Tag Archives: life choices

#SundaySnippet 1.13.19

Continuing with the old school theme, here’s a little something from my second book, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME from The WIld Rose Press.

This scene is a long one, but it shows how much the relationship between these 2 friends is strong and loving.

Blurb:

Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.

Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her – and with him – forever?

She couldn’t read the expression in his eyes as he nodded, and turned to go.
Moira felt an intense overwhelming emptiness engulf her when he left. She started to open the front door but stopped when Quentin abruptly turned back and started up the porch steps again.

“I forgot something,” he told her.

“What?”

When he came up the last step and crossed to her, he said, “this,” and without another word pulled her into his arms.

Her first and last coherent thought was her best friend was going to kiss her goodnight. After a heartbeat, she forgot the best friend part and knew down to her toes friendship had nothing to do with this.

His lips slid across her mouth, soft and gentle, testing, tasting. Moira’s mind went blank as she succumbed to the sensation of them, hot and hard, pressing against hers in a kiss like none he’d ever given her before. Slowly, he traced her bottom lip with the tip of his tongue, silently asking her to open for him. When she did, he entered her mouth and began to explore, each movement becoming more demanding, more insistent. Moira fell against him, fisting his jacket lapels to steady herself. When she felt his heartbeat pounding under her hands, she grew lightheaded with need. Quentin framed her face with his fingertips, softly tugging down on her chin, changing the angle of the kiss.

She’d been kissed before, but never, never with such all consuming need and longing. She heard a deep moan and was shocked to realize the sound had escaped from her. One of Quentin’s hands left her face to slide down her back. When he pushed against her backside and molded her body to his, Moira’s stomach jumped. This time, though, it wasn’t with the painful contractions she’d come to expect, but with a heart- stopping craving.

A craving for him.

She unfurled her hands from his jacket and, without thought, wound them upwards, weaving them over his shirt collar and up through his hair. She grabbed onto the ends, pulled his head down closer, and held on fast.

All aspect of time was lost. Nothing mattered but the delicious feel of his strong hands caressing her back and the taste of him as his tongue mated with hers.

This couldn’t be happening. It had to be a dream.

But no dream had ever made her want like this, feel like this. When he skimmed his lips across her jaw and down her throat, stopping to take her lobe into his mouth, Moira knew this wasn’t a dream. That same feeling she’d had when she looked at him in the movie steeped through her again, tickling her stomach muscles. With a jolt, she realized the sensation was desire. Pure and simple.

Quentin pulled back and stared down into her face. With a heavy sigh, he laid his forehead against hers, a small grin tugging at the corners of his lips. “I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long. So damn long.”

“Q—?”

He traced one finger lazily down her jaw and across the lips he’d just caressed, silencing her. “Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded. She licked her lips, running her tongue across his caressing finger. The hiss that blew from him made her thighs shake.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you may now kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around, and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

Moira tried to conjure the scene. “I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever going to kiss me like that.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then,” he said, rubbing a hand down her back as he held her next to him in the soft lamplight from the porch. The soothing, rhythmic smoothing of his hand made every nerve on Moira’s body stand at attention.

“Later on that day, behind the barn, remember what happened then?”

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she merely nodded, he traced a kiss across the area he’d just caressed, and said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you—quote—felt safe with me—unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?” she said, finally finding her voice, and unnerved to hear it whining.

“Thirteen. We both were, and I was more than willing to do it. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

His lips twitched at the corners when he said it, and Moira felt the warmth of her blush intensify.

“Q—”

“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hand resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”

“And conceited.”

“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”

 

Intrigued? You can find a copy – where most of them are on sale even as I post this – here:

Buy Links:

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

and as always, you can find me here if you need me:

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

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

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, MacQuire Women, Romance, There's No Place Like Home, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Choices, choices!

 

Paperback, ebook or audio?

Which do you like best? I’m going to answer that question backward. Why? Just listen…

I’ve never been able to listen to an audio book without my attention wandering.

When we first moved to New England ( and even still to this day) we would travel to NYC to visit relatives frequently via car. My husband is the main driver in the family, so I have always been relegated to the front seat passenger side. You can only talk so much in a car before it gets: distracting, boring, tiring, so that means I usually need something to pass the 4+ hours ( without traffic) it takes to get to our destination. I tried listening to audio books when we first started these treks. Five minutes in my mind would start to wander or drift, or I’d slip into sleep. Just listening to someone’s voice – no matter how riveting the book was reported to be – was mind numbing to me. So, not a fan of audiobooks.

 

I had an original Kindle. You know, like ten years ago when it costs $300+ dollars!!

Again, I purchased it mainly because we travel so much and carting heavy books around, because I like to read hardbacks, was getting to be too much in luggage weight. I took the Patricia Cornwall book Scarpetta to England and the flight attendant said I had to stow it because it was so heavy! SO the Kindle seemed perfect. And I do love my Kindle. I have my account and the app uploaded on all my devices from phone to computer to iPad so I am always able to read wherever I am.

But….

There is just something about a book.

I love the way a library and an old book store smells. No, not musty and damp!!! But like you just sense down to your bones the millions of words and pages living in those places. I like holding a book, especially if I’m sitting down in a cozy, favorite chair, by a  warm fire on a cold day. I fully realize it’s wicked easier holding a Kindle when you are standing in line waiting to get on an airplane, or on the subway, and that’s another reason I love my Kindle: ease of holding. If I read my Kindle before bed, though, my brain tends to not shut down easily. A battery of psychologists did testing that postulated this is because the pixels and the other cyber stuff of devices forces your brain to stay awake by stimulating it. Reading a regular book, on the other hand, is calming to your brain.

Ahhh, a book….turnable pages filled with inky thoughts and ideas…something solid, that has weight – both in ounces and substance(!)

SO for me, it’s never really a contest – a real book all the time. ( With Kindle a close second!)

Stop by the other authors in the Blog Challenge and see how they like to read….

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

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.

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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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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Romance, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

Evolving Romance reader….

When I was a teenager ( 175 years ago!), my taste in, and selection of, romance books was a tad different from what it is today. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers were my top reads back in the day and this little sheltered Catholic girl learned a whole lot about love, sex, and romance ( you thought I was gonna say Rock and Roll, admit it!) from those talented writers. In a world before the Internet, cell phones, reality TV and fame for fame’s sake, these books educated me in the ways of seduction, foreplay, and the real difference between men and women. Being transported back to the times when manners mattered, words could be used to seduce or slay, and women came to a marriage bed untouched and unknowing was fun to read.

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Flash forward to the present day and I’m invested in, and now  read a, different kind of romance story. While Regency tales of naughty noblemen and lascivious Lords are still fun for me to loose myself in, I know all about sex now, firsthand (!) so my eyes don’t need to be opened from reading about it, and I have a different perspective on what I want to read in today’s romance book.

Contemporary romantic fiction runs the gamut from sweet (no sex) tales of Amish women finding their true loves, to mild ( some sex, bedroom door closed) stories of women embarking on new life challenges; from sensual (sex with bedroom door wide open) stories of women discovering the meaning of their lives, to spicy (LOTS of sex in every place imaginable!) tales of women who are discovering their sexual – and personal – identities.

The common denominator in all the books I like to read now? The word contemporary.

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I lovelovelove reading about present day women of any age who are struggling, trying to make a better life, wondering if they will ever find their own happily ever after. Contemporary women in the here and now are my tribe. They live their lives with passion, fight for the ideas they believe in, aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and would do anything for, and sacrifice everything for,  the people they love. The men they let into their hearts may not always be deserving of such a place of honor in the beginning of the tale, but by the end of it, my contemporary girls have brought about a profound change in them – and in herself – that it facilitates their lifetime love. Their own happily ever after.

The contemporary romances I read – I will freely admit – run from sensual to spicy. Unlike when I was growing up, women can have sex freely these days without the dread of being burned at the stake ( don’t laugh – it happened), without fear of being abandoned by family and society, and without worry about getting pregnant – although this last one is a popular romantic trope to this day ( the unplanned OOPS baby).  They can engage in behavior that at one time would have lead to their banishment from society, their public censure, and their economic downfall. And they can have fun doing it now. Some of my favorite books to read are romantic comedies where the laughs equal the sexy parts, measure for measure.

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In my youth, the heroines I read fell into a very small category: ladies of noble birth or not. No in between. No shopkeepers, governesses, scullery maids.

Today, the heroines I read about are brilliant doctors, powerful lawyers, CEO’s of their own companies, tech executives. They are  nurses, teachers, veterinary techs, bus drivers, race car enthusiasts, television producers. And they are stay-at-home moms, policewomen. writers. They are all the women I know.

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So, in the past several decades I can truly say I have evolved as a romance reader.

But I have to admit I still love a Regency rake!

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Since I love contemporary romances, here’s where you can find the ones I write – stories about strong women, the families who support them, and the men  who can’t live without them. Amazon author page

 

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.

Blurb:

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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.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Historical Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Serendipity? You betcha!

Take a look at these 2 photos:

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The one on the left is hanging on my bedroom wall. I bought it right before I got married 175 years(!)  ago in a little shop in NYC.  I loved the whole Victoria/Regency aspect of it. I believe it’s called Signing the Registry. The one on the right I took as a screenshot when I was recently on the treadmill – you can see my slow progress in the numbers above the photo. This picture I grabbed out of a scene from LOVE BENEATH THE COVERS a  documentary about the Romance Publishing business. It was shown at the #RWA16 conference last week in San Diego, but I couldn’t attend due to a prior engagement, so I rented it on i-Tunes for my daily treadmill tortur…um…exercise. You will notice they are one and the same picture of an 18th century marriage license signing ceremony.

Why is this significant, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

Every now and again my Guardian angels/karma/the universe ( call it what you like) deems it proper to remind me that I made the appropriate choice to retire early and devote myself to full time writing. Seeing this picture which I have always loved and always will, displayed not only in my home, but in a film about the romance writing industry, proves to me I’ve made the correct choices for my career path these past 2 years.

So…serendipity, much? You betcha!!

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.

Blurb:

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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.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor