This week’s #evernighties post involves journals and diaries. First, if you want to read the other #evernighties posts, then look for them on facebook and twitter using the #evernighties hashtag.
So do I keep a journal or diary?
Not specifically. I write every day in a journal, but it’s not a journal for my thoughts and writing about my life. It’s my writing journal. I have a vast collection of journals and notebooks. I keep at least one with me at almost all times. Why? The characters talk at almost all times and I want to be ready. Hey, I never want a good idea to get away.
But writing about my life? No. I could, but it’s not as much fun as playing with the characters.
What about you? Do you write in a journal or keep a diary?
Still another thing I like to do over the summer has to be catching up on my needs to be written list. It’s long. Whatever deadlines I have coming up or whatever stories strike me, that’s what I work on.
I’m also a sucker for a good 5k. Now, I don’t run. Never have. Why? I blew my knees years ago. But I’m a heckuva power walker. I am. I’m working on getting my time under 40 minutes. It’s not fast by some measures, but that’s okay. I’m happy and that’s what matters. Oh and I don’t keep these to the summer. I love the chilly winter 5ks and the ones in the spring. Really, I just love the pressure to do well and the medal.
What about you? What’s something you like to do in the summer?
One never intended on being a father and the other isn’t looking
for a relationship, but they’re about to find out that what they want and need
might be the last thing they expected.
Moore wasn’t planning on being a dad. He envisioned a life of teaching and
professional swimming. Fast forward a year and he’s the guardian of his
ten-year-old sister. He wants love and passion, but who wants to date a guy
with a family?
Baker believed love wasn’t in his cards—until he takes his nephew to swimming lessons.
One glance at the water-slicked hunk teaching the class has him thinking about
jumping into the dating pool once again. He’s ready for a fresh start and a hot
guy for his bed.
these two men find heat between the sheets or will the guardianship situation
be the biggest detriment to them finding happiness?
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Steve ambled up to the sedan, then
collapsed in the driver’s seat. No more worrying about his lonely life. He
could be lonely and emo about it later. Right now, he had to think about his
sister and keeping her happy.
“I heard you talking to Mrs.
Finch.” Genie buckled her seatbelt. “Yes, I have a boyfriend, but it’s just
chatting on the computer and talking at lunch.”
“I wasn’t worried.” Not
entirely. She was growing up too fast for his comfort, but he chalked that up
to being a parent. He put the car into gear and headed home. “I’m worried about
what she told you, though.”
“Her garbage about you being
gay and going to hell?” Genie cackled. “I let her talk, just like you tell me
to do, then smiled and went on my way. Yes, I told her I wanted you to get a
boyfriend. I’d also like Mom and Dad to come back, but since that’s impossible
and you getting a hunk isn’t, I figured I’d aim for the boyfriend.”
“Did you just say get a
“Uh-huh. Like Jared.” She
giggled. “He’s a hunk.”
“He’s also eleven.”
“I didn’t say for you to be
his boyfriend. He’s mine.”
“You’re making me feel old,
you know that, don’t you?”
When they reached the house,
she bounded out of the car first and into the kitchen. “Stevie, you need a
boyfriend. You’re lonely and getting dorky. Try one of those computer sites or
“Mrs. Finch said she thought
Grandma would be better to raise you.” There. He’d put that tidbit of info out
for her to mull over.
“Grandma? Why would she do
that? She doesn’t leave the retirement home that much.” Genie rolled her eyes.
“I’m staying put.”
He tossed his car keys into
the basket and his wallet onto the buffet. “Why don’t you go upstairs, get your
shower, and get ready for bed? I’ll worry about men, okay?”
“Fine.” She grinned and shot
up the stairs.
Steve massaged his temples.
If he’d been told three years ago he’d be raising his sister, fighting to get permanent
custody and living in his parents’ home, he would’ve laughed. Now, he was
twenty-four and had assumed the roles of parent and breadwinner. He’d been
given so much responsibility… He riffled through the mail he’d left on the
counter and paused when he saw the thick envelope. The final custody hearing in
court. Jesus. He’d spent a bucketload of money to keep custody of Genie and so
many hours running to court. He was her brother, for God’s sake. Didn’t that
count for something?
He caught a glance of his
sister’s picture in the hallway. Maybe he would let Genie find him a boyfriend.
Her taste couldn’t be much worse than the guys he’d already dated. She could be
his good-luck charm.
to belong and strong arms to hold him—but will this shifter get what he needs?
After being rescued and taken to the Sanctuary,
a refuge for lion shifters, Talisman knows he’s safe. But he’s restless. All
the other shifters have paired up, except Talisman and one other shifter. The
guy is fine, but he doesn’t make Talisman’s heart beat or his lion roar.
Talisman refuses to give up looking for what he wants, but he never expected
love to come running, stark naked, through a hole in the fence.
Davi doesn’t understand what’s happened to him.
One minute, he’s a happy lion at the petting zoo. The next, he’s being hunted
and humans want to use his head as a trophy. When his hope is almost gone, two
lions appear to show him an escape route. At the Sanctuary, he realizes his
power to shift and the desires of a human male. He doesn’t trust humans, but
there’s one shifter he wants to know better.
Talisman and Davi must decide whether to give in
to their animal urges or let the ghosts of the past tear their world apart for
good. No matter what they choose, there’s one person who doesn’t want anyone,
especially the shifters, to get their happy ending. As Talisman and Davi seek
forever, it just might be ripped right out of their hands.
Breaking down and asking for help could be the key to his
Chris isn’t like the shifters at Sanctuary. Born in a zoo and on the run now
that he can shift, he’s looking for a place to belong. When he breaks down
outside of Cambridge, not far from the Sanctuary, he thinks he’s done for.
He’ll be caught, returned to the zoo or worse… He’s always been a survivor, but
even Chris has demons he can’t quite outrun. He’s being hunted. He’ll need some
help—if he’s willing to accept his fate.
Luke Stephens wants nothing more than to get over his ex-boyfriend. The lawyer
can argue cases with ease, but not the one that mattered. That is until he
meets Chris. The shifter provokes Luke and brings out his natural instinct to
protect. He’s intrigued and Chris is so handsome.
Will Luke be man enough for the shifter or will the danger come between them
before they can get the fire started?
Luke strolled out of the
building and put on his sunglasses. He strode over to his car then tossed his
jacket and his briefcase onto the backseat before climbing behind the wheel. He
turned on the radio. One of his favorite songs played, so he blasted the tune
and sang along as he drove down the lane away from the Sanctuary. Though the
property sat on a state route, there wasn’t much traffic. He stopped just past
the gate and checked the traffic before pulling onto the road. He started
toward Oakdale, but at the single crossroads before the city limits, he noticed
a beat-up brown truck.
He paused. People never abandoned cars by the
intersection. They waited for the dirt turnaround about a mile down the road.
Was there a problem? An accident? He normally would’ve kept going, but
something called to him. He noticed a man behind the wheel of the vehicle. The
need to help strengthened. For all Luke knew, the guy was having a heart attack
or maybe a seizure. He needed to stop and help.
Luke pulled off in front of the vehicle and
patted the gun he’d strapped to his hip. He kept himself current at the gun
range but hadn’t needed the piece until now. He backed up alongside the vehicle
and rolled his window down.
“Do you need help?” Luke asked. He kept one hand
on the car’s shifter. “Buddy?”
The wide-eyed man stared at Luke. “What’s your
“My…” This was odd. “Luke Stevens. I’m an
attorney. I work with the Sanctuary.”
The guy bolted out of the truck and yanked on
the passenger-side handle of the car. “Help me.”
“I don’t know you. Are you hurt? I can call the
ambulance.” He didn’t unlock the door. For a split-second, he could’ve sworn he
saw a lion in the man’s eyes. It had to be his imagination. He’d never seen the
animal in Markas’ eyes, and he knew Markas was a shifter. Could this man be a
shifter? Or the jerk sending the screwy emails?
“I’m not hurt yet. Please? I need help.” Another
flash of the lion shone in the man’s golden eyes. “You were honest with me.
I’ll be honest with you. My name is Saul Mason. I was born at the Philadelphia
Zoo four years ago. I’ve been able to shift for a year, and the first time I
shifted at the zoo, the workers thought someone had stolen me. They thought I
was the thief. I didn’t steal a lion—I am the lion.”
“A shifter.” Luke had already been given that
information, but he had to stay it out loud to make sense in his head.
“And you’re with the Sanctuary. Help me.” The
pleading in Saul’s voice got to Luke. “Please?”
He unlocked the door. “Get in.” He could take
Saul back to Sanctuary, and if nothing else, help him get established there.
God knew Markas would see through Saul if the guy was lying.
Saul crawled into the car and locked the door.
He hunkered down on the seat. “Fate’s a bitch, but at least, I found you and
not him.” He put the window up. “I think I’m actually safe.”
“Did you need something—anything—from your
vehicle?” Luke asked.
“No. It’s from a friend. Some people think I
stole it, but I didn’t.” Saul curled up in the seat. “I’m not a good guy. I’ve
done bad shit in order to stay alive. I didn’t steal the truck, but I don’t
regret taking it. A man named Tucci swore I belonged to him. I don’t know what
he wants, but it can’t be good.”
“Tucci? As in Anthony Tucci?” Luke put the car
in gear and made an illegal U-turn in order to go back to Sanctuary.
“Oh God. Don’t tell me you work for him.” Saul
scratched at the door handle. “I need to get out.”
“Stop.” Luke swatted at Saul. “No, I don’t.” He
punched the gas. The faster he got to Sanctuary, the quicker he could unload
Saul. “I don’t know where Tucci is. I’ve never met him, and no, I don’t work
for him. He’s not high on my list, though.”
“You’re not a shifter.” Saul remained low in his
seat, but his tone changed. He stared at Luke. “I can smell it. You’re not.”
“That’s how you know? My smell?” He’d showered
that morning and put on antiperspirant. Hopefully, he didn’t stink.
“You’ve got a scent, yes. It’s not like a dirty
smell. It’s just you, and my lion can tell. It’s what told me; you’re a safe
person. Sometimes, my instincts have been off, but not this time. Most people
freak out when the word shifter is used. You didn’t flinch.”
“I’m honored, but I’ve worked with shifters
before. I never know what to expect with them, but I’m not scared, either.” He wouldn’t
admit to his fear, though. For all he knew, Saul could snap and do something horrible
to him. “My friends run the Sanctuary. They’ll help you as much as possible. As
for the maybe-not-quite stolen truck, I should get that sorted out.” He should
probably turn Saul in, too, but he’d worry about that later.
“I wasn’t lying. I didn’t steal it. The truck
was given to me by the one human who actually believed I was a shifter.” Saul
grasped Luke’s free hand. “I borrowed it because I needed to get away from the
zoo. I had permission.” He faced Luke. “At the zoo was a keeper named Saul, and
that was his truck. He didn’t want it, but he wanted to help me get away from
Tucci. He saw me shift and didn’t flip out. He said shifters are natural
creatures and should be respected. He helped me until the freak-out died down
then he got me out of the zoo. He’s the reason I’m here and not in the
enclosure or dead.”
“If I contact him, will he verify this
information?” Luke asked. He turned back onto the Sanctuary lane and swiped his
keycard in the reader. He wasn’t sure if he believed Saul—or whatever the
shifter’s name happened to be—but he also wasn’t convinced the story was a lie.
“Yeah.” The shifter offered up a badge. “See
this? This is his old one, but it’s got his information. I’m supposed to say
I’m him if I get into trouble.” He pointed to the plastic card on the lanyard
and sighed. “So you’ll help me?”
“John and Joe will wonder why I’m back here
already.” Luke parked the car in front of the fountain. “Let’s go inside. You
can tell them everything, and they’ll help you.”
the biggest hurdle in life is accepting who you are and what you want.
Joe Dallas thought he’d escaped the draw of the
shifters at the Sanctuary. He doesn’t mind. With his tendency to keep
relationships simple, he doesn’t want to get involved with a lion shifter. Then
there’s Ben. The quiet shifter piques Joe’s attention. When Joe accompanies Ben
on a rescue mission, he realizes the attraction isn’t one-sided. But can a
shifter and a human really make a relationship work? Joe isn’t sure.
Ben knows who he wants in his life and bed—Joe.
The lion wants to bond with the human he desires. The difference in their species
doesn’t bother him a bit. Will the shifter be able to convince Joe they have a
future or will fear dominate and destroy the love before it can blossom?
Ryan ‘Blaze’ Burden knew his life wasn’t
perfect. He’s a stripper at Stiff and a shifter, but he can’t tell anyone about
his special ability. The popularity of shifters hasn’t come to Stiff or the
town of Sugar Ridge, for that matter. Being a shifter is still frowned upon.
Ryan knows he doesn’t fit in, but he does have one bright spot in his life—the
mystery man who comes to the club and requests Ryan for private dances.
The electricity between them is palpable, but if
Ryan makes a move, will the hottie reciprocate?
Delaney Sullivan doesn’t come to Stiff for the
ambiance. He’s there for one dancer—Blaze. He senses the shifter within the
handsome young man. But Delaney works for the enemy—he’s the campaign manager
for the mayor of Sugar Ridge. He doesn’t share the mayor’s desire to outlaw
shifters because he’s a panther shifter. Can he get Blaze out of the club? To
trust him? Or maybe even to love him?
These opposites certainly attract, but can they
find the mutual trust to have a future together?
“Yes, I do.” He needed to get through to Blaze. Not everyone
wanted to use him. “I’d rather you didn’t dance for me.”
“Christ.” Blaze left Delaney’s lap. “I knew it. You’re trying
to get me to quit.”
Shit. Yes, he wanted Blaze out of the business, but it wasn’t
because he wanted to save all of the strippers.
“I’m not quitting. I make good money here, and I can keep on
the down low. No taxes. Yeah, fuck you.” Blaze growled. “I can’t get my
paperwork. I’m not allowed because I can’t document where I came from.”
“Why?” Every shifter had been given the right to gain a
driver’s license, a job and a passport. Where Blaze had come from wasn’t an
“No. I’m not doing it. I can’t. Look, tell management, but I
can’t do this. I’ll take the hit.” Blaze shook his head again. “I can’t.”
Delaney took money from his pocket. He’d tucked a note between
the bills, wanting Blaze to see it later. He pushed the cash into Blaze’s hand.
“You’re a good man.”
He should say more but didn’t know what to do. He left his
chair and ducked out of the private room. Embarrassment washed over him as he
walked out of the club. Being there was dangerous. If someone recognized the
head of the mayor’s campaign at a strip club, Delaney would lose his job. He
made his way through the private exit and disappeared through the tunnel to the
His panther craved Blaze. The big cat sensed Blaze’s confusion.
Yes, the cash was good, but something about Blaze screamed that the shifter
wanted to be a decent man. Delaney sighed and climbed behind the wheel of his
car. Hopefully, Blaze would read the note and take him seriously. Maybe, there
was a chance they could find common ground or even a friendship. A relationship
was probably out of the question. Too bad, the cat didn’t care. Delaney wished
his panther would settle down. There wouldn’t be any claiming tonight, and the
panther would have to wait.