Last Chance…Chapter One

The last little teaser before the release of Last Chance. If you haven’t read the prologue yet, you can catch up on the post last week.

Last Chance

In the Way

“Are you sure it’s okay?”

“Riley,” her brother, Max, said, his ever-present patience missing at the moment. “My door is always open. There is more than enough room and you know it.”

She looked over at Lily, Max’s sister-in-law, as she came strolling in. “I don’t want to be a burden.”

He followed her gaze and then laughed. “You aren’t.” Lily walked back out with a bottle of water in her hand, giving them both a little wave. “Lily is only here a few more weeks, then she’s heading back on campus to work and take some classes for the summer.”

“But I’m in the way with Quinn and the baby,” she said. Max’s wife had given birth to their daughter just three weeks prior.

“You aren’t in the way at all. Quinn is going crazy right now. Having another adult in the house—a female adult—is helping to keep her sanity.”

Riley was about to argue that statement until her niece, Lara, and nephew, Davy, came rushing in arguing with each other about some TV show they’d watched last night, then started banging around in cabinets.

Unlike Quinn, Riley wasn’t used to the noise. She was used to the peace and quiet of her own little apartment. She’d actually enjoyed the solitude the last few months before she moved. Until she didn’t feel safe anymore. Until the quiet felt like spiders crawling over her skin…even in her sleep, waking her up, forcing her to sit up straight, her heart pounding. The city had been getting to her and she’d waited long enough.

Max laughed. “Kids. Enough arguing and slamming things around. I don’t want you to wake up Jocelyn.”

“Too late,” Quinn said, walking into the room with the baby squirming in her arms. “She was up.”

“Sorry, Dad,” Lara said, rushing over and stopping in front of her baby sister. “Sorry, Joce. Can I hold her, Quinn?”

Quinn handed the baby off to Lara. “You didn’t wake her. This child wants to eat nonstop,” Quinn said, walking to the refrigerator and pulling out a bottle to start to heat up. “Speaking of food, what does everyone want for breakfast?”

Riley stood up fast. “I’ll fix it. You just relax and take care of my new niece.”

She hated adding to the chaos of the house and was trying to help as much as she could, when she could. If only they’d let her do something.

“Sit, Riley,” Quinn said, testing the temperature of the formula on her hand now. “You’re a guest in the house. I can’t just lie around doing nothing. I feel fine. Women used to squat in the fields, drop their kids, and finish working. I can handle breakfast for this rowdy bunch.”

Max winked and Lara said, unfazed, “I want pancakes. Can we have them if I feed the baby for you?”

Riley was going to offer to do that, loving the feel of that tiny baby in her hands. The soft smell of freshly cleaned skin. The contented sigh when the bottle was put in Jocelyn’s mouth and the only thing that mattered was immediate satisfaction. It was a peaceful feeling that Riley hadn’t felt in a long time. But Lara looked as though she wasn’t going to release her baby sister without a stick of dynamite in front of her.

“Pancakes coming up. Max, are you staying?” Quinn asked.

“If I wasn’t, I would be now. But you keep forgetting I’ve got to take the kids to school.”

“I can do that,” Riley said.

“And give up pancakes?” Max said, looking slightly outraged. “No way. Just sit and relax, Riley. What’s going on with you?”

Every time she offered to do anything, they shot her down. “Nothing,” she said, letting it drop. The more she talked right now, the more Max would be looking closer for the truth she wasn’t ready to share. “I really appreciate you letting me stay here until my house is ready.”

“Think nothing of it,” Quinn said. “I like having someone here at night who isn’t crying and asking for food.”

“We don’t cry,” Davy said, smirking at Quinn. Riley was glad to see Davy finally out of his shell. He’d been such a quiet kid the past few years. His parents’ divorce had hit him hard and it seemed no one had been able to reach him. She was guessing Quinn did.

“I’m talking about your father,” Quinn said, walking over and filling his coffee cup for him.

Riley saw Max smile at his wife. Yeah, she was jealous. But Max deserved it after his last marriage. They all did.

Still, she’d had dreams and hopes of having this family dynamic at some point in her life. But not now. The last thing she wanted was a man until she got her life in order.

“I’ll clean up when you’re done then,” Riley said.

“That I’ll let you do,” Quinn said.

After everyone was finished eating, with the kids and Quinn upstairs getting ready for the day, Max walked up to Riley at the sink and pulled a bowl out of her hands to dry. “I really am glad you’re here. I don’t want you to feel like you’re in the way. You’re not at all.”

She turned and looked at her older brother. The person she’d looked up to so much in her life. The person she always thought she’d be. The person her father wanted her to be…but she didn’t have it in her to follow in their footsteps. It wasn’t what she wanted, and if her father taught her anything in life, it was to stand on her feet and be her own person. She was trying to find that teenager from so long ago again to do just that.

“I don’t want to be another person Quinn has to take care of.”

“She isn’t taking care of you. You’re almost invisible here. You’re staying in her old suite that was just collecting dust anyway. It’s helping her since it’s one less room she feels she has to clean, because we’ve always known how much of a neat freak you are.”

The old nanny suite was nice and private, with a separate entrance from the rest of the house. It allowed Riley to come and go as she pleased, but it didn’t change anything. The two weeks she’d been here already felt like two years. She was ready to be gone. Almost as ready as she’d been to move out of her parents’ house and head to college eleven years ago.

Max sighed, sensing her mood, like he had so much when they were growing up. “When is your house going to be done?”

She’d bought a house sight unseen. A townhouse, really. Something closer to town for her, not so far out on the lake. Not that she didn’t enjoy it here, but after living in New York City, this was too quiet for her. She wanted to look out her window and at least see a streetlight now and again. Not pitch-blackness. Things could hide easier in the dark. Fears crept up in the dark. Nightmares happened in the dark.

Dreams got lost in the dark.

Courage sometimes needed to be found in light places, at least for her.

“The floors are finally finished, so the countertops are going in tomorrow and then I think just retiling both tubs in the bathrooms. That should be all that’s left.”

She had a little germ phobia—or as Max just said, she was a “neat freak”—which was odd considering her job. She had her hands in people’s mouths all day long. Nothing was hygienic about someone’s teeth no matter how much they brushed them. The mouth was a breeding ground for nasty things that would cause most people to gag if they knew.

But when she was working, she was in a zone, taking all the precautions she needed. At home, she wanted certain things fresh and clean. And since she didn’t know the previous owners, or how clean they might have been, replacing all the counters, toilets, and showers, and refinishing the hardwood floors satisfied her slight neurosis.

“So you’ve got one, maybe two weeks left with me?” Max asked.

“Pretty much. I didn’t even want it to be this long, but they said close to a month.”

“Then let’s take advantage of it. We never got to spend a lot of time together growing up.” He pulled her forward into his arms, and settling against his larger frame, she felt safe and secure. Kind of like what she thought Jocelyn might feel when she was held. Riley hadn’t felt safe and secure much lately. Not even mentally.

“Deal,” she said. “Since I know you won’t let me cook…” He gave her a funny look, but she continued on, “I know you’ve got a thing for your wife’s cooking and I can’t blame you in the least. I couldn’t compete even if I wanted to. But my point is, if you won’t let me cook, can I bring pizza home for dinner now and again? Or something. Just name it.”

“I think Quinn would like that. She loves to cook, but it is nice to have a break from it. I’ll let you know a good time to do it.”

“Thanks,” Riley said, hoping he kept his word. She may still be his baby sister, but she was an adult now. One who had lived on her own for a long time. One who had just picked up her entire life in less than three months and kept the whole thing a secret from most of the outside world until it was finalized.

She didn’t need to be babied by anyone.

Last Chance…Prologue

Last Chance


It’s that time again. Time for a teaser of Last Chance.


Riley Hamilton sat on her couch looking around her living room at all the boxes neatly stacked and labeled. Time to move on. Time to leave this place that never felt like a home to begin with.

The movers would be arriving in a few hours with exact instructions, just like the packers had yesterday. The plan was set in motion.

She took a deep breath, stood up, and walked over to her kitchen counter, sliding her new cell phone into her purse and putting her old one in the pocket of her blazer. She knew precisely where that was going to end up.

No doubt, she’d rather be in a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers today, but instead she was dressed like she was going to work. Gray trousers, cream and gray shirt, a teal blazer, and gray and teal flats. She couldn’t raise any suspicions. She had to look like she did every morning, five days a week. She didn’t want questions or comments. Nothing. She’d made up her mind.

One more deep breath. She hitched her new purse on her shoulder, grabbed her briefcase filled with her laptop and all her important legal documents, then made her way out the door and toward the subway at exactly eight a.m., just like every other day of the workweek.

But today was Friday and today was different, and no one was supposed to know.

Arrangements with a friend had her SUV parked for the night in a secure location one stop earlier than her regular exit. The routine of leaving the subway, then hailing a taxi to her office was going to be interrupted today.

It’s not like she was hiding. Not like she was escaping to a faraway land where no one could ever find her. But she was leaving. She was starting fresh. Looking for the life she always wanted. The life she was going to finally have.

With her earbuds in her ears, she listened to seventies rock during her twenty-minute commute. When Stevie Nicks’s “Landslide” came on, she knew she was making the right choice. Not that she doubted herself, not really. But that song said it all. Time made her bolder and time made her stronger. She was her father’s daughter and she was moving on. He understood she needed to leave; so did her mother. They supported her, but they didn’t understand it all. She couldn’t tell them. Not everything.

The truth of what had pushed this decision so fast—and so out of left field in their eyes—had to remain a secret.

But it wasn’t abrupt in her eyes. She’d seen this for years. Seen this change and knew it was time. Time to grab the dream and make it hers.

So lost in the raspy voice of Stevie, she almost missed her stop. Jumping up fast, she turned sideways and slid through the doors before they could shut on her. Then she made the two-minute walk to her vehicle, climbed in, and proceeded on with her plans.

Ten minutes later, she was pulling in behind her office complex next to the dumpster. She hit the button and waited for her window to roll down, then tossed her old cell phone in. Throwing away everything she could at this point. It was better this way. Out with the old.

She looked over at her office, said a tiny goodbye to the place that gave her the experience she needed. Told herself she’d call and say goodbye to all the staff, keep in touch with all her friends, but knew in her heart she wouldn’t. Time to leave. Time to run.

Even if it was only from herself and the only life she’d ever known.

Last Chance…Music

As many of you know, I love listening to a song over and over while writing. I’m a HUGE Stevie Nicks fan!! I can listen to her nonstop and never tire of it. And nothing describes Riley and Trevor as much as Stevie’s Leather and Lace! Though I’ve got to say there are several Stevie songs that I listened to while writing this story.

Please enjoy and grab a copy of Last Chance!

Last Chance

Last Chance

You can run but you can’t hide.

Dr. Riley Hamilton found that out the hard way. When she’d had enough. When she felt uneasy and was scared, when no one believed her, she left town. Picked up the life she knew and made a new one. She let her guard down in Lake Placid, she got comfortable, and that was her mistake.

Trevor Miles, Lake Placid Chief of Police, always wanted to know what was going on in his town. Just because it usually had no more than small town nuisances, didn’t mean he couldn’t handle anything thrown his way. He’d seen the nastiness in the world and was ready for life in the slow lane. What he wasn’t ready for was the sexy new dentist in town who wanted to pull out his tooth. Did he mention he’s hated going to the dentist since he was a child?

2018 Goals & Plans

Happy New Year!

I’m not one for making New Year resolutions. I’d rather have goals. And those goals end up on lists because those that know me know that when I make a list, I tend to stick to it. Nothing feels better than putting a big thick line through a completed task. I’m a bit nerdy that way.

I’ve got two sets of goals. Writing and personal goals.

We’ll start with the writing goals (and some of these are actually plans in motion):

January- The release of All for Love- Road to Romance. This is the prequel to the All Series and blends in with the Road Series and how it all started so many years ago.

February – I’m in two boxed sets. Sweet and Sassy Valentine, which will also feature All for Love and A Valentine She’ll Remember which will feature Road to Redemption.

Once Fierce-Brody is done with the Kindle Scout nomination time frame (Jan 16th) then I’ve got to wait 2 more weeks while they decide if I get a writing contract. If not, that book will be published in February. But you can still vote for me here if you haven’t yet.

March- Last Chance will be released. I’ll be putting that up for pre-order in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

April – No releases that I’m aware of but I’ll be writing away.

May- I plan on releasing Fierce – Aiden, the second in the Fierce Five Series

June – I’ll be part of a boxed set called Sweet and Sassy Weddings and it will feature a new novella called Finding Love. I’ll also be releasing Finding Love on it’s own this month.

And the exciting news. Once I release the first of the Love Collection (Most likely Finding Love in June) I’ll be releasing a new novella each month for 12 months! That’s right. 12 months… in a row. New stories. A collection rather than a series.

In between those novellas, I’ll be working on the Fierce Five Series and another novel from the Lake Placid Series. Don’t hold me to those dates yet, but I’ve got them kind of planned for Summer/Fall/Winter.

That’s a lot of writing, but I’m up for the challenge and I’ve got it all down in a calendar. With any luck, I’ll stay focused and on track.

Personal Goals:

You’d think I’d have a more detailed list of personal goals, but the truth is, mine are pretty simple.

  1. Spend more quality time with my family.
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff – I’m good with this, most of the time, but I need a reminder a time or two.
  3. Stay physically active and healthy. I just need to get back on track now that the holidays are over. To me, good physically health leads to good mental health. I need all the good mental health I can get.
  4. Leave the house more than 1-2 times a week. I just started working from home, and found it’s easy to get in a lazy habit of not leaving the house and looking like I just rolled out of bed. This might play in with good mental health, I’m thinking ha.
  5. Enjoy my life more. I’m healthy right now and haven’t always been. That means I should take advantage of the good times and enjoy them to the fullest.

There, 5 goals, because I tend to be OCD and when I do a numbered list they have to end with a 0 or 5.

So how about you? Any goals or plans for 2018?

Deserve A Chance…Chapter 2

Here’s my last little teaser of Deserve A Chance.

Catch up on the Prologue and Chapter 1 before you read below.

You can buy Deserve a Chance on Amazon.

Good Catch



“Hey, Mallory. How come you’re answering Nick’s phone?” Zach asked.

“He’s in the middle of painting right now. It’s Zach,” he heard Mallory’s voice whisper. “He says give him a few minutes to finish. Do you want him to call you back, Zach?”

“Nope, I can talk to my second favorite person while I wait.”

“Second, huh? When did I get upgraded? Last time I heard, Rene was your second favorite person. Or is it whoever you’re talking to at the moment that gets that title?” she teased.

He laughed at her. “You’re the wife of my best friend and Rene is his sister, so I guess you’re tied now.”

Nick was more than his best friend. He was the brother he’d never had growing up. Sure, he had a half-sister and half-brother, but they were more than fifteen years his junior and he’d only seen them a handful of times.

Hell, even his own mother was only sixteen years his senior, so she could be considered his sister if he really wanted to think about it. But he didn’t; he never did. The only parents he had in his eyes were his grandparents. They were the only ones worthy of the title of family to him.

“If that’s the best I can get…” she said.

“Oh, you love me, you know it.”

“Everyone loves you, Zach. We have no choice since you tell us it all the time.”

He snorted on the other end of the line. Only Nick was ever straightforward enough to say that to him, and he was glad Mallory felt comfortable enough voicing her thoughts honestly.

“What can I say? Some people just need reminding more than others.”

“Or you run out of things to say and that’s your go-to line.”

“That too.” It was no secret he tended to get on people’s nerves with his tenacity and persistence. “How’s Junior doing?”

“Junior is doing just fine. Still baking along slowly.”

“No name yet?”

“Nothing that we can agree on.”

“Zachery Buchanan has a nice sound to it.”

He heard her giggle. “There is only enough room in my life for one Zach. Sorry.”

“How about as a character in your next book? I’d love to be a hero in a romance. Hell, I’m already the perfect guy now, so you could just mirror it after me and make your job easier.”

“No romance books in the works just yet. I’ve got my hands full finishing up my next mystery. How would you like to be a murder victim? You could drive someone insane with your nonstop chatter. That’s reason enough for murder.”

“Very cute, Mallory. Stop listening to Nick badmouthing me.”

“Dude,” Nick replied through the phone this time. “Stop trying to give Mallory ideas on names. I’ve got one picked out and I’m waiting for the right time to tell her.”

“You have to wait?” Zach asked.

“Yes. If I say it too soon, she’ll have a reason she doesn’t like it…or she’ll love it so much she’ll want it to be a character in her next book. I’ve got to plan it just right.” There was a pause and then Nick said, “You know it’s the truth, Mallory, so, no, I’m not telling you yet. Anyway, Zach. How was the trade show? Sorry I dumped it on you last minute and I haven’t returned your calls. I’ve been swamped with coding and trying to get the house ready for the baby.”

They’d been friends for way too long for Zach to think Nick was purposely ignoring him. At this point in their relationship, if Nick didn’t want to talk to Zach, he’d just tell him to his face. He always had.

Besides, Nick would have gone to Vegas if he could have, but Zach knew he’d never leave Mallory at this point in her pregnancy, especially with her battling a cold last week.

“No problem. I sent you a report. Not sure if you’ve had a chance to look it over yet.”

“Not yet. Maybe later tonight. Anything of interest I need to know right now?”

Zach wanted to tell Nick about Amber but didn’t. Maybe next time they saw each other, he’d bring it up. Or maybe not. It was embarrassing the amount of time he’d spent the last few days trying to track her to no avail. Nick was liable to just bust him about it, and Zach didn’t think anything about this situation was funny.

“There was a lot of interest. I spoke with some hospital administrators who were going to go back and see if it’s a product that they might want to push to the local doctors. Legal angles if any and so on are in the talks. It’s all in my report.”

“Sounds good. Other than that, nothing much going on?” Nick asked again.

It was almost like Nick knew Zach had more to add. “Nope, just trying to catch up here at the office.”

“All right. I’ll let you go. You know where to reach me if you need anything.”

Zach hesitated and finally said, “Sure do. You can’t hide from me even if you wanted to.”

“No one can. You always find us and then lecture us for even trying. There’s never been any escaping you.”

Zach hung up the phone grimacing. If that was so true, then why couldn’t he find Amber? The question wasn’t if at this point, but when—and when he did, she’d better be ready for him.


Amber grabbed the remote and turned the music on in her office. It was an hour past closing and she still needed to finish up her notes for the day. As far as she knew, everyone was gone but her and Max.

She’d been in surgery at the hospital with Max at six this morning, not finishing until almost two. Then they’d returned to the office only to deal with one emergency after another while Dena and Rene dealt with the scheduled patients for the day.

Days like this made the time fly, and though she loved the thrill and excitement of it all, she was beat.

She hadn’t been sleeping well for the last week. Not through lack of trying. Nope, it had more to do with a dark-haired, brown-eyed man invading her dreams.

The song on the radio switched over and her mind started to drift back to a bar in Vegas just last week.

“I’ll have another one,” Amber said, holding her beer glass up to the bartender. The first day of the convention was done and she was just relaxing at a local bar, then she was going to turn in for the night.

The minute her drink was placed in front of her, she felt a presence at her back and swiveled on her bar stool.

He was tall and thin, handsome even with his short brown hair and light brown piercing eyes. They were almost golden, if she looked long enough.

“I’m Zach Monroe,” he said, reaching his hand out to hers.

“Amber,” she said back, placing her hand in his. He had a nice firm grip. She liked that about a man.

“No last name?” he asked.

She debated and then said, “Dustin.” Better safe than sorry.

He had a nice smooth tone to his voice. “Mind if I join you?”

“The seat is empty,” she said, nodding her head toward the bar stool to her right.

So he sat next to her and they chatted for an hour about the people in the bar. He was funny, with a personality similar to her own. Not everyone appreciated her warped sense of humor, but this stranger not only got her, but enjoyed bantering with her, too.

When the band changed directions and started to play ballads, he pulled her off her stool and onto the dance floor.

She’d fit so nicely in his arms. He wasn’t as tall as she first thought, maybe six foot, but since she was on the tall side for a woman, they fit really well together.

“I’m going to be awfully disappointed if you end up being a high-end call girl,” he whispered in her ear as he held her close, their hips swaying to the music.

She leaned her head back, her lips quirking. “I’m trying not to get insulted that you just said that.”

“I said high end,” he reminded her.

“And you said you’d be disappointed, too. Maybe I’m an undercover officer just waiting to nab some pervert paying for sex.”

He laughed, and the sound sent shockwaves crashing in her belly then traveling up to her chest. “It’s Vegas.”

“Point taken. How about I tell you I’m here for a medical convention?”

“Are you a doctor?” he asked, his eyes looking straight into hers. She could lose herself in him, she could feel it.

“No. Physician assistant.”

“So, just shy of a doctor,” he said, his hand roaming down her back and causing tingles to erupt everywhere.

She was surprised he knew that. Most people didn’t and often felt a physician assistant was below a nurse. “How do you know that?”

“My best friend’s sister is a PA, too. Spent a boatload of years in school and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why she didn’t just continue on.”

“It’s not for everyone,” Amber said. A lot of people said the same to her. “What about you, Zach? Are you from this area just trying to pick up some tourist in a bar for the night?”

“Would you be surprised to hear I’m here for a medical convention, too? Probably the same one you are.”

“Are you a doctor?” she asked, surprised. He seemed confident and cocky, but not enough to be a doctor in her eyes.

He laughed lightly. “Hardly. How about I impress you by saying I’m the Chief Operating Officer for a software firm.”

“Ah, one of those Silicon Valley…people…trying to sell their software.”

“You wanted to say nerd, didn’t you?” he asked quietly in her ear again.

Pushing away the shivers, she said, “Of course, but I caught myself.”

“Good catch. But no, not Silicon Valley.”

“You seem awfully young to have such a big title. Were you one of those people who had a start-up in your parents’ garage?”

“College dorm,” he corrected. “And my best friend—old college roommate—is the brains behind the software.”

“And your job?” she asked.

“My job is to bring in the talent, run the operation, sell the product, and get the job done so that he can continue to be the brains behind the software.”

She could see that. He had a smooth way about him. He’d gotten her on the dance floor when normally she’d just walk away from a stranger in another city. Wild child or not, her momma didn’t raise a fool. The smooth ones were the ones you had to watch the closest.

“So I guess we’re at the same convention, though you are on the other side of the building from me.”

“I am. If it weren’t for our chance meeting here, I might not have seen you.”

She was right, he was a smooth one. “Maybe it’s our lucky night.”

“Is this lucky night going to end here on the dance floor?” he asked.

“And if it did?” she asked back, wondering what his reaction would be. It’d been longer than she cared to admit since she’d had a draw toward a man. Nothing like this. Nothing this strong and this fast before. And nothing this fierce.

“Then I’d suggest we meet here again tomorrow night, same time, same drinks, and hopefully some better music.”

So he wasn’t pressuring her. The angel on her shoulder had always been tainted, so the devil had no problem saying, “We could do that, along with continuing this night, if you’d like.”

“I would,” he said, his lips moving over her neck. “Your hotel or mine?”

“Yours,” she said. Since she’d lied about her last name, she wasn’t about to show him where she was staying.

“Then let’s see where the night goes,” he said, taking her hand and leading her off the dance floor.

“Amber!” Max yelled her name. She turned her head to see Max standing in the doorway staring at her intently. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, why?” she asked, feeling the heat creep up her neck. She’d been so lost in her memories that she had no clue how long he’d been standing there.

“You’re just staring at the wall in a daze. Why don’t you go home and get some sleep. I came in to say I was leaving, too.”

She shook her head and smiled. “I’m almost done. I’ll lock up soon. Go home and get some action from your wife before she boots you out of bed for knocking her up.”

Max laughed, used to her saying those things. “You’re a piece of work. Have a good night,” he said, then walked out.

Once she knew he was gone, she typed Zach Monroe into a search bar to see what she could find. Unfortunately, there were too many results and she had no clue where he was from, so she couldn’t narrow it down.

They’d spent three wonderful nights together and yet they never exchanged phone numbers. She didn’t realize it until she’d snuck out on Friday morning and left the convention a day early.

What they had those three nights scared her silly. Enough that she ran for the first time in her life. But now that she was home again, she was wishing she didn’t, only she had no way to find him.

It was probably for the best. She’d bet she was nothing more than a fling to him, which was why she never told him her real name. As smooth as he was, she was sure he had a lot of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” experiences. She didn’t need complications like that in her life anymore.


Deserve A Chance…Chapter 1


Deserve A Chance

If you haven’t read the prologue yet, you can catch up here.

You can buy Deserve A Chance on Amazon.



“Hey, Mama. How are you feeling?” Amber asked her coworker Rene Buchanan when she walked into the office on Monday morning. “Did you miss me while I was gone last week?”

Rene smiled and pushed herself up from the chair. She wasn’t really that big at seven months’ pregnant, but big enough for her tiny frame to need help getting up. “Like Snow White misses a poison apple.”

Amber laughed. “I love this new you. You’re pretty funny,” she said, walking over and giving Rene a hug, then running her hand over the small watermelon protruding in front of her. “How’s Junior doing?”

“He’s doing good. Eating me out of house and home.”

“You mean you’re eating yourself out of house and home for him. Don’t be blaming the baby for the growth of your butt.”

“Thanks,” Rene said, snorting.

“We’ve got all sorts of equipment here to get you right back in shape after Junior is done wrecking your body.”

Rene shook her head, then grinned. “You’re so cynical. Besides, it’s not all that bad. Ask Cole. He’d tell you he’d keep me pregnant nonstop if he had his way.”

“That’s probably because you’re horny. My sister was the same way and her husband said the same thing.”

Rene blushed sweetly. “Okay, I’m going to leave the room now.”

“No, you aren’t,” Amber said, grinning. “You started it. So when’s the wedding?” Amber asked, glancing down at the large diamond on Rene’s finger. She wasn’t feeling any envy, not really.

“We don’t have a date yet. Cole wants to be married before the baby comes and I understand why, but I want to be able to dance and have fun at my wedding, not be wearing a mumu.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t have gotten knocked up.”

Rene wrinkled her nose. “Very funny.”

“I know, I know,” Amber said. “Those super mutant powers of Cole’s. Bet those little buggers of his can swim through concrete. You better watch it, or before long there will be a little sister in the oven next.”

“Bite your tongue. I want a break between kids regardless of the horny hormones.”

“Ah, but you plan on having more?” Amber asked.

Rene had been so shy when she moved here almost ten months ago. The last thing Rene thought would happen when she started her new job was to get engaged and be expecting a child in the first year. Was Amber jealous of Rene over it? Absolutely.

Amber had never understood how someone could find that connection with another person so quickly.

That is, until this last week when she met Zach Monroe.

She shook those thoughts from her brain. It was best to not let her mind go there right now or she might start crying again. She did what she had to do to protect herself and she wouldn’t second-guess that now. She didn’t need history to repeat itself.

“At some point. Right now, I just want to get through this pregnancy and settle into my new life.”

A few minutes later, her boss, Dr. Max Hamilton, walked into their office. “How was the convention? Are you ready to make me break out the checkbook?”

Max always said she could talk him into anything, and she could. She knew it and enjoyed the thrill of it. Besides, she made his practice a lot of money and was proud of her smooth-talking skills.

“I sure am. I’ll put all the brochures and paperwork together with my notes for you by the end of the week. You could have gone with me and then I would have had you under contract already.”

Max laughed at her. “Which is why I didn’t go with you. Besides, Quinn hasn’t felt well and I didn’t want to leave her alone with the kids for a week.”

“Is she okay?” Amber asked of Max’s wife of just eight months.

“Nothing that another month won’t fix,” he said, smiling brightly.

“Get out! Quinn is pregnant already!” Amber exclaimed, rushing over and hugging him.

“Yeah,” he said, returning her hug. “We told Nick and Mallory at dinner last night, and she’s telling her siblings today, so I wanted to let you guys know. Besides,” Max said, turning to Rene, “I figured you’d hear it from Mallory by the end of the day if I didn’t tell you now.”

Mallory was Rene’s sister-in-law and Quinn’s best friend. “What the heck is in the water here? That is three of you pregnant now. When is Mallory due again?”

“December eighteenth,” Rene said. “Just a month ahead of me. Congrats, Max.”

“Thanks,” he said. “Now let’s get some work done. Amber, you’re in with me. I’ll make sure I tell Dena and the rest of the staff when they come in so they aren’t hurt they didn’t hear it from the source. Rene, you’ve got the office rotation for now.”

Amber watched them both walk out of her office, then pulled her chair out and sat down.

She was happy for Rene and Max. She was happy for anyone that was in a relationship. In general, she was a happy person.

Or at least that’s what she portrayed on the outside.

On the inside, right now, she was wondering what possessed her to sneak away Friday morning without saying goodbye to the one person she’d felt any type of connection with since she was in college.

The one person that might be able to help her move on.






“Are you okay, Amber?” Dena asked her.

“Yeah, why?”

It was the end of the day and Amber thought she’d done a good job acting like her normal self. She’d been laughing and picking on everyone all day long, just like she always did.

“I don’t know; it seems like your usual shine is dull. Just tired from the trip?”

She didn’t want to think about Vegas, because doing that would remind her of Zach. She wondered what he was doing right now. Was he thinking of her? Did he even miss her?

She’d never even gotten the name of the company he worked for. Just that he was there doing software demos on the other side of the building.

They met up each night for dinner and ended up back in his room. Every evening before it was time to meet him, she’d go back to her hotel around the corner, get a change of clothes for the next day, and then spend the night with him.

She’d never done that before. Gone to a convention and had a fling. And never before had she had a fling that lasted days.

That old saying of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” didn’t seem like it was going to work for her, though. Not when every time she closed her eyes she saw Zach’s light brown eyes glowing with passion as he looked at her. The bright smile of his and his frequent laughter. She’d never laughed as much as she had for those three days.

Nor could she remember the last time she was truly happy. The type of happy that made her cheeks hurt from smiling so much. Probably never if she thought hard enough.

“It was a long couple of days.”

“Out partying?” Dena asked.

Everyone still thought she was this party animal. Sure, she was when she was younger. A bit of a wild one, people would say in describing her. She was more so in college. Until that all changed one night when she woke up and realized she’d been doing everything wrong. That her life—her world—was never going to be the same again.

“Nothing more than the normal. Dinner and a few drinks, then off to bed.”

She wasn’t about to add she didn’t go to bed alone. Or even to her own bed.

“If you say so.”

“I do,” Amber said, smiling. “Wait until you see the stuff I tried last week.”

“That’s the spirit. Did you have anything done on you?”

“Of course. What’s the fun of going there if I didn’t get to try or use it?”

“Nothing looks different on your face, so it can’t be that.”

“Nope. This is for fat pretty much anywhere on the body but the face.” She slid her hands down her outer thighs, always loving her curves, even embracing them. “These babies are going to be slightly slimmer in a few days.”

“A few days?” Dena asked.

“That’s what it boasts. Though I’m sure with just one treatment I won’t see much of a difference. It calls for a few. I’ll get all the information together and get it to Max this week. Just wait until you see what I end up talking him into.”

“Okay, now that is the Amber I haven’t seen today.”

She smiled at Dena, proud of herself for pulling it off.

Maybe in a few days she’d be back to normal. Unfortunately, she was afraid she was just fooling herself.

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.


Is This Love…Deserve A Chance

Like I’ve said before, the Lake Placid Series is all about rock and roll, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s music as my inspiration.

Deserve A Chance is no different. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to this cassette growing up. Yep, I had a cassette of this and my age is showing!

Whitesnake was one of my favorite bands back then and still is. I hear them playing on Pandora and I crank it up like I did in my teens and just start singing along with them. And everytime I hear this song I think, “I can’t believe this hasn’t been the perfect song for one of my couples yet.”

Until Zack and Amber. When you read their story, I think you’ll agree. You can purchase  Deserve A Chance on Amazon.

Here it is, one of my all time favorite songs ever. Is This Love by Whitesnake.

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?