No Chance in Hell

Posted at Apr 15, 2014 9:30 am

Release date… April 21! Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, and Google Connect!  I’ve included the blurb and an excerpt for you!

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BLURB

After a drunk driver killed Marcus Ricci’s wife while he was deployed in Afghanistan, he closed up emotionally. Working at Lost and Found, Inc., he lands a puzzling case with too many missing pieces. A killer is closing in on the woman Marcus is supposed to protect. Guarding the beautiful Chris is his job—and he’s one of the best—but keeping her close without letting her inside, makes it hard to protect his heart.  

A murderer took the only family Chris Holland had left. When her sister’s killer comes after Chris, she turns to the Lost and Found agency for help. As she and Marcus Ricci dig into her background, they’ll discover surprises that shake everything she believes to be true about her past.

Forced together day and night, passion ignites, and Chris falls for Marcus. He’s a loner and not interested in a permanent relationship. When her case is over, he’ll go back to his solitary life. Just a man and his dog.  

EXCERPT

Chris parked in front of the office of Lost and Found, Inc. and debated whether this was a good idea or a waste of time. Why had Dalton thought she should talk to these people? Could they really help her? The police department hadn’t been able to. She got out of the car, still unsure. She turned, paced a few steps, and then reversed direction.

“If you need help, you’re at the right place.”

She jammed her hand inside her purse, locked her fingers around the butt of her Glock, and whirled toward the male voice.

A mountain of a man smiled down at her. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to surprise you.”

He stood too close, so Chris stepped backward. Something moved at her feet, and her gaze honed in on the dog looking up at her.

“Are you okay?” The tall stranger moved closer, reaching out as if to touch her arm.

“I’m fine.”

He dropped his hand, and she breathed a little easier. The beautiful dog lay down at her feet.

The man motioned with his hand. The dog immediately moved and stood at his master’s side. “Good dog.”

“Does he bite?” She kept a close eye on the animal.

“Not unless told to. Offer him the back of your hand and let him get your scent.” The man leaned down and scratched the dog’s ears. “Go ahead.”

Chris cautiously did as he suggested. The dog sniffed briefly and then rewarded her gesture with a lick. Her heart melted a little. “Aren’t you handsome with your bright red bandanna?” She sank her fingers into the brown and white scruff around his neck. “What’s his name?”

“Diablo. And you are?”

“Not sure I should go in.” Chris still had second thoughts about bringing strangers into her problem. She hoped Dalton was right about this organization.

“Well, Not Sure, you won’t know unless you go inside.”

Tall, tan, and broad-shouldered, he reached around her and pushed the door open. His muscles flexed, stretching his white shirt sleeve to the max. Cool air caressed her face. His scent, clean and masculine, filled her senses.

“Coming?” he asked. A smile lifted the corners of his mouth. Head and shoulders taller than Chris, he looked down at her with warm brown eyes. A lock of chestnut-colored hair fell onto his forehead, and he raked it back with a large hand.

“You work here?” She hoped his answer would be yes. His eyes projected a quiet confidence, and the way he carried himself left no doubt that he feared no man.

“Yes, ma’am.”

There was only one way to find out if Dalton had been right about Lost and Found, Inc. “Then let’s do this,” she said.

11 Comments

Behind the Curtain with Pictures from Christmas Past

Posted at Dec 23, 2013 3:00 am in ,

As we head into the holidays and I put the blog on hiatus, I wanted to share a few pictures of my family from past Christmas’s. You’ll see the love of my life, our granddaughter, our daughter, and son-in law. Oh, and Buddy. At our house, even the dog gets a gift.

No doubt, I’m going to be in the dog house for sharing the last one. I call it The Clean Up Crew. My dear husband and our beautiful daughter were cleaning up wrapping paper and bows when I snapped the picture. :) There’s not many of us and I often tell people…We’re a small crew but we love big!

My other big news, besides having my family here on Christmas? Electronic versions of The Green-Eyed Doll, The Last Execution, and Someone to Watch Over Me will go on sale for .99 starting December 26!

For each of you, I wish health, love, and joy in 2014. 

Papa and Alexa for blog

Alexa for blog

Jackie and Keith for blog

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Jackie for blog

Alexa and Keith for blog

Buddy and his buddy for blog

The Clean Up Crew for blog

16 Comments

Release Day for Cold Day In Hell

Posted at Sep 30, 2013 3:00 am in , ,

Breaking news!!

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Amazon has released COLD DAY IN HELL!  This is Ty’s story, and believe me, I  put him through hell! $2.99 at http://goo.gl/U8OTVL

Writing this book took me way out of my comfort zone. I normally set my books in areas that I’m familiar with or lived there. Ty’s story took place in the Colombian jungle. And no…I’ve never been. Although after I’d finished my research,which added up to about eighty pages,  I’d fallen in love with the country. I’d love to have a guided tour. But with much less drama. :)

The use of explosives, the SOG (a badass military knife) and many of the weapons and situation were either fact checked or provided by a retired Navy SEAL. I’m so lucky to have him as a resource. Even though he refuses to allow me to identify him, he’s willing to keep me from making a fool of myself. Our emails are interesting!

I stretched my capability when I wrote  this book. As I studied the Colombian culture and jungle, hopefully, I grew as a writer along the way. I hope you see that in Cold Day In Hell.

Cold-Day-In-HellEbook200x300Blurb:

Ex-Army Ranger Tyrell Castillo’s first mission for Lost and Found, Inc. goes awry when his contact is kidnapped, and he’s left scrambling for weapons and explosives. He’ll have to blow up a drug cartel’s compound, rescue the woman, and keep her safe while they cross the sweltering hot Colombian jungle.

Driven by the need for revenge, Ana Maria Vega Cisneros doesn’t want to be rescued. She wants revenge. She’ll risk her life to ensure the drug lord who killed her family suffers the same fate.

The cartel leaves a trail of blood on their hunt for Ty and Ana. When Ty receives the order to kill the drug lord with extreme prejudice, he and Ana will face the enemy head on. Can Ty protect the woman who’s hell bent on vengeance? The woman he’s grown to love?

Excerpt:

               Ana Cisneros stood close to the window. Craning her neck to see outside, she was unaware he’d entered the room. With no time for introduction, he reached around and clamped his hand over her mouth.

As expected, he’d startled her. She fought, slinging her body back and forth like a wet dog. She kicked at him, so he whirled her around and jerked her body snug against his.

“Quit struggling. I’m here to help you,” he whispered, trying to sound reassuring. No doubt, with the flames outside casting an eerie glow, he looked like an alien. A man wearing night-vision goggles, geared up with a pistol on his hip and another in a holster strapped to his thigh, and a rifle over his shoulder would scare most anybody. Not to mention the machete sheathed on his back and the SOG knife in his hand. “Do you understand?”

He took the slight movement of her head as a yes and relaxed the pressure off her lips. His reward? She bit his finger and pummeled his ribs with her free fist.

What the hell? The lamb had attacked the lion. He reapplied the pressure while keeping one eye on the door.

“Stop that,” he commanded, impressed at her bravado.

Even through the lens on the night-vision goggles, he spotted a bruise on her cheek. Heat sizzled up his spine at the bastard who’d hit her.

He’d expected fear or panic to be oozing from her every pore, but didn’t sense either emotion from her. Waves of anger rolled off her. 

“Do you understand?” he repeated. She nodded slightly, relaxed her tense muscles, and then tried to kick him in the nuts.

He didn’t have time to reason with her. And from what he’d seen so far, sweet-talking her was out. “I’m going to remove my hand. If you fight me, I’ll tie and gag you. Got it?”

This time he got a full nod. The expression behind her eyes made him doubt her honesty.

“I don’t have time to argue, so you’ll have to trust that I’m the contact you were supposed to meet in Bogota.” Cautiously, he lifted two fingers from her lips and waited to see if she complied.

“I know who you are,” she hissed. “And you’ve ruined everything.”

“Me? I think you’ve cornered the market on screw-ups.” He quickly assessed her condition. Other than the bruise, she appeared to be unharmed. Long dark hair fell around her shoulders. She wore jeans and a T-shirt. All she needed was shoes, preferably a good pair of boots.

Damn, she was a little thing. Beautiful, bruised, and pissed. Protecting her as they crossed the sweltering jungle wasn’t going to be easy. This woman was going to make the next few days a living hell.

In my mind, Ty is the spitting image of Shemar Moore, one of the stars of Criminal Minds. Do you form images in your mind of the characters in a book while you read? I have a few copies available in PDF or .MOBI files. Leave a comment and your email address. You could be one of the two readers to receive a copy.

 

16 Comments

Behind the Curtain with Ms Romantic Reads

Posted at Sep 23, 2013 3:00 am in , , ,

Ever wanted to look inside the mind of a romance book reviewer? I’m thrilled Michelle Wilson, aka Ms Romantic Reads has joined me for the day and willingly answered all my questions. Take it from someone who has been reviewed by Michelle, she provides honest feedback. And we authors are the better for it.

This familiar avatar can be found on most social network sites. I’ll post them below. For now, let’s find out what’s behind the curtain. :)

 Avatar_MsRomanticReads

 

 

 

 

 

Q. How did you get started reviewing romance books?

A really close friend of mine, got me started. We often read similar books and would email our thoughts back and forth, then she started her own book review blog, MyFictionNook. At first I thought that was ridiculous because who cared about someone else’s opinion about a book? Then I discovered some review blogs and saw quite a few people out there turn to such blogs, not only to figure out what to read next, but to connect with like-minded readers. I followed my friend’s example six months later. I’ve been consistent since October 2012.

Q. Do you run your blog, review books all by yourself, or do you have help?

It’s all me, baby :) Yes, I do everything by myself. I’m a little OCD and a bit of a perfectionist (that’s probably the artist in me), so I would find it too difficult to rely on someone else to keep things running. Does that make sense?

Q. Do you get paid for anything having to do with your blog?

No. My blog is a free one hosted by WordPress. I don’t have any expenses that need to be covered so why charge for anything? All advertisements or promotions on my blog are FREE. And paying/charging for reviews just seems icky to me. One might argue that time is money, and heavens knows I spend a lot of time on my blog or reading, but that was sort of the point from the very beginning. Reading is fun, talking to people is fun. I won’t charge money for something that I just have fun doing, you know?

Q. What do you do when you’re not blogging or reviewing?

Keeping my hubby out of trouble, and painting. I have always been interested in art, so in 2005 I decided to teach myself how to draw and paint while hubby was on deployment. I specialize in fine art and digital art. You can check out my Gallery on my art blog at MWilsonArt

OMG!! You are so talented, Michelle! It broke my heart to choose just two and resize them. Folks, you owe it to yourself to drop by her art blog!

watercolor_take_this_to_heart_by_tanabatablossom2Amidala_by_tanabatablossom2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What piques your interest in a story?

Cover, blurb, reviews. In that order. If the cover doesn’t catch my eye first, I probably will just pass it by.

Q. What turns you off faster than being wet down by a fire hose?

Haha! Well, if there’s a hot firefighter at the end of that hose, I may not mind getting wet ;) TMI? Oh well, too bad. It’s how I am, lol. 

Bad or non-existent editing, heroes/heroines who are TSTL (too stupid to live), cliffhangers and really short stories masquerading as “books”. I understand authors want and need to make a living, but they should also consider their customers who are expected to part with their money. There is stiff competition out there, so if I have a choice between 100+ pages and up to 50, at the same price, guess which one I’ll purchase? I’m also not a fan of trilogies or serials that are made up of extremely short stories that could easily be compiled into one book. It leads me, and many others, to think that greed plays a large role in the decision to split it up.

Q. Ever have trouble with an author who didn’t like your review? (Lord, I hope the answer to this is no. Surely, we writers know better.)

Trouble per se, no. However, I did have an author not like the review I had left, and she went on Facebook and made some remarks which prompted her friends and followers to agree with her and call “the reviewer” (me) names, I had no idea what I was talking about, blah blah blah.  She didn’t realize that we were following each other. I made a note not to buy any more of her books (not out of spite, but simply because I didn’t enjoy her writing style) and unfollowed her. End of story.

Michell can be found here:

Blog – MsRomanticReads: http://msromanticreads.wordpress.com

Okay…enough with the serious questions! We are here to peek behind the curtain and see the real Ms. Romantic Reads! Your answers will be just between the two of us. (cough, cough)

Bring it on! :)

Q. You and one male survivor are shipwrecked on a deserted island. He’s not your husband. So who is he? Why did you choose him?

Not my husband? Oh dear, Navy boy won’t like that at all! Okay, this is my fantasy so here goes:david-gandy-fd00132 David Gandy because 1) he’s gorgeous 2) I love his eyes 3) he’s gorgeous. He may not be built like a line-backer, but he has this aura of sophisticated elegance and casualness that I find insanely attractive in a man. He also has this small scar above his right eye which makes him a little mysterious. He looks like he’d be good at many things to pass the time.

 

Q. Describe the perfect kiss in three words.

Wet, deep, bruising.

Q.  If you could be one of the heroine’s from any of the books you’ve reviewed, who would you be? Why?

Oh.My.Gosh! Could you ask a harder question?!

Is there a book about Lara Croft? She is who I’d want to be. No? Okay … wow, this is so tough. I can’t think of just one, but I can tell you what type of heroine my choice would fall on. She is independent and confident. She doesn’t beat around the bush, and she can kick some serious butt. She may not need anyone in her life, but she wants someone to come home to, someone who is her equal in all ways, someone she can laugh with.

 Q. What is the first thing you notice in a man?

His eyes. Always.

Q. If you were in the “Miss America” talent competition, what would your talent be?

Playing the flute. I had a gorgeous silver one, but my mother commandeered it :)

Q. Tell me two truths and one lie about yourself.

Ooooh fun! Okay here goes:

I have lived on three different continents.

I have met a celebrity.

I fainted once while riding Space Mountain.

Thank you, Michelle. You’re a great sport. I for one, appreciate everything you do!

This was so much fun! Thank you so much for having me on your blog :)

Okay, everybody, let’s try to guess the lie.

 

45 Comments

Wednesday 9-11 is a day of Remembrance

Posted at Sep 11, 2013 3:00 am

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 No writers, no guests, and no promotion today.

On September 11, 2001, our country was attack by 19 members of al-Qaeda. Over 3,000 people lost their lives during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C..

Of this number more than 400 were firefighters and police officers. Almost 10,000 people were injured, many severely.

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Of those that lost their lives were the heroes on United Flight 93. They gave their lives to save others.

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Today is about recognizing and remembering those who lost their lives that day.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hold someone you love.

 

9 Comments

Monday Musing- Title, Title, who’s got the Title?

Posted at Sep 9, 2013 3:00 am in

Title, Title, who’s got the Title?

Book comes alive

How do you choose a title for your book? Does it evolve as the project progresses or do you begin with a title in mind? For some writers, the selection of the final title belongs to the publisher. If so, do you form a working title, hoping that they go with your choice?

For me, I like having one selected up front. Selecting the right title for a book is critical. If the title doesn’t resonate with me, for some odd reason, I have trouble getting started.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t come up with a title I like and then write the book around it.

After I do a character sketch on each Protagonist, Contagonist, and Antagonist, I’ll do a short bio on any extras. While I doing that I’ll start thinking about the title. Sometime it grows slowly, but on occasion it comes to me right away. Having a title helps me stay firmly planted and sets the tone of the book. It keeps me from wandering.

The title for The Green-Eyed Doll came from my daughter while we were discussing the premise of the book. It was perfect. The focus of the story was right there in front of me from the beginning to the end.

That’s not to say I haven’t changed a title once the book started to develop. I’m working on book three of the Lost and Found Inc. series. In keeping with Hell Or High Water and Cold Day In Hell, I looked for something to work with the word Hell and the characters of the new story. Out of fourteen titles I have written on my white-board, what started out as A Living Hell, quickly morphed to No Chance in Hell. Why? Because after I got my characters mapped out and had my killer’s motivation firmly in my mind, No Chance In Hell fit perfectly!

Do you write? How do you select a title? If you don’t write, how important is the title when you’re book shopping?

Can you think of any great titles that fit perfectly?

Here’s my pick…Jaws

revbytrsWoot! I received this news yesterday!  Easy to vote…so if you have a moment, please vote tonight or in the morning.

Congratulations! HELL or HIGH WATER received 5 hearts! Your book will be up for our 5 Heart Sweetheart Vote beginning 9/9/13.  The vote launches between 5 and 7 PM EST each Monday. The winner gets their cover, buy link and a review snippet on our front door page the following week along with promotion on all of our social media outlets.
 

 

 

10 Comments

Monday Musing about Labor Day

Posted at Sep 2, 2013 3:00 am in , ,

Happy Labor Day!!

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September 5th, 1882 this day was dedicated to celebrating the American worker on the first Monday in September. There’s some disagreement as to who gets credit for this holiday, but we won’t go into that today. We can thank our neighbors in Canada for this holiday. In 1872, a parade was held protesting the 58-hour workweek.

A little research turned up the fact that in the 1880s, people worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week! Children 5 and 6 years old could work! It wasn’t until 1916 that the Adamson Act was passed. This act established the 8-hour workday. 

I worked in retail distribution for many years. During September, October, November, and the first two weeks in December it wasn’t uncommon for us to pull 12-hour days Monday through Friday with 8-hours on Saturday and on occasion, Sunday. As a member of management, I was expected to be present before and after the day started. Our job was to ensure the stores had every available item a customer might need in preparation for Christmas. Did I get tired of the long hours? Sure. But logistic was my field and not once did I resent having my job.

So thank you to all my brothers and sisters who, as Alabama sang, move it on down the line.

80px-Blond_woman_on_a_white_dress_on_the_beach_drinks_from_a_cupBut Labor day marks a few more events. Like not wearing white after the first Monday in September. Chanel is credited with blowing that silly idea out of the water and making white a year round color.

 

 

 

120px-WafflesAnd the first Waffle House opened on Labor Day. I remember my first trip to Macon, Georgia. (A state I fell in love with) We were opening a returns center in Macon and I flew into Atlanta and drove the rest of the way. It seemed to me there were Waffle Houses on every corner! Later, I learned Georgia was the home state for them.

 

One more update…but this ties back to last Monday’s post. The two puppies that were dumped in our neighborhood have been adopted and will get to stay together! Yea to my next door neighbor!

So go enjoy this holiday. You’ve earned it. Stay safe!

 

 

10 Comments

Monday Musing about the jerk who dumped two puppies

Posted at Aug 26, 2013 3:00 am in ,

I’ve posted before about Buddy, our rescue dog. These dogs have done nothing to deserve the heartbreak they experience. So why am I bringing this up again?

For one certain jackass who visited my street Saturday.

This post is especially for him! I’m sure he’ll never know I wrote this for him, but the jerk deserves his own post. Here is how he earned his day.

I noticed a newer model white car make the loop on our cul-de-sac and stopped. He didn’t get out for a minute, so he piqued my curiosity. Just about that time, he quickly got out, opened the back door, and dumped two puppies! This poor excuse for a human jumped back in his car and sped away. I ran to the door and out into the yard, but he was long gone.

Two puppies, black with white markings, took off running to catch him…so did I. If he saw us in his review mirror, he sure didn’t slow down. They had obviously never been loose! When they gave up on the one person they thought would protect them, they discovered freedom.

This is not a picture of one of them. Thank goodness Wikipedia had something close!

St_Johns_water_dogThey ran, jumped, rolled each up, and played. They tumbled through the neighbor’s yards. Running wide open, enjoying their new found freedom, they ran into the pasture behind my house and disappeared. called them and whistled. They came close but then broke and ran away.

Luckily, I have outstanding neighbors! Later in the day, the puppies were watered by the family next door. Later a couple down the street fed them. We’re trying to keep them safe and alive, but they are frightened and not comfortable coming to a stranger.

When Buddy found us he’d been bitten by a big dog (according to the vet) and freaks out when another dog comes near. The couples who are helping take care of the puppies have rescue dogs of their own. For now, we’re all trying to help them.

So now what? They can’t be left to roam, so if we can’t find someone to take them, I guess we’ll have to contact the no-kill shelter in Burleson, and see if they can help.

My message to the jerk who abandoned these frightened creatures…may your payback be harsh and come soon. I have to believe people who do such things get what they deserve!

 

 

6 Comments

Monday Musings-What happens when I stray from my roots!

Posted at Aug 19, 2013 5:50 am in , , ,

More than once, I’ve commented on my writing ‘style’ or maybe the lack of having one. I write from the gut and heart. Character development? Yes. Plot. No. Premise? A must!

After completing Cold Day In Hell, book two of the Lost and Found, Inc. series, I found myself back at square one. A stand still. Watching the damn blinking cursor. Convinced I’d never have another original thought.

This third book is Marcus’s story. Broken but mending, quiet but deadly, Marcus.

 Oh, and I can’t forget Diablo. diablo If you read Hell Or High Water, you know Diablo has a role in this book. Adding a dog to the mix isn’t new to me, so that wasn’t the problem. After all, one of my favorite characters in The Green-Eyed Doll was the no named dog. So why was I struggling?

The new story started with Marcus going home to clear out his deceased father’s house and getting drawn into solving a string of murders.

Have you ever put on a pair of shoes, loved the look but hated the feel. This story didn’t feel right for one of my Lost and Found men. The premise is great, and I have a sexy guy name Rafe Sirilli in mind for that book. But this wasn’t for Marcus.

I started a second story. Now, let’s stop here. I NEVER start and stop stories. I work up a character sheet, devote a lot of time on the first sentence or two, and get the premise set firmly in my head and start writing. For me those first few sentences are critical to the book.

So what the hell were Marcus and his dog doing in Mexico, icing down a case of beer for a fishing trip? And who was the woman screaming? An okay premise, but it didn’t set my mind on fire! Which, by the way, is necessary for me to get into a story.

Enter my critique partner, Barb Han. We not only critique each other, we chat, discuss our work, and on occasion, solve world problems. During one of these calls, I mentioned another writer’s book. I had absolutely loved it. My always “I’ve got your back” agreed. But it was what she added that caught my attention. Without hesitation, she added, “You’re way better in the killer’s head.”

Bam! There it was. dinozzoThe back of the head slap like DiNozzo gets from Jethro Gibbs on NCIS.

The answer was right in front of me. How had I strayed from my roots? I’d been developing stories without getting inside my villain’s head first. He or she is vital to me. To build a story for Marcus, I had to know who and why the killer existed.

The next morning, I stepped away from the computer, took a pencil and notebook, and got to know my killer.

Thank goodness. :) 

 

 

 

15 Comments

Monday Musing – How do you beat the summer heat?

Posted at Jul 29, 2013 3:00 am in , ,

Okay, it’s summer in Texas! Believe it or not, I love this time of year. Granted, if the AC goes out, unless the repairman can be here in a flash, I’m headed for the nearest motel. Come to think of it, a motel’s not a bad idea. I’d pick one with a pool, call the family and announce, “Come on over! We have a swimming pool.”

Maybe I suffer from sunlight deprivation and should ask my doctor for a prescription to move to St. Kitts. Really! A few dark cloudy days and I’m not near as upbeat as I am when sunlight is streaming through the windows. I open all the blinds and welcome the light in my house.

To prove my point that the sun is a good thing, I decided to share a few pictures of why I love summer with you.

Back when my granddaughter turned seven, her mother and I left the husbands at home to man the fort, and we took baby snorkeling. That’s happened for seven years in a row. We choose a different country and head for sand and warm water. It’s a labor of love as we save all year and my daughter stays on alert for a fabulous deal. She out did herself when she came up with our trip to Belize. We watched dolphins play from our balcony. Took snorkeling tours and swam with sharks and string rays.

We’re always glad to get home. Back to the family and good old Texas heat because means family time to me. Here or on the road.

pic 1 for blog

 

 

 

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shadow of tree on pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

satan

Because a dear friend of mine will call me out on this (right, Marsha?). And I forgive her for loving cold weather. I thought to post a few pictures that I think she would use to describe our summers.

 

 

heat wave fan

 

 

 

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Okay this last one should read Texas! I’ll stop now! But I had to share and ask your opinion. Is summer your time of the year?

 

 

11 Comments

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MsRomanticReads reviewers selected COLD DAY IN HELL for the Top Pick of 2013 Award.

CataNetwork reviewers presented THE GREEN-EYED DOLL with their prestigious 2012 Sensual Reads Reviewers' Choice Award.