Apr 30, 2017

Sunday Smooch with Kandy Shepherd

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from KANDY SHEPHERD but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is  - KATRINA WHITTAKER! 

Can you please contact  louisageorgeauthor(at)@gmail(dot)com   to receive your copy of  Christmas In The Boss's Castle by Scarlet Wilson

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Conveniently Wed to the Greek


A marriage for the sake of her baby...

When luxury hotelier Alex Mikhalis encounters the blogger who once nearly destroyed his reputation, he wants to get even. Only Adele Hudson isn’t exactly as he remembers. She’s pregnant and alone, and he can’t stop his protective instincts kicking in!

After a difficult breakup, Adele is very wary of all relationships. She has no choice but to accept the Greek tycoon’s offer of a job, despite their complicated past. But his next suggestion is much more intimate: becoming his convenient wife!

Food critic and blogger, Dell Hudson, is working for her former adversary, hotelier tycoon Alex Mikahalis, on his private Greek island in the Ionian sea where he is developing a luxury resort. The attraction between them is very strong but there are compelling reasons for them not to act on it. Then Alex drops a bombshell—he wants Dell to agree to a marriage of convenience. Alex has convincing, genuine family reasons for this arrangement—and it would help Dell out of a difficult situation. But a marriage of convenience between two smart, independent people in the 21st century? Reluctantly Dell agrees. When this smooch takes place, they are on the beach outside a family run taverna where his big, warm, matchmaking Greek family have gathered for a family occasion.

The smooch:
 Now she had signed up for a year of pretending that she didn’t care about the man who was going to be her fake husband in a marriage of convenience.
‘I guess I’d be working for you, still. A different job. A new contract.’ Dell tried to sound pragmatic, to justify the unjustifiable.
Alex frowned. ‘I hadn’t thought of it like that.’
‘It might make it easier if we did.’
‘Perhaps,’ he said, sounding unconvinced. He took a step closer.
‘But right now I need you to kiss me.’
His gaze flickered over her shoulder and back to face her. ‘You can’t see from where you’re standing but there are interested eyes on us. In theory I just proposed to you and you said “yes”. A kiss is appropriate.’
Appropriate? When was a kiss appropriate? Obviously in this alternate universe she had agreed to enter the rules were very different. That didn’t mean she had to abide by them.
She looked up at his dark eyes, his sensual mouth she ached to kiss in an entirely inappropriate way. ‘I’ve got a better idea. You can kiss me. And you’d better make it look believable.’

 Dell was challenging him. Alex had been exultant that she had acquiesced to his admittedly unconventional plan. But it seemed Dell and acquiescence didn’t go hand in hand. Somehow, in a contrary kind of way, that pleased him. Dell wouldn’t be Dell if she rolled over and did just as he commanded.
It made him want to kiss her for real.
Her eyes glittered in the soft half-light, tiny flecks of gold among the green. Her lips were slightly parted, a hint of a smile lifting the corners—halfway between teasing and seductive. ‘What are you waiting for?’ she murmured.
He was very aware of their audience. The family members who must have watched her seek him out on the beach. They stood inside the doorway some twenty metres away, obviously thinking they couldn’t be seen, but the lights from the taverna highlighted their shapes. It appeared the group had gathered hoping, perhaps, for proof that he and Dell were a couple. He would give them that proof.
He pulled her to him and pressed his mouth to hers with a firm, gentle pressure. In reply, Dell wound her arms around his neck to pull his head closer, her curves moulded against him. Her scent sent an intoxicating rush to his head—the sharpness of lemon and thyme soap mingled with her own sweet womanliness. It was a scent so familiar to his senses he was instantly aware of when she entered or left a room. She kissed him back, then flicked the tip of her tongue between his lips with a little murmur deep in her throat. Surprise quickly turned to enthusiastic response as he met her tongue with his, deepening the kiss, falling into a vortex of sensation.
Alex forgot he was on the beach, forgot they had an audience, forgot everything but that Dell was in his arms and he was kissing her. This was no meandering journey between gentle kiss of affirmation and one of full-blown passion. It raced there like a lit fuse on a stick of dynamite. Lips, tongues, teeth met and danced together in an escalating rhythm.
Desire burned through him, and her too, judging by her response as that little murmur of appreciation intensified into a moan. He groaned his own want in reply, pulled her close, as close as they could be with their clothes between them. He could feel the hammering of her heart against his chest. His hands slid down her waist to cup the cheeks of her bottom; she pushed closer as she fiercely kissed him.
‘Get a room, you two.’ Cristos’s voice, in Greek, pierced his consciousness.
Dell pulled away. ‘What was that?’ Her cheeks were flushed, her breath coming in gasps, her mouth pink and swollen from his kisses.
Alex had trouble finding his own voice, had to drag in air to control his breathing.
‘My cousin trying to be funny,’ he said.
She looked up at him, her breasts rising and falling as she struggled to get her breath. ‘Alex...that was—’
‘I know,’ he said, not certain of how it happened, knowing what it meant for their bargain, realising he had lost control and that he had to take back the lead.
Her eyes met his as a shadow behind them dimmed their brightness. ‘We can’t do that. A kiss like that wasn’t what you’d call appropriate. It wasn’t fair. Not when I—’
When she what? Alex wanted, needed, to know what she meant. Because at that moment when she had moaned her desire something had shifted for him. Something deep and fundamental and perplexing. He had to know if she had felt it too.

Kandy is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commentator! So her question to you is: 

Alex, the hero of Conveniently Wed to the Greek has a great aunt Penelope who is convinced Alex and Dell should be together. She is an inveterate matchmaker. Have you ever been a matchmaker? Had someone tried to matchmake you? Known any successful or disastrous attempts at matchmaking?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch by Amy Andrews from Hot Mess will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Apr 28, 2017

Going old skool...

Maybe it's an overdose of technology and gadgets (and sometimes too many things going wrong all at the same time) but recently I've had a hankering to going back to the real thing rather than having everything digital.

When my husband asked for a new record player (or whatever they're called these days) for Christmas I was thrilled because it meant we could drag out all our old vinyl and play them. Funny...these songs are all available on Spotify or Pandora but holding the actual record had tons of memories flowing back much more than the digital version ever did. And we'd forgotten about the pesky details of having to get up from the chair and turn the record over when it's finished. But there's no better sound than the needle in the groove. Our boys were entranced by the whole thing and declared the sound was much better 'old school'.

You can't beat a bit of David Bowie

I've also gone back to a journal for planning and brainstorming rather than just an online calendar and an open word document. As a family we share an ical file so I still need to know who's doing what and where, but now I print off a calendar every week, stick it in my journal and go from there. My to-do list is handwritten- that seems to fix things in my brain more than my excel lists.

We've started playing board games again too. Even the kids enjoy a game of Cluedo or Pandemic and we've introduced many a friend to Exploding Kittens after dinner rather than slumping in front of the TV (which I still do far too often).

Then there's the ebook-paperbook conundrum....

And what to do with the hundreds of redundant CDs and DVDs and VHS videos...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Luddite--I embrace technology that makes my life easier...but sometimes I like to have a real product in my hands rather than the idea of one on a device. 
What about you? Are you 'old school'? Have you bought into the new vinyl fashion? Any good new records to recommend?

Apr 26, 2017

Say “Hi” to Howie – Kandy Shepherd

 I missed my post last month because we had a death in the family. Not, thank heaven, a human loss. But my daughter’s beloved pony Banjo died in a freak accident in one of the wild storms that were then lashing my part of Down Under. He was a member of our family, a pony with personality plus, and we all adored him. No one more so than my daughter. He was her special horse and a best friend from when she was twelve years old. They were a wonderful team with a cupboard full of pony club trophies and medals to attest to their bond. To say she is devastated is an understatement.

RIP precious Banjo

 But you know what they say about silver linings…

My daughter is nearing the end of her extended university studies and wanting to spend more time riding. She needed another horse for her friends and her to ride –and as a companion to Banjo. She decided to adopt a rescue horse from a wonderful charity, Save A Horse Australia in Queensland. Back in March, my daughter and my husband flew up from New South Wales where we live to meet Howard. (Yes, Howard the Horse!) Not only did she have to see if the horse suited her, SAHA had to see if she suited the horse in terms of both riding ability and commitment to giving him a good, safe home. Turned out they were a match.

Howard the horse settling in to his new home

Howie arrived the morning Banjo died and was greeted by a weeping new owner. Although it seemed tragic at the time, his arrival turned out to be a blessing. Our other horse Flynn hates to be on his own, so he got a new friend. They bonded immediately. It also gave us something positive to focus on in our grief over our precious Banjo—though it will take time for us to get over his loss.

With his new pal Flynn

Howie was rescued in an appalling, emaciated condition by SAHA. He’s a fifteen-year old thoroughbred who, perhaps, outlived his usefulness as a race horse and was discarded. The charity got him back to good health and let him know he was valued and cherished. Then they sent him to be trained to ride not race. “Track to hack”, I think they call it. My daughter will need to get him further training, a challenge she is looking forward to. She has signed a comprehensive adoption agreement to make sure Howie never ends up in a pitiful state again.

Getting to know each other

 Howie is the most beautiful horse both in looks and in nature. He has an elegant gait and is a pleasure to watch when he’s in motion. SAHA got him to us in immaculate condition, as you can see from the photos. What a handsome boy!

Start of a new friendship

 I’m not the “horsey” person in the family, I love horses but don’t ride and am a tad scared of such big animals. But I’ve fallen for Howie. He’s intelligent and I think he knows he’s come to a place where he’ll be loved. He’s very gentle with me, even when he’s anxious to get stuck into his feed. (Because of course, like parents everywhere whose kids acquire pets, some of the daily care like mixing up his feeds falls on me and my husband while my daughter is at uni!) 

Howard has come home.

Where's my food!

All of our pets are rescues in one way or the other. “Rescue is My Favourite Breed” is a favourite saying of mine. Other LoveCats are fans of rescue animals too. We all admire Rachel Bailey for her care of greyhounds “retired” from the track. What about you? Have you ever adopted a rescue animal of any kind? Or has one found its way to you? (Two of my cats found me!) Do you have a favourite animal rescue charity? I’d love to see your comments!