Apple Picking with Cleary’s – Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop


Welcome to the 2016 SNARKOLOGY BLOG HOP! At the end of this post you’ll see a list of links you can click on to visit other authors participating in the great hop-event.

Fall in New England is a magical time. The leaves turn lawns into  a hodgepodge, chaos patchwork of colors. Jack-0-lanterns sit on doorsteps, cut into funny or scary or even artistic faces. There’s a brisk, crisp, and clear bite to the morning air. One of my favorite things about autumn, and especially autumn in New England, is apple picking. There are hundreds of family owned farms dotted in every town and there’s nothing more fun that a hayride up a mountainside to an orchard chock filled with delicious, sweet and tart apples.

We took my daughter every year of her life until she left for college. We’d pick our favorite apples, then bring them home and makes pies, can applesauce and jelly, and even used our juicer to make fresh apple juice. I have a picture of my daughter every year from ages 2-18 taken in our favorite town apple orchard.

I love apple picking so much, I just had to include a scene in my book FIRST IMPRESSIONS, where Padric Cleary takes Clarissa Rogers apple picking for the very first time in her life. If you look closely at the cover here, you can see they are in an orchard!firstimpressions_w9816_2_85-copy

Clarissa has had a sheltered life and never had an opportunity to do any fun-family type things growing up since she was raised by an elderly grandmother, whereas Pat’s life has been filled with his loving family and all sorts of adventures.

Here’s a little snippet of that scene:

“Come on. Let’s pick.”

They strolled along row after row of apple-laden trees, looking for the perfect additions to put in their pail. The fresh, pungent smell of the fruit ripening on the trees, the cool, subtle fall breeze billowing about them, even the riot of changing colors in the panorama of hills surrounding them, all had Clarissa thinking this was a perfect day. She wanted to memorize every part of it.

At one point, Pat pulled out his phone and said, “Let’s get a picture of your first time.” He pulled her in close and with the orchard framed behind them, held up the phone.

“A selfie? Really?” She laughed out loud. “How old are you?”

“Sixteen. Smile like you’re having fun and enjoying this.”

“I am,” she said, facing the camera and doing as he asked.

She heard the shutter click several times before he lowered the phone. “How many did you take?”

“A couple.” He played with the phone for a few seconds, then stuck it into his back pocket. “You need a few to get the perfect shot.”

This sweet encounter sets the tone for their relationship – Pat wants to introduce Clarissa to everything she missed out on growing up and he wants her to experience it all –  with him.

So, I have a question for you: what’s your favorite, fun, Fall thing to do? It can be anything from taking rides up the coastline and being a “leaf Peeper,” to apple picking, or even canning fruits and veggies. Place your favorite thing in the comment section below and on November 1, 2016 I’ll pick 2 winners to receive an e-copy (KINDLE) each of FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

And please, stop by the other authors participating in this blog. There’s a great story in each and every one of them, plus a chance on a rafflecopter prize! Here’s the link. Click on it and it will bring you to a landing page with all the other HOp Paricipants PLUS  the links to the rafflecopter prizes. And those are plenty!!!

Hop Authors and rafflecopter prizes





Filed under Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, Friends, love, MacQuire Women, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

The Cleary House…ABA Halloween Blog Hop


halloween-hop1-680x863-1For this lovely Halloween Blog Hop, I wanted to give you a little view of how I envision the Cleary house from FIRST IMPRESSIONS. The book takes place in the Fall. Since the East Coast is so lovely this time of year, I simply had to set the plot in what many consider the most beautiful place to be in the autumn, namely, New England.

Seamus Cleary bought the rundown, abandoned farmhouse when he first came to Carvan, thirty years ago, and spared no expense restoring it. He found out from Serena  MacQuire that the farm was originally owned by the Johannsen family. When Mrs. Johannsen died, her husband was so grief stricken he wouldn’t let anyone take her body from the home. Serena’s mother, Alaina, was the one to convince him to do so. Ever since then, the house has stood vacant. The villagers in Carvan believe Mr Johannsen haunts the house – something Seamus wasn’t told when he purchased it! A native of Scotland, Seamus isn’t one to be bothered by the thoughts of ghosts and hauntings, though. This is the house he brought Serena to as a bride, and the one in which their 4 children grew up in.  In fact, twins Padric (FIRST IMPRESSIONS) and Moira (THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME) were born in the guest room because their parents couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough!

All my MacQuire Women stories take place in the fictional town of Carvan, Connecticut. Since FIRST IMPRESSIONS is an autumn story, I pictured the Cleary house as decorated for the season much like this:


I can picture the 4 Cleary kids running around this farm in Halloween costumes, helping their mom give out the candy to the Trick-or-Treaters who come by, and generally just enjoying a childhood steeped in love and laughter.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS tells Padric  Cleary and Clarissa Rogers’ story.

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

I’ll be giving away 1 free e-copy ( from AMAZON) of FIRST IMPRESSIONS to a lucky winner who tells me this:

What Halloween candy was your favorite one to receive when you trick-or-treated as a kid?

Leave me your answer in the comments section of my blog post.

Have a wonderful, candy-filled Halloween, and don’t forget to visit the plethora of wonderful authors participating in this blog hop!

1. Casi McLean ~ A Haunting Halloween 2. Anna Durand ~ Spunk & Hunks
3. Claire Gem 4. Tena Stetler ~ Colorado Hauntings
5. Sorchia DuBois 6. Tricia Schneider
7. J. Rose Allister 8. Nell Castle
9. Jana Richards 10. Linda Nightingale ~ Wordsmith
11. Kayden Claremont ~ Tartan Temptation 12. Holland Rae
13. K.K. Weil 14. Peggy Jaeger
15. Maureen Bonatch 16. Jeannie Hall
17. Beth Caudill 18. Mary Morgan
19. Karen Michelle Nutt 20. Hywela Lyn ~ Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’
21. Whitney Cannavina 22. Devon McKay
23. Starr Gardinier 24. Erin Bevan
25. Nancy S Reece 26. Kathryn Knight ~The Haunted Jail Haunting Halloween
27. Judy Davis ~ A Writer’s Revelations 28. Katie O’Sullivan
29. Darlene Fredette 30. Alicia Dean
31. Lisa DeVore





Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, female friends, First Impressions, MacQuire Women, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, Uncategorized

The peace found in a Library…

Author Holly Robinson  recently wrote a great blog piece about her love of public libraries. I, too, have had a life -long love affair with those wonderful buildings housing the billions of words and bits of writers’ imaginations and souls within their walls. Here’s why….


As an only child raised in a family of elderly great aunts and grandmothers, I didn’t have an opportunity to play much with kids my age because, well, there weren’t any! It’s probably why I’m not such a great game player even at this age. While my peers were with one another enjoying a game of Mousetrap or Soul Survivor or any Milton-Bradley or Hasbro game you can remember, I was usually in the company of older people who didn’t want to play a board game, but who preferred to sit and drink and talk and fight with one another.

Yeah, I know: not a great childhood, but it was all I knew.

I was also a latchkey kid — a term I don’t think is used too widely these days. My parents both worked full time and from the age of 8 I no longer had an after school babysitter who’d watch me until my parents came home from work, usually around 7 each night. I was on my own from the time school let out at 3 until the evening, five days a week. Now, I could tell you that the temptations to be naughty and to veer toward the dark side and get into mischief were strong. But I had something that helped me fight those demons calling my name to act up and be bad: my local Library.

I would be dismissed every day from school and then walk the ten city blocks-alone-to the beautiful, brick faced, three story building overlooking New York harbor. First, I’d find  an empty table in the kid’s section and do my homework. That usually took about 10 minutes! Then, I’d explore the book racks. I was an expert at the Dewey decimal system categories by the age of 9 and to this day, still order my own books in my home library using the same clarification system.


In that first year I read all the books in the kid’s section that were in my age group and most of the teen category as well. Nowadays this is called YA( for young adult), but back then they were all labeled as “Teen” reading. I learned all I needed to know about love, sex, hate, and teenage angst before the age of  1o. I devoured the complete works of Agatha Christie, Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew. I consumed the books in the biography section, learning everything I could about women leaders like Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart and Queen Victoria. Even back then I realized I could be whatever my imagination told me I could, despite being a girl.

You may have read that last sentence and said, WHAT??!! but remember, I was raised in the sixities when girl power was still in its infancy. It would be another 10 years before Gloria Steinem came along and preached female empowerment. And  Title IX hadn’t been established yet.


Since I was most comfortable with older folks and not my peers, I had no trouble connecting with the librarians on a personal level, and I can tell you truthfully and without hubris, they loved me. Knowing how much I adored reading,  and the categories I loved most, the librarians would routinely pull new arrivals for me to check out first. Loved that!  Who else can boast they were spoiled by librarians?

The library became my second home, and in some ways, it was my  refuge, a steady foundation against a home life that wasn’t exactly the American Dream. Within the walls of the library, I could get lost- safely- and go exploring. Again, back before there was Internet and Google, we did research the old-fashioned way: by combing through encyclopedias and trolling through microfiche. I think part of the problem I’m so tech-NO-savvy is because I still long for those little cellophane negative film strips covered with oodles of information that were sosososo much more easy to use than a computer. But that’s just me….


As I matured, my reading material did as well. By the time I reached my teens, the librarians were helping me find my calling in life. They knew I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor, so they introduced me to medical books and manuals routinely reserved for the medical community. Before I started Nursing school and College I was already proficient in medico-terminology, policies, and procedures. One librarian in particular guessed I like to write – how I will never know – but she would often pull books for me about craft and editing. She was the one who introduced me to the Publisher’s Weekly news magazine ( which I believe is all digital now) and would save them when they arrived each week for me to view.

These lovely, educated, warm and maternal women became my mentors, my friends, my surrogates. Most of them have probably passed on by now, but the wonderful memories I have of how they treated me, how special they made me feel, and how much they taught me, will  be with me for the rest of my life. Maya Angelou said once,

“… people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Can I just get an “AMEN” for that? It’s true.

There are as many pundits these days who state “Print is Dead” as there are those who  espouse that print books will always be popular, especially if we have places to house them-namely, libraries. To this day I support my local library. In fact, tomorrow is the first day of the bi-annual book fundraising sale, of which I attend every session. All the proceeds raised go toward the library’s operating budget, since the city has had to economize and cut funding every place it can.  There will never be a danger of the library closing its doors due to lack of funds while I have breath in my body!! That is fact and I know KNOW I am not alone in my thinking.


Show the love to your local  libraries. Donate the books you have read and don’t want to keep. Support local authors ( very subtle hint, here!). Encourage your children and the kids you know to read. Reading is the single best gift you can give your child to help her/him explore their imaginations, develop critical thinking skills, and go into the world armed with the knowledge and expertise necessary to improve the world, their lives, and those of future generations.

I love libraries so much, I have a Pinterest board just for great libraries around the world. Check it out, here.

And when I’m not at my local library, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//


Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Friends, Life challenges, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Post Conference thoughts….

So you all know by now I was here over the weekend:



The first ever FALL IN LOVE WITH NEW ENGLAND  conference was a huge hit by anyone’s standards! This was my first EVAH readers conference and I can’t tell you how tickled I was to meet so many lovers of romantic fiction – in all its genres. There were readers from every age group, background, and occupation. Some came from as far away as Oregon and as close as the next town over from the conference center.

I was privileged to sit on a contemporary workshop panel with three other contemporary authors, who I now consider my friends-not only in writing-but in life as well, Terri Osburn, Caridad Pineiro, and Claire Gem. Each of these writers brings something very unique and individual to their novels and each is a master of the contemporary genre. Our workshop room was packed with readers-and a few other authors-who were interested in hearing why we write in the genre we do, how we come up with ideas, what are no-nos for us as writers, and where do we push the envelope in sex, relationships, and  plot-lines. Many of the readers didn’t know what TROPES were, so we each gave our version of our favorites – and least favorites! I’m not too sure why my mouth is open like a fish in this photo…it may have been because I was talking ( which is what I do. Constantly!)


I was so impressed and awed by the depth of  knowledge, passion, and love these readers have for romance novels ( and their authors!!) I feel like I’ve finally found my people after a long, exhausting search! And these readers are ravenous for new material, as evidenced by the tremendous amounts of books they purchased at the author signing. Who says print is dead? Not these loyal readers, that’s for sure.





In addition to the workshops, authors and readers got to interact and have funfunfun at a costumed dinner on Friday night. Here are a few pictures from the laughter filled night, that included  costume prizes, a reader basket raffle, where the 5 readers at my table each won an impressive basket filled with books, and other reading sundries.

filne3     filne1  As you can see, I was a chef. I’m sitting next to the lovely Ana E Ross and the fabulous Marianne Rice is behind me as Harley-Quinn from Suicide Squad. There’s a cute little cat woman over on the right. That’s uber-talented author Karen Stivali. This was one power-packed table of authors. We all write in romance but we all write in different genres. The readers at our table were amazeballs as well!

A pizza party and a movie ended the weekend on Saturday night with plan to do this all again in 2017.

I sosososo plan on being there!

When I’m not cavorting at conference and such, you can usually find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//


Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Literary characters, love, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized

Introducing author Kathryn Hills

You all know I lovelovelove finding and introducing you to fabulous authors. Author  Kathryn Hills is such a find!!! I met her through our mutual RWA chapter and the moment she introduced herself to me I knew we were going to be writing friends forever. Her warmth, humor, and love of writing shine through in her work. Kathryn’s debut novel, HAUNTING HIGHLAND HOUSE  releases tomorrow and she’s letting me give you a little taste of what’s to come,  today. I’m so excited for her. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book and let me just tell you – it’s fabulous. When you read it, you’ll agree!

Here’s Kathryn:

Blurb- Haunting Highland House


Take one lone woman from Manhattan. Add a sexy ghost and a secluded Victorian mansion. Stir often. Heat thoroughly. Enjoy! Fun Fact… Haunting Highland House was inspired by a real place.


Summoning all her strength, she stepped into the light before him. Her heart pounded as if it would explode right out of her chest. “Why are you haunting me?” she demanded in her bravest ghost hunter voice.

“Haunting?” He gave a bitter laugh though he still did not look at her. “Is that what I am doing? I believed you to be the spirit, sent to torment me.” Vacant eyes traveled up her body and then widened. “Samantha!” He jumped to his feet and snared her wrist. “Dear God, where have you been?”

“Let me go,” she cried, twisting in his grasp.

“But Samantha, it’s me.” He pulled her close.

“Help!” She yelled, though no one would hear.

“I’ll not harm you, I swear.” His arms encircled her. “How could I hurt the woman I love?”

“No,” she cried fighting with renewed strength. “I don’t know you.”

“You do, Samantha, remember. Remember me,” he commanded. He captured her face, forcing her to look at him. His voice dropped to a pleading whisper. “It’s just the doorway working its evil. You know me. You must.”

Sam went still. She dared to meet his gaze. He was sinfully gorgeous, like some dark fallen angel. Golden firelight flickered across his features. It was madness. She was alone in a far off mansion with a stranger, and yet… Sanity fought for a toehold.

“I’m not who you think I am,” she rasped barely able to speak.

He caressed her cheek. “I know everything about you.”

“Don’t,” she warned, looking away. She squirmed against him until he released her with a tortured groan.

“Then all is lost. There is nothing more.” Wavering as if about to collapse, he sank to the couch. “You are only a dream then, another hallucination. Fool doctors with their laudanum.” He shook his head as if to clear it. “I’ve longed for you, night after night, alone in the darkness. Prayed you would come back to me.” His gaze roamed over her. “I remember everything. Your hair falling over me, the smell of your skin, your sweet lips parting. How can you not?”

Mesmerized, Sam was powerless against the dark magic he wove. Solid ground crumbled beneath her feet. Her body pulsed where they had touched. The very air around them seemed electrified. With a low growl, he pulled her down into the space between his legs and wrapped his arms around her again. This time, she didn’t fight.

“You knew me once, took me deep into your body. Let me love you. If only we could travel back in time.”



The rich history and many mysteries of New England are the perfect backdrop for Kathryn’s books. Winding roads lined by old stone walls, forgotten cemeteries, grand homes with shadowy pasts…all sparks for her imagination. Whether it’s a quaint seaside town or the vibrant city of Boston, it’s easy for this “hauntingly romantic” author to envision the past mingling with the present. Taking it further – to have characters experience the past and present, opposite to “when” they belong – is the fun part. No surprise, some of Kathryn’s favorite stories involve time travel. And ghosts! Sprinkle in some magic, and you’re off on a great adventure! When not writing, she’s taking photographs of the beautiful landscape that surrounds her. Kathryn shares her colonial home with those she loves most…her wonderful husband and daughter, and three crazy dogs.

When Kathryn isn’t writing or ghost-hunting, you can find her here:

Website // Facebook: // Twitter: //  The Wild Rose Press Author Page: //  Amazon Author Page: // Goodreads

My review of HAUNTING HIGHLAND HOUSE. Here’s a hint: I LOVEDLOVEDLOVED it! Click here – review



Filed under Alpha Hero, Family Saga, Historical Romance, Life challenges, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

An Interview with Author Lorelei Confer

I love a good interview with a great author;  getting to know them better, finding out what makes their writing come to life. This is like nectar of the Gods for me! Recently, I did an interview with one of my all time favorite authors AND PEOPLE(!) Lorelei Confer.


If you haven’t met her yet or read her books, you have no idea what you are missing. This woman is a powerhouse – in person and on the page! She writes romantic suspense ( one of my favorite sub-genres to enjoy by a blazing fire at midnight!).  Read all about her first, then enjoy a little snippet of her newest release, SECRETS AND DECEPTIONS

Donna, The Writer:

  1. What drives you to write? The stories in my head I just need to get out.
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write romantic suspense. It is the genre I prefer to read along with some thrillers from Harlan Coben and Andrew Gross. I love the sweet love story but like the conflict to be suspenseful and use fear as a real emotion; live or die situations.
  3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? See above
  4. What’s your writing schedule?  I usually write everyday but not on a daily schedule. Sometimes its early in the morning, and other times late afternoon. My stories, plot and characters mull around in my head for days, weeks or months sometimes before I actually take the time to put them down on paper. Once a week I skip a day to mentor other writers who need help with plotting or characterization.
  5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. I write in the living room sitting on the end of the couch, which automatically reclines. To the left is a wall of windows with a fantastic view. Sometimes, while writing I find myself daydreaming about my story and it helps me get into the scene, into the characters head and into the environment. Makes it so much more realistic.
  6. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvisionI do like it quiet when I write at home but have no problem writing at Panera Bread or Crispers or Starbucks. I’ve even taken advantage of the opportunity to glance around and use some of the body language and facial expressions from others around me.
  7. Do you listen to music while you write?  Not at home but I do enjoy music when I’m out writing at a different place, i.e. Panera Bread. I prefer country music and enjoy the lyrics of a love gone wrong or a how much a broken heart hurts, and what one does to forget a bad relationship.
  8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current work? I began this series, Saddle Creek, with the idea of four young men graduating high school together and going off on their own; each going their own way but remaining loyal to one another regardless of which direction they are led. This book, Secrets and Deceptions, is the third in the series and this young man can’t keep or find a job he likes so decides to enlist in the military. He leaves the love of his life, his high school sweetheart, and ends up being gone over four years. When he returns, of course, his friends’ lives have changed and his high school sweetheart is with another man. The story unfolds with plot twists and turns and sexy, speechless confrontations. As they both try to determine if there have been too many years apart, two many secrets, and too many deceptions.
  9. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Plot comes first, then character development. Once that happens they, the characters, drive by them.
  10. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Sincere. Caring. Loyal.

Donna, The Lovely Person:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I love scrapbooking. I get to tell many stories through pictures and I love genealogy. I like to know the history behind the story of my ancestors.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? My husband, knight in shining armor, my high school sweetheart, and my first love. We met at school and I asked him to my eighth grade dance, (not sure how old I was) my dad dropped me off and we danced and held hands. He kissed my cheek before the last dance was over and I never forgot. Summer arrived and he worked, bought a car and we lost touch. In eleventh grade I asked his sister how he was doing and that night he called and we talked for hours. He asked me out on a date. I wasn’t sure about going since it had been a couple years but he was persistent and picked me up after school the next day. We’ve been together ever since, made it through the Viet Nam war, raised two boys, have grandchildren, and have traveled many highways together,
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? ….Our wedding day. We eloped in between his two tours of duty in Viet Nam and it was like it ‘could be our last time together’ and extremely emotional and memorable.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Commando, of course!
  5. What three words describes you, the person? Loving, sympathetic, truthful

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

Favorite sound Doorbell

  1. Least favorite sound car horn
  2. Best song every written Lay, Lady, Lay by Bob Dylan
  3. Worst song ever written Don’t Worry, Be Happy (too monotonous)
  4. Favorite actor and actress Antonio Banderas and Ann Margaret
  5. What turns you on? Great visits and talks with friends
  6. What turns you off? Loud crowds
  7. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleeping late, morning sex, lazy breakfast, reading and quiet time.

Read that last answer again, folks. Le sigh!.

Here’s a sneak peak at her newest release, SECRETS and DECEPTIONS 



When Avri Lawrence’s high school sweetheart leaves her to enlist in the military, she nurses a broken heart. When Dillon returns four years later, their attraction to each other is stronger than ever, but life’s experiences has changed them. When her life is threatened she’s not sure he’ll come to her rescue or like what he finds. She has secrets and she’s not ready to share.

Dillon Davidson wants to advance in his military career but didn’t plan on having to kill so many people to do so. On a Special Opps mission he’s captured and tortured for eighteen long months. After his escape, he ends his four-year career in deception. He wants to start over with his soul mate, Avri in Saddle Creek, Wyoming.

But are there too many years of separation, too many secrets, and too many memories between them for them to overcome?


Dillon skimmed his fingers lazily over the soft supple skin of Avri’s naked thigh. The lingering fragrance of sex filled his nostrils. They only had tonight, he’d be leaving in the morning, and he couldn’t get enough of her. His heart still pounded with desire, he wanted, needed to make love to her over and over again. He wanted to run his fingers over every inch of her, all night long, wanted to fill his memory with the scent of her, remember every smooth curve, every sweet hollow of her body.

Her body quivered against his, her breath hitched and she gulped back a sob. He pulled her against his chest, whispering in her ear, “It’s going to be all right,” before kissing her neck. His throat constricted. “We’ve talked about this…remember? We’ve planned this for six months.” His voice cracked slightly. “W-we need to look forward now. When I come back, I’ll be able to get a job, a good one doing something I like. Everything will be fine.”

He blinked the dampness in his eyes away several times as he ran his fingers through her hair memorizing the softness of her wavy auburn curls, the contours of her body, and the way she fit so perfectly against him. For a moment overcome with emotion, he couldn’t speak, couldn’t console her, hell…he couldn’t console himself.

The neon light from Rosie’s Diner downstairs cast a reddish glow in her small apartment. He’d always remember this time with her–the overwhelming pleasure, the contentment–and then the painful realization hit him again, like a bomb. He had to leave her in the morning. They had tonight, a few more precious hours together that he’d never forget, before he had to leave her. Her sob split the silence; he cupped her head and caressed her cheeks and jawline, wiping away the tears with his thumbs.

She was special to him, always had been. It was as if she’d been made just for him, fulfilling all his wants and needs. She was his closest confidante, his best friend, the woman he loved, would always love…his soul mate.

“How am I going to go on without you?” Avri whispered, her voice trembling. “You mean so much to me. You’re important to my life. You are my life.”

“You won’t have time to miss me.” Dillon tried to smile. “You’re going to finish law school and study your ass off to pass the bar.” His heart dropped in his chest and his throat burned with the thought. Not being at her side for those major events in her life…well, the thought broke his heart. Leaving her was killing him. It was harder than he ever imagined it would be when he enlisted in the military.

“I’ll wait for you, I swear. And I’ll write to you every day, but you have to promise me one thing, Dillon.” She sputtered and hiccupped trying to speak. Her sadness echoed in the small space.

He hesitated. “What’s that?” Apprehension rolled through him sticking in his chest, making it hard for him to breathe. “Promise you’ll come back to me. Promise?” she pleaded.

How could he make such a promise when he didn’t know if he would come back dead or alive or damaged? “I’m not sure where I’m going or how long I’ll be gone. You know how I feel about you. I will if I can. You know that, don’t you?”

He searched for her bright green eyes in the dimness, but she’d glanced away. Pulling her closer, he left no space between their two bodies. Placing a finger beneath her chin, he turned her face toward his and bent to brush her lips. As soon as their lips touched, the kiss went from gentle to desperate. He plundered her mouth, sucking on her lips, invading her mouth with his tongue. He couldn’t get enough of her, her taste, her touch, her feel, or her scent. He ingrained them in his memory. A lasting memory; one he’d never forget.

As soon as he ended the kiss she clutched at his chest, sobbing hysterically. He held her in his arms until she fell asleep, shuddering occasionally. Finally, she quieted.

He lay beside her, too anxious to sleep. Savoring the warmth and soft skin against his, he listened to her breathing, waiting for it to even out, an indication she’d fallen asleep.

An hour or so later, he glanced at the lighted dial of his watch. It was time to go. Time to leave her.

He’d miss the Wyoming way of life, the ranch, his buddies, the horses, the small town of Saddle Creek…mostly though he’d miss her. She was the love of his life. The reason he’d enlisted in the military in the first place—to make something of himself, learn a trade and be able to hold down a job, and make her proud of him. Now he had to let her go or he wouldn’t be strong enough to walk away later. He’d signed up, and he had to honor his commitment.

Dillon carefully moved away from her, slipped out of her bed, allowed himself one last, loving look at her, but had to stifle a gasp. Moonlight blanketed Avri in an ethereal light streaming over her auburn tresses splayed across her pillow, enhancing the light freckles on her tiny tipped-up nose. The moistness of her plump lips gave him an irresistible urge to kiss her good-bye, just once more. But he didn’t dare.

Grabbing a scrap of paper and an envelope from her small desk, he wrote a note, stuffed it into the envelope and placed it on his pillow where she’d be sure to find it.

Avri rolled onto her side, but didn’t wake. He took a step toward her, longing to rob her lips the way he had most of the night. He sought control and stopped. Together their uninhibited sex was the best he’d ever had, but then perhaps it was because of how he felt about her.


Lorelei lives on a peninsula on the mid west coast of Florida with her husband, 1 cat, and AJ, a long haired Chihuahua.
She wrote her first story in the fourth grade in the form of a play, which actually was produced by the teacher for parents and students. She continued writing and majored in English in College. She practices everyday to improve her craft.
She loves reading almost as much as writing and has filled her book shelves with her favorites, i.e. Harlan Colban, Eliza March, Johanna Lindsey, Roxanne St. Claire, Terri Garey, B.H. Daniels, and Bobbi Smith just to mention a few, as well as all the classics.
She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America), TARA (Tampa Area Romance Authors), PRO, Kiss of Death, Lethal Ladies, and CSI (Crime Scene Investigations), just to mention a few.

Visit Lorelei here:

Here are the other books available from the SADDLE CREEK SERIES
donna6 Rustlers and Romance

donna7  An Uptown Girl and a Cowboy




Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Contemporary Romance, Friends, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Home, hoarse, happy and inspired…

This past weekend I was thrilled and delighted to attend the first ever Fall In Love With New England Readers and Writers conference in Manchester, NH. and from the moment I arrived until I got back in the car to head for home I had a non-stop moving, talking, chatting and party-ing few days of fun, laughter, and friendship ( new and old!)


I’m planning a bigger blog post about the events of the weekend itself set for later this week, but for now I just wanted to say the following stuff. Please bear with me..or not; up to you!

I’ve said many times how I’m like a hermit when I’m in writing zen mode. There are actually days that I won’t leave the house, so intent on whatever it is I am working on – be it a first draft, editing, or making sure galleys and edits are correct. During the winter it’s almost as if hibernate, like a new species of bear: Ursus Americanas Writerus. (Grammarly won’t let me BOLD the last two words because they are made up!!) But you get the picture – I don’t leave the house and I don’t talk to anyone, at all, all day long. A quick goodbye to hubby in the a.m. and then nothing until a How was your day? in the evening. This is my life, peeps. And I’m happy – not complaining.

But attending a reader/writer event such as FILNE is such a soul-empowering and enriching occurrence, I have to admit it out loud ( or on the laptop, as it were!) Meeting other romance writers who are at the peak of their careers or just starting the climb, speaking with them, learning from them, giving advice and imparting wisdom to them is such a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Every conference I go to I learn something or make a new writing friend. At this conference, I learned a few new things, but  I made DOZENS of new writing friends and readers of romance, too!! And they liked me! They really, really liked me. I’m starting to channel Sally Field, here, so I’ll make this short and sweet…

For a writer – of any genre – getting out and meeting others who are as passionate about writing as you are, or readers who are passionate as you are about what you write (!) is something I would never deny myself. SO for all the hibernators out there, here’s a little tidbit of advice: get out of the house! Go to a conference! Interact with other humans who like what you like to read and write what you like to write.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from your friendly romance writer, Peggy Jaeger. (HeeHee)

Thank you, and good night!


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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Friends, Life challenges, love, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

Fall In Love With New England…


So, this weekend I’m going to be at the FALL IN LOVE WITH NEW ENGLAND readers and writers conference. Those of you who know me personally know that autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year and the picture above gives you a pretty good idea of why! The colors are beyond gorgeous, the air is crisp and clean and has a tinge of cinnamon and apples floating in it, and we get to wear sweaters and boots!! Yeah, I’m a little obsessed with my sweaters and boots, I’ll admit.

This is the debut year for this conference and is promises to be a goodie. Lots of informative classes and courses, giveaways, and chances to meet new authors and readers of romance. There’s also a book signing that’s opened to the public on Saturday from 2-5. I’ll be there, signing away and giving out Halloween Candy.


If you’re in the area on Saturday, drop by, say hello, have some candy and BUY A BOOK!!!! LOL.

I’ll give you all the 411 when I get back next week. Be well and if you’ve never been in New England during the autumn, you really don’t know what you’re missing!

When I’m not at conferences and book signings ( be grocery shopping, etc….!) you can find me here:

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Lyrical Author, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Public Speaking…Part 2

So  I promised you I’d give you a little insight into the 2 sessions I taught ( very loose use of that word!) at last week’s Womens’ Weekend Retreat.

These were my notes for the two programs:


One talk was called DREAM BIG, the other HOW TO WRITE A BOOK. That second one sounds a little pretentious, but it really wasn’t!

The Dream Big session was about how we, as women of a certain age ( read: menopausal and above) have tended to place our hopes and dreams on the back burners so our families, spouses, and everyone else can see fit to fulfill their hearts’ desires. I gave reasons why we do this, why we put ourselves last, why we never reach for the brass ring when we get to a certain age.

Then I told the group why they were all wrong to do that.

Yeah, that went over big.


Using myself and many other much more well-known women as examples, I showed how it didn’t matter what age you’d reached in life, you could still fulfill the dream of your heart. You just had to believe you could make it come true and start figuring out ways you could, right away. Then I showed them what those ways were.

That went over a little better.

The second talk was basically an overview of how to get from idea to published. This talk was packed and it did my little heart so good to see so many women had a story to tell. And what stories they were!!


I could have used two or more hours on this session because the women had sosososos many great questions.

Now, the point of this blog was to talk about public speaking and how much I abhor it. I know people always smirk and lift their eyebrows in wonder when I say that because, well, I talk all the time. A lot. I’ll talk to a rock if no one else is around. But talking one-on-one with someone is sososososos much easier than having to get up in a group and deliver an erudite message.

And the last word anyone can associate me with is erudite. Look it up if you don’t know what it means.


I sucked up my nerves and luckily there were a few women I knew personally in the groups, so that made my whole speaking to strangers anxiety abate a tad. What I truly did was just have a conversation with the women. Not a talk, well, not a classroom-like one, anyway, Just a basic back and forth interchange of ideas and questions.

This I could do. Easily.

And– yowza– I did! It was…fun. Much more so than I’d originally thought. In truth, anytime you get a group of women of a certain age in a room together, the exchange of thoughts, ideas, information, and laughs is soul-elevating.

So, if they ask me to come back again next year I….might.  I’ll certainly reboot my “talks” and make some changes, but I think I might be okay doing it again. I didn’t fall flat on my face, cry, or speak in tongues from nerves, so those are all positives, right??

When I’m not having anxiety attacks about public speaking you can find me here:

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Friends, Life challenges, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Box Set Release Day


What do you get when you mix cowboys with ghosts? A collection of eight (stand-alone) amazing stories from the Old West with haunts of every variety.

Get your love of alpha cowboys on and feed your addiction for the bizarre (and sometimes spooky) world when you download The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly.

I’m profiling one of the stories and authors here, today. Please say hello to author ERIN HAYES and read along as she shares an excerpt from her contribution to the set,  HOW THE GHOST WAS WON.

About the Story

There are ghost stories. And there are ghost legends.

From orphan to saloon girl to ghost whisperer, Hattie Hart has been and seen a lot of things in her time. Her new job as a detective with the Tremayne Psychic Specters Investigations Agency takes her out to the remote town of Carolina City, Nevada, on a vague assignment to investigate the disappearance of a US Marshal.

Except, when she arrives, she meets the devilishly handsome Grant Madsen, a US Marshal who is alive and well. Certainly not missing, but certainly the man of her dreams. So why did her boss send her out to this small boomtown when there’s nothing for her to investigate?

She soon discovers that in Carolina City, there are strange happenings from the afterlife that threaten to kill her or worse. She’ll have to race against time to save her life, the town, and the US Marshal she was sent to find—and maybe, if she’s lucky, her heart.


In my dream, there’s a man.

I can’t see his face or any other distinguishing features on him other than the fact that he is tall and dark, and I can sense that he is handsome. My dreams don’t allow for me to get close enough to see who he is.

But I know him. He has captivated my heart and welded my soul to his. Something inside me intrinsically calls out to him, aching that he’s not close to me, skin to skin, pulse against pulse.

We’re meant to be together, in this life and in others.

I know this, and he knows this.

In my dream, we’re standing about ten yards apart on a desert landscape, me in my corset and him in his dust jacket and hat that shades his face. I don’t recognize the place, but it feels alien, like nothing could ever survive in these harsh elements.

We’re both dead.

I see the glint of his smile as he looks at me. My heart breaks and I want to help him, but something keeps me rooted to my spot.

“Find me, Hattie,” he says, his voice in my head. “Save me.”

“How?” I ask. “From what?”

But he keeps repeating those two words, echoing on and on in my mind.

“Save me. Save me.”

About Erin Hayes:

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books. She works as an advertising copywriter during the day, and is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.


You can reach her at and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Follow Erin on the Net:

Author Home



Amazon Author Page



Here’s a little more about the rest of the set:



Wild, Wild Ghost by Margo Bond Collins


When Ruby Silver traded in her demon-hunting rifle for a badge at the Tremayne Psychic Specters Investigations, she didn’t want another partner—losing the last one was too traumatic. But when a new case in the Texas Hill Country pairs her up with the slow-talking, fast-drawing Trip Austin, it will take all their combined skills to combat a plague of poltergeists in this German-settled town.

Comes An Outlaw by Keta Diablo

When a tragic accident claims her husband’s life, Jesse Santos must find a way to keep the ranch, the only home her 12-year-old son has ever known.  The ranch hands have abandoned her, a gang of cutthroat ranchers want her land and an ancient Yaqui Indian insists a spirit has taken up residence in the house.

After a fifteen year absence, her husband’s brother, Coy, returns to his childhood home. He doesn’t plan on staying, and he certainly doesn’t intend to settle down with a widow and her son…no matter how pretty she is.

He’s an outlaw, after all, and made a decision to put an end to his gun-slinging days long ago. Will his conscience let him walk away from family, or will his heart overrule his head?


Long A Ghost and Far Away by Andrea Downing

When Lizzie Adams returns as a ghost to a life she led in the 1800s, she is surprised to find herself on a ranch in Wyoming, but delighted to learn she was married to a handsome and loving man.  The reasons for her return become clear when she discovers how she died, yet the unresolved issues surrounding her death leave her unable to either live in the 1800s or return to her present life.

Colby Gates misses the wife he loved, yet a ghost is a poor substitute. Re-married to a woman he doesn’t care for, and with outlaws searching for buried gold on his ranch, the spirit of his wife is a further complication.

Perhaps if the questions surrounding Lizzie’s death can be answered, the two can be together.

For all time.

A Ghostly Wager by Blaire Edens

Even a skeptical detective needs a little otherworldly help.

Nineteen-year old Annabelle Lawson hops a train to Reno to escape a marriage to a man twice her age. Alone and nearly destitute, she spots an employment advertisement that might change her life. If she can use the dreams that have haunted her for the last four years to land a job with the mysterious Treymane PSI Agency, she might be able to buy a train ticket home to Kentucky.

Agent Cole Swansby is an up and coming detective for Tremayne PSI. There’s only thing that can sink his career: if the boss realizes he’s a skeptic. He’s solved dozens of cases using old-fashioned logic, but he doesn’t believe in the paranormal. Now he’s under tremendous pressure to solve a new case before the president of Midas Mining shows for a week of R&R at The Blade Saloon.

Cole can’t solve this case without some otherworldly help, though, and Annabelle is just the woman for the job. As the two of them are drawn deeper into the mystery of the woman in green, they may not be able to banish the ghost without losing their hearts. To each other.

McKee’s Ghost by Anita Philmar

His fiancée called off their engagement after being accosted by a ghost in his house. Now, a beautiful ghost detective has shown up at his ranch, saying his brother has hired her to take care of the unwanted spirit.

Konnor McKee is more than happy with P.S.I Agent Ruth Oliva Wilson. One look and he’s hooked. Now, if he can only get some help from a ghost, he might be able to secure himself a bride after all.

With the return of his ex- fiancé, his life is turned upside down by an angry ghost, a vindictive woman, and a sexy medium. Konnor doesn’t know which way to turn.

Can he get everyone out of this alive and marry the P.S.I Agent? Or has he lost all hope of a happy future because of the ruthless ghost of one of his ancestors?

A Ride Through Time by Charlene Raddon

Ghosts. Murder. Love. P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson travels to Eagle Gulch, Colorado to investigate a report of ghost activity at a house where a murder took place in 1881. When his vehicle carrying his P.S.I. equipment dies, and a riderless mare appears, he mounts up, hoping the horse will lead him to her fallen rider. What he finds is a whole new life beyond his imagination.

Clorinda Halstead believes she’s a widow. After all, she was the one who shot her husband, Horace, on a violent night in 1881. He deserved it, the jury concluded. Living with the town marshal and his wife, all Clori wants is to be left alone. Then a stranger, Burke James, joins the household and nothing is ever the same again.

How did Burke find his way through time to the year 1881, and who is haunting the lovely but distant Widow Halstead? Can Burke find the ghost of Eagle Gulch without his P.S.I. equipment? And how will he ever choose between going home to his own time and a life of love and happiness with Clorinda?

The Ghost and the Bridegroom by Patti Sherry-Crews

Life is looking rosy for Abbott Foster when he brings his new bride to his ranch in Arizona. But when he is unable to consummate his marriage due to a malevolent spirit in the bedroom, he is forced to call in Psychic Specters Investigations.

Agent Healy Harrison doesn’t want to accept this case. She has her own demons and likes her quiet life, lived in the anonymity of St. Louis. But Tucson is where she finds herself—with instructions to “Have an adventure! Have a romance!” Things get interesting when she meets handsome Pinkerton detective, Aaron Turrell. Is this the romance she’s meant to have, or when their two cases intersect, will it drive him away?



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