Haunted Flint

Haunted Flint

Monday, June 24, 2019

Shifter Mate Magic by Carol Van Natta #freebook #shifters #PNR

Shifter Mate Magic
Ice Age Shifters
Book One
Carol Van Natta

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Chavanch Press

Date of Publication: May 2018

ISBN: 978-1946165077

Number of pages: 130
Word Count: 38,000

Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey

Tagline: Pregnant and running for her life, a woman must trust a sexy bear shifter to get them both to a magical sanctuary town.

Book Description:

A lonely bear shifter meets his mate. She’s running for her life and doesn’t have time for romance.

Pregnant Jackie Breton just escaped from a corrupt feline pack intent on selling her half-shifter baby to the highest bidder. She’s smart, independent, and has a desperate plan to keep her baby safe: Get away from the pride as fast and far as possible.

Trevor Hammond, prehistoric bear shifter, has been rejected by everyone in his life for… being born, basically. Well, except for the beloved aunt who raised him. He’s built a career as an independent trucker, but life would be much better with someone he can hold in his arms and claim as his own.

When Jackie meets Trevor at a truck stop, his bear demands he help her. His aunt even calls with a dire warning: Get Jackie to the magical sanctuary town in Wyoming before she’s killed.

Jackie thinks he’s sexy as hell, but too good to be true. She doesn’t trust shifters. With the feline pride hot on her trail, however, Trevor and the quirky town of Kotoyeesinay might be her only chance for survival. Even Trevor’s indomitable bear may be no match for the dangerous enemy seeking retribution.

Discover the secret world of magic and true mates in Shifter Mate Magic, the first book in USA TODAY bestselling author Carol Van Natta's fun, action-filled, steamy-hot Ice Age Shifters® series.

Get eBook One
 FREE at 

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Entire Series on Amazon

Southern Wyoming ~ Summer 1993
Jackie nodded and walked quickly, following the arrows. Luckily, she didn’t have to wait in line or share the facilities. After the blessed relief of peeing, she used soap and water from the sink to make herself look as presentable as possible under the circumstances. Her light brown skin already made her stand out, because the farther north she’d traveled, the fewer people she’d seen who looked like her. She threw the soiled paper towels in the trash and eyed herself critically in the mirror. At least now she didn’t look like a dangerous fugitive who’d escaped a violent pack of leopard shifters who wanted her back alive or dead. Despite the warmth of the restroom, she shivered.
“Get back to the plan, Jackie,” she told her mirrored self. She couldn’t afford to fall apart, or everything she was afraid of would come to pass. She bent over to drink straight from the sink’s faucet, then wiped the water off her face. She re-centered her her backpack and went out into the convenience store.
The smells of warm bread and sizzling hamburgers drew her like a lodestone toward the restaurant section, but she couldn’t afford to waste the time or the money. She sternly made herself march into the back aisle and open the refrigerator door for the lunch meats and cheeses.
She got a whiff of a tantalizing scent as she pulled her selections off the hooks. Not food, but something intensely interesting. Her sense of hearing and smell had magnified with each passing week of her pregnancy. She wished she knew if that was typical for a human woman carrying a shifter’s child but she had no one to ask. Certainly not the lying son-of-a-bitch leopard who’d gotten her pregnant, despite her precautions. She hoped he was roasting in hell, but he probably wasn’t. Justice for the privileged rich, regardless of skin color or species, had a whole different set of rules.
She let go of the refrigerator door and turned toward the scent, only to run headlong into a man who’d just turned down the aisle.
“Sorry,” she said, even as he said the same word. She regained control of her suddenly clumsy feet. She got the impression of chiseled cheekbones and a square jaw before she dropped her gaze out of habit, one learned from living with volatile shifters. His scent hit her like a freight train a moment later, all woodsy and leathery and mouth-wateringly male.
No one, not even the father of her baby, back when she’d thought she was in love with him and he with her, had ever smelled that good. She took a step back, because if she hadn’t, she’d have been tempted to stick her face in the vee of his short-sleeved T-shirt and lick.
“My fault,” he said. “Are you…” He trailed off and audibly swallowed.
She made the mistake of looking up at him and confirmed that he was the sexiest man she’d ever seen, even counting the handsome actors she’d thrilled over as a teenager. His brown skin and features spoke of an ethnic heritage something like hers, and his warm, coppery-brown eyes threatened to drown her on the spot. His wide shoulders and arms looked strong enough to protect her from anything. The few tight coils of hair on his muscled chest mirrored the close-cropped hair on his head. His low-slung jeans and boots completed the mesmerizing package.
She swallowed and took another step back, away from temptation. “I’m fine.”
Except she wasn’t. She wanted to set fire to all her plans in favor of getting to know the man standing in front of her. For his part, he looked stunned.
She shook herself. Not, not, not happening. She was a pregnant fugitive with enough secrets to write her own soap opera, and an implacable enemy on her tail. A human, no matter how tall, broad-shouldered, and sexy, was no match for a criminal cat-shifter pride with claws and teeth, and vengeance on their minds.

She clutched her meat and cheese packages to her chest and turned away, even though her now throbbing body and aching breasts begged her to get closer. She’d learned to ride out the hormonal roller coaster of being pregnant, so she could damn well ride this out, too.

About the Author:

Carol Van Natta is a USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. Series include the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series that starts with Overload Flux and Minder Rising, and the Ice Age Shifters paranormal romance series that starts with Shifter Mate Magic and Shift of Destiny. She shares her Fort Collins, CO home with a resident mad scientist and just the right number of mad cats.

Chat with her on Facebook at https://facebook.com/CarolVanNattaAuthor, or visit her on the web at http://author.carolvannatta.com. Be the first to find out about new releases by signing up for her newsletter at http://bit.ly/CVN-news.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Cover Reveal- Haunted Flint by Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani #hauntedflint

Haunted Flint 
Haunted America Series
by Roxanne Rhoads  and Joe Schipani 

Release Date: September 2, 2019

Publisher: The History Press

About the Book:

Home to ancient burial grounds, unsolved murders, economic depression and a water crisis, Flint emits an unholy energy rife with ghostly encounters. 

Colonel Thomas Stockton's ever-vigilant ghost keeps a watchful eye over his family home at Spring Grove, where guests occasionally hear the thump of his heavy boots. 

Restless spirits long separated from their graves lurk among the ancient stones at Avondale Cemetery. Carriage maker W.A. Paterson's spirit continuously wanders the halls of the Dryden Building, and something sinister and unnamed resides in a Knob Hill mansion waiting to prey on impressionable young men. 

Join authors Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani on a chilling tour of Flint's most haunted locations.

Pre-Order at 

Amazon     BN     Book Depository      Target     Chapters   

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

New Release: Violet The Palmer Sisters Book 6 by Kayt Miller #loveatfirstsight

*****New Release*****

I never believed in love at first sight... until I saw Violet.

The Palmer Sisters Book 6
Kayt Miller

I knew it would happen. I knew I’d meet her. The one. My one. I just didn’t know how it would manifest itself. For me, it was like this: My heart stopped beating for a second or two. Then, it started back up but in double time. I felt a little short of breath. I had to put my hand on something to keep myself from falling over so I leaned on the fireplace mantel at my big brother’s house. That’s where I first saw her. Spoke to her. Fell in love with her. Violet.

Unfortunately, it would take me longer than a day to convince her to trust my feelings. Hell, to trust me. My sweet Violet has a story. A not-so-good story. A story I wish I could go back in time and beat the ever-loving shit out of. Maybe fate will help me out. I mean, she brought me to my girl, maybe she’ll even let me slay Violet’s demons for her. Because I would. I’d sleigh anyone or anything if it means she could trust me. Love me. Hell, give me anything.

This series of novellas is about five sisters, their relationships with one another, and their crazy love lives. The books are short, sweet, and oh, so dirty.

Each book is a standalone with an HEA. You don’t have to read them in order but it helps because the stories overlap and intertwine.

**This book contains sensitive topics that some may find upsetting.**

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Tabloid by Jackie Paxson

Dirty Laundry
Book One

Jackie Paxson

Genre:  Romance with a dash of humor

Date of Publication: 5/25/19


Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 73430

Cover Artist: self

Tagline:  1 gossip writer + 1 A-list movie star = 1 fake relationship…or does it?

Book Description:

After breaking a story that rocks Hollywood, Talia is the top gossip writer around. One night will put all of that into question. The writer becomes the story when she gets caught doing the walk of shame from A-lister Zee Jaxon’s home.

To save both of their reputations he suggests a fake relationship. Pretending should be easy. It shouldn’t mean the fake feelings become real. Accepting the real feelings means the lies they’ve told are even harder to hide.

When the truth comes out can their love survive or will everything just fade to black?

Excerpt 2

Talia woke on something soft and warm.  It was too lumpy for a bed.  Not to mention moving.  Her eyes snapped open.  Abs.  Pecks.  Nipples. She couldn’t quite comprehend what she was seeing.  Lifting her head, she saw Zeke.  Zeke was her bed. 
            Her eyes roamed over him.  His mouth was open as he slept. Blonde scruff grew along his jaw.  A soft snore escaped making her freeze in place.  His hands flexed around her.  A tingling sensation exploded inside her. 
            Zeke’s chest rose with every breath bringing her gaze to his well-defined pecks.  With her free hand she reached out to touch a muscle she’s only seen in magazines.  None of the men she’d previously been with had such a defined chest.  Some should have even had bras. 
            Her hand trailed down his chest to his abs.  A sensation of need took over her.  All she wanted to do was drag her tongue over each ridge of muscle.  The six pack abs with those defined hip bone things made her squirm.  She lightly caressed his happy trail.
“I wouldn’t go any further, baby.” Talia squeaked in surprise pulling her hand back. 
Zeke was awake and watching her.  In his eyes was a desire she was surprised to find. 
“Oh…um…uh.”  Talia tried to move off of him, but he clutched her tighter.
“You don’t have to stop.  I just wanted to warn you because if you went any further I don’t think I could help myself any longer.” 
A look of shock crossed her face.  She scrambled off Zeke only to grind against something very hard.  “Oh god.”  They both moaned.  In her clumsy attempt to climb off him she fell off the couch banging into the coffee table. 
“Ow!”  She moaned laying on the floor.
“Glad to see you two are awake.  Breakfast is ready.  Zeke you are needed in the barn.  Apparently, the storm did some damage.”  Addie looked at them. 
“Thank you, Addie.”  Zeke ground out. 
Addie smirked at the two then walked back to the kitchen.
“What time is it?”  Talia asked.
“Oh God!  Its after nine.  We are really late.” Zeke turned to see Talia crawling away from the table.  “I wish I had my camera right now.”  He laughed.
Using a side table, she heaved herself off the floor. Walking away, she gave him the finger over her head.  His laughing followed her upstairs. 
            Hours later covered in brown, either mud or horse shit, Talia washed up in the first-floor bathroom.  She scurried across the hall to the laundry room.  A pair of sweats and t-shirt sat folded on top of the dryer. She pulled on the sweats and oversized shirt. Taking a deep breath, she shuffled her way out to the kitchen.
“Alright, Addie.  I am ready to help.  What can I do to help with dinner?” 
Addie looked at Talia.  The wince she tried to conceal told Talia all she needed to know about how she looked.  “You don’t have to help me, hon.” 
“I’m not a freeloader around here.  Give me something to do.”  Talia felt her reserve dwindling, but she needed to help out. 
Reluctantly, Addie gave Talia the rolling pin.  “Roll out this dough.  When it’s about an inch thick cut out the biscuits and place them on the sheet.”
Talia could do that.  How hard could it be to roll out dough and cut it in circles?  The answer was near impossible with only a few hours of sleep.  Not to mention cleaning the horse stalls all day. 
“Oh dear.”  Addie stood next to Talia.  They looked at the misshapen dough.  Most were a ball or oval.  They weren’t an inch thick either. 
“Sorry, Addie.” 
“It’s alright, Tally.  Go sit in the living room while I put these in the oven.”  Talia nodded and slumped off to the living room.
A bone deep ache spread through her body.  She couldn’t remember the last time she’d worked that hard.  Talia now knew how Zeke got those defined muscles.  Those muscles she’d been touching, rubbing and ready to kiss.  What the hell was wrong with her? 
“What’s wrong with her?”  Zeke’s voice came out from the kitchen echoing her thoughts.
“She’s exhausted.”  Addie said.
“How long has she been sitting like that staring at the blank tv?”
“About 45 minutes.  Poor thing needs a good soak in the tub, dinner then straight to bed.” 
Footsteps sounded next to the couch.  Zeke squatted in front of her.  “Lia, you ok?”
“Yep.  Just catching my breath.”
“Uh huh.  Come on let’s get you upstairs.” 
“No, I’m fine.” 
“You have two choices.  Either you get your butt off the couch and up to your room or I pick you up off the couch and carry you to your room.  Easy way or hard way, Lia?”
Talia remained seated on the couch.  She was too exhausted to answer.
“Ok.  Hard way it is.”  Zeke picked her up as if she were light as a pillow. 
“What are you doing?” 
“I’m taking you to your room, getting a bath ready for you, then bringing you dinner.” 
“Ok.”  Talia was too tired to argue.  She knew she smelled of the manure/mud mixture, but she couldn’t help snuggling into Zeke’s arms.  His warmth and strength enveloped her.  He smelled like sweat, hay and fresh cut grass.  It was like a damn aphrodisiac.  Her lady V was standing at attention.

About the Author:

Jackie is a single mom of a rambunctious boy and his dog, Cady.  She is an avid reader with a blog under the name of The Book Maven.  Reading has been a passion of hers from the time she could pick up a Sweet Valley High book.  Writing is a new adventure where she gets to curse, be clumsy and fall in love with every page. 

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Author Interview- Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter Case Two-The Kept by Lori Zaremba

Are you currently binge watching anything on Netflix, Hulu ? What keeps you glued to the screen? 

I am almost done with Breaking Bad and started watching -The Order ( It stars Max Martini and I was curious because of the Magus element.)

I know, I know, I’m so behind but this writing stuff keeps me busy. 

Do you prefer movies or TV series? 

Movies~ I’m old school

When it comes to reading do you prefer standalones or series? 

I love series~ especially ones that have the same protagonist. I love to notice how they change and grow and also how the writer evolves.

Do you prefer to start new book series when the first book is released or do you want for a several books in the series to be released so you can binge read? 

I’m so limited with time now that I designate a specific time to reading-I want it all at once. I went on vacation a few years back and polished off Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum Novels –Seven Up through Finger Lickin Fifteen… in one week. 

What are some of your hobbies, interests or guilty pleasures? 

I love to sing anywhere I can-wanted or unwanted I got to howl and croon. Guilty pleasure~ Cheese in a can. 

What's your guilty “nerd” pleasure? 

I’m a Ghost Busters Geek.  I loved the movies so much. It took everything I had to not write Trudy wears a backpack similar to the Ghostbusters Proton Pack.

Have you ever peeked at the ending of a book? 

 Yes, not one of my proudest moments and problem not one of the best books either. I needed to only know who done it and move on with my life.

When it comes to your own writing are you a plotter or a pantster? 

I’m a plantster, I do a little bit of both. I have a good idea of how the story will unfold ,but do not stick to an outline- because I know that inspiration will come, and I will  rewrite.

Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter
Case Two-The Kept
Lori Zaremba

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Date of Publication: 5/28/2019

ISBN-13: 978-1-64034-596-6 
ISBN-10: 1-64034-596-5

Number of pages:248
Word Count: 7850

Tagline: Secrets of the past are about to turn deadly.
Book Description

If anyone tells you hunting ghosts is less dangerous than chasing down real-life criminals, they’re wrong. Very, very wrong.

Case two takes us to a New Jersey Shore Inn. A beautiful, yet dead opera singer seems to be begging for help, but her pleas do nothing but terrorize the locals.

While trying to decipher the clues to her 1919 disappearance, uncovering hair-raising horrors, it becomes clear that Jason and I no longer see eye-to-eye.

Jason wants me to stop meddling with the supernatural. He wants me to stop risking my life by interacting with demons and spirits.

What he doesn’t understand is this is my life. These tortured souls need my help in order to move on. How do I walk away from that—from them?

But the better question is—how do I walk away from him?

Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter Case One- The Deceit

Excerpt 2:
The dog, who had been sleeping at her feet, let out a low snarl and stood at attention. His focus was on the window that faced the lawn by the pool and the beach beyond. Trudy pushed back her chair and stood stiffly and tip-toed quietly to the window, and peered out.
Her heart rose in her throat when she saw him and recognized him immediately from her dream. The stern face and cold eyes of the un-named uncle stared back at her. He stood just ten feet away on the lawn, illuminated in the moonlight and looking just like he did on the beach that day in her dream.
She turned and dashed out of the room, pulling her phone from the pocket of her shorts and heading toward the doors by the pool to chase the phantom down. Rocky, yapping and whining, was by her side.
Trudy padded lightly through the pool area and out the wrought-iron gate that led to the lawn and the beach beyond. She gave a command to the big dog for silence and directed him around the pool shed opposite her. The light from her cell phone illuminated the corner of the structure, Trudy knew if anyone or thing were hiding there, Rocky would flush them out toward her.
The night was still and humid. She felt a bead of perspiration trickle down her temple to her cheek and whisked it away. The crash of the waves on the other side of the dune was the only sound interrupting the silence.
The two-way radio on her belt sounded. “Where the hell are you?” came Jason’s voice.
She listened into the night for a moment then whispered, “By the pool shed,” before turning down the volume when she heard Rocky snarl.

Her heart pounded furiously in her chest, and she fought off the spell of dizziness that suddenly overcame her. Rocky’s bark was louder and more urgent. She pressed against the structure and made her way toward the sound.
The hair on the back of her neck rose, and a chill slid down her body while her knees went weak. She knew someone was just beyond her line of vision. She sensed it, her nerves screamed it, and the loud noise that was coming from the big dog a few feet away confirmed it.
Now at the end of the structure, leaning against the warm metal siding not only for cover but balance, Trudy gazed outover the lawn then ever so slowly peeked around the corner.
“What the hell are you doing?” Jason whispered harshly behind her, causing her to screech. Trudy stumbled awkwardly back when something white flew through the air directly at her head. She ducked, and the thing hissed as it catapulted over Jason’s shoulder and landed a few feet away.
“A cat?” The feline looked at them grumpily before darting up the nearest tree when Rocky gave chase.
“This is why you came out here? A damn cat?” Jason checked his shoulder where the feline’s claws tore his shirt. Satisfied that the skin underneath was not wounded, he looked up at her, waiting for her reply.
Trudy ignored his question and stepped forward to fuss over his shoulder, not trusting that it was unscathed, and ran her hand over the smooth skin. She avoided eye contact. Jason grabbed the hand on his shoulder and pulled her closer.
“So, Hicks, are you going to tell me what the hell brought you out here when I specifically told you to stay put?” He studied her face before dropping his eyes to her lips.
Trudy pushed back the heavy weight of her hair from her sweaty brow and brushed a kiss the scruffy hair on his chin.
“Umm, I think you should learn quick, Young, that I don’t do well with orders.”

About the Author:

Lori Zaremba is a full-time Internet Sales Manager and writes Web Content as well as providing Copy Editing for businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Lori has published short ghost stories on Your Ghost Stories, as the Haunted_Cleaner and on her website lorizaremba.com

On her website, lorizaremba.com, Zaremba refers to herself as the ghost magnet and briefly describes her encounters with departing spirits.

Lori began writing her fiction story as a creative offering of why a ghost would haunt.  Before long the story became a novel Case One: The Deceit in the Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter series.

Lori currently lives in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with her husband Wayne and two fur babies Jaxson and Stewie.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Interview- Captive Truth by Karen Stary #contemporaryfiction #poker #authorinterview

Are you currently binge watching anything on Netflix, Hulu? What keeps you glued to the screen?

I enjoy some of the series on Amazon Prime, such as: Man in the High Castle, or The Americans, or The Good Wife. However, I often will be selective by viewing movies which correspond with my readings or current events. Recently, I viewed  the award winning movie, Out of Africa, because I had just finished reading a short story by Isak Dinsen, “The Cloak”. I’m presently reading her novel, Out of Africa, and enjoying it.

Do you prefer movies or TV series?

Definitely, I’m a “movie-goer” with or without the popcorn.

When it comes to reading do you prefer standalones or series?

I often prefer a single story line to a series. However, is an author captures my interest, I will seek out other works by that author, fictional or nonfictional. To give an example, I recently read Sapiens by Yuval Norah Harari. It is a commentary on the progression of human history. The work is prolific and thought-provoking. Therefore, I downloaded his latest work, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. So far, spellbinding!

Do you prefer to start new book series when the first book is released or do you wait for a several books in the series to be released so you can binge read?

I read different genres, and usually a couple of books at the same time. I seldom wait to read; just too busy reading whatever.

What are some of your hobbies, interests or guilty pleasures?

Within the last couple of years, I have been studying Opera. The teacher is an unique find! She has instilled me with a love for the Opera. The more I learn, the more unfolds, bringing me more into a world of sounds and sights. It is a rebirth. It is difficult for me to have a favorite. I am so captivated by every class.

What's your guilty “nerd” pleasure?

I’m not fond of the word, “nerd”. However, I did enjoy some of the Star Wars films.  

Have you ever peeked at the ending of a book?

Never! However, if I figure out the ending in the middle of the novel and it does occur, I’m disappointed.

When it comes to your own writing are you a plotter or a pantster?

I unfold the story from my character’s perspective, sometimes never knowing what will happen next.

Captive Truth

Karen Stary

Genre: contemporary fiction

Publisher: Can’t Put it Down Books

Date of Publication: May 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9994623-4-8

Number of pages: 278
Word Count: 127,455

Cover Artist: Eric Labacz

Book Description:

A mercenary, a gambler, and a warlord are drawn together for a high stakes poker game. The trophy: a woman, Christine. They are men of unquestionable wealth, indomitable power, and overwhelming guilt; each is enchanted by Christine’s alluring beauty and each relentlessly desires to have her for himself.

Life has left Christine unable to form meaningful emotional relationships. However, without the ability to appeal emotionally to her male captors she is not only jeopardizing her own fate, but also the fate of other women as well. Alone, with only the three men who have come to mean so much to her, Christine must use not only her wits but her compassion to extricate herself.  Will she become one man’s prized possession, or can she regain her sense of self?

Stary’s complex plot keeps the reader guessing as she explores some of today’s most controversial issues for women.


He clears his throat again. I look up. His head gives a slight tilt as if to suggest, “Why not?” His eyes squint, inviting me to have faith in the unknown. Charmed by the smile in those eyes, I relax and take a sip of coffee. He speaks. “So…let me, at least, introduce myself…my name is Cameron Dawson…and your name is…?” His pause leaves the question dangling over a precipice of foreboding. I retrieve the answer before I plummet.
“Christine…Christine Ledge.”
“Now, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?”
He seems to know me too well. I cannot release the shadow of familiarity about this Mr. Dawson. I had this same sensation the moment I first pressed against his arm at the concert. I had ignored that feeling because I had thought that I probably would never see him again. But like a relentless itch, it is a thought that aches to be scratched. So, I take a breath and scratch.
“Have we met before?”
“Last night at the concert and then later in the hall!” a bit too quick and a bit too tidy. I am not satisfied.
“No, before last night. I feel that we had met before last night.”
No response. He sips his coffee. I sip my coffee and allow its warmth to appease his evasiveness. Obviously, I had just trespassed over some line. Because there is no need to ruin this moment, I allow his hesitancy to pass. After a moment he stirs in his seat.
“Did you enjoy the concert?” It is obvious that he wants to change the subject. But, I am a female. And his abrupt shifting is troubling. I disconnect from my unfounded hunches.
“Oh, the concert…well…yes…of course, I enjoyed the concert.”
Last night’s images block any coherent reply. Fractured conversations interfere…caressing words serenaded by the music opened wounds as I recall pressing up against him. And so, I stare at him now and think about how it would be to lie naked next to this man, to physically be touched by him. I harangue myself over my intimate urges. I flip my head back trying to shake off the irrational desire. However, I cannot let go of last night’s encounter between this Mr. Dawson and some young man in a questionable financial exchange to obtain the seat next to mine. Suddenly, I am wary of how much I should trust this man seated across from me.
 Watching me carefully, he tilts his head as if to pardon any past indiscretions. He seems able to read my misgivings. This veil of deception must dissipate to have more clarity. And for that to happen, I must be more forthright, too.
“No, Mr. Dawson, to be quite frank, I did not enjoy the concert last night. I really struggled to sit through it.” Then to continue this openness, “Was that obvious?”
“I did sense you were a bit uncomfortable.” His polite delivery seems sincere enough.
Trying to inject some humor to lift the heavy tone: “You mean since each time I banged into your arm, you got a new ‘black and blue’?”
“Actually, I rather liked the banging in spite of all those black and blues.”
“You did, did you?” There is a pause; I am more comfortable with this exchange. “I’m really sorry; I didn’t mean to be so abusive.”
“No, no…no apology needed. What I meant by the banging was not because of that… but, yes, because of that, too…More because I found you quite intriguing as you squirmed about like you had hemorrhoids or some serious itch in the seat of your pants.” His humor releases any lingering veiled suppositions.
“Oh, I hope it wasn’t that annoying…I should have gotten up and left so that you would have enjoyed the show better.”
“No, no, really don’t feel put off…because…to tell the truth… I rather enjoyed watching you watching the singer.”

About the Author:

Author Karen Stary is a resident of San Diego, California, and a native of New Jersey who spent her summers on the Jersey Shore. She writes about the fragile relationships between women and men in today’s world. Stary asserts that women have yet to realize their true potential: to achieve something greater than any woman who came before them.