Saturday Spotlight -Forsaking Hope by Beverley Oakley

FH Banner Forsaking Hope

Fair Cyprians of London

By Beverley Oakley

 Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

About the Book:

Two years ago, she missed their secret assignation and disappeared without a trace. Now the divine “Miss Hope” is in Felix Durham’s bed – a ‘surprise cheering-up gift’ sourced by his friends from London’s most exclusive brothel. Felix is in heaven – and he wants to stay there.

So does Hope, but she can’t.

Hope Merriweather lives by a code of honour – even if she’s a prostitute.

Having sold her soul, she’s prepared to sacrifice everything else to protect what she believes in.

Even if honour – in her eyes – comes at the cost of thieving and breaking hearts. Including her own.

Available for preorder here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Wilfred Hunt.

If there was a name to tip Hope into the abyss of despair she was hearing it spill from Madame Chambon’s lips now as the older woman directed Hope to take a seat in the reception room, presumably so Madame could loom oppressively over her.

With her hands on her ample, expensively padded hips, Hope’s benefactress—procuress, employer, and gaoler were other monikers—sent Hope a beetling look that needed no interpreting: Regardless of Hope’s true feelings, Hope must project the required show of warmth and delight at being the chosen one.

Madame patted the side of her faux curls. Years of hot irons had reduced her hair to the texture of wool but her crowning glory these days was supplemented by the lustrous locks of those girls who dared cross her – before they were thrown back into the street from where most had come.

Nevertheless, Hope had to make her resistance clear. Surely Madame who knew her history would understand her loathing for this man, above all others. “I shan’t do it,” she whispered. There was little evidence of the willful child and wild adolescent who’d been the despair of her family. “I won’t—”

Outside, the noise of the traffic rumbling over the cobbles and the shrill calls of competing vendors settled upon the tense silence. Madame Chambon’s other girls ranged around the sumptuously appointed room on red velvet upholstered banquettes, watched the exchange with prurient fascination. Hope knew it had been a calculated ploy of Madame’s to conduct her interview in public so that Hope would serve as an example to them.

No one crossed Madame Chambon.

The shrill cry of a fishmonger caused Madame to look pointedly out of the window. With something between a smile and a sneer, she smoothed a Marcel wave. “Is that where you plan to return, Hope? The gutter?” Her nose twitched and in the sunlight that filtered into the room, the grooves chiseled between mouth and chin were thrown into harsh relief, highlighted rather than hidden by the thick powder she used to conceal her age.

Madame Chambon’s comfort, now and into retirement, depended on obedient girls. Hope knew that as well as anyone. She’d had to bury her rebellious streak just to ensure food in her belly.

The Frenchwoman raised a chiseled brow and began to pace slowly in front of her girls. A painter with an eye for beauty would have been ecstatic at capturing such a spectacle on canvas. The discerning young man about town who visited 56 Albemarle Street was frequently rendered ecstatic by the range of delights Madame Chambon’s girls offered in addition to the visual.

“You forget yourself, Hope. I put a roof over your head and deck you out as handsomely as Mr. Charles Worth ever did for his most discerning customer.” There was acid in Madame Chambon’s tone. “But for me, you’d be starving and glad of the pennies you could trade for a grubby stand-up encounter in a dark alley.” Madame Chambon thrust out her bosom and breathed through her nose, her response a calculated warning to the other girls arranged in various languid poses about the ornately decorated reception room that intransigence would not be tolerated.

“Mr. Hunt has requested you.” She paused and when Hope remained silent, though her stance and expression left no one in any doubt as to her horror regarding this enforced assignation, went on. “Remember what I told you—what I tell all my girls when they first come here? The past must be forgotten the moment you step over my threshold. You are reborn, remodeled, refashioned into the most exquisite delectation of womanhood. A marquess, a prince, is well recompensed for the tidy sum he hands over in order to enjoy your sparkling wit, to converse with you in French, or if he chooses, on philosophy…to enjoy your charms…and,” she added significantly, “your gracious hospitality and tender ministrations to his needs. That is our agreement and you are no different. If Mr. Hunt wishes you, Hope, to attend him at his residence then you will go.”

Faith, one of the kinder girls, patted Hope’s arm in silent solidarity. Hope didn’t expect any of them to speak up in her defense. Not when they all relied on Madame Chambon as much as she did to provide them with the necessities of life. Anything more than that was part of a strict contract that indentured a girl for life unless she was able to secure a generous benefactor to settle Madame’s severance bill. The fine clothes were part of the charade, necessary to entice a more elite clientele. Hope’s exquisite wardrobe did not belong to her though she’d have forsaken all the dupion silk and Spitalfields lace for the freedom of the gutter and to be mistress of her own destiny – and her body – if she could only be sure of a plate of gravy and potatoes every second day.

Closing her eyes, she hung her head, the carefully coiffed curls that fell forwards brushing against her tear-streaked cheeks. It was as well that they not be in evidence. Tears, weakness, vulnerability were like a red rag to a bull where Madame Chambon was concerned.

“How long…do I have to prepare myself?” She was not so stupid she couldn’t admit defeat when there was no alternative. Obduracy was beaten out of one, but tears ensured a girl got the very worst next assignment. Their clients weren’t all marquesses and princes, though they did require a very fat pocket book.

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow.” Hope repeated it in a leaden tone, and stared at her hands, clasped in her lap; white-knuckled. As white as the rabbit-fur that edged her fashionable black-and-white striped satin cuirass. Hope had the tall, slim figure suited to the scandalously tight tie-back skirts that were all the rage, the back flowing into a train adorned with elaborate swags and trimmed with bows. She’d turned heads the length of Oxford Street as she’d promenaded along the pavement following a walk through Hyde Park earlier that afternoon. In fact, for the first time in two years, she’d almost felt happy as she’d pretended a sense of freedom in the afternoon sun, blocking her mind to the prison to which she was returning.

She drew in her breath and forced herself to be brave, knowing the punishment she’d invite for daring to speak her mind. “Please tell Mr. Hunt I will see him again under sufferance.”

Madame Chambon’s voice was surprisingly caramel. “Well then, now that you have made your objection clear, Hope, you will be pleased to hear that Mr. Hunt’s desires are not only motivated by fond memories of your no-doubt mutually satisfying congress. I believe he wishes to acquaint you with news of your family.”

Hope hid her shock. “I have no family.” With care, she modified her tone so it was as leaden as before though emotion roiled close to the surface.

“Not even a sister?”

Hope raised her chin. Here was the chink and Madame knew it. The woman did her research.

Aware that the other girls who surrounded her were tense with anticipation, Hope struggled not to respond. Camaraderie existed at surface level but one never knew when it might profit one to have the dirt on a fellow prostitute. It was, clearly, another reason Madame Chambon had chosen to make this conversation public.

“Mr. Hunt will see you at nine tomorrow evening,” said the so-called Frenchwoman who, it was whispered, was from the gutters of Lambeth, not Paris. “At his apartments in Duke Street. Now go and prepare yourself for Lord Farrow. Married to a monolith like the venerable Lady Farrow, he likes his girls vivacious and free-spirited. There’ll be less coin in your pocket if you sully the transaction with that long face, Hope.”

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beverley-eikli-author-pic-copyAuthor Info:

 Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth-century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

 Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Saturday Sexcerpt – Bella and the Beast by Izzy Szyn

BATB Cover (002)

She’d just stopped at a door when something wrapped itself around her ankle. Looking down, she saw a vine with thorns winding its way up her leg. Holy shit, Bella tried pulling at the vine, but it tightened around her leg even more.

Pressing herself against a wall, another vine wrapped itself around her stomach. Holding her in place.  She tried to scream, but the vine was so tight she couldn’t get anything out.

“Bella, what are you doing here?” Ms. Anna came upon her.

“I was looking for you.”

“Do you remember what I said about this part of the house?” Ms. Anna asked.

“Yes,” Bella answered, “not to enter it. But I wanted…”

“Silence,” Ms. Anna ordered. “There isn’t an excuse for disobeying my orders. Now, what should your punishment be? Vines, release her.”

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About the Author:

 New York Times Bestselling Author Izzy Szyn was born in May of 2014 when a friend dared her to write. Born and raised in Detroit, Mi. Izzy now lives in Oklahoma City with her furchild Misty, the friendliest Chihuahua/Terrier you will ever meet. Currently works in a call center, where she writes in between phone calls.

Izzy loves to keep in touch with her readers. Email her at izzyszyn@gmail.com.

Find her on Facebook 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/Izzy-Szyn-379714942215154/timeline/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/izzySzyn

Blog: https://izzyszyn.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13836241.Izzy_Szyn

Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/100905614042668276073

Saturday Spotlight – The Duchess and the Highwayman by Beverly Oakley

Banner The Duchess and the HighwaymanThe Duchess and the Highwayman

By Beverley Oakley

 Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and an eBook The Mysterious Governess.to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 BLURB:

 A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.

She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one…

In a remote Norfolk manor, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh is wrongfully accused by her servants of her brutal husband’s murder.

There’s little sympathy in the district for the duchess who’s taken a lover and made clear she despised her husband. The local magistrate has also vowed revenge since Lady Cavanaugh rebuffed his advances.

When Phoebe is discovered in the forest wearing only a chemise stained with the blood of her murdered husband, she persuades the noble ‘highwayman’ who rescues her that she is Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.

Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting down the man who would have Phoebe tried and hanged for murder. He plans to turn ‘the maidservant with aspirations above her station’ into the ‘lady’ who might testify against the very villain who would see Phoebe dead.

… Despite the fierce attraction between Phoebe and the ‘highwayman’, Phoebe is not in a position to admit she’s the ‘murderous duchess’ hunted across the land.

Seizing an opportunity to strike at the social and financial standing of the man who has profited by her distress, Phoebe is drawn into a dangerous intrigue.

… When disaster strikes, she fears Hugh will lack the sympathy or understanding of her unusual predicament to even want to save her a second time.

Buy Links:

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The Duchess and the Highwayman imageExcerpt:

 She was astonished by the stab of feeling his amused and interested gaze unleashed within her. Her nipples hardened and she felt an instant heat in her lower belly that surely wasn’t just gratitude for the dress he’d paid for. Tempering her smile she looked away. It was a relief she was still capable of warm feelings for a man but she mustn’t allow herself to grow too fond of him. He was a means to an end.

“Well, together we shall prevail, Phoebe.” They’d reached the window embrasure where he put his finger beneath her chin and tipped her head. “I was thinking long and hard about what you said the other day.” At her inquiringly look he added, “That the way to bring Wentworth down would be discover what he most wanted.”

“I already told you what he most wants. The estate he’s inherited through murder.”

“And you plan to return to Blinley Manor to spy on him, is that right?”

She shook her head, suddenly afraid. “I can’t possibly go into company where he might recognise me.”

Mr Redding frowned. “But the new dress. I thought that was your very intention. I thought you planned to pretend to be a lady -”

“A lady, yes, but not …” She trailed off, miserable and fearful.

“You are very loyal to your mistress, aren’t you, Phoebe?” His tone softened. “Yet, despite your boldness, you’re doubting your abilities, aren’t you?” He drew her unexpectedly against him and his hands contoured her curves, skimming up and over the fine muslin before cupping her face. “Don’t worry, Phoebe, I shall be your tutor?”

“My tutor?” She pulled away, not liking the change in him. “I am not as easy as you might suppose, Mr Redding,” she ground out, fighting the urge to cry. Just when she’d begun to like and trust him he’d reverted to type.

He put his hands on her shoulders. “I’m curious. You pretend you’re an innocent, but you clearly have experience of men. You speak and behave like a lady. Who are you really, Phoebe?”

She felt her mouth drop open and didn’t know how to answer. She wasn’t ready to confess her identity when she wasn’t sure enough of Mr Redding.

“Were you trading on past experience to be so beguiling when you desired a new dress? Were you a rich man’s mistress, perhaps?”

Phoebe hung her head. That’s exactly what she’d been and her body language and silence seemed to confirm it in Mr Redding’s mind.

“So once you had a rich protector but now you’re a lady’s maid?”

Unable to look him in the eye, she nodded, tears threatening.

“And now I am your protector and am funding a new wardrobe.”

She gasped and jerked her head up. “So this is when you ask me to sleep with you?”

He shook his head. “Not if the idea is so repugnant. No, I promised a fair trade: your information to bolster a case against Wentworth.” His voice dropped as his eyes travelled over her, lingering on her décolletage which, for the first time, was shown to best advantage thanks to the stays the dressmaker had procured in a hurry. “I still hold out hope I might persuade you of my inherent charm, though.”

“Well, you can hope in vain, Mr Redding. I may have lost my virtue but not my dignity.”

He put out his hand slowly, as if coaxing a small animal and Phoebe watched his seeking fingers gently skim the puffed roulade of her sleeve before advancing across her shoulder towards her bared skin. Anticipation rose and she sucked in a shallow breath as he slowly contoured the edge of her gown, skimming the top of her breasts.

“I know you’ve felt more than just a passing interest in me, from the moment we met, Phoebe,” he whispered. His hand dipped beneath the fabric of her bodice and she gasped, unsure whether to resist or succumb.

By God, but he was making this difficult. She’d wanted any encounter of a physical nature to be on her terms if only to prove she was not the weak creature she’d always been with Wentworth.

Swallowing, she suddenly pulled away, saying in as disinterested voice as she could manage, “What news of the murder at the manor? You were out on horseback in the village this morning, were you not?”

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Author Info:

 Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday Sexcerpt – Harlequin’s Deception by Candi Fox

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Ten years ago, the world as we know it changed. The shift is what it became known as. Overnight, paranormal beings came out of the proverbial closet. Something in reality has shifted. Those who had no idea they were paranormal were awakened to a new reality. Ten years in and Harlowe Lake Kelly, Harley to her friends, is back in her small Oklahoma town, widowed and striking out in a new career, namely, a successful magic agency. Her uncanny abilities at using potions, spells, and other means at solving supernatural crimes, thrust her into a partnership with local law enforcement. Things would be great if it wasn’t for the three sexy, but deadly, men who stand at all corners of her new life. Lucien, the ancient, alluring Vampire who has made it clear he wants more than Harley’s luscious curves. Cowboy, who wants to possess her in every way imaginable, and Aiden. The newcomer who has strict orders from his Vampire boss… but she senses has his own agenda. But in a world where things and beings are never what they seem, life isn’t promised and love comes with many strings. So what’s a girl to do to untangle those strings?

HD Kiss

Candi will be awarding 1 $10 Amazon GC, 2 Ebooks of Harlequin’s Deception and 1 Print Copy of Harlequin’s Deception to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

Amazon Buy Link

Social Links:

Facebook | Amazon | Website | Facebook Author Page | Blog | Twitter | Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/candimfox/

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Harlequin's Deception (1)

About the Author:

Candi Fox, co-host of the wildly popular radio show Candi and Company with over 900 thousand listeners began her venture in the paranormal at the tender age of two, when she witnessed her first apparition. From that moment on the paranormal seemed to follow her. No matter where she moved, the house she lived in the house next door, or the house down the street always seemed to be haunted.

She often wondered if she drew the spirits to her. Little did she know that she was indeed a magnet of sorts. It wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she found people who could not only explain her gifts but would also help her hone them. Armed with this new knowledge she began to openly explore hauntings and other paranormal phenomena.

Growing up in Indiana lent her the opportunity to explore many famous haunted places including the Hannah House, which was once part of the Underground Railroad. A little over two years ago she moved to Tulsa, OK and has begun to explore the haunted landscape in a new state.

Candi lives with her husband and furry children in Tulsa. She is passionate about the occult, saving and rehabilitating horses, horseback riding, magic, all things mystical and has her Reiki Mastery.

She uses her own paranormal experiences as well as her own life traumas to write from a grounded and realistic perspective about subjects that are hard to talk about and even harder to feel for yourself.

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Saturday Sexcerpt – What Happens in Bangkok by Daryl Devore

“… from my hot rock star romance- What Happens in Bangkok.  Quick scene set- Darien was taking a shower – a fully clothed Erika surprised him.”~Daryl Devore

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She lifted her gaze to his as she peeled her soaked pants down her legs. Stepping out with her right foot, she tucked the pants down with her left foot and kicked them to the side. Darien’s gaze tracked the stream of water that flowed down her thigh. Again, she reached up and ran her fingers through her hair, keeping her arms high and arching her back. The barest of red lace covered the delights Darien craved. A smile crossed her lips as she turned her back to him, bent forward, resting her hands on her knees. Twisting a bit to gaze over her shoulder, she moved her butt in a figure eight pattern. Each swish amped up his desire. Much more of this and he’d explode before he even touched her.

She straightened, reached up and slid off her right bra strap. Darien’s fingers ached to peel down the left strap. She lowered it to the side, releasing the front clasp. Pulling it open, she flipped it off and let it drop to the floor. Darien hissed. Having forgotten about the shower, he tilted his head back and sputtered when the water poured onto his face. He shook his head and blinked, then groaned. She’d turned, facing him, but had crossed her arms and covered her breasts with her hands.

That was wrong. It was his hands that needed to feel her nipples pebble against his palms. He shifted to move but caught himself. He didn’t want to break the spell. WTF? Who was he kidding? He wanted to shatter the spell, grab Erika, and back her up against the shower wall, drowning her in kisses. After nibbling his way up her thigh, he craved buried himself deep inside her and when both had screamed out a release, he wanted to do it all over again.

Erika stepped closer. She lowered her head and kissed the tip of his erect cock. He struggled not to do what he’d just fantasized about doing. She rose, kissed just below his belly button, then the middle of his chest, and, lastly, raised her lips, brushed her bottom lip across his.

His chest heaved. His blood pounded inside. His cock strained.

Water poured down from above and spurted out from the sides, caressing their flesh and heightening the tension. She lifted her right hand off her left breast, but shielded it with her arm, then crooked her finger, indicating he should move closer. He bent forward.

She placed her lips near his ear. “Knock. Knock.”

Blurb

To save Darien’s life his brother asks, “Can you walk in high heels?”

Erika Bailey, owner/manager of a drag queen club in Bangkok, Thailand has happily settled into all aspects of her new life, except for her lack of a love life. When a new diva auditions, Erika is bewildered over her instant attraction to the blond God, Apollo.

Darien Scott is on vacation after a world tour and mistakenly figures the safest place to be is at The Black Dragon with the head of a Triad. When the club is hit, Darien is the only person to get out alive. Now he’s running from the police and a Triad. Mistake number 1.

Disguised as a drag queen, he’s hired by Erika, but falls hard for his new boss, then struggles with not coming clean with her. Mistake number 2.

Can he fix his mistakes and find a life filled with love or is he headed straight for mistake number 3?

eXtasy Books

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5 Stars Really must read this one….,

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the chemistry between Darien and Erika was so hot that I thought my kindle would melt!

Saturday Excerpt- Updrift by Erinn Stevens

UPDRIFT Icon 200 x 300(From chapter 6 in Updrift)

The normally tranquil Blake household had transformed into an upscale frat house of sorts with the presence of more than a dozen truly beautiful young men. They were everywhere, milling around and lounging, looking as if a modeling agency had sent them over for a retro, Ivy League fashion shoot. Every single one of them oozed charm, vitality, and—Kate could think of no better word for it—virility. Several stood around a flat screen television to watch qualifying races for the U.S. Olympic men’s swim team. They seemed amused.

She stood wide-eyed inside the front door, not sure she wanted to navigate this group to find Carmen. Maybe she could just hand off the envelope and apologize later to her for being in a hurry. Her greeter closed the door behind her, however. The sound startled her. What happened next unnerved her.

“Hi, I’m Luke Hokeman.” The door opener extended his hand. “Catherine Sweeting,” she replied. She had no idea why she gave her formal name, which was used almost exclusively by her mother when she was in trouble. In fact, she felt like she was in trouble. She mustered up enough bravado to extend her hand.

Instead of shaking it as she expected, Luke turned it so he held it almost to his chest, and she panicked as she thought he might raise her hand to his lips. Did guys still do that? He placed his other hand gently around her wrist, she could swear to God, to check her pulse. “Are you home for summer break from college, Catherine?” He smiled. Distracted and more than a little terrified, she dropped her envelope, which attracted a different man to her side, bending to retrieve it. Yet another of the party came to stand behind her, placing his hand proprietarily at the small of her back. “Come in and sit down.” She broke out into a sweat.

“Hoke, Libby, Gins—back off and give the poor girl some air.” Kate felt weak with relief as she saw Gabe bounding lightly down the stairs. “Hi, Kate.”

He took her hand from Luke and tucked it through his arm, a gesture that would have been remarkable and strange in any other situation. He grabbed her envelope and led them firmly away from the front door and its trio of male sirens. “And no, she’s not home from college, Hoke,” Gabe threw over his shoulder. “She’s seventeen, which is I think what you were getting at. Too young for yo-oo-oo-ou,” he sang, grinning down at Kate.

Join me next week, when we meet another author. ~Tina