Tag Archives: Siblings

#Sisters….the gift that continues to keep on giving, Part 2

Yesterday, I shared a sister scene from book 1 of the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, Cooking with Kandy between, oldest sister Kandy Laine and her younger -by three years -sister, Gemma. In book 2, A SHOT AT LOVE, Gemma is now the heroine of the story. Kandy’s influence is never far from her mind and actions, though. This scene takes place in a cabin. Even though she is hundreds of miles away from her sister, Kandy is still taking care of her younger sister…and everyone else it seems.

From A SHOT AT LOVE

“Kandy sent some of the soup she’s featuring in the new restaurant, along with stuff to make her grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it,” Rick told her when she opened the refrigerator. “There’s a container of it on the second shelf.”

Gemma opened the tub and took a whiff. “Hmmm. Grandma’s tomato cream. Yummy.”

“Your sister is opening a restaurant?” Ky asked. He moved to the kitchen behind her, helping to take down dishes and utensils from the cabinets. Just being physically close to her again brightened the foul mood darkening his soul from everything he and Bannerman had discovered so far.

“Several, actually,” Gemma said. She filled a pot with the zesty smelling soup and placed it on the stove. “The first one opens in a month in Tribeca. Another in Orlando in the fall and then L.A. in January.”

“Impressive.”

“No. Kandy.” Gemma lifted her shoulders. “This has been her dream since she was a kid, although she never told it to anyone until recently. A restaurant featuring only comfort foods, the kind we all had and loved as kids.”

“An interesting premise.”

She nodded and began slathering bread slices with butter. “No lie. This soup,” she pointed to the pot, “is without a doubt the best tomato soup you will ever have. Hands down.”

“Truth,” Bannerman said.

“What makes it so special?”

Gemma’s quick grin had him hard as stone and wanting in a heartbeat. “The showman in Kandy will tell you it’s made with love added into every cup, but it’s really the mix grandma perfected of spices and herbs, plus the fact she uses almond milk as the cream, and not cow’s milk. Grandma was a pioneer when it came to using plant products for baking sauces instead of dairy ones.”

The soup started to warm, it’s enticing aroma filling the kitchen.

“I wasn’t hungry until just this moment,” Ky said, sniffing the air.

Gemma laughed and said, “Wait until you taste the grilled cheese.” She laid two sandwiches onto the griddle. “You’ll think you’ve died and gone to comfort food heaven.”

A few minutes later the three of them sat at the table.

The only sounds for a while were them sipping the soup and chewing.

“You didn’t exaggerate,” Ky said, wiping his lips with a napkin. “This truly is the best soup I’ve ever had. Think your sister will give me the recipe for my mother?”

“Not a chance in a gazillion, but she can come into the restaurant anytime and have some.” Her lips lifted at the corners.

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Who couldn’t love a sister who sends food to wherever you are???

When I’m not writing about sisters and families, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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#Sisters…the gift that keeps on giving

I’ve mentioned many times that I’m an only child. And that I hated being one. Still do. I think the reason I write about big families with multiple siblings is because that’s what I wanted when I was younger….still do! I love writing about sisters, especially. Older and younger sisters. I haven’t written twin sisters yet, but I intend to. I just need to do some research first.

Anyway…

Sisters. In my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, there are 7 Laine sisters. Kandy is the oldest, Eleanor the youngest. Their parent’s volatile divorce left each of them scarred in different ways, and, like with anyone, some of the sisters are closer to one another than others. It’s that way for Kandy and Gemma, who is 3 years younger than Kandy. In the first book COOKING WITH KANDY, Gemma is her older sisters’ principal photographer. She does all of Kandy’s publicity shots and has photographed all her best-selling award-winning cookbooks. Gemma is a true visionary in her own right, and in book 2  A SHOT AT LOVE, we see her evolution since Kandy’s show ended.

Today I want to give you a little glimpse at their dynamic. From COOKING WITH KANDY, here’s a snippet of how the sisters react to one another.

“What’s going on with you and the hunk?” Gemma asked as she helped Kandy carry the leftover cake back into the kitchen.

“What are you talking about?”

“The two of you have been walking around each other on eggshells all day. I noticed it the second I got here. What happened?”

“Why do you think anything’s happened?”

“Stop answering me with questions, Kandace Sophia, and tell me what’s going on. I know you like I know the lighting stops on my camera. Have the two of you slept together?”

No.” The explosion echoed in the kitchen. “For goodness’ sake, Gem, what do you take me for?”

She shot her sister a cool, smug smirk. “A fool if you haven’t. I’d fall into bed with him in a heartbeat if he asked me.” When her sister’s mouth fell open, Gemma added, “Don’t be mad at me for the truth.”

She took Kandy’s hand in hers and rubbed it. The sisterly show of affection made Kandy sigh. “I’m not mad at you.”

“Then tell me. What’s going on with you two?”

Kandy sat on a breakfast barstool and rested her hands on the counter. “I don’t know.” A second later she added, “No, that’s not true. I think I know, but I’m not sure.”

When she sighed again, Gemma took a seat next to her. “Tell me.”

Kandy looked into her sister’s eyes, identical in every way to her own and saw concern wash through them.

With a great deal of reluctance, she related the scene in the kitchen the night before. Supreme embarrassment prevented her from telling Gemma what had transpired in the garage earlier.

“I’ve never acted like that before,” she said, dropping her head into her hands. “So needy, so totally off the wall sexually. It was scary.”

“It sounds exciting as all get out.”

Kandy shook her head and gave her sister a small smile. “Beyond exciting. I can’t describe how good it felt to be kissed like that. I can’t believe it was me.” She threw her head down into her hands again.

“It’s about damn time,” Gemma said, yanking her sister up by her hair, her gaze slicing into her. “All you do is work. You never have any fun, Kan.”

“Cooking is fun for me.”

“Yeah, well, we all know you’re not normal.”

“That’s mean.”

“No, it’s the truth. I can’t imagine a better diversion for you than having a hot, torrid, sexfest with this guy. It’s absolutely perfect. Go for it.”

“Gemma, I can’t have an affair with him.”

“Why not?”

“Well, for one thing, he doesn’t want me.”

Gemma’s eyes widened, making her brow groove in disbelief. “I don’t believe it for a second. I saw the way he looked at you in your office the other day. There was enough longing in his eyes to comfort a small, underdeveloped nation.”

“Then why is he the one who keeps pulling the plug every time we get in a clutch?”

Gemma shrugged. “Some weird sense of duty, maybe?”

“Right.” She shot a finger at her. “He keeps telling me I’m a client. That’s all I am to him, Gem. A job.”

Kandy’s heart ached when she said the words out loud. Admitting them to herself was one thing. Telling them to her sister, giving a real voice to them, was quite another. And it hurt.

It hurt like hell.

“Did he kiss you back?” Gemma asked.

Oh, baby, did he ever! “Yes.”

“Peck-on-the-cheek kiss, or I’ll-die-if-I don’t-wrap-myself-around-your-tonsils kiss?”

Kandy snorted. “The latter.”

“There you go.” She sat back, a smug smile wiggling across her mouth. “What more proof do you need? The guy wants you, Kan. I say go for it with all you’ve got. Enjoy the heck out of him.”

“And then what?”

“What do you mean?”

“What happens next? When this whole thing is over and he leaves? What am I supposed to do then, Gemma? Just go on as if it never happened?”

Gemma shrugged and rose. She opened the refrigerator and took out a pitcher of ice tea. “I don’t know. Why think about it now?”

“Because I think I may be falling in love with him.”

Gemma stopped pouring midstream and leveled a frown at her sister. “You can’t be serious.”

“I am. I’ve never felt like this about a guy before. It’s more than just the physical attraction. I like being with him, having him around. When we went out to dinner last night, for the first time in a really long time I was relaxed and comfortable. I can talk about anything with him. He listens. He hears and understands. I get a safe and warm feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I think about him. I can see the two of us together, sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee, discussing the kids. I’ve never let myself think about children and carpools and starring in my own happily-ever-after before. Never. It’s never been an option for me.”

Gemma cocked her head. “Because of Daddy and what he did?”

Kandy nodded. “I don’t want to love someone as much as Mom did and then have it all turn to crap. I’ve done everything I could to protect myself from ever being that vulnerable.”

Gemma’s sigh was forceful. “And you all say I’m the one who’s screwed up the most in this family.”

“Gem, no one says that. Truthfully.”

“But you all think it. I know you do.”

The sisters stared at each other for a moment.

“Look.” Kandy finally broke the silence. “I don’t know what do to about this, how to handle it. Whenever we’re in the same room, all I want to do is have him hold me. When he’s not around, I’m thinking about him.” She told Gemma how he’d left her for an hour after the rat incident. “All my mind could focus on was how long it was taking him to get back.”

Gemma sat next to her sister and took her hand. “You sound like you’re in love with him already, no maybes about it.”

Kandy swallowed.

“Can’t you ever do anything halfhearted?” Gemma said, a lopsided grin tripping over her face.

“What?”

“Why’d you go and fall in love with the guy?”

“It’s not like I could help it. Don’t you remember what Grandpa used to tell us?”

Brow furrowing, she answered, “The thing about lightning?”

“Yeah. One day you’re walking along without a care in the world, and then bang, like lightning, you get struck through the heart for good.”

Gemma’s grin grew. “Grandma used to get all teary-eyed when he’d say that.”

“Because it’s what happened to him the day he met her.”

“And you feel this way about Josh?”

Her head moved up and down, slowly, a few times. “Believe me, if I could have prevented it, I would have. I don’t need this right now in my life, you know I don’t.”

On a sigh she said, “Yeah. I do.” Gemma took a sip of her tea. “So, what are you going to do? Pursue it and get your heart potentially stomped on, or let it go and wonder what could have been?”

“Oh, don’t be so melodramatic,” Kandy said. “This isn’t some Jane Austen novel. I have more choices than just those two.”

“Like what? Aside from using him for sex or marrying the guy, I don’t see a lot of options looming on the horizon.”

Kandy shook her head and hugged her sister. “You’re an idiot. I love you dearly, but you’re an idiot.”

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I just lovelovelove sister interaction!! Tomorrow I’ll be giving you a little glimpse of book 2, A SHOT AT LOVE, and how Kandy helps Gemma out when our fearless and opinionated photographer’s life is turned upside down.

When I’m not writing, you can usually find me here:

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Musing on #Siblings

A few days ago, according to my oracle source, Facebook, it was National Siblings day, a day I have never celebrated and will never have the opportunity to.

I am an only child. My parents divorced when I was a little kid, each remarried quickly thereafter, and still I have no siblings, either step, or real. An only child between 4 “parents” and 8 grandparents shouldn’t necessarily be something any child would complain about. After all, you’re it. The only birthday that gets celebrated is yours; you get all the Christmas gifts; you never have to share toys, clothes, food, friends, a room. You never wear hand me downs, and all the school pictures displayed in the house on the walls are of you.

But….

Being an only child also comes with a lot of negative emotions. I never really felt connected to anyone in my family because there was no one around my age to contend or commune with. I was raised with grownups. Parents, grandparents, aunts and very old great-aunts and uncles. I was always the youngest human being in the room. Always. And I was raised in a time where children lived that proverbial seen but not heard edict so common during the era. If I had a problem, I had two choices: take it to a grown up or solve it myself. Since many of the problems I had encountered bullying in school and dealing with my alcoholic relatives, I really couldn’t take it to the adults in my family. Back then, you were taught not to confide in anyone but family, so taking a family problem to a teacher was like committing an act of homicide in my family! There were no safe havens for troubled kids with questions, and the Priests and Nuns in my church were mean with a capital MEAN!!

Being an only child wasn’t a picnic as a kid and as I get older, it only gets worse because as I age, so do my parents. I have four people who I am responsible for as they age, get infirm, and need to have decisions made for them. Decisions I have no one else to bounce off. A sibling would be a lifeline during hard decision-making times. AM I making the right choice? What do you think they would want? What’s easiest for them? All questions you can ask a sibling when dealing with your parents.  I have no one to ask those questions. NO one to help me make the correct decisions. No one to tell me what I’ve done is right, or wrong, or horrible.

Please, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining and feeling burdened by this. I’m not. I’m simply stating that if I had a sibling, making these decisions would be easier.

So. A little advice to those of you who are and have siblings.

  1. Cherish them. You may fight like wild animals and hate one another at times, but there is truly no one you are closer to than a sibling.
  2. Support them. There have been so many times in my life I needed someone I could go to in order to talk things through to decide if I was doing the right thing. Having a sibling trust your opinion and offer support is a gift from God.
  3. Have fun with them. My husband’s brothers and sisters are all in their 50’s and they still laugh, giggle, and enjoy one another’s company whenever they are together. Their shared history, the similar references they use, the memories, all make them happy to be around one another. Spend time with your siblings.
  4. Love their children. When you – God forbid- die, you’ll want people around your children supporting them, loving them, helping them to remember you. I don’t have that. There’s no one my daughter can turn to when I go who knew me when. Who can tell her what it was like when I was a kid, or what I was like.  Luckily, she has that with my husband and his family.

I didn’t write this to be morose, or give you a woe-is-me view of my life. I simply want people to understand that being an only child isn’t a bed of rosebuds and that having a sibling connection is one of the greatest gifts anyone can have.

If I was going to get a little Psych 101 here, I would tell you that the reason I write so much about large, loving families is because I always dreamed about being in one…yeah…pretty psych 101 profile, indeed.

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My new series is about sisters – the 7 Laine Sisters in the Will Cook For Love books. Book 1, COOKING WITH KANDY is available here: kindle // Apple // Google //  Kobo //Nook

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Birth order…in life and in characterization

I’m fascinated by families and birth order. As an only child, I was the solitary kid in rooms always filled with adults. I think one of the reasons I’m such a good and thorough observer is because I was raised in that era where children were seen but never heard. I learned very early in life how to watch people without them noticing, how to gage emotions and reactions during situations, and most importantly, how to describe what I was seeing. From the time I knew I was the only kid in my family’s realm, I dreamed of having siblings. It didn’t matter to me if I was the oldest, youngest, or came somewhere in the middle of the food chain. I wanted other people like me around the house.
Sadly, it didn’t happen.
My life long fascination with birth order and how siblings react and interact with one another is the reason I like writing about big families. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to invent the families I always wanted as my own. I would have liked nothing more while growing up than to have older brothers looking out for me and sisters guiding my way to adolescence. Families come with their own sets of rules on behavior and thinking and actions. Most of it is based on the shared history they have, and much of it is situational. When I start a new book series, the dynamics in the family come first. Is there a father figure present and if so, how does he rule? If no dad is around, how does the mother keep order, pay the bills, provide for her children? What roles do the oldest and youngest play in  his scheme? All these questions are thought out prior to my ever typing a word of the story. I need to know “my families” before I can write about them. I invent the parents I wished I’d had growing up, along with the support system siblings bring with it. Since I was a step-kid to two new “parents” when my parents both remarried, I know what it means to be the outsider in a group. Resentments abound, feelings of insecurity and of not measuring up run rampant, and you never really “feel” as if anyone is truly on your side. Of course, these feelings follow us into adulthood so when I write about siblings who are aging, I know I need to have them make decisions and run courses of actions with those childhood traumas and dramas in mind.
Siblings are such a curious breed of human. They love each other one minute, then engage in a fight to the proverbial death in the next. They depend on one another, forgive one another for transgressions, and then never let the other person forget it! They share secrets, tell secrets, and hold secrets for one another. Who wouldn’t want to write about people such as this???!! The emotional ground is fertile and ripe with conflict, love, support and emotions.
What about you? Come from a big family, or are you an only like me? Where is your birth order and did it play a role in making you the person you are? Or did it hamper your dreams and desires because things were “expected of you?”

Birth order, sibling dynamics, and families are truly fascinating to read – and write – about.

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Families… can’t live with them, don’t want to live without them

I’m fascinated by families and birth order. As an only child, I was the solitary kid in rooms always filled with adults. I think one of the reasons I’m such a good and thorough observer is because I was raised in that era where children were seen but never heard. I learned very early in life how to watch people without them noticing, how to gage emotions and reactions during situations, and most importantly, how to describe what I was seeing.From the time I knew I was the only kid in my family’s realm, I dreamed of having siblings. It didn’t matter to me if I was the oldest, youngest, or came somewhere in the middle of the food chain. I wanted other people like me around the house. Sadly, it didn’t happen.
My life long fascination with birth order and how siblings react and interact with one another is the reason I like writing about big families. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to invent the families I always wanted as my own. I would have liked nothing more while growing up than to have older brothers looking out for me and sisters guiding my way to adolescence.Families come with their own sets of rules on behavior and thinking and actions. Most of it is based on the shared history they have, and much of it is situational. When I start a new book series, the dynamics in the family come first. Is there a father figure present and if so, how does he rule? If no dad is around, how does the mother keep order, pay the bills, provide for her children? What roles do the oldest and youngest play in  his scheme? All these questions are thought out prior to my ever typing a word of the story. I need to know “my families” before I can write about them.I invent the parents I wished I’d had growing up, along with the support system siblings bring with it. Since I was a step-kid to two new “parents” when my parents both remarried, I know what it means to be the outsider in a group. Resentments abound, feelings of insecurity and of not measuring up run rampant, and you never really “feel” as if anyone is truly on your side. Of course, these feelings follow us into adulthood so when I write about siblings who are aging, I know I need to have them make decisions and run courses of actions with those childhood traumas and dramas in mind.

What about you? Come from a big family, or are you an only like me? Where is your birth order and did it play a role in making you the person you are? Or did it hamper your dreams and desires because things were “expected of you?”

 

Birth order, sibling dynamics, and families are truly fascinating to read – and write – about.

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