Tag Archive | dreams

It’s here!


Now available from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc and Amazon.com

Book one of the Happily Ever After series

SOMETHING BORROWED

When a man tells you he loves you, how do you learn to trust him to stay when everyone else in your life has left?

SomethingBorrowedCoverArt72dpi

Rain Marcus’s idyllic life growing up in the tiny mountain village of Moonlight Cove didn’t last into adulthood.  She returns from college with dreams of designing and making couture wedding gowns for the rest of her life, but fate has the habit of twisting dreams into thin versions of themselves, and now, fifteen years later, every day is a rerun of the day before.

When MacMillan Sinclair Montrose IV’s parents die, he swears nothing will ever be beyond his control again. He became parent to his baby sister,  graduated from college and took over running his father’s company. There is no way he’ll let his sister’s wedding fall apart. Rain and her friends step in and pull off the perfect day.

Along the way, though, Mac loses control of his heart to Rain, but how can he convince her to trust him to stay when everyone she’s ever loved left her?

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Author Interview sixth question


Next question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

TIME!!!! Before my children, I worked a sixty hour job as the manager of a needlework shop, as well as often taught classes on Saturday. After my daughter was born, I worked that same job and those same hours, and took her along with me. Six months later, my husband gave me the Stay-at-Home-Mom status. I did custom work and antique needlework restoration for various historical societies, even through my daughter’s illness and recovery, until she started college. She’s about to graduate with her third degree, despite not being confident enough to drive–just call me James. LOL So, through all that, I’ve managed to sneak in a little writing at a time. Most times I’m working on several stories at a time. It works.

Author Interview third question


Third question for Author, Sheryl Hames TorresHow did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you? Tell us why you love writing in whatever genre you consider your favorite (if you write in different genres).

I write romance, pure and simple, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only genre I play with. I believe in love. Love between a man and woman, parent and child, best friends. I’m a diehard believer in love. Without it, everything would be clinical but it wouldn’t matter because no one would be here to enjoy it. So whether I’m writing paranormal, or suspense, or whatever, there will ALWAYS be love of one kind or another involved, romance of some sort, but NOT the “okay, there’s a lull, let’s jump the main character so there’s a break in the tension” romance. When I read something like that, I see the romantic almost-scene from the 1990 film, The First Power, and giggle. “Logan, what are you doing?”

Announcing New Release and review


KatesHouseCoverArt72dpi Now available from Desert Breeze Publishing and Amazon.com, KATE’S HOUSE

When Katherine learns of her husband’s long time infidelity and other lies he’s told her over the years, she’s not sure which upsets her more: his duplicity or that she’s completely ignored the signs. Using his subterfuge against him, she acquires a quickie divorce, sole custody of their three children, and enough money to start a new life.

Finding an unusual and seemingly magical Queen Anne in the middle of a farm is the answer to her prayers–a place to teach her children that it’s okay to play and have fun–to be kids. She doesn’t count on falling love with the handyman who comes with the place–or dealing with his secrets–secrets that could destroy them all and their newfound happiness.

Excerpt~~

The heat hit them like a thick, wet blanket taken from the dryer way too soon. It made breathing a struggle.

Reggie put two fingers in her mouth and sent a piercing whistle into the gloom. “Hey, Ian, we’re here!” she bellowed.

There was no sound or movement for several seconds until, like a scene from a bad B movie, he appeared from behind the carriage house, moving in slow motion, pushing the fog out of his way. The sun chose that second to make a brief appearance long enough to shine down on his perfectly toned bare chest and arms as he quickly shrugged a gray tee shirt over it all.

Come on, seriously? No one really looks like that.

Katherine dropped her gaze to her feet, pretending to count the wild violets on the ground until she got the urge to giggle under strict control. A pair of bare feet peeking out from the hems of well worn jeans joined her feet in her vision of violets, and she looked up with a jerk directly into soft gray eyes, rimmed in charcoal lashes. His dark hair, thick and wavy, fell to his shoulders and was pushed straight back away from his face. Obvious from the fingers marks, he’d been out in the rain most of the day and the dampness fueled the waves already there. A heavy stubble darkened his chiseled chin, thick and well kept. The giggle bubbled up again when he spoke.

“Hello, I’m Ian Stuart.”

Of course you are.

The hint of an Irish accent crept from under his strict effort to control it. It was endearing and put her at ease. If he could be this beautiful and still feel self-conscious about something as innocuous as a slight Irish brogue, she was just fine.

She offered her hand. “It’s so nice to meet you, Mr. Stuart. I’m Katherine Jensen, and these are my children, Crysta, Willie, and Livvy.”

His eyes lingered on each child, and Katherine got the feeling he was memorizing their faces. When none of them squirmed under his perusal, he allowed a slight smile. “A fine lot you have here. I’d wager none of you fear the dark or imagine monsters under the bed.”

While Crysta and Willie’s eyebrows rose, Livvy took it in stride. “No, there’s nothing scary under my bed. Me and my animals have camp outs under there.”

He bent at his waist till he was eye-to-eye with her, no mean feat since he was well over six feet tall. “Then you shall be captain, my fine lass. Only the most fearless can be in charge.”

“Captain?” Willie scoffed. “She’s just a girl. And a baby one at that.”

“Age makes no difference. It’s strength that matters, Bodyguard.”

Her son’s eyes widened slightly. They stared at each other, some piece of information passing silently between them.

Crysta smiled. “And who am I to be, Mr. Stuart?”

“You are the balance,” Ian answered without hesitation.

So he had not only been listening to them the day they visited, he’d listened well. How else could he have sized up her children so fast?

“Well, I’m just the mama,” Katherine offered with a shaky smile and rushed on before he could bestow a title on her.

 

Review~~

Kate’s House offers a mixture of pain, humor, and romance as well as the supernatural, which adds dimension to this delightful novel. It is proof that redemption is possible even in the most trying situations and that love can be found when least expected.”  ~~Nancy C. LepriReadertoReader.com

Update and Review for ILLUSIONS from Desert Breeze Publishing now available at Amazon.com


IllusionsCoverArt72dpiNow up for voting in Cover Wars at http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/  ~~ Please register and vote daily October 11-17!

Seventeen years ago, Lily had the perfect life — loving parents and grandparents, a best friend and a boy she thought loved her. An explosion and a disastrous decision blew it all away.

She endures her estranged husband’s brutality in order to protect her six children and paraplegic grandmother, hiding her bruises and terror as best she can. Her family will be safe, even if it means shrinking their world into a very small space.

Alex has been trying to figure Lily out since he returned to town. His teaching job has not only allowed him to get to know her kids as he floats from school to school teaching them music, it’s given him a reason to reconnect with Lily.

However, the new persona he created is all she sees. In her eyes, the boy he was has ceased to exist. Will Alex’s love save or destroy her family?

Excerpt~~

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

She searched his face, and he didn’t buckle under her scrutiny. There was something about those eyes, something that grabbed her and wouldn’t let go. Something that made her feel safe and weak all at once.

“For what exactly? For my marrying the wrong man or for having the power to make me tell you things I refuse to tell anyone else?”

“Both, I guess.”

“You are a puzzle, Alex Anderson.”

“Not at all. My agenda is clear.”

She shivered. Her breath came in gasps as he leaned closer to her, and her heart beat out of control.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what that agenda is?”

“I’m not sure I want to know,” she whispered.

He surprised her by sitting up straight and offering her a wide smile. “You make very good tea.”

“You think I’m a coward?” She stared at her hands. There were tears in her voice, and she felt ashamed.

“Oh, no, Lily.” He put his glass down on the island, stood, and moved to stand in front of her. Sliding his hands along the side of her face, she felt his warmth flowing into her. Putting pressure on her chin with the pads of his thumbs, he raised her eyes to his. “You’re the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”

She scoffed. “You don’t have a clue what kind of woman I am.”

“You’re wrong.” The sudden pain in his eyes shocked her to her very core, and the need to comfort him was jarring. His voice when he continued was gentle, quiet, and intense. “I know you. I always have.”

With those words, he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, soft, non-threatening, comforting and strengthening. Her eyes followed him as he picked up his glass, walked to the sink, rinsed it out, then headed to the door. As he opened the door, he slipped the lock on the doorknob.

“Get some rest. I’ll see you Monday.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

Lily remained frozen in her chair despite a devastating urge to run after him and beg him to stay. What was it about this man that made her feel so secure? By all rights and purposes, she’d only really met him this afternoon. He was a virtual stranger.

And why didn’t she send him away? After all, once he found out all the truths in her life, he’d leave anyway.

 

Review~~

Five our of Five Stars: A gut-wrenching, yet delightful read!

By Nancy C. Lepri on July 21, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Lily Cabot is raising six lovable, well-behaved children while keeping Peter, her abusive ex at bay. She fearful of him, and her kids hold him in contempt, also, wanting no part of him.

Living with her wheelchair-bound grandmother and caring for the needs of seven, not to mention herself, Lily is selfless and strong, determined to create a happy family environment.

The young man she once loved, Zandie Anderson is but a memory, though she still has a soft spot for him in her heart. If only, she thinks…but if only never happened, so she deals with the cards she’s been dealt. Not only deals with them, but does an excellent job, too. She encounters many stumbling blocks, though they do not deter her determination for a better life for her young ones.

Zandie, now going by Alex, teaches music for the local school system. His appearance is very different from the Zandie Lily once adored. He offers lessons to her children–drawn to the rowdy, but lovable brood–though more so to the girl he still loves. Attracted to him, Lily perceives something familiar in him, but cannot discern what, for he is not recognizable from the boy she had known. However, a relationship is impossible. She has her young ones and grandmother to care for, and her worry of reprisals from Peter keeps her from enjoying a life of her own.

Can Lily ever escape the bonds that bind her and find the true love she deserves, or will she continue to live in fear?

Ms. Hames Torres pens her novel with flair and wit. Though tackling the difficult subject of domestic violence, her protagonist proves to be a tough, independent woman who is doing an extraordinary job raising her six precocious kids while living with her grandmother, a feisty individual in her own right. Humor mixed with the issue of brutality offers a light-hearted, delightful read plus the anticipation of more in this same tone from this author.

The Top Five Things I Discovered In 2014


We’re about to say goodbye to 2014. Each new year comes around and we measure the last with several different yardsticks. Did we accomplish the goals we set this time the year previous? Are we in better health than we were last year—physical and financial? How did our children fare? Our spouses? The rest of our families? Is our house clean? Does our car run, need work?

Are we happy? And if we are, more so or less so than the end of the year before?

Did we learn anything? About the world? About ourselves? Did we pick up any knowledge intensely valuable to no one but ourselves?*

We’re about to enter 2015, so how was my last year?

My family is doing well. Mark could be happier in his job, but he’s extremely good at what he does so even on days he thinks he’s not appreciated, deep down, he knows they’d be sorry if he up and left. There’s extreme satisfaction underneath the general frustration. So that’s good.

Courtney is happy. She has great friends who value her and whom she values. She’s good at what she does, and enjoys it—stress and all. This was the year she learned how to suffer fools—something I had hoped she wouldn’t have to learn for years off. She doesn’t enjoy it and she doesn’t suffer them well or because she wants to, but I won’t allow her to use my food processor to deal with them, so she doesn’t have much choice. I’m considering researching Voodoo doll construction for her.

Dusty has gone back to school, and is happier than he’s been in a long time. Thank you, Jesus. He’s happier and learned more in the first week of his first semester than he did the entire two and a half years at the other college in the other program. Does that mean he’s given up his music? Not at all, and my heart still sings when he plays me his newest composition.

Between my two babies, my home will forever be filled with art and music.

And me? Well, I learned a lot this year, about myself, my kids, and some things that are completely useless to everyone else but me.

Here are my top five:

 

  1. It’s the end of the year and while my house does not look like a murder scene it is by far not spotless. However, my kitchen is clean and my dishes are done, and soup is on. My bathrooms are clean. My laundry is done, mostly thanks to my sweet baby girl. My front room is presentable enough not to horrify people who come to my door. My floors need doing, but I’m not worried about that right now. If someone comes in and says, “Oh my hell, your floors are horrible!” I will hand them the cleaner and a mop, and we’ll have a lovely conversation while they are correcting the problem.
  2. I can rewrite and entire novel, creating an almost completely new storyline and edit it in 5 ½ weeks! But not without my right hand woman and professional ledge-talker-offerer…LOL Thank you, Pam. In addition, I have my very own—I don’t want to say bulldozer…LOL so we’ll just say…earth mover. She will not let me stand still or give up. She will not let me waste time grousing, and will not let me simply take what’s handed me. No, she goes out there and pushes me through the next door in my path, and if there isn’t one, she FINDS one. Thank you, Charly! And one can simply not survive without a cheerleader and I have one of the best. Thank you, Neva! I love you guys more than I can tell you. You are all three invaluable to me.
  3. Few people keep their promises and though we don’t like that they’re not honoring contracts or aren’t paying us like they should be, we can’t let it destroy our health. I’m learning to believe that Sister Karma bites everyone in the ass eventually. Their time is coming. Of course, the Voodoo doll research might come in handy here as well.
  4. I can still do my beloved needlework. I’ve not even tried to do any in almost  three years since I had a mild stroke. I figured if I, lover of words and trivia, have problems remembering names, dates and events, and can’t find certain words when I need them,  how on earth can I expect to remember how to take string and thread and yarn and create anything beautiful…or even not overly homely? In July, I finished a counted cross-stitch Paula Vaughn piece of a front porch swing. It was not only easy, it turned out very well. In October, I started a sweater for my niece–an intricate, heavily cabled, highly stylized jacket and matching hat. It was completely finished by the first of December, turned out just the way I intended, and not only fit her, but she loved it. And by the week before Christmas, I’d crocheted four purses with basinets and baby dolls inside for my great nieces. So, I consider that a major win.

 

*Side note that only knitters will understand or care about:  I started doing needlework when I was nine years old and after—we’ll just say –many decades of learning and teaching and doing, I would have thought I’d pretty much have learned it all, until Brittney’s sweater. I seldom work with knitting grid patterns, but this time necessity called for it. The intricate cable design worked with decreases from bottom to top, but the pattern grid remained the same size, and equal stitch graph from top to bottom. I discovered “ignore stitch” means exactly that when looking at legended stitches beside little blank squares. It’s all based on lace technique of making wrap stitches, or increases and decreases in the row previous. While it completely freaked out my holey, word-obsessed brain, once I “read” what the grid was saying, I was able to see it and had no problem. The key? TRUST the pattern’s author, because what you’re seeing in the grid, ISN’T what’s actually happening. Now that I’ve completely confused all you non-knitters, I’ll just say this was a monumental moment in my re-establishing my needlework capabilities…and we’ll return to subject at hand.

  1. I am a terrible, horrible, ridiculously BAD blogger. I SAY I’m going to blog every week. I promise my daughter that I’ll blog every week. She even goes so far as to write out little strips of paper with topics so all I have to do on weeks my brain’s not working or I can’t think of a topic, or am just to tired of lazy to come up with, I’ll have a topic at my fingertips. And still I am a horrible blogger. We’ve established I don’t particularly like blogging. And you can look at the few I’ve done and know, I am less than sporadic. Courtney just looks at me and shakes her head. She definitely has a better work ethic than I do. Now that said, her class schedule this next semester leaves me with a LOT less sit-in-the-car-and-wait time and a lot more potential writing time. And since I do have all those lovely colored topic papers, I will have less reason not to blog. Will I be able to push myself to blog more? Well, let’s just say, though I didn’t blog a lot last year, I did blog more than the year before.  So, there’s hope. There is hope.

 

Goodbye 2014. Thank you for the ups and downs, the good things and the bad things and the strength we gained from both. Thank you for the balance. God knows you’ve got to be tired and deserve your rest. 2015, I ask that you help us deal with the bad things some of us are carrying over in to the New Year, and the attention to enjoy all the good that comes our way.

I wish all of you readers love, strength, peace, enough happiness to overshadow whatever trials and sorrows you might face, and as always, enough of everything to make your life a fulfilling and satisfying one.

 

Time to get on with the soup…

The Last Weekend of a Lackluster Summer…


(or…The Countdown to a MUCH Better Summer…)

It’s eleven-forty-five on the first Saturday morning in almost four months that my family has been able to sleep in, and up until about fifteen minutes ago, my house has been so quiet. Everyone (including the fur balls and except Dusty) are just now waking up. It’s the next to the last official weekend of summer, and I stand and wave it off  as thrilled to see it go as houseguests who’ve overstayed their welcome.

I thought it’d never leave!

I have to say, after Spring Semester…yes, in our house we tend to count time passage in terms of semesters…which will forever be thought of as the Semester  From Hell, I had such high hopes for the summer. Best laid plans and all that. Since mid-May my husband has had a total of seven days off. Seven. SEVEN days out of the last one hundred ten to sixteen hour a day, the majority of which were at least twelve hours long. He comes home, smiles at me and says, “I remember you. You’re that girl who I see when I turn over in the middle of the night.” To say he’s exhausted would earn me the lifelong title, The Queen of the Understatement.

The beginning of summer involved bouts of near pneumonia for my daughter and I, then right into weeks of redecorating, followed by an exhausting but wonderful Fourth of July celebration with my family here at the house—one of Mark’s seven days off. I came out of that hectic pace oddly energized and ready to work, only to be informed that my publisher was restructuring their lines and was pulling two of the three book contracts I’d been recieved at the beginning of the year.

So instead of spending the latter half of the summer kicking butt editing those two books, I was thrown into a state of hardly wanting to turn on my computer. I got a lot of Words With Friends and Farmville 2 done. I guess that’s something.

Now, we are back into the school schedule. My daughter is overjoyed with her schedule and her classes. My son is back in college—Thank You, Jesus!—and loving it!—thank You again. My husband’s work schedule is winding down to some semblance of a normal human’s work schedule, and we can all say goodbye and good riddance to a very long, very dull summer. We have gone nowhere, done nothing since the Fourth, except an occasional spur-of-the-moment lunch out and one movie where the lead actress spent the entire film time staring at Tom Cruise with slack-jawed expressions that had she realized they made her so very closely resemble a camel, she would certainly have rethought the entire thing.

My husband and daughter have this weekend off. My son works all night tonight and until midnight tomorrow night, so the next two days will be spent catching up on sleep—and listening to Courtney hum while she cheerfully diagrams 50+ word sentences. (No, I didn’t drop her on her head as a baby, but I am wondering if it is a genetic condition for which there is funding or a study.) Next weekend, however, we have a three-day weekend. I will be turning off all cell phones, cross my fingers that Dusty can get Monday off, and we will head to the Smokies for a day of some much needed inspiration and rejuvenation.  Miracles have always happened for us up in those mountains. Maybe when we get back, I’ll have found my missing motivation to write again. Who knows?

What I do know is I’m so ready for Fall Soup.

Enjoy yours…