Saturday Night Serenade–Perfect

Thanks to a Fandango gift card left from Christmas, Mr. R and I ventured to the movies last weekend to see Yesterday, the romantic comedy that features songs from the Beatles. Despite some less than glowing reviews, we enjoyed the movie. The story is sweet, and obviously the music is great.

In the film, a young aspiring musician wakes up to find that he’s the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. When he begins playing their songs, he becomes a huge sensation, even being tapped to open for Ed Sheeran in a world tour.

Have I mentioned that I love Ed Sheeran? And I love this song. There’s a hint of a throw-back, if you listen closely. Besides, it’s just a beautiful sentiment.

I’m craving a beautiful, peaceful song right now. Our lives are still in turmoil here at Chez R. The house is on the market and we’ve have several folks come by to look at it. No offers as yet, though. Fingers crossed, we’re under contract soon. Then we’ll have to figure out what’s next.

But for now, I’m going to take a deep breath and just enjoy the moment. We’ll keep you posted.

Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Stepping Stone

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. R was hit by a car in the Publix parking lot. He’s fine, he wasn’t hurt, really, but the most remarkable thing about it is that combined with all the other setbacks we’ve had recently, getting hit by a car wasn’t all that remarkable.

Over the past couple of years, the real estate business has kicked us in the teeth repeatedly. From the couple who was ready to sell their house then ‘2-more-weeks’ed us for TEN MONTHS, to they guy who has had signed contracts on 5 different houses and BACKED OUT OF EVERY ONE, and every wishy-washy client in between, we’ve grown increasingly behind in our financial obligations.

Then there’s the delightful person who tried to use our debit card in Miami. Lucky for us, they could’t guess the correct zip code. And both our cats died within two days.

To try to help make ends meet, in addition to writing, I’ve been teaching online for nearly a year. Mr. R has been using our only car, a lease, to drive Uber.

In a desperate attempt to save our home from foreclosure, we hired an attorney to help us file bankruptcy. Again, the day we signed the paperwork, that was the absolute least stressful part of that day. The leased car is due to be returned in August. The lawyer said not to worry about the final two payments, she’s rolling it into the bankruptcy. So we’ve blown way past the mileage limit driving it for Uber. It was a relief to think of no car payments.

Then the battery died. Long story short, we borrowed a battery charger from a friend and Mr. R stayed out all night driving Uber to earn enough money to replace a $120 battery on a car we’re giving back.

What we’ve realized, though, is that if we follow through with the bankruptcy, we’ll be chaining ourselves to an outrageously high mortgage payment for the next five years. Sure we can come up with the payment this month. But what about next month? And the month after that?

It just doesn’t make sense. What we’re realizing is that we have to get out from under the house. And Mr. R is planning to go back to television news while doing real estate part-time. Somewhere, there’s a new adventure waiting. And it doesn’t involve the level of stress we’ve lived with for the last two years.

So our house is on the market. Priced to sell quickly. We even have an Open House today.

Where are we going? I have no idea. But tonight’s song touches my soul. This ain’t no stumbling block. It’s just a stepping stone.

I hope you’re enjoying this fine summer weekend. Try to stay cool. And be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Weekend Excerpt–FREE Anthology

Is it hot enough for you?

This summer, a dozen of the hottest authors of BDSM romance are joining forces to offer you a collection of their first-in-series books for FREE.

You heard me right, you can own the first books in 12 HOT BDSM series by:

C.P. Mandara
Felicity Brandon
Golden Angel
Kallypso Masters
Lilah E. Noir
Linzi Basset
Nia Farrell
Normandie Alleman
Pandora Spocks
Ree L. Diehl
Renee Rose
Skye Callahan

But there’s a catch. A TASTE OF SUBMISSION goes away at the end of summer. August 31, 2019 is the last day the boxed set will be available. Be sure to get yours before it’s gone.

My contribution to this collection is LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1. Here’s a steamy little sample.

Bella padded out into the sitting room in her pajamas, a thin black tank with pink bottoms.  Looking down, she realized she wouldn’t feel comfortable dressed this way if Luke came in, so she went back for a bathrobe.  Still hot from the bath, however, she draped the robe over a chair thinking she could grab it when she heard the door.  If, that is, I’m still up when he comes back, she considered.

She poured another glass of wine and wandered to the french doors, watching as lightning streaked across the sky, occasionally replacing the warm glow of the firelight that filled the suite with flashes of cold blue.  Large raindrops peppered the glass as the wind whipped the hotel, Edinburgh castle lit up and barely visible in the distance.  It’s such a lovely place, Bella thought.  Such a cozy night.  I could curl up now and fall asleep to the sound of the storm.

Instead, she sat on the floor in front of the fire, laptop before her.  Luke had dumped the raw video and created folders on the desktop.  She perused them one by one.  Airport, Ailsa, McTavish’s, Distillery…Hmmm…Let’s start at the end and go backwards, she decided.  Distillery it is.

She was completely engrossed in the video of their lunch with Nevin and Maw when Luke suddenly burst through the door.  Every molecule of her body went rigid and a strange gasping scream rolled up from her toes.

“Jesus H., McGillicutty!” she exclaimed, jumping up.  “You scared the shit out of me!”

He started to reply and couldn’t.  For a moment all he could do was stare.  She was dressed in a black tank top with pink pajama bottoms.  And, he noticed, she wasn’t wearing a bra, erect nipples pointing toward the ceiling.  Probably had something to do with being startled out of her skin, he realized.  She’d been working on the computer.  There was a glass of wine next to her.

“Are you ok?” she asked, more softly.  She flushed, understanding the focus of his gaze and belatedly she realized she’d left the robe on the other side of the room.

“Um, yeah,” he answered.  “I was just ready to come back.  Is there more wine?”

“Sure,” she answered gently, “but you’re absolutely drenched.  I’ll get you a towel.”  Her robe was on a chair next to the bedroom door, but the wine made her feel bold, so she ignored it.  Let him look, she thought, and she felt her nipples harden again at the idea.

Bella returned with a fluffy white towel from the bathroom.  “You’re dripping water everywhere,” she observed quietly as she handed him the towel.

“Sorry,” he whispered.

She shrugged.  “Not my floor,” she replied.  “I can hang your shirt over the shower,” she offered.

Luke pulled the buttoned chambray shirt over his head, the way men so often do.  Bella shook her head.  Why don’t they ever use the buttons? she wondered irritably.  He handed her the shirt, murmuring his thanks, and began to dry off using the towel.  She eyed his muscular shoulders and broad chest, appreciating the fact that the latter was dusted with salt and pepper hair, oddly enough white on the left side, black on the right, with a black line trailing down his toned abs toward…  Focus, girlfriend, she scolded herself.

When she returned from hanging his shirt, he’d finished toweling off and had draped the towel around the back of his neck.  Bella poured him a glass of wine and topped off her own as well.  Turning, she walked to him and handed him his glass of wine.  “What’s going on, Cowboy?” she asked.  He looked at her, startled.  “I’ve heard you call yourself that.  I like it,” she shrugged, replying to his unasked question.

“Like I said, I was ready to be back,” he explained.  “The pub was noisy and I was tired.  How’s the footage?” he asked, steeling himself for her reaction.

“Great!” she answered, smiling.  “Beyond great, actually.  I was already happy with the content, but Luke, the lighting, the angles, the composition…You have an amazing eye.”

Luke couldn’t believe his good luck; she hadn’t seen his video from the airport.  He sipped his wine and watched her looking at him, concern still showing on her face.  He gently touched her arm, lightly stroking from her shoulder to her elbow.  Bella felt electricity ripple through her body and she stopped breathing.

“I missed you,” he said simply.

After a beat, she recovered enough to try to make light of his words.  “Missed me?” she laughed lightly.  “You were gone for a couple of hours.”  Nervously, she turned and moved to the french doors again, the better to watch the storm and get a little space.

Towel still hanging around his neck, Luke followed her to the window and stood behind her, looking over her head and out at the storm.  He gently placed his hands on her shoulders and she stilled breathlessly.  Leaning down, he caressed her right shoulder with his lips.  “Bella,” he whispered, and he turned her to face him.

She looked up at him, breath ragged.  He moved his hand to lightly stroke her jaw line with his thumb.  “I missed you,” he said again, his eyes dark.  He traced her lips with his index finger and Bella struggled to catch her breath.  “I want to kiss you,” he said.  “Would that be okay?”  Bella, brown eyes wide, could only nod assent.

Luke leaned in to her slowly; it seemed like it took a week for him to reach her, and then his lips were on hers, gently at first and then more intense, more demanding.  She wrapped her arms around his neck, her kiss matching the fervor of his.  He held her waist, slowly moving his hands down to cup her ass, pulling her in to him.

Luke moved his right hand up until it cupped her left breast and she moaned into his kiss.  Then he brushed her nipple with his thumb, causing her to gasp.  “I want you,” he breathed into her ear.

Bella leaned back and looked at him, eyes shining with desire, her heart pounding.  She buried her hands in the hair on his chest, then looked back up at him again.  Luke tugged at the front of her tank top, pulling it down to expose her left breast with its hard pink nipple and he covered it with his mouth, licking and suckling hard.  She arched her back forcing her breast closer to him.

“Oh, God, Cowboy!” she breathed.  “Please…”

He looked up at her and grinned.  “Please what?” he teased.

“Oh, please…” she managed.

He gripped her shirt by the bottom and pulled it over her head, standing back to admire her.  “Jesus, Bella,” he breathed, taking in the sight of her before he wrapped her in his arms again.

He lay her gently on the floor in front of the fire.  “Put your arms over your head,” he whispered, and she complied.  Lightly, he brushed her body with his fingertips starting at her hands, then down her arms and across her breasts, down her stomach…He paused at the pajama pants, then slid his hand over the mound between her thighs, caressing through the fabric.  She bucked and brought her hands down to his shoulders, but he took them lightly and replaced them over her head.

“Shh, be still,” he whispered.  Gently, he tugged at the pajama pants and pulled them down and off, panties and all, so that she lay naked before him, firelight reflecting off her body.

“Seems to me you’re way overdressed, Cowboy,” Bella said, gazing up at him, her voice husky.

“We’ll fix that,” he grinned as he unbuckled his belt, undid his khakis, and stepped out of them, revealing black boxer briefs containing an impressive erection.  Bella chewed her lower lip in anticipation.  Luke knelt over her, leaning down to kiss her, and then stretched out beside her, head propped up on his left elbow, allowing his right hand explore her form.

“I want to touch you,” she breathed.  He nodded so she brought her hands down, first running her fingers through the hair on his chest before coming to rest on his hard sex.

He closed his eyes and moaned with pleasure.  “Oh, baby, you’ve got to stop or this will be over way too fast.”  Removing her hand, he reached to stroke between her legs, caressing and circling before sliding a finger inside.  Bella buck and gasped, almost coming right there.

“Well, well, m’lady, you seem to be ready for me,” he whispered.

“Please Cowboy, I want you,” she begged.

Luke pushed himself up over her, shimmying out of his boxer briefs.  “As m’lady wishes,” he breathed into her ear, and he began stroking her soft folds with himself before pushing inside.    Her center was warm and wet and the pleasure was intoxicating.

He felt Bella grip him and she began to rock her hips up and down, matching his rhythm and increasing with his intensity.

“It’s okay, baby girl, let it go,” Luke whispered.  And she did.

“Oh, Cowboy!” she cried as she shuddered, gasping.

He was close behind her, his own ecstasy tearing through him like a freight train. “Fuck!  Bella!” he gasped and then collapsed beside her.

LUKE & BELLS by Pandora Spocks

Hurry! Get ATOS for FREE
while it’s still available: books2read.com/SummerATOS

Saturday Night Serenade–Dreamers

If it’s summer, it’s time for my lazy-days guilty pleasure, America’s Got Talent. I know. We shouldn’t love this show. The title isn’t even grammatically correct.

And do we really need to watch dudes getting shot out of cannons, dudes using their nipples to pull tractor-trailers, creepy contortionists, and mediocre magicians. I would say yes, because among all the rabble you find diamonds in the rough, dreamers, many of whom have put their dreams on hold while they got ‘real’ jobs and watched time go by.

One such contestant was Chris Klafford who appeared last week. His unique take on Imagine held the audience and judges spellbound. See what you think.

I think part of the show’s popularity is that most of us root for the underdog who gets a second chance. Because if a large Swede with skinny jeans and the voice of an angel gets his shot at his dreams, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us, too.

I hope you’re enjoying these ‘dog days’ of summer. Be sure to hug those you love. And maybe dare to dream a little.

Happy Saturday night!

Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

HUNTER’S PRIDE is OUT!

Redheads & Ranchers Book 2 is the story of corporate lawyer Poppy Chastain. Sent by her New York real estate development firm to Idaho, her mission is to convince fifth-generation cattle rancher Hunter McFall to sell a parcel of his ranch so Slade & Howell can put in an access road to the mountain property they plan on turning into a luxury resort.

Hunter will never agree to sell his land, but when he meets Poppy, he wants to show her exactly why he won’t. Somewhere along the way, they discover an explosive chemistry they never expected.

But behind the scenes, Slade & Howell is making plans to gain Hunter’s land by any means necessary. Can Hunter and Poppy’s love survive?

Here’s a teaser from HUNTER’S PRIDE:

Back at the ranch, Poppy took advantage of the huge master shower while Hunter saw to a few ranch matters that needed his attention.  Afterward, while he cleaned up for dinner, Poppy took care of some emails that had come in during their ride in the mountains. 

When they were both ready, Poppy insisted on stopping at the barn to see how the mother and calf were getting along.  Which was swimmingly.  Hunter commented that they’d be ready to join the rest of the herd in the next day or so.  Poppy snapped a few pictures then took Hunter’s hand and the pair headed for his big black Expedition. 

Country music played quietly in the background on the half-hour ride into McFall.  By the time they drove into town, the sun had set.  The parking lot at the North Star was about half-full.  Hunter managed to find a spot near the end of the first row.

“Hang on,” he said as he turned off the ignition.  “I’ll get your door.”

Poppy smiled to herself as she watched him walk around the SUV.  Hunter was always handsome.  Whether he was rain-soaked or working in the barn or naked by the fire, he was undeniably hot.  But tonight, in his dark jeans and white dress shirt, he was sex on legs.  She was suddenly ready to be back at the ranch.

As he opened her door, he smirked at her knowingly and briefly, she wondered if he could read her thoughts.

“You look amazing,” he said, holding her hand and helping her step out of the truck.

Poppy laughed lightly.  “You’ve seen this skirt and blouse before.  I wore it the first day I was here.”

“I’ve seen everything,” he murmured, his voice low and sexy.  “It’s still amazing.”

She rolled her eyes and blushed.  “Well, you look pretty hot yourself.”

He grinned at her.  “Do you think so?  I clean up okay?”

He held open the door, and she walked into the bar.  The place was fairly busy for a Thursday, and heads swiveled as Hunter followed closely behind her, directing her to the same booth they’d sat in her first night in town.  Starla nodded at them from her post behind the bar.  Classic rock served as a background for the buzz of conversation, occasionally punctuated by the clack of billiard balls on the other side of the room.

A young brunette approached them with a pair of menus.  “Hey, Hunter.”

He smiled at her.  “Hey, Lynnette.  How’s school?”

“Aw, you know.  I’m glad to be home for the summer.  Can I get you something to drink?”

“Let’s start with a couple of Jamesons, neat.  We’ll figure out what else we want.”

The server nodded.  “You’ve got it.”

“Jamesons?” Poppy asked as the girl walked away.

Hunter’s grin was boyish.  “Thought I might get you all liquored up so I can have my way with you later.”

“No liquor required for that. And I was figuring on having my way with you.”  She arched an eyebrow in challenge.

“Hot damn,” he breathed. 

Grinning, Poppy tried to ignore the curious stares of the good citizens of McFall as she perused the menu. 

Hunter, however, commented on it.  “Ever feel like you were in a damn fishbowl?”

“I wasn’t going to say anything, but, yeah, it’s a little uncomfortable.”

Hunter pursed his lips and shrugged slightly.  “I haven’t really brought a date here before. Not since Tara died, anyway.  I suppose folks are just curious.”

Poppy’s heart skipped a beat as she remembered her morning in Hunter’s office.  “That reminds me–”

The server’s voice startled her.  “Here you go.  Two Jamesons, neat.”  She placed the glasses in front of them.  “Are you ready to order?” 

Hunter looked to Poppy.  “Do you know what you want?”

She nodded.  “I’ll have the cheeseburger, medium-well, with swiss.”

“And for you?” the girl turned to Hunter.

He nodded.  “I’ll have the same.”

Feeling slightly shaky, Poppy sipped her whiskey, appreciating the burn as it trickled down the inside of her chest.

“You started to say something when Lynnette interrupted.”  He leaned forward on his forearms and watched her steadily.

“I almost forgot.  I meant to tell you something.”  She glanced up at him, breathing deeply as she tried to quell a slight tremble of nerves in her stomach.

“This morning, I opened your desk drawer looking for a notepad, and I found your wedding photo.  I didn’t mean to snoop, honestly, I didn’t.  I’m very sorry for invading your space like that.”

Hunter shrugged lightly.  “I told you to think of my office as your own.  You’re welcome to use anything you like.  Including anything you need out of the desk.  You don’t have to apologize.”

“I feel like I intruded, and I’m sorry.”  She risked a look in his direction.  “It was a beautiful photograph.”

He sipped his whiskey and stared down at the table.  “It was a beautiful day.”  He looked back up at her.  “That was almost ten years ago.”

Curiosity overwhelming her, Poppy decided to press forward.  “How did you two meet?”

Hunter gazed out across the room and sighed.  “We met at a bar.  Which isn’t as lame as it sounds.  I was dating a friend of hers, and a group of us had gotten together to hear a band down in Ketchum.  She was visiting from California.  We just clicked.”

Now that the door was open, Poppy had to walk through.  “And she was a redhead.”

“She was.”

When he didn’t say anything more, she fidgeted with the edge of her napkin.  She had so many more questions, but the topic seemed to have dead-ended.  She sighed softly.  “Well, anyway, I’m sorry for getting into your personal business.”

“Hey.”  His voice was soft as he reached across the table.  She took his hand and squeezed it affectionately.   “My life is an open book.  Ask me about anything you like.  And I mean it when I say consider the ranch your home.  Use anything you need.  Open any drawers you like.”

Wide-eyed, Poppy regarded him for a moment.  “When she died, you must have been devastated.”

Briefly, Hunter squeezed his eyes shut.  “I was.  I was a mess.  Losing Tara, losing the baby…”  He shook his head.  “I was useless for a while.  But then I realized that I wasn’t doing anybody any good wallowing in self-pity.  I sure as hell wasn’t honoring their memory.” 

He chuckled lightly.  “Could be it was Rolly’s boot up my ass that finally got me moving again.”

“You loved her.”  Poppy’s voice was soft.

He nodded.  “I did. With all my heart.  I didn’t think anybody would ever be able to fill that emptiness in me.” 

He smiled across the table at her.  “Then this prissy little big-city lawyer showed up in her fancy clothes and her designer shoes.”

Poppy frowned slightly and leaned forward.  “Prissy?  Who are you calling prissy?”

“You, Ms. P.K. Chastain.  If the cow poo shoe fits…”  He gave her a wink. 

She had to smile.  Elbow on the table, she rested her chin on her hand before she risked her most burning question.  “I look a little bit like her.  Is that weird?”

His sigh was deep.  “It’s true, you both have red hair.  But Tara’s eyes were light brown.  Yours are much darker.  And you have a completely different spirit, which to me makes you different as night and day.”

“How is my spirit different?”

He shrugged slightly.  “Tara was kind of…quiet.  She was calm, practical.  Predictable, maybe.” 

He met her gaze, his eyes sparkling with emotion.  “You’re bold and audacious and passionate.  You are your own unique self.”

Her brow furrowed.  “Is that good?

“I wouldn’t change a thing about you.”

Poppy flushed with pleasure.  “Well…good!  Because what you see is what you get.”

The thump of upbeat seventies rock shifted to a slower country song and Hunter slid out of the booth.  “Come on,” he said, holding out his hand to Poppy.

She glanced up at him.

He quirked an eyebrow.  “If they’re going to be talking about us anyway, might as well give’em something to say.  Dance with me.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE
is on sale now at your favorite online bookseller.
It’s even available in paperback.
books2read.com/HuntersPride

Saturday Night Serenade–Going Home

I’m a happy girl.

I’m the mom of two incredible young men. Life hasn’t always been what it should be, and we’ve been through some hard times, not the least of which was living with a controlling narcissist, and dealing with the aftermath of divorce.

Each of us emerged damaged in our own ways. and we’ve worked to move forward. But it’s been a struggle, and my older son has had a hard time of it. Following high school, he drifted, finally ending up in the Air Force for a time. Full of anger and bitterness, he stayed away, refusing to keep in contact. In fact, I haven’t seen him in eight years.

Until three days ago.

Out of the blue, he responded to a Facebook message I sent him a month ago. He and his girlfriend were visiting her aunt in Tampa and it wasn’t going well. Naturally, I invited them to come here.

When I hugged him (maybe I squeezed him just a little too hard), he was shaking. I think he was afraid of how he’d be received. He’d convinced himself that I hated him.

A mom always loves her kids, no matter what. And we’ve had the nicest three days I’m had in a long time. Who says you can’t go home?

They’re leaving tonight for the 24-hour drive back to western Missouri. But we have plans to get together again soon. And I have his phone number. Like I said, I’m a happy girl

Be sure to hug those you love. Let them know you love them.

Happy Saturday night!