The Carnal Reunions anthology is out in print! If you'd like to rush right out and buy it, just click on the book cover!
In the meantime, I thought I would post a little excerpt from my story in the anthology, Prisoner of the Heart.
With a wheeze and clank, the car died just as Becky parked at the curb in front of the familiar Victorian house. A cloud of steam billowed from under the hood with a hiss as she pounded on the steering wheel and muttered a curse. “You should go to the reunion. It will do you good to get away,” she parroted her Aunt Mary. “Get away, my ass. Now what the heck am I gonna do?”
She unfastened the seat belt and climbed out just as the man mowing the lawn across the street turned off the mower and ambled in her direction. Marching to the front of the car, she bent to find the hood latch, barely sparing him a glance until he hooked his thumbs in his pockets and said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you—not unless you want to deal with second degree burns.”
Becky paused in confusion. “What?”
“You need to let the car cool down before you pop that hood,” he elaborated. “Right now, all you’ll receive for your trouble is some nasty steam burns.”
Back peddling in a hurry, she moved away from the car, scowling at the smoky clouds. “So what am I supposed to do now?”
His dark hair flopped over the bandanna tied around his head when he bent over to glance at the hot water dribbling to the pavement. “Well. It could be worse. I recommend something cold to drink. We can sit on my porch and have iced tea while we wait.”
She shook her head. “Thanks, but this was my destination, anyway.” She pointed over her shoulder. “I’m staying here with my friend, Karen.”
“I thought I recognized you,” he said with satisfaction. “You’re Becky Iversen.”
“Becky Belker,” she corrected.
“So you married good ol’ Tom.”
“And divorced good ol’ Tom,” she added with faint bitterness.
He dusted his hand on his jeans before offering it, “Don’t know if you remember me. Joe Harris.”
Becky took a long second look. Joe Harris had grown up. The shy lanky teenager who was on the verge of manhood the last time she’d seen him had matured and filled out in all the right places. Beneath his sweat-dampened tee shirt, his broad shoulders and wide chest rippled with the kind of muscle you developed from physical labor. Her eyes skimmed over his flat stomach, halted briefly as she speculated about that interesting package his faded jeans cupped so lovingly, and finally came to rest on the battered work boots covering his feet.
When the odd silence finally penetrated, an embarrassed flush blazed across her cheeks. She realized he was still holding his hand out. Quickly, she slipped her hand in his and gently shook it. “Wow, you’ve changed!” she blurted out.
Her cheeks turned pink when he subjected her to a slow appraisal of his own. She fidgeted under his gaze, knowing what he saw. Her white blond hair was pulled back in a fancy braid that brushed her butt. Her blue denim shirt and jeans matched her eyes. After two children, a few more pounds padded her curves. “You’re still beautiful,” he said softly.
Nervously, she tucked her hands in her jeans pockets. “Thank you.” She looked away, frowning when she realized Karen’s driveway was empty. “Well. I’m sure I’ll see you again before I leave. I better go let Karen know I’m here.”
“Good enough.” Joe loped back across the street to his mower, leaving her standing on the curb by her car.
With a sigh, she retrieved her purple fake leather hobo bag from the front seat. Her lips curved in a reluctant smile as she hugged the bag against her breasts. It was a birthday gift from her kids. Lizzie had gravely pointed out the bag’s color because she knew it was Becky’s favorite. And Sean had eagerly explained that they were able to buy it because it was on sale. Becky remembered looking up from the crumpled Sunday comics wrapping paper at the smiles on her kids’ faces, and wanting to cry because children shouldn’t have to know about buying presents on sale.
She thought about the interview she had scheduled at the Heartwood Medical Center this weekend and prayed that she was hired. Life would be so much easier for all of them if she got the new job. And the kids could attend a school where everyone didn’t know their dad was in prison. When the invitation arrived from Karen, it was like an answer to her prayers. With money so tight, a free place to stay was a true blessing.
Of course, Aunt Mary tartly suggested that she find a hunky man who would take her to bed for some hot sweaty sex. Becky giggled under her breath at the memory of her gaunt spinster aunt standing in the kitchen with her hands buried in hot soapy dishwater, her tall angular body swathed in a snowy white apron while she lectured Becky on the best way to find a man with a hard body and a big penis.
Trust Aunt Mary to be up front about what she thought.
And then stuff happens...