Getting to the HEA

It’s a rule in romance that every story has to end with an HEA, or happily ever after, or at least a happy for now scenario. I like to break rules a lot of the time, but this is one of those rules I will never break. I can’t tell you how many times I read a Nicholas Sparks book or watched one of his movies and cried. I mean, really, who hasn’t?

Getting to that happy ending isn’t always easy, though. Sometimes the characters have to lose what they want the most. Sometimes they have to give up completely. And they always have to change. If the love story was as simple as two people met and fell in love, it would be a short and boring book.

We want someone to root for. Someone we see ourselves in. Someone who needs people in their corner.

I do my best to make each of my stories believable. I don’t want you walking away thinking this would never happen in real life. We all go through challenges and struggle to figure out our love lives. Love is one of the most difficult, confusing, and rewarding things any person can ever experience. I’m fortunate that I get to make people fall in love every day!

But getting to the happily ever after means going through those challenges, facing the difficulties, and battling the confusion to get the reward. Some of my favorite stories are the ones that don’t feel completely hopeless but make you doubt. The hero overhears something and misunderstands. Or the heroine finds out he’s been hiding something. Or there’s something outside the control of both of them that tears them apart.

Our challenges tell us who we are. It’s in that where we find opportunities to be better. We can always be better people, and novels help us to see that. We find parts of a character that we see ourselves in, and believe we can change the same way the character did. We can find that same love. We can have the things we really want. There’s always hope.

In real life, we don’t have the luxury of turning the page and finding out what happens next. Instead, we have to write our own book. We have to decide if we’re going to give him another chance, or if we’re going to be the first to call after a date, or if we’re going to grovel for forgiveness when we screw up. It isn’t set. It isn’t easy to make these decisions. It’s painful and heartbreaking and so worth the reward when we get it.

Keep pushing toward your reward! It’s worth it!

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Walk Of Fame, first kiss

Walk Of FameEvery first kiss is just a little different. When I first thought of this book, I had a very different first kiss in mind. But when I sat down to write, I knew the way they met wasn’t right. So I changed it. And you get to read it now. I’d love to know what you think!

Excerpt from Walk Of Fame

Dillon Young took a drink from his beer and looked around the bar. He sighed and tipped the bottle up. It was stupid to think he could show up on a Thursday night and find someone to go home with.

Dammit.

Dillon nodded to the bartender and got up. He was halfway to the door when it opened and she walked in.

Dillon stopped in the middle of the damn room and watched her. Jeans hugged her curves, a flimsy shirt hanging off one of her shoulders. Her light brown hair drifted behind her as her eyes scanned the bar. When they landed on his, they scanned his body as her lips curled up.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hi.”

“Are you leaving?”

He shrugged. “I was.”

“And now?”

He grinned. “It depends on if you’re staying.”

She looked around then shook her head. “I could go.”

Dillon put his hand on her lower back and guided her out the door. As soon as it swung closed behind them, he pressed her back against the wall and sealed his lips to hers.

She knew the score, but he wanted to make sure she understood the only reason she was leaving the bar with him was so they could make each other feel good. It wouldn’t go anywhere beyond the night.

He thrust his tongue between her lips and ground his hips against hers, letting her feel the way she already affected him. She whimpered and clawed at him, trying to fucking climb him. He didn’t mind helping her at all, scooping her up so she could wrap her long legs around his waist. God he loved a woman who could handle how big he was. When she hooked her heels together, he groaned.

Fuck yeah.

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One Month Down

At the end of 2017, I shared my goals for this year. I’m a big believer in accountability, which is why I shared my goals. I’m also a big believer in the statistics that say over half of people have abandoned the goals (or resolutions) by the end of January. I figure one way to make sure I don’t do that is to share each month how I’m doing.

Damn is that terrifying!

In case you forgot, these were the goals I shared with you…

  1. Publish 8 novels and 2 boxed sets
  2. Pay off debt
  3. Eat, exercise, and lose weight
  4. Publish audiobooks and app
  5. Develop 3 workshops
  6. Stick to a budget
  7. Save

I’m only one month into the year, but I think I’m doing fairly well so far!

  1. This goal has been changed a little. I’ve decided to publish 6 novels and 3 boxed sets this year. I’ve published one new boxed set so far and will have my first novel of the year published early next month. I’m on track for that one!
  2. We still have debt. I don’t imagine that will ever change. But we’re moving in the right direction there, too. I’m feeling good today about our debts.
  3. I read or heard somewhere (honestly can’t remember where now) that when we make resolutions to start doing something like going to the gym three times per week, it’s really tough. Not because it’s that hard to go, but because if you weren’t going much, the increase to that frequently is a massive change. So I started my goal with going to the gym once per week for January. I’m happy to report I’ve been doing that! So I’m on track. Next mont I’m going to make an effort to exercise twice a week (either at the gym or home).
  4. I’ve done nothing. You knew my streak had to end somewhere! The app will come first, but I haven’t had time to work on it this month.
  5. I completed one workshop so far, and even taught it once! I have a second workshop well under way but not done yet.
  6. Budget is like a four letter word for me, except I usually like four letter words. I don’t like this one. BUT we started using cash in January. We said if we don’t have it, we won’t spend it. We still spent a little more than we should have, but we were tremendously closer to our budget than usual. The surprise for me was that I loved it. Hubby hated it, but I loved having cash. It made me feel like we were secure knowing there was cash in my wallet every day. I’m definitely going to keep doing that. One note, we didn’t go with cash for groceries and gas. But those were never our problem areas so it worked!
  7. This one kind of goes with our budget and debt. We’re making progress. Are we where we want to be? No. But it’s only been one month. We’ll get there!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the first month of the year went. I know we still have a few more days, but I don’t expect much to change. Unless hubby takes some cash and buy a winning lottery ticket! If that happens, I’ll tell you about it next month!

How are you doing with your goals so far?

Walk Of Fame, being famous

Walk Of FameI rarely write about people who are rich or famous. I love to write about ordinary people, but once in a while, a wealthy character pops into my head and refuses to be ignored. Katherine put her foot down and told me I had to write her story.

Being famous wasn’t always easy for Katherine. When she’s on stage, she’s someone else, complete with a new name and look. But Katherine is just an ordinary person. Someone who needs people in her corner. People like Dillon and the rest of his family.

Excerpt from Walk Of Fame

The vineyard had a buzz that was different from the night before. A steady hum that usually only came with lots of people. Fear welled up inside her knowing she’d been found out. Laughter rang out from nearby. Too near.

Katherine needed to get away.

“Katherine!” a voice said in the distance.

She turned and saw someone waving to her. Andie. Dillon’s sister. The woman who told her she could stay at his house.

And she called her Katherine.

Katherine walked closer, knowing she could get information out of Andie and be gone before anyone knew she was there.

“Are you joining a tour?” Andie asked.

Shit.

“Tour?”

“Yeah. I figured Dillon would have mentioned it. We’re offering tours through the vineyard today. We’ve never done it before. Kristen thought it would be different to show visitors what the grapes look like on the vine and be able to taste them right out here in the field. It’s going well so far.”

“Oh, tour! Yeah, he mentioned it. I completely forgot though. It’s really noisy out here today.”

Andie chuckled. “Yeah, people are having fun. We didn’t expect the crowds we’re getting, but it’s been great for us. Kristen estimated each tour would be about fifteen people, but they’re closer to thirty. It’s been a busy morning.”

“That makes sense,” Katherine said, almost to herself.

“Why don’t you wait here with me and join the next tour. It should be here soon.”

Katherine nodded. “I think I will. Thanks. I was heading that way anyway. Thought I might catch Dillon.”

Andie grinned. “I knew you two would get along. Sorry for kind of tricking you, though. He was pretty pissed off at me about that.”

Katherine shook her head. “It’s fine. I certainly didn’t expect to find someone else there, but Dillon is a very considerate host.”

“My big brother definitely has his good points. Has he cooked for you yet? He’s a really good cook.”

“Andie, are you trying to hook us up?”

She shook her head. “You two already did that.”

“But you didn’t know that when I got here.”

Andie sighed. “No, I didn’t. Dillon needs to chill out some. He’s wound pretty tight and we all worry about him. He needs to get laid.”

Katherine choked out a laugh. If Andie only knew just how much Dillon got laid a few nights ago, she wouldn’t worry so much about her brother. Plus, he was clearly very skilled, which meant he wasn’t a novice when it came to women.

Katherine started to respond, but voices grew louder, approaching them. She turned and saw a very attractive guy leading the way straight toward her.

Andie laughed and leaned in. “That’s my brother, Sean. This will be the perfect tour for you to join.”

Katherine wasn’t sure what she meant by that, and wasn’t sure she wanted to know.

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You know you love it!

I”m so excited to have the Big & Beautiful boxed sets on sale this week! If you haven’t read these stories yet, you’re missing out!

The first book in the series, Chubby & Charming, is always free. Go grab your copy today!

To make things even better, you can get the first boxed set for only $0.99! Read all about Claire, Lexi, Addi, and Sam falling in love. Four books for only $0.99!

The second boxed set is on sale at Kobo for 40% off through January 29. Use code BOX40 to get the discount!

And the third boxed set is finally available! You can read all the Big & Beautiful stories for less than $20!

Go grab them all now!

Chubby & Charming
Big & Beautiful Boxed Set 1
Big & Beautiful Boxed Set 2
Big & Beautiful Boxed Set 3

Chubby & Charming at Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords 

Boxed Set #1 at Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords

Boxed Set #2 at Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords

Boxed Set #3 at Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Smashwords