Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Her Knight, Her Protector



Rodeo Knights Book 1
Her Knight, Her Protector

As a former Marine Police Officer and rodeo bull rider, Jesse Knight is no stranger to dangerous situations.  But when animals in the rodeo circuit start mysteriously falling sick and dying, he knows someone is behind the deed and can't just walk away.  Especially when the lovely stock contractor starts receiving death threats.  Jessie had been ready to retire from Rodeo and settle down on small Wyoming ranch, but how can he sit back while defenseless animals are being targeted and a woman he's come to love is in danger?

Carly Duggan doesn't need a cowboy to help her investigate why her beloved stock has suddenly fallen sick and contacting the local police to investigate only led to more trouble and resulted in her getting death threats.  She turns to Jesse Knight, whose training in law enforcement and his knowledge of the rodeo circuit gives him the unique ability to investigate what's happening to her livestock without causing further suspicion.  Although Carly downplays the threats to her life, Jesse knows Carly's life is in danger if she gets too close to the truth.  He insists on being on her shadow to keep her safe.  But Jesse can't possibly keep Carly's heart safe...from falling in love with him?


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Excerpt 

“What do you mean another one of my bulls is failing?” Carly Duggan bolted from the seat behind her desk so fast the chair practically spilled over and crashed to the floor.  If her ranch manager, Colin Rodgers, hadn’t been standing directly next to her, it would have.

Anger simmered beneath her skin, making her blood run hot as she looked at the young ranch hand standing in the doorway.  Thad Ferrer had been working on her family ranch for just over a year and was only a few years younger than Carly. He was too skinny for his tall frame despite the hard work of being a ranch hand.  But Carly had no complaints about his performance.  He pulled his weight.  The anger she was trying her best to contain wasn’t his fault.

Don’t kill the messenger… She could hear her father saying those very words right now.  It had been over a year since Zebb Duggan had stepped his boots in this office, but Carly could swear she still smelled the tobacco from his pipe as if he were standing over her, judging her next move.

Thad twirled his straw cowboy hat in his hand.  “The bull this week collapsed in the pasture.”

“Which bull?”

“Does it matter?” Colin asked.

She glared at her ranch manager.  “Thad, which bull?”

“Cotton-Eye.  I think they’re eating something.  But I don’t know what it is.  I checked the feed and it’s clean.  I suppose it could be a virus infecting the herd.”

“A virus?”  Her heart sank deeper than the floorboards.  A virus could race through the ranch and wipe out everything three generations of Duggan’s had built on this Wyoming ranch. “What makes you suggest that?”

Thad glanced at Colin and then at Carly.  “If it’s not the feed and it’s not something he ate, what…what else could it be?  If we don’t do something soon, we’re liable to lose all the ranch’s stock.”

Carly turned her attention to Colin as irritation tumbled forward by leaps.  “How long have you known about this, Colin?”

The elder ranch manager sighed, but didn’t try to hide his guilt.  “A day or two.”

“And I’m just hearing about this now?”

“I didn’t want to cause you alarm unless it was something to be alarmed about.  Sometimes a sick bull is just nothing.”

“And now we’re talking about two.  Bulls don’t just collapse for no reason, Colin.”

He gave her a strong look that made her want to shrink where she stood.  But she held her ground.

“And sometimes a bull bounces back from a belly-ache without any fanfare,” he said.

“What was the other bull?”

“Dusty Mule.  But the bull is fine.  It was groaning with a bellyache for a few hours and then grazing like there was never anything wrong.  I didn’t even have to call Doc Cunningham.”

“If you’d been standing next to my father, would you have been so reticent to share this information?”

He lowered his head slightly.  But not enough to hide the slight smile that lifted his lips.  “Well, no—”

“Then I fail to see why you kept it from me.  I decide what is important on this ranch.  Don’t you forget it.”

The smile was gone.  She saw the anger simmering inside Colin, but he kept his temper, most likely because he knew she was right.  He just didn’t want to admit it to Zebb Duggan’s baby girl.

“Look, I’ve spent the last twenty years working with stock.  I’ve seen a sick bull a time or two before.  I’ll give you that it’s strange to have two bulls failing for what seems like unknown reasons.”

“They are unknown reasons.  We haven’t identified the cause.”

Colin sighed.  “I don’t want to be responsible for causing ranches to panic all over the state just because a bull has a bellyache.”

She’d grown up with Colin working for the Duggan Stock Company.  After her father passed away, it had been a struggle to get all the ranch hands acclimated to taking orders from her.  It was clear Colin still saw things that way.  Change was never easy.  It hadn’t been for her.  But she wasn’t going to sit back and let her ranch hands make foolish decisions that ultimately might destroy Duggan Stock Company.

“The responsibility lies where it’s always belonged.  With me.  And there is no reason for panic since there is no reason for word to leave this ranch until I say so.  Are you both understanding me?”

Thad nodded.  A moment later, Colin conceded.

“Good.  I’m glad to see we have that settled.”

Carly thought of Cotton-Eye, her two year old futurity bull who’d gotten his name because of the prominent round white spot around just one of its eyes.  She saw great potential in that bull.  He had a lot of spirit.  She hated the idea of losing him.

She turned to Thad.  “Call Barry Cunningham.  See if he can get out to the ranch this afternoon.  Get the rest of the hands to move the cattle away from any stock that appears sick.”

“But what about the—”

“I don’t care if it takes all day,” she interjected.   “There is no more important job on this ranch than protecting the healthy stock.  If this is a virus, I don’t want any more bulls to become infected.”

“What is a veterinarian going to do now?  It may be too late,” Colin said.

“And whose fault is that? A few days ago I might have been able to contain something like this a little better.  Now I have to do damage control.  For your sake, let’s hope this bull really does just have a serious bellyache from something it ate.  Either way, I’m not sitting by and watching my stock get sick without a veterinarian checking out all the possibilities.  To be safe, move Dogged Ear and Widow Maker to a separate pasture where they won’t be among the rest of the herd.  I don’t want my prize bull getting sick and losing whatever value it has.”

She grabbed the phone and flipped through her address book, using her finger to scroll down through the names until she found who she wanted.

“Who are you calling now?” Colin asked.

Carly ignored the fact that Colin was questioning her.  She was disappointed in the way he’d handled this situation, but he’d meant no harm.  He was an old fashioned cowboy who still believed a woman could cook on the chuck wagon and be that pretty face to come home to at the end of a hard day’s work on the range.  It was part of his DNA.

As the dialed the number and then waited for the phone to start ringing, she said, “Melanie Summers.”

“The zoologist?  What’s she going to do?”

“She works for the park services in the Grand Tetons.  If there is a virus that is killing animals in Wyoming, she’ll either know about it or want to know about it.”

“Look, Carly.  I can’t tell you how to run this ranch.”

“I’m glad you remembered that.”

“But I have been working here a long time.  I’ve seen a thing or two over the years.”

She looked over at Colin and felt a pang of guilt as she put the phone back in the cradle before the call connected.  “I know you have.  And I also know that my father regarded you as one of the best, both as a ranch manager…and as a friend.”

Colin’s face softened.  “That’s why I promised him I’d look after you.”

Her eyes widened.  “You did?”

He ignored her response.  “I’m not sure that calling on people to investigate something that might not need investigating is the best way to go.  You know how rumors end up like dry grass fires.  Me, hell even Thad, know this herd better than anyone.  If there is really something wrong, we should be keeping things in house, if you know what I mean.”

She thought about it a few seconds.  “You may be right.”  Sitting down in the leather chair behind the desk that had been her fathers.  A chair that some days felt too big in responsibility as well as size.

“For now,” she said, glancing up at Colin.  “We’ll see what Barry Cunningham has to say.”



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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Moment of Trust



Summer House Book 4
Moment of Trust

Six years ago Penny Munez made the mistake of leaving home too young and moving in with a man who beat her for recreation. She'd fled with the shirt on her back, no pants and no shoes and jumped into a car that had stopped at the traffic light, urging them to drive anywhere.  She didn't care where.  Now that she's on an island surrounded by water, the fear of looking over her shoulder hasn't stopped.  She doesn't trust anyone.  That is until Drake Sutton decided he was going to give her a reason to trust again. Drake knows a dark past when he sees one because he’s lived it on the streets and done things to survive that he’d rather forget.  Now he owns a successful business and he's calling the shots. But can Drake's love break down walls Penny has fought hard to erect to keep her safe?

This series is an erotica series that contains sexual situations that are not intended for readers under 18 years old.


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Excerpt 

Penny
 

Only weird people love playing in dirt. Well, it’s only weird when you’re twenty-two years old and still playing in the dirt like I am. Maybe it’s the dirty feelings inside of me. The ones that I find hard to let go of. But I like to think it has more to do with good memories of making mud pies in the side yard with my next door neighbor when I was a four instead of the four years that are closest in my memory. The ones I want to forget.

Maybe that’s why I’d taken this job working for a landscaper. Sure, Drake Sutton is a hottie. Any girl who spent two seconds with the man would think that he belonged on the cover of a magazine, not playing in dirt like I do every day. But I’m the lucky one.

Yeah, lucky.

“Shit. Worms are eating the flowers.” I drop the bag of mulch I hoisted out of the back of the truck at our job site and crouched down to take a closer look at what I know is happening. Destruction of all our hard work this summer. The sun did its job. The rain fed the soil. But worms had conquered and are taking over the beauty of all the begonias lining the side of the Wayside Inn.

Turning one of the leaves over in my hand, I see the telltale marks that Drake warned me about when I’d started working at the Sutton Landscape Company at the beginning of the summer. I look at another plant. Then another.

Beverly Pickam isn’t going to be happy about this.

“Drake?” I call out. When I turn, I see my boss headed my way carrying another bag of mulch. His body is slick with sweat that has seeped through the white T-shirt he’s wearing. He always wears a white T-shirt because he says it reflects the sun when he’s working. He works hard and expects the same out me and Gus.

It had rained hard over the weekend and most of the mulch that had been on the ocean side of the Wayside Inn, had been washed down the sidewalk. It wasn’t enough to just sweep the mulch back into place. Drake wants it to look perfect all the time so he’ll be a shoe-in to get the contract again next summer.

He’s not going to like this either.

As I look at the begonia leaves I’d planted in front of the Inn earlier this summer, I sigh. Why does everything beautiful have to be destroyed by something?

This should be a normal job. Pull some weeds. Replace mulch that rain and wind had eroded from the flowerbeds. Then on to the next job site. They were going to have to fix this before they could move on.

Drake, the owner of the landscape company I’ve been working for this summer, walks up behind me and peers down at the brown leaf with holes burrowed out of it.

He yanks a leaf off the flower and then says, “Shit. Well, doesn’t this just suck?”

I chuckle as I look up at him, shielding my eyes from the hot sun. “What do you want to do about it?”

He sighs and glances down the length of the flower bed on the side of the building. “We still have a full month of tourist season to get through before I pull these flowers and put in mums to last through the end of October. Beverly likes her flowers pretty. In fact, this side of the building is normally her turf. She specifically asked for a little space.”

“Her turf? I thought the whole thing was her turf.”

“Her little garden. We planted the begonias. For some reason she put in petunias everywhere. We didn’t. I don’t know where she got these flowers from. They could have been from someplace with infested soil. That’s probably how these plants became diseased and infected the surrounding plants. I didn’t see any signs of this when I spread out the new mulch in the front of the building.”

“Damn. Regardless, we have to eat the loss and replace these flowers with healthy ones or it’s only a matter of time before the front looks as bad as the side and it’ll ruin my plantings for the fall. I’ll grab some spray.”

“We? If Beverly tampered with your landscaping, shouldn’t she be paying for it to be fixed?”

Drake stood still and looked up at the Inn. I can tell he’s pissed, but he has so much control over his emotions that I’m constantly surprised by his reaction to setbacks, no matter how big or small. When Gus, the other landscaper I work alongside with every day, got arrested the other night and dragged back to the mainland, I thought for sure Drake would fire him on the spot. Instead, since Gus is dating my roommate Lily, he stayed in constant contact with Lily about what was going on with Gus. He didn’t yell about being short a landscaper for the jobs he had scheduled for the week. I’d been all ready to defend Gus to Drake since I’d been there the night at the club when a fight broke out and Gus had to help drag my other roommate, Heather, out of harm’s way. I wanted Drake to know it hadn’t been Gus’s fault. He’d helped save Heather.

But Drake never uttered a harsh word about Gus and how he’d landed in this situation. He just took the news that Gus was sent to the mainland and went back to work as if I’d told him that Gus had called in sick with the flu or something.

“If I want to stay on the island and have any chance of getting next year’s contract, I’m going to have to take the loss.” He sighs as he looks down at his hand and crumples the dry leaf in his fist.

I watch him walk back to the truck. Such control.

“You plan on staying on Nantucket after the summer?”

Drake glanced toward the long stretch of beach the Wayside Inn was located on. “Don’t you? How can you leave a place like this?”

I wanted to say it was easy. Rachel always says that women like me need to move on. But I can’t deny that leaving here will be hard. I only have another month on the island then…I’ll be somewhere else. Meeting new people. Trying to make new friends.

I look at Drake and the thought of it leaves me cold.



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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Moment of Truth



Summer House Book 3
Moment of Truth

Sometimes the wrong love turns out to be right...

Heather Connelly made that dreaded mistake most young girls in love made. She followed a boy to Nantucket, convinced he loved her. And then got dumped in a public and humiliating way that ended in a pub brawl. With her heart ripped to shreds, she wanders the beach drowning her tears in a bottle of wine, trying to figure out how to give it one more try. She finds the open door to his suite on the beach and climbs into bed naked wanting to show him just what he'll miss. Their love making is electric and nothing like she'd ever experience before. She's convinced she's won him back. But the next morning she wakes and realizes...she climbed into the wrong bed. Can this wrong man be perfect right for her?

Despite making his first million by 25 and then turning his small company into a nearly billionaire dollar empire, Slade Sullivan couldn't feel any lower. Recently divorced, he's gone to Nantucket Island, a place where he'd visited on many occasions as a child, to lick his wounds and regroup. When a beautiful woman climbs into his bed and begs him to make love to her, he can't resist. But in the light of day he realizes his huge mistake. She's nearly twenty years younger than him! He knows he should end it right there, but he can't resist this woman who makes him look at truths he's never wanted to see. Can their summer fling become a lasting love?


This series is an erotica series that contains sexual situations that are not intended for readers under 18 years old.


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Excerpt 


Heather

I should have learned my lesson from all the losers my mother brought home with her when I was a kid.  I’m a magnet for them, too.  Except…Jason wasn’t a loser.  He didn’t beat me up or try to get me drunk just to get in my bed.

I did that on my own.  The beating up part was the mind fuck of my life.  The drinking made me forget it.  And everything else…well, that was everything else.

I dig my toes into the cool sand and drop to the ground.  The salty breeze coming in from with the surf bathes my face enough to ease the nausea that is wedged in the pit of my stomach.  I hate being sick.  I won’t be sick.  Not for him, dammit!

The water is coming in further and soon I’ll be able to feel the surf hit me. Make me wet. But I don’t care.  Out here in the darkness, no one can find me.  No one can judge me.  No one can hurt me.

The crowd of people who’d gathered outside the nightclub I’ve worked at for the last six weeks is thinning.  The sound of people talking and laughing and walking along the beach as they make their way back to their hotels and beach houses echoes around me.  But no one bothers me.  I’m invisible here.  I want to be invisible…until I hear Jason’s voice

Jason. 

A tear trickles down my cheek and I let it travel to wherever it wants to go.  I don’t bother to stop it.  I like the cool air against my wet skin.  I can feel that, just like I feel the slight pain beneath the sweatband around my wrist.  And the bruise on my face that doesn’t sting anymore.  It just aches like the aching in my chest.

Jason had loved me once.  How could I have been so wrong about that?  But now he’s being a dick of monumental proportions.  The only reason I even came to Nantucket was because I was sure he still wanted me here. Well, fuck.  He hadn’t wanted me tonight even though he’d asked me to wait for him after my shift.  But then he’d started kissing that fuck-faced bimbo...Chelsea. Right there on the dance floor. For everyone to see.

I run my hand over the pain growing in my chest.  Tonight was a total waste.  Being here on this island is a total waste.

“What the fuck did I do?” I hear Jason say.  And I’m just pathetic enough to care about what that is.  “I totally fucked it up.”

This is what makes me pathetic.  Because I do care.  Does he regret kissing that Chelsea girl and making me look like a wretched fool in front of all the people at the club?  Does he regret pushing me and making me stumble against the freakin’ bar and hitting my face?  I can tell that my cheek is swollen.  And I saw the look on my roommate Penny’s face.  She saw it too.  They all saw it. 

I rub my head where it hurts and realize it’s not from being hit, it’s from having my hair yanked.  I don’t know who did it.  Everything happened so fast and then I was on the floor and people were climbing over me.

I think, but my head is still fuzzy.  I’d had a few shots after seeing that first kiss on the dance floor.  I needed to finish my shift and that was the only way I was going to get through it.

Double shots at the bar.

Bringing a tequila and beer to Jason.

“Fuck you,” I’d said when I saw him arguing with that dick from Hyannis.  I downed the tequila myself and then…and then…

I feel pain in my head and then I’m on the floor being stepped on.


The next thing I know Gus was dragging me out of the club.

Oh, God, who saw this?  Most of the people who’d witnessed the brawl on the dance floor tonight are regulars.  They know how I feel about Jason.  They’d seen us together.  And they’d seen what Jason had done.

The sound of Jason’s voice floats through the night air down to the beach where I’d rather hide from all those pitying stares.  All those people who saw my roommate Lily’s boyfriend, Gus Jennings, drag me out of the pit of the dance floor as Jason and some loser from Hyannis got into that fight…over Chelsea.

“I need to get laid,” I hear.  I sway in the sand as the alcohol finally hits me and makes my head swim.  It’s numbing.  But I don’t want to be numb.  I’m a fighter.  I’m a survivor.  Fuck Chelsea, whoever the hell she is.  If anyone is crawling into bed with Jason, it’s going to be me!


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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

On Conversations: #AAMBC #author Sheila L. Jackson

Please join me in welcoming author Sheila L. Jackson to Conversations today! Sheila is here to talk about her novel, Chasing A Dream! So be sure and check out the cover, blurb and excerpt below! And don't forget to check out her interview too and get to know Sheila L. Jackson.

Lisa ~

__________________________________________



CHASING A DREAM
 

A family…a career…a dream…can a woman really have it all?

Florence Kinkaid is content as a small town clothing designer and seamstress. Married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two sets of twins, she’s certain her life is complete. But deep in her heart a forgotten dream waits. A dream she tries to ignore. When a noted fashion mogul undertakes a nationwide contest to discover America’s next fashion designer, Flo wonders…what if?

Flo secretly enters the contest and is thrilled when she is named one of the top five finalists. When she tells her husband William, she’s shocked to find opposition in her own home. William wants things to stay as they are and does his best to discourage her from leaving. He calls her opportunity a pipe dream. Hurt, but determined to get a second chance at her dream, Flo decides to prove her husband wrong and follow her heart. But in doing so, will it cost her more than she’s willing to pay?


Amazon


Excerpt from CHASING A DREAM

“William, we need to get away, just the two of us,” she said, seductively, staring at him chomping down on his food. He never looked up at her, making her feel some type of way. “There is a life outside of Gomer, you know.”

Chewing in rapid motion, he commented, “People are going crazy with these mass shootings and driving trucks with bombs into crowds, baby. We need to wait until things get better, then we’ll see the world.”

She rolled her eyes, tired of hearing the same old yadda, yadda.

“And besides, we can’t afford it right now.” He pushed his plate forward, sucked his teeth, and said, “Are you going through…um, what they call it?”

She cut her eyes over at him, annoyed, knowing what he was about to say.

“A mid-life crisis.”

“Are you serious, Will? It’s been years since the two of us have gone anywhere alone. And no, I’m not going through a mid-life crisis. I’m tired of coming in last place in this house.”

She stood from her seat, hands on hip, continuing her complaint.

“It’s bad enough that I’ve had to put my dreams on hold. And so have you.” She didn’t mean for that to slip out, but his cheapskate ways made her lash out and say what she’d been holding in.

“Look, I have to go.” He pushed from the table, wiping his mouth.  He tried leaning in to kiss her goodbye.

She winced, turning her face away from him.

He tried once more to touch her but she remained stiff as a board. “Flo, we’re not kids anymore and we’re certainly not getting any younger. It’s time we let go of these pipe dreams.”


Interview with SHEILA L. JACKSON

How does your faith fit into your books?

There is no way that I could write Christian Fiction if my faith didn’t play a huge part in it. I have faced many obstacles in my life and it shows through my writing. The characters I created each have to face some type of difficulties in their lives, but it is their faith that brings them through.

What is your favorite positive saying or motivational phrase?

I coined this one myself years ago to help keep me inspired, “I want more out of life than just to exist.”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. Never allow anyone to extinguish your dreams. God anointed you with the gift, not others.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your book?
 

A lot, some are lovable, witty, corny, dramatic, and aggressive. I have all these characteristics rolled up in one body, each shows up in my life when needed.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?
For me, when readers express how my stories helped them through difficult situations in their lives.  It’s a sign of validation, knowing that the words God has inspired me to write is reaching and helping others.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Knowing that lives are changed and life lessons are learned through the stories that I tell, is a blessing as well as rewarding. Whenever I want to give up on writing, there is always a reader that will send me a letter about how my books have changed his or her life. It fuels my spirit to continue on this uncertain journey as a writer.

Why did you write, Chasing A Dream?

For others to know that there is no age limit when wanting to start on a new career path. When God gives you the vision, it’s for you. Stop looking for validation from those who cannot see it.




Contemporary Christian Romance and Suspense writer, Sheila L. Jackson grew up reading different genres and styles of writing. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine one day of becoming a writer herself. Years later, she decided it was time to take a leap of faith and put her pen into action.  Her passion is to write fictional stories that tackle real life issues.

When Sheila is not writing, you can find her at the movies. She is a huge fan of the Marvel/DC Cinematic Universe and action/thriller/suspense movies.

Sheila has penned many articles, such as: Only the Strong Survive, Count it all Joy, Suffering in Silence, and The World of Sports-When the Glitz and Glamour Ends, which all appeared in Dream Magazine. Sheila also wrote: Voting Booths -Speak now or forever hold your peace (during the 2008 presidential election) for the Shreveport Times

Mrs. Jackson has appeared on KTBS-TV, Comcast Cable Station, and KOKA with Barbara Norton (State Representative) & Curtis Wright, 1340 Super-Talk, KMJJ, and From Bondage to Freedom radio/studio broadcasts. Along with her media and radio appearances/interviews, she has also appeared in The Forum, SB Magazine, Dream Magazine, Urban Faith Magazine and The Shreveport Times.


Connect with the author:
Website: www.sheilaljackson2.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sheilalj
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sheila4343
Twitter: twitter.com/sheilaljackson

 



Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Moment of Impact



Summer House Book 2
Moment of Impact

Do you remember that moment when you wanted time to stand still? When you could anticipate the train wreck ahead but had no way to stop it? Or stop the desire you had in your heart to protect the person you loved?

To Lily Carlson, running toward the oncoming train was better than being suffocated by her parents' goals and strict regime. While they wanted her to spend her days taking summer classes and then go to Harvard, all Lily wanted to do was dance and spend a summer on Nantucket Island living in The Bluffs, the name of the summer cottage she was renting with three other girls. She wanted to experience everything she'd missed. No curfews. No hitting the books and missing out on parties and meeting hot guys. She was finally free to be herself. And then she saw the man staring at her as she walked along the water's edge to work. She'd been dancing and it was clear he liked watching her dance. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she couldn't stop herself from seeking him out only to discover that he was a drug she couldn't resist...and everything her parents feared.

Gus Jennings knew that he was every parent's worst nightmare. He hadn't exactly lived his life on the right side of the law. He had his reasons, not that anyone understood them. There had never been anyone in his life who believed in him enough to care. He needed to spend a month working landscaping on Nantucket Island and keep himself clean or face the harsh consequences. He knew when he saw the beautiful Lily Carlson dancing down the beach on her way to work that he should just turn his head and forget her. But Lily was irresistible, and she'd made it clear that she wanted him. He only hoped that he could get close enough to touch her, to be with her, without his past coming back and destroying her future.


This series is an erotica series that contains sexual situations that are not intended for readers under 18 years old.


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Excerpt 


Lily

He was watching me again.

It had been two weeks since I’d noticed the man staring out the window of his ground level room as I walked down the beach toward the restaurant.  At first, I thought it was just a coincidence.  It was early and not everyone was up on the island of Nantucket.  Just those of us who needed to be at the restaurant or tourist traps early enough to get there before the rush of people.

He’d opened up the curtain just enough for me to see his face, his eyes, and then let the curtain float back down into place as I passed by.  Every time was the same.  Every day I questioned it.  Of course he wasn’t watching me.  Why would he?

But then I’d catch him the next day.

Penny, my roommate at the summer house called The Bluffs, insists the guy isn’t a pervert.  She would know.  She works alongside him every day.  As far as Penny goes, she can sniff a loser out a mile away.  She sure as shit called it first with Heather’s ex, not that any of us can convince Heather of that.

The early morning is cool, just the way I like it.  I love the feel of the morning breeze in my hair.  It’s only five-thirty, my favorite time of the day when no one is badgering me about anything.  I’m alone with my own thoughts.  And the sun hasn’t had a chance to heat the air and spoil that fresh smell of salt coming in from the ocean.

The seagulls are already flying onto the beach to see if they can capture a small crab or quahog that might be exposed now that the tide was receding.  Soon the sun would begin to bake the sand and everything that inhabited it and it would smell like low tide down at the fishing harbor.

Except for the seagulls, an older couple walking their golden lab down at the far end of the beach, and a runner moving in the same direction I’m headed, I am alone.

And of course, the guy.

He’s usually hidden, staying inside and peeking out the window from behind a raised curtain.  His room is in the lower level. I see the curtain fall back into place as I approach the old three-story house with a wraparound porch.

I don’t know why but to have him suddenly shut me out after giving me even the smallest bit of attention feels odd.  But there is no way anything can ruin my morning.  In four weeks I will be auditioning for a part in the dance program in college.  I lift my arms as if I’m on the dance floor getting ready for a pirouette.  My hair tangles around my face as I twirl and then stumble on the sand, laughing.

That’s when I saw him.  He steps outside the door and stands in the sand beneath the porch, lighting up a cigarette.  Why the hell didn’t Penny ever tell me the guy was so hot?  She gets to work next to this hottie every single day?

He doesn’t bother looking away like he normally does.  I know he sees me.  And I know he watched me dancing.  He always does.  And since he is, I may as well give him a show worth remembering.


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Good Reads Review

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