Family Bonds- Eli & Bella…Prologue

Prologue

“Hey,” Eli Bond said to the cute blonde hostess. At least he figured she was one since she was outside the show that would be starting in an hour. “Can you answer a few questions for me?”

“Sure,” she said. “I’ll try. I’m not normally doing this but just filling in. More like getting my feet wet.”

She did look a little young to him. Soft spoken too with a gentle French accent. It didn’t matter, she might be sweet on the eyes, but anyone that looked young here was most likely even younger than they appeared. 

He wasn’t stupid enough to venture into that wading pool of risk, especially in a foreign country.

“Great place to dip a toe in,” he said of the casino in Monte Carlo he was visiting. He’d been traveling around the world for almost two years on and off checking out different casinos to gather information and get his own up and running the perfect way. Plans were being finalized so the travel was intermittent now.

“It is. What can I help you with?” she asked, brushing her hair behind her ear. Her hand wasn’t steady and he wondered if it was nerves since she’d more or less admitted she was new.

“Just tell me about the shows and how they are set up. How do you seat and manage the crowd? Things like that. Who arranges what form of entertainment if you know that.”

“Oh,” she said. “I thought you wanted to know about the show tonight. I can help you with that. I don’t think I’m at liberty to tell you much more.”

He sent her a smile, noticed her nametag and said, “Bella, right? What a pretty name. I’m trying to see how different casinos manage their entertainment.” 

She turned her head to some men in another doorway. Security, he knew. They were in suits and probably hiding their weapons. What the hell was going on here that she couldn’t answer a few questions?

“I don’t understand your need to know that,” she said.

“I’m opening my own casino in America. It’s in the works now. I’m traveling around the world checking places out for ideas.”

She frowned like she doubted him. “Really? You seem kind of young to be building a casino.”

He wasn’t going to let her statement get to him. She had no idea about his background, his wealth, or his family backing. He was only making conversation.

“Age means nothing,” he said. “Again, just looking for ideas. So why don’t you tell me about the show tonight? I purchased my ticket for the second show, but do you take walk-ins? If so, do you limit the amount?”

Bella looked over to the side again and apparently realized they were being watched. Good grief, that was one thing he wasn’t going to do…make it so staff couldn’t talk to the guests. 

“We do leave some seats open for walk-ins, but I’m not positive the number. I guess it depends on the show.”

“And this show tonight? Is it one booked for a few weeks only or longer?” He’d already checked that information out on the website. Sure, he could email someone to talk and ask questions, but he’d found getting it from working staff while he explored was the best way.

He’d never thought he wasn’t easy to speak with or couldn’t dump the charm on until now. “I think this one is for a few weeks. Excuse me a second,” she said.

He looked behind him and saw someone waiting to get her attention so he moved a step to the right while she took care of them and looked around the marble entryway. Definitely going this route for sure. Luxury on the island was his first thought. 

He’d take his camera out for some pictures if he didn’t already have the security’s attention. Maybe another day.

This casino was huge. The biggest he’d been in while he enjoyed his time in the French Rivera. His room had a beautiful view and was luxurious. Everything he was going for on Amore Island.

No, the little island off the coast of Massachusetts wasn’t going to be anything like being in the Mediterranean, but he could give that vibe inside while people dropped their money on the table.

He noticed people moving in and out. Not everyone was dressed in thousands of dollars’ worth of shoes and accessories. He wasn’t even counting the diamonds and gold he’d seen. There were plenty that looked like an everyday Joe. Like the guy sitting on the bench not too far away listening to the conversation. He was in plain clothes and Eli wondered if he was additional security or not. He had the look to him.

When Bella was alone again, Eli stepped back to her. “So back to my questions.”

“He is bothering you?” one of the suited security men said, coming over.

“I’m just asking questions about the show,” Eli said, smiling. “Got my ticket right here for later.” He pulled it out and held it up.

Didn’t seem to make a difference though. “Then you know when it starts and can leave our employees alone to do their jobs,” the guy said.

“He’s fine,” Bella said. “It’s okay.”

“It’s not okay,” the big burly man said. “He’s been asking more questions than he should for a simple show. Maybe we need to bring you down for some questioning to find out the reason why.”

“Leave him alone,” the guy from the bench said. “He’s doing exactly what he said.”

“Two of you, huh?” the security guy replied and nodded his head to his partner against the wall.

Oh shit. How the hell did this turn into something that was going to throw him in the pen? Especially in a foreign country. “It’s all good,” Eli said. “I’ll take my leave now.”

“Not quite,” the first security guy said. “We can do this the hard way or the easy way. Why don’t you follow us for a few more questions anyway.”

There was no reason to cause a scene. “The easy way of course.”

The second security officer moved to the guy on the bench and said, “Same with you. Easy or hard?”

“Hard,” the guy said. He didn’t look pissed. He had no expression on his face that Eli could tell. “I’ve done nothing but sit here and watch the scene. I have no idea who this dude is.”

Eli had noticed the military cut on the man who’d now stood up. He was about the same height at a little over six foot, lean and somewhat mean looking. Not a person to cross in an alley.

“Why don’t we just go along peacefully?” Eli offered the man. “I’ll take care of any of your troubles or time.”

“No troubles because I’m not going anywhere,” the man said. 

The security guard reached to secure the man, only to find he was on the ground, the military dude’s knee in the back of the black suit, one arm behind the suit’s back.

That’s when a gun was pulled, Eli’s hands going up in the air and Bella gasping. “Dude,” Eli said. “Move back. I don’t need any blood on my conscience.” 

Other security showed up and both Eli and the stranger were manhandled more than he appreciated and escorted into holding.

Well, now he knew how to handle a situation like this in his place should it ever happen. If he got out of this country alive.

Family Bonds- Eli & Bella

Eli Bond has always had life under control. He knew what he wanted and was determined to succeed at any cost. He surrounded himself with people to make that happen and nothing was standing in his way. When a woman from his past drops into his life unexpectedly…he’s going to make sure she understands that he isn’t letting her go this time.

Bella Kingston could never forget the man that was detained at her uncle’s casino years ago for just talking to her. She’s been protected her whole life, even if she didn’t want it. Suddenly there is a threat in her life and her uncle ships her off to Amore Island to be guarded and watched over by Eli Bond. Now the question was, is the threat to her heart?

Fierce-Mick…Prologue

Prologue

“What do you think of all of this?”

Lindsey White looked over to her sister, Stella, as they sat at a table in the front of the wedding reception. Her stepsister, Adriana, had just gotten married to Wyatt Fierce. Not that she was that close to Adriana even though her mother and Adriana’s father had been married for half a dozen years.

“I think it’s about as crazy as I thought it’d be,” Lindsey said.

“Yeah,” Stella said, laughing. “I mean we’ve known Carolyn and her family forever, but we’ve never been to anything like this.”

“Nope,” Lindsey said, looking out onto the dance floor. Everyone had eaten, the drinks were flowing and the laughter was contagious. But she and her sister were keeping their distance, just not used to this type of family gathering.

Their father had left them when they were younger, going with another woman and starting a new family. He’d paid their mom money each month and they visited every other weekend and a few holidays until they went to college, but the connection had never been there. Their father had a new family and that was all he was focusing on. Lindsey and Stella were just his obligation.

“How come you’re so quiet?” Stella asked her. “You look a little worn out.”

“Thanks for that,” she said.

“Only stating the obvious. Is work okay?”

She looked away from the dance floor. Lindsey wasn’t longing to join like maybe Stella was. Stella was more outgoing and liked to be part of the action, but it took her time to take that step. Lindsey liked to sit in the shadows.

“It’s work,” she said. “More bad than good, but what do you expect with my field?”

“I don’t know how you do it,” Stella said.

“Sometimes I don’t either.” Working in Child Protective Services wasn’t for the faint of heart.

“Let’s not talk about that. Who’s the hottie over there with Wyatt?”

“Your guess is as good as mine,” she said. They knew Carolyn and Garrett’s four kids. And they also knew Diane and Grant’s three boys since Diane Fierce was a teacher too. Not middle school like her mother and Carolyn, but her mother did like to get together with other teachers often and Diane was always in that group.

“How come you girls aren’t on the dance floor?”

Lindsey turned her head and looked at Carolyn Fierce as she came over and put her arm around her and her sister. “We’re good over here watching,” Lindsey said, smiling.

“Stella, I know you like to dance. Go out there and join them,” Carolyn said.

Lindsey looked at her sister and grinned. It was exactly the opening her sister, younger by two years, needed to join the fun. “Go,” she said. “You know you want to.”

Stella stood up. “I don’t want to leave you here by yourself.”

“If that’s what has been stopping you, then go. I’m a big girl. I’ve got two left feet. You don’t.”

Stella laughed and walked out onto the dance floor, Adriana smiling and beckoning her younger stepsister out to join the rest of them. Adriana got herself an instant family right there with three sisters-in-law and multiple cousins. She fit right in being as outgoing as she was too.

Not that Adriana didn’t get along with her and Stella. It was just they all lived in different areas and only saw each other a handful of times.

“I’ll keep you company if you don’t mind,” Carolyn said, taking Stella’s seat.

“I’m sure you’ve got better things to do than talk to me,” Lindsey said politely. She’d always loved Carolyn. She was friendly and sweet and treated her mother well. She might be a little jealous that Adriana was joining that family, but she’d never tell a soul.

“Nonsense,” Carolyn said. “How have you been?”

“Good,” she said. “Keeping busy.”

“And work is good?” Carolyn asked.

“It has its moments. It can be very rewarding,” she said. Which wasn’t a lie, unfortunately those moments were few and far between.

Carolyn nodded her head, then followed Lindsey’s gaze to the dance floor and the tall man in a black suit, except he was minus his jacket and tie now. “Wyatt is thrilled Mick could make it to the wedding.”

“Mick?” she asked.

“Mick McNamara. He was Wyatt’s old roommate in college and then med school. Mick did his residency in Virginia.”

Figures the guy was a doctor. Good looking. Almost smooth in a way. Dark hair that was styled with more product than she used by the looks of it. He was Wyatt’s height, but she couldn’t tell much about his build other than it was close to Wyatt’s.

“That’s nice,” she said.

“Would you like an introduction?” Carolyn asked her.

“No, I’m good,” Lindsey said. Men like that scared her. They had no part in her life. He probably went from woman to woman and she’d never been intimate with a man. Not that anyone was aware of that, not even her mother or sister.

Thirty and a virgin. Yep, not too many men wanted to get involved with that.

Fierce- Mick

The Fierce women are at it again! Jolene, Carolyn, and Diane have gotten their children settled and it’s time to move on to their nieces, nephews, and friends of their kids. Secretly…of course.

Dr. Mick McNamara never knew what it meant to be part of a family until he met Wyatt Fierce in college. Mama Fierce took him under her wing and made him feel like he always belonged when so many times in his life he never felt he did. He’s back in Durham with the family he always wanted and hoping that one day he can find his own family like the Fierces.

Lindsey White has carried around feelings of inadequacy since her father cheated on her mother and started another family. Lack of trust in men and a stressful job finds her a virgin at thirty and no hope of changing that. Until she meets her stepsister Adriana husband’s best friend. A sexy doctor who says she is everything he always wanted…too bad she doesn’t believe it.

Family Bonds- Ava & Seth

Dr. Ava Mills always knew she’d end up on Amore Island, the island her family founded and built. She was just waiting for the position to open up to slide right in. And when it does, the transition is anything but smooth when her identity is stolen and her assets and funds frozen with her reputation on the line.

Seth Young moved to Amore Island to have his mother help him raise his daughter after the loss of his wife and unborn child. He’s worked closely with most members of the Bond family at the bank where he is President, just not Ava Mills. And when she applies for a mortgage, he has to break the news that her credit is shot. She needs help and he’s going to give it to her…just maybe not the help either of them had planned.

Fierce-Devin…Chapter One

Chapter One

Not Falling For It

Devin was in his office checking off production schedules when there was a knock at the door. “Hey, Mason,” he said to his cousin, one of the five owners of Fierce-The Brewery. He looked at the clock and saw it was seven. “You’re in early.”

“Couldn’t sleep,” he said. “I’ve got an idea for a new beer and wanted to talk with Ben about it before he got knee deep in other things.”

Ben was one of the brewmasters that worked the closest to Mason. There were plenty of them with the size of the brewery, but Mason seemed to go to Ben the most.

“Checking in on inventory control?” Mason asked. Devin oversaw production and distribution. Not a desk job completely, but a hands-on one too. He liked splitting his time. He worked four twelve-hours shifts and rotated his nights as he saw fit with Mason’s approval to assure everything was working properly on the night shift when the big guys weren’t around.

One could say he was the big guy at night, though he never felt that way. He might be a first cousin to the Fierce Five, but his last name was Andrews.

“How did it turn out?” Mason asked.

“Good. No issues or shortages. I’ll sit down with you at some point about storage and maybe rearranging things, but for now we are good.”

“Glad to know,” Mason said. “It’s one less headache I’ve got knowing everything is under control. I still can’t thank you enough for wanting to work here.”

“I should be thanking you for offering me the job,” he said.

A year ago Devin was living in Georgia working as a distribution manager for a large manufacturing company. He was the middleman getting shit on by those above and below him and he’d had enough. When Mason called and offered him a position he was creating, he’d jumped on it knowing he needed the out. Things were heating up and he was already in the crossfire. Not a good place to be in his position. Union workers weren’t happy and he wasn’t one of them even though they reported to him.

“It’s working out for both of us, and it takes the pressure off of me. Sometimes I look around here and can’t believe how big it’s gotten and I know it’s going to continue to expand. Which we need to talk about.”

Devin started to laugh. “You’re getting more requests from out of state?”

“I am. I’m ready to move into a few more, but we need to work out drivers and shipments and get vendors, figure the trucks out and the list goes on and on.”

“You get me the vendors, I’ll figure out shipping and the drivers, those schedules, you know that.”

“Good. Hope has been getting a lot of calls and putting things together. Maybe I’ll have you meet with her soon and it will give you an idea.”

“Sounds good,” he said. Hope Hall took care of all the orders for the brewery. She was a one-woman show taking calls, tracking down shipments, and dealing with any customer or vendor complaints. He suspected Mason might have to add some more staff on soon, but since that was her only job from a created position not that long ago, he’d already seen the writing on the wall for more expansion.

He went back to work when Mason walked out, would finish up his paperwork, then go down and talk to the guys on first shift once they were settled.

Coming in at ten at night and working until ten in the morning allowed him to communicate with staff on all three shifts. But since Mason and many others were here during the day, he wasn’t needed as much as someone to watch out at night.

When ten rolled around, he’d already had his office locked up and was heading up to remind Mason he’d be off tonight. His four-night weeks were normally Sunday through Wednesday, but he was closing on the house he was buying tomorrow morning and would need the night off to sleep and deal with his move.

“Heading out?” Mason asked him when he popped his head in. Talk about the prime office location. Mason got to look out over the floor of the brewery on a daily basis.

“I am. Just remember, I won’t be in until Wednesday night, so I’ll see you Thursday morning.”

“Oh yeah. Your house closing. Congrats again on that.”

“Thanks. Apartment living was getting to me, though I’m not sure I’m ready to be a homeowner and handle all the work that comes with it.”

“It’s not so bad and well worth the privacy.”

“Living in a development isn’t as private as I would have liked, but since it’s gated and they take care of the lawn maintenance, that was a major selling point.”

Mason laughed. “I enjoy riding the lawnmower on the weekend. It’s my quiet time.”

“Daddy!”

Devin turned to see Jacob and Jeremy come running into the office, followed by Jessica, Mason’s wife. “Mason doesn’t let me mow the lawn,” Jessica said. “I’ve begged him, but he says it’s his first baby and no one touches the tractor.”

“You just want to leave me with these two monkeys,” Mason said, as his twins were climbing in his lap with one reaching for the mouse on the computer, the other pulling at papers. They were a few months shy of three and quite the handful.

“I should have brought some bananas in with me,” Devin said.

“I don’t like bananas,” Jeremy said, jumping down and running toward him for a high five. Not to be outdone, Jacob did the same.

“Are they going to be here all day with you or are you getting stuff to work from home?” Mason asked his wife.

“Your mom is on her way to get them here. She had something to do this morning. I would have come in earlier, but they are wound for sound and I’m not sure I could handle them. She’d said ten.”

“Run,” Mason said to his cousin.

He was ready to turn and leave, but his Aunt Jolene was one foot in the doorway. “Devin,” she said. “How is my favorite nephew? My sister tells me every day how happy she is you are back in town.”

“I’m doing good, Aunt Jolene. Just telling Mason I’d see him Thursday.”

“Your house closing is tomorrow, right?” Aunt Jolene asked.

“It is. I need to sleep tonight and make sure I’m not half awake and signing the wrong papers.”

She laughed at him and then started to dance around in a circle with her grandsons. His aunt never sat still and was always moving fast. Which was why he needed to get out of here before she started to bring up another topic he hadn’t been able to outrun.

“We wouldn’t want that. Maybe once you’re settled, you wouldn’t mind me introducing you to a friend’s daughter. Kaylee is a sweetheart. I know you two would hit it right off.”

He looked at Mason and caught the smirk. “I’m good, Aunt Jolene. I can find my own woman.”

“All my boys said the same thing,” she said, “but we know how that turned out.”

“I’m thankful for Jolene’s interference every day,” Jessica said. “But I’m more thankful when she takes my wild children off my hands so I can get some work done.”

Mason moved toward Jessica and pulled her into his arms, then gave her a kiss. “Work? I was hoping we could play hooky for an hour or so.”

“See how well I did?” his aunt said.

“Yep, you did,” Devin said. “But I’m a big boy.”

“I told you to run,” Mason said. “You’re not fast enough.”

“No one is as fast as me,” Aunt Jolene said. “Just remember that.”

“I don’t need to be fast,” he said. “I need to be aware. And I am. Sorry, but I’m not falling for it.”

She pursed her lips and shook her head. “Ella said that too.”

“And we all know Uncle Gavin was responsible for her.”

“Oh, you better start moving,” Mason said. “Mom hates to be reminded that she didn’t have a hand in Ella’s. That’s why she set Jade up first because she couldn’t not have her finger on the pulse of a girl setup.”

Jade Fierce was Jolene’s niece on the Fierce side of the family. The daughter of one of Gavin’s brothers.

Devin and his brother Ivan and his cousins Liam and Faith O’Malley were Jolene’s kin. And they were all fully aware their parents were now trying to seek the help of Jolene in getting them to settle down.

Not happening.

When his time came, it was going to be of his own choosing. If he wanted it. Because he still wasn’t sure he was hardwired for love. If he was, then why was he almost thirty-five and had never fallen once?

He’d told his mother plenty of times he could find his own woman. He’d told his Aunt Jolene the same.

What he didn’t understand was why no one believed him or would leave him alone.

He decided it was time to escape while he still had some skin on his back after that burn for his aunt. He started to walk down the stairs and toward the offices in the back when he heard his name called.

“Hi, Hope.”

“Sorry to bother you,” she said. “I know you’re on your way out. Mason mentioned that he’d like the two of us to meet at some point to go over expansion into other states.”

“No bother. He talked to me about it this morning. I’m off tonight and will be back Wednesday night, so maybe we can talk Thursday morning? Send me an email of who and where he’s looking to ship to if you can.”

“I will. Thanks. See you in a few days. And congrats on your house closing.”

“Thanks,” he said, not aware she knew. As much as he liked to stop in and talk to her, she always kept it short and sweet no matter how much he lingered.

She turned and he watched her walk away. Her petite frame that barely came up to his shoulders with her brown hair resting against the middle of her back. He figured her to be about five foot two. He was six foot even and fine with it. He wasn’t as tall as his four male Fierce cousins, but being a few inches shorter wasn’t a big deal. Nor was he as big as Brody or Mason. He was built more like Cade, even though he didn’t sit behind a desk full time like Cade did. And he wasn’t as pretty or high fashion as Cade and that was fine with him too.

He was a regular old blue collar worker that put a lot of time in to get where he was.

He’d never be able to compete with his cousins and didn’t want to. Not like so many thought.

He wouldn’t begrudge them all their wealth and success. He wasn’t a jealous person.

He was happy with what he had in life and reminded himself daily.

If he was wishing he wasn’t going home alone at times, he wasn’t admitting it to anyone, least of all his Aunt Jolene.

He said he could get his own woman and he planned on it when he was ready.

Too bad the woman he wanted to get to know better just walked away from him and didn’t seem to be interested in anything other than a work meeting.

Challenging Colt- Enemies to Lovers

Enemies to Lovers Hot Hunks Steamy Romance Collection Book 1 of 7

Colt Baxter had an idea and goal of what he wanted out of his career. Champion of the underdog? Protector of the innocent? Guardian of the law? Yeah, all of those things. Instead he finds himself fitting the mold of what most people hate about lawyers. Including the one woman he wants to get to know better.

Nikki Brewster has worked hard her whole life right alongside her father. And when his retirement career as a pub owner is in jeopardy from a frivolous lawsuit, she goes into battle mode. No one stands in her way at those times. It is just her and her father and that’s all she’s ever known. The last thing she has time for is the slick lawyer representing those trying to take everything away from the only man she’s ever loved.

A look. A judgment. A string of words. Bitter rivals and sworn enemies have been around since the beginning of time. But make no mistake, once the spark is ignited and the fuse is lit, the fine line between love and hate will go up in flames. So stand back or cross over, but be prepared to strap in for the ride.

Seven USA Today and bestselling authors are bringing you the next in the line of Hot Hunks. Enemies to Lovers, where tempers flash, messy situations erupt, and mouths and hands seek each other.

Natalie Ann- USA Today Bestselling Author- Challenging Colt
Suzanne Jenkins- USA Today Bestselling Author- Desiring Dylan
Jen Talty- USA Today Bestselling Author- Tempting Tavor
Angela Stevens- Bestselling Author- Forgiving Flynn
Katie O’Sullivan- Bestselling Author- Battling Benjamin
Stephanie Morris- USA Bestselling Author- Enticing Eason
Alicia Street- USA Bestselling Author- Taming Tristan

Falling Into Love

Soft. Tender. Gentle. Not any of the words ever used to describe Ryan Butler. He’s determined, hard, and oftentimes grumpy. Women only want to be with him to change his bad boy ways. Finding love—never in the equation—and probably never will be. Not after witnessing the heartache his sister went through.

Shannon Wilder was living the dream with her wonderful husband and beautiful children. She had the picture perfect family she’d always dreamed of. Until tragedy struck and her world was flipped on its axis. Now someone from the past won’t leave her and the children alone so she does the only thing she can think of. She picks up and moves across country to a development called Paradise Place. What better way to start her life over.

Holiday Traditions

Holiday Traditions

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it’d be a great time to see what holiday traditions others might have.

I’ve got plenty. First and foremost, I bake Christmas cookies and deliver them to friends and family several weeks before Christmas. When everyone is just waiting for them and haven’t had their fill. Plus, it’s one of the things to get off my to-do list. Yes, that is my kitchen and cookies I made this year!

Another tradition is celebrating the holiday on Christmas Eve at my house. Both my husband and my side of the family come. It’s a day full of food and gift exchanging for my side with the nieces and nephews. Christmas morning, we go to my in laws, and it’s the one holiday of the year I don’t have to host or cook. Yay me!

But my favorite holiday tradition of all is the 12 days of Christmas. Or my version of it. You see, my husband and I were high school sweethearts and back in the day I’d thought it’d be cute to give him a gift every day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas Eve. He’d get his real gift on Christmas morning, so I started on December 13th and ended on the 24th.

Back then I just gave him candy each day. His mother didn’t appreciate it and always made comments on dental bills, but it didn’t stop me.  As the years went on, the gifts moved away from candy and onto things like socks, ornaments, favorite foods, beer etc.

When my son was two and could understand the tradition, I started it with him. All 12 of his gifts (and hubby’s) are wrapped in their own wrapping paper to tell them apart, all gifts are stored in a big bag or box for them to draw out randomly each day. Kiddo still draws his and his father’s out like he’s done all along.

Truth be told, this is my favorite holiday tradition of all. Me giving them something to look forward to daily. Though it’s not as much fun for the kiddo at 18 as it was at 2, he still looks forward to it. Same with the hubby. They even give me ideas now and again of what they’d like to get on those days—and I find that very helpful!

So how about you? Do you have a holiday tradition? If not, how about reading some holiday stories? The authors at Authors’ Billboard have several Holiday boxed collections out right now for just 99 cents each. Grab them up and sit back and enjoy!

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you!

 

Blogging Elsewhere

So I told you all that I’m part of the Authors’ Billboard,right? A group of wonderfully talented authors that I’m learning so much from.

Well one of the tasks that I’m enjoying is blogging there once a month. But I realized I speak more of myself there than I do here. I don’t know why that is. Once in awhile I’ll post something personal, but not often.

I decided to share my two blog posts from there, here, you can read them too.

The first one was Taking A Chance.

With risk comes great reward. We’ve all heard this before, correct? Maybe we’ve said, “That’s right, I’m going to take a risk and I’m going to win.” Then you get all excited, you dive head first into the freezing cold water, come up for air and you wait. And wait. And wait.  “Where’s my reward?” you ask yourself.

That was me twenty plus years ago. I wanted to be a writer. An author. That was my goal. That was my dream. I’d started and stopped writing too many times to count, getting frustrated and giving up.

Then four years ago I told myself, it’s now or never and I made a plan. I’m good at making plans. And lists. Lots and lots of lists. My lists have lists and I’m proud of that fact!

My plan was to write one book. Start and keep going until it was done. Just to say I could do it. The finished product didn’t have to leave my computer, no one had to see it but me, but darn it all, I was going to finish that book.

Not only did I finish that book, Road to Recovery, but I wrote Road to Redemption and Road to Reality. Three books in draft form and I had no clue what to do next. So I started to search out editors, and since I’m a firm believer in fate, I kept coming back to this one editor.  Something pulled at me and said, “Reach out and see what she says.”

That risk I talked about before… well that’s what I did. My finger hovered over the mouse after I reread my email fifty times. The last thing I wanted to do was have a typo in the introduction email!

I didn’t have a long wait. I wasn’t floating in the cold water wondering when I could get out and grab a fluffy towel.  Now I’m not going to say my reward was instantaneous, because it wasn’t. I had a lot of work ahead of me, and I got right to it. Pulled out another ream of paper and made another list of where to start and how to approach it.

Here I am—not even three years after Road to Recovery was published—my fourteenth book, Take A Chance, was released this month.

Rene Buchanan did what I did. She’d had a life she lived for twenty-nine years and when it wasn’t working out the way she always envisioned. When she knew there was more out there and she just had to find it, she dove into that ice cold water and took her chance. Luckily for her, Cole McGuire was there to hand her a nice warm towel, wrap her up tight and show her that her risk was both their reward.

You can read Take A Chance now. Available on Amazon.

The second blog post was Fall…Finally

It’s my favorite time of year!

Here in New York, Fall is running a little late to the party, but it’s in route…finally!

Fall symbolizes a lot of different things for different people.

—Back to school—Happy dance for all those parents out there.

—Football—Unless your team isn’t setting the red zone on fire…yes, I mean you Eli.

—Apple picking—Sad to say, this is the first time in sixteen years I haven’t gone apple picking with my son. He’s a freshman in college and too cool to do that.

—The changing of the leaves—The perfect time to take a scenic drive to Vermont. Unfortunately, thanks to motion sickness, scenic drives and me don’t play nice.

—The first frost—Still waiting for this to happen.

—Planting my tulips for spring—Again, still waiting.

You might wonder why I put planting of tulips on my list. To me, fall symbolizes the ending of summer, the beginning of my favorite season, and a kickoff to spring. The time when I tenderly plant those bulbs, spread the soil on top and wait months and months for them to make their first appearance.

Fall also makes me think of love and new beginnings. Jordyn Montgomery got her new beginning in All My Love. She picked up the only life she’d ever known in Florida and moved to Upstate New York on a hunch and with a purpose. While experiencing loss, loneliness, mystery, and love, she met Drew Palmer who stood by her through it all, and helped her find the new beginning she’d been dreaming of.

Each month I’ll try to remember to share my post on my site here, but please, take a trip to Authors’ Billboard and read what everyone else is writing about. You won’t be disappointed.