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Category: News

FREE BOOKS TO DISTRACT YOU WHILE YOU'RE HOME-BOUND!

Hey all!

First off, I think you need a Pippa picture right now. My pup Pippa has brought me great joy in this stressful time and I love to share her pictures on Instagram because, well, puppy! Even if she’s growing rapidly into a full-sized dog! So here’s puppy therapy for you:

By now I hope you are all staying home and avoiding being too close to others in an effort to slow down the spread of this awful Coronavirus. If you aren’t, I hope you will reconsider that because this is the real deal and maybe I’m more acutely aware of the sacrifices that medical professionals make since my youngest daughter is a medical student, but my goodness, what selfless humans doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters etc are. As the saying goes, they run into the fire when everyone else is running away. So please, please, please, consider staying home so that we can lessen the sudden onslaught of cases of COVID-19 which will be overwhelming hospitals and creating dangerous situations for those carrying for the sick.

And while home, maybe avoid an overdose of news because it ain’t too cheerful. I want to let you know I’ve got FOUR free books for you to help you escape all the grim reality. So please take advantage of them and ENOY escaping for awhile! I know, I know, it’s not a trip to Italy, or to a Jamaican beach, but for now, it’s better than watching the numbers of cases rise on the 24/7 news. 

Posting links below:

Book one of the It’s Reigning Men series, Something in the Heir, is free here:

Kindle

iBooks

Nook

Kobo

Google Play

Also Red Hot Romeo is free! A hot Italian, a gorgeous supermodel, and fabulous wines…what’s not to love?!

You can check out the first book in the Royal Romeo series for free here:

 

And Falling for Mr. Wrong from the Falling for Mr. Wrong series is free here:

Kindle

iBooks

Nook

Kobo

Google Play

Lastly, Skirt Chaser is now free!

Kindle

iBooks

Nook

Kobo

GooglePlay

 

And if you enjoy these books, there are plenty more in each series to read on and they’re very affordable at $3.99!

Nothing like a world emergency to clarify all of the most important things in your life. I’m so very grateful for my wonderful family, my adorable dog, a home with a roof over my head, spring weather so that we can at least be outside and enjoy the blossoming trees and listening to birds singing. I’m grateful for all of those medical professionals willing to put their lives on the line for us, and for the many reporters who also have risked themselves for reporting from Coronavirus hotspots, and experts being available 24/7 on many TV networks to answer questions from a nervous public. 

Our country has been through many awful things before, things that required far greater sacrifice, sending millions of our young people overseas to fight in dreadful wars. Staying at home is easy peasy in comparison. We can do this folks! Stay safe and thanks for staying home to protect the vulnerable, those who are immunocompromised, the elderly, and of course our medical care providers on the front line in this new and eye-opening war. 

Love you all and stay safe! ❤️

Long Time No Me!

Well, hello, stranger!

And by stranger, I don’t mean you, dear readers! I mean this blog, that has been woefully neglected by moi for a while, and I have no one to blame but myself.

I often have good intentions to maintain this blog more regularly, but life seems to get in the way. And my last post certainly attests to that – it was before Christmas! Argh!

In my  defense, two days after I’d posted that, on my birthday, just about an hour after I finished a book and turned it into my editor and was all psyched for a stretch of relaxation and enjoying having the kids home for Christmas, we learned that sadly my father had passed away unexpectedly. He’d spent his winters in Hawaii and thus far from family, and no one had heard from him in about a week. It was so very sad for us all but we were all very grateful that he died in his happy place, a place he hadn’t expected to be able to return to after having fallen gravely ill last summer with Lyme disease of all things.

My father’s passing meant much word needed to be done ASAP —  my brothers and I had to close up his life, settle all affairs, clear out his house in Pittsburgh and his condo in Hawaii — both of which were overflowing to the brim with junk (uh, we filled three 6-ton dumpsters to the brim in Pittsburgh alone!). Dad was a hoarder and boy, did we have to purge and purge massively. Between the time spent emptying out his belongings and then organizing two memorial services, and the myriad emails and texts going back and forth amongst family during this time, all of a sudden my other have-to’s took a backseat for a while. And to be honest, having lost both of my parents suddenly and unexpectedly in the past couple of years, it kind of threw me back on my heels for a while as I processed this all. Which meant my productivity just evaporated, and I had to postpone a book that I had due to my editor repeatedly, only finally just this week turning it in months late. In the midst of this all, my middle daughter was getting married, so it was a lovely chance to redirect from sadness to great joy — we kind of ran the gamut of emotions in a very condensed time frame.

Without a book releasing for a while, I decided to bundle the first three books in two of my series  — The Royal Romeos and Falling for Mr. Wrong for the first time to make available to readers at a great price—I’ll post info below if you’d like to check them out. If you’ve not read any of them, this is a great time to give them a try for a real bargain! And don’t forget books 1-3 of the It’s Reigning Men series are also available in a bundle! And I’ll post below a picture from the wedding and the breathtaking view from my dad’s condo in Hawaii, where I’d never been until we had to go there to clear it out—you can see why it was indeed his happy place.

  

For those of you anxiously awaiting my next book, thanks for your patience as I let life get in the way a bit. Bird Dog, book 4 in the Confessions of a Chick Magnet series, is with my ever-so-patient editor and will finally be released July 16th!

I’m writing this, by the way, Memorial Day weekend, kind of lamenting that we’re not somewhere fun, like a beach or a pool, relaxing with friends and family, but also enjoying the chance to do absolutely (well, mostly!) nothing for a day or two without feeling terribly guilty. It’s the first chance I’ve had to start working my way through the many things that got waylaid over the past several months, so it’s nice to feel like I’m making progress, interspersed with watching episodes of my latest guilty reality TV pleasure, 90-Day Fiance (it hardly gets better than watching 90-Day Fiance Pillow Talk!). 

quite a view from my dad’s condo in Oahu — of which I am now a temporary 1/4 owner of! Sadly we can’t afford to keep it–anyone interested?!

 

And lastly, a lovely family picture ❤️❤️❤️ from our daughter Kendall’s wedding!

Happy reading, everyone!

Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays!

Hey there! Just wanted to send warmest of wishes for a happy and safe holiday surrounded by those you love and cherish most!

    I’m a sucker for the Christmas season. Always have been. Don’t know if it’s the deluded optimism the holiday thrusts upon us, or just a strange affinity for otherwise maudlin songs dressed up as cheerful seasonal chestnuts. I mean, let’s be honest, at any other time of year, who would actually listen wistfully to a yawner like “The Little Drummer Boy”?

    Whatever it is, I have always ensured that my family gets into the holiday spirit, starting with finding the perfect Christmas tree.

    When I was a kid, the search for the ultimate yuletide tree took us to the nearest gas station: hardly a romantic venue from which to choose the centerpiece of our holiday decor. We’d pile into the station wagon for the three-block drive to Buck’s Esso station, spill out onto the oil-slicked parking lot, mull over three or four already-netted spruce trees, and then dad would haggle down the price. End of story.

    Ah, so I was determined to rewrite that tradition with my own family. Early in my marriage, we decided the most festive tree-acquisition could only be achieved by cutting down our own (plus you get the added benefit of the needles actually staying onthe tree all month rather than littering the floor). Because we lived in citified Northern Virginia, the cachet of escaping to the “country”–i.e. the closest remaining patch of farmland untainted by greedy developers–only added to the allure.

    But one year, I found myself almost wishing for the chance to just pop down to the local gas station to buy a tree…

    That year, my husband and our three children, all under the age of four, trekked to the Clifton Christmas Tree Farm, where awaiting us were candy canes, hot chocolate, homemade wreaths and the typical abundance of forced holiday cheer that we craved.

    I had whipped my kids into a tree-chopping frenzy, and so they took their task quite seriously. For forty minutes, we foraged throughout the whopping half-acre “farm” until we found the perfect tree: seven feet of holiday splendor, as wide as it was tall, perfect to fill our cathedral-ceiling’ed living room and flood us with the Christmas spirit.

    The kids took turns on the ground with the saw while my husband supervised the chopping honors. Their excitement was palpable. We dragged the tree back to the cashier stand where the farmer’s son coiled the netting around our white pine. The kids stood by, sucking on candy canes, sipping hot cider and petting the farmer’s dog, who’d recently wandered over. I was just about to retrieve the car to load on the tree, when Fido lifted his leg.

    “Noooooooo!” I shouted in what seemed like a frame-by-frame slow motion, as a steady stream was released onto our perfect tree.

    For a moment we stood stupefied, not knowing what to do. But we weren’t about to keep a tree covered in dog wee, so we grabbed the kids’ hands to head back into the wilds to hunt for a replacement one.

    Until our kids let us know in no uncertain terms, that this tree was the one, the only. They threw themselves on the ground, flailing and crying, thrashing and moaning, like something from a Greek tragedy. They wanted their special tree, and nothing else would suffice.

    Their wails did not subside until we relented, and agreed to load up the tainted tree.

    The farmer found a makeshift bucket, filled it from a nearby stream and doused the offending urine from the tree. We loaded it onto the roof of the car, and went home.

    I have to admit, I sort of detached emotionally from the tree that year. Couldn’t quite get over the psychological hurdle of having a tree the dog peed on in my living room. Somehow it clashed with the whole festive notion.

    But for my kids, the tree was just about perfect, despite its incumbent flaws. And maybe that’s exactly why I like the holidays so much: because at this time of year, we’re all a little more likely to forgive the small things in order to see the bigger picture.