Game Time

Trivia time!

In anticipation of book 21 in a month, I want to give away a signed paperback of any one of my books- even Perfectly Imperfect which is not available anywhere.

I will pick a winner from all of the winning answers over the next three days. Each day will have 4 questions to answer.

Today’s questions:

1.) When was Mike and Jade’s first kiss and where did it happen?

2.) Which character (of the following) has been shot the most? When and where? (you might be surprised)

Jack, Tommy, Brittany, Julie, Stephanie, Bill, Mike, Jade.

3.) When and how did we learn Bill and Brittany were related?

4.) What did Tommy’s dad give him right before he died?

 

Please reply to this post with your answers!

Good luck

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Preorder now available

The Hardest Goodbye

Click above to order for your kindle

The Hardest Goodbye

Click above to order for your Nook

 

 

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A little laugh…

Here is another small snippet from “The Hardest Goodbye”. I hope you like it. I will try to have an interview up this week.

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Bill went into the laundry room and put a clean towel in the dryer after they got home. David came in and looked at him.

“What?” Bill shrugged.

“The laundry is done. Why did you put a dry towel in the dryer?”

“Because your mom is in the shower.”

“So? She has towels in her bathroom.”

“So much to learn,” Bill grinned. “You see, your mom has had a rough few weeks, we all have, but she has been really worried. Now she is finally home and it’s my most important job to make her feel loved and cared for.”

“So you’re doing laundry that’s already been done?”

Bill shook his head.

“What happens when you come out of the shower?”

David thought about it and then his face lit up.

“I’m cold and wet.”

“Exactly. What would be the best thing right then?”

“A warm snugly towel,” David said.

“A warm snugly towel. When your mom comes out of the shower, I am going to wrap her in a warm towel.”

“Do all girls like that?”

Bill raised his eyebrows.

“No. Only when you’re married. You should never know anything about a woman taking a shower unless you’re married.”

David rolled his eyes.

“Yes sir.”

The dryer rang and Bill pulled the towel out.

“Now will you go help Josie with her homework while I take care of your mom?”

David winked.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

Bill almost dropped the towel.

“What the heck does that mean?”

He grinned.

“Just messing with you.”

Bill shook his head and glanced at his teenage son as he walked to the bedroom.

Julie was finishing her shower when Bill came into the bathroom. He waited for her to turn the water off and when she pulled open the door, he held the warm towel out for her.

She looked at him and her tears spilled over her cheeks as she walked into his arms, the warm towel feeling like heaven.

“Shh,” he said as he rubbed her body. “It’s okay.”

She looked up at him and pulled him to her for a searing kiss, her neediness evident and he responded in kind to her passion. She wrapped her arms around him and the towel fell to the floor as his hands snaked to her behind.

“I need you,” she said as she fumbled with his pants, finally finding the zipper and reaching her hand to stroke him through the material of his briefs.

“God I’ve missed you,” he said as he pulled his shirt off and turned to make sure the door was closed to the bedroom. Julie went to the bed and pulled the covers back, crawling in and beckoning to him.

He dropped the rest of his clothes and moved to her, pressing his body to hers and groaning as she pulled him to her. They made love with passion and intensity that surprised both of them.

“Damn,” she said as he lay on his back, both of them breathing heavily.

“I would have liked to take my time, but you just drove me wild,” he grinned.

“Mom, dad, David won’t let me have a snack,” Josie burst in the room with David right behind her.

Bill froze and Julie pulled the blanket up and made sure they were covered.

“Are you sick? Why are you in bed? It’s not even dinner yet,” Josie said worriedly.

David looked at his parents and a repulsed look came over his face.

“Oh, gross,” he said. “Josie, come on.”

He tried to lead her out of the room.

“Are you sick like Uncle Jack and Uncle Tommy?” she cried.

“They aren’t sick,” David said with another look of disgust. “Come on and let’s get a snack. You’re too young for this.”

He led her out and they heard him try and explain why adults sometimes take a nap.

Bill lay back and looked at the ceiling.  Julie looked at him and they both burst out laughing.

“They are going to need therapy,” Bill said laughing.

“Well at least we were done,” she said. “Sometimes a quickie is a good thing.”

He looked at her and she leaned in to kiss him.

“Get dressed, I’ll go assess the damage,” she said and jumped up, pulling on her clothes and brushing her still wet hair.

Bill shook his head and laughed.  This was going to make for a fun story, someday. Right now, he was not looking forward to having to face his son.

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Happy Sunday!

Hello everyone! I have been super crazy busy trying to get the school year finished and book 21 ready for print. I am almost there and I would love to post more for you. Would you like an interview? Another sneak peek? Some questions answered? Anything you want, let me know.

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Cover reveal

It’s time…

Let me know what you think!

The Hardest Goodbye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hardest Goodbye print

 

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The Hardest Goodbye

Family by Choice Book 21…Cover reveal tomorrow night!

Title:

The Hardest Goodbye

Available June 27

Preorder coming soon!

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Book 21 preview

Here is a preview of Book 21. I would love to know your thoughts! Title and cover coming soon…

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Tommy watched Tessa’s surgery and ignored the pain in his whole body. He way over did it, but he couldn’t help it. This was Tessa. This was Jack and Stephanie.

He was incredibly worried about Jack, he worried that Brittany didn’t come to talk to him. That meant she was with Stephanie and it wasn’t good.

But he knew the best thing he could do for Jack was make sure his daughter got through this.

At least physically.

He knew the ramifications of what Nick did would reach much further than the physical trauma. He felt sick when he thought of what she must have gone through.

He watched the team closing and he sighed when he saw them put in the stoma and the colostomy bag. It should be able to be reversed, but it would be a few months at least.

He got up to make his way to speak with the surgeon and the room spun around him. He sat back down and took a few breaths.

“I brought you a wheelchair,” Enid said as she walked to him. “I think you’ve pushed yourself enough for just getting over a torn heart.”

Tommy smiled, grateful for her.

“Thanks Enid. It looked like everything went well,” he sat down gently.

“It did, but that little girl is one big bruise. I’d like a moment or two alone with the sick freak who did this.”

Tommy sighed.

“You’ll have to get in line. Has Dr. Young been able to come in yet?” he referred to the neurologist.

“I think he is going over the scans right now.”

Tommy looked at her.

“I’ll take you, but then we are going back to your wife. I don’t want to have to face her if you collapse.”

Tommy smiled.

“Thanks Enid. I owe you.”

“I won’t let you forget it.”

He smiled as she wheeled him to Tessa.

******

“You think it will hold?” Stephanie asked the surgeon. “You don’t think he will need a transplant?”

“I think it looks promising. The liver perked up considerably when we released the clamps and his vitals are holding their own. I don’t feel confident saying we won’t need to do more, but right now he is stable. We will watch his kidney function and make sure things are working. You can sit with him soon. I expect he will be sedated for most of the next few hours, but you can talk to him.”

“Do you want me to go speak with Dr. Williams? I need to run the echocardiogram and I don’t know how much he knows about this,” Dr. Kingsley asked.

Brittany walked to him while Stephanie hugged Sabrina.

“He is in pediatrics. He was consulting on Dr. Stephens’ daughter.”

Dr. Kingsley crossed his arms.

“I did not give him clearance to leave his room. He is nowhere near ready to do any work.”

Brittany nodded.

“I know, but this is our family. It would kill him to sit back while those we love are in trouble.”

Dr. Kingsley shook his head.

“It could kill him to push this. I will be in my office when he decides to come back. I have been your colleague for a long time and I don’t want to see anything more happen to any of you.”

“I know that and so does my husband. Thank you,” Brittany said softly.

The nurse came to take Stephanie and Sabrina to Jack.

“I’ll go find out about Tessa and I’ll let Tommy know about Jack,” Brittany said.

“You can’t walk around alone,” Stephanie said.

“She’s not,” Jade walked in. “I’ll go with you.”

Brittany smiled and they all left.

******

Jade looked at her phone as they made their way to where Tommy was. Brittany stopped her.

“What’s wrong?”

“I haven’t heard from Mike since I left with Jack. I know Bill was with him, but when I left, he was standing over Nick after shooting him. I don’t know what happened and I’m worried.”

“You saw what happened?”

Jade nodded and wiped her eyes.

“It was horrible. Tessa was as limp as a ragdoll and Nick just tossed her around. He was disgusting and I’ve never seen Mike so angry. I’ve also never seen him shoot anyone.”

Brittany walked her to the benches and they sat down.

“Hey, look at me and take a few breaths. I didn’t realize you were in the middle of all of this. Are you okay?” she smoothed Jade’s hair behind her back.

“I’m fine. Nothing happened to me. I’m just worried. I don’t think Tessa is going to be okay and I don’t know that my husband is going to forgive himself. All I could do when Nick shot Jack was try and stop the bleeding, but I had to do CPR and I couldn’t stop to help Mike. I just want to talk to him. I need to know he’s okay.”

“Then let’s do that. Let me call my brother as we head to Tommy.”

Jade nodded and they made their way while Brittany called Bill. She hung up and smiled at Jade.

“They are here together. Bill said he would meet us in pediatrics.”

“Did he say how Mike was doing?”

“No, he just said he would come there.”

Jade nodded.

“Okay.”

*****

Tommy sat in the hallway after he spoke with the doctors. He needed to go talk to Stephanie. He needed to talk to Jack.

The surgeon and neurologist went first because Tommy was simply too exhausted. He was struggling with his breathing and he was frustrated and angry with himself.

Enid went to help get Tessa settled into a room and Ron and Jenny were with her. Tommy knew Brittany was on her way, so he waited.

He waited and worried.

He was able to wheel himself over to the nurse’s desk and he looked up Jack’s chart. He didn’t know what had happened and he hoped it was something simple and nothing too serious.

He stood up and walked to the computer, logging in and finding the chart.

Tommy felt the tightness in his chest as he read the words and he scrolled through the notes and saw the prognosis.

Brittany and Jade made their way down the hall and saw him standing there.

Tommy logged out of the computer and looked up as he caught the eyes of his wife.

She ran to him as he gripped the counter and then fell to the floor.

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I’m human and I hate it

This week is my spring break.

I have been trying to get motivated to do a lot of things- I need to clean the house and organize my room. I need to grade a ton of student essays and shop for dinners for the week.

I need to take this week off and do all of the things I’ve been putting off.

And yet here I sit, on the couch, exhausted.

It’s times like this that I am reminded of my limits. This past month has reminded me of that more than anything ever could.

We brought home a new puppy and he has filled our house with love and laughter and crazy moment after crazy moment. He is a mini Mooch and we have definitely felt some of the heaviness at having to say goodbye to our boy lessen a little.

But he is his own little man and his personality is unique and beautiful, albeit a tad overwhelming. He has never ending energy and a rambunctious and playful spirit that is all schnauzer. He eats EVERYTHING and listens to nothing. He has trained us all very quickly :).

He is just as he should be.

Which brings me to my current state.

Exhaustion.

Having Multiple Sclerosis is a bitch. I hate it. I hate that it limits me and I hate that I have to acknowledge limits. I hate that my body doesn’t do what I want and I hate that I need to put it first.

I haven’t done a very good job of learning to handle limits. I have lived with MS for almost 12 years and I still don’t get it.

I get angry and anxious and frustrated. I am terrible to live with and annoying to be around and confusing to talk to. I get furious with myself and that is no good for anyone.

The biggest thing to suffer from this exhaustion has been my writing.

Hence the reason for this blog.

I think that’s been the biggest issue I’ve been trying to fix.

Writing has always been my escape. It’s been my therapy and my muse. It’s helped me to put things into perspective and it’s helped me to understand my feelings.

When I don’t write, I don’t have that clarity.

When I don’t write, I don’t feel well.

When I don’t write, I find myself a little lost.

So I am trying to write.

It doesn’t really work like that, but maybe I need to shake things up.

Whenever I get stuck in my writing, I take time to listen to each character. I spend time with each of them individually and see what they’re thinking. I try to figure out what they want and what they need. I listen and sometimes, one of them talks louder than the others. That’s when I know they have a story to tell.

So I guess I’m listening. I’m listening and I’m not pushing. I’m relaxing and I’m playing with Misha and I’m just taking time to breathe.

I want to do more. I want to write a blog every week and a chapter every day and be the best teacher and person I can be.

But I can’t do that.

I have limits.

I have MS.

I will allow myself some time to relax.

I will listen to myself.

Hopefully, Stephanie will kick me in the behind. Hopefully, Jack will cheer me on. Hopefully, Bill will help me up. Hopefully Julie will share a donut with me. Hopefully Mike will continue to heal and show me what perseverance really is and hopefully Jade will be there with a supportive and needed word of advice. Hopefully Brittany will remind me what true courage is and hopefully, and a little superficially, Tommy will give me one of his amazing hugs. (preferably shirtless).

Hopefully Bee will make me laugh and David will make my proud. Tess will make me hope and Josie will show me a fighting spirit. Hopefully Naomi will help me succeed because she is my hero, and the twins will continue to thrive and become unique individuals with hopes and dreams.

And hopefully Tramp can show me once again that sometimes all that’s needed is an ‘urf’ and a body wag and a nice long belly rub..

I’m trying.

I thank you for sticking with me on this journey.

Now I’m going to try and take a nap.

(((hugs)))

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Hi everyone!

So, His Heart has been out almost a month now. What do you think? Any questions? Are you ready for a look ahead?

I hope everyone is doing well

🙂

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Proposals

Writing a romance series, I have pondered many a marriage proposal. I try to make sure each and every one speaks to the personality and humor of the couple. I try to make each one unique and memorable, and looking back, I have things I would change and things I love, but ultimately, the words fit the characters and where they were at that moment.

One of my absolute favorite proposals happened later in the series.

Mike and Jade.

Their romance is one that reminds me of why I love writing these characters. It’s never too late to find happiness and we are never beyond hope.

Jade was raised with nothing. She had no family and therefore, no traditions and no memories. She felt like she wouldn’t have enough to offer her children, and her fears were suffocating.

Mike was also struggling. He lost everything in a marriage he thought was real and after that, he never believed he was worthy of love. Meeting Jade changed his life and when he held her in his arms, he finally felt like he was home.

Their proposal was so much fun to write because I was able to include every single character in the series.  Creating memories and traditions meant the world to Jade, and it meant the world to me to do it.

What are your favorite proposals from the series?

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“I’m not sure I understand where we’re going,” Jade said to Mike the next morning. He had told her he had a surprise planned, and to clear her schedule for him. He was driving them somewhere.

“The point of a surprise is that it’s a surprise,” he grinned. “Just go with it.”

She smiled and nodded.

“Okay.”

They made their way to Tommy and Brittany’s house and Jade looked at him again.

“I know, just go with it,” she said and laughed when he winked at her.

They parked and walked to the door and knocked.

Mike put his arm around her as the door opened and Ron stood there. He rolled his eyes and looked at them.

“Maybe you can convince him to do his homework. He is being absolutely ridiculous,” he said and walked in. Jade was confused, but followed Mike in. They walked to the kitchen and Jack was sitting at the table playing with a baseball. He had a baseball cap on and a pair of jeans and an old t-shirt.

“You have to finish your essay,” Ron said as he walked into the kitchen and sat down, picking up the newspaper and looking at it.

“I don’t wanna. I wanna go outside and play,” he said sullenly.

“You’re 14 years old. If you don’t get your grades up, you’ll never amount to anything,” Ron said.

“You’re impossible. I hate doing homework. I’m going to be a famous ball player and you won’t let me do anything. You’re killing me!”

Ron snorted and bent the paper, looking at him.

“Perhaps you should go out for the school play? Your dramatics are impressive.”

“Ugh!” Jack sulked and Mike led Jade into the hallway.

“What is going on here? Have we entered the twilight zone?”

Mike smiled.

“You wanted to know traditions and memories. We are going to take a stroll down the list and give you what you never had. The first was what it would be like to be nagged about your homework.”

Jade was speechless. She looked at Mike as he led her to the next room.

Bill sat nervously on the couch in the family room, his knee bobbing up and down as Tommy and Brittany stood and paced.

“What are your intentions with Julie?” Tommy asked.

“To have dinner?” Bill said.

“Are you a smart ass?” Tommy glared at him.

“No Sir, but I just wanted to eat. I mean it’s dinnertime and Julie likes food. I mean, not too much food or anything, but she eats me,” he stuttered and blushed. “I mean she likes when I eat her, with her. “

“Dad! What are you doing? You are humiliating me!” Julie cried as she ran into the room. “Oh My Gawd!”

“Julie, enough with the dramatics. Your father was simply asking this young man what his intentions were towards you,” Brittany said. “It’s a perfectly reasonable question.”

“I’m so sorry, Bill, we can just go,” she said and turned to him.

“You aren’t going anywhere until he fills out this questionnaire,” Tommy said. “I want you to list all of your history with each and every substance and then rate the list of questions with agree, disagree or unsure.”

“What? You have got to be kidding me. I am never going to have sex, ever!” Julie whined.

Bill and Tommy and Brittany all stared at her.

“What?”

Mike led Jade out of the room and she had tears of happiness in her eyes.

“The first time you would have brought a boy home,” Mike said. “Are you ready for more?”

She nodded and they walked into the den. Stephanie was sitting by the fire with Bee and David and Josie. They were all eating macaroni and cheese out of coffee mugs and Stephanie was telling them a story.

“You see, when there is a snow day and you get to stay home, it is the most amazing thing. We all cuddle by the fire and eat macaroni or drink hot chocolate or both. We play outside in the snow and make angels and build a snow fort and then run inside with rosy cheeks and gather by the fire to watch it burn. It’s the simple and best thing we do as a family and it’s the time the best memories are made,” Stephanie said and smiled at the children.

Mike led Jade out and made their way back to the living room.

“Getting a snow day and making simple memories with mom,” he said and wiped Jade’s tears. “Come on.”

“I’m not going to your parent’s for Thanksgiving. Your mother hates me and my cooking,” Elizabeth said as she and Evan stood in the room.

He sighed and took a drink of his beer.

“She doesn’t hate you, she just wants you to let her make the food.”

She glared at him.

“I could have a five star chef cook for me and she would say it was bad. I want them all to come here.”

He choked and she crossed her arms.

“I’m your wife, Ev. You have to talk to her for me.”

He sighed.

“I’ll try,” he looked at her and nodded. “I’ll do it.”

“Thank you so much!” she cried and hugged him.

Mike took Jade out into the hallway and she couldn’t stop smiling. He looked at her and nodded.

“One more,” he said and took her into the dining room where everyone was sitting at the table. Elaine was there and Jade looked at everyone she loved. Tommy and Brittany and Naomi, Stephanie, Jack, Bee and Tessa, Bill, Julie, David and Josie, Ron and Jenny, Evan and Elizabeth. Tramp sat in his bed in the corner of the room and watched them. There were two empty seats for them.

Mike turned to face her and she was speechless.

“Jade, I know how worried you’ve been about everything that’s happened over the past few weeks, and I realized, through watching everyone around us, that none of us have had a picture perfect upbringing. It might not have looked like the Cleaver’s, but to each of us, it was our best.”

“I asked everyone to help make some traditions for you. I know how much my dad fought with me to do my homework when all I ever wanted was to throw a ball around. I know how hard Bill had to work when he wanted to date Julie. I don’t think there is a scarier force to come against than Jack and Tommy, and believe me, I’ve seen scary.”

Bill and Julie laughed and Tommy and Jack glared at them.

Mike grinned and looked at Stephanie for a minute before he looked at Jade.

“One of the best memories I ever had was when I was in elementary school and we had a snow day from school. I would spend hours outside and when I came in, my mom would have a blanket and warm food ready by the fire. We would watch cartoons and it was the most amazing day. I looked forward to that, not so much because I got to miss school, but because my mom made it so special.”

Jade wiped her tears as he spoke and she was just overwhelmed.

“There was also the time when my dad wanted us to go to my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving and my mom put her foot down. It was the first time I realized how much my dad adored my mom because going against his mother wasn’t advised. He stood up to her and although we still went, my mom made the stuffing and when my grandma ate it and didn’t spit it out, the bond was formed.”

They all laughed and he took a deep breath.

“I asked our friends and family to do this for us because I can’t change the past. I can’t make your upbringing be different or give you the traditions and memories you so richly deserve. What I can do is show you that we are not the sum of the painful experiences we’ve had. Many of us have been dealt terrible cards, but we’ve turned them into gold. We will make our own traditions and our own memories and they will be shared with our children. We will love each other and respect each other and emulate the love and respect shown by those in this room.”

He got down on one knee and Jade covered her mouth. He opened a beautiful ring box that had a simple cut diamond solitaire.

“I don’t have much to offer you. I have more baggage than anyone should have to take on and I have issues, which at times seem insurmountable. What I also have is the love of an amazing woman. You are incredibly beautiful and kind and giving. You have taken my past and my burdens and have loved me through it all. I love you more than I ever thought was possible. It would be my greatest honor if you would become my wife. Will you marry me?”

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