Monday, May 29, 2017

Eight Days In the Sun by M.K. Schiller ❤️ Review, Book Tour & Giveaway ❤️ (Contemporary Romance)



Love needs only one chance to shine . . .

He followed in his family’s footsteps and just graduated Marine boot camp. Now Mason Cutler’s personal mission is to get plenty of sun, surf, and no-strings romance in his favorite laid-back Florida beach town before shipping out. But a chance encounter with reserved Kiran Shenoy becomes a golden day of conversation, connection—and an intense attraction Mason can't walk away from. They make an agreement—eight sensuous days together without regrets or promises. Yet soon Mason is longing to convince the spirited woman behind Kiran's sad beautiful eyes to take a chance on even more . . .

All Kiran dared hope for was a chance to heal after a tragic accident and a devastating loss. Mason's freewheeling energy and head-on courage warms her scarred body and soul—and ignites her heart. But with their lives going in different directions, the only commitment they can make is a pact to meet again. Can what they feel survive Mason’s military duty, and Kiran’s second chance to restart her life? And can a desire sparked one summer night be enough for forever?



READ THIS BOOK!!!!!

No one, and I mean NO ONE can write love like M.K. Her brand of "love" isn't the shallow, superficial kind. Nope. M.K. writes true-blue, heart-squeezing, soul-deep love that will bring tears to your eyes. (At least it did to mine. No joke, I cried, like, four times during this book)

I liked that the book starts where most other romances end, with the guy and the girl in blissful euphoria because they have each other and that's all they need. I knew the "other shoe" was going to drop at some point, and knowing M.K.'s work like I do, I just knew it was going to be worth reading.

And it SO was.

I never expected Kiran and Mason to reunite in the way they did. It was definitely a challenge for them to find their way back to each other, and the book confronts some heavy issues along the way.

But the LOVE. My gosh. Words can't describe how absolutely wonderful this whole book was, from Kiran's quirky inner monologues to the depths of Mason's devotion. This is one of those books that I will always remember reading and reinforces why I will read ANYTHING written by M.K.!

(I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)


As an author, I occasionally get to step outside of my writing cave. In fact, I recently attended the Romantic Times Convention in beautiful Atlanta, Georgia. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the RT Convention is a place where thousands of readers, authors, bloggers and industry specialists journey yearly. Why? Because we all love books, specifically the kind with romance.
My father, although not a romance reader, was the person I credit for my love of books. There could be a party going on and he’d have his head in the new Tom Clancy novel. I remember he used to always say that reading makes you a better person. After all, books bring you closer to the human experience of someone else than any other art form. We may not get to walk in the character’s shoes, but we do get to hang around in their heads for several hundred pages (if we’re lucky). Never did I understand this more than at RT. Where else can you walk up to a random stranger and ask for a book rec? Where else can you stand in line for coffee and help a fellow author, you just met, figure out the log line for her next book? Where else can people talk about characters as if they were close friends?
There is also a sense of generosity and spirit among the attendees. Even the hotel staff commented on it. This is the kind of environment where New York Times bestsellers ask a new author what her book is about. I found mentors and readers and made many connections. Most of all, my father’s words never rang truer. Writers are readers first. A writer’s first emotion has to be empathy or else the writing will feel dispassionate and stiff. The words will not leap out of the page. Believe me, reading might be a sedentary activity, but any romance author will agree we want readers to pant and pulses to rise and hearts to skip a beat or two. Not to the point of a medical condition, but you get the picture
This year at RT, I was able to host a Romance – Bollywood party with several of my fellow Desi authors. We were able to show Bollywood tropes are similar to romance tropes in a fun way by miming them and showing video clips. It didn’t hurt that we had a handsome model to help us! Our books represent diversity in romance, but really they are not so different. I think that’s what my father meant. Reading brings out the best in people because it brings us together. We fall in love with the callous billionaire in Fifty Shades. Our heart ached for the little boy in the Kite flyer. We cheer for Hazel in The Fault in our Stars. We appreciate the differences, but even more importantly we discover the similarities.
If you happen to be at an RT Convention, come find me. I’ll be the girl looking for a good book rec.



Swinging my suitcase, I speed walk toward the elevator bank.

One of the cars is out of service. The other one is incredibly slow. By the time the doors finally open, I’ve silently sung the whole soundtrack of Rent, all five hundred twenty-five minutes and six hundred seconds of it.

“Hold it, please,” says the guy behind me as the doors begin to close.

I press the open button, but the doors keep closing. I jab it. The metal doors don’t stop.

“Sorry,” I say. “Can’t get it to open.” I throw my hand in the gap between the doors. Nope. Still moving shut. Guess it doesn’t have a safety. I pull my hand back before the doors slam.

He rushes toward me, a duffle bag slung across his shoulder. It’s too late, dude. They close. Well almost close. I gasp as a very large sneaker wedges between the doors.

“Ouch,” he says as the doors part.

“Are you all right?”

He smiles. “I’ll live.”

He presses the button for the tenth floor. The air in the elevator suddenly becomes heavier. It’s the same guy who held the front door for me, the one with the smoky southern flare in his voice.

“I swear I was trying to hold it open.”

“You were?” He looks straight into my eyes.

For some reason, I don’t shift my head down like I normally do. I’m not sure if this makes it worse or better. He’s a nice looking boy…man. Who the hell am I kidding? He’s hot, like you-might-mistake-me-for-anunderwear- model hot. He’s tall with defined, but not over-the-top, muscles.

His jeans are ripped in all the right places and his faded gray T-shirt reads free shrugs in all caps. He’s got a strong square jaw that’s a day or two past a shave. His eyes are an intense light blue, my favorite color. The T-shirt might as well say my superpower is being beautiful.

The doors close, trapping us in a space that seems to get exponentially smaller now that he’s sharing it with me. He runs his fingers through brownish hair. Umm…not exactly brown. I’d call the color milk chocolate spiced with threads of cinnamon and honey.

Get a grip. So what if he’s good-looking? This is freaking Beach Town, Florida. Next to seashells and citrus, cute boys are the largest produced crop. Wait. He asked me something, didn’t he? Oh yeah, it was about the stupid elevator. “I pushed the open door button.”

“It just closed anyway, huh?” He quirks an eyebrow, an amused expression on his face.

“It did. I swear. It isn’t working,” I say, pointing to the button with the picture of the triangles next to it.

“That’s the button you pushed?”

“Yeah.”

“You realize it’s the close door button, right?”

I stare at it and the one next to it. The placement seems wrong, but the pictures don’t lie. “I do now.”

The elevator jolts before the car stops completely. I stumble back.

“You all right?” he asks.

“What happened?”

“Looks like we’re stuck.”

I press the button for my floor. Nothing happens. So I start pressing the other buttons. Still nothing. No… This can’t be real. Getting stuck in an elevator with a super hot guy? This is the stuff of corny rom-coms.

“There’s no need to panic.”

“Not panicking,” I say as I hit a few more buttons.

“Are you claustrophobic?”

“No.” I sigh and lean back against the railing. I can still feel his gaze on me. “A little.”

“Heard it helps to think about something else.”

“Like what?” I curl my fingers around the steel railing at the back of the elevator.

He tilts his head, studying me. “Have we met?” he asks.

I replay the question in my head wondering if I heard correctly. When I laugh, the sound bounces off the walls and echoes inside the small elevator car. “Seriously?”

He does a face palm. “Crap, that sounds like a pick-up line. I swear it’s not.”

As if I’d think he was trying to pick me up. “I’m sure you’d remember if you knew me.”

“That’s true. How could I forget?”

For a second, I thought he might be making fun of me on some level. But there isn’t anything malicious in his voice. Taking a deep breath, I force myself to relax.

“Kiran Shenoy, right?”

I lift my head, wondering if I did know him. I think back to all the boys I went to high school with, but his face doesn’t register at all. It’s the kind of face that would register in triplicate. “How do we know each other?”

“No idea. I overheard the lady behind the front desk say your name.”

He holds out his hand…his very large hand. “Mason Cutler.”

I’ve been curling my fingers around the railing so tightly that I have to shake out my hand before taking his. His handshake is firm. I’m about to let go when he flips my wrist over. He presses his thumb against the ruby red mark there. Very few people notice it against my brown skin. His thumb slides back and forth in a short caress. The stain disappears against the pressure. It comes back slowly, deepening in color for a moment. My pulse spikes ten notches…maybe twenty. After an eternity, he finally lets go. It’s really only been two seconds, but it feels much longer, or maybe not long enough.

“It’s not a tattoo?”

“It’s a birthmark. They call it a port wine stain.”

“A fire stain.”

“Right.”

“I thought this was inked on since it’s shaped like a heart.”

The car starts up with a jolt. He gestures to the screen that signals we are moving. “See? No reason to panic.”

The doors open, ending the weirdest elevator ride in the history of the world.

“This is me,” I say, my fingers clutching the handle of my suitcase.

He holds one of the doors by leaning against it while I get out. I catch a hint of spicy, manly cologne and delicious boy. “Thank you.”

“We made it unscathed.”

“So we did.” I nod, accepting what happened. He was just being nice and trying to distract me with an introduction.

“Maybe I’ll see you around, Shenoy,” he says.

“Maybe.”

I turn just in time to see the doors close.


   

Chasing Love by Melissa West ❤️ Book Tour & Giveaway ❤️ (Contemporary Romance)



Farming family land on sunny Crestler’s Key, the sweet, sexy Littleton brothers are notorious bachelors. But all that will change when the right woman comes along…

There aren’t many things Charlie Littleton values more than his lifelong friendship with his buddy Lucas, currently home from a tour in Iraq. But when he discovers that Lucas’s younger sister, Lila, is back to assist the town’s overburdened veterinarian, Charlie is torn. She’s no longer the skinny, awkward kid he remembers, but a gorgeous woman—one Lucas would never approve of him dating. When Lucas asks him to watch out for Lila when he’s called to duty again, Charlie can’t say no—but he can’t pretend it’s easy to ignore his feelings either.

As a teen, Lila crushed on Charlie—hard—and the man he’s grown up to be is even more wonderful than she dreamed. Relationships are a tricky business, though, and too much history is at stake to risk one now. But every moment they’re together is heated by their simmering attraction—and one day an impulsive kiss leads to much more. What’s tangled in a matter of loyalty soon becomes a question of the kind of love worth chasing…



As an author, one of the most common questions I’m asked when someone learns what I do is, “What do you write?” This is an interesting question for me, because “romance” doesn’t seem to cover it and “Southern fiction” doesn’t quite work either. In truth, I write about life and my characters’ journeys to finding happiness in life. Sometimes that happiness involves discovering who he or she is at heart. Sometimes it’s about finding his or her career. But almost always, a part of that journey involves finding love and acceptance in another person.
Some might feel romance is a minor part of our lives, but for most people getting married and/or finding a person to spend your life with is a big, big deal. Because anyone who has been married for any amount of time knows that marriage is full of complexity. It is learning to compromise. It is learning to juggle multiple tasks. It is finding out how strong you are in the face of a newborn baby who refuses to sleep or the sudden death of a loved one.
The romance component of our lives isn’t a small detail, and it shouldn’t be trivialized in the book world either. It can’t be reduced to claims that it is nothing more than sexy covers or over-used plotlines. Love, marriage, partnership is a lot more than that, and those who write it, who read it, understand they are writing or reading about a lot more than a “shallow romance.” They are writing or reading about the largest, most important aspect of our lives.





“Nah-ah, boy, you better take that dog on out of here.”Charlie Littleton tightened his hold on Henry’s leash and shot
Patty a look. “You know he doesn’t bark.”The bakery owner placed a hand on her hip and cocked it for ef- fect. Like always, she wore an apron with the AJ&P Bakery yellow- and-blue logo on it, though you could scarcely see it through the flour and spices smeared across the apron.
“Right,” Patty said now. “A dog that don’t bark. Is that sort of like a man who don’t eat? Because as far as I’m concerned that’s a fic- tional being. Like the dog. But if you do find a man who will share his sandwich, you be sure to point him in my direction, okay? But seeing as how that man don’t exist, kind of like that nonbarking dog don’t exist, I don’t expect you to be introducing me to him anytime soon.” She winked at him and clucked her tongue. “Now, you take that cute bottom of yours out of here, leave the dog in your truck, then come back and I’ll make you a roast beef with extra au jus.”
Charlie peered around the bakery, the smells of fresh baked bread and toasted hot sandwiches hitting his nose. His stomach grumbled. Of course, the small bakery and sandwich shop was packed today, half the town there to witness Charlie getting put in his place. A part of him wanted to remind Patty that his family’s farm supplied most of her produce and could just as easily refuse to deliver, but he’d learned long ago to retreat slowly and carefully when dealing with the bakery owner.
“Fine, but I’m holding you to that extra au jus.”
Patty flashed him a grin. “It’ll be waiting for you, honey.” Then she waved her hand through the air in a sign that he better get mov- ing, and then she went to greet someone else. Someone without a dog.
Resigned, Charlie pushed out of the glass door and eyed his old Husky. “Sorry, boy. I’ll bring you some leftovers, though.” He un- locked his Silverado, cranked the truck, and rolled down the win- dows. It was a mild sixty out in Crestler’s Key, Kentucky, a perfect early spring day, but Henry meant more to him than most of the peo- ple in the town, and if he was going to be forced to stay in Charlie’s truck, then he’d do it with a nice breeze.
With a long glance down Main Street at the row of shops— Southern Dive, his family’s sports and outdoors shop at the very end—Charlie couldn’t help wondering if he was making the right de- cisions in his life.
He’d moved back to Crestler’s Key after living in the Florida Keys for five years. There, he’d operated a small scuba diving busi- ness, his life as much under water as above it. And he loved every moment of it. Then there were the women, too many to count, al- ways around, always eager to occupy a little bit of his time. He’d been content with that life, never asking for more and never wanting it. He was a typical twenty-something and enjoyed every bit of his young age.
Then he met Jade, and hell if he didn’t fall hook, line, and sinker. Still to this day, years later, he remembered with painful clarity her walking down the dock at the marina and stopping outside his houseboat, long sun-bleached blond hair and even longer legs. She was beautiful in that natural, God-made way—his kryptonite, when
it came to women, so all it took was one look and he was gone.
It took mere days, maybe even hours, for her to rope him into her world. She had innocence behind that beauty that he couldn’t refuse, and weeks passed with them tangled in each other’s arms, a new kind of happiness swirling in Charlie’s chest. She would never fill the spot someone else had once filled, someone he was never allowed to care for, someone he told himself he could—would—forget, but Jade made him feel good. They meshed together perfectly, peanut butter and freaking jelly.
Until that fateful day when he woke to discover she’d taken every- thing he owned. His dog. His wallet, which she used to drain his checking account. His prized possessions. Even the coin collection his grandfather had left him. Every. Single. Thing. Hell, if he hadn’t been on the houseboat, he felt sure she’d have sailed off with it, too.
And while, yeah, the money thing sucked, and the coin collection sucked even more, what really dropped him into the depression bucket was losing his old dog, Rocky.
He’d rescued Rocky as a puppy from the pound, more mutt than anything, and with a broken left leg. Thousands of dollars in vet bills later, and that dog was his only friend down there. And his idiotic self had let some vixen walk in and steal him.
The thought brought on a fresh wave of guilt, and he contem- plated going to talk to Patty again, convince her that they could sit out on the back patio, but then he’d been through this argument with her before. Besides, this was Crestler’s Key, not Florida, and he knew everyone in town. No one would take his dog.
Still, just to be safe, he hit the locks on his truck twice, before heading back into AJ&P, determined to rehash this with Patty before he left if she hoped to continue to get discounted produce from the farm.
“There you are, cute bottom.”
Ah, crap.
Grimacing, Charlie pivoted to find his best friend, Lucas, already seated at one of the white-washed wooden tables, a giant smirk on his face. “Funny,” Charlie said. “You know, I was excited to see you and then you had to go and open that big mouth.” The men laughed, then hugged, because it’d been too damn long.
They took their seats and Lucas joked, “Thought you were going to cry there when she said you couldn’t bring Henry in here.”
Charlie peeked out the window at his truck before returning his gaze to his friend. “Well, she ought to remember who’s supplying all her produce.”
“So you’re going to hold her produce ransom until she lets you bring in your dog? Dude, you need a chick in your life. Stat.”
Charlie laughed, until he glanced around and noticed several of the women he’d dated off and on eating at the bakery, half of them glaring at him. “Yeah . . . think I’ll pass on that one. Thanks, though.” “What’s the deal with your insane overprotectiveness of Henry
anyway? He’s a giant dog. He can take care of himself.”
Yeah, well, Rocky had been a big dog, too, and that didn’t save him from that thieving witch of a woman. Charlie had searched for the dog for nearly a year, all to no avail. Jade was probably halfway across the world now, with his money and his coin collection and his dog. Damn woman. No, damn women. They were more trouble than they would ever be worth.
Lucas continued to stare at him with a questioning look, but all Charlie could say was the same excuse he always said. Because no one, not Lucas, not his brothers Zac or Brady, no one knew about Jade or what she’d done to him. The humiliation would be too much.
“Henry had a rough childhood. Gotta protect the boy now.” “Right . . .”
MaryAnn, one of AJ&P’s waitresses, came over then to get their order, and Lucas smiled a little too wide at his former high-school flame before clearing his throat and trying for mock-cool. Charlie suppressed a grin. MaryAnn, with her wavy blond hair and deep brown eyes, still looked exactly as she did in high school. And just like in high school, she was still 100 percent in love with Lucas. “Hey, there,” MaryAnn said, matching his smile. “I didn’t know you were home.”
Lucas shrugged. “Three-day leave before going back.”
“When is your tour over?” she asked, her eyes filling with a bit of hope that she probably wished wasn’t there. She and Lucas had mu- tually ended their relationship when she realized he intended to be a career soldier, and having lost her brother in Iraq, she said she couldn’t live that life. It was a mature decision, they had both said, but now ten years later, they both still looked like they regretted it. And come to think of it, Charlie couldn’t remember a single woman Lucas had dated seriously since ending things with MaryAnn.
With another careful glance at his old girlfriend, Lucas relaxed into his chair, the single thing between them now back front and center. “Three months, then I’ll have a few weeks off, before another one.”
MaryAnn nodded slowly, and then flipped her attention over to Charlie for the first time, like she couldn’t bear to look at Lucas an- other second. “Your regular?”
“Yeah, though Patty promised extra au jus if I left Henry in the truck.”
“What’s up with you and that dog?”
Lucas laughed. “Didn’t you know? He’s married to that dog. Pa- pers and all.”
“Again, funny.”
Both MaryAnn and Lucas laughed, until they made eye contact with each other and both went mum. She took their order and saun- tered off, her shoulders drooped a little, and Charlie couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Seriously?”
“What?” Lucas asked.
Charlie deadpanned. “What? Are you freaking kidding me? The whole town could feel that tension. Why not try?”
Lucas took a drink of his sweet tea, set it down, then did it again, like he wasn’t ready to speak yet. Or maybe he didn’t know what to say. “She made her intentions clear years ago. Her mind’s not changing.”
“She’s older now. Y’all were teenagers then. Maybe she wants you to make the first move.”
“Says the dude who hasn’t been on a real date since . . .” Lucas cocked his head. “Come to think of it, I don’t think you’ve ever been on a real date.”
“Whatever. I date.”
“Sure you do,” Lucas said, relaxing now that the spotlight wasn’t on him. “You sound just like Lila, always deflecting.”
And just like that, just the mention of her name, and Charlie sat up taller, eager to hear anything that might have to do with Lucas’s little sister. “What’s up with Lila these days? Still in vet school?” He thought of Lucas’s only sister, two years younger and forever tag- ging along with the two boys when they were kids. She’d always been pretty in a sweet, natural way, her smile and laugh infectious. Charlie looked after her when Lucas left for basic, but then Charlie moved to the Keys and Lila moved away to college, and he hadn’t seen her since.
“Actually she finished school. Went to work in Charlotte for a while, but she moved back to town a week ago.” He took another drink of his tea, his look distant now, and Charlie got the distinct im- pression that Lucas was keeping something from him.
“Why’d she move back to town?” Charlie asked. He wondered what Lila looked like now, if she’d kept her black hair cropped short like she had when she was little. But then most women changed their hair all the time, so it could be long now—beautiful. She probably had men waiting in lines to get her attention, that bright smile of hers forever turning the eye of everyone she passed. It had certainly caught his eye.
Lucas shrugged. “Work stuff.”
MaryAnn returned then with their food, saving Lucas from ex- plaining, but something was definitely going on. Still, it wasn’t Char- lie’s business, and he was never one to pry.
“She ever marry?” All right, so maybe he was one to pry. “Nah, not her thing.”
Charlie perked up at the thought, his heart light—happy. Wow, Lila wasn’t married. He’d expected her to be—
But before he could finish the thought, Lucas pointed at him. “Don’t even think about it.”
Charlie threw up his hands. “Think about what?” “Lila. And you. You and Lila.”
A sarcastic laugh broke from his lips, despite the uneasiness in his chest. “You go insane again? This is me. She’s like a little sister to me.”
Lucas settled in his chair again, but his face was still tense. “Right . . . just like the last time. My thoughts on this haven’t changed.” Cringing, Charlie thought of that fateful day in high school when he’d asked Lucas about his sister. It was a simple question—Is Lila around? Three words, nothing more. He and Lucas had always been best friends, but somewhere along the way, Charlie started noticing Lila more and more. Curious where she was, how she was doing. But needless to say, the conversation with his friend didn’t go well.
Lucas went ballistic, shouting all the reasons Charlie wasn’t to touch his sister, and their friendship meant enough to him that he didn’t.
“Relax, man. I’m not going after your sister.”
Besides, Lila was the furthest thing from Charlie’s type now. He wasn’t into doctors or the professional type. Lucas had nothing to worry about. Nothing. But still, he couldn’t deny that he was curious what adult Lila looked like and whether she would remember the time they’d almost . . .
No, surely not.
Even if he would never forget.

   

Smoke and Mirrors by Susan Harris ❤️ Book Blitz & Giveaway ❤️ (Paranormal Romance)



Ever Chace is a Valkyrie, but not just any Valkyrie—she’s a Valkyrie queen in the making.

Torn between the past and present, love and obligation, Ever is terrified of saying the words that would break the curse she is bound to. Pushing Derek away hasn’t simplified things; it has only made her miserable. With her father waking, and her and Derek’s lives on the line, can she really shy away from who and what she is becoming? How long can Ever keep her past lives a secret?

Pushing thoughts of his mate aside, Derek tries to focus on the task at hand—tracking down a monster that leaves nothing but a husk behind. But Ever is never truly off his mind, even as two of his own become targets of the unsub. Can he set his personal distractions aside to keep his team alive?




Interview with a vampire…part deux

As a child, I’d always imagined what it would be like if vampire’s, my favourite supernatural creature, was real. Now, since the supernatural community had revealed themselves to the world, I sat in the interrogation room at the Paranormal Investigations Team’s HQ, waiting to interview my second vampire. As intimidated as I was when I interviewed the breathtakingly beautiful, Caitlyn Hardi, this time around, I was terrified.
My subject for today, Melanie Newton, was the youngest vampire I had ever been around, and from all that I heard, baby vampires had the least impulse control. From recordings I’ve made, Melanie seemed to have a strong grasp of control, but that didn’t stop me from being afraid. I dressed down for the interview, my normal attire I suppose, in order to not only make myself comfortable, but to show Melanie that I was just like her.
Dressed in jeans, well-worn DC shoes, a t-shirt that said “You only live once, unless your surname is Winchester,” with a check shirt thrown over for good measure. Melanie was well known for her slogan tees, and I loved that little quirk about her.
The door to the interrogation room opened and Caitlyn Hardi strolled in, gave me a brief nod of the head before sanding in the corner while Melanie came in. Dressed in black skin tight jeans tucked into boots and a crimson Fangtasia tee, I couldn’t help but return the grin Melanie gave me.
Her strawberry blonde hair hung loose around her shoulders, eyes of rich jade looking right at me, Melanie had been pretty as a human, but the same chemical magic mumbo jumbo that made humans immortal, seemed to accentuate the features on most vampires and made them stunning. But, from what I had seen of Melanie previously, I was certain she had no idea how beautiful she really was.

Plonking down across the table from me, Melanie flashed her teeth and said. “Caitlyn’s here to make sure I don’t rip out your jugular. Sarge says it would be bad publicity. That okay?”
“With you ripping out my jugular? Um no. But with Caitlyn staying, no worries.”
Caitlyn chuckled even as she shook her head, closing the door so we could get started.

SH: Melanie thanks for agreeing to this interview today. I know you all have a big case going on at the moment.
MN: Ya, and I’m a little nervous that I might mess something up…or you know kill someone.
I glance at Caitlyn, who only shrugs.
SH: how does it feel to now be a full-time member of P.I.T? I mean, you were before, but from behind a desk. now you get to kick ass and take names...
MN: I guess it's just different. I always felt a little on the outside before, even though everyone always tried to make me feel included. I will say it's great to know that I can definitely take care of myself now .... I mean look what happened to me out there as a human lol.
SH: but that had nothing to do with you being human, I mean, Derek got himself kidnapped not so long ago and he's all wolfy and male...
MN: Maybe but let's be honest - they would NEVER have let me out there to help as I was .... and that would always have kept me separate from the team.
SH: that’s true…I understand…I asked Sarge once if I could go on a ride along and he simply glared at me in that way that makes you want to comply… Did it really take becoming a vampire to make you feel part of the team?
MN: I think so .... but I think a lot of that is probably on me. I'm sure if you ask the others they probably didn't see it that way. But being around them all day, with the amazing things they can do .... now I AM one .... it is all the more obvious how much I wasn't before. I mean how do YOU feel when you are around u
It was then that Caitlyn interjected with a sad sigh.
CH: We would never have thought less of you because you were human.
SH: Hey (I say with palms up) I'm supposed to be asking the questions...but I get it, being around all these powerful supernatural creatures can be a little intimating....
MN: *Flashes her fangs* which earns her another glare from Caitlyn
SH: OK OK (I say with a grin) Next question.
I begin to relax, the ease of the interview, and the fact that Melanie seems so comfortable in her skin now, something that I feared she would be missing since becoming a vampire.

SH: How has your training been going? I mean, vampire strength is one thing, but I'm pretty sure Caitlyn could take you down without breaking a sweat!
MN: It's a learning curve for sure! But I have great teachers, and they certainly have no problem putting me in my place if I am getting a little full of myself
SH: Let me guess, Donnie? (I say with a smile.)
MN: lol yes - he certainly reminds me who's boss!

We share a laugh and I take a second to consider my next question.
SH: How do the rest of the team treat you now that you’re a vampire?
MN: *laughs* they are getting used to me. Seriously they have been amazing especially Ricky *sighs*. There is always that fear that you could lose control you know ... I mean that is ALWAYS there .... but they know how this works and I couldn't ask for better support
SH: And speaking of everyone’s favourite sexy smartass…do you think that he’s a little intimidated that now, you outrank him on a supernatural level?
MN: HA!!!!! Oh, I hope so!!!! Wouldn't that be fun I don't think intimidated is the right word though .... honestly, he scares me .... but don't tell him that.
SH: Why does Ricky scare you? Anytime I’ve chatted to him, he’s been a sweetheart.
MN: He has more power in him that I think anyone can realize .... or maybe he just makes me feel that way. I mean have you SEEN him?? You can’t be in a room with him and not notice.
There is a slight hitch in her voice as Melanie talks about Ricky, but having met the man himself, I can understand the effect Ricky has on a mere mortal, but someone he gives the full charm offensive to, damn …you’d be a goner.
SH: There is no room that Ricky Moore can walk into without being noticed for sure...but then again...all you guys have that same aura about you!
MN: Really? Hmmmm maybe it's a supe thing. I don't notice it so much with other people though
SH: For an obvious reason (I say with a smirk)
MN: Ricky has always had a different effect on me .... even when I was human.
SH: (I glance quickly at Caitlyn before I continue.) Maybe it’s that thing, you know. That there will always be one person in the room that has this pull to them, and no matter how hard you try, the magnetism will not go away
MN:* Looks around the room before quite obviously avoiding the issue* Hmm yeah ok,this interview just got far too intense .... don’t you have some fun questions your readers want to know?
SH: So you really just want to ask you about TV shows you like? Sure you wouldn’t like to continue talking about Ricky?
MN: TV shows sounds FANTASTIC

SH: Okay. okay… I get it …so what do you watch? And by the way, what’s it like to live in Caitlyn’s house? I mean that place is impressive!
MN: That place is AMAZING! Seriously it doesn't feel real half the time. I wake up and expect it all to have been a dream...... now if certain other people living in the house would just accept (gets scathing look from Cait) ....... ummmmmm *pauses as she tries to change direction* ........ oh never mind let's just go with it's amazing! What was the other question? What do I like to watch *Laughs* ...How long do you have?
SH: Just accept what? C'mon Melanie you can’t leave me hangin'
MN: *Glances over at Cait* .... nope you're on your own
SH: Really? Do you not think readers would LOVE an inside look into your family dynamic?
MN: Not my story to tell. Hey, you should interview Donnie ...... I bet you could get some great insights from him.
*With a look of pure glee on her face, Melanie turns to Caitlyn. *
Ha look at that - guess I am learning some restraint *Toothy Gin*
SH: Donnie’s next on my list but he keeps dodging me...like I’m the one with the ability to read minds! And damn you and your restraint! I want the lowdown.
MN: Yes, Donnie is very good at avoiding things.
SH: Like?
MN: interviews and awkward questions lol
SH: Dude, your poker face is on point!
*hums a few bars from the Lady Gaga song*
SH: *I laugh and say, as I sneak a peek at Caitlyn, who simply arches her brow at me. *
I'm not going to get a straight answer from either of you ever am I?
NM: What can I say - I learned from the best
There’s a knock at the door and Ricky pops his head in...."Hey sorry guys, but we got some techy stuff that we could use Melanie's help with.” Then he vanishes out the door again
MN: Oooh saved by the warlock
SH: What’s with the Melanie? what happened to Lanie?
MN: *shadows cloud her eyes for just a moment before she answers* .... it's complicated *sigh*
SH: Why do I feel that story should be told over a drink., off the record?
MN: that definitely sounds like a plan!

SH: Before you go, I have a present for you! * I pull out a t-shirt in a moss green colour (nothing at all to do with Ricky's eyes!) and hand it to Melanie *
MN: What's this? - I do LOVE a good T-Shirt
Melanie holds up the tee: it has a picture of a cat with the slogan “Schrodinger's cat walks into a bar. and doesn't.”
Melanie unfolds the shirt and erupts in fits of childish giggles
MN: This is BRILLIANT - Schrodinger's cat walks into a bar. and doesn't
Melanie shows the T-Shirt to Caitlyn say who remarks that this is just what Melanie needs - another sarcastic shirt. This causes both Melanie and myself to share a laugh while Caitlyn rolls her eyes some more at us.
SH: I know you like your tees as much as I do, so you can wear it ...or don't …man that’s such a horrible joke!
CH: You two are far too alike.
I think it’s the greatest compliment Caitlyn could give ever give me.

I stand as they make to leave the room, and am surprised as Melanie embraces me in a quick hug. Then she zips from the room as Caitlyn pauses in the doorway when I say her name.
SH: After all she’s been through, she really is remarkable.
CH: She is the very best of us.

Then Caitlyn is gone from the room and I finally let go of the air in my lungs. I realize, after my interview with Melanie, that while the team may be filled with members who are a little worn around the edges, it might take the tech turned vampire girl to show them all that dying doesn’t mean that you stop living; it simply gives you another perspective on what living really means.
And I have a feeling that things are about to change very rapidly.




Caitlyn bade Derek farewell and left him staring out at the stars. Making her way outside, she inhaled the night air, tasting the frost in the air before it quickly evaporated, her lungs no longer functional. Her heels clicked against the concrete as she hurried towards her car, the sound of her name being called as she reached the car hasting her movement.
“You heading home?”
Donnie had sensed when she’d left the station and would, of course, make sure she was alright before he continued on with his duties.
“I am. Are you staying here for a while?”
Folding his arms across his chest, Donnie tilted his head and narrowed his gaze. “Yeah, I have one or two leads to follow up before I head out. I should get home just after sunrise.”
“Okay, I shall see you then.” Caitlyn turned around as she heard Donnie swear. A hand on her waist caused her to pause, and she turned back to face him.
He never spoke, never made a sound, but the look in his eyes told her exactly what was about to happen. Donnie crushed his lips to hers, pushing her back against the car so that she was trapped between the metal and his overwhelming mass, ensuring that she could not escape.
It was not a gentle kiss, but a claiming of sorts—a strong, bruising meeting of lips that told Caitlyn that Donnie was done waiting and intended to take what he considered his. He nipped her bottom lip, drawing blood, the copper taste mingling with Donnie’s own unique taste. He gave a little groan, and with a little more pressure on her lips, Caitlyn opened up as Donnie tasted, sucked on, and devoured her mouth. And when Caitlyn felt her control slip, eager to succumb to the passion that this man excited from her, Donnie pulled back, finally allowing her space.
“I had to do that. I needed you to know what my intentions are, Cait. I don’t care who claims you are theirs; you are mine, and I plan to seduce you into agreeing with me. I’m the only man you need worry about, Caitlyn Hardi. Because I am yours—now, forever, and always.”


   

Sunday, May 28, 2017

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