Friday, October 13, 2017

#OctoberFrights - Day 4 - Lucky Friday the 13th

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Ever wondered why we regard number 13 unlucky? And especially Friday the 13th?
Friday the 13th occurs at least once every year, and up to three times a year. In 2017, it occurs twice, on January 13 and October 13.There will be two Friday the 13th per year until 2020, where 2021 and 2022 will have just one occurrence. I bet you didn't know that.
The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: "triskaidekaphobia" (how's that for a tongue twister?); and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia (and if the first word haven't got your tongue in a knot, this one will for sure), from the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, meaning "Friday"), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, meaning "thirteen").

The superstition surrounding this day may have arisen in the Middle Ages, "originating from the story of Jesus' last supper and crucifixion" in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday. While there is evidence of both Friday and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.
An early documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th:
He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday 13th of November he passed away.
A suggested origin of the superstition—Friday, 13 October 1307, the date Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar—may not have been formulated until the 20th century. It is mentioned in the 1955 Maurice Druon historical novel The Iron King (Le Roi de fer), John J. Robinson's 1989 work Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, Dan Brown's 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code and Steve Berry's The Templar Legacy (2006).

Social impact

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that [US]$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day". Despite this, representatives for both Delta Air Lines and now-defunct Continental Airlines have stated that their airlines do not suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.
In Finland, a consortium of governmental and nongovernmental organizations led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health promotes the National Accident Day (kansallinen tapaturmapäivä) to raise awareness about automotive safety, which always falls on a Friday the 13th.The event is coordinated by the Finnish Red Cross and has been held since 1995.

Rate of accidents

A study in the British Medical Journal, published in 1993, concluded that there "is a significant level of traffic-related incidences on Friday the 13th as opposed to a random day, such as Friday the 6th, in the UK." However, the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics on 12 June 2008 stated that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.

Source Wikipedia

Happy Friday the 13th



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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

THE 2017 #OCTOBER FRIGHTS - Day Two


It's the time of year when you'll find everything horror-themed from toilet paper to the every store isle just bursting with all things Halloween.  
In this blog hop, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of my time travel/divine intervention romance novel, Love Remains. It’s the first book in this particular sub-genre I've written. And to boot, there’s an entire blog hop of MORE great giveaways. You really can’t lose here.
To enter this giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. To enter the other giveaways, scroll down to the blog hop.
Front CoverOlivia Owen, a busy, single, high-functioning, corporate executive officer, is not afraid to die a spinster for the sake of her career. But in an alternate reality world, bridged by the angel of her sister with Down syndrome, she meets Tom Medar, a dedicated, Croatian defense attorney who dreams of the right woman, but never has time to find her. Together, they foil an adulterous murder plot while discovering there’s room for love and family in their busy lives - but not before they are separated again.
When they awaken from their alternate world, will they be able to cross countries to find each other again?

“This is quite perplexing,” he said, glancing at her then back at the computer screen where he pointed at the middle of the scan. “There are no signs of brain damage or any unusual growth. There is a slight elevation of the brain-stem activity in your sleep promoting area. That is where REM sleep originates.”
She leaned closer when Dr. Mason pointed to gray and black picture on the computer screen. “Are you saying I’m dreaming all of this?”
The doctor slid his hands into the pockets of his white coat. “No, you’re awake and aware. I’m not certain why your brain is firing these neurons. Perhaps more observation is needed.”
On the verge of disclosing her theory, she clamped her teeth and forced her thoughts to Tom. His wife would return someday soon, and she’d find herself once again in her empty house with not a soul for a friend. “So, what do I do now?”
“You’re feeling fine, so I’ll discharge you. I hope Tom is satisfied with my decision.” Dr. Mason arched one eyebrow at Tom.

Tom’s long, loud sigh confirmed her suspicion: Dr. Mason’s diagnosis, or lack of it, was not satisfactory. “At least promise me you’ll re-examine her scans and make certain you didn’t overlook something."
“I promise. And if her condition doesn’t improve or worsens with time, I’ll conduct another scan.” Dr. Mason extended his hand to Tom.
Tom shook the doctor’s hand. “Thanks, Gregory. I appreciate this.”
“Don’t mention it.” Dr. Mason extended his hand to Olivia. “Don’t beat yourself over this. Take it easy. Even the smallest thing can trigger your memory to return and I hope it does.”
If he only knew that her memory never left her. She took his hand and shook it. “I do hope so too, Dr. Mason. Thank you for all your help.”
Olivia met Tom in the hallway. Frigid air wrapped around her as soon as she stepped onto the sidewalk. She welcomed the coldness, hoping it would help clear her head.
“I’m parked just over there.” Tom pointed to a row of cars in the emergency parking lot.
The sight of her Nissan Quest brought her a sense of home. “Where’s your car?”
“I cabbed to Dr. Law’s office and drove your van.” He took her hand. “You must be hungry. Have you eaten at all today?”
She pressed her hand on her growling stomach. “Now that you mention it, I’m starving.”
“I’ve a nice stew simmering in the slow cooker.” He opened the door for her then shut it after she took her seat.
When he slid behind the wheel, his nu-buck coat creaked. “Let’s go home. The babysitter has an early class tomorrow.”
Wow! He’d thought of everything. In all this craziness, she’d forgotten about the kids. She studied his aquiline profile in the fading light of the short wintry day. She was getting used to him looking after her. When his real wife returned and she got pulled back to her ordinary world, it would be so hard to go on day after day without him.
Perhaps it would be better if she never disclosed her theory to him, or helped him solve the attempted murder case. She could stay in his world forever.
No, it wouldn’t be fair. This sweet man deserved to have his wife back and his children needed their mother. That was something she could never be.
With a hard swallow, she clamped down a sudden desire to play his wife. “Tom, I think I know the source of this confusion.”

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

#OctoberFrights Celebrating all things that go bump in the night


That horrific Halloween I want to put behind me.

Is there a Halloween you wish you could wipe out from your memory?
There is one I'm not fond of. It happened a few years back when the Blue Jays won their first World Series in years. My boyfriend at the time and I were invited to a house Halloween party of his colleague who lives in a rural area with lots of land around his house backing into the woods.
Throughout the evening the hosts organized several, fun and not so scary games and left the best for last. Close to midnight, they asked us to follow them to the edge of the woods and told us we're to take a stroll through there. Just keep to the right, everytime you come to the spot where the path branches, keep to the right and it will lead you back here, they said. You can't miss it, and it shouldn't take you more than ten minutes, tops. Okay, fifteen if we're slow walkers.

And so, off we went two by two, following the narrow path leading through the trees with bare branches. For a while, we could hear voices and laughter and even a few screams, I guess the hosts had a few of their buddies waiting in the bush to jump at the unsuspecting midnight strollers.  Thankfully, I saw a dark figure rising slowly from behind a bush and yelled "I see you there."
He straightened and removed his werewolf mask and said "Oh, crap. I'm having the worst luck tonight."
We continued on, bumped into a few more people on the path and followed them for a bit. They would go one way and we went the other. Always staying to the right. But there were just too many paths out there, who knew?
Eventually, the voices grew distant until we didn't hear anything. It was a calm night, not a breath of wind. Full moon washed everything in silver. I said to my (now ex) boyfriend, "It had to be more than ten minutes that we've been out here. Do you hear anyone? I don't."
His response was, "We're not that far gone. I bet by the next turn it will take us back to the house."
Well, the next thing I hear is water lapping on the shore. We're pretty much on the banks of the Lake Eire. It'll be quite a hike back to the house, but at least we found the paved road. By now I'm fuming. There are no houses on this road, and I really need the bathroom. So my only option is bushes. No cars were passing by and if they did, we must've made quite a sight. Me in a slinky little black dress and ruined heels and him in a dirty coveralls with a bad wig on which each strand stuck in its own direction. (Note to self, wash those cheap Halloween wigs and use hair conditioning so that they look okay).
We made it to the first house on the road, and only the house dog greeted us with loud barking. I was not amused but didn't want to scream at the poor dog and possibly wake up the household.
By the time we returned to our host's house, a few people made it back. They were quiet and sipped on the warm rum drink. The host himself had to get into his pickup and drive around to get the lost souls. Everyone and I mean every single one of us, got lost on those trails. Good thing this was way before the movie "The Blair Witch Project" or I think our experience would be much scarier.

Image result for dark woods in moonlight

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Susan Clayton-Goldner "When Time Is A River"

On a bench at the edge of the Lithia Park playground, someone is stalking two-year- old Emily Michaelson as she plays with her eighteen-year old half-sister, Brandy. The child’s laughter curves through the sunlight, as if on wings. The stalker is more enamored than ever, but aware of Brandy’s vigilance with Emily, knows a kidnapping won’t be easy. Planning to gain Emily’s trust, the stalker gives her a necklace—little girls love pretty things. A few days later, Brandy and Emily arrive at the park for the Children's Health Fair. When the stalker sees them enter the public restroom, the opportunity is seized.
Not long after Emily's disappearance, Detective Radhauser finds her rainbow- colored sneakers in Ashland Creek, their laces tied together in double knots. Brandy’s father and stepmother blame Brandy for Emily’s disappearance. Radhauser feels sorry for her, but insists she stay out of the investigation. Brandy can’t do that. She is obsessed with finding out who took her little sister, and why. Will Emily be found in time?

 What Early Reviewers Are Saying

Kathy Elliot***** I received an advanced copy of Susan's Clayton-Goldner's "When Time is a River" for review. This review reflects my honest, unbiased opinion.
Another masterpiece has been created. Again, I could not put my laptop down, even carried it into the kitchen while cooking. Detective Radhauser is the man I want solving my case should I ever need a detective and Brandy is the daughter every mother wishes she had raised. The humaness of all of Susan's characters, I believe, is one of the many reasons I am intrigued by her books. And in today's very narcissistic political climate it's so refreshing to read about characters who actually care about others and the greater good of society.

A great mystery indeed, with an ending I could never have surmised. The emotions of each character during crisis seemed authentic and believable. A poignant characterization of schizophrenia and bi-polar disease allowed the reader to understand, without bias, the faulty thinking that occurs in mental illness. I am anxiously awaiting the third book in this series.

Linda Willer ***** I received an advanced reader's copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review. As with the last two books I read by Susan, I am always amazed at the writing and how something I would take 10 sentences to describe she can do in one and you have a clear picture in your mind of character, time, place and feelings. I love her work and I love this new series (hope it is more than just a trilogy!!!!!) Many have reviewed the plot, telling the story so I won't go over the plot again. I read a lot of series. The protagonist becomes a friend. You live their lives day by day with them. Sometimes, you'd rather not!!!! Sometimes, you just want to tell them, "to get over it." What was refreshing about the protagonist in this series is that we learned and felt his sadness and depression in Redemption Lake. It is now four years later and he is very happy. Bringing Detective Radhauser to a happy place was genius. Now the story really is about Emily and Brandy. It left room for a new hero, Band-aid!!!!!!

Debbie ***** Brandy is a very amazing young lady. When Emily disappeared, her whole life changed. What Emily does to find her baby sister will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. This book is so good you won't be able to stop reading it. The author did a wonderful job writing this story. I would give this book a higher rating than a five-star review if I could. I had the honor to review this book for the author for a honest review. The reaction to this book is my honest reaction to the story

Louise Pledge ***** I started reading this at bedtime and was so engrossed, I wanted to read the whole book in one sitting (er laying). However, I'd had a long day and kept falling asleep. I would, occasionally, throughout the night, force myself to wake up and read a few more pages. So, as soon as I woke up, I picked it back up and had to read until I was done. Yes, the story was THAT GOOD! An emotional story (aren't all missing children stories just that?) with a few surprises along the way. It wrapped itself up, nicely, and not "just all of a sudden" like so many things we read. You will adore the heroine, Brandy, and find yourself cheering her on. 

I was intrigued by the cover and found myself wondering what the title meant. It all ties together and makes so much sense, as you read. Highly recommend!


 Susan Clayton-Goldner is a graduate of the University of Arizona's Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers' Association Novel Award twice for unpublished novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2015. Her novel, A Bend In The Willow, released by Tirgearr Publishing in January, 2017k has nearly 100 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4.6 stars. Her second novel, Redemption Lake, was released in May, 2017 and is averaging 4.9 stars on Amazon.  Her newest release, When Time Is A River is available for preorder at half price and releases on September 6, 2017.

When she isn’t writing, Susan spends her time making stained-glass windows and quilts. She says those two activities are similar to writing—telling stories through glass and fabric.

Excerpt – When Time Is A River

I sat on a concrete bench exactly twenty yards from the Lithia Park playground and waited for Emily. For thirty-two days, I’d studied her movements, followed her and Brandy, the teenager Emily called Band-Aid, trying to determine exactly how and when to execute my plan.   
As the sun made its low circuit across a crisp and cloudless sky, I felt grateful to be free again. To be in this place where the air smelled like earth and pine bark.
I opened my leather attaché case and removed my binoculars and The Sibley Guide to Birds. I set the book in a visible spot beside me on the bench, picked up my binoculars and scanned the clumps of rhododendron bushes where Emily liked to hide. She wasn’t there. Shifting the binoculars to the playground, I searched the line of children at the slides, the sandbox and finally found Emily on the merry-go-round.
Brandy ran in circles and sang as she pushed the laughing child. “The wheels on the bus go round and round…” Every time I saw her in the park, she was singing. Sometimes she came alone, brought a guitar and sat by the creek.
Small clouds of dust rose with the beat of her boots on the worn ring of dirt around the merry-go-round. Her long dark and curly hair was tamed on the top and sides by a hot pink cowboy hat and her skirt flowed behind her like a multi-colored banner as she ran. A half dozen silver bracelets made music when she moved her arm. She looked like a gypsy turned cowgirl.
I focused on her bandaged cheek, flinched and looked away. More than anything, I hated imperfection.
When she skidded to a stop and the dust settled, the merry-go-round slowed and my gaze riveted on Emily. As always, she clutched her worn Pooh bear in her lap. I adjusted the lens on my binoculars until Emily appeared close enough to count the grass clippings on the back of her neck. I imagined the toddler turning somersaults on the newly mown lawn—the legs of her red corduroy pants rising up over the plump soft flesh on her calves. I tried to steady my breathing. Alive with secrets and desires, I no longer cared what the dark-suited doctors said. They never understood my needs or my dreams. Why should I swallow their pills to escape them?
Emily rested her chin on the merry-go-round’s safety bar. With her legs dangling over the side, she looked like an illustration in the storybook, Snow White. A tiny flawless princess—so brightly lit from the inside that I imagined sunshine, rather than blood, filled her perfect veins. When the spinning finally stopped, she stood and jumped.
“Be careful,” I whispered as I set the binoculars aside.
Emily’s hair flew up, then fell back over her forehead—sunlight rippling through the red highlights in her dark curls. In midair she flashed a smile, then landed on her feet, giggling over her shoulder as Brandy chased her around the playground.
A flutter of panic rose in my throat. Brandy was so vigilant. But even careful people make mistakes.
Emily’s laughter soared through the air and the two of them passed so close to me I could have reached out and touched Emily. Then the toddler turned and ran back toward the merry-go-round. As she passed by the bench where I sat, she paused and waved at me.
Happiness swelled my chest. The dream of having this particular little girl pulsed through my veins like a mind-altering drug. It aroused every nerve in my body until even my fingertips throbbed with expectation.
Brandy scooped Emily up in her arms.
She was so pure and innocent. All I needed to do was gain her trust and the rest would be easy.
I pulled the necklace from my pants pocket and smiled as I studied the garnet heart set between two diamonds.
Little girls love pretty things.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Touch of Flame-- Flame Series 5--By Caris Roane






Caris is giving away A Purple PNR bracelet (International Winner Receives Gift Card), A $25 Amazon Gift Card, A $15 Amazon Gift Card to randomly drawn winners via raffle-copter during the tour. Please use the raffle-copter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

               ~*~*~*~*~*~

WOW! Something extra from Caris Roane!
Just leave a comment for a chance to win!
Caris Roane here and I'm so glad you're touring with me. Be sure to visit as many blogs on my tour as you can and leave a comment at each one to be entered into this WOW giveaway! Don't worry if you miss a couple of blogs, visiting every blog isn't required, it just increases your chances of winning! I'll be creating a second bracelet for the WOW giveaway (International winner receives gift card) similar to the bracelet in the Rafflecopter. I will choose the winning blog then choose the winning comment sometime after midnight, September 5th, Arizona time. I will use Random dot org to make the selection. Let's support our bloggers who give us so much! Hugs, Caris



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BLURB:
A powerful alpha wolf. A gifted witch. Each haunted by death. Can passion drive them to an everlasting love? Or will the enemy forge a hopeless chasm?
Braden should have died in the Graveyard, but the witch, Maeve, saved him. The call of his wolf is on him and he wants her. She can be his alpha-mate. But she has powers that can destroy him and a disrupted memory that holds the answers to his wife’s murder. Can he ever trust a woman who can kill with the power she streams from her bare hands?

Maeve has known only horror, death, and destruction since her arrival in Five Bridges as a transformed alter witch. She goes to the Graveyard nightly to rescue those left for dead by the evil rampant in all five territories of her new world. She fears the power she possesses and the gaps in her memory frighten her more than anything else. But when she rescues Braden from an attack in the Graveyard and she realizes she’s drawn to the handsome wolf, the nightmare really begins.

Buy Links:

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EXCERPT:
Chapter One

The Graveyard was not the place Mark Braden thought he’d breathe his last. He was sure he’d die in the pine forest of Savage Territory, chasing a drug-runner and getting hit by a spray of bullets.

Instead, he’d been ambushed.

He lay face down on the hard, rocky ground. Blood streamed from a deep gash in his skull and pooled in the debris beneath him. The rogue wolves kicked him, but he barely registered the blows anymore. One or two of his ribs had snapped and punctured his left lung. He had a deep stab wound in his abdomen. His heart felt like a bird fluttering wildly in his chest, nothing more.

The Graveyard was a cesspit, a central place in Five Bridges used for dumping bodies at night. In the morning, Tribunal clean-up crews would arrive to cart off the dead, catalog them with unfailing carelessness, then send them to the crematory.

“He’s gone.” Ely Gammet, a powerful warlock, stood over him. The bastard had been one of six who’d drawn him to the Graveyard with the promise of information about his wife’s killers.

A few more kicks and the crew started walking away. He had a dim view of their boots and heard the crunch through the loose rocks. Braden flared his nostrils to take in the warlock’s scent. He cataloged it in his shifter brain for future recall.

He almost laughed. What future?

His breaths were shallow now, small jolts of air he brought into lungs that barely worked anymore.

Maybe it was for the best...

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Author Info:

Hi, Everyone! Caris Roane here! I'm a NY Times Bestselling Author and I write super-sexy paranormal romance books. With every book I create, my goal is to take you away ~ far, far away ~ from the difficulties and frustrations of your life.


I began my career with Kensington Publishing and wrote Regency Romance as Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times Magazine honored me with a career achievement award for my Regency work. To-date, I've published eighty-nine books. Thirty-nine of those are paranormal romances, some self-published and some with St. Martin's Press.
Though my stories conjure up hunky PNR warriors, like vampires and wolf-shifters, the romance is everything, including a satisfying Happily Ever After. My hope is that you'll become engrossed in the lives of my tortured heroes and my worthy women as they wage war, as they make love, and as they face the tough issues of life and relationships!
I live in the Phoenix area, in the city of Buckeye. When not writing, I’m a real homebody. I love gardening, sewing, and cooking. (Um, cleaning, not so much!) I also enjoy creating jewelry and I frequently offer my handcrafted, PNR bracelet giveaways to my newsletter and blog subscribers. You can sign up for both on my Home Page.
My motto: Live the Fang!

Caris Roane






Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Susanne Matthews' new book "Sworn to Protect" now available for preorder


Book Blurb:

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.



The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.



When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.



Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.



As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?



Purchase link:




Excerpt:

“I wasn’t sure about the hair color … the burgundy’s a little flashy, but I definitely wanted it short, and with the weight loss … It was time,” Nancy finished.

“Past time, I’d say. The transformation is incredible. My God, your own mother, bless her soul, wouldn’t recognize you. That dress is gorgeous, but it must’ve cost the Earth. I’m glad you decided to handle all this positively. I honestly expected to find you navel gazing or crying into a margarita.”

As if on cue, the waiter, dressed in black pants and a skin-tight, red, logo-emblazoned t-shirt, showed up with two of the restaurant’s signature sweet and salty drinks. He placed the glasses on the table, handed them each a menu, and moved away.

“That boy can park his shoes under my bed any night he wants,” Meredith whispered and licked her lips.

Nancy laughed. “If he hit on you, you’d wet yourself.” She lifted her glass in a toast. “Here’s to the new me. I’m good, better than I was yesterday, and not as good as I’ll be tomorrow.” She took a mouthful. “Life is a lot like these drinks. Some days are sweet and wonderful, while others are bitter, tear-filled, and miserable. You have to learn to take the good with the bad. Tears can’t fix anything as I’ve finally realized. Here’s to the past.” She sipped once more.

Meredith touched the brim of Nancy’s glass with hers. “Here, here, although I still think everything could’ve worked out differently.” She sampled her margarita, smiled, and drank some more.

“Not everything that happens is an opportunity for growth. I’ll never forget them,” Nancy said, her voice tinged with sadness. “But I have to put it behind me—all of it. It wasn’t all Neil’s fault, but I can’t go back and fix the mistakes we made any more than I can pluck the moon from the sky.” She took a mouthful of the cocktail and licked the salt off the rim of the glass. “Where are my divorce papers?”

“Right here.” Meredith opened her purse and pulled out a brown envelope.

Nancy reached for it and transferred it to her voluminous bag without opening it. She would deal with them later.

“I’ll sign them and get them back to you as soon as I can.” She picked up the menu, but the words danced before her eyes. “He called today,” she said, even though she’d intended to keep that bit of information to herself.

Meredith sat up straight and put down her menu. “And?”

“And, nothing.” Nancy shrugged. “He left a message on the machine saying he wanted to talk to me. I didn’t return his call.”

“Why not? No matter what you say, I know you’re still in love with him, and I’m pretty sure he loves you, too.”

Nancy sipped her drink and stared into the frothy pink liquid as if it held the answer to all the mysteries of life.

“Sometimes love isn’t enough, Meredith,” she admitted, unable to squelch the sorrow in her voice. “I’ll love Neil Copeland for the rest of my life, but some things can’t be reconciled. His job has a death grip on him which’ll never go away, and I can’t be second—not again. That may sound selfish, but it is what it is.”

Meredith frowned. “It isn’t that simple, and you know it. There were extenuating circumstances.”

“That may be, but I can’t get passed it. I never wanted to fall for a man like my father who put work first, but that’s exactly what I did.”

“Sugar, you’ve got this all wrong.” Meredith reached across the table and touched Nancy’s hand. “You aren’t being fair to Neil. That man would put you first if the choice was his, but as a U.S. marshal, it rarely is. People won’t testify against the mob, drug dealers, and other assorted dirt bags unless they know they and their families can be protected.”

“I know, but I want a full-time husband, not a part-time hero. When I needed him most, he chose the job over me, and you know it. The kid who hit us will spend the next fifteen years in jail, as if that can somehow make up for what I’ve lost. Well, I’ve been in a prison of my own long enough. If I don’t return Neil’s call, he’ll stop calling.”

“You’re wrong, and deep down you know it. The Neil Copeland I know won’t quit unless it’s his decision. You two were made for each other. Love’s too precious to throw away.”

Nancy shook her head. “I didn’t throw it away. He did.”



About the author:

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Her first novel, Fire Angel, set the tone for an exciting new career.  While most of her books are romantic suspense, Susanne writes stories that range from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America.



When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books or as interesting entries for her blog, Living the Dream. During the summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.



Follow Susanne on her:  Website     Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page