Thank you all for your many votes for my cover for Kate’s House in Author Shouts’ Cover Wars. I’m thrilled you love it as much as I do, and Carol Fiorillo deserves so much praise for her talent. (She’s a sweetheart, too.) Please go to authorshout.com and click the Cover Wars tab at the top and keep voting. Four more days. One vote per day. Thank you again and sending big hugs.
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.
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.
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.
“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
What a lovely week I’ve had…busy beyond belief, but simply wonderful. The end of November all the way through most of December up to Christmas day, I existed. I breathed, I ate, didn’t sleep much, operated on auto pilot. Then my son announced he’d changed his mind about the ARMY. He’s got other plans and while he may jump off buildings, flip over cars, learn to race cars, I think I’ll survive those. We’ve worked on pre-spring semester cleaning and the house shines. I’ve finished the first draft of my book.
Now it’s New Year’s Eve. I have my husband home. He brought home dinner so I didn’t have to cook. You’ve got to love a man like that. My daughter is home, relaxed and watching her favorite old show. My son and his beautiful girlfriend are here. We’re all well, and actually looking forward to the new year.
2014…So what will be different? We’ll still have bills. We’ll still have work and things we don’t much like doing. Things in this world will continue to get better and worse. But right now, tonight, the coming year looks and feels new. Sparkly. Clean.
We make resolutions we’ll never keep. I resolve to eat less potato chips, and for about a month maybe, I’ll keep the resolution, then I’ll remember I like potato chips and get a little bag… and the resolution dies a fiery death.
It seems, though, that I have task masters. I have Neva and Junie who cheer me on. I have Charly and Pam to make sure I don’t stop writing until I reach the end. And I have Courtney, my daughter, who informed me today, that now that I’ve started blogging, I’m not to stop. In fact, I have to write a blog once a week. Excuse me? Has she met me? The fact that I’ve managed 4, count them, 4 blogs in the month of December, notwithstanding, my blogs are usually a year apart. But she has informed me she’s not going to give me a chance to fail. She will be creating 52 individual slips of folded paper, each with a word or phrase that will inspire me to blog. I dont’ have to blog solely about that topic, but must incorporate the topic into the blog. Now, I must warn you, these topics could be odd…she does like to challenge her mother, and I do like to rise to those challenges.
So, I have my husband who makes sure I am prepared and have everything I need, in working order, to succeed, my daughter who challenges me, my son who keeps me breathing, my cheerleaders, my urgers…my task masters, how can I fail? So my 2014 resolution? Not to let any of them down.
I wish each and every one of you enough of everything you need in the coming bleached white new year, most of all, safety, love, happiness and good health.
Happy New Year!
It’s the day after Christmas, and I’ve not accomplished much. I’ve done the banking. I’ve straightened up some of the house…not much..still looks like a twister hit a murder scene. I’ll clean it from top to bottom tomorrow, but today, I still don’t care one whit. Today, I am still basking in the joy from yesterday.
The day before yesterday, I blogged about how wonderful our day would be despite all the setbacks we’d had over the last year. Well, it was even better. The thought that went into each gift was extraordinary. My nephew gave my baby sister (the coffee fiend) gourmet coffees and a cup with her childrens’ photo on it and the caption, “keep your hands off my coffee!” Another nephew gave my husband a case of drawing pencils, blenders, snudgers and erasers, simply because he overheard that Mark had started drawing again…something he’s not made time for in almost twenty years. My daughter gets her artistic talent from him and his grandfather. My niece gave me the perfect tote bag large enough to carry my laptop, my notebooks, and whatever else I might need, and an area for my regular “purse stuff” as my great nephew calls it. My sister gave my mother a frame large enough for photos of all the great grandchildren. Like I said, everything was thoughtful, appreciated and, well, perfect. And my nephew announced that next year, there would be TWO new babies to join the family.
But our biggest surprise and greatest gift was the last gift opened at our house Christmas morning. It was preempted by a small, sweetly wrapped box, with a note inside from our son. Dusty wrote about how much he loved us, how much he’d appreciated all we’d done for him, how much his sister’s love meant to him. How much our support had meant to him over the years, and made him into the man he is today. And that he had one more gift for us.
He’s not going into the Army…or any other branch of the service…trust me, I asked. LOL He’s decided his life isn’t bleak or hopeless. He’s got dreams he isn’t ready to turn loose of, people in his life he’s not ready to let go of, and germs of plans he wants to cultivate. I admit, I did the silly mama thing and burst into tears. I know he might get a job someday five thousand miles from home, but while I’ll miss him if he does, I’m okay with that. I know my daredevil son. His feet haven’t been on the ground for an entire day since he learned to jump. He jumps off buildings. He will likely take up bungee jumping, base jumping, sky diving, race car driving. He’s young and as long as I don’t have to know until after he’s safely back on stable ground, I’m good.
So, it’s been almost thirty-three hours since his announcement, and except for a scant seven hours when I was asleep, I’ve had a really hard time being able to pull my lips over my teeth. I am a happy mama. Tonight, I write, try to finish my last chapter in this draft of my novel. Tomorrow, my kids and I will put on some very loud, Kick-ass-clean-up-the-house music and scrub down the house so we’re ready for the next eight months when I won’t be home much. Tomorrow night, I will make a big dinner…holy cow! Everyone will actually be home for dinner. After I will work on the last half of another novel to keep myself from starting on the last edits due to the publisher in March. For the first time in weeks, I FEEL like writing. Imagine, miracles do happen. LOL
Heck, this is the third blog in a month!!! I’m ready to face the new year!