Holiday Love #mgtab @NatalieAnn121

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Sometimes failed relationships are needed to make the next one count.

Dr. Owen Taylor is on the fast track to running the Radiology Department at one of the top ranking cancer centers in the US. Plans of a family are in his future, just not his immediate future. That is until he finds himself a single father and failing miserably at juggling it all, forcing him to return home to Upstate New York needing help.

Jill Duncan had plans of her own. But time, money, and a failed marriage squashed her hopes like a soldier’s boot on a cockroach during an apocalypse. When a new doctor shows up at her job, she starts to think that old saying “better late than never” just might apply to her, if only she could get over her own insecurities.

Deserve A Chance…Prologue

It’s that time again…where I post the beginning of my next book.

Deserve A Chance is the 5th book in the Lake Placid Series and will be live on December 12, 2017, but is available for pre-order right now!

Prologue

 

Zach Monroe heard the door shut softly and rolled over onto his other side, assuming Amber slipped into the bathroom quietly like she had the last few mornings they’d been together.

Who would have thought this convention in Vegas would’ve turned out like this?

He never figured he’d find someone that he had so much in common with, someone he enjoyed being around who talked as much as him.

Someone he didn’t want to be without. All from a trip he hadn’t wanted to attend in the first place.

Love at first sight? No way. He’d never believed in it.

Until he saw Amber sitting by herself at the bar with a beer in her hand Tuesday night.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t love. Maybe it was more like instant attraction and deep lust. That was more like it. More like how he classified any relationship he’d ever had.

They shared a few beers, then retired to his room. The only time they’d been apart since was during the actual convention.

He must have fallen back to sleep because the next thing he knew, the sunlight was coming through the large window in his room, reflecting brightly on his closed eyelids. They’d been too busy to shut the blinds. He wondered if anyone had caught a glimpse of them last night, then smiled and decided he didn’t care in the least.

Turning on his back, he opened one eye to the space next to him. His other eye popped open when he saw it was empty.

Slowly, his hand slid over and felt the coolness on the sheets. There was an eerie silence in the room right now that sent his heart thumping.

He sat up and looked at the dresser and saw the drawers all neatly shut like they had been when they went to bed.

Swinging his feet to the floor, he walked naked to the bathroom and noticed the door open and a damp towel hanging. She must have gone for coffee, he thought.

Only something was telling him otherwise.

Opening the first drawer where she’d put the change of clothes she’d brought with her when they met up last night, he found it empty, so he opened another, hoping against hope, but he knew in his heart that it would be bare.

He was just ready to look in the hallway when he realized he didn’t have a stitch of clothing on, so he grabbed his jeans and a shirt, not even bothering to button or zip anything.

As he suspected, she wasn’t in the hall either.

He showered and dressed, then made his way to the front desk. “Hi, could you tell me if Amber Dustin has checked out?”

The young woman looked up and said, “I’m sorry, but we can’t give that information out.”

He stopped for a second and then asked, “Can you tell me if there is even an Amber Dustin staying here?”

He just realized he never found out what hotel she was in. They’d spent the entire time in his, and she always had a change of clothes with her when they met up each night.

“Sandy,” he said again, reading the name on her tag. “I know you’ve seen her with me. Here’s her picture to refresh your memory,” he said, giving her a charming smile that used to melt his grandmother’s heart when he was a kid. He’d pulled his phone out and showed her the picture he’d snapped of him and Amber sitting on the couch in his room.

Sandy looked right and left, then started to punch a few buttons. “I’m sorry, there is no one staying here by that name.”

“Is there anyone here with the name Amber?”

“I’m really sorry, but I’ve said more than I should already.”

Zach sighed. He knew the rules but had been hoping he could sweet talk Sandy just the same. He’d done it before. He could talk a saint into handing over his robe on a cold winter’s day, but right now he just didn’t have it in him. Bitter emotions were creeping up his spine, turning sour in his mouth.

“Thanks, Sandy. If she comes back, will you give her my card?”

Zach pulled it out and handed it over. Not only had Zach realized he didn’t know the hotel Amber was staying at, but they’d never exchanged numbers either. How could that have slipped his mind?

Probably because they were so in tune with each other when they were alone that details like contact information never came up. Or maybe it was the excitement of meeting up each day like strangers in the night.

Yeah, he was losing his mind.

The convention! He rushed through the doors of the main room to see if she was around. It was early yet, but maybe she went back to her hotel to shower and change for the last day.

She never showed.

By the end of the day, he’d given up. He’d asked a few people from the medical side of the convention who she was. Showing her picture around and hoping against hope he hadn’t been played.

Plenty had seen her, but no one knew anything else. No one knew where she was, where she was staying, or where she worked. The coordinator said that he couldn’t give out that information no matter how much Zach tried to bribe the man.

How could he not try though? There was this magical pull she seemed to have over him clouding all reason.

By the time he boarded his flight back to Virginia, he knew he was going to be on a mission to find her. Part of his job was finding and recruiting talent from all over the world, even when they didn’t want to be found. This should be a piece of cake.

How could she have done that? Just leave the way she did without a word. They still had one more night left in town.

Why would she have just disappeared like that? Didn’t she feel the same connection he did?

Once he got back to his office he was going to dig right in. And when he found her—because he would—she would have some explaining to do.

No one played him and walked away. Not again. Never again.

If you’d like to be an ARC reader, please read this information and contact me.

Pink Explosion

October 1st is around the corner. We know what that means, right? Yeah, it’s the 10th month of the year. Yes, fall is in full swing. And yes, football Sundays with family and friends. But what normally happens in October is an explosion of pink.

Everywhere we turn we’ll see varying shades, ribbons of every shape and size, key words like ‘hope’, ‘strength’, ‘courage’, ‘survivor’. Even funny catchy knick knacks with saying like this.

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I used to hate all the pink in October. It was just a reminder of the battle my mother had lost. I didn’t need that reminder in October; I had it all year round. Why do most people tend to forget about pink the other 11 months of the year?

Then I realized it’s not about other people. It’s about all those women (and men) who have been affected by breast cancer. I’m sure everyone out there knows someone. If you’re reading this and you don’t know someone, well now you do. Me! (BTW that’s my travel mug)

About two and a half years ago I got the devastating news that I too was one of those women that was going to be told she had breast cancer. But it wasn’t so devastating, really. It was actually expected. You see, I already knew I carried the BRCA1 mutation. I’d been watched and screened carefully for over 15 years. So when it was caught, it was caught early with a great prognosis.

My mother battled breast cancer 4 times until she passed away at the tender age of 48. It will be 20 years this December. Her prognosis was never that great. They didn’t have the knowledge of genetic testing back then, or the technology to catch it before it could even be felt (like mine). Now they do though.

Why?

Because when October comes around, the word gets out. People spend money and buy all those things. Businesses donate proceeds of items specifically sold for breast cancer awareness. And all that money, and all that exposure and all that knowledge will help the next generation of men and women.

So with that being said, I no longer get annoyed when I only see pink so widespread in October. Instead I run out and buy as much as I can because I know every little bit counts. I carry my travel mug around so when someone laughs at it, I laugh with them.

I wear the pink and diamond sapphire engagement ring on my ring hand daily that my husband gave me for Mother’s day weeks after my diagnosis. And when someone comments on it (because it’s a pretty speculator rock and people always do) I tell them what it symbolizes.

I spread the word, my message and all those before me and after me, with pride. I no longer get annoyed with a pink explosion in October, but try to sprinkle it around when I can, then blast it like everyone else in October!

Give Me A Chance…Chapter 1

It’s that time…time for the next chapter of Give Me A Chance. You can read the prologue that was posted last week here.

The first chapter is called:

Desperate

Fourteen years later

 

Max Hamilton walked into the restaurant and looked around for a quiet, out of the way booth. Finding one in the back corner, he stepped over and waited for his nanny to show up. He’d left the house before her and ran to the hospital for a quick check on a patient.

He looked up when the young waitress came over. “Hi, can I get you some coffee?”

“That will be good. I’m meeting someone, if you can bring two over.”

“Sure, no problem.”

She walked away and he sat there dreading the conversation he knew was coming. One that he’d been avoiding for months. If he could find a way to avoid it altogether, he would.

“I hope you haven’t been waiting long, Max,” Jennifer said as she slid into the side opposite him.

“I just got here a minute ago. Coffee is on the way.”

“Thanks. I don’t have much time actually. I promised the kids I’d get them by ten.” She stopped and looked at her watch. “I’ve got about thirty minutes.”

“We can order as soon as our coffee arrives,” he said, not liking that she was going to rush out on him, too. Never a good sign. “What do you need to talk to me about?”

“Max,” she said patiently. “You know what. You’ve been avoiding me and this conversation for too long.”

He knew it, and hated that she called him out on it, but she’d been the kids’ nanny for years. And she was always to the point, one of the traits he admired so much.

They’d always gotten along so well and he knew this day would come—no matter how much he tried to convince himself otherwise.

“What can I do to change your mind? You name it.”

“Max,” she said, sighing loudly, then pausing while their coffee was delivered.

“Are you ready to order?” the waitress asked.

“French toast for me,” Max said. He’d been dying for it and he didn’t often get home-cooked food. At least not for breakfast.

“Scrambled eggs and toast,” Jennifer added.

Max watched the waitress write it down efficiently and then head off behind a swinging door.

“I’ll pay you more. Do you want more room in the house? I can redo your suite, add more space. You name it, it’s yours. Don’t leave, Jennifer.”

She reached over and placed her hand on his. “Max, this is hard for me too. I promised you one year and it’s been longer. I love those kids like they’re my own, but I need to leave.”

“Think of the kids then. They’re going to be heartbroken. Do you want to disrupt their lives even more?”

He knew it was a low blow and he was begging, but he wasn’t beyond doing what he needed to assure she stayed. He needed her too much right now.

She laughed lightly and he felt his teeth grind. It was the same little laugh she always gave when he knew he was going to lose. “The kids will be just fine. They’ve adjusted well to the move, and you know that.”

“They haven’t,” he argued. “They hate living here.”

That wasn’t technically true. They just hated riding the bus every day and having all their friends far away from their house on the lake.

“Well, so do I,” Jennifer said. “I hate this cold and I want to be gone before the next winter. I had planned on leaving this past summer and training someone new before the school year started, but you talked me into staying for that. I want to be home by Thanksgiving. I miss my parents.”

He knew she was close to her family and felt bad she didn’t get to see them as much, especially since they were getting on in age. “I’ll fly them here.”

“You know what I mean, Max. I understand why you left New York City. I get it. I get everything you’ve had to do and you gave me more than I asked for to make the move with you. I did it for the kids. They didn’t deserve what happened in their life any more than you did, and I thought coming along would help.”

“It did. It does,” he amended, running out of things to say to convince her not to leave.

“They’re old enough now. They don’t need me as much as you think.”

“Eleven and nine aren’t old. They still need someone.”

How was he going to find someone on such short notice? Thanksgiving was only a month away. How could he do this alone?

“You know what I mean. There isn’t much for me to do during the day. You don’t need a nanny anymore. You need more of a housekeeper, cook, and nanny combined. That’s not me.”

“I’ll hire someone to come in and clean the house.” He was getting desperate. “I’ll get you cooking lessons.”

She laughed out loud and he didn’t care if he’d insulted her. She wasn’t the best cook and he knew it, the kids knew it, and even Jennifer knew it herself.

“I’m sorry, Max. I’m not going to let you talk me out of it this time. I’m officially giving you one month’s notice. I will ask around to see if I can find someone and I’ll help any way I can, but I bought my ticket and I’m going home a few days before Thanksgiving.”

He watched as she stood up. “Where are you going?” She couldn’t just drop that bombshell and leave, could she?

“If I stay here, you’ll only try to talk me out of it.”

“It’s worked before,” he said, smiling briefly. Damn her for seeing right through him.

“It has, but it won’t again. I’m going to pick the kids up from their friends’ house and then we’ve got errands to run and projects to work on. I’ll see you home after you make your rounds.”

She walked away from him before he could say another word. Homework projects, too. This was getting worse and worse. Now he needed someone that could help with that.

A few minutes later their breakfast was delivered, and the waitress started to look confused. “Is everything okay?”

“Yes,” Max said. “She just had to leave. Please give her meal to someone else if you’d like. It’s a cold day out. If you know of anyone in need of food, I’d hate to see it go to waste.”

“That’s very kind of you,” the waitress said. “Actually, we do have a shelter a few blocks away. I’ll just put this aside for them to send over with the leftover baked goods that don’t sell by the end of the day.”

Max frowned. He’d always had a good appreciation for food. “It’ll be cold by then. No, that won’t do. How many beds in the shelter?” he asked, curious.

“I believe ten,” she replied.

“Is it possible to cook up nine more meals and put it on my tab? I can drop it off when I leave if you give me the address and let them know I’m coming.”

“I can do that. Thank you. Thank you so much. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.”

Max watched the waitress walk away. It was nothing for him to do this, something he’d done often in New York.

Food was a simple thing and something that was easy enough for him to do. He’d seen his fair share of homeless and hungry kids during his residency. It wasn’t a sight he’d ever forget.

He dug into his French toast like a starving man, then fought to chew and swallow it past the lump in his throat, wondering what the hell he was going to do now.

He was trying to figure out how so much of his life had changed in the last two years. He never expected to be in this situation, let alone in a different city.

A single parent now, a demanding job, and even though he’d thought the move would slow his workload down, the opposite seemed to have happened. A small tourist town, combined with his reputation, and people were willingly traveling to see him now, using the excuse to vacation at the same time as they recovered. Why he never thought of that before was beyond him.

Still, he couldn’t do it alone. He couldn’t be there for his kids and support them at the same time financially like they were accustomed if he didn’t work. His practice would never survive. He had employees counting on him, too.

His children had already had their world upturned before the move. He’d needed Jennifer on board to create some stability in their life.

He would forever be grateful for her being there over the last eight years, but now he needed to figure out what to do when she left.

He picked up his coffee and took a sip. It was even better here than it was at home. Maybe she was right, maybe he did need to focus on a housekeeper who could watch after the kids, rather than a nanny that hated to cook and clean.

Maybe it was time for a change, even if it was one that was being forced on him.

 

 

A Day of Thanks

Now that I’m stuffed like the turkey I cooked earlier, I thought I’d take a moment and give thanks to all my readers out there.

Publishing a book has always been a dream. Now I can say it’s a dream come true.

So to all of my readers, thanks for keeping me going, buying my books and letting me know what you think of them.

I hope your day was one to be thankful for too.

Second Chance

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Secrets, lies and mystery mixed in with the daunting possibility of a future happiness.

Nick Buchanan has struggled to put the past behind him. No matter how hard he’s tried and how hard he’s worked, the one day twelve years ago when he found out his neighbor had gone missing has haunted him. Made him wonder if he was to blame, and he’s never forgiven himself.

Mallory Denning has hidden for years by escaping a fate worse than death in her eyes. She’s managed to recreate herself and move on. Only part of her is never going to be able to move forward, not until she can come to terms with her past. When Nick shows up unexpected, everything she worked so hard for is threatening to come back to the surface. To suffocate and possibly make her run again.

Can Nick convince her to come out of hiding? Can he convince her to trust him again?

 

All My Love

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All alone in the world, Jordyn Montgomery is desperately trying to find something about her lineage. With her life in flux, she packs everything up and heads for a new city labeled on a postcard in a mysterious package that she discovered after her mother’s death. Maybe she’d have more luck there, even if it was only a hunch.

Drew Palmer has always been close to his sister. When she moved away, he’d thought he could handle it, only he couldn’t. It didn’t take much to convince his father—the only other immediate family he had remaining—to pack up and move close to her.

Drew isn’t looking for love, or a relationship, just a good time. He’s young still, almost thirty. Plenty of time for that down the road. Except sometimes when you aren’t looking, that’s when love slams into you full force.

All I Want…My theme song

Yes, I’ve done it again. I’ve listened to one song over and over while writing.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I like music, and when I find a song that I feel embodies the book I’m writing, I tend to listen to it over and over.

I’ve posted the other songs for the All Series.

For All or Nothing, I listened to this song.

For All of Me, I listened to this song.

For All The Way, I listened to this song.

So moving on, the fourth book in the All Series, All I Want, is the story of Sean Callahan and Carly Springfield.

There was no better song than I Do, by Mark Willis.

 

 

Goals or Resolutions…

Are you a resolution or a goal type of person? Me, I guess I could say I’m more goal-oriented. So much so, I’ve never needed New Year’s Day to decide to make a list of goals. And this year isn’t really much different.

Although I will say, aside from professional and personal goals I’ve made (no, I won’t be sharing them all, sorry) I’ve decided on two things I’m going to focus on in 2016. What are they? Well, that I will share.

Health and Happiness. Yep, two big words and two things I’m going to focus on this coming year and every year after. How am I going to focus on them? That remains to be seen.

Health. That’s always easier said than done. I’m a pretty healthy girl. I workout 6 days a week, I eat fairly healthy, and yet my body betrayed me. It sucks to get old. That’s a post for another day, I promise. Still, my focus in this department will be ongoing.

Happiness. I’m a pretty happy person too, and I’ve always tried to look for the best in everything. I’ll be doing that more though, because when I do that, I find that it just makes me less stressed. And less stress leads to more happiness. Right? That’s what I’m telling myself! Whatever works.

So how about you? Goals or resolutions? Or nothing at all, because hey, there is nothing wrong with that either. We shouldn’t just focus on one day to better our lives, we should focus on it every day.

Don’t Forget

With the holidays coming, don’t forget the new book from the All Series is coming out too. All The Way will be released on December 22, 2015, and is available for purchase now.

I’m super excited about Alec and Brynn’s story. Why do you ask? Because you meet the characters to the fourth and fifth book of this series!!

I’m still looking for a few ARC Readers. If you’re interested, check out this post to see what it entails or contact me at NatalieAnn815@Gmail.com

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!