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Caroline Clemmons: Texas Lightning (F*R*E*E READ)
Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Thanks to Delilah Devlin for hosting me on her blog.

I’m excited to tell you about TEXAS LIGHTNING, the first of my Texas Time Travel Series trilogy (Try saying that fast three times ☺). Reader reports have been very enthusiastic. Except for the words “damn” and “hell” a few times, this is a sweet romance. The second and third of the trilogy are TEXAS RAINBOW, releasing April 18, and TEXAS STORM, releasing May 25.

Years ago, I discovered the time travel books of Kathleen Kane before the author switched names and subgenre. I fell in love with time travel featuring ordinary people. I also have enjoyed the time travels of other authors, such as Beth Trissel, Linda LaRoque, Diana Gabaldon, and Peggy L. Henderson.

I especially enjoy the idea of a character from the past coming forward to today. Think about it—when someone goes back in time, they know what’s going to happen in that era. On the other hand, when a person comes forward, everything is new and requires huge adjustments in learning and attitudes. What a challenge for a character—and what fun for the reader. If there’s mystery and/or suspense, even better.

This is what I wrote in OUT OF THE BLUE, when an Irish woman from 1845 plopped down in contemporary Texas to help a detective solve several murders and discover who was trying to frame and kill him. Except for this book, my new trilogy is a departure from the usual books I write, but still in a western setting.

TEXAS LIGHTNING depicts Penny Terry as she stumbles forward into a complicated scheme to steal the ranch that had been hers. While unraveling the mystery, she learns why her father was killed. In this case, there’s even a fabulous treasure. Of course, she also falls in love.

The setting is a ranch in Central Texas on the Medina River somewhere between Bandera and Medina. Bandera touts itself as “The Cowboy Capital of Texas”. My family once stayed at The Mayan Ranch, a dude ranch near there. Our daughters and I fell in love with the ranch and the area. My Hero prefers to read about riding horses and ranching rather than experiencing them first hand. Hero was a good sport but would rather have been fishing. ☺

Texas Lightning

How can two people from different eras own the same ranch?

Penelope Jane Terry knows everything about ranching in spite of being a lone woman. She is determined to send to jail the rustlers who believe they can steal what is hers… until she is caught spying on their dirty works and must ride for her life. What Penny doesn’t count on is being hurtled over a 120 years into the future.

Jake Knight believes the attractive woman who stumbled into his home one rainy evening either has amnesia or is certifiably insane. Unless, that is, she is in league with whoever is trying to drive him out of business. Someone is trying to force him to sell his ranch by staging a string of damaging incidents. Jake’s been kept so busy making repairs that he can’t run his ranch properly. Even if he were stupid enough to wish to sell, the ranch is so firmly entailed that no one can break the conditions.

Jake gradually learns Penny is who she claims, no matter that time travel is supposed to be impossible. They’re locked into a clash only one of them can win. If an outsider weren’t trying to kill Jake as well as bankrupt him, perhaps he and Penny might be able to reach an agreement. And, then they discover there is a huge treasure….

TEXAS LIGHTNING Excerpt:

Finally, the lights of home shone faintly in the distance. Nothing had ever looked so good. She couldn’t keep going much further. Damned if blisters hadn’t burned on her heels from walking so far in wet boots. She was near frozen in these wet clothes.

Wait.

How could she be so cold now when the heat earlier had nearly suffocated her? Nevermind, she just wanted to be home, safe, and in her bed. There stood the fence next to the paddock. Almost home now, keep walking.

Don’t pass out, don’t fall. One foot in front of the other. You can do this. Stumbling from fatigue, she labored up the front steps onto the long wrap-around porch and bumped into a rocker. Who’d put that there? Just like her cook to move stuff around without telling her. How she’d love to sink into it and rest. First, she had to send for the sheriff and find out if Star came home.

At the door, she paused and listened for men talking—rustlers waiting to waylay her. She heard no sound. Lights shone so brightly, her cook must have waited up for her with every lamp in the house lighted. She eased opened the door, listened again, then walked in and leaned her rifle against the stair’s banister.

“Did Star come home?” She unbuckled her gun belt and hung it on the newel post—not something she’d do under ordinary circumstances.

Tugging off her gloves, she avoided a couple of cactus spines stuck in the fingers. How had they remained there without her feeling them? No matter, she sat down on the third stair tread to remove her boots.

She should have gone around to the back door, but she couldn’t walk another step. Weariness and sore muscles overwhelmed her and she wanted nothing more than to shuck out of her wet things and lie in her nice bed—if she could summon the energy to walk upstairs. Eyes closed, she leaned back against the stairs. She heard footsteps approaching and raised one foot.

“Had me a passel of trouble. Help me get these danged boots off, would you? Then I’ll tell you all about it.” A dog’s cold nose pressed against her cheek. She jumped and pushed her hair out of her eyes. A black and white dog stared at her. “Who are you?”

“His name’s Rascal.” An unfamiliar baritone said, “He’s mine.”

She looked up.

Whoa! The man who faced her was a stranger. In spite of her wariness, her mouth dropped open in awe. Instead of her arthritic middle-aged cook, this man was young and tall and definitely fit. And handsome. Unbelievably, mesmerizingly handsome.

He might be as comely as a fairy tale prince, but the regal disapproval on his face appeared anything but friendly.

Energized by fear, she jumped to her feet and grabbed her rifle. “Who the heck are you?”

He crossed his arms and ignored the Winchester pointed at his middle. His dark hair glistened in light that seemed too bright. Dark blue eyes had tiny creases at the corners, as if he laughed a lot.

He sure wasn’t laughing now.

“I might ask you the same question. And what are you doing tracking in mud and dripping water all over my foyer?”

Your foyer? This is my house, and it’s been my house since my daddy and I built it six years ago. Don’t you think for one minute I’ll let you steal my ranch.”

The dog growled, the fur of his ruff bristling.

The man snapped his fingers. “Quiet, Rascal.”

Who was this man? He didn’t look the type but maybe he was one of the men stealing her cattle. Could he and his dog have been waiting for her? She gripped the rifle with all her strength. Why hadn’t her cook shown up to help her?

Oh, no, had they killed him?

He glared at her. “Lady, I don’t know who you are, but this is my house, get it? I grew up here. My daddy grew up here. My granddaddy grew up here.”

Penny’s knees trembled, but she fought fear to appear strong. “Don’t try and trick me. The Double T ranch was started by my granddaddy in 1836. No con man is going to steal it from the Terry family, and you can take that to the bank.”

“The Terry family hasn’t owned this since Penelope Terry died in 1896. The Knight family has owned it since then.” He threw up his hands. “Hell, why am I arguing with a crazy woman?”

“Crazy?” She was about to light into him when the first part of his statement hit her. “Hey, what do you mean, I died? I’m as alive as you, whoever you are.”

“What the hell are you talking about? I see you’re alive. I said Penelope Terry died. Are you hard of hearing as well as nuts?”

Increasing fear spiraled inside Penny, knotting her stomach. How could this man think her dead? What kind of trick was he working? Had she been conked out long enough that her cook sent men out to look for her and they decided she’d died?

Forcing herself to appear calm when she shook inside, Penny stood erect. “I’m Penelope Jane Terry and you can see I’m very much alive…”

Amazon US buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B6R1K44?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Amazon UK buy link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Texas-Lightning-Time-Travel/dp/1986339459/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1521667698&sr=8-3&keywords=Caroline+Clemmons

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/138-9010344-2686736?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Caroline+Clemmons

About the Author

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains from a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won numerous awards. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Follow her on BookBub.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

Susan A. Royal: Not Long Ago Interview (Contest)
Monday, August 21st, 2017

UPDATE: The winners are…Debra and Tamara!

* * * * *

Author’s Note: When Erin found out I’d been invited to do her character interview, she insisted on writing her own article. Go figure.

My name is Erin. Just out of college. Young, energetic, enthusiastic. On the threshold of adulthood. All about finding THE job that’ll make four years of working my butt off worthwhile.

You’d think being in the top ten percent of my class would help, but no luck so far. Maybe it’s my major. Research and Development Management. My brother, Aiden, tried to talk me into something else. Maybe I should have listened.  He says I’m stubborn. I prefer to call it determined.

He’s the only family I have. When our parents died, they left him to handle an impulsive, immature teenager with a chip on her shoulder. Before long before we came to the mutual agreement that he’d be better off going back to work overseas, while I stayed with the housekeeper who’d been in our family for years.

Don’t get me wrong. My brother would help in a heartbeat. All I had to do is ask. Only that wasn’t happening. It was time for me to learn to take care of myself.

That’s how I ended up at a temp agency, looking for a job to pay the bills until something better came along. After hounding a friend who works there, she finally consented to let me interview with an author writing a novel set during the Middle Ages.

Talk about a dream job. Once I convinced March to hire me, I found myself cataloguing mountains of information about medieval weapons, castles and their inhabitants. Even learning to dance and loving every minute of it.

Until all hell broke loose. In the middle of examining an artifact during a terrible thunderstorm one night, lightning zapped March and me into the middle ages. I’m talking time travel. He considered it a wonderful opportunity to observe history in action, but I had my doubts. Especially after he convinced me to masquerade as a young boy.

We found work at a nearby castle. A place to sleep and regular meals while figuring out how to get home. Only being a squire, even on a temporary basis was not my idea of fun. Even though Sir Griffin was a patient, kind man. Not to mention handsome. And, yeah, I fell for the guy. Against better judgement.

In the end, my little adventure taught me some things. Like how to stand on my own two feet. And face my fears. Best of all it helped me realize what I really wanted out of life.

If you love time travel adventure with a twist (and a love story) I’m giving away ebooks of Not Long Ago to the first three people who comment on this blog (Be sure to include your email address). You can continue Erin and Griffin’s story with From Now On, and I’m working on the third book in the series. I can promise you it will be an adventure.

Not Long Ago

Erin has met the man of her dreams, but as usual there are complications. It’s one of those long distance relationships, and Griffin is a little behind the times– somewhere around 600 years.

Erin and her employer, March, are transported to a time where chivalry and religion exist alongside brutality and superstition. Something is not quite right at the castle, and Erin and March feel sure mysterious Lady Isobeil is involved. However, Erin must cope with crop circles, ghosts, a kidnapping and death before the truth of her journey is revealed.

Forced to pose as March’s nephew, Erin finds employment as a squire for Sir Griffin.  She’s immediately attracted to him and grows to admire his courage, quiet nobility and devotion to duty.  Only she must deny her feelings.  Her world is centuries away, and she wants to go home.  But Erin can’t stop thinking about her knight in shining armor.

Mini-Excerpt:

I am a stranger in this world, even though I’ve traveled this way before.

Fate and not design brought me the first time. It hurled me into a distant future, with no idea how or why, taking me from an existence dependent upon modern technology to a place where people fear such things and those who use them. While searching for my way home from this harsh and sometimes violent world, my admiration for its inhabitants who valued honor and duty above all else grew into admiration and respect. I found myself drawn to one in particular, a man who saved me more than once. Only I never expected to fall in love with him.

Torn between my feelings and a longing for home, I returned to my time with only vague memories of my experience. My life went back to normal, but part of me sensed the loss of something more precious than anything I’d regained. Until one day, I saw him again.

This time I’ve come by choice, and it is where I’m going to stay.

Fate willing.

Links:

Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance): http://tinyurl.com/85vgye3
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/vOIQVdWUigU/
Susan’s website: http://susanaroyal.wordpress.com 
All books available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

About the Author

Born in west Texas and raised in south Texas, Susan shares a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town with a ghost who harmonizes with her son when he plays guitar. She is a mother of three and grandmother of five unique and special children. Her family is rich with characters, both past and present. Susan’s grandmother shared stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. She learned all about growing up in the depression from her father and experienced being a teenager during WWII through her mother’s eyes.

Susan loves taking her readers through all kinds of adventures. So far, she’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On, and is working on book three. They are time travel adventures about two people who fall in love despite the fact they come from very different worlds. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy adventure/romance. Xander’s Tangled Web is a YA fantasy with romance. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N.

Want to know more? Visit susanaroyal.wordpress.com for a peek inside this writer’s mind and see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.

Pam Champagne: Days of Old (Contest)
Thursday, July 27th, 2017

“Old roads, old dogs, old folks and old ways still have a lot to offer in this sped up world we live in.”

I grew up in rural Maine so I learned some of the old ways of survival. Our food consisted of what my father trapped, shot or caught fishing. I can still smell the rabbit stew brook trout and fiddleheads. My mother canned vegetables from our garden, and we stored cabbage, carrots, potatoes and turnip in the root cellar. By today’s standards this was considered hard living.

My thoughts often wander back to the colonial days.  Women worked from dawn to dusk cooking outdoors in the summer, hauling water and toiling over chores.  Today, if we want a candle we drive to the store and buy one where we can choose from numerous scents.  There are thin ones, fat ones, small ones and giant ones.  Have you ever wondered what it was like in the 1700’s when candles had to be made from scratch? They weren’t used for decorative reasons or to set a mood in the home. It was the main source of light.

The majority of colonial people made candles from tallow (animal fat).  These tapers didn’t burn well and emitted an offensive odor.  Only the wealthy could afford beeswax, which was rolled to make sweet smelling candles.

Another type of candle was made from bayberries.  These berries have a waxy texture.  The berries were boiled down and the wax was skimmed from the top.  Many pounds of bayberries were needed to make these candles.

I researched candle making in the colonial times for my time travel story, The Enchanted Inn. My heroine from present times traveled back to 1778 where she found huge surprises and hard times!  To celebrate the re-republication of this story with Entangled Publishing, I am giving away a bayberry candle made from natural ingredients.

To enter the contest, please sign up for my newsletter at http://pamchampagne.us16.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=deb383ea22963fda6536b61e9&id=92609443e1.

 

The Enchanted Inn

Their love is timeless…

When snow forces Gina to stop and spend the night at the Enchanted Inn, she’s less than happy to find her ex-fiancé there, too. But she can be civil for one night, especially after the innkeeper gives them a bottle of homemade wine to share. A few glasses of that wine sends Luke and Gina back to 1778, where Luke seems to think he’s someone called John—a man who knows more about life in colonial times than he should.

Gina may be able to deal with the hardships her new reality throws at her, but she doesn’t give up hope of finding a way home. And when she does find a way, she’s determined to take John with her—whether he wants to go or not.

The book will be released on August 21 by Entangled Publishing and will be ready for pre-order by August 1 for only $.99.  Find the buy link at https://entangledpublishing.com/books.html or on my website at www.pamchampagne.net.

 

Sandra Cox: Time Travel and History
Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Delilah.  I look forward to spending time with you and your followers.

I’d like to chat today about time travel and history.

As a reader, what part of our past fascinates you the most? If you could travel back in time where would you go and what would you want to see?

scgardensundial

The piece of history that has always held me enthrall is the Alamo.  Approximately two hundred men held the fort for thirteen days against an army of fifteen hundred. Their actions, and subsequent deaths, rallied the rest of Texas.

I really wanted to write a saga centered on the Alamo but my muse balked.  So we compromised.  My story revolves around the battle of San Jacinto and Sam Houston. And a woman who traveled back in time, captured history in her paintings, and found her lost love in the process.

Sundial

sc200300

He came through time to find her.

As Sarah Miles drives down Eighteenth Street a stranger materializes in front of her car. She throws on her brakes, braces for impact and…drives straight through him. For a brief moment, his voice echoes in her head, “Saura.” Then he’s gone. Later that day, she discovers the SUNDIAL and her incredible journey through time begins.

On sale for .99 September 19-25 at Amazon.
http://tinyurl.com/gardensundial

Excerpt:

A purple haze of gunpowder hung in the air that filled her nose and mouth with the acrid smell and taste of sulfur. Her eyes watered and burned.

A sharp burst of gunfire sounded nearby. Fifes and a drum played a tune she didn’t recognize. Cries of, “Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad,” echoed through the air, overriding screams of agony.

Oh, my God! She clutched Monet and stumbled to her feet. The Alamo? Goliad? Screams too real to be an enactment lifted the hair on the back of her neck. Goosebumps roughened her skin.

In front of her, over a thousand men were doing their best to kill each other.

They wore clothes from another era. Some were dressed in nondescript gray denim; some in white roundabout jackets and pantaloons; some in brown jackets and pants; all carried rifles, clubs, knives and tomahawks and all were bent on slaughtering men dressed in blue uniforms and shako hats.

A cannon blast rumbled. The ground shook.

Where am I? In the back of her mind, a fear too unbelievable to acknowledge grew. Along with terror, a growing sense of urgency bubbled in her like a volcano ready to erupt.

She edged closer to the battlefield and scanned faces for the beloved features of her lover. She’d lost him once—no, twice. She couldn’t lose him again.

About the Author 

scSandra writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. The last animal member of the family, a kitten, came hurtling out of the woods in southern Illinois to land at her feet. He made the trek back to North Carolina and wasted no time settling into the household.

Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

 

scliterary-cat

Warrior’s Conquest is here!
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Dear Readers and Friends,

First, thanks to everyone who purchased Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His SEAL Team! The story is still #1 on Amazon in short reads! And thanks for letting me know you want more of Hunter’s and Sara’s adventures!

Ready for a much longer sort of read? Do you love medieval stories? How about a story about a very modern girl thrust into a warrior’s camp in 1136 AD? Jacq’s story is near and dear to my and my sister’s hearts. We wrote this adventure story together. And now, we’d love to share it with you! Enjoy the excerpt! Let me know what you think!

Warrior’s Conquest

Warrior sConquest 600

A Medieval Timetravel Romance!

With proportions that would make Xena weep, Jacqueline Frazier despairs of ever finding a lover she can’t intimidate. Until the day she ignores a warning regarding use of a family heirloom, and finds herself swept off her feet by a knight in not so shining armor, back to the twelfth century. Forced to accept the protection of an overbearing, beast of a man, Rufus of Rathburn, Jacq struggles to find her place in the past while seeking a way back to the future. In the meantime, she aids Rufus’s war cause with a little 21st century ingenuity, shaking up the warlord with lessons in bomb-making, guerilla tactics, and the joys of sex.

At first unwilling, and ungrateful, Rufus begins to see merit in Jacq’s odd ways. Through Jacq’s eccentricities and willfulness, Rufus learns she is a woman to be reckoned with, as well as a lusty handful in bed. Will his admiration of her cunning, strength and uninhibited sexuality grow into a love that breaks the barriers of time? And will their love be strong enough for Jacq to plot a different future in the past?

Get your copy here!

Read an excerpt!

“Damnation!”

Rufus landed on his rear at the entrance of his tent. He saw the silvery glint of stars for a moment before realizing the flashing metal was the water ewer bouncing away. Instinct saved him a second knot on his forehead as he threw up his arm to deflect the next object lobbed at his head. He rolled to his knees and lunged upwards to face his angry adversary.

His breath caught. She was magnificent! Her hair was in disarray around her shoulders, and her chest heaved with fury. Bright blotches of color stained her cheeks, and the determined set of her chin and narrowed eyes warned him this would not be an easy conquest.

And she had prepared well. His two war chests stood stacked one on top of the other, and he saw a number of objects on the ground beside her feet—ammunition for the battle to come. The chests stood as a shield between them.

“I take it you’re upset,” he said mildly.

Her lips curled back in a feral smile as she hefted the copper water basin.

Aware of her intent, he feinted to the left.

Jacq modified her aim before the bowl left her hand.

The copper vessel spun through the air and caught Rufus directly at his midsection. “Oomph!” He rubbed his stomach. She certainly didn’t throw like a girl. “You were placed under guard in this tent for your own protection,” he began, hoping to reason her out of her present course of action. He could easily overpower her but didn’t want to cause her harm, and he hoped the physical venting would aid both their libidos.

Her left hand balanced his helmet.

“Now, see here,” he protested. “I haven’t a smith with me to repair that.”

Her arm came back, and the helmet flew at his shoulder.

Instead of ducking, Rufus reached out to catch the heavy armor. While fumbling with both hands to keep the helmet from crashing to the floor. He felt another painful thud against his back and saw a stone roll away.

“Enough!” he roared. His patience quickly dwindled as the bruises to his skin and pride accumulated. He leapt toward the barricade.

The tantalizing tempest circled, remaining just out of reach.

With a powerful swipe of his arm, he connected with the upper chest, flinging it across the tent. He jumped over the remaining one only to stumble to his knees when her foot connected with his ankle. His curses blistered the air.

Then she had the nerve to laugh out loud, spinning out of reach.

A voice called from outside the tent. “Rufus, do you need aid?”

“Stay out of this, Donald.” He heard muffled guffaws and felt his face grow hot. He’d been tolerant long enough. “Cease, woman.” He rose to his feet, expecting another impact.

Instead, she faced him with his own sword held between her two hands.

“Don’t be foolish. If you choose to use that, you will not take two steps outside this tent without being cut down.”

She faced him calmly, her breath slowing as her hands moved on the pommel of the sword. Despite her bravado, her upper arms trembled with the effort of holding the weapon aloft.

“You will explain to me why you have made a shambles of my tent, and why you attacked me,” he demanded.

“You put that beast on me as a guard,” she yelled back.

He was relieved she at last broke her silence. Her quiet determination had begun to unnerve him. “I placed Beast there for your protection.” He needed to keep her talking while his mind sought a solution to this present coil.

“That’s his name?” She looked appalled then she shook herself. “He never left me.”

Irritated she didn’t seem to appreciate his care, he gritted out, “Those were my orders.”

“You ordered him to stay with me, even when I relieved myself?” Her voice rose toward the end.

Ahhh…he understood now. Her woman’s sensibilities had been offended. “His orders were to keep you in his sight at all times.”

“Well, your protection stinks. I don’t accept it any longer. You’ll provide me with a horse and weapons. I’m leaving.”

“You may leave when you tell me who you are and what you were doing on that battlefield yesterday. That is your only choice.” He stiffened his stance. “And do not think I will let you ride out of here without escort.”

Her eyes narrowed and her hands tightened around the pommel. “Then you’d best be prepared for a battle, because I don’t accept the terms under which you hold me captive.”

“Woman, did this morning not teach you a lesson?” he asked, frustration pounding at his temple. “You need my protection. Or did you enjoy cavorting naked before a company of men?”

“Augh!” At last, her anger made her careless. Lunging toward him with his upright sword, she managed a creditable swipe of the blade. He dodged it and stepped around the tent to keep outside her reach.

“Rufus, what is going on in there?” Donald’s worried face appeared at the opening.
Jacq turned toward the sound.

Rufus took advantage of her distraction to edge farther along the circumference of the tent. “Not now, Donald. As you can see, I am busy.”

She swung back, her gaze narrowing, her hands shifting on the hilt.

Donald’s eyebrows rose as his glance fell on the woman. “Well, Rufus, I will leave you to your game. Shout, if you need assistance.”

“Go!” Rufus ordered.

Donald disappeared behind the canvas, his laughter ringing out clearly in the early evening air.

Odds were, the whole camp would know in minutes that a woman held him at bay—with his own sword! “It seems, lady, we are at an impasse.”

“No, you’ll agree to my terms, or I’ll run you through.”

Her face appeared set, and he wondered if she truly had the courage to try. “Donald,” he yelled.

“Yes, Rufus?” came his answer through the tent walls.

“If you see the woman walk out of this tent first, you will not allow her to leave this camp.”

“If that woman walks out of the tent on her own two feet, I’ll wed her myself and breed sons on her.” Donald’s voice held amusement.

Rufus’s gaze never left hers, but he allowed an eyebrow to quirk upward.

Jacq’s face reddened, and her eyes betrayed a hint of moisture. “I can do this.”

“Madam, you have the advantage at the moment, but only because I allow it.”

“You allow it? I hold your sword.” Her voice shook along with the hands drooping under the continuous strain of holding the heavy weapon.

“You have one more chance to put down my sword and talk to me about this, or I will take it from you.”

“I dare you to try—”

That was all the encouragement Rufus needed. He lunged.

Jacq stepped backward, only to catch the backs of her knees on the overturned chest directly behind her. She flailed her arms outwards, choosing to lose the sword rather than risk impaling herself.

The weapon thudded against the canvas and hard-packed earth.

But Jacq never hit the ground.

Rufus caught her and pulled her up tightly against his chest.

~~~

Before her mind could tell her she should resist, she’d been shoved against the square wooden beam that served as the tent’s center pole. She was trapped once more by his overwhelming strength. For a few moments, she struggled. Eventually, her puny attempts ceased, and she conceded, slumping wearily against him. She dragged air into her lungs and forced up her gaze to meet his, refusing to give him the satisfaction of seeing defeat stamped on her face.

He held her easily, subduing her.

She recognized the awesome power of his muscled arms and thighs. She’d never stood a chance.

“Rufus, talk to me. It’s too quiet in there. Is all well?” Donald asked.

“Yes, I have her now.”

“Well, then I’ll go on to dinner. Unless, that is, you need help…”

“No, I have everything well in hand,” he answered evenly.

His gaze remained on her, his face betraying no emotion. Jacq worried now the fire of her self-righteous anger was banked. What reprisal would he seek against her for the attack?

His breathing was even, and other than a slight flush across his cheeks, he appeared unaffected.

She wished she could say the same, but that odd combination of fear and excitement thrummed along her veins. Her breaths shortened and her body softened, yielding to his. Molten liquid dampened the juncture of her thighs, and she was helpless to stop the slight undulation of her hips.

As though he sensed her ripening arousal, his nostrils flared. When he leaned ever so slightly closer, her head fell back to grant him access to her mouth. Through half-closed eyes, she watched him stare at her mouth, and she wantonly slid her tongue in a circle to wet her lips. She heard his groan a moment before his lips slammed down on hers.

For an angry kiss, it was a doozy. She learned his taste while battling for control of this joining. They parried—mouths open, tongues stabbing.

Then something happened that shifted the kiss from another battle between steel-willed adversaries to a burning need to brand and possess each other.

His palms captured her cheeks and held her while his mouth ate hers, his lips dragging over hers in drugging circles.

Jacq mewled and tugged at his hair, her tongue sliding against his, lapping and sucking, until they were both breathless.

He ground his rigid cock against her lower belly, and she relented, widening her legs to make room for him to step between. His hands raked her skirt upward, then his knees dipped slightly, and her feet left the ground.

She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and lifted her legs to encircle his waist.

They both groaned into each other’s mouths as their bodies met with only the fabric of his braies separating their straining loins.

Held high against him, her body open to his, she rubbed her moistening pussy along his length, entering a rhythm matched by their circling mouths. Jacq’s world narrowed to that burning juncture where Rufus rutted against her, the fabric chafing her tender flesh.

Animalistic grunts and groans rose between them.

Mindless now, Jacq forgot why she shouldn’t be doing this with him. She forgot she didn’t even like him—her body adored him.

His hands cupped her buttocks, squeezed and released, over and over, encouraging her to rub frantically up and down against his cock.

Suddenly clothes were too confining, and she was desperate to feel the steel of his shaft inside her. She broke the kiss. “Please!” she gasped, even as her hips rolled again.

The muscles of his buttocks bunched beneath her heels as he straightened with her in his arms and walked the short steps to her pallet. He knelt, holding her pressed to him, and lay her down amid the furs.

She writhed against him and repeated in a long, keening wail, “Please, now, Rufus.”

He rose up on his knees and dragged her bliaut over her head. Then he rent the neck opening of her borrowed shirt to the waist, shoving the ragged edges aside to expose her breasts. Rufus leaned over her and nuzzled her breast. “Jacq,” he groaned, and his mouth opened over one straining crest. He sucked it hard into his mouth.

She nearly screamed from the pleasure. But still too many clothes were between them. She wanted to touch skin.

Read the rest of this entry »

Melodie Campbell: Worst Typos EVER (in which our Comedy Writer gets laughs without even trying)
Monday, May 16th, 2016

Ever make a really bad typo?  I mean really bad.

My worst ever professional mistake was in an Annual Report for a one-hundred-million dollar corporation, when I was the director of marketing and communications.  Unfortunately, an innocent little ‘t’ went missing from the word ‘assets.’  The board was not amused by “This year, we experienced an increase in corporate asses.”

Recently, I found out what one little vowel can do to Rowena and the Dark Lord, book 2 in the Land’s End sexy fantasy series.

Okay, REALLY uncool when you misspell the name of your own book on a guest blog.

Rowena and the Dark LARD is probably not the best way to get sales for a ‘Outlander meets Sex and the City’ fantasy series.

However, as I do write comedy, I’m thinking about a parody.

Is it okay to write a parody of your own book?

Draft one: ROWENA AND THE DARK LARD

Synopsis 1: Rowena moves back to Land’s End and opens up a bakery.

Synopsis 2: Cedric’s use of dark magic goes totally out of control, and so does his appetite.

Synopsis 3: Thane and Rowena return to Land’s End and become pig farmers.

Synopsis 4: Rowena messes up another spell that causes all who look at her to turn into donuts.

Synopsis 5: Rowena kills off Nigella Lawson in a battle with pastry rollers, and assumes the role of Prime Time Network Food Goddess <sic>.

Synopsis 6: Someone takes a totally justified whack at the author. End of series.

Postscript: Recently was quoted by someone as the author of ROWENA AND THE DORK LORD.  Trial for murder is pending.

Post postscript (where is a Latin scholar when you need one?):  Another contract is out for the professional book tour company last month, who, in all their advertising, inadvertently switched book 3 Rowena and the Viking Warlord to… wait for it… Viking Landlord.  Yup.  Obviously there will be hell to pay if you forget the rent.

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Excerpt from Rowena and the Dark Lord:

Men’s voices again, echoing like souls lost in a fog. The mist lifted in one swift movement to disappear into nothingness. In its place, were at least a hundred men.

Bugger. I messed up.

“Houston, we have a problem,” I said out loud. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I must have pronounced one of the spell words wrong.

“Who is Houston?” Lars said.

“Romans!” Gareth hissed. He drew his sword.

“Romans?” I stared at the battle-scarred men before us. They looked exhausted. They also looked bloody, dirty and rather short. Not to mention confused.

How the heck could they be Romans?

Someone yelled “Form Square!” in—yup—that was Latin.

“What the hell?” I stared. The men came to life moving with purpose into a square. Within seconds we were facing a shield wall bristling with spears.

The man on horseback stared at me. No stirrups on his saddle. A helmet that was in history books. Definitely Roman. I stared back at him.

Romans? In this time? What the poop had I done?

“It’s a freaking temporal rift!” My laugh was strident. “Where is Spock when you need him?”

*~*~*~*

Amazon link: Rowena and the Dark Lord

mc2015 author photoMelodie Campbell – short and sweet bio

The Toronto Sun called her Canada’s “Queen of Comedy.”  Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich.   Melodie Campbell got her start writing stand-up.

Melodie has won the Derringer, the Arthur Ellis, and eight more awards for fiction. Last year, her Land’s End series (which includes Rowena and the Dark Lord) made the Amazon Top 50 bestseller list, sandwiched between Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts.

Afton Locke: Deeper Than Perfect – Sexy 70s?
Sunday, November 8th, 2015

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The psychic who sends Desiree back in time in my latest release, Deeper Than Perfect, promises scorching sex with R&B superstar Bernie Benson. Sounds like a good reason to travel back in time to me! The 70s were the decade of free love. I was a kid at the time, so I missed out. But one day I had a little fun. The family business had a really sexy employee with Paul Newman blue eyes and a toned tan body adorned in nothing but a pair of cutoff jeans. And when I say nothing, I mean nothing. He wore no undies!

I discovered this one day while having a conversation with him. He leaned against the bumper of a pickup truck, and those shorts had ripped, loose legs. I suppose I shouldn’t have looked, but once I saw it I couldn’t look away. “It” being my first glimpse of male junk. What an incentive to grow up! So, what’s your sexiest 70s memory?

Deeper Than Perfect by Afton Locke

Get your funk on!

Release Date: 7 November 2015
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016H7W426
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27158555-deeper-than-perfect

Stay tuned for reviews and more: http://www.aftonlocke.com/DeeperPerfect.html

Watch the Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/dUktESZF3_M

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Desi Warner is ready to end her life after an accident disfigures her face and destroys her modeling career. Instead, she goes back in time to 1974 to meet her destiny—R&B superstar Bernie Benson. Although her scars vanish, she and Bernie only have one month before a car accident will supposedly claim their lives.

The enigmatic singer ignites her senses, but her restored beauty is an illusion she can’t trust. Abandoned by his mother in childhood, Bernie has his own trust issues. Obsessed with completing his album, he’s just as hooked on his perfect singing career as Desi is to modeling.

Although they open each other’s eyes to different paths, change is not easy. When the fated day of the crash arrives, they must choose between life and perfection. A love that is deeper than perfect may be their only key to survival.

Excerpt (explicit)

Deeper Than Perfect – Copyright © Afton Locke, 2015

He cocked his head toward her hand. “What have you got there?”

The forgotten photo nearly burned her fingers. Why hadn’t she returned it before he walked in?

“Is this your mother?” she blurted out.

Ten more walls went up around his serious face. “Yeah. I thought I’d put that away.”

“Why? Are your parents still living?”

He took the picture from her. Instead of placing it back on the bookshelf, he tossed it into the top desk drawer, which he closed with a resounding click.

“My father is. She died when I was ten.”

“I’m sorry.”

He sat on the desk and crossed his arms. “I should have asked you to wait in the kitchen instead. Have you eaten?”

“Yes. Bernie, you clearly want to be alone. Why didn’t you let me leave earlier?”

The corner of his mouth turned downward. “Because I don’t want you to.”

Desi’s sandals clicked on the hardwood floor as she paced in a tight circle. “What do you want?”

He dropped his arms and stood. “You.”

What? The man made no sense today. Before she could say anything else, he embraced her and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. As usual, the texture of his sculpted mouth hardened her nipples to rigid peaks.

When she gazed into his eyes, they were warmer. So was her belly. Even without his erection pressing against her short scooter skirt, she had no trouble heating up her nylon panties after that kiss.

“I’m so confused, Bernie.” She rested her palms on his shoulders. “Why did you shut me out earlier?”

“Now you know how it feels,” he said quietly.

“What are you talking about?”

He held her closer, staring over her shoulder. “You were someone else at the photo shoot. Somebody I couldn’t have.”

“I was just doing my job,” she protested. “I loved knowing you were there, though.”

“They wouldn’t let me see you.” His hushed voice was especially raspy. “Those assholes turned me away like I was nobody.”

Now his earlier coolness made sense. The fact that he’d wanted to be with her so much filled her chest with melting warmth.

“I’m sorry.” She tweaked his mouth, coaxing a grin out of him. “I guess neither one of us can be ourselves when we’re working.”

“You’re probably right.” His hand perched on her hip and rubbed the curve of it. “You looked so beautiful in that bikini. I wanted to rip it off of you so bad.”

“Thanks.”

His fingers curled around the hem of her skirt and tugged. “I wish you were wearing it right now.”

“Bernie, I told you I’m not ready for a sexual relationship.”

His hot mouth seared her skin as he kissed and nipped the side of her neck where it met her shoulder. “Then when, Desi? How long do I have to wait?”

Her pelvis throbbed with an insistent pulse. Having his mouth and hands on her, especially after his puzzling coolness, was more than her body could take. If they had less than a month left to live, they might never make love again. Thinking of it filled her veins with ice water.

“Can’t we kiss?” she asked.

He gripped her chin. She gasped when his mouth devoured hers, whipping her head from side to side with the force of it. Despite herself, she found the opening of his soft shirt and skated her hand across hot, caramel-colored flesh. Her fingers tweaked his nipple before she could stop them.

“I need you, Desi,” he whispered with a half-cry.

How could she ignore such a desperate plea? She only had to remember the sight of Cole’s back the night he walked out of her apartment the last time.

But staying here and torturing Bernie with lust wasn’t fair either.

“I-I should go.” Her heart beat so fast with passion, she could hardly talk.

Instead, he lifted the backs of her thighs until they sandwiched his slim waist. Because they were similar in height, it couldn’t be easy for him to carry her that way, but he managed to deposit her on top of the desk.

The length of her canal swelled and filled her with delicious sensations of anticipation. She probably wanted him inside her again even more than he wanted to enter her.

After pressing her legs together, he lifted them by the ankles until they extended in front of her and rose toward her head. She reached behind her to support the straight-legged pose. If she hadn’t practiced yoga and pilates for years, she’d never be able to hold this position.

His tongue glided down the length of one and then the other. Her skin melted under the insistent, wet heat of his mouth. Keeping her legs together instead of spreading them took every shred of her willpower.

“Bernie, you have to stop.”

He slid her buttocks close to the edge of the desk and rubbed his erection against the damp crotch of the shorts built into her skirt. His head dropped back as he bumped her fabric-covered slit with his hardness. Stars prickled behind her eyes as her core swelled even more.

“I respect your decision,” he said, gripping his crotch, “but I need to have you right now. Somehow.”

“But—”

“Please, Desi. Don’t turn me away like those people did today. Let me have you, some kind of way.”

She bit her bottom lip when he unzipped his jeans and pulled out his erection. His fire-and-rain scent, mixed with sexual musk, tickled her nose and put each nerve cell in her body on alert.

With his eyes squeezed shut, he stroked himself with ferocious intensity. The sight of it accelerated her heart so fast she could hardly breathe.

She caught his fingers with hers—to stop him or rub that delectable cock—she wasn’t sure which. Unable to resist touching him, she stroked the tip, which was covered with a pool of clear fluid.

“Yes, Desi,” he moaned. “Feel me.”

She had to make love to him again but not yet. With her fingertips, she circled his shaft and rubbed. She loved having this mysterious, elusive man in her palm—even if only for the moment.

Coming Soon

Cali’s Hurricane (Oyster Harbor Series Book 4) – interracial historical romance

Where readers can find me

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