Category Archives: A Match Made in Heaven

#SundaySnippet 9.9.18

At this rate, half the book will be on my blog before it’s released into the world! Hahahahah.

Today, a little tidbit concerning family members. Fiona Scallopini is Colleen’s 93 year old, 4 times married and widowed Irish born and bred grandmother. She’s feisty, unfailingly loyal, and loves nothing more than to buck the system. In this scene, she’s being held in the town jail by Chief of Police Lucas Alexander for a traffic violation. Colleen is tasked with bailing her out, something she and her sisters have done before….lots of times before. 

The hallway opened into a kitchen. The decor was circa nineteen sixties, the table an oval of solid oak surrounded by four chairs, one of which was occupied by a leprechaun. A flaming red-headed leprechaun with the bluest eyes ever produced. While the eyes were their birth color, the hair was not. The shade was simply one not found anywhere in nature. I knew it came out of a box—two different boxes, in fact—because Nanny had never been able to find the exact color she desired, so she created her own. All the O’Dowd women resembled our grandmother in coloring and facial structure. My sisters and I could still claim, truthfully, our red hair was from God.

“Nanny, I’m here.”

“Praise the Lord.” She jumped up from the chair and bolted across the room with more speed and vigor than a woman in her nineties should have. “Get me outta here, Number Two. Tilly’s probably having a coronary wondering where I am. I need to get to the home.”

As she spoke, her eyes grazed over Slade and narrowed thoughtfully. “And who might this be?” she asked, pointing her chin in his direction, but addressing me. “Got the look of a legal man about ’im.”

Before Slade could introduce himself, I moved to the other man in the room, one I’d known since birth.

“Lucas, what’s all this about? What’s Nanny done?”

“I’ve done nothin’, child. I’m falsely accused. Police brutality, ’tis. Pure and simple.” Nanny did her best to pull herself up some in height, but even standing on the tops of her toes, she couldn’t achieve more than four foot ten.

“Nanny, please.” I turned back to the chief. “Lucas?”

“It’s what she didn’t do, Coll, that has her sitting here. Her driver’s license expired.”

“Oh, my God, is that all?” I relaxed for the first time since the phone call. “She can just retake the test, then. Her license isn’t too far out of date, is it?”

Lucas looked at Nanny and said, “Do you want to tell her when it expired?”

Nanny’s mouth clamped shut.

“Well?” My gaze bounced between them. “How long ago?”

“Ten years,” Lucas said.

What? “Te-ten? Years?”

Lucas nodded, flicked his gaze to my grandmother and then back to me.

“Obviously, you didn’t know. I wouldn’t have either, but she ran through the stop sign—”

“I did no such t’ing!” Nanny shouted.

Lucas ignored her. “—on Purgatory Place. Pete Bergeron was sitting in the squad and saw her blast through it.”

“Lies! All lies.”

“Nanny, please.” My hand flew to my left eye, bracing it when it started twitching like a meth addict in need of a fix. I turned back to Lucas. “Go on.”

I had to give the man credit. He never lost his composure when Nanny yelled her accusations. He simply waited until she wound down. “Like I said, Pete saw her run the stop and then gave chase.”

“Lights a-blaring, sirens a-blasting like he was chasing a notorious criminal.” Nanny shook her bottle-dyed head, the corners of her lips pulling down to her chin, a click of her tongue echoing with disgust. “The whole of Glory Road saw him barreling down on me like I was Whitey Bulger himself, come back from the grave!”

I ignored her outburst, never correcting her that the famous mobster was still alive and well and living out his days incarcerated.

“When he finally got her to stop,” Lucas continued, “he asked for her license and registration, and where she was speeding off to so fast she blew the stop sign.”

Nanny made a rude noise, crossed her arms in front of her chest, and said, “The man’s a complete askhole.”

“Excuse me?” Lucas’s voice dropped several notches. I imagined criminals wet their pants when he used it on them.

“It’s what she calls people who ask—in her opinion—stupid and pointless questions,” I explained quickly. “Askholes.”

My pulse slowed a little when I saw the ghost of a grin tug at his mouth. “The car’s registered to your dad,” he said after a moment.

I rubbed my eye, then batted it a few times to focus. “Daddy left it for her to use when he and Mom moved. Is the registration expired, too?”

“No. Just her license to operate a vehicle.” He finally turned his full attention back to my grandmother. “What I can’t understand is why you let it go so long, Fiona.”

“Don’t’cha be addressing me as anyt’ing other than Mrs. Scaloppini. You’ve lost the right to use me Christian name, treating me like a criminal as ya are. I used to wipe your snotty nose when your ma brought ya to catechism class. You’ve no cause to be calling me Fiona as if we were friends. We’re not from this moment on and never shall be.”

Nanny Fee provides a great deal of the humor – and angst – for the O’Dowd sisters in my MAtch Made in Heaven series. I just love me a feisty grannie!

DEARLY BELOVED, Book 1 in a Match Made in Heaven,  Coming in November 2018 – I’ll post the pre-order links as soon as I have them!

You can also look for them – and me – here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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N.N.Lights Book Heaven #Bookathon, part II

Hey hey hey!!! I’m one of the featured authors today on  NNLights Book Heaven Bookathon. Stop by and leave me a little love! There’s a rafflecopter and you all know I love me a good chance to win sumthin!!!

Rafflecopter link: giveaway

Open internationally
Runs September 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on October 1.

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Family Saga, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Coming soon…

I haven’t had a new book release since April 2018 when CAN’T STAND THE HEAT came out into the romance reading world. Loved that book, but I’ve never gone this long without a new release.

Well, what’s that old saying: when it rains it pours?  Yeah. Story of my life.

This fall and into the holiday season I will have 3 new releases, well, released. A new San Valentino Christmas story called CHRISTMAS AND CANOLLIS, a new series starting called A Match Made in Heaven. Book 1 is DEARLY BELOVED. And I’m part of a book series of novellas from the Wild Rose Press called The DeerBourne Inn. My addition is HOPE’S DREAM.

I’m going to do a cover reveal of Christmas and Canollis, soon, but here’s the official blurb:

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

 

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

 

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Love that!!!

here’s the cover and blurb for DEARLY BELOVED:

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

Can I just tell you how much I lovelovelove this cover and this story??!! This past weekend I posted a snipper from the upcoming story. You can read it here: Sunday Snippet

The DeerBourne Inn is a series of novellas centering around a bed and breakfast in Willow Springs, Vt. The books range from historical to paranormal to contemporary and even a few spicy/erotic ones.

My contribution is a modern day romance about two people who aren’t looking for love, and what happens when love finds them!

Ski instructor Hope Kildaire’s dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner was shattered when a fatal accident changed her family and her future. Working two jobs and caring for her injured mother leaves the twenty-seven year old beauty with no time for fun or relationships. While she loves her Willow Springs community, she longs for a life where she can travel and make a difference in people’s lives.

Lawyer Tyler Coleman has one job when he comes to Hope’s hometown, an assignment that could change Hope’s life forever and allow her to fulfill all her dreams. But once he meets and gets to know her, that job takes a backseat to his unexpected and mounting feelings for the lovely young woman. When he finally admits who he is and why he’s in Willow Springs, his one hope is that she feels the same way about him.

Will Hope’s dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s heart?

To say I’ve been a bit busy is kind of an understatement!!!

When I have official release dates I’ll post them. And if you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll be seeing the cover of CHRISTMAS and CANOLLIS soon. Sign up when the pop-up appears to subscribe!

Off to do more editing. And maybe take a nap. Definitely, a nap.

Find me here when you’re looking for me:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

Sunday Snippet – Dearly Beloved 8.26.18

From my upcoming DEARLY BELOVED, Book 1 in the Match Made in Heaven series.

Chapter One

“9-1-1! Colleen, I’ve got a 9-1-1 in the Bawl Room!”

I cringed at the crisis call blaring through my earpiece. I hated emergency calls, especially when everything was about to start. To pull off the perfect wedding, just like when invading an enemy country during wartime, you have to run on a strict, unbendable time schedule. There was no room for deviation. A 9-1-1 call was the equivalent of a ticking time bomb, set to blow up the whole operation.

“On my way,” I said. “Any bloodshed?”

“None so far,” my assistant Charity Quinlan replied, her small voice breathless with urgency. “But it’s coming. Get here. I don’t know how much longer I can keep them from killing one another.”

I shot from my command post at the back of my hometown church in Heaven, New Hampshire, and sprinted down the long corridor toward the kid’s section, affectionately known as the Bawl Room, which was the staging area for the soon-to-start wedding I was in charge of. The small space was given this moniker because it was where parents of unruly children shuttled their little miscreants when their behavior disrupted the congregation during Mass. My sisters and I had been banished to the room every Sunday of our childhood.

I took a calming breath in front of the closed door—a door that did nothing to muffle raised, angry, and shrill voices—and ran a hand across my quaking abdominal muscles. They’d been throbbing and pulsing like a precision quartz timepiece from the confining, belly-flattening, spandex undergarment I wore to mask the extra eight pounds I’d recently packed on.

I said a silent prayer to St. Gabriel, the patron saint of strength. “Breathe,” I whispered, making it a plea. “Just breathe.”

Placing a broad smile across my face, I pushed through the door and entered into a tempest I regarded as the tenth circle of Hell: ex-wives.

Two lavishly dressed women—one in her fifties, the other ten years younger, and both trying desperately to look in their thirties—stood, dyed stiletto to dyed stiletto, glaring at one another. Both had fisted hands planted on their hips, shoulders hunched, perfectly coiffed heads bent, ready to do battle.

“Who do you think you are?” one screeched at the other. “You’re not her mother. You’re nobody in this wedding, just my ex’s current squeeze of the second, so back the hell off. Now!”

The woman being shrilled at, all six foot of her in icepick heels, leaned forward and pulled her outlined, lipstick-enhanced mouth back into a perfect teeth-baring snarl. She jabbed one of her french-manicured tips at her aggressor and ground out, “I’ve been married to him longer than you were, bitch, and you know it, so who you calling squeeze of the second, because from where I’m standing, you were more like a mistake who got knocked up than a wife any day of the week.”

The elder of the two was set to pounce, aiming for her rival’s perfect camera-ready face so I did a quick little jog and insinuated myself between them.

“Ladies.” My gaze ping-ponged from one to the other. “Please. The wedding is about to begin. We can’t have this kind of behavior.”

“She started it,” the actual mother of the bride, Mary Ann Stively said, pointing at her ex-husband’s current wife. “She says she should go down the aisle after me because she’s married to my loser ex—”

“Who’s the father of the bride,” JoEllen, wife number two, said. She turned her back on wife one and faced me. “You’re the wedding planner, Colleen. You know proper protocol says I should go down the aisle right before the party, since I’m married to the father of the bride. I looked it up, read all about wedding etiquette and procedures.”

“In what? Your current edition from slut-of-the-month book club?” Mary Ann spat.

JoEllen’s eyes slitted under penciled eyebrows standing stationary on her unlined and unmoving forehead, a paralytic effect—I surmised—from years of Botox injections.

“Why, you—” She inched forward and tried to reach by me, but eight years of track in school and four more in college gave me a decided advantage in swiftness. I blocked her, my arms splaying out at my sides so she couldn’t go around me.

My left eye started to twitch—never a good sign—and I knew I had to set this situation to rights. Now. The wedding was scheduled to begin in less than ten minutes.

“Mrs. Stively.” Both women stared at me. “Um, the current Mrs. Stively.”

JoEllen pulled herself up to her towering height and gave her paid-for breasts a good forward thrust. “What?”

“I know you feel you deserve to walk down right before the wedding party—”

“I do.”

“—but I’m sorry. Whatever you’ve read stating that was the correct procession is incorrect. The actual mother of the bride is the one who immediately precedes the party. Unless, of course she’s not present or deceased. Then it would be proper for a stepmother to be the last person down the aisle before the attendants and bride.”

JoEllen slanted a deathly glare at Mary Ann. I swear I could hear her brain running through scenarios on how to commit murder in the next five minutes.

“Now, I need you both to take your places so we can get this wedding started. Stop arguing and let’s go.”

I’d dealt with these two overbearing women many times in the past few months and knew neither would give an inch, or relinquish control, of their own accord. Since they continued to stand rock-still, daggers zipping between them, I did what I always do in situations like this and got physical.

I grabbed the first Mrs. Stively firmly by the forearm and gave her a good yank while motioning to Charity, who’d been cowering behind a pew, to do the same to Stively spouse number two.

Charity, at a spit above five foot, was no match for the lengthy, stilettoed second wife, but what she lacked in height, she more than made up for in determination. With a firm hand draped along JoEllen’s back, Charity began walking, propelling the woman forward.

“Can you believe that bitch?” Mary Ann asked as I escorted her down the long hallway to the back of the church where the procession stood, waiting. I continued to hold her forearm in a grip of steel in the event she planned to escape and go back to punch her replacement.

“Forget JoEllen,” I commanded. “It’s your daughter’s day. Focus on her. You don’t want Annie to remember this day filled with problems or fights. You want her to have the most wonderful memories of her wedding, don’t you?”

Before she could reply, I steamrolled right over her. “Of course you do. Fighting with JoEllen serves no purpose and will only upset Annie. Take a quick, deep breath if she annoys you again and ignore her. Believe me, you’ll feel better for it.”

I knew I was telling a bald-faced lie.

Mary Ann and JoEllen both wanted to scratch the other’s eyes out, and today’s incident was another in a long line of antagonistic outbreaks since Annie had retained me as her wedding planner. The two Stively wives despised one another for various and obvious reasons. Their only compatible redeeming value was their mutual unconditional love for the bride-to-be.

In the vestibule, the melodic strings of a Mozart concerto serenaded the waiting congregation.

Annie Stively’s parents had spared no expense on their cherished only daughter. From a twenty-thousand-dollar, custom-made, hand-stitched, lace and satin gown complete with a five-thousand-dollar tiara and train, to the five-hundred-dollar-an-hour stretch limousine waiting outside the church entrance, prepared to whisk the happy couple off to their reception a mere five minutes away, Dr. and the two Mrs. Stivelys set out to give their little princess everything she desired in a wedding.

With my help, they had.

“Mom? JoEllen? What’s going on?” The bride glanced from her mother to her stepmother, concern creasing her flawless brow.

“A few last-minute details we needed to go over,” I answered before either woman could. “They wanted everything to be perfect for you. It’s all settled now, correct, ladies?” With an arched and determined glare, I all but dared them to contradict me.

Both women, with uncharacteristic placidity, nodded.

“Good. Now, let’s get you all lined up, and we can get this beautiful girl married.”

I went into command mode, corralled the wedding party into their appropriate places, and gave the all-start command. “Let’s roll.”

Once the bridal party, including the two warring Mrs. Stivelys, were all seated, the soft, haunting strings of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D drifted through the air.

I stood behind one door, Charity the other. On my count, we threw open the doors wide at the same time. A collective wave of sighs blew through the church as the first view of the stunning bride broke through. While she floated up the aisle on her father’s arm, my photographer darted ahead of them, filming, as they slowly made their way to the altar. Charity and I closed the doors behind us and slipped into the last pew to watch the wedding.

At the front of the church, Dr. Stively stopped, lifted his daughter’s veil, and then kissed her cheek. I could hear dueling sniffling from the front pew, Mom and Stepmother each trying to outdo the other in the waterworks department. Once Dr. Stively took his seat between his first and second wives, the congregation sat as a unit.

“Did you check to make sure the best man has the rings?” I asked Charity, looking toward the stable of tuxedoed ushers at the altar. The groom’s younger brother looked as if last night’s bachelor party had been a rousing success, evidenced by the pasty tinge to his skin, the railroad track redness covering the whites of his eyes, and the none-too-subtle tremor in his hands.

“He does,” Charity replied.

“Did Devon bring the basket with the bird seed?”

“He did.”

Off to one side of the altar, I spied my trusty and talented photographer being as unobtrusive as possible while he captured the happy event through his lens.

“Kolby has everything he needs?”

“He does.”

When I slanted her a look, Charity grinned. “And before you ask, I already called the inn. Everything is ready. The champagne is chilling, and the band is warming up. Maureen told me to tell you not to fret. She’s got it all covered. No worries.”

Two of the most overused and least accurate words in the English language, especially when speaking about a wedding.

With as deep a breath as I could manage (I really was going to throw in the towel with this pseudo-girdle and cut back on the carbs instead), I sat back and watched the ceremony I’d put together, and prayed the rest of the day would go on without any further problems or arguments between warring family factions.

What’s that old saying? Man makes plans and God laughs?

Yeah…the story of my life.

 

DEARLY BELOVED, coming November, 2018. Buy links coming soon!

 

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Hopeful…

 

 

See this picture? What do you notice first? The keyboard? The notebook? Or is your eye drawn to that Bridal Cake Christmas ornament?
Yeah, mine too.

I found the ornament in Michael’s Craft store the other day and bought it on the spot. Why you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell you.

I think I’ve mentioned in a few previous blogs that I’m the kind of person that puts action and intention behind wishes and dreams.

I made those wooden book holders for my books because I have a dream to someday be published in hardback, not only in digital and paperback. By making those boxes and placing my paperback books inside of them, it gave the illusion of a hardbound copy. So, see? Dream…intention…action….hopefully it’ll come true.

 

 

I’m using the ornament the same way, as:

  1. a reminder
  2. a talisman
  3. visual prompt

The reminder is for me to think good and positive thoughts about the new Bridal Series I just sent to an editor ( who asked for it!)

The talisman is for the ornament to–hopefully– bring me luck with getting these books published.

The visual prompt is so I stay focused because sometimes I start to lag a little when I’m waiting for things to happen.

Cute, isn’t it?
The next time you see that ornament on any of my social media will mean I have good news to share….

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

The work never ends…..

While in the middle of NaNoWriMo2017  I received my proofs for my upcoming April 2018 release CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, book 3 in the WIll Cook For Love Series. Thanksgiving is this week. Christmas is but a calendar-page-turning away. Busy, much?

What’s that expression? When it rains, it pours??

Yesterday I sat – literally SAT – at my desk for 11 hours. 2 Bathroom breaks and one 10  minute stop to have lunch.

Not complaining — never complaining!– about too much writing/editing work. This is what I want my life to be, what I’ve dreamed of. What I wished it could be.

So, yeah. No complaints from this chickita.

(But a little sleep wouldn’t kill me! heehee)

If you need me, I can be found here when I come up from editing and writing for air:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, A Match Made in Heaven, Author, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, NaNoWriMo, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

So, this happened today….

It’s for an – as yet – uncontracted new Romance Series I’m writing. Book one is the finalist!!! in 2014 I was a finalist in this contest also. Back then it was for a little, unpublished book titled COOKING WITH KANDY. And we all know how that story ended…..

When I’m not entering contests or writing romance you can find me here:

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

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women