Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review for Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelly

John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he's driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.

Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won't lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she's as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?


I LOVE emotional reads that get under your skin and don't let go.  Seeing people who have gone through horrible things and made it through to find happiness are my kind of inspirational read.  Inez Kelly is one of those writers who makes their readers a part of these emotional journeys and Sweet as Sin delivers in the intensity of that emotional journey.

The journey to true happiness is incredibly rocky for these two.  John came from a childhood of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his preacher father and still carries the scars today inside and out.  Through his YA and fantasy writings he uses his characters as a form of therapy.  Showing excerpts of these stories is an unique and intriguing way to show us his inner emotions since it's hard for him to express things out loud.  Unfortunately his writings aren't enough as he still has nightmares and rage and alcohol issues.  When he goes through these episodes he's a different man, a very unlikable one.  He lashes out and says hurtful things and it's hard reading these scenes.  Seeing his daily struggles made me ache for him even as I was despising his actions.  He's a good man deep down and deserves to find a woman who can help him heal.  I love wounded heroes and John is definitely that.  He's also charming and super sexy.  Which is part of the reason why Livvy is drawn to him.

Livvy is a very strong and independent woman and just what John needs.  She's not going to let him push her away no matter how hard he tries.  She'll stand by him as he struggles to put the past behind him.  She too had a rough childhood with a cheating father which adds to the rockiness of their relationship.  Both John and Livvy had to grow up before their time and it's this shared emotional past that makes their connection so intense and vital to each of them.

The sexual interludes in this story are steamy and nicely spaced throughout the story.  Even when they hit a rocky patch the sex is still intense between them.  The ups and downs between them are realistic and made me feel like I was on that emotional roller coaster with them.  Everything happening between them drew me in and I was rooting for them every step of the way.

This story was intense from the very first page and didn't let up until the very end.  These were two scarred souls destined to be together.  Livvy was an immensely likable character who was a pillar of strength for John and is the epitome of what a heroine should be.  John was damaged to his very core and after having countless women knew that Livvy was the one worth changing his ways for.  He knew he needed more in-depth help and found it because of Livvy's love and support.  It takes a strong man to admit that and it made me love him even more than I did at the start of the story.  Inez Kelly has created a story with a memorable couple that pulls at your heartstrings and stays with you long after the final page is turned.  Those looking for a story full of emotional ups and downs need look no further than Sweet as Sin.  Just make sure to have a tissue or two nearby.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday......

Hello all, it's that day of the week where we learn new things about each other and discover new blogs along the way.  We also help each other by becoming followers of one another.  Normally that following would be through GFC (which would be great if you'd still take a few seconds to do), but with that being eliminated for certain blogs (a big boo-hiss to that) I now ask that you follow through a RSS Feed (or Twitter, FB, or email) which you can find to the right.  I want to thank all of you ahead of time who choose to become a follower and make sure to let me know in the comments if you're new so I doubly make sure to follow you back.  And now for this weeks get to know me question....

Q: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?


A:  I generally read one book at a time, but if I'm on a time crunch I sometimes have to stop in the middle of a pleasure read to start a review book.  

Review for Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino

Brad is great at meeting other people’s expectations. But his own? Not so much. Take the gay thing. Okay, so yeah. It took a morning meeting with a frat brother’s hairy, naked ass for him to admit it, but he knows the truth about himself now. Let the gay life commence.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. He hasn’t quite determined how to come out to anyone, even Sebastian, the geeky-hot TA in his history class. Sebastian is everything Brad is not. Intellectual, suave, hairy. Out. And he doesn’t seem interested in Brad, even when Brad makes a fool of himself trying to catch his notice.

Score one for foolery: Sebastian does more than notice Brad; he takes him to bed. Brad’s been with plenty of girls, but with Sebastian, the sex is something else entirely—hot, mind-blowing, affirming, and a little domineering in a way that drives him wild. But when great sex turns into something more—dare he admit the “L” word?—Brad must face the crushing realization that Sebastian doesn’t feel the same. Unless, of course, he does. After all, even grad students can be idiots about matters of the heart.


It takes a very talented writer to perfectly balance humor, sexiness, and sweetness all in one story but Anne Tenino does so nicely in her latest release Frat Boy and Toppy.  As a reader who doesn't normally enjoy rom-com stories, Ms. Tenino totally won me over and I found myself complete drawn into the lives of these collegians and their teachers.

Brad has always tried to live up to the image of a playboy athlete since he doesn't want to disappointment those around him, but as he gets older he can't keep fighting his true desires any longer.  Enter sexy and self-confident TA Sebastian who Brad can't keep his eyes off of and who becomes the catalyst for a major revelation and a new chapter in his life.  Brad's extremely sweet with a nice bit of snarky thrown in to bring some wonderful humor to the story.  He's struggled and been miserable for so long keeping up his facade and you could see how it weighed on him.  He hated himself for using women and alcohol to ignore his real inclinations.  As he started accepting the truth of himself and slowly let others know you could sense that weight lifting off him.  He became even more light-hearted and more self-confident.  Brad seemed so much younger at the start of his relationship with Sebastian but things felt more equal between them later on after he came out.  He became a man at that point, not so obsessed over other's opinions.

Sebastian was a complicated character that had been hurt by love before and shied away from it now.  He was sexy and caring and was the perfect person to be Brad's first since he understood the seriousness of what their being together would mean for Brad's life.  But whereas I could see the evolution of Brad emotionally, I can't quite say the same for Sebastian.  I never felt like we learned as much about Sebastian's life to fully become as connected to him.  This story was definitely about Brad which left Sebastian on the back burner a bit. 

To help Brad get through this most important time in his life, he was lucky to have a wonderful group of people around him.  From his extremely supportive family (who frustrated him by their complete and easy acceptance of him) to his best friend Kyle (who had many humorous reactions to Brad's coming out) to his new roommate Collin (who's struggling with his own coming out), Brad couldn't have been luckier and it's a shame that in real life this large of a support group isn't always the case.  These secondary characters were wonderful and lit up the page and I would especially love to see more of Collin as he deserves a happy ending of his own.

This was an engaging read with a deep depth of emotion liberally sprinkled with humor.  From the witty dialogue to the smoldering sex scenes I was completely drawn in and hated to see it come to an end.  This was my first time reading a book of Ms. Tenino's but it definitely won't be the last.

My rating for this is a B.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Great Wednesday Tidbit Courtesy of Doctor Who

It's been one of those weeks...constantly running from here to there, certain family members I'd love to disown, and an all-around annoyance with everything.  So thank heavens that I stumbled across a sneak peek of the upcoming new season of my beloved Doctor Who.  It's totally made my week.  So here's what put a smile on my face.....

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Tour for Brightarrow Burning by Isabo Kelly (Promo Post & GIVEAWAY)

I've just discovered a sexy action packed story full of paranormal creatures that I think other readers will enjoy.  Courtesy of Goddess Fish Promotions I'm going to give you a taste of Brightarrow Burning.  There's also the chance to win an Amazon gc so you can buy this book for your very own.  So read on and be tantalized by what this book has to offer.


War tore them apart. Betrayal could bring them together…

Layla Brightarrow’s world fell apart the day the Sorcerers invaded her city, intent on using her fellow humans’ pain to augment their spells. Worse, the neighboring elven kingdom declared neutrality, effectively abandoning her people to struggle for survival.

Then some of the elves break neutrality to trade with the Sorcerers, and Layla is ordered to assassinate Althir, brother of the elf lord she has secretly loved all her life.

When Ulric of Glengowyn uncovers his brother’s plot—and that Layla is one of the assassins sent to stop him—his first instinct is to protect her from all possible harm. He’ll even use seduction, if necessary, to get her into a position to talk some sense into her.

Years of pent-up desire is too much for Layla to resist…and one touch unleashes an unquenchable fire that changes everything. Leaving Layla caught between duty and a love that could be her destruction. Or her salvation.

Warning: This book contains evil sorcerers, a scarred heroine, a sexy elf hero, naughty language, and an intoxicating and addicting pheromone that leads to wildly hot sex. Plus traitors, deadly magic, bespelled baddies, and a really, really rotten brother. 

EXCERPT #1 (from Chapter 1):

“I knew I’d find you here.”

Layla Brightarrow flicked a glance over her shoulder, then returned her stare to the labyrinth of cobbled streets below. “What do you want, Ulric?”

“I’d like to know when you’re going to stop trying to kill my brother.”

“When he stops luring, capturing and selling my people.” She felt Ulric move up close behind her but refused to flinch. Her every sense, however, focused on his presence, his movements, his breathing. Her muscles instinctively tensed, preparing for action, but she forced her body to relax.

“You know I don’t condone what he’s doing…” Ulric murmured.

“So you’ve said.”

“But this is dangerous. For you.”

She snorted, still refusing to face him. Ulric of Glengowyn was beautiful, sexy, and the man she’d been in love with since she was old enough to understand what those strange feelings in her gut meant whenever she looked at him. He was also an elf, and while he wasn’t exactly an enemy now, he wasn’t an ally either. “Go away, Ulric.”


“If you’re so concerned about your brother—”

“I could care less about that traitor, and you know it.”

She turned her head just enough to glance at him from the corner of her eye. “Do I?”

“Don’t play games, Layla. You know I don’t support the traitors.”

She made a vague noise in the back of her throat to keep from giving him a direct reply and looked out over the cityscape again.

EXCERPT #2 (from Chapter 1):

“Why are you here?” she asked [Ulric] on a sigh. “If you don’t care if I kill [your brother], leave me be.”

Hard hands clamped onto her shoulders, and Layla found herself facing a very angry-looking Ulric. Her breath caught at the sight of him, as it always did. His dark hair was long and silky against his angular, pale face. She could just see the points of his ears poking out from his hair. His body was broad and well-muscled, bigger than the average elf, and so perfectly formed he’d been the fuel for her fantasies for years, even when she’d taken other men to her bed in an attempt to forget him. But in that moment, with the heat of his breath against her face, his eyes captured her completely. Dark blue and as sharp as lightning.

“How many times do I have to tell you this, Layla? I care if you get killed.”

His hands tightened almost painfully for a moment, then loosened. For the sake of self-preservation, she took a step away from him. “I’ll be fine.”

“He almost killed you once already.” Pushing the strands of her bangs aside, he fingered the jagged scar on her forehead.

She knew it was still an ugly red welt against her pale skin, adding to the many imperfections of her face, and she hated having him look at it. She jerked her chin to one side, dislodging his touch, then brushed her short hair forward again to cover the mark.

His jaw tightened and his voice deepened. “I don’t want him to succeed next time.”

EXCERPT #3 (from Chapter 4)

[Layla] watched the Sorcerer scan the rooftops. She remained in shadow as she pulled out her first arrow. Those years of practice ensured she could fire each quickly and accurately. She steadied the first against her bow and drew the string back.

The Sorcerer would have put a protective spell on the carriage, but it was no good against elf arrows.

She sighted, aiming for the point at which she was certain one of the traitor elves sat, and fired. She pulled the next arrow, nocked it and fired again, then a third time, so quickly the first arrow had only just sliced through the shade when the final arrow left her bow.

An instant later, the parapet not four feet from her exploded in a molten blast of magic flame.

She dove for cover, away from the first shot, but obviously the Sorcerer had anticipated that because the wall two feet in front of her also exploded.

Crawling as quickly as she could, she made her way to the opposite side of the rooftop. The building shook beneath her, forcing her to her stomach. She glanced back and realized the area where she’d stood had turned into a blazing, melting tumult.

And the building was going to collapse out from under her before she could reach safety.

With a renewed sense of desperation, she scrambled toward the still solid end of the roof. If she could just make the next building, she could escape.


Isabo Kelly is the award-winning, best-selling author of multiple fantasy, science-fiction and paranormal romances and erotic romances. She regularly publishes articles on the craft of writing and the writer’s life and has taught various workshops on world-building (which she claims is a lot more fun than teaching classes on dissecting insect mouth parts).

Reviewers have called Isabo’s books “Hot, hot, hot…”, “sexy, fun…”, “fast-paced, page turning…” and “Beautifully romantic…Isabo Kelly is one author you should add to your auto buy list.”

Her gypsy soul has taken her around the world, including Hawaii where she got her B.A. and worked with dolphins and Ireland where she got her Ph.D. in animal behavior watching deer. Now she’s a stay-at-home mom and a full time writer living in New York City with her brilliant Irish husband, her son and their mad dog.

You can email her at  She loves to hear from readers.

Links for Isabo Kelly:



Prize is a $25 Amazon GC

-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE!
-To be entered just leave a comment along with your email addy.
-One commenter will be chosen randomly from all comments made at each tour stop, so the more tour stops you make a comment on the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 3/30.

Review for Brightarrow Burning by Isabo Kelly

War tore them apart. Betrayal could bring them together…

Layla Brightarrow’s world fell apart the day the Sorcerers invaded her city, intent on using her fellow humans’ pain to augment their spells. Worse, the neighboring elven kingdom declared neutrality, effectively abandoning her people to struggle for survival.

Then some of the elves break neutrality to trade with the Sorcerers, and Layla is ordered to assassinate Althir, brother of the elf lord she has secretly loved all her life.

When Ulric of Glengowyn uncovers his brother’s plot—and that Layla is one of the assassins sent to stop him—his first instinct is to protect her from all possible harm. He’ll even use seduction, if necessary, to get her into a position to talk some sense into her.

Years of pent-up desire is too much for Layla to resist…and one touch unleashes an unquenchable fire that changes everything. Leaving Layla caught between duty and a love that could be her destruction. Or her salvation.


Isabo Kelly has created an intriguing read in Brightarrow Burning with its unique characters in a colorful and exciting world where human, fae, and others struggle for survival.  This read sucked me in from the start and I was surprised by how quickly the end arrived.  There was action and romance galore but I wish we'd seen more to the story considering how nicely the story flowed.

Layla has loved Ulric since she was young but kept it to herself since human/elf relationships are frowned upon for many reasons.  Little did she know that he too was attracted to her.  But with the tensions of war and with her life constantly in jeopardy he's now going to show her his true emotions.  Their sexual interludes are truly sexy and nicely spaced throughout the story and these moments perfectly expressed their feelings amidst the constant fear of death.  Layla is a strong heroine not afraid to do what must be done.  She wants to be on the frontlines and bristles when Ulric asks her to stop, which he luckily doesn't do often.  Ulric is physically strong and normally even tempered, but Layla brings out a barbarian side to him where he's willing to kill his own brother to protect her even though it goes against elf law.  He wants to keep her safe but knows he can't force her to his way of thinking.  He lets her make her own decisions but is always there to help her.  Their relationship is very equal even though he's vastly more powerful and I enjoyed their interactions both in and out of bed.

The problem I had with this story, and it's a minor issue, is that it felt like there should be more.  I felt like I was dropped into the middle of the story with a lot happening off page.  There was one great action sequence but other than that you wouldn't know there was a war going on.  The villain in this story didn't appear very villainous and the time spent with him was extremely minimal.  Big issues were resolved far too quickly and easily but I definitely felt like I was left hanging at the end of the story.  Layla and Ulric's relationship was solidified but little else felt settled.  I thought that maybe this book was used to set up a series which would explain some of my issues, but I'm not sure if that's the case.

Either way, and whatever minor issues I had with the story, it was still an enjoyable read.  The world was vividly depicted with a memorable and likable main couple and I was completely sucked in by Ms. Kelly's writing.  I do recommend this book and hope that Ms. Kelly will expand upon what was so nicely started here.

My rating for this is a B-

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Teaser Tuesdays #61

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.


....from location 143 of 951.

-But before she could suck in a breath or even accept the reality of Ulric's lips on hers, his kiss went from asking to demanding.  His hold tightened around her waist, his head tilted to one side, and he kissed her with so much intense urgency, she was reminded of a dying man grasping for the one thing that might keep him alive.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Winner of Haste Ye Back by Wendy Burke

I want to again thank Wendy Burke for letting me give away an eBook copy of her new book, Haste Ye Back.  Thanks too everyone who signed up.  And now, the winner of this short story is............


Congratulations!!!!  I've already contacted her and wish her Happy Reading!

Book Tour for Educating Ethan by Jennifer Lynne (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

What a way to start a new week!  Jennifer Lynne is paying a return visit today to talk about her new release Educating Ethan.  It's a sexy older woman/younger man story which is a favorite theme of mine.  Courtesy of Goddess Fish Promotions Jennifer is going to be talking about those kind of relationships as well as letting me offer you a giveaway.  So let's learn more about this great read....

What is the appeal of an older woman/younger man relationship for a reader?

Thank you to the Scarf Princess for having me here as today's guest author.

I've read countless books over the years where the hero is older than the heroine – a reflection, perhaps, of our society which sees an older man/younger woman relationship as the norm. I can count on one hand the number of books I've read where the heroine is older than the hero – and yet these so-called "cougar" stories stay in my mind long after I've put the book down. Why? Do they stand out just because they are different to the norm? Or do I remember them because, as an older woman myself (I'm now in my forties), there is something about the experience of dating a younger man that resonates on a personal level?

Yes, for me, it is personal. Do I date younger men? No – I'm happily in a relationship with a man significantly older than myself. But I love the idea of levelling the playing field. The appeal for me lies in the idea that all adults are equal when it comes to love, regardless of sex, regardless of age, and that we no longer have to fit into any preconceived stereotype about who we should – or shouldn't – fall in love with.

The fact is that women are more empowered these days than ever before to make choices for themselves. And part of that empowerment is the idea that a woman can still be sexy and desirable at any age. That a woman's experience and personality can be just as important as how they look in attracting a man – any man, young or old.

I'm not naïve enough to think this will be the norm any time in the near future. But certainly there are changes afoot, and as an author – and an older woman – I want to embrace them.

It is one of the reasons I wrote my older woman/younger man romance, Educating Ethan, and I used the "level playing field" idea for Ida and Ethan. My cougar story has a definite twist in the tale. It is not a story about a predatory older woman wanting to educate a young man in the ways of love, but rather about two people who are falling in love and trying to deal with all the prior emotional baggage that we all bring to a new and developing relationship. Regardless of our age.

I hope that readers find my take on the older woman/younger man scenario appealing!

What about you fine readers?  Is the idea of an older woman/younger man relationship appealing to you? If so, why? And if not, why not?  Thank you again for having me here, and I look forward to the cougar/cub discussion.

EDUCATING ETHAN by Jennifer Lynne

Ida Deloraine intends to build herself a new life and a new catering career after a painful divorce. When the much younger Ethan Holt moves in across the street, an innocent flirtation quickly becomes serious when the two realize their age difference is no barrier to all-consuming passion.

But Ethan is the exact opposite of what Ida is looking for in a sexual partner. In her eyes he is young and vibrant, with his life and his dreams still ahead of him, whereas hers are all in the past. Can Ethan, who is fighting his own demons in the form of a car accident, failed marriage, and forced career change, convince Ida to overcome the past and live for the moment?

And just who is educating who in this cougar encounter?


It was hard to maintain eye contact as she spoke, with his magnificent chest bare to the world, the pinkish brown nipples puckered slightly in the air-conditioned room, and the faint sprinkling of dark hair that led downwards in an enticing line like a persistent arrow directing her wayward gaze.

And her wayward gaze complied, whether she wanted it to or not, noting the curve of those thighs and the implicit strength in the coiled muscles as he moved forward to reach for another roll. She glanced only briefly this time but still he knew. She could tell in the amused curl of his lips as they lifted and the knowing way he slanted his eyes at her. God, what was wrong with her today?

He's too young, she reminded herself. And he sure as hell won't be thinking of me that way.

He probably misses his mother's cooking.

She took a deep, steadying breath. "Careful, Ethan. They're really hot."

There. A mother would say something like that. Wouldn't she?

"But delicious." His eyes crinkled at the corners as he chewed and swallowed. He looked adorably young. She moved around to the other side of the island and gripped its edges. Now she couldn't see anything below his hips. Much safer.

"What's it called?" He spoke around the food, and for a moment, she wasn't quite sure to what he was referring.

It's called lust, she thought. Or maybe cradle snatching? "Umm…"

"Your catering company. What's it called?"

"Oh!" Tension released from her shoulders as they ventured into a familiar topic of conversation. Work she could deal with. "Simply Delicious."

"How very…appropriate." The look he was sending her had her breath catching in her throat and had nothing to do with food.


Possibility, she thought. He represents the possibility of excitement. Of passion. The transient headiness of lust about to be fulfilled. All the things that most women wanted and rarely got. All the things that she wanted and had never truly had before.

"Ethan, do you mind if I ask how old you are?" She strove for dispassionate interest, took a careful sip of her wine, then sat where he indicated— on a bench seat in a little breakfast nook. But her glass clattered hard on the windowsill when she put it down.

"No, I don't mind," he answered. "I'm twenty-five. And you're…what? Thirtyish?"


"Wow, you don't look that old."


Her tone was flat, and he flushed in response. "Shit! Sorry, that didn't come out right. I meant—"

"It's okay, Ethan. I think maybe I should—"

"Don't go! Hell!" He reached out to stop her as she began to rise, and then exhaled noisily. "I'm an idiot, Ida. I didn't mean it that way. I meant it…as a compliment, believe it or not. You look a lot younger than thirty-six. That's what I meant."

She saw genuine dismay in the depths of his eyes, and something in her relaxed.

"It's okay," she said again, but this time she meant it. "Thanks."

He sat heavily beside her and leaned close. That warm male scent enveloped her, elusive and yet tangible enough to send her heart rate into overdrive. But he was still frowning. She reached out to trace his jawline, and a hint of stubble rasped against her fingertip. A firm jaw; stubborn-looking. Manly.

"Relax, Ethan," she said. "I won't bite. Unless you want me to, that is."


Jennifer Lynne is a multi-published author who writes sensual and erotic romance from her home in Melbourne, Australia. She has two novellas published with Red Sage, including Seducing Serena in Secrets Volume 28 Sensual Cravings, and Pandora's Gift. Her first sensual romance with Breathless Press, Educating Ethan, will be out in February. Jen lives in hope that readers will continue to enjoy her novella-length tales of love and lust!

Find Jennifer on the web at:!/JenniLynnAuthor

Buy Link:


Prize is a $20 Amazon GC

-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE!
-To be entered, MUST leave a comment answering Jennifer's question (it's in bold at the end of her guest post), along with your email addy.
-One commenter will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more tour stops you make a comment on the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 3/30.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Tour for The First Series by Dawne Dominique (Promo Post)

As a big fan of the paranormal genre and series books my recent discovery of The First Series by Dawne Dominique truly made me happy.  This is an exciting and unique series that I'm thrilled to introduce you to courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours.  So get comfy and read on......

Eden's Hell, I: The First

In the beginning…

God created man and called him Adam, a fine specimen replicated in his own image. He then created woman to ease Adam’s loneliness and named her Lillith. Unfortunately, God realized his mistake too late in giving woman free will, for she would rule her domain—not man.

When Lillith left Adam, God created another for his first-born son and gave her the name Eve and a kingdom called Eden, but by then it was too late, for he’d unleashed Hell into the world of man.


A foul breeze followed Addison’s steps and with it came the usual stench of lower L.A. His nightly prowls in this end of town had always proved fortuitous. More times than not, he strayed to the Garden Grove district, a haven for low-end prostitutes and addicts. The evil scourging Californian streets had more than tripled in ten short years. Whatever happened to the roads lined with swaying palm trees, beautiful clear skies and movie star mansions? Sure, some were still here, but pollution and crime continued to grow like an infectious disease, and like New York, nothing stopped it from spreading. By far, this district was his favorite hunting ground.

A street corner whore leaned in front of the entrance of a five and dime motel trying to score her next fix. From a window upstairs, her baby’s pathetic mewling carried down the dimly lit road. To say the neighborhood was seedy was giving it credit.

Addison walked unhindered, shrouded in a spell of shadow and drifting unaware past people. His presence was nothing more than an icy shiver down someone’s spine, invisible to all except another vamp, and those creatures stayed as far away from him as possible, if they knew what was good for them.

One could purchase anything here for a price, even blood. The pickings were more than enough to gluttonize even a vampiress like Satrina, but she preferred a higher class of tastes and wouldn’t be caught hunting in a neighborhood like this. That insufferable bitch. Blood is blood, no matter what side of the tracks it comes from.

Thoughts of his ex made Addison’s mood even fouler, and the implications of what he’d done struck home. What’s the definition of irony? he ridiculed. I have a pet.

His boots followed a weed-filled gaping crack in the sidewalk toward a less populated section of the ‘hood long since abandoned but for the usual dregs and sinners like him. The night was oddly quiet, except for the wails of police sirens, a common occurrence in this part of the city.

Would Satrina be stupid enough to invoke Excaedo Pactum? His sigh bounced off the abandoned buildings emblazoned with splashes of spray painted gang tags.

Who are you calling stupid, you fool? What the hell did I just do for a human? Why would I even risk such a thing? He stopped and ruefully shook his head. “Eva Carr, what have you done to me?” he muttered.

His strides lengthened, and he dug his hands deeper into the pockets of his ankle-length leather coat. Looking like a thug made people who accidentally caught a glimpse of him turn away. There was little sense walking down these streets dressed in a thousand dollar suit. No attention was good attention. Confrontations were rare, and he liked it that way. Innocents could get hurt otherwise.

His hunger rose another notch as the wild pattering of two hearts caught his attention, one in fear, the other in exhilaration. The taunting cadence thrummed through his veins like a sugar high. Quarry was near.

He propelled his body upward onto the roof of what was once an apartment complex, now the Taj Mahal breeding ground for rodents and cockroaches, and those were the good tenants. Gliding to the opposite edge, Addison peered down into the alley. In the narrow, garbage-strewn lane, he’d found his dinner.

The coppery spice of spilled blood wafted in the air, electrifying every nerve in his body. His cock stirred and a rush of saliva and a natural secretion similar to warfarin flooded his mouth. Canines lengthened over his bottom lip as he jumped down, his thirst kindling like lust.

He ignored the rat gnawing on the carcass of another a few feet to his left. He wanted nothing to spoil the excitement of the hunt. This was the moment he savored, the scant seconds before a kill. Pins and needles shot down his spine and settled in the base of his balls. The  subtle vibrations aroused him and his cock stiffened. It was identical to the first few seconds before an orgasm, a prolongation to rapture one knew was coming.

As if sensing a presence, the mugger turned and jumped back with a strangled scream. “Fuck me! Where the hell did you come from?” The man’s bloodshot eyes did a frantic search of the alley before leveling on Addison. Although suspicious, his fear quickly dissolved as he eyed the expensive leather coat. A gleam of silver flashed in his dirty hands. “Wha’ya want?”

Addison smiled and the ringing of metal clattering to the ground echoed off the crumbling cement. The thief tried to stumble back into the shadows, the color draining from his face and a trail of piss pooling around his beat up sneakers. As if pushed by hurricane winds, the thief rushed toward him, his feet dangling above the concrete.

Caught in the grip of his magic, the thug fell into Addison’s waiting arms like a long, lost lover. His fangs were poised over the skin of the neck before the thief uttered a cry. He lapped over the flesh of the jugular, his thirst heightening. A little salt before the shot, but first he delved into the human’s mind, witnessing the murder of the man who lay a few feet away. Although the victim was not entirely innocent himself, he didn’t have to die at the hand of this paltry thug. Before Addison eradicated any life, he had to know the evil dwelling in the victim’s soul. He grimaced and left the man’s mind, wanting an immediate shower. “You took this stranger’s life for twenty-seven dollars and forty-three cents. His life savings.” He hissed out his disgust and bared his fangs. “You I shall take for free.”

His canines pierced into flesh with a resounding crunch, and an eruption of hot blood spilled over his tongue like the sweetest of champagnes. He wallowed in ecstasy, swallowing in ravenous gulps as the naturally induced warfarin thinned the blood. He staggered into the crumbling brick wall as fount after fount filled his mouth and drained down his throat. Life stirred in his deceased body as he suckled, drawing more of the elixir with deeper pulls. The rigidity of his cock strained against the zipper of his pants, and in that second of time, a vision of Eva flashed into his mind.

Then the world closed off in a blinding flash of crimson heat, as it always did when he fed. He lost himself in the sustenance, pressing himself more solidly against the thrashing body. Thighs rubbed against thighs, adding to the rapture. When Addison heard the quiet thrum of his own heart begin to beat, the fodder had stilled. He dropped the body to join the rest of the discarded garbage fluttering around his boots.

Life detonated into his cold body and he gasped, reveling in the warmth and human semblance he’d just stolen, if for only the remainder of the night. His heart pumped, albeit much slower than a mortal’s, and the frigid temperature of his preternatural body rose to about eighty-two degrees. He saw the night with more clarity, his dark powers attuned and far stronger, but best of all, he felt he belonged in this world.

Wiping his mouth, he resisted the urge to howl in exhilaration. Sated by blood, he drew air into lungs that had no need for oxygen, but breathing just felt good. At this very moment, he was as close to being human as he’d ever get.

Electrified with life, he sensed Satrina’s presence well before hearing her heels clicking on the cement. She picks now to go slumming? With a sharp flick of his wrist, he incinerated the foulness he’d just fed from and waited. A slight breeze fluttered the hem of his coat against the back of his legs as ashes drifted listlessly around his ankles like blackened snowflakes. All the while, the rat continued snacking on his meal, oblivious to the evil in its presence.

Hands clenching and unclenching at his side, anger flowed like the blood inside him and with effort, he reined the emotions back, knowing how foolishly dangerous it was to lose control.

“Why do you torment the unfortunates, Addison?” Satrina cooed with playful innuendo. “Why do you pick on the losers? Go after food that will challenge you. Ease some of that aristocratic boredom that you have shoved so high up your ass. I’d gladly share my list of recommendations of other things you could put there.”

He didn’t turn when her gentle fingertips rolled over his one shoulder and then the other, soft and inviting.

She clucked her tongue under her breath. “I’ve given you so many invitations to join my parties. There was a time you used to love feeding with me.” Her hand swept over the bulge in front of his pants. “Oh, I see you still do.”

Her cruel chuckle grated on him more than usual. He grabbed her wrist and shoved her away. “What I do and how I do it is of no concern to you, Satrina.” He glared, fighting the urge to take her, to fuck her hard and fast until she screamed, but not in pleasure. He was far too vulnerable in this aroused state, and she knew it. How convenient that she’d pick this very moment to find him.

She pouted, but a flash of anger flared in those verdant eyes. “Oh, but it is my business, Addison. You’ve taken my sweet morsel, and I want her back. Come to my beach house this evening. Bring the girl and all will be forgiven.” She offered a nonchalant toss of her head. “We can delight ourselves in decadence like the good old days. I promise I’ll give you all her best parts.” She pressed closer, brushing a palm over his taut nipples.

He jerked away, appalled at her touch. Satrina knew every pleasure point to hit, and she’d had centuries to learn. But to feed with her? Together? From Eva? The thought churned his stomach. “That woman did not sign of her own volition. Now, leave me. You’re not welcome here. These are my hunting grounds.” He sneered with an arched eyebrow and drove his point home. “And you bore the hell out of me.

She never flinched, but continued to circle him, her hands freely roaming over his chest. Addison refused to react, to give her any sort satisfaction. She leaned close, her lips a delicate caress against the lobe of his ear. “When I take her back, and I will, I’ll drain her dry,” she whispered.

Dark Diary, II: The First

Daniella Rolfe, a seven-century old First vampire is unwittingly drawn together with a City of Winnipeg detective, who happens to be investigating a string of some rather bizarre serial murders. It doesn’t take long for her to discover that this mere mortal man holds more power over her than any she's ever known.

And Aiden…he's only dreamed about women like Daniella.

Blood battles and broken vows are just the beginning of Daniella Rolfe’s woes.



It is not every day you will read such words. I write upon this parchment not in an effort to advocate who or what I am, for your opinion is of little significance to me. I mean no disrespect, mind you, but there are veils in this world that carefully conceal creatures such as I. By my own volition, I remain separate from you and those of my kind.

Know this—it is not for fame that I compose these pages, for there are enough volumes filled with fairy-like tales about us. The various renditions of movies that reveal us as beautiful do nothing for the truth of the matter, though it does provide you mortals with some amusement. No, vanity is not the reason I sit here and write.

Perhaps it is to give you a better understanding as to why I have undertaken this arduous task of creating such a diary. I shall try, to the best of my ability, to enlighten those who are brave enough to learn…and those curious enough to read on. Or mayhap it is a strange tenacious omen that is compelling me to record events, though I know not why.

However, I believe proper introduction is in order. My name is Daniella Rolfe, and I am the last of The First.

In this modern day world, where I dwell in mixed harmony with you humans, I find myself holding fast to luxuries of old. I have not put away things such as beeswax candles and delicate quill pens. My penchant for antiquated furniture holds no bounds. I live like a chameleon, maneuvering myself from era to era, striving to be as normal as possible amongst you blood-filled through these ever-changing times. Do not ask me my age, for such details are unimportant to me, and I lost count centuries ago.

I will confess that I have been hunted, glorified, scorned and even revered as a goddess. Although I do not deny my heretic lineage, I ask that you not judge me until you finish reading these words.

The year was 1304 when I emerged from the womb of a human mother, yet I was not mortal. I did not suckle milk from her breast like other infants, but rather my hunger was quelled by the drawing of her blood. A swaddling babe born a blood drinker was not a common occurrence. As your history books correctly depict, abominations such as I were sacrificed without thought or guilt. Is it not the nature of all beasts to destroy that which they do not understand?

Because of the power of maternal love, I survived those dark, medieval times, kept hidden from prying eyes and random witch hunts of evil, however short our time was together. My mother’s demise occurred in the year 1309, when I was still only a child, not yet knowing that the transference of my blood could have kept her by my side today.

I well remember the serfs huddled in their fear, grasping vials of holy water against their pumping hearts. They surrounded themselves with crosses of deities that have never affected me. Humans relentlessly attempt to deny my existence, but the blinding terror I sense in their essence before I feed tells me otherwise. They know me even before my teeth sink into their warm, supple skin, and together we learn what true evil resides in their souls.

I have learned much through these vast centuries, though I had no mentor to guide me in the ways of vampiric survival. I was alone, suffering like a feral dog, but I survived on instinct and my mother’s good graces. My insatiable hunger for blood enabled me to grow from a child to a woman quickly. The more blood I digested, the faster I grew. The genetics of my unknown father made me what I am. Strange though it was, when I entered adulthood, my feeding patterns altered.

Today, I am what humanity shuns as reality. This contemporary era has epitomized me as a seductress blood drinker, and every movie and book depicts me as beautiful and dangerous. To some extent, I will not deny that I fit into that category, though I admit this rather modestly. I dress the part of a wealthy businesswoman, as I have acquired much wealth since my birth. I lack for no luxury. My skin is pale, but with the aid of modern-day cosmetics, its translucency is easily concealed. Many women have endeavored to imitate what I look like, and I cannot help but wonder why. Humans covet the most curious things. I find you difficult to understand, so I keep my distance; I bring no attention to myself. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about certain kin.

Although you know me as a huntress, I kill only to survive. I take the wicked of heart, men and women deemed evil in your eyes, and mine. Debauchery, greed, and gluttony have become a standard way of life in this 21st century, although its discretion has changed drastically since my first mewling cry. Creatures such as I were hunted like rabid animals. Today, people kill as indiscriminately as any blood drinker past or present. Sadly, you humans proclaim I am the monster.

I am untouched by life, or death, but there is one thing that your myths do not reveal about The First. My blood is warmer than my kith and it flows through my body similar to yours. Although my heart does not beat, nor do I breathe, I require the warm, coppery substance of blood to keep me alive, needing replenishment once a month, much like a human needs a blood transfusion. I am unlike my vampire kin, who must feed every night.

I walk anonymously among you. Yes, you are fodder for my thirst, but I am something you have not yet discovered.

I must make the distinction here that in this modern world, evil takes many guises under one form of authority or another. I have become but a small player in this vast world of cruelty. True, there are some who still denounce and curse the soil upon which I walk; but there are others who would seek me out, begging for the gift that I will never share. To think it a gift appalls me to the point of utter disgust. I have known for centuries that it is nothing but a curse. I know I am not alone—I am vampire, but I am the last of my kind.

In accordance with any theory of evolution, it is my belief that the mixing of pure First blood with human genealogy brought forth diverse characteristics that have changed both my race, as well as humankind. The crossover from vampiric to human was inevitable. There are some who place the blame on Adam and Lillith and a tome some say is our bible. I worship no gods. These rumors are convoluted and inane, and I turned a deaf ear centuries ago. Even in our veiled world, gossip exists.

A bible, angels, and demons? My theory is more scientific. As single celled organisms evolve, so too, does the food chain. My kin survived by the sharing of blood with humans. I must point out that vampires are not born per se; they are created blood drinkers, veiled into the darkness. They come into existence through the bite and transference of vampiric blood.

The First, such as I, are born blood drinkers. As I have known no other like me, herein is my quandary: How then did I come into existence? Surely, not by divine intervention. The vampires, my kith, are twisted replicas of what I am. Their vampiric form must have come from a First, but laws of evolution have strained the bloodline, creating those that cannot walk beneath the heat of a sun or digest a sip of a well-aged wine. Who created them, I do not know, nor do I care.

Who created me? The mystery I have tried to unravel through webs of history is forever ambiguous.

My kin and I moved swiftly up the food chain, standing where we are today—at its very peak. In your world, I reign supreme. I boast not at all about this fact, for you must remember that I, unlike a mere vampire, am warm-blooded, similar to yourself. Although my body temperature fluctuates around ninety to ninety-four degrees, that is until the beginning of my blood cycle, I am more human than vamp.

The purest blood fills my veins, gleaned from The First who bedded my mother. I take great pride in the knowledge that I have never interlaced my blood with human, and I vow I will never do so.

But alas, it is part of why I write this journal of sorts, for this solemn promise pulls at me…a yearning I have never felt before.

A mortal man…his spell surrounds me in a web I cannot escape, nor do I want to.

I came to meet Detective Aiden Blackmore, an officer assigned to investigate a break-in that a number of tenants in my building had suffered. Tall and broad of shoulder, he proved professional in every aspect. His casual shirt, unbuttoned at the collar, drew my eyes to the delicious hollow of his throat. Yes, I confess that one particular body part fascinates me, among others. He moved like a Nile panther, and I found myself admiring him, enthralled by his vibrant essence as he conducted the necessary tasks needed to investigate such a petty crime. I did not care what was stolen, for I planned to hunt down the thieves and drink my fill of those who dared defile my domicile. To my surprise, this human man of authority revealed concern over my well-being and the loss of belongings that, except for their beauty, held menial value to me. I find such kindness in humans rare these days.

His ice-green eyes seemed to sear through my soul. I always hold fast to the powers I possess to entice and bend reality. Imagine my shock when it was he who ensnared me first.

You should know that I never dream. My sleep is dark and empty like the night that protects me. It provides rest and sustenance to a soulless body and that is all. Therefore, when Aiden’s face came to me in the gloom of my solitary slumber, I was shocked, for I thought that perhaps I had, at last, ended my immortal life. Now his face haunts my days, as well as nights. He is never far from my mind, and I despise myself for wanting him here beside me...forever.

Daniella Rolfe

Kindred Blood, III: The First

There is nothing thicker—or stronger—than kindred blood.

Being married in Scotland sounds like the perfect romantic getaway, doesn't it? For Daniella Rolfe and Aiden Blackmore, the nightmare they'd left behind was just the beginning.  When Aiden is kidnapped, Daniella will go to any lengths to ensure he's brought safely back to her, no matter the amount of blood to be shed. Together with Spencer Dalton, a private investigator she hired to help find Aiden, they begin to unravel more than they bargained for.

Broken vows are the least of Daniella's worries now.


A strange iciness leeched into his left cheek, and whatever warmth he'd managed to steal from Rowan's blood was gone. Thankfully, the cold helped him become a little more alert.

Aiden's mind reeled in a pain-induced fog, and every cramped muscle in his body screamed for release. Dirt crunching beneath shoes sounded like shotgun pellets pinging off the inside of his skull. Carefully, and ever so slowly, he turned his head toward the sound.

“Well, if it isn't the infamous Detective Aiden Blackmore, or I should say, Rolfe's new pet.”

The voice ricocheted off the walls with a metallic echo that pounded each syllable through his brain. Worse, it dripped with malice. He raised his head a scant inch off the floor, praying he wouldn't puke. His nostrils flared at the scent of something so intoxicating, the dizziness that came forced him to place his forehead back on the coolness of the floor. A murky red cloud crept in at the corners of his vision, as if he swam in blood with his eyes open.

Well, enough of this shit.

He rose carefully to his bare feet and swayed as the world tilted dangerously around him. His stomach skyrocketed into the center of his throat. Shirtless and still wearing the same pajama bottoms he'd snagged from Daniella's personal stock, he concentrated on the woman in front, who wavered in and out of focus. Vestiges of a dream? Where had he seen her? Someone had walked into the bedroom. Through the pain, he remembered a woman with long, white hair. And here he thought he'd been hallucinating an angel. This bitch was no emissary from God. Then he felt the pinch of a needle in his upper arm.

“I've been called quite a few things in my time, but angel? That's a new one.” The gibe was blatant, especially followed by a bout of jeering laughter.

Aiden's voice came out sounding like pieces of sandpaper rubbing together. “H-how can you read my thoughts?”

“In this day and age, it's amazing what modern science can achieve. We've injected you with a little cocktail that makes you, well, a little more cooperative, so to speak.”

We? Try as he might, he couldn't place the barrier up in his mind. “Cooperative?” He twisted his lips into a sneer. “You kidnapped me half-naked and jacked me up on some kind of dr—”

Every lucid thought trickled out of his head as that delightful aroma wafted through his nose again, stronger than before; the same that had woken him. He whirled around. Huddled on the floor behind him was an emaciated woman. Dirty auburn hair splayed across the bony shoulders poking through a stained sundress. He'd seen enough junkies in his day to know the woman was wacked out on something. He jutted his chin in her direction. “Is she in here for the same crime?” The urge to lick the drool off his lips became unbearable.

His captor followed his stare. “Her? Oh, no. She's for you. I take very good care of my pets. She, unfortunately, didn't make the cut.”

Pet? Cut? This wasn't real. It couldn't be. He was having a blood madness-induced nightmare. Regrettably, the muscles of his guts clenched too painfully for it not to be real. He doubled over. The coppery bouquet swirling and teasing at his senses made his head spin more. His canines lengthened as escalating hunger brought him painfully to his knees. His teeth bit through his lower lip, and like a famished orphan, he suckled the few drops of blood as if his life depended on it. In a sense, it did.

The blonde bitch moved closer and crouched, her voice soothing and condescending at the same time. “Blood is as intoxicating as any crack pipe or heroin needle. We become addicted to one thing in order to survive, and we'll do anything to get it. It's survival of the fittest. Nothing is stronger or more compulsive. When it's not around when you need it, the pain is horrid, isn't it?”

Fingers ruffled through his hair. He jerked away, hating her touch. With more effort than it was worth, he looked up and glared. “Where's Daniella?”

This woman was beautiful, smart, and extremely dangerous. Her line of vision lingered on his bare chest before moving to his crotch. Only then did he realize the raging hard-on he was sporting.

A sinister smile curled the corners of her glossy lips. “The thirst puts Viagra to shame, doesn't it? In time, you'll learn to control it. But I see why Daniella chose to keep you as a pet.” She licked her lips and leaned so close, he smelt delectable traces of her last feeding. “A man of authority, go figure. I shall enjoy breaking you.” She rose and left, her heels a receding clicking inside his skull. The whoosh of a metal door opening was followed by a dull clank as it closed, sealing him in silence.

Aiden pressed himself into the floor battling the vicious knives scoring inside his guts. With difficulty, he swallowed the flood of saliva and dry heaved. If there were a way of tossing his cookies without feeling worse, he would've right then and there. And here he thought vamps weren't supposed to feel pain.

Fucking bullshit!

A slight whirling sound drew his attention up to the corner of the cell where the bitch had exited. A small camera lens mounted above the seamless doorframe stared straight at him. He gave whoever was watching his favorite finger and grimaced from the effort it took to raise his arm.

It was then he realized they'd left the girl. The tantalizing aroma of blood absorbed through his pores, her heart beating in time with his pounding migraine. The ruddy fog thickened behind his eyes, and he almost swooned, feeling weaker by the second. Was he strong enough to fight this? He remembered the stern lectures from Daniella about the blood madness. If he fed now, he'd lose control; that much he knew. So why had they left her here? The answer made him furious.

He crouched on all fours and screamed until he was hoarse. “You can't leave her in here. Get her out! Get her the fuck outta here. NOW! Get her out...get her out—”


Dawné Dominique is a multi-published author of paranormal romance and fantasy. Weaving tales of intrigue that include riveting characters and spellbinding plots, she takes great pleasure in immersing an unsuspecting reader into the worlds she created, refusing to let them go until that last page is read.

She embraces life with one simple rule:

“Everything in life happens for a reason, be it good or bad, and
it’s because of this we learn to never take anything for granted.”

Mad Men Returns TONIGHT!!!!

It's been a LLLOOONNNGGG wait, but the wait is finally over and one of my favorite shows is returning tonight on AMC TV!  I've missed this highly dramatic and emotional show with its memorable characters and cool vibe and am welcoming back Don Draper and Company with open arms (I personally have a bit of a crush on the character of Ken Cosgrove, but don't tell him)!  For those that want a quick recap in preparation for tonight, here's a helpful video......

So join me in doing a little happy dance and then tune in tonight on AMC TV at 9/8 PM CST!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Tour for Redneck Heaven by Marchelle Wallace (GIVEAWAY)

Did you ever come across a book whose title grabbed you and wouldn't let go?  Well, Redneck Heaven by Marchelle Wallace is just such a book.  Not only does it have a great title but it's got a great bit of humor to the storyline too.  Throw in a sexy hero and witty banter and you have a winner of a read.  Courtesy of CBLS Promotions you get the chance to learn more about this book and have the chance to win it too.

REDNECK HEAVEN by Marchelle Wallace

Meredith Colt has an epiphany on her way to her own wedding. The epiphany leaves her in the arms of sexy green-eyed stranger Marlon Bridges. Four weeks later, the lovely Miss Colt arrives at her deceased Grandfather's house in search of herself in Heaven, Pennsylvania (Redneck Capital of the World, according to her mother and sister) only to find her closest neighbor is none other than the sexy Redneck Marlon Bridges, owner of the Heavenly Timber and Logging Company.

The town has very strict views on Flatlanders and Meredith lives down to their expectations of how a Flatlander should act. Marlon is a card carrying member of the Rednecks-R-Us club.

Can these two strangers put their differences aside and discover that true love hits you upside the head with a two by four when you least expect it?


“Excuse me; pardon me, oh hell, just move.” Gwenivere Meredith Colt said as she desperately tried to navigate the narrow aisle, without much luck, as people kept popping up in front of her.

Gwenivere was trying to get to the bathroom on the rocking, rickety rackety train that she was currently riding on. She was dressed in the most hideous white dress she had ever seen, which was also two (okay 4) sizes too small. Well it was her wedding day so what did you expect. The ginormously ugly dress had an old-fashioned bustle skirt that made her ass look three times its normal size, which was in no way small to start with, so the addition of yards of extra fabric was not helping. It also had a three-mile long train, which she kept stepping on and getting twisted around her ankles, so she was afraid she would fall over at any minute. Added to that, the bodice with the spaghetti straps, which was causing her non- small breasts to smoosh up and over the top and she was in hell. Well actually, Gwenivere was on an excursion train, final destination…Happily ever after, forever and ever. (Yeah right) The hideous dress with the excessive fabric kept getting caught on the seats, the floor, and the men’s shoes.

Men? Where are the maid of honors and the sister and frantic mother of the bride?

Just peachy, wrong train. “Where in the hell is the bathroom?” Someone gave an indistinct wave in the general direction that she was already headed, so she kept going forward, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, since she was already sure that none of them belonged with her wedding party anyway.

Gwenivere heard a distinct rip from the direction of someone’s shoe as she tried pulling all that extra fabric out from behind her, while trying very hard not to breathe so that things didn’t start popping out the top of the ugly dress from hell. She made a frantic attempt to look normal, but let’s face it; normal had been left at the train station.

Where had this gone wrong? Possibly, when she showed up for a wedding she didn’t plan, didn’t remember agreeing to, and probably didn’t want. Not to mention the butt ugly dress that she didn’t pay for or try on before the wedding. How in the hell had she ended up here? She remembered Mark talking about them getting married, and that he would take care of everything, because she was so bogged down at work, because he had bogged her down with so much of his workload that she had a hard time getting her own done, Thank you very much. “No problem, I’ll handle everything,” he’d said. When exactly had he asked her if she wanted to get married? When had she said “yes I will marry you, please plan everything and don’t forget to make me look as stupid as possible?”

Nice time for an epiphany. God I’m dumb. And where in the hell did they hide the bathroom on excursion trains, please God let there be a bathroom.


Meredith woke up with a start. It took her a little while to get her bearings and to figure out what woke her up. She remembered hearing sirens in the distance, but that was nothing new for Philadelphia. She listened longer trying to figure out what had startled her awake. There was a lot of talking and some yelling and it almost sounded like someone was trying to break down her door, which couldn’t be right. She heard a clang and someone swearing as she looked towards the fireplace she vaguely noticed that the fire was out, down to smoldering coals, good thing it wasn’t cold out. She wrapped the tuxedo jacket around her and went out the front door to see what the racket was about. By the looks of the sun, it couldn’t be six yet, and since no one in town knew her, let alone that she was there, she doubted this was the welcoming committee.

When she opened the door, the site that greeted her momentarily made her speechless. In her driveway was what looked like the entire volunteer fire department, which meant there were men and women ranging in age from sixteen to eighty, complete with a tanker, a ladder truck, and a rescue squad, arguing over how to break down the door or maybe they should chop through the roof to vent the fire? Cars were parked on the lawn and trucks were parked anywhere they were turned off, with little regard to the rose bushes and other flowers along the driveway. Men were running all over the front of the property. Someone was laying a hose down to her pond, while someone else was barking commands. All that was missing was a damn Dalmatian and the scene would be complete.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She yelled at the top of her lungs. To a man, they all turned to stare at her as if she had horns. No one answered her, as if the whole volunteer fire department, all eighteen of them she counted, had been struck dumb at the sight of her.

Why me?

“I said, what the hell do you think you are doing, you crazy goddamn Rednecks?”

One brave soul stepped forward, spat on the ground, and informed her that someone saw smoke and they were there to put out the fire.

“Jesus, save me from Redneck morons,” she said pretty much to herself, but apparently, words carried in the early A.M. in this part of the country. “There is no fire, I started a fire in the fireplace and then must of drifted off to sleep, see only a wisp of smoke coming from the effing chimney. NO FIRE!” Every last moronic soul on her lawn stopped what they were doing to look up at the chimney with the wisp of smoke coming out the chimney. When they had all confirmed that they saw the same thing, they returned their stares to her.

“That’s dangerous lady.” said another fireman from the crowd.

“Not nearly as dangerous as I am going to be if you don’t get all the crap off my lawn and out of my driveway.” Meredith informed her unwanted visitors.


“You said you would feed me, you never said you would force me to go into the Diner.” Meredith screeched at Marlon as they stood in front of the Sit a Spell Diner in town.

“I am going to feed you; I just didn’t say I was going to cook for you too.” Marlon grabbed her arm, trying to wrestle her through the door on the hope that if he got her inside, she wouldn’t make a scene. As it was people from inside every shop lining Main Street were staring at them, including his long nose friend the Chief of Police.

“No, I told you I am never going in there again. You tricked me into coming to town. You have lived here all of your life, you rat, and you don’t know what time the goddamn post office opens? Huh? Jerk, I am not going inside and have everyone stare at me like a bug under a microscope. No. No. No.” She punctuated each word with a thump to his chest, her voice rising with each word. Meredith spun to get out of his grip and bumped into someone walking on the sidewalk.

“Oh hi, Meredith, Marlon,” Sue Calhan from the Hardware said. “I was just going in for breakfast. I hope you were going in and not just leaving?” Sue asked warmly with hope in her eyes.

Marlon answered for both of them. “On our way in for breakfast, won’t you join us Sue?” He held the door open for both women to precede him into the Diner. He figured that Meredith’s breeding would surely take over and she wouldn’t be so rude as to leave poor Sue standing all alone inside.

Meredith walked past him to go into the Diner. When they were chest to chest she stepped on his foot and ground her toes for effect. “You will pay dearly for this that I can assure you.” She spat at him under her breath.

“Would it be better if I kissed you first?” He asked her to get her moving.

Sue moved like a general through a battlefield to get to an empty table. The further Meredith stepped into the Diner, the smaller she tried to make herself. Sue spoke to everyone she passed. Meredith tried not to make eye contact. Marlon could tell that it was taking all of her manners not to bolt. Sue commandeered an empty table in the back. Marlon waited for Meredith to decide if she wanted to face the rest of the restaurant or to have her back to them. Sue sat and waited, trying to appear oblivious to the woman who was towering over the table. Marlon moved up behind Meredith and whispered in her ear

“Pick a place or I swear to God I will pick you up and sit you down on my lap.”

Meredith elbowed him in the stomach, leaned back, and told him “Try it and I will squash your balls when you sit down.” Meredith finally decided it was better to be knifed in the back than to have to face the hostility openly, so she sat with her back to the rest of the Diner. Maybe if she talked really loud, she could drone out the whispers.



I live in a very small town in Northern Pennsylvania. I am blessed with one of everything... one husband, one son, one daughter, one dog, one cat, and a pet bunny. I have always wanted to be an author and have been writing stories in my head for years.
When not writing, I am a Bookkeeper and Tax Preparer. I enjoy cooking, swimming, crocheting, flowers, wild birds, cute scarecrows (not the scary kind), photography, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In my spare time, I volunteers at the local senior center, public library as well as various church activities.
I am an avid reader, reading mostly romance, although I am willing to try almost any book that is recommended. I like to be entertained but not scared. My favorite authors are Jennifer Crusie and Janet Chapman. My favorite books are Faking it, Agnes and the Hitman, Bet Me, the Highlander series, The Man Must Marry, and the Magic Series by Patricia rice.
I love country music and listen to it every chance I get. I can be found dancing to the beat everywhere I go. My favorite season is Tax Season.

I am a 2010 and 2011 Participant and Winner of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month Participating in NaNoWriMo helped me take one of the stories from my head to the page. It was an awesome experience and I recommend every budding author give it a try.

Redneck Heaven is the result of Participating in NaNoWriMo 2010.


Prize is an eBook copy of Redneck Heaven.

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