Thursday Tidbits: Home Healthcare Visit


NurseI had an interesting morning. Hubby and I had a home healthcare nurse come to the house and give us each a brief checkup plus go over our health care needs. This is a free service offered by United Healthcare because we’re enrolled in one of their Advantage plans.

The nurse, a very nice young lady, asked the usual questions about our health history, doctors (including specialists) and medications we each take. I take quite a few! Then she checked our blood pressure (hubby’s was a bit high) and listened to our hearts and lungs. All clear there, I’m happy to say.

Unfortunately, my blood sugar is up, no big surprise. We’ve been overindulging in carbs, especially sweet treats lately. Need to stop that! A report will be sent to our family doctors (we have different docs, but both in the same office.) I’m sure I’ll be hearing from mine. Cringe!

This visit was voluntary, not mandatory. We were a bit leery of it when United called to schedule the appointment. Would the home healthcare worker tell us some of our medications are too expensive and we’d need to change to something cheaper? Nope. She actually offered to see if we qualify for help in paying for a couple of them. I doubt we will but, hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

We’ll get a call next year to set up another appointment if we want to, and we probably will. There’s nothing to lose but a little time and who knows what the nurse might discover? Such as high blood sugar.Yikes!

Have any of you had experience, good or bad, with such visits? Do you want to share? Be my guest, please.

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Book Award News


BPnominee2014

Big news! Dearest Irish (Texas Devlins, book 3) has been nominated for a 2014 Readers’ Choice Award on Books and Pals in the Romance category. Books and Pals is an influential online review site dedicated to indie authors like me. Had to share the news with y’all! Voting opens on March 2nd. I’ll post a reminder that day. Sure hope you’ll vote for me and spread the word to your friends!

WordPress Cover 2

If you would like to learn more about Big Al and his Pals, visit these sites:

http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BooksAndPals

 

Dearest Irish (Texas Devlins, Rose’s Story)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CK9LGA2

http://tinyurl.com/l64ctss (Barnes & Noble))

Monday Author Meetup: Chad Strong, Romantic Horse Lover


Chad Strong Photo

About the author:

Canadian writer Chad Strong has been around horses most of his life, riding western on rugged trails and in small amateur horse shows. His first novel, High Stakes, is a western historical romance set in Victoria, BC on Canada’s west coast, where he lived for many years. Currently he lives in southern Ontario with his wife and their three dogs and four cats. Welcome, Chad!

Chad says:

Lyn, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’m happy to share my experience as a contributor to Rawhide ʼn Roses (A Western Romance Anthology.)

I came to be part of this project rather serendipitously. In May 2012 I had just published my first novel, High Stakes, a western historical romance, through Musa Publishing, and was searching for ways to promote it when I stumbled upon a group of writers having some interesting conversations on an Amazon forum dedicated to western historical romances. I discovered these ladies to be friendly, intelligent, dedicated to their craft – and very supportive of each other.

When the anthology was first proposed I immediately saw the potential to be part of something great. I’ve published several short stories across different genres, and was intrigued by the challenge this anthology presented. Writing short stories is in many ways even more demanding than writing novels – distilling a completeness of character and situation into just a few pages is daunting. The authors contributing to this anthology are all very talented, their stories diverse, and I’m grateful to be included in this collection.

My approach to writing for the anthology began with an idea for a young adult story in a contemporary setting with which I was familiar. Stable Hands, Stable Hearts grew out of my love for horses and for living life with them.

Stable Hands, Stable hearts

by Chad Strong

Stable Hands,Stable Hearts

Story Blurb:

17-year old Scott is all set to win his first Hi-Point trophy at the last horse show of the year. But when he thinks he spots the girl of his dreams, will his feelings for her distract him from winning?

Excerpt:

The announcer called something over the loudspeaker, startling Scott back to the present. His heart still pounding, he noticed his shallow breathing and moist palms and knew they were not show-ring jitters.

The class was Western Equitation.  Scott settled Dakota into a walk along the rail well behind the horse in front of him.  He breathed deep and slow, trying to relax — he didn’t need his nerves upsetting Dakota.  But he had to know if it was Jenny. He hadn’t seen her since last summer, nearly a year ago.  Why hadn’t he heard from her in the past three weeks?  The last she’d said her family was moving nearer her dad’s new job so she might not be able to write much.

He signaled his horse to perform the judge’s requested gait changes, reverses, and other maneuvers, trying not to blow the class.   If it wasn’t her, he could be allowing himself to be distracted by a complete stranger.

Finally the judge instructed them to all line up, facing him, in the center of the arena. Scott swung Dakota in alongside the other competitors.  The judge asked them to back their horses.  Scott remembered to keep a smile on his face.

A few moments later, the announcer’s voice came over the PA:

In First Place, Novice Western Equitation, Number 14, Scott Archer, Riding Dakota Raider!”

His eyes searching the trailer area, it wasn’t until Scott heard his own name that he snapped back to the ring.  His heart swelled in his chest and he patted Dakota’s neck as he squeezed him forward to receive their blue ribbon.  “Way to go, buddy,” he said.

Thanking the girl who passed him their ribbon, he exited the ring and rode toward the trailers.  Weaving through the crowd of spectators, competitors, and horses, he halted Dakota with a quick intake of breath.  It was his Jenny!  And she was looking right at him!

But standing with his back to Scott and his hand on Jenny’s shoulder was a guy he’d never mistake – Derek.  Derek pivoted to see what Jenny was looking at and scowled.  Was this why she’d stopped writing?  Because she’d come back to be with Derek and didn’t want to tell him?

Rawhide ʼn Roses will be released on March 15, 2014. Meanwhile, you might like to try Chad’s exciting novel, High Stakes.

High Stakes Cover

Blurb:

Nominated by the Western Fictioneers for their Best First Western Novel of 2012 Peacemaker Award, High Stakes is a compelling tale with the grit of a western and the allure of a romance.

Young gambler Curt Prescott returns home to Victoria, BC after a three-month poker circuit on the mainland. A new “Moral Action Committee” has sprung up in his absence. Headed by the wife of the new preacher, the committee threatens to cast out all soiled doves and gamblers from the city.

Curt  meets the new preacher, “Bud” Andrews, Bud’s shrewish wife, Sarah, and their idealistic daughter, Mary. Bud seeks to convert Curt while Curt plans to destroy the committee, even if it means seducing Mary to shame the family. Pressures mount for Curt as he tries to help his young constable friend keep the peace with a notorious lowlife, while at the same time trying to ease his jealous girlfriend Del’s insecurities. As Curt falls in love with Mary, the battle for his lifestyle becomes a battle of life and death, and of love lost and found.

Excerpt:

Mary grasped Curt’s arm. “This is wonderful. I’m having such a good time.”

“I’m glad.” He took the hand that grasped his sleeve and knitted their fingers together. Mary smiled and squeezed his hand. He felt that tingling sensation again.

They walked another half-mile to a place where the banks were less steep and the trees fell away for a small grassy meadow. The sun was high in the western sky and warmed them the instant they stepped into the open. The meadow was still surrounded by dense forest, still very private.

“Shall we sit awhile?” Curt asked her.

She nodded and they sank down onto the thick, soft grass, facing the creek. Mary drew a deep breath of the sweet spring air and hugged her up drawn knees.

“Feeling better?” he asked, leaning on his left hand and propping his right elbow on his right knee.

“Yes, much.” She smiled at him. “I feel as free as a bird.”

“I’m glad.” He beckoned her eyes with his. “I’m enjoying myself too, Mary. I really enjoy being with you.”

She blushed, and bit on her lower lip.

He chuckled softly. “I wish you didn’t embarrass so easily. It makes it hard for me to tell you how pretty you look sitting there, with the sun shining in your hair.”

The intensity of his stare drew her eyes to his and locked them there. He lifted his hand and touched her hair. She stiffened, and held herself frozen. He leaned over the inches between them and placed a soft kiss on her temple. He heard her sharp intake of breath.

“Are you afraid of me, Mary?” he asked, his breath fanning her ear.

“N-no. That’s silly.” She hugged her knees tighter.

He dipped his head and placed another kiss on her cheek. Her eyes ran away from his. “Mary. Mary, look at me.”

She bit on her lip again, then released it as she met his eyes once again. Holding her captive with only his gaze, he pressed a brief, warm kiss to her lips. She stiffened again, holding her breath, and did not exhale even after he’d drawn away. He cupped her cheek with his palm to keep her face toward him.

“That was nice,” he said softly.

She shivered, at last breathing out, and he sensed that one more kiss would send her running from him. He sat back but held her hand firmly in his. He could feel her anxiety in her rigid fingers. Gently, he stroked them, until at last she relaxed and met his eyes once again. There was uncertainty in them, a little fear, too, but there was also a small spark of awakened desire. He believed she was as close to wanting a man as she’d ever come. In time, she would want him beyond all reason, and she would surrender to him. And the spark he saw made him wonder if there was more passion hidden beneath her shy, quiet exterior than he had so far given her credit for. He was definitely going to find out.

Available from:

Amazon     Musa Publishing     Barnes and Noble     Smashwords     ChaptersIndigo

Find Chad on these sites:

http://chadstrongswriting.weebly.com

www.frontiertales.com

http://www.amazon.com/Chad-Strong/e/B00BKPSV3M/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Thursday Tidbits: Kitchen remodeling, anyone?


Kitchen

My husband and I are preparing to remodel our kitchen. Our appliances are showing their age, the cabinets put in by our builder are less than great (read cheap) and an updated kitchen is supposed to add more value to a house than anything else.

So far we’ve applied for a home equity loan, attended a presentation at a kitchen remodeler’s store, gotten starry-eyed over their gorgeous displays and had their designer out to our house. She looked over the layout, suggested changes we hadn’t even thought of, and shocked us with her price estimate. Who would have thought new cabinets, granite countertops, and moving an itty-bity wall would add up to so much? Since we’re far from rich, some shopping around is in order.

stoveA week or so ago we also visited a couple appliance stores. Oh my, so much shiny stainless steel! It almost blinded me. Hubby is determined to go stainless, me not so much. I can see myself constantly wiping off fingerprints. Yes, I know you can get it in a platinum finish that isn’t supposed to show prints, but that’s only on refrigerators, not on dishwashers and ranges, we were told. That information doesn’t exactly thrill me. The helpful salesman didn’t make a sale.

Anyway, we’re in the looking stage, not ready to buy. No, un-uh, can’t talk me into it. Well, unless I absolutely fall in love with one of those sparkling beauties. I’m also a sucker for a bright red or yellow sale tag. Is it a good price? I dunno, but it screams SALE!

And then there’s all the other stuff: floor tiles, plumbing fixtures, tiled backsplash (hubby’s keen on that) and new lighting so I can see what I’m doing and not cut off any fingertips. A sink big enough to wash a roasting pan in without doing contortions and splashing soapy water all over myself, the countertop and floor would also be nice. I hate the dinky double sinks we have now! Give me an old-fashioned country style sink any day.Sinks

Have I covered everything, all the choices we’ll have to make? Probably not. I foresee months of shopping, getting quotes, “discussing” how much to spend, and living without a functioning kitchen once the demolition begins. Eek! No microwave? How can I go on without one? And where will we put all the dishes, pots and pans, cereal boxes, etc., etc., etc?

Honey, we’d better start collecting storage boxes!

Monday Author Meetup: Jacquie Rogers’ Hearts of Owyhee Bonus


JacquieRogers_150w

About the author:

Jacquie Rogers is a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker, but always a bookworm. Reading is her passion–westerns, fantasies, historicals of any era, all with a dash of romance. If an author can make her laugh, she’ll buy every book he/she ever wrote. Jacquie now lives in suburbia with her husband and one pampered cat, but her stories often take place in rural Idaho, where she grew up.

Jacquie says:

Thanks for swapping blogs with me today, Lyn! I’m so excited to participate in the Rawhide ‘n Roses anthology with you and thirteen other authors, ramrodded by Susan Horsnell. I hope everyone reads Lyn’s excerpt of her story, The Lawman’s Lady, at Romancing The West.

These stories are short-short, only 2,000 words, a sample of what readers can expect when they buy our books. We all have very different styles and voices, so this collection of stories should be interesting, for sure!

HOO-Banner-BooksOneThruFour

My Rawhide ‘n Roses story, a bonus to the Hearts of Owyhee series, is Much Ado About Misfires, starring Reuben Wallace and Lucy Gwynn. It’s set in 1874 in a rollerskating rink. Yes, skating was wildly popular then, even though their skates were crude by today’s standards—no stopping block, for one thing.

Here’s a little more about it:

Reuben Wallace couldn’t ask his sweetheart to marry him when he had no means to support her. Now, four years later, he’s built a horse ranch and he needs a wife. He heard that the new rollerskating rink was all the rage, and the ladies congregated there. With luck, he’ll find his Lucy.

Lucy Gwinn expects her beau to propose but he’s just another second-best man. Her heart has always belonged to Reuben, the big hard-headed lug. But her beau is content with circling around the rink—until Reuben knocks them all head over teakettle. Can Reuben score a perfect ten on his first try?

Here’s an excerpt:MuchAdoAboutMisfires-Border

“Are you married?” Reuben asked Lucy.

“No.”

“Good. I came here to marry you and take you back to the ranch. I just built a house with two bedrooms and we can easily build on. There’s no furniture but I have enough money with me for you to buy all we need for now.”

“How did you know I was here?”

“I didn’t—heard tell your folks had moved to town so I reckoned we could get married. Seems like a danged good idea to me.”

“You’re direct, but then you always have been. What if I don’t want to marry you?”

“In that case, I guess you wouldn’t, but I’m hoping you will. We get on good and always have, and there ain’t no prettier girl in the county.”

“If I’m the prettiest girl, then don’t you think I should marry the handsomest man?”

That stopped him short. She had a point—why should she marry him? “Is that a ‘no’?”

She pulled him to his feet, but he was none too steady. “That’s a ‘we haven’t seen each other for four years so we should get reacquainted with each other.’ Let’s skate.”

♥ ♥ ♥

Much Ado About MinersRawhide ‘n Roses won’t be on sale until March 15, 2014, but I have several other books and short stories out. The latest novel is the fourth offering in the Hearts of Owyhee series, Much Ado About Miners. I had a lot of fun with this story and incorporated some of my fondest childhood memories in it, although in vastly altered form. Plus, Kade and Iris had a lot of fun with biscuits. Here’s the blurb:

Cupid’s bullet…

Hired gun Kade McKinnon interrupts a bank holdup and is shot by the teller, Iris Gardner, whose victims have a tendency to be the next groom in town. Will he be the groom this time?

Cupid’s bow…

Iris Gardner, a smart, independent bank clerk, fell in love with Kade when she was too young to know better. So when he walks back into her life and her bank, it’s only fitting that she shoots him … by accident, of course. But she’s a suffragist now, so his charms can’t affect her…right?

Cupid’s blindfold…

Kade doesn’t know Iris’s company is the one who hired him to escort a bullion shipment, and Iris doesn’t know Kade owns the security company, but they both know robbers are on their trail. Which is more likely to be stolen—the silver, or his heart?

And an excerpt of

Much Ado About Miners

by Jacquie Rogers

Iris stood and gazed into Kade’s eyes with a passion that made him want to kiss her right there, on her engagement day. “You know a whole lot of things I know nothing about,” she whispered.

He took a stride toward her. “When you hit your head, you asked me if I’d kissed you.”

“I vaguely remember.”

“Why did you ask that?”

“Be-because…” Her mouth opened a little bit, and she licked her upper lip. Kade had all he could do to keep from sweeping her up in his arms and making love to her the way a man should—the way she deserved to be loved.

“Do you want to kiss me?”

“No!” But she nodded, and Kade stepped closer, to within an inch of her, and it took all his willpower to stop there.

“The way you kiss Edward?”

“I, uh, don’t…” She gazed into Kade’s eyes. “We never…” She touched her forefinger to her lips.

“Just one kiss, then, so you know how to do it.” He pulled her close, pressing her back so her breasts pressed into him. “Put your arms around me, princess.”

She brushed her hands over his sides and when she caressed his back, he could barely hold back from ravishing her. “Tilt your head back and open your lips just a little.”

As she did, she whispered, “Just this once.”

He’d make her remember “just this once” forever.

Books by Jacquie:

Much Ado About Marshals http://amzn.com/B0058ON1LS

Much Ado About Madams http://amzn.com/B007HRTQ0O

Much Ado About Mavericks http://amzn.com/B008EDN9T4

Much Ado About Miners http://amzn.com/B00HGUD17G

Sleight of Heart http://amzn.com/B00FMZYP5Y

Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues http://amzn.com/B002BWPCZS

Faery Special Romances http://amzn.com/B001C4QN4A

Find all of Jacquie’s books and short stories here:

http://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Rogers/e/B002BM1XO2

Visit Jacquie on these sites:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Pickle Barrel Gazette

Romancing The West | Pickle Barrel Bar & Books

Cats, Cats and More Cats!


Cover for wattpad

When I wrote my memoire, Six Cats In My Kitchen, I really did have six of the little darlings who crowded around my feet in the early morning, eager for their stinky fish breakfast. All six have gone to kitty heaven now, but they live on in my heart. One doesn’t ever forget one’s children, and that’s what they were to me.

As with my human children, there were times when I wanted to strangle each and every one, but the moment always passed in the blink of a beautiful cat’s eye. That’s all they had to do, just gaze at me as if asking what I was all worked up about, and my exasperation melted away.

Lyn & cats

The same holds true for my three newer additions to the family.

2005 Casper 6

Casper is a ten-year-old fat, white, short-haired tom with gold eyes and a demanding, yet loving way about him. He has us very well trained. When he wants something, usually food, cuddling or to be let outside, he makes us do his bidding by  meowing plaintively by the door, noisily pawing at stacks of paper or kneading – stomping on is more like it – an available lap. He loves cat treats, batting at water in the bathroom sink, touching noses with me and getting his ears rubbed. He hates going to the vet. Once there, he turns into Monster Cat, threatening to take off the hand of anyone who dares touch him.

 

Raven

 

Second among our current crop of furry dependents is Raven. He’s the exact opposite from Casper. As black as the bird he’s named after, he has longish hair, green eyes and a docile personality. To be honest, he’s a fraidy cat. Every little noise scares him and the other two cats lord it over him. He likes my husband to pet him but if he’s eating and hears hubby’s footsteps approaching, he runs for cover under a table or up onto a high surface. I suspect he was mistreated by someone before he came to our door in the middle of a downpour, crying pitifully. He was full grown but weighed only five pounds. You could feel every bone in his body and nearly wrap fingers around his backbone. He has doubled his weight over the past two years but will never be plump, and I doubt he’ll ever get over his fear. Whoever made him this way deserves to be whipped!

Katy.1

And then came Katy. She’s a mostly brown and black calico, short-haired and feisty. She adores petting and complains when the petting stops. Her favorite place is on our bed. Casper used to sleep between us on chilly nights, but not since this little girl took up residence. Rather than dispute her claim to the bed, he gave up and moved to the living room sofa. He’s not really afraid of her and will stand his ground, even put up a play fight now and then, but I think he just gets tired of her rambunctious behavior. He’s middle-aged, while she’s still a young whippersnapper.

When it comes to Raven, Katy is downright mean. She’ll chase him every chance she gets, and he’s so intimidated that he runs from her. I keep telling him if he’d only stand up to her the way Casper does, she’d back off, but he doesn’t listen. Kids! What’s a mom to do? Sigh.

Monday Author Meetup: Paty Jager’s “Bluffing the Marshal”


Paty Jager

About the author:

Please welcome my guest, Paty Jager. With sixteen published books, four novellas, and two anthologies, award-winning author, Paty is never at a loss for story ideas and characters in her head. Her rural life in central and eastern Oregon, and interests in local history and the world around her, keeps the mystery and romance ideas flowing. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Today, Paty is sharing an excerpt from the short story she wrote for Rawhide ‘n Roses (A Western Romance Anthology) scheduled for release on March 15th.

Paty says:

When the subject was brought up, by the western romance authors on the Amazon forum started by an avid western reader, that we should make an anthology, I was ready to hop on board. Any time so many talented writers put together a sampling of their work it has to turn out as a win/win. Readers get great reads in one book and authors can cross promote.

The only catch—I couldn’t think of what to write. Then the very same avid reader who brought us together on the forum tossed out one of her monthly challenges to write a paragraph or more using five words. Marshal, Preacher, School Teacher, Undertaker, and Baker.

I was in the middle of two other projects but the more I thought about those words the opening for my short story in the anthology came to me:

Bluffing the Marshal

by Paty Jager

Blurb:

Marshal Tate Barkley had his heart stolen the day he rode into town and saw Nellie Preston walking out of the post office. Just when he was getting up the nerve to ask to court her, he has to jail her twin brother for murder.

Nellie Preston kidnaps a preacher, a school teacher, an undertaker, and a baker to get Marshal Barkley out to her family ranch. It seems drastic measures to talk with the marshal and get his cooperation in clearing her brother’s name, but she not only wants to free her brother, she wants to win the marshal’s heart.

Excerpt:

Nellie Preston stood at the top of the family cellar gnawing her bottom lip. What would Pa do when he discovered she had the preacher, school teacher, undertaker, and baker tied up in the cellar? Even more important—she hoped kidnapping the men would not only clear her brother’s name but show the handsome marshal she had the grit to be married to a lawman.

By-the-book Marshal Barkley should be charging down the road any minute. By now word would have spread she’d taken the missing men.

Her sour stomach rivaled the guilt eating away at her good sense. This had been a brash move to get the marshal out of town, but her brother’s life and her future depended on his arrival. She’d made the four men as comfortable as possible in the cellar. She’d even explained why they were here, but they hadn’t taken kindly to being kidnapped by Marcus Preston’s sister.

Dust plumed into the air a mile down the road to town. Nellie squinted, staring at the dust, hoping the marshal came alone. He’d be harder to convince if he brought a posse and his deputy. They’d say she was just like her brother—a no-good-killer.

She picked up the rifle leaning against the cellar door and prayed her parents and the younger kids didn’t come home early from visiting their grandparents two counties over. She wanted Marcus out of jail and things back to normal by the time Pa came home. Marcus was her twin, and she loved him dearly, but he did tend to get in fixes that most young men knew better to stay away from.

Pa always said of the two; she had the brains and Marcus had the muscle.

Some of her agitation fled when she spotted one horse and rider running hell bent up their lane. Marshal Tate Barkley had come by himself.

She smiled. He probably figured he didn’t need a posse to bring in one young woman.

Nellie cocked the gun and waited.

Horshoe, cactus, stetson & horse divider

Laying Claim

Now here’s a look at Paty’s newest release, Laying Claim: Book One Halsey Homecoming Trilogy

Blurb:

Jeremy Duncan commits to haul one last load of supplies across the great interior of the Yukon before heading home. But, he has to trade his pack animals for sled dogs and leave Skagway in the middle of a blizzard due to one strong-willed, business-minded beauty.

Determined to find her older brother, Clara Bixbee doesn’t care how she gets across the pass, as long as she does, and soon. Hiring handsome pack guide Jeremy Duncan seems to be her best choice. Especially after she saves a young girl being beaten by the local gang leader and needs to escape Skagway fast.

Excerpt:

“Who’s there?” a female voice questioned through the wood barrier.

“I have a trunk for a Clara Bixbee.”

The door swung open. A girl stood in the opening.

He blinked.

No. A girl didn’t fill out the front of a dress like this one did. But she was small. Tinier even than his sister, and she barely came to his shoulder.

“It’s about time you brought my trunk. I’ve been waiting hours for it to arrive.” Her green eyes snapped with anger.

“I don’t know who you asked to pick this up, but I found two thieves rummaging through it on the beach and saved it.”

She gasped, then her small pink mouth set in a grim line. “I paid the clerk downstairs to have someone bring it to me.”

No wonder the man had a startled look on his face when Jeremy hauled the trunk up the stairs. “Where would you like me to put it?”

The woman stepped back, opening the door wider. “I cleared a spot over there. I’ve yet to meet my roommate but will have a word with her about this mess when she comes back.”

Jeremy set the trunk on the floor and turned to the woman. Her blonde hair was pulled up into a working woman’s bun, but her clothes, the ones she had on and the ones he’d sifted through in the trunk, were not working-class clothes.

She stood with her hands on her hips, her head tipped back, eyeing him. “How did you know this was my trunk?”

“After I chased the men off, I took it to my livery where I had some light and looked through it until I found the Bible with your name in it. Then I left it in safekeeping and started asking for you at the hotels.”

Her smooth, creamy skin flushed a deep pink. “You went through my trunk?”

“Would you rather I left it to the thieves who wouldn’t have brought it to you even after they took all they wanted from it?” While the woman was soothing on the eyes, he wasn’t keen on her attitude.

She gasped and dropped to her knees in front of the trunk. Her tiny fingers clasped the broken latch where a key had most likely locked the box. She unclasped the other latches and dug down to the bottom of the trunk shoving the clothing, causing them to spill over the sides.

Jeremy watched in fascination as she burrowed into the contents. She pulled out an oilcloth jacket and pushed her hand into a pocket. A smile crept across her face. Her hand reappeared empty. He’d guess she had money stashed in that coat.

He cleared his throat and she jumped. In her urgency to make sure she hadn’t been robbed, she’d forgotten he was still in the room.

“Mr…?”

“Jeremy Duncan. Miss…?” He hoped she didn’t say she was married. It would be a shame to have rifled through a married woman’s unmentionables. It would make fanaticizing about her not near as much fun.

“Bixbee.” She frowned. “You know my name. Why are you asking?”

He smiled. “Just figuring out if you’re married.”

“I am not, and it isn’t proper for you to be in my room.” She pushed to her feet and stood, again, with her hands on her narrow hips.

Jeremy nodded to the open door. “The door isn’t closed so you haven’t been compromised.”

ISBN 9781940064406

Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GK50QWG

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/laying-claim-paty-jager/1117353101?ean=2940148913771

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/laying-claim

Windtree Press http://windtreepress.com/portfolio/laying-claim/

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com her website;http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager and twitter; @patyjag.