I’m please to announce that Away Over Yonder, the third and final book of my Ellers Family time-travel adventures is now available at all major on-line booksellers.
Sometimes the road to forgiveness is away over yonder . . .
Alex MacDonald will use charm, hard work, or whatever else it takes to get his skittish Clydesdales working again so he can prove to his cantankerous father that he has what it takes to run the family business. When he goes in search of the best horse whisperer available, he finds Breanna Ellers, the sweetest little Scottish lass this side of Inverness. There’s only one problem; for reasons unknown to Alex, she hates the MacDonalds. Alex isn’t above telling a little white lie to hide his last name, not if it means healing his horses and saving the family business.
Breanna Ellers of the MacNicol clan may be a bit old-fashioned, but her psychic ability to connect to animals makes her one of the best horse trainers in Northern California. She’s reluctant to leave Over-Yonder, the family ranch, but the challenge of working with Alex and his Clydesdales proves too tempting to ignore. When she discovers that Alex is a MacDonald, it’s nearly a deal breaker. She hates the MacDonalds and what they did to the MacNicol clan back on the Isle of Skye. It doesn’t matter that the battle took place over eight hundred years ago; to a woman born in 1308 it’s still recent history.
It’ll take a special kind of magic, and a whole lot of forgiveness, to bring these two ill-fated lovers together—again.
My very best to you and I hope you enjoy, always. T
This is a little story I heard recently in response to my often asked question: How did you meet your Lover?
Jenny had gone to a local bar with her sister and some friends to celebrate her sister’s recent promotion at work. She wasn’t much of a regular attendee at bars and this night she ended up drinking a club soda and sitting a bit apart from her sister, who was getting a bit too drunk, but who can blame her it was her celebration.
Jenny was sitting at one of those taller bar tables where you have to sit on a bar stool, not a regular table, when she took note of a man sitting down on the bar stool next to her. She took note that he was a rather nice looking man, but other than that she paid him no attention. After all, she was suppose to be there with her sister and while she was single, she wasn’t on the lookout for a new man in her life. Well, you know what they say about when you’re not looking.
Soon after the man took a seat next to her, she heard him being greeting by another man, apparently one of his buddies.
Buddy asked Man sitting next to Jenny; “So who’s your friend?”
Man sitting next to Jenny answered; “I don’t know her and I don’t think she want’s to know me.”
This, of course, intrigued Jenny. Without a moment of hesitation she turned to the Man sitting next to her and asked, “Why would you say that?”
Looking a little chagrin to have been overheard, the Man sitting next to Jenny said, “Because you’ve ignored me since I sat down.”
Jenny chuckled, “That doesn’t mean I don’t want to know you. It only means I didn’t make an effort to strike up a conversation with you. Just because you took a seat next to me doesn’t mean I have to talk to you.” But even as she said that, she knew it would have been a nice and polite thing to do.
Which he quickly pointed out by saying, “But if you DID want to know me, wouldn’t you have made the effort?”
Of course, he also could have started a conversation with her, but he hadn’t.
Jenny said, “Maybe I didn’t say anything because I’m shy.” Which of course wasn’t’ true, as demonstrated by her ability to easily jump in to his conversation with his buddy.
Man next to her said, “Well, are you?”
Jenny asked, “Am I what? Shy?”
“No, interested in getting to know me?” Man said.
Well, now Jenny had a problem. She could either admit she had no interest in meeting the Man sitting next to her, (which seemed rude) or she could claim that yes, she wanted to know all about him. Feeling frisky and up for the challenge, she opted to go with the latter option to see where it would lead. Besides,she figured if things turned sour, she could always go in search of her sister to dump the guy. (Harsh, but true.)
Jenny soon learned that Man sitting next to her was named Bob, and they spent the next hour discussing the merits of mating rituals conducted at bars, among other such topics. Jenny had a grand time, Bob made her laugh, always a good sign, and they had such a good time that before the evening was over, they exchanged contact info. They then arranged to meet again for dinner to continue their intense conversation, and they soon discovered in each other someone they wanted to get to know better.
Several months later they’re still having intense conversations and are well on their way to happily ever after, or where ever else their romantic journey may take them.
So how did Jenny met her lover?
She ignored him until he got her attention.
Enjoy always, T
Allow me to Delve into the dark world of the letter D, a darn misunderstood letter, if you ask me, when it comes to the world of romance. I hope you won’t be discouraged, or disenchanted, by my dazzling discourse on our Dear letter D; which I believe has been often darkly denoted in romance down through the ages.
One can easily be deceived by a daily dose of dishonorable devilish dandies who only dote on disbelieving debutantes in a desire to disgrace them. As such, we cannot help but wonder how many delicate young ladies making their social debut have been deflowered over the decades by debonair dickheads doing their darnest to deceive the dainty little darlings. Perhaps our dainty darling’s decadent display of décolleté in designer dresses is a deciding factor, but nonetheless, low cut necklines do not dismiss drunken demonstrations of defiantly devious decorum or any other deviant devotion to decadence.
Dapper Daredevils (aka dickheads) may devise diabolical devices to divert damsels onto davenports, or some other large old-fashioned sofa, where they can dazzle them with droll drivel, but a truly determined heroine will not be deceived by such dastardly deeds done dirt cheap.
A truly divine heroine is not a docile dummy. She will rise above such dramatic deceptions heaped upon her by dimwitted dunderheads, earning our undying devotion for her daring detachment from dubious duplicity.
Yes, in the end, our dynamic heroine (and hero) will persevere to herald the dawn of a bright new day with a well-deserved drumroll of approval, and hopefully, a double dash of durable, yet dreamy desirability.
And so, my Darling letter D, dream away if you dare, and be the dandiest letter in all of romance.
Cheers, and Enjoy always, T
Romance with the letter C – Or taking alliteration to a dark and extreme place of Concerted Concentration.
One cumulus cloud free day, Count Carl and Ms. Clovis Cummings were cavorting in his castle with countless chivalrous cavilers and a cavalcade of clairvoyant cowboys, getting quite carried away creating crafty confections as they cut Christmas trees out of colored card stock, when suddenly Count Carl cried out, “Let us cease our cutting of colorful card stock. Certainly a cloudless day such as this deserves our concentrated consideration.”
Ms. Cummings stopped consuming the creamy custard candies she had crammed in her hand and gave a curt nod of concurrence. “But of course, it shall be as you command,” she coquettishly gave her consent.
Taking Ms. Cummings by the hand, Count Carl invited his consort to climb a curiously carved curricular staircase to the top of the curtain wall where they could see the crystal clear waters of Lake Cuomo.
“How curious,” Ms. Clovis said, “I had no idea the view was so comely.”
“Did you say you were coming?” countered the Count with a cocky grin.
“No, but I am breathing heavy. It must be caused by the climactic scene set before me,” she confessed. Or perhaps too many creamy custard candies, she considered with chagrin.
“So you like being on top?” Count Carl asked with a cough. “I mean on top of the curtain wall, of course.”
“Oh yes,” explained Ms. Clovis. “I find being on top is the most climactic place to be, don’t you agree.”
“In that, we are a completely compatible consenting couple. I believe we should climb our curlicue staircase more often,” Count Carl concurred.
“How very convincing you are. It shall be as you wish,” Ms. Clovis Cummings conveyed with cheerful candor.
And such was the fitting culmination to an exceedingly crafty and cunning day.
Cheers, and Enjoy always, T
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.