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Welcome to Thursday Threads and “The Perfect Duke” by fabulous author Dawn Ireland!

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Thank you, Dawn, for stopping by and sharing a little from “The Perfect Duke” today on Thursday Threads.

Title: The Perfect Duke

Genre: Historical Romance (Late Georgian Era)

Heat Level: Sensual

Back Cover Blurb

 

Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke.  Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.

 

Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?

 

Excerpt

 

“The horse seems to know you.”

“He should. There was a time when I practically lived in the stable. Storm was my favorite.”

“What happened?”

“I became a duke.”

“Oh.”

He straightened and forced his features into a mask of indifference. “So, Rachel loves horses.” He turned to face Cara. “I can appreciate my niece’s fondness, but I can not allow her to frequent the stable.”

“Why not?”

“It is not proper for young ladies of her station.”

“Garret, she’s a child.”

It was the first time she’d used his name, and somehow, Rachel visiting the horses didn’t seem like such a large request. “I will only allow it if she uses the passageway. At least I can keep the knowledge of her visits to a minimum. If you come with her, you will need to use the tunnel as well.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

She blushed and turned away. “I’m afraid.” She said it so quietly, he wasn’t sure he heard her.

“Afraid? Of what?”

“Dark, enclosed places. Even as a child, I fell asleep with a candle burning.” She faced him and gave a small smile. “Perhaps I’m afraid that a beast will gobble me up in the dark.”

“There are no beasts at Belcraven, Miss McClure. I would not allow anyone to hurt you.”

“Anyone?”

“Never.” He started toward her and stopped. Damn, it would be better if he didn’t get close to her. As he left the stable, her whisper followed him.

“Not even you?”

 

Links:

www.dawn-ireland.com

www.authordawnIreland.wordpress.com

www.smpauthors.wordpress.com

Also visit Dawn at:

Twitter.com/AuthorDIreland

Facebook.com/DawnIrelandAuthor

 

The Perfect Duke

ASIN: B00BT0NGOC

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BT0NGOC

Thanks for stopping by.

Bren

Mary and Me: A Protestant’s Search for Mary.

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Even as a teenager, I recall being fascinated by Mary.  If I were a Catholic, that might not seem so strange, but as a life-long Protestant, it might appear a bit more peculiar. I used to go to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church with one of my best friends, Rosemary, when I was in high school. We’d walk into the church wearing our ‘tent’ dresses, our white lace mantillas on our heads, and our Mary-Janes tap-tapping on the granite floor as we walked down the aisle. The Catholic church, far more imposing and ornate than my simple  church, took my breath away. Always there was a hush over the church and I remember loving the chanting of The Hail Mary when we knelt to pray. As a card-carrying Baptist, that was supposed to be wrong and yet it always felt so right to me.

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I’m no longer a Baptist, but rather an Episcopalian–or Catholic Lite as comedian Robin Williams calls it. I’m preparing to go on a Marion Pilgrimage with my daughter and I decided I’d like to come to terms with my relationship with Mary, comparing how I feel about her now to how I might feel  about her after our pilgrimage. In my previous travels, I’ve felt compelled to purchase pictures, icons, or figurines depicting Mary and Jesus. My attraction has always been between Mary’s relationship with her son Jesus as Mother and Child. Confronting the agony she suffered at the death of her Son is much harder for me to face. When I see the love between the Mother and Child, I have to believe that Jesus would have a very special place up in heaven for his Mama.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and that her child would be called the Son of God, she gave the most courageous answer imaginable. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke  1:38. Let it be–such a brave answer for a young woman with such great faith. She spoke those words nearly two thousand years before Sir Paul McCartney came up with them!

I find the fact that Mary comes to people in apparitions when the world seems at its darkest hour to help, guide, and console those remaining on the earth to be of enormous comfort. This spiritual pilgrimage we’re going on leaves me feeling apprehensive. What if I don’t have a spiritual experience? What if I do? Will traveling to sights of healings and miracles affect my life personally? How will this pilgrimage affect my relationship with my daughter? She is Catholic–I am not.

This is a pilgrimage to holy shrines of Mary. Spirituality or discernment isn’t something I can will for myself.  I have many questions but then I think of Mary’s brave words–let it be.  And I decided that’s exactly what I will do.

Thank you for stopping by.

Bren

If you love hot, handsome cowboys, check out Neva Brown’s latest, CASEY’S COURAGE, on Thursday Threads.

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Title: CASEY’S COURAGE

Genre: Contemporary

Heat Level: Sensual

 

Excerpt:

 

When they finally stopped swimming and stood up in the shallow end of the pool, the icy wind of

early fall shocked them both into quick action…he grabbed a huge beach towel and wrapped it

round her and hugged her tightly, pressing her body against his own.

Shivering from the cold, Casey snuggled close to Tres. As her shaking eased, she became more

aware of his body. He had one arm round her shoulders and the other lower. His hand was on her

bottom, pressing her against him from head to toe. He wasn’t cold. His hot, full arousal pulsating

against her abdomen fueled a new kind of shiver in her. She leaned into his maleness with primal

need. His eyes, bright and feral, devoured her. As she wiggled to step away, he moved his hand

from her shoulder to the back of her head. His lips brushed her temple and cheek, trailed down to

her neck, then settled gently on her lips that had parted in awe at the sensations she felt. The

motion of his mouth against hers sent sparks through her blood. His tongue traced her lips, slipping

inside to touch her tongue as he moved his hand to palm her breast and smooth his thumb across

the engorged nipple.

The towel slipped to the floor. He gently brushed aside a strap of her swimsuit. As his lips left hers

and closed over her exposed breast, her eyes flew open in panic. Jerking her arms from around his

waist, not remembering having put them there, she whispered, “Tres, please. I can’t handle this.”

She breathed in shallow gasps.

Slowly, he released her breast and raised his head. Pulling the strap up and encasing her throbbing

breast, he frowned. “You look like you’ve never been kissed before.”

In awe, she said, “Not like that.”

Tres studied her through a haze of thwarted desire and let her step away from him. His thoughts

raced. Has she forgotten that part of her life, or is she telling the truth?

 

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Caseys­Courage­Neva­Brown­ebook/dp/B00CAE0TUU/

It’s a dog’s life–but someone’s got to live it! Toto Lee’s Story.

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This one’s for you, Tiff, and for Toto Lee up there in doggy heaven and for all moms who have had to face the ’empty nest’ syndrome.There’s a little explanation necessary about this post. My daughter Tiff wrote the basis of this story about our dog for an author’s fair when she was in junior high school. I felt the rest of the story wasn’t finished because she didn’t realize how much comfort her dog gave us when she went away to college. I added the last part to express how grateful I was to that little dog, Toto Lee, when our daughter left for school.

It’s a Dog’s Life–But Somebody’s Got to Live It

On September 3, 1984, I was in the impossible position of living at the Tracy Pound located in California. At the age of one-and-a-half many considered me past it, yet I still believed in myself.

Trapped in a dreary metallic room next to my roommate, I knew I was made for bigger things. The loser next to me wasn’t going anywhere, but surely I’d be adopted. From this day on, I’d never be hungry again, because, after all, it was a dog’s life—but somebody had to live it.

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As a dog, my breed was M.U.T. (mixed-up terrier). With soft brown eyes and floppy ears, let’s face it, I was adorable. My longish hair was black with just a hint gray and I had a red mustache just below my chin. My body was long and stocky, and while some people might call me fat, it was all muscle. My tail curled up in a handsome way and detracted from my stubby legs.

In the dog pound, I had only one week, and if nobody bought me, then they’d put me to sleep. That didn’t seem so bad since I loved to sleep, except the collie next door told me it meant I’d never wake up again. After my fourth day at the pound, panic set in.

Then, on that third of September, I struck gold when a family came in looking for a dog.  They had a kid and people with kids always loved small dogs. All I needed was to sit back and look adorable. When that plan of action didn’t work, I decided I’d better growl at the dog next to me who was eating all the food, proving to this family that I was no wimp. 

They looked in my direction. 

Thank goodness I could understand “people” talk because the mother asked the young girl, “What do you think?”

I figured the girl must be at least seven in “people” years.  “I like him. He’s cute.”

Results! I thought. I knew my good looks would pay off sooner or later, and I wagged my tail fast to show I was pleased.

“We’ll ask your father.”  The woman turned to the big, tall guy. “What do you think?”

 “I’m not sure. He doesn’t look any too bright.” He checked me out from head to tail.

“Can I have him?” the girl begged.

The father said, “He seems quiet and if he won’t get any bigger—”

“Does that mean I can have him?”

With a deep sigh the father said, “I guess so.”

I tried to contain myself so they wouldn’t change their minds and think I was hyper-active. All I thought was, oh boy, oh boy, I’m not going to die, I’m not going to die, and I won’t have a loser roommate anymore.

On the car ride home, I got nervous and shaky. The girl petted me and tried to make me feel better. She even gave me a new name. It was Toto Lee. It was a good name and it fit me right. When we pulled up in front of a tan house with red trim, I figured we were home. I could picture myself living there. 

At first, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere in the house except for the entryway, which was by the front door.  Since the tile floor was cold, they gave me a blanket in case I got chilled. But they were out of their minds if they thought I was going to live under such primitive conditions.  All I had to do to get what I wanted was to learn the rules—simple enough for an old dog like me. Who said I couldn’t learn new tricks?

My goal was to change the way things were done. My plan was to be able to sleep in the bed of my choice. The daughter, Tiffany, insisted I see the movie “The Wizard of Oz” because there was a dog playing my part. After much begging, the mother gave in and I got to stay in the family room to watch the movie. The dog was good, but he wasn’t nearly as handsome as me.

The arrangement in the family room worked, except for the fact that the floor was too hard and they still wouldn’t let me on the couch. I whined and stood on my hind legs, doing this cute trick they called “handsome dog.”  Whatever got me my way became my motto and I charmed the entire family; next thing I knew, I was on the couch.

I worked my way into the living room by following any person heading into this room. At first, I got picked up and put back in the entryway. But with my doggy determination, they soon gave up. Now I snuggled on the couch with anyone who entered the living room and I knew, with patience, I’d achieve my next goal.

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Finally, I made it to the bedrooms. At first, I slept in the daughter’s room because I knew from experience she was a soft touch. I found with a little more charm and adorableness I was sleeping on the pillow next to the mother or the father—it was my call. I was gold now and sat on any furniture whenever I wanted or went anywhere I wanted in the house.

I had one last hurdle, and that was a tough one, the dreaded family vacation. The first vacation they went on without me was only for a weekend, but it seemed like forever. Their plan was to leave me outside and have the grandparents come over and feed me, and then leave me alone. That was the plan. Right.

Plans never go quite as expected.  When they came back from their vacation, they said I’d been bad, but I didn’t do anything wrong. I just dug up the whole backyard, which didn’t look so great to me to begin with. Didn’t they understand I was bored? 

The father threatened to send me back to the pound.  After a tense silence, I took advantage of the moment and stood on my hind legs and did my “handsome dog” act. It worked and the entire family was putty in my paws. I whined and jumped for joy. I had achieved my goal and now the family knew who was boss.

The next time they went on vacation, they took me over to grandma and grandpa’s house where I got treated like a king, which was much more to my liking. I now knew I had it made.

Eleven years passed and the young girl turned eighteen in “people” years. I still lived in the same house with the same family. Secretly, I’d given them nicknames and the father was “Pop”, the mother was “Mommy”, and the daughter was “Sissy.” Somehow, I realized this particular day was a big day in our family even though I didn’t understand why. 

Sissy was going away to an Air Force Academy, whatever that meant. To me it meant that the house was much emptier without her.

I felt Mommy’s hand tremble as Pop slipped his arm around her waist after Sissy left. I licked Mommy’s wrist, but somehow, I didn’t think that was enough, and so I licked her cheek.

Later that night, I crept into Sissy’s room, but no one was there. It looked the same, but it felt different. The room stood breathless, waiting for her return. I hopped onto her bed, but the sheets were way too cold without her. I leapt down and headed for Mommy and Pop’s room.

I lay my head on Mommy’s pillow and she did something she’d never done before. She pulled me near and held me tight against her. As I licked her face, the warm wetness on her face tasted of salt. At that moment, I knew Mommy needed me even more than I needed her.

I was lucky when my family discovered me at the pound. But when I heard Mommy crying softly in the night, I realized she was glad her family found me at the pound on that day, eleven years ago and I knew she missed her daughter.

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It was a dog’s life and somebody had to live it—and I was happy to live it with my special family. I felt proud to help them in their time of need as much as they helped me—because that’s what families did—they helped one another. 

 The End

Thanks for stopping by.

Bren

           

Today’s Thursday Threads is “The S.E.R.A. Files Volume I by fab author from Down Under, C.T. Green!!!

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Today C.T. Green is stopping by to share some snippets from some interesting supernatural creatures. Check it out!

 

The S.E.R.A. Files Volume I by C.T. Green

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Heat Level: Scorching

This is a collection of short stories featuring the men and women of the Supernatural

Entity Recovery Agency.

#1 RECOVERING GABRIEL

Angels are trouble. But a Fairy Godmother is The Law.

Callie Burns works for SERA, the Supernatural Entity Recovery Agency, aka the

Scary Fairies. As a Fairy Godmother, it’s Callie’s job to grant wishes and deport

supernatural creatures back to their plane of existence. Now she’s got an angel in her

sights… Gabriel’s a gorgeous, sexy distraction to Callie doing her duty. But she has a

reputation to maintain and no smoking hot angel is going to mess that up. Gabriel is

determined he’s not going anywhere and he’ll try everything he can to convince Callie

he belongs on Earth. But she’s equally determined to get the job done before the angel

kills everything in sight – even if that means fulfilling Gabriel’s deepest fantasy.

#2 HANDLING MERCURY

Vampires go for the throat. But a Fairy Godmother aims lower…

Elizabeth and Mercury both work for SERA, the Supernatural Entity Recovery

Agency. Despite the fact Elizabeth’s a Fairy Godmother and Mercury’s a vampire,

they make a deadly duo when it comes to deporting supernatural beings. But Mercury

and Elizabeth’s perfect partnership changes the night a wish is granted.

Now Elizabeth can’t think of Mercury without remembering how sexy the vampire

is under his cool demeanour and designer clothes. And Mercury can’t forget the taste

of Elizabeth’s blood nor the desire to have her in every other way as well. Can their

partnership survive and will they find a way to grant their very own wishes?

#3 FINDING NAVARRE

A lone wolf is about to find out old dogs can learn new tricks.

Navarre is a werewolf and the Director of SERA. It’s his job to oversee the agents

who deport supernatural beings from Earth. He loves his work and his vaunted

reputation for remaining calm under pressure. But all that is about to change. Tor

is also a werewolf and SERA’s newest agent. He’s out to catch not only the bad

guy, but his elusive boss as well. It’s love at first sight for Tor, but Navarre doesn’t

seem willing to take another chance on a relationship. When a mission goes bad and

suddenly it’s Tor’s life on the line, Navarre must overcome his fears if he’s going to

experience true love before it’s too late.

#4 TASTING ABSINTHE

Two’s company, will three prove too much of a crowd?

Absinthe is a Fairy Godmother with SERA and Bryce is her irresistible

partner. Absinthe is all about getting to know Bryce away from the job, but he comes

with one big problem. His best friend Grey is a werewolf and Absinthe does not do

wolves. Bryce is in love with Absinthe. Problem is, he’s also in love with Grey. It will

take something extraordinary to bring Grey and Absinthe together. Tracking a cold-
blooded killer may just be the start of a beautiful romance. Will Bryce’s stubborn

wolf and prejudiced fairy overcome their differences enough to not only stay alive,

but also form a bond strong enough to last a lifetime?

#5 CHASING SIN

A good SERA agent knows there’s only one Sin that matters.

As an agent and ‘evaluator’ for SERA, Jane is sent in to re-educate their only

male Fairy Godmother before he does something even the Scary Fairies can’t ignore.

Sin’s sick of being the brunt of jokes and the latest pin-up after a nude picture

scandal. He’s also indecently fascinated with his new ‘minder’, Jane. When a wish

shows Sin a very different side to Jane, he’s desperate to find out more. On the hunt

for a supernatural with a dangerous new toy and evil plans, Jane and Sin find out

how well they work as a team. But can he get the prim and proper agent to loosen up

enough to love a naughty fairy while she tries her very best to reform Sin?

Excerpts

Recovering Gabriel

Callie

…Time to do her job and get this guy home where he belonged. In fact, that’s what

Callie’s work entailed. Helping Gabriel get back to Heaven. Literally. The last

thing anyone needed were fallen angels tromping about on Earth, causing havoc in

women’s underwear…

Gabriel

He’d been wracking his brains for six months while waiting for her to approach him.

Every time he thought she was about to pin him down, she’d shy away. It’d gotten

to the point he’d nearly blown his cool, stormed right up to her, and announced his

plans.

Today she’d caught him by surprise, cornering him in the alley, all sass and starch,

taking the big, bad angel down. So damn sexy.

Handling Mercury

Elizabeth

“Enough is enough, vampire.” Elizabeth glared up at him, but he just stared back

with those deep silver eyes of his glimmering from between thick black lashes.

“I’m sick of your overweening desire to be a hero all the time.” She gave him the

hairy eyeball for a moment longer, but Mercury remained silent. And apparently

unrepentant.

Mercury

…Mercury backed away, snatching up his clothes. He didn’t even bother to throw

them on before he bolted into the darkness and away from his partner.

Because he knew that one taste of Elizabeth hadn’t been enough to satisfy him. It was

never going to be enough.

Finding Navarre

Tor

Tor Whitfield stood in the shadowed alley, upwind of the Thai restaurant and the wolf

having dinner al fresco. Alone.

He rubbed his shoulder where Navarre’s bite still tingled. Oh yeah, he’d gotten his

wish all right. Just like Absinthe had promised…

Navarre

“There’s nothing wrong with you. I simply don’t feel the need to stare at you

constantly.” Navarre chose to meet the dark eyes instead of gawking at the snug T-
shirt and jeans outlining far too much tempting acreage.

Dieu, may I not get struck down for that blatant lie.

Tasting Absinthe

Absinthe

Absinthe sucked on an ice cube and ignored the squiggly feeling in her stomach. It

reminded her an awful lot of jealousy and she simply didn’t care what Bryce did. Not

one bit. There was no room in her life for a big, gorgeous, muscular, pain in the ass.

Bryce

“So beautiful.” Unable to resist the soft pink fullness of her lips, he leant over

intending to sample them. Just once.

The gun muzzle against his head came as a bit of a surprise. “Okay, I’m going to sit

up now. Would really appreciate it if you didn’t blow my brains out.”

“Believe me, I doubt anyone would notice.”

Grey

“Nothing to forgive. I understand.” Grey rubbed a thumb down her cheek, mildly

surprised she let him. A lot more surprised when she turned her face into his palm and

planted a kiss there.

“Thank you for saving my life.” Her words tickled his sensitive skin and caused his

body to react the way it always did around her…

Chasing Sin

Sin

Those sky-high heels are not sexy. Especially when one’s tapping like a bloody drum.

Sin ground his teeth and ignored Miss Jane Pilkins, his SERA evaluator. He focussed

on the grinning demon in front of him instead…

Who was he kidding? The heels were damn hot. So were those cute glasses Miss

Pilkins kept peering at him so disapprovingly over.

Jane

It was just her imagination that she was the focus of all eyes because she was doing an

illicit printout of a naked SERA agent. Well, Sin had been mostly naked.

Find C.T. Green at the following places:

Website: http://www.ctgreen-author.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/C.T.GreenAuthor

Google +: https://plus.google.com/+Ctgreen-author/posts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CTGreenAuthor

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/C.T.-Green/e/B009F86386

Thanks for stopping by.

Bren

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