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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Merry Christmas! How about a feel-good, sweet short story for the holiday? THE CHRISTMAS PARTY


Only $0.99! Bring a little holiday cheer into your life with 

The Christmas Party...

What do you get for Christmas for your best friend who has everything? A date with her forever-crush, right? Aaron and Patrice have been best friends since high school. This year, instead of a bottle of perfume or a new scarf, he has the supreme surprise in store for her – movie star and high school chum, Damian Wood.

Aaron’s bringing him to Patrice’s Christmas party expressly to meet her. Never mind Aaron had once crushed on her. Putting aside your own feelings to make someone else happy is a sign of true friendship, isn’t it?

Little does he know Patrice has cooked up a mighty big surprise for him, too. All is revealed at the Christmas party, where things may not be what they seem in this sweet rom-com, feel-good short story.


Here's an excerpt: 

An apartment on the West Side of Manhattan

Aaron North had the best Christmas present humanly possible for his best friend, Patrice Linden. Signed and sealed—the only thing missing was a bow. He’d be bringing Damian Wood to her annual Christmas Eve party.

Damian was a star of stage, screen, and Patrice’s dreams since they were fifteen. Aaron and Damian had kept up a sort of friendship since they attended McHugh High School. The actor had been in town to audition for Broadway, and while they were at lunch together, Aaron had brought up Patrice.

“The flat-chested girl with the skinny legs?” Damian sipped his latte.

“She’s changed.” Aaron had whipped out a picture and slid it across the table. Damian choked.

“Holy shit! This is Patrice Linden?”

“Yep. She’s having a Christmas Eve party, and I want to bring you. As her date. You’re her biggest wet dream.”


Aaron nodded. “Come on. You’re not dating anyone now, are you?”

“Well. Let me check my schedule. I’ll text you tomorrow.”

Damian had agreed. Aaron couldn’t stop smiling.

Every year Patrice would rope him into helping out with planning and decorating. He’d be doing the tree with her this year. And ordering the liquor too.

His girlfriend, Crystal, had stopped over after work. They ordered a pizza and watched a movie. Now, he’d press her into service too.

“I need to order the champagne, wine, and vodka. Call these liquor stores, Crystal. Get prices and delivery schedules, okay? We need the booze there by noon on Christmas Eve.”

“Okay.” She perused the list. “This is a lot of work for one lousy party.”

“It’s going to be a great party. The most monumental party in the world.”

“Just a Christmas party.”

“Not just a Christmas party. A liberation. You’ll see.”

She sidled up to him. “Are we getting engaged at Christmas?”

Aaron avoided her question. “Go on, get started.”

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” She picked up her phone and plopped down in the kitchen. His phone rang. It was his father.


“Your text said you’re inviting me to a Christmas party?” he Christmas party. I want you to be a witness.”

“Witness to what?”

“Them meeting at the party. Then it’ll be over.” Aaron cradled his cell phone while he pulled a beer from the fridge.

“Over for who? Her? Or you?”

“She’ll have the man of her dreams.” He popped the top.

“Come on, Aaron. I know you’ve had the hots for this chick for like fifteen years.”

“You’re crazy. We’re just friends. She’s always wanted to be with Damian. And now she’ll get her chance. He’s finished with his last…can I say relationship? No, probably not. With his last whatever. And when I told him about Patrice and showed him her picture, he went nuts. I couldn’t believe he actually remembered her from high school.”

“So she wants to be with him, and he wants to be with her?”

“Sort of. She’ll finally get her chance.”

“For a smart man, sometimes you can be so stupid.”

“What?” Aaron reached into the cabinet and snatched a bag of potato chips.

“When are you going to make your play?”

“Never. I have Crystal.”

“I hope you’re not going to propose to her.”

“She expects it.” He grabbed a handful of chips and put them on a paper towel.

“On Christmas? Why don’t you just put coal in my stocking?”

“She’s not that bad.”

“Yes, she is, and she hates me.”

“She doesn’t hate you.” He munched on a chip.

“Are we talking about the same girl? The one with the big boobs?”


“You’re throwing away your chance for happiness.”

Aaron paused before he said, “Patrice wants Damian.”

“Did she say so?”

“She spent five years talking about Damian Wood, constantly, like he’s some kind of god. I got the message.”

“And now?” his dad asked.

“Okay, maybe not so much now.”

“At all now?”

“Well, no. But I know how she feels. She’s marking time with other guys.”

“How do you know?”

He took another sip of his beer before answering, “Said she’s waiting for the right one. She means Damian.”

“You’re an idiot. I can’t talk to you. Go ahead. Throw happiness down the toilet. But don’t come crying to me. I’ve gotta go. Neighbor lady is bringing a casserole.”

Aaron snickered. “Hot and cold running women. Mom would be ashamed.”

“Mom would be thrilled. Of course, I’d rather it was her, but she’s gone. Go ahead. Be a fool. Just don’t tell me about it.”

The phone went dead.

Get it on Amazon now. Coming soon to Kobo and Google Play. 



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Signed Paperbacks Are here!

 Who says you can't get a signed, personalized paperback anymore? Not me. I've put 32+ of my paperbacks up on Etsy for purchase. Plus my new 2021 calendar! Same price as Amazon (in some cases, less), no shipping charge, signed and personalized any way you want. 

Great inexpensive holiday gifts! Where else can you get a gift of reading that's signed to your favorite aunt or your best friend? On Etsy, from me. Here's the list of books there so far, and the link. 


All books in the Pine Grove series are available.

Find all the books in the First & Tens series!

Find all the book in this series available in paper.

All Books in the Bottom of the Ninth Series are available.

The anthology is available.

The House-Sitter's Christmas is available.

Add caption

Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights, a sweet romance, is available.

April's Kiss in the Moonlight, a sweet romance is available.

                        Beyond the Bake Sale is $4.00 less than the price on Amazon!

Holiday Hearts Collection (5 novellas) is available. 

Stories from the Heart 2021 Calendar is available.

Coming this week: 

Now and Forever series 

Go to and search by book title or Jean Joachim 

Special request? If you want one or more books you don't see here, or more of a particular book than are available, simply email me and I'll make it happen: 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Welcome to the Fall RWANYC blog hop.  "Seducing his heart"  is free for everyone until 10/14 and free on Kindle Unlimited all the time.  Scroll down to return to the blog hop. 

Here's a brief excerpt:

Crash opened the door to The Wellington. Bess nodded to him as she continued on her way upstairs. Her mind on her baking, she didn’t see Candy Wayne barreling toward her. The skinny young woman plowed into Bess, knocking her bags to the ground. The contents scattered.

“Broken heel.” Candy held up half of a four-inch spiked pump before she teetered onto the elevator. When Bess swore under her breath, her pug, Dumpling, barked.

The woman looked disheveled, top half-tucked in, skirt askew. “Sorry. Sorry,” the model mumbled as the doors shut. The elevator descended, leaving Bess to clean up the mess. She heard scratching at her door and the squeaking of hinges as the one down the hall opened. Whit, wearing a fluffy white terry robe, and probably nothing else, stuck his head out.

“What the hell?”

“My dog. When she hears me, she barks.” Bess, on her knees, swept boxes of tea and bags of coffee together.

“What have you got? A Rottweiler? A shepherd?”

Bess laughed. “A pug. She thinks she’s a Rottweiler.”

“A pug?” He chuckled. “Do you need a hand?”

“I’m fine.”

“Did Candy do this?”

Bess clamped her lips together in a fine line and continued to scoop her purchases up and dump them in the bag. Dumpling kept barking.

Whit padded barefoot out of his apartment and knelt down next to Bess. He picked up several items and read the labels. “Chai tea, Kona coffee, Loganberry jam…”

Bess plucked each container out of his hand one-by-one and whisked it into the bag. “I’m doing some research on coffee and tea.”

“How interesting. My research involves sifting through dry, boring article after dry, boring article on the Internet.”

“You do what you do, and I do what I do.”

As she stood up, he handed her a package of black licorice. “Bet we’re the last two people in the city who like this stuff,” he said.

“I doubt it.” She stiffened.

As he leaned over, his robe parted, and she got a good view of his chest--totally touchable, firm, but not bodybuilder hard. Black chest hair in moderation made her fingertips tingle at the thought of running them up his pecs. With an effort, she ripped her gaze from his body and directed it to the cartons of food still on the floor.

A bit about the book:

Inside a fashionable apartment house on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, sparks fly when tenant, Bess Cooper, as delectable as the desserts she whips up on her TV baking show, bumps into her gorgeous new neighbor

 Whitfield Bass. A well-known broadcast journalist, he’s locked in a hot and heavy embrace with a stunning model, like those who accessorize his every outfit, and boudoir.  

Whit, aka Mr. No Commit, is a smooth-talking womanizer. Bess is the kind of Happily Ever After girl you make the mother of your children. Yet, against their will, they’re drawn together as powerfully as the poles of a magnet. Will she have the fortitude to survive a shattered heart?  Is Whit chasing a dream of success half a world away -- or running scared? Can scandal destroy everything Bess holds dear?

Find the book here:  










Thursday, July 23, 2020


Welcome to the RWANYC Summer Blog Tour! RWA authors are posting excerpts from their works. This is from my book, "You Belong to Me." 

When you've finished reading mine, click on the link below to return to the tour and read the excerpts from other fine authors. Thanks for stopping by! 



“Look, Dad!” Bobby Morrison yelled from the living room.

Holding a mug of coffee, the boy’s father, Cal, strolled into the room and peered out the window.

“Someone’s moving in,” Cal said.

“Look! A big truck,” exclaimed the boy.

Cal chuckled and rubbed his son’s head as they watched the men unloading furniture and carting it into the house.

“Go get dressed. School today.” Cal shooed Bobby away.

Curiosity riveted the older Morrison to the window. A woman appeared at the door to the small house. Her short, dark hair and the way she moved caught his eye.

“What’s she doing here? She’s not moving into that house, is she?” he said to himself.

A frown drew the corners of his mouth down. His brows knitted, and anger tightened his chest. Hadn’t Giselle Davenport done enough harm? She didn’t belong here anymore. Why had she come back? It sure wasn’t because of him. Why hadn’t she stayed in Europe, where she belonged?

He had a life in Pine Grove now. Her return would spoil things. He’d been over Giselle since themoment she left, or at least that was what he told himself. He’d found someone else, married, and had a child. So, why didn’t Giselle stay in another corner of the world?

Drawn to her against his will, he stood there, transfixed, as the burly men hauled tables, chairs, and boxes inside.

“She can’t own the place. No. She must be renting. Probably only a brief stop on her way to Timbuktu for another fancy job,” he muttered to himself. And maybe breaking another heart? At least this time, it wouldn’t be his.

For links to buy the book, click HERE

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Welcome! How about a taste of my new release? It's back to Pine Grove. Meet some of your favorite characters again as you rub elbows with the folks of Pine Grove, a small town in upstate New York, where people can be so friendly, some might call it nosy. 

Here's a taste of the book - one of my favorite scenes: 


Flint closed his project file. While he’d never buy a mansion on the profits from McKay Press, he and his brother lived comfortably in Pine Grove. His parents had sold the business and their house to their sons when they moved to Arizona.
Flint and Marty renovated the place and took a business loan from the bank to upgrade their equipment and expand. Flint had put Marty in charge of new accounts while he took care of tried-and-true customers and maintained the machinery. The partnership worked. The brothers, separated by five years, stayed out of each other’s way. In their spare time, they joined the volunteer fire corps.
“So? Did Miss High-and-Mighty tell you what to do with the store or tell you to fuck off?” The slow drawl of his younger brother, Marty, annoyed him.
“Don’t call her that. She was nice, real nice.”
“I bet. So why’d you come home pissed?”
“Shut up, Marty.”
“Yeah, yeah, Flint. When pigs can fly, when the worm turns, and when hell freezes over, you’ll get a call from Miss Cassandra Wells.”
Seeing Cassie had jolted Flint. Could she be more stunning than she’d been at sixteen? Hell yeah. She’d exuded an energy from her expression, the way she’d moved, and those eyes. Damn those eyes. They were the clearest blue, like the Caribbean Sea. Her hair still had a reddish glint, too. Being in her presence had turned him on. Until she sloughed off the importance of the store. As heartless as she was beautiful. He shuddered to think she’d turned her back on her past.
The phone interrupted his thoughts.
“McKay Press. Flint McKay speaking.”
“Hey, Flint.”
“Oh, hi, Grey.” Damn, if there was anyone he didn’t want to talk to, it was Grey Andrews.
“Rumor has it you had dinner with Cassie Wells.”
“There is truth to the rumor.”
“Great. So? When is she coming to take care of the store?”
“Well, we didn’t exactly work out a date yet.” Flint glanced at the sky, asking for forgiveness for one of the biggest lies of his life.
“Why not?”
“You know, performers. Schedules. Stuff.” Sweat broke out on his forehead.
“Oh. Okay. I hope she’s coming soon. Town council’s getting antsy. Keep me in the loop.”
“Sure thing, Grey.” Flint put down his phone and wiped his palm over his face.
“You’re digging the hole deeper,” Marty said, lounging against the doorjamb of Flint’s office.
“I know, I know.”
“Not ready to give up on her, are you?”
“I just saw her this week. Crap. Give the woman some time. She’s real busy. It’s not like she’s sitting on her butt all day eating candy. She’ll come around. You’ll see.” Hmm, second biggest lie of his life.
“Is that what she told you?”
“Never mind what she told me.”
Marty shot his brother a sly grin. “Yeah, right. Like there’s anything between you and her anymore.”
“None of your business. Don’t you have calls to return or something?”
“I’m going, I’m going.” Marty held up his palm. “Hell, you can lie to me all you want, Flint. But don’t lie to yourself.”
With those words, Marty slipped away. Flint stared out the window. There were Chipping Sparrows at the bird feeder. Marty was right. Lying to others was bad enough, but lying to yourself was worse. He sighed and turned his focus to the computer.
His cell rang. “McKay Press. Flint McKay speaking.”
“Flint?” A small voice barely audible whispered his name.
Well, shit. Pigs can fly, worms have turned, and hell has frozen over!

Here's a bit about the book: 

After sixteen years setting records at the box office, winning Tony Awards, and rising like the brightest star in the sky, stardom no longer appeals to Cassandra Wells. At 32, she wants to trade in her greasepaint for a new life. The first step is escaping the people controlling her. Would old friendships rekindled, and secrets revealed allow Cassie to rewrite the stars?

It's book six of the Pine Grove series, but a true stand-alone and only $3.99 for the ebook. 

Find the ebook and paperback versions here: