To Enter or Not to Enter, That Is the Question

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I entered Hot Shot in the Eppies and now I'm debating also entering Smoke. Today is the deadline (don't know why I thought it was Saturday.) Does it make a difference if a book finals in the Eppies, or does it just make a difference to ME?

Dukey seems to be feeling better. She ate a LOT yesterday. Dh and ds have to give her the pills this week - bwahahaha!


Things I'm Looking Forward to in October

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Decorating for Halloween. I love Halloween.

Nestle’s Halloween brownies and cookies with the little white chocolate ghosts and pumpins

My MIL’s bday – a no-cook night

A barbecue out in Geronimo for the volunteer fire dept. I’ve been going since I was a girl and set the last scene of my first book there.

Plotting meeting with my critique group for my Nano book

Trish’s visit

My first booksigning (with Trish)

SARA (with Trish)

The leaves start to change.

District assessments (4 days of testing where all I have to do is monitor and let my mind wander. Plus, nothing to grade)

The Incredible Hulk and Journey to the Center of the Earth on DVD

Things I’m NOT looking forward to:

Grades due

Putting on the Halloween program

The Halloween Carnival at school



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Here's the thing. I want to cook from scratch but I need some good recipes. What's a good cookbook that isn't too hard to follow?

1) get going on Vampire Hunter revisions – as I’m rethinking this, I think it should be the first of the pair.
2) morning and afternoon duty all week
3) enter Rita and Eppies with Smoke
4) get MIL’s gift/take her to dinner
5) finish up grades
6) go to barbecue on Saturday
7) write an article for the SARA newsletter
8) keep up house


Random Saturday

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The vet thinks it's a liver problem. He sent her home with antibiotics and prednisone. I have to cut the pills in half and give them to her once a day. Doesn't that sound like FUN? Even then, we don't know if that will fix the problem.

I finished BD last night. A couple of scenes need fleshing out but I like the ending a lot. Today I plan to start revisions on Ghost Hunters.

Javier Bardem said that at the end of his life, he wants to put all the characters he's played in one room and for them to have nothing in common. Having seen all his English speaking roles, and one Spanish one, I have to say he's on the right track.

I'm going to see if the dh will attempt to fix my computer, since the vet took my computer repair money.

Saw The Mentalist. Liked it very much.

Going to pill the cat. Hope I don't bleed to death.


You've Got to be KIDDING Me

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I have a sick kitty. My oldest, Dukey, who's almost 9, has lost weight this week and last night when I picked her up, her fur felt greasy. She ate a little canned food this AM, but I don't know what's wrong. Thinking of taking the day off and taking her to the vet.

I was sooo mad at Grey's last night. I knew JDM would have a tiny part, but ONE LINE? One LINE? And I skipped Tivoing Supernatural because of it??

Here's all the ways (okay, some of the ways) I would have written it differently:

He would have KISSED her. I mean, really, they never REALLY kissed.

When she stepped out of the elevator, her dress would have changed to a wedding dress.

They would have walked somewhere other than the white light.

I would have had her dream about their "happily ever after" - show the two of them doing something she'd always dreamed they'd do when he got out of the hospital - go to dinner, make dinner together, curl up together on the couch or in bed. Heck, she was watching Alex seduce some girl. She could have imagined herself in Denny's arms.

Otherwise the episode was okay. I LOVED the Cristina dream. LOVED IT. Liked the Army surgeon guy. Thought the icicle was a bit much, and Rose's "joke" was stupid, played for shock. Liked nice Alex, hated that he reverted. Like the idea that they aren't as great as they think they are (how could they be with all the personal stuff going on?) I really like Lexie now. I forgot she didn't know about Meredith and George.

Supernatural, OTOH, was fantastic, if a little bloody. It was great seeing Meg and Hendrickson again, and I wanted to know more about the twins. Love where this is all leading. I'm a little leery of Dean's disbelief of God, but maybe because I've never met someone who just didn't believe. Like Sam said in Houses of the Holy, if there's evil, there has to be good, right?


More Good Stuff

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I found out yesterday I can enter the Rita!!! I thought I couldn't because my copyright is 2007 though the book is released in 2008, but I checked and I can! Talk about expensive, though....the entry fee, plus 5 books (at $7 a pop to me, with shipping) and shipping. But worth it if I final, right? Do you think a small press has a chance?

I also found out my next batch of books is on its way, the ones for the booksigning in October.

And Surface is being read by an editor.

And my last Javier movie was ready at the library. It was his first English speaking role. Now I've seen all his English movies and one of his Spanish ones.

But I didn't write a word yesterday.

We watched Leatherheads last night. Way better than I expected. The first football scene had me laughing so hard I snorted. John Krasinski's character wasn't so great, though. The romance was very like old Cary Grant movies, which is who Clooney reminded me of, especially with the physical comedy and the mugging for the camera.


I Miss the Excitement.

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I wrote my short story - 120 pages - in 3 weeks. I loved that story. I thought about it all the time. Last night I was at the restaurant where I first got the idea and it was like remembering meeting someone special for the first time.

Now I'm back to BD. I took out the terrorist plot to make it more Sil. Rom. Sus. friendly, which means I need to write a new ending, how the hero finds the kidnapped heroine and her kidnapped child.

This book has been kicking my butt since the hero and heroine left the jungle 150 pages ago (and over a year ago! I'd planned to enter it in the GH before I contracted Smoke and Hot Shot.) It's good, if I do say so myself, deeper emotions than anything I've ever written, one of the best endings I've ever written (which in itself isn't saying much).

But I don't want to work on it. I know it'll take 20 pages, max, to do what I need to do, but I don't WANT to. I'll be glad when I'm done and can move on, and I want this book ready when I hear from Susan on DLB, one way or the other. I don't really know what I'm going to write, is part of the problem. I don't want it too convenient but I also can't drag it out. I know I should just WRITE something and the solution will present itself, maybe, but I just want this book OVER.

What do you do when you gotta but you don't wanna?

I have to wear tennis shoes today because we're having a fitness pep rally and walking around the 2 PM. I know it's fall, but it's still Texas.

And I don't have any good tennis shoes.

Look, I don't even post pictures of my BD hero!


I LOVE Season Premier Week!!!

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Yes, we have Tivo but last night I made brownies and we piled on the couch to watch Heroes. It was great! Then The Mentalist and NCIS and The Unit this week, Grey's Anatomy (which causes a conundrum - JDM is supposed to be on, so of course I will Tivo which means I will watch SPN and miss The Office. Curse you, Thursday night!)

Anyone know when Crusoe is starting?

Also, I need help. Last year I wrote the play for Halloween at school and used Scooby Doo. This year I thought I'd make it easier on myself and have less acting and more dancing. I thought I'd get 5-6 different groups and have them dress up like a scary show/movie. I thought one group could be The Addams Family, another The Munsters, maybe Charlie Brown....but I can't think of anything else. I work in a poor school, so the costumes can't be too elaborate, and they need to be easily recognizable. Any thoughts?

And yes, I know his story is done for now but I just can't help myself....


A Perfect Evening and Goals

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Last night the boy had band practice and plans to stay after and watch movies. So the dh and I headed downtown to a microbrewery, where we'd taken my dad and stepmom earlier this month. The dh rarely drinks, but he loved this peachy brew they had. Of course, they were out last night, but we had fun anyway. We sat outside this old warehouse along the San Antonio River (not the Riverwalk), in the King William area. The evening was gorgeous, cranes and ducks were flying down to the river, and the atmosphere was terrific-people between tables were talking about which beers to try, and even offering complete strangers a taste. I had the Fool's Golden (okay, I had 2) and the dh had the King William 2007 and 2008. I really liked the 2007. He ate the German plate and I had a pizza and we kicked back and relaxed, then walked along the river after dinner. Just lovely.

I finished my short story and submitted it last night. Time to move on...

1) rewrite end of BD
2) start GH revisions
3) faculty meeting
4) the boy's TWO gigs
5) enter the Eppies
6) housekeeping. Seriously
7) cut out something to sew
8) make one meal from scratch
10) Catch up on blogs. I have just under 100 on my reader now - it was almost 400 earlier this week.

Even though I'm done with his story, I'm going to put up Javier's picture because I'm just not in the mood for Justin Chambers :)


Reading....or Not

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I have finished reading ONE book since school started 5 weeks ago. ONE. I've started three others and put two down. This week I've hardly read at all, falling asleep before 10 3 nights.

I miss reading. A lot.

Am watching Made of Honor and liking it way more than I expected. I'm not a fan of a character stealing another man's fiancee, but this one was well motivated, I thought. Patrick Dempsey plays comedy better than I expected.


Started Bleh, Ended Yay

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My back hurt yesterday, all morning. Stress, I'm sure. So, long day. I prepared for a sub, had centers so I could stay in my (uncomfortable, hard) chair with the heating pad I borrowed from the nurse. The kids were rowdy because it was picture day and anything different....

At lunch, the other teachers were talking about the market and how now our 401Ks are empty and I panicked and called the dh, who assured me it was okay. I just couldn't wait for the day to be over.

I stopped at Bath and Body on my way home to get their Halloween soap because I had a coupon ;) I picked up the boy, made pizza for dinner and apparently I DIDN'T get mozzarella and there wasn't enough dough from the packaged mix, so I put colby jack on it and it was a giant quesadilla, and not enough food. I really need to start REALLY cooking again. I can make dough, just not with the time limits I have when I go pick up the boy.

But the day ended on a good note - I had my Halloween soaps, which I LOVE. Supernatural was AWESOME!!! I got emails saying the full mss requested on Monday and sent on Tuesday are out for review with readers. AND the dh got my laptop to come on, though it went off again when it was jostled. He thinks it may be a loose connection somewhere. So good, not TOO expensive, hopefully.


15 More Hours!!!


15 hours till the new season of Supernatural!!!!

Computer adjustments.....I didn't get home until 5:30 again yesterday, and the boy took the laptop while I made dinner, watered my plants and swept. I checked my email on the 10 year old iMac, but it won't recognize Google Reader for some reason and I have almost 300 unread posts this morning. However, since my time on the laptop is limited, I guess I should be editing my short story. I wrote my query letter long hand and started my synopsis, so the dh had the laptop most of the night. I went to bed before 10 so I could wake up early and still woke at 5! Feels good, though.


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My pretty pink laptop died last night. I came out of the shower and it wouldn't wake up. I'm just sick. The dh managed to get my files onto this laptop, thank God, but I do not see how the three of us will share one laptop, seriously.

How weird is it that all three computers have failed since the beginning of August? First the desktop monitor (still unfixed, btw), then the dh's harddrive, still under warranty, thank God, and now my laptop.

I don't even think this can make me feel better, but I'll try.


Good Stuff

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I got a rave review from one of the teachers yesterday. She said she read my book Saturday morning and she loved it. She said it was so emotional! And she said she didn't know how my hero and heroine would end up together. That made me feel so good. She said she's going to read it again because she was reading so quickly to see what would happen. After school I heard her talking about it to another teacher, too!

Then I came home and found two letters in my handwriting - gulp. But both requests, one for STTA and the other for Surface! Woot! Also got the soundtrack to Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which I may go see again today if the boy doesn't want me to feed him before he goes back to school tonight. I love the soundtrack and liner notes :)

I had to take the boy to Wal Mart and saw Trish's book. I bought one to give to the teacher who'd been gushing about Smoke, and told the check-out girl about Trish, and she made note of it. There were only two copies left after less than a week!

And I am sooooo close to finishing my short story. (It's at 21,000 it still short?)



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I wrote over 7000 words this weekend and I'm STILL not done. For the first time last night I ended not knowing where I was going next. I finished the BBM yesterday, so MAYBE I have another 5000 to go. Clearly I am not good at writing short.

The trouble is, when I get to this point in the story, all I can think about is the story. I have other writing business to take care of but I can't deal with it right now. I'm not even answering emails (except Trish, who's in Maryland).

Okay, going to try to get what I can done before school.


Goals the Week of the SUPERNATURAL premier

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I watched The Dancer Upstairs and Goya's Ghosts yesterday and am thinking about going to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona again today. Told you, obsessed.

It took me hours to put my grades in yesterday because the district website wouldn't respond. But everything that's graded is now in the system. Just need some more social studies workbooks to grade. I didn't want to bring those home.

My critique group didn't meet in person yesterday because I was worried about Ike, and we didn't get a drop of rain. So we sent pages online. I still have to do JP's pages.

We had a scare yesterday when the dh came home and his laptop had a big scary symbol on it. Yup, it was toast, and it's only about a year and a half old. Fortunately, he got the protection plan and the Apple Store gave him an appt at 7 last night. He got a new hard drive while he waited!

Now he needs to fix the desk top.

1) finish new ending for BD
2) edit short story
3) start revising Ghost Hunters
4) newsletter
5) update website
6) order more books
7) progress reports go out
8) get in a housekeeping groove


Ike and Vicky Cristina Barcelona

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Ike's not looking so bad for San Antonio now. They're predicting high winds for us, but one inch of rain. I should be able to get to the grocery store, library and Blockbuster this AM, and the boy has band practice.

I went to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona yesterday. If the theater where it's showing wasn't so far, I'd go see it again today. WONDERFUL inspiration for my short story, which I should finish this weekend. (A shame, since I found a ton more pictures I love.) HOWEVER, I wouldn't have liked it without Javier, because he played the role with a smoldering sensuality. I'm sure another actor could have done a fine job, but he had this amazing presence. His character was not at all heroic, though you could see why these women fell for him. Penelope Cruz was great. I don't think I've seen her in a movie before.

I had a DVD of Javier too, called The Dancer Upstairs, where he played a 36 year old cop but looked way older. It was more of a thriller. I'm going to exchange it for Goya's Ghosts today, where he plays a member of the Spanish Inquisition. I'm even tempted to watch No Country for Old Men again, but he doesn't talk much, and I love his voice.


Officially Out!


Today is my official release day!! It's a bit of a denouement because I've held the books for a week now and even gotten feedback from a reader (about typos!) Plus, I won't see it in a store until October (and that's a tough one to explain to people. "But your book is out!" "Yes, but you have to order it online." Why are people scared of the internet? The internet is your friend.)

I brought papers home to grade but ran out of time. I need to get progress reports done and these math papers are killing me. Science and social studies should be simpler to grade. Maybe I can get some done while the kids are taking their reading test today.


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People are streaming into San Antonio to get away from Ike. We're having a tornado drill today at school (the first since I've been at this school!) A lot of teachers went to the grocery store yesterday to stock up for the weekend, since we're supposed to get lots of rain and high winds. I hadn't planned to go but now I'm thinking I only have dinner for tonight and tomorrow, and worse, I don't think I have enough Diet Coke to last.

So, my batten-down-the-hatches survival list is:

1) Plenty of NCIS on the Tivo
2) different Javier movie coming from Blockbuster
3) Plenty of books to read
4) Plenty of Diet Coke and chocolate

What do you have to have to feel comfortable when you're confined?

Photobucket Image Hosting

Kittehs and Lupe's Son

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So there are kittens at school, and their mother is very very sweet.

I already have 4 cats and I said no when Stacy needed a new home for her cat, but I want this mama cat. She needs love. She needs a home.

My dh rolled his eyes and said we have rescued our share. And we have. But still....

Please keep Lupe's son in your prayers. The worst of his bone marrow transplant starts Friday as they prepare him for the transplant, which is next week, and then 2 weeks of recovery and praying there are no graft versus host issues.

I only wrote 300 words yesterday. TIRED! Already trying to figure out when to take a day off! BAD Mary.

So, no one shares my fascination with Javier, huh? How about now?



Trish's first book is out TODAY!!!! If you haven't already, go BUY IT!!!


Just Because It Makes Me Happy....

Surface is submitted. Back to BD, but all I want to do is work on my no-longer-so-short story. Need about 5 more scenes.

Love in the Time of Cholera

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I can find NO ONE but Baby Brother who has seen Love in the Time of Cholera. I admit, the title turned me off and I resisted seeing it. But, you know me and my obsessions. I girded myself and rented it and LOVED IT. LOVED. IT. Bought it, and the soundtrack. Cholera plays a very small role, only setting and a plot point or two, but none of the main characters die from it. The story is about a young couple pulled apart when her father thinks she deserves better than the boy who loves her and sends her away. The boy pines for her until he finds a "routine" to help him get over her, but she's never far from his thoughts. He watches her marry another man, but betters himself to be worthy of her because, "I am waiting for her husband to die." There's subtle humor, beautiful scenery and music, and the make up as they age is incredible. Javier does an amazing job of playing an older man, then an elderly one. I found the ending very satisfying. I've already watched the movie 3 times.

Has anyone else seen it?


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What a business. I was still floating from holding my book, and less than 24 hours later, I got an R from Superromance. Sigh.

1) finish BD
2) finish my short story
3) go through Surface with the notes Trish gives me, then submit
4) get ready for critique (NO idea what I’m sending, unless I rewrite the end of BD before Wednesday)
5) critique ;)
6) stop obsessing over this, which really is good:

and this, which I haven't seen but I've watched the trailer over and over:

8) keep up house, which I haven’t done well since the company left

I am never leaving the house without my iPod again. Yesterday I drove my son to band practice and back, then to pick him up and back, and I heard 3 Chili Peppers songs, 3 Rolling Stones songs, 2 Journey songs (on 2 different channels at the same time), 3 Eagles songs and 2 Pink Floyd songs. All this in 2 hours, max. All because I was uploading the soundtrack to Love in the Time of Cholera onto my iPod from my pokey little laptop. Never again….


They're HERE!!!!!


I knew they were in town, I knew they were out for delivery, and I was antsy all day, imagining what it would be like when they arrived.

Welllll.....I strained my hearing listening for the UPS truck! He didn't come till 6:45!!!! TORTURE! The dh was already home, and he called the boy out while I got the box. I didn't even have the nerve to tell the guy what was in the box, how sad am I? When I opened the box, I started crying. I have one book that I've never had out of reach, just so I can touch it. I looked at the dedication first, to my grandmother, then the copyright page, then thumbed through and saw MY words on the pages. It's just not the same seeing it on the computer, even in ebook form. Seeing it in print is just stunning.

We went out to dinner, where again I didn't have the nerve to say anything, though my copy was in my purse. Then I called my mom, but no answer.

The dh did take pictures of me with the books but they're horrible. I'm red-faced and crying and I was already having a bad hair day ;)

But they're here and it feels GOOOOOOD.

The Accidental Husband

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According to Fandango, The Accidental Husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan's new rom com with Uma Thurman, is coming out tomorrow. I've not seen a TV trailer at all.

I spent my Blockbuster gift card to rent the last 2 discs of Season 4 of The Office and Love in the Time of Cholera. They're charging $5 to rent DVDs!!! What the....?? I pay less than $15 for the online service and get 2 discs a week when I plan it right, AND I can trade 2 discs a month. Anyway....I had the gift card.

My print books are in Houston...they should be here tomorrow.

In honor of The Accidental Husband, here's a picture of Jeff.


My Favorite Stage...

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An editor is reading my 2006 GH finalist. Fingers crossed, please!

So for my Cystic Fibrosis Unleash Your Story, I'm writing a short story. I have the entire thing plotted, and have 3600 words in 3 days. I'm at that stage where I don't want to be apart from the story, all I want to do is wallow in it. This is the whole reason I write romance, this feeling.

Don't tell. I'm supposed to be revising the last 50 pages of BD before revising Ghost Hunters.

Not Jeff, BTW. Javier. Need the accent ;)


Book Meme and Linda's New Book

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Natalie let me know yesterday that the Supernatural book from BenBella is already on Amazon!


Allie tagged me with this meme.

I am going to list three categories of books: 5 MUST Read Books, 5 Books on Your Nightstand, and 5 Look For These Soon. Anyone I tag should put these same lists on their blog but SUBTRACT one book from each list and ADD one of their own. (I've highlighted my additions) Then they should tag at least 5 more bloggers. It will be fun to see how the lists change as it goes around the blogosphere. Please come back to this post and leave a comment so I can see how the lists are changing as they go around the blogosphere!

(Since this is Book Buzz…please keep your lists to titles released in 2007-2009.)

5 MUST Read Books:
Not Without Her Family by Beth Andrews
A Mile in My Flip-Flops by Melody Carlson
Cast in Stone by Kerry A. Jones
Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Conception by Kalisha Buckhanon

5 Books on the Nightstand:
Last Dance at the Jitterbug Lounge by Pamela Morsi
Nightswimming by Rebecca James
Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey
From Harvey River by Lorna Goodison
Trading Dreams at Midnight by Dianne McKinney

5 Look For These Soon:
Wanted by Shelley Shephard Gray
Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins
After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival by Robin Gaby Fisher
Midnight: A Gangster Love Story by Sister Souljah
A Firefighter in the Family by Trish Milburn

And I'll tag these 5 bloggers, if you want to take me up on it!

Mary Beth

My very good friend Linda Winfree has a book coming out today from Samhain. Check out the reviews and blurb! Very emotional stuff!

Available TODAY from Samhain Publishing.

A Fallen Angels Review Recommended Read

"Ms. Winfree’s skill at putting emotion into words is nothing short of genius, she had me laughing, crying, cheering and just a little hot...Anyone that reads Hearts Awakened will not walk away unaffected..." -- Rachel C., FAR Reviews

It’s not the past that wounds us…it’s the ghosts we hold onto.

Hearts Awakened by Linda Winfree

Book Six of the Hearts of the South series

A lifetime ago Mark Cook’s pregnant wife vanished, taking everything and leaving an empty, aching hole in his life. Since then, as penance for his failure as a husband and father, he’s refused to allow himself to live. Refused to lay his sleeping heart on the line for any woman.

Enter Tori Calvert, his best friend’s baby sister. Suddenly, against his will—and against his better judgment—that same damaged heart seems determined to reawaken. And Mark’s not sure he can withstand the pain.

When she was a teenager, a vicious attack ripped away Tori’s very essence as a woman. Finally she feels ready to focus her existence on something other than her job as a rape crisis counselor. And to step outside the shelter of her loving, protective family. She trusts Mark more than any man, yet fear holds her back.

Fear that even the healing light of love may not be enough to banish the shadows of the past.


With the bathroom light offering slight illumination, Tori lay awake and stared at the ceiling. Outside her window, car doors slammed and disembodied voices moved along the sidewalk. Another car cruised through the parking lot, a spotlight flashing briefly against the heavy drapes. In the room on her east side, the television droned.

She hadn’t heard Mark’s door or his moving around in his room. Restless, she flopped over in the bed. The blanket pulled at her belly button ring and she winced, rubbing the spot. Above her, a deep voice rumbled, followed by a roll of male laughter.

The red numerals on the clock radio glowed. After one in the morning. Where was he?

Like she had to ask. The idea caused a painful clench in her chest and she rubbed at her gritty eyes. Pushing the covers aside, she padded to the window and perched on the ledge to peek between the drapes. Nothing moved in the parking lot. No vehicles traveled on the street.

A figure stood silhouetted on the sidewalk facing the bay. A familiar male build, arms at his sides, head slightly bent. The ache in her chest increased and she clutched the edge of the drape. Everything in the line of his body spoke of intense pain and misery.

Go to him.

“I can’t,” she whispered. He didn’t want her comfort or help. What he wanted was easy, anonymous sex. He was right—he wanted the one thing she couldn’t offer him.

As she watched, he lifted his head and turned toward the motel. She froze, not wanting him to see her watching. Soft footsteps shuffled on the walkway. His door opened and closed, and she breathed a slow sigh of relief. At least he’d come back alone. He hadn’t brought the other woman, whoever she was, with him.

The other woman. Tori shook her head. For there to be another woman, a relationship had to exist, and it definitely didn’t.

His television clicked on and the volume dropped quickly. She leaned against the wall, eyes closed. He was on the other side of that partition, getting ready for bed.

“Stop thinking about that. He’s back, and he’s alone. You can go to bed now. He obviously is.”

She slid from her perch on the window ledge. She’d grab a glass of water and go back to bed, try to get some sleep.

As she passed the second bed, her right foot caught the corner of the platform, under the bedspread. Pain exploded in her toes. She yelped, bent over with the force of the agony moving up her leg in waves.

Clutching her injured toes, she hopped on one foot and bit back a moan. Lord, that hurt.

“Tori?” Mark knocked on the connecting door, his voice sharp with concern. “Are you all right?”

She couldn’t speak, tears blurring her vision, her energy focused on breathing and fighting off the burning pain.

Blood leaked between her fingers. Biting her lip, she dropped on the end of the bed, rocking back and forth.

“Tori?” If anything, his voice was sharper, a note of alarm creeping in around the edges. “Tori, I’m coming in.”

Whatever. He could walk to Timbuktu if he wanted. All she wanted was for the throbbing in her entire foot to stop.

“What’s wrong?” He knelt in front of her, his hands running over her. Checking for injuries. She recognized that much. “Tori, what happened?”

His voice wavered. She shook her head, still clutching her foot. “My toes.”

The sharp gray gaze dropped to her foot and he swore. He cradled her heel in his palm. “Let me see.”

“Hit them on the bed.” She forced her fingers to let go. Blood dripped on the carpet.

He lifted her foot. “Oh, honey.”

One strong finger probed at the side of her toe and she sucked in a breath. “Ouch!”

“I’m going to get a towel and some ice. Hang on a sec.”

Gently, he set her foot down and rose to return to his room. In seconds, he was back, carrying two towels and his ice bucket.

“Here.” He lifted her foot again, wrapped one towel underneath and placed the second, filled with ice, along the top of her toes. She flinched. “I know,” he said, his voice soothing. His fingers moved over her ankle in a comforting caress. “It’ll feel better in a sec.”

Under the numbing cold, the pain receded slightly and she stared at him. Barefoot and resting on his haunches, he still wore his khakis, but he’d shed his polo shirt. A fine layer of dark hair covered his chest and formed an arrow down the line of his stomach. A small tattoo lurked between his pecs, an infinity swirl angled to the left, over his heart. He rested her foot against his thigh, muscles rippling beneath her heel. Her breath stopped, but this time it had nothing to do with pain. Her fingers tingled. What would it feel like if she traced the tattoo, ran her hands over his chest? Were those muscles as hard as the ones in his arms?

“Wiggle your toes for me.” She did, her gaze on his hands touching her. Deft and gentle, his fingers moved over her foot and shivers trickled through her, almost making her forget the burning pulsing. “I don’t think anything’s broken. You have a cut, but it’s not very deep. We can clean it up and put a bandage on it.”

“Thanks.” Warmth traveled out from his touch, an odd contrast to the numbing cold at her toes. He glanced up at her and all the warmth died. Deep pink lipstick smudged the corner of his mouth. Leaning forward, she swiped it away with her thumb. “Did she make you forget?”

He froze, staring at her. Slowly, he shook his head. “No. I mean, I didn’t…” A hard swallow moved his throat. “I couldn’t.”

A trickle of icy water dripped down the side of her foot. Tori moistened dry lips. “Why not?”

“Because it didn’t feel right. Because it’s not working anymore. She probably could have made me forget Jenny for a little while…” Another swallow, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “But she couldn’t make me forget you.”


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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