Friday, January 31, 2014

Liza investigates Bedlam

Bedlam: 
 A scene of uproar and confusion, pandemonium, anarchy, mayhem


The first public mental institution in England was built in 1247  (Medieval Times)  at the Priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem on a site in Bishopsgate. (now below Liverpool Street Station). It remained there until 1676. 

 However, it did not begin its life as a mental institution. Originally it was formed as a place of alms collection. 
While it is possible they cared for the mentally ill in the 14th century, the first evidence of such is in 1403. The document notes the presence of 4 pairs of manacles, eleven chains, six locks and two pairs of stocks. While little is known about the care of the patients during medieval times, by their inventory, one can assume it was more captive than caring.

The place acquired several nicknames in the 14th century from Bedleheem to Bedleem to Bedlam.

In 1568 the place opened its doors to public viewing.
The first definitive documented visit was in 1610, when Lord Percy paid 10 shillings to amble about it's deranged denizens. Visiting the mad became a grand entertainment for the rich. It also inspired a great deal of plays in which brought the name Bedlam into common use.



The first building stood for 429 years (1274-.1676) I cannot imagine the quantity of ghosts and tortured souls it hosted over that time. 


The next site for Bedlam was on a site in Moorsfield designed by Robert Hooke. 

 Public visitations soared once they had moved the inmates to their new home. Here's a documented perspective of a man who visited in 1725 

 .. you find yourself in a long and wide gallery, on either side of which are a large number of little cells where lunatics of every description are shut up, and you can get a sight of these poor creatures, little windows being let into the doors. Many inoffensive madmen walk in the big gallery. On the second floor is a corridor and cells like those on the first floor, and this is the part reserved for dangerous maniacs, most of them being chained and terrible to behold. On holidays numerous persons of both sexes, but belonging generally to the lower classes, visit this hospital and amuse themselves watching these unfortunate wretches, who often give them cause for laughter. On leaving this melancholy abode, you are expected by the porter to give him a penny but if you happen to have no change and give him a silver coin, he will keep the whole sum and return you nothing

Inveterate letter-writer C├ęsar de Saussure's account of Bethlem during his 1725 tour of London's sights


While impressive, the baroque building deteriorated 
quickly. Floors sank, walls buckled, roofs leaked. It was as if the building took on the insanity of it's inmates. Thus, a mere 139 years in existence, a new building was created at St George’s in 1815
The abuses within the walls of Bedlam either worsened or became better known in the early 1800's. Complaints of naked inmates chained to walls, the docile inmates being put in with the dangerously insane, and the thuggish behavior of the keepers came to light. 

One would like to think that when they moved to inmates to their new home, conditions improved. Sadly while stylish on the outside, the inside was quite miserable. The steam heat did not work, the basements were extremely damp and the upper windows were not glazed.

Restraints and physical punishment remained the norm. To avoid being publicly displayed, the wealthy preferred private asylums for their incarcerations. 

One improvement: they had a clean water supply so the rooms could be washed down, reducing dysentery and cholera. However, it does open up more opportunities for abuse while the guards washed down a cell and it's occupant.

Until 1864, the Criminally insane were held at Bedlam, when they were moved to Broadmoor Hospital.

I found very little documented about the late 1800 conditions at Bedlam. What preceded it was very bad, so without proof to the contrary, I'll assume conditions remained the same or worsened, despite the cries for improvements resulting in legislative acts in 1815,1828,1832,1845. 

When I reviewed these acts, I found no comments to the care of patients at all. Only tweeks to whom was allowed to commit a person against their will into an institution.

Given the 'rights of men' at the time, I'll assume the wealthy could arrive after public viewing hours (If they still existed. I could find no proof either way) and buy access to any inmate for their pleasure. I base this on the assumption inmates were seen more like animals than humans, and the hardened guards would allow anything done to their animals for coinage as long as they didn't get in trouble.


Thus in my Late Victorian Xavier & Vic series, when Vic, who is a young woman, living her life as a man, needs to rescue a woman, placed in Bedlam by her husband, she gains access during a late night 'men only visitation' tour and releases a great deal of the female inmates to cause a distraction while she rescues the old woman.

She hadn't expected the young women she released to become quite so violent, but given the purpose of the other men who took the tour, she couldn't muster any sympathy for the fellows. Served them bloody right!

The Bedlam guards could not handle the ensuing riot, and London police had to be called in to quell matters so this is the first riot Vic causes while saving a client. 

Yeah Vic!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Countdown Day 3 for Oh Stupid Heart


Day 3
AMAZON

COUNT DOWN
Oh Stupid Heart
is
$2.99
(You save $1.00)
Today only
Jan 31


Here's a Plot by Picture for 
Oh Stupid Heart

Carrie

&
Trent
Are determined to make a go of their interspecies relationship & improve their company at the same time.
(In other words, they plan to do 2 impossible things at once.)
So Carrie heads off to the west coast to receive superb training and a great deal of flirting from Change Specialist Guru
Ian Goodman
Meanwhile, back on the East Coast, Trent is dealing with his ex-fiancee, Coco 

who also happens to be the human resource specialist that Dan the resource guy sent them.

Hold on, says Dan. I did not select Coco. Trent sent me an email requesting her.

Trent: Did not
Dan: You did too!

Coco hires Grant as Trent's new E/A
He's got a contract that says he can't be fired for any cause.
(Trent really needs to pay attention
 to what he signs)
When Carrie returns from the West Coast, she's got a great deal to do in order to save the company.
Get rid of Coco,
Get rid of  Grant,
and get rid of a great deal of 
God Awful employees.

Can she do it?

In Celebration of the 
Feb 3 release of
Coming to Reason
you can find out for a mere
$2.99
but only on 1/31

Enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Amazon.

Countdown Day 2 for Oh Stupid Heart


Day 2
AMAZON

COUNT DOWN
Oh Stupid Heart
is
$1.99
(You save $2.00)
Today only
Jan 30


Alana Loren
Things you can learn from Carrie
and a reality check



In Celebration of the 
Feb 3 release of
Coming to Reason

Enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Amazon.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Countdown Day 1 for Oh Stupid Heart

AMAZON

COUNT DOWN

Jan 29


I'm at two blogs
celebrating my promotion of
 Oh Stupid Heart
Today only: it's 99 Cents

Nancy Goodman's 
Rakes, Rogues & Romance
Interview with Carrie about 
Oh Stupid Heart and the great deal readers can get if they buy today.

Daryl Oulette's My Erotic Notions
Carrie shares how to get rid of bad employees and why 99 cents is a great bargain for Oh Stupid Heart.


Enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Amazon.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bathing in the Victorian Era

Today, we are discussing Bathing

Vic, my ersatz male character in my Xavier & Vic series, does not have time to waste on bathing. The butler and sister are constantly sending an odoriferous Vic to the tub.

With the invention of boilers to warm the water, and better comprehension of the benefits of bathing, by 1880 even middle-class homes were built with special rooms for holding a full size bath. 

In 1870, an Englishman invented a water heater. Like many inventions, it did not yet catch on. However, it inspired another inventor, Edwin Ruud, to improve upon the concept. In 1889, he created the first marketed automatic storage water heater and went to work at a poorly named company in Pittsburg: The Fuel Gas and Manufacturing Company.

Here's a slightly later version of his water heater that is still working as of 2013:



Now, that's what I call made to last.
However, Vic's water heater probably looked more like this:

This British Heater (approx. date: 1895) was gas heated and installed by the bathtub. To operate it: you light the pilot, turn on the water, then turn on the gas. Do those in the wrong order you may not live to regret it.

When turning it off you had to remember to turn off the gas BEFORE you shut off the water. Otherwise, you'll be buying a new unit and might even set your home on fire.

While a vast improvement over slogging buckets upstairs to pour hot water into a tub, this was not something the wealthy could be trusted to do on their own. Thus diligent servants were still required to assist in bathing preparations. Their job just became more dangerous.


The cast iron tub is what most of us picture when we think Victorian bathtubs. However, the wealthy had more options.
First of all, the bathtub was considered furniture, so it often came with nice woodwork fitting it out.

The finer baths of the Late Victorian era (1895 & forward) might have multiple shower sprays mounted on a framework.  

That's something I still don't have.

Young ladies were advised to bath at least once a day, twice if possible. I imagine men didn't bath nearly so often. They had more important things to do. 

That's all I know about bathing. Go take a bath now.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Worst Week Ever is Free for 3 days


To celebrate the upcoming release of 
Book 3 in A Long Road to Love series, 
Coming To Reason

Book 1: Worst Week Ever will be free from
 Jan 22-24. 

Book 2: Oh Stupid Heart will be discounted
Jan 29-31.

Want to know more about
Worst Week Ever
A Humorous Disaster Romance

As in: 
The Romance is a disaster,
but then so is Carrie's entire week.

Jan 22
Stop by Jessica Subject's Blog 
and check out the Plot by Pictures

Jan 23
Stop by Victoria Adams
and discover what reviewers think

Jan 24
Stop by Pippa Jay's
Liza fights with an audience



Grab a free book

enter to win $50 Gift Card

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Liza O'Connor interviews Betrayal by Jenna Jaxon.

Today, we are interviewing the book Betrayal by Jenna Jaxon.

Peep Rep: Don't you mean Betrothal?

Liza: No we already interviewed Bet. Today we are going to interview Tray, who should be here by now. One of the many problems with the 14th century is they lacked wrist watches. 

Peep Rep: How's Tray arriving?


Liza: How do you think? by catapult. Oh here it comes now.

THUNK

Liza: That had to hurt. You okay, Peep Rep?

Peep Rep: I'll survive.




Betrayal the book: Wow! Softest landing ever.

Liza: Welcome Betrayal. Mind if I call you Tray.

Tray: Call me whatever you want. I appreciate you sending your serf to catch me.

Liza: I didn't send him. He just happened to be standing in the right place at the right time.

Peep Rep: No it was the WRONG place and the wrong time and I'm not a serf!

Liza: Whatever. Tray is here and I'm most curious, and a bit worried what has happened. Your name is, to put it bluntly, worrisome.

Tray: *Nods with his cover* After a night of passion with her betrothed, Sir Geoffrey Longford, Lady Alyse de Courcy is eagerly looking forward to her wedding.

Liza: Then if I recall he gets sent away, but it was only to a short while.

Tray: Life nor Love is certain. Agreements change when circumstances change.  Geoffrey is forced to marry another.

Peep Rep: NO! *sobs uncontrollably*

Tray: What is wrong with your serf? Did he break inside while catching me?

Liza: No. We just wanted those two to wed. He's disappointed.

Tray: Good thing he lives in this era. Happiness and true love was a rarity in my time. 

Liza: So back to Alyce. What happened to her?

Tray: Heartbroken and possibly pregnant, Alyse finds herself in her own private hell. She must either gamble with her reputation or marry someone she does not love.

Liza: Who would she marry? 

Tray: A reputed connoisseur of women, Thomas, Lord Braeton.

Liza: The runabout?

Tray: Yes. While he has dallied with many ladies of King Edward’s court, he has favored none.  

Liza: Why would he agreed to be tied down with Alyce?

Tray: As Geoffrey’s best friend, Thomas has sworn to serve and protect Alyse, an oath now sorely tested when he agrees to marry her—in name only—to guard her reputation. 

Liza: So she is to have a loveless marriage after all?

Tray: Not as loveless as you might think. As they grow closer, and Thomas discovers Alyse’s sweet but spirited nature, he comes to desire a marriage in truth.  But...

Liza: But what? 

Tray: He questions if he can overcome her memory of Geoffrey or if he'll be doomed to burn with passion for a woman he can never possess.

Peep Rep: Way to go Tray! You managed to avoid asking a question that Liza doesn't know the answer to. Give me a high cover five.

Tray: I've no idea what that means but you are scaring me.

Liza: Peep Rep step back. I want to read an excerpt but Tray isn't going to open his covers while you're swinging your hand about.

Peep Rep: Sorry.

Liza: This story sounds as good as the first one.

Tray: As good as? Well, I think I'm better.

Liza: Then open up and let me see.

EXCERPT

With the sigh of a martyr at the stake, Alyse nodded and Anne leaped forth and stripped the linen shift from her. She fought the impulse to shield her breasts and womanhood; apparently brides were expected to be appraised as if a horse at market. The only stare that sent a shiver up her back, however, was Lady Carlyle’s. The woman’s lips twisted into a sneer as her gaze swept Alyse from head to toe. A look of triumph she did not understand lit the lady’s face and Alyse turned her back, quite willing to allow Anne to drop the silk chemise over her head.

When she turned back to the company, loud “ahs’ and whispers of “indecent” ran through the women. Alyse looked down at herself. As she feared, the sheer material revealed every swell of her breasts. As the fabric moved across them, her nipples hardened, poking the garment out to sharp points.

Maurya stepped behind her and began to brush her hair again. “Pay them no mind, Alyse,” she whispered. “You are more beautiful than any of them. And I warrant Lord Braeton will have no qualms about you whatsoever in that shift.”
Before Alyse could reply, the door burst open and the laughing, swearing, drinking chorus of male courtiers who attended Thomas strode in. And stopped. The sudden silence intensified the tension in the small room. Their eyes rested on Alyse, who stared back at them and prayed she would not faint again.

As suddenly as the silence descended it broke, and a babble of laughter, praise and ribald jests issued forth from the appreciative gentlemen. To her utter humiliation, Alyse recognized Patrick Sullivan, Roger Delaney, and Robert Spencer among the courtiers. All stared at her still, Patrick leaning over to comment to Sir Roger, who laughed and nodded in agreement.

She blinked back tears of rage, but stood quietly lest they make even more sport of her.
From the corner of her eye, she caught movement in the doorway, and several men and ladies moved to make way for the final actor in this terrible play.  Thomas strode grandly into the chamber, smiling as though he walked in a decorous procession. Attired in a splendid robe of green wool, adorned with velvet down the center edges and fur at collar and cuffs, he swept her a low bow. He laughed as he arose, but the sound died on his lips when at last he registered her figure in the blue chemise. The stunned look in his eyes was swiftly replaced by a hot hunger that made her gasp. Any hope she had of him honoring his promise died with that look.

“Lady Braeton.” He held out his hand, and Alyse had no choice but to take it. He raised it to his lips, searing her flesh with their warm touch. “You are a vision I scarce would credit this side of heaven.” She peered into his darkened eyes, seeking mercy. At the almost imperceptible nod of his head, she could breathe again.

He released her and stepped back. “The wedding is done.” Thomas nodded to his attendants, who stepped forward. “Let the bedding be done as well.” Stretching forth his arms, he waited as the men stripped the robe from him, revealing his perfectly nude body beneath.

Liza: Okay, this is one of those times where I long for the movie.  This sounds really good. Don't you agree Peep Rep.

Peep Rep: It does. We have to read this. Me first. Let me find the buy links. No buy links. It's not out yet. But here are other links:
Links:
Blog   Facebook   Twitter @Jenna_Jaxon

And here's the first book which I loved.
Liza: Tray, would you like to distract Peep Rep from crying by telling him stories about Jenna.


Tray: I can do that. Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical  and contemporary romance.  She is currently  working to release Betrayal at the end of January and finishing revisions to her fifth full length novel, To Woo A Wicked Widow, set in Regency England and the first book in her five part series, The Widow’s Club.

Liza: No moss growing on her fingers.

Tray: I have no idea what that means.

Liza: Nevermind, go on...

Tray: Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.


Liza: I've had fun interviewing you. Here's some chocolate for Jenna. Now let's put you back the catapult...

And readers, leave a comment. It's chocolate to our souls.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Deadly Victorian Baby Bottles


While the rich of the latter half of the 19th century could afford wet nurses, the doctors strongly encouraged ladies to breast feed their own children. However, the growing middle class & poor needed other ways to feed babies. They had to work.
Fortunately, the invention of vulcanized rubber provided a soft and flexible artificial teat that could withstand the heat of sterilization. 

Elijah Pratt of New York patented the first rubber teat in 1845.


Various shaped glass bottles were created, all with a narrow glass mouth filled with a stopper. A length of Indian rubber tubing was inserted into the stopper, it's other end fitted with a bone mouth shield and a rubber teat. 

You could buy them at your local chemist, who put them together as he thought best, resulting in a great variety of shapes and designs. However, there was one consistency among the bottles. All were impossible to keep clean and a serious health risk to babies.

The medical profession openly condemned the use of them, but this general design continued to sell well into the 1920's. For the first time, the baby could be left unattended to feed, freeing up the hardworking mother to do other tasks.

Infant mortality remained very high, with nearly 20% dying in their first year. Don't marry that percentage, because the stats of mortality in the 19th century are highly contested by today's statisticians. But everyone agrees they were high.

However, I can say sanitary conditions were dismal, bacterial infections a major cause of death and antibiotics had yet to be discovered. Mothers were strongly advised to breastfeed their own children, preferable to hiring a wet nurse, and strongly preferable to feeding with a baby bottle.

A change in baby bottle design occurred in 1894, claiming to be easier to clean.
Note the right end of the bottle is an open mouth. That's so you can pour in the milk. A metal cap fitted over it once it was filled. I expect it leaked but this model claimed to be far more sanitary than the prior bottles and it quickly became a best seller.

Now all you had to worry about was the milk you put inside it. Yes, that was a problem as well. The milk sold back then was often tainted.
End result: The doctors were absolutely correct. Bottle feeding added serious risks to your baby's health.

In book 5 of the X & V books, Vic rescues a baby who is drinking from a bottle of sour milk. She convinces the uncaring mother to give up the child and let her find it a good home. Vic gives it to her sister along with a healthy wet nurse. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cover Release for Coming To Reason by Liza O'Connor

Today is the cover release for


COMING TO REASON
Book Three: A Long Road to Love
Humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance


Blurb


Carrie has committed to an inter-species marriage with Trent, her billionaire boss. Only, she requested a long engagement to improve his stats. Presently, he is eighty percent dreamboat and twenty percent nightmare. When he fires her so they can be a ‘normal couple,’ everything heads south. Providing her a stark contrast, her new boss is everything a woman could want in a man. But for Carrie, her heart is taken and thus, her path to reason remains long and arduous.
****

Liza O'Conner writes books that speak to my soul. Carrie is a character you will not soon forget.
--Rebecca Royce, author of The Warrior series. 

I only have one thing to say about Liza O'Connor's A Long Road to Love series: Read them. They're funny. You won't regret it!
  --Maria Hammarblad, author of Kidnapped.

****


Excerpt 1


Carrie Hanson woke to the loving caresses of her boss and boyfriend, Trent Lancaster. She smiled as he rolled on top of her and dwarfed her petite four-foot-six body. God, she loved the man he’d become.

He possessed many admirable traits now: strong, thoughtful, a wonderful sense of humor, caring, and smart. Unfortunately, he had a couple of qualities she outright wished he didn’t. Due to his terrible upbringing, Trent would erupt into temperamental outbursts over the stupidest problems. Worse yet, he was a billionaire; a six-foot-tall, blue-eyed, dark-haired, handsome bachelor of society. Wolves could have done a better job raising him than his horrid, but thankfully dead, parents.

His eyes sparkled with love as he tugged off her teddy and perused her body. She breathed in at the warmth of his hand. His touch always set her skin on fire.

“I think we’re going to be late to work today.”
With a soft chuckle, she corrected him, “It’s Sunday.”

His eyes rounded for a moment. “I love Sundays.” He captured her hands and moved them to the ornate metal of the headboard, curling her fingers around the bars.

“I love you,” he added and kissed her with hungry passion, while his hands covered her breasts.

A haze of nirvana enveloped her for a blissful moment, then a jarring ring pulled her from heaven. Releasing the headboard, she slapped the black radio alarm by her bedside, determined to quiet it before it ruined the mood. Unfortunately, the ringing continued.

“No!” she yelped when Trent rolled to the side and climbed off the bed. He reached for his pants on the floor and extracted his phone.

“Trent.”

Whoever called had him scurrying to the bathroom so he could talk in private. Carrie hoped a friend didn’t need money. His moments of generosity never worked out well.

She glared at the closed door. Who calls at six in the morning on a Sunday? She sat up, grabbed her teddy, and put it on. They had been so close to having morning sex, something she greatly liked since it put her in a good mood the entire day. However, she’d just discovered interrupted, no morning sex, made her disgruntled and grumpy.

She pushed out of bed and followed him to the bathroom, only he’d locked her out. His action surprised her. He rarely even bothered closing the door, never mind locking it.

Curious, she pressed her ear against the balsa wood. His low, refined voice came through loud and clear.
“Got to go. I’ll see you soon.”

A second later, he opened the door and pulled her into his arms. “Missed me?” He captured her mouth with his.

She pushed away from his kiss, knowing if he planned to see someone soon, he’d booted morning sex to the curb. “Don’t heat me up if you don’t plan to finish what you start.”



Buy Links


A Long Road to Love
Book One
Worst Week Ever
“Love this book and couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end.” 5 stars – Alves - Amazon
61 reviews: 4.3 stars

Book Two
Oh Stupid Heart
“Oh Stupid Heart has in-depth characters, excellent story line, and is delightfully funny - LLB – Amazon
8 reviews: 4.8 stars

Book Three
Coming to Reason
To be released: Feb 3, 2014

Other Books by Liza O’Connor

Great news!  This blog is participating in the
3rd Craziest Blog Tour



Liza O’Connor

Author Bio:


Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT 
LIZA O'CONNOR & UPCOMING BOOKS:

Be sure to leave your email and tell me you want an ebook in order to enter the prize at each blog contest site.

*************************************


Monday, January 13, 2014

Liza checks up on Cheryl Yeko


AND THE WINNER IS:  PIN N INK
Congrats accouterments to writing!

Today we are checking up on Cheryl Yeko. She's always up to something. So naturally, I think: Hmmmm Cheryl's really busy, let's ask her to come over and tell my peeps what's she up to.
PeepRep: But why would she have time to talk to you if she's really busy?
Liza: Because she's that kind of person. And here she is now. Cheryl, come in. Let me find you a couch. I know I have one somewhere. It's been awhile since I've cleaned.
Ah, here it is!
Have a seat and tell us what you have going on.

Cheryl: Thanks, Liza. The couch is a bit dusty, but very comfortable. Thank you for inviting me to visit again to talk about my new romantic suspense release, SHIELDING HER HEART, now available at Amazon.

Shielding Her Heart is the last book in my Protecting Rose, Milwaukee area series, although each novel can stand alone. Protecting Rose/A Man To Trust/Shielding Her Heart.
Shielding Her Heart is also my husband’s favorite novel, because that is his classic ’65 Mustang on the cover.
I’m like the best wife ever! J
Liza: I dare say you are. And you are a fabulous author. I'm going to do a review on this book, but today none of spark plugs are firing and it wouldn't make any sense. But it is coming, I promise you. 
Do you have an excerpt so my readers can see how fabulously you write?

Cheryl: Of course. Here's an excerpt:
Rick paused, leaning heavily against her. Fear curled in Sheila’s stomach at the sight of his bloodstained shirt. His hand covered the wound and the sticky substance oozed between his fingers.
The sound of voices could be heard in the distance and coming their way. “Find her!” a growling voice snapped.
Rick glanced at her bare feet and his mouth set into a grim line. “I’m sorry, honey, we can’t stop. It’s not safe yet.” He stumbled forward, tugging her along behind him.
Sheila couldn’t tell how badly he was hurt, but knew they needed to tend his wound soon or he’d bleed to death right in front of her. Pure terror clutched her heart in a vise-like grip at the thought of Rick dying. Her feelings for him went deep, deeper than she’d wanted to admit to herself. But there was no denying those feelings now. A bone-deep anguish cut a path through her at the thought of a world without Rick in it.
They ran further into the woods as day slipped into night, and she could no longer hear anyone behind them. “Please, Rick. I can’t go any further,” she lied, growing desperate for him to rest.
Rick paused again and peered down at her. He reached out to steady himself on a tree, taking his weight off her. “Okay.”
A relieved sigh whooshed from her.
He scanned the area with narrowed eyes, then straightened, staring over her shoulder. “There.”
Sheila glanced over to see what he was looking at but saw nothing. “What?”
Is he delirious?
That thought sent another spike of fear through her. What would she do if he passed out . . . or worse? Before panic had a chance to take over again, Ricked tugged her toward an overgrown area of shrubs. As they got closer a shack of some kind began to take shape, until she finally realized it was a camouflaged building. A little larger than an outhouse, it was set deep inside the brush.
Rick pushed open the door and gently shoved her inside the small space, then stepped in behind her. The door swung closed, shutting out the view of the woods. The structure had slim, horizontal windows on each wall allowing streams of moonlight to filter in. A small sense of relief fluttered through her. Even if the people chasing them followed them here, there was a chance they wouldn’t see this well-hidden structure.
“It’s a hunting blind,” Rick said, telling her something she’d already figured out. He sat down hard and leaned against a wall. Scowling, he struggled to check the chamber of his gun, before placing it next to him. His long legs almost touched the opposite wall.
Blood continued to soak his shirt, dripping onto the wood floor. With her heart in her throat, she wedged herself next to him. “I need to stop the bleeding, Rick.”
He nodded. Leaning back against the wall, he took a deep breath and reached up to unbutton his shirt. His hand shook slightly with the effort.
“Let me,” Sheila said softly, moving to her knees and pushing his hand aside. He opened his eyes and watched her as she quickly unbuttoned his shirt. “Can you lean forward?”
His lips twitched. “I think I can manage.” The growing weakness in his voice indicated otherwise.
He managed to sit up straight and with her help slid the shirt off his muscular torso. There was a wound at the upper edge of his shoulder that looked raw and angry. Bile rose up her throat, but she tried not to show her distress.
“The bullet went straight through.” Rick gave her a lopsided grin. “Don’t look so grim, darlin’. It’s not the first time I’ve been shot. Compared to my leg, this is a piece of cake.” The pain in his voice belied his words.
Sheila’s mouth went slack and she stared at him in disbelief. Then she narrowed her eyes. He was so full of it. Although he tried to sound casual, she could see he was weakening fast.
She removed the ribbon from her hair and glared at him. Not sure if she was mad because he’d joked about being shot or the fact that he had been shot . . . twice. But she did feel a little less panicky that he seemed strong enough to tease her. “We need to wrap it, Rambo. So bite down on a bullet or whatever you heroes do at a time like this.”
His mouth curved into a sexy smile. “A kiss might help.”
She snorted and barely refrained from rolling her eyes, although her pulse raced a little. Even with his injury, she wasn’t unaware of how sexy he looked without his shirt . . . broad, hairless chest, and abs rippling with more than a six-pack.
At the sound of crunching footsteps, she froze. Her gaze shot to Rick’s and the ribbon slipped from her fingers and floated to the floor. He reached over and covered her mouth with his hand and shook his head in warning. Sheila nodded and settled back on her heels, taking a deep breath through her nose. She concentrated on keeping her breathing under control.
Rick removed his hand from her mouth and shrugged his shirt from his other shoulder. He returned her nod. His steady gaze offered her comfort, even as he slowly reached for his gun and turned his body toward the door.
****
Liza: Just in case you are wondering, it's not a girl scout selling cookies at the door.
PeepRep: Why would we ever think that? Girl Scouts don't visit blinds for deer hunting to sell cookies.
Liza: How would you know? You aren't a girl scout.
Cheryl: Guys, settle down so I can tell everyone about this series.
Liza: Yes, please. That's a far more interesting topic.
Cheryl: This series covers a group of detectives based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the woman they love.
PROTECTING ROSE was my debut novel, and won the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of excellence, as well as a finalist in the 2011 Launching a Star Contest. Protecting Rose is currently in production with a narrator, and will be available as an audio book at Audible.com, Amazon, and iTunes very soon.
A MAN TO TRUST, the second book of the series, is loosely based off a two-week double murder trial that I sat on as a juror. It was a finalist in both the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Write Touch Readers’ Award. A Man To Trust is also currently in production with a narrator, and will soon be available at Audible.com, Amazon, and iTunes.
As a matter of fact, all my novels, including, Shielding Her Heart, have been contracted with a narrator and will be available by early summer at; you guessed it...Audible.com, Amazon, and iTunes. J
How fun is that!
Liza: Super fun. I cannot wait to buy the audio. So what else do you have going on. And don't tell me nothing, because I know you. You are a whirlwind of productivity.

Cheryl: I have two other novels out – Abducting Casey and Mountain Hero.

Mountain Hero is now available at audible.com - http://tinyurl.com/pv9v785 and Abducting Casey will be available early summer.

I’m currently working on another romantic suspense that I hope to have completed by summer. And I have a paranormal series I’ve been working on for a couple years, and hope to have an introductory novella ready before the end of the year.

I am also an acquiring editor with Soul Mate Publishing, and I’m working with a talented group of authors to bring together a collection of steamy love stories for a 2015 release - Valentines Anthology. I plan to offer a short story of my own for this fun project. Look for it!

Liza: Enough. If you tell me anymore, I'm going to be depressed for a month. Did you by chance get a clone for Christmas?

Cheryl: I wish.
In honor of my visit here today with Liza, I’m having a Giveaway contest at my place.

Liza: Hold on! Why don't you have it here?
Chery: Liza, it took you a half hour to find your couch.
Liza: Good Point.

Hop on over to, Cheryl Yeko, Where Love Always Wins, and enter her Giveaway contest. One lucky winner will receive my eBook Trio: Protecting Rose/A Man To Trust/Shielding Her Heart.

Cheryl: I would love it if you’d visit my other social networking spots, and offer a comment, and/or like me on Facebook to keep up-to-date with my latest release.

Peep Rep: Do you have any Book Trailers? I love book trailers.

Cheryl: As a matter of fact, I've created the books trailers for both Mountain Hero and Shielding Her Heart myself. J
SHIELDING HER HEART: http://youtu.be/UtMDQXAxdkY
PROTECTING ROSE: http://youtu.be/eOJ9Tk5OokM
ABDUCTING CASEY: http://youtu.be/GNmUTs1rLKc

PeepRep: Oh, I'm in catnip heaven!
Liza: You aren't a cat.
PeepRep: I didn't say I was.
Liza: Well, only cats can use the expression.
PeepRep: Nope, they have failed to trademark it, so I can use it.

Cheryl: While those two are arguing, if you’d like to check out my other novels, I’ve included the links for you below.
And thank you for taking the time to stop by Liza’s place to learn about me and my novels. J
Buy Links:
Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/