30 October 2014

EsKape into a book ~ A double book-box-set bonanza

 
Holidays are a time for fun and relaxation, well if you're not off chasing extreme adventures or the suchlike :-) And with Thanksgiving, and Christmas just round the corner, what could be better than to snuggle down in a comfy chair, in front of a fire, with a good book? Or even a great box set of books!
 
Along with many other awesome authors Eskape Press have generously included my light paranormal romance, He's My Husky, in their Holiday Eskape box set.
 
 
And to celebrate they're doing a fun little contest. To play, you need to read my excerpt below, so please, don't fall asleep!  All you have to do is to follow the instructions over at Eskape Press's FB page
and answer the question about the except and you'll be entered to win a prize from EsKape Press!

 
 
* * * * *
 
Would she come? Max had thought long and hard about his options and decided this way would be less frightening for her. But was he right? More than ever, after what Emma had told him last night about Shane’s growth spurt and bursting his shirts, Max wanted, needed, to protect his son and the woman he now hoped to marry. His ego and selfishness had cost him the chance to be there for Emma and Shane. If things worked out, he’d do everything he could to…

A weak sun still managed to hold off the promised rain and twinkles of sunlight bounced off the bare tree branches above his head. To some it might seem eerie; to him it smelt natural, of nature. He could hear nearby animals rustling in the shrub, could smell the rabbits as he passed their burrows. A hawk keened overhead and Max wondered whether it was in optimism or intent. His skin itched and tingled, his muscles tautened and his fingers curled at his sides. His clothes rubbed against his sensitized skin and his shoes slowed his progress.

A couple walkers bade him a good morning, and he hoped there weren’t too many other people intent to beat the weather. As if to dash his hopes minutes later a couple of men, guns slung over their shoulders, came into sight. They stopped and stared at him then turned off on another path with an abruptness he found disconcerting. He hoped that whatever their destination, it wouldn’t involve a return to this clearing in the trees and the silent pond Emma had mentioned.

He looked round, sniffed the air and satisfied, began to shed his clothes.
****
Emma picked up the wash cloth Shane dropped on his way out and sighed. In some ways, due to his incredible height, she often forgot how young her son really was. Right after her meeting with Max she’d have to shoot into town and buy him more new shirts. She would call in on Sue. How could one day change a life as much as it had for her friend? Was it Sue’s belief that Friday the thirteenth was a harbinger of evil that prompted Tyler to wait until yesterday to act as he had? She’d never tagged Tyler as vindictive, but then what did she know about men? Not a lot. And while she had Shane to bring up she wasn’t too bothered about the fact she didn’t have a man in her life. She’d only ever given herself and her heart to one, and for her sins, she couldn’t get past him, couldn’t look at another man without seeing those earth-brown eyes, the wide shoulders and hands that brought her out in goose bumps just thinking about them roving over her body.

Magic! Those hands, the way they stroked across her skin, trailed over her back up her legs, and caressed her breasts, were pure magic. And then he’d added his lips to the magic and sent her up in flames. Why didn’t her heart believe her when she tried to convince it love had nothing to do with that night? It had all been about lust.

On Max’s part, anyway.

With an oath Emma swept up the breakfast dishes, rinsed them and posted them into the dishwasher. One of the bonuses of being self-employed meant she could shift her weekends to suit herself if Shane’s schedule allowed. This morning she took the time for herself ,she’d make up for it while Shane stayed over at Tim’s house tonight. It didn’t take long to tidy the bedrooms and clean out the bath, before changing into suitable jeans and warm jumper for the walk to the woods. Why had Max used a wolf, a wolf for goodness sake, to bring her a message about their change of plans? Never mind, her lips curved into a smile, that it was an amazing wolf.

If it had been a human it would have been a hunk of a specimen.

She changed her slippers for sturdy shoes, hauled on her coat and at the last moment grabbed a scarf and wound it round her neck.

She passed a couple of young mothers pushing prams and stopped to talk to both of them. How the years sped by, she thought, as they separated and went on their ways. She’d babysat both those girls when they were young, now they had children of their own… and loving husbands. If only things had been different… But they weren’t. So she’d suck up the useless longing and do what she’d done for the last ten years. Get on with it.

The washed-out blue sky gave way to thin grey clouds with their big brothers piling in behind them, dark, threatening and tinged with yellow. No one, she thought, as she gave the clouds a last look before stepping into the wood, had said anything about snow.

“Best be careful, Lass,” Ben Buckner warned as she met him and his buddy Brody Kemp coming in the other direction. How those boys ever passed an exam was beyond her, they never seemed to spend a full day in school, and yet they’d finished this summer with the best marks in their year.

“We passed a stranger not long back.” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder.

“Looked harmless enough,” Brody agreed. “But you never can tell.”

And with their well meant but dire warnings ringing in her ears, Emma followed the path that led to what she called the Fairy Den.

A few minutes later, Jed and Tupper, guns slung over their shoulders, blocked her path. She wasn’t afraid of them, precisely, but preferred it when they kept walking without comment. Rumour had it they were the two best poachers in the county and, in spite of their downtrodden appearance, were rolling in money. The first she believed, the second never quite rang true.

“Thur be a stranger in the woods, Missy,” Tupper growled. “He’s by yon pond, you best be careful where’s you walk today.”

Jed nodded, allowing his lips to move just enough for Emma to see two of his blackened teeth before they closed in a firm line again. “You’s take care then,” he added to his companion’s counsel, and without another word, both men walked away.

Anticipation had Emma increasing her speed, and she almost ran into the clearing ten minutes later. Disappointment had her skidding to a halt when she found no sign of Max waiting for her. Surely there couldn’t be two strangers walking the wood on the same day, when normally only the locals used these paths in the winter.

She looked round and shivered. Never had this place, normally so dear to her seemed so alien as it did today. The dark clouds had crowded out the wispier clouds and banished the sun, leaving the wood in deep shadow. A shiver chased up her spine. Should she leave, hope Max would come to her at home?

“No!”

The protest rang inside her skull and she searched the area again. There! On the other side of the clearing stood the wolf from last night. She may not have seen the animal clearly during the night but instinct told her it was the same creature.

“I saw a couple of hunters.”

Hunters? Emma sought to equate his description with any of the locals and wondered whether he referred to the recent school boys. But no, both pairs of men mentioned one stranger. Hunters?

“Oh,” she said, when it dawned on her the wolf referred to Jed and Tucker. “Not hunters, exactly. Poachers, but you’re right. I wouldn’t want them to see you.”

“Would they shoot if they did?” The wolf remained in the shadows.

“They might.” Emma admitted after giving the matter careful thought. “As a trophy,” she expanded. “There aren’t any wolves left in Britain, other than those in zoos, so yes, they might shoot you if they saw you. And if they didn’t they’d set traps to capture you.”
* * * * *
As if this isn't enough, you can also get a second box set of Regency story goodies :-) Don't miss this chance stock up for your holiday reading :-)
 

 

28 October 2014

Tuesday's Tales ~ Ghostly



Welcome to Tuesday's Tales 
This week's snippet returns to where we left off a couple of weeks ago.
 
Thank you for coming by - and feel free to leave a comment.
Please don't forget to click the link below to go back to the main Tuesday Tale site for more stories by very talented authors.
 
The put-put sound of the boat’s motor drew closer, seemed to Ludo to idle and then, slowly, faded away. Until he gasped for much needed air he hadn’t realised he’d been holding his breath. He looked back at his companion and noted the deep furrows between her eyes.
“Not disappointed are you?” Where the hell had that brainless line come from? He was, he knew that, but it didn’t mean she felt the same tug of— what? Attraction? Definitely.
Lust? Hell, yes, just say it as it was. It was one more crazy in twenty-four hours of crazy, the likes of which he’d never experienced before, and he’d experienced plenty of crazy in this lifetime.
The stare she directed at him should have douched the heat burning up inside him. It failed. He liked a challenge and unwittingly she’d sent out a challenge he’d take great pleasure in accepting.
The ghostly image of a dark-haired woman, her hair blowing in the warm breeze, her smile challenging the sun, snuck into his mind. He pushed it away. It was the past.
Gone. Dead and buried, along with his son, Jerrard. But this was another woman, no smile, for sure. But what a look, and he’d fall into those eyes anytime, dream or no dream. And this was no dream. The sound of the ignition whirring into life killed the distant memories and he looked at her then clung on as the car inched forward over the rutted track and headed for the main road.
Did she have a destination in mind? It seemed so as she didn’t hesitate to turn right and ease into the busy flow of traffic.
Thank you for reading this week's offering,
there are lots more amazing reads at
Tuesday's Tales

21 October 2014

Tuesday's tales ~Picture prompt

 

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales 
 
This week is Picture prompt week when we are constricted to 300 words inspired by the picture.
 
Thank you for coming by - and feel free to leave a comment.
Please don't forget to click the link below to go back to the main Tuesday Tale site for more stories by very talented authors.
 
 While this week's snippet is from the same WIP and is further on in the story, but may - or may not- be used in the final story. :-)
 
Ludo prowled round his sitting room ignoring the astronomically priced paintings on the walls. The only image in his mind was Kate’s face when he’d placed a fancy coloured drink on the table in front of her. Ashen, not pale, not white, but a deathly grey. What possessed him to assume that because every other female he knew had plumped for the fancy option that Kate would do too?
Not even the slap of his palm across his forehead banished her stricken look, her race for the door and her frantic dash across the car park, in the wrong direction. His hand shifted to the scratches she’d raked down his cheek when he’d caught up with her. Wherever the sight of the drink had taken her, she’d no longer been with him, hadn’t recognised him and fought him with a strength bourn of terror. It still astounded him nearly a week later, that no one had called the police to report a man attacking a woman in the car park. After all it had taken more than ten minutes to calm her down enough to persuade Kate to return to his car.
Her silence on the journey back concerned him nearly as much as her earlier reactions and convinced him not to leave her alone and to take her to his place. The silence continued when he showed her into his spare room, and minutes later returned with one of his t-shirts.
Should he leave her, offer to stay? He wanted to wrap his arms round the desolate figure standing in the middle of the room her arms wrapped round her waist in what looked like a death grip.  “Do you want to talk?”
The tears spilling down her cheeks wrecked him, and he swept her into his arms.
Thank you for reading this week's offering,
there are lots more amazing reads at
Tuesday's Tales 

16 October 2014

An Inconvenient Courtship by Dana R. Lynn...

 
 
Mr. Darcy is determined to find a wife he can love and respect.  He is fascinated by the lively Miss Elizabeth Bennet, but is determined to forget her due to her low connections.  Until an act of jealously puts her life at risk.  Faced with the bleak reality of living without her forever, Mr. Darcy must examine what he really wants.   With the assistance of Colonel Fitzwilliam, his sister, and Elizabeth’s father, Mr. Darcy works to save Elizabeth’s life.  If he is lucky, he will then be able to win her heart.
 
 
Excerpt:

What was the matter with him?

Darcy scowled as he paced back and forth across the length of the library. He could barely believe his actions of the past few days. To allow his control to slip so badly! And all because of a mere country girl, who was far beneath him. No money, no connections, and that family of hers.

But in spite of these objections, Darcy continued to find Miss Elizabeth Bennet everything that was fascinating and lovely. Not that he had always thought so. No, indeed. When he had first spied her several weeks ago at a dance, he had barely noticed her. His mood had been too dark. He even allowed himself to make a disparaging remark about her to his persistent best friend, Charles Bingley. He had come to Hertfordshire to help Bingley get his new estate in order, not to socialize with the local beauties. Yet, he found his interest in Miss Elizabeth growing with every meeting. Still, he was able to squelch this unseemly fascination with the second of the five Bennet sisters. Or so he had thought. Then, several days ago, the eldest Bennet sister, Miss Jane Bennet, had become ill while visiting Bingley’s sisters. Of course, she had to stay as their guest until she was healthy enough for travel. 

Although Darcy thought of Bingley as a brother, he didn’t much care for Bingley’s sisters. Miss Caroline Bingley had travelled to Hertfordshire to act as Mr. Bingley’s hostess, for it was one of the unwritten rules of the gentry that a single man could not entertain guests at his house without a hostess. Darcy would have been fine with Miss Bingley if she would leave him alone. But Miss Bingley had decided she wanted to marry Darcy. For his estate, no doubt. She was constantly batting her eyes and complimenting him. Louisa Hurst, Bingley’s married sister, was slightly better. Still a snob, but less obvious about it. She had dragged her husband to Hertfordshire so she could keep Miss Bingley company.

Darcy chuckled as he remembered the expressions on the faces of Bingley’s sisters when Miss Elizabeth had been shown into the breakfast room the next day. They were appalled to learn she had walked three miles to visit her sister. Three muddy miles, judging by the state of her skirt. Darcy admitted that he had enjoyed the past few days in her presence. She was unlike any woman he had ever known. Her conversation was witty and clever, and her playful manner challenged him. She paid him none of the compliments he was used to receiving from young women desiring his attentions. He had even allowed himself to forget his objections against her. Until her mother and younger sisters paid a visit, that is.

Darcy grimaced as he thought of Mrs. Bennet and her three youngest daughters. Their behavior was thoroughly shocking. It was the first time he could ever recall being in accord with Miss Bingley. She had openly disparaged the family to her brother, trying to point out the disadvantages of the connection. Bingley, however, stood firm in his defense of Miss Bennet, whom he declared an angel. But even Bingley could not defend Mrs. Bennet. He remembered Mrs. Bennet’s taunts as she and her youngest daughters visited Netherfield Park under the guise of checking on “Dear Jane”. She had apparently decided that Darcy was the enemy and aimed poorly veiled barbs his way throughout the visit.

Miss Elizabeth, however, had tried to defend him, her cheeks scarlet with mortification. Darcy came to a stop as he remembered the agonized, apologetic glance she had shot him with her spectacular eyes. Those gorgeous, sparkling hazel eyes with dark lashes made for flirting…

Flirting? Good heavens. What was wrong with him? Darcy strode to the window and stared out, not seeing the breathtaking view as dawn softly crept over the landscape. Instead of the trees and the vast array of flora, his mind was wholly absorbed with a beautiful face, its brows arched provocatively as she teased him. 

Today she would be leaving, going home where she belonged. He should be grateful. He could put distance between them. Then he would be able to regain his control and focus on more appropriate things. Even as he told himself he would forget her and move on, he felt a strange ache inside his breast at the thought of never seeing Miss Elizabeth’s beautiful eyes again.

His eyes grew far away as he considered his future. He was a Darcy. His family was one of the oldest and wealthiest in the ton. Even Grayson House, the home of his uncle, the earl, didn’t equal Pemberly. It had been made abundantly clear to him, first by his excellent late parents, and more recently by Lord and Lady Grayson, that he had a duty to marry well. That meant marrying a young lady with the appropriate breeding and standing in society. A wealthy landowner’s daughter at the very least. Better still, the daughter of a peer.

Darcy grimaced in distaste. Matchmaking mamas had been thrusting their daughters in his path since his father had died five years before. He shook his head. It was obvious the connection to wealth was more important to many than the happiness of the marriage itself. Most people in high society considered marriage as little more than a business merger. As long as the parties involved were discreet, infidelity was accepted as the norm. A view shared by many in his own family. 

His lips twisted as he thought of his aunt and uncle’s attitude towards marriage. The connection was what mattered. As was avoiding scandal at all costs. He remembered well the times he had seen his aunt give a young girl the cut direct for some rumored misdeed. Whether or not the misdeed were true, the girl was considered ruined and to be avoided. Darcy had not paid too much attention until several months ago when his own dear sister had found herself embroiled in a scandalous plot. Disgust roiled in his gut at the thought that his relatives would have tried to force him to marry her off to a cad or send her away, just to avoid any taint to their family name. Fortunately, society remained ignorant of her fall.

He shuddered. No, a marriage based on the whims of society was not what he wanted, either for himself or for his sister Georgiana. 

Frustrated, Darcy ran a hand through his hair. If he were going to marry, he would abide by the laws of Christian marriage. He would not marry someone he couldn’t hold in affection or respect. Mrs. Bennet again came to mind. No. Although he held the second Bennet daughter in the highest esteem, her family was too much of a black mark against her. Which meant he needed to forget Miss Elizabeth Bennet and her fine eyes.

****
“Jane, are you ready yet? The carriage is waiting!”

Elizabeth watched impatiently as her sister took her time preparing for their journey home. Elizabeth was eager to escape the snide comments of Miss Bingley and her sister. She was also anxious to be away from Mr. Darcy’s intense stare. Even imagining the way he watched her, she shivered, although she did not understand why. He made her uneasy, and Elizabeth disliked feeling uncertain.

“Jane,” she implored.

Jane Bennett glanced at her sibling with a gentle smile. Everything about Jane was gentle. Her voice, her manner, even her famous beauty. Where Elizabeth ran, Jane floated. Elizabeth laughed while Jane smiled serenely. Yet the two sisters adored each other. Until now, no one had ever held so much of Jane’s sweet heart as her sister. But now she knew Charles Bingley.

“I am coming Lizzy,” she sighed. “I am a little reluctant to go home. I will have to tell Mama that I am still not engaged.”

Elizabeth looked at her sister. 

“At least Mama had the sense to try and throw you at a man you actually like this time,” she teased. “Imagine if Mr. Bingley were a horrible bore, or an ogre. Actually, though, if he were that bad, I think Mama would send me his way instead of yours.”

It was true, and they both knew it. Although Mrs. Bennet loved all her girls in an abstract sort of way, she despaired of ever finding a man willing to marry her most headstrong daughter. What man wanted a woman who could argue and debate as well or better than he?

Jane blushed. The two smiled, then suddenly burst into laughter. They were still laughing as they descended to meet with the Bingleys and Mr. Darcy.

Darcy and Bingley looked up involuntarily as the sisters made their way towards them. Both men unconsciously sighed at the sight of girls. Mr. Bingley with delight written across his face as his angel approached, Mr. Darcy with regret as he realized with cold certainty that he would not be able to forget the woman who had plagued him since he arrived. Indeed, Miss Elizabeth would always be his idea of perfection, no matter how far away he went.

His feelings were muddled when he followed her out to the carriage. He was so disturbed by the path his thoughts were traveling that he barely took note of Miss Bingley. That young lady had pulled out all the stops to try and attract his attention.

She walked as near him as she dared, deliberately moving as elegantly as possible. She batted her light blue eyes coquettishly at him, moving her hands to draw his gaze to her perfectly coiffed red hair and brand new morning dress. Her conversation was everything the ton considered proper, yet it was all in vain. Mr. Darcy paid her no heed. Indeed, he may as well have been walking alone. Not once did he even spare her a glance. Oh, but that chit Miss Eliza Bennet, at her he stared. It was disgraceful! 

In a sudden fit of pique, Miss Bingley brought the sharp point of her closed parasol down upon the unsuspecting horse. The beast startled in fear and pain, rearing dangerously. Shouts came from the groomsmen as they tried to restrain the large animal. The second horse shied away from its yoke mate, pulling the carriage forward, causing it to wobble and tilt. 

A woman screamed. Silence.

“Miss Elizabeth!” No one recognized that hoarse, emotion-filled cry. They turned to see Mr. Darcy, kneeling on the ground, uncaring of his fine clothes. His pale face stared in anguish at the still form of Miss Elizabeth.
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Dana R. Lynn grew up near Chicago, but now lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, and enough animals to fill a small petting zoo.  She is an avid reader, and enjoys a wide variety of genres and authors, although her favorite will always be Jane Austen.  She loves writing inspirational stories, both contemporary and regency. 
 
www.facebook.com/WriterDanaLynn
www.twitter.com/DanaRLynn
www.authordanarlynn.wordpress.com
www.pinterest.com/writerdanarlynn
 
 
An Inconvenient Courtship is available from:-
 
Amazon   B&N
 
 

14 October 2014

Tuesday's Tales ~ Letter(s)

 


Welcome to Tuesday's Tales  

Thanks for coming by.
This week our prompt word is Letter(s). My snippet continues from last week.
Enjoy - and feel free to leave a comment. And don't forget to click the link below to go back to the main Tuesday Tale site for more stories by very talented authors.
 
“What are you doing?” She’d slowed to a stop and cut the engine. “I thought you said we need to get out of here.”
“We do.” Her gaze rested on the plastic carrier bag on the floor at his feet. The second size choice clothes he’d stuffed back into the container.
“So what are we waiting for?”
She glanced up at him then beyond him, out the window. “For the boat to pass by.”
“And if they don’t?” He fought the urge to twist round and check of the vessel’s progress. “If they decide to pull in here and stay awhile, what do we do then?”
The wry smile that tipped her lips in a half-curve heated his blood and had him resorting to studying the bag of clothes at his feet. The pink and purple print of the letters morphed into the wry smile he’d been trying to evade. The thought of kissing his rescuer may not be sensible but it sure chased the chill out his bones. Those lips, still tantalizingly curved...
“Are you suggesting we make out in the car?” He swallowed the taste of his rising desire, turned his head to look out of the window in an effort not to inhale the scent of her. “We’re strangers, or do you come on to anyone in trousers?”
Bitterness swamped him. Did she expect a sexual reward for rescuing him?
“Of course not.” Her outraged denial brought his attention back to the woman.
“What?”
“I neither want nor expect any favours, sexual or otherwise, for rescuing you from the boot of my car. But—” she looked beyond him, “—if they come across a kissing couple in a car, hopefully they’ll do nothing more than thump on the roof, and exchange a few ribald comments on their way past.”
Damn but his ‘new’ jeans felt tight, his throat parched and his hands clammy. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so nervous at the thought of kissing a girl. Not that his companion was a girl. No indeed, the woman sitting beside him reeked of sensuality.
 
Thank you for reading this week's offering,
there are lots more amazing reads at
Tuesday's Tales 

7 October 2014

Tuesday's Tales - Short



Welcome to Tuesday's Tales  

This week our prompt word is SHORT. My snippet continues from last week.
Without waiting for his reply she stood, headed for the car and returned with a plastic carrier bag.
“The choice is limited but I tired to get something in more than one size.” She thrust the bag at him and pointed to the derelict barn. He looked at the ring of nettles, down at his bare feet, and back at his companion.
“There are sandals and slippers in the bag. I thought they may be easier to get on if the size is completely wrong.”
“Thank you.” Not knowing what else to say, he headed for the barn.
Somehow she’d guessed pretty well. He chose the slippers. They would keep his feet dry but they’d be more effective than being stung through the sandals.
He ignored the dust motes dancing in the sunbeams that slotted between the twisted slats and riffled through the contents of the bag. He pulled on the boxer shorts sporting a pink frog. No wonder they were in a charity shop. She’d guessed his size surprisingly well. The vest, he didn’t normally wear one, but slipped it over his head and revelled in the warmth. The brushed cotton chequered shirt had seen better days, but again, either she’d put some thought into her choices or been exceptionally lucky. It fit snugly across his broad shoulders. Okay the sleeves were a tad short, but normally he had his shirts made to order. She’d chosen jeans and he swore he could hear his goose-bumps sigh in relief and the warmth of the denim wrapped round them. No socks, but the comb more than compensated for that small oversight.
He stilled when he heard a rustling outside.
“We have to get out of here.” The woman’s voice, though low, reached him clearly. “There’s a boat just coming round the corner of the river, and it won’t be long before they’re close enough to see the car.”
Relief warred with concern. Careful to leave not traces of his intrusion Ludo pushed the door open wide enough to slide outside, pushed it shut behind him and followed her back to the car, which she’d turned round while she waited.
Without a pause in her stride she indicated the passenger door, and slid into the driving seat and had the car moving before he’d managed to shut his door. Once more she surprised him by not making a dash for cover. Instead she eased the vehicle forward keeping it in a low gear until they reached the short line of trees that lined a deeply rutted track.
 
Thank you for reading this week's offering,
there are lots more amazing reads at
Tuesday's Tales 

Book Release - Love Will Find You by Iris Blobel

 
 
Love Will Find You By Iris Blobel 
Blurb:
Can their new love survive the scrutiny of the public eye? 
After his father’s heart attack, Australian Football League player Tyson Gaspaldi takes his parents on holiday to a small place at the New South Wales coast.  
One morning, following a surfing session, he comes across a crying woman on the beach. Everything about her intrigues him, and he can’t walk away. She’s not only sexy and humble, but, as he soon finds out, vulnerable as well. 
It’s only been a few months since Katie Cassidy lost her sister in a car accident.
Still overwhelmed by the loss, a chance encounter on the beach with an attractive stranger awakens unexpected emotions inside her. She’s instantly drawn to his caring nature, but also his looks. 
However, Tyson’s past quickly catches up with them, causing Katie’s childhood demons to return, and the road to romance becomes anything but smooth.
 
Excerpt:

Prologue

Tyson held the Brownlow Medal in his hand, but celebrating was the last thing on his mind. His fake smile was as much a lie as the last message he’d sent to Katie the day before. As a result, it was his mother who sat in the crowd amongst his teammates, his friends, the footy world, reporters, and whoever else was important—and not Katie. His gaze wandered around the ballroom, with all the round tables neatly positioned in nice rows. Each table was beautifully set with dinnerware, menus, and a floral arrangement. The TV screens on either side of him showed a close-up of the stage, and as he tried to protect his eyes against the bright lights, he watched them all, making toasts, their glasses filled with the best champagne, applauding his achievement.
The crowd settled and awaited a speech. His speech. Nervousness crept up in him as he stared into the audience. His throat burned as the acid in his stomach churned.
The Brownlow Medal was awarded to the best and fairest football player of the season, yet he didn’t think there was anything fair about the way he’d treated his girl.
Tyson Gaspaldi took a deep breath, unfolded his little note, and cleared his throat. The first word he focused on was her name, Katie. He blinked to refocus and thanked his mother as well as his family. It came effortlessly once he was past the initial hurdle and in only a few minutes he finished, held up his medal, and walked behind the stage.
Why had he said the things he had? Why didn’t he just answer her question?
A short time later, Tyson joined his friends and his mother at the table again.
“Congratulations, darling.” His mother took his face into her hands and gave Ty a kiss on his cheek. Only a few years ago, he would have been embarrassed by such open emotions in front of a crowd, but since his father’s death earlier in the year, he welcomed every sign of affection by his mother.
“Thanks, Mum.”
“Dad would be so proud of you.” Caroline Gaspaldi took a step back and gazed at him. Pride radiated from her eyes. “Look at you. You should wear a suit more often.”
His friends around the table gave him a quick clap on the shoulder and congratulated him before sitting down to proceed with the evening. Ty noticed his phone buzzing and with a flick of his finger, he scrolled down his messages. He stopped at Katie’s message from earlier in the day.
I don’t believe u!
With a heavy sigh, he switched off the screen, ignoring all the other new messages and the phone into his pocket. He took the beer in front of him and tried to concentrate on what the guy on stage was saying. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a woman at the other table. She looked incredible in her shimmering silver evening gown. The décolleté of her dress revealed tanned skin upon which a delicate necklace hung. Her curly brown hair was pinned up in a ponytail which made her look very sexy. When she smiled at him, he winked at her in return.
“What are you doing, Ty?” his mother whispered into his ear. 
Buy Links:
Author:
Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper only emerged a few years back, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as their dog. Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio. 
Where to Find Me:
Twitter: @_iris_b
 
 

30 September 2014

Tuesday's Tales - Pretty




Welcome to Tuesday's Tales  

This week our prompt word is PRETTY and my snippet continues from last week. Having escaped their pursuers, Kate's now wondering how stupid she's been to help a stranger evade his attackers, and what possible retribution will fall on her head for her well-meaning but possible stupid actions. 


His deep voice resonated deep within her. Geeze how could she notice something like that in such a situation? Gathering her scattered wits Kate leaned in and helped the man to a kneeling position.

“No, it wasn’t me, and no, I don’t know who attacked you and bundled you into my car,” she said at the same time wondering how her voice came out so steadily when her insides were melting. “Who are you and why were you trussed up like a chicken and bundled into my car?”

Under the circumstances she shouldn’t notice his powerful build. Her hands should itch to release his bonds so they could skim over his torso, and further, not want to stroke all over that glistening skin.

Before he could respond she held up the scissors. “I’m sorry I only have these. I never thought to buy a knife to cut the cords.” She smacked her hand to her forehead and rushed to get a bottle of water out of the shopping bag on the back seat.

“Here, drink this.” She uncapped the bottle, held it to his lips and gradually tipped it up until he drained the contents dry. He held his hands out and watched her attempt to cut, and then saw through the nylon. The moment his hands were free the man tried to climb out of his prison.

“Wait.” Holding her hand up like a traffic cop Kate went back for the jersey she’d bought. “I had to guess your size,” she explained, “but put this on before you do anything else.” Not sure whether relief or disappointment roared through her system when the sweater fell below his hips, Kate moved closer to allow him to use her shoulder as a prop while he struggled to manoeuvre into a position to swing his legs over the sill of the car to allow her to release those bonds too.

“Who are you,” she asked again. “And why…”

“I don’t know why for sure, and although I have an idea of who, I’m not certain enough to name names.”

Dropping to her knees, Kate began cutting through the nylon cord. And wondered whether she was out of her mind to release a stranger who refused share his name or explain who had dumped him in her car and why. Anger nudged her concern to one side. Had she been mad to drive away knowing he was in her boot? And to do so knowing a bunch of strangers were now after her as well as the man waiting for her to free his legs? Upon reflection it seemed pretty stupid.

“I won’t hurt you.”

His voice snapped her out of her contemplation and she realised she’d sat back on her heals, her hands, still holding the scissors, resting in her lap.
 
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