Do you have something to celebrate? Whether it's a Birthday, New Release, or something else

Do you have something to celebrate? Whether it's a Birthday, New Release, or something else - Book your Celebration Roasting Bash now ! BUT FIRST PLEASE READ OLIVER'S RULES !

P
lease Note:
We don't do reviews or interviews. just virtual parties to promote your book!

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.
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Seeking Solace


Welcome to the Ship’s Inn Tavern on Scotland's beautiful east coast.
Please greet our special guest this week, Adrienne Dunning  
 and her novel 'Seeking Solace'.

 Debby's hands tighten on the steering wheel of the rented Land Rover. "I hope we find North Berwick soon. This snow is getting worse by the minute. I don'’t understand why Sarah picked the
east coast of Scotland in the winter for her honeymoon."
 

Mary, seated next to Debby, peers through the snowy windshield. "Who would have thought she’'d be coming here alone. I see a light up ahead. Yes, it looks like a pub."
 "Thank goodness," Lyn replies from the backseat. "There's bound to be food and drink. I’'m starving."

"Of course there's food and drink, this is Scotland," Mac says. Oh, look at the pretty harbor."

Mary squirms in her seat. "The only thing I'm interested in right now is finding the loo. It's been hours since we left the airport."

 LaVerne sighs.  "I hope Sarah won't be angry that we came looking for her. There had to be something truly wrong for her to run out of the church like she did."

"She's our friend. She knows we'll be worried and would want to make sure she's all right,"  Debby says, parking the Land Rover.

"Toto, I don’t think we’re in Connecticut anymore,” Mary says, as they hurry into the rustic Ship’s Inn Tavern.

"Wow, this looks like something right out of a Hollywood movie set," Lilly says taking in the smoky low-beamed room with its flagstone floor, hand-carved bar, wide granite fireplace and wall-mounted dead animal heads.

LaVerne shivers. "Let’s get a table over by the fire. I’'m freezing."


Haggis
Debby sniffs appreciatively. "Something sure smells good."

"Don't the Scottish eat something called Haggis?" Lilly says. "Perhaps that’s what it is."

"There'’s not that many people in here, does anyone see Sarah?" Mac asks.

"No, but check out the hunky guy behind the bar," Lyn whispers.

"The only thing I have to check out is the loo,” Mary says hurrying away.

As the girls make themselves comfortable around a large oak table, a handsome young man wearing a kilt approaches.  They smile at Oliver as he suggests a nice dram of Scottish whisky, a spiced ale or perhaps a pot of herbal tea.”

Debby smiles. "When in Scotland... I think tea and whisky all around would be appropriate."

Mac points toward the back of the inn. “Who’s that with Mary?”


"Oh my, it’s Sarah," Lyn replies excitedly as they all jump up to greet their friend.

"I found her playing darts," Mary says with a big grin.


"What are all of you doing here?" Sarah asks as she hugs each girl. 

"When you ran out of the church, and days went by and we didn't hear from you, we had to follow," LaVerne replies. "We hope you're not mad."

Tears fill Sarah’s eyes as she smiles. "Mad. No, I’m not mad. I can't tell you how happy I am to see you. Wait until you meet Bretton Keith."

Who's that?" Mac asks.

A blush stains Sara’s cheeks. “Well, he's right over there." She points to the handsome man behind the bar. "He's um, very nice, and the owner of the pub."

Mary fans herself. “He doesn't look nice, he looks hot."


Debby lowers her voice. "We have to know, what does he wear under that kilt?"
Sara’s blush deepens. "Stop that. We just met."

Gammon
Cranachan
Lilly clears her throat. "Here he comes."

Bretton Keith is a tall man with thick wavy hair. He stops next to Sara and puts his arm around her shoulders. "Sarah lass, who are these lovely ladies?"

"Bretton, these are my friends from Connecticut. They came all this way because they were worried about me."

"Well, I think this calls for a party. Let’s have us a wee dram then a bite to eat. We have a nice mutton or beef stew or a thick slice of gammon steak I think ye be likin'."

Sarah smi
les. "And Cranachan for dessert. Oh, also, Bretton's band, Captain's Folly will be playing tonight. They're great."

As the girls follow Sara and Bretton back to the table, Mary lowers her voice. "Isn't  mutton sheep meat?"


"I think so,”" Debby whispers back. “"But what's gammon steak?"

Mac shakes her head. "I haven’t a clue. I was hoping for some fish and chips."


"I think we should just stick with dessert," Lilly suggests. "You can’t go wrong with that."

"Maybe they’ll have some nice shortbread cookies," LaVerne adds.

"Ach, I dinna ken what you’re so worried about," Lyn says in her best brogue."It's all good Scottish fare, and gammon is just a roast or boiled bacon joint."

 There is tumultuous aplause as the hostesses introduce Adrienne Dunning  and her novel 'Seeking Solace'.

 This week's introductiary skit was written by Debby Grahl

 
SEEKING SOLACE
BLURB
PURCHASE LINK
Sometimes running away is the first step in the right direction. Sarah Collier’s life has always been scripted for her, according to the expectations of her domineering, socially-connected Connecticut family. Everything always went as planned…until the unthinkable happened moments before walking down the aisle. On a whim, she does the first thing that comes to mind—she takes off on her honeymoon, alone. Sarah has never acted on spontaneity, so the impromptu trip may not be what Sarah thinks it will. The quaint and rustic harbor village of North Berwick on Scotland’s East Lothian coast is typically devoid of tourists in the winter. So when an auburn-haired stranger who wanders into his pub on a cold, Sunday evening, Bretton Keith, self-assured and flirtatious pub owner that he is, sees an opportunity to break up the monotony of another village winter.

 As Bretton comes to know, he finds it increasingly difficult to uphold his credo of never becoming attached. Can he forget the mistakes of the past and learn to trust another with his heart? Will Sarah, daring to think of her life in a different way, be brave enough to risk it on a man who was so hurt by another that he swore off ever falling in love again, or will the demands of her family prove too big an obstacle to overcome? **Most readers will consider this a sweet contemporary romance. While the characters do have a physical relationship, the scenes are not graphically explicit."

EXCERPT
He started to move away, but she realized she didn’t want him to.  Not thinking about anything else, only a way to keep him close, she reached out, and grabbing his jacket with both hands, she rose up on her feet and kissed him.  She could tell he was caught off guard at the very first, but then he wrapped both arms around her and pulled her to him. 
Teaser 2He took control, and Sarah parted her lips.  He took advantage of that to deepen the kiss, and though her back was cold in the night air, warmth was spreading from her chest to her legs where he was holding her against him.  Eyes closed, only conscious of the sensation of where they touched, she felt as if they were part of the beautiful green lights swirling in the atmosphere.  She reached up with one hand and skimmed it over his neck and into the thick waves of his hair.  

The kiss seemed to go on forever.  Bret thrilled at the feeling of her body against his, despite the heavy winter coats.  Her lips were soft, and she tasted of the whiskey they'd been drinking.  It was a heady combination.  When her mouth parted more beneath his, he couldn’t resist letting his tongue explore the whiskeyed sweetness of hers.  His neck warmed from the caress of her hand even though he had been trying to brace against the cold wind.  He could feel her hand woven in his hair and heard the soft moan at the back of her throat. 
        
She slowly broke the kiss and slid her hand from his hair, letting it trail down his neck and his chest.  She kept it there on his chest for a moment with her head bowed, and he heard her soft sigh.  Then, to his amazement, she turned and ran. 

“Sarah!  Sarah!”

He stood there and watched as she ran down the wall of the marina, across Harbor Terrace, and lost her as she ran in the darkness down Victoria Road toward the hotel. He knew it was better this way.  She didn’t strike him as the type to be satisfied with just a few nights.  Yes, he instinctively knew this, but there was a nagging at him.  A tugging that told his instincts that there was something about this girl that he should try harder to hold on to.  He didn’t fight the notion because he knew deep down it was true, and the bitter cold of the midnight air hit him in full force as he stood alone on the point, all of her beautiful warmth running away from him.

Author Bio
Adrienne Dunning is simply a Southern gal who has fun playing poorly at golf when she’s not crafting novels.  She loves all forms of expression—writing, dancing, cooking, talking—and does them frequently and with abandon.  She loves creating endearing and feisty characters full of humor and just a little awkwardness to keep them "real".  Although a possible mystery series is under current exploration, her current works are primarily aligned with the contemporary romance/chick lit genres.  She is heavily active in her local NaNoWriMo chapter, and Seeking Solace, her debut novel releasing April 2015, is the resulting product of a NaNo project.  She lives in coastal North Carolina and uses that region as the setting for many of her stories.  

Social Media Accounts:
Twitter:  @adriennedwrites
Website & Blog:  www.adriennedunning.com



***GIVEAWAY***
To win a copy of 's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
Contest ends on Sunday and everyone who comments is eligible.
(We reserve the right to waive the prize in any week when there are not enough contestants for a draw to be deemed fair and unbiased)

82 comments:

  1. Good morning everybody! Thanks for joining me to celebrate the release of my first novel! I'll be checking in on the fun all day, so feel free to leave a comment, ask questions...anything you like. (Don't forget to include your email address so you can have a chance at the giveaway!) If Seeking Solace sounds like your type of read, you can find it on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WBP2K6Y

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  2. Hi Adrienne, welcome to your party. Wishing you much success with 'Seeking Solace', the excerpt is so intriguing and made me want more!

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    1. Thanks Hywela! These two just kept surprising me. When I started out, I knew I wanted them together just not the how or when...then they'd give me a scene like this one. :-)

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  3. I love it when characters surprise one like that!

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  4. Oh, I do love it when we travel to Scotland. Love the drinks, accents, landscape, and kilts! The food? Well....as long as it's not Haggis! Welcome to your roast, Adrienne!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lilly! Oliver has outdone himself! (And yeah... I'm more of a fish & chips girl, myself... LOL)

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  5. Hello, Adrienne and fellow hostesses. I loved the excerpt for Seeking Solace. And what a great setting for a party!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Debby! So glad you were able to join in. I've always wanted to go to Scotland. This book was my ticket there. ;-)

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    2. Squee!!! I love waking up in Scotland! :-) Congrats on the release of Seeking Solace, Adrienne, and welcome to your roast. What an intriguing blurb. Is there a woman alive who hasn't wondered, what would it be like to just take off and find a new life? On, my, the possibilities...

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    3. Somehow, Mackenzie, I missed this comment earlier! Thank you so much for the congrats and for sharing this with me. The idea for the story actually started off as a question. "So what would you do if you were all set to get married, and the wedding didn't happen?" I immediately pictured Sarah standing in front of a full church having to tell everyone to go home. The story started writing itself from that image!

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  6. I was there once and would love to go back. That's when I got hooked on Gammon steak.

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    Replies
    1. Very cool! The Gammon steak looks good to me!

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  7. The Irish whiskey and Guinness look good to me. lol!

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    1. Absolutely! Any excuse to imbibe a little. :-)

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    2. Oh, yes! Me too!! But if we're in Scotland, shouldn't we be drinking Scotch Whiskey? :)

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  8. I'm afraid I'm not much of a whiskey or Guiness girl - more mead - there must be Scottish mead, after all, it's a Celtic drink! I love fish and chips and gammon though, and I really fancy making Cranachan, I've never actually tasted it but it looks easy enough - and delicious!

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    Replies
    1. I've never had Cranachan either, Hywela. That's definitely going on my list of new recipes to try!

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  9. Here's a simple Cranachan recipe:


    570ml/1 pint double cream

    85g/3oz porridge oats

    7 tbsp whisky

    3 tbsp honey

    450g/1lb raspberries

    fresh mint, to garnish

    Preparation method

    Toast the oats in a frying pan, being careful not to burn them.

    Lightly whip the cream until it reaches the soft peak stage, then fold in the whisky, honey, oatmeal and raspberries.

    Serve in dessert glasses garnished with a few raspberries and mint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hywela Lyn, chef extraordinaire!!!

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    2. I think you should make enough for all of us and serve it up, Lyn. We're all gonna need something stout to soak up all the whiskey we're swilling.

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    3. Mackenzie, that's a fantastic idea!!

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    4. Trouble is - there's whiskey in the Cranachan!

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  10. Sorry, I had to leave snowy Scotland for a bit to enjoy Hilton Heads beautiful sunshine and I come back to find you're all enjoying drinks and Lyn's yummy sounding dessert. Well, as they say, "It's 5:00 somewhere."

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    Replies
    1. Oh, so THAT's where you got off to! Well, grab a barstool, I'm sure we can find warm you. :-)

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  11. Sorry to be late. What are we drinking? I'll go right to the desert myself. How is everyone today?? Extra raspberries please. Is that a ham?
    Does our attractive tender have any hot friends? I'm ready.

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    Replies
    1. Well, the band members of the Captain's Folly are all kinda hunky. You should check them out. :-) We're drinking a lot...of different things. I think a couple of us have whiskey, there's some stout flowing, and there may also be a pot of tea hanging around... just name your poison.

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    2. Hiya Mary. I've already claimed the drummer, so hands off, and I think Lyn is hogging the mead. You know how she is with that stuff. :-)

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    3. Ha ha!!! So you've staked a claim on Angus, have you! Well, he's lovely. He's a bit impatient as you'll learn, but it makes him awful cute.

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  12. I'm pouring a ceremonious shot of whiskey for you, dear friend! I cannot wait to add this to my reading collection and adding more in the future. I am loving some of the ideas you have been bouncing off lately. Scold! (aka HOLLA!)

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    1. HOLLA! Thanks for swinging by the party Pamela! Oh wait... our glasses are empty... we have to fix that! **shouts over the bar** "Hey Bret! We need another round over here!"

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    2. At least we're experienced with "being friendly" with the bartenders. ;-)

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    3. Oh this is true! But then.... none of them looked like Bret (or the band members).... ;-)

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    4. This is true. There was that one bartender with the sangria, but I don't think he was interested in batting for the other team. ;-)

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    5. Oh yeah... well, let me introduce you to one of the Ship's Inn barkeeps--- this is David. He's a bit of a flirt, but he's good people.

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    6. Well you know I like good people...

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  13. I've always had a soft spot for guitar players, especially if they have a Scottish brogue.

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    1. Well then, Debby, you definitely need to go over and talk to Malcolm. Although his bandmates call him Mack. Mean guitar player, kind of cocky, and he's got a great brogue!

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    2. Look out ladies, he's all mine!

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    3. Wait. Impatient but cute drummer or a cocky guitarist with a great brogue? How the hell is a girl to decide? Barkeep, I need more whiskey!

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    4. LOL. They're an intimidating, but attractive, lot those Captain's Folly boys!

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  14. I love a bass player myself. Somehow I could see my husband be a bass player. LOL!

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    1. Maybe Bret would let him play a set with the band. ;-) You know...since today is a special occasion and all.

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    2. Definitely. Though, it may not be a good set. :-) He may need a few lessons.

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    3. Tell him to keep it simple..stick to basic cords and whole notes. :-)

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    4. Bret may need to write that down for him. LOL!

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    5. Yeah...... **nods head***

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  15. Well who is there left???? I am rather particular, must have certain qualities. Not to mention that brogue! I'll have the tea, until I pick my guy, I want to be totally sober. These things are critical you know...I'm thinkin' like the guy who plays Jamie on Outlander. But, I don't care what color his hair is. Any ideas for me?
    Just wanted to say. This book is right up my alley, I can tell you that!!

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Let's see, the last member of the band is William. Plays keyboard, has reddish hair and blue eyes. He's a quiet soul, and very much a romantic. He's a bit of a dreamer. And... of course, there's always a couple single guys that are regulars from the village. One of them might be what you're looking for.

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    2. Must have muscles and a good income. Not be a mama's boy, or alcoholic.
      Needs a brain, no dummies. Hmmmm. Am I being too picky?

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    3. No, I don't think you're being picky. I have the same standards. I think it's being smart, not picky. :-)

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    4. Since when did you get so particular Mary? LOL

      *Waves* to Pamela and sister hostesses and anyone I may have missed!

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    5. "Waving" at you Hywela! I'm just enjoying the music and beverages.

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    6. You mean these "standards" are new for Mary???

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  16. As the ladies are all so intrigued by the fellas in the Captain's Folly, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't turn this into a series for Mack, William, and Angus. Hmmmm......

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    1. Ooooo!!! That would be good.

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    2. I know.... I'm pondering the possibilities as we speak.

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    3. I admit that in the past I have not been quite so picky. I mean the income stuff etc. is new. But, for goodness sakes Lyn I just met these people. All right!!! I am easy !!! (not as easy as Lyn, but easy all the same). All it takes is a great body and a handsome face.
      But, if I think I might keep them then the other stuff gets added.
      BTW ladies, I'm thinking sequel myself. I love when the side characters with that special oomph, get their own stories. When you like a story you are already invested in it, that's why series do so well.

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    4. I agree. I did have a lot of fun writing those 3 blokes. They'd make great spin-offs, I think.

      (Pssst.... I'm easy too. Give me a man with a sexy accent, and I'm sunk!)

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    5. Yes you are! I'd love to hear Mack's story. Hard on the outside but a big ol' softie on the inside.

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    6. My weakness is a man with sexy eyes. They can make me all wiggly.

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    7. Hmm, while we're on the subject of men - I tend to agree with you Debby, sexy eyes make me weak at the knees - as does a deep, rich voice. Gives me goosbumps!

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    8. Debby! You are such a lady, I cannot imagine you wiggly. But, I am not surprised.
      What say you to another excerpt? I'll hold Debbie so she doesn't distract you with her wiggly. I know there's at least three hot guys with sexy eyes.
      Lyn, just don't hold them down with your feet. Lilly don't sit on them. Mac, remember where you are? LaVerne, stop drooling. And beg for another excerpt ladies!

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    9. A series sounds like a great idea, Adrienne!

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    10. Another excerpt sounds great! And, yes, Mary, I've been known to get quite wiggly, but I do try and control myself, LOL!

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    11. LOL! I'll see if I can add another excerpt here in a few minutes! Since you've asked so nicely! ;-)

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    12. *wipes chin of drool* Sorry, ladies. But at the company we're surrounded by, can you blame me? :) Looking forward to reading that excerpt!

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  17. Here's another little excerpt. This scene is from a sight-seeing trip to the Island of Fidra in the Firth of Forth. Bret had been telling Sarah a bit of its history:

    As they descended the hill, Bret led her around to the sea cave. It was more of a tunnel that separated the north dog, a short and small bit of rock, and the south dog, a large, rocky cliff.
    “You mind getting your feet wet?”
    In answer, Sarah took off ahead of him and made her way into the cave. She ran her hand along the cold, damp stone. She stood silent, looking out at the sea as Bret caught up with her. Once she heard him approach, she spoke softly, as if remembering something long forgotten.
    “I did a research paper in grad school once on the Battle of Bannochburn…where Robert the Bruce defeated the English despite being outnumbered. I remember that when I was compiling my notes, I came across a legend that said if you stand on the battlefield on the anniversary of the victory, June 24th, then you would see three stars rising exactly over the three islands.”
    “Ay, it’s true.”
    Sarah quickly turned her head to look at him.
    “I did it once, as a kid. Brilliant, it was. I snuck out and went down there all alone at dusk…it seemed the very earth was hushed. The darkness of night descended over the field and the distant sea. It was exciting and scary all at the same time, standing there in the dark where The Bruce had stood all that time ago. I thought if I concentrated hard enough I’d hear the sounds of battle echo on the air. Then, as soon as it was completely black, you saw them. Three winking beacons in the sky all spaced apart…like the islands dot the Firth. I thought about going again over the years, but I never did.”
    “Why not?” She asked, completely taken in by his story.
    He gave her a somewhat wistful smile. “Oh, I don’t know of a specific reason. Just…just a feeling that going back would…would…”
    “…would ruin the magic,” she finished for him.
    He smiled at her. “Exactly.”
    It occurred to him as he looked down at her, that he’d not told another soul that story from his childhood. He had always held it as a nostalgic secret that he didn’t want to ever risk being made fun of by his mates or told he was making it up. Somehow, here with her, Bret felt she could appreciate it, more so than anyone else he knew. He knew they had a fairly instant attraction, but this afternoon, the pull between them felt deeper than that like a meeting of kindred spirits.
    Standing there in the ancient and storied place, he bowed his head and kissed her. It was a kiss of passion and longing. She clung to him, unable to break away. For Sarah, it was a kiss of seeking solace, seeking a place of restoration.
    She couldn’t explain how she was so intrigued and drawn to Bret. All she could do was show it through her response to his kiss. Eventually, reluctantly, they broke the kiss, and Bret rested his forehead on hers. He whispered the thought they were both struggling with. “What are we doing here, beautiful Sarah? Ach, what are we doing?”
    She heard the same confusion and wonder and attraction she was feeling reflected in his voice. She sighed, and her breath fanned across his face. “I don’t know. I…I can’t explain it.”
    “Nor can I.” He tightened his arms around her, and she rested her head on his shoulder. He stood there holding her, staring out at the sea and pondering what this was between them.

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    1. Another Great excerpt - thanks Adrienne!

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  18. Sorry to be so slack today, but I finally got fed up with Google Chrome. It hasn't worked well since the last update and I just got sick of it and deleted it. I'm giving Mozilla Firefox a try....We'll see how that works

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  19. Now that...is an excerpt! Thanks for tease. And also, leaving out graphic scenes is fine with me. I usually skip them over anyhow! I know how the job is done and now everyone puts a bit of sex in there. I say it's about the story and if it takes me away. I know what to do after that! So kudos to you

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!!! My stories don't get overly graphic. I figure readers have imaginations, why not let them use it. LOL. I tend to think less is more anyway.

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  20. My phone has now decided to do double comments. **rolls eyes**

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  21. Well off to party. Your party is on for a bit, see you in the morning! Oliver another round for everyone, after the wink and kiss...

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  22. Goodnight Mary - goodnight everyone, it's past the witching hour here in the UK. Will pop back tomorrow for leftovers! :)

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    1. Good night! See you tomorrow!

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    2. Another great excerpt! Yes, goodnight all. A wonderful party! Adrienne, the best of luck to you with Seeking Solace.

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  23. I loved the visit to Scotland and the pub. Wish I was there instead of being left behind. Traffic was terrible and I missed the flight. Total bummer. I do want to read Sarah's story and see if she overcomes her family's influences.

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  24. So much to love. I can be won over by a man in a kilt.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  25. Hi Terri and Mary, thanks so much for joining us! Yes, this sounds like a great story doesn't it, and as you say Mary, who doesn't love a man in a kilt!

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  26. Oh, Terri! What a bummer all right! :) This pub is one of my most favourite venues. And being surrounded by snow - *squee!* How romantic! Of course, it has nothing to do with being a lover of whiskey and Guiness as well! ;)

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  27. Hi LaVerne - bet it's warmer where you are! I love snow too though!

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