We had a lot of similarities—both English majors and lovers of Shakespeare, old books, goofy comedies and sentimental movies. We both adored and took pride in our respective grown children. We also possessed differences. There was a sixteen-year span between our ages. Calvin is black; I have that pasty white German skin. He is tall and thin; I am short and …he is tall and thin.
But we shared a dream: to write. Calvin, already retired from teaching, was actively working on his dream. I was frozen in my dream state and had been for many, many years. Excuses, I had a million of them.
We were married a year to the date from that first email. I moved from south-central PA to the DC metro area with my new husband. Calvin wrote daily while I found places for my things in his already crammed house where he’d lived for over thirty years.
Adjusting to married life again was not a smooth transition. I’d been on my own for twelve years—independent and used to doing things my way. I was also used to working and having my own money. Calvin wanted me home with him, his philosophy being I’d worked outside of the home long enough. If he was retired, I should retire, too. And, so, at the age of fifty-five, I left the corporate world. Sounds like a dream come true, ladies, but I had some serious adjustments to make. I missed the girls at the office, their chatter and the sharing of our lives.
Then the unthinkable happened: Calvin insisted I write. “Enough with the excuses,” he said. “Write. I want you to have your dream, too, while I work on mine.”
The day I showed him the first chapter of my first book was a dark day, folks. A dark day, indeed. Calvin, his forehead furrowed, his eyes squinted and a #2 pencil gripped in his hand, crossed out paragraph after beautiful paragraph. On page seventeen, he proudly announced, “Ah, here, HERE is the beginning of your book.”
I snatched the chapter from his hands and retreated to my writing room. This red-haired German was in “major snit mode.” Or, mad as hell.
I’ve grown a lot since that day two years ago. And Calvin, bless his heart, has learned to be more gentle with his critiques. We are a writing couple. We both write everyday in our own private spots. He in the den with both the TV and stereo playing and me in the quiet living room reclined on my recliner with my laptop.
Although we have the same agent, we have different publishers. Smart man that he is, Calvin readily admits my pub is superior, especially after meeting Rhonda and RJ at TWRP writers retreat in May.
Calvin has cheered me every step of the way toward achieving my dream. He is my cheerleader, my supporter, my hero. His carefully worded phrase regarding my first sex scene was “spot-on”—it did read like assembly instructions for a bookcase. Can you spell rewrites?
Nurse Rachel Dennison comes to Texas determined to prepare her new patient for a second round of chemo. What she isn’t counting on is her patient’s twin brother, Storm Masterson. Despite her initial attraction, Storm has two things Rachel can’t abide: a domineering personality and a fiancée. Half Native American, with the ability to have "vision dreams," Storm dreams about Rachel for three nights before her arrival. Both are unprepared for the firestorm of emotions their first chance encounter ignites. Ultimately, it is Rachel’s past—an abusive, maniacal ex-boyfriend—that threatens to keep them apart…and Storm’s dreams that bring them together again.
Someone swaggered out of the moonlit night toward Rachel. Exhausted from a long day of driving, she braked and blinked. Either she was hallucinating or her sugar levels had plummeted. Maybe that accounted for the male mirage, albeit a very magnificent male mirage, trekking toward her. She peered once more into the hot July night at the image illuminated by her headlights. Sure enough, there he was, cresting the hill on foot—a naked man wearing nothing but a black cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer.
Well, well, things really did grow bigger in Texas. The man quickly covered his package with his black Stetson. Rachel sighed. The show was evidently over. Should she stand up in her Beetle convertible and applaud? Give a couple cat calls? Wolf whistles? Maybe not.
She turned down the music on the car’s CD player. Sounds of crickets and a lonely bullfrog in the distance created a nighttime symphony in the stillness of this isolated stretch of country road. Lightning bugs darted back and forth, blinking a display of neon yellow glow.
The naked man strode toward her car, and Rachel’s heart rate kicked up. Common sense told her to step on the gas, yet what woman wanted to drive away from such a riveting sight? Still, life had taught her to be careful. She reached into her handbag and extracted her chrome revolver. Before he reached her car, she quickly slid her gun under the folds of her skirt.
Just let him try anything funny—I know how to take care of myself.
Both of his large hands clasped his hat to his groin. His face bore annoyance and a touch of chagrin. “I need a ride.” By his bearing and commanding tone of voice, she guessed the man was used to giving orders and having them followed.
Her eyes took a slow journey across his face. Even in the moonlight, she could see traces of Native heritage. His shoulder-length ebony hair, too long for her tastes, glistened against his bronzed skin. Proud arrogant eyes sparked anger.
Because Rachel believed in indulging herself, she allowed her eyes to travel over his broad shoulders, muscular chest and tight abdominal muscles. She saw a thin trail of dark hair starting below his navel, knowing full well where it ended, and fought back a groan. Her eyes slid back up to lock on his. “You need a pair of pants, too.” Knowing her voice hummed with desire, she cleared her throat, hoping the naked man hadn’t noticed.
He looked up at the sky for a beat. “Just my freakin’ luck! A birthday party gone bad, and now I’m bein’ ogled by some horny kid with damnable blue eyes.”
What the heck was wrong with her eyes? She quickly glanced in her rearview mirror and saw nothing amiss. She narrowed those “damnable blue eyes” and sneered. “Look, buster, I’m not the one prancing around Texas naked as a jaybird. I’ll have you know I’m hardly a kid.” She glanced down at the black cowboy hat. “And, furthermore, stop hiding behind that big ol’ Stetson. From what I saw, a French beret would do the job.”
There, let the arrogant fool stew on that while he strutted back to whatever rock he crawled out from under. She slammed her car in gear and sped off.
She swore she wouldn’t look in her rearview mirror. Nope, she would not look. Like a magnet emitting a powerful homing signal, her eyes slowly slid to the glass surface. He was standing where she’d left him,… Gee, ladies, I’d love to share more, but I’ve already used up my word count quota…**wink-wink**