Saturday, February 13, 2016

Saturday's Blurbs - Books by Gianna Simone #MFRWauthor #Vikings #Medieval

Warrior's Possession:

** Wed on the king's command, she finds an unexpected passion! **

Upon her father's death, Lady Gillian Marlowe is ordered by King Edward I to wed Royce Langley, the Earl of Montchester. Worried she is being offered up as little more than a sacrifice in a political game, Gillian is surprised to find herself intrigued by her arrogant and infuriating husband.

Tasked with ridding the border along Wales of rebels who seek to unseat the king, Royce finds subterfuge and secrets everywhere, even with his beautiful wife. Though he only agreed to the marriage because of the king's order, he finds himself both fascinated and incensed by Gillian at every turn. She tries his patience, defies his orders and places herself in danger. To keep her in line, he spanks her, binds her to his bed and dominates and torments her, not only to ensure her submission, but also to coerce her into revealing her secrets. But even that is not enough to subdue her stubborn determination to stand beside him and defend her home and people.

Discovering his wife enjoys the same dark pleasures Royce does stirs more confusion. He has sworn never to fall for a woman's wiles, but his wife captivates him in ways he never expected and she stirs a desire deeper than any he has ever known. Trusting her is another matter, as he fears Gillian may bring about his downfall with her continued secrets, which he views as an attempt to undermine his authority.

The rebel attacks increase and danger lurks everywhere. Gillian falls under suspicion as the traitor, despite her vows of loyalty. Royce must overcome his mistrust and find a way to maintain his possession of Gillian as they battle the enemies both within and without, if there is any hope for them to save each other.

** Featuring A Kinky Twist on History! Includes male domination, bondage, spanking, anal sex and so much more!

Norseman's Revenge:

* Kidnapped on her wedding night might be a blessing from the gods. *

Geira Sorensdotter awaits her new husband, but she's filled with doubts about the man and the marriage. Those doubts are forgotten when the village is attacked, her husband is struck down and she is tied up and carried off amidst the raid.

Kori Thorfinnson has waited years to take revenge against the man who murdered his wife. But he soon finds the innocent young woman he's taken as his personal slave is not his enemy, despite her marriage to his foe. Her courage in defying him, her caring heart, and the fiery passion she shares stirs feelings Kori hasn't known since his wife died. Afraid to lose Geira, he binds her to him in many ways – not only with rope, but with his body, his collar and his brand.
Geira quickly learns just how despicable her husband was, and despite her difficult circumstances, grows to care deeply for Kori, her captor. Still, dreams of freedom linger. But once she finds herself with child, she must plan her escape, to save herself and her baby.
However, Kori has plans of his own.
** Contains explicit love scenes featuring A Kinky Twist on History! bondage, spanking, ménage à trois scenes and more!

Norseman's Deception:

*He saved her life–can the gods save her heart & soul from the mysterious loner's dark desires?*

Fearing an arranged marriage, Thora Korisdotter flees her village, vowing never to return. With her two pet wolves beside her, she is confident in her safety, protected by the loyal animals. But outlaws attack, wounding one of her beloved pets. Only a mysterious stranger saves her from certain death. Now in his debt, she must repay him as he asks – with her body.

After being cast out of his clan as an outlaw, Ari Hugisson has wandered for years. The time of his banishment is nearing its end, and Ari has the proof he needs to clear his name and unmask the real murderer – his brother. His journey is delayed when he comes across a beautiful woman under attack. Compelled to save her, he also knows exactly how to claim the debt she owes, using the passion lurking under the surface of her fiery nature.

Betrayal cuts deep with the revelation Ari has lied and knows well the man Thora was to wed. But the passion he stirs is unlike anything she has ever known, even if he insists on treating her as little more than a slave.

When Ari confronts those who would see him killed, will Thora stand beside him, even at the risk of losing her family – and her heart?

** Contains explicit love scenes featuring A Kinky Twist on History! bondage, spanking and more!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday - What She Was Before featuring Gianna Simone #MFRWauthor

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

A reader. When I was a kid, I devoured every book I could get my hands on. When I got older, I literally read almost a book a day. Writing stories of my own followed almost right away. I remember writing my own short stories as far back as third and fourth grades and wrote my first complete novel when I was a freshman in high school. It definitely influenced my writing -

2 Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.

Obviously, I'm a romance writer, so all my stories will fall somewhere in there - within that category, I write erotic stories and I tend to like various historical periods, and prefer to write my books set in times and places in the past. Histeroticals, I call them. lol The Dark Ages through the late Medieval period are among my favorite eras. But I also like paranormal/fantasy and combining that genre with historical is one of my favorites.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?

Yes. I tend to read books in the historical and paranormal/fantasy genres, both for enjoyment and learning. I like to step out of my comfort zone as well, though and a well-written contemporary erotic romance by certain authors will always catch my eye.

4. What's your latest release?

Warrior's Possession, now re-christened Book 1 in The Medieval Warrior's Legends series, is out on February 13th. This is an updated re-release with a new cover and is also the official relaunch of the series, of which there are many more stories to come.

5. What are you working on now?

Warrior's Witch, the fourth book in The Medieval Warrior's Legends. It's one of those combination genres I like so much, "historical plus" I like to call it – it's a time-travel tale with a bit of a twist. I'm also plotting the basics for the next story in The Norsemen Sagas.

6. Where can we find you?

Everywhere! lol

Here are my links:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene - from Pursuing Dr. West #MFRWauthor #Medical romance #romantic comedy

Pursuing Doctor West

Chapter 1

The mob of creatures waved signs and circled him, leaving no room for escape. No matter how he turned, he saw another sign.
College debts. Medical school loans. Maxed credit cards. Condo rental. Car repairs. Money for his dream house and dream life.
A deep voice roared. His father? “You must pay the debts. You must pay the debts.”
The squeaky voices of the creatures added to the cacophony. They twisted the ends of their Dali-like mustaches.
From a distance, his mother’s voice cried her own demands. “Michael, when will I see grandchildren? You know how badly I want little ones to hug.”
Help! The word remained frozen.

* * *

Michael West bolted upright and stared at the clock. Almost seven. He rubbed his eyes. Not the weekend. Not his city walk-up, where he’d collapsed after a day in surgery and a night on call. He would be late for his first day as junior partner of Grandvue Hospital’s premier surgical practice. He threw back the covers and dashed to the bathroom.
As he showered, remnants of the nightmare circled in his thoughts. “Sorry, Mom,” he whispered. “No grandchildren for years. Until the mountain of debts became a molehill he couldn’t take a wife.
With a towel around his waist, he shaved and charged into the bedroom. In five years he could recycle those debts. Then he would be ready to give the woman he selected the things he believed she deserved. He dressed in new gray slacks, a starched white shirt, tie, and a black summer weight jacket, grabbed his medical bag and strode from the apartment to his car.
Though he wished for time to eat a hearty breakfast, on the way to the hospital, he stopped at a deli for an egg and cheese bagel and a huge coffee. Ten minutes later, he sat in the doctor’s parking lot and ate like a starving man.
After stuffing the remains in the take-out bag, he slid from the sedan and brushed crumbs from his clothes. He scanned the lot. New car added to his list of wants. His fuel-economy sedan looked like a waif among the luxury sedans and sporty models. He strode toward the entrance.
“Michael, slow down.” The senior partner of the surgical practice waved.
Michael waited for Dr. Probst. “Good morning, sir. I didn’t expect to see you here so early.”
The gray-haired man smiled. “Always the first. Good to see you’ve the same habit. Three cases on the schedule. First one’s at nine.”
“Will I assist?”
“Eager to get your hands in?”
Michael grinned. “Sure am, sir.”
Dr. Probst chuckled. “How well I remember those days. Before we head to the OR, we’ll make rounds. I’ll show you the surgical unit.”
“Sounds good.” Though he had visited the hospital when he’d been recruited, he hadn’t been impressed with the unit.
“We’ve a new nurse manager. Young, efficient. Has performed miracles during her five months in charge. She’s cracked down on the staff. You’ll like her.”
Michael studied the older man. Was he being set up? Not going to happen. Casual affairs were his speed. He thought about the nurse manager he’d met when the guys in the practice had wined and dined him. She’d been old, steely-eyed, with a thin-lipped smile, making him think young doctors were to be trained like puppies. Young might mean any woman under sixty. If the new nurse manager was attractive and would be interested in a fling in the company of a man with a five year plan, he might give her a try.
They rode the elevator from the basement to the second floor. When he saw the nurse at the counter with a phone in her left hand and her right poised over a keyboard, he halted and fought the urge to run.
“No.” He groaned. “Impossible.”
“Something wrong?” Dr. Probst asked.
Michael cleared his throat. Don’t be an ass. “I never expected to see…” Help! His inner voice shouted the final word of his nightmare.
“Zelda, come and meet the new addition to our group.”
Michael sucked in a breath. The bane of his youthful existence left the computer and sauntered toward them.
His throat constricted. His gut churned. “You work here?” Duh. Could his foot fit any tighter in his mouth? Why else was she dressed in a white uniform? And the lab coat spelled administration. He took a second look. The uniform fit her slender body to perfection.
Dr. Probst beamed. “Guess you know each other. Zelda is our miracle nurse manager.”
Figured she’d find a way to plague him. He didn’t like the ideas swarming like gnats in his thoughts. He batted them away. Sure, Zelda was attractive and probably efficient, but she was a cyclone centered on destructing Michael West MD. Like visions seen by a drowning man, incidents flooded him. She had swamped his high school romance with Allie, and sent depth charges into his summer fling with Bette.
Every time Zelda entered his space strange events occurred. He tripped over invisible cracks in the sidewalk, dropped drinks and plates of food. In her presence, he was an accident primed to happen.
His gaze focused on her. Boy had she changed. Short curly brown hair, bright blue eyes, slender figure with tantalizing curves. An urge to taste her kissable lips made him take a step toward her.
Whoa. This is Zelda. Not a chance. He enjoyed living. His hands fisted and he tore his attention from her to his partner’s briefing on the recovering patients and the ones awaiting surgery.
Zelda added comments, reported changes in conditions and mentioned existing or pending problems. Michael realized she ignored him more effectively than he did her. Still, he knew plans for destructing his life stirred like a rising volcano in her head. They always had.
“Mrs. Greene’s going home today,” Dr. Probst said. “She’s to come to the office in a week for staple removal.” He turned to Michael. “Write a prescription for a pain med and antibiotics, same as she’s taking here. All the info is on her chart.”
Michael went to the computer and entered his password. He pulled up Mrs. Greene’s chart. He checked her meds and copied them to an electronic prescription. Once done, he sent the script to her listed pharmacy. He finished the instruction sheet and closed the chart.
Dr. Probst laughed. “Took you less than five minutes. One of the reasons we took you on. You can teach these old dogs some tricks.”
Zelda laughed. “Aren’t computers great? No more huge stacks of paper to worry about.”
No more paper airplanes. Where had that thought come from? Then he remembered, Zelda’s many missives sailing over the fence from her yard to his. He hid a smile as an idea of how to head her off and keep their interactions on a strictly professional level came to him.
He grabbed a piece of scrap paper and quickly wrote:

Dear Zelda, So glad to hear you’re doing so well in your chosen profession. Let’s work to keep our relationship strictly professional. Unless you need to talk to me about a patient, ignore me. Your former neighbor, Michael.

He quickly folded the paper into an airplane. Should he? Naw. He’d leave it in her office. If he sent the paper plane sailing toward her now, who knows what disaster would occur.
After rounds and charts, Michael followed the older man toward the stairs. At the door of Zelda’s office, he paused and sent the paper flying to land on her desk.
Dr. Probst arched a brow. “Something brewing between you two?”
“We used to be neighbors.”
“Aha, the girl next door.
. More like the pest, the whirlwind, the terminator of relationships. He wasn’t about to explain his tangled past with Zelda. He opened the stairwell door.
A voluptuous redhead exited. “Dr. Probst, good morning.”
Her throaty voice, plus the stacked body, sent Michael’s blood rushing south. He smiled.
“Morning,” the older doctor said. “Gianna Hall, meet Michael West, our new partner.”
“Pleased to meet you, Dr. West.”
Her smile showed interest and made promises he’d like to see kept. “Same here.” He might have lingered, but surgery called. “I’m sure I’ll see you around.”
She ran her tongue over her lower lip. “I’ll make sure you do.”
Michael caught up to his partner. “She seemed nice.”
“She is. Gianna is the Clinical Psychologist for the Mental Health Unit.”
Now he knew where to find her. Michael smiled.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Cliched Characters #MFRWauthor

Cliched characters, what can they be? Actually they're stereotypes and have been used time and time again. The nosy neighbor, the harried waitress, the gruff cop. We've all seen them time and time again in book after book.

I write a lot about nurses and doctors. Easy to stereotype. In fact sometimes editors seem to do this. I once had a book rejected not because of the writing or of the plot but because one of the characters didn't fit the editor's idea of a nurse. She wanted a stereotype - sweet caring woman but in my story this woman was anything but. And she wasn't the main character of the story. She was one of the hero's and heroine'e enemy. Someday I'll re-do that book but that character won't fit the stereotype. She'll pretty much remain the same nasty woman.

So how does one do this. Think of the character is occupation and recall the stereotypical portrayal of the character. The nosy neighbor is one. We may have even known one. So we allow the neighbor to be nosy but we don't have her become a gossip spreading tales over the neighborhood. We have her using this material say for blackmail or even to help people sub rosa with their troubles.

Give the character who could be a stereotype a conventional life. The gruff cop. Give him a family and a desire to work nine to five. Show him with his wife and children and suddenly he becomes more real.

So by a little work the stereotyped cliched character can become more even by making them less.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration -- Trust Your Instincts #MFRWauthor

I'm still reading Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott and the bit about Broccoli rather threw me until I read further in the essay. This is all about Instinct.

I'm a planner and a plotter. So my stories are ready to go when I sit down to write, but sometimes a thought hits calling for a left turn when I wanted to turn right. Sometimes I ignore thes instinctual moment and find as I move forward I'm stuck. What happens then is a return to the point where my gut told me to turn left. Suddenly the work flows. These days it happens less and less. I've learned to listen to what my instinct tells me and almost always the story is better for a turn from the plan.

So my inspiration today is for you to listen to your instincts. So you started the story with one plan in mind and you're going nowhere with the story. Something tells you to make a turn from that well planned road. Try the new direction and if that fails listen to your instincts and make another turn.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters Book on sale #MFRWauthor #medicalromance #romantic comedy

Meander 1 - Book on Sale

Michael West MD has a five year plan before he can consider making a commitment. He’s happy dating women who have no desire for a long-term affair. Encountering Zelda, the pest, the menace, the little girl next door who has impacted his life makes him want to run. She managed to ruin his senior prom and sent several of his dates running. Now she’s grown and the nurse manager of the surgical unit where he will see her every day. What’s a doctor to do but run?

Zelda has loved Michael for year. She knows of the odd accidents her presence has caused him. After an encounter in the condo swimming pool, the accidents become hers but she refuses to give up her quest. The problem is his dating system. He seems to be on an alphabetical quest. He’s just met G and she’s Z. Can she find a way to turn his thoughts to her or must she give up her pursuit?

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Janet Lane-Walters once again delivers an humorous fun loving romance. Zelda met Michael West at the age of six when he moved in next door. She decided then and there she was going to marry him when she grows up. Fast forward a number of year and Michael has finished med school and moved back to his home town, joining the hospital Zelda works for. To make matters worse, Michael unknowingly moves right next door to Zelda. Even though he claims to want to avoid the troublesome, bad luck Zelda seems to bring with her, they keep finding themselves together in awarkard and funny situations. Once Zelda decideds she's never going to land the guy of her dreams and makes plans to move to another state, Michael comes to his senses and goes after her.
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is so funny and charming. It was an absolute joy to read!

Meander 2 - Poem

Spring Signs

Dandilions and robins, crocuses and lambs.
Young horse in the meadow kicking his heels.
Runners on Brodaway with long-legged strides
Leap over potholes, tip slanted sidewalks
Choosing a track that is close to a mile
Breathing in spring and feeling the air slap
Their faces to stimulate sap rise.
Joggers like horses trotting their mileage.
One mile today, tomorrow another.
The mare in the sweatshirt just pulled up lame.
She hobbles homeward, a grin onher face.
A thought in mind. They shoot joggers don't they.

Writing - I continue to slog along with typing a revised story and one I'm going to be writing for my friend. Am also re-writing the fifth of the At First Sight Series. Then there will be one to go but I'll first have to do a draft of The Prince story. Typing the first four chapters and I find much that needs to be re-worked yet again but that will come once I have the other chapters roughed out. There are times when I feel like I'm a maching but matters will slow down and before I know it I'll be on the right track again.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday's Blurbs - Books by Elizabeth Shore #MFRWauthor #romance

Hot Bayou Nights
When corporate consultant Carla Saunders' work takes her from the skyscrapers of Manhattan to a research facility in Louisiana filled with king cobra snakes, she sees her dreams of a job in Paris sinking into the swamp. But unexpected desire burns hotter than a sultry bayou night. The snakes terrify her, but lust for the scorching hot research scientist has her dreaming less about the Champs Élysées and more about being coiled in his arms. 

Obsessed with finding a cure for multiple sclerosis, Jackson Rivard’s got zero time for relationships. But when a lush, efficient business advisor sweeps into his lab, zero spikes to a hundred before he can shut off the engine. In theory, no-strings-attached sex is scientifically feasible, but having an ex whose fangs make a cobra’s seem modest brings new meaning to the phrase “once bitten, twice shy.” How can he protect his heart when Carla’s charming it out of hiding?

The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires
Locked in an abandoned mental asylum, an ambitious filmmaker soon discovers she’s trapped with a Dionysian god. He offers her a glimpse of astounding future artistic success that can be within her grasp—but it comes with a price. She must participate in an erotic ritual beyond her wildest imagination to set the god—and herself—free.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday - What She Was Before - Featuring Elizabeth Shore #MFRWauthor

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
In my "day job" I work in the corporate world. The job itself hasn't influenced my writing, but working for a large company, as I do, means I meet some interesting people, and every one of them has a story to tell. So meeting and talking with people absolutely influences my writing. 

2 Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.
I write in both contemporary and historical romance, and they tend to be either very sexy or erotic. I like other genres of romance but I don't think I'd be very good at writing them. I admire those who can spin a tale in a fantasy world built from scratch or keep reades on edge with a good romantic suspense. The only other genre that I'm thinking of exploring one day is horror. A big departure from romance for sure! But I'm intrigued by what scares us.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?
I think what I read surely influences what I write, but maybe it's more accurate to say it influences how I write. There's so much to be learned from great writers and I feel like when I read them I'm always learning. My favorite writing influences are Ian McEwan and Michael Cunningham, but there are many, many others. 

4. What's your latest release?
I have an upcoming book with The Wild Rose Press called Desire Rising, an erotic historical novella. I don't have a release date quite yet, although it should be within the next few months. Here's the blurb to give you a taste of what it's about:

An arranged marriage to a wealthy and titled landowner should have been a dream for Lucy Kirkby, providing advantages she’d otherwise never have. But when those dreams become a nightmare and she’s falsely accused of murder, she flees home with her heart in tatters, vowing never to love again. Like a phoenix rising from ashes, she sheds her innocence and emerges as savvy and sophisticated Catherine Sheffield, a woman who keeps her liaisons purely physical and her heart closely guarded.

Lord Miles Hawkins knew love once—and it nearly killed him. Finally rejoining society after grappling with his tragic past, Miles feeds his passionate hunger but keeps emotional attachment strictly off limits. His red hot affair with Catherine satisfies them both, until an urgent summons from her former life threatens to rip it all away. Miles realizes Catherine has awoken in him the desire to love again, and he’ll do whatever it takes for her to be in his life forever.

5. What are you working on now? I'm working on the second book of my Bayou contemporary erotic romance series, called Hot Bayou Fire. The characters are glass sculpture artist Chase Durand, who had a cameo appearance in Hot Bayou Nights, and computer network engineer Autumn Rivette. Chase was raised in a close, loving, freestyle, almost "hippee" type of family. Autumn grew up on the wrong side of the tracks without any family support, has had trouble with the law, and trusts only one person in the world - herself. They are two very different souls who come together when both are employed by a hotel preparing for a giant grand opening. It's fun bringing the two different types together and building a relationship between two people who you'd normally not think could be a couple.    

6. Where can we find you?
All of the usual places - Facebook, Twitter (@renaissance11), or my website,

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday - Two Books for Pre-Order #MFRWauthor

    Available for Pre-Order

    Seducing the Chef - Allie Blakefield, editor of Good Eatin' wants to do a feature on Five Cuisines a restaurant across the river from NY City. Her father forbids the feature and won't say why. She's not one to sit back and be ruled by someone. She borrows a friend's apartment. While leaning over the balcony she sees a handsome dark haired man doing a Yoga routine. He looks up and she is struck by the Blakefield curse. Love at first sight. 

    The pair start a hot and heavy romantic interlude. She visits the restaurant and is recognized by Greg, the chef's mother. The woman goes ballistic and the affair is broken. Can Allie learn what's going on and rescue her love?

    Book 2 of At First Sight available for pre-order
    Meg is sure she’s made a mistake when she agrees to pick up and Injured Steve, the magazine group’s photographer from the airport. The first moment she saw him, the Blakefield Curse took effect. She fell in love and she was a forever woman. He wasn’t. Spending time with him over the weekend only cements her feelings. She has rules of life and she breaks everyone of them even the new ones she added that weekend. 

    Steve has been intrigued by Meg and he enjoys her blushes. He’s found ways to raise them but something more is happening here. When she leaves abruptly, he wants to track her down but his broken leg makes pursuit difficult. Now he must find a way to win her over and that takes some time and clever moves.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene - The Doctor's Dilemma #MFRWauthor #Medicalromance

Chapter 1

            Streams of people eddied around Nora Harte, the pile of luggage and the double stroller. She scanned the faces of the crowd. A babble of voices filled the air. In an impatient rhythm, she tapped her foot against the floor.
            Where is he?
            Since Thursdays were almost a universal doctor’s day off, the trip had been scheduled for today. He knew the flight number and the time of arrival. The plane had been on schedule.
            She groaned. The simple baby run had become anything but easy.
            The loudspeaker crackled. “Would passenger Nora Harte pick up one of the courtesy phones?”
            When the words blared a second time, with a start, Nora realized the message was for her. Yeah, right. She stared at the three suitcases, one diaper bag and the pair of car seats. She’d need the arms of an octopus to fulfill the request.
            What had kept Dr. McKay from the meet?
            One of the twins puckered his mouth and added his screams to the cacophony in the baggage claim area of the Dallas airport. Nora crouched and stroked the baby’s cheek. “It’s only a minor delay. We’ll be out of here soon.” At least, she hoped they would.
            The strident voice issued the command again. “How?’ she asked. The logistics of the move defeated her. She couldn’t abandon the babies or the luggage to search for a phone. She’d been deputized to deliver Molly and Tod Jamison to their guardian and she took this duty seriously.
            The sight of a man in a gray uniform pushing an empty luggage cart solved the problem. “Sky cap, over here.” She used the voice that had parted crowds on busy New York City sidewalks. The one she hadn’t used since she’d moved upstate.
            “Take these bags and the infants.”
            “Don’t load babies on the cart, ma’am.”
            “Sorry. I know that. I meant the infant seats. I have to answer the phone.”
            “Excuse me.” His expression projected the idea she had flipped.
            Maybe she had -- last week when she’d agreed to deliver the babies to their guardian. “The page. Nora Harte. That’s me.”
            He pointed to the far wall. “Courtesy phone’s over there.”
            “Thanks.” Nora gripped the stroller handle. She pushed through the crowd like a subway rider aiming for the last seat. The noise level made her wonder if she’d be able to hear the message.
            An easy trip, she thought. A way to add to her dream house account. Just fly to Dallas with the infants, meet their guardian and be on her way.
            So far nothing about the trip had been a snap. Why had she thought her experience as a nurse would make the mission a breeze?  Even a three month tour of duty in a busy city hospital nursery hadn’t prepared her for the reality of caring for twins.
            She hadn’t counted on the surround-sound screams that they’d raised in protest of being air-borne. Or of juggling two infants who wanted a bottle at the same time. Not finding their guardian at the airport had been the final episode in her nightmare of the week.
            She lifted the courtesy phone receiver. “Nora Harte speaking. I believe you have a message for me.”
            The voice on the other end of the line explained that Dr. McKay had been unavoidably detained. Ms. Harte was to proceed to the car rental desk to pick up a car and the directions to the doctor’s house in Prairie, Texas.
            She gritted her teeth. This deviation from her agenda added another problem she should have expected. Why had she believed anything about this trip would work?
            Drops of frustration splattered her thoughts. If Dr. McKay had attended his foster sister’s funeral, this disaster would have been avoided. He could have taken custody and faced the journey from hell on his own.
            She waved to the sky cap. “Where’s the car rental desk?”
            “This way, ma’am.”
            He pushed the cart with the finesse of an obstacle course champion. Nora threaded the stroller through the gaps he opened. Tod’s cries changed to gurgles. Molly’s began.
            Nora patted the infant girl. “Please, honey, no more tears.”
            She groaned. Now she sounded like a commercial, but life had no easy solutions like those found in ad campaigns.
            The sky cap halted in front of a counter. “Want me to wait?”
            “Yes, please. At least until I learn where to find the car.”
            He grinned. “You sure have cute babies and they sure favor you what with that yellow hair and them big blue eyes. Their daddy sure must be proud of them. Bet he can’t wait to see you all.”
            Right, Nora thought. So eager he forgot to come. “They’re not...I’m not...” She closed her mouth. She was just the courier on this baby run, but there was no need to explain that to a stranger.
            She stooped and dried Molly’s tears. In coloring, the babies did resemble her. What if --  An ache of longing filled her chest? She shook her head.
            Not these babies.
            Someday, she’d find a man who wanted the same things she did -- a family, a home, roots. As yet, she hadn’t found the one who’d made her dream of forever.
            She gave her name, driver’s license and credit card to the clerk. In return, she received the keys to a four door sedan and a detailed set of directions.
            Prairie, here we come.
            She prayed Dr. McKay would be waiting. The delay had added hours to her trip to her parents’ house. Her plans called for her to be in Santa Fe by tomorrow evening.
            The skycap pushed the baggage cart outside. Nora and the twins followed. A
breath of hot air seared her lungs. In New York, the temperature had been in the seventies. Here, it must be near ninety.
            Once the baggage had been stowed in the trunk and the infant seats in place, Nora looked at her watch. Before starting the trip, the twins had to be changed and fed. She found the nearest rest room.
            She picked up Molly, changed and cuddled the little girl for a few minutes. Then she did the same with Tod.
            Adorable, sweet, lovable. She sighed. She couldn’t let these babies steal her heart. In two hours, she’d be in Prairie and on her way out of their lives. She fed them and pushed them to the car.
            She studied the map. Seems like a straight shot west and a little south, she thought. Maybe this leg of the trip would work. She backed out of the parking space.

            “Babies, we’re on our way.