Monday, May 30, 2016

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poetry

Meander 1 Poem - Easter


Morning comes on padded feet.
Grief and sorrow, tears are shed.
The stone is gone!
A vacant shed greets the weeping eyes.
Now where/ Now where?
The voices shout.
A vacant tomb - a missing rock.
The soul seeks recognition
Among those it once knew well.
They do not know.
They cannot see.
It does not seem the same.
Im. Ia.
Why don't you know?
I am the tortured soul.
The light of morning floods the sky.
Soul triumphant resurrected.
Soul in ecstacy.

Meander 2 - Florida - Went to granddaughter's high school graduation. The moment I stepped from the air-conditioned terminal I wanted to return home. Temperature 93 and humid. My daughter thought the weather was not bad. So did my husband. I felt as if my blood boiled. At the graduation everyone else in the auditorium felt cold. I didn't. Perspired a bit. We returned home a few days later to nice coolish weather. Then today the temperature hit the nineties. Not in Florida. They had around 85 degrees. Seems I can't win.

Meander 3 - Writing - Going slow, very slow. Should have Seducing the Baker typed and ready to send off this week. Started my next project's rough draft today. Actually this is the third start for the beginning of the story. Once Baker is off I'll hit Kat's story and finish typing so I can move on to almost the alst draft. Be glad for that to finish.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday's Book - The Taurus - Scorpio Connection #MFRWauthor #Medical romance #Astrology

Her mother was a hired nanny and her father the Mellwood Bank. This is the way Taurus Laurel Richmond describes her family. After burning out as a nurse with an international health agency, she returns to Eastlake, the one place she where she felt connected. She studied nursing here and made a number of friends. Her one problem is her wealth. Soon she will receive a fortune. But money hasn’t given her the things she wants, a home, a family and love. Since a chance visit after summer camp with a friend made there, her idea of a man to love has been Alex Carter.

Alex Carter is a Scorpio, a single dad with a five year old son. He’s a general practitioner at Eastlake Community Hospital. While attracted to Laurel, he has one problem. His ex and now dead wife had a lot of money and little sense. Drugs and her fast friends were her life. She abandoned their son who cried for hours until his father returned. Alex has no love for women with money. Attraction or not he refuses to admit he’s falling for Laurel.

With the help of Alex’s son, Laurel sets out to prove to Alex she’s in town for the long haul and she will make the perfect wife and mother.

Janet Lane Walters has written a charming tale.
As a child, Laurel Richmond was trapped in a car with her dead parents for hours. After losing them, Laurel's next of kin was a bank. Laurel hides her immense wealth, traveling internationally as a nurse, helping the sick. She decides to settle in Eastlake, a small community.

She once summered with her friend Megan, developing a huge crush on Megan's brother, Alex, who is now a divorced doctor raising his young son Johnny. Alex is leary of wealth because his rich ex-wife had no time for him or Johnny, but Johnny takes to Laurel right away.

The glimpses of a family life that Laurel experiences with Johnny and Alex leave her longing for her dreams to become reality. Can she get Alex to realize that money may bring power, but love offers peace? 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration - Would You Continue Writing? #MFRWauthor

Wrote this years ago but thought I'd revisit. Was talking to my seatmate on the plane to Florida. She was interested in how much money I earned as a writer. I told her some and that some of my books published in 1998 were still earning money. Also told her it wasn't about the money but about doing what I thought was the right thing for me.

I'm going to paraphrase a quote found in On Becoming A Novelist. Comes from a basketball player not named but I thought it was a great inspiration.

"If being a writer were illegal, I'd be in prison for life." Kind of hit me between the eyes. But I think it's something to remember. In some ways writing, at least for me, is something I have to do. My day feels incomplete on the days I'm not writing. Taking a trip that lasts more than a few days making it impossible to write seems like a no fun time.

How about you? Has the desire to write clamped it's claws into you and suddenly you know you must put words on paper every day? I just finished participating in a writing challenge and that was to write 30,000 new words during the month of February. I really don't need the challenge but joined the group to help encourage other people who are bitten by the bug. Not everyone succeeded but some of them wrote more during that time than they usually do.

So I look at my paraphrased quote and know I don't write for money or fame. Those things are nice but I write because I must. How about you?

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Claire Dargin #MFRWauthor #sciencefictionromance

 Cold Warriors-

Left in cryogenic stasis for nearly a century, Caitlin Driskoll is awakened and drafted into a war she knows nothing about. Expected to defend a world where her kind is despised and expendable, she discovers love and respect from the one man who can’t be associated with her.

Lieutenant Colonel Medoro Keegan has spent a lifetime in the Marines. With no family to speak of, the Corps and his ship, the USS Blanchard, are all the loved ones he needs…until Caitlin sparks a fire within, that threatens to consume him if he doesn’t walk away.

Will he choose a life of certainty in the only world he knows or give it all to Caitlin and run the risk of losing someone, yet again?

Wolf's Blade-

Samantha Dixon rescues a wounded wolf shifter in the woods near her home … and unwittingly gets drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a murderer. Callum Blake is on the trail of an evil man who would be king of all wolfkind, no matter the cost … it’s up to Callum to stop him. How can Callum fulfill his duty to protect his pack and save the woman who is destined to be his mate? Filled with passion, action, and suspense, Wolf’s Blade is Book 1 of Clare Dargin’s new paranormal romance series, The Paladins.

Callum Blake is the lead Paladin for his pack. He is on a mission to capture Eryx Leva, a murderer who has stolen a sacred dagger that will enable him to become king of all wolfkind. Obsessed with his sworn duty to protect the knife at all costs, the last thing Callum expects is to run into his fated mate. Determined to make Eryx face pack justice, Callum believe he has no time for love or claiming a mate. But does the goddess who sent him on this important mission have plans of her own?

Samantha Dixon is alone. Her life of alienation is the result of a broken heart. When her husband died ten years ago she didn’t think she’d ever find love again. But when she rescues a fellow wolf shifter who’s close to death in the woods near her home, an act of mercy draws her into a dangerous chain of events that will change her life forever.

Now that Eryx has set his sights on Samantha, Callum is faced with the challenge of a lifetime--rescuing the woman he loves and saving all of wolf kind.

Amazon Buy Link-

Merry Chris Mas

[Menage Amour: Erotic Menage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, HEA]

Jilly Reimers wants love but can't find it. Chris Spinell is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffers from PTSD and a haunting feeling that something is missing in his life. Chris Poole is also an Afghanistan war veteran is ready to break out of his shell but is unsure how. With Christmas just around the corner, they decide not to spend it alone. Believing The Love Play Matchmaking Service to be just what they need for a night of fun and passion, they sign up. But when the guys show up and see that they've been set up on a menage, the only one happy about it is Jilly. Their consultant, called an Eros, assures Jilly that the service has a perfect track record but she's certain they'll be the first ones to get their money back. Will they have a very merry Christmas? Or will the three spend yet another one alone?

 ** A Siren Erotic Romance

Amazon Buy Link-

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday - Who She Was Before - featuring Claire Dargin #MFRWauthor

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

I was a teacher and a frustrated writer.  I believe it did because it taught me more about human behavior and natural reactions to every day problems and situations. 

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.

Right now I am primarily write romance though I have dabbled with horror and science fiction in the past.  Within the realm of romance fiction- I write everything from sweet to erotic romance and within that contemporary, paranormal, menage and scifi.  So I guess you can say I write whatever comes to my heart!

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?
Yes it did!  I have to admit, that I was and to some extent still am a science fiction fan.  I mean I devoured the stuff.  I use to read some fantasy but mostly it was scifi and then military fiction.  But being a total romantic at heart I always loved a romantic spin on a story whenever I came upon it.  However it wasn't until it about ten years ago, I rediscovered romance and fell in love with all of its subgenres especially the scifi romance- leading me to write my own and I branched out from there. 

4. What's your latest release?

My latest release is Wolf's Blade- The Paladins 1 published by Liquid Silver Books.  It's a paranormal, shifter, Male/Female, Contemporary, Erotic Romance. 

5. What are you working on now?

I am writing and editing the sequels to my book 'Merry Chris Mas- The Love Play Matchmaking Service 1.  They promise to be as much fun as the first and even more spicy.

6. Where can we find you?

 Almost everywhere!  Here are some spots to narrow your search-  Clare's Blog The Haven – 

The Embraced Scribal Love-

Amazon Author Page-

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene - The Aries- Libra Connection #MFRWauthor #medicalromance #Astrology

The Aries-Libra Connection

Chapter 1

With a flourish, Jenessa signed her name to the nurses’ notes on a fourth chart. She picked up a stack of papers and the brown bag containing the lunch she hadn’t had time to eat. All day, the pace in the Intensive Care unit had been hectic. Two codes. Three admissions in five minutes, all of them critical. Instead of twenty-seven, she felt more like seventy.

She waved at the night nurse. “See you tomorrow.”

“That’s two extras in a row,” one of the women called. “Are you some kind of glutton?”

Am I?  One more thing and I’m out of here. She straight-armed the door and headed for the stairs. 

After stopping on two other units to collect protest forms, she entered the stairwell.

Voices, eerie and distorted, drifted from below. The echo-effect made her wonder if the speakers were male or female. “Don’t worry, if we just push them a little harder, they’ll walk.”

“You’re right. Who could resist…”

Who were they talking about?  She leaned over the railing, but shadows hid the speakers. The voices faded. A door slammed. She frowned and headed to the fifth floor where she entered the Nursing Office.

Lorraine Rodgers, one of the evening supervisors, looked up. “Again? Don’t you get tired of making waves?”

“Is that what I do? I thought I was fulfilling my role as a good union member and a conscientious nurse. The contract gives us the right to protest unsafe working conditions. I just make sure they’re collected.”

The middle-aged woman shook her head. “We all know this is your personal crusade. Can’t you put the past to rest?”

Jenessa’s hands clenched and she felt the muscles in her shoulders tighten. “Could you?” She fought a barrage of memories. “See that Ms. Wallace gets these. Not that she cares.”

“You could give them to her. She’s in the house. The Board’s meeting to select the new Director and we all know who that will be.”

“Maybe they’ll choose someone else.”

Mrs. Rodgers laughed. “Do you really believe that? She’s been angling for the job since she arrived. We’ll have to learn to live with her.”


“Another petition asking for Sandra’s removal?”

Jenessa shrugged. “See you tomorrow.”

“You’re on again? Do you work all these extra shifts just to log complaints?”

“If I don’t, who’d be here for the patients?” Jenessa strode away.

Fifteen minutes later, in her apartment across the street, she stood in the shower. Hot water uncoiled her tight muscles, but not her thoughts. Would the hospital Board really name Sandra Wallace, a woman disliked by most of the nurses, as the new director? With Jim Bishop as Board president, the choice seemed likely.

After pulling on an over-sized blue tee shirt, she headed to the kitchen and zapped the spicy chicken dish she should have eaten for lunch. Though she considered working on her Master’s thesis, she felt too tired to read the stack of articles on the desk.

The apartment door slammed. She looked up and saw her roommate. Megan kicked off her shoes. “Are you ready for a bomb? Guess what the Board has done.”


“Is out.” Megan grinned. “Josh and I were at the Cove for dinner. Sam introduced Eric Bradshaw. Would you believe he’s the new Director of Nursing? And what a hunk he is.”

Jenessa pushed back long strands of dark brown hair that had come loose from her braid. “You’re kidding.”

“Not one bit.”

“It’s a ploy. Can’t you hear Mr. Bishop’s laughter? We’ll give the girls a man to drool over. That’ll shut them up.”

“Come on, Jen. At least they didn’t name Her.” Megan headed across the living room, discarding pieces of clothes as she walked. “He’s every woman’s dream. Tall, blond, broad shoulders. I positively drooled. He’s got the greatest dimples. That’s because he’s a Libra.”

Trust Megan to ask his sun sign, Jenessa thought. Her roommate’s description confirmed her suspicions of the Board’s motives. “Sounds like you’re adding him to your string.”

“Wrong. A Libra and a Pisces. Odd couple material.” Megan’s blonde curls bounced with the force of her denial. “He’s for you, my Aries friend. Remember what I always say. An opposition can be exciting.”

Not again, Jenessa thought. For the past year, Megan’s attempts at matchmaking seemed designed to drive her crazy. “Megan, no.”

“You can’t be alone forever.”

“You’re surviving.”

“Alone I’m not. My problem is too many and being unable to hurt anyone.” She shrugged. “Give it a shot.”

Jenessa frowned. Megan and she had been friends since they were five, but there were things she couldn’t tell her… Things about Chuck and the marriage.

“I’m union. He’s management. Can you see me falling for someone from the opposition?”

“And what will you be when you finish your Master’s?”

“Not here. I’ll work for a doctor. Head to the city. Become a consultant.” She followed the trail of clothes and gathered them as she walked. “With my reputation here, they won’t promote me.”

“Your reputation is undeserved. Just because you organized the union, sent a petition to recall Sandra, started the protest forms, negotiated the contract…” The click of the bathroom door cut off Megan’s words.

Jenessa dropped the clothes beside the door. She entered the bedroom and stared at the red brick building across the street where she worked in ICU. She liked Eastlake Community. For nearly three years, the hospital had been her refuge. She didn’t want to leave.

She returned to the hall just as Megan emerged, wrapped in a blue bath sheet that nearly reached her toes.

“...use someone who plunges to the center of a problem and won’t give up until the next one appears. You are kind of blunt though. He’ll weigh his decisions. Libras do. What’s on the agenda now?” She stumbled over the heap of clothes. “I know. In the hamper.”

“The contract. Monday, I’ll demand a meeting.”

“Why not give Eric Bradshaw a chance to settle in?”

“Why? They said they’d talk once they hired a new director and they have.” Jenessa headed to the kitchen.

“Let him size things first.”

“Do you really think a new D.O.N. will help us?” Jenessa paused at the end of the hall. “Do you know how many extras I’ve worked this summer?”

“That’s your punishment for demanding thirteen hour shifts. They can’t ask me to work seven days a week.”

“How many doubles have you pulled since Sandra took over staffing? Sometimes I think she wants to drive nurses away.”

“Why would she do that?” Megan followed Jenessa into the kitchen. Her knee length yellow tee shirt was the same bright color as the walls.

“Who knows?”

“Jen, give the guy a chance. How would you like to be in his shoes?”

She laughed. “I would love it. You know, if I could transfer my credits, I would be out of here.”

“It’s the same everywhere. Don’t you pay attention to the letters from the gang?”

“There are hospitals where the problems are addressed.” Jenessa picked up a fork. “Around here no one admits there are any.”

“I’m not sure there are answers. The health care system is in flux.”

“If the Board would sit down with us, we could try.”

Megan grinned. “Do I see you, sword in hand, leading the charge?”

“Don’t make fun. This is serious.”

“I’m sorry. I know how important adequate staffing is to you.”

“I’ll do whatever it takes to get a decent contract.” Jenessa bit her lower lip and fought a storm of memories and guilt.

Megan opened the refrigerator and poured a glass of juice. “Letters from the gang are in. Did you do yours?”

“What do you think?” The idea for a monthly exchange of letters between the members of their clinical group from the nursing program at Grantley was Megan’s project.

“When are you going to write it?”

“How about after the softball game Saturday?”

“I’m mailing copies tomorrow.” Megan raised her hand in a gesture of surrender. “I’ll write yours...About the game. Will we win?”

“We’d better. Softball is the one place where Nursing stands a chance against the other departments who, with one whimper, get everything they want.”

“He’ll be there.”


“Eric Bradshaw.” Megan left the kitchen. “Night.”

As Jenessa loaded the dishwasher, a slow grin built from deep inside. He would be there. So would Jim Bishop and Sandra Wallace. The annual hospital picnic might be an interesting event.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wednesday - Writing ABC - Characters - Wants #MFRWauthor

Now our characters have names and traits there's another thing characters need to make them come alive. What do they want?

Want can equate with goals but goals aren't simple. The character may want love, to kill someone, to find who the killer is, to fly to a new planet, to learn magic. These kind of wants are rather basic. There have to be levels to layer their goals to make each story stronger.

So let's look at what the character wants. There are reasons they may want a specific thing, but we're not looking at reasons today. We're looking to discover a goal, a want, a need. To reach the goal there are steps to take. A writer can't just say Jane wants love and she spots a man and they fall instantly in love, Jane has to take steps. The same is true with each of the general goals a character may want. The steps add to the complexity of the character and suddenly there are many more layers to the character.

How does one do this? What a person must do is look at the end goal and plan via scenes how the character can progress to this achieve their want. A writer must also remember there are other characters in the story. Well, usually there are more than one character in a story. The goals of one or more of these other characters may not be the same or be in opposition to the character's want. These must be taken into consideration and that winds into the story and brings the characters to life.

And these wants must mesh with the character's traits. So when you sit down to plan your story you'll become a juggler keeping lots of balls in the air.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration _ Writing As A Disease inspired by William Carlos Williams #MFRWauthor

I've been looking at older posts and this one I wrote in 2014. Decided to give it new life since I decided this was a good thing to do. I've loved poetry and liked WWilliam Carlos Williams poems. But the quote really started me thinking and I know for me it's true.

Today's quote always makes me smile. A long time ago, a writer friend gave this to me as a small Christmas gift. Our critique group at that time tried to do things we needn't spend much on. That still holds with a limit. So here's the quote.

"I think of writing as a disease. You can't stop it." Once the writing virus invades, writing is something that must be done. Now, maybe this isn't so for some writers. There are those who write one book and never write another. There are some who write the same book over and over again. There are people who think about writing a book and never do. And there are closet writers who never let anyone know they are writing.

What about you? Has the disease of writing made you think you might like to do this? Now there are many things that go into becoming a writer. Some of these things aren't necessarily fun. You have to put your work out there for people to read. You need to send it to an editor. You have to grow a thick skin when reviewers say things you'd rather not hear. Or those people who you thought were your friends make comments about what you've written.

The thing about the disease of writing is how severe is your case. The only cure is to stop writing. What fun would that be?

Meandering On Monday With Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poetry #Dance

Meander 1 - Poem - Good Froday

Good Friday

Do you know?
All backs are turned
In denial of this knowledge.
The soul is left to face
A certain death of self.
The trial is held - a thief released
And innocence is guilty.
Shrill cries press on heavy air,
Crucify, yes, crucify.
Ours is the guilt.
No innocence cam make us feel our pain.
A crown of thirns pierces self
And scourging demons flailed.
Along the cobbled streets,
Curiosity's wandering stares
Behold the sight - the purging soul
Carries the ross of self
And nails are pounded steadily
Into encasing flesh.
Then mutely on the cross
Hangs rejected innocence.
There is no wish to ease the thirst,
Or mask the suffering soul.
The light is blotted.
Cines dark day,
Forsak Dance recital, Writingen, why, why me?
Surrender comes
Crucified soul
Now purified.

Meander 2 - Dance recitals. This is the time of year for dance recitals and I attended one to day. Three grandchildren performing in the same show. A marvel since usually they are in perhaps two or three shows. They performed brilliantly and I was very proud of them. I also was impressed by the places where some of the school's students will be spending their summers in dance. Kirov and Bolshi among others. I wondered if in the future one or more of these students will shine of the stage.

Writing - Had a little bit of a holdup here but I'm finally getting back. A new book released for pre-order and a lot of books either free or on sale. That's a plus but means a lot of promotion. Hard when often one has to look at a long list and check the calender. There were four in one day. Promotion unfortunately is part of writing so one persists.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday's Book - The Aries Libra Connection #MFRWauthor #Medicalromance

Jenessa is Aries, a nurse, union advocate and likes a good fight. 

Eric is Libra, Director of Nursing, and believes in compromise. 

Can these two find a way to uncover the underhanded events at the hospital? They’re on opposite sides but the attraction between them is strong. She’s a widow who fought to save her husband’s life during a code. She feels guilty because the love she and her husband shared had died before his death. He assisted at the code but he feels guilty since he was the one who was responsible for the short staffing the night her husband died. 

Now they face falling in love and trying to solve the problems between the nurse’s union and the president of the hospital’s Board who wants a take over of the hospital by his hospital group. Is their connection strong enough to survive?

eviewed by: Pam Stone,, MyShelf.Com

Jenny Robertson is all for the nurses union, and she plans on keeping the nurses union alive and well, even though they have been working several months without a contract. Mr. Bishop and Sandra Wallace want something different: they want the nurses and their union out of Eastlake Community hospital for their own personal gain.
Greg Bradshaw is hired as the Director of Nursing; he is hired for the job because of his good looks and to keep Jenny and the other nurses from making trouble. Things do not go the way that Mr. Bishop and Sandra want; they sure did not count on the chemistry between Greg and Jenny.
Janet Lane Walters is very good at putting the reader in the characters shoes, and boy, do you feel the heat between them right from the beginning. Now they must figure out a way to stop Bishop and Sandra before it’s too late to save their jobs and the hospital.

This was a capricious book; I could not put it down until I had finished reading. Ms. Walters makes you feel warm and cozy with the romance scenes between Jenny and Greg, and in my eyes, that makes it a really feel-good romance that every one will enjoy.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday - More lemonade _Opening Scene - Seducing the Attorney #MFRWauthor

Seducing The Attorney - up for pre-order

Chapter One

Bright morning sunlight glinted on the stained glass windows of the gray stone church. Lauren Grant left the memorial garden where the ashes of her sister and brother-in-law had been interred. They rested inside the stone wall near her parents’ site. She rubbed her arms to chase the chill of the autumn day.
Conversations flowed around her. She drew a deep breath to force back the tears ready to flow. She had to leave. Hearing one more word of sympathy might release the flood. As she dashed past the steps leading to the sanctuary door, she saw him standing with the pastor, two of Jim’s colleagues and a teacher friend of Carrie’s.
Tony Carlin. Tall, broad-shouldered with dark hair seemed in his element. She felt sure his piercing brown eyes compelled witnesses to tell the truth when he grilled them on the stand. Jim’s brother and the man she had to share custody of their ten month old nephew troubled her. She didn’t know why but sharing wasn’t part of his nature.
She reached her six year old sedan. In the sunlight the car appeared more blue than green. She slid into the driver’s seat, buckled up, started the car and drove through the streets of the Hudson River village to her classmate’s house. The action gave her time to control the urge to let tears cascade. She was on her way to pick up Jamie. The baby didn’t need to see her grief.
She parked in the driveway of the white frame house and bounded to the door. She rang the bell. With Jamie in her arms, her friend opened the door.
“Tee, Tee.” Jamie’s happy cries greeted her.
She held out her arms and he nearly leaped into them. “Miss me, squirt. Were you a good boy?”
Marsha smiled. “He was a dream. Wish my hellions were so easy. I have your notes from yesterday’s class. Will you be there tomorrow?”
“Have to be.” Lauren sank on the couch. “With mid-terms looming I can’t afford to miss another day.”
“Makes two of us. I made a list of classmates willing to watch Jamie. Do you have someone for tomorrow?”
Lauren nodded. “The young man who was Carrie’s student signed up for weekend duty. He watched Jamie several times so they could go out to dinner.” She struggled to fit her squirming nephew into his blue jacket.
“Study hard tonight,” Marsha said. “I’m sure there will be a quiz.” She walked with Laura to the door.
“She never fails to have a quiz.” Lauren wished she could follow her friend’s suggestion. Hopefully there would be time to copy yesterday’s notes as well as do battle with Tony over the guardianship issue. What did a playboy know about caring for an infant?
The trip from her friend’s house to Carrie and Jim’s took ten minutes. Jamie’s chatter had ceased the moment she’d fastened him into the car seat. At least he hadn’t cried the way he had when she brought him home from the hospital. Did he remember the accident?
She turned into the circle of the development and parked in the driveway of the unit. She’d lived here since the day of the accident and the deaths so Jamie would be in a familiar environment. After opening the garage door she lifted Jamie and carried him inside.
She nearly lost her composure. “Just Auntie.” Tears she dare not shed burned her eyes. “Just Tee.”
“Tee.” He patted her face.
“Hungry?” She removed his jacked and popped him into the blue and yellow highchair. After setting a pan of water to heat she opened two jars of baby food and heated the meat and vegetable combination. She poured milk from one of his bottles into a sipping cup.
Jamie used the plastic container as a hammer. He quieted as soon as she fastened a plastic bib in place. She sat at the counter separating the narrow kitchen from the rest of the open first floor. With a spoon she fed him.
After Jamie finished both jars of food and drank milk from the cup she carried him upstairs to the spacious nursery. She changed his diaper and sat in the rocker to feed him the rest of the bottle.
When she placed him in the crib he was asleep. She turned on the monitor. For a time she studied him. How much he resembled his father and uncle except for his hazel eyes, a gift from Carrie.
With a sigh she walked downstairs, straightened the kitchen and leaned against the counter. Her grief refused to be contained any longer. As though a water pipe had ruptured tears gushed and gasping sobs accompanied the flood.
Attempting to control the gushing grief she gulped deep breaths. She cried for her nephew deprived of the parents who had adored him. The tears turned bitter when her own loss hit. Carrie and Jim had dragged her from a slide into self-destruction and helped her become a woman with a future. The sobs morphed into mourning for the couple who would never reach their potential and never see their son become a man.
As she wiped her eyes thoughts of Tony rose. He had as little family as she did. Only Jamie belonged to both of them. Her body shook. He was determined to shove her from their nephew’s life. His vision of her was based on a single meeting four years ago in California, a few months after Carrie and Jim had helped straighten her life. A few of her rebellious quirks had remained.
Not now. Not for a long time.
Two years ago she had returned to the area where she and Carrie had grown up. She’d started college. When Jim had accepted a position at a nearby research laboratory she’s been happy. Carrie had found a position teaching English at one of several local colleges. Since their arrival she’d seen them several times a week.
Grains of resentment abraded her thoughts. In the five months Carrie and Jim had lived here Tony had never visited once. Her sister and brother-in-law had trekked to the city maybe three times to see him. They hadn’t wanted to intrude on his busy work and social life.
What was wrong with him? Didn’t he care?
Stop it.
She didn’t know why Carrie and Jim had named Tony and her as co-guardians for Jamie. She didn’t know what kind of relationship Jim had with his brother. She only knew she missed them. Fresh tears began.
The doorbell rang. She blew her nose and blotted her eyes, a useless gesture. Tears continued to drip. The glass panel of the door and her tears blurred the man’s face but she knew the dark hair and broad shoulders meant he had arrived. She opened the door.
In an instant his arms enfolded her. She pressed her face against the gray wool of his overcoat. As he stroked her back Lauren fought the desire to allow the comfort he offered make her forget they weren’t friends.
His hands slid lower. He cupped her rear pulling her against his erection. Lauren raised her head to protest. Before a word emerged his mouth covered hers in a kiss shooting dolts through her body.
One of his hands shipped beneath her sweater and stroked her skin. Slowly he backed her from the door, past the kitchen and the stairs leading to the second floor. He steered her toward the couch. His tongue played along her lips. Awareness struck. He didn’t like her. Why this passionate assault? A reason shoved into her head. He would use her response against her when she asked for sole custody of Jamie.
She jerked her mouth from the drugging kiss. “Stop!”
“Stop. You’ve gone too far.”
“I haven’t gone far enough.” His dark eyes glittered with lust.
She pulled free and nearly tumbled over the arm of the couch. His hands on her arm prevented a fall. She glared. “I know what you’re thinking. You’re wrong.”
He grinned. “I don’t think so. I want you. You want me. Believe me, it’s going to happen.”
A cry from the monitor ended the discussion. She ducked under his arm and ran upstairs. Hopefully once she rescued Jamie, Tony would be on his way back to the city.

* * *

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday - Making lemonade - Book for Pre-release.#MFRWauthor

What do you do when your guest doesn't appear. You find a way to make lemonade. Seducing the Attorney is the fifth book of the At First Sight Series. The book is about assumptions and we all know what happens when you assume. The hero has a lesson to learn.

Seducing The Attorney
 Book 5 in the At First Sight Series.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene _Seducing the Doctor #MFRWauthor #Medical #Motorcycles

Seducing The Doctor

Chapter One

“You’re next.”
Matt Blakefield choked on the piece of wedding cake he’d been about to swallow. “Not in a million years. Why don’t you pick on one of our unmarried friends like Tony or Jules?
“They aren’t here,” his sister Allie said.
Matt’s gaze slid around the long table in the inn’s dining room spearing each couple with a glare. Friends and family had gathered to celebrate this morning’s wedding of his brother to the mother of his nine year old so.
“I have a friend who you would like,” Allie said.
Meg grinned. “She would be perfect.”
Matt pretended to shoot his sisters. “No sale.” He dropped his napkin on the table.
“Remember the curse.” Mark’s sly smile teased. “None of us has escaped. Maybe there’s a woman from your past you can’t forget.”
Was there? Yes. But the reason he couldn’t forget her showed him in a bad way. Time to hit the road. With this decision made he wondered how he could flee before his sisters set up a date. As if in answer to his wishes his cell vibrated. Salvation.
“Matt here. Sorry you missed the wedding…I’ll tell him.” He looked up. “Jules said congrats. Sorry he was on a hunt and couldn’t book a flight in time… So what did you learn?”
His friend and investigator’s news was all Matt wanted to hear. “I’m on my way. Yes, today.”
As if he’d stay here where plans he wanted no part of were being laid. He’d been present for the important event. He had no reason to linger and a huge need to escape. Although he wasn’t to meet Jules until Monday morning the opportunity was perfect.
He rose. “Have to leave. Jules has info I need on this year’s makeover house.”
“On the weekend?’ His father, CEO of the Good Magazine Group and recently married to his teenage love arched an eyebrow.
“Yeah, it’s the Smiton house. You know the one I’ve always been interested in. I want to use this as the project for converting a house from energy sucking to energy efficient. Jules has a line on the owner’s location. I want the contract signed so we can start work soon.” He didn’t mention how his mother had loved the house and talked about the mystery of the heir’s disappearance. There’d been no thought of the man’s death, just that he had gone to Europe to live.
His father’s forehead wrinkled. “If there’s a problem, find another house. Who knows what condition the Smiton house is in. No one has lived there for more than twenty five years.”
“I’ve checked. The house is solid.”
“Find one with the owners in residence. They’ll appreciate the free upgrade.”
Matt groaned. “And spend hours suggesting changes that won’t work or constantly complain about the inconvenience. Not on a bed.” Matt rose. Another thing he failed to mention was his plan to live in the house.
He kissed his new sister-in-law’s cheek. “Let Mark spoil you and Davy. My brother has a few years of presents to bestow.” He made his way around the table kissing the women and clasping hands with the men.
Matt strode to the cloakroom to retrieve his leather jacket and helmet. He’d planned to hang out in one of the cottages until tomorrow but not with the schemes buzzing with the ladies. He leaned over the counter, kissed the middle-aged woman’s cheek and dropped a ten spot in the tip tray.
He dashed out the door and down the steps to the parking lot and his bike. As the engine roared to life the relatives gathered and the protests began.
So much for a quick getaway. He braced for arguments.
“Stay,” his new sister-in-law called. “You have one of the cabins to yourself.”
“We won’t bother you, I promise,” his step-mother said.
She wouldn’t but the we didn’t include his sisters. “Another time.”
“Matt, it’s going to rain.” The voices of four females rose in a chorus.”
“I won’t melt.” He slapped his helmet on his head. With a spray of gravel he headed to the road.
Exit Matt fleeing a gaggle of women intent on ending his bachelor state.
“You’re next.” Had someone shouted that or was his imagination playing trips. Next wasn’t on his agenda.
He waved. “Not today. Not this year. Maybe never.” The engine’s roar drowned any comments.
Visions of being followed by a parade of match-makers populated his thoughts. Instead of heading for the interstate he decided to cross from Vermont into upstate New York. Exploring new territory was the perfect ending to his great escape.
Once they’d found the perfect mate why did happy couples believe every bachelor should be part of a twosome? He wasn’t ready to take a wife or enter into a long term situation. He enjoyed his single state and found pleasure with a variety of women. Granted there’d been a dry spell lately…not his fault. He hadn’t met a woman since high school who had tempted him for more than a night or two. Even the vanished woman had been a fool’s dream.
As he sped along the serpentine road a misting rain began. Moments after crossing into New York the storm turned earnest. Water fell in wind-driven gales. Thunder rumbled like a mad drummer slamming a kettle drum. Lightning streaked across the sky in a brilliant display. Although the time was late afternoon the darkness spoke of night.
Time to find a motel, bed and breakfast or a rustic inn with a room for the night.
He reached a crossroads and paused to read the signs. The nearest town was forty miles away. He dug out his smart phone. No service. With a groan he wiped the face plate of his helmet and chose a road. The headlights cast a tunnel through the gloom. Shadows impinged on the narrow band of light. He shot down the road, off on an adventure hopefully with a dry room at the end of the road.

* * *

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABCs - Character - Traits

Having given the character a name, one needs to look at their traits. What are their pluses and minuses. Every writer has a way of making this discovery. I happen to use Astrology to find mine.

What I really think about this is there are three ways a character comes alive. There is the face he or she shows the world. We've all known people who appear to be one way and yet are really perhaps not the opposite but they are different from what they let people see. What you see may not be what you get. These differences are what makes a character different from every other character in fiction and there are thousands of characters. So I list several traits each of my characters may portray.

There is the character's true nature. This includes the little secrets they keep inside, the things they don't want anyone to know. Or the things another character needs to dig to fine and give the character a second dimension. This comes to a character's heart. I once wrote about a character who seemed on the outside to be a decent and helpful person but inside he was someone quite different. And his inner self wasn't one you wanted to know.

All characters even the coolest ones have emotions and these emotions cause them to act. Maybe they respond to situations in a way different from their inner or outer natures. So I try to assign a few emotional traits that may or may not be in conflict with the character's natures. Reactions and actions are emotional responses.

So look at your characters and take them from the one or two dimensional creatures and make them three dimensional. Readers will see this and respond to your stories.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration - Looking back to 2010 - The Writer's Journey #MFRWauthor

Years ago, I bought The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler and started to read it but for some reason I put it on the shelf and didn't finish it. While doing these things to inspire people in their writing I pulled it off the shelf and started to read.

He maps out a sort of 3 act arc. This begins in the ordinary world. This made me think about the ordinary world. This is different for each character one creates and this means one has to build a bit of the character's world before the story begins. For me this means that after I've decided what my story is going to entail, I have to think about what is going on in a character's life and what makes them want to leave this world that may be comfortable or uncomfortable. He talks about :The fish out of water." Sometimes I've used this but sometimes I've made the fist be in the water and the changes that come from without. Mrs. Miller in the first two stories of the mystery series is in her world and her world is threatened. In the third and fourth books of the series she does step out of her world and I think when I get to the fifth, she will again leave her world and in the sixth she will return to her world being disturbed by events. So reading just a few paragraphs has made me think about the stories I've written and the ones I'll be writing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poetry #amwriting

Meander 1 - Poem - Maundy Thursday

Maunday Thursday

The feast of love is over.
Night has come, indeed,
The feast of bread and wine
Is eaten and devoured.
Love shared, sad and quiet,
Companion laughter ends.
The cup is passed.
Communion for remembrance.
Knowledge comes. Push it back.
Pass over. Be gone dark night.
The moonlit garged
Pretends to hold a peace,
Fears rush in. Haunting, rocking fear.
Oh, take away this cup.
Blot out the pain. Turn and see
Friends are fast asleep.
A growing pain, surging, racking tears
Nearly unto dearh.
Oh, for a friend's arms close.
The rms are there.
A friendship kiss.
Secure and safe.
Take away the cup.
Alone. Betrayed.
Soul mutilated.

Meander 2 _Publishing industry.- Around me I hear cries of doom. Having published for many years I've seen what's happening today has happened before. Once there were hundreds of places where short stories could be placed for publication. I began this way and slowly the markets dried up or died. In fact I had two stories for children paid for by magazines that went dark before the stories were published. Made me feel sad but there was nothing I could do to change the situation. Then came poetry. There were many magazines and other places for poems. The market changed and these resourced driend up. The same happened iwth paperback books. The market dwindled and soon there were very few left. We're seeing the same thing happening today with publishing. Small publishers are slowly dwindling. Authors are finding other ways such as self publicaation. The morl of this story is staying for the long haul. Once things dry up other venues will open.

Meander 3 - Writing. Still going slowly but hopefully the pace will pick up. Working on two stories at present with one waiting in the wings.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday's Book - Seducing The Doctor #MFRWauthor #Medical #motorcycles

You’re next.”

Those words send Matt Blakefield fleeing his brother’s wedding. Marriage or even falling in love is the last of his desires. What he wants to learn is the identity of the owner of the house he wants to use as a make-over for the magazine he edits, Good Livin’. A fall rainstorm and a pine tree sends his motorcycle into a spin and into the arms of an old acquaintance, a girl he hurt in high school.

Cassie Moore has borrowed a cabin from one of her partners in a cardiology practice to come to terms with a broken engagement. The news came via an email. Her fiancée had married another woman just weeks before their scheduled marriage. The appearance of Matt at her door brings an old attraction into full bloom. She realizes love is lurking but he’s a player and she needs to forget the connection.

Is it possible that a weekend of love can become a lifetime?  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday's Blurbs featuring books by Barb Caffrey #MFRWauthor #fantasy #Science fiction #Military

First, the Elfy duology, with book 1 being AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (only ninety-nine cents at Barnes and Noble and Amazon!) -- Amazon US -- Barnes and Noble -- OmniLit/AllRomance


One Elfy for an entire planet?

He's supposed to be the Watcher for his people, the representative on Earth from his dimension, but the small being known to his enemies as "Jonny-Wonny" wakes up to big trouble -- trapped in a bizarre house in Knightsville, California with humans straight out of reality TV. Jon knows that something has gone dreadfully wrong -- he's starving, lonely and dressed in funny clothes.

Enter the couple's ten-year-old diminutive daughter, who is "Not Daisy!" but is brilliant, sweet...and using high level magic with ease. She's also desperately in need of a friend. Insisting her name is really Sarah, and christening him Bruno, his new friend asks him how they're going to get out of there.

The only thing that comes to mind is for Bruno to ask his teacher, Roberto the Wise, for help. But Roberto's attempt at help only enmeshes all three of them further in a web of deceit and treachery.

Bruno finds out that, unfortunately, most of what he thought he knew about himself was very wrong...and much of what Sarah knows about herself is also wrong, including her age.

Worst of all, a Dark Elf is on the scene and is intent on corrupting the local Humans, including Sarah's parents.

New names, new locations, a new mission--Bruno is going to get to the bottom of all the craziness, and Sarah will be there for him every step of the way.

Watch out, universe -- an Elfy is on the loose!

and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, book 2 of the Elfy duology... -- Amazon US -- Barnes and -- OmniLit/AllRomance


Young Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly-human teenage girlfriend, are in deep trouble. Bruno's Elfy mentor Roberto the Wise is about to be sacrificed by a Dark Elf, and Sarah's parents have decided to help the Elf rather than the Elfy. Things look bleak and are getting worse by the minute, but Bruno and Sarah have a number of allies -- human, Elfy, and ghosts -- that the Dark Elf can't possibly expect.

Can young love, desperation, and great unexpected power win out despite it all?

And for something completely different, read my military SF novella, "To Survive the Maelstrom," co-written with my late husband Michael B. Caffrey and available only at Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.



Command Sergeant-Major Sir Peter Welmsley of the Atlantean Union has lost everything he holds dear. He wonders why he lived, when so many others died at Hunin — including his fiancée, Lydia, and his best friend Chet.

Into his life comes Grasshunter’s Cub, an empathic, sentient creature known to those on Heligoland as a “weremouse.”

Weremice are known for their ability to help their bond-mates. But how can this young weremouse find a way to bring Peter back from the brink of despair and start living again?

Note for readers: I wrote this around 2K words my late husband, Michael B. Caffrey, left behind after his untimely passing in 2004. I wrote most of this in 2014, and plan to write more about Peter Welmsley and his adventures in the not-so-distant future. -- Barnes and Noble

  4 Attached Images

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday - Who She Was Before featurning Barb Caffrey #MFRWauthor

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

## I started out my life as a musician. I believe the rhythm, cadence, harmony and melodies of music all have inspired me to write cohesive, thoughtful stories...and they certainly inspired my poetry, early on in life.

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 don't think of myself as genre-specific, no. While I'm known more for my funny fantasy (or possibly for my short stories in STARS OF DARKOVER, GIFTS OF DARKOVER and the upcoming REALMS OF DARKOVER), I also write military SF, paranormal romance, and have been known to write other sorts of stories as well. I also spent several years writing opinions and for the arts and entertainment section of my college newspapers before I tend to see myself as a writer, period.

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

## I have always enjoyed reading fantasy and science fiction; I remember reading most of the late, great Andre Norton's stories before I hit age 15. (These would all now be called young adult, or YA, stories.) She wrote all sorts of things; most were fantasy, some were science fiction, some were F&SF hybrids, some were historicals, some were romances...the only thing in common with all of Miss Norton's stories were that they kept me turning the pages. (They were cracking good, in other words.) So it's possible that I picked up on the idea that I could write anything I wanted from her, and maybe from Anne McCaffrey later, and possibly even Lois McMaster Bujold (whose books, regardless of genre, are must-reads in this household).

##Even as a full adult, though, I have continued to read whatever struck my fancy. For research, I read hard science and history. For fun, I read books by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, Stephanie Osborn, Rosemary Edghill and of course Bujold...though as I'm now a writer and editor myself, I always learn something whenever I read anything from these amazing authors.

5. What are you working on now?

## CHANGING FACES, a transgender fantasy romance due out sometime during the summer of 2016.

6. Where can we find you?

## blog:
book review site:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene - A Marriage Takes Two #MFRWauthor #Medical romance

A Marriage Takes Two

Chapter 1

Two hours of pep talks, a dozen whispered mantras and five sets of calming breaths failed to settle Carrie Graham’s acute case of nerves. Get a grip, she told herself. She was going to see Tony, childhood defender, teenage ego booster and the one person who’d always listened. Besides, she’d already eliminated every other candidate for the position.
Who are you kidding?
From the moment she’d been presented with her current dilemma, he was the only possibility. All she had to do was convince him… But could she?  Sure Tony listened, but he didn’t talk about his problems or his feelings.
The fading light of dusk made her slow the car in order to read the street signs. She’d planned to leave the apartment at noon but the short nap after her night shift had stretched until late afternoon.
She made the final turn into Fourth Street in a small West Virginia town established in the days when coal mining had dominated the area. She shook her head. Rundown houses and boarded storefronts were the norm along the town’s main street. Why was Tony practicing medicine in this end-of-the-road place?
She hadn’t seen him for years, not since several months after his marriage, an event that had shaken her life. His wife hadn’t understood the friendship or Tony’s and Carrie’s mutual interest in medical mysteries. With a flash of anger, Carrie recalled the night that woman had stormed into the hospital cafeteria and spewed jealous accusations.
Carrie’s hands tightened on the steering wheel. She’d been embarrassed, hurt and angry enough that she’d walked away from her best friend.
She’d heard rumors that Tony’s wife had taken off for greener pastures. At least that’s what the hometown gossips had said. Not that Carrie believed in gossip, especially after the news of her inheritance had brought the tongue-waggers out in force.
She slowed the car to a crawl. Waves of panic lashed against her momentary calm. The place in her head where she’d filed his address was empty. She braked. The paper with the directions fluttered from the dashboard. She bent and grabbed them.
One glance was enough to retrieve the forgotten data. She eased off the brake and cruised the street. Half the houses had missing numbers. What now?  Then at the foot of the dead end street, she saw the ones she’d memorized displayed in shiny brass on a massive gray house that looked like the setting for a Gothic novel.
A broad lawn fronted the house. The tailored grass stood in contrast to the tangles on either side.
“This is the place.” She gulped a breath.
After parking at the curb, she slowly released a held breath. She strode up the walk and onto the wide porch. Muffled shouts and noises came from inside the house. She rang the bell. What sounded like a slammed door nearly sent her back to the car. Who was staging a major temper tantrum?  She thought Tony lived alone.
She rang the bell again, this time holding for several peals. The door opened and she forgot why she’d come. She forgot to breathe. Her eyes widened and her heart pounded in a staccato rhythm until she thought her ribs would crack.
He was more than she remembered.
Are you sure you want to be here?
“Tony.” His name escaped on a sigh. She felt like a teenager come face to face with the latest movie hero. This was the man she planned to ask…She changed her mind. Time to retreat. The plan wouldn’t work, not with the things he made her feel and what he made her want.
“Carrie...Oh lord, it’s been ages. What are you doing here?  You look terrific.”
She did?  He must be blind. Even her coworkers had made comments about the deep smudges beneath her eyes. Most days, she felt as though she was suffering from terminal exhaustion.
“Come in.” He took her hand.
Exhaustion vanished. He’d always made her feet great, but this instant tonic-effect startled her. Coming to see him had grown corners she couldn’t see around.
“I can’t believe you’re here.” He drew her inside. “What brings you to town?”
She wanted to tell him, but the words caught in her throat. “Would you believe I was in the neighborhood?
Tony laughed. “No.”
She inhaled and the spicy scent of him invaded her space. “I came...” She couldn’t finish the sentence. He’d been her hero, her prince, her fantasy lover. In the flesh, he relegated those images to black and white.
“I bet you came to apply for the nursing position at the clinic.” He steered her down a hall that needed paint into a large living room. “Did you get lost on the way there?  Unfortunately, I’m not the one you need to see.”
She shook her head. “Another job is the last thing I need. I already have two.”
She shrugged. “Necessity.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It’s a long story.” She sighed. “I shouldn’t have come.”
“What’s wrong?  Sounds like you need a shoulder.”
The entire body, she thought. “You could say...It’s like this...I have a problem that needs a solution...It’s sort of...” Her throat closed. Maybe she should leave. Go home. Forget the plan. Find a new one. Except, he was her first, last and only choice.
“Be glad to listen.” He patted her hand. “Are you saying in all these years, you haven’t found anyone else to listen?
I haven’t looked, she thought. There couldn’t be a replacement for Tony. She couldn’t tell him that. “I thought...Maybe you can help.”
“Be glad to try. Go ahead.”
A crash resounded. Carrie jumped. “I think you’re the one with the problem.”
“You could say that.” Tony rolled his eyes upward. “My son’s protesting his punishment for his latest series of pranks. He’s grounded with no TV and no phone.”
“What did he do?”  She sat on one end of a shabby brown couch.
“Do you really want to know?”
She nodded. Hearing about Tony’s problems could give her time to gather her courage.
He slumped beside her. “He glued the sitter’s clothes together. She left in a huff.”
“Don’t blame her.” Carrie frowned. “I thought your son lived with his mother.”
“He did until July. She’s remarried…to one of the Brinkers. She and her new husband are on a world cruise honeymoon. They didn’t take Chad.”
His blue eyes were bleak. Was his pain for his son or himself?  How badly had his failed marriage hurt him?  “Are you all right with the idea?”
He shrugged. “I’ve mixed feelings.”
His expression showed hurt and anger, not ones she’d consider mixed. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. It’s great having Chad here, but he’s angry about the divorce, about living here, about his mother’s new husband. Wasn’t a great summer. Even with him in school, there are problems.”
“Maybe I can help.”
“Don’t know how.” He winked. “I’m not without experience in dealing with angry kids. “Remember…”
“Yes and don’t even mention the first time we met.”
“Or my black eye?  Lord, it’s great to see you again. Why don’t you tell me why you came all this way?”
She ran her tongue over dry lips. She searched for an answer and couldn’t find one he would believe. If she asked him, he would think she was crazy.
Good grief, my thoughts are scrambled. He was too…too… male.
And your feelings for him haven’t changed.
The demand in his voice made her feel like a child facing an adult. “It’s...” What sounded like glass shattering brought her to her feet.
Saved, she thought. “Don’t you think you’d better see what he’s doing before he trashes the house?”
He raked his ebony curls with his fingers. “You’re right.” He headed to the door. “Promise you’ll stay ‘til I settle him. Then we’ll talk.”
“I’ll be here.”
She sank against the cushions. Maybe he would need the entire evening to deal with his son. This visit was an act of desperation. After all, it had been years. Maybe he’d changed.
She looked around the sparsely furnished living room. Most of the pieces looked like refugees from second-hand stores. What had gone wrong for him?  He’d been on the fast track. He’d entered practice with one of the largest medical groups in Pittsburgh. From some of her classmates, she’d heard how wonderful her was, what a caring doctor he’d become, and how loyal he’d been to his wife and child. Had the end of his marriage caused him to turn his back on success?  She hadn’t heard and she hadn’t asked until two months ago. Her jobs had been in hospitals where he hadn’t been on staff.
The sound of a throat being cleared made her jump. A woman with streaks of gray in her brown hair stood in the doorway. Who? Carrie wondered. Hadn’t Tony said the sitter had quit?
“Dr. Flynn wondered if you would like something to drink?”
Carrie covered a yawn with her hand. “Coffee if you have some made. I’m Carrie Graham, an old friend of Tony’s.”
“Hazel Smithton, housekeeper and reluctant sitter for a spell. Be right back.”
A short time later, Carrie sipped the strongest coffee she’d ever tasted. Two iced cinnamon rolls helped her swallow the bitter brew.
The hollow feeling in her stomach vanished, but the matching sensation in her chest expanded. She closed her eyes and planned explanations for the question she’d come to ask. No matter how she phrased her reasons, the words sounded like a desperate plea. Over the years, she’d learned begging never worked. Would this time be any different?

* * *