Monday, September 28, 2020

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Reading #Writing #Thoughts

 Meander 1 - Reading -I've finished reading F. M. Meredith's Rocky Bluff mysteries and have enjoyed every one of them. I read some of these years ago when we were both members of EPIC and they were on one of my old ereaders. Reading the entire series was fun and I found something interesting. There were many books in the series that I hadn't read. Most of these were in the middle of the series. Not sure what happened. The small town police force stories was fun and the connection between the characters great. Watching the characters change and grow was fun.


Meander 2 - Thoughts -- The first books of many of my series are now priced at $1.49. Hoping this will draw people toward them and I'm hoping to find ways to promote this. It's going to be fun. The Murder and Mint Tea Series, 4 of the fantasy or paranormal series and 3 contemporary series are there. Only one of the series isn't complete but is an ongoing work with five more stories to go.


Meander 3 - Writing -  Am working on the Nilos book and have one draft to finish and one to go. One of the chapters is coming up short but when I get to the final draft, I'll look into seeing what needs to be changed there and hopefully expand the chapter.

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 https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3?v=wall&story_f

bid=113639528680724

 http://bookswelove.net/

 http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com

https://www.pinterest.com/shadyl717/

 

Buy Mark

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday's Book Murder and Tainted Tea #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Cozy mystery #Santa Fe

 










Katherine heads to Santa Fe, New Mexico along with a Maine Coon Cat kitten to spend New Year’s Eve with Lars. Her guilty feelings over the organist’s death has her needing an escape. When she reaches Santa Fe, she discovers Lars is missing. She seeks and finds him and steps into another mystery.

Lars’ daughter dislikes Katherine but when the young woman is kidnapped, they are puzzled. The murder of Lars’ daughter and one of his employees makes solving the mysteries necessary. Can she learn before Lars becomes a victim.

Editorial Review
With every book, I think the Katherine Miller Mysteries can't get any better. I'm always wrong, because they always do. ~ Writer Gail Roughton


Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2017
Verified Purchase

Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2017
Verified Purchase

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Saturday's Blurbs featuring mysteries by Judi Phillips #MFRWAuthor #Small town #mysteries #Romance

 




Secrets of the Heart – Heart to Heart Series, Book 1 

A small town filled with Secrets.  What can go wrong for Robyn and Gregg?

 

When, Gregg Hollister, a Department of Marine Resources agent, arrives in Robyn Cushman’s hometown of Tide Rock, Maine, undercover, to investigate a growing problem among the lobstermen, there's bound to be trouble. Especially since Robyn’s brother is Gregg's main suspect, and he thinks small towns are boring backwaters.

 

Secrets abound. Gregg is keeping them from Robyn. Robyn's father tries to keep them from his easily stressed wife. Robyn's sister-in-law is keeping them from her husband. Robyn's partner and best friend has been keeping one for years. And the person guilty of all the incidents, is keeping one from the whole town.

 

Can Robyn survive the test of her family loyalty and learn that all secrets are not bad? Can Gregg risk loving a family member of his main suspect?  Or, will secrets tear Gregg and Robyn apart?

Available from Amazon Kindle and KU:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BPKX1HW

 

NEW RELEASE (even though it's the second book)

Fears of the Heart – Heart to Heart Series, Book 2

Kenzie Rivers is on the run from Vegas. Todd Cushman is running his uncle's restaurant. When trouble arrives in Tide Rock, can Kenzie and Todd overcome their fears of the heart?

 

Kenzie Rivers fled Las Vegas after running afoul of the wrong people. Seeking sanctuary with her Aunt Jane in Tide Rock, Maine, Kenzie finds a job singing with the house band at Jimmy's, the popular local restaurant.  She’s settling in to her new life, but what if trouble has followed her from Vegas?  Will she bring danger to her friends and family?

 

Todd Cushman's uncle has convinced Todd to give up lobsering with his father and become the manager of Jimmy's, his uncle's restaurant after Jimmy's nephew dies in a boating accident.  Although wary from a marriage gone wrong, Todd is intrigued by this exotic arrival in his small town, but workplace romances are never a good idea.

 

Spending time with Todd, Kenzie is more than attracted to him, but she doesn't do long-term relationships.  Spending time with Kenzie, Todd is scared by his growing feelings for her.  He doesn't want to lose the woman he loves again.

 

Can Kenzie and Todd overcome their fears of the heart?

 

Available from Amazon Kindle & KU:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GL2GT4T

Available from Barns & Noble Nook:  https://bit.ly/3ho0Z91

Available from Rakuten Kobo:  https://bit.ly/2FvLfTT

 

 

Whispers in the Heart – Heart to Heart Series, Book 3

Nikki and Tony have history.  Can they heed the whispers in their hearts?

 

Nikki Cushman is the new interim President of a small credit union in Portland, Maine.  She knows there's bound to be trouble when she discovers Tony D'Angelo is assigned to handle the transition audit.  He does not know he is the father of her twelve-year old daughter, Angie, and Nikki wants to keep it that way. 

 

They are forced to work together to investigate isome fraudulent accounts.  When threats are directed at Nikki and Angie, can Tony and Nikki listen to the whispers in their hearts?

 

Available from Amazon Kindle & KU:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GZ4Q40E

 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Judi Phillips is Visiting and talking about Who She Was Before #MFRWAuthor #Mysteries #Small town #New Mexico

 

First of all, thanks, Janet, for inviting me to share on your blog.  I appreciate the opportunity.

 

Before I became an author, when I was a kid, I read Nancy Drew mysteries.  I remember one of the stories involved black widow spiders, and I raced upstairs on my way to bed, terrified they were going to get me.  Now, many years later, I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the land of black widow and brown recluse spiders.  However, they are people afraid, and I almost never see them.  When I do, they scurry away to hide.

 

Later, as a teen, my mother introduced me to romance novels and I devoured them.  Around 1987 or 1988, I decided to try my hand at writing and combined my love of mystery and romance and never put my keyboard aside.

 

I write small-town cozy mystery romances.  Not sure that's exactly a genre, but it best describes my stories.

 

My  latest release is Fears of the Heart, released days ago on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Rakuten Kobo. 

Kenzie Rivers is on the run from Vegas. Todd Cushman is running his uncle's restaurant. When trouble arrives in Tide Rock, can Kenzie and Todd overcome their fears of the heart?

 

 

Right now, I'm working on a series of short stories that I want to release in serial format, .  Each chapter is approximately 4 to 5 pages in length and there are 5 chapters in each story.  There are 7 stories in all.  These are 'sweets' and appropriate for 14 year olds to read.

 

You can find me here:  http://judiphillips.com/

on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/judi.phillips.writes/?hl=en

on Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/judi.phillips.50

posts random blog at:   http://sugarspice-judi.blogspot.com/

or follow her on Twitter:  @judiphil

You can watch trailers for her books at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTUJo-C1MCZhbjIEsC_8vHg

Drop in anytime.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Thursday's Fifth Scene from Murder and Poisoned Tea #BWKAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Cozy mystery #organist #church choir

 

I left the office and headed home. Sunlight glared off the banks of snow lining the walks. Bits of old ice formed ragged patches on the concrete.

“Watch your step, Mrs. M.” Pete Duggan, my neighbor and a local police officer, fell into step beside me. His down jacket nearly matched his dark red hair. “Last time you had an accident, you got involved in a murder.”

“Then I’m glad you’re here. Once was enough.”

His hazel eyes twinkled. “What happened to the knife?”

“What knife? I don’t remember.”

“Right.” The knife he referred to, the one used to kill my tenant, lay on the bottom of the Hudson River.

We reached the corner. “I’m crossing here. I have to see Beth Logan about church business.”

“Beth Logan?”

I laughed. “Don’t tell me there’s an available woman in town you don’t know. She’s a widow. She and her six year old son live in the old Perkin’s house. Sings in the choir and is a nurse at the hospital.”

“Haven’t had the honor.” He grinned. “Church business—missing robes—vanished  communion wine?”

“Nothing criminal.” I studied him and wondered when he’d settle down.

“So what are you up to?” he asked.

“Acting as temporary choir director and heading the search committee for a new organist.”

“Good for you. Should keep you out of mischief.”

“I’m crushed.”

He laughed. “I don’t believe you. Let me walk you to her house. Maybe you’ll introduce me.”

“Beth is not to be trifled with.”

His eyebrows lifted. “You wound me. When I’m involved with a woman, I’m serious.”

“For a limited engagement.”

“Someday I’ll surprise you.” He held my arm and steered me across the street.

A child’s laughter rang clear. “Bigger. Let’s make it bigger.”

“Then how will we get the head on the body?” Beth asked.

“Maybe I can help,” Pete said.

Beth whirled. Her eyes narrowed. Then she saw me and her expression relaxed.

Robby eyed Pete. The boy’s blond hair stuck out around the edges of his blue knit hat.

“Beth, this is Pete Duggan, a friend of mine. He decided to help an old lady across the street and found me instead. You’re home early.”

“It’s a comp day. I have to work this weekend.”

“Then I’m glad we don’t begin our visits until next week. Just left Edward. He wants us to finish the search yesterday.”

While Beth and I talked, Pete lifted the snowman’s head and placed it on the body. “Why don’t you wait in the house?” she asked. “The snowman is my project. Your friend seems to have taken over.”

“He has a habit of doing that. Let me help, too.”

When the snowman had button eyes, a radish nose and a bright green scarf instead of Beth’s favorite blue one that her son had tried to liberate, she invited us in for hot chocolate and cookies. The sight of a box of store-bought cookies made me wince.

“Pete, here’s my key. There’s a tin of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies on top of the refrigerator.”

He caught the key ring. He looked at Robby. “Want to come with me? I think they want time for women talk.” He winked.

My Places

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bid=113639528680724

 http://bookswelove.net/

 http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com

https://www.pinterest.com/shadyl717/

 

Buy Mark

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wednesday Shattered Dreams #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Romance #Medical #Female doctor #Male nurse

 


Join the authors at #MFRWHooks Here  http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com  for some great excerpts Mine is from the first of tthe Moon Child series and features a lost love returned.
Blurb
Torn apart years ago by lies and threats, Rafe Marshall returns to town and confronts Manon Lockley. She has been told he died on the night he stood her up for their senior prom.

When she faints, Rafe catches her and realizes he hasn’t stopped loving her. Manon carries anger and now grief that wasn’t real. Rafe wants her in his life, but she doesn’t want to talk about what happened in the past. She can’t be sure if her father or someone else told lies about Rafe and she doesn’t want to know. Can Rafe persuade her to listen? Not without a battle.



EXCERPT:

She dropped the charts in her office and walked to the reception area. “Has the last patient arrived?”

“He’s changing. I’ll do the prelim.” Emma grinned. “He’s hot. Big guy with well defined muscles. Blue eyes surrounded by dark lashes. Lord, I’d love to have them. Oh, a killer smile.”

Manon laughed. “Have plans for him?”

Emma turned away. “I can only look and dream. He says he’s taken.”

“Maybe the next one will be yours.”

Emma hurried down the hall. Manon studied the next day’s schedule and discovered she’d be involved in a marathon of patient visits.

She rested her elbow on the desk. She had to do something about Tom. His weekly visits for vague complaints had to stop. Several times she’d referred him to specialists. The lack of calls from these doctors meant he hadn’t made any of the calls. Why didn’t he hear her message? She had no intention of dating him again. His awkward attempt at seduction when they’d been in high school had made her vow never again. She hadn’t changed her mind.

A painful memory surfaced. Her hands fisted.

Not going there either. Not today. Not ever.

Emma paused at the desk. “New patient is set.” She dropped a thick packet on the desk. “Copy of his medical record.”

Manon stared at the manila folder. With a health history with that many pages, she wondered why the hospital had hired him. She rose.

“Anything I should know?” Emma asked.

“There is. Once I document Mr. Sands’ last visit, make a copy of his records for him. If he calls for an appointment remind him he’s no longer my patient. I’m not willing to commit insurance fraud or have him continue to take time when I could see someone who needs me.”

“About time,” Emma said. “What if he persists?”

“I’ll ask for a restraining order and mention the office visits and my fears of being involved in fraud.”

Emma laughed. “Good for you. Bet that stops him.” She leaned against the wall. “Do you mind if I head out? If I rush, I can have dinner before class.”

“Go ahead. “Which class?”

“Statistics. Love that class.”

“You’re crazy.”

Emma slung her bag over her shoulder. “See you.”

Manon watched her friend hurry away. At the door, Emma waved and grinned.

Why the sly smile? Manon walked to the examining room and pulled a folder from the holder. She glanced inside. No name. Emma had been in a hurry.

As she opened the door, the scent of an aftershave sent her hurtling toward the past. For the second time that afternoon, memories of the boy she’d loved surfaced. She drew a deep breath.

Get a grip.

Without a glance at the waiting patient, she strode to the counter. The aroma strengthened. Hadn’t been her imagination. She turned her head and stared at the man wearing the green cotton examining gown. She gripped the edge of the counter. Blood rushed from her head.

“You’re dead.” The words slashed the silence. This couldn’t be happening.

“Hardly.”

My Places

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 https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3?v=wall&story_f

bid=113639528680724

 http://bookswelove.net/

 http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com

https://www.pinterest.com/shadyl717/

 

Buy Mark

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Revision - Consistency #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Revision #Consistency

 The next step in revision is to look at the consistency in your story. There are things you must be aware of.

Point of View - Is it consistent or have I slipped into another character's viewpoint for a moment in the middle of Jane's scene. This can happen. I once had a friend who often slipped into the dogs POV. That became amusing but not in a serious story.  Just remember when you're in Jane's viewpoint, all she sees, hears, tastes, or anything else belongs to her alone. Joe's thoughts don't count until it's his scene.

Check the beginning. Is this where the story really begins. Stories usually begin a moment before the change occurs, a moment after the change or during the change. If your beginning fits this you're good.

Check your time line - Does it move smoothly along. I once remember during a revision when I had characters knowing something that hadn't happened until a few scenes later. This is a real oops.

Is it possible to take two scenes and put them together. This can be important when looking at backstory. Delving into the past two often can break the story and pull the reader from the action. Can the multitude of eating scenes be changed or fused. Too many similar scenes can bore the reader.

Are the shifts of time clearly shown. I've just been revising a story when several of my critique group were confused by the character's aging. I hadn't made his growing up clear. That's there now.

Make sure the chronology lets the reader know they're going to find all the information they need before the story ends.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters = Reading, Writing, Thoughts #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Mysteries #amwriting #Sad death

 Meander 1 -- Reading -- This past week I've been reading F M Meredith's Rocky Bluff series. While I read them years ago, re-reading them is fun. Actually, I've missed one or two of the books while reading. Discovering old friends is fun. Marilyn and i became acquaintances during some EPIC conferences and quite enjoyed each other's company but at a long distance since she's in California and I'm across the country. The books are fun to reread.


Meander 2 - Thoughts - A Sad Death - Ruth Bader Ginsberg died and the world and women lost an advocate. Her tenacity and knowledge of the law was sterling. Her opinions will be missed. Who ever follows her will have giant shoes to fill and I'm not sure there's anyone thought of by the present regime who can fit the bill. 


Meander 3 - Writing -- Moving ahead with Nilos, Book 3 of The Moon Rises series. It's moving quite well but there's still a way to go. When I finish the current draft, all that will be left is the final read through and making sure all the scenes belong, aren't repeats of information, and make sense. Looking forward to writing the end.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday's Book Murder and Poisoned Tea

 



The moment she hears his mastery of the organ, Katherine covets him as St. Stephen’s new Minister of Music. Handsome, charming and vastly talented, the women of the congregation adore him. Even Katherine is swayed by his manners and ability, But Roger not only brought beautiful music, he brings poisoned notes to the choir. Katherine seeks to find the secret of why he has changed churches yearly. She prays the discovery will be in time to prevent a tragedy.


2. 
 More on the way? July 8, 2017
Hopefully will continue and improve. Story line a bit weak, needs more development.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Caroline Clemmons #MFRWAuthor #Western #Historical

 Charlotte's Challenge (Golden Legacy)

CHARLOTTE’S CHALLENGE, Golden Legacy Series   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DM3BD2Z  Release date: September 18, 2020
Genre: Western historical romance
Bret Craig is a descendant of one of the crew of The Golden Fleece. Over a century ago the merchant ship had prevailed against pirates carrying a treasure of cursed Inca gold. The legacy promises retribution against anyone who misuses the treasure. Bret has heard the story all his life but he believes the tale is a myth and that he’s in no danger if he spends the money selfishly. Ignoring his sister’s warning, he sets out for a grand adventure heading west.
Mail-order bride Charlotte Dunn lost her husband to a rustler’s bullet. Now she’s in danger of losing the ranch her husband built and intended passed down to his eldest son. Charlotte’s two stepsons are riding their horses when they see Bret fall from his horse and strike his head on a stone. Once he regains consciousness, he has amnesia.
Meanwhile Charlotte has discovered Bret has the money she needs to save the ranch plus a strong man is invaluable helping on the ranch. She takes advantage of Bret’s amnesia by telling him that he was on his way to help her because he was her late husband’s long time best friend. Acknowledging Bret will be angry when he regains his memory, she is too desperate to do anything else.
They must work together to defeat those trying to ruin Charlotte’s attempt to save the ranch. Can Bret forgive her deception? Are two people at cross purposes able to embrace the love blossoming between them?

DESPERATE IN DELAWARE, Yours Truly: The Lovelorn Series https://mybook.to/Mina Release date: July 7, 2020
Genre: Western historical romance
I will wait no longer! Since my parents’ death I’ve been living with my sister’s family. I help care for her home and her adorable children. But, when will I have my own husband and children? There is not even one eligible man near my age in our small town. I hear the snickers and hurtful remarks—old maid, spinster, on the shelf. My cousin sent me a newspaper clipping from a Yours Truly: The Lovelorn’s column. Imagine my surprise when the letter to the columnist read as if I had written it. I’ll do it—I’ll follow the Lovelorn’s advice and change my location. I’ll go to Texas to visit my cousin. I refuse to watch my life disappear until I’m left with only regrets!
LAST CHANCE BEACH: SUMMER’S END  https://romancegems.blogspot.com Release date: August 4, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
LAST CHANCE BEACH is the island paradise where dreams go to live again and wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity. Where is LAST CHANCE BEACH? The island is just off the mainland—wherever you want it to be. Let your imagination carry you to the island!
There’s still time to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances, hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, beach bunnies, dudes, and romance popping up when you least expect it.
Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special collection of 14 short stories from bestselling authors—all new, never published before—that will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some stories are sweet; some are sizzling hot. All will touch your heart and make you want to book a vacation to LAST CHANCE BEACH.
Only 99 cents and only for a limited time!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday - Caroline Clemmons is Visiting and Talking about her Latest release #Charlotte's Challenge #western #romance

1. Tell me about your latest release? Genre?
 
CHARLOTTE’S CHALLENGE is a part of the Golden Legacy series. When I was invited to be a part of this series, I was so pleased and honored. Some of my favorite authors are a part of this series and I am thrilled to be included. Then I had to think of a plot that goes with the theme—the legacy of pirate gold stolen from the Incas and cursed. I’ll write two books in this series. This one is a western historical.
2. Where did the idea arise?
 
I wanted it to be different from any other book I’ve written. I mulled it over and the plot popped into my head.  In this one, the hero has amnesia from a blow to the head. The widow heroine—honest and hard-working until now—tricks the hero in order to save her ranch for her children.
 
3. How much research was involved? Did you stay on point or be distracted by wanting to look at just one more thing?
 
 I love research so it’s difficult not to fall down the rabbit hole. I have toured the area in which the book is set on county historical tours. In spite of that, there was research involved.
 
4. How long did you take to write the book?
 
I usually try to write 3,000 words a day but several family events/emergencies caused me to delay. This book took about six weeks. Even though it took longer, I enjoyed writing the story of Charlotte and Brett’s romance.
 
5. Now a bit about you. How long have you been writing? What is your Sun Sign?
 
My sign is Virgo. My first book was published by Kensington in 1998, Be My Guest. Of course, I had been writing for a long time before I sold a manuscript. In fact, I remember writing stories as a child and illustrating them with crayons then tying them together with yarn. I also worked for a newspaper and for the managing editor of a psychology journal.
 
6. Do you write in a number of genres of stick to one?
 
I write more western historical romances than any other, but I also write contemporary, time travel, and mystery. That’s the beauty of being indie published—I can write what I wish.
 
7. Where on the internet can you be found?
 
Facebook Readers Group - Caroline’s Cuties https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/ 
Twitter  https://twitter.com/CarolinClemmons (no E in Caroline)

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tuesday's Writer's Tip Revision - Looking at Story and Structure -Action

You've finished your novel or your story. Are you ready to send it off? Probably now. There's one more thing you need to check rather than send it off with things for an editor to pick apart.

Action is one of these things. You'll need to read the whole book. There are a number of things to read for when you do this read through and with practice you won't have to read and re-read until you want to throw the entire thing in the trashcan.

Action tells you if you have a story. Does page after page and chapter after chapter pull the reader forward. Become the reader fresh to the story and the characters. Is something going on that makes you want to turn the page? Are the characters' wishes, and dreams and how they go about obtaining them clear? Does the beginning lead to the payoff. Sometimes writers spend so much time on the beginning of their story that they neglect the end. This doesn't have to be big drama ending but it needs to flow from that beginning.

Have you given the reader enough information? having them not knowing something you as the writer knows about the character or the plot doesn't work for the reader. But, there's always a but. Don't give them sso much information they're bogged down in a swamp.

Makesure the major scenes are played out to the hilt> I know sometimes when I'm rough drafting, I leave blanks in the scenes that I have to go back and fill in. Make sure you've filled them in enough to let the reader know this is an important scene.

Are there scenes that merely repeat something that happened in a scene before. Think about cutting this out or making drastic changes like in viewpoint.

Once you find the action flows to make the story cohesive, you're ready to more on to more steps. The more revision you do, the less you'll leave for an editor to do and maybe make changes that don't fit your view of the story.


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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Wednesday A Marriage Takes Two #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Romance #Medical

A Marriage Takes Two

Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com  for some great excerpts Mine is a medical romance about a modern marriage of convenience

BLURB;
” This is medieval.” That’s Carrie’s response to the reading of her grandfather’s will. The money will allow her to provide for her ill mother and give her the chance to give up one of her full time jobs as a nurse. The money won’t be hers until she marries. This creates a dilemma. She has no time for dating and doesn’t know who would marry her until she thinks of her former best friend, Tony. But can she ask him? Two months later time is running out and she decides to take the plunge.

Three years ago, Tony and his wife divorced. Last year he obtained custody or their child. When Carrie asks him to marry her he decides since this won’t be a real marriage, he can accept. Years ago, he loved Carrie but never said anything to her. Now burned, he doesn’t believe in love. To help her uncomplicate her life he agrees.

Can Tony and Carrie get past the reason for the marriage and find love and make a home for his son?

2019 Book Hooks


EXCERPT:

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.”
“Why?”
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.
My Places

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