First Kiss — Sean and Dr. Al

     Allison was filling one side of the sink with soapy water.AnimalInstinctCoverArt_1
He stood to her left and pointed. “You can use the dishwasher.”
She smiled at him and shook her head. “Do you mind if we do them by hand?” she asked. “I think best when I’m doing something routine like washing dishes. Lets my mind roam a bit,
helps me find solutions.”
“Sure, that’s fine.” He couldn’t find a dishtowel to save his life. “Just a sec.” He ran to the box of bath towels, pulled one out and covered the counter with it. “I’ll rinse and we’ll let them
air dry.”
Allison nodded absently. She was stacking clean dishes into the other side of the sink, and he waited until quite a few had gathered, then sprayed to rinse them, stacking them on the
towel. They worked quietly, both lost in thought. He wondered if she was really thinking about their mystery or if, like him, she was soaking up the chance to stand close together, bumping
each other now and then, doing this homey task as a team. Every time she reached to place the next dish in the sink they managed to bump. Every time an electric sensation shot through him.
When Allison finished the last dish she opened the drain and began to wipe down the sink. Sean stacked his last dish and dried his hands on a remaining corner of the towel. He turned
then, watching Allison in profile as she completed her simple task.
“Allison?”
“Hmm?” She turned and looked up and his heart began to pound a little faster. He reached out with one hand, rested it on her arm, stepped a little closer. He saw the realization in her eyes — she knew he was coming in for a kiss. A smile flickered over her lips and her gaze dropped to his mouth. He dropped his head to line up for a taste of that luscious-looking mouth and her eyes drifted closed. The first brush was light, careful, gentle. She held still, held her breath. He leaned in a little closer, his lips firmer. Her tongue flicked a corner of his mouth, quick and teasing. She opened her mouth just a little, and he took her shoulder by his hands to pull her closer. He brushed the sides of her neck with his thumbs. She pressed her body into his and lifted her arms, still damp from doing dishes, and wrapped them around him.
He deepened the kiss; awareness sizzling through every place his skin touched her.

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Animal Instinct – Animal Helpers

     Each of the Heartmark women has an animal helper, and so does the man meant for them. Dr. Al’s animal helper is modeled after my own sweet calico cat. Meet ChaCha.IMG_0606

Excerpt:

     ChaCha made an entrance, sauntering toward Allison, winding between her feet, pressing against her, then turning haughtily to stare at Meredith.
“You just can’t trust a man, any man. They are…” Mer’s ramble stumbled to a halt. She pointed at the Calico, now seated by Allison’s foot, still staring. She came to her feet, sputtering.
“Send that cat outside. You know she gives me the creeps.”
The rude tone jangled and raised the hair on the back of Allison’s neck. She shivered. When Allison didn’t respond, Meredith began to talk again. As always.
“She is evil, I tell you.” Meredith stepped toward ChaCha, hands extended as if she was going to pick up the cat.
The cat came up on all fours, arched her back, fur standing up along her spine. She looked about three times her size, and didn’t break eye contact with her arch enemy.  “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Allison kept her voice even but inside she was seething. ChaCha was the sweetest, most mellow cat she had ever known. The cat evil? What about the woman stalking her? “This is her house, Mer. Let her be.”
She stepped in front of the cat, a mug of tea in each hand, and nodded toward the table.
“Sit. We have time for a couple of biscotti each before I have to get ready for work.”

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First meeting — Sean and Dr. Al

   Dog inspection Doctor Al was a woman. That was the first thing that registered. She was petite, with very small but competent hands examining King’s body. “Carol has given your dog a dose of an
antihistamine to quiet what appears to be an allergic reaction.” She flicked her gaze to him.     “How long ago did this bite or sting happen?”
Her presence was calming. He shook away the tears that formed in his eyes at the thought of how close he’d come to losing his partner, his best friend. “Only a few minutes.” He cleared
his throat in an effort to dislodge the fear and grief clogging it. “Maybe ten minutes ago. I was a couple of blocks from here, and figured it was faster to run in than to risk going home for my
car.” He looked down at his running sweats, gave her what he hoped was an apologetic grin. “I know I stink and I don’t have any I.D. with me.” Embarrassed heat warmed his cheeks. “Or
money, because we were out running. But I don’t live far,” he assured her with a quick gesture of his hands. He hoped he could count on small town acceptance. “As soon as we have this situation
under control I’ll go get them.”
She nodded, continuing her examination. “Has this ever happened before?” When he shook his head she added, “Looks like there is only the one sting. What’s your dog’s name?”
He slid a glance to his dog. “King Solomon, but I just call him King.” At the sound of his name King raised his head, then got to his feet on the exam table, standing eye level with him
and a head taller than the doc. He leaned in and licked at his master’s face. Sean laughed, partly in relief, partly in the surging joy that his dog really would be okay. He put his arm around
King’s neck and the dog rested his chin on his shoulder.
Doctor Al lowered the stethoscope and looked into his eyes, and his breath locked in his lungs when he realized how beautiful she was. Auburn hair brushed her shoulders and framed
her face, and eyes the color of the bluest sky met his. His knees went weak. He swallowed.
A hint of pink touched her cheeks and she averted her gaze from him back to King. “I’d like to watch him for a couple of hours, make sure we don’t have any further reaction.” With
gentle fingers, she touched King’s face above the swollen eye. “I also want to clean this wound once the swelling has gone down, make sure we have the stinger and that we don’t risk infection.
Can you come back after lunch?”
Sean nodded. He usually didn’t have so much trouble thinking of something to say, but Doctor Al left him speechless. He cleared his throat. “I’ll have a break at work around 2:00.
Would that be okay?”
She nodded. “I’m sure that will work. Check with Carol at the front desk before you go.”
She smiled, and dimples appeared on both sides of her mouth. Kissing dimples. Where that thought came from, he had no idea, but he wanted to brush his lips against those smooth
cheeks, flick his tongue into the little crevasses and claim them, claim her, as his own. He shook his head, a wry smile touching his lips. Boy, oh boy, he had it bad.
She had been so serious before now. Then that smile, wow, it hit him in the gut with joy.
She started to turn away and he wondered how he could get her to stay just another minute. As if she heard his mind call out to hers, she turned, tilted her head a little, and put out
one hand. It shook, just a bit, and his heart sang. Maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t the only one affected by this — whatever it was which had tossed him into a sea of want — of need.
“In our hurry to get King taken care of we didn’t introduce ourselves. I’m Allison Green.” He engulfed that dainty hand in his own. It was cool, smooth, and soft. “Sean Barnett. I’m
more glad to meet you than I can ever say.” He covered their joined hands with his other hand, hoping to warm her a little, hoping to keep her close just a moment more. “Thank you so much,
Doctor Allison Green.”
There was that smile again, those irresistible kissing dimples winking out at him. “You are very welcome, Sean Barnett.” She took the end of King’s leash, which dangled from his
collar. “See you in a few hours. King, come. Heel.” King didn’t look back, just dropped down to the floor from the exam table and meekly followed the Doc without even waiting for a release
command from Sean. She did have a way with animals.

Download Animal Instinct, the first of the Time After Time Saga, from Desert Breeze Publishing or Amazon.

Working Dog, Helper and Hero

Meet King, Sean’s Shepherd from Animal Instinct

Dog inspectionExcerpt from Animal Instinct, Book One of the Time After Time Saga with Tami Dee

Sean tried to shrug away the tension gathering in his shoulders and the back of his neck. He’d seen the clinic on his way home yesterday, and he didn’t know where any other vets were located. He prayed someone would be there, and they could take his dog. The sting the poor boy got during their morning run was swelling around his eye and his breathing seemed more shallow than just a minute before. As a first responder, he knew the signs of anaphylactic shock, and he was terrified. He shifted King’s weight and kept on jogging, a slower jog with the extra hundred pounds, but he didn’t want to waste any time. He was close, just another half a block. “Hold on, King, I’ll get you some help.” He shouldered his way through the door. He barely took in the prim ladies with their lap dogs on leashes. He only had eyes for the person behind the counter who could get him some help.

“Doctor Al’s office, Carol speaking. How can we help you and your pet today?”

She wasn’t talking to him. She was answering the phone. He rested King, all sprawling, hairy, panting, wheezing dog, right on the counter in front of her.

His swollen eye was on her side of the counter. She couldn’t miss it.

“Just a moment, I have an emergency,” she said to the caller. “I’m putting you on hold.”

The woman was quick and competent. She called over her shoulder, “Doctor Al, we have an emergency in Exam One.” Then she turned to Sean as she opened the door to the side of the counter. “Follow me.” She opened another door into an exam room, grabbing what he recognized as the new epi pen on her way through. He carefully placed King on the table in front of them. “I will get you some paperwork in a minute. Do I have permission to treat your dog?” He nodded and she put the needle against King’s neck and pressed the life-saving drug into his system just as Doctor Al came into the room.

King was already breathing easier.

Sean’s whole body relaxed in relief. “Thank you, thank you.” He pressed the hand of the lady from the front desk; the motherly one who had acted so quickly.

“You’re welcome. Doctor Al will look at your dog now. Stop by before you leave.”

 *****

 Doctor Al was a woman. That was the first thing that registered. She was petite, with very small but competent hands examining King’s body. “Carol has given your dog a dose of an antihistamine to quiet what appears to be an allergic reaction.” She flicked her gaze to him. “How long ago did this bite or sting happen?”AnimalInstinctCoverArt_1

Her presence was calming. He shook away the tears that formed in his eyes at the thought of how close he’d come to losing his partner, his best friend. “Only a few minutes.” He cleared his throat in an effort to dislodge the fear and grief clogging it. “Maybe ten minutes ago. I was a couple of blocks from here, and figured it was faster to run in than to risk going home for my car.” He looked down at his running sweats, gave her what he hoped was an apologetic grin. “I know I stink and I don’t have any I.D. with me.” Embarrassed heat warmed his cheeks. “Or money, because we were out running. But I don’t live far,” he assured her with a quick gesture of his hands. He hoped he could count on small town acceptance. “As soon as we have this situation under control I’ll go get them.”

She nodded, continuing her examination. “Has this ever happened before?” When he shook his head she added, “Looks like there is only the one sting. What’s your dog’s name?”

He slid a glance to his dog. “King Solomon, but I just call him King.” At the sound of his name King raised his head, then got to his feet on the exam table, standing eye level with him and a head taller than the doc. He leaned in and licked at his master’s face. Sean laughed, partly in relief, partly in the surging joy that his dog really would be okay. He put his arm around King’s neck and the dog rested his chin on his shoulder.

Doctor Al lowered the stethoscope and looked into his eyes, and his breath locked in his lungs when he realized how beautiful she was. Auburn hair brushed her shoulders and framed her face, and eyes the color of the bluest sky met his. His knees went weak. He swallowed.

A hint of pink touched her cheeks and she averted her gaze from him back to King. “I’d like to watch him for a couple of hours, make sure we don’t have any further reaction.” With gentle fingers, she touched King’s face above the swollen eye. “I also want to clean this wound once the swelling has gone down, make sure we have the stinger and that we don’t risk infection. Can you come back after lunch?”

Sean nodded. He usually didn’t have so much trouble thinking of something to say, but Doctor Al left him speechless. He cleared his throat. “I’ll have a break at work around 2:00. Would that be okay?”

She nodded. “I’m sure that will work. Check with Carol at the front desk before you go.”

She smiled, and dimples appeared on both sides of her mouth. Kissing dimples. Where that thought came from, he had no idea, but he wanted to brush his lips against those smooth cheeks, flick his tongue into the little crevasses and claim them, claim her, as his own.

Download and read  Animal Instinct, Book One of the Time After Time Saga with Tami Dee.

Calico Cat is animal helper

Meet Slainte’, Veterinarian Allison Green’s animal helper

Excerpt from Animal Instinct, the first of the Time After Time Saga with Tami DeeIMG_0606

The fascination of his touch, the warm, sweet taste of their wine on his lips, the way she was drawn to kiss him. Her lips pulled into a soft smile. She had only resisted the urge about one time in ten. When she had given in and initiated a kiss he had been right there with her, immediately on the same page, immediately understanding the pace she wanted, the, for now, very gentle give and take.

She had never been so drawn to a man.

Her eyes flew open. “The diary,” she whispered. “It is time to read the diary.”

Slainte’ meowed her approval, rubbing up against her legs before darting to the hallway. The feline beat her to the hallway bookshelf, almost, Allison thought with a small laugh, as if she was leading her to the book.

Her great-grandmother had told her she could read it any time, yet she never had.

“My sweet child, listen closely,” she had instructed. “Someday you will meet a man who is different from all the others, a man who sets your heart to racing, your hands to trembling, and your mind to thinking about forever.” Her aged sky blue eyes had gone dreamy, a soft smile had played around her lips. “He’ll be — irresistible.”

Her expression, as she had once again focused on Allison, had turned serious and she had brushed a thin hand over Allison’s hair. “This may be hard for you to understand right now, child, but sometimes things can go wrong in love, even when the person you love loves you back. If–” she had chuckled, then amended. “When that happens, this diary will guide you. Offer you strategies to help you overcome those obstacles and hold on to that love.”

AnimalInstinctCoverArt_1She had frowned a bit, seeming to gather her thoughts. “The words in this book will prove to be… enlightening.” Her gaze had turned knowing and wise as she had taken hold of both Allison’s hands. “True love overcomes all obstacles. It’s as powerful as magic, Allison. You can be very happy, my dear. Believe it with everything you are when things get hard.” She had squeezed Allison’s hands. “Trust in love, trust in your man, and trust in yourself.” She had nodded her silver head, her lips pressed together in conviction. “You’ll see.”

Allison swallowed past the tears in her throat.

It was time to read the diary.

Slainte’ leaped up and began to pace the wide shelf right next to the diary. Al pulled it from the shelf, opened it to the center section. There the writing was confined to the lower two-thirds of the journal. The upper third had been cut to divide it from the bottom section of pages, then the top glued together and a secret hiding place carved out of those pages. In the opening lay her great-grandmother’s broach, a gift she had received along with the diary.

Allison took the book and broach into her bedroom and again sat on the side of her bed.

She rubbed her tired eyes and frowned up at the over bright ceiling light before getting up and switching it off. She had to laugh at herself for her backwards approach to such a simple task as she groped for the bedside reading lamp, at last finding the small knob and turning it on.

Her hands shook as she took the broach out and held it for the first time in years. It was silver, with a Celtic knot design around the outside edge and a carved ivory cat  in the center, with an amethyst eye and a circle of the purple stones surrounding it. With a little polish it would sparkle as brightly as it had when she received it.

Under the broach was a separate note, folded in quarters. She set the broach on the bedside table, then unfolded the brittle paper and read the words penned by her great-grandmother more than sixty years before, when she was not much older than Allison.

 There is strong, good magic in this broach. Magic that, combined with the Heartmark, will help you to find a love so true and strong it will last a lifetime. This love will be so deep, so profound, your daughters, and their daughters, and their daughters, will know of your love for him. It will be imprinted in their very cells, resting peacefully in the recesses of their minds, just as your ancestresses’ loves rest within your own mind. You will know when you’ve met the one man for you. Your heart will recognize him the moment you meet.

A tear splashed the paper and Allison swiped her eyes.

Sean.

Could she believe what her heart was telling her — that he was different from the other men she’d met, that even in that first moment of looking into his worried face at her office, she had seen deep into the future that she could have with him.

She blinked to clear her vision and continued to read. Slainte’ purred at her side, her big eyes watching her, seeming to understand the emotional impact her great-grandmother’s words were having on Allison.

“Wear the broach,” she read. ” Be forewarned, child, by doing so, you will draw your enemy out. But, it will also give you the knowledge and power to defeat her.”

The fine hairs on Allison’s arms stood on end and her heart pounded behind her breast. Meredith’s face swam through her mind’s eye and she shuddered.

She would wear it tomorrow. Al went to her drawers and located a scarf with purple highlights, and the skirt and shirt that would go with it, to wear for her dates with Sean.

Dates. She was dating this amazing man. It was official.

Download Animal Instinct for more of this time after time saga.

A blog about writing romance or about animals or what?

A marketing professional’s question…pepper - Copy

It is a fair question. In answer, let me tell you a story.

After a fairly significant event that interrupted my career, I was working from home, deciding what to do with myself, and I decided to get back to my writing. I joined an on-line critique group, set aside writing time, researched articles where I could write short stories, joined the Romance Writers of America…all the things a serious romance writer should do.

During this time I learned the delight of being home with my teenage daughter. I had worked outside the home herwhole life, but now we had that precious time immediately after school when her day tumbled out as we drove home.

She’s the one who heard the kittens in the woodpile. A feral cat had a litter and they were as cute as they could be, especially when they began chasing each other around our back yard, tumbling and hissing and occasionally falling into the pool, but we were always there to fish them out. My daughter picked one of them up and asked, predictably, if she could keep it. I answered, predictably, no, her father didn’t like cats. Then she asked the question that changed our lives.

mostly ollie“Why do we let him decide?”

Why, indeed. Long story short, we adopted two kittens, and later another came into our lives to be rescued. We rescued a dog a few years later, and then a cockatiel showed up on our back porch.

I’d never owned a pet before, not one of my own. A few animals found their way through our lives as I was growing up, but none were mine and most had pretty sad stories, didn’t turn out well.

After I turned 50 my daughter’s spunk turned that all around and I am absolutely in love with all my animals. Now I can’t imagine life without them. Art imitates life, so my characters include animals. That is why Paige adopts two kittens found in her backyard in More Than a Job, Mark’s yellow lab, Atlas, becomes a therapy dog and reading tutor in The Return of Joy and a calico cat and a German shepherd are animal helpers in Animal Instinct, because all the heroes and heroines in our Time After Time Saga have animal helpers.

71916925269910592_1wlk4eov_bIn a few weeks you will meet another calico cat and a cockatiel in Survival Instinct. In Finding Her Voice, Starting Over Book Three, Ollie (the terrier mix above) accompanies Jen as she takes a journey across the country to figure out how to rebuild her life. This fall you will meet two more animal helpers, a horse and a barn cat, in Pioneer Instinct. So as the marketing professional calls it, in developing the “brand” of Author Lynette Endicott, animals will always play a part.  I enjoy bringing animals in with guest authors, too.

Check out all the books that are available at my Amazon author page.

There is a page for each of the books mentioned in the menu at the top of this page. Hope you will browse through to see what is coming soon.

Coming Soon – Survival Instinct

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Speculative Futuristic Romance

I am so excited! Our second book in the Time After Time Saga follows the enemy of the women of the Heartmark, Meredith, as she jumps through time from 1970, in Animal Instinct, to 2020 in Survival Instinct. (Hint: the third book, Pioneer Instinct, will be released in December. This time Meredith takes a jarring journey to 1890s Wyoming.)

Winter has just been promoted to detective — and she is at risk of losing it all. An evil from the past threatens to destroy the love developing between Winter and Mike. Will ancestral memories hold the key to freedom, or overwhelm them with fear? Join us when Survival Instinct releases in April.

Don’t you love a love story?

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, in my professional world, people look down their noses when I tell them I write ROMANCE.

I guess they expect professional papers or research articles or books about management. I want to spend my evenings writing — and reading about love.

Maybe it is a function of nearing retirement age, but frankly I don’t want to work day and night. I want a break from reality now and then. When I am reading, I look for a love story.

I have a broad taste in books, so some stories like the Star Wars books and movies or Gail Delaney’s Phoenix Rebellion or Phoenix Rising books are based in a future world and have an exciting science fiction backdrop. But woven throughout? You guessed it. A love story. Or if you are lucky, more than one.

In The Return of Joy, Starting Over Book Two,  I explored how a widow can heal a little and begin to reclaim her life but it is also — you guessed it — a love story. She is young, with a young child. There is a parallel story about two older people falling in love. It isn’t the main story, but I’ve seen enough of life to know people don’t stop wanting love because they are aging.

So even if you have grey hair like me … I know you enjoy a good love story. In fact, this is a little more sensual than my other titles. And while it is Book Two, it does stand alone.

More Than a Job, Starting Over Book One, tells the story of Paige Roberts, who loses her job. There are elements of characters who have a disability woven through the story.

Animal Instinct, the first of the Time After Time Saga with Tami Dee, is a romance about a veterinarian and is a great book for animal lovers and includes a time-traveling enemy who has been stalking Dr. Al’s ancestors and now is after her.

All three books take the approach that sex happens in marriage — but the sizzle is there long before, and certainly after.

Check out all three of my current romance titles at http://amzn.to/TIFFwI where you can read the first few chapters and then decide to buy!