Monday Mayhem – Picture post

Had a busy weekend! It started with visitors:

Joey and Raylon
Mommy and grandbaby

Which led to much cooing and cuddling:

I think he likes Moogie best
I think he likes Moogie best

Then we took off to Southaven, MS for the M.R. Davis Library Mix & Mingle

I brought my lovely assistant along to flirt with the ladies.
I brought my lovely assistant along to flirt with the ladies.

Got to meet my fellow TMP author, Linda Rettstat

Linda
Linda

And met historical romance author, Mary McCall

What can I say? I gravitate to the chicks who like men in kilts.
What can I say? I gravitate to the chicks who like men in kilts.

Then we came home to this:

And just where have you been, Moogie?
And just where have you been, Moogie?

So we had to cuddle until we got back in his good graces

Granddad and Moogie are funny!
Granddad and Moogie are funny!

All in all, it was a pretty darn good weekend. I have a busy week ahead. Getting ready to head off to Texas for the day job. I’ll be gone for a couple of weeks, but I invited some friends over to keep you company. No keggers. I mean it.

So how was your weekend? Got a busy week ahead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Flashers 3/22/13

Friday Flashers

Today I thought I’d share a bit of a short story that’s been collecting dust in a file folder for a few months, but is about to get a delightfully sexy overhaul. 🙂 The working title of this story is Going Deep.

Gathering all the ammunition in her arsenal of ace-reporting, Brooke lobbed her most pressing, hard-hitting, newsworthy question at him. “Why did you kiss me?”

“I wanted to.”

He answered without missing a beat. The realization that he’d expected her to ask made her cheeks flare, but the need to take him down a notch burned hotter. Feeling vulnerable, she struck back at the one spot she knew might still be touchy for him.

“Pretty ballsy for a quiet guy like you to kiss the Homecoming Queen in front of the whole school. Must have taken weeks of planning. Were there charts involved?”

Brian’s smile faded, but he kept the oh-so-familiar smirk in place. The sardonic eyebrow twitch that dogged her all through high school was back too, but she knew the blow hit home. She’d been high school royalty—popular, pretty, and well-liked enough to be voted Queen of every dance as well as Student Body President. His only social triumph was being elected President of the Science Club.

His eyes narrowed but remained locked on hers. “You mean a nerdy guy like me.”

The intensity of his stare dredged up a raft of insecurities she thought she’d jettisoned years before. “You hated me all through school.”

“That’s not true.”

His voice was melodious and deep. The confidence ringing through the cooled molasses thickness of his drawl proved more seductive than poetry. He wasn’t that nerdy boy anymore. This man knew damn well the effect he had on women.

She held his gaze. “Why am I here?”

“Your paper wanted an interview.”

The simple answer wasn’t good enough. “Why me?”

“I wanted you.”

Happy Friday, my friends!

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Monday Mayhem – Appearances

I’m making some appearances (of the not deceiving variety) this spring. Check it out!

This weekend (March 23, 2013) I will be in South Haven, Mississippi for at Mix & Mingle at M.R. Davis Public Library. I’ll be chatting it up and signing books with seven other authors from 11:00am – 2:00pm. If you’re in the area, please stop by!

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May 1-5, I’ll be attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Kansas City, MO. This is a big one, with authors and fans coming from all over to attend. I can’t wait! I’ll be signing at the Expo, so be sure to look for me. See button on sidebar >>>

June 7-9 I’m heading back to Cincinatti for the 2013 Reader and Author Get Together at the Marrott West Chester! I can’t wait to hook up with my writer and reader friends again!

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Other than that, all I have is business travel set in stone. What about you? Got any weekend dashes planned?

 

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Friday Flashers 3/15/13 – So darn lucky in love!

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I am very lucky in love…now. But until I met my hubby, I was what was commonly known as a Tragic Spinster.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have my fair share of chances. I did. And maybe someone else’s share as well, but that’s a different story. You see, I’d always assumed I’d grow up, get married, have babies, then live happily ever after.
Yeah…That didn’t really happen.

So, you see, I hit my thirties without having found my ‘special someone’ and had to adjust my preconceived notions of love. I had a full and happy life without that all-encompassing romance, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a difficult pill to swallow. Yes, my family and friends loved me. In my own hyper-critical-but-not-too-nutso way I loved me. I just wanted someone taller, hairier and generally more testosterone-y to love me too.

One crazy stroke of luck later, love found me at last. I met my husband because my business card was drawn out of a hat. An endless cycle of seminars forged a common bond between strangers who lived very different lives hundreds of miles apart. The telephone turned into our loveline. I joined a frequent flier program.

Until I stumbled into a seemingly impossible love I hadn’t realized I was too damn lucky in love to let the chance pass me by. Backed by a wealth of love and support from my family and friends, I packed my bags and turned my life upside-down.

My romance may not have unfolded as I originally envisioned, but that doesn’t mean I’m not living my happily ever after. That’s why I consider myself pretty darn lucky in love!

Now it’s your turn to get lucky! *wink*

Tell me about a time when a random stroke of luck changed your life, and I’ll enter you into a drawing to win digital copies of the first THREE Hot Nights in St. Blaise novellas: Jumping Mr. January, February’s Fling, and March Madness.

(Must be 18! Two winners will be drawn. Contest ends at March 18,2013 11:59PM)

And don’t forget to hop around! There are more than 300 blogs participating. The more you comment, the better your chances of getting lucky and winning our Grand Prize!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
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Monday Mayhem – The Margaret Shuffle

I updated my iPod this weekend. I know, I know…alert the media. But, it’s an anomaly in my life, trust me.

I acquired some new-to-me music thanks to my friend Julie and the good folks at iTunes. As a matter of fact, it seems every song I’ve added lately is thanks to Julie. Of course, I take her advice. She’s young and hot, and I don’t really think she’s trying to brainwash me or anything. Much. I’m sure she just thought I might really enjoy ‘Hey Julie’ by Fountains of Wayne. And she was right. I do.

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This weekend’s discovery was Caro Emerald and her fabulous song ‘Back It Up’.

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I love it, but I have to admit I’m a little afraid Julie’s getting into my head. I just tried to spell color with a U. Those Canadians are sneaky. First they seduce you with Clodhoppers then they take over your iPod. Soon it will be all Rush all the time!

My iPod is a weird and wonderful place, but I need to shake it up before Julie takes over entirely. I thought I’d share the next ten songs to pop up on my iPod’s shuffle then you can tell me what you’re listening to, and maybe we can move forward without calling in a deprogrammer.

The Point of No Return ~ Phantom of the Opera Original Soundtrack
A Million Miles Away ~ The Plimsouls
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) ~ Pink
How to Dream ~ Sam Phillips
Everyday I Write the Book ~ Elvis Costello
The Air That I Breathe ~ The Hollies
Where or When ~ Harry Connick, Jr.
So in Love ~ k.d. lang
Blue Bayou ~ Roy Orbison
Something Stupid ~ Glee Cast

What about you? Are you listening to anything new and interesting? How about old and awesome?

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Friday Flashers 3/8/13

Friday Flashers

Okay, so a couple of people pointed out that I got so excited about the cover art for Love Letters Volume 2: Duty to Please that I forgot to tease you with share a bit of my story from Love Letters Volume 1: Obeying Desire.

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Allow me to remedy that right away. Here’s the official 4-1-1:

D is for Detained by Maggie Wells

He was the preacher’s son, her parents owned the local sex shop. Sherry Adams and Tyler Prescott’s attraction was forbidden when they were teenagers, but years later Deputy Tyler takes out his trusty handcuffs to show her just how good they could be together.

And a tidbit to tide you over:

“Freeze! Hands in the air!”

Her skull cracked against the counter. She cussed, lifting one hand to rub away the ache and whirling to confront her attacker. “Christ, wha—”

She gaped at the shadow in the doorway. The peaked crown of his hat brushed the door casing, and his shoulders filled the breadth of the opening. Backlit by the blistering summer sun, the guy looked enormous.

“Hands in the air,” he repeated.

Astounded by the sight of a gun pointed in her direction, it took a full minute for her to recognize the voice. She blinked but the rest of her motor skills seemed stunned by the blow. Her hands inched toward the ceiling. “Tyler?”

“Sherry?” Instantly, he lowered the gun. His jaw almost scraped the filthy linoleum floor.

“Hey.” The little finger wave made her look stupid and awkward, but making a fool of herself over him was nothing new. The minute Tyler Prescott glanced in her direction, the stupid and awkward came pouring out of her.

“Sherry…Sherry Garcia Adams.”

She’d like to claim the name was a remnant of a misunderstood youth, a leftover taunt hurled by a guy who hadn’t outgrown his teenaged prejudices. Unfortunately, the man might have been reading her birth certificate verbatim. She had to be the only girl in the world whose own mother serenaded her with “Truckin’” each year instead of “Happy Birthday.”

Still, when Tyler Prescott said her ridiculous name in his down and dirty, burrowing twenty-gazillion-leagues-under-her-skin drawl…well, a little thrill chased down her spine. And if the fact that he remembered her name at all wasn’t enough to get a girl all squealy-giggly, the pseudo-reverence in his tone had the tiny hairs on the back of her neck standing at attention.

She assumed he faked the awe in his voice. Sherry had no idea why the chosen son of Serenity would be impressed with her presence.

“Hey, Tyler.” She lowered her half-raised hands and scraped her damp palms over the seat of her cargo shorts, trying to ignore her throbbing skull. He stared at her as if she were an alien beamed down from the planet Stupefy. “Uh, how’ve you been?”

Another brilliant question, but he stood stock-still in the doorway staring at her and it was making her nervous. Tyler Prescott was a paragon in their tiny town, and paragons made her twitchy. In high school, he’d been the captain of the football team and class president four years running. The resident handsome-as-sin preacher’s kid. Every town had one.

She flashed back to those interminable Sundays when she’d slip out of bed early to sneak into town to go to church. Tyler was one of the few people in Serenity who’d treated her like she was a normal person and not the girl their classmates crowned Porn Queen.

Love Letters Volume 1  is available for pre-order now at Carina Press, Amazon, and All Romance eBooks. Happy Friday, my friends!

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Monday Mayhem – Smoke & Mirrors Edition

That’s right, I’m about to use a little trickery to distract you from the fact that I have nothing prepared. Are you shocked? This is supposed to be mayhem, right?

I’ve been working on stuff, I swear.

Every day I write, edit, redit, and then edit some more. My life is dedicated to eradicating the mysterious words I swear I did not type but show up in my manuscripts anyhow.

I’m about knee deep in Containment and psyching myself up to wade in deeper. This book is already an emotional rollercoaster.

Did the final read though on Always the Groomsman – the short story I’m including in TMP’s Wedding Day Collection due out this summer. Did I tell you about my story? It’s Tom and Maggie’s wedding! Squee!

I’m also compiling the Long Distance Love short stories for release later this year. Remember Jack and Ellie? Well, I’m tweaking the older stories so they flow and working six new stories over until they come up to snuff. Want to see the line up so far?

Concourse Christmas

New Year, New Expectations

I’ve Got You to Talk to Me

Be Mine

Kiss Me, I’m Full of Blarney

Going the Distance

The Feeling is Pari-Mutuel

Declarations of Dependence

Labor of Love

A Voyage of Discovery

Hallowed Eve

Veterans of Domestic Wars

Thanks Be to Grandma

Taking Off

It was so much fun to spend some time with those two crazy kids again. Oh, who am I kidding? It was fun to crawl inside Jack’s…head again. (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!). I missed Jack. Oh, I love Ellie too, but there’s something about Jack Rudolph that tugs at me. So…You want a taste?

I figured you might. Just to bring you up to speed…When last we saw our couple (Declarations of Dependence), Ellie’s reticence had poked a few sizable holes in Jack’s ego. This is taken from Labor of Love

Before the whole debacle at her parents Fourth of July cookout, he would have called her. Hell, there would have been at least two or three messages waiting on her phone if she hadn’t called until ten o’clock. But not these days.

These days he only called her when he was calling her back. Despite the new job with the Chicago field office and a schedule was more flexible than hers, he hadn’t come to see her in eight weeks. Eight long weeks. As a matter of fact, he hadn’t even suggested a visit. That was the straw that broke Ellie’s back.

He answered the phone and she said only, “I think we need to talk,” in greeting.

His sharp intake of breath cut the silence that hummed between them. He let it go with a hiss and punctuated the sentiment with a low grunt. “So talk.”

“I’m downstairs, but I can’t find a parking spot.”

“What?”

The shock in his tone triggered a smile. For once, she got one over on her very special agent.  “Surprise.”

“You’re here? In Chicago?”

“Right in front of your building, Rudolph,” she confirmed. “Do you think you can come down and guide my sleigh to a parking spot? I might need your nose to scare off the creepy guy lurking in the alley a couple of blocks over.”

Jack hesitated for a moment. Her stomach dropped to her toes as she heard the rustle of bedclothes. He juggled the phone. “Uh, hang on.”

The echo of a woman’s voice sent shivers down her spine and alarm bells started clanging in her head. Mortification burned hot in her cheeks. It could have been the TV. She hoped with all her heart it was the TV. She was almost one thousand percent certain the voice came from the TV. Still…

“Maybe I should just go to Laurie’s.” The thought of turning up on her sister’s doorstep in a flood of tears wasn’t particularly appealing, but it beat the crap out of coming face to face with the infinitesimal chance that he wasn’t watching TV. Oh God, what if he wasn’t? Why did she ever think it was a good idea to just show up?

Jack’s derisive snort yanked her back. “Are you kidding me?” The exasperation in his tone stoked the dying embers of hope in her heart. “Come down the alley. I’m opening the gate to the lot. My neighbor’s out of town this weekend. You can park in his spot.”

The TV. The voice had to be coming from the TV. Surely Jack wouldn’t be cruel enough to invite her in if he was…entertaining company. Niggling doubt chased her taillights. She held her breath as she made the sharp turn from the narrow alley into the crowded lot.

“Joe’s space is next to mine,” he huffed.

Ellie pulled into the spot and killed the engine as the back door opened. Fluorescent light spilled into the parking lot. He stood silhouetted in the doorway. The gate rolled shut behind her, trapping her there. Taking a deep breath, she forced herself to open the door. She cast a glance over her shoulder as she climbed from the driver’s seat, keeping her hand wrapped around the top of the door. She had questions she needed to ask, and she was hoping the reinforced steel could shield her from any answers she didn’t want to hear.

Pressing the phone tight to her ear, she stared straight at him. “Do you still love me, Jack?”

****

Dun dun dun!

That was fun, wasn’t it? You know what else is fun? Talking about book boyfriends.

Jack is one of mine. I’m also partial to Jamie Fraser, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Roarke from JD Robb’s In Death series, and pretty much every Eversea and Redmond male from Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series. Oh, and Morelli. I know, I know. Ranger is hot, blah blah blah. I like the guys who are the keepers, and that’s why I’m a Cupcake.

You?

 

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Friday Flashers 3/1/13

Friday Flashers

Hello and welcome to my first Friday Flashers entry! The cover art fairy dropped a bit of yum into my inbox. Wanna see?

LoveLettersVol2

You like? How about a little taste of what’s inside?

Love Letters Volume 2: Duty to Please

E Is for Entice by Emily Cale

Coast Guard Petty Officer Evan Marshall knows it won’t be easy proving to his hometown that he’s matured—especially his former girlfriend, Ciara Knowles. Though they soon re-create some very hot memories, it may take a disaster to truly bring them together.

F Is for Fallout by Ginny Glass
When Spencer Corwin returns from Iraq, all he can think about is finally meeting the woman he’s been corresponding with in the flesh. But will their red-hot passion survive the fallout of learning they’ve both been living a lie?

G Is for Gun-Shy by Christina Thacher
Colonel Jack Travis doesn’t want to be partnered with buttoned-up military strategist Davina McCall—even if she’s the sexiest woman he’s ever seen. When a freak storm traps them in Jack’s cabin, the buttons start coming undone…and things really start heating up.

H Is for Hotshot by Maggie Wells
Smoke jumper Luke Whitehawk usually fights fires—when he’s not fighting his sizzling attraction to pilot Tara Ferris. And Tara’s determined that this is one battle Luke is destined to lose…

Here’s a little flash:

Sucking air between her teeth, Tara tripped the latch and threw her shoulder into the door. Without looking at him, she dropped a booted foot over the side and jumped from the pilot’s seat. “If you don’t like the way I drive, don’t climb into my bird, Hawk.”

A hard hand wrapped around her elbow. Blunt fingertips bit into her arm as he lifted her off the ground and held her snug against his chest. She slid halfway down his body before opportunity registered and instinct kicked in. Her arms and legs locked at his neck and thighs. She shimmied back up his long, lean body like a lumberjack scaling a tree trunk. She locked her thighs around his hips and dug the worn heels of her battered cowgirl boots into the hard muscle of his ass. Staring up into the jagged planes of his soot-covered face, she match him scowl for scowl.

“You could have killed yourself,” he rasped.

“I would never endanger my crew,” she retorted. “It was an engine alarm. I had her under control.” Luke opened his mouth to speak but the words caught. Startled by his strangled cry of frustration, she stared straight into his ebony eyes, willing him to truly see her for the first time. “Don’t you know me at all by now? I would never risk you. Never.”

His hand slipped into her hair, pressing the damp strands to the back of her neck. “Goddammit, Tara,” he rasped.

She held his gaze and exhaled a tremulous breath. “Goddammit, Hawk.”

A bead of sweat trailed down his temple, cutting a swath through the black soot that seemed embedded in his pores. It trickled into the crevices that fanned from the corners of his eyes, then attempted to scale that high, arcing cheekbone. Favoring him with a shaky smile, she caught the droplet on the pad of her thumb and swirled it into his skin.

Her lips were dry. She ran her tongue over the parched skin and traced the outline left by his safety goggles with her eyes. “You look like a reverse raccoon.” She wiggled, inching a bit higher so the crotch of his personal protective gear slid against the slick fabric of her flight suit.

Shudders rumbled through his body but he cradled her ass in one big hand. “And you look like more trouble than any man my age should go courtin’.”

“I’m not asking you to court me.” Her grip on his nape tightened. She leaned in and caught his earlobe between her teeth, rolling the tender flesh before releasing it with a flick of her tongue. Her breath bounced off his ear, warm and moist with anticipation. “All I’ve ever wanted was you deep inside me.”

Be sure to watch for Love Letters Volume 1: Obeying Desire coming in April!

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