Thursday, December 26, 2013

NEW RELEASE: Mistletoe Madness (A Christmas Novella)

Can best friends ever become lovers?

Radio talk show host, Eve Kingston, would have said her neighbor down the street was one of her best friends in the world. Then Sam kissed her under the mistletoe on a dare from her daughter and her body came out of widow hibernation.

Now Sam says he wants to sleep with her. Eve thinks maybe she wants to see Sam dancing naked in a Santa hat. Madness has obviously taken over both of them.

 Will either of them get their crazy wish for Christmas?

 Click here for purchase links and more information about this title.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Blitz Blog Tour for Dating A Cougar II

During November and December, many wonderful blogs are featuring Dating A Cougar II.  If you get a chance, visit them and sign up for the giveaway.  I'm giving away 1 print copy and 3 ebooks of this release. 

Thanks to all those participating. I'm honored you chose to feature my work.  Your sites are totally wonderful!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fun at IRC 2013

IRC was my 7th conference/convention this year. My energy tank was running close to empty when I went but--WOW--did I get filled up. The attendees were awesome. Conference coordinator Laurie Garrison did incredibly well in keeping the convention on track, especially since popularity and growth had forced us into multiple locations. I averaged 20 plus attendees for every panel and discussion. As an author, it felt very worthwhile. As a fan girl, I loved meeting new authors and seeing some I had been looking forward to meeting for ages.

Next year's convention is already looking incredible. Now that I've sampled the fun, IRC 2014 is going to be a primo reader-author get together that I'll be looking forward to attending again. For those of you interested in possibly attending IRC 2014, here is the mega cool website. Bookmark it for future reference and watch for tickets to go on sale. Laurie is growing the capacity, but I expect it will fill up quickly.

Winner #1
Winner #2

This year I had a contest and two of my readers got to attend. It was so much fun getting to meet them in person and talk to them directly. 

I hope to get to do this sort of giveaway again so watch my sites for information. I'm going to be running this during next summer sometime. That will give winners time to make plans.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Firefighter and eco entrepreneur Walter Graham II is tired of dating beautiful, insecure women who don’t know what they want from life. He wants to date a woman who’s as smart as she is attractive, a woman who turns on both his body and his brain.

He wants to date Jane Fox, but the sexy older woman keeps coming up with logical reasons why a relationship could never work between them.

If he could just get his reluctant ‘cougar’ into bed, Walter is sure he can give that smart mind of hers a lot more to consider than just their age difference.


Purchase "Dating A Cougar II" at your favorite eBook distributor

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If you don't see your favorite eBook reader, email my assistant at Thank you!

**Twitter sharing? Please add #NTLseries to the tweet. Thank you! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I was incredibly happy to send DAC II off to my new editor today.  She has said it would take her around a week, but that means I can still probably release it this month. So you won't have to wait very long after reading the excerpt to get the rest.

Thanks for your patience during my crazy, busy, get-married-in-the-middle-of-it year. All the wonderful encouragement emails you sent to remind me you were waiting were very, very appreciated.

Oh. . .you all are going to LOVE Walter.  Happy Reading!



What kind of woman could possibly feel sorry for herself on a day as beautiful as this one? The sun was shining. The breeze was warm. Someone else was going to feed her.

Ignoring the unreasonable urge to whine in spite of all that, Jane sighed heavily instead, not once, but twice, virtually assuring the woman beside her would have no choice but notice. Was she really that desperate for attention?

“Jane? What’s the matter?” Lydia asked.

The softly offered question was laced with sympathy and had Jane sighing heavily for a third time, even though she smiled at the silver-haired beauty strolling through the park with her.

“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong really. I think I’ve just been bored trying to figure out what I’m going to do next. Flipping businesses is a passion for me, not just my work. Yet nothing has caught my interest since I sold North Winds to Walter. I’m glad you and Dad asked me to tag along on your picnic today. Obviously from all the sighing I’m doing, I needed to get out.”

“Oh dear. Given all that honesty you just rained on my head, I suppose I should do the honorable thing back. If JD gets a wild hair and shoots off, Morrie and I wanted a strong pair of legs along to help chase him down,” Lydia teased.

“You and Dad are physically fit enough to handle a measly toddler. Tell me the truth. Dad’s worried because I’m not working on anything new, isn’t he?” Jane asked.

Lydia shook her head. “No. If your father is worried about you, it’s about something other than work. He invited Walter to the picnic too, but our new entrepreneur was too busy to come. Just don’t tell your father I told you about him inviting Walter. He likes to think he’s clever. . .and not being obvious.”

Jane laughed at Lydia’s revelation, but shook her head over the information. It still surprised her that her father thought Walter Graham was a good match for her. It was probably the only time in her life her father had been wrong.

“Yes, Dad does like to think he’s smarter than everyone else. But don’t worry. . .I’m used to his sneaky manipulations. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that he would use my appreciation for your fried chicken and potato salad to get me here. The joke is on him though, I love watching JD under any circumstances. I keep telling Lauren and Jim to call me when they need a sitter.”

Lydia rolled her eyes. “It took a second baby on the way to get Lauren to turn loose of her firstborn at all. She still wants Nanny Martha to come to the house every day. I think he needs the daycare and other children to play with so he can develop better social skills. I’m working on her over-protective mother leanings so she won’t turn out like me.”

Jane laughed at Lydia’s declaration, but felt a twinge of envy. And for the first time in many years, she seriously missed her mother. Of course, even if Evelyn Fox were still alive, there would be no grandchildren for her mother and father to argue over. Neither she nor her brother, Elijah, had gotten that far in their relationships. No—changing her non-mother status certainly wasn’t on the visible horizon as far as she could see. She would just have to remain envious of Lauren getting to expand her late life family.

“If she’s that concerned, I suppose it would be really hard for Lauren to trust an old single woman like me with her only child. She probably thinks I’m not the motherly type,” Jane said, shrugging at Lydia’s questioning gaze.

“What’s the motherly type these days? I don’t think Lauren saw herself as the motherly type until she discovered she was pregnant,” Lydia said, watching something that looked like hope flicker in Jane’s gaze, even though it faded quickly. “Do you want children, Jane?”

“Sure. Of course I do. Or at least, I did when I was younger. From the time I hit puberty, I always saw myself becoming a mother one day. You know—I thought about soccer, band practice, and a giant gas drinking van to haul that kind of life around. Maybe I missed my chance for that when I divorced my ex. I’m probably too old now.”

Lydia snorted and turned her head sideways. “Don’t think I don’t hear that wistfulness in your voice. Lauren was older than you when she had JD. I thank God every day that James Gallagher is his father. You’re smart to wait for the right man, but some take a long time to appear in your life. Just don’t let your eggs dry up while you’re waiting.”

“Don’t let my eggs dry up?” Jane repeated dryly. “Gee, thanks for that helpful tip, Lydia. Maybe you should stop trying to make me feel better now.”

Lydia’s giggle at her response made Jane giggle in return. They were comfortable enough in each other’s company to tease without exchanging ugly reprisals. As stepmothers went, Lydia McCarthy Fox was turning out to be a pretty good one. Her father was certainly happy.

“JD! Get your butt back here, boy!”

Both women turned in the direction of the voice and laughed as they watched her silver-haired father chase off after the maniacal, squealing toddler scrambling away as fast as his sturdy legs would go. In JD’s case, his legs were exceptional, and his escapes well practiced. With a mother who had black belts in several martial arts almost no one could pronounce, Jane supposed the toddler’s physical prowess was genetically inevitable.

“Looks like the wild child is on the run,” Lydia announced tiredly, fisting a hand on one hip. “That boy. . .”

“No worries, ‘Gamma’. Just save me some chicken. I’m on it,” Jane said, chuckling as she passed the picnic blanket she carried to Lydia.

Then she took off running after her recently acquired step-nephew by marriage. Thankfully she’d worn her sneakers and shorts today. Her laughter carried on the breeze as she passed up her father. “It’s okay. I’ll catch him, Dad.”

Like a marathon runner passing the torch, Morrison Fox stopped and put his hands on his knees, gathering a breath. “What are they feeding that kid? I swear he’s getting faster.”

Her father’s look of relief made Jane laugh harder, which made it nearly impossible to keep up her speed. JD Gallagher was going to grow up to be a marathon runner. . .or maybe that superhero with lightning on his shirt. Yes, that was it. Super JD, Jane decided, giggling hard at the fact that she was barely catching up to the toddler herself.

She heard his wicked laughter as JD broke into an even faster sprint, zigging and zagging a path in front of her. Now who in blue blazes had shown him how to do that?

“James Davis Gallagher. Stop running this instant,” Jane yelled, using the most commanding tone she possessed.

Up ahead, she saw JD slow only a fraction to look over his shoulder at his new pursuer. He grinned when he saw who it is was. When he turned forward again, he hit and bounced off someone’s jean covered leg. He landed hard on his chubby butt in the grass, his pull-up diaper cushioning the landing.

“Ah—oh,” Jane heard him say as she closed in at last. His understanding that he was caught and in trouble made her giggle again. She sincerely hoped she could stifle her amusement before she got to him. She had learned the hard way that being charmed by his rebellion only made JD more apt to repeat the wicked behavior.

“Darn skippy it’s ‘Ah—oh’,” Jane mimicked, between deep gulping breaths. Her dad was right. The little bugger was getting faster. “You are in serious trouble now buddy. Thanks for stopping him Mr. . .oh.”

Her gaze raised from JD to Walter Graham’s laughing blue eyes. “Hi,” she said, her hello sounding breathless and giddy. Jane hoped it was because of the chase and not because of the sexy fireman slash entrepreneur’s sudden appearance out of nowhere to save the day. What was it about him that fascinated her so much? Her mind had not figured out the puzzle yet.

And why couldn’t Walter have been older than twenty-six? His name sounded older. If she hadn’t met Harrison first, she would have thought a guy named ‘Walter’ was someone’s grandfather. As a ‘II’, he was hereditarily numbered. Why hadn’t Walter chosen to be called Harry? Lots of younger men who looked as fantastic as he did were called Harry.

“Trouble keeping up with your toddler, lady? Good thing I decided to come by for lunch after all,” he said.

Walter’s smile deepened as he watched Jane’s breasts moving up and down with her out-of-breath panting. He promised himself that one day soon he’d be causing that reaction.

“I thought you weren’t coming,” Jane declared, staring into Walter’s dancing gaze while trying to ignore the way it kept dropping to her heaving chest. Unfortunately, her breasts loved the attention, and decided to get all perky and happy to see him. She was going to have to have a serious talk with her girl parts about letting Walter affect them that way.

“Hi Jane. I’ve been missing you, too,” Walter said, grinning when she covered her breasts with crossed arms. Even her sports bra and shirt couldn’t hide her whole reaction. Turning Jane on was never a problem. Getting her to admit he caused her arousal was the bigger challenge.

“I didn’t say I missed you, Walter. I said ‘hello”. You need to quit hanging around Harrison so much. He’s trying to pass along his delusions,” Jane said.

Distracted by the Greek God statue laughing at her with lust in his eyes, she had momentarily forgotten about the toddler climbing to his unsteady, but very fast feet. Fortunately Walter had a keen eye, and obviously the ability to think clearly despite his wicked gaze dropping to her breasts every few seconds. It was a split focus she evidently lacked where watching him was concerned. Walter snatched JD up mid-sprint just as the toddler tried to run again.

“Whoa there. Your escape is foiled, dude,” Walter announced, deepening his voice as he tried not to laugh at JD’s squirming protests. He wondered if all kids were like this one. If so, he could see how they could be a lot of work.

“Hep, Gamma. Hep. He got me!” JD wailed, kicking his feet as he dangled in the air.

Jane turned to see Lydia walking calmly toward them, a toddler leash in her hand. “I be good. I be good,” JD pleaded dramatically when he saw what she held.

“You know the rules, young man. You run away. You get put on the leash,” Lydia said in her best scolding voice.

Walter laughed, then coughed trying to cover it. Jane put a hand over her mouth as she giggled again. They exchanged guilty looks as they tried to hide their amusement from Lydia, but as usual the older woman was way too sharp.

“Wait until you have children of your own one day, and then we’ll see how much laughing you two do. Walter, hold JD out for me so I can fasten this on him,” Lydia ordered.

“Yes ma’am,” Walter said politely, biting his lip as he held a now subdued, sniffling JD out to his grandmother.

Lydia fastened the straps around JD’s chest, and then nodded for Walter to set him down on the ground. Once there, JD tugged against the restraint, wanting to run again, but Lydia held him back. “Not just yet, boy-o. Apologize to Jane first for making her chase after you.”

“Orry,” JD said softly, still sniffling as he tugged against the leash.

Jane stooped down and smiled into JD’s pouty, but charming face. “No worries, buddy. I just didn’t want you to get hurt.”

She was caught off-guard when JD hurled his whole body into her arms. His fierce hug almost toppled her backwards, and then he surprised her further with a loud, smacking kiss on her cheek before turning loose. All that male enthusiasm was certainly appealing Jane thought as she hugged him back. Lauren was going to have her hands full when her son one day used that move on some unsuspecting female his own age.

“Okay. Okay. We’re good, JD. Let’s all go have some lunch now,” Jane said, petting the boy’s hair.

JD nodded in reply and turned to put his hand into his grandmother’s.

Standing again, Jane sighed as she watched Lydia and JD walk away. She heard Walter laughing softly beside her. Why did he have to be so masculine and appealing? His appeal was worse than JD’s, and his low laughter had her wondering if he possessed any moves that might surprise her. Curiosity was her major problem with him.

Despite the risk of her girl parts betraying her further, she studied Walter’s amused eyes, his smooth skin, and the way his hair fell perfectly into place. He seemed to have no awareness of how great he looked, no false bravado about the muscles bulging from his sleeves. Why couldn’t the younger man have just been a little bit older? Thirty one or two would have been okay. She could have handled that. But he was only twenty-six. It would take him four more years to even become thirty. Pushing her regrets over their age difference aside, along with all her fantasies, she turned and started walking back.

“I’ve dubbed him Super JD in my head. Lauren and Jim have my utmost respect. I don’t think I could survive mothering a child like that,” she said.

“If it’s any consolation, I’m sure any child of ours would be much better behaved,” Walter replied, sliding a look sideways to watch Jane’s reaction to his comment. As he knew it would, her suspicious gaze came immediately to his. She gave him the same look she always did when he started talking about the life they should have together.

“I think my mothering years are behind me, Walter. I’ve decided to settle for being an aunt,” Jane said.

“Super JD’s aunt?” Walter asked, snickering as they walked. “I can see how being around a child like that for very long might tempt a woman to put a gag on her biological clock to keep it from ticking too loudly.”

Jane chuckled at his surprisingly astute statement, wishing she didn’t find him so likeable. “Yes, exactly. Plus Super JD won’t necessarily be my only nephew. I have a younger brother, so more are possible. I haven’t seen Elijah in a while, but I get an email from him now and again. He’s at seminary.”

“Studying to be a priest?” Walter asked. “No. . .wait. . .that’s not right. A Rabbi?”

Jane nodded as she smiled. “You’re at least in the right religion, but Elijah is not planning to become a Rabbi. Dad was going to be one when he was young, but then he met Mom and changed his mind. He said having a family and pursuing that calling full time were too much for him to contemplate. And now that he has Lydia. . .”

She shrugged away the inference and the complication. Her dad hadn’t talked about being a Rabbi in years anyway. “Life goals change, I guess. Elijah might be considering such a leadership role in our faith, but he hasn’t said.”

Walter nodded to let her know he had heard and was taking it all in. The ability to carry on a serious conversation was one of the things he liked most about Jane. Every moment with her counted, even if they were only talking about each other’s families. He wanted Jane Fox and he liked her. She was the combination of female traits that just completely worked for him. Now he just needed to find a way to convince her of that fact.

“So what is your brother studying at seminary, if not to become a Rabbi?” Walter asked, hoping to distract himself from wanting to wrestle her arms down and find out what secrets her crossed arms were hiding from him.

Jane slowed her steps as she considered the question. “I think Elijah is trying to figure out how to get over his broken heart. His fiancĂ©e broke up with him around the same time my marriage ended. He left for seminary the week after and hasn’t been home since.”

“Tough break for both of you,” Walter said quietly, thinking about what he would do if Jane were to try to marry someone other than him. As much as he wanted her, it would probably be something that would get him arrested, or at the very least disowned by his conservative parents. Regardless, he would do whatever necessary to stop it from happening.

“Yes, it was a tough break. His breakup was worse than my divorce in some ways. Even though Mom and Dad set a good example for us, Eli and I just haven’t been as lucky in love as they were,” Jane said.

“Not lucky until now, you mean,” Walter corrected. “You’ve found the perfect pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with me, Jane. I’m going to make you a great husband.”

“Do you have any idea how much you sound like one of Harrison’s crazy schemes when you talk like that? Give it up, Walter. I haven’t gotten any younger since the last time you flirted so hard with me. There’s no audience for the joke, and we’ve had this discussion too many times,” Jane said wearily.

Sure, a few months ago she had joked with Lydia’s daughter and her friends about becoming a cougar, but inside. . .inside Jane knew she was not equipped to date someone as young as Walter. She just wasn’t the same kind of woman as Alexa Ranger. Her self-esteem wasn’t strong enough to deal with the difference in their ages. . . or their bodies.

Thirty-nine was around the corner. Turning forty next year was an even stronger motivation to keep her distance. She was already going soft in the waist. When the lines and wrinkles started owning the rest of her body’s real estate, she didn’t want to see pity in some younger man’s gaze every day. No matter how outstanding Walter might be as a sexy guy, she preferred to avoid the inevitable crash and burn that any smart older woman would see coming from involvement with someone as young as him.

Her ex had found her lacking when she was young and at her best—perpetually perky breasts included. Maybe Walter was a very different sort of man, but could a woman really tell with a man under thirty? Too bad she hadn’t met Walter before she had married Nathan. Things might have been different when she was still young and optimistic herself.

Well, except that Walter would have been a teenager and she’d have been put in jail for molesting a kid. Jane rolled her eyes and shook her head at that particularly awful thought.

“Jane. . .” Walter said her name loudly, hoping to interrupt whatever thoughts were making her frown so hard. What the hell was it going to take to convince her that he had a serious admiration for her, as well as chronic lust? If the words existed, he hadn’t found them yet.

“No matter what you say Jane, I’m not giving up on us,” he insisted, despite hearing Jane sighing over his statement. Maybe it had not been the most erudite declaration he’d ever made to her, but at least the determination in his tone matched what he was feeling. Jane’s adamant rejections of his overtures always shook his faith a little, but not enough to quit.

“Walter, you need to stop teasing me,” Jane ordered.

“Oh, I am definitely not teasing. Have you found an older guy who turns you on as much as I do yet?” he asked.

Jane huffed out a breath. She wasn’t sexually stupid, and neither was the man beside her. Walter wanted her sexually. And there was plenty of chemistry between them to make that potentiality appealing to her too. He’d already gotten her to admit it once. Maybe if they weren’t practically living in each other’s pockets with their families so close. . .but no. She just couldn’t go there either. Not even in her imagination.

It was better to keep her relationship to Walter like it was. Innocent. Friendly. Familial.

“I’m hungry. Aren’t you? I think I’ll go help Lydia set up lunch,” she said, hoping she sounded casual and undisturbed, despite her rapid, excited pulse proving otherwise.

Picking up her pace, she headed toward the picnic table where a repentant, restrained JD played with his toys under his grandparents’ watchful eyes. It was always tough to turn her back on the attraction that drew her to the man following slowly behind her.

If her dating life didn’t start to improve soon, it was going to get much harder to do, especially if Walter kept talking about babies every time he saw her. Not that she wanted babies with Walter. Babies just made her think about how they were made, a process she would definitely like to explore with him.

“I’m hungry too, Jane. Starved in fact,” Walter called loudly, not missing Jane’s stumble as she heard his words. It made him grin to see she hadn’t become immune to him yet, no matter how much his pursuit of her warred with her logic. Why was the woman fighting the attraction between them so hard? If he ever got her in bed, he was going to make sure that Jane stopped thinking of him as a kid.

Shaking his head over his carnal thoughts of how he could prove himself, Walter let his gaze follow Jane’s shapely rear to the picnic area. Her shorts showed off her muscular, attractive legs to perfection. Her streamlined thighs and toned calves offered convincing evidence that she worked out to achieve them. Admiration filled him, along with visions of Jane in a gym. She’d be sweaty, but her eyes would be twinkling. Her mouth would be firmed as she worked. Her seriousness was a constant challenge to him. It was also one of the things that turned him on most. Would he ever discover anything about the older woman that he didn’t like? Somehow he doubted it.

But obviously, he needed a better plan for finding out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Listen to DATING A COUGAR on Audiobook!

Would like to win a copy of Dating A Cougar on Audiobook? Click the link below and enter for a chance to win. The more you do, the greater your chances of being chosen.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NEXT SONG I SING is an Audiobook!

To celebrate, I am giving away one audiobook copy of NEXT SONG I SING. If you win but don't do audio, I can send it to the person of your choice.

NOTE: You may have to enter from a computer instead of a mobile device. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NTL Series Box Set Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of the NTL Series ebook Box Set. It contains Books 1-3 in the Never Too Late series. Already have the books? Enter to win a copy for a friend. I'll give to whoever you like :)

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

NEVER TOO LATE Box Set Volume 1 Release

The NEVER TOO LATE Box Set 1 contains Books 1-3 of the Never

Too Late Series under one cover. Now you can find non-stop laughter and smiles without switching files on your ereader. Join Alexa, Regina, and Lauren as they discover that it’s truly never too late for love and romance.

Add caption
I know most of you have already purchased these books, but this would be a good way to gift the beginning books in the series to friends. I'm in the process of releasing box sets in all the series.


At 50, Alexa Ranger has no intentions of dating 35 yr Casey Carter and becoming his ‘cougar’. Her life is already talk-show worthy enough. More drama would definitely be a bad idea. But it’s hard to keep saying no when Casey’s kisses remind her that she’s still got a lot of sexual life left to live. Will his persistence wear her down?


At 47, Dr. Regina Logan has no illusions about her love life. She is used to men being intimidated by both her job as a sex therapist and her boldness. Why should 50 yr widower, Ben Kaiser, be any different? Regina doesn’t even blame Ben for regretting their kisses after he learns her identity. Ben is a nice guy—too nice for someone like her. She just wishes Ben’s kisses were more forgettable so she could stop wanting him.


All 42 yr old Lauren McCarthy wants is for 42 yr old Jim Gallagher to tell her the truth about his non-existent wife. Then she can decide if their make-out session in Alexa’s garden is something she should regret—or try to make happen again. Jim is the first man since her divorce that stirs desire in her. Even Regina thinks Jim is a good guy. So why can’t Jim tell her why he keeps saying no to her?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Read An eBook Week at Smashwords March 3-9

I'm participating in the "Read An Ebook Week" sale at Smashwords from March 3-9. The second book in each series is 50% off. Enter the discount code listed under the price during checkout to get the sale price. I have also made my single title book "The Right Thing" free during this time.

This is a great time to try my work or more of it. Please tell your friends :)  Here are the links to the titles at Smashwords.

Second books 50% off

Smashwords link

Smashwords link

FREE this week only and only at Smashwords

Smashwords link

Monday, March 4, 2013

Quickies Volume 1 Giveaway

During the month of March, I am running a giveaway for an ebook copy of Quickies Volume 1. Giveaway will run from March 3-29. Winners will be contacted by email.

NOTE:  I have tried to use a FB mobile friendly app, but there is no guarantee that it will work on all mobile phones or tablet devices. You may have to enter from a computer. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I'm not very far along with the book yet, but I know you're all waiting to see what's going on with Brooke and Drake. They're off to a slow start, but a sexy one. In the opening scene, I wanted to show a little bit of where Brooke and Drake worked. Yes, I know they are being bad on campus. Let's just say it was a nod to those of you with teacher fantasies.

Okay, enough intro. Here's a draft of Chapter 1. Keep in mind it will change some. Do let me know what you think about it. I have no date, but I will post other snippets as I go along.

Happy reading.


“So Dr. Daniels, I have a question. Are all philosophers secretly geeks? Or was Descartes an exception? The whole brain in a vat thing sounds like a bad movie plot. Were there any zombies in his theory? If he were alive today, Descartes could open a restaurant that served brains and make a fortune.”

Brooke crossed her arms, mildly glaring at her most annoying pupil, who also happened to be the most promising one in this particular class. If only he didn’t grandstand so much, but she knew young Mr. Shinkel hadn’t figured out yet that it kept him from being taken seriously.

“Are you worried about a zombie eating your brain, Darren?”

With only two minutes left, Brooke became resigned to the class discussion ending on a joke. The other students laughed at her verbal volley back to him.

“Yes. If Descartes is right, I’d just as soon know about where the vat is and what kind of condition my brain is in currently.” Darren offered a wider grin when everybody else laughed.

“A zombie wouldn’t want your warped brain, Shinkel. Get over yourself.”

Brooke laughed as another student, a friend of Darren’s, took over the harassing, sparing her further rebuttal. Inside she was secretly sighing in relief, but hoped they couldn’t see. Darren had a habit of hanging back after class and it was starting to make her uncomfortable. It happened nearly every session now. She had been plotting about asking Shane to show up in a sleeveless shirt now and again just to create the impression that she was dating someone more intimidating than any of her students.

A far off bell ringing interrupted her. It wasn’t the right timing, but the students broke out the moment it sounded anyway.

“Quiz Thursday on Descartes. Finish the reading.” Brooke laughed as she yelled, hoping to be heard over the mad scramble happening at the back of the room. It was always crazy to watch twenty-two students try to push through the room door to exit at once.

Seconds after her yelled announcement, complete silence fell. All she could hear then was the rustle she was making as she gathered up her things. There was rarely a line wanting to extend class discussion even though college students were often natural philosophers.

Problem was they rarely could hold any one thought long enough to see it through to any logical conclusion. She was going to have to get creative in finding ways to teach them to extend their thinking on a single subject beyond their class time.

“I think I like the idea of being just a brain in a vat. It would be nice to think someone else was pulling the strings on the mess I call a life.”

Drake walked into the room, smiling at Brooke’s soft laugh. She was damn appealing, when she wasn’t furious at him.

“Hi.” Brooke smiled at Drake’s uniform of khakis and a polo. It was his teaching uniform, but his shirts did some pretty amazing things to those shoulders of his. She looked at her own slacks and sweater, shaking her head at the similarities. “Everything turn out alright for Brandon and his car?”

“Mostly. I’m just glad it broke down in Ohio instead of Pennsylvania. I know I could have just called the tow service, but I didn’t want to leave him stranded overnight by himself.”

Drake slipped his hands into his pockets, stunned once more to find them wanting badly to be on the young and beautiful Brooke Daniels instead.

“You are a lousy date Mr. Barrymore, but a good father.”

Brooke grinned nonchalantly at the nervous man while butterflies danced in her own stomach. Hopefully it was just because Drake was so damn good-looking. She’d hate to think it was that one kiss in her mother’s kitchen that had her so intrigued.

Maybe he was just growing on her because she wasn’t looking beyond him any more. Exclusivity had never worked out well for her. But after a couple seriously lousy dates, Drake leaving their dinner to rescue his son was still the best date she’d had in weeks.

“It was Brandon’s first time to the make the trip back from Harvard alone. I think he’s wishing he’d picked a closer college now.”

Brooke laughed. “And that’s why I picked Columbus. That seemed far enough away from mom without being too far to come home when I wanted.”

Drake nodded. “Sounds like a smart strategy for you.”

“It was self-preservation.”

Brooke laughed as she gathered her teaching materials into her arms.

“My mother was my best friend, but I still wanted the longest leash I could manage. I didn’t want to debate every decision of my college life with her. That independent woman thing is an act for the benefit of handsome men. My mother would have made a great prison guard.”

“Like I said—very smart.” Drake snorted and held the door open for Brooke to walk through. “I have to ask though—what could Jessica possibly disapprove of with a daughter more conventional than she is? Your mother walks to the beat of a drum I’m certain no one else ever hears but her. I have great admiration for Will.”

Brooke laughed at the dryness of Drake’s tone as well as at the truth of his words.

“Don’t let that cavalier artist persona fool you into thinking she’s not conventional in her habits. My mothers likes her daily rituals. And she requires a lot of quiet alone time to ponder her work. I disturb her space when I’m around, especially since I like to watch TV and listen to music. Mom and Will are quite well matched. I tell myself that all that dating she did finally paid off.”

“Ever found yourself ‘well-matched’ with anyone,” Drake asked, grinning when Brooke slowed her walk to turn an interested gaze to him. He fell into her amused eyes, unable to see anyone else around them. More amazing was that he had no reservations about it whatsoever this time.

Desire for her rolled over and through him. He decided he was really tired of fighting the feelings she stirred up. He just wanted to be with her.

“Me well-matched? Not so far.”

Brook made the remark casually, choosing to momentarily ignore the thorough inspection of Drake’s gaze running over her in a way too possessive manner.

“I think my luck has just gotten worse. The guy I’m currently interested in keeps standing me up. He makes these lame excuses about having to help his child who seems remarkably talented at having crisis after crisis. I’m kicking myself daily because his ‘concerned parent’ routine intrigues me, even when I end up alone at the damn end of the evening.”

“I assure you that all my child crises are solved for the moment. And I swear the man you’re dating is just as tired of waiting as you are.” Drake narrowed his eyes, pleased at Brooke’s flirty laugh. There was a time not so long ago that he thought Brooke would never be that relaxed with him. “Trust me, Ms. Daniels. I’m ready for a real date. One that ends a hell of a lot better than our last.”

Brooke spied an empty classroom near the end of the hallway they walked. She picked up Drake’s hand and dragged him inside the dimly lit room with her. When they were tucked along the side of the wall, she whispered ‘kiss me’, pleased when he did exactly that with no hesitation at all.

His mouth moved on hers with the same level of confidence she always heard in his voice. She put a hand on Drake’s chest to keep a bit of distance between them. Mostly because she didn’t trust herself not to escalate the kiss into a whole lot more.

When Drake finally removed his mouth from hers, they were both breathing hard. Brooke shook her head at the way her heart was trying to beat it’s way out of her chest. Sure Drake kissed well, but how did he reduce to her to a mass of quivering nerves every time? Her inquiring gaze met his focused, determined one, and a shiver honest to God traveled down her spine

“My God, I want to do that with you until I get my fill,” Drake said hoarsely, moving to her side to avoid the bulge of the armload she carried. “Come home with me. Brandon is staying with friends until tomorrow. I promise no crises other than ours this time.”

Brooke sighed at his offer and closed her eyes. If she had found a law student who had talked that way, she’d probably be married by now.

“You are definitely Descartes’ demon where I’m concerned, Dr. Barrymore. But you already know that, don’t you? You mostly irritate me and yet I still want to kiss you every time I see you. What secret power do you have over me?”

“Well. . .I do want to control you, but only your body,” Drake whispered, moving his mouth to her cheek, skimming it with his breath and then his lips. Brooke tasted better than all the fantasies he’d had about her. “How about I promise not to try to put your brain in a vat no matter what happens? And I swear I will step in front of you in case of a zombie attack.”

“Brandon would be so proud of you.” Brooke giggled as she watched Drake’s smiling mouth descending once more to hers.

A throat clearing in the room and a small “excuse me” had them pulling apart.

“Sorry,” Brook said, rising away from the wall. “Oh—hi, Arielle.”

“Hi Dr. Daniels. Class will be starting in here soon. Anyway. . .sorry to interrupt,” Arielle stammered out, her gaze jumping from the uber sexy art teacher everyone talked about to the new philosopher professor who was super nice, but hard. When Dr. Barrymore smiled knowingly at her, she completely understood why all her friends had declared him the sexiest teacher on campus. She’d have risked getting caught with him too.

“I liked your paper on Aristotle. Nice work,” Brooke said, smiling at the girl still staring in awe at Drake. She would have snorted at the girl’s awe of the older man, but given the circumstances, that would just have made her a hypocrite.

“Thank you,” Arielle said, swallowing as she pulled her gaze away from the man slipping a hand in pocket with grin.

“See you in class Thursday.” She and Drake slipped out the door, smiling as Arielle nodded.

Out in the hallway, Drake put a discreet distance between their bodies and sighed heavily. Brooke snickered at the guilty look on his face. “Some bad boy professor you turned out to be. You’re practically blushing.”

“Want me to tell you why I’m feeling guilty? My lustful thoughts about us would even make Jessica Daniels’s daughter blush.”

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t shock very easily, but you better save the explanation for dinner, just in case. What time should I come over?” Brooke hoisted her load higher as she turned in the direction of the faculty parking lot.

“Is seven okay?” Drake put both hands in his pockets to keep from touching her one last time.

“Seven works for me,” Brooke said, winking at him before she strode off.

At her car, she set everything on the trunk to dig her keys out of her book bag. When she felt eyes boring into her, she looked back to see Drake offer a wave before sauntering off. It gave her an odd feeling to realize the man had been looking out for her as she went to her car. She couldn’t recall ever having a man be openly solicitous of her safety.

In fact, Drake Barrymore was turning out to be a first for her in many ways, starting with his ability to turn her to giggling mush with his poetic words. Her lust was running so high at the moment, she couldn’t recall why she had practically hated him when they first met.

A sigh of longing escaped, defying even her well-developed sense of self-preservation. What she was feeling for Drake wasn’t logical. What could she possibly want with a older man who was still hung up on his dead wife? Obviously, the sooner she slept with Drake, the sooner she would get over this silly infatuation she had developed for him.

It was the way he kissed.  And the way he’d flirted with her at the gallery opening. She couldn’t stop thinking about him—or wanting to kiss him again.

Her logical mind informed her daily that a forty-two year man was more suitable for a woman her mother’s age, than for her. Unfortunately, the rest of her body was refusing to listen to any solution that didn’t end with her getting naked with Drake.

She chalked up her obsession to her own raging hormones, since in her thirties she was allegedly hitting her peak—whatever that meant. As far as she could tell, her mother hadn’t peaked yet. Maybe her female gene pool was extraordinary.

“It’s okay Brooke,” she said to herself as she tossed her belongings in the backset. “No matter how old or young, men are all pretty much the same when the lights are out. Drake Barrymore is not ‘the one’. He’s just the one for now. A couple of weeks and you two will be nothing more than just good friends who slept together once.”

But the excited, hopeful gaze in the rear view mirror belonged to a smiling, illogical woman she didn't recognize.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Robyn Peterman wonders HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

From time to to time, I feature the books of author friends on my blog. I especially enjoy this when they are releasing their first ever books. Today it's my pleasure to feature Robyn Peterman, author of HOW HARD CAN IT BE? 

Robyn's website
I was lucky enough to beta read an early version of this title, but I've also pre-ordered my finished copy. The book is hilarious, and maybe a little too realistic for me because it's about a woman who decides to write a romance. 

Another blogger commented that the hot cop in the book makes you want to get arrested. I'll second that sentiment for sure. I especially liked the initial kissing scene between Rena and Jack. . . anyway--where was I? Oh yeah. . .

Let's just say I'm never revealing which one of Robyn's romance writer characters I most relate to or fear being, but since you all know my work best, you're free to comment if you want. 

WARNING: future romance authors beware. There are OMG moments galore in this book and multiple bathroom trips in your future from laughing so hard while reading it. 

Look at you, Robyn. You're a published author now! I'm so proud of you!

What reviewers are saying

"How Hard Can it Be? is outrageous, profane, hilarious, sexy, and all kinds of wacky. For a good time, read Robyn Peterman!"   ~ MICHELLE ROWEN, national bestselling author

"A zany over-the-top rompfest."   ~ LEXI GEORGE, author of Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar

Buy it at Amazon!
Book description

What happens when an accountant decides to grab life by the horns and try something new? Apparently a pirate named Dave, a lot of pastel fleece, and blackmail—just to start with... Visualize and succeed, Oprah said. I was sure as hell trying, even if my campaign to score a job as the local weather girl had ended in a restraining order. Okay, TV was not my strength. But a lack of talent has never stopped me before. Which is why I’ve embarked on a writing career. I mean, how hard can it be to come up with a sexy romance?
Leave it to me to wind up in a group of porno writing grannies who discuss sex toys and apple cobbler in the same breath. Also leave it to me to leak an outlandish plot idea to a bestselling author with the morals of a rabid squirrel. And only I could get arrested for a jewelry heist I didn’t commit—by a hunky cop whose handcuffs just might tempt me to sign up for a life of crime. Maybe I’ve found my calling after all...
Mini-interview with the author 
(I asked Robyn to answer just a couple of questions for me)

Donna:  So Robyn, how hard was it writing a romance? Come on, tell us the truth. 

Robyn:  Actually, since romance novels are what I’m obsessed with, it wasn’t all that hard. . .it was kind of soft. Kidding. I adore happily ever afters, a hot hero, a strong heroine, a viciously evil bad guy and a gaggle of porno writing grannies. Soooo, in my warped mind it made sense for me to spew out a romance. You’ll probably have to read the book to figure out what in the hell I’m talking about!!

Donna:  What's next for you creatively? Got another book coming out?

Robyn:  God, I hope so! Actually, I have a sexy, funny paranormal coming out in April called FASHIONABLY DEAD and the sequel to HOW HARD CAN IT BE? tentatively called SHE LIKES THEM BIG AND HAIRY! comes out in June.

Excerpt from HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

“If you handcuff a woman to a headboard, you need to use fur-covered cuffs. Otherwise you’ll rub all the skin off of her wrists during rough sex, and she’ll bleed like a motherf---er. Blood is just not sexy unless you’re writing paranormal.” The gal with the lesbian haircut delivered that little nugget with gusto.

What in the hell am I doing here? I’m going to kill Oprah. Does anybody actually listen to her ‘if you can visualize it you can do it’ crap other than me? Becoming a famous romance novel writer had sounded like such a good idea the other day. The simple fact that I couldn’t really write had seemed beside the point...

My best friend and roommate, Kristy, accused me of pulling a Sunshine Weather Girl again, referring to my embarrassing and very recent attempt to become a meteorologist. Kristy’s reminder was a low blow. I didn’t like to think about that. Clearly showing up at the news station for a month straight wasn’t the way to become the new weather girl. It had resulted in a restraining order, six hours in the pokey, and a feature story on the six o’clock news. My mother told all her friends I was adopted...I wasn’t.          

Follow Shoshanna LeHump on Twitter
So here I stood, in the poorly lit back meeting room of the downtown public library, with ten or so women who looked like seventy-year-old church ladies. Why do women in the Midwest think that really short hair shaved up at the back of the neck is a good look? I found out the bondage gal’s name was Sue, but she went by Shoshanna LeHump. Quite the little fireball, she was dressed entirely in lavender fleece. She explained her husband had threatened to divorce her if she continued to write that garbage under her real name. Her words, not mine. I didn’t know if I was more shocked by her pen name or the fact that she was married.

 I glanced around the room hoping to spot Evangeline O’Hara, the famous New York Times best-selling author. She wrote a mean bodice ripper and was the main reason I’d joined this group. I hoped she’d like my ideas and mentor me to stardom. Of course, ideas were a slight problem at this point, but I would continue visualizing like hell.

 I was looking forward to discussing Evangeline’s books with her, until Kristy, not unkindly, had reminded me I hadn’t read any of them.

 “Turkey Noodle Dooda Surprise served with Tater Tot Casserole can really get your amorous juices flowing,” the one who called herself Nancy gushed. Her floral caftan reminded me of Hawaii. The quintessential grandma had no last name. Apparently she had legally changed her name to know, like Cher or BeyoncĂ© or Gaga.

Follow Rena Gunderschlict on Twitter
“I’m sorry,” I interrupted. “I thought this was a romance writers meeting.” My insides clenched. This couldn’t be right. I must be in the wrong room, or hopefully the wrong building.

 “It is,” Shoshanna LeHump said. “Nancy writes romantic cookbooks!”

 “Oh, aren’t you a lovely thing.” Nancy smiled and squeezed my hands. “Are you a cover model?”

 “Um, no. I’m actually a, um...writer,” I white lied. I do write things. I’m a CPA, for God’s sake. I just happen to write numbers instead of words.

 “Shoshanna,” Nancy called out to the handcuff-loving porno granny, “we have a new writer!”

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Printed NTL Series Giveaway

Happy 2013! I thought I would start the year with a giveaway. This month, I will be giving away a printed set of Books 1-5 of the Never Too Late Series.

To enter, just tell me which character was your favorite in the series. Every other question or task of the giveaway will increase your chances. Contest ends on January 31. The winner will be selected Feb 1.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway