No Such Luck by Staci Troilo~ #Contemporary Romance Fiction ~ #Review ~ @stacitroilo

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.


Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.


The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

Our Review

It was the title of this book that attracted me, mainly because when it comes to luck, it always seems to run out when it gets to be my turn! I am ever searching for a HEA, so I thought it would make a change to read about someone else’s misadventures and I am really glad I did!

No Such Luck is the first of the new Keystone Couples Series, beautifully written and totally romantic and if all the stories that follow are like this one, they should do very well!

New Release: No Such Luck by Staci Troilo #Contemporary Romance Fiction @stacitroilo

I have started reading Staci’s new book and loving every word, but couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it! My review will follow in due course…

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.


The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

Linda… The End of the Week…

Linda… Friday/Saturday

I am working from home today.

My boss rang twice to remind me about Saturday. No surprise there, he knows how I feel. I worked until lunch. I took my bike out for a ride and stopped at a greasy spoon, had the most amazing lunch. Spent an hour talking with an elderly lady who sat herself at my table. I think the universe is trying to push my buttons.

I managed to put my laundry on the line before I left. Should be dry by now. Stupid thoughts keep entering my mind. I decide on faded jeans, blue and white striped shirt for Saturday’s lunch.

I bike home on a full stomach, slower than when I had arrived. Why am I thinking about Saturday?

By rights, I should ring and cancel. I was beginning to feel itchy all over. Something didn’t feel right. I hung my bike on the hook in the hall, deciding to iron the laundry, clean house. If I didn’t know better, you would think I’m pregnant. Don’t worry, I not. The pill is a great liberator.

My mother would never have approved. Sex before marriage is not on. She was wonderfully old fashioned, dad too. You could say they were cast from the same mould, made for each other. Mum died aged 63, dad went soon after, leaving me alone. There are distant cousins, aunts I never knew. Didn’t need them then, nor now.

There isn’t a spot left to clean. I showered, retired early and tried to read a few chapters. The book was on the floor when I woke.

Saturday

I barely had time to shower, have breakfast. One last chance to think. Without realising it, I was pulling on my jeans, white sneakers, ready to go.

This time, he sent his driver to fetch me.

Before finishing lunch, he asked if I would mind coming to his home. I could feel the itch gathering strength, even so, I said yes. Lunch was great, he knew how to make me feel relaxed.

I had agreed. The drive took two and half hours to Hampshire and a small mansion. Derek, the driver opened the door. I tried not to let my mouth hang open. I couldn’t see any houses nearby. This put my itch into overdrive. Again, with the thoughts. The man could be a serial killer for all I knew. I could feel the virtual shaking of the head, don’t be daft.

We went through the large hall to his office, worked for three hours. So far so good.

‘Are you hungry?’ He said

I said yes, as I felt peckish. He sent Derek out for Kentucky chicken. This surprised me, as I thought he would have a cook hidden away below stairs. Over a large bucket of chicken, I asked if Derek lived there.

Two males, in such an isolated place was beginning to make me uncomfortable. I was told he lived over the garage, which was down the drive by the gatehouse.

Thanks, this didn’t help me much.

‘Would you like a tour of the house?’

I did. The tour ended in his bedroom. There was the biggest bed I had ever seen. Why would someone with no partner to speak of, need a queen-sized bed?

When Derek entered the room through an adjacent door, the panic struck. I ran and kept running until I reached the highway.

The first car to slow down, was Peter. ‘Get in, let me drive you home.’

Ignoring him, I climbed the embankment, intending to walk through the woods. Reaching the top, I turned to see the car drive away.

Climbing down, hoping to hitch a ride, I started walking.

I should have listened to my itch, my rule about weekends.

He turned out to be a good-looking fraud.

A lorry pulled over. I had to take a chance. I had no money. I needed to go home, take a shower, wash the bad feeling away. Soothe my thoughts with the idea that I had a near miss.

I didn’t read it wrong, did I?

I hoped he wouldn’t pull his work from us. The boss had threatened to sack me if I messed up. Fingers crossed; he would send the rest of his work in by courier as many of our clients do.

Sunday was all mine, time to shake it all off. Monday was a new day, hoping I still had a job.

Maybe I will let you know tomorrow…

© Anita Dawes 2021

We are really looking forward to reading your thoughts about Linda, people…

Did you enjoy reading it? and if not, why?

and while we’re on the subject, what would you like more of?

Linda… a week in her life ~ Thursday #serial

Thursday

I have a confession.

No work was done that afternoon. Now I had sheets to clean, thoughts to reassemble. Would I repeat the experience was my first thought? That didn’t take too much consideration. Yes, yes, yes! Is he a keeper? I don’t think so. If he is a test drive; I need more lessons.

He left before I woke. The space beside me empty, his presence lingering. Rolling into that empty space, warmed the scent he had left behind. Bottled, it would sell well. I stripped the bed, leaving the sheets in the machine until later. A quick shower, skipping breakfast, I took the car, to work. I can’t afford to be knocked off my bike right now. That makes it sound like I am planning to in the future. I mean, I don’t want to play with that kind of danger right now.

My boss said I took a big risk telling a writer his idea stinks. ‘I didn’t say it quite like that. ‘

‘Lucky for you he didn’t mind. He said he would send in the locations as they arrive in the story.’

I managed to do some work. The rest of the crew were as pleased as the boss. He is a big name. His books are followed by young enthusiasts all over the world. I felt like I had landed a marlin after hours wrestling, much of which ended up between my sheets. A night to remember, yes. A night to repeat, yes please, and soon, I hope. That depends on his first draft when he sends it in. I cannot wait to start work on it. The sooner I give him something to look at, the sooner we might meet again to approve the work over lunch. I was hoping for a repeat of the last time.

The weeks passed, I was beginning to think he had changed his mind.

Turned out to be five weeks before I received a call for lunch. Same place, mid-day Saturday.

I don’t work weekends. For him I made an exception. I need to drop that into our next conversation. Don’t want him to make a habit of changing my life around. I know, I can hear women across the globe saying, if the sex was worth it, what do you care about weekends?

I do care. All week the boss calls the shots, the weekends I’m in charge.

Saturday is going to prove interesting. My back isn’t exactly up, it’s a bit prickly. It would be up to him to smooth it out.

By now, I had extra work on my desk. I try burying myself in it, not wanting to think about Peter Westwood and his edible eyes. The extra time will give me time to stop thinking about him as I’m sure he’s not the one. I haven’t taken him for a test drive yet. One encounter after a long dry spell doesn’t tell me much more than I was just horny. If there is to be a second time, it must match the first time or surpass it.

I will let you know when that happens. Needless to say, I haven’t had the time to read the book that I picked up…

See you tomorrow…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Linda… new hair, new date…

We had some brilliant feedback yesterday for the first episode of Anita’s serial, so thank you all for that.

Here is episode two, so we are looking forward to reading your comments!

The book I brought yesterday kept me up past my usual lights out of eleven pm. It was twelve thirty before I could put it down. The writer has a soft, gentle way of writing that pulls you in on every page. I wanted to know what will happen to the girl and her baby. That’s quite enough of that, or I will want to stay home and read some more.

I am taking the car, after a light breakfast of Rice Krispies. I check the post, just five birthday cards, as I have no family to speak of and few friends. Parking the car in my allotted space, I wondered what I would find upstairs. Would they have remembered my birthday?

I decide on brunette for my hair, in Stella’s across the road from Holland publishing. I can see the shop from my window and have been there twice for a shampoo and trim.

Entering my office space, I saw the envelopes on my desk. Terence arrived with coffee and a cupcake with a lit candle. Stopping in front of me, he said, ‘make a wish,’ with a big grin on his face. I wished for him to have a good life. I know, goody two shoes!

Like I said he’s a good egg. Birthday wishes over with; I find a note on my desk. The boss wants to see me. My guess, it was about Wednesdays meeting. Wants to give me his final pep talk. Well, okay, it is my birthday, I will be kind. Let him believe I am hearing it for the first time. that done, I pick up a file I had forgotten yesterday and put it in my bag.

I had time for a quick sketch of the fire fairy for page five of the new children’s book. Somehow, looking at it, made me think of the last date I had. The cinema, drinks after, that’s when he turned into an octopus. Too many hands had me running to the hills.

That was the beginning of last year, about ten months ago. Enough of that, today my year begins again.

Checking the time, I gather my cards. ‘I’m off, guys. Thanks again for the cards and cupcake.’

Opening the door of Stella’s let out a waft of hair spray, a warm sweet smell. Stella greeted me, ‘Come sit down, Linda. I hear it is your birthday. Carol will see to you today.’

I had barely sat down when they burst into singing happy birthday and another cupcake. This time the wish was for me. I can’t tell you what it was, or it won’t come true. I will let you know if it does. Picking my new colour from her colour range, my transformation began. Carol was quick and nimble fingered. Before I knew it, my hair was being blow dried and I was ready to go home. I liked my new colour, and everyone agreed that it suited me. Making my way back across the road to my car, my footsteps felt lighter.

There is a message on my answer phone. Someone I hadn’t heard from in a decade. Brian, an old flame from school. I listened to the message more times than was necessary. Should I agree to meet him at the Horse and Crown? He had, after all, remembered to wish me a happy birthday. Would I recognise him after all this time? What did I remember about him? Not much, which might be good or bad. He said eight I clock, so I have time to think about it. In the end I decide it would be a good test of my new look.

Would he recognise me? It was a pub, so I decided on my navy trouser suit, cream camisole, navy sling backs with four-inch heels.

We recognise each other without too much trouble. Turns out four inches was the best choice as it put us eye to eye. Save my six-inch heels for a better date.

Now that’s unkind, he might surprise me.

I will let you know tomorrow…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Linda: looking for love…

I have a small star shaped scar on my forearm.

I have been told over the years by many psychics, it’s a deliberate stabbing from a former life. Now, unless they are all reading from the same handbooks for psychics, I have to wonder.

I wish it wasn’t three in the morning, staring at a light spot on my ceiling where the curtains have been disturbed. The empty space beside me, a reminder of being alone. I turn 33 tomorrow. Colleagues at work tell me there is still time to find the one I am so fussy to find.

With luck I may get a few hours sleep. I turn over and try.

Nightmares bleed into morning, I know, because I am screaming.

The nightmare told me I had planted the seed of my own destruction, minutes before conception. I can only hope it’s a long way off.

Standing in front of my hall mirror, I can see I need a do over. My mousy brown hair turning grey, making my eyes look too dark, almost as if I am trying to haunt someone. The rest of me is not so bad. Five foot six, full lips, small nose. My figure is much the same as when I was in my twenties. I don’t tend to pile on the weight, nine stone is comfortable for me.

This morning I will cycle to work, as I feel the need for danger.

The ride to work went better than usual, only one angry driver with his hand on the horn, a face the colour of a beetroot. Poor man, I hope he calms down soon, I wouldn’t want him to blow a gasket.

Today, I cheated. I zipped down the bus lane getting into work ten minutes early in time for coffee. We are not a big publisher, I am an illustrator working until two in the afternoon, then I work from home if I feel like it.

Terence is in early, a good egg, does all the fetching and carrying. Wouldn’t think there is much of that would you, well there is always reams of paper that need cutting. Maggie takes care of the phone and Tom comes in two days a week. The boss sits behind his big glass door, the need to see him slim, as things don’t go wrong that often. Terry, our other illustrator comes in about ten, works until five and doesn’t like to work from home.

I remember to make an appointment for my hair, a birthday gift from me to me. I wonder if it will make me look and feel different, maybe the dream world won’t recognise me and give me better dreams and no nightmares.

My hair appointment all booked for 2.30 on Tuesday.

Waiting for me on my desk, I find the three children’s books which I knew about, plus a folder about a new client that wants to meet with me. “Wednesday lunch, bring your pad and pencil to the Silver Spoon on the corner of the street.”  Peter Westwood, his name didn’t ring bells.

The rest of my day flew by. I decide to try not to upset any motorists on the way home. I stop off at a Spar to find something for my tea, where I also pick up a book. Pretty Baby, by Mary Kubica. I will let you know how that goes when I have read it.

Safe inside my home, I finish off the work I brought with me. Make tea, take a shower and settle down with the book…

See you tomorrow…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Book of the Week: Satin & Cinders by Jan Sikes

A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.


More about the author, Jan Sikes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.
There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story.
Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivalled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.
In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done.
Wrong!
The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain.
I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

MyThoughts

As a lifelong lover of horses, I looked forward to reading this story, the equine equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Beautifully written, this touching and romantic tale of the love and longing between Cinders and Satin reminded me that love really can find a way and will conquer all…

Kiss #Poetry

ABOUT US:

For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita cannot abide computers, so I (Jaye) do all the technical (oily rag) stuff!  We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read. Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon. Or amzn.to/2R9FtJM for Anita’s books, or amzn.to/2QIsgJb for Jaye’s.

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Hoping to see you again!