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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

   Thanksgiving is a holiday that makes me pensive. I'm fortunate this year, as I was last, to be in a happy place with a  healthy family all doing well and making their way in the world.  
   As I walk the streets of Manhattan on the various errands necessary to complete our dinner plans, I come across evidence that not everyone is in the same place I am. 
   I pass empty stores, the wine shop where the people were so friendly, my favorite shoe store --both closed. 
   A fancy gluten-free Italian food place replaced our beloved deli, run by immigrants who had, over the 30 years they were there, become our friends. 
   We had watched their kids grow up and they watched ours. No trip home from college was complete for Stevie unless he stopped in the deli. They were glad to see him. They are gone. My security blanket if I need anything on Thanksgiving day left with them. 
    There are a few homeless people, asking for money. People who live in buildings next door, are there through the generosity of The Coalition for the Homeless. What are these people planning for tomorrow? Will they be dining at a beautiful table with loving family or friends? 
   The sights I see make me depressed, melancholy. I feel the sadness of in the air around me. Some people don't have much to be thankful for except for the fact that they are alive. 
   Then there are some small shops doing a thriving business, bustling with people --the little flower shop, the small grocery store, and others. There is good cheer there. 
   One thing I hate in life, change, is inevitable. I hang on to a small piece of sameness every year by recreating the Thanksgivings we've always had. We're a small crowd, just five this year. And that suits me fine. Less work and more food.
   Outside our door, on the day before, hordes of people pass, eager to stand in an interminable line of hundreds of kindred spirits, to see the balloons being blown up for the parade. We are on the very block where that begins. It's insanity here for 24 hours. 
   Twenty years ago, no one knew about it. We'd take the kids over to watch Spiderman being inflated. It was our secret. It was an Upper West Side "thing". Now it belongs to the masses. 
   As I head toward home, I do stop to wonder about others less fortunate and what the holiday means to them. 
  I know that someday our holiday will change. Things will continue to be different in my neighborhood every year. I may not like it, but I accept it. Eventually we'll be traveling to our kids' homes for Thanksgiving, when we get too old to host it. 
   But for now, it's one thing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that isn't changing. And I'm thankful for that. 


Monday, November 23, 2015


Welcome! This week, the story comes from Al "Trunk" Mahoney, Defensive Lineman, book 6 in the First & Ten series. The prompt is "nasty."  Don't forget to return to the TT blog and read the stories from the gift writers there. Scroll down for link.


The team was warming up in the workout room before practice when they heard a commotion. Cursing, hollering and the banging of metal, the breaking of glass, stopped all activity.

“Who’s in the locker room?” Griff Montgomery asked.
“Trunk,” Bullhorn Brodsky responded. “Shit!”
Griff and Bull rushed into the room, followed by several teammates. There was Al “Trunk” Mahoney, trashing the locker room. He’d already busted his own locker, now he was starting on an empty one. He’d thrown a chair through the window and busted a mirror with his fist, which was bleeding from a nasty cut.
“Holy shit, Trunk!” Griff said.
“What the hell?” Bull asked.
“It’s Mary!”Trunk yelled, closing his injured fist, making ready to take another swing at the locker.
Tuffer Demson, another defensive linebacker, lunged at Trunk. Demson and Bull tried to subdue the big man. The linebacker fought hard, but the others pinned Al’s arms to his sides.
His eyes watered. In a moment he was sobbing. His teammates let him go and he sank to his knees. He picked up a busted cell phone.
“It’s Mary,” he choked out. “She’s leaving me. In a text.”
Silence clothed the room. The men glanced at each other, then stared at Trunk. Pete Sebastian, known as Coach Bass to the team, ran in. He stopped short at the sight. The destruction made him gasp.
“I’m sorry, Coach,” Trunk muttered.
“Come on, Trunk. Get him up, guys. Bring him to my office,” Coach instructed. “Break it up. Show’s over. We have a game to get ready for.”
Devon Drake and Bull eased the wounded linebacker to his feet. They followed him to Coach’s office, then left and closed the door.
Coach was on the phone with security. Jo stuck her head in, but Coach waved her away. Trunk sank down onto a chair like a deflated balloon.
“Almost four years of marriage. Down the toilet,” he sighed, wiping his eyes.
Coach handed him a handkerchief. “Want to talk about it?”­


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Friday, November 20, 2015


Meet the Kings' sexy offensive lineman, Sly "Bullhorn" Brodsky, known as "Bull' to his friends. Leave a comment and your email address & be eligible to win an a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Drawing will be held on Sunday night.

Here's his 20 questions quiz:
   Chocolate or vanilla? 
Strawberry. I like to be different

.   Airplane or train?
Airplane. I hate to waste time.

.   Walking or driving?  

.   Red or Blue?  
Green. I like to be different, remember?

.   Country or Rock?

 Dog or cat?
Dogs. Big ones. Retrievers

.   Lemonade or Iced Tea?  
Girl stuff.  Beer or Scotch.

   Vodka or Whiskey?
Vodka. Straight.

.   Mounds or Almond Joy? 
Whose mounds? Samantha’s? All right!

   Action movies or Thrillers? 
Action all the way.

  Men – brunette or blond?
Neither. I don’t swing that way.

  Women – brunette, blonde or redhead? 
Brunette, like Sam.

  Steak or lobster?  
Both. Bring it on, I’m hungry!

  French fries or Salad? 
Is this a trick question? Fries, of course.

  Pistachios or Peanuts?  
Mcadamias. Different, remember?

   Beer or Wine? 
Beer. On tap.

   Beach or Mountains? 
Beach. Love to swim.

  Oatmeal or scrambled eggs? 
Eggs. Oatmeal? Mushy. Ugh.

   Sausage or Bacon? 
Both, with those scrambled eggs.

   Pretty or Witty? 
Smart & pretty, like Samantha. Sexy, too.

 A bit about the book:
­Sly “Bullhorn” Brodsky wished winning the heart of Samantha Drake was as easy as protecting his quarterback.

 A top offensive lineman in the NFL, Bull tried to live down his rep as a womanizer. Locker room chatter had elevated him to the level of “player” in more than football. But Samantha Drake, dark-haired, stunning sister of a teammate, didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Or did she?
On his best behavior, Bull pulled out all the stops to woo the reluctant beauty. He was making progress until a woman from his past reappeared. Tiffany, the one woman who broke his heart, is in trouble. Is Bull the only man who can help?
Samantha is overcoming her doubts about Bull until Tiffany arrives. Is the blonde really in hot water or does she just want another chance with the man she discarded?
Enjoy the return of your favorite First & Ten characters in this book, too. Surprises, twists, and football action scenes will keep you turning the pages. 

Samantha Drake was quality. No slut, no easy chick, no woman to toy with. She was of the “bring ’em home to mom” variety. He was lucky to have her attention. How many bruisers like him ended up with classy women? None he knew of.
Maybe Bullhorn Brodsky, whose booming voice could be heard in the next county, and who could bring a three-hundred-pounder to his knees, had a shot at a relationship with this exceptional woman. Don’t blow it, Sly, he’d told himself a thousand times.

“We don’t have to do this. I can take you home if you don’t want to be with me. I understand. Devon’s done a number on me with you. I get it. No hard feelings.”
He put on his turn signal and backed up, getting ready to make a U-turn when she put her hand on his arm.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.”
“Do you want to be with me or not?” His eyes were hard. “Because I’m done fooling around with this bullshit.”
“Do you want to be with me?” A deep breath didn’t keep her voice from shaking.
“Of course. I thought I made that damn clear. How many different ways do I have to say it, show it?” He put the car in park.

Find the book here:


Thursday, November 19, 2015

With all the terrible things happening on in France and around the world right now,  I thought it would be healing to remember the men who are our heroes, many in small, but unforgettable ways. 

So I'm reposting my blog on everyday heroes. I hope it gives you a smile and a memory of an encounter with an everyday hero in your life. 
Although we sometimes berate men for not communicating more, most men share their love by doing, not talking. Today I honor those men, the ones who help for the sake of helping...the men who do small unselfish acts everyday. 

Today is your day guys as I dedicate this blog to my everyday heroes, men I know and don't know who have touched my life in positive know who you are:
1) To the two gentlemen who stopped, briefly, to pick me up, one guy on each arm, when I slipped and fell at the bottom of the wet subway stairs on a rainy day.
2) To the man who stopped in the parking lot of Peck's grocery store in Narrowsburg. The second I put my hands under the hood of my car, he was there, asking me what was wrong and if I needed help. Then he proceeded to show me where to put in the wiper fluid, unscrewed the cap to the little tank and left before I even made eye contact!
3)  To all the men on the streets of New York who have stopped to pick up whatever I dropped before I even bent my knees. Klutz that I am, that number is huge.
4)  To my friend in the community who came down to the lake because I told him I was going there to swim by myself and he felt it was unsafe.
5)  To all the men on airplanes who, when seeing me with a large carry-on bag, stood up and put it in the overhead rack for me without even being asked. And also, to those who took it down when we landed.
6)  To the thousands upon thousands of men who have held doors open for me, allowing me to pass through first.
7)  To the two young men on line in the grocery store who offered their frequent buyer cards to me so I could get the discounts, too. 
8)  To the man who took the dead mouse out of my mousetrap and disposed of it for me. Yucky! And to the second man who did that, too.
9)  To all the young men in high school and college who politely took "no" for an answer and either still continued to date me or became my friend.
10) To all the men who got up to give me a seat on the bus or subway when I was pregnant.

11) To the men I met on countless vacations who danced with me, bought me a drink at the bar and didn't hit on me.
12) To the man who came to the emergency room with me on a first date, waited forever and held my hand while I got a tetanus shot. 
13) To my friend in West Africa who unselfishly shares his wealth of knowledge about international book marketing and encourages and supports me at every turn. Thanks, Mark, for helping me get published in China -- in Chinese!
14) To the man who took two hours out of his day to show me how to do my website for the price of a bagel.
15) To the two men who designed book covers for me just because they are my friends.
16) To the man who walked me home after dark when I ducked into a bar because someone was following me...and took "no" for an answer with charm and grace. 
17) To the man who drove me through a blinding snowstorm and back so I could bring a stray cat with an infected paw to the vet.
18) To Doug, our guest, who surprised me with a Tiramisu cake just because I had admired it in the bakery window. 
19) To the man who jumped into a Facebook group to defend me when several people attacked my opinion.
20) To all the chivalrous men who let me go first...from the checkout counter at the grocery store to the bread counter at Zabar's. 
21) To the unknown young man who gave me a lift 60 blocks up Madison Avenue to Mt. Sinai Hospital when the subway wasn't running and my father was in surgery.
22) To my two sons who travel to visit me, listen to me, laugh with me, and always end a phone conversation with "love you".
23) To DH who sometimes fixes things before I ask.

To all you everyday heroes, thank you. Thank you for all you've done and continue to do quietly without fanfare...and for the shy smile you give me when I acknowledge your help. Love you all!

Who are the everyday heroes in your life?
To find out about my books, visit my WEBSITE

Monday, November 16, 2015


Due to the Tuesday Tales rules, I can't continue to share Bull's story with you because, I'm happy to say, his book has been published!! Only unpublished stories are allowed in Tuesday Tales.

I share with you a section from the next book in the First & Ten series, which is still being written. It's about the quarterback's wife, Lauren Montgomery. Her husband is playing a game in another city when she goes into labor. The one person available to ride through this terrifying experience with her is her husband's father, Hank. Only problem is that Hank wasn't very nice to her when he first met her. So she has been stand-offish, not trusting him. But what can she do now? She needs help and he's the only one around.

Monroe County Hospital, three o’clock

Hank was in the visitors lounge on the phone.
“She’s been up and at it for twelve hours. I don’t know how much more she can take.”
“Stay with her. The doctors’ll know what to do.”
“How’s Chip?”
“Awful. We had a hard day. He cried for his mom and was whiny for two hours. I thought I’d lose my mind. I took him outside, then we had lunch, then a nap. He was fine in the afternoon. We watched TV and had dinner. He’s asleep now. I’m pooped.”
“Lie down and rest.”
“You should get back to Lauren. She’s like a frightened doe.”
"Don’t worry. I won’t leave her. I’ll give you a progress report when I have more news.”
“You must be tired.”
“After eight cups of coffee, I don’t feel a thing,” he chuckled.
“Good job.”
“Love you, Verna.”
“Back at ya.”
Hank shut off his phone and returned to the birthing room. Lauren was sweaty and tearful. She appeared to be exhausted.
“We’ll begin pushing soon. As soon as she’s fully dilated. Won’t be long now,” the nurse said.
“Good thing, too. She’s worn out. I hope she has the strength.”
“Women are a lot tougher than you think,” the woman chuckled.
“I don’t doubt that one bit.”
The nurse handed him a fresh cup of ice chips. He eased into the chair beside Lauren. She stared at him with hostile eyes.
“Hey, I’m not the guy who got you into this,” he said, raising one hand. “Got some fresh ice chips.”
Lauren took one. “If I never see another ice chip, it'll be too soon,” she mumbled.
Hank took her hand. “I think you’re the bravest woman on Earth.”
“Don’t bullshit me, Hank,” she shot back, removing her hand.
“I mean it. Going through this without Griff. You’re something else, lady.”
She looked into his eyes, then she took his hand.
“I’m scared,” she whispered, her eyes watered.
“What?” He leaned closer.
“Scared. Scared silly. Scared shitless. Terrified.”
     "I get it. You're not alone. I'm not leaving. I'm with you all the way."
     She squeezed his hand.