Camping Adventure…From Hell

mosquitoes

A couple of days ago I went on a camping adventure with my soon to be husband. He was so excited and had been planning it for weeks. He’s not much of a camper so I went along with it as long as it meant we’d be camping. I love camping. I was even a hiking director for a summer camp for two years so I have some experience with it.

We arrived at our camp site. This isn’t your typical camp site. It isn’t far from our home but I’d never camped there so I was pretty excited. This place is in the middle of a reserve, There isn’t any cell service and there isn’t a single person around for miles and miles…at least not normally. So again, we arrived at our camp site and there were two men already there. You could tell by the way they dressed that they were not from the area. Almost immediately one of the men wandered over and pleaded for a ride into town to get his car. They had plans to canoe the whole river, halfway through they realized their mistake.

Our jeep was still full with our supplies and I was motion sick from the ride in. I opted to stay behind but my significant other wasn’t very keen on leaving me alone in the woods with a strange man. I told him I was planning on going hiking anyway. I watched the jeep drive away and went in search of sunscreen before heading into the woods. Long story short it was in the jeep. So I went hiking anyway. How long could they possibly be gone? Several hours later I found myself waiting in the woods for the sound of our vehicle and my author brain was taking over. My dog and I were being eaten alive by black flies, horse flies and mosquitoes and there wasn’t even the slightest breeze. Finally Corey returned and drove us back to the camp site. By this time I was burnt to a crisp, dehydrated and working on the mother of all head aches.

I lathered up with some sunscreen, chugged a power aid and we went swimming. Swimming wasn’t any better as the section of river we were next to was barely two feet deep in every direction. So we decided to dry off and set up camp. This was when we discovered there was no firewood. My man was told by several people that bringing wood onto the reserve was illegal so we didn’t. Now we were at a camp site without wood and the biting flies were telling all there friends about  the buffet on Ramsy’s Ledge. Also I’m pretty sure the little bastards were addicted to deet because the bug spray had little to no effect. A fire would drive them away but the only wood we were finding were ten foot logs and rotten branches that had been cut several years ago. With a little help from our charcoal we got a smolder going. Just as we were getting ready for supper a line of trucks came by, honking and making a ruckus. We came to this spot to avoid all things ruckus! They off loaded their canoes and my fiance and I looked at the drunken group apprehensively. It looked like rescue mission number two was on the horizon. They left and we got supper started. During this time I was enjoying the setting sun and most of the flies had been driven off by our smoldering fire. There in the sky was a bald eagle. My first reaction was awe, then to grab my 15 lbs dog, then I went back to awe again. The majestic creature was circling over the river and we watched in wonder as he swooped down and grabbed something from the water. My fiance got quiet, looked at me and smirked before going back to cooking. I thought this was odd but not wanting to miss a thing I grabbed my glasses when another eagle started to circle. Then I looked at the river and realized it wasn’t fish on the menu, it was baby ducks. So much for majestic. More like cannibalistic, baby murderers.

The drunk canoeists arrived just as we started eating and they needed help reloading their canoes.  We sent them off with a big wave and went back to our cold meal. Then we had to find more smoldering firewood because as the sun was setting, the no see ums were coming out and I’m allergic to those little jerks. I covered up, head to toe with a hood on and the love of my life set up the evening activities of watching horror movies on my laptop. By this time the dog was outright refusing to come out of the jeep having lost most of his blood to parasitic flies from the gates of hell. I resisted the urge to join him because I didn’t want to spoil the evening. Just as we were getting settled in, it began to rain, which put out the smoldering fire. We moved our party into the back of the jeep where my man had set up an air mattress. My head was pounding out the rhythm to a Metallica song but we watched our movies. He fell instantly asleep but my head hurt and I was freezing probably because I had a mild case of sunstroke. Great, now I was going to die out here.

Two hours later the air mattress needed to be refilled and and hour after that I had to pee. I’m not scared of much but between me and a bear I’m pretty sure the bear would win so I waited until breaking point before climbing out of the jeep and into the rain for a third time. It was completely dark and thundering in the distance, there was a low fog resting just above the grass and an owl hooted from a nearby tree and I’d spent the night watching horror movies. Turning on the flashlight only made everything look like ghosts because of the fog and without the flashlight I was pretty sure I was going to be eaten by a bear. If there were a land speed record for a female peeing in the woods…I would have beat it by three seconds. Oh, I forgot the no see ums. For some reason in the twelve seconds it took me to pee the little monsters swarmed me. When I got back into the jeep I was covered with throbbing, itching bites all over my face, lips, eyes and neck.

I managed to pass out from blood loss and woke up again at 5:30 am. I’ve never woken up at 5:30 am without an alarm clock in my life. I woke up my sweet heart, climbed out of the jeep and into the rising sun. I stretched and smiled and lied for all I was worth. “This is great!”

“Babe, go look at your eyes.” He said.

I went and looked in the truck’s side mirror and gasped. Both of my eyes were swollen nearly shut and my entire face was spotted with angry red welts. Refusing to admit that this had been horrible I went back, sneezed in his face and hugged him. “This was so much fun.”

“Do you want to go home?” He asked.

“More than life.” I responded.

The ride out was more like an escape and halfway home we had to pull over so I could vomit on the side of the road.

We got home and the dog and I both got an anti-histamine for the fly bites. Then we slept until 2:00. Today the dog is still chewing at the fly bites but it looks like we’re going to make it. Moral of the story, never go into the great wilderness without wood, sunblock and black market fly dope.

Proof of Purchase Contest

Proof of Purchase Contest:

I’m holding a contest for readers and reviewers of my books. However, this time it isn’t a free contest but I promise the prize will be worth it for one lucky reader. I am giving away a $50.00 USD amazon gift card. The contest will end July 31, 2015.

amazon50

How to enter:

To enter the contest all you have to do is buy one of my books between today and July 31st 2015 and take a screenshot thanking you for your purchase of my book. Then send the screen shot to me via Facebook private messenger along with your email address. Each book purchase will get you one entry token into the contest. Now if you also review the book and send me the review screen shot or link, you will earn two more tokens, per review. That’s a possibility of three entry tokens per book. Your odds are better than scratch tickets and you can buy the book from whichever online retailer you usually use.

Stipulations:

All books must be paid for, no free book reviews and any returns will be automatically disqualified. Does it look like I’m trying to sell books? Because I am. 🙂

List of Books to choose from:

A Succubus’ Guide to Gold Digging (A Paranormal Romantic Comedy)

succubusguide cover

http://www.amazon.com/Succubus-Guide-Gold-Digging-ebook/dp/B00OYWFWNU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436556206&sr=8-1&keywords=addison+lockwood

Blurb:

All Madison ever wanted was to fall in love. For a Succubus coming from a long line of gold diggers, this makes her the black sheep of this strictly matriarchal family line. But with the mystery surrounding her mother’s unfortunate death after vaginal reconstructive surgery and Madison’s discovery that she’s been cut from the will, she decides to take up the family trade in order to hire a detective.

Regrettably, after being shot by the pregnant wife of her present sugar daddy, during her mother’s funeral, Madison’s is unable to use her powers of persuasion on men. This means she’s going to have to become a gold digger the old fashioned way. Lucky for her, long time con-artist, Luca takes pity on Madison and he’s willing to help. The fact that he has an Irish accent and looks like a Greek underwear model, is just icing on the cake.

Karma Effect (A Paranormal Romantic Comedy)

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http://www.amazon.com/Karma-Effect-paranormal-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B010U2CMCQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436556366&sr=1-1

Blurb: 

Had Teagan known that her childhood babysitter was a witch, maybe she wouldn’t have had the woman’s car towed or shaved off her eyebrows. One dark curse and twenty years later, Teagan has learned her lesson about Karma but it seems Karma isn’t done with her yet and things are only getting worse.
Having come to the conclusion that her only option is to try and outrun her bad luck, Teagan and her dog, Charms, hit the open road. Karma on the other hand, isn’t having any of it and one break down later, Teagan finds herself stranded in the woods of West Virginia.
Blake isn’t sure what to think when he finds the curly haired ginger lost on his property. He’s worried she might be connected to the mob. The same mob that’s he’s been hiding from for the past six months. But you know what they say, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Teagan is one enemy he wouldn’t mind keeping very close.

(NOTE: Karma Effect is exempt from the review submission portion of the contest. It is available for pre-order but won’t be published until September 1st, 2015)

Bad Larry and the Divorcee (Romantic Comedy 18+)

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http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Larry-Divorc%C3%A9e-M-Levesque-ebook/dp/B00YDR973M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436556541&sr=1-1&keywords=m.levesque

Blurb: 

~Editor’s Pick~

Riya’s divorce gift to herself is to adopt a dog. Bad Larry and Riya meet at an animal shelter and quickly bond over their mutual hatred of men. Riya promises the little dog that she’ll never let anything bad happen to him again, if he promises to make it hard for her to bring any men back to her apartment, in a moment of weakness.

Jaden is investigating the murder of one of Riya’s high school classmates and after a strange first encounter in a public bathroom, he asks her out. She shoots him down but he’s determined to get to know her better, despite her warnings of owning a dangerous, man-hating dog.

Riya has no choice but to let Jaden into her life when she starts getting threatening letters from the killer but are she and Bad Larry ready to give Jaden an honest shot?

The Semi-Perfect Life (Romantic Comedy 18+)

semi-perfect cover art

http://www.amazon.com/Semi-Perfect-Life-M-Levesque-ebook/dp/B00OGNETVI/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436556639&sr=1-4

Blurb:

~Editor’s Pick

Summer thinks her life is perfect until the night after her promotion when realizes how imperfect it all is without someone to share it with. In an act of desperation she decides to have a one-night stand—in an effort to avoid silly things like long-term commitments and marriage.

She finds what she’s looking for in a handsome bartender named Jason. The next morning during an awkward goodbye they witness a murder and one escaped serial killer later they suddenly find themselves living in the witness protection program as husband and wife.

Backwoods Bailout (Romantic Comedy 18+)

Backwoods Bailout Cover Art

http://www.amazon.com/Backwoods-Bailout-M-Levesque-ebook/dp/B00QUCP85O/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436556639&sr=1-3

Blurb:

Lacy is recently divorced and decides she is going to live her dream of being a full-time writer. She uses every dime she has to buy a perfect little log cabin in the woods. Unfortunately, just as she’s getting settled in, the real owner of the house returns.

Marcus isn’t upset to find the curvy brunette sleeping in his bed, but he is surprised. He knew his ex was going to take their breakup badly but he didn’t think she was going to con someone into buying his house. Now, he finds himself bailing Lacy out.

The Fox and the Hound (Romantic Comedy 18+)

foxhound

http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Hound-Bailout-Book-ebook/dp/B00TRJ63DI/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1436556815&sr=1-2

Blurb:

Holly is just restarting her retirement from a life of white collar crime when an old friend finds his way back to her. Peyton Shepherd, AKA The Reaper, is the bad guys’ number one retrieval expert when they are looking for someone, and right now they’re looking for Holly.

She usually doesn’t worry about these guys because she can con her way out of pretty much anything but Peyton has apprehended her before. This time he is a little more motivated to bring her in because the last time she left him handcuffed naked to a headboard, borrowed his identity, and stole his favorite car. Holly didn’t think a year was long enough for him to forgive and forget but if he did finish the job, she knew it wasn’t a meeting she’d walk away from.

Sneak Peek of Karma Effect

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A Paranormal Romantic Comedy

This is still going to have one last comb-through by my editor but I thought I’d give you all a sneak peek of Karma Effect!

Prologue

            When the girl’s mother first made the inquiry for a bomb-proof baby-sitter, the high priestess hadn’t taken the request literally.

Hazel Goode was a high priestess of the Order of the Light. She’d been the apprentice to some of the greatest sorceresses of all time. She’d painstakingly studied the art of magic since she was old enough to talk and spoke several languages because of this. She studied occult magic and its anthropological beginnings at Harvard, and rumor is that she is the sole person responsible for Oprah Winfrey’s success. She’d arrogantly thought that it would take more than a spirited young girl to take her down.

Despite all the credentials, being a priestess isn’t a full-time gig now-a-days and it doesn’t exactly pay what it used to, so she was forced to take up a more traditional form of employment. Over the years she’d become an accomplished childcare professional and her resume proudly boasted there wasn’t a child hopeless enough that she couldn’t transform into a well-behaved individual. This claim held fast until the day she first met nine-year-old Teagan.

Things were rough between the two from the very beginning. Teagan it seemed had made it her mission in life to ruin Hazel Goode’s reputation as a childcare professional.  Things started off with a resounding bang—on day one—when she awoke from a cat nap without eyebrows. The child was supposed to be doing her homework at the time but instead she thought she’d test how light of a sleeper her new sitter was, by shaving off both of the woman’s bushy eyebrows. Within a week’s time Hazel had had quite enough of the child’s clever trickery, and when the Teagan refused to heed her warnings the High Priestess sub-consciously started to devise a counter attack.

Circumstances, however, quickly progressed from bad to worse. The more Hazel tightened her hold on the spirited young girl, the harder Teagan pulled. She took away her television time and Teagan had her sitter’s car towed. Hazel forced her to make her bed and Teagan handed the lady at the grocery store checkout counter a note claiming she had been kidnapped.

She secretly had to admit that the child had a cunningly devious mind but this dark gift was rapidly getting out of hand.

The last straw came on the day Hazel got a credit card statement—for a credit card that she didn’t apply for. But this was only phase one to Teagan’s piece de resistance. Upon receiving notification that the card was approved the child had also taken the liberty of signing her sitter up for daily phone sex calls from an Island off the coast of Guam. Hazel had simply assumed the calls had been pranks but at thirty-two dollars a minute, they were far more than that.

It was determined at this time that Teagan didn’t play fair. This was when Hazel decided all bets were off. She’d made a promise to the girl’s mother that she would correct her behavior and she was going to keep that promise. She just needed a little magic to do it right. She would never admit to herself or anyone else that most of her reasoning came from pride. Hazel in all her years had never been bested, not by a single witch, wizard or warlock and she certainly wouldn’t admit defeat to a nine-year-old girl, no matter how extraordinary she was.

After a little research and some brushing up she set her plan into action. She set everything up for when Teagan got out of school. She’d never worked a curse—to say nothing of the hoodoo mess this particular curse required— but when She looked over her list and then at the improvised alter/kitchen table she was pretty proud of myself.

Thirteen candles…check.

The feather of a pure black raven…check.

The blood of a dead chicken (store bought, but… check).

The femur bone of a bowlegged man…check.

A sacrifice…check.

…and a gift to the spirit, a bottle of vodka…check.

All she needed now was the hair of a nine-year-old spawn of Satan and her plan would be set into motion.

As if on cue Teagan entered the kitchen and flashed her wary sitter a charismatic grin. She was a beautiful child which, honestly, was probably half the reason her behavior seemed so malicious.

Her glance darted from Hazel to her half-dead—soon to be whole-dead—goldfish.  Larry, unaware of his impending fate, was swimming sideways in his bowl and praying for death. He’d been on his way out for days and Hazel justified it as being no worse than flushing the poor creature down the drain. The small fish bowl was placed within the circle of unlit candles with the rest of the objects strewn artfully around it.

“What’s up?” Her green eyes sparkled with interest.

“I’ve had enough of your behavior.” Hazel replied calmly, placing the Capital One credit card statement on the table for her to see.

Teagan smiled proudly. Considering the amount of effort that particular ruse entailed it was well understood why she might be pleased with herself, but it also reaffirmed to Hazel that if the girl’s behavior continued to go unchecked things would quickly spin out of control.

“Please have a seat.” Hazel offered her the chair at the head of the altar. “We are going to play a little game.”

“What is it called?” Apprehension was finally creeping into her little voice.

“It’s called casting. It’s magic.” Hazel straightened Teagan’s chair and pushed her into the table before continuing to her side of the table/altar. “Teagan, do you know what karma is?”

She shrugged passively.

“Karma is when people who do good things have good things happen to them, but it is also when people who do bad things have bad things happen to them. What kind of karma do you think you deserve?”

She shrugged again and started to look bored with her babysitter’s little diversion. Considering the child’s uncanny intelligence, it wasn’t surprising that she was already growing tired with the new “game”.  Hazel recognized the signs and knew from past experience that if she didn’t move things along, she was going to quickly regret giving the child any down time to think up another prank.

Hazel rolled her eyes and picked the scissors off the table. “All I need is a little bit of your hair.” Teagan’s hair was by far one of her most striking attributes—long red curls, shimmering with threads of golden highlights, reached nearly to her waist.

Her eyebrows rose at the request. “My mom will kick your ass if you cut my hair.”

Hazel’s own eye twitched at the girl’s use of vulgarity—and at the further reminder that her time here had done absolutely nothing to improve her behavior. “If you want to see magic, I need your hair.”

“Real magic?” She looked intrigued as she deliberated briefly. “Okay.”

Hazel could practically see the wheels turning inside the girl’s clever little mind. This was potentially a two-for-one deal for her. Her sitter would perform a magic show and later her mother would fire the woman for cutting her hair.

Hazel didn’t care that she was about to lose her employment. This particular task was more important than a baby-sitting gig. The fate of humanity depended on this.  Left unheeded, Hazel had convinced herself that this particular child would soon rein supreme overlord of the universe.

Hazel took a deep breath.  She was about to cast her first curse. In all the training she’d received over the years the consequences of delving into the dark arts were well known, but she was convinced this had nothing to do with revenge or bruised pride and everything to do with the betterment of  human civilization.

Hazel leaned in and cut off a massive chunk of long red curls, dropping them into Larry’s bowl. The fish was officially belly up in the water and she hoped it still had enough life left in it to serve as a proper sacrifice. She snapped her long narrow fingers and the candles flared to life.

Teagan’s eyes darted around the table to each candle and she squirmed happily in her seat. Apparently she was satisfied with the price of admission. She was no longer even the least bit nervous. This was probably what irritated Hazel the most. Teagan had never felt real pain and therefore didn’t feel true fear. After today she would learn fear and feel pain—karma would see to that.

Hazel began to chant the incantation and a breeze started to swirl in the closed-off kitchen. She let three drops of chicken blood drip into the fishbowl and stirred it with the raven’s feather. She held up her hands in prayer and continued chanting and within moments the water in Larry’s bowl began to boil. The sacrifice had been made…hopefully.

Teagan demanded for her sitter to stop as the soft breeze became a hurricane wind and the candle’s flames shot high into the air. The witch took a mouthful of the vodka and sprayed the alcohol over the table. As she said the three last words of the dark curse the wind stopped abruptly and the candles instantly snuffed out, the curls of smoke dancing from their wicks the only evidence that anything had happened.

The girl scowled at Hazel from her seat at the head of table/altar. Her little eyes narrowed into angry slits, but just beyond her anger there was shock. She refused to cry but she didn’t immediately jump up to leave the room either because just like Hazel, the child was too proud to admit defeat.

“It is done. Heed my warning child. Every bad thing you do will have a consequence. Every mean word you say and every prank you play will come back to haunt you.” Hazel warned.

Teagan didn’t move a muscle until her mother arrived home. The sitter knew her over-protective mother would be angry about her daughter’s hair and the black magic goings-on in her kitchen, but she hadn’t expected her to call the police.

By the time Teagan and Hazel were through telling their sides of the story the High Priestess wasn’t simply arrested, she was committed.

As she was cuffed and led to the back of a cop car the warning words of elders past rang in her ears: The caster of a dark curse, if casting under prideful intent, will suffer a grave backlash.

Now available for pre-order on Amazon.com!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Karma-Effect-paranormal-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B010U2CMCQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436494638&sr=8-2&keywords=karma+effect

Inspiration for Bad Larry and the Divorcee

BadLarryandtheDivorcee-facebook seal

As with most of the books I write, I was inspired by events in my life. Bad Larry is basically about a recent divorcee that adopts a dog that hates men. I myself have never owned a man hating dog but up until recently I did own a pair of Dobermans. I’d gotten the dogs when I was with my ex-boyfriend of 6 years and when the relationship ended, the dogs were the only thing I took with me, besides my clothes. Though the animals in question were very well trained and sweet, I used people’s assumption of the breed to keep me safe and to keep them (men) at a distance.

I was on a mission, you see. Upon the breakup I realized that I’d never been alone and at that point in my life I was far happier alone than with anyone. So I promised myself that I would be single for at least a year before dating anyone. This was a harder task than I expected since a friend of mine was hell bent on hooking me up with every eligible male in the thirty mile radius. So we’d go out and I’d only find out afterwards that she’d arranged for men to meet up with us. I’d politely accept their company for the evening but never had any plans of seeing them again or bringing them home. For this not so smooth let down I would simply tell them that I had two Dobermans that didn’t like strangers. I found that a man’s sex drive drops considerably at the thought of being violently torn limb from limb by a pair of blood thirsty dogs.

doberman

As with most things in life, I began to heal and I realized my prior relationship had been over for far longer than the 8 months since I’d finally moved out. Then, I met Mr. Right. The timing was off by four months but I told myself to give him a chance to screw things up by himself. So I set him up to fail. After a few dates, when he still hadn’t managed to mess up despite my wishing for him to do so, I invited him over to watch a movie and meet the dogs. His first reaction to having a pair of giddy Doberman Pinschers trot up to him and stick their noses in his crotch was what one might expect as he pressed himself against the wall and squelched the look of terror on his face. This may or may not have been my fault since I’d never actually told him the dogs were so sweet they were practically made of sugar. I’d done this intentionally as I wasn’t sure yet if he passed my barrage of tests.

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My biggest test came when after dating for only a couple more weeks I asked him to baby sit the dogs for four days while I visited a friend out of town. Within hours he called me in a panic. The dogs had eaten a bunch of bananas (and he didn’t know if bananas killed dogs) when he had gone into town to pay my electric bill…that I’d forgotten to. In my defense I really had intended to pay said bill before leaving town but it slipped my mind. I remember the mortification that came over me at the thought that if he were testing me as harshly as I was testing him, he’d probably realize that my fruit stealing dogs and I might not be worth the effort.

I assured him that this was a frequent occurrence and the dogs would be fine. Then I admitted my whole plan of setting him up to fail. That I didn’t know how or why he’d lasted this long and that the money I’d left on my dresser was yet another test. He laughed at my weak admission because he’d known what I was up to all along. Then he admitted how scared he had been to babysit because he’d never had a dog before but he was willing to try if it meant getting on my good side. He told me he knew he had to impress the dogs if he ever intended on impressing me.

happily-ever-after-athena

The rest, as they say is history. Eight years later, I am still waiting for Mr. Right to mess up but I don’t think that’s going to happen. So, despite the fact that I’m being forced to wear a dress and take pictures, we’re getting married in the fall. He managed to pass every test we ever put him against. He has the patience of a saint and quietly tolerated two large dogs sharing our bed, eating our bananas and politely ignoring every command he gave them. We went through the ringer together, surviving natural disaster, job loss, a near drowning and eventually the loss of both our cherished dogs but we came out in the end better for it.

Also some of you have probably already seen this but for those of you who haven’t I will be donating 10% of my profits from Bad Larry and the Divorcee to animal rescue. For updates on this and my upcoming releases please revisit my blog.

BadLarryandtheDivorcee-seal added

Riya’s divorce gift to herself is to adopt a dog. Bad Larry and Riya meet at an animal shelter and quickly bond over their mutual hatred of men. Riya promises the little dog that she’ll never let anything bad happen to him again, if he promises to make it hard for her to bring any men back to her apartment, in a moment of weakness.

Jaden is investigating the murder of one of Riya’s high school classmates and after a strange first encounter in a public bathroom, he asks her out. She shoots him down but he’s determined to get to know her better, despite her warnings of owning a dangerous, man-hating dog.

Riya has no choice but to let Jaden into her life when she starts getting threatening letters from the killer but are she and Bad Larry ready to give Jaden an honest shot?

http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Larry-Divorc%C3%A9e-M-Levesque-ebook/dp/B00YDR973M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433351252&sr=8-1&keywords=bad+larry+and+the+divorcee

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-badlarryandthedivorce-1817818-149.html

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/bad-larry-and-the-divorcee-by-m-levesque/?page_context=search&faceted_search=0

New Release…The Fox and the Hound

foxhound

      A little insider information to the creation of The Fox and the Hound. As I was writing Backwoods Bailout I created a character named Holly. Now I’ve actually been a published author and seriously writing for about three years and most of my books start with ideas, not characters, but Holly took on a life of her own and something about her demanded another story.

Book One: Backwoods Bailout…

http://www.amazon.com/Backwoods-Bailout-M-Levesque-ebook/dp/B00QUCP85O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424377745&sr=8-1&keywords=backwoods+bailout

      The Fox and the Hound is book two in my Bailout Series. In book one, Backwoods Bailout, the main character Lacy was swindled into buying a house that technically didn’t belong to the person selling it. As we come to find out, the person who sold it to her was leading man, Marcus’ ex-girlfriend, Holly. It was a bitter break-up, what can I say? Anyway Holly rights her wrongs before heading into the sunset…but it seems she’s been too lucky for too long and Karma has come a knockin’ in the form of Peyton Shepherd. This is their story…

The Fox and the Hound

Chapter One

Karma was paying me a long overdue visit, and trust me when I say that I deserved it. I was a recently retired white collar criminal, and I had a tendency to con the wrong people. It was never about greed. It started out as the only way I could support me and my dad, and then it evolved into my just trying to pay people back before they got a hold of me. I conned the bad guys because it made it easier to sleep at night. The problem with conning bad people is that they tend to hold grudges, and have loose morals when it comes to things like vengeance and making people disappear.

So here I am, one week into my retirement, and I am trapped in the windowless lobby bathroom of the only hotel in Fort Kent, Maine. I specifically chose this little town in the middle of nowhere because it was small, quiet, and I had never stolen money from anyone in the immediate area. I even knew which building I was going to buy to start my art studio. I knew I’d never be the artist my father was, but I could paint a landscape with my eyes closed, and with the views in this town, I knew I’d make enough to get by. Maybe I’d even teach a few classes while I was at it.

I was finished with the con game, real estate fraud being my specialty. But I didn’t want to run anymore. I just wanted to settle down, get a cat or something, and live out the rest of my life in solitude and peace.

As to why that wasn’t currently happening and I now found myself hiding out in a bathroom? His name is Peyton Shepherd, the bad guy’s go-to retrieval expert, and this wasn’t the first time we’d crossed paths. I just hoped that Al, the hotel owner, bought my story of being chased down by an angry ex-boyfriend and kept his mouth shut about my hiding spot.

In truth, Peyton being an angry ex wasn’t really that far off the mark. Peyton was kind of an old friend, and the last time we’d spoken on the phone…he had been pretty angry. I mean, angrier than just the fact that I’d seduced him and handcuffed him to a bed.

I knew exactly how angry he was because when he’d called me on my way out of town, he warned me that if he ever saw me again, he was going to handcuff me to a headboard and show me what was what. He also said some pretty mean things about my use of my vagina as a form of trade. So, I stole his identity a week later just to prove a point. I didn’t need to use my vagina to get anything. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a whore.

As to his response, I’m not really sure what I expected from handcuffing a guy to his headboard, pulling his pants off, and then leaving him there for the hotel maid to find the next morning, but he was normally more of a gentleman.

So with a ding in my ego the size of Nebraska, I hit the open road and never looked back. Did I regret not finishing what we’d started in that hotel room? Every single day of my life, but some toys were too dangerous to play with, and Peyton Shepherd was one of them.

I should have known the day he walked into my life that things were going to get bumpy. No man that looked like he did in ripped Levis is a good omen. Men like him signify trouble in the best way. Yes, I said best, because he could do things with his tongue that made my first apprehension a whole lot more enjoyable than it should have been. It was pretty pathetic, honestly.

At the time, he was working freelance for Johnny Capriccio, the head of the Italian mob in Chicago. I may have taken a few hundred thousand dollars of Johnny’s money and invested it all in real-estate on the moon. To make a long story short, let’s just say that I have terrible taste in men, and Johnny Capriccio now owns half of Earth’s moon.

Three weeks after Johnny’s real-estate transaction went through, Peyton walked into my life. At this point, I was strictly avoiding mixing business and pleasure, but sometimes, even bad girls need a good time, and I’m really blaming my hormones for what happened in that hotel room. My girl parts are self-centered, and they only had one thing on their minds as soon as I first laid eyes on Peyton Shepherd. So, I’m pleading temporary insanity because my thought process from that moment forward was slightly skewed and I wasn’t entirely in charge of my choices during the duration of my abduction.

We spent three days driving across the country and sleeping in crappy motels, and every night, he was sleeping a little closer. On the last night, I awoke from my hormone-induced stupor to find myself straddling his lap, my teeth locked onto his delectable bottom lip, when I suddenly realized what I was doing. My survival instincts had kicked in with the clicking of his handcuffs around his wrists, and I recognized that my time for escape was now or never.

I stood back, biting my bottom lip as I raked my eyes over his semi-naked perfection, and I contemplated my options. Stay and have a night of mind-blowing, tantric sex and risk that he would still turn me in to Johnny in the morning, or walk away now and regret not having that night for the rest of my life? That’s when I realized survival wasn’t necessarily about living as it was about subsisting.

From his position handcuffed to the bed, he narrowed those dark, haunted eyes on me and my decision was made. I didn’t know how long the cuffs could really hold him, so I quickly grabbed my clothes, told him I was very sorry, grabbed his car keys, and left.

That had been just over a year ago, but Peyton wasn’t known for his forgiving nature and karma was knocking pretty hard on this girl’s door. They say karma’s a bitch, but why did she have to send Peyton?

I should have known this day was coming. I’d been riding on good luck for too long. I shouldn’t have cut so many corners with Ethan Glenridge. I was always careful to check if someone had access to Peyton’s services before going in for the kill, but Ethan was a very rich douchebag, and very rich douchebags had access to everything! Honestly, I really didn’t think that he’d even notice the money I’d taken from his accounts.

Essentially, the money I stole from that bastard was to pay back his ex-wife, Lacy. Less than a week ago, I’d conned her in order to pay off some very bad men. So, essentially, the money I stole from Ethan was owed to her anyway. I’d righted a wrong. I’d balanced the universe. I was practically Robin Hood, and karma was still coming for me. I just didn’t get it. Okay, sure, maybe I shouldn’t have taken a little extra for myself, but it was just to get me by until I could open my art gallery.

I backed against the bathroom door while trying to listen to Al and Peyton’s conversation. It was easy to tell the two men apart. Peyton had a deep, resonating voice that probably helped in getting him the nickname The Reaper, while Al had a voice like a thirteen-year-old boy.

“Have you seen a woman come in here today? She’s tall, slender, early thirties, very attractive?”

I would have kicked his ass for the thirties comment—not that I wasn’t, but I sure as hell didn’t look it. I smiled proudly at my reflection in the mirror. Peyton Shepherd thought I was very attractive, huh?

“What color hair does she have?” Al asked.

“Who knows? I’m guessing that she isn’t blonde anymore,” Peyton answered.

And he was right. As soon as I hit the road for one reason or another, I changed my appearance, and in the spirit of retirement, I went with my natural red hair instead of the bottle blonde I’d been sporting for the last few years.

I wiggled nervously as I waited for Al’s delayed response. When it didn’t come, it occurred to me that I may have been ousted. I could just see the sniveling little snot pointing at the lobby bathroom door and mouthing the words, She’s in there.

The little room didn’t have any other exits or a whole lot in the way of weapons choices, but I quietly flipped the toilet bowl lid off the tank and held it like a baseball bat.

Someone checked the door. Then there was a knock.

“Someone’s in here,” I said cheerfully, like I was having the best time of my life crapping in a public restroom. I continued to watch the door, waiting for it to explode inward under the immense pressure of Peyton Shepherd’s pent-up rage. The knob jiggled again and the next knock was a little more persistent.

I squared my shoulders. If he wasn’t coming in for me, I’d go out. I couldn’t stay locked in this room any longer. The smell of the cheap, industrial strength, meadow flowers air freshener was making me a little dizzy, and when given the choice, I’d rather go down in a blaze of glory. Not the best mentality to have when one was wanted in four states, but I really don’t want to even think about what happened in South Carolina.

My hand shook over the knob and I could hear my pulse pounding in my ears, but I shoved the door open, holding the heavy toilet lid in my left hand.

Al swallowed, but seemed frozen in fear beyond that. I stuck my head out into the open lobby, using him as a shield, but Peyton was nowhere to be seen and, trust me, he stuck out in a crowd. He was tall, over six-foot, with dark brown, almost black hair. He had kind of a laid back California/surfer/sex god/Navy Seal vibe going on with the most intense black eyes I’d ever seen.

Upon seeing that I was safe, I dropped the toilet lid into Al’s hands and slipped passed him without a word.

I looked out the large front window, but I didn’t see The Reaper’s famous powder black Shelby GT 500 in the parking lot. Peyton Shepherd was a lot of things, but he had great taste in cars. And I should know since I currently had one of them in storage.

I looked at Al. “Do you have a back way out?”

He pointed down the far hall. “It’s marked with an exit sign.”

“Thanks.” I gave him a my best smile for not buckling under Peyton’s interrogation. I had to give credit where credit was due, and anyone that could lie to The Reaper deserved some respect.

I trotted down the hall and out the side door, took a cursory glance around, and sighed a breath of relief at seeing nothing but a handful of compact SUVs. The asphalt of the driveway sparkled under the low light of the full moon. The air was cold enough to make my breaths come out in puffs, and I predicted that some of the sparkle on the tar was actually black ice.

I took a few cautious steps into the driveway, and when I wasn’t being blocked by the building, I heard the low growl coming from behind it. I froze and felt the rumble of the 500 horse power engine before I turned around. When I did turn, HED headlights flicked on, blinding me as the car rolled quietly toward me like a scene out of Christine.

“Holly, don’t move,” Peyton commanded through his open window.

He must have seen the instinctual urge to run in my eyes as my brain ticked off the escape routes one by one. I couldn’t outrun his car or him, so I needed something else. I glanced around as he got out, his hands up to show me that he wasn’t armed. I wasn’t an idiot—his hands were his weapons.

I took a step back as he took another step closer.

He froze. “Holly,” he warned in a dangerously low voice that gave me goose bumps made my nipples hard.

I ignored him while I thought. His weaknesses in this situation were one—he worked alone, and two—people didn’t take very kindly to a woman screaming for help as a full grown man tackled her. Third—he wasn’t a cop. He wasn’t law enforcement of any kind. This brought me to my next subject—my weaknesses. He was a freelance recovery agent, not bounty hunter. He found people and delivered them to the people looking for them. In my case, that meant he was going to deliver me to a very angry and very well-connected Ethan Glenridge. Secondly, just the sound of his voice made my nipples hard.

As to what happened to me after my disposal at the feet of Ethan Glenridge, The Reaper didn’t care. As long as he finished his job and got paid for it, my wellbeing wasn’t his concern. He had an impressive track record and, as far as I knew, I was the only job he’d ever failed to complete. This cooled my heels quite a bit when remembering how hard it had been to leave him cuffed to that bed. God…the abs.

That’s all you’re getting! Also I’ll be sure to comeback and update the page to post the links. Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Hound-Bailout-Book-ebook/dp/B00TRJ63DI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424320882&sr=8-1&keywords=the+fox+and+the+hound+m.+levesque

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thefoxandthehound-1750437-149.html

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-fox-and-the-hound-by-m-levesque/

Old Friends…

Today I’m thinking about an old friend. We were close in high school and I always think of her around this time of year. It is true that we never really know what other people are going through and that we should always keep this in mind before we talk badly about someone or talk down to them. This is the true story of Jennifer.

Jennifer and I became friends when I was falsely accused of stealing a pen from another student in class. I was accused because I was a foster kid, no other reason. I didn’t have a history of stealing or lying but apparently my teacher had a history with foster kids. And so it went. I was kept in from recess every day until I confessed to the crime and returned the pen…kind of hard to do when I didn’t steal it. Jennifer felt badly about this, worse than anyone else as every by this time suspected that I really was to blame. Finally she told me it was Cathy, her cousin and another classmate of ours. She’d bragged about it to her the night before.

Cathy overhearing our conversation from the hall, left the pen on the floor of the bathroom, in the doorway, for us to find. Jennifer and I looked at the discovered pen like it was a two headed snake. Yes, it was awesome that we found it but we also knew if I returned it, the teacher would be justified in her belief that it had been me that had stolen it and things were hard enough for me. Children were being instructed not to play with me at recess because I was a state kid and teachers always seemed to accuse me of being the one to start fights or play pranks.

Jennifer knew all of this. She scooped up the pen and headed for homeroom with a stomp to her step. At 10 years old she walked up to the teacher’s desk and slammed down the pen. “I stole it.” She announced, “And you owe Addison an apology.”

Years later Jen and I had become very close. She was the shy one always in the background quietly calculating everything but never saying a word accept for one day in advanced anatomy class when we were dissecting cats. One of the girls from our group was taking credit for everything Jennifer did. Jennifer glanced up at me when the other girl went to announce another of Jen’s finds, to the teacher. “I’m sick of her. She’s always taking credit for everything. She has no idea what it’s like.”

I remember being surprised that she’d actually said anything but when the girl returned we all went back to dissecting the cat. Then Jennifer did something I’d never thought her capable of. “Candice, is this the bladder or the liver?” She asked poking the swollen organ with a short metallic spear.

Candice leaned over the cat to get a better look, because in all honesty she wouldn’t have been able to tell the animal’s ass from its head, and just as she was inches away, Jen stabbed the badder straight through, spraying Candice in the face with the whatever mummifying fluid was used to preserve the dead cat.

I burst out laughing, proud that she’d finally stood up for herself for once.

One year later Jen and I were going to celebrate my seventeenth birthday by over eating candy, shopping and watching a movie at the mall two hours away. Jen was late, she was never late. Finally just as I was about to give up she pulled into the yard in her pickup. “I thought you weren’t coming.”

“Sorry, um my dad had a heart attack.”

I stopped her from putting the truck in gear and peered at her in the growing darkness. “Jen, we don’t have to go. It’s just my birthday. I’ll have more.”

She smiled and shook her head. “It’s okay. He’s in Colorado and there isn’t anything I can do by sitting at home.”

“Why is he in Colorado?” I asked.

“He’s got a job there. He moved there when my parents got divorced.”

“Wait, your parents got a divorce?”

“Just don’t say anything.” She shrugged and I sat in stunned silence. I considered Jen to be a close friend and she hadn’t even told me her parents had gotten a divorce and her father lived three thousand miles away.

The next morning Jen sat in the hall with a blank stare on her pretty face. I sat next to her and she looked at me. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

“Is your dad okay?”

She shook her head and tears rolled down her cheeks. “He died last night. They’re going to take my little brother away.”

“Why would they do that?” I asked.

She looked at me with her wide cornflower blue eyes. “Please don’t tell anyone, but my dad has been sending us money. My mom left about a year ago. I’ve been taking care of Adam, but I can’t take care of him and go to school.”

I want to take a moment here to tell you that she’d been maintaining straight A’s this entire time while I was a B student and had nobody to take care of but myself.

Jen left before first bell and went home to plan her father’s funeral.

A couple days later I was sitting in study hall drawing up a huge card that everyone was going to sign for Jen. Candice, her old arch rival looked at me and snorted. “Nobody made me a card when my dad died.” Her father had died four years earlier and no I didn’t make her a card, but all I could think was how selfish she sounded and I snapped.

“This isn’t about you Candice. Her dad died three days ago. I know your father died and I’m sorry, but you have no fucking clue what she’s going through right now.”

Needless to say I was ordered by the principle to spend some time in the guidance councilor’s office later that day, discussing the finer points of sensitivity and how I lacked them.

Jen ended up running out of money and made a call to their older brother, who quickly decided he didn’t want the responsibility of raising their 12 year old brother while Jen went off to fight a war in Afghanistan. I sat her down and told her that it wasn’t so bad being a foster kid. I’d had great families that loved me very much. Soon there after, Adam went into foster care with a great family that loved him and years later ended up adopting him on his eighteenth birthday. This is something a lot of people don’t understand but in a foster family, it is a huge gesture of acceptance and dedication to the child.

Jen went on to serve two terms in the military and now works as a manager for a large retail chain one town over. We say hello to one another when we meet, but we never kept in touch. I miss her sometimes and I think about her and her strength of character. I think about how amazing she is and how much I want to be more like her. I wonder if I ever gave her a reason to think about me. If I was ever as good a friend as she was. I truly hope so because she deserved at least that and I know when she comes up in conversation I’ll have her back every time!

Walk a Mile in Madison’s Shoes…

book club party

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thePRGbookclub/

Madison Knowles the main character in A Succubus’ Guide to Gold Digging, is a Succubus and she’s a gold digger…but she never wanted to be. Madison comes from a long line of gold digging Succubae but her goal in life was to fall in love. (Which kind of makes her the black sheep of the family) Unfortunately the circumstances surrounding her mother’s mysterious and untimely death, leave Madison homeless, alone and inexplicably without her Succubus Mojo. So without a lot of options she turns to the Gypsies for guidance.

She learns that she needs to find a way to make a lot of money, very quickly so she can hire an investigator to look into her mother’s death, and only one way to do that comes to mind. The problem is, Madison didn’t exactly pay attention to her mother’s training over the years and without her powers of persuasion she’s pulling this con, the old fashioned way and she needs a professional’s help.

Madison suddenly finds herself living in a potentially haunted mansion with a sexy male Gypsy named Luca who is supposed to be off limits but he keeps sleepwalking into her bedroom in the middle of the night, with his shirt off. She’s working as a maid and wearing thrift store throwaways and the only thing keeping her from losing her mind completely, is writing down the steps to becoming a gold digger, in an effort to stay focused. This is taking on the job training to a whole new level.

So my question to all of you is this…If you found yourself living in an abandoned house with a totally hot guy, complete with an Irish accent and the bad habit of kissing you senseless in the middle of the night…what would you do?

Would you…

A. Risk the wrath of the Gypsies and climb that green eyed stud, like a horny spider monkey?

B. Stay on track with the gold digging thing and consider the big picture. Sure Luca looks like fun but he’s just some guy that’s risking his life to help you. It’s no big deal. This happens to you at least once a week.

C. Try to do both and hope that everything magically works out as you both ride into the rainbow sunset on the back of a unicorn named Sparkles?

D. Read the book and find out. (wink, wink)

Oh yeah I almost forgot. Before you answer, factor in that you’re a starving succubus and you haven’t fed in weeks and every time you lock lips with Luca you’re a little worried you might lose control and drain him like a 7-11 Big Gulp.

Okay, answers in the comments section below and please elaborate.

I will read all of your responses and chose my top two favorite answers.

First place

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EZQL8OM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AP1Q1G83R039S

Second Place

http://www.amazon.com/Succubus-Guide-Gold-Digging-ebook/dp/B00OYWFWNU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422211842&sr=8-1&keywords=a+succubus+guide+to+gold+digging