Self care

I just realized, I don’t get the idea of self-care. I think it’s a myth, like unicorns or all the laundry being done.

I thought I’d try it, this elusive beast of self care. I took up yoga for a month. It took about a week to fully realize that yoga took up the time I used to spend doing the dishes. We all ate off paper plates, and that’s bad for the environment, and I’m pretty sure I read in some magazine the toxins in paper plates give you wrinkles. Or smallpox. Maybe it was hemorrhoids. I’m sure it was something. Collapoxarhoids. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was it.

I don’t hate yoga like I hate running from killer clowns or trying on bathing suits under fluorescent lights. Actually, I kind of liked it. But I either have to get up at the crack of dawn (like 4:30 AM), or I have to do it in the evening. I’ve got three kids, man. My evening are booked… and the morning? Well, I think my bed can be considered self care, right? I mean, it’s warm and cozy and holy cow why do I have to get up at such an ungodly hour anyway? And anything at a more reasonable hour is reserved for the cardio I get as I frantically put together lunches for three kids while attempting to put a face on and get ready for work. I feel pretty successful, because most days I get mascara on both eyes and my shoes often match one another. #winning

See, there’s always something to be done. It’s a myth that we can have it all. I want a clean house, but it’s not going to clean itself. As much as I fantasize about a hunky house boy (that sounds juvenile, I don’t want a boy. I want a house man) who feeds me whatever floats my boat while I never gain weight and look effortlessly like Cindy Crawford as my self-cleaning house does all the dirty work, it’s not happening. I barely find time to blog, and in theory, that’s part of one of my jobs. I’m pretty sure most humans can relate.

Self-care. It’s a nice idea. Maybe I’ll try it someday. Maybe after I find that damn Leprechaun.


Tales from the Other (Gluten Free) Side

So for those who have followed the blog for a long time—and I mean a really long time—or who know me in real life, y’all know that I’m gluten free. Celiac is a giant heap o’ dog poo, but being GF beats barfing every day. I also come up as allergic to wheat (which came up after I gave up the wheat) so I got hit with the double whammy. Why does wheat hate me?  Oh, yeah, because it’s delicious. Like I don’t totally miss a really good sour dough. I swear to god, a sourdough bowl is about as close to heaven as anything. Which means, I’ll never get to go there again. I had my chance, and I squandered it.

Anyway, my digestive system is a hot mess. Because I don’t have a gallbladder anymore, I have a really hard time with fat.  I’m allergic to red meat. I can’t eat wheat. I’m not a huge fan of fish, but I’ll eat it under duress. At least my cholesterol is good, I guess.

M, the great and wonderful DH, is a Type I diabetic. His blood sugar goes wonky if he doesn’t have meat. Actually, it’s been wonky for about the last year, if we’re being honest. Like bad wonky, not, “huh, look at that” wonky. We’ve tried lots of things to make it not horrifically bad. We count carbs, I mixed up the grains (no wheat is allowed in my house, but otherwise, we’re good). We tried all of it. Quinoa, soy pasta, wild rice, brown rice, blah blah blah.

Well… It turns out that the diet that seems to suit him the best is Paleo.

Big breath. I agreed to do it with him. Me, the girl who loves sugar, as my replacement for bread. And love. But I think I just repeated myself. Aren’t those two words synonymous?

Now, I can cook, but some things I don’t play with. Like pasta. But today I had a hankering for gnocchi, so I found a sweet potato gnocchi that fit the diet.

It turned out great!

Hahahaha! No. This is real life, in a real kitchen, with a real non-chef at the helm.

Some of my gnocchi dissolved in the pot in which they were supposed to boil. It was like soup. Actually, soup looks good. Even bad soup still looks like there’s something redeemable about it. This, uh, did not.  It looked like… I don’t even know. If success is angels weeping, or unicorns and rainbows, I suspect that this is some low-down Elder gods crap. No messing around with the minor gods, either. This is full on elder god vomit soup. (You know, if I ever write a cookbook, I’m going to have a recipe name “Elder God Vomit Soup.” It will be as good as it sounds) I’d describe it in more detail, but I would have to use more colorful language than I usually do on the blog. But trust me, words have flown, my friends. Words. Have. Flown.

So I was all, “I’m going to outsmart this gnocchi, for reals. I’m gonna show it who’s boss!” So I decided to just skip the sad boiling part, and move on to pan frying. I made sweet potato pancakes the other day and they were awesome, if awesome is a relative term. They were distinctly edible if one did not expect real pancakes. So this should work right?

Gnocchi laughed in my face. Like straight up labeled me it’s b****. It sort of started falling apart in the pan where I was trying to pan fry them. And by sort of, I mean it did. Sort of. I think the idea here is that I was “sort of” trying to pan fry them, and I sort of pan fried gnocchi into crumbs.

The kids were all excited, saying things like, “It smells so good!” Sure, kid, go ahead and give me your saddest face when I tell you that the pile of burnt crumbs in the pan is the gnocchi I was attempting to make. Uh huh. We all feel that way. Here’s a quarter. Now go watch some TV while Mama cries into a skillet. Yeah, I know you’re 12 and not falling for that quarter thing anymore. And yeah, I know I actually gave you a plastic penny I found at the bottom of my purse. Don’t judge. It could have been the really old breath mint that’s been down there since 2007. Consider yourself lucky.

Granted, my children are both accusing one another of passing gas, so who knows how these things actually smell. “Better than dog farts and tween feet” is not a resounding endorsement for my culinary skills.

So, next I resorted to baking the things. I mean, that should not turn out wretched, right? They’re in the oven right now.

And… they’re out. DH has gamely tried one. He is literally the least picky person on the planet. His response was, “It’s not… bad. Maybe it will be better next time?”

I’m not sure if it’s hope or fear I hear in his voice.

Looks like we’re having chicken.


It’s Been a Long Road

I haven’t written here in an age. I was kidnapped by aliens. Uh… No, I took in a family of squirrels and we sang songs and had  some crazy adventures.  Actually, I joined a circus.

Haha, no on that last one for sure. I am terrified of clowns. No slight to Stephen King, but I won’t be seeing It any time soon. I’m just not that kind of girl. I can barely tolerate the clowns at the rodeo, but that’s like combining two things I am rather afraid of–cows and clowns–and putting them all in one space. I tolerated the place once for the kids. NEVER AGAIN.

I know, I know, you want to know who is afraid of cows. This girl, right here. They’re big and they stampede, and, I don’t know, they look at me funny. Whatever. Don’t judge. Or go ahead and judge. It’s not like I’m not aware of the weirdness.

Anyhoo, I’ve been gone for a long time from the blog. Like, a long, long time. Admittedly, I didn’t write much either during that time. I tried to, but I didn’t. Life gets in the way sometimes.

For instance, I got an endorsement on my teaching license. Then I decided that another master’s degree would work, in a field completely different from both my first masters and my endorsement. So I got to take a whole new set of classes, because none of my previous coursework could transfer. That’s just how I roll. All that school took a lot out of me, and what writing I did–usually to the tune of 20-50 pages a week–went to that.

During that time, my job got insane, and even when I wasn’t doing schoolwork, I was living in my office.

That first spring of grad school, we decided to move. Put our names on a list for another house in a new development further out in our desert valley.

We somehow got picked first round, and we had to fix up our old house and put it up for sale. That was a trip. We’d been there for 15 years, had two kids there, and let me tell you, kids are gross. Since I’m not the best housekeeper in the whole world, the house needed some gussying up. That took a about a month.

Selling a house with two cats, two dogs, and two children to clean up after, while going to grad school and working full time, wasn’t fun at all. Every showing, one of us would have to come home, pack up said dogs, cats, and children, and load everyone into the car for anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours. The cats loved going on car rides, so they were a joy to locate any time we brought out the crate. It was a laugh riot. I’ll admit I was a little relieved when we lost the new house–at least my house was fixed up and I wouldn’t have to get up at 4:30 AM to make sure it was spotless in case someone came over to look at it.

The day before we were going to take the house off the market–after all, we’d lost the other house–we sold it. We thought maybe the builder of the new house would take our money, because our buyer’s were paying cash and wanted to close in two weeks. Our other house wasn’t supposed to close for almost six more weeks after that, so we thought, maybe….

But the builder had already sold our house, so we totally lost out on that. So we went house hunting, since now we needed a place to live.

We found another house (one I like better! And the backyard is mature and done! Woot! I do need to fix the bathroom, though), so we wound up moving after all.

Six weeks after that, we went on a family vacation to Mexico. It was fantastic!

Except that I came home so sick. So, so sick. Pretty sure that the Health Department made a logo for Norovirus that very accurately explains my life for about two months. You can find it if you look for it. It cracked me up when I saw it.

Six weeks after we got home, just as we were finding out that I had had a raging case of strep for ALMOST TWO MONTHS, the dog died. He was old, but he hadn’t been sick, and even the weekend before, he’d been okay. Unbeknownst to us, he was riddled with cancer. True to form, he decided to die on my daughter’s birthday. While I was in my roughest semester of grad school, and had been sick for two months. When I’d sort of delayed getting her birthday presents (grad school, work, sickness, still unpacking boxes, etc). In my defense, they were supposed to arrive on time–on her exact birthday. I figured I’d have time to wrap them up, right? But then my town flooded, and the presents got stuck on the other side of the hill, and the bakery lost my order for the cake that I knew I wouldn’t have time to make, so my kid had her 12th birthday with no presents, no cake, and a dead dog. I freaking owned parenting that day. Thankfully, I had friends who came through for me, and I think she had a nice day. We got our toes done, a friend brought over some presents, and I made her a cake. It wasn’t red velvet, as she had requested, but she was still happy about it. My kid freaking rocks.

A few weeks later, we were in PetSMart and found another dog. A rescue dog. One who is so much like Frank that sometimes I look outside and I don’t see the dog I affectionately call “Beet Juice,” I see Frank.

In any case, my plate was pretty full for about 16 months. I fell off social media, I didn’t blog, I didn’t even watch TV. I worked, I cooked, I sort of cleaned sometimes not really, and I did school work.

But now I’ve graduated, we’re all moved in, we have our dogs and cats, and life has sorted itself out. And I finally finished the book I started way back in 2014, when I started on my various endorsements/moving journey.

Coming at the end of this month is The Devil of Dunmoor, the follow up to Highland Deception. I’ve worked on this book gradually for three years now, and I have to say, I am really proud of how it came out. After many fits and starts, and several complete rewrites, it’s finally out, and done, and it’s coming out soon! (October 28, to be exact). I’ll keep you posted when it’s up for pre-sale. 🙂

I hope all of you have a wonderful day.



Heat 3.5Contemporary novella

Pricepoint 99 cents.

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Billionaire Nicholas Adrien Rousseau works seven days a week. He lives on a schedule, doesn’t like surprises, plans his days, and outlines his goals. Until an irresistible blonde slides into the backseat of his Mercedes, mistaking him for the driver of the car service provided by his company, Bridal Bliss.


Bella Rose is late for the airport. The opportunity to turn Creative Couture into an International marketing firm is a dream come true, but if she doesn’t catch the last flight home to the states, she’ll miss Christmas Eve with her family.


Two strangers with an attraction that could melt an iceberg, are stranded in the heart of Paris, the city of light and love. When Bella throws caution to the wind, deciding to accept the spontaneity life has thrown her and enjoy the journey, she never imagines it will lead to the man of her dreams. Adrien realizes too late that by hiding his identity, he could lose the one woman who loves the man and not the money.


THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Cathy MacRae

The Highlander’s Reluctant BrideAuthor: Cathy MacRae

Genre: Scottish Medieval Romance

Heat level: Sensual
Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter. 

Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him. 

Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a four-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve? 

Absently Riona brushed a wayward strand of dark auburn hair from her face as she took two quick paces to catch up with him. The movement reminded Ranald of her as a child.

“I don’t suppose ye were too anxious to come here,” she said.

He formed a rueful expression. “Nae. ‘Twas no’ my first choice.”

“I know ye dinnae like it here. Ye always seemed relieved to depart.”

Ranald laughed. “‘Twas ye I dinnae like.”

Rather than take offence, Riona nodded again. “Nor I ye.”

“Ye were a difficult lass.”

She drew up short, staring at him. “Me? Difficult? All I ever wanted was to be included. Ye were forever running off, trying to leave me behind.”

Ranald did not check his pace. “Ach, we did let ye play sometimes.”

With a huff, Riona scrambled to his side. “Oh, aye. Ye let me play ‘princess.’ The princess ye kidnapped and held for ransom by tying me to a tree all afternoon.” She grabbed at her skirt again as she stumbled and caught herself.

Ranald paused and his horse tossed his head at his master’s sudden halt, but Riona didn’t slow her stride. With one long pace he was even with her again.

“And what about the time ye let me go fishing?” she tossed at him. “Except I had to sit in the bottom of the boat and use my skirt to hold yer catch. I smelled of fish for a week.”

Ranald chuckled and shook his head. “That wasnae me, lass.”

She bit her lip, and Ranald wondered why her straight, white teeth fascinated him so. He stared at the reddened mark her bite left behind.

“True,” she allowed. “Ye dinnae like the water, do ye?”

Ranald swallowed back his wayward thoughts. This was Riona, his childhood nemesis, not the sweet widow he’d left behind at Scott Castle.

He caught her sideways glance at him and realized he’d not answered her. “Nae. ‘Tis all that up and down and sideways motion. Makes my stomach churn.”

“How do ye intend to be laird of a people who live by the sea?”

“I cannae say if I’ll ever be much of a sailor, but I will be laird.”

Author’s links:


Twitter: @CMacRaeAuthor



Romance Writers Weekly: What does Romance mean to you?

image001Welcome! If you’re here, I hope you’ve come from Katie O’Connor. This week’s questions comes from Jenna Da Sie, and she asks this: “Romance. There are so many different meanings. What does it mean to you?”

Well, when I first read this question, I got the lyrics from Human Sexual Response’s What Does Sex Mean to Me? stuck in my head. Which is made all the more disturbing by the fact that it’s been over a week, and that particular ear worm (and the one god-forsaken line I know) has been running on a continuous loop in my head ever since.

In any case, thinking of this question… It’s loaded, for sure. This question could be interpreted in a variety of ways. I mean, are we talking books? Well, in a romance novel, you have a couple who meets, fall in love, have a variety of difficulties, and then, in the end, wind up with their happily ever after. Of course, that’s over-simplifying it, kind of like if I described literary fictions as “blah, blah, blah, convoluted mess, sadness. Pain. Misery. Death. The human condition. The end.”

So… for me, the genre of romance is, just like lit fiction, about the human condition… but, the better part of it. That’s what I like about it. My life has enough turmoil in it, what with jobs and school and kids and husband; when I read a book, I want the best parts of life to go into it. I can’t read a book built entirely on misery anymore, because I just don’t have it in me be sad when I read (that sounds rather dull and trite, doesn’t it? Ah, the human condition sometimes is that way, right?) I want a happy ending, I want to know that, no matter what is thrown at a character, it will all work out, because my life doesn’t always fit into those nice parameters. No one’s does.

As for romance in real life? Well, I suppose that changes as one ages. Gah, when I was significantly younger, it was grand gestures of undying affection. Think Say Anything. I mean, for real, I wanted to marry John Cusack. Or, if we’re going with strict 1990s references, a sensitive ponytail man (as in Singles, but I would have happily taken Cameron Crow, too), who would write poetry about me and sing my praises and tell me how utterly fascinating every word I’ve ever spoken truly is.

Only the majority of what comes out of my mouth is hardly fascinating, and I never met a sensitive ponytail man; I married a cop.

So, romance is in the little things. It’s in the face that he will let me sleep in on a Saturday, or that he might make me coffee in the morning. Sometimes, he’ll do the dishes, and I would seriously weep over how romantic that is. Or he’ll take the car to get it registered or get the oil change, or he’ll check my tire pressure when I’m about to go on a long drive. It doesn’t sound romantic, and it doesn’t sound all “knight in shining armor” romance novel worthy, but I assure you, after 18 years of marriage, two kids, a mortgage and two jobs, it really, truly, honestly is.

Why not head on over to Jenna’s page and see what she had to say?


THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Viola Russell

Buccaneer BeautyBy Viola Russell

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: Sensual
BUCCANEER BEAUTY is the story of Grace, Graínne, O’Malley, the beautiful daughter of a powerful Irish chieftain and a conventional mother. At the age of eleven, Graínne cuts her hair and sneaks aboard her father’s galley ship, determined to follow a life at sea and to seek the company of a handsome Scottish gallowglass, Bruce Donnel. Graínne proves herself a budding warrior when Spanish marauders invade her father’s vessel, but her parents have other plans for her. Though she proves an able sailor, Graínne is forced to marry Donal O’Flaherty, another powerful chieftain. Though enamored of Bruce Donnel, she nonetheless obeys her parents and proves an able helpmate to her violent and rash husband, continuing her own adventures at sea while raising children and supervising her husband’s home. Her heart, however, still belongs to a handsome Scot who she can never have. 
Upon Donal’s death by ambush, Graínne continues her adventures along the Irish coast and Europe, secretly battling England’s growing power in her country. Alternately sleeping with the devil or manipulating the British authorities to her own ends, Graínne is determined to save her family and people from the tyranny imposed upon them by England. To make her family stronger, she weds Richard Bourke, one of the most powerful men in the region, but she can never forget Bruce Donnel and the passion he incited within her soul. Richard proves Graínne’s most stalwart supporter and she his, their minds and bodies uniting in an almost mystical union. Together, they faced the English with no fear—with only audacity and boundless courage. Still, the shadow of a youthful gallowglass intrudes on Graínne’s peace.


 “I wish you could come with me to Bunowen.” Grainne heard Bruce’s footsteps when he stepped on the hay spread along the barn. She looked up from grooming her chestnut horse. 

“Now what would I be doing there?” Bruce ambled toward her and began stroking the mare’s nose. The horse stomped on the ground with her right front hoof and let out a fierce snort. The Scot took a step back. 

“She thinks you mean to dishonor me.” Grainne grinned at him as she combed the horse’s mane. “My da gave her to me after that first voyage. Before that, I’d only had a pony. He said I could handle Anu after that.” 

Bruce had regained his courage. He searched within the folds of his cloak and offered the horse a carrot. Anu gazed at him with what looked like suspicion, sniffing the tempting vegetable. “She’s a wild one.” 

Grainne laughed and threw her arms around the animal’s long neck. “She’s a smart one, you’re meaning.” She stared at the now fully-grown man before her. His fair hair fell lightly onto his shoulders, and he wore the tartan trews typical of his people. She glanced at the way his muscular legs bulged within the tight material of his tartan trews. He’d spent most of his life yielding an axe, and Grainne didn’t want to admit to herself how lonely the months were when he returned to his native land with the rest of his men. “How old are you now, Bruce Donnel?”

Bruce watched as Anu took a generous bite from the carrot, then he lifted it to his own lips, grinning. “Older than you, Lady Grainne.” He studied her for a few minutes. “Twenty.” 

“So no Highland Lass has won your heart, has she?” Grainne swept the coarse mane from the comb and tossed it aside. She wiped her hands on her trews and pushed a stray strand of hair from her face. 

“No, my heart’s been stolen by an Irish goddess, but I can’t have her.” He turned to the pawing horse and shared the rest of his carrot. 

Grainne’s heart hammered inside her breast. She took a deep breath and forced levity into her voice. “Who is she, pray tell?”

Bruce was suddenly so close to her that she could feel his hot breath feathering the slight hairs on her neck. “Don’t play with me, Grainne. It hurts too much.” 

Grainne swallowed hard as her very being lurched with desire and aching need. Every sinew in her body wanted to wrap him within the all-consuming fire of her passion. She forced a laugh into her voice. “What hurts? By what I hear aboard ship you waste no time pining for the chieftain’s daughter. You’re quite the man about port. Many a Spanish and French lass can attest to that.” 

“They mean nothing.” His fingertips lightly touched a strand of her hair, but he jerked away as if an electric jolt raced through his body. He added bitterly, “But you’re the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Connaught, and you’re soon to be the wife of another. I’m a poor mercenary.” 

“Not so poor by what I’ve heard.” Grainne struggled to control her own rapid breathing. The heat of his body infiltrated her very pores. “Rumor has it you’ve farmland in the Highlands.” 

Bruce’s face was very close to hers as he moved closer to her, his breath fanning against her lips as they lightly touched hers. Grainne involuntarily touched his cheek, her fingertips on fire and her own breathing sounding loud in her ears. “You’ve heard right. It would be a great place to raise sheep, if I had the right woman.” 

“Aye. It would be in a place with the right woman.”

Grainne looked away, but she still felt his heat. He cupped her chin under with his thumb and forefinger, forcing her to look at him. His brown eyes bore into her soul. Grainne’s whole body grew hot, and she gently slapped away his hand. Turning from him, she replied softly over her shoulder, “I have to finish with Anu.” 

“Would you leave with me, my wild rose?” Suddenly, Bruce’s powerful arms encircled her waist. He ran his lips along her neck as his hands shifted to her breasts. 

Grainne turned to him, almost against her as though she couldn’t help her conscious will. In his arms, she wasn’t possessed of a mind at all, only an aching body that longed for sexual release. During her long journeys at sea, Grainne had acquired many unsavory sailors’ habits. She loved to game and swore in such a way that made her mother cross herself before flailing her only daughter, but Grainne had never given of herself to man. She’d purposefully withheld her sexual favors from the men inhabiting her father’s ships. Grainne was a chieftain’s daughter. She wouldn’t disgrace him or herself.



TITLE: The Turning Stone Chronicles: “Son of the Moonless Night”AUTHOR: C.D. HERSH

GENRE: Urban fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Currently available in eBook on Amazon at:
Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?
Excerpt from Son of the Moonless Night:
A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”


“The bear.”
Where you can find CD:

Soul Mate Publishing:


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THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Carol Ann Moleti

The Widow’s WalkParanormal Romance

Sexy, Heat Level 3-4

(available in ebook and print)
Mike and Liz Keeny are newlyweds, new parents, and the proprietors of the Barrett Inn, an 1875 Victorian on Cape Cod, which just happens to be haunted. By their own ghosts. The Inn had become an annex of Purgatory, putting Mike, Liz, and their infant son in danger. Selling the historic seaside bed and breakfast was the only answer, one that Liz and her own tortured specter refused to consider. Were they doomed to follow the same path that led to disaster in their previous lives? Was getting out, getting away, enough?

Look, for now, we’ll just stay where we are–together. If Liz and Mike are united, then Jared and Elisabeth aren’t going to be able to get in between us.” He brushed the tears off her cheeks.

She stared at him intently, fear, maybe desperation in her eyes. “We can only talk to each other about this. Others might use any information against us.”

“Who would do that, Liz?’

Her demeanor hardened. She sat up, raised her chin. “My son. Your daughter. Sandra.”

“You’re paranoid. The kids have no inkling about ghosts. All Sandra has are theories. She doesn’t know about your incident–or my illness. And I’m not going to tell her.” Guilt twanged in his gut. Sandra had come up with all the ghostly interpretations on her own, right?

Liz jumped up. “She knows about my injury. Maybe not how it happened, but when Mae went in there to get my things, she figured out it was for me. She reads minds, or manipulates people into blabbing what they know.”

Mike lowered his voice to a whisper. “It doesn’t take much for Mae to spill information. I think you’re giving Sandra too much credit.” Yet, she did ask him about the ghosts as soon as he sat down.

“You can joke all you want, Mike, but this is serious. We can’t let anyone else in.”

“I won’t say a word about anything ghostly to anyone. As long as things stay under control.”

Liz studied him. 

Mike squirmed. “I think I’m going to take a nap.” He settled back on the sofa.

She tucked the blanket around him and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll go help Mae with dinner.”

She didn’t believe him. He didn’t trust her. This was never going to work.


THURSDAY THREADS Welcomes Carly Jordynn

TITLE: FOREST OF THE MIST: AwakeningGENRE: YA Fantasy Romance



Upon awakening from the coma that put her in the alternate realm known as Paradise Valley, Jennifer Burke Kyle discovered her infant son was half-grown, had some rather unique powers, and was the new leader of Paradise and the adjoining Dark Land. If that wasn’t enough to make her want to go back to sleep, she finds her dead husband, David Kyle, has ordered a complete stranger, Alex McGuire, to marry her and raise her young son as his own. Together, Alex and Jennifer, with the help of Davy, must escape the agents of PRI, a government research group, in order to protect the still comatose, Colin O’Brien. 

_“What?” Jennifer said. “I’m not ready to be married to you. I don’t even know you.”

Alex had had just about enough of her routine. “Listen, sweetheart, it’s no picnic being with you either. I’m tired of trying to live up to your lofty expectations. I’m not David Kyle, nor would I want to be. I’m doing this all for you, to protect you and Davy. A little gratitude would be welcome.”

“Excuse me?” Anger flashed in her eyes. “You are darn lucky that I even give you the time of day. You overbearing, egotistical control freak.”

“Control freak!” Alex shouted weakly. “Are we back to that song and dance again? Can’t you come up with some original material? I’ve busted my ass in order to help you, and you have the nerve to say I’m controlling you?”

“Oh, what a load of crap, Alex! You are not doing this for me or Davy. You are doing it for Lily.” Jennifer spun away from him in disgust.

Alex wanted to pound something in frustration, but he could barely move his arms. “For crying out loud, Jennifer, Lily isn’t here. She married Connor. They moved away. Lily has nothing to do with this. If she did, I would already be in Texas. I’m here with you because I want to be with you.”

“You do not know me!” she shouted.

“Because you won’t let me get to know you!” Alex countered.

Alex stopped speaking. His face turned red. Spots appeared before his eyes, and he had a hard time catching his breath. He saw Jennifer back away from him as the machine he was hooked up to began to scream. A team of doctors rushed into the room and began working on him. Alex felt himself begin to fade and then he was gone.



SASHA BISHOP: Retired Slayer



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