29 February 2012

Picture Prompt

A group of wirters have got together and each writes a story of no more than 300 words to one picture prompt.
Thanks for coming by, and I'd love to read your feedback.

'Get a grip, man,' he muttered as the hair on the back of his neck began to rise. What on earth could be wrong with the tranquility of his surroundings? His gaze honed in once more on the boat. A bundle of white nets filled the bow while a larger pile of green nets filled the stern.

Too large?

The setting seemed almost too perfect, Derek mused, as he strolled along the bank. Palms trees leaned over the water's edge lending some false shade in the blistering heat. A boat, long and white lay waiting for someone to take it out to the freedom of the sea, its nets waiting to be filled.

'Get a grip,' he muttered again, 'you're on holiday. Give yourself a break.' When a mirthless laugh split the stillness he glanced round to see who else was in the area. No one else around, he noted and bit down on another curse. He'd travelled 500 miles and had deliberately left his cop's instincts behind. Who was he kidding? If a million midges had bitten his neck it couldn't itch any more.

Maintaining his leisurely pace he strolled over to the boat. Was it imagination or did the lines beneath the netting resemble a body? He stopped, cocked his head to one side as though listening then dug in his pocket for his cell phone. Apparently his instinct had sneaked into his case when he wasn't looking. He keyed in the quick-dial number and prayed his partner would pick up real soon.

“We’ve been searching for that guy for three days; then you stroll into town and solve our problem without even trying!” the local sheriff said several hours later.

Next year, Derek vowed, he’d holiday in Alaska.

28 February 2012

Tuesday Tales 28th Feb

Tuesday Tales word promt this week is 'Dress'.

Thanks for coming by and I'd love to hear from you, too. You'll find plenty of other talented authors at TUESDAY TALES.
*Note - changed Rosamund to Rosemary.*

Rosemary studied her son, Callum Hamilton. Eight years old, and the love of her life.

“You know,” he said, rising to his knees on his bed, “you look like a princess in that dress.”

“Oh!” Shocked almost speechless, Rosie swooped down and hugged Cal. “What a lovely thing to say. Have I told you recently how much I love you?”

Quickly knowing how much she’d embarrass him if she held onto him any longer than a couple of seconds, Rosie moved back and made a play of studying herself in the mirror.

“I lack the crown, don’t you think?” Angling her head from side to side, she met her son’s reflected grin in the mirror.

“You don’t need a crown when you wear that dress.”

The floor length pleated skirt of her diamond blue satin gown billowed round her legs when she turned. She still wasn’t sure about the single flowered strap that led the eye to the snug fitting bodice that hugged her curves and emphasized her slender waist, but had to agree it looked good on her.

Instead of her son’s voice, the words triggered the memory of his father’s voice when she’d joined him at the Estate’s church alter on their wedding day. On that day, she wore cream Nottingham lace over satin, with long slender sleeves ending in a ‘v’ on the back of her hand. The woman at the bridal gown shop gave it a fashionable name, which she’d ignored. Love at first sight, first with her almost husband, then with her wedding dress, and finally with her son the moment the nurse placed him in her arms.

And now…

Now nothing! Liam’s brother Sacha, didn’t mean a thing to her, how could he?

She’d met him for the first time at the Valentine day bash, Melanie and Monica held every year to raise funds for their riding school for disabled children—well partly her riding school since she’d bought into the business and virtual taken over Monica’s role since she’d returned to her new home with her fiancĂ© and heir to the tiny European kingdom Henri would one day inherit from his father.

If she ignored the punch to her gut the first time she set eyes on him, the feeling would disappear in time. If the look he’d given her earlier this evening set the blood pulsing though her veins almost causing her heart to leap out of her chest with delight, so what? He was a handsome man. A stunningly good looking man, she corrected.

It was over eight years since her husband of six months had died from injuries sustained from a rampaging stag during the deer-rutting season, and she still missed him, still mourned he’d never met the son who mirrored his image and many of his mannerisms.

“You don’t need a crown to be my queen.” He’d whispered when he placed his ring on her finger that day so long ago. With a shake of her head, she smiled back at Cal.

“It would probably fall off if I had to wear a crown, so I’m thankful I don’t have one.”

Something in her son’s eyes dimmed her smile and silenced her laughter.


Rosie crossed the room and sat beside Cal when he sat back on his heels and looked down at his hands resting on his lap. “What’s the matter?”

“Do you ever regret walking away from Dad’s inheritance? I know you did it for me.”

“Sweetheart, I loved your father not his lifestyle or his estates. Yes, I did do it for you, and your uncle is prepared to talk the whole situation through with you whenever you want to.”

“I know that.” Cal raised his gaze to meet hers, anxiety darkening the heather-coloured eyes so like his father’s.

“But?” She knew what was coming, the guilt the fear, and the sense of failure and her heart wept for the son who wanted to emulate his father and couldn’t because of the circumstances in which that father had died.

26 February 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Where has the week gone?  Here's another six sentences, from my my latest release, His Chosen Bride, for this week's SSS.
Thanks to everyone who passes by and to those who leave me comments.  I appreciate you all

Normally quiet-spoken, the snap in her voice startled him to immobility.

She stood back while he hefted the bale onto the high stack against the wall, and stuffed her hands into her jeans pockets. Judging from the glittering anger in her eyes, he reckoned she’d done that to prevent her fists from connecting with his chin.

Not just anger burning in her eyes, he decided, and gave in to his need to touch. He reached out, skimmed a knuckle down her cheek, and let his hand drift round to the back of her neck. His thumb traced the racing pulse at the base of her throat. So the lady was not as cool as she’d have him believe.

Tina Gayle ~ Egg-cerpt Exchange today

The Executive Wives' Club Series

Four women...

One fatal car wreck...

Everyone's lifes changes...

Blurb for "The Unwilling Widow":

Jennifer Larson, having lost her husband, friends and the perfect life she’d had plan, now faces the biggest challenge of her life, moving into an unplanned future. While the rest of the Executive Wife Club is still wallowing in the past, Jen is tempted into the future by a sexy chiropractor, Hagan Chaney.

But does he really love her or is he only after her money like everyone else?


Friday night sitting at a booth in a nice, romantic restaurant, Jen silently wished she could enjoy the subdued atmosphere, and order a rib eye steak. Instead, her hands shook and her stomach churned with doubt. The survival skills, she’d learned after becoming a real estate agent demanded a calm composed front, but she couldn’t pull it off.

Hell, who was she fooling?

After ten years without a date, what made her believe she could do this again? She stared at the menu. Could she even swallow a bite of beef? And if not, what should she order?

She lifted her gaze to the drop-dead gorgeous man on the other side of the table. Hagan Cheney, a Greek god incarnated, had strawberry blonde hair glowing like gold around his head. Wide shoulders and strong arms encased in a hunter-green cashmere sweater. Apollo, himself, wouldn’t look any better.

Why in heavens name did he ask her on a date?

And why did she care?

She had no plans other than a casual dinner for two.

He glanced up and a pretty-boy grin crossed his lips. The twinkle in his hazel eyes softened the square line of his jaw. “So have you decided what you want?”

Heat simmered low in her belly. Oh, yeah, answering that question the wrong way could get her into a world of trouble.

Find out more on

Tina's Book Page

25 February 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample 25th Feb

I don't know about you, but I just don't know where the time is going to.  Sweet Saturday Samples rolls round again, and today I am continuing from where I left off in His Chosen bride, my Valentine story and the 2nd book in the Gasquet Princes series, in the Six Sentence Sunday snippet last week.
Thanks to everyone who comes by to read and to those who stop long enough to leave a comment .  I appreciate you all.

Prince Henri, heir to his father's throne, has been banished from carrying out his royal duties until further notice, by command of the King.  now he'sd having to adapt to a new way of life...

An emotional hole he hadn’t known existed opened up in his heart while he watched. Would the woman his parents chose for him have the same empathy with children as Monica? He clamped down on the question and went in search of his brother.

A new life opened up in front of him, one he could never embrace, but to which he knew he could escape occasionally, for long or short breaks, whenever he wanted to.

He began spending more and more time around the stables and if, while helping with the usual outdoor chores and seeing to the animals’ welfare, his gaze strayed to where Monica worked, he refused to acknowledge it beyond noting how she removed her glove to tuck her hair back behind her ear every time the wind whipped it round her face.

He denied the increased heartbeat that thrummed within his chest in time to a mantra he tried to ignore.

Liar, liar, liar.

He watched as, with graceful efficiency, Monica moved on from one task to the next. Her appearance of fragility was deceptive, Henri discovered, when he caught her hefting a hay bale and rushed over to take it from her.

“It’s okay,” she said, “I’ve got it.”

Ignoring her protest, he grabbed the pitchfork carrying her bale and followed her instructions. “You shouldn’t be lifting these.” He indicated the floor-to-roof stack of bales.

“I’ve been doing ‘this’ for many years, Henri, and just because you suddenly ‘see’ me at work doesn’t change my reality.”

From the beginning she’d ignored his title, and to start with he’d assumed she did it to annoy. But he soon realised it was her way of according him the same sense of belonging and family she offered Liam. So he ignored the warmth surrounding his heart that her actions triggered.

You can buy it here~~



From Now Until Forever (Book 1) is available here  ~~




nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sherry-gloag-from-now-until-forever?keyword=sherry+gloag+from+now+until+forever&store=ebook

20 February 2012

Tuesday Tales 21st Feb

Tuesday Tales word promt this week is 'Cheat'.

Thanks for coming by and I'd love to hear from you, too. You'll find plenty of other talented authors at TUESDAY TALES.

“I say, that’s a bit of a cheat. Isn’t it?”

Sacha watched the dull red creep up the young man’s neck and into his face beneath his scrutiny. No explanations necessary, he thought, and wondered how the man had managed to gain a seat at his table; unless, he narrowed his eyes in further contemplation, the stranger had expected to sit next to Melanie, his sister-in-law. Instead of sitting next to a 'real-live-rags-to-riches-princess' he’d find himself seated next to Rosemary Hamilton.  “What is it you say is a cheat? Forgive me, English is not my native language, perhaps you could explain it to me.”

“I was assured the Princess Melanie would be attending and now I learn she’s been replaced by a woman no one has ever heard of."

Before Sacha could reply the third gentleman at their table laughed. “Surely you’ve heard of 'Lady Highlander?'” He looked round at the other occupants of the table and offered a satisfied nod in Sacha’s direction. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Angus Dewar, laird of the Highlander Estate.”

Impressed, Sacha gave silent thanks to his security chief for providing the information less than half-an-hour ago and remained silent. A look in his direction confirmed that Dewar realised he'd heard of the honorary title given to Rosemary Hamilton by her late husband’s tenants. He also knew Dewar was Rosmary's brother-in-law.

He’d also learned she had an eight year old son, and was wondering why she’d given up the child’s entitlement to his inheritance.

Would the child consider she’d cheated him out of his right when he grew up?

More, he wondered why he was wondering about it in the first place.

Sure, he admitted she'd sucor-punched him when he first saw her, but that couldn't account for his sense of... betrayal? No, how could he feel betrayed when he hardly knew the woman? How could he feel his world shifting on its axis at the thought of her giving life to another man's child?


That was the biggest cheat of all.

No, he wouldn't go there. Not tonight, not on any night. The young man may whine about being cheated out of his sister-in-law's presence, but there were bigger cheats in life than that of a switch of celebraties at the first in a long line of social events marking his father's Jubilee celebrations in the up-coming months.

The rise and fall of surrounding chatter interspersed with the clink of glasses and the select orchestra playing in the background faded out while he studied his table companions. The young and disappointed man was shaking his head, eyes wide in anticipation. Was he a journalist who’d managed to circumvent security? 

Next to him an overblown bottle-blonde grinned like a Cheshire cat at everyone before leaning forward just enough to allow every male a full and uninterrupted view of her assets. Her pillar-box red talons on one hand rested on her partner’s arm, while the other was wrapped round the stem of her wine glass.

The second speaker, Dewar, Sacha noted, was in his mid-forties, early fifties, his pepper-and-salt hair added to his distinctive air and when the man glanced at him, he returned the rueful smile.

“Lady Highlander.” The man said now, “is a courtesy title given to Hamilton’s widow by his people.”

“I see.”

The young man replied, but to Sacha, it was apparent the man saw nothing at all. Sacha didn’t know why Dewar was playing with the young man, and moved sideways to allow the waiter top up his wine glass.

“Lady Highlander is here at the express wish of the Princess.”

The young man’s eyes glittered with eager anticipation. “Then where is she?”

“She is saying goodnight to my nephew.”

“She has a child?” Miss Red-talons piped up, righteous indignation lacing her voice. “Why is she here instead a member of the royal family?"

Sacha's outrage at the woman's stupidity diminished when Dewar cocked an eyebrow in his direction, he gave an infinitesimal shake of his head and watched the humorous gleam in the Scotsman’s eyes.

Please welcome author Patty Kiyono today.

Author Bio:
During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches part time at Grand Valley State University.

She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures.

Aegean Intrigue was released on February 2,

The Blurb:
Someone has been stealing priceless Greek artifacts and it's Alex Leonidis' job to uncover the thief. His prime suspect is beautiful archaeological graduate student, Francie Vasileiou. His plan is to join in an archaeological dig and catch her in the act. All he has to do is keep his mind on his job, and not on the way his lovely suspect warms his heart. He's learned the hard way not to trust fragile-looking women who seem to need his help.

Francie wants to get her PhD and become an archaeologist, like her famous father. The sudden invitation to participate in a dig on the beautiful Greek island of Paros is a wonderful opportunity. She has no time for distractions like Alex, the handsome Project Director. Experience has taught her to stay clear of handsome, charismatic Greek men.

On the shores of the Aegean Sea, Alex and Francie work together, searching for treasures from Greece's past. While pursuing their goals, they discover some of the truths they had believed to be carved in stone may have been flawed.

Astraea Press buy link: http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=8347324

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0074NQ410/spea06-20#customerReviews

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aegean-intrigue-patricia-kiyono/1108566346?ean=2940014115506&itm=1&usri=aegean+intrigue

19 February 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Thank you to everyone who leaves comments, and visits every week. I truly appreciate your company.

The Gasquet Princes ~ Book 2
It didn’t take Henri long to pick up Liam’s eagerness to share and explain his enthusiasm for the farm and training the horses used to help disabled children. He supposed that at some time he’d heard of such things, but as he watched Melanie, and occasionally Monica, working with them, their joy transmitted itself to him.

Several volunteers gave their time to the charity, but it was watching Monica working with the children that soothed his soul and taught him there was far more to life than the meetings, duty, and ceremonies he’d immersed himself in so far.

The children loved her. And she reciprocated the emotion. It flowed around the arena when she worked, echoed in the children’s laughter each time they achieved a new goal.

Please hop on over to SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY to read more fabulous snippets on offer this week.

18 February 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample

Thanks to everyone who visits me on Sweet Saturday Samples and I truly appreciate your comments. 
After diverting further into the story to give you a real Valentine smaple last week, I am hopping back to Henri's reappraisal of his enforced holiday at his brother and sister-in-law's riding school for disabled children.

The simplicity of Christmas at the farm had appealed to Henri. The joy of seeing it through the eyes of his three-month-old nephew, Jonathan, intrigued him, and brought a new magic and meaning to the day. Yes, they’d exchanged presents and stuffed themselves motionless with the awesome food Melanie prepared. It was, he knew, a Christmas that would ever remain as one of his most precious memories.

He’d expected to chafe at the lack of a filled schedule. Had wondered what he’d do with himself during this enforced period of inactivity, and laughed at the absurdity.

True, for the first few days, the disruption of his life, coupled with the re-entry of Monica into his orbit, stoked both his fury and sense of disconnection. Used to a life of routine with every moment accounted for, it took several days to acclimatise to the rhythm of the farm.

The sight of his brother’s joy filled him with an unknown sense of yearning he couldn’t identify. Heck, his life was all mapped out for him. One day he’d step into his father’s shoes, marry the woman his parents chose for him, sire the required heir and a spare, and—

His steps faltered, and he reflected back over the last few weeks, since his arrival.

Valentine Stories - Day 6

Author Bio:
Leah Sanders is the middle child in a family of seven children. As a true middle child she went from high school in Alaska to college in Florida, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in secondary education from Southeastern University. She also holds a Master's degree in educational technology from Boise State University.

She makes her home in Idaho with her husband and three children. She has no pets but will sometimes allow her children to keep rocks and name them, so they don't feel like they are missing out on anything, as long as they keep them outside. She finds joy in making the world a better place by helping middle school students locate their English assignments on a daily basis, and even sweet romance novels make her blush.

The Sacred Ring -Blurb:
Nothing in Kynan Murphy's life is going right. His grades are horrible, he's always in trouble, and the girl he likes doesn't know he exists. But things go from bad to worse when his parents tell him they have decided to split up. Angry and confused, he wants nothing more than to lash out against the world. The closest thing he can find, however, is the Saint Valentine shrine during a school field trip. Armed with some fireworks and encouraged by his best friend, Michael Connell, he's all set to vent his frustration with life.
His best laid plans fail when a mysterious priest confronts him, sharing an ancient secret about a hidden ring with special powers. Kynan believes the answer to all his problems and the only way to fix his parents' broken marriage is to find the ring — a task he won't be able to accomplish on his own.
It was easy enough to convince his friend Michael to join him, but the irritating Brianna Collins insists on tagging along. Fortunately, her knack for language and interest in history is a valuable asset in the search. Their quest leads them to the northern coast and into dangerous territory where, in spite of theirgood intentions, they may lose their own lives.

17 February 2012

Day 5 Valentine Story

Author Bio:
Felicia Rogers, born and raised in the southern part of the United States, is a Christian wife and mother. She is just your average, ordinary woman, with a side interest-- writing. For eleven years, every waking moment of her life was consumed with changing diapers, wiping noses, and kissing scrapes. But now that her children have grown and she enjoys a modicum of freedom, in addition to taking care of hearth and home, she writes! She enjoys adding a flavor of realism and humor to her all too real romance stories. For what is love without a little laughter?

The Perfect Rose Blurb:
Abandoned by his wife and left to raise a child alone, Caleb Reed falls short of the ideal work-from-home dad. He needs a woman to help him, in every sense of the word. At the suggestion of a friend, Caleb agrees to hire Ariel Lauren on a trial basis.

As an orphan, Ariel has more issues than just how to make it on her own. Yes, she needs the money that Caleb offers her, but more than anything she finds she desires his love. One calamity after another befalls her and jeopardizes her new job and her chance at having a family. But through it all, Caleb is by her side, his gruff exterior threatening to melt in the face of their shared attraction. Will they decide to continue life alone or will the magic of Valentine's Day bring them together?

To buy:

16 February 2012

Day 4~ AP Valentine Day Stories

Author Bio
Therese Gilardi is a paranormal romance writer, essayist and poet living in the hills above Los Angeles with her husband, children and numerous pets. Therese's work appears online in such journals as "Literary Mama," "The 13th Warrior Review," and "The Dirty Napkin," in various print magazines, and in the books "Knowing Pains" and "So Far And Yet So Near: Stories of Americans Abroad." Therese is currently working on a memoir of her years as a mother, writer and ratatouille fan in Paris, France, as well as a poetry chapbook and a contemporary romance. My work appears online in "Punchnel's". My poetry will appear in upcoming issues of "The Mom Egg" and "Onthebus".
Therese would love to hear from you.

For centuries, Cupid has longed to be more than Venus’s arrow boy. When he’s sent to eliminate “Happily Ever After by Amelia”, the matchmaking business threatening Venus’s status as the goddess of love, Cupid decides to steal Amelia’s methods and make his own matches. While spying on Amelia, Cupid accidentally shoots himself with his magical arrow and falls in love with her. But bereaved Amelia doesn’t believe in the existence of Roman gods, and she’s certainly not looking for romance. She’s too busy perfecting the patented personality profile that’s made her Hollywood’s favorite matchmaker.

Disguising himself as a mortal financial advisor, Cupid manages to break through Amelia’s guarded exterior. As their passion deepens so does Cupid’s guilt about deceiving Amelia. Cupid’s interference with Amelia’s life causes her business to falter, leads to a sterile spring that threatens the animal kingdom and shatters the longstanding peace between the Roman and Greek gods. With the fate of the natural and under worlds at stake, Cupid must decide whether to reveal his true identity and risk losing the chance to live happily ever after with Amelia.

to buy http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=1651593&mode=product&product=2626232

web http://www.theresegilardi.com/

blog http://theresegilardi.wordpress.com/

FB http://www.facebook.com/people/Therese-Gilardi/100000267729417

15 February 2012

Valentine Stories - Day 3

Rachel Van Dyken
Rachel Van Dyken is a Graduate of Northwest Nazarene University, with a degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis in industrial psychology and a minor in Spanish. She is also a Post Graduate of California Coast University receiving a MBA with an emphasis in Human Resource Management. She resides in Nampa, Idaho and counsels children. Starbucks is a daily must, spiders make her scream, and she loves chocolate but is allergic, of course. Nate, her husband makes her laugh so hard she cries and they share their home with a very loud snoring boxer named Sir Winston Churchill.


Spoiled New York rogue Royce Mc Arthur lives a charmed life. He sees no reason to settle down, until his mother issues her decree that he must grow up, find a wife and produce some grandchildren, preferably before she dies of old age. But his choices are quite limited considering the only women of his acquaintance are ones of ill repute.

Meeting the beautiful Evelyn DeJarlias at a ball gives him hope he may have found the one. Her southern blue collar outspokenness and lack of refinement draws him like a moth to a flame. Unfortunately, she does not find him nearly as endearing -- consistently refusing his lavish gifts and his attentions, she poses a challenge he simply cannot ignore.

When his mother and her widowed father begin to keep company together secretly, it provides the perfect excuse for him to spend time with Miss DeJarlias. But figures from Royces past threaten to destroy the blossoming love between the couple. Evelyn must decide if she is willing to trust the man or hold his past indiscretions against him.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RachVD  

14 February 2012

Valentins Stories Day 2 Meg Mims

Meg Mims Bio:
Meg Mims is an award-winning author, artist and amateur photographer. She loves writing blended genres – like historical/western/romantic suspense, historical mystery, and comedic contemporary romance.

Meg is a staff writer for RE/MAX Platinum’s website in Michigan and for Lake Effect Living, a West Coast of Michigan tourist on-line magazine. Her article about the one-legged Civil War veteran and lighthouse keeper of South Haven, James S. Donahue, appeared in Vol. 34, No. 2 Summer 2011 issue of The Chronicle, the Historical Society of Michigan magazine.

Meg’s artistic work is in watercolor, acrylic and pen/ink media. Meg earned an M.A. from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. She is a member of RWA and SCBWI (published in the children’s magazine market since 1997.) Born and raised in Michigan, she lives with her husband, a “Make My Day” white Malti-poo and a drooling black cat.

“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Her Valentine’s Day novella, The Key to Love, released in February of 2012.

Artist Jennette Jacobson clashes with a handsome visitor at a gallery show. He claims that artwork is just “more junk to dust.” Ouch. When she finds a small metal object on the floor, she uses it later in a new collage.
Her world soon crumbles with family problems and a friend’s betrayal. And wouldn’t you know that the same hunky guy claims he lost an important key the night of the show! When Steve Harmon offers to buy Jenn’s work, she refuses to sell. He’ll just trash it to free his precious key.

Or is it possible that key will unlock her future happiness?

web http://www.double-crossing.com/
blog 1 http://www.megmims.com/blog/
blog2 http://megmimsartist.wordpress.com/
FB http://www.facebook.com/authormegmims
twitter http://twitter.com/megmims

Please come back tomorrow for details on another Valentine Story

13 February 2012

Valentine Stories to look out for ~ All this week

All this week I am featuring some wonderful Valentine stories from fellow Astraea Press authors. 

Suzanne G. Roger's Minna & the valentine starts this week's valentine celebration and is the firs in a list of several fabulous valentine stories.
Evan Valentine has attended a prestigious magical academy on scholarship, although he's managed to conceal that fact from everyone. He's on the fast track to success with his apprenticeship to wizard Thaddeus Bartholomew, and Evan's carefully constructed life doesn't include a certain beautiful girl whose powers rival his own.

Although Minna and Evan don't realize it yet, their destinies have been intertwined for years. When a threat arises, Minna and Evan must travel to another reality to retrieve a dangerous magical artifact. Can Minna and Evan learn to work together, despite their mutual mistrust? Or will their explosive romantic attraction lead to disaster?


The wizard had her sketchbook in his hands and was staring at the drawings. Embarrassed, Minna snatched the sketchbook away.

“What are you doing!” she cried. “This is private! You should have asked permission before snooping through my work!”

“Would you have given it?”


“I didn’t think so,” he said. “Since those sketches are of me, I feel fully justified in ‘snooping,’ as you put it. You should have asked permission before drawing my portrait.”

Minna’s face flamed red, but her chin lifted defiantly. “Would you have given it?” she asked.

“No,” he replied. “I don’t know. Maybe. But I don’t much like being stared at when I’m sleeping, thank you very much!”

She folded her arms across her chest. “Really? I had the impression you enjoy being stared at all the time.”

Beast was whining and Minna couldn’t believe she was being so rude. Had an entirely different person crawled into her skin? Evan snatched up his coat and shrugged it on. “Listen, it’s none of my business, but with magical abilities like yours it’s a shame you don’t use them openly.”

“You’re right. It’s none of your business.”

“So you admit you’re magical. We’re making progress.”

Minna sputtered with outrage. “I…you…”

The wizard gave her a crooked smile as he reached up and pulled the pencil from the topknot on her head. Her chestnut hair tumbled down over her shoulders. Minna stood frozen in shock as Evan arranged her hair around her face with his fingers.

“I had to see what you look like with your hair down. I bet I’m not the only one who enjoys being stared at,” he said.

His lips were inches away from hers and the electricity between them mimicked the lightning storm outside. Shaken, Minna took a step back.

“You’re one conceited wizard, Evan Valentine,” she said. “Don’t get struck by lightning on your way out.”

To Buy:
Astraea Press: http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=1651593&mode=product&product=9158189

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Minna-the-Valentine-ebook/dp/B0074118M2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328110066&sr=1-1

BN.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/minna-the-valentine-sg-rogers/1108530678?ean=2940014107907&itm=1&usri=minna+%26+the+valentine

12 February 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

12th Feb
Thank you to everyone who leaves comments, and visits every week. I truly appreciate your company. 

To celebrate Valentine's Day on Tuesday, I am again sharing more from of my Valentine Story, His Chosen Bride, coming soon from Astraea Press, about Henri Gasquet, hero in the second story of four about the Gasquet Princes.

Today's six follows right on from yesterday's offering...

Her hands moved from Henri’s hair to roam over his back; raking, pulling, pushing. Emotions she never suspected herself capable of coursed through her. While Henri’s lips moved from her throat to the swell of her breasts, her hand began tugging his shirt free.

Something changed. Cool wind blew over heated skin, Henri’s hands dropped away, fisted and disappeared into his pockets. And so far he’d not spoken one single word.

Please hop on over to SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY to read more fabulous snippets on offer this week.
I hope your Valentine's day is everything you wish for.

11 February 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample

11th Feb
Thanks to everyone who visits me on Sweet Saturday Samples and I truly appreciate your comments.
Today is special because I got my cover pic yesterday and  I get to sharewith with you all today.

Every final touch she’d put into this year’s Valentine dance was prompted by her love for Henri, and the man hadn’t had the decency to turn up.

“Yes, he has.” Sacha laughed.

“What?” Bewildered Monica missed a step as she tried to make sense of her partner’s words.

“He’s turned up.” Sacha swung her round and there, framed by the open doorway was Henri, his eyes searching the room. Obviously she’d spoken her thoughts aloud, and she blushed, wondering just how many of them she’d verbalised. One look at her dance partner’s face told her, more than she’d intended.

Before she knew what Sacha was up to, Monica found herself waltzed across the floor and standing in front of the man she loved.

Unaware of Sacha’s signal to the band she stepped into Henri’s arms and sighed when he pulled her firmly against his chest and began to dance. His heart was beating as fast as hers. The warmth of his breath fanned her hair away from her eyes, the smile she was sure lit her face started in her heart. If this was all she’d have of him, she’d treasure every millisecond of it so she could take it out and remember it in the future, long after Henri had returned to his own country and his royal duties.

The warmth of his hand on her back spelled safety. His arms cradled her, even while dancing. Her dislike of dance partners holding her so firmly normally shattered her nerves.

Not when in Henri’s arms. Not when he danced her out of the area and into the night.

Starlight replaced the overhead lights in the arena, and the sighing wind orchestrated the waving branches overhead.

And then everything vanished and the only thing in the world that mattered was Henri’s lips on hers. Feasting; demanding, taking.

She relished the feast, offered more, and gave wantonly. Whatever he offered this night, she’d accept, she promised herself.


His hands cupped her face angled it to better taste her. She opened for him and tasted the whiskey on his tongue. Smelled the woodsy cologne he favoured, and fisted her fingers in his hair to pull him closer.

With his free hand, he cupped the back of her head. The heat scorched through her hair and down her neck as his hand moved, followed by his lips. When he found the pulse point at the base of her throat she swore she heard bells ringing.


I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day

10 February 2012

Char Chaffin ~ Book Review

Book and review request comes from the author.

Promises to Keep by Char Chaffin is all about faith, trust and the value of promises in times of great adversity.

It is more than just a ‘sweet’ romance it is a powerfully written story about the repercussions of a misguided mother’s attempt to hold on to her son. It is about social divides and the consequences of loving outside the boundaries you are born in.

The intertwining themes of this story demand powerful characters and Char Chaffin does not disappoint. Even her weaker characters are powerfully portrayed.

This is not a book about super heroes and heroines, this is a story filled with characters the reader may meet in their everyday lives. Ms Chaffin’s characters are flawed, and it is how Ms Chaffin persuades them to face those flaws, that makes this such an absorbing read.

The romance is there from page one to the final sentence and the powerhouse behind that romance and love is forgiveness.

The author’s fluent writing style guides the reader unerringly through several difference paces throughout the book. Her characters are fully developed, her plot is well constructed, and the author presents a beautiful tale of love that endures the realities life throws at it.

Miss Chaffin is an author to watch out for.

It's been a pleasure to have you here Char, best wishes with your book.

You can find Char Chaffin at ~~

My Website: http://char.chaffin.com
My Blog: http://charbchaffin.wordpress.com/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/promises-to-keep/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Promises-to-Keep-ebook/dp/B00695RH4M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326559313&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/promises-to-keep-char-chaffin/1107756848?ean=2940013543355&itm=1&usri=char+chaffin

9 February 2012

Char Chaffin ~ Interview ~ Day 2

Today Char is answering questions, so please join in and leave a comment or if you have a question of your own for Char please ask.


What is your favourite colour, and why?
Purple. It’s vibrant, happy, soft, subtle, passionate, elegant, bold, serene, babyish, sweet. Every shade of purple is a delight to my senses.

Do you use colour in your book to emphasise a scene or plot?
Sometimes. It depends on what the scene needs. I don’t necessarily reveal a character’s favorite color unless I feel the reader’s experience will be enhanced by knowing.

How important is the sense of smell and sound in your writing?
I think it’s important. All the senses are necessary to infuse the plot with emotion. If my characters can’t express themselves through what they see, hear or taste, then how can my readers believe in them and consequently, in my story?

Do you find it more comfortable to place your characters in town/city or counrty or both?
I like small towns, so I use them often. I’ve never placed a story in a large city, and probably won’t. I do see a story set in Fairbanks, Alaska, in my future as I lived there for many years. Fairbanks is good-sized but still under forty thousand. My current manuscript is set in a small Native Alaskan village in Southwest Alaska which is proving to be a lot of fun to write.

Are you a plotter, and if so, what is your routine for setting up your plots?
I tend to plot first and write later. Outlines are a must even if I don’t follow them very closely. They definitely help get me started. I can figure out my H/H names, physical attributes, get a feel for main conflicts and even have a clear idea of how I want the final page to read. Sometimes I do a full outlines, pages of it, and other manuscripts only require a paragraph or two. But I do need something to break that initial fingers-to-keyboard ice.

Who drives your story? You, or your characters?
My characters are in control, always. I find if I try forcing them, none of us are happy.:-) So I let them guide me and unless where they take me is just not working out, they will always lead.

What is your heroine's favourite piece of music?
In Promises to Keep, Annie doesn’t really focus on music. Her entire center is Travis. I suppose you could say Travis’s love is the only music she can hear. In my latest manuscript, my heroine, Kendall, has a deep connection to music and favors Eighties tunes and metal bands.

What car would your hero most like to drive?
Travis drives a silver BMW 640 convertible, a graduation gift from his father. It’s sleek and classic and suits Travis right down to its leather interior.

What is the least likely setting you would choose to set you story in and why?
Probably a really big city such as Los Angeles or a foreign location wouldn’t be a choice for me. I seem to be firmly entrenched in small-town, American soil!

How much editing do you do? Do you edit as you go along or edit in different draft editions?
I’m an editing fiend, and I edit as I write which is the main reason I had a hard time participating in NaNoWriMo. NaNo expects their participants to complete fifty thousand words in a month, so hard editing is really impossible. I go over and over each chapter until they’re polished, and after I pass that chapter to my critique partner, I move on to the next. Once the entire manuscript is finished, I read through it at least twice and edit again. Then it goes to my critique partner for a final edit. After she’s finished digging into it, I do a final edit. By the time my publisher gets it, the manuscript is pretty clean. I might be a tad obsessive.:-)

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, and why?
I have a wonderful group of friends who have been my sounding board and my cheerleaders for years. They’ve all told me, “Never stop writing, and never stop reading.” Writing and reading go hand in hand, and you can’t be a good writer unless you’re willing to read and by reading, expand your world and learn.

Who is/has been the biggest influence in your writing?
My family: husband Don, daughter Sue Ann and son-in-law John. They’ve buoyed me up when I thought I’d never sell a single word, pushed and prodded me toward publication. They’re wonderful promoters, too. And never once did any of them doubt I’d one day publish my novel.


a - sweet or savoury? Sweet
b - tea or coffee? Coffee
c - flats shoes or heels? Flats
d - pants or skirts/dresses? Pants
e - morning or evening person Evening
f - do you write in silence or with music? Complete silence
g - big car or small? Small, preferably a convertible
h - cut flowers or plants in the house? Both, if I can get the cut flowers! But always, plants

Thanks so much for having me here again today!

My Website: http://char.chaffin.com
My Blog: http://charbchaffin.wordpress.com/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/promises-to-keep/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Promises-to-Keep-ebook/dp/B00695RH4M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326559313&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/promises-to-keep-char-chaffin/1107756848?ean=2940013543355&itm=1&usri=char+chaffin

You've read the first chapter and met the author, please come back to tomorrow and read the review for Promises to Keep

8 February 2012

Char Chaffin Meet the Author ~ Day 1

My Bio:
Char Chaffin started reading romance, science fiction and horror at a very young age. Her love of books is directly responsible for her overflowing bookcases, and the bounty stored on her new Kindle threatens to eclipse her entire paper collection. Char currently writes mainstream and contemporary romance filled with family, rich characters and engaging plots. For her, it all comes back to the love.

Char began her writing odyssey as a poet, crafting Victorian-style poetry, then went on to writing short stories. She found her niche when she began writing longer and longer short stories, until she wrote her first novel. It might never see the light of day, but writing it taught her a lot. Over the years she worked a variety of jobs, from farm hand to costume designer to fiscal accountant, before deciding a writing career was her true focus.

A native New Yorker, Char lives Upstate on a sixty-acre farm with husband Don, rat terrier Daisy Mae and two barn cats who constantly slack off on the job of keeping the barn free of varmints. The Chaffin extended family is scattered all over the United States and Alaska.

When she’s not pounding away at her keyboard or burying her nose in books and Kindle, she tends a huge vegetable garden and helps Don maintain a sixty-acre farm.

Book Blurb:
Annie Turner has lived in small-town Thompkin all of her life. Her family is poor but she and her siblings have loving parents and a roof over their heads. As far as she’s concerned, she’s a lucky girl.

Travis Quincy’s ancestors founded Thompkin, deep in the Shenandoah Valley. He’s known immense wealth from birth, and for him that wealth is a part of his life that he’s never had to question.

While still in grade school, Annie and Travis meet and fall in love. Neither understands why they’re drawn to each other, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Like two halves of a whole, they’re only complete when they’re together. And nothing is more important than the vow they make to someday marry.

Growing up together, the rich, privileged boy and the girl from the wrong side of town find that when it comes to keeping their pledge, it's easier said than done. Travis's mother, Ruth, has plans for her son and they don't include his marrying a Turner. Her painful and secret past gives her an unwanted connection to the Turner family and a reason to hate them all. With cold determination she sets out to destroy the bond between her son and Annie.

Love is magical at any age … and a promise is forever.

Isn’t it?

Excerpt (Chapter One):
Shenandoah Valley

Annie Turner fell in love with Travis Quincy on a hot summer day, over a tangled fishing line and a bucket of night crawlers.

From the moment he walked up to her in the sunlight and smiled at her, nothing else seemed to matter. Her frustration, as she struggled with the twine attached to the end of her homemade bamboo pole, wasn’t important. Anger over wet knots that resisted all her tugging, irritation because her brother Mark hoarded his new rod instead of allowing her to borrow it . . . . All magically gone, the very second Annie looked up into blue eyes as warm as the sky above, and lost her heart.

“Need some help?” He squatted down next to her on the ground.

She nodded, a flush heating her cheeks. Stop staring at him, Annie. She couldn’t get any oxygen into her lungs. Breathe, Annie . . .

After what seemed like an eternity of gawking at him, she cleared her dry throat. “I—my line got tangled, over in the reeds. I don’t think I can fix it. There’s not enough weight on the twine.” Her pulse sped up when he leaned in for a better view of her mangled pole. There were glints of blue in his thick black hair and his eyelashes were longer than hers. He’s so cute. She barely kept from sighing in his face.

He carried a small oblong box, which he set on the ground as he reached for her pole and examined the knotty lumps of twine. “Did you make this? I’ve never seen a homemade fishing rod before.”

“It’s not a very good pole,” she admitted. “I’ve made better ones, really.” For a few more seconds, she stared at him. “You live in that big, pretty house on the hill.” As soon as the words left her mouth, she wished she could have snatched them back because they sounded so dumb.

“Yeah. That’s where I live.” He shrugged. “It’s just a house.” He cocked his head as he looked at her. “What’s your name?”

She tried hard not to blush. “Annie Turner. And you’re Travis Quincy. I see your daddy in town once in a while.” More dumb words. She wanted to kick herself.

But Travis nodded and replied, “Yeah. He’s got an office on Market Street.” He gave up on the mangled pole, and tossed it down. “It’s too messed up to fix. You got any more twine? Maybe you could make another one.”

“I only took one piece. I didn’t think it would tangle like that.” If she’d been alone, she’d have stomped on the broken pole and tossed it into the pond. Now she’d have to give up trying to fish, and go back to the house. She’d been cooped up all week in the kitchen, helping her mama put up jam and chutney. Finally able to escape, Annie had run all the way to Bogg Pond, clutching her battered old beach bucket that she’d crammed with worms and wet leaves. She couldn’t wait to get her hook into the fattest night crawler, and catch her first bullhead of the morning.

She’d wasted too much time goofing with the knotted twine. And as soon as she returned to the house, Mama would grab her and drag her back into the hot kitchen to work. She’d miss out on a prime day of fishing . . . not to mention a chance to talk to the cutest boy in town.

Sighing, she got to her feet. “Thanks for trying to fix it. I’d better get on home.”

“You can still fish if you want. Use my fishing rod.” He reached for his oblong box and flipped back the lid. Inside, a rod, reel and some sinkers and hooks nestled in molded foam. He pulled out the sections and screwed them together, then threaded the line and attached the reel. He held it out to her and she reached for it, but changed her mind and pulled her hand away.

“I can’t. What if I break it? I break stuff all the time. My sister says I’m a klutz. I’ve never seen a rod like this, anyway. It looks like it cost a lot of money.” Annie’s fingers itched to give it a try.

He shrugged again. “I guess. I got it for Christmas last year and this is the first time I’ve had it out of the box.”

With the toe of his sneaker he rattled her dinged-up beach bucket. “Tell you what. I forgot to bring worms, and you need a rod. Why don’t we share? We’ll take turns. Maybe we could have a contest, too. See who gets the most fish. Winner takes all the fish, all the leftover worms and the fishing rod.”

“That wouldn’t be right; you said it was a gift from somebody. Anyhow, I break things, I already told you.”

“Who says you’re going to win, huh?” He gave her a challenging look as he dug in the bucket for a worm. “Maybe I’ll win it all. I’m a very good fisherman.” He hooked the worm and stood, holding the baited rod out to her. “Besides, I have other rods I fish with. So even if you do win, I don’t mind giving this one away.”

Annie rose as well and flashed him one more uncertain look, before her own competitive nature kicked in. She took the rod from him.

“I’m a better fisherman than you are.” She stuck out her free hand to shake on the deal, and he grasped her fingers firmly.

She swung her arm back to cast out, already anticipating a pile of bullheads so heavy, she’d need a wheelbarrow to carry them all home.


“I guess you’re a pretty good fisherman after all,” Travis commented, a few hours later. He poked at the string of fish Annie finished tying to a clump of marsh grasses. Eleven fat bullheads flopped around in the shallow water. He sighed. “I only caught three.”

“Some of yours are longer than mine.” She stood and brushed dirt off her knees. “But I did tell you I was better.” She smirked up at him in the afternoon sun and he elbowed her in the ribs. Her grin widened. In one short afternoon, they’d become friends.

She didn’t want to go home yet. This was the most fun she’d had all summer, away from her snotty sister, her dumb brothers and all the work she got stuck with during canning season. She didn’t really mind helping out; sometimes it could be fun. But hanging out with Travis Quincy was a whole lot better.

She held out his fishing rod but he waved it off. “You won fair and square. Keep it.”

“I can’t.” When he looked puzzled, she tried to explain. “My folks wouldn’t let me . . . it’s a fancy rod, right? They wouldn’t let me keep something so expensive.” She didn’t want to make him mad, but taking that rod would probably hurt her parents’ feelings. They couldn’t afford to buy her anything half as nice.

“Well, if you’re sure,” he replied. She nodded, relieved that he seemed to understand. He took the rod and started to break it down so he could store it back in its box. “You can borrow it anytime you want, okay?”

His generosity surprised her. “Okay.” She waited until he stood, then shyly offered, “You can have some of my bulls, Travis. If you want them, that is.” The smile that spread over his face was worth losing a few of her catch. Thrilled she could give something back to him even if it was only some fish, she busied herself with using the remainder of her twine to string the biggest fish they’d caught. She’d keep the small ones for herself.

As they trudged down the narrow path leading toward Boggy Creek Lane, he said, “If you don’t have to go home yet, you could come over to my house for a while. Maybe have some lemonade. I’m thirsty; aren’t you?”

She glanced at him, startled at the flush riding high on his cheek. He sure looked hot and thirsty. Come to think of it, so was she. But, go to a boy’s house? Annie hesitated, unsure. Silence stretched between them, broken only by the hum of cicadas and an occasional cricket.

Be brave, Annie. It’s only lemonade. Still, she stuttered when she agreed.

As they got closer to his house up on Thompkin Hill, nerves churned in her stomach. His folks might kick her out for smelling like worms and fish. By comparison, Travis looked as if he’d lounged by some expensive pool all day. She envied him his spotless tee shirt and pressed jeans. Dirt was probably afraid to jump on his clothes. She sighed in resignation. Dirt always seemed to come looking for her.

A wide, white porch wrapped around the front of the house. Beyond double doors, the hallway they stepped into had a crystal chandelier that hung from what looked like the tallest ceiling in the world. Tables covered with vases of real flowers and silver-framed photos sat in the corners. She swore she saw her own reflection in the floor. She didn’t know where to look first.

As she paused in the massive hallway, sweaty with nerves, a low, cultured voice floated down a curved staircase. “Travis? Is that you? Where have you been? You were due home an hour ago.”

The voice grew clearer and Annie saw a tall, thin woman descend the staircase, one hand trailing along the polished banister. She couldn’t help but stare. This was someone’s mother? She looked like a model or a movie star!

Thick, black hair, drawn back into a smooth bun, crowned her head. She wore a sleeveless dress formal enough for somebody’s wedding, and dainty pumps in the same shade of pale blue. As she moved closer Annie saw her eyes were identical to Travis’s, but there the similarity ended, for there didn’t seem to be a drop of warmth in them.

“Travis, you smell of the pond. Your sneakers have dirt on them. And who is this—child—you’ve brought home?” The woman’s voice spiked sharply.

Travis wiped his feet on the thick runner in front of the door, before he caught Annie’s hand and pulled her forward. “We’ve been fishing. Annie, this is my mother, Ruth Quincy.” As he spoke Travis inched her closer to his mother and her silky perfection. Annie saw her shrink back to avoid their grimy hands.

She stammered out a breathless, “Pleased to meet you, ma’am.” Her voice echoed around the elegant hallway.

“Indeed.” With one word, Travis’s mother dismissed her and frowned at her son. “You are late for your riding lesson. Desmond can’t wait forever; he has other students to see to.” She eyed the string of bullheads he carried. “I suggest you dispose of those horrid fish and prepare for your lesson.”

“I can’t dump our fish. They’re some really large bulls. I’m going to give them to Martha, and—”

“You will not bring those foul things into my kitchen. Martha has more important tasks than dealing with slimy fish caught in a nasty pond. She’s already preparing dinner. Councilman Cabot and his family are dining with us tonight. I repeat: throw them out and attend to your lesson.”

Annie cringed to hear the way this woman spoke to her son. Her mama would never talk to her and her brothers and sister like that, even when someone broke a glass or one of her brothers walked through the house in muddy shoes.

She knew Mama would pull her into a hug or tickle one of her ribs when she came home with her load of tasty bullheads. Even when Mama made her help out in the kitchen, she found ways for everybody to have fun. This tall lady with the silky dress and the perfect hair probably didn’t know what the word “fun” meant.

Just before Mrs. Quincy turned away, Annie said, “It was nice meeting you, ma’am,” which she either didn’t hear or chose to ignore. Her back as straight as a steel pole, Travis’s mother walked toward the staircase. She paused when a side door opened and Mr. Quincy walked out, his pipe in hand and a folded newspaper tucked under his arm.

He reminded Annie of her daddy, tall and lean with twinkling eyes and gray speckled through his dark brown hair. He wore slacks and a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. When he spotted her he winked, then turned to kiss his wife’s cheek. She smiled slightly but her eyes narrowed as she looked pointedly at his wrinkled shirtsleeves.

Mr. Quincy murmured, “Don’t fuss, Ruthie. It’s Saturday, remember?” To Travis he added, “Now, what’s that I see, Trav? Bullheads! My favorite fish in the entire world. I bet if you ask Martha nicely, she’ll cook them up for us later, what do you think?” He sent another wink at Annie.

His wife glared at him. “Don’t encourage your son in his uncivilized behavior. Martha is not cooking a mass of vile fish. Travis, do as I say and throw them out.”

“Now, Ruth. Bullheads are to be savored, not tossed out with the garbage. I’m sure Martha won’t mind cooking them. And if for some reason she can’t, well then, Trav and I will man the kitchen and the fry pan. Won’t we, son?” Travis nodded eagerly at his father’s suggestion, while Annie offered a smile.

Ruth Quincy didn’t seem to find the idea worthwhile, though. To her husband she accused, “You let the boy run wild in the summer, and I won’t have it. Spending a valuable Saturday flipping about in a dirty pond isn’t part of his weekend schedule. Desmond has now waited thirty minutes and Travis has yet to clean up and present himself for his riding lesson.”

She might have said more, but when Mr. Quincy laid his hand on her bare arm and squeezed gently, she stopped talking. The tight look on her face was probably due to lots of anger.

“Ruth, this is Thompkin, not Newport News,” he admonished. “It’s summertime and of course a boy wants to hare off and have some fun, especially when he has a cute little friend like—I’m sorry, we weren’t properly introduced. I’m Ronald Quincy, Travis’s father.” He held out his big hand to Annie.

She grasped his fingers. “I’m Annie Turner. I really like your house.” Her admiring words just popped out, but Mr. Quincy just chuckled.

He whistled at the number of fish Travis still held. “Fishing must have been good today. I used to go all the time when I was your age, Annie. Sometimes I’d catch the biggest, wiliest old bullheads. And the ones that got away? Why, they were huge!” With both hands he measured a longest bullhead anyone could imagine, and made Annie giggle over his silliness.

She smiled at him happily. “Can I go fishing with you someday?” Ruth Quincy gasped in horror. Annie winced at her own boldness, but Travis and his father laughed, sounding almost identical.

It was obvious to her Travis had inherited his father’s easygoing personality. Mr. Quincy beamed. “Well, of course. Nice to meet you, young lady. You come back anytime. Travis, take those fish into the kitchen and clean them for Martha, there’s a good boy. And don’t worry about Desmond and your lesson. I’ll call down to the stables and send him home.”

When Travis’s mother growled under her breath, his father continued, “Ruth, before I dress for dinner, I need your advice on a very urgent matter.” He took her arm and led her away.

Travis let out a relieved sigh. “I hope Mother didn’t upset you. She can be sort of strict. And Dad likes everyone; he’s really friendly. Let’s go get some lemonade now, and then we can gut and clean the fish before I give them to Martha. She’s our cook,” he explained.

Annie’s nerves, having melted away during Mr. Quincy’s reassuring presence, flooded back with a vengeance at the word “cook.” God, it was like another world here. A huge, fancy house, a fancy mother and now a cook. Riding lessons, too. Annie trailed along after Travis as he headed toward the kitchen.

How on earth they could ever be friends when their lives were so very different?

My Website: http://char.chaffin.com
My Blog: http://charbchaffin.wordpress.com/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/promises-to-keep/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Promises-to-Keep-ebook/dp/B00695RH4M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326559313&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/promises-to-keep-char-chaffin/1107756848?ean=2940013543355&itm=1&usri=char+chaffin

Don't miss the chance to ask a question tomorrow when Char Chaffin returns for an interview