This and That

Long time no blog- shame on me! I hope you’ve all been well ❤

I’ve been writing on a few different projects over the last few weeks. Slowly, the stories are finding their feet. I went through a short period of not being able to write (due to personal stress and such), but I’m getting my writing groove back 🙂 What have I been working on? Well…

*Shifter romance, but these take place outside of the Green Mountain Shifters trilogy. Same world, different characters, different places. They’ll probably stay about the length as the GMS series (Romance on the Go length, so anywhere between 9k and 16k words).

*a paranormal romance featuring witches, vampires, and werewolves. This one should be full-length 🙂

*a paranormal romance cozy mystery

and

*an urban fantasy

See? A few projects 😉

While you wait for these, I do hope you’re enjoying Claimed by the Wolf. The Green Mountain Shifters series was one of my favorite to write, and in the third book you really get to sink into more of that world. I’m hoping to maybe do one more book for the GMS series. It’s a trilogy, which has been completely, but I think I’ll be back to write longer works 🙂

click the picture to go to the Green Mountain Shifters page

Special Guest: Allyson Young

I’m please to welcome Allyson Young back to the blog with her newest release ❤

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Lost Together
(#DOS Part Two)
Release Date: March 21, 2017

The second novel in the emotionally compelling trilogy, Degrees of Separation—three lost souls determined to find balance again…

December has vanished. Rejected by her troubled husband, Austin, and pushed, at his insistence, into the arms of his best friend, Cord, she’s uncertain what the future holds. She loves her husband, regardless of his addiction, but she also loves his best friend. At odds with everything she believed to be her traditional reality, she flees the only home she’s ever known.
Heartbroken, Cord does the right thing and confronts his reluctant betrayal of Austin after losing the woman they both love. He takes charge, dragging Austin back from the edge of oblivion, only to find himself plunged deeper into a life of heartache.
On a path to redemption, Austin must not only confront personal truths, but consider the sacrifices necessary to save his marriage and his friendship with Cord.
An unexpected reunion and exposed secrets will either derail or establish their future as one.
WARNING: This book contains subject matter suitable for mature reading audiences. Some content may be offensive to sensitive readers. Degrees of Separation is a MMF ménage trilogy with many emotionally graphic encounters and challenging situations that break the rules of traditional romance.

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Excerpt:

The second she was gone the asshole in the room spoke up. “You’re wasting your time fighting it.”
His fork clattered to his plate. “What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop shoving me at your wife!”
Austin stared past Cord, his face filling with concern.

Shit. Ember stood in the doorway, eyes wide, frozen in place, clutching a white frosted cake heaped with strawberries.

Goddamn Austin and his stupid ideas. “Ember—”
“I…I forgot the knife.” She quickly placed the dishes on the table, her steps faltering, and fled to the kitchen.
“Great,” Cord snapped, bunching up his napkin and tossing it on the table. “Enjoy your fucking cake. I’m out of here.”
Austin opened his big mouth, but Cord was done talking to him. Reasoning with Austin was like trying to discuss physics with a chimp. “Shut it, Austin.”
He detoured to the kitchen, unable to take his rage out on her. “Ember, I didn’t mean—”
“It’s okay.” Her fingers twisted into a dishcloth and then she dashed away a tear.
Fuck. Tears. Not tears! His concern shifted into panic. “It’s not okay. I don’t know what Austin told you—”
“I know what he’s up to. I told him not to do this.”
She fucking knew her husband was messing with him? It didn’t make any sense. “Why is he doing this?”

Now she shrugged. “He’s Austin. Once he gets something in his head…”
Cord rubbed his palm over his face and squeezed. “What does he expect to gain from this? He’s just making an uncomfortable situation worse.”
“He’s trying to fix it. He doesn’t understand, because he wasn’t there. He thinks if we put everything out in the open the guilt will go away. He thinks it’s best to deal with it.”
“Deal with it how?” He wasn’t a fucking puppet Austin could place in whatever position he wanted.
“I don’t know. I barely understand what I’m feeling right now. I can’t pretend to understand what he’s going through. Or you, for that matter.”
All thoughts of her husband vanished as he focused on the ‘f’ word, for his sins. “What are you feeling?”
Her face tightened and her hand pressed into her chest, her eyes betraying her show of bravado. “Here. It hurts. I don’t know how to make it stop, Cord.”
“Hurts how?” He took a slow step closer, keeping his voice low.
Eyes pleading, she looked up at him, her mouth tight with worry. “When I’m near you, my heart beats so fast I’m afraid it’ll explode. But I know I can’t… I can’t express what’s inside of me. Then this unbearable ache takes hold. It just…hurts.”

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Buy Links:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lost-together/id1199632693?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/lost-together-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-together-lydia-michaels/1125546032?ean=2940154198889

 

Author Bios:

Lydia Michaels
Lydia Michaels is the award winning author of 30 romance novels. Her novels from the darkly compelling Surrender Trilogy were iBooks Bestsellers and her work has been featured in USA Today. In 2015 she was the winner of The Best of Bucks Award and she has been nominated as Best Author in the Happenings Magazine two years running [2015 & 2016]. She is a four time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award. Her books are intellectual, emotional, haunting, always centered around love.

Allyson Young
Allyson lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada with her husband of many years and numerous pets. She has written for many years and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. A bestselling Amazon author, she has now published three series and several stand alones in contemporary, sci fi, fantasy and suspense genres. Allyson will write until whatever is inside is satisfied, until the heroes man up and the heroines get what they deserves. Love isn’t always sweet, and Allyson favours the darker side of romance.

http://www.LydiaMichaelsBooks.com

http://www.AllysonYoung.com

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Special Guest: E.D. Parr

I’m pleased to welcome E.D. Parr back to the blog!

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The Night Gardener

E.D.Parr

#MMromance new release from Evernight Publishing

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Architect, Dane Lovell takes an off-season vacation in an old New England mansion, hoping to ease his broken heart, and spark his imagination. Impressed by the pretty gardens, he’s surprised by the sinister atmosphere of the river than winds through the estate. Dane settles down to his vacation and tries to immerse himself in his drawings. One night, the sound of the back door smashing open in the wind and rain shocks Dane from his work.

Spooky, gorgeous, and enigmatic Zachary Yarrow has brought logs for the fire.

He’s the estate gardener and brings with him not just passion and a love affair for Dane, but a strange, spine-tingling mystery.

Who is Zachary, and what will happen when Dane finds out?

From the author

Inspired by some wild countryside, and a rushing river that stormed under a bridge so loudly, I couldn’t hear what a friend said to me, for me this story is as much about nature as love. I’ve always believed there are more things in the elegant stream of life than we know about, and this story is about a young man who loves life so much he finds a way to live it. There are some heartstring tugs in this story, and some hot love scenes, because this is a love story. It’s a journey for both characters, Dane and Zachary to deep, lasting love.

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Read an excerpt 18+

The gardener slotted his logs into the spaces between other logs already in the nook bricked into the side of the fireplace. “Zachary Yarrow.”

 

Dane folded his arms over his body, wishing he’d thought to close the door as chilling air swept along the hall and into the room. “Dane Lovell.”

 

Zachary stood, having completed his task. “You’re here off season. I guess you know. I always do the gardens off-season—have done for the last—well, for years. When I’m here, I usually stay in this cottage. I guess I need to find somewhere else this time.”

 

Cold, Dane accepted the information with a nod. “I need to close the door, Mr. Yarrow.” He returned to the back door and closed it up.

 

Zachary Yarrow had followed. “You can call me Zachary.”

 

Dane hung around near the back door. The gardener showed no signs of leaving and Dane didn’t know how to be rude enough just to ask him to go.

 

“It’s way too dark to garden. You’re wet through.” Dane’s gaze ranged over the sodden sweater Zachary wore, and along the rain-darkened jeans covering Zachary’s muscled thighs.

The guy has to be cold. “Can I offer you a cup of coffee?”

 

Zachary grinned happily. “A cup of coffee, yeah, that will be great, thanks.”

 

Dane led the way back into the kitchen. “Sit by one of the radiators and try to dry out a little.” He put water to boil and heaped instant into mugs. “I can lend you a dry sweater…”

 

Zachary leaned close to the radiator. “It’s okay. I’ll drape my sweater on here. It’ll be dry in no time.” He pulled the soggy item over his head and arranged it on the hot metal flutes.

 

Dane experienced a shock of attraction as he took in the smooth, muscled chest on display when Zachary turned to him.

 

“Look, it’s already steaming.”

 

Dane tore his gaze from Zachary’s body and glanced at the sweater. The kettle boiled and he whipped around to make the coffee, thankful for the diversion.

 

“Do you take sugar or cream?”

 

Zachary’s voice came from immediately behind him. “Black, thank you, no sugar.”

 

Dane closed his eyes to dissipate the surprise Zachary’s silent approach gave him. He edged around to face Zachary, who stood so close Dane’s composure flew clean away as his whole body reacted to the proximity of this complete hunk.

Holy hell, he is completely gorgeous. Dane stepped sideways and picked up a mug. He handed it to Zachary. “Coffee, er, sorry, its instant. I’ve given myself a vacation from grounds and filters.” He smiled apologetically.

 

Zachary studied him for a few seconds.

 

Dane had the distinct feeling Zachary knew exactly what he was thinking.

 

COPYRIGHT E.D.PARR 2017 EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING

WARNING this book contains gay male anal sex, partner masturbation, and oral sex

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BUY THE BOOK

On special launch price at Evernight Publishing

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-night-gardener-by-e-d-parr/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XH4TFSS

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XH4TFSS

http://www.bookstrand.com/the-night-gardener-mm

Amazon global link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B06XH4TFSS

 

Find E.D.Parr

Twitter https://twitter.com/parr_books

Amazon page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MUNJ3I8

Blogs

https://parrx.blogspot.com

https://parrx.blogspot.co.uk/

https://edparr.blogspot.com

G+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/109826263935095799032

Manic readers https://manicreaders.com/EDParr/

TRR http://www.theromancereviews.com/EDParr

 

 

Special Guest: Ravenna Tate

I’m please to welcome Ravenna Tate back to the blog with her newest release 🙂

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RELENTLESS
Tortured Love 3
***Click HERE to purchase
directly from Evernight Publishing***

BLURB

For years, Blake the Snake, as he was known to his Alpha Chi Gamma brothers, took pictures of the conquests of auction winners having sex with their “prizes” at the fraternity’s annual Spring Bacchanalia. It was all in fun, until he stopped a young woman from being raped by the football player who had won her.

From that moment on, Blake Bombay’s life changed forever. He became obsessed with Kendra Kensington, and worked tirelessly to keep her safe. While watching her from afar, he plotted and planned for the day when she would be his. Trouble was, she didn’t know it. She never saw his face that night or learned his name. But that didn’t matter to Blake. She was his. She had always been his, and one day she would be his forever.

EXCERPT

“Oh, wait. What have we here?” He turned her around so her back faced him, and brushed his hand across her soaking wet slit. “Oh, Kendra…”

There was no answer. She couldn’t even moan. She was lost in the heady sensations once more of his hands on her, caressing her in exactly the right way to bring an orgasm close. He played with her clit, teasing it until Kendra’s moans grew loud, and she pushed back against him, wanting more.

“What should I do with you, you naughty girl?”

Oh, what a question! “Anything you want.”

His soft chuckle sent a thrill racing through her. “You might regret saying that.”

“Not a chance.” Every cell in her body tingled with desire.

When he lifted her skirt, he brushed his hand over her ass cheeks, alternating them. “You really do have a beautiful ass.”

“Thank you.” She was out of her mind with need. Nothing existed except his touch on her skin.

The swats on her ass were light at first, but Kendra had to hang onto him once he began. She’d never been so turned on in her life. Her clit contracted in tiny spasms as the strikes grew harder, burning now each time he hit her. But at the same time, Kendra didn’t want him to stop. Her climax inched closer when she flexed her Kegel muscles, sending shockwaves of desire racing through her groin and out to her fingers and toes.

“Let’s see how much you like this.” He brushed his fingers over her labia. “Oh, wow. I’d say a lot.”

The giggles turned to moans when he pushed two fingers into her pussy. Blake kissed her neck as he finger-fucked her, his thumb now rubbing her clit in time to his thrusts. She clutched his arm for support as a crazy orgasm began, and when he realized what was happening, he bent her over the table until her she rested face down on the surface. Her torso was supported, but her ass was bare.

“Please don’t stop, Blake.”

“I won’t, sweetheart.” He continued moving his fingers in out of her until the climax finished. She was so wet, Kendra heard slurping sounds when he finally removed his digits from inside her pussy.

“Oh, fuck.” Blake spanked her a few more times on each cheek, harder this time, before she heard the sound of a zipper. “I can’t wait, Kendra. I’ve never done anything so fucking sexy in my life.”

The tip of his dick rubbed her ass cheeks, and Kendra was certain she’d go out of her mind long before he got it inside her. He ran one finger along the crack of her ass.

“I’m going to fuck you right here, on this table. What do you think about that?”

“Yes. Please!

“Oh, Kendra…” He grasped her right hip and slid his cock into her pussy, groaning loudly. Kendra cried out in pleasure as he slammed into her. His thrusts were quick and powerful, and she loved it. Being taken like this, still fully clothed and bent over the dining room table, was the kinkiest thing she’d ever done.

While David Bowie sang about his China girl, Blake fucked her like a runaway train. When he massaged her clit again, another climax tore through her, making her dizzy with its intensity.

“Kendra … oh my God, this feels so damn fantastic!”

***Other Buy Links***

AMAZON
Smashwords
BookStrand

Special Guest: Nicola M. Cameron

I’m pleased to welcome author Nicola M. Cameron to the blog 🙂

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degreeofresistancecoverA perfect society hiding a terrible secret. An innocent man condemned to cyborg slavery. A brilliant woman determined to set him free.

Freelance tech Evie Contreras belongs to the Employee class of the Pacifica Protectorate, the “perfect society” that rose from the ruins of the West Coast. But Evie knows about Pacifica’s festering core and the secrets that keep it in power. And when she discovers that Pacifica has turned her fiancé Ben into a cyborg slave, she will risk everything to rescue him.

Saving Ben is the first step in a deadly game between Pacifica and a shadowy resistance group known as Rubicon. In return for Rubicon’s help, Evie must retrieve a hidden artificial intelligence that may hold the key to protecting Earth from a deadly new disaster.

Assuming the protectorate doesn’t find Evie first…

Excerpt available here.

  • Science Fiction, Erotic Romance, MF
  • Word Count: 80,000
  • Heat Level 4
  • Published By: Belaurient Press

Reviews

“Beautiful, fluid with whipsmart technology, and good to the core. Nicola M. Cameron has given us a fast-paced, heart-tugging cyber-romance that I couldn’t stop reading. A deeply satisfying book for fans of cyberpunk, science fiction, and romance alike.”
– Cecilia Tan, RT Award-winning author of Slow Surrender


Where to Buy

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes | Print


Excerpt

“Let me see you, Ben.”

Without a word he loosened the knot in the towel and let it fall.

He reminded her of a da Vinci nude she’d once seen, every muscle developed without unnecessary bulk and giving the impression of restrained power. His chest was the same from her memories at the pool, beautifully shaped pads of pectoral muscle and shoulders ending in curved deltoids that she wanted to grip. The same light scattering of blond chest hair narrowed to a trail that led down over trim abs to his navel and beyond.

His legs were those of a runner, lean muscle and tendon rising in powerful mounds at the backs of his calves, along the length of his thighs. The hair covering them was sparser, only slightly darker than the hair on his chest, and curled against his indoor-pale skin.

Taking a deep breath, she looked at his groin. The hair darkened here, turning sandy brown and curling in a springy nest around a well-shaped cock, neatly circumcised. It had thickened a little, judging from the way it stood out from his body, but wasn’t anywhere near full erection yet.

He laughed softly. “You should see your face. You look like all your birthdays and Christmases came at once.”

“I think they just did.” There were no scars, no signs that any part of his body was artificial. “You’re perfect.”

He glanced down at himself. “I think you may be a little biased, but thank you.” His pupils expanded, compressing all the light blue into a thin ring around each black pool. “Besides, you’re the one who’s perfect.”

He came to her and knelt, gently urging her knees apart so that he could move closer. Her heart raced as he loosened the belt on her robe, letting it fall to each side. The terrycloth gaped open, putting her on display the same way he’d done for her.

He didn’t say anything for a minute as he drank her in. The nervousness she’d felt earlier was gone, banished by the naked worship in his eyes. “You’re everything I ever wanted.” His voice was husky. “You’re so beautiful, baby.”

She fought back the sudden urge to cry from sheer relief. “Kiss me. Please.”

He did, his chest pressing against her breasts as he slid the robe down her arms, his mouth devouring hers. She surrendered to the delicious sensation, every brush and teasing press lighting up her nerve endings like wildfire. When his tongue trailed along the soft inner flesh of her lips she opened them, welcoming him in. Between her thighs an echoing heat began to build.

It was the night in the front seat of the GoCar all over again, but this time they didn’t have to stop. And it was much better than the evening in the park hotel because now he knew who she was, who he was.

His tongue danced around hers before breaking away to lick at the roof of her mouth. A shocking pulse of pure sensation ran through her body and she moaned into his mouth.

She broke away for a necessary breath and heard him chuckle. “Okay, so I like that,” she muttered, amused by his smugness.

“Good. I like making you moan, baby. Plan on doing a lot of it, to be honest.”


About Nicola Cameron

Nicola Cameron is a married woman of a certain age who really likes writing about science fiction, fantasy, and sex. When not writing about those things, she likes to make Stuff™. And she may be rather fond of absinthe.

While possessing a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn’t until 2012 that she decided to write about it. The skills picked up during her SF writing career transferred quite nicely to speculative romance. Her To Be Written work queue currently stands at around nineteen books, and her mojito-sodden Muse swans in from Bali every so often to add to the list, cackling to herself all the while.

Nicola plans to continue writing until she drops dead over her keyboard or makes enough money to buy a private island and hire Rory McCann as her personal trainer/masseur, whichever comes first.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Reader Group | Twitter | Goodreads

Claimed by the Wolf Excerpt

Here’s another teaser from Claimed by the Wolf ❤

AMAZON ~ EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING ~ BOOKSTRAND

***

copyright@LibbyBishop

“Just breathe, Katee,” Mathias said calmly resting a hand on her thigh. “Just breathe.”

She let out a puff of air, then took a deep breath. “I hate to sound like a five-year-old, but are we there yet? Because I don’t think I can take much more of this car without crawling out of my skin.” Literally.

“We’re still about a half an hour out,” he said with regret in his tone. “I can make you more comfortable, but it requires me to brush my wolf against yours more intimately. Pulling over is an option, but as soon as you get back in the car your wolf will start up again. I will leave the choice to you.”

Again, his care and consideration warmed her body and heart. And for that reason, her answer was made simple. “You can brush your wolf against mine.” The words came out a bit softer than she’d intended, but her decision was clear all the same.

His hand on her thigh turned, and she entwined her fingers with his. Almost instantly, the contact made it easier to breathe, though the scratching underneath her skin persisted.

“If you feel uncomfortable with what I’m about to do, tell me and I’ll stop. You can keep my hand in yours for as long as possible, though.”

“I will let you know if I need you to stop.”

He gave a nod, eyes back on the road.

She worried for a moment that what he was about to do would distract him from driving, but that thought was chased away when she realized that he wouldn’t have offered if that were that case. He’s practically an alpha—he’s probably done this several times.

His scent grew stronger—the woodsy aroma enveloped her senses, calming the itching somewhat. His power washed over her soon after, a light weight that sank into her skin and then spread throughout her body. Her wolf settled down, and she nearly melted into the seat as her body relaxed. She was so content after a moment that she almost sighed in relief. The growing wolf in her rolled through her, making her stomach flip-flop. She was certain that if she were in wolf form she would have brushed her back along the neck of his wolf, rubbing her scent against his.

That image sent a rush of heat through her, and she squeezed his hand as she fought the urge to moan.

“Do you want me to pull away?” he asked, voice slightly husky, which didn’t help her situation.

“No,” she replied, and she noted how her voice echoed that same huskiness. “Just give me a moment to adjust to you being so close.”

She forced herself to concentrate on the calmness he’d created, and that the scratching had ceased. After a few moments, her body once again relaxed, and the coiling heat eased back enough that it wasn’t overwhelming.

Opening her eyes, she looked over at Mathias and met his gaze briefly. His wolf echoed through his eyes, but instead of causing her body to clench, the sight made her feel safe.

“Thank you, Mathias,” she said, voice normal again though soft.

“Whatever you need, Katee.”

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Ghosts of Trenton House Excerpt

Here is a snippet from Ghosts of Trenton House (Revenant Investigations, book two) ❤

Amazon ~ Evernight Publishing ~ Goodreads ~ Bookstrand Barnes and Noble ~ Smashwords

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copyright@Libby Bishop

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Oh, how Lena Tompson wished she was still at home, curled up on the couch watching Pride and Prejudice—the Colin Firth version, of course—instead of at the Revenant Investigations office for an emergency meeting. But that wish wasn’t going to come true. When her boss, Folger, had called they all knew to come immediately. She had and now Knox Trenton, the former love-of-her-life, sat in her boss’s office with his forehead creased from worry.

            “I’m very sorry to drag you all here at this hour,” Knox said. “But there’s an emergency at Trenton House.”

            Arabella Pierce—coworker, medium, and Lena’s best friend—spoke up. “What do you mean?” she asked.

            Knox rubbed his eyes. Lena could feel just how worried he was. Having grown up with and seriously dated Knox, she knew this wasn’t normal for him. Something had to be dreadfully wrong in order for him to be bleeding emotions so strongly. As a high-level empath, he was very good at guarding himself, unless unduly stressed or tired.

Lena reached out with her own empathic gifts to search his feelings, and a brick wall slammed down.

“Nana has done something,” he replied, dread lightly imbedded in his tone.

            Oh, dear. When his great-grandmother did something to earn that tone of voice it normally meant another feud was brewing with someone, probably a family member. The elderly spitfire was too fiery for her own good, at times. “What did Imogene do?”

            “You both know the story of my great-grandmother and her twin sister, Ruth.”

            “Hard to forget,” Arabella replied.

            While the story was well known, not many knew the details as Lena and Arabella did. He’d told them in Junior High. And a hell of a story it was.

            He turned to Folger. “I’m going to tell you the story, but I ask that you keep it to yourself, for your records. This is a very sensitive issue.”

            Folger raised his hand. “What you tell us goes no further than this room.”

            Knox sighed. “Thank you. My great-aunt Ruth conjured my great-grandpa Duke’s spirit when he died of a heart attack in his mid-thirties. She wanted to punish her sister for allowing him into the family and betraying her. Their father trusted Duke and had learned to love him as a son, so he willed Trenton House to Duke and Nana. Ruth was furious with her sister for allowing such a thing, saying she was betrayed, even though their father left her and her husband well over five hundred thousand dollars and the country house at the edge of town.” He paused, sighing. “Most of the family believes her objection was solely about Duke’s name being put on the house. I think it’s safe to say if it had been just Nana’s name on the deed, Ruth wouldn’t have been so vehement about the whole thing.”

            Lena had been to that country house a few times—a beautiful home, on a lovely four-acre plot of land. But Duke being willed Trenton House and watching it fall into his hands, even with Imogene there, had only been the beginning––the spark, to ignite the rest of the Trentons’ sisterly feud.

Lena had seen no real ‘ill will’ between Knox and his cousins, but their parents… Well, there was a reason she never liked going to the family get-togethers. Their barely veiled animosity was like ice, cracking against her skin. Knox tried to shield her from most of it, but the intensity was too great for him to block it all. Lena tolerated events the best she could, but finally admitted they’d taken a toll on her, and her view of their relationship.

            “And no one knows where Ruth trapped Duke’s spirit,” Arabella said, leaning back against the couch and crossing her legs. “Ruth took that information to the grave.”     “Knox,” Folger said, “tell them what Imogene did.”

            Hesitation lightly touched the air, held clear in his dark brown eyes when he glanced at her. All thoughts of their past momentarily fled when Lena saw it—something was very wrong, all right, and worry twisted her gut. “Knox?”

            He fidgeted in his chair, until he settled for sitting with his back completely straight as if someone had pulled a string upward, and rested his hands on the arms of the chair.

“Nana…raided Ruth’s crypt at our family’s private cemetery and stole a necklace from her coffin.”

            Lena’s mouth dropped in shock. “She did what?”

            “That’s not all. When she returned to the house and tried to call her husband’s spirit to her, she ended up summoning Ruth instead.”

            “Oh my God,” Lena whispered.

            Knowing what she did of Ruth—whom she’d met only once, at a birthday party shortly before her death—Lena could just imagine how the ghost was taking being summoned by her sister. Death did little to quell emotions. “What do you need us to do?”

            He stood, putting his hands in his pants pockets. “I need you two to come talk to Nana and Ruth, to try to calm them down before they destroy the entire house battling each other, and tear the family completely apart in the process.”

            “What do you mean?” Arabella asked.

            “My great uncles, Silas and Wick, are threatening to sue me and my two brothers for both the house and guardianship of Nana, if we don’t deal with the situation in the next two weeks. They’re threatening to put her in the Jasmine Home for the Gifted.”

            Not good, not good. The Jasmine Home was built specifically to care for elderly people who had special gifts, especially ones who couldn’t control their gifts anymore, or those who committed such an act as Knox’s great-grandmother had. The home served most of coastal Maine, with other smaller homes scattered throughout the state.

Imogene would consider it a prison, and that did not bode well for those around her.

            “Does Imogene know?” Lena asked. “What about Silas and Wick’s children?”

            “I told her today. As for Silas and Wick’s children, they’ve agreed to help their fathers if Nana doesn’t undo what she’s done. All but Brendon, who’s trying to help me.”

            She took a deep breath. “Brendon always did have a good head on his shoulders.” Thank goodness. At least Knox had someone in the family to lean on, to turn to when the rest were ready to stab him in the back.

His eyes softened, and for a split second she felt her heart melt, just a little. That was enough for the memories to return, both the good and the heartbreaking, and Lena suddenly remembered she was still in her pajamas—the emergency call from Folger had kept her in her blue flannel bottoms and a lightweight hooded sweatshirt, a pair of winter boots on her feet. She forced herself not to squirm or shift her position, keeping her slight embarrassment to herself as she remained relaxed on the couch. Though, the resulting shame was not so much because she was in her pajamas as it was having Knox see her, at her place of employment no less, in said pajamas.

            “As I’ve mentioned, I’d like you and Arabella to come to the house and talk with Nana and Ruth, see what you can figure out, and see if you can get Ruth to hand over Duke’s spirit. Nana will never move on without him and the two of them will feud forever in Trenton House if we can’t deal with this.”

            “Do you want video or anything?” Arabella asked.

            “Not yet. See what Nana wants to do first, then we’ll go from there.”

            “The family doesn’t know you’re meeting with us, do they?” Lena surmised.

            “Just Brendon, which is why I’m here so late. I’m heir to the house and executor of Nana’s will—they know not to stop me from hiring outsiders to deal with this, as that could hurt their chances of getting hold of their sister and the house for good. But they would do everything in their power to keep me from doing so, which is why only Brendon knows I’m here. Our dirty laundry may be legend in this town, but they’d like to keep it legend, not truth.”

            Lena knew that last part already. Trentons didn’t air their dirty laundry, which was no doubt one of the reasons he’d been hesitant to ask for aid. The family was rich but not stuck-up, though they were very big on maintaining their public image. Anything that would taint the picture of a loving, hardworking, strong and happy family unit in the least was quickly swept under a rug and guarded fiercely. That had also made it hard to be around the family, and not just because she was an empath. Lena had struggled with their tight lips more than once—it made it near impossible to truly get close to those Knox cared for, and made it difficult for him to open up.

            He trusted her, she knew, but there was a difference between trusting someone as a good friend and trusting someone with the family secrets as a partner in love. He’d told her everything through their years as friends and lovers—she cherished that. And she’d kept those secrets, always would. Only Arabella knew what had really transpired when they’d broken up.

“When do you want us to start?” Lena inquired, thankful her tone came out normal even though her stomach was roiling.

            “Tomorrow morning. Can the two of you be at the house around eight-thirty?”

            “Of course,” Arabella replied, then turned to Folger. “You’re okay with all this, I take it?”

            “Yes. If you end up needing some tech, call Nick and Kate.”

            Lena met Knox’s gaze. “Your uncles gave you two weeks to get this resolved. Are they watching the house? Watching you?”

            “Watching me? No, not that I’ve felt, anyway. Nor have they been around the house since she conjured Ruth. I think they’re biding their time until they can make their move. Nana and Ruth are keeping other ghosts from entering the house. They haven’t done anything to the ghosts already in the house, though.”

            Her heart panged. The ghosts that visited Trenton House were all dearly loved family. The fact that Ruth and Imogene were keeping them out of their home was heartbreaking and troubling. “We’ll be there bright and early,” she said.

            Knox’s gaze shifted, worry reaching Lena, a weight that tugged and hummed underneath her skin.  “Thank you,” he said quietly.