Thursday, November 15, 2018

On Conversations: #AAMBC #author Norwood Holland

Please join me in welcoming author Norwood Holland to Conversations today! Norwood is here to talk about his new novel, Material Witness! So be sure and check out the cover and blurb below! And don't forget to check out his interview too and get to know Norwood Holland.

Lisa ~

__________________________________________



MATERIAL WITNESS
 

Material Witness is a legal thriller and the third novel in the Drew Smith series. The DC trial attorney undertakes a murder investigation of a law school pal. Smith recruits fellow lawyer Edward Miller and TV news reporter Stephanie Gilchrist. The three become entangled in a love triangle while Smith is coping with his post-traumatic stress disorder. Material Witness follows the series prequel Minus One expanding on Smith’s mental health issues as his PTSD progresses into the paranormal. Smith’s friend Medhat tragically died in Smith’s arms from a gunshot wound. The shock and Drew’s underlying guilt inflicted a post-traumatic stress disorder condition. The condition progresses with Medhat’s lifelike visits with Drew in his dreams.



Interview with NORWOOD HOLLAND

Why should people read your book?

Material Witness is an enjoyable, easy read. The characters are clearly defined, and the suspense carries the reader from beginning to end. The series has an addictive quality, and you don’t have to start the series at the beginning. Each can be a standalone read, but most readers are left wanting more. People love Drew Smith, he has an emotional connection that invests readers. His bravado appeals to the male reader, while his good looks and hypersexual nature appeals to women. The reader derives pleasure in following Drew Smith’s emotional swings, his romantic woes, and his professional challenges.

Who are the audiences for your book?

Material Witness was written for those who love legal thrillers and mysteries, but it also has broad appeal for those who enjoy popular fiction. It’s sexy with a hint of romantic suspense. There is something there for those who prefer romance, as well as the action adventure reader.

What is the setting of your novel and how is it significant?


The setting is Washington DC, and why DC? It’s my home where I was born and bred. It’s a world-class city full lawyers and politicians, statesmen and foreign diplomats. There is a lot of glint and glamour, but if you dig below the surface, there is a dark side with its gritty crime and backstreets you can see the real human condition. There is a juxtaposition of the oppressed, poor people struggling to make a living in a world saturated with wealth. Cities create wealth, and that’s what draws people to them. Washington is a reflection of the American character with its monuments, and sprawling suburbs. It’s an ideal setting to tell an American story.
 

Does the protagonist or an associate of the protagonist narrate? Or does the author write with detached objectivity, able to read minds and interpret motives? How did this affect your perceptions of what is going on? Is this narrator a reliable witness of events?

Sleepless Night’s varied from the third person to first-person narration. And my skills as the writer were not as sharp as they are now. I’ve chosen now to write in a strictly first-person narrative from Drew Smith’s point of view. When I decided to write thrillers I learned the First person was the best method suitable for writing thrillers because it allows for a lot of immediacy and emotion that would serve a thriller well.
 

Would you say that the novel is primarily character-driven or plot-driven? Or is there an effective combination of the two?

I would say Material Witness is plot driven. There is a murder, and the pursuit of the murderer is the primary focus. But the significance of the character-driven subplots cannot be dismissed.
 

Who are the central characters? Where do your sympathies naturally lie? Are their motivations, flaws and qualities credible, or merely means to drive the plot?

My primary characters are Drew Smith and the people he interacts with on a daily basis. Julio is his best friend for life. He is Drew’s sidekick fighting alongside him in trenches. The women in their lives also play a significant role. They keep their men grounded and focused. The open way for us to see their vulnerabilities, their desires, ambitions, and goals. Without the women, there would be no window to their motivations, flaws, and credible qualities.
 

Do the characters undergo any significant change or development? Did any of their actions or words provoke reflection or further revelation about them as people?

Character evolution is each book is incremental, Drew Smith character is strengthened over the long term. The changes are not really discernable in each book. But I have a five book vision of the series which I plan to develop into a cable TV series, but right now each book is plot driven. Drew is coming to accept his mental health infliction. The future problem how will he deal with it. Is there something good that can come from it?




Norwood Holland is a freelance writer, lawyer, and author of the Drew Smith legal thriller series based on the capers of a bon vivant DC trial attorney. Holland is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and earned his degree in English from Fisk University where he studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps. He has served in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and several top Washington law firms. In the mid-90s he began freelance writing with bylines in The Writer Magazine and the Examiner. He blogs at editorialindependence.com. Material Witness is third in the series launched with Sleepless Nights, followed by the prequel Minus One. Private Number the fourth series installment will be released in early 2019.




Connect with the author:
Website: norwoodholland.com
Blog: editorialindependence.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Norwood-Holland
Instagram: www.instagram.com/norwoodholland
Email: norwoodholland@aim.com
 



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Lone Star Lady



Texas Hearts Book Eight
LONE STAR LADY

Taos, New Mexico wasn't far enough from home for Theresa Morales to run to. But this Texas girl didn't think there was anything that could wipe away the pain of her mistakes, even in the arms of Dr. Dennis Harrington the local doctor at the Taos ski resort where she sought refuge. But the past quickly caught up to her when a local kid, Dennis's nephew, becomes traumatized by a fatal New Year's Eve accident that has left him feeling responsible. Dennis couldn't deny he was immediately taken by Theresa the moment they'd met. But the accident that pulled him away from the New Year's Eve gala where he'd danced with her and held her close, had change things for all of them. Now he's desperate for Theresa to help for his nephew, who is so fragile he fears the worst. The sadness Dennis sees in Theresa's brown eyes tells him she's running from something that happened in Texas. Something she can't face. When the past comes back and Theresa heals enough to return to Texas, will it leave both of them brokenhearted?

Purchase LONE STAR LADY now!
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Excerpt

New Year’s Day

“I didn’t know who else to go to. I really need your help.”

Teresa Morales listened to Dr. Dennis Harrington’s words as she sat curled up on the soft beige sofa in the lodge at the Taos Falls Mountain Ski Resort. The fire in the huge granite fireplace in the center of the room was burning hot—almost too hot for her comfort. Or maybe that was just her anxiety kicking in. This was supposed to be her vacation. No one was supposed to need her help here.

She bookmarked the page in the book she had been reading before Dennis’s abrupt arrival and closed it, setting it aside on the end table. With a swift motion, she untangled one long leg out from underneath her and brusquely hit her bare feet to the wide pine floor with a dull thud. If this was his idea of a joke, she wasn’t laughing.

“Dennis, I’m just a tourist here. What help could I possibly give you?”

“Last night...” His voice trailed off. His face looked stricken, and Teresa knew he wasn’t talking about the New Year’s Eve party they’d both attended—or the dance they’d shared. No, he was referring to what had happened afterward—the reason behind the beeper call that had pulled him out of her arms and away from the party after their dance. The horrible car crash on the bridge just a few hundred yards from the ski resort had been the only topic of conversation throughout Taos Falls today.

“I’m not sure you understand how severe the accident that took place last night really was.”

“I do,” she countered sympathetically. “I could see the whole awful mess right upstairs from my window after I left the party. And I saw what was left of it once the fog lifted this morning. Anyone with a condo facing the west side of the mountain had to have seen and heard what was going on after midnight. It must have been horrible.”

It was human nature to be curious in the wake of flashing emergency lights and sirens, and she certainly had been. After Dennis had left the New Year’s Eve party, she’d returned to her room intending to go to sleep. But the flashing lights below had drawn Teresa to the window. She’d stared wide-eyed into the night as the snow fell like ash from the dark sky. There were so many lights, so many emergency vehicles.

She hadn’t been able to bring herself to close the curtains, to shield herself from what little she could see through the snow. Soon after the storm subsided, the flashing red, white and blue lights still screamed out into what had been a festive evening. Dragging herself away from what was happening down in the valley didn’t seem right. She’d felt she couldn’t leave the window until the last tow truck had pulled away. The last of the vehicles, the one that had plunged into the icy water, had been the last to be towed away.

Five months ago, she probably would have been right out there on that road along with the rescue workers, trying to offer what help she could. As far as she knew, Dennis’s clinic didn’t have a psychologist on staff. Though she specialized in dealing with children, with her training and experience, she could have been there for the victims, for their families, helping them cope with the tragedy surrounding them.

At one time, maybe Teresa could have done some good. Her gentle guidance might have made a difference between choosing to deal with painful truths or run from them. Now she was the one who was running—running from the events that had shattered her confidence and from the tormenting truth that she had failed.

He shrugged. “It was a tough night. I’ll give you that.”

She was sure it’d been more than just tough for Dennis. He was the only doctor in town—the clinic that he ran was the only medical facility in nearly fifty miles. He’d probably been up all night tending to the victims of the accident.


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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thrills, romance, suspense, danger and six sexy heroes!

Dear Readers:

Great news Heroes of Providence fans! The entire HEROES OF PROVIDENCE Complete Set 1-6 is available at Kobo Books to VIP Kobo members only and the eBookstore for 40% off! Only available today and tomorrow!
Readers have emailed me that they love those sexy hero cops of Providence along with the thrilling romance and suspense. If you haven't read any of the Heroes of Providence stories, now is your chance to get a great deal. If you've read Material Witness for free and loved it, you can get the entire series and revisit all the thrills of book 1.
To get Heroes of Providence 1-6 at the eBookstore for 40% off use Coupon Code: NE1YBAZA10 at the eBookstore.  The good thing about getting books at the eBookstore is that you can always get books at a discount and load those books to any eReader using Book Funnel. 
But some of you prefer to get it at your regular online bookseller. I get that. It's easy. But right now the sale is only at Kobo Books to VIP members who are part of their VIP service.  If you have that, great!  If not, I don't want you to be left out which is why you can still get the book at 40% off at my eBookstore for Amazon Kindle, Nook, Kobo eReader, Google Play or Apple. Use promo code: NE1YBAZA10 at checkout.
When you buy from my eBookstore, you will get two emails with your sale. One from Payhip to download to your computer and the other will be from Book Funnel with instructions on how to auto load your book to your eReader. Downloading using the Book Funnel app is easy peasy. The book will load directly to your eReader if you have a Kindle, Nook, or Kobo eReader. You can download the book to your computer or iPad using the Payhip link and it will load to your Apple device, too.  Again, easy peasy.

HEROES OF PROVIDENCE Complete Set 1-6

Complete HEROES OF PROVIDENCE series, which includes the USA Today bestseller MATERIAL WITNESS. 
Get Heroes of Providence 1-6 at the eBookstore for 40% off use Coupon Code: NE1YBAZA10 at the eBookstore
Also available at Kobo, BN, iBooks & Google Play here: https://books2read.com/u/47ZWA7  but at regular discounted price.
MATERIAL WITNESS, Book One
Who does she trust when the horror of one of her crime novels turns into a deadly reality?
Bestselling crime novelist, Cassie Alvarez, aka Cassie Lang, had murder on her mind when she walked into Rory's Bar under dressed and under cover to research her latest crime novel. Researching the cool, blue-eyed and dashingly handsome man at the end of the bar stirred her senses more than she wanted to admit. But was this man of leather armor all he appeared to be?
Playing White Knight to an innocent wasn't how Detective Jake Santos planned to spend his time under cover. But there was no way "CJ" was what she claimed to be and that nagging tightness in Jake's chest told him he'd better take her home to safety and leave it at that. Then the barroom exploded with gunfire, leaving a trail of dead that includes a notorious Providence organized crime boss and an undercover FBI agent. When Cassie’s name is leaked to the media as the only witness to the grisly murders, Cassie insists she only trusts Jake to protect her.
The FBI wants their star witness happy and will do anything to make sure Cassie testifies. But someone wants vigilante justice and it is clear to Jake that the shooter isn’t the only person who wants Cassie dead. Not knowing who to trust, he vows to protect Cassie at all cost despite the fact that guarding the beautiful novelist is a serious distraction.
SAFE HAVEN, Book Two
When someone you once loved wants you dead, is there any SAFE HAVEN?
Finding out her ex-husband hired a hitman to kill her didn't leave Daria Carlisle all warm and fuzzy. But Detective Kevin Gordon's suggestion she flee the only home that had ever truly been hers was downright crazy. Forget that the sexy police officer made her heart pound and her blood stir. She'd worked too hard to get what little she had. She wasn't leaving.
Kevin Gordon didn't make mistakes, but he'd made a big one in letting Daria's ex slip through his fingers. Although he tried to make it very clear to Daria that the fixer upper home she considered a palace was no safe haven, she just dug in deeper and insisted on staying, leaving him no choice but to be her protector. Left on her own, she surely faced murder at an assassin's hand. But can Kevin spend every waking hour sleeping on her doorstep just to keep this stubborn woman alive without risking his heart to love?
RECKLESS HOURS, Book Three
Her whole life had been a lie…
It was only supposed to be a random DNA test performed with her class. But it turned Professor Tammie Gardner’s world upside down and proved to her that the tragic death of her parents was no accident. After rummaging through old files, she discovers one clue where it all started and decides to travel across the country to find answers. But is her curiosity more reckless than wise? What she finds is love in the arms of Providence police officer Dylan Montgomery who is searching for his missing brother. They both want to know the truth. But is the truth worth the danger they've put themselves in by uncovering secrets no one wants revealed?
DESPERATE HOURS, Book Four
Bounty hunter, Gil Waite is after Sonny's brother. All he cares about is "finding the fugitive" and collecting his money. But Sonny Montgomery is after so much more. Her precious baby niece, Ellie, who was kidnapped by a Colombian drug lord. She won't betray her family by falling in love with the one man who has the power to destroy her family. But she needs to escape Colombia and has no choice but to trust Gil, a man whose rugged exterior hides the heart of a hero she can't resist.
FINAL HOURS, Book Five
Serena Davco's nightmare is almost over. Or so she thinks. Her baby has been returned to her and now she waits anxiously for her husband to return home safely after being imprisoned by Colombian gangsters. But her joy quickly brings her deeper into danger and despair when Cash returns and has no memory of her, the love they shared or the baby they created. But the danger from his escape has awoken a sleeping giant that could lead to murder for them all.
Cash knew he had gone to Colombia to bring down a drug lord disguised as one of Colombia's prominent businessman. But three months of trying to survive their torture had stripped him of many of the details of his life. Now that he's been rescued by a covert team, he's shocked to see just how much of his life he doesn't remember. If he can't piece together his past, how can he possibly keep his family safe from the danger he knows still threatens them?
COLD HARBOR, Book Six
FBI Agent, Charlotte "Charlie" Tate has loved only one man in her life. The one man she betrayed, Tyler Jenkins. Tyler had given up a career he loved as a Providence police detective after realizing how easily a beautiful face and sweet smile had led him astray. Now Charlie is back in his life as they fight to undo the organized crime corruption that has infiltrated the city he loves by a Colombian drug lord. Can he work along side a woman he still loves without risking his life...and his heart?
Order HEROES OF PROVIDENCE (Complete Set 1-6) at the eBookstore for 40% off using Coupon Code: NE1YBAZA10 https://payhip.com/b/KvPb
Available at regular price at Kobo, BN, iBooks & Google Play here: https://books2read.com/u/47ZWA7
Remember, ordering from the eBookstore is super easy. You can order in either Mobi for Kindle eReaders or ePub for Nook, Kobo, iBooks or Google Play.  You can either side load the book, or download using the Book Funnel app.  In fact, the Book Funnel app is the easiest and with just a few steps after you get the automatic Book Funnel email after purchase, you will get quick instructions on downloading directly to the eReader of your choice.
And don't forget to check out the books below in case you've missed a new release from your favorite series. Also, DAKOTA FIRE and SWEET MONTANA BRIDE are on pre-order. So check those out as well.
All my best,

Thursday, November 8, 2018

On Conversations: #AAMBC #author Deneen Marlette Joyner

Please join me in welcoming author Deneen Marlette Joyner to Conversations today! Deneen is here to talk about her new novel, Soul Wounds & Sacred Revelations! So be sure and check out the cover and blurb below! And don't forget to check out her interview too and get to know Deneen Marlette Joyner.

Lisa ~

__________________________________________



Soul Wounds & Sacred Revelations
 

Soul Wounds and Sacred Revelations foundationally begs the questions: Why have we settled to live with emotional pain? How do our present responses tie us to our past? Why must we hit rock bottom for God to gain our attention? To end the struggle, we must look at ourselves, really look-not at who we think we are, but who we truly are: more divine than human. Deep within our hearts, we know this. The book gives us permission to break our own hearts and be wrong about all the ugly things we've thought about ourselves to reach ground zero and rebuild ourselves in a divine image.

Author Joyner, takes readers on an indigenous healing journey as she recounts her dark knight of the soul in 2011 that almost left her dead by suicide. Witness vulnerability, courage and power as she transforms her life from a hostage to emotional pain to a modern day warrior daughter as she fights to end decades of carrying emotional pain. At the heart of this beautiful memoir, is the guided wisdom channeled to her by the ancient voices of her Native American and Igbo ancestors which readers can use as a guide, as well, to explore past and present experiences with pain.




Interview with DENEEN MARLETTE JOYNER

Tell us what inspired you to write your first book: Soul Wounds and Sacred Revelations?

I was inspired to write my book after personally carrying emotional pain silently for over four decades.  After hitting rock bottom in 2011 and beginning a journey through self-healing, I was delivered to my healing in 2014. I now understand what it entails to awaken, journey forward and be fully healed. I am honored to share all that I learned.

What is the one thing that people get wrong about emotional pain?

Most people believe that they can avoid having to ever face emotional pain because they have developed methods for coping with carrying it. However, if healing is not sought, it is inevitable that they will hit rock bottom.

You say in your book that your curiosity led you to uncover and discover not only things about yourself but about your family; what did you learn?
I uncovered that I was my own worst enemy and that most of my inner dialogue was self-destructive, unkind and counter intuitive to my believing healing was possible. I discovered an emotional framework surrounding my familial history in responding to emotional pain and how I unconsciously adopted them and used them as my way to respond.

Your book touches on an array of subjects relating to gaining personal awareness, what role does consciousness play in healing?

Consciousness plays a huge part in self-healing. If you are not conscious of your emotional behaviors, ways you show up in the world and what you tell yourself to avoid pain then you will be unaware and less likely to respond differently.

Why do you respect emotional pain?

I have a deep respect for emotional pain because I discovered its true purpose which is not to simply create misery in our lives but to awaken us to master powerful lessons associated with past painful events, so we may begin a healing journey and arrive at our highest self.

What is one thing that you can share with readers to help them in their own healing journey?

You are never too old to heal your pain. The reason most people choose to carry emotional pain versus healing is because they believe that whatever they experienced will overwhelm them if they face it and they will not be able to recover.  The truth is you already have conquered the difficult part, surviving, so what your soul requires next is that you both acknowledge the event(s) that keep you hostage and give yourself permission to awaken and heal.

Now that you are completely healed, how are you helping others?


As a spiritual teacher and advisor, I humbly guide others who are still in the throes of emotional pain, utilizing my personal experiences, professional expertise and gifts as a Shaman to prepare them to courageously awaken and embark upon a journey of their own.




Deneen Mariette Joyner a seventh daughter and seventh generation Black Indian woman knew since the age of five that she was different. Otherworldly metaphysical and spiritual experiences–that growing up in the 1960s in the conservative city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania wasn’t popular having or even understandable. Sharing these experiences with anyone would have branded her as strange, weird or outright crazy. So instead she learned to stifle these experiences to blend in.

Despite having anxiety with having spiritual gifts inherited from both her Native American and West African Igbo ancestors, she also had a difficult childhood riddled with; father abandonment, teen sexual abuse, poverty, severe neglect; bullying, being an outcast, date rape, strained relationships with men, homelessness, and attempts at suicide to end her suffering. Her painful and traumatic life became lost over time as she learned unhealthy self-destructive coping mechanisms to deny and dumb it all. After 47 years of silently crying the pain from her past, in 2011 she awakened and decided to begin the journey to atone and become a student of her life.

In 2014 after mastering her life and doing the deep spiritual work needed to be completely healed from emotional pain, Deneen Marlette Joyner received the greatest gift of all…knowing who she is and the very important role that has been passed on to her by ancestors and the Great Spirit.

Now, embracing her truth and fully understanding her family’s spiritual legacy, Deneen has written her first book, “Soul Wounds & Sacred Revelations.” In this memoir, Ms. Joyner takes readers on the journey from her painful past to her transformational self-healing.

Today she steps forth as an expert on emotional pain, sharing ancient wisdom with individuals and audiences on how to partner and utilize the energy itself as a catalyst for self-exploration, personal empowerment, and spiritual enlightenment.

The core of her brand is centered in her ancestor’s 300-year legacy in healing lost souls, blended with her contemporary approach to self-guided healing. She is spreading her message of inspiration and hope through her writing and as a transformational speaker.

Deneen holds B.A. and M.A degrees in Psychology and Adult Education and Instructional Training with an emphasis in Curriculum Design.


Connect with the author:

Website: www.deneenjoyner.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/deneenjoyne
Email: deneen@deneenjoyner.com
 



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: The Wedding Dress



Texas Hearts Book Seven
THE WEDDING DRESS

Eight years ago, Hannah Ward thought she’d found the perfect wedding dress to wear when she and her childhood sweetheart, Dane Bancroft, decided to elope right after graduation. But instead of walking down the aisle like she dreamed of, she was not only outbid on the wedding dress at the auction by an old billionaire who didn’t need the wedding dress like she did, but she never ended up getting married. Needing to escape Dane after the break-up, she enlisted in the military and left Liberty, Texas behind. But now she’s back, and not only does she have to face Dane, the deputy sheriff in town, but she’s just been willed the very wedding dress that was supposed to be the beginning of her and Dane’s happy life together. Can they both get a second chance so she can finally wear the wedding dress of her dreams and marry the only man she’s ever really loved?

Purchase THE WEDDING DRESS now!
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Excerpt

It was just a box with fabric inside.

Hannah gazed at the white box that had come with the letter with longing for time that has long since passed her by. Although she’d stared at the dress in the auction catalogue for hours before deciding to drive to San Antonio more than ten years ago, she’d only seen that wedding dress up close for just a few minutes before it had been snatched away from her by the higher bidder.

She was a smart women. She didn’t need the dress. Or the memories that were now tumbling through her mind. Good and bad, they were all there together. The wedding dress had been the start of it all. And the end.

Sighing, she got up from the bed and walked over to the box that sat like a tangled blanket at the foot of the bed after a rough night of sleep. The wide white organza ribbon was tied tightly around the box to keep it secure and then knotted into a pretty bow on top. With a quick tug of the organza, the ribbon untied and fell to each side of the box.

Her heart pounded as her fingers felt for the edges of the box. She didn’t want to see the dress. Not really. Why was she doing this? She should just put it in her car and drive right over to the consignment shop in the next town and let someone else buy the dress for their wedding. Get rid of it. Get rid of the memory.

She lifted the top of the box off and placed it carefully on the bed next to the box. Pink and white tissue paper covered the contents, keeping her from seeing inside.

“Ugh. For a soldier who has spent the last eight years in combat boots and fatigues, you’re being a wimp, Hannah.”

She reached for the tissue paper, then quickly stopped and looked at her hands, turning them over. Most days her hands were covered with grease and oil from working on a plane engine. Today her hands were clean. Even her fingernails showed the white half-moon nails that were clean.

Hannah held her breath as she pushed aside the tissue paper and had her first glimpse of the dress. A lump lodged in her throat as she thought of the day of the auction nearly ten years ago. This was supposed to be her wedding dress. If she’d married Dane back then, she would have worn this dress. Who knew what their lives would be like now? Maybe they’d have a house and a few kids. That had been her dream.

Taking a deep breath, she slipped out of her T-shirt, then unbuttoned her cut off shorts and let them drop to the floor. She carefully lifted the sleeveless dress out of the box, holding it by the shoulders and letting the fabric drop to the floor. There were a million buttons in the back and she knew she’d have a hard time fastening them all. But she had to see what she looked like in the dress.

It had haunted her all these years. Deep down, she hope when she put it on, she’d hate it. It would look ugly on her or wouldn’t fit right in the boobs. Or it would make her hips look as wide as Texas. She look at herself and hate it so much that what happened with Dane when she’d left Liberty would finally fade into the back of her mind and she could move on.

It took a while, but when the last button was fastened, she walked across the room to the mirror and looked at her reflection.

“This never would have fit me like this ten years ago,” Hannah said, staring at herself in the standing mirror. But now, it fit perfect. It was as if she needed to grow out of the young girl’s body and become the woman she was now in order for it to fit.

Tears filled her eyes but she refused to let them fall. Reaching behind her to undo the first button, she muttered, “It would have been nice.”

A gust of breeze came in through the open window. Along with it, Hannah heard the sound of male voices talking. Jackson had gone out for a ride earlier with Cole. There were other ranch hands here now.

Her stomach dropped. It wasn’t just Cole or Jackson. If she lived a thousand years, Hannah would always recognize the deep timber of Dane Bancroft’s voice.

Still wearing the dress, Hannah rushed to the window and pulled back the curtain just enough to see outside. She groaned.

“You would have to show up today. Of all days,” Hannah muttered to herself as her heart pounded in her chest. She gazed down from the window to the dirt driveway below. Dane Bancroft stood next to Jackson, talking about something interesting that made them both laugh.

He was as tall as Jackson, but he wasn’t the straight up and down young man she remembered. His police uniform did little to show off the muscles she knew were under his shirt.

Just when she thought she couldn’t take anymore, Dane lifted his face up in the direction of the window. Their eyes locked for a brief moment. It took a few seconds, but then he smiled, making Hannah’s heart remember what it was like to be close to him. To have his arms around her and love her the way he used to. She actually sighed.

Damn him.


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