Welcome fellow Soul Mate Publishing author, Em Kaye…
She’s here to tell us about her sexy new release, At Your Service, and a bit about herself.
First a few questions…
Do you have a pet?
I have a cat named Fiona.
She looks like she has black fur but in the sunshine, it’s more like melted chocolate. She likes to drink dripping water. I’ve bought several drinking dishes before realizing that she doesn’t like the ones that have the water sliding down like a sluice and finally have one where the water bubbles up.
She also is addicted to ‘snackers’ (cat treats) and will sit and stare until she gets some.
In my just contracted book, Dear Diary – Alexandria’s and Zack’s Story, I based the cat called Muggins on her (although he’s a male).
Where does your novel take place? Why did you choose that location? Have you ever been there?
The place, Belleville, is imaginary, so I’ve only been there in my mind. There is no specific place that I based the book on. When the heroine is in hero’s office (on the top floor of a building), his windows overlook the harbor.
What is your favorite childhood TV show and what do you remember fondly about it?
I’m not sure that there was just one show.
I liked westerns – Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, etc. I used to climb a tree in our apple orchard and sit on a branch, pretending it was my horse. By the way, I loved horses so much that my school bus driver gave me a magazine featuring horses for sale. I teased until I talked my mother into getting me a subscription to it. I never did get a horse. I remember at a school-sponsored event, paying for a ride on a horse and so being scared. Guess that’s the last time I had dreams of being a cowgirl.
What was one of your favorite songs/bands in high school?
As a teenager, I was head over heels in love with Paul Anka and loved his song Put Your Head On My Shoulder. I can remember thinking how romantic it was.
What is your favorite decade and why?
I think the ‘60’s would have to be my favorite decade especially now looking back. There were so many changes taking place and it’s hard to describe to my kids and grandchildren how exciting and sad a time it was.
Our president, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
It’s when hippies and Woodstock (’69) were the norm and I wore wooden clogs, had long hair, and a MIA bracelet for with a soldier’s name on it to bring attention to the Vietnam War. I was married by the mid-60’s, but my heart was still with those making big changes in the world.
Do you believe in UFO’s?
Yes, of course!
How can we not think there might be other life, more advanced, that want to check us out? I have always, since I was a little kid, watched movies (Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a favorite) and documentaries on the subject.
Have I ever seen one?
No, but do I believe that they might be real? Oh, yeah.
Now…At Your Service, by Em Kaye!
Sydney Stewart had turned doing favors for friends into a growing business. Putting a bad relationship behind her, she was determined to guard her heart the next time around.
Desmond Butler was everything Sydney would want—if she were looking for a man—except she wasn’t. Plus, he had this one flaw. Could she look past his habit of spanking her whenever he thought she was naughty?
“This is the last straw!” Sydney Stewart muttered out loud. I’d asked politely, then nicely, and even one time more forcibly. The work crew wasn’t getting the message that they shouldn’t block my parking spot. A sleek, black SUV with darkened windows and a ‘Butler Industries’ sign on the side was parked just enough in front of the entrance to my space that I couldn’t get my car in.
There was no wiggle room to maneuver my vehicle into the slot. Mr. Ashton, from the accounting firm on the fifth floor, had parked his car with the wheels smack dab on the painted line separating our adjoining spots.
“Am I expecting too much?” I mumbled, continuing to present my case to no one in particular. Entering the construction site adjacent to my office building, I focused on searching for the idiot who had done this. Trying to dodge potholes, most containing water from the rain during the night, I grimaced when I stepped in one, my favorite shoe disappearing below the surface.
“Lady! You can’t go in there. It’s a hard hat area!” A guy hollered.
“Watch me,” I answered, never breaking my stride. Although in retrospect probably not loudly enough for him to hear.
Making my way up the metal steps to the door of the trailer posing as an office I flung it wide open, not even reacting to the loud sound it made hitting the trailer’s outer wall.
Seven pairs of eyes, belonging to men in work clothes and the required yellow hard hats, turned their attention from the blueprints scattered on the table in front of them to the irate woman standing in front of them – me. Stamping my wet foot hard, I began to question my judgment.
A man in a blue plaid shirt raised a quizzical brow. “Uh, ma’m?”
“Whose vehicle is that?” I pointed in what I hoped was the right direction.
After looking at each other for clarification, a guy in the back spoke up, “It’s the boss’s.”
“Where is he? I want to speak to him.” When no one made a move, I added, “Now!”
“He’s in his office, ma’am.”
“Where’s his office?” It was like playing a warped form of the game of Twenty Questions, but I planned on winning.
“The twentieth floor,” the man said, pointing back toward the direction of my office building.
“Perfect.” As I turned on my heel, a short guy with blond hair reached for his cell phone before I stormed back outside.
Yeah, you’d better tell him I’m coming.
So unlike me, I was surprised as I began to like this feeling of righteous anger.
Retracing my steps, I glanced at my car, now blocking half of Mr. Ashton’s car which made me mad all over again. My only thought was that this needed taking care of before he tried to leave. He always seemed like a nice man, smiling and nodding when I met him in the hall and I didn’t want to inconvenience him.
While taking the elevator up to the top floor, I called Maria, my receptionist/secretary/friend to let her know I was running late, but would be in shortly.
When the elevator doors opened, the smiling, perky receptionist seemed to be expecting me and directed me through a glass door. I entered the office of an administrative assistant who sat at a desk just to the left of a set of dark, forbidding double doors.
“Good morning, Miss . . .”
“Stewart, Sydney Stewart.”
“Yes, Ms. Stewart. Mr. Butler will see you now.” She got up from her chair and came around her desk. Looking back to make sure I was following, she knocked once sharply before opening one the double doors.
“Mr. Butler, Ms. Stewart is here.”
I continued farther inside, as she stepped back and closed the door behind me.
The room I found myself in was huge with a wall of windows overlooking the city of Loganville with an extensive view of the harbor. The light from outside made the room seem darker than it really was. I blinked several times trying to adjust my eyes to the contrast. A massive desk sat several feet in front of me. The top smooth and polished to a dull shine, and devoid of the usual stacks of papers one would normally find there. Hmm . . . wouldn’t even have to push the papers off to have passionate sex on top of it. I shook my head to dislodge the picture.
Rising from a large leather chair, a man came toward me with an outstretched hand. He was impressive, not so much in size, but in demeanor. The electricity in the air crackled with each step he took. A dark charcoal suit emphasized the whiteness of his shirt and gray and red striped tie which looked crisper and cleaner. His hair was shiny and black as coal, a lock escaping and hanging across his forehead. The ice blue of his eyes so penetrating it was like being X-rayed. I looked down to check if I still had clothes on.
Find Em Kaye on the following:
About My Life as a Writer
I was born in a small town at the base of the Adirondack Mountains. Some of my childhood vacations were spent with my parents in central Maine. My parents, as well as my sister, were readers and I got my love for books from them, liking the feeling of ‘getting lost’ in a book. I’ve always used essays and novels to express my feelings.
After I was married and had my children (3 girls), I went to community college where I took took creative writing classes and did several independent studies. I met my best friend, Ree, there. I won an award and had something published in the college magazine. That was the first time I actually had something I’d written published.
Thanks for sharing At Your Service, and all about you, Em Kaye.
And not the artist formally known as Prince, but the real McCoy from when he first started out. To this day, I still love that song. When he made it into a movie that was the only time I’d ever sat in the front row of a theater.
Yes, I’m from the eighties. Is that a problem?J
Sigh! I so loved Prince, had a huge poster on my wall, and had the album, Purple Rain and cassette tape! Yes, I said cassette tape, and no, my kids don’t know what that is.
Do you believe in UFO’s?
Nope. Yep. Wait…what was the question? Oh, yes, UFO’s. Unindentified Figments of an Overactive Imagination. Then that would make them UFofOI’s, wouldn’t it? And since I write paranormal to thwart the insanity scale, I guess that would make me a firm believer in using the imagination.
But all and out Martians coming to take over the world? No. I would suspect they’d burn up in the ozone layer. Besides, they have a really nice Land Rover to use. They’re not coming.
I do believe there is something out there. Who, what, I’m not sure, but there’s something. On the other hand, I’m one of ‘those people’ who still don’t believe anyone walked on the moon.
I say, If they did, do it again! They left some trash up there, and it needs to be cleaned up. Clean up the Universe, not just the Earth. ♥
This is a picture of one of the three UFO’s that me and my family saw last January. The first two came by, flying low, and went from the back of the house to the front and were gone by the time we ran after them. This one, came by itself, flew erratically toward the front of the house where it made a sharp right and disappeared.
I’ll leave you to decide what it was…
Do you have a pet?
Do I have a pet? Do I… HAVE A PET?
I have so dang many pets I need sticky notes on each of them to remember their names. No, really, a dairy farmer names EVERYTHING! Well, at least this one does. Every cow, every cat, every chicken, every duck…Come to think of it, the goldfish have names.
Over the years I’ve raised all the animals God made for farms. Never thought I’d allow lizards into my home, but I have those too.
I’m sure God hadn’t figured lizards would co-habitat with cats, but they do.
And don’t even get me started on the live crickets those lizards have to eat. At least the cats have some fun when a few of those crickets get loose before their ultimate sacrifice. My house sounds like a summer camping trip all year long. Boys! Gotta love their exotic natures, and the critters they can talk their mother into.
After a few years of dealing with goats and sheep, and huge losses of flowers (right from their pots!), goats and I no longer see eye to eye. Sheep… good for clothing and the stew pot, that’s about it. Nasty? Yes.
But Zaboo, the four-horn Jacob ram just about broke my arm. He’d get this twinkle in his eye, back up a couple of feet, and WHAM!
I sold him.
Now it’s just milking cows, heifers and calves, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, lizards and fish. Oh wait! There’s a fifteen-year-old cockatiel, too. I better go check if he’s still there. The lizards might have got him.
Oh my gosh, I’ve had all kinds of pets! When I was 18, I lived in Southern California and worked at a reptile wholesale distributor. I had Geckos, and a ten foot Burmese Python named Sid that ate live chickens! (My mother loved that)
Latest Release News COMING SOON 2014 Breathless Response (Bad Girl’s Redemption Series Book 1)
FBI Agent Jack Murray is going to take down Shelby McGuire by any means necessary. The woman is conning men out of hard-earned money for phony coins, and Jack hates con women—of any kind.
Shelby is also part of Jack’s past. He’d been her rock, her shoulder to cry on, and her lover while she was married to a man who beat her, and who Shelby murdered in cold blood.
Shelby is now out of prison on a technicality and Jack is dragging his heels with deciding if he is going to take her down as the FBI wants him too, or fall hard for the woman yet again.
She’d been good for him, but burnt twice by the same con should be avoided like the plague. Shelby says she wants out, but can Jack believe her? Especially when she is so great at lying to men to get her way.
And Please Check out other great titles released in 2014
Available on Amazon.com
Jevenna lives in Wisconsin in the same small town she grew up in. She is happily married, nearing the quarter century mark, and has two wonderful sons. Most say they married their high school sweetheart. Jevenna married the cute guy she’d met in her kindergarten class when she was five years old, but didn’t date until they graduated. Quite romantic! She has spent the last twenty-five years as co-owner of the family dairy farm and writes in her spare time.
With a smile, this translates to wet springs, cold winters…so, pretty much all the time.
She is a PRO member of RWA and Green Bay chapter member of WisRWA, and writes contemporary, historical, suspense, and paranormal romances. When not writing—and not farming—she loves to kayak, and do just about anything outdoorsy. “Every life should have nine cats…and one incredibly great man!” A motto she lives by.
She’s here with her new release, Play with my Heart, and she’s giving away free books!
That’s right…free books, so read on, find out all about her and her books. Be sure to leave a comment with your email before 8/20/14 for a chance to win one of two books she’s generously giving away.
Meda White was born with Georgia clay running through her veins, and she continues to enjoy the Southern lifestyle with her husband and Collie.
She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and affiliate chapters: Southern Magic, Georgia Romance Writers, and Contemporary Romance Writers.
When not writing, you might find her singing harmony, attempting to play guitar, shooting zombie targets, quoting movie lines, traveling, teaching yoga, or explaining the meaning of her unusual first name.
Q & A with Meda
Do you have a pet?
We have a beautiful Collie named Lily White. She was a rescue and when I learned her name, I knew we had to have her. We always joked that if we had a daughter, we’d name her Lily to go with our last name, White. When she needs a bath, we call her Lily Off-White. (The second daughter was going to be called Snow.) 🙂
Our Lily does a few things that we find funny.
One of them is when we bring home dog food and poor it into the storage tub, she thinks the buffet is open and proceeds to chow down.
When we get water from the refrigerator, she likes to get between our legs. It’s very strange, but too cute to try to stop it.
Then, she stands on the highest point in the back yard to look down on her kingdom.
We call this her Mufasa spot.
Lastly, she’s a true Southern girl who enjoys sitting on the back deck, watching the sun set, and drinking an adult beverage.
We didn’t know we were rescuing a lush.
(Just kidding. No animals were harmed during this photo shoot.)
Favorite TV show growing up?
One of my favorite television shows from childhood was
The Incredible Hulk.
Do you remember the show starring Bill Bixby as David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk?
It was on in the late 70’s and early 80’s and I was pretty young, but I remember the feelings that show invoked.
My mom thought it might scare me, but The Hulk wasn’t a monster to me, he was a hero.
When David Banner’s eyes turned green, I would wiggle in my seat, excited that Lou was about to kick some bad-guy booty.
(Plus, no romance writer I know complains about a muscle-bound guy with no shirt on, even if he is green.)
Then, when the sirens sounded and he had to run away so the po-po wouldn’t catch him, it broke my heart every time. Just hearing the theme music and watching Banner hitchhike still elicits deep loneliness and tugs at the old heartstrings. The theme is aptly named The Lonely Man.
Try not to get depressed if you watch this. You won’t like me when I’m angry.
Where does your novel take place?
Lastly, I’d like to talk about the setting of my contemporary romance novel, Play With My Heart.
I intended to write a small-town romance but it turns out my characters are jet-setters.
The book begins in Los Angeles.
Ian (hero) lives and works there—actors, but Liz (heroine) is there to visit her brother.
I have been to L.A. but it’s been a few years. One of my former roommates grew up there, so I was fortunate to go with her and have a native show me around.
A few pics from my trip
Later in the book, the action moves back to Georgia–more specifically to Southland, the Baker Family Estate not too far from Atlanta. This is the place where the magic happens. I’ve got more photos of Georgia than you want to look at because it’s my home state.
When things are at their peak and love can’t get any better for Liz and Ian, they go to his hometown of London, England. I’ve never been there, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that Hubba-luv is planning a fifteen year wedding anniversary trip to go. (He keeps threatening to take me to Panama City Beach. It’s a joke in our family because I’ve been there more times than I care to admit.)
The characters eventually return to Georgia where they find their HEA (Happily Ever After). The end is set in a fictional coastal town in South Georgia (so close to Florida that with the right wind, you could spit and have it land in another state). I originally made it Florida, but decided people who aren’t familiar with the area don’t really consider Florida as “The South”. Since my theme is Southern Romance, I made the choice to change it. Sadly, I fudge a bit on the actual coastal topography. The Georgia coast is pretty marshy, but I wanted my beach town to be beachy and not be an island. These are the joys of writing fiction.
My sister’s wedding on St. Simon’s Island
Thank you, Sophia, for having me on your blog.
I’ll share some information about my book and I’ll give away a prize to two commenters:
1. An eCopy of Play With My Heart
2. An eCopy of Fall Rush (my latest new adult novella).
Be sure to comment to win a copy!!
Southern musician and closet geek Liz Baker enjoys her quiet life. While in Los Angeles helping her brother with a house project, the simple life gets complicated when British television actor Ian Clarke walks into the picture.
Ian enjoys his celebrity status in Hollywood and is determined nothing and no one will get in the way of his plans for success on the big screen. He never counted on meeting a woman like Liz, but she’s the only one who can help him with a personal problem.
Forced into close quarters where priorities and cultures clash, an intense attraction catches them both by surprise. Secrets, old lovers and the paparazzi threaten their new dreams and a chance for love could be lost forever.
When they reached the front door of Danny’s house, Liz turned to Ian. “Thanks for the escort. Now, get back over there and enjoy your party. I hope I didn’t ruin it.”
“You couldn’t ruin anything if you tried.” Ian leaned in and kissed her cheek. It was warm.
“Next time, leave that shovel at home, ya here?” she said as a smile played at the corners of her full lips.
“One day, I’ll pay you a compliment and you’ll accept it.”
“You’re an actor. I might not believe anything that comes out of your mouth,” she said with a smirk and raised eyebrows.
He tsked. “So cynical. I wonder what made you that way?”
Liz tilted her head to one side and her smile broadened as she shrugged. Ian was caught in it, forgetting what he’d even said. There was something about her. Not one thing, but many little things, all of which added up to something really unexpected.
“I’ve always been this way. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t mean to imply that you aren’t a good actor. I honestly don’t know. But I Googled you and you’ve been at it a long time, so I bet you’re pretty talented.”
“You Googled me?” Warmth spread through his chest and his own smile broadened. It was ridiculous to be so enamored by this Southern belle. Women searched for him online quite frequently, but he didn’t know those women. This one was standing a few feet away, breathing the same air. He was on the verge of asking her to dinner, but stopped himself just in time. If he couldn’t think of another option, she might be his caregiver and she definitely wouldn’t want to date him then.
More by Meda:
Q: What happens when a bartender helps a sorority girl find her courage while he protects her honor?
What? I know they don’t really go together, or do they?
I haveLarynn Fordhere today who will swear pot-bellied pigs and a novel most certainly do go together. Read on and find out how!
Do you have a pet?
Oreo is my pot-belly pig. I rescued him after he was abandoned by his human family. They adopted him as a baby and raised him as an inside pet. As with any living creature, pigs need attention and left alone all day, he went in search of something to occupy his time. A nice thick Sunday newspaper presented hours of enjoyment and when his family got home that evening, paper scraps were EVERYWHERE! I understand there was a large stack of clean laundry involved in the day’s adventure as well:)
Unfortunately, when they returned home, he was banished to the back yard and rarely saw them other than feeding time. They then decided to move away and had no room for a growing pig in their new place. A neighbor agreed to feed him every day and find a him home so I took him.
Since he had spent so much time alone, he’s not as cuddly and loving as he would have been raised in the company of people, but he doesn’t mind a little scratch on his head at feeding time and he has learned a new trick to ask for his treats. Check out this little video.
Oh my gosh, Oreo is so cute. Okay, now I have to buy a house in the country and get me a pig!
What is one of the most embarrassing things that’s happened to you?
At an Easter candle lighting ceremony at church, I was asked to read a brief description of the symbolism of each color candle as I lit them.
I was so nervous I totally jumped my cue, lit the candles, and blurted out my description BEFORE the preacher even welcomed the congregation to the service that morning. I was mortified!!
Tee hee hee, I can see how that would be embarrassing, but at least you didn’t freeze up and got your descriptions out. 🙂
If you had one do-over in your life, what would it be?
Especially now that I’m a writer, I wish I had listened to my grandparents and their stories of life when they were growing up. I should have asked questions and stored their history in my mind. Imagine the wealth of material I would have to pull from and place in a book now.
One story from the depression years was relayed from my grandmother to my mother and then to me.
There was no work, no money, and no food.
My grandfather and his brother met one morning to go in search of some kind of work so they could bring food home.
They left on foot in different directions with the understanding if either found food they would meet back at the house that evening and share.
My grandmother walked the floor, worrying how to feed her three toddlers. I can only imagine the desperation she felt and would love to use that emotion in a book one day.
I also never spoke with my grandmother before she passed, and regret it. I didn’t start writing or researching my ancestry until it was too late to ask her questions.
And now…(drum roll please)… Larynn’s latest release by Soul Mate Publishing, Rescued
Fiercely independent and determined to be taken seriously in a man’s world, PI Rose Baxter will do whatever it takes to find the kids who are disappearing from the streets and bring them home safe, even teaming up with PI Marty Brown, a man hot enough to burn whatever part of her gets too close – her fingers, her sheets, her life, and her other nature’s whiskers.
But her other nature knows whiskers grow back and will accept nothing less than this man as her mate for life, a plan Marty’s all in on. Sparks fly when she refuses to be the little woman. Besides, those kids need her and their time’s running out. But, thrown together 24/7 can she fight it?
Rose heard the unmistakable sound of duct tape stripping from its roll. Her hands, bound together behind her back and another piece loosely secured the bag around her neck. Her memory of stored scents identified Mabel and Stan even before they spoke.
“Take her to the lab. I’ll stash her car.” Mabel’s footsteps hurried away. As soon as the front door close behind Mabel, Rose stiffened her body and formed an impossible to move statue. Her arms flexed and ripped the tape to separate her hands. Stan grabbed for her to regain his grip. She spun around to deliver a kick toward the sound of his astonished breathing. He collided with the floor and skidded to a stop when he smacked into the cabinet doors. As he scrambled to right himself, the knives rattled in the butcher block on the kitchen counter.
She ripped the tape from around her neck and yanked the pillowcase off her head in time to see the man lunge toward her. She side stepped his attack.
Shouting rang out from the living room. “Let go of me!” One sniff confirmed Logan and June had entered through the front door. Mabel would cause no more trouble.
The kitchen windows vibrated. The backdoor burst into splinters as Marty stormed through. His roar rattled the dishes stacked in the drainer when he spotted Stan holding a knife on his mate. “Nooo!”
Before she could blink, Marty swung one arm and backhanded Stan, sending him crashing through the window and out onto the patio. The stunned man scrambled to his feet, hobbled around the side of the house to his SUV, and hightailed it out the driveway.
Marty gripped Rose gently by the shoulders and turned her to face him. “Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” His eyes were intense. “Rose, answer me?”
“I’m fine. Did they catch Stan? I heard a vehicle leave.” She turned to the living room where Mabel sat in a huff.
“Oscar just called. The SUV’s have left the park and headed west out of town. I’ve called the police to come and pick her up. I’m assuming you’ll be pressing charges for kidnapping?” Logan had handcuffed Mabel and planted her in a chair. June stood ready in case she tried to escape.
“I want a few minutes with her first.” Rose turned to Mabel. Her nostrils flared and the fire from her inner animal flashed in her eyes. No, as much as she’d like to, she wouldn’t inflict the bodily harm this woman so deserved for her part in this whole scheme. She’d like to body slam the bitch to the floor, but her daddy had taught her the self-control she needed to work this job and work it right.
Getting some answers now was her primary concern. She wanted answers. While she wouldn’t physically injure the woman, she wasn’t above scaring the crap out of her to get the information she needed.
Mabel sneered at her and rolled her eyes. “And just what do you intend to do with your few minutes? Do you think I’m afraid of a mousy little thing like you? Oh, help, the little mousy girl is going to scare me,” she humphed in a mocking tone.
“Oh hell,” Marty said. He adjusted the hat on his head, glanced Logan’s way with a y’all best look out expression, and stepped back out of the way to give Rose room to work.
“June bug. Move back, honey,” Logan said as her steered his wife to the corner by the door and positioned his body, brick wall style in front of her for her own safety, just like an alpha male. Everyone read Marty’s message loud and clear.
Mabel’s expression changed from glaring sarcasm to certain fear as she watched the woman she had labeled as little make her way slowly toward her.
Rose’s eyes narrowed and focused on the woman. Her hands flexed from tight, curled fists to stiff, extended fingers, and back again. Her nails lengthened, exposing her razor sharp claws as she stepped over to the mouthy woman. Her eyes never left her target.
Other books by Larynn Ford:
When she becomes the victim of several life-threatening incidents all in one week, it seems fate is out to put an end to Lynzi Lancaster. Her close calls with death trigger a series of dreams about a magical place and a certain man who broke her heart twenty years ago, Layne Brady. Could her life get any stranger?
When the star of her dreams announces, in person, that he had faked his death for twenty years in order to protect her, oh, and that he’s not actually human, the fireworks begin. Does she believe his extraordinary story of another world, the magical world of the Fae? Do fairies really exist? Should she trust her heart? Could her dreams come true?
All I Want For Christmas is a Soul Mate . . .
This year’s delightful collection of Christmas short stories features a multitude of romantic genres all with one common theme: during the holiday season, nothing’s better than spending it with the one you love.
Twenty talented Soul Mate authors have put together an anthology that’s sure to please any reader who enjoys their romance with a splash of Christmas cheer: A time-traveling Highlander brings comfort and joy to a young woman grieving her lost family . . . Best friends, both widowed, suddenly see each other through new eyes during a snowed-in Christmas Eve; A royal prince and a commoner fall in love despite their differences and a handful of untruths, thanks to a wreath that grants wishes . . . An alien race understands the simple reward of giving, when their human captive does not . . . Young lovers planning a Christmas wedding find their promise to each other is put to the ultimate test . . . A ghostly groom refuses to stay away from the woman he loves . . . For two modern believers, a magical, mystical visit to Bethlehem on the night of the Christ Child’s birth is both a joy and a responsibility . . . And many more heartwarming, romantic stories celebrating ‘The Season To Be Jolly.’
Please join us as we tell a few tales, raise a glass of holiday cheer, and deck the halls with romance as well as boughs of holly!
Larynn Ford is intrigued by the paranormal. She’s a day dreamer and a romantic. She loves to let her mind wander always searching for a happily ever after ending to her dreams.
At home in East Central Alabama, she worked as a cook and cashier before becoming a wife and mother. Earned a degree in Elementary Education, taught school, and worked in customer service. All the while her day dreams stacked up in the archives of her mind waiting for, well…
She put some of those ideas on paper and began writing in 2009. Larynn’s first effort involves the reuniting of two lost loves through a series of dreams involving the magical land of the Fae. It’s not all fun and games though since danger lurks in the shadows and must be dealt with.
In 2010, she joined Romance Writers of America and chose the Southern Magic Chapter in Birmingham, Alabama as her local support group.
She’s going to keep on dreaming and searching for those happy endings.
Thanks Larynn for sharing about your wonderful new novel, Rescued, and letting us meet your rescued pot belly…Oreo! It was great fun. 🙂
As I began writing this week’s post, I was transported back to a musical time of my youth. One I remember fondly, and much to my kids chagrin, still play constantly.
Please enjoy the 80’s while you meet Crystal Firsdon as she discloses things you probably don’t know about her and, of course, tells us all about her new release…
What was one of your music preferences in high school?
I loved, what back then was called, Alternative music.
Yikes! You are speaking my language. I love, love, loved everything you’ve listed, so… I’ve given everyone videos to enjoy the sounds of the 80’s. Ahh, flashback!
Siousxie and the Banshees.
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
This was my big sister’s influence since I was the furthest thing from alternative. I did all the school musicals, sang in varsity choir and performed in the show choir (cue jazz hands), and cheered all through high school. Clearly, not alternative.
But I sure thought I was alternative-rocker cool. Remember how Ally Sheedy’s character in The Breakfast Club danced? She just kinda hopped around and closed her eyes and let her head roll around.
I actually danced like that at Cheerleading camp! And Show choir camp! (I was all about the camps.)
One of my favorite movies, just indoctrinated my kids a couple of years ago…they loved it too, even years and years and years later. 🙂
Do you have a pet?
What?! That’s crazy. You’re a parent, get your kids a dang pet!
I do not have any pets. Here’s why . . .
The day I finally got to deal with my—and only my—poop, well, that was one of the greatest days of my life.
I had pets growing up, but didn’t really do the poop-scooping. I grew up, moved out, and got married. I thought, Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have a pet again?
Then I had kids. And had to deal with poop that wasn’t mine. It was then that I realized there was no way on earth I would ever get an animal that poops. There are very few things about parenting that I don’t enjoy, but top on that list was wiping butts. Hear me, folks: Poop that isn’t mine . . . <can’t finish sentence due to gagging>
My kids began asking for a dog a couple of years ago.
Them: Mom, can we get a dog?
Me: You know you’ll have to follow a dog around and clean up its poop, don’t you? No matter how hot or cold it is outside, you’ll have to walk that dog and pick up its poop with only a bag over your hand.
Them: Ewwwww! No way!
Me: I know, right. What do you guys want for dinner?
Now my kids are a little older and beg for a dog. They swear they’ll follow it around and clean up its poop. Early in the morning? No big deal, they say. Frigid temps, steaming hot? We’ll still do it, they promise. I don’t believe them. I tell them to go play with our neighbors’ dogs. There’s lots to choose from.
So, until a dog learns to do this:
immediately after conducting business, I can’t. I just can’t. Sorry, kids.
What is one of the most embarrassing things that’s happened to you?
Picture this: A ninth grade economics class. A twenty-three year old student teacher—me. An overhead projector. (Remember those? This was before SmartBoards and a lot of the fancy technology you see in classrooms today.)
I was teaching a lesson on supply and demand. This includes graphing, which is best demonstrated on a big screen, hence the overhead projector. I had the grease pen in my hand. Of course the cap was off because I was explaining and graphing at the same time.
Then my face itched. Caught up in the moment, and stupidly forgetting the cap wasn’t on, I itched my face with the grease pen. In other words, I scribbled all over my cheek in front of a bunch of a bunch of fourteen and fifteen year olds. This wasn’t just a quick up and down with the grease pen. This was a holy-crap-my-cheek-really-itches-just-let-me-rub-the-pen-over-my-entire-cheek-for-a-good-long-time type of itch. The whole class burst out in gut-wrenching laughter at the same time I wondered why my cheek suddenly felt wet.
It gets better (for you, the reader. Worse for me.) The teacher whose class I was student teaching in had a doctor’s appointment for the afternoon of that lesson. Instead of paying for a half-day substitute, who would do nothing more than sit there since I did all the teaching at that point, the principal decided he would sit in the class in place of the teacher.
That’s right, I drew on my face in the middle of a lesson while the principal sat in the back of the class. There was supposed to be a retirement in the Social Studies department at the end of the year, and I was gunning for that job. Well, hey. At least the principal would remember me.
Oh wait, he already remembered me because he was a teacher at my junior high school in a different district. I failed one class in junior high—Drafting. (In my defense, I just cannot draw or make stuff with my hands. At all. Seriously, take a look at my last attempt at making a cake for one of my kid’s birthday party.
That . . . thing was supposed to be a Transformers cake. I decided not to embarrass my child so I grabbed a fork and dug in. Then my mom called and convinced me to send her a picture of my failure so she could laugh at my expense.
Anyhoo, guess who my Drafting teacher was. Yup, the now principal who watched me make a doofus of myself.
Luckily, I laughed at myself along with the students (and principal). It took a few minutes, but everyone eventually got back on track and I finished the lesson.
First chance I got, I went to the bathroom and scrubbed my cheek until it was practically raw. The marks didn’t come off all the way, but they were faint. I took a deep breath and made my way back to the classroom. The principal passed me in the hallway, stopped in his tracks, and said, “What? I don’t see anything on your face.” Then he just walked off.
LOL, that is sooo funny!
And now I bring you…
BACK COVER BLURB
1 creep. 2 bodyguards. 3 men who change Molly’s life forever.
Guitar player Molly Davis is taunted with disturbing gifts by some creep she hopes like heck is a harmless, misguided fan. The owner of the bar where her band plays isn’t taking any chances, however, and hires Gabe Cooper and Caleb “Ram” Ramsey to stand guard over Molly and the rest of the band.
Cooper is all business and doesn’t mess with Molly’s emotions. She can handle that. Ram is a different story. He’s gorgeous, has a good heart, and is sometimes infuriating. He doesn’t take Molly’s crap, giving him the potential to be the first man to shove his way through her stubbornness and into her life.
But a violent attack proves the creep isn’t going away. And that almost wrecks everything.
I unplugged my guitar and set it in its case, then grabbed the towel I always brought and wiped the sweat off my face and neck. Some guy yelled out a semi-lewd yet oddly flattering comment about my ass as I stood up, so I cracked a smile and half-waved. If I wasn’t already so hot I’m sure they would’ve seen my face turn red. The air conditioning in Brett’s Bar was fighting a losing battle thanks to August’s high heat and humidity and the couple hundred customers, many of whom had been dancing.
Since turning the big three-oh a couple weeks earlier, vocal appreciation of my backside didn’t bother me like it did ten years ago, but it still made me blush.It was nice to know that all the hours I’d put into running, yoga, lifting weights, and dancing wasn’t wasted.
But man, good thing whoever yelled that couldn’t smell me.
“The Song Wreckers, baby, yeah!”
I smiled bigger. Song Wreckers fans were the best. They had to have been roasting hot, and we were done playing our three sets, but they still cheered for us as if it were starting—rather than quitting—time.
“Good Lord,” Katie, my best friend and lead singer said, “It’s hotter ‘n hell in here.”
Fanning my face with my hand, I asked the rest of the band, “You guys wanna sit outside for a few before packing up?”
I needed fresh air and a cool breeze, but wasn’t going to stand in the back alley by myself while everyone else did all the work.
Courtney set down her violin case. “I could use a few minutes outside.” She looked at her husband, Josh. “You coming?”
“Yeah. I’ll grab some waters.” Josh set his drum sticks across his snare and headed toward the bar, while Katie yanked the curtain aside that ran along the back of the stage so we could hop down.
Once off the stage we took the few steps to open the door that led into the back alley where we all parked. Our footsteps crunched on the gravel as we each found a spot against the wall to lean, away from the Dumpster and our cars. The humidity was high, but the breeze was strong enough to feel somewhat refreshing, even with the smell of garbage twenty feet away. I lifted my ponytail to let the air cool my neck.
None of us four girls talked. After being in a loud bar for the past few hours, the quiet was a welcome change.
Josh walked out and handed each of us a cold bottled water. I rubbed mine on the front and back of my neck before opening it and guzzling half the bottle.
He walked toward his wife, and because he was wearing heavy boots, the crunch of gravel practically echoed.
“God, that’s a creepy sound,” I said. “Especially late at night with no one else around.”
Our bass player Heather hummed the “Doo-doot, doo-doot” of the Jaws theme song, then said, “Seriously, Molly. We’ve been parking in this alley for years. Nothing scary has ever happened back here.”
The Song Wreckers had been playing at Brett’s for almost a decade, but six months ago we struck a deal with Brett to play at his bar exclusively the first Friday and Saturday of every month, known as Wreckers Weekends. We were tired of traipsing our asses all over metro Detroit to play. A once a month set schedule, Brett’s makes a killing during Wreckers Weekends, total win-win.
“Hey, Mol. Speaking of scary,” Katie twanged. Her southern accent was always more pronounced when she was tired. “Can you believe this is the last Wreckers Weekend before the school year starts?”
We were both high school teachers and had to report back to work at the end of the month. “I just hope it cools down by then. Being in a room with thirty sweaty teenagers . . .” I took another drink. “Yuck.”
The back door opened and all our heads turned to see Brett poke his head out. “Good show, guys. As always. You need any help getting your stuff off the stage?”
He knew we never wanted help because it was faster and easier to set up and break down the equipment ourselves, but he was a good guy with a huge crush on Katie so I resisted rolling my eyes. “No thanks, we’re good. Just needed some fresh air. We’ll be back in soon.”
“Okay then. Uh, Katie, can I speak to you for a minute?” Brett asked.
I whipped my head toward Heather and Courtney. The lighting in the alley was crap, but it was just enough to see them smile. We all knew Katie had as big a crush on him as he did on her. Heather’s lips parted to speak, but she was close, so I put my hand over her mouth.
“Leave them alone,” I whispered to Heather. Katie stood up straighter and followed Brett inside. I tapped her arm for support as she passed me. “Do not ruin this for them.”
Heather pushed away my hand. “Dude. How long have we been waiting for him to make his move? I gotta say something.”
I glanced at the ground behind me to make sure there was nothing nasty, then sat in the gravel, legs out in front. “Better watch out, you may be a Wrecker, but that man is your boss.”
Heather was both Brett’s right hand girl at the bar and our bass player. She chuckled. “Dude, I can’t help it. Watching those two get all flustered with each other is funny.”
It was funny. If they started dating, I would miss it.
We spent another couple of minutes cooling off, then went inside to pack up our equipment. The crowd had finally settled down some, and the area around the bar wasn’t so clustered. Brett was nowhere to be seen, so he and Katie were probably in his office. God, I hoped he was finally going to ask her out.
I wound a cable from elbow to hand. Kyle hopped up and sat on the edge of the stage.
“Hey, what’s up?” I asked. “I’m surprised Midnight isn’t playing tonight.” Kyle plays bass for Crawling Home After Midnight, a damn good grunge band. He’d also played for The Song Wreckers between our original bass player and Heather.
He shrugged. “We play tomorrow night. Sorry about Adam earlier.”
I rolled my eyes. Ah, Adam. The kind of man who gave all men a bad name. He had a hard time taking “No!” for an answer, and carried himself as if he were God’s gift to everything. Adam was a great drummer, and I liked the rest of his band, but I preferred to steer clear of him.
Adam heckled us a bit tonight, but Katie put him in his place by dedicating our song “You Suck, Let Me Tell You Why” to him. He seemed to take it in good fun.
“Don’t sweat it. So where you guys playing tomorrow night?”
Kyle and I chatted about Midnight’s upcoming gigs, then Heather, Josh, Courtney and I set our equipment off the back of the stage in the hall by the back door, ready to be loaded into Josh and Courtney’s van.
Katie and Brett walked out of his office, Katie trying to suppress her excitement. We’ve been best friends since the first day of ninth grade, so I knew she was trying to play it cool but was really bursting inside.
I watched Brett walk back behind the bar. Heather shoved the door open and we each grabbed a piece of equipment and brought it outside.
I shot Heather a don’t you dare look. “So?” I asked Katie with a huge smile.
She stopped walking toward the van and turned to me with an exited look. “He’s taking—” Her excitement turned to confusion. “Molly, what is that on your car?”
“I believe it’s called a large trash receptacle, known by its more socially accepted name, Dumpster. What happened with Brett? Come on, spill.”
“He’s taking me out to lunch tomorrow. Not by your car, on your car, idiot. That.” She pointed to the hood of my Jeep.
I spotted the . . . whatever is was the crap lighting couldn’t let me make out on my hood, and jogged over to it.
“Mol, stop! You don’t know what it is,” Katie yelled. “Let Josh get it.”
Josh hopped out of the van when he heard her. “What should you let me get?”
Katie pointed to it. “That thing on her hood.” The rest of the band walked over to my Jeep.
The lump was actually a big, brown teddy bear holding a heart with its hands. Cute, I guess. The heart was shiny red with an opening at the top where a mix of multi-colored roses stuck out. Crammed in with the flowers was a piece of paper with something written on it.
“It’s a teddy bear,” I announced. “Just another Wreckers fan with a crush.” Crushes were usually aimed toward Katie, though, and didn’t involve gifts left on anyone’s vehicle. More like business cards slid in our back pockets, or names with phone numbers scribbled on cocktail napkins and left on the stage.
Courtney took a step closer and craned her neck forward. “Is that a note in the heart? What does it say?”
I picked up the bear to read the note and noticed a stick, maybe six or eight inches long, protruding from its back. Someone had taken the time to rip a hole in the seam of its back to shove the stick into it. What the fuck? Not cute. I took out the note and had to turn to get in the beam of the alley’s one light to be able to make out what it said.
It also had a hand drawn smiley face.
“Good Lord,” Katie said next to me. “How did we not see that? We were just out here.”
I handed the bear to Courtney and she examined it, turning it all the way around. “Do any of you know anything about this?” she asked the others. Of course everyone said no.
“Dude. That is disturbing. Especially the smiley face,” Heather said. “Who the hell did this?”
No one with a crush, that’s for sure. “I don’t know.” I took the bear from Courtney and threw it in the Dumpster.
“Mol, you shouldn’t have done that. You should’ve taken it to the police station or something,” Katie insisted.
“For what?” I asked. “Listen, don’t make a big deal out of this. It’s someone trying to be funny. Let’s go.”
The Song Wreckers were a country band, but our fans were all types. Including creepy, disturbing freaks who liked to scare guitar players apparently.
Heather was right, a creepy ass bear left on my Jeep was disturbing and I drove home feeling uneasy. I don’t know if the stick in the back or being called a bitch bothered me more. The stick in the back was mildly threatening, sure, but I am not a bitch and I don’t like being called one. Maybe the bear from Hell was meant for Katie or Heather. Not that I wanted it to be meant for them, but they’re more likely a target for a creep. They’re the ones who go out in the crowd and party it up during our breaks, not me. I usually hang out in Brett’s office and read or stretch or rest my eyes. Most likely Katie or Heather flirted with a guy who became infatuated with one of them. And he obviously didn’t know whose vehicle was whose.
The whole thing was stupid. And somewhat upsetting and definitely annoying. This was probably orchestrated by some jerk trying to get a rise out of me or one of the other girls. After all, my name wasn’t on the thing.
I chose to ignore the creepy bear because most likely this was the end of it.
Right, and monkeys will fly out my ass.
Crystal Firsdon is a former high school teacher, turned stay-at-home mom, turned part time substitute teacher and school volunteer.
Of course she loves to read, but any book she picks up must have romance! Crystal lives in Michigan with her husband and children.
Well, would you? Okay, maybe not murder… but how would you like a second chance for anything?
Ann Lacey is here today and she knows all about A Second Chance for Murder.
Read on as Ann Lacey she shares a bit about herself and tells us all about her new release from Soul Mate Publishing…
A Second Chance for Murder
What is your favorite decade and why?
Definitely the Sixties! My growing up years.Having brothers I watched westerns, campy sci-fi movies on Chiller Theater, and went to the first James Bond Movie starring Sean Connery (whom my eldest brother desperately tried to emulate but somehow his New Jersey accent didn’t fit the savvy spy’s persona).
I jumped rope outside with my friends (never got the hang of double-dutch, kept getting hit in the head with the rope, ouch!) and my roller skates were made of metal and had a key to tighten the fit which, to my mother’s dismay, ruined more than a few pair of my PF Flyers (sneakers). I talked for hours on the phone with my best friend. (We still talk today, but not at marathon length).
Yes, I was one of those hysterical girls screaming at the first sight of the Beatles.
I wore miniskirts (legs were in better shape, then), my hair was as short as Twiggy’s and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.
The sixties was a decade of change, some good, others sad but will always remain the decade filled with many of my fondest memories.
I thought this video would go perfect while reading about A Second Chance for Murder. Push play and see if you agree!
What is your favorite childhood TV show?
Westerns were the rage during my youth and my favorite was Bonanza.
It was the first western to be televised in color but that wasn’t the reason I sat glued to the TV screen every Sunday night.
I had a huge crush (my first) on Michael Landon who played the youngest Cartwright son, Little Joe.I promptly joined the Bonanza fan club and received an autographed photo of the cast, an official ID fan club card and, of course, a picture of the Ponderosa Map, the one that was seen at the opening of the show (wish I had kept that!)
I confess to owning a few DVD’s and will occasionally watch on old rerun on TV.
Sitting next to my laptop I have a Bonanza cup that holds my paper clips. Ok, so I’m still a fan!
Do you have any pets?
Currently, we have 2 dogs and 4 cats. Henna and Molly (dogs) Lulu, Kitty, Kiki and Hunter (cats).
All are rescues and each one has their own quirks and unique personality.
Take Lulu for instance. She is a junk food junkie. Just open a bag of chips and Lulu magically appears. She also loves spaghetti. Lulu doesn’t like the company of the other felines and spends most of her day with the dogs and has been known to steal from their food bowls.
Here she is enjoying one of her favorite snacks which she was busted after knocking it off the kitchen counter.
A Dorito eating Kitty…love it!
A Second Chance for Murder…
When local authorities are unable to find the culprit who murdered her dearest friend, Lady Thora Mannington decides to take the matter in hand and find the killer herself!
Fearing for his sister’s safety, her brother, Nyle, turns to his friend Garren Huntscliff for help.Though his investigating days are over, Garren cannot refuse his troubled friend and takes the case. Complicating his efforts is the lovely Lady Thora, who insists on joining forces with him yet refuses to adhere to his cautions and continually places herself at risk and is so disarmingly enchanting that he finds himself falling for her. Now Garren has two things on his mind: finding a crafty and elusive killer and keeping the reckless Lady Thora from becoming a victim.
Excerpt from A Second Chance for Murder
Satisfied that all her suspects had arrived, Thora startedto return to her seat to have a second cup of tea when suddenlythree voices rang out in unison, “Who is he?”Turning back to the window, Thora peered out in time to see a man ducking his head to alight from his carriage. Planting twohighly polished black boots on the ground, he unfolded hisextremely tall frame. From beneath a jacket of light woolbroadcloth, his massive shoulders pulled back to stretch. Hewore his thick, chestnut-colored hair long, swept back from hisface. His nose was straight and his chin firm.
Thora’ strained to see the color of his eyes, but they werehidden under such dark, long lashes that it seemed almost sinfulfor a man to possess them.“Do you know him, Thora?” Lauryn whispered excitedly.“No, I don’t,” Thora replied, without removing her gazefrom the stranger. “A friend of Nyle’s, I suppose.” Gazing downon the tree-sized stranger, Thora suddenly felt heated, as ifshe were standing dangerously close to a raging fire. When thenewcomer’s footman closed the gleaming black-lacquered door ofhis master’s carriage, her keen eyes noticed a brass familycrest that seemed vaguely familiar. A shield. Narrowing hereyes, she saw what appeared to be a raised symbol of some sort,proudly displayed at its center. Now where had she seen thatbefore? She only knew that it had been some years ago in theearly days of her youth.
Suddenly, as if he knew he was being watched, the striking,large-framed visitor suddenly looked up at the library windows.His perceptive gaze startled her three companions. Gasping,Floris, Lauryn, and Cecilia stumbled backward from theirconcealed viewing spot, tumbling over one another like circusThora rolled her eyes but, unlike the other three girls,she stood her ground, meeting the stranger’s stare with one ofher own. She was taken back when an unhurried smile spreadacross his face. That, she did not return. “Insolent rogue!” shemuttered under her breath, roughly pulling the curtains shut. Ina huff, she stalked back to her seat and dropped down onto itscushion. Quickly, she poured a much-needed cup of tea, sippingit slowly to hide the flush in her cheeks.
I love art deco, would feel naked not wearing a wrist watch, have a small but growing collection of rooster figurines and much to my family’s bewilderment can watch a favorite movie (especially film noir) more than once in a single day.
I have recently moved to North Carolina where I am renovating a historical townhome built in 1920. If I can accomplish one thing with my writing it would be my wish to entertain.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of A Second Chance for Murder by Ann Lacey. Just click on the cover and buy for only $2.99 from Amazon.
Thanks so much for being here, Ann! It’s been a blast.
Please leave a comment and let us know if you’d like a second chance for… anything. There are two things in my life I’d like a second chance for. Now, I could tell you what they were…but then I’d have to kill you…muwhahahaha. 🙂
Welcome Linda Bennett Pennell who’s come to talk about her new release, Confederado do Norte, her shopaholic dog, and Maverick.
Be sure to scroll all the way down and read an excerpt from Confederado do Norte!
Linda, do you have a pet?
My husband and I share our home with a brown-headed German Short-haired Pointer who is absolutely convinced she is a little girl, one who loves to shop. When we take her to Petsmart, she goes straight to the toy aisle and tests every plush, squeeky toy until she finds just the right one. She then picks it up in her mouth and starts tugging toward the checkout counter. Her business is done. It’s time to go home so she can play with her new toy. She’s only a little spoiled!Awww, she’s a shopaholic!
Where does Confederado do Norte take place? Why did you choose that location? Have you ever been there?
Confederado do Norte is set primarily in Brazil. Thank goodness for Google Maps and Google Earth! They allowed me to see what the countryside looks like in a place I’ve never been. The story setting was determined by actual historical facts upon which my work of fiction is based. After the American Civil War, some Southerners decided they wouldn’t live with the terms of Reconstruction. When Emperior Dom Pedro II offered free land in exchange for agricultural expertise, the defeated Confederates jumped at the chance to start afresh.My novel is the story of a young girl forced to move into the Brazilian wilderness where the woman she becomes must recreate herself in order to survive.
What is your favorite childhood TV show and what do you remember fondly about it?
Oooooo, not difficult at all. As a young girl, I was in love with Brett Marverick played by James Garner.If you’ve never seen a picture of him as a young man, Google him and take a look. Be still my beating heart!I Google’d, and Yum!!!
I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to herself or himself, “Let’s pretend.”I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one German Shorthaired Pointer who thinks she’s a little girl.Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire
October, 1866. Mary Catherine is devastated when her family emigrates from Georgia to Brazil because her father and maternal uncle refuse to accept the terms of Reconstruction following the Confederacy’s defeat. Shortly after arrival in their new country, she is orphaned, leaving her in Uncle Nathan’s care. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his sister’s death. She despises him because she believes Nathan murdered her father. When Mary Catherine discovers Nathan’s plan to be rid of her as well, she flees into the mountain wilderness filled with jaguars and equally dangerous men. Finding refuge among kind peasants, she grows into a beauty, ultimately marrying the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. Happiness and security seem assured until civil unrest brings armed marauders who have an inexplicable connection to Mary Catherine. Recreating herself has protected Mary Catherine in the past, but this new crisis will demand all of the courage, intelligence, and creativity she possesses simply to survive.
Chapter 1I dreamt the dream again last night. In the small hours, I awoke in a tumble of bedclothes and bathed in perspiration despite the howling snowstorm blanketing the city. I rearranged quilts and plumped pillows, but sleep remained elusive. My mind refused to be quiet.As often happens after such a night, I felt unable to rise at my usual hour and remained abed long after the maids cleared breakfast from the morning room. My daughter-in-law, bless her heart, meant well. I told her it was ridiculous to bring the doctor out on such a frigid day, but apparently the very old, like the very young, are not to be trusted in matters of judgment. After the doctor listened to my chest, a studied sympathy filled his eyes and he gently suggested that perhaps I should get my affairs in order. No doubt he wondered at my smile for he couldn’t have known I have no affairs other than my memories and the emotions they engender. Unlike most elderly persons, I don’t revel in slogging through the past. It isn’t wrapped in pretty ribbons or surrounded by a golden aura. Instead, its voices haunt my dreams, demanding and accusatory. Until recently, I’ve resisted their intrusion into my waking life, but I now believe the past can no longer remain buried in nocturnal visions. It must be brought out into the light of day. From its earliest moments onward, the past’s substance must be gouged out, pulled apart, and examined bit by bit until its truth is exposed. While total objectivity may not be possible, I have concluded that committing the past to paper is my best hope for sorting facts from imaginings. Perhaps then I will achieve the peace that has so long hidden its face from me. You see, when I was quite young—only a girl really—I killed four people. Two were dearly beloved, one was a hated enemy, and the last was a dangerous criminal.Chapter 2My story begins at the end of a terrible war, one that destroyed many lives and much property. But for that war and a handful of newspaper editorials and advertisements, my life would have turned out quite differently. Sometimes it seems no time at all has passed since I was a nine-year-old child standing on the deck of a ship watching home disappear over the horizon. Warm Gulf breezes tugged at the brim of my bonnet, setting its ribbons dancing. Leaning over the Alyssa Jane’s railing, I stared back in the direction of Mobile Bay and pretended I could see the dock where my beloved Bess stood, probably still waving. Mama, her pretty features marred by a furrowed brow and down turned mouth, paced beside me. “Mary Catherine MacDonald! Get down before you fall overboard. All we need right now is another crisis. And stop wiping your nose on your sleeve.” Mama didn’t seem to understand anything anymore. Before we left home, she was calm and kind. Afterward, she snapped at the least little thing. Click to buy from Amazon
Thanks Linda for sharing with us, can’t wait to read both your novels!