#Excerpt from Willow: Branch 3 of the Tree of Life Series
Be care what you wish for, because you just might get it.
Willow should have taken heed of that familiar warning, because she wanted Dane’s attention and then got it. She wasn’t ready.
On assignment protecting a paranoid client at a convention, Dane Karl has finally found his mate, a very young sidhe ill-equipped to deal with a legendary mercenary warrior, fierce weretiger, and powerful sidhe all wrapped up in one big, badass package.
His plan for a slow courtship ruined by the catastrophe that destroys the conference hotel, he claims Willow as his mate to keep her safe from the demons hunting sidhe flesh and sidhe magic. Willow must find her strength to stand up to her legendary husband’s overbearing ways, deal with the shade of his long dead, sidhe wife, and survive the demons after them.
Can an ancient warrior learn to love? Can a young, untried sidhe find her strength?
This is the third and final book of the Tree of Life trilogy.
“Er, hello. May I help you?” Willow asked, silently damning herself for the nervous quaver in her voice and wondering just what she had brought upon herself. She’d gone fishing and caught herself a shark instead of a goldfish.
Dane wanted to sigh with relief. She had at least given him an opening by speaking first rather than him just blurting out that she was his and to come with him immediately. Instead he gave her what was supposed to be a reassuring smile that obviously didn’t work because she cringed like a rabbit about to be pounced upon and devoured. Hm. He needed to work on that. He picked up the sample CD on the table.
“Hello,” he said quietly, taking care not to growl at her. “How up to date is this directory?”
“The data is only six weeks old,” she answered, keeping her tightly clasped hands on her lap hidden beneath the table drape. “More current data can be downloaded from the NAVA website, but the disk also contains standard documents, conference papers and presentations, and other auxiliary materials. With the disk, the information is collected and available in one convenient location rather than scattered among the twenty-five thousand pages of the NAVA website.”
“You’ve memorized the patter,” he commented with a little smile.
She returned a wry grin and said, “At this late hour, we’re lucky I remember how to speak at all.”
“Sessions break in another two hours,” he said, setting the sample disk back down in such a way that he knew she would move it, set it straight so the pile was orderly. He wanted to see her hands. “I’m Dane. Join me for a cup of coffee?”
Her eyes flew open wide and, before she could answer, a yawn grabbed her jaw and vocal cords. She hastily raised a hand to cover her mouth and finished the yawn. When she was able, she spoke even as she returned the CD to its proper place: “Thank you, but I really need my sleep. Perhaps some other time.”
“This afternoon then,” he adapted smoothly, seeing with satisfaction that she wore neither engagement ring nor wedding band. He inhaled delicately and tasted no other male’s scent upon her. Good. He wouldn’t have to kill anyone to claim her. “I’ll meet you in the lobby at three o’clock.”
He walked away and Willow wondered just what she’d gotten herself into. The rest of the night dragged until she closed up the booth and went to bed for some much needed sleep. She woke later than usual the next morning and by ten o’clock was back at the booth tapping away at her laptop computer to answer inquiries, update information, and take care of general association business as best she could from a remote location. She hardly noticed the bellman and his loaded cart and accompanied by a tall, slender woman with gorgeous auburn hair until they stopped in front of the booth. The woman thanked the bellman and sent him off to return in twenty minutes or so. Then the woman moaned, groaned something that sounded like “Cassia,” grunted, staggered to her knees, and passed out. She had Willow’s full attention.
Willow rushed around the table and shifted the woman to a more comfortable position, rather than leave her crumpled against the heavily loaded cart.
“Ma’am? Are you all right?” she whispered and patted the woman’s cheek.
After a too long moment, the woman hissed and groaned, “Stop that.”
Willow stopped patting the woman’s cheek and let instinct take over. She placed her palm on the woman’s forehead and let the healing flow. She did not notice the nimbus of cool, blue-white light that gently pulsed around them. She only noticed the easing of the woman’s distress and pain. The woman blinked several times and, realizing she’d been healed, thanked her.
“I really do appreciate the healing, but you took a dangerous risk,” she said, her voice a bit shaken.
“You know what I did?” Willow gasped softly, surprised that the woman understood what had happened.
“You’re sidhe,” the woman stated succinctly.
The woman attempted to smile reassuringly at her and answered, “I’m sidhe, too. Name’s Rowan.” She paused, considered something, then asked rudely, “How old are you?”
Promotions From Vendors Attending The 2019 Winter
Springfield OH Book Fair
Pets Uniting People Society is the group for the magazine PUPS Digest and its site is above. Pets Uniting People Society is directed and founded by my sister Judy Benning and me in 2010. It is for helping to keep the pet population in-check with a neuter/spay voucher for those who need help with their animals.
On a Mission Magazine
On a Mission Magazine was started in July 2017 and the reason is pretty clear as many of us need inspiration to get by on a daily basis. The Blog also feeds the spiritual side and will have some additional boost from our Podcasts "On Assignment" which are monthly.
When I married, my culinary skills could best be described as an ability to burn water. Over the last 30 years, I've improved. I no longer detest cooking and can even find some pleasure in it. My palate has expanded and I've learned, more or less, what seasonings go well together. For instance, pork goes well with rosemary or tarragon. Dill weed and lemon work beautifully with just about any fish. Garlic goes with just about everything. And so forth. I'm no contender for Master Chef, but my cooking doesn't suck.
I do make one entree that my husband and I particularly enjoy during cold weather: chicken paprikash. I deviate from the traditional recipe, but it's still sinfully easy and really tasty and can best be described as a heart attack on a plate. It ain't pretty, but who cares? Here goes:
- 1 pkg (about 1-1/2 lbs.) boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces. (You can use chicken breasts, but thighs are better.)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup paprika (I prefer Hungarian paprika)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 oz. fresh mushrooms (white button or portabello), sliced (optional)
- 1 small can sliced or chopped black olives (optional)
- 1 pkg wide egg noodles
- 1 medium cabbage (and more butter)
- Salt and pepper
Put water on to boil for the noodles. Cook the noodles while you work on the rest.
Melt the butter on medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and paprika. Stir. When onions have softened a bit, add chopped chicken and sliced mushrooms. Stir, being sure chicken is thoroughly coated, then reduce to medium low or low. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and let the chicken simmer, stirring occasionally. When the chicken is cooked through, reduce heat to its lowest setting and stir in the sour cream.
While the chicken simmers, core the head of cabbage and cut it into quarters or smaller pieces. Put the cabbage in a pot with a little bit of water and a tablespoon or three of butter. Cover tightly and simmer over medium heat for no longer than 10 minutes.
When noodles are tender, drain. Dump them in a large serving bowl or return them to the empty pot. Pour the chicken mixture over the noodles and stir. Serve immediately with the cabbage as a side vegetable. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle black olives on top.
Steamed broccoli goes well with this, too. Not only is this good when freshly made, it's wonderful if you eat the leftovers the next day--and you always want leftovers of this dish.
Promotions From Vendors Attending The 2019 Winter
Springfield OH Book Fair
Gangsta Boos: In Love and War
by Latoya Jamara Jackson
From the time they were introduced as little girls, Tee-Baby and India have stuck to each other like glue while nurturing dreams of going to college and becoming lawyers. Their lives seem to be in perfect order, until they make it to high school and are introduced to Cino, the captain of the football team. When his brother, Twon, is murdered by his Mexican drug connection, Cino sets down a dark path that eventually leads the girls to meet Shawnee and La-La, Twons two female hitters.
Soon, Tee-Baby and India are fully immersed in a street life fueled by drugs and murder. Although they are beautiful young women, they are gangstas in the making. After the four transform into cold-blooded, heartless murderers who will kill anyone who gets in their way, they decide to avenge Twons death by taking over all of his operations and eliminating those responsible for his murder. Now only time will tell who will live to tell about the perilous mission and who will make the ultimate sacrifice.
In this urban tale of drugs, crime, love, and loss, four women must each decide whether to give up a dangerous game or live an evil, corrupt street life forever.
Upcoming author who loves taking care of family and writing in my spare time. Gangsta Boos was my first book to ever publish but not the first one that I wrote. In the 6th grade I won the Young Author's Award. The title of the book was Home Sweet Home. It was written by myself and a very close friend by the name of Sherita Griffin. I look forward to writing more thrillers and a sequel to Gangsta Boos.
Amazon Author Page amazon.com/author/latoyajamarajackson.
#SpringfieldOHBookFair #Winter #Books #Authors #HenHousePublishing
December Book Of The Month: Willow
Willow politely covered her mouth as she yawned and surreptitiously glanced at her watch. Only another two hours to go and then she could quit for the night … er … morning. She took another long drink of lukewarm tea from her thermos and smiled pleasantly at the convention attendees who drifted by the North American Vampire Association’s exhibit booth. She’d already registered fourteen new members and six new donors that night. Sales of member directories on CD were brisk. And she’d heard that the legendary weretiger Dane Karl was present, serving as bodyguard for one of the more paranoid vampire attendees. She’d heard him spoken of in awe, seen him from afar, and once caught his scent when he strolled through another conference exhibit hall a year ago and hadn’t noticed her at all.
He commanded respect, even from vampires who were utterly convinced of their own superiority over all living beings. He fascinated her, the sidhe who had not been able to get the memory of his scent from her mind. She’d scavenged the Internet and colleagues for information on him, information which was scarce. Incomplete tales whispered of a mighty Viking who’d bonded with a sidhe woman. As to what happened to the woman, no two versions agreed. But all versions concluded with the rise of an immortal weretiger—a weretiger with a sidhe soul.
She glanced around again, keeping that pleasant, meaningless smile on her face even though her cheek muscles ached and she wanted nothing more than to go to bed and sleep for the next twelve hours. But she continued to concentrate on staying awake, on doing her job, on hoping that he would see her.
Ah, there he was. Willow’s breath caught in her throat and she grew very still as she watched him, admired him. A tall man with straight shoulder length, dark blond hair, massively built of long, thick bone and hard muscle and no fat, he prowled slowly along the aisles of exhibits. She watched him pause beside the booth occupied by Night Life Magazine. He desultorily flipped through a few pages, exchanged a few words with the publisher’s staff person who manned the display, and moved on. His gait was slow and gliding, predatory. His heavily lidded eyes appeared sleepy until one took a second look and realized that they were sharp and hyper-watchful.
She concentrated, delicately calibrating her body and releasing the tiniest amount of tigress pheromones into the air.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Book Of The Month