Giveaway Time!

Books Medium

Hi All,

Been a little while since I’ve posted anything here, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a little giveaway and post a snippet from the book.

In this excerpt, Riley is of course being Riley, and she is brought home by Detective Alex Denton:

Joanna, Kate, and Helen waited anxiously in Joanna’s penthouse for word from Riley after they had cancelled Kate’s dinner party.

“I’m going to call downstairs and tell them to let us know as soon as she gets home. I’m going to kill her. I can’t believe she pulled this today,” Joanna ranted angrily, as she paced the kitchen.

“Well, after you’re done with her, she and I are going to have a conversation too. She’s going to learn she doesn’t text me to mind my own business!” Helen replied with a scowl on her face.

“Well, much as I would like to stay up and see Riley get the tar beat out of her, I’m going to bed; it’s after midnight,” Kate said with a yawn as she hugged Joanna and kissed Helen.

“Goodnight, Kate, sorry plans got fouled up tonight. We’ll do it another day, okay?” Joanna replied.

“No worries; night, Jo,” Kate replied with a smile.

A little after one, Joanna’s phone rang. “Thank you, Jose,” Joanna said, hanging up the phone. “Shit, a police officer just brought her home, apparently she’s drunk!” Joanna announced in a worried tone, heading out the door with Helen.

Helen and Joanna reached Riley’s apartment in time to see a tall slender woman helping Riley down the hallway. “See, I told you she’s cute!” Riley slurred to Alex as Helen and Joanna took Riley’s arms and led her, staggering, to the bedroom.

Alex smiled and shook her head when Joanna emerged from the bedroom. “You must be Joanna, Alex Denton,” the tall woman said, handing Joanna her business card. “I thought I better help her home, she’s pretty ripped. Her bike is in the garage. I had a friend follow us on it,” Alex said, handing Joanna Riley’s motorcycle keys.

“Thank you, Detective,” Joanna replied, looking at the card in her hand. “I’m sorry you had to do this. She’s not usually this irresponsible.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll be having that conversation tomorrow. Goodnight!” Alex smiled.

“Goodnight, and thank you again for seeing her home safe,” Joanna replied.

Joanna returned to the bedroom where Helen was helping Riley off with her jacket. “Don’t be mad, Jo, please!” Riley slurred, as Joanna went to work helping Riley out of her clothes.

“Riley, we’ll talk tomorrow, you need to sleep,” Joanna said, trying to stay calm as she pulled the covers off the bed and helped Riley in.

Helen brought in a glass of water and put it next to Riley’s bed. “She’s out, she’s going to be feeling this tomorrow. This fell out of her jacket pocket,” Helen said, handing Joanna the speeding ticket.

“Shit!” Joanna exclaimed as tears started to well in her eyes. “Maybe I should stay with her?”

“No, let’s go back upstairs. We’ll deal with this tomorrow, okay, Jo? There’s nothing you can do tonight; she just needs to sleep it off.” Joanna locked the apartment door behind her as the two women headed back upstairs.

“Helen, was she afraid to come home? Did I do this? I mean…” Joanna started.

“No, Jo, you didn’t. Stop it now. Riley knows exactly where she stands. She just likes to push the envelope,” Helen replied, wrapping an arm around her friend.

“So, what’s it going to be, death by hanging?” Helen hugged Joanna with a smile.

“She’s not getting off that easily!” Joanna smiled back.

So, back to business. I’ll send a signed paperback of Riley’s Reckoning to the first three people that can give me an answer to one of the following questions. Each person has to have a different, correct answer, than one that has already been posted.

Question 1. In a dream Riley saw an image of her own ghost. What was she holding in her hand?

Question 2. Where did Joanna say she got her spanking bench?😏

Question 3. What is the name of the bar Miguel takes the girls to?

As a bonus question, I’d like to challenge you to come up with your own question, or questions, about Riley’s Reckoning. Something that’s not easy to answer, could be like a riddle, but the answer must be contained somewhere in the book.

Anything is on the table here. I will have my lovely partner select the best/most creative question. (which must be answered by someone BTW)  I will send the person who submits the most creative question both paperbacks in the Riley series, and the person who answers it, Riley’s Reckoning and a copy of the first anthology, Fourteen Firsts.

I’ll announce the winners one week from today!😊

Books on Sale!

 

Hi All,

If you’ve just done your taxes like I have, you may be pleased to learn that these books are now on sale, or now available on Kindle Unlimited.

Stardawn Cabot and Logan Tyler’s book, Confessions of Gemini is on sale for a limited time. If you havent checked it out, now’s your chance for the bargain price of $1.99.

The Debut Anthology, Fourteen Firsts, by some of your favorite and new authors is now available on Kindle Unlimited.

You can now find the Riley series on Kindle Unlimited. If you havent checked out these books and fallen in love with the characters as much as I had creating them, now’s your chance to get it on KU!

 

Little Help From My Friends!

 

Prequel

I’m happy to report that I’m working on the prequel to ‘Reining in Riley‘ and although I have a start with the Holiday Intervention story which I’ve expanded on, I was wondering what other characters I might explore a little more in this book. Riley and Joanna may not be together yet but the sequel book certainly insinuated some history. Just how did Helen meet Kate, or how did Helen break up with Karen for that matter?

Maybe it would fun to explore some of the trouble Kate gets herself into, or delve into a little more of the story of the Rae and Tracy at the ‘Other Left’? Riley knew them for six years so there must be some fun there? And don’t forget Doctor Ellen Morgan and her surfer girlfriend, Meagan. I was thinking about that big California storm where Meagan absolutely has to ignore the red flag warning in order to catch that perfect wave?

So many possibilities and characters to work with I was interested to see what or who you wanted to know more about? I also need title for this new story, I was tentatively thinking ‘Higher Learning’?

Would love to know your thoughts!

Two new Books!

I’m very excited to announce that there are two new books out, by two of my favorite authors, Alyx Rancher and Stardawn Cabot.

First of all the amazing Alyx Rancher just published her new Anthology entitled Seasons Heating’s. She kept it under wraps, so it was a nice surprise!

 

Here’s a little snippet from one of the stories.

The Birth of Baby Cheeses

“I’ve thought of the best prank ever,” Noelle said to Paige. “It’s guaranteed to get Sara good!”

Paige lowered her newspaper and frowned at her partner. “It’s five days before Christmas,” she said in a long-suffering tone. “Can’t you be good for at least another five days?”

Noelle looked indignant. “Was Sara being ‘good’ when she replaced the filling in my Oreos with toothpaste?!” she protested. “Was she being good when she booby-trapped my office chair to play an air horn when I sat down?!”

Paige had to bite her lip before replying, remembering Noelle’s face as she bit into the cookie. “Honey, that was terrible. But so was the trick you pulled on her before that, when you replaced her deodorant with cream cheese. Honestly, I don’t know what it is with you two!”

Noelle giggled. “That was a good one, wasn’t it? But this one is even better. I’m going to—”

“No.” Paige held up her hand. “I don’t even want to know. I don’t want to know because it’s not going to happen, do you hear me? There’s going to be a moratorium on pranking, because I don’t want to see this get out of hand! You will NOT be playing a prank on Sara, is that clear?” Paige’s tone was stern and the expression in her eyes meant business.

“Yes, ma’am,” Noelle said sulkily. But mentally she crossed her fingers. How was that fair? She couldn’t let Sara have the last prank, especially when it was such horrible one. She shuddered again, remembering the awful sensation and taste of Crest mixed with chocolate cookie. At least the prank she had in mind was harmless enough. All she had to do was find some really stinky cheese….

 

And the incomparable Stardawn Cabot has released her book, The General’s Guardian with a sequel story that will be coming out on January 28th called The General’s Choice

 

Here’s a taste of her latest book:

What’s gotten into you?” Silver asked noticing that Keridwen was sitting and staring at her. She’d been very quiet throughout the afternoon, but now that they’d camped for the night, she was expecting Keridwen to relax and settle in. “You feeling alright?”

“What?”

“Keridwen, I asked if you were feeling alright. You’re too quiet, honey. Are you sleepy?”

Keridwen shrugged. “Not really. I’ve just been thinking.”

“Oh? About what?”

“You,” Keridwen admitted with a small blush. “I’m just sitting here and watching the sunlight play off your hair.”

“Keridwen, we talked about this,” Silver scolded.

“I’m not doing anything, Silver. I can’t help the way I feel. You’re beautiful; especially your hair.”

Silver rolled her eyes. “It’s just dirty blonde, flat, and usually unruly.”

“My people would never refer to it as dirty.”

“Well, that’s what my people call it.”

Keridwen shook her head. “I would never call it such. It is too beautiful to be referred to as dirty.”
“I’m curious then, what would you call it?”

“Your hair? Hmmm, I told you hair is important to us. It’s is never merely brown, or blonde,” Keridwen looked at Silver for a long moment, examining her before she replied. “Early morning sunrise, golden, but still mixed with darkness.”

“You told me your sister was the poet, but I think you’re selling yourself short,” Silver teased.

“What that a short joke?” Keridwen asked before sticking her tongue out.

“Brat. Come here.”

Keridwen smirked but wandered around to Silver’s side of the fire. Sitting down next to her, she let Silver pull her into a side hug. “I hate being short.”

“I don’t mind it,” Silver admitted, “Although you’re a lot of fun when you’re taller,” she teased with a little tickle. They grew quiet a moment as Silver looked up at the sky. “Your sky is so different here.”

“Do you miss your stars?” Keridwen asked.

“A little. I guess I never paid much attention to them, but it feels odd. This world, it’s very different, but it’s the same enough that it reminds me of Earth. The sky is the one thing that reminds me that I’m not there anymore.”

Hope you enjoy both these titles and don’t forget, to review them if you check them out!

New Story – Just in Time for Christmas

 

Stardawn Cabot and Logan Tyler have teamed up to bring you their (not so short) short story, Confessions Of Gemini, just in time for Christmas. It’s now live on amazon so check out the link below.

We also have a little teaser of the story for you below, so I know you’ll want to pick it up after you read it. Don’t forget to let the ladies know what you think of it and leave a review!

Beth knocked on the front door again before pressing her ear against it to listen for any noise that was coming from inside. Not hearing anything, she glanced back down at the parking spaces below her, confirming that both Melissa’s and Sarah’s car were there. Sighing she weighted the bag of bagels she had picked up on her way over. She was hoping to surprise Melissa and Sarah with breakfast, but she’d somehow missed them. Maybe they’d walked across the street to the diner or even just gone for an early morning stroll. It was a beautiful morning, and unseasonably warm as well. Still, she’d brought the bagels, and there were too many not to share. She’d leave them for them regardless. Beth pulled the keys from her bag and unlocked the door.

Swinging it open she called out again, “Melissa? Sarah? Anyone home?”

Standing still in the doorway she heard nothing. It was a bit odd, but deciding that they must have walked somewhere, she made her way inside and to the kitchen.

She deposited the bagels on the counter before muttering to herself, “I need to leave them a note.” Plucking the magnetic pad from the fridge she spun in a circle attempting to find a pen. Spotting on the far counter, she quickly crossed the room and grabbed it.

Just as she picked up the pen, however, she heard murmurs from the end of the hallway where the master bedroom was located. She knit her brow, wondering if maybe her sister and girlfriend were indeed home, and then suddenly felt as if something was off. She didn’t want to walk into some sort of embarrassing moment, but then, she didn’t want to scare anyone either.

Looking from the counter to the door to the hall, she considered what to do. Should she leave? Should she go check to see if everyone was okay? She had called into the house and gotten no answer. Maybe something was wrong. The thought of Sarah or Melissa hurt or sick decided for her.

Beth made it a whole three steps down the hall before she was startled by a loud pop. Another quickly followed, along with a yelp of pain. Her eyes grew round as her thoughts lead to her believe those sounds only meant one thing.

As she stood frozen in indecision, she clearly heard Melissa’s deep voice in some sort of lecture and then Sarah mumbled some sort of apology. Both curious and worried, Beth took several steps toward the bedroom when she suddenly jumped as several more loud pops echoed through the apartment.

Swallowing hard, Beth began to form a mental picture of what was going on, and certain things started to make sense. It sounded like a spanking… but that couldn’t be, could it? Another five or six smacks echoed through the house. Beth felt her cheeks redden and she found herself tiptoeing closer to the master bedroom door. The door was open a crack, and as she caught a glimpse of her sister and Sarah, her heart skipped a beat. It was true. Melissa had Sarah pinned over her lap and was relentlessly spanking her naked backside.

She’d heard of such relationships before. Or had she just imagined them? It didn’t look like sexual play. It looked like discipline. Melissa was lecturing and spanking, hard. Sarah was whining and squirming like a naughty school girl being taken to task. Was this really the kind of relationship they had? Was this why Sarah didn’t want her to tell Melissa she’d been out of the apartment? Was she afraid that she was going to be punished? Who even punished another adult like that? It was barbaric, yet so alluring to watch.

As Beth continued to watch, she started to feel anxious. She was suddenly ashamed and felt guilty for just starting at them like some peeping-Tom. Even as the shame grew heavier with each resounding smack, Beth’s ears tuned into Melissa’s lecture. She was fascinated, and in a strange way couldn’t get enough of what she was seeing, and hearing.

“Good,” Melissa said in a deep voice before she raised her hand high in the air. She clapped it down solidly on Sarah’s left cheek. It made Beth jump and left a visible handprint on Sarah’s bottom. Without pause, Melissa raised her palm again bringing it down four more times just as sharply as the first all in the same place.

Beth gaped as Sarah’s only reaction was miniscule jerking of her hips as each swat connected and deep puffs of breath. She felt like her feet were glued to the floor as she was practically forced to watch the scene unfold before her. She wanted to say something, to stop it, or ask why, but she was also scared. She was frozen, unable to make a decision as her mind wheeled over the whys and ifs of what she was watching.

Five swats now done Melissa held the inflamed cheek and massaged again issuing her first warning, “You will not be disrespectful to me, Sarah Annabelle.”

Without giving her chance to answer Melissa moved to her right cheek swatting five times rapidly in succession all just all hard. The swats rung loudly around them. Sarah’s reaction still was only the slight squirm of her hips. Melissa repeated the gesture again roughly caressing Sarah’s cheek which displayed several prominent handprints and lectured, “You will not be disobedient, Sarah Annabelle.”

The seconds ticked by, but it was only when Melissa changed tactics and picked up a leather paddle did Beth seem to catch some common sense. She couldn’t get caught. It was unfathomable. She had to leave, now!

Gathering her courage, she quietly backed away from the door. She needed time to process what she saw, almost as much as she needed to leave. She paused only long enough to tear the paper away from the pad she’d written on, stuffing it into her pocket and grab her bag of bagels before fleeing her sister’s home.

A Big Thank You and Some Holiday Recipes.

Rileys Reckoning Top 50

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who helped make the release of Riley’s Reckoning such a success. Thanks to everyone who bought the book,  reposted and gave shout outs on their blogs and Social Media pages and those that took the time to write a review. For those that didn’t, you should be spanked! (Kidding!😉)

The book  stayed in the top 50 rankings in Lesbian Romance for the first couple of weeks and remained in the top 100 for several weeks after that and is still doing really well. For our little tiny genre of the Amazon literary world, this is really nice to see,  so thank you , thank you, thank you!

Since it’s getting close to Christmas, we thought it would be fun to share some recipes that our characters in our books either like to cook or eat.

In my first book, Reining in Riley, Riley prepares quite the feast at thanksgiving and everyone raves about her stuffing recipe, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s also very easy.

Here a little snippet from the book:

“Like this, otherwise you’ll get lumps in the gravy,” Riley admonished quietly, as she came up behind Joanna at the stove and put her hand around Joanna’s hand whisking the gravy.
Joanna just smiled, letting Riley guide her hand around the gravy pan.
“Oh, this is good,” Kate whispered to Helen, motioning to Riley and Joanna in the kitchen. “Corny, but good; you can’t write this stuff!” She smiled.
Helen chuckled. “God, I wish it weren’t so complicated!”
“Are we ready to eat?” Joanna asked the room a few minutes later. “The chef informs me the food is ready!”
Joanna ushered everyone to the table and the group sat down to eat. During the next hour they talked, drank wine, and ate enthusiastically at Joanna’s elegant table.
“Everything is just delicious, Riley!” Derrick Armstrong complimented.
“Yes, and I’m going to need your stuffing recipe, Riley,” Andrea said, scooping another spoonful on her plate.

Riley’s Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. pork sausage meat
  • Four Stalks of celery chopped
  • Medium Onion
  • 12 oz. box of Stuffing
  • 2-3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 stick of butter (melted)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet brown the sausage meat with the celery and onions
  2. Transfer sausage mixture into large bowl and add stuffing mix and melted butter
  3. Mix all the ingredients together and add the broth until the mixture is moist  and has a consistency where you can form it to stick together (None of the ingredient amounts need to be exact)
  4. Stuff your turkey or bake in a baking dish or form into stuffing balls and bake. (Follow the baking times instructions on your turkey or bake for approximately 30 minutes.)

In Anna’s book, Abby’s Bodyguard, Abby has a little different taste in food. Some of you may remember this snippet from that book.

Refusing to acknowledge to herself the little rush she felt in her stomach, Abby opened her mouth in retort. Fortunately, the waitress showed up at that moment. Kate, as always, ordered something healthy, in this case, a nice cobb salad. Still excited about the court victory, Abby ignored Kate’s threat and indulged herself. She enthusiastically ordered an artery clogging, heart stopping meal consisting of a deep-fried chicken sandwich – heavy on the mayo, with a large order of fries and their special ‘death by chocolate’ milkshake. For dessert, she decided on a chocolate bar dipped in batter and then deep fried.

So in the Spirit of Abby and her craving for a not so healthy menu, this is a quick and easy meatloaf recipe that Tigger tells me is one of her go to recipes.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf For One (Actually plenty for two)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Resting time10 mins

This Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf For One tastes just like a bacon cheeseburger without the bun. The ultimate single serving comfort food.
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg , lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard

Instructions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, bacon, cheese, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix well.
3. Transfer the meatloaf mixture into a 5-inch (or similar sized) lightly greased baking dish.
4. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Spread evenly across the top of the meatloaf.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in the middle.
Remove meatloaf from the oven and cover. Let meatloaf rest for 10 minutes

So these are a couple of recipes that reflect our Characters in our books. We would love you to share any recipes you may have and tell us which characters you relate them to.

 

The Anthology is Here!

The Anthology is Live and available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited!

Twelve Seconds is the second anthology in this series and was created purely out of love with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. Perhaps Ellie Rogue, one of the contributors put it best when she said,

First times could be the most shocking, but second times were usually the most successful because they were about growing, about trying again, about discovering and pushing through, and about putting effort in learning and proving that you could do it again. After all, what is a second? It’s a moment in time, it’s a returning to a location, it’s seeing a lost love again. First times may indeed be special, but it’s that second time that holds special meaning.

Join us for Twelve Seconds, the second anthology published by Stardawn Cabot, Claire Britain, and ten other talented ladies. Each story has its own unique spin on seconds, and although the cover pretty much says it all, we hope that you enjoy these adult-themed stories, and check out other books, blogs, and stories by these great ladies as well!

Riley Returns this Friday!

rileysreckoning_full

I’ m thrilled to announce that Riley’s’ Reckoning, the sequel to Reining In Riley, will be out this Friday, November 2nd!

The book will revisit some of your old favorite characters and introduce a couple of new ones such as the feisty, AJ Parker, who is an Irish exchange student, and Detective Alex Denton, the level headed cop who befriends Riley.

Below is a little snippet from the book where Riley meets Detective Alex Denton.

Riley sat in the bar shaking her head as she read message after message from the three angry women.

“Christ, really!” Riley exclaimed finishing her fourth beer as she read the last text from Helen.

“Girl problems?” A tall, slim, brunette woman with short spikey hair asked her, sitting down next to her at the bar.

“You could say that,” Riley replied ordering another beer.

“You’re new, I haven’t seen you here before; Alex Denton.” the women said, extending her hand to Riley.

“Riley Carrington, yeah only been here a few months from California,” Riley replied shaking the woman’s hands.

“So, what brings you to New York and our little seedy bar, Riley?” Alex asked with a grin.

Riley and Alex hit if off immediately and Riley found herself opening up to the stranger she had just met.

“So, she’s your girlfriend and your boss and she’s at home pissed off waiting for you?” Alex asked, amused.

“In a nutshell, yes,” Riley grinned working on her eighth beer as her phone buzzed again on the bar.

“She older than you? She sounds controlling,” Alex asked amused, sipping on her drink.

“Yeah, twelve years, she’s incredible but she’s definitely the boss,” Riley said with a sloppy grin. “So, Alex, what do you do? Let me guess, you look like a cop.”

“Guilty!” Alex said with a smile. “Detective, twenty third precinct.”

“No shit!” Riley grinned. “So what do you think about those missing women, you think there is some psycho out there?”

“Well, it’s beginning to look like that, the department has us all working over at the twenty second round the clock to try and come up with some leads but so far nothing.” Alex said thoughtfully as she regarded Riley.

“So, tell me Riley, why are you hiding out here on your own when your incredible girlfriend is at home waiting for you, hmm?” she asked with a smile.

“Fuck, where do I begin?” Riley started to explain her day while Alex listened to her attentively.

“Then on the way back I got pulled over and got a speeding ticket.” Riley finished raising her beer bottle.

“Damn girl, you had quite a day didn’t you! How fast were you going?”

“Ninety-two, cop was cool though wrote me for fourteen over. Joanna is still going to kill me,” Riley said sullenly.

“I would have given you a ticket too, young lady, that’s way too fast!” Alex said with a scowl. “But Riley, what’s the worst that can happen? Go home and talk to her. Joanna will get over it I’m sure. It sounds like she loves you very much.”

“Oh, I know she will, right after she spanks the crap out of me with her wooden paddle!” Riley replied shamelessly, the effects from the alcohol taking away the embarrassment of her disclosure.

“Oh shit, really? Well, you’re quite the rebel, aren’t you? Riley, Joanna’s not abusing you, is she?” Alex said seriously.

“No way, I think she saved me really. Fuck, I would probably be without a job and behind bars if it wasn’t for Joanna and Rae, a friend from California,” Riley replied, twirling her empty beer bottle on the counter.

“Well how about I give you a ride home. The bike’s staying here, yes?” Alex asked Riley raising her eyebrows.

“God, you sound like Joanna! Well, if the bike’s staying here then let’s have another drink. I’m buying!” Riley replied with a smirk.

“Beer and cran-soda Al?” the bartender asked as she put another beer in front of Riley.

“Yes, thanks Pat,” Alex replied with a smile.

“Wait, that’s all you’re drinking? Shit!” Riley slurred.

“You are a feisty one, aren’t you? I can see why Joanna needs to keep you on a short leash. Why don’t you at least text her where you are? She’s probably worried. It’s nearly eleven.”

“Shit, I’m so dead!” Riley said, looking at her phone and seeing eighteen missed calls and texts from Joanna, Kate and Helen.

***

Joanna, Kate and Helen waited anxiously in Joanna’s penthouse for word from Riley after they had cancelled Kate’s dinner party.

“I’m going to call downstairs and tell them to let us know as soon as she gets home. I’m going to kill her. I can’t believe she pulls this today,” Joanna ranted angrily, as she paced the kitchen.

“Well, after you’re done with her she and I are going to have a conversation too. She’s going to learn she doesn’t text me to mind my own business!” Helen replied with a scowl on her face.

“Well much as I would like to stay up and see Riley get the tar beat out of her, I’m going to bed; It’s after midnight.” Kate said with a yawn as she hugged Joanna and kissed Helen.

“Goodnight, Kate, sorry plans got fouled up tonight. We’ll do it another day, okay,” Joanna replied.

“No worries; night, Jo,” Kate replied with a smile.
A little after one, Joanna’s phone rang. “Thank you, Jose,” Joanna said, hanging up the phone.

“Shit, a police officer just brought her home, apparently she’s drunk!” Joanna announced in a worried tone, heading out the door with Helen.

Helen and Joanna reached Riley’s apartment in time to see a tall slender women helping Riley down the hallway.

“See, I told you she’s cute!” Riley slurred to Alex as Helen and Joanna took Riley’s arms and led her, staggering, to the bedroom.

Alex smiled and shook her head when Joanna emerged from the bedroom.

“You must be Joanna, Alex Denton,” the tall women said, handing Joanna her business card. “I thought I better help her home, she’s pretty ripped. Her bike is in the garage I had a friend follow us on it,” Alex said, handing Joanna Riley’s motorcycle keys.

“Thank you, Detective,” Joanna replied, looking at the card in her hand, “I’m sorry you had to do this. She’s not usually this irresponsible.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll be having that conversation tomorrow. Goodnight!” Alex smiled.

“Goodnight, and thank you again for seeing her home safe,” Joanna replied.

Joanna returned to the bedroom where Helen was helping Riley off with her jacket.

“Don’t be mad Jo, please!” Riley slurred, as Joanna went to work helping Riley out of her clothes.

“Riley, we’ll talk tomorrow, you need to sleep,” Joanna said, trying to stay calm as she pulled the covers off the bed and helped Riley in. Helen brought in a glass of water and put it next to Riley’s bed.

“She’s out, she’s going to be feeling this tomorrow. This fell out of her Jacket pocket,” Helen said, handing Joanna the speeding ticket.

“Shit!” Joanna exclaimed as tears started to well in her eyes. “Maybe I should stay with her?”

“No, let’s go back upstairs. We’ll deal with this tomorrow, okay, Jo. There’s nothing you can do tonight; she just needs to sleep it off.”

Joanna locked the apartment door behind her as the two women headed back upstairs.

“Helen, was she afraid to come home? Did I do this? I mean…” Joanna started.

“No Jo, you didn’t. Stop it now. Riley knows exactly where she stands. She just likes to push the envelope,” Helen replied wrapping an arm around her friend. “So, what’s it going to be, death by hanging?” Helen hugged her friend with a smile.

“She’s not getting off that easily!” Joanna smiled back.

The Rodeo – Part 19

Mickey couldn’t quite place the feeling she had woken up with. Something was different and she couldn’t wrap her head around it. Something had changed, but what?

Jack’s arrest and the melee that had ensued around it, had caused them to delay taking the rodeo on its short move to Billings. The Sherriff had been back out, to talk to Cheyenne several times and it was looking more and more like Jack may have played a role in Cheyenne’s parents’ death, which up until a couple days ago, had been ruled an accident.

The NTSB had determined that the aircraft flaps had rendered inoperable shortly after takeoff causing the small aircraft to stall in midflight and plummet to the earth like a rock. Without flaps, Cheyenne’s father had no hope of bringing the aircraft down safely. Cheyenne had told the Sherriff how Jack had been responsible for the maintenance of her parents’ small aircraft.

Mickey had seen the hurt in Cheyenne’s eyes and she could sense the betrayal she was feeling. All this time Cheyenne had considered Jack, like family, while he was embezzling from the rodeo and putting people in danger right under her nose.

After the revelation the prior evening, Mickey had shared a silent meal with Cheyenne and then they had shared Cheyenne’s bed. Mickey just wiped away Cheyenne’s silent tears and held the woman she was falling in love with, with a fierce protection.

She left the warmth of Cheyenne’s bed leaving the Rodeo boss in her slumber. Mickey had been awake with her until the early hours when Cheyenne had finally drifted off to sleep.
She made her way over to her trailer where Cam and Whitney were having coffee outside, under the awning.

“How is she Mickey?” Cam asked, in concern.

“She’s having a tough time; she somehow feels responsible. I told her that prick, Jack was a clever son of a bitch. He’s been whittling away at the profits for years. A few fake accounts hidden in the expenditures, but when Cheyenne took over the Rodeo, she began to see some of the accounts didn’t add up and when she confronted Jack about it, he got desperate. The Walkers were oblivious, they trusted the man.”

“We all did Mickey, it’s hard to believe he is capable of this, to be honest.” Cam replied, in a resigned tone. “Thank goodness he didn’t hurt anyone else.”

“No word about Spirit either, Jack told the Sherriff he turned her loose about five miles north of here, but no one has spotted her. The Sherriff says it’s possible coyotes or a mountain lion may have gotten her. Cheyenne said she was a gift from her parents, best horse she ever had. I feel lousy about the whole thing really.”

“Mickey nobody blames you, although I’m pretty sure when you’re feeling a little better, Cheyenne will be having a word with you about putting yourself in harm’s way, but no one could have anticipated this,” Cam reassured her, sympathetically.

“Was she able to sleep Mickey? I feel terrible for Cheyenne, she looked so sad last night?” Whitney asked, as she came out the door of the trailer and handed Mickey a steaming mug of coffee.

“Thanks Whit. Eventually she was, she fell asleep around three, I let her sleep, she was exhausted.”

“And what about you, young lady, maybe you should still be in bed as well?” Cam said, raising her eyebrow at Mickey.

“I’m okay Cam, I’m used to it, graveyard shift will do it to you!”

“Hmm, that as it may, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the both of you. Thank goodness it’s only a short trip to Billings,” Cam replied.

“Mickey, I want to hear about some of your cop stories, it must have been exciting!” Whitney said enthusiastically.

“It was kiddo, it was,” Mickey replied, trying to hide the disappointment on her face.

“Ah shit, I’m sorry Mickey. That was stupid, I keep forgetting, I didn’t mean…”

“Nah, you know what, it’s okay, that’s history Whit. Besides, we’ve had some fun these last couple of weeks haven’t we?” Mickey replied, with a big grin and a wink at her young friend.

“Yes, we have!” Whitney replied, with her own grin.

“May I remind you ladies, that some of that fun came with consequences!” Cam interjected.

Mickey just gave Whitney a wide eyed, sideways glance which made her giggle.

“Mickey, I have been talking to Cam about the rodeo. Cam will be travelling with it the rest of the summer until the circuit is over, and I was kind of hoping, if it’s okay with you, that maybe I could tag along until school starts again. I could help Cam out, and work wherever I’m needed. What do you think, you think Cheyenne will be okay with it?”

Mickey smiled, “I think that’s a great idea Whitney, and you seem to be taking a liking to the veterinary business. I think Cheyenne will be just fine with it, and frankly, I would be glad of a friendly face around.”

“Excellent!” Whitney beamed.

Mickey had found and unlikely friend in Whitney. Although she rolled her eyes at some of her pranks, Whitney’s innocent free spirit, almost made Mickey a little jealous. She had a tenaciousness about her that Mickey admired, and no matter how much of a pickle she seemed to get herself into, she was always up to trying the next adventure. Whether it was painting goats or throwing herself in front of a two-thousand-pound bull to protect her friend, Whitney was all in.

Mickey shook off the thought. “But Whitney, if we’re going to be sharing a trailer there are gonna be some rules about keeping it tidy, got it?”

“I don’t know what you mean Mick? Besides, how much time are you planning to spend in this trailer anyway?” Whitney asked with a mischievous smirk.

“Oh really,” Mickey started, crossing her arms. “So, if I were to go inside now, I wouldn’t find any sort of a mess? Your clothes would not be all over the floor and the few dishes we have, would not all be dirty in the sink and I’m sure the bathroom would be in order too, without towels and products strewn everywhere?”

“You know, I’m thinking not, but just for my peace of mind, I will go and inspect it and make sure.” Whitney said, scurrying back inside the trailer with an exaggerated smile.

“She’s a handful, that one. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be an interesting summer!” You’re gonna be busy keeping her in line Cam.” Mickey chuckled.

“Hmm, and this comes from someone who’s got a bottom warming coming from the boss!” Cam replied with a wink, making Mickey’s cheeks turn a slight shade of pink.

That was another unlikely thing that had come into Mickey’s life, the spankings she had received from Cheyenne. At first, it was a necessary obstacle she had to endure if she were to remain at the rodeo. But Mickey was beginning to realize it was more than that, much more. To Mickey it felt a little like an investment. An Investment of trust, of time, of education, of humility, of safety, of forgiveness and most of all, love.

She wasn’t sure she understood it completely, and as much as it mortified her the first time she was bent over Cheyenne’s desk, she felt she had been given a wonderful gift.

Mickey startled, as the door of the camper flew open, and Whitney came bounding out. “Look,” she yelled, “It’s Spirit, she’s come back!”

“It is her,” Cam replied, as the three woman ran over to meet the young filly, who was ambling down the dusty road towards the barn.

Cam immediately began checking Spirit over, as Whitney fetched a bucket of water.

“Good girl, I didn’t know what I was going to do without you.” Mickey said to the mare, who was nuzzling her arm.

Mickey looked around and saw Cheyenne standing at the door of her trailer looking in their direction, and wiping her eyes. She stayed there a moment before joining them, patting Spirits neck affectionately.

“Is she okay Cam,” Cheyenne asked.

“She looks okay, couple of scrapes but none the worse for wear. I’ll take her to the barn and check her over,” the vet replied, leading Spirit away.

Mickey looked over at Whitney, who had the biggest smile, as joyous tears streamed down her face. Then she looked over at Cheyenne, who was also trying to blink away tears.

“Oh come on then,” Cheyenne said, inviting both girls into a hug.

“Alright, alright, that’s enough, we’ve got work to do. Get busy girls. I want to be all packed up and on the road in two hours, got it?” Cheyenne said, releasing them from the embrace.

“Got it boss!” Mickey and Whitney said in unison.

***
Less than two hours later, the trailers and trucks were all loaded and hitched, and the rodeo was rolling out of Cody. Cam and Whitney were in Mickey’s truck, and Mickey rode in the passenger seat in Cheyenne’s truck.

Mickey sat upright as she suddenly realized what was different about today. She had hope. For the first time in a longtime, she felt hope in her heart. Her lifetime dream job of being a cop was behind her, and she was embarking on a new chapter in her life, and it was okay.

“Something wrong Mickey?” Cheyenne asked, concerned, seeing the stunned look on Mickeys face.

“No, that’s just it, Cheyenne. It’s alright, it’s all going to be okay.”

Cheyenne looked over at her astounded girlfriend, and smiled, “You know what Mickey, I think it is too!”

****Holiday Intermission****

Thank you all for reading and commenting! The Rodeo will be on a little Hiatus for Holidays. We want to give everyone time to concentrate on their stories for the  Holiday Gift Exchange, over on Alyx’s blog. If you havent checked it out, you can find all of the wonderful stories here. https://alyxfic.wordpress.com/links/

We’ll be checking in periodically, and we have some exciting announcements to tell you about, so stay tuned!

Happy trails for now!

The Rodeo – Part 18

While the group had been dropping off Whitney’s friends at the airport, Jack had sneaked back to the rodeo to grab a few things before making an escape. However, the Cody Police Department foiled his plans and arrested him easily.

Whitney and Cam watched from nearby, the entire area awash in a swirling blue color as the Police Vehicles made their presence known. Jack sat sullenly in the back seat of one of the vehicles, his hands cuffed behind him, as a deputy stood guard just a few feet away. His arrest was for the attempted murder of Mickey Martinez. However, the sheriff was receptive to searching the laptop for proof of Cheyenne and Mickey’s suspicions of embezzling. The rodeo had been coming there for decades and Sheriff Roberts remembered Jack well. Often inebriated, Jack had shown his bad side at times, occasionally to the point that an overnight stay in a cell was warranted.

At the moment, the sheriff ignored Jack completely as he gave his full attention to the women surrounding him. Knowing Mickey was the injured party he chose to begin with her. “Ms. Martinez. I will need to take your statement regarding the events of the night.” He looked around at Cheyenne, Cam, and Whitney. “I trust you all will stand by so we can interview each of you for corroboration?”

“Of course,” Cam shook her head affirmatively.

“You got it,” Whitney agreed readily.

Sheriff Roberts grunted. “Deputy Brown will get your statements.” He was looking at Cam and Whitney.

“I will take yours.” This was aimed at Cheyenne and Mickey. “I have other personnel making the rounds speaking with each of your other employees, Ms. Walker. I’ll need a list of their names so we can ensure all are contacted. Otherwise, I’ll have to ask you to stay in town for an extra few days.”

Cheyenne ignored that last sentence. “I’ll get that list for you while you talk to Mickey.”

The sheriff sent a young man with her and stood patiently as Cheyenne made a handwritten list for him. The laptop had a copy of the employees but she would be unable to touch it until it was checked for pertinent information by the police.

After finishing the list she followed the young man outside where she saw a deputy speaking with Cam and Whitney a notepad in hand. A quick look around showed Sheriff Roberts in deep conversation with Mickey exactly where she had left them.

Cam and Whitney’s interview didn’t take very long and they waited for Mickey and Cheyenne to finish. Finally, the rodeo owner and ex-cop headed towards them. As they trudged past the police car holding Jack, he suddenly stuck his head out the window and yelled at Mickey.

“You bitch!” he shouted. “You’ve been in my way since you got here. I should have killed you when I had the chance.”

Mickey stiffened at his words but otherwise ignored him. However, Cheyenne reacted like a Mama bear protecting her endangered cub. In a flash, she had covered the distance to the car’s door, yanked it open, and had Jack trapped against the vehicle, unable to move. Her fists gripped his jacket and held him in place as he weakly tried to push back.

“You leave her alone!” she shouted. “Don’t even look at her or I’ll-“

“Cheyenne!” Mickey’s soothing voice and hand on her shoulder stopped her from finishing the statement. “Let him go.”

With a look of disgust, Cheyenne let go just as the deputy and sheriff came to pull them apart. Jack sneered at the two of them. “You think you can run this business, Cheyenne, but you’ll learn just like your parents. I’m the reason we did so well for years.”

He spat at her feet and only Mickey’s hand on Cheyenne’s back kept her from launching herself at him once again. Thinking himself safe, Jack jerked his arm from the deputy’s grasp. A slight nod from Sheriff Roberts and pointed look made the young cop take a step back and quietly pull out his notepad while Jack continued. “Your folks always thought they were so smart. Owners of a prestigious rodeo, living on a prime piece of property just perfect for raising cattle. Respected and admired by everybody. Your Dad inherited most of it and never deserved what he got. Even as kids, I worked just to have the clothes on my back…a nobody that was always just ignored except when in the presence of the mighty Jim Walker.”

“Dad worked hard and you know it, Jack. You and I both know how hard you work on a ranch not to mention running the rodeo. He had nothing just handed to him.” Cheyenne retorted angrily.

Jack ignored her completely. “Then when he met your mother and you were born, their luck just got better. Championships and sponsors came your way and so did the money. But instead of taking that money and bringing in more through investments, they loaned it to any sorry cowpoke that had a sob story. Time and time again, I had to fix things because of their stupidity.”

He grinned at Cheyenne’s thunderous expression and clenched fists. “You don’t like hearing how your parents weren’t the heroes everyone made them out to be.”

Cheyenne gritted her teeth. “My parents believed in using their good fortune to help others. They believed –“

“They believed themselves to be better than everybody else because they had it all while others struggled.” Jack broke in.

Mickey spoke up. “And you struggled, Jack? Even after growing up and working for the Walkers?”

Jack snorted. “I’ve fought for every fucking thing I’ve ever got. Hell, even getting what’s owed to me has been a struggle.”

Mickey cocked her head to one side. “Even here at the rodeo?”

Jack was too lost in his anger to realize she was prodding him for information. “Hell yes, I struggled here. Do you know what it’s like to know every penny that’s coming in, only to see it thrown away? Hell! Half the people working around here were charity cases of the ‘Great Walker Family’.

“So you decided to help yourself to some of the money.” Mickey was like an angler slowly reeling in her catch. “After all, being in charge of the books made it easy. Nothing to it.”

“Nothing to it?” Jack exploded. “Keeping track of everything coming in and then making it look like the same was going towards bills? That’s harder than finding a flush in a poker game.”

Now Cheyenne spoke up. “And that’s your real problem Jack. You wouldn’t have had financial problems if you had lived within your means. Mom and Dad used to worry about your gambling habits and the lowlifes you did business with. How many times has Dad paid off your gambling debt to keep you out of trouble?” Cheyenne’s voice rose in frustration. “How many times did Mom work on your cuts and bruises because you hadn’t paid a bookie or a loan shark? My parents-“ Her voice broke and she stopped to clear her throat before starting again. “My parents stood by you all these years while you were sneaking behind their backs and stealing what little they kept for themselves.”

Jack contorted into a grin. “I sure enjoyed the new car after your bullriding championship, Cheyenne. You never knew about my shiny blue sports car did you? While your share went towards school, your Dad’s went into my pocket. He was stunned at how expensive college had gotten.”

He laughed at the hurt he saw etched on her face. “Yep. Stupid fool complained about how expensive your schooling was the entire time you were there. I was miserable after you had to retire from the rodeo and your schooling was complete. How is a man going to keep up his Jacksonhole condominium without a little help from his favorite Walker?”

He couldn’t resist one more dig at Cheyenne. “At least their life insurance helped pay for my trip to Florida. You know they have condo’s there for retirement that suit me just fine.”

This time Mickey’s had on her arm didn’t stop her. Cheyenne launched herself at Jack and only the body of Sheriff Roberts lunging between them saved Jack. “Cheyenne,” he barked. “Calm down.” He looked at Mickey. “Take her inside and let her get a little breather. We’re about done here anyway. Go on now,” he ordered when Cheyenne didn’t move.

He looked at Whitney who had come to stand a little too close for his liking. “That goes for you too,” he said sternly.

Whitney frowned but said nothing as Mickey gave her a look that promised retribution if she caused a problem. Pouting, Whitney headed in their direction but tripped over the deputy’s foot and landed hard against Jack. “You’re a bastard, a con man, and a jerk,” she spat at him as she pushed him hard before stomping off.

Cam shrugged at the policemen before following her girlfriend. “She’s right,” was all she said.

The sheriff and deputy looked at each other. “She’s a little firebrand,” the sheriff said with a smile.

“Yes sir,” agreed the deputy. “You want me to take the suspect on back to the station?”

The Sheriff nodded. “Put him in the interrogation room and set up the recorder. I’m thinking we might be able to get him to confess since he likes to talk so much.”

At the deputy’s dubious expression, Sheriff Roberts added, “I want that recorded confession done today. He might think about what his big mouth is costing him and clam up by tomorrow. I want it today. Period”

The deputy put Jack into the squad car, his hands still cuffed behind his back. For some reason he was beginning to sweat profusely and couldn’t sit still.

“You got a problem there, buddy?” the deputy asked calmly as he got behind the wheel of the car.

Jack glared at him and demanded, “Get me out of these cuffs.”

“No can do,” responded the deputy cheerfully. “Now just relax. It’s gonna be awhile to process you and take a statement.

“Get me out of these cuffs!” Jack was shouting now. “Get ‘em off me.”

“I’m telling you sit back and shut up,” the deputy answered in his best cop voice. “You’re going be wearing those things for quite a while. Sheriff wants your statement and we got a rule about removing them since Officer Peterson got punched during a routine statement a few months back.”

The car passed the RV where Cheyenne, Mickey, Whitney, and Cam were taking seats under the awning, Jack’s voice could be heard clearly, demanding to be removed from the cuffs.

Whitney giggled and put a hand over her mouth quickly. But her effort was futile as the giggles couldn’t be stifled.

“Whitney,” Cam seemed almost resigned to it being some sort of mischief. “What did you do?”
Whitney didn’t respond quick enough and Cam moved to lean over her menacingly. “Do I need to ask you a second time?”

Whitney slunk down in her seat. “No,” she pouted. “I um…” She sighed heavily and shrugged. She leaned forward and pulled a small container from her pocket. “Here.” She gave Cam a moment to read the label. “I sort of poured itching powder down his pants.”

“Whitney!” Cam exclaimed, clearly exasperated. She opened the container and turned it upside down to show it empty. “And how much was in there?”

Whitney looked down and stared at her fingers. “It was a new container. I had used the first one the other night so I had this one. Besides, he was hurting Cheyenne’s feelings,“ she blurted out.

“And just what were you planning to do with this one? Why were you carrying it with you?” Cam asked sternly, one hand on her hip.

Whitney knew she was in trouble and hated to make things worse by admitting Lyn was once again her target. Thankfully, she was saved as suddenly Cheyenne let out a guffaw that took them all by surprise.

They looked over to see Cheyenne holding her sides as she bent double laughing. “Wait a minute, Cam,” she finally got out before cracking up once more. Finally, “you dropped an entire container of itching powder down Jack’s pants?” She looked at Cam. “That’s the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. Leave Whitney alone, Cam. She’s punishing Jack better than I possibly could. They won’t let him out of those cuffs for a while and he can’t scratch.” She slapped her leg as laughter overtook her once again. “Whitney. You’re one of a kind.”

Wondering what happened, Whitney looked to Mickey who was giggling with Cheyenne. Catching her eye, Mickey gave a wink and then joined in the laughter. Finally, Whitney looked at Cam to gauge how much trouble she was in. Cam’s glare was broken by the grin that spread from ear to ear. Whew! For once, Whitney’s mischief hadn’t landed her in trouble.