Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday's Blurbs feature Books by Sydell Voeller #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #romance

The Fisherman’s Daughter


Psychology professor Vanessa Paris receives word that her father has disappeared from his fishing boat in Puget Sound and rushes to her childhood home in the San Juan Islands to try to help find him. Tragedy has been no stranger to Vanessa--years ago her mother died and more recently, her brother. The possibility of losing her father now is almost too much to bear. 
But when Vanessa arrives at the family owned tourist lodge, she meets Lowell Maxwell, who offers to help her search for her father. Back in high school, Vanessa harbored a secret, unrequited crush on Lowell. Now, he's a tough, jaded cop on leave from L.A., working for her father as a carpenter on a temporary basis, and even more dangerously appealing. 

Vanessa and Lowell are like sunshine and darkness. Despite her losses, she focuses on positive action and the good in people. Lowell, however, chases down the bad guys, flirts with danger, sometimes even death--and he's determined he'll soon return to the force in L.A. 

Is there still a chance of finding Vanessa's father alive and well? Can she take a chance on loving Lowell, risking the possibility of his dying too? And what is the dark secret that has driven him back home, a secret that has convinced him there's no longer any room in his heart for love? 

Amazon buy link: 

Barnes & Noble (Print Book)


Sarah Pendleton, a first grade teacher in Portland, Oregon, feels duty-bound as she returns to her hometown of Mistletoe Valley--and to her conflicted past. While growing up in her small, rural community Sarah lived with her grandparents, who served their community well--especially her grandfather, a pastor. Yet Sarah despised being the “perfect preacher’s kid” in a small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business. Rebellious, she fell for a stereotypical “bad boy” during high school and after graduation, they married. When they learned she was pregnant, he left her for parts unknown. Unable to support the baby, Sarah gave her up for adoption, yet ever since, guilt has consumed her. She believes she doesn’t deserve to have a second chance at being a mother.

Now a decade later, she is the sole inheritor of her grandparents’ estate. She must decide whether to sell the property, or make the painful choice of staying in a town where folks remember her rebellious past. 

She meets the strikingly handsome real estate agent Rich Stevens. He also works as a youth pastor at the church where her grandfather had served. Her attraction to Rich is immediate and powerful, but she’s faced with not one, but two prickly thorns: He is a grieving widower, and his 8-year-old daughter, Carly, is grieving too. He believes that there can never be another woman in his life, and he can succeed in raising his daughter alone. 

Sarah grapples with her own push-pull feelings for Rich. Should she hire him to sell her grandparents’ property, knowing full well he’s more than just a business acquaintance to her? Should she stay in Mistletoe Valley, or go back to her job in Portland? The truth is, if she were to fall in love with him, a man of the collar, she’d be right back to where she started as a child—struggling in vain to live up to others’ expectations. Worse, Rich’s daughter, Carly, is the embodiment of the baby she left behind, and if Sarah allows herself to get too close to Carly, that would only complicate her feelings for Rich. 
Can Sarah and Rich overcome their personal demons and making a lasting commitment to each other? Can the two of them—plus Carly--become a forever family?

Buy Links:

Google Books:  (Print books only)


Jessica Williams wishes she were anywhere other than her small town in Oregon. All the kids there are the same except for the few skateboarders her father cannot stand. Life is pretty dull for Jessica until Cam Easton moves into her neighborhood. But when Cam teaches Jessica how to skate, and her father runs for mayor of Preston, her involvement with the skaters poses a threat to her father's campaign. Can the skateboarders prove themselves worthy of the community's support? And most of all, can Jessica and Cam resolve their differences and discover the true meaning of love?

Buy Links:

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday's Guest - Sydell Voeller Who She Was Before #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishers

What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

Initially I worked as a registered nurse, but I like to think of myself as a writer before I became a nurse. In high school, I was the associated editor of the school newspaper, the editor of the creative writing publication, and I kept my own journal for several years. The journal, describing my topsy-turvy teen experiences proved an excellent resource for my writing years later.  In a word, it sparked many ideas for my first published teen romances novels via Silhouette’s “Crosswinds” young adult line and Bantam’s “Sweet Dream” series.  I also wrote short stories for a church-related magazine for young teens.

Are you genre specific or general? Why?

My books are genre specific: sweet contemporary romances (both young adult and adult).  The reason I settled on writing in this genre is because that’s the type of novel I enjoy reading.  Also, my first publisher for adult contemporary romances required clean “family reading,” and so that became my writing style.

Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 

Yes. Not only did I enjoy reading in my genre, I used this as a tool to learn what the publishers were looking for and what they were buying.

What’s your latest release? The Heart Leads Home, a contemporary adult romance.

What are you working on now? 

The title of my work-in-progress is Echoes in Time, an adult contemporary romance set in my home town on a beach in Washington State, although the town’s name in the story is fictitious.  At this point,, I’m subscribing to the old theory that if a writer talks too much about her current project, she will lose the motivation to write it. So please stay tuned...

Where Can We Find You?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene The Cancer Capricorn Connection #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #medical #romance

When Cate saw Rick and an older man choose a nearby booth her shoulder muscles tightened. The last bite stuck in her throat and she feared she would gag. From his startled expression, she knew he’d seen Maddie and realized the child was his daughter. She prayed he would ignore them but he wouldn’t. Maddie was his only blood relative unless he’d married and had children, a distinct possibility. Why else had he chosen a house with five bedrooms?
She pulled several bills from her wallet and tossed them on the table. “This should cover mine and Maddie’s lunch. We need to hit the grocery story.”
Lauren looked up. “There’s food in the basement freezer and the fridge is stocked. My welcome present.”
“I saw what’s there but we’ll need some cleaning supplies and Maddie’s favorite cereal.” She slid from the booth and signaled her daughter. Somehow she had to solve the new dilemma without upsetting Maddie.
“Cate.” Rick’s deep voice caressed her name.
She kept walking, hoping he would realize she didn’t want to speak to him.
Maddie tugged on her hand. “Mom, I think that man knows you.”
“We went to college together.” She chewed on her lower lip. There were things she couldn’t tell her daughter. Like we were friends. We fell in love. We had sex. I was pregnant. He rode away.
“Don’t you like him? I saw your friends talking to him. He lives in the house across the street.”
Cate paused beside her car and unlocked the door. “In and seatbelt on, please.”
“I will. You didn’t answer my question.”
Cate considered her answer. “Years ago we were friends. Right after graduation he left without saying goodbye. I guess I’m not a forgiving person like my friends.”
Inside she shook. She had to tell her daughter her father had surfaced. Any questions Maddie asked should be answered in a neutral voice. She didn’t want her daughter to hate the man who had fathered her. Right now she was too angry to talk about him. Still, she’d had his name placed on the birth certificate.
Her mother had been furious. Their conversation popped into her thoughts.
“You’ll give him a way to claim her.”
“If I ever see him again, he has a right to know.”
“Does he? Just like your father he left. Do you think I enjoyed answering your questions? How will you deal with her?”
“When the time is right I’ll know.”
Cate released a held breath. Her mother had answered her questions with bitter remarks. Never had the older woman allowed a fact to emerge.
The time to tell her daughter about Rick had arrived too soon. Was Maddie old enough to learn about her father and his actions in the past? Did it matter? A way must be found before he acted.
She parked at the grocery store. She and Maddie walked the aisles selecting cereal, bread and other needed staples. Cate picked up microwaveable popcorn for the movie they planned to watch this evening.
At the house while stocking the pantry she weighed her options. Though her new job was a challenge, if Rick made trouble, she and Maddie could leave Eastlake. She had no desire to look for another job. She could tell Rick to back off and threaten to sue him for back child support. Could she do that? Or she could tell her daughter the truth in several ways. Some could be designed to raise her child’s resentment toward him.
Rick had seen Maddie. His failing to realize she was his daughter fell into the area of impossible. Every time she looked at her child she saw him. Hair and features. Only Maddie’s eyes were green instead of deep brown. She pursed her lips. She had to tell her daughter but not today or even tomorrow. She needed the right time and the right words. She also needed to know more about him. In nine years a person could undergo changes.
Maddie ran to the kitchen door. “I’m going to swing.”
“Enjoy.” Cate walked to the living room. The doorbell rang. Tension froze her. She wanted to run but there was no escape. When she saw Lauren relief nearly made her black out.
“What’s wrong?” her friend asked. “You’re as white as a sterile four by four.”
“I thought you were Rick.”
“Who is Maddie’s father.”
The clipped words helped Cate regain her inner balance. “He is and…I feel like running and hiding.”
“Don’t chicken out. Face him. Clear the past so you can more forward.”
“I wish I could.”
“Look at me. I fell in love with Alex when I was a teen. He married Rhonda. I ran from seeing them and went to work for that international health group. When I returned he was a widower. I remained deeply in love while he wallowed in the past. I stayed and found happiness. So can you.”
“I’d just like to push this all aside.”
“No matter what happens I’ll back you. So will the others. Face Rick and let him know what you feel.”
“I need to tell Maddie first and that’s difficult. We’ve never talked much about her father.”
“Don’t delay too long and don’t feel guilty that you didn’t look for him. You weren’t the one who took off for parts unknown.”
Lauren’s words struck Cate as the truth. On graduation day the well of anger and hurt. Today, tendrils of guilt entered her thoughts. She had let him go and hadn’t tried to let him know about their daughter. “Do you want to come in?”
“I can’t. On the way here Johnny fell asleep. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. You did dash off. See you Monday. Have you found anyone to watch Maddie?”
“Your father-in-law enrolled her at the Community Center.”
“Liz’s boys are there as are many children whose parents work at the hospital.”
After Lauren drove away, Cate made a green bean and tuna salad for dinner. At five she called Maddie inside. Once they finished dinner, they unpacked their suitcases.
With this done Cate popped a bag of corn and they watched the latest animated feature. When the movie ended Maddie yawned. “Upstairs. Bath and bed.”
‘I had fun today. Thank you for the swing set. Johnny and the twins really liked it.” She ran off.
A short time later, Cate followed. She kissed her daughter good night. As she walked downstairs she felt thankful. Her daughter hadn’t asked about Rick.
She carried a glass of iced tea outside and sat on the swing. The moon shone brightly. As she gently rocked, she saw a car parked in Rick’s driveway. Before long she had to face him and have that talk with Maddie. She couldn’t allow anger to color either conversation. Hopefully she would find the right words.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday Words Perfect Becoming Your Own Critique Partner #MFRWHooks #writing #critique

Words Perfect: Becoming Your Own Critique Partner

Join me today at #MFRWHooks and the other great authors displaying out wares. Mine can be found at http:/  Words Perfect is a book about editing your mss and a winner of an Epic Award

Not everyone has access to a good critique group. If you're on your own and need someone to help polish your manuscript so it shines in the eyes of agents and editors, look no further. Using examples from their own work and a huge dash of humor, veteran authors Jane Toombs and Janet Lane Walters guide both the new writer and the experienced through the labyrinth of self-editing.

Sort of an Excerpt - Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Your Tell Needs Showing-Tell vs. Show And How To Make The Transition
Chapter 2. Listen To The Mocking Bird-Ways to Strengthen And Individualize Dialogue
Chapter 3. Is Your Black Moment really Gray?-Ways To Build Toward The Moment Of Revelation By The Character Who Has The Most To Lose.
Chapter 4. Is This Scene Necessary?-Evaluate Scenes To See If They Advance The Plot And Show Characterization Or Are Frankly Padding.
Chapter 5. Modifying To Death-Choosing When And Where To Use Adjectives And Adverbs.
Chapter 6. Just The Senses, Ma'am-Finding Ways To Use The Five Senses To Provide Atmosphere, To Set The Scene And To Add To Characterization.
Chapter 7. Do You Gallop When You Should Stroll?-Hints On The Use Of Pacing During A Scene.
Chapter 8. Don't Follow The Bouncing Heads-Using Point Of View Effectively, Without Giving Every Member Of A Scene, Including The Horse, A POV.
Chapter 9. Can This Plot Be Saved?-Tips On Ways To Plug Holes In The Plot You Thought Was Wonderful And Then Discovered Had Massive Problems.
Chapter 10. The Lean, Mean Writing Machine-How to Trim Away All The Words That Pad Your Writing.
Chapter 11. False Starts-Ways To Tell If You've Chosen The Right Scene To Begin Your Story.
Chapter 12. We've Heard That Song Before-Clichés: How To Recognize And Avoid Using Them.
Chapter 13. Drowning In Detail-Tips On What Not To Do With The Details A Reader Needs (Or Doesn't Need) To Know, Including Research.
Chapter 14. This Isn't Kansas, Toto-Hints On Using Show Or Tell So The Reader Knows Early On Where And When Your Story Is Set.
Chapter 15. In The Mood- Finding Places In Your Story Where Mood Can Affect The Characters And Enrich The Scenes.
Chapter 16. The Song Is You-Finding Your Theme And Using It To Solidify Your Plot.
Chapter 17. It's A Long, Long Time From May To December-Spotting Awkward Time And Place Shifts And Ways To Avoid Them.
Chapter 18. Why Did He Do That ?-All Characters Need Motivations To Drive Their Actions. A Look At Ways To Determine If Yours Measure Up.
Chapter 19. Dropped Eyes At Heartbreak Hotel-Ways To Keep The Heart In Your Writing And Other Body Parts Attached To Their Owners.
Chapter 20. Bits And Pieces-A Series Of Questions Writers Should Ask Themselves About Minor But Pertinent Errors.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Developing the Black Moment #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #Writing #black moment

The black moment for your character or characters doesn't just pop up. The moment has to be developed so the reader believes this is for real. Remember during the black moment, the character must believe all is lost. The reader must believe this as well. So how does this moment happen?

First comes the building of steps. These steps are found in the character's motivations, goals and secrets.There are also the stumbling blocks. What the character wants and why he or she wants it? This may or may not be the character's initial goals but ones that have changed and developed. The character's secret is important. He may be hiding something from others and even from himself. For that secret to be revealed is often the trigger for the black moment. Stumbling blocks belong to the other characters and they have their own reasons for the character not to reach his goal. These can also trigger the black moment.

The moment of realization is the next point in the black moment. The character must really believe all is lost. Don't resolve this moment in a sentence or two but show the character really suffering from the realization.

Then comes the resolution. Here the character must give up or find a way to fight. Play the scene out fully as this adds to the drama of the scene. Even if he or she gives up this must be made to look like the right decision for the character. If he or she decides to fight, this will lead to other scenes.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishers #Poem #Bamboo #Writing

Meander 1 - Poem

Sleep soft my soul
Yet do not wake
You need your rest
And solitude
You need to be apart
Away from all the cares of life
You need to find yourself in rest.

Meander 2 - Bamboo - Here in Rockland County, we have a weed they tell me is bamboo, at least a form of it. This plant grows everywhere and is almost impossible to remove. If allowed, it would take over the yard. The biggest anomaly is that we had our driveway surfaced with a thick covering of asphalt. The bamboo has found a way to insert itself through the paving. That is an insult but also says something about persistence. Persistence is something a writer must have. Lesson learned.

Meander 3 - Wriring - Finally have the Pisces Virgo Connection in hand. Hopefully by the end of July, I will have the book ready for final re-writing of scenes and a final revision so I can get it to Jude before September first. Here's hoping.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday's Book The Cancer Capricorn Connection #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #Romance #Medical

The Cancer Capricorn Connection (Opposites in Love Book 4)

She’s a Cancer and he’s a Capricorn. She has a secret she wants to keep but moments after they meet again, he knows the secret. Her daughter is his and he wants to be part of her life.

Memories of the past and her hurt brings Cate’s old anger with Rick to the surface. Rick realizes what a fool he’d been in his single-minded desire to follow his dream. He now has the medical degree he desired enough to set his love for Cate aside. His guilt and her anger clash while they try to find ways to show their daughter how much they love her


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by McKenna Dean #paranormal #MFRWauthor #romance

The Panther’s Lost Princess (Redclaw Security Book 1)

At the moment, I only have one book available: The Panther’s Lost Princess
Blurb: Ellie West has always known there was more to her story than being abandoned at birth. A child of the foster-care system, she didn’t get many breaks, but the one thing she can do is sing. It’s her only ticket out of poverty and obscurity. Nothing else matters, not even the nagging sense that she’s different. She's headed for great things. She only needs a chance.
Jack Ferris couldn’t agree more. His firm, the elite paranormal agency Redclaw Security, has been hired to find a missing princess and return her to her family. Discovering that Ellie, a waitress in a hole-in-the-wall diner, is both the princess and his fated mate is like being hit with a sledgehammer. Ellie West can't be his mate. She's the mission.
The sooner Jack completes this job, the better, only Ellie has no intention of throwing her dreams away for a kingdom she's never known. With hired assassins on their trail, Ellie might not have a choice. They must do whatever it takes to stay alive.

Coming sometime in July 2018: Ghost of a Chance
Blurb: At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.
A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.
With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they both harbor secrets that might tear them apart.

And if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get a free short story set in the Redclaw universe, Snowfall.
Blurb: The storm of the century. That's what the forecasters called it. No problem. Peyton Grant was ready: books, food, wine, and a wood stove. The only thing she could have wished for was a little company. With heavy snow on the way, that was unlikely.
The last thing she expected was to run into celebrity, Nicholas Lang, stuck in a ditch near her house. What could a small-town veterinarian and a movie star have in common? The answer just might make all Peyton's fantasies come true.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday's Guest -McKenna Dean #MFRWauthor #Paranormal #romance

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I’ve been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a biologist, a teacher, and a dog trainer. What I love about this background is I have so many things I can write about with some personal experience! Because I work with animals, I tend to have animals in my stories—probably what attracts me to writing shifters.  I have several degrees in biology and science, so I love writing sci-fi. But I love performing, too. I can bring authenticity to stories about community theater and large choirs. A varied work experience is fertile ground for writing.
I used to wonder why I couldn’t stick to one career and make a go of it. I used to envy people who had a calling and followed it passionately. Now I know it was all preparation to be a writer.

2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.
I wrote for many years under another pen name, and while they were all romances, they fell into a wide number of subgenres: contemporary, paranormal, urban fantasy, historical, science fiction… These are all subgenres of romance I enjoy reading, so the pull to write them was strong.
I realized having so many different subgenres made it hard to have an identifiable brand, so when I created the McKenna Dean pen name, I decided to limit myself to paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?
Definitely! While I enjoy a good contemporary romance, most of the time, I want something that’s going to have an extra element to the story—I love world-building, and certain subgenres, such as paranormal and sci-fi, lend themselves to political and social commentary. I love mysteries, so I’m looking into doing a series of paranormal romances that are centered around a Shifter Crimes division within my Redclaw Security agency.
I love romantic suspense as well, hence the creation of the Redclaw universe—a series of standalone stories centered around an elite paranormal agency that retrieves alien artifacts and deals with shifter issues. Think X-Files meets Warehouse 13.

4. What's your latest release?
I am so close to being able to provide a buy link for my newest release, Ghost of a Chance, but it looks like I’m not going to get it published until the second or third week of July. It’s the second standalone in the Redclaw Security series.  Here’s the blurb:
At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.
A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.
With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they both harbor secrets that might tear them apart.
This story has a lot of personal meaning for me. Like the heroine, I’m a fangirl who loves cosplay, and I also used to compete horses.
At the moment, I just have one story out, the first book in the Redclaw series: The Panther’s Lost Princess.
As part of the run up to releasing Ghost of a Chance, The Panther’s Lost Princess is only 99 cents!
In the Panther’s Lost Princess, Ellie is a waitress seeking to change her future. What Jack knows about her past changes everything.
5. What are you working on now?
I’m just putting the final touches on Ghost so I can format it and get it published. I’m also working on the first in a series of stories about the origin of Redclaw, set in the 1950s and featuring a pair of agents who find themselves in over their heads when they agree to work for Redclaw. Bishop Takes Knight should be released in early 2019.

6. Where can we find you?
If you check out my blog, all my contact information is right there in the sidebar, including my Bookbub page.
Following my blog or signing up for my newsletter is probably the best way of finding out the latest about book releases and sales.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene The Gemini Sagittarius Connection #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #romance #medical

"Mom, help," Brandon yelled.
     Liz grabbed one of the paper bags he held and reached for the other. "Where's your brother?"
     He shrugged. "Around."
     "Justin. Come help unload the trunk." She carried the bags toward the house. Brandon followed with his backpack and her overnight case. "Take them upstairs."
     As she passed the living room to enter the hall beside the stairs, her father-in-law sat up. "I can help you with those."
     "You could track Justin down."
     "Impossible. He's so like Derek was. Never could find that boy when there was work to be done."
She wished he would stop comparing Justin to his father. That seemed to give Justin license to behave erratically. The constant comparison also hurt Brandon. Still, she was fortunate to have Pop's help with the boys. Working would have been nearly impossible if he hadn't moved in and taken over the child care.
     Liz put the bags on the counter and unpacked the tea kettle and a canister of sugar. After putting water to heat, she checked the refrigerator. Milk, butter, and eggs stood on the shelves. In the freezer, the ice bin was full, and two bags of ice lay on the lower shelf. Thanks, Laurel, she thought.
     She looked around the room and admired the efficient use of space and the features she hadn't found in an apartment kitchen. The counters were marble with streaks of green that were echoed in the painted walls and the curtains. The stove had double ovens and a rotisserie. A microwave hung beneath one of the green cabinets. The large window above the sink overlooked the backyard.
     Justin emerged from the basement. "Mom, there's a big freezer down there with food and ice cream. Can I have some?"
     She handed him an orange. "Here . . . . It's good for you."
     "Ice cream tastes better. One for Bran." She tossed him a second, and he ran off.
     By the time she had two pitchers of lemonade and two of iced tea cooling in the refrigerator, the first of her guests arrived. Laurel strode into the kitchen. Her long brown braid slapped against her back. "Left Johnny with your boys. Did you find the stuff in the freezer?"
     "Justin did." Liz hugged her friend. "You're looking good. Marriage must agree."
     "Sure does." Laurel stepped back. "Like the curls.Reminds me of Megan's."
     "Unlike hers, mine are induced. Decided a new job deserved a new style." She reached for two glasses. "About the food. You didn't have to. I plan to shop tomorrow."
     "Welcoming present."
     "Sorry I missed the wedding."
     "So am I, but I didn't want to give Alex a chance to change his mind. Was a small simple ceremony. Sue Lee came. She won Johnny's heart."
Liz raised an eyebrow. "She the next recruit?"
     Laurel laughed. "Why not? Eastlake needs a good nurse manager for Peds."
     "Will she come? Isn't she working toward becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner?"
     "Shouldn't keep her from being nurse manager. I've enrolled for my Master's, and Jen's nearly done."
     "The Grantley gang rules."
     "Where else can you find the best nurses? Our clinical group took top honors."
     "Liz, where are you?" Megan called.
     "In the kitchen."
      Moments later, Megan rushed in and nearly knocked Liz down. "It's good to see you again."
     Liz laughed. "Hasn't been that long." Her friend's blonde curls always made her think of dandelions.
     "Saw the boys. They've grown. Eric and Alex are organizing the unloading."
     "Where's Jenessa?" Liz asked.
     "Where else but outside trying to take charge?" Megan said.
     Liz groaned. "Let's go before she accuses us of slacking off." She headed down the hall, and the others followed.
     "Glad to see you've decided to work." Jenessa stood with her hands on her hips. "Welcome. Eric and Alex are in the truck."
     "Then let's begin," Liz said.
     With laughter and teasing, the truck was soon unloaded, and the boxes and few pieces of furniture were delivered to the rooms where they belonged. "Let's have a competition," Jenessa said. "Laurel and Alex can have the kitchen. Eric and I will take the living and dining rooms. Megan, you and Liz can work in the study. The first group to empty their boxes gets a prize."
     Justin bolted up the stairs. "Bran, Johnny, let's do our room and the bathroom stuff. What's the prize?"
     "I'll think of something. Eric, help."
     He laughed. "Was your idea."
     Megan joined Liz in the study. She looked at the boxes. "These all books? I suppose you want them in alphabetical order."
     "Why? On the shelves is fine. This is a competition, remember."
   Megan ripped open a box. "Mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, romance. When do you find the time?"
     "Little or no social life. The job and the boys take most of my time. These represent my escape."
     "What about yourself? Love . . . romance?"
     "No time."
     Megan grinned. "Invited my dad to come and help. He turned me down."
     A chill rolled along Liz's spine. Did Megan suspect the infatuation? Did her friend have matchmaking in mind? An impossible mission. Liz recalled the day of her interview and Laurel's housewarming. Jeff Carter had been completely uninterested. "A wise choice on his part." She emptied a box of nursing texts and opened a second.
     "Probably a good thing for us. He was in a foul mood."
     Liz frowned. "Why?"
     "A med error on one of his patients." Megan shoved books on a shelf. "Your new unit is a mess. Four nurse managers in three years. There’s been some resistance to having computers. Your unit is the last one. Hope you're not going to throw up your hands."
     "Does it look like I plan to leave in a hurry? As for the computers I’ll push for them to arrive." She placed two thick medical texts on the oak desk that had been her father's. She was glad Dr. Carter had opted out. Monday would be soon enough to face him.

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