Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Dream Catcher by Marie Laval


by Marie Laval

SWORD DANCE, Book 3 of the historical romance trilogy DANCING FOR THE DEVIL, has just been released by Áccent Press. Like the first two books in the series – DREAM CATCHER and BLUE BONNETS – it mostly takes place in the far north of Scotland, so you may wonder why I'm writing a post about Algeria's infamous Ouled Nail dancers. Algeria is a long, long way from Scotland!

Well, here is why. THE DREAM CATCHER, the first novel in my DANCING FOR THE DEVIL trilogy, features Rose Saintclair, an unconventional heroine born and brought up in Bou Saada, an oasis in the Sahara desert. This was where many dancers from the Berber tribe Ouled Nail lived and worked.

The Ouled Nail were made famous by painters such as Etienne Dinet, who settled in Bou Saada in the late nineteenth century and who, like so many other visitors to North Africa, was fascinated by them. The Ouled Nails were trained since their girlhood in the art of dancing. They left their villages to earn a living in market towns and usually returned home after ten to fifteen years, when they had saved enough money to settled down and get married.

Unlike most women in Algeria, they were always unveiled and wore heavy make up. Their eyes were lined with kohl, their hair was braided on both sides of the face, and adorned by elaborate headdresses. Their costume featured voluminous and colourful skirts, lots of necklaces, charms and bracelets. These bracelets often had studs and spikes which the girls used to defend themselves against the unwelcome attentions of overexcited spectators.

The Ouled Nail literally wore their wealth on their person, usually in their long necklaces, sawn into their skirts and shawls, or on their headdress. This made them easy preys to unscrupulous thugs and many were attacked and robbed.

The girls usually danced in pairs. Their style has often been described as 'earthy', and it was often the case that after several dances in costume, the dancers would retire behind a screen, only to reappear completely naked, except for headdress and jewellery, to continue their performance.  

Ted Shawn, the famous American dancer and choreographer, saw the Ouled Nail in the early 1900's and is quoted to have said that their dancing could not be called suggestive 'because it left nothing to the imagination'.

Rose Saintclair, the heroine in DANCING FOR THE DEVIL, learnt the art of dancing like a Ouled Nail from one of her childhood friends.  However now she is married to Cameron McRae, one of Scotland's richest landowners, she has to forget all about that most unsuitable skill...Or does she? 

And to carry on the theme of dancing, DANCING FOR THE DEVIL has been published in three parts, each one having the title of a Highland dance.


Can her love heal his haunted heart?

Cape Wrath, Scotland, November 1847.

Bruce McGunn is a man as brutal and unforgiving as his land in the far North of Scotland. Discharged from the army where he was known as the claymore devil, haunted by the spectres of his fallen comrades and convinced he is going mad, he is running out of time to save his estate from the machinations of Cameron McRae, heir to the McGunn's ancestral enemies. When the clipper carrying McRae’s new bride is caught in a violent storm and docks at Wrath harbour, Bruce decides to revert to the old ways and hold the clipper and the woman to ransom. However, far from the spoilt heiress he expected, Rose is genuine, funny and vulnerable - a ray of sunshine in the long, harsh winter that has become his life.

But Rose is determined to escape Wrath and its proud master - the man she calls McGlum.

DREAM CATCHER is the first of the DANCING FOR THE DEVIL trilogy and is followed by BLUE BONNETS and SWORD DANCE.

It is available both as an ebook and paperback form.

Author Bio

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the beautiful Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, England, for the past few years. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher and when she isn't busy looking after her family and preparing lessons, she loves dreaming up romantic stories.

ANGEL HEART, her debut historical romance, has been re-released by Áccent Press, together with award-winning THE LION'S EMBRACE.

She also writes contemporary romance with A SPELL IN PROVENCE, which was published earlier in 2015.

You can find more about Marie's novels at



Monday, March 28, 2016

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks with Rebel Miller

This week author Rebel Miller joins us with her tip. Rebel Miller is an author who overindulges in Pinot Grigio, caramel popcorn and an eclectic mix of movies, music and angst-filled romance novels. She earned a graduate degree in Communications and Culture from Ryerson University and an undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies. Rebel lives in the outskirts of Toronto, Canada with her husband and two sons.

Rebel’s Marketing Tip: Why Book Marketing Evaluation is Important

In my other life as a corporate communicator, I put a lot of emphasis on evaluating my successes in any promotional campaign I embark on. It’s a humbling experience because who truly wants to take stock of areas where they fell short? But the truth is, like in life, our losses can be just as pivotal and meaningful as our wins.

When I plan my book release campaign, I apply the same level of scrutiny. As I implement each promotional tactic, I note the response level and make notes on where I could have improved – win, lose or draw. The idea is that the next time I plan for a book release, I’ll have an updated document I can refer to and that will guide my decision whether, where and how to spend my time on a certain action. For example, we as authors hear regularly that we should be on social media, but maybe we’re not spending time on the right social media and in the right way. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of social media platforms available. Perhaps there’s a lesser known, but more impactful one where your work will resonate with followers and your messages will gain greater reach.

Promising: Book Two of Kira’s Story

PROMISING, the riveting follow-up to AWAKENING by Rebel Miller.

Faced with diverging loyalties — between those she loves and her responsibility to the Realm — Kira has to make heartrending and strategic decisions that threaten to jeopardize her future.

As her connection to Tai deepens and turmoil in the Realm builds, so does Gannon’s frustration at being unable to call Kira his own.

Worlds at War ... A Heart in Conflict

While the Realm stands defiant amidst rising unrest, Kira is thrust into a role that puts her at the forefront of her system’s governance and law, supporting a landmark position. Following a devastating turn of events, she turns to Tai for a shoulder to lean on after making a painful choice to ensure Gannon fulfils the role he was meant for.

As she becomes a reluctant - yet inspiring - voice for her caste, Kira learns about one of the Realm’s most well-kept secrets and how far leadership will go to prevent it from being revealed. What she doesn’t know is how much the decisions of her past have the power to bring enemies into her path, threatening to destroy everyone she holds close to her heart.

This novel is for mature audiences (18+) and includes committed relationships with multiple partners.


“How is it that with all our system’s technology I can’t make love to you from thousands of light years away?”

I snorted, but my lips tilted up at the corners nevertheless. “I’m sure the Protectorate has some sort of virtual reality device that could be refashioned just for that purpose,” I offered, rearranging the wool blanket on my lap.

I was curled up in bed, facing my monitor and resting against a pile of pillows. It had become a familiar position over the last few weeks, one from which I would relay the day’s activities during my nightly call with Gannon. Well, it was a nightly call for me. The sun had already risen where Gannon lived, on Dignitas One.

Suddenly, Gannon seemed to be deep in concentration. “No, on second thought, there’s no technology that could ever measure up to the real thing.” He grinned.

I smiled, heat rising to my cheeks.

“There’s the smile I was looking for,” Gannon said, leaning closer to his monitor, and so closer to me.

He was sitting in his office. He had been holding our calls from there more frequently over the last month. From what I could see, his office was a large, well-lit space. A wall of floor-to-ceiling glass ran its expanse directly behind him. Through it, I could see citizens of every caste striding by in obvious haste to get things done, more than likely at Gannon’s bidding. During these nighttime conversations with Gannon, and within the intimate surroundings of my bedroom, it was easy to forget who he was and his status. As chancellor, he surely had, every day, a checklist as long as my arm, filled with tasks.

I frowned as I noted the time. “I should let you go,” I said, sitting up.


I glanced pointedly behind him, fiddling with the thin strap of my top. “Your office looks incredibly busy.”

He blinked then swiveled in his chair to look at the steady stream of people behind him.

“Oh, my support always look like that,” he said, mischief glittering in his clear blue eyes as he turned back to me. “They think it’ll prevent me asking them to do anything else.” He winked, and I laughed, loving his cheekiness.

Available Now



Enter to win an eBook version of Promising: Book Two of Kira’s Story, a Rebel Miller Books tote and magnet, and a signed poster.


Worlds at War…A Heart in Conflict. Kira’s Story continues. #romance #newadult #TheRealmSeries

The Hunger Games meets the Crossfire Series in Promising. #romance #newadult #TheRealmSeries

Connect with Rebel



Thanks Rebel, for dropping by and sharing that great marketing tip.

 Don’t forget to check back next week for another author’s tip or tweak.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Together, Again New Book Promo

Together, Again
by Charmaine Gordon

A wealthy couple, no children in sight, answer the door one day to find a replica of the woman living there, titian hair and all. Charlie is her name and so begins the story. Years later, Charlie’s young twin sisters , now seventeen, are rescued by the same couple with a big heart. It’s a tale of love and hearts that keep on giving.

Excerpt from This is the fourth and last in Charlie's Secret series. The first book came in a dream. Thus began Reconstructing Charlie followed by Sin of Omission, The Catch and here we are at the finish line. I'm thrilled the story came to fruition at last. I write fast, go back and think to make sense, picture the scene, enrich the action. It can happen to any of you out there in our wonderland of writing. Take your time, my publisher advised and she was and is so right.

The wicked witch lives in Utah where she dumped her seven year old twin girls into a religious school and washed her hands of them. She had better things to do on the spread of land she used for vacationers.

Ten years later:
Lights out and for the next to last time, the twin sisters whispered to each other in the cramped room shared for many years. 

“Do you remember her?” 
Celia rolled on her side to face Carey; “Vaguely, like a bad dream, the long trip from Minnesota to Utah with Mother hanging all over that guy, what’s his name?” 
“Max Calhoun who wouldn’t stop long enough for us to eat or use the bathroom so when he needed gas, Jimmy snuck us out for food and the toilet.” 

“He’s the best brother ever and to think he was only twelve back then.” 
“We were just about seven years old. We grew up fast, Sis.” They reached across the small space separating their single beds and touched fingertips. 

“She’s a bitch to have abandoned us, Carey. Never forget or forgive her.” 
"The wicked witch of the West.” They giggled. 

 “If we ever have kids, we’ll take the best care of them.” 

“Celia, do you remember why Charlie left?” 

Carey shook her head, the beautiful mane of long auburn hair flowed around her shoulders. “All I remember is suddenly Dad’s dead, Charlie, our big sister, was gone and we were stuffed in Max Calhoun’s car.” 

“I smell something fishy, Sis.” 

“Me, too.” 

“Just think, we’ll be gone from here living a whole new life with people who care for us.” Again they giggled. Their motto over the years was to laugh instead of cry. “Then we’ll find out what happened when we were seven."

As for me, I have a checkered past. Don't most of us. An actor for many years on daytime drama, stage, and movies learning my craft from the likes of Harrison Ford-Working Girl, my first movie, Mike Nicols, Billy Crystal and the loved Anthony Hopkins-call me Tony-who took me to a fabulous lunch in his dining room on the set of a terrible movie, The Road to Wellville. One night during the break after Act One in a play, my voice changed. Quiet as always, I sat in the green room and wondered what to do. The next day I saw a famed voice doctor in NYC. Spasmodic Dusphonia. No voice, no acting, bye bye the sweet time I loved. Brokenhearted, a friend called. Write a book. Hey, I didn't know how. A story crept into my mind and I wrote all the while drawing on my background-scripts,sets,action. To Be Continued , my first book was accepted by Vanilla heart Publishing. We've been together ever since. Now it's six year and many stories. Why many stories? This creative mind keeps working, old fingers type and here we are.
Twitter: CharJGordon
Facebook: author Charmaine Gordon

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Monday, March 21, 2016

A March 21st Seder

A friend said she was going to a special dinner – a Seder. I’m ot Jewish, but I had heard of the Seder. So for those of you who aren’t Jewish and would like to learn a little about the tradition, I checked out my favorite resiurces, Wikipedia.
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evening of the 15th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar throughout the world. Passover lasts for 7 days in Israel and 8 days outside of Israel.  

The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of The liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This story is in The Book of Exodus (Shemot) in The Hebrew Bible. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of The Exodus from Egypt: "You shall tell your child on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.'" (Exodus 13:8) Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah an ancient work derived from the Mishnah (Pesahim 10) The Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud, and special Passover songs.
The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.

In Our Forefathers’ Footsteps
At the Seder, every person should see himself as if he were going out of Egypt. Beginning with our Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we recount the Jewish people’s descent into Egypt and recall their suffering and persecution. We are with them as G‑d sends the Ten Plagues to punish Pharaoh and his nation, and follow along as they leave Egypt and cross the Sea of Reeds. We witness the miraculous hand of G‑d as the waters part to allow the Israelites to pass, then return to inundate the Egyptian legions.

Kadesh—the Benediction

The Seder service begins with the recitation of kiddush, proclaiming the holiness of the holiday. This is done over a cup of wine, the first of the four cups we will drink (while reclining) at the Seder.

The Four Cups of Wine

Why four cups? The Torah uses four expressions of freedom or deliverance in connection with our liberation from Egypt (see Exodus 6:6–7). Also, the Children of Israel had four great merits even while in exile: (1) They did not change their Hebrew names; (2) they continued to speak their own language, Hebrew; (3) they remained highly moral; (4) they remained loyal to one another.

Wine is used because it is a symbol of joy and happiness.

Why We Recline

When drinking the four cups and eating the matzah, we lean on our left side to accentuate the fact that we are free people. In ancient times only free people had the luxury of reclining while eating.


We wash our hands in the usual, ritually prescribed manner as is done before a meal, but without the customary blessing.

The next step in the Seder, Karpas, requires dipping food into water, which in turn mandates, according to Jewish law, that either the food be eaten with a utensil or that one’s hands be purified by washing. On the Seder eve we choose the less common observance to arouse the child’s curiosity.

Karpas—the “Appetizer”

A small piece of onion or boiled potato is dipped into saltwater and eaten (after reciting the blessing over vegetables).

Dipping the karpas in saltwater is an act of pleasure and freedom, which further arouses the child’s curiosity.

The Hebrew word karpas, when read backwards, alludes to the backbreaking labor performed by the 600,000 Jews in Egypt. [Samech has the numerical equivalent of 60 (representing 60 times 10,000), while the last three Hebrew letters spell perech, hard work.]

The saltwater represents the tears of our ancestors in Egypt.

Yachatz—Breaking the Matzah

The middle matzah on the Seder plate is broken in two. The larger part is put aside for later use as the afikoman. This unusual action not only attracts the child’s attention once again, but also recalls G‑d’s splitting of the Sea of Reeds to allow the Children of Israel to cross on dry land. The smaller part of the middle matzah is returned to the Seder plate. This broken middle matzah symbolizes humility, and will be eaten later as the “bread of poverty.”

Maggid—the Haggadah

At this point, the poor are invited to join the Seder. The Seder tray is moved aside, a second cup of wine is poured, and the child, who by now is bursting with curiosity, asks the time-honored question: “Mah nishtanah ha-lailah hazeh mikol ha-leilot? Why is this night different from all other nights?” Why only matzah? Why the dipping? Why the bitter herbs? Why are we relaxing and leaning on cushions as if we were kings?

The child’s questioning triggers one of the most significant mitzvot of Passover, which is the highlight of the Seder ceremony: the haggadah, telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The answer includes a brief review of history, a description of the suffering imposed upon the Israelites, a listing of the plagues visited on the Egyptians, and an enumeration of the miracles performed by the Almighty for the redemption of His people.

Rochtzah—Washing Before the Meal

After concluding the first part of the haggadah by drinking the second cup of wine (while reclining), the hands are washed again, this time with the customary blessings, as is usually done before eating bread.

Motzi Matzah—We Eat the Matzah

Taking hold of the three matzot (with the broken one between the two whole ones), recite the customary blessing before bread. Then, letting the bottom matzah drop back onto the plate, and holding the top whole matzah with the broken middle one, recite the special blessing “al achilat matzah.” Then break at least one ounce from each matzah and eat the two pieces together, while reclining.

Maror—the Bitter Herbs

Take at least one ounce of the bitter herbs. Dip it in the charoset, then shake the latter off and make the blessing “al achilat maror.” Eat without reclining.

Korech—the Sandwich

In keeping with the custom instituted by Hillel, the great Talmudic sage, a sandwich of matzah and maror is eaten. Break off two pieces of the bottom matzah, which together should be at least one ounce. Again, take at least one ounce of bitter herbs and dip them in the charoset. Place this between the two pieces of matzah, say “kein asah Hillel . . .” and eat the sandwich while reclining.

Shulchan Orech—the Feast

The holiday meal is now served. We begin the meal with a hard-boiled egg dipped into saltwater.

A rabbi was once asked why Jews eat eggs on Passover. “Because eggs symbolize the Jew,” the rabbi answered. “The more an egg is burned or boiled, the harder it gets.”

Note: The chicken neck is not eaten at the Seder.

Tzafun—Out of Hiding

After the meal, the half-matzah which had been “hidden,” set aside for the afikoman (“dessert”), is taken out and eaten. It symbolizes the Paschal lamb, which was eaten at the end of the meal.

Everyone should eat at least 1½ ounces of matzah, reclining, before midnight. After eating the afikoman, we do not eat or drink anything except for the two remaining cups of wine.

Berach—Blessings After the Meal

A third cup of wine is filled and Grace is recited. After the Grace we recite the blessing over wine and drink the third cup while reclining.

Now we fill the cup of Elijah and our own cups with wine. We open the door and recite the passage which is an invitation to the Prophet Elijah, the harbinger of the coming of Moshiach, our righteous Messiah.

Hallel—Songs of Praise

At this point, having recognized the Almighty and His unique guidance of the Jewish people, we go still further and sing His praises as L‑rd of the entire universe.

After reciting the Hallel, we again recite the blessing over wine and drink the fourth cup, reclining.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Sneaky Secondary Characters

Secondary characters have many functions in stories. Have you ever had a secondary character surprise you in some way? How? How about in other author's books that you've read? Do you have a favorite secondary character in either your own work or in books you have read?

Robin did it again. I love this topic. I think because they are secondary characters as a writer you put less emphasis on them. You concentrate on the h/h, so the secondary characters have the freedom to go where they want, do what they want and develop their own style. They’re not as restricted.

My favorite secondary character and one that surprised me is Lillian Abernathy in A Cruise to Remember. She’s in her sixties and meets the heroine in the hospital emergency. She’s a wealthy widow diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. I had her helping the heroine in the emergency because of her amnesia and no money. She paid the bills and took her home. But then she asked her to be a companion on a cruise she wanted to take. Suddenly Lillian becomes a major part of the story. And I’ve fallen in love with her and she’s back in the second book in the series, A Murder to Forget.
Please check what the other authors have to say about this topic.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Saint Patrick's Day

One again I checked Wikipedia.
Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick. (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks.

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. It is believed that he was born in the fourth century, into a wealthy family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. According to the Declaration, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he "found God". The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest. According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Patrick's efforts against the druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove "snakes" out of Ireland (Ireland never had any snakes). Tradition holds that he died on 17 March.

On St Patrick's Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories (the "wearing of the green"). St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Now I'm off for some yummy corned beef and cabbage and green beer.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Ides of March

I wanted to post on the Ides of March so I went to Wikipedia. The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.

Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the senate. As many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."
Caesar's death was a closing event in the crisis of the Roman Republic, and triggered the civil war that would result in the rise to sole power of his adopted heir Octavian.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Targeted - Latest in the Hawkins' Ranch Series

After and eleven-year absence Janna Kincaid inherits a ranch and is forced to return to a town she only remembers with unhappiness, a man to whom she was briefly married and never wants to see again, and someone is trying to kill her.

Kye Hawkins has loved Janna since he first met her. They were married, but a few weeks later she ran away without an explanation. He still hasn’t figured out why. Now she’s coming back. Does she still love him? Can he rekindle the romance and also prevent her from being killed?

Janna doesn’t want Kye’s help in anyway, yet he always seems to be there when she’s in trouble. Can they work together to find a killer, save the native burial ground and home of the spirits, and find romance again?

Excerpt from Targeted
   Someone had shot her back tire. Janna gripped the wheel to keep the vehicle on the road. She debated whether to try and outrun the shooter, wherever he was, or find cover. The windshield shattered as a third bullet entered the passenger side.

So much for outrunning the shooter.

She scanned the area and spotted an outcropping of rocks a few feet ahead on her right. She aimed the vehicle in that direction.

Two more shots, and both the back tires went down.

Definitely find cover.

Janna ducked low behind the steering wheel until the vehicle reached the rocks. When the car stopped, she grabbed the keys from the ignition and her purse and dove out the door. Bullets bounced off the rocks behind her as she scrambled for cover. Whoever was doing the shooting was serous. Anyone of the shots could have hit her.

She reached the rocks, keeping low until she got to the middle where she curled up as tightly as possible, her back against a rock. Her heart pounded in her ears, her breathing came in gasps. This was getting to be a habit. First someone tried to kill her in Seattle, and now, out in this god-forsaken country.

What the hell is going on? Why are they shooting at me? Was it the same person who shot at me in Seattle? That doesn’t seem likely, but who even knew I was coming here? Maybe it’s someone just trying to rob a stranger.

Yeah right, be honest, Janna, does this road look like many strangers came this way? And if they did, would they have a lot to steal? You really think this person selected a spot in the rocks where he would have a good shot at my vehicle. Coincidence? Not damn likely.

At least she’d worn boots and jeans—even if they were designer jeans. Now they were filthy, and so was her red sweater and jean jacket.

Another shot hit the rock behind her. She rolled over onto her stomach, shaded her eyes, and squinted into the sun. He must be up on the cliffs straight ahead. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have glimpsed a light, maybe a reflection off his scope.

Terrific! Now what? My gun is in my purse. I could fire back, but that would be a waste of bullets at this distance. 

She yanked out her cell and punched in 9-1-1.

Damn—no reception.

A pounding pulsed through the ground and came closer. Janna could feel the vibrations. It felt like horses. She glanced around, without raising her head, to see what was coming.

Suddenly there was a hand in front of her face.

“Grab it and jump on.”

The deep, rumbling voice was not asking. It was an order.

Janna grabbed the strong hand. In one smooth motion, she swung up behind a man on his horse. Seconds later, she had her hands wrapped around his well-developed, muscular chest, as the big chestnut thundered across the ground, out of the bullets’ range.

The man wore a leather jacket over a sweater. Her hands slid under the jacket for better grip. Even through the sweater she could feel sinewy muscles. She laid her head against his back and his braid. She took a breath in, inhaling the rich scent of leather, trying to calm her racing heart rate.

She glanced behind her. The cliffs were fading into the distance. The muscles of his well-developed shoulders bunched and relaxed as he led the horse at a gallop across the field. She felt safe for some unfathomable reason.

He had a familiar woodsy scent that made her think of sex under pine trees, not that she’d ever made love there. In fact, her sex life was pretty negligible these days.

They’d been riding for several minutes when Janna leaned forward. “You can put me down any place. I can manage now.”

“Really? And just what are you going to do out here, miles from town, by yourself, with someone shooting at you?”

The voice was deep, but soft, and rolled over her like warmed brandy. It triggered something in the back of her memory. The earthy scent, the sinewy body, the braid, the voice… She knew this person who had ridden up out of nowhere to save her.

“I have my cell. I’ve already called 9-1-1,” she snapped.

“And did you get an answer?”

Janna yanked her cell phone up where she could see the screen again and re-tapped in 9-1-1. And then there was that famous phrase—No Service.

There was a deep chuckle. “That’s what I thought. There’s no service in this area. The mountains block it.”

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Beverley Bateman lives in the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada among vineyards, orchards, lakes and mountains with her Shiba Inu dogs. She sits on her deck, sips a local wine and pens her latest romantic suspense. Hunted, Missing and the newest – Targeted are part of her Montana series. She also has her Holly Devine series; A Cruise to Remember, and a Murder to Forget. Don’t Go is her darker romantic suspense.

Find Beverley at:

Twitter @kelownawriter

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