Tobias Walcott, the Earl of Blade, has learned it is best to exercise rigid control over his passions and emotions in all that he does. Uncaring that it makes him seem cool and aloof to most in the ton, he is content with his desire to only woo agreeable and demur females. Then unforeseen circumstances see him trapped in a closet at a house party with the last woman he would ever make his countess.
Lady Olivia Sherwood is everything he should not desire in a female—unconventional, too decisive, and utterly without decorum. But passion ignites between them and they are discovered. Honor demands they wed, and while Tobias finds himself unwillingly drawn to the bewitching beauty, he must do everything not to tempt the passion that burns in him for her, lest it leads to disastrous consequences.
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The soft growl that slipped from her throat surprised her with its ferocity. “You, my lord, have no gentlemanly qualities.”
“Are you scolding me for bad behavior?” he clipped quite icily.
It seemed as if the tentative peace they’d formed in the ballroom had dissolved. “Yes!”
“You wouldn’t know refined sensibilities if they bit you in the posterior.”
“Christ, will you lower your voice?”
She gritted her teeth until her jaw ached.
“What are you doing here?”
She ignored him.
“I will not ask again,” he said in a dangerously soft tone.
Livvie swallowed, heat burning her cheeks. “I saw you, and I only meant to enquire whether you were well. Very silly of me and now I am exceedingly embarrassed I acted on the thought.”
“Ah…once again you were acting recklessly.”
“Of course not. I had no notion you would drag me in here.” She took a calming breath. “Why are you here?”
“That is none of your business,” he said cuttingly.
“I take it back,” she whispered. “I do not want to be forgiven, you are an—”
“Good God, have we reverted to the insufferable buffoon? And here I thought I had detected some growth.”
Before she could whisper a furious rebuttal, warm lips pressed on her, silencing her and alarming her, sending a shock of desire to her system, and stripping her of her defenses. She went absolutely still, her heart a pounding roar in her ears. Tobias was kissing her! Livvie dimly realized he was just as frozen, and she could feel the thud of his heart. She raised her hand and pressed it against his chest.
He shuddered. Then he parted his lips and rimmed his tongue against the seam of her mouth. Her knees buckled and his arms came around her and hauled her even closer to him. His hand moved in a slow soothing stroke over her back. A soft moan slipped from her, and she parted her lips to him, curious as to what would happen. Pleasure. What happened was a shock of undiluted delight, pulsing through her veins as he thrust his tongue into her mouth and conquered.
He squeezed her body tightly to his, moving his lips over hers with sensual force.
She pulled from him, breathless. “Tobias.”
“Good God, you taste even better than I imagined,” he said gruffly.
Livvie was speechless, never in her wildest fancy could she have imagined such pleasure or the soft sensual tones he used. He disliked her, didn’t he? “You’ve…thought of kissing me?”
“Every night since I’ve met you, utter madness.”
A black colt is born into an exciting and dangerous world. Will his parents be able to protect him from becoming a victim?
The wild mustangs encourage and protect each other, but what will happen when the man and his tame horse show up? Can the mustangs save themselves or will they be forced to abandon all they've ever known?
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... That night, Snake became anxious and began to fuss in his stall. He was very uneasy and felt the need to get out immediately. Confused, he began to kick violently at the enclosure. The other animals in the barn reacted to the noise and there was a flurry of activity among them as well.
The walls of the stalls were solidly built and did not give in to the force of his thrusting legs. He didn't know why, but he knew he had to get out. Stepping back for a moment, he eyed the door through which he had entered the stall. Somehow, he knew that it was his only chance of escape. Moving forward with great force, he slammed his broad chest into the door. The force of the hit stung and he heard a small snap! The door did not move. Backing up, he charged at the door again and hit it squarely with his chest, ignoring the pain. There was a sharp cracking sound from the sturdy wood and the other animals in the barn expressed their objections to the commotion, becoming increasingly upset. The chickens, which had been calmly dozing in the aisle, scurried outside to avoid the noise. Many of the other horses craned their necks over their own doors to try to determine exactly what was happening.
Snake again lunged at the door and made solid contact with his shoulder, producing more damage to the hardware holding it in place. Turning around quickly, he gave a mighty kick with his rear legs and one of the hinges actually popped off, flew across the aisle, and hit the stone wall on the other side with a shrill ping before falling to the earthen floor.
He stopped, breathing heavily. After a moment, he rammed the door again and there was an enormous crunch as the door broke away from its frame and landed with a thud on the floor. Still not even knowing why he felt the need to escape, he just stood there, looking at his handiwork. Once his breathing had returned to a normal rate, he quietly stepped past the battered door and into the aisle. Looking to his right, he saw the darkness outside and trotted to the main doorway. The rest of the horses watched in curious wonder as he exited the barn and disappeared into the night.
Wilder’s wonderful grandfather is dead, and so is her mother, but Grandpa Willy gives her one final gift in his will – the knowledge that her father is only her step-father.
Once she meets Hawker, the scary man who turns out to be her real dad, her life takes an unexpected turn. She finds out about a heritage she never knew she had, and secrets from the past are uncovered as she fights to save her part of the world from destruction.
And then there’s Mac, with his green eyes and a soft voice that flows through her like sweet honey. He’s there to help Wilder when she needs it the most, and as she struggles with how to fit into the group of people around her dad - having Mac in her life becomes more important with every bad thing that happens.
“Wilder” is the first in the Birds of a Feather series and a spin-off from the Dreughan trilogy. It’s set in modern time and can be read stand-alone.
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The first recruit to the new Sightseers Agency is a remote viewer who actively seeks the resolution of events threatening world security.
Both his fledgling agency and that of The Deaduction Agency are members of The Dreadnought Collective.
The term ‘Dreadnought’ is based on a type of battleship introduced in the early 20th century, larger and faster than ever before and equipped entirely with large-caliber guns.
It applies in this instance because the cerebrally talented agents who enter its portals are expected to fear nobody and be scared by nothing in the performance of their duties.
They pursue those who indulge in criminal and seditious activities in the modern meritocracy using unorthodox techniques.
The Collective will embrace several types of Black Arts as it grows and faces unusual challenges. These once belonged to the realms of Science Fiction but are fast becoming a reality in the emerging new world.
This is a series of Whodunits set in the future.
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Meeting him was a fluke. Dating him was a mistake. Watching him become a drug addict put me through hell. Running was my only option.
I'm running from my demons and when I find out she's trying to escape her past, I know what I have to do.
One broken cop. One woman fighting for her life. A fragile love.
Sinister secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
They've been to hell. The hard part will be finding their way back together.
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I pull up in my driveway looking over at the house. What I see pisses me off.
Here she is in a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, hat and glasses pushing a brand new lawn mower.
I make sure I check my temper before I walk over. Right before I cross the street the little girl on the front porch stops me mid step.
She looks like just like her mother, just a smaller version. She is sitting on a plastic little table, that they probably just bought, coloring.
I make my way over to her right when the lawn mower goes off
“I told you I would cut the grass.” I try to sound casual, but the blood in me is boiling, it must be ninety-five degrees outside, and she’s wearing enough clothes for a trek across the frozen tundra.
She looks up “I also said I got it, and I would be doing it myself.” The little girl from the porch makes it to her mother and hides behind her, yanking on her pant leg.
The fearful look that she gives me is just like her mother’s. I crouch down, getting eye-to-eye with her and say “Hey there, beautiful. What’s your name?” She doesn’t reply, and instead she lowers her gaze so she is looking at her feet. “I’m Jackson,” I reach out my hand, but drop it when I know she won’t take it. I gesture behind me, as I say “I live in that house right over there. I used to know your great grandma.” I’m trying to draw her into a conversation with me, but nothing I say engages her.
“It’s ok baby, you can tell him your name. Nan used to make him cookies, so you know what that means, she must have really liked him.” She rubs her daughters shoulder.
“I’m Lilah,” she says in barely a whisper.
“That is the most beautiful name in the whole wide world. You’re lucky to have such a beautiful name.” She smiles at me, right as a car back fires. She yells and puts her hands to her ears.
Two things happen at the same time, her mother grabs her and runs toward the house, and I vow to protect them.
“Wait,” I rush after them and make it right to the door before it’s closed in my face. I stand there inside the house and watch them rushing to the corner and hide.
Two broken girls protecting each other against some monster of the outside world. I walk up to them “It’s ok, it’s just a car, it was nothing but a car.”
“Lilah, baby it’s ok, it’s ok. I’m here. It’s ok baby girl, were safe.” She is trying to comfort the little girl who is sobbing quietly in her mother arms. “No one is here baby.”
She looks over at me, our eyes meeting for one minute before she lowers them again.
“Look it’s ok, it’s just Jackson. There is no one here, baby.” She rocks Lilah back and forth. Her back against the wall while she soothes her baby girl whose sobs are slowly stopping, her eyes closing.
“What can I do?” I’m now sitting in front of her not sure how to even start to dissect this.
“Nothing, you can’t do anything for us,” she kisses Lilah’s head. “No one can.”
I ignore that last part not sure how to talk about this now.
“I’m going to go outside and finish cutting the grass, then I’m going to go pick up some food for us. Does she like pizza?”
“Jackson, I don’t know what relationship you had with my grandmother, but I don’t need your help. We will be fine. Please, it’s ok, you can leave.” She rests her head on the the wall closing her eyes, the defeat of the day leaving her body.
“I’m going to go outside and finish mowing the lawn so Lilah doesn’t have to go outside anymore today. Then I’m going to pick up pizza for myself. You won’t have time to cook, so I’m going to pick one up for you. I want to eat with you guys, but I’m not pushing myself on you either after today. Now I don’t want to fight with you or even discuss this, so just nod that you understand?”
She looks into my eyes, but nods yes.
“I can pay you for the pizza? I have money. I don’t need a hand out,” she says while trying to push herself up to go get fucking money.
If she weren’t so scared of things I would punch the fuck out of something right now. “I don’t want your money, now or ever. I have no doubt you can take care of yourself. Consider this a housewarming present.” I get up going to the door not even giving her a chance to say anything else.
“She’s never had pizza before, so can you just get us plain cheese.”
I don’t say anything afraid of what will come out of my mouth. I nod and walk out the door, closing it quietly so as not to wake Lilah.
I close my eyes exhaling the breath that I didn’t even realize I was holding.
“She’s barely holding on while fighting for her life. She has demons, they both do. Whatever happened to them, it’s in there deep. The both of them are so scared, you can practically see the fear coming off of them.” I look over at Brenda who is on her porch watering her plants. “Tread lightly, Jackson, or better yet walk away if you aren’t going to do anything about it.”
I don’t have a chance to respond she walks into her house closing her front door softly, leaving me fighting my own demons.
A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis
Yvonne deSousa’s diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis came with an insightful declaration from a new doctor (“MS Sucks”) and a brother’s helpful advice (“You could totally get one of those handicapped parking plates now”).
What followed was a year of MS-adventures: “accidentally” kicking an officious male doctor in the crotch, becoming an undercover agent to pay for medication made from Chinese hamster ovary cells, discovering the amazing effects of legal speed, and battling her arch-nemesis, the dreaded food group-vegetables.
Throughout her MS journey, Yvonne learned how to use humor to find acceptance in her diagnosis and how to smile in the face of chronic illness. Life with multiple sclerosis can be daunting, but Yvonne shares her giggles at the bizarre world she has unwittingly entered and the new perspectives it has given her on life. MS Madness! helps us realize that with a sense of humor, we can survive anything.
“MS Madness! A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis combines defiance with humor, the secret weapon of the sick. Laughter has carried me a greater distance than conventional medicine ever will. In the end, attitude drives well being.”
-Richard M. Cohen, NY Times best-selling author of Blindsided and Strong at the Broken Places
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Chapter 12 The Little Things
Outside of the air conditioned restaurant and away from the bay breeze, it was hot. My mom said I should go home and rest but I felt I should go home and sort this mess out. My brain and body were tumbling through a bizarre mix of peace and panic. I was thirsty and was craving my favorite thirst quencher, a fountain Diet Coke with a ton of ice. Water alone doesn’t do it for me. Diet Coke in a can or bottle doesn’t do it either. Something about that particular brand of soda in a frost cold plastic cup filled with ice was what worked for me.
I stopped at my local convenience store and then sat in my car panicking again. Fountain drinks here cost .83 cents. I didn’t have a job. I had absolutely no business wasting .83 cents at this point in my life. I needed to save, to be cautious and thrifty. There was nothing wrong with tap water from my kitchen sink, even if it was from a well and turned my bathtub blue. Now that I wasn’t working I would just have to get used to it, even if it turned my insides blue. Maybe blue would make the lesions in my brain and on my spine more colorful, freak the MRI techs out. That would at least be fun. And I probably even had ice somewhere in my freezer. Maybe the same ice that had been there since last summer but I couldn’t be particular now. No, I wasn’t going to foolishly spend money, no diet coke for me.
But I wanted it, dammit. I had had a stressful day. Didn’t I deserve a treat? And wouldn’t Diet Coke help calm me down and sort out my life? I walked in, filled the plastic cup with a ton of ice and the cherished beverage and defiantly pulled out a dollar bill at the counter. I took some comfort in the fact that at least I would get change back. No putting the two pennies in the ‘need a penny take a penny’ tray, I needed to save everything.
The clerk behind the register seemed busy with paperwork and barely looked up as he said “you’re all set”. I laughed, figuring he was joking. But he didn’t move. I slid my dollar across the counter.
“There’s no charge today,” he said.
“What? How can that be?” I guessed he was a wise guy and continued to thrust one of my seemingly last dollars at him.
“It’s free,” he insisted, sliding my dollar back in my direction. “It’s Friday, a no charge fountain beverage Friday.”
“Really???” I was shocked. Was it true? I could quench my thirst AND save my .83 cents?
I began to thank him profusely and tell him how much I loved the store, how I only shopped there and it was because of excellent customer service like his. What a wonderful company to offer a treat like this one. I told him how kind of them it was and how I would remember it always and continue to only shop there from now on.
“You are in my debt and I am so grateful. I will tell all my friends how great your store is and make sure they all shop here too!”
He seemed to be slowly backing away from the counter. I realized that a line had formed and in declaring my appreciation, I was keeping other customers from getting their free Friday fountain beverage and sort of freaking everyone out. I headed to my car happy my dollar was still in my pocket. I no longer had a job with a biweekly paycheck. But I had a free soda. I was going to be ok. I went home, drank my soda, got into bed and pulled a sheet over my head. Then I slept until Sunday
A little red hen takes pride in laying an egg each day for the little old man and the little old woman. But what happens when the couple tries different foods for breakfast? This easy-and-fun-to-read book explores the consequences of hurting the feelings of others and the need to keep relationships repaired. It can be enjoyed by all ages but is written with preschoolers through first grade in mind.
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The Road from Money takes you on a journey to the small town of Money, Mississippi; just after the turn of the 20th century. It is the story of Estella Reynolds, a young Negro girl, growing up in America’s deep South. You follow her life as she faces racism, segregation, exploitation, brutality and poverty. You watch as she finds the joy of family life, battles to get a good education, finds her first love and above all tries to figure out why things are the way they are. You enter a time after World War I and before the start of World War II. A time when automobiles were new and planes had just taken to the sky. The story is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the Great Dust Bowl, a flood, Prohibition; and a time when Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt were President. The story also highlights the strengths of a people and many of America's weaknesses.
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Excerpt from The Road from Money
Author, Sylvester Boyd Jr.
He Shot Her!
Estella was shocked for the second time that day. How could this happen? And why? It was always the same answer....because the South was just that way. So what if it was just another Negro dead in the South. Once again, tears streamed down her face, as her grandfather and brother boarded the wagon. In silence, Paul turned the wagon around, and together the family rode on back to Money. The only sound came from Julia, who kept sighing, “Why, dear Lord? Why?”
Four days later it happened to be Sunday. It was also going to be the day of Mandy’s funeral. Paul had taken his sister’s body to the undertaker the night she was shot. Now the family dressed and ate quietly. Julia stood at the kitchen window, looking out to see a grey cloudy sky, “Sometimes I think some people have no feelings,” she said in a soft voice.
Paul answered, “They can take someone’s life, like it ain’t nothin’!”
“Lord have mercy....when will all this stop,” Julia asked with tears in her eyes. Estella knew there was nothing else to say.
“Y’all better be getting ready; Reverend Lockwood goin’ to start the service early today,” Paul told them.
As the family rode to the church, Estella continued to think about how Mandy had been killed. As the family filed into the church, Paul added, “I don’t want to go in...but I got to.”
Standing at the coffin, Julia said, “She look so peaceful.”
A few minutes later everyone took a seat in the pews near the front of the church, as Reverend Lockwood walked past the coffin and up to the pulpit, saying, “Let the service begin.” Everyone was shocked—there was a big smile on his face.
“I know you think this smile on my face is out of place on such a sad day. But today is not a day to be sad. It is a day to be glad. Our Sister Mandy is at peace. I am smiling because she ain’t goin’ to pick cotton in the hot sun no mo! She ain’t goin to be disrespected no mo! She ain’t goin’ to be poor no mo! She ain’t goin to say ...yes ma’am and yes sir, no mo because of the color of someone’s skin no mo! She ain’t goin’ to see no mo Negroes hanging from a tree! If only our world would be a place of peace, love, respect, and understanding. ‘cause Sister Mandy is in a place of peace and love!”
Everyone nodded, knowing the reverend was right, and suddenly Paul and his family felt at peace too. The reverend motioned for the choir to sing another hymn as the coffin was carried out the church’s front doors and to the small cemetery behind the church. As the four men gently lowered the coffin into the ground, the reverend said a prayer. Just as he finished, the sun came from behind the clouds, filling the sky with light. Pointing to the sky, Reverend Lockwood said, “Sister Mandy just got a new home!”
You know what they say about best-laid plans…
After a disastrous thirty-first birthday party where she gets stood-up by a man she isn’t supposed to be dating, Peri McKenna decides it’s time to change what hasn’t been working—which is pretty much everything. Her love life is going nowhere fast, she’s bored to tears by a job that makes her the office pariah, and the lifelong junk food addiction that used to be somewhat quirky is now positively problematic. To top it all off, her newly-purchased home is falling apart and wishful thinking hasn’t done much to fix the leaky roof.
It’s time be an adult now that she’s officially ‘thirty-something.’
But when the first step of Peri’s self-improvement plan backfires, she starts to wonder if change might be overrated.
Enter Milo Preston, an up-and-coming chef who’s in town to take over a local restaurant. When Peri and Milo begin working together, she finds it hard to ignore his easy charm and captivating emerald-green eyes. Since Milo is her best friend’s estranged brother, Peri has to keep reminding herself that he is completely off-limits. As they grow closer, Milo introduces Peri to new foods, the joy (and pain) of jogging, and makes her think her luck might finally be turning.
But when the past catches up with them, Peri finds herself back at square one. Will she be able to sort herself out—or will the roof cave in on her once and for all?
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When Roxy Rule’s best friend accepts a dream job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss right before Ollie leaves for London. While Roxy is sure nothing can come between two lifelong besties, it’s hard to ignore the nagging thought that their kiss might have been more than a moment of temporary insanity.
As she tries to come to terms with her feelings for Ollie, Roxy is ambushed by her two sisters—both in full crisis mode. With the Rule siblings living under the same roof again, Roxy’s quiet little apartment in the city is anything but peaceful and she can't help getting caught up in her sisters' drama. Add a thankless job with the boss from hell and a fiancé set on planning the wedding of his dreams and Roxy’s world quickly starts to spiral.
After discovering that her seemingly solid relationship with Ollie had more than a few cracks long before he left town, Roxy decides it’s time to take control of her career, her love life, and her sisters – but can she really handle it all?
And can the Rule family keep it together – or will they break under the pressure?
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