Tuesday Tales – Key

 Hi and welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “key” and we’re back with Reese and Lily in The Heartbreaker (yep – I changed the name!). 

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The warm white sunshine poured through the large glass windows of the library turning the plank wood floors into honey gold. The fragrance of brandied pecan pies baking for the festival filled every part of Braden.  Lily smiled as she smoothed her powder blue sundress before picking up a pile of books to put away. 

The festival brought people from miles around to Braden for a chance to sample the secret pie recipe. Every business would boom today. Buddy was sponsoring a street dance. Reese and Molly spent until midnight helping Lily finish cataloging the baskets for the silent auction. With the amount of donations she received, there was no doubt she would raise far more than she had last year. Which was a good thing. Her wish list for the library shelves was a mile long.

Lily turned, frowning, as she heard the large oak door open. Speaking of the devil… Reese stood in the doorway dressed in his usual t-shirt and jeans and looking oh-so-sexy. “How’d you get in here? I locked the door.”

“You left the key in the door, Lilybug. At this rate anyone can get in here. Why are you working? The festival is about to start.”

She smiled as she readjusted the books in her arms. “Things are behind here since we worked on the baskets last night instead of cleaning up.”

Without a word, Reese strode to the circulation desk and picked up a stack also. Lily watched him, a lovesick sigh escaping her lips. He was so sinfully handsome. The lovemaking was unbelievably hot. And he would drop everything to help her. He is really almost too good to be true.

“Lead the way, Miss Dixon,” he grinned.

Together they wove their way through the shelves. Reese picked up on the shelving system quickly. Lily gave him an encouraging smile as he disappeared down another aisle. She found her category and started slipping the books onto the shelves.

Her breath escaped as she felt a large pair of hands caress her rump. “I thought you had books to put away,” she moaned.

“I’m done,” Reese purred, nuzzling his lips against her ear. “You know, after spending years watching you in this library I’ve come up with some pretty naughty fantasizes.”

“You’ve been gone for seven years,” Lily protested breathlessly.

“Baby, I would come here in high school just to watch you study. It was closest I could do to be with you. And I was a horny teenager so you could guess what I was thinking about.” He slid his hands around her, pulling her tight against his hard body. “You. Me. An empty library. I think we should give one of my fantasizes a try.”

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Tuesday Tales – Picture Prompt


Hi! And welcome to another Tuesday Tales! This week we are writing 300 words to a word promt. And we are back with Reese and Lily in Between the Shelves.

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 “So what made you decide to fight for a living?” Lily asked as she glanced at Reese. She loved the feel of his strong hand around hers. The towering trees above them shaded them from the hot summer sun. It was just them walking on the road to the lake. Things couldn’t be more peaceful on a Saturday morning.

“I hitchhiked as far as Omaha and was desperate for money. There were fights at some low life bar by the river. Ten dollars to enter. Two hundred if I won. I took a chance and put my last ten in to enter. You could tell it was fixed. The guy I fought was over twice my size. I laid him out a minute into the round. A local coach saw me and invited me to train. He paid me and gave me a place to sleep in exchange for doing maintenance in the gym. It’s all history from there.”

“And soon you’ll be going back to Vegas,” Lily sighed miserably.

“Maybe. Why does it bother you?”

“I don’t even know what we are. Am I your girlfriend?”


“Oh.” Lily’s heart sunk in her chest as she tugged her hand back. She couldn’t stop the sudden tears that burned her eyes. Reese held her hand firm. 

“You aren’t my girlfriend. I’m not waiting for you to call so we can go see a movie. We aren’t in sixth grade. You’re my lover, the reason I breathe, the reason my heart beats. You’re the woman I want to share my body, my bed, my life with. You’re my every thought. You’re more than a girlfriend, Lily. You’re my soul.”

Lily was so dumbfounded she couldn’t speak. Her only response was simple surrender as he pulled her to him for a kiss.

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Tuesday Tales – Nail


Hi and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  This week’s word prompt is “nail”.  We’re back with Reese and Lily in Between the Shelves.

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The rest of the ride was silent but the tension between them was thick.  Lily buried herself closer to Reese to escape it.  It wasn’t anger.  She knew the tension anger caused.  She had felt it multiple times when Rose, her little sister, and her would fight.  Or she had felt it frequently with her father.  His overbearingness wasn’t to protect her from the riffraff that prowled around Braden.  It was to protect his precious reputation.  Sometimes being the preacher’s daughter was just too much to take.  

No.  This kind of tension left a dull burning ache in her belly that only Reese could fix. Part of her hoped he would soon.

Reese parked the truck and stepped out, offering his hand to help Lily down from the cab. She clung tight to him as they walked into the restaurant. Memorabilia from several sports teams were nailed to the wood paneled walls. The waitress showed them to a booth along the wall, setting the menus on either side of the table. As she walked away, Reese slid them on the same side. “Don’t get me wrong, Lilybug. I could stare at you all night. But I don’t want to look at you. I want to feel you. I want to taste you. I bet you taste far better than their pizza.”

Lily shuddered at his words. The thought of being touched and tasted by Reese completely melted her into a puddle of goo. She slid into the booth, planting herself into the vinyl seat. He slipped in beside her until his thigh was pressed tight against hers. To insure there was no space, he gripped her leg and tugged it against him. Her gasp was swallowed up by a kiss, the kind of kiss she only saw in the movies. His tongue invaded her mouth, teasing hers to play. Lily had absolutely no experience with public displays of affection. The way Reese was going, by the end of the meal she would happily let him do her right there in the booth.

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Tuesday Tales – Speak


Hi and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  This week’s word prompt is “speak”.  I’m continuing on from last week with Reese and Lily in Between the Shelves.

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She glanced around the bar.  “Where is he?”

“Rehab in Waterloo.  Answer my question.”

Lily looked down at the stained wood of the bar.  “I came in to buy a bottle of beer.  One of the ones you donated broke all over my office floor.  Before I could step in here I could see him laughing and hugging your waitress.  She kissed him on the cheek.”

Buddy started laughing.  “That’s why you dumped him?”

“Why wouldn’t I?  I was obviously just a fling to him.”

The door to the bar was flung open.  Lily squinted against the sunlight to see who stepped in.  Her heart slammed in her chest.  It wasn’t Reese but the waitress who she saw him with.  The girl was juggling an armful of bags of pretzel buns from Merryn’s bakery down the street.  She glanced from Buddy to Lily as she dropped the bags on the closest table.  “What’s up?”

“Jenny, why did I hire you?” Buddy interrogated.

“Because my charming personality brings our customers back and makes you loads of money.”

“The other reason, smartass.”

“Because my cousin is your best friend.”

“And your cousin is?”

“Reese, you moron.”

Buddy grinned at Lily.  “Make sense now?”

Lily looked at Jenny.  “I know your entire family, Jenny.  They’re not related to Howard Cooper.”

“True.  But my mom was Susie Cooper’s sister,” Jenny returned.

Lily frowned.  “Was?”

“Aunt Susie left when Reese was one and a half.  She didn’t want to be a wife and mother.  They found her six years later dead in a motel with another guy in Oklahoma City.  It was a murder/suicide I guess.  Howard blamed Reese for her leaving.  It of course didn’t have to do with his drinking and sleeping around.  Here.”  Jenny hurried around the bar to get her purse.  She rummaged around inside, pulling free an old photo of three children swinging in the park, two girls and a boy.  A woman stood near them.  “That’s my mom.  The girl on the left is my older sister, Jane.  I’m in the middle.  The boy is Reese.  Howard would drop him off at our house for weeks at a time.  Told my mom that he was her problem since her sister left Reese with him.  My mom had to call human services and report him for him to come get Reese.  It was probably better for him just to stay with us.  It took days for him to speak to anyone.”

Lily gazed at the photo as she lovingly brushed her fingertips over the image of the boy.  Jenny slipped onto the barstool next to her.  “He’s told me all about you.  I mean, I already knew who you were. I’ve never seen Reese like this.  He’s so crazy in love.  Lily, whatever stupid thing my cousin did, please forgive him.  He really loves you.”

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Tuesday Tales – Mug


Hi and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  Today’s word prompt is “mug”.  We’re back with Reese and Lily in Between the Shelves.

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**caution…there is some adult language.**

Lily shuffled down the sidewalk, her eyes trained to the cement beneath her feet.  She never felt so lost and lonely in her life.  Sleep eluded her.  Tears felt at the drop of a hat.  She forced herself to keep busy so she couldn’t think about Reese.  Because if she did…

Wiping a stray tear from her cheek, Lily picked up the pace.  The last place she wanted to go was her father’s church.  However it was the one place in Braden that people left her alone, including her father.  And at the moment she just wanted to be alone.

“Well, if it isn’t Lily Dixon.”

Lily glanced up to find Buddy leaning against the wall of his bar, his arms crossed over his broad chest.  The summer sunlight made his shaggy blond hair almost white.  He shoved himself off the wall and stormed across the street until he was standing in her way.

He glared down at her.  “Where are you going, Lily?”

“What does it matter to you Buddy?”

“I want to have a little chat with you.  Why don’t come over to my bar so we can talk?”

Lily cast a wary glance at the bar.  Reese is in there.  Probably with her. “I don’t want to talk.  And I don’t drink.”

“Bullshit.  I know how much wine you and Molly drink.  Who do you think she buys it from?”

“I’m not interested in talking.”

Buddy grasped her arm.  “I am.”

“Don’t bully me.”

Buddy chuckled.  “I’m not bullying you.  I just want to talk to the bitch that broke my best friend’s heart.”

Lily stared him in amazement.  Buddy pulled her slowly up to him until they were eye to eye.  “I know Reese can handle himself physically.  He’s an MMA fighter.  But his heart is fragile.  He’s had no love, no family his entire life.  No one has ever wanted him.  So when you fuck with his heart, you fuck with me.  Get it?  Now, shall we go have a chat?”

Lily slowly nodded.  Buddy lowered her back to her feet then pointed to his bar.  She scampered ahead of him, not stopping until her rear was firmly planted on a bar stool in the dim building.  Buddy pulled a frosty mug from the freezer and plopped it in front of her.  She nudged it away.  “I don’t drink.”

He sighed and pulled out a shot glass, filling it with a golden liquid.  “Like cinnamon?” he questioned.


He set it in front of her.  “Try it.”

Lily stared at it a moment before she slammed it down.  She winced as it burned but Buddy was right.  It was good.  She looked up from the shot as he leaned across the bar towards her.  “So now, tell me.  Why did you break Reese’s heart?”

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Tuesday Tales – Catch


Hi Everyone!  I’m back!  This week’s word prompt is “catch”.  This week’s excerpt is from “Between The Shelves”, Book Two of the Hearts of Braden Series coming to Secret Cravings Publishing in October 2015!

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The library was unusually busy for a Monday evening. Lily weaved between the tables, glancing down at the students busy scanning through book after book for answers. She glanced over at a group debating the benefits of Mountain Dew over milk in the school cafeteria. She pressed her fingers over her lips, sushing them sternly. She watched as each head dropped in embarrassment. Fighting back a giggle, Lily slipped behind the circulation desk. It was typical of finals week. It happened every year.

Lily gathered the piles of books heaping on the counter one at a time and set them on the cart to be tucked away where they belonged on the shelves. She softly hummed a tune to herself so the kids couldn’t hear. After a full day of obsessing over Reese Cooper she finally got her head on straight. Granted it took sharing a bottle of wine with Molly and all the dirty magazines in her desk drawer, but she was pretty sure he was gone. After setting the final pile on the bottom rack of the cart, she stood upright and straightened her skirt until it was once again past her knees.


Lily’s heart slammed in her chest as her eyes darted up. Something soft thudded against her chest and landed on the floor. She looked down to find the paperback on the floor, the name Stephen King staring back up at her. She lifted her gaze back up to find Reese on the other side of the counter grinning at her.

“I told you to catch,” he defended.

Lily knelt down to pick up the book as she started to tremble. So much for getting him out of my system. She heard a soft, deep groan. She looked up to see Reese leaning on the counter, his eyes glued to her chest. Her eyes followed his, right to the gaping collar of her blouse and the gentle curve of the lace of her bra hugging her breasts. She felt her cheeks blaze hot as she stood.

“I thought you said you’d take care of the books you borrowed,” she chided weakly.

“I did up to the point I said ‘catch’. I can’t help it you didn’t catch it,” he answered, his voice still thick and his eyes narrowed and hungry. It made Lily shudder.

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Tuesday Tales – Picture Prompt

Hello everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week we have a picture prompt and are back with Sloan and Abbey O’Riley in the fifth book of the Black Irish Series, The Assassin.

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Sloan drove through downtown Minneapolis, weaving from one interstate to the next until they reached Abbey’s favorite restaurant. The moment they stepped inside they were shown to a private room. Filled glasses of champagne perched next to the most perfect table setting of ivory white dishes. Candles softly flickered giving the tiny room an intimate glow. Sloan pulled her chair out for her to sit in then circled the table to his seat. Once he was settled, he took her hand and caressed it. “You look exquisite, Luv.”
“Thank you. You look pretty sexy yourself,” she breathed in response.
“Not nearly as incredible as you. You look good enough to eat. And I plan on taking a bite later on tonight.”
Abbey shuddered at his playful threat. She was distracted by the waiter delivering their salads. Sloan stabbed the greens with his fork and took a healthy bite. Abbey just stared at hers. The thought of sex with Sloan sent delicious shivers up her spine. She was ready to skip dinner and head right for dessert.
Sloan put his fork down. “Is everything all right, Abigail?”
“It’s just fine.” She sent him a weak smile. “How is everything at work?”
“Everything is how it should be. Don’t fret your beautiful head. You’ll be back next week and I’ll catch you up on everything.”
Abbey watched him eat in silence for several moments before she spoke again. “Have you heard from Agent Dunham recently?”
Sloan frowned at her. “Why would I hear from him?”
“To give you an update on Torelli.”
“Abigail, we’re done with the CIA and Torelli. Let it rest.”
“You might be done. I’m not.”
Sloan’s ice blue eyes were full of fire as they locked on her. “Yes, you are.”
“Who are you to tell me that I’m done?”
“Your husband,” Sloan snorted.
“Not good enough.”
“All right. I am your husband, your lover, your master, your god, your father, your very soul. Good enough now?”

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Tuesday Tales – Ring

Hey everyone! Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “ring”. I am stepping away from Gideon and Emma this week. Instead, I am offering a sneak peek of the Fifth Book in the Black Irish Series, The Assassin.

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Sloan’s eyes scanned the hills for where the shot had come from. His heart thundered in his chest. Pink paintball paint? Could it be?
He caught sight of a hooded figure in crème robes struggling up the crags in retreat, a sniper rifle firmly in their grip. Without thinking, he started in a sprint after the figure, leaping onto the rocky terrain without slowing down. The faint voices of Bartholomew and Robert echoed behind him as he ran. It was evident the shooter was extremely familiar with the terrain but it didn’t stop Sloan from gaining ground. He was stronger, his stride was longer and he was on a mission. He had to know where the pink paint came from.
When he reached the first ridge he was only yards from the shooter. He pushed himself a little harder to catch up. Once he was a little over an arm’s length away he grabbed the attacker’s robe and flung them to the ground. The rifle scuttled away from them.
The hooded figure slowly rose their hands in surrender. In the brilliant sunlight something glinted on a thin, delicate finger. Abbey’s wedding ring. The voice that came from beneath the cloak made Sloan’s heart slam in his chest. It was soft, barely audible and oh so feminine. “I know you’re going to kill me for what I’ve done. Go ahead. I don’t regret it and I’m not ashamed. But please grant me one act of mercy. I’m American and I know you can contact the United States. Please contact my husband. He is Sloan O’Riley, a billionaire. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He owns Sloan Enterprises. Don’t ask for ransom. Please, just tell him that I love him. I love him more than my life. And tell him I am so sorry for hurting him. I was so stupid. Please tell him I am so sor…” Abbey’s words were cut off by a sob.
Sloan started to shake as tears welled in his eyes. Kneeling before him was his precious wife. He thought she was dead. He mourned her. Now she was on her knees preparing to die at an insurgent’s hand and her last thought?
Sloan couldn’t wait any longer. He gripped Abbey’s hood and tore it back. She blinked against the blinding sunlight. Her face was gaunt and darkened from hours living in the sun. “S-s-sloan?”
He turned to find Bartholomew and Robert peaking the ridge breathlessly. “What the hell is wrong with you? Do you realize some terrorist could just shoot you dead up here?” Robert scolded between pants.
“It’s Abbey!” Sloan near shouted. “I found her. She was the one…”
He turned back to Abbey so he could pull her to her feet and into his arms. Instead he found her lying on the ground unconscious.

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Tuesday Tales – Stutter

Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales! I am back with my Steampunk Romance. The last couple of weeks I stepped back to a spot I missed. Now I am back on track with Gideon and Emma hiding away in their cottage.

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Moonlight reflecting on the snow outside filled the little cottage with a brilliant white light. Gideon slowly, carefully slid from the bed, gazing at Emma naked and deep asleep. He sighed deeply. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. Without a noise he tugged on his trousers and shutter-stepped from the bedroom.
It had been two weeks without word from Edgar and they spent every moment they could making love. But in the depths of the night Gideon would sneak away from their bed. Tossing more wood on the dying fire, he dug into the chest in the sitting area for the projects he was tinkering with. He pulled free an object wrapped in a white cloth then searched for the rest of his tools. Once everything was gathered, he stood and shuffled to the table.
Gideon unwrapped the cloth, revealing the remains of the brass spider. Parts has already been reassembled, leaving a lopsided, five legged creature. He picked up his goggles, tugged them on, then began to work.
Diligently working on his task, Gideon was able to repair the damaged brass spider. It stared back at him lifeless. A soft whirl beneath his feet caught his attention. Glancing down, he found his other creatures at his feet waiting patiently for the rebirth of their friend. Gideon smiled at them.
“Do not worry, little ones,” he whispered. “He will be back with you soon. I need only one more ingredient to bring him back to life and I will get it tomorrow. I need it for this also.”
He stood and crossed back to the chest with the brass animals following. Kneeling at the wooden box he opened it. He reached in and pulled free a white rose made of silk and brass, just like the red one he created for Sophia. The hum of the creatures made him smile. “Yes, I think it’s beautiful too. Now, off to bed before you wake your mistress and ruin my surprises.”
The brass animals spun away in different directions as Gideon gathered his work and tucked it away. Softly padding into the bedroom, he slipped into the bed next to Emma and pulled her close. Her soft snore told his she was still fast asleep. With a content smile he joined her.

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Tuesday Tales – Ruthless

Hi everyone! Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “ruthless”. We’re back this week with Gideon and Emma in my Steampunk romance.

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Gideon could tell something was wrong as he studied the front door of the townhouse. It was cracked open ever so slightly. He knew for certain he had closed and locked it. Emma had left through the back doors. He gently nudged Emma behind him. She clenched the items they had purchased to her as she peeked around his shoulder. “What is it?” she breathed.
“Stay behind me,” he ordered as he cautiously approached the building. Nudging the door open with the toe of his boot, he stepped inside.
Gideon’s breath caught in his throat. Everything in the place was in shambles. The sheets on the bed were slashed to shreds. Bookshelves were overturned, books and stacks of paper were lying everywhere. His workbench was lying on its side and his lone bottle of absinthe was shattered on the floor, the thick, emerald liquid in a puddle full of glass shards. He turned as he heard a sob.
Emma knelt on the floor, her small, delicate hands cupping the remains of Gideon’s brass spider. She pressed a careful kiss to the cold metal. Several of Gideon’s other brass creations scuttled around her knees, whirling a mournful sound at the loss of their friend.
“These men are ruthless,” she whimpered.
“These men knew you were here,” Gideon warned.
“I am sorry.”
“No apologies. But we need to go before they come back.” Gideon tugged her to her feet despite the creatures’ protest.
Emma glanced around her feet. “We cannot leave them.”
“Then box them up.” Gideon nodded to the parts in her hands. “That one too. But hurry. I will go and prepare our transportation. We need to hide until Edgar can bring us news.”

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