Category Archives: female friends

#SundaySnippet 3.1.19

I loved writing this wrap-up book for the Will Cook For Love Series sososososoos much! It’s the first book of mine that has a physically scarred heroine and an angsty teenager as a major secondary character. Nikko Stamp is either a love him or not hero for people. I, of course, love him, because even though he’s a bear of man to work for, there’s a real reason he’s the way he is ( you need to read the book to see why! heehee). Plus, he absolutely adores his daughter and would do anything for her. I love a hot dad!!!

This little scene introduces Stacy to Nikko. As you’ll read, Nikko’s new Executive Producer isn’t anything like he thought she’d be.

This couldn’t be the new executive producer.

She looked like an intern, barely out of college, not the seasoned television producer Teddy Davis had emailed him about.

The one he’d emailed back saying he neither wanted nor needed.

Hair the color of champagne fell just below her shoulders in a soft cascade of waves and ripples. Even in the heat and humidity engulfing them, it looked fresh. Her face was a perfect heart, a tiny dip in the center of the hairline bifurcating her brow into two perfectly aligned sections, her flawless chin falling into a delicate point. She had one hand out to shake his, the other shading her eyes from the strong and harsh afternoon sun, but underneath her fingers he was able to make out a pair of sloe-shaped eyes in a deep, forest green.

Taller than average but small boned, her legs took up most of her lissome body. With her lips held together in a tight line, she reached him.

“I’m Stacy Peters, Mr. Stamp.”

He stopped and planted his feet, his gaze shifting to her outstretched hand and then back up to her face without taking it. Her eyes narrowed into a determined glare and it looked as if she wasn’t going to back down until he shook it. With reluctance, he did.

Like the rest of her, her fingers were narrow and thin as they coiled around his.

A blast of heat instantly warmed and calmed his entire body like a few shots of his favorite Irish whiskey did after a rough and painful day. The subtle aroma of vanilla floated to him, filling his senses with the sweet fragrance. The persistent, throbbing ache in his left leg the liquor helped chase away was momentarily forgotten with his hand rooted in hers.

As soon as she pressed her fingers firmly against his palm once, she pulled her hand back.

For a split second, Nikko missed the touch. In the next, he found his anger again. “Look, Miss Peters—”

“Stacy is fine.”

He ignored her. “I told Davis I didn’t need an executive producer. I don’t need anyone telling me how to run this show, what’s going to make it a hit, how to rip the best from the concept. The show will be fine without someone questioning every decision I make and counting every dollar I spend.”

Stacy nodded and folded her hands together in front of her, her gaze staying locked on his as he spoke.

“Those last two he sent me were worthless and more trouble than I could stand.”

“Yes. I know there were…problems with the previous EPs—”

“Problems?” His scornful bark of a laugh was loud and harsh as he cut her off. “Two of the most annoying, incompetent people I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. One was worse than the other. They had no knowledge of how to run a television production. Knew nothing about costs, location shots, or even how to set up food service for the crew. Between the two of them together, I don’t think they had a full brain.”

Surprised was too tame a word to describe his reaction when she laughed out loud. The sound hit him square in the chest like a bullet ripping through his rib cage.

Christ, was she laughing at him?

His eyes narrowed and he took a step closer, forcing her head to lift so she could meet his gaze. If he’d thought to intimidate her with his height, he knew he’d failed when she stood her ground, her gaze never wavering from his, her shoulders staying square.

A tiny bit of respect warred with the irritation churning inside him.

“They never even made it out here, one of them quitting an hour after she arrived at the studio. I don’t need incompetents like that around me or this production.”

“I agree.”

Her words didn’t stop him. “Davis promised me creative control when I signed on to this show. That included managing the budget and costs as I saw fit. He gave me his word no one would bother me about piddling things like the price of airfare, how many damn cups we use for coffee or how much it would cost to film at night.”

He took another half step closer, so close now his body almost came in contact with hers.

“What he didn’t promise me was annoying paper pushers who don’t know a thing about running a television show, so you can get right back in that car and have Dixon take you back to the airport, because you’re not needed or wanted here.”

From the side of his vision Nikko saw a small crowd had formed around them. Set technicians, a few of the ranch hands Dixon employed, even the food-service people. He knew he should get a leash on his temper, but the annoyance of being saddled with yet another producer—and one who didn’t even look old enough to vote—had him unable to curtail his fury. Added in was the throbbing mess his leg had turned into from sitting in Dixon’s truck for so many hours.

She’d been nodding at everything he’d said and hadn’t interrupted him once. When he finally stopped, she came to life.

“I can assure you, Mr. Stamp,” she said, her gaze slicing through him with its intensity, “I have no intention of taking any control away from you. This show is yours. Your name is on it, not mine. It’s your baby. And unlike my two predecessors, I do know what I’m doing.” She took a breath, snaked a side-glance at the gathering group of people, and added, “This isn’t my first rodeo.”

The crew laughed.

Before Nikko could form a response, she shot her gaze to the senior rancher. She moved toward him, saying, “Mr. Dixon? I’m Stacy Peters, from EBS. Thank you so much for allowing us to film our competition here, for putting us all up, and putting up with us all.”

Nikko watched a free and easy smile grow on her face, one with twin dimples winking at the corners of her mouth, as she slipped her hand into the rancher’s.

“Well, aren’t you just the prettiest thing I’ve seen around here all day,” Amos Dixon said, shaking her hand and wrapping the other one around it to cocoon it between his. “And it’s my pleasure, young lady. My pleasure.”

Stacy giggled at the rancher, her nose crinkling. Nikko’s stomach muscles contracted at the adorable expression on her face.

“I was familiarizing myself with your ranch on the flight and I have to tell you how impressed I am with your business, and how I’m a little in awe of the scope of everything I’ve seen so far. I can’t imagine living here, seeing all this beauty everyday. It’s breathtaking.”

Dixon’s barrel chest puffed out at the praise.

“I’d be delighted to take you on a tour around the ranch anytime, darlin’—you just say the word.”

“I’d love that.”

“Well, you must be tired from the long trip,” Dixon said, keeping her hand tucked in his. “And I imagine you’re getting hungry too. Little thing like you needs a good, hot meal in her and I’ve got the best cook in the state.”

She laughed and said, “I can always eat, Mr. Dixon—”

“Call me Amos, darlin’. Everyone does.”

She nodded. “And a hot meal sounds great right now, but I’ve got some things I need to see to first before I take you up on your offer.”

Turning her attention back to Nikko, she was all professional polish once again, the smile gone, a blank, unreadable look on her face when she said, “Why don’t I drop off all my stuff, and then I can meet with you privately, Mr. Stamp? I know filming starts the day after tomorrow and there’s probably a million things that need to get done before that. I’ve been brought up to speed on everything, but I’d like to hear from you what you need, when you need it, how I can help you get it, and how I can make

everything easier for you. Would fifteen minutes be good?”

Dumbfounded, Nikko just nodded.

“Great.” She turned to Dixon’s son. “Beau, can you show me to my

room?”

Nikko watched father and son jockey for her attention as Dixon senior said, “Boy, you get the little lady’s bags. I’ll show her up. Shall we?” He held a cocked elbow for her to take, while his son pulled luggage from the trunk of the car.

As the trio walked up the drive and then the porch steps, Nikko’s gaze lasered on the slim back and long legs of his new executive producer as she smiled and listened to the senior rancher wax on and on about his “family’s spread.”

What the fuck had just happened?

Nikko turned to see a battery of eyes staring at him.

“Don’t you have things to do?” he bellowed. “This isn’t vacation camp.” Like lemmings, they all turned as a unit and scurried away.
Nikko rubbed his throbbing thigh, the unceasing pain careening through him. He needed to sit down, put his leg up, and relax for a while.

Maybe more than a while.

Intrigued? If you want to read more, you can get your copy here:

Amazon //B&N // Apple // Kobo // Google Play //Walmart // Books-a-million

And if you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

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Filed under Alpha Male, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

In praise of girlfriends

Writers, by definition and practice, are solitary creatures. Days can go by, especially if I am on a deadline, where the only person I will see all day is my husband before he leaves for work in the morning and then when he returns 14 hours later. If I didn’t make myself go to the gym I’d have zero social interaction. The only people I would  converse with all day are my characters, who aren’t, you know….real.

Most of my dialogue gets written with text-to-speech or Dragon, so the sound of a mechanical, robotic, voice coming at me for hours is kinda weird. Cool, but weird, too.

I know. Crazy.

This cloistered existence is not healthy mentally, physically, or spiritually. Not by a long shot.

Ever.

Which is why I am thankful for the girlfriends I have.

None of my close gaggle of friends are writers, and sometimes that’s a good thing, others, not so much, but having them in my life means I get out of my attic, interact with people I adore, and step away from the fantasy land and make believe people  I’ve created for myself.

Don’t get me wrong: I like being a hermit and in another lifetime in a galaxy far, far, away  I probably was one. But to actually sit and chat, reconnect, and gossip, with girlfriends who knew you when, is marvelous. They get me through the humps of plot points just by randomly mentioning something. They give me insights into what’s going on in the world  by telling me how their millenial children are faring. They bombard me with new character ideas ( and they don’t even know it!) when they tell me about crazy co-workers, or people they’ve come in contact with.

But they do so much more.

They keep me sane.

They keep me human.

They keep my feet on the ground.

They keep me centered.

They are shoulders to cry on, arms to embrace me, and a soft, safe spot to land when I need to jump off a ledge.

Thank God my for girlfriends.

when I’m not out with my girlfriends or being a hermit you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#GoddessFishBlogTour Week 3 begins #CantStandTheHeat

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter or Passover. It’s back to the “grind” for me today. Week 3 of the blog tour starts with a visit to K.T.Castle, talking about  how I write my dialogue between characters. She also reviewed the book and can I just say, Le sigh!   My heart is just singing!    Stop two is a  review over at one of my favorite bloggers Book Magic. And I’m having a total Sally Field moment this morning because they both like it ( the book) they really really liked it!! hahaha,Stop by. Leave love! take a chance t that $50 Amazon GC card. ( Wish I was eligible for a try!! haha).

If you’ve missed any of the other stops, here’s a recap:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Another word about speaking in public…

The other day I wrote about how miserable a public speaker I’ve become. In truth, it’s because I don’t get the chance to do it as often as I used to so I’m kinda out of practice. Hand in hand with being terrified to speak in public is my fear of reading my own words out loud when there are more people than just me in a room.

Case in point: last year at NECRW2017 I was part of a group of authors who did a live reading of their current books. I thought it would be a good way to get my written work out there and hopefully garner some new readers. No brainer, right?

Yeah, no.

Up until the moment I was called upon to read I still hadn’t chosen the excerpt I wanted to share. The book was my newest one for Lyrical, COOKING WITH  KANDY, which had come out a few weeks earlier, and I wanted to read something that would spark ( hopefully) a listener enough to want to buy the book. Right up to the second moderator and host Damon Suede called my name, I was still undecided.

Then, my name was called and up to the microphone I went. I took a breath – three in fact – so deep it looked like I might be having the beginning of an asthma attack to those who knew what to look for(!) and read a simple passage loaded with emotions between the two main characters.

495 words.

8 minutes to complete.

I kinda left my body for the experience, because I really don’t remember much. When I sat back down, Damon said, “Am I right that was your very first public reading?”

My heart stopped beating when he said that. Christ! Had it been that bad? That obvious? That horrible a reading?

I nodded, unable to form coherent words in response.

Damon grinned and said something like, “So, yay! You’re not a reading virgin anymore! We popped your cherry!”

Everyone – including me – laughed. I know I turned sixteen shades of boiled tomato red, but still, his comment broke the tension that had coiled deep in me. Bless the man!

Next time ( and I can hear you now asking She’s gonna do it again???!!), yes, NEXT time, I’ll be less nervous, better prepared, and practice what I want to read before I get up and do so.

And BTW, Damon Suede has a great article in this month’s RWA magazine –  for those of you who subscribe –  about authors and public reading of their work. It’s well worth the read!

When I’m not obsessing about speaking in public you can usually find me here:

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

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women

The end is in sight, #GoddessFishBlogTour

Today’s virtual tour brings me to the Mixed Book Bag. Drop by and see the five places I’d love to travel to learn about the native cuisine.

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Week 2 of the #BookTour wrap-up

Just in case you missed any of the tour stops for week 2, here’s a listing with links. Be sure to drop by, leave some love, and be entered for a chance to win an Amazon GC at the end of the tour.

Monday, October 2 Danita Minnis

Tuesday, October 3 Up ’til Dawn Book Blog

Wednesday, October 4 Hearts and Scribbles and Nickie’s Reviews and Interviews

Thursday, October 5 Nancy Fraser

Friday, October 6  Fabulous, and Brunette   and Two Ends of the Pen

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#GoddesFishBlogTour….day5

Day 5 brings me to ROMANCE NOVEL GIVEAWAYS where I’m discussing walking the walk and talking the talk when it comes to stuff in books. You can’t just make stuff up, you know! Heehee. Stop by for a chance at a $25 AMazon GC.

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#GoddessFishBlogTour day 1

I’m over on Christine Young’s blog today doing a writing interview. Stop by!

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A day in my life….is not for sissies!!

I retired in 2015 when I got a book contract. I’d worked for about 150 years as a nurse in varying specialties, then as a contact lens technician. By the time I left the nursing profession I was dog tired, emotionally wrung out, and psychological drained. Having a full time job that could be at the same time uplifiting and soul-sucking was difficult. I figured retirement – and the oppportunity to write full time  – would be much more relaxing and enjoyable.

What’s that old saying? You make plans and God laughs?
yeah…story of my life.

I figured writing full time would be a cake walk. Hey, I didn’t have to get dressed in professional clothes everyday any more, do my makeup, hair, and coordinate my wardrobe. I could stay in my pj’s all day and not even put on deodorant if I didn’t want to. ( I do, just for full disclosure here!)

That easy, carefree life of a writer I imagined? yeah..not so much. A few months ago I did a blog piece about a simple question my husband asks me every day at dinner: “So, what did you do today.” My usual response? “Worked.”
One night I figured he really needed to hear what I actually do under the definition of “work,” so here’s what I told him.

4am, Finally got out of bed after lying there for an hour, wide awake.

405am – 530 am Checked email, answered 16 messages. Wrote 2 blogs, uploaded one then posted on social media outlets and HootSuite for the day. Social media sites included uploads of blog on twitter, Triberr, Tumblr, Linked in, Goodreads, google+ and Pinterest. Hootsuites were posted for every 2 hours.

530-6. Got hubby up, ate breakfast. Got ready for the day. Made bed.

630-930 am Gym, followed by grocery shopping for the week, Target, the post office and the bank. Got gas and went to the dump.

930-1030am put the groceries away then started laundry, vacuumed bedrooms and living area. Started dishwasher.

1030-1pm wrote in current wip; worked on Copyedits just received for Book 3 in new cooking series.

1pm-130pm ate lunch then answered emails and checked social media sites. Changed laundry and started another load.

130-500 worked on wip; and worked on Copy edits for book 3 in new cooking series, plus plotted out book 4. )  Folded dried laundry and put it away. Ironed shirts.

5-545 walked on treadmill and read current NetGalley book for review. Folded the remainder of done laundry, put it away.

545-630 cooked dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, set table, worked on copy edits.

630-7pm dinner and conversation ( questions!) with Hubby. Cleaned up the dinner dishes.

7-830 worked on wip, answered email, worked on blog posting for the morning. Did a few pages of the copy edits for book 3

830-10 read Netgalley again

10pm-midnight. Slept

Midnight-2 am. wide awake in bed, reliving yesterday, planning today.

Now, mind you: I have no children at home who need to be tended to, ferried places, or shown love and attention. I don’t currently, have a pet. My friends all work at full-time jobs out side of the home, so ladies who lunch is not on my menu. I don’t get manicures, pedicures, or have spa days. The last time I went to a mall my daughter was in college and I had a panic attack from the crowds. I simply write all day long.

But there’s nothing simple about a day in my life.

So, how do you think the other authors in this blog challenge spend their days? Find out by clicking on the links below


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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Foodie, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A fiery Artist and a Horse Whisperer find love in Passion’s Palette; #MFRWBookHooks

PASSION’S PALETTE, book 5 in the MacQuire Women series, releases on 8.4.17.

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?

Excerpt:

Standing before her, his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, he wore a look of bashful sheepishness. “I guess I owe you an apology,” he said, tilting his head to one side. The sun was full force on his face, one eye winked closed from its glare.

“You don’t look apologetic. You could have told me you were David’s partner,” she said, cringing when she heard the whine in her tone, “instead of allowing me to believe you were one of the moving men.”

“Now, hang on a sec,” he said, moving closer to her. “You were the one who assumed that. I never told you I was one of the movers. In fact, you never gave me a chance to tell you who I was. You just assumed. Incorrectly, it turns out.”

“You could have said something,” Serena blurted, her lower lip pouting outward.

Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press

Check out the other authors in this Book Hook Blog Hop:

 

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