Category Archives: Family Saga

Books are my thing…

I can go in so many directions with this blog choice. My favorite books to read over and over; the type of books I like to read; my favorite genres and subgenres. So many avenues to explore. Sooooo, I guess I’ll tackle them all and see what happens.

I. My favorite books to read over and over. I’ve read Gone with Wind 42 times.

I know…I’m a little obsessive. But every time I’ve read it as an adult I find something fresh or a connection I didn’t see before.

I’ve read Pride and Prejudice 27 times.

In fact, I’m re-reading it right now!

I”ve read the Thorn Birds 16 times. I only saw the miniseries once, so that tells you how much more I like the book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve read each Harry Potter book twice. The first time along with my daughter, the second time on my own.

And because I find reading the JD Robb IN DEATH series is like taking a master class in writing a series, I’ve read each of the 45 books at least 3 times. You do the math on that one!

II. The types of books I like to read. Well romances, of course! Duh! I’m such a sucker for that whole Happily Ever After thing. I love a heroine who’s snarky and a little obsessive; a hard worker, and a strong believer in family. Give me a hero who’s part alpha/part beta; one who can be a leader or a follower or both at the same time! He has to be committed on every level to the heroine – emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. Once he meets her there’s no one else he can envision himself with EVER! The same goes for the heroine. I love to cook and I love to laugh, so witty, engaging characters who eat like normal people and not super models getting ready for a photo shoot are my favorite people! I want to read about folks I could see myself being friends with. Make me laugh, make my cry, and feed my soul and I’m your reader for life.

III. MY favorite genre and subgenre books. This is gonna look a little like an Amazon key-word line! Stick with me here, folks: Romance-contemporary romance- foodie-humor -strong heroine- family. Let me esplan it, Lucy, in better terms.

Favorite genre: romance. Favorite subgenre of romance: contemporary romance. Elements of contemporary romance books – humorous stories about families with strong women. Add a dash of cooking into the mix and serve!

And just for full disclosure here, I also like the erotic contemporary romances of Jennifer Probst and Christina Lauren

   

and Regency romances ala Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt.

   

So, there you have it. My reading pleasures.

And because this is blog hop, click on over to these other romance writers to see what they consider their favorite books. You just might find a new author or series you’ll enjoy.


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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Historical Romance, Literary characters, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#Celebrating some good news.

Just found out that my Wild Rose Press book from last Christmas holiday season A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest from the Contemporary Romance Writers RWA chapter! I’m one of 3 finalists in the Contemporary Romance – short division.

Can you just say “YOWZA!!!”

I am uber-stoked. A KISS came in 3rd in the NECRWA 2017 Reader’s Choice awards, and now this!!! My little romance writing heart is all aflutter today. And probably will be until July 28 when the winners are announced at RWA2017.

Yikes! I need to get to the gym so I can fit into a nice dress for the announcements…

See ya……………………

But before I go, if you haven’t read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS yet ( and why not???) here’s a little taste:

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind. Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not. Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

 

Excerpt:

At twenty-four I still lived under my parents’ roof, had no full-time paying job other than helping my father with his business books and those of a few of his business associates, and my love life was nonexistent.

It wasn’t that I didn’t get asked out or date. I did. Often. Plus, I was perpetually being set-up by the aunts and uncles. I’d had a steady boyfriend all through high school, but we went our separate ways when we each left for college. My choices had been limited in recent years to guys I met in college–who were all looking to score, not forge a lifetime commitment—and then in accounting school who were, for lack of a better word, boring and absorbed either in numbers theory, finding jobs after graduation, or in just getting into my pants. The men my extended family routinely set me up with were mostly thick-necked, uneducated, wiseguy wannabes who wanted a conventional Italian bride they could keep barefoot, pregnant, and cooking.

So. Not. Me.

I needed to make some decisions about my life and make them soon. First, pass the exams and get licensed. Then, look for a real job so I could afford to live on my own. This one might be the hardest to accomplish since my parents were old-school thinkers who believed girls should stay home until they were married. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to go from their house to a husband’s house, and never experience what it would be like living on my own.

Lastly, I wanted to find the one special guy I could commit to. A guy who’d be family oriented like me, want kids, the minivan, a house in the ‘burbs, the whole family-comes-first-and-always mentality I’d been breastfed on.

I wasn’t too picky. Obviously, I didn’t want him to look like a troll, but nice looking wouldn’t hurt since I’d be spending eternity staring across the kitchen table at his face. A good-paying job would be nice in a career where I didn’t need to worry he’d make one wrong move and wind up as fish food in the Meadowlands marshes.

Don’t laugh: have I mentioned my Uncle Sonny?

BuyLinks:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press//  Kobo // Nook

When I’m not celebrating, 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 kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Foodie, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Winding down in Atlanta; #RT17

I skipped a few days in my RT17 reporting because…life, you know?

Hee Hee. It actually was because my days were so jammed packed with events, workshops, signings, and meeting people that I didn’t have much free time to blog. Right now it’s a little before 4 a.m. and since I’m up and the gym is beckoning, I thought I might jot a few lines together.

Since we last met I attended my very first Kensington Books booksigning as one of their authors. thank goodness the  room provided for us all was the size of a football field and a half because there were truthfully close to 1000 — if not more — fans who attended. My book supply went in less than 15 minutes of the 90 minutes we were allotted!  I’d been fearful I’d be sitting there twiddling my thumbs and trying not to look mortified I wasn’t handing any books out. Never a worry, apparently! I met so many people who told me they were also going to be attending the giant book fair signing on Saturday and that they would see me there as well. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Romance readers and the BEST and most loyal fans in the universe of readers. The lines were long and some people waited almost an hour to meet their fav author, but no one seemed to mind. I saw no crankiness, bitchiness, heard no complaining, and everyone— EVERYONE– was smiling. What an amazeballs event! I can’t wait to do it again at RWA in July.

Last night was the RT Reader’s Choice awards. At first I was going to attend because I was tired, missing my hubby, and needed a break from people-ing, ya know? But I sucked it up and went. Boy-oh-boy am I glad I did. Not only did I get to sit next to my newly “adopted” daughter ( My wonderful Lyrical Editor!!) I saw up close and personal some of my all time favorite authors and industry giants. I don’t want to make this piece too long by mentioning everyone but here are the ladies who have made my reading romance years the pleasure it has always been:

Karen Slaughter – one of the funniest chicks you will ever meet. Give her a microphone and just let her go!

Elizabeth Hoyt – writes historical sexual tension like nobody’s business.

Iris Johansen ( she’s a little tiny thing! Who knew??! She’s such an industry giant I figured she was 1o feet tall!)

Beverly Jenkins ( one of the most amazing women I’ve ever seen, for sososo many resons)

Sonali Dev – if you haven’t read A CHANGE OF HEART, run, run I tell you, to upload it, buy it, or however you read. Just GET IT!

Sherrilyn Kenyon – a true Georgia Peach

Karen White – beauty and brains rolled into one fab author

I’m here, writing today, and standing on the shoulders of these intelligent, articulate, and fabulous female writers. Some day, I hope an aspiring writer can say the same for me. These women simply make me want to write better.

So, today is jammed packed. I’ve got the giant book fair at 1030 this morning, and then another big party this evening. I may, no, make that WILL, need a nap somewhere in between

Be well and more to come…

If you want to see live updates from me during the events, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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I’m so Excited! #newrelease, #coming soon to @KensingtonBooks

I’m so excited. In just a few more days ( April 4th) COOKING WITH KANDY releases.

This is the first of my new Kensington/Lyrical book series WILL COOK FOR LOVE about the lives, loves, and recipes of the Laine Family. Kandy Laine is the first, with her sister Gemma coming later in A SHOT AT LOVE

and then cousin Stacy makes an appearance in 2018 in CAN’T STAND THE HEAT? I’ve got two more books lined up after that, as well. More on them in the future.

But back to being SO EXCITED!! And yes, I feel like an honorary Pointer Sister. And if you don’t get that reference it means you were born after the 1980’s!

This will be my first book for Kensington/Lyrical and I am over the moon. I join a very well established stable of writers of all genres in the country’s oldest family owned book empire – and I don’t use that term loosely!

I am truly blessed at this point in my career to be writing for such a well-respected house.

Yippie!
So, if you see me in the next few days and I look a little dazed and unfocused, you’ll know why: the excitement is getting to me and I am just silly with it.

I’ll be hanging out at all my Social media sites, esp. on 4.4.17, so if you want to find me, look here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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#CoverReveal A SHOT AT LOVE; #KensingtonPublishers #ContemporaryRomance

I’m sosososososo excited ( again I sound like the Pointer Sisters!) because the second book cover for my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series is being revealed today and here it is:

Book 2 features Kandy Laine’s sexy, sassy, and smart, photographer sister, Gemma. Kandy makes a few appearances in the book as well, but the heat that screams from the pages is all about Gemma and uber-hot FBI SPecial Agent Ky Pappandreos. Here’s the blurb:

A SHOT AT LOVE 
by Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 10/3/2017
Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book! 
Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .
Amazon // B&N // GooglePlay // Kobo // Apple
If you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#SneakPeek at PASSION’S PALETTE; #comingSoon #TWRP

So my last MACQUIRE WOMEN book will be out soon ( no date yet, but this year!) and I just got my cover and blurb approval, so I, of course, wanted to SHARE SHARE SHARE.

Passion’s Palette, Book5 in the MacQuire Women, tells Serena MacQuire and Seamus Cleary’s story. I’ll be posting excerpts next, but here are the basic:

Blurb:

Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

 

When buy links become available, I’ll post them. For now, remember this cover!!!

When I’m not editing soon to be released books, 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 Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

The #book that changed my life…

The other day I was re-reading ( yes, I do this often!) THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ by  L.Frank Baum.

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Now, the first question you are probably going to ask yourself is, why in the name of all that’s holy is she reading this when she can watch the movie? After all, it’s a classic for a reason and the time involved to watch it is a mere 2.5 hours instead of days to read the book.

Good question. Trust me, I have my reasons.

You all know I lovelovelove Pride and Prejudice

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and Gone With The Wind.

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I’ve written several times in blog posts about how those books literally carved a romance writing career out of the dust for me. But, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the first book I ever remember reading that actually made a difference in my life.

 

Let me ‘splain it you, Lucy.

lucy-gives-a-sexy-wink

Like Dorothy, I was a solitary child, a bit of a misfit ( okay, more than a bit!), and a dreamer. The only child of divorced parents who both had their own issues, I was often left to my own devices and sometimes found it difficult to stay out of trouble. Not bad trouble where the police and child services were needed, but stupid, risk taking stuff that I would absolutely lock my daughter in her room for if I ever found out she did the same things!!

I used to spend every afternoon after school at the local library. Back when I was a kid there were no such things as afterschool care, and my mother couldn’t afford a babysitter to watch her NOT-baby until she came home at 7 after work. So  I would walk each and every day after the dismissal bell to the library. Homework was always ridiculously easy for me so I spent the majority of my time reading through the book selections.

library

Now, if you’ve ever actually read the Oz book you know it’s a little different from the movie. I hate spoilers, so I won’t say how. What I will tell you is the moral of the story, There’s No Place Like Home hit me at a time when I was considering doing something really dumb: run away from home.

I won’t bore you with the reasons why I felt this was a viable option for me. Suffice it to say, I had my reasons. And to me, at the time, they were valid and non-negotiable ones. I’d been planning how to run away, what to take with me, where I’d go, etc..everything that was needed for a successful fleeing. Even back then I was a list maker and had filled page after page with my plans and what I needed to accomplish before I could go and start a new life away from…well, my old one.

My plan was sound. I was going to leave Friday after school. When the bell rang I would disappear. Thursday, though, I was sitting in my usual seat in the library, reading the Oz book, when I finished it. That moral I told you about? There’s No Place Like Home? Yeah, it hit me hard. After reading about all the troubles and problems and terrifying situations Dorothy had gone through, only to discover her heart’s desire was to be right back where she belonged – home – I had a tiny breakdown and a big change of plans.

That book quite literally changed the course of my life. As an adult I can see that my plans to run away were stupid, ill-conceived, and could have ended in potential tragedy. As a child, all I could see was heartbreak and depression. Somehow, I connected with Dorothy and her story. True, it was bald fiction, fantasy at that, but Baum made me feel as if Dorothy knew me. And more, got me.

I’ve never told this story before. It always seemed a little, well, to be honest, stupid. But I realize now that it’s not. I realize now, with perspective and the wisdom of age, that reading saved me, in more ways than one. It not only opened a word of imagination and joy to me, it also helped me appreciate the life I had.

So when people ask me what book changed or influenced my life and why, the answer is an easy one on both counts.

There–really–is no place like home.

dorothy

‘Nuff said.

I have a home library now, but if you need to find me I can usually be seen hanging out in these places:

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

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The final tally in #Predators&Editors

Finished in 5th place!

Finished in 5th place!

So, for the past several weeks, the Predators and Editors 2016 readers poll has been in effect. I will tell you truthfully, I was lobbying hard for a  place in the ROMANCE SECTION and after all my arduous begging – I mean– hard work(!) I tied for 5th place. Not too shabby, considering the hundreds of entries.

I had a few people who are not involved with writing, publishing or anything related to either, ask me why I pushed so hard for a place in the contest results. I don’t get any prize money, or anything lucrative for coming in the top ten;  I don’t automatically have an influx in my books sales. The answer, though, really is a simple one.

I wanted to come in as high as I could because of the exposure an event like this has. I am still a relatively unknown author. Yes, I’ve had 7 books published in 18 months and I have three more due out this year. I have begun to build my — for lack of a better word — following. But I still need to grow more readers and a good way to do that is with global exposure such as the P&E poll. Hopefully, since I did finish so high up, people who don’t know my work will take a chance and order the book that came in 5th place – A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. And if they like that one, they might try the others, as well.

The snowball effect of finding a new author is a proven thing. When I discovered Jill Shalvis 3 years ago I went out and bought as many of her backlist as I could find and now I have all her new stuff on pre-order. I don’t think I’m the only reader who does this. In fact, I know I’m not, after talking with other readers.

So, thanks to all who voted for me. I promise I won’t hound you anymore. Well, at least not until next year when P&E rolls around again!

For those of you who haven’t read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin; to whet your appetite and — hopefully — you’ll want to read the rest!

akissucl_850-1

Blurb:

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

Excerpt:

His back was to me and he was carrying a table, but after he put it down and turned around I got a good look at the front of him.

And Holy Mary, Mother of God, what a front he had.

Close cropped military style hair the color of wind blown wheat topped a head which stood – truly – head and shoulders above everyone else around. The guy had to be six-three at least. Sharp, etched cheekbones God cut with a knife, sat under oval eyes which looked deep and dark from where I stood. His face was a composite of planes and angles, the carved cheeks meeting up with a chiseled-from-stone chin. Hardened concrete looked softer than this guy’s jawline. His nose was perfectly fixed in the center of his face, the slight aquiline bend at the tip bringing to mind Michelangelo’s David, the cupid’s bow under it deep and pronounced. Clean shaven, his mouth was full and thick and – God help me – looked utterly kissable.

I could tell even with the chunky vest covering his torso, he was closer to thin than stocky, but if I could guess from the way his biceps pulled against his sleeves, he had some muscle to him.

And some pair of legs. They went on forever, from heaven to earth in a full, hard line.

I don’t know how long I stood there, just gawking with my mouth open looking like a cannoli waiting to be filled, but I’m being truthful when I say I couldn’t move. My feet were frozen to the ground, my knees had locked, and my hips weren’t taking me anywhere soon.

This was one beautiful man.

Buy Links: Amazon //  Wild Rose Press //  Nook

When I’m not begging people to vote for me, you can probably find me anywhere here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

 

 

 

 

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A #NewYear, a time for new #blogideas

2016 has exited the building – thank you, Jesus!  Now it’s time to figure out what I’m going to say here, in this forum, for the next 365 days.

No pressure….not!

I started this blog because I wanted to talk about writing with people who enjoyed writing as well. Over the past 2 years, it’s morphed into something more. More substantial; more funny; at times, more an internal reflection of my feelings and emotions about…stuff. I’ve been able to introduce you to new authors who are fab and promote their work. I’ve had some serious discussions about life, writing life, family stuff, and current events. I’ve veered away from anything controversial and/or political/ and negative. I’ve wanted this to be a fun place to spend a few minutes getting to know new writers, and to challenge you with ideas. I hope I’ve done my job…

So, 2017. What the heck am I gonna talk about??

Well, I do have some new author interviews lined up already and I can’t wait for you to meet these talented writers.

I’ve also got at least 2 books of my own coming out this year ( maybe 3!) and I know I’ll be going gungho with promoting them.

The publishing world seems to be changing daily, so we’ll talk about that.

I’ve got at least 4 writing trips coming up this year, so you know I’ll be showing you pictures of your favorite romance authors whom I’ll be meeting and fawning over, plus writing about my traveling experiences.

And I guess I’ll be divulging some more personal stuff – only the funny stuff, though!!!

2017 promises to be a life-changing one for me – I’ve got lots going on!!! All good and all exciting.

So, stay tuned and we’ll discuss……lots of stuff!

 

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When #Reality slaps you in the face….

I’ve been a mother for 27 years. And although my daughter is the same age, she will, always in my mind, be my baby.

But…

On a car ride home from a New Year’s Eve party and a discussion about another party she and her man were going to, I pulled out all the mom stops – because it’s what I do. A mini-lecture on driving on hazardous, snowy roads, not getting behind the wheel if either of them had been drinking, promises to text when arriving and leaving were all accompanied by heavy sighs and quiet a few gasps of indignation…from my daughter.

Then she said something that put everything into perspective for me.

“You know,”  she quipped, “You were married at my age. Did anyone say these things to you?”

Utter silence in the car. Then, tears started to swell up in my eyes when I realized what she was telling me. Something I guess I’ve never accepted, wanted to accept, or thought about, really.

My baby was no more. She was a grown-ass woman, more intelligent than I’ll ever be, and responsible for her decisions, actions, and thoughts. My job as the voice in her head is done. I’d raised her; instilled in her a moral and ethical code; educated her both mentally and spiritually. I’d given her roots and wings, a shoulder to cry and lean on if needed, and the where-with-all to problem solve, conceptualize, and theorize.

She lives on her own in a city one thousand times larger than the town she grew up in; commutes every day to a powerful job using public transportation, pays rent, supports herself, and travels all around the world….without me holding her hand.

She doesn’t need her mommie telling her what to do. She doesn’t need my reminders for safety. And she certainly doesn’t need me second guessing her actions and decisions.

Damn…

When does your baby stop being your baby? When can you mentally let the little child who used to reach for your hand, unbidden, when walking on the street, forge ahead on her own? Not want to reach out and protect her from every bad thing that could potentially happen? Keep her safe, and snug, and protected? When can your heart follow your head and say everything will be okay, don’t worry, keep calm?

Does it ever? Can it ever?

So, after I dried the tears, I said the one thing that I’d never thought I’d hear myself say, hear myself think: “Okay. You’re a grown-ass woman, not a two-year-old. I’ll stop. And I’ll respect your maturity. Truly.”

And I will.

But there’s still that little niggle deep inside that wants her to reach out and hold my hand….

 

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