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October 24th, 2012

I’ve been tagged by the talented Diane Craver for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. We’re going to hop from blog to blog to discover exciting books we might not have heard about or that are still WIPs. This is Week 18. The hop rules require me to answer 10 predetermined questions, and then at the bottom of my post, I’ve listed authors who will answer the same ten questions on their blogs next Wednesday. So, let’s get started.

What is the working title of your book?
Light of the Heart (Sterling Lakes Book One) and I am currently finishing Book Five, Reflections of the Heart.

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Growing up in a small New England town, I loved the experience of living in a community. I realized it would be interesting to share that viewpoint, and explore all it demonstrated about human nature.

What genre does your book fall under?

Light of the Heart is an Inspirational Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Reese Witherspoon would be able to play Cascade Preston. She has the strength of character and vulnerability that Cascade demonstrates. For Dan McQuay, I would have to go with Rob Lowe.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Stained-glass artist  Cascade Preston has overcome a dark childhood, deeply shadowed by domestic violence, in the town of Sterling Lakes…but when she is approached to design the new windows for the town church, she has to decide if she is going to live in the shadows of the past or if her faith will carry her to the light of tomorrow.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am happy to say it has been published by Writer’s Exchange Publishing (www.writers-exchange.com). In fact, they will be publishing all nine books in the Sterling Lakes Series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This story was waiting to get out; I completed it in 3 months. At the same time, I was basically writing the story arc for the series. The first 3 books deal with themes of the past, the next 3 deal with themes of the present and the final 3 address theme about the future. In a heartwarming, fun way.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s similar to series books by other Inspirational romance writers in that it has three main characters instead of two: the hero, the heroine and God. Janelle Burnham, Tracie Peterson, Gayle Stattler and Lena Nelson Dooley come to mind as writing similar Inspirational romances.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
When I witness struggles that people go through in their lives, some at a very tender early age, it seems that faith in God keeps them going. To explore in writing how folks find strength in adversity felt natural to me. That spirit came from the loving example of my parents, who found joy in every day, who led by an example of love and who knew the true meaning of sacrifice. They gave everything to each other, to their family, their community, their country and their God.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At some point in our lives, we each face a moment of truth, a moment that will forever change the direction of our lives. The courage to make such a profound decision, like the one facing Cascade, rests on our shoulders as individuals – but we do not make that decision alone. God is always there with us, whether we admit that or not. Do you take the leap of faith and trust God? Do you have the courage to try and love again? Do you listen to what God is telling you? Or do you hang on to what you think is the truth? Maybe Cascade’s childhood memories aren’t entirely accurate…and she has to learn the real truth now as an adult.

Also, readers will find the supporting characters interesting and fun. They’ll like the settings and I think the dialogue as well, and they’ll relate to the way the characters evolve and change, developing  throughout the course of the book. All this will be very warm and satisfying – I hope!  Most of all, the romance between Dan and Cascade is a believable, exhilirating roller-coaster ride!

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing.

Regan Taylor

Suzie Carr

Nike Chilleme

Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

Christine London

Thanks to everyone for visiting, to Diane for tagging me and my five author friends above for joining the Hop!

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Today I am so very thrilled to have Regan Taylor visiting my blog! She is the heart and soul of a romance writer…and so, so much more! Welcome, wonderful Regan Taylor!

One of the best things about writing is you get to create the ending you wish could our would happen in a real life situation.  Another is that our characters can say the things we wish we could but for whatever reason, we can’t. Know what I mean? Some of the things my characters have said are:

In WITH ALL DISPATCH Molly Tanner has woken up to find her roommate is disappeared, apparently traveled back in time:

“Not that anyone has time to pack before time traveling.” Molly laughed, just short of hysterical. “Right. Like I have so much experience with time travel. Let’s see what or who I know who’s done it? There’s Black Eagle coming here. And then there’s Black Eagle going back to his home and yup, that’s a lot of experience you have there, Molly. You’re a virtual expert. Yup, and going a little bonkers here talking to yourself.”

In WORLD IN HER HANDS Sarah Dinetti has Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous and when she confides in her friend, Jan, hears about it she says:

“Well color me relieved. Seriously, Sarah, it’s time to let that chapter end. He’s dead weight in your life. It’s not like you even really have a relationship with him. He’s just there in your life, sponging off you. Cut him loose and look for some fresh meat. And even if the brother didn’t ask for your number, why don’t you get his? Call him and ask him for coffee or sex or something.”

And, in MISTAKEN BRIDE, Kendrick says the one thing I like hearing from my own Mr. Tall and Gorgeous:

“Oh yeah, she’s the one all right. She’s definitely the one I want.”

What is the most memorable line you’ve read from a character in a favorite book?

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, visiting Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

 

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr –

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck – http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen –http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor – http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies – www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews – https://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones – lynnhones.wordpress.com

This week you can find me visiting with the fabulous Angie Dobson at http://www.loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com

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This week I am so very thrilled and excited that the fabulous author Christine London will be visiting on my blog as part of the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour!

You can find me this week visiting with author Lynn Hones at her blog:   lynnhones.wordpress.com

Welcome, Christine!

Here’s this week’s topic:

July 8th –Week 6 – “If you could organize a dinner party, which fictional characters (choose some from your own books too) would you invite and what would you cook?”

It is a pleasure to be on your blog this week Regina. Such a great topic too.

I would dip into my favorite books and invite Jamie Fraser of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie is a charming, faithful, young alpha rogue when we meet him in the first book, ‘Outlander’. In the rest of the series (which is promised to continue) Jamie is a mature man of forty plus. His years of struggle without his beloved Claire have not embittered him. Rather, he has grown into a man sensitive to the needs and desires of all he meets. He overcomes the mandates of his time (eighteenth century Scotland and New World) to take under his wing those of low social status, questionable morals, racial underdogs and even those who have wronged his beloved Highlanders. As a time travel piece, Jamie is called upon to accept the sensibilities of a far future time in which he will never feel comfortable.

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If I could bring along two characters from my contemporary novels Shadows Steal the Light and its spin off, Hog Wild, I would invite rock star recovering alcoholic Colin Dulow and his manager and childhood friend, Kyle Matthews. Both these men have demons that require them to stretch the very fabric of their beings to grow into the men they want to be. Both men fall in love with the same women. One is not allowed to pursue her; the other knows he should not. These life long friends have that friendship severely tested. Each is strong beyond even his private imaginings. Both are proud Englishmen who have grown into international celebrity, handling the super human restraint required to remain ethical and intact in the spotlight. As is truly said of power, fame too corrupts absolutely.

It would not matter what I served these men as they are so much more interested in the woman before them. Each of them are consummate gentlemen. Each knows it is well worth his time to display genuine interest in his hostess. Each knows that patience and attention to detail will win respect. Each is charming in his unique way. We could be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches–it would not matter. The conversation would be fascinating.

Sharp wit and pervasive intelligence would run as undercurrent. Each the definition of Alpha, none would take advantage of that strength.

Jamie’s rendition of the ‘45 and the aftermath of the disastrous Culloden massacre would be riveting. Colin and Kyle, through their modern paradigm, might provide perspective across the centuries and convey the healthy respect in which present day England holds the proud and powerful Scot.

And I—I would revel in the magnetic presence of these men.

You can find Diana’s Outlander series worldwide in brick and mortar bookstores as well as online. It is a powerful legacy that shall live in the hearts of its readers for generations to come.

The year is 1945. Claire Randall is traveling with her husband when she touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is hurled back in time to a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord 1743. Catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, she soon realizes that an alliance with James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, might be the only way to survive. Thus begins a work of unrivaled storytelling that has become a modern classic.

http://www.amazon.com/Outlander-20th-Anniversary-Diana-Gabaldon/dp/0440423201/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341623737&sr=1-1&keywords=outlander+series+in+order

Shadows Steal the Light is available thorough Amazon and other fine book purveyors everywhere in both electronic and print format.

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It’s love at first sight for rock star Colin Dunlow when he runs into sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, with a few complications. The woman of his dreams hates rockers and there’s someone who wants him dead.

http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Steal-Light-Christine-London/dp/1927085942/ref=la_B003MX4AW6_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1341622367&sr=1-4

Hog Wild is a fast, fun and sexy electronic read downloadable through e-book distributors everywhere.

Kyle Matthews might have the music world by the horns, but when he loses out in love to his most famous client and best friend, he escapes into the wilds of the desert southwest on a restorative motorcycle trip. Will the hard driving, salty tongued gorgeous mechanic he relies upon to fix his Harley be able to mend his heart, as well?

http://www.amazon.com/Hog-Wild-ebook/dp/B0057AGFSY/ref=la_B003MX4AW6_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1341622367&sr=1-7

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Other places Christine comes out to play:

Website : www.christinelondon.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-London/71009389201

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ChristineLondon

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/christinelondon/

Google plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114588027061857681170/posts

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christine-London/e/B003MX4AW6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1339640330&sr=8-1

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Christine London

Author of 100 Romance’s Best of the Year –  When We Were Amazing
AMAZING photos at my PINTEREST page: http://pinterest.com/christinelondon/
Sample or Purchase When We Were Amazing http://amzn.to/J3iU11
Christine At Amazon Author Central https://www.amazon.com/author/christinelondon

 

If you’ve read this far, please take the time to leave a comment. You might just win a book by one of the Best Summer Reading Blog Tour authors and qualify for a $50 Amazon gift certificate to be awarded at the end of tour near the end of July.

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, with Lynn Hones at her blog:  lynnhones.wordpress.com

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr –

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck – http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen –http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor – http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies – www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews – https://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones – lynnhones.wordpress.com

 

Thank you, Christine, for a fabulous visit!!

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Today I am so happy to be visiting with author Ann Tracy Marr on the fourth stop of our Summer Blog Tour! This week you can find me visiting with Sharon Poppen at her blog, http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Welcome, Ann!

Hi, all. My name is Ann Tracy Marr. Thanks to you, Regina for sliding me into your blog.

 

What am I reading this summer?

This is a hard question for me to answer because so far I have not enjoyed a normal year. You see, last October I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, reportedly the most dangerous form. My whole life changed; it shrank to medical procedures and discomfort. (Thank God, not very much pain.) Because I am a writer and an independent computer consultant, I didn’t have to go to work 9-5, but I also didn’t go much of anywhere except hospitals. I didn’t go to bookstores, brick or otherwise.

I had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. I was sick, tired, uncomfortable, exhausted, so messed up that I failed to promote the morphing of my third book into a paperback. I vegetated in front of the television and lolled in bed. I researched my cancer and the associated side effects, kept a diary (hopefully to be published somewhere), and couldn’t write romance to save my soul. Couldn’t clean the house, couldn’t work on anything meaningful. For a while, I could hardly walk. I could lose weight – lots of weight — though the doctors complained. What can I say? I wasn’t trying to lose weight.

My husband pulled out the boxes of “keepers,” those novels I had saved because I liked them so much. Most are Regency romances. Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joan Smith, Barbara Metzger, Catherine Coulter – I had complete series to read, sometimes with double vision. And fall asleep over. I slept more than a college student with mono.

I’m okay now, thank you. Had a clear mammogram. My skin is almost recovered from what they carefully do not call radiation burns. I can get through the grocery store without collapsing. The doctor says to aim for two cancer free years – if I get past that, aim for five. I am to the point I can browse a bookstore, but I don’t have a clue what has been published, what received good reviews, what I might enjoy.

Instead of me telling you what I have been reading, I would love to hear about the outstanding books you recently read. What did I miss?

Cheers, Ann Tracy Marr

Where can you find me?

Website: www.AnnTracyMarr.com

Purchase books (e-book or trade paperback) on Amazon.com:

http://tiny.cc/7p0xew

This is a stop on the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour.

Eight authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – this week find me, Regina Andrews, at

http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

There will be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded at the end of the tour. Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner. One entry ticket per comment!

Want to continue the tour? Here’s a list of the blogs:

Ann Tracy Marr –

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Tracy-Marr/114711658247?ref=ts

Susan Roebuck – http://lauracea.blogspot.com

Sharon Poppen –http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com

Regan Taylor – http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

Corinne Davies – www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

Regina Andrews – https://reginaandrews.wordpress.com

Christine London – www.christinelondon.com

Lynn Hones – lynnhones.wordpress.com

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It’s the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour. Nine fabulous authors in mixed genres trading blog space for eight weeks for your enjoyment. It’s a chance to meet great authors and discover exciting new books. Someone on the blog tour is giving a prize every week – I’ll leave it for you to discover whose blog is featured – with more prizes to come at the end of the tour. What will the big prize be – a Kindle, a hefty gift certificate, a unique needlepoint Kindle cover? Enjoy the blogs and leave comments for the opportunity to be the grand prize winner!

 

Ann Tracy Marr is the world’s worst book promoter. She has published three, but when it comes time to promote – to urge someone to lay out money for her books – she falls apart.

 

Ann lacks promoting talent but she does have a gift for storytelling. She writes for the love of it and it shows. Her view of life is a little off the wall, sometimes class clown, but with an underlying thread of realism. She likes to read about real women looking for joy, so that is what she writes.

 

Knowing we wouldn’t learn much about her books, I asked Ann questions that would reveal something about her approach to writing and life.

 

Question: Who was the toughest character for you to “get right”?

Ann: The hero in Round Table Magician took a long time to evolve. Brinston started out as a conventional Regency hero, but when I added a paranormal twist to the plot, he demanded he be a magician. Magic fit with his reclusive tendencies, giving him reasons to hide his true nature from the ton. Other than that, I struggled to cleverly convey his motives in ignoring Martha. It was a matter of finding the best tailoring for the story. Once the jacket fit, Brinston himself filled it out.

 

Question: Is there a genre that you love to read but don’t want to write?

Ann: I love the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Funny and all about vampires, you know. But I doubt I will ever write a vampire novel. I don’t have anything to add to their mystique; they scare more than attract me.

 

Question: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

Ann: I would make an excellent Rich Bitch. It’s a full time job, but I wouldn’t mind getting up at 10 am, donning the haute couture uniform, jetting past rush hour traffic in my Maserati on my way to a five star restaurant. I’d donate freely to charity and spend money all over the place to keep the economy going.

 

Question: Can you tell us about your books?

Ann: Awestruck published my three book series set in Regency England. King Arthur and Merlin are not myth, but history. They are traditional Regencies with the addition of a splash of magic.

 

Where can readers find you?

Website: www.AnnTracyMarr.com

Purchase the books (e-book or trade paperback) on Amazon.com:

http://tiny.cc/7p0xew

 

And where can readers find Lynn Hones this week?

Head to www.daviesromance.blogspot.com

And, you all can find moi at http://www.regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

 

Excerpt from “Round Table Magician“: Short, to conserve space!

 

Brinston watched Martha, aware of her every breath. He couldn’t help but smile at the infectious levity. He could see his brother Michael with his beloved through the window. That silly Maria must have done or said something to make Martha laugh so. But when she pulled a handkerchief from her sleeve and wiped her eyes, it shook him to his soul. Just so did the duchess leak tears when she was filled with mirth.

 

It was then he realized how much Martha resembled his adored mother. Brinston could almost feel his heart tightening. They were silken bonds, those bands clenching around his heart, not painful in the least. A man could get used to them, which was a good thing. They didn’t feel like they were going to dissolve any time soon.

 

He heard the echo of his father’s words. “I couldn’t resist the way she laughed.” It was always said with a chuckle and an underlying honesty that couldn’t be doubted. It was why his father had married his mother. They were devoted to each other, but it all started with her laugh.

 

Everyone, including Brinston himself, joked at how much the son resembled the father. He stared at the sky, silently begging Merlin to have pity on him.

 

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S&S: Desert Breeze author Regina Andrews turned right on I-95 and landed in our neck of the woods.  Today we’re talking books and baseball.  Welcome, Regina. What prompted you to write Sterling Lakes Book #3, Praise of the Heart?

What a wonderful question.  This book has to do with dealing with the truth in life, whether it is by looking in the mirror, listening to the doctor’s report or finally allowing the love of God to shine in your heart. I wrote this book as part of the Sterling Lakes series. This one takes the series from the levels of the previous two books and turns it completely personal with the themes the characters have to address.

S&S: The hero, Cliff “Clean-up” Markham, plays for the Tampa Bay Stingrays. Do you have a favorite team?

Oh yes. Baltimore Orioles! Long story: RI girl, Red Sox fan forever. Remember going over the AL Standings with my father every night before it was AL East and West: Baltimore, Boston, Detroit…Baltimore, Detroit, Boston…Well, flash-forward to a broken-hearted world of Sox fans in’86 who never recovered (if you don’t know, just trust me!). Always loved the Orioles for their spirit and visited Baltimore lots as I grew up. Well, seems to me they always held pure and true! I love their spirit.

S&S:  Favorite line from the book?   ”Take a stand, find the truth and expose it, don’t run from it. That gives us all hope, Laura. You have done a wonderful thing today.”  (Great question, I am so happy that you asked this! ) [We didn’t pay her to say this!]

S&S: Congratulations! You have six more Sterling Lakes books contracted through July 2014 with Desert Breeze.  Are the books a progressive series featuring the same characters? What a joy the Sterling Lakes Series is! Yes, really for the most part. By that I mean the series is definitely a progressive series thematically, and that’s why this third book of the nine attempted to propel the story arc out a bit further – the series also has recurring characters from Sterling Lakes, as well as featuring a few choice newcomers. Most of all, I am writing these so that a reader can jump into the series any time and become acquainted with Sterling Lakes and the good folks associated with this wonderful town. Hopefully, then, they would be inspired to read another one. (Could I just add the neighboring town, Clark’s Falls, was inspired by Central Falls, RI, home of Academy-Award nominee Viola Davis )

S&S: Give us a Reader’s Digest version of a typical day for you.

Another great question! [Again, no pay, but lots of praise!] Up, to work at my day job as a copy manager at a national jewelry retailer, gym and home, write. Yikes!

S&S:  With six more books in the queue, when do you sleep? Describe your current writing space (dust bunnies and all); then give us your dream space.

My laptop holds a place of honor! It’s in a cozy corner by a sunny window on a spindly table.

My dream space? A octagonal-shaped library/study with sliding hidden doors, book shelves like Henry Higgins, a real desk (mahogany) with drawers and a printer, plus a leather love seat over in the corner overlooking the view out to the ocean and a wet bar with a mind-reading expresso-maker lol. Thanks for that fantasy moment!

S&S: Fantasy is a good thing, right? LOVED Henry Higgins’ library! Other than writing, what’s a fun thing you love to do? Love to sing, love to sun (lol) and love to mini-golf – not that I’m any good!

S&S: Hmmm, we love to sing, we love the sun, and we love to mini-golf (and we’re not that good).  You must be one of our “other” sisters!  Before you go, would you please give us a short excerpt?

With pleasure!  Excerpt from Chapter One:

As he viewed the scene in the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School picnic area, Cliff ‘Clean-Up’ Markham adjusted the brim of his baseball cap and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

You brought me back here to Sterling Lakes, Lord, safe and sound again after another year and for that I give You thanks.

He eyed the group of somber children sitting dutifully on the benches. Not all of them are as fortunate as I am. I’ll never forget the gifts You gave me, and I will always praise You for them. But, come on, we’ve got to liven this place up. They need spirit. Your spirit, Lord. Help me impart the joy of your spirit to them. Amen.

Bounding across the lush, green lawn on the long legs that had been his ticket to a career as a major league baseball outfielder, Cliff cried, “Play ball!”

Every head turned his way, and soon the lawn was a kaleidoscope of color and motion as the youngsters flew across the grass to him.

J.B. Norwood, head of the St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School, exclaimed, “It’s Cliff! It’s Cliff! He’s back! Hi there, Clean-Up!”

“Clean-Up!” A laughing group of children reached him, swarming him before any adults.

“There you are, Russell. Jeremy, whoa, you got tall. Hey, Margaret, how’ve you been? Say, Bucky, what’s up?”

“They call me Billy now,” the boy replied, kicking the ground.

“Right. Good to know.”

Cliff reviewed the sea of faces before him — some familiar to him and some new from last year’s session. In each one he read hope, youth, goodness… and a desperate need for direction and connection.

Then he saw her. Standing by the edge of the grass. Tall, wearing a blue dress. A vision like something from the pages of a magazine.

He smiled, and she walked towards him. Her long, dark hair swayed gracefully with her every rhythmical step. She was in her early twenties, he guessed. She smiled, and Cliff felt the ground shudder under him.

Beaming, she opened her arms and said, “Children, give Mr. Markham some room to breathe, okay? Why don’t we go sit together under the apple tree?”

“Miss Laurie, he’s here to play, not sit around,” came an instant protest

“Russell, you have a good point. Let’s let our star attraction decide.” She tilted her head to one side and with a mischievous half-smile, fixed her gaze on Cliff.

Not many times in his twenty-six years had Cliff Markham been stopped short. Life to him was a big game — fun, baseball, travel, women. Good times seemed to flow his way with his natural charm and ease.

Until now. The challenge radiating from those dark brown eyes stopped him in his tracks, and right away he knew he was in big trouble.

He took a few steps towards her and held out his hand. “We haven’t been properly introduced, Miss Laurie. I’m Cliff Markham. From Sterling Lakes. I play baseball with Tampa Bay Stingrays these days.” He shrugged.

——-

Okay and let me say thank you again so much for inviting me to visit today! What a great time and I wish you both the best in your writings.

S&S:  Hey, thank you! It was wicked fun! Next time we’ll try mini-golf, okay?  We’re so glad you came!

 

For more information on Regina, please check out the following links:

Regina’s Desert Breeze Author’s Page (with links to all her books):

http://bit.ly/Aw27ku

Barnes &Noble: Sterling Lakes Book Three: http://bit.ly/ypLxGI

Amazon: Sterling Lakes Book Three: http://amzn.to/x9LdqX

Blog: regina Andrews.wordpress.com: http://bit.ly/FNY0oj

Website: http://reginaandrews.com/

Treble Hearts Books link to “The Perfect Proposal” http://bit.ly/lAPP21

Awe-Struck Publishing link to “In Good Faith”  http://bit.ly/pLV5w

Twitter: regina_eileen

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/yTXSJy

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Hi there. Most of you probably know me. But, just in case, I’m Laurean Brooks, writer of inspirational romance with a big dash of humor.

You may look at my picture and say, “Surely this is a woman schooled in social graces.” But to the contrary, this woman would never win an award for implementing Emily Post’s Rules of Proper Etiquette. Instead, in my circle, I’d likely receive a statue portraying a contorted woman with one foot shoved in her mouth.

My desire to make people laugh was inherited from my dad. The difference is he specialized in playing silly pranks and telling funny stories; my humor relies on seizing the right moment to implement a snappy reply. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing folks laugh. But sometimes these “supposedly” funny remarks are taken the wrong way.

“A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15: 1

Now there’s one I often apply. Sadly, it’s usually after the fact. The scenario goes like this. I say something (I think is) funny, a harsh voice replies in anger, and I apologize. Most of the time the person accepted my apology. A few didn’t. That’s when I promise to try to keep a stronger hold on my tongue.

“Proverbs 25:11 puts me to shame. It reads, “A word fitly spoken and in due season, is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Know why this verse makes me cringe? Because it was probably written to admonish someone whose mouth shifts into gear before her/his brain engages. Someone like…uh…me.

I could give example after example of embarrassing scenarios, results of my impulsive quips. But that would take all day. I’ll confess only two.

The most retold incident (by my family) occurred when my niece and son were toddlers. “Aunt Laurie” (or Mom) was in great social demand in those days, especially at the supermarket. Why? Because I loaded the little ones into the shopping cart and whizzed through the produce aisle, cutting figure-eights around the banana stalks and watermelon rack. The squeals from Jeremy and Mandy kept egged me.

So, it came as no surprise while on a trip to the local IGA, two-year-old Mandy peeled her mother’s fingers from the cart and yowled, “Want Aunt Lau-rie ta’ push!” My three-year-old, Jeremy, joined in protesting from his seat at the bottom of the cart. “Mom! We want Mom!”

Miffed at her daughter and my nephew’s rejection, my sister stepped aside and huffed, “Well! I know when I’m not wanted!”

I grinned impishly and gripped the cart while Emily followed. I pushed it a few feet when a sassy jibe came to me. I craned my neck to look behind, fluttered my lashes, and oozed in a sultry voice, “M’dear, are you feeling lonely and forlorn?”

Before the words left my mouth, a brick wall smashed against my cheek. I whirled to find a 6′ 4” college-aged guy gaping down at me. His face registered something akin to “horror” and “Woman-you-are-crazy!”

I slapped a hand to my burning face and hurried to explain. “No-no! I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to my sis–” I scanned the area, but Emily had vanished! Coward!

The young man jaunted away, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Emily stole out from the canned vegetables aisle. The hand over her mouth and tears streaming down her cheeks gave her away. My sister was laughing at me! She squealed, “That was hilarious! You had your head against that…that guys chest…gazing up into his eyes. What did you say to him?”

When I relayed my humiliating indiscretion, she shrieked, “You mean…you propositioned that guy?”

What could I say? “Uh-h…it did sound that way.”

The second embarrassing moment occurred when a couple of men waltzed through the doors of the textile plant where I worked. Both men were casually dressed. The older, a distinguished, gray-haired gentleman, paused in front of my work area and asked, “You don’t mind if we walk through, do you?”

My retort? “As long as you aren’t salesmen or politicians. All others are welcome.”

The older gentleman walked past, but the younger man stopped in front of me and whispered, pointing to the older man. “I’m not a politician. But he is. He’s the county judge.”

When he spoke the man’s name, I slapped my hand over my mouth.

The judge must have noticed my embarrassment because he traipsed back to me and placed a consoling arm around my shoulders. “Honey, is something wrong? Anything I can do to help?”

All I could do was shake my head and murmur, “No-o.”

At our family get-togethers, much to my chagrin, Emily brings up the supermarket incident, then adds, “Going shopping with Laurie was always fun. You never knew what would happen.”

There, you have it. I have “Foot In Mouth” disease. What about the rest of you? Have you ever committed public blunders? Oh come on, ‘fess up! I hope I’m not the only one.

Here are links to my books. In Journey To Forgiveness, http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/ my sassy heroine has the same problem with her tongue. Jenny gets into some interesting predicaments as a result.

E-books:
OVER THE COALS- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/44638/
JONQUILS IN THE SNOW- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9341/
SEVERED HEARTS- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/73123/

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