Deserve A Chance

Deserve A Chance

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas, as Amber Deacon learned when she snuck out on Zach Monroe before he awoke.

Amber is the black sheep of her family. Instead of conforming and trying to please, she embraced being different knowing that there wasn’t anything wrong with it. Her front of happiness took a lot of work, but she mastered it.

Abandonment issues have always secretly plagued Zach. Deep-rooted memories he’s kept bottled up. No one really stuck around. So why is it that he’s so bothered that Amber left him without a word? Is it worth trying to find her to figure it out, or will their magical few days in Vegas remain just a blip in his life?

 

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Follow Me…And Other Exciting News!!

You might have noticed that I changed the picture at the top of my website. If not, just take a look. The picture on the cover of All I Want has always been one of my favorites.

That’s not really what this post is about though. Nope, instead I’m going to let you know all the places you can follow me! You’re super excited, aren’t you? I know I am!

Drum roll please…I’ve got a Facebook page!! I know, shocking, but I did. I’ll explain more in a bit. And not only that, but I’ve got a Pinterest one too!

Now if I could only figure out how to get those little widget things at the top of my blog to make it easier for you to follow me.

Anyhoo…I’ll just make it easy.

My Facebook Page is here : Facebook

My Pinterest Page is here: Pinterest

If you don’t already follow me on Twitter, please do!!: Twitter

How about my newsletter? You can subscribe and find out what I’m working on and specials.  Newsletter

You can see me on Bookbub.

And Goodreads.

Now for the really exciting news…and the main reason I signed up for FB and Pinterest.  I’m going to be working with a bunch of wonderful and talented authors at The Author’s Billboard. You can follow them and me at their blog here : The Author’s Billboard

As you can see they’ve got a contest going for the month of September. Enter and win a chance for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. (my memes are at the bottom since I just joined the group last week, but they were kind enough to let me enter)

Not only are there wonderful contests, but they put out several boxed sets a year where you get a chance to read multiple stories from different authors (and hopefully find some new favorites!) for a low price! Check some of them out here. I’ll be included in one of the boxed sets for this Christmas!!!! (If I wasn’t so shy I’d insert a gif of me dancing around my office right now!)

Did you notice that the bulk of the ladies in this group are USA/NY Times Best Selling Authors??!!! I’m so excited to be working with them and learning everything I can from their experience and expertise! Fingers crossed, I’ll be following suit.

If you want to get to know them some more, follow them here on Facebook

And now that I’ve overloaded you with data (Your finger is sore from clicking on the links and following, right?) I’ll end this with a few short words… Follow Me!!!

Lake Placid Summary

In the past I’ve done a summary post on the All Series and the Road Series. I figured it was time to do one for the Lake Placid Series also.

Like all my series, the characters will start to weave in and out and become a six degrees of separation type of thing. It seems that is how my mind works no matter how many times I try something different. But as always my books can all be read as a stand alone. Even if you don’t know the characters from other books, you’ll understand enough to make sense for the book you’re reading.

Second Chance. Book one with Nick Buchanan and Mallory Denning. Available at Amazon.

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Give Me A Chance. Book two with Max Hamilton and Quinn Baker. Available at Amazon.

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Our Chance. Book three with Caleb Ryder and Celeste McGuire. Available at Amazon.

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Take A Chance. Book four with Cole McGuire and Rene Buchanan. Available at Amazon.

Take a Chance

Deserve A Chance. Book five with Zach Monroe and Amber Deacon. (coming soon)

Deserve A Chance

Last Chance. Book six with Trevor Miles and Riley Hamilton. (coming soon)

Another Chance. Book seven with Sam Marshall and Dena Olson. (coming soon)

Take A Chance…Chapter 2

Ready for another chapter of Take A Chance? Missed the prologue and chapter one? Just click on those links to catch up.

Take A Chance is available for pre-order now!

Chapter two is called:

Information Overload 

 Cole walked back to his patrol car shaking his head, wondering how a routine stop turned into a morning of remembrance. Morning of remembrance…that thought killed his manhood, making him think of Celeste and her whimsical thoughts. 

Still, little Rene Buchanan was living in Lake Placid. Imagine that. 

He really hadn’t recognized her. Not without her big thick glasses or braces. And that hat she had on, it was more equipped for his head than hers, continuing to fall into her eyes regardless of the number of times she pushed it back. 

It’d probably been years since he’d seen her last, now that he thought of it. Had to have been the summer before he went into the Air Force. 

She came to visit that summer, like she did every year. She and Nick had driven up without their parents. Her brother Nick was close to four years her senior and in college then, but they always made time to visit their grandmother. 

He had fond memories of Nick growing up. A few years older than him, but with their grandmothers as friends, they’d spent time together hanging out. Then again, Cole was always bigger than most, so many thought he was older than Nick when they went out. 

Not Rene, though. If she wasn’t hiding in the house reading a book, then she was getting into trouble. By trouble, he meant falling and getting hurt, or getting picked on by other kids. There might not have been a bigger klutz in his memory than Rene. 

He remembered the first time he noticed her. One summer, he and Celeste were at the schoolyard, playing dodgeball with other kids. Had to have been elementary school for sure. Nick came waltzing up; he was already in junior high, though shorter than Cole, with Rene tagging behind with a book in her hand. Nick jumped in the game, but Rene sat on the grass and ignored everyone, focusing on the story in front of her. 

Until Bobby Ridle decided it’d be funny to throw the ball at her, knocking the book out of her hand and her glasses off her face. 

Cole got to Bobby before Nick could take one step. Lifted the pimple-faced twerp up by the collar, his feet dangling several inches off the ground, his eyes bugging out of his head as Cole snarled at him. 

Rene had gotten up and ran over, grabbed his arm, and said, “It’s okay. I’m sure it was just an accident. I’m fine.” But Cole knew it wasn’t an accident and Bobby was just being a prick. He’d put Bobby down while Rene looked at him with admiration in her gaze. Then the next time he and Bobby played…well…if Bobby walked funny from a stray dodgeball, oh well. “It slipped,” Cole had said, laughing. 

Celeste had taken Rene off to the side, talking with her, then slid Rene under her wing like a lost little puppy, the way Celeste gravitated toward anyone who needed a hand. Nothing seemed to help Rene, though. Shy, timid, and never wanting to be around him for some reason. He wondered if Rene thought he was a bully after that. 

He drove in silence to his sister’s B&B and parked behind her boyfriend’s truck. Correction, fiancé. He had to stop grinding his teeth in that matter. It was partially his fault Celeste was engaged now.  

He sighed. He had to keep telling himself that wasn’t the case, either. Deep down, he’d known all along that Caleb was the one for Celeste, but he refused to admit it to anyone. 

Opening the back door, he saw Celeste dishing up what looked to be waffles for Caleb.  

“How’s my favorite brother?” Celeste asked, all bright eyed and cheerful. 

He pulled a seat out at the table, turned it around, and straddled it quickly. He really didn’t have time for a sit-down breakfast. “Where are your guests?” 

“They’ve already eaten and gone on their way skiing for the day. It’s just Caleb and me. There’s plenty if you want a fast bite.” 

It sure did smell good. What could it hurt? “Sure. I’ll take a muffin for the road, though. That’s what I was really angling for.” 

Caleb sat there quietly eating. He looked up and smirked at Cole, then went back to his food. Caleb was an all right guy, he supposed. If he could wrap his head around the fact his sister was getting married to a recluse millionaire. At least they were going to stay on the property, building a new house next door for the two of them. Had Caleb picked Celeste up and moved her away, then there’d be hell to pay. 

“You’ll get your muffin when you leave, like you always do,” Celeste said. 

She filled his plate and set it in front of him, so he shrugged his jacket off and turned the chair around to eat properly. This was his grandmother’s house, handed down to Celeste. He knew darn well her spirit was still here and if she were able to, she’d reach out and smack the back of his head with her hand for sitting that way at the table. 

“How are the roads?” Celeste asked. 

“Fine.” He cut off a big piece of waffle and shoved it in his mouth. “Ran into an old friend this morning whose car spun off on the side of the road.” 

“Really?” Celeste said, sitting down and joining them for breakfast after she’d fixed his coffee just the way he liked it. She was a born caregiver. “I hope no one was hurt. Who was it?” 

“Rene Buchanan. Remember her? I didn’t even know she moved to the area.” He noticed her stricken face and quickly added, “She’s fine. Driving this big as—” Celeste sent him a stern look. “Big SUV that she has no business being in. Didn’t even have it in four-wheel drive and slid off the road.” 

“That’s good. I mean, good that she’s fine.” Celeste turned to Caleb. “You remember Rene from Nick and Mallory’s wedding, right? She’s Nick’s younger sister.” 

“Everyone’s faces ran together that day,” Caleb said, picking up his coffee and smirking at Cole again when he caught his eyes going to Celeste’s diamond. Did Caleb have to buy something big enough to knock a few teeth out? Maybe, Cole was thinking, he shouldn’t have been in such a mood last week on Christmas morning when Celeste showed up wearing it.  

The mood wasn’t because of the engagement, not really, but more for the fact that the night before, Cole had dreamed about the engagement and had seen the ring verbatim in his mind. He was more rattled than anything. Those were things Celeste experienced, never him. Things that caused people to say she was silly and frivolous, so he never admitted it also happened to him from time to time. 

Celeste reached over and lightly pinched Caleb’s arm. “The girl who caught the bouquet.” 

“Oh, the girl that got stuck with it when you stepped out of her way last minute,” Caleb said, winking at her. 

Cole watched the byplay between them and bit back another sigh. This was what Celeste needed in her life and he was just going to have to get over it. She was heading here all along, and he should be happy she found someone as well matched as she did. Even if she and Caleb were polar opposites. He was happy his sister was so, well…happy. He wasn’t envious, not really. His decisions for the future shouldn’t be reflective of others. 

“Yes,” Celeste said. “She’s working for Max now. Just moved here before the holiday and started a few days ago. I believe she’s staying with her grandmother, Trixie Miller.” 

“She said she was,” Cole said. “All paranoid she was going to be late for work. I told her to relax, that Max would understand. Anyway, I didn’t even recognize her.”  

Which was a lie, because once he read her name on her license, flashes of her pretty mouth in that tentative smile of thanks she’d given him so many times in the past flew through his brain.  

“She looks the same to me,” Celeste said. “Well, I guess not. I mean, you were used to seeing her in glasses, but I’d seen her without them, so I recognized her easily enough. She blossomed into a beautiful woman, too. Not even shy or timid when I saw her.” 

“I didn’t see that side of her. Could be she was still shaken over the accident.”  

Or maybe it was him. She did seem to stutter and get all flustered once she realized who he was. Probably nothing more than the fact he always saw her that way. 

He couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t helping her up off the ground when she’d tripped, or handing her glasses back to her when they’d fallen off her face. She was the quintessential damsel in distress as a kid. She made him feel like he could conquer the world back then. A Superman to her Lois Lane. Seemed she was a more mature version of Lois now. Hmm, wonder what she’d feel like in his arms if he caught her falling out of a building? 

Why the heck was he thinking of that? 

“It’s probably nothing more than that,” Celeste said. “I’ll see her again soon, I’m sure. Now that the holidays are over, the cottage is going to be filling back up so Amber or Dena will bring her over to get her acquainted.” 

The cottage being the small B&B next door that Celeste managed for Max and his patients. His physician assistants, Amber and Dena—and now Rene—checked in on the patients during their stay. 

“Let me know what you think of her,” Cole said as nonchalantly as he could, shoving another forkful of waffle in his mouth.  

“Why?” Celeste said, eying him.  

Because, though Rene shirked away from him as a kid, he’d always liked being around her. She made him feel good. Made him feel like he was important to someone back then. Made him feel needed without having to be asked. Or told…especially by his father. 

He wished he’d kept his mouth shut now. The last thing he wanted was memories like that from his childhood. He’d done his best to push his father from his head. At least the thoughts that made him feel inferior, that he didn’t matter. That he never measured up to his father’s high standards. 

It never seemed to matter to Celeste, though, because she saw more than he ever wanted her to see, felt more than either of them ever confessed to other people, and knew him better than he knew himself. 

“No reason.” 

“Hmm. If you say so.” Celeste picked up her coffee and took a sip. “Everyone was surprised when she finally decided on this field of study.” 

Cole wanted to ignore the conversation but couldn’t. At this point, if he pretended indifference, it would only throw up more flags.  

“Yeah, it sort of threw me for a loop. I don’t remember her being able to do anything without planning it all out. I can’t see her reacting in an emergency situation well, or even fast.” 

Slow and methodical was a good description for Rene. Even then, she still ended up on her butt half the time. 

“I guess she’s not like that now. Or at least at work. She’s been in school for a long time trying to figure out what to do.” 

“How do you know all of that?” Cole asked. Yeah, it was a small town, but Rene really wasn’t part of the town. 

“Caleb and I had dinner with Nick, Mallory, Max, and his fiancée, Quinn, before the holidays. Nick and Mallory were excited over Rene’s move and talked about her. I think they were giving some more background to Max so he knew what to expect. Rene is nothing like Amber or Dena.” 

“So what’s she been up to then?” he asked, finishing up his waffles and pushing back from the table, hoping to make a quick escape. 

“She’s got a few degrees, different things. Literature degrees, things like that. English-type majors.” 

“She always had her face in a book,” Cole said, slipping on his jacket.  

He’d never forget that. Or how many times he had to pick up her books when she dropped them in his presence. Was it nerves that made her do that, or her wanting his attention? He always thought it was so he’d notice her, which he had, but when he tried to talk to her afterward, she’d freeze up and run away. 

“Yep. Guess she liked the classes in college, but it was nothing she wanted to do with her life. I really have no idea why she chose this field, but it stuck. She graduated in May, met Max at Nick’s wedding, and one thing led to another. She flew back for an interview and the rest is history.” 

Cole picked up the travel mug that Celeste had poured more coffee in, placed his dishes in the sink, then leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.  

“Thanks for the information overload. I really just wanted a muffin,” he said, laughing. 

She stood up and placed two in a bag and handed them off to him. “Here you go. Information feeds the soul, like food feeds the belly.” 

Caleb snorted at the table, but Cole was wise enough to just respond with, “If you say so.” 

“I do. Stop being a brat.” 

“Last I knew, you were the brat,” he said. Then he turned to Caleb. “Are you sure you’re up for this?”  

“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t,” Caleb said. 

Cole saluted them both and jogged down the porch stairs. He was ready to open his door when he heard a bark and turned to see Caleb’s dog, Sparky, come running up to him. There was a day when Cole almost shot the dog when he thought Celeste was in danger. Now the dog couldn’t greet him fast enough. 

“Hey, buddy. Keep an eye on my sister for me, okay? It’s your job when I’m not around.” 

Sparky looked up at him, understanding clear, Cole knew. He had a way with animals, just like Celeste. Then he hopped back in his patrol car and pulled away.  

Thoughts of shy geeky girls the furthest thing from his mind. Sort of. 

Take A Chance…Chapter One

Are you ready for some more Take A Chance?

If you haven’t had a chance to read the prologue, you can catch up here.

Here is chapter one

No Control

Sixteen Years Later

Rene Buchanan gripped the steering wheel tightly through her wool gloves, not that it was helping any. She felt completely out of control in her new SUV.

What could she have been thinking, moving here? What was wrong with her? And why did she do it in the middle of the winter, no less?

Sure, this new job was a dream come true. She would have been nuts to turn it down, but that didn’t quell the fear she was feeling as the tires started to slip on the road.

She eased off the gas a bit and tapped the brakes. Nope, wrong thing to do, she realized when the rear end fishtailed to the right. Did the salesman lie to her about the traction control?

Barely crawling at this point, she pressed on the gas pedal a fraction and felt the vehicle slip. Braking wasn’t the thing to do either, she’d just learned, so she made a tiny wish and tried a bit more gas, hoping to get somewhere.

As luck would have it, her tires started to grab at something, finally moving her forward at a nice steady clip. She could handle this; it wasn’t that bad. Only three miles left to go to her new office. Piece of cake.

Since she felt a teeny more confident, she pressed the gas down and then wished she hadn’t when the rear end slid to the right again. Wrong choice this time. It seemed she always made the wrong choice. Nothing new there.

When she glanced down, she saw she was barely going twenty miles an hour. It was pretty embarrassing, if she was honest with herself, that she couldn’t go any faster than this without wanting to curl into a ball and cry.

It wasn’t even snowing out. The roads looked fairly clear to her, just some slush, yet she still couldn’t get this thing to drive as steadily as she was told it would when she bought it a month ago before the move.

She was slowly making her way up the hill and knew the turn was coming. Knowing she needed to accelerate now or she’d never make it, she gingerly tapped the gas. More spinning tires, but at the moment she was the little engine that could. Maybe it would have been better if she’d bought something with a little engine instead of this monster she had no control over.

Feeling positive that she was going to make it, she added more gas, then wished she hadn’t when a deer dashed in front of her. She slammed on the brakes, did a complete three-sixty, and ended up off the side of the road facing the wrong direction on the other side.

Great. Just great. Only her third day on the job and she was going to be late. What else could go wrong?

She sat there taking inventory of her body and realized other than her racing heart, everything was good. Of course it’s not like she was going fast enough to really do any damage to anything other than her pride.

Pulling her gloves off her fingers one by one, she fished her phone out of her purse to call her brother, Nick. He’d know what to do. He knew what to do about everything. Unlike her.

She’d bet he’d never slid off the road when he moved here. Nick probably drove twenty miles over the speed limit in a blizzard with one hand on the steering wheel, the other sipping a coffee, and had complete control at all times.

Stop being childish, she told herself…until she realized there was no reception on her phone. Double great. Now what?

She also knew there were houses set back in the woods, but she wasn’t sure how far away they were since she hadn’t paid much attention to those things while she commuted the last two days.

That was always her biggest problem. She never paid attention to the things around her that she should have. Now here she was stuck on the side of the road in the freezing cold with a vehicle she paid way too much money for that didn’t even want to stay on the pavement to begin with.

She was going to die out here in the cold.

She was going to starve.

No one would ever find her.

Well maybe not starve—she still had a plethora of snacks in her big tote she carried everywhere. And since the engine was running, it was toasty warm, so it wasn’t as dire as her overactive imagination was making it out to be.

Think, think, think. What should she do right now? She was never good in these situations. If directions weren’t in a book or a manual in front of her, she was clueless. She didn’t need people telling her that her whole life, either.

Doubters always doubt, she told herself, and that was the motto she used to get through college. All ten years of it while she kept getting degree after degree until she found her calling.

Laying her forehead against the steering wheel, she tried to do exactly what she did for years. Think. Instead, she started to panic.

When she heard a knock on her window she screamed and jumped, but the darn seatbelt only locked her back in place.

She pushed the beanie back on her forehead, except it fell down to her eyebrows again. Not enough that she couldn’t see a man in uniform tapping on the glass.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice loud through the window.

Thank God. She hit the button and rolled the window down, looking at her own reflection in his sunglasses. She looked a mess, but what else was new?

“Yeah. A deer ran in front of me and I lost control. I seem to be stuck.”

He looked around, and she followed his gaze. Now she was realizing she was just barely off the road, not really in a ditch and not really stuck. Hmm, maybe she should have at least tried to drive away. Why hadn’t that thought occurred to her?

“We’ll try to get you out of here. Shouldn’t be a problem in this vehicle,” he said.

She wished she could see his face. Or maybe not, because he sounded kind of condescending right now. He looked young, not more than a few years older than her. Too young to have a voice that deep. And big, too. She was pretty high up in her SUV and he wasn’t dwarfed by it at all.

“What are you doing?” she asked when he started to lean his head into her vehicle and look around. Did he think she was under the influence? It just went from bad to worse.

“Where are you heading right now?” he asked.

“Work. It’s only my third day and I’m going to be late,” she said, hoping he got the hint to help her get out of this situation. Instead he continued to look around and her pulse started to kick up again. Was he supposed to smell so good? Was she even supposed to notice? Probably not, and wise to keep it to herself.

“Not from around here, are you?” he asked, his lips starting to twitch.

Okay, she knew she was slow at times, but he was definitely making fun of her. “I just moved here from Virginia. I must confess I’m not used to these conditions. I thought buying this SUV would help, but I was all over the road. Must be icier than I thought.”

A smile from him this time, almost a teasing one. She pushed her too-big hat up again and wished she didn’t look like a kid in oversized clothing, but no hat ever fit her head, and headbands and earmuffs just looked sillier than the big hats.

Next thing she knew, he was reaching his long arm across her. She fought back a giggle when “long arm of the law” popped into her head.

“It’d probably drive better if you put it in four-wheel drive. You’ve been driving this big, heavy rear-wheeled drive vehicle in slush, with an engine equally as big. If you don’t know how to handle it, it can get away from you.”

No crap, she wanted to say, but then caught on to something else he’d said. “Four-wheel drive? They told me it’s all-wheel drive. What’s the difference?”

Now he laughed. “The difference is staying on the road, or sitting here talking to me.”

She wrinkled her nose. Okay, he was cute when he smiled, but she really wished she could see more of his face…or maybe not. She was already self-conscious, so it was probably better she didn’t know what he was thinking, or couldn’t figure it out. Especially when he smelled nice and smiled so sweet. None of that went with the timbre of his voice, just confusing her more.

She gathered her wits and said, “So that button you just pointed out. That puts it in four-wheel drive and it would have prevented me from going off the road?”

Now she wanted to kick herself for not reading the manual when she bought the thing.

“Well now, that’s not a guarantee, but it might have helped. It really all comes down to the driver.”

She ground her teeth. “Thanks for the help. I’ll try to get out now.”

“Not so fast. I know you’ll get out just fine. Can I see your license and registration though?” he asked nicely. Not at all like an officer trying to throw his weight around.

So much for getting on her way. “Of course,” she said, remembering he was law enforcement. She looked closer now and realized he was one of the troopers in the area, not from the sheriff’s office.

She leaned over and pulled her wallet out of her purse, then handed her license to him while she reached in the glove compartment for her registration.

“Rene?” he said, some wonder in his voice.

“Yes. Rene Buchanan,” she said back.

He smiled again, then lifted his sunglasses off his face. That pulse that was beating rapidly when she spun off the road was nothing compared to the rate it was racing now.

She knew when she moved to Lake Placid there was a possibility of running into people she’d met when she was younger. She knew there was a chance she’d see him again. She didn’t expect it to be when she was looking her worst and in a helpless situation.

Of course, she shouldn’t be surprised. Every time she saw him as a kid, she was in some bad predicament. Why should it be different this time?

“Cole McGuire?”

“Yep, that’s me. Wow, little Rene Buchanan. I didn’t know you moved here.”

The “little” comment made her purse her lips. “Last month. Well, I’m with my grandmother right now until I can find a place.”

She had no idea why she was explaining that to him. Years ago, she was always tongue-tied around him. Well, more like tongue-tied around everyone. Losing herself in her studies was so much easier than trying to be an adult.

But she was an adult now. One that was trying to change her life, and to do that, she needed to stop being the shy little dorky girl that felt more comfortable hiding.

In the last few years she’d focused on speaking more, and standing her ground. Thinking first, then explaining herself. No more running and no more hiding when she was nervous.

“I didn’t recognize you without your glasses,” he said.

She bit back the sigh. Figures he would remember that about her. Glasses too big and too thick for her face, always falling down. Part of this move was a transformation for herself. Both physically and mentally, maybe even emotionally, though she’d never admit that to anyone. Still, she wished she’d thought of getting contacts years ago since it ended up being such a big confidence booster.

“It’s me. Sorry to sound rude, but I really do have to get to work.”

He didn’t look like he was in any hurry, though. “Where are you working?”

Small towns. She should have known it wouldn’t be that easy. “Dr. Hamilton’s practice. I’m a physician assistant.”

“Get out,” he said.

Wonderful, he was probably just as shocked as everyone else that she chose this field to pursue.

“Nope. I graduated in May. When I came to visit for my brother Nick’s wedding in September, I met Dr. Hamilton and we talked. Next thing I knew, he was offering me a job the first of the year, and here I am.”

Cole waved his hand. “No, not that you’re doing that. I mean, yeah, I am kind of surprised, but you were always smart so I really shouldn’t be surprised. I said that because my sister, Celeste, is business partners with Max. You remember Celeste, right?”

“Of course I remember her. I saw her at Nick’s wedding. I didn’t know she was partners with Dr. Hamilton.”

Why didn’t she ask more questions? Of course, it probably had nothing to do with her job. Then it hit her: the new B&B that Dr. Hamilton opened a few months ago. One for patients to stay at and recover on a mini-vacation after procedures. Celeste owned a B&B, too, so it was making sense.

“Yep. I’m sure you’ll hear all about it soon then. Let’s get you back on the road and off to work. Max is a great guy. He’ll understand if you’re late. Tell him to give me a call to verify if need be, but I doubt it.”

She breathed a sigh of relief that he was going to let her go. And without a ticket, though honestly she didn’t know what she could be ticketed for. Maybe being an idiot for not knowing how to drive her vehicle. Was there a ticket for that?

He stepped back when she hit the button to roll up the window. Instead he reached his hand out and stopped her. “You need to put it in four-wheel drive,” he said, his lips twitching again.

Dang it all. “Sorry. Just press this button, right? I’ve got it,” she said.

The window closed all the way up, she pushed the button like he’d said and gently touched the gas. What do you know? The vehicle took off like it was on dry roads and away she went. She was even going twenty-five miles an hour now and in complete control.

When she looked at the rear-view mirror, she saw him swaggering back to the patrol car. He always did have a mighty fine walk.

Take A Chance….Prologue

Are you ready to start getting teased with some Take A Chance?

For those of you that read Our Chance, then you know Cole and Celeste are twins. You’ll notice that both of their stories start with the same screen, just different POV’s. Here’s the Prologue! Enjoy and come back for the first two chapters next week.

Prologue

Cole looked up quickly when his father walked into the sterile room. Most people stopped what they were doing when Big Bad Tom McGuire showed up. He very rarely smiled, was tough as nails, and his voice could make a saint cringe. The nurse—who didn’t happen to be a saint—stopped checking Cole’s vitals and moved back to give them some privacy.

“How are you holding up?” his father asked in as quiet a voice as he could muster. It still seemed to echo off the walls, though. Cole was used to it, knowing his own voice, like his height and build, would most likely mirror his father’s.

“I’m fine. How’s Celeste?” Cole asked of his sister, holding his father’s stare. That was another thing: his father’s stare could turn a man to stone. Not Cole. He’d learned the same skill at an early age.

“She’s strong like always. Your mother is with her right now.”

“Yeah, I know. She just left here,” Cole said.

All their lives, his mother came to him first, his father to Celeste. After fifteen years, Cole expected no different…especially after the last year.

“You need to stay strong for this,” his father said, his voice stern, his eyes narrowing.

“I am. It’s going to be okay,” Cole said, returning the cold stare.

He didn’t need a lecture right now. He knew it was going to be okay. It had to be okay. Celeste was his sister—his twin—nothing could go wrong now. Nothing. They’d been through too much already.

Correction, Celeste had been through too much. He was just an innocent bystander that felt more than he should feel but kept it to himself, always wondering why it was her and not him. He was stronger; it should have been him.

“I’m sure you’re right,” his father said, but his tired eyes told a different story in the brief moment he dropped his guard. Cole could often read into his parents’ mannerisms. They tried to hide things from him and Celeste, but they didn’t always succeed. “Just remember, it’s your job to care for her. To protect her. To keep her safe.”

Cole had heard this before. His whole life, he was told he had to care for his sister. He had to watch out for her, he had to protect her. He didn’t need to hear it again. Not now, especially not now.

He knew his role. He didn’t need to have his father tell him anything he hadn’t felt or known since the day they were born way too early with Celeste tinier than she should have been. They’d both made it once; they could do it again.

“I’ve got it covered, Dad.”

“You always say that. I always say that, but the honest truth is, we can’t control much at all.” His father paused and looked around the room, gathering some composure. It was the first time Cole had really seen his father this raw, and that alone scared him silly. “I’m not always going to be around. We’ve talked about this. When I’m not, you have to step up and be the man of the house.”

“I do it all the time when you’re gone. I can handle it,” Cole said, reminding his father he’d been stepping up long before now. He pushed the bitterness away. It wasn’t the time to get annoyed that he had so much responsibility on his shoulders.

He’d been the big brother and stand-in “man” for a long time. Fixing things that needed to be done, and being there for his mother when his father was at work. Protecting the family at night, if necessary.

“You do a good job. I probably don’t tell you enough, and I should. I’m sorry for that.”

No, his father never told him before and Cole was surprised he did now. Nothing like a life-or-death situation to put things in perspective.

“I just do what needs to be done,” Cole said, his eyes unmoving, much like his father’s. Maybe too much like his father, his mother often said, and not in a good way. It seemed like lately his mother didn’t have a lot of good things to say about her husband.

“That’s the best attitude to have,” his father said, nodding his head.

When another person in scrubs and a white lab coat walked into the room, his father moved aside…for once in his life.

“We’re going to give you some happy juice right now,” the newcomer said. “You won’t remember much more, then you’ll wake up next to your sister.”

Cole blinked his eyes and swallowed quickly, then pulled within himself to push those fears away. Fears that he was being knocked out, that he had no control over what was happening to his body, what was happening to his sister or what the future would hold.

But if his sister could do this, then he could too. It wasn’t like anything she was going to go through. Nothing like what she’d been through already.

His eyes started to glaze over, but he could have sworn his father grabbed his hand quick and said, “I’m proud of you.

 

When I Look Into Your Eyes…Take A Chance

It’s getting close to the release of Take A Chance. Rene and Cole’s story. So it’s that time again, the music I listened to while I weaved their story in my mind.

It seems like the hair band era with the Lake Placid Series, and I’m just fine with that! Need a recap in case you forgot?

Second Chance Broken by Seether

Give Me A ChanceI Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner

Our ChanceLivin On A Prayer by Bon Jovi

Here it is, When I Look Into Your Eyes by Firehouse. This is totally Cole!! You can buy the book now!

I’m sending out ARC’s this week. If you’re interested, check out to see if you meet the criteria and then contact me.

Something New

The book market is hard. Have you heard that before? Well it is! So to keep up, you need to jump on some bandwagons.

First let me preference this by saying that I will continue writing like I always do. The Lake Placid Series will go on. Matter of fact, I just finished the draft of the fifth book in that series and plan on starting the sixth in a few weeks.

Now back to my ‘something new’ post. I’ve never been much of a follower, I’ve always preferred to do my own thing and see how it goes. In the last two years, my thing has done pretty darn good. But now, well now, people want vampires and bad boy billionaires, step brothers and kinky things that make me blush thinking of, let alone trying to write. They want sexy naked guys on covers, or women in compromising positions.

Where does that leave me?

I’m trying my hand at a new series. Something a little bit different. Not major, but a teeny weenie change just the same. I’m going to brand my covers with some more ‘edge’ for this series. Maybe throw a sexy guy on the cover if one catches my eye. I tried to write a big bad tough hero that would make you think ‘jerk’ then love him later. But I seem to struggle with making my leads be too much of a jerk, so as much as I tried, he’s just not an ‘ass’. There are some toolbag, jackass moments, but nothing to make you blush or want to take a swing at the fellow.

These books will be shorter. Most of my books are 80-90K words. But this series is going to be somewhere between 65-70K words. Not short stories, but not completely drawn out either. More fast paced, maybe.

I’m even considering entering this first book into the Kindle Scout program. I’ll blog on that another time once I make up my mind.

Do you want to know what this series is about? Sure you do, because you’re loyal followers.

It’s called the Fierce Five Series. Sounds nice and strong, huh?

There’s Brody, Aiden, Mason, Cade and Ella. They’re thirty-year old quintuplets now running the family business. Jolene and Gavin Fierce (their parents) wanted to retire. What goes hand in hand with retirement? Grandkids! And what better way for that to happen than for Mama to set them all up… unbeknownst to them, of course.

So while this is a little curve in the road from my normal stories, it’s not all that much of a different trip. It’s still a happy ever after love story, but it’s going to be a bit sexier, a bit funner (yeah it’s a word and my husband says it all the time, so I had to use it just now), and a bit more head-butting between the leads.

The first book is Brody and he met his match with Aimee. And that’s all I’m going to tell you for now.

Keep your eyes open for more posts. I’m also going to try to do some more blogging. I know, promises, promises.

Settling In

I’ve talked about my move over the last few months, but in the last few weeks, we’ve sealed the deal. We moved the rest of our belongings into our new house about an hour away, and we closed on our old house three days after that.

I took a week and a half off figuring it’d only take me a few days to get settled and then I could spend the rest of my vacation writing.

Boy was I wrong!! That first night here, I didn’t go to bed until the last box was unpacked. I thought that was the biggest hurdle. Nope, because then we had to decorate. And then I decided I needed to refinish my mother’s dining room table that was handed down to me.

When it was all said and done, I used every single day of my vacation working on the house. That dang dining room table took almost three days alone!

On Monday, I started back to work in my new position. I’m working from home, and driving back to my old office an hour away once a week. I’ll also have meetings here in there at other sites, but for the most part, I roll out of bed, shower, eat and get to work.

So what does this mean in regards to my writing? Well, the goal I set for myself to finish a new book in the month of June didn’t work out. But I’m close. And I WILL get it done within the week, I know.

I have plans to enter that new book in the Kindle Scout program…I think. I’ve got time before it goes for it’s first round of edits to make that final decision.

Until then, I’m going to start working on the fifth book in the Lake Placid Series, Last Chance.  This will feature Riley Hamilton (Max Hamilton’s sister from Give Me A Chance) and Sheriff Trevor Miles.

Stay tuned for more. But right now, I need to get writing!

 

Take A Chance

 

Take a Chance

Cole McGuire has had responsibility heaped on his shoulders since he was a child. His protective nature embraced it. But oftentimes, he wonders what he’s had to give up, what he told himself he could never have. He’s accepted those choices and brushes feelings aside when they creep into his mind, fearing that he’d never be enough.

Rene Buchanan has always tried to live up to her older brother, but hasn’t even come close to succeeding. Not that anyone is comparing, because they aren’t. After finally settling on a career, she decides it’s time to make a life change from the shy klutz she’d always been. Relocating to Lake Placid to accept a new job seems like the perfect solution, until she runs into her old crush and he starts to put walls up with no explanation. Making her realize she hasn’t changed much at all.