Since I started writing, I’ve wanted to see my name on a cover.

I wanted the surge of joy, of knowing I made that! I started this blog in 2007, and it’s always been Because, this is me. I have a thing about being real and I don’t want to hide anything about myself. (Yes, I recognize the irony of including my web address name on the image. Wait, is that irony or idiocy?)

In the last few months, though, I’ve started to feel a little discomfort.

Writing is highly personal. I’m not saying I act out the risque scenes in my novels at all, but I do fill every sentence with a bit of my soul. And that, for me, is far more personal. Do I really want to deal with people being able to climb inside my head that way?  Not people, reader people or other writers–they get it. But, say, those I come in contact with at work or who attend church with me.

The argument in favor of #writing anonymously. #pennames Click To Tweet

I just keep bumping into this wall.

Don’t post that, someone who comes into the office might take it the wrong way. Don’t talk about your feelings, you have to look people in the eye. And then, I feel fake. It’s not about being fake, it’s about the freedom to be MORE real because there’s a seperateness. My personal life, my professional life, my writing life, my basketball mom life–all different. My life.

And, in the end, it’s my choice.

So, I’ll give you plenty of warning. If you get here by RSS, email, twitter, or my Facebook page, you won’t have any trouble finding me.


P.S. On the writing side, I’m writing a novella for a submission call. It’s romance set in the 1950s, which I adore. If I don’t get picked up, I may publish it here. Someone’s going to read the damn thing. ;-)

Image was created using images from and Mel’s Brushes.

What do the things in the title have in common? Me, getting sentimental. And overusing Kleenexes.

Over at Heart-Shaped Glasses today, I’m blogging about (reflecting on, actually, since that’s our theme this month) the tradition I started for my girls when they were little nearly nineteen years ago. Of course, I got sappy. Because, hello? I cry over commercials. Does anyone remember the Kodak one, with the little girl dancing on her dad’s shoes and then they’re dancing at her wedding? I still remember the song. I think Michael Bolton sung it, but don’t hold that against me.

(Tried to embed the video above, but if it’s not showing up, try this.)

Anyway, a little comment love over there wouldn’t hurt my feelings any. And you could win a book. As in more than one chance to win…

I’ll be back here next week. And even I don’t know what I might say.


Writer’s Digest is studying the romance novel today (and giving you a bit of a glimpse into the book I’m currently reading, On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel That Sells by Leigh Michaels).

I say: If you’re not a beginner, the first 85 pages are full of info you’ve heard before.  But then, it’s writing gold.  Give it a shot.

My favorite, the real “formula” of a romance:

What romance novels have in common is this: A romance novel is the story of a man and a woman who, while they’re solving a problem that threatens to keep them apart, discover that the love they feel for each other is the sort that comes along only once in a lifetime; this discovery leads to a permanent commitment and a happy ending.

via Writer’s Digest – Studying the Romance Novel.

’tis be, as described, th’ best character name finder ever. Let’s spy wit’ ye eye, ye can pick which letters it can’t or must start wit’ or end wit’, th’ length ‘n number ‘o syllables, even what letter sequence it contain. Then thar’s style preferences, like: Traditional, Contemporary/Invented, Passin’ Fashion ‘o th’ Past, etc. Then ye decide how popular a name ye want ‘n whether it be popular in locales outside th’ U.S. Extremely awesome. ‘n once it gives ye a list ‘o names, then ye really start diggin’ in.

ETA: This post is in Pirate, because it’s…. Talk Like A Pirate Day! Using the translator at

Chapter One

 The day started like any other day for Layla; her mother caught her filching food from the main house refrigerator and attacked. She didn’t come in swinging, though. It was more a thoughtful demolition of carefully planned and timed attacks.

With the aqua refrigerator open, Layla bit into an apple and eyed the Chardonnay in the door. Too early. She kept her back turned to her mother. Layla, darling, she would always begin. Then, bam, she’d cut more efficiently than Layla ever could herself.

“The Purple People Eater” came on the radio at that moment, static crackling over it, and as Layla turned to face her, her mother cringed. Vivian Rosas hated modern music.

“Layla, darling. I’ve made you an appointment with a doctor in the city. He’s very confident he can help you.”

Mouth full of apple to annoy her mother, who liked to pretend she’d been born and bred with class, Layla asked, “Help with what?”

Vivian, in her attempts to appear as if she’d come into the world elegant and perfect, wore a long, violet silk dressing gown with a full skirt. It would’ve cost a fortune. Despite the nightwear, her mother’s ebony hair was already carefully coiffed into a high bouffant.

“Your father and I have grown concerned since the incident at his hotel.”

“It wasn’t a big deal, Mother. I’ll find somewhere else to while away the never-ending glamour of my days.”

Her mother’s lips tightened. “You’re isolated. You have no friends, no prospects for a husband. You stay in the pool house with all the windows blacked out.”

“It’s a dark room. You can’t exactly throw open the curtains and let the sun shine in.”

At this point, her mother pulled a paring knife from the drawer and slowly began to peel the skin from an apple. So, this would be one of those arguments. When her mother truly attacked Layla, she made certain to leave something sharp in view. First, she would tear Layla to ribbons with her words, then leave some pointy object around so Layla would start slicing for relief.

“We believe you may benefit from the treatment Dr. Smythe is using with great success. It makes one forget all about the unpleasant thoughts that turn a well-bred young woman into a monster,” Vivian said.

Apple skin, a building spiral, piled up on the counter. Her mother had a strict policy against cleaning up after herself in any way. Leave it for the help, she believed, ignoring she was only a generation removed from “the help.” Layla’s voice came out a bit hoarse, which she hated. “I’m not going to the doctor.”

“But, Layla, darling, we don’t need your consent. Not if your father has you declared incompetent.”

“He would never do that to me.” Unspoken between them lay the truth that her mother would absolutely do such a thing.

“Maybe not before. But this hotel business has him worried. Imagine, his daughter persona non-grata in his own casino.”

“It’s not his; if it was I could still go there whenever I liked.” The knife gleamed wet with apple juice on the counter, within easy reach. “I have to go. I have somewhere to be.” Anywhere but here, with that knife.

“But where could you possibly have to go? You have no friends. You flit around Vegas doing God knows what—taking photographs of people without their consent, apparently.”

And then the lie materialized. Layla didn’t think about it, just recognized the awful clawing of panic in her stomach. Her parents would put her in some institution and let them shock her brain until she could be led around like a docile pet. “I have a date. I’m seeing someone.”

“Really?” Her mother drew the word out, disbelief dripping from each syllable. “What does he do?”

“He works. At his job.” From her place at the fridge, Layla tossed the apple core toward the sink. Ordinarily, she’d never leave extra work for those who worked in the house, especially Mrs. C. The housekeeper had been nothing but kind to her. Right now, though, she couldn’t walk toward that counter, toward the knife that called to her.

“Fascinating, darling. And what, exactly, is his job?”

“I’m late, Mother. I’ll tell you all about him when I get home. Or whenever I next see you.” She’d overslept this morning. Normally, she made it in, ate a bite, chatted with Mrs. C, and lit out before her mother ever woke from a liquor-induced slumber.

Layla rushed out the back door, stopped in the pool house, also known as her current residence, and grabbed her camera bag. She slung it into the front seat of the convertible and screeched down the driveway. Only one thing would ease the anxiety crawling all over her skin right now.


Jace strode quickly toward the more secluded bungalows in the rear of the casino with his newest over-eager employee. The kid was the son of a shareholder, shipped out here from New York. Luckily, Jace had been given explicit instructions—train him, give him no special treatment. If the kid wanted to move up, he’d have to prove himself to Jace.

So far, he’d tried a little too hard to please. The trick was to meet the demands of the big shots who stayed here while remaining on equal footing with them. They didn’t trust you to be discreet or to take a bullet to keep them safe if you acted like some squealing teenager meeting her idol for the first time.

“All right, kid, listen. See this area? You’re in charge of making sure nobody except Mr. Stone and his guest come back here. Period.”

“What about the other guests?”

Jace had to be careful how he worded things. Stone and his bodyguard had been coming to stay at The Desert Palms for two years now because Jace protected their secret. A secret that could destroy Stone and the other man’s lives if even a whiff of it got out.

“Mr. Stone has rented the bungalows on either side of his. There aren’t any other guests. He does this all the time. Not a big deal. You stand here. You keep your mouth shut. You see nothing. You signed that confidentiality contract, remember?”

There wasn’t a chance the kid would screw the casino over by going to the press about the affair. Unfortunately, there was every possibility that he would quit in disgust once he realized why Stone needed so much privacy. It was 1958, but some things never changed.

“I—yes. Yes, sir. But…” The kid’s eyes darted past Jace’s shoulder and back in a nervous dance.

“What? Was I unclear?”

“But what about that lady on the roof of the casino?”

Jace twisted and squinted. The sun hung behind her, but he could make out a lithe figure, elbows resting on the wall of the second-story roof. When she shifted, the sun glinted off glass. “What the… Are those binoculars?”

She shifted again, and he could make out what was in her hands. “Damn it! That’s a camera. Go get her and bring her down here, now!”

Jace started for the bungalows. Best thing until the kid got to the roof was to act casual and try for damage control.

“Hey, you! Get down here!” the kid called out.

Shooting a glare behind him, Jace pulled up short. The woman stood and took off like a streak.

“I said go get her,” he said through clenched teeth.

“I thought this would get her attention faster.”

“Well, it did. And now she’s leaving. If you want this job, you’d better catch her. Actually, don’t engage her. Just follow, discreetly. Then come back and tell me where she goes. You got all that?”

A quick nod, then the kid took off like a racehorse. Hell, at least he was fast. Idiot.

Jace tapped his fist against his head, forcing his brain to focus on how to handle this. If she was press, he could threaten her with jail for trespassing. Still might not work. Those people acted like they had the moral high ground, even when they skulked around and invaded people’s private lives. But what else could it be? A rival hotel, trying to figure out how Jace managed to always get the biggest star in Hollywood to come to this hotel nearly every weekend? Yeah, maybe.

He’d figure out how to handle it when he knew what he was dealing with. Until then, he strode toward the middle bungalow and knocked on the door. It took a good three minutes before Douglas Stone answered the door wearing only a pair of chinos. “Jace? What’s going on?”

“We had an intruder, and I noticed your curtains are open a bit.” Just enough for a really good lens. “We’re handling it, but I wanted you to be aware.”

“Were they on the grounds back here?” Mr. Stone rocked back on the heels and rubbed the back of his neck. He tried to look past Jace’s shoulders.

“No, not on the grounds. Try not to worry. I’ll take care of everything.”

“You always do. Thanks, buddy.” He clapped Jace on the shoulder and shut the bungalow door.

Thanks, buddy. He had to get every trace of those photos back. Stone was a good guy. What he did in his private time was his own business. And, just as bad, if what Stone did on his own time, in this hotel, got out… Well, Jace could forget about his job. He’d be lucky to get a job sweeping up the floors. And he’d never maintain the contacts he needed to build his own hotel and casino someday.

Jace headed back to his office in hopes one of the guys on the floor had seen something. A thin girl, dark hair, with a camera. That’s all he had. The sun had been at her back. He truly had no idea who he had to find.

After Jace questioned two of his guys, the idiot kid came back. His white button-up soaked with sweat, he’d loosened his tie so much he could easily have slipped it over his head. Jace sent the man from the floor out. “Tell me you know where she is. Tell me that, or I swear I’ll hang you by that ugly tie of yours until you’re dead.”

“I followed her home. Don’t think she even realized I was tailing her.” The kid gulped for air between sentences. “Got an address.”

“Then I guess you get to live. What is it?”

“Do I still work here?” The kid stood frozen, his eyes huge.

“Not if you don’t write that address down in the next five seconds and get out of my face.”

The kid did it and scooted out the door. Jace needed to learn his name.

At his desk, Jace studied the address. A nice area, expensive houses. Definitely not the press, then. That was some relief. Whatever happened with the photo, it wouldn’t be front-page copy tomorrow. Probably.

Jace dialed the PI he used to handle delicate problems. Truthfully, he used the PI more than he would ever have expected. But that was the job—solving problems, cleaning up messes, and keeping secrets. And, damn it, he was good at his job. Unfortunately, this was already one of those days that included all three at once.

Killing time, he walked the floor, he monitored the tables, he checked in the bar to make sure no one got out of hand. The longest two hours of his life. Finally, his secretary paged him over the PA, and he jogged down to his office.


“The house belongs to a Benito Rosas, goes by Benny. Sound familiar?”

Jace jotted the name down. “Never heard of him.”

His PI loved to drag out good information, like a housewife sharing gossip over the fence. “Full-blooded Italian, parents-from-the-old-country type. He owns about thirty percent in The Lucky Star Hotel and Casino. Likely for a very close friend of his who’s connected to some heavy hitters in New York.”

“That’s not good news. But he’s not who I saw.”

“He has a daughter. Layla Rosas. Single, but there was a fiancé. Lives with her parents. It’s all I’ve got, Jace.”

“You don’t know what she does? Is she a journalist?”

“She doesn’t do anything. She sure as hell ain’t no journalist.”

“Thanks. I’ll be in touch if I need anything else.” Jace dropped the phone back onto the cradle. Layla Rosas. Why had this nobody been hanging around here? He was willing to bet she’d landed the shot of the decade. Journalist or not, she couldn’t have been on that roof pointing her camera at Douglas Stone’s window by accident.

He intended to find out. First thing in the morning, give her time to think she’d gotten away clean. Then he’d surprise her on her own turf.


Jace drove south of Vegas the next morning. The sun already beat down in shimmering waves of heat. Without all the nighttime traffic, the trip only took twenty minutes. The address wasn’t hard to find. A new house, all square shapes and big windows. Not so nice he had to worry about gates or a guard, so that helped.

He parked his car beside the curb and walked up the long sidewalk, landscaped on both side with round rocks and hearty cacti. Jace rang the bell and waited. Eventually, a matronly lady with orange hair corkscrewed in all directions, wearing an apron and glasses on a chain, answered the door. “Can I help you?”

“I’m here to see Layla.” He hadn’t expected the need to bypass any doorkeepers, so to speak, and he quickly decided a tone of familiarity was his best bet.

“And can I tell her the purpose of this call?”

Yeah, she wasn’t giving an inch. “We’re close friends. Jace Russell.”

Her gaze skimmed him with disdain, and she leaned a shoulder against the door. “How come I’ve never heard of you?”

“Well, here’s the thing, we’ve been keeping things private.” His PI had told him she was single, so intimating they were a little more than friends might bring him face-to-face with her. It would be best to shake her up, surprise her on her own turf. But if this didn’t work, he could always camp out front at the curb in his car.

“Hmm. So, you’re the man she mentioned to her mother?”

“I sure hope so!” Jace burst into a conspiratorial laugh, and just like he hoped, the woman laughed with him.

“Come on, then.” The housekeeper turned and walked straight back through the house, never stopping to see if he followed, to a wall of windows and a sliding glass door. “Layla’s either by the pool or in the pool house.” She gestured that way and shut the door behind him.

He walked a little down the rolling lawn until he saw the thin, dark-haired girl lounging in a chair beside the pool.

He had to play this carefully if he wanted the negatives back. The trick would be figuring out what this oddball, Layla, wanted.


Want to find out more or just hit the buy button? You’ll find everything you need on the book page.

Happy reading! xo


Two years after her husband’s death, Kelly believes her romantic life is done. Until she reconnects with her girlhood crush on social media, and as fate would have it, he lives across the street.

James is over the whole true-love thing. His grasping ex-wife tore that belief out of him, when she left him for a rich, old man. Then he finds out his first love moved to San Diego too, and their attraction burns as hot as ever.

What they don’t know is that Fate didn’t bring them together – the Guardian Angel Corps did, led by two unlikely Cupids – Kelly’s late husband and Zane, a rough and tumble, 19th century cowboy. When a Fallen Angel decides to tear Kelly and James apart, cherubs and harps aren’t going to cut it, and Zane’s unique skills might be just what they need to get a second chance at their first love.


She flashed a bright smile at her old friend,  “I sent a friend request to Susie Davidson, and I want to see if she’s responded.”

“Susie Davidson,” Grace’s voice dripped with disdain, “we didn’t badger you into doing this so you could reconnect with Susie Davidson.”

“Hey, what’ve you got against old Susie? She was an integral part of our nerd squad in high school,” David said. “Right, Kel?”

When she didn’t reply, he glanced over at his old friend to see her frozen at her computer, all the color drained from her face. “Kel, what’s wrong?”

“I didn’t hear from Susie, but I did get a message from James Flynn,” she whispered.

David jumped to his feet and peeked over her shoulder at the computer screen. “Yummy James Flynn from Rye?”

Grace snickered, “Sounds like a sandwich. I’ll have a Yummy James Flynn on rye. Hold the mayo.”

Kelly and David swung their heads in unison to stare at her.

“What? It’s not my fault you two come from a town named after a bread.”

David shook his head mournfully and intoned, “Californians.”

“Native, baby.”  The blonde woman grinned playfully, “And don’t you New England Yankees forget it.”

“What does he say, Kel?” David asked with interest.

Kelly gulped, “He wanted to get in touch and maybe meet for a drink.”  She twisted her head to look up at David, her eyes huge on her pale face, “He lives here, David. In San Diego.”

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Amazon UK | The Wild Rose Press

Author Bio:

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.


Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

I make a soundtrack for every story I write. I use them to help me write individual scenes and to create a sense of the full story. Following the advice of Lani Diane Rich (author and creator of Chipperish media), I find one song to be the song that would play over the ending credits of my book. It embodies the fullness and catharsis of my ending.

Exactly Like You had an ending credit song I’d never paid attention to (since I was about 8 when it was released). I’m not entirely sure how I ran across the song, unless it was just story fate, but it was Caught Up in You by 38 Special. Every day, when I prepared to write, I started the playlist with this song. I knew whose viewpoint that song was from and, so, who had to be the one to make the grand gesture at the end.

But I’m jumping ahead. This playlist was heavy on acoustic covers (which makes it my very favorite playlist ever) especially from the 80s. Why? I don’t have a clue. It’s just where my prewriting led me.

In the first kiss scene at a party, I relied heavily on two songs. A cover of I Wanna Dance with Somebody (all slowed down) by Rachel Brown and Crazy For You (a la Madonna but even better) by Alice Lamb. It was an intense scene with a lot of conflicting feelings and these two songs diluted it down to the essence of what was happening emotionally.

Roxie suffers from depression and it was very important to me that no one refer to her as crazy except for Roxie herself, and then only once. All the same, that feeling — that you’re crazy — can be very pervasive when trying to claw your way out of depression. This song, originally by Gnarls Barkley, Crazy covered by Mysha Didi helped me to get in Roxie’s head.

Honorable mention for that falling-in-love-feeling, at least from Roxie’s perspective, was Boom Clap covered by Lennon & Maisy. Roxie was feeling again, which is a relief after depression, and it felt great and scary all at once. Aidan, on the other hand, was less than happy to be falling in love after losing his wife two years ago.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite cover of Bad Romance as done by Lissie. Wow, so powerful. So true to the feeling of wanting someone even when you know you’re broken and they’re broken, but you might be whole together.

I could go on and on about how, song after song, this soundtrack is just righteous and perfect. I miss listening to this soundtrack as I fell asleep every night over the five weeks that I wrote the story. I hope you’ll give Exactly Like You a chance and, if you do and you love it, check out the soundtrack. It’s sort of a music behind the story encyclopedia.

(All links open in Spotify)

The music behind the story, Exactly Like You, available now. Click To Tweet


An Inn Decent Proposal By Sharon Buchbinder

Perfect Odds By Lashanta Charles

A Ghost To Die For By Keta Diablo

Raising Kane By Kat Henry Doran

For Money Or Love By Margo Hoornstra

Take A Chance On Me By M.J. Schiller


Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense Anthology

Release Date: June 1, 2017


Six award-winning authors bring you six *sweet to sensual* romances filled with suspense, thrills and maybe even a ghost or two—for less than the price of a cup of coffee—99 cents!

Welcome to La Bonne Chance Resort & Casino!

With thousands of people passing through the casino’s doors on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that a variety of lives and loves are on the line there. It’s said that you’re more likely to lose your heart at La Bonne Chance than a hand of poker. Whether you are the Director of Casino Operations or the guy who created its software, a jilted bride or a black jack dealer, a past guest’s ghost or a sous chef–when it comes to love, the stakes are high.

Thank goodness what happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance….

Ready to roll the dice?

An Inn Decent Proposal, Sharon Buchbinder
Can an hotelier with a past and a chef with a future revive the grand dame in a neglected old inn?

Perfect Odds, Lashanta Charles
When a jilted bride meets the man of her dreams, will she embrace the new plan, or cling stubbornly to the old one?

A Ghost To Die For, Keta Diablo
She didn’t believe in ghosts…until one showed up in her room.

Raising Kane, Kat Henry Doran
Funny how a night in jail will change a woman’s outlook on life.

For Money Or Love, Margo Hoornstra
She’s the one woman he can’t afford to lose.

Take A Chance On Me, M.J. Schiller
Who do you count on when the chips are down?


To add to the fun, we are giving away one gambling themed handmade item to ONE lucky commenter who will be selected by a Random Number Generator.


Buy Link

Facebook Page



Want to read excerpts and more about the authors?

Read More →

Subscribe to the blog in a reader


Subscribe to the blog by email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Today, this super-smart scientist/writer/daydreamer extraordinaire is joining us to answer some questions about herself, her writing, and how to succeed as a writer. She’s also brought her book, A Hundred Kisses, and a killer excerpt.

What made you want to become a writer?

I am a daydreamer. I love art. I love words. I love to lose myself in the beautiful – be it another world or nature and art. My first role model was my mom, who would spend hours at her easel drawing and painting. She also incorporated poetry into her art. My elementary school art teacher was also an inspiration. As much as I loved to draw, I found myself pulled to the art of stories. It began as girlish fictional stories and teenager angst-heartbreak-filled poetry. This morphed into my love or romance in college. Even as I took a career path in science, the desire to write remained steadfast. And here I am.

What are your books about?

I like happy endings. Up until last year, I only wrote historical romance. I dabbled in a time-travel book (that one’s on hold). My next project is the prequel to A Hundred Kisses. However, people remark that you should “write what you know,” so I jumped genres completely for my latest manuscript (in the submission process), which is a contemporary mainstream women’s fiction novel inspired by personal experiences. I’ve also been working on getting some children’s picture books out there (with an autistic main character; again writing from life experiences). I also write for travel magazines. Perhaps I have too many ideas! But I’m enjoying dipping my fishing poles in a variety of pools.

What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?

Aside from the actual writing itself… the things that have taken more time and effort include research, editing, learning the business, and honing my craft/skills. While writing the first few books (my “practice novels”), I spent much of my time learning the process, understanding the craft. There is no shortage of writer’s resource books on my shelf; some I still return to with each manuscript. Research is also par for the course, and I enjoy what I learn along the way, even if it doesn’t make it into the book. Learning the business is worth the time investment, too. That comes with plenty of networking and reading. Editing – the bane of most writers’ existence – is a necessary evil. And now, the next chapter in my writing journey has opened: marketing and promoting my book!

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

It depends on the book [wink, wink]. My historicals are completely fictional (although real history is packed in there). Of course , here is a little of the writer in all her characters.  Two very minor characters in A Hundred Kisses, Peter and Sham, are actually named from a town (Petersham) I drove through one day. My contemporary books tend to have more real-life inspirations. People I know. Family members. People who have wronged me or a loved one. Yup. No one is safe! I will say that I do love my secondary characters. On the querying road, I’ve had some agents say that they detract from the central story (of hero/heroine), where others have enjoyed their presence. I lean toward the later. In fact, the secondary characters quite often become leads in a future novel idea. I feel that a well-rounded cast brings life to a story.

What advice would you give a writer just starting out. Share three pearls of wisdom.

My three P’s:

  1. Patience. There is a lot of waiting in writing. It all works out on its own timeline, not ours. What to do while waiting (impatiently)? Write something else. Read. Research. Network. Do something to kill the time while you wait.
  2. Perseverance. Never, ever give up. No matter how many rejections or no’s you get, don’t give up if it’s your dream. I wrote 3 novels before the fourth one finally made it. It took me 19 years. Granted, there was some stopping and starting in there for jobs and early childrearing years, so it took a while. Rejections can hurt. Use them for good. How can you take that rejection and spin it to help you? (e.g. agent/editor/fellow author feedback on your writing/characters/plot – use that in the next manuscript or revise with that feedback in mind – that’s exactly how A Hundred Kisses came to be! I took the advice from an agent and ran with it.)
  3. Put in the time. This ties into #1. It takes time. There is no magic formula for writing success. I am still at the beginning of my publication journey. I put plenty of time into learning, honing, understanding. I am still journeying and learning. Like any career, it takes some time before you can truly blossom to your full potential. So this also ties into #2. Don’t give up.

Author bio:

Jean is a scientist, part-time education director, and a mom. She currently resides in Massachusetts and draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration. She enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines, and aspires to write children’s books while continuing to write novels. In 2008, she visited the land of her daydreams, Scotland, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Jean enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her sons, while daydreaming about the next hero to write about…


Twitter: @JeanGrant05


Buy Links

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press: E-book or Paperback



Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.

Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.

Under the façade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.

Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…


She sensed no colors in the murky, lifeless water, and it was freeing. All breath escaped her. Muted visions passed before her eyes—her mother, her father, Gordon, and Cortland. Just a moment longer, she thought…

Suddenly, a burst of warm light invaded her thoughts as air filled her lungs. Red-hot hands burned her shoulders and ripped her from her icy grave. She breathed life into her body. She coughed, gagging on the change.

Muffled words yelled at her.

Oh, God, so hot. His fingers were like hot pokers. Her head pounded as she slowly returned to the present. Heat radiated from her rescuer. Somebody had pulled her from the water.


“Hush, lass. You nearly drowned.”

His voice was as soothing as a warm cup of goat’s milk on a winter’s day. A red-hot glow emanated from his body. Never before had she felt such a strong lifeblood, and it nearly burned her. She struggled in his arms to get free. She blinked, only seeing a blurry form before her. “Release me!”

She splashed and wriggled, and he did as told. She clambered to the shoreline. Numb and shaken, she began to dress. It wasn’t easy as she fumbled with slick fingers to put dry clothes over wet skin. She instantly regretted her naked swim. She pulled on her long-sleeved white chemise first.

She faced the forest, away from her rescuer. He quietly splashed to shore. His lifeblood burned into her back. He wasn’t far behind, but he stopped. She refused to look at him until she was fully clothed, not out of embarrassment of her nudity, but for what had just happened. He released a groan and mumbled under his breath about wet boots. His voice was not one of her father’s soldiers.

When she put the last garment on, her brown wool work kirtle, she squeezed out her sopping hair and swept her hands through the knotty mess. She fastened her belt and tied the lacings up the front of the kirtle. Blood returned to her fingertips, and she regained her composure. Belated awareness struck her, and she leaned down and searched through her bag for her dagger. She spun around.

She gasped as she saw the man sitting on the stone-covered shoreline, his wet boots off. Confusion and the hint of a scowl filled his strong-featured face. She staggered back, caught her heel on a stone, and fell, dropping the dagger. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her wet hands and feet, and she instinctively scrambled away from him.

His glower, iridescent dark blue eyes, and disheveled black hair were not unfamiliar. Staring at her was the man she had seen in her dream—it was the man from the wood.