Musings

Focus, Dax. Look Up. (An Excerpt)

One of my favorite scenes in Everything She Ever Wanted is the Anaya family dinner where Dax has to face Harlow after their not-so-friendly first meeting three days earlier. And with the holiday season in full swing, it’s one of the scenes that always brings a smile to my face.

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“You forgot, didn’t you?” Sarah calls out from the dinner table the moment I step through the door before turning to look at our grandmother. “I told you he forgot. He was probably playing video games with the Villier brothers again.”

“So what if I was? I’m on vacation,” I mumble as I take the only available seat between Nana and my sister’s on-and-off-again boyfriend, Benny Turner, and father of their eight-year-old son, Dyami. Benny works for the Bureau of Indian Affairs as an environmental protection specialist on climate change as it affects the tribes in the region.

After a round of hi’s and hello’s, Nana finally introduces me to our guest, who’s sitting right in front of me, flanked between Sarah and Dyami.

“Hello, Dax,” Harlow says as I mutter something that sounds like Hi. “Nice to see you again.”

She’s wearing a pink top that plays up her key assets—her flawless skin, pert nose, and big beautiful brown eyes. And then there are her full lips that she just now licks, and as my eyes drift lower, my gaze lands on her perfect tits.  Focus, Dax.  Look up.

“Oh, so you’ve both met?” Benny asks as I tear my gaze from Harlow’s tits to her face and meet her big brown eyes.  God, she’s beautiful.

“Yes, we have,” Harlow says. “Dax came by two days ago to say hello.”

“He did? That was sweet of him,” Sarah says, smiling as she ignores my scowl and I know she’s going to torment me all throughout dinner, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Not in front of a guest. “I never realized he took the time to say hello to any of his renters.”

“Stop it, Sarah,” Nana says. “Why don’t we say grace and eat before Dyami sneaks another piece of fry bread when he thinks no one is looking.”

“You guys didn’t have to wait for me,” I say sheepishly as soon as Nana finishes saying grace and begins to dish out the stew in bowls, handing each one to Sarah to pass around the table.

“And since when do you turn off your phone, mijo?” she asks, handing me a bowl of stew. “We’ve been trying to reach you for the past hour to remind you to be here before our guest arrived.”

I pull out my phone from my back pocket and place it on the table. “Turn off my phone? Why would I turn off my…” I pause, noticing that it’s dead. “Oh, shit–”

“No cussing at the table, and you know my rule about phones during dinner. All of them, off,” Nana says as I return the phone into my back pocket, as does Benny who makes a guilty face.

“So, were you working at the Pearl?” Benny asks as Harlow takes a warm tortilla from the serving plate in front of her. “Want a beer?”

“Sure,” I reply as he twists one open and hands it to me. “Nah, it’s currently rented, in case you didn’t know.”

Benny shakes his head. “Nope, guess I didn’t know that. I always thought you stayed at the Pearl whenever you’re in town.”

“Not right now,” Sarah says in a sing-song voice as she grins at Harlow, ignoring the glare I’m shooting her way.

“Unfortunately, I’m renting it right now,” Harlow finally speaks, and I pray she doesn’t mention anything about my little visit. I continue eating my stew, biting into the tortillas that Nana makes from scratch. I can’t wait to have some fresh fry bread for dessert. “I didn’t realize that Dax uses it for work. If I’d known–”

“—you’d still stay according to your original plans,” Nana says before glaring at me. “And don’t you dare let my grandson bully you into leaving early.”

“Dax? Bully you into leaving? Say it ain’t true?” Sarah teases, watching me squirm before she turns to look at Harlow. “Is it true?”

I stuff a tortilla in my mouth and pretend I don’t hear a word they’re saying. Sarah is eight years older than I am and has always loved teasing me since we were kids. She knows how much I hate it, and so she does it every time we see each other. If I glare at her, she’ll only keep doing it, but I’m not about to let her bully me into silence either, even if my mouth is full.

“I id not bully a-wone in-o leaving.”

“Don’t speak with your mouth full, mijo,” Nana says as Benny chuckles.

“Yeah, don’t talk with your mouth full, Uncle Dax,” Dyami chimes in just as Benny raises an eyebrow at his son.

“And you, too, young man.”

“Look, I’m sorry,” I blurt out as everyone at the table suddenly becomes quiet. I know they’re watching me as I take a deep breath and look at Harlow. I’m sure it’s no accident why Nana has me sitting right across from her. “I’m sorry I came over that day, Dr. James, but I swear, I was not trying to get you to leave early.”

“Call me Harlow,” she says, smiling before she pins her gaze on me. “So why did you come over?”

I open my mouth to speak but stop myself. Mentioning the suicide note and the gun would only tell her that I was there that night, and that’s the last thing I want anyone to know. “Does it matter now? I got my weeks wrong, that’s all, and that’s why I’m apologizing right now. And I don’t care if you forgive me or not, but I’m sorry.”

“Don’t you have your stuff over there?” Sarah asks. “Why don’t you just get them and do your work here?”

I shrug.  “That’s alright. I figure I’ll head back to Flagstaff tomorrow and come back in two weeks. That should make everyone happy.”

“YOU’RE LEAVING?!”

It’s a chorus of voices that catches me by surprise, just as I see the hurt expression that crosses Nana’s face.  I see her glance at me and then at Harlow just as I look away.

“But you can’t leave! You just got here, Uncle Dax!” Dyami exclaims. “Please stay!  I still need to beat you in Minecraft.”

I actually had no plans of leaving but for the first time, the crowd around the table is getting the best of me, and I hate it.  But it’s not their fault.  Sure, I may look like my sister’s easy target but she’s just Sarah, the hospice nurse who sees so much death that she has to balance all that sadness out with something or she’ll go crazy.  It’s one of the other reasons I look forward to coming home because when there are no guests around, I dish it back to her just as good.

No, it’s not them.  But the woman sitting across from me is making me nervous. She even makes the butterflies in my belly flutter, and right now, I’m not happy about that. She’s a beautiful woman, and so out of my league, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her since I first saw her on my bed that night. It’s not even about the damn gun and the damn note anymore for she’s apparently changed her mind about killing herself, and now here she is enjoying my grandmother’s cooking.

No, this is about me and my damn knight in shining armor act, wanting to save every fucking damsel in distress. Only this time, it’s different, and I can feel it in my bones.

With Harlow James and her damn tits, I’ll be the one who’ll need the saving.

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Photo of woman laughing by Lesly Juarez (Unsplash) and was one of two main inspiration photos for Harlow James

Loving Riley Book Review | The InkedIn Book Blog

Let it be said that I am a complete Liz Durano fan and LOVE HER WORK. I’ve been following her work since she was on Wattpad and I am so happy that she’s making a name for herself in the published world too, because frankly, if you’re a romance fan, you absolutely need to read Liz’s books. There’s no two ways about it.

I read the first book in this trilogy, Loving Ashe, sometime early last year and absolutely adored it. In case you need a reminder, here’s my review – Loving Ashe.

In the sequel to Loving Ashe, things have really come together for both Ashe and Riley. Ashe is making a name in Hollywood and Riley is learning to let go of her past. They’re building a life together and both of them are extremely happy in their relationship. All is good for the couple until a blast from Ash’s past threatens to destroy everything that they’ve tried to build together.

Continue reading at Loving Riley, Liz Durano – Book Review | The InkedIn Book Blog

Thank you so much for this lovely review! What a sweet surprise to wake up to and if you’d like to read her full review and her other book reviews, make sure to head on over to her blog and follow!

Making Time

 

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Yes, that’s smog over Los Angeles beyond the Hollywood Reservoir, taken at the park below the Hollywood sign.

 

Another friend, not close to me, took her life a week or so ago. I only found out when I checked my personal FB page and saw my close friend’s post about receiving a farewell letter in the mail. Of course, by the time she received it three states away, our mutual friend was gone.

So this morning I spent the last half hour looking for the images I never sent to them of the time they came to visit me and I took them on a tour of Hollywood and Griffith Park on a smoggy Los Angeles day. I must have been working a lot because I only got to spend a day with them during their weeklong visit that included a celebratory dinner at Disneyland that I missed.

I miss a lot of things these days as I struggle to meet deadlines. Meetings with friends, walks to the beach and the lagoon, and so many more—I’ve missed too many. I need to make time for the things and the people that matter even if my work often consumes me.

While 2017 was the year of the Panic, Over-Ambition, and Never-Feeling-Good-Enough, I’m working toward making 2018 the year of Joy. I still need to set a deadline for each book but I’m going to be kinder to myself this time and actually stop to smell each rose instead of thinking to myself, well, that’s nice and all, but a full rose garden would have been better.

Every rose matters.

Every rose is beautiful.

 

Share Your World 2018 – Week 2

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

I grew up in Southeast Asia and there were no baths where I lived unless you were filthy rich. My mom did design our house to look like the ones in the US and so we had the shower stalls and the whole shebang – but not enough water pressure to make them work beyond a trickle. Just like the kitchen stove with the exhaust fan that went straight to the ceiling (there was no exhaust pipe), it was just for decoration. Instead, we had a big ten-gallon tub of water, a tabö (like a quart-sized container with a handle) you used to pour water on yourself.

When we moved here, the water pressure was so amazing compared to what I grew up with that I loved showers from the get-go. I also wonder where all the stuff goes while one sits in the bath so I end up taking a shower after anyway.

What do you do to make a living or during the day?

I write full-time. However, lately, I haven’t been writing much and I need to now set a deadline for those three books I will be publishing this year. Sawyer’s story, Gareth’s, and Blythe’s.

I just started re-listening to Chris Fox’s 5,000 Words Per Hour audiobook, and I also downloaded the book free from his website, and so my goal is to write those words down although it’s really dictating more than anything. Even though I haven’t set the dates when I have to finish each of those three books, I need to get the words down every day.

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom?

Yup, there is. It belongs to my son and he’s christened it Monorail. But it’s a full house over on his bed so Monorail ends up in mine.

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What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? 

This week, while waiting for my son’s class to finish, I stood in the hallway and noticed the campaign posters. It made me appreciate children’s innocence… and the fact that Lelani can count money. That’s quite important…

“I’m Still Here.”

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Josh grabbed her wrist, his grip tight. “What are you doing?”

“I’m feeling for scar tissue, that’s all,” she said. “I’m a doctor, remember? Sure, I may not be practicing but I’m still a trained medical professional.”

“I appreciate your concern, Livvy,” Josh said. He leaned forward, his face close to hers. “But what are you really doing here?”

This time, Olivia avoided his gaze and her face turned pink. Even her chest turned pink, he thought, now noticing the dress she wore. It was white with red flowers, her chest rising and falling with her breath, her ample cleavage peeking from above the low neckline. Then there was her bright red hair and blue eyes that often looked green, shielded by thick lashes resting on her cheeks when she lowered her gaze. God, she was beautiful.

“Nothing,” she snapped. “I want to help you, that’s all. I care for you, Josh. You’re like a brother to me.”

That was it.

“Enough of this brother crap. That’s a crock of shit and you know it.” He brought his leg down on the floor and got up from the chair, striding toward the casita.

“Then tell me what it really is, Josh,” she said, following after him. “You and I both want this.”

Josh stopped but didn’t turn to face her. “Since when did I become an expert on what we both want, Livvy? How the hell do you know what I want?”

“Since you stopped looking me in the eye,” Olivia replied. “You never used to be like this, so… so angry. We used to be able to talk about anything. Everything.”

“Not everything, Liv.” Josh took a deep breath and exhaled. “But I think we just made things more complicated right now.”

“It got complicated a long time ago, Josh, long before you got shot and I thought I lost you.” Her voice broke and Josh felt a tug in his chest. But he still couldn’t look at her. “One day you were there and then the next day, you weren’t.”

His throat tightened. “I’m still here.”

I Did A Thing!

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Yup, I did.

I narrated the first chapter of naughty pen’s book! It’s weird to hear your voice reading twelve minutes of a story out loud; weirder still when you read it as if you’re a narrator, like a real narrator. But I did it anyway and it counted as my accomplishment today, which is really one more distraction from the actual writing. I guess when I said that one of my resolutions this year was not to have a publishing schedule, I guess I meant it.

But seriously, I’ve always read my books out loud as part of editing. It helps me establish a rhythm to the prose, a cadence within the words and sentences and paragraphs. I don’t follow rules of short sentences followed by long sentences or whatnot. I simply write a chapter, then read it out loud to see if it sounds natural, especially when there’s dialogue.

It also meant, eventually, narration would come next especially when I had invested in a Blue Yeti microphone last year along with that thing you put in the front to get rid of mouth noise or whatever. I’d originally bought it because I was going to do a podcast but I suck at podcasts. Too many um’s and ah’s.

Not so much when I read a book or article out loud. And so this morning, with the kid at school I figured, hey, why not give it a go and say I did it? If it’s terrrible, so what? At least, I tried, right?

Here’s a snippet:

I don’t like that I have an accent and didn’t warm up before recording and so I end up mincing a few words, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. What matters is that I actually did it. I did learn how to edit the work and recognize “mouth sounds,” and boy, were there lots of them.

One of the other things I learned from the experience is that I like narrating. I really do. My first real job, while I was in college, was as a radio newscaster. It had begun as an internship but after the internship was over, they hired me to do the news and spin a few records… or during that time, put the tapes in. They weren’t exactly eight-track cartridges, but they were kinda like that back in those days.

And so I’m used to being in front of a microphone and reading things. But saying things off the top of my head? Not so much.

I have no idea if I’m going to continue narrating the first book. That’s 8K words, I think, of the first part with a total of 47K for all three parts. It probably will run a total of 5 hours of finished work, give or take. But that doesn’t mean it’s five hours of recording. It’s five hours of finished recording, not including the edited portions, the listening again and again for mouth sounds and other sounds that may crop up while recording to clean it up, proof it, and who knows what else. Turns out, the narration is the easiest part.

But since I’m still learning, it’s all good. And I’ll get to narrate naughty pen’s book as practice in the process… you know, for research.

Someone just needs to remind me about those publishing deadlines…

 

 

 

Would You Run Away Then?

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“When I was growing up,” I began. “I learned early on that while there were people who cared for you, there were others for whom your well-being was the last thing on their minds. And satisfying their needs came above all else. I guess you could say I fall between those two extremes.”

“That’s a safe place to be,” Erik said. “Though you can’t play it safe forever, Sam. You can’t keep running away from what it is you want to do—or have. It’s okay to take risks.”

“Is that what you think I do then? Run away?” I asked. I began to be aware of how close he was to me as if the space between us had somehow disappeared. I could smell the scent of soap and rosemary. Erik leaned closer to me and my breath caught in my throat as I looked at him, his blue eyes framed with thick lashes.

“Not everyone is out to hurt you, Sam,” he whispered. “There are those who care for you.”

“Sure,” I snapped, wanting nothing more but to wrench myself out of the fantasy that was never going to be. “Like you?”

Before I could move away, I felt Erik’s fingers touch my cheek, brushing a strand of hair from my face.

“What if I do care for you, Sam?” he asked, his voice quiet and gentle. “Would you run away then?”

 

And the Award Goes to…

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Yup, I won a Liebster award!

Thank you, collaredmichael, for nominating me and, boy, are the questions daunting so I’ll do my best (while others I’ll have to stay mum over to protect the guilty innocent) to answer every one.

There are however rules so here they are:

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you (done – see above), and post a link to their blog on your blog (done);

2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.);

3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you;

4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself;

5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!);

6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer; OR

7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.)

8. Once you have written and published it, you then have to inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Let’s start with the questions:

Questions:

1. How public are you with your blogging? Do you keep it a secret or do your family and friends know all about it?

I’m pretty public about my blogging although no one in my family and friends admits to reading it or care.

2. What is your dream job?

I’m doing it although I’m somehow missing the fully-staffed mansion and the cabana boy.

3.  What physical part of your significant other is your favourite?

 

4.  What human characteristic is the most important?

Being able to listen. We talk too much and there’s not much listening going on. Or if we’re “listening,” we’re also already formulating our response in our heads.

5.  What prompted you to start blogging?

The first time I blogged, it wasn’t called blogging. There was just Geocities and I had just learned how to write HTML and Javascript. These were Frontpage and Dreamweaver if you wanted to set up websites and I did that for clients while building my massage practice. It gave me something to do in between client sessions.

I blogged my poetry first and I also did an online journal where I wrote about my meditations and my muse. I also posted my stories back in 1999.  Here’s a sample –  my Muse’s name was Alexa and she wasn’t a nice person. I miss her. Here’s another one. I even helped one author post her ebook (I just remembered that now) back in 2000 and yet I abandoned my writing and blogging then, returning to it on and off until I returned again in 2012 after my son was diagnosed with autism. I thought I. could blog about my feelings but turns out, I couldn’t. I do better through the filter of fiction.

6.  Have you any piercings?  If not, would you like to have some?

My grandmother pierced my ears when I was about six years old using a heated tip of a safety pin and then alcohol. I remember that quite clearly still. I almost got my tongue pierced after meeting this woman who had one and I thought, whoa, that would be an amazing sensation for (insert then boyfriend’s name here).

7.  What hobby do you have that embarrasses you?

It’s taken me a whole ten minutes sitting here trying to figure this out so I guess none? I crochet, knit, spin wool, collect paperbacks… and maybe purses.

8.  What part of the world do you most want to visit before you die?

England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland. I want to visit the Dales, home of the Brontë sisters. I’ll probably freeze my ass off but I want to inhale that air.

9.  Do you have any tattoos?  What might prompt you to get one?

I have a small one that I got on a trip to Hollywood one day. It was spur of the moment and I picked an initial in a place you don’t normally see them. The initial was for my then-boyfriend whose first name started with the same letter of the alphabet as all the men in my family haha… or while playing beach volleyball and everyone could see it, represented to the boys that P word in erotic novels.

I wanted a full back tattoo once after seeing one of my clients with Kwan Yin on her entire back. But after hearing about all the work that had to go into it, the many visits for this color and that detail work, I’m good with my one teeny one.

10. Do you have sexual fantasies or dreams?  Can you share one?

I’m a submissive who happens to be a brat as well. So my sexual fantasies go the route of the consequences of being one. You’ll have to read my naughty pen’s books to know them but here’s an excerpt (kids, close your eyes):

Deep in my thoughts, I didn’t hear him approach until I felt his hand on my buttocks. “You have a perfect ass, sub. So beautiful. So perfect.”

I barely had time to process his words when I felt a hard smack on my butt and cried out in pain and surprise. What the f*ck? Was that the paddle? The smack came again, as hard as the first and my breath hitched in my throat this time. The pain went from my ass straight to the bundle of nerves between my legs.

He repeated the smacks to my ass two more times before he stopped, his hand caressing my burning skin. “Would you like me to stop, sub?”

I shut my eyes, the sensation of his hand touching my reddened skin making the hair on my arms stand on end. Was it always this good?

11.What is the sexiest piece of clothing/outfit you own?  Have you ever worn it out in public?

It’s a black lace teddy that looks and feels really delicious. Yes, I  have worn it in public under a tailored jacket although it’s been awhile.

Random facts about myself:

  1. I’m a Gemini which means I like having two of everything if I can get away with it.
  2. I was almost kicked out of school in eighth grade for writing this steamy taboo serial (which was popular in Homeroom, by the way) between an older woman and a younger man. To avoid getting kicked out, I agreed to be placed in the after-school Poetry club where the principal figured I’d get to work on my prose. The principal didn’t even tell my mother (which was part of the ‘deal.’)
  3. As a massage therapist, I’ve worked on some of the Who’s Who in Hollywood. I know where they live (or I did and their addresses are in my old schedule book) and they’re just like you and me. Just prettier and richer.
  4. My mom used to rent the back house to a mistress who’d get visits from her married lover a few afternoons a week and their window was right across from mine. For a long time, I thought that’s what I would end up as since those were the women (mistresses) I saw the most. That’s probably why #2 was easy to write…
  5. My dad owned many businesses including an import/export company, a gas station and a “gentleman’s club” that had massage cubicles in the back. So my idea of massage was pretty much clouded by the memory of walking along this darkened hallway with these doors that said Tahiti, Bahamas, etc. instead of door numbers. It didn’t last long though. Needless to say, when I told my dad that I became a massage therapist, he panicked LOL
  6. I draw although I suck when it comes to coloring them, like painting them with oils and acrylics.
  7. I like to drive. When I was single, it wasn’t unusual for me to “go for a drive” all the way to Sacramento or San Francisco to visit friends. Or Albuquerque. Just pop my writing and driving music in the CD player and I was off. When I was dating my Mr. Big (Sex and the City reference), he’d rent whatever car I wanted for the month and I was off although I did have to pick him up and drop him off at the airport.
  8. One of my former bosses gave me a pair of tickets to a chamber performance she couldn’t attend at the last minute and lucky for me and Mr. Big (then), it was the violinist Isaac Stern who happens to be the best violinist in, like, forever. We sat in the six row, center. It brought to mind that saying about the music of angels; with him it was true. It was heavenly and it was once in a lifetime. He would pass away a year or two later and how I wish I kept that signed CD but I had to give it to my boss as thanks because it turned, she bought the whole package of performances to see Stern.
  9. Tom Skerrit sat down next to me at the airport once. But I was so nervous the only thing I could think of was Tom Green’s name so instead of blurting out the wrong name along with “Steel Magnolias!” and “Picket Fences!” I said, “Oh my God, I love your work so much but I forgot your name. But I know who you are.” He said thanks and left. Mr. Big then told me that next time, I should stop while I was ahead. Mr. Big, by the way, is that perfect ex-boyfriend my mom still wishes to this day I married. I call him my Mr. Big and he called me Trouble. He now lives on the Upper East Side and would probably run for office if not for having lived with that girl named Trouble in the past…
  10. I used to play beach volleyball, having lived one block from the ocean for about two years in Hermosa Beach. I attended a well-known beach volleyball tournament in Ensenada, Mexico two years in a row so long ago and made it (by accident) to the semi-finals that first year all because of my partner, a semi-pro player who probably regretted ending up with a lucky beginner. It was a weighted blind draw sand doubles volleyball tournament (“CBVA” rules) where the blind part means players don’t pick their own partners.  The next year, I just played drunk and probably had fun more. All I remember were the ballena beers and someone climbing a coconut tree (no, it was not me).
  11. Oh, I have to come up with 11? Okay, I like writing poetry but you probably already knew that…
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From my NaPoWriMo15 challenge here.

Alright, so now the nominations:

@CarlyQuinn

@thealvarezchronicles

@Sweetgirl

Dacia M Arnold

Congratulations!

 

 

My January Newsletter

What an imaginative title for a post! But I ran out of good titles before coffee so it will have to do. Anyway, each month I send out a newsletter to my subscribers and while that email is queued to go out early tomorrow morning, you get to see my recommendations and giveaways here first!

What I’ve Been Reading

I added a few books to my library during the holiday break and these are three that are on top of the list (and in no particular order).

Saltwater Scars: In the Deep Book One by Jenna Brett

Saltwater Scars: In The Deep is the first book in a trilogy that follows the adventures of scarred former Marine and billionaire, Neil Morgan, who believes no one will ever love him because of his scars and his baggage, and Ross Gillian, also a former Marine, who’s got her own problems. When he stumbles upon a game-changing technology that could alter the course of history, he inadvertently puts Ross and her family in harm’s way.

To keep her safe, Neil must face his demons and step out of his gilded cage to protect her. But will she let him?

Saltwater Scars: In The Deep is 99 cents or FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Lover Boy: Blue Collar Bachelors Book 1 by Cassie Ann L Miller

The road to hell is paved with good intentions… and in Theresa “Reese” Hartley’s case, a pair of her enormous red granny panties that her gorgeous next-door-neighbor’s young son pulled from her recycling bin to use as a superhero accessory. When he hires her to babysit his adorable troublemaker, not only do her maternal instincts go into overdrive, but the sexual tension between them as well…

I just started reading this and it’s hilarious. It’s currently FREE until 1/12 so grab it now or if you’re in Kindle Unlimited, add it to your library!

Lover Boy: Blue Collar Bachelors Book 1 is the first book in Cassie’s newest series, Blue Collar Bachelors.

The Biographies of Ordinary People: Vol 1: 1989-2000

I discovered Nicole Dieker’s blog during my break and heard about her book. So naturally, I one-clicked it (it’s available on all platforms) and love the realistic drama that unfolds on each page. It’s not a quick read for me but it’s an intimate read. And that’s how I like some of my books sometimes.

Set against the past thirty years of social and cultural changes, this story of the Gruber family, friendship, and artistic ambition takes us into intimately familiar experiences: putting on a play, falling out with a best friend, getting dial-up internet for the first time. Drinking sparkling wine out of a paper cup on December 31, 1999, and wondering what will happen next.

Check out Nicole’s book on Amazon here.

Want to download 30 FREE books? If you’ve got Kindle Unlimited, go ahead and add them to your library!

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Click here to download 30 FREE books

Want to win a signed copy of my books? You’ve got a choice of three to choose from! My current picks for this month’s signed paperback giveaway are Everything She Ever Wanted, Falling For Jordan’s exclusive paperback cover of Jordan and baby Piper, and the brand spanking newly-recovered Collateral Attraction! You get to pick which one!

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Click here to enter the giveaway

Hope you all have a wonderful January and may we get to stick to our resolutions till February 1st!

Share Your World 2018 – Week 1

I used to do this on my poetry blog years ago but this year, I want to start doing this here as I need to consolidate all my blogs eventually. If you’d like to join, please click on the banner to learn more.

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What one word describes you best?

Creative.

What is set as the background on your computer?

I have my laptop and an external monitor. The external monitor shows the Swiss Alps (something that came with my Macbook’s default settings) and the laptop monitor shows this, my inspiration for most of my heroes who aren’t blue collar. The hand, the tie, the perfectly cut suit, and those lips. Oh, and the watch. Well, everything.

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If you have been to a foreign country name those you have been to?

Japan, Hongkong, and Mexico.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

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I made this graphic as something for my Instagram wall, something funny although I’ve yet to post it. With the new year, it’s easy to dream of a life that is easier, maybe with more success and more money and more stability than I currently have. But this little meme also reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for, that the so-called lifestyle I have right now is good.