I’m looking at my messy apartment wondering when my fairy godmother is going to fly in here and wand away the mess. *sigh* Wishful thinking, I know, but worth a try. You never know what could happen these days—even time travel could happen to you!
The heroine in my new release, Romancing a Stranger, is a modern woman with a sailor’s mouth and a less-than-firm grip on life. She finds a strange globe on her doorstep and brings it inside. That one thing (most of us would think nothing of—we all take strange shit home) changes her life forever. Come on, who would think an amethyst gazing ball would make them travel back in time?
And she’s thrust back to a time where people of wealth and privilege crammed everything they owned into every available space for all to see. Imagine cleaning that mess! Needless to say, Milli has some tough days ahead of her managing a house in Victorian Boston and trying to find a way back to the future, all while married to a man she doesn’t know. What do you think of that hot mess? I must say, it would be an interesting ride…
ROMANCING A STRANGER – available now at Noble Romance Publishing!
She’s tough enough to survive anything . . . or so she thinks.
Either Milli Bishop is drunk out of her mind, or she seriously just woke up one-hundred years in the past. One minute she’s gazing at an amethyst ball; the next she’s fainting in the arms of a stranger . . . who claims to be her husband. Can she find her way back to the future, or will the taste of a real gentleman be too irresistible to escape?
He’s bored and lonely . . . until she comes along.
Warden Blackwood is confused by the sudden change in his estranged wife and believes she’s cut a path out of her head. Once frigid and indifferent, she’s suddenly arousing him with her scandalous seduction and shocking language. Should he continue his pursuit of a mistress—or tame his wayward wife? Only time will tell . . . .
Hold time dear to your heart, the fortune cookie had said.
“Whatever,” Milli slurred.
She stumbled down the brick path leading to her row house on Boston’s Beacon Hill. After another date gone horribly wrong, she’d drunk herself into a bit of a stupor. She shook her head in self-pity, lost her balance, and ended up sprawled over the low cedar bushes bordering the walkway.
Ugh. “Why?” She shouted at the stars. “What is it with me and losers?”
She had found out tonight, on her thirtieth birthday of all nights, that the guy she’d been seeing still lived with his mother. He was in his forties.
At least the Chinese buffet was delicious.
Shame crept up her face, and she bit back a sob. The cedar branches poked her back. Her feet ached from her new heels. She’d worn her best dress tonight, and now all she had was a friendly embrace from the cedar bush.
All her life she wanted love and companionship, which was probably why she caught the attention of less-than-adequate men. Maybe she tried too hard. Maybe she wore her hair the wrong way. Maybe her lipstick was too red.
What did she do to deserve this? Was she destined to be alone?
Enough of this, she thought, wiping her tears away. She struggled to sit up in the bushes and tore the sleeve of her dress in the process.
“Oh, you fucking—” She let out a frustrated growl and yanked her arm away from the bush. Heat crawled up her neck and face from the sudden movement, making her dizzy.
“Is that you, Miss Bishop?”
Her elderly neighbor was leaning out his window, though it was hard to see him clearly.
“Yes, Mr. Bigsby. It’s just me—your single, drunk, pathetic neighbor.”
He chuckled. “Oh, shush, girl. You’re young, beautiful, live in the best neighborhood in town, and have plenty of time to find a good man. Did you get your package?”
“What”—she stifled a burp—”package?”
“There was a delivery man here while you were out. Strange thing it was.” He paused, as if struggling for the right words. “The van he pulled up with wasn’t one I’ve seen before for mail, especially at this time of night. Anyway, I offered to take the box and give it to you when you got in, but he said no. Left it on your doorstep he did.” Another long pause. “Oh, don’t forget the power is going out at midnight, and Happy Birthday!” He disappeared back in his house, sliding the window shut behind him.
Milli swore under her breath, thinking old Mr. Bigsby was a nosy, old fart. How did he know it was her birthday unless he was flipping through her mail again?
Maybe she should take him on a date. Desperation could make a woman go out with an annoying old man, and she was desperate, all right. Hopeless and pathetic.
Sure enough, a small, brown box sat on her step.
She lifted and examined the package under the porch light. The label on top read “Mrs. Millicent Blackwood,” with no return address, but the receiver address was hers. How odd. They got the “Millicent” part right, but the last name didn’t ring a bell. And the lettering looked like ancient calligraphy. She stared at the name on the label again, feeling a sense of uneasiness worm into her stomach.
Milli cast a glance to the street and surrounding doorsteps. She saw nothing to give her pause. Shrugging off the strange feeling the package gave her, she shoved it under her armpit and fumbled to get the key in the slot.
The door opened, and pitch-black met her eyes.
Of course, she’d forgotten to leave the hall light on. Throwing her keys in the general direction of the hall table, she kicked off her heels and switched on the lights.
Like so many days and nights before, she was met with silence in her home. No laughter of children or the comforting welcome of a man. She didn’t even have a pet to greet her at the door. Her life was a pathetic mixture of hard work and drunkenness.
She made her way to the kitchen and set the parcel down on the counter. Was this supposed to be a birthday gift? She had few friends, and they already took her out for drinks last weekend. Besides, somebody had fucked up either her name or the address.
“Well, Mrs. Millicent Blackwood, let’s see what we have.”
Milli grabbed a knife from the cutlery drawer, slid the tip through the brown tape holding the top flaps together, and opened the box. Sitting inside, surrounded by scraps of some soft-textured, gold cloth, was a perfectly spherical amethyst atop an ornately carved, wooden pedestal.
What’s the meaning of this?
No note accompanied the globe. No indication at all of where or whom it came from. She reached inside and carefully pulled the amethyst out from the box. The workmanship and detail of the base was out of this world and appeared very old. A chill made her arm hairs prickle. Why would somebody send her this?
Carvings of intertwined foliage covered the wooden base, encasing the smooth amethyst. Like ornamentation from ancient times, the design was rich in detail and clearly handcrafted. The wood was very dark, almost black with a hint of red; she guessed it must be mahogany. She’d seen globes before, but never of this beautiful quality. She lifted it high, cupping it perfectly in her hands, and nearly dropped it when she read the engraved phrase beneath the globe: Hold time dear to your heart. What were the odds of seeing those words twice in one night?
Impossible. I must be drunk.
Fascinated, she swept her hands over the globe, captivated by how smooth it was. She didn’t realize it was possible to cut and polish amethyst so perfectly. And she knew it was real amethyst by the swirled hues of purple, pink, and white within the globe.
The lights flickered and died.
“Shit.” She’d forgotten about the power outage.
Setting the globe down on the counter, she went to search for a flashlight. While she was digging through her closet, a rustling sound from somewhere in the house made her pause. After a recent string of break-ins in the neighborhood, she feared a burglar had gotten in and was waiting to pounce on her.
She found the flashlight, gripped it like a weapon, and inched her way quietly down the hall. A rich, floral perfume wafted in the air. As she neared the kitchen, keeping her back tight to the wall, a light glinted through the crack under the door.
Garnering every ounce of courage she possessed, Milli swung open the kitchen door with a harsh cry, waving the flashlight like a sword.
Her hand paused high in the air, and her jaw dropped.
The amethyst globe was glowing like something out of a sci-fi movie, and then a flash of purple streaked through the kitchen.
She bit back a scream.
Something magnetic . . . something indescribable lured her closer to the glowing globe. She tiptoed to the counter. Her pulse pounded in her ears, and she felt like she was floating. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe; she felt possessed by something out of this world, and she picked up the globe.
The hues within the amethyst sparkled and danced in her wide, unbelieving eyes.
The globe pulsed and flashed like a strobe light. The objects in the kitchen swirled around her in hazy, elongated shapes. Strange voices echoed in the air.
And the world around her suddenly vanished.
Purchase Romancing a Stranger here: https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/404/Romancing-a-Stranger
Coming soon to online retailers!
Thank you for having me RJ!
Smart. Sexy. Adventurous Romance.
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