Haunted Lover III

Cal needed to intervene.  But the timing needed to be perfect.

***

Scott spent the afternoon working on the lighting in the grand entryway.  He knew there was a hidden panel which, once revealed, would present him the treasure he sought. He knew the gold was here, he simply needed to find it.

Before the job ended, which was way too close.

Cissie told him the job would end when the B&B opened–whether he was finished or not.

Normally he’d wouldn’t pay any attention to single women trying to get him to commit to something like that.  He just didn’t do it.  Nobody pushed Scott into commitment.  Nobody.  Except Cissie made him sign a contract.  So once the B&B opened, his was history.  She wouldn’t have any trouble getting someone else out here to work once the public started showing up.

The solitude would only last as long as they were alone.

Scott wanted the job to be done.  This old house was really getting under his skin.  He’d been creeped out several times the past week, constantly feeling as if someone was watching over his shoulder.  And the tools.  That was freaky.  He’d put down a hammer, or wire cutters and when he went to grab them again, just a second or two later, they’d be gone.  He was being toyed with or losing his mind.

Probably not.  Just the stress.

He was anxious to get back into town tonight.  He had more research to do, and he needed to go by the library before it closed.  Besides, the young librarian was fairly hot.  She’d come onto him the last time he’d stopped in there.  Maybe he’d get lucky.

Clouds drifted across the late afternoon sun, causing a shadow to creep across the stairs.  Cold chills fingered their way down his spine and he looked up to find Cissie watching him from the foot of the stairs.

“What are you doing?’ she asked.

“Um, checking out the outlet here.” He pointed to the top of the staircase.  He’d added an outlet so the maid wouldn’t have to plug-in a vacuum in a guest room.

He’d insisted on adding the outlet, easily explained and not on the original plan, so he could search for panels on the staircase.  He’d already exhausted his other options in the attic, basement, dining and kitchen areas.  The great rooms and the reception hall offered no place where hidden panels might conceal the Colonels stash.

“I want you to finish up.  It looks like it’s going to storm and I don’t want you stuck out here all night if the road turn into a mudslide.”

As she turned on her heel to return to the kitchen she dropped the letter opener.

Scott ran down the stairs and grabbing her by the waist, reached around her to retrieve it.

Cissie yelped in surprise and pulled away, knocking a vase of flowers off the entryway table.  The crystal shattered and the water ran in rivulets from the table to the hard wood floor at their feet.

Cissie pushed him away and he slipped in the water, hand clutching the letter opener.  His legs went out from under him and his arms windmilled with the letter opener connecting with the electrical outlet at the same time the storm began in earnest.

Lightning struck the rods on the roof of the old mansion and the charge traveled down from the roof through the house.

Every electrical outlet, old and new exploded in a flash.  Snap, crackle, pop. Light bulbs popped, current slid across any available surface, and appliances unfortunate enough to be plugged in, immediately blew out.

When Scott landed, with the letter opener in his grip connecting with the outlet at the foot of the stairs, he began to jerk and flop like a trout on the shoreline deprived of air.

Cissie could only watch in horror.

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We have a Winner!

Thanks to all the faithful followers who’ve been not only reading but occasionally writing with us.  We appreciate you spending your time her with us at Her Story Calls.

Because she is bold,  innovative, and because I loved her twisty little story she posted for the entertainment of others, the winner of this weeks drawing is Jessica Aspen.

Thank you Jessica, for reading and writing with us at Her Story Calls.

I loved your contribution to our All Hallow’s Eve Celebration and hope you continue to share with us in the coming year.

Congratulations!

Guest Blogger!

This morning please help me welcome Guest Blogger Christie Craig , who also writes YA as C.C. Hunter.

Christie has joined us in the past and is of course, always generous with her time and talent.

Thanks for joining in us today, and please leave a comment or a question if you have one and Christie will get back to you!

A Hotter in Texas Novel

Blame it on Texas

Zoe Adams has always been content with her quiet nights at home, sitting alone on her couch munching popcorn and watching TV—until her life turns into a real-life episode of the Unsolved Mystery Hunters show she loves.  The story of a kidnapped girl triggers unexplained memories, and Zoe is dead set on figuring out why. Her search leads her to one of the Lone Star state’s richest families and to sexy PI Tyler Lopez.

Tyler has sworn off women, especially redheads with killer curves who poke their noses into his clients’ personal affairs. Still, he can’t deny the attraction any more than he can deny that some of Zoe’s crazy story makes sense.  But when she becomes a hit man’s target, this cold case really starts heating up. Suddenly, Tyler will do anything to protect Zoe—even if it means risking his heart.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Phobias.  Most of us have a few of them lurking beneath our sane and sensible personas.  These fears involve everything from spiders, snakes, to public speaking.  I once heard a woman on a talk show tell about her phobia of  . . . macaroni.  Now, personally, the carb lover that I am, I haven’t ever met a piece of macaroni that I feared or that I didn’t find tasty, but I can only imagine that at some time this woman had a bad macaroni experience.

Yup, a lot of times there is something that sets us on a specific path of terror.  From my extensive research—meaning I Googled it—sometimes this person doesn’t even know what it is.

I’ll admit right out that I suffer from arachnophobia.  I don’t remember the experience that brought this on, but those creepy little creatures scare the poo out of me.  Nothing should have that many legs.  Oddly enough, or maybe not so oddly, my mother suffers from the same fear.  It’s not that it’s inherited.  It’s a learned behavior.  I know, because my daughter will scream right along with me if a spider gets within a block of her.

For Zoe Adams, my heroine in Blame it on Texas, spiders are no big deal.  Coulrophobia is her thing.  Yup, she suffers from a fear of clowns.  And poor Zoe isn’t sure why she’s so frightened of these creepy-looking being.  However, before the book ends, she discovers exactly how her phobia came into being and turns out to be just another missing piece of the puzzle that is her life.

Of course, once I decided on Zoe’s phobia, I had to have a little fun and have my hero all decked out in a clown costume for their first meet.  Well, let’s just say it made it interesting.

Excerpt:

The papers in the folder, the one she shouldn’t be looking at, fell to the floor.  She got down on her hands and knees to gather them.  That’s when she heard footsteps enter the room, followed by the sounds of clicking paws.

Friggin’ great.

Now all she had to explain was why she was down on all fours behind someone’s desk. Her heart did another flip-flop when she remembered she was possibly dealing with angry ex-cops, now ex-cons, who’d been accused of murder.

The dog pranced around the desk and licked her right on the lips. Those footsteps moved closer still, and her mind raced right along with her heart.

The deep masculine sound of a man clearing his throat came from behind her. “Nice view.”

“Oh, I was just…” She looked back over her shoulder, praying she’d come up with a good excuse for being in this ridiculous position. But the moment her gaze landed on the clown, the only thing she came up with was a scream. A loud one.

***

Tyler watched the shapely jeans-covered butt crawling around the desk. He did a side step so as not to lose the view and watched her moving at an amazing speed toward the door. It wasn’t every day he found a woman on her hands and knees behind his desk. So he jumped into action and planted his clown feet in front of the door.

The woman, long red hair hanging free and swishing around her arms, came to a dead stop about a foot from him. She raised her face. Her blue eyes, wide with what looked like panic, stared up at him. As soon as he got over the sheer terror he saw in her eyes, he realized the view from this side was just as nice as the one from her backside. Maybe even better. Her green scooped-neck T-shirt hung low, providing a nice view of her tan, lacy bra and ample breasts. Damn, she was hot.

“Hello,” he said. Then, somehow sensing the costume might have something to do with her fear, he yanked off the wig and without meaning to, his gaze shot back to her bra, or rather at the size Cs that were close to falling out of it.

Clearly seeing where his gaze had fallen, she slapped a hand to her chest. Balancing on one hand and two knees, she attempted to stand up. Apparently still shaken, she almost fell. He reached for her, but she lurched back. When she was finally on her feet, he summed up the package. Maybe five-four or -five in height, ample breasts, and a round ass.

“Nice,” he said without meaning to. “…to meet you.”

Alarm remained clear on her face—a face that would have been appealing if not for the fear. A face that stirred a slight flash of recognition, too.

“Do I know you?”

“I was…” She swallowed. “The…my purse hit it. I was…” She stopped jabbering.

He stopped trying to make sense of her mumbo-jumbo.

She drew in a breath and stepped away from him.

“Who are you?” And just like that, he remembered Dallas saying he’d hired a receptionist. He looked back at the stack of files on his desk, then at her.

“My contact…” She slammed one eye closed. “My contact fell out.”

“You’re the new receptionist,” he said, and let himself give her another glance up and down. “Nice…to meet you,” he said again, but sexy, hot, and stacked were the words that came to mind.

Damn, he could kiss Dallas. She’d make a breathtaking addition to the office. Of course, it was going to be hard to focus on anything but her.  Hard being the key word. And a certain southern part of his anatomy had already twitched its approval. Which was a bit bothersome. He usually had better control. Thank goodness he had room in the costume.

“I’m Tyler.  You’re the receptionist, right?” She didn’t answer.  “You don’t like clowns, do you?”

“No.” She gasped, trying to get oxygen down her lungs.

“Don’t worry, I’m a friendly clown. And I don’t run around in costumes all the time.” And he could get really friendly if she was so inclined. “My niece’s clown canceled and—”

“Contact.” She blurted out again, as if she hadn’t been listening. Then she slammed her left eye shut and open again. “I lost it. Got some extras in my car.” She started forward, stopped, and backed up, as if scared to get close.

He stepped back, giving her room to pass. With only one eye open, she stared at the small space, then back at him. He took another step back and she scooted past.  Stepping through the doorway, he watched her hotfoot it down the hall.

“When you get back, let’s introduce ourselves,” he said.

Still smiling and mentally preparing a list of questions about the new receptionist—he remembered he had a change of clothes in his car. Moving down the hall, he walked out the front door just in time to see a silver Cobalt with Alabama tags speeding out of the parking lot.

What the hell?  Why had his receptionist run away?  Or had she been the receptionist?

 

Three Things You Will Learn from Blame it on Texas.

  1.  Guys don’t like to play dress up; but when one willingly dresses as a clown for his six-year-old niece’s birthday party—because the real clown canceled—he’s one special uncle.  And could possibly make a special hero for some lucky lady.
  2. Sometimes, fear itself can do much more damage to us than the thing we’re actually afraid of.
  3. Learning to trust yourself is usually a lot harder than trusting another person.  But both are generally required before finding true love.

And now, since I told you what I’m afraid of, how about sharing your fears and phobias? Today I’ll give away a copy of Blame it on Texas to one lucky commenter.

Please share, and keep your eyes open for Christie’s other novels from the ” Hotter in Texas Series”

Welcome, Lori Corsentino!

 Welcome, Lori! We are so glad to have you here on HerStoryCalls. Please checkout Lori’s newest release, Destiny’s Awakening, and perhaps win your very own copy!

Bio: Lori’s love of reading has transcended to include penning her own tales of romance. She is experimenting with writing in several different genres, including paranormal – a definite favorite. “There is just so much you can do when you step outside the known world,” she explains “and creating a paranormal story allows you to take yourself and your readers anywhere your imagination wants to go!”

Destiny’s Awakening is Lori’s first foray into the “Tales of the Fey” paranormal romance trilogy. Visit her website at www.loricorsentino.com and follow her on Twitter @LoriCorsentino and on Facebook.com/LoriCorsentino. Also check out her blog weekly for a Manic Monday, Wicked Writer Wednesday, or Favorite Friday entry.

Take it away, Lori, and thanks again for coming on HerstoryCalls! You’re such a delight.

Thank you, Summer.

As a reader, I always wondered how authors developed their characters. In the books I truly enjoyed, the characters seemed to walk of the page, sit down next to me, and tell me their story. As I read, I would find myself associating with the heroine and falling in love with the hero. I would root for both of them to overcome their trials and would sigh with relief and satisfaction at the happily ever after. As a romantic, that’s what I love.

Destiny’s Awakening, my first novel in the Tales of the Fey trilogy, is filled with interesting characters. Each of them introduced themselves to me at different times during my writing journey.

Alexander, my hero, was first. He walked right in one morning and started telling me all about how he was waiting for his love, The One, to awaken him. And could I please get a move on, because he had things to do, namely capturing an evil Wizard and stopping an inter-world war.

Evelyn came soon afterwards. I was working with my critique group at the time when she finally noticed I’d been calling for her. She strode over and immediately introduced herself, saying, “Hello. I’m Evelyn. Evelyn Wright. But you can call me Evie.” Looking over my shoulder she watched me write notes. “What are you doing?” she asked.

My villain, Claudius came sometime in between. He’s a truly twisted individual that is like a breath of fresh air to write. I know that sounds odd, but it’s true. Having such a character truly lets you open up and write with no boundaries.

I love that!

I’ve discovered that Evie is a true study of contrasts. She’s hesitant, even suspicious at first, but once she embraces something, she gives it her all. She is strong, independent, and willful, except of course when has a weaker moment and needs to be held and comforted and surrounded by love. I loved Evie’s her quips and one-liners. She made me laugh out loud at times. What a pleasure she was to write!

Alexander, on the other hand, is strong, steadfast, and true. He’s hard working and not above getting his hands dirty. He’s loyal to his people and does whatever it takes to protect those who he considers his, namely Evelyn and his two sisters, Annora and Analiese. He’s also regal, arrogant, and haughty, but what else would you expect from a Prince? So, I supposed in his own way, he’s also a study of contrasts.

Getting my hero and heroine together was quite interesting. I had a basic idea of where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to so, and once I put it in motion, they just picked everything up and ran off with it! It’s been quite an interesting ride, with many twists and turns. Claudius caused a lot of mayhem and chaos, and made things quite interesting for all involved.

Destiny’s Awakening is the beginning of something magical for me, and hopefully for all those that read these tales. I hope the characters of this first book touch my reader’s hearts as much as they did mine.

Enjoy! Lori

P.S. I’m please to give away some swag including an eBook or print copy of Destiny’s Awakening to one lucky commenter!

Here’s an excerpt for your enjoyment!

“You have heard the story of Claudius?” At Evie’s confirming grunt, he continued. “Things will become difficult for us with him preparing to spread his mischief.”

“Sorry.” She needed to get her bearings. It was time to talk about his world. “Where is here?”

“Here is Sha’Mir, my realm.” Alexander’s voice changed again, this time it was infused with pride.

“Sha-meer,” Evie repeated. “That’s beautiful! Is it what you call your world?”

“No. Sha’Mir is my realm. It is a city-state in Ma’hir’ra, my world.”

“Oh, that’s right.” Evie answered. “Reggie did say that. What do you call my world?”

“Ga’el’ania.”

“Nice.” She propped her chin on her hand, giving him her full attention. “I like the way you say it.”

“Thank you.” His good humor was back, evidenced by the appearance of the tiny dimple. It immediately drew her attention and tempted her. He may not be trying, but he was still seducing her. At this rate, she’d be on her back, legs in the air in less than ten minutes. She shook her head, in obvious need of a distraction. A vocabulary lesson on Shameerize words and pronunciation might fit the bill.

“So my world is called Goll-an-eeya,” Evie parroted. At his affirmation she tried it again. “Goll-an-eeya.”

Alexander inclined his head, indicating his approval. “Very good.”

Although pleased with the first lesson, Evie was getting wound up again. Damn quickening stuff, she bet. She was never this mercurial. The intense pull between them made her crazy. He was attractive, kind, and seemed to be gentle. She loved the combination. He was also arrogant, imperious and haughty. She wasn’t so fond of those traits. They raised her hackles and pissed her off. No wonder she was confused. On the one hand, she was attracted to him. On the other, she wanted to smack him. What was it about Mr. Hottie Prince that drew her to him so strongly?

Thank you again, Lori, for joining us!

Be sure to leave your comments for a chance to win!