What happens when a landscaper finds herself tangled up in a drug ring and the only man who can save her believes she’s guilty as sin?
Please enjoy this new excerpt from Love’s Bounty the second in the Tilling Passions series available from Liquid Silver Books.
“So, Miss Tilling, tell us again what happened.”
“Do I need a lawyer?”
“You’re welcome to call one, if you’d like.”
“But I didn’t do anything. The drugs aren’t mine. I don’t know how they got in my truck. I was just headed back to Delmont to dump the refuse. I’m a landscaper, and I have a job here in Cutler. I’ve told you all that.”
Ayden paced the little room, watching Deirdre through the window. He had all he could do not to storm into the interrogation room and pull her into his arms. Over the past half hour, she seemed to be shrinking into herself. She’d told the same story a half dozen times, never once wavering about her innocence.
Did he believe her? Or was his opinion colored by their evening together? He scrubbed his hands over his face. This is why you never got involved with women when you were on a case.
“I demand to see her,” a man’s voice bellowed.
The commotion in the hallway happened only seconds before the door of the interrogation room flew open. Shawn Jameson shook off the officer trying unsuccessfully to detain him.
“Mr. Jameson … what are you doing here?” The chief stood up so fast he toppled the chair. It fell with a thunderous clatter.
“This woman is an employee of mine.” He put his arm around Deirdre’s shoulder.
“Shawn, I…” She looked up at him as if her savior had just arrived riding a white horse.
“Don’t say another word, Deirdre. My lawyer is on his way.”
“An employee? We weren’t aware. I don’t think the lawyer is necessary, Mr. Jameson.” The chief sputtered out the words. “We haven’t charged her with anything yet.”
“And yet you continue to interrogate an innocent woman?”
What the fuck? Ayden sat down hard in the closest chair, feeling like he’d just been kicked in the gut.
* * * *
Ayden leaned over the steering wheel of the Saab in the back lot of the precinct. Dark had descended hours ago, and night hadn’t been far behind. He’d been trapped in the little room for an hour, watching the chief fawn over Jameson. But that had been only half the show.
Jameson’s blustery lawyer showed up, shouting and pontificating, and the Cutler police’s big arrest had turned into a circus act, with Deirdre sitting center ring. In the end, they’d charged her with only a misdemeanor possession, no intent to traffic, no court date or jail time. A simple fine that could be paid through the mail.
Who was he kidding? She had pulled the wool over his eyes and led him around by his dick. All fluttery lashes and innocent smiles. “Innocent, my ass.” Ayden slammed back into the seat, banging his head against the leather. “Jameson came to your rescue and offered to post bail a little too quickly for my taste, Deirdre, m’dear. Methinks you’re more than his landscaper.”
He started the engine and backed out of the lot.
“And to top it off, I’m beginning to wonder if the chief’s on his payroll as well. Obviously someone tipped Jameson off about the arrest.” He looked in the rearview mirror. No headlights behind him. He would take a circuitous route back to the 7-Eleven just to be sure.
For the last forty-five minutes, Ayden had been grilling the chief about the citizens of Cutler. He hadn’t let on that Jameson was the suspected drug trafficker the DEA was after, but he’d steered the conversation in his direction several times. The chief assured him he knew Jameson only as a legitimate real estate mogul. It was his business to know the townspeople of Cutler. And Jameson was just that, a citizen who had purchased the rundown estate up on the hill.
Ayden wasn’t sure he believed the story. Not after the way Lafflin had tripped all over himself to make Jameson happy and cut Deirdre loose. It bothered him more than he wanted to acknowledge, when Deirdre walked out of the interrogation room huddled against Jameson. He had no idea where the woman was now.
“Probably cozied up with Jameson at the estate.” Ayden was such a fool.
He floored the pedal of the Saab, racing through the darkness, trying to outrun the prickly unease that had settled itself on the back of his neck.
The night had turned cold, and the thin sports jacket did nothing to keep the chill from penetrating straight to Ayden’s bones as he ran through the house lots back to his condo. The timer had tripped the lights as usual, and Ayden hoped whoever was watching him believed he’d been tucked in since late this afternoon when he’d parked the Jag out front. Slipping through the glass slider, he headed straight for the fridge and a cold brew. He flipped a couple CDs in the stereo just as the knock came at the front door.
Julie and Damon don’t know what hit them. She’s a CPA looking to cut loose and he’s a shock jock looking to reform. Neither of them is happy with their life at the moment. But when Julie begins looking into the suicide of her friend from high school that begins to look like murder, she worries that Damon is somehow involved.
Here’s an excerpt from the first book in the “Tilling Passions” series …
Damon walked behind Julie. He should be focused on her friend’s connection to Elvis, but the intoxicating sway of her hips hugged with leather made his cock throb and spiraled his thoughts in another direction. Watching the couples in the basement had been the initial impetus for his blood-pounding erection, but Julie’s luscious curves beckoned, and now his dick pressed uncomfortably against his jeans. All he could think about at the moment was burying himself in her silken heat.
Unlike Julie, this evening’s tour hadn’t taken him by surprise. Elvis had been the one to coax Damon to Maine and get him the DJ spot at the radio station. When funds had become tight two months ago, and Damon couldn’t make rent, it had been Elvis who offered to hook him up with an acting gig. Damon might have prostituted himself with the shock jock performances, but there was no way in hell he’d get his rocks off while others watched on the Internet. He’d go without food before he’d stoop that low. And that’s what it had come to. Now the radio show was paying him bonuses, and the extra appearances it brought netted him a nice living. It just wasn’t what he wanted to do. Damon had had other plans when he’d arrived in Maine.
Despite what she’d just witnessed, he knew the woman bouncing up the stairs in front of him wasn’t thinking about her sex life. He needed to get his head out of Julie’s pants and wrapped around the conundrum of Jason’s death. Damon was beginning to think Julie’s worries about her friend’s death weren’t as unfounded as they’d first appeared. It seemed Jason had tangled himself in an interesting spider’s web of deceit.
“I’m not sure it’ll help seeing one of the rooms we rent to our more passionate patrons, but knowing all of this business can’t hurt.” Elvis stopped halfway down the hotel-like hall and slid the card key into the door lock.
The room they entered looked like something out of a honeymoon brochure. The heart-shaped bed, covered in plush black velvet, dominated the space. Mirrors on the walls and ceiling reflected the red lights, settling on them like a sultry summer night. Sheer fabrics in rainbow shades looped from the ceiling and down the walls, adding to the fantasy.
“We even have cable for erotic channels and video cameras available.” Elvis pointed to the flat screen TV mounted on the near wall. “Of course, our patrons have no idea the feed for the pornography comes from one floor down.” He turned abruptly and stared down at Julie. “And before you even ask, Miss Tilling, the only taping that goes on these rooms are the movies the patrons make themselves.”
Tension eased out of Julie’s shoulders, and a smile flitted across her lips.
Elvis walked over to the wall and opened a door that revealed an opulent bathroom. “Every room comes with a Jacuzzi bathtub. Optional amenities are available for an additional fee.”
Damon didn’t even want to speculate on what other services Elvis provided.
A cell phone chimed. Julie’s autopilot sent her searching, only to come up empty. He forced himself not to dodge the daggers flying from her eyes when they locked on his. It had been selfish when he insisted she leave the phone. But no man would blame him for wanting this sexy woman all to himself.
Elvis answered the device and spoke briefly before snapping his phone shut. “Sorry, I’m needed upstairs. Seems some patrons are asking to speak with the owner.” Elvis pressed his cheek next to Julie’s and kissed the air. “I miss Jase terribly. But maybe we’re both looking for something that isn’t there.” He shook hands with Damon. “Forgive me, friend. I should never have doubted your intentions. Sometimes love and sadness warp the images right in front of us. I should have known you’d never betray me. Not with Jase or anyone.”
Damon pulled Elvis into a fierce hug before the man left them alone. Sometimes kinship had nothing to do with blood relations.
“Well, we should be going.” Julie wiped her palms down the leather molding her thighs.
“I think Elvis intended for us to enjoy the privacy.” Damon held up the keycard Elvis had slipped into his hand.
“Damon, really, it’s late and…”
Damon stood over her, the heat of his lips branding hers. “And you’re going to turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight?” He pressed his body into the supple curves of her. “That happened over an hour ago, Julie. What I see in front of me is no garden flower.” He dipped his fingers into the silken strands of the wig she’d slipped on before leaving the house and grazed her parted lips with his thumb. “I see a beautiful woman who invaded my body and thoughts less than twenty-four hours ago, and now every breath I take is filled with her scent.”
The Healer’s Garden was my debut novel. First contract. First book cover. First release. First time I fell in love with a hero I created. Brenimyn makes me sigh. He was the subject of my fantasies years before I decided to write. That’s why he’s so special… just don’t tell my other heroes! 😉 Here’s an excerpt from one of the first times he meets our very confuse heroine, Jahara …
She slammed into the bathroom behind him. He hadn’t seen this much fight in a woman in a long time. He tried to rein in the hope blossoming in his chest. Calmly he shut the door and turned the faucets on at the sink and tub.
“Now, there may not be cameras in here, but the audio amplifiers in the other room are very sensitive,” he said. “The water will help drown out our voices, but I suggest you keep that raging storm of yours to a dull rumble.” He settled himself on the edge of the tub, crossing his arms and feet.
She wrung her hands and sputtered under her breath. The picture she created made him laugh. The rolling sound echoed off the tiles.
She stopped moving and stared at him. “What on earth could be so funny? I don’t think any of this is humorous.”
“You, Jahara. Just you.”
“What about me?”
“You’re fluttering around as if you’ve got bugs crawling on your skin and I find your nervousness over your first mating … cute.” Concern softened his voice even as his eyes searched and penetrated. “You’ve never been with a man have you?”
“I don’t believe that’s any of your business.”
“Oh, but it is my business.” He dropped his hands to the edge of the tub, hoping the relaxed posture would ease the tension sluicing off her in waves. “I’m the primary breeder responsible for training, and leader of the male breeding stock. When one of the partners for the first mating isn’t available, I take their place. It’s part of my responsibilities.” Of course Ishawny’s partner wouldn’t be home puking his guts out if Brenimyn hadn’t laced the man’s food with the vile medicine he’d stolen from his friend’s bag of herbs.
But Brenimyn had needed to meet this woman. He needed to know if the connection he’d felt arc between them yesterday had been real or a figment of his overzealous imagination. He’d put his plan in action the moment he’d found out she’d requested a breeding guide.
“But you’re Kylie’s mate. Even I know I can’t usurp another woman’s claim on a breeder,” she said, her doe eyes full of confusion and fear. “Why have you come to me?”
Now that was a loaded question. One he couldn’t answer without scaring her. She wasn’t ready for complete honesty. “I’m responsible for making sure the first copulation is pleasant.”
She turned from him, her voice barely above a whisper. “Perhaps we don’t need to do this tonight? You see, I’m already committed to another.” Jahara waved her ring finger in the air. “I didn’t choose to come here.”
“Jahara, few choose the Garden.” Least of all the breeders forced into slavery, he wanted to add, but knew it wasn’t prudent. “You realize you can’t put off the inevitable. Tonight, tomorrow, next week, eventually you will be expected to mate in front of the cameras.” Brenimyn wanted nothing more than to take this frightened woman into his arms and show her the strength of a man. But she wasn’t ready for what he wanted to give her.
He couldn’t resist reaching out to her with his thoughts.
Her hand fluttered to her cheek. “I…” She turned and fear flashed across her brow.
“Jahara, being with a man isn’t so horrible.” He rose and walked to her, his hand stroking the spot his mind had touched. “Don’t you feel the chemistry between us?” A frisson of awareness sparked from her cheek up his arm. His suspicions were confirmed. Jahara was the one who’d been sent to fulfill his destiny.
That did it. He’d been grilling her for the last half hour about the events of last evening and now he was accusing her … of what? A switch clicked and pushed away her confusion. He was accusing her of killing Glenn? She may not be telling him everything, but to think she’d bring any harm to the man who’d loved and protected her dropped indignation over her wounded heart like a shield. Alex jumped to her feet, the metal legs of the chair scraping loudly. She barely noticed. “What the fuck, Reese?” Her hand pointed in the general direction of Glenn’s farm. “Do you think I shoved a stake through Glenn’s heart and started that fire?”
His eyes grew dark, the corner of his mouth curving in a malicious smirk. He straightened and held his palms out, inviting her to rebuke his theory. His silent recrimination filled the air and Alex could hardly draw breath.
She had come here thinking Reese was one of the few people who would understand the pain burning through her veins. She hadn’t expected him to accuse her of murder. “Fuck you, Reese.” The whisper was barely audible through the tension. “I loved him like a father.” Sorrow ripped open the raw wound, bringing a fresh sting of tears behind her eyes, but she refused to give in to them. Alex didn’t need this. Didn’t need him. And she sure as hell didn’t need his accusations–or pity. She’d come seeking solace in Reese’s arms–and his bed. She’d wanted one day of lust to take with her when she left. That had been something else Alex had decided on her way here. She needed to leave and take her secrets with her. “I thought you knew me. All these months … yesterday…” The last word choked out with a sob. Alex turned, intent on leaving the cabin, leaving South Kenton. She’d been mistaken thinking there was something left for her here.
Reese’s hand was on her shoulder before she took more than a few steps. He turned her and pulled her tight to the solid plane of his chest. His mouth came down hard on hers. No soft exploration. No gentle probing. Just raw male lust devouring her mouth. His hands fisted in her hair and she opened herself to him, wanting to fill the void Glenn’s death had left in her heart. She needed to feel alive in the midst of so much death. Her lips parted and welcomed the heat of his tongue. It tangled and danced with hers, teasing and tasting.
“Alex, I’m sorry.” Reese whispered in her ear. “Glenn … the fires … you … it’s all too much.” His lips wandered her face, kissing her lids and her nose, trailing fire down her neck.
She felt the scrape of his teeth as his fangs drew across the tender flesh of her throat. The sensation sent sparks of desire straight to her sex. Despite what he might believe of her, the anger couldn’t keep her heart from wanting this man. “Reese, I’m yours. Take me.”
Her world spun and shifted as he lifted her into his arms and covered her mouth with his. She was dizzy with need and had no idea where he was taking her until his body shifted and his foot kicked closed a door. Without preamble, Reese laid her on the soft mattress of a bed and came down heavy on top of her. Reveling in the sensation of his hands on her body, she didn’t open her eyes. The essence of him permeated the air. The pillows around her head were filled with the thick male scent of him. She wanted to drown in its heady aroma.
Their hands were everywhere at once, tugging at clothes, ripping away buttons. The desperate need to have flesh searing flesh was all that drove them until they lay naked and gasping in each other’s arms. Their lips, teeth, and hands moved in frantic hunger to taste and touch. She couldn’t get enough of him.
Alex’s palms slid down the hard muscles along his spine, pressing into the well of his low back before curving up the rounded arch of his taut ass and digging her nails in deep. Air hissed through Reese’s teeth, a low moan vibrating through the heat of his mouth at her neck. His teeth dragged down her throat and his lips replaced his hand at her breast. His mouth suckled and bit first one aching nipple then the other. The sharp thrill of pain shot straight to her core, clenching her muscles. The thick heat of lust leaked onto her thighs. No man had ever made her so wet.
Today I’m hanging out over at the TIKI HUT talking about all things paranormal. I heard rumors that if you leave a comment you’ll be entered for a chance to win Hearts Afire-May.
After a crushing review the first week Hearts Afire-May was released, I’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for someone–ANYONE to say/write something about Shadows of Fire just so I could have another opinion. Really, this is one of those stories that when it was finished I sat back and went “hey, I wrote that … it’s a really cool story”. But I am a little biased.
Anyway … LT Blue at Just Erotic Romance Reviews posted a review this week and it goes something like this …
I really enjoyed this different twist in the lives of vampires. I would have never imagined a story about vampire firemen or O’Malley’s Tavern serving a special wine created for vampires. I enjoyed Reese’s character. He is full of life and while I knew he was a vampire he didn’t (act) like one. Alex was a bit more complex and I really didn’t have her figured out until the very end of the story… the plot and the characters had me smiling the entire time I read Shadows of Fire.
Ummm … yeah and she gave it 5 STARS and an “H” (for HOT-reviewer was forced to find her toys while reading) sexual rating!
THEN (as if that wasn’t squeeeee worthy enough) …
Kristy Bock at ParaNormal Romance said this …
Shadows Of Fire’ is a unique story because there is so much going on in a short time frame. Alex is troubled and her motives aren’t always clear until the end. Reese knows what he wants but struggles to go after it until another man steps in his path. When he does make his move though, the two spontaneously combust. The heat between Alex and Reese is off the charts.Nina Pierce is an author who excels at what she does. For a fast paced read, she pacts so much in the story that you’ll think you read a full length novel. She stands a cut above the rest with the erotic scenes. If Shadows of Fire doesn’t get your heart racing, nothing will.
Oh yeeeeaaahhh … I’m snoopy dancing! (But the neighbors did ask me to put my clothes back on … I think the whole dancing in the backyard nekkid thing wasn’t working for them. LOL!)
No Saturday Selection today because I’m hanging out over at SExpressions … okay, well not literally. Since I’m down at the lake with some friends, depending on the time of day you caught me, I’m probably swimming or canoeing the lake or watching the fireworks (if the rain in Maine EVER stops)… definitely I’m having a beer and a burger!
Anyway, swing over and check out the excerpt I’ve got posted over there.
Okay, I’m going to admit it in public. I love editing. Don’t hate me and please don’t throw things at me. I do. It’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process.
I’m pushing through a first draft at the moment. And when I say pushing, that’s what I mean. I force myself to get up and write the scenes my characters are begging me to put down on paper. I don’t know why it’s not working, but it just isn’t. It’s hard. There is nothing fun about it this particular time around. But I persevere because I know when I get to the end I’ll know exactly what happened and where the villain came from and how my hero and heroine came to their “happy ever after“.
Once that’s done I can go back and fill in the missing red herrings for the suspense portion of the story and beef up the romance. It’s easy because I know what I want to accomplish. It wasn’t always that way. When I wrote my first books it was the original draft that revved my engine. Plodding back through it seemed like such drudgery. But I think it was because I edited as I went. I don’t do that anymore.
This week I’m expecting edits for “Shadows of Fire“, my May 2009 release from Liquid Silver Books. (Edits for “Divine Deception” are completed and the book is just waiting for release.) I can’t wait. Part of it is that I haven’t really looked at this book since I signed the contract last August. I love these characters. Editing gives me the opportunity to revisit them and fall in love with these vampires all over again.
Of course my editor will ask me to “tighten this” or “add more here”. I don’t mind. It’s a challenge to make my writing the best it can be. I love it. I can’t help it. I do.
Of course it’s probably the thrill of knowing my story is another step closer to publication. And only the thrill of getting emails from my readers beats release day.
So bring on those edits … I’m ready!
It’s been a fairly productive week. I’ve been having a lot of difficulties with my current story. It keeps holding me up. I know I should probably set it aside and work on something else, but it’s about 3/4 finished and I’d just like to get through it and be done.
One of the things for me about this first draft is that I often don’t know exactly how the crime happened, I mean, I have an inkling of who did it and why, but the exact details elude me. In two of my books, I thought a particular person was the murderer, but near the end of my first draft someone else stepped forward and confessed. Wow! It was a shocker! My conscious mind hadn’t known, but because my stories flow organically, I let the characters lead me where they may and someone else emerged as the bad guy. Of course in both instances I had to go back and rewrite portions of the story to keep the villain’s identities a secret and yet make sure were hints for the reader. No one likes to get to the end of a suspense story and be blind sided. Misled, yes … but tricked … not so much!
I do love that part though. If I didn’t see it coming then how could my readers? Since I just got the goooorgeous cover for Heart’s Afire, the firefighter anthology which includes my vampire suspense novella, Shadows of Fire, I thought I’d leave you today with a little excerpt from chapter one. Enjoy! I’m off to see what trouble my wolfies are getting into and make myself finish that sucker!
EXCERPT from Shadows of Fire:
It wasn’t much of a noise, just a dull thud in the night. But it was enough to pull Professor Paul Morgan from his slumber. Heavy with the arms of Morpheus still around him, his blood thick with sleeping medication, Paul wasn’t sure what had roused him. But when it came again, a muffled bang from downstairs, followed oddly enough by the sound of rushing wind, he knew he needed to investigate.
Swiping at his eyes, Paul tried unsuccessfully to push away the last strands of drowsiness still clinging to his mind. Something deep in the pit of his stomach told him what had woken him had nothing to do with Zeus, his mischievous tabby and only companion since his wife had died nearly thirty years ago. Swinging his feet to the floor, Paul stepped into his leather slippers and grabbed his robe from the hope chest at the foot of his bed. Scurrying from the bedroom, fear and urgency pushed him forward.
The eerie orange glow emanating from his den at the foot of the stairs brought bile to his throat. Everything near and dear to him was in that room; his wife’s portrait, the marble Sphinx from their trip to Egypt, the antique bookcase she’d given him when he’d gotten the position at the university-the bronzed baby shoes. His feet barely touched the treads as he rushed down the stairs, caution and prudence gone with the desperate need to salvage his memories.
He came up short at the threshold. Swallowing hard, he tried to dislodge the heart stuck in his throat. A fire crackled safely in the fireplace across the room, the dancing flames sending a ballet of mesmerizing shadows along the paneled walls and casting the room in an otherworldly radiance. Fingers of fear lifted the hairs on the back of his neck.
A quick glance at his desk in the corner reassured him his research was also safe, but did nothing to assuage his fears. The papers he’d left stacked neatly for the magistrate’s office lay strewn about. The monitor of his computer silhouetted the head of a person sitting at his desk.
“Who are you? Wha … wha … what are doing?”
There was no response save for the clicking of computer keys.
“I’ll call the police.” Paul said.
A maniacal laugh rent the stillness, sending a chill of terror down his spine.
“No, Professor Morgan. We both know you can not do that.” With a flourish, a hand came down hard on the keyboard. The monitor flicked rapidly through several screens before going black.
“What have you done?” Paul rushed to the desk, a wave of nausea rolling hotly in his chest and bringing water to his eyes. Everything. Everything was on that computer.
I didn’t want it to happen this way.” The words carried sadness, but the face that turned to stare at him was pure evil. A face he barely recognized. “You really shouldn’t have been quite so diligent in your research you know. I’ve sent obvious warnings, hoping to push you from this foolhardy course for months. But you wouldn’t heed the signs.” The clicking tongue scolded him as if he were an obstinate child. Fingers steepled in front of lips thin with hatred. “A shame really. I will miss your friendly manner. But you have become too much of a liability for me to allow you to live.”
“You can’t get away with this.”
“Oh, I think we both know … I have … and I will again.” The monster slowly standing before him wasn’t the amicable person he’d known for decades. This person had morphed into a heinous murderer-a murderer with no conscience and a moral compass that pointed straight to hell.
Paul threw back his shoulders. Though he understood he would not survive this night, he would accept his fate with dignity. “I’ve already sent a copy of all of that to my lawyer.” His hand waved at the papers on the desk. “He knows. He knows and understands everything. He is painfully aware of our strained relationship. None of this will stop with my death.” Paul was pleased he could push the lie steadily through the panic clogging his throat.
“Please, don’t insult my intelligence.” The murderer gathered the papers on the desk and tapped them on its polished cherry surface, elegant fingers aligning the edges before setting them neatly in a pile. “We both know these are the only copies. And we both understand what is to come is inevitable. Preordained if you will …” The smile was reptilian as if Satan himself had taken possession of this wayward soul.
“You won’t get away with this.” Paul was repeating himself, but terror had stripped him of coherent thought.
“But I already have.” Something small flew from the long fingers. Blue flames erupted in the fireplace. A ball of fire jumped to the leather chair next to the hearth. Another flew to the Aubusson rug he and his wife had gotten on their honeymoon fifty years ago.
“What you began … I will finish tonight.”
Paul lunged for the decorative throw on back of the couch, intent on pounding the growing flames into submission.
Another burst of evil laughter split the air as the glass vase on the hearth exploded in the growing heat. “That’s right old man. Try to stop it.”
Paul brought the blanket down hard on the fire spreading like a sickness across the rug. The thick smoke choking the air filled his nose and burned his lungs. It was no use. The flames were spreading faster than he could control them. He needed to get out. Abandoning the blanket, he turned to run.
He saw the small ottoman only seconds before it crashed down on his world.
*copyright Nina Pierce 2009*
Thursday Thirteen is a meme where you get to know a little more about me. So this week I’m going to share with you 13 things that are within arms reach of my computer.
1. The man. Well, not all day, but he spends the evenings next to me on the couch while I write, email, or goof around on the computer. (Sometimes he helps me with a little research 😉 )
2. The phone. I’m on the national “no call” list and still my name is on so many calling lists it drives me insane. I got tired of getting up to check the caller ID in the other room. I keep this little number right next to me.
3. The dog. Since I started working from home, she is wherever I am. No kidding. I love her, but when I get up to pee, does she really have to follow me into the bathroom? I feel like I have little children all over again.
4. Notebooks and paper. I keep notebooks on all my books where I keep pictures and notes of my characters and the places they live. Sometimes for inspiration and sometimes to help me remember if the building is made of brick or logs or whether my hero has blue eyes or brown. (Did I mention my office assistant helps keep them in order?)
5. The TV remote. No, I don’t flip stations, but if I’m not writing I like to have the TV on for entertainment. I’ve completely fallen in love with the “Bonnie Hunt” show. I’m trying to convince her she wants me on as a guest… I’ll keep you posted.
6. My webcam. With Beautiful Girl in Italy we “Skype” nearly every day. It’s kind of funny, we talk more with her an ocean away than we ever did when she lived in Massachusetts.
7. An afghan (and a sweater). I’m cheap. I keep the heat really low during the day when it’s just me. Needless to say … it’s been a looooong winter!
8. A coaster. During the morning I drink the better part of a pot of decaf Hazelnut coffee and my cup sits on that coaster. In the afternoon I drink hotwater. In the evening it usually entertains a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. I like my coaster.
9. Pens and sticky notes. If you’ve ever seen my desk you’d know why these have to be so close. I write on them constantly. Sticky notes cover the edge of my two shelves and the side of my computer tower. And I still miss appointments.
10. One of two cats. We have three of them. But there are two that jockey for my attention. The youngest used to sleep in my lap until he got too fat to fit. Now he has to find his own place to hang out.
11. A metal case full of poker chips. They’re not mine. The man went through a period of time where he was addicted to some kind of poker and the kids bought it for him. It doesn’t fit in the game closet so it ended up next to my desk.
12. Beautiful Girl and Baby Girl’s college class schedules. I like to know where they’re at and what they’re studying.
13. Print outs of all my book covers which brings me to the newest! Did you see I got the cover for the Hearts Afire anthology which includes my vampire firefighter novella, Shadows of Fire? It’s coming out in May from Liquid Silver Books! April Martinez is the cover goddess!