Thursday, August 30, 2012

YA Book Release!

I would like to introduce,  Sister Sugar ~ my latest release & my first YA novel!
Please stop by Amazon or Smashwords and download a free sample! And if you are on Goodreads please add me to your "to be read" list! Thank you all so much for your encouragement & continued support!

For fifteen years, Sugar Cristea has been raised by a creepy family of elderly sisters called the Serviance. They are healers; witches bound in service to the vampire royal family, the Greys. The Sisters have kept Sugar hidden away from modern society, grooming her to carry on Cristea tradition.

But for as long as she could remember, Sugar has longed for a life outside the gates of Ravenscleft where the Sisters have kept her under constant scrutiny. Then one day a local Gypsy boy wanders past the manor and Sugar is instantly smitten. He is her first boyfriend. But men are forbidden on the estate grounds, and when his body washes up on the beach a short time later, Sugar is heartbroken. Blaming the Sisters, she vows to escape her family of captors. Her salvation comes in the form of Emilian Grey, the young vampire prince who has fallen in love with her. He has been watching over her, protecting her... and waiting for her. And he will share with her the secret of her destiny - that one day, she will fulfill an ancient prophecy; this lowly servant girl shall become a queen; the Queen of the Kindred.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I opened the door and there was Aaron leaning casually against the doorway, with his tousled dark hair hanging down over one eye, and smiling in that way he always did when he knew I was angry at him. He was acting as though nothing was wrong; he was always doing that to me. Not showing up when I expected him to, and popping in unannounced when I hadn't heard from him in days. He was wild and unpredictable. Unreliable and undeniable. I was in love with him and he knew it.

He toyed with me and I couldn't get enough. Sometimes he seemed interested, and then he'd disappear for days. I'd wait anxiously by the phone for calls that never came. He left my e-mails unanswered and ignored my texts. Then he'd write me a poem and show up on my doorstep with flowers. I was confused and maddened, and so very happy in a twisted kind of way.

He sauntered inside without an invitation, and his eyes danced as he watched my face, my cheeks flushing red with anger.
"Aaron, I have always been there for you, and this is how you repay my loyalty? You didn't even call me on my birthday. And then I sat there, alone at the party watching the door all night. Waiting... waiting for you to show up. Where the hell were you? Why can't you just..."
His arm slid around my waist and he pulled me to him, crushing me into his chest. I tried to push him away. I didn't want to play today, I was furious. But then his lips were on mine; the forcefulness of his mouth working an unfair advantage against me. I couldn't help it, I gave in, but only for a moment - just until he pulled his mouth away. His lips brushed my cheek, and his breath was so hot against my skin, my breath quickened and I closed my eyes.
Then he began whispering how much he loved me, and my fury exploded.
"No - no you don't. You don't love me. You just want me whenever you are bored and have nothing else to do. I entertain you. There is a difference. Now turn me loose." I broke free of him and folded my arms across my chest defensively.
He smiled and nodded. He was amused.
"Come on Kari, don't be that way. It was just one night. I was gonna come, I swear it. I just... I had to... work late, honest. Besides, I'm here now aren't I? And you're wrong, I do love you. You just need... you need to lighten up. Be a little more spontaneous. You think everything has to be planned, scheduled, booked in advance and it doesn't. Live a little. Come on... come here. I want to wish you Happy Birthday."
He held his arms out to me. He knew me too well, and he was irresistible.

I was back in his grasp, and his mouth was upon mine again. I felt his hands unbuttoning my blouse, and I was tearing at his shirt. I couldn't explain it, and I couldn't deny myself the intense pleasure his touch had always brought to me. My body was on fire beneath his fingers as he softly caressed my skin, and his lips traveled down my throat.

He stopped abruptly and lifted me up, carrying me into my bedroom. I knew I should tell him 'no'. I should make him leave. But I couldn't, because I didn't want to, and because a part of me knew he was right. I had become too rigid, my life was perfunctory and ordinary. And in his own way, he was teaching me spontaneity. He forced me to live in the moment with him, because it was all that he would give me. I gave myself over to him, knowing that it might be the last time I ever saw him. He was that unpredictable. But I couldn't deny the way he made me feel; I loved him.

 ©2012 Garden Summerland

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Secret

It was difficult to breathe. If I was dreaming, I didn't ever want to awaken. I carefully brushed the blond wisps of hair back from his forehead, away from his eyes. My heart and my body ached from the night's fervent consummation. I lay back on the pillow and basked in the afterglow of the fulfillment of my long suffering desire.

I had been watching him sleep for almost an hour. Mesmerized by his beauty as I had been from the very first day I'd met him. He slept soundly, his face, as always, peaceful and innocent. I bathed in the memories of our night of ecstasy, hot and rough, tender and sweet, his skin hard against mine...burning. I could still taste his saltiness; I wanted more. I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. He didn't stir. I wanted to snuggle in next to him, lay my head on his chest and revel in the sheer pleasure of lying next to someone I'd been fantasizing about for several years. The culmination of my secret desires had been a night of unbridled passion, both of us intoxicated; he with wine, me with the anticipation that it was going to be the night.

I vividly remembered every detail. The music was intolerably loud; there was a karaoke machine and bar lights flashing off and on in tune with the beat. As soon as I walked in, I was hit with the smell of cigarettes and beer; and lust. There were couples lined up against the wall making out; it gave me so many ideas. I scanned the crowd for his spiky blond head. It was a three room cabin, and there were too many people there, as usual. For them, it was just another weekend party of dancing and drinking. But for me, there was Dante.

It was a sweltering night, and he was crouched in a corner, his hands clasped tightly over his ears, his eyes closed trying to shut all of it out. Sometimes he couldn't stand the light and the noise and he'd just wander away into the night, so I knew he'd want to go somewhere quiet and dark. Conveniently, I had just such a place available; another cabin just a short hike through the woods. And I would be right there with him.

There was a half empty bottle of wine on the floor next to him. As soon as I saw it, I knew just how easy it would be to get him into bed; he had no capacity for alcohol. I'd learned that early on.
We had been friends for as long as I could remember. Nothing romantic; not ever. No kisses, no hugs, nothing. Friends with no benefits. Of course, I'd kept my feelings well hidden, I was nothing more than a buddy to call when he was too drunk to drive, and a shoulder to cry on when he'd been dumped, which surprisingly happened quite often. I'd spent many long nights with a six pack and a box of Kleenex sitting on the foot of his bed, running through a list of his positive attributes, and trying to explain away why he'd ended up heartbroken once again. All the time fighting the overpowering urge to scream out that I was in love with him. If I'd ever thought he was drunk enough, I'd planned to make my move. And then he'd start crying, and lamenting over his lost "love" and my plans became lost in consolation. But now, finally, the timing was right.

I'd never seen him drink so much. He'd finished off the bottle of wine he'd had and I had swiped another one from a cooler on our way out the back. He quickly downed it as we walked through the woods. He seemed intent on drunkenness, and I had no desire to stop him; I had plans of my own. I'd led him back to my cabin, a mile up from the party lodge. It was dark, and quiet... and just how I had imagined it would be.
Our first time. My first time.
I wasn't sure of exactly what to do, but I'd heard enough of his stories to know what not to do. And knowing him as I did, plying him with alcohol was the way to go. I didn't feel like I had taken advantage of him, I was certain that deep down, he was in love with me too, he just needed that extra push. And I had given it to him. He wouldn't be mad; no way.
I brought my focus back to the present. I was apprehensive about waking him up. Would he be embarrassed? Or too hungover to even comprehend what had happened between us? My fantasies had only taken me into the moment, the actual act, not the aftermath. I hadn't made a plan for that. Maybe I should just leave before he awakened. Avoid any awkwardness.

That was it. I eased out of bed and grabbed my clothes off the floor. The boards creaked as I made my way to the bathroom, but he didn't move. He hadn't moved for a long time. He had been really drunk, he probably wouldn't even remember what had happened. And maybe that was for the best.
I slipped on my shoes, grabbed my bag and slipped out the door without even looking back over my shoulder.

It seems just like yesterday, but it's been over a year since our night in the cabin and nothing has changed. I am still in love with Dante and he still doesn't know. Does he remember the night we spent together? I don't know. I suppose I will never know. He has never mentioned it, and neither have I.
It's a secret. 

 ©2012 Garden Summerland

Friday, May 18, 2012


Emma never expected him to care. And then he did. He left her speechless when he said those words. And then he left; he left her alone to puzzle over his declaration of love, to over analyze it and pick it apart. He gave her time to rehearse her response over and over again inside her head. But then he left her waiting a little too long; and she never knew why. He disappeared from her life with no explanation; no phone call, no letter, no e-mail. He was just gone.

It seems just like yesterday, but it has been almost a year now. And deep down, she knows that he isn't coming back. She really never expected him to. It would have been too good to be true.
But even so, she had to be honest with herself; she knew that a small part of her would always be waiting for him to return. Always wondering what happened to him, and always replaying his words inside her head.

“I love you Emma.”

She still wonders if maybe, just maybe...he sits and ponders her words; the words that she still writes for him every day. She wonders if he reads her blog, and the poetry that pours from her memories of the conversations between their souls.
Or perhaps he has forgotten about her, and the words he spoke just once so very long ago.
She will never forget them. And she will never forget him.

It seems silly to even think it now, but she still loves him. And these are her words to him. 

©2012 Garden Summerland

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Make Me

You make me smile.
I know you don’t mean to. 
It happens every time I see your face, 
and I imagine your voice.
Then I read your words,
but they are not for me, and yet
it makes me smile.
I won’t even try to explain it,
not to you, not to anyone.
Not even to myself.
And it doesn’t matter
it’s just a smile. 
I have done nothing wrong. 
There is nothing to justify.
But I will never tell.
You make me.

©2012 Garden Summerland

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Morning Coffee

Ella smiled as she poured Griffin another cup of coffee. She stirred the creamer in as she reached for the sugar bowl.
“Would you like some more sugar too?” She asked pleasantly as she glanced over her shoulder and winked at him.
Griffin was sitting at the kitchen table, thumbing through the stack of papers he'd brought. He was anxious to get her signature; within days her divorce would be final, and then they could get married. He had been waiting two years for this moment. His affair with Ella had started long before her husband Jim had hired him as his divorce attorney; that had been an amusing and ironic convenience.

Griffin and Ella had discussed several options for ridding themselves of Jim; divorce had been the only legal one. Then they had gotten the shock of their lives when Jim called Griffin's office one day out of the blue and requested his services. Of course he had jumped at the opportunity. And now, six months later, Ella would be free. Jim was a very wealthy man, and Griffin had arranged a nice fat settlement for his young lover; almost as much as she would have inherited. Griffin was widowed and nearing retirement age so he made certain that Ella would be well taken care of.

Ella brought Griffin's coffee over and signed the papers without batting an eye. He looked up at her adoringly as he finished his third cup of coffee, and put all of the papers neatly back into the oversized manila envelope he'd brought in with him.
As he stood to leave, he pulled Ella to him, kissing her hard and rough.
“We've done it baby, we're almost home free.” He pushed her back onto the table, kissing her neck and unbuttoning her blouse.
She pushed him away in mock fear. “No Griffin, Jim might come back ...” and then she giggled. It wouldn't be much longer. He had drank three cups and now his fragile heart was pounding wildly as the poison coursed through his body.

Griffin moaned, and rolled off of her, hitting the floor with a hard thud. He was holding his chest.
“911...” he gasped as he floundered on the floor. “it's my heart....” His eyes rolled back in his head as Ella stood over him and watched until he took his last breath.
Then she sat down and finished her morning coffee. 

©2012 Garden Summerland

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I am pleased to finally accept The Versatile Blogger Award, that I received over a month ago from Desiree Rask. Please stop by her blog Butterfly Readers and have a look around!
Thank you so much Desiree!! It is an honor and such a nice surprise!!
According to the rules, in order to receive this special award, I must:

1 – Thank the person who gave it to me and link them back to my blog.
2 – Share seven things about myself.
3 – Pass this award on to 5 other recently discovered blogs and inform them of the honor.

Seven things about me:

1- I love the movie "Five Card Stud" and yes, it's a Western. :)
2- I don't care what anyone says, I think "Twilight" is a brilliant piece of work. Sparkling vampires or not, the way that it is written is pure genius.
3- I refuse to get another pet. Ever.
4- I once slept 20 hours straight.
5- I hate anything political.
6- I pray.
7- I love argyle, paisley and the color green.

Five blogs that deserve The Versatile Blogger Award:

Sheila Pierson:

'Timony Souler:

Caolán Murray:

Alexia Purdy:

JT Lewis:

Please visit these blogs & follow them!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Day

“I'm gonna tell momma!” Joshua blurted out as I walked into the room. He had always been such a goody-goody. He had one of my magazines in his hand and was trying to fish another one out from the cardboard box I kept under my bed. He slid it out and dumped the contents on the floor.

“You get outta my stuff you nosy little weasel. If you say anything to momma, I'll tell daddy you were snooping through his stuff, and he'll whip you worse than momma will whip me!” It was an empty threat, but I shook my fist at him. “Get outta my room before I kill you!”

He ran out screaming for momma. She was outside hanging clothes to dry. The little creep would've forgotten all about it by the time he found her. I hoped.

I pulled back the mildewed cardboard flaps and started replacing the contents of the worn box. Daddy had given me several of his dirty magazines when I turned 14, and I'd kept them well hidden for almost 2 years, until today when Joshua found them. I knew it was wrong for me to have them, and I wondered why my daddy didn't know that. I also knew that he would beat me good if he found out Joshua had seen them. Joshua was momma's pride and joy; Daddy said Joshua wasn't like me and him. He said Joshua would never have to do the things we did, and it was better for everyone if neither he nor momma knew about such things. I wished I didn't know about such things either.

Mostly the box was filled with old Playboy's, nothing kinky, just pictures of naked women that daddy thought I should be looking at. I never did. There was a pack of cigarettes and an empty flask in there and a matchbook from some hotel me and daddy had stayed at last year with two women from daddy's office. They were really nice; one of them slept in bed with me, but I ended up sleeping on the floor most of the night because she kept putting her arm over me. The other woman laid down with daddy all night. At the time I didn't really understand what was going on, mainly because I didn't want to understand it. But I knew that daddy wasn't supposed to be sleeping with anybody else but momma. I promised myself I'd never hurt her, and one day, daddy would be sorry he'd done these things.
One day.

“Stu Jr.!!!” Momma's voice carried in through the upstairs bedroom window. “You get out here right this second!”
I rolled my eyes and looked out the window. Joshua was standing behind her sticking his tongue out at me. The little jerk. He'd get his one day too. I threw the remaining contents back into the box and shoved it under my bed. I tried to think of a plausible story on my way downstairs. Mr. Goody-goody was handing momma clothes to hang and he grinned at me as I approached. I stood there silently watching the ground, waiting for momma to let me have it.
“Stu, I've told you a thousand times to keep your door locked so Joshua won't be in there in your things. He told me you threatened to kill him. Is that so?” She was even more beautiful when she was angry.
“Yes momma, but he was in my personal stuff, and then he wouldn't leave. I guess I shouldn't have said that, but I was real mad.” I tried to sound sorry for momma's sake.
“Well, you apologize to your brother, now you hear? He's been instructed that he is not to go snooping in other people's belongings, but that is no reason to say you're gonna kill somebody, now is it?”
“No momma, that's no reason to kill nobody. I'm sorry Josh.” Those last words came out slow and painful. “Momma, can I go over to Billy's for supper?” I didn't want to be home when daddy got there. It was Thursday, and he always liked to take me out “riding” on Thursday nights, which meant picking up women.
“Have you been asked Stu?” She looked at me sideways, her hazel eyes fringed with wheat lashes. I almost always agreed with whatever she said when she did that.
“Well, not exactly, but you know they're always saying I'm welcome anytime. Please momma, I won't stay late.” I looked back at her sideways, hoping it would have the same affect on her.
“Well, I suppose it's okay. But you best not be late. I'll cover for you with your father, you know how disappointed he'll be that you're missing your Thursday night ride.” She smiled broadly, almost like she understood my plight, but I knew she really didn't have a clue.
“Thanks mom.” She didn't know what she'd saved me from, and if I had anything to say about it, she never would. One day I wouldn't have to participate in daddy's sick games, and I got up every morning, hoping that day was going to be the one.

I was 20 years old when daddy finally got what was coming to him. Shot in the head by a jealous husband, I was glad his death had not come at my hand, although momma was heartbroken all the same. I always knew one day would come around, and it finally had.

©2012 Garden Summerland

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Promise

Caleb reached out and touched Lisbeth's cheek with the back of his hand. It was an innocent gesture, and yet there was such an intense undercurrent of electricity between them, even the purest of motives became lost. She pulled away, her face flushed with the heat of sudden desire.

“I don't think this is a good idea, I think you should leave.” She looked down at her hands when she said it, and Caleb nodded his head in agreement. She twisted the diamond ring on her finger.

“I'm sorry, it won't happen again.” He got up from the sofa, leaving her suddenly chilled and a little exasperated at herself for allowing him to affect her in such a way.
“You just call me when you're ready to move the rest of the boxes into the basement, and I'll send Billy or one of the twins over to help you, okay?” Caleb who was now a single dad had lived next door with his three sons for almost 10 years. He'd send them to help Lisbeth pack up James' things. He decided that he wouldn't come back though, it would just cause her more pain.

“Caleb...” Lisbeth stammered. “that... um...that would be very helpful. I...I'm really sorry. It's just... It's too soon... and I...” her voice trailed off, and she hung her head. She was crying again. That was how Caleb had ended up sitting with her on the sofa. She'd been crying when he came in; he'd sat with her and held her hands, and then he'd put his arm around her. Then she had stopped crying and she looked up at him with her sad brown eyes, and he'd wanted to kiss her. But he hadn't. Instead he had reached up and touched her face. He loved her. He had loved her for years, but she had been married; married to his best friend. And now she knew he loved her, because she just felt it in his touch. And then she'd asked him to leave. It was over before it had even begun.

Caleb and James met Lisbeth the same year. For Caleb, it had been love at first sight. James had only been interested in Lisbeth because he knew it would irritate Caleb; and it had. But it was very clear which of the two Lisbeth had been interested in; it had always been James. They were married just two years later, and Caleb, although heartbroken for a while, got past it and married a couple of years after that. They had all remained close friends, and now, 15 years later, James was dead. Caleb had lost his best friend, and Lisbeth had lost her husband. Three weeks ago, Lisbeth had come home from work and found James dead on the kitchen floor; at the ripe old age of 34 years old, he'd had a heart attack.

“Lisbeth, are you going to be all right?” Caleb stood at the door, watching her sob into her hands. She choked a little and got up to come see him out.
“Yeah, I'll be fine. I just need some time to adjust, I can't seem to focus on anything Caleb. I'm really sorry, I am just so lost now. And... I'm all alone.” She was standing too close to him, crying and frail. He pulled her to him, holding her tightly as he stroked her hair.
“Shhhhhh, everything's gonna be fine, just fine.” He wanted so desperately to take away her pain.
She looked up at him, and moved her lips to say “thank you” and suddenly his mouth was upon hers, years of restrained passion let loose, and for a moment, she was kissing him back. For a moment, she was no longer alone, she was safe and loved, and she knew everything really was going to be okay.
He pulled back from her, expecting her to be angry with him, expecting the tears to return, or for her to send him away. He was prepared for anything other than the look of sheer love that was in her eyes, and the wistful smile upon her lips.
“You're gonna be okay Lisbeth... I promise, you're gonna be okay.”
He kissed her again.

©2012 Garden Summerland

Sunday, January 1, 2012


“I'm in love with you.” I blurted it out, and then stared down at my hands. “I have been for a very long's just that... well, I couldn't tell you.” I didn't look up at him but I could feel his face change. I knew he had that pouty expression he always got whenever I disappointed him.

“You mean you wouldn't tell me.” He sounded irritated, and I glanced up at him.He was hanging his head and looking up at me sideways, his long lashes wet with tears. But then he smiled, in that impish way that drove me mad with desire. He had to have known.

No Daniel, I mean I really couldn't tell you. I was married, and then...well, you know how your family feels about me...and the incident at Christmas. It's just been too much, I never really wanted you to know. It's too complicated... what I'm trying to tell you is that it doesn't matter how I feel, it just can't happen.” I tried to make him understand, but I knew he didn't, or couldn't.

Alison none of it matters... it never has. I love you too, I have since the very first time we met.” He spoke softly and matter-of-factly, with a sincerity of youth I no longer possessed.
I laughed a little and fought back tears of my own. “ Yeah, I remember that. The laundromat... you and one of your friends had dragged that huge rug in there, trying to cram it into one of the machines.”

He laughed too. “Well it seemed like a good idea at the time. How else was I supposed to get hunch punch out of an oriental rug? My mother would've killed me you know... and you saved me, honestly you did.”
We both smiled, and I held his hand underneath the small table. I wasn't comfortable with any of it. I was sixteen years older than Daniel, and even though he said it didn't matter, I knew deep down that one day it would matter a great deal.

I sighed and took a deep breath. “Oh Daniel... how could I not love you? But telling you? That's admitting it to myself, and I've tried to deny it for so long... I just couldn't tell you. And I had no idea of how you felt, and it's not exactly like you ever said anything either.”

Yeah, well that's because I was waiting on you to leave your husband. I knew it was only a matter of time. And well, to be honest, I knew after you did that you'd eventually end up on my doorstep. Good God Alison, it's been 6 years. I have waited for you for six long years, doesn't that tell you anything?” He squeezed my hand and I pulled it away as the waitress came to take our order. She smiled at us knowingly and I blushed. It was a small town and people were already talking. I couldn't stand it. Daniel didn't know what he was getting into. I had to end it before it got out of hand.

As the waitress left, I grabbed my purse and jacket, “Daniel, no.. I just can't.” I got up to leave, but he was faster, his arms around me, pulling me against him and I didn't push him away.
His dark green eyes were filled with the longing only youth can contain, and tears that flowed freely down his cheeks. Then his lips were upon mine and I was lost; lost in fantasy and in the reality of Daniel and six long years of denial.
I wrenched myself away and fled the restaurant. I couldn't look back.

 ©2012 Garden Summerland