Please help me welcome today’s guest, Karen Guzman, with her latest release, Arborview….
When the recipe for a new life is bittersweet…
Ellen Cahill’s financial future rides on the success of her new pastry shop. A bruising divorce has drained her bank account, along with her spirit. A man enters her life promising love, but Ellen, haunted by the past, questions whether she can pull off this new beginning.
College student Rosa Escamilla has her own culinary dreams—and a difficult mother who’s dead set against them. Rosa won’t be deterred. She scrapes up the money to enroll at a prestigious culinary school, setting out to prove everyone wrong.
When hidden betrayals by the people they love most surface for both Ellen and Rosa, can they overcome the blows they never saw coming on the road to where they want to go?
The light was dying in Arborview. Ellen had to get going, but she wasn’t ready. Descending the ladder meant reentering her life. The time she spent here, suspended among the branches, did not banish the uncertainty that crept back when her feet hit the ground, but it did give her reprieve.
The stillness, the silence, slowed her mind. Be still and know that I am God. She used to love that old Psalm. This must have been what it meant. Her thoughts unraveled in Arborview, exposed in a cool, piercing light, a calm glow giving her hope.
It had been a week since she’d heard from Alice, and the memory of her guilty laundry-room face lingered. Perhaps Ellen had been too harsh, too judgmental. That was a big thing today, wasn’t it? Judging. Nothing was supposed to be off limits, nothing truly wrong, or shameful. Ellen had broken down and left a voicemail, but Alice had not returned the call.
The warm impression William had left in her bed, the faint whiff of his cologne on the pillows, had stayed with Ellen, too. He was coming to take her to dinner in an hour.
William had struck a chord with his pastry shop idea. It had taken root and grown all week within Ellen, its tendrils reaching into her heart. She could see it: a little storefront place, a jingling bell on the door, cakes and pies in the window, a soft wash of light on the gleaming display cases inside.
Karen Guzman is a fiction writer and essayist. Her new novel, Arborview, will be published on September 29 by The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Homing Instincts,was published by Fiction Attic Press in 2014. Karen’s short fiction has appeared in a number of literary magazines, and her story collection, Pilgrims, was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award.
Karen is a regular contributor to the Collegeville Institute’s Bearings Online magazine. She is the recipient of a 2021 writing fellowship at the Collegeville Institute.
Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Alana Lorens…
It happens to nice men and women, too
Nice to meet you! My name is Inessa Regan, and I’m an attorney practicing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While I handle many different kinds of cases, one particular kind of client really calls to me—survivors of domestic violence.
While we don’t like to think about it, our friends and neighbors (and maybe ourselves) are victims of this sad crime. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes. In an effort to help reduce that number by any means I can, I often provide free legal services to clients who need to get out of a dangerous situation, and I work with the local shelters to help their clients when I can.
At the time in my life told in the novel SECOND CHANCES, I get the opportunity to help an Iraq veteran who’s being battered by his soldier wife. The wife suffers from post-traumatic stress from her own war experiences, but won’t get the help she needs. As is so often true, we wonder why the battered party doesn’t just “get out”—but it is very clear that each of these situations is more complicated than is seen from the outside.
Do you need help, or know someone who does? Here’s some numbers for you to call.
When Inessa Regan gets a pink slip, laid off from her law firm at the age of 42, without prospects she’s sure her life is over. She hides from the world, until her neighbor brings her a client, a young Iraq war veteran dying of cancer.
Kurt Lowdon only wants to make sure his affairs are in order should the worst happen, but meeting Inessa gives him encouragement on the road to recovery. His quest to help her realize her self-worth leads them into dangers they never expected, as horrors from the war and long-hidden family secrets come back to haunt them.
“A lot of people back home don’t understand what it’s like,” Rafe went on, his throat tight with the strain. “People get pushed to the wall. You’re on edge all day, all night. Things happen when guys get stressed out, you know? They need an outlet. Relief.”
“’Things’? You mean what? Fights? Drinking?” He shook his head and she wondered what other kinds of ‘relief’ he might be talking about. Her thoughts took a darker turn. “You mean the reports about women raped by their fellow soldiers?”
He nodded. “It happened all the time. It happened…to Susan.” He choked up. “Most of the girls, they’ll stay in their bunks all night, no matter what, just so they don’t have to hit the latrine alone. One night, Sus just couldn’t. No one would go with her. So…”
Inessa saw confirmation in Kurt’s face. “And Susan blames you for what happened.”
“If I-I-I’d been more c-careful, or let J-Jimmie get that b-bomb…I shoulda looked out for her. No one would have t-touched her if I’d been there!”
Kurt walked around the desk to put a hand on Rafe’s shoulder. “Susan’s been violent. I’ve seen the bruises. But he won’t retaliate—he feels responsible.”
“She’s changed. She’s a whole different person!” Agitated, Rafe ejected from his chair and started pacing. “She was never like this with me, not before I was sent Stateside. After she got back to the Real World, she was damned moody, man. We got into it at least twice a week, sometimes about nothing. She quit going to counseling after she lost the last job, just like all the others, always a fight with co-workers or a boss, and then it’s done. Seven months now, we’ve lived mostly on my disability.”
He turned to Inessa, gaze intent. “Living with her’s like living outside the wire, you know? I couldn’t stay any more. When I told her I was leaving, she shoved me down the stairs. I had two broken ribs.
“I would even have let that go, ‘cause I know she’s had a bad time. But since I been home with my parents, she won’t leave me alone. She threatens me, threatens them, follows me all the time. I’m not worried about me, I can take it. Damn her, my parents have nothing to do with what happened to me, or to her! I can’t let her do this.”
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, That Girl’s The One I Love, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, three crotchety cats, and four kittens of various ages.
Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Pamela S. Thibodeaux…
Write What You Know…
Horses have always been my passion. I’ve loved them as far back as I can remember, even owned a few in my lifetime. In memories of dreams past, I recall the desire to be a Veterinarian and work with horses. I’ve also held Bandera, TX near and dear to my heart since I visited the area as a small child with my grandparents. And, as most women, young and old, romance, and the desire for it, is a passion of mine. So how does all of this pertain to my writing?
I write contemporary romance and women’s fiction and my Tempered series is set in none other than, Bandera, Texas!
In Tempered Hearts (book 1), Tamera Collins is the culmination of that long-ago dream and obsession with horses. A large animal Vet, she describes her love of these majestic animals like this…
“I’ve always had a passion for horses, much to the dismay of my mother. From the time I was very little, my daddy swore I was part horse. He said I squealed with delight every time I saw a pony.”
Hero, Stanley Morrison is the horse lover in Tempered Fire (book 3). His desire is to raise horses… “Not many, but well bred, well trained, high-quality horses. Quarter, Thoroughbred, Walkers, and Arabians; horses for speed, strength, show and beauty.”
Horses play a large part in any contemporary, cowboy series set on a ranch, but the Tempered books are not the only place horses appear in my writing.
In Circles of Fate, the heroine, Shaunna owns a horse. Keri’s Christmas Wish depicts a horse on the cover, one that Keri owned as a child which died when she was a teen. I’ve even written a story of how being around horses while living/working on a ranch in (you guessed it!) Bandera, TX during one of the darkest times of my life virtually saved me. The story is included in The Horse of My Heart anthology (Revell, Oct. 2015).
My love for horses has not dimmed over the years despite decades of not owning and years of not riding, however horses will most likely show up in books and stories for years to come.
Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!
What would summer be without a ton of must-read books loaded onto your reading device of choice to enjoy on a lazy June afternoon? Our fair is filled with 99 cents bargains on sale for a limited time in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and more.
Plus, each day of the fair we’re giving away a $15 Amazon gift card and 12 books from the fair via Amazon instant giveaways!
Look for Books from Your Favorite Authors!
Alexa Aston • ME 🙂 • Amanda Uhl • Anne McClane • Brenda Whiteside • Cara Marsi • Catherine Kean • CB Samet • Debbie White • Elizabeth Rose • Emerald Dodge • Honey Phillips • Jacqueline Diamond • Jennifer Allis Provost • Jessie Kwak • Jim Stein • JL Lora • Jordan Hallak • Karen Michelle Nutt • Katherine Gilbert • Kristine Smith • LC Owen • Leslie Scott • Linda Mooney • LJ Swallow • Loralee Evans • M.D. Dalrymple • Margaret Tanner • Maria Geraci • Morgan Kay • Morgan Kay Wyatt • Rayna Noire • Rhondi Ann • Rose Pearson • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Stephanie Queen • Tara Gallina • Taylor Marsh
Please help me welcome Karen Chino who is sharing about herself and her fun new book!
Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
I’m from Staten Island, New York and am presently living on the Jersey Shore in Barnegat.
Where did you get the idea for New Beginnings?
I came up with the idea when I move into a 55 and over community.
Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?
I’ve never written a cozy mystery before. But there was something about this genre that I knew I could incorporate in my new living conditions.
Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?
When I realized that the drama in a 55 and over community could be compared to high school, I knew I found a new genre to tell my story.
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
Finding the time and being able to get into the zone is the most difficult part of writing any book. I find writing the outline to be difficult too. With an outline, I can keep the flow going.
What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?
Since the book takes place in the community I live in, I had to make sure that the scenery and props were all in sync. When the color of the lobby changed, I had to rewrite my descriptions.
Do you collect anything?
Yes! Books, of course.
What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book? Lovers and Gamblers by Jackie Collins. After reading it, I knew my genre was going to be Women’s Fiction. As a kid, I read Nancy Drew Mysteries.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read New Beginnings?
I want the reader to know that no matter what the situation is, there is always a way to get out of it or deal with it in a positive manner.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes. I have four books.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
My characters are based on acquaintances but take on a life of their own.
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
My family has given me 100% support. Of course my family loves my books, but it’s the support that they give me that is priceless.
How much of the book is realistic?
I write about realistic situations that women deal with everyday. In my cozy mysteries, I have more room to use my imagination.
How did your interest in writing originate?
I started writing poems and short stories when I was fourteen. By junior year of high school I knew it was time to write longer pieces. (I still have all the notebooks with the story I had written.)
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Janet Evanovich. Her books are quick reads, laugh out loud with quirky characters. I love the mystery along with the relationship Stephanie Plum is having with two gorgeous men.
Movie: Saturday Night Fever
Music: Classic Disco, The Beatles, Paul McCarntey
Place you’ve visited: Sicily
Place you’d like to visit: Hawaii
TV show from childhood: American Bandstand
TV show from adulthood: This is Us
Food: Pizza and Chicken
Sports team: New York Mets
Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Television
Question for readers:
I’m always open for new ideas. Is there anything out there that you would like to read about that has yet to make the bookshelves?
Karen Cino has been writing since she was fourteen years old. She started her career by writing poetry, short stories and writing articles for her high school newspaper. Her daily walks down at the boardwalk are what gets her muse going. It clears her mind and helps her find realistic plot ideas and the characters boosting up her muse. Karen loves writing about local places that people can relate to.
Karen loves the summer, loves the beach. Her previous books were written and take place in various places across Staten Island. Karen relocated to Barnegat, New Jersey in 2015. She traded in the Staten Island Boardwalk for the shoreline in Long Beach Island. Her Camp Mirage Series takes place in Barnegat, NJ.
Karen is a member of Romance Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writing Association and Liberty States Fiction Writers. She is also busy writing newsletters and newspaper articles for the 55 and over community she resides at.
Karen has two adult children, Michael Giordano who’s a singer, songwriter and producer and Nicole Giordano who works in Retail Management and is also a photographer. In 2014 Karen married John Gatti. Her husband is an actor, teacher and attorney.
After a traumatic event in her life, Connie Acosta heads down to the Jersey Shore to stay with her friend, Sara Mazza, who lives in a fifty-five and over community. For Connie, this is a temporary stop until she figures out what she wants to do.
Connie and Sara have a brief discussion and decide to start the baking business they had spoken about decades before. But things take a dramatic turn when Sara gets Connie involved in a mysterious adventure at the clubhouse.
“Hey, what happened to your cell phone?” Sara asked.
“I left it in the car and I’m too lazy to walk out to get it,” she said, sitting down at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee in her hand.
“What’s going on up there?
“You can’t even imagine. I’ve been shunned by my friends. Teddy made a mess of things. He turned our lives upside down.” Connie lifted the mug to her lips taking a sip. “I can’t even go into Starbucks without people staring at me.”
“Screw everyone. Pack your suitcase and come stay with me for a couple of weeks while you figure out what you want to do.”
“That sounds great. But I don’t want people to think I’m running away.”
“You aren’t running away from anything. You did nothing. Teddy’s the one that caused this backlash, leaving you to pick up the pieces.”
“Come on down. I promise you if you stay here long enough you’ll be looking to stay. Whenever you come here, you’re only here for a couple of days and we’re usually out gallivanting, not giving you enough time to see what’s down here.”
“It’s an adult community. I guess it’s safe to say we’re not going to get ourselves into trouble.”
“You’ll be surprised.” Sara giggled. “I’m going to run food shopping to pick up a few things. Do you still eat that hummus crap?”
“Of course I do. But don’t go crazy. When I get there, we’ll go stock up.”
“Should I expect to see you in a couple of hours?” Sara excitedly asked.
“Let me pack a couple of things. I plan on going shopping in the boutiques in Long Beach Island.”
Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jeanne Skartsiaris – Is it just me, or are you also intrigued by her book title?
Good morning, Jeanne. Where did you get the idea for Dance Like You Mean It – Years ago my mom was watching a news magazine show. There was a punk rocker being interviewed. This rock star was a single mom who put the kids to bed, then went out and performed. She’d spike her hair, scream into a mic, and put duct tape on her nipples – and she was making millions. Mom, who raised four kids on her own (working two jobs) looked at me and said, “If I knew that was all I had to do to support you kids I would have done it a long time ago.” Ewww mom!
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? Time. What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular? Learning the craft. The title “Dance Like You Mean It” was taken from an Irish proverb dance like no one is watching. We must learn to embrace life and not get bogged down in expectations and everyday chores. We need to step out of our comfort zones and jump into life. Sometimes we may land on our butts, but we get up, dust off and try again. It’s taken me more than 20 years to finish Dance Like You Mean It. I took a finished manuscript to NYC in 2002 through a writing class. All the agents and editors I met with loved the story but said my writing was awful. I took more classes, wrote a few more books and finally got Dance published this year.
Are there any tricks or habits you use when creating a story? I let the characters move the story forward. Sometimes they take hold of the plot and I can’t get them back to where they need to be. Really annoying! It can take some time to corral them but there was usually a reason they ran off – to make the story better.
What book(s) have you read that you wish you would have written? “The Great Santini” by Pat Conroy, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris and “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. Simple but powerful writing style.
Do you have another occupation, other than writer?If so, what is it and how do you like it? I’m a sonogram tech by day – so I look at babies (and other stuff). Prior to that I was a medical photographer for a plaintiff’s law firm. I saw some awful pictures of many different kinds of accidents. It inspired me to write Surviving Life, a YA story about an overprotective mom and her teenage daughter.
What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more time? Work, of course, though I enjoy it. I’d like to reduce my hours and spend more time writing (and taking beach vacations).
What do you want readers to come away with after they read Dance Like You Mean It? To enjoy life. Appreciate small moments. Even when the dishes and laundry are piling up – hold your babies and love the time you have.
What is your favorite quote? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. John Lennon
What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie? George Clooney just so I could meet him.
Thank you, Jeanne. I enjoyed getting to know you. Now, please tell us about your book…
What if you wrote a sexy bestseller – but couldn’t tell anyone?
What if you wrote a steamy, erotic novel that was so hot bookstores couldn’t keep it on their shelves? What if you couldn’t tell anyone you wrote it? With a mundane life as a nurse, a husband who is grazing other fields, and a daughter of an impressionable age, Cassie checks her horoscope one morning just for kicks and notices an article about romance novels and how profitable publishing could be if one could spin a good tale. She pens Wild Rose under a pseudonym and it flies to the top of the charts, is the talk of the town, and people are clamoring to know who the author is. What would her children think if they knew? Or her own mother, who ‘taught her better’, and worse, her husband who’d thought she’d turned back into a virgin since they’d not had sex in so long. How could she be thrown into the spotlight and still be a good mom. Wild Rose, Cassie’s caldron of prose, is woven through this story. Set it the 70s, it is the story of Rosemary, a beautiful photographer who wants to be recognized for her body of work, not her haunting beauty. Although, a modern woman, she is as adventurous sexually as she is with her camera and beds men like candy…until she falls in love. Both novels parallel each other as Cassie realizes Rosemary is not so different from her.
When not writing Jeanne Skartsiaris works as a Sonographer. Prior to that she was a medical/legal photographer for a plaintiff’s law firm. She attended creative writing courses at Southern Methodist University and is a member of Romance Writers of America’s local chapter, Dallas Area Romance Authors. Author of Surviving Life and Snow Globe, she lives in Dallas, Texas.
Please help me welcome today’s guest, Elaine Cantrell:
Why I Write Romance Novels
Writing is so much fun. If you’re thinking of writing a book, one of the first things you’ll need to do is pick a genre. I picked romance. Out of all the genres out there, why did I pick romance? Plenty of people write romance so there’s a lot of competition out there.
Well, I picked it for several reasons. First of all, I think most folks are fighting some kind of battle in their lives. Maybe they’re in a relationship that went bad, and they’ve lost the one they love. Whether it was by divorce, death, or just walking away, it tears a huge hole in someone’s heart. Maybe the battle is health-related. It’s hard to accept limitations if they interfere with activities you love. Have you ever dealt with unemployment? How do you feed your children with no paycheck? My romances always have a happy ending which gives us hope that tomorrow things will be better. We can believe that ‘this too shall pass.’
Remember what happened at the end of Gone With the Wind? Scarlett lost Rhett and collapsed in tears, but then she decided to go home to Tara where she can think of a way to get Rhett back. Human beings are designed to hope.
I also think that romance novels possibly satisfy our craving for justice. In the real world, things don’t always end happily. Children are abused, the missing teen is never found, or we get our heart broken. In the vast majority of romance novels you know the bad guys are going to get what’s coming to them. My heroes and heroines sometimes face determined villains, but you can rest easy in the knowledge that the bad guys will never win.
Last, I write romance because I’m a romantic at heart. I just adore a good love story. In my latest release The Captain and the Cheerleader my characters have many obstacles to overcome before they find true love. Their romance didn’t start off like you might expect, but don’t worry. Both my hero and heroine are made of good stuff.
Readers, what about you? Why do you read romance? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.
** GIVEAWAY: Readers should leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Captain and the Cheerleader. The question they have to answer is “Why do you read romance.”
Susan English can’t stand Robin Lanford! She’s so full of herself she irritates everyone on the faculty of Fairfield High. When Robin bets Susan fifty dollars that she can’t get a date with Kurt Deveraux, the head football coach, Susan jumps at the chance to put the little heifer in her place. She had no idea that teaching Robin a lesson would irrevocably change her life, strain treasured friendships, and throw two families into chaos.
She looked at him with a sexy little smile curving her lips. “I like your kisses.”
“What do you like about them?”
She pretended to think about it. “The shape of your mouth is pleasing, for one thing.”
“Is that all?”
She shook her head. “No, I like the way your lips feel.”
Her hand had somehow come to rest on the table and was well within his reach so he took it. “How do they feel?”
“Well, they’re firm, but soft too, and they’re just the right size.”
“Is my technique any good?”
She glanced at him from under lowered lashes and seemed to promise all manner of delights. “On a scale of one to ten I’d give you a ten.”
“How does it make you feel when I kiss you?”
Heat flared in her eyes and caused him to tighten his hold on her hand.
“When you kiss me,” she said, “it gives me an empty, longing feeling down deep inside, and I know the only cure for the emptiness is more kisses.”
Kurt took a deep, steadying breath. “Do you want more than just a kiss from me? I know other ways to make the emptiness go away.”
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she’s not writing, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.
J.M. is giving away THREE signed copies of SEEKING LOVE. To enter, sign up for her newsletter through her website and drop her a quick ‘hello.’ http://jmmaurer.com
Seeking Love (Emerging From Darkness Book 1) ~ J.M. Maurer
Every day, Jessica Winters does what she does best—bury herself in patient care within the walls of the neuro intensive care unit, keeping herself busy to escape the dark sadness that controls her life. But the day she sees Matthew Moi, the intriguing man seated at her new patient’s bedside, her shattered heart begins to frantically beat once again.
As Matthew pins his mesmerizing gaze upon her, trying to distract her with his humorous and playful banter, she does her best to ignore him. Somehow he already knows a great deal about her, breaking down Jessica’s barriers and awakening her soul, drawing her out of the darkness and into his arms.
When her painful past resurfaces, revealing truths that threaten her future, Jessica struggles through her issues and fights to stay on a healing path . . . seeking love.
One thing I knew: I wasn’t that woman anymore. I wouldn’t be her anymore.
My heart was racing at the thought of being separated from Matthew by only the door, and I watched as it opened, knowing he stood mere feet away. I drew in a deep breath to calm my frantic nerves and steady my racing heart. It was the moment my eyes would see him again, and the same moment I knew all involuntary muscle movements would cease.
As Matthew stepped in and around the door, his alluring eyes captured me. The feeling was nothing new. I’d been imprisoned by his gaze before. And locked in it again, I watched as he drifted to me, the indisputable chemistry between us palpable and absolute. His mesmerizing eyes had hypnotized my burning soul, completely bewitching me.
“Hello, Jessica,” he murmured, pointing to an open area of the bed. “Mind if I sit?”
I gave a slight shake of my head, having difficulty forming the simple word “no,” and watched as he made himself comfortable facing me. His crisp charcoal-colored trousers bunched as he scooted on the bed. My sight roamed along his classic plum-colored dress shirt and stopped searching once I focused on his face.
Seeking Redemption (Emerging From Darkness Book 2) ~ J.M. Maurer
After surviving a bitter divorce and emerging from a darkness that became all too familiar, Jessica finds herself on top of the world, her soulful awakening allowing her to feel again, trust again, and even love again. Her painful past, however, is relentless, both physically and emotionally, bombarding her daily and not allowing her to overcome the lingering demons that ultimately control her life.
As Matthew lovingly guides her toward a healthy future, his own secrets become known, threatening to destroy the trusting relationship that had quickly grown between them. But despite what life throws her way, Jessica pledges to put the past in the past, accepting that events are often out of her control. She fights for a future with the man who drew her out of the darkness, steering her onto a healing path . . . seeking redemption.
Grandma O flipped the light switch to what she called my office and stood just inside the door, her soft features and gentle smile inviting me in. I shivered, poised one step away, with a strange yet familiar emotion rushing through me—an awareness that the instant I entered, my life would be forever changed. Again.
Was this Matthew’s plan all along? They all seemed in on it, the thought making me feel railroaded and agitated, yet oddly aroused and enchanted too. Unsure how to deal with such conflicting emotions, I moved forward, looking to Grandma O for answers as I walked through.
The office was spacious, slightly smaller than Matthew’s, with a mahogany desk in the far corner and in front of an expansive bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. I ran my fingertips along the colorful wall of psychology books and periodicals as I walked along, passing a leather couch on my way to the desk, my desk, and paused in front of an empty nook within the bookcase.
It struck me as odd, the cold wooden surface needing something to spruce it up, make it mine. I had to think about that, my anxiety making it difficult to ponder the issue, my restlessness preventing me from staying in one place.
I moved to the windows and stared out the tiny cracks between the blinds, the world outside just as complicated as the one I had chosen to live in.
“We all read your master’s thesis,” Grandma O said, her voice pulling me out of my thoughts. “It’s obvious you have a natural gift for research and writing.”
I turned and looked at her, questioning how they’d gotten their hands on a copy.
Sedation in the ICU: Patient Accounts of Their Dreams, Their Pain, Their Fears; I hadn’t published it. As it was, after countless hours revisiting old charts and conducting hundreds of interviews, I’d never been more nervous or scared the instant it was pulled from my tight grip to be placed into the hands of someone who would actually read it. There was no way I’d ever publish it, opening myself up to a world filled with critics.
“If you’re wondering, Dr. Moi is a personal friend of Professor Marienetti. The sexual fantasies accounted for and described within your research were fascinating, probably more so than Dr. Marienetti could digest. We’re baffled as to whyyou chose not to publish. The results, Jess, are far reaching, from ICUs to dentists’ offices. You have a special gift; embrace it.”
She walked toward me and leaned her back against the wall, her gaze drinking in the room.
“This office has been vacant, just waiting for you. You could do great things here.” She patted my arm, her grandmotherly smile telling me it would all be okay. “I’m next door if you need anything.”
Embrace it, I thought, watching as she walked out the door. I’d heard that advice before—from Matthew. I sighed and looked down upon the desk, the one I knew would take me a while to start calling my own.
My desk, my office, my couch, it all sounded quite foreign. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not.
J.M. Maurer lives with her family in Chicago. She makes it a point to never work on a full moon and cringes when a coworker uses the “Q” word—never, ever say, “It’s a quiet day today,” at her day job.
Known for being overly superstitious, she can usually be found scraping at the remnants of a Nutella container, screaming at a hockey game, or putting pen to paper, allowing the “real” crazy voices in her head to come alive. And after all this, it’s no wonder she’s an incurable romantic and loves escaping the rat race of life to immerse herself inside the world of a really good romance book . . . because, after all, what’s better than a happily-ever-after?
I am proud to share some of the latest releases from The Wild Rose Press… Please check out the books and follow these authors on Twitter and Facebook, etc.
Enjoy the wonderful stories AND the fun fact tidbits…
Lynn Shurr with Paradise for a Sinner, Contemporary Novel
The best cure for a lost love is a new love.
Fun Fact: When I first thought of writing a book about a Samoan football player, I figured big, hunky guy, hot steamy nights–until I discovered Samoans are religiously conservative and very family-oriented. My new theme became Adam Malala’s conflict with tradition ways and his life as a rich and famous athelete. Don’t worry. There are still some hot, steamy nights in the plot.
*****Half price sale through Wild Rose Press website – Only $2.50, regular $4.99*****
(Ebook can easily be downloaded to your Kindle or Nook)
*************** Liz Flaherty with THE GIRLS OF TONSIL LAKE, Women’s Fiction Novel
Four women whose differences only deepen the friendship forged in a needy childhood…
Fun Fact: I wrote The Girls’ story because I love girlfriend books and because all four of them presented themselves to me, personalities intact. It was so much fun. Jean’s a romance author and pretty much wrote her own story, Suzanne is based on one of my best friends (who recognized herself right off the bat and still talks to me), and Andie is closely related to my sister-in-law Lynn. The fourth friend, Vin, was–and still is, to a certain degree–a woman of mystery simply because I don’t know anyone like her. But I like her. I like her a lot.
Karilyn Bentley with Dragon Lover, Fantasy romance, novel,
When opposing dreams collide, will love be the victor?
Fun Fact: Dragon Lover is the third book in the Draconia Tales series and wraps up the trilogy. I enjoyed writing this story and letting the readers know the true identity of Fafnir, the hero. He’s first introduced in Magical Lover and returns in Warrior Lover. In Dragon Lover we learn who his mate is and why they spent their lives running from each other.