Welcome to the fifth day of my Almost Heaven West Virginia Blog Bash.
This is the New River Bridge, people bungee jump off it and once a year it is opened to pedestrian traffic. What a beautiful picture it is.
Welcome to all my followers and visitors, I am having a month-long celebration in my husbands honor. My husband Denny is retiring from the Navy after serving for 24 years. We are packing up one last time and moving back to his home state of Wild Wonderful West Virginia. Each post will start off with a picture to showcase West Virginia. Everyday their will be a prize up for grabs and at the end we’ll be giving away some chocolate.
Please follow the rules posted at the end of each post to enter the daily contests and remember you don’t have to subscribe to win but I hope you decide to stick around. Also any post that contain super erotic material will carry the warning label so as not to shock or offend anyone upon opening.
Due to an oversight on my part our guest scheduled for today Jessica Scott will not be here today, she will be visiting on another day. So today we have a surprise. When I arrived at our new house there was a package waiting from Lori Foster so today’s giveaway is 4 books. Lori couldn’t participate and so she surprised me with a box of books to give away. I will let you know later which books they are and how many winners we’ll have.
Excerpt from Gabe
|“Isn’t he just the absolute sexiest thing you’ve ever seen?””Hmm. And thank heavens for this heat wave. I love it when he leaves his shirt off.” A wistful, feminine sigh. “I swear, I could sit here all day and look at him.””We have been sitting here all day looking at him.”Gave Kasper, pretending to be asleep, had to struggle with a small smile. Life was good. Here he was, sprawled in the warm sun, letting the waves from the weekend boaters gently rock the dock with a fishing pole loosely held in one hand, a Van Halen hat pulled low over his eyes and a gaggle of good-lookin’ women ogling him. He had not a care in the world. Man couldn’t ask for much more satisfaction out of living.
“He is so gorgeous.”
“And wicked lookin’. I dearly love those whiskers on his chin.”
Aha. And here his brother Jordan had sworn the whiskers looked disreputable and tried to convince him to shave. Jordan could be such a stuffed shirt sometimes.
“I like that golden hair on his body, myself.”
Gabe almost chuckled out loud. He couldn’t wait to tell his brothers about this. Now that the two eldest were marred, and off-limits, Gabe and Jordan, the only two single ones left, got even more attention. Not that he was complaining. Female adoration was one of those things that couldn’t really go to excess, at least in his opinion.
“I don’t mind tellin’ you, Rosemary, it made me nervous when the first two brothers got married off. I cried for two days, and I was so afraid they’d all end up doing it. Heck, besides dying to have one of them to myself, those brothers were the biggest tourist draw we had here in Buckhorn.”
Gabe bit the side of his lip. He’d just keep that little tidbit to himself when he did the retelling. Hell, his brothers’ egos -Morgan’s especially-were big enough as it is. No need adding to them. No, he’d just stick to sharing the compliments about himself.
“And Gabe is the biggest draw my dock has. With him sitting there, no one wants to get their gas or bait anywhere else. I keep thinkin’ I ought to pay him or something.”
“Ha! You’re just hoping to get a little closer to him.”
“No, I just wanna make sure he doesn’t take his sexy self off to some other dock.”
“Amen to that!”
Giggles erupted after such a heartfelt comment and Gabe sighed. He had no intention of switching loyalties. Hell, Rosemary’s daddy had been letting him hang out on his docks since he was just a grasshopper and had first noticed what a pleasing thing it was to see females in bikinis. This place felt almost like a second home now. And since Rosemary’s daddy had passed away, he felt bound to stick around and help out on occasion. The trick was to keep Rosemary from getting marriage minded, because that was the one route his brothers could travel alone, thank you very much.
“It amazes me that those brothers aren’t full related. They all look different-”
“But they’re all gorgeous, I know. And they’re all so.strong. My daddy used to say it took a hell of a woman to raise boys like that. I just wish they didn’t live so far out on that land. Thinking up a good excuse to visit isn’t easy. Not like accidentally running into the other men here in town.”
Gabe did smile at that, he couldn’t help himself. He and his brothers- he refused to think of them as half brothers- had often joked about going into town to see who was looking for them. Usually some female or another was. But living out a ways, they could always choose when and if they wanted to get friendly. It had been helpful, because once they’d hit their teens, the females had come on in droves. His mother used to claim to keep a broom by the front and back doors to beat the women away . Not that any of them minded overmuch, though his two new sisters-in-law were sure disgruntled over all the downcast female faces since the two weddings had taken place.
Gabe was just about to give up feigning sleep when a new female voice joined the others over by the gas pumps.
“Excuse me, but I was told Gabriel Kasper might be here.” It was more a statement than anything else, and rather.strident to boot.
Female, but not at all local.
This new voice wasn’t soft. Southern or sweet. She’d sounded almost impatient.
Gabe decided to just wait and see what the lady was up to. It wasn’t unusual for someone female to be looking for him, and most everyone in these parts knew that in the summer, you could find him by the lake more often than not. He resisted the urge to peek at the owner of the voice and kept his body utterly relaxed.
“Whatdya want Gabe for?” That suspicious tone was from Rosemary, bless her sweet little heart, and Gabe vowed to take her to dinner real soon.
There was a beat of silence, then, “I have personal business to discuss with him.”
Oh great, Gabe thought. That’ll get the gossip going. What the hell kind of personal business could he have with a woman he didn’t know? And he was certain he didn’t know her. She didn’t sound at all familiar.
“Well, he’s right there but he’s relaxin’, and he won’t thank you none for disturbing him.”
“I appreciate you warning.”
Well used to the soft thud of sneakers or bare feet on the wooden planks of the dock, Gabe almost winced when the clack of hard-soled shoes rang over the water. He ignored it, and ignored the woman he could feel hesitating next to his lawn chair. The breeze stirred and he caught a light feminine scent, not really perfume, but maybe scented shampoo. He breathed deeply, but otherwise remained still.
He heard her clear her throat. “Uh.excuse me?”
She didn’t sound so confident, and he waited, wondering if she’d shake him awake. He felt her hesitate, knew in his gut she was reaching for his naked shoulder.
And the fishing pole nearly leaped out of his hand.
“Son of a bi-” Gabe jolted upright, barely managing to hang on to his expensive rod and reel. His feet hit the dock and he deftly maneuvered the rod, going with the action of the fish. “Damn, it’s a big one!”
Rosemary, Darlene and Ceily all ran over to his side.
“I’ll grab the net!” Rosemary said.
Ceily, who usually worked the diner in town, squealed as the fish, a big ugly carp, flipped up out the water. Darlene pressed to his back, peering over his shoulder.
Gabe slid over the side of the dock to the smooth, slick, moss-covered concrete boat ramp, bracing his legs wide to keep his balance while he struggled with the fish. Rosemary, a fisherwoman of long standing, didn’t hesitate to slip in beside him. She held the net at the ready. Just as Gabe got the carp close enough, she scooped him with the net. The fish looked to weigh a good fifteen pounds, and she struggled with it while Gabe tried to reach for the net and hold onto his pole.
But then Rosemary lost her footing and Gabe made a grab for her and they both went down, splashing and cursing and laughing, too. The rod jerked out of his hands and he dove forward to grab is, barely getting a hold and soaking himself thoroughly in the process. The other two women leaped in to help, all of them struggling to keep the fish and the rod while roaring with hilarity.
When the battle was over, Gabe had his fish, and a woman in his lap. Rosemary had settled herself there while Darlene and Ceily hung on him, both struggling to control their raucous laughter. He’d known all three of them since grade school, so it wasn’t the first time they’d played in the water; they felt totally familiar with each other and it showed. A long string of seaweed clung to the top of Gabe’s head, and that started the women giggling again.
Gabe, enjoying himself, unhooked the big fish, kissed it-making the women smack at him-then tossed it back.
It was then they heard the tap, tap, tap of that damned hard-soled shoe,
Turning as one, they all peered at the woman who Gabe only then remembered. He had to shade his eyes against the hot sun to see, and it wasn’t easy with three women draped over his body.
Silhouetted by the sunshine, her long hair looked like ruby fire. And he’d never in his life seen so many freckles on a woman before. She wore a crisp white blouse, a long jean skirt and black pumps with nylons. Nylons in this heat? Gabe blinked. “Can I help you with somethin’ sugar?”
Her lips tightened and her arms crossed over her middle. “I don’t think so. I was looking for Gabriel Kasper.”
“That’d be me.”
“But I was looking for Gabriel, the town hero.”
Darlene grinned hugely. “That’s our Gabe!”
Ceily added, “The one and only.”
Gabe rolled his eyes. “That’s nonsense and you all know it.”
The women all started in all at once, Ceily, Rosemary and Darlene assuring him he was all that was heroic and wonderful and more.
Little Red merely started in absolute disbelief. “You mean, you are the one who rescued those swimmers?”
He gently lifted Rosemary off his lap and cautiously stood on the slick concrete. The women had gone silent now, and Gave could see why. While they looked downright sexy in their colorful bikinis, loose hair and golden tans, this woman looked like the stern, buttoned-up supervisor of a girls’ prep school. And she was glaring at them all, as if she’d caught them having an orgy in the lake, rather than just romping.
Gabe, always the gentleman, boosted each woman to the dock, then deftly hauled himself out. He shook like a mongrel dog, sending lake water flying in cold droplets. The woman quickly backed up two steps.
Rosemary plucked seaweed from his hair and he grinned at her. “Thanks, sweetie. Ah, would you gals mind if I talk to.” He lifted at Red.
“Elizabeth Parks,” she answered stiffly. She clutched a notepad and pencil and had a huge purse-like bag slung over one shoulder, stuffed to over-flowing with papers.
“Yeah, can I have a minute with Ms. Parks?” He had the sneaking suspicion Ms. Parks was another reporter, and he had no intention of chatting with her for more time than it took to say thanks but not thanks. “I won’t be long.”
“All right, Gabe, but you owe us for rescuing your fish.”
“That I do. And I promise to think up some appropriate compensation.”
Giggling again, the women started away, dragging their feet ever step, sashaying their sexy behinds. But then two boats pulled in and he knew that would keep them busy selling gas and bait and whatever other supplies the vacationers wanted. He turned to Red.
“What can I do for you?”
Now, without the sun in his eyes, Gabe could see she had about the bluest blue eyes he’d ever seen. They stood out like beacons among all that bright red hair and those abundant freckles.
Excerpt from Jordan
Jordan Sommerville stared at the hand-painted sign positioned crookedly over the ramshackle building. Visible from the roadway, the sign boasted some of the worst penmanship he’d ever seen. The bright red letters seemed to leap right out at him.
He cursed as another icy trickle of rain slid down the back of his neck. He could hear the others behind him, murmuring in subdued awe as they took in the sights and sounds of the bar. It was late, it was dark, and for September, it was unseasonably cool. Surely there didn’t exist a more idiotic way to spend a Friday night.
The idea of trying to convince a bar owner to institute a drunk limit, especially a bar owner who had thus far allowed quite a few men to overimbibe, seemed fertile. Jordan started forwards, anxious to get it over with. Somehow he’d become the designated leader of the five-man troop, a dubious honor he’d regretfully accepted. The men had been organized by Zenny, a retired farmer who was best described as cantankerous-on his good days. Then there was Walt and Newton , who claimed to be semi-retired from their small-town shops, though they still spent every day there. And Howard and Jesse, the town gossips who volunteered for every project, just to make sure they got to stick their noses into anything that was going on.
Jordan stopped at the neon-lighted doorway to the seedy saloon and turned to face the men. A strobing beer sign in the front window illuminated their rapt faces. Jordan had to shout to be heard over the loud music and laughter blaring from inside the establishment.
“Now remember,” he said, and though he used his customary calm tone, he infused enough command to hold all their attention, “we’re going to talk. That’s all. There’ll be no accusations, no threats and absolutely, under no circumstances, will there be any violence. Understood?”
Five heads bobbed in agreement even as they looked anxiously beyond Jordan to the rambunctious partying inside. Jordan sighed.
Buckhorn County was dry, which meant anyone who drank had the good sense to stay indoors and keep it private. There’d been too many accidents on the lake, mostly from vacationers who thought water sports and alcohol went hand in hand, for the citizens to want it any other way.
But this new bar, a renovated old barn, had opened just over the county line, so the same restriction didn’t apply. Lately, some of its customers had tried joyriding through Buckhorn in the dead of the night, hitting fences, tearing up cornfields, terrorizing the farm animals, and generally making minor mayhem. No one had been seriously injured, yet, but in the face of such moronic amusements, it was only a matter of time. So the good citizens of Buckhorn had rallied together and, at the suggestion of the Town Advisory Board, decided to try talking to the owner of the bar. They hoped he would be reasonable and agree to restrict drinks to the rowdier customers, or perhaps institute a drink limit for those that leaned toward nefarious tendencies and overindulgence.
Jordan already knew what a waste of time that would be. He had his own very personal reason for loathing drunks. He would have gently refused to take part in the futile endeavor tonight, except that he and his brothers were considered leading citizens of Buckhorn, and right now, due to a nasty flu that had swept through the town, Jordan was the only brother available to lead.
With a sigh, he walked through the scarred wooden doors and stepped inside. The smoke immediately made his lungs hurt. Mixed with the smells of sweat and the sickening sweet odor of liquor, it was enough to cause the strongest stomach to lurch.
The dank, dark night worked as a seal, enclosing the bar in a sultry cocoon. The walls were covered with dull gray paint. Long fluorescent lights hung down from the exposed ceiling beams, adding a dim illumination to an otherwise gloomy scene.
Men piled up behind Jordan , looking over his shoulder, breathing on his neck, tsking at what they saw as salacious activity. Which didn’t, of course, stop them from ogling the scene in deep fascination. Jordan could almost feel their anticipation and knew the evening was not destined to end well.
Hoping to locate someone in charge, Jordan looked around. A heavy, sloping counter seated several men, all of them hanging over their beers while painfully skinny, balding man refilled drinks with the quickness of long practice. At the end of the bar stood a massive menacing bouncer, the look on his face deliberately intimidating. Jordan snorted, seeing the ploy for what it was; a way to keep the peace in a place that cultivated disagreements by virtue of what it was and the purpose it served.
There were booths lining the walls and a few round tables cluttering up the middle of the floor. Overall, the place seemed crowded and loud, but not lively. An atmosphere of depression hung in the air despite the bawdy laughter.
Then suddenly the noise of conversation, clinking glasses and rowdy music died away. In its place a heavy expectant hush filled the air. Jordan felt the hair on his arms tingle with a subtly awareness. Everyone stared at a low stage to the left of the front door, almost in the center of the bar. It couldn’t have been more than eight feet wide and ten feet long. A faded, threadbare curtain at the back of the stage rustled but didn’t open.
Jordan stared, feeling mesmerized as everyone else, though he had no idea why. Behind him, old man Zenny coughed. Walt eased closer. Newton bumped into his left side.
Slowly, so slowly Jordan hardly noticed it at first, music from a hidden stereo began to filter into the quiet. It crackled a bit, as if the speakers had been subjected to excessive volume. It started out low and easy and gradually built to a rousing temp that made him think of the Lone Ranger series. All the men who’d previously been loud were now subdued and waiting. The curtain parted just as the music grabbed a bouncing beat and took off like a wild horse given his lead. Jordan caught his breath.
A woman, slight in build except for her truly exceptional breasts, burst onto the stage in what appeared to be an aerobic display except that she moved with the music.and looked seductive as hell.
He’d seen his three sisters-in-law do similar steps while exercising, but then, his sisters-in-law didn’t have breasts like this woman, and they were always dressed in sweats when they worked out.
And they sure as certain didn’t perform for drunks.
Nearly spellbound, Jordan couldn’t pull his gaze away. His mouth opened on a deep breath, his hands curled into fists and his body tightened. The reaction surprised him and kept him off guard.
As he stared he realized the woman wasn’t exactly doing a seductive dance. But the way she moved, fluid and graceful and fast, each turn or twist or high kick keeping time to the throbbing beat, had every man in the bar-including Jordan- holding his breath, balance don a keen edge of anticipation.
She wore a revealing costume of black lace, strategically placed fringe, and little else. The fringe glittered with jet beads that moved as she moved, drawing attention to her bouncing breasts and rotating hips. Her legs were slender, sleekly muscled. She turned her back to the bar, and the fringe on her behind did a little flip-flip-flip. Jordan ‘s right hand twitched, just imagining what that bottom would feel like.
He cursed under his breath. The costume covered her, and yet it didn’t. He’d seen women at the lake wearing bikinis that were much more revealing, but none that were sexier. She kept perfect time with the heavy pulsing of the music and within two minutes her shoulders and upper chest gleamed with a fine mist of sweat, making her glow. Her full breasts, revealed almost to her nipples, somehow managed to stay inside her costume, but the thought that they might not kept Jordan rigid and enrapt.
Next to him, Newton whispered, “Lord have mercy,” and the same awe Jordan felt was revealed in the older man’s voice. Jordan scowled, wishing he could send the men back outside, wishing he could somehow cover the woman up.
He didn’t want others looking at her. But he could have looked at her all night long.
His possessive urges toward a stranger were absurd, so he buried them away behind a dose of contempt while ignoring the punching beat of his heart.
The audience cheered, screamed, banged their thick beer mugs on the counter and on the tabletops. Yet the woman’s expression never changed. She didn’t smile though her overly lush, wide mouth trembled slightly with her exertions. She had a mouth made for kissing, for devouring. Her lips looked soft and Jordan knew with a man’s intuition exactly how sweet they’d feel against his own mouth, his skin. Every now and then she turned in such a way that the lighting reflected in her pale gray eyes, which stared straight ahead, never once focusing on any one man.
In fact, her complete and utter disregard for her all-mail audience was somehow arousing. She looked to be the epitome of sexual temptation, but didn’t care. She might have been dancing alone, in the privacy of her bedroom, for all the attention she gave to the shouting, leering spectators.
Feigning nonchalance, Jordan crossed his arms over his chest and decided to wait until her show ended before finding the proprietor. Not because she interested him. Of course not. But because right now it would be useless to start his search, being that everyone was caught up in the show.
Despite his attempt at indifference, Jordan ‘s gaze never left her, and every so often it seemed his heartbeat mirrored her rhythm. Beneath his skin, a strange warmth expanded, pulsed. Something about her, something elusive yet intrinsically female, called to him. He ignored the call. He was not a man drawn in by flagrant sexuality. No, when a woman caught his attention, it was because of her gentleness, her intelligence, her morals. Unlike his brothers-who were the finest men he knew-he’d never been a slave to his libido. They’d often teased him about his staid personality, his lack of fire, because he’d made a point of keeping his composure in all things. At least most of the time.
His eyes narrowed.
Anyone that knows Lori knows what a nice lady she is and how she cares about animals. Here is a bit about her book Tails of Love.
From Seeing Eye dogs to the cat who cuddles in your lap, animals are there for us in more ways than we can count. Helping us get through the day with a wag of the tail and a tilt of the head, they let us know that someone is on our side—no matter what. They also have an amazing ability to break down barriers between people; bringing families and loved ones closer, and giving strangers an excuse to strike up a conversation. In Tails of Love, each writer draws from her own unique perspective on our loyal friends—exploring the many mysterious ways they bring love into our lives.
Ten all-new stories that celebrate our animal friends, by bestselling and award-winning authors. All Author and Agent proceeds from sales of the book will benefit the AAF – Animal Adoption Foundation – a no-kill animal shelter in Hamilton, Ohio. Read more about the charities that Lori supports.
Also here is some info on Lori’s annual Reader / Author Get Together 2012
|Everyone is welcome! The Get Together is possible because everyone pulls together. For only $50, you get an entire weekend of fun with authors, readers, publishers, editors and agents. But our focus is to make this FUN for the readers. LOTS of giveaways, terrific raffles, plenty of face time with your favorite author, a multi-author book fair, photos, meals, games, parties… join us, and I promise you won’t regret it.
June 1st & 2nd 2012 Optional: Thursday, May 31, private party for early arrivals, limited attendance. Sunday, June 3, breakfast for those who stay over. Cincinnati Marriott North at Union Centre, West Chester Ohio
Casual atmosphere with plenty of time to visit with your online friends, talk to authors and industry professionals, get photos and more!
Hope you enjoy todays post. Since there will be no author here today no questions please.
1. You must leave a meaningful comment, something more than Hi, Hello, or Great Post. Ask a question, squee like a fan girl or whatever you want as long as it’s appropriate.
2. Every comment counts so chat away. Please include your email in your comment.
3. Winners will be drawn 3 days after each post and a master list will be posted on Feb 17th. You will have until Feb 29th to email me at SeawitchReviews @ yahoo (dot) com. I will also send an email to each winner but if I don’t hear from you by the 29th a new winner will be drawn.