I’m sad that there’s only 2 days left of this contest. I’m having fun!

Thanks so much to everyone who’s concerned about my arm. I really appreciate it! I’m sure it’ll be better soon.

Today’s excerpt is from Sweet Forever


Excitement ran through Ben as he waited for Hayden to collect her things. It was a double-edged sword, though. The reason for Hayden coming to stay with him was less than pleasant. He wanted Lu to be her old, spunky self. He was afraid that these episodes with her heart were becoming too frequent. He wouldn’t enjoy the other downfall, having Sally under his roof, either. The woman was as obvious and persistent as a horsefly. And as annoying.

What a difference between her and Hayden.

He looked forward to seeing Hayden every day. Just the thought of having her at the breakfast table every morning, looking at him with those russet brown eyes and the shy smile that made him want more.

How the hell was he going to be able to concentrate on the guests who’d start arriving on Friday with Hayden distracting him?

“I’m ready.”

Hayden stood by the door, bag in hand and two blank canvases tucked under each arm. Her dark brown hair caught glints of sunlight that flooded in past the sheer curtains. The rays enveloped her body in some kind of ethereal glow. And for the first time in his life, Ben was star-struck by a woman. He realized that he was already half in love with her, and if she gave him the chance he’d fall the rest of the way.

Without much more than the need to be near her in his head, Ben closed the distance between them, took the canvases and bag from her, set them gently to the ground and took her face between his hands.

Before he lowered his mouth to hers, he let his fingertips slide over the smooth skin of her cheeks, pushing aside a lock of hair that curled over his thumb. He touched her lips tentatively, to find out if she’d pull away. But she didn’t. She didn’t lean into his kiss either, but she let his mouth touch hers in a feather light caress. Her sigh couldn’t be disguised though and he let the tiny gesture embolden him. He let one hand drift into her soft hair, sinking his fingers into the tangle of curls. His mouth pushed more insistently on hers, inviting her to be a participant in this kiss. The heat of the contact spread from his lips downward until his whole body felt like it was on fire. He was certain she could hear his heart pounding.

His hands dropped away from her head and glided down over her shoulders and her back, one finding a resting place on her hips and the other remaining on the small of her back. He pulled her closer so her body snuggled in against his. She was a perfect fit.

Against his shirt, he could feel the pressure of her arms snaking around his waist, and he smiled against her mouth. Her embrace was a good sign, a very good sign. He wanted to taste her, to know every inch of her. His desire for her reached an alarming peak. Made more alarming by the urgency that she seemed to be returning the kiss. No longer shy or testing, Hayden pressed herself closer to him, her hands climbing up his back to his shoulders and into his hair, pushing his Stetson askew until it finally tipped off his head and fell to the floor.

Everything inside him, from the hard beat of his heart against his chest and the rush of blood through his veins, centered around her. Her kiss sent the pit of his stomach into a wild swirl, akin to a roller coaster, and the unexpected sensation drove him on. The velvety softness of her tongue stroked against his and he greeted it hungrily, tasting the sweetness of her mouth.

Without any warning, Hayden ducked away from him, the palms of her hands going up against his chest and pushing him back.

“No, what are we doing?” she asked faintly, putting a finger against her lips. She looked past him out the window. “We can’t do this. It’s not right.”

Ben wanted to take her back into his arms, if for nothing else than just to comfort her, make her see that it was all right. But that move wouldn’t be productive. Not yet.

“Why isn’t it right? What in the world has got you scared about what’s going on between us? You can’t blame the moonlight this time, Hayden.”


QUESTION: What is Ben not looking forward to about this upcoming stay at his ranch?

Actually, I’ll accept one of two answers to this one.

Email answers to


I’ve been busy busy busy with edits for Dreamer’s Sea but when I can I’ve been writing a sequel to Sweet Forever and I’m loving it. It’ll be my next major project after DS is finished. I’m trying to write it as a stand-alone book so one doesn’t have to read Sweet Forever first (but it’ll help). It feels good to get back to having horses in my stories. There was a time when all my stories had horses. I diverted from that path with Where One Road Leads and my current manuscript, Dreamer’s Sea.

Okay, it’s getting late and I have to think about getting ready for work.

Everyone enjoy the day! I’m looking forward to all the responses!


One thought on “CONTEST DAY 4

  1. I just love coming by to read more and more of this book. Its beautiful.I’m gonna check out on that other book with the horses. I haven’t read one with them in them in forever. I always loved a western read, be it contemp or historical, those with ranches, sheriff’s, small towns, and so on. Its great to read more related stories of the characters within them with more books cuz its hard to let go!

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