Tag Archives: Small town romance

#Tuesdayteaser 5.7.19 A Match Made in Heaven…book 2

So I’m taking a leap of faith here because this book is currently with my editor and has not been contracted yet. If all goes well ( and pray to Jesus it does) I’ll know by the end of this month. I’m hoping for a contact. I mean, it’s book 2!! I have to let you know how the people in book 1 are doing! Hee hee

So, Book 2 gives us oldest O’Dowd sister Cathleen and historical biographer, McLachlyn Frayne. This is another of those opposites attracting romances I love so well. The heat from these two jumps off the page so I figured I’d give you a little example of it. We start the scene with Nanny Fee and end it with our two would be lovers entering a pizza parlor.

“That lovely man took Fiona to the solarium,” one of the residents told me.

I found them huddled together on a day sofa in the sunroom. They were both laughing and Nanny had a hand flirtatiously placed over Frayne’s forearm. His laughter, rich, deep, and husky was a sound I could have listened to all day long. Hell, all year long. A tingling sensation tripped up my spine when his eyes narrowed, practically disappearing from his face as he smiled. He threw back his head and howled at whatever my grandmother was saying.

It was delightful to see him relaxed and happy and I have to admit, my heart stuttered a bit when he brought Nanny’s gnarled hand to his lips and pressed a sweet kiss against her knuckles.

“Number One, all done are ya?” Nanny asked.

I came into the room, a grin tugging on my lips.

“Nanny, what tall tales have you been telling Mr. Frayne? I could hear the both of you laughing from the hallway.”

“Ah, lass, nothing bad, to be sure. Merely sharin’ a few simple stories about me time touring.”

“Oh, good Lord.” I knew exactly what she’d told him. Nanny’s days as a concert pianist were legendary in our family. Legendary and naughty. She’d had affairs with at least two dukes, one baron, and a small smattering of lesser-titled men throughout the royal houses of Europe before coming back to Heaven and marrying her second husband. And then her third. And fourth, who was, thankfully, the last.

“Your grandmother has led an extraordinary life,” Frayne said, the light in his eyes bright and clear. “Her life touring would make for a terrific book.”

“Salacious, more than anything,” I said.

“Don’t be gettin’ any notions to write about me escapades, young man.” She swatted his arm with a grandmotherly thwack. “If I ever decide to write about me life, I’ll be doing the tellin’, not someone else.”

“I’d be thrilled and honored to be your scribe,” Frayne said. “Anytime. Simply say the word.”

“Ah, go on with ya.” She swatted his arm again. “Well, now I expect the two of ya will be off to dinner. Seldrine okay?” she asked me.

“She’s fine. Lucas is with her, taking her through everything she needs to be prepared for.”

“She’s a strong lass. Well,” she sighed deep and, because this was Nanny, theatrically. “Off with ya both now. Go enjoy a good meal and you,” she pointed at Frayne, “don’t be forgetting I want a full report on Robert when you’re all done with your research.”

“That’s a promise,” he told her.

“Good. Now, give us a kiss and run along.”

I wasn’t surprised when Frayne bent and bussed her cheek.

“And you,” she said when I bent to do the same. “I want to hear all about this event Olivia told me you’re signed up for. I want all the deets, as the kids say.”

I nodded, my cheeks scorching.

“You’re grandmother is a remarkable woman,” Frayne said once we were back in my car.

“That’s one word for her,” I said, slanting him a side eye. The grin on his face was equal parts heart stopping, sexy, and adorable.

“Pathetic.” I said, my own grin tugging at my lips.

“What is?”

“You and your whole gender.”

He turned in his seat to look at me. “What have I, and my entire gender, done to be labeled pathetic?”

I cocked my head his way then turned my attention back to the road.

“A little wink, a few arm taps, and a girlish giggle and you fall like a ton of bricks.”

“What?”

The sigh I exhaled was almost Nanny-worthy in its theatricality. “You have a crush on my ninety-three year old grandmother.”

Complete bafflement filled his face. A half second later his eyes widened and he tossed out another of those deep, throaty laughs. The lower half of my body turned molten-lava hot.

“Tell me I’m wrong.” I turned the car onto Glory Road and spotted a parking spot on the street right outside the place where I wanted to eat. This is another one of those reasons I love living in a small town: you never have to search for parking.

“You’re not. God. You’re not.” His head shook back and forth while his smile turned into a wicked grin.

I put the car in park and got out. Over the hood I said, “See? Pathetic. Every man I’ve ever known falls for her the moment she shines those twinkling blue eyes at him. I swear she casts a spell with a glance.” I shook my head. “I hope you like pizza because I’ve been craving it for days.”

I walked toward the front door of Paradise Pizza but Frayne stopped me in my tracks. With his hand circling my arm he turned me around to face him. Gone was the playful expression, the laugh a mere memory.

“Cathy.”

Talk about casting a spell. I’d never really liked my name, thinking my parents had chosen one plain and common and not exotic or fancy because they wanted it to be easy to remember. Although, it was way better than being called Number One any day of the week.

But still.

“Y-yes?”

He shifted and moved in closer, his hand still gripping my arm. Through my coat, and the even the suit jacket underneath it, the heat from his hand singed my flesh. Standing on Glory Road during a frigid January evening with a brisk wind kicking around in the air, a tiny trickle of sweat beaded down my spine.

Frayne took another step closer.

The back of my throat suddenly clogged, my tongue turning the consistency of sand paper when I rubbed it against the roof of my mouth.

“What…what were you going to say?”

His pale eyes did that little tilting thing down to my lips again before coming back up to settle on my own. The hint of a grin kicked up one side of his gorgeous mouth.

“I love…pizza.”

“Oh. Okay. Well, good.” I reached to push the door open, but he beat me to it. “Then you’re gonna love this place. Best pizza in the state.”

And if you want to see how I envision Cathy and Mac, have a gander at my Pinterest board: Cathleen and Mac ( what else?? Hee hee) This is an actual scene in the book.

Say a prayer for me, peeps, that this book gets contracted. I’m working on book 3 even as we speak ( or, I’m speaking…you’re reading, but you get what I mean. I need some caffeine….)

As always, look for me here when I’m not writing:

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

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#1stKissFriday 3.22.19

Today’s first kiss is between Moira Cleary and her lifetime best friend Quentin Stapleton from THERE’S NO PLACE LIFE HOME, the second book in my MacQuire Women series. Q has been in love with Moira since they were kids, but she’s been clueless. When he finally tells her how he feels, and kisses her UNLIKE a best friend, well, their love story really takes off.

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.”

Moira stared up into his eyes, warm and moist, shimmering under the subtle porch light. “Where is this coming from? You’ve never said anything like this, never acted like this, before. Ever.”

He took a breath and tucked her head against his shoulder, rubbing her back with both of his hands. His chest was made of granite, hard and solid and Moira felt so secure in his embrace. So comforted and so safe. If he never let go of her, she knew she wouldn’t mind in the least.

He didn’t speak for a few moments. Then, he pulled back, gazed down into her face and Moira didn’t need verbal answers to her questions. The look of blatant need and craving was so strongly etched in his eyes as he peered right through her, and for a moment, all she could do was stare, motionless. It was the same expression she’d seen on his face the night of her welcome home dinner. Then, she hadn’t known what to make of it. She couldn’t put a name to what she was seeing etched in his chiseled features.

Now, she knew.

He brought his lips to hers again in the gentlest of touches.

“I want you, Moira. More than I’ve ever wanted anyone or anything, in my entire life. I’ve always wanted you, from the time I knew what it meant.” He chuckled and added, “probably even before then. I haven’t gone a day in too long to count when I didn’t think of you and want you with me. There have been so many times the past few years when I’ve wanted to take an extended leave from the practice and go fly to wherever you were performing, just to see you. Obligations, though necessary, can be a bitch, and the time never allowed it. When Pat told me you were coming home, I thought, good. Finally. Home court advantage.” His lazy grin spread with the words.

“I never knew,” she said, tears springing up. “You never gave me any indication. All these years, you’ve never hinted at this. In any way. Why not?”

He shook his head. “I know. I didn’t know how you’d feel about it. We’ve been friends forever. I don’t have a childhood memory that doesn’t include you. We’re everything friends should be. But this is a different feeling, Moira, from friendship. So different.”

His voice broke on the last word as he claimed her mouth again, deepening the kiss instantly, and knocking her back emotionally.

“I won’t push you,” he said into her hair, kissing her temple. “You need to get used to the idea, I know. I don’t want anything to change between us.”

“How can it not?” she asked, the tears spilling over. “It changes everything, Quentin. You know it does.”

His thumb swiped softly at the drop of moisture cascading down her cheek.

“It doesn’t have to. We’re still us. We’re still the same. I won’t ever lose you as a friend, Moira. I can’t. You’re as much a part of my life as I am of yours. Our friendship will never change. It hasn’t in all these years you’ve been gone.”

Want to read more? Here’s where you can get your own copy of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

 

Buy Links: Amazon // Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook// 

Walmart

Read a preview of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Goodreads Reviews

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Filed under MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

#DeerbourneInn Presenting #author Jean Grant and Soul of the Storm

The next installment in the DEERBOURNE INN series, SOUL OF THE STORM   releases today!!! And I’ve got its author, Wild Rose Press sistah JEAN GRANT with me, discussing the book, why novellas are the hot thing to read and she’s even sharing some of the research she did while writing the book. Sit back and join me in sharing how this great new addition to the series came to be.

Why read a novella in a series?

  1. You can read it in a sitting or two.
  2. You can read more than one in the series.
  3. Sometimes it’s “just enough” when our TBR pile is gigantic.
  4. Fewer characters to remember.
  5. Without committing to a larger novel, you can get a taste for that author’s voice.
  6. There is still a compelling plot and characters with goals, motivations, and conflict. Like Goldilocks, it can be “just enough.” Not too much, not too little.
  7. Less subplots and timelines to juggle. The story gets straight to the chase.
  8. You can get to the HEA (Happy Every After) faster.
  9. They tend to be less verbose.
  10. They are just fun.

Fun.

Really. I have soft spot for reading novellas. I adore Diana Gabaldon’s big tomes, but I must admit that some of my favorites are her “bulges” as she calls them. Sweet, shorter side stories that flesh out the Outlander world.

Stories are meant to pull us in, make us think, provide entertainment, nurture whatever needs to be nurtured. So why not give the Deerbourne Inn books a whirl? I know I’ve already read a few beside my own and plan to read a few more…

What did I learn while writing Soul of the Storm?

  1. Vermont is a LONG (tall?) state (I took a trip to the Mad River Valley for “research” and fun; it was my second visit there).
  2. It really is a green state.
  3. Mud season exists. And you better be careful on those hiking trails in the spring!
  4. The river water is still icy cold at the end of May.

5. A gleaned a lot of fascinating information about civil air patrol, search and rescue procedures, search and rescue dogs/canine units, and Vermont State Police jurisdiction and procedures. I spoke to authorities in all these areas to get my facts straight. Imagine those emails to VSP: Hey, I’m an author and I have some questions…

6. Ohh… I learned lots of cool New Zealand slang words. And a few corrected Maori phrases. (A big thank you to the New Zealanders and sensitivity readers for helping me with this!)

(Jean in Queenstown, New Zealand)

7. Patagonia, Chile has moved up higher on my must hike/see list.

8. Novellas are amazingly fun to write AND read. I’m enjoying all the books in the Deerbourne Inn series.

9. Cabot Creamery is THE place to go if you adore cheese the way I do. Ben and Jerry’s has delish ice cream.

10. I learned about a new hike: the Long Trail, that spans 273 miles and runs north-south through the State. The part we hiked was muddy and fun with a fantastic view of the valley.

SOUL OF THE STORM (Deerbourne Inn)

Will love help her summit one more peak?

Charlotte MacGregor lost the thrill of conquering mountains five years ago when her sister disappeared on a hiking adventure without her. Still guilt-ridden, Charlotte heads for a vacation to rustic Vermont with a friend—where she’s surrounded by reminders of her devastating loss and plagued with unanswered questions.

Matiu Christiansen is an outdoors buff. He works multiple jobs to save for his dream of owning an outfitter in New Zealand. He’s never quite felt at home in the United States and he yearns for his Maori roots, but his attraction to Charlotte puts a kink in his plans to move home later this year.

Thrown together by coincidence, Charlotte and Matiu form a kindred bond through their shared love of the outdoors. Can Charlotte surmount her demons to assist Matiu on a rescue when a late-season snowstorm hits? And can Matiu help Charlotte heal from the pain of the past?

Excerpt

Charlotte sat on the top porch step instead of in a rocker. Her breath puffed in a misty cloud before her as she waited. Again, the scent of a fire from the back pit infused the air. She traced the knots in the planks of the porch with the toe of her shoe, ignoring her thudding pulse. Matiu shuffled through the side door. She rose to help him with the cups.

“Hi.”

“Kia ora,” he said, smile deep and teeth bright beneath the lamps. “It’s colder tonight.”

“You need a jacket,” she said with a nod to his thinner long-sleeved top that clung nicely to his muscles.

“I’ll sit closer to you. Nice quilt.”

“I’m always cold. I won’t have much heat to share.”

“Logging in my assessment file.” He tapped his temple.

She shivered from nerves as he settled beside her on the top step.

“Ya know, we could have tea inside,” he suggested.

“What about consorting? Besides, I like the clear sky and fresh air. Night is my time.”

He nodded. “Ah, clear skies are amazing. I prefer morning. Not sure about tomorrow. Neil’s sick with the flu, and so is Kelly. They work on the search and rescue team, and Kelly also does mucking with us for the US Forest Service. Seems like the germs haven’t left for the season.”

“Nor the cold temps. Both tend to bite us in the ass in April.”

“I was serious. You going to share that quilt with me?” He inched closer.

“Nope. Get your own.”

He pressed a hand to his heart. “Shot down!” Tea splashed as his laugh vibrated.

Her pulse quickened with the idea of sharing warmth with him.

He said, “I’m knackered. That paddle got me sore. Bit more wind today than I’d expected.”

“You’re not the only one.”

He was so close. She subtly inhaled his natural scent. She couldn’t place it. Probably his shampoo… combined with sweat and cooking oils. They sat quietly, unsure what to say next. His nearness upset her equilibrium. She drank the tea.

You can get your copy of SOUL OF THE STORM here:

Amazon // B&N // Apple // Kobo // Googleplay

A little about JEAN GRANT

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

You can follow Jean here”

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon Author Page ~ The Wild Rose Press

 

And please enjoy the other books in the DEERBOURNE INN series that have already been released ( with more to come in 2019 and 2020!)

By Reservation Only   Hope’s Dream  Freedom’s Path     Lyrical Embrace    Spirited Quest

      

     

YOu can read my review of SOUL OF THE STORM here.

 

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Filed under Deerbourne Inn, Hope's Dream, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

#sundaySnippet 3.10.19 Hope’s Dream (Deerbourne Inn)


Today’s little snippet from HOPE’S DREAM ( a Deerbourne Inn Novella) shows Hope’s playfulness. She’s attracted to Tyler in a physical way at first, but the more they’re together, the more she realizes he’s the kind of guy she could see herself with for more than a weekend of skiing…

“All warm and rested now?” she asked. “Ready to get back out there? You’ve still got an hour left on your time, and I think you’re ready for a harder trail.”

Before he could stop it, a groan swelled up from deep down inside him. Hope chuckled and zipped up her jacket.

“It won’t be too hard,” she told him. “Promise.”

He stood as well and slipped his cap on. With an exaggerated eye roll, he asked, “Why don’t I believe you?”

“City folk.” Her lips angled into the most alluring smirk as she shook her head and fisted her hands on her trim hips. “So untrusting.”

The laughter was back in her eyes, but it wasn’t as bright and free as it had been before the mention of her parents.

“Come on, New York. Let me make a Vermonter out of you.”

Why it sounded so darn good to him was a mystery.

Hope was, by no means, a divulger, so why had she told him about her folks? Even with people she’d known forever she didn’t talk about the accident. Everyone in town knew about it, of course. It had been the hot topic of the day when it happened and was gossip-fueled for years after by a rumor her dad had been drunk when the car careered over the embankment. He’d been stone- cold sober, but it hadn’t made a bit difference to some people. It did to her. Living in a small community where the residents knew everything about their neighbors— good and bad—was hard at times. Hope loved Willow Springs, but there were moments she wished she could disappear for a while where no one knew her, her parents, or what had happened to them.

She never spoke about the accident, especially to a total stranger.

Why, then, had she with this man?

There was something about him, something…familiar, which was ridiculous. She hadn’t known him before three hours ago. She would have remembered him, if not for his looks, which were yummy in and of themselves, but for his voice. Deep timbered and strong, it possessed a wake-up rasp that made an impression on a girl. A lasting impression. Whenever he’d spoken, all her senses had stood at attention.

Buy Links: Amazon // Nook // iTunes// Kobo

 

Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.

Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.

The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?

Looking for me? I’m usually here:

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

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

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

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Filed under Deerbourne Inn, Uncategorized

#1stLineFriday 3.8.19 Hope’s Dream

Quaint. A description Tyler Coleman had never used before, but it fit the structure he stood in front of with his suitcase in one hand, his briefcase slung across his shoulder. The Deerbourne Inn.

Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.

Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.

The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?

Buy Links: Amazon // Nook // iTunes// Kobo

Looking for me? I’m usually here:

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

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

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

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Filed under Hope's Dream

It’s my #bookBirthday part 2!

Did you think this day would never get here?!! Hee hee. I DID!!!

So happy to be able to offer DEARLY BELOVED in ecopy AND print copy now. I hope you love Colleen and Slade’s story as much as I do.

Now, as an added bonus – because it’s release day – I have an all day takeover on Facebook over at Winter Romance Reads. I’ll be checking in throughout the day, chatting and giving away fun prizes, having games, and generally getting to know people a little more. Stop by if you have a chance. There’s also a Party Prize for a $100 dollar Amazon gift card that the organizers of the event have put together. Just wait for my post that features the graphic below to enter! Warning: You MUST perform the task I’ve chosen on the post to be entered.

So, come visit me anytime until midnight EST today!!!

Oh, a quick reminder: at 9 am I am going to be livelivelive on my FB author page, reading a snippet from DEARLY BELOVED. If you miss it, don’t worry. I’ll be uploaded to my YouTube channel.

God! So much to do!!! Hee Hee

Be well and happy reading.

And find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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Filed under Dearly Beloved, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

1 Week Countdown to HOPE’S DREAM (Deerbourne Inn) #WRPbks

 


In just one week my addition to the new series from Wild Rose Press, HOPE’S DREAM ( Deerbourne Inn Novella) goes livelivelive!

I can’t wait to share this story with you all. It’s the second book released in the series and continues the storyline of the Vermont inn and the people of the tiny town of Willow Springs.

Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.

Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.

The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?

Buy links for HOPE’S DREAM:

Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook // iTunes

An you can start the series from the beginning with the origination novella,  By Reservation Only, by Barbara Edwards

 

 

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Filed under Romance, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Sunday Snippet – Dearly Beloved 8.26.18

From my upcoming DEARLY BELOVED, Book 1 in the Match Made in Heaven series.

Chapter One

“9-1-1! Colleen, I’ve got a 9-1-1 in the Bawl Room!”

I cringed at the crisis call blaring through my earpiece. I hated emergency calls, especially when everything was about to start. To pull off the perfect wedding, just like when invading an enemy country during wartime, you have to run on a strict, unbendable time schedule. There was no room for deviation. A 9-1-1 call was the equivalent of a ticking time bomb, set to blow up the whole operation.

“On my way,” I said. “Any bloodshed?”

“None so far,” my assistant Charity Quinlan replied, her small voice breathless with urgency. “But it’s coming. Get here. I don’t know how much longer I can keep them from killing one another.”

I shot from my command post at the back of my hometown church in Heaven, New Hampshire, and sprinted down the long corridor toward the kid’s section, affectionately known as the Bawl Room, which was the staging area for the soon-to-start wedding I was in charge of. The small space was given this moniker because it was where parents of unruly children shuttled their little miscreants when their behavior disrupted the congregation during Mass. My sisters and I had been banished to the room every Sunday of our childhood.

I took a calming breath in front of the closed door—a door that did nothing to muffle raised, angry, and shrill voices—and ran a hand across my quaking abdominal muscles. They’d been throbbing and pulsing like a precision quartz timepiece from the confining, belly-flattening, spandex undergarment I wore to mask the extra eight pounds I’d recently packed on.

I said a silent prayer to St. Gabriel, the patron saint of strength. “Breathe,” I whispered, making it a plea. “Just breathe.”

Placing a broad smile across my face, I pushed through the door and entered into a tempest I regarded as the tenth circle of Hell: ex-wives.

Two lavishly dressed women—one in her fifties, the other ten years younger, and both trying desperately to look in their thirties—stood, dyed stiletto to dyed stiletto, glaring at one another. Both had fisted hands planted on their hips, shoulders hunched, perfectly coiffed heads bent, ready to do battle.

“Who do you think you are?” one screeched at the other. “You’re not her mother. You’re nobody in this wedding, just my ex’s current squeeze of the second, so back the hell off. Now!”

The woman being shrilled at, all six foot of her in icepick heels, leaned forward and pulled her outlined, lipstick-enhanced mouth back into a perfect teeth-baring snarl. She jabbed one of her french-manicured tips at her aggressor and ground out, “I’ve been married to him longer than you were, bitch, and you know it, so who you calling squeeze of the second, because from where I’m standing, you were more like a mistake who got knocked up than a wife any day of the week.”

The elder of the two was set to pounce, aiming for her rival’s perfect camera-ready face so I did a quick little jog and insinuated myself between them.

“Ladies.” My gaze ping-ponged from one to the other. “Please. The wedding is about to begin. We can’t have this kind of behavior.”

“She started it,” the actual mother of the bride, Mary Ann Stively said, pointing at her ex-husband’s current wife. “She says she should go down the aisle after me because she’s married to my loser ex—”

“Who’s the father of the bride,” JoEllen, wife number two, said. She turned her back on wife one and faced me. “You’re the wedding planner, Colleen. You know proper protocol says I should go down the aisle right before the party, since I’m married to the father of the bride. I looked it up, read all about wedding etiquette and procedures.”

“In what? Your current edition from slut-of-the-month book club?” Mary Ann spat.

JoEllen’s eyes slitted under penciled eyebrows standing stationary on her unlined and unmoving forehead, a paralytic effect—I surmised—from years of Botox injections.

“Why, you—” She inched forward and tried to reach by me, but eight years of track in school and four more in college gave me a decided advantage in swiftness. I blocked her, my arms splaying out at my sides so she couldn’t go around me.

My left eye started to twitch—never a good sign—and I knew I had to set this situation to rights. Now. The wedding was scheduled to begin in less than ten minutes.

“Mrs. Stively.” Both women stared at me. “Um, the current Mrs. Stively.”

JoEllen pulled herself up to her towering height and gave her paid-for breasts a good forward thrust. “What?”

“I know you feel you deserve to walk down right before the wedding party—”

“I do.”

“—but I’m sorry. Whatever you’ve read stating that was the correct procession is incorrect. The actual mother of the bride is the one who immediately precedes the party. Unless, of course she’s not present or deceased. Then it would be proper for a stepmother to be the last person down the aisle before the attendants and bride.”

JoEllen slanted a deathly glare at Mary Ann. I swear I could hear her brain running through scenarios on how to commit murder in the next five minutes.

“Now, I need you both to take your places so we can get this wedding started. Stop arguing and let’s go.”

I’d dealt with these two overbearing women many times in the past few months and knew neither would give an inch, or relinquish control, of their own accord. Since they continued to stand rock-still, daggers zipping between them, I did what I always do in situations like this and got physical.

I grabbed the first Mrs. Stively firmly by the forearm and gave her a good yank while motioning to Charity, who’d been cowering behind a pew, to do the same to Stively spouse number two.

Charity, at a spit above five foot, was no match for the lengthy, stilettoed second wife, but what she lacked in height, she more than made up for in determination. With a firm hand draped along JoEllen’s back, Charity began walking, propelling the woman forward.

“Can you believe that bitch?” Mary Ann asked as I escorted her down the long hallway to the back of the church where the procession stood, waiting. I continued to hold her forearm in a grip of steel in the event she planned to escape and go back to punch her replacement.

“Forget JoEllen,” I commanded. “It’s your daughter’s day. Focus on her. You don’t want Annie to remember this day filled with problems or fights. You want her to have the most wonderful memories of her wedding, don’t you?”

Before she could reply, I steamrolled right over her. “Of course you do. Fighting with JoEllen serves no purpose and will only upset Annie. Take a quick, deep breath if she annoys you again and ignore her. Believe me, you’ll feel better for it.”

I knew I was telling a bald-faced lie.

Mary Ann and JoEllen both wanted to scratch the other’s eyes out, and today’s incident was another in a long line of antagonistic outbreaks since Annie had retained me as her wedding planner. The two Stively wives despised one another for various and obvious reasons. Their only compatible redeeming value was their mutual unconditional love for the bride-to-be.

In the vestibule, the melodic strings of a Mozart concerto serenaded the waiting congregation.

Annie Stively’s parents had spared no expense on their cherished only daughter. From a twenty-thousand-dollar, custom-made, hand-stitched, lace and satin gown complete with a five-thousand-dollar tiara and train, to the five-hundred-dollar-an-hour stretch limousine waiting outside the church entrance, prepared to whisk the happy couple off to their reception a mere five minutes away, Dr. and the two Mrs. Stivelys set out to give their little princess everything she desired in a wedding.

With my help, they had.

“Mom? JoEllen? What’s going on?” The bride glanced from her mother to her stepmother, concern creasing her flawless brow.

“A few last-minute details we needed to go over,” I answered before either woman could. “They wanted everything to be perfect for you. It’s all settled now, correct, ladies?” With an arched and determined glare, I all but dared them to contradict me.

Both women, with uncharacteristic placidity, nodded.

“Good. Now, let’s get you all lined up, and we can get this beautiful girl married.”

I went into command mode, corralled the wedding party into their appropriate places, and gave the all-start command. “Let’s roll.”

Once the bridal party, including the two warring Mrs. Stivelys, were all seated, the soft, haunting strings of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D drifted through the air.

I stood behind one door, Charity the other. On my count, we threw open the doors wide at the same time. A collective wave of sighs blew through the church as the first view of the stunning bride broke through. While she floated up the aisle on her father’s arm, my photographer darted ahead of them, filming, as they slowly made their way to the altar. Charity and I closed the doors behind us and slipped into the last pew to watch the wedding.

At the front of the church, Dr. Stively stopped, lifted his daughter’s veil, and then kissed her cheek. I could hear dueling sniffling from the front pew, Mom and Stepmother each trying to outdo the other in the waterworks department. Once Dr. Stively took his seat between his first and second wives, the congregation sat as a unit.

“Did you check to make sure the best man has the rings?” I asked Charity, looking toward the stable of tuxedoed ushers at the altar. The groom’s younger brother looked as if last night’s bachelor party had been a rousing success, evidenced by the pasty tinge to his skin, the railroad track redness covering the whites of his eyes, and the none-too-subtle tremor in his hands.

“He does,” Charity replied.

“Did Devon bring the basket with the bird seed?”

“He did.”

Off to one side of the altar, I spied my trusty and talented photographer being as unobtrusive as possible while he captured the happy event through his lens.

“Kolby has everything he needs?”

“He does.”

When I slanted her a look, Charity grinned. “And before you ask, I already called the inn. Everything is ready. The champagne is chilling, and the band is warming up. Maureen told me to tell you not to fret. She’s got it all covered. No worries.”

Two of the most overused and least accurate words in the English language, especially when speaking about a wedding.

With as deep a breath as I could manage (I really was going to throw in the towel with this pseudo-girdle and cut back on the carbs instead), I sat back and watched the ceremony I’d put together, and prayed the rest of the day would go on without any further problems or arguments between warring family factions.

What’s that old saying? Man makes plans and God laughs?

Yeah…the story of my life.

 

DEARLY BELOVED, coming November, 2018. Buy links coming soon!

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven

#AuthorVisit with Marianne Rice, #Contemporary #Romance writer

Today one of my wonderful writer friends ( and don’t I just love saying those 2 words together – writer and friend!) has a new book out. Marianne Rice is a multi-published contemporary romance author who writes stories set in small New England towns. Her latest book, STAYING GROUNDED, ( A Rocky Harbor Novel) is set in the beautiful state of Maine and releases today. She’s giving us a little taste of what we can find inside the pages and believe me – you’ll want to read it all after this little snippet! I’m so happy to call this talented, lovely lady friend.

STAYING GROUNDED by Marianne Rice (A Rocky Harbor Novel)

mariann4

Blurb:

Graham Riley enjoys the laid-back freedom of a pilot’s life—until one choice puts his career in jeopardy…

Graham loves his job—it allows him to escape his troubled past and the stigma of being a murderer’s son. But after an altercation with a drunk passenger is posted on social media, he’s forced to go on administrative leave until his name can be cleared. To get his wings back, he must attend anger management classes, and to avoid the media frenzy near his home base in Texas, he heads to Rocky Harbor, Maine.

Responsible therapist Maggie O’Fallon wants a stable relationship with a man who’s not going anywhere…

Maggie grew up with parents who were never around, physically or emotionally. Needing steadiness in her life and in a relationship, she only dates men with normal jobs. But when Graham walks into her office and flashes his charming steel-blue eyes at her, she’s at a loss for words. Torn between her ethics and her heart, Maggie asks Graham to see a different therapist so they can explore the chemistry between them.

He has everything she’s been looking for—except stability…

Maggie touches something deep within Graham and he panics, pushing her away, too scared to face his feelings. But when a private investigator threatens to discredit not only Graham, but Maggie’s practice as well, he is faced with two choices. Fight…or take flight.

Battling a lawsuit and his heart, Graham must decide what’s more important—the life he thought he wanted…or Maggie. Maggie might be the only thing that will ever help Graham
Stay Grounded.

Excerpt:

“I haven’t been with Ashley, or any other woman, since I met you.”

Her girly parts tingled at the admission. But still…

“Congratulations. You must be very proud. And horny.”

Graham smirked and her toes curled. Double damn! Her snarky comments were supposed to piss him off, spar a fight, not twist his lips into a magnetic grin.

“You might not believe it, but I have pretty good control over my…sexual tendencies.” The words rolled off his tongue and she had to clench her thighs. “Except when I’m around you.”

“That’s a good one. Do most girls fall for that line?”

“First time I used it. How’s it working?”

Too. Damn. Well. “I’ve heard better.”

Graham stood, stalking her with his eyes, doing that unfair panty-dropping grin thing with his perfect lips.

“Maggie.” He stepped closer, and she told her legs to move backward, but they wouldn’t listen to her and stayed locked, waiting, wanting, Graham to come closer. “You do things to me I don’t understand.”

“Ditto.” Oops. She didn’t mean for that to slip out.

“I want you to think about kissing me as much as I think about kissing you.”

Buy Links:

Kindle Unlimited:      Paperback

MEET THE AUTHOR: 

mariann

Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

Find Marianne here:

Limitless Publishing:   Facebook:    Twitter:    Website:

 

 

 

 

 

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