The Black Sheep – Meg Benjamin

Long Time Gone by Meg BenjaminErik Toleffson was just a name in my first Konigsburg book, Venus In Blue Jeans. Cal Toleffson, the hero, mentioned his big brother Erik who’d been a bully to his younger sibs. Frankly, I never intended to do much more with him, sort of like Tom Ames’s criminal brother Burton, who’s mentioned in passing in Brand New Me (note to readers: don’t look for Burton to show up anytime soon, or possibly ever). But when I finished book 2, Wedding Bell Blues, I felt like something was missing. I’d gotten two more Toleffson brothers on board, Pete (the hero) and Lars, but the story just didn’t seem complete. I realized then that I was missing Erik.

So he came to the wedding, although his brothers really didn’t want him there. At first, I just wanted him to make an appearance, the Big Brother From Hell trying to make amends. But he kept doing things—rescuing Janie Dupree from her ex-boyfriend, talking Lars’s nightmare of a wife out of ruining Cal’s wedding reception. It turned out he was a character who had a lot more layers than I’d originally thought.

It was only natural that Erik played a more important part in Be My Baby. I’d decided to make him a cop at the end of Wedding Bell Blues, and a cop was badly needed in Be My Baby, given all the nefarious doings in town (including an attempted kidnapping and a dangerously psycho mother-in-law). He’s sort of an assistant hero in the novel, although Lars is the man with the plan and the happy ending.

So then it was time for Erik to have his own book: Long Time Gone. By now, I had a good idea of the kind of man he was. I knew he’d been a real bastard in the past and that he needed to make up for it. I knew he wanted the respect of his brothers, but he wasn’t sure he’d ever deserve it. I knew he was a man with demons to conquer and that the book would have to let him confront them. Erik is the chief of police, but he may not be able to hold onto the job. He falls in love with a wonderful girl, but he may not be able to hold onto her either. Of all my heroes, Erik is the most complex. But he’s also the most deserving of a happy ending. I hope you’ll give him a try.

Here’s the blurb for Long Time Gone, now available in print:

Konigsburg, Book 4

Erik Toleffson wasn’t looking to become Chief of Police. He’s got enough trouble trying to rebuild his relationship with this three brothers who, until just recently, ran the other way when he approached. He’s not the bully they grew up with, but bad memories are tough to overcome.

Morgan Barrett is as worn out as a vat full of crushed grape skins. She never planned to run Cedar Creek Winery, but there’s no one else to shoulder the load as her father recovers from an injury. All she needs is a little sleep. Just a five-minute nap in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn…if that guy across the bar would stop staring at her as if putting her head down on the table is a crime.

After Morgan yawns in Erik’s face, there’s nowhere to go but up. With time, though, their relationship warms like a perfectly blended Bordeaux. Until the shady mayor digs into Erik’s past and dredges up information that could drive a permanent wedge between him and his brothers—and sour any chance of a future with Morgan.

Warning:  Contains hot sex with mango sherbet, crooked politicians, yuppy bikers, Bored Ducks, and a Maine Coon Cat with attitude


Posted in Genre: Contemporary. Comments Off on The Black Sheep – Meg Benjamin

Must The Party End?

I know Halloween was over, but that doesn’t mean the fun here has to end, right? I say let’s keep it going…at least for a little while.

I know a lot of us are on Yahoo loops or blogs where the question What Are You Reading Now is asked often. At least I am. And it’s a fun question. I find a great deal of new authors through those conversations, but how about a new (or newer) question. Do your reading tastes change from time to time? Do you go in spurts where you read one genre and then switch to another? Are you consistently wide ranged?

Personally, I seem to jump around, and most recently I’m even jumping formats because it’s what is working best for my schedule. To keep up with what the oldest kid, I call her Chaos, is reading I have been chekcing out the audio books from the library. I am still a little behind her, but I am currently listening to the third Percy Jackson book on audio. I also recently listened to a Joseph Finder thriller on audiobook. It’s a great way to pass the time on a road trip, especially when it’s an engaging story.

As if audiobooks aren’t enough, and let’s face it they aren’t, I have a few paperbacks on my nightstand and then there is the eReader I have loaded with lots of great choices. My current read on the eReader is a Harlequin Romantic Suspense by Vicki Taylor. I just need more time to read in quiet to get through the last of it and move on to the next one.

And then there are the books I read to the youngest kiddo, we call her Destruction. She has most recently really gotten into the Magic Tree House books and we are reading a Merlin adventure one. Unlike the other books she often asks me to read (you know the ones you’ve read over and over and over and over until you have nightmares about reading them) I look forward to reading to her each night. I want to know what happens next in the story. LOL

What about you? What are your reading habits? How do you make time for all those stories you read? How diverse is your list? Or how select?

Commenters will be entered into a drawing for a their choice of either SOUNDS TO DIE BY or SCENT OF PERSUASION. (Both books are contemporary romantic suspense and are sexy reads. They are part of a series, but can be read as stand alones. 🙂 ) The deadline for commenting…let’s say Saturday at noon central time. That should give everyone plenty of time to come up with something to say, right? Oh, and if you’re on Twitter or Facebook, share this post (and tell me you did it) and be entered a second time for the drawing.

Nikki Duncan