Good morning all. I hope you’ve had a splendid weekend. It’s been gorgeous here in Ontario. Above freezing temp – even up to 10 C yesterday – and the warmth of the sun shining and snow is melting. It’s been glorious. The next couple weeks are similar, warmer temps but with a few cooler mornings.
I have a new release coming tomorrow at Evernight Publishing. The 2nd Canadian Muscle story, Guarding His Anchor. I’m super excited about it. Anyone who read Guarding Midnight, Book 1, will remember Charlie & Frank. This is their journey since the last we saw them. It was a lot of fun to write, but also emotionally overwhelming at times. There were a few surprises along the way that I hadn’t counted on. But worked so well with the story. I’m not a fan of surprises when it comes to my writing, and while I outline loosely I usually know what lies ahead, but these darn characters just seem to take over! The nerve of them!
So today, I thought I would share an exclusive excerpt from Guarding His Anchor. Here, Frank is confronted, in a way, by the men who are loyal to Charlie. Frank knows he’s screwed up many times with her and she has people looking out for her.
Frank is a very complicated man to say the least. 😀
Excerpt ©KaceyHammell, 2017
The hard bass of the music inside the Vixen Club vibrated through Frank’s body as he entered.
People were packed into every square foot. Friday night brought in many locals who didn’t mind the ferocious beats from the speakers. Patrons came from other towns, too. Two dancers used the whole stage for their routine. Their short red skirts and stomach-baring tops glowed in the spotlights as they performed to a classic rock anthem. That they’d choreographed a Burlesque number to the music they chose always awed him. Charlotte didn’t allow stripping routines. A few might come close based on the skit, but it she didn’t run that type of establishment. The dancers pushed the envelope as much as they wanted without baring it all, teasing the customers but taking pride in what they created. He’d never met the two vivacious ladies currently on stage, but he had to applaud Charlotte’s business sense. She employed stunning and athletic ladies with immense talent.
Frank nodded at a few of the regulars he’d met before as he strolled toward the bar. He took a seat a seat on a stool and caught the bartender’s gaze.
“Hey, Frank.” Greg laid a napkin on the bar. “Good to see you again.”
“Thanks, man. Good to see the place full.”
“It’s the end of a long week for many. What’ll you have?”
“Irish whiskey.” Frank grinned. “The boss’s top-shelf stuff.”
Greg smirked, turned around, and pulled open a cupboard below the many full shelves. Again, he had to commend Charlotte for her taste in alcohol. Though pricier than other bars, she made sure to carry the best to offer her customers.
And she still kept the more expensive ones for special occasions.
“Is the boss around?” he questioned.
Greg’s gaze lifted to his after he filled the glass. Frank held it, knowing full well how loyal Charlotte’s employees were to her. He’d never run from anyone’s speculations. They knew his history with her, and it was none of their business where he and Charlotte stood.
“Something on your mind, Greg?” Frank challenged.
The bartender shook his head. “Not my business, man, but just hope you stick around this time.” He shoved the glass closer to Frank before he turned to help the customer at the other end of the bar.
Frank had to give it to the young guy—he had spunk. While he had the urge to grab the kid by the throat and tell him to mind his own fucking business, he understood the protectiveness Greg had for Charlotte. A lot of men did. Her care and personality, her love for those around her, induced loyalty from everyone who met her. From what she’d told him, over the years the town had wrapped her up in their protective arms and made her family. Many residents had given him glares and long lectures whenever he breezed through town.
“Hey, man, how you doing?” Marc questioned as he dropped onto the stool beside Frank.
“Want the usual, Marc?” Greg slapped a napkin on the bar, then grabbed a glass and held it beneath the draft tap. He filled it after Marc nodded.
“I’m doing all right, I guess. Wanted a break from reading endless charts and maps. There’s no shortage of paperwork to go through in Sean’s old cases and this one.”
“Searching for a pattern in his behavior?” Marc sipped his drink.
Frank shrugged and enjoyed a sip of his own drink. “Hard to justify a guy like that turning his back on years of service and his family. Makes little sense.”
“Then why the hard-on to bring him in? Not as though you’ve shown him any mercy, going after him with a vengeance.” Marc leaned on the bar, pinning Frank with his gaze. “If you have doubts, then why so sure he’s guilty?”
“The fucker shot me. Have you forgotten that?” Frank didn’t like his decisions challenged. And he bore the wound from whatever game Sean might be playing. A deep scar he’d forever live with. If Sean were still undercover, he deserved an Oscar.
Marc chuckled. “You’ve been bitching about that wound for days. I can’t forget. Not the first time someone’s shot you, right?”
Leave it to Marc to view things in simple black and white. If only Frank were a glass-half-full optimist like his friend. “Doesn’t matter. Even if Sean’s still in deep, he’s too far gone and needs to come in. For his life and others. His family and friends may suffer the consequences of his actions if he isn’t careful.”
The thought cut sharp. There was the potential for danger on Charlotte’s doorstep, and for Victoria and Shree, too. Frank wouldn’t rest until any threats were gone. Their lives were not something he’d take a chance with.
“Speaking of being careful.” Marc nodded his head toward the other side of the room and tipped his bottle in that direction. “If you aren’t careful, you’ll lose her for good. I mean, I don’t care considering she’s too good for you, but she wants you in your life.”
Frank’s gaze shifted and he watched Charlotte greet people, a smile on her lovely lips. The perfect hostess. Regulars and newbies got caught up in her pretty face and her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense demeanor. The dancers and their skits captured the crowds with flashes of skin with old classic tunes they lip-synced and danced to. The throwbacks to eras gone by came to life on stage. But as usual, being the goddess she was, Charlotte charmed them and wrapped them around her little finger. And in skin-tight black jeans, a tight fire-engine-red top, and her curly hair mussed as though she’d tumbled out of bed, nearly every hungry gaze in the place was on her. Male and female alike.
Desire curled in his gut, almost cutting off the oxygen to his lungs. But he’d pushed her too far the other day. They’d only communicated by text, and she was always in his thoughts. He’d laid his heart on the line when he’d said they weren’t over. That was the closest he’d get to sharing how he truly felt about her and what he hoped for the future.
He was hers.
Be sure to check out the first book in the series, Guarding Midnight.
Book 1: Guarding Midnight
Book 2: Guarding His Anchor
Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!!