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

 

“Hello.”

“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.

Portrayed

 

“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?

 

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Lake Placid Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take a Chance

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

Deserve A Chance

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

Another Chance. Book seven with Matt Winters and Dena Olson. (coming soon)

Take A Chance…Chapter 2

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

Take A Chance is available for pre-order now!

Chapter two is called:

Information Overload 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How are the roads?” Celeste asked. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the heck was he thinking of that? 

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

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

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

“Why?” Celeste said, eying him.  

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

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

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

“No reason.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I do. Stop being a brat.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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