Damien’s personal thoughts – Hawk’s Gift

I’ve discovered life is only about having fun.  It’s too short to worry or be serious.  Bad things happen to everyone but it’s how you ignore it and get on with enjoying life that is important.  Tomorrow will probably bring disaster, but I’ll deal with it then.  But Bobbie pushes and spouts off the most ridiculous arguments. I wish I could teach her how much fun life can be if she stops worrying.

Why do I care what she thinks?  Every time she opens her mouth she sounds like a prune-faced old lady.  She thinks she’s so superior.  But oh when she forgets who she is she’s fascinating.  She is precocious and so entertaining.  And the vibes she sends out are anything but that of an old lady.  There is something about her that I can’t ignore, I can’t forget and that’s a first for me. Love ’em and leave ’em – that’s my motto. Why can’t I just leave her?

Hawk's Gift by Mary M. Forbes

Roberta’s personal thoughts – Hawk’s Gift

Hawk's Gift by Mary M. Forbes

Oh my, oh my –  I could just sit and stare at this guy for hours and hours.  Everything about him is so fascinating. What on earth is happening to me.  This guy is a loser and definitely not my type at all.  I should just walk away and get on with my life – but…  My dreams are centered all around him now.  What should I do?  He makes me laugh.  He makes my heart  flutter with anticipation.  He makes my just living fun.

But I wonder what will happen in the future?  There seems to be no future  It’s only now, the present with him. But what an unforgettable  wonderful present. I wish I could change him and he would be perfect.  But I’ve learned there is no changing another person.  They can only change themselves.  I know that.

Emily’s personal thoughts – One Dance with a Stranger

One Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. Forbes

When I close my eyes, I can sometimes feel the creepy crawling creatures that hide in the night.  I feel the dirt that clings to my skin as I lay on the sticky ground. The cold seeps inside my worn clothes.  I  smell the garbage from the dumpsters and other unwashed grimy bodies around.  Some snore in a drunken stupor.  Some groan and moan in pain and stiffness.  I cry as silently as possible.  For my alternative is worse.  It is  those people who look down their noses and make me feel they are better.  It is those people who won’t share their food with me or give me a bed to sleep in. I should feel grateful for their leftover scraps and their cleaned floors.   It is those people who make me feel like a worm.  It is criticism and harsh words or that condescending  – ‘poor girl, she doesn’t know.  She has to be taught… she has to learn.’  

I come here  to these people because we are all equal here. I even feel the love and affection some give me.  It’s unfortunate we have to live in the back alleys. I don’t need to be told – life is not fair.

Then I wake from my nightmare and look around at the pristine cleanliness of my new,  life. Everything is white.  Everything is clean because it is white. When I’m awake I learn to block the sordid past and convince myself this is and always has been my perfect life.  I can’t afford to let emotions inside or this will all fall apart.

Some might think I need help.  Those are the people who didn’t have to live in chaos, poverty or abuse.  They are the fortunate.

One Dance with a Stranger: Excerpt 2

Her head was spinning.  Her headache had returned full force.  Her hands leaned against the table, weak and helpless.  Her legs felt numb and lifeless.  Yet she wanted to get up and run.  She had to get up.

“I’ve spent my whole life watching women make fools over him.  I really thought you could resist him Emily.  Do you want to hear what else he said?”

As soon as the circulation returned to her legs she would get up.  She would pack and leave immediately.  She wouldn’t stay another moment with these lunatics.  This whole situation was only a game between two brothers who obviously hated each other.

Shattering with complete anguish she finally tilted her head around to look at Wade.  He was stiff.  He looked alone and miserable and her heart stirred.  But he was not denying anything.  He looked into her eyes as though begging for forgiveness.  It was a sign of guilt.  She couldn’t forgive.  Her heart hardened.  She brought her hands up to unfasten his clasping fingers.  Digging her nails into his flesh, she flung his hands away.  Finally she could stand.  She did.

“I think you are both very, very sick men.”  She enunciated slowly, moving back into the house.  “I think you both have some issues only a physiatrist can help you with.  I’m happy I will never see either of you again.”

“Emily,” Janet spoke up quickly.  “Wade was drunk.  Please understand.”

“And that makes a difference – why?”  Emily didn’t even bother to turn. She opened the door and walked through the kitchen into the hall.

“Emily, wait,” Wade moved into the hall.

“Don’t touch me.”  She was proud of the ice in her tone.  She kept walking.  “Don’t you dare touch me,”

Her voice nearly broke.  She had to get away immediately.  He’d won his bet.  He had turned her into a whore with an ease that was frightening.  She couldn’t stay and pack now with him standing beside her.  She moved into the entrance hall instead.

“Where are my keys?”

“You’re in no condition to drive.”  Wade stood with his hands in his pockets.  “Please darlin’, let me explain.”

“Explain?”  Emily’s eyes narrowed.

She fought valiantly for control, welcoming the ice invading with steady thoroughness.  Soon, very soon she could be the Emily she had proudly become.  She would be Emily who didn’t love anyone and the Emily who didn’t need anyone.  She had no feelings inside.  She had no heart.

“Did you make the bet?”


“Did you say you could turn me into a whore?”

“Yes, but,”

“There are no buts darlin’,”

One Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. Forbes

One Dance with a Stranger: Excerpt 1

I love Calgary – a huge, sprawling city in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  A thriving metropolis that maintains it’s cowboy roots regardless of all else happening.  I love cowboys, country music and especially that country atmosphere that surrounds this exciting city.

So it was only natural I would explore the fascinating character of a true cowboy and create my irresistible hero – my perfect cowboy.

Contemporary RomanceOne Dance with a Stranger Excerpt #1:

4. Cover of One Dance New

She continued to squirm to no avail.  She couldn’t seem to summon the energy to break his hold.  Then suddenly he dropped her hand and he placed both hands on her hips.  She moaned and grabbed his right hand again.  He allowed her that small concession, twining his fingers with hers.  But his other hand slid along her hip to her lower back, pressing her closer.  The gliding motion caused her heart to pound.  How could just one dance cause such erotic feelings?  And how could she of all people be feeling this way with a man she didn’t even like?

“Please don’t do this to me.”  She was begging but didn’t care.  She had to stop him.

“What’s wrong darlin’?  I thought you were enjoying this.”  His voice dripped with concern.

“Just don’t talk anymore and sing either.  Just dance,” She felt his sultry voice in her chest and slipping lower.  Her ears were buzzing.  “I think I’m going to start screaming.”

“I can’t believe you’re not enjoying this, my little playboy bunny.  Your body sure says you do.”  His voice revealed her darkest secret so easily.

“How did you know?”   Then she answered herself, trying to place scorn into her voice.  “What a stupid question.  Of course you enjoy girlie magazines and you lived in Texas.”

She knew if her secret was revealed then she would be left with nothing.  She realized she was fast losing everything.  The anguish was unbearable.

“I saw your picture every day for many years, darlin’, when I was sitting in my prison cell.”  Wade shifted slightly to look down in her into her strained face.

She knew her face was white.  They were now standing still, just staring into each other’s eyes.  She couldn’t even look around to see if anyone was watching.  Smiling easily he began to maneuver her backwards.

“Now we’ve shared our secrets.  We’re even.   What should we do about it?”

His smile was wicked.  His eyes burned with passion.  His hand nudged her lower back and she moved back against him.

Oh please help her for she didn’t find his touch even remotely disgusting.  After all this time her body and mind were both betraying her with a full vengeance.  For the first time in her life Emily felt desire licking through her veins with anguished reality.  Startled, she looked up into his knowing eyes.

“I don’t even like you.”  She whispered her denial.  “And I don’t like your voice either.”

4. Back Cover - One Dance

Hawk’s Gift: Excerpt 2

Bobbie turned her back on him.  What was he getting so huffy about?  He was drunk and he was French.  “I did ask you to speak English and you can’t. And that’s why I said maybe not too intelligent.  All intelligent people know English is the only truly civilized…” She turned to face him again.

Grimacing, he turned and moved to the window, lifting it and peering outside.  “Bon, un balcon, Vien,

“Pardon me?”  Bobbie stared at him, puzzled.

Did she understand him correctly?  Did he want her to crawl out the window?  Was it possible?  She hadn’t even started to plead her case yet.

Her gaze moved to the large bed, which took up the majority of floor space in this tiny room.  The covers were tousled and soiled, indicating the type of activity performed here.  Her stomach began churning again.

“Please speak English.  I can’t understand you.”  She whispered, unable to move.

Impatiently, Damien came back to grab her arm and he began pulling her towards the window.  He was going to leave!  Excitement surged within.  He was going to help her escape.

“Wait,” Suddenly she stopped short, trying to dig her heels into the hard wooden floor.  “Where are we going?”

Aunt Hortense always said not to trust a man.  ‘If they are willing to do something for you, then surely they’ll want something dreadful in return’.  Bobbie could still hear her words, although dear Aunt Hortense had passed away nearly a year ago.

A blank stare crossed Damien’s features.

“Why would you help me?”  Bobbie managed to croak out.  Her tongue tip licked against her dry lips.

Damien’s eyes were suddenly smouldering.  Then he shook his head and raised his eyebrows in a mocking manner.  He chuckled.

“Damien, you god-damned bastard, there ain’t no thousand dollars here.”  The muted sound of Gertrude’s rage sounded through the closed door.

Then Bobbie could hear heavy footsteps on the stairs.

C’pourquoi.”  Damien smiled.  Picking her up, he hoisted her out the window and onto the verandah.

Grabbing her hand, he continued moving swiftly towards the outdoor stairs.  “Let’s get out of here, mignonne.”

Perplexed, Bobbie stumbled along behind him.  He spoke English with an intriguing Scottish accent.

Hawk's Gift by Mary M. Forbes

Hawk’s Gift: Excerpt 1

Growing up I heard very young about the Riel Rebellion – Canada’s Civil War.  I knew as I roamed the isolated prairies around our farm I was riding those exact same wild plains as those natives did in the past.  From my travels and experiences Hawk’s Gift was born.

Historical RomanceHawk’s GiftExcerpt #1:

He was the son of a Metis hunter.  She was the daughter of an aristocrat.  How he knew this, Damien wasn’t sure.  Maybe it was the way she stood, tall and arrogant, although she wasn’t much over five feet.  Perhaps it was the way she was wringing her slender, white fingers or the look of utter confusion in her green, cat-like eyes.  That bewitching gaze was turned in his direction, begging him to help her.  And Damien, being the true gentleman he knew himself to be, raised his hand and quietly bid one thousand dollars for the little wench.

He had no idea where he was going to get that kind of money.  Nor did he care.  The gleaming metal pistol he held ominously in his low-slung holster and his huge roan horse, tied outside the saloon were more than sufficient to ensure he got whatever he desired.  He had no use for money and a thousand dollars was a ludicrous amount to pay for a bit of fluff, virgin or not.

Still, he couldn’t very well let Joseph Mills have her either.  Joe was notorious for mistreating horses and women.  And this petite fille would be fortunate to come away with her life if Joe got his hands on her.  Mon Dieu, what ran through a female’s mind to make her enter this prostitute profession?

Roberta Taylor, Bobbie to her friends, was never so petrified in her whole nineteen years.  She was on a stage with a crowd of horrid looking men ogling her like dogs slavering over a tasty piece of meat.  She felt icy-cold and thoroughly violated.  How dare they?  And how dare Gertrude ignore her pleas?  She had no means of escape, all because this – stupid woman was holding her immobile and with the help of her enormous bodyguard as well.

When she heard Damien’s un mille dollars, her mouth dropped open.  Men would actually pay a thousand dollars for their selfish pleasure?

Hawk's Gift by Mary M. Forbes

Alberta Wild Rose: Excerpt 2

“This gold is cursed.  Yu touch it, yu die or maybe even worse.   The spirits torture and cripple yu.  Don’ ever go touching the gold or you’re gonna die or go crazy.”

“If Dale, Mandala believes that, why did he bring her?”

“Our Great Spirits work in strange ways,” Whispering Waters smiled, taking Rose’s agitated fingers in her own and smoothing them calmly.  “Yu don’ believe this do you?”

“I don’t know.” Rose shivered as the sun, giving one last shuddering heave, dropped like a pebble, behind the spiraling bluff above her.

For one exaggerated moment there was infinite darkness.  She blinked, trying to adjust her eyes to the blackness.  She wasn’t sure what to believe.  As the drafts echoed through the branches overhead, she heard an owl wail out.  She could only conclude they were in a mystical place, alien and terribly intimidating.  Foreboding, like needles pricking her flesh, caused goose bumps to erupt.

“Can we eat owls?”  She whispered.  She’d heard Dale say there was no food here.

“No.” But Whispering Waters was smiling now, as though amused.  “They are evil spirits, for sure.  I can see now why.   I hope for Mandala’s sake yu aren’t like her.”

“Like Elizabeth?  Rose shook her head vehemently.  “I will never be like her.”

Then she saw Leon approaching.  He sat down gingerly beside her.

“Miss O’Neill  we must stop this madness.  It’s ludicrous that civilized people are acting in such a manner.”

“How do you propose we do that?”  Rose whispered back.  Now she could feel Dale’s mystic eyes move in her direction.  He was seated on a log, by the fire. Stiffening, she turned to Leon.

“Do you know what is going on?”  His pale blue eyes were round with fear.

“They are after the cursed gold.  Surely, since you live here, you must have heard of the cursed gold.” She whispered.

“Of course I have heard of the gold. Miss O’Neill  it is a proven, documented fact that Lemon found some gold.  I’ve seen the men who have dared touch it including Lemon.  I’ve heard they either burned to a crisp in mysterious fires or were seen wandering around, eyes vacant and mad. What I don’t understand is why a heathen would bring them here.  He seems very enamored with you and I thought perhaps you would know.”

“He doesn’t talk to me.” She flushed, lowering her eyes as Leon looked disbelieving. “You believe there is actually gold here?  I’ve read extensively on the subject and other than the legends, I can see no reason why there would be.”

Alberta Wild Rose by Mary M. Forbes

Alberta Wild Rose: Excerpt 1

Hazy blue air hovers over the ‘Blue’ Canadian Rockies – increasing the feeling of a mystery surrounding the awesome sight.  From Calgary those white-capped, etched mountains give the impression they are painted on the sky.

Growing up on the prairies (which really aren’t flat until you see the mountains) the first time I saw the mountains I felt awe and intimidation.  Their mystery is very palpable. When I read the little known Legend of the cursed Lost Lemon Mine, I was further enthralled and often felt a strong desire to explore and find the mine.  Driving through Crowsnest Pass, southwest of Calgary, always turns my thoughts to this fascinating legend.  Alberta Wild Rose was born from those feelings – an imaginary search for the treasure.

Historical RomanceAlberta Wild RoseExcerpt #1:

Fighting dizziness as well as his nearness, she tried biting down on her assailant’s palm, only to find she was further abused as his hand moved into her parted lips.  Like a steel horse bit, one finger strained her lips tightly back until she felt as though they were tearing apart.  She tasted the salty tang of her own blood.

“Please, you can’t,” through the thundering roar in her ears, Rose recognized the voice of the hotel clerk, Mr. Johnson.  “This is Miss O’Neill’s room.  I assure you, she would not harbor an Indian in there.”

“Then why the hell ain’t she answering?”  A voice snarled.

“I believe she went out to watch the parade.  I didn’t see her come back,” Mr. Johnson continued.  “Please stop.  You have no right disrupting my guests in this manner.  The window at the end of the hall is open.  Your man is mostly likely long gone by now.”

Tears flooded Rose’s eyes.  What had possessed her to come up the back stairs?  Why hadn’t she gone through the lobby where Mr. Johnson would have seen her?

The heavy sound of many booted feet receded, quickly.  The men scurried down the back stairs.

The hand on her mouth eased back slightly.  Rose’s smarting eyes cleared.  A hazy vision emerged.  Long, inky black hair brushed against wide shoulders.  Her gaze slowly moved up to his square jaw and wide, sensual lips.  His eyes were gleaming coals, startlingly beautiful as they shone from beneath heavy brows and thick lashes, absurdly long for a man.  His aquiline nose and high, angular cheekbones dispelled any notion of femininity.  She was aware that his chest and arms were naked and pressing into her bosom.

Revulsion battled with hypnotic wonder.  No man had ever dared touch her in such a familiar manner.  Even as she realized a barbaric heathen was holding her captive, she was conscious he was the most intriguing male she had ever encountered.  Moaning her growing confusion, she felt herself sink into a welcome darkness.

Alberta Wild Rose by Mary M. Forbes

Paradise on the Horizon: Excerpt 2

Excerpt from Paradise on the Horizon:

Paradise on the Horizon by Mary M. Forbes

Luke’s eyes narrowed.  “How am I ever going to explain you to my neighbors?  Look, Natasha, ladies don’t act like whores.  Unless you want everyone believing you are my mistress, I’d start watching my behavior, if I were you.”

“You would not recognize a lady if you fell over her.”

Mutinously, Natasha reached back, motioning for Boris to pass her the bottle of wine she’d purchased in Minnedosa.  Tipping the bottle, she took a large swig of the alcohol, smiling maliciously.

So Luke wanted to teach her manners, did he?  His battered features looked drawn and sore, but she no longer cared.  Let him suffer.  She would not offer him a drink to soften the pain.  He didn’t drink.

Seeing the abhorrence in his eyes, she flicked her tongue out, deliberately licking the red drops from her lips.

“You can’t drink on the train.”  Luke hissed and then stopped short.  He started to chuckle.  His face softened.  “You’re behaving like a spoiled child, sweetheart.”

“How would that be, sweetheart?”  Natasha asked, sugary sweet.  She took another deep swallow, but it didn’t taste as good now.  She was behaving like a child.  “Of course, ladies don’t drink either.  What was I thinking?”

“No, they don’t.  But that’s beside the point.  No one can drink on a train, sweetheart.  If you’re caught, they’ll put you in jail.  Then they’ll find out who you are and ship you back to the Doukhobors.”

“Are you trying to frighten me Luke?”  Natasha whispered with mock bravado.

Did they really throw people in jail for drinking on a train?   She saw the humor in his eyes.  Surely, he was teasing her again.  “You know, I just realized you would fit in very well with those ‘Spirit Wrestlers’.  Maybe we should go back and make a trade.  They need workhorses and would surely get more use out of you than me.”