Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Coming Soon - Fire and Agate

I'm thrilled to tell you all that Fire and Agate is releasing on November 11.  This is the third in the Carlisle Deputies series.  You'll get to visit a number of old friends as well as meet new ones.  I hope you enjoy this sneak peek!


When Chris Anducci is moved off jail duty and into the sheriff’s office, he doesn’t expect his first assignment to be protecting a witness against a human trafficking ring. Knowing the new sheriff doesn’t abide screw-ups, Chris reluctantly agrees to work the case.

Pavle Kasun has spent the last four years of his life at the mercy of others. When an opportunity presented itself, he took it, resulting in his rescue. Now the safe houses he’s placed in are being threatened and he needs protection if he is to have any sort of chance at a life.

Chris opens his home to Pavle, but he doesn’t expect Pavle and his story to get under his skin… and stay there. Soon they discover they have more in common than either of them thought. Slowly Pavle comes out of his shell and Chris finds someone who touches his heart. But as the men looking for Pavle close in, they will stop at nothing to get him out of the way. But even if Chris can keep him safe, he might not be able to protect his heart if Pavle moves back home.

Book Links


Slowly a figure, curled up and small, made an appearance from around the side of the dresser. The first thing Chris noticed were the biggest, brownest eyes he had ever seen, filled with the pain of years of hurt. They blinked, and then Pavle stepped farther into the light. Even standing, he looked half hunched over.

“This is Deputy Chris. He’s here because he’s going to help keep you safe.”

Pavle raised his head slightly, his black hair, long and uneven, falling to the sides of his face.

“Hello,” Chris said, mimicking the soft tone the others had used. “I’m Chris. They told me you needed help, so I’m going to protect you so no one hurts you anymore.” In that moment, he made up his mind to do whatever was needed to help this man, and if that meant moving him into his home to protect him, so be it.

“I’d like it if you went with Deputy Chris. He is a good man and will not hurt you,” Marie explained slowly  and gently.

Chris didn’t expect Pavle to believe her or to agree to come. “It’s okay if you don’t want to,” Chris said, crouching down so he was at the same level as Pavle. “This is your choice.”

“Choice?” Pavle asked in a raspy voice that tore at Chris’s insides, looking at him and then back to Marie.

“Yes. You can choose to stay here or go with Deputy Chris. We want you to be safe, but we aren’t sure how well we can protect you here. If you go with Deputy Chris, he will protect you. Keep you safe.”

“INS?” Pavle asked.

“No. He is good man. Caring. He will help you.” Marie seemed to have infinite patience.

Pavle blinked, standing still, then nodded and walked to Chris. It seemed as though he either didn’t understand or thought he didn’t have a choice, even though he was being given one. Chris held out his hands, palms up, to show that he wasn’t going to hit him. When Pavle looked at him with those huge eyes and the face of an angel, he looked much younger than the twenty-four listed in his file. Maybe that was his previous owner’s fetish. Still, after all he’d been through, Pavle’s handsomeness and light shone through, with soft features and an almost delicate frame.

“I’ll gather his few things,” Annette said.

Marie extended her hand to take Pavle’s gently. He went with her in silence. She led him out of the house, and once they were in the sun, Chris got a better look at him. Pavle was pale, probably from years of being inside. Chris reminded himself to ask Marie about any past injuries. He suspected that Pavle had been treated very badly in the past and he needed to know if he was okay physically.

“Thank you for doing this,” Marie said once she had opened the door to Chris’s car and gotten Pavle settled in the passenger seat. He sat without moving or looking to either side. “You have to keep him safe. He is the main witness against the man who held him for nearly two years. We need to get that man and then trace back to the people who sold Pavle to him. We’re pulling each thread to see what we can unravel.”

“Okay. I will do my best, I promise you.”

“I’ll follow you to your house and help Pavle get settled.”

As Marie got to her car, Pavle reacted for the first time.

“She’s just riding separately. She will be back in a few minutes.”

Chris drove the short distance to his house and pulled into the garage. He didn’t want Pavle to be seen, and yet he also didn’t want him to feel like a prisoner again by being hidden. He got out and waited, hoping Pavle would get out on his own. After a few moments, Pavle opened the door and climbed out of the car. Chris opened the door to the yard and motioned for Pavle to go ahead of him.

Marie came though behind him, and Chris closed the garage doors and joined the two of them in the yard. Pavle looked around, saying nothing. Chris wished he would say something… anything. He was way too quiet, and that worried Chris because he had no idea what he was thinking, and damn it all, those eyes still held buckets of fear.

“It’s okay. This is where you are going to stay.” Marie gently coaxed Pavle toward the house, and he shuffled along, looking at the yard. Hopefully he liked what he saw. Chris had spent too many hours working out stress for the garden to be unappreciated.

Chris opened the back door, went inside, and turned on lights, letting Marie bring Pavle in the kitchen, motioning toward the living room. Maybe this was the biggest mistake of his life. He wasn’t equipped to handle someone as fragile and frightened as Pavle. Chris had no clue what he needed or even how to get through to him.

“I sold?” Pavle finally asked barely above a whisper.

Chris caught Marie’s gaze, and his heart twisted in his chest.  God, this was going to wrench his guts six ways from Sunday.

“No. This is where you are going to live. You are not going to be sold to anyone any more. Deputy Chris is here to help you and nothing more.” She patted his hand and took Pavle through to the other room.

Chris got three glasses of water and put some cookies on a plate. He needed some sugar if he was going to get through this in one piece.

Marie and Pavle were talking softly on the sofa when Chris handed each of them a glass and offered them cookies. Marie took one, and Pavle stared at the plate as though it were a foreign object. Finally, he took one and ate a small bite before shoving the whole thing in his mouth, chewing and swallowing like he hadn’t eaten in days, then he drank the entire glass of water.

Chris offered him another, and Pavle took it in disbelief, ate it quickly, and then rested his hands in his lap.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

GRL First Time Experience By S.C. Wynne

I survived my first GRL experience. :)

It was everything I expected and even better than I hoped. I spent a lot of time with friends socializing in the bar, and got to meet readers and other authors during the week long event. I was definitely nervous about going. Mostly because I'm a relatively shy person. But overall people were really friendly, and the ones that weren't were probably just feeling insecure, and not at their best.

The author signing was fun. That was where we got to sell our books and talk to readers. It was also intimidating because unless you're super well known, you won't necessarily have a huge line of people at your table. But the flow of readers was steady the entire time, and I enjoyed the experience over all.

It was interesting to me which books sold. Some I thought would move faster didn't, and ones I hadn't thought would sell were grabbed up eagerly. Just shows what I know, right?

I shared a panel on the Arc of Romance with Felice Stevens and Josh Lanyon. That was fun! Answering questions and just getting to talk about writing is always enjoyable. The three of us also had a reading with one of our favorite narrators, Kale Williams. He was amazing. He brings such warmth and personality to the books, it was fantastic getting to see him in action.

I'm probably going to GRL 2019 if I can get a spot. I suppose we will have to see what life is like in October 2019. Maybe we'll run into each other?


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Readers at Work!

This week, we are busily working on ten different books. The MM romances on the list include three werewolf romances, two MPreg, and a young adult action-adventure. Title characters include a knight, a jack, a king, two cowboys, two secret agents, one vampire, and a manny! What is your favorite kind of romance? Let us know on Facebook.  One reader will get a code for a free audiobook from your chosen category! Happy Listening!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

GRL Schedule By S.C. Wynne

Hello all!!

Monday I'll be making my way to my first ever GRL. This should be an interesting week, and I'm excited to see so many people I've only met online. There are also lots of authors and readers who I have met that I look forward to seeing again.

I expect to return home energized and motivated to finish up any projects still left this year. I can't believe how quickly 2018 has gone. I feel like I just celebrated Christmas and it's almost here again. I'm not complaining because I love the holidays and I love winter.

If you're going to be at GRL, please come up and say "Hi" because I'd love to meet you.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Character Building

Good morning! It is a great day for hot coffee. Today, we'll be talking about characters and character creation, which is a popular topic for narrators, authors, and self help books everywhere.  One of the first questions people ask when they find out I narrate audio-books is "Do you do all the characters and everything?" I'm not sure what they mean by "everything," but character is kind of the point. 

Even the dryest informational narration creates an authoritative and knowledgeable character to convey information. The best characters, though, are the ones developed beyond this information exchange, the ones who tell their own story, the ones who make us feel something. 

Mark Twain is quoted as saying. with his usual wit and insight, "A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation."  I love this quote, because it works on so many levels.

Of first importance to my topic; this is exactly how we develop voices to use in narration. Adjectives! Simple, right? It's exactly how writers develop the characters with their words and exactly how readers and listeners relate to the books they enjoy.  Thank you, authors, for describing your characters' voices!  This is the narrator's chance to match your intent and the reader's imagination wrapped up in a few of those choice adjectives.  

Of course, what Twain meant, was that you could tell a lot about people you met by the language that they used. Specifically, I imagine, if the adjectives used were of the more "colorful" variety.  Don't judge! We like colorful 'round here!  We can also tell a lot about characters in books by the language they use.

Fascinatingly, recent science is showing that the language that we use can actually effect the molecular structure of water! Positive language directed at water was shown to create beautiful and complex crystals when the water was frozen, while water molecules subjected to hateful language broke down upon freezing. When we consider how much of our world, and even our bodies is composed of water, this sounds like language can build character on a global scale! 

So, writers, please keep writing, readers, keep reading. We've got characters to build!  All you beautiful people, have a fantastic day. As always, thanks for reading, and happy listening!

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Crashing Upwards New Release By S.C. Wynne

New release temporarily on sale for $2.99!


Harper Jones is a professional bike courier, and in his business if you don’t ride fast, you don’t make money. His apartment has mice, he’s barely able to scrape up the rent, but at least he’s living life on his terms and doesn’t depend on anyone.

Sam Foster is the gay son of a wealthy conservative senator. He’s noticed Harper before when he’s dropped off packages at his dad’s company, but he’s never had the nerve to speak to his secret crush.
When Sam accidentally hits Harper with his car, Harper’s bike is destroyed and he’s injured seriously enough that he won’t be delivering packages for a while. Sam decides Harper needs rescuing, and he moves in with Harper to take care of him.
Unfortunately, Sam’s politician dad is convinced Harper’s a con-artist and he’ll do whatever it takes to get him away from his son.


Chapter One

The unmistakable tang of blood filled my mouth. My brain was fuzzy as I tried to open my eyes, but it was like they were superglued shut. My shoulder throbbed as if jammed in a wood chipper, and I couldn’t seem to move, no matter how much I wanted to.

“Can you hear me?” a gentle voice asked. Fingers gripped my wrist, and I groaned. “I’m so, so, so sorry.” A definite loss of control wobbled thorough that same male voice. “Please be okay.”
Someone smoothed the hair off my forehead. It felt kind of nice. The hands were soft, and they touched me like I was fragile. Valuable.

I’m neither.

Sirens, blaring horns, and raised voices surrounded me in a swirl of confusion, and still I found it impossible to move.

“I saw the whole thing,” a nasally voice announced. “He rode right in front of you. There was no way you could have stopped in time.”

“That isn’t really the point right now, is it?” the gentle voice snapped back.

A loud, raw groan erupted from my tight throat. My bones and flesh ached so horribly I thought I might even cry. Oh, God. How embarrassing. I wasn’t a crier. But then I’d never been in the kind of pain I was in at the moment either.

“It’s okay. It’s going to be all right,” the soft voice reassured me. “I’ll take care of you. I promise.”

People grabbed under my arms and lifted me. That’s when the real torture started. I wanted to yell for them to put me back down. Leave me where I was. But I couldn’t seem to form the words needed to beg them to stop. But then none of that mattered because everything went black.
When I opened my eyes, the light above me was so white and harsh I slammed my lids shut again. I wasn’t out on the street anymore. I was in a room, and the only sound was a high-pitched beep off to the side of my bed. Instinctively I knew better than to try and move. My body still ached, but there was a warm layer of something blurring the pain. It was like someone had inserted a barrier of cotton between my nerve endings and my injuries.

My injuries.

I popped my eyes open again and scoped the room as best I could without moving my head. There was someone sitting near me. I couldn’t make out who it was because I was terrified of actually engaging my muscles enough to look properly. The memory of my earlier pain was still very much etched in my brain, and I really didn’t want it to return.

“You’re awake.” I recognized that gentle voice from the street, and a chair creaked as someone stood and came closer. A guy about my age appeared above me. He had jet-black hair and moss-colored eyes. I’d never seen eyes so green. Who was he, and why did he look so guilty?

I licked my dry lips, noticing that my lower lip felt swollen. “Where?” I attempted to speak. My throat was bone-dry, and I sounded like I was in Citizen Kane about to share the name of my childhood sled.

“You’re at Dallas County Hospital. I don’t want you to worry about a thing. My dad’s paying for everything, absolutely everything, and you really, really don’t need to be concerned.” He swallowed and his Adam’s apple bobbed in his slender throat.

Paying for what exactly? I still wasn’t sure what had happened.

I guess he could see the question in my eyes because he said, “I hit you with my car.” He winced and then held up his hands quickly. “Nothing’s broken. Well, on you. Your bike is toast.”

Now it was coming back: the screech of tires, the slamming onto the pavement. I frowned and even that hurt. “Who are you?” I did another husky Rosebud impersonation.

“I’m Sam. Sam Foster.” He started to hold out his hand and then shoved it in his jeans pocket. 

“I saw from your license your name is Harper.”

I just stared because I wasn’t really able to do much more than that very well.

“My dad will buy you a new bike. I don’t want you to worry about a thing.” He grimaced. “I know that’s easy for me to say, when you’re the one lying in a hospital bed. But I mean it. It was all my fault, and I’m going to see to it that you’re taken care of.”

“Right.” I was too tired to argue, and I still felt disconnected from reality. Was this actually happening? Judging by how banged up my body felt, it was. But it was hard to believe I’d have been that careless. I’d been riding for years and no one had ever hit me. Sure I’d had some close calls. The streets were packed with cars at rush hour, but I was careful. No way I’d let someone plow into me. I was quick. I was professional. I was fucked.

He approached the bed and leaned over to gently squeeze my arm. I wasn’t accustomed to people I didn’t know touching me, but a pleasant shiver rolled through me and I sighed. There was something about his touch that made me feel better. I remembered that from earlier. His smile was warm, and my chest tightened as his sincere gaze held mine. Nobody smiled at me that way usually. Nobody wasted time trying to charm me. As thrashed as I felt, the heat of his smile wiggled through me. Why was he being so nice? Was he afraid I’d sue him? I wouldn’t be surprised if that was his motivation. If there was one thing I was certain of, it was that most people were self-serving.

He shared another beguiling smile. “Like I said, no bones are broken. But your shoulder was dislocated, and your leg was sliced open and bruised pretty badly. They gave you like twenty stitches. You’re going to have to stay off your bike for a few weeks.”

I widened my eyes in horror, and he flinched.

“What’s wrong?”

I did something very stupid: I attempted to sit up. The screech I let loose didn’t sound like me. He cowered briefly, and I fell back against the bed as agonizing pain radiated through my shoulder and shot down my arm. I gasped for breath and tried to stay perfectly still as the excruciating, stabbing pains in my shoulder and arm slowly began to fade.

“You shouldn’t get up.” He sounded almost angry. “What are you doing?”

I licked my lips again and gritted out, “My job. I’ll lose my job.”

He shook his head. “No.” His voice was sharp. “I’ll make arrangements. I’ll figure something out. You will most definitely not lose your job.”

I gave a short, bitter laugh, making sure not to jolt my shoulder. I worked as a bicycle courier. There were no desk jobs at my place of employment. My boss, Jack, already didn’t love me, and he didn’t tolerate fuckups of any kind. Not being able to ride for weeks would definitely qualify as a fireable offence. What the hell was I going to do? I could barely make rent as it was on my one-bedroom apartment. I wasn’t soft or weak, but I didn’t know that I could survive being homeless. The very thought of that made me feel sick. Hopeless.

Sam still hovered. His eyes were bright, and his mouth drooped. “I didn’t see you, and by the time I did it was too late.” He paled. “I feel horrible.”

I knew he wanted me to forgive him. I wasn’t sure I had it in me at the moment.

I cleared my throat. “Water?”

He straightened and grabbed a plastic pitcher on a tray nearby. Then he poured some water into a little pink cup with a bendy straw. He held the cup near my lips, and I sipped from the straw. I was embarrassed when some of the cool water dribbled down my chin. He surprised me when he wiped the drops away with his thumb, as if it was no big deal to wipe away a stranger’s drool.

“Is there someone I can call for you? Maybe your parents? Your cell was smashed.” He swallowed hard. “I’ll replace that too.”

My throat felt much better now that I’d had some water. “No. I don’t have anyone to call.”

He frowned as if he couldn’t imagine that would be true. “No one?”

I thought about some of the riders at my company. Maybe I could have reached out to them if I were a reaching-out type of guy. We were a tight-knit group while on the clock, and we’d occasionally drink together after work. But we didn’t spend holidays together or hang out at each other’s houses. Besides, my fellow employees were already riding their asses off trying to make a living. They couldn’t cover for me without blowing out their legs. There was no way they could risk that just to help me.

I closed my eyes and tried to keep back the tsunami of fear that hurtled toward me. I didn’t know what to do. I usually had a plan, but I couldn’t think my way out of this at the moment. I’d known the possibility existed that I might get hurt one day, but I’d never really believed it would happen.

“You can probably claim disability insurance.”

“My boss doesn’t exactly do things legally,” I whispered. “I’m not sure what I can claim.”

A line appeared between his perfect brows. “Oh. Well, either way you’ll be okay. My family will take care of things.”

He sounded so self-assured. He obviously had great faith in his family’s willingness to help me. I didn’t have any such faith. Not in his father and not in anyone. I’d been on my own since I was sixteen, and depending on someone else to save me wasn’t in my DNA.

An older man with a fluffy salt-and-pepper mustache strode into the room. He looked vaguely familiar, and his wide shoulders and palpable self-importance shrunk the room immediately. Instinctively I wilted from his aggressive energy, pressing back against the soft pillows.

“Dad, what are you doing here?” Sam’s surprise was evident. “I told you I could handle this.”

The older man approached the bed and observed me with steely gray eyes. “You’re far too trusting. I wanted to meet your new buddy Harper myself.”

I was taken aback that he knew my name, and I stared at him wordlessly.

Mr. Foster tilted his head studying me as if I was an amoeba on a glass slide. “The nurse at the desk said nothing’s broken, so that’s good.” He rubbed his chin.

“Why are you here?” Sam repeated. “Don’t you think I can do anything on my own?”

“It’s my money. Am I not allowed to assess the situation?” The older man sounded patient when he spoke to his son. His tone changed when he addressed me. “Sam believes in the goodness of others.” His tone implied he thought his son was nuts. “I, on the other hand, don’t.”

We actually had that in common.

“This is really annoying. You’re treating me like a child,” grumbled Sam.

“The world is filled with shysters, son. Things aren’t always what they seem.”

Sam’s face was pinched and his mouth tight. “I hit him with my car, Dad. That really happened.”

“I’m sure you did, son. But there are ways to fake an accident. Believe it or not, Dallas has a lot of con artists who throw themselves in front of cars and pretend to be hurt.”

Heat flooded my swollen cheeks. Even if he thought I was some sort of scumbag, he shouldn’t have had this conversation in front of me. I’d have loved to take a swing at that arrogant asshole, but I knew that would hurt me more than him. Instead I put all my energy into glaring at him.

“Jesus, Dad, just look at him. He’s not faking his injuries,” Sam exclaimed. He looked uncomfortable, and I got the feeling he wanted to defend me but wasn’t sure how.

Mr. Foster grabbed my chart off the foot of my bed and studied it glumly. “My son’s a very responsible driver. I find it hard to believe he just didn’t see you, Harper.”

“There was a ton of traffic, and it happened really fast.” Sam crossed his arms. “I told you all of this on the phone.”

“Still, one can’t be too careful.” Mr. Foster eyed me suspiciously. “Don’t you agree, Harper?”

I found it annoying that he kept using my name. We weren’t friends. Far from it, in fact. He was scowling at me as if I was trying to steal his wallet. Who did this blowhard think he was; accusing me of trying to scam his precious son? Every inch of my body throbbed with pain, and I had no idea what would happen to me now. Did this middle-aged bastard actually think 
I’d wanted to be hit by a car? He could kiss my ass. I narrowed my eyes and managed to hiss, 
“Fuck off. I don’t want your damn money.”

Sam looked shocked at what I’d said, but he didn’t speak.

Mr. Foster raised his brows. “Come again?”

At that exact moment, a nurse wandered into the room wearing a pink smock with kittens on it. She stopped short when she saw Mr. Foster and Sam. “Visiting hours are long over, boys.” She grabbed the clipboard from Mr. Foster and shook her head. “He’ll probably be discharged tomorrow, so you can catch up on all the gossip then.”

“So soon?” Sam looked surprised.

She nodded, studying my chart. “Looks like there are no broken bones. We need every bed we can get right now. Anybody who isn’t on death’s door gets the boot.” She gave me a sympathetic glance. “Sorry.”

I wasn’t sure if I was relieved to be leaving the hospital so soon, or terrified. I was hopeful my wallet was somewhere nearby so I could call a cab to take me home. God, how much would a cab ride be from here to my place? I rarely had much cash on me, and my cards were maxed out. Maybe I could catch an Uber or something. That would be cheaper. But would I even be able to walk from the car to my apartment? I was still too scared of the pain and hadn’t had the nerve to try and move my leg yet. Jesus, would I have to crawl up the walkway? That wouldn’t be humiliating at all.

“It seems like he should stay longer.” Sam bit his lip as he studied me.

Mr. Foster puffed out his chest. “Let the experts handle things, son. If the hospital thinks Harper is well enough to go home tomorrow, who are we to argue?”

Sam gave his father a surly glance, and then he addressed the nurse. “What time will he be released?”

“Oh, I’m guessing around two in the afternoon.” The nurse tinkered with an IV bag hanging near my bed. She winked at me. “This is morphine. You should feel awesome in about five minutes.”

It didn’t even take that long before my body felt flushed and my lids heavy. The last memory I had, before my eyes slammed shut, was of Mr. Foster dragging a very disgruntled-looking Sam out of the room.



Friday, October 5, 2018

Before Man Up by Felice Stevens

Hello and Happy Friday!

It was a bittersweet week for me as I released the final book in my Man Up series, James, Uncontrollable. You may have heard that the idea for this series started out with another of my author friends and was to be MF. We were each going to write a chapter about a different character of the strip club and it was to be a little bit of a romantic suspense. The club featured both male and female strippers.
My guy was named Eric. He had come to the club for his fraternity brother's bachelor party, but was hiding a big secret. See, Eric had all along pretended he was wealthy when in fact he was poor and his father was a drunk. They cut off ties when Eric left to go to college, as his father thought he should stay home and work. Now, Eric was in debt and had to make money to pay back his loans but he couldn't find a job. At the party he drowned his sorrows in liquor and got so drunk, he went up on stage with the strippers and the owner liked what he saw and offered him a job. There was a female stripper who needed help hiding from an abusive boyfriend and Eric falls for her and so on. 
That's about as far as I got before we shelved the idea. 
Writing Man Up was a challenge for me. At five books it was my longest series. And it was written in first person, dual POV. I never thought I'd like writing in first person but discovered I do. I love it in fact. 
Finishing the Man Up series is James—Uncontrollable. By far James was the hardest book I've ever written and in Malcolm and James I might have found my favorite couple of mine. From the moment Mal popped up on page I loved him—his snarky wit, his compassion and his love for life. James was a bit harder because he hid, even from me.
Pesky characters.
I hope you enjoyed reading the series as much as I enjoyed writing these men. It truly was a labor of love.
you can find James at the special release price of $3.99 or you can borrow it on Kindle Unlimited for 90 days.
Here is the link:

Happy reading!!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Healthy Voices

It's a beautiful day in our neighborhood. I hope you're having a beautiful day as well. This week has begun to feel like Fall, with that first sliver of chill occasionally slicing through the air.  Although I love the season, the accompanying change in the weather stresses the vocal cords, and makes managing your voice more challenging. No one enjoys sore throats or croaking like a frog, but as narrators we tend to obsess about this topic. Obsessively. So, here is a recipe we've discovered and enjoy for flavor, and general health benefits as well as keeping a healthy voice. Here's to your health!

This tea is delicious and soothing to the throat served warm, but can also be served over ice.  Hydration is one of the best strategies to support vocal health.

4 cups water3/4 cup brown sugar1/4 cup grated ginger root 3 tea bags2 lemons, juiced3 tablespoons honey

In a saucepan, bring water, brown sugar, and grated ginger root to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes. 
Remove saucepan from heat. If a stronger tea is desired add tea bags of your choice; steep tea to desired strength, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags.
Stir in lemon juice and add honey to taste. Strain the tea into a pitcher to remove ginger bits.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Heart Untouched - Andrew Grey

The third story in the Hearts Entwined series, Heart Untouched releases October 9.  I'm very excited about this story and I'm thrilled that it releases during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  The fact that this happened is a coincidence because I wasn't aware of this until a friend brought it to my attention.  And to add to the coincidences, part of the story in Heart Untouched deals with a man who is trying to rebuild a life and career going forward after a debilitating accident.  This story really does fit in the month that its being released.  So please take a minute to learn a little more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

I do hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.

A Hearts Entwined Novel

An accident crushed Duncan’s Olympic dreams and landed him in a chair, but he knows it’s time to get his life back on track—and he has a plan in mind. Working with his friend Todd, an Olympic skeleton racer, on a promotional campaign will not only help Duncan regain some direction, but it’ll give Todd the financial boost he desperately needs. The sport Todd loves is draining his resources—so much so that he’s thinking of giving up racing just to make ends meet.

As the two men work together, their friendship blossoms into much more, and suddenly the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time. But just when love, happiness, and success seem within their grasp, the USOC steps in with plans to stop their campaign. That’ll mean an end not just to Duncan’s business, but to Todd’s dreams… and Duncan isn’t about to let that happen to the man who means everything to him.

Book Links

Excerpt 1

Duncan sighed. “Great. You’re taking me to church.” He closed the laptop and set it aside. “Wonderful. Maybe Henrietta Blodgett will be there, and she can tell everyone again what a shame it is that I got hurt and how you got stuck caring for me.” The old lady had been running her mouth in the community center kitchen when Duncan had gone out there to use the restroom because it was bigger and easier for him to get into.

His mother whirled around, her hands coming to her hips. “First thing, that woman is a menace and an old battle-ax. She can go to church all she wants, but her gossiping is going to send her straight to hell. And no matter what happens, you can’t let people like her get to you. There will always be folks who talk and give you the ‘poor little thing’ face. You think I haven’t seen it a million times since your father died?” She plated the eggs, set them in front of him, sat down, and patted his hand. “No matter what, you have to go on.”

Duncan took a bite and set his fork down. “If we aren’t going to church, then what are we doing?” It was Wednesday, and his mom usually had her ladies circle prayer group at lunch. She’d gone for years.

“Just finish your breakfast and clean up. Shave too. You’re all scruffy, and that isn’t a good look for you.”

She went about straightening up the kitchen as Duncan ate slowly. His appetite had been hit-or-miss for weeks, and it looked like today was one of those days where nothing seemed to taste very good. Not that he said anything to his mom. The eggs she made were good usually, but just not right now, not to him. Still, he finished them and put his plate on his lap to carry it over to the sink.

“Thanks, Mom.” He rolled out of the room and back to the bathroom. In the mirror, he saw he did look awful, his spotty red beard only adding to the disappointment in his eyes and demonstrating the fact that he didn’t really care about anything.

Ten minutes later, after washing up and brushing his teeth, he wheeled himself to his room and went about the daunting task of getting dressed. He was determined to do it on his own, dammit, and he did it. Granted, it was only sweatpants and a T-shirt, but they were on correctly. Duncan even managed shoes and socks, though that took a little more doing. Finally ready to go, he glided back into the living room, where his mother was dusting. “Let’s get this over with.”

His mom ignored the comment and picked up her purse.

Duncan left the house, rolling down the ramp and out to the car. He would have liked to be able to get a van that was equipped with a lift so he could get in the car and drive it himself, but that was way outside their budget. His mom had put in for one, but it was taking a lot of time to get approved. There were grants and things that would help with the cost, but they hadn’t come through yet.

He got into the passenger seat with help from his mom, and she put the chair in the back. Then she climbed in and pulled away from their small ranch-style house in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, heading out toward the main road.

“Mom, what’s the big secret?” he asked, turning toward her.

“No secret. I thought you could use some time to visit some friends.” She slowed as they approached a light and then turned into the drive of an auto repair garage.

Todd stepped out of one of the bays, smiling brightly.

As soon as she came to a stop, he hurried to his side of the car and pulled open the door. Todd leaned right in, hugging Duncan tightly even with the odd angles. “I came to see you after you were hurt, but they wouldn’t let me in. And then I had to go out on tour and to competitions and….”

Duncan returned the embrace, inhaling deeply as Todd’s rich scent, tinged with work and a touch of grease, filled his nose. Heat washed through him, and Duncan’s breath hitched for a second. He almost didn’t know what to make of his reaction. They stayed that way for longer than was necessary before Todd pulled back.

“I know. But you called, and that meant a lot.”

His mom, who had already opened her door and gotten out, came around the car and pulled Duncan’s chair out.

“What’s the deal?” Duncan asked.

“You remember when you and I used to work together on those old cars I brought home in high school? Well, I still work on them, you know that, and I was hoping you’d help me.”

Author Information

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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