News that’s dear to my heart: Wildflower Redemption was released Dec. 9th by “my” publisher, Crimson Romance. (Sounds good to say that after so many years, right?
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One. If you enjoy it, links to purchase follow. Thanks for your interest, and support–and remember that we authors often live and die (in the literary sense!) on the reviews you’re kind enough to post, especially, for some reason, on Amazon!
Aaron Estes stood at the window, one hand pulling back the drapes to clear his view. Outside, clouds hovered along the horizon, but he doubted it would rain.
Someone from town— Ross something? —had stopped by earlier and offered to do work. The handyman had scoffed at the chance of rain. “Always cloudy,” he’d grumbled. “Never rains.”
Aaron had shrugged and told the man politely that he didn’t need help. And he didn’t—at least, not physical help. Spiritual help, maybe, mental health—the kind of health that comes with peace and contentment. The kind of health he’d probably never find again. He closed his eyes and listened for any sound of six-year-old Chloe waking, but heard only silence. Unwelcome memories tried to push in, and he pressed his lids tighter against his face, unwilling to give in again to the pain.
The memories came anyway: the loud, angry words of a marriage shattering. The cheery morning greeting from the one thing he and Stella still shared—a tiny, precious miracle of motion and light.
Chloe’s loud kiss and plaintive complaint when her mother tried to leave without kissing Aaron goodbye hovered near the surface. He could still feel Chloe’s huge kiss on his cheeks, hear the petulance in her voice when her mother tried to step around them.
“Mommy, you forgot Daddy’s kiss.” Stella pecked him on the cheek, and Chloe tugged on her mom’s blouse.
“Mommy, don’t be silly. Mommies kiss daddies on the mouth.”
With lips so tight he could feel her anger, Stella stood on tiptoe and touched her mouth to his. Then he watched as Chloe grabbed her mother’s hand, delighted that she was playing mom today, not cop. To Chloe, the world was a game, and everyone in it, players.
He closed his eyes, but the burning didn’t go away, so he went back to staring blindly outside. There were no daffodils here, as there were in Alabama, but he heard that just miles north spring came in on carpets of bluebonnets and waves of flaming Indian paintbrush. All the locals raved about the Texas wildflowers. They said he should go see them, but he knew he couldn’t.
The scene he’d rushed to just over a year ago crowded in: the hysteria, the cop cars with their flashing red and blue lights; the crumpled body of a child, an injured teacher being wheeled toward an ambulance; and an officer who knew Stella pulling him aside. She’d taken a bullet for a kid, the officer told him. Unfaithful, maybe, arrogant often—but nobody doubted Stella Estes’ courage.
The tears rolled down his cheeks and he wiped them away with the back of his hand, trying not to remember that there’d been blood on the daffodils the day the world ended.
Where to find your copy?
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We live in a rush, right? Whether we visit sites as readers, authors, or just folks looking for something undetermined, we only have so much time.
Logically, I understand that. But I’m one of those “an inch wide and a mile deep” people–blame it on teaching and the one year that was the buzz phrase. So you’ll catch interviews and blogs on , but here–you can read more.
So now that you’ve met Melinda Dozier, why not find out a little more about her and her hot new romance, Breaking the Rules?
Melinda Dozier lives in Guatemala, Central America, with her husband, three boys and German Shepherd. She enjoys being the queen of her household and dreams of being pampered fully by her boys once they’re grown. Learn more about her at www.melindadozier.com.
You can also find Melinda on twitter at www.twitter.com/melindadozier or Facebook at www.facebook.com/melindadoz
A forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.
Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.
Sensuality Level: Sensual
He shook his head. “I can’t believe we’re doing this.”
“Doing what?” She looked around, confusion in her eyes.
“Talking about the weather.” He scooted closer to her, making her back up toward the railing.
“Colin—” A warning came from her mouth.
He scooted her all the way back. “You can’t go around saying stuff like you did back there and just pretend nothing’s happening.”
“I’m sorry, Colin. I didn’t think before I spoke.”
He put his arms around her, holding onto the rail. “Sometimes it’s better to just speak what’s on your mind.” He lifted one hand and caressed her cheek. “Damn it, Hope. Life is too short to ignore the truth and the truth is that we are extremely attracted to each other.”
She opened her mouth, then closed it before saying anything. He was right, but she didn’t know what to do about it.
“Don’t deny it.” He brought his thumb down and touched her bottom lip.
Leaning into his touch, she said, “Remember we’re just friends.”
He shook his head. “To hell with friends, Hope. I haven’t felt like this in so long.” He placed his forehead on hers and leaned in more. Enough that she could feel his quickened breath on her chin.
“Me too.” She sighed. Leaning back, she looked in his eyes. “I know it’s not fair, but we can’t.”
“I’m not going to lie—this is freakin’ frustrating.” He scraped his hand over his face. “I mean, I haven’t been on a date in months, because I just don’t feel it with anyone. Then, when I do feel ‘it,’ I can’t do anything about it.”
She looked down. “I feel the same way and I’m frustrated, too.”
“Then why are we ignoring it? Even the tarot card lady said we should be more than friends.”
She rolled her eyes. “Oh, and she is a knowledgeable source to trust.”
“Just hear me out, Hope.” He stroked her hair, causing her heart to beat faster. “We’ve had an amazing afternoon together.” He pointed back and forth between them. “This is who we really are. You. Me. Hope and Colin. Just two people having an incredible time together. See how much fun we can have if we forget all the labels? No principal, parent, doctor bull crap. Just us.”
She sighed and looked into his eyes. “It has been a great day.”
“You need to just stop thinking about all the reasons why we shouldn’t be together and look at the one reason why we should.” He held her chin up. “Us.”
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A_ow8MRw1M
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Wedding planner Kate Ashby’s fear of flying is eased by a sexy stranger and one slow lip lock that rockets her into another obit.
CEO Luke Cannon has just traded seats with his identical twin. Little did he know that an innocent kiss while pretending he was his brother would soon create havoc.
What happens in the air doesn’t stay up there.
Once on tropical land, Kate believes that the handsome stranger who gave her the best kiss of her life is now her new client, Drew Cannon, fiancé to the beautiful and wealthy Lauren Kincaid. While Kate struggles with the intense feelings she thinks she has for Drew, Luke discovers Kate’s been hired to plan his brother’s destination wedding. He also realizes the initial sparks they shared 30,000 feet up are now mistakenly aimed at Drew.
Can Luke get Kate to realize that the feelings she has are for him? He’s got forty-eight hours in paradise to try.
Purchase on Amazon
Enjoy an excerpt from Robyn Neeley’s
“I do. I do.” Wedding planner Kate Ashby quietly repeated her calming mantra. Paralyzed in her window seat, she stared at the illuminated fasten seatbelt sign while her hands gripped the metal buckle strap.
Please turn off. Please turn off. They had to be close to cruising altitude. Soon, she’d be able to request a strong drink to knock her out for the duration of this bumpy flight.
She sat still, trying to ignore the terror pulsating through her. Why hadn’t she bought sleeping pills before boarding a twelve-hour flight from New York City to Hawaii? Now, that would have been the smart thing to do.
Glancing out the tiny passenger window, she clutched her gold “K” necklace. It was completely irrational to be terrified and she realized the odds of her and her fellow passengers landing safely in Honolulu were more than in her favor. Still, this was her first time flying such a long duration. Departing Manhattan this evening in turbulent thunderstorms had shot her nerves. She was grateful that her boss had sprung for a first class ticket for the long flight.
A loud rattle caused her to grab hold to her armrests. “What was that?” She turned to the stranger sitting next to her. He had short blondish brown hair and was wearing a blue blazer. His face had a nice tan. She had failed to realize that her row mate was incredibly handsome. Usually the person sitting next to her was a grandparent or couldn’t speak English. Perhaps he could help her ease her nerves?
“Um … I think it’s the drink cart. Would you like something?” He folded his Wall Street Journal.
Sexy and smart.
“I’ll take a tequila and tonic,” he said to the flight attendant.
And likes his drinks strong. This could be fun.
I was born in Overland Park, KS, in the heart of Tornado Alley, and my life has been a bit twisted since. Actually, it’s not all that twisted, but I’ve always wanted to use that line. I grew up in St. Louis, MO, went to school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and moved to Bloomington, IL, fresh out of college, after my husband got a job at State Farm’s corporate headquarters. I’ve worked as a high school/junior college teacher, personnel recruiter, office manager of a jewelry store, and, for the past ten years, as a lunch lady. I like to karaoke and attend rock concerts. I am actively involved at church and spend too much time on Facebook. I am the mother of a seventeen-year-old, and fifteen-year-old triplets, and have been married to my husband, Don, for over twenty-four years.
I have been a writer all my life. My first book, which was co-written with Mary Ellen Murphey in second grade, was titled The Black Cat, and was written on blue hotel stationary, hole-punched, and bound by white yarn. I believe it is currently out of circulation.
When I turned forty, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized those bigwig publishing houses in New York were now probably run by people younger than me, so I shouldn’t be intimidated by them. At about the same time I was watching one of those award shows, and Jaclyn Smith got up to give a post-humorous award to Aaron Spelling. She credited him for encouraging her to go into acting, saying something brilliant like, “Reach for your dreams.” Nothing new. Almost even seems a little Jiminy Cricketish. But, for some reason, it struck me that night. When Aaron Spelling was thirteen, he was probably just like any other acned thirteen-year-old. But he worked to achieve his dreams, and became a household name. So, I began to write. Once I finished my first book, I wasn’t able to stop. I would rather write than do just about anything else. After all, you get to make people (characters) do what you want and design your own happy endings. What power! What a privilege.
It was one of those mornings for newspaper-writer/photographer Hope Creswell. The alarm clock didn’t go off and she cut her finger on broken glass. Not one to let such things get her down, Hope headed into her assignment meeting with excitement, only to leave it stunned. Her new assignment is to trail the sensational rock-star, Chase Hatton, for an article. Chase Hatton! No one knows the power that name holds for her. No one knows of the childhood friendship that blossomed into romance, only to abruptly die on the night of Hope’s senior prom. No one knows of the ache that still fills her heart.
What starts out for Chase Hatton as an average publicity trip to Chicago suddenly becomes complicated when his manager tells him that Hope Creswell will be interviewing him in the morning. He had spent eight years trying to forget Hope, and now she would be in his penthouse in a matter of hours?
When Chase opens the door to his penthouse and finds Hope on the opposite side, his heart begins beating a rhythm the rocker has yet to capture in any of his music. The smoldering embers of their former romance are fanned by their mere proximity. Will they both be burned again? Can Hope ever trust her heart to Chase after what he did? Can Chase bear to see her walk out on him a second time? And what about Hope’s boyfriend, Phillip? Where does he fit into the picture that Hope is developing?
Chase Hatton was bewitched by Hope from the start.
He was…ten…no, twelve. Definitely twelve, as he was playing American Junior League baseball that summer. There had been a break in the team’s schedule, so his mom had asked the new neighbor lady over for dinner, along with her twelve-year-old kid. He was told he couldn’t go over to Bobby McGraw’s to play catch. He was needed at home to entertain, of all things, the new neighbor’s daughter. A girl.
Chase sat on the back porch steps smacking a ball into his glove over and over. In his frustration, he dropped the ball. It hit the edge of the step, and ricocheted, rolling down the small slope of their backyard. He glanced up and saw them crossing the lawn.
Mrs. Creswell had on a dress; she had no doubt worn it to work and had just gotten home. Hope wore cutoff jean shorts and a blue, checkered, sleeveless blouse tied at her waist. She held a present, and as she walked, a long ponytail swished behind her in a somewhat mesmerizing rhythm. The sun was just beginning its descent behind the pair.
Chase held up a hand and squinted, wrinkling his freckled nose. The sun rays seemed to be shooting off the two, as if they, themselves, were the source of the bright light. Hope bent down and picked up his ball. He heard the familiar sound of the screen door opening behind him: his mom coming to greet their guests. She was probably wiping her hands on an apron as she descended the steps, blond hair swept up in a loose bun. The smell of her famous fried chicken wafted out the door and his stomach rumbled on cue.
Hope gestured as if to throw the ball back and he stood, holding out his glove. With amazing accuracy, and equally impressive velocity, especially considering she still held the present in her other hand, Hope zinged it into his glove. The adults greeted each other with that loud, grown-up hullabaloo, but their voices faded into the background as she approached.
She smiled at him. “Hi.”
“H-hey,” he stammered, his palms becoming sweaty. He was caught up by those stunning eyes, unusual in some way he had yet to figure out. Bangs curled over her forehead, and her face was clear and bright. Maybe entertaining the neighbor girl wouldn’t be so bad after all.
“Oh, this is for you.” She handed him the gift. He turned to set the glove and ball down on the step. The ball squeezed out of the mitt and rolled toward Hope again. She bent and scooped it up, tossing it back and forth as he tore open the wrapping paper.
“Oh, wow! Cool!” Chase gushed, unveiling a model airplane. An Albatros D.V. Diecast Model German Air Force Jasta 11, also known as “The Red Baron.” It was the sweetest model he had ever seen.
“And its propeller really works!” She tucked the ball back into his glove on the steps.
“Thanks,” he breathed.
“No problem.” She stuck her hands behind her back and rocked from heel to toe, beaming with pride.
He interrupted the adults’ conversation, eager to check out his new plane. “Mom, can we go put this together?”
“No, Chase.” She put a hand on top of his head. “It’s time for dinner. And after dinner, I want you to show Hope around.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” He and Hope exchanged a look of disappointment and shuffled into the house with the grown-ups. “You’re a pretty good throw, for a girl,” he stated flatly.
She seemed unsure of how to take his comment. “Tha-anks?”