21 May 2013

Tuesday's Tales - Bite

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales! A place where books are born. Thank you for stopping by.  This week's word prompt it bite.  I apologise for the length of this week's offering ahead of time, but this is an unedited complete short story.

“Your mother has agreed to give Rusty a permanent home.  Why do you keep pushing to bring him here?”

Mark swallowed his rising anger towards his new wife. They’d been arguing about Jodi’s Retriever dog for several months before the wedding. Thankfully she’d dropped the subject during their honeymoon, but now…? After one day in their new home she’d started badgering him again.

“Why don’t you explain why you refuse to let me bring Rusty with me? We’ve never been apart and he’s getting old, and will fret if he stays with my mum.”

“He’s just a dog, for heaven’s sake. What’s so special about him?”

After a quick glare in his direction Jody turned her back on him. “You could say he saved my life.”  The livid white scar across the back of her neck glistened in the ray of sunshine,  and as ever Mark cringed and looked round the room. Reluctantly, she’d agreed to the black and white theme he wanted in their living room.

“But I get to choose in the bedroom.” She’d countered with a grin.

The three-seater black leather settee took centre stage in the room, while the white walls off-set the hanging sixty-inch TV screen. At the far end of the room Jody had installed a neat looking black desk and thrown his whole design into disarray with her soft furnished red chair, and computer.

Refocusing his irritation from the red chair back to his wife Mark stepped forward and placed a placating hand on her shoulder. “You never told me that before.” Hard as he tried, he failed to keep the accusation from his voice.

“Well, of course I didn’t. You have always refused to go near any dog, even the smallest dog that passes us in the park.  I may not have commented on it, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t noticed.  Now I think you owe it to me to explain why you refuse to have anything to do with dogs.  And it better be good, because I had Rusty before we met so you’ve always known I’d want him to be with.”

The anger drained out of him. Jody only spoke the truth. Like a selfish fool he’d hoped she’d give in and leave the dog with her parents. He’d even demanded she leave him behind. How arrogant could he get?

And how could he save his two-week old marriage if he didn’t try to explain why he wouldn’t go near dogs.

Any dogs.

“I need a drink.” When he reached the wet-bar he held up a second glass. Jody shook her head, looked over her shoulder and watched him beneath her lashes.

“Come and sit down,” Mark asked and patted the settee beside him after he placed his snifter on the coffee table.  “I’ve never talked about this before, so I don’t know how much sense I’ll make, but I do see I owe it to you to explain why I can’t have a dog in the house.”

He waited with baited breath while she studied him for several minutes, her eyes dark and troubled, her brows drawn together and her hands clenched at her sides. He released a breath when she nodded and dropped down beside him.

“Go on,” she prompted when he hesitated. “I’m listening.”

Needing the comfort of Jody’s touch, Mark gripped her hand and held it on his lap. He couldn’t look at her and focussed his attention on the shiny new wood-panelled floor.

“I was sixteen at the time when dad and I took  Bitzer to the park…”

“Bitzer? Who was Bitzer? And why have you never mentioned him before?”  Jody shifted in her seat to cast a bewildered look at him.

“Don’t interrupt, otherwise I won’t be able to tell you.”

A slight squeeze on his hand gave him the courage to continue.  “He was our dog.”

He ignored her gasp and willed himself to let the memories in.

“My dad called him a bitzer. – A bit of this and a bit of that. The people at the rescue centre told my dad he was just a puppy. I remember thinking  ‘bitzer’ was a cool name, so that’s what we called him. Bitzer.”

He swallowed, gripped the hand that somehow now held his, and took a long deep breath.

“He was  black and tan, and even then he had shoulders on him like a quarter back. In all the time we had him,  he never showed any sign of aggression- until that day…” His voice trailed off and he looked up at Jody, noted her pale face, and that her eyes were like saucers.

“Go on,” she coaxed, her voice little more than a whisper.

“We don’t know what triggered his behaviour that day, but there was a young girl playing with the ducks, her parents had just given her a slice of bread and I remember hearing the sound of their laughter.

“My dad had Bitzer on a loose lead and didn’t expect him to act any differently than usual. But this time Bitzer broke away from my dad, ran straight for the girl and caught her by the throat and shook her like a doll.”

He couldn’t stop the shakes running through his body. The child’s screams echoed in his head as clearly as if he was back in the park. Her parents’ cries for help, and his father’s curses as he attempted to pull Bitzer off the child.

“What happened?”

“I can’t remember the details. Lots of people arrived, some may have been police, in fact I’m sure at least one was a policemen, because eventually he shot Bitzer, but not before another dog hurled itself into the furore.  Everyone thought the new dog's pack instinct was kicking in, instead it positioned itself in front of the girl and attacked Bitzer. It saved the child’s life.”


Saved a life?
What had Jody just said about Rusty?

The words rattled in his head and he shot an agonised glance at Jody. “Please tell me I’m wrong,” he begged, as he watched the tears track down her cheeks.  

“That second dog wouldn’t let anyone near the child for more than an hour,” Jody said in a broken voice.  “Not my parents, not the medics, no one until the policemen shot your dog.  That’s why he had to shoot him, Mark. I’m so sorry.”

He swiped a hand across his face. “You’re sorry? How can you look at me and not be repulsed?”

“Mark, until this moment I didn’t know you were the boy who begged the policemen not to kill his dog.” Jody wrapped her arms round his neck, drew him close, and kissed him.  “I love you, Mark. For better, for worse, I love you. And I’ll tell Mum to keep Rusty permanently.”

“No!”  Mark shot to his feet. “You must bring him here, but first perhaps he can stay with your Mum till I get to know him.”

“Oh Mark, I do love you. I promise Rusty won’t bite you. He has an instinct about people and I know he will accept you for who, and what, you are. Just as I do.”
* * * *
Thank you for reading another snippet this week, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt. 

20 May 2013

Featuring Felicia Rogers' Beyond A Doubt

Beyond A Doubt, The Renaissance Hearts Series, Book Four
The end is finally here…

 The final chapter has been written for The Renaissance Hearts Series. What began with Sarra and Cedric in There Your Heart Will Be Also concludes with Bryce and Lucy in Beyond A Doubt. Set in the turbulent times of Mary I of England, or Bloody Mary, and Henry II of France, the fight for religious freedom abounds. Intrigue, loss of property, and loss of life rule the day. Follow the epic ending of a family’s struggle.

Buy it Now on Amazon:
Buy it Now on

Bryce Cameron is finally going home. Years spent away have him longing for the craggy landscapes from his childhood.

Lucy Lombard is on a mission. The mantel she carries was never meant for her possession yet it has been passed to her anyway. Alone and in danger, Lucy stumbles onto her greatest find.

Rescuing Bryce is either a blessing or a curse but regardless time is running out. With Bryce's help can Lucy fulfill her mission or will she be too late?


See what others have said about the Renaissance Hearts Series.
“I really enjoyed this book. I do not typically favor historical romance, but the romance was not too mushy, and the historical was not too heavy! This was an enjoyable, delightful read!!!.”
Taken from Rachel’s Amazon review on There Your Heart Will Be Also, Book One.

“If you are in for a good mystery with plenty of adventure, suspense & romance, you have come to the right place for this recommended novel because "By God's Grace" will give it all to you.”
Taken from Arlena’s Amazon review of By God’s Grace, Book Two.

“Okay have to say this is my fav book so far in The Renaissance Heart Series! Felicia Rogers just gets better!” Taken from Danielle William’s Amazon review of Labor of Love, Book Three.

Buy Beyond A Doubt on Amazon:
Buy Beyond A Doubt on B&N:
Don’t forget the other books in the series. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Astraea Press.

~There Your Heart Will Be Also, Book One

~By God’s Grace, Book Two

~Labor of Love, Book Three


Felicia Rogers is an author of six novels and three novellas. When she's not writing, Felicia volunteers with the Girl Scouts of America, teaches at a local homeschooling group, hikes, and spends time with her family.

To find out more information about Felicia Rogers visit the sites below. She loves hearing from readers.
Website: http://www.feliciarogersauthor.weebly.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FeliciaRogersAuthor
Email: feliciarogersauthor@yahoo.com

18 May 2013

Cuddle up with a Contemporary Romance Blog Hop

TOMORROW, FRIDAY, LAST DAY TO SIGN UP FOR CONTEMPORARY BLOG HOP! Here is the badge. I will NOT be around that weekend because my son is graduating college. So please get ready in advance. If you have some emergency, please email @[1724981659:2048:Dawne Prochilo]. Thank you.
My thanks to Secret and Sweet  Cravings Publishings for this weekend wonderful blog hop.
While my Sweet Cravings Publishings book, No Job For a Woman, is a Regency rather than a contemporary romance, the intrinsic basis for all romances are largely the same. It is the setting the fashions and the culture that differs. And it got me thinking, how would my heroine stand up in today's world, and was not too surprised when I decided she'd become the norm, rather than the potential outcast that threatens Deborah Stavely's future.
For a woman to work during the Regency period she did so knowing the risk could be social ostracization.  But this happens to be the least of Deborah's problems. There are still those in today's society who think a woman's place is in the kitchen or the delivery room.
In every romance down the centuries readers are mostly looking for a happy ever after when they pick up a romance story.  Perhaps today the heroines' actions are more 'in your face' but - take Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for instant, she has two heroines. One is quite and serene while the other, Elizabeth is feisty, not that bothered about protocol, but still does not step too far beyond its boundaries and both get their men.
If you'd like to win a pdf copy of No Job For a Woman please leave a comment and share your favourite romantic hero.
The winner will be chosen using random.org

15 May 2013

A second out of time!

I just happened to check up on my books in Brenda Novak's auction for Diabetes research and noticed in the 'time left' was a row of 16s!

14 May 2013

Tuesday's Tales Picture Prompt

 Welcome to Tuesday's Tales! A place where books are born. Thank you for stopping by. This week we are writing to a picture prompt so I have taken a break from Megan's Story and am offering another clip from my Horseshoe story.

(A stranger has turned up at Hanah's old, isolated,mountain hunting lodge in the middle of winter and wants to know what she is doing in his home.)         

       What had he said about the size of his estate? 
Hanah pulled herself up on another memory.

Estate agent?

When she’d mentioned the local estate agent, the man, James, hadn’t known what she was talking about. Did that mean he knew nothing about the local town with its double and triple-story red-brick buildings, the brilliant white clapboard property so recently renovated by the locals and turned into a museum of local history. And the colourful striped awnings over the shops and art galleries, would he know them or claim ignorance of them too? And, of course both of the real estate agencies in the town, let’s not forget them, she reminded herself with a silent snort of derision.

While the trees gave welcome shade to shoppers from the summer heat, personally she disliked the clinical precision of their placing and shape and was always relieved when she returned home to the higglty-piggity of her natural surroundings.

The sound of Rosie’s voice squawking in her ear jolted her out of her reflections.

“…still there?”

“What? Yes, I’m still here, and don’t worry my guest will be leaving soon.”

“How can he, if as you say, the ravine is blocked?”

“I believe he has suitable transport.” Hanah offered, and hoped her friend wouldn’t ask for details. “I’ll ring you tomorrow,” she promised and waited long enough to hear Rosie agree before cutting the connection.  It was amazing, all things considered, that the phone lines were still working. Not prepared to follow where that thought might take her, Hanah took advantage of her guest’s confusion and eased the book out of James’ hand.

“You talk to yourself when that… that… that thing demands your attention?” While he managed to lace his words with arrogance, she identified the fear lurking in the man’s eyes.
Thank you for reading another snippet this week, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt. 

Celebrating Rachel, GOT THE CONTRACT!

May 14-19th

Rachel Van Dyken

What? Her two-book contract for The Bet and Elite, two of her self-published books that readers went WILD for and boosted it on the New York Times  and USA Today bestseller lists!!
When? When her new publisher  Grand Central contracted for FOUR books, The Bet, The Wager, Elite and Elect.

And those are just the latest that follow a L-O-N-G list of Rachel Van Dyken's published books.

To discover just how many books, including NY best selling ones, Rachel has written you must visit her website

How do I know such a talented and prolific writer?  It's my pleasure to have three of my own books, including my best-selling Regency Romance, Vidal's Honor, published by the same company that has published so many of Rachel Van Dyken's successful books.

Rachel is an inspiration, a charming warm-hearted and generous lady who has time for aspiring authors, and I am so happy for her and wish her all the best with her latest book ventures.

You will find a full list of Rachel Van Dyken's available books on Amazon

As part of Rachel's celebratory Blog Hop I am offering a free pdf copy of each of my Gasquet Princes novellas,

From Now Until Forever (Book 1 of the Gasquet Princes series)


His Chosen Bride (Book 2 of the Gasquet Princes series)

...to one lucky winner.
All you have to do for a chance to win is to leave a comment confirming you have 'liked' my
Thank you.

Don't forget to visit all the other authors celebrating in Rachel Van Dyken's Blog Hop

11 May 2013

Happy Mother's Day

There is more information on my other books at