An Angel Unaware

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It is said that, 1) Angels are all around us, even though we don’t know it. And 2) Everyone has a twin…. or in the case of this story, a triplet!

I lost my Nana, Kathleen Browning, just before my son’s second birthday, so almost eight years ago. It was sudden and I never got a chance to make my way back to her to say good bye. In fact, I had phoned her about two weeks before and she was fine. Little did I know it was the last phone call I was going to make to her, but I will forever hold it’s details in my heart.

Fast forward to last night – July 19, around 8 pm CST, I was on Facebook chatting with my aunt about quotes Nana used often, like, “Oh for Heaven’s sake…” in her high pitched native, Boston accent when something was a surprise or very interesting to her. Being a life long Catholic, another one of her favorite sayings was, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” when something startled her or she was flabbergasted. In turn, my sisters and I would yell back, “Where??” and she’d always laugh. There were so many more as the night went on and my cousins had joined in the conversation. Laughs were all around, and memories flowed like a trickling waterfall through my mind, leaving me missing Nana, and sad that I can’t see her anymore.

Now, I don’t know if God somehow heard all these sillies memories and said, “Hey Kathleen, come on over here and listen to what you’re family is saying.” Or gave her a free pass to the realm of Earth for the afternoon, but as I was taking my son to the community pool there was this woman swimming with her daughter and grandchildren who looked very familiar. Immediately my head echoed, “Nana?”

She had a short hair cut, thicker on top, in a chestnut brown with some natural sun kissed, red highlights, a round face, slender nose that had a lift at the nostrils, and coral lipstick on her lips. She was even buxom and curvy like my tall, and full-figured nana.

She caught me staring, and I said, “I’m sorry, you look just like my Nana.”

To which she laughed and said, “Oh for Heaven’s sake!”

I stopped dead in my tracks, to which she noticed, and I told her how my aunt and cousins were just talking about Nana quotes and that was one she said all the time, not to mentioned she said it just the way this woman did. She laughed again and we chatted for quite a while, mostly about Nana, what her life was like, where she came from and so on. Her daughter joined in, too, and I found out she’s just a little younger than me, and her husband’s good friend works with my husband! Small, small world! And it only gets smaller still…. so small, in fact, this is why I opened my blog mentioning angels and twins–err triplets (my Nana was a twin).

A break in conversation, I finally said, “My name is Eryn, by the way.” The daughter introduced herself as Kristin (uhh my sister’s name – and spelling) and Nana’s look-a-like said, “I’m Kathy.” My jaw dropped, face probably went pale too.

She said, “Don’t tell me your Nana’s name was Kathy?”

I said, “Not quite. It was Kathleen.”

Kristin and Kathy’s jaws dropped then, both tumbling over each other’s words to say, “Her/My full name is Kathleen.”

Chills. I got pure chills on a 90 degree day, to the point that I started to cry. I was completely shocked.

Later on I texted my aunt telling her this story, and she said that I had to ask if I could take her picture. Kathy joyfully agreed and I took a picture to mark the day I met my Nana’s angel on earth. Maybe she was guided to me for an extra special mark of the memories still twinkling about in my head from the night before, or maybe God or Nana knew I needed one more chance to say hello and spend a few hours with her again. Who knows? But I know I had to go and write down this moment the instant I got home. Whoever doesn’t believe that people aren’t supposed to meet…better change your thinking because after today, I firmly believe we are supposed to find people who are meant to change our lives.

 

Thank you Kathy

    I love you Nana!

 

 

Fresh Off The Page

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I love encouraging new writers, especially those who are passionate about writing and write amazing works. I don’t care if they are poems or fan fiction or full novels, if the writer has the desire to write and just needs that kick to make their craft excellent – I will help encourage.

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Anyone who knows me, knows I am a fan girl through and through. I love my Superman and Once Upon a Time. And through these interests I have met friends that I truly love. One of those is Emily Kitchen, who I have been helping her smooth out her fan fictions. In just the few months I’ve been working with her, she has greatly improved. Take a moment, if you’d like, and read her first fan fiction that we have worked on together. It was a diamond in the rough and now shines like a faceted beauty.

 

If you enjoy Once Upon a Time (the television show) or just love a good racy story about a woman who travels back in time with the man who she’s unsure about giving her heart to, only to find that there isn’t one, but two of him in the past both vying for her attention and what she decides to do with double the amount of Jones’ men, then please give Emily’s short story a read.

Congratulations Emily!

Click here for the link

Double The Jones

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SPOTLIGHT: From Fake to Forever by Jennifer Shirk

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Please help me welcome to my blog today, Jennifer Shirk and her wonderful book, From Fake to Forever. 

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Sandra Moyer’s preschool is struggling, so she reluctantly agrees to let super-famous actor Ben Capshaw research a role there. Ben’s always joking around, never serious, but there’s something about the buttoned-up, beautiful Sandra and her young daughter that makes him want to take life more seriously. But Sandra won’t trust him—what if it’s all an act, research for the role? As the lines between make-believe and reality blur, Ben will have to decide if love is worth casting aside the role of his life for a new role…that could last a lifetime.

 

AN EXCERPT TO FROM FAKE TO FOREVER

From the corner of her eye, Sandra Moyer noticed a tall, bearded man leaning against the playground fence and automatically tensed. Because she was a single mom and alone, her paranoid nature already labeled him a felon, although technically he was doing nothing wrong. In fact, come to think of it, he had a pretty nice body with those real-life Hulk arms and broad chest. She didn’t know what that made her for noticing something like that about a man she assumed was on some Family Watchdog list, but the phrase “cheap and desperate” came to mind.

Since when did I start ogling the physiques of strange men?

Her shoulders wilted as she brooded over that question. She obviously needed to get out more. She needed to just get out. The problem was she didn’t see herself doing that any time soon. Her self-esteem had hit rock bottom and hadn’t been able to locate its way back up since the day she’d found Steve cheating on her with one of his costars.

An unpleasant picture of her ex-husband lip-locked with a Julianne Moore–type redhead popped into her mind, and she shuddered.

Actors. Did their profession ever mesh with reality?

The answer to that was a resounding no. Unfortunately, she’d learned that one the hard way. Steve had even thought she’d understand the main reason he had the affair was for the publicity and what it could do for his career and income. Like that was supposed to make her feel so much better about it.

“Mommy, I want to play in the sandbox.”

Her daughter’s voice pulled her from those depressing thoughts, and she gratefully looked down. “Okay, honey. Just five more minutes, though.”

Hannah squealed and dashed through the playground as fast as her little legs could run. Sandra couldn’t help but smile. Life was so simple when you were four. The little things kept you happy. And why not? Four-year-olds didn’t think about paying the rent or overdue bills. Things that were constantly on her mind ever since she’d opened the preschool with her sister. No, the only thing you worried about at that age was whether Mommy would give you ice cream if you didn’t eat your string beans.

She’d kill for that kind of stress again.

Unfortunately, the thought of homicide had her eyes traveling back to the well-built man she’d been ogling earlier. He was tossing around a football with a young boy now. Nothing illegal, but something was off. She had a sixth sense when it came to protecting her daughter, and right now it was telling her something big. Like he’d just gotten out of prison. It must have been a whopper of a sentence, too, judging from the long, scraggly hair and the kind of beard and mustache Santa Claus would envy. She never made a habit of associating with men who looked liked convicts, but there was something familiar about him…

She doubted he had a child enrolled in her preschool. Story time at the public library? She highly doubted that, too. He didn’t exactly look like the loving Father Knows Best type, considering that fire-breathing skull on his calf wasn’t designed to instill tenderness. At least he was out spending time with his son, which was a lot more than what her daughter was getting from her own father.

As if her thoughts had been telepathically sent out, the man in question cast a lingering gaze over in her direction. And he smiled.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Oh, no, don’t even think about it. Don’t you dare come over here. She fumbled to put her sunglasses back on and almost punched out a lens. Please stay where you are. He’d better be a jolly person being his usual overly friendly self and not just leering at her. But she laid odds on the latter.

What was it with her? She could attract a creep from the next state over without even trying. A talent she’d gladly relinquish.

She flopped down on a bench. Opening her purse, she yanked out a book and hid her face behind it. If she pretended to be engrossed in reading, maybe the man would reconsider trying to strike up a conversation. Yeah, that’s all she needed—some ex-con cozying up to her.

Confident her glasses hid her eyes, she lowered the book a half inch and sneaked another peek. Tall, Dark, and Scraggly had his back to her now. Relief enveloped her. Thank goodness, she thought, slowly letting out a breath.

One deadbeat per lifetime was enough.

 

MY REVIEW

Eryn's Reading

From Fake to Forever was such a cute story. Cute isn’t even the right word. It was sexy and sweet and real. I could be Sandra. I related to her as a mother and occasional caretaker of children. Luckily for me I don’t have deadbeat ex like she did but Ben certainly made up for him. I really enjoyed it and so will other readers. It’s a real feel-good story perfect for a quick rainy day read or day at the beach.

Pick this one up and you’ll put it down with a smile and “aww” upon your lips.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Shirk

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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.

Follow, visit, LIKE her on her social media links:

Author Website: www.jennifershirk.com

Author Blog: http://jennifershirk.blogspot.com/

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To purchase From Fake to Forever, click HERE

 

 

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RELEASE DAY: Falling for Phoenix

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It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! I’m SO excited for today. I love every book I write and I connect with all the characters, but this time–all by his own self– the character Rhys took me for a ride. I thrilled writing for him everyday and despite not always getting the chance to write on a daily basis due to a full time nanny job, Rhys was always on my mind, telling me his story.

From the moment I started Falling for Shock, I knew I wanted Oliver Hannel to have a handful of brothers. I didn’t know it at the very beginning that each would have their own book, but the more these characters took shape I knew they needed their own story as well. Oliver was fun, Edward is the caring one–the protector, and Rhys is my charmer. So when I began plotting for Falling for Phoenix I knew I didn’t want to do another white noise, alpha male, rich playboy guy… in fact, I despise those stereotypical characters. In actuality I’ve always wanted to tear those types down to the bare bones and really get to the meat of the person. So I did. I created Rhys.

Rhys is a hot-shot, almost douchebag stockbroker who has a very bad day at work, right in the beginning. The only people who truly care for him are his family members, and even then they spend most of the time rolling their eyes at him for his snarky comments and constant innuendos. They know he’s more than the persona he shows to the public, but Rhys never lets his soft side show. It takes a true implosion to break him and make him want to change for the better. Unfortunately that comes at the price of losing everything including his health.

Mae, on the other hand, is already broken. She comes from a dysfunctional family and has seen a world of trouble in her short twenty-two years. Leaving China, for her birth country of America, she recreates herself as Gracen Phoenix, a metaphoric name representing the mythical Phoenix reborn from the ashes and flames that tore him down.ph bird

Both Rhys and Gracen –on their own– build theirselves back up to a newer, brighter version of themselves, and then find this commonality of rebirth that brings along more than a simple friendship.

The cool thing that I did get to keep of Rhys’ past personality is his charm – he just uses his roguishness for good rather than juicy, meaningless exploits.

 

 

I hope  all my readers will love this book as much as I do and as much as I loved writing it. Please enjoy! Read – Leave a review – Tell others. You are the reason I can keep writing more and more wonderful stories.

EXCLUSIVE: Throwback Thursday-Alternate Scene from the Blue Lute

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As a Throwback Thursday treat, I thought I’d let you read an alternative version to a scene in The Blue Lute. In the beginning, Blue Lute was about 800 pages long–No kidding. It was long and complex, and I went through the daunting task of editing that thing to pieces. But some of my favorite scenes were excluded, because in order to edit something that big, plot lines had to be change. This scene is one of them. Its set after Brandon and Lilly’s first romantic night together, before Brandon was going to return to 1928. Enjoy!

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(UNEDITED)

The next morning Lilly stretched, waking to the sound of a soft guitar playing. Sitting up, she found Brandon on the window seat wearing only pajama pants, strumming his guitar in the glowing sunlight. She cleared her throat catching his attention. Brandon turned away from the strings, beaming. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” she replied and climbed off the bed. The flannel shirt Brandon wore the day before was lying on the ground. She slid, rolling up the sleeves and crossed over to him. Brandon moved the instrument aside so she could sit between his legs, then brought the guitar back around in front of them both. Lilly giggled as he kissed her neck and continued playing.

His fingers moved up the fingerboard, pinching the strings with one hand while strumming the lower strings at the same time. She was fascinated by the movement, realizing she could never be that coordinated and have it sound half as good as he did.

Smiling at her interest, Brandon handed her the neck. “Here, you try?”

Lilly protested. “No, no, no, I can’t play.”

“I’ll teach you,” he said and held her hand, forming it to the wood and metallic strings. Aligning her fingers on the correct strings, he then took hold of her other hand and strummed it across the lower strings playing a chord. He did the same for the next few chords. It almost sounded like a song. “See, you can do it.”

“I guess I can,” she leaned over her shoulder. “It must be the teacher.”

Brandon pressed her lips to hers. “Mmm must be.”

When he started playing again, Lilly quieted, listening to Brandon hum and softly sing. She closed her eyes, letting the music fill her. The rumble of his voice in his chest against her back vibrated between them, soothing her soul like a kind of massage. No sooner did she lean her weight into him did Brandon stop singing. His lips touched the side of her neck, trailing kisses from her collarbone up to that sensitive spot just beneath her ear. Her body tingled from head to toe as he whispered in her ear.

“Mmm,” she sighed. Lilly barely knew her own name let alone heard what he said as he started gliding his lips back down to her shoulder again.

“Did you hear what I said?” he asked between heady breaths.

Lilly shook her head; her eyes closed in bliss feeling his breath on her skin.

“I said I’m not going back.”

She heard him that time. Her eyes flew open. “What?”

Brandon set the guitar down. Lilly faced him, hoping for an explanation. “I can’t go now. I can’t leave you.”

“You can’t do that because of me.”

He gathered her hands. “Lilly I’ve lost a love before. I know how it feels. I don’t want to feel that way about you. And I don’t want to fall in love again with anyone else. I’m done.” He cupped her cheek. “I want to stay here and grow old with you.”

She knew she should convince him to go, but nothing could make her form those words. She was just as lonely as he was and needed him as much as he needed her. Never again could she give her heart to anyone else after he left. She wouldn’t be able to handle it. Lilly leaned into his hand. “Are you sure?”

Taking a deep breath, he drew her in for a kiss. “Yes.”

“Oh Brandon. I love you.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck and Brandon fumbled with buttons on her shirt. “I love you too, Lilly. Forever.

If you haven’t read The Blue Lute and would like to, the ebook is on sale at Amazon for the everyday low price of $1.99 or Barnes & Noble for the paperback. Click the title below.

THE BLUE LUTE – Kindle Ebook

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SPOTLIGHT: Love’s Encore by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

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Welcome to the Spotlight today ~ Kathleen Ann Gallagher

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Desire wins the lead role.

Sadie Layne, a creative and motivated high school drama teacher, is grateful for second chances. After surviving breast cancer, she embarks on a celebratory trip to LA with her two best friends. Sadie never expected to run into the handsome and charming Vince De Carlo in the hotel lobby. She hasn’t seen Vince much since they worked together in a theater company years ago. Their meeting interrupts her plans and reminds her of the life she left behind.

Vince, a struggling actor and cover model, is in LA to promote a television pilot. His old attraction to Sadie is stronger than ever. He never forgot her, even though a trusted friendship and a scripted kiss was all they’d shared.

The reunited pair give in to temptation, but reality soon collides with lust as strong doubts about their blossoming romance get in the way. Sadie dreads facing her defeat as an actress, and Vince doesn’t think a struggling actor like himself is capable of providing the accomplished teacher with what she deserves.

Will the couple find a way to keep their sizzling romance alive and build a future together? Or will their uncertainty win the lead role and smother the flames?

 

AN EXCERPT FROM LOVE’S ENCORE

How on earth was she supposed to explain spending the night out to her friends? Her heart told her to stay with Vince. It wasn’t as if they’d just met. Some of the students in the workshop had told her he’d had the hots for her, nevertheless, she’d insisted it was platonic. It took honesty on her part to admit she’d had a strong physical attraction to him. All these years her fairy-tale romance was right in front of her eyes, and she had looked past it to put her acting career first. Her whole world had revolved around the theater. How could she have lied to herself for so long? If she’d known her path would divert into a different direction, she might have done things differently. At the time, her goals had come before any form of romance. No more. Not this time. She was going for it. Full speed ahead, girl. So long regrets.

“You have no idea how much I want you, and I always have. You’re the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. There is no other woman who can compare to you, Sadie.”

He trailed his tongue along her cheek and nibbled at her neck. Chills ran rampant through her body. Each gentle touch of his strong fingers along the inside of her thigh getting higher and higher. Sadie’s arousal escalated, and she wanted nothing more than to rip his clothes off. He made his way back up to her mouth, and she parted her lips to welcome his tongue. His passionate kiss intensified her longing to have all of him.

“I want you too,” she whispered softly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LovesEncoreKathleen writes contemporary and paranormal romance in her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, Luc and Chaz. She spent years working as a registered nurse in an emergency room. Kathleen discovered her passion for reading and writing in the fourth grade. She has three children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat and sipping on an iced tea as she plots her next romance novel.

 

You can find Kathleen at the following places:

www. kathleensplacetoreflect.blogspot.com

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Kathleen is offering a Rafflecopter Giveaway for $25 to Amazon or B/N and will draw a random winner during the tour. Click below to get a chance to WIN!

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SPOTLIGHT: Diamond in the Rough by Lori Robinett

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In the Spotlight today, brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions, please help me welcome Lori L. Robinett and her newest Contemporary Romance, Western novel Diamond in the Rough.

 

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Ranch hand Aidan Brackston has built a new life at the Diamond J, and he keeps women at arm’s length to protect his secret . . . until he walks into the local scrapbook store on an errand for his boss. When he accidentally knocks Gina on her ass, she respond with a slap . . . and the fireworks begin.

Single mom, Gina Montgomery has her hands full running a business, and taking care of her little boy. The last thing she needs is a man in her life, but when a tall, dark, and sexy cowboy strides into her store, she’s reminded that she’s still a young woman with hopes and desires.

Just as passion ignites between Aidan and Gina, her little boy is kidnapped by rustlers. Will the two of them be able to save her little boy . . . even if that means exposing Aidan’s secret?

 

AN EXCERPT FOR THE READERS

Gina pressed against the Plexiglas window of the store room again, just as the door swung towards her. The door smacked her face with a sharp POP and she fell backwards, landing on her backside with a thump.

Light silhouetted the dark figure in the doorway, radiating around him like a halo. He bent towards her, hand extended, and the halo turned into a cowboy hat. Ah, there was that good looking cowboy she was just thinking about . . .

She reached up and took his offered hand, and he pulled her up so she stood mere inches from him. She’d been right about his height. She looked straight ahead at his broad chest. His muscles filled out his plaid flannel shirt. Dark hairs curled over the shirt where his top two buttons were undone. Her eyes wandered up the curve of his neck, over the strong line of his jaw, and settled on his lips. They were parted slightly, welcoming, inviting. She looked at those amazing blue eyes . . . which were not focused on her eyes.

There was a sharp pop as she slapped his face

 

Eryn's Reading

MY REVIEW

I really enjoyed the throwback writing style and feel to this novel. The retro names and omniscient point of view isn’t something we see much of these days. Both made this a unique read and I one I would probably pick up for an awesome beach read. If you like westerns,cowboys, and suspense,you will definitely like this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DiamondInTheRoughLori is the author of four books, and serves as a mentor for aspiring writers. She is a creative soul trapped in a paralegal’s body. Several years ago, she discovered (and won) National Novel Writing Month and rediscovered the joy of escaping into a world of her own creation.

She lives in rural Missouri with her husband. One very spoiled Miniature Schnauzer and Miniature Beagle allow Lori and her husband to live in their house, and the outside is patrolled by BK (short for Barn Kitty) and Patches (a sweet tom cat stray that missed his calling as a lap cat).

Her novels cover everything from romance to thrillers, but mystery is the thread that binds them all together. Her favorite authors are Tawna Fenske, Tierney James, Colleen Donnelly, Allison Merritt, Lisa Medley, Lea Waite, Susan Mallery, Hugh Howey, HP Mallory and, well, the list goes on and on.

YOU CAN FIND LORI ON…

www.lorilrobinett.com

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And you can purchase Diamond in the Rough by clicking the title.

Lori will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B&N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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