Mary

Too True To Be Good, first kiss

Too True To Be GoodThanksgiving is coming up quickly, too quickly I think. It’s hard to believe we’ve now completely skipped over thanksgiving in the US and move on to Christmas once Halloween is over.

I love thanksgiving. It’s a chance to slow down, and a time to be together as a family without having the stress of presents. I love giving gifts, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot of stress that goes along with it. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where we don’t have to worry about anything except how stretch our pants are and how much pie we can eat before we feel sick.

It’s kind of a great day. Especially since there’s also football.

I talked a few weeks ago about some of the things I’m thankful for. You guys know I’m always thankful for a first kiss. That moment when you wonder if it’s going to happen. That moment where everything seems to stand still. That moment where everything is right and perfect and amazing.

I love creating those moments over and over again. I hope you enjoy the latest one!

Excerpt from Too True To Be Good

She said she didn’t want him. That he wasn’t her type, or her fantasy. That she was going home and didn’t want to get involved.

But he didn’t fucking care.

He wanted her enough for both of them.

He meant what he said. She needed to relax, to enjoy things a bit. To let someone take care of her for once.

No, he wasn’t the man for the job, but he could show her what it was like to be kissed like you were the only thing that mattered. Because in that moment, she was.

Zach traced the seam of her lips with his tongue and groaned when she opened immediately for him. His fingers dove for her hair, angling her head the way he wanted it. She gave him a needy whimper, one that had him hardening beneath the fly of his jeans. He only intended to kiss her, but if she kept making noises like that, he wasn’t going to be responsible for what he did.

Gianna’s hands eased up his chest, toying with him. Her delicate touch was in direct contrast to the hard way he kissed her. Maybe she was giving him a signal, telling him to slow it down.

She pinched his nipple. Hard. He liked that signal.

His tongue glided alongside hers, getting to know her. She tasted like his wine and his food. He wanted her to taste like him. He groaned at the thought of his come on her tongue.

Jesus, he was like a teenager.

Available Now!

Ebook on Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords

#FiveOnFriday with Helen Lynch

Please welcome Helen Lynch here today! You’re going to love her debut book! But first, let’s find out about her inspiration!

When did you first think about writing a book? Did you write it then, or put it off for a few years?

I like to joke that I wrote my first book when I was nine years old. It was a mystery and came in at a hefty three pages, giving new meaning to the term short contemporary. I’ve written for years, but didn’t start to write seriously until about five years ago.

Why did you decide to become an author?

Stephen King once said he writes because he can’t not write. I can relate to that. I’m happiest and most upbeat when I’m working on a story.

What inspired you to write this book?

I am a firm believer in the healing power of love, and in second chances. I’ve seen people face overwhelming loss and pain, and still be brave enough to live life to the fullest, and to risk their heart. Loving Matt is such a story.

Where do your ideas for stories come from?

Oh, everywhere! For a while, I tried to write romantic suspense and all I needed to do was read the headlines for inspiration. Now that I’ve settled on small town contemporary romance, inspiration is all around me. I focus on the things that are most important to me, love, family, friendship, all tied up in a happy ending.

What’s usually the first thing that sparks a story idea? (For example, you come up with a title, a character, an idea, a setting, etc. and the story grows from there.)

I always start with the characters: who they are, what they do, what they want, what their goals are, and then, what’s keeping them apart. Loving Matt, the first book in my Sunset Bay series, was sparked by a boxed ad I saw in a local Pennysaver. “Single dad with a six year old son looking for house to rent. Must have big back yard.” That just sent the wheels turning!

Blurb

Widower Matt Copeland packs up his life and moves with his six-year-old son to a small New England town in an attempt to build a new life away from the sadness that haunts them. Refusing to risk his heart, or his son’s, ever again, the former police officer holds everyone at arms length.
Until he meets realtor Chelsea Abbott. Chelsea has suffered loss as well, but refuses to let it define her. She rents Matt a very special house, and helps him settle into life in Sunset Bay. Little by little, he begins to let his guard down and cautiously explores the possibility of letting Chelsea into his life.
Then Chelsea is hurt, and the nightmare of losing his wife resurfaces. He realizes he has put his heart, and more importantly his son’s, at risk again, and breaks off the budding relationship. Can Chelsea convince him that love is more powerful than fear and that some things are worth the risk?

Buy Links

Amazon – Amazon http://amzn.to/2xaiaoC
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2vVOOLW
iBooks http://apple.co/2xamS5A
Kobo http://bit.ly/2g2N3Hl

Excerpt from Loving Matt, A Sunset Bay Romance

CHAPTER ONE

“Okay, I know you’re in here somewhere.” Matt tried to hide the exasperation in his voice as he quickly scanned the living room. How could a kid just disappear? One minute, Zak was standing next to him as he packed up the last of the books from the bookcase, the next he was gone.

“Come on Zak. This isn’t cool.” He couldn’t really blame him. He’d already been through so much upheaval, and now they were leaving the only home Zak had ever known. This, on top of losing his mom. Matt’s jaw clenched. There’s no way he was going there. Not if he wanted to survive.

Matt was no stranger to hardship. He’d been through a lot in his thirty plus years. First, his deployment to Iraq, and the horrors he’d witnessed there, followed by his years on a big city police force. Tough times, yes, but nothing had ever hit him as hard as the death of his wife. Hit him? It just about flattened him. If he hadn’t built the walls he did almost immediately after her diagnosis, he wouldn’t have made it past the first week.

“Come on, buddy. Help me finish packing this box and we’ll grab some pizza. I’ll even let you do the tape.” He smiled, remembering Zak all tangled up in duct tape the last time he’d ‘helped.’

Matt spotted the scuffed toe of Zak’s sneaker peeking out from under the drapes at the same moment his phone rang. Irritated, he reached across the couch and snatched it up, never taking his eyes off the lump behind the curtain. “Hello.”

Silence. His curt tone evidently had taken the caller aback. He repeated the greeting, struggling to keep his tone light even as he walked toward his son. “Hello?”

The caller hesitated for a moment. “I’m looking for Mr. Copeland?”

Her voice was firm, businesslike. Pleasant though. Probably a telemarketer. “You’ve got him.” He kept his eyes locked on the wiggling form, now just inches away from him.

“I’m calling about your ad…”

“Ha! Got you!” Matt dropped the phone and grabbed his son as he dashed from his hiding spot. He placed the blond haired six-year-old in a playful headlock and scrambled to pick up the phone. “Sorry. Hello?”

“Yes. I’m still here.” The tone had an element of frost in it by now. Or wariness. Either way, the slight warmth that he’d felt curling through the phone line was gone.

“Sorry. I was on a recon mission.”

“Pardon me?”

Matt held back a laugh. “It’s sort of like hide and seek. What can I do for you?”

The caller recovered quickly. “I’m calling about the ad you placed in the Sunset Bay Courier.” At his continued silence, she went on. “For a house. To rent.” Now she sounded just a little flustered.

“I’m listening.” He could feel Zak wriggling against him in yet another attempt to escape. “Can you hold on a minute? I think a glass of lemonade and a cookie just might free me up enough to answer your questions.”

He placed the phone on the end table, carefully avoiding the silver framed photo sitting there. That was another place he wasn’t willing to go.

He tousled his son’s hair, then gently pushed him ahead as they entered the kitchen. “Okay. Here’s the deal. You get the cookie and the lemonade and I get five minutes without you trying to disappear on me. What do you say?”

Zak looked up at him. Blue-green eyes, so like his mother’s, clouded with a sadness that never really went away. “Okay, daddy.”

His heart hitched at the small voice and the emptiness it held. Crouching down in front of Zak, Matt looked him straight in the eye. “It’ll be okay, buddy. I promise.”

Even as he said the words, he knew what a lie they were. Things were never going to be okay again. Not for him. Not for Zak. Even a six-year-old knew that much. With one lingering glance, he returned to the living room.

Matt sighed and picked up the phone. The woman was probably long gone by now. “Hello?”

The silence that greeted him confirmed his prediction. He was just about to click the phone off when she responded.

“How was your cookie?”

“My…?” Matt couldn’t help but smile, even if it was fleeting. So, the woman with the smooth-as-syrup voice had a sense of humor. Or, she was totally clueless. “It was delicious.”

“I’m happy for you. But, if you have a moment, I’d like to discuss the ad you placed. For the rental house in Sunset Bay.”

Matt stared at the ceiling and wondered for the millionth time if he was doing the right thing. He glanced around the living room, almost completely bare now of anything but basic furniture. No pictures on the wall, and just a few books and toys strewn around. They’d all been packed up in anticipation of this move. In spite of what his parents and friends thought, it was not all part of some plan to eliminate Emily from his life. Fate, or God, or whatever, had already taken care of that. No matter what they said, he managed to steel himself from the doubts that crept up when he wasn’t looking.  Most of the time. “I’m listening.”

“Great. I have just the house for you and I’d love to show it.”

Pushy. But not too. And nice, if her voice was any indication. But that could all be for show, for business purposes. The whole honey-catching-fly’s kind of thing. “And you are?”

She laughed, a light happy sound. “Sorry. My name is Chelsea Abbott. I’m an agent with Sunset Bay Realty. Would you be interested in a showing? I actually have a couple of houses that I think would work for you, and would be happy to set that up. What would be good for you?”

Matt sighed. What would be good would be for his life to go back to what it was before fate blew it apart. Before he lost the love of his life and his little boy lost his mom. He already had a house, make that a home, one that used to be filled with laughter, noise and happy confusion. It was quiet now. All the time. Like the sadness in his son’s eyes. He felt the all too familiar anger begin to build.

“Mr. Copeland?” she prodded.

“I’m here. Just going over my schedule.”

Schedule. Right. The one with all the empty days, stretching as far as he could see. He’d resigned from the police department right after the funeral, even though everyone tried to talk him out of it. Take a leave, he’d been urged. Take time to heal. Your job will be waiting for you. But how could he ever think of going off to work every day, knowing that as a cop, there was always the possibility he wouldn’t be coming home? Ever. He couldn’t do that to his son. The job was too dangerous, and Zak had already lost too much. No, he’d turned in his badge and his gun, and walked away. “Saturday would be a good day.”

“Great. Any particular time?”

“How about one?” That would give him time to drive to Sunset Bay, check out the houses, and be back home in time for dinner. He’d made an effort since Emily died, to keep some sort of routine for Zak. Not that it did any good. The child was still as listless and hollow-eyed as he had been when he’d first come home to a life without his mom. Matt straightened up. This was the right decision, the only decision. A new town, new friends. Maybe there, the memories wouldn’t haunt them at every turn. Maybe there he would get a real laugh out of his son again.

“I’ve got you down for one pm Saturday. Any questions?”

None the cheerful realtor could answer. A philosopher couldn’t answer the questions that had been burning inside him since it all fell apart. Why Emily? Why them? “No. Sounds pretty straightforward.”

“How about directions? I can e-mail you some.”

“Thank you, but I’m good.”

“Are you sure? It’s no trouble.”

“I appreciate your help, but no thanks. I’ve traveled all over the world. I think I can find my way to Sunset Bay.”

“Fine.”

The sarcasm had evidently not been lost on the woman, judging by the sudden chill in her voice. He sighed. It was like he couldn’t help himself. He really didn’t mean to be a jerk. He was just so damn tired. “Sorry. See you there.”

This was it. No turning back now. In spite of his earlier resistance, he found himself looking down at their wedding photo on the end table, staring at the two smiling people pictured there as if they were total strangers. He picked it up gingerly, running his fingers over the cold, flat surface. It was all ahead of them then, the joy, the heartache. The loss. Hardening his resolve, he walked over and dropped the picture in an open box. It was time to move on.

Author Bio

After working as a reporter at her hometown newspaper for almost twenty years, Helen followed her heart and began a career as a romance writer. A life-long reader and lover of books, especially ones that promise happily-ever-after, she now spends her days writing sweet contemporary romance in a small town in Western New York.

Author Links

http://helenlynch.net

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHelenLynch/

Too True To Be Good, release day

Too True To Be GoodIt’s here, it’s here! I’m so excited to share Too True To Be Good with you today. Zach and Gianna’s romance is that much sweeter since they have Summer to consider. Every touch, every kiss, every moment has to be stolen.

And damn if that didn’t make it interesting!

I wanted to share the trailer with you today, but I also have an excerpt for you. Enjoy!

Buy Now!

Ebook on Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords

Don’t forget, Walk Of Fame is available to preorder for only $0.99 through Friday, November 17. Preorder your copy now!

Ebook on Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N 

Excerpt from Too True To Be Good

“Is that really what you think of me? That I’m chasing you for a ring? Because you need to have your head examined if that’s what you think is going on here. I’m not after you. I’m not interested in being with you any more than you are in being with me.”

“Really?” Zach demanded, moving closer to her.

Gianna took a step back. She might not want to marry the guy, but she couldn’t deny she was attracted to him. Hell, she’d strip right then and there and let him have her if he kissed her in just the right spot.

Not that she was going to tell him that.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m proving that you’re lying to me.”

“Am I attracted to you? Yes. But am I here looking for some kind of commitment? No. I’m so fabulous at commitments that the last guy I was seeing broke up with me the night I got here because I forgot to call him and let him know I was coming here. It was the fourth time I forgot about a date with him. In a month.”

Zach snorted a laugh. Then laughed harder. Gianna wasn’t sure if she wanted to laugh or be mad. Either way, the tension between her and Zach snapped. And she was grateful for that.

“You’re as bad as I am,” Zach said with a grin. “I definitely had you pegged wrong.”

Gianna shrugged. “I’m married to my job. I always have been. My relationships have always suffered because I’ll drop everything if it means helping out one of my kids.”

“Like driving six hours to see if one of them went looking for her father on her own.”

Gianna smiled. “Yeah, like that.”

“What I said, Gianna-”

“It’s fine,” she said.

He shook his head. “It’s not. I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean it like you thought. You’re beautiful. I hope you know that.”

She shrugged. “Okay.”

He moved closer. “You don’t believe me, do you?”

She grinned ruefully. “I know who I am. I’m okay with that. A guy who looks like you would never be with a woman like me, but it’s not exactly my fantasy to be with someone like you.”

She let her eyes travel down his body, the lie heating her cheeks. Every woman wanted a guy like him. A guy with arms as big as her thighs and a chest that was wide enough to curl up on. A guy who was so gorgeous it almost hurt to look at him. A guy who was not only attractive, but a decent person, too.

Things are changing…again

I like to mix things up. Give myself new challenges. Take on new things.

So I’m changing things a little.

I know, you’re shocked by that.

In 2018, I will no longer be hosting guest authors. This was a hard decision for me to make, but it’s become obvious to me that it is time for a change. I’m not ruling out having guests in the future, and I’m not saying I won’t go back to having guests every week again. Just that for now, I’m going to stop hosting guest authors.

What does that mean I’m going to do?

Well, I’m also doing away with my Sunday column. Weekends are a time for family and fun and I decided to move my Sunday posts to Fridays. I’m going to be changing a little bit of what I post each week, but it’s all moving to Friday.

Why am I telling you?

I like to let you know what’s going on. I know some of you stop by all the time to see what I’m posting, and every post goes out on social media. I want to make sure you know what to expect from me.

For the rest of the year, things will pretty much go as usual. I’ll have a post on Sunday answering questions or talking about writing or something like that. I’ll have guests on Fridays. And on Tuesdays you’ll get sneak peeks. But when 2018 rolls in, I’ll be posting on Tuesdays and Fridays and you’ll only hear from guest authors for special circumstances.

What do you think? Any questions for me? I’d love to know your thoughts!

#FiveOnFriday with MJ Schiller

Please welcome MJ Schiller back! We’re trading posts today, and I’m so happy to have her here with us!

Good morning, all!

For my Five For Friday I chose to answer five of Mary’s questions so you can learn a little bit more about me. So, let’s go!

When did you first think about writing a book? Did you write it then, or put it off for a few years?

I believe I’ve written all my life, but I didn’t start to pursue it seriously until I turned forty. That big milestone had me thinking. You know that book people always say I should write? Maybe it’s time to do that!

Why did you decide to become an author?

I don’t think it was a conscious decision. I was just one of those really imaginative kids at school. A dreamer. Someone who looked at the world a little differently. And I loved what words could do—make you laugh, inspire you, touch you, make you think—the possibilities are really endless!

What inspired you to write this book?

This book is semi-autobiographical. It cracks me up when readers say they believe something isn’t realistic when it is something that came directly from my life. For instance, I’ve had complaints that someone on a lunch lady’s salary couldn’t afford a Coach bag. I was a lunch lady, and while I didn’t have a Coach bag, my girlfriend/coworker probably had at least a half dozen of them, along with other designers’ work. One of our lunch ladies was a doctor’s wife. People don’t always work for money. And if you aren’t working for money, a lunch lady is the perfect job for you. You work the same days your kids are in school, and you can see them during the day. Best of all, you can go home and take a nap before they get finished. (I hear a stampede of ladies heading out to fill out job applications at their nearest school ;)!

Where do your ideas for stories come from?

Mostly from music. When I listen to the song, I let the music move me, but I also imagine the story behind the song. Did the rock star really have a girlfriend that awful? Was their father mean like that? My thoughts start there, and characters begin to come alive!

What’s usually the first thing that sparks a story idea? (For example, you come up with a title, a character, an idea, a setting, etc. and the story grows from there.)

Besides music, there are a few other things that get my imagination going. Sometimes a title will come to mind. Several in the DEVILISH DIVAS SERIES were ones that we discovered at work. Someone would say something, then someone else would say, “that would make a great title. M.J., you need to write a book with that title.” I’m happy to oblige. The imagery of being TRAPPED UNDER ICE, frozen by your past, inspired a novel. In that book, the heroine is a romance novelist/lunch lady (hmm…) and one of her titles was ABANDON ALL HOPE, which ended up being the second book in that ROCKING ROMANCE SERIES. DAMAGE DONE started with a line running through my head. “Even through bloodshot eyes he could tell she was different.” I thought that would make a great first line. Funny thing is, after I wrote the story, that line ended up in the middle, but I had another fun first line, so that was okay. ☺ So, you can see, just about anything and everything inspires me!

Thanks for letting me babble on about myself. How about you tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you look for most in a book? What draws you in? The title? The cover? A great first line? The premise?

The e-copy of TO HELL IN A COACH BAG is on sale right now for 99¢, and I think it will be when this posts. (Although, the publisher is in charge of that, so I’m not 100% sure.) Even at its normal price, it’s a fun read. Check it out….

To Hell in a Coach BagBlurb

Four Midwest lunch ladies on a cross-country road trip…

But the road to love can be rocky. What can save Alex’s marriage when her hubby’s driving her crazy? How can Max ever feel close to her man again when he never puts out? And just when Dani and Tucker are getting close, dreams of Darren’s death begin to haunt her. Can she move past them? And what about Sam? Although Kyle’s logged some serious ice time, her cold shoulder may put his heart in perma-freeze.

Is happiness around the next corner? Or are these four women simply headed TO HELL IN A COACH BAG?

Buy Links

Amazon:  http://mybook.to/ToHellInACoachBag

Barnes and Noble, paperback:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861

Nook book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-mj-schiller/1126065861?ean=9781614179542

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-hell-in-a-coach-bag-the-devilish-divas-series-book-1/id1220690386

Excerpt (from Maxine’s point of view)

Standing in JC Penney’s lingerie section, I held up the skimpy red puff of lace and satin. The black fur veeing to the crotch really added a touch of class.

“Nah-ah.”

I hung it back on the rack, glancing around again to see if anyone I knew was in the vicinity. An older lady glanced my way, and I quickly bent, pretending to tie my shoe. Then, realizing they were slip-ons, I had to act like I was scratching my calf, which seemed lame. I moved to a table with sensible panties and kept my eye on Grandma.

Come on. Come on. Don’t you have something else to do? Like knit something?

She finally moved across the aisle to a display of blouses with huge, tacky multi-colored flowers sprawled all over them.

That’s right, I silently encouraged. That’s more your style.

I slid back over to the naughty girl rack, picking up a jade green number. I stared at it, then twisted it around. Was this the back? Or the front? I lifted a few straps with snaps on them.

What the hell are these for? I put it back, shaking my head. Too complicated. I lifted off a sheer pink teddy.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted her. Mrs. McCumpfry, my son, John’s, English teacher. I ducked behind the rack, clasping the teddy to my chest, my heart beating wildly. I can’t let Mrs. McCumpfry see me with naughtywear. My Spidey senses began to tingle and I slid my gaze across the aisle in the opposite direction. Grandma was staring at me, her mouth hanging open. She closed it, put a fist on a cocked hip and frowned at me.

Quit judging. You’d be doing everything you could to get a little action, too. If you’d ever had any.

I immediately felt guilty about thinking so poorly of her. A little guilty. Luckily she turned away. I crouched, hopping a little to relieve my cramped feet. How long was I going to have to stay here? After several minutes, I took a chance and rose. Mrs. McCumpfry was directly across from me, manhandling the lapel of a display suit. I gasped and slammed the pink outfit back onto the rack. I ducked around a partition, leaning against the wall and breathing deeply.

Author Bio

M.J. Schiller is a recently retired lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-three-year-old and three twenty-one-year-olds. That’s right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.

Author Links

Website: http://www.mjschillerauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MJ-Schiller-Romance-Author/286382241460365?ref=hl

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mjschiller/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjschiller

Tumblr: http://mjschilz.tumblr.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjschiller

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/110797684036386240402/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479377.M_J_Schiller

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Schiller/e/B009JOQFQQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1