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!

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Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

Coming July 2!

HUNTER’S PRIDE, the second stand-alone novel in the Redheads & Ranchers Series, comes out Tuesday, July 2.

In the book, Poppy P.K. Chastain is a young, ambitious corporate attorney. She’s sent by her international real estate development company in New York to broker a deal with an Idaho cattle rancher for a small parcel of his property.

For Poppy, this is her chance to solidify her career with Slade & Howell. No more grunt work–she’s finally in the big leagues. All she has to do is convince Hunter McFall to sell a couple thousand acres so S&H can put in an access road to the luxury mountain resort they’re planning to build.

Hunter is having none of it. He doesn’t want a fancy resort trashing up the peaceful town named for his great-great grandfather. And he damn sure doesn’t want a road across his property. He’s prepared to say a flat NO when the development company’s lawyer comes out to the ranch to talk to him. He didn’t count on the pretty, spunky redhead.

Neither Poppy nor Hunter planned on falling in love, but their chemistry is undeniable. What they don’t know is that behind the scenes, there’s a scheme unfolding that will tear them apart. Is their passion real, or did Poppy play Hunter all along?

Here’s a new snippet from HUNTER’S PRIDE.

Golden sunlight streamed through the windows of the cabin, creating a brilliant space in stark contrast to the dark box from the previous night.  Hunter sighed to himself as he watched Poppy spoon another bite of oatmeal past her perfect lips.  She looked across the table at him and smiled softly.

 They were dressed in their clothes from the previous day, now dry thanks to the fire.  The only difference was that Poppy had added the flannel shirt over her white t-shirt, wearing it like an oversized jacket.

 Throughout the morning as they’d restored order to the cabin and made breakfast, they’d worked quietly, occasionally exchanging knowing glances and subdued smiles.

 Hunter sipped his coffee, and his mind drifted to the previous night.  After the blowjob that had to have registered on the Richter scale, they’d gone to bed, where they’d ended up making love twice more before finally succumbing to exhaustion.

 Mentally, he shook his head.  Five orgasms in one night.  That was far and away his all-time personal record.  And he’d seen to it that Poppy had enjoyed a few more than that.

 She met his eyes again and smiled.  A thought had been swirling around in his head since they’d lain breathless after that last time.  It was still there when he’d awakened, Poppy curled into him with her red hair framing her sleeping face.

 He hesitated, though.  Maybe she does this all the time, he thought.  The idea bothered him, but then, who was he to judge?  He had no kind of claim on her.  Three days ago, he’d assumed P.K. Chastain was a man.

 When she tilted her head curiously, he realized he’d been staring.

 “What’s up?” she smiled.

 He shook his head slightly.  “Nothing really.”

 Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully.  “You just seem to have something on your mind.”

 Stalling, he swiped a hand across his mouth and leaned forward on his elbows.  “I was just thinking…”  He frowned slightly.  “How much longer are you in Idaho?”

“I fly back to New York on Sunday.”

 He shifted his jaw.  Nothing ventured… 

“I was just thinking that maybe you might stay with me, at the ranch, rather than at the motel in town.”  He watched her closely.  “There’s a lot more I’d like to show you around here, and my house is a hell of a lot nicer than the Deer Creek Motor Lodge.  Plus…”  He trailed off.

 “Plus?”  Amusement twinkled in her eyes.

 He exhaled sharply.  “Plus, I think we’ve got an incredible connection.  I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t do this on a regular basis.”  He gestured toward the bed. 

Her eyes widened.  “I don’t do this on a regular basis,” she said.  “Are you asking if I do?”

 “No, God, no!  I didn’t mean to imply…  Shit.”  He ran a restless hand through his hair.  “I just mean that I feel like we have something here.  And for the first time in a long time, I’d like to explore it and see where it leads.”

 Feeling like he’d overstepped, he backtracked.  “Maybe you’re more comfortable in town.  I get it.  And I imagine you have work to do.  Don’t worry about it, it was just a random thought.”

 Wordlessly, Poppy pushed back from the table and came around to him.  She straddled his lap and took his hands in hers.

 “Hunter, I like you.  A lot.  All this,” she nodded her head toward the bed.  “That’s all you.  I’ve never had a night like last night.  Obviously, we have physical chemistry going on here, but I agree with you.”  She smiled up at him.  “I think it’s more than that.  And I’d love to see where it goes.”

 She kissed his cheek and slid off his lap.  “I didn’t want to complain, but the motel is a pit.  I’d lots rather stay with you.”

 He felt his lips curl in a guarded smile.  “Really?”

 Poppy nodded, a slight frown wrinkling her brow.  “I mean, it’s a little complicated, isn’t it?  I’m supposed to be negotiating an offer from my company.  But I suppose we’re still discussing it, right?  It wouldn’t do for the office to know that I’m staying with you, though.  It wouldn’t look very professional.”

 “Will it be a problem?”  For the first time, Hunter tried to factor Slade & Howell into the situation.

 She grinned mischievously.  “Not if they don’t know about it.”

 Suddenly, Hunter wanted nothing more than for Poppy to be with him at the ranch for the rest of her time in Idaho. 

“So, does that mean you’re staying with me?”  He stood and walked toward her.

“That’s exactly what that means,” she smiled.

 He released the breath he’d been holding as a smile spread across his face.  “Great!  Fantastic!”  He rested his hands on her hips and leaned down to press a kiss to her lips.  Reaching around his neck, Poppy steadied herself, tangling her fingers in his hair.

 Reluctantly, he ended the kiss, resting his forehead against hers.  “I’d better stop before we end up back in bed.  I’m already having a hard time walking today.”

 Poppy giggled.  “I’d never complain about being sore, as long as it’s for all the right reasons.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

Watch the official book trailer for HUNTER’S PRIDE.

HUNTER’S PRIDE
is out Tuesday, July 2.
Reserve your copy now: books2read.com/HuntersPride

Saturday Night Serenade–I Love a Good Story

I love a good story. But I’m a writer, so I don’t think that comes as a big surprise.

I tend to write long stories. For me, the characters are everything. Their strengths, their vulnerabilities, their past experiences, their flaws and self-doubts blend together to make them relatable. I always want readers to feel like they know the characters, like they’re friends. And that takes time to build.

As a reader, the best books are the ones where I intentionally slow down about halfway through because I know I’m going to miss the characters when I finish the story. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was like that for me.

That being said, I’m always impressed with writers who can communicate all that emotion in fewer words. Like in a song, for example.

Tequila by Dan + Shay tells a great story. This video enhances that story. Be sure to stay until the end. 😉

And because I have a perverse sense of humor, I’m taking a left turn at Albuquerque. (You have to be a certain age to get that reference.) On my summer television guilty pleasure America’s Got Talent, a guy performed a karaoke version of a different Tequila. Enjoy.

This weekend, we’re well into summer, and in the States, we’re celebrating Independence Day this week. I wish you a wonderful 4th of July. Enjoy your time with family and friends. Don’t hold fireworks in your hand, y’all, because DUH!

Be sure to hug those you love. Happy Saturday night!

Coming Soon–HUNTER’S PRIDE

What are you reading this summer? I have a suggestion–HUNTER’S PRIDE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 2.

Here’s the official blurb:

A handsome rancher with a tragic past,
determined to hang on to his inheritance.
A spunky young corporate lawyer

ready to make her mark in the world.
A sinister plot against them both.

Hunter McFall is a fifth-generation Idaho cattle rancher.  He’s been approached to sell a small fraction of his land to a big-city real estate developer.  Something he has no intention of doing.  He’s agreed to hear out the firm’s lawyer, but that’s the end of it.  To his surprise, it’s just the beginning.

Red-haired Manhattan business attorney Poppy Chastain is determined to make the most of her first opportunity to show her bosses what she can do.  Slade & Howell have sent her to the boondocks of Idaho to convince the hard-headed rancher to part with a tiny plot of his property.  She didn’t count on the sizzling attraction between them.

Together, they find a passion they weren’t even looking for.  But their love is threatened by a covert scheme to separate Hunter from his land by any means necessary.  When he finds out, he’s sure Poppy has played him for a fool.  Can she convince him otherwise, that what they’ve found is real?

If you love hot cowboys, sassy redheads, and steamy, romantic happily-ever-afters, you’ll love Hunter’s Pride.

One-click Hunter’s Pride now!

How about a little teaser?

By the time they finished eating and paid their tabs, Hunter was positive Poppy had to be feeling the effects of the alcohol.  But she seemed determined to press forward independently.

Together, they made their way to the door of the bar.  With all the noise and music inside, they had been blissfully unaware that a spring storm had rolled in.  Rain pouring down in buckets was punctuated by jagged flashes of lightning and the percussion of thunder rolling through the valley.

He’d already decided that he’d be making sure she got back to her room safely.  The storm just clinched the deal.  He could barely make out the lighted walkway of the motel through the torrents blowing across the highway in waves.

Beside him, she stared out into the storm.  “Well, shit!”

He rested a hand on the small of her back.  “Don’t worry.  I’ll take you back to the motel.”  He took a couple of steps.  “Stay right here.  I’ll get the truck.”  With that, he dashed out into the deluge.

When he pulled the huge black Expedition to the front door, he leaned over and pushed open the passenger door.  Poppy launched herself into the truck and slipped, falling headfirst over the center console, her face landing smack in his lap.

“Whoa, now!” he laughed.

She scrambled backward, nearly falling out of the truck.  “Um, sorry about that,” she gasped as she swung the door closed.

“It’s okay, just…get yourself settled.”

Sheepishly, she buckled herself in and clasped her hands in her lap.  “Okay, I’m settled.”

Suppressing a grin and mentally shaking his head, Hunter turned the truck and headed toward the highway. 

At this time of night in a town like McFall, there was no traffic to speak of.  Anyone not already home was currently parked in the lot in front of the North Star.  He paused anyway, peering through the rain in both directions before cutting across to the motel.

“Which room is yours?”

She pointed with an unsteady hand.  “Lucky number 7.”

He pulled into the space beside the Range Rover she’d driven out to the ranch.  “Hang on.”

Ducking, he hurried around and opened her door.  She accepted his hand and slid down, clutching her shoulder bag with the other hand.  Together, they dashed the ten feet to the covered walkway.

For a moment, they stood dripping, looking out into the rainy night.  Poppy fished the room key out of her bag.

“Well, thanks for the ride.”  She leaned down and closed one eye, her right hand weaving a bit as she aimed for the lock.

“Can I help?” he asked.

He took the key from her and unlocked the door, swinging it open.

“Thanks.  I would have gotten it.”

He tried to stop the smile.  “I know you would have.”

She peered up at him, red hair drenched from the rain.  He stepped closer, and she reached around his neck, pulling him to her, pressing her red lips to his.  Her intensity surprised him, but he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer, giving in to her passion.

Gradually, she loosened her hold, and he released her.  Gingerly, she touched her fingers to her lips.  “Sorry about that.  I’m a little drunk.”

“Not a problem.  But you should go inside now.”

She nodded slowly.  “Yeah.  Thanks for everything, Hunter.”

“You’re welcome.  Go on now.  We’ll talk tomorrow.”

She headed into the room and peeled off the cardigan, dropping it on the floor.  Then she gripped the bottom of the camisole and lifted it.  Hunter realized that with the drapes open, she was about to put on a show for the entire North Star Bar & Grill, assuming they could see through the rain.

“Hold up there,” he said, hurrying inside to draw the curtains.

Giving up on the camisole for the moment, Poppy sank onto the edge of the bed.  He squatted in front of her, taking her hands in his.

“I’m going to go now,” he said softly, “and I need you to lock the door behind me.  Okay?”

She blinked as she tried to focus on his face.  “Okay.”

“Okay, come with me,” he said, guiding her to the door.  “After I go out, you lock the door.”  Unable to resist, he pressed a light kiss to her forehead.  “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

He stepped out onto the sidewalk and pulled the door closed behind him, then stood listening.  “Poppy?”  He knocked lightly.  “Lock the door, hon.”

From the other side, he heard the click of the lock, then the rattle of the chain.  “Good girl.  Okay, we’ll talk tomorrow.  Good night.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE,
the second stand-alone contemporary
erotic romance novel in the
Redheads & Ranchers Series,
comes out July 2.
Reserve your copy now:
books2read.com/HuntersPride

Saturday Night Serenade–

Tonight’s serenade is a classic, and it doesn’t get much more classic than the Beatles. This clip of Yesterday is from a live 1965 television performance. It’s funny because the audience is so frantic about seeing the Fab Four, they don’t really appreciate the beauty of the song. I think true classics are like that–it’s only later that we recognize their value.

I’m beyond stoked about the new movie coming out at the end of the week. Yesterday, from the director of Slumdog Millionaire and the writer of Love Actually, is a fantasy musical romantic comedy about a struggling young singer who wakes up one day to discover that he’s the only one in the world who remembers the genius of the Beatles. When he begins to play their songs, everyone assumes they’re his original work, and his career soars.

The premise intrigued me months ago, the first time I saw a few short clips. It looks like a charming story about likeable characters, all punctuated by the music of the Beatles. In one hilarious clip, Ed Sheeran, as himself, advises our hero Jack to change one particular lyric to “Hey, dude.”

I can’t wait to see this movie, and as we have been hoarding a Fandango gift card since Christmas, awaiting a worthy film, I predict a date night in our very near future.

I hope this first official weekend of summer finds you well. Be sure to hug the ones you love. Maybe I’ll see you at the movies!

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–A Little Sunshine

Do you have a list of songs you consider musical ‘comfort food’?

I do, and this one is near the top of the list. Boogie Shoes is my favorite K.C. and the Sunshine Band song, and it’s from their 1975 self-titled album. The official genre is disco/funk. I love the brass in this song. And it’s fun to sing, too.

Which is probably why it’s been added to the background of a current television ad for a prescription medication. You know how the advertisers sell us drugs–pleasant images of happy people doing happy things, with a soundtrack of happy music.

If you’re paying attention to the name of the drug, which I usually don’t, you kind of wonder how long it will be before you see class-action lawsuits because these drugs are causing ‘suicidal thoughts or actions, tuberculosis, lymphoma, and perineal tearing’ (all actual side effects I’ve heard over the background happy music). Maybe we’d have been better off with the original ailment.

At any rate, I’d like to relax this summer Saturday with a little blast from the past. Did you notice that this clip is from American Bandstand? If you don’t know what that is, sit down and let the grown-ups talk.

Sending warm Happy Father’s Day wishes your way. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–This is Me

June is Pride Month. I could endeavor to explain the meaning, but I’d rather defer to a source that can do it so much more succinctly than I ever could.

June is Pride Month, a month to celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and asexual people, plus all other sexual orientations and genders.  The month is celebrated in June in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, which kicked off the first major demonstrations for gay rights in America. On June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, but bar patrons — gay men and drag queens — fought back, a spontaneous incident which is now marked as the beginning of the gay rights movement in the United States. Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist, organized a march and other events to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the riots and is known as the “Mother of Pride.” Today, Pride Month features marches around the country, educational and awareness events, and parties to celebrate gay pride!

NationalToday.com

While I am not gay, I have a number of friends who are. My step-daughter is. And I support them 100%. I can’t imagine living in a world where I could not be my authentic self, where I had to pretend to be just like everyone else out of fear of rejection or worse.

There’s been a story in the news in the last couple of days about a lesbian couple who were attacked on a bus in London. It seems a gang of troglodites were goading them to kiss, and when they refused, the women were beaten. What the hell? How is it that people aren’t left alone to live their lives?

Our good friends Susan and Lori have been married for years, and they adopted a little boy a couple of years ago. There has never been a child more doted on in the history of time. Together, they are a beautiful family.

But times are getting scary. There’s what seems to be a global movement to restrict the rights of people who don’t look or act or believe the way those in power do. Make no mistake about it–LBGTQ rights are human rights. To marginalize groups of people is to dehumanize them. And when you dehumanize people, you can treat them any way you like. Ask the Nazis.

Tonight’s serenade is a triumphant celebration of being exactly who you were created to be. I hope it find you and yours well. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!