The man looked at Isabel still sitting where I found her. He
leaned closer. “Looks like a Glock 9mm.”
I was impressed. He was able to identify the type of gun by
looking at the body. I owned a Glock and also knew what type of bullet hole it
made, but I would have never been able to tell by looking at Isabel.Keith nodded and then looked back at his notes.
“She was found about seven fifty p.m. by Ms. Norwood.”
Keith pointed to me, and the man turned his eyes to mine. His
gaze swept down my body and back up. He then dismissed me without a second
glance before turning back to the rookie. “Has the ME been called?”
Now, I know that I am not the most attractive person in the
world. I am what most people would call average. Average height, average
weight, average looks, but being dismissed so completely really pissed me off. I
was cold, wet, tired, and quite frankly, still a little queasy. And it had been
a really bad day. The two men were in deep conversation about the medical
examiner when I interrupted.
“Can I leave now?”
Both of them turned toward me. Keith seemed a little
surprised that I was still there. I guess he had forgotten about me. The other
man just seemed irritated that I had interrupted him.
“You found the body?” he asked and then continued when I
nodded, “We’ll need to ask you some questions.”
Keith had been asking me questions. My nerves were shot and
my temper short. I am not usually such a bitch, but I had enough of standing
out in the freezing rain. I probably shouldn’t have mouthed off to a police
officer, but I figured my day couldn’t get any worse. I summoned up my inner
diva, gave him my most haughty look, and asked in a snooty tone. “And you are?”
He stared at me a minute, his eyes hard and unyielding. He
raised his eyebrows just a notch, pulled out a badge, and held it toward me. “Chief
of Police Alexander Griggs.”
Death is the ultimate heartbreak. Evangeline never expected
it to break hers after she died. No one should have to choose between their
husband and their first love, but it is that choice that shatters her spirit.
She makes her choice, choosing not to transition, and finds
that death can be vengeful too.
The world of the dead is far more complex that she ever
knew, and facing the consequences of her actions might be the hardest obstacle
yet, fighting to survive in a world she doesn't understand, she seeks the help
of the wanderers. Time is running out as winter grips the land and her
companions help her search for Will. Perhaps, if she keeps her eyes open and
believes in her love enough, she will make her way back to him before the
Hunters find her first.
Unexpected reunions, impossible choices, and long-hidden
secrets will fill her journey with joy and sadness. It is Hunting season and
Evangeline will have to fight for those she loves while remembering that
cheating death always has a price.
Told from a dual perspective, Killing Time brings the For
Better or for Worse series to a heart-stopping continuation in every sense of
The snow is burning my skin. I know
it. But I can't feel it, not really. It doesn't hurt that much, I guess.
I don't know how to move anymore,
lying here on the cold white ground like a dead body. I feel dead.
Guilt weighs on me, and now it's
simply too hard to fight it. I can't fight it. I stare numbly at the empty sky
above me, utterly disoriented. I hear his voice calling me over and over again,
desperately willing it to stop. That's what hurts most. The pain in his voice,
piercing the darkness. Piercing me. I close my eyes to silence my tears.
Please, stop. I'm so sorry.
Ingrid is a 23-year-old French girl, college student, and
dreamer. She currently resides in Paris, where she spends most of her time
going to museums and the movies. Despite the romantic atmosphere in Montmartre,
or even the fancy cafés in the Champs Elysées, she would easily trade it all
for a nice walk in the woods with her schnauzer, Golden. She is always craving
adventures, and finds that books are the cheapest way to travel to far-away
lands. She is inwardly convinced that words have the power to heal the worst
blisters on our hearts, or at least can make us forget about them for a little
while. And sometimes, it is just enough to face another crazy day.
Find Me in Manhattan is a stand-alone spin-off novel from
the Finding Series.
Sarah Grant is finally living her dream in the Big Apple.
While working to achieve her life’s ambitions, she becomes ensnared by the
charming and charismatic Jameson Carmichael. Just when Jameson threatens
Sarah’s safety, a dream-worthy hero falls in her lap making her question
everything she had ever believed about herself.
Sergeant Michael Pearson is merely existing in this
nightmare he calls life. He is attempting to have a normal existence, while
struggling to discover who he is after the army. When an opportunity save
someone arises, he doesn’t hesitate, but Michael doesn’t realize that he is
rescuing the one woman in a city of millions that can make him want to truly
Sarah and Michael discover a connection that runs deep, but
can they find love in a city known for heartbreak?
“In or out, lady?” the cab driver
“Out,” I said and slammed the door.
Sarah’s eyebrows were raised and arms were crossed when I turned around. “What?
He was boorish.”
She laughed. “Sure.” She took her
unbroken shoe off and slammed it against the ground before ripping the heel
off. She slid it back on her foot then she started walking away.
“Where are you going?”
“The subway. I’m not spending ten
minutes waving down a cab when I could be on my way home.”
I thanked the transportation gods
and gratefully followed her the five blocks and down the stairs to the dirty
subway. I spent the whole five blocks wondering what to say to her. We knew
each other’s secrets at this point, so it was difficult to come up with
something to say without bombarding her with questions about the asshole who
“You don’t know what to say to me,
do you?” she asked once we sat in a practically empty subway car.
Startled by her audacity, I
couldn’t help but let out a little laugh. “No, I honestly don’t have a clue.”
“I figured.” She shrugged while
staring straight ahead. “You want to ask about the guy, but you know I don’t
want to talk about it. More so, it would be inappropriate for me to discuss my
personal life with a study participant, but you aren’t just a study participant
now, are you, Sergeant?”
“I told you to call me Michael,”
was the only thing I could think to say.
“Yeah, Michael,” she uttered
“Sweet Sarah,” I responded.
“Ha! I’m far from sweet. You should
meet my best friend. She’s like sugar. I’m the one who…” She stopped talking
and seemed to lose herself in her head.
“You’re the one who what?”
“Let’s just say I’m not sweet and
leave it at that,” she smirked.
I found myself laughing out loud
this time. The noise was so unfamiliar, I wasn’t sure it was me. Nothing about
Sarah was typical. I didn’t know what to expect from her from one minute to the
next. She was different…special. She was dangerous.
Shealy James is a Georgia native who teaches middle school
by day and disappears into the world of fiction at night. She is an avid
reader and writer who hopes to one day write full time and leave the world of
middle school angst behind. A sucker for love and happy endings, Shealy likes
to combine humor and drama to create stories that are both emotional as well as
Tamara Carrington always felt different. One event in high school left her wondering if maybe she really was a freak, although she’d managed to leave that experience in the past—buried deep in her psyche. With the arrival of the exchange students from the planet of Azelle to her college, Tamara’s long buried memories threaten to erupt. As Tamara’s emotions build and her friendship with the Azellians grows, so does the knowledge of secrets within her own family.
With the deterioration of her mother’s health, Tamara doesn’t know where to turn for answers or solace. What has her family been hiding? Why does she feel inexplicably drawn to the Azellians? What will happen if she unleashes her long-suppressed passion? Will she survive or even recognize herself afterwards? Wanting answers, yet being afraid of what she might find, Tamara wonders if it would be better to remain asleep.
As they turned to comply, the ambassador walking away with them, Tamara studied the newcomers surreptitiously. The three young men and one young woman all had an air of comfortable confidence quite at odds with their new status here. The young man closest to her was a redhead. His features, even in profile, were delicate and chiseled—his nose a fine, straight blade on his face as he leaned over the table in the far corner. He rested an olive-skinned, tanned arm on the table, the muscles in his forearm etched in sharp relief by the pressure he exerted on his arm. Generous lips pursed as he read the card in front of him. His broad shoulders and chest, well-defined under a white t-shirt with some type of writing on it that she could not see, tapered down to a narrow waist and slender legs encased in light blue jeans.
The second young man leaned over the table facing her. Sandy-blond hair fell over a high forehead into amber brown eyes as he read—a slight frown between them. His features were much heavier than his companion’s, with a slightly too-long nose and a jaw that was almost too strong. A good four or five inches shorter than the redhead, his dark blue t-shirt stretched across a well-muscled chest that, despite being stocky, had no spare fat on it at all. As he wrote on the card with his left hand, she observed that he was less tanned than the redhead. He nevertheless bore the same basic olive complexion. The dark-haired young man next to him nudged him and said something she couldn’t hear. The one who spoke suddenly grinned—his wide, generous mouth flashing straight white teeth. Black hair fell into his blue eyes, and he tossed his head, catching Tamara’s expression as she looked at them. He winked and returned his attention to the table in front of him.
Not wanting to get caught staring, Tamara looked away. After a few minutes, she snuck another peek at him. His face reminded her of someone’s, but she couldn’t place where she’d seen those features before. Relatively small and straight, his nose had a slight flare to the nostril. His jaw was fairly prominent, making his face look long. The generous mouth softened the hard, masculine features of his face. He wore a vividly colored t-shirt tucked into a pair of long safari shorts. His thighs were quite heavy and muscular. His upper body was broad and unfinished looking, a little more muscular than the redhead but not as stocky as the blond. Her eyes traveled around the table to the young woman. The same height as the blond, she bent over the table with her back to Tamara. She had wavy brown hair that was cut in an attractive, shoulder-length bob and swept behind one delicate ear as she bent over the paper. Tamara couldn’t see her features from that position, but her lithe, slender body looked athletic.
Tamara’s cautious regard swept on to the final member of the group. Standing at the head of the table, the ambassador leaned forward to answer a question posed by the woman. His expression intent on what the young woman was saying, Tamara got the opportunity to study him more closely. Taller than the other young men, the ambassador in his suit revealed less of his body structure than their jeans, t-shirts, and shorts. She had a moment of disappointment. Then, as if he noticed her attention, the ambassador looked up, caught her looking at him, and dodged around the desk to come up to her. Hastily, Tamara dropped her eyes to her desk as he approached, feeling the furious blush crawl up her face.
“You are a student here?” he asked in that musical voice.
Tamara looked up, her cheeks burning. She had a hard time meeting his eyes but forced herself to do so anyway. “Yes. Uh, my name is Tamara Carrington.”
The ambassador leaned against the desk. “Carrington? Would you be any relation to James Carrington?”
“He was, uh, my grandfather.”
“Ah, this is wonderful! We in the diplomatic corps know Am
bassador Carrington well.” He paused, then continued, “Was? Is he not still alive?”
Tamara ducked her head. “He passed away a few years ago.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.” The ambassador straightened and bowed to her, placing his hand on his chest as he did so. “He was well respected on Azelle. We knew he had been ill, but we had no idea he had actually transitioned.” He rested his hands on her desk. Leaning forward, those dark eyes appeared intent on her. He gave her a charming grin that might have even melted her grandmother’s cold heart. “Well now. Do you mind if I ask what you are majoring in?” Usually feeling fairly secure in herself, she wondered why she was suddenly blushing.
Tamara swallowed hard as she tried to regain her composure—and her ability to speak. “I am, uh, in diplomatic studies. Or I will be when I declare my major this year.”
His grin widened, and he looked at her from under thick lashes. “Any specific planet you might be interested in?”
Dizziness assailed her as she struggled to remain calm. An odd pressure built behind her eyes and she lifted her hand unconsciously to rub the bridge of her nose. “Azelle is, um, interesting. I know more about it than my teacher does sometimes, mainly because my grandfather used to share stories with me. All the other planets are really great, too. I really like learning about other places. I’m not positive I want to be a diplomat like he was, but I do want to learn about other cultures and planets, and diplo studies is the best place to do that.”
The pressure vanished abruptly just as it edged into pain. “Would you be willing to come to the embassy for a welcome party for these students tonight? It would give you an opportunity to mingle with embassy members and get you prepared for a possible diplomatic career.” One side of his mouth lifted higher than the other as his voice took on an almost wheedling tone. “I can also get you access to other diplomatic embassies. I have several contacts in both the Atheran and Dorbin embassies.”
Tamara hesitated only briefly. “Sure, that would be great! I’ll come to the party tonight.”
He straightened. “Seven o’clock, in the main lobby. Bring any of your friends too who you think might be interested in diplomatic studies.”
Tamara blinked. A slight headache throbbed between her eyes. She managed to ignore it as the young woman stepped up to the desk carrying the eight cards. She smiled at Tamara. “Thank you. Here are the cards you asked us to complete.” The words flowed out of her mouth more heavily accented than the ambassador’s, although with the same musical lilt.
Tamara smiled back and collected her thoughts. “Now you need to go to the Dean of Students’ office and get your room assignments.”
The five Azellians left and the room suddenly seemed empty, as if there had been a lot more than just their bodies in the room. Tamara shivered, her head pounding. She flipped through the cards, reading the personal information listed there as she tried to figure out which was which. The only one she successfully identified was the woman, Mellis, since she was obviously the only female in the group. If Tamara attended the welcome party that night, she was sure she’d be introduced to the others—Greg, Justern, and Alarin—and learn who was who. Pushing aside her curiosity, Tamara focused on entering the data into the computer and tried not to wonder more about them. She’d probably get the chance to find out more, if she actually took the ambassador up on his invitation.
As soon as the five of them walked out of the office, Merran reached out to Greg on his private level so he could converse with him telepathically without the others hearing. Did you pick up that she sensed me?
I caught that she was becoming rather uncomfortable. I think you were hurting her. As a Healer, with a highly specialized sensitivity to others’ suffering, Greg often could tell things about people that everyone else missed. Is that even possible? Do humans even have psi?
Theoretically, yes, they do. We talked about it a little bit in my training. I’m surprised Healers don’t talk about this in theirs.
Healers aren’t exactly all that interested in humans … as you know … considering the challenges I faced getting permission to come here. Back to Tamara Carrington. What did you pick up?
She was open on the surface, but her deeper levels are heavily screened by a very thick shield. When I pressed on it, it resisted me with surprising force.
Is that normal?
I don’t know. I haven’t run into a human with psi before. Whether they normally have it or not, Tamara certainly has a shield, at least on the deeper levels.
Greg was silent for a moment. Shielded, huh? So, you actually think she’s psi?
Sure, why not? I think she very well could be.
Hmm. Maybe I should keep an eye on her.
Merran glanced at him. Is she giving off a Call? He had been friends with Greg long enough to know the Healer responded to things that Merran himself couldn’t sense, but that those sometimes odd decisions and directions were important.
Not really. I just have a gut feeling.
I’m not one to argue with a Healer’s gut feelings. Go for it.
Heads up, humans headed this way, Alarin sent on the public level, bringing their attention back to the group. Three women walked past them, laughing and talking, casting an admiring glance at the group of Azellians.
All five Azellians heard the comment
About the Author
Sara L Daigle has been creating stories since she first forayed into the world of writing at the age of eight. As an avid reader, growing up in a small town without much access to a library, and before the birth of the Internet, Sara devoured her mother’s extensive stack of science fiction and romance novels to keep her literary thirst quenched. Soon afterwards, she began writing her own stories and entertaining her friends by composing plays for them to act out.
A passionate interest in astronomy, anthropology, and linguistics, coupled with this early background in science fiction and romance, led Sara to merge the two fields and create a series of interlinked stories built around a fictional planet’s culture and its interaction with ours.
Sara currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and three very loving but energetic dogs.
From Dead in a Park: Leah Norwood Mystery #2 coming in November.
Chief of Police Alexander Griggs stalked toward us.There was really no other way to describe the
smooth, long strides that ate up space.I hate to admit it, but he took my breath away.He isn’t exactly gorgeous or handsome, but
there is a power about him that draws the eye.He is about five eleven and has broad shoulders.There isn’t an ounce of fat on his lean, hard
body.Dark hair cut short in a military
style covers his head.His face is
attractive in a timeless way, and he has a small indentation on the right side
of his mouth that drives me crazy.His
eyes are a deep, intense green.I had
met Griggs when I found another body back in December.
For a little while, I had been a suspect in that case so
naturally I did everything I could to clear my name.Griggs had never thought I was guilty, but
they had to check all possible suspects.We had spent three weeks dancing around each other.I had thought he might be a little interested
in me.On Christmas Eve, he had penned
me to the back wall of my shop, kissed me silly, and told me not to leave
town.And that was the last time I had
“What have we got?” he asked Megan in his deep, smoky
voice.He has a great voice.
Megan gave her report, and Griggs turned to me.His eyes narrowed slightly as he studied my
face.I tried to keep it blank, but I
don’t think I was very successful.He
smirked and said, “So you found another body?”
Check iBooks on Fridays to find great free books. Use twitter to search #TGIFiBooks.
is afraid of love, but Steven changes everything.
West just wants to start over in a new town far away from her past. The only
child of a mixed race couple, Anna learned about the ugly side of human
behavior at an early age. After watching her abusive father mistreat her
mother, Anna knows that love is not for her.
Carson has always known what he wanted, and from the moment he saw her, he
wanted Anna. Steven is ready for love. He is ready to settle down, start
a family, and he knows Anna is the one for him. Now all he has to do is
visit Holton, Texas to see if Steven can convince Anna to take a chance on
love. Convince Me is the first book in the Holton Series but may be read as a
Raised among wealth and privilege during America's fabled
Gilded Age, a niece of famous novelist Edith Wharton and a friend to literary
great Henry James, Beatrix Farrand is expected to marry, and to marry well. But
as a young woman traveling through Europe, she already knows that gardens are
her true passion. How she becomes a woman for whom work and love, the earthly
and the mysterious, are held in delicate balance is the story of her unique
determination to create beauty while remaining true to herself.
A Lady of Good Family is available at Barnes and Nobles,
Amazon, and other bookstores.
She had passed through the first heady years of womanhood,
the first balls, first waltzes, first dancing card and house party invitations,
quickly discouraging any serious suitor. “My mother,” she had simply explained
when any young man tried to call on her a little too frequently. Now that most
of those young men had already wed, she felt she could easily avoid the issue
She jumped up, eager to be away from the table. “I need to
walk,” she said to the others.
Still, they might never have met, the Italian and the
Beatrix could have walked in the opposite direction, away
from the temple. She could have strolled through the rose garden or gone into
the casina. But she chose the temple, that eerie replica of pagan passion.
The gardens were full of Americans; the young man who had
just been soundly berated by his family lawyer disliked the sounds of their
voices, so full of German consonants, not at all soft like his own Italian. The
sounds of conquerors, he thought, laden with wealth and greed and taking much
of his homeland back with them when they returned to New York and Boston and
Chicago. That’s what the visit to his lawyer had been about: selling
Empires rise and fall.He lived in a land of fallen empire. Ahead of him, on the path, was an
example of the fall of empire, a group of boys, begging, grimy hands snaking
into folds and pockets of passing men and women. They had surrounded a young
woman and were practicing their street skills on her.He saw her face, the terror behind the forced
calmness of a tight smile.He changed
direction and headed toward her.
Still, they might never have met. He could have waved from a
distance, yelled a threat, driven the boys off with words.But he kept walking toward her.
Jeanne Mackin ‘s latest novel, A Lady of Good Family,
explores the secret life of gilded ageBeatrix Jones Farrand, niece of Edith Wharton and the first woman
professional landscape design in America. Her previous novel,The Beautiful American, based on the life of
model turned war correspondent and photographer, Lee Miller won the CNY 2015
prize for fiction. She has published in American Letters and Commentary and
SNReview and other publications and is the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs
and Edible Flowers.She was the
recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian
Society and her journalism has won awards from the Council for the Advancement
and Support of Education.She lives with
her husband, Steve Poleskie,in Ithaca.
Montclair’s first priority is to protect his people. With the escalating war
between factions of shifters over land and resources, he has agreed to an
alliance between his polar bears and the Shadowcat Nation of cougar shifters.
But the treaty comes with a condition…he must accept one of their Seers into
his Timik and put her under his personal protection.
Sarai Bouchard doesn’t need her supernatural gift to know that Kyle Carstairs’s
obsession with controlling her ability will eventually result in her misery and
demise. Her power is essential to her people’s survival, so when Kyle goes
rogue, she’s sent to Zac Montclair to keep her safe. However, her visions
reveal that while staying will lead to their becoming lovers, it also leads to
his death. Leaving Zac will result in her own.
If Sarai can’t find a way to change the future, she will be forced to
choose…save her lover or save herself.
paranormal and contemporary romance author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley,
Colorado, and raised in Austin, Texas. She now resides in Northern California
with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe.
Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A
fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a
practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English
Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing
without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.
my character’s name is both one of my favorite things to do when writing a book
as well as one of the things I struggle with the most. It’s as hard as it was
to name my children. I do have a process. My problem is that, until I’m
completely satisfied, I’ll do that process again and again until I have several
good names that could work. And then I can’t choose!
use my current WIP as an example as I share my process. I’m currently writing
the fourth and final book of the Shadowcat Nation series (the third book is in
my editor’s hands now) and I’m STILL stuck on the name for my heroine.
Step 1: Character’s Physical
I am a
big believer that name should match the person. From a looks perspective, I’ll admit
that this is influenced by personal biases. For example, Sarah’s are blond to
me because one of the prettiest girls in my high school was named Sarah.
My Current WIP:My character is tall and slender with dark hair. She has a delicate face
with high cheek bones and eyes that appear brown from far away but can look
grey or even golden up close and depending on what she’s wearing.
Step 2: Character’s Personality
more than the physical description, I believe personality also matches a name.
Who here hasn’t had a name they either loved or hated because of someone they
knew? Who doesn’t think of Eugene as sort of nerdy, Jenny as All-American,
Muffy as a spoilt rich girl, and Chaz as a tool?
My Current WIP: This heroine will start out
seeming meek, easily used/disregarded, and out of place. But our heroine will
have a secret that she can’t tell anyone (two secrets really) and she’s much
stronger than she at first appears. She is, in truth, a sassy bad-ass.
Step 3: Cultural Elements
being able to use beautiful names from other cultures when I get the chance.
This includes common names today, mythological names, historical names, and so
forth. In the Shadowcat Nation series so far I’ve had Andromeda (Greek), Sarai
(Biblical), and Tieryn (Irish). I try to pick cultures relevant to my
character, but sometimes I pick names because I just like them.
My Current WIP: My heroine lives in Arizona and
has (we think) a Mexican background. However (very minor spoiler here) there’s
some Russian influence in her life. So I’m looking at names from both cultures.
Step 4: Character’s Development
have to think about how your character may change through the course of the
book. This part makes me think of my dog. I had a German Shepherd that I got as
a puppy. I was tempted to name him some cute puppy name, but I knew he’d
eventually become a 100lb beast. The name I picked needed to grow with him.
My Current WIP: As I mentioned, this character
moves from meek to bad ass in a relatively quick progression.
Step 5: Other Considerations
into consideration other factors. Sometimes these are specific to the series,
sometimes to the character, sometimes to my writing in general. Some examples
·Meaning of the name
·Similarity to other names in the
·Similarity to names of ANY characters I’ve
·Is the name being used as part of the
·How do the names of my hero and heroine
·Could I write/read this name over and over
My Current WIP: This name is part of the title.
It will be ???????’s Faith. I can’t reveal the hero’s name at this point
because it will give away something important in book 3.
The sound of the powerful motor cut through the silence of
the night, and a single headlight illuminated the empty streets.Mitch Carson pulled the motorcycle to a stop
at the corner of Main and Ridgeway.He smiled
slightly as he looked at the deserted streets and dark houses.Ten minutes after eleven on a Wednesday night
and Holton, Texas was locked down tight, and all its residents safely tucked
away.He laughed silently as the
restlessness that had plagued him all his life slowly melted away.He was home.And this time, he was home for good.
If he continued straight on Main, the road would take him to
the edge of town to his sister’s guesthouse where he would be staying.Instead he turned left onto Ridgeway, drove
two blocks, and then turned right onto Oak.He stopped the bike across the street from a two-story, white
Tudor.All the lights were out, but he
could just make out the window in the top right corner.She was there, behind that window.The woman he never forgot.The woman he never stopped loving.The woman he had come home for.Emily Fairview.
Some people in her small rural community
think Ellen Hamilton, the business savvy daughter of the town’s largest
employer, is too big for her britches. After all it’s the 1950s and women have
no place in running corporations. But when the company is threatened with
takeover by John Adair, the man who broke her heart and "betrayed"
her family business years ago, she’s determined to stop at nothing to win. Yet,
when the cool Ellen turns molten in John’s arms, will she discover the truth
about the past in time to seal The Sweetheart Deal?
slammed the book on her desk and stood. “I knew you were up to something!”
stalked toward her. “Then why don’t you run and tell Daddy? Let him take care
of the big bad wolf.”
crossed her arms. “I would, except for my brother.”
John moved around the desk and hovered over her. “Is that the only reason?”
the challenge, she stepped forward, lifting her chin, which reached no higher
than his chest. “Absolutely.”
shifted his gaze.
He retreated first.
picked up her copy of A Room with a View left open on her desk and whispered in
her ear. “Why?”
hand skimmed down her shoulder blade. She jumped at his touch, but that landed
her even closer to him.
Her question for him. Why?
Even though she spent those first few months after he left crying herself to
sleep with that question. She wouldn’t ask it.
hovered inches from hers. “That’s what the boy says in the novel, right? The
great universal why.” His breath slid down along her neck like warm olive oil.
“And, of course, the personal why, right Ellie, the very personal, why?” He
pulled her to him and kissed her.
his mouth was surprisingly tentative. Almost awkward, like the first peck he’d
given her after years of them being just friends. And, like then, the kiss had
not stayed restrained, but grew hot and delicious in its intensity.
mind knew to stop this. But her body roared to life and pressed closer for
a rip, reason prevailed, and she broke away, praying her effort to appear
composed was working.
that was novel,” she said, smoothing down her dress. She gave a short cough of
a laugh. “Bad joke, I know. So then, let’s move to business. What do you and
Tim,and that Cindy person need from me?
Is it my money, my votes, or me out of the way?”
squelched a laugh like he actually felt embarrassed. “No dice, huh?” He
shrugged. “You can’t blame a guy for trying, can you?”
looked him straight in the eye. “Yes, I can.”
what about you? Batting your eyes. You didn’t really think I wouldn’t see
through that. Come on, I know you, Ellie.”
you? Quoting E.M. Forster, now that was brilliant.” Ellen’s intent was to be
angry, but she couldn’t stop a smile playing upon her lips. “I mean, that you even
knew the details from the book. Very impressive.”
I was in this library as much as you if remember, with more need of escape.”
I wonder what would you’ve done if I was reading Jane Austen? No kissing in her
easier.” He leaned in close. “All the lack of kissing makes for great tension.”
body flooded with heat, but she caught herself and gazed intently at the fan on
the window sill.
that, huh?” he asked. “I guess I should go.”
Morse grew up in a family of actors in Los Angeles; before the age of five, she
started acting classes, which she adored. She continued in the family business
until her early twenties when her curious spirit led her to consider other interests.
receiving a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, she went on to earn a M.A. in Marriage and
Family Therapy, and a J.D. from U.C. Hastings College of the Law.
she loved learning from each of her varied careers she always knew that
storytelling was as essential to her as breathing. So as she pursued her
professional life, she kept to a strict writing schedule, and joined the
Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
lives with her wonderful husband in a house in the hills that’s filled with