Paranormal

The Dogs in My Life

Morison-Knox_Karen-7748-Edit-webToday Ariel Moon is visiting to talk about the dogs in her life and how they’ve influenced her books.

Ariella Moon writes about magic, friendship, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and the upcoming Spell Fire, the first three books in The Teen Wytche Saga from Astraea Press. After a childhood spent searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia, Ariella grew up to become an author and shaman. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred Ariella’s teen years. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She now lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, shamelessly spoiled dog, and an enormous dragon.

Welcome Ariel.

****************************

I was about five-years-old when a cocker spaniel-mix wandered into our neighborhood in search of food, water, and love. He was malnourished and had whip scars on his back. My family took him in, though in truth, the whole neighborhood adopted him. Blackie listened to my childhood secrets and licked my nose when I cried. His appearance marked the beginning of my life-long love of dogs.

Years after Blackie’s passing, my mother acquired a Schnauzer named Fritz. By then we had moved to a Christmas tree farm. An older German couple that arrived after Thanksgiving each year to pick out a Douglas fir particularly admired Fritz. I called him Wrong Way Fritz. If deer were in the apple orchard and I yelled, “Deer!” Fritz would run into the Christmas trees. If I spotted a squirrel among the Christmas trees and yelled, “Squirrel!” Fritz would dash to the orchard.

When I married, our first dog, a blond lab-mix named Tasha, would scale six-foot wooden fences to escape our backyard. She left behind Emily, a Jack Russell terrier. A breeder had scheduled Emily and her siblings to be euthanized because their noses were brown, not show-worthy black. Emily became my baby. She lived to be seventeen, and though she died twenty years ago, I mourn her still. Her companion, Miko, was a beautiful white shepherd. Madchen, another white shepherd, taught me a difficult lesson about recognizing — and avoiding—puppy mills. Rare dog-less years followed. Finally we rescued Jack, an overprotective Jack Russell terrier. Jack underwent a devastating personality change after we had him neutered —another painful lesson learned.

Our short string of bad dog luck ended with Honey, a black retriever-mix with golden paws. True, she had severe epilepsy and had to be heavily medicated. But she was worth every penny we paid for medication and vet appointments. Honey and I hiked everywhere together. When a seizure would hit her on the trail or in the middle of the street, neighbors would stop and wait with me until Honey could rise again. After she passed away, the whole neighborhood mourned. Around Halloween, when the veil between worlds is the thinnest, neighbors would stop me on the street and say, “I was just thinking about Honey.”

I immortalized Honey in my Young Adult series, the Teen Wytche Saga. She appears as Baby the —what else—black retriever-mix belonging to Evie O’Reilly, the protagonist in Spell Check, the first book in the series. Baby’s foil, Einstein, an unrepentant cockapoo, is an ode to all the strong-willed dogs I have known. Like Baby, Einstein appears in the first two books in saga, Spell Check and Spell Struck.

When Honey and I used to walk in our old neighborhood, we’d sometimes encounter a woman with two of the mangiest, toothless, such-a-mess-they-are-adorable, rescue Yorkies. I couldn’t resist giving them pivotal roles in Spell Struck.

In part, I include dogs in my books because they reveal character and add humanity and sometimes humor. The absence of canine companions in my upcoming novel Spell Fire, (November 2013, Astraea Press) adds an unspoken layer to the main character’s isolation. Since I couldn’t give my protagonist a dog, I gave her a dragon. Which brings me to Gracie, my daughter’s I-know-Honey-will-die-soon-so-here’s-a-new-dog-so-you-won’t-follow-me-to-college present. Gracie is the first magic-practicing animal I’ve ever lived with. No wonder. Did I mention her breed? Gracie is a Papillon-Chihuahua-Poodle-Dragon Hatchling-mix. I’m sure she will magic her way into some future book.

******************

Spell Struck

 Book 2: The Teen Wytche Saga

What if the one person who saw through your lies and loved you, harbored a secret that could cost you everything?

SpellStruck_500x750Goth outcast, Salem Miller, believes her love spell failed until Aidan Cooper arrives at Jefferson High. When he chooses her over the popular girls, Salem knows magic brought him. But can she summon enough wizardry to save her sister? Salem fears Amy’s next suicide attempt will succeed. Magic brought Aidan. Maybe it can cure Amy. Salem’s last hope lies hidden within a damaged grimoire, nearly destroyed by a wrongful love spell. Was her rightful love spell enough to restore it?

Newest Jefferson High transplant, Aidan Cooper, doesn’t expect to be attracted to a goth. Then he realizes Salem is throwing a glamour—pretending to be something she’s not. Guess it takes one to know one, since his whole life has been a lie. But if his kidnappers discover he’s broken their No Attachments rule, he’ll never see Salem again. Worse, he’s terrified they’ll harm her when they discover she possesses the ancient grimoire. To protect Salem, Aidan must destroy the grimoire, and escape his captors.

While Salem races to unlock the Get Well Spell, Aidan scrambles to overcome his past. With their star-crossed paths at odds, will time run out for both of them?

.

Excerpt:

Aidan lowered his hand. His finger pressed against my skin, shooting a delicious tingle up my arm. When I didn’t move away, he hooked his finger over mine. My breath caught. We stayed, frozen, hyper-focused, for what seemed like three lifetimes. Then Aidan trailed his fingertips across the back of my hand. The soundtrack, popcorn smells, and theater audience melted into the background. The world narrowed down to the unspoken grief and need entangled in Aidan’s touch.

I rotated my hand so my palm faced upward. Aidan hesitated. Our gazes locked in the flickering light. The spell link humming between us lit up like blue lightning. At least I think it was the spell link. Aidan plunged his fingers between mine. Our palms pressed together, igniting a current. Air shuddered from my lungs. Magic rippled from us in successive waves.

My heart stuttered. My breath ceased. Every cell within me vibrated. Troops of fairies or dragonflies took flight in my lower abdomen. It’s possible blue lightning shot from my boots.

Good thing I wasn’t holding the popcorn.

****************

Buy Links

Astraea Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Where to Find Ariella Moon

Ariella’s website

Ariella’s Blog

Facebook

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomAriellaMoon

Categories: Dogs and cats, Paranormal, Uncategorized, writing, YA | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

FOREWARNING Excerpt

.

Another 5 star review for FOREWARNING

.

Magical.
“A great mystery to the very end. Lots of great realistic characters made this book fun and the main character’s talents believable.”

.

Forewarning Cover

.

Grieving and guilt-stricken after her husband’s suicide, Kasey Martin has closed her energetic healing practice and retreated to her Oregon horse ranch. One night, she rescues a badly injured man, and against her better judgment, uses her neglected skills to save his life. This starts her on an unexpected journey of healing and danger.

Complicating her life is Jim Bradley, an old friend who has long been in love with her and wants her to return to her work. When criminals looking for her patient invade the serenity of her world, she must use her skills to save all three of their lives.

.

.

Excerpt:

With each step down the deserted hall to the waiting room, the band around Kasey’s chest drew tighter. The frantic desire to scurry back to her ranch, to run from what she had done, almost made her turn around. She suppressed the urge. She needed to find out if the man would be okay, to find out if she had helped—or hurt—him.

She stopped in the ladies room to wash the blood off her hands and clean up a bit. Her mother’s brown eyes and heart-shaped face stared back at her from the mirror as she dried her hands. But the auburn hair she smoothed and gathered into a low ponytail again was her father’s legacy, as was her empathic sensitivity. He possessed an uncanny ability to understand animals and deal with their problems and had been known as a “horse whisperer” long before the term became popular.

His ability to feel emotions extended to people as well as animals, for which Kasey was grateful. Her breath caught as she thought of his gentle love and support. He’d helped her understand and deal with her sensitivity, showing her it was a gift rather than a curse. How often during this past year she’d wished she could turn to him for help, as she had as a child. That wasn’t possible. He had his own pain to deal with, and she couldn’t burden him with hers.

Leaving the restroom, she continued down to the waiting area. Tonight was the first time she’d been to the hospital since Brian’s death, and the small, chair-filled lounge stirred up painful memories. Memories of the man who had been her life. To her relief, the room was empty, and she chose a seat in a corner where she wouldn’t be easily seen.

Exhaustion dropped her into the chair with unexpected force. She tried to focus on the television in the corner; instead the night’s events kept playing over and over in her mind. The blood on the man’s too-pale face. The raw, charred skin of his palm. Her hands focusing healing energy. Her hands focusing healing energy.

Her legs began a restless dance, so she jumped up to walk off some of the tension. What she really needed was to go for a run. Since that wasn’t possible, she returned to her chair and started a deep breathing exercise—in for four counts, hold two, out for seven counts and hold for two. Eventually the rhythmic pattern took effect. Her eyelids closed, and her head flopped to the side in a restless doze.

***

Jim Bradley paused at the door of the waiting room and gazed at the sleeping woman. Damn, she’s lovely. Not that Kasey would agree right now, of course, given her mud-stained jeans, green rubber boots and ratty sweatshirt. To him, she looked wonderful. He let the desire he always suppressed when around her thrum freely through his body. For this moment, he didn’t have to be on guard. For this moment, he could just enjoy looking at her and contemplate a time when he could let her know his heart. Soon, he hoped. Soon.

Kasey shifted in her chair and Jim quickly brought his feelings under control, directing his thoughts to the surgery he had just completed. Now was not the time to reveal his yearning. She had enough to deal with tonight. He pulled his shoulders back and headed into the room.

“You’re going to a get a heck of a stiff neck if you stay kinked like that much longer.”

******

.

Available on Amazon

 
Categories: alternative medicine, dressage, energetic healing, healing, Horses, Mystery, nature, outdoors, Paranormal, riding, romance, Romantic suspense, suspense, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FOREWARNING – Free Sept. 19-23

.

FOREWARNING – Free on Amazon, Sept. 19-23!!

.

Forewarning Cover

.

Grieving and guilt-stricken after her husband’s suicide, Kasey Martin has closed her energetic healing practice and retreated to her Oregon horse ranch. One night, she rescues a badly injured man, and against her better judgment, uses her neglected skills to save his life. This starts her on an unexpected journey of healing and danger.

Complicating her life is Jim Bradley, an old friend who has long been in love with her and wants her to return to her work. When criminals looking for her patient invade the serenity of her world, she must use her skills to save all three of their lives.

.

.

Excerpt:

With each step down the deserted hall to the waiting room, the band around Kasey’s chest drew tighter. The frantic desire to scurry back to her ranch, to run from what she had done, almost made her turn around. She suppressed the urge. She needed to find out if the man would be okay, to find out if she had helped—or hurt—him.

She stopped in the ladies room to wash the blood off her hands and clean up a bit. Her mother’s brown eyes and heart-shaped face stared back at her from the mirror as she dried her hands. But the auburn hair she smoothed and gathered into a low ponytail again was her father’s legacy, as was her empathic sensitivity. He possessed an uncanny ability to understand animals and deal with their problems and had been known as a “horse whisperer” long before the term became popular.

His ability to feel emotions extended to people as well as animals, for which Kasey was grateful. Her breath caught as she thought of his gentle love and support. He’d helped her understand and deal with her sensitivity, showing her it was a gift rather than a curse. How often during this past year she’d wished she could turn to him for help, as she had as a child. That wasn’t possible. He had his own pain to deal with, and she couldn’t burden him with hers.

Leaving the restroom, she continued down to the waiting area. Tonight was the first time she’d been to the hospital since Brian’s death, and the small, chair-filled lounge stirred up painful memories. Memories of the man who had been her life. To her relief, the room was empty, and she chose a seat in a corner where she wouldn’t be easily seen.

Exhaustion dropped her into the chair with unexpected force. She tried to focus on the television in the corner; instead the night’s events kept playing over and over in her mind. The blood on the man’s too-pale face. The raw, charred skin of his palm. Her hands focusing healing energy. Her hands focusing healing energy.

Her legs began a restless dance, so she jumped up to walk off some of the tension. What she really needed was to go for a run. Since that wasn’t possible, she returned to her chair and started a deep breathing exercise—in for four counts, hold two, out for seven counts and hold for two. Eventually the rhythmic pattern took effect. Her eyelids closed, and her head flopped to the side in a restless doze.

***

Jim Bradley paused at the door of the waiting room and gazed at the sleeping woman. Damn, she’s lovely. Not that Kasey would agree right now, of course, given her mud-stained jeans, green rubber boots and ratty sweatshirt. To him, she looked wonderful. He let the desire he always suppressed when around her thrum freely through his body. For this moment, he didn’t have to be on guard. For this moment, he could just enjoy looking at her and contemplate a time when he could let her know his heart. Soon, he hoped. Soon.

Kasey shifted in her chair and Jim quickly brought his feelings under control, directing his thoughts to the surgery he had just completed. Now was not the time to reveal his yearning. She had enough to deal with tonight. He pulled his shoulders back and headed into the room.

“You’re going to a get a heck of a stiff neck if you stay kinked like that much longer.”

******

.

Free on Amazon, Sept. 19-23!!

Categories: alternative medicine, dressage, energetic healing, healing, horse personalities, Horses, Mystery, nature, outdoors, Paranormal, riding, romance, Romantic suspense, suspense, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free Book Spotlight

Today I’m spotlighting Time Will Tell by Sandy Lloyd. This is the first book in her Timeless Series and is set on a Kentucky Thoroughbred farm. If you like horses and think time travel is intriguing, come take a look.

.

TIME WILL TELL is free on Amazon September 16 through September 20.
Link – http://amzn.to/10zmPM0

.

TIME WILL TELL - Front Cover (for Kobo and Book Interior)

Libby Edwards, a gifted horsewoman, unwittingly wishes herself back in time to Louisville, Kentucky just before Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby become a reality. During Libby’s journey in the past, she stumbles upon her destiny. Unfortunately, he’s in the wrong century. In 1874, there’s no electricity, no internet, no modern medicine, no antibiotics—no Starbucks! And even worse than that, women have no rights. Libby has no desire to stay.

Widower, Colin Thorpe, a renaissance man of his time, has big dreams. He is a horse breeder who names his thoroughbreds after Mythological Gods because he has a reverence for past cultures and an appreciation for the unexplainable.

Libby and Colin can’t resist falling in love with each other. After all, Colin accepts Libby for who she is and she understands Colin’s dreams better than his deceased wife ever did. Yet he grasps early on that Libby doesn’t belong in 1874. And because his wife never adapted to the move from Virginia to Kentucky, becoming bitter and unhappy in the process, he won’t take the chance of the same thing happening to Libby. Can these two lovers find a way to be together despite their challenges?

.

TIME WILL TELL is free on Amazon September 16 through September 20.
Link – http://amzn.to/10zmPM0

.

Here’s an excerpt.

Libby heard the laughter again. That’s when she noticed the heat—not terribly hot—but warmer than minutes earlier. She looked up into the green tree, now fully leafed. Through a narrowed gaze, she spotted a boy about ten years old, dressed in what looked to be homespun clothes. He

hung on to a tree limb while standing on the branch below.

“Hello.” Her voice held none of the apprehension coursing through her. She forced herself to remain calm.

“How’d you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Appear from nothing. Are you magic?”

“No. I’m Libby. What’s your name?” she replied, hoping to distract him from asking more about her appearing from nothing, because she had no ready answer. She glanced around, still trying to figure it all out.

“Nathan.”

“Nathan? That’s a nice name.” Libby placed a hand over her eyes to shade them. “Hey, Nathan? What’s the date?”

“Are you daft?” Everything about his look said he thought so. “How come you don’t know?”

She laughed and shrugged. “I must be daft because I don’t know. It’s also why I’m asking.”

He contemplated her reply before nodding. “It’s June nineteenth.”

“And,” she prompted.

“Huh?”

“What year?”

He stared at her as if she were a Rubik’s cube. Finally he smiled. “Eighteen seventy-four.”

Libby blinked. “Eighteen seventy-four? Are you sure?”

When he nodded, his look now indicating he thought she’d lost more than just her marbles, she fought to keep the panic out of her voice. “Where do you live, Nathan?”

He pointed toward the main house. Without the treelined drive, the roof was barely visible from where Libby stood. “We live in the caretaker’s house. Behind the big house. My ma is Mr. Thorpe’s housekeeper and my pa runs his stables.”

“Stables?” Libby looked to where the boy pointed.

Nathan nodded. “Mr. Thorpe breeds horses.”

With her eyes on the landscape, reality hit her. Thorpe? The same name of the man who owned this land in her own time—Sam Thorpe. Of course. That made sense, but what in the world should she do now? Libby kept her shaded eyes on Nathan as her mind churned.

The trees. It had to be the trees, especially since she’d made a wish under them. Only, being in 1874 wasn’t exactly the answer she’d expected.

Thoughts of Dave, Bev, and her dad, along with Sam, Doug, and her new job went through her mind, as did the memory of riding Thorpe’s Pride the day before. As much as the idea of seeing the past intrigued her, she had no desire to be here. Apparently her wish had something to do with it, and she just had to figure out what. If the oaks truly had some kind of power to make wishes come true, then they had to be her ticket home. Or maybe all she had to do was wish herself home. She closed her eyes and wished. “Please take me home!” Libby chanted the words over and over.

“Whatcha doin’?”

Nathan’s voice slipped into her thoughts and was a clear indication that wishing wasn’t working.

“I’m thinking out loud.” Maybe she needed to do something while she was here. Or learn something. Yeah, that seemed like a decent explanation. Maybe discovering something in the past would help her deal with Dave so that her wish could come true. Or maybe she was just plumb crazy. Either way, it didn’t matter.

Blend in and stay by these trees. That’s what she needed to do.

Libby looked down at her clothing and an indelicate snort popped out. Yeah, right. I’ll blend in. The same way pepper blends with salt. She was pretty sure women didn’t run around in the late nineteenth century in jeans and short hair.

She sighed. Considering her gender and the time period, one where men ruled, blending in might be a bit of a problem.

So, what could she do? Pretend to be a boy?

“That’s it,” she said out loud, laughing because it made perfect sense. With her size, everyone would think she was a young male teenager. It shouldn’t be too hard to pull off. Without makeup, Libby knew she was pretty plain. “Not real original, but so what?” It always worked in all those novels she’d read.

“What’d you say?”

“Nothing.” Libby craned her neck and grinned at the boy now situated on the branch with his legs swinging freely. “Nathan, do you think your dad—er, pa—could use some help with the horses?” She needed this kid. He was her lifeline to survival. “I’m looking for work and I’m a pretty good handler.” She slipped off her engagement ring and stuck it in her pocket. Boys didn’t wear diamond rings in 1874.

“I dunno.” Nathan shrugged. “I wanna help him, but he ain’t got time.” Then his voice became suspicious and his eyes narrowed. “Hey, where’d you come from? How come you just appeared outta nowhere?”

Libby smiled. Smart little guy. Hopefully he’d be an ally. Taking a chance, she confessed. “I came from the future. See these trees?” He nodded, his expression solemn. “Well, I think they brought me here. Only I don’t know why. I’m hoping you’ll help me.”

“Sure.” Nathan’s legs started swinging faster. “I’ll help ya if’n you’ll be my frien’. I ain’t got any since Tobby left to work on the docks in Lou’ville. I get to see him when we go to town. But that ain’t very often. ’Course, he was older’n me. But we’re still friends. Now all I have to play with’re prissy girls.” He hesitated a heartbeat. “So how ’bout it? You wanna be my frien’?”

“I’d love to be your friend, but you’ll have to keep my secret. You can’t say anything to anyone about me appearing out of nowhere, especially adults. They’ll think we’re crazy. OK?”

“Sure.” Nathan beamed and scooted over on the branch. “Wanna join me?”

“OK.” Libby lifted herself up into the tree and climbed. In moments, she sat with her legs swinging back and forth, imitating Nathan.

“Great.” The boy grabbed a branch to pull himself up and stood. “I’m glad you’re not some prissy girl.”

She stilled the impulse to smile. “I take it you don’t like prissy girls?”

He shook his head.

“How come?” Libby would have to make sure he didn’t discover her true gender.

“They’re bossy an’ think they know everythin’. Take Clara May Johnson.” Nathan rolled his eyes. “She’s as prissy as they come. Always bossin’ me aroun’, tellin’ me what to do. She thinks she’s so smart. She’s my sister’s best friend.” He stopped to take a deep breath. “My sister Sarah’s not so bad—only when she’s aroun’ Clara May. An’ I have a new baby brother. He’s only two though. It’ll be awhile before he can climb trees like us.” His words died and he remained quiet for a drawn-out moment, eyeing her thoughtfully. “So where in th’ future are ya from?”

“Same place, only a hundred and thirty-eight years from now,” Libby answered honestly, propping her chin on her hand and looking out over the landscape. From her position she could see for miles and the view didn’t look much different than it did in the future, except for the missing buildings. Twin Oaks, the horse farm in her time, had more stables along with another bunkhouse. Also missing were the cabins. “I’m pretty sure the trees brought me through time.”

“Really?”

She nodded.

Nathan’s eyes grew rounder. “They’re magical, just like you. I can tell.”

Libby offered a conspiratorial wink. “Remember, no one can know.” Hopefully, returning home would be as simple as wishing herself there. It had to work. Of course, it might take some time to figure out the correlation between her being here and her wish. In the meantime, it would be fun to have a look around and experience life in the past. At least for a day or so.

*******************************************************

If you’d like to read more about Libby and Nathan and 1874 Kentucky, Time Will Tell is free on Amazon
September 16 through September 20
http://amzn.to/10zmPM0

. . . . . . . . . .

Sandy authorpicfABOUT SANDY:

Sandy Loyd is a Western girl through and through. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, she’s worked and lived in some fabulous places in the US, including San Francisco and West Palm Beach. She now resides in Kentucky and writes full time. As much as she loves her current hometown, she misses the mountains and has to go back to her roots to get her mountain and skiing fix at least once a year. Otherwise her muse suffers.

She has published eleven books – four contemporary romances, four romantic mystery/suspense /thrillers, a time travel contemporary/historical romance and two historical romances that are sequels. She strives to come up with fun characters – people you would love to call friends.

Time Will Tell is the first book in her Timeless series.

Categories: Books, Horses, Kentucky, Love, Paranormal, Racing, riding, romance, Romantic suspense, Thoroughbreds, Time travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

IMAGES – A LOVE STORY

Today I’m posting an excerpt from my short story IMAGES – A LOVE STORY. Unlike my novels, there are no horses but there is a touch of paranormal, another of my favorite themes.

Before I do that, I’d like to mention that I’ll be guest blogging twice this weekend. Friday through Sunday, I’ll have an excerpt from FOREWARNING on The Ruthin Trilogy, a romance book blog. http://the-ruthin-trilogy.blogspot.com/

Then on Saturday, I’ll be interviewed on Sallie’s Book Reviews and will offer a free copy of WYOMING ESCAPE to a lucky visitor. http://yesterdaydaugher.blogspot.com/

.

Cover - Images - 2

.

Lauren Carmody has a most uncomfortable and unwanted gift. She sees the images in other people’s minds. As a result, she hides from the world and only ventures out when necessary. When she encounters a very appealing man who doesn’t bombard her with unasked for pictures, she doesn’t know what to make of him. Does she dare let him get close or should she continue to hide?

.

.

.

Excerpt:

“Can’t get much frumpier than this,” Lauren Carmody muttered, gazing into the restroom mirror. The reflection revealed a brown wig with hair falling forward that partially concealed her make-up free face, while a figure-hiding, too-large blazer, a long, loose skirt and tinted glasses completed the picture. Perfect.

She bowed her head, hunched her shoulders and opened the door. The sound of voices infiltrated the hall outside the Jorrow Publishing meeting room. Pausing, she visualized a golden ball of light that surrounded her and created a mental barrier. When a man opened the door and brushed by her, she gritted her teeth in frustration as a brief image of a woman’s breasts flashed in her head.

Damn. She strengthened her golden light, took a deep breath and entered the room. If only she didn’t have to attend these meetings. Why couldn’t she stay home, where she didn’t have to deal with other people’s thoughts or, more accurately, thought pictures? That was the reason she worked as a freelance artist after all.

She opened her portfolio case and laid a set of sketches on the table in front of Tom, the senior editor. “Here are my ideas for the fairy books.”

Pivoting, she spied Bailey at the other end of the large conference room. The modishly dressed children’s editor gave a small wave and motioned her near.

“What’s going on?” Lauren took the chair her friend had saved her. The room was unusually full for the quarterly editorial meeting.

“The new marketing director is being introduced today. We all want to see him first-hand.”

So that’s why everyone seemed so keyed up and why the images she was encountering—faces, clothes, someone’s tush—were so intense. She really had to work at her boundaries to keep all the overlapping pictures at bay.

“So who is he? Anyone I know?”

“Adam Traynor.”

“Really? How did Jarrow manage to land him? He’s got a tremendous reputation for someone so young. I hear he’s only about thirty.”

Bailey laughed. “Thirty-two, according to his bio. And you should like this. Apparently, he thinks your stuff is pretty awesome. I’m told he wants you to do more books for us.”

“Only if I still work with you.”

Lauren made it a rule to deal strictly with women. Men were more difficult for her to ignore, their thoughts more intrusive. Given that a normal man thought about sex several times an hour, the images they projected could be downright embarrassing. And, depending on the content, could change her perception of the person.

All conversation stopped when the door opened and a tall, blond man in a custom-tailored suit entered.

Lauren didn’t need to see Bailey’s mouthed “Wow” to pick up the reaction of all the women in the room. Eye candy in spades.

Tom, the editor, motioned the latecomer forward. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet the newest member of our team, Adam Traynor. Most of you already know about him. If you don’t, you soon will.”

He then asked everyone at the table to introduce themselves briefly. When it was Lauren’s turn, Traynor nodded and said. “I’ve seen your work. Very nice.”

Keeping her voice quiet and diffident, Lauren thanked him and gave a sigh of relief. He’d looked right at her, his blue eyes alive and knowing, but she’d felt no pressure, no intrusion. Her dowdy look was successful.

The meeting began and soon everyone was down to business. Lauren tried to tune out the discussion as she usually did until it was her turn. Today, however, Adam’s deep voice caught her attention and brought her back time after time. Something about his way of speaking, his whole persona affected her, grabbed her and wouldn’t let go.

***********************************

If you’d like to read the rest of Lauren and Adam’s story, you can get a FREE copy from:

Barnes & Noble           Kobo                        Smashwords

IMAGES is also available on Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price I could set. If other customers notify Amazon of the price difference, they might price match and set it to Free also.

Happy reading everyone.

Categories: Artist, Love, Paranormal, romance, Short story, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.