Tag Archives: Halloween

Apple Picking with Cleary’s – Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop


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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a little snippet of that scene:

“Come on. Let’s pick.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hop Authors and rafflecopter prizes






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

Post Conference thoughts….

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



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

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


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





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

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

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

I sosososo plan on being there!

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

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

Snarkology Halloween Hop – Pumpkins Everywhere!

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015

WELCOME to the 2015 Snarkology Halloween Hop. From now until October 31 ( Halloween, anyone?!) click here to Follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes plus, visit almost 70 authors, all with a Halloween story to tell. And don’t forget to enter for a chance at a rafflecopter prize. Just click the highlighted rafflecopter word in the previous sentence to be entered.

FALL is my absolute favorite time of the year, bar none. I live in New England,  home of Leaf Peeping Season, re-enactments of the Salem Witch Trials, and apple picking – just to name a very few.

There’s nothing better to me than apple picking at a local farm once the fruit is ripe and ready, or carving a series of  Halloween pumpkins into gruesome and scary faces. I live in a town that has the distinction of being the Guinness World record holder for a number of  years for the most lit jack-o-lanterns at one time, an event we natives call “The Pumpkin Festival.



My daughter was just 5 when we attended our very first Pumpkin Festival. We met tourists from all over the United States, who’d come in for the three-day weekend/event to help us crack the Guinness Record.  And we did. And then went on for several more years to hold- and increase-the record.

During one Presidential political campaign year, George Bush ( 43) came with a carved pumpkin and added it to our count. On the dozens of towers set about our downtown you could find any sort of carving from intricate, professionally artist-carved ones to kindergartener simplistic ones with happy triangular cut-outs.pumpkin6  At twilight, all the pumpkins were lit with votive candles, and then the official count was done by the Guinness representatives. As these pictures show, 30,000+ lit jack-o-lanterns is an amazing sight to behold.pumpkin 5

The Pumpkin festival was a source of unending pride for our little ‘burg because it united all of us from every political party, religious persuasion, age, ethnic background, and economic class in an event that not only increased our tourism rate by the thousandth-fold, but also served as a beacon for all our citizens, and a source of civic self-respect. My town truly became a unified community for those three days in October.

As I said, I love the fall and I love New England, so  for those reasons, I set my newest book FIRST IMPRESSIONS in the autumn season. There’s apple picking, pie making, and even a Red Sox game depicted in the novel. The cover art is simply the best illustration of this season for me: Two lovers, kissing, in an apple orchard in September. If that isn’t swoon-worthy, I don’t know what is!

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Autumn in the North East…does it get any better???



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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, love, MacQuire Women, New Hampshire, Romance, Strong Women