Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekly Contest Winners!

Weekly Contest Winners!

The Sheikh's Bartered Bride
Congratulations  bamagurlforever you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's The Sheikh's Bartered Bride.  Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 



52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy  

Congratulations Bee070707 you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's book Meagan's Chance. Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 



Friday, March 30, 2012

Believing In You! an inspiring guest blog from Patti Shenberger

Welcome Patti.  This is a very inspiring post, thank you for sharing it with my readers.  I'm so excited that you have agreed to be part of the Reader Fitness Challenge by encouraging participants to lose weight and win prizes.

Believing In You!

Wow, talk about a stressful title for a blog post.  Yet, it’s true.  If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to?  How do you convince an editor or agent to take a chance on you, when you aren’t feeling up to the task?  How do you start believing in you????

I am a five year colon cancer survivor.  I was diagnosed on October 9, 2006.  Scariest part is I had self-diagnosed myself on Sept 28th and no one not even my hubby could change my thinking.  Why did I think this?  Because a dear friend had gone through the same thing years before, and our symptoms matched in every possible way.  So when I called my doctor to get an appt, I already had my mind made up as to what they were going to tell me.

I had the dreaded colonoscopy Monday, October 9th, and when I opened my eyes the doctor was at my bedside.  No smile, no jokes, no nothing.  She closed my chart, looked at me and said “I found a tumor.”  From that second on, I stopped listening.  All I remember is getting out of the bed, dragging my IV pole with me and off I went to the bathroom.  I didn’t want to hear anymore, despite the fact nothing she said surprised me.  My hubby was in more shock than I was.

The next three weeks were spent preparing for surgery, taking a leave of absence from my job and letting my family and friends know what was happening.  Two weeks before my surgery, I got an email from a publishing house and also from an agent.  Both wanted to see more of my work.  A week later, the publishing house offered a contract and asked to see more work from me.  Doesn’t it figure when it rains it pours.  Why now?  Why couldn’t they all have wanted this earlier in the year?  Why did it have to be when I was facing the biggest challenge of my life?

I sent the agent a note saying I had to decline to send more at the present time and explained why.  The publishing house, I accepted the contract and sent off the next book I had completed.  But I also told them I had cancer, was going in for surgery and if they wanted to pull out, I would understand.  Then I went back to doing what I was doing. 

Lo and behold the next day a note came back saying the contract would stay, they would work with me for whatever time I needed to do edits and such.  I was thrilled beyond belief.  It was the one bright spot in my day and I really needed it at the time.  I did everything necessary and sent everything back to the publishing house.  Then I had colon surgery.  Surgery was successful and I was sent home to recover for six weeks, and then start chemo.  I spent my recovery submitting more work, doing edits and once more getting prepared for whatever life was going to throw at me next.

Well, life threw me a curveball on the first day of chemo.  Chemo started off fine and dandy.   I was told to give up my beloved Pepsi addiction (G) and I got my period!!  Yup, all in one day.  Talk about a tough day in the neighborhood.  And things went downhill from there.  On day seven, the chemo drugs hit me like a ton of bricks and I could barely get out of bed.  Writing was the furthest thing from my mind.  I was terrified it was going to be like this for the next seven months. (It wasn’t).  Once more the panic set in as to how I was going to do my edits.  Then after I laid there and thought about it (a lot to be said for being forced to stay in bed), I realized if I could sit up if only for an hour a day, I could do edits, and take my mind off me for a while.

That’s what I did.  I started out slowly, got to the computer, and little by little did my edits.  I finished well in advance of what I had given myself as a deadline, turned them in, and on New Years Eve 2006 learned that they wanted to buy my next book.  What a great way to celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of another.  A few weeks later, they wanted to buy the three short stories I sent in and soon after that another two books.  

This gave me the will to put pen to paper and keep on going.  I took my notebook and pen to chemo sessions with me and wrote.  I kept them on my nightstand so all I had to do was reach over and grab it whenever I wanted to write.  

The belief the publisher and the editor had in me was what I needed to keep going, keep trying when all I wanted to do was lay there and feel sorry for myself, keep pushing on when I thought my writing career was over.  Never once did I miss a deadline.  My hubby would have preferred I put it aside and focus on getting better.  My doctor said as long as I was doing what he wanted me to do, then whatever else within reason was fine by him.  My heart said keep writing, it’ll take away the moments when lying in the bedroom late at night, unable to sleep, my mind wandered to the dark side.  A dark side that I didn’t know if I would be able to pull myself out of.  A dark side that makes you doubt anything will ever be normal again.  But it was and it is.

All you have to do is set your mind to it.  It’s like the old adage – If you don’t write, you can’t submit – if you don’t submit, you can’t get published.  Ah but yes, if you don’t submit, then you won’t get rejected.  And that’s true too.  But if you don’t put yourself out there, and I’m not just talking about writing, it can be anything in your life, a new job, a move across country, a new love life, then how will you know if you’ll succeed or fail?  You won’t know because you didn’t try.  And what’s the worst that can happen in pretty much any situation?  They said NO!  Best case scenario, they said YES!  And if it was a no, then look at it as a practice experience.  One you learn and grow from so you are better prepared the second time.  

Just remember, all it takes is one YES to start the ball rolling.  At the risk of sounding like one of those ‘I can millions and so can you infomercials’, it worked for me and it can work for you.  

Thank you all for spending a little time with me.  Have a wonderful day. 
Patti Shenberger

The Zodiac Club Book 5
Available April 1, 2012
Extasy Books


Thursday, March 29, 2012

52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy Monroe!


Week #13's Featured Book:

Meagan's Chance
by Lucy Monroe

Samhain Publishing (May 1, 2008)

  • ISBN-10: 1599987910    
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599987910







Contest Question
(Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.)



Shattered by her ex-husband’s infidelity and her own infertility, Meagan O’Hare is starting over. Through what unsuspected disaster does Meagan meet Adam?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Humpday Hottie!



A hero inspiration for your midweek pick me up!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Retro Release Contest!

March Retro Release - Have you read this book yet?  If not, here's your chance to win your own copy!


The Sheikh's Bartered Bride by Lucy Monroe
By Lucy Monroe
Harlequin Showcase - March 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-68822-7
Originally Harlequin Presents - February 2005
ISBN 0-373-12447-3
© 2005 Lucy Monroe



Once again Lucy Monroe shows why she is gaining more and more fans with each book. The Sheikh's Bartered Bride will tug at your heartstrings in a way that only Ms Monroe can do. It will definitely heat up your cold winter nights. ~ The Best Reviews



Click here to purchase this book.

Contest Question:
Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.    






Monday, March 26, 2012

Romance - A Life Changing Force

Romance...is it chocolate box fiction or a genre so powerful, it can change lives?

If you know anything about me at all, you know I can only answer that question one way. I believe that romance fiction is bigger than entertainment, but it undoubtedly *is* entertainment. I think it is bigger than books written mostly by women for a predominately female market, though it is that as well. It is, in truth, so powerful, so big that it *does* change lives...the lives of its readers and the lives of the authors who seek to make their living writing it.

I started reading romance when I was in middle school. I pilfered the books from my older sister's room and you know, she told me the other day that she'd never realized. Go me. :) It wasn't a huge leap you know...I was a voracious reader as a child and I still am. Books have changed my life in so many ways, but romance consistently more than any others. Reading it gave me the courage to try things I never would have otherwise. It made me believe that life could be happy and trust me, back then...I needed that kind of assurance. Romance helped me to set standards for the man in my life that led to my present amazing Hubcap. Reading romance, especially Presents, planted a desire to travel, to see new places, and experience other cultures that I would otherwise have been ignorant of.

I'm not saying that romance was the only influence for these things, but it was a significant one. And most recently, reading gay romance opened my heart and my mind to sexuality different from my own. I'm still learning and growing. And I'm loving it.

My biggest goal in writing is to touch readers' hearts. I've alway said that if my books can impact a single reader the way my favorite authors have affected my life, then I will feel immeasurably blessed.

Well, I've been blessed over and over again. Letters from readers who realized they were not alone when reading about the challenges my characters faced have made me cry. Notes from others who have used my books as solace in times of grief, or learned about their own sexuality and found new ways to express themselves in intimacy, or gotten insight into the minds of their significant others tell me that I'm by no means the only person whose life has been signifcantly impacted by romance.

What about you? How have you been touch by the books you read?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekly Contest Winners!



Weekly Contest Winners!
The Sheikh's Bartered Bride
Congratulations  Tamsyn you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's The Sheikh's Bartered Bride.  Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 



52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy  

Congratulations greenduckie13 you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's book Hot Desert Nights (Anthology). Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 



Thursday, March 22, 2012

52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy Monroe!


Week 12's Featured Book

Hot Desert Nights

Anthology with Lucy Monroe, Kim Lawrence & Louise Allen
Sep 2007 UK ~ Sep 2007 Aus/NZ ~ Jul 2007 North America
US ISBN-10: 0-373-83721-6  ISBN-13: 978-0-373-83721-2




Mistress To A Sheikh by Lucy Monroe
Jade sacrifices nearly everything to succumb to the sensuous pleasures of wealthy sheikh Khalil...only to realize she's simply another notch in his well-worn bedpost. But Jade can be sneakier than forty thieves when it means getting what she wants!

Buy the book.

Contest Question
(Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.)



Hot Desert Nights is an anthology of three amazing authors.  Lucy's story is described above, what are the titles of the other two stories in the book?


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Humpday Hottie!


Spring has arrived and the neighborhood is looking great.  A man who trims the hedges shirtless? Is a man worth watching!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Retro Release Contest!

March Retro Release - Have you read this book yet?  If not, here's your chance to win your own copy!


The Sheikh's Bartered Bride by Lucy Monroe
By Lucy Monroe
Harlequin Showcase - March 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-68822-7
Originally Harlequin Presents - February 2005
ISBN 0-373-12447-3
© 2005 Lucy Monroe



A reader review....
"I have just read your book The Sheikhs Bartered Bride, and I just had to write to tell you how much I loved it. It was like being on an emotional roller coaster, but so well worth it, I just loved the way you had written it. You could visualize everything from the characters down to the tents in the desert. So I have to say thank you for writing such a great book, and I look forward to reading more of your books, and if they're anything like this one I can't wait. You have give me hope that at 31 I may yet find the man of my dreams, so again thank you! Here's to more romance in the world and men like Hakim." ~ Clare from England (NB: From Lucy...it was so special sharing this letter because I remember feeling exactly as Clare did...receiving hope from romance and an assurance that there were "good men out there" because fiction, or not...someone had written about them. I am now married to my "alpha at the end of the book" and will never forget the gift of hope romance brought into my own life.)

Click here to purchase this book.

Contest Question:
Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.    

This book takes place in the imaginary Middle Eastern Country of Kadar, what American city does the book also take place? 



Monday, March 19, 2012

It’s not a Dream – It’s Who I Am

I was doing a little spring cleaning in my files this weekend and came across this post from before I was published.  It is hard to remember those days and at the same time I don't take the fact that someone found my books worth publishing for granted.  I hope you read this post and feel inspired to never give up and continue to push forward until you reach your goals.  

It’s not a Dream – It’s Who I Am

I woke up this morning feeling like a writer.  Something inside me has changed and the term “romance author” is no longer a dream I pursue, but part of the definition of who I am.  It’s not a goal on the far horizon, but the reality of my present.

No, I didn’t publish while I was sleeping.  I didn’t get “the call” upon waking.  I’m not sure what changed my perspective.

Is it the over one-million words of romantic fiction I’ve typed so earnestly into my computer and presented to others for critique, acceptance or rejection?

Is it the two hanging files bulging with contest comments, scores, finalist notifications, placement announcements and that one win?

Is it the not so bulging, but just as impacting file full of editorial comment and/or rejection?

Or the identical one for agents?

Is it the industry knowledge stored on my computer and in my brain that I’ve eagerly sought while learning my craft over the past few years?

Or is the knowledge that yesterday I sent a certified letter severing the business relationship with my agent?

I think maybe that was the final thread in the weave that resulted in me waking up this morning no longer feeling like a wannabe, but an I am.   I made that decision based on what was best for my career.  A career that does not yet include a sale, but is real nonetheless, with a future – a future I could not afford to see stymied by attaching myself to an agent who didn’t share my vision for it, or my writing.

I’ll sell one day, maybe even one day soon.  Maybe not.  But I won’t give up trying, because this person...this romance author...she’s me.  She’s part of who I am.  I’ll always be a writer and the unpublished tag doesn’t make it any less real...not anymore.

I woke up this morning feeling like a writer and it felt good. 



What are you doing to keep your dreams alive?

Don't forget to sign up for my ReaderFitness Challenge! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weekly Contest Winners!


Weekly Contest Winners!

The Sheikh's Bartered Bride
Congratulations Donna you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's The Sheikh's Bartered Bride.  Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 



52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy  

Congratulations Tina you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's book Valentino's Love-Child. Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 

Have your registered for the Reader Fitness Challenge?



Friday, March 16, 2012

Reader Fitness Challenge - Registration


I was too excited to wait until Sunday so I'm starting registration for my Reader Fitness Challenge NOW!  Please click on the picture above and it will take you to the registration page! 







Thursday, March 15, 2012

52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy Monroe!


Week #11's Featured Book:

Valentino's Love Child
by Lucy Monroe

Harlequin Presents #2820
US ISBN-10: 0-373-12820-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-12820-4 



A Review:
Lucy Monroe has a fabulous love story on her hands with Valentino's Love-Child. Readers will be crying for more of this fast paced explosive passion filled romance story. Ms. Monroe is an author that should be on everyone's must buy list and her latest release is no exception. Valentino's Love-Child gives the readers what they are asking for and so much more. I truly loved Ms. Monroe's Valentino's Love-Child story and I cannot wait to see what she will come up with next. —Sonya, 5 Angels — Fallen Angel Reviews




Contest Question
(Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.)



As the story begins, Valentino appears to be untamable, but in the end, one strong, attractive American Lover tames the untamable.  What is the name of Valentino's American Lover?


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Humpday Hottie!


To feed our facination with firemen. Sends me into a lovely daydream.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Retro Release Contest!

March Retro Release - Have you read this book yet?  If not, here's your chance to win your own copy!


The Sheikh's Bartered Bride by Lucy Monroe
By Lucy Monroe
Harlequin Showcase - March 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-68822-7
Originally Harlequin Presents - February 2005
ISBN 0-373-12447-3
© 2005 Lucy Monroe



After a whirlwind courtship Sheikh Hakim bin Omar al Kadar proposes marriage. There are no declarations of love, but shy, innocent Catherine Benning has already fallen head-over-heels in love and she accepts…  After their wedding day – and night, when the sheikh claims his virgin wife – Catherine and Hakim travel to his desert kingdom.  Catherine discovers that this is no love match for Hakim – he’s bought her!

Click here to purchase this book.

Contest Question:
Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.    

Last week T.D. Jones blogged with me about having a creative place to write.  She described the room in which she writes.  What room in her house did she convert to a writing space?



Monday, March 12, 2012

Reader Fitness Challenge

Registration for the Reader Fitness Challenge begins this weekend March 18th. I wanted to repost this blog as it explains why this is so important to me.  I've already lost 24 pounds and I feel great! I hope you will think about being part of this challenge.  


Originally posted on January 23, 2012.
I am a Type II diabetic and have been for a few years.  Did diagnosis change my lifestyle?  For a while it did, but then I got complacent and well...lazy.  There were so many other things to worry about, my sedentary lifestyle, often eating only once -  maybe twice - a day, sugar binges and blood sugar levels within the normal ranges *for a diabetic* didn't really make it on the list.

But then a couple of weeks before Christmas, my blood sugars started going dangerously high.  Scared the crap out of me, honestly.  So, what did I do?  Stop testing them.  Yep, real effective that. ;-)  Not!  Then, the week of Christmas, the mother of one of my daughter's friends learned she was going to lose the bottom half of her leg...due to complications from her diabetes.

Wake up call?  A resoundingly loud one with the ringtone of archangels, if you really want to know.

I knew I had to do something because, see...I want to be walking in ten years.  I want to be healthy.  Bending over to tie my own shoes, still running after the grandkids.

I won't be, if I don't do something now.  My mom was a Type II diabetic.  She didn't let the disease beat her though.  That's all down to the Hep C that ravaged her body until the last flicker of light died in her eyes.

But caring for Mom during more than a dozen years of her fighting fatal liver failure taught me something.  If I have the choice, I don't want my own children in that same space.  I can't know what the future might bring, but I know that I do have a choice about some things.

Like my weight.  Like my Type II Diabetes.  Like my overall health.  I may not be able to prevent cancer or some unknown disease, but I can make choices now that exponentially increase my chances of living a productive, healthy life for decades to come.

The week after Christmas, my baby sister told me she'd signed up for the Hillsboro Fitness Challenge.  Did I want to do it to?

Did I?  Oh, yes!!!

So, I told my kids and my husband and they *all* enthusiastically agreed to pursue health with me.  They've not only joined the challenge, but we're all using MyFitnessPal to track our food, exercise and weight loss progress.

I started on January 9th and so far, I've eaten WAY better, exercised every day but 2 and lost 7.4 pounds.  I've learned I absolutely LOVE water aerobics! :)  I'm already stronger and more able to run up and down my stairs at home.  My blood sugars have dropped to much more acceptable levels and I'm no longer at risk for going on insulin.  I'm still on Metformin, but I'm hoping that will change once I lose enough weight.

I'm crying as I write this because I really want to give my children and grandchildren a healthy me.  They deserve it.  My mom, who never gave up for our sake, deserves it!

She didn't have a choice in so much, but what she had a choice in?  She did her utmost to make work with her body.  She nursed a Level 4 liver failure through more than a decade and stayed alive for us.
I *will* be that strong for my children.  I will change my lifestyle and that of my immediate family get togethers to one that is healthier and more conducive to keeping us all active and strong in the years to come.

The Hillsboro Fitness Challenge ends in 2.5 months.  I'm trying my best to win the weight loss portion, but I think my baby sister or husband might just beat me.  If they do?  I'll consider it a win for all of us.  Because it will be.

I'll need a renewed commitment at that time.  I'm usually smart enough to know my weaknesses and potential pitfalls, and I see this one coming.

So, look for a Lucy Monroe Reader Fitness Challenge coming in April.  I'll post the details later, but know that I plan to provide prizes and parameters that will enthusiastically encourage the other people in my life I love best to be as healthy as I'm hoping my family will be.  My readers.

Watch this space for more details and updates on my healthy lifestyle efforts.

Mega hugs and healthy days ahead to each and every one of you!
Lucy



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekly Contest Winners!


Weekly Contest Winners!

The Sheikh's Bartered Bride
Congratulations nrobak you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's The Sheikh's Bartered Bride.  Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 



52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy  

Congratulations  Mon_Cherie you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's book 3 Brides for 2 Bad Boys. Please email me with your name and address so I can get your prize in the mail. 



Friday, March 09, 2012

Guest Blog - T.D. Jones

Where is your creative room?
Every writer needs a creative room. It can be an actually room or even just a corner that you call your writing area. Make this place a sacred place that is only used by you and is only used for the business of writing if possible. Some writers, such as myself have turned a bedroom in the house into an actually office. This is my favorite room in the house because I know in this room I will be creating and doing other projects that involve writing. Some writers chose to write outside the house, such as coffee shops or libraries or any other place that they can be the most productive. The one thing to keep in mind is a writer writes no matter where your space is so even if you have to write at the kitchen table that is okay as long as you write. You may have to try lots of different setting before you find that one place where you are the most creative. 
Some writers need very little in our creative area and some of us need a lot. If you have a small space then you are limited on what you can have, but if you have a large space then you can have as much as you want. Some writers are superstitious and need items around them they feel bring them good luck when it comes to writing. Others just need the simple materials to write with and they are good to go. Whatever you put in your creative world make sure it isn’t something that is going to take you away from the reason you are there in the first place. What you need to have in your writing space is up to you. You are the writer in this area and no one else so just make it yours.
Distractions are the worst thing for a writer. As writers we have a tendency to let our mind wander and daydream, it’s in our job description. The problem is you have to learn when to tell if you’re working while daydreaming or is your brain just being lazy. Talking on the phone to your friend and writing at the same time isn’t really writing. Looking out the window and watching your neighbor take out his trash and writing at the same is not really writing. Writing is when your total attention is on the job at hand. If you have to turn the phone off or shut the blinds just so you can focus on what you are writing then do it. Don’t let distractions keep you from doing the best writing you possibly can. Oh, and taking that nap you so dearly want to take is not going to help clear your mind for writing later. You will just be more behind in your writing when you wake up.  

It is your turn, what is your ideal work environment?  Where are you most productive?  I'd love to hear what you have to say. 

Here are some other places where you can catch up on all my latest news or connect with me.  Thank's Lucy for hosting me today. 

Thursday, March 08, 2012

52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy Monroe!


Week #10's Featured Book:

3 BRIDES FOR 3 BAD BOYS
by Lucy Monroe
Kensington Brava - March 2005
Trade Paperback
ISBN 0-7582-0858-8
Kensington Brava - February 2008
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN 0-758-20863-4


They're not the marrying kind—more the Do NOT Take Home to Mom kind. But these three brothers are about to meet the tempting women who have what it takes to tame their inner bad boys... 




Click here to purchase the book (paperback or kindle).


Contest Question
( Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.)



3 Brides for 3 Bad boys tells three very luscious stories of three very bad boys.  Who was your favorite bad boy from this book?


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Humpday Hottie!


I'm not really sure what he's looking at, but I like the view from my seat!

Monday, March 05, 2012

March Retro Release Contest!

March Retro Release - Have you read this book yet?  If not, here's your chance to win your own copy!



The Sheikh's Bartered Bride by Lucy Monroe
By Lucy Monroe

Harlequin Showcase - March 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-68822-7
Originally Harlequin Presents - February 2005
ISBN 0-373-12447-3
© 2005 Lucy Monroe

Read this excerpt from chapter 1

"Miss Benning."


She wasn’t Miss Benning. She was Catherine Marie, captive of The Hawk, a sheikh who still lived by the code of the desert, where only the strongest survived.


He was coming now. She could hear his deep, masculine voice as he spoke in a tongue she did not understand to someone outside her tent. She struggled against the cords that bound her hands, but it was useless. The silk scarves were soft, but strong and she could not get her hands free.


If she did, what would she do? Run?


Where?


She was in the middle of the desert. The sun beat against the tent, heating up the cavernous interior. She wouldn’t last a day in the vast wasteland on her own.


Then he was there, standing in the entrance to the room in which she was held. His features were cast in shadow. All she could see was his big body encased in the white pants and tunic typical of his people. A black robe, his abayah, fell from his massive shoulders to midcalf and his head was covered with the red and white smagh that denoted his position as sheikh. The headband holding it in place was made of twisted black leather.


He was less than fifteen feet away, but still his face was hidden from her by the shadows. Only the strong line of his jaw denoting his arrogance was discernable.


"Miss Benning!"


Catherine Marie Benning’s head snapped up from where it had been resting against her fist and her eyes slowly focused on her surroundings. Tent walls hung with silks faded, to be replaced by cool gray cement, relieved only by the posters advertising the upcoming book drive and literacy event. They were the walls of the break room in the Whitehaven Public Library, much closer to a cold and wet Seattle, Washington than the blistering hot deserts of the Sahara.


Fluorescent light cast a harsh glow over the pointed features of the woman standing in front of her.


"Yes, Mrs. Camden?"


Straightening her double-knit polyester blazer, almost identical in color to the library’s walls, Catherine’s superior sniffed. "Your head was off in the clouds again, Miss Benning."


The disapproval in the older woman’s voice grated against Catherine’s usually limitless patience. Perhaps if the man in her fantasies would ever show his face, she wouldn’t be feeling so frustrated, but he did not. This time had been no different. The Hawk was as elusive to her imagination as he was in it.


"I’m still on break," she reminded the older woman.


"Yes, well, we all do what we must."


Recognizing the beginnings of a familiar lecture, Catherine stifled a sigh at the knowledge her lunch break was to be cut short. Again.


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Contest Question:
Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Winners will be announced on Saturday.  If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.    

Cover Model Seth Mitchel was my guest last Friday.  He gave a great interview.  This week's contest questions comes directly from his interview, if you haven't checked it out yet, now is  your chance.  Seth talked about 3 virtues every man should have.  List one of the three he spoke about.