Category Archives: Romance Books

One week from today!

Join me and many other Romance Authors next Saturday, July 29  at the Dolphin Resort in Walt Dinsey World for a mega book signing.I’ll be there from 3-5pm EST with copies of COOKING WITH KANDY and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to sign.  The money that’s paid for the books goes to the Nora Roberts Foundation for Literacy – so you not only get to meet your favorite authors, you get to support Literacy too! How cool is that?!!

 

Can’t wait to meet you all!

 

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Characters, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Ring in a New Year…and a new attitude

I think most people would claim their birthday or Christmas as their favorite holiday. After all, on both of those days you get PRESENTS!!! Presents just for you. And while I’m not knocking presents, neither of those days is my favorite holiday to celebrate. It might seem odd, but the day that means the most to me every year is New Year’s Day.

Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

As a writer, I love beginnings. Beginnings of books, beginnings to love stories, beginnings of family sagas. If a book captures me right from the beginning, I am with it the entire way.  I also love firsts. First babies, first loves, first kiss, first dollar you earned! Both of those things– the first and the beginning– are incorporated into New Years Day.

It’s the beginning of a new year. It’s the first day of the next 364. It’s the day when the slate is rubbed clean from the previous year and you get a fresh start at…everything: life, love, success, happiness. Out with the old, in with the new. Brand new. Fresh. Hopeful.

Plus, you get a really great kiss at the stroke of midnight!

Really, is there anything better than starting off a brand new year with a kiss from someone you love?

Since this is blog hop/share, check out these other authors. I wonder if any of them like New Year’s as much as I do!

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books

A visit with WRP author Judith Sterling

Today, I get to introduce you to another of my wonderful and talented Wild Rose Press sistahs, Judith Sterling. Judith writes medieval romances, and I’ll admit, I haven’t read a lot of that genre. But after reading a little about her new release, The Cauldron Stirred ( Guardians of Erin, nook 1) I am certainly going to rectify that!! Meet Judith and then stick around for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from The Cauldron Stirred.

Judith, the Author 

  1. What drives you to write? An instinctive urge that’s always been with me. I wrote my first story when I was three years old. By age nine, I was writing chapter stories and elaborate scripts for my dolls to act out. Of course, I played all the parts!
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write medieval romances, The Novels of Ravenwood. During college and grad school, I studied in England, Scotland, and Sweden. I jumped on every opportunity to explore castles, monasteries, and other medieval buildings throughout Europe. The older the structure, the better! In ruin after ruin, the whispers of the past seduced me; in particular, 12th-century England. There’s also a touch of romance in my young adult paranormal fantasies, the first of which is The Cauldron Stirred.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Mostly historical romance set in the British Isles. I love England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and my first degree was in history.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I write most weekdays but try to devote my weekends to family and relaxation. It’s good for the soul and for my lower back!
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write in front of a window in my bedroom. When I need a break, I look outside at the 17th-century Witch House across the street. Salem, Massachusetts isn’t a bad place to write. This is Hawthorne country!
  2. 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 tunnelvision? I prefer quiet, but with 13-year-old twin boys, that’s a rare luxury!
  3. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?Sometimes I listen to music—film scores mostly—but I also like quiet. It might sound strange, but oftentimes, music plays in my head without the need for an outer source.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? The Cauldron Stirred (the YA paranormal fantasy) was partly inspired by travel in Ireland and paranormal events in my own life.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Plot, and I always use old-fashioned pen and paper for brainstorming and outlines. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how and why inspiration strikes. If I sit in front of blank paper with my pen poised above it, images and ideas just start to flow. Sometimes they’re connected to my own experience; other times, not. But sitting there ready and waiting seems to signal my muse.
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Passionate, empathetic, wistful.

 Judith, The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! During grad school, my Hindi professor loved the sound of my voice. He recorded me singing, then took the tape home to India, where he played the songs for his family and his pet cow. Does that qualify as unusual? If not, I can tell you I’ve always been a magnet for the paranormal.  And I’m cool with that!
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I was infatuated with a classmate when I was 10 years old, but in terms of real love, I’d have to say my husband!       We met when I was 31—and he was 25—and from day one, we knew we belonged together. He was well worth the wait!
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….That’s hard to answer, but off the top of my head, I’m torn between two: (1) my first day in Killarney; (2) the day (night, actually) when my family and I investigated the paranormal in Gettysburg.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I rarely wear makeup anymore, so I guess I’d say moisturizer.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Loving, compassionate, adventurous.\
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?       Either “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence or “Come Sail Away” by Styx.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?       Nancy Drew, and we’d solve a spellbinding mystery together. I loved those books when I was younger!

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound – howling wind
  2. Least favorite sound – motorcycles
  3. Best song every written – a tie between Mozart’s Symphony #25 in G minor and “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas
  4. Worst song ever written – Hard to say, but I’m not fond of country music.
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Christopher Lee and Katharine Hepburn
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) – Eleanor of Aquitaine. She’s a fascinating figure from the High Middle Ages, and I’d love to see her world through her eyes.
  7. What turns you on? Halloween, the sound of rustling leaves, stormy skies, ruins, ancient stones, classic movies, intelligence, humor, contemplation of the unknown, travel, foreign languages, and delicious food!
  8. What turns you off? Violence, bigotry, false accusation, hot weather, and reptiles.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I’ve had fewer first dates than most of my friends, and probably most women! I honestly don’t remember.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Exploring a historic site on a cool, cloudy day with my loved ones, followed by good food and a great movie.

The Cauldron Stirred

Ashling Donoghue never dreamed moving to Ireland would rock her perception of reality and plunge her into a mystery that brings legend to life.

At seventeen, she’s never had a boyfriend, but she feels an immediate connection to Aengus Breasal, the son of the wealthy Irishman who’s invited her family to stay at his Killarney estate.  For the first time in her life, a guy she likes seems attracted to her.

But Aengus is secretive, with good reason.  He and his family are the Tuatha Dé Danann, ageless, mythical guardians adept at shifting between this reality and the magical dimension known as the Otherworld.  Evil forces from that world threaten the Breasals, the Donoghues, and all of Ireland.  Ashling must open her heart, face her fears, and embrace a destiny greater than she could ever have imagined.

Excerpt: 

The night air was deliciously cool. Moonlight and darkness held equal sway over the backyard thanks to the shifting clouds. I dashed across the lawn and halted in the exact spot where Aengus had stood. Panting, I looked around, willing some kind of clue to materialize.

The ruins in front of me darkened as large, heavy clouds swallowed the moon whole. The wind tugged at my long, loose hair and pajamas. Tiny raindrops spattered on my nose and cheeks. I turned my palms to the sky, and cold rain pelted them.

“Great.” Intending to return to the house, I swiveled around.

I gasped. My right hand flew to my chest. “Aengus?!”

The man himself stood an arm’s length in front of me. “Why are you here?”

“You scared the crap out of me!”

“Whisht!”

“What?”

“Shush!”

Pop!

The strident sound came from the ruins. I whirled around and stared at the dark keep.

Aengus grabbed me from behind. He pulled me to him and wrapped his arms around me. I reveled in the feel of his taut body, of his warm flesh against mine.

Suddenly, everything changed. The rain stopped. The wind died. The entire landscape was bathed in the soft hue of twilight. Breasal Castle looked brand spanking new, just as it had during the bizarre dream in which I brought Aengus to the cottage. But this time, I knew I was awake.

Dumbfounded, I gawked at the medieval magnificence before me. I had no idea what had happened and no desire to pull away from his embrace.

His lips brushed my right ear, sending a shiver down my spine. “This way.”

His right arm released me, and his left slid down to my waist. Maintaining body contact the entire time, he steered me toward the stand of oaks on our right.

Once sheltered by the trees, he turned us around so we faced the castle.

“Are we hiding?” I whispered.

“We are.”

“Why? And what just happened?”

“I can’t say.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

“Both.”

Until that moment, I’d forgotten I wore pajamas. Now I was acutely aware of it. Satin was pleasing to the touch, but something told me my attire had nothing to do with his grip on me.

I looked up at him. “Not that I mind, but why are you holding me so close?”

His hand tightened on my waist. “It’s necessary.”

“I don’t suppose you can explain that, either.”

With his gaze locked on the castle, he shook his head. He pressed his right forefinger against his mouth in a silencing gesture. Then he pointed up at the keep.

High on the battlements, the black-haired woman from my dream—and from Branna’s painting—paced back and forth. Her hair whipped about her pale face and slender frame.

She paused beside a gap in the crenelated wall and glared down at the fairy mound. Her colorless lips curled into a sneer. Then her human form morphed into a dark shadow, which fragmented into what seemed a million black particles. They swarmed into the air and shot across the twilit sky, disappearing into the distance.

I took a deep breath. “So she’s real.

He nodded. “She’s real, to be sure. Come.” With his arm still hooked around me, he led me out of the woods and toward the fairy mound.

Buy Links

Amazon // Wild Rose Press //

A wee bit more about Judith:

Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons

You can connect with Judith here:

Amazon // Goodreads // FaceBook // Website

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I hate my voice, but……

Recently, I was interviewed on the national radio program, THE AUTHORS SHOW. The interviewer, Linda Thompson, has a voice made for radio. It’s rich, engaging, accent-less, and just sounds warm and welcoming. My voice? Yeah, not so much. But I’m always up for book promotion, so I did the interview and I hope the crackle and rasp emanating from my voice box doesn’t put too many people off!

The interview is 10 minutes long – not too long, but long enough that I got to answer some really terrific questions. If you have a few minutes to spare, give it a listen and let me know what you think ( about the book, NOT my voice! I already know what people think about that!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOL)


Yeah, NOT!!!!

When I’m not doing radio interviews 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 #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Sometimes, I get it right…..

You never know if what you are writing is going to be received well. It’s like a comic performing in front of an audience for the first time. He knows he’s funny. He likes his jokes, his routine, but he’s just not sure the audience is going to “get it.”

That’s typically the way I feel when I write. Is anyone going to “get it?” Are they going to understand what I mean? The intention behind the innuendo? My weird sense of humor?

Well, today I know someone got it – and a big someone at that. I received my first professional review for a story that is as near and dear to me as my own family – A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.  I’ve included a link to the review here because I sososososo want to brag about, er… share it! The review is from LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS and I’ve been hoping they would review something of mine since my first book was released. It took two years and 7 books, but they finally did and I just have to pull a Sally Field and say “she liked it! She really liked it!!!”

Here’s the link to the review LASR

Here’s a little about the book:

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

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:

After an hour of helping people move supplies from cars, I passed by mama who was carrying a humongous plastic swaddled baby Jesus statue for the crèche when she called out, “The new guy is here.”

“Where?” I put down the ladder I’d been carting and looked in the general direction of where she’d pointed her chin since her arms were full of the Lord.

I found him in an instant. It wasn’t difficult to do because he was the only guy in the parking lot I didn’t recognize who was under sixty. Plus, he was dressed head to toe in basic clergy black. Black long sleeved shirt under a black vest over black trousers and standard issue shiny black boring priest shoes.

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.

The old masters would have used him as a springboard for their work, and I could actually picture him in a Botticelli fresco, garbed in Roman robes, lounging with naked, buxom-breasted plump women surrounding him, feeding him grapes and sweetmeats.

In the time it took for a hummingbird to flap its wings once, I pictured myself as one of those women.

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

When I’m not basking in the fabulousness of this review, you can find me here:

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A 99cent Sale for the VOICES OF ANGELS before PASSION’S PALETTE releases!

I lovelovelove a good sale – especially when it’s a book I’ve been waiting for!
For the next 2 weeks, my lovely publisher, THE WILD ROSE PRESS has put THE VOICES OF ANGELS on sale for the the ecopy at just  .99Cents. If you haven’t read it yet, or any of the MAcQuire Women, here’s your lucky chance. When PASSION’S PALETTE releases on 8.4.17, and you’ve read Voices, you’ll already be an expert on the MacQuire sisters.

To whet your sale-buying appetite, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from VOICES:

Blurb:

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Excerpt:

“I…” Carly began, then stopped. “Oh, hell. I’m not good with words in situations like this.”

His laugh came quick, charmed by her nerves. “Pretty pathetic declaration for a writer.”

Carly stuck out her bottom lip in a very alluring pout. He was tempted to stop and take her mouth with his again.

“Don’t mock me. When it’s on paper I can get it right. Real life has no re-writes, no editing.”

“Granted.”

The sunlight played with the alternating auburn and fire-red highlights in her hair as they began to walk again. He was convinced no color had ever been so alive.

Carly squared her shoulders. “I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me. Concerning men.”

When he didn’t comment, she continued. “It’s only, well…I haven’t been involved with anyone since my husband died. I’ve been busy with my daughter and my writing. I haven’t met anyone I’ve been interested in, I guess.”

“Until now.”

Carly turned to look at him. Irritation crossed in her narrowed eyes. “You’re pretty sure of yourself.”

“No,” he replied. “I’m more sure of you, though.”

“Excuse me?”

Mike laughed again. He stopped and cupped her cheeks. “You’re even more beautiful when you’re angry. Your left eyebrow arches ever so slightly and your eyes turn the most incredible forest green.” He kissed her and felt her pulse trip again under his fingers.

Sale Buy Links

Amazon // WILD ROSE PRESS // Nook //

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Life is a lesson unto itself

 

I will admit this freely: I hate a preachy book. You know the kind. The book that just bleeds with not-so-hidden messages for the reader. The book that condescends to the reader, the author making sure you know he/she is so much more educated than you on the topic.

It even happens in romance books. I read a book years ago by an author who I won’t name ( and never read again!) whose secondary character was basically a doormat and let every person in the book walk all over her because she thought that’s how she deserved to be treated since she was a bastard. All through the story, her internal dialogue droned on and on about how she was unworthy of ever finding love because of this. In the end, she winds up alone and caring for the heroine’s two children. The life lesson I took away from all that drivel, and the one I really think the author intended: bastard children don’t deserve happiness.

Yeah…that’s why I’ve never read anything by this author again.

When I set out to write a book I don’t automatically think about the life lessons that should be incorporated into the story. For me, I think the story itself and how the characters move in and out of their lives, should decide this. Looking back on my books I can objectively say these have been the basic life lessons I’ve written about:

  1. Trust is earned. Every day. (First Impressions)
  2. Everyone deserves a second chance at love. (There’s No Place Like Home, The Voices of Angels)
  3. You can’t be all things to all people and you are stronger when you let people help you  (Cooking with Kandy)
  4. First Impressions aren’t always the correct ones (A Kiss Under the Christmas tree)
  5. Forgiveness is a gift (3 Wishes)
  6. Family is more than just the people you are related to (Skater’s Waltz)

I don’t preach in my books. That’s not my job. My job is to entertain the reader. If the reader gains any insight into her own life, or sees parallels within it from the storyline, then that’s a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is if I’ve insulted the reader by presenting a situation or a problem that may be comparable to something in their own life, and then telling them this is how the situation should be solved. No. Not gonna happen.

Life lessons are important. No one is denying that. I just don’t want to get slapped in the face with it when I read. And, I also don’t want to be the one slapping!

I’m sure the other authors in this blog hop are just chock full of life lessons, so why don’t you hop on over to their sites and see who they handle writing these lessons in to their own books.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Christmas in July…Bah Humbug??? Maybe not.

I’m going to be brutally honest and tell you one of the things I hate, historically, has been what’s called Christmas in July by the retail and commercial selling world. Christmas is Dec. 25 a winter holiday, so I have never understood why Hallmark and the Christmas Tree Shops, just to name 2, go bat-shit crazy during one of the hottest months of the year promoting the holiday shopping season.

Since I’ve published a Christmas-themed novel, though, my thoughts have changed. I now understand the WHY of such early promo. You want your readers to start reading and reviewing your holiday works so that when the actual dates roll around, the gift-of-a-book-buying public will choose yours, based on buzz.

I get it now. In spades.

Or maybe that’s in Christmas cookies(!)

For my Christmas in July, here’s A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS from The Wild Rose Press. The book is also up for a Contemporary  Romance Writers STILETTO AWARD this year. Keep your fingers crossed. I’m a finalist and the winners are announced on July 28!

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your holiday appetite.

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:

He came toward me and I could see every ripple of muscle, every action and reaction of his gait, every blink of his eyes, as it happened. Detailed, distinct, delicious.

The bright sun shone low due to the hour, but it haloed around his form, bathing him in light.

He looked like an angel.

A dressed-all-in-black angel, but an angel, nonetheless.

“Need some help?” he asked when he was within a foot of me.

I still hadn’t moved, my fingers cemented around the ladder rungs. I couldn’t feel them anymore. Merda, I couldn’t feel anything I was so numb from just looking at him.

But I could hear. My blood, as it river rafted crazily through my temples; my heart drumming like a heavy metal band in my chest.

And his voice. Mio Dio, his voice.

When I was six I had a terrible chest cold. Wheezing, choking on phlegm, unable to cough anything up. The doctor told mama to keep me warm and hydrated and the cold would ride itself out in time. Nonna Constanza, ancient even when I was a kid, scoffed and prescribed her own old world remedy. She sat me in her lap, cooing to me with her singsong voice and held a tiny shot glass up to my lips coaxing, “Tu bevi, Gia bambina. Tu Bevi.”

Drink, Gia baby. Drink.

She tilted the glass back into my mouth and I did. I drank every drop.

I don’t remember much after because Daddy told me I slipped into a mini-coma for about sixty-two hours, bombed out of my head from the anisette nonna had dosed me with.

But this is what I do remember. The amber colored liquor slipped down the inside of my mouth to the back of my throat and onward into my belly, tasting of melted marshmallows and warming each place it touched like a million little hits of heat popping everywhere inside me. When it reached my tummy it settled and dug in, filling my senses with the sweet flavor of mama’s Sunday morning caramel rolls and sugar.

That’s what his voice sounded like: warm and sweet, thick, delicious, and soothing.

My entire body relaxed when I heard it. My paralysis flew and my frozen-in-place digits melted.

He’d held my stare the entire time, never wavering, never becoming distracted by something else. He looked straight at me; just me. Like a missile dead-eye-aimed for a target.

“Here,” he said, moving in closer, so close I could make out the actual color of his eyes now. I’d thought they were dark and from far away and they were. But seeing them now, face-to-face, I spotted little flecks of yellow and slivery shards of gold mixed into the center and surrounded by a ring of deep, rich, mink.

If his voice was warm and soothing, his eyes were hot enough to singe, and mama mia, I wanted to be burned.

Buy LInks: Amazon //WRP // Nook // Kobo //

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

RWA – from a different viewpoint

Today, I’m over on the Contemporary Romance Writers blog talking about the upcoming RWA conference. I’ve include dthe text here if you don’t want to follow the link.

Here’s the text:

A few weeks ago, I blogged about what to do if you’re attending the Annual RWA conference for the very first time. Being a first-time attendee can be daunting and overwhelming. So many fabulous courses to choose from; the amazing publishing spotlights; the free books, oh Lord, the free books. That moment when you realize your favorite author of all time is in the same elevator as you.

It’s all heady stuff and those of us who are conference veterans know the feeling well. Which is why I want to concentrate on us old timers today and what I think our responsibilities should be when we attend the conference.

My very first RWA was in San Antonio in 2015. First timers are given an actual stick-on to place on their name badges stating they are first timer conference attendees. Like everyone else, I attached my badge banner after registration. I was standing by an escalator nervously trying not to look conspicuous and awkward in my solitariness the next day, when author Shirley Jump approached me and introduced herself. She stated she was an RWA Board Member and asked how I was liking my first conference. She asked what I wrote, was I published, what chapter did I belong to, all questions that engaged me in conversation and put me at ease. She was absolutely charming, lovely, and (if you’ve never seen her) gorgeous. She made me feel so special, I went about the rest of the day feeling less like a fish out of water.

Knowing that she took the time to reach out to me, a total stranger, to welcome me to RWA and to encourage me to take advantage of the parties, courses and workshops, gave me such a feeling of acceptance and belonging.

The next year, as a seasoned conference attendee now (LOL) I remembered that encounter and did the same thing Shirley did: I reached out to several people who had first timer banners on their badges. I introduced myself and then engaged them in conversation about their experience the same way Shirley had.

It felt marvelous to reach out that way. I met three women who were much the same age as me, who were at that point in their lives where they wanted to devote themselves to their writing more and were attending the conference to network, see what was happening in the industry, and take advantage of some of the fabulous workshops and courses. They even asked me advice on publishing. Imagine. Me!

Ego-boosting stuff to be sure.

Every year since then I’ve made it my business to connect like that with first timers. And every year I’ve made more writing friends because of it.

Every one of us who write has at one time or another felt that solitary, awkward, what-am-I-doing-here feeling. RWA is a supportive community of writers in all phases of their publishing careers and we should embrace one another on all those levels. A smile and a word of encouragement go a long way when someone is feeling out of place or overwhelmed. So, I’m challenging all of us RWA seasoned members to reach out this year to a first-time conference attendee and welcome them into the community we all love so much. You just may make a novice writer’s day. And conference.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Less than a month away!

On August 4, 207 my fifth MacQuire Women book, PASSION’S PALETTE gets released in the romance book reading world from The Wild Rose Press! I’m so thrilled. I want to share another little snippet from the pages with you today to whet your appetites ( I hope!)

PASSION’S PALETTE
Blurb: 

Portrait Artist Serena MacQuire is talented, witty, and 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. Relationship-shy and dedicated to his work as an animal healer, the last thing the divorced Veterinarian is looking for when he moves to town is love. 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 cures her broken heart?

 

Excerpt:

Gingerly, Serena traced the scar lining his mouth down to his chin with her finger, then replacing it with her lips and tongue.

His breath hissed at the touch. “Serena—”

“How did you get this?” she asked.

Sighing, he laid his forehead against hers. “It’s a stupid story,” he said.

“That just means it’s embarrassing,” she said, grinning. “Tell me.”

He rolled over on his back and curled her into his side, her head resting on his chest.

“I was helping my dad and mom renovate another house when I was fifteen. They’d given me the job of restoring the banister leading to the second story. It was a lot of responsibility, and I was determined to do a good job since they’d put their trust in me.”

“I get the feeling you were always a responsible kid.”

He considered it for a moment. “Maybe. But we’d moved around a lot by then and I think I really just wanted the house to be so perfect they would finally settle and put down roots. It was hard, always packing up and moving, changing schools. Luckily I had football, was good at it, so wherever we’d wind up I always had an entrée.”

“I can just picture you,” she said with a grin. “Tall and gangly. All arms and legs. Like a monkey.”

His mouth pursed into a thin line. “Do you want to hear this or not?”

With a giggle, she kissed his chin. “I do.”

He took a deep breath. “Fifteen year old boys have two things on their minds ninety-nine percent of the time.”

“I know one is food,” Serena said “My sister’s, well I guess you can call him her step-son, Cole, is fourteen and he eats without stopping. David’s like a teenager, maturity-wise, so same goes.”

Nodding, Seamus trailed his fingers down her bare arm. “That’s one.”

“And the other?”

He didn’t answer her for a moment and she sat up on an elbow to stare down at him. “Oh, my God, are you blushing?”

He rolled his eyes. “Men don’t blush. The other is girls. Or more specifically, sex with girls.”

Her laughter flittered up to the canopy above them. “You have to tell me the rest of it now, or my imagination’s not going to let up.”

He squinted up at her and in one fluid motion, rolled both of them on the blanket, landing on top of her.

“Carolyn Needleman.”

“What a horrible name.” She laughed.

“Her name could have been Attila the Hun for all I cared. She was seventeen, built like a Playboy bunny and had legs that went from heaven and back again.”

“I hate her already.”

“Yeah, well, at the time I was seriously in lust with her. Her house was next door to the one we were rehabbing and she would come over whenever I was there working, to talk.”

“Just talk?”

“Well, she talked. I stared. Open mouthed, most of the time. At her breasts.”

“I really hate her now.”

He grinned down at her. “She had world class breasts. Even at seventeen.”

Serena socked him in the bicep. “Back to the scar, Romeo.”

Wanting her more with every passing second, he said, “I was sanding the banister, getting all the old varnish and stain off it, when she came by. She had on a bikini top and Daisy Duke cut offs shorter than most underpants. My hormones were blasting. I shut off the electric sander and, not thinking, plunked it down on the saw horse I had on the staircase with me.”

“And?”

“This is the stupid part. The sawhorse wasn’t very stable and I forgot about the hammer sitting on the plank. When the sander bumped next to it, it kind of careened the hammer up into the air.”

“Oh, my God.”

“I know it all happened in a few seconds, but it seemed like hours watching the hammer take flight, twist and come at me, the jagged edge facing me. It caught the corner of my mouth and as I tried to move out of the way, it tore at my face.”

Seamus. Good grief, what did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything. I must have been in shock. My mother, unfortunately, watched the whole thing happen and couldn’t stop it. She screamed for my father and they hustled me into the car and to the nearest emergency room.”

Serena’s fingers came up and traced the scar again.

“Thirty stitches later and with a stern warning from my folks about safety and paying attention, here we are.”

“What happened with Carolyn Needleman?”

He smiled, slowly, remembering how she’d come by his house the next day bearing ice cream and, in an attempt to make him feel better, allowing him to play with her exceptional breasts.

“I don’t like the implications of that smile,” Serena said. “Tell me.”

He shrugged. “She went off to college in the fall and I never saw her again.”

One eyebrow crawled dangerously close to her hairline. “Why am I not convinced that’s all there is?”

“It’s my story and I’m sticking with it,” he said, bringing his lips down to hers.

Buy Links:

Wild Rose Press /// Amazon

and when I’m not writing, you can find me here:

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