Please join me in welcoming Claire Gem back on my blog today with her new release, upcoming Haunted Voices novel, CIVIL HEARTS, due out in February of 2018. She's sharing a brief excerpt here, and would welcome new subscribers to her Author Reader Group. Be sure to sign up so you will be the first know when her book goes on pre-order. Here's the link. http://eepurl.com/burn4f
Blurp: After her husband's sudden death, Liv Larson finds herself out of place in her previous circle of all-couple-friends. With no family, no real roots to hold her fast, she questions whether she truly belongs in the big city--the only place she's ever known. A dart thrown at the map lands on a tiny town in western, rural Alabama. Liv falls in love with the Belle Bride, an abandoned, antebellum home, the first time she sees it.
Heath Barrow lives a quiet, conservative life managing his antiques business in sleepy Camellia. Alone since his childhood-sweetheart-turned-wife left him for the big-city life, he has no intentions of removing the armor from his heart anytime soon. Especially for the new girl in town--a city girl, no less. Yet he can't deny the synergy between them.
Then, Liv discovers she's not entirely alone in her new home. And the previous occupant isn't too pleased about a Yankee living in his house, since he fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War--almost two hundred years ago.
Tall and willowy, Heath knew just by the way the blonde carried herself she was a city gal. Oh, she'd made an effort to fit in. She wore the casual, Southern uniform of jeans, tee shirt, and sneakers. But the jeans sported a razor-sharp crease down the front. The sneakers, with their floral-printed laces and shiny metallic stripes, didn't come from Wal-Mart. And the cup in her hand—clear plastic, with a straw and jiggling ice cubes—featured the logo of that fancy new cafe out near the highway.
Cold coffee. What was it they called it? Iced something or other?
He watched her wander along the display at the front of the shop, pausing to run slender fingers down the cut glass shade of an Astral Oil Lamp, one whose brass base had been re-worked to hold electrical wiring instead of its original power source. She flipped the dangling glass pendants with one finger and they made a tinkling noise, making her smile.
Something warmed inside Heath's chest, though he wrote it off to the slice of cold pizza he'd eaten on his way in. He pushed himself away from the computer desk at the back of the shop, rising to lean on the display counter.
"Help you, ma'am?"
Her head snapped around, sending her golden ponytail to swing wildly over one shoulder.
She pressed one hand to her throat and chuckled nervously. "I'm sorry. I didn't see you back there." She pressed the dewy side of her drink cup to her cheek.
Guess he'd startled her. Oh well. Did she think the local yokels in a small town left their businesses unattended while they ran errands?
Heath cleared his throat. "Looking for anything in particular? Or just browsing?"
Wasting time, he thought wryly. Mine and hers.
The passers-through in this part of the South were usually just that—passing through. Camellia didn't have any well-known tourist attractions, other than a few marked Civil War battlefields and a couple of dilapidated plantation homes. They didn't even have a chain hotel.
But his interior bitch session screeched to a halt with her next four words.
"I'm new in town."
Heath blinked. He knew just about everybody in this small burg, and surely would have heard if--
"I bought the old Belle plantation home. The Bride Belle, I think they call it?" she said. She was walking toward him now, and he couldn't help his gaze from straying down. The thin cotton of her shirt didn't do much to disguise the generous, peaked mounds beneath them.
Probably plastic too, he thought.
He cleared his throat again, and felt sweat prickle the back of his neck. "You did? Wow, how did I miss that bit of town gossip?"
Her eyes narrowed, pink lips pressing into a thin line.
What the hell was wrong with him? He scooted around the counter. "I mean, well . . . congratulations. That place is in need of some TLC. I drive by there now and again, and hated to see it standing empty."
She was studying him now with a critical gaze. Pale, grey eyes. Or were they blue? Hard to tell in this light. Big, wide-set, pretty eyes.
Then suddenly, she was laughing. Embarrassment flushed her cheeks and she covered her mouth with her free hand. "I know this is going to sound ridiculous. Impossible, even. But I bought a gigantic old plantation house, and I don't own a stitch of furniture."
Her giggling sent a warm flush through him, and he smiled back. "Well, you've come to the right place. Welcome to Heath's Heirlooms." He stuck out his hand. "Heath Barrow."
She hesitated only a moment before grasping his hand with her soft, smooth one. Her grip was confident and strong. Meeting his eyes, she said, "I'm Olivia. Olivia Larson. Nice to meet you."
And it was.
This sounds so intriguing, Claire. I can't wait to read. So, let's find out a little more information about Claire!
Strong Women, Starting Over
Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of spicy contemporary romance, women's fiction, and supernatural suspense. She also writes Author Resource guide books, and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.
Her awards include:
Hearts Unloched (Haunted Voices I): 2016 New York Book Festival winner, 2017 RONE awards finalist.
Spirits of the Heart (Haunted Voices II): 2017 “I Heart Indie Awards” finalist
A Taming Season, the first Love at Lake George Novel: 2017 HOLT Medallion Award finalist.
The Phoenix Syndrome: 2017 National Reader’s Choice Finalist
A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 39 years, now live in central Massachusetts.
Amazon Author Page
That's quite a list of accomplishments, Claire. Congratulations. I can't wait until the book is released.
Readers: Please leave a comment and let us know you've stopped by. We love to hear from you, and don't forget to sign up for her Author Reader Group. Here's the link again: http://eepurl.com/burn4f
Happy Friday everyone! Today I have Kayelle Allen back on my blog with an excerpt from her new release. When I read the excerpt, I kind of fell in love with Pietas. I mean, who wouldn't love someone who has a kitty cat for a pet. Even a big one! Tell us some more, Kayelle!
Thanks for hosting me today, Connie. I'm celebrating the release of Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire the second book in my science fiction Bringer of Chaos series. This book almost wrote itself. I could hardly write fast enough and would even wake up in the middle of the night with scenes filling my mind. I'd tear downstairs to my office and write, then catch a nap later in the day. Thank goodness I'm retired and can do that!
The story features Pietas, a man whose genetic scientist father enhanced before and after birth. Pietas was never allowed to be a child. He had to be a soldier and do everything as perfectly as possible. That upbringing has affected everything in his life. Now, nineteen hundred and sixteen years later, he's still trying to be Mr. Perfect.
Not easy, even for a genius immortal with an eidetic memory. But for one whose best friend is a human who doesn't take life seriously? Impossible. Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire has lots of angst, a huge helping of humor, and let us not forget, one ginormous panther who adores Pietas and wants to be his "kitty."
Here's a short excerpt to give you a taste of the story. Pietas has been playing with the panther, a huge animal he calls Tiklaus. The name means "Loyal Warrior."
Claws retracted, the panther batted at him, knocked Pietas onto his back and then flipped itself down beside him. Tiklaus wrapped its front legs around his arm and gnawed at it in gentle play while the hind feet kicked him without injury. Claws flashed, but did no harm.
Pietas blew out a breath. Now I know how a chew toy feels.
When the panther draped itself over his chest, Pietas struggled to slide out from under but could not get up. The animal weighed less than he did, but with no visible effort, it kept Pietas from rising.
"I concede, my friend. You win."
The panther ignored him.
The panther yawned, opening a huge maw. Fangs flashed.
Pietas tried a signal that worked with sparring partners and asked for release by double-tapping the panther's side.
The cat stood at once and stepped over him. It shook from nose to tail, then sat and groomed itself.
Pietas stood and brushed himself off. Standing beside Tiklaus, who reached him mid-thigh, he took pride in knowing this sweet, playful cat was also the snarling ball of animal rage that had nailed his father to the ground.
Pietas ensured no one was on the path in either direction before he knelt and scratched the cat's ears. "Who's a good kitty?"
The animal sneaked in a lick of his hand and face and flopped down on its back.
"My Tiklaus, that's who. Tiklaus is a good kitty." He rubbed the smooth belly. "Yes, you are! Such a good, big kitty. You're my kitty, aren't you? Good, good kitty."
The panther accepted the attention, one paw twitching. After a moment, it stood and shook itself. A purring sound rumbled from its chest. It sat, licked one paw and added a lick of Pietas's face as well.
He chuckled. "Thank you for the bath." He hugged the panther's neck. "You have as soft a heart as I do but you don't show it either. Pact, my friend. I won't tell if you won't." He kissed Tiklaus on the nose.
The panther bumped its head against Pietas, then bounded to a tree and up it.
The book releases today, Dec 29th, exclusively on Amazon. Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire is available in print. Free on KindleUnlimited.
Heat level: PG13
Genre: science fiction, space opera, military science fiction
Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire
Marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, Pietas knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that's the problem. He's not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped in their pods and it's up to Pietas to save them. But before he can, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he's fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever...
Wow, Kayelle, I am intrigued and I think I really like this Pietas!
Let's find out some more about Kayelle.
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She's a US Navy veteran who's been married so long she's tenured.
Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group Download four free books and get news about books coming soon. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you so much for dropping by, Kayelle, and congratulations on your new release.
Readers, please let us know if you are visiting. We love to talk to our readers.
Hello everyone, today I have my friend and author, Ana Morgan and her debut novel, Stormy Hawkins. I've had the privilege of working with Ana through the From The Heart Romance RWA, and I also had the privilege of critiquing the story before she submitted it to her publisher. Check out this romance book and discover a new author in the process.
Blade Masters has finally spotted his ideal Dakota Territory ranch, where he can
live alone, forget his cheating ex-fiancée, and bury the shards of his shattered heart. All he needs to do is sweet-talk the ailing owner, and his spitfire daughter, into retiring.
If she weren’t desperate, Stormy would never hire a cowhand. She’s learned the hard way that she’s happier working her family’s ranch alone. But, the greedy banker who holds their mortgage just demanded payment in full—or her hand in marriage.
Will this handsome drifter protect her? Or does he have designs of his own?
Land speculator Blade Masters wants to convince Stormy Hawkins’ father to retire so he can buy their South Dakota cattle ranch. He’s bought jeans-and-boots-wearing Stormy a fancy dress and escorted her to the Founders Day dance. Last year, everyone laughed at her clumsiness. Blade intends to change that, starting with a first kiss:
Wearing his best shirt and the jeans that didn’t have rips from barbed wire, Blade sat on the leather couch sandwiched between Running Bear and Brownie.
Brownie was gussied up in pressed corduroy slacks and wide suspenders. A thick coat of new polish on his boots reflected the late afternoon sunlight.
Running Bear’s deerskin vest was embroidered with green vines and colorful flowers. Blade didn’t feel comfortable asking if his dead wife had done the intricate beadwork. For all he knew, the big man was handy with a needle and thread. He was good at everything else.
Running Bear stretched out his legs and scuffed the sole of his boot across Brownie’s boot toe. His eyes gleamed devilishly. “So sorry.”
Brownie glared at him, and then returned his focus to the stairs. “What’s takin’ so long up there?” he yelled.
Privately, Blade seconded the question.
Three knocks sounded from the hallway upstairs. A door opened and shut. Then, it was silent again.
“Crimeny.” Brownie jumped up and paced around the sitting room. “She knows I need to tune my fiddle. Now we’re gonna be late, and—”
Zed rapped on the upstairs wall like a majordomo. He wore ironed pants, a bright yellow shirt, and a tailored black jacket. He started down the stairs.
A step behind him, Stormy followed.
Blade leaned forward and gripped his knees.
She looked lovelier than a pampered St. Louis Society debutante. The flowing skirt of the emerald dress swirled around her legs. The top hugged her curves, breasts to waist to hips. Unbraided, her hair shimmered like the western sky at sunset, and her eyes shone with a vulnerability that made him ache to be her protector.
“Saying goodbye to your heart, Little Brother?” Running Bear asked softly.
As soon as he rode onto the field next to Prosperity’s schoolhouse, Blade knew his plan would work.
Twenty teams and wagons had already formed a wide semi-circle, and more were pulling in behind the Hawkins’ buckboard.
Women in dancing dresses arranged platters of food on long tables. A short distance away, men dipped tin cups into an open barrel and toasted each other. Roughhousing children raced around poles topped with glowing lanterns, ignoring their mothers’ shouts to stay clean.
Ginny Dunn waved as Zed set the buckboard brake.
Carrying his weather-beaten fiddle case, Brownie rushed toward a cluster of musicians, tuning their instruments.
Running Bear walked toward the food tables with cloth- covered baskets.
Blade dismounted and helped Stormy down from the back of the buckboard. Tonight, everyone would see her in a new light. The gossip would spread like a wildfire.
To enhance his plan, Zed had suggested Stormy wear her mother’s light blue cape to protect her dress during the ride into town. With her dress hidden until she started to dance, she’d stun the townspeople who usually mocked her.
He pulled her into the shadows cast by a tall-sided wagon. “Time for another dance lesson, Stormy.”
She nodded without looking up at him. He could tell she was nervous, eyeing the growing circle of wagons and people.
He understood her fear of ridicule. He’d quit St. Louis in the middle of the night, rather than endure Society’s gossip about why Miss Candace Kennedy had discarded him for his younger brother, Jared.
He went on. “Waltzing requires communication and leadership. I am the man, your superior. You are a woman, my—”
“Good. I have your attention.” He faced her, picked up her hand, and slid his work-roughened fingers across the silky small of her back. “Put your hand on my arm. When it’s time to go backwards, I will do this.” He raised his elbow slightly. “When I want to go forward, I will press like this.” He pushed his fingertips against her back.
Her mouth formed an ‘o’ of astonishment.
“All you have to do is follow my lead. Step forward, step to the side, step together.” Fighting her stiff-legged hesitancy, he pulled her along. “Think of it this way, Stormy. We’re a steer. I’m the head, and you’re the tail.” He waited a moment to let the description sink in.
She smiled half-heartedly.
“Let’s try again. This time, we’ll go backwards. Back, side, together.” He lifted his arm. “You’re doing great. Now a quarter turn.” He pivoted as he stepped forward.
Her nose crashed into his chest, and she hopped back. “I can’t do this. I’ll never be good at dancing.”
“Just turn off your thoughts and listen with your body.” “I don’t know how.” “You can do anything you set your mind to, Stormy. You’re a smart, talented, beautiful woman.” To convince her, he lowered his head and brushed his lips against hers.
The soft rush of her sigh warmed his cheeks. Mesmerized, he pulled her close and bent to truly kiss her.
Before his lips reached hers again, he came to his senses. She was engaged, and his heart was off limits—for life.
http://amzn.to/2wXgykQ free read on Kindle Unlimited
This is a wonderful story and I encourage you to get the book and read the whole story. Here's a little bit of information about Ana.
When she was small, Ana Morgan’s dream was to know something about everything. She has studiously waitressed, driven a school bus, run craft service on indie film sets, wandered through European castles, wired a house, married a Marine, canned vegetables, and studied the stars. She knows how to change a flat tire but prefers gallant, handsome strangers who strip off their jackets and spin the lug nuts for her.
Ana embarked on her writing career by crafting succinct cooking directions for her Secret Garden soup mixes—and graduated to lyrical essays about living on a small organic farm for her CSA’s weekly newsletter. Eventually she realized she wanted to write what she loved to read—steamy romance novels.
She and her husband eloped six weeks after they met and moved from southern California to northern Minnesota. They taught themselves how to milk cows (at first by hand), and raised three go-getter children. One is an award-winning woodworker. Another is IT super-smart. The third is an actor-director-producer.
Ana edits for a regional literary publication, The Talking Stick, and currently serves as president of From the Heart Romance Writers.
You can contact Ana through these two links
Thank you, Ana, for stopping by and I hope you get good sales for your book.
Readers, if you stopped by, please leave us a comment and let us know you've dropped by. We love to hear from our readers.
Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. I certainly did. Today, I have Valerie Ullmer back on my blog, with her story, Unwrapped (A unexpected Novella). When I see a body like this on the book cover, I melt all over. LOL One of the things I've decided to change in the coming year for my blog, is to share humorous events in our lives that may or may not have made it into the author's books. A lot of my humorous events have made it into my books. Anyway, Valerie shares a humorous story, then the back cover blurp and excerpt. Let's see what she's got to say.
Unwrapped (A Unexpected Novella)
I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote my first novel. Although I’d read a lot of how-to-write books and books on story structure, I struggled my way through it. So, when I wrote The End on my manuscript, I was so excited that I woke my husband from a nap and started jumping up and down on the bed and I can admit now, there was some squealing involved (not that I’m proud of it, mind you).
Unfortunately, when I read through the story several days later, it was filled with every do not write like this cliché possible and I found myself flinching at how bad the writing was. I called my husband and started crying, and since of course my husband hates when I cry, he left work early and spent the weekend trying to cheer me up.
Every once in a while, I pull the story and read it, and although I can see everything in the story that doesn’t work, I don’t try and fix it. I see it at as an example of how I far I’ve come in my writing and it makes me laugh, especially when my husband reminds me how I balled like a baby.
Unwrapped (A Unexpected Novella)
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Friends to lovers.
Jack had done what he’d always done to protect himself. He allowed fear to take over and as a result, he pushed Adam away. When Adam finally left, Jack understood that if he loved Adam as much as he claimed, he needed to change before Adam could risk his heart again.
Lovers to forever.
Adam understood why Jack kept his feelings secret, but after being ignored one too many times, he left. But Jack won’t give up and when he proves to Adam how much he wants their relationship to work, can Adam risk his heart to the one man he’s loved all over again?
Will Jack and Adam find their happily-ever-after during the season of miracles?
Jack paused before he asked the question that could break him.
“Do you…truly want out of our relationship?”
He could hear Adam breathing on the other line and held his own as he waited for Adam to answer. Jack understood entirely in that moment what he’d put Adam through over the past few months, probably the last few years. He would completely understand if Adam didn’t want to continue being hurt. Jack’s own feelings aside, he would accept Adam’s decision because if he felt he couldn’t continue with Jack, Jack would let him go and wish him all the happiness in the world. Or he hoped he would.
“No, but it hurts to be ignored.”
Jack breathed a sigh of relief. He needed to change or he would lose Adam.
“I’m going to make it up to you. I want to prove to you that I can change and by Christmas if you don’t believe that…then I’ll let you go.”
“Is that what you want?”
“No. I can’t imagine loving anyone but you. And while we’re apart, I’m going find a therapist to work on my issues. There’s something holding me back from exactly who I want to be and be with, and I need help to find out what that is.”
There was a choked sound on the other line before Adam grew silent.
“I know I’m messed up and the last thing I wanted to do was to hurt you, but that’s exactly what I did. I can’t get past my own mind, so I need some help. This time, I won’t take you for granted.”
“Are you afraid to admit your sexuality?”
“I suppose I am. Adam, although it looked as though I slept with a lot of women, there has only been a few. Mainly it was camouflage. But I felt like I found myself the first time I kissed you. I knew then I was gay and that you are the only man I will ever want.”
Adam sighed. “You’re being surprisingly open about this.”
“The moment I heard the door shut and I realized you left… It was the worst moment of my life. I could take seeing my father every day and listen to his bullshit, but I never want to feel what I felt when you left. And knowing that I drove you to it makes it worse. So much worse.”
Jack took a deep breath and continued. “I just hope you’ll take me back if I prove to you that I can change.”
Holding his breath, he waited for Adam’s answer. Everything lost meaning the moment Adam walked out the door and Jack needed confirmation that he had a chance.
Jack breathed out and closed his eyes as the fist squeezing his heart for most of the morning, released its painful hold.
“I know your busy Monday and Tuesday nights, but I wondered if I could bring you dinner on Wednesday after work and we could talk?”
Adam answered immediately. “I would like that.”
Jack mentally arranged his to-do list and realized that Wednesday was three long days away. “I’ll miss you.”
“We could always call and text. I won’t be too busy for you.”
“Thanks for talking to me, even though I’m not sure I deserved it. I’ll talk to you soon, okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll miss you, too. Talk to you soon, Jack.”
“I love you, Adam. And I’m sorry.”
“I know, Jack.”
Soon, they disconnected and Jack felt empty.
Wow, I love both the back cover blurp and the excerpt. Not to mention, the body on the cover. Tell us more about you, Valerie.
Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She's addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.
FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ INSTAGRAM ~ GOODREADS ~ AMAZON
Thanks so much, Valerie, for sharing this book with us. I hope you have many sales. Have a wonderful new year!
If you are a visitor stopping by, please let us know by posting a comment. We love to hear from our readers. Thanks and happy new year!
Today, I'm visiting my own blog. I didn't write a Christmas story, but the story's HEA ended on Christmas Day, with the family in Church. ⛪️Book of Love is one of my most favorite books that I've written. I love that Janice is such a strong woman, even though she doesn't see it herself, and that Chris is a stable, loving, compassionate father, pillar in the community, and ...ahem... Great in bed. 😊 I recently did a character interview on Peter Perin's blog a week or so ago. I thought I'd maybe mix it up a little bit and include Chris in the interview. I hope you enjoy the interview. While you're still here, you can navigate over to "My Books" and read the first chapter of the story. The buy links are there as well, and the book is in "ebook" format only
Character Interview with Chris and Janice Jamisen.
Chris eyed the interviewer with a raised eyebrow. “I’m Chris Jamisen."
Chris sat back in the chair and crossed his arms.
Interviewer: “Where were you born?”
Janice folded her hands in her lap and smiled at the interviewer:"I was born and raised in Michigan."
Interviewer: “How would you describe your physical characteristics?”
Janice sat for a second before answering. Her brow arched slightly. “Well, Chris says I’m a gorgeous blonde with beautiful blue eyes. I’d say my physical characteristics are ordinary. I do have some hideous scars that I have to keep covered, even though Chris says they are NOT hideous.”
Chris smiled at Janice. “That is true, you are beautiful, and your scars are not hideous.”
Interviewer: “What about you, Chris?”
“A lot of women think he’s adorable and I’ve seen them swoon whenever he’s around them.” Janice batted her eyes and smiled.
“A lot of those women are old enough to be my mother.” Chris mumbled then reluctantly smiled. “I have the traditional Native American look. Enough said.”
Interviewer: “How would you describe your personality”
Janice glanced up at the ceiling for a second then back at Peter. “I am a librarian by trade, so I’m mostly a very outgoing person.” Chris stared blankly at the interviewer before answering. “I have to be somewhat of a people person too, due to my business.”
Interviewer: “What do you most like about yourself?”
Janice stared at the interviewer for a few seconds, reflecting on what she asked. “I like that I can bring a community together to support their local library, and I like that I have a deep hunger to help people learn to read, find materials they need to enhance their knowledge and education. Chris has taught me to like myself more, and I feel less threatened when I’m in a crowd or with people.”
Chris had a lined smile. “What can I say, I’m just a likeable guy.”
Interviewer: “Do you have a trait you dislike?”
Janice grimaced. “Yes, I dislike racism, and dishonesty. Chris and the kids are Native Americans. How he and his first wife had been treated was despicable. I won’t tolerate any of it.”
'I agree with Janice.”
Interviewer: “Do you generally tell the truth? If so, under what circumstances would you lie?”
“I always speak the truth. I may have a problem coming out and telling someone something they need to hear, but I don’t shy away from it and lie. Eventually I get to the point.” Janice glanced over at Chris.
“I constantly remind myself, and my kids of an American Indian proverb spoken by the nation of the Cree. Treachery darkens the chain of friendship, but truth makes it brighter than ever.”
Interviewer: When did you share you first kiss?"
Janice glanced quickly over at Chris and her cheeks turned rosy. "Um...in the basement of the library."
Interviewer: What were you two doing in the basement?"
"She was trying to convince me that the town should appropriate money to make the basement air controlled and get rid of the rodents." Chris smiled. "She climbed up the ladder, I think, on purpose. Then she fell into my arms. So, I kiss her."
"He thought I kissed him as part of the 'persuasion.'"
"I still do."
Interviewer: “What hopes and ambitions do you have?”
“I’m living out my hopes and ambitions right now. I’m married to a wonderful man, his children have became my children. I have a wonderful library that I love to run, and I love my community. I love helping my husband with his business. I hope this will always be the case, and I hope that my heart will always do flip flops or quiver each time I look at my husband.”
Interviewer: What about you, Chris?”
Chris shuffled his feet under the chair."I hope to always have Janice by my side. I hope at some point, my son and my brother-in-law will eventually take over my business so that Janice and I can do some traveling. Right now, we just opened another shop, and I got my kids split up between the two garages to run the businesses. I’m very ambitious to get both businesses to be very successful.”
“Honey, they are both already successful.” Janice purred.
“I want it more successful.”
Interviewer: “How are your relationships with your own sex, generally?”
“In my profession, it is imperative that I have good relationships with both females and males, children and adults. Chris has a way with the elderly people in the community and they adore him.”
“The men in this society has a problem believing that an auto repair person may know more about cars than he does. So it’s that damn testosterones I have to deal with.” Chris grimaced.
Interviewer: “How are your relationships with the opposite sex, generally?”
“As I said before, I get along with everyone, but.” Janice chuckled. “I guess there were a few times when I gave Chris cause to pause.”
“You did, and you won’t be dancing with any other man from now on.” Chris said smugly. Janice laughed.
Interviewer: “How would you describe your dress style?”
“Chris thinks I’m a world class dresser, but most of my clothes are of a professional nature, business suits and dresses, with matching shoes and purse. When I married Chris, I had the same clothes for over 10 years and he thought I was a ‘gold-digger.’ He never realized until later that the clothes that I had were all old clothes, I just kept really good care of them. Since I’ve been married to him though, he’s given me a carte blanche credit card just for shopping at a very nice, prestigious place here in Colstrip.”
"I dress in old clothes. I mean, come on, I work in grease and oil.” Chris spread his hands.
“But he does have very nice clothes that he wears when we go out to a meeting, dinner, and so on,” Janice added.
“I’ve been thinking about ordering uniforms and letting someone else wash the stuff, sometimes I run out of old clothes.”
"That would be a good idea, love." Janice crooned at Chris.
Interviewer: “What hobbies/interests do you have?”
Janice felt her cheeks grow warm. “Well, ahem…my interests…ah….is Chris. However, I do like to make jewelry and I love to look at old books.”
“My interest is definitely Janice. Otherwise, my interest is obviously in automobiles.”
Interviewer: “What sports do you do, or watch?”
“Walking is my sport. It’s the one exercise that my doctor has ordered me to do. Chris does have weight lifting equipment in the basement and he and the boys do work out and we all love to play volleyball.” Janice raised her eyebrows. “Our house is quite lively on the weekends between college and professional football, and baseball in the summer.”
“Lifting weights is kind of a necessity for me and the boys. We’re constantly lifting heavy car equipment. Weight lifting helps us to stay nimble and strong, and like Janice said, we do like to play volleyball. Usually after Sunday church services, we come home and eat, and watch what ever games are in season, football in fall, hockey in winter, baseball in summer.”
Interviewer: “What are your favorite foods/drinks?”
“I have none, really. If you’ve read my story in Book of Love, you’d know that I suffered a very serious eating problem as a result of someone else’s hand. Food and drink has generally no taste to me."
“I happen to love anything I can put hot sauce on and I drink too much coffee. I monitor Janice’s intake of food very closely. She’s actually gain two whole pounds this past couple of months." Chris looked over at Janice and smiled. "It sounds like I have taken control over her, but I haven't really. I just care about her health and I want her to be happy."
"You're doing a great job, Chris. I am happy. Happiest I've ever been."
Interviewer: “How would you describe your sense of humour?”
“I think I have a great sense of humor. Chris says I’m quiet.” Janice’s lips moved into a slight smile.
"I have a dry sense of humor. My kids are always trying to pull something over on me and I use dry wit to emphasize a point.”
Interviewer: “How would you describe your temper?”
Janice let out a sigh. “Well, I rarely get mad and lose my temper, but Chris says he knows when I’m angry and about to lose my temper. I stay polite as ever, but my responses are clipped and my eyes have fire in them.”
“Yeah, watch out with Janice. I’m fortunate she loves me or I’d get the rough end of the deal. I wouldn’t have done as good as I’ve done with my kids I had a bad temper. A few times I came down on them, but most of the time I am pretty even tempered. I nearly lost it with that quack who called himself a doctor, when my first wife died.” Chris’s eyebrows knitted together.
Interviewer: Apart from the misunderstanding at the first of your relationship, was there anything else that happened to challenge your lives together?
Janice looked over at Chris and then dropped her eyes.
"It didn't challenge my life any, but it did challenge hers. Getting her away from a psychopath was the ultimate test for both of us."
"I prefer not to talk about it," Janice said quietly.
Interviewer: “Do you think your author has portrayed you accurately?”
Janice rolled her eyes. “Yes, unfortunately, with all my scars, vulnerabilities, and my dreams.”
Chris rested his elbows on the armrests of the chair and thought for a few seconds. “I think she could have shared with the readers a little more of my internal thoughts, using that deep POV, but the author was actually into her 4th book and just learning how to do that. However, considering where she was at that time, I think she did okay.”
Interviewer: “Do you think readers will like or dislike you?”
“For the author’s sake, I hope they do like me. I’ve suffered a lot in the years before I met Chris, and I kept going. I fought for my life and I won. I call it surviving, but others call it heroic.”
“Janice seems to think of me as a hero, but I don’t see myself that way. I just care about her and my kids. I’ll do anything for them. I’m sure when I went through that period where I was falling for her, I was also struggling within myself with what I thought was the real Janice, someone out to get a man’s money. I was determined she wouldn’t get mine.”
As part of the Happy Holiday Author Exchange, I'm pleased to have Linda O'Connor visiting my blog with her new release, Perfectly Christmas. Let's read the excerpt and find out what the story is about.
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Connie!
Perfectly Christmas is a contemporary romantic comedy. It’s stand-alone holiday romance about two doctors in a small town and the crazy balancing act between work and love. To add to the mayhem – the townsfolk don’t want to lose their only family doctor, so they’re working behind the scenes to keep Madison and Quinn apart!
Thanks for checking it out. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Title: Perfectly Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, his true love said to him, “Sorry, I have to work.” That’s the life of a surgeon, and Dr. Madison Hayes wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dr. Quinn Malone has another priority. In the countdown to Christmas, he needs to convince his old flame that there’s more to life – and love – than the job itself.
This time, his heart is in it for the long haul. Really.
Romantic and . . . complicated – it’s Perfectly Christmas!
Peggy stopped at the door. “Oh, one more thing. Did you want to be a part of the office Secret Santa? We pick names out of a hat, and each day during the twelve days of Christmas someone opens a gift.” She grinned. “Technically, we know, the twelve days of Christmas starts on December twenty-fifth, but we use it as a countdown to Christmas. We have a lot of fun with it.”
Madison hesitated. She wasn’t really big into exchanging presents. Stuff you didn’t need and wanted less. But Peggy and Nina were looking at her like it was the best thing ever.
Small town. Two years. Try to fit in. She sighed. She could always ask her sister for suggestions. “Okay, yeah. Sounds fun.” Translation: stressful.
Peggy’s grin widened. “I’ll be right back.”
After a moment, Peggy returned carrying a Christmas bag. She shook it and paper rustled inside. “Here you go. Pick one, but don’t tell us.”
Madison held back a sigh, reached in the bag, and picked out a piece of paper.
She unfolded it and her heart sank.
Quinn Malone. Dec. 24.
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Perfectly-Christmas-Linda-OConnor-ebook/dp/B01MYW5T7X
Uh oh. She drew his name. This sounds so intriguing I can't wait to read. Let's find out a little more about Linda.
Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories :D ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.
Laugh every day. Love every minute.
Linda loves to connect with readers. You can follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor or Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98 and check out all of her books on her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Thank you so much, Linda, for stopping by and sharing your story. I look forward to reading it.
If you're a visitor, please leave us a comment, we authors love to chat with our readers!
Thanks and Happy Holidays
Hello there! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I'm so glad that Alina Field stopped by today to share a bit about her new release, The Marquess Midwife. So, Alina, tell us about the book.
Separated by lies, united by secrets
Finding the woman he lost turned out to be easy. Winning her is another matter.
Once upon a time, the younger brother of a marquess fell in love with his sister's companion. He was sent off to war, and she was just sent off, and they both landed in very different worlds.
Now Virgil Radcliffe has returned from his self-imposed exile on the Continent to take up his late brother's title and discover the whereabouts of the only woman he's ever loved.
Abandoned by her lover and dismissed by her employer, Ameline Dawes has found a respectable identity as a Waterloo widow, a new life as a midwife, and a safe, secure home for her twin girls. Called to London at Christmas to attend her benefactress's lying-in, she finds herself confronted by an unexpected house guest--a man determined to woo her anew and win her again.
But, is loving the new Marquess of Wallingford a mistake Ameline cannot afford to repeat?
He released her and leaned back, and his shirt gaped around a starburst scar, corded and jagged right above his heart.
She gasped and reached to touch it, but he clasped her hand and pushed it away.
“Waterloo?” she whispered. “I’d heard you were wounded, but—”
“I survived,” he said in a tight voice.
Her lungs squeezed and her heart quickened. Had he? If so, it was just barely. He’d been stabbed or speared, or shot, and somehow, somehow, his great heart had carried on. This had been no minor wound. Virgil had suffered terribly.
“I want to see.” She pushed his hand away and grasped his collar. He grabbed for her hand, but she dodged him and ripped the fine cotton, rending the shirt down the front.
“You have a trunk full of shirts. I want to see.” She knelt before him on the sofa, yanked the shirt down his arms, and studied his chest. Small cuts marked his side and his belly, but the mottled scar was the worst. It would have taken months to fully heal a wound like this from the inside out. He should have died.
Her vision blurred so she couldn’t see. But her hands, trained to examine a babe in the womb, they could see. She flattened her palms and set a course over the ridges knots, and hard ripples.
He surely had almost died. A world without Virgil, without his laughter, and his generally kind heart. He’d used her, true, as men did. It was in a man’s animal nature, wasn’t it? And she’d used him also, hadn’t she? Both of them grieving over his sister’s death, and comforting each other. And she was left with her girls, and things had turned out all right, hadn’t they?
Her hands cupped his shoulders and slipped over to his back. No scars there that she could feel. The ball, or saber, or…what else did men use to kill each other?…had not gone clean through. It had merely dredged a hole in his front and wreaked havoc inside him.
And nearly killed him.
She’d always pictured a wounded Virgil, binding up a minor slash and heading off to the Continent to charm actresses and diplomats’ wives, maybe taking a wife there himself, and bringing her back to breed pretty, cheerful children. Virgil, rich, content and happy.
How she’d wallowed in that vision.
The feel of the scarred skin melted away her resentment. Let him have that happy life with his marchioness and heirs. And perhaps, on a rare occasion, he could come down to Longview and visit his twins.
“Ameline.” Virgil’s breath touched her cheek.
Large hands cupped both of her hips.
Warmth spurted through her. Too late, she realized her error. She’d got too close again.
She pulled the sides of his shirt up, her gaze sliding over the rip and…
Right. He was fully erect. Of course he was.
Hot need shrieked inside her, and she battered it down and found her breath. “I apologize. My infernal curiosity.” She patted his shoulders and eased away.
His eyes had gone dark and feral, his lips parted like a hungry man ready to chomp down on a long-awaited meal. Inside, she melted more.
She took in a great breath. She must keep him talking. “How did the wound happen?” she asked.
His eyes shuttered and he yanked her hard against him, smashing his lips to hers.
I love the premise, Alina. I can't wait to get a copy and read it! Now let's see what people are saying about Alina Field!
Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but her true passion is the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.
She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band, and a 2016 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist, Liliana’s Letter, as well as her latest release, The Marquess and the Midwife. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!
Visit her at:
Thank you, Alina, for stopping by and visiting with your new holiday release. I wish you great success.
Visitors, Alina and I love to chat with our readers, so please let us know you've dropped by. Have a wonderful holiday!
Hello all, let me introduce Diana Rubino back on my blog. She is celebrating a new release. Thank you, Diana for stopping by. Tell us a little about how this story came to be.
A true rags-to-riches story: how “Bouncin’ Bet Bowen” George Washington’s daughter, became Eliza Jumel Burr, wife of Vice President Aaron Burr and New York City’s wealthiest woman
While researching Hamilton, I became fascinated with his political nemesis Aaron Burr, which led to Aaron's last wife Eliza Bowen Jumel. Only a handful of biographies of her exist, so I learned as much as possible about her from these books and other sources I found.
She came from the filthy streets of Providence and wound up owning to the grandest mansion in New York City, which has been Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War and is open to the public. The urchin Betsy Bowen used her street smarts and business acumen to become Madame Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of America. Her legacy lives on—in the Morris Jumel Mansion of Washington Heights, where her spirit still lingers, 147 years later.
During her ninety-one years, she begged on the streets, sold her body, married a rich man, married a former Vice President, and as New York City’s grand dame, traveled Manhattan in the coach Napoleon Bonaparte gave her.
Throughout her adventurous and unconventional life, Eliza’s one regret was that she could not publicly announce that George Washington was her father. When Eliza was ten years old, her mother told her of Washington’s visit to Providence. They spent one night together at the home of Freelove Ballou, an aunt who later adopted Eliza. She was born nine months later. Her many attempts to reach her father gained her an invitation to Mount Vernon weeks before his death.
Eliza’s love of make-believe brought her to Manhattan’s John Street Theatre, where she played many leading roles. When the theatre was bought by a speculator and torn down, she “made a living how I could” – at the brothel of Manhattan madam Sally Marshall, whose ladies entertained senators and other prominent figures.
Eliza met the charismatic Aaron Burr when he became New York’s Attorney General. While standing outside Federal Hall after President Washington’s inauguration with her best friend Susannah Shippen, she caught a flash of dark eyes that sparkled and caught the sunlight like jewels. Susannah innocently introduced them, unaware of their instant attraction.
Deeply in love, Eliza wrote: “Colonel Aaron Burr appeared to me the perfection of manhood personified. Wherever he went he was petted and caressed by our sex. And yet, he never took advantage of his position.”
Eliza named her only son George Washington Bowen, believing Aaron was the father.
While Aaron climbed the political ladder on his way to the Vice Presidency, Eliza met wealthy wine merchant Stephen Jumel, a native Frenchman. Knowing Eliza’s heart belonged only to Aaron, he wooed her and trusted her to invest his capital in Manhattan real estate. With her shrewd negotiating skills and street smarts, they amassed an empire.
On Eliza and Stephen’s first trip to France together, the fallen and beaten Napoleon Bonaparte boarded Stephen’s brig the Eliza, seeking an American vessel to ensure his escape from the British. Stephen, in all seriousness, offered the Emperor a wine barrel to stow away in. The Emperor, haughtily put out when he realized Stephen wasn’t joking, accepted Eliza’s invitation to hide in their New York home, but never made it to the new world. However, he did give Eliza his yellow coach and other costly gifts, now on display in the Jumel Mansion. Stephen’s business connections afforded him and Eliza introduction to the upper echelons of Paris society. She met King Louis XVIII, but he shunned her begging to let Stephen join court circles.
Back home, she resumed her love affair with Aaron, whose wife Theodosia had died of cancer. He was now Vice President, having lost the presidency to Thomas Jefferson. Eliza asked him to marry her, but he turned down her proposal. He just wasn’t ready for remarriage.
After the most famous duel in American history, Aaron fled New York City while Alexander Hamilton lay dying. When Hamilton died the next day, Aaron was indicted for murder. After four frantic months, Eliza finally received a letter from him, under an assumed name, R. King.
Financed by his son-in-law Joseph, he’d bought the rights to a half million acres in the South. He planned to make it into a new state, settle it with adventurous pioneer men, attract a slew of colonists and settlers, and make himself Governor.
His next hurried missive told her that he’d abandoned the entire plan. Why? He didn’t say. But President Jefferson had filed a formal charge of treason against Aaron. He was brought to Richmond, Virginia for trial.
He’d gathered so much support and adoration from Richmond, he was wined, dined and acquitted, with his daughter at his side.
He finally returned to Eliza after finishing out his term as Vice President, but soon sailed for England. Believing her life with him was over, she dragged herself back to Stephen and proposed marriage to him—only to be turned down once again. Determined to become Mrs. Jumel, she faked her impending death with the help of a loyal servant, a bottle of hot water to raise her temperature, and white powder to mimic deathly pallor. She called her doctor and had a stable hand inform Stephen that she was dying. When he rushed to her bedside, she begged him, “Before I leave this world, it would mean so much to me if I could leave as Mrs. Jumel.” He summoned a priest and they were wed even before she received last rites. But of course she made a miraculous ‘recovery’ and once again, returned to her wheeling and dealing.
While tending to his farmlands, Stephen fell from a cart and died in Eliza’s arms two days later. She was brought up on murder charges which were dropped. A despondent Eliza once again turned to her true love, Aaron,
back in New York at his law practice.
One evening, Aaron showed up at her doorstep with a minister in tow, the same Reverend Bogart who’d married him to his first wife Theodosia fifty years before. He proposed to Eliza on bended knee: “I give you my hand, Madame; my heart has long been yours.”
She finally became Mrs. Burr at age 56. Aaron was a robust and youthful 78.
He began to spend Eliza’s money recklessly, plowing through $13,000 within a few months. The bickering became grounds for divorce when a maid caught him in a compromising position with another woman. Brokenhearted, Eliza hired a lawyer Who handled family matters—including divorces. Who was this lawyer? Alexander Hamilton Jr.
Aaron received the final papers on September 14, 1836, and died later that day.
Eliza returned home to her family and lived another 29 years as Mrs. Burr, the name she’d always longed for.
The Morris-Jumel Mansion still stands in Harlem, New York City and is open to the public.
Visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion
Purchase Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of the United States
An excerpt from Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of the United States:
July 11, 1804, a day I’ll never forget, a Wednesday, I rose early from fitful sleep. Two of my servants huddled in the kitchen, murmuring instead of cooking. They held the newspaper wide open.
When I walked in, they froze as if turned to stone, and held the paper out to me.
“What is it?” Without fresh coffee I was half-awake. But seeing the paper, I trembled. My mouth dried up. “Oh, no …” I hid my eyes with my hands, I couldn’t bear to look.
“M-Miss Eliza …” Mary stammered. “Vice President Burr shot General Hamilton in a duel.”
Too weak to stand, I grabbed a chair and sank into it. “He … shot Hamilton?” My head spun, dizzy with relief. But I still didn’t know about Aaron. “Is he all right? The vice president?”
“We don’t know, ma’am. It just says General Hamilton was mortally wounded.”
Without another word, I ran down the hall, threw open the front door, not closing it behind me, and raced to Gold Street in the gathering morning heat. Humidity soaked my clothes. I mopped sweat from my face.
I banged on his door. No answer. “Aaron, open the door, it’s me, please, we need to talk!” I banged again. Echoes answered me. I stepped back and squinted into the sunlight, shading my eyes to see the upper windows. Nothing stirred. The house was shut tight. He’d fled. But where? When would I see my beloved again?
Hamilton died the next day, and the city fell to its knees in mourning. It was even more pronounced than when Papa passed – because Hamilton was one of New York’s own.
Public grief over Hamilton paled beside the anger at Aaron. As I approached Trinity Church for the funeral, Gertrude’s father Gouverneur Morris greeted me. “I’m to deliver the eulogy. But indignation mounts to a frenzy already,” he cautioned me, eyeing the mob.
The tolling church bells and muffled drumbeats echoed through the sweltering city air. I thought of every place Aaron could be. I knew he hadn’t meant for this to happen. It was a tragic twist of fate. I also knew Aaron’s political career was over. He’d never be president.
“Oh, Aaron,” I wailed, “Where are you, my love?”
I heard nothing from him as each empty day slipped away. Desperate, I wrote to his daughter Theodosia but received no reply. I contacted his friends, but no one knew his whereabouts.
I saw Mrs Hamilton on Broad Way, head to toe in widow’s weeds. I wanted to approach her and offer my condolences, but she knew I was intimate with the vice president, so I kept my distance. Their country home, The Grange, was not far from the Morris mansion I planned to buy. We’d be neighbors someday.
Read about my ‘ghostly’ visit to the Morris-Jumel Mansion on my blog
Such a great story, Diana, thank you for sharing it. Tell us a little about you.
My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.
Contact me at:
Thank you so much for dropping by, Diana. I hope you have great success in your endeavor!
If you are a visiting, please leave a comment and let us hear from you. We love to hear from you.
Today I have my friend and author Diane Burton back on my blog with her new release, Romance Rekindled, and that's not all. She's sharing her family recipe of how to make Mom’s Streusel Coffeecake Yum Yum.
Romance & the Holidays and a Family Recipe
During this season of the year, our hearts are open to joy, peace, and love. We gather with family and friends to celebrate joyful historical events—the miracle of the oil for the Temple lamp (Hanukkah); the birth of Jesus (Christmas); the birth of Mohammad (Mawlid); African heritage in America (Kwanzaa).
Besides the religious aspect, our celebrates Christmas with special meals and gift giving. In years past, we went with our daughter’s family to the children’s Christmas Eve worship service followed by Chinese take-out at their house. In the morning, while we grazed on breakfast goodies (my mom’s streusel coffeecake and monkey bread, plus other more nutritious dishes), we opened gifts. I would get so much joy watching the grandkids open their gifts, they had to remind me to open mine. My daughter let the kids play with and/or examine each gift after opening, which extended the gift opening through most of the morning. Now that we live close by, Hubs and I would go home then returned later in the day for dinner. With our son living close now, I’m sure we’ll develop new traditions. This will be Toddler Girl’s first Christmas with real awareness. Her excitement over the neighborhood light displays will pale on Christmas morning. The two-month-old twins will be oblivious. I’m sure TG will “help” open their gifts, too.
Family. To me, that’s what holidays are about. Gathering with our loved ones, enjoying meals together. The gifts are secondary.
In my new release, Romance Rekindled, family and traditions are important to Abby. For years, Christmas was always celebrated with just her daughter and her parents. Then, everything changes. With the introduction to her mother’s boyfriend (while the two were in jail), Abby is forced to change. She must open her heart to include him and his son into the family home as well as their lives. She must also open her heart to love again.
I too enjoy certain family traditions, unfortunately, since I've moved out to Montana, I've had to create different ones. But I always cherish the ones I left behind. Tell us a little about your book, Diane.
Abby Ten Eyck likes her life the way it is. She runs a successful business, has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, and has managed to keep men at bay since her divorce fifteen years ago. Just before Christmas, she’s hit with change. Her mother decides to sell the family home. Then she’s arrested, with an unknown man. Could this new man in her mother’s life create more upheaval? Or could his handsome son be just what Abby needs to revive her dormant feelings?
Sam Watson embraces transition from frenetic Wall Street to a small Michigan resort town. His health is worth moving close to his dad who seems over the moon in love. But it’s the daughter of his father’s girlfriend who fascinates him. Abby Ten Eyck reminds him of his driven self. He must help her slow down before she burns out. Like he did.
Outside the courthouse, the bright sun made the snow-covered trees glisten like fairy-land. Mother hugged George again, then Sam and Bethany. She looked at Abby and sighed. “This was the most fun I’ve had in years. Don’t ruin it with a lecture.”
Abby thought of several things to say—none of them good. “It’s okay, Mother.” She gave her a quick hug. “Let’s go home.”
Mother said, “George, remember what I said when we were in the slammer. You and Sam come for Christmas dinner tomorrow. Abby’s cooking at my house. Two o’clock and don’t be late.”
George grinned. “You’ve told me so much about Abby’s prowess in the kitchen, I can’t wait.”
After Sam and George left, Abby turned on her mother. “Why did you invite them? Christmas is for family. Besides, we hardly know them.”
Mother tipped her head to the side. “When did you become so mean spirited? Christmas is a time of sharing, especially with those in need. And, believe me, those two men need a good home-cooked meal. You’re going to have to get used to George being around. Besides, I don’t want those two bachelors eating Christmas dinner at Denny’s or some such place.”
As they got in the van, Abby pondered what her mother said. Was she being mean spirited for wanting to spend Christmas with only her immediate family? While Thanksgiving had always been a day for the gathering of relatives, Father insisted Christmas was for the four of them. After Father died, Mother, Bethany, and she spent Christmas together.
Then the rest of what Mother said registered. “What do you mean we have to get used to George being around?”
“I love him.”
Romance Rekindled is available at:
Amazon UK http://amzn.eu/12TqpEM
The book sounds really intriguing and it sounds like the mother is just about to drop a 'surprise.'
Now for the moment we've been waiting for. How do you make Mom's Streusel Coffeecake????
Mom’s Streusel Coffeecake
1 package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup firm butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) sour cream
Heat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9x2 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (or grease and flour the pan). Measure 2/3 cup dry cake mix into small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Mix in brown sugar and walnuts. This will be the topping. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly with fork; stir in sour cream. Blend in remaining dry cake mix, scraping bowl often. (Batter will be thick and slightly lumpy.) Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle half the topping over the batter. Spoon and gently spread remaining batter in pan, top with remaining topping mix. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350°.
Now here's what I found out about Diane.
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
Connect with Diane Burton online
Goodreads: Diane Burton Author
Sign up for Diane’s new release alert and receive a free short story: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf
Thank you so much, Diane, for dropping by and talking about family, holidays and your new release. I hope you have great success with it.
If you're a visitor, please don't leave without posting a comment letting us know you stopped by. We love to talk to our readers.
Merry Christmas all.
Today I have Peter Perrin on my blog with his first release, Grace's Turmoil. Before we read about the book, let's ask Peter a few questions.
1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
The names, especially of the main characters, are highly important. I research names appropriate to the year/period the book is set in and the nationality of the character.
2. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Writing my debut novel, Grace’s Turmoil, and getting it published. This is because I have never done any serious writing before or read even one romance novel. Not to mention doing it and getting published at the age of seventy-three.
3. Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m naturally a pantster. But although it was fun to write that way the book probably took at least twice as long to write as it would have done if I’d done at least some planning. For future books I’ll do an outline and some planning.
4. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
The editing/proofing process with the publishers was hard, but marketing has proved to be even worse. Finding out about online marketing has made my ageing brain ache, and I’ve pulled out most of the little amount of hair I had left when I started it.
5. Is this your first book? If so, what is your next project?
Yes, it is. The original idea was for a single novel, but people have asked if some of the minor characters could have their own book(s). Because of that, and because I enjoyed writing it so much, I plan on writing at least two more. They will be part of a series ‘Not Too Old for Love’.
Very interest answers to the question, Peter, thanks for sharing. Let's take a look at the video!
Great video, Peter. Can you give us a little more information about the book?
Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.
But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.
Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?
Grace jabbed at the volume button on the remote control, turning up the sound on the television. She was trying to drown out the chatter which filled the palatial residents’ lounge. It had been like that for days, and she’d grown tired of it. Who would have thought the imminent arrival of one man could affect mature ladies like that?
One of the things which had appealed to her when she moved to The Grange retirement village was the lack of men. Yet a man who aroused feelings in her she didn’t want was going to add to their number.
Grace had caught a glimpse of him across The Lounge a few months ago, taking the standard tour of The Grange. He'd towered over the young woman he’d been with, and she’d guessed he was at least six-foot-five. Built like a tank, with a mass of wavy white hair and a snow-white beard, he’d reminded her of a polar bear. His presence had been overpowering and almost menacing. An image of him defending a seventeenth century mansion in days gone by had jumped into her mind.
Looking at him had sent a spontaneous burst of attraction rippling through her. It had caught her by surprise. Becoming attracted to anybody was the last thing she’d needed right then. Her divorce had been too recent and too painful. All she wanted was to focus on her painting to block out the pain. Although she hadn’t come there to look for a man, there was no denying how she’d reacted to the sight of him. She wondered how she would cope when they met. And she couldn’t help feeling he was going to have quite an impact on her life. Whether it would be a good impact or not was the million-dollar question. He might be the greatest thing since sliced bread! Or he could turn out to be a snake in the grass like her ex-husband.
Buy Link. http://www.devinedestinies.com/
A very interesting book. Let's see what we can find out about Peter.
Peter Perrin writes sweet, seasoned romances involving larger-than-life mature characters who will make you rethink your views on older people in a positive way. His characters are mature in age but not necessarily in their behaviour. They may not be in the first flush of youth but that doesn’t stop some of them acting like hormonal teenagers.
Peter was born in Romford, in the county of Essex, near London, England. For nearly twenty years he has lived with his wife of almost forty years in a quiet suburb of Swindon, in the county of Wiltshire, in England. He is a father and grandfather.
He is a former member of The Royal Air Force who has served in the UK, and in Madagascar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. He was also stationed for two years in Aden—which nowadays is part of Yemen.
After almost fifteen-years’ service in The Royal Air Force Peter worked in Engineering, Quality Control, and Procurement Management, not to mention myriad smaller jobs in between those careers.
Now retired Peter’s interests are Writing, Carp Fishing, and (despite being in his early seventies) PC and PlayStation games.
His favourite quote is “Youth passes, but with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime.”
Amazon Author Page: n/a until published on Amazon (approx. 22nd to 25th December 2017)
Thank you, Peter, for stopping by and visiting my blog. I wish you great success with your debute novel, and lots of sales.
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