Don't forget to join us on 8th January 2010 when we will be hosting Inspirational Author Rachel Rossano
As many of you may know, our beloved sister hostess SHARON DONOVAN, tragically passed away on 11th April 2012. We who knew her, loved her, and were inspired by her courage and determination to face head on whatever life threw at her. When she could no longer see to paint she turned to writing and showed her amazing talent in the Inspirational Romance and Romantic Suspense genres, and her story 'Charade Of Hearts' was awarded the coveted Predators and Editors Award in January 2011.This Blog was a source of great delight to her, she was one of the founder hostesses and she contributed to the fun and silliness in her own original way, and was kind enough to let her unique creation, the hunky butler 'Oliver' join us for our Friday romp and prepare 'virtual breakfast' for the guests on the following morning. It's beyond hard to have to go on without her, but we know that she would have been the first to insist that 'the show must go on.' She is, and will always be with us in spirit.Sharon, dear friend, we will never forget you.
The Author Roast and Toast is part of the legacy you left us. Let's raise a Toast to you as well as all our guests.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Don't forget to join us on 8th January 2010 when we will be hosting Inspirational Author Rachel Rossano
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The winners are Emma Lai and Jennifer Johnson. Congratulations ladies!
The author hostesses of the Author Roast and Toast will be taking Oliver, Junior and Cuddles, on a little Christmas break. We'll be back after the first of the year on January 8th. So Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate. We wish you the
Season's Greeting from Lyn, Mary and Sharon!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Kathleen O'Conner gazed into the huge mirror on the wall of the luxury bathing facilities in her lovely room in the Breaker's. The historic hotel in West Palm Beach was the perfect place for her wonderful party hosted by Lyn, Sharon, and Mary. Her beautiful maroon, Lotta Stensson, silk-handkerchief sundress, sets off her light blonde hair. Her skin silky smooth and her body relaxed, she remembered the wonderful spa treatment she'd had today. A finishing touchup to her lipstick, my gosh the makeover woman who had worked on her today found the best shades of eye liner. She loved her strappy Pelle Moda sandals, they made her feel like a queen. Her Amalfi swimsuit hugged her body beneath her dress. She was ready and she looked hot!
Pleased with her appearance she walked out the doors to the balcony and sat in a comfortable lounge chair. Oliver would come for her when it was time, she didn't understand all the security, but she was appreciate of the two hunks who guarded her door. Maybe she'd invite them in for a drink. In any case, she looked her best and she was ready, her hat and the shoulder throw she carried, shimmer just like her dress.
"Mary you are gonna drop that," Lyn bellows.
"No I am not,"annoyed at Lyn who has been bossing her around all day, Mary is determined to prove her wrong. "If this cake falls it will not be my fault." Mary gives Lyn a smirk over her shoulder, just as Oliver rushed past. "Look at all the guest, the pool area and the Porte Cochera where all the food is has a gazillion people milling about." Expertly he takes the beautifully decorated cake into his hands an places it next to his flower arrangement on the desert table. He smiles and turns to Mary and Lyn. "We're almost ready to get Kathleen!"
Oliver is so excited he can't contain it. Today he is dressed in his traditional butler uniform with a couple of exceptions, beneath his vest his naked pecs flexed as he gestures toward the food. "Look at the cookies I made for her and the cake, it's one of the best I have ever baked!"
Mary ducks and thinks she's made it, she really thought that this week she would be clean and ready in her own sundress. That was before Oliver knocked her over in his exuberance. Yes, right into the punchbowl.
"You think this is funny," Mary asks Lyn, who is now laughing so hard she can't catch her breath. Sharon helps Mary out of the punchbowl and whispers, "don't do it!" Too late she can only watch as Mary dumps the rest of the punchbowl on Lyn.
The surprise on Lyn's face is astonishing. She stands and puts her hands on her hips and begins to count. "One, two," before she hits three Mary is gone like a shot, headed to her room to change and hoping to outrun Lyn.
Lyn gazes toward Sharon who is swallowing laughter. "We'll be right back, thank goodness we bring a change or two of clothing. I really liked this outfit too." Lyn walks away, trying to maintain her dignity whilst dripping purple punch in her wake.
Sharon turns to face Oliver. Before she can open her mouth he is gone like a shot, yelling over his shoulder. "I'm going to greet Kathleen and her guards."
Sharon shakes her head and gazes at the food, she rearranges the place where she put the conch fritters, she hoped they weren't too spicy. Trays of cheese, among them the Dubliner that Kathleen loves so much. Mango, Papaya, Starfruit, oranges, avocados, stone crab, spiny lobster, the cold and hot dishes made her mouth water, oh my, Key Lime Pie. She'd never seen shrimp as big as the rock shrimp on the table. She opened the cover to smell the intoxicating scent of grilled dolphin. No not like Flipper, please.
In the distance Sharon watches as Lyn throws Mary into the water as she passes her on the way to their room to change.
Glub, glub, snort, choke, Mary emerges from the undertow and chases Lyn down the beach. A laugh that tinkled in her ears makes her look up and there is Kathleen. She's seen Lyn and Mary and shakes her head as she chuckles. Mary waves to her and heads after Lyn, her yelling fading in the distance. "We'll be right there!"
Sharon watches as Kathleen approaches the main Cabana. In her arms, her beloved Westie. Guests, family and friends, greet her as she passes. Sharon walks up to her and kisses her on each cheek. "Welcome Kathleen, welcome to your roast!. Lyn and Mary will be here shortly. " A roar and loud applause follow Sharon's words and Kathleen finally speaks.
"Hello everyone, I am so pleased that you are here to celebrate the release of my new story. This is so wonderful, please everyone. Relax, eat, swim, have a wonderful time." Sharon hands her a glass of ice cold coke. With a bit of Cuddles magic added in. "Bless your little horn sweetie," she pats Cuddles and then Junior. You two are such good boys." Both magic pets are on their best behavior, so Sharon cuddles them both. Mary and Lyn are standing sopping wet behind the well trained animals. "Seems the girls can't behave." Her comments bring a shrug from Mary as she sticks out her tongue at Sharon, while Lyn crosses her arms to sulk.
"Thank you Sharon. Please everyone toast with me! To happiness and good books!"
"Here, here," the audience shouted loudly, "Here, here!"
Kathleen is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, recipient of a James Michener fellowship and the Connecticut writing Awards. Her short stories have appeared in Woman's World, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Seventeen Magazine, St Anthony's Messenger and Liguorian. Her novels are: A Private Matter (a Whiskey Creek Press Dec. 09 release), Men of Paradise, (The Wild Rose Press) and No Doubt, (Whiskey Creek Press).http://www.gottawritenetwork.
Excerpt from Men of Paradise (where two strangers inherit joint custody of an untrainable Westie named Dudley)
What was Ina thinking?” Lauren said to the equally outraged dog. “This isn’t good for you; it’s terrible for David, and uncomfortable for me.” She eased into a plastic lawn chair and had just stretched out when a grey Chevy Blazer breezed into the driveway.
“You can bite him,” she whispered to Dud as an athletic looking man in jeans, faded blue shirt, and black sport coat approached the porch. His skin was bronze and his hair long and silky. Lauren was sure she had seen someone this good looking before == maybe on the big screen in a chilly movie theater. In her experience guys with GQ looks like his were always morons.
He opened the screen door and crooned, “Hey, baby! How are you doing?”
“Doing all right,” Lauren answered before realizing he was talking to the dog. She blushed and folded her hands behind her back.
Dudley, the traitor, inched forward to sniff the stranger’s cowboy boots. Yuma Hawk whipped out a bone as big as a bow tie. The dog snared it, then gulped it down.
Already he is outspending me on dog treats. Lauren stood frozen while Hawk switched the high-beam smile from the dog to her, and advanced with an extended hand. “Good to finally meet you, Lauren. You’re a bit younger than I expected.”
Mitch Gallagher is obsessed with finding the killer of David Forjane. The young detective believes the murder’s proximity to the victim’s workplace is the key clue. Tess McConnell, a new hire, at the same corporation complicates the detective’s job though.
Unaware Gallagher is a recent widower, she comes on too strong and then feels terribly rejected when the grieving detective doesn’t respond. To get even, she ignores Gallagher and initiates some amateur sleuthing of her own. The detective suffers during this ‘cold shoulder’ treatment and eventually discovers he is more ready for a relationship than he realized. And it will take the efforts of both these characters to solve a murder where the killer left no clues.
David Forjane threw his briefcase in the back seat of his new red Saturn. It was a sporty enough car, but did not quite make the statement he desired. He was two years away from the blue BMW. Life was always a waiting game.
He peeled out of the garage anxious to get a mile away from the concrete fortress that was the Rayex Chemical Company. Something about the building affected radio reception, and he was now ready to hear the silky-voiced Samantha of WKAC. Always his companion for the commute home, she spun records for the heartsick and lovesick. He enjoyed their dim patter. Yesterday he heard his girlfriend call in and request a tune for David; a song called Gone. He could not quite believe it. It was his Peggy, of the repetitive conversation and robotic sex, doing something interesting and original. When Marta Johns serenaded him with, I’m beginning to see you’re growing bored with me, David answered, “Oh Peggy, I’ve been bored with you for a long time.”
He looked into the rear view mirror and was surprised to see the departmental loaner car barreling up behind. He thought he recognized the driver, but not the passenger. The twosome was going like hell and about to pass on the left. David reached down to turn on the radio.
A single bullet slammed through his brain before his hand reached the dial.
Wow! What an excerpt...
Kathleen's question for today's prize is easy. If I said I had a rag doll, what kind of pet do I have?
And why the odd name? Kathleen is giving away two prizes to two of today's commenters!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Her latest book Binding Vows is available in print and e-book from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/binding-vows-paperback-p-3755.html
Time is running out. The evil is closing in on them both.
And is it love they feel? Or something else?
“Did you bring me out here to seduce me?” Now why had she asked that? She regretted the question almost immediately.
When Duncan’s answer didn’t come quickly she glanced up again. He was measuring her question and deciding on an answer.
“I believe ’twas part of my intent.”
“Well, I have to give you points for honesty.”
Tara busied her hands to cover up her nerves. Hands shaking, she attempted to cut off some of the cheese.
Duncan placed a hand over hers and removed the dagger from her fingers. He sliced the cheese and handed her a bite.
Tara felt a spark when their fingers touched.
“I have made you uncomfortable. I am sorry.” His voice was as polished as his moves.
“It’s okay. I really do applaud your honesty. It’s refreshing in this day and age. So many people lie to get what they want.”
“Truth is important to you?” Duncan looked away.
“Yes. I’ll be honest with you.” Tara took a long suffering breath and slowly explained what she needed to say. “Having sex with someone I barely know isn’t on my list of things to do today.” The air thickened while she awaited his reply. Her shoulders tensed.
With a straight face he asked, “What about tomorrow?”
The mist drifts lazily and the forest is dark and ominous. The horses begin to chomp at the bit and prance, she knows they are close to the castle.
Glad to have made it there safely, her men boisterously talk in the courtyard about this evening's big event. Her man at arms, handsome in his kilt lifts her down from her Palfrey while they lead their Coursers to the stable. The threat of wolves hastened their arrival.
Suddenly Oliver opens the door and rushes to her. His kilt flapping in the breeze and his white shirt crisp and formal. He pushes past her escort and falls to his knees in front of her, while he reaches for her tiny hand he holds it gently in his huge paw. Tears of joy fall from his cheeks as Catherine places one smack on his surprised lips. He gets that I'm gone look in his eyes.
From inside the keep Mary, Lyn and Sharon wait for Catherine to come in. They are nervous and hope that the gathering will please Catherine.
"Sharon, did you know that you have dirt on your face and Lyn, your dress is on backwards."
Mary shakes her head. Lyn doesn't like the tone of voice Mary is using and bops her on the head. "You deserve that, you are so bossy." Lyn comments. "Yeah, she's right and I'm gonna kill that maid, she did this on purpose cause I wouldn't let her sit at the high table." Lyn realizes. "Help me you dingbat, she's almost here!"
Mary and Sharon knock heads as they both bend to help Lyn. "Ow, that hurts," Lyn exclaims. "Well you're the one with the big head," Mary counters and then comes to her senses. "Sharon and Lyn, you both look fabulous, is everything set for the feast?" "Yes, the food is being brought to the tables as we speak."
Sharon describes the setting. "There is a huge roasted boar, roasted chickens, pheasants covered with a rich buttery sauce as well as salmon, eels and herring. Large bowls of greens, peas, large loaves of stone ground bread made of barley and rye, and pottage cover the wooden sideboards. Ales and honey sweetened water fill golden goblets. For desert custard tarts in their "coffin" line the table, the food is delicious and plentiful."
Junior and Cuddles are waiting by the high table, this would be the best place to get some good food and soon Catherine would be petting and paying attention to them.
Cuddles stretches his wings and raises his ears alert for trouble. Junior watches the entrances for villains or scoundrels. Both of them alert and wary. Lairds and their lasses fill the tables awaiting Catherine. There are druid virgins in the group, and since they are in danger the animals keep an extra special watch. There will be no deflowering on their watch! Hopefully
Finally ready the three hostesses check the honor guard at the entrance to the keep. Nine strong young men stood at attention wearing only the kilt of their clan. "She'll never get past them without a good look," Sharon chuckles. Bare chests show six packs and eight packs too!
Finally Catherine enters regally and kisses the cheeks of all three hostess's, smiles sweetly to the honor guard, touching each chest as she passes and enters the great hall. Behind her the men she has touched groan with desire. Oak trestle tables in tiers fill the hall. Oliver steps up to Catherine and offers her his arm. She takes it and he leads her to the high table. Over a hundred people stop talking as Oliver raises his arm for their attention. Catherine stands raises her goblet and clears her throat in the hush. "Failte! (welcome), " she toasts, "Slainte! (good health), Alba gu brath! (Scotland foreve)" she shouts to the guests.
A roar fills the room and the stomping of feet shakes the entire place as they repeat her mantra. "Alba gu brath!" The toast rouses everyone with excitement. The room fills with toasts and the roast begins!
Now the important question for you to answer: "How does Santa deliver when you have no chimney?"
SOUL MATE Available Now ~ Red Rose Publishing
~~2nd Place Best Trailer by You Gotta Read Reviews JULY~~
KILT WORTHY Available Now ~ The Wilder Rose Press
~~Voted Best Trailer by You Gotta Read Reviews JUNE~~
visit Catherine at www.catherinebybee.com
Friday, December 4, 2009
There is a huge chocolate cake with raspberry filling, it's the centerpiece for a table filled with delicious foods.
Junior and Cuddles are already enjoying the gentle surf. Chasing each other and the sand crabs that scuttle across the beach here at popular Ft. Lauderdale Beach. I hope they keep watch for out for trouble, it's their job. This place sure is hopping, you never know what you might see here. People come here from all over the world. Welcome to sunny South Florida!
We have several different types of Greek foods today. There's stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita warm from the oven, fried Kalamari, grilled Octopus, Eggplant Moussaka, kabobs of Souvlaki, great bowls of yogurt with honey, huge Greek salads with olives and hunks of Feta cheese, Koulourakia for dipping in your coffee, and for desert, the Baklava rich with honey and the rice Rizogalo. That's not half of what we have. The food looks wonderful!
Things are starting to get really crowded and I am getting so excited. Oh here comes Lyn and Sharon. They both look so cute in their sun dresses, swim suits underneath ready for anything.
"Hi girls you look so cute and your sun hats are adorable." Mary hugs them both. "Gosh what a crowd we have," Sharon trips over her feet and knocks poor Lyn onto the ground. "Here ladies, let me help you both up." Sharon smacks Lyn back who gives her a raspberry and smiles at me.
"Well we're ready, is that Mona I see walking next to those two hunks? They look like heroes from her books don't they?
Yes, that's her," I answer. "Mona over here." Lyn waves and hollers to Mona. Sharon opens one of the bottles of port and sniffs the sweet aroma before pouring a glass for Mona. "Mona looks so cute in her long white Karlo Colletto cover up, those slits up the side are just the right touch." Sharon offers her a glass of port. Suddenly Oliver rushes in, bare chest oiled, and his open sleeveless t-shirt flapping. " No, " Sharons mouth drops," he's wearing a speedo!"
Oliver is on a mission as he pushes all three hostess's out of his way and they all go flying. He then throws himself onto the ground at Mona's feet. He prostrates himself and kisses her feet.
Mary groans loudly, because both Lyn and Sharon have landed on her.
They get up groaning and then Sharon gets mad and takes over. "Oliver," she gives him a look, "the auction option." That's all it takes.
Oliver rushes to make sure they are okay. He helps them all up and with Sharon's nod he goes back to Mona. He guides them all into the airy, beautiful cabana. Where a comfortable lounge chair awaits Mona. Mona walks in noticing the Hybiscus, Gardenia, Bird of Paradise and other subtropical plants and flowers that fill the temporary sun shelter. She takes a seat and smiles at Oliver with a twinkle in her eye.
"Welcome to your roast Mona." Oliver gives her a sweet kiss on the cheek and holds out three copies of Rx for Trust to be autographed. He's so hooked on her books. She smiles at him and takes the books. Mona signs with a flourish and then stands up to address the crowd, holding her glass of wine high above her head.
"Welcome," she turns one way, "Welcome my friends!", she says to all the guests on one side of her and turns to the other side.
As the crowd roars back at her. "Mona, Mona, Mona!" Everyone downs their glasses And Mona yells back to the crowd. "Let the party begin!"
Dear Friends from Roast and Toast, thank you for allowing me to present my new book Rx FOR TRUST and to discuss the emotional problems created by domestic violence and their lingering effects years after the actual abuse has stopped. By the way, I should mention that far from being a dark story, my medical romance is a sweet and spicy story that will make you smile, laugh and cry.
Question to readers: Do you think Olivia has the duty to inform her daughter of the truth about her father?
The daughter of a professor and writer, I grew up surrounded by books and started writing my own stories at an early age but I also wanted to be a doctor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand the sight of blood or dissect the adorable rabbit in my premed lab. It was easier to shift to a different major, prepare a Ph.D. in Chemistry and dedicate myself to a career in environmental clean-up.
An early retirement allowed me to pursue my dream of writing romance novels and work on my first book, TO LOVE A HERO, through which I lived again my fantastic trips to
Rx FOR TRUST, released by The Wild Rose Press on December 4, 2009, is a sweet and spicy medical romance about two psychiatrists who don’t practice the principles they preach to their patients.
Contest Awards: First Place in Central Ohio Ignite the Flame, Second Place in Heart of Denver, The Molly ; Third Place in FTHRW Golden Gateway.
Olivia Crane is a psychiatrist at Cincinnati University Hospital. She is also a woman with a troubled past and secrets by the bucket-load. Deep, dark one
s that may destroy her carefully constructed world and all hope of a happy future.
Dr. Luc George, the French psychiatrist, she loved ten years ago, detests secrets. When he received an invitation from Olivia’s boss to consult at Cincinnati University Hospital, Luc wrongly assumes that Olivia wants him back.
All hell breaks loose when Luc strolls into her office, with a confident smile and a perceptive eye, determined to rekindle their relationship and threatening to unravel the secrets of her thorny past. Can Luc win Olivia’s trust and love before her inner fears destroy their second chance at happiness?
Olivia loved her mother to death, but at the moment she wanted to scream her frustration at her beaming Mama. It was obvious Marianna Crane had fallen in love with Luc the moment she’d seen him, or more precisely at the very minute he bent over and kissed the back of her hand with an “Enchanté, madame.”
“I’m delighted to meet you, Luc. Please have a seat. Where have I put my glasses? Melissa, bring the tray of hors d’oeuvres from the kitchen. Olivia, can you serve the drinks? Luc, what can I get you?”
Mama bustled with energy, the way she always did before starting a new project. Seeing her fussing around Luc, Olivia was afraid to guess the name of the new project—her mother’s ongoing goal.
“May I help with the drinks?” Luc offered.
“Of course. Make yourself at home,” Mama purred.
Dropping onto one of the overstuffed chairs of the old-fashioned living room, Olivia rested a moment. She liked coming home to her mother’s. The warm aroma of potpourri soothed her rattled nerves. Tonight, the garlic and nutmeg smell of Mama’s masterpiece roast emanated from the kitchen. Her mother had sharpened her tools to conquer their guest.
Olivia recognized the symptoms. Good dinner, good drinks, good stories. Luc wasn’t going to leave unscathed tonight, not when her mother wanted Luc’s heart for her daughter.
Mama turned toward her. Eyes narrowed, she signaled to Olivia to follow her into the office. “I need you for a second,” Marianna ordered with a you-failed-big-time look.
Olivia braced herself for the worst.
As soon as they stepped into the office, Mama closed the glass double doors behind her, spun around to face Olivia and pointed to the door. “This Luc, is he the French boy you dated when you were in med school?”
Mama’s scowl promised her lecture was going to be worse than Olivia had expected.
“The one you never wanted to bring home to meet your mama and dad?” Marianna propped her fists on her hips.
Olivia took a deep breath and exhaled. “Yes.” It would be a long discussion, all right.
“And you sent him packing? And you let us believe he was no good? Olivia, are you crazy or what?” Marianna snatched a chocolate from a crystal bowl and popped it into her mouth.
“Mom!” Olivia scowled and took a step toward the door.
“Oh no. I have to tell you what I think. Madonna mia, you are a great doctor, but as a smart woman...phht.” Her mother cut the air with her hand. “Any uneducated Italian girl would know that when she meets such a handsome, nice, good-mannered...” Her mother paused for a second to catch her breath and launched again. “Intelligent, famous, wealthy...” She stopped, at a loss for adjectives, and glanced toward the living room for more inspiration.
“Mom, I get your point.”
“I’m not finished. He came back. Now you have a second chance. Don’t lose it, girl. For once, listen to your mother and keep him. You understand, Olivia?” Mama threw another chocolate into her mouth and chewed on it and then clucked her tongue.
“I’m afraid about Melissa learning—”
“So what if she learns her father’s a rotten ass? She’ll hate him. Big deal. She’ll love you more for protecting her.” Her mother stood on tiptoe to pat her cheek. “Bambina, it’s a great time you think about yourself for a change. Grab him without hesitation.” She tugged at Olivia’s hand and walked toward the door. “I’ll be watching you tonight. I’ll keep Melissa out of the way, and I want to see some action.”
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
You are about to be transported back in time to the Colorado
Territory, 1872! Won’t you join us for an old fashioned shin dig at Mariah’s parlor at the Rocking C Ranch? So saddle up, gallop on over into the 20th century, hitch up your horse and kick up your heels! You never know who might saunter on in. The trails are already blazin’! Come on in!
Undulating pines shroud the Rocking C Ranch. And from Mariah’s parlor, the sound of fiddle and harp drift out into the wide open range.
Behind the bar, Sharon, Lyn, Mary and Val, donned as saloon girls, flaunt themselves in their red brocade dresses with black lace-up corsets and attached bustles while serving sarsaparilla with come hither smiles.
Anxious to greet the guests, Cuddles and Junior, donned in brown suede cowboy hats and leather boots, kick up their heels in delight on the dance floor. A beautiful black velvet stallion horse head is mounted on the wall adjacent to the backdrop of the Colorado Rockies and crystal blue sky. A makeshift Wild West jail has been placed in the corner of the parlor, just in case any cowboys get out of line. A sheriff’s badge shimmers on the wall next to photos of some outlaws, among them The James Gang.
A covered wagon pulls up and Ginger steps out, taking Oliver’s hand. He offers a sweeping bow, handing her a yellow rose from the armor. He tips his black Stetson, but not before raking his eyes over the length of her body, winking his approval. Ginger looks drop dead gorgeous in a teal blue satin gown with flowing sheer sleeves, bustle back bow and thigh-high slits exposing a garter belt with a pink rosette. And to complete her ensemble, a matching hat with ostrich plumes. They enter the parlor just as the musicians strike up their rendition of the Venetian waltz.
What in the heck is a sarsaparilla made of?
Good luck! Now before you step back in time to the Colorado Territory, 1872, here’s a little about Ginger and a sneak preview of Sisters in Time.
Two eras collide when a modern day attorney and a pioneer wife find themselves locked in a time not their own.
Mariah Cassidy awakens in the twentieth century. Confined in a pristine environment, hooked to tubes and beeping machines, she’s scared, confused and wondering why everyone keeps calling her Mrs. Morgan. Who is the strange man who keeps massaging her forehead and telling her everything is going to be all right?
Taylor Morgan tries to focus on her surroundings through a blinding headache. The patchwork quilt, the water basin, and the archaic room don’t strike a familiar chord. Her mouth gapes when a handsome man waltzes into the room, calls her darling, and expresses his delight that she’s on the road to recovery.
Clearly something is amiss.
Taylor’s head pounded with pain. Trying to focus, she opened her eyes and blinked a few times, then propped herself up on her elbows. Everything looked strange. The room seemed bright and cheery, but things appeared very old fashioned. She fingered the patchwork quilt covering the bed, and puzzled over the antique mirror hanging above an old-time washbowl and pitcher across the room. An incessant ache throbbed in her temple.
Where was she? What’d happened to her? A zillion questions raced through her mind.
“David,” she called for her husband. Her voice painfully resonated in her head. “David, where are you?”
She slid off the bed. Her legs wavered beneath her and she clung to the bedpost. Slowly, as she regained her equilibrium, she weaved across the room and peered into the mirror. A massive bandage covered the top her head; black circles ringed her swollen eyes. She didn’t recognize herself.
“Boy, I look like hell,” she muttered.
As she raised her hand to touch the bandage, the door behind her opened, and she spied the reflection of a strange man.
“Mariah, sweetheart. You’re finally awake.” He crossed the room with open arms.
Taylor spun and faced him. Feeling disoriented, she shook her head. “You have the wrong room, sir.”
His brows arched. “Mariah, what are you talking about? What wrong room?”
“Look fella, I’m not Mariah. Evidently you’re in the wrong place if you are looking for someone by that name.”
The stranger rushed over and took her in his arms. “Oh my sweet angel, the bump on your head is worse than Doc Samuels thought.”
Taylor shoved him away. “Take your hands off me. Who is Doc Samuels, and who in the hell are you?”
Suddenly, the room spun. Her stomach turned queasy. Needing to sit, she staggered back to the bed, her gaze still assessing the stranger.
“I’m Frank… your husband.” He followed her, his head cocked, his eyes clouded in confusion.
She swallowed. “Excuse me? My husband’s name is David... David Morgan. I don’t know who you are, mister, but you must be the one who bumped your head if you think I’m your wife.”
“Well, if you aren’t, then just who might you be?”
“Taylor Morgan. I live in Denver. Can you please tell me where I am?”
“You’re in Colorado, about two hours from Denver City. Don’t you remember?”
“Two hours? How in the hell did I get here?”
Frank’s eyes widened. “When did you start cussing?”
“Don’t worry about it, just answer me. How did I get here?” Her last nerve frayed, and he plucked at it.
“Don’t you recall? We were going to town in the wagon—”
“Wagon? What the hell would I be doing in a wagon? A station wagon?”
Frank took a deep breath. “We were going to town, and Jacob needed to pee. I think he disturbed some rattlesnakes and they spooked the horses... Sound familiar?”
Taylor’s mind raced. Who was this loony? Before he spoke again, she assaulted him with a barrage of questions. “Who is Jacob? Wagon? What horses? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Frank... is it? Look, Frank, I have an idea. Why don’t you just call me a cab and I’ll get out of your way.”
She looked down at the tacky nightgown she wore and wondered who had removed her clothing. Tugging at the sack-like shift, she let out an exasperated huff. “If you’ll just retrieve my things, I’ll get dressed and be ready to go when the taxi gets here.”
Romance author, Ginger Simpson currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and biggest fan, Kelly. Since the publication of her first book in May 2003, she has added eight more books and six published novellas to her list of accomplishments. Although she retired to devote more time to writing, her promotional efforts, blogging, tweeting, and interacting with new friends made on all her author’s and reader’s loops have stymied her efforts. 2009 was a productive year but now she’s concentrating her efforts on finding an agent to land that million dollar deal. You can view Ginger’s backlist at http://www.gingersimpson.com/ and everyone is invited to visit her at her blog at http://mizging.blogspot.com/. She loves to hear from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.