Shifting Into Love First Gear: Meeting c

Chase had shaken Lana. She rolled his name through her mind making sure that was the right name. Yeah, Chase. The drink had made him happy like it was supposed to, so everything was right. This freaking night. She reached out to Harrigan. Hope. Hope? What hope? No answer.

Fine. She had one more table that needed drinks, and then she was shooting pool. With Chase. And then they’d go upstairs, and she’d get lost in the physical. No more tugs at her soul. No more anomalies. No more motorcycles. She didn’t even know why she still thought about the biker, but she was done.

Lana took to the pool table with a wink and a smile at Chase. He welcomed her by beating his opponent and racking the balls.

“You know how to charm a woman,” she said, grinning at him from the opposite side of the table.

“Why do you always play her?” asked one of his friends. “You know you’re gonna lose.”

“He’s hoping maybe this time he’ll get lucky,” chimed another friend.

“This time he might,” said Lana, leaning across the table for the break, hoping she’d unbuttoned her blouse enough to show a little cleavage.

He blushed. He freaking blushed like he went to church every Sunday and had never been with a woman before. His sweetness sparked a fire in Lana. She took a moment to refocus her attention to the cue ball. She couldn’t actually get attached to him. She’d be gone in the morning if not sooner.

She drew the cue back, shot it forward and broke the balls apart with a crack. At that moment a motorcycle roared into the parking lot. Her thoughts fragmented into tiny shards. A rift ran down her spine.

Harrigan broke from her.

Too dizzy to stand up on her own, she pulled herself up with her cue and clutched the edge of the table. Harrigan couldn’t leave her. Their souls were intermingled. She couldn’t conceive of living without him. As the shock of the moment faded, she realized Harrigan was still with her. He’d separated but only partially.

Chase whistled, seemingly oblivious to her state of confusion. But the whistle stilled her dizziness.

“Nice break,” he said.

She stared at the table. Miraculously, she’d sunk two balls. Glad he hadn’t noticed her sway, she gripped the cue harder and leaned down again. Outside, a motorcycle engine pulsed its sound into the bar in time with the country music. It entered her spine in the space the bar had left. A vision of the black-visored rider slid through her mind. No. It couldn’t be the same man.

Lana straightened her back without taking a shot. The bar was her home; her better half; her only love. She had no use for motorcycle riders.

“Everything okay?” asked Chase at her side.

The sound of the engine stopped. Hopefully it’d vanished like before. And there was no way it was the same motorcyclist. She’d seen him in the middle of the city. From a glimpse through a window it appeared she was now in the middle of nowhere.

“Yeah, sorry. I’ll need to get back to work soon.”

She leaned down to take her shot and try to woo Harrigan to complete her again—she knew the bar enjoyed it when her opponent never even got a turn. But right as the cue slid between her fingers, the door swung open. In stepped a man with mussed brown hair and a scratched leather jacket. His stubble was shaggy; he probably hadn’t shaved for a few days. His umber eyes scanned the room like he was looking for someone. His gaze met hers, and her cue grazed over the white ball with a sound that made Chase cringe. But her ears were too filled with her own heartbeat to notice.

Interview Nails

I’ve been wanting to do special Shifting Into Love nails, but the story and the cover are taking all of my skills, which drains all of my energy.

And the stories aren’t paying my bills yet, so I’m in search of a job. I had interview two today for a choir directing job I’d really like to get. I’m having a third interview for it in a couple of weeks. Was it the nails that got me the third interview? 😉



Coffee Coffee Coffee

For lunch today I had coffee. Okay, I put other stuff in it, but it was really the buzz from the coffee that I needed. I sent a pic to my editor and she wanted the recipe, so I thought I would share it with all of you too!

Luscious PB Chocolate and Coffee Frappe


In a blender place an espresso shot or 1/3 cup coffee, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup and 1 cup ice. Blend until smooth. Pour half into a glass, drizzle in more chocolate syup and top off with the rest of the frappe. Enjoy!

But I’ve been in a bit of a writing funk recently and thought a change of venue would do me good. So I hopped over to Michael Thomas Coffee Roaster late in the afternoon and had a mochacinno. MMMMM. Richer than just a mocha:


Why am I feeling my writing is becoming an excuse for my coffee drinking?


B&B Episode 3 The Third Ship: The Finale

Thanks for joining me to the end of Episode 3. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. If all goes well, Episode 4 will be available for purchase tomorrow along with episodes 1-3 in a bundle. We’ve made it to the half-way point!

They spent the rest of lunch discussing all the places they’d traveled to. Charisse was shocked at all of the off road places Conor had been. She finally said, “I never pegged you as someone who’d like to camp.”

“It wasn’t really my thing. But my wife was a bit of an adrenaline junkie—Park Avenue to the Himalayas.”

He’d been animated while they talked and ate, but now he seemed to withdraw into himself. She didn’t know what had happened to his wife, but it was obvious to her that he missed her. She’d also wager he didn’t talk about her much and maybe needed to. She decided to press him about it. “Wow, did you guys climb the Himalayas?”

He stared at his plate. It had a few strips of meat, but he’d mostly finished the sandwich. “Not me. She went on her own. I was terrified the whole time she was gone. Not everyone comes back from those trips.”

Charisse held her breath, worried that might be how his wife had died.

Conor continued, “But she came back safely with a big ‘I told you so’ grin to greet me.”

Charisse relaxed and took the last bite of her sandwich.

Conor asked, “But what about you? You’ve been all over Europe.”

“Mostly for training. I tried not to roll my eyes the day I met you when you started going on about the extensive training your hairstylist had. I’ve probably been to the same places she’s been.”

Conor groaned and reached across the table to grab her hands. “I’m so sorry for being a rat bastard, as you said. You gave me the best haircut I’ve ever had, and I swear I haven’t been washing it every day per your instruction.”

She grinned. “I can tell. It looks better too.” She glanced at the watch on her wrist. “Shoot. I need to get back.”

He tightened his grip on her hands. “Have dinner with me tonight.”

She gazed into his blue eyes and lost track of time. She imagined if she said yes it might be the best date she’d ever had. But that damn contract. She knew now that Conor wasn’t trying to take advantage of her through it, but the thought of it made her squeamish.

Finally, she shook her head. “I just can’t yet. Please understand, I need to settle the business between us before I can move forward.”

“But it’s not even your fault. It’s Roy’s…”

“It’s my fault. I should’ve read the contract.”

His thumbs caressed the backs of her hands. In a softened voice that caused goosebumps to erupt on the back of her neck, he said, “You shouldn’t be punished for trusting your own father. There’s no way I’m selling the salon back to him. I want you to be the sole owner.”

She should just give in, but that way always brought her trouble. She had to be strong and sort the business out before the pleasure. “Thank you for not selling it back to him. Hopefully by Friday I’ll know one way or the other if I get the loan.”

Conor stared into her eyes, breaking down her crumbling resistance. Fortunately, he released her hands, and she gathered her wits together again.

They stood up and walked through the sandwich shop and out the door. The sun broke through the smog above and warmed her skin that had grown cold from the air conditioner.

She slipped her hand into his and said, “I’d really like to have lunch with you again.”

“How about tomorrow?”

She almost said yes right away, but decided two days in a row with Conor would be too much temptation. “No, that’s my official chore day with Marie. If we skip it, there’s mass chaos. How about Monday?”

“Done. I’ll clear my afternoon and maybe we can walk through the park after.”


“Just a walk in the park. I’ll only ask you a dozen or so times to dinner.”

She laughed and noticed his car was in front of her salon. Before they got closer, she stopped walking. What was she doing? She’d just turned him down to spending the weekend with him. She should not do what she so desperately desired—she shouldn’t kiss him again.

He turned, looking puzzled and sexy with his blue eyes staring out beneath dark bangs. Passion shot through her core and tore away her resistance. She stood on her toes to brush her lips across his, planning to keep it tame like earlier. But this time, he wrapped his arms around her back and held her tightly against his body. She slid her hands up his chest and locked her fingers together behind his neck.

Their lips pressed against each other and then released, only to meet again for another kiss and then another. He teased her lips apart with his and slid his tongue gently along hers.

Her whole body responded by leaning against him even more until she could feel his erection hardening against her belly. She needed this man soon. He was so unexpected—starting out as someone she should hate and turning into someone she trusted more than her family.

Her mind whirled with desire charging through her. What if the loan didn’t come through at all? The worry and lust caused heat to flare in her belly. Scared by her reaction to the kiss, she tried to draw away. He loosened his grip but finished the kiss properly.

He nuzzled below her ear and whispered, “You started it. I didn’t even ask this time.”

“I know. It was wrong.”

“No, it was oh so right. Call the bank first thing Monday. I can’t wait all week to kiss you like this again.”

He pressed his lips against hers one more time and then released her.

Shaken by pleasure and confusion, she turned and walked towards her salon.

His driver stepped out and walked around to open the door for Conor. As they approached, she peered closer at the driver. She knew him. How did she know him?

He was a little shorter than Conor and much older with gray and black hair. He was probably her father’s age or older.

She stopped short in shock.

The driver nodded his head and said, “Hello, Miss Larouche. How long has it been?”

Charisse gaped. Twenty years. But she didn’t say it out loud. Twenty years since her mother disappeared. Raul had been the last one to see her.

Coming Soon: