Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New! From Red Rose Publishing!

Sand Castle
A sweet contemporary romance for the Christmas holidays
by Linda Mooney

Terrie Myers never believed life would give her a second chance at anything. Little did she understand the draw of a little girl with dreams of a knight in shining armor. Or the magic of hope that would turn those dreams into reality.

Now On Sale Here

She had finished washing the few dishes she’d used for supper when there was a knock on the door. Terrie’s eyes immediately went to the clock radio sitting on the table. It was a little past seven. Who on earth could be?
Madge. Maybe it was Madge.
Point Maddin had very little if any crime. Mostly petty thefts, graffiti spray painted on fences, and a few slashed tires. But after living in Tulsa as long as she had, Terrie had qualms about leaving her home unlocked, or opening her door without knowing first who was on the other side.
“Who is it?”
“Uhh, Paul Leeds. Are you the lady who played with Molly on the beach today?”
Well, what do you know! The girl did name the knight after her daddy!
“Hold on!” she quickly unlocked the door. She opened it, and literally gasped to see the man standing on the other side.
In the porch light she could see he was tall and broad-shouldered. Dark reddish-brown hair, maybe chestnut. And the most gorgeous blue eyes she’d ever seen on a human being. Vaguely, she wondered if he wore colored contacts.
“Uhh. Yeah. What’s wrong? Is something the matter?”
“Oh, no! Nothing’s wrong. In fact, Connie told me about you taking the time to play with her. No, uhh...” He held out the net beach bag Terrie had left behind. “Molly said this was yours.”
“Thank you.” It was difficult to breathe. It was like his presence was sucking all the oxygen out of the place. She reached out to take the bag, and her whole body trembled.
Good Lord, what’s wrong with me?
“I also wanted to thank you...Terrie, right?” He smiled, and Terrie swore she could feel herself beginning to puddle all over the plank flooring.
Why don’t you ask him inside? a little voice whispered inside her head.
Are you nuts? He’s a married man!
“Yes. I’m sorry. Terrie Myers.” She held out her hand. The moment she did, she knew she was done for.
Sure enough, when his warm fingers closed over hers, Terrie had to clutch the door just to keep herself on her feet. She was amazed she still was able to speak coherently.
“Terrie. Well, thank you for being such a good neighbor.”
“Yeah. Connie told me you were from Tempe.” A little giggle escaped her. “Quite a contrast between here and there.”
He laughed softly. So softly she wished she could press her cheek to his chest and listen to it echo. “I don’t think you could get much more of a contrast than between those two places. Are you a permanent resident here, Miss Myers?”
For a moment there Terrie got the distinct impression that the man wanted to be asked in. But that wouldn’t be kosher.
“Umm, pretty much so. Now. My family’s owned this place for several decades. I’ve just recently moved back myself...on a permanent basis.” She managed a smile and hoped he wouldn’t notice how nervous she was.
Or maybe he did. At least he realized she wasn’t going to invite him inside.
“Well, I need to be getting back to the house. Thank you again, Miss Myers. Next time you come by, you’re welcome to join us for hot chocolate. Or some spiced cider, being the season and all.”
“Thank you. That sounds nice.”
He made a half-hearted gesture, like a wave, and left the porch. Terrie stepped outside where she saw him get into a small sports car before driving away. Going back inside her bungalow, she wondered how the Leeds managed to find their way to Point Maddin, population two hundred and fifty-eight, when most of the out-of-towners were down during the summer months.
More than that, Terrie wondered how she was going to keep from dreaming tonight about the good-looking Mr. Paul Leeds without feeling any sort of guilt.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Walk in the Woods by Jessica Freely

In the Shades of Autumn Taste Test anthology.

Blurb:Heartbroken over a cruel prank played on him by his crush, George isn’t watching where he’s going. The next thing he knows, he’s fallen headlong into love.

Buy Link:


George wasn’t sure if the offered part was for real or just a ploy to get him to Nate’s room, but he didn’t care. A great shot at a good part or an afternoon of wild sex with the hottest guy on campus: it was all good.

He arrived at Nate’s to find him alluringly clad in hip-hugging sweat pants and a thin tank top. Nate was just putting the finishing touches on the dragon costume, and his arms and face sported a few, adorable smears of green paint. But he wasn’t alone. Rebecca Haines and Victor Chessel were there as well, lounging on the bunk beds.

Nate handed George the script, and asked him to read a few pages. But after only a few lines, he stopped him.

“Do you like me?” Nate asked.

George stared at him. His heart pounded. “Yeah, you’re nice.”

Nate shook his head, his smile crooked. “No. You know what I mean. Do you like me like me.” He pulled his shirt off, revealing a sculpted chest and honey-gold skin. His rose-brown nipples peeked out from a light dusting of curly blond hair. George swallowed. His mouth was dry, all of a sudden.

Nate stood close to George. George could feel the man’s body heat. It made him sweat. He tried to get his breath under control. “I… uh…”

“You’re gay, right?”

George nodded. He shot a glance over to the bed, to Rebecca and Victor. They were a couple, he knew that. They looked on with grave eyes and reassuring smiles. What was this, some kind of group sex thing? Or were they just trying to be welcoming?

Nate draped one arm over George’s shoulder and cocked his hips. “Well?”

George glanced over to Rebecca again, and she gave him a little nod. He wasn’t really sure if this was his scene, but… this was Nate Hollingswood, after all. How could he turn him down? With a sigh, George put his hands on Nate’s hips, closed his eyes, and leaned in for a kiss.

The next thing he knew, something rough and papery bumped him in the mouth. He opened his eyes.

“Psych!” said Nate, grinning, holding the papier-mâché dragon mask in one hand and pointing at George with the other. “Like I’d do a skinny freshman like you!”

George reddened. On the bed, Rebecca and Victor were laughing their asses off. “And in front of us, too. How desperate are you?”

George looked between the three of them, searching for something to say. He felt like he was going to throw up. He fled the room, their laughter and taunting voices dogging his heels as he ran.

Even now, it echoed in his ears, drowning out the sounds of birdsong and the rustle of the wind through dry leaves. Though his eyes told him that the park was beautiful, all his mind could focus on were the scornful faces of Nate, Rebecca, and Victor.

Which was undoubtedly how he tripped. One moment, he was trudging along, his hands in his pockets, his head down, cursing his fate and wondering if he should change schools, and the next he was sprawled on the ground beside a large pile of dead leaves, the wind knocked out of him.

Great. He couldn’t even walk straight. Looking down, he noticed he’d torn the knee of his jeans. Could this day get any worse? He flopped back onto the leaves, no longer caring if anyone saw him. So what? To hell with all of them, he decided. Nate Hollingswood was an asshole. Why should he care what Nate and his fawning acolytes thought?

He took a deep breath, staring up at the trees overhead, noticing as if for the first time the splendor of their fall display. Myriad shades of red, orange, yellow, brown, and purple lit the woods with their glory. He sighed. Somehow, just lying here, cushioned by a pile of dead leaves and taking in the blue sky and the brilliant colors, he felt better.

That was when he noticed movement in the leaf pile. He sat up again. This pile of leaves was large, rising as high as five feet or more in the middle before tapering off again at the other end.

Anything could be hiding in here.

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