Our Love Is Here To Stay, a Time Travel Romance from Madison Michael


Our Love Is Here To Stay
By Madison Michael

Madison has some fabulous giveaways for this tour. Remember you may visit the other tour stops to increase your chances of winning. You may find those locations here

Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #1: Includes  Books: Outlander, Time Traveler’s Wife and Beyond the Highland Mist and  DVDs: Somewhere in Time, The Lake House, the eBook Our Love Is Here To Stay.

Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #2: One of the books above and 1 of the DVDs plus the eBook for Our Love Is Here To Stay.
Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #3: One of the books above or one DVD plus the eBooks Our Love Is Here To Stay.


About Our Love Is Here To Stay:

Can Love Transcend Time?

Thirty-year old Matthew Herrington is weary of solo nights in strange cities. He is ready for a change. And that is exactly what he gets when he steps into Swing Night at The Green Mill and is instantly immersed in the sights and sounds of another era. Intrigued by the club’s authenticity, Matthew is enchanted when he meets Patty, a mixture of sexy and sweet who steals his heart.


Patty Dennison has never met a man like Matthew in all her twenty-one years. A sophisticated man, he stands out from the usual Swing Night crowd. He is self-assured, smart, charming, and handsome as hell, even if he is a lousy dancer. Once he takes her in his arms, Patty is more than willing to give him a few dance lessons along with her heart.


Repeated missed dates and unanswered phone calls strain the relationship and frustrate the pair. But unraveling their mystery exposes an impossible scenario, one that will torment their sanity and test their love.



How can they make their fairytale last? Can love transcend time?

Buy Links: 

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    Excerpt From Our Love Is Here To Stay: 

     A waitress came to take it off his hands. “Another?” she queried and he nodded agreement, placing a crumpled dollar on her tray. “Too much,” she told him shaking her head no. Matthew was surprised by her response but the tray was covered with loose change so he removed his bill and left the equivalent in quarters. Everything was so inexpensive but the server still needed to make a decent living.
    She gave him a grateful smile and turned to move to her next customer, carefully balancing her tray above the heads of the young people around her. In the process, she nudged Matthew slightly causing him to lose his footing and fall gently against another body. Turning to apologize he found himself staring into the clearest, lightest blue eyes he had ever seen. He couldn’t look away.
    “Sorry,” he mumbled when he finally regained his composure.
    “That’s okay,” she replied with a quick, bright smile. She was lovely, in a wholesome girl next door way. She had her blond hair pulled into a ponytail that curled like a hair product ad, clear-skinned cheeks that were pink with warmth and perhaps exertion, and a curvy body displayed under a bright red sweater and a flared plaid skirt.
    Matthew felt his mouth go dry and his palms get sweaty. She did something to him, this fresh faced woman that he found incredibly sexy. Her red lipstick was a slash of bright color mimicking the red of the sweater. Until this moment, bright red lipstick screamed “tough broad, stay away” to Matthew but on this girl it whispered “come hither.”
    “Matthew,” he squeaked out, extending his hand to shake hers. Thinking twice about it, he retracted his arm, running his palm against his pants swiftly, and hopefully surreptitiously, before he extended his hand again.
    “Patty,” she responded, placing her soft fingers in his large palm. She shook like a girl. After all the bone-breaking handshakes Matthew had endured across the globe, this limp, fingers-only shake surprised him. She looked athletic, not tough but toned, and not sickly pale like most Chicagoans in winter. The handshake didn’t match the image and normally would have bothered him. Nothing about Patty bothered him. Everything about her bothered him.

    Author Bio and links: 

    Madison Michael traded 28 years in Fortune 500 tech and management positions for a chance to spend her days with sassy heroines, sexy, rich heroes and nothing but happy endings. Growing up the daughter of a librarian, she learned to love books, especially classics and romances, and spent winters cuddled under blankets losing herself in books. 

    Madison is the author of three novels in the Beguiling Bachelor series, as well as several short stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. 

    After living in the northeast, southeast and the west, Maddy returned to her Midwest roots. She lives in Evanston, IL with two feline editorial assistants and great views of Chicago’s famous skyline.

    Contact her at:

  • Website

  •  Madison’s Blog

  • Maddy’s Romance Madness

  • Facebook

  •  Twitter


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 Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, science fiction romance from Kayelle Allen

I’m so excited to host Kayelle Allen today. Kayelle is here to celebrate her latest release Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire. Welcome Kayelle!

Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire By Kayelle Allen

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a basement office with two walls that are filled with memorabilia and posters relating to my books. It’s cozy and has my desk and a computer with two monitors. I spend most of my day there.

What inspires you as an author?

Everything. When people ask me where I get ideas, I tell them I can’t “not” get ideas. They are constant. If I write them down, I usually don’t forget them. If I don’t record them, I often do forget. Inspiration can come from anywhere. I was watching the Superbowl with hubby one year and wondered if a game like that would exist in my own story universe. I ended up inventing a game called Ruckball for one of the series and had a big scene with characters watching it. I never know what will inspire me.

Why do you write romance and why your genre of romance?

I’ve loved sci-fi since I was a girl. Romance lets me reveal the emotional aspect of the story. Putting them together is like heaven.

What are you working on next and when can we expect to see it?

My current book is Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire which is book 2 in a series. I’m already working on the third book, subtitled Watch Your Six. In all three books, the main characters are immortal, except for a human named Six. He’s one of those guys who gets people laughing. I love writing him.

Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire

About Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire: 

When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that’s the problem. He’s not.

Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it’s up to Pietas to save them. He can’t release one at a time. It’s all or nothing. He’s facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals all looking to him for answers.

It’s not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he’s loved for lifetimes is at his side. He’s bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.

But before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he’s fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.

Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever…

Genre: science fiction romance, sci-fi

Release date: 12/29/17 

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Excerpt from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire :

In this scene, Pietas has been playing with a sentient panther, a huge animal he calls Tiklaus. The name means “Loyal Warrior.”

Tiklaus batted at him, knocked Pietas onto his back and then flipped itself down beside him. The panther wrapped its front legs around his arm and gnawed at it in gentle play while the hind feet kicked him without injury. Claws flashed, but did no harm.

Now I know how a chew toy feels. Pietas blew out a breath.

When the panther draped itself over his chest, Pietas struggled to slide out from under but could not get up. The animal weighed less than he did, but with no visible effort, it kept him from rising.

“I concede, my friend. You win.”

The panther ignored him.

“Tiklaus, off.”

Nothing.

“Off, please.”

The panther yawned, opening a huge maw. Fangs flashed.

Pietas tried a signal that worked with sparring partners and asked for release by double-tapping the panther’s side.

The cat stood at once and stepped over him. It shook from nose to tail, then sat and groomed itself.

He stood and brushed himself off. Standing beside Tiklaus, who reached him mid-thigh, Pietas took pride in knowing this sweet, playful cat was also the snarling ball of animal rage that had nailed Mahikos to the ground. He should have let the cat eat him when he had the chance.

Pietas ensured no one was on the path in either direction before he knelt and scratched the cat’s ears. “Who’s a good kitty?”

The animal sneaked in a lick of his hand and face and flopped down on its back.

“My Tiklaus, that’s who. Tiklaus is a good kitty.” He rubbed the smooth belly. “Yes, you are! Such a good, big kitty. You’re my kitty, aren’t you? Good, good kitty.”

The panther accepted the attention, one paw twitching. After a moment, it stood and shook itself. A purring sound rumbled from its chest. It sat, licked one paw and added a lick of Pietas’s face as well.

“Thank you for the bath.” He hugged the panther’s neck. “You have as soft a heart as I do but you don’t show it either. Pact, my friend. I won’t tell if you won’t.” He kissed Tiklaus on the nose.

The panther bumped its head against Pietas, then bounded to a tree and up it.

About the Author of Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire: 
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.

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The Final Chapter ….Can Love Transcend Time?

Thank you so much for following along as I serialized my first time travel romance. I hope you have enjoyed the story. Your perseverance pays off today with the final chapter of “Our Love is Here to Stay.” The eBook is available on Amazon and other sites, if you want to own a copy. Or follow the OLIHTS blog tour and enter a contest to win great time-travel prizes.

Matthew felt the breath go out of him as if he had been punched by Muhammed Ali. Although his brain told him it was impossible, his heart raced with excitement.

“Patty? Is that really you?” he asked in a whisper, afraid of frightening off this apparition. She looked more beautiful than he remembered. He had longed to see her for two unbearable years, and now here she was, standing in front of him, impossibly young and stunningly gorgeous.

“Matthew Herrington?” she asked in a low voice, “You are Matthew? Somehow, I always pictured you older. How foolish of me.”

Matthew just stood staring, unsure his legs could carry him around his messy desk to hug her, desperate to hold her again. “Of course I am Matthew. How is this possible?”

“Perhaps you should sit,” the apparition said gently as she took a chair at the desk while he remained standing, stupefied. “You look like you might fall down at any moment.” She smiled at her own words and broke the spell. It was not Patty’s smile.

“Who are you?” His question was a mix of curiosity and accusation. The hurt and disappointment was crushing. “Who are you and why are you doing this to me?”

“My name is Lilah. Lilah Brockton. I am Patty Dennison’s great-niece. I am so sorry if I gave you a fright or false hope. I’ve been told that I resemble her. I should have considered that. I am so sorry.”

“You resemble her a great deal,” Matthew agreed, at last dropping into his chair. “You stopped my heart.”

“Shall I call an ambulance?” she teased. He could see that she was already comfortable around him and couldn’t help but smile. He appreciated her confidence. And her presence.

“I’ll survive, for the moment,” he responded drily. “Tell me why you are here. What can I do for you?” He had a million questions, but she had come to him and his good manners prevailed.

He watched her face as she took stock of her surroundings, impressed he suspected, and intrigued perhaps. The office was large, with expansive views of the bay through the large windows, with several vintage posters from the Big Band era covering the walls. The desk was strewn with papers and two computer monitors displayed columns of numbers. An assistant sat outside the glass wall, paying no attention to them, totally immersed in answering a phone that never seemed to stop ringing.

“If I had any doubts that you knew my Aunt Trish—Patty to you, “ Lilah began, “the posters would give you away.

“Yes, I know her. How is she? I researched her last year but there is nothing online after her retirement from Donnelley. She did well for herself.”

“She always credited you with that. Your stories about the women’s lib movement inspired her to go after her dreams before many other women did. She believed starting early gave her an advantage. She loved her work. She loved you. Sadly, I have to be the one to tell you that she died last month.”

A metallic taste filled Matthew’s mouth, as a darkness advanced over him. He feared he would faint in front of this attractive young woman. Inhaling a calming deep breath, and then another, he composed himself before opening his eyes to look into her sad ones, the same silver-blue as Patty’s. Seeing an image of the woman he loved staring back at him was unnerving but also reassuring. Patty lived on in this girl. That thought helped Matthew to regain his composure.

“I appreciate you coming in person to tell me the news. It was kind of you.”

“Not at all. It was a dying wish of my great-aunt’s that I come in person. She even stipulated it in her will,. She left me her diaries, her wealth and a few mandatory tasks. The first was that I come see you in person and the other was that I give you these.”

She handed Matthew the large manila envelop that she extracted from her oversized handbag. He slowly unwrapped the string closure, as if it held a bomb, and withdrew two tall stacks of letters, addressed “Matthew Herrington, San Francisco, CA”. None contained his street address, none held stamps, all were in the same feminine handwriting.

“They are from my aunt. She wrote to you for two years after you were last together just as you instructed her to do. After she stopped writing the letters, she began keeping a diary of her life instead.”

Matthew turned the letters over in his large hands, his heart beating erratically. He was torn between avoiding them, opening them there and then, and waiting to savor them after this lovely woman was gone.

“She wanted you to have the letters and the diaries,” Lilah continued after a minute.. Matthew recognized that she was being gentle with him,, speaking softly, n her low, melodic voice, taking breaks for him to absorb what she was saying. She sat still, eyes boring into him, watching and understanding his responses.

“I brought the letters but there are sixteen diaries, so I will send those separately, if that’s alright?” It was a statement, but she phrased it at the last minute as a question. Matthew found that little courtesy endearing as hell.

“How did you know about us?” he asked, fingering the letters, anxious and fearful to read them. After a moment, he placed them carefully on the desk in front of him and removed his hands, only to touch them reverently every few moments. “From the diaries?”

“Oh no, I have known about you since I was five or six. You were my favorite bedtime story.” The girl was cheeky, and sexy. Matthew was finally coming to see her as Lilah, separate from the woman she so resembled. For the first time in two years, he found himself responding to a woman. She made his palms sweat a little and his pulse race a lot.

For the first time in two years, he found himself responding to a woman. She made his palms sweat a little and his pulse race a lot. The final chapter of this serialized time travel romance today. www.madisonmichael.net #timetravel… Click To Tweet

“Bedtime story? I was your bedtime story. You know this all happened recently for me. It’s hard to remember that it was a long time ago for Patty. I have to remind myself that you have known about me for a long time.”

“Almost twenty years. I begged Aunt Trish to tell me about you over and over again. She told my grandmother about you, but when grandma didn’t believe her, Aunt Trish stopped telling anyone. She just shared her memories with her diaries, and me. At first she thought I believed she was telling me a fairy tale, but somewhere around my sixteenth birthday I explained to her that I believed in you, in your story and your love.”

“Why? Why should you believe when no one else did? Me, I assumed no one would ever understand. I never told a soul. Not even my brother,” Matthew made a vague gesture toward the wall to indicate his brother was down the hall even now. “I wasn’t sure myself that it was real. I went back about a year ago, as promised. It was maybe eight weeks since I had last seen Patty and I was crazy with anticipation.”

Matthew looked into Patty’s eyes, reminding himself they were Lilah’s and saw empathy and interest. This young woman believed him, made real again what he had begun to doubt.

“You know what happened, of course. Her premonition was correct.

It was no longer 1950. She wasn’t there. I kept returning but The Green Mill no longer spiraled me back in time. You know they still have Swing Night on Thursdays? It was strangely both different and the same. After three months, I gave up and came back home to California.”

“I went to The Green Mill a few times several years ago, hoping to see you, but it was too early. You hadn’t come to Chicago yet. The time-travel thing had me messed up. I needed to wait for a few more years for you to get there in 2015. My bad.”

Lilah laughed at her own mistake and Matthew found himself laughing with her. It was confusing as hell when you thought about it. She had learned about his visit to Chicago more than a decade before he actually made the trip. They shared the humor.

Matthew felt himself drawn to Lilah, comfortable with her as he had been with Patty, at home in her presence right away. They had that same instant connection. He chided himself for his emotions, as if he could stop them and reminded himself that Lilah was another person, unique in her own right, and not his beloved Patty.

“Tell me about you, Lilah” he suggested as his assistant brought them the coffee Matthew had failed to request. How did he know that they would be a while? He pushed the stacks of letters aside and grasped the coffee mug with both hands to keep from fidgeting. “I can read Patty’s letters later. Right now I would love to hear about your life.”

“Me?” She seemed surprised and flattered that he asked. “ I am a vet at a cat rescue clinic in Chicago.. I love the work and I am delighted to be finished with school. Aunt Trish considered becoming a doctor, but it required too much school. Maybe I did it because she didn’t.” Lilah added wistfully, She looked past Matthew’s shoulder, out at the view, obviously lost in her own thoughts.

“You miss her very much, don’t you?” Matthew probed gently.

“So much. She was always part of my life. She taught me so much. My love of music, and my work ethic come from her. She was my babysitter when I was young, and my girlfriend when I grew older.   She took me to concerts, ballets and lectures. She was my favorite companion.”

“”Lilah, that sounds wonderful.”

“She talked about you often. You made quite an impression in six short months. She never married, you know? No one could compare to you. I don’t think she cared about being married, although she might have wanted children.”

Matthew grabbed the bait, surprising himself with his newfound curiosity. “What about you? Are you married? Any children?”

“Oh no, not me. I have been much too busy with school, then work. You?”

Was she interested? Matthew couldn’t tell if she asked because she wanted to know, or if she was just being polite. “No, there is no one. It hasn’t been that long for me since I was in love with Patty. I still miss her.”

“Me too, “ Lilah said simply, tears shimmering, then falling from her eyes. Matthew instinctively reached in his pocket, handing her a handkerchief.

“A handkerchief?” she noted. “You don’t see those much anymore.”

“You can thank Patty. She scolded me for not carrying one. We met in winter and one of us always had a runny nose.”

“I can picture her reprimanding you,” Lilah responded with a watery smile, mopping her cheeks then returning the white square. She made to rise and Matthew felt his heart sink. “Well, I have taken up a great deal of your time, Matthew. I should be heading out. I enjoyed meeting you after all this time.”

“Don’t rush off,” Matthew’s brain scrambled for a way to keep her from leaving. Perhaps, since you came all this way, I could take you to dinner? Please say yes.”

“Tonight?” Her brows rose in surprise, or was that alarm?

“Sure” he needed to sooth her, not move so fast. “Now that I have a connection to Patty, I hate to lose it too quickly. How long are you in San Francisco and where are you staying?”

“I’m here all week, at the Mark Hopkins. I plan to do some site-seeing since I came all this way.”

“All week? Well then, let me take you up to wine country. We can pack a picnic and spend the day exploring Sonoma. You’ll love it. Or we could go sailing? I have a boat moored here in the bay. We could go over to Tiburon for the day.”

Matthew heard the excitement in his voice and knew he was getting carried away. She must be hearing desperation but now that he met Lilah, he didn’t want to let her get away. “I’m sorry. I’m not usually so pushy, but I feel comfortable with you, and connected. Let me slow back down. Will you join me for dinner.”

Laughing, Lilah rose from her chair picking up her large handbag and resting it heavily on her shoulder. She extended her hand to Matthew to say farewell.

Our Love Is Here to Stay

“I am happy to answer questions any time, Matthew. I will leave you my email and number. Text if you have questions after you read the letters.” He was losing her. This was unacceptable although he had no time to examine why. He needed to keep this connection. He needed Lilah in his life.

“That was not why I was asking you to dinner. I want to get to know you, Lilah. I am thinking about my future, not reminiscing about the past. I find you lovely and funny, smart and interesting. I want to get to know you,” he emphasized the last word.

“Where are you going with this, Matthew? I live in Chicago. You live in California. We have known each other all of 30 minutes and you are inviting me all over town.” A blush stole into her cheeks and Matthew found her lovelier than he had before.

“Don’t you feel it, Lilah? The connection? The pull?” Matthew whispered the words, looking into her amazing pale eyes. “I think Patty had a plan when she insisted you deliver these letters in person.”

The blush grew more intense, bright pink infusing Lilah’s face, setting off her blue eyes, making the blond of her hair more honeyed. She was a stunning woman, taller than Patty, but with the same combination of sexy and sweet, the same athletic grace. Matthew felt a pull in his groin unlike any he had felt in two years.

“What do you say, Lilah? Give me a chance? What have you got to lose? We’ve already spent twenty years together,” he teased. “You’ve known me since you were a child.”

“In some strange way, that’s true, isn’t it? I know you completely, but I don’t know you at all,” she mused, looking out over the water before returning her to lock her gaze on his deep brown eyes. He could see the hesitancy there but didn’t know what else to say without sounding like a lunatic. She was his future. He knew it to his core. He sensed that he would love this woman until the day he died as he had loved only one woman before. He couldn’t fathom how he could know that in less than an hour, but he didn’t question it.

“Say yes. Please say yes. I’ll start slow, just dinner,” he offered, placing his hands open in front of him to show he had nothing up his sleeve. She smiled at the gesture, looking out over the bay again as if she would find an answer outside somewhere.

“Let’s start with dinner,” she finally responded. “And, I think sailing to Tiburon sounds too enticing to pass up.” Her eyes were twinkling and the blush was back in her cheeks. She was flirting with him, he was sure of it. Relieved and elated, he stepped around the desk, took her hand in his and began walking her to the elevator.

“I’ll pick you up around 7 tonight? Does that work? We can dine on some great seafood and maybe take a walk along the wharf?”

“That sounds perfect,” she agreed, standing shoulder to shoulder with him as they waited for the elevator to arrive. “I look forward to it,” she added after a moment of companionable silence.

“Me too,” Matthew responded. “It’s too trite to admit, but I’ll be counting the hours.”

“Then let’s be trite, because I was thinking the exact same thing,” Lilah admitted with a wide smile.

The doors opened to reveal the empty elevator car. Lilah entered then turned to face him. The doors began to close when she stepped out again.

“This isn’t about Aunt Trish, right? This is about you and me? Just you and me?”

Matthew hated the vulnerability in her voice. “Just us,” he set to reassure her. “I loved your aunt deeply, don’t get me wrong. But I am intrigued by you and you alone. I feel something with you that is new and exciting.”

“Okay. I just needed to be sure,” she nodded, pressing the call button for a second time. The doors opened immediately. Lilah stepped in again but this time Matthew followed her partway inside.

She took a step back, making room for him in the car and he took her in his arms gently, as if she might break, or bolt. When she wrapped her arms tentatively around his torso, he held her more firmly and bent his head to place his lips gently upon her mouth.

The kiss was over before it started, a butterfly kiss to seal the connection, nothing more. Matthew inhaled her the floral scent of her perfume, felt her hair tickle his face and let her go. Her lips had been soft, tasting of coffee and promising a dark sexiness that could swamp a man’s sensations. He felt his heart thump against his chest and hoped she felt it too.

The elevator bell chimed reminding them they were preventing the door from closing. Matthew exited the elevator as Lilah pressed the button for the lobby and the doors closed behind him.

Once Lilah was out of his view, Matthew felt as if a spell was broken. His heartbeat returned to normal and his body temperature cooled. He stood lost in thought for several moments, before returning to his office. If he was going soling tomorrow, he better get some work done today.

Patty’s letters rested on his desk like an accusation.. He stared at them, trying to understand his emotions. Patty had been his love but after two years he understood she was gone. They were never destined to be together. She was his past.

Lilah stirred memories of Patty, that was true, but she was a modern woman, different enough from Patty for him to keep them separate in his mind. He had been honest when he stated this was about her and not Patty. Although he barely knew her, Matthew hoped Lilah might be his future.

He warred with himself for ten full minutes, staring at the letters but reminding himself he had work to do. Finally, he pushed everything aside , shifting his attention to two piles. Turning the stack in his hands he noted a slightly shakier version of the feminine scrawl on the top note requesting that he ‘read me first’. He neatly ripped the seal on the envelop while still debating with himself over the wisdom of his actions.. He did not want memories of Patty clouding his time with Lilah, yet how could he not connect a little with his past?

“Dear Matthew,” the letter began. “It has been more than fifty years since I last rested my eyes on your handsome face. These letters and my diaries will chronicle the life I made without you after you returned to your time. No detail is too small, just as I promised that last night at The Green Mill.

“If you are reading this, death has won its inevitable battle. I lived a good life. I was lucky. I had you, I had a career, I had Lilah. These were the joys of my life, you especially. Our time together was brief, but your love warmed me for the rest of my life.

“Your insights into the future allowed me to embrace life and take advantage of opportunities that were ahead of my time. I thank you for that. I owe much to those conversations about computers, and women’s lib, and things to come. I reached into the future without fear, with a true joy in living each day.”

“I think you will find that my great-niece has the same love of life, sense of adventure and confidence that you nurtured in me. You have always been in her life and I feel certain that she should be in yours. It will benefit you both. Love her well. She is your perfect match in every way.”

“Be happy, my love, and remember to dance now and then.“

Matthew wiped a tear from his cheek and caught his breath. How she could have known when she penned this that Lilah would grow to be his partner? Perhaps Patty had recognized something in them both. Whatever the reason, she was giving her blessing and permission for him to let her go. He would be eternally grateful for her wisdom in sending Lilah in this way.

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Northstar Security Series, a romantic suspense series from Stanalei Fletcher – #GiveAway


Stanalei Fletcher’s January Blowout Sale Blog Tour

All 5 Northstar Security Series books are on sale for only 

$.99 during the tour only!

GiveAway: Stanalei is offering some fabulous prizes during this tour. One Lucky winner will have the chance to choose an ebook from her backlist, another lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate, and one lucky winner will have the chance to choose a print book from Stanalei’s backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember to follow along with the tour to increase your chances of winning. You may find the other tour locations here

Northstar Security Series Blurb: 

Northstar Security Firm is an elite private security agency whose mission statement: GUIDED BY THE TRUTH, is the guiding principle to provide justice for those who have been wronged. Founded by former CIA agents Byron O’Neal, Katherine O’Neal, and Sean Malone, Northstar Security has a ninety-nine percent success rate. That one percent is a still open case involving Katherine’s murder and Sean Malone’s career-ending gunshot wound. Nothing is a hundred percent guaranteed, and angst over one unsolved case doesn’t stop good men and women from fulfilling their duty.
Proving Ground
Northstar Security Series Book #1

About Proving Ground

Caitlin Malone believes screw-ups don’t get second chances. When she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment and stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens, she sees a chance at redemption.

For USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, having Caitlin home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.

When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, started by the terrorists, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget.

Buy Links:

Dead Reckoning
Northstar Security Series Book #2

About Dead Reckoning: 

Byron O’Neal, Northstar Security Firm’s director didn’t always run an elite private investigation firm. His early CIA years were spent chasing Soviet spies. Now his past is catching up, and Kellee, Bryon’s daughter is caught in the middle of a game of Russian Roulette. Northstar agent and former Navy SEAL, Egan Maddox, is tasked to save Kellee from the Russian mafia before it’s too late, a task that puts not only his life, but his heart on the line.


Buy Links:

Beyond Duty
Northstar Security Series Book #3

About Beyond Duty: 
Northstar Security agent, Riley O’Neal, balks at posing as anyone’s husband for an assignment. Nevertheless, to rescue the kidnapped wife of a U.S. Senator, he’ll perform his duty and do his best to resist the charms of the very woman who deceived him on a previous mission.

U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is uneasy about the undercover assignment to pose as newlyweds. Concealing her attraction to Riley while staying focused on the task, may be the biggest challenge. Despite efforts to remain objective, enforced proximity ignites emotions and a desire to make the fake honeymoon real.

When Chip is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt of the senator’s wife, both women become pawns in the case that threatens the nation’s security. Riley must remain objective, save the women, and avert the threat. But after that, can he convince Chip that she wants to wear his ring forever?

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Excerpt Beyond Duty:
Riley waited until the conference door closed and then picked up the sealed envelope on the table. “What’s this?”

His father gestured with his hand. “Open it.”

Riley tore one end of the envelope. Not seeing anything at first, he tipped it upside down. Two gold bands slid out. The innocent symbols of eternal love clattered ominously on the table. The larger one spun a moment before coming to rest, barely touching the smaller ring.

Chip gasped.

Riley felt immobilized by the significance of the gold glinting under the room’s fluorescent lights. As though on cue, they both reached for the rings. When their hands collided, Chip snatched hers back and balled it into a fist.

He picked up the smaller ring first, and rolled the smooth metal between his fingers. He strode around the table and stopped in front of the petite lieutenant.

She stood her ground. Taking her left hand, he heard her draw a breath.

His gaze locked on to the violent storm brewing inside her gray eyes. The temperature inside the room increased. His breathing matched the rise and fall of her chest as the room filled with white noise. Her slender hand trembled ever so slightly as he slipped the band onto her fourth finger. It fit perfectly. He stared into the dark pools of her eyes, like a man dying of thirst in the scorched desert. Uninvited, the timeless words from the marriage ceremony echoed through his head. “With this ring…”

Stunned by the thought, he stopped short of speaking the words aloud. At the head of the table, Byron cleared his throat and broke the spell.

Riley dropped her hand as though he’d been burned. He returned to his side of the table, picked up the other ring, and slid it on the fourth finger of his left hand. No fanfare. No ceremony. Only an unfamiliar burden he was about to carry. A partner—a wife as a cover story—with two lives and the nation’s security at stake.

 Breaking the Honor Code
Northstar Security Series Book #4

About Breaking the Honor Code

 

Cyber-terrorism brings even the most powerful companies to their knees. When Northstar Security Firm discovers a breach inside their computer firewall, agent Sloan Cartland will do anything to help the firm’s brilliant computer tech, Allison Richards, find the culprit—even after he learns that all evidence of the hack points back to Allison.


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Tell It Like It Is
Northstar Security Series Book #5

About Tell It Like It Is: 

FBI agent, Nelson Kane’s Aunt Rosalee has a story to tell. Someone wants her stopped. When Northstar Security’s unconventional bodyguard, Justine Shelby, is assigned as Aunt Rosalee’s protection, Shelby learns she’s as welcome as a wiretap at the annual J. Edgar Hoover Christmas party. Ornaments start to fly when Shelby informs by-the-book, Agent Kane to stay out of the way while she helps his aunt complete her tell-all memoirs.

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About Stanalei Fletcher:

Stanalei’s love of writing romance stems from reading favorites such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland, and Alistair MacLean. She has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.
After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides near the beautiful Wasatch Mountain Range with her hero, who just happens to be her best friend and husband. Together they enjoy backcountry dirt trails on a RZR, visiting our National Parks, or exploring museums and ghost towns. You may visit Stanalei at: 

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Painted Love, a Romantic Suspense from Viviana MacKade

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Viviana MacKade. Viviana is here to share her newest release Painted Love that is part of the Lawbreakers box set. Welcome, Viviana! 

 

Guest Post by Viviana MacKade

Why do I write romance? That’s a great question and has a simple answer: because love it’s what makes the world go on and on. Everything is about love. When your heart takes a double step when you see the person you fell for? Love. When you hug your mom, dad, or children? Love. When you share a too-small can of popcorn with a friend during a movie? Still love.

And that’s all nice and good. Can you hear a but coming?

Yeah. Because love can make us better people or horrible humans.

Let’s face it, getting dumped usually brings out the worst from anyone. I’m talking anything from ugly crying and hating on someone, all the way down to using love as an excuse to justify murder. Would it be twisted and sick? Sure. But it happens.

Take, for example, my first Crescent Creek novella. In She Came With The Tide, Andrea’s ex-husband is obsessed with her. She was his, chosen by a higher power to guide The Children of Vision with him. Not a healthy kind of love. Probably, not even real love (and here we could open a gigantic can of worms about the difference between love, obsession, and all that world but I have not enough space for it). The point is, he thought he loved her, and he wanted to have back that love.

My newest story, Painted Love. Florence goes after what her grandfather gave her because he loved her. To her, those paintings were the tangible reality of the love she and her grandfather had shared. And eventually, she loses all because she fell in love with Rhett.

All the birthdays, anniversaries, family gatherings forgotten or unattended because work gets in the way? Yep, that’s love too–for a job, a career, money.

Love is such a complex mess, and exploring all its various colors is an exciting rollercoaster that can take you to beautiful places, or in hell.

Which is why I like suspense in my stories, because I can dig into the characters’ hearts and see what colors their love is, each and every shade of it. Hopefully, I’ll find more light than darkness.

Personally, my husband makes my light shine a bit brighter. Not that I wouldn’t bash his head with a frying pan from time to time, but he still makes me a better person. As for the worse, I’m afraid to say that when I was 15, I totally ignored a friend’s claim on a boy. The girl and I weren’t the closest friends, she was more of an acquaintance, but I knew she felt for him the kind of love that burns the most, a 15-year-old love, no less. I liked him, nothing more (I learned love only when my husband came along), but I still went for him, got him, and dumped him after few days. Man, I regret that to this day. Losing a friend, not dumping the tool.

So, in this perspective, what is the best and the worst you did for love?

About Painted Love

Thou shalt not steal.

Oh, but Florence had, and would do so one last time.

Ten pieces her grandfather painted for her because he loved her.

Ten pieces her mother lost, along with anything else, for loving the wrong man.

She couldn’t get back everything he’d wasted away, but she’d be damned if she’d give up those paintings. 

Easy and genuine, Rhett loves his life–his family, his market, his town. Until he meets a British woman with grey eyes and a cute little smile. The woman he’s been waiting for.

The thing is, to love her is easy, but can he trust her?

When Rhett pushes to uncover her agenda, Flo knows she will lose something–the man she loves or what she’d been fighting for years.

Which road will she choose?

Excerpt from Painted Love

Prolog

London, October 31st

Florence Harper closed her mobile phone and put it back into her purse.

The end was coming.

In the dark late afternoon, a group of underdressed young witches strolled by the bench she sat on. Drunk already, judging by the disarticulate chuckles and screams. She never cared for any such thing. Never had time for it.

The muddy water of the Thames kept flowing. Always had, always will. Her life? That was about to change. For the better, she hoped.

Jacob had found Painted Love: the last piece of her broken heart was hiding in a small town on the other side of the ocean.

Crescent Creek. A fanciful name, romantic, even.

For Florence, it was only the place where she’d sin one last time.

Thou shalt not steal.

Oh, but she had, and she will.

All her life, or her adult life, had been touched by love one way or another.

The day she was born, her grandfather had made Painted Love. After, each year on her birthday he would give what he called a piece of his own heart to her. Only to her. The collection stopped after her tenth birthday, when Grandfather Paul passed away.

And soon after, her widowed mother remarried. Flo would never know if the decision came out of pure love, loneliness, or naiveté. But she did remarry. A bastard, of course. Within a few years, he’d bet and lost all. Money, properties, art. A divorce didn’t change anything as it turned out, banks didn’t care much about it, or death.

The bastard didn’t live long. Official cause of death: blunt trauma from a fall. Word on the street was that someone had made that happen. For as much welcomed his demise was, herself, her mom and Joseph, the bastard’s only son, had to work themselves to the bone to get on their feet again.

They did, though. Tired, depressed for all the mistakes she’d made, and unable to overcome guilt, her mom managed to have a couple of quiet years before she gave up and united with her father and her beloved first husband, Flo’s dad.

But no matter how much of a successful photographer she’d become, or how much of a brilliant art curator Joseph was, the past haunted them. Florence couldn’t forget what was taken away from her; Jacob couldn’t shake off the shame of his own father’s actions.

So, they decided to act, right some of the wrongs.

She would take back those ten pieces her grandfather made for her because he’d loved her, and her mother lost because she’d loved the wrong man. That man’s son would help her achieve justice.

The irony.

And finally, Jacob had tracked down the last painting, the smallest one, through his private channels. Flo knew better than asking the hows, but she trusted him completely. Problem was, the actual owner of the Painted Love didn’t want to sell, no matter the money offered, and that meant one thing: for one last time, she’d have to steal.

Well, it appeared she’d be taking a holiday. A vacation, as they would say in America.

She grabbed the mobile phone and started to plan.

Find Viviana MacKade : 

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Jumping to 2001: Our Time Travel Romance Continues

Still with me? This is our second-to-the-last chapter of Our Love is Here to Stay. The feedback has been great, although many of you have forgone the serial strategy and bought the eBook on Amazon. I understand that need, believe me. I have a hard time putting down a book until the end and have even been known to the read the last page first! But for those of you who embraced this process, here’s Chapter Seven.

“Aunt Trish, tell me the story again, puh-lease.”

“Lilah, your mother will have my head if I don’t send you to bed right now. Besides, I have told you the story a hundred times before.”

“I know, but I never get tired of hearing it. You always make it sound so real. I love how you make it sound like it happened to you. You know, Aunt Trish, you don’t fool me by calling the girl Patty, either.”

“Well, my lovely you are a hard one to fool. You are very smart for your eight years and too old for stories.” Patricia straightened the room around her great-niece who was sitting up in bed, her bottom lip protruding in a giant pout. Cleary she was refusing to take no for an answer. “Your mother and father will be home soon and they won’t let me babysit again if you are still awake.”

“Of course they will, Aunt Trish. They don’t have to pay you.”

Patricia bent over the pile of clothes on the floor to hide the grin on her face. Her great-niece really was too smart for her age, and very observant. Still, she loved the child as if she were her own. She schooled her features, flicked a stray wisp of hair that was stuck to her forehead and straightened up, ignoring the ache in her lower back. She moved to the dresser, folding the shirts and pants in her hand. When she got to the small jeans with the flower appliques, she stopped, lost in memories for a moment. Matthew was right. Everyone wore jeans now, even eight-year old children.

“Did you hear me? Are you listening, Aunt Trish? Are you thinking of a story to tell me?” Patricia heard the excitement in the little girl’s voice and relented. But a different story tonight. Patricia didn’t think she could handle the emotions associated with talking about Matthew. She missed her sister and Matthew, and her emotions were too close to the surface lately. It wouldn’t do to get all teary in front of Lilah.

Shaking off the moment, Patricia pasted on a smile and turned to her favorite relative. She loved all of her sisters’ children. Her older sister had 3. And now each of them had children too. Her younger sister had moved to Maryland with her husband years ago, so she only saw that side of the family on rare occasions. But Mary’s children, and their children, had remained close both physically and emotionally all their lives. She had three great-nephews and then this lone little girl.

Patricia knew she spoiled her, but at age 72 and with no children of her own, no one argued with her. Soon she would be too old to bathe and pick up after the precocious child, but until then, she planned to take every opportunity to play nanny for a day or two. And Lilah was correct; her niece and her husband were grateful for the free help.

“If I promise to pretend to be asleep if mommy comes, will you tell me the story again?”

“You minx. You will not pretend anything. I will tell you a different story, a shorter one, and you will close her eyes and try to sleep. Deal?”

“Deal,” the child repeated, putting her small hand in Patricia’s larger one and giving it one good shake. Patricia reached over her head to turn out the bedside lamp, dimmed the overhead light and rested on the side of the bed. She stroked the small child’s hair off her forehead, did a quick survey of the room to assure herself that everything was straightened up and finally relaxed her shoulders.

“Once upon a time, “ she began in a sing-song voice, kicking off her shoes to get more comfortable, “there lived a girl named Patty. Patty was very fortunate. She had a mother and father who loved her and two sisters, one older and one younger, with whom she would remain close all her life.” Patty’s voice cracked on the last words, thinking of her sister Mary who had died of cancer only last year. She missed her more with the passing of time, their daily phone calls, their reminisces. Mary had grown closer as they aged, and time was not healing the pain of her loss. Patricia was now the matriarch of the family and stand-in grandmother for this little child.

“When Patty was old enough to work, she got a job as a secretary to a nice man whose family owned a big company. In those days,” Patricia explained, “women became secretaries, nurses or teachers.”

“Or moms,” Lilah chirped.

“Or moms,” Patricia agreed, snuggling back against the headboard, feeling the reassuring warmth of the little body beside her. Lilah smelled of shampoo, baby powder and wholesome child. Patricia inhaled the fresh scent once more before continuing. “But Patty knew something that other girls did not know. She knew that someday soon women would be doctors and lawyers and anything they wanted to be.”

'Cause Matthew told her so,'Lilah piped up. 'Matthew told her when he visited from the future.' Time-travel romance at www.madisonmichael.net/time-romance-seven Click To Tweet

“Cause Matthew told her so,” Lilah piped up. “Matthew told her when he visited from the future.”“Yes, but that is not the story I am telling tonight.” Patricia planted a soft kiss on Lilah’s forehead to take the sting out of her words. “Continuing…Patty spent a year learning about all the things she could study and do. She considered becoming a doctor – she had been good at science in school, just like you.” She tapped the tip of her great-niece’s nose and gave her a proud smile. “She thought about being a doctor,” Patricia repeated, “but decided there were too many years of school for that. She thought about being a lawyer, but that posed the same problem.”

“So what happened?” the little girl prodded, anxious to know the story.

“What happened? Well…” Patricia enjoyed dragging the words out and watching her great-niece squirm. “She was studying a book on careers at her desk one day when the nice man she worked for happened to walk by.”

“What’s careers?”

“Jobs, honey. A career is the work you do to make money. When you decide you want to do something for your work all the time, learn more about it, grow and develop in the job, then it becomes your career.” Lilah nodded her head In comprehension.

“I want a career someday, like you Aunt Trish.”

“Good for you, Pumpkin. Patty was very lucky that the man did not scold her for reading her book on company time…” Patricia was interrupted again.

“What’s ‘company time’?”

“Company time is when the people you work for expect you to do their work, not your own.”

“Oooh,” Lilah responded, letting the concept sink in.

“The nice man asked what Patty was doing and she explained to him that she wanted a career, and she was trying to choose one.”

“Cause she had promised never, ever, ever to marry.”

“That’s right, Lilah, because she had vowed never to marry.”

“I think that’s sad, though.”

“I think that is another story, pixie.” Patricia remarked. “How about I continue with this one for now?”

“Okay,” Lilah responded in a small voice followed by a big yawn.

“Where was I? Oh yes, instead of getting in trouble with the nice man, he suggested that they work together to find her a career. He was very wise and he had a lot of friends in business that could help Patty. Soon the girl was training in sales and traveling to exciting places like New York City and Washington, DC.”

“I’ve been to Washington to see Auntie DeeDee,” Lilah bragged. “It was cool.”

“Yes, I know you have, pixie. Well, Patty thought Washington was cool too. She also thought selling was cool and she was good at it. She sold lots for her company and they gave her more work to do and more money for doing it. Soon other sales people worked for her and she was a Vice President, the first woman in her company.” Patricia paused in her story, savoring again that moment when she became the first female Vice President of Sales. Little did she know then that she would rise to be Executive VP before retirement.

Realizing that there was no little voice urging her to continue, Patricia glanced over to find Lilah asleep and breathing deeply. Careful not to disturb her, Patricia slid carefully from the bed, picked up her shoes and flipped off the light. Moving slowly to avoid bumping into anything, she moved to the door and closed it halfway behind her before moving down the hallway past the living room to the kitchen, where she washed the remnants of a macaroni and cheese dinner followed by chocolate ice cream with sprinkles and whipped cream. It had been a perfect night.

Exhausted from caring for the small child, Patricia collapsed into a kitchen chair and rested her elbows on the table and her head on her hands. She was getting too old to chase Lilah around. At 72, she was arthritic and slow-moving. She had given up tennis several years ago when she had knee replacement surgery. Patricia didn’t miss chasing the ball around the court as much as she missed the 30 minutes spent rehashing the game with friends after.

Her world was getting smaller. She no longer worked. She had given up her position on the Board at the hospital, and then tennis. Her friends were moving south for the warmer winters and now her beloved sister was gone too. There were fewer people with whom to go to lectures, or attend a concert. She was living more in her memories, and she knew it, but they kept her warm at night.

She was living more in her memories, and she knew it, but they kept her warm at night. Read this free time-travel romance www.madisonmichael.net/time-romance-seven Click To Tweet

Matthew would be born now. Hell, he would be sixteen years old, just on the cusp of manhood, busy discovering girls. She had considered trying to see him – surreptitiously of course, on several business trips to California. But that had been years ago, when he was still a small boy. Now, she suspected, she would be able to see signs of the man he was becoming.

If she was going to make the trip, it needed to be soon. She would be too frail to travel alone in a few more years, if she made it that long. Her sister’s cancer had given her quite a scare and now she counted her future In days and months instead of years. She hoped she was wrong about their genetics, but feared she was not.

A trip to San Francisco might be lovely. In their long talks, Matthew had told her of his childhood. She knew he grew up in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco. She believed she could find him easily enough, but then what? What could a sixteen-year-old boy want with an old woman? He would not have memories to rehash. She would just be a crazy old bag annoying him, stalking him.

Getting a Diet Coke from the fridge, Patricia wandered around the apartment. Her great-nephews would be home soon. They had a curfew of midnight and it was approaching that now. She dropped, weary, onto the sofa, sinking into the soft cushions, remembering too late that it would be nearly impossible to rise again. Joshua could help her. He was a strapping boy of fourteen now.

Sitting alone with her thoughts, Patricia allowed her memories to swamp her. She remembered going back to The Green Mill Thursday after Thursday for more than a year. Then she started traveling for work. Still, she returned there sporadically, just in case, for another year before acknowledging that her premonition was accurate. With each visit, she felt anew the loss and heartbreak, the difficulty of dealing with Matthew’s absence alone. She felt it now as if it had just happened.

Our Love Is Here to StayShe had finally confessed to Mary, who had wanted her to see a doctor for her affliction, making Patricia feel lonelier still. Despite her promise to wait, Patricia did date. Mary brought home boy after boy, trying to help cure her hallucinations, but none were Matthew. No one made her heart flutter or her pulse race as he had. Eventually Mary stopped trying and Patricia dove into her work and swore off men.

She smiled now to remember how her reputation had suffered in those early days, the sly looks and the bad boys who tried to date her, wanting only to get in her pants. When she stayed single year after year those rumors all died down, replaced by pitying looks for the girl who had been jilted. Those looks eventually changed. Instead women looked at her with envy for all she had achieved. Men too.

She was still an attractive woman, straight and lean. Her blond locks had gone gray, then almost white several years ago. She hadn’t bothered coloring her hair. She still loved to dance and hike and wander the streets downtown window shopping. But she was lonely. She could only fill so many hours with her sister’s grandchildren, or with what few friends she still could meet for a casual cup of coffee.

Reaching into her bag, stretching far to avoid getting up off the sofa, Patricia pulled out her journal. Keeping this diary, telling her story for someone to discover when she was gone, that was what kept her going now. She relived every glorious moment with Matthew and captured it on paper. People would think she had been insane, but she didn’t care. She wanted someone, somewhere, to know that she had once known a great love, that she had loved and been loved in return.

Someone other than the small girl upstairs who utterly believed in Matthew.

 

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Snowbound with Mr. Wrong, a sweet romance from Barbara White Daille

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Barbara White Daille. Welcome, Barbara! I’m anxious to hear more about the book you are going to share with us today.

Thanks to Maddy for the invitation to come back for another visit! Today I’m sharing the first book in my Snowflake Valley series, sweet romance from Entangled Bliss.

This is from the back cover of Snowbound with Mr. Wrong:

Worst. Day. Ever. After Lyssa Barnett’s sister tricks her into reprising her role at Snowflake Valley’s annual children’s party, she doesn’t think anything can be worse than squeezing into her too-small elf costume. Then tall, dark, and way too handsome Nick Tavlock shows up to play Santa…and an unexpected storm leaves them snowbound in the isolated lodge.

The last thing Nick wants is to spend a cozy Christmas Eve with a trio of kids and the woman who dumped him. But as much as Lyssa frustrates him, he can’t stop thinking about her. And soon, he’s fighting very un-Santa-like thoughts of kissing a certain sexy Miss Elf under the mistletoe. As Nick starts to fall for Lyssa all over again, he knows it will take nothing short of a miracle to have Lyssa in his arms on Christmas Day. 

Buy Links for  Snowbound with Mr. Wrong:

Excerpt from Snowbound with Mr. Wrong:

This is from early on in the book, when the party is over but Nick and Lyssa’s troubles have just begun. They’ve tried to leave the lodge, only to hit disaster:

No matter how she tried, she couldn’t get the rear wheels to inch, angle, or crawl up and over the edge of the roadway. He could see the frustration in her face. When he touched her arm and she looked his way, he couldn’t miss the despair in her eyes. He gave her a smile he hoped she would find reassuring. “All right, now we move on to plan B.”

“What’s plan B?” Mollie asked.

“We get out and go see what’s blocking the road.”

They couldn’t tell anything from inside the car. In the short time since they had stopped moving, a layer of white had covered the windows. Lyssa tried the wipers, which left only frozen smears on the windshield.

Brent was the first one to exit the car. Nick had made it halfway through his door when the kid returned, brushing snow from his hair and shoulders.

“It’s a tree!” For the first time since Nick had met him, the teenager’s voice shifted out of neutral. “It’s blocking the whole road. No way we’re getting out of here!”

Nick pulled himself upright, standing on his good foot, and looked across the car’s roof at Lyssa. Her already fair skin had turned a shade whiter.

“I wanna see!” Tommy yelled, scrambling out of the back seat.

Mollie followed on his heels. “Me, too.”

“Stay right here for a minute,” Lyssa ordered.

She came around the rear of the car to Nick’s side. “This couldn’t have happened too long ago,” she said, sounding bewildered. “We weren’t that far behind all the others.”

“Far enough. Our bad luck,” he muttered, trying to put weight on his right foot without her noticing. When he grimaced, she couldn’t help but see. “Our bad luck—and me slowing us down.”

A twinge of guilt even stronger than his pain shot through him. Frustration overwhelmed him. He thumped his fist on the roof of the car and was rewarded by a shower of snow falling onto his boot.

Great. A sprain on one foot, frostbite on the other.

“You’re not the only one who brings bad luck,” she said cryptically. Not bothering to explain, she shook her head. “And you didn’t slow us that much. If anything, it was me, worrying about all those leftovers and taking too much time to put them away.” Her eyes misted as she looked up at him.

His heart seemed to wrench, and all he wanted to do was wrap his arms around her. But he needed to stay on task. “We can’t think about all that now.”

“I know.” She dropped her voice to a hoarse whisper. “Nick. Obviously, everyone else from the party made it past this point. They don’t know about the tree. They can’t know we’re stranded here. And…”

He nodded grimly. “And they won’t be coming back to pick us up.”

About the Author of Snowbound with Mr. Wrong:

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed “The End” to her first novel many years later…in the eighth grade. Now she’s writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:  https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.

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One for my Baby and One More for the Road

Only three chapters to go…We are coming to the end of the serial romance “Our Love is Here to Stay”. I hope you are enjoying the story. I would love to hear from you about both the story and the concept of serializing it. Meanwhile, if you want to own the eBook, it is not available for purchase on Amazon and other purchase sites.

“What do we do now?” Patty couldn’t hide the tremor in her voice which was rising in an unattractively shrill manner. “What if I’m not here when you get back?”

“It’s a month or two, Patty, that’s all,” Matthew reassured her, wiping a stray tear from her cheek. “I’ve been gone for weeks before and you were always here when I returned. Always. I will be back as soon as possible.”

“I know you say that,” she accused, pointing a finger in a scolding manner, “and I am sure you mean it, but we have no control here. I’m scared.”

Matthew took her in his arms to comfort her, but Patty felt no comfort. Last Thursday he told her that his assignment was over and he was going back home. Ever since then she had been tossing, turning and crying – crying all the time but unable to explain why to anyone else.

Her mother suggested a doctor, her father recommended a vacation. Her work performance was slipping. Patty was terrified to leave the city, afraid of changing whatever it was that resulted in her being able to be with Matthew in their time warp.

“Don’t cry, honey,” Matthew begged her for the fourth time tonight. “You look so beautiful. That’s a new dress, right? I love the floral print.”

“Don’t change the subject on me, Matthew Herrington,” she commanded. “Yes it is a new dress, but your wiles won’t work. I want to know when you will be back.”

“Let’s dance,” he suggested. She gave him a scowl, thinking he was trying to distract her again until he added, “I just want to hold you in my arms.”

“Well, how can I argue with that?” she responded coquettishly, flashing the first real smile as hof the night. They held hands as they walked toward the dance floor, stopping to say hello to a few friends along the way. Now that Matthew was a regular, he knew everyone in Patty’s crowd by name, knew the wait staff and management, and the boys in the band, who always played extra slow songs for the couple.

She stepped into Matthew’s embrace. It felt like coming home: Read this time-travel romance www.madisonmichael.net/new-serial-romance Click To Tweet

She stepped into Matthew’s embrace. It felt like coming home: secure, warm, natural. How would she go on not knowing when or if he would return? She felt the tears forming and looked up at Matthew’s handsome face with shimmering eyes.

“Honey,” he warned her “if you keep crying I will have no choice but to kiss away those tears.”

“Here? On the dance floor?” she taunted him.

“Right here where everyone can see.”

Patty had lost several friends since meeting Matthew six months ago. The talk that they ignored in the early stages of their relationship had given way to rumors and innuendo that had destroyed her reputation and relationships. At first she had been upset, but she grew a thicker skin with each passing week.

“Go for it,” she told Matthew, proud to have found a way to use another of his twenty-first century phrases. “Make it a good one.”

Matthew didn’t disappoint, pulling her tight against his muscular chest, lowering his head and taking her lips with his. He shifted his head to a slight angle for better access, resting his hands scandalously low on her back and teasing her with his tongue. Her blood heated in an instant, leaning into him for strength, wanting to be closer, to be naked against this man. She wanted to be the scandalous floozy her friends accused her of being.

Little by little, the couple had allowed themselves to increase their kisses, unable to keep their hands off each other any longer. She had lost all sense of place and time, just wanting his exploring hands on her aching breasts or between her legs where she was moist and throbbing. She was still embarrassed when she remembered that it was Matthew who stopped them from doing something shameful, not her.

“Remember where we are, Patty,” he reminded her in a low, husky voice, ,putting space between them and adjusting the obvious bulge in his pants. “We have to stop.”

Feeling desperate, aroused and hungry for more, Patty had suggested the unthinkable. “Let’s go in the men’s room. Who will know?”

“We will know, Hon. And so will the whole world if you get pregnant. How the hell would you explain that?” Twice Matthew had considered taking Patty to the men’s room and finishing what he started. Both times they had discussed birth control. She had not been offended, surprising herself by her willingness to consider the possibility of sex outside of wedlock.

“I need to think about it,” she had responded. “But I think you should buy the – you know – just in case.” Her face had flamed with heat and infused with color. If she couldn’t talk about it, how would she ever go through with it?

Their next birth control conversation was filled with disappointment. Matthew had been to the drugstore, but when he came into The Green Mill, his pockets were empty. He tried a second time with the same results. Like his phone, what he bought in 2015 wouldn’t transport to 1950.

She could never, ever buy them in 1950 to solve the problem. She would die of embarrassment. “The pharmacist knows me. He knows my family. I’m not married. How could I ever explain?” she confided to Matthew. “It would be too shameful.”

So she had settled for groping in the shadowy booth, getting as excited and as frustrated as Matthew was, but going no further than that. Tonight, she felt desperate, considered going much further with no protection. Thank god his cooler head prevailed. She had a bad feeling about the future – that this was goodbye.

buy the ebookHow would she move past this? She was madly in love with Matthew. She had thought early on that she loved him, and now, six months later she was sure of it. His quirky phrases made her laugh. She loved his willingness to research that time before he was born, learn more about the future just so he could share it with her. She hung on his words he wove magic tales that were more fantastic than any science fiction stories. His handsome face, powerful hands and wondrous kisses inflamed her body and warmed her soul.

Patty wanted, more than anything, to have a future with him, to marry Matthew and have his children, but she was realistic too, feeling beyond fortunate each Thursday to discover that he was still there, in her life for another week. This felt too good to be true, and Patty had learned long ago to be suspicious of myths and legends. In truth, when she was away from Swing Night at The Green Mill, this entire situation felt like a fairytale, a fairytale that could never have a happy ending.

She was a strong woman and she would bear his departure even as she prayed for his return. But she was not stupid. She planned to do everything she could tonight to entice him back sooner. She would grab every moment she could with this amazing man.

“Slut,” she heard someone say under their breath, shaking her equilibrium and immediately killing the romantic moment. Matthew’s head shot up from the kiss, and he missed a dance step, avoiding her toe by barely an inch.

“Who said that?” Matthew looked around, fire in his eyes. She knew he was spoiling for a fight. He hated that people thought less of her for being with him, but she had reassured him she didn’t care. He once stopped kissing her for a whole week, but capitulated when she flirted and cajoled him to embrace her again.

He told her that in 2015 people kissed in public all the time. “Let’s pretend it’s 2015,” Patty suggested each time he hesitated to hold her or press his mouth to hers in hot kisses that she craved the other days of the week. “We are grown ups. Let all these people think what they want.”

Matthew was aware he was hurting Patty’s chances of meeting a nice man and settling down. He spoke to her of it often, including now, as he moved to leave the dance floor, hand in hand. Her friends had turned their backs – some friends, and the rumors even reached his own ears.

He told Patty of a night in the men’s room when a bunch of guys were trashing her. They called her ‘fast’ or ‘easy’ and speculated on just how far she would go. Their eyes grew wide and their mouths formed an alarmed O when they realized Matthew was in their midst. Matthew made a fish face when he imitated their surprised countenances for Patty. He repeated the incident as a cautionary tale, but all she did was laugh at Matthew’s fish face.

“Matthew, ignore them. It doesn’t matter. Just dance with me,” she begged, pulling him back onto the small wooden floor. “Hold me tight and dance with me.”

They finished the dance, although she felt the tension in his shoulders and understood he still wished he could hit someone. The moment was spoiled for them so as soon as the song ended they returned to their seats, sliding into the dark booth. Matthew slid an arm around her shoulder but she shrugged it off, turning to face him squarely, a serious glint in her eyes.

“What can you and Jonah do to get you back here sooner?” she queried with no preamble. “I have a bad feeling. I think anything more than a few weeks is risky.”

“Sweetheart, you’re overreacting. It will be fine.” Matthew was placating her, but Patty had this rock lodged in her chest – dark, overwhelming fear. She needed him to understand, but how did she explain what she saw as a sign when it was just a feeling? Oh hell, why not believe in premonitions at this point? They already believed in time-travel.

“Matthew, your sweet talk is not going to work. I have a bad feeling and it’s real. I just know it. You need to come back sooner. We cannot take a chance.”

“Patty, I am not sweet talking you. I would not risk what we have for anything, but I have so much to do to get things set up with Jonah. I can only quit my job if we get this new venture moving. If I am my own boss I can work from Chicago. If I can’t quit my job, they can send me anywhere. You understand that?”

“Of course I understand that,” she parroted. “But why so long? You are estimating six weeks or more. It’s too risky.”

“We have meetings scheduled. We need signed contracts with our first clients – the good news is that we have clients lined up. We need office space, furniture and a bit of cash on hand. That takes time. And I have to give at least two weeks notice.”

“Can’t you give notice while you do all that other stuff?” It made perfect sense to her. Why could he not see that?

Matthew blew an exasperated sigh through his lips. “Patty, love, this is hard for me too. Jonah and I have a plan. We have worked it out to complete in about six weeks and then I will come running back to you and a lovely Chicago autumn. You can teach me more steps of the Lindy Hop when I get back,” he offered.

“I don’t want to teach you the damn Lindy Hop,” she blurted, then covered her mouth in horror. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to speak to you that way. I am just so scared.”

She ducked her head, pressed her face into Matthew’s chest and inhaled the scent of him deep into her. Would she need to hold that scent for the rest of her life? She tried to shake off the bad feeling but it wouldn’t go away.

Matthew wrapped his arms around her and dropped a kiss atop her head. “It will be fine. Write me letters while I am gone. Tell me everything you are doing, thinking, feeling. I don’t want to miss a moment. No detail is too small. Then I will read them all when I return.”

Lifting her face for a kiss she whispered, “If I have my way, you will be much too busy doing other things to read.” She pressed her lips to his, softening her firm frown for a light kiss that quickly deepened with their passion. Patty clung to Matthew, forcing the kiss to go on and on when he might have pulled away. She had an awful feeling this kiss would be their last.

It was getting late. The crowd was thinning and she knew that Jonathan would step to the table shortly to notify them they had ten more minutes. The bouncer had taken to giving them a warning after he embarrassed them and himself by interrupting a particularly heavy petting session one evening not long ago. She still blushed at the memory when she came into the club each week.

If her premonition was correct, Patty had only a few more minutes to build a lifetime of memories. Fighting back the tears that threatened again, she held fast to Matthew’s hand, peppering his face with small kisses, whispering “I love you” and just staring at him. She was engraving his image on her brain, accompanied by the feel of his biceps under her fingertips, the scent of his shirt – sweat and man – and his hair, which smelled of a gel she wished she could buy and save for when he was gone.

She hung on every word, on the low timbre of his voice, hard to hear over the last of the music. “Sentimental Journey” would be their last song and she knew that it would make her cry every time she heard it after tonight. She ran her hands over his shoulders, down his arms, drew lazy circles on the backs on his strong hands. She touched his cheek, resting her hand there and then kissed him again, pouring all her emotion into that one kiss. She communicated her desire, hot and close to the surface, and an enduring love that shimmered and glowed in her.

He pulled away from the kiss reluctantly. She saw that he finally understood her desperation. She could see the fear in his brown eyes mirroring her own.

Jonathan arrived, he had missed his ten minute warning and they were out of time. “Sorry Mathew. Sorry, Patty. You two have to go now.” He moved his large body away on silent feet and left the lovers alone for one more minute.

They slid from the booth and Matthew handed Patty her cardigan sweater, wrapping it gently around her shoulders, moving her hair aside to place a soft kiss on her neck. She turned in his arms and pressed hard against him. Her arms remained at her sides. She feared if she held him now she would never let go. The fear had grown to certainty. She knew she would never see him again.

“I’ll be back soon,” he told her one more time. “The time will fly by.”

“I’ll wait, Matthew. I’ll wait forever.”

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Bear’s Edge, a Paranormal Romance from Christina Lynn Lambert

Christina Lynn Lambert is here today to share her paranormal romance, Bear’s Edge with us. Bear’s Edge is the second book in her Stranger Creatures series. Welcome Christina, I’m excited to hear more about your book. 

Bear’s Edge Blurb:

After sexy bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he decided he was done with love, done with people, done with pretty much everything. One woman has him rethinking his whole strategy.

As his boss, Shayla is off-limits, so Grant keeps his feelings for her under wraps until…the attraction doesn’t seem so one-sided. Grant takes a risk and lays a piece of his heart on the line. When things get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders- will some of his darker desires be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he’s kept hidden for so long?

A reporter who covered the bombing Shayla survived three years before is convinced the only reason Shayla survived is because she’s some type of bionic medical experiment or superhuman freak. When the reporter ropes Shayla’s angry ex, Hunter into the mix, Shayla’s business and her life are on the line. Can she and Grant trust in each other and find a way to slay all the obstacles that stand in their way?

No cliffhangers
Standalone
HEA

Excerpt from Bear’s Edge:

Grant the mystery man—a delicious mystery Shayla would like to unravel, piece by piece, layer by layer. Ah, but I can’t. I’m his boss. In a different lifetime, if we didn’t have the whole boss-employee obstacle going on… No harm in looking, though, just a little, since he sat so close. She promised herself to keep her thoughts G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13. Grant had a talent with numbers and paid attention to detail. Also, he was a little shy and standoffish to a lot of people when it came to anything other than work. Shayla wondered where he sometimes went in his head, because, every now and then, his smile wiped from his face, just for a second, before being replaced with one a little harder. None of my business, she reminded herself. 

Shayla had really wanted to hug Grant that morning after seeing him look so frustrated but decided that it might be wiser and more appropriate to show him that there were a few people on his side. Watching him break things and try to be all strong and humorous about it made Shayla want to unravel the Grant mystery even more. It kind of hurt to watch Grant pretending to be fine, but all Shayla could offer him was lunch and good conversation. Hopefully Mr. Strong and Silent—Sydney called him that sometimes, although never to his face—knew Shayla and Sydney cared. Shayla cared. Because he’s a friendJust a friend. 

Grant raised his soda in a toast. “To things not being worse,” he announced with a rueful half smile. “And, uh”—he cleared his throat—“to good company.” He nodded at Sydney, and when he met Shayla’s gaze, he held it. In Grant’s dark eyes she saw hunger, wide-open desire, and about a million other things she couldn’t puzzle out. They both looked away. Grant looked at her that way sometimes, and Shayla did her best to ignore it. Grant might have a small crush on her, or he could have a thing for petite, small-breasted girls possessing a great fashion sense. 

Sydney broke the silence. “To good food and even better friends.” She clinked Grant’s glass, and Shayla came back to reality and smiled, pretending she wasn’t experiencing several different kinds of inappropriate thoughts and feelings for a sexy, complicated man who was her employee and also her friend. She needed to remember that things could never go any further than a panty-melting look, and behave. 

Her phone buzzed. Grateful for the distraction, she dug it out of her purse to see a text message and call-back number from that pest of a reporter back in Maryland. That pain in the ass wanted another interview with Shayla. Like once in the hospital and once for a “where are the survivors now” follow-up a few months later hadn’t been enough. May as well take care of this before it becomes twenty voice mails piled in my in-box. 

“I’ll just be a moment,” she promised Sydney and Grant. If that harpy journalist wanted an interview, it would be her last one with Shayla, and it would cost the reporter. Big-time. She walked outside into the cold and wind. 

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I’ve Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good

Welcome back to “Our Love is Here to Stay”. I hope you are enjoying the story of Patty and Matthew. Now that we know their secret, how can they arrange to be together? Read on…

Need to start from the beginning? Use this link

chapter 5 serial romance

After two weeks out of town, Matthew was anxious to see Patty again. He appreciated the irony of feeling desperate. Usually he was thrilled for an opportunity to return to California, but when you can see the woman you love for only four hours a week, every minute with her matters.

The woman he loved. He admitted that to himself months ago. It hadn’t been hard to fess up. He counted the days and hours until he could see her each week and thought about her constantly. He saved up anecdotes and stories from their days apart, longing to share them with Patty, to see her reactions, to hear her stories in return.

Matthew couldn’t rein in his emotions. He found himself bragging about her with colleagues and friends.“ You would love her,” he might say. “Patty is the perfect combination of smarts and sex appeal.”

“Great,” his friends would respond, “when can we meet her?” Matthew would mumble a lame excuse and realize again that he should not mention Patty. Once, he caught himself starting to repeat a tale she had shared, one that had made him laugh and laugh, only to realize that it would make no sense to his friends. They would wonder if he had lost his marbles, discussing a secretary whose typewriter had jammed.

Only weeks ago, he too would have believed he was crazy. Sometimes he still questioned his sanity in the wee hours of the morning, laying awake, thinking of Patty. But she was very real to him, and so was his love for her.

time travel romance “She completely believes in me,” he told Jonah while he was home. “She is certain our business will be a success in no time. I love how supportive she is,” Matthew gushed, failing to add that Patty couldn’t follow a thing he said when he described his job. He couldn’t confide that information to Jonah. Even his own brother would think he was delusional. He bit his tongue, preventing himself from blurting out his next thought. How could a woman who took shorthand and used a typewriter understand computers let alone the industry that would spring up to prevent hackers from succeeding?

“I can’t wait to meet this paragon,” Jonah responded. “Bring her along with you next time you come home. But in the interim, can you please try to focus on the business. The meeting with those VC guys is in less than a week and we need our ducks in a row if we want their money.”

“Sorry.” Matthew tried to concentrate on the details of the start-up, knowing that this presentation was make it or break it for the brothers. Still, he would catch himself searching for emails and text messages from a woman who would be over sixty before they became ubiquitous.

Phone calls, text messaging, email. He had struggled to explain all of these to Patty. They laughed when she finally admitted that her understanding of security; when he first described his job, had been to envision guards and guns.

The couple had advanced since those first days, when the wonder and disbelief of their time warp was all consuming. Now they almost took it for granted. They would cling to each other for the first five minutes, grateful to find each other at The Green Mill for another week, always fearful that the magic would end. Then, they would slip into a comfortable routine with each other, as if they had been a couple for years.

Matthew spent his free nights at the library, researching Chicago in the 1950s, the culture, the politics, technology – such as it was. He wanted to understand Patty’s world, to speak her language, and relate to the immediacy of her days. He would ask about the movies that were opening around town, what she thought of a new song or band.

“I don’t want to talk about them now.” She dismissed his questions repeatedly, begging like a spoiled child for more information about the future.

“It’s a big responsibility, Patty, sharing the future with you.” Matthew was teasing the first time he told her that, but he came to fear that he might alter the future if he revealed too much. While he might give her useful information, he might also cause her to change her behavior, not be at The Green Mill that one magic February night, never meet him. He didn’t want to risk that.

From his constant research at the library, Matthew was on a first name basis with many of the staff at the Harold Washington Library. They offered him old magazines and newspapers, books on Chicago history. Matthew devoured every article, but tempted as he was, he resisted looking up anything specific regarding Patty’s future. Fortunately for him, there was plenty to share without those details.

Patty hung on his every word, asked probing questions, especially about the women’s movement, which had caught her imagination. “Tell me more,” she begged. “About the bra-burning and the summer of love. I can’t believe women are going to rebel. It’s inconceivable when we are so grateful to be working at all. How can everything change so fast?”

“What do you want to know now?” Matthew would indulge her, answering some questions in encyclopedic detail, admitting ignorance in others. She had asked about fashions, for example, garnering a laugh from her partner. “I have no idea. I guess everyone wears jeans.”

“Dungarees?”

“Levis. And designer jeans. They wear them for everything, men and women.”

“You must be wrong about that,” she scolded, leaning close to his face to ascertain if he might be lying. “What designer in their right mind would design dungarees? And who would wear them for anything other than gardening or hard labor? That would be disrespectful.”

“I swear,” he told her, crossing his heart with his index finger in a gesture that was common to their conversations. “And trainers.”

Once she understood what ‘trainers’ were – Keds was the common link – she got excited. “Comfortable shoes and no garter belts or girdles? That will be amazing. Soon, right? That happens soon?” He assured her that it was coming, then crushed her joy by confessing that stilettos were also still in style.

Matthew wasn’t certain if she studiously avoided questions about herself, or if she understood that he was reluctant to answer them. Eventually she did begin asking him specific questions about his life in the future.

Their Thursday’s fell into a routine, that was anything but. He would step into The Green Mill early, when it was still quiet and attendance was sparse. Patty might already be waiting, in a booth as far from the music as possible. Initially he slid in across from her, staring into her lovely face, captured in her sky-blue gaze. Now they beside each other, holding hands, touching from shoulder to knee, craving more.

Around 8:30 she would suggest they dance a bit, a better method for touching and holding each other. The band leader knew to play a few extra slow tunes like ““Stardust” and “Begin the Beguine”. but Matthew’s swing moves had improved dramatically, he could Lindy Hop like a pro. They stayed on the floor non-stop for about an hour, then return to their booth, breathless and laughing, where she would pick his brain some more.

“I know you’re holding back” Patty whined, her pouty lower lip completely captivating him. “Tell me more about your life now.” Her face was alight with excitement, an apt pupil, paying careful attention and digging for details on every subject. Especially about him.

Matthew and Patty had established their own language . “Soon” meant in the next twenty years, the time when she would still be young enough to enjoy the things he could only describe from his research. , He would not yet be born. Wrapping their heads around that concept had been challenging.

“I can only tell you what I’ve read,” he would admit to her, voice rising in the frustration of repetition. “I’ve explained that to you before. I am not born until the 1980’s, remember?”

“I’m not an idiot, Matthew. You don’t have to shout,” she would scold in return. “You have to concede, this is a tough topic to understand – to wrap my head around, as you like to say.” She loved using phrases that weren’t popular yet. These phrases were slipping into her everyday conversation, by mistake at first, now more conscientiously. “I tell my friends that they are California slang,” she confessed to him. “It makes them think I’m neat.”

Patty was incessantly curious, battering him with questions about small things and large. When he told her about the Korean War, she struggled to hide her tears in such a public place. “Not another war,” she had all but shouted. “When? Will my friends all have to fight, or their sons?” Her tears increased when he shared the future bloody incursions, Viet Nam and Afghanistan, with their less successful outcomes, until she needed to excuse herself to hide in the bathroom while she regained her composure, and covered her very pink, runny nose.

She had cried again when he told her the assassination of President Kennedy. “Is all the news bad? Can’t you share something better with me? Is the world heading for disaster?”

“Sorry.” Matthew stopped sharing big political events like these and focused instead on cultural events. She was an avid absorber of anything to do with fashion – his weak spot – but they found common excitement in upcoming movies and Patty was wowed by the future of television. Matthew tried explaining Netflix and other companies streaming movies but it proved a concept too far in the future for her to grasp. She loved his descriptions and his sketches of the tall buildings that would make Chicago architecture famous.

She oohed and ahhed a lot. She slapped his shoulder and threw her head back with laughter, calling him a liar when he told her everyone would carry a computer in their pockets. He wanted desperately to show her his phone, which – surprise – had not been invented. He explained GPS and a contacts list, closing the gap from their first two meetings.

Patty asked about music, books and films. She was astonished by the future of television and came back to the subject repeatedly. “I’ll own a television?” she asked in awe, “What on earth will I watch on it?” Matthew told her about “Gunsmoke” and “The Ed Sullivan Show”, both of which he had learned about from library videos. She hugged him when he sang “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” never complaining about his inability to carry a tune. He tried to bring her reviews of programs, or plays, and of course copies of fashions from magazines, but they would mysteriously disappear from his pockets when he entered the club, then miraculously reappear when he stepped back outside.

“I keep forgetting,” he confessed to her, his hands gesturing in front of his face in frustration, ”that if it doesn’t exist now, I can’t share it with you.”

“I can’t wait for the future,” she would tell him, “and I appreciate your attempt to bring me pictures. But I love your stories, I love hearing you describe what‘s going to come. And your sketches are wonderful.” The passion in her expression, drew him toward her until, a few weeks ago, he ignored the surroundings and pulled her close for a kiss.

He had been tentative at first, moving slowly and gently to close his mouth over hers. He watched her eyes flutter shut, felt her breasts pillow against his chest, inhaled her hint of floral scent and deepened the kiss, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and pulling her tighter. The small connection swelled his heart in a way no other kiss ever had.

Patty fluttered like a moth for a brief moment and Matthew prepared to release her. Then she sighed and leaned in further, wrapping her hands low behind his back and skooching on the vinyl seat to sit closer to him.

That was all the encouragement Matthew needed. Ignoring the crowd, his concern for her 1950’s reputation, all the things that had held him back until that moment, Matthew probed her lips with his tongue, encouraging her to open them to his exploration. She pulled back to look into his eyes, looking bewildered but interested. Her lips were moist from his kiss, and her eyes were smoky with desire.

“It’s okay,” Matthew reassured her. “It’s a French kiss. You’ll like it.”

She must have believed him, because she, rather swiftly, closed her eyes, leaned into him and pressed her mouth gently against his. This time when his tongue probed her lips she opened them slightly, allowing him to explore the warm, sensuous space. He wrapped his tongue about hers to encourage her to engage with him and soon their tongues were tangling in an excellent imitation of lovemaking.

Matthew’s hands moved of their own volition up and down Patty’s back, the fingers of his large hands grazing her hips, ribs and the slope of a breast under her arm. She didn’t stop him, pushing her body tight against his, moaning slightly and moving her own hands, now wrapped around his neck. He loved the feel of her cool fingers against his skin, the slight tug from her fingers buried in his hair. He was wrapped in Patty and time be damned, she was the woman he wanted.

From that moment, their kisses, their groping and their conversation became those of lovers building a future together. They would talk, dance and make out until the bouncer would tell them it was closing time, which he did with increasing sympathy. The couple was now well known around the club, and if the women found Patty’s behavior scandalous, they kept their gossip to themselves.

“Are you worried about your reputation?” he asked her one night with a sheepish expression.

“It’s a bit late to be asking, wouldn’t you say?” she queried with a laugh. Matthew caught the concern in her beautiful blue eyes but before he could answer, or apologize, she continued. “I should be, but this is such a miracle. You could disappear as quickly as you appeared. I want to experience everything while I can.”

Matthew shook his head vigorously in agreement. “I know. I worry about that too.”

Her smile drooped and she broke eye contact. Putting a finger under her chin to lose himself in her crystal eyes, Matthew saw Patty’s concerns broadcast in her open expression so he set out to reassure them both. “I’m here now and I have no plans to go anywhere. My project has months to go. I will be here, Patty. I will be here for you.”

“How can you promise what you can’t control?” The lyrics of “One for my Baby” being sung by the bandleader in a melancholy, clear tenor, echoed their sentiments. The couple sat silent, contemplative, holding fast to each other’s hands as if to defeat time.

Would you want to live in 2017 or have me live in 1950? Time Travel Romance chapter 5 at www.madisonmichael.net/serial-romance-chapter-five Click To Tweet

They had come a long way as a couple. In the beginning Matthew had focused their conversations almost entirely on how their times were different and how they were different. It was as if he was trying to push her away, even as he clung to the hope that she would be there each Thursday. Slowly, she broke through his reticence, with her sweet temperament, her lively wit, and her clear admiration for him. Soon, he was focusing on the ways in which they were similar, the activities, attitudes and traits that held them together.

She told stories about her siblings, three of them, the oldest ten years older, the youngest just two years her junior. She was close with them both, and admitted following her older sister everywhere as she grew up. He in turn shared stories of growing up with Jonah and his plans to go into business with him. Patty was his greatest supporter in the venture, boosting his confidence in the most illogical way.

Patty was devoted to her family. “It was soul-wrenching for them when I moved into my own apartment,” she admitted. “But I wanted it so badly, and I was twenty-one and still unmarried so they finally gave in.”

Matthew praised her independence, sensing how important it was to her, admitting how much he longed to see her apartment and pick her up for a date there.

He laughed at her notion of being a spinster. While many of her friends had married fresh out of high school, his stories helped Patty see that single at 21 would not be the end of the world. “Look at all the opportunities ahead for you, Patty. Marriage is just one option. You can be a lawyer, a doctor, a pilot, anything you want.”

“I know – how swell is that?” Her voice was wistful.

“But…?”

“I wish we could be together, and have a family. Do you even want a family?”

“Someday,” he echoed her longing. Rather than allow them to wallow in pity, he shifted the dialog. “ In the twenty-first century, Patty, many couples wait until they are in their 30’s to have children.”

Patty had been astonished, but surprisingly reassured by that idea. “Maybe by the time I am 30 we can figure out how to make this work,” she said wistfully, her gesture encompassing the two of them.

“Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of that,” he lied. “Would you want to live in 2017 or have me live in 1950?” Matthew had a moment considering how ludicrous this conversation was. First, he was time traveling. Time traveling! He often wondered if he would wake up from this dream one day soon and laugh at the ridiculousness of believing it had been real. Second, they barely knew each other. In the real world, as he now referred to the other days of the week, he would not be talking with a woman about being together this soon in a relationship. This conversation should be absurd, but it just felt right.

“I suppose it would be easier for me if you come to my time,” she pondered, her unlined brow furrowed with concentration. “But your time sounds so much more exciting. Scary, but really exciting.”

“Scary?”

“More options, more choices, more to learn. All of that makes for too many opportunities to make the wrong choice, to not be able to keep up or succeed. What if you thought I was stupid?”

“I couldn’t never think you were stupid,” Matthew placed a quick kiss on the tip of her upturned nose. “I think you’re adorable. I think that you are Independent and feisty, smart and curious as hel…heck. You are a dichotomy, a fascinating combination of working woman and daddy’s girl.”

“Is that an insult,” she attacked, a childish pout pushing out her lower lip in an expression he had come to know and adore.

“A compliment, Patty. I love these things about you.” She blushed at the words causing him to add “And I love how easily you blush.”

He kissed her again and again after that conversation, whispering to her. “I think your perfect” or “I wish you could be like this always”.

“I love you,” she confessed in a husky whisper, causing his heart to stop beating in his chest. It was one thing to know he would break his own heart one day, another to realize this situation would also break hers. He stared at this beautiful woman, her lips cherry red from his kisses, passion clouding her pale eyes, and was speechless, overcome with desire and depression.

“I love you,” she repeated in a stronger voice.

“I love you, Patty, and I am going to find a way to be with you, always.” Matthew wanted to believe the words, but felt the lie like ice coursing through his veins. How could they be together? How could he extend this miracle into a life?

“I’ll wait, Matthew, for as long as it takes.” Her face was alight with adoration, her heart open to his. He didn’t dare break it.

His heart beat like it would explode with want. “I’ll find a way,” he repeated the lie. Matthew knew with a sinking realization that it would likely take forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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