He Demands Discipline Collection

Book One: Are you sitting comfortably?

These ladies aren’t, after defiance, hijinks, bad attitude and other misbehavior lands them a trip across a stern partner’s knee.

 

Penny’s husband Hayden wants to revive domestic discipline as well as romance as they travel around Australia. Penny isn’t so sure, but then she ignores an important instruction.

Lucy is trying to trace a poison-pen writer and searching for an office to set up her own PI agency. Can she find a location boyfriend Noel approves of? (A standalone mystery featuring Lucy from At Dead of Night.)

Lady Helena has run away with her family’s footman after having a disastrous marriage declared void. How will she cope with life as lowly servant Nell? (Featuring two new characters from the Lady Margia/Freedom universe.)

Ruth is in love with the headmaster of the school where she works as a nurse. He seems unaware of her existence – until her madcap friend comes to stay, and a prank goes horribly wrong.

 

Book Two: A Cure for All Ills

Enjoy eight short spanking stories featuring feisty heroines from a range of genres – contemporary, mystery, historical and alt-history – all with one thing in common. They all have a man who knows just how to bring them back in line!

 

Maddie’s hot new date loves to cook – but she avoids eating at all costs.

Sarah has perfect plans for her anniversary – but Dan has disappeared into his man-cave.

Ginny has always let her dog run free in the ‘on-lead’ area – but now a fine has turned up in the post.

Maddie, Sarah, Ginny and the other feisty women in these stories all have problems. And they all have men who believe that a spanking is a cure for all ills.

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Sample Chapter

Rekindling our Romance

Well, here we are already into the third week of our grand tour of Australia and I’m only just getting round to blogging! I intended to blog every few days, but time goes by so quickly and we’ve done so many things that it’s almost impossible to keep you all up to date with everything that’s been happening on our travels. When we left Melbourne on 2 January, we made our way slowly along the Great Ocean Road, taking the time to unwind and get into travel mode. We went swimming, did some great coastal walks, mooched around markets, and explored some lovely historic townships. And of course we visited a few bookshops! We might no longer be in the trade, but we just couldn’t help ourselves! We’re now at the Grampians National Park for a few days, doing some walking, before we hitch up the caravan again and start making our way towards South Australia.

“Good to see you finally getting around to that blog entry,” Hayden commented as he sat down next to me at the picnic table we’d set up alongside the caravan. “You told everybody back home that you’d blog at least once a week.”

“I know, but we’ve been so busy. And I have been putting regular status updates and photos on Facebook.” I’d just uploaded a couple of photos I’d taken while we were eating our steaks and salad – one of kangaroos grazing on the grass outside our caravan; another of the twenty or so sulphur-crested cockatoos that had descended on the picnic table the minute we put down our food. The wildlife here in the Grampians was amazing; we’d seen emus earlier when we’d walked along the track from the caravan park to the tiny township of Halls Gap.

Hayden took a long slug of beer. It was a warm night, peaceful too – with the end of school holidays approaching, there weren’t as many families at this caravan park as there had been in the ones along the Great Ocean Road. There were a few children running around or riding their bikes, but the noisiest creatures by far were the screeching cockatoos.

“We’ll need to get up early tomorrow,” he said. “The walk we’re doing takes about six hours and we need to finish it before the heat of the day sets in.”

“What do you mean by ‘early?'”

“I was thinking we should set off at seven.”

“Hmm. That is early. We’ll have to be up by six – earlier than we used to get up for work! What’s wrong with getting up at seven and setting off at eight?”

“The guy in the information office says there’s a lot of exposed rock on the walk, so we need to make sure we’re not up there when it’s really hot.”

“Oh, all right then,” I said reluctantly. “It’s going to be hard to get up that early, but I guess we’ve got plenty of other days to sleep in.”

Actually, 345 of them. Hayden and I were finally doing something we’d wanted to do for ages – spending a year travelling around Australia. Well, not all of Australia, but a good deal of it, including Alice Springs and Uluru, Darwin and Far North Queensland. But all that was in the future. Right now, we were still exploring our home state of Victoria. Our eighteen-year-old twins Angus and Raeli were looking after our house in Melbourne and starting uni at the end of February. Having the kids off our hands after years of school fees, combined with the increasing economic challenge of running a bookshop in these days of e-readers, had made it the perfect time to sell off our stock and close the shop. We’d rented out the premises to a young couple who planned to turn what had been our bookshop into a café. And we bought the caravan that would be our home for twelve months, putting plans for our future careers on hold.

It was a lovely caravan – it wasn’t large, but it made great use of space (our bed turned into a sofa by day), making it feel roomy. Hayden had had solar panels installed on it, so we could generate our own electricity; this meant we’d be able to set up camp in the bush overnight if we wanted to; and that we’d save money using unpowered sites at caravan parks. “We’ll be following the sun around, so it’ll generate enough energy during the day for the electricity we’ll need at night and in the mornings,” he said. “The only things we can’t run are a microwave or the air con, but we can do without those things.”

I’d been sceptical, but so far he’d been proven right. We’d had plenty of power for what we needed, barbecues and salads were much more appetising than heated-up microwave meals, and opening the windows at night had been enough to let the heat out of the caravan – at least it had along the Great Ocean Road where there’d been a refreshing coastal breeze.

And the best part of the trip so far was that we were spending all our time together. Getting to know each other all over again. We’d arrived in Australia twenty years ago; two recently married British migrants, me a book editor, Hayden a marketing whiz. We’d quickly landed jobs in our professions, but when we’d had the twins we realised that it was going to be very hard to balance looking after two children with full-time work. Even if we took separate leave, we still couldn’t cover all of the school holidays between us, and, being migrants, we didn’t have handy grandparents or aunties and uncles to call on if we needed a babysitter. So we’d ended up opening a bookshop, selling new and second-hand books, and using my contacts and Hayden’s marketing skills to devise an entertaining program of author talks and workshops. We juggled separate shifts at the shop with looking after the kids. It meant that the twins always had a parent to look after them, but it also meant that Hayden and I, spending little time on our own together other than when they were both away on a sleepover or at camp (and that happened rarely; there was usually one of them left at home with us), had drifted apart.

This trip, as well as giving us the opportunity to fulfil a dream and work out what we could do with the rest of our working lives now that the book trade had become less viable, was meant to remedy that.

So far it had been brilliant. I’d forgotten what it was like to spend a leisurely evening alone with Hayden, relaxing, enjoying a wine, watching the sun go down. I missed the twins, but it was lovely to spend time with my husband, without Angus and Raeli and their mates suddenly descending on the house in the middle of our favourite TV show, disturbing the peace.

And tonight was a perfect example of romance rekindled. When I’d uploaded my blog and we’d finished our drinks, we walked to the nearby lake, and sat beside it for an hour, watching the moon rise over the mountain. We sat with our arms around each other, cherishing the beauty, the peace and each other’s company.

Then my mobile beeped.

Hey, Mum, just read yr blog and thought I’d let you know everything’s good at home. I’m watering the garden like u said and the tomatoes in the greenhouse are just about to ripen. Say hey to Dad. Glad yr having a good time. Raeli says to tell u she’s gonna comment on yr blog. Angus

I gave a rueful smile. Typical twins, interrupting the romantic moment.

 

* * *

 

Another of the things that Hayden and I had allowed to lapse while we were bringing up the twins and running a bookshop was exercise. And, wow, did we realise it as we climbed the steep track that led from Halls Gap to the top of the mountain, known as the Pinnacle.

“Oof, this is hard work,” I commented, pausing for a drink of water after scrambling up a series of slippery rocks.

“We’re going to be a lot fitter at the end of these twelve months,” Hayden said.

“We certainly couldn’t be less. Thank God we started early, Hayden – it’s hot enough now and it’s not even ten o’clock. Imagine climbing up here in a couple of hours or so when it’s even hotter.”

“And you wanted to argue about it last night,” he pointed out.

“I know. I’m glad I listened to you. On this occasion,” I added, making a face at him.

“Hmm,” he said. Rested, we set off up the track again. The next stretch wasn’t as steep as that we’d just struggled up and Hayden took the opportunity to keep talking. “Do you remember the old days, before we had the twins?” he asked me. “What used to happen when you used to argue with me or didn’t listen to instructions or advice?”

I blushed and grinned. “God, Hayden. That was a long time ago.”

“I used to take you over my knee and spank you. Remember?”

“Yes, with my hairbrush. And you used to decide how long you were going to spank me for and set the egg timer.” And, boy, those minutes waiting for the egg timer to go off had seemed to last forever. “That was when we were young and foolish.”

“Young, yes. Foolish – no, I don’t think so,” Hayden said. “The spankings certainly kept you in line and our relationship improved because of it.”

The spankings, like so much else, had disappeared when the twins came along. If one child wasn’t upset or ill, the other was, and between them and the bookshop, we’d been too exhausted most of the time for sex, let alone spanking. And even if we’d been up for it, we only had a small house and we couldn’t risk the twins hearing us.

“I was thinking we might use this holiday to revive it,” Hayden said.

“You what?

“Why not? It won’t do our relationship any harm and if you don’t want to be spanked, all you have to do is behave yourself,” he said. “Not difficult is it?”

We had reached another strenuous stretch, so I saved my breath for the climb. But hefting myself over the rocks didn’t stop me thinking. Revive spanking? Not on your life, matey.

When he’d first started spanking me, before we were married, I’d been all for it. I’d been reading Outlander, found the scene where Jamie spanked Claire dead horny, and got off on the idea of being put over Hayden’s knee when I was out of line. But that was fantasy. The reality had been somewhat different.

The spankings had bloody well hurt.

“Well, that’s the idea,” Hayden had said with a chuckle, when I’d protested about this. “You’re not going to behave better if you really enjoy a spanking, are you?”

Still, even though I hated the spankings while they were happening, I’d had to admit that they were better than spending hours bickering or not speaking to each other. We’d definitely been closer then. Sex had been great too.

But that didn’t mean I wanted spankings revived.

Anyway, by the time we’d hauled ourselves up the final, gruelling section of track and reached the Pinnacle, Hayden had forgotten all about spanking and was intent on trying to capture the majestic views by taking as many photographs as possible. Looking out at the never-ending expanse of bush, it felt like we were thousands of miles away from civilisation. Even though we hadn’t met many other walkers on the track, there were actually a lot of people up at the Pinnacle – like us, they were taking endless photographs and settling down to eat a picnic lunch. Hayden and I stayed up there for about an hour before taking the track that led back down.

We were doing a circuit walk and had come up the steepest way. Because of that, I’d envisaged that the track down would be easy. Wrong. If anything, the constant downward pounding on big steps hewn out of rock was harder on the feet. But the track went through some stunning natural attractions – two narrow canyons, a cool cave, two deep pools. It was a long walk down, though, and by the time we reached the foot of the mountain, I was exhausted.

“Let’s get ice creams from the ice creamery,” I suggested.

“That,” said Hayden, “is one of the best ideas you’ve ever had.”

We ordered double scoops of ice cream in waffle cones and collapsed onto a bench to eat them.

“I wish the caravan had a spa,” I said. “My body’s going to ache tomorrow.”

“We’re doing another walk tomorrow,” Hayden said heartlessly. “Not a six-hour one like we’ve done today, but still a tough track. We need to build up our fitness levels for when we get to the Flinders Ranges in a few weeks’ time. There’s lots of strenuous walking there.”

“God, it’s hot,” I said. I licked some melting ice cream that was about to drip off the cone and onto my shorts. “It must have hit 40 already.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I was thinking we should go into Stawell and buy some more cold drinks. It’s going to be hot again tomorrow.”

I made a face. “The supermarket again? We only went yesterday. All I want to do is jump in the pool.”

“Okay, then,” he agreed. “I’ll drop you back at the caravan park so you can go for a swim. I don’t mind going to the supermarket on my own. I want to check out the hardware store as well – there are a couple of tools I forgot to bring with me, and I need to replace them in case anything needs fixing.”

“Sounds good,” I said.

But when I checked out the pool, it was chock-full of kids. I decided against the swim and thought maybe I’d sit in the shade and blog about the walk we’d just done. I soon discovered, though, that it was hot even in the shade. And the caravan was even hotter. It was like stepping into an oven.

Now I wished I’d gone into Stawell with Hayden. At least the supermarket and hardware store would have air con.

Air con.

Hayden had said our solar power wouldn’t be able to handle air con. But by that he’d probably meant we couldn’t run it all day. Putting it on for just an hour or so to cool the caravan down wouldn’t do any harm, surely? I couldn’t simply sit inside in the heat – I’d bake. The air con took a while to crank up, but soon the caravan started to feel cool instead of boiling.

Bliss.

I poured some juice and settled down to spend some time online. I updated my status on Facebook and posted some photographs I’d taken on the walk, including a selfie of me and Hayden up at the Pinnacle. I quickly received several ‘likes’ and comments, and responded to queries about how long it had taken, how hot it had been etc. After chatting on Facebook for a while, I wrote my blog. I glanced at the time on my iPad. Stawell wasn’t far away. Hayden would be on his way home soon. Best to turn the air con off so he wouldn’t know about it. The caravan was starting to feel a tad too chilly now, anyway.

There was a sudden weird, cranking noise and the air con died.

I checked the unit; maybe it turned itself off when it reached a certain temperature. But the switch was still activated. I turned it off, left it for a few seconds, then tried to turn it on again.

Totally dead.

Shit.

Hayden had told me that the electricity wouldn’t be able to power the air con. He’d be furious if he found out I’d used it and it had broken down. But, as the minutes passed, and the temperature started climbing surprisingly quickly without the air con running, I stopped panicking – he wouldn’t realise I’d been running the air con, and it wasn’t as if he’d want to switch it on. He’d never find out. Which was a good thing given the comments he’d made about spanking earlier!

I heard the car pull up outside. The caravan door opened and Hayden entered, carrying a couple of bags. “It’s not as hot as I thought it’d be in here,” he commented. He opened the fridge door to deposit the drinks. And frowned. “The fridge isn’t working.”

“Isn’t it?” I was surprised. “I had some juice not so long ago, and it was cold enough.”

“Weird,” he said. “I hope it isn’t broken.”

By now I’d almost flattened my iPad. I grabbed the cord and plugged it in.

Nothing.

“The iPad’s not charging,” I commented. “We’ve got no electricity. There must be a power failure.”

“We’re on solar,” he reminded me. Then he frowned. “You haven’t used the air con, have you?”

Uh-oh.

I gulped. “Well, I did,” I admitted, “but not for very long.”

He glared at me. “I told you not to do that! It’s sucked up all our electricity.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t realise…”

“Then you should have realised – I made a point of telling you we couldn’t use the air con or the microwave. How long did you run it for?”

“Um…”

“Tell me the truth, Penny.”

“Well, there were lots of kids in the pool, so…”

He put a hand on my shoulder and eyed me sternly. “Do you mean to tell me, Penny, that you ran the air con almost all the time I was away?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “But it stopped working.”

“When?”

“Not too long before you got back.”

“I see. Do you have any idea what this means, Penny?”

Spanking, I thought apprehensively, but said aloud, “I’m not sure.”

“It means we’ll have no power tonight. We won’t be able to put a light on when it gets dark. And, worse, the fridge will defrost, so we won’t be able to keep our food in there.”

“Oh, crap,” I said.

“Oh, crap is right,” he said grimly. “It also means you’re going to have a very sore bottom in addition to those aching muscles when you go to bed tonight. In the meantime, though, we need to sort the food out.”

 

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