Welcome to the In The Pages of a Good Book One Year Anniversary Blog Hop & Facebook Takeover!

This Blog Hop’s theme is Friendship. Next Wednesday, September 3rd, would have been my childhood BFF’s fifty-eight birthday. June 30th was the sixth anniversary of the death of Scottie, an incredible person and someone who made my life, and those of all privileged enough to be called friend, joyful.
Somewhere, somehow, sometime, in our youth, Tamarind, Scottie, and I became “The Three Musketeers.” Knowing Scottie, she would want us to celebrate her life, and I do so by giving you a sneak preview of my upcoming release, Book Two in the Prymal Series, Prymal Obsession and sharing at the end Scottie’s favorite Tamarind Ribs recipe.
Prymal Obsession:

The primal call of Mate Claim sparks a battle among the three species of shifters—Wylfen, Feral, & Rogue—and has for generations. These violent feuds incite hunts by humankind, driving shifters near extinction. To protect their people the aristocratic Wylfen ban the practice of Mate Claim. When a Rogue alpha claims a Wylfen female, the mated pair forms a coalition with a Feral male. An alliance is created: Prymal, a new species & pack born of Rogue, Wylfen, & Feral. And war begins…

Brut Jurango’s pack is one of butt-ugly misfits, and he’s devoted to each and every member. When his mate and his entire pack are’s slaughtered, he lives for one sole purpose–revenge. Brut’s a mixed breed, wolf, panther, and human. He had a mate, and shifters are supposed to have only one in a lifetime. So why can’t he resist Sidonie Walker’s call? Or is this just one more lie proliferated by the Wylfen?

Excerpt – Prymal Obsession – R- Rated:
This excerpt actually takes place in the first book in the series, Prymal Lust. This is when Brut and Sidonie first meet while Tania, the heroine, is auditioning to become the chef for the tapas bar, The Grape Escape, which Sidonie owns.

“They’re here.” Bandit stalked to her side. “Take a deep breath, darlin’. Now, smile. Your tasting menu’s delicious, eclectic, and a complete winner. If this idiot can’t recognize you’re a five star chef, then he doesn’t deserve you.”

Tania shot him a grateful glance. “I can’t thank you enough.”

She swept a glance around the other Prymal members. “All of you. I couldn’t have finished all this without you. I owe you each and every one of you. Big time.”

“Did we tell you our newly adopted motto? All for one and one for all.” The Kydd smiled at her.

Jurango studied the ceiling for a brief second and shook his head.

The back door eased open.

“That’s quite the tale, Sidonie.” Axe’s deep voice resonated through the kitchen.

Tania held her breath, her gaze glued to the widening space between the door and the kitchen wall. She blinked. Knuckled her eyes and re-focused.

A walking sex bomb pranced into the room.

The curvaceous woman had to be no more than five feet, but the six inch stilettos she wore thrust an alluring décolletage forward, and gave her the illusion of height.

She shot Axe what could only be described as a come-f**k-me, sex-kitten smile. “Querido call me Sid. Everyone does. Hmmm, this kitchen smells so delish, I’m about to have a foodie-orgasm.”

Tania bit her tongue. Fisted her hands. She had just so lost the job of chef at The Grape Escape. If ‘Sid’ so much as touched Axe the woman would have two black eyes and be thrown down the deck stairs.

Wild strawberry blonde curls danced around tanned, muscle-defined bare shoulders when Sid did a half pirouette. Her piercing blue eyes honed onto Jurango, slouched in his usual corner between the fridge and the counter. She waved slender fingers with oval-shaped lilac-painted nails. Her focus never wavered from Jurango. “Introduce me, Axe.”

Tania worked her jaw when the sleaze planted one hand on her hip and assumed a perfect red-carpet-pose.

Eva sidled closer to Tania. “What the heck is she not wearing?”

‘Sid’ almost wore a jeans skirt, a mauve spaghetti-strapped tank top with a short unzipped denim jacket. The pastel purple tank should’ve clashed with her hair, but instead somehow made her perfect ringlet curls glow. The skirt’s hem just, just brushed the apex of Sid’s shapely and toned thighs.

Tania barely managed to jerk her thoughts from murderous mayhem when Axe said, “Sid, this is my fiancée, Tania. Tania, meet Sidonie, the owner of The Grape Escape. Sid, in order, meet Eva, Jurango, The Kydd, Bandit, and Lycus.”

Tania spread her lips. Snarled, “Hello Sid. You’re late, Axe.”

Axe quirked a brow.

“Oh, dahling, don’t blame your hunky man. It was all my fault. I had to clean up a little ‘situation’ at the wine bar.” Sid beamed and ringed a finger around the tank’s neckline.

Not once had Sid looked Tania’s way.

The woman couldn’t haul her stare from Jurango’s scowling face. “Jurango, was it? Such an unusual name. Are you part of Tania’s cooking retinue?”

Jurango straightened. “No ma’am. I’m a simple ranch hand. With work to do. Later.”

Sid flinched as if struck physically. She recovered her aplomb in a millisecond and flashed a flawless, dimpled smile. Bright pink washed over her cheeks, but she firmed her chin, and traced Jurango’s rapid exit. Inspected the floor for a mere half a heartbeat. Took a deep inhale. “Not one for words, your Jurango.”

“Don’t take it personally, darlin’. He’s like that with everyone.” Bandit’s pleasant tone belied the anger glistening in his blue-black eyes.

Thumb hooked in a belt loop, the Kydd ambled over to Sidonie, and flashed her the smile that had won the retired UFC fighter turned actor a million followers on Facebook. He tipped his Stetson back to a rakish angle and drawled, “An absolute pleasure to meet you, sugah. The Grape Escape’s just become my favorite watering hole. I’ll round up my Hollywood buddies for the grand opening. Anything else you need, sugah, just whistle. I’ll get your cell from Tania later. Expect my call. It pains me to have to leave, but I’ve a prior commitment.”

Stunned, Tania couldn’t do anything but stare at The Kydd. She missed Sidonie’s reply to The Kydd’s declaration, and traced him as he strolled out the kitchen doorway.

Axe, looking prickle-pear cactus irritated, engaged Sidonie in a low conversation.

“Is it me, or did Kydd Kolton just announce Sidonie’s his newest f**k target?” Eva whispered.

Tania managed to retrieve her jaw from the floor. “Wow. I do believe that we just witnessed the formation of a sexual triangle inferno.”

“The static electricity in this room could fuel half of San Diego.” Eva did a mock-swipe of her forehead. “Whew.”

Hope you enjoyed!

ribs close up (2)Scottie’s Tamarind Ribs Recipe

5lbs Baby Back ribs
Coarse ground salt and pepper- it really does make a difference if you freshly grind both
1 cup Ketchup
2 level tablespoons soya sauce
3 level tablespoons tamarind concentrate (you can get this at Asian groceries)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Four minced large garlic cloves (you can adjust this, I love garlic)
A dash of hot sauce, your favorite, to taste (I have one son who loves hot, one who can’t abide, so I always err on the light side)
Depending upon the company coming, I may add a dash of either peanut or sesame oil to taste. I have a friend who is allergic to peanuts– check with your guests. Seal the ribs and the marinade in a plastic bag and turn every 12 hours for 24 hours.
Preheat your oven to the lowest possible temperature, which is probably around 170. Seal the ribs in two layers of aluminum foil (we say al-oo-m-i-u-m, you say aloominum). Set the ribs on a non-stick pan and roast for around 8 hours.

Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Sear the ribs (they’re already cooked). Serve with lots of tamarind sauce (recipe follows).

rib sauceTamarind Sauce
1 lb raw tamarind pods, brittle outer coating removed (hah, you Trinis say — talk about spouting the obvious. Ahem, I do live in the US and lawsuits…need I say more?)
1 cup brown sugar — Demerara if you can find it
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon each of minced ginger, garlic, and thyme
1 cup dark unflavored rum
Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the above ingredients until the mixture thickens (alternately, you can do this in a slow cooker overnight), drain, and serve with the ribs.

My side dishes to this are usually crusty toasted French bread and a potato/green bean/ bacon/ salad tossed with a blue cheese vinaigrette. The green beans are healthy, the potato is the starch, and, well, the blue cheese and the bacon are food for your soul. Of course, wine and beer just add to the gusto!

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Wilde Wolf!

chest - shower - ThomasJames18 (2)I’m hot and heavy into my new paranormal suspense, Wilde Wolf. My poor dh is going nuts as I ignored him for the whole weekend. I did take the time off to cook  him and my two sons an incredible dinner last night, but it seems that wasn’t enough. Sigh. When a story’s flowing like Wilde Wolf is, it’s hard for me to think of anything else. Also, it kind of pisses the dh off when I paste my pic of my new hero at my desk. Yeah, that’s right. That’s my vision of the hero of Wilde Wolf. Yummy, huh?

Here’s a little teaser from Wilde Wolf:

Jas cut in between Mishe and Tania. He turned, half-backing her, and she glimpsed the top of a white Navy cap emblazoned with a silver eagle and gold bands.

“Senior Chief Johnson, meet my father, Arman Prakov, my mother, Orlenda Prakov.” Tania scooted around Mishe and peered at the striking man standing beside Jas.

A drop-dead walking testosterone hunk. His wide shoulders and military stance, spine board-stiff, seemed vaguely familiar.

Heat scaled her throat when she visualized the broad back of her gym lover. For long moments all she saw, felt, and smelt was the fragrant steam in the shower stall coating her skin while he hammered into her. Flustered, she stared unseeing at the medals above the man’s left pocket.

“Pleasure to meet you both.” Senior Chief Johnson shook her father’s hand and tipped his hat at her mother.

“Senior Chief Johnson is the lead trainer for BUD/s Class three twenty-one. I signed the contract for the class two weeks ago.” Jas made the announcement in such a blasé tone that, at first, the meaning of what he’d said didn’t penetrate Tania’s gray matter.

Her jaw dropped. She snapped her teeth together so hard they squeaked. Omigod. Jas had signed up for SEAL training.

Dad’s complexion turned a painful red. At any point, Tania expected to hear him roar.

“I’m certain there’s been some sort of mistake.” Arman crossed his arms and wolf-stared the senior chief.

“No mistake, Dad. I enlisted four weeks ago. Contracts are signed. I leave for Coronado in the morning.”

“Jashuka—this can’t be true.” Her mother wailed as she grabbed Jas’s forearm. “What have you done? Arman, do something. My baby’s not going to war.”

Red blotches stained Jas’s tanned cheeks. “Dad, Mom, let’s take this discussion elsewhere. Breede, Mishe, Tania, Senior Chief Johnson, we’ll hook up with you in the dining hall in a few.”

“Problem, Jas?” Another man in uniform emerged from behind the senior chief.

That voice.

It couldn’t be.

She craned her neck and met her gym lover’s contemptuous glare.

Tania’s knees wobbled. She grabbed Mishe’s arm.

“No, sir. A slight misunderstanding. Easily remedied.” Jas addressed his answer to the man who’d screwedTania silly not five hours ago. “Senior Chief Smith. This is…”

She didn’t hear a word beyond that. Her mind froze. Her fingertips iced over. His musky aroma surrounded her like a whirling top, wrapping tighter and tighter until all she smelled was him, them, sex.

“This is my sister, Tania. Senior Chiefs Johnson and Smith are the lead trainers for SEAL Class Three Twenty-one. Of which I am part.” Jas elbowed her when she didn’t respond.

Hope you enjoyed!



Squee! Branded by Étaín hits the Kindle & ARe Best Seller Lists!

Branded_by_Etain-Jianne_Carlo-banner468x60Well, it didn’t last long, but Branded by Étaín made it onto the Kindle Top 100 list!


And That Pearly Drop is #40 on the ARe Best Seller list (and it released in October – yay!).

I’ve never paid attention to these lists – too depressing if you never make them and too addictive to chart a new release’s dramatic climb and drop. For Branded though a fan emailed me the book’s rise and fall every couple of hours or so. Yuck. I hope never to know again. Honestly, I’d prefer to be blissfully unaware – it’s too easy to stumble into that I’ve-no-talent-and-should-quit crevasse.

So, today I’m grateful for the news, but plan to stop this maddening, obsessive, endless loop of checking book and author stats constantly.

Branded_by_Etain-Jianne_Carlo-200x320I leave you with another titillating preview of Branded by Étaín:

“When begins The Choosing?”

“I know not if I will wait for it. I am loath to gamble on her choosing me.” Brand fingered the stubble on his chin.

Once every five summers on the last night of the festival of Lúnasa, the women of Caul Cairlinne could choose their mate. The church blessed the unions, which lasted a year and a day. After that time, the couples could decide to remain married or separate.

“’Twould be better if she picked you.”

“Aye, but what if she does not?” Brand’s gaze never wavered from the line of marriageable women weaving their way through the hall.

He held his breath when Étaín came into view. Her glorious golden curls hung in glistening tendrils clear to her knees. She had a habit of flaring her nostrils and firming her chin when all eyes were upon her. He knew in his gut she hated being the center of attention.

’Twas her obvious vulnerability that stirred him.

’Twas her startling beauty that had him hard and aching in a heartbeat.

He had studied her these past months searching for flaws, for the arrogance and conceit that always accompanied females of royal birth, and found naught. She spoke to beggar and princes alike with the same gentle inquiry, gifted all with a sparkling smile that twisted his belly into coils, and appeared unaware of the rough sailors and traders who stared at her with blatant, greedy lust.

A slight draft molded the fine linen of the leine she wore around her firm breasts. She blinked and unerringly swung her head and met his stare. A smile fluttered around her rosy lips.

Those haunting eyes the color of rich molasses spoke to him.

He fisted his hands, the urge to reach for her nigh overwhelming.


She halted for a moment as if hearing his silent declaration, and the sheer joy lighting her features dazzled him. All the blood in his body pooled in his groin. Desire speared him.

Taking a deep breath, Brand inclined his head and smiled.

Her teeth gleamed snowy white under the flickering candles when she beamed at him. Giving a little shake of her head, she dipped into her basket and threw petals and green-needled twigs high into the air. A couple of skips and a hop later, she arrived at the dais, the last female to line up below the table, and made a graceful curtsey.

King Mac Eiccnigh mac Dalagh had taken his place on the dais and stood smiling benignly at the women standing before him, his gaze lingering on Étaín. The pride on his face could not be denied, nor the love.

Brand inspected the others present at the high table. He had made it his business to know who was who in Caul Cairlinne.

Étaín’s two younger sisters stood on either side of the king. Irvin, a distant relative, stood at the left end of table speaking with a couple of his warriors. To the right of King Mac Eiccnigh mac Dalagh, three of the men who stood as Caul Cairlinne’s elderly council watched the assembly while sipping from brass goblets. Five women who had seen at least two score summers stood whispering and grinning at the line of young women before the high table.

Two men on either side of the dais put long curved trumpets to their lips and blew. A series of triumphant, melodic blasts echoed around the great hall.

“Hear ye, hear ye,” one of the elders on the dais yelled.

“The ear of corn has been planted, the bull slaughtered,” another declared.

“’Tis time for The Choosing,” the last shouted.

“Princess Étaín, do you choose or not?” King Mac Eiccnigh mac Dalagh asked, his sole focus on his daughter.

The hall fell silent. Every pair of eyes in the packed chamber trained on the petite Princess.

Hope you enjoyed!



Author Allie Ritch’s Sexy New Release – In Season!

Today I’m thrilled to have as my guest blogger author Allie Ritch. Her new release is the prequel to her best seller, Mating Season, and is entitled ‘In Season’. Like all of Allie’s works, both books are incredibly original, hot, and all-consuming.

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Here’s a little bit about Allie;

Hello, everybody, I’m Allie Ritch. I write erotic sci-fi and paranormal romance, so if you like a little extra spice in your romance, then you’re in the right place. More often than not, I’m lost in my own little world, and you can catch a few glimpses of that imaginative landscape in my work. Be forewarned, some pages will have you fanning those blushing cheeks.

I have an active imagination and have always enjoyed fantastical elements in stories, books, movies, and other artistic mediums. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, or just a romantic tale with a twist. I adore being entertained, and I like being creative and entertaining others. For me, the realm of fiction is the perfect playground, so I hope you’ll come out and play.

I told you Allie’s an original – didn’t I? Now take it away, Allie.

MatingSeasonEach book I write has its own journey and its own challenges, and In Season, the sequel to Mating Season, is no exception.

I first concocted Mating Season after the notion of doing a winter-themed work collided in my brain with a wildlife documentary that had inspired me. When Mating Season was released, I had no idea it would become my most popular work. I was flattered and thrilled to see how well readers received it and then shocked when a couple of people mentioned wanting to see more in the series. Huh? Series? I hadn’t thought of doing a sequel to Mating Season, but once the idea was planted in my head, I kept thinking about it.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized Gilby deserved his own story. There were a couple of obstacles, though. In Mating Season, Gilby was a short, chatty fellow who tended to blurt out whatever was on his mind. He was also loyal, brave, and honest. I refused to change him. I think we’ve all read series where the secondary character from an earlier book somehow morphs into an entirely different personality by the time he takes center stage. Gilby wasn’t going to get bigger or quieter or any more tactful. He already had a lot of excellent qualities and was fine the way he was. He just needed to find someone who could see all his good points and love him for his true self. He needed the heroine, Miksa. The challenge, which I hope I succeeded at, was to present Gilby to readers in such a way that they see him as Miksa does.

The second difficulty I faced was to keep the story fresh and flowing well. I didn’t want to repeat what I’d done in Mating Season, but there were certain elements that had to be included because of the first book. Namely, I was still going to have the arctic planet of Jensen, the Children of Nanook (the frost-bear shifters), and the challenge of finding love in a frozen wilderness.

I hate to say something unbearably clichéd like every snowflake is unique, but in the end it did come down to a simple matter of Gilby making In Season special. He’s a very different type of hero, and thus his story has its own flavor. Gilby isn’t like Koll, and his romance with Miksa isn’t either. As for keeping good pacing, I opted to make this work a short novella to prevent the story from lagging or dragging out. Like Gilby, In Season is short and sweet. I really hope readers enjoy it.

I’ve included an excerpt below to tease you, and I’m also doing a giveaway. Please include your e-mail address in a comment for a chance to win a copy of In Season. Good luck!


All Gilby wants is to find a female who will spend the mating season with him. Yes, he’s short. And yes, he talks too much and doesn’t often watch what he says, but he has a lot to offer.

Rejected by her fellow shifters because she can’t change into a frost bear, Miksa travels to the clawless people’s village to look for a mate. With his sexy scent and good humor, could Gilby be the male for her? Can he help her unlock the magic that will let her shift?

Love comes in all different shapes and sizes, and sometimes it even has claws.


Gilby walked to a fireplace in the adjoining room and bent to stir the flames. She’d never taken an interest in a male’s backside before, but there was something about the taut stretch of his pants over his firm bottom that made her want to sink her teeth into him. Sparks rose, and the flames sputtered and popped as they grew.

His voice was clear and masculine. “You’ve just seen the front entrance, of course. I use this as a common room for entertaining guests. The bedroom is behind me, if you’d like to see it and—”

A series of yips from the far side of the house interrupted him.

Gilby lifted his head. “Just a moment, Halle and Onnika! We have company!” He glanced her way. “My sled hounds. They always get excited when I first come home. Those canines are the most loyal friends a man could ever ask for, and they’ve been with me since they were newborn pups.”

“They’re both female?”

His slow smile made everything inside her coil tight. “I really like females. Do you want to meet them?”

“Yes.” The affection in his tone made her want to see him with the animals.

“Right this way. They bed down in the kennel attached to the house.” He walked down the hallway to her left and opened a door that led to the hounds. “There are my girls.”

She could see the canines were enclosed in a space large enough for them to walk around, but small enough to keep them out of trouble. It was warm and inviting, and the hounds smelled of excitement and happiness when they spotted their master. They were both as tall as Gilby. One was black with a white face and underside, while the other had the same pattern but with gold instead of black. Otherwise they looked identical. At least, she thought the hounds matched until they moved their feet.

“What’s wrong with the dark one’s leg?” Miksa asked.

Instead of resting on the ground, the front right paw was folded toward the animal’s ankle. The hound could step on it, but she obviously couldn’t put her full weight on the limb.

Gilby petted the black-and-white hound. “Halle was born with the deformity—not that she ever notices it much. She loves to run. Most sleds are pulled by a single hound, but I use them both and put Onnika in front to help her sister. She keeps Halle moving forward in a straight line and makes up for her lack of strength on the right side. With the two of them pulling the sled and me not weighing as much as most men, I can really fly.”

His pleasure and pride in his hounds was obvious. She also recognized that speed could be as valuable, or even more useful, than brute strength.

Having greeted their master, the canines turned their attention to Miksa. She wasn’t sure how they’d react to her scent. Most animals grew agitated around the Children of Nanook since they sensed the predator beneath the skin. The gold-toned one, Onnika, responded with wariness and uncertainty, audibly sniffing without drawing closer. Ironically, it was Halle—clearly the more submissive hound—who was the first to venture closer. The hound kept her head low as she limped up to Miksa and smelled her all over. Halle must have been satisfied because she snorted and walked back to Gilby when she was done.

“They adore you,” she observed.

“The feeling is mutual.” Gilby continued to beam at his girls, as he called them, and ruffled their fur. Then he turned and gave Miksa an intense look. “You should know I take excellent care of what’s mine.”

Just like that, the sexual tension that had filled her body returned. She grew hyperaware of her breasts, and she felt like she was melting between her legs.

“You said you wanted to inspect my body,” he reminded her. “Maybe I should show you the bedroom?”

Miksa responded with an anticipatory growl. She followed him out of the kennel and back into the main part of the house. His bedroom, she discovered, was a large but cozy space. A small fire heated the room, while the fur blankets on the bed promised a sensual treat.

Gilby stood within the glow of the flames and pulled his shirt off over his head. He revealed strong arms and a chiseled chest and abs. She was pleased to see that he was well proportioned, though he was no less impressive for packing so much muscle onto a short frame.

Her gaze tracked his tongue as it darted out to moisten his bottom lip. “How much do you want to see?”

“Everything.” She didn’t even have to think about her answer.

LSB Buy Link: http://www.lsbooks.com/allie-ritch-c35.php

You can contact Allie at:

Website/Blog: http://allieritich.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Allie-Ritch/e/B007NL8FMO

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AllieRitch

Hope you enjoyed!

Don’t forget to leave your email for a chance to win a copy of IN SEASON!


Barbara Longley – Goddess Fish Burb Blitz – 04/22/13 to 05/17/13!

MEDIA KIT Authro PhotoMy guest today is author Barbara Longley, who’s celebrating her latest release, The Difference a Day Makes , with a  Goddess Fish Blurb Blitz. Without further ado, I give you Barbara!


 As a child, Barbara Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing.

MEDIA KIT CoverTheDifferenceADayMakes



Ryan Malloy has lost it all. After his fiancée dies in a tragic accident, he enlists in the army, only to lose his best friend in a roadside bombing. Wracked with guilt and grief, Ryan finds life unbearable—until a job offer from his former commander gives him a glimmer of hope. And in the tiny town of Perfect, Indiana, the man who thought he had nothing left to live for meets the only woman who can tempt him into risking his battered heart one last time…

Paige Langford has it all: wealth, beauty, and ambition. But when her boyfriend’s betrayal leads to the loss of her job and her reputation, she retreats to her brother’s rural Indiana home to regroup. There she meets Ryan Malloy, a gruff, hard-drinking loner whose surly temper can’t hide the haunted misery in his eyes. He is everything Paige never wanted, yet he may be exactly what she needs—if only they can overcome their personal demons to forge a love strong enough to save them both.


 “Hi, honey. I’m home.” Ryan’s voice reverberated through the stillness, bounced off the bare walls, and came back to mock him. He set his lunchbox on the kitchen counter and leaned over to retrieve his supper from under the sink—a brand-new bottle of Johnnie Walker Red.

Gripping the bottle by the neck, he moved to the living room and set it on the coffee table next to his vintage .357 revolver, the letter he’d written to his folks, and the picture of his platoon, Task Force Iron, First Armored Division, Fourth Brigade. One more item, and he could begin his nightly ritual. He retrieved the snapshot of Theresa from his billfold, laid it down, and took his place on the couch.

Letter. Pictures. Gun. Bottle.

Theresa. Reaching out, he traced the laminated photo with his finger. His throat tightened. God, he missed her. How different his life would be if he hadn’t insisted they go riding that morning five years ago. He’d be coming home every evening from some swank advertising agency job. They’d have a couple of kids by now. A family. His family. He’d be surrounded by love instead of this soul-sucking loneliness.

Ah, but he wasn’t entirely alone, not if the hollow-eyed ghosts plaguing him counted. He closed his eyes, and images from the suicide bombing near Mosul played across his shattered mind.



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Have fun with Barbara and follow her on the Blitz Tour!