Saturday, November 5, 2011

The First Annual Natalie Acres Boot Scootin' Boogie Blog Tour!

Cowboy Boots and Unsettled Debts (LoveXtreme)
Cowboy Boots 3

Natalie's first ever blog tour in honor of her new release coming November 7th. Natalie will be giving away prizes at the end of the blog tour so make sure to comment because the more times they enter to win!

Seduction turns deadly when Abby Rose, an agent with the Underground Unit, decides to put a provocative spin on revenge. Her plan to sleep with a cartel leader backfires when fellow operatives refuse to let Abby face her enemy alone.

Abby’s fellow agents begin the fight of their lives. After discovering Abby will use her body to lure in the man who killed her father and their command leader, seven highly trained special operatives cope with high tensions as each man comes to terms with feelings they never acknowledged.

This team isn’t fighting for another cause or plotting the best way to take out their mark. The stakes are much higher. These men will take up arms and meet their greatest challenge as they work together to protect the woman they admire and love.

Rated R for content and language

Ace snarled. “I will spank her when this is over.”

“Sure you will,” Casey said. “About like Porter plans to put a dildo in her pussy and paddle her twat.”

“I never said that,” Porter said, keeping a keen eye on Abby.

“Talk about that kiss and I’ll deck you,” Ace said.

“Damn, those lips were sweet,” Porter teased.

Ace faced him. “I wasn’t kidding.”

Porter took a deep breath. Sometimes Ace’s attitude was a real obstacle. He was a smart-ass SOB when he wanted to be. Standing about six foot four, Ace was nothing more than layers of muscle. The only soft spot the man possessed was the one Porter held in high regard, too—Abby Rose.

“I say we take him out right here,” Casey said, always ready to jump the gun.

Casey looked like a kid, and very often Porter reminded himself Casey wasn’t a child, hard to do since the guy looked like a surfer boy of about eighteen. Only a year separated them. Porter was twenty-nine. Casey followed only a year behind.

Still, Casey was a trained killer just like the lot of them. Under normal daily circumstances, he was such a klutz and a clown, but when he aimed his gun and pulled the trigger, no one had a more accurate shot.

Fowler folded his hands atop the table. “I’m ready for this to be over.”

“What’s wrong, Fowler,” Ace taunted him. “Afraid Juraz is gonna tap that?”

“He won’t be a-tappin’ that. I’ll promise ya.”

Porter and Ace exchanged a knowing stare. Porter shook his head in warning. It wasn’t worth the argument. They all recognized the possible scenarios. The best they could hope for was the most favorable. If Abby went to bed with Juraz, they wanted her to kill him before she was forced to fuck him.

Unfortunately, they needed information from Juraz before she pulled the trigger. And he probably wouldn’t open his mouth unless she first opened those long, shapely legs.

Copyright © 2011

Thursday, May 27, 2010

AC Katt is my special guest on my blog and my yahoo loop!

Hello everyone. I’d like to thank Katie Bug, the Domestic Diva for giving me the opportunity to both blog and chat with you today. My name is AC Katt and I write m/m (GLBT) romance. I currently have two books in print with a new release coming in late June.

Eternal Press published my first book, The Sarran Plague. It was released in April of 2009, and to my surprise, was a finalist for an Epic Award. It is a Science Fiction ménage a trois. I am in the midst of writing a sequel, here is a sneak peek. Remember, this is a work in progress, any errors are mine and mine alone.

Living with Syn
A small blond head pressed against the transparent viewer of the private ground transport, or PGT.

He wiggled and turned toward the distinguished, dark haired Sarran Elder who sat across from him. The impish face, imprinted by the viewing window, was scrunched-up and ready. He knew his son. The inquisition was about to begin.

"Zadda, Are we there yet. It’s taking too long. Poppie and the mommy are going to worry."
"I explained this to you, cub. Poppie has things that must travel home in the PGT. Unless you wish to go home without him, we cannot teleport to Ulna. It would also scare the new fems who have no idea how advanced our psi has become. It would also put us at risk, if our enemies discerned PsiOps Secrets."

"How can we lie to the fems, Zadda? How can you Bond with a lie in you?"

Nafer, will you please define your terms. Zadda has no notion of what the word mommie signifies.

"Zadda," Nafer whined, "I've told you so many times, it is like fem, but more. They make things called cookies with chocolate chips and you sit in front of the tube with the kitty on your lap, and eat cookies and drink milk. The mommie makes you lunch in a lunchbox with a Warrior who is a spider. She plays chess, poker and gin rummy. She knows how to hit a ball with a big slab of wood— and then you run fast so you don't make an out. She understands everything, but she does not know she does. We need the mommie and the mommie needs us."

That was a long speech for his son and he had expended much effort in trying to explain to Bron what was apparently something best understood by experience. Bron knew this had something to do with the Earthen fems, yet he was uncomfortable with the wealth of potential of this word mommie. He and Zarron had barely found themselves again. To BondStir a second time was almost unheard of in the canons of the Sarran Codex. However, a man could fall into a large laptard pit ignoring the space between the words almost and never.

"Naffie, we will tell the fems the truth of the Sarran psi legacy once they bond. However, we cannot afford to hand our enemies knowledge that we worked for millennia to conceal. People fear what they do not understand. The other council planets developed bio-machinery, genetic slicing and genetic re-coding. After the initial incident that caused two thousand or more years of war, we vowed to use only natural methods to enhance our abilities. We have kept that promise up until we lost our fems.

We slightly modified the Earthen fems to accept our seed when they received the antidote. It was deliberate, yes, but it was also ethical. If we did not give them the modification with the antidote, the vaccine would have failed. Their whole planet would have been as ours and two humanoid civilizations would be devoid of fems. Yet we cannot let them feel pushed."

Nafer bounced. "Zadda, that’s bullshit. The paradigm has changed."

"What is this bullshit, offspring?"

"Something Mommie says is shoveled at her by most of her male acquaintance."

My second novel was released by XOXO Publishing in April of 2010.
A Matter of Trust
A Matter of Trust is a GLBT, BDSM story.

Blurb: Donald “Bear” Drummond has everything, a real estate empire, partnership in a an elite BDS&M club an status as a Master Dominant. What he doesn’t have is love and trust. Can he find it in the troubled Brian, who stumbles into his office from the mailroom?

Excerpt: In slow degrees, the tow-headed boy woke up on the hard floor. A faint moan, an eyelid twitch, a soft flutter of pale lashes, and then a blue eye opened face-to-antenna with a cockroach. The Sears Tough skin jeans he opened as his birthday gift two days ago felt wet around the crotch and smelled of both urine and feces. His new plaid shirt with the pearl cowboy buttons was torn and bloody. He swallowed hard, past the dry lump t he size of a baseball stuck in the back of his throat. He opened his left eye, the one nearest to the bug. It looked as if his bone stuck out of his shirt, a handhold under his elbow, the right arm bent at an unnatural angle just below the tear.

It took a few additional seconds for the pain to hit, long enough for him to realize he did not know how he got here or why. Then, it struck, shock abated. He hurt, bad. Even so, he knew enough not to cry out. He heard Mama pounding on the door of the bathroom and Aunt Mary in the distance, along with the whine of sirens. Then the pain took him away, and he rode it back to safety.

My newest and yet to be released novel is from Captiva Press.
Shattered Glass

Blurb:Milo Stamis of mega band, Shattered Glass must write one last song with former lover and lead singer, Liam O’Shea six years after the dissolution of the band. Can they overcome a stalker and the lies that separated them?

Lyrics from the theme song of Shattered Glass: Lover’s Suite
Turn around look at the view
Know that I’m in love with you,
Waiting for the time you see
That you can be in love with me

It’s way too early to feel this way
But I need you to let me stay
Until the day you see me
The lover who will set you free

And then we can begin
The process where you let me in
To your heart. The day you start
To see the light within my heart
For only you my passion true

My lover and friend
I’m yours till the end
Of time, or eternity
What a night bright with heat
When our bodies finally meet

I will sing this song to you
And finally you will know
That I love you so
And I’ll never let you go
Too far away from me.

I look forward to meeting everyone tonight. All of my books and buy buttons are on my website at While you are there, leave a comment for a chance at a Tee Shirt and other goodies!
AC Katt

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A New Review for Ravished by a Highlander by Paula Quinn

I was able to read and review Paula Quinn's latest release, Ravished by a Highlander which releases next month. I fell in love with Robert and Davina and I know you will too. Below s the blurb from Ravished by a Highlander and my review.

Davina Montgomery is no ordinary English lady. For her own protection, she’s been locked away from society, her true identity the Crown’s most closely guarded secret. Until a shocking betrayal—and a bold rescue—land her in the arms of a fierce Highlander, a powerful warrior whose searing gaze and tantalizing touch awaken her body and soul.

As the firstborn son of a powerful Scottish laird, Robert MacGregor has no loyalty to the English throne, but he’s not the kind of man to leave a woman in distress, even if she is English. He vows to deliver Davina to safety, unharmed and untouched. Yet one stolen kiss leaves them both smoldering with desire… and desperate for more. With Davina’s secret threatening to destroy his clan, Rob must choose between everything he holds dear and the one woman he can’t live without.

Ravished by a Highlander by Paula Quinn
Book #1 in The Children Of The Mist series
April 2010

Davina Montgomery has been in hiding for most of her life in an abbey called St. Christophers because of a royal secret. The nuns and a small army have been guarding her for as long as she can remember. Her life has never been her own because of a father she has never met. The abbey is burned to the ground by men who want her dead. Now, because of her secret innocent men and woman have died keeping her and her secret safe.

Robert MacGregor is the first born son of the Clan Chief of the MacGregors of Skye. Robert knows his father but his life has also never been his own. He has been raised to take over after his father passes so his life has revolved around the clan and its security.

Davina watches as the family she ever known is killed because of her. Edward Asher, the captain of the army that has been in charge of protecting her can’t hold out much longer against the soldiers meant to kill her. Robert is heading to England for King James coronation when he and his fellow highlanders come upon the devastation. Edward begs Robert to take her and keep her safe but won’t tell him why. Robert rescues her and promises to keep her safe but how can he when others have died trying? Both are duty bound to a life that has been chosen for them by birth but neither Robert nor Davina imagine their hearts would rule instead.

Ravished by a Highlander by Paula Quinn was an absolute roller coaster ride of emotions. Ravished is the first in the Children of the Mist series and what a great beginning it is too. Davina is a lady but is so much stronger than she looks. Living in the Abbey for all of those years can’t hide the maturity in her eyes. Her life has always been in danger and secretive but she has never let go of her dream of a real family. Robert is amazed by the small woman and how she puts herself before others time and time again. The more time they spend with each other the more they want to give up everything for a chance to make their own decisions even if it means a death sentence.

Friday, March 19, 2010

BLOOD WILL FREEZE by Tony-Paul de Vissage

BLOOD WILL FREEZE: A cautionary tale to cause further anxiety among those worried about the arrival of 2010.

It is July, 4012.

A summer exactly two thousand years after a comet crashed into the Earth, ironically in the year the Mayan calendar ends…2012. Out of the ensuing chaos, there are two types of survivors, humans—not so many of them but enough—and the Undead—ejected from their coffins deep within the Earth to a world frozen and gray. A world where the sun never shines and vampires may walk during daylight hours.

It doesn’t take long for the Undead to inherit the Earth. They now reign, fighting among themselves for the continents, dividing them to the strongest. Now, only two remain, Alixandra, empress of North and South America and a little more inhumane in her treatment of her mortal slaves, and Celadon, lord of Europe and Asia, deadly, unscrupulous, and a sociopath par excellence, murdering his way to the top of the nosferatic food-chain. Once lovers, these two are now bitter enemies, engaged in a struggle for ownership of the planet and its few surviving humans, their rapidly-dwindling food source. Alix takes her people to Mt. St. Helens, building a tower inside the volcano’s buried cone; there the heat will keep her little herd of mortals alive, With the aid of Michael, her virginal, mortal steward, only one of six children born in the last twenty-five years, Alix awaits Celadon’s attack. Alix trusts Michael; she also lusts after him, but the young man has the ability to ignore her enticements. He alone is free from mental slavery, because Michael is a Freeley, one of the rare human mutations born immune to the vampire’s enticements.

From the seed of Michael’s free will, rebellion has taken root. Yes, Michael is readying his people for the coming attack, assuring his Undead mistress of victory but it will be a victory neither Alix nor Celadon nor even Michael himself expects.

Blood will Freeze appeared in the February, 2009, issue of Sounds of the Night Magazine. It is available at

CONTEST: Answer the question and win Two Vampire Tales. Send your answers to:

QUESTION: Dracula is written in a first-person, journal style. How many narrators does the novel have and who are there?

Monday, February 22, 2010


One of my favorite authors has come up with a wonderful idea! So many people are losing their homes these days. Lorie O'Clare has started a fundraiser to help those that have found themselves in that situation. Help Lorie give others their HAPPY EVER AFTER!

HEA is a fund raiser program I’ve started (along with my accountant to make sure I do it right) to help those who are facing foreclosure. Recently I’ve heard the stories from a few good friends, people who have always worked hard, who have good kids, and who have put their sweat and blood into their homes over the years to make it nice for them. Times are hard. The programs available for those facing losing their homes don’t work for everyone. Please keep reading to learn how you can help!

Let’s do what we can to keep the HEA in our lives and ensure it always means HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

Many out there are in the same boat. Quite a few of those facing losing the home they’ve raised their children in, have loved and fought in, are too proud to admit they need help.
Will you help those who would leap to help you in a second? Offer a donation or buy a book, or several books. All money goes to help HEA!

Click on the home above to save it! Authors learn how you can donate. Readers learn how you can donate!

One way you can help is to donate cash. All donations are fully tax deductible. Donate any amount you wish. 100% of donations will go to help keep a family in their home.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let's welcome Kenneth Weene today!

1.Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or did you have another dream?
As I kid I loved to read books, and I wanted to write; but I gave that dream up to pursue the “reasonable and responsible” goals of becoming a professional, in my case a psychologist.

I returned to writing about twenty-five years ago. At first I wrote a lot of poetry and some essays for local newspapers. Then the novels started to demand their way into my psyche.

2.How long did you write until you were finally published?
My poetry and a few professional papers were published right off, but the first novel took about twenty years during which time I’ve actually written three. In addition to “Widow’s Walk,” which came out in September, I have a contract for a second book, “Memoirs From the Asylum,” which should come out sometime next year. The third, a conspiracy novel, is still looking for its home.

3.When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
No ritual, in fact, I don’t even have a set place. Some of my writing is done at the computer, but I also go to the coffee shop or bookstore with my pencil and notebook. The one thing I do require is a handy cup of coffee or tea and the inspiration – that powerful yet elusive voice that suddenly puts word in motion.

4.Do you plan the story out or just let it flow?
I start with a plan, but then the characters take over. They tell their story through me. For example, the main love affair in “Widow’s Walk” wasn’t suppose to be about love; Arnie and Mary were supposed to have a mentor-student relationship, and Mary was supposed to meet another man. However, they fell in love; and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Another example from “Widow’s Walk” is the love relationship between Kathleen and Danny; that was supposed to end happily, but it didn’t work out that way.

I guess writing is like life: You can start with all kinds of plans, but you can never really know what fate will bring.

5.Do you have any WIP that you might want to share with us?
My next novel is “Memoirs From the Asylum.” It’s finished, and I have one contract offered. Let me share an excerpt from this new tragic-comedic novel.

Those dingy green-yellow hospital walls are really off-putting. It’s like living inside a puddle of puke. The people are the chunks of undigested food – no longer human just unidentified floating objects. Some of them are really revolting. The others, “the patients,” aren’t so bad.
Mostly, the diagnosed only want to be left alone – alone – caught between the grief of being and the terror of not. Once in a while there’ll be somebody who wants to fight the world, but mostly the world they want to fight is that revolting staff so you silently root them on. At least, that is how I see it.

Charlie wants to rape the nurse’s aide – good for Charlie. The nurse’s aide is twice Charlie’s size and has a right like Muhammad Ali – too bad for Charlie. Charlie ends up with an ass full of Valium – good for him. They lock Charlie on the violent ward – who the hell was Charlie?
Charlie comes back to the ward – good for Charlie. He’s had enough shock to fry his brain – too bad for Charlie. He shuffles along and drools; when he’s excited he shouts “Oh boy!” in a repetitive Tourette bark – now Charlie fits in. Good for Charlie? Nope, good for the system. Modern medicine has won another round. The world of the asylum grinds the people; it makes pabulum of their brains and mush of their wills. The system works; the person doesn’t. We all celebrate Charlie’s return by standing around and rocking from side to side.

Some of us stare at the television. There’s a soap opera on. The picture rolls. Nobody seems to notice. Certainly, nobody cares. Most of our minds are rolling, too. Half the staring patients are watching their own programs, the ones in their heads. Vertical hold is not a strong point among the crazy.

Jack wants to take over the world. He plans on leading a revolution; he plans to start in Australia. He stares at the television and sees troop movements. In his program, he is leading an army. He is riding on a large black horse and is dressed in fatigues. He carries a magic sword. A bit anachronistic, but what the hell, it’s his program. It doesn’t matter; he’s too doped on phenothiazines to walk across the room without being told. Instead he pill-rolls his fingers and shakes. They’re supposed to give out Cogentin for the Parkinsons, but the nurses don’t bother. Instead one of them sells the bottles in town. It doesn’t bring much, but they save up for their Fourth of July party. They could get more for other drugs. Valium is good on the streets, but they don’t get much extra; they’re too busy shoving it into us. Mostly they just unload Cogentin and some antibiotics. It buys them a case of beer to commemorate their freedom – to celebrate the all-important fact that they have the keys.

6.What character is more like your personality or is it a combination of more than one?
I draw on my own personality and on people in my life to develop characters, but in the end they all take on their own characteristics and ideas. Many people know me and have who have read “Widow’s Walk” think that I’m very like Arnie Berger; but I think I’m more like Jem, the very wise woman who is more in the background yet seems to know so much about life.

I love Jem’s comment toward the end of the book:

Jem shakes her head when she hears the coroner's findings. "I guess he don’t know much about souls," she observes. "There's pains of the body, and there's pains of the soul. This poor lady died of the pains in her soul. They say that God don’t give no one more than they can carry, but He sure done give her too much … way, way too much."

7.When you have a moment to sit down and breathe, what kinds of books do you read?
I enjoy almost all kinds of books. I’m a major history buff and biography. I will on occasion try to read in philosophy, science, and, of course, religion. Then there’s the fiction. I try to read at least one novel a month. I just finished Kawabata’s “The Sound of the Mountain.” I loved the way he related to nature. I can’t say that the story worked for me.

The next book on my pile – the pile of books I’ve put aside to read - is Gottlieb’s “The Dream of Reason.” However, I do have a couple of review books from friends that need a good look.

Last, I should mention that I read (and write) a good deal of poetry. Just for fun, I’ll share this short poem I wrote recently.

On viewing a picture of a dervish

The slow dignity of the dervish dance; the eternal mystery of the poet's chant: Allah be merciful to me, a lowly ant; cast down on me one sacred glance.

8.What author or authors inspire you to write the way you do?
I can list some of my favorite authors, but I don’t know that they really inspire the way I write. Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorites. I love Conrad. Isaac Singer is another. Perhaps Steinbeck had the greatest impact on me when I was younger. And, no list, not even this partial one, is complete without mention of Chekhof and Kafka.

I think that there is a wonderful melding of external and internal worlds within the novels I like. What is attended to in the environment of the book is related to what the characters are experiencing. I don’t like extraneous description that is unrelated to the story and that is added for the sake of sounding literary. A direct, sparse and yet complete quality is what I strive for in my own writing.

9.Do you have any tips for those aspiring authors out there?
Write! Then write more!
Find friends with whom you can share, and don’t be afraid of the process of discussing your work.

Think about words. Choose with care. The best place to start that is with your speech; speak slowly and think about your word choices.

Write down ideas and overheard bits of dialog that intrigue you. Even jot a bit of description if there is a sight that captures you imagination.

Try to write poetry – real poetry, not just your own emotions but studies on metaphoric meanings. Writing is about symbols as much as it is about narration.

Now, write some more.

And, let me end with another excerpt from “Widow’s Walk.”

The paths along the banks of the reservoir are uneven. It takes all a jogger's concentration to keep from tripping and tumbling into Boston's water supply. That is probably why so many joggers have passed her prone body without noticing. It is only when one, glancing up at the sound of a scurrying animal, starts back in shock and lands on his seat that she is seen. "Oh, my God!" he exclaims as he scrambles back to his feet. “Oh, my God,” he repeats so taken aback that he doesn’t even notice the pain from his fall, “somebody get help. Somebody, anybody, for Christ’s sake, get help!”
Gingerly, as if he is approaching a dangerous animal, he inches his way towards her. "Miss, Miss. Are you OK?" His voice is at first a whisper, which grows louder and more tremulous.
Kathleen doesn’t stir.
"Miss!" He is shouting now. His wide eyes take in the scene. Her panty hose have been ripped off. They and her shoes are in a small tangled pile a few feet away. Next to them are her well-worn green parka, scarf, and dark green gloves with leather palms. The sheepskin hat with ear flaps that Karen had given her is tossed farther from her body. Kathleen’s plaid skirt has been ripped. It still clings to her waist but has been pulled up and now covers her torso rather than her legs and buttocks. Her head is turned sideways, and the jogger can see that there is a thin stream of blood still coming from her mouth and soaking into the ground next to her broken glasses.
He bends over her, afraid to touch. "Get help," he shouts into the frosty air – still to no one. They are alone. "For God's sake, get help," he repeats once more. He isn’t sure, but he thinks he sees her body moving ever so slightly. "Is she still alive, or is she dead?" he asks aloud in the frigid empty air. "Help!" he screams.
There is a handbag nearby. Instinctively he reaches for it. He can not bring himself to touch her body, but the inanimate handbag is less threatening. Its contents seem untouched. "Mrs. Dougan," he whispers to her. If yelling hasn’t worked, something in his brain tells him that softness might. "Mrs. Dougan," he tries again.
He is looking at an identification card that Kathleen carries in her wallet. Ironically, it is the one piece of identification on which she still uses her married name. It is her library card, something that she had stopped using once she had decided that her life would never move forward. At one time Kathleen had been an avid reader, but that had been when she thought it would still matter if she were to learn – that had been before it had seemed that her life had stopped.
Knowing Kathleen’s name makes her seem more alive. The jogger focuses himself enough to pull off the top of his jogging suit and use it to cover her upper body. Still he can’t bring himself to actually touch her, not even to adjust her clothing.
Kathleen makes no response. "Oh, my God," he exclaims again.
He hears the sound of another runner. Even though the trees are bare, the jumble of bushes makes it difficult to see. Jumping up from his crouched position near Kathleen’s head, the jogger waves his arms and yells, "Over here. I need help. Over here." He can hear the pace of the other runner quicken.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kenneth Weene will be here tomorrow 12-3-2009

Kenneth Weene will be here tomorrow so in the mean time I thought I would give you a teaser.

Title: Widows Walk
Author: Kenneth Weene
Publsher: All Things That Matter Press

Mary Flanagan, caught between her sense of religion and obligation on one hand and her very human desire for love and life on the other, is in emotional limbo. When she meets Arnie Berger, who becomes both her lover and philosophic guide, Mary’s world seems to be transformed.
Changes also come for Mary’s children, who have been trapped in their own dilemmas. Sean, a quadriplegic, is looking for a fulfilled life. Mary’s daughter, Kathleen must cope with infertility and anger in her search for happiness.

The lives of all three Flanagans are turned upside down by happiness and tragedy.

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They continue their northern progress. Their objective is the outlet stores in Freeport, Maine. Arnie has always wanted to visit L. L. Bean. He has been buying clothes from their catalog for years. Even though, except for his army experience – as a clerk in a reserve unit – he has never spent any time in the woods, he has always fancied himself the outdoors type – whatever that might be. So he has bought flannel shirts and hiking boots, chino pants and parkas – and he has made his own fashion statement as he has wandered the bookstores and coffeehouses of Boston.

Occasionally a student will ask him about his love of the outdoors and his favorite activities. Arnie is always honest and self-deprecating in his responses. He talks about his PrestoFlame log fires and the books that he likes to read while sitting beside them.

The couple hasn’t thought to make reservations so early in spring so they have to continue on to Old Orchard Beach before they find an empty motel room. "If you're here for the shopping," the clerk offers, "the best time is around two or three."

“So, we’re too late?” May asks.

“Nope, too early. Two or three in the morning.”

"Why's that?" Arnie asks.

"Cause that’s when most of folks are in bed. You can get into the stores. Most times you can’t even get a parking spot. AAy-yup, Try the middle of the night. That’ll be best. Aay-yup!" His broad a accent makes this all seem normal and reasonable.

It hasn’t occurred to them that they will be among the thousands of people from along the east coast who will have flocked to Freeport on this lovely early spring weekend.

They follow the clerk's suggestion for a place to eat an early supper. It’s busy but friendly, and the fried clams and potatoes are excellent. Better, it seems to have more locals than tourists which pleases Arnie. After supper they take a walk along the boardwalk. It is still too cold for the attractions to be opened, but they’re able to buy a box of saltwater taffy. Each of them tries a piece and almost simultaneously take the pieces of candy out of their mouths.

“God, that’s awful,” Arnie observes.

“I’ll bet dentists love it,” Mary adds. “It could pull every filling out of my head.”

They go back to the motel. Having set the alarm clock for two and finding nothing of interest on the television, they turn out the lights and try to sleep. The last of the day’s sunlight is poking its way though the gaps in the curtains and around their edges. Bands of light fall across the head of the queen-size bed and others reflect from the full-length mirror to play on the fading floral print of the wallpaper. "We're not going to go to sleep," Mary observes.

"I guess not." Arnie kisses her ear and fondles her breasts. She reaches down and caresses his genitals.

"You're so beautiful," he whispers.

She never tires of hearing his compliments. Still she feels compelled, as she always has, to demur. "Oh, you just say those things."

Arnie rolls away from her and stares at the ceiling. He turns back and looks directly into Mary’s eyes. She is startled by the seriousness in his eyes. "Mary, I swear to you that in my eyes you are more beautiful than any woman in the world." He waits for her to say something, but she doesn’t – she has no idea what to say. Arnie continues, “There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”

“What?” Mary isn’t sure what’s happening but knows that it’s important. There is a thin gasp of nervousness in her mind.

Arnie gets up from the bed and fumbles in his jacket pockets until he finds a small box. He kneels on the bed and thrusts it at her and gasps, “Will you marry me?”

“Yes, oh yes," she responds. Taken by surprise, Mary feels as if she is spinning – spinning and simultaneously soaring in joy.

Arnie takes the ring from its box. Mary holds out her left hand, and he slips the ring on to her finger. “It’s beautiful,” she croons. “It’s so beautiful.” She kisses him, gently with the sense that he is precious and fragile.

“Oh, Arnie, I’m so happy.” Her voice is full of joy and excitement. She feels her heart beating with happiness. She hugs him and showers his face with kisses.

“Believe me, I am, too!” Arnie manages to say in between her embraces. He wants to dance around the room, to shout with joy, to fly to the moon. Not knowing what to do with his excitement, he pulls Mary from the bed and hugs her tightly. Gently, he lays her back on the mattress. “I love you so much,” he says.

“Oh, I love you. I love you. I truly love you,” Mary responds with all her heart.

Arnie kneels next to her on the mattress and kisses her body in a hundred places. She giggles at the intensity of his kissing. “I want to kiss you forever, make love to you forever, be with you forever.”

Mary wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him on top of her. “Make love to me now,” she moans. “Make love to me now – now and forever.” Their hands, their mouths, their souls touch and caress. Mary can feel the rough softness of his penis as it gently pushes inside her. She can feel the thrusting of his pelvis as one with her own. She can feel the sudden excitation of their shared fulfillment. She can feel the total togetherness that makes them as the first couple in the Garden of All Love.

When they have finished, Arnie and Mary lay, in mutual exhaustion – two spoons nestled on the bed – Mary behind Arnie, Arnie closer to the window.

The only sound in the room is the buzz of the heating unit. Through the window and the cracks around the door, they can feel the cold air coming off the ocean. The last shreds of sunlight make their way through the curtained window. Mary watches Arnie's back slowly rising and falling with his breathing. She runs her index finger along his spine. Arnie shivers slightly at the sensation – it is the shiver of delight. "I love you Mary Flanagan."

"And I love you, Arnie Berger."

That is the last thing either of them hear until the buzzer wakes them in the middle of the night.