A Girl, A Key, And A CD

It’s been a real rough couple of weeks for me. Those who follow my blog may be wondering why I haven’t been regular with my posts. I apologize for the dearth of written material, but I was simply pulled into the dark vortex of a few hellish weeks. Nothing much has changed other than I seem to have found the time and inspiration to write again (translation: I’m totally ignoring the mess and chaos around my house to focus on writing).

Last Thursday, and to crown an emotionally and physically draining week, I experienced a weird and (later) hilarious event involving my car. That day, I had a car-full of things I needed to bring into my school for the evening multicultural event as I drove my way to work. I parked the car in my usual spot and turned off the engine. Except I couldn’t.

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The engine went off, but the electric part of the car wouldn’t turn off, and I couldn’t get the key out of the ignition. I moved the steering wheel thinking that maybe it had locked. Nothing. I turned the car on and circled around the parking lot before parking again. Nothing. I jiggled the key, changed gears several times. Couldn’t take the key off.

Needless to say I ended up hugging the wheel and crying my eyes out. I love my pumpkin (my car) but I may have called it a few ugly names. I called the insurance people who told me they were going to send a tow truck. I also called a friend in the building and asked her to come and help me take the stuff out of the car.

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My school is not in the nicest neighborhood. I didn’t want to leave all that stuff inside an opened car. So me and my friend moved all my crap into her car and then she tried her hand at the key. Nothing. Another coworker came to help, but he couldn’t figure it out either. The consensus was, “This is really weird.”

When the tow truck showed up, the driver also tried his hand at the damn key with the same results. Giving up, he backed out of the parking lot and drove the car into the tow truck. I’m watching from the side and I see the driver’s window suddenly open and a hand stick out of it with the car key.

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“How did you manage to take the key off?” That was the question of the day.

“I moved your CDs.” Strange answer, I thought. But he explained, “The CDs were sticking out just far out enough that they were pressing the button on the gear shift and making the system think the car was not in park.” Whaaa…?

We had a good laugh, he moved my car back to its parking spot, and left. I stood in the parking lot in the freezing temperature feeling stupid but amused at the same time. Who would have thought you could lock a car’s system and make a grownup woman cry with a simple CD?

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Oh, Oliver!-A Character Talk

Yesterday, Blind Magic was released into the world of readers. I’m seriously pumped about it since Marcy, the main character, is one of my favorite characters ever. She was a favorite sidekick in Loved You Always and it still is now that she has her own romance.

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I’ve written a couple blogs about this quirky witch and her winsome personality, but I’ve kept pretty much quiet about her male counterpart and love interest. There is a reason for that. I don’t know how to talk about Oliver without revealing some things about him that I would prefer to keep a secret, so I can surprise my readers.

But I decided to risk it and write this blog about wonderful, swoon-worthy Oliver. After you meet him you will totally understand why Marcy, an independent, free-thinking woman, falls in love hard for this guy.

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Oliver is one of the cops who was shot in Loved You Always while on protection detail for Marcy’s friends, Emily Rose and Jem. Oliver seeks Marcy’s help with a vexing problem at her witchcraft store and the relationship hits the ground running.

Oliver was both a hard and easy character to write. He’s complex and charming, broken and brave, sexy and vulnerable…. I was terrified of writing him, of not doing him justice, of writing him in a way I would totally betray who he is. I think I may have done a good job since I’ve had great comments from readers so far. I’d love to hear from you if and when you read it.

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His life has been far from easy and the ghosts of his past are still out to get him as he develops his relationship with Marcy. The little witch–like he likes to call her–is the light in his rather dark life and he is the missing piece in Marcy’s. He’s the classic type–organized, well-dressed, and reserved. She’s a free-spirit–open, quirky, and unconventional. On the outside they couldn’t be more different, but inside they are two peas-in-a-pod. Made for each other, true halves of one whole.

I love Oliver and I’m so excited to share him with all my readers. I can only hope they love him as much as I do.

Not Being Second (flash fiction)

***It’s been a while since I posted any flash fiction, so here it goes 🙂 Enjoy.***

“She wanted something else, something different, something more. Passion and romance, perhaps, or maybe quiet conversations in candlelit rooms, or perhaps something as simple as not being second.”

Nicholas Spark “The Notebook

She had read that quote and it spoke to her. It gave words to what she had felt now for years. Too many years of analyzing, blaming herself, trying to make sense of what she wanted. Her husband, her friends, even her therapist often asked her, “What exactly do you want from your marriage?” Until she read that quote, she had no way of articulating how she felt, even to herself.

Something as simple as not being second.” In her marriage, in her life in general, she had always come second. Or third. She couldn’t remember an instance where she had been first in someone’s life other than her own parents’. She was always the afterthought, the one who is useful but not fun or wanted.

When she first got married she found out quickly she was not at the top of her husband’s list of priorities. First came his own family, second his sports, third his career, and then herself. The wedding vows, for better or for worse, turned into maybe if nothing else more important comes up. Even in sickness she found herself a faraway second to career or family. Her needs were never met with a kind ear but rather a pointing finger at how inconvenient her requests were. Everybody, including neighbors she barely knew, were more important than her.

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She made excuses. Things would get better later on, marriage was a new thing to him, he’d come around eventually.

There were big gifts on Christmas and birthdays, attempts at appeasing her once in a while. Big gestures instead of the little daily kindnesses she really was looking for. She had never been much of a material girl. Never one for diamonds, expensive clothes, or fancy gadgets. She wanted her husband to ask her why she was sad instead of getting mad at her because she was sulking. She wanted her husband to side with her–or at least support her–when she didn’t agree with his family or friends. She wanted a hand to hold on to when she didn’t feel well. An attentive ear when she shared something that was important to her. Instead she got irritated looks and sudden changes of subject.

As the years went by things didn’t change. In many ways it got worse. The career was replaced by a crowd of friends, concerts, bars, parties… She stopped going with him. She stopped trying to be there for him because he was not there for her. No one to share that trip of a lifetime with, or her joy and excitement at having accomplished a dream. No one to talk to.

She blamed herself. She had put on weight, she was boring, she was an introvert and was uncomfortable in social situations he thrived on. It was her fault he didn’t find anything attractive in spending time with her, in talking to her, in sharing those small moments a marriage is built on.

She was unhappy. She was lonely. Tears danced in her eyes as soon as she woke up in the morning and when she fell asleep. She envied fictitious couples in literature and TV and bitterness filled her heart like noxious fumes.

The truth was she didn’t want anything complicated, nothing expensive or hard to do. All she wanted was to be first once in a while. Something as simple as not being second.

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Inked Hearts-New Release

 

 

Title: Inked Hearts
Series: Lines in the Sand #1
Author: Lindsay Detwiler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2017
Blurb
“Six years, a
complex about my freckles, a love for pastrami, and a fear of failure.
That’s what he
gave me before slaughtering my heart and my faith in men.”
Suffering from the
sting of betrayal, twenty-eight-year-old Avery Johannas quits her job and moves
hundreds of miles away to Ocean City, the beach town of her dreams. With the
help of her zany roommate, Jodie, Avery finds a new career, home, and freedom.
Throughout her self-exploration, she makes only one rule: She won’t give her
heart to a man again. She’s living for herself this time.
But then she meets Jesse.
A tattoo shop owner,
the green-eyed Jesse Pearce is wild with a touch of mystery. As Jesse and Avery
explore Ocean City and their friendship, they’ll have a hard time drawing a
line in the sand between their hearts.
When summer nights
get a little more heated than either expected, they’ll have to ask
themselves: Can they let go of their notions of love, or will their
hearts be permanently inked by past pain?
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Excerpt
There’s some soft rock music playing when I open the door to
Jesse’s apartment. The distinct smell of teriyaki sauce permeates the room,
dancing in my nose as soon as I walk through the door.
“Hey. That looks amazing on you,” he says. He’s wearing
black jeans and a button-up shirt. He’s gelled his hair, and hints of his
cologne permeate the room.
“Thanks. I love this. You didn’t have to do it.”
“I like to treat my artists well.”
“So you do this for all of them?” I ask, setting down my bag
on the counter.
“Only the good ones.”
He leans in to kiss me, and I realize how natural this has
become. It hasn’t taken long for us to settle into couple status. In
retrospect, it seems now like it was always coming. It seems unnatural for us
not to be like this—comfortable, kissing, and together.
I’m so glad that for once in my life, I broke my own rules.
Jesse leads me to his kitchen table, which is adorned with a
dozen pink roses. I smile, gently touching the petals of one.
“This is beautiful. Thank you.”
“Have a seat. Dinner is ready.” Jesse brings out a few
casserole dishes with rice, teriyaki chicken and vegetables, and even some egg
rolls.
“Did you make all this?” I ask coyly, pretending to be
impressed.
“Yeah, it was sort of rough because I’m not that great at
cooking.”
He stares for a moment as he sets the dishes down. I can
tell he’s trying to see if I believe him.
I look directly from him to the top of the refrigerator, at
a large take-out bag with a familiar Chinese restaurant’s name. I raise an
eyebrow.
“That’s an old bag,” Jesse says, waving a hand but smirking.
“Yeah, okay. I just have a feeling this is going to taste
just like it.”
“Only because I worked so hard to get the secret recipe.”
I dig into the dishes, serving myself, laughing at the
trouble he went through. “You know, you didn’t have to dirty dishes on my
account. I would’ve been fine with takeout. I’m not a food snob.”
“That’s a good thing, because I’m not much of a cook.”
“Oh, and I am,” I say, referring to the pasta debacle.
“What a pair, huh?”
I shrug. “Could be worse.”
“I’ll drink to that,” he says, holding up his bottle of
beer. We clink bottles as we finish eating. To an outsider, I’m sure it looks
ridiculous. My fancy dress and necklace, sitting at a table eating take-out
Chinese food.
To me, though, it’s perfect. The man I’ve fallen for sitting
beside me, Chinese food, and a comfort I haven’t had with anyone else.
As much of a mystery as Jesse Pearce was a few months ago,
he’s become as familiar as my new self.
I like this new Avery. I like Jesse’s Avery. I like the
Jesse and Avery we are together.
So when we finish eating and he gives me the look I’ve come
to recognize, I lean forward, kissing him with a fervor I’ve reserved for this
moment, telling him wordlessly that I’m all his.
As he leads me back to the bedroom and hastily unzips the
dress he painstakingly picked out for me, I smile.
For a long time, I didn’t think I wanted to belong to any
man. For a long time, I thought this part of myself was shut down.
But as Jesse’s hands travel down to the familiar hot-pink
underwear I’m wearing, I feel myself let go of all of those ideas I had before.
I’ve come to realize it’s okay to be his, because Jesse
doesn’t hold me back. He makes me who I want to be. He makes me the best
version of myself.
Loving him might be a risk, and losing myself completely to
him tonight might be my undoing. Letting him go, though, is not an option, not
when he tosses me back on the bed, and I feel every part of my being succumb to
the tattooed hunk moving perfectly on top of me.
And so, after a night of learning what adult sleepovers are
actually all about and mastering the sex-hair look, I let go of my rule.
I’m all in. I’m all his.
Author Bio

An English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink
and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she loves cats, reading,
Shakespeare, and Poe.

She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high
sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, Marjorie, and Bob; and their
mastiff, Henry.

Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of
life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers
have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming
from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the
tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look
at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and
powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that
novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing
a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That
could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows
she’s done her job.

Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of
her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants
them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of
the realm of possibility.

 

Author Links

GIRL ON THE VERGE BY PINTIP DUNN RELEASE WEEK BLITZ

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn!

Check out the excerpt below, and
be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Congratulations Pintip!!

 

 

 

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Kensington

Google Drive | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

A fish swims beneath the open staircase in my Khun Yai’s house. A real live fish, with its translucent fins fluttering in the water, its belly gold-scaled and bloated from regular feedings. If I part my knees, I can catch long glimpses of its lazy swimming through the gap in the stairs.

Of course, I’m not supposed to part my knees. It’s not ladylike for a twelve-year-old girl, not here, not in Thailand. The land where my parents grew up; the place that’s supposed to be my home, too. That’s what the banner said, when my relatives came to pick us up at the airport. “Welcome home, Kanchana.”

Never mind that I only come to Thailand every couple years. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone else here, with my American build and my frizzy, out-of-control hair. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone in my hometown, either, since I’m the only Asian girl in school. Never mind that the only reason we’re here now is because my father’s dead and my mom can’t keep it together.

For a moment, pain lances through me, so sharp and severe that it might as well slice my heart in half, like in one of those video games my friends like to play. I squeeze my eyes shut, but that doesn’t keep the tears from spilling out. Neither do the glasses sliding down my nose. And so the tears drip down, down, down, past my unladylike knees, through the gap in the stairs, into the fish basin below.

The drops scare the fish, who swims away with its tail swishing in the water, no longer languid, no longer lazy. So, even this creature wants to get away from me—from my grief, from my strangeness—as quickly as possible.

“There you are, luk lak,” Khun Yai says in Thai, coming down the stairs. She is my mother’s mother, and since we arrived, she’s used the endearment—child that I love—more often than my name.

“You’re up early.” She pats her forehead with a handkerchief. It’s only seven a.m., and already sweat drenches my skin like I’ve taken a dip in the basin. No wonder they take two or three showers a day here.

“Couldn’t sleep. Jet lag.”

“I’ve been up for a couple hours myself.” She eases onto the step next to me, her knees pressed together, her legs folded demurely to one side.

Immediately, I try to rearrange my body to look like hers and then give up. My legs just don’t go that way.

“What do you want to do today?” Khun Yai asks. “More shopping?”

“Um, no thanks.” I make a face. “Didn’t you hear those salesgirls at Siam Square yesterday? They rushed up as soon as we entered and said they didn’t have anything in my size.” My cheeks still burn when I think about their haughty expressions.

She sighs. “The clothes there are just ridiculously small. We’ll go to the mall today. They should have something that will fit you.”

I stare at her diminutive frame and her chopstick legs. “One of the salesgirls asked how much I weighed. Another grabbed my arm and said I felt like a side pillow.”

“They didn’t mean any harm. It is just the Thai way to be blunt.” She catches my chin and tilts up my face. “You are so beautiful. I wish you could see that.”

I could say so many things. I could tell her that I’m ugly not only in Thailand but also in the United States. Even though I’m not big by American standards—far from it—I could confess how the boys call me Squinty. How those Thai salesgirls snickered at my poodle-fuzz hair. I could explain how I’m from two worlds but fit in neither.

But I don’t. Because my words will only make her sad, and there have been enough tears in our family.

 

 

 

 

Pintip is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip’s first novel, FORGET TOMORROW won the RWA RITA® award for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella, BEFORE TOMORROW. She is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

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New Markets

New Markets or How to Reach Readers Who Feel Left Out

We all know that the market is fickle and fluctuates all the time. For example, dystopian was huge just a couple of years ago but now agents will not touch it with a ten-foot pole. In the romance genre we are lucky because romance has been a steady market for as long as the genre has been around (don’t believe me? Shakespeare wrote romance and so did Austen and the Bronte sisters).

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It’s the sub-genres that fluctuate a lot. Right now it appears there is a huge market demand for cowboy romance (don’t look at me. The only thing I know about cowboys is that they herd cows, wear boots to bed, and you can never see their faces because of those damn Stetson hats), M/M romance (hot right now), and in the paranormal sub-genre, shifter romance (I’m not even sure I know what a shifter is. Will have to read on that).

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So what’s the real new markets out there? Something that has never before been explored because the publishers and agents were not interested? I was surprised and pleased all at once to find out that some of the big romance publishers are currently interested in later-life romance.

I sat through a panel hosted by Entangled, a small-going-big romance publisher, and was floored when they told us that the publishing house is opening a new imprint called August which will target romances for women who are anywhere between 30-50 years old.

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They want to see no stereotypes (divorcees looking for a husband) but strong women who have put off love in favor of careers, or for whatever other reasons, and stumble upon love late in life. They are asking for 45-60K word manuscripts and, according to the spokesperson, they are rather anxious to test the waters. Their reps at RT told us their market analysis shows there is a huge demand for these stories. So there you go. What are you waiting for? Get busy writing that story you’ve always wanted to write and prove that older women can still cut it in romantic pursuits.

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#ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

VOTE FOR JEM–YOU KNOW YOU WANNA!

Hiya! I’m JEREMY PETER but please call me Jem. I’ve always hated my name. That is until my best friend–and love of my life–began calling me that to annoy me, lol. I don’t mind so much now because every time I hear it I’m reminded of her. I get this funny fluttering in my stomach and I’m lost. Love that woman!

But I digress. Why should you vote for me for CLC HQ’s Book Boyfriend 2017? Let me count the ways:

  • I’m good looking–in a boy-next-door, not-really-aware kind of way. Emily Rose claims that her favorite hobby is to run her fingers through my curls and stare into my ocean-blue eyes. You be the judge 😉
Jems Bubble

JEREMY PETER

  • I’m not perfect, not even close. I messed up big with Em but I fessed up to it and will do anything to be forgiven. Even put my life on the line–or go to yoga with my love.
Ems Bubble

Emily Rose (Em)

  • I will eat just about anything, so my sweet Em will never have to worry about cooking for me. I’ll be just as happy going through the drive-through at McDonald’s as eating a gourmet meal. I love food. Period!
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Celia (Em’s sister)

  • I always support my love to the best of my abilities, even if it means looking like Confucius in drag.
  • I have a great sense of humor. I can make light of any situation. Ask Emily Rose if you don’t believe me. I laughed my way to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
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Marcy, the witch

  • I’m so the best choice for CLC HQ’s Book Boyfriend 2017! Even magic couldn’t keep me from loving and fighting for my Em.

Vote for me, JEREMY PETER!

You know it’s the right choice.

Print

To buy click here

Send your vote to:  traciebanister@gmail.com

To enter for the Grand Prize

Hop to all the blog stops, collect the candidate’s name at each stop, then submit all 30 names to the address above  in order to be entered in our Grand Prize giveaway. This giveaway includes a Kindle Paperwhite + 30 e-books, one from each of the authors participating in the hop. I will be giving away an e-copy of Loved You Always . Entries for the hop will be accepted until Sunday, May 21st at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 22nd. This Grand Prize giveaway is open internationally.

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Photo credits:

Picture of Parker Gregory by Mario Testino

Jessica Lu (photographer unknown)

“Celia”‘s picture by Pupulandia

Miss Pandora by Gardrop Kedisi

BLOG STOPS

Tracie Banister 

Becky Monson 

Hilary Grossman 

Glynis Astie  

Jayne Denker  

Jennie Marts  

Barbara Valentin  

Beth Labonte  

Victoria Cooke  

Holly Kerr  

Meredith Schorr 

Stacey Wiedower  

Laurie Baxter 

Jennifer Farwell  

Natalina Reis  

Celia Kennedy  

Beth Carter 

Ellyn Oaksmith 

BJ Knapp  

Lizzie Lamb  

Sylvia Ashby  

Karen M. Cox 

Lindsay Detwiler  

Kirsty McManus  

Melissa Baldwin 

Geralyn Corcillo 

Cassandra O’Leary 

Cat Lavoie 

Kate O’Keeffe  

Monique McDonell  

 

Wounded Love-New Release

WOUNDED LOVE by Marianne Rice
A Rocky Harbor Novel #3
Limitless Publishing
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Ten years ago, Ellie Fairfield left Rocky Harbor brokenhearted and pregnant…

Trying to take care of her son the best she can, the single mother returns to the town close to her heart to run a local inn. Ellie knows it will be tough moving back to Rocky Harbor, and that old memories will haunt her. But the last thing she expects to find on her doorstep is the man who abandoned her when she needed him the most.

Angry at the war, the world, and himself, Colton Riley’s homecoming isn’t a pleasant one…

Being medically discharged from the Marines is one of many disappointments Colton has suffered over the years. A decade ago, he lost a chunk of his heart when the love of his life betrayed him. A year ago he lost his leg. Now, half the man he once was, Colton tries to put back the pieces of his life by accepting a construction project at the local inn, but he didn’t count on finding Ellie standing on the front porch.

The more time they spend together, the more they realize the love they shared years ago hasn’t died…

Even though Ellie is still hurt and angry, she knows her heart belongs to Colton. It’s not easy letting go of the past, especially with the secret she’s hiding from everyone. But when an illness puts her little boy’s life in danger, she has no choice but to tell Colton the truth—a truth that threatens to destroy their love once and for all.

With a past spun together in a web of lies, will Colton and Ellie be able to mend their wounded love?

*** KINDLE *** PAPERBACK ***

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

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Strawberry Kisses

 

STRAWBERRY KISSES

by Marianne Rice
A Rocky Harbor Novel #2
Limitless Publishing

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Rachael Riley is back home in Rocky Harbor, but she’s not the same woman she once was…

After being rescued from an abusive relationship, Rachael is a shadow of her true self. The only place she manages to find some degree of comfort is in the kitchen, hiding behind her apron as she continues to shut everyone out. Her foster sister knows the real Rachael has been broken, and reaches out by signing her up for self-defense classes, hoping to get her outgoing, confident, and nosy older sister back.

Jake Morgan has done his time and is finally free of his past…

Teaching self-defense is Jake’s way of giving back, compensating for what was taken away from him years ago. He’s well aware that most women in his class have a backstory, and avoids getting emotionally involved—until a beautiful, blue-eyed woman walks in. Jake is instantly drawn to Rachael and sees the inner confidence she tries to hide behind her blonde bangs and hunched shoulders.

Wanting to know the story hidden behind those blue eyes, Jake sets out to break down every barrier Rachael has built…

As he helps Rachael find the strength she’d lost, teaching her how to trust again, a secret from his past threatens to ruin the safety they have found in each other. There’s more connecting them than just their mutual attraction. Once their pasts finally collide, revealing a devastating truth, Jake’s commitment to Rachael is put to the ultimate test.

There is no guarantee when it comes to love, but sometimes all a broken heart needs to heal are sweet strawberry kisses…

** KINDLE ** PAPERBACK **

Strawberry Kisses Promo

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.
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Germ Attack and Getting Old…

I’ve been hit by the bug. Not sure which bug but definitely a nasty, unwanted bug that has made me feel miserable for the past week and sent me back in my work load another couple weeks. Normally I write a lot when I’m sick but this particular germ brought a nasty headache with it. My brain feels as if someone has put my head in a vise for a few days. Four days of utter misery and a diet of meds. On the positive side I’ve lost weight. On the negative side I haven’t got anything accomplished. No grocery runs, no cleaning, no lesson plans, no yoga, no writing.

sickgirl

I bring this lovely subject matter up because I have come to realize that getting old sucks big time. Let me explain. Three years ago I would have bounced back this thing, be back at work and go to exercise afterwards. I remember having minor surgery in the morning and going to work in the afternoon. I used to think my friends were “milking” it when they acted as if they were dead after a simple cold. I had done it all; surgeries, wisdom teeth extractions, colds, even an ulcer without having to barely take any time off work. Until about a year ago when I had another of my repeat-offender surgeries in the morning and decided gleefully to go to work in the afternoon. Big mistake! The difference one year made. Something changed. I thought I was going to die. As soon as the anesthesia began wearing off I was in hell. So sure I could bounce off it as I had done many times before, I had refused any pain medicine. I had never needed it before, why start now? Because apparently your body just had it, foolish woman! 

tisana

Same with this cold. I’m not suffering from the flu or any major illness. It’s a freaking cold. And it is kicking my butt. Everything hurts from my head to my toes (and I mean that literally) and all I can gather energy to do is sleep. The simple act of getting dressed and driving to the store down the street to get meds left me exhausted. Is this what I can expect from now on? Is this what getting old feels like? Can someone get me off this ride please? It’s not fun anymore.