”

She thanked him and walked toward the hotel, conscious of the men milling about outside, some of them looking her way. She prayed her uncertainty didn’t show.

Approaching the double oak doors of the hotel, Lili noticed a man in a white shirt leaning against a post near the entrance. His broad chest tapered down to a leather belt, and jeans covered his long legs. Rolled up sleeves accentuated his muscular brown arms folded across his chest. She tried to see his eyes, but a wide brimmed hat shaded his face. As she came closer to him, he removed his hat and held the door open for her. This unexpected polite gesture caught her by surprise.

Lili glanced up into smiling brown eyes, and her heart stopped. Why? His skin looked darker than most of the men outside. His kindness unsettled her.

Her voice failed. She gave him a brief smile and went into the hotel.

In the lobby, comfortable looking chairs surrounding a low table holding a bouquet of flowers in a glass-canning jar. Overhead, a fan turned in slow circles. Tantalizing smells wafted from the dining room located near the manager’s desk.

How much would it cost to stay here? New York City was a long way off, but if her plans for a homestead in Montana didn’t work out, she might be on the next train going back. She needed to watch her spending.

After renting the cheapest room and being told there was no work in Cedar Creek at the moment but at the local saloon, Lili knew she had to at least try.

After saying a prayer for guidance, she left the hotel and crossed the dusty street. The same man who had held the door for her earlier stood talking to some other men near the saloon. He turned and tipped his hat to her. Dark hair edged his collar. For a moment his gaze held hers. Her heart slammed against her ribs and not knowing what to do, she turned away and tried to steady herself before going into the Silver Spigot Saloon.

Visit Mary at her website, and download her book today from Amazon or her publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing. Come back tomorrow to learn a little more about Mary.

New book features smart dog

Marcy dogBorder collie knows best…

I love dogs, so I asked Marcy G Dyer to share her dog and an excerpt from her book, Down and Out. Marcy says, “There is a tri-color Border collie in the book, based on my Border that I had for 15 years. The dog in the book is named Yogi and mine was Scooby, but the personality and the appearance are the same.”

Excerpt:

She glanced at the dog. “You didn’t send me flowers, did you?”

The black dog had a white scruff and red and white face. He cocked his head to one side and looked at her. She’d always thought Border collies were supposed to be black and white. Curiosity up, she opened her notebook computer. She pulled up the website for the American Border Collie Association and found that the dogs came in all colors. Even a multi-colored coat called “merle.”

She glanced at Yogi. He looked like one of the dogs on the website called a tri-color. He stared back at her. “What is it, boy?”

He half-barked and half-growled. Great. The dog hated her. “It’s okay.”

Yogi made the same sound again, and Candace eased up from the chair and started to move away from him. He ran to one side, and when she moved in the other direction he ran to that side. Once again, he growl-barked.

When she didn’t show up for work tonight, maybe Beth Anne would send someone to find her decaying body.

Yogi continued to move side to side to keep her from leaving the room. Candace’s heart thudded against her chest. She grabbed a pillow off the sofa and wrapped it around her arm then put that arm forward and eased toward the kitchen. Yogi cocked his head to the side and looked at her like she was lunch, but he didn’t lunge at her.

When she reached the tiny galley kitchen, she realized her mistake. No way out. The dog blocked the entrance to the kitchen.

Candace continued to back up until she came to the wall. With her back against the wall, the dog, tail tucked, ran toward her. “God, save me,” she muttered.

Yogi cocked his head to the side and lunged. At least that’s what she thought he was about to do, until he planted his paws in the midst of her chest and nipped at her arm. He didn’t bite, but gently nudged at her with his teeth.

DownandOutCoverArt“You aren’t going to eat me, are you?”

Yogi’s tail wagged so hard his entire backside wiggled, and he growl-barked again. Candace slid to the floor. She should have known Ric wouldn’t leave a man-eating canine with her.

Yogi pounced the second her bottom hit the floor. He climbed all over her and gave her lots of puppy kisses. Had his tail been wagging when she thought he was going to eat her?

She laughed and headed for bed. Would she ever get used to sleeping during the day?

I can see this scene — and I love it when a dog is a character in a book. Download Down and Out now and read more!

Publisher’s buy site: Desert Breeze Publishing

Amazon Author site

Down and Out – Suspense in Texas

DownandOutCoverArtA Texas Story from a Christian Author

When a down on her luck publicist moves home to Odessa, Texas, she’s thrust into a volatile job with a handsome security consultant showing her the ropes when a stranger decides she must be his and he’s determined to win her love – at any cost. Can the handsome consultant protect her from the stalker or will she end up buried in the desert?


EXCERPT

Candace hunkered down in the floorboard of the truck. Why had she taken this job? She really didn’t need to eat. Maybe if she had to do without food for a while she could fit into smaller jeans, like the munchkin at the western store wore.

A gunshot rang out, and Candace vomited.

“Great. Barbie just tossed her cookies.” Beth Anne sighed.

Enough was enough. She wouldn’t put up with the leprechaun’s taunts any longer.

“I’m sorry if I don’t live up to your standards, Dumpling,” she snapped. “I’ve never had anyone shoot at me.”

“Dumpling? You little–”

“Enough, you two. Quit acting like spoiled junior-high girls. If you haven’t realized it, we’re in a little bit of a mess here.”

And if she ever got out of it, Candace would tell Carl he could shove his job. Everyone told her how dangerous New York would be. Right. She never got shot at there.
More shots rang out, and her hands shook. “Thank goodness we’re in the truck. If they don’t shoot the windows, we should be okay. Right?”

Josiah barked out a short laugh. “Don’t know much ‘bout guns, do ya, doll?”

“Not really. I know gun safety, and I’m a good shot, but that’s it.”

“A bullet can go through the metal of the door.” Beth Ann’s tone grew snarkier with each word. “It may or may not have enough force to come all the way inside depending upon the caliber. There’s your education for today, Barbie.”

“Thanks for nothing, Dumpling.”

Sirens sounded in the distance, and Candace prayed the police would arrive in time to save them. She couldn’t die like this, hunkered down in the floor of a flatbed truck with a puke-covered seat. At least she hadn’t peed her pants. Yet.

Download Down and Out today! Visit her website www.marcydyer.com and her Amazon author page.

A Celebration of Life – New release deals with adaptive devices in the 1800s

By Delores Goodrick Beggs

In my upcoming December 21 release, Substitute Lover, a youth loses a leg rescuing the heroine, Tennyson Wells, who is inspired to start a mobility aids shop in the small, old, western town of Mescal Flats.

I have known two men who lost a leg, a friend and a distant relative, both losses from motorcycle accidents.  Both returned to full activity after a period of adjusting to an artificial limb; in fact I wouldn’t have known about the losses if I hadn’t known in the beginning, they compensated so well with their artificial limbs. But not everyone has the inner determination and resourcefulness to work at overcoming a physical loss.

It often takes an inspiring moment and deep desire to do something to push the action button.

While my hero and heroine (Substitute Lover) make it possible for the youth Theron to do anything he did before losing his leg by providing him with a hand-carved pegleg and a special stirrup on his saddle to hold it in place, he sits in his room focused upon the loss of his leg until one day he gets tired of awaiting assistance and decides to go visit his horse anyway, discovering freedom for himself and taking back his life again.

One of my mother’s favorite sayings was, “When life deals you a lemon, make lemonade.” Whenever she said that, which was often, she usually followed it up with, “There’s something better waiting down the road, but you have to keep on keeping on until you reach it.”

 My mother was a smart woman. She was right. It is all about determination, and celebrating life. When you want something enough, you find a way to get it.

 Excerpt:

“Caleb?” Tennyson followed him out.

“Yeah?” He leaned against a tree trunk and crossed his arms over his chest.

“He’s getting better now isn’t he?”

“Yes. I think he will want to try sitting up today.” Caleb pushed himself away from the tree trunk he’d leaned against, and turned to survey the small stand of trees nearby. He selected a sturdy sapling with a crook at the top, and broke it off near the bottom. He ran a hand over the straight trunk, clearing it of leaves and twigs. He held it out toward Tennyson. “Put it under your arm. Let me see how it fits.”

“A crutch?” She shot him a searching look, and then tried out the makeshift crutch as he’d asked. “I think it will do.”

“I hope so,” he said. He met her gaze and then looked away.

“Caleb, does he know about his leg?”

He sighed. “I don’t think he knows yet. We’ve kept the leg covered. He knows it hurts. He’s apt to guess when I take this in. If he doesn’t, then I’ll be telling him. When we go indoors, I want you to take Annie and go back outside for a bit.”

“But why?” Tennyson saw his mouth turn up in a wry grin at her question.

“I expect he’ll want to take a swing at me. I know I would in his place.”

Place in the Heart Book Two: Substitute Lover, coming December 21, 2012 at

Also available from  Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other major e-book publishers

Available now:  Place in the Heart Book One: Breaking Point or on Amazon.com Link:  http://goo.gl/DOo3E