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cover: dangerous places elaine raco chaseOne of the most generous and talented authors I know is Elaine Raco Chase. Her talent stands out from the crowd because she’s clever, she’s witty, and she knows how to pack in the romance and excitement with every sentence. I love her books. Her latest release is Dangerous Places (A Roman Cantrell – Nikki Holden Mystery Book 1). I snapped this book up on its first day and gobbled it down, enjoying every moment of reading pleasure.

About Dangerous Places:

Limited time: 99 Cents

The 7 deadly sins have never been so deadly – or so much fun!

Meet – Nikki Holden – investigative reporter with more enemies than friends – and her friends are very shady! she may know 140 characters but social media is not her venue. As an investigative print journalist she’s on the trail of one stunning story at Pleasure Island.

And she doesn’t mind using her pick-pocket talents or a well-aimed champagne cork or even a pair of 38’s (tits not guns!) Oh, and she has a police record.

Meet Roman Cantrell – ex-army ranger, who couldn’t stop fighting, went off the grid for a while taking up causes, then came back to the US to start an international security firm.

Black Ops Mercenary who now runs an international Private Investigation-Security Company.
He keeps popping into her life at the most inconvenient times.

And he knows too much about her past.
He also knows she’s not capable of good behavior!

Is he looking for the person she’s …kidnapped?

Or is he looking for a more one-on-one connection?

One thing for sure –

They’re both heading into murderously Dangerous Places.

Each is a stand-alone explicit mystery/thriller with continuing characters.

And here’s a sexy excerpt (rated R for innuendo):

“Say…wait a sec…are you… Hey! You’re going out.”

She laughed more at his hangdog expression than at his flustered accusation. “Very good, Cantrell.”

“What about us? Coffee?” He grinned, “Verbal intercourse?”

Her fingers closed around the doorknob. “Be honest, Cantrell, would you have answered my questions with anything other than ‘no comment’?”

“No comment.”

“Ring around the mulberry bush is not the way I start my days.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure?” Roman gave her his best leer. “You’re a clever woman. I’ll bet you have all sorts of interesting ploys that would wear me down and make me talk.”

“Then you’d moan no comment.” She reached out to pat his cheek. “Now, don’t take it so hard. Go back to the kitchen, sprinkle a little salt on your peter, and calm down.”

Nikki suddenly looked distressed. “Oh…I am so sorry…let me apologize for that rude comment. I mean…according to all those TV ads, fifty percent of men over forty have that…” her voice dropped to a whisper, “erectile dysfunction problem. So you probably don’t need the salt. But, latest medical findings are reporting that in a pinch, three cups of coffee a day can help…” she winked, “perk things up.” She wiggled her fingers.

“Hey, wait a minute.” But she moved too fast and Roman found himself locked in. His fist punched the door as he shouted, “This is not good for my ego. And I am not forty yet!” He glanced down at the bulge that pressed hard against the zipper on his slacks. “And I sure as hell don’t need a little blue pill when you’re around, Nikki Holden.”

He sighed, a rueful smile twisted his lips. “What the hell! I broke in. I can break out.” Just to be perverse, he did return to the kitchen, drank the entire pot of coffee, and ate the last two pieces of pepperoni in her refrigerator.

Besides, he knew where she was headed – he’d read the text that had been sent to her cell phone.

You can buy Dangerous Places at all these retailers:       Amazon US                 Amazon UK                 Amazon Canada                  Amazon Australia       Nook       Kobo       iTunes          All Romance      Smashwords

About Elaine, from her Amazon Author page:

If you like sassy, laugh out loud, contemporary romances – some more explicit than others – you have found the right author!

Reviewers have called them: “cat & mouse” – “slow burn” – “hot and steamy” – “highly addicting” – “solid characters & lots of humor” – “amazing reads!”

I call them fun! My heroines are NOT: thin, petite, clueless or submissive. They are strong women who aren’t looking for a man – until the right one comes along!

And those men! Tough-guy, alpha males who don’t know what hit them! But do know they want MORE!

Whether you read my erotic romantic comedies (updated eBooks), my updated ‘steamy’ romantic eBooks, or my classic eBooks – remember there’s never an expiration date on Romance!

See all of Elaine’s many books on her page here.

Hello and welcome to Part 2 and the end of this free short story. If you missed Part 1, it’s here.

This segment is about 600 words long, so should take you less than five minutes to read.

Among the Trees

Among the Trees, There are Dreams
by Patricia Green
© Copyright 2015 Patricia Green
All Rights Reserved

“You!” he cried.

“Leave this place,” she said, trying to show command with her voice, though it was shaky. Turning away, she hoped to walk away, leaving him behind, though in her heart she was drawn to him in a frightening way.

He shot up and took her hand, stopping her progress. “No. I came for you. I saw you in my dreams. Fate would have us together, Sondja.”

Trembling, she turned to him. “How do you know my name?”

“I heard it on the wind. I saw it written in clouds. I have longed to know the woman behind it for many years. I have traveled far.”

Indeed, he had a deep accent, though she could not place it. Still, he spoke her tongue well enough. Perhaps… Would Fate have drawn their threads together, entwined them as they’d been entwined in his dream?

“I saw your dream,” she told him. “I have the sight. I know what you want me for. I cannot.”

“No! That is not all. I know you have the power of hearing dreams. I saw you, but could never touch you or speak to you, as I slept. Until I came upon you in this forest today, I thought you were a dream never to be found in this life.”

His words stirred her; vague memories were ghosting back. Memories of her own dreams and a mate she thought only fiction. “Perhaps I am,” she whispered.

Darter raised her hand to his face and rubbed their skin together. Electric shocks traveled up her arm to sting her nipples, but she didn’t want to withdraw from him. Something compelled her to stay, to touch him. To know his waking thoughts and learn about him.

“No, you are real,” he murmured against her palm. “I have found you. We are destined. Fate has matched us.”

Sondja suspected this was true. Fate had done much to influence her decisions. She’d been fated to be apart from the villagers. She’d been fated to stay alone until a distant day of mystery. Even in her dreams, she had not been shown how she would end her days. Perhaps he was her destiny. Certainly, she was not afraid of him. Her heart felt he knew her, and she him, though she’d never met him before.

A kiss. A tender kiss would be all she’d need to know if this was a delusion.

Sondja allowed herself to step toward him; in fact, she was compelled. He took her in his arms and held her close, then reached up and tilted her face toward his. When their lips gently met, the kiss made her shiver down to her toes. It was as though she’d found a piece of herself, long missing, so long in the past that she’d nearly forgotten it.

“Darter…” she whispered as their breaths mingled.

“Sondja, come with me. I live in a hamlet on the other side of the forest. It is far from here, but not so far that we cannot walk there together. Gather your things and be with me. Be my love both within my dreams and without them.”

Her gaze locked with his. He was so serious, so sincere. The blue of his eyes shone with love. In that moment, Sondja knew she would go with him. She would live until the end of her days with him. Her heart sang at the realization that she would no longer have to be alone. His dreams would be her dreams, waking and sleeping.

“Aye, I will go.”

He smiled and spoke not a word. There were no words necessary. They had dreams, and that was enough.

The End

Thank you for following along with this serial short story. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave comments on any segment. Fairy tales are not new to me. I’ve written three. If you liked this one, you’ll most likely like The Princess and the Huntsman. Please take a look at it here to see if it’s right for you.

This has been part of a series of…

short stories in five minutes

Dear Readers, the winner of the personal page prize for my site from the Cold Nights, Hot Reads Blog Hop is Joye. All the other prize winners can be found on this page. Thank you to everyone who participated, and good luck on the next hop.

Now that we have that business taken care of… Today, I’m bringing you the beginning of another serial short story today. This is based on a writing prompt from Seventh Sanctuary, however, the story barely hints at the prompt. About all they have in common is the forest. Alas, my imagination isn’t restricted to other people’s story lines. I think you’ll like it, though. It’s a bit of a fairy tale, and full of romance. There is a sexy part, though, so use your discretion when choosing where and when to read it.

This segment is about 800 words long, so should take you less than five minutes to read.

Among the Trees

Among the Trees, There are Dreams
by Patricia Green
© Copyright 2015 Patricia Green
All Rights Reserved

I hear my own voice. I feel the touches. I am the union. I will find him.

Sondja stepped daintily through the forest leaves and twigs, her ghillies protecting her feet, though she knew the trees and their fall would never harm her. She was of the forest, it was part of her. In the pre-dawn, she had awoken to the voice–a familiar voice, though she could not place it–calling her name not far away. Voices in her mind were not new to her, she’d heard them her whole life, especially in the dreaming hours. But this voice was vaguely remembered, tender, passionate, deep and resonant. So she followed it.

The man lay among the leaves, having made himself a rough bed on the ground. He was wrapped in his cloak, protected from the new Autumn chill. He was dreaming, of course. She could only hear the voices when they were dreaming.

In this case, he was dreaming of her. Sondja reasoned that he must have seen her the day previous, possibly when she was out gathering wild mushrooms and berries. She was so often lost in her own thoughts when she communed with nature, making her apologies to the things that gave her life when she had to harvest them. But it was unusual for anyone but her to be out in the middle of Briarwood, where few cottage-dwellers came. They thought the forest haunted, which was not true, but it served Sondja’s purposes to let them think that. When she went into the village to trade her fruits and vegetables for fish and flour, she allowed them to think her fey and strange. They kept away, and that was her desire. She didn’t want the voices to bring her pain, make her too close to anyone. When they had nightmares, the images and their unconscious screams haunted her for a long time.

But this man, this intrepid man, had come into her forest. Why?

For a while, she sat beside him and listened to his dream. It was erotic, primitive, full of lust touched by tenderness. Although she’d experienced the sexual dreams of other people when she lived in the village, they had never been about her.

In his mind, they were locked in a naked embrace. His mouth, his hands, were everywhere on her writhing body. She could almost feel the hands as she sat there. They made her skin grow hot and her loins grow moist. He was envisioning her golden hair spread among the gold and red leaves; loose tendrils twined with the colorful fall until it was hard to tell where one left off and the other began. His mind gave her dream-self passion, and she felt his hips between her thighs. It was foreign, but in the dream it was as natural as breathing. She moaned; was it in the dream, or in reality that she voiced the sound?

His name was Darter, she knew it nearly as well as her own, though they had never met before. In the dream, she uttered his name, and when he pierced her veil, she called it out loudly. Nearby, where she sat eavesdropping, the trees trembled. It might have been the wind, but Sondja thought it was more likely the shadow of her pleasure. Because Darter did give her pleasure, both in the dream and outside of it. Her body shook with rising tension, and in the dream she squeezed him tight against her, her hips rising and falling with his thrusts. Sitting nearby, she eased her skirt up to her hips and touched her thighs, imagining his body between them, though imagination was hardly needed, so vivid was the dream.

He was muttering in his sleep, and she heard the words clearly in his dream, even while they were unclear and foreign in reality. He was telling her she was beautiful, that he wanted her, that he needed her. Aye, those things were true, at least in his eyes.

Outside the dream, Sondja felt his deep attraction for her, and she grew more wet, touching herself as he was touching her in his dream. His hand moved from where it had been pleasuring her even as he thrust, and she writhed beneath him, scratching his back in her throes, her hips rising and falling in the tempo of lust.

It didn’t take long, it was sudden, in fact, but pleasure shot through her and her head spun where she churned on the forest floor. His sound was guttural, and the forest sighed deeply when his seed came into her. Nearby, she gasped, squirming, finally removing her busy fingers because she could stand no more. The feelings were too bright, too powerful.

She felt far too close to this intruder. When he jolted awake, Sondja knew she was caught. There was no hope that she would run away before he saw her. She threw down her skirt and rose to her feet, even as Darter sat up and spied her.

Thank you for reading. The second half of this story can be found here. It also is a less-than-five-minute read.

short stories in five minutes