LET'S WELCOME SHERILE REILLY AUTHOR OF: JAMIE'S CHOICE

LET’S WELCOME
AUTHOR OF:

SHERILE REILLY







Hello Char and Rad-Readers.
Thank you for inviting me to share my story with you. It is an honor to present, Jamie’s Choice, the first book of the Bringing Jamie Home Trilogy.

Rad-Reader:  Why this story and why the need to write it?

Sherile:  I’m retired now, but my first career was as an elementary school teacher.
One year I had a boy placed in my class who didn’t like me and unfortunately, the feeling was mutual.

Believing the boy would be much happier with a different teacher, I suggested to administration that they place him in a different class. The Assistant Principal informed me that I’d be good for the boy and left him in my class.

As the year progressed, we grew to like each other very much.

In June, when all the other kids had left for summer holidays, the boy stayed at his desk and he said point blank, “I didn’t like you at the beginning of the year”.
(Don’t you love how kids get right to the point? I love their honesty.)

I thought a moment and decided to be honest with him too. I shared that he wasn’t my favorite student at the beginning of the year, either.
We both accepted the idea that we could change our minds. We had a newfound mutual respect and appreciation.

Over the years, I never forgot that boy. I decided I needed to write a story about a woman who didn’t want a particular child. I wanted to show the love, understanding and self-confidence that grew in both characters as they got to know and love each other. 

Rad-Reader:  Why did Elena pick Rachel? 

Sherile:  Jamie’s mother, Elena, chose the only person she thought suitable to take her son. She’d witnessed Rachel’s conscientious nature with her own garden and home, but more important, Garrett Yates, her lawyer, encouraged Elena to get to know Rachel’s true self.  

Rad-Reader:  What happened to all of her family?

Sherile:  Being separated, Jamie’s father was unwilling to take the child and there were no living relatives. 

Rad-Reader:  Who was Elena to Garrett and how did they know each other?

Sherile:  Garrett, Elena’s lawyer, is a respected person in the community. He persuaded Elena to choose her neighbor, Rachel, as the best guardian for her son. Rachel was Garrett’s high school classmate (and secret school crush). He realized that she was the best option for Jamie. By having regular visits to the house, Garrett was assured that everything was going well.

Rad-Reader:  Why wasn’t his father an option?

Sherile:  Unfortunately, not all men will be good fathers. Jamie’s parents were divorced two years ago and Walter simply didn’t want to bother with Jamie, his only child. 

Rad-Reader:  Had Elena always lived in that home and in that community?

Sherile:  Elena is a recent arrival to Maryville from the big city and although she’s had medical support, she’s been more of a recluse in the community.

Rad-Reader:  What is with Garrett?  Why is he really coming around Rachel?

Sherile:  Well, you see, when a boy likes a girl…
In all seriousness, as the family lawyer, Garrett becomes Jamie’s only living champion and while he can’t take the boy himself, he believes Rachel would be a good guardian, if only he can convince her to agree.  
In addition, Rachel and Garrett knew each other in high school and were both secretly smitten with each other. So, any time Garrett spends with Rachel is a bonus for him.  

Rad-Reader:  Is Garrett just coming around as a person of the court?

Sherile:  Yes, he is, but also see above.

Rad-Reader:  why was Dottie always in her business?

Sherile:  We all have a busy-body neighbor. Rachel puts up with her neighbor, because she recognizes the good-hearted intentions of this woman. Sometimes, Dottie oversteps the boundaries, but she means well. 

Rad-Reader:  Does Dottie have a family?

Sherile:  Dottie’s husband died a few years ago and she misses him dreadfully. She doesn’t want Rachel to be all alone.

Rad-Reader:  Why didn’t Rachel tell Garrett off instead of falling for his nice guy routine?  Then him really wanting something from her?

Sherile:  Because deep down, Rachel knew that Garrett was right!
Rachel remembers Garrett as the popular high school football player who she figured wouldn’t give her the time of day. She’s touched by how her school-girl crush has become the champion for this innocent child. 

Rad-Reader:  Garrett is good at passing judgment but what is he giving of himself really?

Sherile:  Garrett wants Jamie to go to a good home and he truly believes that Rachel, although she doesn’t trust herself, is the best choice for Jamie.

Rad-Reader:  He is a tease to get her to do what she doesn’t want to do.  He is the guy she thought he was in high school it sounds like.  Or am I wrong?  If so how?

Sherile:  Rachel remembers Garrett a certain ways in high school and initially she judges him as the person he used to be, or so she thought. She soon discovers that he has Jamie’s best interests at heart. 

Rad-Reader:  Did I get it straight, did Garrett keep tabs on Rachel since high school?  If so, how?

Sherile:  He did not keep tabs on Rachel since high school, but he did think about her. Garrett threw himself into his successful career and just never found the right woman to marry.
When his old law school buddy asked to help with some of the business in Maryville, Garrett looked up Rachel and found that she still lived there. Garrett knew he wanted to see her again. 

Rad-Reader:  Why didn’t he ever contact her?  Why didn’t he ever marry? Or did he?

Sherile:  Warned off by Rachel’s mother, Garrett left Maryville and chose to focus on his career. He did date, often, but never felt like he’d met ‘the one’.

Rad-Reader:  Elena’s ex-was a piece of work.  Did he get in any trouble over this whole mess at all?

Sherile:  The ‘ex’ is not the person at the end of the trilogy that we meet in book one. Walter, the ‘ex’, had a very complicated history with the boy and his late mother. However, I will say that there is justice for Walter.  


Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you have play…

Rachel: Mila Kunis
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/242772236134884835/

Garrett:  Ryan Reynolds
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/514465957418942590/

Dottie:  Fionnula Flanagan
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/268949408973020045/

Elena:  Ashley Olsen
 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/410249847278167782/

Jamie:  Just a boy off Pinterest
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/17592254768874242/

Scooter:  Off Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/18155204724592151/

Sherile:  This was such a different and fun question to answer. I loved thinking about what actors would make the perfect characters for these rolls. 


Rachel:  Tatiana Maslany or 
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/441634307190514814/





Rad-Reader:  What song best describes your couple or your book as a whole?


Fall in Love - Barcelona




Sherile:  Garrett loves Whitney Houston singing I Will Always Love You



but Rachel loves Dolly Parton’s version
Will Always Love You




Rad-Reader:  When you were a kid what did you want to grow up to be?

Sherile:  As a kid I was busy running around the neighborhood playing ‘cops and robbers’ with my friends or roller skating with our black cocker spaniel nearby. His name was Blackie and some of his antics were the inspiration for Scooter’s behavior. The part with Scooter and the glasses came directly from what I’d done with our dog! He was sitting at the dining room table.
In high school, I knew I wanted to go to university and I did.
I became an elementary school teacher and after teaching for many years, my husband and I were driving across Montana. I’d just finished a romance and I told Ed that I’d like to write characters that a reader would love as much as I’d loved the characters in the book I held in my hands.
During my teaching career, I’d enjoyed reading and discussing novels with my students and the first two books I wrote were for Middle Graders.
When I retired from teaching, I knew I wanted to write romance for adults.

Rad-Reader:  Who was your biggest supporter when it came to being the writer you are now?

Sherile:  I’ve had tremendous support from my husband who drives me to locations so I get a feeling for the setting.
When she was alive, I also had tremendous support from my mother. She’d have been so pleased with the publication of the Bringing Jamie Home Trilogy.
My sister patiently listens to all my new ideas and offers suggestions.
My friends have helped me so much with my technology problems, blurbs, plots and many other facets of the whole writing process. I also belong to two writing groups that offer excellent workshops.
Best of all, my writer friends are fun and great to hang around with!  


Rad-Reader:  What advice can you give to writers just starting out that you wish someone would have been given  to you?

Sherile:  It won’t be easy to pursue a career in writing and you can’t give up when you don’t get any rewards, but if you truly love writing about characters and a love story, then go ahead and write—no matter what.
At the same time, continue to educate yourself in the craft of writing. There is so much to learn. Go to conferences, workshops or join a writing group.
I believe you have to love writing because a writing career is difficult with great competition. Write the stories that fill your heart with happiness and sorrow. Write because you love it and you always will.
I’m still taking courses! And I love it!



Rad-Reader:  What has been your greatest reward from your writing experience so far?

Sherile:  My favorite so far has been meeting both a fantastic group of local Canadian authors and my audience. I write for the enjoyment of my audience
Also, hearing positive comments about my stories and how they touched the readers’ heart. That fulfills me and makes me want to write more.


Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite dessert?

Sherile:  I have so many! My all-time favorite is vanilla ice cream. I know it sounds boring, but I never get tired of it because it goes with EVERYTHING!
Recently I had sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. It was YUMMY!

OKAY! So I’ll start counting calories tomorrow. Yeah! Sure!
I promise to count calories—one of these days.  


Rad-Reader:  Your best vacation ever?

Sherile:  My husband and I travel a lot and having fantastic experiences in many countries.
I have a top five favorite vacations list. One experience I remember was ballooning over the Tablelands of Northern Australia. Standing in the basket, I looked down and saw kangaroos hopping through the bush. It was surreal. 


Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when will it be out?

Sherile:  I have just released Jamie’s Secret (book two of the Bringing Jamie Home Trilogy) and also Jamie’s Gift (book three of the Bringing Jamie Home Trilogy).

At present, I’m working on a paranormal, historical romance. It will be out in early 2018.


Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?

Sherile:  www.Amazon.com



Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?


  As a special thank you to all the readers who read this blog post, I’d like to introduce Scooter, Jamie’s best friend and confidant, plus a picture of Jamie and Scooter. There are also more photos that tie in with Jamie’s Choice.  






Sherile,
I would like to thank you for asking me to read your book.  I never know what to expect when it is a book I have not chosen myself.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  The characters did get a rise out of me which is always good.  You are now a 1 Rad-Reader misfit you will have to run much faster next time :).  Come back anytime to post on our Shout Out: An Author's Place.
Char  

Here Tomorrow 7 pm PST. Sherile Reilly Author of: JAMIE'S CHOICE (Bringing Jamie Home Trilogy Part One) See Excerpt FROM OTHER ANOTHER WORK

Here
 TOMORROW
 7 pm PST.
Sherile Reilly

Author of:


No kids! No pets! No men!
It’s the perfect life for uptight thirty-seven-year-old Rachel McGivney, a career-woman who’s struggled for years to gain a foothold in business and keep her emotions under control.
When Garrett Yates, her high school crush and now a high-powered lawyer, returns to town and wants to foist Jamie Sorenson, a mischievous nine-year-old orphan and his aggravating sheep dog, on her, Rachel rebels.
She doesn’t want the kid or his dog, and she’s definitely not ready to be Jamie’s guardian. That would open up too many sad memories of a time when she was involved in a disastrous event, involving another young child.
To complicate matters, Garrett’s presence reminds Rachel of unrequited love. Handsome and persistent, Garrett believes in Rachel and trusts her to be the right person for Jamie.
But can Rachel learn to trust herself?

www.amazon.com

Part 2 on Amazon Part 3 coming soon.


The Winslow Curse

In Elizabethan England, where witches and curses thrive, life is difficult for a woman—especially a beautiful, peasant girl who attracts the attention of the Lord of the Manor’s son. He desires her for his own pleasure and she mistakes it for love. When their affair is revealed, an ancient curse is evoked.



Chapter One

The low whistle from outside alerts me to my lover’s approach. Leaning against the stout oak chest, I tie my boot laces and then I hasten to the door. I take an empty basket from a peg on the wall of the small thatched cottage. I will collect firewood from the manorial woods after I meet my beloved Richard.
Before leaving the dwelling place I glance back. The smell of wood smoke lingers in the fireplace and nestled near it, on the best bed, my grannie lies on her back, her breath whistling through her teeth. I hope she’ll stay sleeping. I want more time with Richard. I caught his eye when I worked at Winslow Manor. Richard is Lord Winslow’s eldest son and the most handsome man—I’m sure in all the land. All the lasses love him, but he is mine—my true love.
I tiptoe out of the stone dwelling and past the herb garden where Grannie grows plants that she mixes into potions to help the sick. Sweet-smelling pear and cherry blossoms scent the air. In the sky the moon hovers, its last faint outline paying homage to the first rays of dawn.
I stop at the brook, kneel and plunge my hands into the cold water. I splash my face and use my finger to brush my teeth. Once I have dried my face against my sleeve I rush across the little bridge and head for the woods, my basket bumping my leg.
I cross the field. Richard, the man I dream of marrying, steps into the light, his black shape silhouetted against the brightening promise of a new day. I run towards him, my heart pounding and my body yearning for his touch.
He raises his arms and as I draw near, he says, “Good morrow, Mistress Mary Elizabeth.” He says my name as if addressing the queen, whom I am named after. He reaches out and I drop my basket and leap into his arms. Laughing, we tumble to the ground.
“I have awaited the maiden who delights me as no other can,” he says.
I fumble with the front of my dress, loosening the ties so Richard won’t rip the garment, or later I’d have Grannie scolding me and giving me the evil eye.
How can I expect my old grannie, with her wrinkled face and gnarled hands, to understand the beautiful Richard? His long golden hair, tied with a ribbon, and straight body that towers over men, surely make the gods jealous.
“You offer a man such ripe fruit.” He nuzzles my neck and squeezes my breasts.
I pull up my skirt and lie on my back, my eyes wide open so I can see his beauty and know that I, above all other women, please him.
He never talks, but closes his eyes and as he enters me his face twists. I arch my back. He moans and I bite my tongue, keeping quiet as he has instructed. His pleasure and mine combine and we grip each other as spasms shake our bodies.
He finishes, rolls on his back, and lies beside me. I raise myself on one elbow and kiss him, my bare breast brushing his chest.
“When will you tell your father?” I ask in my most enticing voice.
He pushes me aside and stands, giving an uneasy shrug.
Knowing our meeting is over, I scramble to my feet, straighten my skirt and brush the leaves from my dress—the smell of our love-making lingers. I cock my head to the side and offer him a mischievous grin, the one I know he can’t resist. “Isn’t it about time we made our love known to all those at the Manor House?”
 He puts his finger under my chin and gives me a quirky grin. “I will have to rein you in as I do a mare.”
I giggle, knowing how he rides his mare every day.
His eyes harden. “For a maiden, who surely is a bastard, you demand too much.” His words plunge a knife into my heart, but just as quickly his mood changes. “I have you learning to read and write along with my brother and sister. What more could a maiden of your standing expect?”
I won’t contradict him. He is my master and I but a peasant. He is letting me be educated to a higher standard. However, it was Alice, his younger sister and my dear friend, who suggested that I be allowed to attend classes in the Manor. Richard’s father, who often gives in to his only daughter’s requests, permitted it.
Surely Richard’s willingness to have me attend lessons with his brother and sister means that he desires me for a wife.
His eyes twinkle and he smacks me on the behind. “Run along and do your duties and don’t forget to collect the firewood.” He gives me a quick kiss. “Each and every time you bewitch me,” he murmurs, and then his face darkens.
Pleased with his utterance, I know it won’t be long before he announces our love to the world.
For me the time can’t come fast enough.

The Winslow Curse is available FREE at www.SherileReilly.com





Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35664901-jamie-s-choice?from_search=true



Several years ago, before I started writing, my husband and I were travelling across Montana. While he drove, I read. It was at that moment, under the big blue Montana sky, that I knew I wanted to write books with characters that the reader sympathized with and loved.
At the time I was teaching school. I enjoyed reading aloud and doing novel studies with my students. I asked them what they would like to read and they told me about a kid everyone called the Barbarian, so I wrote Greg and the Barbarian.
I’ve always loved reading romance stories where the heroine flees to an isolated location and she has to rely on herself to get out of danger—and help the handsome hero who is tortured by an ancient curse.
My Women’s Fiction trilogy, Bringing Jamie Home, started with one question—what if a woman, who didn’t like children, became the guardian of a mischievous ten-year-old boy?
I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

COMING FRIDAY 7 PM PST. AUTHOR OF: JAMIE'S CHOICE SHERILE REILLY SEE EXCERPTS

COMING FRIDAY 7 PM PST.
AUTHOR OF:
SHERILE REILLY




What if she could simply say no to her old dream? What if she could simply say—
No men! No kids! And no pets!
It’s the perfect life for thirty-seven-year-old Rachel McGivney, a career woman who’s struggled for years to gain a foothold in business . . . and to keep her emotions under control.
So, when high-powered lawyer Garrett Yates (her high school crush) returns to town and wants to foist a mischievous nine-year-old orphan on her, Rachel rebels. Garrett’s even suggesting she take that aggravating sheep dog!
She’s not ready to take on a kid and a dog.

But handsome and persistent Garrett believes in Rachel and trusts her to be the right person for little Jamie. The question is: Can Rachel learn to trust herself?





Chapter Five

Before I could twist my ankle or fall, Dottie’s handsome hunk caught me, supporting my back with a strong arm. He saved me from hitting the floor, but not from the shock I got when I looked up to thank him.
He’d stepped back. A smile quirked his beautiful mouth and showed off his perfect white teeth. “Rachel McGivney. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”
His dark, thick hair was slightly wavy, with a tinge of white at the temples, giving him a distinguished appearance. His lips were full. My cheeks warmed with embarrassment as I stared and despite my better intention, I wondered what it’d be like to be kissed by him.
When I didn’t answer him promptly, he put out his hand. “You’ve probably forgotten me. I’m Garrett Yates.”
I hadn’t forgotten his name or anything else about him. In my teens, he’d been the epitome of perfection and the star of all my romantic dreams. A funny ache settled in my chest. I could never forget Garrett Yates.
“Would you care for a glass of punch?”
I nodded, my mouth suddenly dry.
I glanced around the room. Dottie had left and the kid was nowhere to be seen. Mrs. Sorenson still sat in the overstuffed chair, and people milled around chatting and laughing. I was alone in a sea of self-doubt.
I’d known Garrett Yates for twenty years. Twenty-one to be exact. In high school, I’d fallen hard for him, developing a major crush on the high school football captain and top student. We’d been in the same honor roll photo and had worked together, for hours, on the school yearbook. I’d wanted him to notice and like me. I imagined that I’d seen interest in his eyes, but after one date he'd barely talked to me. I wasn’t worth the trouble. To me, his polite indifference labeled me as trailer trash.
I don’t know whether this was true, but at the time I really believed it, especially when I’d overheard the popular girls making snide comments about where I lived and where my mother worked. All the tormenting memories came tumbling back into my mind.
In no time, Garrett was back with two glasses of punch. He offered me one.
“I want to hear what you’ve been doing for the past few years.” He put his free hand on my waist and ushered me out of the living room and across the narrow hall into the dining room. His touch was warm and disarming. We passed under the mistletoe, but he didn’t miss a step. Either he’d forgotten it or didn’t want to kiss me. I tried not to be disappointed, because unlike high school, this time I wanted to be caught under the mistletoe, and thoroughly kissed by Garrett.
Maybe I was even hoping for a little romance in my life.
He pulled out a chair for me and then sat to my right, a couple of feet away. I could smell his aftershave. I tried not to stare at him, but couldn’t help remembering the young man who inspired crushes in all the girls. The touch of gray at his temples stood out attractively against his black hair and gave him a distinguished, sexy appearance. At thirty-nine, he was one year older than me and appeared to be in great shape.
“It’s terrific to see you again.” The keen, measuring glint in his eyes made me self-conscious.
Other guests came into the dining room. Chatting and acknowledging us with a nod, they helped themselves to appetizers from the food-laden table. I reached for some cheese and crackers, and the guests wandered out of the room, leaving me alone once more with Garrett.
As a female guest passed the doorway, she paused and caught my attention, with a knowing gleam in her eyes and an admiring glance at Garrett. I ignored it.
“I hear you’re in business,” Garrett said. He placed his hands on the table and I was too quick to notice that there was no wedding band. I realized lots of couples didn’t feel rings were necessary. I actually agreed with them, but couldn’t help wondering if this applied to Garrett.
I tried to convince myself that, if I could be calm when making renovations and design suggestions to prospective clients, I was perfectly capable of explaining my business to Garrett. I went into a few details about how I’d come back to Maryville just over a year ago, bought a house, and renovated it.
“I take it you’re planning to make Maryville your permanent home?” He asked the question with great sincerity. For a few seconds, I imagined that he really cared, but then wondered why he would. I dismissed the negative thought almost as quickly as it had come. My cynical feelings were getting the better of me and I knew I should behave like an adult and not some foolish, drooling schoolgirl.
“Business has been going very well,” I said, warming to the interest in his dark brown eyes and feeling a blush of pleasure at being the center of his attention. He still had the ability to make my heart beat faster.
“I’m delighted for you, Rachel.” He moved his hands towards mine and the flutter in my stomach climbed to my chest. Disappointment cascaded through me when he ignored my hands and picked up my glass instead. “Would you care for another drink?”
He stood and I nodded, at a loss for words. I’d foolishly misjudged his intentions and once again I was out of step, just like a few years ago when I’d dated a guy and started to like him. He’d announced that he was looking for a wife and wanted a big family. I’d felt pressured like I was auditioning for a part. I’d quickly dropped him. The whole scenario scared me. Maybe I was destined to live alone, like my piano teacher.
A couple moved under the mistletoe and locked their lips in a deep embrace. The woman thrust herself against the man and I looked away, embarrassed by their public intimacy. Garrett strode back into the dining room and I managed a polite nod. He glanced back at the pair and then back at me, his expression unreadable.
Jamie dodged past them and stopped beside Garrett.
“Slow down, buddy,” Garrett said, putting the two glasses on the table.
“I saw them kissing.” Jamie pointed to the pair who were holding hands and walking towards Mrs. Sorenson. He smacked his lips together and made sucking sounds.
Garrett ignored the display of bad manners. If the kid were mine, I’d have been on him in a nanosecond, but I chose to mind my own business. This wasn’t my house and it was not my place to lecture Jamie.
My good intentions didn’t last for long. Jamie yanked on Garrett’s sleeve and gave him an angelic grin.
“It’s your turn to kiss someone.” Jamie rotated and his gaze landed on me. He tapped Garrett’s arm. “You’ve got to kiss Miss McGivney.”
I wondered how long he’d connived to get even with me.
“Come on. You have to kiss her.” Jamie did a quick exit and within a few seconds, a recording of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” blared from the living room.
I swallowed and Garrett put his arm on my shoulder. “If you don’t kiss me,” he whispered, “Jamie will think of some other way to play a trick on you. Kissing me might be the least unpleasant option and it’ll be all over before you even feel the pain.” His eyes gleamed with amusement.
Warm excitement bubbled through me. I put on an air of confidence and said, “You’re on.” I stepped under the mistletoe and before I even had time to brace my feet, Garrett had pulled me into his arms.
I tilted my head back and looped my arms around his neck. I’d show that kid he couldn’t get the better of me. Who was I kidding? This kiss wasn’t about the kid—it was about something I wanted all those years ago and still wanted. I’d been given the perfect opportunity.
Garrett’s lips brushed my mouth in a friendly gesture, as if for the benefit of those watching us. The music got louder, pulsating in my head, and something unfamiliar twisted inside me as I pictured the pair before us, ardently kissing under the mistletoe. I found myself brashly saying, “Let’s really show them.”
He pressed his mouth to my neck, whispering, “I’ve waited a long time for this.” His words aroused a deep longing to experience and understand the passion I’d seen in other couples. He held me in his arms, with his thighs so close they pushed against my skirt and the warmth of his chest pressed against my breasts. I tilted my head and shut my eyes, vaguely aware of a child’s laughter in the background and people cheering. Garrett’s lips closed over mine. Pleasure rippled down my spine and a drifting sensation filled me as if I’d fallen into a pillow of clouds. His kiss coiled around my senses and ribbons of sunlight danced before my eyes. I slid my hands up his back and something stirred in my stomach.
Was the world spinning or had Garrett twirled me around?
Too soon the kiss ended and the music changed to a thumping dance rhythm and people clapped in time to the beat. Garrett had one hand on my arm, and with his other hand, he’d grabbed Jamie.
Jamie held my right hand and Garrett my left as we moved into the living room. We danced in a circle, and on one of our turns, I glanced at Mrs. Sorenson.
I saw a glow around her head and shoulders and realized that I was seeing her aura. I’m sure nobody else noticed it. She wasn’t smiling and yet I had the feeling that she’d discovered some treasure. A part of me wanted to understand and experience the genuine happiness radiating from her. I was almost bursting from my own ridiculously happy bubble. We lifted Jamie, swinging him until his feet flew off the floor and he giggled. People cheered and clapped.
The music stopped. My little bubble of happiness burst and Jamie ran to his mom. She kissed him on the top of the head and glanced up at me. My heart gave a tender twist, knowing how privileged I was to witness a special moment between a mother and her son, and their special love for each other. My insides were running in a tight circle. I knew I'd never deserve a man’s love or a child’s trust, not after what I’d done, but I tried to ignore that knowledge.
Half an hour later, after saying our goodbyes, and Garrett telling me that he’d be in touch, Dottie and I left the party. After our kiss, I was disappointed Garrett hadn’t asked me for a date. I had to remember that I’d initiated the kiss to show Jamie he couldn’t embarrass me. Garrett had been a good sport. Still smitten with him, I’d allowed myself to think his kiss was for real. I doubted I’d see him again. Besides, he probably had a girlfriend.
As we strolled back to Dottie’s house, she commented, “I was watching you and the handsome hunk. I think he’s interested.”












Alexander Winslow dreads the midnight hour when darkness permeates his soul, spasms of pain slash his body and hours of torment begin.
Afflicted by an ancient family curse, Alex endures a nightly transformation and is doomed to stalk the countryside, searching for prey.
Seeking refuge from her greedy uncle who wants her killed, heiress Victoria Northcote escapes to Winslow Mansion, the home of an old family friend. However, the friend is dead and Alex, the new master, has his secret to guard and he doesn’t welcome Vicki.
When they are forced into a dangerous alliance, tempers flare and passions ignite.





New England 1895

Chapter One
Heels clicked on the hardwood floor outside the library. Fearing detection, Victoria Northcote stuffed the documents back into her uncle’s desk drawer, lifted the hem of her skirt and hid behind the velvet drapes. The door squeaked as someone entered the room. She pressed her hand against her mouth. One tiny sound and she’d be discovered.
“She must die tonight. Make no mistakes this time,” said her uncle.
Vicki flinched—his words confirmed her suspicions. The fall from her horse, several weeks ago, was deliberately planned.
“The boy? Does he have an accident too?”
The other man’s guttural voice made her shiver. She recognized her uncle’s henchman, Benny—the very same pock-faced ruffian who’d saddled her horse before the accident.
Taking silent breaths, she forced herself to remain quiet.
“Smothering the boy would be easy if that be how you want it.”
A whip cracked, followed by a grunt. “You stupid lout. My nephew, Davey, is of little consequence, but if you touch a hair on his head, I’d have you knifed to death in a dark alley.”
“No need, no need to anger, sir.”
Although she detested Benny, she didn’t want him beaten on her account.
“Have you no brains? Can’t you understand? An accident so soon after you make my niece disappear would be suspicious. I will bide my time, manage the boy’s inheritance for a few years—until he too dies. Unexpectedly.”
The draperies folded in on Vicki, smothering and choking her breath. Davey, her beloved brother. If they hurt him, she’d fight her uncle—but how?
She could just picture his face, the smirk between his neatly trimmed mustache and hatchet jaw. To other men, his appearance symbolized knowledge and self-confidence—to her, deceit and dishonesty. “The inheritance should have been mine,” he said.
Realization of her situation weakened her knees and she wanted to crumple to the ground. She stood ramrod still, the smell of cigar smoke drifting towards the opened window beside her.
What could she do? Her father’s lawyer trusted her uncle completely. How could she explain that her uncle required her dead before her twenty-first birthday when she’d inherit her father’s fortune? And her uncle, the second son in the family, got nothing?
The attorney would smile kindly and assure her everything was for her and Davey’s best interests. She must not worry and trust their knowledge. The conditions of the will would be honored and for the first time since her father’s death a year ago, her smooth-talking, suave uncle, with no money of his own to bankroll his love of gambling, would be without funds.
In three weeks she’d get her inheritance—but she would have to live long enough to claim it.
***
As Vicki tiptoed into Davey’s bedroom, she heard his soft breathing, almost matching the purring of the black cat curled beside him.
She brushed the fine hair back from Davey’s forehead and gave him a light kiss, the little boy she’d vowed to protect when her father died. Small and slight of stature for his nine years, Davey was a gentle child who loved playing with the kitten she’d bought him a year ago. The cat, named Kitty, had grown to be an inseparable friend and Vicki hoped their closeness would comfort Davey in the weeks ahead.
Kitty opened his green eyes and she looked into their seemingly infinite depths. She picked him up and whispered. “If only you could talk and tell Davey I’m not deserting him.” For a minute she bowed her head. What would Davey do when he found her gone?
As much as she wanted to, she couldn’t leave Davey a note because he might unknowingly give the information to her uncle. If she didn’t remain strong she’d be of no use to him. Steeling her resolve, she raised her head and stared at the cat. “I trust you to care for Davey. Please be his friend and constant companion.”
She cuddled Kitty to her chest and ran her fingers through his silky fur, the touch reassuring her. After placing the cat back on the bed, she took one last look at Davey and laid her hand on his shoulder. “Sleep well, dear brother. When I find safety, I will come back for you and we’ll be together again.”
Back in her own bedroom, Vicki retrieved the bundle of letters her father had given her. Confident they were her ticket to safety, she crammed them into her satchel along with a few undergarments and pulled the strap over her head, letting it drape diagonally across her body.
Her heart pumped as she crept outside and dashed across the flagstones to the stable where she saddled Sophie and led the mare out of the barn.
She needed to find a safe sanctuary for three weeks.




LET'S WELCOME SHERILE REILLY AUTHOR OF: JAMIE'S CHOICE

LET’S WELCOME AUTHOR OF: SHERILE REILLY Hello Char and Rad-Readers. Thank you for inviting me to share my story wit...