At the age of forty-four, Blaise Blankenship believes her own opportunity for
romance has long since passed until she accidentally lands in the lap of a sexy
stranger. She and the handsome Latino connect over an afternoon at a local
bookstore, sharing their love of erotica. Blaise is swept away by an impetuous,
hot, "no last names" night together. But the morning after reveals a truth she
can't ignore—or avoid.
A waitress appeared at their table. "What can I get you?"
"Do you have any Krupnik?" Blaise asked.
The young server's brow crinkled. "I don't…"
"It's a honey flavored drink," Guy told her.
She shook her head. "I don't think we have that." Then a smile stole across her
face. "But maybe I can come up with something."
She left, and the two of them sat without speaking. The silence was a
comfortable cocoon enveloping them, connecting them. There was no need for
A bit later, the waitress returned with two rocks glasses half-filled with an amber
liquid. "Honey flavored Kentucky bourbon," she explained as she served them.
Guy paid the woman then lifted his glass in a toast.
Blaise followed suit. "What shall we toast?"
"To happy accidents," he proposed.
"That works for me." They clinked their glasses, and Blaise took a sip. Though
unusually sweet, the drink had the familiar burn of whiskey. Heat spread down
her throat to her belly and below.
He touched the book. "Shall we continue?"
She nodded, and Guy opened to the page and began to read. People around
them chatted and laughed, going about their business, but she and Guy were in
a bubble. No one looked their way. No one paid them any mind. They were in a
tiny universe all their own.
Blaise sipped her drink, sliding closer to him in the circular booth. He was so big,
so warm. Just being near him made her body heat rise. Perspiration bloomed,
and her blouse clung to her skin. Her nipples, hard and achy, poked against her
bra. A few words penetrated the haze—something about the Hummingbird's
Kiss—but it wasn't the story line or the whiskey making her woozy. She was
getting drunk on the low, sensual timbre of Guy's voice.
Soon the words blurred into an incomprehensible buzz in her ears. Her breath
slowed as she watched his lips move. She pictured herself kissing them, licking
the sweetness from them. Lowering her gaze to his hands, she imagined them
touching her. He'd skim the pads of his fingers along her torso, fasten those
succulent lips of his on her nipple and pull…
Her pussy responded to the fantasy with an answering pull. She shifted slightly to
ease the throb between her thighs. Her movement must have distracted him. His
gaze flickered from the page to light on her face and his voice trailed off.
Guy nodded to her empty glass. "Another?"
She'd finished it? When had that happened? "No." Her tongue felt thick.
"Would you like something else, then?" he asked.Yes. She knew what exactly she wanted. The question was, did she have the guts to ask?It's your last chance. Your last adventure before you become the boring old
mother of the bride. Take it. Take it!
Gathering her courage, she took the leap. "Yes." She placed her hand on his
thigh. Underneath her fingers, his muscles tensed. His eyebrows lowered and his
gaze sharpened. "Yes." She squeezed his thigh. "I want to get a room. Let's go upstairs."
Nona Raines became hooked on romances when she first picked up "The Flame
and the Flower" by Kathleen Woodiwiss (and she's not telling how long ago that
was). Romances may have changed since then, but her love for a good love
story has not. She's been writing off and on for years, but it was only when she
joined the Central New York Romance Writers Association that she finally gained
the support and confidence she needed to complete a manuscript.
Nona lives in upstate New York with her many pets and is currently working
on her next novel. A former librarian, she enjoys reading books of all genres
and discussing them with others. Her books include The Man Series (One Good Man, Take This Man and Her Perfect Man) from The Wild Rose Press and Uncollared from Loose Id. Her transgender
romance His Kind of Woman was a
GLBT finalist in the 2014 DABWAHA competition sponsored by the Dear
Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review blogs.
She won’t be tamed.
A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.
He can’t forget.
Haunted by his past, Roark, The Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.
Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement.
He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.
The Earl’s Enticement Summary:
Adaira Ferguson is a fiery, unconventional Scots. Though gently-born and the sister of a viscount who’s also a laird, she wears breeches, swears, raises horses, and at almost twenty, has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.
Abused as a child, Roark Marquardt, The Earl of Clarendon, is haunted by the scars on his back and his father’s cruelty. That, along with his brother’s traitorous activities and his dead wife’s infidelities, has turned Roark into a man who rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest decorum standards. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.
Mistaking Roark for his brother, a known spy, Adaira locks him in her keep’s dungeon. Infuriated he’s been imprisoned, Roark vows vengeance. Once she realizes her error and releases him, he sets about transforming Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement. He succeeds only to discover, he prefers the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.
Marquardt advanced a few more inches. His face glistened with a fine sheen of sweat. “I’ll assume you knew there were horses available as well.”
After a paralyzing moment when she couldn’t exhale due to the fear hammering against her ribs, she released a measured breath and raised her chin in defiance.
“Which leads me to question why you deliberately deceived me?” His piercing indigo eyes skimmed her from hair to boots, lingering for a deliberate moment on her hips and chest before he smirked and lifted his disinterested glacial gaze to meet hers once more.
Adaira narrowed her eyes.
He found her lacking in feminine assets, yet he still indulged in an ogle? She cast a swift glance beyond him. Brayan must have decided he wanted no part in the abduction. Even she was having second thoughts.
What of Yvette then? No, this must be done.
“Deliberately?” She firmed her mouth, while raising the whip and settling her other hand around the sheath.
Her scheme would still work. It would be more difficult to carry off though. Truth to tell, a great deal more difficult, but she was confident she could do it.
Marquardt’s mouth twisted. “The blame is partially mine. It’s obvious you’re a skinny female, though your attire suggests otherwise. No doubt you’re a hoyden to boot.” Arrogant toad.
Everything he said was true, so why did his words rankle? Mayhap it was his perfectly enunciated speech delivered in tones dripping with censure. She curled her lips. She was about to give him good cause for further disapproval.
Adaira raised the crop and settled into a defensive stance. “I care even less about your opinion of me, than I do the horse shite I stepped in earlier.”
His dark brows swooped together. He glanced downward, kicking the toe of his boot into the ground while shaking his head. “And she swears . . . like a common harlot,” he muttered. “A lack of Godly discipline and moral upbringing, to be sure.”
She scowled at him. “Do you do that often, talk to yourself?”
Wasn’t that a sign of madness? Ewan had hinted Marquardt was unhinged.
He waved his hand languidly at a fly buzzing near his face. “Your parents failed to instill in you the qualities a lady of gentle-breeding ought to possess.”
She pointed the crop at him. “Och, you pompous, Sassenach cur! I don’t care a trow’s hairy bum what you think of me, but you’ll not speak poorly of my parents.”
He swatted at the insect again. Even that was done with controlled precision. One crisp wave right. Another crisp wave left.
Adaira lunged and jabbed the whip in his direction, then danced a few steps backwards. “You dare to speak to me of appropriate behavior?” She laughed. “You? A known spy?”
His pupils dilated in surprise. Or was it irritation?
“You who tried to attack Yvette and abduct her?”
Jab, jab. Retreat. The last lunge brushed his arm.
Instantly Marquardt’s demeanor changed. His face hardened into chiseled lines, his body went rigid, and his eyes narrowed to furious slits. “I’ve had enough of your confounded whip and your false accusations.”
Award winning, Amazon best-selling, and multi-published historical romance author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master's in Teaching. A Pacific Northwest Native, Collette’s been married for thirty years, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You'll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.
A haunted past, a marriage of convenience...a love for a lifetime?
After a tragic accident leaves Loyal Redfearn alone and pregnant, she writes to
her deceased fiancee's ne'er-do-well brother, August O'Dell. Her hope is he'll save
her beloved home. What she doesn't expect from him is a proposal so soon on the
heels of his brother's death. Although they grew up together, she's never thought of
August as the man she would marry, even as a means to save face with her family
Although returning to the township where August spent his troubled youth means
facing the past, he sees an opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of the woman
he's loved since boyhood. They agree the marriage is in name-only, but August
works to earn Loyal's trust and waits for the day she'll see his hard work as proof
that she didn't marry the wrong brother after all.
When evidence from a crime committed years ago points to August as the culprit, he
and Loyal must face the reality that their newly forged family may be torn apart.
Loyal didn’t look away from the filly. “What did he say when you told him you love
She’d heard. For a moment, he couldn’t breathe. Her voice was calm, expression
unreadable. “There aren’t many people who don’t know. I guess you were the only
“I asked what he said.” Her hand trembled faintly when she lifted it away from the
foal’s coat. Brown eyes took him in. “Tell me.”
There was no way to know if she loved him in return, or if she was appalled by his
admission. “He told me about why he married your mother. How you brought them
“I knew it wasn’t a love match.” She turned from the foal to Molly and scratched
between the mare’s ears. “So many marriages aren’t. When did you know, August?”
Eighteen years ago, he’d dared her to hang upside down by her knees from an
apple tree branch. She’d wrinkled her nose, hiked her skirt up and climbed the tree
quicker than a cat. Sitting on the branch, she’d tipped backward, letting her hands
dangle and long red braids stretch toward the ground. Her refusal to be afraid had
impressed him. That day, he’d realized if he ever decided to get married, he wanted
Loyal. But Jeremiah had already claimed her.
He couldn’t tell her about that memory, so he lied. “I think it was the night we
delivered the foal. You were brave even though Molly was in danger and either of us
could’ve been hurt. When I took your hand, it became clear. I love you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she whispered.
August leaned against the corral rail. The filly stretched her neck, sniffing his elbow.
He put his hand out, scratching her soft muzzle. Telling Loyal his feelings was harder
than coming home had been. “Because I’d never ask you to stop loving Jeremiah for
She faced him, her eyes wide and red-rimmed. “Oh, August. I’ll always love him.
Nothing can change it. He gave me this gift.” She caressed her stomach. “He gave me
a home. He brought us together.”
An ache that went deeper than the bruises on his back rocked him. He’d made a fool
of himself, telling her father the truth while she was nearby. How had he thought he
could compete for a woman’s love with the man she had on a pedestal?
He watched the horses, unable to look her in the eye. “It doesn’t mean anything
is different. I’ll sleep in the barn until your father decides he can’t tolerate us
“Why would you?” She touched his arm. “You’re my husband.”
“Not the one you wanted.” No stranger to rejection, he shouldn’t feel disappointed
by her love for Jeremiah. He suddenly needed some space, some quiet time alone to
think about what he’d said.
A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an
author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining
the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband
and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A.
in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's
better at writing fluff than hard news.
Dot McKenzie is a lone wolf-shifter on the run, using everything available to her to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. When she is offered a chance for friendship and safety with the Fairwood pack, she accepts.
Gavin Fairwood, reluctant heir to the Fairwood pack leadership, is content to let life happen while he waits. But old longings surface when he appoints himself Dot’s protector ... and becomes more than a friend.
But her presence puts the pack and her new friends at risk, and Dot must go into hiding again. When old enemies threaten the destruction of the Fairwood pack, it will take the combined efforts of Dot and Gavin to save it.
Can anything save their love and Dot’s life when she becomes a pawn in a pack leader’s deadly game?
“Where do you think you’re going?” Tasha asked, leaning casually against the wall of the woman’s dorm. Dot was walking out the back door with her helmet in one hand, and carrying her saddlebags in the other.
“Dmitri got done with my bike. I thought I’d take it for a test drive around the village.” Dot avoided her bodyguard’s eyes and kept walking.
“In the dark? And you need your clothes in your saddlebags to do that?” Tasha stepped in front of Dot to stop her.
“I promised Gavin one week and I gave it to him,” Dot said, stepping to one side to go around Tasha, but Tasha moved with her.
“So now you’re going to run away?”
Dot quickly considered her options. Tasha was stronger, faster, and armed. “I’m not running away. I have a plan.”
“Why don’t you tell me about it?”
“I’m going to my see my aunt. I suspect all of this is tied to my father, whoever he is. I’m hoping she can tell me why.”
“Where does she live?”
“If you don’t know, you can’t tell anyone else, and I can’t be tracked there.” Dot turned to Tasha with tears in her eyes. Crying was an effective tool to use against men, she wondered if Tasha would fall for the ploy as well. “I need to do this, Tasha, please don’t stop me. I will be back in time to go to the Council meeting.”
“The sentries will stop you before you ever get out of pack territory. I can get you out, but I will help you on one condition.” Tasha grinned. “Did you know I have a motorcycle too? I’m going with you.”
P.J. MacLayne is a computer geek by day and a writer by night. She was raised among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, and many of her stories are set in that area. She currently makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, and wonders if she was a mountain man in a past life.
Bree Washington, a young African American woman, has always wanted to become a doctor. When her father loses his job, she is forced to find other means to raise money to continue her schooling. Loving to dance and doing it well, she becomes an exotic dancer. Bree figures her dancing days will be history after she gets her medical degree.
Though being a doctor gives her a sense of fulfillment, Bree fears life is passing her by. Alone without any family of her own, more than anything, she wants to marry and have children. Fate intervenes when she saves the life of a child who had been in a horrific auto accident. She falls in love with the child's father, Richard Whitman, the DA for Harris County, Texas. Bree's future looks rosy until Richard Whitman decides to run for governor and her past collides with her future.
A loud rustling in the leaves of the old oak tree by my window woke me. Spring had come early this year in Texas, leaving record-breaking heat in its wake. I’d left the window open to try to cool off my room in order to help me sleep better. Probably a wind picking up or a critter, I thought, providing myself an excuse not to have to get out of bed and investigate. I closed my eyes and began to slip off into dreamland once more.
Suddenly, I felt a large, calloused, hot hand cover my mouth so I couldn’t scream out. Its mate was already exploring my scantily clad body, roughly squeezing my breasts. He took his hand from my mouth and whispered hoarsely, “Don’t make a sound.”
My heart nearly jumped into my throat. “Clint, what are you doing here?”
“I couldn’t wait until tomorrow night. Here, touch me. I’m as hard as that tree I just climbed.”
I reached down to feel the enormous bulge that threatened to rip through the denim of his jeans. Mercifully, I unzipped Clint’s jeans, freeing his hot, swollen member as if I were freeing a genie from a bottle. And I only had one wish in mind for it to perform.
Sleep was now the furthest thing on my mind as Clint’s lips covered mine. It was a rough, demanding kiss, the kind that always drove me wild and left me wanting more. His cock prodded my hip as my heartbeat quickened in anticipation. I felt his hand slip under the flimsy, oversized tee shirt I wore and capture one of my breasts, rubbing its nipple into a firm raisin. I stifled a moan.
As his lips left my own to make their way down my neck, his other hand covered my wet pussy. I was ready for him. He walked his fingers through my forest of tightly curled hair before finally inserting two of them. I closed my snatch around them and rubbed my clit up and down, sending tiny explosions throughout my body.
He removed his fingers and licked them dry before slipping on a condom. I could not keep my body still as I waited. It was times like this one I’d wished I was on the pill already. Those few moments felt like an eternity before he slipped inside me, filling me completely. Together we began to move in our rehearsed dance of love, the tempo increasing as our orgasms approached. Ever since Clint introduced me to this unbelievable joy and turned me into a woman—his woman—I never truly knew what love was all about.
I hoped the movement of my bedsprings didn’t wake my father. Most likely he wasn’t even in his room and could be found zonked out in the den. The thought of what would happen if he found us fucking was something I couldn’t bear. Luckily it didn’t take us long before we both came. I couldn’t wait until we were married and didn’t have to sneak around like this. We’d be able to sleep together and wake in each other’s arms.
“You’d better go,” I urged him, fearful our luck would run out.
Clint pulled out of me slowly and rolled off the condom. He pulled his shirt over his lean, hard-muscled chest. Just watching him made me hot again. He bent to kiss my breast before he reclaimed my mouth.
“See you tomorrow night,” he whispered.
“Be careful,” I said, walking over to the window with him.
“I love you, Bree Washburn.”
“I love you too, Clint Anderson. Now get,” I said, slapping his ass and kissing him one more time before he went out the window.
He wrapped his arm around a tree limb and waved as he began to descend.
Whether she’s writing a short story or novel, Candy Caine will make her interracial romances hot and spicy. Always striving to entertain her readers, Candy tries to breathe life into her characters, making life often interesting for her husband, Robert back in their home on Long Island, NY. For those readers looking for less erotic stories, Candy writes under her other pen name, Candace Gold. Candy loves to hear from her readers.
“I wish I could find a man like the Wilde Brothers.” - Tina “Read the whole thing in 1 day. A page turner from start to finish. Makes me wish I lived in Idaho.” - Diane In FRIENDLY FIRE, after a roadside bomb ends his career in the marines, Logan Wilde struggles to put his life back together. When he takes a job as a sheriff in a small Idaho town, he expects a quiet, peaceful life that will bore him to tears. However, Logan hides a painful secret: He suffers from sleepless nights and flashbacks that come out of nowhere, and anything can be a trigger.
From the moment the new sheriff walks through the door of Julia Cooper’s cafe, she fights the attraction between them, especially after Logan shoots a carafe right from her hands when he’s startled by a car backfiring in the street outside. Julia has seen that wild look before: She saw it in her father’s eyes right before he shoved a gun to his head and killed himself.
Julia decides she needs to meet someone average, someone who has never handled a gun. Everyone is convinced that her daughter’s teacher is the perfect match for her, but when she’s with him, she misses the sparks that always sizzle between her and Logan—and when her daughter goes missing, it’s Logan who’s there for her, Logan who searches with her, and Logan she leans on.
Worse, Logan suspects that the teacher knows something about the disappearance, and he may not be the safe, dependable guy Julia believes him to be.
**CONTENT WARNING: Although this series is filled with ideals of family, love and loyalty, the Wilde brothers are strong sexy alpha males. Each book and short story in this series is filled with sexual tension, steamy romance, rough language, and passion. It is for those who enjoy adult contemporary romance, women’s fiction, western romance. Amazon: http://mybook.to/FriendlyFireLorhainneEckhart Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/friendly-fire-lorhainne-eckhart/1119389754?ean=9781928085065 Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/friendly-fire/id871963932?mt=11
Don’t choke, don’t hesitate, the voice in his head urged over and over as Logan Wilde pounded the ground, kicking up dust and sand as he ran through the field, his finger locked on his rifle. As the squad leader, he was never supposed to go first, but he wanted—needed—to, even though his heart was pounding. Adrenaline surged through his veins like cool liquid from an IV. Sweat made his T-shirt and uniform stick to his chest, a second skin…and the smell, it was something he might never forget. The dirt and grit scraped his lungs, his nose, his mouth. He had been told he would get used to it eventually.
The heat and dirt and grunge didn’t get to him, though, no matter how uncomfortable they were. What got to him was the guilt and worry, needing to be first through the door, because if anyone was going to take a bullet, it had to be him. These were his men. He had trained them, and they were his brothers.
He hunkered down, resting his rifle on the sandy mound and looking through his scope, eyeing the roadblock ahead as his marines took their position. His men all knew what to do. Many of them were still kids, but they trained together and lived together, and they knew each other better than most families. To Logan, these men were family. He didn’t have to look to know that Sergeant Mike Duffy was manning the tank-mounted machine gun or that Corporal Jeff Starly had his back.
He gave the order right before a high-pitched whistle caught his attention—then there was a flash, heat and pain. His muscles seized at the long, rough droning sound, intense pain ripping through his leg. He gasped, fighting past the sense of being strangled. He couldn’t get his breath. His eyes were open, and he was on his back, staring up at the light blue sky. Was it the sky? He blinked. The sound was deafening, everything happening in slow motion. Where was the brightness, the obscured sun, and the colorless desert? It made no sense, this dingy, speckled ceiling.
He blinked again. The buzzing kept going on and on, irritating him. It just wouldn’t stop. His heartbeat was a booming sound in his ears, and something twisted around his legs, pulling him down. This time, he couldn’t get away. He was drowning, he was sure. Something had him, and he thrashed and fought. There was a crash, then silence. No noise, no buzz—nothing. He just stared. Logan blinked, trying to make sense of what he was seeing.
He took a breath, beads of sweat rolling off his forehead as he tried to swallow past the dryness in his throat, his heart hammering in his chest. When he went to lift his hand, twisted in the sheets, he yanked it free and heard the cloth tear. He was naked, out of breath as if he’d been running for miles, and he was drenched with sweat. His face, his chest, even his hands were damp. He stared at a spot on the wall and then lower, to a shattered black alarm clock in the corner, then to his gun on the nightstand beside him.
Logan Wilde lowered his face to his hands and scrubbed hard over a day-old beard. “Get a grip,” he muttered, his hands trembling as he tried to shake off the dream that returned every time he closed his eyes. He never knew when the dream would hit him. It always crept up on him, sucking him back into the insanity of war. It took him a minute now, as he stood on shaky legs, staring at the plain, boxlike bedroom, his clothes stacked on a three-drawer dresser, before it started to come back to him: He had taken a job in MacKay, a small town, part of a ranching community nestled in a charming valley with Idaho’s nine highest peaks right at its back door.
This should have given him peace. MacKay had everything he wanted, everything he needed. He had told himself over and over that this would be good for him. He took in the rumpled double bed, nightstand, and dresser that had come with the older two-bedroom house he was renting at the edge of town. It was all he needed, since it was already furnished with everything, including the coffeepot in the kitchen. It was perfect, no stress, easy—so why was he still having these damn dreams?
He sat back on the edge of the bed, the mattress dipping, and lowered his head in his hands. He ran his fingers roughly through his short, rumpled hair and over the back of his head. His damn hands still wouldn’t quit shaking. He held them up in front of his face, worried for a minute that he’d see blood, and let out a sigh of relief when he didn’t. He blinked, sweat rolling off his brow and down the bridge of his nose. His large, calloused, tanned hands should have been steady and sure and solid, but instead he felt like some wet-behind-the-ears kid.
“Get a grip. Come on, it’s not real,” he said, his gruff voice sounding strange to his own ears. He was a man on the edge, losing control. He had dangled between life and death, seeing all the horrors of battle. He had teetered with one foot over that edge during the seventeen days he had been in a coma, tubes sticking out of him, a ventilator breathing for him. He had been left without a spleen, his skull fractured, his leg having to be pieced back together, all because of the roadside bomb he had never spotted. The explosion had ended his career as a first sergeant in the marines, but that wasn’t the worst of it. No, the worst thing was his memories of the people he had lost because of that mistake.
Lorhainne Eckhart is a 2013 Readers Favorite Award winner, frequently a top 100 bestselling author on Amazon in Romance, Westerns and Police Procedural. Author of 25 titles which includes novels, collections, and short stories. She writes three genres, western romance, romantic suspense and military romance and has sold more than 250,000 eBooks since her bestseller The Forgotten Child landed on the Amazon #1 Bestseller list for Westerns and Western Romance. The German Foreign rights for The Forgotten Child have since been acquired by a major publisher, retitled The Forgotten Boy and released March 18, 2014, now a top 100 overall bestseller on Amazon. Lorhainne lives on sunny Salt Spring Island with her family where she is working on her next book.
The One (Joe & Margaret)
The Honeymoon, A Wilde Brothers Short
Friendly Fire (Logan & Julia)
A Matter of Trust (Ben & Carrie) Coming Summer 2014
THE OUTSIDER Series
The Forgotten Child (Brad & Emily)
A Baby And A Wedding (An Outsider Series Short)
Fallen Hero (Andy, Jed & Diana)
The Search (An Outsider Series Short)
The Awakening (Andy & Laura)
Secrets (Jed & Diana)
Runaway(Andy & Laura)
Overdue (An Outsider Series Short)
The Unexpected Storm (Neil & Candy)
The Wedding (Neil & Candy)
THE FRIESSENS: A NEW BEGINNING
The Deadline (Andy & Laura)
WALK THE RIGHT ROAD SERIES
Lost And Found
Blown Away, The Final Chapter
What would you do if you could see other people's dreams?
What if you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets...without them ever knowing?
What if they could get you killed?
Sara Barnes thought all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she liked the cute freshman in the next dorm that has a crush on her. But then she starts seeing dreams that aren't hers and learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates...and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get her killed.
Still, it all makes perfect sense…
…And then, for a moment it doesn’t; Sara is somewhere else, someone else’s bedroom. And then it all makes sense to her again. She’s been here before. This isn’t just any bedroom, this is the bedroom, his bedroom.
Here he is, with another girl, another teenager, another victim. She looks familiar, Sara knows she’s seen her face somewhere–the newspaper, maybe? Or on TV? Yes! Now she remembers. It was on the news a couple of nights before: a runaway girl, frantic parents, fears that the worst had happened. And here the worst is happening right in front of Sara, and just like all the other times she can’t do anything except watch, and scream…
…Someone’s talking to me. Trying to reassure me. “It’s OK, it’s OK.” As if saying that over and over makes it true. When my eyes finally start focusing again, I can see who it is. Dr. Ritter. He’s standing over me, and he keeps looking back and forth between me and some papers he’s holding.
“Hi. So much for your experiment, I guess.” I try very hard to keep my voice calm and casual. I really don’t want to lose it in front of him. Again.
Strangely, he doesn’t look as though this was a complete disaster; what he does look is puzzled. “I take it you had another nightmare, Sara?” He helps me sit up, hands me a glass of water.
Oh, God. I take several deep breaths, drink the water in one swallow, then several more deep breaths. I tell myself over and over: relax. Be calm. Dr. Ritter is waiting expectantly, and after a minute, or ten, I’m finally able to speak in a relatively even tone. “Yeah. It was different–a different girl, I think I saw her on the news, she ran away from home or something–and the same guy, and he…”
“Yes, I can imagine what you saw. I’m sorry.” He has the decency not to look me in the eye as he says it. “But you have to see this,” he goes on, giving me the papers he was looking at, printouts of–I assume–my EEG readings. I force myself to focus on it. Anything to keep those images out of my head. Calm. Relax. I can do that. I have to.
“Right there. Something happened. Your delta waves just changed–it’s as though the monitor was switched on to someone else right in the middle of the session.” He’s pointing at a spot on the reading where it goes all of a sudden from nice straight lines to jagged up-and-down.
That’s it, that’s exactly it. I don’t know much about brainwaves or what they’re supposed to look like, but a sudden change like that has to mean something. For whatever it’s worth, this is proof. I’m seeing what he’s dreaming about. Somehow. “It’s not me. Not my dream. It’s his dream.”
“This can’t be right. This doesn’t happen. The only possible way you would ever see something even remotely like this,” Dr. Ritter says, more to himself than to me, “is if there was a sudden traumatic event, a seizure or something similar. And even then it wouldn’t be this extreme.”
I agree completely. “OK, so I’m not crazy, it’s really happening. Tell me what I’m supposed to do about it.”
Dream Student is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.
J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.
He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he's not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.
The "Dreams" series is James' first published work.