Friday, May 31, 2013

Welcome Taige Crenshaw today and there is a giveaway as well

Top ten fictional boyfriends post or something on how they got inspired to write this one.

Dark Calling inspiration...

Dark Callings (Phoenix Intelligence Agency, Book #3) is about a man who thinks because of the being he is he does not dare hope for the woman who he wants. It’s about a woman who is determined enough to get beyond the defenses of a stubborn man.  Lennox S’chaech and Harmony Davis appeared in book 1 of the series but when they did I didn’t plan for them to have a story. They however had other plans. In rereading the first book the two characters filled my mind and let me know that they were to be together. I’ve learned never to try to tell determined characters ‘no’. It only leads to sleepless nights and their interjecting in other stories as you write. LOL.

Once I got that inkling that they were going to have their own story I let it sit since I knew they would not be the second story.  As I was writing the second in the series Lennox and Harmony’s connection became clearer. She had faith in him while he didn’t want to let her close. I loved the chemistry of the characters. By the time I was finished with the second book in series and ready to start there I was ready to hear what they had to say. Yet when I sat to write I had nothing. Yes nothing. I knew them so well already yet didn’t have any idea how to start their story. For days I tried to come up with at least a start for their story. I don’t plan out books but I at least need an idea how to start. I was just about to postpone writing their story when the idea came to me. It came in a dream. The dream was the opening for Dark Callings. When I woke I remembered it clearly. I was each character so I knew Lennox feelings as he sat thinking about what had happened to him then Harmony arriving. The feeling she made him experience that he could not afford to have.  I was walking in Harmony’s shoes as she teases Lennox and refused to believe anything negative about himself.  I was living each of their moments and I was in their minds.

The book Dark Callings  was inspired by the characters themselves. I’ve had a few books that I get inspired that way and love when it is. They are fun to write and explore what makes the characters that they are as they fall in love.

Here is the blurb for the book.

April 2013
ISBN #: 978-1-78184-293-5
Series: Phoenix Intelligence Agency, Book #3
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Novella
Format: E-Book

When faced with your destined bond you either accept or face the consequences.

Harmony Davis knows what she wants. No one, even the man himself will stand in her way. Lennox might think it is best to not pursue their attraction but she has foreseen that she cannot be without him. Now she must convince this stubborn man who would rather be alone in the shadows than face their combined destinies. She has a plan but he is not cooperating. Subtlety goes out the window and she confronts him giving him no retreat from what must be.

Lennox S’chaech longs for her touch. Enjoys her wonderful spirit and giving nature yet he knows he cannot taint her with his darkness. He hadn’t counted on Harmony’s stubbornness. She finds ways to intertwine their lives so he has no escape. Although if he would admit it he wasn’t fighting to hard to get away. But he will not take that final step and meld them in that irreversible way.

When resistance meets determination it will melt under a Dark Callings.

Buy Here:

Taige Crenshaw Grand Prize Contest
Thanks for coming by for this stop on my blog tour. On June 1, 2013 there will be grand prize drawn from everyone who enters the “Taige Crenshaw Grand Prize Contest” on this post or during any of my posts for my blog tour. The prize is All Romance Ebook –$ 50 ebooks bucks! (must have an account at All Romance Ebook so the prize can be sent to you). From the entries there will be 1 winner for the $50 ebook bucks. On June 1, 2013 on the blog - the name of the winner will be posted.
So kick your feet up and enjoy the blog tour!

Taige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora's Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Total-E-Bound. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at her website: or blog:

Cover Reveal for Break Me

About Break Me (Shattered, Book One) by Jo-Anna Walker
Releasing August 2013

Running is always easier.

Tori McLeod moved to the big city to get away from her mother—and her past. Her new routine is destroyed when she meets a mysterious stranger who won’t take no for an answer. Sebastian intrigues her, but his eyes hold secrets she would rather avoid.

Sebastian Chelios, a hard-as-nails enforcer, is a new-in-town loner. He has to have her. Control her. Possess her. But he can’t—won’t—lose control, even though Tori’s innocence fascinates him. The last thing he’s going to do is love her, even after he gets her in his bed.

Losing control is dangerous, especially when someone from Sebastian’s past covets Tori, putting more than just her heart in danger.

Can Sebastian protect Tori from Jose’s sadistic obsession? If he gets his hands on her, will she make it out in one piece?

About the Author

I've been writing my whole life but mostly in just my journals or diaries. I never thought of actually writing a story.

Last year some time, my aunt suggested I write a book. I thought there was no way I could write a story that was my own. All the ideas I had bouncing around in my head were not my own and were from other books I have read. My aunt told me I could do it if I really thought about it.

So I did. And guess what? An idea came to me. Now mind you, that idea has changed ALOT! My first book is nothing like I originally started with and that's fine. I'm happy with it. I just hope others are too.

I started creating a playlist of songs that I hear that remind me of my book. Most of the songs are not from the type of music I listen to but I love them (I'm a heavy metal girl).

I don't have a writing office per say. My table is my writing area. My lap top is set up there with my notes and ideas and it's perfect for me.

I don't need pure silence to write so when the hubby is home, he can watch tv and I can write and we can still spend time together.

I'm very excited for my first book to come out, hopefully sometime this summer. I'm nervous, scared and biting my nails as to what people will think but I'm excited none the less.

So this is me, in a nutshell.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


It is Thursday and every Thursday, for us, is blog at Dawn's, which means we have something to say.  Then again, opinionated ole goats that we are, we always have something to say.

A:  Speak for yourself.  I am not an ole goat.  I'm a spring chicken.
Z:  Me thinks you're chicken has sprung quite a long time ago.
A:  (Proving either age has a way of causing a person to get easily distracted or that she never did outgrow the fickle gene)  Hmmm ...chicken sounds good for lunch. 
Z:  Put in an order.
A:  But I have something to say.
Z:  About chicken?
A:  Above love and romance.
Z:  Toot that horn, sheila me gal.
A:  (Quirks a brow)  Sheila?   What day is this, Zi?
Z:  Thursday...something to say day?
A:  So your memory is just fine, yet you forgot my name.
Z:  Shelia's slang for woman in Australia, thinking about making our next hero from there.
A:  (Doesn't say a word, just wonders who really owns the fickle gene)  Last week we went on a tirade about love and sex.
Z:  You were rather long-winded.
A:  Moi?  Humph!  You practically took over.... (Sighs heavily and lets go of the appeal of an argument, for the two never really do, they just like the ruckus)  We digress.

Love and sex is one topic, but what about love and romance?  And we are talking about love between two adults who desire an intimate relationship, not the love of family, pets, etc.  Soooo, to venture on.  Is there a difference between the hot steamy, oh yeah ride 'em cowboy and the everyday quiet of the caught glances, the hand hold, the simple goodbye morning kiss or goodnight hug or taking out the trash before it turns into the local dump? 

According to Walter Raleigh, "But true love is a durable fire, In the mind ever burning, Never sick, never old, never dead, From itself never turning."  The words speak of forever without ever saying so.  It also tells us passion underlies our love in the simplest things.

Having said that, note that one of us has been married for thirty-eight years.  The other for over thirty years.  A long time to keep the fires banked and the steam whistling through their engines.  Yet it is there and not just on the bed and under the table and on the deck.

Z:  Hey...hey...don't go giving away secrets.
A:  What secrets, everyone knows you steam clean your deck every other week.  Four dogs take that kind of care, y'know.
Z:  But you were talking about...
A:  Oh, yes...errr...rabbit trail...
Z:  That is where I draw the line.  Chicken for lunch is great, but I don't eat rabbit.  Too cute.
A:  (Does the nose wrinkle huh)

What we are trying to say is that sometimes romance expresses itself through the simple rather than a gathering of flowers, jewelry, cruises, chocolate or candlelit dinners.  There are those companionable silences while cleaning up a messy room or giggling over something inane or reading cuddled together on the couch even while in the middle of a passionate argument simply because of the love that brings you right back to the make-up stage.  Yes, that ALWAYS happens when there is true love, even if the fight's resolution is just an agreement to disagree.

Romance is sustaining and passionate and simple and, yes, we reiterate, forever.  That's why we write about it.  It is a solid in a world of uncertainty.  It is a connecting strand through various genre whether fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, contemporary, historical.  It has levels from the dearest wee kiss in a sweet moment to the lustfully shredding of garments in a heat-n-steam erotica.  And, in life, it is the solidity that binds couples during times plagued by tragedy, pain and disaster or entwined with the everyday hum-drum.  Romance gets us through it all, and should never be downplayed or fully defined for it changes from moment to moment and person to person.  

Robert browning wrote.  "Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made..." That pretty much sums up romance and love, just getting through day by day and knowing someone has your back and will love you forever.  For those of you still searching, trust and believe it is there.  Sometimes, all it takes is walking around a corner or glancing up.

Z:  So, chicken...fried or grilled.
A:  Let's get wild, BBQ!


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi

Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane


Kristen Beairsto’s "Going After the Heart" VBT Stop/Contest

Going After the Heart by Kristen Beairsto
Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 234 pages

Buy Links

Lizzy Bergstrum thought she finally reached a point in her life when she could honestly say she had it all.  A thriving writing career.  A wonderful daughter.  And a marriage to the love of her life.  But looks can apparently be deceiving because her husband just walked out on her and their eight year old daughter hates her.

Gavin Bergstrum can’t handle the direction his life has taken.  Not only did he get laid off from his job, but his wife seems to barely remember he exists.  Convinced he’s tried his best to change things, he begins to wrestle with the possibility of divorce.  But he can’t think straight in the same house as Lizzy.  Hating to leave his daughter, but needing time to think and come to terms with what he feels he needs to do, Gavin decides to return to his small home town in Oregon and stay at his family ranch with his father and brothers.

In shock, Lizzy gives Gavin his space.  But as time passes and he doesn’t say a word about their marriage, Lizzy decides it’s past time she takes matters into her own hands.  Without a word, she follows Gavin to Oregon.

Now facing a daughter who blames her for everything, an irritated husband, and a small town that feeds on the drama, Lizzy finds herself trying to figure out how to convince Gavin to give her another chance, teach her daughter it takes two to make a successful marriage, and overcome her own insecurities – all without compromising who she is.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Teaser Excerpt:

“Here’s the keys to the cabin.  The round one is to the front and back doors and the square one is for the shed.”  Ray’s voice sounded clear and even behind him.

Turning, Gavin watched his father hand Lizzy a small set of keys.

“I had Clare clean it up for you.  Like I said on the phone, it’s not the newest place in the world, but it’s still in pretty good shape considering its age."

Lizzy gave his father a small smile as she took the keys from him.  “I’m sure it’s great.”

Her gaze moved to him and resentment swelled watching her smile fade.  Although, what did he expect, she hadn’t smiled at him for months prior to him leaving.  Why would she start now?

But the indiscernible look settling on Lizzy’s features startled him.  After ten years of marriage and five years together before getting married, Gavin would have bet big money he knew every single one of his wife’s expressions.  But this one, he realized dumbfounded, he didn’t recognize.

Her gaze dropped down to Sky.  “Come on, Sky, we’ve got to go up to the cabin to settle in.”

Beside him, Gavin felt Sky’s shoulders tense.

“No!”  She shouted the word venomously.  “I don’t want to go with you,” she spat before turning pleading blue eyes up at him. “Dad, can’t I stay here with you and Papa?  I don’t want to go with her.”

Apparently he missed the memo about today being Surprise Day, Gavin realized, as he could only stare at his daughter for a moment, never having seen this side of her before.

“I tell you what, little missy, no little girl is welcome in my house that sasses her mama the way you just did.  No matter what injustice you think she’s handed you, a child never speaks to their parent that way.”  Ray delivered his little speech with an even look and matching tone.

Sky’s cheeks turned bright red.  Gavin frowned down at her.  “Your grandfather’s right, you know better than to talk to your mom that way.”

Looking up to his wife, he arched a brow.  Apparently the statute of limitations for surprises for the day hadn’t been reached yet, he thought silently in disbelief when Lizzy didn’t scold, or even comment on, Sky’s behavior.

Rather than say anything, Lizzy looked away and her back stiffened so much he thought her spine would snap.

What the hell is going on?  His bewilderment bothered him.

Seeing Lizzy wouldn’t say anything, Gavin looked back down at Sky.  “Honey, since I didn’t know you were coming, I don’t have anywhere set up for you to sleep.  I’m sleeping on a cot in one of the extra rooms.  I’ll try to look at setting something up tomorrow so you can stay a few nights with me.  How does that sound?”

A stubborn look Gavin recognized all too easily surfaced on Sky’s face, but she remained silent, temporarily mollified and nodded.  Turning away from him, Sky made her way back to the car and climbed in without so much as a single glance in her mother’s direction.

Gavin returned his gaze back to Lizzy, but she completely ignored him as she turned to climb back in the car.

That, at least, he’d grown used to.

About the Author:

In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends.  Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry.  During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.

As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader.  She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury.  At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read!  The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts.  Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre.  Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

Connect with Kristen Beairsto

Giveaway Info:
Prize is 5 eBook copies (1 each to 5 winners) of "Going After the Heart" from Kristen Beairsto. Contest is tour-wide and ends June 16. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Fill out he raffelcopter below to be entered

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Marie McGaha's "One Good Man" and a contest

One Good Man by Marie McGaha
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Categories: Action/Adventure, Comedy, BBW
Publisher: Dancing With Bear Publishing
Release Date: November, 24, 2012
Heat Level: Sweet
Length: 188 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N

Allison Hamstead thought it was love. Finally, after all the years alone, someone loved her in spite of the fact she was fat! Not that her size had ever kept her from being successful, but it had kept her far from personal relationships. She’d heard all of the fat jokes ever told, all of the things people in her office said behind her back, and she didn’t miss not having a boyfriend, or dates, every weekend. Did she? But now she was in love and she couldn’t wait to introduce him to her best friend, Sarah. And what a mistake that had turned out to be! It wasn’t long before the love of her life and her best friend were living together, and Allison was humiliated.

Starting over is never easy, but Allison is determined to do just that and moves far from Chicago to the warm waters of Biloxi, Mississippi where she accepts a position at one of the floating casinos. For the first time in her life Allison feels like she’s truly at home. She loves her job, she loves her boss, who is like a father to her, and she loves being a part of all the excitement going on around her. Except for one little thing…

Her boss’s eldest son, Stephen is probably the most handsome, gorgeous, and sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on… and he knows it! And for some reason he acts interested in her. Then her mother comes to visit and winds up dating her boss. Her accounts start showing large amounts of money missing. And her ex shows up unannounced and says he wants her back. Can anything else possibly go wrong?


Teaser Excerpt:

“I almost forgot to thank you for my room. I didn’t expect you to provide one for me.”

“You’re welcome. We thought that since you were here for a thirty-day probationary period, there was no reason for you to have to worry about finding a place to live. If it works out for everyone involved, you can find a place when the thirty days is up.”

“Thank you, I appreciate it.”

Jason looked up as a man approached the table.

“I thought you had gone home."

“I was just on my way out, so I thought I’d stop by and meet your new assistant.”

“Stephen Collins, I would like to introduce Allison Hamstead. Allison, this is the First Mate and my brother, Stephen.”

“Nice to meet you, Big Al," Stephen said with a grin, shaking her hand. Forcing Jason to move over, he sat in the booth with them.

“We spoke briefly on the phone," she told him. “But it’s nice meeting you too…Stevie." She shortened his name deliberately. He only raised an eyebrow, but Jason chuckled.

“I think she’s already got your number there big brother," Jason laughed, as the waitress set their dinner and drinks on the table. 

The waitress looked at Stephen and grinned. “You want anything, Stephen?”

He grinned back and took a long, slow look up and down.

“Not right now, Heather," he drawled, “but thanks for askin’.”

“Anytime," Heather said as she wiggled away.

 Jason shot his brother a stern look.

“You shouldn’t be flirting with the waitresses in front of Allison, she’ll get the wrong impression.”

“Oh, I don’t think I’ve got the wrong impression about your brother at all," Allison commented, not sparing Stephen another glance.

Stephen laughed out loud and Jason grinned.

“Allison, I think you’re going to be around here for quite a while. There aren’t many females who can resist my brother’s charms." Taking a bite of pasta, he muttered, “Whatever they may be," loudly enough for Stephen to hear.

“Come on Jase," Stephen said as he elbowed his brother. “You know it’s harmless, I never let it go past the flirting stage with the waitresses.”

“Only because Captain would kill you if you did.”

“Be that as it may, I still keep my hands to myself." He shot Allison a wink, finished his drink, and set the empty glass on the table.

“Allison, it was nice meeting you. I hope you’ll decide to stay on in spite of your low opinion of me.”

“Thank you, but I don’t have a low opinion of you." She smiled innocently, and looked up at him as he stood.

“Really?" He grinned wolfishly down at her.

“Really. To have a low opinion of you would indicate that I have put forth the effort to care enough to have an opinion of you. Rest assured that I do not." She went back to her ravioli.

“Ouch!" Stephen laughed as he walked away.

“Congratulations, Allison. You are the first woman to ever work here that didn’t fall all over herself to get my brother to notice her," Jason told her with a chuckle.

“I’m glad I didn’t offend you, Jason. Although I should have thought before I said anything. Men like that just sit wrong with me.”

“Tell me what kind of man you think my brother is," Jason said as he wiped his plate with a piece of buttered sourdough bread.

“Well, you know, he’s the charming type that thinks he’s every woman’s dream, and all he has to do is snap his fingers for her panties to fall off." She looked up at Jason as she suddenly realized what she’d said.

“Oh my God, I am so sorry.”

Jason laughed out loud.

“Don’t worry about it. You really do know my brother.”

Allison felt the heat in her cheeks and shook her head, then downed the last of her martini. She looked up at him and smiled wryly. “Now if you’d just help me get my foot out of my mouth, I’d be forever grateful.”

 About the Author:

Marie McGaha is an author, editor and publisher at Dancing With Bear Publishing, a Christian publishing company. While most of her time is spent editing manuscripts, she does try to find time for her passions. First, the love of the rest of her life, Nathan, whom she has been married to for almost thirteen years, and loves to spend time with riding motorcycles. They are both members of The Patriot Guard Riders. Second, Marie’s passion for shoes has filled several closets, so she decided to start her own shoe line, Girls Got Grit. She and Nathan also like to spend time spoiling grandchildren, traveling, and just being together. “Nathan is my best friend, and I am very blessed to have him as my husband too,” Marie says. And everyone who knows them says it’s quite obvious these two are living out their own romance novel.

Connect with Marie McGaha

Giveaway Info:
Prize is 
1 signed paperback copy of "One Good Man" from Marie McGaha. Contest is tour-wide and ends June 12. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Enter the contest through the raffelcopter below

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Welcome Elizabeth Black today

Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK Novel Don't Call Me Baby 25% Off!

Celebrate Don't Call Me Baby's TOP PICK review by buying it for 25% off at All Romance eBooks and Naughty Nights Press until May 31!

Don't Call Me Baby is a whirlwind of a novel within the New Adult literary genre, a rather new genre that is catching on like wildfire.  The main character, Catherine Stone, is a twenty-two year old college student working a summer job at a camp. She grapples with her issues with her parents (especially her father), her sexuality, her reputation, and all the drama in her life. And there is lots of drama! Catherine may have many sexual partners, but she's picky. She doesn't want a man to tie her down and for her to be exclusive. She plays the field like many men do, but when she (a woman) does it, she's not seen in a positive light - especially by other women. Why are sexually active men admired, but sexually active women are viewed as sluts? Catherine grapples with this dilemma ever day.

Don't Call Me Baby is set on a college campus and my main character, Catherine Stone, enjoys exploring her sexuality and hopes to discover her place in the world. This is a very fast-paced book that many in college will be able to identify with, including sex with professors, bad boys, jealous women, the moral turpitude clause, summer jobs, juggling love and career, and more sex. Heh.

Buy Links

Naughty Nights Press


Night Owl Reviews
Top Pick
4 1/2 stars

Don’t Call Me Baby is a fast paced, very adventurous romantic novel that will take readers on a roller coaster ride of scorching romantic fun. The main character, Catherine, is a woman after my own heart. She is young and fiercely independent, and beyond gorgeous. She is not wealthy, but she wants to live the good life and is not afraid to go get it. She is also very sexually liberated, and in the 1980’s this was sometimes a good thing, and sometimes a not so good thing. The story is so blisteringly hot and steamy; it’s difficult to put down. It took me back to a better time, and a time I enjoyed much more. It is a novel I truly enjoyed reading, and will definitely be reading time and time again. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s also not to be missed.

So many men, so little time. Catherine has a long list of men that she sees on a regular basis, and at the top of the list (for the moment, anyway) is Brian. He’s one of her professors at Quincy, and a married man, but that’s never been a problem. But he’s so demanding! So maybe some time apart will be just the trick. A summer theater camp at another local college for local teens should make him realize that Catherine is not his possession, right? That is, until she gets to the camp and meets the other counselors. Ryan is gorgeous, and the rest? Well, what’s a girl on her own to do? Why, enjoy as many as she can! In the meantime, Catherine will come to grips with her mind and her heart, and will figure out what she really wants in life.

Book Blurb for Don't Call Me Baby

DON'T CALL ME 'BABY' is a fast-paced, quick-witted, sexy, novel about a young woman exploring her sexuality and the cultural morés she collides with on a daily basis.

It's 1983 in Maryland and Catherine Stone is sex on wheels. She plays the field the way men have done for aeons. Not content to strive for her MRS degree like so many young women her age, she seduces men of all stripes – married college professors, theatre students, virgins, complete strangers who intrigue her. She has already cost one man his job.

She asks herself lots of questions on her search to enjoy her sexuality. Why don't other women enjoy their sex as much as she does? Why do so many women and men look down on sexually free women, calling them sluts while sexually free men are called studs and Lotharios? She bucks at the double standards! Catherine has made no commitment to any man. She's free to explore and she gladly does so. No man can tie her down and no woman's judgment will stop her from playing the field to her heart's content.

Does she meet her match in a new man who introduces her to sexual bliss she had never before experienced? When she tries multiple partners and bondage for the first time as a submissive, she believes she's found the sexual bliss she is looking for – and with a man who not only introduces her to the fineries in life but also cares about her like no man ever has before.


[Intro: Catherine Stone is my heroine and the book's main character. She has taken a summer job at a college camp. Ryan is the older college professor in charge of the camp. KC (aka Casey) is one of the counselors who becomes one of Catherine's closest friends. DJ teaches drama at the camp. They are currently in an orientation meeting before camp begins.]

At that moment, a young man ran into the room in a blaze of jeans and oversized t-shirt. He tossed his backpack behind the chair next to DJ, and then plopped into a seat.
“Nice of you to drop by, KC.” Ryan said.
“Sorry I'm late. Ran a bit behind this morning.” He gave the crowd a big toothy grin, and leaned back in his chair until the front two legs were off the ground. Oh, boy. This guy is going to be fun. “Okay, alarm didn't go off. But I'm here. So… did I miss anything?”
“Not yet, but you did manage to be the center of attention again,” Ryan tried to sound miffed, but Catherine saw his dimples deepen as he tried not to smile. “We just did introductions. You can get to know everyone here a bit later. Now, I need to get started.”
The orientation went well. Catherine kept her legs up on the table, showing them off, and her stunt did not get past KC. His eyebrows shot up, and he blew a kiss in her direction. Catherine couldn't help but like him immediately. He seemed to be the type of guy who didn't take a thing seriously, and she liked to surround herself with people like that. KC’s silly mood was infectious, and soon with his carousing and smart-mouthed funny comments, everyone at the table was laughing. Monica and Ryan assigned each worker to a class. DJ and Catherine were to teach drama.
“I brought my accordion again,” KC said. “You know how much the kids loved me last year.”
“They cringed, KC,” DJ said. “Did you actually watch them when you played Freebird? On the accordion? You were not cool, dude. Try as you might.”
“I was the coolest guy in the room. You're just jealous because you can't pick out Freebird on that tin-plated noise machine you play.”
“It's a 12-string steel guitar, and I can pick out Freebird just fine.”
“Looks like Miss Longest-Legs-in-the-Universe here is also a guitarist. You two can play the theme to Deliverance to really get the kids in a good mood.”
“How'd you know I play the guitar?” Catherine stretched her legs in response to KC's ribbing. Her movement did not get past Ryan's attention. That pleased her to no end.
“I saw you arrive, and you hoisted that guitar over your head. I see a threesome in your future - no, not that kind! Get your mind out of the gutter!!” He laughed at his own joke, and so did everyone in the room, including Catherine. “Us, on guitars. You, DJ, and I. Scaring the kids to death with our bad renditions of Kumbaya. And there's no need to look so horrified. DJ is used to me picking on him. It's all in good fun. We've been best friends since we were in fourth grade.”
“And we've been at each other's throats ever since.” DJ said. “I'm glad we're going to teach the drama classes, Catherine. Your suggestion of improvs is perfect. After the meeting, want to do some brainstorming?”
“Sounds good to me. I have lots of good ideas.”
“Don't let him hog all the ideas,” KC said. “He's a born monopolizer.”
“Speak for yourself.”
“I do. All the time.” He winked at her, and DJ busted out laughing. It was good to see DJ's handsome smile. It made his demeanor seem less standoffish. She figured out his relationship with Casey. They balanced each other out very nicely. DJ was the imposing Pontiac GTO and Casey was the Triumph Spitfire.
When Monica learned that Catherine played the piano, guitar, and flute, she immediately added her name to the list of people to play music around the campfire at night. DJ would join her on the guitar and KC on the accordion. What is it with the initials for names around here? Did their parents name them by choosing two different blocks from a game of Scrabble? It wasn't required that she play every night, but it sure sounded like fun.
Once the meeting was over, and everyone left the room to go about their business, Catherine ran until she caught up with KC and DJ. But she didn't leave without giving Ryan a coy smile and a wiggle of her hips. His gaze traveled to parts of her body that would have been considered impolite in mixed company. She didn't turn to see Ryan watch her as she wiggled her way out into the hall towards KC and DJ.
“Here she is, the girl with the longest legs in the world. And damn! You're short!”
She looked up at KC. “I'm five foot nothing. Most of it legs. You are what? Six feet?”
“Six foot two. So you and my buddy DJ are going to run the acting workshops for the kids?”
“Sure looks that way. It sounds like fun. I know lots of theatre exercises we could try on the kids. They make great icebreakers, too.”
“Well, I'll leave you two kids to your theatre business,” KC said. “I haven't unpacked yet, and I want to get myself settled in. See you two at dinner?”
“Yeah. What does KC stand for anyway?”
“Kevin Collins. I go by '‘Casey,’ C-A-S-E-Y. Emphasis on the first syllable. I'll see you two later.”
He ran off before either of them could answer, which struck Catherine as something he did on a regular basis. Looks like you met your match, girl. Being around Casey could be exhausting, and she had only a little bit of exposure to him. How was she going to survive two weeks of “Whirlwind Casey”? She wasn't the least bit attracted to him, and she didn't want to fuck him, but he was far too much fun to ignore. He'd be a good friend to have in her corner if she needed one. And she wanted to make friends with him regardless of what gossip might erupt about her sexual activities, and there was bound to be some sooner or later.

Cover Reveal and Giveaway~ The Guardian by Sarah Fine