Isabella Kole’s Desire for Discipline series

The Desire for Discipline seriesBlushing Books has just released Isabella Kole’s third book in the Desire for Discipline series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but the story begins with Jill Lincoln in book one, moves to her sister, Janis, in the second and concludes with Lyndsey, Janis’s sister-in-law, in the conclusion. Accepting His Terms is priced at a mere $0.99, Submitting to Bryan is $2.99, and The Longing Within sells for $3.99. They are all available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Blushing Books. Below, you’ll find the blurb from each, along with the buy links. So, one-click, sit back, relax and enjoy The Desire for Discipline series.

Book #1: Accepting His Terms

Jill Lincoln has the hots for her stern, hunk of a boss, Jarrod Baine. With his piercing steel gray-blue eyes, hair as black as coal, and a body to be enjoyed, she wonders what it would be like to be his woman. But she’s only one of many who would give her eye teeth to be in his bed.

The day Jarrod rescues her from a would-be assault by a young mail clerk, she finds that he is as attracted to her as she is to him. As the two begin a relationship, it becomes very apparent to Jarrod that Jill is a nervous, high-strung lady and he searches for the best way to ease her tensions. Together they begin to form a strong bond as they experiment with discipline.

As the couple realizes their feelings run much deeper than an office affair, Jarrod asks her to be his wife. As they enter into a hot, passionate marriage, complete with the discipline, by mutual consent, a deeper emotional bond is formed that continues to grow much stronger over time.

But when Jill suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage and Jarrod is not by her side, she retreats into a deep, dark depression, turning away from the one man who can save her.

Will their bond be severed forever?

http://www.amazon.com/Accepting-His-Terms-Desire-Discipline-ebook/dp/B00FPWB1QK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/accepting-his-terms-isabella-kole/1117061855?ean=2940148463177

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2781

Book #2: Submitting to Bryan

Janis Lincoln found the man of her dreams in handsome co-worker, Bryan Walsh, until he tells her exactly the type of marriage he expects. She is shocked. Can she submit completely to him? A free spirit, she balks at his first attempt to discipline her.

Returning to her old college crowd and an old flame, she finds herself caught up in the club scene once more. Realizing her heart is with Bryan, she nearly loses her life before she has a chance to decide if she can be the kind of wife he wants.

When the couple announces their engagement to his parents, another storm is brewing. Janis is not the girl they’ve chosen for their son. On Thanksgiving night when Jan walks in on her fiancé and the girl his parents want their son to marry, she bolts a second time and calls off the wedding.

Will Bryan be able to convince Janis she is the only one for him? Can Janis submit completely to Bryan?

http://www.amazon.com/Submitting-Bryan-Desire-Discipline-Book-ebook/dp/B00LXM1MRY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/submitting-to-bryan-isabella-kole/1119975673?ean=2940149741601

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2916

Book #3: The Longing Within

The conclusion to Accepting His Terms and Submitting to Bryan, this is Lyndsey’s story. Orphaned at the age of four, Lyndsey Greene was raised by her parents’ best friends, Bob and Maeve Walsh. They’ve given her a good life and an education, but there has always been something missing, a longing she can’t quite put her finger on.

When she’s about to marry the love of her life, John Gordon, she discovers her fiancé lived the life of a Dom before he met her. When he presents the idea to her of living the lifestyle once they’re married, she agrees without qualms. Her own adopted brother and his wife practice DD in their marriage, so the idea does not frighten her. Lyndsey has the perfect balance in her life, a fulfilling career with a local publisher, where she maintains control, and her submissive life at home, where she has willingly relinquished control to John.

But when she is let go from her job with no warning, her life begins to spin out of control. She no longer has the best of both worlds and is having a hard time finding any semblance of balance.

Will she go against John and make a move that will end their marriage and all they’ve built, or will John’s love be the force that keeps her on track and ultimately brings balance back into her life?

http://www.amazon.com/Longing-Within-Desire-Discipline-Book-ebook/dp/B017X5GGPM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-longing-within-isabella-kole/1122940821?ean=2940156682386

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3588&welcome=1

About the Author:

Isabella Kole lives in southern Indiana, where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Always an avid romance reader, she began writing several years ago and although she has had several sweet romances published under a different pen name, Accepting His Terms is the first erotic romance in her collection.

When not writing, Isabella can be found traveling around signing books and meeting her readers, working at her day job, or simply enjoying life.

You can find Isabella on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Kole-Author/580591041984962?ref=hl

Other books by Isabella Kole:

The Highlander’s Curse

The Marshall and the Heiress

The Seduction of E.J.

Rescuing Raven

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Catching Up…

Louisville signingHi! Wow, it’s been a while since I posted anything. Life has been a whirlwind, starting with a trip to Arlington, VA for the Passionate Pen conference, sponsored by Blushing Books, LazyDay Publishing and Mystic Books. The workshops were great! I met a lot of readers, authors, and editors and got to spend time again with some of my favorite folks, including Bethany, Allison, Joey, and Alta, some of the wonderful people at Blushing/LD/Mystic.

After that it was home again and back to the routine, well sort of. September was a busy month! I had a book signing at the library in my hometown, got to see a lot of old friends. The following weekend, I spent the an evening with my lifelong friends, you remember them, my Fab Five series was inspired by them. The next day, I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for another book signing. Again, saw some old friends and met some new ones and already looking forward to the next Kentuckiana Authors Book Blitz. That wasn’t all. The weekend after that, we drove to Maumee, Ohio to attend the wedding of our great nephew. It was a unique and beautiful wedding and reception. Spending time with family we don’t see very often was fun. The next day, we went into Toledo and met with one of my readers on her birthday. She introduced us to her best friend and we had a good time visiting with them. After we left them, we stopped to eat at the famous Tony Packo’s before heading home to Indiana. Whew! Time for a break. So you would think. Are you kidding? After all that excitement, I had writing and editing to catch up on.

Tyrel and Molly

I recently finished a sweet Christmas novella, to be included in an anthology with ten other authors. The proceeds from Christmas Miracles will go to St. Jude’s Hospital. I’ll provide more information as it becomes available. Right now, it’s set to release at a special price on Black Friday and that price will run through Cyber Monday.

Tony Packos

That done, I’m working on a spicier little Christmas story from my alter ego, Isabella Kole, titled Training Mrs. C. I”m expecting edits soon from another Isabella book, The Longing Within, which releases in November. Then it’s on to the next book. Never a dull moment around the old writing cave.

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I hope you’re enjoying the scenery and cooler weather as I am.

That’s about it for now. Just wanted to stop by and say hello. I’ll be back with a teaser and the cover from my November release soon.

RESCUING RAVEN…not your ordinary fairy tale

rescuingraven.jpg

Bestselling author, Isabella Kole takes the stage…

Available this weekend at a special release weekend price of $2.99. Price goes to $4.99 Monday night (June 29th).

A modern day fairy tale cross between Rapunzel and Romeo and Juliet. Princess Raven, banished to the tower by her father at the tender age of three and Prince Richard, the hottie with a firm hand whose attempt to rescue her results in a feud between their kingdoms.

They find an unlikely ally in Queen Lydia, the not- so-evil stepmother, but when it comes down to a choice between their respective thrones and the love they’ve discovered, is the relationship doomed forever?

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Rescuing-Raven-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B010I4DIG0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435528312&sr=8-1&keywords=Rescuing+Raven+Isabella+Kole

Laurel and Maggie have a winner!

11291754_10205498925729686_501788990_nI’m so pleased to tell you about a new release from two fellow Blushing Books authors today! 
Realizing Her Dream by Maggie Ryan and Laurel Jane Released on June 5th !! Best-selling author Maggie Ryan and newcomer Laurel Jane have put their heads and their pens together to come up with this, an exciting tale of romance, lust, love, spanking and adventure. If the subject of domestic discipline or explicit erotica offends you, please do not read this book. Their book is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Blushing Books Website. Here’s a little about the new bestseller!
When Casey Reeves loses her husband to an unexpected heart attack, she gives herself a new mantra: To live life as if it were an amazing adventure, as every single day matters. Unfortunately, one of the things on her bucket list looks far better on paper, and when Casey finds herself up in a plane, strapped to a tall, handsome man, about to undertake her very first parachute jump, she realizes that she’d do just about anything to be able to back out. Paul Jackson has been a parachute instructor ever since he retired early, and has seen his fair share of terrified women, but when Casey hysterically promises to do anything he asks in return for being able to return to solid ground safely—even let him spank her—he’s amused, and not a little intrigued. He’s also more than willing to accept her bargain. Casey finds herself taking a leap of faith—in more ways than one. The two begin their journey together, spending some time on a luxurious yacht, in a tropical rainforest and even in a ranch in outback Australia, as they work their way through her list. What they discover is that life has a tendency not to follow carefully designed plans. With Paul beside her, Casey quickly learns that living every day to its fullest entails far more than she’d ever imagined. And by her side throughout the action, danger and laughter is a man who not only has no hesitation in reddening her bottom when she deserves it, but can send her soaring into ecstasy with a single look or a touch of his hand. Finding a new love to equal—or even exceed—her old one was not even on Casey’s bucket list but now that she has, can they make it work? Is Paul really the man of her dreams? .
Excerpt  (PG)
“I’m very pleased to see you are still here,” he said. Casey attempted to think of something witty to say, but every word stuck in her throat. The only thing she could do was nod. “Ready?” She thought about quipping that she had been born ready but for some reason, the man towering over her looked quite capable of making her prove it. “Um, to go celebrate? Is that what you mean?” “Believe me, Casey, you’ll always understand exactly what I mean.” He paused to hold out his hand and she took it automatically. “We’ll have some dinner, and then for dessert—well, at least for my dessert anyway—I will give you the spanking you’ve been promised. This is your last chance to back out. If you agree, and by that I mean agree to both dinner and having your bottom blistered, I’ll pick you up tonight. Now tell me, are you ready?”
Here are the Buy Links for Realizing Her Dream. Go one click today!
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Realizing-Her-Dream-Maggie-Ryan-ebook/dp/B00Z1GCRNQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1434314527&sr=8-5&keywords=lAUREL+JANE&pebp=1434314538962&perid=CFB33D63D87F46DB8B4C
BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/realizing-her-dream-maggie-ryan/1122097399?ean=2940151478878
BLUSHING BOOKS: http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3389&welcome=1
 

The Marshal and the Heiress

The Marshal and the Heiress_500x755Welcome back! Today I’ve got a new release from my spicy side, Isabella Kole, to tell you about. A little back story about this one is that a few months ago, my daughter suggested I write about a murder set in the 1800’s and add a little of Isabella’s spice to it. My reaction, of course, was “Are you nuts?” Yeah, well, she can be very persuasive and long story short, the story was written, submitted, accepted and released. So far, it’s done very well, ranking in the top ten for Erotic Westerns on Amazon in both the US and the UK. It’s also currently in the top fifteen on the publisher’s website, Blushing Books. I guess I should listen to her more often. In case you haven’t one-clicked on this hot new release yet, here’s the blurb to let you know what it’s about.

BLURB Marshal Luke Prescott has searched for his young bride’s murderer for five long years, to no avail. When feisty heiress, Clarissa Birmingham, breezes into his town, he finds himself drawn to her, exasperating as she may be. Headstrong and impetuous, the young beauty quickly learns her she will heed Luke’s warnings or she will pay the price. But when Clarissa’s long-lost older brother is arrested after a drunken brawl, it is revealed he knows who murdered Luke’s wife. Clarissa finds out that her impetuous ways lead her into a danger she may never recover from. Will Luke be able to save her before he loses another love?

Piqued your interest? How about a little excerpt to go with that? Luke and Clarissa’s first dinner together after just meeting: EXCERPT:

“So tell me, Marshall Prescott, what does one do for entertainment around here?” Clarissa asked as she placed two sugar cubes into her hot tea and began to stir. “I’m sure you’ll find the local church to be of some assistance there. The ladies get together to make quilts, have socials and dinners.” “I see. Are there dances?” she asked as she took a sip of the hot, sweet liquid. “I reckon there are the occasional barn dances.” “You don’t seem to know much about what goes on in the social circles here.” “I’ve only been here a few months myself, ma’am. I’ve been busy working. I’m sure once you begin your teaching assignment you’ll be busy, as well.” “I won’t be teaching all the time. I’ll have my evenings and my weekends free. I don’t intend to sit in my room.” “No, I don’t imagine you will. You’ll not find the theatre or any of the social events you’re likely accustomed to in these parts.” “I’ll have to make do, now won’t I, Marshall?” After their supper arrived, he advised her again to seek out the local church for her social activities. “Sounds a bit dull to me,” she said as she cut her steak into tiny pieces. “You chose this life. I reckon if it’s not to your liking, we can look for another teacher for the town’s children.” “I’m not a quitter, Marshall Prescott. I’ve said I’ll do it and I’ll see it through. I’ll just have to find my own fun.” “Now, you listen to me, young lady. I assured your father that you would be protected here. If you start going to unsavory establishments looking for a good time, you and I are going to have to have a meeting of the minds.” “Now, that’s the best offer I’ve had since I arrived,” she said with a coy smile as she turned her attention to the food on her plate.

Now, I’ll bet you’d like to know where to buy this book, don’t you? Well, I’ll help you out and list the buy links for you. It’s currently available in ebook form and paperback.

BLUSHING BOOKS: http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3293

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marshal-and-the-heiress-isabella-kole/1121655134?ean=2940151290609

AMAZON EBOOK: http://www.amazon.com/Marshal-Heiress-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B00VH4TNJ2/ref=sr_1_3_twi_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1429479039&sr=8-3&keywords=ISABELLA+KOLE

AMAZON PAPERBACK: http://www.amazon.com/The-Marshal-Heiress-Isabella-Kole/dp/1627507728/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1429479039&sr=8-3

I hope you’ll enjoy Isabella’s latest endeavor. Soon there will be another coming out…  

THE HIGHLANDER’S CURSE by Isabella Kole

The Highlanders Curse_500x755Hi! Sorry I haven’t posted recently, but it’s been a whirlwind, what with writing, editing, releases and the holidays! My spicy side has a new release. It’s called The Highlander’s Curse, from Blushing Books, and is my very first paranormal, time travel romance. It’s very steamy and romantic and I am pleased with the way it turned out. Author Isobelle Cate offered some assistance with the Scottish parts, Author Alta Hensley “dared” me to go hotter and my awesome editor, Staci Taylor pushed me just a little bit to add more spice. A friend and former co-worker, Lucy, has been after me forever to write a book about a Scottish ghost in an old castle. Well this may not be exactly what she had in mind, but as the story developed, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. I’m going to treat you to the blurb and a little tidbit from the book to whet your appetite. We’ve also got a release party going on over at Facebook right now so I’ll post the link at the end and feel free to join us for a lot of fun and some great prizes!

Blurb:

A beautiful castle in the scenic Highlands of Scotland, a sassy, stubborn modern girl from Cincinnati, Ohio and a would-be Duke cursed by a witch two-hundred years before set the stage for a love story that could forever change history. Ian Galloway has come back to claim what is rightfully his and to find his soul-mate. Amanda Brown has just inherited his castle. When the proper Highlander Duke meets the willful, modern girl, he decides she is the one, but before she can cross the portal with him and become his Duchess, she must be tamed. He makes it clear that her sharp tongue and disobedient ways will not go unpunished.

Will she give up everything to go back in time with the man she has fallen so deeply in love with, or will her fears of the unknown keep them apart forever?

Excerpt:

The year was 1814 and thirty-year-old Ian Galloway stood in the field beyond his home and gazed at the large castle. Galloway Castle had been in his family for many years. Ian was to become the next Duke of Galloway and it had been strongly suggested he find a young woman to become his Duchess. In all his travels over the vast Scottish countryside the handsome young Duke hadn’t been able to find the woman with whom he’d choose to spend his life with. His golden hair blowing in the wind, the plaid kilt rustling around his muscular legs, he looked around once more at the lush green countryside. His land, the property his sons would someday inherit. But first, he must find a mother for the sons he planned to sire. Of course every young woman in the villages that surrounded Galloway Castle wanted to be the next Duchess of Galloway.

One beautiful young woman in particular had her sights set on the young Duke. Her name was Bridget MacCloskey. Some said she was a witch. Ian had scoffed at the idea. Bewitching she may be with her long golden locks and full bosom but witches didn’t really exist. It was folklore. He had been seen squiring the luscious young woman around the village but he had not asked for her hand in marriage. In fact, he had decided to end things with her that very night. But first, he needed to return to the castle. There was business to be dealt with.

As he entered his majestic home a few moments later, he was told by a servant that his father wanted to see him immediately. He wasted no time finding the elder Duke.

“Father, ye wish tae see me?” he asked as he entered the library.

“Where have ye been all afternoon? Whiling away the hours daydreaming?” his father said in a booming voice.

“I was surveying the land, Sir.”

“The war is over. It is time tae think about the future of our land. We have to see that the farms begin tae thrive. Yer soon tae be taking over and ye have yet tae find a suitable wife. What say ye for yerself, lad?”

“I refuse tae chain myself tae the wrong woman for eternity.”

“Ye have a high opinion of yerself.”

“I will continue tae search.”

“Time is running out, my son. If ye are not married by the summer, yer step-brother and his wife shall be the Duke and Duchess of Galloway.”

Turning on his heel, Ian stormed out of his father’s library. He walked swiftly down the vast hallway and out the massive front doors of the castle. He walked to where his horse was lazily feasting and untied him, mounted him and took off at a gallop, thundering down the lane.

As he came to the clearing below the castle gates, a carriage approached. When it came to a halt, Ian yelled, “Whoa,” and stopped his steed beside the carriage. As he looked at the driver he asked if he could be of assistance.

“The young lady wishes tae speak to ye, your Grace,” the driver said.

The door to the carriage opened and Ian saw that the lady in question was none other than Bridget MacCloskey. He jumped down from his horse and held out his hand.

As the beautiful buxom blonde took his hand and gracefully emerged from the carriage, she said, “It’s so good tae see ye again.”

“What might ye be doing out on this beautiful day, my lady?”

“I feel the time has come for us tae speak about our future.”

“Is that so?” Ian asked with a raised brow.

“My father is of the belief ye have no intentions tae make a life with me. Is that so, your Grace?”

“Milady, I have thought long and hard on this very subject. It is true I must find a Duchess before I can assume the duties as the next Duke of Galloway. And though I have seriously considered a match with ye, I have come tae the difficult decision that it cannae be. I am sorry if this distresses ye. My sincere apologies,” he replied as he kissed her hand.

“Why, ye are the most reprehensible creature I have ever known. Ye shall pay for this, Ian Galloway. I curse you…”

Ian looked at the driver and said, “Please take her away. Our business here is over.” He jumped onto his horse’s back and galloped away, never looking back.

That evening when his son did not return home, the elder Duke sent his men to search for him. They searched far and wide, over the countryside, in the forests and hills and the nearby villages but there was no sign of the young Galloway heir. No one had seen him.

For weeks, they searched. The weeks turned into months, the months into years. Ian’s father finally succumbed to a broken heart. His stepbrother reluctantly took over as the Duke of Galloway. Ian’s mother and stepbrother never gave up the search.

Ian Galloway was never heard from again…

How about some buy links and the link for the event going on as we speak?

Buy Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-curse-blushing-books/1120995108?ean=2940150030398

http://www.amazon.com/Highlanders-Curse-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B00RPYZRCU/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420326363&sr=1-5&keywords=Isabella+kole


Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/324505084418950/326107357592056/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

Stop by for some fun!

Love,

Anna/Isabella

The Seduction Of E.J.

The-Seduction-of-EJ-Final-1950Hi and welcome back! I’ve been busy the past few weeks. I was in Houston for the Mashup a few weeks ago and had a great time meeting some other authors and a lot of awesome readers!

Since returning home, I’ve been hard at work writing the long-awaited second book in The Promises Trilogy, A  Cowboy’s Promise. I’ll tell you a little more about that as it progresses but right now I’m going to fill you in on Isabella’s  newest book, coming from Blushing Books on September 30!                                               

This will be Isabella’s third book. As many of you know, Isabella Kole is my spicier side. She was created on a dare and I thought there would only be one book. Well, I was wrong. After Accepting His Terms was so well received, there was a second, a sequel called Submitting To Bryan. After that one, the readers still wanted more from the same characters but I’d already begun writing The Seduction Of E.J. There will be a conclusion to the Lincoln sisters’ stories, however. I’m thinking of titling it The Dangerous Dom…

I’ve also been asked to write a paranormal…hmm…set in a Scottish castle…my readers are not shy. That may develop too at some point in time, you never know.

But for now, let me fill you in on the soon-to-be-released, The Seduction Of E.J.

Blurb:

E.J. Haney is running from a promiscuous past. Involved with the wrong guy, when she makes the decision to make a new life for herself, she goes to the extreme. Hiding behind the facade of a prim and proper small town schoolmarm image, she vows never to love again.

Jacob Ransing is hot, sexy and divorced. He’s also the new guy in town, moving to E.J.’s town as the new principal. Despite all her reservations, E.J.can’t help but fall for his looks, charm and personality. But there is one problem, her belief she’ll never be good enough for the sexy man with the reddish-brown hair.

Jacob decides a firm hand is the only way to turn her around and it’s working until the past rears its ugly head. Can the new lovers move on to find the love that was meant to be or will the past come between them?

Interested yet? How about a little sneak preview?????

Excerpt:

Erica Jo Haney sat behind the desk in her classroom grading the day’s papers handed in by her fourth grade students at Lincoln Elementary. She pushed a stray strand of hair behind her ears, finally giving up and removing the clip holding her long brunette locks into a tight coil at the base of her neck. As she pulled the loose strands back to place them into the clip, there was a knock on her door.

“Come on in,” she said as she hurriedly finished her hair and looked up to see who had entered the room.

“Honestly, E.J., when are you going to drop the spinster schoolmarm look? Your hair is beautiful and you should wear it down,” fellow teacher and friend, Michelle Marks said as she sat down at one of the desks.

“I am not out to impress anyone with my looks. If I want to make my way as an elementary teacher, I need to look the part,” Erica retorted.

“This is not the sixties, get with it,” Michelle replied wearily.

“So did you stop by to harass me or is there a reason for this visit?” she asked as she looked at the stack of papers waiting to be graded.

“I won’t keep you; I just wanted to remind you of the game Friday night. You and I are working the ticket booth. All teachers have to take a turn,” Michelle said with a grin.

“I’ll be glad to have my turn over with early in the year. The pre-season warm up game is as good a time as any. Friday night ballgames aren’t my idea of relaxation after a long week of school and fourth graders.”

“When are you going to get a life?” her friend asked in an exasperated tone.

“I had a life, not a great one, but a life before I decided to change my ways and do something constructive with my life. You know that. You’re the only person in this town I’ve confided to about my past.”

“But you gave it up, got your degree and moved here to start a new life. That doesn’t mean you have to become an old maid. You should be getting out, dating, and meeting nice men.”

“Do nice men really exist?”

“Sweetie, you got a raw deal. But that’s in the past. Don’t you think it’s finally time to move on? What happened in Chicago with Dane shouldn’t define the rest of your life.”

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to move on, to be honest with you. Dane hurt me. The fact that he was never going to change, made me realize I’m not worthy of a good man’s love. If I wasn’t enough for him, how could I be enough for a decent guy? I’ll always be the girl who just isn’t quite up to par.”

Shaking her head, Michelle added, “I heard the new principal from the junior high will be working with us at the game. I’ve also heard he’s pretty hot.”

“I still haven’t figured out why someone like him would leave a city like Chicago to settle in a small town like this.”

“You should talk! Isn’t that exactly what you did?”

“I doubt his reasons are the same as mine,” E.J. answered with a grimace.

“You’d be surprised how many people have skeletons in their closets, my friend. I’ll let you get back to your papers. Don’t stay here all night. You can grade papers at home, you know.”

“Yes, I know, and I’ll be leaving soon. See you tomorrow.”

When Michelle had gone, Erica turned back to her work. Finally giving up, she stuffed the stacks of papers into her brief case and locked her classroom. On the half hour drive home to her small apartment, thoughts of the life she’d left behind came flooding back. A life in a city far away, with a man she had thought she loved, who hadn’t loved her in return. The lifestyle they’d led would have shocked her friends and family. The parties, the cheating, and the job she had held as a dancer in a club would have made many of her new acquaintances blush. How had it happened? She had met Dane in school. She was floundering with her classes, trying to decide on a major when the best looking thing she’d ever seen had entered her life. They’d met at a party, of course. He was fun and full of energy and ideas. He knew all the right people, had all the right connections for the fun life. She had quit school and moved in with him within a month. It soon became apparent it wasn’t in the cards for it to be a monogamous relationship. The first time she’d caught him cheating, she’d been devastated. But as time went on, she learned that if you can’t beat them, join them. And that’s exactly what she did. They continued to live together, continued to be lovers, but it was an open relationship. She took a job dancing in a club to make ends meet. Dane was an artist, a free spirit. He was talented but they needed income to carry them through his lean times. So he painted, she danced, they lived together and partied often. She took numerous lovers in an attempt to make Dane feel the hurt she felt each time he had cheated on her. But he didn’t care. He was okay with an open relationship. He may have loved her in his own way, but it would never be the type of relationship Erica craved. One day he had come home and announced to her that he had been offered an art show in New York by a big name gallery. It was the opportunity of a lifetime and one he couldn’t afford to pass up. He asked her to accompany him. When she had asked him point blank if he was asking her to go with him as his wife or as his roommate, she got the answer she expected. He saw no reason to change things. The relationship worked for him and there was no reason to change what wasn’t broken. It was in that moment she had made a life-altering decision. She didn’t want to continue the lifestyle she had been living with Dane. She knew he would never change, but she could if she set her mind to it. So she had said goodbye to Dane, and watched silently as he packed his belongings and moved to New York. He was out of her life for good, and it was time for her to make a new life as well. The pain in knowing she didn’t mean as much to him as he had meant to her would remain with her for a very long time. The things she’d done in an attempt to win his love now made her feel ashamed. She was the classic good girl gone bad for the love of a man who didn’t deserve her. Picking herself up and dusting herself off, Erica returned to school, earned her teaching degree and sought a job in a small town close to home. She wanted a fresh start in a place where no one knew about her partying days with Dane. The fourth grade position had opened up unexpectedly in the small town of Lincoln, and she applied for and got the job. She was now in her third year there and during those three years she had not dated, had not partied, nor had she mingled with anyone but Michelle. She and Michelle had become good friends almost immediately. The other girl was always trying to get her to go out, but Erica, or E.J. as she was known around school, was adamant about keeping a low profile. She wanted nothing to do with the kind of life she had fallen into in her youth. She was now a responsible adult and she had to maintain a reputation. So she wore her glasses instead of her contact lenses, kept her long, thick hair rolled into a clip at the nape of her neck and she dressed very conservatively. Anyone who met her would think she had always been a mousy type and that was just the way she wanted it. As for Dane, she never heard from him, but knew from the news that he had made it big in the art world and was now married, living in New York City. Had he changed? She doubted it, but if he had, she was happy for him.

When she arrived at the tiny apartment she had rented when she’d moved to town, she wearily made her way to the door, unlocked it and went inside. Kicking off her shoes as she walked down the hallway to the bedroom she threw her purse and briefcase on the bed. Changing into a pair of flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt, she went to the kitchen to warm up the leftover meat loaf from the night before, threw a baked potato in the microwave and tossed a small salad. After dinner, she did the dishes and went back to her papers. Working until midnight to finish grading them, she finally fell into bed, exhausted, and fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.

The next morning the alarm clock next to her bed blared in her ear much too soon. Thank goodness the week was almost over. It was Thursday. She opened the blinds, pulled back the frilly, feminine Priscilla curtains at her window and looked outside. The sun was shining but being late fall she knew it was deceiving, so she pulled a crisp, white blouse, blue sweater and black skirt out of her closet before hopping into a hot shower. She stepped out of the stall a few minutes later, briskly toweled herself dry and threw on her clothes hastily. Applying minimal makeup and pulling her hair into the usual clip, she grabbed her coat, purse and briefcase and ran out to the car. She would eat donuts and drink coffee in the teacher’s lounge when she got to school. The teachers at Lincoln Elementary took turns bringing in donuts and the first one to arrive always made a fresh pot of coffee to start their day. She loved all of her co-workers. They had made her feel very welcome and her three years at the school had been extremely rewarding. Her fellow teachers thought she was a bit odd in the fact she kept to herself outside of school but they respected that. She was well-liked and would be welcome at any gathering should she change her mind and decide to attend at any time.

She was greeted with smiles as she entered the lounge.

“Hi, E.J.,” the fifth grade teacher said as she sat sipping her coffee.

“Good morning,” E.J. replied. She sat down after pouring her own coffee and added, “Ready to start the day?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be. We’re testing today, so it should be fairly quiet, how about you?”

“I’ll be handing back the tests my kids took yesterday. I got them all graded last night.”

“That’ll be my night tonight, I’m afraid. Oh well, at least I’ll have it done before the weekend and I can play. Are you going to the big game tomorrow night?”

“I have to work the ticket booth, so I’ll be there,” she replied.

“The pre-season game is a big deal around here so you’ll be busy.”

“Great,” she groaned as she looked at the clock on the wall. Standing up, she said, “I’d better get going. Have a good day.”

“You too, maybe I’ll see you at lunch.”

As she walked down the hall to her office, she saw an unfamiliar face talking to the principal. The man was tall, with reddish-brown hair and he was dressed impeccably. He smiled at her as she walked by and spoke to her in greeting. Putting her head down, she mumbled a response and hurried to her classroom. When she was seated behind her desk, she let out a long, deep breath. That man was the hottest looking guy she’d seen in the whole three years she’d been at Lincoln. Who was he? What was he doing here? And more importantly, why did she care? Get a grip, Erica Jo, she told herself sternly. Her new life didn’t include looking at strange men and thinking they were hot. That was all in the past and that was where it had to stay. Didn’t it?

She made it through the morning, forcing thoughts of the strange man out of her head. Visions of him popped up occasionally but she made them disappear almost as soon as they appeared. She had to stay strong. No falling back into the old lifestyle now. She’d worked too hard to mess things up now. She was no longer a promiscuous twenty-something. She was nearly thirty and a respected member of the community and that’s how it had to be.

She went to the teacher’s lounge at lunchtime and ate the ham and cheese sandwich she’d packed while chatting with some of the other teachers. No one mentioned the man who’d been in the hallway that morning so she didn’t either. Either they hadn’t seen him or they knew who he was and thought nothing of it. She could have asked about him, but that would be out of character for her so she remained quiet and listened to the others talk about their weekend plans.

When the day was over, she hurried home. She planned to have an early evening since she’d been up late the night before and she’d be at the game the next night. It sounded like she would be putting in a full night’s work selling tickets. She relaxed in bed with her kindle, finished the book she’d started the weekend before and turned out the light. As she slept, the man with the reddish-brown hair invaded her dreams. They were together, strolling in the moonlight. When they stopped, he’d turned to her and kissed her gently. A feeling washed over her she’d never experienced before. It was a feeling of contentment and wonder. It was as if it were the most natural thing in the world for the man she’d seen earlier in the day to lean over and kiss her lips ever so gently. No one had ever kissed her gently before. It was a new and enlightening experience, and it seemed so real that when she awoke in the middle of the night, she had to look around to make sure she wasn’t outside in the moonlight. But she was alone, in her bed, in the dark. Yes, alone, in her bed, in the dark, just as she was every night these days. The reality of that hit home for the first time. She’d thought that was what she wanted after sharing a bed with so many different men during the dark time she was with Dane in the city. She thought she wanted to be forever alone. But now, after the dream, she wasn’t so sure that was what she wanted after all.

On Friday, she was more quiet than usual. She told her class to take some time to study and do their assignment with the promise of no homework for the weekend if they behaved. While they were doing that, she let her mind wander again since she couldn’t concentrate on any work. Did she really want to spend the rest of her life alone? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if she could find the one man who was her soul mate? Did he even exist or was he a figment of her imagination? Surely not all men were like Dane? Shaking her head, she chastised herself for even letting her thoughts go there. Never again, she had told herself. Never would she ever let a man drag her down the way Dane had. She had loved him in the beginning, or thought she had. But his kind of life was not what true love was supposed to be about. It worked for some couples, she knew that, but not for her. She had fallen for the wrong guy and now she was too afraid to try again. Her interest in the strange man was a fluke. She really could care less who he was. So he was good-looking. Looks weren’t everything. Dane had been hot and handsome too and he had known it. She really had no desire to get mixed up with another hot guy who thought he was God’s gift to women. By the time she went home to get ready for the game, all thoughts of the hot guy with the reddish-brown hair were banished from her mind. Or so she thought.

I hope that’s piqued your interest somewhat. Look for The Seduction Of E.J. on September 30 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Blushing Books website.