Research comes in all forms and from all places…
When my husband and I were first married I discovered a horrible truth about him: he didn’t read for pleasure. Oh sure, he read journal after journal of medical minutia to keep up on the latest things he needed to know for his practice, but the simple act of reading for the shear pleasure of it was alien to him.
Until he married me, of course.
I wanted him to learn the joy of relaxing with a good book , so I came up with a very simple plan. We would choose a novel together and then each night one of us would read a chapter aloud to the other. We did this for quite a while and one of our favorite writers was James Herriot, the author of the All Creatures Great and Small series. It was while reading through that series I began ruminating on a story line of my own about a family of veterinarians.
By reading the Herriot books, I began to see how I could structure the life of a veterinarian, his loves, his losses, and how he dealt with everyday life as he did with the animals he cared for. He would need a strong willed woman by his side-that was a given-and their love affair would need to be the kind filled with obstacles, both professionally and personally, and life’s usual ups and downs.
Decades later, my veterinarian family was born on the page.
On May 6, my second novel in the MacQuire Woman Series will be released, titled, There’s No Place Like Home. It tells the story of a veterinarian’s daughter, Moira Cleary, and her best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton. Quentin has loved two things his entire life: horses and Moira. His reputation for being a profound “horse whisperer” is solid, and he uses his talents and love to help heal a broken Moira when she returns home after four years of traveling with a professional symphony.
Working with horses is a subspecialty of veterinary care, and Quentin needed to have a broad knowledge of the animals in addition to his natural healing essence and nature. To give him that knowledge base, I began devouring books on horses: their anatomy and physiology, information on breeding, ancestry…you name it. I spent hours trolling the Internet for information on horses and watched every movie about them I could find. By the time I started writing the book I felt I knew more about horses than I’d ever use. Some simple facts helped in various scenes, such as, horses have 360 degree vision and have the largest eyes of any other land mammal. They drink about 25 gallons of water per day and you can tell if they are dehydrated by pinching their skin. These facts Quentin would need to know to effectively treat a sick horse, and he uses this info in the book.
Research is valuable, in whatever form it comes in. I will never be a horse whisperer, treat an ailing stallion or a pregnant mare. But because of that love of the Herriot books, I have created a stable of men who can. Quentin Stapleton is one of them.
Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.
Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her - and with him - forever?
“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”
Confused, Moira nodded.
Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you can kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”
“I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”
He nodded. “The exact quote was, ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”
Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever gonna kiss me.”
“He wasn’t known for tact back then.” He rubbed a hand down her back as he held her. “Remember what happened later on behind the barn?”
Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she nodded again, he said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you – quote - felt safe with me – unquote.”
“What was I? Eleven?”
“Thirteen. And I was more than willing. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”
“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hands resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”
“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”
Peggy Jaeger’s love of writing began in the third grade when she won her first writing contest with a short story titled THE CLOWN. After that, there was no stopping her. Throughout college and after she became a Registered Nurse, she had several Nursing Journal articles published, in addition to many mystery short stories in Literary Magazines. When her daughter was born, Peggy had an article titled THE VOICES OF ANGELS published and reprinted in several parenting magazines, detailing the birth and the accident that almost turned this wonderful event into a tragedy. She had two children’s books published in 1995 titled THE KINDNESS TALES and EMILY AND THE EASTER EGGS, which was illustrated by her artist Mother-in-Law. While her daughter grew, Peggy would write age appropriate stories for her to read along with, and finally, to read on her own. Her YA stories are usually mysteries involving smart and funny 12-13 year old girls and an unusual collection of friends and relatives. They all take place in the 1980’s.
In 2005 she was thrilled to have an article on motherhood placed in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR VERY MOTHER’S SOUL edition. She has won several awards in various Writer’s Digest short story and personal article categories over the years. Recently, she has placed first in the Dixie Kane 2013 Memorial Contest in the Short/Long Contemporary romance Category, and in the Single Title Contemporary Category, and third place in the ICO Romance Contest for 2013.
A life-long and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Peggy has embraced the techno age and writes for three blogs, all detailing events in her life. One titled, 50 pounds for 50 years is a personal blog about weight loss, one about her life as an EMPTY NESTER and her most recent one MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE, a humorous and informative guide through this time in a woman’s life.
Her first romance novel, SKATER’S WALTZ, book 1 in the MacQuire Women Series, was released on March 4, 2015 from the Wild Rose Press. The second book in the series, There’s No Place Like Home will be released on May 6.
Social Media Sites:
I love it when fiction echoes a real-life event, so I was delighted to read this post from today’s guest, Angelina Jameson. I hope you enjoy this short personal family story.
The Family Legend
I’m very new at this guest blogging thing. Who would have thought picking a topic to blog about could be so nerve-wracking. I had intended writing a post about an historical subject. I changed my mind when I received a phone call from my youngest sister after she read A Lady’s Addiction.
“Did you base the scene about the married couple breaking dishes on mom and dad?” My sister asked.
“Yes, I did!” I was thrilled she had seen the similarity of the scene to one of our family’s legends. She was thrilled I had used a memory from our childhood in a book.
I’m not sure how old I was when the ‘breaking every dish in the house’ event occurred. I do believe I was at school. My mom was a stay at home mom. There were nine of us kids in the house plus Uncle Bob, an old family friend who worked with my dad. The play by play I received of the event came from Uncle Bob.
Evidently my mom was irritated with something my dad had said and threw a plate on the floor. My dad said, “I can do that too,” and proceeded to throw his own plate on the floor. From there both my parents began to clear out all the cupboards and drawers of breakable dishes and hurl them on the floor. When there were no dishes left to throw, Uncle Bob said he got up from the kitchen table were he sat observing the spectacle and started to clean up the mess with a broom and dustpan. My parents laughed at themselves and made up. If they made up the way the characters in my book do, Uncle Bob didn’t tell me. Thank goodness.
Does your family have its own legend? I would love to hear about it. One reader who leaves a comment on this blog post will receive a $10 Amazon gift ca
A Lady’s Addiction
Can two people with very different needs find happiness together?
Anna, a widow battling alcohol addiction is convinced she is worthless unless she bears a child. She hires a lover to prove she is not frigid and may marry again and have children.
Devlyn, sterile from an accident, has returned from an assignment for the Foreign Office and inadvertently becomes Anna’s lover.
Anna and Devlyn join forces to protect an innocent child from a blackmailer. Can they come to terms not only with their feelings for each other but whether they will allow society to dictate the true significance of life?
She couldn’t remember the question she’d asked. His nearness unsettled her. Her entire body had flared into wakefulness the moment he entered her room. Cecily could be right; this man might be able to help with her problem.
Tonight she would play a part. She would emulate the sophisticated façade her friend Cecily Pickerel displayed. The scandalous nightgown underneath her thin robe was in fact a gift from Cecily. She would never have had enough courage to buy such a shocking garment for herself.
“You are discreet?”
“What is your name?” Franco asked, ignoring her question.
Somewhere in the back of her mind she remembered Cecily telling her she needn’t share personal information. She would never see this man again. He didn’t move in her circles. With the slightest of shrugs, she answered truthfully, “Anna.”
“Anna,” he said in a husky rasp. The way her name rolled off his tongue sent the lightest frisson along her skin. “It is a graceful, pretty name. It suits you.”
“There is no need to flatter me.” She felt heat on her cheeks. “It is a common enough name.”
“Despite our current situation, my dear, I do not believe you are at all common.”
I joined the US Air Force to see the world. My dreams of visiting the United Kingdom were fulfilled when I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk, England. Five years later I returned to the states having acquired a wonderful husband and a love of all things British. I began writing as a hobby when my husband was remote to Honduras for a year. I found RWA and a local New Mexico chapter, LERA, and my hobby developed into a dream of sharing my stories with others. I currently live in the great state of Alaska with my husband and our two teenage boys.
The History of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Veterans suffering from PTSD is not new. Men who go to war have suffered from flashbacks, night terrors, withdrawal, depression and other stress disorders for centuries. People who undergo any type of traumatic experience can also suffer from the symptoms. Doctors have only recently learned enough about the disorder to offer treatments that work.
Diaries found written by soldiers thousands of years ago reflect their suffering of traumatic stress.
Just imagine walking down the street in your quiet, peaceful hometown and you turn a corner and step onto a battlefield? Perhaps reminiscent of the war zone you left five or ten years ago? Your friends, men you fought beside, lie dying all around you, heat and explosions of mortar fire blasts from all directions. It’s as real as if it were happening and you can’t get away. You can’t escape the horror. It’s not a memory, it’s the real thing. And you have been thrown back into a battle so vivid you believe you are there.
I remember my Dad, who served in the Navy, telling me about a cousin of his who was on a battle ship in the South Pacific during World War II. It was torpedoed and went down. He floated on a piece of the wreckage for fourteen days before being rescued. My Dad said, “He never was the same after that.”
In those days the stress disorder was referred to as shell shock or battle fatigue and veterans were left to get over it or not. The disorder was often misunderstood and seldom treated.
During the Civil War military physicians, at a loss to treat the problems of soldiers, simply mustered the extreme cases out during the first three years of the war. Many Civil War soldiers returned suffering from what was then known as nostalgia or soldier's heart. These men were termed insane and at one time so many wandered about that there was a public outcry. Many starved to death or froze because everyone thought they were crazy and dangerous so they were shunned. This led to the establishment of the first military hospital for the insane in 1863. Most of these were closed down after the war and veterans again wandered the streets.
In earlier times French doctors had termed the symptoms maladie du pays, and the Spanish, confronted with the same reactions among their soldiers, called it estar roto (literally, “to be broken”).
Currently doctors in VA hospitals are treating veterans of Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, and other Middle East conflicts for this disorder once referred to as a syndrome. Some are helped with medication and counseling. Sadly, there are still many homeless veterans who wander the streets, unable or unwilling to get the help they need.
The best thing you can do if you know someone who suffers from PTSD is encourage them to talk to you about their feelings and experiences. You may not be a counselor who can suggest solutions, but you can listen with an open heart and mind and try to be supportive. Show that you care.
And if this is a veteran, don't forget to thank him for his service.
If you think you might be suffering from PTSD, or know someone who is, here's a website that lists the symptoms and will help you find solutions.
This site is the official voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., and offers much more information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (http://www.vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/feature_HistoryPTSD.htm)
Because of my interest in this subject and all the research I’ve done, I have written a few books in which a character suffers from PTSD. The hero in ROWENA’S HELLION is a veteran of the siege of Paris during the Franco Prussian War of 1870-71. He suffers from this stress and the story reflects the way those men were treated in the 1800s. I then wrote ONCE THERE WERE SAD SONGS, about a Vietnam veteran and two friends who wander the country on motor cycles until they meet a woman who influences them so that they take a good look at the futility of their lives. My latest, BEYOND THE MOON, is the story of Glen Tanner, a Vietnam Veteran who returns home from nine years in a POW camp where he suffered extreme torture, and Katy Kelley, whose love helps heal him.
Once There Were Sad Songs
Two lonely people search for a life they've always believed in and find each other at a remote lake in the Ouachita Mountains.
1985 - A Vietnam Vet on the path to destruction and a schoolteacher searching for the life she always dreamed of having find each other at a remote lake in the Ouachita Mountains. Can they embrace this second chance at love or is it too late?
In the summer of 1985, Mary Elizabeth flees a fanatic husband and a cult-like life to search for a meaningful existence. Camped in Ouachita State Park she falls in with three scruffy motorcycle bums after one of them rescues her from some young hoodlums. That one, despite all his nightmare memories, teaches her the true meaning of love and changes her life forever.
Steven, a Vietnam vet and war hero set on the path to destruction with his buddies, never expected to find a woman whose love could help him see how to atone for his misspent life and find happiness again. But once he’s found her and realized the way he must go, it’s impossible to keep her in his life. Or is it?
People are always surprised when they find out that I’m a professional wrestling fan. When I explain to them how much I love it, they are totally blown away. I guess I can understand that. To most people, pro wrestling is just a bunch of grown men play fighting. But to me, wrestling is one of the most entertaining forms of storytelling in existence.
Wrestling is packed with all the classic elements of good storytelling. The wrestlers are characters that grow and evolve over time. These characters engage in feuds with each other, pitting heroes against villains. Alliances are formed, and they are almost always broken. Some storylines can last for years, making them as engaging and detailed as last series you read by your favorite author or the TV show you just finished watching on Netflix.
To top it all off, wrestling matches feature amazing athleticism. The men and women involved perform feats that would lead viewers to believe they have some form of gymnastics or acrobatic training. Wrestlers train for hours a day, honing their craft and developing the skills they need to perform in the ring.
In the past, I’ve compared professional wrestling to ballet. Wrestlers and dancers both assume their roles as they attempt to tell a story through a series of choreographed movements. Though a ballet is choreographed more precisely than a wrestling match might be, the formula is still the fame. Despite this, many hold the world of classical ballet in higher esteem than they do wrestling.
Which brings me back to where I started: many people misunderstand the art of wrestling. I often think that everyone were to give wrestling a shot, they might find themselves surprised by how interesting and intricate it really is.
Hailey Sommers is only home from New York for a few months. So when she reconnects with the one guy she can't forget, will she be able to walk away...again?
Hailey can’t wait to get back to New York City. There she’s a hip children’s book author with a healthy social life. Being back in her hometown of Medford only reminds her of the less-than-cool girl she used to be. Until she runs into Cody, her old partner-in-crime in high school art and the boy she lusted after all four years.
Cody West has everything he could want in Medford, except Hailey. When she left for the big city, there was a hole in his life no other girl could fill. But he’s not sure he wants to open himself to the pain if she leaves again.
A chance encounter at the town coffee shop reignites the chemistry between the pair and is almost enough to make Hailey forget how much she wants to return to the city she’s grown to love. Almost. Wanting it all, Hailey plans to bring Cody back to New York with her. The only catch is that she’s not sure he’ll agree…
I looked up from my netbook screen and there he was: Cody West. The boy I’d lusted after throughout high school. The boy who’d changed my life and didn’t even know it.
He’d grown up since I last saw him at Jessica Mitchell’s graduation party. His sandy hair still cascaded down his forehead, but it no longer perpetually hung down over his big brown eyes. Four years of high school football had kept Cody in shape back when I knew him, but four years of college football had added a little bit of bulk to his lean frame. At least, I assumed he played in college. I knew that he headed off to Temple with a sports scholarship.
Rocking back onto his heels, Cody scanned the glass pastry case, probably looking for something sweet to accompany his coffee. He tossed his hair to the side as he inspected the contents of the case. He always liked sweets. He and I used to pass bags of candy back and forth while Mrs. Cole, our art teacher, wasn't looking. After taking a sip of my cappuccino, I smiled at the memory, glad for the first time that I was back in Medford.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Amelia Swan writes contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and new adult romance. She’s interested in characters that are smart, sincere, and somewhat artistically inclined. All of her heroines are girls she could totally see herself being friends with.
Amelia Swan will be awarding a$15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Tomorrow night at 8:30pm EST yours truly will be appearing live on blog talk radio.
One of my former guests Renee Bernard has graciously invited me to be on her show, the Romance Bookmark.
To say I’m nervous would be an understatement – I’m terrified.
I really shouldn’t be. I mean how many people will really hear it? Not many, so why the fear?
First of all I’m not really that interesting. I’m just an average mom doing her average thing. I wake up early, answer my emails, have a coffee, workout and then get the kids ready for school. When the kids are at school I write.
Deciding what to make for dinner is the hardest choice I have to make.
So what are we going to talk about for 15 minutes? Not much.
The other reason I’m so scared is because …I’m an idiot.
Seriously, in real life I’m always saying the wrong thing. Hiding in my little house and not going out into the big wide world is safest for all concerned. So why did I agree to do the radio show? Because like I said… I’m an idiot.
When my characters say the wrong thing, which happens more than you know, I edit and then I edit again. Unfortunately there’s no editing on live radio.
So tomorrow night for better or worse I will join the fabulous Renee Bernard on the Romance Bookmark. The show is normally full of laughter and fun, and in my case foolishness. I hope you can join us.
For those of you who can’t join us live I will put the podcast link on my appearances page – even if it’s really bad.
Clara Allen needs a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome.
Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.
“Another load of coal,” Clara fretted. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay for it.”
“Have you considered sending me out to work? I could probably earn twice as much as those lads.”
“No. You are supposed to be,” she waved a hand at him, “a gentleman.” He did not look it. At the moment, with his collar wide open at the throat, eyes bright and hair tumbled over his forehead, he looked all rogue. One with whom she ached to go to bed. It was no wonder she couldn’t sleep; she spent all her night time hours thinking about that, about him.
“I’m bored, Clara. I’ve little to do but think, and there’s precious little in my head to think about. You want me to stay here shut in like a damned convalescent. You’ll have to give me some way to occupy myself.”
“I hadn’t thought of that.” Her days were so full with the children—especially Cassie—and the household, she hadn’t considered how his must drag.
“Do you think of me at all?” He stepped closer and her breathing immediately hitched. “Do I mean anything more to you than that steamie?”
“Of course. Though I value Dax very highly, and—”
He stepped still closer; she promptly lost her train of thought.
“Clara, I can’t stand this. Why won’t you come to me at night, if only for the sake of my sanity? This feels like being starved by bits. Do you feel nothing, no want? No need?”
Did she feel nothing? She closed her eyes a moment against the intensity of emotion. He had to know some of what she felt, must feel it the way she gleaned the overflow of the turbulence he experienced.
“Liam, I am trying to protect myself, to protect both of us.”
“How? By killing me over again? You must know how it feels, being denied your presence.”
“You are not denied my presence. You can be in my company any time.”
“Except at night, when I need you most, when I lie there with my sanity in shreds, straining to hold on to myself. You don’t turn Cassie away. Why me?”
“You’re much more dangerous.” The words slipped from Clara before she could hold them back.
“Me, dangerous?” He widened those sky- blue eyes, and Clara’s pulse sped up another notch.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born in Buffalo and raised on the Niagara Frontier, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. To her the spunky, tenacious, undefeatable ethnic mix that is Buffalo spells the perfect setting for a little Steampunk, so she created her own Victorian world there. She knows the people of Buffalo are stronger, tougher and smarter than those who haven’t survived the muggy summers and blizzard blasts found on the shores of the mighty Niagara. Tough enough to survive a squad of automatons? Well, just maybe.
Author web site: www.laurastricklandbooks.com
Author page Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Strickland/e/B001KHSACW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1422994343&sr=1-2-ent
Laura will be awarding a pair of hand-crafted, Steampunk-style pierced earrings - US only - to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a hand-crafted book mark, US only, to a randomly drawn host.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
It has been months since I’ve written a blog so I thought it might be a good idea to catch you up on everything I’ve been doing. So instead of writing a post on history or my other ponderings :) (Do you see what I did there?) I thought I would share some of my recent experience promoting my novellas.
Now, I don’t enjoy promotion, but I do understand that it’s an essential part of the job. I learned this through the school of hard knocks. Nearly twenty years ago my husband and I had a small business in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada. We had a good product and a great service at a bargain price, but the company didn’t grow as anticipated. Why? We were relying too heavily on word of mouth to promote our business and hadn’t budgeted enough money for sales and marketing.
You can have the best product in the world, but if no one’s ever heard of it, it will not be a success. You need to announce your product and make sure everyone knows about it.
That being said, I still have limited experience and knowledge of promotion and marketing, especially when it comes to books.
A Woman of Honour went on sale for two weeks in February. I had a steep learning curve when it comes to promoting a $0.99 sale, but it was a wonderful experience. And then on 4th March A Woman of Love was released and also went on sale. And once again I was plunged into the marketing aspect of writing.
There are websites that promote book deals and send out emails to their subscribers.
Molly Green has a great list on her site at:
One thing that became clear at the outset of my sale was that reviews count. The sites with the best results want books that are cheap and have a lot of reviews on Amazon. The minimum requirements vary from site to site and as I’m only promoting novellas, at this stage, my opportunities were very limited.
I’ve heard some of the big names like Bookbud and Booksends are expensive but have excellent results. Neither of these sites accepts novellas so I can’t share any first hand experience.
I have to admit I haven’t poured a lot of money into promotion. Although I believe you should promote your work, I am reluctant to invest too heavily into subscriber advertising. (This is a return on investment thing. There isn't enough profit margin.) I have decided instead to put my promotion dollars into a review book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. On the grounds that reviews promote sales.
You can find the details on my Appearances and Giveaways page.
The biggest mistake I made with my $0.99 sale was not staggering my promotion efforts so I can’t tell you what worked and what didn’t. How can I tell if Bargain Booksy or Read Freely helped the sale of my books when they both sent out emails to their subscribers on the same day?
Here are some of the sites that take novellas:
Bargain Booksy – they have paid and free advertising: http://www.bargainbooksy.com/sell-more-books/
Hot Zippy - this includes Bargain Ebook hunter, Romance Ebooks and Pixelscroll: http://support.hotzippy.net/?page_id=585
Here are some of the Facebook groups I used:
Marketing for Romance writers
Historical romance addicts
Amazon Book club
Facebook Groups for 99c or Free Ebooks:
What Promotional efforts have worked for you?
My Review: Five out of Five Stars
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I was initially drawn to it because being of Irish stock I wanted to relive some of the memories of my youth, and it didn’t disappoint. The dialogue was authentic, with wonderful descriptions of the sights and sounds of Dublin.
The story takes place on St Patrick’s Day when Sive, driven by the urging of her mother, decides she must choose which one of her three boyfriends to settle down with. Having an Irish catholic mother myself I understand how this can be a plot point.
This story is more of an emotional tale than I expected. Yes there is sex, but it is Sive’s feelings that drive the story.
The only point the stymied me was the naivety of a woman who was sexually involved with three men assuming that those three men were in love with her, and that she was the only woman in their lives, but once you accept her gullibility this is a great short read.
At her mother’s prompting (nagging) about grandchildren, Sive wonders if it really is time to settle down. She’s just finishing college so she should be thinking about her future. But is she ready to settle down? Is she ready for kids? And more importantly, which of the three men she’s been seeing does she want to spend the rest of her life with?
Sive has a choice to make, and only 24 hours in which to make it.
We all make them. From the moment we wake up, it's: “do I get out of bed now or hit the snooze button . . . again?” “shall I wear this outfit to work or that one?” “tea and toast or grab something on the way?”
It's all mundane bullshit. They’re all choices we make on the fly without even realizing we're making them.
Think about it. What choices do you make when you’re not thinking about them? Like going home from work. You get on the train, find a seat and wait for your stop. But when you get there, you wonder how the hell you got there because you don’t remember making the journey.
What I’m trying to say is that we often go on auto-pilot and just do what needs doing without any real thought, because there are usually more pressing things to think about—the important things. Or seemingly so. Like, what movie to see, what restaurant to eat in, where to go on holidays . . . and for some girls, this pair of sensible shoes on sale or another pair not on sale but immensely sexier?
For me, today, my choices aren't so mundane, and they’ll require a lot of conscious thought. I have an important decision to make. One that could change my life forever, pardon the cliché.
They—whoever 'they' are—say there is someone for everyone, that we all have a 'type' of person we're attracted to. I'm still figuring it all out . . . exploring to see what is my type . . . that someone just for me. And it doesn’t help that my mum’s voice is in the back of my head, asking . . . i.e. nagging (yes, I just said i.e.) . . . when I’m going to settle down and give her grandkids.
First, let me say this: I'm not a slut. I'm not loose, I don't carelessly sleep around, and I don't do one-night stands. I just love men and all of their vast differences.
What can I say about my boys that every other woman out there doesn’t already know about men? Charmers, every one of them. But they all give me something I need.
Tonight I need to decide what, or who, I need the most—Fitzy, Moss, or Sully.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kemberlee was born and raised in Northern California in an area known as America's Salad Bowl. It was home to many authors, including John Steinbeck, and for a while Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1997, Kemberlee had the opportunity to live in Ireland for six months, where she ended up meeting a man who convinced her to stay. Kemberlee is now celebrating her eighteenth year in Ireland and has been lucky to travel the country extensively, picking up a cupla focal along the way—a few Irish words.
Kemberlee has been writing since a very young age and over the years she has published dozens of travel articles and book reviews, as well as worked with some notable authors who’ve set their books in Ireland. 2006 saw the publication of Kemberlee’s first two stories, Tutti-Frutti Blues and Dude Looks Like a Lady, set in her hometown. Since then, Kemberlee has published a number of short stories and novels, many of which are set in Ireland.
Get in touch with Kemberlee:
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Heart Shaped Stones -- http://www.heartshapedstones.blogspot.com
Hearticles: Articles with Heart -- http://www.hearticles.blogspot.com
Kemberlee will be giving away - A Piece of Ireland: A real plot of land in Ireland, as part of a land preservation scheme in the West Cork Gaeltacht. This giveaway is an international giveaway.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
My Review: Four Stars out of Five for Unlocked Treasure
Aleen is wracked with misgivings over the break up with her ex, a navy career man who chose the sea over her.
When she meets Braden she’s attracted to him, but he is a treasure hunter, which on the surface seems kind of flighty. As the story progresses, and you get to know him better, you find out that he’s actually a pretty good catch.
Their shared love of history means they have a common ground to build on. But it’s Braden’s attentiveness that chunks a piece off the wall she has erected around herself. He knows she’s special and works to include her in his world. But Can Aleen overcome the fact that his life is entwined with the sea?
Unlocked Treasures is an endearing, heartwarming romance. Although the story is short the characters grow. If you want a short, sweet contemporary read then I recommend this book.
I don’t normally write reviews but I’ve decided to share my opinions on the work of some of my colleagues. All the books I review I have purchased myself with my own money. I do not take review requests, and I only review books that I’ve enjoyed reading. I should point out that this is, as I said, just my opinion.
Will a prophecy keep a lonely woman from accepting the promise of adventure?
Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.
Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion--sailing.
Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden at the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?
Ah, the story of her life—practically invisible. The reminder his first sighting had been of her bikini-clad backside made her blush. Still didn’t change the facts. Aleen squared her shoulders. “I remember, but the Manor grounds are still closed.” Should she be nervous about being alone with this stranger, especially one who ignored posted rules?
“Sorry for the intrusion. Let me start over.” Smiling, he approached and extended his right hand. “My name’s Braden Williams.”
Aleen bit her lower lip, but accepted his hand. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Aleen MacRae.” At the moment their hands clasped, she felt warmth flooding her fingers. With a jerk, she released her grip, tingling sensations running along her skin. Immediately, the scent of fresh air and summer breezes wafted her way. Definitely a man of the sea. Just where I foretold your future lies. Whispers of her great-aunt Zsofika’s prophecy trickled through Aleen’s thoughts. At the memory, her cheeks flamed with heat.
“Wow.” Frowning, Braden flexed his hand and narrowed his gaze then dropped it to his flexing fingers. “That was bizarre.”
“Static electricity, from all that wind yesterday.” A reasonable explanation. In the back of her mind, Aleen could hear Zsofika scoff, “Static schmatic. A connection like that is destiny.”
“Well…” His gaze searched her face. “Aleen—hey, that’s pretty, like the direction alee.” A wide smile exposed even teeth.
Her own smile dimmed. Like I’ve never heard that before. “Thanks.” This guy was not charming his way around the rules. “Sorry, but you’ll need to come back when the gardens are open for visitors. That’s Wednesdays through—”
“Yeah, I read the sign.” He gave a dismissive wave then turned to gaze back at the main house. “But I just needed five minutes to check out some dimensions and the lot layout.”
“So, you woke up this morning and just decided to start out your week by trespassing?”
As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
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