Overboard

OVERBOARD

By Kathy Clark

One of the best things I did to improve my overall writing skills was to take screenwriting classes.  I had already had twenty-three novels published before I decided to give Hollywood a shot.  There was no question that I knew how to plot a novel and create characters.  But what I learned from writing screenplays was the delicate art form of pacing, set-ups and payoffs, backstory without lengthy narrative, and fast-paced scene structure.  I also learned how to write interesting, realistic characters who reveal themselves through actions and dialogue.

I’ve read hundreds of blogs and articles about characters, plotting, and structure.  Most cite classic authors such as Hemingway and Steinbeck.  But when I was an adjunct professor, I used a little-know movie as my best example of a well-executed plot and great character development.  It’s not what most would consider a must-see film, but on a basic level, it’s enjoyable.  As an example of how to write a novel or a movie, it’s fantastic.  The name of the movie is….drum roll, please…a 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell film, Overboard.

Not what you expected, I bet.  But, considering that it was written by Leslie Dixon who also wrote Loverboy, Outrageous Fortune, and The Heartbreak Kid and directed by the incredibly talented Garry Marshall, it comes as no surprise that this film followed a tried-and-true formula.

The set-up is that a ridiculously spoiled heiress (Joanna), who is so disliked even her mother avoids her, hires a local carpenter (Dean) to remodel a closet on her yacht.  He does a fabulous job but, instead of praise, she is rude, condescending, and shorts his pay.  The author set up Joanna perfectly so that when she fell overboard during a stormy night, you weren’t very sympathetic.  She is rescued, but she has amnesia and doesn’t realize her yacht is sailing off without her (and that her husband and crew are partying big time!)  Through a plot twist, she ends up at Dean’s house under the misconception that she is his wife and Dean’s wild sons are her children.  During the course of his attempt to get back at her, they fall in love and she learns humility, respect, and the true meaning of happiness.  Anyway, you get the plot.  Goldie’s character starts out as a totally unlikeable bitch.  We all know that you can make your heroes and heroines as bad and flawed as you want…as long as they are eventually redeemed.

Goldie’s character began as an extreme.  But remember, Overboard was released in 1987, pre-social media, even prior to the explosion of the internet.  Update the character to 2016 and maybe change her last name to Kardashian, and you have basically the same shallow, self-centered person.  The good news is that that kind of character has plenty of room to grow and develop.  It’s important to give all your major characters a strong arc to show how they have changed and improved because of whatever went on during the course of the book, including true love.

But where do you start?  How do you write characters who start out superficial and end up being substantive?  Here are a few examples of people you don’t want to know by Shana Lebowitz as seen in the Business Insider.  She has presented this for real people, but it’s easily adaptable to your fictional cast of characters.  Pick one or two quirks as the basis for your characters’ genesis, then have fun with it.

 

Disclosing something extremely personal early on in a relationship

In general, people like each other more after they’ve traded confidences. Self-disclosure is one of the best ways to make friends as an adult.

But psychologists say that disclosing something too intimate — say, that your sister is having an extramarital affair — while you’re still getting to know someone can make you seem insecure and decrease your likability.

The key is to get personal without getting overly personal. As one study led by Susan Sprecher at Illinois State University suggests, simply sharing details about your hobbies and your favorite childhood memories can make you seem warmer and more likable.

 

Asking someone questions without talking about yourself at all

Susan Sprecher also found an important caveat to the idea that self-disclosure predicts closeness: It has to be mutual. People generally like you less if you don’t reciprocate when they disclose something intimate.

In the study, unacquainted participants either engaged in back-and-forth self-disclosure or took turns self-disclosing for 12 minutes each while the other listened. Results showed that participants in the back-and-forth group liked each other significantly more.

As the authors write, “Although shy or socially anxious people may ask questions of the other to detract attention from themselves, our research shows that this is not a good strategy for relationship initiation. Both participants in an interaction need to disclose to generate mutual closeness and liking.

 

Hiding your emotions

Research suggests that letting your real feelings come through is a better strategy for getting people to like you than bottling it all up.

In one study, researchers videotaped people watching the fake-orgasm scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally and a sad scene from the movie The Champ. In some cases, the actors were instructed to react naturally; in another they were instructed to suppress their emotions.

College students then watched the four versions of the videos. Researchers measured how much the students would be interested in befriending the people in the videos, as well as their assessments of the personalities of the people in the videos.

Results showed that suppressors were judged less likable — as well as less extroverted and agreeable — than people who emoted naturally.

 

Acting Too Nice

You might think you’ll win people over by acting altruistically, but science suggests otherwise.

In a 2010 study, researchers at Washington State University gave college students points that they could keep or redeem for meal-service vouchers. Participants were told that they were playing in groups of five — even though four of them were manipulations by the researchers — and were told that giving up points would boost the group’s chance of getting a monetary reward.

Some of the “fake” participants would give up lots of points and only take a few vouchers. As it turns out, most participants said they wouldn’t want to work with their unselfish teammate again. Some said the unselfish teammate made them look bad; others suspected they had ulterior motives.

 

Humblebragging

To impress friends and potential employers, avoid complimenting yourself and trying to disguise it as self-criticism. This behavior, otherwise known as “humblebragging,” could be a turn-off, according to a recent study.

In the study, college students were asked to write down how they’d answer a question about their biggest weakness in a job interview. Results showed that more than three-quarters of participants humblebragged, usually about being a perfectionist or working too hard.

Yet independent research assistants said they’d be more likely to hire the participants who were honest, and found them significantly more likable. Those students said things like, “I’m not always the best at staying organized” and “Sometimes I overreact to situations.”

 

Not having a sense of humor

If you’re looking to make friends, you might want to loosen up.

One study of 140 Chinese workers between ages 26 and 35 found that people were less well-liked and less popular among their colleagues if they were “morally focused.” That means they placed a high value on displaying caring, fairness, and other moral traits.

The researchers explained that was because morally focused individuals were perceived as less humorous by their colleagues. Note that this research isn’t an excuse to stop caring about or acting fairly toward your coworkers. But consider it a reason to act less uptight around them.

 

Not smiling

When you’re at a networking event, meeting tons of new people, it can be hard to keep a smile plastered on your face. But you might want to try.

In one study, nearly 100 undergraduate women looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open body position, smiling in a closed body position, not smiling in an open body position, or not smiling in a closed body position. Results showed that the woman in the photo was liked most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.

Bonus: Another study found that smiling when you first meet someone helps ensure that they’ll remember you later.

 

Acting like you don’t like someone

Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called “reciprocity of liking“: When we think someone likes us, we tend to like them as well.

In one study, for example, participants were told that certain members of a group discussion would probably like them. (These group members were chosen randomly by the experimenter.) After the discussion, participants indicated that the people they liked best were the ones who supposedly liked them.

If you don’t express fondness for the person you’re meeting, you could potentially turn them off and send them in search of someone who does seem to care about them.

 

Now that you know how to make your Johanna an unpleasant character, what are you going to do to make us love her?

 

Discover all of Kathy’s screenplays and novels on http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

The current series are located as follows –

 

Adult Contemporary Romance [Denver Heroes & Austin Heroes]

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Romantic_Suspense.html

 

New Adult Romance –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/SCANDALS.html

 

Young Adult Romance Time Travel –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Young_Adult.html

 

 

#romance #realityromance #overboard #goldiehawn # KurtRussell #Kardashian #garymarshall #harlequin #loveswept #penguinrandomhouse #newadult

Introducing Kelly Welsh (RIP, Rest in Peace)

Hello readers!!!  Welcome to Kelly’s Blog Hop –

I was tagged by the fantastic Scarlett Van Dijk lives in Australia and you can find her post here: http://www.scarlettvandijk.com/blog/character-blog-hop-introducing-skyla-book-guardian-core

BIOGRAPHY:

Scarlett Van Dijk was born in 1993 in Geelong, Victoria, before soon moving to South Australia. Her love of writing grew during her time at Wilderness  School, with her first novel, Sky Stone, begun at the age of fifteen. After graduating high school, Scarlett entered the University of South Australia studying the Bachelor of Medical Radiations (Medical Imaging) and will complete the degree this year (2014). While editing Sky Stone, Scarlett began writing the second book in the Sky Stone series, titled Guardian Core. Scarlett’s love for creative writing is accompanied by an interest in martial arts, reading, and desktop publishing. Learn more about Scarlett and her writing at www.scarlettvandijk.com.

Thank you Scarlett for your support of YA writers and for your contributions to the genre.

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For those of you who haven’t met the teenage protagonists of my CUL8R [See You Later] series, here’s a little summary of their latest adventure.

RIP (Rest in Peace) by Bob Kat

You don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the U.S.  So, when Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey travel back to 1911 to try to save a young child who went missing from the busy lobby, they aren’t surprised when ghost children run up and down the halls.

There’s romance in the Rockies as they take jobs with the hotel so they can keep an eye on 4 year old Emma and her family.  Kelly struggles with her attraction to Austin while Zoey tries to get over her broken heart.  Along the way, they meet some colorful historical characters and experience life among the rich and famous just after the turn of the twentieth century.  After three other successful time travel adventures, they assume it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  That almost proves to be a fatal mistake.

But can they save Emma?  Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?

 

What is your name? Are you fictional/historical?

Hi.  My name is Kelly Welch, and I just celebrated my 16th birthday last month.  My friends and I have found a way to travel back in time when someone needs our help.  So, I guess you could say I live in the present, but I get to see what it’s like to live in the past.

When and where is your story set?

So far this summer, it’s been crazy.  A drunk driver killed my parents and now I’m living with my aunt in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  I miss my parents with all my heart, but I’ve made some great friends and we’re having amazing adventures.  Already this summer we saved a girl’s life from 1966, spent a harrowing few days on an island we thought was deserted, but were nearly killed by a raving maniac back in 1980.  The most fun was when we joined a travelling circus in 1927 and kept a teenage boy from being thrown off a train.  I loved being around all those animals, especially the horses.  But things got really complicated when Zoey and the boy fell in love.  And now we’ve just traveled back to 1911 where we’re staying at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.  This was only one year after it was built, and I didn’t think it could already be haunted.  But I was wrong.

 

What should we know about you? 

I’m really ordinary with long straight, dark brown hair, hazel eyes and a few extra pounds that I’m trying to get rid of before school starts.  Of course, Zoey, one of my new friends is drop-dead gorgeous which makes me feel all that much more plain.  For some reason, Austin seems to like me just the way I am.  Wow, my heart beats faster when I just think about him.  He looks sort of like a young Ashton Kutcher, tall, dark and oh, so handsome.  We have a lot of fun hanging out, and he almost kissed me once.  I’m sure it’s just fun and games for him, but he’s my first major crush.  The trip to The Stanley Hotel was strange and wonderful and scary…but at least I got to spend more time with Austin.

 

What is screwing up your life?

I’m both terrified and excited about starting my junior year of high school.  I’ve always been home schooled, so it’s going to be a big change.  I’ve seen a lot of movies about mean girls and bullying, so I’m a little nervous that I won’t fit in.

And I’m really worried that my aunt will find out that we’ve been taking these little trips to the past.  We always think they’re going to be easy, but somehow things always get a little crazy and we barely escape with our lives.  If anyone ever finds out about how we travel, they’ll take it away from us and we wouldn’t be able to have the fantastic experiences.

 

What is your goal?

Ever since we found the Spirit Radio, a Thomas Edison invention that allowed him to communicate with dead people, my friends and I have been touched by the cries for help from people in the past who have unsolved mysteries.  I’d like to keep going back and doing what I can to keep these people from losing someone they love.  If only I could go back and keep my parents from being killed…but it doesn’t work like that, unfortunately.  So, my friends and I will have to careful not to get discovered so we can continue to save lives.

 

What is the title of your book?

RIP (Rest in Peace) is a romantic story of lost love, new love, mixed with a little mystery and a lot of danger.  I didn’t believe in ghosts when we arrived at The Stanley Hotel, but I did by the time we left.  Here’s a little blurb from the book about my first contact with someone not quite human.

Kelly forced her tired body into a sitting position.  “I’m not going to waste another minute when I could be sleeping.”

With an unexpected burst of speed, Zoey shot up and ran to the bathroom.  “Me first,” she called out before shutting the door.

“Of course,” Kelly muttered and let herself fall back on the bed.  That was typical Zoey.  Hopefully, she wouldn’t use all the towels.  Kelly tried to talk herself into getting up, taking off her boots and getting her things ready for bed.  But she was so tired.  Maybe if she rested for just a couple of minutes.  Her eyelids drifted closed…

She was walking outside among the guests with Austin.  Instead of the severe black and white uniform, she was wearing a soft dress with tiny pink, yellow and blue flowers sprinkled all over it.  The material was light and floated around her like a silky scarf blowing in the mountain breeze.  Austin, too, was dressed like a gentleman of the era in a tweed jacket and a jaunty driving cap on top of his dark brown hair.  He looked even more handsome than usual as he turned toward her and held out his hand.

He had held her hand before, but usually just to help her or keep her from falling.  This time, it was just because he wanted to…and that made her heart beat faster in anticipation.  She took his hand and savored the way his fingers wrapped around hers.  No wonder he was the star quarterback with fingers so long and strong.  He tightened his grip.

Ow…that was a little too tight.  She tried to get him to loosen it, but she didn’t want to complain for fear he’d let her go.  His fingers continued to squeeze until it was actually becoming painful.  She wanted to pull her hand away, but she couldn’t.  Tighter.  Harder.  She heard herself whimper.  She couldn’t bear it.  Her fingers felt like they were being crushed.  “Stop…please,” she cried.  “You’re hurting me.”

Abruptly, she woke up and bolted into a sitting position.  Her hand was throbbing and as she looked at it, she saw that it had the red outlines of someone’s fingers on the back…fingers much smaller than Austin’s.

The bathroom door opened and Zoey walked out.  “What are you shouting about?” she asked.  “I could hear it even with the water running.”

“Did you squeeze my hand?” Kelly asked, a little angry at being tricked.  “That wasn’t funny.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I was in the bathroom.”

Kelly’s eyes narrowed suspiciously.  “You weren’t just out here?”

“No, honestly.  I’ve been in the bathroom with the door shut.”

Kelly lifted her hand.  The finger marks had faded, but were still slightly visible.  She thrust her hand toward Zoey.  “Someone was just holding my hand so tightly, it left prints.  Look!”

Zoey stepped closer.  Her blond eyebrows lifted as she looked at Kelly’s hand.  “It wasn’t me.”

Kelly flexed her fingers.  The feeling was just coming back into them.  Her voice quivered a little as she asked, “If it wasn’t you…then who was it?”

They both looked around.  The door was still locked, and there was no one else in the room.

 

So, when will the book be published? 

RIP (Rest in Peace) by Bob Kat is self-published on Amazon.com just in time for the Halloween season.  There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than to curl up with a great ghost story…but keep the lights on.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Bob Kat

Bob Kat is actually a husband (Bob) and wife (Kathy – get it?  Bob Kat) writing team who are fans of romance, time travel and mysteries and love reliving their teenage years through the adventures of Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey (of course, without the time travel).  The series has won an amazing number of awards including Best Indie Book Young Adult of 2013 (OMG), Best Indie Book Young Adult of 2014 (BION), Reader’s Favorite YA of 2013 (BRB) and Reader’s Favorite YA of 2014 (BION).

Kathy has always been a storyteller.  She published her first book when she was just four years old…okay, it was self-published (way ahead of the trend).  The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and completely sold out of its first printing (one copy to her mother).

Years later, Kathy’s first official book was published by Dell.  Since then, she had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.  She writes adult romantic suspense and new adult romances under the name Kathy Clark.

To be perfectly honest, Kathy and Bob would rather be riding horses or sitting on a white sand beach, reading a book than writing, but the characters in their heads insist that they tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.

Find out all the details on WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

authors us improved

kathy clark logo

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

Bob Kat, AUTHOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the the entire young adult romance mystery series thus far and the all can be obtained through Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

000CUL8R SERIES

 

SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

LINKED IN:   http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bob-wernly-kathy-clark/a/357/597/

GOOGLE +:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/bob%20wernly

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150098.Kathy_Clark

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

 

The Rules of Romance Before The Thrill Of Suspense

Going back to my ROOTS w/ this 16 book CLASSIC ROMANCE NOVEL promo from my back list.  Since 2011, I’ve been focused on the Thrill Of Suspense…but like others in my author generation I started out following the Rules of Romance.

So here’s some of my sweet, formulaic romances  all promo priced at $0.99 starting Sunday night, August 24th.  So if you liked the early stories of Brown, Dailey, Evanovich, Roberts or me this is for you!

Head to my author site at http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com  [the QR code] and click on the CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE link  to go to Amazon to acquire any of these books.

Hope you enjoy some of my earliest  books.  They’re appearing on social media starting today:

00CLASSICROMANCE 00CLASSICROMANCE4 00CLASSICROMANCE3 00CLASSICROMANCE2 00CLASSICROMANCE1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile…back to writing two more books between Bob and I inside the suspense fence.

Book #3 in the DENVER AFTER DARK series, DEEP NIGHT.  The opening ripped me apart and book #5 in the CUL8R [see you later] Teen Time Travel series. , DJM [Don’t Judge Me].

Here’s the covers for these two as it stands now.

DEEP NIGHT DJM [WORKING TITLE]

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Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP
WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

 

#dailey #evanovich #roberts #clark #contemporaryromance #romancenovel #contemporaryromancebook #contemporaryromancenovel

A Victim’s Advocate Story; Who save’s the hero?

My release this week of book #2 in my DENVER AFTER DARK Suspense Series, CRIES IN THE NIGHT, followed several years of plotting and character development in my mind.  This is my 29th book overall and was easily took longest in my thought process.  Literally a dozen books and several film screenplays came to mind and got written since I first experienced the situations described in this compelling and provocative novel.  Chapter one is at the end of this blog.  The entire book is now available on Amazon at  http://www.amazon.com/CRIES-NIGHT-DENVER-AFTER-ebook/dp/B00FDRYCIQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
In the 1990’s I volunteered to become a Victim’s Advocate for the Northglenn / Thornton Colorado Police Departments.  Victim advocates are professionals trained to support victims of crime or calamity in their greatest time of need.  Sometimes the perpetrator was still not captured or the traffic accident still blocking the road.  Advocates offer victims information, emotional support, and help finding resources.  Clothes, food and even a safe place to stay were all part of the routine.  When I did this vital task my time was on the front lines in your neighborhood where citizens learned of the death of a loved one, a spouse, usually a wife and even girlfriends who had received yet another beating by their lover and family members learn someone close to them had been shot, maybe even killed.  It was a gutsy raw and tough environment.  Victims learned they did have a place to turn.
That experience caused me to put some of these stories to paper in CRIES IN THE NIGHT.  The back story of the relationship between the heroine and hero is what happens when two people are thrust into high risk hard work situations.  I think the reason why the story took so long be written is that the characters took a long time to step up and unveil their feelings, aspirations and goals.  They have spoken.
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Julie Lawrence is a Victim’s Advocate for the Denver PD.  Her job is to respond to domestic violence incidents, fires, car accidents and other tragic events where people need help dealing with their darkest moments.   She has had her own share of tragedies in the past which gives her empathy and a unique insight into victims and what they need to heal and move on with their lives.  But she is better at giving advice than taking it and has closed herself off from sharing her life with anyone or anything except a stray tiger-striped gray cat.

Rusty Wilson is a firefighter with a reputation for working hard and playing harder.  He meets Julie while he is trying to save a burning house and she is protecting a battered wife and an unborn child.  He is attracted to her, but not ready to settle down.  To his surprise, she resists even his most platonic attempts at developing a relationship.  One day a typical call turns into a hostage situation, and Julie rushes to the scene, partly in her role of Victim’s Advocate and partly because Rusty is involved.
She finally accepts his offer of friendship, and as they get to know each other better, they realize they have a lot in common.  When a stalker starts playing a cat-and-mouse game with Julie, she and Rusty work together, trying to figure out which of her past domestic violence cases has created a psycho who wants revenge.  In her line of work, there are a lot of people who want her dead.
Julie has no idea who is trying to kill her.  The warnings had started out as just creepy, but gradually turn into genuine threats on her life.  Rusty provides the emotional and moral support she hadn’t realized she needed until the danger increases.  Their love affair starts in the heat of passion and ends when he finds out her secrets.
Someone is watching . . . and waiting.  Julie has dedicated herself to saving other people.  Who’s going to save her?  Find out on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/CRIES-NIGHT-DENVER-AFTER-ebook/dp/B00FDRYCIQ/
AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED
CRIES IN THE NIGHT is Book #2 in the Denver After Dark series.  AFTER MIDNIGHT is Book #1 of the series and –
  • Won 1st place in The Best Indie Suspense Novel of 2013 and
  • 3rd place in the Readers’ Favorite Suspense Novel Award of 2013.

Kathy Clark also is writing a New Adult Romantic Suspense series (Scandals) and Young Adult Romantic Mystery series with the CUL8R series under the pen name of Bob Kat.

SCANDALS BABY DADDY 063113
OMG eBook 3BRB eBook Cover 2BION 071613 Amazon final
Find out more about Kathy’s 29 books on her website at http://www.nightwriter93.com

CAUTION: Beta Reviewers have advised this chapter is hard to read but even harder to put down.

CRIES IN THE NIGHT

 CHAPTER ONE

 

The back door slammed with such force that the small house shuddered.  In the back bedroom the woman froze in front of the ironing board, the iron paused in mid-air.  Steam poured out of the holes with a hiss, but she didn’t notice.  Instead, her gaze raced across the room and met the wide eyes of her son who had been playing with a boxful of Matchbox cars.

He dropped the tiny red Ferrari he had been holding and scuttled backward, disappearing under the bed.  No words had been spoken, but he knew the drill.  This wasn’t his first rodeo.  He had learned early that out of sight also meant out of the line of fire.

The woman wasn’t so lucky.

Heavy, quick footsteps signaled the man’s approach down the hallway.  Her heart pounded in her chest, and she realized she hadn’t taken a breath since he had entered the house.  She exhaled slowly, trying to calm her nerves and steel herself for the battle ahead.  Even before she saw his face, she knew he was angry . . . at her, at his son, at his boss, at his life.  It didn’t really matter.  He always came home to share his dissatisfaction with her.

“Where the hell is he?”  The man wasn’t large, but when he was in one of his moods, he seemed to expand in size until his presence filled the doorway.

“Who?” she managed to ask, struggling to keep her expression under control.  For some reason, it made him angrier if she showed fear even though her legs were trembling.

He threw his car keys at her.  She tried to dodge, but the unexpected movement and her own swollen bulk slowed her.  The keys smashed into her left cheek, then fell to the floor with a clatter.

“You know who.  That piece of shit kid.  He left his goddamn sled in the driveway and I ran over it.  Twenty bucks.  Trashed.  I work hard and get paid shit.  And he just throws his toys around like they were nothing.”

“He’s usually really careful . . .”

He cut her off.   “Didn’t he go to school today?”

“They had a teacher’s workday.”

“Then he has no excuse for not bringing in the garbage cans.”

“It was snowing too hard.”

“Not too hard for him to play.”  He kicked the basket of laundry against the wall.  “You fuckin’ baby him too much.”

“He’s only six.”  She knew that arguing only made him angrier, but her motherly instinct was to defend her young.

The man’s dark gaze raked the room before focusing on the abandoned Matchbox cars.  His nostrils flared and he moved toward the bed, knowing it was the most likely hiding place.

“No!” the woman cried.  “Leave him alone.”  She reached out to grab him, but he swung his arm to fend her off as if he was swatting away an annoying insect.  She reacted by striking back.  Unfortunately, the iron was still clenched in her hand.  The hot surface landed flat against his forearm and the back of his hand.  Steam oozed out of the holes as the skin sizzled.

With a guttural roar, he jerked back as quickly as possible and looked down at the arced-shaped blisters that had already bubbled up.  Like an enraged bull in the ring distracted by the matador’s cape, he turned his attention back to her.

“What the fuck?”  He knocked the iron out of her hand, grabbed the front of her sweater in his meaty fist and pulled her forward, over the ironing board which clattered to the floor.  Her feet scrambled to keep upright as he dragged her over the metal legs.

“I . . . I’m . . . sorry, Carlos.  I didn’t mean to . . .”

He silenced her with a punch so hard that her teeth rattled.  Momentarily dazed, she didn’t struggle as he slammed her back against the door frame.  Her head cracked against the wood and she could feel the sharp edges biting into her shoulders.  She didn’t fight back as he hit her again and again.  She knew she deserved this.  If she hadn’t hit him with the iron, he wouldn’t have come at her like this.  The skin over her eye slit under his knuckles, and she could feel the warm flow of blood pour down her face.  But as bad as it hurt, she knew it was nothing like the pain he was feeling from the burn.  So she let him take it out on her.  She owed him that.

It wasn’t until his blows moved lower that her defense mechanism got its second wind.  His fist buried into her breast.  Swollen from the imminent birth of her baby, the pain shot through her like a lightning bolt.  He drew back and would have landed a blow in her expanded abdomen, but she collapsed, trying in the only way she knew how to defend her unborn baby.  He released his hold on her sweater, but instead of stepping away, he kicked her.

She curled her body in a protective shell, putting all the flesh and bone she could between his steel-toed boot and her stomach.  He kicked her again and again, cursing her with words that burned her soul as much as her ears.  Finally, she blacked out.

A child’s scream woke her.  She struggled to open her eyes, but one was swollen shut.

“Mama, mama!” the little boy cried.

Her hands slid in the puddles of blood on the floor as she struggled to push into a sitting position.  Her blood.  She could see it staining the white yarn of her sweater.  In the back of her mind came the random thought that that was her favorite sweater, and now it was probably ruined.  She had so few clothes that still fit.

Her son’s small hands wrapped around her wrist and she stifled a scream as he pulled.   Pains shot up and down her arm telling her it was probably either broken or badly bruised.  Her brain struggled through the fog as she tried to remember where she was and why she was bleeding and aching all over.

Carlos!  She straightened and tried to look around.  Was he hurting Danny?  Her son seemed to sense her fears and with a maturity well beyond his years, he comforted her.

“He’s gone.  But he hurt you,” Danny told her.

“I’m okay,” she lied, trying, as always, to protect him from the truth.  But this was worse than the last time which had been worse than the time before that which had been worse than the time before.  She could remember them all.  In a twisted measure of days, months and years, each marked a new ending and a new beginning of sorts.  She had never doubted that she had done something wrong to deserve his anger, and she had never doubted she would survive.  This time, she wasn’t so sure.

A searing pain, much deeper than all the others pierced through her, starting deep in her stomach and radiating out.  She heard another scream and was surprised that it had come from her mouth.

“Mama . . .?”  Danny’s voice was terrified.

The room began to swirl around her, and her vision blurred.  Another pain doubled her over and she slid back to the floor.

 

 

Julie’s cell phone began ringing as she juggled a bag of groceries in one arm and inserted the key into her backdoor lock.

“Hold on, hold on, hold on . . .,” she chanted as she hurried inside, dropped the bag on the table and pulled her phone out of her purse.

“This is Julie,” she spoke into the small receiver.

“We’ve got a domestic and fire at 238 W. Maple Ave.,” the voice recited crisply.

“I heard it on my scanner.”  As she spoke, Julie held the phone against her ear with her shoulder and jotted down the address on a piece of unopened mail.  “I’m on my way.”

“I’ll notify the officers on-scene.  What’s your ETA?” 

“I’m pretty close.  I’ll be there in ten.”

The line clicked off and Julie let the phone slide off her shoulder and into her hand.  She grabbed the perishable items out of the bag and tossed them into the freezer or onto a shelf in the refrigerator and left the rest of the items to be put away later.   She picked up her keys, checked to make sure her thin billfold was still in her pocket and left without bothering to take the address with her.  She knew it by heart.  She had been there before.

Less than ten minutes later, she found a parking space.  It had been snowing off and on all day, and it had picked up again just before she arrived.  Julie looped her scarf around her neck, buttoned her coat up, pulled on her gloves and got out of her car.  A white ladder truck and an engine with the familiar DPD logo painted on it were parked directly in front of the house, their hoses snaked across the snow.  The generators rumbled, spotlights focused their harsh beams on the action, radios crackled with sporadic chatter and firefighters shouted back and forth to each other as they focused a steady stream of water on the blaze that had gobbled up the left side of the house.

Julie quickened her pace as much as she dared on the icy sidewalk made worse by the steady flow of water that was draining from the house.   An ambulance was at the end of the driveway.  The backdoors were open and the stretcher was out.

“Hey Julie.  Sorry to get you out on a night like this,” one of the cops said as he approached her.  He flipped his little spiral notebook closed and tucked it into the breast pocket of his jacket.

“Is she alive?”  Julie held her breath, afraid of the answer.

“Barely.  He beat the shit out of her . . . again.”

“No surprise there.  Why can’t you guys put him away for good?”

The cop shrugged.  “She always bails him out.”

“I thought she had a restraining order against him.”

“She does.  But an RO is only paper.  It doesn’t stop fists.”

Two paramedics pushed the stretcher down the driveway from the house.  A thin blanket covered the woman’s prone body.  Her young son walked beside it, his hand on his mom’s arm, a gesture that was probably reassuring for both of them.  It wasn’t until she got closer that Julie noticed the rounded mound showing the woman was pregnant.

“Oh my God,” Julie cried and hurried over to the stretcher.

The woman looked up at her . . . or tried to.  Her swollen and battered eyes clearly hampered her vision, but she was able to recognize Julie.  An expression flashed across her face, one that was part embarrassment and part happiness to see someone she knew.  “Julie . . . I know what you’re thinking . . . don’t be mad at me,” she said in a voice that shook with pain.

“Gloria, you don’t have to apologize to me . . . or to him,” Julie rushed to calm her.  She gently took the woman’s hand and walked next to the stretcher as the two paramedics struggled pushing it through several inches of unshoveled snow and over the shattered remains of a sled.

“He didn’t mean to hurt me,” the woman told her.

Like hell he didn’t, Julie thought, but aloud she said, “How do you feel?”

Gloria lifted her other hand that already had an IV attached and rubbed her belly.  “Not so good, but I’m most worried about my baby.”

Julie looked up at one of the paramedics and he shrugged.  “They’re going to do everything they can to help you both,” she told the woman.

“I burned him with the iron.  That’s why he got so mad,” Gloria continued, anxious that Julie know why the event had happened.

“You need to focus on yourself and your baby,” Julie spoke soothingly.  “I’ll stay with Danny until someone comes.  Have you called your mother?”

Gloria turned her head as if afraid of being overheard.  “No, would you do that for me?  Her number is in my phone . . . you know, the one you gave me.  It’s hidden in the laundry room.  Danny will show you.”  She tried to give her son a smile, but she could manage only a stiff grimace.

The little boy looked at Julie and nodded shyly.

“We’ve got to go,” the female paramedic said as the stretcher reached the ambulance.  She and her partner prepared the stretcher for loading and Julie reached out for Danny’s hand.

“Only my mother,” Gloria pleaded, twisting around and leaning toward Julie.  “Don’t let him go with anyone else.  Promise me.”

“Don’t worry about him.  I promise I won’t leave him until your mother comes for him,” Julie assured her, and Gloria relaxed back against the cushion.  The two women weren’t long-time friends or even acquaintances.  Their relationship had started almost two years ago when Julie had responded to a domestic call.  That one hadn’t resulted in hospitalization.  But it had been the first in several similar events that had created a trust great enough that Gloria knew she could leave Danny in Julie’s care.

Danny trembled but didn’t pull his hand away as he watched his mother being loaded into the ambulance.  The red and blue lights bounced off the surrounding trees and houses, magnified by the stark whiteness of the snow and turning the still-falling snowflakes into confetti.  Julie looked down at the little boy whose gaze followed the twinkling lights as they disappeared down the street.  She realized he wasn’t wearing a coat.  She unbuttoned her own, took it off and knelt down in front of Danny.  Even though it was much too large and drug on the ground, he burrowed gratefully into the warmth of the wool.  Shivers of cold and lingering fear shook his tiny body.  “They’re going to take good care of your mama.  But right now we need to call your grandma.  Can you tell me your mom’s secret hiding place?”

“It’s in the house,” he told her, then lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper.  “In the smelly things.”

Smelly things?  Her mind scrambled for what that might mean.  “Dirty clothes?” she asked.

“No, the good smelly things.  You know, the ones with the little bear on the box,” he whispered back.

“Dryer sheets?”

He nodded.

Good choice.  Men like Carlos never did laundry, so it would be unlikely he would stumble on it there.  Julie looked around.  Apparently the fire was out.  Smoke no longer billowed from the roof, and the firefighters were straightening out the hoses in preparation of rolling them back up.  One of the firefighters walked out of the house with an axe swung over his shoulder.  She lifted her hand and waved at him.  She recognized him from several other fires she had been called out to.

He noticed and walked toward them.  He was tall, well over six feet.  Dressed in full firefighting uniform, he looked big and menacing, sort of like an urban alien.  Steam radiated from his long black coat with its yellow reflective stripe and the top of his red helmet.  He had an air canister strapped on his back, but he had unfastened his respirator and it hung off to one side.  His face was smudged with a layer of carbon, marked with paths where sweat and water had streaked down.  After giving Julie a crooked grin, he swung the axe to the ground and knelt in front of Danny, as if he knew what an imposing sight he must be.

“You must be Daniel,” he said to him.  “I saw some amazing drawings on the refrigerator.  I was hoping I would get to meet the artist.  Were those yours?”

Danny nodded solemnly, but Julie could see that he was flattered.

“And that must have been your room with the race car posters.”

Again Danny nodded.  “Did my room burn up?”

“No, we were able to stop the fire before it got to your room.  But I’m afraid some of your things got a little wet and are going to smell like smoke.”

“How about my baseball cap?  The doctor people made me and my mom leave so fast I didn’t get it.”

The firefighter said, “Oh yeah, I remember seeing a couple caps in there.  They’ll be fine.”  He took off his helmet and held it out to Danny.  “Maybe you’d like to wear my hat.”

Danny’s brown eyes stretched wide.  “Oh yes, sir.”

The man set the hat on the boy’s much smaller head and it settled down to cover his ears and his face all the way down to his nose.  Instead of taking it off, Danny lifted his chin and looked out from underneath it.  But most noticeable was the twitch of a smile that had softened his tense lips.

The firefighter stood and turned his attention to Julie.  He pushed the heavy cloth hood off his head, revealing rumpled dark brown hair.  As he looked at her, she was struck by the clarity of his bright blue eyes.

“You’re Julie, aren’t you?” he asked.

She was a little surprised that he knew her name because they had never actually spoken.  But she wasn’t exactly a stranger to any of the public responders because she or one of her volunteers showed up at all of the more serious crime, fire or accident scenes.  “Yes, I am.  And you’re . . .?”

“Rusty,” he answered and pointed toward his last name that was printed on his jacket as he added, “Wilson.  I’m sure you know my younger brothers.”

“Oh, so you’re that Wilson,” Julie teased.  She was very well acquainted with his brothers.  Sam was a Denver cop who she worked with often, and Chris, the youngest, was a paramedic out of Denver Health.  He wasn’t one of the ones on scene tonight, but their paths had crossed often in the course of their jobs.

Rusty held up his hands.  “Whoa, you can’t believe everything you hear about me.”

“Why do you assume it’s all bad?” she asked.

“Because some of it is true.  I’m the first to admit that I enjoy life.  But my brothers like to exaggerate my . . .,” he grinned, “. . . transgressions.”

Julie shrugged.  This was not a point she wanted to debate in the middle of a snowy night when she was without a coat.  “I was just wondering if someone could take me inside for a minute.  I need to get Danny’s things and . . . well, something else.”

“Sure, I’ll take you in, but he needs to stay out here.”  Rusty called over one of the other firefighters.  “Jackson, would you hang with my friend Daniel for a few minutes?”

Jackson, a middle-aged black firefighter who had just finished shutting off the hydrant and screwing the cap back on, nodded and knelt down next to Danny.  “Hey buddy.  My name is Jackson.  Do you mind keeping me company while they go get some of your clothes?”

Danny nodded, solemn again.  He stayed, but his gaze moved back to Julie.

“Don’t let anyone take him away, okay?” she asked Jackson.

“Got cha,” Jackson confirmed.

After giving Danny a reassuring pat on the head, she turned to follow Rusty.

“Don’t forget my cap,” Danny called after her.

“I won’t,” she called back.

“Watch your step,” Rusty cautioned.  He took a flashlight out of his utility belt and turned it on.

Apparently, the electricity was off and the spotlights didn’t penetrate past the front door.  The dark house took on a sinister spook-house sort of feeling as they stepped over the threshold and into the smoldering interior.

“The fire didn’t make it to this part of the house, but the back two bedrooms are pretty much gone,” he added as they made their way around pieces of furniture that had been knocked over or tossed out of the way.

“Any idea what caused it?” she asked as she followed directly behind him, keeping her hand on his back because she couldn’t see anything outside the beam of his light.

“Looks like an iron on the carpet.  But the investigators will find out for sure.”

They picked their way along the soggy carpet of the hallway.  Even though the flames hadn’t made it into the hallway, the sheetrock was damp and there was a heavy, acrid smell that burned her lungs.  When they arrived at Danny’s room, she hurried to collect his jacket and a few items of clothing, including his Little League baseball cap that was sitting on his chest of drawers.  She also scooped up the stuffed monkey that held an obvious position of importance on his pillow and stuffed it all into his Cars backpack.

“We need to get out of here,” Rusty reminded her.

“I have one more thing,” she told him.  “Did you happen to notice a laundry room?”

“Not in this part of the house.  Maybe off the kitchen?”  He led the way back down the hall and across the small living room to the kitchen.  Sure enough, in the mud room that led outside was a small stackable washer and dryer that had probably been one of Gloria’s prized possessions.  But Julie had eyes only for the box of Snuggle dryer sheets on the shelf next to it.

“Really?” Rusty asked when he saw her pick it up.

She didn’t answer, but pulled out the sheets until she reached the bottom of the box.  Nestled there, just as Danny had told her was the emergency cell phone she had given Gloria the last time Julie had been called out to this house.  It was something she often gave to victims of domestic abuse because their controlling spouse or partner often refused to let them have any contact with the outside world.  She was glad to see that Gloria had listened to her cautions to hide the phone in a safe place where Carlos wouldn’t find it because Gloria clearly hadn’t paid any attention to Julie’s other advice to not let him back in her life.  Julie held up the phone so Rusty could see it, then followed him out the backdoor and to the driveway.

Once back outside, she took deep, cleansing breathes of the crisp cold air.  “I don’t know how you guys do it,” she admitted to Rusty.

He flashed her a grin, his teeth looking incredibly white against his soot-blackened face.  “Are you kidding?  I’d do this even if they didn’t pay me.  But don’t tell anyone.”

Julie flipped open the phone, turned it on and watched as it booted up.  “Hey thanks,” she told him.

“No problem.”  His expression sobered.  “You do good work, you know.  They need someone like you to help them after all this.”  He motioned around them at the devastation.  Yes, they had saved most of the house, but the smoke and the water had ruined much of what the flames hadn’t consumed.  These people had lost a lot, if not everything, and they would need all the help they could get.

“Hey Wilson.  We’re ready to roll,” the captain called and gave Julie a wave of acknowledgement.

She and Rusty walked back to where Danny and Jackson waited.  Rusty reached down and lifted his heavy helmet off of the boy’s head.  “Thank you for taking care of my helmet for me.  It looks good on you, but I’m going to need it in case I have to go to another fire tonight.”

“Sure,” Danny said with pride at having accomplished something so apparently important.

“Maybe you can get your mom to bring you by the fire station sometime when she feels better,” Rusty suggested.  “I’ll give you a tour and let you sit in a fire truck.”

“Really?  Wow, okay,” Danny agreed.

Rusty looked back at Julie.  “And I’ll see you around.”

“Yeah, we seem to hang out at the same places.”  She smiled.  “Thanks again.”  She nodded her head toward Danny, indicating that his kindness toward the little boy hadn’t gone unnoticed.

Rusty dismissed it with a shrug, but he gave her another grin as he put his helmet back on and headed toward the waiting fire truck.

“Julie, we’re finished, too,” the police officer who had been standing nearby talking to the captain told her.

“We can sit in my car and wait for his grandmother,” she suggested, but the officer shook his head.

“I can’t leave you here.  It’s still a hot scene.”

Julie glanced around, suddenly nervous.  “You mean he’s not in custody?” she asked while being careful to keep the conversation as neutral as possible.

“He was gone when we arrived, but you can bet he’ll come back.”

She shivered, not just because of the cold that was penetrating her heavy sweater.  She had never actually met Carlos, but she had seen his handiwork on at least three occasions.  “Let me make a quick call to Danny’s grandmother so she can be on her way.”  She went to the Contacts’ list.  There were only two numbers in it.  Gloria’s mother and Julie’s cell phone.  Even though she had encouraged Gloria to call her if Carlos came back, it was now clear that that hadn’t happened.  She clicked on the word “Mom” and put the phone to her ear.

It rang five times before a sleepy voice answered, “Hello.”

Julie turned away so Danny couldn’t hear the conversation as she gave Gloria’s mother a quick summary of the evening’s events.  “I’m taking Danny to the police station.  We’ll wait for you there.”  She gave the woman the address, and after getting her confirmation, Julie hung up.

“Okay, Danny, we’re going to get to ride in a police car.  Have you ever done that before?”

He shook his head, but there was a spark of excitement in his eyes.

“But first, I’m going to trade you coats,” she told him.  She released his parka from his backpack where she had clipped it and handed it to him.  He took off her coat, and they exchanged outerwear.  She welcomed the warmth as she slipped her arms into the sleeves and buttoned it up.  Danny had a little trouble with his zipper, so she helped him get it started, then reached into the backpack and pulled out his cap.  The first genuine smile of the night spread across his face as he put it on and tugged it into position.  She didn’t even need a voiced “thanks” because his expression said it all.

The police officer unlocked the doors of his cruiser and opened the backdoor for them.  Julie glanced back at her white Kia that was parked down the street.  She knew it was city policy that she couldn’t carry civilians in her personal vehicle and she had promised not to leave Danny’s side until his grandmother arrived.  That left her no choice but to ride with him in the patrol car to the station.  She would worry about getting a ride back to pick it up later.  Since Danny’s grandmother lived in Fort Collins, it would take her several hours to get dressed and drive to the station.

The spotlights that had illuminated the scene switched off as the fire trucks prepared to leave.  With only the red and blue emergency lights still flashing, the night seemed darker and the shadows deeper.  Julie glanced around.  She had the uncomfortable feeling that Carlos was there, out of sight, but watching as she took his son away from him, hopefully forever.  She shivered again and silently urged Danny to hurry up.  She wanted to be inside the safety of the cruiser.

As soon as he was inside, she climbed in after him and tried not to notice the telltale smell of urine and vomit that usually clung in the air of the back seats of all the patrol cars.  It had been a long day and was turning out to be a long night.  But she, like Rusty, loved her job and would rather be here than any place she’d ever been.  Only she knew how desperate she was to never go back.

An excerpt from COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Hello…I’m Kathy Clark, author.  Welcome back to my blog site.

Some of you may remember me from long ago…like last century…when traditional publishers such Harlequin published my romance novels and printed them on paper and sold them through bookstores! No?  Maybe you have purchased one of my more recent novels that were released in 2012 and 2013.  No doubt my over 3 million in sales worldwide in paperback were one measure and one cause of the popularity of my new books.  And yes, they’re digital and trade paperback.

Today, I write my Romantic Suspense series, Denver After Dark under my name Kathy Clark and the young adult mystery series, CUL8RTM [See you later] under the pseudonym of Bob Kat.  CUL8RTM is co-written with my husband Bob Wernly.  Starting this fall, the New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Scandals, will be under Kathy Clark.

I am going to take space in this blog to publish excerpts from my romance novel back list to provide as they say, a deeper cut, into the stories beyond the samples provided by Amazon.  I did this last weekend at the virtual eBook Fair and I got great feedback to do more of this. So I will.  Readers rule!

Thank you for stopping…each blog post will have-

  • The summary of the featured book
  • The excerpt from that book
  • A summary of my recent books
  • All the links needed  to find additional information including how to order any of the books

Best wishes,

Kathy Clark

Kathy Square

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS BLURB

Luke Calloway is a turkey farmer in the heartland of Iowa. He has survived the loss of his wife, and is learning to cope with a drastic change of career (from big city dentist to the owner of Wishbone Acres in the small town of Greenhaven) while raising three rambunctious sons. He’s doing an admirable job and isn’t looking for love. But that’s exactly what he finds when Darcy Carson returns to town.Darcy Carson, a successful Los Angeles television reporter, had fled from Iowa as soon as she was able. Small towns held no appeal for her, but the glamour and excitement of Southern California certainly did. Following a suspension by the station where she’s employed, she returns home, telling herself that she’ll only stay until she wins her court case and can return to work.

But Darcy hasn’t planned on meeting Luke. She fights her attraction to him, telling herself he represents everything she ran away from. Luke, too, fights his growing love for Darcy. He knows he’s only a temporary stopover in her life, that soon she’ll return to California, breaking his heart, and those of his sons.

Neither Luke nor Darcy are prepared for the way love sweeps into their lives, changing everything.

REVIEWS:

“ROMANTIC TIMES” – (4) – “Watch as Kathy Clark creates two endearing characters who know they’re being manipulated, but are helpless to stop it.”

“HEART TO HEART” – Selected to be a Highlight of the Month – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is great fun.”

“COLORADO ROMANCE WRITERS PAL” – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is a perfect story to enjoy during the holidays since it will fill your heart with the wonder and joys of learning that love truly conquers all.”

Count Your Blessings 062913 amazon
THE EXCERPT

Darcy and Luke stood a step apart, putting a cushion of neutrality between them. But as they turned and began to walk wordlessly toward the truck, their fingers brushed together and somehow became entwined. Separate, they would have been jostled apart, but united, they had no difficulty maneuvering through the crowded walkways to the parking lot.

Luke glanced at Darcy as the truck’s engine sputtered to life and backfired a couple times, drawing a dozen sympathetic stares.

“I’m sorry about this truck,” he began.

Darcy settled the goldfish bowl on her lap and smiled at Luke. “No one could accuse you of trying to impress me.”

With an unnecessary degree of concentration, he studied the narrow space that was illuminated in front of the truck by its headlights. His tone was casual as he asked, “So what would it take to impress you?”

Darcy sensed her answer might be very important to any future relationship, however temporary, that might exist between them. “Actually, I don’t impress easily,” she admitted.

“I guess you wouldn’t. Living in L.A., you’re surrounded by Mercedes and movie stars.”

She glanced at him sharply. “That’s not what I meant. Cars and actors don’t impress me.”

“Yeah?” he questioned skeptically. “What sort of car do you own?”

“Uh…,” she hedged. “Well, that’s not important…”

He challenged her with a steady look.

“Okay, so I drive a Corvette…”

“Red, I’ll bet.” He turned his attention back to the road.

“Okay, it’s red,” she conceded defensively. “So what? The station gave it to me. I wouldn’t care if it was a Toyota.”

Again, he pierced her with an unconvinced glance.

“All right, I’ll admit it.” She threw up her hands in defeat. The motion upset the brandy snifter, and she had to grab it to keep the fish from pouring onto the floor. “Yes, I enjoy driving that car. It’s a great car. But I’m not so shallow that I care what sort of car someone else drives.”

“So you don’t mind riding in this truck?”

She peered at the thick layer of dust on the dashboard and the worn blanket covering the seat. There were turkey feathers on the floorboard and a scattering of corn kernels as if a bag of feed had broken sometime in the ancient vehicle’s questionable past. Then she looked over the fluffy barrier of stuffed animals to the man behind the steering wheel. Only hours ago, she had never seen that face. And now she knew she’d never forget it. It was the man, not the truck she found disturbing.

“No,” she answered honestly. “I’ve ridden in worse. In fact, I learned to drive in a truck that belonged to my grandfather. But I will say that Gramps did wash his truck on occasion.”

They turned into her parents’ driveway and Darcy had to hold the brandy snifter up so the water didn’t bounce out when they crossed the cattle guard.

“And you could use a new set of springs,” she added.

A low, appreciative chuckle vibrated across the darkness. “Springs? This old pile of bolts wouldn’t know how to drive if it had springs. Why, there probably isn’t even anything left to attach them to.”

He stopped the truck in front of her door, but didn’t turn off the engine. When he began unloading the stuffed animals, Darcy reached out and pushed aside one of the panda bear’s ears so she could see Luke.

“I don’t need any more stuffed animals in my room. My mother seems to think everything should be left exactly as I had it.” Darcy shook her head. She had long ago given up trying to convince her mother she wouldn’t be moving back home. “Why don’t you give them to your boys? Greg may be a little too old, but Scott and maybe Adam would give these guys a good home.”

She nestled the brandy snifter in between a big bear and a fluffy dog.

“And the fish?” Luke asked.

“And the fish,” Darcy confirmed, laughing at his unenthusiastic expression.

“Great. Thanks,” he stated with good-humored sarcasm.

“Goldfish are terrific pets. They don’t make any noise, and they never make a mess on the carpet.”

“Or we can feed him to the turkeys.”

“Luke!”

He held up his hands to calm her. “It’s a joke. Besides, turkeys don’t eat meat.”

“I’ll bet they wish more people felt that way.”

“You’re not one of those animal rights’ activists, are you?”

This time Darcy’s chuckle was wry. “Funny you should mention that…animal rights is exactly why I’m on suspension, remember? But I was just reporting it, not participating. Actually, I can see both sides of the issue. I don’t like to see animals tortured for unnecessary experiments, but I don’t have a problem eating chicken … or turkey.”

“So how long do you think it’ll take to clear up your case?”

Darcy led the way up the porch steps and Luke followed. “My attorney thinks it’ll go to court after Thanksgiving.” She glanced back at the noisy truck. If he hadn’t left it running, she would have invited him to sit for a while on the porch swing.

“That’s a month away,” Luke commented nonchalantly as he stopped with one booted foot on the top step.

Darcy turned to face him, and, because of her higher position found that they were eye to eye. “More or less,” she replied. “But I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I have to fly back Monday or Tuesday for some depositions and the grand jury hearing, which means I’ll be gone most of the week.”

He thrust his hands deep into his pockets. “Then maybe I’ll see you around.”

“It’s a small town.” She responded with equal casualness, but inside she cried out, But I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you while I’m here.

“Well … I guess I’d better be going,” he said and backed down a step.

“I had a nice time this evening.” Don’t leave. I want you to kiss me again.

His eyes burned into hers, as if searching for an answer to an unspoken question. His gaze was so perceptive, Darcy began wondering if he might have heard her silent request. When he gave her one last little smile, then turned to leave, she felt her spirits droop with disappointment. On the dance floor, there had been a flash of magic. Had it been a fluke? A reaction to the circumstances around them? A moment of madness?

All she knew was that she wanted to feel his lips on hers one more time and to have him hold her tight in his arms. “Luke…” She moved toward him just as he wheeled around and bounded up the steps two at a time.

“Darcy…” he breathed as he cradled her face in his hands and covered her mouth with his. “I must be crazy,” he muttered against her lips an instant before they crushed against hers.

Darcy’s arms wound around his neck, her fingers feathering into the soft, dark hair at his nape. The banked fires that had built and died back…but never out…roared to life again. It had been a long time since a man’s kiss had affected her so much. Her body molded to his, automatically seeking the boldness of his response.

If she hadn’t been standing on her parents’ porch . . . if he hadn’t been a widower with three kids . . . if she hadn’t been so anxious to get on with her life in California . . . if he hadn’t been a livestock farmer . . . she would have asked him to turn off his truck’s engine, rev up his own engine and stay for the night.

Then, as abruptly as he had approached her, he let her go. After one last, lingering look that took away what little strength she had left in her knees, he pivoted on his heel and vaulted down the steps.

Darcy leaned against the heavy support post at the top of the steps and watched him leap into his truck, grind the gears into reverse, then head toward the road. She realized her hand was clenched against her chest as if she was trying to steady her rampaging heart. Somehow she knew that kiss would come back to haunt her during the long, lonely nights in her bed in L.A.

I hope you enjoyed this sample from my book.  All of my romance novels are available individually as eBooks on amazon and they have also been republished as Romance Collections with similar books in their original full length and unabridged.  The Romance Collections are at a reduced price and available by going to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Here are a few important links for your use.  Have a great rest of your day.  Again…thanks for stopping.

My author’s website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

To order any book on Amazon go to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

To contact me my email address is info@nightwriter93.com

Recent books:

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Romantic Suspense series:           After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense      Book #1

What started as a routine contact stop turned into a brutal double homicide.  Hooker to lover or low-life to no-life. It’s all in his hands.

OMG eBook 3

Young Adult Mystery series:          OMG, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery      Book #1

Albert Einstein said about time travel “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

BRB eBook Cover 2

Young Adult Mystery series:         BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery     Book #2

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

 

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

New Adult Romance:                   LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS

How did one night change over a million lives of new adults forever?

TUTORIAL: OMG = Oh My God, BRB = BE Right Back

All four books are available on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Additional details on the CUL8RTM time travel series is at http://www.cul8rseries.com

 

2013 Awards

After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for suspense

Finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  for young adult [9/1 final decision]

OMG, A C CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for young adult

Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book 2013 Awards for young adult

BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

Named finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  [9/1 final decision]

Life’s What Happens

Finalist in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for literature

TUTORIAL: BION =Believe It Or Not

CURRENT PROJECTS


BION eBook 1

BION, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery [Bob Kat]

Estimate a July 28, 2013 release

Cries In The Night, a Denver After Dark Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Estimate a October 1, 2013 release

Scandals, a New Adult Romantic Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Set in Austin, Texas

Estimate a December 1, 2013 release

Check the progress on this blog or Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com

Another Romance Excerpt from Kathy Clark…COLD FEET, WARM HEART

Hello…I’m Kathy Clark, author.  Welcome back to my blog site.

This book at the time was rather creative cause it carried an online romance started on the internet.  Bob and I will be married 21 years this December all from an on line romance started on Prodigy in early 1993!  Remember that?

Some of you may remember me from long ago…like last century…when traditional publishers such Harlequin published my romance novels and printed them on paper and sold them through bookstores! No?  Maybe you have purchased one of my more recent novels that were released in 2012 and 2013.  No doubt my over 3 million in sales worldwide in paperback were one measure and one cause of the popularity of my new books.  And yes, they’re digital and trade paperback.

Today, I write my Romantic Suspense series, Denver After Dark under my name Kathy Clark and the young adult mystery series, CUL8RTM [See you later] under the pseudonym of Bob Kat.  CUL8RTM is co-written with my husband Bob Wernly.  Starting this fall, the New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Scandals, will be under Kathy Clark.

I am going to take space in this blog to publish excerpts from my romance novel back list to provide as they say, a deeper cut, into the stories beyond the samples provided by Amazon.  I did this last weekend at the virtual eBook Fair and I got great feedback to do more of this. So I will.  Readers rule!

Thank you for stopping…each blog post will have-

  • The summary of the featured book
  • The excerpt from that book
  • A summary of my recent books
  • All the links needed  to find additional information including how to order any of the books

Best wishes,

Kathy Clark

Bob Kat tile

COLD FEET WARM HEART 062313 amazon

SUMMARY of COLD FEET, WARM HEART

On-line romances can be a great way to fall in love – or to get into trouble.

Abby Harris had never been impetuous – until she escaped to Antarctica to marry a man whose words had won her heart, but whose face she’d never seen and whose voice she’d never heard.

A sight-unseen love affair had its surprises, though. Abby got one when she and her wilting wedding bouquet deplaned in the frozen tundra and fell into the arms of Prescott Roberts, the egotistical scientist from her office – powerfully transformed into an officer and a gentleman.

She’d never cared for his arrogant manner. He’d never cared for her ice-princess coolness. Neither believed in destiny – but they believed in a deal. Dealmaking was a risky business, though, when the bargaining table was the marriage bed.

EXCERPT from COLD FEET, WARM HEART

He began unfastening the bright polished brass buttons of his jacket. “It is getting late, isn’t it? I guess we’d better get ready for bed.”

As much as she wanted to turn away, her attention was riveted to the movement of those large, tanned fingers against the crisp white of his uniform. One by one, the buttons gave way, baring a tantalizing glimpse of bronzed flesh. With a final tug at the Velcro fasteners holding the upright collar closed around his neck, he shrugged out of the jacket and reached for a hanger.

Abigail blinked at the expanse of rippling muscle that flexed with even the tiniest movement he made. With his back to her, she took advantage of the moment to drink in his magnificence. He’d taken off his hat as soon as they’d entered the room and now she could see how very blond his hair was. Had it always been that golden and that thick? she wondered. Cut in a blunt military style across the back, it emphasized the sculptured perfection of his neck and shoulders. Broader than she’d imagined, his upper torso tapered to a slim waist and narrow hips.

And the best set of buns she’d ever seen.

Her thoughts were flooded with memories of all the bold, sensual comments he’d made during their computer chats. In erotic terms, he’d managed to describe to her exactly where his hands and lips would be on her body when they were making love and how he would make her feel. He’d painted vivid pictures of their sweat-slickened bodies sliding together in passion . . . of how the bedclothes would get twisted around their bare legs. . .of how she would cry out from the pleasure he’d give her.

Abby couldn’t tear her gaze away as he hung the jacket in the wardrobe, right next to a dark blue suit coat that was also heavily adorned with military braid and insignia. Lord, she’d always had a weakness for a man in uniform. And, as she was rapidly discovering, for a man out of uniform.

But when she saw his hands reach for his belt buckle and heard the rasp of a zipper going down, she panicked. It dawned on her that within seconds she would be sharing this incredibly small room with a naked or near-naked man.

Your husband, her conscience reminded her pointedly. “I can’t—I mean we can’t—you know—not now—not here—not like this—” Abigail stammered. Bert turned his head and gave her a questioning look, but didn’t speak. “Look, I know I went into this with my eyes wide open. You and I both have reasons to see this thing through, at least for a while, so I can understand why it’s prudent that we carry out the pretense when we’re in public. But it would be dishonest of us if we were to act like husband and wife when we’re in here, in the privacy of this room.”

“Dishonest?” He took a step toward her. “Let’s talk about dishonesty, Abby.” There was a strange expression on his handsome features that only served to remind Abigail just how little she knew about this man with whom she’d just vowed to spend the rest of her life. Automatically she retreated until she backed against a solid, starkly painted wall.

He took another step before stopping. He was so close she could see the black spikes dividing the sky blue irises of his eyes. Cold, hard eyes. But there was something else she couldn’t quite identify. If she didn’t know better, she would have sworn there was a shadow of pain hiding behind the dispassionate stare. “What happened to the woman who likes making love with the soulful sounds of Kenny G drifting in the background?”

So here it was—the discussion they’d both been waiting for. She gulped, vividly remembering the night she’d sat in front of the computer, typing the words while a little imp sat on her shoulder, urging her on, compelling her to fabricate an alter ego for the dull, uninspiring Abigail Harris.

How could she tell him that the sexy lingerie, the champagne, the bubble baths and yes, even the lovemaking belonged to the risqué, and nonexistent, Angelina. Not the staid, predictable Abigail everyone knew and intellectually respected.

“So how many times have you done it, Abby?”

“Done what?” She tried to sound forceful, but realized she was failing miserably. A lump the size of Alaska had coagulated in her throat. Except for the night her car broke down and she had to walk home after midnight, she’d never experienced fear. But then again, she’d never been married to a perfect stranger who knew her better than any man ever had-better than even he knew.

He reached out. Her head connected with the wall behind her. Her pulse pounded, blood racing frantically. Anxiety paralyzed her, but she also had to admit feeling her first real frisson of excitement. Rationally she realized he would never hurt her. And yet…

With his right hand, he eased the errant, windblown strands of hair from her face. She felt the brush of his thumb across her ear, even heard the sound of his erratic breathing. “How many, Abby? One? Two? Three? A dozen?”

Why had she never noticed the subtle nuances of his voice before? “How many what?” she repeated having a hard time grasping his words, her gaze so captivated by his unblinking stare. She might have felt ridiculous under normal circumstances, but she was quickly learning that nothing on the Ice was normal, that the line between reality and unreality was a confusing blur.

“Made love with Kenny G’s sax in the background,” he prompted when she didn’t respond immediately to his inquiry.

Heated color rose to paint her cheeks. A fictitious lover on a nameless, sightless electronic bulletin board was one thing; talking about the nonexistent person with her husband not more than six inches away was another thing entirely.

He continued to rub the pad of his thumb around her ear, tantalizing her. “I bought a Kenny G CD before I left the U.S., Abby. Just for you. Just for us.”

“Don’t,” she implored, wishing she could think, wishing he’d move away, wishing he wouldn’t use her own words against her, wishing he wouldn’t call her Abby in that soft, seductive way.

“Don’t what?” He moved a fraction of an inch closer, so close their breaths mingled. He smelled of champagne, of wedding cake. . .of passion.

“Don’t stand this close?” he prompted. “Don’t remind you of the things you said to me? Or don’t touch you like this? Or this?” He traced the outline of her lips. Though she tried to resist, her lips involuntarily parted. “You know, ever since we started corresponding, I’ve dreamed of this night.” His voice was husky.

She tried to force herself to concentrate on what he was saying, rather than the way his fingertips felt against her suddenly ultrasensitive skin.

“I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms, dreamed of stripping off your clothes, piece by piece. Dreamed of carrying you to the bed and . . .”

Her eyes drifted shut under the powerful onslaught. It was impossible to believe this was the same man she’d so casually dismissed in the lab, the flirtatious scientist who seemed more interested in the chemistry of mating Homo sapiens than the chemistry of molecules.

“I’ve dreamed of watching you climax, Abby, dreamed of hearing you call my name, asking for more.”

“Bert. . .”

“Hmm? What part was it you didn’t want to hear, Abby?” His fingers tightened on her jaw until her head was being gently, but very firmly held in place.

At the abrupt shift in his tone and the unexpected pressure of his hands, her eyes flew open. She saw he was angry-maybe even beyond angry. He was obviously upset about the situation, and Abigail wasn’t sure which part of it bothered him the most-the fact that he’d married precipitously or that his mystery lover was Abby.

She’d been a fool to believe how wonderful things would be in Antarctica. For the first time, she’d let her heart rule her head and look where it had gotten her. Her fantasy had become a real-life disaster. And her Prince Charming had turned out to be a real-life toad.

“The part about me wanting to make love to you?” he went on, forcing her to continue looking into his wintry eyes. “Or the part about how you want to make love to me, Angelina.”

Bitterness welled up inside her. Bert was accusing her of being deceptive, conveniently ignoring his own part in the entire situation. “Look,” she said angrily, surprising even herself with the defiance and vehemence in her tone, “I may not be totally innocent in all of this, but neither are you. You had plenty of opportunity back in Boulder to confess you were engaged in a steamy electronic love affair while you were asking me out.”

“Confess?” Bert demanded. “What was I doing that you weren’t doing just as often? You weren’t exactly spilling your guts to me. You know that old saying about casting the first stone.”

Anger at his accusations and his casual dismissal of his own guilt gnawed at her. She pushed away from the wall and pointed a finger at him. “If anyone has reason to feel deceived, it’s me,” she said.

“Honey, you wrote the book on deception.”

 

I hope you enjoyed this sample from my book.  All of my romance novels are available individually as eBooks on amazon and they have also been republished as Romance Collections with similar books in their original full length and unabridged.  The Romance Collections are at a reduced price and available by going to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20 .

Here are a few important links for your use.  Have a great rest of your day.  Again…thanks for stopping.

My author’s website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

To order any book on Amazon go to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

To contact me my email address is info@nightwriter93.com

Recent books:

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Romantic Suspense series:           After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense      Book #1

What started as a routine contact stop turned into a brutal double homicide.  Hooker to lover or low-life to no-life. It’s all in his hands.

OMG eBook 3

Young Adult Mystery series:          OMG, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery      Book #1

Albert Einstein said about time travel “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

BRB eBook Cover 2

Young Adult Mystery series:         BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery     Book #2

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

 

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

New Adult Romance:                   LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS

How did one night change over a million lives of new adults forever?

TUTORIAL: OMG = Oh My God, BRB = BE Right Back

All four books are available on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Additional details on the CUL8RTM time travel series is at http://www.cul8rseries.com

 

2013 Awards

After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for suspense

Finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  for young adult [9/1 final decision]

OMG, A C CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for young adult

Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book 2013 Awards for young adult

BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

Named finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  [9/1 final decision]

Life’s What Happens

Finalist in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for literature

TUTORIAL: BION =Believe It Or Not

CURRENT PROJECTS

BION eBook 1

BION, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery [Bob Kat]

Estimate a July 28, 2013 release

Cries In The Night, a Denver After Dark Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Estimate a October 1, 2013 release

Scandals, a New Adult Romantic Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Set in Austin, Texas

Estimate a December 1, 2013 release

Check the progress on this blog or Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com

Its’ Time To Add another Excerpt to my Romance Back List…CODY’S LAST STAND

Hello…I’m Kathy Clark, author.  Welcome back to my blog site.

Some of you may remember me from long ago…like last century…when traditional publishers such Harlequin published my romance novels and printed them on paper and sold them through bookstores! No?  Maybe you have purchased one of my more recent novels that were released in 2012 and 2013.  No doubt my over 3 million in sales worldwide in paperback were one measure and one cause of the popularity of my new books.  And yes, they’re digital and trade paperback.

Today, I write my Romantic Suspense series, Denver After Dark under my name Kathy Clark and the young adult mystery series, CUL8RTM [See you later] under the pseudonym of Bob Kat.  CUL8RTM is co-written with my husband Bob Wernly.  Starting this fall, the New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Scandals, will be under Kathy Clark.

I am going to take space in this blog to publish excerpts from my romance novel back list to provide as they say, a deeper cut, into the stories beyond the samples provided by Amazon.  I did this last weekend at the virtual eBook Fair and I got great feedback to do more of this. So I will.  Readers rule!

Thank you for stopping…each blog post will have-

  • The summary of the featured book
  • The excerpt from that book
  • A summary of my recent books
  • All the links needed  to find additional information including how to order any of the books

Best wishes,

Kathy Clark

                                              Bob Kat tile


CODY'S LAST STAND 062913 amazon

HERE’S THE SUMMARY OF CODY…

e had the wildness of the prairie in his eyes…the gentleness of a lover in his lips. And on that fateful day at Little Big Horn, Cody took Elizabeth Lawrence captive without firing a shot.

Elizabeth searched high and low for the raven-haired stranger after their timeless encounter. When she met him by chance, she almost wished he was the ghost she’d believed him to be.

Descended from the great chief Sitting Bull, John Cody was as ferociously proud of his Indian heritage as Elizabeth was of her ancestor, George Custer.

A hundred years after the most famous battle of the West, was there any hope that the descendants of two bitter enemies could at last make peace?

In this modern-day Romeo & Juliet tale, Cody and Elizabeth must defy generations of bad blood and families who cannot accept the possibility of their romance. Can the star-crossed lovers survive a war that still rages?

EXCERPT Of CODY…ENJOY!

The friction that had been building during their conversation immediately dispersed, neutralized by her unexpected capitulation and the concentrated power of her smile. Cody rolled onto his side. With his elbow planted on the rock, he propped his head up on his hand. His move had closed the distance between them until he was near enough to see the black spikes radiating from the pupils of her eyes, piercing through the cornflower-blue irises. They were the eyes of a seductress, yet he could see a vulnerability in their depths.

She had removed her hat and left it on the ground next to the rock. A gentle breeze whispered through the pine needles and sent the large, floppy leaves of the cottonwoods into motion. It also feathered through her hair, lifting the strands that had strayed from her ponytail and depositing them across her cheek.

Automatically his free hand moved to brush them away. But as soon as his fingers touched her skin, his control wavered. She was too close and he wanted to taste her lips, lips he knew would be as sweet as honey. Suddenly the differences between Elizabeth’s life and his didn’t seem so important. The fact that she was white and he was Native American was irrelevant when weighed against the overwhelming desire he had to kiss her.

If she had made even the slightest protest, if she had made any move to turn away, he could have stopped. But encouraged by the expectant look in her eyes, he leaned closer. His attention was drawn to the pink tip of her tongue as it raced around her slightly parted lips, leaving behind a moist, shiny trail he could no longer resist.

His fingers tunneled into the hair at her temple, sweeping it off her face and out of his way as his lips touched hers. He meant the contact to be brief. All he wanted was to satisfy his curiosity whether or not anyone or anything could taste as good as she looked.

But once he felt her full mouth beneath his, he knew one kiss would never be enough. His mouth moved over hers, memorizing the shape, savoring the texture and never wanting to leave. How many kisses would it take to satisfy him? Ten? Twenty? Fifty million?

Elizabeth was not remaining passive beneath his caress. There was a passion that rivaled his in the way she returned his kiss. Her hands had found their way to his body, her fingers stroking the tensed muscles of his back. He inched over until his body partially covered hers.

If he thought that would make him more comfortable, he was wrong. The sensation of her firm breasts pressing against his chest made the pressure in his groin almost unbearable. He could not keep from pushing against her, feeling his hardness nuzzle into her softness, even if there were several layers of clothing in between.

Cody didn’t know how much more of this torture he could take. There was a limit to a man’s ability to resist temptation, even a man who prided himself on self-control.

It was time he faced the truth. Cody wanted more than to sample Elizabeth’s lips. Whether it was wrong or right…whether it was temporary or permanent…he had to make love to this most desirable, most inappropriate woman.

The rock was hot and hard beneath her back. The man lying partially on top of her was almost as hot and hard. The excitement of the latter made her forget the discomfort of the former.

His kisses were as wild and passionate as she’d imagined. They were awakening in her sensations that she hadn’t known existed. She’d thought all those stories of being swept away, beyond all control were pure fiction. Until this moment…with this man.

His tongue teased the tender skin of her lips, slipping deeper until it met and mated with her own tongue in seductive strokes. His breath swirled into her open mouth as he refused to break the contact even for the necessary act of breathing.

Elizabeth’s own breaths were coming in shallow gasps. She could have blamed the pressure of his chest on hers, but she knew it was more than that. This was what she had been waiting for from the first time she had seen him, standing before her.

When it came to pure sexuality, her attraction to him was as primitive and unrestrained as the savage she had originally thought him to be. Now that she knew better, she knew how wrong the “savage” moniker was. The man was more intelligent and better educated than most of her very civilized friends.

The memory of his near-naked body glistening in the sunlight heated her from the inside out. Anxious to feel that flesh beneath her fingers, her hands tugged at his shirt until she freed it from his pants. The snaps popped open, leaving his broad chest accessible to her exploratory touch.

As her fingers splayed over the muscled ridges of his rib cage, she could feel the immediacy of his reaction. Lifting his head, he peered down at her, searching her eyes for the depth of her feelings.

“Lady, do you know what you’re doing to me?” he moaned.

Instead of directly answering his question, she demanded in a fervent whisper, “Kiss me….”

I hope you enjoyed this sample from my book.  All of my romance novels are available individually as eBooks on amazon and they have also been republished as Romance Collections with similar books in their original full length and unabridged.  The Romance Collections are at a reduced price and available by going to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20 .

Here are a few important links for your use.  Have a great rest of your day.  Again…thanks for stopping.

My author’s website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

To order any book on Amazon go to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

To contact me my email address is info@nightwriter93.com

Recent books:


AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Romantic Suspense series:           After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense      Book #1

What started as a routine contact stop turned into a brutal double homicide.  Hooker to lover or low-life to no-life. It’s all in his hands.

OMG eBook 3

Young Adult Mystery series:          OMG, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery      Book #1

Albert Einstein said about time travel “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

BRB eBook Cover 2

Young Adult Mystery series:         BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery     Book #2

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

 

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

New Adult Romance:                   LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS

How did one night change over a million lives of new adults forever?

TUTORIAL: OMG = Oh My God, BRB = BE Right Back

All four books are available on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Additional details on the CUL8RTM time travel series is at http://www.cul8rseries.com

 

2013 Awards

After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for suspense

Finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  for young adult [9/1 final decision]

OMG, A C CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for young adult

Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book 2013 Awards for young adult

BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

Named finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  [9/1 final decision]

Life’s What Happens

Finalist in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for literature

TUTORIAL: BION =Believe It Or Not

CURRENT PROJECTS


BION eBook 1

BION, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery [Bob Kat]

Estimate a July 28, 2013 release

Cries In The Night, a Denver After Dark Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Estimate a October 1, 2013 release

Scandals, a New Adult Romantic Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Set in Austin, Texas

Estimate a December 1, 2013 release

Check the progress on this blog or Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com