Tag Archives: Romance series

#SundaySnippet week 3, 1.20.19

SO today I’m giving you  a little something from my 3rd book in the MacQuire Women series, FIRST IMPRESSIONS. I have to admit, this is my favorite book in the series. I know you’re not supposed to have a favorite – it’s like your kids: you love them all equally, but in truth, this book was a joy for me to write. Pat Cleary was the first fully formed male character that ever came into my mind. I didn’t need to think about him at all – one day he just stood in front of me, fully formed. Love that. Anyway. Here’s a little scene between him and the woman he’s rapidly losing his heart to, Clarissa Rogers.

“Clarissa? Follow my voice to the treatment rooms,” Pat called.

She found him standing at an exam table, a wide box on top of it. His white lab coat stretched taut against his substantial shoulders, giving her a full view of their width along with his trim waist. The coat grazed the back of his knees. His back was to her and he appeared to be holding something in his hands, close to his chest. He was speaking softly, the soothing timbre in his voice reminding her of how he’d sounded when he’d spoken with her after Teeny died: gentle, calm, reassuring. The sound of his deep voice shot a bullet of desire straight to her core.

“Are you all alone here?” she asked, as she came into the spacious workroom.

“My evening staff went to get something to eat. They’ll be back in a few minutes.”

He turned to her and she saw what was cradled in his hands.

Oh.” She all but flew across the room.

His grin was so boyish, so rakish, she physically had to tear her gaze from his face back to the tiny kitten resting in his arms.

“Cute, isn’t she?” Pat held her up by the scruff of her neck to show Clarissa. “She and her sibs were brought in this afternoon by one of my clients.”

“Why?” Clarissa’s fingertips longed to hold the little darling.

As if reading her mind, Pat said, “Here, take her.” He placed the squirming little bundle gently into her outstretched hands. Immediately, Clarissa pulled the kitten to her chest and began stroking its chin. A motorboat of purring churned from within the tiny creature, bringing an instant smile to both humans in the room.

“To answer your question,” Pat said, watching them, “he was out driving and saw a box on the side of the road. When he stopped, he found eight of them, four males, four females, abandoned. The mother was nowhere in sight. He knows we board and foster strays until homes can be found, so he brought them to me.”

“How could someone leave them on the side of the road?” Clarissa asked, her fingers never stopping their gentle caresses of the kitten’s neck. “They could have been hit by a car. Or worse.”

Pat shrugged. “Happens all the time. A cat has a litter and the owners can’t, or won’t, take care of them. It’s the reason we foster. And why I asked you to come down here.”

When she looked back to him, she could see a question in his eyes. “Pat?”

“Hear me out,” he said, putting his hands on her upper arms. Like a bolt of lightning striking, his touch zoomed all the way through her. “The kittens are too young right now to adopt. We need to get them hydrated, nourished and neutered. My guess is they’re about three weeks old. Four, tops. Without a mother to socialize them, they need extra care here first. Then they’ll need to be acclimated. This is where I’m hoping you’ll come in.” He removed his hands and stroked a finger down the cat’s neck.

“What do you mean?”

“When they’re ready to go, I’m hoping you’ll take this one to foster. You don’t need to adopt her, and I’m not asking you to. But we’ve found when animals are placed in good homes during developing periods, they adapt better when they’re adopted out. I can’t think of a better person to socialize and foster a kitten then you, Clarissa.”

Touched more than she could ever have thought to be by a statement with such thoughtfulness, Clarissa found herself tightening her hold on the kitten and loosening the grip on her heart.

Without a thought to what it would entail by having a new kitten in her life, the time consumption, the routine kitten messes she’d need to clean, Clarissa followed her heart and said, “Yes.”

Pat’s smile widened. “I was really hoping you’d agree.”

“How can I not?” She pulled the kitten to face level and planted a sweet kiss to its nose. Striking gray-blue eyes, peered at her from barely-opened lids. A tiny yowl burst from her and morphed into a wide, mouth- broadening yawn. The kitten shook its head back and forth a few times, its entire body going with the motion and then stretched its front and back paws wide. Clarissa laughed, looked up at Pat and her heart stopped. His pupils had dilated to the point where she could barely make out the ripe color in the irises. His mouth was slightly parted, and she could see his chest rising underneath his lab coat. With his fingers still scratching at the kitten’s neck, he bent his head toward her.

Every nerve in her body went on high alert. She knew he was going to kiss her and all she could think was: Yes, please.

With the kitten buffering their bodies, Pat brought his head down, stopping for the merest of moments to gaze across her face. She didn’t know what he was looking for, but whatever it was, must have pleased him because he put his lips to hers. It was the briefest of touches, his mouth sliding along hers in a gentle caress. His breath, moist and warm, drifted over her as he let it out. Neither closed their eyes, as if not to miss a moment of the encounter. On a whisper, he said her name. His hands rose up her arms, wound around her neck and rested on either side of her face. Cupping her cheeks, he rubbed her mouth with the pad of his thumb. Clarissa’s tongue grazed across it and his breath whistled out between his lips. In the next second his mouth came back to hers and took it again. This time there was no hesitation.

His fingers gently turned her head. With a tiny tug on her chin he swiped at her bottom lip with his tongue, waiting for her response. She needed no further request. Her own lips parted, and when his tongue entered her mouth she tilted her head backward giving him free access.

He tasted like nothing she’d ever tasted before. Spicy. Bold. Vibrant. His tongue pulled hers into his mouth as he expertly twined it with his own. If she hadn’t been leaning up against him, Clarissa knew she would have dropped to her knees from the jolt pounding through her at his touch.

His lips pressed against hers, the tantalizing way his fingers rubbed across her cheeks, the sound of his breathing as it grew more rapid and coarse when he deepened the kiss, was almost too much for her to wrap her analytical mind around.

So she didn’t. She simply kissed him back.

Intrigued? Here’s where you can get a copy – and a hint: the ebooks are on sale right now! So what are you waiting for? Hee hee

Amazon // WIld Rose Press // B&N // Kobo // google play //walmart // books-a-million

and find me here:

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 First Impressions, MacQuire Women

A New title in the #DeerbourneInnSeries #Author Linda Carroll-Bradd

I’m so pleased to present the next addition to the Wild Rose Press Deerbourne Inn Series, FREEDOM’S PATH by multi-published author, Linda Carroll-Bradd. This  title is an historical novella, centered around the Civil War, circa 1855. Linda recently gave me a little insight into how the plot for the story came to be and I’m sharing that today.

The story behind the story

When my children were young, I was an avid quilter and attended monthly meetings and subscribed to magazines. I started out with a large quilt on a frame, which took up too much room in our small house. That bed quilt became a wall hanging, and after I had two kids, I switched to lap quilting, which involved a smaller frame. By the time I was pregnant with the third, I worked on only one block at a time. At some point, I read about quilts being used as signals for the Underground Railroad. I stored away that tidbit as writer do but didn’t pursue it until I came across a book by the title of Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad. I read that book and a firsthand account of a man who served on the railroad titled The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, and the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Underground Railroad, which included a fictional account of what an escaping slave might have experienced.

Learning about the role women played in this moral dilemma from as early as the 1820s and 1830s helped bring the heroine to life in my mind. As I researched maps of the actual routes, I crossed my fingers and was thankful a known path cut through Vermont–an essential for the story to be included in the Deerbourne Inn series. Figuring out the role of the hero was easy because I cast him as her worst nightmare–a soldier hunting down abolitionist activity in her town. With Colin and Sidonie on opposite sides of the controversial issue in 1855, I had no trouble developing the plot that I hope readers find interesting.

Title: Freedom’s Path by  Linda Carroll-Bradd

Can an abolitionist and an Army Corporal find middle ground over the emotional subject of slavery in pre-Civil war Vermont?

 Working as a maid in the Deerbourne Inn gives freedom-fighter Sidonie Demers the perfect cover for helping escaping slaves travel farther along the Underground Railroad. The patterns in her quilts serve as messages directing them to the safest route. The cause is a personal one for octoroon Sidonie whose mother and grandmother escaped bondage years earlier.

Army Corporal Colin Crawford arrives in Willow Springs, in disguise as a salesman, to ferret out abolitionist activity. Raised in a state that forbids slavery, he’s conflicted about upholding the Fugitive Slave Act but believes in laws and fulfilling his duty.

The attraction between Colin and Sidonie is evident and irresistible, but what will happen when their true identities are revealed?

Excerpt:

As he waited for Kevyn’s footsteps to fade, Colin finished his tart. His mind whirled with a topic that he worried might be too forward. After a swallow of coffee, he angled his head and met her gaze. “I saw how you broke that man’s hold. Smart move.”

Eyes wide, she gasped, rested a hand on the table edge, and crouched next to the end. “Oh, please don’t tell Missus Deerbourne that I stomped on a guest’s foot.” Her dark brows drew together. “I’m not sure she’d view my action in the same way you do.”

Her response rankled. Wasn’t the innkeeper concerned for the safety of her workers? He wished he could offer comfort by covering her hand with his. “Can you not carry a small knife in a pocket to protect yourself?”

A laugh escaped as she shook her head then gripped the band of her hat and pulled it lower on her forehead. “Not an appropriate accessory for someone in my position.”

Colin disliked the idea of her being vulnerable to a man’s mauling. “The foot stomp can take a man by surprise, but often not for long enough to effect an escape. Might I demonstrate another move that guarantees a longer distraction?” He sorted through the various moves involved in his ranger tactical training for the one most effective to someone her size. Leverage was what was needed to counter a larger foe.

“I am eager to learn.” She set the tray on the table. “What do I have to do?”

Bracing both hands on the table, he pushed himself to a stand and took a couple steps away from the bench. “Walk toward me like you’re about to grab my arms.”

A blush rose in her cheeks, and she averted her gaze. “Oh, I couldn’t, Mister Crawford.”

Her modesty produced a chuckle. “Miss Demers, don’t worry. You won’t hurt me. Remember, you’re learning a new skill.”

After a nod, she stepped forward with her arms outstretched and fingers spread wide. “Like this?”

“Keep walking.” He balanced his weight on the balls of his feet. When she came within reach, he grabbed the thumb of her left hand and bent it backward.

“Ow.” She contorted her body, back arching in the opposite direction.

He knew her movements were instinctual, with her body acting on reflex to reduce the pressure. “See how you moved to get away from the pain.” He released his hold with reluctance, because he’d enjoyed the slide of her soft palm in his.

Buy Links: Amazon // Barnes&Noble //  The Wild Rose Press 

A little about Linda:

As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication–a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.

Linda’s Links:

Blog //Facebook //Twitter //Goodreads // Amazon // BoobBub // Newsletter  Signup//

 

 

And don’t miss the first two book in the Deerbourne Inn Series, By Reservation Only and Hope’s Dream

 

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Filed under The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Old hat at this…I think not

So, tomorrow my newest addition to the MacQuire Women Series, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME is released. It is a scant two months since book 1, SKATER’S WALTZ went out into the book reading universe and you might think I am still basking in the wonderful-ness of the first release and that this new one is sort of taking a back burner to it.

Yeah, NO!

I feel as excited and giddy today as I did on March 3. ANY book, any work, any story I have sent into the world for public consumption has thrilled me. To know that tomorrow people will be reading about Quentin and Moira and how they fell in love is beyond exciting for me. The personal responses I have received from people who have read the first book is humbling and mind blowing. Even my father in law read it and I know he did because he was able to discuss things that happened in the book!!!

I remember my mother in law once told me she loved my husband ( her firstborn) so much she didn’t know if she had any love left over for another child. But when her first daughter was born, she realized a mother’s love knows no bounds or limits. She loved each child equally and thoroughly.

That’s the way I feel about my new release. I love the story and the people in it as much as I loved the first one.

So, I hope if you read There’s No Place like Home you will feel the same way I do.

Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:

“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded.

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

“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 gonna kiss me.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then.” He rubbed a hand down her back as he held her. “Remember what happened later on behind the barn?

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she nodded again, he 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?”

“Thirteen. And I was more than willing. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

“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 hands 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.”

Get your copy here or order it at your local bookstore:

Buy Links for THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1J1f3OZ

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1GmM1Je

Barnes and Noble Nook : http://bit.ly/1JjMUG7

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, There's No Place Like Home