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Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Endings Aren't Exactly What They Seem

July is finally coming to an end, and so is my time back in school. Weird to think that a year ago I was looking forward a year thinking, “My God, it’s so long! It’s going to take forever.” Hardly.

Last year marked the first year I really got everything I wanted. I got back to school, and after eight years of actively looking to get published, I finally did it at Siren with the Club Aries series. That book series just kinda fell out of my head, the first five anyway, and I truly put a lot of myself into the characters. One especially - Mallory Benson. She is the lead in Once in a Lifetime (Book 4), though she does make an appearance in All The Difference (Book 1).

She worked for Bristol Carter, a lawyer that sank his law firm into the ground, and was getting the hell out of dodge when Jamie did. She went to school for Massage Therapy, just like I’m doing. I was going through edits for that book at this time last year and I remember talking to my anatomy instructor and making tweaks and edits to make certain I was doing my new chosen profession justice.

It’s really an underestimated profession, most people think: “How hard can it be to give someone a back rub?”.

Hmm, don't think this is what they had in mind... 


I’ve even had someone online say “Oh I see you’re going to school to be a massage therapist, you know what I’m going to ask!”

 Uh, wink...


A year ago, I probably would have laughed both comments off, and responded good naturedly because I understood only what most people know about Massage Therapists. Now? Not so much. Comments like those make me want to tear my hair out. No one understands what LMTs (Licensed Massage Therapist) go through in order to get that license, though I hope once you’re through reading this, you can understand what I’ve been toiling away so hard at.

LMTs have to have extensive knowledge of the human body, that includes knowing medical terms, joint names, name/location/nerve innervations of muscles, an in depth knowledge of each system of the body, planes of movement, assessment skills, knowledge of how to massage someone properly, and even business sense!

We are trained hardcore to know the ins and outs of the human body, what makes it tick, and why when you have a headache, that something in the back of the leg can actually be affecting it. There’s a scene in Once in a Lifetime where Mallory is giving a massage to her intended love interest, Vincent. She’s doing it at home, in her bedroom, on her bed. Is that ethical? Sure, he’s not paying her for the massage, so forget body mechanics, she’s working on a friend at that point in the book. Yes, she has very sexual thoughts about him, but forces herself to stay focused on what she’s doing by listing all 206 bones in the body in alphabetical order. It’s possible to do it. Could I do it? Hell no, but I had the sense of Mallory studying for her state certification by going over everything, and giving it an order. She might be a little OCD.

Okay, not THAT bad... 


Wait, wait wait… I’m sure you’re ready to click away and be like all right, she’s just babbling on. No, stick with me here, there’s a point to this!

Have you ever used the word Masseuse?

What images does that conjure up in your head?

Wanna know what it puts into my head?

Go you YouPorn, RedTube, hell pick your poison and type in massage. That’s what the terms Masseuse and Masseur are linked to. Those terms are linked to those that give my new profession a bad name. that give “Happy Endings” for an extra fifty bucks.

Just... no. 


There’s been quite a few articles lately that I’ve looked at and been so offended that I couldn’t read all the way through it! One was titled 10 things your masseuse doesn’t want you to know. And then went on to be like these were licensed people commenting. It sickened me. These women that commented couldn’t have had their license at all.

But hold on, they’re actually cheap though, right? I can’t afford $55 for a massage!

Guess what? If you want to leave feeling like there’s been a difference made, $55 is a deal for an hour long massage. We normally get paid a dollar a minute for our work, and if you’ve ever seen or been to a professional you can see and feel how much work we actually do. We’re sweating by the end of your massage.

Uhh yup that's about it. 


It’s also probably one of the most versatile professions I’ve ever heard of. There is so much you can do with it, from physical therapy, rehab centers, calming work on ADHD kids, prenatal massage, infants, oncology massage, geriatric, ANIMAL massage! 

Somethin' like that. 


Yes, animal massage is a thing! I know, shocked the hell out of me too! You name it, we can probably do it with massage. Many partner with a chiropractor.

I myself, I’m opening a business right here in tourist-attraction-hell, Ohio with two of my classmates. Besides being published, I don’t think I’ve wanted anything more - professionally speaking that is.

If you’ve never had a massage before, find an LMT near you and treat yourself. You’ll thank yourself for it. It used to be thought of as a luxury, but let me tell you, it really should be considered one of the primary ways to take action on preventative care!

I’m just gonna drop this here: http://www.massagetherapy.com/learnmore/benefits.php  Just take a peek at the long list of benefits! LMTs can even help fibromyalgia patients with their symptoms. It’s an incredible field I’ve gotten myself into, and to me a happy ending is one where my patient walks out of my room pain free, or with lessened pain, better range of motion, or just feels GOOD!

One year! One year is all it’s taken me to be ready and confident in my ability to help people. that’s incredibly empowering.

So, Jordan, what’s that got to do with your books? This is the first we’ve seen from you and you’re going to lecture us?

Hold yer horses, I’m getting to the point!

Mallory ran into some trouble at the end of her book, and in No More games, (Book 5) you see her helping out Jason Lawrence with his bar. Mallory will still have a bigger part to play later on in the series. And those that read me will be pleased to know that I’m working on finishing revisions on my paranormal series so I can resubmit, and with only two weeks left in school… TWO WEEKS!!!  



Sorry, spazzed for a minute there… anyway, with only two more weeks of school left, I’ll be able to dedicate more time to my writing, help to set up a author/reader get together in Columbus, Ohio for March 2016, open my business, AND plan my wedding! Yeah I’ll have a lot going on still, but you know what? It’s totally worth it. I’m completely enjoying my life right now, and I’m so happy and so incredibly honored to be included on this blog. Looking forward to next month on the 31st when I’ll come back with some insights on my books, some ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge on the Aries series.

Now that y’all have gotten a little taste of me, got any questions? I’m actually at a conference in Columbus right now, but once I get home tonight, I’ll check in and answer anything I can!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Laird of her Heart: Book One in the Dundragon Time Travel Trilogy by Sabrina York

A scorching new release from Sabrina York!


Laird of her Heart: Book One in the Dundragon Trilogy by Sabrina York

When Maggie Spencer is mysteriously transported to the Scotland of her ancestors, she is stunned to come face to face with him. Dominic Dundragon, the man she’s been half in love with her whole life. A man who’s been dead for 700 years.

They both have enemies aplenty. Will she have a chance to win his love, or will this adventure end in disaster?

Read an excerpt
Maggie yelped as, without warning, the burly warrior named Declan whipped her up into his arms and tossed her over his shoulder. To her horror, she lost the hold on her locket.
“Wait,” she cried. She wriggled to get free, but his grip was too hard. When she pummeled his back with her fists as he strode from the circle of stones, he chuckled. The beast. But to be fair, he was so large, it would have felt like a kitten batting him. “Put me down.”
“I willna,” he said. “The Mackintosh will decide how you die.”
All right. That shut her up. For a minute. “Die? Why do I need to die?” What the hell had she done to him?
The man following, an enormous blond with a scar tracking his cheek bent down to peer at her. “The Mackintosh’s doona tolerate spies.”
“I’m not a spy.” Seriously. She wriggled more and Declan smacked her ass.
Smacked her ass.
She’d kill him when she got free. Just kill him.
“Yer wearing the Cameron colors,” the blond said. “And the Mackintosh’s doona—”
“Right. I know. The Mackintosh’s doona tolerate spies.” Her head was starting to spin from being upside down and jounced around with each step. Her temper was on a short leash. “But honestly, if I were a spy, would I wear the Cameron colors? It seems a little counterproductive in my opinion. I mean, if I’m spying and all. I might as wear a sign that says, oh, I dunno, honk if you love spies.”
His brow rumpled but he didn’t respond. At least, not to her. “She speaks strangely,” he complained to Declan.
Her captor snorted a laugh. “She dresses strangely too.”
“Aye. She does at that. I’ve heard the Cameron lasses are a wild lot, but I had no idea—”
“I’m. Not. A. Cameron.” She reached out and smacked the blond, but only because he came close enough. He reared back and gaped at her—as though he’d never been smacked before—and then he quickly moved out of range.
It hardly mattered, because, apparently, they had reached their destination, a camp on the edge of the woods. The sounds of nickering horses and clanks of pots gave her her first clue—she was facing the other way, after all.
Her second clue was that Declan dropped her on the ground. She landed with an oof. She glared at him. He didn’t seem to mind in the slightest. “Go get my brother, Ewan,” he barked, and the blond trotted off to one of the larger tents.
When she stood and brushed off her jeans, Declan bristled and she shot him a sardonic glare. Did he think she was stupid enough to run away? For one thing, these enormous men had her surrounded. For another, she never ran. Not if she could help it.
Instead, she made a quick survey of her surroundings. The camp was little more than a huddle of tents with the forest on one side and a sweeping plain on the other. A small herd of horses were hobbled to one side and a deer roasted over a pit fire. An entire deer. Before she could silence the thought—she often had that problem—she said, “You killed Bambi.”
Declan’s brow rumpled. “I dinna kill anyone.” And then he asked, “Who is Bambi?”
“Never mind.” She crossed her arms and turned away pretending to ignore them. But she wasn’t. She was aware they were all staring at her like she was a curiosity in a zoo, but she was taking in tiny details as well. Like the fact that their clothes were all handmade and simple. Their hair appeared to have been cut with a chainsaw and their beards were scraggly and long. Their weapons were what made her mind really start to spin though.
One held a crossbow that dated from the thirteenth century. Another had a Mackintosh dirk that resembled one she’d seen in a museum once. Declan had a simple calfskin sporran tied to his belt.
Odd. Could she have wandered into some renaissance faire? But no. It had been evening when she stepped into the woods and now it was daytime. Early afternoon. And the acres of woods around the house belonged to the family. It couldn’t be—
“So.” She flinched as a deep, melodious voice wafted to her on a hint of humor. Shivers danced through her, along with a prickling sense of premonition. “You’ve captured a Cameron spy?”
She turned slowly and froze as her gaze landed on him. On that so-familiar face. Broad, handsome, savage. Much more captivating than the sketch had been. Much more captivating by far.
She must be hallucinating. She had to be.
He was the hero of her dreams come to life.
Dominic Dundragon, Laird of the Mackintosh clan.
Large, looming and in the flesh.
Her head went woozy. Her vision blurred. And then, for the first time in her life, she fainted.

GET IT NOW!

ABOUT SABRINA YORK
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy to scorching romance. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests.

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If you love hot highlanders, be sure to read Sabrina York’s Untamed Highlanders from St. Martin’s Press!

Lana and the Laird—Coming in 2016






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Monday, July 27, 2015

Is that #Regency #historical accurate??? Cerise has answers for you! HER BEGUILING BUTLER out August 3!


HER BEGUILING BUTLER debuts August 3 everywhere! Look for it! Because every gal needs a man to wait on her! Right?

We love historicals so that they take us away to another time and place. But as we were taught by our high school history teachers, we like our romantic fiction appealing to our sense of time and place. In my bangin' butler—pardon me—HER BEGUILING BUTLER, I give you background that is indeed true.

Like what?

First, the January 1820 weather was atrocious!  Minus twenty degrees or more in various parts of England. Snowy and icy. Makes it tough to get around, doesn't it? Especially on foot or driving poor horses.

Secondly, King George III did die January 30, 1820 after more than sixty years on the throne of England. He passed away at approximately 8:30 at Windsor Castle and the news was taken to London by riders on horseback! 

Mourning for the late king was required for nobles. Men wore black attire and/or black armbands, depending on how old their titles. Noblewomen wore black gowns and coats. Intense mourning garb was the rule for at least three months, with an easing after that. The Season was subdued.

In HER BEGUILNG BUTLER, my heroine Lady Ranford, Alicia Blindon, goes to the funeral of her governess. This is unusual and she knows it. But she goes as a sign of respect for the lady she loved. It is true that women did not attend funerals, even those of their family. Nor did they go to grave sites.

When a servant was hired did they get hired through Registry offices or training schools? Yes. While references from a previous employer were required to go from one household to another, many servants were employed initially through services or schools.

One other bit you may like to know is that in BUTLER, my hero visits a hatters shop. Locks in St. James Street. The shop still exists!  Do go and read about this establisment which is now more than four centuries old!
Here it is on the web:   http://lockhatters.co.uk/

My heroine visits a modiste shop which also existed in 1820. I know because we have records of Miss Pierpont's shop in Covent Garden. If you'd like to see them, too, do buy this marvelous book! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Test Your Knowledge of the Regency Era—and Help Educate Girls



are pleased to announce 


The Bluestocking Belles' Guide to a Good Time


  • An introduction to the Belles and their books
  • An invitation to join in the Belles' activities, such as the Bluestocking Bookshop, the Teatime Tattler, and monthly book club chats
  • Games, puzzles and quizzes about historical romance characters, books, and authors
  • More information about The Malala Fund and the Belles' commitment to global education for girls



To buy a print copy of the Bluestocking Belles’ Guide to a Good Time for $4.99,
with all proceeds going to the Malala Fund,
go to CreateSpace.

–OR–
Download the game book here to print out yourself.

What are the Bluestocking Belles?


We are a group of eight Regency romance authors working together to bring our readers new books and advance the historical romance genre, and also to raise awareness of "bluestockings" around the world.

As a group, we support international awareness of the Malala Fund for girls' education and Malala Yousafzai's #TheLast campaign, so we will be creating projects designed specifically to generate global support for the education of young women and children.

Bluestocking Belles Social Media


Website • Facebook • Twitter • Newsletter

We have a lot of exciting things coming to our readers in the months to come, including box sets and a monthly book club chat. 

Bluestocking Belles Events


Book Club Event


Join the Belles in our chatroom August 20, 2015 from 7-9 p.m. EDT to discuss 

The Captive (Grace Burrowes)




Grace will match all donations to the Malala Fund (up to $2500)


What's a Bluestocking?


The term "bluestocking" refers to an intellectual or literary woman. In the 19th century it was a derisive term used for women who sought to rise above the role designated for them as wives, mothers, and decorative objects. For more information on the origin of the term, check out this link to a blog post on Susana's Parlour.




Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's a Sweet and Sexy Saturday!




Happy Saturday everyone!  It's a day to relax, get caught up on things, or for some folks even to work.  I call it my dreamwork day, where I get to do the work I actually enjoy such as writing, photography, etc.   




I've started a new weekly vlog, which I am adding my first video below.  I will be posting a new video tomorrow and hope that in the upcoming weeks that I will have some guests and also be able to talk about some exciting news.  



I've completed Kendall's Promise and am working on The Pale Emperor which will be released in a box set details to be announced soon on both of those projects.  I am signing -and- presenting a workshop at Romancing Vegas in February, the details are being formed and I will let you know exact information as soon as I get it.  I'm presenting on writing horror and humor in erotica.  I also will be present at Romancing Lake Tahoe in August 2016, but not presenting.  

In newest release news, Binding Blood is now available on all third party sites.  This means you can get it at Amazon, Google Play, Ibooks, etc! 

Thanks for spending part of your Saturday with me! I can be found on the Interwebs in the following places: 
Twitter: @CeecTellier
Website and Blog: www.ceciletellier.com
Email: CecileTellier1980@gmail.com

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oh Mercy! Rewriting a #Scifi Tagline @kayelleallen

I'm Kayelle Allen, and I'm going to share why I rewrote the tagline for my upcoming re-release, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. The book was first published in 2004 by Liquid Silver Books, and got a new home with Loose Id in 2010 when I submitted Surrender Love to that house. I later took back the rights for those and a third book, For Women Only, in order to self-publish.

At the Mercy and For Women Only tell the story of two brothers, Senth and Khyff, respectively. The books are scifi romance, and the new versions have a much sweeter heat level. They'll be re-released Aug 17, 2015.

Because I'm hoping the books will be enjoyed by a new and wider audience, I decided to not only edit the content for heat level, but also to edit the blurb and tagline.

Original Blurb

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure 
When NarrAy steals a kiss from Senth, he steals her heart, but how much more are they willing to take -- for each other?

Although young, Senth holds a lofty position in the elite Thieves' Guild, and the daredevil, risk-loving half-human has earned it. His Sen'dai offers him a deal he can't refuse. Work with a Better, an enhanced woman with pleasure-laced pheromones, and he'll buy and free Senth's cruelly enslaved older brother. The job? Grab-and-go. The condition? Resist the Better's pheromones and influence. Inoculated against them, he takes the case. The problem? Nothing goes right. The job outlasts the medication's effect. All Senth wants is one touch, one kiss, one oh-so-tempting lick of her perfect, lush skin. The downside? With his brother's freedom at stake, how can he risk putting himself at the mercy of her pleasure?

Revised Blurb

He's a thief. She's a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!

Professional thief Senth Antonello is hired to retrieve a stolen prototype for which the imperial armada has already killed twice. When Senth's brother is kidnapped to ensure the device is surrendered, Senth must rescue his brother, outsmart the armada, and keep the item out of imperial hands. All doable, except for one small problem. Senth must accomplish it in the company of a genetically altered woman whose pheromones could enhance the mission or crumble it into dust with a single siren kiss.

Excerpt

In this scene, Senth and NarrAy have just met. She's considering whether to hire him to help her steal back the designs for a prototype her murdered parents designed. Because she's a Better, an enhanced human with addictive pheromones, she's not permitted to touch anyone skin-to-skin.
---
NarrAy offered her hand. She'd practiced this with her father as a girl. "A gentleman doesn't try to overpower a lady's hand, NarrAy. But he isn't afraid to be firm either."
She held Senth's gloved hand between both of hers. "I can see you're a gentleman, Mr. Antonello."
His cheeks reddened. "Just Senth, ma'am."
She squeezed Senth's hand. "And I'm NarrAy. Never Ms. Jorlan, nor ma'am. Not on this job. Understood?"
He met her gaze. "Does that mean you want me?" He blushed again and glanced down at their still-joined hands. "For the job, I mean."
She bit back a laugh. What an innocent. "So long as we're clear on who's in charge."
"When it comes to theft, I am. For everything else, you are, in every way."
You have no idea. He had never once tried to look at her body. Maybe the dress would be okay after all.
"Come sit." She gestured toward an adjacent room. "Let's talk business."

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
Coming Aug 17, 2015 in print and eBook formats
 
The Boys Are Back! 
Join me and a host of authors for The Boys Are Back Facebook party on Aug 17, 2015. The time is 1:00p - 9:00p EST, and there will giveaways, downloads, and prizes. Guest authors include Houston Havens, Maer Wilson, Maria Lenartowicz, Tina Gayle, Marcha Fox, Lilian Roberts, Susanne Leist, CN Lesley, Melissa Snark, and more. The event is hosted on Facebook by Nicole Morgan. http://bit.ly/boysarebackparty Come join us for a day of fun and laughter.
---
Kayelle Allen is a best-selling, multi-published, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Homeworld http://kayelleallen.com

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Don't Take Our Vampires Away


1st in series - free on amazon, B &N, I Tunes
Earlier this month on the view Whoopie said that vampires can't have sex as they have no blood in their bodies. As we all know  there is an organ which requires you to have blood or it won't work right for sex. I understnd what she's saying. I do. But I wanted to point out that my Dancing Vampire series is about vampiric fey from Scottish lore - baobhan sith (bah von shee) - they aren't dead - just vampiric fey - and they can have sex. 

But also, even if fictional vampires are dead why would anyone want to take sex away from them?Those fictional vampires aren't hurting anyone. Let them have sex. I mean vampires that can't have sex aren't much fun. And how do you write a romance around one anyway? Let us have our sexy vampires. First everyone was complaining about the sparkly vampires now they don't want the vampires to make love. I say leave it alone. Let the fictional vampires be. If they want to sparkle —let them sparkle. If they want to have sex —let them have sex. They are fictional — they don't really exist —so it doesn't matter. 
I don't want anyone changing the sexy vampires I like to read about and I don't want anyone touching the sexy shape shifters I like to read about either. 

Dance of The Vampires, 1st of the 6 book series is free now.

Seven vampiric temptresses dance with seven handsome highlanders. Then they turn on the men. Ian captures Sorcha, giving his brothers a chance to escape. With the vampiric fey woman still in his grasp, Ian is saved by the rising sun. Sorcha's sisters vanish with the light of dawn leaving her trapped in the mortal realm. Ian is bewitched by the wild delights she offers and Sorcha can't resist the urges he stirs in her. But her wicked sisters and his highland brothers only want to attack and kill each other. Will Sorcha and Ian's sizzling passion prove strong enough to overcome the differences between human and fey?


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Christmas in July is Sweet and Hot! .99 Deals!

Celebrating Christmas in July with fireman Jamey Tucker and cowboy Treymont Woods!

Sweet but sassy short story reads to beat the heat and keep your Christmas spirit burning all year.

Buy your copies of SANTA TO THE RESCUE and HER CHRISTMASCOWBOY for only .99 each!



SANTA TO THE RESCUE by Adele Downs

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: An honorable man doesn’t go back on his word, a real man never hurts a woman, and lasting love isn’t a myth. He keeps that last part to himself because the Appleton Fire Station crew doesn’t talk about love, they talk about sex. He’d rather cut his heart out than admit he’ll be alone at Christmas.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing Taylor Swift’s version of Santa Baby in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he later discovers he can’t keep. Determined to find a way to make amends, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather’s favorite song to prove he’s got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.

Excerpt:

Christmas music played over the supermarket loudspeakers, punctuated by the occasional commercial interruption or cleanup request. A tune he remembered his parents singing to him as a child filled the air and Jamey hummed along. Though the song reminded him of home, the lyrics brought unexpected comfort instead of homesickness. It was as if his family had sent him a message to chase away his loneliness.

 Though he wouldn’t spend the holidays with his parents or sisters for the first time in his life, the importance of his duty to his new job, and the need to make personal connections in this great new town, bolstered his resolve to make the most of the solitary holiday ahead.

Jamey turned down the bread lane and tossed loaves into the cart as another Christmas song played. It sounded kinda’ girly and sexy and he recognized Taylor Swift’s voice singing Santa Baby in Country music style. His favorite.

When he looked up, a woman further down the aisle grabbed his attention while she sang along. She bent her knees, did a little dip, and then wiggled her butt, which even beneath blue scrubs and a short winter jacket looked incredible.

Jamey halted dead in his tracks, hoping the gorgeous blonde wouldn’t see him and become embarrassed. Or stop.

She sang out, her voice smoky and hot. The subtle rasp in her vocals sent pangs low in his belly that ricocheted to his solar plexus and cranked up his heartbeat.

Her ponytail swung with her next dip and shimmy and Jamey’s mouth went dry. The woman continued on her way, oblivious to him behind her. After another sway of her ponytail, she turned the corner and disappeared out of sight. 

Jamey swallowed. Holy crap. He wanted to follow her, but that would be weird. Plus, if she figured out he’d done that, she’d take him for a freak. Definitely not a good way to make a first impression.

Grudgingly, he headed toward the peanut butter, jams and jellies section, remembering the guys waiting for breakfast. On his way, he glanced down each aisle, hoping to see the woman again, but having no luck. He finished shopping and headed to the checkout line.

A flash of blue cloth in the Express lane kicked up his pulse rate. Jamey headed toward the Fifteen Items or Less sign and did a fast count of the packages inside his cart. One, two, three, four, five… He’d probably be okay.

He picked up his pace to the checkout lane before someone else rolled in behind the beautiful woman with the blonde ponytail, sexy voice and adorable bottom waiting her turn there.





HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY by Adele Downs

The standalone sequel to KISSING HER COWBOY



Tragedy brought them together, but joy met them on the other side.

Excerpt:

Clearly, the man had no concept of his effect on her.
When Daisy pulled up to Trey’s house and saw him standing at the base of the steps to greet her in nothing but low slung denims and work boots, she’d found it hard to breathe. Suddenly, Jack Frost and his Pennsylvania winter lost their appeal. Who needed snow when a smokin’ hot cowboy waited for her? Welcomed her? Wanted her?
If she hadn’t come to Houston, she wouldn’t have met the handsome ranch hand who filled her dreams night after night. Trey had become her single compelling reason to work through her personal pain. That and the fact that she’d never give up police work. She’d find a way to succeed, one way or another. It was hard for a cop to be flexible, since theirs was a structured world, but she was trying her best to adapt to her new environment.
Daisy took a bite of her chicken salad while Trey munched his roast beef. They ate in companionable silence while Big Blue grazed beyond. Trey took a swallow of bottled ice tea and then spoke. “Would you like to spend Christmas Eve together, here? Maybe help me trim the tree?”
Daisy’s spirit lifted again with the invitation, though she tried to stay cool. She and her sister Rose had already been invited to Christmas dinner with Trey’s family, and she’d promised to bring homemade pumpkin pie and oven fresh bread. Rose was making apple pie and a side dish.
Daisy hadn’t expected to spend Christmas Eve with Trey too, but she was glad he asked. “Sure. I’d like that.” The heaviness around her heart broke free and her mood lifted. She imagined the two of them in an embrace, making love beneath the twinkling lights of Trey’s Christmas tree, and realized she was…happy.
It had been so long since she’d known the feeling it took seconds to realize what had come over her. She smiled and savored the moment. Trey made her happy. Spending Christmas with him was the best gift the season could bring.
There would be no snowfall in Texas. Or winter’s chill.  No downhill sledding, hot cocoa, or ice covered boots. There might not be snippets of holly gracing the table, but there would undoubtedly be mistletoe. With that final thought, Daisy leaned over and gave Trey a deep, gotta’ get-back-to-work kiss.
He smiled at her, and just like that… Daisy found her Christmas spirit.


**
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