Monday Mayhem – Nesting edition

Now, before my beloved Jewels goes bonkers picturing me acting like some kind of winged creature, let me state for the record that my kind of nesting looks more like this:

Sierra Exif JPEG

I was quite the homebody this weekend, and though I sacrificed a writing date with the fabulous Katie Kenyhercz for a couple of alarm-free days, I feel it was the right decision. As much as I enjoy being on the go, it was time for this girl to whir and shut down for a bit.

Of course, being the obsessive compulsive I am, you know I managed to be terribly productive whilst on the nest.

The bathrooms have been scrubbed and the laundry is fairly caught up. I cooked pollo guisado patos (because I am turning into a Latina trapped in a body of Irish/German extraction) one night and meatloaf and oven roasted potatoes another. I smooched the grandbaby and spoiled the fur-babies. In my downtime, I did some banner work for my friend Maggie, read a galley proof and added another 6k to a work in progress.

I did leave the Ethridge Estate on occasion. You know, the usual errands – Diet Coke stockpiling, grocery procurement (read: we were out of chips), and the mailing of newly signed publishing contracts.

*waits a beat*

*proceeds to chair dance*

Nope, it never gets old. Of course, the contract was for one of Maggie’s stories, but never fear, boring old Margaret got a little action this week as well. It’s official! Turquoise Morning Press will be releasing a new edition of Spring Chickens! Whoo hoo! New life for Lynne and Bram!

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. How about you? What’s new and exciting in your life?

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Boxed set fun!

We’re celebrating the release of Heat Wave!

3D-heatwave-REVISED

Although not all of the stories in this collection take place in the summer, they are definitely hot, might make you a little sticky, and are unquestionably sexy. What is more perfect for a sultry summer night?

Seduction is the name of the game in some of our stories. Control, submission, and domination flavor a couple more. And the others? Just downright deliciously sexy, in multiple ways.

Grab your favorite ice cold beverage, ladies, and prepare for your own personal HEAT WAVE! With an introductory promotional price of $0.99, why resist?

Click the banner to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Heat Waved Boxed Set Banner

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Monday Mayhem – The deep end of the gene pool

I’ve just returned from spending the weekend with my family. Always an adventure, given then we number in the dozens. This weekend, my eldest niece was married.

As with most weddings, there were just as many misty moments as there were happy ones. Due to health and mobility issues, my mom was unable to attend the ceremony (held in an outdoor chapel in the woods), but we were able to arrange for her to attend the reception for a few hours.

Those few precious moments were every bit as good for us as they were for us.

There were many funny conversations over the course of the weekend, but the one that stuck with me was a brief exchange I had with my sister and eldest brother.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged in our family that I was created in my father’s image. In saying that, I mean not only God, but Bob. You see, I have everything: his eyes, his nose, his chin…even his sinus trouble and prematurely graying hair. Thankfully, my ears are a bit more under control.

Daddy

But as I grow older, more people tell me I’m starting to resemble my mother:

Mommy

Then, as my siblings were helping my niece find some old pictures to display at the ceremony and reception, they came across a picture of my maternal grandparents that made them question the strength of my father’s influence. They seem to think I look like my mother’s mother, which would stand to reason. Her name was Margaret, too.

I knew exactly which picture they meant because I already had a copy of it. My grandfather gave it to me when I was in my early twenties. I guess he saw the resemblance way back when, despite the eyes, nose, mouth and chin my daddy was to proud to claim.

Grady and Jack

But I noticed something as I was helping to settle my mother back at her care facility Saturday evening. Despite decades of claiming that my father only used her as the vessel to carry his mini-me, I believe I might have inherited my mother’s hands.

They are small and squarish with blunt-tipped fingers. Hands that survived thousands of dishes, loads of laundry, and cooking cuts and burns, but still manage to look graceful. She used them to wipe our tears and administer mid-Sunday-mass spit baths. The same hands always anxious to cradle grand(and great-grand)babies and equally willing to coo and coddle grand-dogs, cats, rabbits, and other cuddly creatures.

We both have crooked pinkie finger and the same map of faint blue veins in the backs. I think I only noticed because I realized that mine are becoming more pronounced. And I’m okay with that. Just you wait, in about forty-one more years, my hands are going to be absolutely beautiful. Soft, and smooth, if a bit thin-skinned, but just as strong as hers are when she gives mine that little squeeze and tells me not to worry so much, she’s just fine.

So, perfect Roman aquiline nose (my father’s claim) notwithstanding, I think my dip in the gene pool leaves me in pretty good stead.

How about you? Do you take after one parent, or are you a mix? Do you have a next generation (or two) doppelganger?

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Monday Mayhem – Revisited

Lately I’ve been working on rewrites for an old favorite. Remember Spring Chickens? Well, it’s going to have new life! Hopefully one that includes cover art that doesn’t make the author cringe each time she looks at it.

Here’s a little taste of the story to refresh your memory:

“Good morning,” she said, lounging against the doorframe. She raised the pot. “Coffee?”

Bram scraped his palms against his jeans. His eyes locked on hers. “Are you an angel?”

Her smile widened. “Maybe.” She gave the storm door a nudge with her foot. “Come on in.”

She didn’t peek to see if he followed. The heavy footfalls of his boots gave him away. She added a smidgen of sway to her hips and a blush heated her cheeks when she heard him pick up the pace. The pot and mugs barely landed on the table before she turned and ran into a solid wall of man.

“Good morning,” he whispered and brushed his lips over hers.

“Mmm.”

She blinked drowsily. Her hands slid to his shoulders. Muscle bunched beneath her fingers. Heat that came from more than early morning sunshine seeped into her fingertips. He pulled her closer, every inch of his long, lean body pressing flush against hers.

“I thought about doing that all night,” he murmured, stealing another soft peck.

Her fingers tangled in the short curls at the nape of his neck. “Hmm. Thought about doing what all night?”

A breathy chuckle rumbled from his chest. “Aw, now, no angel would say a thing like that to a guy.”

She laughed, and he swooped in, swallowing her gasp of surprise. He cradled the back of her head in the palm of his hand. His fingers sank into her hair, loosening the clip.

Oh, cheater.

Sugar and cream sweetened his tongue. He had coffee. So not fair. She lapped him up, knocking his ragged ball cap to the floor. The coffee mugs clanked when she stumbled into the table. He braced her back, his fingers splayed wide and sliding temptingly lower. She flailed, attempting to plant her hand on the tabletop to gain leverage. Instead, her knuckles grazed the steaming glass coffee pot.

“Aghhh,” she yelped.

“What? Did I hurt you?” he panted.

Lifting her hand to her mouth she shook her head as she sucked on her knuckle. “No. I’m okay.” He tried to pull back, but she reached for him again.

“Coffee. Hot. Bad coffee.”

She laced her fingers at the base of his skull, sliding her hips along the edge of the table and pulling him along with her. “You had coffee. Gimme more of yours,” she whispered and yanked his head down again.

He chuckled against her mouth, his lips molding to hers—tasting, testing, tempting. “Like that?”

She squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. “No. Yes. More.”

He stroked the skin of her throat, his breath stirring her hair. “Awfully bossy in the mornin’, Miz Prescott.”

“Haven’t had enough coffee. I’m not awake.”

“Oh. Well, then, maybe I can help.”

He kissed her thoroughly, sharing the dregs of his morning elixir. Her fingers clenched, pulling him closer by fistfuls of woven cotton. His hand slipped under the hem of her shirt, warm fingers grazed the small of her back. Lynne moaned and pulled harder, leaning back on the table.

The mugs skittered across the table. Hot coffee sloshed from the pot, splattering the hand he used to brace his weight. She arched against him, catching his groan and rewarding him with a triumphant laugh when they broke for air.

His lips brushed her cheek. He drew the tender flesh below her ear into his mouth, his warm tongue laving her skin. This time she moaned, and he answered with a chuckle. He ducked his head and nuzzled her neck.

“I am never going get the damn porch done,” he said in a husky whisper.

****

Hope you enjoyed this blast from the past. Happy Monday!

 

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Monday Mayhem – As high as an elephant’s eye

Well, in truth I’m fairly crashed out. We just had the best dinner and I am stuffed to the gills.

The local grocery has a butcher who makes these fabulous chopped sirloin steaks edged in garlic and coarse pepper. When I was cruising the produce section to pick up Tim’s leaf lettuce (why else would I go there?), I spotted some fresh sweet corn on sale 3 ears for a buck. I had a bag of Yukon gold potatoes in the pantry and an envelope of Lipton onion soup mix in the cabinet.

The steaks were juicy and flavorful, the potatoes crisp, and the corn the sweetest I have tasted in a long time. In other words, it was the perfect storm of a meal.

So in addition to the better-than-George-Clooney-in-a-yellow-raincoat meal, here are four other highlights from a lovely holiday weekend:

  • On July 4th, someone who sounds a lot like me, but has a different name received their first recommended read on the USA Today Happily Ever After blog!
  • The clingy monkey boy wanted his Moogie when the big, mean fireworks scared him. Nothing beats having the little man you love choose you.
  • I had my annual July 4th viewing of The Music Man. Yes, I sang. No, Jewels, I didn’t record it. As for the rest of you, you’re welcome.
  • I wrote over 5k this weekend. And I have a crazy impulse to start an entirely different story tonight. Somebody stop me!

How about you? What were the highlights of your weekend?

 

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