Category Archives: Somewhere To Belong
The following was originally the opening scene for my second book, Somewhere To Belong. It was deleted in favor of moving quicker into what’s call the inciting event. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Daniel and seeing another side of him.
Somewhere To Belong
Daniel had the distinct feeling he wasn’t where he belonged and knew it was time to leave. It wasn’t because he couldn’t afford the designer-clothes adorning many of the invited guests. He believed he looked perfectly acceptable in his classic dark blue jeans, white button-down shirt, and black blazer. He figured his rugged good looks more than compensated for any perceived fashion flaw. And it wasn’t because he didn’t enjoy the small talk that seemed to dominate most conversations. He was well versed on current events and could usually hold his own in any social discussion if it didn’t get too political. He gave himself credit for being intelligent, articulate and even charming, if he was so inclined. No, his fish-out-of-water feeling was hitched to being a good-ole, suburban cowboy surrounded by an urban fantasy. He felt out of place in the elegant uptown art gallery sitting high on a hill overlooking the lights of San Francisco.
The Nob Hill Art Gallery, with its stellar view of the city and the distant bay, was thoroughly modern, sleek and glossy. Shiny glass and silver surfaces throughout the remodeled building artfully reflected the spotlights directed at the large paintings of cityscapes hung along the silk-covered beige walls. Bountiful floral arrangements placed strategically throughout the gallery competed with the assortment of subtle and some not-so-subtle perfumes adorning the guests.
Daniel was there at the personal request of the artist, an old friend he knew from their days at SFSU, and while they no longer traveled in the same social circles their long standing friendship, coupled with Daniel’s good looks, qualified him as a suitable guest for Jonah’s opening night gala. The way Jonah saw it, being surrounded by beautiful people was a reflection of his good taste, and he knew it was good for business.
Making his way back toward the front doors, Daniel figured he had fully satisfied his social obligation to Jonah. He had walked throughout the art gallery viewing all of Jonah’s work, had the one drink minimum required to appear social, and had talked to one new woman with whom he had nothing more in common than that they both knew Jonah and worked in San Francisco. On the other hand, he had discovered their differences were quite lengthy. She lived in an art-deco condo in North Beach while he lived on a ranch in the East Bay. She was a hip fashion merchandiser and he was a suburban cowboy turned police officer. She drove a new, energy-efficient, royal-blue hybrid while he drove a classic, gas-loving, candy-apple red Ford Mustang. She was quite attractive if you liked the thin long-legged blond look, which most men did, but unfortunately he hadn’t found enough common ground to hold his interest.
After politely excusing himself from a conversation that was already losing its direction he made his way over to the artist to let him know he was leaving.
“Great show, Jonah, looks like another big success.” He clinked his beer bottle against Jonah’s wine glass.
“Thanks for coming. I noticed you talking to Meredith, how did it go?” Jonah cocked his finely-trimmed brow and nodded in her direction.
Daniel gave a shrug of his broad shoulders. “As far as it’s going to. She’s nice but…”
“Let me guess, not your type,” Jonah interrupted his friend, having heard it all before.
“Yeah, nothing new there. But you can’t say I didn’t try.” It was the same old song and dance, only the faces changed.
“That’s just it. You don’t even have to try. You easily have the best looking woman in the room talking to you and then you just go – nah, it’s not working for me and walk away. She would have gladly handed over her phone number, and probably offered you a peek into her panties, but you don’t even ask. See, to me, that’s not trying.” Jonah gave a shake of his head and continued. “I know there are only two reasons why women like Meredith come to my gallery openings, okay maybe three, but the first two aren’t to see me and my art. They’re here to see and be seen, and they’re here in hopes of meeting someone like you.”
Daniel shrugged off his friend’s commentary. “I’m sure she knows as well as I do it just wasn’t there. No use in pursuing a dead end.”
While they talked, Daniel noticed Jonah’s eyes scanning the room full of well-dressed attendees, watching the reactions of the opening night guests. It was just like Jonah to be always looking for the next well-funded patron of the arts, his arts in particular.
From across the spacious room Meredith raised her glass in a silent salute in their direction. Jonah raised his wine glass in return. Daniel just nodded and took a long draw of his beer. Meredith’s attention was clearly focused in their direction, and Daniel wasn’t gullible enough to believe it was Jonah or his large cityscape painting hanging on the wall behind them that was drawing her interest.
“From where I stand it looks like she wouldn’t be opposed to a little pursuing,” Jonah said, keeping his eyes on the crowd before him.
“Funny, to me it looks like she’s doing the pursuing.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“Who’s pursuing whom. Call me old fashioned but I like to take the lead,” Daniel said, turning to face his friend. Anything to avoid Meredith’s eyes trying to bore a hole through his jeans.
“This is the twenty-first century. Women like to be on top.” Jonah smirked.
“Then have at it buddy, she’s all yours.” Daniel gave a good-nature smack to Jonah’s shoulder.
“Yeah, right. If only I fit the tall, dark and mysteriously handsome type, instead of short, pale and artfully intellectual.” Jonah stretched upright to his full height just shy of six feet, but was still several inches shorter than the man standing next to him. Daniel’s tall, dark and handsome build included a six foot three inch athletic body topped by deep brown hair mixed with touches of auburn, and a year round tan resulting from a lifestyle that kept him outdoors more often than not. His hazel brown eyes were infused with dark green specks, causing them at times to appear to change color.
“Don’t try to sell yourself short to me. I know darn well you’re not sitting home alone waiting for the phone to ring,” Daniel shot back at his friend. He knew Jonah’s words contradicted his belief that his sunny California good looks of blond hair and blue eyes entitled him to a lifelong membership in the beautiful peoples club.
“Yes, well, thanks to the recent success of my latest round of showings, I’ve been enjoying the attentions of a number of attractive patrons of the arts, bedroom arts included.” Jonah’s smile was blatantly devious.
Daniel rolled his eyes with a shake of his head. He’d known Jonah too long to take him seriously.
“It’s not a bad run of popularity and currently I happen to be particularly enjoying the attentions of one very interesting young woman from the San Francisco Art Academy. It might be a bit too soon to tell, but the optimist in me believes the relationship looks quite promising. She specializes in illustrated photo art – among other things.” Jonah looked up at his friend as if expecting him to be impressed. For Daniel it was a lost cause. He’d seen Jonah work his way in and out of too many relationships over the years to get excited over yet another.
“That reminds me,” Jonah continued. “I think I saw Ciel arrive earlier. Perhaps I should seek out her reaction to the show while the impression is still fresh.” Jonah stood on his tip-toes to gain a few inches of height and continued to scan the room seeking out the woman of his interest. He reminded Daniel of a well-dressed bobble-head doll.
“By all means, I’m heading out anyway. Enjoy your evening, man, you deserve it,” Daniel offered his unnecessary encouragement.
“As always, and you enjoy yours.” Jonah gave a friendly farewell pat to Daniel’s shoulder then redirecting his gaze to the wine bar where a petite Japanese woman stood wearing an eclectic outfit. It appeared to be a combination of prep school uniform meets vintage yard sale, but on her it looked good. Ciel cast a sly come-hither glance at Jonah.
“Right, as always.” Daniel lifted his beer in a farewell salute. The sendoff went unnoticed by Jonah. He was already on his way to greet his Ciel.
I’m excited to announce that Somewhere To Belong – now available at all major online booksellers.
While on vacation on the Isle of Skye, Daniel Ellers is swept back to thirteenth century Scotland for one hell of a kick-ass, time-travel adventure. He quickly recognizes the depth of his dilemma when he learns that his fate is controlled by the whim of a particularly meddlesome fairy. The uncertainty surrounding his future creates a significant kink in his desire to pursue Kayla, the beautiful young woman who found him stranded in the past. Adding to his problems are Kayla’s three big brothers who stand ready, willing, and able to kick butt to protect their innocent sister.
Kayla MacNicol is tired of her family’s smothering ways. The last straw is her mother’s attempt to arrange her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love. She’s ready to break free from her family’s overly protective rule; all she needs is a little encouragement and some well-deserved support. Her initial reaction to Daniel is one of resentment and rejection. She sees him as an outlander, not fit to spend even one night in Scorrbreac keep. But when repeated exposure to his charming seduction sparks her untapped passion she begins to question her harsh assessment.
Kayla begins to wonder if Daniel could possibly be the man of her dreams when Daniel is forced to take control of his destiny and fight for the woman he loves.
Somewhere To Belong is a paranormal time-travel romance that sweeps a modern cowboy back to 13th century Scotland where he must take control of his destiny and fight for the woman he loves.
Enjoy always, T
I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be speaking at Unity of Walnut Creek on June 20 at their WOW – Women Of Wonder – gathering. I’ll be speaking about Creating Romance (see below) and sharing my newly released book, Somewhere to Belong. There will be freebies and I’ll have books to give away. Another exciting perk of this event is that it’s on the Summer Solstice, which is a prominent date in my time-travel romance books, Return In Time and Somewhere To Belong.
Creating Romance: Tricia will present some fun steps that take a new look at romance; what it is and how you can create more romance in your life. Through the use of visualization and story plotting you’ll gain insightful awareness of how to create your romantic life. Come prepared to write a new chapter in your love life and to HAVE FUN.
If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by and say hi. I’d love to see you there.
Enjoy always, T
I’m so glad you came to take a peek at my S.E.X = Seriously Exciting eXcerpts Isn’t this fun?
The following is an excerpt from my new upcoming, soon to be released book, Somewhere To Belong. Hope you enjoy.
What the hell is she doing out here, Daniel wondered.
He stepped up to the stall next to where she sat, made his inspection of Sallie, then looked over at her as if seeing her for the first time. “Hey, Kayla, is that you?”
“Aye, Daniel,” she whispered.
“Uhmmm, have you been sitting in the dark this whole time?”
Kayla looked down at her hands. “Aye. It’s quiet here.”
“Mind if I join you?”
“I’d be pleased.”
Daniel sat down on the hay beside her. “What’re you doing out here?”
Kayla shrugged and sighed, “I’ve had enough of the celebration. I wanted to check on Sallie. ’Tis better than sitting in the great hall with my family and the MacDonalds.”
“Won’t they miss you?” Daniel picked up a blade of hay and stuck it between his teeth.
Kayla looked up at him as if he had two heads. “I doubt it. Why should they? They never notice me when I’m there. How can they notice me when I’m gone?” He could hear the pain in her voice.
“I can’t believe that. It seems to me like your mother always has her eye on you, especially when I’m around. You know, I don’t think she likes me very much,” he spoke in a conspiratorial tone, as if sharing some great secret, trying to sound lighthearted. He was rewarded with her tinkling laughter. Unfortunately, it was short-lived.
“I’m sure you heard that she wants me to marry Arlin.” Kayla glanced up at him but quickly looked away.
“Yeah, I’ve heard. How do you feel about that?”
She looked surprised that he would ask such a question. “I no believe Arlin wants to marry me. Have you seen the way he acts?”
“That’s not what I asked. How do you feel?”
Kayla turned sullen again. “It doesn’t matter how I feel. This is no about my feelings. This is about what’s best for the clan.”
“I beg to differ. This is all about how you feel.”
“’Tis easy for you to say. You’re a man. You do as you please. You’ve no one to tell you what to do or who to marry. Your life is your own. Mine is not.”
He was tempted to argue with her. Lately, it didn’t feel like his life was his own. But this wasn’t about him. “You still haven’t told me how you feel. What would you do if it was up to you?”
“I would no marry Arlin. I would send him and the whole MacDonald clan away tomorrow.”
“Can’t say that I blame you. I haven’t found them to be all that grand myself.” Daniel gave a lighthearted chuckle. In the dim moonlight, he could see her smile. Barely, but he had gotten a smile out of her.
“It doesn’t matter. They no listen to me.”
Daniel reached for her hand and brought it to his lips. “I’m listening.”
She remained perfectly still, her eyes large and searching, her lips slightly parted. Holding her hand in his, he placed the palm of her hand to rest against his chest. Alone with her in the dark, it was too easy to give in to the temptation that had been plaguing him since the moment he met her. He dropped his head, placed his lips over hers, and kissed her. Ever so softly, he kissed her.
Dear Mother of God, she was sweet. He could feel her melting on his lips like warm milk chocolate, and dang if her taste wasn’t every bit as delicious. He brought his free hand up to cup her cheek. Her lips parted, welcoming, inviting, and he delved deeper. He felt her fingers on his chest grab at his shirt, bunching the fabric in her fist, hanging on and pulling him close.
He pulled back for only a second to check her reaction. He saw longing and desire in her eyes. It was enough for him. He reached for her again, pulling her close. He could feel her reaction as she responded to his kiss, her body seeking his. He laid her down beside him as he rolled over on the hay, aligning their bodies in a lover’s embrace.
Though she was innocent, and slightly awkward in her movements, he could feel the heated need in her response. He held her close, allowing his hand to roam freely over her body, exploring her lush curves, imagining the soft naked flesh concealed beneath the layers of her clothing. Thank God for her clothing. It was a thin but vital protection from his blatant desires. But it didn’t protect her from his kisses. He smothered her with his kisses, and she yielded. Holding nothing back, she took as he gave.
He wondered when he had last made out with an innocent woman like her. Ten, maybe twelve, years ago. The sensation was unnerving. He wanted to pull the clothes from her body and ravish her right then and there. For one primordial moment, he nearly gave in to temptation. He buried his face in the softness of her neck and bosom, breathing in her scent, earthy, and fresh, and totally woman. He had to stop. He had to control himself. But it was too damn hard. He was too damn hard.
He had just reached a hand up under her skirt, seeking naked flesh, when suddenly he heard a noise. She stiffened. She’d heard it too. Almost as bad as being allowed to continue his ravishment of her body was the embarrassment of being interrupted. His first thought was for Kayla. He couldn’t let anyone find her like this. The consequences would be too hard on her.
He motioned for her to be quiet. It was a rather needless gesture. She had no intention of making any noise. Softly, silently, he rolled away from her into the dark recesses of the narrow stall. He reached out to help straighten her clothing, pulling bits of straw from her hair and clothes. She understood. Pulling her close for one last kiss, he whispered into her ear, “You have to go.”
She impressed him with her stealth. Moving with quiet efficiency, she made her way over to the next stall, holding her horse, and began to brush the animal’s hide. She then began to whisper words of endearment, as if speaking for Sallie’s ears only. Daniel appreciated her ingenuity. Within seconds, he heard a man’s voice call out to her.
“Hey, Kayla, what are ye doing out here?” It was Rory.
Daniel breathed a little easier, but maintained his hiding place deep in the shadows of the last stall, his back against the wall. Rory was by far the more easygoing of the brothers, but Daniel had no doubts that Rory would obligingly kick his ass if he thought Daniel was trying to take advantage of his little sister.
“I couldn’t sleep. I took a walk out here to check on Sallie,” Kayla replied.
“Alone?” Rory questioned.
“Aye, alone.” Daniel could hear the trepidation in Kayla’s voice. He wondered if Rory heard it too.
“’Tis late. Ye should be up in your chamber, getting some sleep.”
Kayla yawned. “I’ll be going there now. Will ye walk with me?”
Good girl, Daniel thought.
“Aye, come along now.”
Daniel could hear Kayla walk away, headed toward Rory. He crawled to the edge of the stall and very cautiously peered through a space in the boards. Rory wrapped an arm around Kayla, and they started walking away. Daniel let out the breath he’d been holding. A moment before they stepped out of the stables, Rory paused and turned to look over his shoulder. “Ye best get yourself to bed too, Daniel,” Rory called out.
Kayla gasped, Rory laughed, and Daniel beat his fist against the wall. Dang, they were busted.