Saturday, December 24, 2011


Where ever you are and however you celebrate, May this Holiday Season bring you, laughter, joy, and many good memories! Thank you all for all the support, encouragement, and friendship.

A lovely English rose, Yvonne Lewis, shared evocative holiday piece for today's viewing. I admit, I've spent some time her site reading various pieces she has posted. She's an amazing writer.

If you like her piece she shared with us, do bestow a gift to her by sharing it.


Outside of a shop window,
A boy, clothes all tattered and torn.
His hair a complete mess,
His shoes all dirty and worn.


He peered into the toyshop window.
His sad eyes were transfixed.
He looked in awesome wonder.
Holding a bundle of sticks.


It was just coming up for Christmas,
Would he get anything at all?
He nearly jumped out of his skin,
As he heard his mother call.


"I'm only on the outside looking in" he said.
As he noticed her anxious look.
For they were as poor as church mice,
She couldn't even afford a book.


Christmas Day dawned like any other day.
Cupboard, hardly any food.
Realization showed on his face,
That today was not going to be good.


During the day a knock on the door,
Santa stood there looking merry.
With food for the two and toys for the boy,
For the mother a bottle of sherry.


"I was on the outside looking in" Santa said.
As astonishment showed on their faces.
With tears in their eyes, Santa said his goodbyes,
And was whisked off to faraway places.


Copyright . All rights reserved

You can find Yvonne: Welcome to My World of Poetry

On Christmas Day, there won't be a post but stories will resume next week, so be sure to look for them.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Here's a lovely historical piece by Anne Gallagher. I love the easy flow of her story and her ability to convey so much about Ophelia in such a short piece. I wanted to continue reading--what do you mean that was the end?

Do enjoy the Caymore's Holiday Ball with Miss Trent.

If you enjoy the story please share it on the networks which would be a lovely gift for the hardworking author.


            Miss Ophelia Trent stood breathless at the top of the stairs. She clutched her reticule, still unbelieving the Duke and Duchess of Caymore had invited her to their Holiday Ball. Ophelia gazed down at her mother’s old gown and wondered what people would think. There had been neither time, nor money for anything new, and now, standing here in the grand ballroom, Ophelia knew she should not have accepted. She would be a laughingstock. A penniless baronet’s daughter trying to pose as a member of the aristocracy? What balderdash!

            “Miss Trent,” Lady Penelope said, startling Ophelia.  “I’m so glad you could come. Your dress is quite lovely.”
            “Thank you for the invitation, your ladyship,” Ophelia said and bobbed a short curtsy for the second time that night. “I must confess I am very surprised you thought to include me, as our previous meeting was rather brief.” Ophelia remembered that day at the Bainbridge Hotel and winced with embarrassment.
            Lady Penelope took her arm and propelled her through the massive throng. “I have longed to further our acquaintance, and perhaps introduce you to some of my friends. As for a confession,” Lady Penelope leaned closer, “I understand how very hard it must be for you to meet people and I thought perhaps your mother would approve.  I’m so glad she allowed you to attend.”
            “Yes, Mother was quite in rapture,” Ophelia said. Her mother had nearly had an apoplexy when Ophelia showed her the invitation.
            Lady Penelope moved through the crowd like a double-masted schooner with full sail, smiling and waving as she went along, not stopping until she reached a small group of people standing near the terrace doors. Lady Penelope introduced her to all of her friends, and Ophelia blushed to her toes when introduced to Mr. Jonathon Garrick. Taller than she and exceedingly handsome, Ophelia was at a loss to remember when last her heart had hammered so.
            Upon hearing the musicians, the Duke of Caymore, Lady Penelope’s husband, said, “Come Pen, we must dance the first.”
            Ophelia watched enviously as all her new acquaintance moved to the dance floor. As she stood there feeling foolish, wishing she were home in bed, Mr. Garrick stood before her.
            “Miss Trent, do allow me the honor of your hand for this dance.”
            Ophelia flustered. “Mr. Garrick, that would be lovely, thank you.”
            Mr. Garrick proved to be a delightful dancer. He did not step on her toes, and moved with a grace that belied his imposing height.
            When he brought her back to the corner of the terrace, Ophelia thanked him again for the dance. As she stood there uncertain of what she should do, several gentlemen asked for introductions and as her dance card filled, Ophelia wanted to cry from happiness. She had never in her whole life met with such agreeable and amiable companionship. The affinity she felt meeting Lady Penelope’s friends gave her a new outlook, at least for the night. Her troubles melted away along with the concerns about her old-fashioned gown.  She had received numerous compliments on it from men as well as women.
            Mr. Garrick danced with Ophelia several times. Surely, it was not like a man to be so singular in his attentions, but Ophelia didn’t examine it too closely. This was a once in a lifetime prospect, for she knew she would never be given another invitation to a ball.  Her life revolved around her family, but just for tonight, she would heed her mother’s advice and take every opportunity to enjoy herself. 
            When Mr. Garrick asked her for the supper waltz, Ophelia could barely keep the smile from her face. Her first waltz, and in the arms of this handsome gentleman, was enough to make her swoon.
            As the music ended, and they stood on the edge of the parquet, Mr. Garrick leaned down and asked, “Have you an escort for supper?”
            “Why, no,” Ophelia said.  She hadn’t even thought of that.
            “Allow me.” He proffered his arm. “Although, shall we wait until this mass has thinned?” Mr. Garrick asked as they neared the overcrowded dining room. His warm hand rested over hers on his arm.
            “Oh, yes, let’s do,” Ophelia said. “Perhaps we could find a quiet corner for the nonce.”
            “As you wish.” Mr. Garrick led her to a small table and chairs on the opposite side of the great room.
            When Ophelia settled her skirts, she looked at Mr. Garrick expectantly. He merely stared at her with large grey eyes that crinkled in the corners. Perhaps she should be the one to speak first.
             “Mr. Garrick, I want to thank you so very much for your kindness this evening. It has been most welcome. I know not a soul here, and thought I would be sitting with the dowagers.”
            “I must confess, Miss Trent, and forgive me for being so forward, but, you have quite bewitched me.”
            “Mr. Garrick,” Ophelia whispered. “Surely, you jest.” The idea of bewitching him seemed impossible. Here she sat, a simple baronet’s daughter too long on the shelf, in a borrowed antique gown.  She had learned earlier in the evening he had resigned his commission in the Navy after Trafalgar. Perhaps he had suffered a head injury.
             “No,” he said. “I do not.” He looked deep into her eyes. “When Lady Penelope told me about you, she never shared with me your exquisite beauty, or your humble character.”
            Ophelia blanched. “Pray what else did she tell you?” She hoped not the scandalous tale of how she and Lady Penelope actually met.
            “Only that you are the sweetest, gentlest, creature I could ever hope to meet, and if I were a man with any sense, I would declare my affections immediately.”
            “Mr. Garrick, I know not what to say.”
            “Say, I may court you. Say I may call upon your family. I know this is rather sudden, but say you will be my wife.”
            “Mr. Garrick!” Ophelia could not be hearing him correctly. Surely, he did not just say he wanted her for his wife.
            “Miss Trent,” he said solemnly. “I know this seems a bit of a shock, to myself as well, but I have been searching for a woman of your caliber for a very long time, and have never found her. Until now.  I vowed when such a time came, I would not waste another moment vacillating between my head and my heart.” He got down on one knee and took up her hand. “Miss Trent, I am entirely in your hands.”
            Of all the things Ophelia had previously thought about this night, garnering a marriage proposal had never been one of them.
            “Mr. Garrick,” Ophelia said, gathering her wits. “Having only just met, I am a bit overwhelmed by your passion.  However, I will confess, I do like you, very much it seems, so I will say yes to a courtship.  As for marriage, I am hardly in a position to accept at this moment, so we shall see what the future brings. That being said, I believe I would like you to escort me into supper now.”
            Mr. Garrick kissed her hand and helped her up, his smile outshining the candles in the chandelier.  “Your wish is my command, my dear.”

            Ophelia thought she had never had a lovelier Christmas wish come true.

You can find Anne and more about her writing: 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Not every woman in this world lives without regret, knows exactly what they want, and has the courage to put every essence of their being into achieving their dreams...Does that mean a less strong-minded woman doesn't have an interesting story to tell? Jessica Bell

Tell me a bit about youyou have a furry baby don't you? Are you single or have a significant other?

Yes, I have a four-year-old Dalmatian named Holly (Holly Bolly Wallywood, yep, that’s her full name!). I really don’t know what I’d do without her. And, yes, I do have a significant other, but he doesn't want to be exposed! J Almost seven years, now, we've been together.

You're the daughter of two rock musicians. That had to be an interesting childhood. Give me a great memory of that time.

Well, the upside of having musicians as parents is that I was encouraged to write songs at a very young age—when I was about eleven or twelve.

The greatest memory of that time is the day my mother decided to sell her twelve-string acoustic guitar to get a bit of extra cash. I saw it sitting by the front door. I think someone was coming over to take a look at it. I remember opening the case and thinking that it just looked so beautiful, magical and special, and I remember wondering why in the world Mum would want to get rid of it? I think she was in the music room at the time and I interrupted one of her recording sessions to ask about the guitar. When she told me she was selling it, I asked her whether I could have it instead. She said that I could if I learned to play. From that moment I had that guitar in my hands every single day until I moved to Greece in 2002. I taught myself how to play. The first song I ever wrote was played on one string and sung in a very awful high-pitched voice. I hope that cassette never gets dug up!

[laughing] I bet not! I've a few things I've created I feel the same about.

Did you get to accompany your parents on their tours? What would be a down side?

Downside? Well, there weren’t really that many. My parents were very good at spending quality time with me. The worst thing was being dragged along to rehearsals late into the night and falling asleep on stinky carpet that smelled of old melted gaffer tape and amplifier wheel grease. I never went with them on tours. I usually stayed at a babysitter’s. That was another downside. I hated sleeping in weird beds.

Home base was Australia. How did you end up in Greece? 

My stepfather is Greek so I spent a lot of my childhood here. It became my second home. I couldn’t live without one or the other. Thank goodness for planes!

You speak Greek. How hard was it to learn? (Speaking would be one thing, but writing quite another. Or did you learn as a child?

I learned bits and pieces as a child, but mainly picked it up naturally by living here, so I never ‘struggled’ as it had pretty much become a familiar sound to me over the years. I can’t write or read it very well though. Takes me about half an hour to read through one page, and it would probably take me two hours to write one page.

You work as a freelance writer and editor. You're a very creative personpoetry, songwriter/musician, and you have a beautiful voice. Sounds like a very full life. What made you decide to write women's fiction?

I don’t think I ever ‘chose’ to write women’s fiction, it’s just what came naturally. In fact, I didn’t decide what genre it was until I started seeking agents and publishers. If I could class my writing non-traditionally, I’d probably call it ‘Real Fiction.’ Oxymoron, you say? Definitely not. You’ll just have to read my book to find out why! Ha!

Which has the biggest pull in your life, music or writing?

Music doesn't define me as much as writing does, but it’s still a big part of my life.

What’s the hardest thing you've had to face as a writer? How did you overcome it?

The hardest thing I’ve ever had to face, and still face, is the self-doubt. I don’t think I’m ever going to overcome this. Sometimes it isn’t as strong, but it’s always haunting me. Some days I’m confident enough to tell it to shove off, other days, it sends me into an emotional downward spiral. I think this is just a given for us creative types. 

Perhaps because creative types are striving the perfect note, word, or image. We hear it perfectly in our minds. Get frustrated when we can't translate that perfection to the printed page or whatever medium we're using. I also think creative types are harder on themselves than any critic could be. 

So, tell me about Melody Hill. What do you like about her? What is it about her that readers can relate to even not being in music?

Melody is a very strong-minded woman, but also significantly vulnerable—she can sometimes be an over-emotional doormat. But what I love about her is that she recognizes her flaws and really tries to rectify them.

The inspiration for Melody came from thinking about a time in my life when music was all I ever wanted to breathe. Even though my priorities had changed then, I still wanted to write about the power music has over someone who is so passionate about it that it consumes their every day. But I think music could be replaced by any sort of passion in String Bridge, because basically the story is about needing something more than you need yourself.

You took an unusual approach to writing Melody Hill’s story. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a book with a ‘soundtrack.’ This might be a case of what came first, the chicken or the egg, but how was this story born? Did it start with the music? Or the story?

The process was pretty circular. The thing with this book is that I never really ‘focused’ on plot. It was more about the characters and their emotions and their interactions with each other. Music evokes this sort of deeper feeling, too, I think.

The inspiration for the book came about when I was thinking about a time in my life when music was all I ever wanted to breathe. I wanted to write about the power music has over someone who is passionate about it.

And the music?

The songs that appear in the book started off as poems. Then it occurred to me that I could create and produce an album for Melody. That’s when the idea for my book trailer came about after listening to a few of my mother’s songs on YouTube. The poems then turned into lyrics. When I finished the final revisions I sat down and wrote music to the four songs that appear in the book. Once those were done, I wrote six more songs to create Melody’s album.

As you know, I absolutely love the book trailer music. Aside from it truly showcasing the story, it is a beautiful piece of work, both vocally and the lyrics.
Where can you buy the CD? And is there a way to get a sampling of the rest of the album?

If you go to, you’ll find all the information you need for that. It will link you to iTunes, where you can sample 45 seconds of each song.

I’m curious, I know you’re promoting your work, but will you be also promoting your music? If so, how?

Actually, I have already been promoting my music. In fact, during my blog tour for String Bridge, I gave away many copies of the album to purchasers of the book on a specific day. It was a great incentive to buy and worked out really well, pushing String Bridge into the bestseller charts on both Amazon US and Amazon UK.

I’ve also done a live radio interview, here in Greece, and featured on Australian radio as well. I’ll continue to do all I can possibly do for both the book and the music.

What’s next for Jessica Bell? Are you working on a new story? Would you tell us a bit about it and when it will be released?

My next novel is called, Bitter Like Orange Peel. It’s complete and being considered by an Australian publisher, as I want to get more recognition in my home country.

It’s about a twenty-five year old Australian archaeology undergraduate named Kit, who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. She feels misplaced and comes to the conclusion that meeting her father, Roger, will make some sense of her life, despite him being worth the rotting orange rind in her backyard. Well, at least that’s what she’s been conditioned to think of him by the three women in her life: Ailish, her mother—an English literature professor who communicates in quotes and clichés, and who still hasn’t learned how to express emotion on her face; Ivy, her half-sister—a depressed professional archaeologist, with a slight case of nymphomania, who fled to America after a divorce to become a waitress; and Eleanor, Ivy’s mother—a pediatric surgeon who embellishes her feelings with medical jargon, and who named her daughter after intravenous. Against all three women’s wishes, Kit decides to find Roger, but in doing so, discovers he is not the only rotten fruit.

For my third, Muted, I’ve applied for a writing fellowship in order to fund all the research I want to do for it. So fingers crossed for that!

Muted is set in Arles, France, in a totalitarian society where it is illegal to wear clothes. In some streets, it's also illegal to sing without accompanying instruments. Concetta, a famous Italian a cappella singer from before “the change,” breaks these laws. As punishment, her vocal chords are brutally slashed and her eardrums surgically perforated. Unable to cope with living a life without song, she resolves to drown herself in the river, clothed in a dress stained with performance memories from her hometown, Milan. But Concetta's suicide attempt is cut short as someone grabs her by the throat and pulls her to the surface. Is it the busking harpist, who encouraged her to feel music through vibration, acting as saviour? Or a street warden on the prowl for another offender to detain? From this moment, the reader will discover how Concetta came to be in this position, and what will happen to her after the suicide attempt.

Muted will explore a variety of themes such as overcoming loss, coping with mental illness and disability, dealing with discrimination, loss of freedom, inhibited self-expression, motivation to succeed, escaping oppression, expression through art and music, self-sacrifice, channelling the thoughts of the deceased, and challenging moral views and values.

Whew! There is quite a bit to be looking for from you. Muted has a very interesting premise. A bit sci-fi/fantasy in tone. I'll be watching for that.

Jessica, I wish you much success with all this and thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to chat with me.

Thank you for having me!

Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece.
Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a ‘proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage—and the person she used to be.
However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits ....EXCERPT 

BOOK TRAILER (very well done and Jessica is singing FAMOUS on the soundtrack) If you want to hear three of her songs in entirety visit Jessica's Facebook music page.

You can also find Jessica on her blog: The Alliterative Allomorph, Official String Bridge Website (Lyrics, music and the book), Twitter, Goodreads, and Website.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Wednesday:  I will be interviewing JESSICA BELL. Interesting interview from an interesting woman. Be sure to stop by what she has to say about growing up as a daughter of Rock musicians, her furry baby, Holly, and what she's working on next.

TODAY:  I have another holiday story for you to enjoy. Crime doesn't take a holiday and neither does tragedy but the moments of joy still prevails in this world and that's a good thing.

Carol Kilgore contributed this Christmas suspense story. Carol hails from San Antonio, Texas and writes a fun blog, Under The Tiki Hut. She writes mysteries and suspense novels with a nice dollop of romance.

Enjoy the story, I sure did! 

The occupants of the dark house had gone out for an evening of fun at Syntagma Square--the place to be in Athens the week before Christmas. Greek Christmases were nothing like what Katia Marengo had grown up with on the South Texas coast, and she loved the excitement. The air frosted her breath. Her coat and cloche hat offered a little disguise, and the chill allowed her to wear close-fitting leather gloves. All were perfect for breaking and entering.

The small house was home to a minor Turkish diplomat and his family. Kat had become friends with the diplomat's wife, the chatty and careless Yagmur. The test came now. Kat inserted the key she'd made from an impression. She'd aced that class during training, but each time she used an impressioned key in the field, she experienced a moment of panic. The key turned. Yes!

The aroma of mint greeted her. She pressed on the tiny LED lights fitted into the brim of her hat. As long as no one had changed the alarm code she was home free--7, 6--crap. The edge of her glove hit the 3. Clear. Once again, this time more controlled--7,6,9,1. Green light. Thank you, Yagmur.

Yagmur had said Ediz had two safes. He thought the first was too obvious. She didn't say where they were located. Kat would search first in the master and second in the kitchen, the two most likely locations.

She found one safe set into the master bedroom wall behind a painting. Obvious. Where would she install a second? She'd want easy access without a hint of anything different from the surroundings. The tiled floor. On her hands and knees she explored each exposed tile and all the grout, then the ones under the bed, chest, and chair. Nothing.

"Oh!" In the chair or chest. By having the safe in his personal belongings, Ediz would need to install it only once as it would travel with him from posting to posting. She found the second safe, with a keycard lock, in the bottom drawer of the chest. The CIA prepared its officers well--she came ready for any type of device and withdrew a plain black card from her messenger bag.

She inserted the card into the slot. "Do your magic, Houdini. Spring that lock."

While the software on the card worked to unlock the newer safe, she exposed the older safe behind the painting. That one looked as ancient as the house. For grins she tried the old lever handle. It didn't budge.

Kat studied the single old-fashioned combination dial, memorizing the setting. No smudges, threads, or other alerts. She pulled a stethoscope from her bag. It trailed a USB plug that she plugged into a handheld computer.

She spun the dial a few times to the left and twice to the right. Then she placed the stethoscope monitor to the metal near the lock and turned the knob one number at a time. Her fingers felt the first tumbler fall. The computer beeped and recorded the number. She turned the knob to the left and concentrated. The computer beeped again and recorded the second number.

Her shoulders ached. She stretched and relaxed her fingers before going for the third number. Houdini emitted a soft trill. She checked the safe in the drawer. Empty.

"Ediz, you are a clever fox. But I'm going to find your secrets."

Kat returned Houdini to her bag and went back to the old safe. "Okay, baby, Mama's back. Show me your stuff." She turned the dial and hoped the old safe wasn't booby-trapped. Maybe Ediz had a third safe.

An eternity passed. Inside her gloves, sweat formed on her palms. Her mouth grew dry, and she tried to swallow. Beep. No boom. Kat breathed again.

"Ediz, you better not have booby-trapped the handle."

She pushed down. The door opened to Ediz's secret stash. Papers typed in Turkish. Four Greek passports with photos of Ediz, Yagmur, their children--his safety net. Yagmur's jewelry. A man's Rolex. She removed the watch with her left hand and pulled its twin from her bag with her right. She studied them under the light.

Ediz's timepiece was more worn than the replacement, but not by much. Nothing her little hammer and pick couldn't replicate with a few minutes work. The same number of links filled each band. The back of Ediz's watch bore no engraving for her to match. She breathed a sigh of relief.

Kat placed Ediz's watch in her bag and its replacement in the safe, closed the door, reset the dial. Her return visit on New Year's Eve would take less than five minutes.

Outside, she walked to the nearest thoroughfare with a confident stride, her head held high. She hailed a taxi. "Syntagma Square."

The driver nodded, and started the meter. She would arrive early for her meeting with Dave Krizak in front of the carousel. Amid the noise and bustle, she would pass Dave the Rolex.

Dave would be the case officer to take the watch into the Embassy for the installation of the stealth transmitter. Ediz was to be part of a delegation to Tehran in January. The transmitter would give the U.S. ears without outside embellishment.

The taxi screeched to a stop. Kat paid the fare and stepped out. Ahead she saw Dave paying his driver.

The world exploded in a fireball.

Kat hit the sidewalk.

When she came to and sat up, chaos reigned. People shouted and screamed. Sirens wailed. Her bag still hung around her neck. Houdini, the tiny computer, and the Rolex still rested inside. Dave. Where was Dave?

The stench of burnt rubber and flesh hung in the air. Several bodies lay motionless on the blackened street and sidewalk, curled in the fetal position, charred. Kat threw up in the gutter.

Worst case, she was a target. But the explosion had made it her responsibility to get the watch to the Embassy. The Hard Rock Café was a few blocks away, and she would find taxis there.

- - -

The next day, Kat arrived at Langley. In the two years since the bombing, she'd been back to the Agency once--on this date last year--to touch Dave's star on the Memorial Wall. To tell him goodbye.

Technically she was on long-term leave, still paid but not yet working. As she'd fought her way back to the living, she'd leaned on Remy Sonnier, the instructor who had taught her--as he said--stealing for fun and profit.

He'd called her one day, said he was moving to Corpus Christi, and would like her to help him find a place. Not for one minute did she think his presence was coincidence. The Agency was keeping an eye on her. She'd gone from Remy's star student to his current assignment.

She pulled into his driveway and got out. Along the South Texas coast, the balmy mid-December weather was nothing like Athens. It matched her happy mood. She was getting better. It felt good to smile, to laugh. Kat pushed the front door open and stuck her head in. "Remy! Are you home?"

"In the kitchen, cher."

She passed a Christmas tree decorated with Mardi Gras beads and ornaments shaped like shrimp, crab, and alligator and giggled. Her Cajun friend brought the bayou to Texas with everything he did.

"What smells fabulous?" She entered the large square room centered with a wooden table and benches.

"Gumbo. It's not ready." Remy returned the lid to the pot and wiped his hands on his apron. "How you holding up?"

"I'm good. Really good."

"I knew you would be, cher. I have something for you. I'll be right back."

Kat walked to the window. Sun diamonds danced on the green water. Kat's stomach growled at the pungent aroma of the gumbo. "Remy, you want me to stir the pot?"

"Don't touch it."

A minute passed, and she heard footsteps behind her.

"Merry Christmas, Kat."

She spun around. "Dave?"

He nodded. "It's me."

She touched his face, the scar that traveled from his hairline, in front of his left ear, and down his neck beneath his collar. "I can't believe you're alive. I was there, I--"

"Sshh." His finger touched her lips. "I read the debriefing. I know."

"But your star--" Burn scars mottled Dave's hands.

"Belongs to another officer."

Another family, other friends saddened by death. Life wasn't fair, but in the last two years, Kat had learned to accept and-- "Remy?"

"He didn't know until last week. He said he's going fishing for a little bit so we can catch up and I can tell you what's new."

The old excitement returned. "We're working again?"

Dave smiled. "You and me, babe. Remy also said for you to keep your hands off his gumbo."

Kat laughed. "Merry Christmas, Dave."


If you enjoyed the story, do give a gift to the author by sharing it.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm happy to welcome back, paranormal romance author, Terry Spear, to Over Coffee. I have to admit, I love her books and I've been waiting for Jake's story and Dreaming The Wolf, forever. Or so it seems and not just because I have a tag line on the book (Squeee!) but because I loved the premise of this story.

For those of you who don't know it, Terry creates some amazing teddy bears as well as her fabulous stories. I'm planning on having a piper bear in MacKay colors, later next spring. I'll be sure to be squeeing then and will have pictures.

I write about werewolves, and my wolves would never think of attacking humans. Not unless the humans attacked first. And truly most wolves don’t. If there are any attacks, it’s more likely from cougars. Or bears even.

Although I still love bears and love to create them! I make award-winning teddy bears that have been featured in magazines and newspapers, that have won best in show, first place for most unique bears, and first place for best-dressed bears. Many have found homes not only in the US and Canada, but as far away as Australia, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and France!

But back to where the wildlife can eat you! What I wanted to talk about is taking a trip to Pensacola, FL and seeing my son graduate from USAF navigator training, and all week long watching Shark Week on PBS, BEFORE we went to the beach.

Oh sure, there are not THAT many shark attacks. And yeah, yeah, so the shark psychologists say that the sharks mistook humans for food. The sharks thought maybe the humans were seals. Or walruses. Or whales. Right. Yeah, yeah, the water was murky. (Or sometimes it wasn’t.) Yeah, yeah, they were out during the feeding hours at night. (Or sometimes they weren’t.) And sure, they were splashing around like nearly dead fish. (Or no, they really didn’t.)

I write fantasy. So I try to make the unbelievable believable. So to my way of thinking, shark gurus do, too.

In Australia, there were three great white shark attacks resulting in three deaths. Either that’s a really confused shark, if it’s the same one, or hmmm, maybe he DOES think human meat is rather tasty? Or maybe he’s not even thinking anything but it’s big, swimming near me and could possibly make a meal. They eat anything, you know.

These all occurred around the same time as I was in Florida and another when I returned home.

We used to live in Florida, and swam all the time at the beach, but on the ocean side. Not half as pretty as Pensacola Beach on the Gulf side. So one day I was swimming out into the ocean, way, way out. The water was black, choppy, I was on my back, half swimming, half floating. Way, way off to the left of me was a rock jetty where fishermen pulled in sharks along with their other catches. And on the shore, my father was yelling for me to turn around and return at once.

He was not a very good swimmer, and had actually had a boat sink on him in the shark-infested Sea of Japan. Another boat full of AF service members had “picked” up my dad and the others, but they couldn't climb into the boat, already full, without capsizing it. So instead, they swam alongside and held on when they couldn’t swim any longer. They were about a mile and half out. He said they barely made it.

So now years later, his thirteen-year-old daughter is out in the middle of the ocean, and Dad didn’t want to get out as far as I was. He couldn’t have helped me swim in if I’d needed his help.

When you float on your back, your ears are under water. So I didn’t hear him shouting for some time.

When I finally realized it, I was terrified. I was so far out; all that was around me was gallons of ocean water. Who knew what was lurking all around me in that really dark, choppy water. I had to force myself not to panic, and to begin the long swim to shore. Dad couldn’t have saved me. No one could have if I’d been attacked. Lifeguards did patrol in jeeps along the beach and put up a flag warning swimmers to get out of the water when sharks were sighted. But there were no lifeguards about that day.

But maybe all the sharks out there knew I was a human, and they just left me alone. I had no life vest, no surfboard, just me in all that water. Boy did I get a lecture from my dad when I got to shore. But only because he was sure he was going to lose me. Believe me, I didn’t need a lecture. I never went far from the shore again. After that, we watched Jaws. I REALLY didn’t get far from the shore then, even though I knew it was just a fantasized story. Sharks don’t really go after people and eat them. Not really.

It was quite chilly when I went with my son and his wife to Pensacola Beach and walked along the white sand, dodging the tons of jellyfish deposited there. We didn’t go swimming. But that night we watched shark attacks at guess where? Pensacola Beach. Two resulted in deaths. Several others were bitten during a surfing contest. My son told me how they could see schools of bull sharks while they were flying over the Gulf also.

I know that sharks don’t mean to eat us, but you know what? I’d take a chance with a wolf. Especially if he was a werewolf.

The thing about werewolves is they’re hot and sexy and protective and loving—for life—and family oriented and hot and sexy and…well, you get the picture! They’re yummy. No one would mess with you if you took your wolf for a walk. In an upcoming release, the heroine actually suggests that while she and Duncan MacNeill are dealing with the bad guys in the Grand Cayman Islands, in the Highland sequel to Heart of the Highland Wolf.

Oh, and yes, there is a mention of sharks. A couple of mentions, truly. J  I actually did everything that they did—walked the plank from a pirate ship, took the submarine out (they wouldn’t), enjoyed a dinner cruise, swam with the rays…only I didn’t run like a wolf… ate at the restaurant where there’s a bit of a confrontation, walked the beaches, swam…but not at night…like they did. That’s when the sharks come out to feed, you know. And I did witness the man with the chain to his wrist locked onto a briefcase, wearing a dark suit while the rest of us were in beach attire. And did see tons of strange banks on the island. More about that in the story.

But before that, comes Dreaming of the Wolf, A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing, and the first of the jaguar stories. They’re working on a book cover as we speak. Or…as I write.

In Dreaming of the Wolf, we finally get Jake’s story, and I’m working on Tom’s story right now.

Jake has already been in two stories, Destiny of the Wolf and Wolf Fever. He’s the triplet brother of the pack leader and he serves as sub leader, along with Tom. Jake’s the second oldest brother, doesn’t believe in dream mating, although both Tom and Darien do so he seemed perfect to carry on the family history of dreaming of the wolf who should be his mate—with a caveat. She’s human, and werewolves don’t dream mate about humans. So something’s not right with that scenario. Figures. Since Jake doesn’t believe in it anyway. But he fears for her life, so he’s hopeful that the dream mating means she’s still alive. And he’s determined to find her. And learn why he’s dreaming about her when he shouldn’t be. But it’s more than. They have a drive to be together that can’t be denied.

  • What would you do if Jake was reaching out for you, even though you knew it was too dangerous for him to get to know you better? And you didn't know just how capable the hunk of a wolf was at protecting you?

Thanks so much to Sia for having me here today! I hope your readers enjoy hooking up with Jake and his wolf pack again. And never swim too far out into the ocean without a plan…

DREAMING OF THE WOLF Available now in stores and online
Jake Silver doesn't believe in fate or dream mating, despite the fact his brother and other family members have been afflicted with this strange notion. But when dreams begin to plague him about a woman so seductive, he wakes up in a sweat and he's losing way too much sleep over it, he seeks to learn the truth. Can dream mating be a reality? Is the woman real? 
Alicia Greiston doesn't dream. Not ever. So when a man visits her in the first dream she's ever had, she's startled, pleased, then alarmed. He's not going away, and the dreams take a sinister turn. He's in trouble, and if the dreams are a foreshadowing of the future, she has to save him. EXCERPT

TERRY SPEAR: Award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Heart of the Wolf named in Publishers Weekly's BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University  and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses. Terry on Facebook, Twitter, Website