Today is the last day of summer and tomorrow the first day of autumn. I love this time of year with its cooler temperatures. Recently, I spent a few days in Annapolis, MD. I enjoy hanging out in the historic section of town and taking in the sights. Kimberly and Robert from my paranormal romance, Sea Panther, visited Annapolis during their December cruise along the coast headed for Florida and Robert’s Florida panther refuge in the Everglades.
They traveled on a 90-foot sailing yacht named Sea Panther (also Robert’s nickname) and harbored in Annapolis while Robert was to meet with a boat builder to discuss the renovation of the yacht. Much, much more happened.
While there, Kimberly shopped along the cobblestone streets and visited a shop with mostly wool merchandise based on an actual store on West street.
An Excerpt from Sea Panther:
After dinner, the boys headed farther into town to hit the bars. Not inclined to join them in the carousing, Kimberly strolled the main drag where stores were open late for holiday shopping.
Glitzy seasonal decorations sparkled everywhere. The sight of animated Santa’s elves plying their trade on high tech electronic toys behind the plate-glass storefront of a hardware shop made her chuckle.
Kimberly suppressed the urge to enter a brightly lit jewelry store. She couldn’t afford to feed her fetish. But on approaching one of the trendy boutiques, the wintry window display drew her in. It was love-at-first-sight with the wool merchandise. While admiring a red cashmere sweater dress, her cell phone rang. Darn. She’d lost track of time.
Sarah’s number lit the screen. Her sister’s phone batteries must be good for a change.
“Hey,” she whispered into the phone not wanting to disturb the other shoppers.
“Are you okay? I went to pick up your car. One of my guy friends went with me. Thank God. ’Cause someone broke into the car. And the cops—”
“Slow down. What happened?” Kimberly’s pulse raced.
“I’m trying to tell you. Someone shot out the light on the lamppost over your car at the marina and smashed the passenger side window.”
“You’re kidding. Right?”
“I wouldn’t kid about a thing like this.”
Shit. Shit. Shit. Why would someone break into her car? She’d only left clothes in it.
“Kim? What where they looking for?”
“No idea. Tell me the whole story.”
“The police searched the car. Lifted some prints. They’re checking to see if any match the ones found in your room at the B&B. I told them about the hit man. They questioned Mr. Romano. Of course, he denies involvement.”
“Oh, Sarah, you didn’t. He’ll never forgive me.”
“What does it matter? He’s not your client anymore.”
Kimberly looked heavenward. Her sister didn’t get it. Sarah didn’t understand the importance of maintaining professional contacts.
“What else did the cops say?”
“They’ll let me know if they learn anything from the prints.”
“Was my car damaged?” The darn thing would probably cost a fortune to fix.
“Only the window and I had it repaired. And hey, all my friends think I look really cool driving around in a shiny black Beemer.”
“Be careful. That car is the only valuable possession I have left.”
“Yeah, it’s a good thing you paid it off before Jerky Jason came into your life.”
“I don’t want to go there,” Kimberly murmured, tired of Sarah’s constant reminders of how rotten her ex had been.
“Gotta hang up. Boss is calling for me. Be careful. Love you.”
“Love you too.” Kimberly pressed the End button and returned the cell phone to her purse. She glanced through the large plate-glass window into the street at the holiday shoppers strolling by. Unease tightened the muscles across her chest.
Just how much danger was she in? Was someone trying to scare her or was someone out to hurt her?
Needing a distraction from the mounting fear, she wandered to the next clothing rack and fingered the soft weave of a mohair cape. The tactile sensation soothed. Suddenly the hairs on her arms rose. Someone stood behind her. Heart pounding too fast, she spun to meet the captain’s intense gaze.
“Ach, lass, I didn’t mean to startle you.” He stepped closer.
Kimberly released the breath she held and willed her pulse to slow to a normal pace. “It’s okay. I’m not usually the nervous type. You must have caught me during a rare moment.” She didn’t want him to think she jumped every time a man came near.
The captain fondled the forest green cape she’d been admiring, and a delicious chill shivered along her spine. For a man with large hands, he had a gentle touch. What would those long fingers feel like caressing her skin? The thought of him massaging her breasts the way he did the wool caused a shot of lust to rush through her system.
Chills and fever. What a potent mix.
“This garment would look beautiful on you,” he said.
“Thank you.” She lowered her head to hide a flushed face. “I’m afraid I can’t afford it.”
“Will you tell me why a woman with a quick mind like yours is out of work and homeless?”
His question was blunt and to the point—a splash of cold water to raging hormones. How she’d landed in the current situation was the last thing she wanted to explain. She raised a wary gaze to meet his. “Captain MacLachlan, I—”
“Never mind.” He waved an arm as if to erase his words. “I did not mean to put such deep sadness into your eyes.”
“Excuse me. We’re closing,” one of the shop’s employees interrupted. Her gaze lingered on Robert as if to say, you’re welcome to stay.
“We are leaving,” he said to the woman then smiled at Kimberly. “Come. Walk with me.”
She followed him out onto the sidewalk. Cars slowly drove by on the one-way street. If a hit man was after her, in truth, he could be anywhere. She tamped down on her nerves, feeling foolish, refusing to believe someone wanted to harm her. It didn’t make sense. Her ex-clients were respectable businessmen. The burglaries had to be a bizarre coincidence. After all, she’d left the car in a nearly deserted marina. No wonder someone broke into it.
“I’m on my way to a jazz club. Care to join me?”
The invitation surprised Kimberly and she nodded.
* * *
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Sea Panther.
The Labor Day holiday has different meanings to different folks. In many towns in the United States, children are already back to school. Many workers have the Monday holiday off from work, and many are also ‘paid’ holiday pay.
What about me? I retired from my state job as a 9-1-1 dispatcher to write fulltime. No more weekly paychecks; no more paid health insurance or vacation days. If I do not work on Labor Day, nothing changes. However, I try not to shop at businesses that make their people work. It’s my choice, because people should have a chance to enjoy family and friends as we say good-bye to summer.
I am a writer, and since I released a new book on September 1st, my weekend is filled with promoting its release as I do my best to get the word out. My latest book, With Every Heartbeat, is a contemporary romance, but I have also put my Scottish Fantasy Romance novella, Shimmer: The Beginning, on sale for $.99 for a limited time. You can find all my book Buy Links on Nancy’s Books Page.
Wow! I can hardly believe August is nearing its end. It has been a hot, hot, hot month in my neck of the woods, making it a chore to putter in the garden. The solar eclipse was great, but I’m looking forward to cooler weather and comfortable gardening time.
I have a giveaway going on over at Goodreads. Five signed copies of Just Wait For Me are up for grabs…
Hope the rest of your month is magical!
Is there anything hotter than a disgruntled dragon?
My latest Scottish paranormal/fantasy romance, Shimmer: The Beginning, has gained popularity and I am pleased this 100 page prequel has opened readers to my entire Clan of Dragons series. Since writing a story of any kind must start with a period of time, I researched several books, clan maps, and navigated around the internet to find a setting for my entire series. I am still amazed at the amount of information that is at your fingertips these days! I delved deeply and came across an island off the west coast of Scotland that perfectly suited my story.
The island, called Skye, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and a narrow inlet off Scotland’s mainland. Its geography and natural flora and fauna intrigued me; from the jagged black peaks, to the flower-covered moors, to the rocky beaches and crystal-clear fairy pools. Pine martens, red deer, marsh marigolds and heather added to the my ability to heighten the plot of my books.
Check out the Book Blurb of Shimmer: The Beginning
On Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Robina uses her gifts to turn algae and muck into crystal clear fairy pools. A dark fairy chases her, while a black winged creature falls from the sky. One wants her body, the other claims her heart.
Duff was dying, and his search for a mate looked doomed to failure. A pretty dragon knocks him off his feet. When she says she had simply transformed her shape in order to meet him, his heart breaks. Human hunters and the dark fairy threaten them, while love erupts between them. How will two very different otherworldly creatures co-exist?
Check out the ebook and print buy links on my blog’s Book Page
Will you vegetate at the beach or around the pool? Or, does work go on? I am a writer and writers can work anywhere and at anytime, and I plan to keep writing even as we celebrate the July 4th US holiday, the day of our country’s independence in 1776. Hubby and I will host a few family members around the grill. Chicken and watermelon! Yum!
I recently returned from a summer vacation where I met up with my editor Kathleen Rothenberger, then spent two awesome days at Universal Studios. I did manage to read in the evenings while resting my tired legs from walking miles through Daigon Alley and Hogsmead. I post all my read books on Goodreads, but you can see what I am currently reading on my
blog. (A Goodreads widget posts them on the left side of the page).
While I have your attention, I am releasing my novella Shimmer: The Beginning on July 13th. It is a 100 page prequel to my Clan of Dragons series.
Sign up for my newsletter for sneak peeks, exclusive giveaways, and to stay updated on my new releases. Very soon I will be giving away print copies of Shimmer: The Beginning ONLY to a lucky few of my newsletter recipients.
This year’s summer solstice was at 12:24 AM EDT in the Northern Hemisphere. I love this time of year–long days of sunlight. I spent the morning tidying the garden. Weeding, trimming shrubs, and deadheading blooms. Such activity makes me feel productive.
This afternoon, I’ll dig into my current WIP (work-in-progress), Just His Fae Kiss, the sixth tale in the Highland Gardens Scottish fantasy time travel romance series. This is Caitrina and Douglas’s story. I’ve created a Pinterest board for Just His Fae Kiss. Follow along as I create the tale.
If you are interested in a sneak peek, visit my blog for Excerpt Wednesday.
How do you celebrate the summer solstice?
The 5th tale in the Highland Gardens series.
Fae pixies are meddling with Gregor’s heart…
Gregor MacLachlan returns to Castle Lachlan, where he fostered as a green lad, ignoring rumors of fae activity. As a warrior with his cousin’s elite private guard, he hopes to prove to the clan he’s matured and has worth. A trio of pesky pixies have other plans for his heart. While hunting, a wayward shot from his bow nearly hits a strange lass who appears as if by magic.
Emily Smith follows one of the young boys in her care onto a forbidden mound in the woods behind the local garden center’s display garden and wakes in a strange bed, in a place and time not her own. Can she rise above the heartache caused by the untimely death of her fiancé and find love in the arms of the dark-eyed stranger who becomes her champion?
Emily gazed at her new husband with awe. It didn’t matter they were strangers. She sensed there was something special between them, perhaps magical, something that bound them together even though they were from different places. Different times.
She studied his full lips, anticipating the feel of them against her mouth. She moistened her lips, wanting him more than she would have imagined possible only a few days prior.
His pupils dilated, and he sucked in a ragged breath. He lifted a loose tendril of her hair and tucked it behind an ear. His calloused fingers brushed along the sensitive skin at the nape of her neck.
Fire and ice. She shivered. A delicious chill tingled over her shoulder blades. Why was he making her wait?
Posted by Caryn Moya Block
by Caryn Moya Block
I don’t know about you, but May is my favorite month. I start the month off singing “Tra la” and finish the month with a stronger focus on what the future holds. This year is no different as I prepare to move to Pennsylvania.
Unlike many of my previous moves, this one is going to start slow with me traveling back and forth from Virginia to Pennsylvania. Writing has taken a back seat while I concentrate on what gets to move and what gets to be recycled. Spring cleaning at its finest.
So, I ask that you have patience with me as you wait for the next book. I’m sure to have something out for Christmas and hope to finish “Aqua Magic” before the summer ends.
Wish me luck that the move goes smoothly. The quicker I get settled, the quicker I can get back into my paranormal world.
I hope May brings many wonderful experiences to you and yours,
Book Four of the Witch Guardian Romance Series
Brenna Ross is trapped in her own mind. Possessed by a Marwolaeth, that is slowly killing her, it used her to murder those she loves. As hard as she struggles to regain control of her body, she can’t break free. Still she will fight, desperately trying to tell her sister she’s sorry.
Marcus Ondine knew the minute the little witch and her older sister walked into his pub, The Blue Dolphin, that she was “the one” — what the magical folk call his “Destined One.” Now he’s returned to Earth to find her possessed by the Marwolaeth. Only by taking her to his home world of Aquarius can he save her from death, but what will happen when she wakes and finds herself in an underwater world?
These fires were fed with the nine sacred woods to honor the coming of summer, such as the branches of rowan, apple, dogwood, poplar, juniper, cedar, pine, holly and oak. Some use alder, ash, birch, hazel, and willow.
Animals were then herded between the two blazing bonfires in order to purify and protect them in the upcoming year. It is also said that these fires celebrated the return of life and fruitfulness to the earth after the long winter months, especially in the Highlands of old Scotland.
Besides leading their cows and sheep between huge bonfires to bless them with fertility, the annual celebration included joyous dancing, beverage-downing, traipsing across the countryside, a sensuous ballet around the Maypole by young maidens, and leaping over fires by young warriors. It was customary for young lovers to spend the night in the forest.
Hmmm…how many new bairns were born each winter following this annual May Day celebration? Have a lovely Beltane, and check out my latest release.
Smolder is the 3rd Book in the Clan of Dragons series.