Mini Blog Tour

Monday, January 30, 2012
Last week I detailed the reason why the coming of RIGHT TO REMAIN MINE has left me with some worry. Today, I think I'll talk about all the reasons I'm excited about its arrival.

1) I get to see my book for sale to the public, (no brainer!)

2) This is my first true alpha male hero. My other heroes are either tortured heroes, beta heroes, comedian heroes, boy-next-door heroes, or well, you get the idea. Raith is my first apologetically MALE hero. Yum. And Willow is probably the only heroine I've created who has all the just-right qualities to handle him. I loved watching them bump heads and fight, then make up!

3) It's about a cop, and I have a BIG thing for cops (ie: my hubby!!).

4) My Mini Blog Tour. I'm excited about the new places I'll be visiting on the web to talk about my writing and my latest stories (like, ahem, THE RIGHT TO REMAIN MINE).

HERE are more details on that:

The first stop came last Tuesday. But I'm sure you didn't miss it, right!

The next place I'll be is at The Rose of Prose Blog. I'll be guest posting with the roses tomorrow, and if you want to see what my back yard looks like (though sadly, it's nothing to write home about), I'll see you there!!!

See you tomorrow!

-Jan 24 (Tues) Interview at Books-N-Kisses

-Jan 31 (Tues) Guest Post at The Roses of Prose

-Feb 13 (Mon) Interview at You Gotta Read

-Feb 20 (Mon) Guest Post at Romancing the Book

-Feb 24 (Fri) Interview at Fallen Angel Reviews

-Feb 2012 Interview at Joyfully Reviewed

-Mar 06 (Tues) Interview at BookWenches

A Page with Kage (4)

Friday, January 27, 2012
I thought I'd do another Page-with-Kage post today since it's been a while. So, yep, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite pages from one of my favorite stories.

Molly Daniels used to be the only author I knew who wrote actual college-age romance, but last month I discovered a couple more.

So after about a month-long binge of reading YA romance (high school and college age both), I've fallen hard for a ton of new authors. Jessica Park is one of them. Her story Flat-Out Love had me from page one, so that's what I'll share with you. Page 1!

They say you're supposed to have all the who, what, when, where questions answered within the first page of the book. Well, Park answers them with style, class, and a bit of humor despite the poor heroine's desperation.

She also employs all five senses in that first page. I could hear the screeching breaks on the bus that passed, smell and taste the burritos, feel the heat from the sidewalk crawl up her legs, and see the vivid scene she drew.

And after making sure all those details were in place, she still managed to draw a complete, rounded character with a great plot hook and even suck my emotions into the story, so I already felt connected with Julie.

Okay, okay, yes. Fine! I'll stop gushing about the excerpt now and simply give it to you so you can read it for yourself.

Without further ado: FLAT-OUT LOVE by Jessica Park.


Julie Seagle stared straight ahead and promised herself one thing: She would never again rent an apartment via Craigslist. The strap of her overstuffed suitcase dug into her shoulder, and she let it drop onto the two suitcases that sat on the sidewalk. It wasn’t like she had anywhere to carry them now. Julie squinted in disbelief at the flashing neon sign that touted the best burritos in Boston. Rereading the printout of the email again did nothing to change things. Yup, this was the correct address. While she did love a good burrito, and the small restaurant had a certain charm about it, it seemed pretty clear that the one-story building did not include a three-bedroom apartment that could house college students. She sighed and pulled her cell phone from her purse.

“Hi, Mom.”

“Honey! I gather you made it to Boston? Ohio is missing you already. I can’t believe you’re already off at college. How is the apartment? Have you met your roommates yet?”

Julie cleared her throat and looked at the flat roof of the restaurant. “The apartment is… airy. It has a very open floor plan.”

“How is your room? Is it tiny?” Her mother sounded concerned. “Well, even if it is, it’s probably better than some concrete dorm room, right?”

“My room? Oh, it’s, uh, rather sparse, I’d say.” Julie sat down on one of her bags. A city bus squealed to a halt just behind her, and she flinched at the high-pitched noise.

“What was that? Is your room right on the street? Oh God, are you on the first floor? That’s dangerous, Julie. It’s much easier for some criminal to break in. Are there locks on the windows? Let me ask your uncle about that. Maybe there is something you could do to make it more secure.”

“I’m not seeing any windows at the moment, Mom.” Julie felt her eyes begin to tear up. This was a nightmare. She had been in Boston, or more specifically Jamaica Plain, for a mere hour, and already her hopes for a glamorous college life were beginning to smell a lot more like South American specialties than she’d envisioned. “I don’t seem to actually have a room.”

Her mother paused. “What do you mean you don’t have a room? I sent first, last, and a security deposit just like the landlord asked. A cashier’s check, for God’s sake! He gave away your room?” The rising panic in her mother’s voice was not helping.

“I’m at the correct address. The taxi driver assured me I was in the right place. But my supposed apartment building is a burrito restaurant.”

“Burritos! Holy mother of God!”

“I know. Burritos are always alarming.” Julie looked around, totally unsure what she should do next. “Mom, what am I going to do?” Although she didn’t want to freak out her mother more than she had to, Julie couldn’t control the waver in her voice. She was alone in an unfamiliar city, knew no one here, and was sitting on a mountain of luggage.

At least the advantage of being stranded on a crowded street was that no one seemed to think she looked at all out of place. Plenty of people had walked by without giving her a second glance. It was the first week of September, and she was in a college town; more than one U-Haul truck could be spotted weaving through traffic, delivering students and their possessions to actual apartments that did not double as restaurants. Julie quickly wiped her eyes and pulled her sunglasses down from her head. She’d give anything to be riding in one of those moving trucks, crammed in with a pile of friends.

“I don’t have anywhere to live. And all that money you spent… This was supposed to be cheaper than the dorms. And it wasn’t supposed to smell like burritos.” Leaving home for the first time, getting scammed into paying for a non-existent apartment, and finding oneself homeless in Boston was proving to be agitating.

“Julie, don’t worry about the money right now. This isn’t your fault. I thought the ad looked perfectly normal, too. You sit tight for a few minutes and I’m going to call the college and see if they can help you, OK? Just hold on. You all right?”

Julie sniffed. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Don’t move. I’ll call you right back and we’ll fix this.”

Julie put in her earphones and passed the next excruciating twenty minutes by listening to morose music, chipping off the deep purple nail polish she’d applied the night before, and updating her Facebook status.

Julie Seagle Boston, Day 1: Refuse to refer to city as Beantown as would sound too touristy. Still, am full resident now despite not having actual residence.

The pavement radiated heat, and so far this sauna of a city was not winning her over. A little self-pity seemed in order. All she wanted was a normal college experience and the chance to enjoy school without worrying that her friends would think it was ridiculous that she actually liked learning.


(This excerpt was provided at )

And Another Day Goes By

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I don't have much to say today. I was interviewed over at the Books-N-Kisses blog yesterday, had plenty to yap about there!! Feel free to stop by and say hi.

To add to my not-so-wonderful month, the hubby and I mourned the death of our refrigerator this week. At least it wasn't another family member.

I'm working on a story I've decided to dedicate to my Dad. It's about a farmer and he was a farmer, though the hero isn't fashioned after him at all. I find it soothing and therapeutic to work on.

And I'm out! Hope your Wednesday is going good. See you Friday.

All Kinds of Confused

Monday, January 23, 2012
I always hate it when I know a book I really want to read is coming out soon and then five months later, I'm like ack, I was so going to buy that on its release date but totally missed it. Bummer.

To avoid that for all you avid Linda Kage fans (all zero of you!! Okay, maybe there's one or two...hey, a girl can dream!), I'm having a couple countdown posts for my peeps who are eagerly anticipating the release of The Right to Remain Mine.

On the other hand, I also hate it when I hear so much about an upcoming book from an author. I start thinking, shut up already, I heard you the first million times. Your book's coming out soon. We got it.

That's why I'm attempting to find a happy middle ground and am only going to write a limited few countdown posts. ERGO...For the next two Mondays, I'm going to blather on about this book until its release date on February 6th. See, only two countdown posts, that shouldn't be too painful!


Every author out there gets the butterflies stirring around in her belly when her big release day draws near (right? please tell me I'm not the only one). But I have a little more uneasy flutters than usual for this project.

Here's why.

One place that initially rejected this story asked to read the full manuscript and then wanted to read it again after I made a few suggested changes. This is good news because it's farther than one of my submitted stories had ever gone with them before (yay!). I actually made the changes, but instead of re-submitting to them (and I have no idea why I didn't re-submit...silly me), I sent it off to another place.

More good news. The next place--the lovely Champagne Book Group--offered me a contract for the story within twenty-four hours--yeah, I said hours not days or weeks--of receiving it, plus the acquiring editor even thanked me for keeping her up half the night to finish it. Wow!

So, okay, at that point, I'm feeling pretty good, got my optimism cranked to full throttle. Then my line editor got a hold of my manuscript.

She didn't suggest any major changes to the plot (yes!). Actually, she had less revision suggestions for this story than she did for Hot Commodity, which is a 2012 Epic finalist. So, cool, that gave me another happy high. But apparently, it was a little too steamy for her taste. Strangely, I had tried to bump up the sensuality heat before subbing to them, thinking they needed it hotter. Boy, was I wrong! She actually said she'd prefer not to receive any future submissions with that level of sexuality.

Pretty much the only thing I heard was "I'd prefer not to receive future submissions from you... Period" which isn't what she said at all. But it still wounded--or more accurately CRUSHED--my delicate little author feelings. It also made me feel like a big ol' fat pervert for writing such dirty scenes. I know, I can be a bit dramatic in the hurt-feelings department, huh?

Anyway, I worked hard to cut out most of the steamy heat, while trying to actually keep the lovely tension. In the end, it really didn't seem like my story any longer and I mostly just felt sick about the entire ordeal. But I eventually brushed it off, moved on, and decided to start pushing promotions despite all my new insecurities.

I contacted a few people and set up a few interviews and guest posts (which I'll go into more next Monday). And I sent complimentary ARCs to reviewers for an honest review. People wanted to give the story a try, which helped my optimism began to rise again.

An honest review is definitely what I got! One reviewer has already looked it over and given it a two-star on Goodreads. The full review isn't complete--so I couldn't tell you everything that turned her off--but her only comment so far is that the hero is a real jerk.

Seeing that, I was like, "Well, yeah. That's the point." Then I froze with horror. Uh-oh, what if I didn't redeem him well enough? He and the heroine both are supposed to be very strong, dominating characters. They're supposed to butt head and create lots of friction. Neither are the type to apologize for what they do, and they do plenty which need apologizing for. Double, uh-oh. What if I didn't even put in a scene where he apologizes for being such a jerk? Do I even infer that he's sorry? Geesh. I totally loved him for his alpha maleness when I was writing him; it made his non-jerk scenes ultra sweet. But did none of that shine through to readers?

I'd been so worried about the stupid sensuality level, I'd forgotten about the actual heart of the story.

I'm afraid to re-read it again (because, well, it's too late to fix anything now!!) to see if I made my hero likeable enough despite his somewhat overbearing attitude.

Optimism plummeting, I've returned to the phase of "long, excruciating, bite-all-my-fingernails-off wait" to see if anyone else enjoys the story.

Here's what I know I'm supposed to say to all this. This is my story and I like it. I had fun writing it, it gave me a grand sense of completion to flesh it out, and I feel good about how far it's come. But seriously, who am I kidding? We all like to see that little thumbs-up from other people and a receive that good-job sticker, that five-star review.

But at this point, I feel too uncertain. I put one of my babies out there for the world to see, and I'm just so afraid it's going to be ridiculed into an early grave.

After all your hard work and effort to see a project through, do you ever get the butterflies just before the big moment your project goes live?

Maybe we can all worry together!!!


To start my mini-blog tour, I will be interviewed tomorrow (1/24/2012) at the lovely BOOKS-N-KISSES Blog. That's at link: Thanks!!

Friday Forwards #37

Friday, January 20, 2012
PARAPROSDOKIANS : A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation."

1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

3. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

10. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

12. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

17. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

18. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

19. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

20. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

21. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

22. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

23. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

24. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

25. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

26. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

27. A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

28. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

29. I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

30. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

31. Where there's a will, I want to be in it!

Contest Judging

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
My RWA national contest stories to judge were delivered last night!! I was super psyched. Then I grew a bit intimidated when I opened the box to find EIGHT books to read. Wow. I thought I'd have four, maybe five. Finishing all these in time might be a challenge. But I feel up to it.

I didn't get any novels under the first preference of sub-genre I chose, but that's okay. I did get a book I'd actually planned on buying one of these days. I'd read other stories by one author I received so I'm familiar with her, and I'd heard of two other authors. The rest in the package will be a happy surprises.

I also recently received scores back from some contests I'd entered. They were low but gave a couple useful tidbits I can use in the future. With one story, I had shared the first chapter with my local group during open critique. They all simply adored it.

Energized by such positive comments, I hurriedly spit out another chapter and entered it into one of these contests. But, yeah, none of the judges liked it. One judge said it didn't feel as if I even liked my own heroine (which I really love her), and another judge said things didn't pick up until chapter two. How funny, huh?!

It kind of buzz killed the progress on that story for a while. But, oh well. Thank goodness I have another WIP I really want to work on anyway.

Do you ever let outsides forces energize or deflate your enthusiasm about any of your WIPs?? How do you deal with all that?

I Forgot My Dream

Monday, January 16, 2012
I hardly ever remember my dreams. And my overall vision on life? Uh, yeah, I have no idea. That's why MLKjr is such an awesome guy. He knew what he wanted for himself. He knew what he wanted for the world. And he wasn't afraid to speak up about it.

I don't think today's American holiday is only to honor one single man, or even different races coming together. I think it's also been created to honor everyone who sets a worthy goal and isn't afraid to reach for it. So, look forward, envision a better life for all, and work toward that.

Too corny? Oh, well. Dream on and dream big, my friends. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!!

I'm Back

Friday, January 13, 2012
Hey, I'm beginning to trickle back into circulation on the web...on a Friday the 13th no less. I must be pressing my luck! Anyway, I hope everyone had a better Christmas/New Years break than I did.

Actually, my Christmas went fine. The kiddo enjoyed opening her presents. She gasped and smiled when she opened each one and had to run around the room, showing each person what she got.

One thing her silly mother (yes, me!) got her was a roll full of 1600 stickers. Hey, she likes stickers, but honestly, what was I thinking?? Stickers are kind of like beach sand. Days, weeks--heck, months--later, you're still finding them in the oddest places!

For our family Christmas present, the hubby and I got us a new TV, which has WiFi, so we signed up to Netflix. On New Years eve, we invited another couple (that has a kid two years older than ours--and boy, did they have fun with those stickers) to watch a movie on our new screen. We were all in bed by ten, thirty. I know, we're wild party animals, huh?

On New Years Day, my mother-in-law declared she was having kiddo withdrawals. Since she usually babysits my daughter while I'm at work, she hadn't seen the little one all week. The hubby and I talked her into watching our daughter that night so we could have the evening to ourselves.

It was about eight-thirty on January 1st when the two of us--sans kid--curled up on the couch to watch a little Netflix when my sister called. And the entire year went downhill from there.

Now a little back story.

My dad had always had heart problems. He had one of those quadruple-heart bypass surgeries or whatever they're called in the early nineties. Then he had a stint put in in '01. In mid December 2011, he began to talk about an irregular heartbeat. So, on the 29th of December, they took him to St. Johns (yeah, the St. Johns in Joplin that was destroyed by the big May 22nd tornado, which is now made up of a bunch of temporary buildings) for an angiogram.

Lydia and I visited my parents' place the day before his angiogram. I had no idea that would be the last time I would see him alive. He had to take some special medicine before the tests, and I guess it tasted really nasty so he had to mix it with a bottle of diet cola to get it down. I'd never seen him drink pop from a bottle before. It was very strange to watch. He said the stuff made him feel dizzy.

Before the kiddo and I left, I told her to give hugs and kisses. She ran over to my mom and hugged her and kissed her, then paused when she turned to Grandpa, unsure whether to hug him too. He'd never been the huggy-kissy type, but for some reason, I picked her up and held her down to him where he was sitting in his chair and she gave him a peck on the lips, where she then dutifully waved and said, "Bye, Papa." I'm so very glad I did that.

The next day, we got the text from my second oldest sister who drove Mom and Dad to the angiogram, and learned the blockage was too bad to put in another stint. We were told the only option left was a pacemaker.

So mom set up appointment to get Dad a pacemaker in February. The next couple of days, she was busy trying to get him medicine and calling doctor's offices.

Now...Returning to the eve of January one, where hubby and I are snuggling on the couch. My third sister called and told me Mom and our oldest brother had taken Dad to the hospital and were going to life-flight him to Freeman Heart Center (another hospital in the famous Joplin).

I guess he'd been having chest pains since about six that evening. Mom had left for bible study, so he tried to heat up a hamburger in the microwave by himself, but burned it to a blackened crisp. Mom got to church (or rather my sister's house to pick her up) before she learned there was no study group, so she returned home, where Dad told her he wasn't feeling well. She and my oldest brother drove them to the nearest hospital, where my father walked in the front doors on his own two feet.

They looked him over, told him he was "trying" to have a heart attack, and said they were going to send him over to Freeman. Mom told us he was still talking and coherent, answering questions, when he was put onto the helicopter. That was the last time SHE saw him alive.

When she came home to pack a bag, ready to stay at the hospital for a while if need be, me, my hubby, one sister, a brother, and sister-in-law were waiting at her house to caravan our way to the hospital to wait with her through the night.

On our way, another sister called. She'd reached the hospital first with her husband, daughter, and son-in-law. Someone had been by the waiting room to give her a room number of what room they planned to move Dad to. They asked her a few questions about his problems and told her he was resting comfortably.

My cavaran of peeps arrived at the hospital at about ten-thirty, eleven o'clock to find another brother had arrive there before. So that made eleven of the family waiting around, quieting joking with each other to keep from going bored as we waited another half hour before a tall, stately doctor appeared in the doorway of our waiting room.

The doctor commenced to tell us of my father's problems. Blockage was so bad there was a stone (whatever that means). He arrived in shock. We went on to explain more; I can't remember all he said, I just remember him monotonously sliding in, "He won't survive the night." After that, I have no clue what the man said except that he'd make sure we got in to see my father.

No one in the room moved a muscle while he spoke, we all just sat there in frozen shock. This was not the news we were expecting to hear at all. As soon as the doctor left, we finally all just sorta stood up and fled to all parts of the hospital, calling more family members, crying and hugging. It was all so very unreal feeling.

When they let us back to see him, he was already gone, which is what finally put me to tears.

The next few days were a blur, with family crowding Mom's house. A few members had just got over a nasty stomach flu. So my husband caught the flu and threw up and so forth on the night of the visitation. We were actually driving there to the funeral home when he had to pull around and go back home. So I lived through that night without him by my side.

Mom, a sister, and a brother caught the flu very early on the morning of the funeral. My daughter caught it the day after, as well as a few other family members. And I got it Monday morning.

And now it's Friday the 13th!!

My mom is doing okay. It's still strange to visit her and not see Dad sitting in "his" chair. But we're all beginning to adjust to this new phase.

So....That's what's been up with me. I'll travel around now and visit all your blogs to see what's been up with you.

Hugs to all.

Out of the Office

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
My father passed away late Sunday evening so I will be offline for a while. For the blogs I had scheduled to post this week, I would like to apologize to Claire for not getting the cover of her book posted on Monday. I was going to go over what I had for her and fancy it up the night before it aired but that's when everything happened.

Hope everyone is having a better 2012 than I am. I'll return to blogosphere in a few weeks. Thank you.

CLAIRE ASHGROVE in the house!

Monday, January 2, 2012
(Today I'm just going to sit back, relax, and let my buddy Claire Ashgrove take over this post. She is going to interview the hero of her paranormal story: IMMORTAL HOPE. So, okay, Claire...Take us away!)

This interview is transcribed as I was not allowed to broadcast live, nor was I allowed to offer photographs, due to security concerns. Going back to pen and paper days, the interview took place beneath ground, in a small stone office, that lacked any source of artificial light, but somehow was illuminated. If you doubt me, Anne describes this in her story.

Merrick entered, wearing a white surcoat branded with the Templar cross, which I’m told is formal attire. He’s quite tall, quite broad, and had to twist sideways to get through the door. Long dark hair, slightly unkempt, dusted his shoulders and n ornate broadsword swung loose at his left hip. He limped, quite obviously. When I inquired, he gave me the impression he didn’t want to talk about it.

I had expected Anne, not Merrick. But on my inquiry, was informed she was busy with the chefs. I’ll never know, but a large part of me suspects the sudden change in interviewees had more to do with Merrick protecting Anne, than it did with her being occupied. I would learn, through the course of the interview, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep her safe.

These are the highlights:

Merrick, the truths that are revealed in Immortal Hope are pretty shocking. Immortal knights, Azazel being able to destroy the Almighty, seraphs who can save your men – is this really true?

Merrick: Aye. Centuries ago, my men and I dug beneath the Temple Mount and uncovered something we were not supposed to see. We were punished. Cursed with immortality and sworn to fight against Azazel’s unholy designs. We fight, and our souls suffer. ‘Tis why the seraphs are so important.”

And Azazel – who’s he?

Merrick: He is the most unholy and wishes to ascend to the highest throne.

Which he will accomplish if he finds the sacred relics before the knights become powerful enough, again, to stop him?

Merrick: Aye.

Wow. Sounds scary. These relics, what are they? Are they some place safe? I mean, do we have to worry about this happening any time soon?

The moment I asked this question, Mikhail entered. Despite the obvious sighting of wings, I was immediately struck by the presence of divinity. Greetings were exchanged, and it wouldn’t be until later, when I wrote these notes, that I realized my question had gone unanswered. I’m fairly certain this was a deliberate act.

Merrick, you said the seraphs can heal you. Anne is one of these seraphs. When did you realize this?

Merrick: When I met Anne, I believed her a demon. Mikhail explained our circumstances, and although I had no desire to look after Anne, I became aware of her status almost immediately. Twas not until much later, I would learn she bore my mark.

Really? I have to confess, you’re quite … handsome. I’d think she’d be delighted to know she was spending eternity with you.

(Merrick chuckles.) Delighted twas not amongst her reactions. Aggrieved is more suitable. Nay… she was quite pissed as she would say. She speaks like a man – a habit I have become quite fond of.

So she didn’t want to be here? Didn’t want to be with you?

Merrick: Aye, she wanted to be with me. As I wished to be with her. Twas her visions of the future—of my death—that created difficulties. The rest took some time for her to accept.

But her visions weren’t the only set backs you had. She was kidnapped wasn’t she?

Merrick’s features hardened here, and I couldn’t help but notice his right hand slid to the pommel of his sword.

Merrick: Aye, Anne was taken. I nearly killed the man who thought to try, as well. As I would should anyone be so foolish again.

That made me shiver, Merrick. What drew you to her? My understanding is you two didn’t get along so well in the beginning.

(Merrick smirks at the question and shakes his head.) We had some differences of opinion, aye. But she is the strongest woman I know, and her gentleness gave me hope. Anne inspires me.”

Aww. A softy at heart. Okay on that note, let’s take a look at why Anne softens you. Here’s a short excerpt from IMMORTAL HOPE.


Seeing a thin white scar that spanned across the back of his hand, she traced the mark with her nail. “I want to know about you,” she added more quietly. “What caused this?”

Merrick looked down to where she touched him. Using his opposite index finger, he traced the same path her fingernail had taken. Briefly, their fingertips touched. “’Tis a mark from a lance.”

“A lance?” Anne struggled with the urge to twine her finger around his.

“Aye. ’Twas a battle that came to us unexpectedly. I was not given time to don my armor before the riders set upon us. The knight struck me there, and here.” He touched his ribs beneath his right arm.

Anne’s gaze lifted to the vulnerable spot and pictured the battle as it might have occurred: Merrick standing down an armored knight on horse back, the sharp metal spear that punctured his flesh, the way his face might have contorted as he bit back a painful cry. Impulsively, she gathered his hand in both of hers and lifted it, bringing it to her lips to place a gentle kiss over the scar. “I’m sorry.”

Merrick said nothing, and in his silence, she began to question maybe she’d taken one too many liberties. They’d hardly begun to get along—what if her unchecked impulse just crossed some invisible boundary? Slowly, cautiously, she lifted her eyes to his. What she found in his fathomless dark eyes, however, said nothing of anger or annoyance. They gleamed with startling intensity, light bright enough to make her catch her breath.

“Do not be sorry,” he murmured. His eyes canvassed her face, lingered on her mouth. “’Twas a scar borne from duty. An order I was sworn to obey.”

The husky quality of his voice sent shivers coursing up and down her spine. She tried to look away, ordered her eyes to settle anywhere but on the sudden softening of Merrick’s expression. But her body refused, leaving her unable to do anything but choke down a dry swallow. When her thoughts cleared enough to form coherent words, she sought to lighten the moment with a bit of humor. “Orders can do that to you, I guess. Like now, you’re stuck with me.”

“I cannot say I find these orders entirely displeasing.” Merrick lifted his free hand to push a length of her hair away from her shoulder.

The back of his hand grazed the side of her neck and goose bumps scattered down her arms. “No?”



Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever roam the earth protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever-closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation – the return of the seraphs.

Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As he struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.

Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she's destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.

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