Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday with FIRST AND AGAIN!

Today I'm featuring my October 2013 release from Carina Press, FIRST AND AGAIN. This small town romance takes place in Paradise, North Dakota. Here's the blurb:

Bridget Grant is back in Paradise. Paradise, North Dakota, that is.
She’s swallowed her pride and moved back to her hometown with her daughter after her divorce and the loss of her catering company. Now she’s trying to navigate the strained relationships she’d left behind – including her first love, Jack Davison.
Jack never forgot Bridget, or the day she left town – and him. When Bridget caters a lunch at Jack’s tourist ranch, old flames reignite. They have more in common than ever – Jack’s also a single parent. Though they both try to keep things casual, Bridget, Jack and their girls are starting to look a lot like a family.
But Bridget’s only planning to stay in Paradise until she’s saved enough to relaunch her business. Jack’s invested too much in his ranch to leave. And with their daughters involved both have a lot more at stake than heartbreak. How can they risk falling in love?
In this six paragraph snippet, Jack and Bridget are having an argument about Jack's daughter Leslie. Leslie is ten years old and has Down syndrome. Because of this Jack tends to be overprotective, and does everything for her, including dressing her and cutting her food. Bridget argues that he's not letting Leslie grow. She believes Leslie is capable of much more than he's giving her credit for. But Jack doesn't want to hear any of it:

“The point I’m trying to make is that she has to be given an opportunity to learn. She’s been sheltered to the point of it being dangerous for her. Tell me, if Leslie were ‘normal’, would you do all these things for her or would you have taught her to be more self-sufficient?”

His chest tightened with anxiety. This was territory he didn’t delve into, even on his own. “Don’t think because we slept together you’ve got any kind of right to tell me how to raise my daughter.”

She took a step back, dropping his hand. “That’s not what I was trying to do.”

“Isn’t it? You’re not Leslie’s mother, so don’t make any presumptions about her or me. Your own daughter has more than enough problems to deal with. Leave mine alone.”

He regretted his words the instant they spilled from his mouth. She stared at him a moment, hurt flickering in her eyes. Then she looked away, blinking rapidly.

“Don’t worry, Jack. I won’t presume anything.” She headed for the closet at the back door.

I'm featuring FIRST AND AGAIN  on Thursday May 1 in the May Day Facebook party. I hope you can join me at 1 pm CST for chance to win a copy of the book. Contests will be held all day long with prizes given away every hour. See you at 

Thank you for joining me today at Sneak Peek Sunday. For more sneak peeks, please go to

Friday, April 25, 2014

Deleted Scene from FIRST AND AGAIN

The following is a deleted epilogue from FIRST AND AGAIN, my small town, second-chance-at-love romance. My editor at Carina Press felt I’d already tied up all the loose ends in the last chapter, and that this epilogue wasn’t necessary. And after reading again in the editing stage, I had to agree. I guess I loved these characters so much that I wanted to see them happy in their new lives. She suggested I use the deleted scene on my website, and I might still do that, but I wanted to share it here with you first:  

Bridget set down the receiver of the phone and smiled at her sister.

“That was Mike. He and Megan just picked up Leslie at the school in Bismarck and they’re on their way home.”

“Okay, so we’ve got about an hour to get everything ready,” Celia said, looking around the restaurant. They’d gone a little overboard with the pink and purple streamers, Leslie’s two favorite colors. “We should be fine. I’ll finish icing the cake. Tell Jack and Gavin it’s time to fire up the barbecues. We’ve got practically the whole town coming.” She grinned at Bridget. “This is a little different from most of the events you cater.”

“It’s the best one so far,” she said with a smile. She glanced at the huge banner Megan and Shawna and Rebecca had made declaring, “Happy 11th Birthday Leslie!” in bright neon pink and purple. “I think she’d going to be so surprised.”

“In more ways than one,” Celia laughed. “Go check on the guys.”

Tina stopped her before she could make it out the door. She held out a plate of cookies.  “What do you think?”

Bridget laughed when she saw that she’d created happy faces on each of Leslie’s favorite oatmeal cookies with pink and purple M and M’s. “I’m sure they’ll be a big hit.” She pulled her into an embrace. “Thank you for everything.”

Tina hugged her back. “Hey, it’s not every day a girl turns eleven. I hate to bring up business at a time like this but we need to talk to the Smiths by Thursday and nail down the menu for their anniversary party.”

“You might have to talk to them because I’ve got to get my supplies on Thursday for the wedding on Friday night.”

“Okay, I can do that. Remind me to mark it in the calendar of my new Iphone.”

She grinned. “Have you figured out how to use it yet?”

“It’s coming. You’ve got to get with the new technology, Bridge.”

“I’m doing fine with my pencil and my calendar, thank you very much.”

“Suit yourself.” Tina smiled and threw her free arm around Bridget. “Congratulations, sweetie. I know you’re going to be very happy.”

“I already am,” she replied.

It was true. Between the growing catering business and the restaurant that she and Tina had just reopened, she was working harder than ever before. But somehow it didn’t seem like work. It felt like she was having a good time with her best friend doing what she loved.

If someone had told her a year ago that Tina Wilson would become her best friend, she would have asked what he was smoking.

“Mom!” Rebecca stood in the doorway to the restaurant looking frantic. “Can you come here a minute?”

“What’s wrong?”

She held out a silver necklace. “My fingers are all thumbs. I can’t do up the clasp.”

“Here, let me get that for you.” Bridget took the necklace from her daughter’s hand.  “Turn around and lift your hair.”

Rebecca obediently made an about face. “I’m so nervous!  I’ve never been a bridesmaid before. How come you’re so calm? I thought brides turned into Bridezillas before the ceremony.”

She laughed. “I guess I’m calm because I know I’m marrying the right man. I know Jack and I are going to be very happy.”

“I think so too, Mom.”

She squeezed her shoulders. “There. Your necklace is secured and you’re all set.”

Rebecca turned to face her once more, smoothing the skirt of her dress as she did so. She wore a simple sundress with spaghetti straps in a bright yellow that set off the flames in her auburn hair. “How do I look?”

She smiled and touched her face. It was hard to believe her baby was sixteen years old. “You look all grown up, and completely, and utterly stunning.”

She hugged her. “Thanks Mom. I love you.”

“I love you too, baby.”

Mavis came in through the back door to the restaurant carrying two large vases filled with flowers.

“Aren’t these nice?” Mavis said. “They’re from Jane’s garden. Where would you like me to put them?”

Bridget glanced at the two long banquet tables they’d set up for their guests. “Maybe on either end of the head table.”

“Jane’s bringing two more bouquets when she comes.”

“Even better. We can have one on every table. Rebecca, can you help Grandma and Jane seat people as they arrive?”


“Here Rebecca,” Mavis said, handing her one of the vases. “Put this on the table for me, will you.”

“Okay Grandma.” She walked toward the banquet tables with her arrangement of gladiolas and lilies.

 Mavis kissed Bridget’s cheek. “Be happy, honey.”

“I am, Mom. I will be.”

“I see George and Don are here already.”

She waved at the two older gents as they made their way into the room. Don wheeled Martha in her chair. “I promised them apple pie if they got here early. Can you cut them each a piece?”

Mavis laughed and shook her head. “Those two are incorrigible. I’ll take care of them.”

She made her way outside. The coolness of the air conditioned restaurant was a sharp contrast to the hot July afternoon. Jack and Gavin had borrowed a couple of gas barbecues in order to cook up enough hot dogs and hamburgers for the hungry crowd that was on its way.

“Mike phoned. They just picked up Leslie. If we cook the burgers now we can put them in the warming tray till it’s time to eat. I don’t want you two slaving away out here and missing the all the fun.”

“I’ll go grab the burgers and dogs from the freezer,” Gavin said. “You start up the grills.”

Jack gave him a salute. “Aye, aye Captain.”

After the grills began to heat he turned to Bridget. “Is everything under control? Do you need me to do anything else?”

“No, we’re fine,” She said with a smile. She placed her arms around his waist. “I wouldn’t want to wear out one of the guests of honor. At least not yet.”

He kissed her with a passion that hinted at delights to come. “Good idea. We’ll need a little stamina for our wedding night.”

“Our wedding night.” She laughed. “Can you believe it?”

He kissed her nose. “Believe it, sweetheart.”

“I hope the justice of the peace keeps the ceremony short and sweet.”

“That’s the best kind.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Not a bit.”

“Me neither,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having fun with all our friends and family.”

“You’re sure you didn’t want a fancier wedding? Maybe something on a Caribbean island or a cruise ship? We can still do something like that later if you want.”

She shook her head. “Nope. I’m getting married exactly where I want and how I want, on my step-daughter’s eleventh birthday. And most importantly, I’m marrying the man I want. I couldn’t be happier, Jack.”

It was true. She was surrounded by the people she loved in the town she’d come to love. She felt like the luckiest woman in the world.

She knew without a doubt she belonged in Paradise.

Thanks everyone! I hope you enjoyed this deleted scene!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Winner on my Spring Fever Post!

The winner of an ecopy of ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, the prize I offered on the MFRW Spring Fever Blog Hop is ...

Mary Magdeline!

Congratulations Mary! Enjoy.

Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you to the wonderful staff at Marketing for Romance Writers for setting up the blog hop. Cheers!

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's Spring! - Sort of ‪#‎MFRWhop‬ Contest & Prize

When I was kid growing up on a farm on the Canadian prairies, I knew it was spring when the crocuses bloomed in the pasture. Sometimes, they were so anxious to bloom that they pushed their way through the snow, somehow managing to survive.

I feel a little like that this spring, so anxious for some warm weather that I'm ready to blast through the snow. It's been a very long, long, long winter and I'm ready for it end.

crocus snow photo: Snow Crocus crocus.jpg

Unfortunately, it's going to be a while until I see any crocuses around here. Here's a couple of shots of my yard as of April 2, 2014:

My back yard. My husband used the snow blower to make a path so he could get to the shed, and so the dog could do her business without drowning!

My front yard, looking across the street toward my neighbor's house. Yes, my garbage cans are out there too. You just can't see them because they're in front of the gigantic snow bank on the street!

So for a while, I'm going to have to dream about flowers, playing golf, walks with my dog, and other good things I like to see and do in the spring.

How about you? Is it spring where where you are? Or are you still waiting like me?

I'm giving away an e-copy of Book 3 of my Left at the Altar series, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID. To be eligible to win, here's what you have to do:

1. Comment on this blog and tell me something you like about spring, or something you plan to do this spring.

2. Like my Facebook page. Send me an email at with SPRING FEVER in the subject line to let me know.

3. Follow me on Twitter. Again, email me to let me know.

4. Subscribe to my newsletter. I send out a few newsletters a year to let readers know about new releases, contests, and other news.

5. Follow me on Goodreads. Email me at to let me know.

You don't have to do all five things, but the more entries you make, the more chances you have to win. I'll pick one name at random by April 15, 2014. The chances of winning depend on the number of entries. Good luck everyone!

To whet your appetite, here's the blurb and a short snippet from ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID. I hope you enjoy it!

Dani Dipietro has always considered herself an ugly duckling in a family of swans. She's the bridesmaid her friends count on, but never the woman any man wants for his bride. So she plays the funny girl and guards her emotions, and her secrets, closely.
When Zach Morrison was dumped at his wedding, Dani was there to help him through the humiliation. A year later they meet again and once more Zach needs her help. To fend off the unwanted attentions of his former fiancé, he asks Dani to pretend to be his girlfriend. They play their roles a little too well, and make believe turns into reality. But their relationship comes crashing down around them when Zach's trust issues cause him to accuse Dani of cheating. Telling the truth means that Dani will betray a friend, something she will never do. But keeping her secrets means she may be destined to remain a bridesmaid forever.

Here's a ten paragraph peek at ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID:

Wanting nothing more than to comfort, she wrapped her arms around his waist in a hug. He held her tightly, pulling her against him and burying his face in her neck. Dani inhaled the intoxicating scent of spicy aftershave laced with underlying notes of warm, clean male. How could Chantal treat a wonderful man like Zach this way?

She gently pulled away, keeping him at arm's length. "You're going to get past this, Zach."

"It doesn't feel like it right now."

"I know, but someday, when you're old and grey, you'll be sitting on the front porch with your wonderful wife of fifty years, and you'll say 'Thank Heaven Chantal cheated on me or I never would have met you.'"

He made a sound somewhere between a laugh and a sob. "Fifty years, eh?"

"Trust me."

Some lucky girl would snap Zach up in a minute, and if she was smart, she'd shower him with the love and consideration he deserved.

Some lucky girl, but not me.

Reluctantly, she took a step back. He squeezed her fingers before letting her go. With her heart pounding in her chest, and regret nipping at her heels, she hurried from the church.

Before she did something stupid, like kiss the jilted groom.

Don't forget to enter my contest! Scroll up to see how. And once you have, I hope you continue hopping your way through the MFRW Spring Fever Blog Hop.Here's the link if you need it: Happy Spring everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Long Way From Eden #MFRWHooks

Welcome to the April 9, 2014 version of Book Hooks! Today I'm featuring my contemporary romance A LONG FROM EDEN. Here's the blurb:

Zane Martin's teenage daughter is pregnant. Meg Evan's son is the baby's father. Because Zane grew up not knowing who his father was, he'll be damned if he'll let his grandchild live with that shame. Meg was forced into an abusive marriage because of an unplanned pregnancy, so she knows that love is the only good reason to marry. Neither Meg nor Zane expects or welcomes the attraction that sparks between them. As they await the impending birth of their grandchild, old wounds open and long hidden family secrets come to light. The young couple builds a newer, stronger relationship, while Meg and Zane reach for a love passionate enough to overcome the past--if they're strong enough to trust it...and each other.

And here's eight paragraphs from A LONG WAY FROM EDEN. I hope you enjoy them!:

She stopped a few feet from his booth. Had Jane mentioned his name? From this close, he appeared tougher than the regular run-of-the-mill businessman. A jagged scar ran across the back of his hand, while another began at his left temple and disappeared into his eyebrow.

She cleared her throat when he looked up, extending her hand to him. "I'm Meg Evans. You wanted to speak with me?"

He stood and took her hand in a brief shake, his mouth unsmiling and tense. "I'm Zane Martin."  He looked around.  "Is there somewhere we can speak in private?"

Warning bells clamored in her head. "Anything you have to say to me, you can say right here." There was no way she was going anywhere private with this guy. She slid into the seat across from his.

He sat again and laid his hands on the table, his palms flat against the smooth brown Formica. Frowning, he said, "Are you sure? What I have to say is very personal."

"Look, Mr. Martin, I don't know you. I have no idea what you could possibly want to say to me, but whatever it is, I'll hear it right here." She folded her arms across her chest.

He studied her for a minute, his look enigmatic. She returned his scrutiny, wondering how he'd received the scars. Despite their dangerous appearance, they didn't take away from the attractiveness of the man.

He fidgeted for a few seconds, and then suddenly blurted out, "Your son got my daughter pregnant."

A LONG WAY FROM EDEN is available from  Uncial Press and other major e-book sellers.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Sneak Peek Sunday look at Burning Love

Happy Sneak Peek Sunday! Today I'm offering a sneak peek from BURNING LOVE, my humorous, paranormal, contemporary romance. Here's the blurb:

After causing three cooking fires in her apartment, Iris Jensen finds herself homeless.  She lands on Riley Benson's doorstep, looking to rent a room in the beautiful old home he's restoring.  It's only for six weeks until Iris leaves Portland, Oregon for her new job on a cruise ship.  Firefighter Riley knows exactly what a bad tenant she can be.  But he needs money to finish the work on the house he loves.  And something about Iris pulls at his heart…Meanwhile, in Heaven, two angels watch over the young lovers.  Angelica and Hildegard work in Heaven's Relationship Division, where angels match mortals with their soul mates.  The angels believe so strongly in Iris and Riley’s love that they break Heaven's rules to help them.  Can the the angels convince them their love will last a lifetime before time runs out?

Here's six paragraphs from BURNING LOVE:

        Riley’s heart tripped over itself when he answered an insistent knock at his door. Surprise didn’t come close to expressing what he felt when he discovered Iris Jennings on his front porch. The woman who’d occupied his thoughts for the past week wore a deer-in-the-headlights expression, obviously as shocked to see him as he was to see her.

Buddy let out a volley of sharp barks, picking up on Riley’s tension. Sigmund Freud had nothing on Buddy when it came to recognizing anxiety. “Buddy, sit.”

The black lab quieted immediately and sat obediently at his feet. Iris gave Riley a wan smile. “Well, at least you didn’t sic the dog on me.”

Riley folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the door frame, attempting a nonchalant air.  “Iris Jennings. What a surprise. My work doesn’t usually follow me home.”

“I’m sorry. In all the confusion of the fire I’ve forgotten your name.”

“Riley Benson.” It was humbling to know she didn’t remember his name. What on earth was Iris Jennings doing at his house? And if she didn’t know his name, how had she found him?

BURNING LOVE can be purchased from The Wild Rose Press and at other major e-bookstores.

For more great sneak peeks please go to