Saturday, February 21, 2015

Baby, It's Really Cold Outside!

Like a good portion of the country, we have been snowed in this week. After a three day weekend (President's Day holiday) we took on several inches of snow covered by a nice, pretty layer of ice. I live on the mid-Atlantic coast and we only get a storm like this once per winter or so. The local cities don't have the capacity to move snow and clear roads like my hometown in New York state so often we become homebound for a few days as was the case this week.

As a teacher, if the kiddos are home, so am I. This little winter break we had was just what I needed to recover from a very busy year so far. My boys will be entering baseball season in a couple of weeks- that kicks up the speed of our days three fold. So having a week of forced rest and relaxation is a good thing. We all enjoyed it.

Of course the boys enjoyed the snow! The day it started they were outside in the dark throwing snowballs and making snow angels. The next day and the day after that were a cycle of go outside and get cold, warm up for a while and then head back out. I think they got fresh air and sunshine then they had since winter began. When the artic freeze moved in making our southern temperatures bottom out in single digits, they went out in small bursts, just enough to get the feel of the sun.

It's been a good week.

Over the course of the week, I have been methodically emptying our guest room and preparing it for my older boy to move into. He turned 12 in November and we have finally decided to separate the boys and give them their own space. He has chosen a red sox theme so it has been fun for the whole family to hunt down pictures and d├ęcor that fit his theme. Of course, I now have to find a place and a means to store all the things that had been in the guest room but I look at it as a great opportunity to downsize and de-clutter. There is a television in the guest room he wants to keep. Not sure how I feel about thought. I welcome any thoughts on the subject in the comments below. :-)

Last night we were so desperate to get out of the house, we went to dinner at our favorite Mexican joint. The place was packed full of people as desperate as we were!

The other major accomplishment of my week? I finished the second book in the Secret Lives of Police Wives Series. Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos releases on April 3rd so I am excited to now be putting the finishing touches on the next book in the series. I hope to get it off to my editor in the next week or so. The series is about a group of cops wives that get a little more involved in their husband's jobs than most wives. There is always action, suspense, humor and of course a little romance. I will include a short excerpt below so that you can see that I really was productive this week!

Since today is Saturday and the weatherman promises that we will warm up substantially this weekend it is back to reality for us in a few days. I am ready now to tackle baseball season. Where ever you are reading this, I hope that you are safe and warm. Old man winter has definitely socked us a good one this year!

Just a little hint of what I have been working on...


When the time the truck came to a stop she was on her side, face soaked in tears, covered in methamphetamine and emotionally exhausted. As someone fiddled with the lock on the truck she forced the phone down the top of her shirt and into her bra. Carter couldn't save her now, all she had left was her wits and that cell phone. No one was going to find it and take it from her.
The door slid open. "What the hell is wrong with you?" Wilkins demanded.
"Go to hell you rotten bastard."
"You’re a feisty one. I like that."
"Screw you." She was in absolutely no mood to deal with any of this. "Get these damned cuffs off of me!"
"Not so fast, girly." Wilkins said with a dry laugh. "You just sit tight."
Schmidt came around the corner. "What the hell happened to our product?"
"Ask your girlfriend over here." She indicated Wilkins with her chin. "He did it when he threw me into the truck."
"Who you calling a girlfriend?" Wilkins glared at her. "I ain't no bitch!"
"Shut up, man." Captain Roman called out from in front of the truck. "She's just trying to get your goat."
"You know you're going to pay us for that." Schmidt said.
"Not me. Let your lady friend there deal with it."
Wilkins lunged for the truck but Roman grabbed him before he landed inside. "Cool it Wilkins. You don't need to get yourself all covered in that stuff."
"Get off me!" Wilkins shrugged Roman off and stormed away.
"Mrs. Massey, I need you to step out of the truck now please."
"I don't think so, Captain. I am very comfortable right where I am."
"No one is going to hurt you, we just need to get out stuff out of there."
"No one is going to hurt me? Bullshit. I was married to a cop for twenty years, you think I didn't learn a thing or two?"
"Oh, I'm certain you did. That's why I know you are smart enough to get down out of that truck before I send Wilkins in there after you."

Friday, February 13, 2015

A St. Valentine Challenge To My Readers

One of my current works in progress is a love story between a sailor fighting in the Vietnam war and the girl he loves back home. It is actually based on actual love letters written by my dad to my mom when he was that sailor who loved his girl half a world away. Reading the letters and writing the story has given me the opportunity to witness the love between my parents, when they young and smitten and know them both as people rather than just my parents. The book has been a work in progress for a long time as I want to tell the story in a way that captures the feelings and emotions they must have shared. Last week I was working on an entry for a writing contest and I came up with a letter that will be the new opening to my love story in progress. I like to imagine that were my father still that young man in undeniable love, he might have written one more letter like this letting my mother know that she was his girl forever. Even now, nearly five years after his passing, I am absolutely certain that she is still his girl.

The letter:


My sweetest Angie,
I drew duty tonight. Four long, lonely hours of walking the ship's deck with nothing but my ever present thoughts of you to keep me company. As I looked up at the millions of stars I couldn't help but wonder if you think of me as often as I do you. Do you see a night sky lit bright by starlight half a world away and miss me half as much as my heart aches for you? This war has taken almost every bit of humanity that I have left- all but the little corner of my heart and soul that I reserve for you my sweet Angie.
No matter what each day brings, you are always in my thoughts. Long silky hair, grey eyes and that smile that does things to my insides I can't begin to describe. Where I used to dream of fast cars and long for the thrill of the win, I now dream only of you in a white dress walking toward me with tears in your eyes… and mine. How I long for warm summer nights and to hold you in my arms once again.
My time here is nearly at an end. The jungles have sapped my strength, the VC have scarred my soul and there are days I nearly forget who I am. And then I look up at the night sky alight with promise and I feel at peace. I am at peace knowing that Vietnam does not hold my heart in its hands, you do my Angie.
I will come home to you. I swear that I will. I may be broken but it is you that will make me whole again. Our spirits are entwined, our lives will soon be one. No matter what the future may hold, always remember that I love you and only you.
Yours forever,
Bobby
 
I look forward to the day that I am able to finish this book. It should be easy, since I already know how it ends but still I struggle, wanting to do justice to one of the greatest loves I know.

In honor of Valentine's Day I would like to challenge each of you to write a love letter to someone you care about. A spouse or significant other, a parent, a child or a best friend. Post it here in the comments if you like. Love comes in many forms and is one of the most basic of human needs.

Why not tell someone they are loved and valued on a day set aside especially for this purpose? Candy, flowers, teddy bears- they are physical expressions of commercial holiday. Words, feelings and thoughts from the heart, those are what we carry with us always.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Sanguine Gem Cover Reveal

I stopped this morning to grab a cup of unsweet iced tea on the way to work. Living in the South, it is almost a felony to drink unsweet tea but I was born a Yankee and as long as I have lived in the South some Yankee traits just stay with me. Like a preference for unsweet tea and a love of good Italian food.

One thing I do love about the South that seriously lacks in my home state is the manners.People greet you with a hello and a smile, tell you to have a nice day AND mean it!  It still surprises me when, like this morning, men hold doors for me or allow me to pass by first or say excuse me if they bump into me. On my way in to get my tea this morning, two men held doors for me with a smile. There is nothing like a little Southern chivalry. I think that's why I love a good romance, especially a good historical romance- because I like to think that chivalry and romance are not dead.

That being said, check out this new book by Dawn Brower. No release date has been set yet, but the cover is amazing and it has already made to TBR list!




A Sanguine Gem is the fourth and final book in this world. The books in order are A Flawed Jewel, A Crystal Angel, A Treasured Lily, and A Sanguine Gem. All are available presently, except for A Sanguine Gem. It will be released later this year. The following is the blurb for A Sanguine Gem.

Gemma confessed her love to Liam and he walked away. Now, years later, she doubts Liam could love her. Can she trust this newfound love?

Lady Gemma Kemsley is in dire straits. Her cousin Alfie inherited her father's estate upon his death. He quickly bled it dry of funds and is turning his lecherous intentions toward her. Alfie wants to have complete control over her inheritance. Without Alfie's approval she can't marry. She only has one option—run away and live with her best friend in America. 

When his sister begs Liam Marsden to help Gemma he reluctantly agrees. He has a past with Gemma he'd rather forget—involving a failed attempt at betrothal and her professed love. When he sees Gemma again he realizes he can't ever let her go. Instead of sending her to America he uses the old betrothal agreement to marry her.

Gemma doubts Liam truly loves her. Can he convince her of the veracity of his love or will he lose her forever?

Dawn Brower holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in Education, and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Literature, History, and Sociology. She works as a substitute teacher and enjoys the flexibility it gives her to concentrate on her other endeavors. 



Growing up she was the only girl out of six children. She is a single mother of two teenage boys; there is never a dull moment in her life. Reading books is her favorite hobby. There is nothing like a nice glass of wine and a good book to relax with at the end of the day.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Warm Up Your Weekend...Review of New Adult Novel Sean's Sweetheart

Cold temperatures are on the horizon...so warm up your weekend with this new romance by Allie Kincheloe:
(The ebook is on sale for $3.99 this month so it will warm you AND save you money! Buy links at the end of this post.)
 
 


                                              Layer by layer, Talia peeled away his resistance.

 

Sean has spent five years cleaning up his life. He’s shoved his past behind him and built a profitable business in the town’s most popular dance club. Falling in love with a college sophomore wasn’t in his plans. But, from the moment he rescued Talia, she brings out his every protective instinct. He tries to resist getting involved on a personal level. Talia’s persistence, however, is stronger than his will.

Despite just ending an abusive relationship, Talia finds an instant connection with a man unlike any she’s dated before. Older, tattooed, and totally inappropriate for her, Talia couldn’t keep Sean off her mind, especially once he calls her “sweetheart” in that deep drawl of his.

When Talia is in danger, they discover just how strong their relationship is. Can Sean and his sweetheart make things last when horrors from their pasts come back to haunt them and family seems determined to keep them apart?

(Read an excerpt and fall in love...)

Excerpt 1:

With his hand on the small of her back as a guide, he directed her out the back door to the service alley. He led her over to a big black Harley and held a helmet out to her.

“Uh…” A motorcycle? Why couldn’t he have a sports car or a truck? Of course a tattooed bartender would drive a motorcycle.

The smug look on his face made her want to prove his assumptions wrong. Prove to him she wasn’t a goody-goody, scared shitless to climb on top of a motor with wheels and fly down the road under someone else’s control.

“It’s this or you call someone.”

Screw that.

She snatched the helmet from his hand. Talia gave him the address and fiddled with the strap, trying to figure out how to adjust it. His hands came up to tighten it for her and their fingers brushed. She sucked in a deep breath at his touch. His low chuckle took that spark of anger and kindled it into a blaze of desire. With the street lamps behind him, she couldn’t read his expression. His hand closed over hers for a brief second before he jerked it away. He straddled the bike and pulled his own helmet on.

She climbed on behind him and he started the motor. Talia jumped at the sudden roar of the engine and clung tight to his broad back. His chest shook with laughter beneath her hands. Talia relaxed a bit as the bike moved and they didn’t crash. She slid her arms around his waist and started to enjoy the ride, to enjoy the feel of holding a man.

She’d never been on a motorcycle before. Had never wrapped her arms around a complete stranger like this, either. She didn’t know his name, but she knew the strength in his muscles and the rhythm of his breathing. When she hugged him tighter, her fingers slipped through the button placket on his shirt. Instead of removing her hand, she combed through the tangle of hair on his chest, surprising herself with her boldness. His hand dropped back to squeeze hers for a moment, but he didn’t pull her hand away.

The ride ended too soon when he rolled the bike to a stop in front of her house. She stumbled getting off the bike, but he caught her before she face-planted on the sidewalk. He even walked her up to the door and waited behind her on the porch while she tried to unlock it. Her trembling hand dropped the keys and he bent to grab them before she could react.

“My name’s Sean, by the way.” He unlocked the door for her and handed her keys back.

“Sean. That’s a very nice name. It fits you. I’m Talia.” Did he expect to come in? They had just met and she still had a boyfriend, at least until she could find the nerve to dump the jerk. She’d never been the cheating type.

He leaned one broad shoulder against the wall next to the door and stared down at her. Shadows hid part of his face from her, but his eyes glittered in the dim light.

Sean’s chest rumbled with a deep chuckle. “Would you’ve said the same thing if I’d told you that my name was Bruno?”

A giggle snuck out. Bruno? Not a chance Bruno would fit him.

 

 (So, if you are already in love like I was, skip to the bottom and click on one of the buy links for either ebook or paperback. I have the paperback and let me tell you, the cover is even more beautiful in hand. And if that wasn't enough to convince you to read this book, keep reading...)
 
Sean let Talia clasp his hand in her small soft one as she led him across the parking lot. He shouldn’t encourage her like this, but he couldn’t bear to dim her eyes with disappointment whenever he pulled his hand away. Her brother and father stood looking over the loaded pickup. They caught the tail end of an argument between Zane and his dad as they walked up.

Her father grunted. “That couch is damn heavy and once we go up and down those stairs twenty times with all those little boxes, we’re gonna be too tired to carry that couch upstairs. I swear the darn thing is made of lead.”

Releasing his hand, Talia wrapped her arms around her dad from behind in greeting. “Would it make you feel better if I said I brought someone to help with the heavy lifting, Daddy?”

The older man glared in response as Sean shook hands with Zane. He reminded the older man of his name and stuck his hand out in greeting. Her dad’s eyebrow rose, but didn’t offer his own hand in return. Well, alrighty then. Would it kill him to be polite?

The older man scowled at him and said simply, “Sam Richmond.” The overprotective father crap was getting old.

Zane broke the tension. “Okay, Dad, we will do it your way. Sean, you think you can handle one end of the couch while Dad and I get the other? It’s really heavy. I didn’t realize how heavy, until Dad and I were loading it by ourselves. I, for one, am glad you are here.”

He nodded and the three of them pulled the couch off the truck. Talia tried to help, but Sean told her to just grab a box, he didn’t need her underfoot when they went up the stairs. Zane snickered at the glare on her face, but didn’t comment on it until Talia stomped up the stairs ahead of them.

“You are a brave man, Sean. Brave, I say. You haven’t seen her temper yet, have you? She acts all sweet and shy, but she’s a little hellion when you piss her off. And I think you may have done just that.”

Sam chuckled at Zane’s words, but didn’t say anything as they carried the weighty couch up, pausing at each landing to angle it around the support posts in the breezeway.

Once they got it to the landing of the third floor, Sean could see Talia standing with her arms crossed outside the locked door of her brother’s apartment. She looked angry. Crap, Zane was right. He was in trouble. Where’d that spirit go when she was dating that asshat?

They eased the couch down next to the door and Zane dug the keys out of his pocket to unlock the door. Shoving past her brother, Talia snatched up her box and stomped inside. Sam laughed out loud. “Yup, she’s mad.”

Sean sighed and shook his head. Well, at least he’d made her dad laugh even if it was because he’d pissed Talia off. The heavy couch put up a hell of a fight going through the door. They finally battled it through and had to take a minute to catch their breath. The crashes and bangs coming from the kitchen made Sam and Zane both snicker.

Zane elbowed Sean, mock-whispering, “Good luck.”

When the other men started back down the stairs to get more boxes, Sean followed the noise to Talia. With her back to him, he watched as she slammed the cabinet door with such force it rattled.

“Hey, I didn’t mean to upset you out there,” he murmured. As he laid his hand on the small of her back, she tensed at his touch.

“You said I was in your way. Do I look like a child? Or maybe you think I am too stupid to get out of the way?” Her eyes flashed in anger as she spun to face him.

“Now, I never said that. I just didn’t want you to get hurt, that’s all.”

“I thought you were different, Sean. Caleb always treated me like I was too stupid to breathe on my own, and I won’t go through that again. I can’t.”

“I really didn’t mean it like that. I should have phrased it differently, I can see that now. I’m sorry.” He didn’t get how he’d called her stupid, but he enjoyed seeing this side of her. He’d have to piss her off more often if she’d look at him like that. It was a heck of a turn-on for her to be confident enough to stand up to him. He liked his women to have some spunk. Damn, she’s gorgeous when all worked up. He wondered if her eyes filled with such fire when she made love.

He moved closer and she retreated in response until she bumped into the counter. Tilting forward and placing his hands on the granite next to her hips, he surrounded Talia with his arms. He whispered low in her ear, “Anyone ever tell you how stunning you are when you are mad? Your eyes are sparkling and so damn expressive. Sweetheart, you’re really making me forget that we need to be just friends.”

He nuzzled her throat, inhaling her sweet scent. Her hands reached up to fiddle with the button placket on his shirt. When she leaned toward him, he knew she’d forgiven him. She shuddered and he pulled back to look at her. When she licked her lips, he couldn’t take it anymore. Fuck being just friends. He needed to taste her again. Groaning, he bent his head toward hers. A mere second before his lips touched hers Zane kicked the door open and walked in with another box.

Biggest cock-block ever.

 
Author's thoughts:
     Sean's Sweetheart is Allie Kincheloe's debut new adult novel. New adult is not a genre I tend to read so I wasn't exactly sure what expect. By the end of the first chapter I was hooked. In fact, I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning unable to tear myself away from Sean and Talia.
      I have no patience or tolerance for abusive men so I hated Talia's boyfriend from the get go and I found myself getting aggravated at her father's insistence that she continue dating him. On the flip side, I have a real soft spot for the underdog and I rooted for Sean from the second they met. I love the fact that the writing made me feel invested in the characters. The descriptions the author created put me right into the story and when I finally reached the end, I found myself longing for a sequel. Immediately.
     The book is a quick read, mainly because you probably won't be able to put it down until you finish it. I am looking forward to future works from this author.

Buy links:






 

 

Author Bio:

As a busy mother of five, Allie sneaks time to write between breakfast and tickles. Always a Kentucky girl at heart, she currently makes her home near Nashville. 

Author links:





 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cover Reveal for My April Release!

Congratualtions!

If you read my blog, you are among the first to see the cover for my new book Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos! (If you would like to get future editions delivered right to your email inbox, take a moment and enter your email in the box on the right of the screen.)


It is the first in a new series titled The Secret Lives of Police Wives about a group of police wives who seem to find trouble and fall into solving a mystery where ever they go. There is plenty of humor and mystery, not to mention a good dose of romance in every book.

Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos is set for release in BOTH ebook and print on April 3. When pre-orders become available I will post the link here.

Until then, here is a little sneak peak...


Even a cop's wife has secrets… When young exotic dancers start disappearing, can Cyndi find the missing girls without exposing her own little secret?
Cyndi Mills has a great life. A handsome husband that desires her, a beautiful daughter, and friends she could trust with her life. It's only logical that she secretly takes a job as an exotic dancer at one of Virginia Beach's night clubs.
When dancers start disappearing, Cyndi is determined to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, solving the case means her overly protective husband has to know that she has been lying to him for months about where she goes every Friday night. Cyndi has no idea just how deep she will get by going undercover as a confidential informant. Will she risk her marriage to find justice?


Excerpt:


Jason leaned against the counter, arms folded across his chest. She recognized that look immediately. He was doing the cop thing, analyzing her, and she could tell he knew something didn't add up. His left eyebrow rose just a tad higher than the right as he studied her. "Why do you have glitter in your hair?"
Cyndi shook her hair and a shower of glitter rained down on her sweatshirt. Damn. Somehow she had missed a boat load of sparkle. Damn, that stuff got everywhere.
"Jody brought her daughter's costume for a dance recital to work so I could help her fix a tear. It was all covered in sparkles. The damn stuff got on everything. Had to go back over the carpets with the sweeper twice and I'm still not sure we got it all."
Jason continued to stare down at her from his full six feet of height. His stare was laser sharp, his presence imposing. It was no wonder he was so good at catching the bad guy. Hardened criminals squirmed under the intensity of that stare. Hopefully he couldn't see through her despite the fact she felt as transparent as the shower curtain hanging in their bathroom.
"You think Harper is going to want to do that stuff?"
"Harper is four. It's a little early to predict if she will be a dancer or a swimmer or...whatever."
"Yeah, well, I just don't want that glittery stuff all over the house. The guys won't ever let me live it down, I show up to work all sparkly like that." He shook his head.
Cyndi stepped closer to her husband and wrapped her arms around him. "I'm exhausted, honey. How about we go to bed?"
Jason hugged her close. "You gonna wear a little French maid's outfit like you do when you clean those offices?"
"Jason!"
"Can't fault a guy for trying." Jason's grin was a sharp contrast to his earlier scrutiny. He pulled out the neckline of her top and peered down into it. "Come on. I know you gotta wear some kinda uniform!"
Thank God she had changed in to her old white bra from the discount store and left her bustier at work. Stepping back, Cyndi held her arms out and spun around slowly. "You're looking at it, baby. Doesn't my ratty old sweatshirt turn you on?"
"Not as much as a little maid's outfit would. It's nearly Halloween. Maybe I ought to pick one up for you to wear at work. You know, so you don't mess up your own clothes."
"Ohhh, Jason... you are such a guy!"
"You would rather I be such a girl?"
"Of course, not! Just don't be so obvious about being a man all the time." Cyndi filled a glass of water from the tap, drank it in one gulp, then placed her used cup in the sink before heading toward their bedroom. "Come on, cop man. You play your cards right I might let you frisk me before we go to sleep."
Cyndi heard light switches flip, door chains sliding and the announcement that the house emergency alarm was being set. Jason rushed through his nightly round of safety checks as he yelled to her from various locations around the house.
"Do you have anything on you that might hurt me?" Snap went the deadbolt on the front door. "Needles, knives, or guns?" Click went the security latch on the sliding door to the back yard. "Do I need gloves or cuffs...?" 
"Not sure you're gonna need gloves but cuffs might be fun," she called back as she climbed out of her clothes and dropped into the cool sheets.