Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest Jody Vitek Shares Halloween Memories

Jody Vitek
I would like to thank Laura and all the Roses here at The Roses of Prose blog for hosting me today. And of all days, Halloween. Are you superstitious? Do you attend any costume parties? Do you go out with your child(ren), stay home to hand out candy or avoid the entire night of events?

Like most children, I lived for Halloween and the hordes of candy I would collect. I loved dressing up in costumes my mother would create. The one costume I seemed to wear more often than not was a witch’s costume. My mother would rat my long blonde hair to give me the scraggly appearance we all imagined witches had. (I’ve grown up and have a different opinion about witches.) I hated coming home at the end of the evening to brush out the tangled mess on top of my head. Many tears were shed as the brush worked its way through my hair.

My father would take us out trick-or-treating while my mother stayed home to pass the candy out in her Native American maiden costume that she made. If memory serves me correctly, my father would drive us most of the time because there would be snow on the ground. And lots of it! Nowadays, my Halloweens are spent going out with my own children around the neighborhood, but minus the car and snow. Sure, we’ve had snow a few times, but nothing like when I was a kid.

And of course there’s always the scary movies to watch. Do you like a thriller, like the well-known Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho? Do you like suspense, like Jaws? Or are you a horror fan, like The Exorcist. To me they all go into one category – scare the pants off me. I have a love hate relationship with movies of this nature.

You won’t find the holiday of Halloween in my book Florida Heat, but you will find just a touch of suspense. The hero and heroine can’t have the perfect relationship now, can they? In my current work in progress there is no scare factor, but I take my hero and heroine on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Do you have a favorite childhood costume or story about Halloween? What are your plans for the evening? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a small gift.


Maggie Carlisle thought she left her ex-husband’s drug life behind in Texas. Left with a physical scar, she struggles to shed the emotional pain and falls in love with Trent Randall. But, Kevin Shaw, a man from her past, looks for revenge through Maggie. Emotional blackmail forces her to choose between true love with Trent or a life based on lies and deception with Kevin.

Trent Randall, a boarding and breeding ranch owner and offshore powerboat driver, loses focus of his racing when Maggie enters his life. Trent contemplates whether Maggie’s worth the danger after he is involved in a racing accident. Trent can’t help but let his heart lead the way when he finds out Maggie’s in trouble.


EXCERPT: Austin General Hospital would be short a nurse today. Maggie Nash went to bed last night with more than a fever, thanks to her best friend Chloe Atwood who had been kind enough to share her flu germs. She opened one eye then the other. Red glowing numbers pierced the darkness like a black cat’s eyes in a dark back alley.

Heavy lined drapes over a room darkening shade covered the windows, keeping any light from streaming in. Her eyes adjusted, and she strained to see the clock—two-seventeen in the afternoon. Her husband Mike would be working at the hospital pharmacy for another three hours. She wondered how he was holding up since she disturbed his sleep on and off all night. He had asked if he could do anything for her. But when you’re sick with the flu, there’s not much anyone can do that would help.

Legs stretched and bent, along with her arms, as though she were Frankenstein coming to life. Her stomach ached, and her side muscles strained when she sat upright. On the edge of the bed, she slid her feet into slippers, put on her robe and walked out of the room into the peace and quiet of her home.

A thick arm grabbed her around the waist. She screamed and wiggled in the crushing embrace. A leather-gloved hand cupped tightly over her mouth. Her screams silenced. She continued to twist in the intruder’s arms. A hand spread from the bottom of her breast to the top of her hip.

Her captor’s cupped hand on her face forced her back into his chest. A thick blunt object pushed in at the middle of her back. She gasped and her back arched. A gun?


Born and raised in Minnesota, Jody has remained close to home living with her husband of twenty plus years, three children and a cat named Holly. Growing up, she enjoyed reading V.C. Andrews' the Dollanganger series, starting with Flowers in the Attic, S.E. Hinton, and Stephen King to name a few.

She has traveled throughout the United States, to the Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico. Between watching soccer games, scrapbooking and being the COO of the Vitek household, she writes contemporary romances.


Monday, October 29, 2012

The Most Funny, Sexy Excerpt From Resort to Murder!

By Glenys O'Connell @GlenysOConnell

We're all about The Most here at the Roses of Prose this month. I like my romance and suspense seasoned with a bit  of humor, and banter between two lovers - or would-be lovers - can be very sexy indeed!
In Resort to Murder, Det. Ellie Fitzpatrick is becoming re-acquainted with her former lover, Detective Superintendent Liam Reilly, who's now her boss. Even though the relationshop broke up, Reilly's instincts to protect Ellie reignite when her home is broken into and searched. He spends the night outside her seaside cottage, keeping watch....and an early morning shower in Ellie's bathroom gives him the opportunity to bait the current man in Ellie's life, Brad, as well as teasing Ellie.....
"So, again, what are you doing on my doorstep at...?" Ellie paused to peer at the kitchen clock, "Good God, Reilly, it's barely six o'clock!"

"Yeah, well, I have an early meeting in Leeds, and I need to use your shower," Reilly replied, as if dropping in on her for bathroom facilities was routine. He opened the cupboard doors, studying the contents, before shutting them in disgust. He repeated the process at the refrigerator. "Ellie, don't you have anything to eat in this place?"

She couldn't help but smile as memories returned of Reilly, heavy eyed from a night of passion, climbing back into their love-scented bed with tea and toast as morning light filled the room. "You never were much good without your tea and toast."

"There was a time you thought I was pretty good." His temper flared and she blushed. Giving her an evil look, he dropped two bags into the teapot; made a martyred sounding request that she make tea when the kettle boiled, and asked where she kept the towels.

Ellie, about to snap a vitriolic reply, suddenly realized that if Reilly was here so early, it probably meant he'd spent the night in his car. She almost burst out laughing, except that a tiny core deep inside her bloomed with sudden tenderness. He stood watch outside, in the cold, damp, sea-seasoned night, to make sure my intruder didn't return.

 A sensuous awareness snaked lazily from the pit of her stomach and Ellie swallowed on a suddenly dry mouth. Had she known he was there, so close, she would have felt so much safer, so much more secure. Would she have invited him in so that they could keep watch together? Ah, now, that would have been exposing herself to danger for sure. That hungry little quiver beat low in her stomach as her every nerve ending responded to feelings she'd thought had died of neglect. Regretfully, she pushed them away now. She'd need all her wits about her today – her first day back at work. Ellie had bigger fish to fry than Liam Reilly. 

Deep in thought, she poured hot water on the tea bags in the pot. A shadow fell across the thin net curtains and, startled, she sloshed boiling water onto the counter. It took her a moment to realize the shadow was Brad passing her kitchen window en route to the patio. She flicked the lock up and slid the door open to let him in.

"Must be my day for early visitors," she commented, sniffing the air appreciatively as she saw the small white bakery box in his hands.

"Thought I'd bring breakfast for us again– croissants fresh from the oven," Brad said, his arms going around her and drawing her to him as his mouth sought hers.

"Don't let me interrupt anything." Reilly sauntered out of Ellie's bathroom, obviously naked except for the bath towel wrapped precariously around his waist. He rubbed at his damp hair with the end of another towel draped around his neck, the movement causing the towel around his waist to slip ever more slowly downward. Mesmerized, she stared at the tiny drops of moisture clinging to the fine mat of hair on his chest, her eyes following them downward. Once upon a time she'd have licked away those tiny droplets and he'd have…Ellie shook herself back to the present.

Brad was staring, too, his face contorted with rage. Only Reilly seemed comfortable with the scenario as he took the bakery box from Brad's hand.

 "Uhmm, are those croissants? They smell wonderful," he said, casually helping himself to the pastries, then pouring a hot mug of tea, apparently oblivious to the way his presence had exploded into the room.

Ellie had time only to register the scene herself, noting with a little shock the puckered scar, a flash of glossy pink snaking in a livid line from his upper arm across to Liam's shoulder before Brad, white-faced with anger, asked, "What the hell's he doing here?"

"Brad, there's an explanation..." Ellie stammered.
Resort to Murder is published by The Wild Rose Press and available here or on Amazon here . Glenys O'Connell is working on a new contemporary romance, The No Sex Clause, and finishing edits on her soon to be released romantic suspense, Saving Maggie, coming December 31st from Crimson Romance



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Guest Mackenzie Crowne is Turning the Tables

Mackenzie Crowne
Come on, admit it. When a book delivers an entertaining conflict, you gleefully devour the ending pages to discover how it’s resolved. I know I do and when the resolution involves an alpha male hero turning the tables on his heroine… oh, yeah. I’m in reader heaven.

Here’s a little slice of heaven from my lighthearted contemporary, That Dating Thing.


Despite the flashing cameras, Coop’s grin was genuine. Damn, she was something else. She would make the perfect district attorney’s wife. As he’d listened to her, working the press with her typical mix of sarcasm and wit, disbelief warred with respect. Underlying both was relief she hadn’t skipped town after all, along with an urgent need to hustle her away, sit her down and coach her through the minefield of media interest—after he kissed her senseless.

Though she’d been holding her own with the others, handling their questions with exactly the right lack of concern, she’d made an enemy of Wallis. Coop knew from experience, the network hopeful didn’t take kindly to being made the fool. And Rylee managed the feat while the competitor’s cameras were rolling. Wallis wouldn’t let the hit to his colossal ego go unanswered.

Because of Coop’s clumsy handling of Tim’s report, the press, led by Wallis, was in full-out attack mode, with both Rylee and he caught in the crosshairs. It would take some fancy footwork to turn the attention to their advantage. Professionally, he’d done what he could to minimize the fallout, officially submitting Tim’s investigation to District Attorney Burns. Personally, he still had his work cut out for him. Sizing up the situation, he saw an opportunity to repair the damage with Rylee, while serving up a twist to the story the press wouldn’t be able to resist. All he needed was a little bit of luck.

“Now, baby,” he crooned. “These people don’t know your sense of humor the way I do. They’re going to think you don’t like me.”

To his utter surprise, he witnessed the rare sight of a speechless Rylee Pierce. Her mouth gaped open, but no sound emerged. His grin widened as he enjoyed the novelty of an experience he wasn’t bound to face again anytime soon.

Draping an arm across her shoulders, he addressed the press. “I see you’ve met my fiancĂ©e.”

All eyes flicked to Rylee, who stilled after her attempt to dislodge his arm had failed.

“I’m not… He’s not…” She clenched her jaw and gritted her response to their avid audience. “We are not engaged!”

“She’s stubborn,” he said, winking at Melody. “She won’t say yes until she sees the ring.”

“I haven’t said yes because I was never asked a question,” Rylee growled. “He’s an idiot,” she told the crowd, turning to glare up at him. “You’re an idiot.”


So, what do you think? Will there be wedding bells for Rylee and her charming idiot?


I love making new friends. Stop in and say hi at my home on the web:

That Dating Thing is available in digital format and print at Still Moments Publishing, Amazon, and Createspace.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"James-Momma's-Boy-Bond" by Vonnie Davis

This month, we've been sharing excerpts about "mosts." If you've been following along, you've read some great "most" blogposts with awesome excerpts. But characters can be the "most," too. Take my hero in my soon-to-be-released romantic suspense, Mona Lisa's Room, Book One of The Red Hand Conspiracy. Niko Reynard is second in command of the French Counterterrorisn Unit, based in Paris.

Niko is a driven man, working his way up the organization. So he's not too pleased with the babysitting detail he's been assigned. Until my upight, shy heroine Alyson--or Aly, as he calls her, just to make her angry--can get paperwork processed to gain a replacement for her stolen passport, he must protect this American. His first order of business is to get her out of the casual clothes American's prefer to wear and into skirts and heels preferred by Parisian women. He wants her to blend.

I wanted Niko to get on Alyson's nerves. To make her angry at every turn. So I had him spoiled. He's the youngest of five children and the only boy in the family. He's been doted on by his mother and four older sisters. He knew how to get his own way. The problem was he knew how to get his way with me, too. If I wrote a scene, he didn't agree with, he'd wake me up that night with repeatative dreams. I'd dream the scene over and over until he'd turn to look at me and say, "NOW, do you see why it won't work that way?"

He was THE most irratating hero I'd ever written.

In this scene, Niko and Alyson have just exited a shoe store where he goaded her into buying Prada stilettoes, telling her heels make a woman's hips sway in a sensual fashion...

Niko’s eyes scanned their surroundings, and he tensed.

“What is it?” Alyson peered up and down the street.

“Don’t look. Smile at me. Talk and act normal.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and nudged her up the street.

“But…” Did he see someone? Did he see Dembri?

“I’m going to kiss you so I have an excuse to look behind us.”

“Oh no. No, I don’t think so. Look, I’ve put up with your constant touching, but I’ll not be kissed on a public street.”

“Don’t be self-conscious. In Paris, we kiss in public. It’s the Parisian way.”

“For heaven’s sake! Make it quick then.” She shook her arms to relax them because she was anything but relaxed. She was about to be kissed for the first time in years. Did she remember how? Stop being silly. Kissing is simple. Two pair of lips touch. Kiss done. With her head tilted back, she whispered, “Okay, I’m ready.”

A smile tugged at the corners of Niko’s lips. He encircled her in his arms and stepped in so their thighs touched. Her stomach fluttered. Her breathing hitched. He lowered his head. “Hang on, Aly.” With his dark brown eyes open, he placed his lips on hers and pulled her body against his. She kept her eyes open, too, figuring it would lessen the kiss’ effects.

Niko kissed her, gentle sips at first, soft and sensual. Someone made a moaning noise, and she feared it might have been her. My God what a pair of lips! Her toes curled in her new Pradas. She coiled her fingers around the lapels of his jacket. Then his lips locked on hers and with his tongue invading her mouth, he turned her to look over her shoulder, all the while wreaking havoc on her system.

This was the first time she’d been in a man’s arms in years. The first time she had tongue from a guy since college and said guy was more interested in looking behind her for some hoodlum than in the kiss. Just her damn luck.

When Niko ended the mind-blowing kiss, he pulled her closer, if that were possible, and whispered in her ear. “We’re being followed. Hold my hand and run.”

Run? Melting came to mind, but running? How could she run when he kissed her until the bones in her legs turned to jelly? Plus, she was wearing new high heels, for heaven’s sake. His arms squeezed her for an instant. “Now.”

He grabbed her hand, and they took off. They dodged throngs of pedestrians and at one point, Niko hurtled over a poodle, its protective owner shouting in French outrage, calling him a fool. “Fou! Fou! Mon chien, mon chien!”

Alyson had done her fair share of running, especially after her break up with Chaz, the stranger she was married to all those years. Running was a stress reliever; so were the StairMaster and martial arts. Still, those activities were done in sneakers or barefooted, not high heels. Stilettos, no less. Oh, and the thong. Let’s not forget the damn thong chafing her in places she didn’t want to think about. She’d kill Gwen when she got home.

“Faster, Aly!”

“You put me in three-inch heels and expect me to run fast? You bossy Frenchman with a foot fetish.” She stumbled, and he caught her.

“Typical woman. Kiss her once and she figures she has the right to bitch at you.” Niko’s head turned, evidently scanning the area as they ran.

She tried jerking her arm free of his ironclad grasp. “So help me, God, if that terrorist doesn’t kill you, I will.”

He pulled her around two uniformed nannies pushing toddlers in strollers. “Promises. Promises.”

“Yeah, well look how nice my hips sway now, nutso, running in these damned heels.”

Niko quickly glanced up and down the wide tree-lined street and evidently seeing a slight break in traffic, ordered, “To the other side. Now.” They bolted across the four-lane boulevard and its well-manicured median. Two motorbikes rumbled past, nearly hitting them. Horns blared as several Renaults and Smart Cars barreled down the street. Niko shoved her out of the way and she fell, her hands and knees scraping on the asphalt. Brakes screeched and there was a dull thud behind her. She glanced back over her shoulder just as Niko rolled across the hood of a silver car. He never broke stride. “Run, dammit!”

She struggled to get up, her heel caught in the hem of her skirt. Niko set her on her feet again. A delivery truck swerved toward them as if to run them down. In a blur of movement, Niko drew his weapon. He dove and rolled clear of the truck’s path, shooting the driver between the eyes. Glass shattered. Passersby screamed. The truck jumped the curb, striking a tree. Sounds of metal crunching and a tree branch cracking obliterated, for a few horrible seconds, the pedestrians’ reactions.

Still on the move, Niko barked orders at the observers. A man nodded and reached for his cell phone. “Quick. In here. While we’re hidden by the truck.” Niko wrapped his hand around her arm and tugged.

Alyson trembled, the back of her hand covering her mouth and her eyes glued to the man slumped over the steering wheel of the truck not five feet away. Blood flowed from his forehead. Her stomach twisted. She was going to be sick. Niko’s grip on her arm tightened. “Move it, Aly. We’re still being followed.”
MONA LISA'S ROOM is officially released on November 9h, the same day as the new James Bond flick, "Skyfall-007". In my book, Alyson refers to Niko as "James-Momma's-Boy-Bond" since he still lives at home with his mother. I like to think it was Niko who whispered in the ear of the person doing the scheduling at The Wild Rose Press. Afterall, the man has a way of getting what he wants.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Combining my background in horticulture ... and murder?

Here's an excerpt from Lilacs, Litigation, and Lethal Love Affairs, the first book in the Deadly Landscaping series in which Cassie Whittington, a 50-something ex-IT professional, is finishing a college degree in horticulture when her life takes a couple of unexpected turns ...


I went to the old greenhouse and pushed open the door, drinking in the humid smells of dirt, plants and the sharp tang of fertilizer. The odors were a balm to my winter-weary senses. March in Minnesota is a month of tantalizing hope and we still had half-a-foot of snow on the ground. This greenhouse was an oasis in the desert.

I walked along the narrow entry aisle, paved with flat stones that lay unevenly on the gravel floor. This walkway led into the greenhouse proper, the three-tiered tables on either side loaded with ficus, spider plants, dumb canes, bromeliads and ivy. The plants effectively blocked my view of all but the intersection ahead and the bright afternoon sunlight over me.

I reached the intersection for the main aisle and looked to my right. Four three-tiered benches lined either side of the aisle, each loaded with assorted plants. The Boston ferns were kept in the center of the greenhouse, where the humidity was less variable in the leaky structure. I turned to walk to my left, into the main part of the greenhouse and as I did, I almost fell over a body.

Michael Peavey was stretched out on the floor, overturned plants, dirt, and pots scattered over and around him. My first thought was that he’d fallen. Then I got a closer look at his face. I’ve never seen anyone with cyanosis before, but I recognized the symptoms. They were drilled into those of us who took Nursery Operations 101. Michael Peavey had all the signs of a man with pesticide poisoning — fixed and rigid limbs, a blue tinge to his face, bulging eyes, and protruding tongue.

I froze for one long, awful second. Then I realized whatever poisoned him could still be in the air if it had been released as a vapor. I turned to flee and that’s when I saw the thin trail of blood, bright red against the white of a broken ceramic pot on the floor. I hesitated—was he just injured or was he dead?

I hazarded another look at his face and what I saw convinced me to get the hell out while I could. I dropped the ferns in a crashing explosion of busted pots and dirt then dashed out of the greenhouse, almost overturning a bromeliad on the way. I burst into the hallway then into the potting room, barreling into Ed Jenkins, who chatted with a group of students near the door. I grabbed his arm, almost spilling his ever-present coffee cup from his hand.

He took one look at my panicked face and set the mug down on a nearby table. “Is there a problem?”

An important dignitary and the chief donor to the school dead of pesticide poisoning in the Horticulture Department greenhouse? A problem?

That was the understatement of the year.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Susan Frances Talks About Courtly Love

Susan Frances
Courtly love, or as the French say “amour courtois,” is a recurring theme throughout romance novels whether the stories are set in history, contemporary times, the future, or based in fantasy. Most readers have a sense of what courtly love is but few know the concept initiated from a man’s desire to love an unattainable woman. It doesn’t seem very gratifying and apparently it wasn’t to many writers who over the course of time made the woman more attainable to the man by employing the right method to win a woman’s heart, the proverbial key to open the lock on the woman’s chastity belt.

Courtly love has its roots in the Middle Ages. It was the term given to what a knight or a courtier felt for a noblewoman at the royal court whom they devoted themselves to on a metaphysical level. Though typically these women were above their admirer’s station and married so they couldn’t reciprocate the show of affection and instead had to feign their indifference. The most well-known example of this type of courtly love is the affair between Sir Lancelot and Guinevere, the trusted knight of King Arthur in Camelot and the wife of King Arthur.

Courtly love morphed from Lancelot showering his affection directly on Guinevere to Sir Robin Hood courting Maid Marion through acts of bravery and kind deeds directed towards the weak and downtrodden in England’s Sherwood Forest. The tales of Robin Hood show a shift in audience’s preferences in what depicts courtly love. It was the time of King Richard the Lionhearted and male figures in stories were subjected to a battery of tests to prove their ardor and commitment to the woman they desired. The ideals of chivalry such as loyalty, generosity, and protecting women and children were upheld as the precepts of courtly love.

Some four hundred years later during the Elizabethan Age, courtly love once again shifted having a more poetic interpretation exemplified in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as Romeo serenades Juliet to win her love. By the early 1800’s, the Brothers Grimm gave courtly love a very heroic tint in The Sleeping Beauty as Prince Phillip had to battle the witch Maleficent to save the life of his love Princess Aurora. Gone with the Wind’s Rhett Butler is the antithesis of Romeo and Prince Phillip as he was not one to serenade the woman he desired nor would he ever storm a castle to save her. Nonetheless, he courts Scarlet O’Hara but through patience and biding his time before appealing to her ambition for material possessions.

Today’s images of courtly love vary based on a combination of these five samples. Present day romance authors apply the traits of heroic action, chivalry, open affection, patience, and serenading the lady to demonstrate courtly love. They are the keys to unlocking the bolt around a woman’s heart, and the magnet which draws readers into this other world.

The King Maker is a modern romance partly set in England and partly taking place in New England. When American pilot Steve McKenna is murdered, he takes with him secrets about an international crime ring. Secrets that he only reveals to his friend Cullen Danes, an investigator for the British Aviation Ministry. Cullen is determined to find his friend's killer, but his life is put in danger when the crime ring's operatives learn he knows secrets that can expose them. When he meets Nina Holt, a hostess at the International Aviation Convention, Cullen finds he has to depend on her to save his life in more ways than one. Together, they uncover a labyrinth of illicit activities that involves government officials, financial institutions and global industrialists. Though the dangerous circumstances test their mettle, Nina and Cullen's true test comes when he asks her to take a big leap of faith. Torn between jumping into the unknown or remaining in a static position, Nina has to decide whether to take the biggest risk of her life that is if the King Maker does not have them killed.

Some information about myself can be found at my websites and author pages:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There's a Man In My Bed by Brenda Whiteside

The most surprising scene for my heroine, Abigail Martin, in my latest novella, The Morning After, is the first scene of my book. Poor girl wakes up with a sexy redheaded cowboy she doesn't know - or does she?

The throb behind Abigail’s eyes scraped at her temples like chiseled fingernails. She squeezed her lids tight. Was the sheet twisted around her? She patted her waist. No, it was her dress, the purple flowered sarong. One hand moved across her chest while the other slid down her hip. Strapless bra gone, no nylons. What the hell?
She inched the covers down, so her head didn’t jar, and eased her feet to the floor to sit on the edge of the bed. Last night’s mascara weighed heavily, stinging her eyes when she opened them. How disgusting. She hadn’t gone to bed without washing her face in fifteen years. With a hand to her forehead, she raised her gaze to the reflection in the full-length mirror on her closet door.
Her breath caught in her throat and Abigail froze. Another body, partially covered, came into focus behind her.
Think. The headache got in the way of last night’s memories, the strain not worth the pain. And this was exactly why she never had more than a glass of wine. A bad headache and now a strange man in her bed. Her stomach lurched.
What have I done?

And moments later:
A moan.
The man rolled to his back, kicking off covers.
Abigail gasped. Her gentleman visitor wore only a bow tie and black socks.
She crept to the edge of the bed. His face was turned away, further hidden by red curls hanging down the nape of his neck and onto his cheek. A visual sweep of the attractive body brought a smile to her face when she paused on his more than ample endowments. A true redhead. An encounter of this magnitude should be easy to remember.
Abigail smiled in spite of her throbbing temples. Inching closer, she nudged his boots aside with her foot and leaned over to see his face. Mmm. He smelled good, like rich leather and fresh cut wood. As she bent to get a closer look, Kirby, her sixteen-pound Siamese cat, entered her room and announced his hunger.
The visitor stirred, grasped her arm, drawing her down across his hips.
He rose up on his elbows and looked at her. “So, Abby, you’re a morning person, are you?”
Abigail launched off the bed, trying not to come into contact with anymore of the warm body than she already had. Tripping over the boots, she ended up sprawled on the floor. “Who…” She gulped. “Who the hell are you?”
“Who am I? “Darlin’ I know I told you, you’ve got to believe it’s true.” He paused his singing. When she sat speechless, he sang out again, slightly off key. “Real love comes along once, and that real love is you.
“You sure as hell aren’t Lance Dugan.”
He sat upright, feet to the floor, and Abigail found herself eye level with embarrassment. With hands to her face, she pleaded in a quiet voice, mindful of her head still adjusting to sobriety.
“Please, cover yourself. You look ridiculous.”
“Why, there’s a blow to a man’s ego. I hope you mean the bow tie, darlin’, and not my prodigious
maleness.” The sheets rustled. “You can open your eyes now and greet your husband with a little more enthusiasm.”

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