When a book makes you Mad:

I usually refrain from leaving negative reviews. Believe me. I know how it feels to get those. Not nice! And sometimes, they are completely crazy off the wall, like "did you even read the book?" So, I didn't leave a review. I internalized what I'd read...over and over for several hours. The book made me roll my eyes, groan, get defensive, and then--eventually--made me mad. 

But after running through the emotions of dislike, I got to a point where I'd processed enough to see a bigger picture...and I wondered, How does a fiction novel influence our decisions? 

My own conscience feels a responsibility to the reader. 

1. not to be too biased or one-sided: double-edged sword here in today's world.

2. do my research

The book I stopped reading yesterday had some immature moments, some moments of disbelief. I can take all of that, but then the author stepped up onto a platform for mental health. The move surprised me and made me hesitate. I tepidly kept reading, wondering what she was going to do next. 

And then I got mad. Because the author presented the use of drugs as a good, normal way to fix a problem, when all the reading and research I've done...the talking to other people...has left me feeling completely uncertain [please note, I didn't say 'left me feeling like it was wrong for everyone']. The side effects can be harsh and far-reaching: from headaches to suicide.  

And then--the icing on the cake--the author compared the use of these drugs with a Type I Diabetic using insulin. And it didn't matter that I was a breath away from finishing the book. I didn't finish. 

T1D is NOT a mental disorder, to be determined based on talking about things. It's a disease. A person with T1D is BROKEN. Without insulin, a T1D will DIE. So, tell me how that's the same as this hero having a temper he can't control and taking mind-altering drugs? 

I couldn't relate at all. I felt the author glossed over the reality of using SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors], and it made me sad for people who won't do the research on the drugs or who are being pressured to use it, who might actually be influenced by--yes--a romance novel. 

I think I could have taken the presentation of the SSRI in the story, if there had been more... conflict, less of a stance or platform in how it was shown in the story. And definitely, it would have been key to not have the use of SSRI compared to the use of insulin. 

Writing books is a hard business. It's often that we--authors--will offend someone or write a point of view that differs from a readers beliefs. There's nothing wrong with differing beliefs--usually. And maybe that means there is nothing wrong with the book I didn't finish. Maybe for some it offered hope! And they left the story filled with a good feeling. 

I felt sad. And I felt convicted to be more careful... but also, to be truer to my values in my own books. :) So, I'm ending this thought process with acceptance toward this author's mistakes. It didn't make me happy. It ticked me off. I think she should have done more research and made a better show of....life.

But, I'm not mad anymore--processing things will do that! And I feel better because I've had my say, which is what blogging is for, right? 

Don't Do It!

Bloggers are amazing, dedicated, organized people!! 

And this is why I call myself an author, a writer, a mom, a wife, a taxi driver, a coach, a book club member... so many things, but not a blogger. That being said, BLOG:

Life changes so quickly, doesn't it?

I've felt real pressure this year to solidify my purpose in life, in Georgia, in my family. I want to do right by everyone. I've learned this year that even with a solid purpose in plan, we have to be living, breathing, changing creatures. 

Every day, there should be a dialogue with yourself... what will I feed? [must I really mention the wolves?! I hate those wolves!] Where are the priorities for this day? This day only, by the way. I don't need to look too far ahead. 

Like yesterday, an opportunity came up for my son to either go to his Open House and see a performance OR for him to go to the rehearsal before the Open House. The first meant I would have to take him. The second included his amazing teacher who offered to go with him immediately following school dismissal. 

Of course, as a mom, I wrestled with not being good enough, not doing enough, and wanting to do it all and do it "right." But, in the end, I just couldn't commit to going to this Open House. I had already decided Thursday night was going to be my night to get out and work. I spend Monday through Wednesday doing the extra practice runs and going to Occupational Therapy. There had been appointments and a sibling's school and babysitting schedule to squeeze in there... So, I had to say no. I was okay saying no. 

And when I explained that to my son, he was okay with it too. 

Don't be too hard on yourself, Moms. It's a busy, ridiculous world we live in now. 

It is okay to say no!

Have a great weekend.

With Love,


PS I released Strike Force on Wednesday. :D I mean, really!!! That I should have been more on top of. ha! Don't miss it. It's raw, rough around the edges. It will make you cry, laugh, and swoon. Malcolm Daniels is my favorite. Marie is his perfect partner... Go read it now. 

The Characters of Strike Zone

Book Three is about to be released! I've spent all weekend reading a book, one that has me--of course--studying technique, looking at character development. I admit, I've become a reader who also picks a little bit. To learn, though! Not just to be critical, although sometimes that does go hand-in-hand. And recently, the topic of Characterization came up in my writing group, and it got me thinking.

So, as I thought about characters this weekend, I noted two things.

One from my reading:

The conflict in the book created unnatural reactions in the characters. When it came right down to it, I disliked the heroine for her cold attitude in the first scene...but mostly, it seemed that her thoughts [as the author tried to 'show' the story] and her actions weren't realistic. She was stuck in a Russian blizzard, needing rescue! Why is she thinking she should try to bring up a past and resolve anything? Why is she thinking at all beyond, 'Thank God. You rescued me. Please don't hate me too much to save my life.' So there were a few other instances where the author was trying to maintain sexual tension by NOT having the couple hook up too soon, and created conflict. But again, it just felt off, especially since the characters were both young, healthy, attractive, sexually active, and 'hot for each other'. As an author, reading this book, the conflict felt too contrived. 

This is where characterization can play a huge part! Because if even one of those characters wasn't the horny, sex-impulsive type, then...I could have believed they were holding back as a natural occurence! 

Two, from my own writing:

Last week I finished revisions on Book Three of my Hawk Elite Security series, and it's the first full-length novel that has no sex in it. Before I started revisions, this book had the expected 2-3 love scenes. As I went through on the revisions, the sex kept NOT happening. Believe me, I wanted it to happen! I understand the satisfaction of seeing a couple through even this very private part of their relationship. It's what romance readers are looking for... emotional connections. But no, I had a character. And do you know what my character's nickname on the teams is? 

Fr. John. Because he's conservative in his dating life, because no one is quite certain if he's had sex or not... is he a virgin? Does he even date anymore? He hasn't--in a long time--and that's what made his story. So, wouldn't it be odd to have him suddenly be a lady's man? a Don Juan? I think it would. It wouldn't be in character. 

I had a heroine who was ready to go, and she did her own pondering on why this guy wasn't going to have sex with her. But even my heroine had been living alone for a few years, sort of in hiding from herself and the world. So, even for her to jump right in would have been a little off-reality.

I write romance, and I know the possibility of disappointing readers with a book that has no sex in it. But, I just couldn't get beyond my characters. John was raised a certain way. He's not perfect. He's NOT a virgin [cuz, hello, college is a bed of sowing wild oats and living a little rebelliously], but he's celibate, and has been for a few years. Because he knows, he wants the whole thing. All of it, and he isn't going to settle for less, or cheat the next woman he's attracted to by leading her on. 

If you get a chance to read Strike Zone, please come back and tell me what you think. Part of me loves this story, because the sexual tension is so darn high. Part of me wishes I'd left the sex in there because it's satisfying...

But in the end, I left the tone of the book up to the characters.

And if you like things a little hotter, stay tuned for book 4, Strike Force. Oh boy. That's a different story completely! 

Big News

The End

I thought I'd start off at the end. The two sweetest words written...

75+K words in two months and nineteen days. With two whole days before deadline. Which means I have time to do a read through today and tomorrow before I hand it over to my editor. This is the joy of writing, the glamour,...what every author looks to when they say with pride, "I am an author."

...and in a last effort to get it through every thick skull out there. READ YOUR CONTRACTS!! Your contract is a living breathing thing. It should be understood and then negotiated in your favor as best as possible. When you give your publisher rights to a book, it should include that book, and perhaps stories that come from that particular world... do NOT--even by oversight--give your publisher the rights to "any works of similar nature" for the length of your contract.

Let the limits be clear! Because if you are unhappy with said publisher [I don't mean Entangled, btw, in case you know me and anything about my publishers. I luuurve Entangled], you will be stuck. You might make almost no money. Communication might be nonexistent and you might feel like you have been dropped in a black hole. But if you are an ethical person, you will follow the rules and be confined to what is in your contract. If those terms aren't in your favor, if what is in your head no longer belongs to you... [think about that, aspiring authors!] ...you could go a long time without writing a single word.

Three years is too, too long a time to hold onto the joy of writing, waiting for that moment when you can finally let it loose again. Strike Force is the release of years of repressed creativity. And, I think it might be the best book I've ever written. You know how you read a series and by the time you get to book four, you're starting to question whether the author is still on board with the series or if the author has gotten lazy and bored? 

This is not going to happen to you when you read Strike Force. Wait for it!! Coming this fall.

Other Big News

Don't miss The Romance Reviews 6th Anniversary Celebration, going on this month!! There are Daily Quiz Games, Cover Match Up, Featured Authors, and of course, BOOKS!! Lots of books, being given away.

TRR has been giving us reasons to read for 6 years! They have been faithful reviewers of my books over the years--give me top pick once, too! So, head over, if you have a few minutes. I'm giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card for my Quiz Question about Strike Fear. 



Strike Fear, Book Two: OUT NOW!


I love the blog because I get to tell the inside story here. 

Don't tell anyone....but this is my least favorite of my Hawk Elite books. I don't know what happened during this book. Maybe it was one too many revisions. Maybe it wasn't enough revisions. The full picture never really cleared for me, and I struggled--ALOT--to get this one where I wanted it. And in the end, I still wondered if I'd done enough.

That's not to say I don't love the characters. I DO! I loved the Whitney family and imagine I might be able to spin another series from all those brothers of hers. I love Tancredo Byrnes and his sister, An. Their story really stretched my horizons and gave me some serious feels.

All that said, I was really happy to leave this one behind. As I write book four, I can see how my heart struggled to love Strike Fear as much as it does Strike Force and Strike Zone. So, I hope you'll stick with me through book two and give book three and four a try as well. 

They all have their own dynamic and emotional pull. But, it will be fun to hear from the readers as the books are released and see how they all compare in the reviews. 

Have a great week, everyone!

And don't forget to read Strike Fear.

With Love,


A Dream Come True

This might be long, but it's fun to share and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Early in 2015, I answered a call by Brenda Novak, who was looking for someone to help an author friend by sharing Type 1 Diabetes information. I chatted with KJ Howe for a good hour or so about the disease. And such a nice lady! And so smart. Anyway, that's beside the point. In April I read her manuscript... and let me just say, I got lost in the story a few times and had to reread in order to think about it and make sure the T1D stuff was adding up.

I'm sure she has family that are her number one fans, but I'm like the excited puppy, photo-bombing that happy family! <3

Speaking of family...when I found out KJ Howe was going to be in NYC, I called my Aunt Mary Ann, godmother extraordinaire. And she went to The Mysterious Bookshop for me and stood in for me. And it was like a dream come true, once removed. [haha] I got my signed copy and a photo with KJ and my aunt. 

What a great way to end today!

If you haven't, get the book! The Freedom Broker. It's amazing. Intense. When we were chatting about this book, she said, "watch Strike Back. Stonebridge reminds me of Rif." Gotta say, I binge watched that show when it showed up on Amazon. I can be shallow when it's called for! <3


So, let's just say... I love this industry. I've met amazing people--writers, authors, bloggers, editors, designers, and readers. It's a good day when I get to [sort of] meet a friend. :D 

I'm seriously looking forward to book two...which is the best adn worst place to be--as a reader, anyway. 


"...strong narrative, a complex protagonist, a thrilling pace, and great writing."

~Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars


“Thea Paris. She’s tough. She’s smart. She’s diabetic. The best scene—and who cares if it’s plausible—involves bungee jumping over the Zambezi River. It’s worth the price of the book. A spectacular start for what promises be a great Thea Paris series.”

~KIRKUS Starred Review

Click and Buy!!

Click and Buy!!

Wrong Brother, Right Match @JenniferShirk Release Day!!


It's Here! It's Here!

Book Three of the Anyone but You series is in our hungry hands. And once again, Jennifer Shirk has delivered a fun, sassy, heartbreaking--and then warming back up--Story that will make you laugh and swoon and maybe even blink back a few tears. Her story will set you smack in the middle of some serious Christmas Spirit.

I'm going to introduce the book and then share a review and an excerpt. There's a Rafflecopter Giveaway going on throughout the entire tour, so don't miss it [below my review]. On top of that, I'll give away a copy from this blog, so LEAVE A COMMENT, and tell me one thing you LOVE about Christmas. And then, don't miss the rest of the tour... LINK TO TOUR.


Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except...when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.

Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed "right match" might just be the wrong brother.


Wrong Brother, Right Match was a wonderful mix of While You Were Sleeping [this one is obvious] and Sleepless in Seattle [the way Annie was so determined to ignore what was right in front of her face! and let's be honest. Justin is a slightly more alpha male Walter]. Two of my ALL-TIME favorite movies. 

Kennedy is sweet yet determined. And also a little stubborn with her business; she's like Justin that way. She had a hard time seeing what was right in front of her face! I really loved that about her, though. She made me ache a little as the story progressed. Her fiance, Justin, was a good guy. I wanted to hate him, because he really was ridiculously neglectful, but I couldn't because he was just...being who he always had been--corporate alpha male [really, when will we get his story? Hmm?]

And then there is Matt, Justin's brother. The one who is always there for the family. The one who gave up on his own dreams in order to run the family business. The one who was there was their dad died. And the one who "took care" of his brother's fiance when his brother had to take care of business. He ties knots, saves loose ends. He's a bit more laid back, but at the same time, he's very serious about doing the right thing. I absolutely loved his sense of humor. The way he'd talk under his breath. The way he'd hold his temper... He was attracted to his brother's fiance, but he fought it. 

I loved being on their island and spending time in the winery. I think I would like to just move there and spend Christmas!! This book gets 5 stars from me. And I do hope we get to see these characters again in another episode!!

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.

Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.

Don't forget to comment for a chance at a copy of

Wrong Brother, Right Match!!


Matt looked at his sister. “What do you think?”

“We can let her in on the secret,” Caitlyn said with a huge grin. “She’s definitely one of us.”

Matt hesitated. “Okay. The truth is…we all hate the fruitcake.”

“I knew it!” she exclaimed then frowned. “But I don’t understand. Why pretend to like it, then?”

“Honestly? Because none of us has the heart to tell her the truth. It makes her so happy. She’s one of the two percent who actually enjoys it.”

“And your dad,” she added. “He liked it, too. Your mom said so.”

 Matt shook his head gravely. “No, he hated it the most.”

 Kennedy blinked then looked to Caitlyn. “He did?”

“Yup.” Caitlyn shrugged. “Like Matt said, we didn’t have the heart to make her feel bad on Christmas. At least this time she didn’t put any figs or dried pineapple in it. That was a particularly bad year. Although Justin tolerated it the best out of all of us.”

Kennedy cracked a smile. “So your mom goes through all this trouble of making a fruitcake every Christmas and she’s the only one who eats it?”

“Oh, no,” Matt assured her. “We’ll all choke down a slice. You, too, since you’ll soon be part of the family. And we’ll all tell her how great it is. It’s tradition.”

“Tradition,” Caitlyn echoed firmly.

Kennedy laughed. Oh my, if she didn’t already love this family, this aspect of it only endeared them to her more. “Well, your secret is safe with me. I love traditions myself.”

“That’s good,” Caitlyn said, cracking herself up, “because you and Matt are standing under the mistletoe.”


Kennedy cautiously looked up as if to find the Sword of Damocles dangling over her, but instead found a small green ball of mistletoe tied up with ribbon. Crap! Her gaze dropped to Matt, who held a gleam of interest in his eyes, and her cheeks caught fire.

“Oh, well, that’s a silly tradition,” she said hurriedly, “I mean, we don’t have to do that.” Do we?

Barbara walked back into the room. “What don’t you have to do?”

Caitlyn pointed to the ball. “Matt and Kennedy are under the mistletoe.”

“Oh, how nice,” Barbara said, clasping her hands. “Kiss her, Matt. It’s Christmas after all.”

Matt glanced at Kennedy and stiffened, but without further argument leaned in to her. Her heart fluttered like a hummingbird in anticipation. She caught the pleasant scent of pine and soap on his skin as he brushed his lips against her cheek, hovering for just a few brief seconds before he was once again at a safe distance from her. Such a simple kiss, yet her emotions whirled and skidded.

“I’d better get going,” Matt murmured, backing into the door.

His mom frowned. “Are you okay, dear? Maybe you should sit down a bit first.”

“No, I need to get kissing—er, going. I need to go.” His gaze reluctantly returned to hers, and his voice dipped. “I’ll see you tomorrow night?”

She nodded, not trusting her voice. Then he was out the door as if suddenly spooked.

Unfortunately, she knew exactly how he felt.

Release Day FUN!

If you're here today because you found my Rafflecopter Giveaway, THANKS FOR STOPPING IN [and don't forget to leave a comment]!

Yesterday, my good friend, Cindy Skaggs, released her Christmas Novella, An Untouchable Christmas. If you haven't tried her Untouchables series, YOU MUST. Mob gangsters, FBI heroes and heroines...and suspense. White knuckle Suspense! My favorite.

And today marks another great day in publishing because I'm releasing book one of my Hawk Elite Security Series--Strike Back. Enemies from the past. Kidnapping. Edge of your seat uncertainty. 

Both of these books are amazingly priced as once-click wonders--only $1.99 and $0.99. So pick up your copies today.

****And before you leave, comment! Tell me about your favorite Romantic Suspense Author and what it is that makes you keep coming back for more.**** 

If you'd like to hear more about all of our books or you just want get to know us a little better [as people and all], swing on by Facebook tonight [11/15] and catch us at Claudia's Bookalicious Babes at 5pm EST.

Love you all,


Sofia Capri survived life as a mob wife, but living with drop-dead gorgeous FBI agent Logan Stone has its own challenges. Step one? Host his family for Christmas dinner.

Rescuing Sofia from her former mob life and saving her kidnapped son was enough to earn Logan a place in her life, but a mysterious phone call before dinner threatens the security he'd give anything to provide.

When Sofia's son and Logan's nieces disappear from the festivities, the illusion of a normal Christmas shatters, hurling Sofia back into her nightmares.

Each book in the Untouchables series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 - Untouchable
Book #2 - An Untouchable Christmas, novella
Book #3 - Unforgettable

He would let her go if it would keep her safe…

Strong, self-reliant Nathan Hawkins—owner of Hawk Elite Security—can’t fathom a world in which he can’t protect the ones he loves. But the ticking time bomb of scar tissue in his head threatens to end his career and his marriage, even his life. But the scar tissue is nothing compared to the twisted enemy from Nathan’s past who returns, wanting Nathan to pay for his transgressions, pay with his wife.

As the bonds of her once rock-solid marriage disintegrate, Stacy Hawkins is ready to strangle her distant husband if that's what it takes to break down the barriers. Then she meets a man who makes her feel special again, one who makes her long for what she’s lost with Nathan.

…she would give anything to reach him.

A vacation to their favorite spot in Belize isn’t enough to draw Hawk away from the team, especially when it seems that each mission in the past six months is rife with misfortune. And when Stacy becomes the target of a deranged killer out to punish Nathan, they must confront their own personal demons before they can triumph over the evil intent on leaving them dead.

Called Up by Jen Doyle -- REVIEW

There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with one of his best friends is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz looking at each other in a whole new way.
Angelica “Fitz” Hawkins knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she’d rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.

With Deke, Fitz finally feels like she's back in the land of the living. But she won’t risk another broken heart—even if it means saying good-bye to Deke for good. It’s up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

I’d been looking for something new, someone new, to read all summer. But because I was so busy, it was easy to pick up my favorites or new books from favorite authors. But, finally Called Up popped up on my radar. Cute cover. Check. Small Town. Check. Sports and bar theme. Check. Friends to lovers. Check.

I was ready to give it a try.

At first, in Called Up, we're thrown into family. That was my first impression. Lots of people, friendly and familial. There is a comradery through that first chapter, one that probably takes the seasoned reader [of the series] back into the lives of the secondary characters. We meet our main characters, Angelica ‘Fitz’ Hawkins and Max Deacon ‘Deke’ [Deacon, a favorite name of mine, btw…well, for a first name :D ]. One is the town barkeep [it’s a family thing] and one is the town’s orphan [daughter to the man who had a wife and then ran away with the woman who would become her mother]. I like the history they have. We get to watch these two go from supposed friends [but maybe not as close as they thought] to strangers and back to friends before on to being lovers.

I really liked this book. I did have a hard time getting into it at first, probably because I hadn’t read book one. But, that wasn’t a story issue, more of a characters issue…like being confused by who went with whom, who was related, and who were ‘just friends’. Once I had all that figured out, I enjoyed the tug of war within the story. Fitz’s conflict of who she could trust, and how anyone could really love her. And then Deke’s protective streak towards her, and how she goes from a best friend’s sister to someone he wants to be with. I really loved that the author didn’t create perfection within the hero. He’d been with a good number of women in town. He didn’t apologize for it, but didn’t flaunt it either, especially as his relationship with Fitz deepened. There was even a bit of regret, which is nice to see, too.

I think the only thing that bogged the story down was Fitz’s secret keeping along with some parts of her past. Part of me just wanted her to ‘get over it’. It’s not an unfamiliar feeling while reading some of the tropes in the romance genre. And though she seemed to work through that conflict that involved her past, it felt a little too trite to me… the meeting with her foster/adoptive mother who is the first wife of her father. I don’t know. Sometimes you just read something and you think you’re not sure about it. That’s how it was for me. On the other side of the fence from that, though, I did love Fitz’s grand gesture. She’d kept a very big secret from Deke for the entire book, and her making up for that was spot on. It’s very rare that we see the heroine make the grand gesture in romance. So, kudos to Jen Doyle for pulling that off.

A great book I don’t mind recommending to all my Friends.to.Lovers-loving readers.



      Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Sunset On Summer Bloghop

Summer is a great time to read. It's notorious for flings and for romance. But sometimes, when summer ends, the heartache begins...

They closed Quinn’s, playing pool, knocking balls into corner and side pockets. They talked, like they’d known each other their whole lives. When he was near enough to her, her breath shortened and her heart pounded.

The small cove at the back of the bar seemed to have been made for couples, tucked in the corner, no view of the seating area. David’s grin held charm—she’d forgotten—and he turned to sink the eight ball.

Her eyes drank in the sight of his butt. Clearing her throat, she quickly looked away as he turned back to her. “Game.”

She lifted her brow at him.

“I win.”

The pulse in her neck made her lightheaded. She couldn’t look away.


Maria stepped up to him and placed her hands on his waist. Was he the winner?

Call her crazy but… 

She rose to her toes and placed her lips against his. He gently accepted, and his hand cupped the side of her neck. His thumb came to rest at the pulse point. Her ache grew, and she gripped his shirt, wanting more, wanting—his tongue claimed her mouth—yes.

…she was pretty sure she was the one who’d won.

Only $2.99 and FREE on Kindle Unlimited

A Call to Adventure

This topic has been on my mind for about four years now--almost five. See, sometimes when I meet new military wives, we chit and chat and it's inevitable that some discussion on how long and what does he do will come up. And it's not like some of the crazy wives believe in which there's a rank competition going on. Sometimes it really is just curiosity. 

But the truth is, when the women are perfect strangers, and this is the equivalent of small talk, it's easy to wave off the catch phrases, the cliches. And many times, as I've explained that my husband was an accountant--a CPA--turned soldier, a new acquaintance will smile and say, "Ahh, just looking for a little adventure?"

And, I just laugh with a wave of my hand... yeah, yeah.

But no. I think the next time this happens, I will say, "No." I may even frown a little. Because despite the fact that these women mean no harm, at all. It makes me feel like I'm betraying the truth or my husband's trust. 

My husband wanted to join the military when he was 17. His parents wouldn't sign the forms and told him, "Go to college." So he did. Which then started a different journey for him, one that included me. And eventually 5 kids. And he definitely kept looking for that opportunity to fulfill a dream. At every turning point in our life, he would take time to see what his options were for the military. But it wasn't until 2010 that he could make that a reality. And it wasn't 'adventure' or the need to 'escape' or find 'fulfillment.' No, let's be honest about an accountant husband, who quit smoking because 'it was too expensive now.' He wanted someone to pay of his substantial college loans. Yup. He might have wanted this at 17, but it was the undergraduate and post graduate loans that really pushed him into making this happen. [sorry, honey, if I'm revealing your secrets] 

My husband has found adventure at every point in his life. He has made new friends. Learned new things. Answered 'The Call of the Wild'. Taken setbacks. And grown in leaps and bounds. 

And let's talk about what adventure means anyway.


Kay. We'll do it a very simple compare and contrast kind of way so everyone understands. Ready? Here we go...


1. Travelling to distant countries to stand between your loved ones and enemy fire? 

Not adventure.

2. An African Safari?


3. Separation from your loved ones for months at a time?

Not adventure.

4. Hiking the Denali with your lover?


5. 14 hour days of dealing with training, classes, people?

Not adventure.

6. 14 hours on a lake in Lavonia, Georgia with your family?



See what I'm doing there?

Let's not forget why our soldiers fight.

Duty. Honor. Loyalty.

Love of country.

Love of family.

Love of Freedom.

To be very clear. I am not and have never been offended by the assumption that my husband was "looking for adventure". If you've ever said this to me, I'm not calling you out or want to stomp on your goodwill. :) The last woman who did it just happened to be the one that caught my attention and turned the tides--no hard feelings at all. And I never would have thought anything of her response if half of a dozen people before her hadn't said the very same thing. 

But this time...I stand true to my soldier instead of letting his sacrifice seem menial.

Let's be honest!!

If he'd joined at 17, I would have accused him of giving in to the proverbial "Call to Adventure!" 

Cover Reveal -- Riptide by Kinsey Corwin


Welcome, Kinsey Corwin!!!

I'm so excited to reveal your latest cover, Riptide.  Not only does the story sound amazing, but the cover is sweeeet. <3  

I'll be doing a giveaway for anyone who comments or shares--twitter, facebook, or pinterest [cuz those are my spots!]. A copy of Riptide on RELEASE DAY! 


One moment can impact the future.

Only two things in the world brought Hunter Sullivan a sense of peace—surfing and his relationship with Phoenix Nash. All it took was losing his best friend in a tragic surfing accident at one of the world’s greatest surf spots, to send Hunter’s world crumbling down around him. Now, unable to get out on the waves without the memory of Maverick haunting him, he’s at risk of destroying his career and the one person he’s used to turning to when life sucks him under.

Phoenix Nash lived by a set of rules forged after watching her father claw his way out of the depths of depression when her mom left. Do not get involved with her father's clients. Protect your heart always. Dad and the company come first. Rules that slowly started eroding the moment she first fell into bed with up and coming surfer, Hunter Sullivan. When her dad asks for her help getting the face of his surfing division back on the waves, Phoenix is put in a position to choose between the only two men in her life she's ever cared about.