by Rowena Tisdale
Publication date: March 4th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Time-Travel
She thinks he’s crazy, he thinks she’s a witch.
Of course, they fall in love.
Shannon Kellogg is a spoiled heiress. She’s shallow and self-centered, but after her third divorce, she vows to become a better person. Practicing kindness and empathy is her prescription for self-improvement.
As if on cue, a young man with a strange accent, dressed as a colonial cosplayer appears in her yard during a thunderstorm. He’s lost and confused, and something about him tugs at her heart. She sees an opportunity on her path to change, and decides to help him.
It turns out to be more of a challenge than she anticipated. Azariah Scott was unwillingly tossed through time and the only way to help him is to send him back to 1750. She doesn’t know how to honor her commitment to him; despite his belief she’s a witch, she doesn’t believe in magic.
As they work together to find a gateway to the past, love blossoms, and Shannon comes to regret her promise.
He cried out, and jerked away from her outstretched hand, falling to the floor, cracking his head on the corner of the island. He went still.
“Well, damn,” she muttered, closing the door.
A puddle had formed where he’d been standing. Much to her relief, a glance down confirmed water, not blood, covered the floor. Barefoot, she stepped gingerly on the well-polished tiles.
Shannon squatted next to him, picking up his wrist and checking for a pulse. His eyes were closed, but his lips were moving. Unable to hear what he was saying, she leaned in, her nose crinkling with distaste as she got closer. Such a heavy costume in the hot weather required far more deodorant. Holding her breath, she put her ear near his mouth.
“I am cursed…”
Straightening, she pursed her lips. The whole situation was bizarre enough to be intriguing. She was curious about this strange man. What was his story? An actual interest in another was a bit foreign to her. A sign, no doubt, she was already becoming a better person.
Okay, but what did she do now? If she called the police, first, they would send someone to her house. It might be the same hot officer who had come a couple of months ago, and after assuring her no bobcat lurked in her backyard, had left a few hours later with more than a grateful “thank you.”
He’d come back once or twice, to play Criminal & Lady Cop, but she’d soon tired of him. Officer CuffMe was the last person she wanted to see when she had an unknown young man passed out in her kitchen. Awkward and uncomfortable at best, of questionable legality at worst.
Second, it would be straight to the psych ward if the police got involved. Probably the right call, but if he were whisked away, she’d never learn his story. Making up her mind, she strode decisively to the liquor cabinet. Bryce had kept an extensive, and expensive bar.
“Brandy, brandy, brandy,” she chanted as she skimmed the labels. She smiled as she wrapped her fingers around the neck of a bottle. She’d read enough romances with bare-chested sea captains on the cover to know when the heroine fainted dead away, the thing to revive her was a bit of eau-de-vie. Singing a Spanish song about brandy she opened her crystal cupboard.
The lines never said anything like, “He poured four ounces of cognac into an eight ounce snifter and lifted it to her trembling lips.” It couldn’t be much. The unfortunate lass was usually “spluttering and gagging at the first taste of the amber fluid.”
Settling next to the stranger on the floor, she assumed the Lotus position. He had stopped mumbling, but was still quite pale. She set the glass down, then shifted to her best approximation of “cradling his head in her lap,” and wondered how the mechanics of this worked.
She decided to check his pockets before reviving him. If she found his license, the mystery would be solved. His apparel was odd, she wasn’t sure where to look. A pat down revealed a muscular body but no phone or wallet in the expected places. There was a slight bulge over his chest. In the small pouch she pulled out, she found some old coins, and some paper which might be foreign currency, though she didn’t recognize it. There was also a large, intricate antique key. None of this was helpful. She slid the purse back into the concealed pocket.
Putting a hand on the back of his head, Shannon, surprised by the weight, carefully lifted it and angled him, as best she could, into a drinking posture. Then, she brought the glass to his mouth—
a very sensuous mouth—
and poured the tiniest bit of alcohol over his lips. She laughed when he actually spluttered.
His head jerked, and his eyes flew open. Shannon drew back her hand, brandy splashing over the rim. She dropped his head, which unfortunately did not land back in her lap, but thumped heavily to the floor. A grimace of pain crossed his face, and she felt a tinge of guilt.
He fixed her with a baleful stare.
“What do you want of me?” he asked.
Rowena Tisdale was born and raised in Michigan, sort of all over the state. As an adult, she moved south to Texas, and after living there for a bit, headed east, eventually returning home to her beloved “Mitten State.” She now resides nearby her favorite city, Detroit, with her son and a pair of feline companions.
A reader of romance from an early age, she remains an avid fan of the genre. Over the years, she began to wonder why the feisty heroines she’s always loved haven’t aged with her. Her stories are about older women, because she knows romance is not solely the purview of youth. Whether a single mother in her 30s, a crone who makes goddesses smile, or a spoiled socialite in her 40s, Rowena writes female characters who have the beauty and confidence of experience. She writes across genres, romance, chick-lit, and women’s fiction, but all her novels are love stories.